Following the Prime Minister’s visit to Brussels to take part in the Council of Ministers – the forum where Ministers/Prime Ministers from every elected government meet to set the direction of travel within the EU – she returned to the House of Commons to give a statement on its conclusions. The meeting with primarily focused on security and climate change.
That is why I asked the Prime Minister if she would confirm that leaving the EU in a no deal scenario would mean that we lose access to EUROPOL, EUROJUST, the European Arrest Warrant and SIS 2 – the border security monitoring databases.
As an outgoing Prime Minister I would have hoped for straight talking answers. She has no need to try and defend herself from her backbenches as they have already started selecting their next leader. The Prime Minister should have confirmed that we would lose access to these vital security measures. Instead she focused on internet security. It is time we had a grown up discussion about a no deal Brexit. Something this UK Government will not have.
On Wednesday I raised my deep concerns that a no deal Brexit would cost Wales between 7-8% of its GDP. The Secretary of State for Scotland wanted to stress that all the Conservative Party candidates didn’t want a no deal Brexit, but what he failed to mention is that they are all willing to carry one out.
What the MPs standing to be Prime Minister have failed to grasp when they state that they will renegotiate a deal with the EU is that there is no one to negotiate with. Following the elections to the European Union Parliament we are now awaiting the election of a new Commission and President of the European Parliament and Council of Ministers. This does not conclude until November, a full month after the 31 October 2019 extension that has been secured for Article 50.
Bravado from a small group of Conservatives is driving our country towards a devastating outcome. I have made it clear that the deadlock reached because of the time wasted by this UK Government can only be unpicked by a final public vote. This process started with you, the people, and should end with you.
During an interview with LBC radio the Home Secretary stated that he would spend £500million, plus annual costs, on the Northern Ireland border. This was without scrutiny from Parliament or publication of the figures for wider consultation.
It would appear that this number was plucked out of thin air during the interview to ensure a favourable reaction in his bid to be the next Prime Minister. We cannot run our government in this way.
That is why I raised these figures in the House of Commons. The Secretary of State didn’t answer my question and instead hid behind his Minister of State for Security who tells us that the Home Secretary has no recollection of these figures and asked that I write to him.
I have done just that, with a copy of the quotes from the interview. I hope that this will jog the memory of the Home Secretary and we can get some honest answers.
By 2018 the UK had spent £1.2bn on Galileo, Europe’s answer to the US GPS system. We have learnt that the UK Government now intends to build its own system as we are no longer part of the project due to Brexit.
This is expected to cost £3bn to £5bn. I wanted to know where this money was coming from and when the UK expect this project to be online.
I believe it is important that we should work with our neighbours and allies when it comes to defence. Not only is there strength in numbers but it cuts the cost to the taxpayer.
The Minister diligently provided a non-answer.