Albert Owen: I thank the Labour and Scottish National party Front Benchers for agreeing to shave some time from their speeches, to allow all Back Benchers time to get their points across.
Albert Owen: Order. Before I call Fiona Bruce, let me say to Iain Duncan Smith that his debate will start at approximately 4.30 pm.
Albert Owen: I call Anne Marie Morris to speak for four minutes and I will then reduce the time limit to three minutes, because I want to hear the three next speakers after that. They will be Peter Aldous, Steve Double and Fiona Bruce.
Albert Owen: The hon. Gentleman does not have to take the full minute.
Albert Owen: Order. A mobile phone is being picked up by the microphone, which we can hear loudly up here.
Albert Owen: Order. We now resume the debate. Mr Perkins has 41 seconds left, but I will be generous and give him a minute to gather his thoughts. Mrs Anne Main will follow and will have four minutes.
Albert Owen: Order. I call Mike Wood.
Albert Owen: Order. A number of hon. Members have indicated that they wish to speak, so I am going to start with a four-minute limit on Back-Bench speeches, starting with Mr Toby Perkins. Bear in mind that we may have votes shortly.
Albert Owen: The Speaker is right that the Minister is a courteous man. I have written to the Secretary of State and not yet received a response, and I was hoping to question him today on this very point. Before first coming to this House, I ran a welfare centre. This policy is flawed because it relies from day one on hardship payments. Hardship payments should not be a policy decision. The Secretary of...
Albert Owen: rose—
Albert Owen: I am grateful to my hon. Welsh Friend for allowing me to intervene. He has rightly mentioned police officers, health workers and others. In his introduction, he mentioned search and rescue and lifeboats, and I declare an interest as a vice-president of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. Many of these emergency workers are actually volunteers. They show us how to respect the sea; we must...
Albert Owen: I remind the Minister to allow the last word to the mover of the motion.
Albert Owen: I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman. I want to thank all Back-Bench Members for their co-operation with their interventions and speeches, and for taking such a serious tone on this matter. We will now hear from the Front-Bench spokespersons.
Albert Owen: I thank the Chair of the Health Committee.
Albert Owen: Order. I must now impose a time limit of four minutes for each speech.
Albert Owen: Before I call Emma Hardy to move the motion, I must tell hon. Members that the list of speakers is over-subscribed. I ask those who wish to speak and are on the list not to make long interventions, which eat into other hon. Members’ time. I may also have to impose a time limit of four minutes for other speakers after Emma Hardy.
Albert Owen: My hon. Friend is making an important point about the ONR’s resources. Indeed, it takes about seven years to train the experts to ensure that they are competent enough to do the work. The lack of resources means that we really need a transitional period.
Albert Owen: I thank the hon. Gentleman for referring to the debate I led on 12 July. There was consensus in that debate in the Grand Committee Room that we should have associate membership of Euratom. That was the general theme of what was said by Members from both sides of the House, and we need to move towards it. In particular, I do not think that the Bill provides the lifeboat necessary for us to...
Albert Owen: My hon. Friend is right that it is debateable whether, legally, we have to leave Euratom. Would it not be helpful if the Secretary of State published the legal advice that he has obtained? As a member of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, I have heard a number of experts saying a number of things about this very matter.
Albert Owen: In response to my hon. Friend the Member for Stroud (Dr Drew), the Secretary of State said that Ministers regularly meet various industry experts and bodies. Will he go further and say that by the time the Bill is enacted it will contain a clause that says it is necessary to consult the industry as widely as possible? The trade unions and the trade bodies currently feel left out.