Alex Burghart: What steps he is taking to maintain the economic viability of farming after the UK has left the EU.
Alex Burghart: I am grateful to the Minister for his remarks. Many farmers in my constituency in the bounteous county of Essex supported Brexit, but some did not. What reassurances can he give them that the Government are straining their many sinews to ensure that new and emerging food markets are open to them after Brexit?
Alex Burghart: It is a pleasure to take part in this debate, and it is always good to discuss universal credit in the House. As a member of the Work and Pensions Committee, I want to make a minor point before I go on to more substantive arguments. The first I knew about the Committee’s involvement in the motion was when I saw the Order Paper this morning while I was having my breakfast. I understand...
Alex Burghart: I fully understand the hon. Lady’s point because of course there are knock-on consequences. I am also very sorry to hear that her constituent waited eight weeks for money, but we know that that should never happen when advance payments are available and people can receive money on the same day. The seven waiting days have now been removed. The process of test and learn shows that we can...
Alex Burghart: Will the hon. Lady give way?
Alex Burghart: I strongly welcome the statement that the Secretary of State has made this afternoon. I also welcome the news that the disability employment rate has risen by nearly 5% since 2014. The Government are obviously a major employer of people. What are the Government doing to ensure that the civil service leads by example in this area?
Alex Burghart: What steps he is taking to reduce the number of potholes.
Alex Burghart: We have heard some thoughtful remarks about tyre quality on both sides of the House this morning, and road quality is the flip side of that coin. Many of my constituents suffer from pothole-marked roads. In our Conservative manifesto this year we committed to improve the quality of roads and fill potholes. Will my right hon. Friend tell my constituents that we remain committed to that?
Alex Burghart: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to tackle pot holes.
Alex Burghart: What steps she is taking to promote value for money in aid spending.
Alex Burghart: I welcome the Minister’s comments on accountability. My constituents raise value for money in aid spending with me on a regular basis. Does he agree that accountability to people in poor countries is essential in getting value for money?
Alex Burghart: What assessment he has made of the effectiveness of Operation Sophia.
Alex Burghart: I thank the Minister for that response. It is welcome that Operation Sophia has saved so many lives, but it is clearly failing to disrupt human trafficking in the way that was intended. Will he talk to our European partners to ensure that it can be recalibrated to achieve that goal?
Alex Burghart: As a member of the Select Committee on Work and Pensions, I warmly welcome the £1.5 billion and the loss of the seven-day waiting time announced yesterday. Will the Secretary of State confirm that, as the roll-out of universal credit continues, test and learn will continue to be an essential part of the process?
Alex Burghart: I am sure the whole House will welcome the fact that more women who have been victims of domestic abuse are coming forward to report crimes. What is the Home Office doing to ensure that women are properly supported by the criminal justice system and that we get more successful prosecutions?
Alex Burghart: On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I wish to place on record my unreserved apology to the House for my conduct earlier. I was irritated by something that was said, and I allowed my irritation to get the better of me and I approached the Opposition Front Bench. I apologise unreservedly to the Opposition and to the House, and I have apologised to the Member in question. I believe he has...
Alex Burghart: I thank the Minister for her very interesting statement, and I thank all hon. Members who took the time to participate in this important debate. It is a real pleasure to speak in a debate in which there is a lot of cross-party agreement both about the challenges that young people face and about some of the solutions. I welcome that. To our friends in the Public Gallery who are listening, I...
Alex Burghart: I beg to move, That this House has considered the Department for Work and Pensions’ support for care leavers. It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mrs Gillan. I am extremely glad to have the opportunity to debate this important subject in Parliament. I have been interested in the care system, and the young people who grow up in it and move out of it into adult life, for...
Alex Burghart: I am pleased to contribute to this debate—I have been looking at proto-plans for universal credit that go back about five years, and it is a pleasure to work with the right hon. Member for Birkenhead (Frank Field), who is also a friend, on the Work and Pensions Committee. Let us go back to where this all began and the reason why, in principle, we have cross-party agreement on universal...
Alex Burghart: I disagree with the hon. Lady. It is. We now have a system coming into being—