Claire Coutinho: I welcome the fact that house building is at a 30-year high under this Conservative Government, but my constituents and I are concerned by the extremely high local house building target. Will the Secretary of State meet me to discuss how new homes in East Surrey will be supported by much needed investment in road, rail and GP provision?
Claire Coutinho: I commend my hon. Friends the Members for Barrow and Furness (Simon Fell) and for Birmingham, Northfield (Gary Sambrook) and the hon. Member for Coventry South (Zarah Sultana) for their maiden speeches today. I am proud to be here representing the beautiful constituency of East Surrey. I begin by paying tribute to my predecessor, Sam Gyimah. We have more in common than representing East...
Claire Coutinho: This is only my third contribution in this House, and I am glad to be making it on these statutory instruments. Indeed, I welcome the wider package of measures that we are introducing to toughen up the criminal justice system overall. I have been humbled by the contributions from my hon. Friend the Member for Telford (Lucy Allan), who I know has campaigned for a long time on this issue, and...
Claire Coutinho: I am proud to represent many farmers in East Surrey who are the guardians of our beautiful countryside. Does the Minister agree that the best way to support those farmers and protect the environment is to buy seasonal and to buy British?
Claire Coutinho: Thanks to heavy usage by HGVs, Surrey is sometimes called the pothole capital of England. What steps is the Department taking to invest in tackling potholes nationally, which I am very keen to see in East Surrey?
Claire Coutinho: I am very proud to be part of a party that is delivering on leaving the EU and that is investing billions in our health and education sectors. Will my right hon. Friend outline the steps that his Department is taking on public procurement to make sure that that money is spent wisely?
Claire Coutinho: My constituents in East Surrey care enormously about climate change. Does my right hon. Friend agree that yesterday’s news that the UK’s carbon emissions have been reduced by a third over the past 10 years is a fantastic and important Conservative achievement, and will he set out his plans to continue this progress?
Claire Coutinho: We have heard a lot about the indiscriminate effects of coronavirus over the last few weeks. We have seen its ability to reach into the lives of people up and down the country, and I start by saying that domestic abuse, similarly, respects no boundaries. No one is immune to it. It will affect one out of three women and girls over the course of their lifetimes. For those who suffer from...
Claire Coutinho: There is some evidence that under-10s are at much lower risk of getting and transmitting the virus. If true, this would be a huge comfort, both to teachers and working parents. What evidence has the Secretary of State seen to that effect, and what work is being done to further explore this?
Claire Coutinho: What steps her Department plans to take to support employment after the covid-19 outbreak.
Claire Coutinho: I commend Ministers and civil servants for the tremendous work they have done to get millions of people on-boarded over the last few weeks. What steps are being taken to get self-employed people, in particular, back on their feet in the next stage?
Claire Coutinho: What steps the Government are taking to support aviation sector workers during the covid-19 lockdown.
Claire Coutinho: With Gatwick on my doorstep, a lot of my constituents work in the aviation sector. Will the Secretary of State outline what support he is giving to airlines to make sure that they are employing people and continuing employment where they can? What support will he give to aviation workers who will need to transition into other forms of employment?
Claire Coutinho: I know the worry that has been felt by the BME community during this period. I have personally felt it, as have many of my family members working on the frontline in the NHS, so I sincerely thank the Secretary of State for commissioning the review and continuing its work. Can he confirm that its publication was not delayed due to the sensitivity of its findings?
Claire Coutinho: As someone who started their career in emerging markets, may I roundly welcome this move? Does the Prime Minister agree that as the world changes it speaks to how developing countries want to receive aid: not in isolation, but as part of a comprehensive dialogue across trade, investment, technology, diplomacy and defence so that they can achieve their own goals?
Claire Coutinho: The Indo-Pacific region represents 50% of international trade and is the fastest growing region in the world. Does my right hon. Friend agree that being able to accede to the CPTPP, with all its opportunities for our strong services economy, highlights the Brexit benefit of having an independent trade policy that we can pursue on our own terms?
Claire Coutinho: I join with others in strongly welcoming the Foreign Secretary’s decisive action today in creating a bespoke route to citizenship for the BNOs and their dependants, but can he reassure me that he will continue to take our unique responsibility to those in Hong Kong deeply seriously and continue to stand on the side of all those who are seeking democracy and freedom?
Claire Coutinho: I am somewhat bemused by the motion today because on the very first page of the document to which it refers the Scottish Government say: “This transition period is due to finish on December 31, but it can be extended… as long as that is agreed by the end of June. After that date, it will not be possible to extend under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement—and no other plausible route...
Claire Coutinho: May I welcome the race disparity commission, and as someone who has worked alongside many brilliant organisations to root out entrenched disadvantage, can my hon. Friend assure me that the work being done will build the evidence base so that the policy is based on outcomes, not outrage?
Claire Coutinho: As Conservatives, we believe that this family of nations bound together by the Union forms the bedrock of our prosperity. Central to that prosperity is the freedom to trade unhindered across these islands—an internal market without barriers knitted together over 300 years. For the past 40 of those years, the framework underpinning our single market was EU membership but, now that we have...