John Redwood: That might be worth looking at. We need to consider why the forecasts went so comprehensively wrong on this occasion. We also need to probe further why they went so wrong in 2007-08, when they disrupted the world economy in the west. They disrupted the Labour Government very dramatically, because there was absolutely no foresight about the consequences of the actions they were taking over the...
John Redwood: I am running out of time, so I cannot take any more interventions. I welcome the decision to have more money for schools and the NHS, because there, too, my area has been poorly funded for many years. We are looking forward to getting a much better settlement for our schools under fairer funding, and I hope that there will be something for our schools as a result of the Chancellor’s...
John Redwood: Can the hon. Gentleman explain why he and his party thought before and immediately after the referendum that there would be a sharp slowdown or recession this winter? Were they not completely wrong then and are they not wrong now about article 50?
John Redwood: What study have the Scottish Government made of the big impact on Scottish productivity of the pronounced decline in output from the North sea as the fields mature? What can they do to offset that?
John Redwood: Does my hon. Friend also agree that quite a bit of the problem resides in the public sector, not the private sector? Our best car plants are world beaters and have world leading standards of productivity, but publicly owned Network Rail is way behind the continental railways in terms of productivity. We have the solution in our own hands in the public sector.
John Redwood: Does the hon. Gentleman accept that some countries with very high levels of unemployment can have a higher productivity figure, whereas we put the people to work in lower value activities, which is surely better than them than being out of work, because the best way to get a job is to start off in a job that is not so good?
John Redwood: I think the hon. Gentleman and I agree on this. My point is that it is easier to get to higher pay, more skills and smarter working if we start from a base of many more people being in work, which is the good news about Britain. None of us is happy with people in low-paid jobs without skills or machine power at their back.
John Redwood: Does my hon. Friend agree that when we look at the formulae for the distribution of money via councils, we cannot look only at deprivation, which tends to be highly weighted? It is an important issue, but in more affluent areas such as mine we have an even bigger problem with people living a very long time; although that is good news, there is far more demand for services because they live...
John Redwood: House building in areas such as mine will add to the flooding problem. Will the Minister press the Environment Agency to ensure not only that it demands that enough provision is made for new houses, but that some retrofitting is done? Previous new developments have led to far too much surface water.
John Redwood: The hon. Gentleman is making a case for more funding for social care and more rates relief. How much money does he have in mind and how should that be paid for?
John Redwood: It should be made clear that Wokingham starts £400 a head worse off than the very best-rewarded councils, which is why there has to be a differential rate.
John Redwood: Does my right hon. Friend agree that the gap between the lowest-funded authorities, such as West Berkshire and Wokingham in my area, and the highest-funded, had become too extreme and that more needs to be done to create some fairness?
John Redwood: Are the Government considering their policy on when, why and how to intervene in mergers that could be damaging to British jobs and the public interest?
John Redwood: The hon. and learned Lady very touchingly says that her document is a compromise document. Do not she and her party understand that a compromise document is one on which she and I agree, and I do not agree with it?
John Redwood: Will the hon. and learned Lady give way?
John Redwood: rose—
John Redwood: Norway is now part of a freedom of movement area far bigger than that, and that was part of its deal. It also has to pay in a lot of money that British voters clearly do not wish to pay, so why would we want to do that?
John Redwood: That is quite right, and they also ignore the whole of the rest of the world. It so happens that we have a profitable, balanced trade with the rest of the world. We are often in surplus with the rest of the world overall and we are in massive deficit in goods with the EU alone. There is much more scope for growth in our trade with the rest of the world than there is with the EU, partly...
John Redwood: The hon. Gentleman has made his own point, and we all wish Northern Ireland well.
John Redwood: Of course there is a dispute resolution procedure when we enter a free trade agreement or any other trade arrangement. There is a very clear one in the WTO. We will register the best deal we can get with the EU under our WTO membership and it will be governed by normal WTO resolution procedures, with which we have no problem. The problem with the ECJ is that it presumes to strike down the...