John Baron

Basildon and Billericay

Conservative

AQA has taken a unilateral decision to scrap the A-level in Polish from 2018. Are you going to lobby the AQA to reverse their decision? If yes, are there any other actions which you would undertake in order to preserve the Polish A-level?

Whilst I am always sad to see a reduction in the amount of choice for students, l am conscious that AQA is deliberately independent from Government and, as such, I do not believe it would be appropriate for me to lobby on an issue such as this. I am sure you will appreciate that it must be left to exam boards to decide what qualifications to offer, particularly as they will be best placed to make such decisions based on uptake and other practical considerations

Poland was the most loyal ally of Britain in the Second World War and the Polish army contributed to the defeat of Nazi Germany. Would you therefore challenge some of the British media falsely labelling the German concentration and death camps as being “Polish” e.g. Polish ghetto, death camps of Poland, or, Poland’s Auschwitz?

I believe a better description would be ‘Nazi’ concentration or death camps. Germany has moved on since the Second World War and does not seek to condone the actions of Nazi Germany. As you correctly point out, the ideology which led to these camps was not Polish and I therefore believe that labelling these camps as belonging to either country is not useful.

Do you support promoting information about the positive contribution of Polish immigrants to the economy of the UK?

In my experience the vast majority of immigrants are genuinely seeking work rather than benefits and I have no doubt that Polish immigrants have contributed to our economy – and I have said so. This said, I do believe that there needs to be appropriate controls on immigration given the pressure large-scale immigration can put upon our public services

In the event of Brexit, would you support granting an unconditional Indefinite Leave To Remain to the EU citizens who have lived and worked in Britain under the freedom of movement rules?

In the event o fa Brexit, I would expect us to join the European Economic Area

Would you consider joining the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Poland and finding out about its activities and initiatives?

Given my Chairmanship of the APPG on Cancer and continuing membership of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee [hopefully] and other campaigns here in Parliament, I’m afraid I will not be able to give the APPG on Poland the time commitment should become a member. I therefore hope that you will forgive me for declining the invitation at this time.


Questions were sent out after the elections.