Christmas Adjournment — [David Hanson in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:17 pm on 20th December 2018.

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Photo of Paul Maynard Paul Maynard Government Whip 4:17 pm, 20th December 2018

I am glad to hear it. I know that Home-Start is a very fine charity in all its branches across the country, so I am happy to pay tribute to it.

I was delighted to hear that the hon. Gentleman is such a fan of the Glasgow School of Art. The one time I went to Glasgow was especially to see that very building, so I certainly wish him well with that.

I will end by making the observation that one of our biggest challenges as Members is to maintain our good will, even in this season of good will. I always try, particularly when participating in this debate, to recognise that we all ultimately want the same thing: to make the lives of our constituents better and to make the common future of the country a better place. We may differ over the paths that we take to get there—some of us more than most, perhaps—but I like to think that for the vast bulk of us in the moderate mainstream, there is far more that unites us than divides us.

When I hear the rancour of some debates, it genuinely saddens me, because it makes it harder to reach the best decision in the national interest. When we have had such a divisive and rancorous period since the referendum, it is incumbent on all Members, even when we disagree on the fundamentals, to recognise that what underlies that is a desire for the best outcome for the nation as a whole.

In the final minute, it would be remiss of me not to thank you, Mr Robertson, for chairing the debate, the whole Panel of Chairs, the Deputy Speakers, Mr Speaker himself, the House staff, the catering staff, the parliamentary security, the cleaners, the librarians, and everyone else. I apologise to anyone I have missed out, but I thank them anyway as well.

I end by asking us all to remember those who are facing their first Christmas alone, those who may have lost loved ones over the course of the year, and those who may face significant hardship at this time of year. It is a time when we turn to our families, but some people have no family to turn to and do not have those opportunities. Although it is a time of great good will to all and good cheer, it can also be a very bleak time for many people, and I am sure that what will unite all of us in the Chamber is to think of everyone in our constituencies and to wish them the best for the year to come, and to hope that we get the very best outcome that we can, whatever happens in our crystal ball, on 14 January.