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The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership


Recent campaigns set out concerns regarding the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), particularly with regard to privatisation of the NHS and public services. This is another area where there are two questions: Should Parliament be able to determine policy in this area? What should that policy be? Because we are members of the European Union which is, amongst other things, a customs union, the Common Commercial Policy remains an exclusive EU competence as set out in the Lisbon Treaty. […]

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Recent HMRC evidence on tax avoidance and evasion busts another myth


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A recent email campaign sought to suggest that this Government has been soft on tax avoidance and evasion. It is not true. As the responsible minister, David Gauke, has set out: HMRC has secured more than £85 billion in compliance yield since the beginning of the Parliament, £31 billion from large businesses and £850 million from high-net-worth individuals. The Government introduced the UK’s first general anti-abuse rule to tackle abusive tax avoidance arrangements. The Finance Act 2014 introduced measures to ensure […]

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EU rules account for 65% of UK law


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Via Business for Britain: Our research shows that 64.7 per cent of the laws in force in the UK today either originate from the European Union (EU) or are deemed to be EU influenced by the House of Commons Library. […] The percentage of laws originating from the EU is far higher than numbers previously cited by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, but also lower than those quoted by Nigel Farage in last year’s head to head TV debates. The key […]

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Creating an open and honest reporting culture in the NHS


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Yesterday, Jeremy Hunt gave a statement on the Government’s response to the Freedom to Speak Up Review of NHS whistle-blowing by Sir Robert Francis. You can find the summary of the Review here. The aim of the Review was “to provide advice and recommendations to ensure that NHS staff in England feel it is safe to raise concerns, confident that they will be listened to and the concerns will be acted upon.” Sir Robert concluded “that there is a culture within many […]

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How departmental spending has changed this Parliament


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ConservativeHome has charted the change in departmental expenditure limits since 2009-10 in a “To The Point” article, How the departments have fared in this Austerity Parliament: Health spending is up. Communities and Local Government has been cut in half. I recommend this good summary article.

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Mitochondrial Replacement Techniques Debate


Yesterday, MPs debated mitochondrial replacement techniques where I made the following speech: I approach this subject with a considerable degree of humility, for two reasons. First, I will never forget meeting a family in my constituency whose child suffers from mitochondrial disease; there was both a haunting sorrow in that family and also the hope that if these regulations are passed they will be able to have a child without this problem. Secondly, I am very aware of my own […]

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Contributions in the Commons since Christmas


Via Hansard by MP, my contributions since Christmas in the Commons chamber over a range of subjects: 13 January 2015 Charter for Budget Responsibility Grammar School Funding [Westminster Hall] Topical Questions (Health – urgent care) 12 January 2015 Topical Questions (Defence – nuclear deterrent) 5 January 2015 Regionalising Police Forces Contributions in the Treasury Select Committee are available separately. On health, a helpful direction of travel is emerging which I indicated in my topical question: Steve Baker (Wycombe) (Con): As it […]

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Supporting Sir Bill Cash’s UK Sovereignty and Jurisdiction over Borders Bill


On 3 December, my colleague Sir Bill Cash MP, presented his United Kingdom Parliament (Sovereignty and Jurisdiction over Borders) Bill to the House of Commons. I am a supporter. The Bill aims to give supreme sovereignty to the British Parliament in relation to the UK’s membership of the European Union, including matters in respect of borders and immigration. While the United Kingdom remains a part of the European Union, the Government is unable to choose its own border controls. That is one […]

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Speech on Money Creation and Society


A lady in Wycombe recently asked me the following questions: Why is my house valued higher than its worth? Why do crashes keep happening every 8 years? Who owns the money supply and how does it relate to gold? Why haven’t I had cost of living pay rise for 7 years yet the CEO has just bought a pacific island? Why do quarterly targets keep going up at work and what is the end game of this model? Why has […]

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Understanding the Money Creation and Society Debate


Together with colleagues spanning four parties – Michael Meacher (Lab), Caroline Lucas (Green), Douglas Carswell (UKIP) and David Davis (Con) – I have secured a debate on Money Creation and Society for Thursday 20 November. Here’s a quick guide to understanding the debate. First, we have a system of paper or “fiat” money: it exists due to legal mandate as opposed to being a physical commodity like gold. Reserves, notes and coins are created by the state but claims on money […]

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