Robert Goodwill: Many people who wish to stop smoking are motivated by the wish to be healthier, but there is also a financial impact on the family from somebody smoking, not least because the Chancellor put 88p on the most expensive cigarettes and even the cheapest are almost a tenner now. However, many people buy cigarettes under the counter or from a mate down the pub. Will the Minister engage with her...
Robert Goodwill: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much the HGV Road User Levy has raised from foreign HGVs since its introduction.
Robert Goodwill: Does the Minister recognise that, where girls are over the age of 16 and can give consent, sadly, many of them are being gaslighted and forced into this activity? It is much more difficult for the police to get a prosecution and for the Crown Prosecution Service to take action because, sometimes, these girls do not see themselves as victims, despite the fact that their lives are being...
Robert Goodwill: This issue was first brought to light in Rotherham. At that time, many organisations such as the police and the council felt that they were maybe being racist by tackling it because it involved one particular community. Is that still a problem, or has that been cleared up?
Robert Goodwill: Is it not the case that many of those girls will either be in the care of the local authorities, as looked-after children, or come from families that social workers are closely engaging with?
Robert Goodwill: Is the Minister aware that in the Representation of the People Act 1981 the same 12-month sentence would disqualify a Member of Parliament—so what is sauce for the goose, I guess?
Robert Goodwill: The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right that it is very difficult to prove some of these things. It is also difficult to disprove them. Is he aware that asylum seekers from places such as Uganda may well claim to be gay when they are not because they see that as the route to getting a good result quickly?
Robert Goodwill: Does my hon. Friend agree that the principle of a safe country is well established? When we were members of the European Union, removals to EU countries were permitted because of that particular situation. Does he further agree that countries that seek to be candidates to join the European Union will have to bring their standards up to those equivalent to the European Union, so there is a...
Robert Goodwill: What my hon. Friend the Minister is saying about deterring these dangerous journeys is even more poignant given the rescue operation that took place today off Harwich, where I understand five Somalis were in a small inflatable boat. As I understand it, two have been rescued, but three are feared drowned. That brings starkly into all our minds the need to deter these dangerous journeys and the...
Robert Goodwill: When we discussed the previous clause, there were a lot of complaints about the time it took to process people whose claims were rejected and who were removed, and those who had genuine claims. Should the hon. Gentleman not welcome the expedited process because it will enable people to get their decisions more quickly and stop those whose vexatious use of the law delays things?
Robert Goodwill: I am sure the Opposition understand that when someone is given a police caution when they are about to be arrested they are told, “It may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something you later rely on.” Is the clause not basically about the same principle being applied to immigration cases?
Robert Goodwill: Does the hon. Gentleman accept that not all the delays are down to the Home Office? In many people’s view, the thousands of judicial reviews that are done, the vast majority of which fail, are there to buy more time for the applicant possibly to come up with a reason for an article 8 application.
Robert Goodwill: Would the hon. Gentleman include foreign national offenders who are being removed, who may have committed crimes including rape and murder or been involved in the drugs trade, among the people who should be given the sort of latitude he is talking about?
Robert Goodwill: Does the hon. Gentleman accept, however, that there will be cases where the reason evidence is presented late is that the initial reason for an asylum claim was exposed as a complete pack of lies, and therefore the claimant, maybe following the advice of people who understand the system, casts around for another reason why he or she might want to make an asylum claim?
Robert Goodwill: I note the point made by the hon. Member for Bermondsey and Old Southwark, but is it not the case that Albania, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey are in negotiation with the European Union, under article 49 of the 1992 Maastricht treaty? That means that they will have to meet the 1993 Copenhagen criteria on human rights, and respect for and protection of minorities. If they meet...
Robert Goodwill: Does the Minister agree that situations in different countries can change? I have a constituent who was granted asylum from Iran, but subsequently has gone on a package holiday to Turkey and visited his family in Iran. As far as he is concerned, the situation in Iran has obviously improved.
Robert Goodwill: We certainly have a returns agreement with Nigeria, where we have biometric evidence that the person concerned is indeed the person who came to the UK. I know that because I signed it myself.
Robert Goodwill: Does the hon. Gentleman accept that any country that meets the Copenhagen criteria, by virtue of being either a member of the European Union or an accession country, would be, by definition, a safe country?
Robert Goodwill: To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, when he plans to announce the successful UK Community Renewal Fund projects; and whether he plans to extend the project completion deadline beyond 31 March 2022.
Robert Goodwill: Let me reassure the Minister that when the Afghans came to Scarborough recently, not only was the local authority fully engaged with the process, but the local community was too.