International affairs

Mike Wood: The Midlands has economic, cultural and historical ties with countries in every part of the world, but few are stronger than those with India. Will my right hon. Friend update the House on developments for a Midlands engine partnership with business in India?


James Brokenshire The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government

Mike Wood: My right hon. Friend clearly understands the difference between protests and riots. Is he confident that the Chinese and Hong Kong Governments fully appreciate that distinction?


Andrew Murrison Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

Mike Wood: We can be proud of the Prime Minister’s driving the global agenda on climate change, but what discussions has she had with her counterparts about how they can follow Britain’s lead as the first major economy to commit to net-zero carbon and help to reverse global warming?


Theresa May The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

Mike Wood: We are used to statements from European institutions that their decisions are not reviewable, including the European Parliament insisting it would block any nominee for European President who was not one of the Spitzenkandidaten. Does the Prime Minister expect the European Parliament to veto the nominee—or might they just decide that compromise is possible where circumstances dictate?


Theresa May The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

Mike Wood: Will the Minister confirm that the UC1 form is not some arbitrary requirement, as has been suggested, but a core requirement of European law that is required of all European member states and has not been changed since previous elections?


Kevin Foster Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales, The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office

Mike Wood: What happened to some members of the Windrush generation, through no fault of their own, was simply inexcusable, but at the root of these cases is a fraud that was conducted on a quite industrial scale. Is it not hugely insulting to members of the Windrush generation to try to draw a parallel between the two cases?


Caroline Nokes The Minister for Immigration

Mike Wood: I join hon. Members in thanking my right hon. Friend for his statement and the Metropolitan Police for their effective action this morning. The Ecuadorean President has indicated that Julian Assange repeatedly violated the conditions of his asylum at the embassy. Does my right hon. Friend have any further details of such violations?


Sajid Javid The Secretary of State for the Home Department

Mike Wood: rose—


Philip Davies Conservative, Shipley

I was about to move on, but as my hon. Friend went to the same school as me—he is a far better advertisement for it than I am—I will give way to him.


Mike Wood: What steps she is taking to ensure that the most marginalised children in developing countries receive an education.


Harriett Baldwin Minister of State (Department for International Development), Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

Mike Wood: What steps his Department is taking to help tackle the persecution of Christians overseas.


Jeremy Hunt Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

Mike Wood: What action is the Ministry of Defence taking to support the democratic Government in Ukraine? Will the Secretary of State update us on his recent trip to Odessa, and particularly the position of Ukrainian navy sailors held prisoner by Russia?


Gavin Williamson The Secretary of State for Defence

Mike Wood: What practical action is being taken to ensure that the infrastructure at Cox’s Bazar improves the safety of Rohingya women and girls?


Alistair Burt Minister of State (Department for International Development) (Jointly with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office), Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

Mike Wood: What action are the Government taking to seek a range of views on potential measures to secure our voting system from overseas interference?


Chloe Smith The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office, Assistant Whip

Mike Wood: To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, what steps the Government has taken to cooperate with other EU states on those countries' preparations for the UK leaving the EU without a deal.


Chris Heaton-Harris (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union)

Mike Wood: Can the Home Secretary offer further detail on the support that the Government intend to provide for vulnerable detainees, particularly in terms of training and support for staff working in the immigration system?


Sajid Javid The Secretary of State for the Home Department

Mike Wood: Does my right hon. Friend agree that the key human right in this case is access to a full and fair trial, and that the UK Government must do everything they can to make sure that is possible? If UK agencies and authorities were to withhold evidence they have in their possession, it would put that fundamentally at risk?


Ben Wallace Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)

Mike Wood: It is a pleasure to follow Stuart C. McDonald, who made a number of points that certainly deserve far more examination and scrutiny. Like other Members, I congratulate Angus Brendan MacNeil on securing this important debate. I did not know whether I would get the pronunciation of his constituency right, but I think I was close enough—I am afraid that that might be as good as I get on Thursday afternoon.

Three weeks ago, Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were attacked in the heart of our country. All the evidence overwhelmingly points to the nerve agents coming from Russia, and most probably being administered on behalf of or on the orders of the Russian Government. Once again, despite the means, the motive and the express intention of the Russian President in the past, the only response to those attempted murders on the streets of England has essentially been a Russian, “It wasn’t me.”

Mike Wood: Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that the legal framework that we rightly expect to apply to our law enforcement offers and agencies does not necessarily apply directly to our intelligence and security services? That, however, would be the effect of the amendment.


Liam Byrne Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) (Digital Economy)

Darren Jones Labour, Bristol North West

Thank you, Mr Hanson. It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship on my first Bill Committee.

Mike Wood: Despite their Government’s attempts to conceal the facts, the Burmese military’s actions in Rakhine look a lot like ethnic cleansing. Is it not time that the international community started treating it as ethnic cleansing?


Mark Field Minister of State

Mike Wood: The overwhelming majority of abuses in Syria have been committed by the Assad regime and his backers. Will the Foreign Secretary assure us that everything will be done to ensure that those who flout international law and human rights laws will be held properly to account?


Boris Johnson Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

We will certainly do everything we can both to gather the evidence that is necessary and to hold the perpetrators to account.

Mike Wood: I thank the hon. Gentleman for giving way and for treating us to the shorter version of his speech. Does he welcome the communiqué signed by the Government and the territories, which said that the UK acknowledged

“the importance of EU funding for sustainable economic development in some Overseas Territories and committed to ensuring that these interests were fully reflected in the UK’s negotiating position”?

Mike Wood: I welcome my right hon. Friend’s assurances of opposition to this terrible death penalty. What assessment have the Government made of the effects of the death of Ali Abdullah Saleh on the horrific crisis in Yemen and on the chances of a positive resolution?


Alan Duncan Minister of State