In this first contribution to debates over the amendments to the bill Lord Bilimoria asks a question to Lord Strathclyde about whether the Home Secretary’s promise to give Parliament a say can be trusted. Lord Strathclyde’s response is included
Lord Bilimoria asks the Minister if he agrees that UK universities are the best in the world and states that this is due to the large number of foreigners who are academics in these institutions.
In his contributions to this debate Lord Bilimoria spoke twice. In his first contribution he notes his past and interests with regard to beer and British Pubs. He discusses the various amendments and their impacts on pubs and concludes with his full support for the amendments, although they are not the full solution to the problems facing pubs, as they work to protect British pubs. His second contribution is to note that the Lord speaking at the time, Lord Hodgson, does not appear to him to be speaking for the pub industry and certain groups that represent them support the amendments.
In his contributions to this debate over the amendments to the European Union Notification of Withdrawal Bill Lord Bilimoria spoke three times. In his first speech he states that the democratic result of the EU referendum must be respected and discusses some of the justifications used by people to vote to leave. He argues that EU migrants working in the EU should have confirmation that they can remain in the UK and stresses their value to the UK economy. He further discusses the impact of leaving the EU on the Higher Education system and states that students coming to study in the UK should be removed from immigration figures. He concludes by discussing some of the contemporary issues around this debate, such as accusations of being unpatriotic by opposing Brexit, and that in the case of sovereignty we already possess it. The second contribution is added here as a record although its full context can be found on the Hansard website. In his third contribution he states that free trade agreements include goods, services and people. He notes that a third of academics in UK Higher Education institutions are from outside the UK and stresses the need for continued forecasts of impacts on the UK.
In this question Lord Bilimoria contributes to the debate by acknowledging his role as vice-patron of the Memorial Gates on Constitution Hill and explaining the Memorial Gates in greater detail. He asks the Minister if he believes that there should be a Sikh memorial in London and notes his pride at being a part of the the Joint Committee of both Houses that put up the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Parliament Square. He concludes by stating that memorials are there to commemorate, remember and inspire.
In this question to the Minister Lord Bilimoria asks if the Minister will acknowledge that one of the best ways of increasing productivity is to invest in Higher Education and research and development innovation. He also asks if the Minister would agree that the UK under invests in Higher Education compared with other states and yet retains the best universities in the world.
In this question Lord Bilimoria asks if the Minister will confirm that after the UK performance in the Rio Olympics there was a shortfall of £3 to £4 million for athletes to go to the Commonwealth Games in Australia and whether he can provide assurance that this shortfall no longer exists. The response from Lord Ashton is also provided.
In this second contribution to debate on this day Lord Bilimoria spoke twice. In his first speech he stresses the need for autonomy among Higher Education Institutions and of Innovate UK and how it’s work should not be stifled or interfered with. He concludes by urging the Government to listen to the amendment. In his second speech Lord Bilimoria mentions that when asked by a group of education leaders from India what his concerns over Brexit were with regard to the education sector he states that his biggest concerns research. He states the key to research is collaboration which is already suffering between UK and EU institutions. He argues that collaboration must be encouraged with the European Union and thus he supports the amendment.
In his first contribution of the day Lord Bilimoria argues Higher Education institutions function well through their autonomy and their strength is based on their research capability. He concludes by stating that the autonomy of the research councils must be ensured and protected.
Lord Bilimoria stresses the importance of the 3 million EU citizens working in the UK citing examples such as their contribution to the NHS. He states the Minister cannot confirm how many are currently in the UK and how many of them are here beyond five years and thus eligible to stay under permanent residency rules.