Ben Bradshaw

Working Hard for Exeter

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Commons Interventions July 2017

On dermatologists

Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab)

Dermatology is one of the specialisms that is particularly dependent on doctors from other EU countries. Is it not becoming clearer by the day, whether on the staffing crisis in the NHS or the threat to our pharmaceutical industry highlighted by the Health Secretary in his letter today, that the extreme hard Brexit being pursued by the Prime Minister is disastrous for our NHS? What are the Minister and the Secretary of State doing to pull the Prime Minister back from that damaging course?

Mr Speaker

Order. In relation to dermatologists is, I think, what the right hon. Gentleman had in mind.

Mr Dunne

I cannot tell the right hon. Gentleman precisely how many of the excellent dermatologists come from the EU, but I can tell him that, since the referendum, 562 non-UK EU doctors have come to work in the NHS.

 

On Tarriffs

Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab)

More than 80% of the fish caught around the south-west coast and 30% of our lamb is exported straight to the rest of the EU, yet under World Trade Organisation rules, that produce would face very high tariffs. What guarantees can the Minister give that our fishermen and our agricultural industry will not face tariffs or any other barriers if we leave the European Union?

Mark Garnier

This is all part of our negotiations with the European Union. It is an ongoing process, which will hopefully reach its end by March 2019. The United Kingdom Government are very keen to secure a deal with the European Union that sees no change whatever for businesses. We want as smooth a transition as possible into independence from the European Union, and the interests of fishermen down in the south-west are as important as those of everyone else.

 

On Euratom and the EMA

Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab)

The Prime Minister says that she wants help in building consensus for sensible policies. There are majorities in this House to stay in Euratom and in the European Medicines Agency, so why does she not do that?

​The Prime Minister

As I referred to in answer to the right hon. Member for Leeds Central (Hilary Benn), membership of Euratom is inextricably linked with membership of the European Union. As we leave the European Union, we will be leaving Euratom, but we will be looking to put in place a similar relationship with Euratom, just as other countries around the world that are not members of the EU have access to the movement of scientists and materials and to Euratom’s standards. We recognise the importance of this matter, which is why a Bill on this subject was in the Queen’s Speech.

 

On the European Court of Justice

Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab)

Does the Foreign Secretary agree with the Chancellor and the First Secretary of State that we shall need a transitional period of at least three years during which we will remain under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice?

Boris Johnson

No. Neither the Chancellor nor the First Secretary of State has said any such thing.

 

On Mosul

Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab)

Following the comments from the Scottish nationalist spokesman, the hon. Member for Dundee West (Chris Law), does the Secretary of State agree that the crucial difference between the actions of the British and coalition forces on the one hand and Daesh on the other is that we go out of our way to minimise civilian casualties, while Daesh does exactly the opposite? At a time when one of our colleagues is being hideously bullied and threatened over her vote in favour of the action against Daesh, do we not need to send a clear message that this House was absolutely right to take the decisions to take military action against Daesh, both in Iraq and in Syria?

Priti Patel

The right hon. Gentleman is absolutely right to say that we did the right thing, and we will continue to do the right thing by standing up to those poisonous ideologies and the conduct of those awful groups around the world. The liberation of Mosul speaks volumes about the sacrifices that the people in that community—and those who fought against Daesh—have made.

 

On House Building

Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab)

Will the Secretary of State congratulate Exeter’s Labour council on building more council homes and housing association homes in the last 10 years than all the surrounding Conservative districts put together? What more can he do to encourage those rural councils to provide more homes in their market towns and villages, instead of plonking their developments on the edge of cities such as Exeter in unsustainable urban sprawl?

Sajid Javid

I would like to see all councils playing an active role in getting more homes built in their area. It is to be welcomed when councils work with private partners to deliver more homes themselves. To make sure those homes are in the right place, local people should be involved in formulating the local plan and then the neighbourhood plans.

 

On School Cuts

Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab)

Will the Secretary of State confirm that protecting per-pupil funding from next year does nothing to reverse the cuts that are leading schools in Exeter to lay off teachers and staff now? What assessment has she made of the impact of raiding her own capital budget on vital improvements, for which many schools in my constituency will now have to wait longer?

Justine Greening

The funding I have set out is indeed for 2018-19, which is when the national funding formula will be introduced. In relation to capital, I simply believe that we can make better use of our budget. Significant funding has been set aside from the sugary drinks industry levy, and we have been able to retain that additional money despite the fact that receipts from the levy were slightly lower than we originally expected. I hope hon. Members welcome the fact that I am therefore pushing that to the frontline.

 

On Trade

Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab)

8. What recent discussions he has had with food exporters in the west country on safeguarding tariff-free access to EU markets. 

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (George Eustice)

As the right hon. Gentleman knows, I have a number of leading west country food manufacturers in my constituency, including Falfish and Rodda’s cream, both of which are successful exporters. In addition, we are working closely with trade organisations, such as the Food and Drink Federation, to understand the needs of the industry. We have been clear that we intend to put in place a new partnership with the EU, which will include a comprehensive free trade agreement.

Mr Bradshaw

The Minister will know that 80% of west country fish and 30% of our lamb is exported straight to EU markets, free—currently—of tariffs and other barriers. Those food producers will be extremely concerned by the comments today of the International Trade Secretary, who appears completely relaxed about the prospect of leaving the EU with no deal. Does the Minister agree with him, or with the Chancellor, who said that this would be a very, very bad thing?

George Eustice

As the right hon. Gentleman will know, the UK has a significant trade deficit in food and drink products with the EU, so the EU needs access to our market as well. We have a significant deficit of around £18 billion a year, and I believe it is in the EU’s interests, therefore, to secure a free trade agreement too.

 

On Cabinet

Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab)

T2. Is“thick as mince, lazy as a toad and vain as Narcissus”an appropriate description to use for a fellow Cabinet member? If hard Brexiteers in our Government are falling out in that way, how on earth can the Secretary of State expect our European Union partners to take our negotiations seriously?

Michael Gove

The right hon. Gentleman, I am sure, is aware that we are working well together in government—[Laughter]—and I do not recognise the description he just gave as fitting any Member of this House.

 

On Referendum Funding

Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab)

1. What discussions she has had with the commission on allegations of illegal funding during the EU referendum campaign. 

Bridget Phillipson (Houghton and Sunderland South)

The commission has published two reports that include its assessment of the rules on campaign funding for the EU referendum. The commission has also completed investigations of issues with a small number of campaigner spending returns, none of which related to impermissible donations. It is continuing to consider issues with some campaigners’ spending returns, in line with its published enforcement policy. The commission publishes the outcome of all investigations on its website once investigations have been completed.

Mr Bradshaw

Can my hon. Friend confirm—or, if not, ask the Electoral Commission—whether it has received allegations of illegal financial funding from Russia to elements of the leave campaign?

Bridget Phillipson

The commission is aware of media reports that allege that there could have been Russian involvement in the EU referendum. These cover a wide range of alleged activities that are beyond the commission’s remit. Any allegation with evidence that a registered campaigner accepted impermissible donations from Russia would be investigated in line with the commission’s enforcement policy, but I am sure that officials from the commission would be more than happy to meet my right hon. Friend to discuss this matter further.

 

On the Church of England

Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab)

But would not growth in the Church of England be easier if it moved on from its cruel and outdated approach to both clergy and laity who are in same-sex relationships? Will the right hon. Lady tell the bishops that simply kicking this issue into the long grass for another three years, as the General Synod agreed last week, is just not acceptable?

Dame Caroline Spelman

It is important to see in balance the progress that has been made by the Church. At the Synod, important decisions were made, including on tackling homophobic bullying in Church of England schools—the Church is the largest provider of education in this country—and on taking steps to ban trans and conversion therapies; that was voted on in the Synod. The fact that the Church is making progress in this area is hopefully an indication of more to follow.

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