Robert Goodwill: Q I have a quick follow-up questions. We heard this morning from the Australian high commissioner that the people smugglers who were bringing people to Australia did not in the main have connections with organised criminals in Australia, but we know that the organised smugglers who bring people to the UK most certainly have connections with modern slavery. Vietnamese people are brought to...
Robert Goodwill: When I visited the refugee camps in Jordan in 2017, I was greatly impressed by the work of the UNHCR selecting the most vulnerable people to bring them under the 20,000 scheme that David Cameron had announced. Could I ask whether you think the best way to select those who are the most needy is by using organisations like the UNHCR, or whether the economic test of who can afford to pay a...
Robert Goodwill: Q That is certainly what I heard from the Nigerian Minister of Interior, who said that the most vulnerable people in the areas Boko Haram controlled had no chance, no way to afford paying people smugglers. It was middle-class people—by Nigerian standards—who could afford to send, say, son No. 2 on that hazardous journey.
Robert Goodwill: Welcome, Your Excellency. You said that in 2014 your policies had successfully stemmed the flow of illegal migrants. In September 2015 you announced that you would take 12,000 Syrians and Iraqis into Australia. Do you feel that you would have been in a position to do that, and had the capacity to do that, had you not stemmed the flow of illegal migrants into your country?Q
Robert Goodwill: Back in 2004, Scarborough hit the national headlines when rumours of a new dental practice opening led to hundreds of people queuing round the block in the vain hope of registering as NHS patients. Today, while many better-off families continue to enjoy the discounted prices that the NHS offers, many children and vulnerable families still cannot register as NHS dental patients in Scarborough...
Robert Goodwill: We would all wish to maximise participation in elections, and the practicalities of overseas voters, postal voters and voter registration are very important, but do we also need to look at the possibility that as campaigns go on and on, we might get campaign fatigue, which might well result in fewer people casting their ballots because they are sick to death of the election going on for what...
Robert Goodwill: Does not the fact that the Prime Minister requests that the monarch take steps so that an election can happen show an understanding of the Lascelles principles? Indeed, there could be other circumstances, yet unforeseen, in which a request is refused.
Robert Goodwill: The hon. Lady talks about greening the economy. Is it not the case that HS2 will allow more capacity on the old and virtually full Victorian network so that we can take freight and polluting lorries off the road and on to electric trains on the railways?
Robert Goodwill: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much his Department spent on (a) legal fees and (b) associated costs in connection with the proposed culling of Geronimo the alpaca from Shepherds Close Farm in Wickwar.
Robert Goodwill: Does my right hon. Friend agree that having a short election would help in situations such as the recent recall of Parliament on the situation in Afghanistan, or the decisions that we have had to make at short notice during the pandemic? Having a shorter election campaign would facilitate a Government being put in place to make those important decisions.
Robert Goodwill: Has my hon. Friend encountered a situation in which a voter has lost their polling card and, when they are told that they can still go to the polling station, they are astounded that they do not need any form of ID? In fact, many people who lose their polling cards are nervous about going to vote at all, so having ID might encourage people in that situation to go and vote.
Robert Goodwill: Would these be the same young people who have to show photo ID to get into a bar, a nightclub or a pub every Saturday night?
Robert Goodwill: Does the hon. Member accept that the basic principle of asylum is that people should claim asylum in the first safe country that they meet? As far as I am aware, France is a safe country, Greece is a safe country and Italy is a safe country. There are a lot of safe countries that people cross before they arrive on our shores.
Robert Goodwill: Does my hon. Friend agree that often the fee paid is only the down payment to a life of modern slavery?
Robert Goodwill: Does the hon. Gentleman agree that some of the most vulnerable and needy people are from Syria? Would he be surprised to hear that when the camp at Sangatte was cleared, of the 750 migrants who came here, only eight were from Syria? No one in Syria can afford the cost of the people smugglers.
Robert Goodwill: Is it not the case that the UK worked with the UNHCR in the refugee camps in places such as Jordan? It selects the people who have a good reason and a right to come here, rather than just being able to afford to pay a people smuggler.
Robert Goodwill: First, may I put on the record how much I welcome the Bill? Indeed, having served on the Joint Committee chaired so ably by the noble Lord McLoughlin, who has gone on from a distinguished career in this House to—I hope—even greater things in the other place, I can probably own up to knowing more about the constitutional convolution surrounding this subject than it is healthy for any...
Robert Goodwill: That is right. I am a big subscriber to the view that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The situation that we had worked for many years—during constitutional crises, world wars and great political events in this country. The people of this country have a great regard for Her Majesty the Queen, and I feel that if anyone was going to be put in that position, she is probably the best...
Robert Goodwill: Surely we are just reinstating the status quo before 2010.
Robert Goodwill: Will the hon. Lady give way?