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Theresa May – 2018 Statement at London Western Balkans Summit

Below is the text of the speech made by Theresa May, the Prime Minister, on 10 July 2018.

Four years ago Chancellor Merkel established the Berlin Process, convening like-minded countries with the singular aim of advancing the prosperity of the Western Balkans.

I want to extend particular thanks to the Chancellor for this initiative.

For the welfare of the Western Balkans should be a high priority for all of us in Europe. And through working together under the Berlin Process, we have already achieved so much.

We’ve helped build up energy and transport links, enhanced economic integration and developed links between civil society and young people – ensuring the contemporary voice of the region is heard.

And today we’ve made further progress, establishing agreements that will help contribute to a more peaceful, prosperous and democratic Western Balkans – anchored to European values and integrated in the Euro Atlantic family.

We have agreed initiatives to expand connections between people, organisations and businesses, and improve access to finance for start-ups and small firms.

However, as we all know, long-term prosperity is intrinsically linked with security. And we need to work together to tackle the common challenges, such as corruption, organised crime and terrorism, that deter investment and undermine confidence in the region.

That is why I welcome the commitments made by the Western Balkan leaders today to ensure their countries work more closely together to tackle corruption and organised crime, and control the misuse and trafficking of small arms and weapons.

I also welcome the continued commitment to resolve outstanding bilateral disputes. I want to extend a special welcome to Prime Minister Tsipras from Greece, and pay tribute to him and Prime Minister Zaev for reaching an agreement on the Name Issue – showing that progress is possible.

History has shown us that a stable and secure Western Balkans region means a more stable and secure Europe.

That’s why today I have announced an ambitious package of measures to help the region improve its collective security, stability and its capability to tackle threats in the future.

Alongside this, I have also announced that the UK is increasing our financial support to the region by over 95% to £80 million in 2020-21 which will go to fund projects that make a real difference such as:

strengthening public administration in the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia and Montenegro
promoting judicial reform in Kosovo and Albania
nurturing the business environment in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia
equipping up to a million primary school children across the region with the digital skills to help realise their potential in the modern world
and strengthening democracy and the rule of law across the entire Western Balkans

The UK has always had a strong commitment to the region – from our role in the peace agreements that followed the conflicts of the nineties, through the post-conflict transition.

I know that some have seen our decision to leave the European Union as a sign that we are retreating from this role.

This is absolutely not the case.

Today I hosted this Summit to bring together leaders from across the Western Balkans and Europe to discuss our shared objective of ensuring our continent remains safe, stable, prosperous and free.

And let me be completely clear – when we are outside the European Union, the UK will be just as committed to supporting the Western Balkans.

Thank you.

Humphrey Atkins – 1983 Speech at Election of the Speaker

Below is the text of the speech made by Humphrey Atkins, the Conservative MP for Spelthorne, in the House of Commons on 15 June 1983. He was speaking in support of Bernard Weatherill becoming the Speaker of the House of Commons.

First, Mr. Callaghan, I welcome you to your new role as Father of the House. A great many Members have held it before you, Mr. Callaghan but, while it is not unprecedented, it is rare that anyone comes to it with such a distinguished record of public service in so many of the highest offices of State. As one who arrived both in the world and in the House 10 years after you, Mr. Callaghan, I congratulate you.

As we have just heard, it is always the first duty of a new House of Commons to elect a Speaker, and I beg to move, That the right hon. Bernard Weatherill do take the Chair of this House as Speaker. I could easily list all the qualities that we require of our Speaker, but I do not intend to do so. It would take too long and, in any event, hon. Members are as well aware of them as I am. However, I shall refer briefly to three of the Aides and one of the burdens that we place upon our Speaker.

First and foremost, the Speaker is the sole guardian of that most precious of rights that each of us has the moment we are elected to this place—the right to state our point of view and to have it heard. It does not matter whether that view is generally acceptable or whether we are in a minority, even a minority, of one.

If we are in that position, only the Speaker will help us. We have been fortunate in the House of Commons for far more years than any of us here can remember in having a succession of Speakers who have upheld that right and made this Chamber the envy of the world. That right must never be allowed to disappear.

Secondly, the Speaker has to be at one and the same time both our servant and our master. We and our predecessors have laid down a long series of rules for the orderly conduct of our affairs. The Speaker cannot change them by so much as a comma. He is entirely bound by them, but he has to be ready at a moment’s notice to interpret them, sometimes in the face of the most 3 ingenious arguments, and, having interpreted them, to enforce them. Only someone who has the respect and good will of the House as a whole can possibly hope to do that.

The third duty is one that I think is new to the third quarter of the 20th century. Now that some of our proceedings are broadcast on the radio, far more people than ever before have the opportunity of hearing our debates. As everyone knows, the public reaction is not as favourable as we should all like. That is not altogether surprising, for we have always been an unruly lot when our passions are high. However, the one person who more than any of the rest of us in the House affects the world outside is our Speaker. If he is calm, courteous and firm, the good name and dignity of Parliament are restored, and each of us is the beneficiary of that.

The worst of the burdens that we place upon the Speaker is that of loneliness. He is one of us and yet he is not. The Speaker is always someone who has spent years in this place doing what we all do—making friends with our colleagues, talking informally with them in the Tea Room or in the Corridor, eating together and sometimes, possibly, even drinking together. It must be a great trial for someone who has been accustomed to all this to cut himself off to a great extent, as Mr. Speaker must necessarily do. We must be grateful to anyone who is prepared to do it, and we have such a one.

Perhaps I can claim to know my right hon. Friend—I expect that this is the last time that I can call him that here—as well as any right hon. or hon. Member. Those who were in this place before 1979 will know that he and I worked together for nearly 12 years. For the last five of those years we worked together especially closely. Certainly, we were working on the business of only one party in the House, our own party, but I can truthfully say how often I was amazed at the time by the trouble and the care that my colleague took to help members of our party, especially those who felt that they were being neglected or that the Government were not listening properly to their ideas. He could be firm, too, as Deputy Chief Whips sometimes have to be. I can tell the House that never in all that time did I hear him get angry, lose his temper, or even raise his voice, even though sometimes the provocation was great.

During that time the right hon. Member served the House, too, most notably on one of the Committees that was responsible to the then Speaker and whose main interest was the safety, comfort and convenience of all right hon. and hon. Members.

Some might think that a long period of such service to one party is not the ideal background to serving as Mr. Speaker, but every Speaker in one way or another has had that background. Furthermore, as everyone who was a Member of this place during the last Parliament will know, the right hon. Member has already proved by four years’ service as Chairman of Ways and Means that a long period of service is not a bar. I believe that he has shown all the qualities that we want in our Speaker—knowledge of our procedures, recognition of the need to protect the rights of minorities, firmness where necessary, fairness, and always courtesy. To those who know the right hon. Member that is no surprise, for if he has one quality that stands above all others it is his readiness to serve our 4 parliamentary democracy, to serve it in whatever capacity is asked of him. I believe that he will serve us well as our Speaker.

I hope that the House will approve my motion with as much enthusiasm as I have in moving it.

Ann Clwyd – 2018 Speech on the NHS Complaints System

Below is the text of the speech made by Ann Clwyd in the House of Commons on 4 July 2018.

I am pleased to have the opportunity to talk about something that has been on my mind for a long time.

It is nearly six years since the death of my husband. Some Members will know that he spent his last two weeks on the respiratory ward at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff. He was admitted on Tuesday 9 October 2012 to what should have been a caring and safe place. Instead, what we found was the opposite. I left Owen in what I thought was a place of safety, thinking that the hospital could care for him better than we could at home. How wrong I was. Owen went into the hospital mobile, yet spent two weeks crammed in a bed, on a cold, uncaring ward.

Despite the poor care that Owen received, his condition initially settled. In fact, there were provisional plans for him to come home towards the middle of the second week. Sadly, his condition took a turn for the worse. In the early hours of Monday 22 October, I was advised that there was no reasonable chance of his surviving. He lost his final battle the next day. It was then that my battle began: the battle to find out what had happened to him and why.

Many Members will have heard of my concerns regarding the 27 hours he spent on a trolley in the A&E department. A later inquiry identified a number of nursing deficiencies. Sadly, my efforts to obtain information regarding his medical care have been met with considerable obstruction from the board of UHW.

Some time ago, I received help from an experienced NHS consultant, someone who has prepared numerous cases over a period of 30 years when there are allegations relating to clinical negligence. He said—we normally converse in Welsh:

“Ann, roedd gofal Owen yn esgeulus. Hyd yn oed pe fyddai wedi goroesi ei salwch y tro hwn, byddem yn dal I deimlo fod ei ofal yn esgeulus. Yn esgeulus nid yn unig yn ôl safon 2012 ond yn ôl safon 1948, amser dechrau’r Gwasanaeth lechyd.”

That is, in his opinion, Owen’s care during his hospital stay was negligent. In fact, he said that even if Owen had survived his in-patient stay, his level of care would be considered unacceptable, not only by the standards in place in 2012 but by the standards in place at the inception of the NHS in 1948.

My medical friend has pointed out his concerns. He was astonished to find that no doctor saw Owen on either weekend, no consultant saw him, and no junior doctor saw him. I should point out that he was on a respiratory ward in Wales’s flagship teaching hospital. He was not in a convalescent ward; he was not “recuperating” from an acute illness. My late husband was an unwell man with MS, whose long-term disabilities had been made worse by what turned out to be pneumonia that he acquired at that hospital.

Most concerning, according to my medical friend, was the failure of the medical department to have any kind of effective handover arrangement, whereby the doctor going off duty would hand over all the clinical information to the doctor coming on duty. Formal handovers are far more important these days, as the ​shift systems of junior doctors means reduced hours. This means that over a weekend a patient may be seen by half a dozen different doctors, all working for the same firm.

Since continuing my inquiries about Owen’s care, I have learned a number of medical terms. I now know about a “low grade temperature” and that this may indicate that there is an infection somewhere, without the doctors being able to find out exactly where. I have also become familiar with the term “inflammatory markers”. Inflammatory markers are blood tests that indicate the presence of infection. When the clinical markers change, and in particular when they increase, it suggests that there is an infection somewhere that is not under control. I will refer to just two.

One is known as the CRP—the C-reactive protein. The normal CRP is less than 10; Owen’s CRP was 22 on admission. Now, 22 is not particularly high, but it suggests that there may be an infection somewhere. Eight days later Owen’s CRP had crept up to 41. The fact that it was increasing—“going the wrong way” as the medics would put it—indicated that he could have an infection that could be going out of control. Owen’s neutrophil count—the type of white blood cell that increases during an infection—was also “going the wrong way”. The normal is less than six. It was 8.7 on his admission—[Interruption.] Excuse me, Mr Speaker; I am sorry, but that is my phone.

Mr Speaker That is an extraordinary musical intervention on the right hon. Lady, but I am not sure it is up to her high intellectual standards—but the hon. Member for Strangford (Jim Shannon) has come to the rescue, being a selfless public servant as he is.

Ann Clwyd The normal is less than six; it was 8.7 on his admission, and eight days later it was 10.6.

Doctors will tell us that they do not just look at the results of blood tests; they also look at the patient. In Owen’s case, they failed to look at the blood tests and they failed to look at the patient. Members will no doubt be surprised to hear that although Owen’s inflammatory markers had increased during his second week in hospital, this was not recorded in his clinical notes. The tests that noted the increase in CRP and the neutrophil count were done on the Friday. That was four days before his death from hospital-acquired pneumonia. No one saw the results. No one saw Owen. No doctor saw him on Saturday. No doctor saw him on Sunday. By Monday it was too late. I think it is reasonable to assume that if Owen had received effective antibiotics when his inflammatory markers were increasing, he would have stood a fighting chance and would have survived that infection.

I continue to be shocked by the way the hospital board has dealt with my concerns. Members might have heard of so-called independent reports. There was nothing independent about this particular report. All the members were employees of the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board. The chair was the deputy nursing director, Mandy Rayani. The board’s investigation failed to comment on the medical deficiencies that I have mentioned, but it very quickly acknowledged my “adverse perception” of what happened.

Most of my claims of poor care were denied. Of the 31 concerns that I raised, 21 were rejected. This was despite the fact that a few weeks after my husband’s ​death, Health Inspectorate Wales, the body that inspects Welsh hospitals, visited the ward where my husband had been a patient. While they were inspecting the ward, they noticed that senior nurses went off for their lunch leaving patients who needed assistance to eat without any help, that some patients were found without buzzers to call for assistance, and that individual care plans were not in place for the patients, yet my concerns were dismissed as my “adverse perception” by the deputy director of nursing, Mandy Rayani, in UHW’s so-called independent report.

I remain unhappy with the attitude of the health board. When Owen died, the chief executive was Adam Cairns. He has now left the country and is working in the middle east. When he left, I took my complaint up with other executives and I have found—as I did when I was writing my report for the Government on hospital complaints—that the culture of deny, delay and defend has continued.

I wrote to Maria Battle, the chair of the health board. I wanted to know why no one had spotted the abnormal blood results. I wanted to know why Owen’s low grade temperature did not appear to be of concern to anyone. The first meeting was postponed. We eventually met on 2 August last year. Despite my PA telephoning the board to ask for a copy of its response a week earlier, my medical colleague and I were not allowed to see the report until we arrived in the building for our meeting. I was astonished to hear Ruth Walker, the senior nurse, saying that she had taken it upon herself not to release the report prior to the meeting. I would have expected such a decision to be made by Maria Battle as chair of the board, by Dr Graham Shortland, the medical director, given that the matters mainly related to medical care, or by Dr Sharon Hopkins, who at that time was the acting chief executive.

I believe that the decision of the board to refuse to release this document beforehand reflects its dismissive, insulting and gratuitous attitude to members of the public and to the families of loved ones. It reflects the overall cover-up mentality that is all-pervasive in this health board.

Jim Shannon (Strangford) (DUP) I congratulate the right hon. Lady on securing this debate and on the very personal and poignant way in which she has told the story of her husband’s last few days in hospital. Has she at any stage considered referred this matter to the medical ombudsperson and asking them to investigate her complaint? Hopefully they would come up with an answer that would satisfy her and perhaps give the Minister a way of taking this forward.

Ann Clwyd I am grateful for that kind intervention, and I can assure the hon. Gentleman that I have been down all the official routes.

At the meeting, I soon discovered that it was impossible to get straight answers to my straightforward questions. Ruth Walker, for example, said that the problems of Owen’s care have been addressed by the introduction of the EWS—early warning signs— system. When my medical colleague pointed out to her that all the nursing notes were entered in the EWS format, she could not come up with an explanation. I was also astonished that Dr Shortland was unable to give a straight answer when ​asked about the arrangements for weekend medical cover. The board members were prepared to hide behind another independent report, but the report was incomplete, failing to comment on Owen’s continuing low grade fever, the rise in his white blood cells, the rise in his C-reactive protein count, the failure of an effective handover process between medical staff, and why no doctor saw Owen during his two weekends in hospital.

I have always been a strong supporter of our national health service. I can be proud of representing Cynon Valley, a constituency which is both geographically and philosophically close to the community that bred Aneurin Bevan. It was the community that formed Bevans’ views on the need for an effective health service that is free at the point of need and where the quality of care is not influenced by one’s ability to pay.

Long before becoming a politician, I was on the Welsh Hospital Board from 1970 to 1974 with people such as Arianwen Bevan-Norris, who was Aneurin Bevan’s sister, and Archie Lush, his agent, and I know what they would be saying to me today: “Carry on. Keep on going.” They would not have accepted these kinds of answers. I was also the only Welsh member of the royal commission on the national health service, which met for three years from 1976 to 1979. We made many recommendations at the time, but they were unfortunately not acted upon. If they had been, I am sure that some of today’s problems would have been avoided.

The House will understand my sorrow at the loss of Owen. It is heartbreaking to find that the people whom we appoint to safeguard our services, and who benefit from a significant income and a highly respected position in our society, are unable to address the failings of their organisation, engaging instead in obfuscation and half-truths. The cover-up mentality has to stop. We all make mistakes, but we should be ready to admit them.

My case is not unusual. I have previously told the House of the thousands of letters I received from people from all over the country when I was producing a report for the Government on complaints in England. I knew that the NHS did not treat its complainants well, but I did not expect to be here still looking for answers nearly six years later. In the past, Mr Speaker has allowed me to read out letters that I have received, and more than 4,500 people have written to me about NHS complaints, 500 of which related to the University Hospital of Wales. I am sorry to say that two of my close friends have since died at the same hospital, and complaints have been made about their treatment as well.

In the introduction to the shocking report on Gosport War Memorial Hospital, which was published a few weeks ago, Bishop James Jones of Liverpool said that

“what has to be recognised by those who head up our public institutions is how difficult it is for ordinary people to challenge the closing of ranks of those who hold power. It is a lonely place, seeking answers to questions that others wish you were not asking.”

I will continue to ask those questions on behalf of my family and of the many others who are grieving and who have not had answers.

Theresa May – 2018 Statement on the Department for Exiting the European Union

Below is the text of the statement made by Theresa May, the Prime Minister, in the House of Commons on 24 July 2018.

I am making this statement to bring to the attention of the House a machinery of government change.

It is essential that in navigating the UK’s exit from the European Union, the Government are organised in the most effective way. To that end I am making some changes to the division of functions between the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) and the Cabinet Office.

DExEU will continue to lead on all of the Government’s preparations for Brexit: domestic preparations in both a deal and a no deal scenario, all of the necessary legislation, and preparations for the negotiations to implement the detail of the future framework. To support this, DExEU will recruit some new staff, and a number of Cabinet Office officials co-ordinating work on preparedness will move to DExEU while maintaining close ties with both Departments.

I will lead the negotiations with the European Union, with the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union deputising on my behalf. Both of us will be supported by the Cabinet Office Europe Unit and with this in mind the Europe Unit will have overall responsibility for the preparation and conduct of the negotiations, drawing upon support from DExEU and other Departments as required. A number of staff will transfer from DExEU to the Cabinet Office to deliver that.

There will be no net reduction in staff numbers at DExEU given the recruitment exercise described above.

Theresa May – 2018 Speech at Farnborough Air Show

Below is the text of the speech made by Theresa May, the Prime Minister, at Farnborough Air Show on 16 July 2018.

I am delighted to be here today. First of all, I want to congratulate Farnborough on this brand new exhibition hall. This is an outstanding building – and it is befitting for a world-leading air-show. A world-leading industry. And world-leading innovation, talent and skills.

Every day – in every part of the world – people are flying in planes powered by British built engines. They take off and land in planes with wings built in Wales and Northern Ireland. And our military is supported by some of the most advanced British built unmanned vehicles.

Our capability in some of the most complex parts of aircraft – including wings, engines and advanced systems – is first rate. Outside of the US, Rolls-Royce is the only company with real capability to design and build large civil aerospace engines.

This expertise is nothing new. It is built on a proud tradition of innovative aerospace technology – from Farnborough, Brooklands, Bristol, Broughton, Derby, Belfast, Southampton, Yeovil, Prestwick – to name but a few. Nowhere do we recognise that terrific history more this year than in our celebrations for the 100th anniversary of the RAF.

We can all feel incredibly proud of our position as a leading aerospace nation. By working closely together, government and industry have ensured we remain at the forefront of civil aviation and that our air power is second to none. Today I want us to build on that, and ensure not only that we retain our prominence, but that in an increasingly competitive industry we make the most of the opportunities that lie ahead.

Opportunities that arise not only from the measures I have set out in our comprehensive and ambitious proposal for our future relationship with the EU – but in our plans for an open, outward facing Britain that acts as a global champion for free trade.

On Thursday, the government published its White Paper detailing our plans for an economic and security partnership with the EU.

Our proposal sets out the right deal for the UK – honouring the democratic decision of the British people, protecting the integrity of our precious union, supporting growth, maintaining security and safeguarding British jobs.

We will take back control of our borders, our laws and our money. But we will do so in a way that is good for business and good for our future prosperity.

We know from our discussions with you, and other industries, how friction at the border would not just jeopardise the uniquely integrated supply chains and just-in-time processes on which millions of jobs and livelihoods depend – but how divergence in regulations could result in complex and expensive multiple tests for different markets.

Companies such as Rolls Royce export 80% of their products. Parts for other products – such as Airbus wings – can have multiple journeys before finally being assembled and sold around the world.

We know too just how vital precision engineering is in aerospace – where the “error” rate for parts and their performance must be practically zero – and that it is the harmonisation of regulatory standards that has been such an important factor in air safety and the astonishing reduction of deaths on commercial flights.

The frictionless free trade of goods, an independent trade policy, the avoidance of a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland and between Northern Ireland and Great Britain – these are conditions we seek. To do anything else risks the integrity of the United Kingdom, reneges on the Belfast Agreement and simply will not deliver for Britain as a global trading nation.

So at the heart of our proposal is the creation of UK-EU free trade area for goods, supported by an up-front commitment to ongoing harmonisation with EU rules on goods and agricultural products.

A new business friendly customs model – a facilitated customs arrangement – which would operate as if we were a combined customs territory, removing the need for customs checks and controls between the UK and the EU, while at the same time allowing us to set our own tariffs for other countries outside of the EU.

The partnership would be underpinned by reciprocal commitments to ensure open and fair trade and a joint institutional framework to ensure consistent interpretation of the agreement and the resolution of disputes.

And we will also, as I set out in my Mansion House speech, explore with the EU on what terms the UK could remain part of EU agencies such as those that are critical for the aerospace chemicals and medicines industries: the European Aviation Safety Agency, the European Chemicals Agency, and the European Medicines Agency.

Because the UK has been a key contributor of expertise to these agencies – and it is our manufactured products circulating throughout Europe and around the world keeping people safe, flying safely, providing essential medicines, enabling everyday activities.

What we are proposing is a solution that respects the referendum result and puts forward what is best for British industry in line with our modern industrial strategy, and what is best for our global trading ambitions.

We are leaving the European Union, and forging a new future for our country. And as we do so, I want to ensure that the UK remains one of the best places in the world for aerospace companies to do business.

To continue as world leaders in innovation. To make the most of the huge opportunities that exist.

Because this is an incredibly exciting time for aerospace. Not only is there huge growth potential, but many of the developments taking place have the potential to transform the way we fly.

Other countries around the world are racing to develop their industries – and respond to the demand for cleaner, greener aircraft and technological advances such as automation, and unmanned air systems.

The UK already has a leading edge. We are home to some of the biggest names in the industry – and our small and medium sized companies demonstrate phenomenal skill, energy and innovation.

Many of those companies are here at Farnborough.

Poeton, who apply ceramic and metallic coatings to aerospace components to protect them from melting, corroding or wearing.

Produmax, whose critical parts can be found in aeroplanes such as Boeing’s Dreamliner – where they play an essential role moving wing flaps. And Aeromet, whose highly complex alloy castings are used in the structural components and casings in aircraft.

But I want us to do more. Already we are backing industry through our £1.9 billion investment for aerospace research, the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and our commitment to a third runway at Heathrow. We are also today revealing the UK’s first spaceport – in Sutherland Scotland – which will see vertically launched space rockets and satellites take off from the site.

But today I want to announce a series of further measures to boost British aerospace companies – large and small, up and down the country – and ensure that Britain remains at the cutting edge of the industry.

Along with industry we are jointly providing £343 million pounds of investment for research and development projects and to boost productivity. From developing the most technologically advanced aircraft, creating newer more efficient engines, to the manufacture of cleaner, quieter aircraft that will help cut emissions – this funding will support some of the most innovative projects being advanced today.

This includes £255 million of joint investment research and development projects supported by the Aerospace Technology Institute and UKRI. This will fund 18 projects, involving 20 companies, including 13 small and medium sized businesses, and 12 research organisations and universities spread across the breadth of the UK.

It includes £68.2 million of joint funding with industry for R&D, specifically targeting small and medium sized businesses to help them increase their competitiveness. And a further £20 million of Government and industry match funding will go towards a productivity improvement programme.

Some of the projects this money will support are exploring truly exciting aviation developments, such as the electrification of flight, which could lead towards the cleaner, greener air power of the future. I want Britain to be at the forefront of such innovation.

Building on this, we will start working with industry on a potential Aerospace Sector Deal – capitalising on our work together to tackle barriers to growth, increase productivity and competitiveness. In this, we will look to you to demonstrate how the aerospace sector can further support the industrial strategy’s Grand Challenges, regional prosperity and the delivery of the government’s skills priorities. We will also seek to embed a Women in Aviation and Aerospace Charter, to build a more balanced and fair industry for women.

Finally, today, I want to announce the publication of the UK’s Combat Air Strategy – which confirms our commitment to maintaining our world-class air power capabilities, and will boost an industry which generates billions in revenue for our economy and supports thousands of jobs in every part of the UK.

We will invest in new technologies, support cutting edge innovation, collaborate internationally and initiate the programme which will deliver the next generation capability. And crucially, we will work in partnership with industry to achieve this. So today I can announce that the government will join with BAE Systems, Leonardo, MBDA and Rolls Royce to fund the next phase of the Future Combat Air System Technology Initiative through a ground-breaking partnership known as ‘Team Tempest.’

This will deliver over £2 billion pounds of investment up to 2025, and help secure the long-term future of our Combat Air industry as we lay the groundwork for the Typhoon successor programme.

Taken together, these measures amount to a significant boost for industry, promoting jobs, innovation and skills.

Elsewhere we have seen just what can be achieved when government and industry work together. The successful collaboration between Bombardier and Airbus on the A220 was originally supported by over £100 million pounds of investment from the UK. This will sustain jobs in Northern Ireland well into the future, and I was pleased to hear that JetBlue will be acquiring at least 60 of the aircraft, which could deliver billions to the UK economy.

So just as government will back you, I want you to work with us – particularly through organisations such as the Aerospace Growth Partnership.

Let us work together to build a leading aerospace nation.

A nation where, post Brexit, we are considered the best place in the world for the aerospace industry to base its business.

A nation more innovative than anywhere else in the world, where we nurture the next generation of designers, innovators and engineers.

Last week we saw the spectacular RAF flypast over Buckingham Palace – a demonstration of our impressive historic RAF planes – alongside those that use some of the most advanced technology in the world.

It is a history of aviation we can all be proud of. Together, along with this proud history, I want to ensure that we can have a bright and proud future.

Esther McVey – 2018 Speech on the Personalisation of Benefits

Below is the text of the speech made by Esther McVey, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, on 19 July 2018.

Thank you very much indeed Andrew.

And it really is great to be here today to talk about my vision for the welfare revolution and the changing world of work.

And it’s terrific to be on a Reform platform.

Because Reform is a fierce advocate for public services in this new age of technology.

Interestingly, I’m the only minister I believe who has spent their whole ministerial career in one department – Work and Pensions – moving from Parliamentary Private Secretary into a Junior Minister role to a Minister of State to now Secretary of State – even with a spell of unemployment in the middle!

And don’t think that irony wasn’t lost on me – when, standing on stage at 5am in a May morning in 2015, surrounded by cameras, lights, people, and hearing the election result that I’d lost.

One moment Minister of State for Employment the next moment unemployed!

But my journey of what life is about without a job started way before that. Growing up in Liverpool in the 1980s – seeing its impact on people and its impact on local communities. Waking up with nowhere to go, time spent wondering what you’re going to do. Some memories actually never leave you.

And it is those images, those deep-seated memories that spur me on. That made me want to come back into politics and also made me want to come back to this department.

And how can we make a system relevant for today’s world of work – and use technology to assist us to do that? How do we make a system that works for millions of people relevant to the individual?

The Department for Work and Pensions is absolutely massive. Its spend is comparable to a country the size of Portugal, or Greece, spending £180 billion of taxpayer money each year – with a day to day operation on which 22 million people depend.

Each week DWP makes 12 million separate payments to a combined value of approximately £3 billion.

Every day we see 80,000 people face to face in a jobcentre.

Each week we take about 1 million phone calls.

We directly deliver most of this through over 75,000 colleagues who operate from over 600 jobcentres and another 100 back offices.

But, despite this scale, it needs to work for people. And people come in many shapes and sizes, with many issues and concerns and – do you know what – with almost unlimited potential.

And it is that potential that our department needs to focus on.

I know some work coaches are here today that work in our jobcentres, and I want to say thank you personally for the work that you are doing. The changes that you have lived through and the transformation that you are making to people’s lives.

And I want to tell you that I am committed to bringing you the tools that you will need to empower people to get a job.

So why are we changing the system? Well there’s quite a few reasons!

The old system stifled opportunities – removing incentives to work more than 16 hours in many cases, and creating an effective tax rate of almost 90% of income for some people.

Known to many of us as the ‘16hr rule’.

Then came the creation of tax credits by the previous government, done so hastily that it undermined its own purpose.

And overpayments, as a result of it being delivered with the flick of a switch in April 2003, meant that if claimants miscalculated what they should be entitled to, they would be hit with a massive bill at the end of the year.

That year, government overpaid tax credits by £2.2 billion, requiring it to claw back money from some of the poorest people in the country.

And the IT system of benefits – well, we depend upon an old one, one that’s out of date – designed and created in the 1980s – quite literally of another age.

Think how technology and IT has changed since then. Our legacy system is pre-Google, pre-mass communication and connectivity.

So the old system – the one being phased out – is an outdated, complicated, disincentivising web of overlapping benefits!

The truth is that people’s life chances were severely held back by the old system of benefits.

And let’s be frank: there is nothing reasonable about expecting people to claim several different benefits from separate local and national organisations.

There is nothing fair about ‘rewarding’ a claimant’s successful search for work and cutting off benefits as soon as they gained a reasonable amount of hours.

There was nothing personal about a complex, indiscriminate ‘one-size fits all’ system – which, I think it is fair to say, embedded low expectations on both sides of the claim desk.

So change has to come – and change that also reflects the rapidly changing world of work in which we live.

Lots of work is changing – it is now online, tasks are being automated, and new industries are being created.

By one estimate, 65% of children starting in school today will do a job that doesn’t currently exist.

We are already seeing seismic shifts, as we enter what is known as the fourth industrial revolution.

The gig economy matches people and tasks more dynamically than ever before – creating new opportunity.

Flexible working is no longer an exception, and we are seeing an increasingly inclusive workforce, where work fits around personal circumstances and caring responsibilities.

Gone is the job for life.

And our welfare system should reflect that. It should be nimble and adaptive – reflecting changing working patterns in this fast-paced moving world.

Our vision is one of a personalised benefit system, a digitised system.

We’ve simplified the system, so it is easier to navigate, by creating an easy point of contact – both online and through the system, but also by introducing dedicated one-to-one work coaches.

We’re rolling 6 benefits into one, that means that people now have a better oversight of their income and can spend accordingly.

The taper rate means that it will always pay to work. ‘Cliff edges’ inherent in the old system – where benefits first dropped-off at 16 hours, and then at 30 hours of work per week – have now gone.

Flexible payments help people take on small amounts of hours, even at short notice, thereby supporting people to work in the gig economy. Through integration with HMRC’s Real Time Information, this means that their benefit payment is adjusted automatically.

This digital system personalises Universal Credit. And we are constantly updating it.

This is not just IT: it is using next-generation technology, design thinking and data to support work coaches.

So when someone calls the full service telephone line, we use technology to automatically route them to their case manager or team – using tech to bring to you a familiar voice.

This technology is currently in 90% of teams in service centres and is now being rolled out further.

When you apply online, the experience is tailored to individual circumstances to allow us to develop the most efficient and effective service. And machine-learning will deliver and be applied to analyse data. The insight is then used by work coaches, who use their expertise to help claimants.

In short, we are developing a system that doesn’t just meet users’ needs, but the specifics of individual’s needs – combining technology and work coaches’ expertise.

This personal support is critical – but is on online and it is in person – as dedicated work coaches help claimants overcome a lack of confidence, a lack of role models or a range of circumstances in someone’s lives.

Mindful always of the claimant’s situation – and track their support and signpost them to places for help.

We are developing a personalised system that gives a 360 degree view of an individual’s needs to provide bespoke tailor-made support.

Even to providing budgeting and IT support, using £200 million of funding to do so.

And this really is about helping people.

And don’t just take my word for it. Consider these examples.

An ex-offender told us that his work coach had been “fantastic”, giving him confidence and time to adjust to life outside prison.

A claimant from Yorkshire, who had mental health difficulties, told us that her work coach “helped me turn my life around. Tailored support – I have now found my dream job.”

Another claimant, with a similar condition, acknowledged the time the new system allowed her to discuss her situation and the way she could move forward: “I have had many appointments with [my work coach] and she has been my lifeline with regards to work and her amazing empathy.”

This is all about personalisation. The personalisation of benefits and digitisation of the benefits system, providing tailored support for the individual. The ability to adapt is key, reflecting the increased pace of life and technological advancements. We’re building an agile system for an agile future.

But we are not complacent that all is working like clockwork.

And where we need to put our hands up, admit things might not be going right, we will do so. We will be a culture of mea culpa, hands up and then we need to change. For just as we are adopting agile technology in this fast-paced world, ministers have to be agile too.

That is why, since January, we have implemented a £1.5 billion package of change that was announced in the Autumn Budget 2017.

So we have made advance payments from day one of the application process, for up to 100% of a person’s total claim, to be paid over 12 months, instead of 6.

That is why we put in place a 2-week Housing Benefit run-on, to give people moving from the legacy system a blanket of support to help them. And that is why we have also removed waiting days.

And since I became Secretary of State in January, I have reviewed legal cases reversing past positions and not appealing court decisions allowing the department to:

– reinstate housing benefit for 18 to 21 year olds
– exempt kinship carers from changes to Child Tax Credit element of Universal Credit
– and further, announce measures to protect severely disabled people when they naturally migrate to Universal Credit

We know that these changes have and will continue to help people. It is crucial that we get Universal Credit rolled out right – right for the 8 million who will go on to use it – and right for the taxpayer.

This is a total test and learn approach – critical to delivering Universal Credit that works for claimants.

We need to reach out too – learn from organisations such as yourselves – and yes, that includes the National Audit Office – about how to design and implement Universal Credit to support claimants, help them into employment, and improve their life chances.

And we realise that there is more to learn, and we want to work with you to understand where we can improve on this important reform.

And there are changes which are still needed, which I am working on. That is debt repayments, support for the self-employed, payment cycles for those in work and an extension of outreach work and an extension of flexible support for claimants.

But be in no doubt – because of the steps that we have introduced to deliver Universal Credit – such as the Claimant Commitment and enhanced training – we are helping to shape a new direction for so many people here in the UK. We are seeing people as individuals, not numbers, and not as a group known as unemployed – but as simply and clearly as individuals.

Since 2010, there has been a jobs revolution here at home.

Just this week we announced a record 32.4 million people in work, an increase of over 3.3 million since 2010.

That’s 1,000 people on average each and every day that have moved into work since we came into government.

That’s 1,000 more people each and every day in charge of their destiny providing support for their family members.

And this jobs revolution has been felt right across the board, with record female employment, record BAME employment and as of mid-2017 there are nearly 600,000 more disabled people in work than 4 years earlier. This personalised system is clearly helping people into work – people who previously didn’t have the opportunities that their talents deserved.

And this jobs revolution has been felt right across the country too.

Employment in the North East has risen by 60,000 since 2010, to 1.2 million.

Employment in the North West has risen by 256,000 since 2010, to 3.44 million.

Employment in the East Midlands has risen by 186,000 since 2010, to 2.28 million.

We’ve seen youth unemployment fall by almost 45% since 2010.

And this does make us the envy of Europe, with youth unemployment at 11.5%, compared with Spain’s 33.8% and Italy at 31.9%.

So much for the wonders of remaining in the European Union.

It means we are building an economy that is fit for the future.

And that future promises to be bright with the right relationship between government and business. Because we are not heavy handed interventionists.

We will focus on how to connect people to work, rather than shoving them into jobs that don’t suit.

Disability Confident – which I set up back in 2013 when Minister for Disabled People – is continuing to spread the message of the untapped pool of talent that disabled people can bring to our workforce – ensuring employers can benefit from that talent.

Find a Job – launched in May this year – provides a 24/7 online job search platform. There have already been 24 million searches on that website, with over 177,000 live job adverts today.

We will continue to support people through the Flexible Support Fund to enable people to spend money on things that make it easier for them to get into work – whether training programmes, travel to an interview, clothing or equipment to start employment.

We want to develop our Universal Support offer to ensure it supports people through the welfare system – to develop their digital skills so important in our digital economy. And we will be looking at how we can improve Universal Support further.

We will explore how we can further join the links between jobcentres and schools to continue to prepare children for a life fulfilling with work – ensuring they go into the careers that they want.

We will continue to use sector-based work academies to help young people develop their skills and links in to business up and down the country.

And we are using apprenticeships and skills programmes to enable people to retrain where they see an opportunity.

And we will ensure that older workers get fuller working lives by helping them back into work, extending working lives through tailored support for upskilling, managing health conditions and working with business to share the benefits that older workers can bring to them.

Our links to people on Universal Credit in work provide us with opportunities to provide support for people to fulfil their potential too.

Personal advancement is key to social mobility and ensuring people reach their potential.

And it is by empowering people, giving them choice and flexibility to carve their own path, that everyone is able to reach this potential.

We are working hard to make Universal Credit work for all. And we want to work with you all to achieve that.

We are both a pragmatic and a visionary government, listening to business, listening to charities, listening to people on the frontline and putting in place the right support to help people taking back control of their lives. And most importantly, always listening to the claimant.

Thank you.

Jeremy Corbyn – 2018 Speech on Build it in Britain

Below is the text of the speech made by Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Opposition, in Birmingham on 24 July 2018.

Thank you all for coming here today. This is the launch of our ‘Build it in Britain’ campaign, Labour’s campaign to ensure a stronger future for industry with better jobs and opportunities here in Birmingham and in every part of Britain.

While the finance sector has continued to grow, a decade after the bankers’ crash and the super-rich have grown still richer. For too long, many of our communities have lost out in the global economy free-for-all. The few have succeeded, but at the expense of the many.

I want to thank John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, for all the work that he has done over the last three years to change the economic debate in this country, away from the dogma of austerity and cuts without end, and winning the argument to focus instead on the need for investment if we are to succeed in the future.

I would also like to thank Rebecca Long-Bailey, our Shadow Business Secretary, for developing Labour’s plans for a real industrial strategy that will transform the shape of our economy and ensure prosperity is shared by every region and nation of the UK.

Because while the Conservatives are continuing as they always have done – kowtowing and skewing policy to the narrowest interests in the City of London while ignoring the needs of the vast majority in their bungled Brexit negotiations – Labour is setting out a genuinely new economic direction for our country.

With Theresa May lurching from one government U-turn and ministerial resignation to the next her long-heralded Brexit White Paper was in shreds within a week, as the hard-right of the Conservative Party push us ever closer towards a disastrous ‘No Deal’ Brexit that will send us crashing out of the EU and risks deepening our economic problems.

No amount of desperate attempts to cosy up to President Trump would compensate for the damage done by getting this wrong. Now is the time to put people’s jobs and living standards first.

So that is why Labour is launching this campaign today, because we want to see well-paid jobs in the industries of the future, fuelling the tax revenues that fund our public services and the NHS, rebuilding communities and increasing living standards for all.

For too many of our people today the spread of insecure work, low pay and zero hours or temporary contracts is causing stress, debt and despondency.

It could not be clearer that change is needed, we must aim for something better.

Our new economic approach is necessary because for the last forty years a kind of magical thinking has dominated the way Britain is run.

We’ve been told that it’s good, even advanced, for our country to manufacture less and less and to rely instead on cheap labour abroad to produce imports while we focus on the City of London and the financial sector.

While many economics professionals, politicians and City types insisted this was all a strength the banking crash confirmed it was in fact a profound weakness.

A lack of support for manufacturing is sucking the dynamism out of our economy, pay from the pockets of our workers and any hope of secure well-paid jobs from a generation of our young people.

That is why Labour is committed to turning things around.

It must be our job in government to reprogramme our economy so that it stops working for the few and begins working for the many.

That is why we will build things here again that for too long have been built abroad because we have failed to invest.

Doing this will allow us to have greater control over the economy, giving us the chance to boost people’s pay and to limit the power of the unearned wealth of the super-rich in our society.

Because Labour is committed to supporting our manufacturing industries and the skills of workers in this country we want to make sure the government uses more of its own money to buy here in Britain.

The state spends over £200 billion per year in the private sector.

That spending power alone gives us levers to stimulate industry, to encourage business to act in people’s interests by encouraging genuine enterprise, fairness, cutting edge investment, high-quality service and doing right by communities.

But to ensure prosperity here we must be supporting our industries, making sure that where possible the government is backing our industries and not merely overseeing their decline.

Take the example of the three new Fleet Solid Support Ships for the Royal Fleet Auxillary.

Why is the Government sending a £1 billion contract and all the skilled jobs, tax revenues and work in the supply chain to build those three ships overseas when we have the shipyards to build them here?

There are workers in Liverpool, Belfast, Rosyth and Plymouth who are keen to do that work but when I visited some of those shipyards I learned something else too – there are not enough workers being trained here in the UK to meet the potential demand.

On Brexit, Theresa May is very fond of saying “we will take back control of our laws, our money and our borders”. At the moment her first priority should be taking back control of her Cabinet.

But if she’s so serious about taking back control why has her Government offshored the production of our new British passports to France? Workers in Gateshead were making them and that work has been taken away from that community.

Unsurprisingly the French aren’t queuing up to have their French passports made in Britain.

We have plenty of capacity to build train carriages in the UK and yet repeatedly over recent years these contracts have been farmed out abroad, costing our economy crucial investment, jobs for workers and tax revenues.

Carrying on like this is simply not sustainable.

If we want to reprogramme our economy so that it works for everybody, we must use powers we have to back good jobs and industry here.

Between 2014 and 2017 Network Rail awarded contracts worth tens of millions of pounds to companies outside of the UK while the NHS awarded contracts worth over a billion.

In the same period the Ministry of Defence awarded contracts elsewhere worth over £1.5 billion pounds even though we are under no obligation under either European or international law to open up defence contracts to overseas bidders.

Labour is determined to see public contracts provide public benefit using our money to nurture and grow our industries and to expand our tax base.

The next Labour government will bring contracts back in-house, ending the racket of outsourcing that has turned our public services into a cash cow for the few.

And we will use the huge weight of the government’s purchasing power to support our workers and industries.

This will be done using a three-pronged approach:

Changing how we buy things with new procurement rules so that government supports jobs and industry.

Investing in infrastructure to support companies here in Britain to keep goods flowing efficiently and costs low.

And increasing investment in education, skills and lifelong learning through the National Education Service that we will create – and I want to pay tribute to the work done by Angela Rayner in this regard.

We must also be doing much more to support our small and medium sized enterprises.

That is why Labour will look at how to further support SMEs to participate in the tendering process instead of them being dominated by faceless multinationals.

Too often, we have been told by Conservatives who are ideologically opposed to supporting our industries that EU rules prevent us from supporting our own economy.

But if you go to Germany you’ll struggle to find a train that wasn’t built there, even though they’re currently governed by the same rules as us.

When the steel crisis hit in 2016 Italy, Germany and France all intervened legally under existing state aid rules but our government sat back and did nothing.

We have made clear we would seek exemptions or clarifications from EU state aid and procurement rules where necessary as part of the Brexit negotiations to take further steps to support cutting edge industries and local businesses.

But whatever the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, we will use the powers we have to the full. Where there is a will there is a way and if we need to support our manufacturing sector we will find a way to do it.

What’s more we will include public interest into these big public contracts, as was done with the contract to build the High Speed 2 railway.

When there are billions of pounds of public money and thousands of skilled jobs at stake we cannot just focus on saving a quick buck when awarding these contracts. It is a totally false economy.

Instead by considering public interest such as job creation and the supply chains, we can grow our economy in a way that works for everybody.

Just today a cross-party committee of MPs has said that the stated reasons for contracting out services to save taxpayers money and to encourage innovation in delivery are too often simply not being met.

In the words of the Public Accounts Committee “there has emerged a small group of large companies which are expert at winning contracts but do not always deliver a good service”.

Nobody knows for sure when the next election will be or where we will be with Brexit when it comes, but one thing is certain the next Labour government is committed to creating high quality jobs in every region and nation of the UK, to develop new industries and support good domestic businesses – large and small.

We should also look at extending the rights of local authorities in parts of the country worst hit by forty years of industrial decline to be exempt from some World Trade Organisation rules, as some US states are, and therefore be able to require provision for local suppliers and jobs in public contracts.

This would help the regeneration of areas long forgotten by those in Whitehall or Westminster who claim to know what’s best.

The next Labour government will not just sit back and manage the ongoing decline of swathes of our economy. We can and must make a difference.

That’s why we will use the state to actively intervene in the economy, to create as much wealth as possible and, crucially, to ensure that wealth is shared fairly between everybody in our society.

Experts call this an industrial strategy.

It means we will have a joined up plan to keep our industries, old and new, humming with activity.

It stands in stark contrast to what this Government has done. Take just one example of this, the solar industry.

Once innovators, we are now falling back as the industry takes off across Europe. And why?

British solar firms were hit by cuts to subsidies in 2015 and 2016 and changes to business rates for buildings with rooftop panels.

Why did the government do this? To save a few pounds in the short term, yet it has cost us jobs and innovation.

As a result between now and 2022 France is forecast to add five times as much solar capacity as the UK, Germany ten times.

Our strategy will help us upgrade industry to secure good jobs, win public contracts and compete on the international stage.

It will help us build a clean, green 21st century economy, right here in the UK, building solar, wind farms and tidal lagoons to help us tackle climate change.

It will focus on creating clusters to boost domestic supply chains to develop the virtuous cycle, where the success of one industry or company helps others.

We’ll give support to the sectors that we need to deliver the public contracts, to radically upgrade our creaking infrastructure, a core part of our industrial strategy.

But our investment plans aren’t just for infrastructure and industry, they are for our people too, equipping them with the skills we need to thrive. It is why we are committed to a National Education Service which will provide both academic and vocational education on an equal footing to anybody that wants it, from cradle to grave.

We cannot continue to see education as a commodity to be bought and sold, it must be there to give people the skills they need to flourish throughout their lives.

This is all part of Labour’s plan to reprogramme our economy, so that it works for every town, city and village in the country.

It must be said however that wanting to build it in Britain is not turning away from the world, nor some return to protectionism or Trump-style trade wars.

It is about changing course so that people feel real control over their local economy and have good jobs that produce a consistent rise in pay and living standards, in every part of the UK.

That’s why we are so determined to help companies in the UK that export their goods.

And unlike the Conservatives, we know that after Brexit the single biggest assistance we can give our exporters is securing full, tariff free access to our biggest export market, the European Union.

It’s so important that we seek to negotiate a new, comprehensive UK-EU customs union, with a British say in all future trade deal and arrangements.

By now, the message should be clear – but the Conservative Government refuses to listen.

BMW, Airbus, and companies after company has warned of the real and damaging effects of Conservative customs chaos.

Theresa May and her warring cabinet should think again, even at this late stage and reconsider the option of negotiating a brand new customs union.

This decision needn’t be a matter of ideology, or divisions in the Tory Party.

It’s a matter of practical common sense.

It’s not often that the Labour Party and the Institute of Directors, the CBI and the TUC agree, we need to negotiate a new customs union.

What will help our manufacturing industries? The companies themselves are giving us a clear answer. The government should listen to it.

But the Prime Minister seems more willing to listen to Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson.

Never before has a Prime Minister discarded the interests of the country so recklessly in favour of the interests of their own party or their own self-preservation.

If our businesses are supported to sell abroad they’ll also be stronger to sell here and build here at home.

A botched Tory Brexit will sell our manufacturers short with the fantasy of a free trading buccaneering future which in reality would be a nightmare of our public services sold to multinational companies and our country in hock to Donald Trump whilst we all eat chlorinated chicken.

It is why we are offering a real alternative to this dangerous Tory Brexit.

A Labour Brexit could provide real opportunities as well as protections for our exporters.

It’s not just that our new customs union would provide the same benefits that we currently enjoy in the EU’s customs union but our exporters should be able to take proper advantage of the one benefit to them that Brexit has already brought – a more competitive pound.

After the EU referendum result the pound became more competitive and that should have helped our exporters.

But they are being sold out by a lack of a Conservative Government industrial plan which has left our economy far too reliant on imports.

The rise of finance is linked to the demise of industry.

Between 1970 and 2007 finance sector output grew from 5 per cent to 15 per cent of total economic output.

Manufacturing meanwhile decreased from 32 per cent to 12 per cent.

The next Labour government will rebalance our economy so that there is prosperity in every region and nation.

We will do this by setting up a national investment bank and a network of regional development banks to provide capital to the productive, real economy that secures good skilled jobs.

We will focus relentlessly on ending the housing crisis caused by the Conservatives and their uncompromising commitment to the free market.

We will build homes for the many not investment opportunities for the few and with them will come a new generation of zero carbon homes, creating new training opportunities and skilled jobs.

And we will chase dodgy money out of the financial system so corrupt oligarchs find it harder to rip-off their own people and skew our economic priorities at the same time.

Getting the dirty money out of the City of London won’t just help the people of the countries it has been stolen from.

It won’t just help those struggling to afford a place to live with over inflated asset prices helping fuel a housing crisis. There’s nothing productive about more and more of people’s incomes going to landlords as rent or to banks as mortgage payments.

It will also help rebalance our economy, stabilising our currency and our house prices.

And we will shift taxation to disincentivise financial speculation, for example with our financial transaction tax.

All of this will help us, help you, build it in Britain again.

In line with our values so that we all share in the wealth we all create.

We want an economy with high wages, high levels of trade union representation for workers and high levels of educational opportunities for everybody.

That’s why we’re offering a new deal for businesses that want to get on.

The very richest companies must pay a bit more tax and pay their workers better and in return we will train our people to have the skills our economy needs, upgrade our creaking infrastructure and provide the planning and support to help industry compete on the world stage.

And those companies that we do business with as the government will have to be at the forefront of best practice to create social as well as economic value.

Firms our government does business with will have to: properly pay their taxes, respect workers rights, provide equal opportunities, protect the environment, train their workers, pay their suppliers on time and end boardroom excess by moving to a 20-1 limit on the gap between the lowest and highest paid.

That is the deal that we want to make with businesses, it’s one that will benefit our whole economy.

We can get rid of the magical thinking of the free market that has led to a minority becoming extremely rich at the expense of everybody else.

And we will replace it with a new economy, transformed so that it’s run for and by the many, not the few.

And we will forge a new relationship between workers, manufacturers, communities and the government to end the unregulated bankers’ rip off which has dehumanised our values and our economy while allowing a few to profit at the expense of the many.

Labour will reprogramme our economy so that it works for the people of Britain and not against them.

And we will build this economy, this future fair for all, right here in Britain.

Liam Fox – 2018 Speech on Free Trade

Below is the text of the speech made by Liam Fox, the Secretary of State for International Trade, on 25 July 2018.

Good afternoon. It is a pleasure to be back in Washington.

I would like to thank our hosts, the Heritage Foundation, for inviting me to address such a distinguished gathering, on a topic that is not only close to my heart professionally, but more politically relevant than at any time in the past thirty years.

In my first speech as Secretary of State for International Trade I set out the case for an open and liberal trading environment.

That speech was in Manchester in the North of England – home of the Industrial Revolution, and a city with iconic associations to free trade.

That was nearly was two years ago when trade barely registered on the radar for most of our media. How different things are today when trade is front and centre of the international political debate . The disputes between the US and China, around NAFTA, steel and aluminium tariffs, and the UK’s future trade agreement with the European Union are the most talked about issues of the day.

It is therefore a good time for us to examine both our attitudes to trade from first principles and to measure them against our domestic priorities and international obligations.

It was just over 240 years ago, on 9 March 1776 that Adam Smith published the Wealth of Nations.

It set out the principles for the emerging world of global commerce at the end of the eighteenth century with a vision of what trade could produce in terms of prosperity and opportunity.

He countered the dominant mercantilist viewpoint – revolutionary in its time – and the case he set out is just as relevant today.

Indeed, he reminds us still, that the essential element of a successful trading system is mutual benefit.

David Ricardo took these principles of free trade forward when, in 1817, he published the theory of comparative advantage.

Building on Smith a generation before, Ricardo described the economic reality of the gains from trade and demonstrated how free and open trade is profitable to all.

It is one of the most powerful concepts in economics, described by the economist Paul Samuelson as the only proposition in all the social sciences that is both true and non-trivial. It remains, to this day, the most fundamental justification of the power of free trade.

Now of course, since those days, since 1817, the world has changed beyond all recognition, yet the experiences of globalisation, and of technological advances unimaginable in Ricardo’s time, have only served to validate his theory.

The principles of free and open trade have underpinned the multilateral institutions, rules and alliances that helped rebuild post-war Europe and the world beyond.

They helped usher the fall of communism and the tearing down of the Iron Curtain; they facilitated 70 years of global prosperity, and they have raised the living standards of hundreds of millions of our fellow human beings across the world.

Indeed free trade has allowed us to take 1 billion of our fellow human beings out of abject poverty in just one generation – one of the great achievements in history.

Just as predicted in the early theorising by Smith, Ricardo and others, time and time again we find a strong positive correlation between economic openness and growth.

During the 1990’s, per capita income grew three times faster in the developing countries that lowered trade barriers than in those that did not.

That effect is not confined to the developing countries, either. The OECD Growth Project found that a 10 percentage-point increase in trade exposure was associated with a 4 per cent rise in income per capita. Free trade works.

Globally, as free trade has blossomed, poverty levels have fallen to their lowest in history: bringing industry, jobs and wealth where once there was only deprivation.

Trade liberalisation gives consumers greater choice, and the competition it unleashes brings higher quality and standards at lower prices for everything from food and drink to toys and cars. Free trade provides developing countries with the opportunity to embrace the international trading system, to integrate into global value chains, and ultimately to grow their economies.

But the effects of free and open trade go further than simple economics. This is particularly true in the era of globalisation and will become even more so in the future. I have already mentioned the fact that free trade has already allowed us to take 1 billion of our fellow human beings out of abject poverty.

But trade is not an end in itself. It is a means to spread prosperity. That prosperity underpins social cohesion. That social cohesion in turn underpins political stability, and that political stability is the building block of our collective security. It is a continuum that cannot be interrupted without consequence. If prosperity is denied to those who aspire to it – and free trade is a key enabler of this – we should not be surprised if the result is further mass migration across the globe or indeed political radicalisation.

Those of us, the world’s richest countries, who have done well from a global free trade system cannot simply say ‘we’ve done okay’ and pull the drawbridge up behind us without having to pay a price.

There are many arguments in the worlds of politics and economics that will never be settled – just as well for the politicians and journalists here today – and are as much a matter of interpretation as they are objective data.

But the effect of protectionism is as close to settled science as anything in economics will ever be: it means reduced productivity gains and lost economic growth. Long run historical trends suggest that a 20 per cent reduction in trade holds back productivity by around 5 per cent.

And worse, in a world of globalisation where interdependency is increasing and where disruptions in one part of the world can quickly ricochet around the rest, our ability to act unilaterally with impunity is diminishing by the day. The 2008 financial crisis was just the latest example of how economic earthquake in one part of the globe can soon be the financial tsunami for the rest.

We, today, are at an important juncture in the history of free and open trade, and of the established international order.

In many ways, the picture is actually a positive one. After several years of relative stagnation, the growth in global trade is once again outpacing the rise in global GDP with trade predicted to grow by 4.5 per cent this year with GDP growing by 3.8 per cent.

The global economy continues to rebound from the dark days of the financial crash and ensuing recession experienced by many large economies.

Yet it is also a reflection of how globalisation and new technology continue to facilitate trade, and the irrepressible growth of the digital and knowledge economies – sectors which hardly existed even two decades ago.

And this is perhaps the root of our current paradox which is this: we have seen the benefits of free trade at home and abroad. We are seeing a rise in living standards and a reduction in global poverty. We are witnessing our innovative industries achieve global dominance.

Who, 20 years ago, could ever have imagined the global impact of Google, of Facebook or of Amazon? Who would have believed how cheaply we could access the newest electronic gadgets from mobile phones with more computer capacity than the Apollo programme, or the latest high definition TVs at seemingly evermore affordable prices?

Yet, even with all this evidence of the success of our own economic beliefs, the public, especially in the world’s richest countries, are seemingly questioning the benefits of a free trading system with politicians seemingly caught in a crisis of self confidence in what was once an article of faith for many.

Perhaps at least part of the explanation lies in the rate of change and reorientation of our economies and the fear of actual and potential displacement felt by many workforces.

In Britain we have seen industries like coal mining all but disappear, but new service industries and modern manufacturing take their place, including the growth of renewable energy. In areas such as steel production we have seen new technologies enable us to produce the same output with far fewer employees.

It is, and will be, new technology that will be the major disruptive force in our economies. We will best serve both our economies and our workforce not by turning our back on free trade, but by ensuring that we can provide mitigation for those who bear the brunt of change by providing the necessary economic support, especially in re-skilling, retraining and education.

Change is coming and we must embrace it – for our global competitors certainly will – but we must also be willing to reach out that helping hand to the men and women in our countries who will most feel the winds of change and use our skills, our experience and our knowledge to maximise the benefits for the generations to come.

We can bring prosperity and revival to some of our challenged industrial communities as they transition to new patterns of work as they have always done. From the agricultural age to the industrial revolution, to the rise of the knowledge economy, change is forever with us. Rather than seeking to avoid the realities of the globalised economy, we should ensure that its rising tide lifts all boats.

To do so, we require a set of global rules that are transparent, robust and enforceable and institutions that are credible and accountable. Despite its flaws, trade specialisation and innovation, largely as a result of globalisation, has spawned a productivity revolution through increased competition, economies of scale and global value chains.

When this is combined with the effect of liberal values of meritocracy, democracy and the rule of law, it can create a tidal wave of innovation and creativity.

It is no coincidence that the United Kingdom and the United States are among the world’s most innovative economies, while those with more authoritarian regimes are only now beginning to catch up as centralised planning at least in some cases gives way to individual creativity.

In the twentieth century, one of the products of the influence of the US and the UK in particular was the creation of the WTO.

From the founding in the aftermath of the Secord World War of the General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade, the WTO emerged as the home of the rules-based international trading system, and the repository of those free trading values that have underpinned global growth and facilitated more formal trading agreements.

It is worth remembering that these rules, and the WTO itself, are not an external imposition on our economies, but were largely shaped and codified by the work of successive US and British governments.

In 1948, our nations were founding members of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.

In 1986 it was the US, under President Reagan, that launched the Uruguay Round of multilateral negotiations that led to the establishment of the World Trade Organisation.

The United States has been at the heart of the WTO since the very beginning.

Of course, the system that we established in 1995 is also in need of some refurbishment.

After all, the global economy is now driven by advances in technology that were embryonic in 1995.

Who could have foreseen, for example, the rise of the digital economy? Or how knowledge and data have become so valuable? Or the blurring between goods and services? Just imagine the concept of selling a digital code on the internet to build something on a 3D printer. It would have sounded like science fiction when the WTO began.

The structures of the international system may not have caught up with the modern world. But that is cause for reform and renewal, not rejection. The UK and US are ideally placed to work together to modernise, and make the international rules-based trading system work better, so the benefits of free trade can truly be felt by all.

Above all, the WTO remains the way to ensure that a level playing field is created and maintained between the major actors in international trade but its rules must be enforceable and the actions of its members fully transparent if confidence is to be maintained.

All of this is occurring in a period of rapid change in the patterns of global trade.

The thriving economies of South and East Asia and, increasingly, Africa, are, and will become, ever more important as their newfound prosperity drives demand for the goods and services from more advanced economies, like the UK and the US.

The sheer scale of the change that is underway is often difficult to grasp from here in the West, in countries which have long enjoyed economic and political dominance.

Twice this year I have been in the Chinese city of Shenzhen. When Britain handed Hong Kong back to China in 1997 Shenzhen had a population of 5.2 million. Today it has a population of nearly 12.5 million.

By 2030 China is expected to have more than 220 cities with a population of more than a million. The whole of Europe has 35.

And on top of the vast Asia-Pacific growth it is predicted that there will be 1.1 billion middle class Africans by 2060. We are living through a period of profound and stunning change. Such a shift, not just in global demographics, but in the rise of the collective wealth of developing countries, will determine where the golden economic opportunities of the future will be – and where we must be too, if we are to provide jobs and prosperity for our peoples in the future.

If we are to navigate the changes that the next decade will bring, we have to fully accommodate these changes and recognise the emerging pattern of our own trade too. We cannot wish away change any more than we can ignore its effects. As I used to say to my patients when I still practised as a doctor ‘there’s no point in complaining about the air when there’s nothing else to breathe.’

Within a rapidly changing world, the trading relationship between the UK and the United States remains a consistent source of stability and prosperity. And it is our two nations that have the opportunity to negotiate a trailblazing, modern free trade agreement.

Because we both fundamentally believe in trading and commercial freedom, our interests are not in opposition to other countries – trade between us is not a zero-sum game.

The UK is the largest source of Foreign Direct Investment into the USA, with around $560bn of holdings here – more than France and Germany combined and 30 per cent more than Japan.

Our investment is also twenty times the investment from China, and thirty times that of Mexico.

British companies employ over a million workers across every state in the Union, from Ohio and Pennsylvania to Florida to California.

I don’t know if we have any Texans here today, but more than 107,000 people in the Lone Star State are employed by UK firms and I wonder how many of them understand that.

Likewise, American firms employee huge numbers of British people. We have more than a trillion dollars invested in one another’s economies – probably the most interdependent investment relationship on our planet today.

Yet we are also on the threshold of a renewed trading relationship that will further enrich both our nations.

For the first time in more than four decades, the United Kingdom will have an independent trade policy required to forge closer ties to our closest economic partner, through an ambitious free trade agreement.

It is an unprecedented opportunity for an ambitious and future-proof framework for our bilateral trade. We must not let it pass us by.

Likewise we must not fail to take the opportunity for global leadership in the areas where we already excel, particularly in trade in services and especially financial services. The UK and the US host the two leading global financial centres and are at the forefront of innovation. Our deep and broad relationship on financial services is a cornerstone of the modern global economy. We should make it even easier in the future for businesses to operate across the Atlantic through frictionless trade.

Fundamentally, our close economic ties are underpinned by the strong personal links that tie our two peoples. We share a common language, mostly, but also the ties of history, and even more importantly of values. We must also be linked by our shared ambition to shape the global economy in ways that match our shared interests.

It is not just in our economic interests but in our strategic interests for the long term.

For the past century our two nations have stood shoulder to shoulder against mankind’s gravest security threats. We have saved Europe in the 20th century from the twin scourges of Communism and Fascism.

We must have the optimism and self confidence now to shape it for the future: free markets, through free trade, for the benefit of free people.

I will leave you today with the words of President Reagan:

“The freer the flow of world trade, the stronger the tides of human progress and peace among nations”

There is no greater prize than that.

Thank you.

David Lidington – 2018 Statement on the Infected Blood Inquiry

Below is the text of the statement made by David Lidington, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, in the House of Commons on 2 July 2018.

On 8 February 2018, I announced the appointment of Sir Brian Langstaff to chair the infected blood inquiry. From the outset, Sir Brian has been clear that he is determined to put people at the heart of the inquiry and to ensure an inclusive and transparent process.

Sir Brian and his team conducted a public consultation on the proposed terms of reference for the inquiry, which ran from 2 March to 26 April. They invited contributions via an online questionnaire, email, written correspondence and telephone. The inquiry team also held 15 meetings with groups and individuals across the UK, and Sir Brian is keen for the inquiry to continue to do that as it moves forward.

The inquiry received almost 700 responses to its consultation and Sir Brian, having reflected on those consultation responses, wrote to me on 7 June to advise me of the outcome and of his recommendations for the terms of reference. The terms of reference are comprehensive and reflect the key points made during the consultation.

The geographical scope of the inquiry is UK-wide. The inquiry will look at issues relating to the whole of the UK, as well as regionally. Sir Brian expects the inquiry team to hold regular meetings across the UK. I have therefore consulted, as I am required to do under the Inquiries Act 2005, with the devolved Administrations of Scotland and Wales and, in the absence of a Northern Ireland Executive, with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland who, in turn, consulted the permanent secretary of the Northern Ireland Department of Health. The Governments of Scotland and Wales, and my right hon. Friend, were content with Sir Brian’s recommendations, and I am happy to accept his recommendations without amendment. I have written to Sir Brian to confirm this.

The terms of reference have been published and deposited in the Libraries of both Houses today. The inquiry can now formally begin its work; it will start today—2 July 2018. Sir Brian proposes to use groups of experts to assist the inquiry. Those groups would cover all the material fields relevant to the inquiry. Their evidence would be public, transparent and subject to scrutiny. People affected, and other participants to the inquiry, will be able to propose experts and put forward questions to the expert groups.

During the inquiry’s public consultation, views were expressed both for and against the appointment of additional panel members. Some, noting the complex and difficult issues to be examined by the inquiry, wanted a panel of many experts to assist the chair. It is Sir Brian’s view that his proposal for expert groups will achieve the objectives of those who have been in favour of panel members by providing legitimacy and transparency, a diverse range of expertise and, importantly, speed. Sir Brian’s view is that experts will be able to progress work in parallel in a way that co-determining panel members could not and that, very importantly, everything the expert groups will do will be public. Sir Brian plans now to discuss this proposed approach with those who will most centrally participate in the inquiry, particularly survivors and the groups representing them, and to ask ​them whether, in the light of the proposed approach, there remains any significant wish for him to be joined by a decision-making panel. Sir Brian has asked me to defer a decision on panel members until core participants have been appointed and have had the opportunity to consider the proposed approach.

I am aware that when my right hon. Friend the Member for Ashford (Damian Green) met people affected before Christmas last year, many supported the idea of the chair sitting alongside other panel members. I have not lost sight of that, but I think it is only right that I allow Sir Brian time to consult core participants. I therefore do not propose to appoint other panel members at this time, but I will consider the issue once core participants have had an opportunity to look at Sir Brian’s proposed approach. Of course, section 7 of the 2005 Act allows me to make further appointments to the inquiry panel during the course of the inquiry, with the consent of the chair. Speed is of the essence, and I have asked Sir Brian to report back to me as quickly as possible; I will then make my decision on panel members.

Many thousands of people from across the United Kingdom have been affected by this terrible tragedy. Sadly, a number of those affected have died since the inquiry was announced. One of the clearest messages from the inquiry’s consultation was the need for speed. In his letter to me, Sir Brian noted that one respondent to the consultation had said:

“I really hope this Inquiry does not drag on as I would like to live long enough to see the result”.

It is extremely important that the infected blood inquiry can complete its work as quickly as a thorough examination of the facts allows, and this is something that Sir Brian and his team are very aware of.

This inquiry is a priority for the Government, and I have assured Sir Brian that the Cabinet Office will provide all the resources and support that the inquiry needs to meet the demanding timescales that are essential in order to meet the expectations of people affected by this tragedy, who have already waited so long for answers. The inquiry will have much to do over the coming months, and I am sure it will waste no time in getting started. The first stages of the inquiry will be critical for obtaining evidence, including witness statements from people who have been infected and affected. The inquiry will use this evidence to help to uncover what happened and why. It will hold its preliminary hearings in September at Church House, London, where core participants will be able to set out their priorities for the inquiry. My exchange of correspondence with Sir Brian and the full terms of reference have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses, and I commend this statement to the House.

Lilian Greenwood – 2018 Speech on Rough Sleeping in Nottingham

Below is the text of the speech made by Lilian Greenwood, the Labour MP for Nottingham South, in the House of Commons on 2 July 2018.

May I begin by sending my best wishes to the Under-Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, the hon. Member for South Derbyshire (Mrs Wheeler), and her husband? I know that the Under-Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, the hon. Member for Selby and Ainsty (Nigel Adams), is supporting her at present, and I am sure that he will share the information from this debate with her when she returns.

According to homelessness charity St Mungo’s, the average age of death for a man who dies while homeless is 47; for a woman it is just 43. Rough sleeping is the most dangerous form of homelessness. It can be lonely, frightening and violent. For some, it is quite literally a death sentence. Holly Dagnall, Nottingham Community Housing Association’s director of homes and wellbeing, describes homelessness as a human emergency and who could disagree?

Until 2015, the snapshot figure of people sleeping rough in Nottingham was almost never in double figures, but the latest official estimate, in November last year, was of 43 rough sleepers. Six months on, that figure has not fallen. Nottingham is not an exception; the city ranks 56th of all local authorities for the rate of rough sleeping. Official figures recording a 169% rise in rough sleeping in England since 2010 will surprise no one. We have all seen the evidence of the growing crisis with our own eyes on the streets of Westminster and in many of our constituencies every night.

Jim Shannon (Strangford) (DUP) The hon. Lady is absolutely right that we have homelessness across the whole of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Does she agree that perhaps it is time for a dual strategy that addresses not only homelessness, but the issue of helping people to get employment? We have to give them vision, we have to give them hope and we have to give them a future. The Government need to look at both things together.

Lilian Greenwood The hon. Gentleman is quite right that this is about providing people with not just a home, but the means by which they can sustain themselves in a home.

The reasons for the increased numbers are far from a mystery. Crisis cites the impact of welfare reform, rising rents and the housing crisis. People become homeless and sleep rough for many reasons, but the single biggest cause of statutory homelessness is now the end of an assured shorthold tenancy. The cost of private rented accommodation has risen three times faster than earnings in England since 2010, and real earnings are still lagging behind 2008 levels a decade on.​

Although I firmly believe that the Government bear a great deal of responsibility for the rise in homelessness and fear that their target of halving rough sleeping over the course of the Parliament and eliminating it altogether by 2027 lacks the urgency that the situation demands, I do very much welcome the Homelessness Reduction Act 2018 and the Government’s decision to develop the national rough sleeping strategy. My reason for seeking tonight’s debate is to address the content of that strategy.

Concern about rising levels of rough sleeping in Nottingham was one of the drivers behind a new investigation commissioned jointly by Framework Housing Association and Opportunity Nottingham, the Big Lottery-funded programme supporting people with multiple needs. “No Way Out: A Study of Persistent Rough Sleeping in Nottingham” was produced by Dr Graham Bowpitt from Nottingham Trent University and Karan Kaur from Opportunity Nottingham, with help from Nottingham’s street outreach team.

The study sought to discover how far the recent increase in rough sleeping might have arisen

“not just from more people coming on to the streets, but also from people remaining there longer or repeatedly”.

It sought to identify

“the characteristics that distinguish persistent rough sleepers from the wider street homeless population, and any common features in their circumstances that might help to explain persistence.”

In the remainder of my speech, I will focus on the study’s key findings before commenting on wider issues in Nottingham and at a national level.

For the purposes of the report, and therefore this debate, the definition of persistent rough sleeper is

“someone who was recorded sleeping rough on at least 10% of nights between 1st April 2016 and 31st March 2017, i.e. 36 nights (the ‘sustained’), or who has been seen sleeping rough in at least three out of the six years between 2012 and 2017 (the ‘recurrent’).”

The report says:

“There were 72 persistent rough sleepers who met the above definition…7 who were both sustained and recurrent, 33 who were sustained and 32 who were recurrent. Of these…10 were women…and 62 men…58 were recorded as of White British ethnicity…most of the others being White (Other)…13 were recorded as having a disability (18%).”

According to the report, Opportunity Nottingham’s beneficiaries are recruited to the programme because they are assessed as having

“at least three of the four prescribed complex needs: homelessness, substance misuse, mental ill-health and offending.”

Of the 72 persistent rough sleepers, 67—that is 93%—had problems with substance misuse. Some 49 were offenders or at risk of offending, and more than half had mental health problems.

Mr Chris Leslie (Nottingham East) (Lab/Co-op) I commend my hon. Friend for securing the debate, and Opportunity Nottingham and NTU for producing the report. My hon. Friend mentioned that over half of those persistent rough sleepers had a mental health issue. Is it not hardly startling that there is a correlation with the reduction in the number of overnight mental health beds—not just nationwide, but specifically in Nottinghamshire? We have lost 176 mental health overnight beds since 2010, and that is one of the core drivers putting people back on to the streets.​

Lilian Greenwood My hon. Friend is quite right to highlight the way in which cuts to our health service and other services are having an impact on the prevalence of rough sleeping.

Of the 38 Opportunity Nottingham beneficiaries, 32% had spent at least two weeks in prison since engaging with Opportunity Nottingham, 42% had experienced at least one eviction from accommodation, 42% had been excluded from a service because of unacceptable behaviour, and 24% reported begging as a source of income. In each case, those proportions are much higher than among the whole beneficiary cohort.

The study also identified common themes in the narratives provided by the street outreach team and Opportunity Nottingham personal development co-ordinators in relation to those persistently sleeping rough, stating:

“rough sleepers…and those who work with them are encountering a diminishing range of options when seeking to leave the streets, arising from cuts in public funding and adverse changes in the housing market. Hostels have closed, Housing Benefit availability is more restricted, affordable tenancies are more limited in terms of quantity and quality, and the supply of tenancy support has all but dried up.”

Alex Norris (Nottingham North) (Lab/Co-op) I congratulate my hon. Friend on the powerful case that she is making on behalf of our city. I served on the council in our city at a time when we virtually eradicated rough sleeping, and now we are back to where we are today. Does my hon. Friend agree that this situation has been caused by a toxic combination of under-employment, poor housing supply, cuts to drug and alcohol services, inadequate mental health services and other eminently tackleable issues?

Lilian Greenwood My hon. Friend is absolutely right. These issues were preventable and they are preventable. The last Labour Government did a great deal to tackle rough sleeping and it is very disappointing that we find ourselves where we are today.

Financial issues obviously loom large in the lives of many rough sleepers. This was found to be particularly true of migrants with no recourse to public funds, but many local rough sleepers also encountered restricted access to welfare benefits. The system can simply be too hard to negotiate, resulting in a preference for begging. Of course, that is an unreliable source of income, and it puts accommodation at risk, which is particularly relevant to the recurrent group.

The high proportion of persistent rough sleepers who have been in prison find that a lack of support on discharge frequently precipitates a return to a previous chaotic lifestyle. The operation of homelessness legislation itself can act as a barrier in some cases. For instance, rough sleepers fleeing from another locality, perhaps because of domestic violence, can be interpreted as having no local connection to Nottingham, while others vacating accommodation because of intimidation may be viewed as having become intentionally homeless.

The level of complex need generates particular problems, with many specialist facilities having been lost, as we have heard. As a result, many rough sleepers carry the baggage of past evictions and negative risk assessments, leaving them barred from many facilities and making them harder to accommodate. They often miss out on mental health or other assessments that might otherwise have opened up access to specialised support.​

Ambivalent relationships with hostel accommodation are frequently mentioned, with stories of evictions for rent arrears or inappropriate behaviour, perhaps because of a lack of support. There are also stories of intimidation or financial exploitation by other residents, resulting in many refusing offers out of fear or trying to avoid being lured into a lifestyle they wish to escape. Personal relationships may have a toxic effect on the lives of persistent rough sleepers. Women, in particular, can be trapped in exploitative and abusive relationships that impede solutions to their housing problems.

When those factors are combined, it can often create disillusionment with what is perceived as a hostile system, making the option to live on the streets attractive. Experiences of repeated failure, the sense of there being no alternative, and the effect of growing numbers of rough sleepers in generating a mutually supporting community create an inertia in engaging rough sleepers to pursue better options.

While this was a limited study of rough sleeping in one locality, I hope that it will prompt the Minister to consider initiatives that are worthy of further research and experimentation. The report recognises how an ambivalent relationship with hostels can leave rough sleepers stranded, calling on the city council and other social housing providers to adopt schemes such as Housing First that bypass hostels and accommodate rough sleepers straight from the streets with appropriate support. Housing First is being piloted in Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool—places with a devolution deal. What resources exist to develop Housing First as part of the solution in areas with high levels of persistent rough sleeping where there is not a directly elected mayor?

The complexities of human relationships should be acknowledged when drawing up personalised housing plans. For example, requirements such as a local connection and intentionality rules should not be applied too harshly to people who have a genuine need to escape a damaging relationship. Couples in a valued relationship should be able to be accommodated together.

As has been said, mental health problems have been shown to feature prominently among Nottingham’s homeless population. The Care Act 2014 was introduced to make social care assessments more readily available, but there is evidence to suggest that homeless people struggle to access this provision. Some councils have taken the view that rough sleepers with poor mental health or alcohol and substance-related problems have no entitlement to a needs assessment under the Care Act because, it is said, their need for care or support is caused by “other circumstantial factors” such as homelessness or rough sleeping rather than an underlying health condition. Can the Minister confirm that that interpretation of the Act, which has the effect of excluding rough sleepers from an entitlement that exists for the rest of the population, is incorrect? Will the Government issue guidance to clarify that people sleeping rough are entitled to a needs assessment under the Care Act on the same basis as everyone else? Does the Minister agree that when an individual who appears to have support or care needs presents to a local authority for assistance under the Homelessness Reduction Act, a referral should be made to the appropriate authority for a care needs ​assessment, with the outcome of that assessment taken into account when developing any personalised housing plan?

The correlation between persistent rough sleeping and recent spells in prison reflects a failure in offender rehabilitation. That was supposed to have been remedied by the Offender Rehabilitation Act 2014, but there is evidence that despite the passing of this Act, short-term prisoners are still being discharged to no fixed abode. What measures will the Government take to ensure its more effective implementation?

I first started applying for my Adjournment debate on this subject many weeks ago but, as so often happens in this place, the timing of today’s debate has proved incredibly fortuitous, because earlier today St Mungo’s launched a new report here in Parliament entitled “On my own two feet”. That peer research, which I am sure the Minister is aware of, examines why some people return to rough sleeping after time off the streets. It identifies a range of factors that can push people away from housing or services, and also pull factors that can draw people back on to the streets. When push and pull factors work together, they can lead someone to choose to return to rough sleeping or to see no alternative when a crisis comes along. The research also considered how holes in someone’s personal safety net can put them at greater risk. I hope the Government will look carefully at the recommendations in the St Mungo’s report before publishing their rough sleeping strategy next month.

I do not have time to talk at length about the excellent work being undertaken in Nottingham to tackle homelessness over decades. Since 2010, the Framework street outreach team has been identifying rough sleepers and linking them into assessment, support and accommodation. In 2016, Nottingham was successful in bidding for the Government’s £40 million homelessness prevention programme, and it used that to extend the reach of the outreach team across the rest of the county for two years.

Nottingham City Council and Framework have continued to resource and implement a “No second night out” policy after Government funding ended. Since 2016 the city council has committed more than £240,000 in additional funding to enhance its winter measures and ensure sufficient provision to meet the council’s pledge that no one needs to sleep rough in Nottingham. Their co-ordinated approach has formed part of the sound basis for their bid for the new £30 million rough sleeping fund announced by the Department in March 2018 for enhanced year-round support. I hope that the Minister can clarify whether the £30 million announced can only fund emergency measures, or if it can be used to support long-term resettlement for persistent rough sleepers. Is the fund a one-off measure to produce a short-term temporary outcome, or will there be further allocations for future years?

In the 2016 Budget, the Chancellor announced £100 million of capital funding to assist with the cost of developing Housing First and move-on units for people who have been sleeping rough. Some £50 million of that was allocated to the London Mayor, who now has the programme up and running. The other £50 million was for the rest of the country, where rough sleeping has risen more quickly than in the capital. When will it be ​possible for providers outside London to bid for some of the remaining £50 million, and what is the process for them to do so?

Alongside the city council and housing associations, including Framework and NCHA, there are many voluntary organisations and faith groups that make a huge contribution to supporting fellow citizens in Nottingham via food banks, day centres, night shelters and many other support services. We would not be without them. For some rough sleepers, particularly those with few options, they are a lifeline. What advice does the Minister have for local authorities dealing with long-term rough sleepers who have no recourse to public funds? What accommodation and support options are available to them, and how can they be funded?

Homelessness is a human emergency, but ending it is not an impossible task. The Government say they have a target to reduce rough sleeping by half by 2022, and to eliminate it entirely by 2027. If they are not to fail, Ministers must ensure that their strategy addresses the needs of all rough sleepers, including those who are hardest to identify, reach, support and sustain.