Results 61–80 of 2000 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:John Penrose

Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill: Marriage of same-sex couples in Northern Ireland (9 Jul 2019)

John Penrose: Yes, I absolutely accept that there is great concern that by creating one list of amendments today we will, by omission, leave out some very important things indeed. I am afraid that is inherent in the frustration, which I referred to at the start of my remarks, about the fact that the Northern Ireland Assembly has not sat for well over two years now. I am afraid that frustration will only...

Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill (8 Jul 2019)

John Penrose: Amen to that, Mr Speaker. I think that is the only way to follow that one. It is a pleasure to follow the hon. Member for Ealing North (Stephen Pound). It is perhaps not his swansong—in theory, he has another couple of years before the end of this Parliament, should we run to full term—but he has been a wonderful adornment and one of the funniest Members of Parliament for a long time. We...

Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill (8 Jul 2019)

John Penrose: I agree absolutely with the first half of the hon. Lady’s sentence. The sense of frustration and concern is not confined to Members on both sides of the Chamber this afternoon and evening, although that has been palpable; it extends right across all communities in Northern Ireland and she is absolutely right to make that point. On the pay of MLAs, I gently remind the hon. Lady that my right...

Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill (8 Jul 2019)

John Penrose: My hon. Friend raises a very important point. At the moment, the talks are still ongoing. There is still breath and life left in the negotiating room. Again, it is worth while recording that everybody here, in different ways and at different points during this debate, has made the point that they want those talks to succeed. This is not just confined to one side of the talks or the other....

Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill (8 Jul 2019)

John Penrose: I did not say that the hon. Member for Belfast East went on and on, and nor would I ever do so. He is right to remind me of the pledge I was able to make from this Dispatch Box a month and a half to two months ago. I am afraid that I do not have a date for the introduction of the Bill for him, but he is right to say that the Bill has moved forward dramatically and is now in the necessary...

Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Ireland: Istanbul Convention and Northern Ireland Law on Domestic Abuse (3 Jul 2019)

John Penrose: I am sorry to report that, while the UK has signed the Istanbul convention, we are one of only a handful of signatories that have not yet ratified it. So, in the absence of a Northern Ireland Executive, the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice are working closely with the Department of Justice in Northern Ireland to establish how this can be progressed for Northern Ireland, perhaps in the...

Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Ireland: Istanbul Convention and Northern Ireland Law on Domestic Abuse (3 Jul 2019)

John Penrose: The hon. Lady is absolutely right that the prelegislative scrutiny process by the Joint Committee made that recommendation. That has opened the door and it is certainly one of the things that is therefore being considered. Obviously, we need to work through the detail, but that door is certainly now open and we are considering it carefully.

Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Ireland: Istanbul Convention and Northern Ireland Law on Domestic Abuse (3 Jul 2019)

John Penrose: I cannot yet categorically confirm any of those measures to be in or out, but it is certainly one of the points that was addressed by the prelegislative scrutiny Committee. It was one of the things it recommended, so it is one of the things that is being considered very carefully.

Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Ireland: Istanbul Convention and Northern Ireland Law on Domestic Abuse (3 Jul 2019)

John Penrose: I am delighted to hear that there is broad support for the measures that we have just been discussing. I am sure that, when the Stormont Assembly reconvenes, it will be one of the most important issues. There are others, of course, but I am glad to hear the hon. Gentleman’s support.

Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Ireland: City Deals: Scope (3 Jul 2019)

John Penrose: The hon. Gentleman will know that, in line with our 2017 manifesto commitment, we have already announced two city deals in Northern Ireland, with £350 million for Belfast and a combined package of £105 million for Derry/Londonderry and Strabane. Early-stage discussions have also begun with other councils in the mid, south and west, as well as Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.

Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Ireland: City Deals: Scope (3 Jul 2019)

John Penrose: The timeline for that is the same as the timeline for the rest of the city deal. Business cases have to be worked up and the business cases for all the projects have to work well. Incidentally, for any business cases that do not shape up, there are many other ideas that can also be brought through. They will then get approved and will proceed, particularly once the—

Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Ireland: City Deals: Scope (3 Jul 2019)

John Penrose: The difficulty is that city deals are by definition local initiatives. We can lay foundations, but they need to be taken forward by local partners and local councils. Also, ultimately, as soon as we get the Stormont Executive re-established, they will have to have an essential role in this. Although we are making progress as fast as we decently can—so are local councils—we are ultimately...

Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Ireland: City Deals: Scope (3 Jul 2019)

John Penrose: I join my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State in wishing the hon. Member for Ealing North (Stephen Pound) best wishes for his 21-and-a-few-months birthday. I am afraid I cannot answer for my right hon. Friend the Member for Uxbridge and South Ruislip (Boris Johnson); that is a skillset I do not have.

Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Ireland: Employment Trends (22 May 2019)

John Penrose: I am happy to confirm that the latest labour market statistics for Northern Ireland show employment at a record high and unemployment at a record low. This is a long-term and consistently improving trend, and with continued political stability, we hope that it will continue in future.

Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Ireland: Employment Trends (22 May 2019)

John Penrose: I am delighted to give some examples. Not only is unemployment now the lowest of the UK nations, at 2.9%, but the ratio of public sector to private sector jobs is rebalancing healthily. Exports have grown to more than £10 billion, and we expect a tourism surge from the golf open at Portrush. We will continue to pursue those and other measures, including the city deals that have just been...

Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Ireland: Employment Trends (22 May 2019)

John Penrose: The hon. Gentleman is a doughty battler for his constituents and for his constituency. I am sure that those involved will have heard his words and will be considering them carefully, but he is right about that and many other examples of important local investment in Northern Ireland.

Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Ireland: Confidence and Supply Agreement (22 May 2019)

John Penrose: The Secretary of State has not had any meetings with my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on the confidence and supply agreement. The agreement is between the Conservative party and the Democratic Unionist party for the length of the Parliament, and as the agreement makes clear, the Secretary of State is not involved in confidence and supply discussions.

Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Ireland: Confidence and Supply Agreement (22 May 2019)

John Penrose: I am not quite clear what the very important and, I agree, very difficult issue of abortion laws in Northern Ireland has to do with the confidence and supply agreement. It is not in the confidence and supply agreement at all. It is a very difficult and knotty issue that needs to be addressed as soon as we can get the Stormont Parliament up and running.

Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Ireland: Confidence and Supply Agreement (22 May 2019)

John Penrose: I tried to make this clear earlier, but let me repeat it, so that everybody is crystal clear. The confidence and supply agreement is not something that the Northern Ireland Office gets involved in, and rightly so. It is done at a much more senior level between No. 10 and through the usual channels, and it is not something that the Northern Ireland Office would have any particular participation in.

Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Ireland: Confidence and Supply Agreement (22 May 2019)

John Penrose: There has been a great degree of investment in Northern Ireland as a result of the confidence and supply agreement; the hon. Gentleman is right. There has been extensive spending. We have so far spent £430 million in Northern Ireland on things such as health, education and infrastructure. There is a further £333 million, subject to Parliament’s approval, and the remaining £323 million...


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