Motion made, and Question put forthwith (Standing Order No. 118(6)),
That the draft Double Taxation Relief and International Tax Enforcement (Taiwan) Order 2021, which was laid before this House on 18 October, be approved.—(Craig Whittaker.)
Question agreed to.
On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. May I ask your advice on how best we can congratulate Mr Speaker on the flying of the Lancashire flag for Lancashire Day—it is the first time in history that a county flag has flown from the Palace of Westminster—and congratulate and thank him for acknowledging the historic counties of the United Kingdom? Could you also, perhaps, gently relay to him that 26 October next year is Essex Day, and that I, along with my colleagues from the historic county of Essex, would be thrilled to see the flag of Essex flown proudly from the United Kingdom Parliament? If you could relay that to Mr Speaker, I should be most grateful.
I thank the hon. Gentleman for his point of order. I remember that when the flagpoles were dedicated, he suggested to Mr Speaker that it would be wonderful to see the flag of the county of Essex flown from one of those flagpoles. Mr Speaker said, “Aye, but not till after Lancashire.” He has been as good as his word, and I shall make absolutely certain that he is informed before tomorrow’s Prayers about the approval that the hon. Gentleman has given and his request that in October the Essex flag also takes its place on one of the flagpoles.
On a further point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. It is a matter of great sadness that this evening one of Her Majesty’s realms will cease to be a realm. Barbados is to become a republic. May I say how deeply sorrowful I feel, as I hope all Members will, at the loss of a realm that has been loyal to Her Majesty the Queen, and at the fact that this is being done without a referendum and without the consent of the people of that realm?
These, sadly, are the last few hours of Barbados as one of Her Majesty’s realms. May I also express my sorrow at the loss of those wonderful people who have been part of Her Majesty’s realms and the Commonwealth for so long? I trust that any other realms that decide to adopt a constitutional change of this magnitude will do so, but only once the people have given their consent, rather than simply as a result of a decision by the Government of the day.
I hope that you, Mr Deputy Speaker, will relay this to those who need to know, because we are part of a great family, and to lose a member of that family today is a matter not just for sorrow, because it also feels like a great loss: it is like losing a proud member of our family. I hope you will take that on board.