Debates of 23 Oct 2019

PRAYERS 10:58 a.m.


Mr Speaker 10:58 a.m.
Hon Members, Correction of Votes and Proceedings.
Page 1…13 --
Mr Iddrisu 10:58 a.m.
Mr Speaker, I would want to educate myself by getting clarification from the Table Office.
On page 11, paragraph 11 of the Votes and Proceedings -- I would want to believe that I heard you right. Subsequent to reading the Communi-
Mr Speaker 10:58 a.m.
Thank you very much.
It is notably so. In fact, if you look at the context closely, it was not a request of the visiting Excellency. If you look at the President's letter, the request is internal.
So, please contextualise it well and also add the fact that I asked the Women's Caucus to be mindful of the visit of Her Excellency, and seize the opportunity to also put up an appropriate show for us.
I trust that we shall all endeavour to make it a very successful occasion. So, please let us rephrase that and put it in the right context.

Hon Members, in the absence of any further corrections, the Votes and Proceedings of Tuesday, 22nd October, 2019, as corrected, is hereby adopted as the true record of proceedings.

Hon Members, we have the Official Report dated 11th July, 2019. Any corrections therein, please?
  • [No correction was made to the Official Report of Thursday, July, 2019.]
  • Mr Speaker 10:58 a.m.
    Hon Members, item listed 3.
    We are in the month dedicated to handling breast cancer issues. We have a Statement by Hon Sarah Adwoa Safo, Chairperson of the Women's Caucus on the Floor of Parliament to mark the breast cancer month. She will deliver it now.
    We also have another Statement by Dr Bernard Okoe Boye on the
    same issue. He would go on after that to make his contribution.
    Yes, Hon Chairperson of the Women's Caucus?
    STATEMENTS 11:08 a.m.

    Ms Sarah Adwoa Safo (NPP -- Dome/Kwabenya) 11:08 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, as the World Health Organisation (WHO) set aside the month of October for breast cancer awareness dubbed as “pink month”, I wish to make this Statement to commemorate the day by adding my voice to create the awareness of this dreaded disease. The breast cancer awareness month is celebrated in many countries across the world every October by conscientising and supporting awareness creation by advocating for early detection and treatment for the disease.
    Mr Speaker, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC Globocon, 2008), there are about 1.38 million new cases and 458,000 deaths from breast cancer each year and it is estimated to be the commonest cancer worldwide. According to the WHO, breast cancer is by far the commonest
    Dr Bernard Okoe Boye (NPP-- Ledzokuku) 11:08 a.m.
    I thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to make this Statement on breast cancer in the month of October, which passes as the breast cancer awareness month.
    The breast cancer awareness month is marked in every October to increase awareness of the condition, and more importantly to champion an early detection and
    Mr Speaker 11:18 a.m.
    Thank you very much, Hon (Dr) Okoe Boye.
    Hon Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings?
    Dr Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings (NDC -- Klottey Korle) 11:18 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the
    Statements and also to commend the two Hon Members who made them.
    Mr Speaker, there is an adage that we should know ourselves; and in the very same way, we must also know our breasts.
    Mr Speaker, as previously mentioned in both Statements, a very important part of the issue of breast cancer prevention is screening and, as part of that, breast self-examination.
    Mr Speaker, the most important thing is for both men and women to understand their own anatomy, and one of the important ways to check this is in the shower. With soapy water, it is easier for the hands to examine the breast. In the shower, one could look at the breast and divide it into four quadrants, and using the flat of the palm to just examine the entire breast up around and then move towards the areola and also examine it.
    A woman could also pinch her nipple to observe whether something would come out of it. The armpit could also be checked to feel for any lumps and bumps, and this could be done by the woman herself or by her partner.
    Mr Speaker, to identify early what is wrong, we need to know what a normal breast feels like. In order to do that, the woman needs to select a
    Minister for Communication (Mrs Ursula G. Owusu-Ekuful) (MP) 11:18 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I must commend the two Hon Members who made the Statements which give us a timely reminder of October as the breast cancer awareness month, and the various contributions made on them that have further educated all of us on simple measures to take during breast examinations and things to watch out for.
    Mr Speaker, I would want to contribute a little bit on what career women could also do to facilitate breastfeeding and reduce the guilt that is associated with leaving their babies when they go to work for others to take care of.
    Mr Speaker, if all organisations had baby and child-friendly spaces in their work places, it would make it easier for working mothers to take time off when their babies need to feed. In those spaces, there should also be child-care attendants who would take care of the babies while the women are at work. That would reduce the guilt associated with either leaving their work to go home to take care of the babies or leaving them for others to take care of.
    Mr Speaker, Parliament could take the lead by just providing one room somewhere with an attendant.
    We increasingly have younger Hon Members of Parliament (MPs) who have babies they need to attend to while the House is in session. So they could bring their babies to work knowing that some paid attendants, who are suitably qualified, would take care of their babies while they are engaged in parliamentary duties.
    Some organisations have already done that, and I would single out MTN for special mention. They have baby and child-friendly facilities in their offices. I would want to encourage all other businesses to also do same because this would facilitate work, as more women increasingly enter the work place and make it easier for us to juggle and meet the many commitments on our time.
    Mr Speaker, as indicated, if early detection would make it curable and the way to have early detection is to regularly examine our breasts, which has been spoken on at length, I would not add to that. I would want to reiterate the fact that we live in a superstitious society where so many people attribute physiological conditions and some diseases to witchcraft and spiritual attacks from others. Early detection is the key to a cure. So we should not focus so much on the spiritual, but take the simple
    measures that would help to protect all of us and preserve our lives so that our families, communities and the nation could continue to enjoy our company and the benefit of our work. Breast cancer is curable if it is detected early.
    We could all help ourselves and our communities by engaging in breast examination regularly, reporting to the relevant health institutions if we see that anything is out of order, and taking the simple remedies and requirements that have been prescribed for us.
    Mr Speaker, I thank you.
    Mr Ras Mubarak (NDC -- Kumbungu) 11:18 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute to this very important Statement that affects a lot of women in our country.
    Mr Speaker, we have a once-in-a generation opportunity to save a lot of lives. From the campaign of breast cancer awareness, I have realised that largely, it is women who have been targeted. Even though it is a women- related issue, I believe men could also play a role in helping their wives to prevent it. I would want to encourage the campaigners and all of us that indeed, men have a role, so they need to be roped into the campaign against it.
    Dr Nana Ayew Afriye (NPP -- Eddiduase Asokore) 11:28 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for the opportunity to contribute to the Statements and also to commend the Hon Members who made it.

    Mr Speaker, I would want to take it from the point of healthcare financing. It is clear that globally, the prevalence is more in low- to- middle income countries, and it is more related to financing. Whereas in advanced countries, mammography is encouraged though quite expensive, in developing countries, it is not really plausible. So researchers are looking at alternative methods, through clinical examination for early detection.

    Mr Speaker, if indeed the NHIS takes care of breast cancer patients to an extent - It comes back to the issue of technical and allocative efficiency of resources. Indeed, if we look realistically at the mobilisation of funds into the NHIS, which has been a very tricky subject such that whenever we want to push for public discussion it becomes more political and dies out. If there is funding, there is a possibility that a breast cancer patient seeking healthcare would even have preventive healthcare, which would encourage such a person to do a mammogram to have an early detection.

    It is not all the time that one could palpate or see the lumps and discharges through the nipple. There are some that cannot be seen by the eye or even felt by the tongue, which

    is where early detection counts. It is also expensive and impossible. Is it possible for the NHIS to include this? We would say there is no funds for it.

    As a country, we would have to come to a position to ask to what extent we are willing to help mothers and women who suffer breast cancer. Could we allocate resources if the NHIS is not able to cater for all? What could we do to increase the premium or fund mobilisation for the NHIS, and for them to also accept this interest?

    Mr Speaker, indeed, as a country, we take care of pregnant mothers. After this policy came about in around 2006, nothing new has been added on by others. We all talk about this year-on-year, and this would come again next year. Yes, education is important; but so is financial resources to effectively support the education. If one goes to educate, he or she talks about early check. Yes; one should use one's hand clinically, but they should go and do a mammogram. Who would pay for it? If we look at the prevalence rate, more of these patients cannot afford it.

    So indeed, it comes back to whether we are willing to use social healthcare, which recognises equity and risk equalisation, to support these

    needy women; or we would keep talking about it year-on-year whereas something, through policy, cannot be done about it. If we on both Sides would be realistic in talking about the premiums and what the NHIA could mobilise and even allocate for a breast cancer control programme, then we would definitely be very frank to the issue.

    Mr Speaker, I thank you so much for the opportunity that is given for me to speak on this issue.
    Mr Governs K. Agbodza (NDC -- Adaklu) 11:28 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to contribute to these very important Statements made by our Hon Deputy Majority Leader, and my Hon Colleague and very good Friend, Dr Okoe Boye.
    Mr Speaker, many Statements have been made in this House in the past about breast cancer. It is only when it gets to one's home or somebody close that one would understand that it is terrible and needs the attention of everybody.
    Mr Speaker, I also noticed that both the victims and their families fear stigmatisation about breast cancer.
    Mr Speaker, the last issue is getting treatment currently for breast cancer; it is not because one cheated on her

    husband or was bewitched. It is a disease that exists.

    Mr Speaker, my point would be made simply on one issue because my Hon Colleagues have talked about many other things, including funding. I am horrified that because we are a very superstitious society, even somebody who is well-educated and diagnosed of breast cancer at stage one could ignore medical help or substitute medical help for a prayer camp or herbal medicine. I believe in God, but I believe it is the same God that ensures that there is a medical doctor who can help somebody, held when we are sick.

    Is it the case that we do not believe our medical staff are capable of treating us? When one is diagnosed at stage one, which we are told one has a 99 per cent chance of healing, one still prefers to pay GH¢ 40,000.00 and fly to Nigeria to see a pastor or pay GH¢60,000.00 to fly to South Africa to see a pastor.

    Mr Speaker, what would be the reason somebody would do this to himself?

    In a majority of the cases, one goes round and spends all his savings and family fortunes on these, but ends up at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) because they were not able to cure them. It is not to say that

    miracles do not happen. Yes, we are told that Jesus Christ fed 5,000 people with a certain number of loaves of bread and fish before --
    Mr Emmanuel K. Agbodza 11:28 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I yield to my Hon Colleague.
    Mr Speaker 11:28 a.m.
    I was not going to compel you to yield but, well, you have -- [Interruption.]
    No, you have, so Hon Member?
    Mr Bedzrah 11:28 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, yes, I just would want my Hon Friend to substantiate the claim he made that some people go to South Africa for a miracle. If he has the statistics that people go to South Africa for a miracle, he should show it to us. [Laughter.]
    Mr Agbodza 11:28 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I can see the Hon Minister for Communications here. For the sake of the privacy of certain individuals, I am unable to mention names; but I know that on Thursdays, there are busloads of Ghanaians who leave this country to Nigeria to see a certain pastor to seek protection and all sorts
    Mr Agbodza 11:38 a.m.

    Mr Speaker, this is a very serious issue. I am aware of a family whose mother and wife is suffering from this terrible disease has been punished extra. The other family suggested to her that she had been cursed with this disease because she did something bad as a wife. If this is the mindset of some Ghanaians, how possible would it be for a young lady who unfortunately contracts this disease to come forward and seek help?

    Of course, the person would be scared of the stigmatisation right from home, and that is why some of them leave it till late. They would rather go and borrow money, and attempt to go to spiritualists to see whether it would work. In the end, many of these families become devastated; they consume all their savings and even sell off their properties, but sadly, it does not work.

    Mr Speaker, whatever we do, we should give confidence to the country that, indeed, God exists and is supernatural. He can do everything; but I am sure it is the same God that

    made sure that Hon Dr Okoe Boye is a medical doctor as well as other people here who could help us treat this and leave the rest to God. I am not saying that once one goes to the hospital, he or she would be healed; but I believe it is better for one to go to the hospital early than to take one's sickness to a prayer camp where there is no guarantee.

    If we watch certain channels in this country, it is quite amazing. Again, the Hon Minister for Communications is here; is it allowed for somebody to have a television station that basically talks about one getting spiritual help and could we ask for proof? I am sure that if a medical doctor says that, he or she can cure Human Immuno- deficiency Virus (HIV), the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) will call on him to prove it. So, why is it that when a spiritualist claims publicly on record that he or she can cure cancer or HIV, he or she is left to go? I think that the Hon Minister can help us with that.
    Mrs Ursula G. Owusu Ekuful 11:38 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, since my position was mentioned twice --
    Mr Speaker 11:38 a.m.
    Your title was mentioned and not your good name.
    Mr Agbodza 11:38 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I refuse to be drawn into that. I thought that my Hon Colleague who is an Hon Minister would have stayed on the path of helping us instead of almost degenerating the argument into mentioning names of former Presidents and so on.
    I consider the Hon Minister as a resource person and so, if her Ministry is not involved in that I would leave it as it is. The situation still remains that if it is the Ministry of Information that is even responsible for that content, I maintain that when a medical doctor makes a categorical statement of being able to cure certain dangerous diseases, I am sure that the GMA and so on, would ask him or her to substantiate it.
    Mr Speaker, how is it that somebody acquires a spectrum on television and can make categorical statements of being able to cure cancer or HIV? The fact that we are not able to bring these people to substantiate such claims gives credence to the fact that the supernatural exists in that way and so more people are going to such people and this is not unusual.
    I am saying that I am a victim of breast cancer and so I know what I am talking about. We could gloss over it and say that it is for those who are suffering, but sickness is not located in one geographical area or family. I think that we could suffer it today, but someone could be helped tomorrow if the right things are done. Others have talked about mammo-
    mammogram and others, and I believe that Government should especially invest more into those living in the rural areas without District hospitals. If this is becoming an epidemic, then Government should reconsider the way we make these things available. I have had constituents die from this, simply because of ignorance or they were not even aware until it was late.
    Mr Speaker, Parliament can take a decision on this and help everybody who is suffering. I agree with those people who believe that maybe, the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) should consider taking up on the cost of breast cancer treatment.
    Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity.
    Mr Speaker 11:38 a.m.
    Thank you very much, Hon Member for Adaklu.
    Mr Michael Y. Gyato (NPP -- Krachi East) 11:38 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity. Permit me to use this opportunity to thank the Hon Members who made the Statements on breast cancer awareness.
    Surprisingly, I read a literature that says that men also develop breast cancer, but it is just that theirs is quite minimal compared to that of the
    women. So I would also want to take this opportunity to appeal to the men that when they see any abnormalities on their breasts, they should take advantage to go in for screening.
    Mr Speaker, my emphasis will then be on the aspect of prevention. Like most Hon Members have said, women who allow their children to breastfeed have a lower risk of getting breast cancer. So, if that is one of the options, why not encourage our women to increase the breastfeeding of their children so as to prevent breast cancer?
    However, most women are of the view that when they allow their children to breastfeed for too long, it deforms them; but which is better, to deform their looks or go in for chemotherapy? So let us encourage our women to also consider the option of allowing the breastfeeding to curb the incidence of acquiring breast cancer.
    There is also another issue that talks of developing the western lifestyle and that is why breastfeeding is becoming common in our part of the world. Most women keep unnecessary substances in their brassieres and so on. For instance, some women actually hide mobile phones which radiate, money and other unwanted materials which are contaminated within their brassieres. We would want to appeal to our women that
    Mr Speaker 11:38 a.m.
    Hon Minister for Communications, you are being quite persistent.
    Mrs Owusu Ekuful 11:38 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I was just a bit intrigued by the Hon Member's insistent reference to most women putting unwanted substances in their brassieres. So, I wanted him to provide us with evidence of where he got that --
    Mr Speaker 11:38 a.m.
    I thought I heard him say; “some”.
    Mrs Owusu Ekuful 11:38 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, he said “most women” and added that they put substances on their breasts when they have -- So, I am wondering how he came out with that
    statistical -- This is a house of records and so, if the Hon Member keeps referring to “most women” putting substances and concoctions in their brassieres which can cause diseases of the breast, then I am constrained to ask him for the evidence of those numbers that he put out.
    Mr Speaker 11:38 a.m.
    In fact, Hon Minister, we are told that some of those concoctions include bleaching concoctions.
    Mrs Ekuful 11:38 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Member mentioned foam and I was wondering how many women's breasts he had sampled to know that most of them put foam in their brassieres
    Ms Helen A. Ntoso (NDC -- Krachi West) 11:48 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Statements made by Hon Safo and Hon (Dr) Boye.
    Mr Speaker, breast cancer is mostly regarded as a disease that occurs in only women. More often than not, when there is a campaign on breast cancer, campaigners do not talk about the risk of men also getting breast cancer. So it is very important that we would have a better
    understanding of the causes of breast cancer so that our health authorities would not talk about the risk of only women getting breast cancer, as men can equally get breast cancer.
    Mr Speaker, it would interest you to know that when health authorities go out to talk about breast cancer, the programmes are normally organised at the district levels and the people who live in the hinterlands do not have the opportunity to listen to these campaigns. So I would use the opportunity to urge the Ministry of Health that if such programmes are organised in future, then it should not be just in the districts, but they must include the hinterlands. For instance, they should visit the communities on the islands in the Krachi West Constituency with their breast cancer campaigns.

    Mr Speaker, because one of the symptoms of breast cancer is the
    Mr Speaker 11:48 a.m.
    Hon Member, do you rise on a point of order?
    Dr Nana Ayew Afriye 11:48 a.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to raise a point of order against my Hon Colleague.
    Mr Speaker, contrary to her position which is subjective -- I doubt that there is a publication to it -- breastfeeding which involves sucking the nipple does not -- [Interruption.] Mr Speaker, in effect, it is actually encouraged and it is associated with the good sides of not having the disease. It is not a symptom or associated risk. So maybe, the Hon Member is writing her own book and until the book is published, it cannot be tendered here.
    Mr Speaker, we encourage breast sucking, but if the Hon Member meant to say that mothers who have discharge which may have some
    Mr Speaker 11:48 a.m.
    Dr Okoe Boye.
    Dr Boye 11:48 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, as an adult, having the breast sucked does not increase or decrease the risk of breast cancer. However, if there is discharge while the breast is being sucked and the mother is not breastfeeding, then as my Hon Colleague said, it is important to mention it to the doctor.
    Mr Speaker, but let me add that the chances of breast milk coming out is based on hormonal levels. So it is possible that a woman who is not even breastfeeding a child -- Mr Speaker, it is the action of sucking that allows breast milk to flow. The sucking stimulates the production of a particular hormone which allows breast milk to flow. So if there is no sucking of the breast of a woman who has delivered and is lactating, the woman could have breast engorgement. So it is very important
    to report, especially if the colour is not the usual colour, but it is red, dark or any other colour. So sucking or not sucking does not increase or decrease the risk, but it is important to mention the discharge to a doctor.
    Mr Speaker, thank you very much.
    Mr Speaker 11:48 a.m.
    Hon (Dr) Agyeman- Rawlings.
    Dr Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings (NDC -- Klottey Korle) 11:48 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you very much.
    I was only going to reiterate what Dr Boye has actually mentioned.
    Mr Speaker 11:48 a.m.
    The doctors are in agreement.
    Ms Ntoso 11:48 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, my Colleague Hon Member on the other Side did not understand me. What I said was that one of the symptoms of breast cancer is the discharge from the nipple -- [Interruption]
    Ms Ntoso 11:48 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am saying that it is a symptom. There is an adage that says; when dry bones are mentioned, then old woman get worried. I am saying that it is a symptom.
    Mr Speaker 11:48 a.m.
    Hon Member, is it a cause or a symptom?
    Ms Ntoso 11:58 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, a discharge from the nipple is a symptom and so I advise men who are fond of sucking breast; if a woman is not breastfeeding and a man is sucking a breast and there is any discharge, he should advise the woman to go for a check-up: that is medical advice. This was what I said. It is an advice so that the men help in fighting breast cancer. The men should help in this campaign against breast cancer. This is because from research and what the two Hon Members in their Statements said, men can equally have breast cancer. So this is just an advice.
    Mr Speaker, we have to seriously embark on the campaign against breast cancer so that it would reduce the risk of having it and the death associated with it.
    Mr Speaker, on this note, I thank you for the opportunity.
    Dr Afriye 11:58 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, it would be suicidal for us to leave here and create fear and panic thinking that a woman who is not lactating and has a discharge via the nipple is suffering from breast cancer. We should say --
    Mr Speaker 11:58 a.m.
    Hon Member, nobody has said or insinuated that in the least, but that, under normal circumstances, when a person is not breastfeeding and in the process of sucking the breast, the person realises that there is a discharge, the Hon Member is only saying that it is prudent to go and examine what the causative factor of that discharge is.
    Yes, Hon Member?
    Mr Ebenezer O. Terlabi 11:58 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, when the breast is sucked violently, one can have a discharge which might not necessarily mean there is something wrong.
    Dr Sebastian N. Sandaare (NDC -- Daffiama/Bussie/Issa) 11:58 a.m.
    Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the Statement ably made by my two Colleague Hon Members on this very important day dedicated for breast cancer. In fact, the entire October is a Breast Cancer Awareness month.
    Indeed, breast cancer is a disease of public health concern that affects low and middle-income countries, and because it affects the poor mostly, our interventions would have to be affordable to help us manage the condition effectively.
    Mr Speaker, there is no controversy about breast cancer. The
    Mr Speaker 11:58 a.m.
    The Hon Minister would wrap up---
    Mr Alexander K. Afenyo- Markin (NPP -- Effutu) 12:08 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker, when I entered the Chamber, I saw the excitement. There is no doubt that it was on an all- important matter, the nature of which all of us need some education.

    Mr Speaker, I have listened to my Hon Colleagues who are in the field of medicine. They have educated us. I have listened to other Hon Colleagues telling us the things we have to look out for by way of symptoms. Later submissions reveal that not only women are affected, but men can equally be affected.

    So Mr Speaker, I am making the point that in addition to a man detecting discharge as a possible symptom during the process of sucking, women must also look out for same. It is a fact. The adults here would bear me out that women also suck.

    Mr Speaker, they know. If they want to dispute it, they should tell me; but they know.

    Mr Speaker, we would have to take the education a step further. I believe that the issue of compre- hensive sexuality education is necessary here, because if our children who are growing up are not made to know these things, they would get out of hand. It is not only Hon Members of Parliament who would have to pay attention to the education; our constituents also get affected.

    A woman came to me recently and she had virtually lost her breast. The
    Mr Alexander K. Afenyo- Markin (NPP -- Effutu) 12:08 p.m.
    cost is expensive when they have to undergo chemotherapy and all of that, meanwhile, we do not have special funds to support people in that condition.
    So Mr Speaker, I am happy that the Hon Minister for Health is here to wrap up the contributions. I look forward to him making very important announcements in that area; research, treatment, and support to the various Members of Parliament in terms of education and support for treatment. These are important announcements that we look forward to hearing from him.
    In all, it has been an educative and pleasurable morning, and Hon Members have taken the opportunity -- Mr Speaker, including your good self. I am not inviting you into the debate, but I have seen a lot of smiles from you.
    Mr Speaker, you did not participate in the debate, but you look excited because this important matter is being discussed, and it will help the health of our women.
    It is not only breast cancer which is a problem; we have heard about cervical cancer, and I know that at the opportune time the experts in this House will educate us. Those who like going down will be educated on things
    they should look out for so that they can help detect it early enough, because if that does not work, the person cannot work.
    Mr Speaker, these are very important matters that we should not shy away from. These are not joking matters. They are serious health matters that we should be bold as a Parliament to discuss.
    I commend whoever brought up the topic here, and I wish him long life. He should research and bring cervical cancer and prostate cancer issues for us to discuss early enough. You turn 60 years old as a man and you begin getting worried. We need education on all of these. It is not only the women, but we the men as well. How can you be home with your madam and you cannot function? You may have all the money in the world, but if you are educated enough on prostate-related issues, you would perhaps check your lifestyle and know what to do.
    So we need comprehensive education, and I strongly urge my Hon Colleague, Dr Okoe Boye, and my respected Colleague, Dr Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings to do a joint research on the other areas as soon as possible.

    Mr Speaker, let me clarify the research I mean. I mean that they should read more. They are experts in that field. I am not talking about practical research -- [Laughter] -- people must get me clearly. I do not want to allow ambiguity in this matter, so that they help us and run training programmes for Hon Members of Parliament.

    They can lead discussions and teach us, that these are the things we have to do and the things we do not have to do. It is not enough. We need education. Apart from Dr Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings and Dr Okoe Boye, there are some doctors here including Dr Ayew Afriye. These are very important matters.
    Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu (NPP--Dormaa Central) 12:08 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    Mr Speaker, let me first of all thank my Colleague Hon Members who are
    part of the Women's Caucus in the Chamber for bringing up this issue of advocacy and public education that is part of the promotional activities we carry on at the Ministry and in the country.
    Mr Speaker, all the research findings and comments that my Hon Colleagues have made are very factual. The statistics we have at the centre at the moment indicate that non-communicable diseases have climbed to virtually become the number one killer diseases in our country now, even more than malaria. The incidents of breast cancer are just so many, and they keep on rising.
    Mr Speaker, for these types of diseases, early detection seems to be a very critical antidote to solving the problem. Therefore we would need to find ways to expose our women, and give them facilities where they would do very frequent testing and screening.
    One good technique for this early detection and screening is by touching the breasts to see what is in there, and I have started advocating with my doctors in the Ministry that they should sit the men down and teach us how to even touch the breasts so as to examine them in our bedrooms and elsewhere when we meet our wives and others.
    Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu (NPP--Dormaa Central) 12:18 p.m.
    So this is a very important issue, and the Ministry and Government are taking bold steps to do many things to help those who have the disease. We have just launched a programme that is introducing one of the very critical medications that is used to treat breast cancer; Herceptin. We have put it on the NHIS Covered Medications list, and we have partnered the producer such that we are buying it far cheaper than how much it is sold in Europe and elsewhere.
    So very soon, our women with breast cancer can easily access it on the health insurance medications list. If you have breast cancer and you have the national health insurance card, you would have access to that medication to enable you to live longer and solve the problem.

    Mr Speaker, apart from this, I remember that during the campaign for us to come to this Side of the Chamber, our party leader in his manifesto wrote that he would pay attention to non-communicable diseases and develop a policy on them.

    We have collaborated with the Cancer Society of Ghana and Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), one of the renowned international organisations that does
    Mr Speaker 12:18 p.m.
    Thank you very much, Hon Member.
    Yes, Leadership?
    Mrs Comfort Doyoe Cudjoe Ghansah (NDC -- Ada) 12:18 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity.
    I would also like to thank the Hon Members who made the Statement; the Hon Adwoa Safo and the Hon Okoe Boye for their wonderful Statements.
    Mr Speaker, in paragraph two of the Statement by the Hon Okoe Boye, it states that according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, there are about 1.38 million new cases, and 458,000 deaths from breast cancer each year.
    Mr Speaker, if we listen to all the contributors, we would notice that everybody talks about early detection or diagnosis, which could help prevent deaths that result from breast cancer.
    Mr Speaker, let us ask ourselves as a nation 12:18 p.m.
    “do we have time for our health issues?” “Do we take good care of our health”? “And again, in the course of the year, do we plan for our health”?
    Every New Year, we write down our resolutions, and we talk about the
    Mr Speaker 12:18 p.m.
    Thank you very much, Hon Member.
    Hon Members, anything from the Majority Leadership?
    Ms Safo 12:18 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, there is nothing on the Side of the Majority.
    Mr Speaker 12:28 p.m.
    Thank you very much.
    Hon Members, from what we have discussed, the Clerk-to-Parliament and the Director of Development
    should identify appropriate room or rooms in Parliament here immediately for our use as a nursing place for mothers.
    We see clearly, the nexus between breastfeeding and the avoidance of some of these incidents. In fact, I would request once more, for the Hon Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings and the Hon (Dr) Okoe Boye, who have been very helpful in these matters, particularly concerning the establish- ment of the gymnasium, to also take this upon themselves and take the two officers to task; the Clerk-to- Parliament and the Development Officer, so that we have this matter done immediately. At least, it would be an example that Parliament has a regard for our women.

    We thank the Hon Minister for his contribution and we request that he should accelerate the coverage of women fully in this regard by the National Health Insurance Scheme. This would be a real exhibition of regard and commitment towards women's rights in these circum- stances.

    We have one Statement on Brexit which would be taken by the Hon First Deputy Speaker --
    Mr Speaker 12:28 p.m.
    In fact, it is worthy of note that the Hon Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings had met me in my office and raised this matter already for which matter I directed that her good self and her companion, Hon (Dr) Okoe Boye -- companion in a very positive sense -- should kindly look into that matter. In fact, I had directed the Clerk-to-Parliament earlier to do that. Now, acting Clerk- to-Paliament, the ball is fully in your court. I expect some results within a few weeks.
    Mr Iddrisu 12:28 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I just want to join the Hon Deputy Majority Leader in recognising the very important directives and decisions you have taken subsequent to accepting the Statements on breast cancer and appreciating that it should be detected early, and indicating that the Clerk- to-Parliament, together with his management, take the appropriate steps to do what is right for us as a House to recognise women.
    Mr Speaker, if I can ask you to add to your directive, particularly to the companion in that positive sense, that they should further bring you a paper on palliative care relative to the management of breast cancer having been detected and it being treated.
    I coincidentally bumped into two doctors with the Hon Deputy Minister
    for Health, Hon Tina Gifty Mensah, on my recent trip to Rwanda. They indicated to me their frustration on the flight that there was no policy in Ghana on palliative healthcare. Mr Speaker, from the statistics that we have, there are about 458,000 deaths arising out of breast cancer and there is about 269,000 of them which come from middle income countries, and there is no sufficient knowledge about its causes.
    Mr Speaker, let the young men here be warned. Those of them, who because of the fact that God is the best physician and they know what the breast does to them to arouse their sexual appetite, have been advised accordingly. I am ending on a very interesting note.
    Mr Speaker 12:28 p.m.
    All that are to be covered accordingly by our two Hon Members.
    I will vary the Order Paper slightly. We shall come back to the Statement on the matter relating to Brexit and its consequences. Meanwhile, we would do Presentation of Papers.
    At the Commencement of Public Business -- item listed 4.
    Then, the Hon First Deputy Speaker would take the Chair with regard to the second Statement.
    Item listed 4(a) -- Majority Leader and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs.
    Ms Safo 12:28 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to seek permission to lay the said Paper on behalf of the Hon Majority Leader.
    Mr Speaker 12:28 p.m.
    You may.
    PAPERS 12:28 p.m.

    -- 12:28 p.m.

    Mr Speaker 12:28 p.m.
    Item 4(b) -- Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources.
    Ms Safo 12:28 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I would like to ask for permission for the Hon Deputy Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources to lay the said Papers on behalf of the Hon Minister.
    By the Deputy Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources (Mr Patrick Yaw Boamah) on behalf of the (Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources) --
    (b) (i) Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes serviced by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (1992 Water Convention).
    (ii) United Nations Convention on the Law of the Non- Navigational Uses of International Watercourses (1997 Watercourses Convention).
    Referred to the Committees on Works and Housing and the Foreign Affairs.
    Mr Speaker 12:28 p.m.
    Item numbered 4(c) -- Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation.
    Ms Safo 12:28 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the Hon Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation is currently out of the jurisdiction and so, I would want to ask for permission for my good self to lay the said Paper on his behalf.
    By the Deputy Majority Leader and Minister at the Office of the President in charge of Procurement (Ms Sarah Adwoa Safo) on behalf of the (Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Inno- vation) --
    (c)Headquarters Agreement between the Government of the Republic Ghana and the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA)
    Referred to the Committee on Environment, Science and Tech- nology.
    Mr Speaker 12:28 p.m.
    Item numbered 4(d) -- Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture.
    Ms Safo 12:28 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I beg to seek your permission to lay the said Paper on behalf of the Hon Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture.
    Mr Speaker 12:28 p.m.
    Yes, you may.
    By the Deputy Majority Leader and Minister at the Office of the President in charge of Procurement (Ms Sarah Adwoa Safo on behalf of the Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture) --
    (d) Tourism (Travel Trade Enterprise Registration and Licensing) Regulation, 2019.
    Referred to the Committee on Subsidiary Legislation.
    Mr Iddrisu 12:38 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I appreciate that the Hon Deputy Majority Leader has had to lay the Paper captured as item 4(d) on the Order Paper on behalf of the Hon Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture. We have had situations where this is done pursuant to article 11 of the Constitution as the mandatory counting of the days is a constitutional matter.

    Therefore she must be prepared tomorrow to take responsibility when we start counting and we do not have copies of it. Every day as the clock ticks we would be interested in appreciating that, it has been laid appropriately in pursuant to the parent Act. We do not see the Hon Minister;

    she has done it on behalf of the Hon Minister.

    Thank you.
    Mr Speaker 12:38 p.m.
    We will go back to the Statement on BREXIT. The Statement stands in the name of Hon
    Dr Kojo Appiah-Kubi 12:38 p.m.
    BREXIT and Its Potential Impact on Ghana.
    Hon Member, you may start.
    Hon Members, the Hon First Deputy Speaker will take the Chair in the process.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Member for Okoikoi Central, I thought Dr Appiah-Kubi had been called to make a Statement. Do you have any objection to that? What do you want to tell me?
    Mr Patrick Yaw Boamah 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, rightly so. I would want your ruling on this issue.
    Mr Speaker, BREXIT is an important programme before the British Parliament. It has not crystallised; the British Parliament has not taken a decision on it. My Hon
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    Before I open the matter for discussion, could you guide me? From which of our Standing Orders do you raise the objection?
    Mr Boamah 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, with your permission, I beg to quote Order 72:
    “By the indulgence of the House and leave of Mr. Speaker, a Member may, at the time appointed for statements under Order 53(Order of Business) explain a matter of personal nature or make a statement on a matter of urgent public importance. Any statement other than a personal statement may be commented upon by other Members for a limited duration of time not exceeding one hour. The terms of any such proposed statement shall first be submitted to Mr Speaker.”
    Mr Speaker, I seek cover under “….make a statement on a matter of urgent public importance.” So, we need to understand how urgent the matter is to the Ghanaian public, especially when the British Parliament has not made any determination on that.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    Hon (Dr) Appiah-Kubi, kindly resume your seat; I have not called you yet.
    Hon Boamah, are you done?
    Mr Boamah 12:40 p.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    Hon Member, so the issue you have raised is that a statement must be either of urgent public importance or personal.
    Hon Member, I would want to hear you on this objection before I determine whether --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    If you want to be heard first, I would hear you and then I will hear the others. An objection has been raised to your Statement, could you persuade us whether it is of urgent public importance or of personal interest?
    Dr Appiah-Kubi 12:40 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker.
    I believe this Statement is very urgent --
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Member, I am listening to you. Do you want to answer to the objection raised? I thought that was why you were on your feet. In that case, can I hear the Hon Leaders on this matter?
    Mr Iddrisu 12:40 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, our Standing Orders have been referred to, but it probably may not provide a definite cure because it did not anticipate this kind of development.
    Mr Speaker, from what we heard from the Rt Hon Speaker, you admitted the Statement, it reads: Impact of BREXIT - [Interruption] -- You did not use ‘potential'. You heard the Rt Hon Speaker's words. You just added ‘potential' -- [Interruption] -- Yes, the word ‘potential' was tied to ‘impact'.
    Mr Speaker, I may want to invoke Order 93. But even as I struggle to do so, it says, “… a matter for which a judicial decision is pending.” Do I have your permission, Mr Speaker, to substitute the words “judicial decision pending” for “legislative decision pending” by an extension of it.
    Mr Speaker, in this matter and for our purposes and properly raised by the Hon Deputy Minister, there is a matter pending a legislative decision.
    With your permission, I beg to quote Order 93(1):
    “Reference shall not be made to any matter on which judicial decision is pending in such a way as may, in the opinion of Mr Speaker, prejudice the interest of parties to the action.”
    Mr Speaker, the interest of the party is whether Prime Minister Boris Johnson is winning, or the House of Commons supports him or not, subsequent to the probation ruling of their Supreme Court on this matter.
    Mr Speaker, with your permission, I beg to read Order 95(1) 12:40 p.m.
    “It is out of order to anticipate a Bill…”
    For our purposes, it is not a Bill but a statement. As I said, Mr Speaker, I would need your leave and that of the House for the discussion of a motion which deals with a subject matter of a bill on a day prior to the appointed day for consideration. Today and tomorrow, the British Parliament would consider it. By our over extension of it again --
    Mr Speaker, with your permission, I beg to read Order 95(1) 12:48 p.m.

    Standing Order 95(2), I am told by the Hon Anyimadu-Antwi, and with your permission I read:

    “It shall be out of order to anticipate a Bill or a motion by discussion of an amendment to it.”

    Mr Speaker, clearly, our Hon Colleague and this House can wait because they were our colonial masters and remain one of the world's dominant superpowers. There is no conclusion; therefore the anticipated potential impact is in itself inconclusive. This House should not be encouraged and should not be in any rush. Ultimately, from what we are picking up, whatever decision they take -

    Mr Speaker, let us not forget that the President of the Republic and others are engaging at the level of the Commonwealth to discuss what this impact may be, relative to the British Commonwealth. Therefore if it pleases you to stand the Statement down, it would be worthwhile. If you however, choose that we proceed, we are in your hands.
    Ms Safo 12:48 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, with the preliminary objections, if I am allowed to use that in the Chamber; in court, that is what we would say, raised by the Hon Member for Okaikoi Central,
    Hon Patrick Boamah on whether or not the Statement be read and debated on the Floor, there are two sides to the coin.
    Mr Speaker, the first is the grounds for inviting your good Self to step the Statement down which in stricto sensu, we do not find expressly in our Standing Orders. We are taking inductions from the implications of certain Orders that we have in our Standing Orders, which relate to judicial decisions that are pending in court and other related matters.
    In stricto sensu, if we go by the line, it means that nothing in our Standing Orders is on whether the debate on international matters should be equated to that which is stated in respect of judicial decisions and other matters.
    Mr Speaker, we are the masters of our own rules. I remember when we entered this Parliament and were on the back bench of the Minority Side, whenever Hon Doe Adjaho was stuck in the middle, Hon Papa Owusu-Ankomah would just stand up and tell him that we are still masters of our own rules.
    Mr Speaker, on the other hand, it can engage us in an intellectual discussion if you properly and
    judiciously guide us in the debate, so that we do not cross into dangerous grounds. It could be regulated in that way from the Chair.
    Obviously, it is a very interesting international matter that even international broadcasting media houses such as Cable News Network (CNN), British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and Al Jazeera have taken keen interest in and discuss it everyday. Are we then saying that these discussions where they have political and international brains give their take on how it would go, and whether their countries would stand to benefit -- ?
    Mr Speaker, more importantly, the Hon Minority Leader rightly said that they were our colonial masters, so what happens in England concerning BREXIT and its effects and potential benefits or demerits to us should engage our Parliament as well. However, we should be mindful in our discussions and it could be regulated by your good Self. I do not see anything in our Standing Orders that prevents us from engaging in that intellectual discussion as a Parliament.
    The Statement has been admitted by the Rt Hon Speaker who is a very experienced diplomat, having served in former President Kufuor's Government
    in various portfolios. He saw the Statements and admitted same before he left the Chair. So if we take the two sides of the coin and given the fact that we are masters of our own rules, we could regulate it, so that certain blank statements that would prejudice BREXIT are not made.
    Mr Speaker, we could ask, to what extent would our discussion prejudice or tilt the decisions of our former colonial masters? We have to weigh these things. They would also be interested in what our Parliament is discussing and the challenges we stand to face. The European Union (EU) Parliament is discussing it. I have left the Pan-African Parliament, but I am sure it would interest every Parliament, since the United Kingdom continues to stand tall when it comes to international matters.
    Mr Speaker, we are in your hands. This time, our Standing Orders lie in your bosom.
    Thank you.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 12:48 p.m.
    Hon Members, I think I have heard enough from the Leaders and there does not appear to be any strong objection from either Side. The critical point is that the admission of a Statement is at the sole discretion of Rt Hon Speaker. If he had declined to admit it, it would not have reached here. Once it is before us, it means that the

    Rt Hon Speaker has admitted same. Therefore I invite the Hon Member to read the Statement.
    STATEMENTS 12:58 p.m.

    Dr Kojo Appiah-Kubi (NPP -- Atwima-Kwanwoma) 12:58 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, Brexit is simply British exit or pull out from the European Union (EU). This goes back to June 24, 2016, when the United Kingdom (UK) voted 52 by 48 per cent to leave the EU in a historic referendum. The referendum emanated from the campaign pledge of David Cameron, the then Prime Minister of Britain, to the electorate that he would initiate a national referendum to determine whether Britain still wanted to be in the EU or leave, if he won the 2016 general elections.
    Mr David Cameron's pledge was indeed made on the back of the long held view of many in the UK that they spend much more as contributions to the EU than they receive as benefits from being part of the EU. For the leave campaigners, issues with ‘immigration' and ‘sovereignty' also played a major role, whereas the remaining campaign focused on the
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:08 p.m.
    Yes, Hon Member for Adansi Asokwa?
    Mr Kobina T. Hammond (NPP -- Adansi Asokwa) 1:08 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you very much.
    I was just about running through the Statement. I have not quite been able to do it but since my Hon Colleagues are not inclined to making any contributions, I may as well make my contribution.
    Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague is talking about Brexit and seems to be spelling a doomsday scenario for Ghana, possibly, because there is going to be Brexit. I do not quite get it.
    Britain, from the days of the late Margaret Thatcher, who was for some of us, the doyen of British politics, had been fighting the European Union (EU). It goes back to the year 1972 when a decision was made in the European Union that Britain wanted an economic integration with the rest of the world. It was perceived simply as an economic arrangement of trade between equally sovereign countries. Along the line, there was the fear that things were beginning to become something of an European super state and Margaret Thatcher would not have any of that.
    Mr Speaker, I recall when Margaret Thatcher had all those battles with the then President of the European Commission, Jacques Delors. It was not an interesting spectacle. She was in the House of Commons on three occasions to tell them that no, Britain would not have anything to do along the lines that Jacques Delors was handling the European arrangement.
    They went on to the extent that the words -- and I specifically quote the terms that were used by the then
    Mr Kobina T. Hammond (NPP -- Adansi Asokwa) 1:18 p.m.
    Prime Minister as the Consecutive Party became split into the wet and the dry and the battle went on till Margaret Thatcher was toppled and John Major became the Prime Minister.
    Mr Speaker, indeed, the battle was profound to the extent that the then Prime Minister then, John Major was recorded to have described some of his colleagues as ‘bastards'. The newspapers actually wanted to know the identities of who the ‘bastards' were and eventually, some of us got to know a few of the names, but did not quite get the full complement of those who were the ‘bastards' but that was what it eventually became.
    So, there have been difficulties, if not the entire House at least, in the Conservative Party. David Cameron thought that this matter would have to be put to rest one way or the other and so he pledged a referendum and he actually campaigned for Britain to remain in the EU by giving a free vote to his people but in the end, he lost and those who wanted to leave the EU won. They wanted a free trade arrangement with the rest of the continent but not a political supra- state.
    Mr Speaker, a situation in which some of them have actually found
    quite outrageous is that for a democracy like Britain, they have a court of Human Rights which is called the European Court of Human Rights which interprets for Britain to follow. I am not sure whether that makes me happy but I can quote one of the former Hon Members of the House of Lords — You would recall the 11 judicial wing that sat in judicial capacity which used to be the Supreme Court then but it was still the House of Lords. Since the year 2009, there has been a proper Supreme Court, so to speak.
    One of its members; Lord Hoffmann is on record to have said that he does not understand why those people think that they can teach their grandmothers how to suck eggs. Basically, who are they to tell Britain what to do? This is the kind of battle that has been going on. Is Britain trying to sustain what it believes it was? At a point in time, it surveyed the whole of the oceans, had all the colonies and now, some countries were trying to colonise it and Britain would not have any of that.
    Mr Speaker, that was what happened. So eventually, the debate for the referendum was won and lost and David Cameron decided that it was too much for him and he could not lead a Government when he had campaigned to remain in the EU and
    had lost the referendum. Theresa May became the Prime Minister and for those of us who have been following with keen interest, she had a battle of her life as it is and she was not able to make much of it. When you watch what happens in their Parliament, you wonder what on earth is going on. Their Parliament could not agree on anything and there was an occasion where there was about six votes the same day in that House and they could not agree on a single thing.
    As we speak, they are still debating. Theresa May lost and Boris Johnson is there trying as much as possible to get out of the EU. It is simple and when you consider relating the British situation to the Ghanaian situation; you may ask, are we in Ghana quite comfortable to see a situation where the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is turned into some economic super- state and then dictate to Ghana and all that? It gets a bit conflicting.
    Mr Speaker, I do not see any fear in what Britain is doing as far as our economy is concerned. Indeed, if anything, it is going to enhance our trade relations with them.
    Days before Theresa May left office and indeed, after Boris Johnson took over, news had been sent all over
    the world to their old colonies of Australia, Canada, America and indeed, I do understand that Tony Blair and quite a lot of the significant figures of British policies have been to this country. They have been here to draw up business which they are now going out of the EU and for that reason, they should be able to engage in free trade relationship with any country of their choice including the United States of America, and Ghana is one of them.
    Mr Speaker, I would ask my Colleague Hon Members not to panic, fear nor be apprehensive at all. In fact, if the Hon Member were to recall that in about the year 2017, our trade exports to the United Kingdom amounted to US$329.47 indeed, after he said it had actually increased to US$350 when it had dropped to about US$329. [Interruption] -- Mr Speaker, with your permission, let me read that section again: “Mr Speaker, in 2017, Ghana's exports to the UK amounted to” --

    Mr Speaker, it is the other way round; “… US$329.47 million after having declined successively from about US$350 million in 2011.”

    Mr Speaker, the House should have hope; in the years to come after Britain has successively left the
    Mr Kobina T. Hammond (NPP -- Adansi Asokwa) 1:18 p.m.

    European Union, there would be an exponential growth of trade between Ghana and the United Kingdom (UK) because they have not forgotten about Ghana. I recall a recent debate when Ghana's name came up specifically as part of countries that have very long standing relationship with the UK.

    Mr Speaker, for those of us who have been following with keen interest, Brexit is not a do-or-die issue for Ghana. We can be sure not to have any security or economic adverse impact or relationship with them. We would flourish and do well and our trade with them would increase. Mr Speaker, our relationship with Britain would flourish until ‘‘Thy kingdom come''.

    Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity.
    Mr Kwame G. Agbodza (NDC -- Adaklu) 1:18 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Statement made by my Hon Colleague on Brexit.
    Mr Speaker, there are British sitcoms or comedies that were recorded about 30 or 40 years ago and some of the jokes in them go like, the British tried to dismantle the EU, but they could not do it from outside so they entered and tried to dismantle it from within. Mr Speaker, it is a
    comedy, but it is quite a practical joke today.
    Mr Speaker, the people who decided to promote or ask Britain to leave the EU were largely the right wing part of the political divide in UK, and it was a sentimental issue because they believed that Britain should remain a sovereign State and it should not be dictated to by the EU Parliament. For instance, a British court could give a ruling on human rights issues and a European court could overturn the ruling by saying that it is inconsistent with European human rights law.
    Mr Speaker, it is also interesting to note that when David Cameron finally gave in to allow the free voters, in his private conversation with people, he said that he thought that the people of Britain were not going to agree to vote to leave. It was no wonder that he campaigned to remain. He gave the opportunity for people to vote yet he the Conservative Prime Minister did not campaign for the exit. The vote was 51 per cent against 49 per cent and so it was a surprise to a lot of people in Britain that they actually voted to exit, because there was no preparation as to the consequences of exiting. The average British consumes almost everything which is foreign. Their hospitals are filled with doctors and nurses from
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:18 p.m.
    Hon Member, you would hold on.
    Hon K. T. Hammond?
    Mr K. T. Hammond 1:18 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I think that we should be very careful about some of the statements.
    My Colleague Hon Member said that those who wanted to leave run a very deceptive campaign. I think that we should be very careful about this. I have not heard anywhere that they run a deceptive campaign because they made their points in very strong terms why they should leave and in the end, the votes went as close as he suggested. They voted to leave and so I think we should be careful about the issue of deception and so on.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:18 p.m.
    Well, he is explaining what he considers as deception and so I think he is entitled to that.
    Mr Agbodza 1:18 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, just like my Hon Colleague, I voted in that election.
    Mr K. T. Hammond 1:18 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I did not vote and so if he said that ‘just like my ...' -- [Interruption]
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:18 p.m.
    Hon Member, do you want it to be on record that you voted? I would advise that we stay out of that --
    Mr Agbodza 1:28 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I am not a British citizen but I am a permanent resident in the United Kingdom. We are a member of the Commonwealth and so a Ghanaian student in UK has the right to vote. They are not like us that citizens only vote as it is in article 42 of our 1992 Constitution. There is nothing wrong. Even if a Ghanaian student is doing just a one year course, he or she has the right to vote in the UK.
    Mr Speaker, to the salient point, I think that those who campaigned by saying that Britain could save £350 million a week if they left the EU mounted a deceptive campaign because that is not true. It is common knowledge in the UK today that Boris Johnson lied to people. Mr Speaker, did we not hear when people said that what he told the Queen was improper, and the courts agreed? So, this is not an issue.
    Secondly, all of a sudden, everybody who is a citizen of Europe could live, work and benefit from the UK was becoming a burden on them.
    Indeed, the citizens of the European countries that are not economically well endowed had their citizens basically flooding the UK because it was a better place in terms of economic prosperity. This was becoming an issue for them to deal with.
    Mr Speaker, but their situation is not different from ours. It is not the case that in this country we have people complaining about other citizens from West Africa and at the same time we are talking about integration and being able to trade freely among ourselves. We want a common currency yet when we find a citizen of another West African country trading or doing business here, we take issues against them. This was exactly what was happening in the UK. They thought; how could a person from France all of a sudden become like a citizen and enjoy everything else?
    Mr Speaker, is it not the same case in South Africa where sadly South Africans would burn down shops belonging to Nigerians and claim that their jobs have been taken over? Mr Speaker, it is not different but the only thing is that they are doing it in a civilised way, that a law should be passed, that they are no longer part of the EU and if a person is from France, that person cannot enjoy the same rights as a British.
    Mr Speaker, it is ironic that the West made us believe that the way to
    prosperity is to liberalise and open our doors so that anybody from anywhere could come and help us, yet the two key proponents of those theories; United States of America (US) and UK are now practising the highest level of protectionism.

    President Trump is on it in America saying that everything that is not American is not good enough. Britain is on it through Brexit, and guess what, in this country, we are now the new champions looking at it from the angle that the only way this country can develop is for us to allow unbridled integration of everything. I am not saying it is not a good idea, but let us learn from Britain. Otherwise, I am sure one day, somebody would say -- [Interruption.] It has happened before under the Aliens Compliance Order. I am sure those were the things that led to somebody waking up one day and saying that some people should leave this country because they were taking our jobs.

    So Mr Speaker, the Statement is very apt. There are lessons for Ghana. As for the economic lessons that we may not get for trade, to be honest, there is not much we gain from this relationship today. I say the amount of money Tullow Oil, which is a British company extracts from Ghana is

    many folds bigger than whatever Britain gives us in terms of aid. How much money does Britain give us? But Tullow Oil's operations on our oil fields is huge, the same way Cosmos's operations on our oil fields get hundredfold of money. What they give us is peanut.

    Let us learn out of this. It is important. I must commend former President Kufuor and others. We are never going to turn our backs on our traditional allies; the West and other things, but I am sure if China or Russia brings something that is more important to solve our problems, let us not shut the door on them. Today, we benefit more from health in terms of medical personnel from Cuba than Britain. Is it not the case? How many British medical officers are in this country helping us? But Cuba which is under sanctions is able to do that. So international diplomacy has changed.

    We should never go to the table as novices, that they are our colonial masters. I cannot blame them for anything. In fact, I do not even believe that they were wrong at all times because, at a point in time, it was Africans who were arresting and selling their own brothers to the Europeans. So they did come here, arrested our people and took all of them away. In any case, if you go to

    the British High Commission and American Embassy today, you would see a long queue of people who are still trying to leave, not because anybody is forcing them to leave. They would want to leave by themselves.

    So Mr Speaker, Brexit is a very important case study for all of us. Whether they would be able to leave under the terms or not, we live to see. But even if they leave, it would not affect trade with Ghana so much. Whatever Britain needs from Ghana, they would continue to get from us. Rather, we should begin to re-assess ourselves that if they eventually leave and come back for trade negotiations, we should negotiate a better deal now than what it used to be when we were negotiating under the European condition.

    Mr Speaker, I believe it would have been a tragedy if this Statement was prevented from being read. By your wisdom and ruling, you allowed this Statement. I think it is a very good thing. It might not affect the right of Ghanaians in the United Kingdom. If one is Ghanaian living legitimately in Britain, none of the Brexit proposals would make him turn back as is happening in America. If one lives and works genuinely there, nobody would take that right away. I believe Britain cherishes the relationship between us,

    Ghana cherishes that relationship as well and they would do everything to protect it. It is the responsibility and right of the British to decide whether they are in the European Union and what they want. It should be the responsibility and our right to decide to be part of any regional integration and what we get out of it. If we want single currency, we should be interested in what we get out of it.

    Britain was in the European Union but refused to use the Euro. They continue to use the Pound. Somebody said it is because they have always one leg in and one leg out. So not much would change. We are told that our economy would take a little bit of heat, but eventually, this is a country that has colonised over one hundred countries and till today, nobody is at war with them. They have managed to keep themselves safe before. I do not think an exit from the European Union alone would damage anything. Britain is a very resilient country. Whatever they do, let us take the opportunity to extract our own interest when that happens, whether they are able to leave or not. I think Brexit is a very good case study for international diplomacy and international economic relations. If they get it wrong, we would know what to do the next time.

    Mr Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:28 p.m.
    That brings us to the end of Statements Time.
    Yes, Hon Leadership? Do you have any other matter?
    Mr Kwame Anyimadu-Antwi 1:28 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, apart from the fact that committee meetings have been listed, I pray that we adjourn the House till tomorrow.
    Mr Joseph Y. Chireh 1:28 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I wanted to contribute to this discussion on BREXIT but now that you have closed the chapter and since it is no longer -- [Interruption.] He has not moved, he just made a comment. So I can make my contribution.
    Mr First Deputy Speaker 1:28 p.m.
    Statements time is over. I asked
    Mr Anyimadu-Antwi 1:28 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I did, and I repeat. I hereby move, that the House be adjourned to tomorrow at 10 o'clock in the forenoon.
    Mr Chireh 1:28 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I second the Motion.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    ADJOURNMENT 1:28 p.m.