13/03/2017 Monday in Parliament


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13/03/2017

Highlights of Monday in Parliament presented by Joanna Shinn.


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The Commons and Lords thrash out the bill which paves the way for leaving

:00:18.:00:33.

the European Union. The EU has been clear we cannot open these

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discussions until the Prime Minister has given formal notification that

:00:37.:00:39.

the UK wishes to withdraw from the EU. It is about whether we will

:00:40.:00:46.

honour the unequivocal commitment made by the official vote to leave

:00:47.:00:50.

campaigns that if the United Kingdom voted to leave the EU, the rights of

:00:51.:00:55.

all EU citizens in the UK would be guaranteed. Add a setback for the

:00:56.:01:00.

government is Peers vote that international students shouldn't be

:01:01.:01:06.

classed as economic migrants. You want our trade. You don't want our

:01:07.:01:11.

children. Said by the Prime Minister of India. First, the Commons and the

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Lords have returned to the bill which will pave the way from

:01:18.:01:22.

Britain's exit to the union. Two amendments will put down by the

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House of Lords last week, one requesting a meaningful vote on the

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Brexit deal, the other to guarantee the status of EU migrants living in

:01:31.:01:37.

the UK. David Davis said that couldn't be discussed after Article

:01:38.:01:41.

50 had been triggered. We must pass the straightforward

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bill without further delay so the prime in this can get to work on the

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negotiations and we can secure a quick deal that secures the status

:02:00.:02:03.

of both European Union and citizens of the UK and also UK nationals

:02:04.:02:13.

living in the EU. Nick Clegg said that his family situation was echoed

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by many other households in the household. My mother has lived here

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for 50 years, she is great four years, she's been a teacher

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bumptious pater taxes, my wife loves this country. Not the weather-bob at

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the country. It's raising children here, pays taxes, works. It beggars

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belief. It beggars belief that people like them and millions like

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them have had a question placed over their status, their peace of mind,

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their whale being in our great country because of the action or the

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shameful in action of this government. Many of my constituents

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in their 40s who never voted before because they thought until then

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their voices and votes didn't count, they did so for the first time. And

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contrary to what commentators on both the left and right may say,

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these people are not simpletons, they are not children. They are

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adults with as much right to vote as you and I. They knew the risks of

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voting to leave and they did so anyway. We must respect that

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decision and not seek to undermine it. Even if we thought the

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international trade Secretary was right to say they were an important

:03:28.:03:33.

card to play, even if that were acceptable language, it is not like

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a nuclear deterrent. If you're not prepared to follow through with

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deportation or to use people in that way, then it cannot be a bargaining

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chip or a card to play. The Lords have in certain -- inserted this

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amendment to give Parliament a meaningful vote and ministers are

:03:55.:04:00.

asking them to venture it out of the bill, is disease-mac to delete it,

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so that they should ask themselves today we want to actively go through

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the lobbies and delete that from the text as the bill currently stands?

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There has been no agreement about what to do with UK citizens. Now the

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government on the three month mark, the EU commission knows full well

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they are going to be dragged back to the house, now they must explain

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regardless of what those discussions regardless of what those discussions

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and negotiations are. I can think of nothing worse than to bind their

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hands in the worst way and make sure hands in the worst way and make sure

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that UK nationals don't get reciprocal arrangements. MPs voted

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to overturn both amendments sending the bill back to the Lords again.

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The United Kingdom's withdraw from the EU is obviously one of the most

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momentous steps that our nation will take in our lifetime. I believe

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significant opportunities do indeed lie before us. As someone who voted

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to remain, I am not deaf to people's concerns, and I don't dismiss those

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concerns as somehow betraying a lack of patriotism but that decision to

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leave the EU has been made, and they spill, this very simple bill,

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delivers on that decision. It's about whether we will honour the

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unequivocal commitment made by the official leave campaigns that if the

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UK voted to leave the EU, the rights of all citizens in the UK would be

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guaranteed. Unlike most other issues arising from the referendum, there

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is absolutely no dispute about what was promised to EU citizens. During

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the campaign, the vote leave campaign, supported by a number of

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noble Lords in this house, made the following categorical statement

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"There will be no change for EU citizens already lawfully resident

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in the UK." A post-Brexit deal could liberate the haggis. In a nod to the

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announcement that Scotland's first Minister will be seeking a second

:06:15.:06:18.

independence referendum, Boris Johnson said new trading agreements

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could allow the delicacy to be sold in the United States. Currently,

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it's banned there because it contains sheep 's lungs. It would be

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in the interests of every part of this country because it is the case

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at the moment, honourable members might not know this, the United

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States not only has an embargo on British beef but on Scottish haggis

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as well. I think it would be a fine thing, I didn't know whether members

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of the Scottish parties agree with that, but there is no other way of

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doing a free trade deal and liberating the haggis to transfer

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and travel across the Atlantic unless we do a free-trade deal with

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the United States. Let me remind our friends from the Scottish

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Nationalists party, who seemed so determined to tear themselves, to

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wrench themselves apart from the UK, even though they had a decisive

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referendum... A decisive referendum on this matter, as members opposite

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will recall, only a couple of years ago. Let me just remind them. Never

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mind haggis. The Scotch whisky exports to India, a potentially huge

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market, the Indian thirst for whisky is colossal, currently running at

:07:43.:07:44.

only 4%. Scotch whisky sales only only 4%. Scotch whisky sales only

:07:45.:07:49.

account for 4% of the Indian whisky market. That is because at the

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moment, without a free-trade deal, the Indian government imposes a 150%

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tariff on the Scotch whisky. As the government starts to think however

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belatedly about the kind of future relationship at wants with Europe,

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they should consider what kind of relationship they want with the rest

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of the world and in doing so we need more than warm words from the

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government. We need a plan. I believe our foreign office has been

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at its very best and it has been allowed to give proper weight to the

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values of Britain in its foreign policy as well as British interests,

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and I had the Secretary of State will look to that legacy, embrace it

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and build on it, not undermine it any further than he already has. The

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government has defended its 2% Nato spending commitment after

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suggestions from Labour it had been missed. The opposition also

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criticised war pensions and the figure. The minister said the

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spending was within Nato guidelines. One Conservative MP asked about the

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Nato members missing the 2% target. Which of our Nato allies do not

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currently spend 2% of GDP on defence and what reasons have they given for

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doing so? Subject to the constraints of brevity! The 23 that don't spend

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2% would take too long to list but I can reassure my honourable friend

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that the five that meet the 2% target are the US, the UK, Poland,

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Greece and Estonia, and I'm sure my honourable friend can did use the

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absentees. Does the Minister appreciate that a free and Germany

:09:33.:09:35.

would not only give concern perhaps to some of Germany's neighbours but

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also to Russia... That would, in fact, potentially increase the

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difficulty is that we face with tensions on the Russian border. I

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disassociates myself from the honourable lady's remarks. That was

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extraordinary. How many ministers come here to say exactly the same

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thing? Some of our European partners take this whole thing for granted

:10:08.:10:12.

and we and the Americans pick up the bill. What are we going to do about

:10:13.:10:15.

it and make them pay what they should pay. Well, I'd like to

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reassure my honourable friend there is progress. There are five

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countries that meet the 2% target, up from three from 2014. There are

:10:26.:10:31.

ten countries that meet the 20% pledge on major equipment and

:10:32.:10:36.

research, and the cuts to defence spending have been halted. The

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National Institute for strategic studies concluded the government had

:10:42.:10:44.

missed the 2% Nato defence spending target and would have missed it by

:10:45.:10:48.

even more if it hadn't included budgetary headings such as pensions

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that don't contribute to defence capabilities not included when

:10:56.:10:58.

Labour was in government. Isn't it time we went back to the criteria

:10:59.:11:02.

used for defence spending went this party was in power so that we may

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give our armed forces the resources they need? Well, mostly, Mr Speaker,

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I wonder if he's read the report of our own select committee which says

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they commend the UK government's commitment to UK defence and find

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its accounting criteria for within Nato guidelines, as does Nato

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itself. The defence Minister. This is Monday in Parliament. Still to

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come, MPs ask how to deal with crumbling school buildings. Many

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containing asbestos. First, five-year-old April Jones was

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murdered by Mark Bridger in 2012. He kept images of child sex abuse on

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his laptop. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. He is never reveal the

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whereabouts of her family has been campaigning for all of those guilty

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of sex offences to have their names on the sex offenders register for

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life. They also want to see the Internet better policed and for

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harsher sentences to be imposed on people caught with indecent images

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of children. A petition calling for these changes started by the family

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gained so much support it prompted a debate in Westminster Hall. April's

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parents, Paul and coral, and has is to Jasmine watched the proceedings.

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I was on my iPad, when I read that a girl had disappeared in

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Montgomeryshire. There was something about that tweet because it wasn't

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an unusual tweet. You get tweets like that but there was something

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about it that made me feel a sense this was something serious. The

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family's MP recalled the intensive search for April Jones. Six days

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later, we now know that a local man Mark Bridger was arrested and

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charged with abduction and murder and perverting the course of

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justice. In May 20 13th, he was found guilty and sentenced to life

:13:20.:13:24.

imprisonment. The sentencing judge rightly, in my opinion, pronounced

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he should never be released from prison again. The loss of April

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Jones hit rural Welsh communities hard. It shattered our comfortable

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belief such horrors could never happen here in Wales, said speak,

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such monsters could not live among us. I want to pay tribute to April's

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family. In the midst of the unfathomable horror of their

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experience, they've succeeded in ensuring that while her murderer

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will seek out his life -- live out his life in obscurity, April will be

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cherished and her legacy should be that children are better protected.

:14:15.:14:17.

A member of the Petitions Committee said it was one of the most

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difficult issues she's had to talk about. The petition April's family

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established calls for all sex offenders to remain on the sex

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offenders register for life, for service providers and search engines

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better policed, and for harsher sentences for those caught with

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indecent images of children. I'd appreciate it, and I'm sure those

:14:40.:14:44.

following this debate, if the Minister would clarify the

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circumstances which would allow someone to be taken off the

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register, and whether any monitoring of activity is undertaken for those

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no longer subject to the notification requirements. She

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raised another campaign supported by April's family to force murderers to

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state where their victims remains are located. Coral Jones has said,

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"As her mum, I'd love to know where she is, we'd all love to know. No

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mother or family would like their child's remains elsewhere. They'd

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like to put them at rest." The minister spoke to the Jones family.

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I simper cannot imagine the horror of what you've had to experience.

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And you are an inspiration to us all, how you have managed to take

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such there are, and the worst imaginable situation, and to use

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those feelings so constructively to campaign for changes to make sure

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that no other family has to experience what you've had to

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experience, and no other community has to suffer what you've suffered.

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And I thank you sincerely for your bravery and your persistence in

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bringing this matter to the attention of the people of Great

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Britain, and us here today. She said ministers had

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to comply with a court ruling in 2010 enabling people to

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apply to have their names removed. We were told there must be

:16:10.:16:16.

reasons... Opportunities for them to be

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considered and it was this objection about human rights,

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not to be denied a family life. At the time, the

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Government was worried and disappointed by the ruling

:16:26.:16:28.

and we remain disappointed today. Say she said she was very

:16:29.:16:31.

sympathetic to the demands of the petition and the concerns

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of the Jones family. Senior education officials have been

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pressed by MPs over a report that found nearly ?7 billion needs to be

:16:39.:16:41.

spent to bring England's school buildings up to a

:16:42.:16:45.

satisfactory standard. The financial watchdog,

:16:46.:16:49.

the National Audit Office, warned the deteriorating school

:16:50.:16:53.

buildings were a significant The Government said it

:16:54.:16:55.

will spend ?23 billion between now and 2021

:16:56.:16:58.

on school buildings, many

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of which are more than 40 years old. The Public Accounts

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Committee first heard from the former headteacher of a school

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which was recently moved a new building after

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problems with asbestos. On windy days, literally,

:17:10.:17:12.

the wind got through the building, We had two or three cases

:17:13.:17:20.

where we had to close of schools and in fact students had to go

:17:21.:17:36.

into the defumigation van, emergency van,

:17:37.:17:38.

to make sure they were de-dusted

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and hosed down and cleaned. parents would call emergency

:17:42.:17:48.

services and so on but that was not a building that was fit to have

:17:49.:17:52.

children in for several years, really, prior to its closure

:17:53.:17:55.

and moving to the new building. They were first challenged over

:17:56.:17:58.

asbestos in schools. The only way to address the asbestos

:17:59.:18:01.

is to rebuild the building. The cost of rebuilding the estate

:18:02.:18:04.

is roughly ?100 billion. Roughly 85% of schools

:18:05.:18:16.

in the sruvey have asbestos in them. The advice of the Health

:18:17.:18:19.

and Safety Executive is to leave asbestos

:18:20.:18:21.

where it is and manage it,

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because it is difficult asbestos in situ,

:18:24.:18:24.

not damaged, but... It sounds like a reasonably

:18:25.:18:30.

unique situation, I hope. Like that, you would

:18:31.:18:34.

attempt to remove it or do something better with it,

:18:35.:18:41.

but the majority of asbestos is within the building

:18:42.:18:43.

and best left alone. When it becomes dangerous, yes,

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of course you have to do that. The questioning and then turned

:18:46.:18:48.

to the Government's drive to open hundreds more free schools

:18:49.:18:50.

at a cost of nearly ?10 billion. Are you confident that

:18:51.:18:53.

what is designated on the scheme are sufficient to ensure

:18:54.:19:01.

not to that the 6.7 billion gets addressed, but that schools don't

:19:02.:19:05.

fall further behind and that figure, So, we will be able

:19:06.:19:07.

to give you a much better answer to that question when

:19:08.:19:15.

we have the results of the condition You will know there is enough money

:19:16.:19:18.

in the pot to stop it getting We will know how much schools have

:19:19.:19:24.

depreciated over the five years At the moment, all we can

:19:25.:19:34.

rely upon is what local About three fifths of

:19:35.:19:42.

local authorities tell them their estate has got better

:19:43.:19:48.

in the last five years and a quarter The free schools programme will be

:19:49.:19:52.

9.7 billion by 2021. How do we reconcile that fund

:19:53.:20:07.

for not just a novelty, the novelty of opening schools

:20:08.:20:10.

and parents having a choice with findings all schools in a way that

:20:11.:20:13.

satisfies the needs of local parents It is vital to achieve three

:20:14.:20:15.

things. We need to be able to tackle

:20:16.:20:18.

the condition of existing schools, it is vital that we provide

:20:19.:20:25.

additional 500,000 or so places every parliament

:20:26.:20:28.

because that's what the population demonstrates is required

:20:29.:20:30.

and we are required to achieve the manifesto agreement

:20:31.:20:35.

of increasing choice. We have to do all those three things

:20:36.:20:37.

and to those with spending, that's why I referred to as ?14 billion

:20:38.:20:40.

we would have spent by the end of this Parliament on tackling

:20:41.:20:43.

the ?6.7 The novelty of 500 targets

:20:44.:20:45.

to the detriment of funding mainstream regular funding

:20:46.:20:54.

going into all schools makes it difficult for those schools that

:20:55.:20:57.

aren't free schools to boost themselves up if the funding

:20:58.:20:59.

that they receiving I'm working just on the basis that

:21:00.:21:01.

you expect me as the accounting and delivering a manifesto

:21:02.:21:11.

commitment and that is what I am You could have a debate in another

:21:12.:21:18.

place about the balance between competing

:21:19.:21:22.

political priorities. Women who order abortion pills

:21:23.:21:22.

online without seeking a doctor should not face criminal

:21:23.:21:25.

prosecution, a Labour MP Diana Johnson has

:21:26.:21:27.

described the current law on termination of

:21:28.:21:31.

pregnancy and Victorian. But in reply, she was told

:21:32.:21:33.

the proposals were unsafe, and unusually, the bill under the ten

:21:34.:21:36.

minute rule was pushed to a vote. Ms Johnson said her bill addressed

:21:37.:21:38.

a fundamental question. members will, like me,

:21:39.:21:45.

conclude that the criminalisation Women are poorly served by laws that

:21:46.:21:49.

state that even early-term abortions are inherently criminal,

:21:50.:21:54.

and doctors are poorly served by a criminal framework that does

:21:55.:21:56.

not apply to other areas We should create an environment

:21:57.:21:59.

in which the stigma of the criminal law is removed and in which women

:22:00.:22:09.

can come forward for advice and high-quality, woman-centred

:22:10.:22:12.

health care as early as possible Proportion is still a major

:22:13.:22:15.

and often risky procedure If abortion pills can be so easily

:22:16.:22:26.

bought over the internet-perhaps by an abusive boyfriend

:22:27.:22:39.

or husband-that should lead us to take steps to protect young

:22:40.:22:42.

and vulnerable women from those Take the young teenager,

:22:43.:22:44.

terrified to discover that she is pregnant,

:22:45.:22:47.

who googles proportion What she needs are not

:22:48.:22:49.

fewer legal safeguards but support and information,

:22:50.:22:51.

which the Bill would take away. Ten minute rules bills are a way

:22:52.:22:54.

of airing views and have no chance of becoming law,

:22:55.:22:57.

so often they are allowed to pass without a vote in the knowledge

:22:58.:23:00.

they will not get But given the controversial

:23:01.:23:02.

subject, there was a vote. MPs voted by 172 to 142

:23:03.:23:05.

in favour of the bill. There was a setback for

:23:06.:23:08.

the Government in the Lords tonight, when peers supported a move to stop

:23:09.:23:11.

classifying overseas students as The proposal attracted

:23:12.:23:13.

support from all sides of The House of Lords voted

:23:14.:23:16.

with a majority of 94 to I of the job these words to add to

:23:17.:23:30.

all of the comments made by noble lord I full heartedly agree with.

:23:31.:23:37.

Quote, you want our trade, you don't want our children. Set by the Prime

:23:38.:23:47.

Minister of India. If that is the impression which is being received

:23:48.:23:51.

in India and other nations around the world, how can we possibly

:23:52.:23:57.

expect to attract the brightest and the best?

:23:58.:23:59.

My conversations provide clear evidence that even those people

:24:00.:24:01.

who are anxious about immigration welcome foreign students and do not

:24:02.:24:03.

think they should be included in the migration figures.

:24:04.:24:06.

They do not want immigration rules that are any more restrictive

:24:07.:24:09.

than the current ones placed on undergraduate and postgraduate

:24:10.:24:14.

students and academics - not now, nor in future,

:24:15.:24:16.

when our immigration policy is revised to deal with Brexit.

:24:17.:24:20.

To use somewhat unparliamentary language, it is a no-brainer.

:24:21.:24:29.

lost their licence to bring in foreign students.

:24:30.:24:32.

This has been a scandal that has gone on for years and I very much

:24:33.:24:38.

regret that from the academic lobby, which should be powerful,

:24:39.:24:41.

accurate and on the case, hardly a word have we heard.

:24:42.:24:53.

There are accusations that international students overstay.

:24:54.:25:00.

Can the Minister confirm that a Home Office report has shown

:25:01.:25:04.

that only 1% to 1.5% of international students overstay?

:25:05.:25:09.

If he will not answer that question, will he say why the Government

:25:10.:25:12.

continually refuse to put in visible exit checks at our borders?

:25:13.:25:20.

While, of course, there is no room for complacency,

:25:21.:25:24.

the United Kingdom continues to be the world's second most popular

:25:25.:25:26.

destination for international students and we have welcomed more

:25:27.:25:29.

than 170,000 international students to the UK for

:25:30.:25:31.

The higher education minister, Lord Younger of Leckie.

:25:32.:25:37.

Alicia McCarthy's here for the rest of the week.

:25:38.:25:42.