Results 161–180 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

Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Ireland: Business Community (6 Mar 2019)

John Penrose: The numbers speak for themselves: over 900 international companies have already invested in Northern Ireland, supported by Government investments such as the ones I have mentioned in global sectors such as biomedicine and defence. Political stability has been a key foundation of this success, which is why restoring devolved government at Stormont is critical.

Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Ireland: Business Community (6 Mar 2019)

John Penrose: I think a number of people will have raised their eyebrows at such politically charged comments from a civil servant. The point I would make is simply this: we have a meaningful vote coming up in this place next week where the Attorney General and the Prime Minister will be able to come back and tell us the fruits of their discussions in Brussels. The simple answer to avoiding any of the...

Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Ireland: Business Community (6 Mar 2019)

John Penrose: Without wanting to prejudge this afternoon’s debate—as my hon. Friend the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee Chairman has said, we will be going through this in a lot more detail—he is absolutely right that the renewable heat incentive scheme has been the subject of a great deal of concerned commentary, because it has dramatically broken its budgets and is not a sustainable solution. I...

Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Ireland: Business Community (6 Mar 2019)

John Penrose: Something that Britain and the UK have cottoned on to later than many other parts of the world is the notion of local food and its marketability of local food, along with our ability to forge a local brand not just for food but for tourism more broadly as well. In congratulating the hon. Gentleman on his marital status, and his success in that regard, I am sure he is on to something important...

Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Ireland: Northern Ireland Assembly: Re-establishment (6 Mar 2019)

John Penrose: We debated this point at some length in the Northern Ireland Budget (Anticipation and Adjustments) (No. 2) Bill yesterday, and the frustration from all sides at the lack of a Northern Ireland Executive was palpable. As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State mentioned earlier, she has met representatives of the five main political parties in Northern Ireland and the Irish Government...

Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Ireland: Northern Ireland Assembly: Re-establishment (6 Mar 2019)

John Penrose: We elect the politicians we deserve. The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right that there are periodic calls for a greater variety of representation and range of representation in this Parliament and, I am sure, in Stormont. The difficulty in Northern Ireland is that Northern Ireland’s politics has been far more polarised for a long time. We are trying, collectively, on all sides, to usher it...

Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Ireland: Northern Ireland Assembly: Re-establishment (6 Mar 2019)

John Penrose: I will quote the Labour party spokesman, who said yesterday that the existence of preconditions or red lines was frequently a facet of talks processes. The point is to get a process that allows us to overcome those preconditions. If we allow ourselves to be sidetracked in the first place by their existence, we will never get anywhere towards succeeding.

Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Ireland: EU Withdrawal Agreement: Backstop Protocol (6 Mar 2019)

John Penrose: My right hon. Friend asks what discussions the Secretary of State has had with Cabinet colleagues about the Irish backstop. The short answer is, a lot. The country and this Parliament seem to have been discussing little else for weeks, and it is the same with knobs on for the Cabinet.

Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Ireland: EU Withdrawal Agreement: Backstop Protocol (6 Mar 2019)

John Penrose: My right hon. Friend raises a creative potential legal solution, which he discussed in an Adjournment debate two weeks ago. The whole House will know that the Attorney General is currently involved in detailed negotiations on how to modify the backstop in line with Parliament’s wishes. Ultimately, it must be for him to judge whether my right hon. Friend’s proposal gets him closer to a...

Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Ireland: EU Withdrawal Agreement: Backstop Protocol (6 Mar 2019)

John Penrose: I suspect that is well above my paygrade. I am sure we would all want to hear what the Attorney General and the Prime Minister have to say when it comes to the meaningful vote next Tuesday.

Northern Ireland Budget (Anticipation and Adjustments) (No. 2) Bill (5 Mar 2019)

John Penrose: Let me pick up from where my opposite number, the hon. Member for Bristol South (Karin Smyth), left off and say that I am pleased to hear—from, I think, everyone—that there is limited opposition to the Bill and that Members are willing to support it on a cross-party basis. That is incredibly welcome. This is perhaps an unusual example of cross-party unanimity and consensus; there have...

Northern Ireland Budget (Anticipation and Adjustments) (No. 2) Bill (5 Mar 2019)

John Penrose: I do take that on board, especially because I think that the hon. Gentleman was one of the last Ministers who had to deal with the issue of direct rule.

Northern Ireland Budget (Anticipation and Adjustments) (No. 2) Bill (5 Mar 2019)

John Penrose: So I am giving the hon. Gentleman responsibilities that he never had to bear. Let me also mention to him that a Command Paper is currently available in the Library which gives a very detailed breakdown—it is well over an inch thick—of the way in which money has been spent in Northern Ireland during the financial year that is about to end. There is a huge amount of detail, but it is...

Northern Ireland Budget (Anticipation and Adjustments) (No. 2) Bill (5 Mar 2019)

John Penrose: A number of Members have said today that they would regard it as a last resort. I agree because we have to be incredibly careful about what we wish for here. We have to be extremely cautious about the notion of starting to take the drug of direct rule because it very swiftly leads to a very difficult and very precarious political position. I say to my right hon. Friend that there is a process...

Northern Ireland Budget (Anticipation and Adjustments) (No. 2) Bill (5 Mar 2019)

John Penrose: It was certainly not my intention to cause the hon. Lady to draw breath. The point I was trying to make is that direct rule is potentially extremely dangerous and can lead to a very difficult political situation if we are not all collectively very careful. It is not a step to be taken lightly, simply or frivolously at all.

Northern Ireland Budget (Anticipation and Adjustments) (No. 2) Bill (5 Mar 2019)

John Penrose: I strongly agree and I think there has been pretty much unanimous agreement across the House during this debate about that point.

Northern Ireland Budget (Anticipation and Adjustments) (No. 2) Bill (5 Mar 2019)

John Penrose: Indeed. The hon. Member for Strangford (Jim Shannon) had a long list of local projects that are not happening and that he thinks could and should happen were there to be proper government led in Stormont, and so did the right hon. Member for East Antrim (Sammy Wilson); he had a list of all sorts of missed opportunities—everything from mining to tourism was mentioned. Both of them had some...

Northern Ireland Budget (Anticipation and Adjustments) (No. 2) Bill (5 Mar 2019)

John Penrose: The right hon. Gentleman is absolutely right. There is a significant transformation going on, and a significant amount of funds is going in to let that transformation happen, but it is also true to say that more transformation would be possible if there were political leadership as well. The civil service is limited not so much by the money at the moment; it is about the ability to take fresh...

Northern Ireland Budget (Anticipation and Adjustments) (No. 2) Bill (5 Mar 2019)

John Penrose: I shall respond swiftly, as I do not want to hold up the rest of the process. The hon. Lady is right to say that she asked that specific question. Let me make two comments in response. First, the judicial changes are not a Westminster Government decision. They are taken, rightly, by independent judiciary in Northern Ireland. Secondly, her question on the medical school needs to be addressed...

Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Ireland: Border: Use of Technology (30 Jan 2019)

John Penrose: Today marks the tragic anniversary of the events of 30 January 1972, a day more commonly known as Bloody Sunday. I am sure the entire House will want to join me in marking this day, and our thoughts are with everyone who lost loved ones or who was injured as a result of the troubles. In answer to my hon. Friend’s question, everyone agrees that we have to avoid a hard border in Northern...


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