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William Croft

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  1. Mr. Speaker, The energy crisis, fueled by President Putin's war in Ukraine and the breakdown in global supply chains, has devastated our island nation and burdened our people with endlessly rising energy costs. The reality that we are now preparing to head into the winter months, with fuel prices continuing to rise and families fearful about their inability to pay these rising prices, does not escape me. This coming winter season stands to be one of the most trying in recent memory; never since the last World War have we faced an energy crisis on this scale. As Prime Minister, I believe it is my responsibility and my duty to adopt an agenda befitting this unique challenge. The Government that led Britain through World War II was committed to accepting nothing less than victory. In turn, I refuse to accept anything less than a total victory over the challenges we face as a nation. It is with this goal in mind that I announce the Government's new national Winter Preparedness Campaign. For years, Governments on both sides of the aisle have done little to address one of our nation's most glaring energy challenges: the energy efficiency of our housing stock. Britain is notorious for having some of the most outdated, poorly insulated homes in Western Europe. Successive Governments have tried, with very limited success, to incentive homeowners and landlords to upgrade their insulation in order to promote efficient home heating, reduce heating bills, and reduce the impact home-heating has on the environment. Today, this glaring problem takes on a new dynamic: with energy prices skyrocketing, families are going to have to pay far more to heat their homes precisely because outdated insulation makes it so difficult to properly heat their residences. The scheme I am announcing today takes a bold, revolutionary, and unprecedented approach to solving this national crisis. Effective immediately, I am announcing the initiation of the Winter Preparedness Campaign. The campaign will be a nation-wide effort to install state of the art insulation in 400,000 residences across the United Kingdom, in all four of our constituent nations, at no cost to the homeowner. In order to achieve this goal, I have directed the Royal Engineers to lead a nation-wide installation operation. Alongside the Defense Secretary, I am ordering 1,000 Royal Engineers, supported by 7,500 soldiers serving in the Regular and Volunteer Army Reserve force to execute the campaign. These members of Her Majesty's Armed Forces will begin immediately deploying to homes and apartment complex across the United Kingdom to install new and vital heating insulation. Priority will be given to homes and apartment buildings with F and D rating bands based on the Energy Performance Certificate, and low-income and working class families will be given expedited priority. The program will be implemented differently based on the type of housing unit in question. Residences owned in whole or part by the state, like council houses, will be required to participate in the program. Private homeowners are strongly encouraged to participate, but will not be obligated to do so in recognition of their individual property rights. We urge private homeowners, particularly those in a priority group, to take this opportunity to receive a free insulation upgrade and avoid having to pay substantially higher energy bills this winter. Landlords who own apartment buildings or other housing units will also be eligible to participate, with the band rating of their buildings and the socio-economic status of their residents determining their priority. Landlords will not be obligated to participate, with this very clear caveat in mind: landlords who choose not to register for the program will be subject to future legislation requiring them to install new insulation at cost. My warning is clear: act now and register to take part in the Winter Preparedness Campaign, or my Government will require you to spend your own money installing new insulation. As a landlord, you have a responsibility to do what is in the best interests of your tenants. This emergency action will come at a cost: the Civil Service estimates that the Government will have to spend 2.5 billion pounds in order to successfully execute the campaign. There is, however, no doubt in my mind that this is an investment worth making. Families living in band F homes risk paying nearly £1,000 more in energy costs this winter if their insulation is not improved, according to a recent study from the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit. In contrast, families stand to save nearly £600 this year with improved insulation, a meaning that our program will ensure a savings of £200 million nationally upon completion. The outcome will be meaningful and immediate financial relief for working families across the United Kingdom, who will no longer be, literally, left out in the cold this winter. Since becoming Prime Minister I have taken a number of sweeping actions to support families in the face of this global cost of living crisis. The Government has acted to boost domestic production of oil and gas, cut regulations that are artificially driving up costs, and guarantee the continuation of the former Prime Minister's cost of living benefits package. The Winter Preparedness Campaign, however, will do more to fight back against Vladimir Putin's campaign to subject our country to a fuel crisis than any single action taken since the war in Ukraine began. It provides savings for working families right now, and improves the energy efficiency of their homes for a generation. This program is a clear and bold investment in the British people, in our energy security, and in the future of our planet. I commend this statement to the House.
  2. Mr. Speaker, As Prime Minister, my chief obligation is to promote the safety and security of the British people. No Government has any greater responsibility; it is fundamentally the chief priority of any Government to ensure that the people it serves are safe and free from malign influence. That is why, from the moment I was elected, I set off on implementing an agenda that would eliminate our reliance on foreign dictators that seek nothing but the destruction of democracy. And since then I have delivered on that promise, bucking the status quo and taking aggressive action to confront our adversaries and acknowledge certain foreign governments as the true threats that they are. For too long, British governments on both sides of the aisle have been asleep at the wheel when it comes to the threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party. It is long past time that Britain wake up and face reality, and as Prime Minister I am determined to effect that necessary national awakening. There are many politicians, including a few in my own party, who misunderstand the threat that the CCP poses and are still under the impression that this is a government we can work with. There are some who describe my strategy as engaging in mere, "political arguments with Beijing." I do not share this view. Our relationship with the CCP is a question of values, and a test of our resolve as a free people. There are some matters upon which we as a nation cannot compromise, no matter the price tag. Democracy is one of those matters. It is my contention that allowing the status quo to continue to go unchecked amounts to a threat to our democracy here at home, and destroys our credibility as a power for democratic reform abroad. That is why one of my first acts as Prime Minister was to aggressively reduce Chinese influence in our country and meddling in our economy. While some call it rash, I call it necessary. There is no time to waste; bold, determined, immediate action was needed or we risked once again finding ourselves complacent and paralyzed in fear. This was not a time for deep consultation or longwinded reviews; we've had those, and they've been ignored. Now was the time to act, and act we did. In response to our policy changes, China launched a brazen Trade War with the intent to inflict massive economic harm in the hopes of intimidating us into reversing course. Their response serves only to underscore the Government's argue against the CCP: this is not a regime interested in working with Britain, but one determined to subject all foreign nations to their influence and campaign of fear. The CCP ordered massive tariff increases, to the great expense of their own economy, because they wanted to send the message that even free, democratic nations, are not safe to speak candidly about the flaws of the Chinese Communist system. The people of the United Kingdom, of course, would not be used as a messaging opportunity. The CCP blinked, reversing their original decision to ban the importation of British cars, and agreeing to hold negotiations in order to deescalate and resolve the Chinese Trade War. The British negotiating team went into these negotiations with the clear understanding that our country would not back down, we would not reverse course, and we would not be prevented from acting in our national interest to protect our people. As a result of their work, and a result of the diplomatic skill employed by our former interim Chancellor of the Exchequer, the British and Chinese Governments have agreed the following terms: The agreement, which I have provided each of you with a copy of, is the full, total, and final text of the agreement reached between the United Kingdom and the People's Republic of China. Rather than leak details to the media, or argue about its contents on Twitter, I wanted to speak directly to Parliament and provide the full and unfettered details of the agreement here. This agreement represents a massive economic, diplomatic, and security win for the United Kingdom. It ends the increased tariffs on British industry, namely automakers and whisky distillers. It ends Chinese influence over our nuclear energy infrastructure, and reduces China's original asking price for their share in Hinkley C by billions of pounds. And it ends the imminent security threat posed by Huawei, protecting the individual freedoms and privacy of the British people. As has been reported, the two negotiating teams reached an impasse over the Government's decision to ban the 30 Confucius Institutes currently operating throughout the United Kingdom. As this country's Prime Minister, I could never and will never sanction a deal that sees taxpayer money handed directly over to the Chinese government. This Government would never support sending 50 million pounds to the Chinese Education Ministry, knowing full well that this money would only serve to promote the CCP's educational indoctrination campaigns in Tibet and Xinjiang. We will not be asking British workers to fund the systematic elimination of ethnic Muslims and Buddhists. At the same time, it would have been irresponsible of me to hold up a deal that ends the trade war, saves our country one billion pounds, and enhances our national security on this issue alone. As a result, the Government has agreed to compromise with the Chinese, and allow each British university operating a Confucius Institute to choose for themselves within the next year whether or not they will follow the Government's advice to close these facilities. I think the whole country knows exactly where I stand on this matter, and what I hope each university will do. My critics, namely those in the Labour Party who were more than happy to repeat the CCP's talking points designed to divide Britain, said that the Government's agenda would never work. They told us that we couldn't be honest with people about the threat posed by the CCP to the British people. And even if we somehow managed to do that, they told us that we certainly couldn't act on those concerns. And even if we said that the CCP was harming Britain, and even if we managed to implement policies to reduce the harm caused by the CCP, Britain would certainly never manage to stay the course and would have to embarrassingly cave to Chinese demands! Never, they posited, could Britain overcome the might of Communist China. Well, I have news for them, Mr. Speaker. The Government I lead told the British people we were going to counter the influence of the Chinese Communist Party, we implemented policies to do so, and we refused to waiver when the Chinese attempted to crush our spirit. Unlike them, I never doubted the tenacity of the British people, Mr. Speaker. Unlike them, I never doubted that we would remain the united in the face of a foreign threat, as we have time and time again throughout nations history. And unlike them, I knew that our island nation would prevail, because our cause is just and our aims are pure. On the day I became Prime Minister I urged the country to step boldly into the future without fear or hesitation. We are building that new future, Mr. Speaker, and no foreign dictator will intimidate us into turning back! I commend this statement to the House, and thank the British people for the honor to continue to serve as their Prime Minister.
  3. Mr. Speaker, I beg that this bill be read a second time.
  4. Mr. Speaker, I rise this morning with yet another announcement about this Government's work to reign in the power of the state in order to meaningfully reduce the price of everyday goods. The core mission of the Right Way Forward agenda is to ensure the Government adopts a "slash and step back approach," whereby we eliminate costly and burdensome red tape in order to reduce the financial burden weighing on British families. One way in which Governments of all political persuasions over the past few decades has acted to drive up food prices is by instituting nefarious taxes on price floors on the cost of food. Under the guise of "helping," the British people make "better" decisions, bureaucrats have advocated for sin taxes and minimum prices in order to forcibly alter the behavior of individuals. The principle is flawed, and the impact is that every day people throughout the United Kingdom are forced to spend more of their hard earned pay packets on purchasing needlessly expensive food items. That is why, effective immediately, I am announcing that the Government is rescinding the planned introduction of a ban on multi-buy deals on food considered to be high in fat, sugar, and salt. This ban, scheduled to go into effect in just a few months time in 2023, would see small businesses and large fast food chains from being legally prohibited from offering Buy One Get One Free (BOGOF) deals at their locations across the United Kingdom. BOGOFs, which are currently permitted under law, allow grocery store and food retailers to offer discounted deals on packages of food. The most common example are the deals you'll find in, say, your local Nandos, that permit you to get two entrees or two sides for the price of one. Public Health England has recommended that these deals be banned in the interest of "public health," and my predecessor had planned to implement their recommendations. Today, the Government is announcing that the planned implementation of this recommendation is being terminated because we believe it will unfairly increase the cost of food, hamper business growth, and sets a dangerous precedent about the size and scope of the state. First, there is no doubt in my mind that this policy would serve only to force families to spend even more money on food and groceries at a time when the cost of living crisis is making it harder for families to put food on the table. Based on their own estimation, Public Health England admits that their policy would cost British families an additional £634 a year in food-related costs. As the supply chain crises and the war in Ukraine continues to drive up the cost of goods, families simply cannot afford to see their yearly food bills rise by even £60, let alone £600. The action we are taking today to preemptively terminate the implementation of this policy will save people money, and provide confidence to families across Britain that they're going to be able to keep food on the table for their children in the months to come. Second, allowing this policy to move forward would force unnecessary and burdensome regulation on businesses right at the time when our country needs business to flourish in order to create more jobs and drive economic growth. Businesses should be free to innovative, and pursue dynamic decisions when economic conditions require creativity. No one could have imagined just two years ago how radically our country, and indeed the entire world, would change in such a short amount of time. History has shown us that when adverse and unanticipated circumstances face our country, that it is individuals and small businesses that have the power and ability to use their unique skills to overcome the challenges we face as a nation. Tying the hands of businesses to provide innovative solutions to the cost of living crises prevents them from doing their part to help consumers, and creates undue costs that they will either have to eat, for lack of a better term, or pass on to already overwhelmed customers. Finally, and arguably most importantly, today's announcement sends the clear signal that under this Government the state will be doing less, not more. The entire concept of sin taxes, the tip of the spear wielded by the Nanny State, is inconsistent with a free society. As Prime Minister, I will always and unwaveringly fight to allow the British people to make their own decisions based on what they believe is right for them, rather than what some bureaucrats in a stuffy office believes they "should" be doing. Individuals, not the state, are best placed to make their own decisions. If we had the financial headway to remove sin taxes altogether, I'd be speaking with the Chancellor right now about doing away with them permanently. For now, however, the elimination of the proposed ban on multi-deal food buys sends a clear signal that this is a Government that will get out of people's way and empower citizens to lead their own lives free of state interference. I commend this statement to the House, and look forward to leaving the chamber and picking up two Big Macs on my way home.
  5. Mr. Speaker, We're back again! I am sure that you, Mr. Speaker, and certainly my friends across the aisle are beginning to grow tired of seeing me behind the dispatch box today. It is, however, of paramount importance that I continue to avail myself to MPs and the British people at large to discuss the Government's work to bring down energy costs. Over the past few weeks, the Government has worked at warp speed and with frenetic energy to pursue policies that will increase the supply of fuel, cut regulatory barriers that are increasing costs, and amplify the corrective power of the free market to solve this crisis. Early today, I announced that the Government was introducing a raft of energy policies aimed at increasing the extraction of oil and gas, and taking emergency measures provided to us under law to reduce the UK ETS carbon price. These are meaningful steps towards ending the fuel crisis and providing the British people with the return to normalcy they want and deserve. Now, however, I'd like to address another looming issue that is on the minds of many across the country: the potential energy price cap increase. As this House well knows, the war in Ukraine and the breakdown of supply chains is resulting in a lack of available energy and an explosive in the cost of fuel, set of course by global markets. As a result, there are very serious concerns that our country's energy price cap could explode to over £3,500, and remain well above £3,000 for the entirety of 2023. For this Government, Mr. Speaker, that scenario is unacceptable. The solutions on offer by the Opposition, if you can even call them solutions, fail to address the economic reality our country faces. The lack of supply is fueling this crisis, and one off cost-correcting payments provided by the state to individual families will not do anything to meaningfully address the problem. If anything, the proposes flaunted by the Labour Party will only serve to increase demand without addressing supply issues, jacking up the cost of energy and increasing inflation. The Labour Party is determined to sentence Britain to a never ending cycle of despair, with haphazard cash hands outs causing fuel prices to surge, resulting in the need for even more cash hands outs. Their ideas may sound good to some on paper, but in practice they spell disaster for working families. Energy prices are going to continue to rise until demand falls or supply increases. Labour may not want to admit that, but it is an economic fact that I, as this country's Prime Minister, will not run from. That is why the Government understands this solemn truth: an immediate settlement between the Government, Ofgem and energy providers is required if we are to prevent a shocking and disastrous spike in the energy price cap. I am happy today to confirm that such a settlement has been reached. Under the terms of the agreement, the Government has provided utility providers a loan to be paid back to British taxpayers that will allow Ofgem to keep price increases to a stabilized 5% increase in October until this historic energy price increase stabilizes on global markets. This limited increase, negotiated between by the Government and guaranteed by the loan, will prevent what could have been a massive price cap increase that would have crushed families, destabilized the economy, and thrown Britain into financial disarray. It is a win for working people up and down the crisis, who have unfairly been forced to suffer as a result of global events that have destabilized energy markets and rocketed the prices of commodities. I commend the Chancellor for his leadership and determination on securing this historic deal. At the same time, the Government is working diligently to increase domestic oil and gas production and secure trade deals with major natural gas producers in order to ensure stabilization occurs. This two pronged effort, detailed in the two statements I have made today to the House, provides a wholistic and comprehensive approach to the crisis we face. It responds directly to the concerns of the British people, promote economic consistency, and guarantees that we emerge on the other side of this crisis as quickly as possible. Fundamentally, Mr. Speaker, it reflects our core promise to the British people: that their Government will take aggressive and determined action to overcome the challenges we face. This is at the core of Right Way Forward agenda: leveraging the power of economic freedom, industrial development, and the ingenuity of the British people to drive our country forward. More work is undoubtedly needed, and the Government remains committed to providing support to those who need it most. This landmark agreement makes real progress, however, and does so without requiring empty promises, short term band aids, or harmful erosions of personal and economic freedoms. I commend this statement to the House, Mr. Speaker. The full details of the agreement can be found here.
  6. Mr. Speaker, I rise today, alongside our excellent Secretary of State for Energy, the Environment, and Climate Change to announce a series of policy changes the Government will be implementing immediately as a means to solve the root causes of the energy crisis. Now before the Leader of the Opposition and her lackeys lose their absolute minds, let me say this: my announcement today is one of two that the House should expect to receive from the Government. Later today, the Chancellor and I will speak to the House about the agreement we've reached with Ofgem and the major energy companies in order to avoid a disastrous increase to the price cap. I am confident the agreement we have reached there will provide greater confidence to consumers about their ability to afford energy bills, while also preventing damaging market interventions that will stifle investment and push off higher costs to the long term. Now, Mr. Speaker, I would like to share three key policy developments that the Government will be ordering to take immediate effect. First, I am announcing that the Government will be officially executing a policy of permitting "fast tracking," for oil and gas companies looking to engage in exploratory or drilling practices. In the immediate term, this will greenlight the six permits that were previously selected by the Government for fast tracking. In the long term, it will reduce the regulatory burden faced by companies seeking to earn permitting rights to begin either exploring for oil and gas, or drilling for these commodities. The regulators at the North Sea Transition Authority, the UK's main oil and gas regulator for the purposes of obtaining drilling rights, are directed to process all exploration and drilling requests on an expedited time frame and are encouraged to accept permits unless glaring issues pertaining to public safety exist. Second, I am formally announcing the end of the 2019 moratorium on fracking. The decision to end the practice of fracking was one rooted in baseless fear and climate paranoia, not in science and fact. Natural gas produced through the process of hydraulic fracking is cleaner to burn and safer to extract than comparative fuels, and requires far less space than wind turbines and solar panels. Existing permits that were frozen by the moratorium will be accepted immediately upon notice of this Ministerial Order, so long as community buy in has already been established. Moving forward, natural gas companies looking to extract fuel through hydraulic fracturing will be permitted to do so, and permitting requests will be expected in a similar manner as those previously mentioned relating to oil drilling. Where a fracking site exists near a community, the relevant company must receive the formal consent and legal permission from the community's local government in order to begin drilling. Companies will be required to enter into a profit-sharing agreement with local communities, in order to ensure that the residents of areas in which fracking occurs benefit from the extraction. Finally, I am announcing a major change to regulatory policy as it regards carbon pricing. With our departure from the European Union, politicians on both sides of aisle celebrating our newfound regulatory freedom when it comes to setting the price of carbon - an artificial pricing tool that results in higher costs which are always passed on to the consumer. Unfortunately, the political will on both sides of the aisle to actually make these changes never materialized. Today, that changes. Effectively immediately, I am ordering the UK ETS regulator to exercise their emergency Cost Containment Mechanism (CCM) authority to act to correct prices caused by market shocks. In effect, this decision will result in a reduction of the current UK ETS, which stands at an inappropriately and internationally high rate of £75–85 per tonne of CO2. This existing rate adds to the cost of living by artificially inflating the price of gas for generation and industrial purposes, which is then pushed off on British families. The Regulator is ordered to reduce this price in a manner that is consistent with the far lower EU ETS. Experts at the IEA estimate that this regulatory reform will save the average household roughly £240 in annual energy costs. Today's announcement achieves two key goals of this Government, and of our Right Way Forward agenda. First, it immediately reduces energy prices by cutting through the red tape that exists because of persistently high UK ETS rates, that were inappropriately jacked up in order to meet net-zero goals at the expense of British workers. Second, it begins the process of rapidly increasing the supply of energy, which is the most important action any Government can take in order to meaningfully solve the energy crisis. Nations across the globe are acting to do the same, increasing drilling and extracting more energy in order to meet the growing demand. Britain, on the other hand, has thus far sat on our hands and neglected to tap into our reserves while our people suffer. As I said earlier this month, I refuse to be a Prime Minister who has access to the tools needed to solve this crisis but chooses not to use them. The British people deserve relief to skyrocketing energy bills, and they need it now. These policy changes will provide that relief both today and in the long term. Unlike the Opposition, who seek to provide one off cash injections that are designed to ignore the root of the problem, the Government I lead is taking bold and comprehensive action to address this crisis at its core. Under our leadership, regulators are being directed to slash costly red tape and producers are being given the greenlight to unleash the full power of British energy. We are a Government committed to less politicking and more action - and today's announcements make good on that promise.
  7. Mr. Speaker, The Chinese Communist Party is the most evil regime currently in power, and poses a direct and immediate threat to the British people and to all free people wherever they live. As Prime Minister, one of my major policy aims will be to combat their influence abroad and here at home. Over the past decade, the political class on both sides of the aisle have grown overly comfortable in working with China and permitting them to engage in the domestic affairs of the United Kingdom. That ends today, Mr. Speaker. There is no sum of money that the United Kingdom could garner through trade with the Chinese that would be worth the grave price Britain pays by allowing our dependence on China to grow. The Chinese are playing a zero sum game, and their end goal is the destruction of freedom and the enslavement of free peoples. Democracy, self determination, and freedom depend on Britain's outright refusal to allow China's assault on these key values to continue. That is why, Mr. Speaker, I rise this morning to announce four actions the Government will be immediately taking to eliminate China's influence in the United Kingdom and to support our allies abroad who face the threat of Chinese persecution. Each of these actions is intended to put the CCP on notice, and send the crystal clear message that Britain is no friend to their authoritarian regime. I am joined by the Foreign Secretary, Home Secretary, Education Secretary and Energy Secretaries to discuss these announcements. First, the Government will be rejecting China's bid to build and operate a nuclear reactor in South East England. While I thank the team at the Office of Nuclear Regulation for their recommendation that this agreement go ahead, I am not comfortable with the idea of a foreign company beholden to the CCP having a hand in the energy infrastructure of the United Kingdom. The company in question, China General Nuclear (CGN) Power Corp, has direct links to Xi Jinping and other key figures within the CCP. Every Chinese corporation, Mr. Speaker, answers ultimately to the CCP and Mr. Xi himself. As a result, allowing Chinese corporations to have any role in the energy infrastructure of the United Kingdom represents an immediate and unacceptable threat to our national security. I reject their bid, and also am ordering CGN to urgently dispense with their share in Hinkley Point C and Sizewell C. If they do not sell their shares in these two ventures, they will be seized by the British Government on national security grounds. Acquisition of these two ventures will be opened up for competitive bidding amongst corporations in allied nations. Second, the Government is ordering that all British universities operating Confucius Institutes terminate these programs within 60 days of this announcement. There are currently 30 Confucius Institutes operating at universities across the United Kingdom. The CCP uses these institutes, which exist around the globe, to spread Chinese state propaganda and indoctrinate the citizens of foreign nations. They are entirely inconsistent with Britain's tradition of operating universities that promote the free exchange of ideas, and advance free thinking and robust debate. The Education Secretary will be responsible for enforcing this order, and universities that refuse to comply will risk losing Government funding. British taxpayers will not be forced to subsidize the CCP's propaganda machine. Enough is enough. Third, in conjunction with the Defense Secretary, I am ordering a Government-wide review to determine the extent to which the United Kingdom sells non-lethal technology and other defense articles to China. In the past two years, the Government has permitted defense contracting companies to sell billions of pounds of "dual-use" technologies to the Chinese, which have in turn been used by the Chinese military to advance their geopolitical aims. Permitting the sale of these articles was a mistake, and they will not be allowed to continue in the future. This is the Government's formal notice that defense contractors operating in the United Kingdom will no longer be permitted to sell dual use goods to Chinese companies, or the Chinese military. Advancing the strength and capacity of the Chinese military runs counter to our national security goals. Any pending sales between British companies and the Chinese relating to dual use goods are to be terminated immediately. Fourth, in conjunction with the Home Secretary, I am announcing a new scheme related to Hong Kong. Effective immediately, young adults born to BNO status holders on or after July 1, 1997, an aged 18 or older will be able to independently apply for the BNO route. This change in law will allow thousands of young adults, who would otherwise not be eligible for BNO access, to apply for this visa and enjoy the benefits it confers. These young people deserve to remain with their families, and will no doubt become patriotic British citizens should they choose to become permanent residents of the United Kingdom. The brave, courageous, freedom loving people of Hong Kong will always have a friend in me, this Government, and the British people at large. In the face of Chinese oppression and tyranny, the United Kingdom welcomes them to our shores with open arms. I am proud to announce these four actions today, Mr. Speaker, and am confident that they comprise of meaningful and necessary measures to combat Chinese aggression, safeguard of national security, and promote our values abroad. Before I conclude, let me make one thing very clear: it is the Chinese government, and not the Chinese people, who are our enemy. There are many Chinese nationals who call Britain home, and many British citizens of Chinese descent. These people make our country stronger, and we are a better nation because of their contributions. Indeed, in standing up to the CCP and opposing the actions of the Chinese Government, we are standing in solidarity with the people of China who are by far the greatest victims of the CCP's tyranny. I look forward to routinely briefing the House about additional actions the Government is taking to counter Chinese aggression and defend our allies around the globe.
  8. First Croft Administration Prime Minister: William Croft KBE Deputy Prime Minister: Juliet Manning Chancellor of the Exchequer: Michael Marshall Foreign Secretary and Secretary of State for Brexit Opportunities: Dr. Oliver Redgrave Home Secretary: Juliet Manning SoS for Defence: Marcus Drummond-MacBeath SoS for Levelling Up (Transportation, Communities, Infrastructure and Housing): Dido Kennedy SoS for Health and Welfare (Health and DWP): Kwasi Kwarteng (NPC: Mike) SoS for Energy, Environment, and Climate Change: Dominic Raab (NPC: Croft) SoS for Education: Kemi Badenoch (NPC: Croft) SoS for Regions: Nicole Sutton SoS for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport: Nadine Dorries SoS for Northern Ireland: Brandon Lewis (NPC: Nicole) SoS for Scotland: Alister Jack (NPC: Nicole) SoS for Wales: Simon Hart (NPC: Nicole) Minister for Government Efficiency: Miles Stone Chairman of the Conservative Party: Jacob Reese-Mogg (NPC: Redgrave) Chief Whip: Alan Mak (NPC:Croft)
  9. Prime Minister William Croft arrives at Number 10 for the first time, having just returned from Buckingham Palace. The Prime Minister directs police officers to open the security gates, allowing supporters and party members to flood into the street and join the assembled press. Exiting his car, Mr. Croft smiles, and joined by his husband and children begin to meet the assembled crowd. Turning finally to the assembled reporters, Mr. Croft walks away from the podium that was set up and instead walks directly over to the reporters themselves, and makes the following comment: The British people, rightfully so, have had enough of politicians who talk endlessly and achieve very little. So instead of delivering a formal speech outside Number 10, a generally modern convention that Prime Ministers have only recently begun doing, I've decided to take a page from Maggie's book and leave you with a brief quote that summarizes the motivations and aims of the Government I will lead. In the words of Saint John Paul II, "Have no fear of the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that He is with you, therefor no harm can befall you. All is very, very well. Do this in complete confidence and faith." Our country, and indeed the world, has been plunged into chaos. The crises we suffer from are not of our making, but have no less caused the British people great suffering an anxiety. Saint John Paul II reminds of that, in the face of fear and uncertainty, we can and we must move forward fearlessly. We must be bold, brave, and confident in our approach. We have no need to fear the unknown - our cause is righteous and our ambitions are just. You, the British people, deserve a Prime Minister that won't shirk from making the hard decisions in fear of the unknown consequences on my own political career. I promise to be that Prime Minister. Thank you for placing your trust in me - the weight and magnitude of this responsibility is not lost on me. I have complete confidence and faith in our country and her people. Together, we will rise to meet this moment, vanquish evil abroad, and unleash prosperity and individual opportunity at home. The work begins now.
  10. Mr. Speaker, I'd like to begin by pausing to honor the lives of the 13 American soldiers who were killed by the Taliban while participating in the evacuation of Kabul. While they are not British citizens, I have no doubt that they worked alongside our soldiers in the country and treated our troops like fellow countrymen. For decades, the Anglo-American alliance has stood in defiance of tyranny, has advanced our shared democratic principles, and fought tirelessly for peace and security. In the spirit of that enduring alliance, I pray for our American brothers and sisters amidst this tragedy, and offer the heartfelt thanks of the British people for the valiant service of these 13 men and women. The Kabul airlift and surrounding evacuation campaign brings to an end the culmination of 20 years of war in Afghanistan. The war effort began in 2001, five governments ago, and has gone on so long that the children of the British soldiers who first went to Afghanistan are now old enough to be enlisted soldiers themselves. The circumstances surrounding the timeline of the withdrawal should be debated, and they certainly should be scrutinized by Parliament. That will, and must, occur in due time. Today, however, I think it is entirely appropriate to focus our attention on the unparalleled heroism of the British soldiers and volunteer personnel who have saved the lives of thousands of Afghan nationals who risked imminent death at the hands of the Taliban. Operating Pitting was a clear and objective success; a success that occurred because of the talent, bravery, and grit of the British Armed Forces. Evacuating thousands, 15,000 to be precise, of Afghan nationals in the span of weeks is an incredible feat that will go down in history as one of the greatest humanitarian efforts led by the United Kingdom. In concert with our American allies, we responding to a rapidly evolving situation that the top American military and security experts themselves did not anticipate occurring. As my friend the Member for Banff and Buchann put so well - no one anticipated Afghanistan to fall to the Taliban as quickly as it did. But when we realized the extent of the Taliban's power, we jumped to action and organized a national effort to protect innocent Afghan women, children, and minorities who faced immediate danger. Today, Mr. Speaker, is a day of pride for all British citizens. The Government should of course be scrutinized, but I can't help but find the Opposition's arguments against the Government's actions somewhat ridiculous. The Member for Liverpool West Derby, in his usual attempt to find fault where there is none, insists that the Prime Minister should have worked to, "create a global resettlement scheme." He would have preferred that the Prime Minister huddled with Joe and Angela in some air conditioned room, working out a 50 point plan on refugee resettlement, debating the intricacies of rescuing a LGBTQ Afghan versus a Christian one over a bottle of wine. That idea sounds nice on paper, but in reality, it would have cost the lives of countless Afghans who didn't have the time to wait for the West to craft a comprehensive plan. While Kabul burned and the Taliban was hanging people in the streets of every major city, the Member from Liverpool would have preferred the Government sit on their hands and ponder the appropriate response. Thank God we did not heed that advice, Mr. Speaker. Action was required and it was required immediately, without pause or hesitation. This Government provided that decisive action, it was carried out by the brave men and women of Her Majesty's Armed Forces, and thousands of Afghan refugees are alive today because of it. That is something the entire House should celebrate. Of course, Mr. Speaker, there will be a time in the near future where the Government should begin to carefully examine the actions we take in the future, and the consequences of Afghanistan's fall to the Taliban. There are two key areas where I believe the Government should take immediate action to ensure we promote our nation's national security and ensure that we learn from the events of the past. First, I believe it is of vital national importance that we have a strong understanding of who we are allowing to relocate to the United Kingdom. I admire the Prime Minister's goal of welcoming 50,000 refugees to Britain over the next few years, and welcome his commitment to prioritize refugees who either assisted the United Kingdom in our war effort against the Taliban or who come from minority communities that are now most at risk of facing Taliban persecution. With that being said, there are obvious and understandable security concerns to accepting so many refugees from a foreign, war torn country at one time. We should pay particular attention to single, adult-aged males who may have ties to radical groups in Afghanistan and who could pose a security threat to communities here in the United Kingdom. Again, I welcome the Prime Minister's work to ensure Britain does our part in responding to this humanitarian crisis. But we must engage in this effort in a manner that protects the safety, security, and well being of the British public. Second, I know I speak for many people across the country when I say I am very concerned at the rapid pace at which Afghanistan fell in light of the substantial investment the British taxpayer has provided to the Afghan government over the past two decades. Britain has contributed billions of pounds in support to the government in Kabul, and massive amounts of military equipment and technology. Despite all of that aid, and despite the even larger sums of money contributed by the Americans, the Taliban was able to quickly rout the Afghan military and regain control of the country after two decades of being out of power. President Ghani has fled the country, potentially with massive amounts of money, and the Taliban has now taken control of an incredible arsenal of Western military equipment that positions them to be the most well-armed terror group in modern history. By all accounts, the allied attempt to build a solid nation state in Afghanistan has failed, and that failure has come at the cost of billions of pounds of taxpayer money. The British people deserve a full accounting of the scale of money and military equipment we lost in this effort, how we're going to protect our interests in the Middle East and at home now that the Taliban is in possession of this equipment, and what the Government will do to prevent future losses of this scale. I once again commend the Prime Minister for his clear and firm statement, and join him in celebrating the valiant actions of our Armed Forces. We are better off because of the service and sacrifices made by the men and women who served in Her Majesty's Armed Forces, and I have no doubt that Britain's global interests will continue to be well served by their efforts.
  11. Name: William Croft KBE Avatar: Ryan Gosling Age: 37 (November 13, 1984) Sex: Male Ethnicity: British White Marital Status: Married (to Alec Angevine, the couple has two children) Sexual Orientation: Homosexual Party: Conservative Political Outlook: Spartan, Free-market Conservative, Loyalist in that order. Croft considers himself a member of the, "New Right," is heavily Euroskeptic, and believes the Conservative Party should be rooted in reigning in the excesses of the state. Constituency: Rugby Year Elected: 2015 Education: English Martyrs School, Hartlepool Sixth Form College, Oxford University, Honorable Society of the Inner Temple Career: Associate at Clifford Chance, Partner at Clifford Chance, Senior Partner at Clifford Chance, Chief Executive Officer of the Legal Aid Agency Political Career: MP for Rugby (2015 - ), Vice Chairman of LGBTQ+ Conservatives (2016 - 2020), co-vice chair of the Leave Campaign (2016), Under Secretary in the Department for Exiting the European Union (2017-2018), Member of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee (2019 - ), Knight Commander of the British Empire Bio: Coming soon!
  12. Housing Protections Act Mr. Speaker, I believe it is fair to say that, as we assemble here today, a dark cloud looms over these chambers and indeed across the whole of our island nation. With each passing day, it becomes more clear that our worst fears are coming true. What started as a few market irregularities, and a few days of confusion, has now grown into a full blown global economic crisis. Like a tumor, the emerging economic recession has already begun to metastasize and spread to every facet of the British economy. People are beginning to lose their jobs, homeowners are being served repossession notices, and businesses are shutting their doors. It appears we are heading towards the worst economic crisis our nation has faced in a generation. Today, I rise before the House for the first time as the Leader of the Opposition, in the shadow of these clouds. I do so at a time when millions of hardworking people are understandably fearful. Fearful about how they're going to afford food, keep the lights on, and find a new source of income. Those of us on this side of the House hear these concerns loud and clear, and we are determined to do everything in our power to support the millions of working people and families who, at no fault of their own, may risk losing everything because of this crisis. They, Mr. Speaker, are who the Labour Party fight for. And it's why we will fight for policies that prioritize working families, not the banks and the billionaires. It is my duty, on behalf of the Opposition, to begin that fight by introducing the Housing Protection Act of 2008. Last week, I urged the Tories to introduce comprehensive legislation to protect homeowners from predatory banks. We were patient, we gave them time, and today the Chancellor announced the culmination of their efforts: that the major lenders have agreed to sign onto the Government's Code of Conduct. That, Mr. Speaker, simply isn't good enough. Families across Britain who are in fear of losing their homes to repossession deserve ironclad protections written in stone, not a verbal agreement between the Tories and their biggest donors - the banks themselves. I am proud to say that the Housing Protection Act represents the real, comprehensive protections vulnerable home owners need and deserve. The legislation we have introduced has three distinct components, Mr. Speaker. First, our legislation will impose a 12 month period of frozen or reduced mortgage repayments for British homeowners who have lost their jobs or 50% of their income. As the recession deepens, Britain is on the verge of a housing crisis, with thousands of families at risk of being unable to pay their mortgage. Rather than accept an epidemic of home repossessions as a new normal, the Labour Party believes that banks must show empathy and understanding for the homeowners who have been devastated by this crisis. Families who have struggled for years to purchase their own home should not have it ripped away from them due to circumstances out of their control. Our repayment freeze and reduction scheme will allow homeowners to reach an agreement with their lender that will keep them in their home, reduce the damage they face from this crisis, and provide needed stability at a time when virtually everything seems to be changing for the average British family. The Tories have been quick to bend over backwards to stimulate banks with the additional capital they have asked for, and those of us on this side of the House believe its appropriate that we spread that economic support to those who need it the most - working people. This legislation makes meaningful steps towards leveling the playing field of state support. Second, Mr. Speaker, our bill implements a proper code of conduct, enforced through statute, for lenders looking to initiate repossession proceedings. A force repossession should have always been considered an action of last resort, Mr. Speaker, and it shouldn't have taken a global recession for the Tories to come to that realization. The code of conduct that they have proposed is vague, not sufficiently comprehensive, and not rooted in actual law - meaning that banks have increased leeway and flexibility in circumventing its provisions. To those on the other side of the House who argue that the Chancellor's voluntary code of conduct is sufficient to keep banks in line, I simply say this: why are you willing to trust the word of the same bankers whose actions created the code for this code of conduct in the first place? I don't want to leave matters up to chance, and I don't want to leave any homeowner unprotected, a concern the Prime Minister dismissed just this morning as, "unnecessary." We are lawmakers, entrusted by the British people to craft laws on their behalf and by their will. Let us do our jobs, Mr. Speaker, and implement binding legislation that protects British families from predatory lenders. Finally, Mr. Speaker, our legislation enshrines a Right to Rent into law, ensuring that homeowners that choose to allow a bank to sell their home to a local council have the right to continue to rent the property they used to own. Since last year, a trend has emerged where more and more homeowners with a mortgage are selling off their property to a company or bank, and then renting the property they used to own. Individuals who want to pursue this alternative should be able to do so, and should be permitted to participate in the Government's council home buying scheme to act on their intentions. That is why we have ensured that homeowners who want to dispense with their mortgage have a means to do so, and that when a council purchases their former home, they have the opportunity to rent the property they used to own. This guarantees that families can remain in their homes even if they choose to sell them, keeping working families together and children in the places they've grown up in. The Labour Party is united by a very simple belief: working people and families should be protected and supported to the same degree that the big banks in London have. So far, that has simply not been the case. This recession, made possible by the radical and irresponsible deregulation agendas of successive Tory Prime Ministers, is impacting working people the hardest. They need Parliament's support, and they need their elected officials to step in and help them as the storm clouds of this crisis grow ever darker. The Housing Protection Act provides these meaningful protections, and I urge my colleagues on both sides of the House to join me in passing this critical legislation.
  13. Fourth Reshuffle - Black Shadow Cabinet Leader of the Opposition: Will Black Deputy Leader of the Labour Party: Sophie Patrick Shadow First Secretary of State: Sir Tristan Brown Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer: Alice van der Walt Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs: Sir Tristan Brown Shadow Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for the Home Department: Sophie Patrick* Shadow Secretary of State for Communities: Andy Burnham (Croft) Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Welfare: David Milliband (Grant) Shadow Secretary of State for Innovation, Infrastructure, and the Environment: Harriet Harman (Grant) Shadow Secretary of State for Defence: Dan Jarvis (Brown) Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families: Andy Barrow Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster: Sadiq Khan (Croft) Shadow Secretary of State for the Union: Mark Drummond Opposition Chief Whip of the House of Commons and Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury: Mark Drummond Shadow Leader of the House of Commons and Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal: Sir Tristan Brown Shadow Leader of the House of Lords and Lord President of the Council: Baron Morgan (Croft) Chair of the Labour Party: Yvette Cooper (Croft) Labour Campaign Coordinator: Tom Watson (Croft) *Also has the NI brief as David Anderson (NPC)
  14. Name: William (Will) Black Avatar: Jon Ossoff Age: 41 b. November 13, 1966. Sex: Female Marital Status: Married to Christina Black. The couple has two children: Madeleine Black, age 12, and Christopher Black, age 10 Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual Party: Labour Political Outlook: Progressive, reform minded, a commonsense social democrat near the center-left of the party. Constituency: Mansfield Education: Mansfield local comprehensive LLB, Cambridge University Honorable Society of Lincoln's Inn Career: After completing his apprenticeship at the Honorable Society of Lincoln Inn, Mr. Black became a barrister, first practicing as a public defender before eventually taking a job at a private practice firm in order to financially support his growing family. He served as the lead barrister in A vs. Secretary of State for the Home Department, where Mr. Blacks firm won the landmark case and established that the government's policy of indefinite torture of foreign prisoners was in violation of EU Convention on Human Rights. Political Career: Member of Parliament for Mansfield (2005-). Biography: TBA
  15. Mr. Speaker, I'd like to take a moment to respond to the various interjections that have been made since the debate began. First, *turns backwards to acknowledge Nicholas Devereux,* allow me to begin by commending my colleague and friend the Member of Parliament for Tewkesbury for his compelling remarks. I agree with him completely - more must be done by this Government, and by every future Government, to prevent the sovereignty of our country and the rights of the British people from being surrendered to the European Union under the guise of future, "progress." While I believe that Britain's membership to the European Union is a net positive, it does not come without challenges and threats to our freedoms. The principle of "ever greater integration," may be acceptable to my friends on the European continent, but it is not acceptable to the United Kingdom or her Government. While my tenure as Foreign Secretary has been short, I am glad that it has consisted heavily of work to claw back power from Brussels, prevent Lisbon from being used to expand the authority of Brussels over Parliament, and provide a statutory referendum lock on future EU treaties. I share the concern expressed by my friend the Member for Tewkesbury about the use of term of, "significant area." After receiving legal advice, we added additional text after the term, to further indicate what constitutes a significant area. While this may not be enough to ensure that the Government of the day take appropriate action to guarantee a referendum on a relevant matter, I would actually argue that the involvement of the Courts could serve to strengthen the power of the British people and Parliament's sovereignty. In a scenario in which a future Government neglects to hold a referendum on a treaty amendment that would result in Britain giving up a veto, any Member of Parliament would be able to use the Courts to review the decision and, when appropriate, compel the Government of the day to introduce legislation to hold said referendum. I think the Courts have an important role to play in holding to account a Government that is deliberately attempting to deny the British people a binding referendum on such a matter, With that being said, Mr. Speaker, I would invite my friend to submit an additional amendment, if he so chooses, that would result in the further clarification of this section of the bill. I am confident with the text where it stands, but always invite collaboration and suggestions from my colleagues on the back benches. Additionally, Mr. Speaker, I would like to confirm that the Government finds the Member's amendment as friendly. He has made an excellent argument in favor of this legislation covering passerelle clauses, and I see no reason not to accept this commonsense amendment. I would like to take a moment to thank the Leader of the Liberal Democrats for lending her party's support to the Act. While our views on most areas of policies certainly differ substantially, I am pleased that on this issue we can find common ground and that the Liberal Democrats will be working with the Government to expand the democratic rights and powers of the British people. And finally, Mr. Speaker, in response to the Shadow Foreign Secretary I would simply say this. I understand that the Shadow Foreign Secretary would prefer to focus on the political debates of the 1990s, as his party's leader is, after all, determined to bring the Labour Party back to the days of the 1990s. What is clear, however, is that the Conservative Party ran on a manifesto of providing a referendum lock on European Union treaties, and his party did not. Were Labour to have won the general election, the British people would have been flat out denied a referendum on Lisbon. Fortunately, the electorate had other plans.
  16. European Union Act 2008 Mr. Speaker, I rise today to introduce to the House the Government's European Union Act 2008. The purpose of the legislation is straightforward: to enshrine into law the guarantee that all major changes to existing EU Treaties be subject to a legally binding referendum of the British electorate. This landmark bill represents a historic transfer of power from Westminster into the hands of the British people. It guarantees that the citizens of this country are firmly in control of their democracy, and that only they have the power to determine if and when Parliament transfers sovereign control over lawmaking to Brussels. It ensures, Mr. Speaker, that the era of politicians making empty promises about referendums relating to the EU has come to an end. Specifically, the legislation makes two changes to existing law. First, it requires that any future amendment to either the Treaty on European Union (TEU) or the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) made by treaty must be first approved by an Act of Parliament before going into effect in the United Kingdom. This ensures that all future treaty changes are subject to a confirmatory vote of Parliament, and strengthens the power of Parliament in matters relating to the European Union. Second, the legislation requires that a legally binding referendum be held across the United Kingdom and Gibraltar whenever an amendment to either the TEU or TFEU is proposed that would result in a transfer of competence or power from the United Kingdom to the European Union. This portion of the legislation provides the statutory guarantee that the British public always be consulted on future transfers of power from Parliament to Brussels. Both aspects of the legislation will take effect immediately upon receiving Royal Assent. The introduction of this legislation is a good day for British democracy, and marks a turning point in our relationship with the European Union. It allows Britain to continue to play a leading role in the EU, while strengthening our representative democracy and putting power into the hands of the British people. I am privileged to be able to introduce this bill to the House, and encourage its swift passage.
  17. Mr. Speaker, Allow me to begin by wishing the whole House a happy and healthy Christmas season. In the spirit of the holiday I hope we can endeavor to work together, find common ground, and deliver lasting results for the people that we all serve. I rise today to share with the House an update on the Government's ongoing negotiations with our European partners in regards to the Lisbon Treaty. As I said earlier this year, I had a number of outstanding concerns with the present draft of the treaty, and the potential implications the Treaty as written would have for the United Kingdom. While I appreciate the efforts of my predecessor the former Foreign Secretary to negotiate a fair deal for Britain, there were substantial and serious failures made by the previous Government when it came to securing the best possible treaty text. As a result, when I went to Portugal to continue the negotiations on behalf of the British Government, I had two key goals. The first was to secure a formal and official opt-out from the Areas of Freedom, Security, and Justice. The AFSJ represents a collection of home affairs and justice policies, and will have broad implications on the domestic policy of the European nations that choose to participate in it. Here in the United Kingdom, if we were to allow the AFSJ to apply to our country we would in turn be expanding the authority of the European Union over virtually all areas of security, policing, justice, and border policies. The previous Government had not secured an opt-out in this area of competence, and had that fact gone unaddressed, the ratification of Lisbon would have radically expanded the authority of Brussels at the expense of the British people. Today, I am happy to confirm that EU Council President Luis Amado and our European colleagues have agreed to provide the United Kingdom with an at-will opt out for the AFSJ. This will allow the UK to choose which proposals of the policy area, if any, we would like to opt-in to. Second, and far more serious from my perspective and the perspective of the Government, was the opt-out to the Charter of Fundamental Rights negotiated by the previous Labour Government. Despite the assurances Prime Minister Blair made to Parliament about the alleged strength of the opt-out, a landmark report from this House's bipartisan European Scrutiny Committee has cast major doubts about the former Government's opt-out and overall negotiating strategy. In their report, the Committee concluded that the Blair Government failed to secure a properly comprehensive opt-out to the CFR, and that as a result EU case law decided on the basis of the CFR would have legal effect in the United Kingdom. The impact is very clear: while Labour's opt-out prevented the CFR itself from having legal authority in the United Kingdom, it failed to protect us from future case law or regulations created as a result of the CFR's interpretation. So today, I am pleased to confirm that EU Council President Amado has also accepted the Government's condition that Britain's opt out to the Charter of Fundamental Rights be expanded to include regulations and rulings that result from cases where the CFR is being interpreted. This massive win ensures that Britain is truly and totally opted-out of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, and guarantees that the CFR has no legal standing in the United Kingdom. Beefing up the language ensures that the CFR cannot be applied to Britain through the back door, and properly secures our ongoing independence as a properly sovereign nation. Out of political pride and motivation, the Labour Party refused to acknowledge the findings of the European Scrutiny Committee and would have accepted a opt-out riddled with holes and vulnerable to legal challenge. Now, because of the leadership of this Conservative Government, the British people can know with confidence that we will retain our sovereignty under this new EU treaty. I want to take this opportunity to thank my President Amadao, and all of my fellow EU Foreign Ministers, who have worked in such a friendly and productive manner over the course of these negotiations. With the round of talks in Portugal having concluded, European leaders should be preparing to meet in the coming weeks to finalize the treaty and vote on ratification. Barring no major textual changes, I will be recommending to the Prime Minister that the Government ratify the treaty and then put the treaty to the British people in a legally binding referendum. As a result of the major concessions the Government has won in Portugal, ratification of the Lisbon Treaty will strengthen Britain's position in the European Union while safeguarding the freedoms of the British people and the sovereignty of Parliament. I commend this statement to the House and am more than happy to take any questions from Hon Members.
  18. Posted Tuesday at 03:19 P Name: William Croft Avatar: Ryan Gosling Age: 40 Sex: Male Ethnicity: White Marital Status: Married Sexual Orientation: Gay Party: Conservatives Political Outlook: Free market Conservative, social libertarian, believe in small government. Constituency: Chipping Barnet Year Elected: 2001 (Narrative to come before the character creation deadline.)
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