01/03/2017 Daily Politics


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Morning, folks - welcome to the Daily Politics.


Just one week to go until the Budget.


So can the Chancellor keep the ship steady before


There's plenty in the in-tray for the man known as Spreadsheet Phil.


But with rows brewing over social care, business rates,


and disability benefits, will he be able to make the numbers add up?


The RMT announces a fresh round of strikes across the rail network.


We speak to the RMT General Secretary and the Rail Minister.


Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn will square up at noon


It's been a bruising few days for the Labour leader


after the Copeland by-election, so can he get on the front foot?


And will the Lords inflict defeat on the Government later today


over the issue of status of EU citizens living in the UK?


I think they might. Maybe. Welcomer you told me they were. Must be true,


then. Watch this space! And with us for the duration, two


legends in their own living rooms - Rail Minister, Paul Maynard,


and the Shadow Health First this morning, the RMT union


has said its members from Southern Rail, Merseyrail


and Arriva Rail North will go on strike for


24 hours on March 13th. It's over the ongoing row


about driver-only operated trains, These are the first strikes by RMT


members on Merseyrail But Southern Rail said this would be


the 30th day of RMT strike action Well, Ellie Price has been speaking


to Southern commuters , No. No trains again? Yeah, you


really want to know what I think? I'm not impressed, I've got no


sympathy. Who is to blame? I think it's train drivers and the guards. I


think there is no reason why we can't have godless trains. Someone


should agree that there should be guards and trains. Quite simple.


People get pulled under trains. Drivers can't see what's happening.


Southern should absolutely agree that this is a safety issue, and


they should back down. As a country, we are massively subsidising these


railway companies that are not doing their job. I do for their workforces


all the passengers. We should take them back into national ownership. I


think the government needs to take control and deal with the issues.


And unequivocally give them an answer one way or another. Their


striking for their rights. But the government say they're putting the


safety of the people first. Let's just come to a decision.


Joining me now is the General Secretary of the RMT, Mick Cash.


Welcome to the programme. That start with Southern Rail because this is


going to be the RMT's 30th day of strike action. Yet more pain for the


300,000 people who depend on the network every day. How do you


justify it? Thanks for the invite. It is the 30th day of action, and it


is the 30th day I've met Paul, who is the real minister. We are in a


situation where our members, and it's not just guards, its drivers,


who have got deep-rooted concerns around the introduction of


driver-only operated trains, which means getting rid of the guaranteed


second safety person on every train. At something passengers have got


now, and have elsewhere. But the government and GDR have decided to


take it away. I'm happy to have the debate with Paul, and perhaps we can


have it outside. Pulled doesn't represent the company. Let's talk


about the dispute going on outside the company. You're not just sobbing


at Southern, you are spreading the misery to the north of England with


new strikes on Northern Rail and Merseyrail. How do you justify


broadening it? Southern are contracted to the DFT. Paul is the


piper who plays the tune. The reality here is that both on


Northern and Merseyrail, the passengers, as we stand today, have


got the guarantee of a second safety person on the train, a guarantee of


a guard. They're planning to take that away and our members are very


angry about that. They're fighting to keep our trains safe and


accessible. You say they're planning to take it away - what evidence is


there that Northern Rail are planning to do that? It's in the


franchising. They say they haven't got any driver-only operated trains


at the moment, they haven't ordered any, and your strike action is


extremely premature. Where was the evidence? They have ordered the


trains stop what they have? Yeah. So they're wrong? We've had meetings


with them, and we've been trying to get the issue is resolved. They have


in their franchising group, mandated by Paul's department, at least 50%


of their trains will have to operate without a safety critical guard. We


have spoken to Northern Rail and they have said that they don't have


any driver operated trains. And they haven't ordered any. They do say


that they're in the early stages of a modernisation plan, but we will


leave it there. It's up to people to decide who to believe as far as that


is concerned. The damaging strike action that we've seen in the past


has been your union, the RMT, and Atlas, which represents more train


drivers. Aslef are saying that they don't want more strikes, so your run


your own. That will be easier for Southern to handle, won't it? Wing


Tyrone because passengers, particularly disabled passengers, of


great concern of getting rid of the guard on the train. -- we are not on


our own because passengers. Will you be able to have the same level of


impact? The last time you had a strike without Aslef joining you was


last week, the 22nd of February. According to Southern, around half


of their conduct turned up for work and they ran 87% of their timetable.


To some extent, the strike that you will be running well have lost its


edge? I don't necessarily agree with Southern. They don't have a great


credibility about how they spend their story. But the reality is our


members are determined to keep fighting to keep a guard on the


train and keep the second safety critical person guarantee. That's


what we will continue to do. But if you're not able to affect the train


service in the way you have been able to, how much longer will you be


able to keep your striking members on board? We will keep fighting to


keep a guard on the train. As long as our members are prepared to


fight, and they are prepared to fight. Why aren't you going down the


same sort of line as Aslef? The assistant general secretary said on


the 17th of February that they could put strike dates on if they wish,


but is not where they want to be. They see no reason why they can't


agree a negotiated settlement. They did have an agreement with Southern


which was rejected by members. But they are obviously trying with that


sort of language and tone to reach a deal. Why aren't you? We are trying


to reach a deal. You have put out a statement like that, have you? The


last time I met the company on the 14th of February they grossly


misrepresented that deal. They told us information that was incorrect.


We are in a situation where we want to get round a table, but we also


need the people who help facilitate that deal, the TUC in particular, to


assist us. There is misrepresentation by this company


about what is actually being delivered and what train drivers


were going to get in that deal. Finally, in the case of Merseyrail,


it's actually devolved to local councils in Liverpool. You talking


to politicians that? We're talking to the company. But you said that he


wanted to talk to the Minister, too. Are you going to torture Labour


politicians that? We will talk to anybody to get the matter resolved.


-- you going to talk to Labour politicians there?


Let's talk Minister now. How much is the taxpayer forking out for this


situation? Let's be very clear on what Mr Cashel said. There is no


loss of jobs on Southern Rail. There is no going back on having second


people on-board train. We want to reassure all passengers that they


will get an improved level of service on the train by ensuring


that on-board supervisors can spend more time helping customers land


their journeys, the then disabled or otherwise. -- plan their journeys.


The union have always maintained that you will take away what they


call a safety critical role for the second person on trains, never mind


if they become driver-only operated. Can you guarantee that they won't


lose that safety critical vault? There is an important point to make


which is that all on-board supervisors will be safety trained.


We will make sure that those second people who are on trains have the


quality training they need to deliver an improved level of


customer service on these trains. The talent on the Southern at the


moment is -- the problem on Southern at the moment is a desperately


crowded network. We have to find new ways of working to properly


accommodate all the extra passengers growing year-on-year. We need to


work with the unions to find ways of doing that. But that has been the


criticism, that the government hasn't done enough. The reason the


government has to do more is because of the country that has been set up


with Southern or go the Thames Link. -- because of the contract that has


been set up. Can you answer the question about how much the


taxpayers forking out, because the taxpayer will want to know why it is


that they are having to fund compensation because so many people


are not able to get to work on time? Way in which we operate Southern,


they're paid to deliver a service on behalf of the department. That means


we are finding things like delay we pay for passengers and compensation


for those who are season-ticket holders. That's an understandable


thing for the department to do. I think a lot of people will think,


why on earth is the taxpayer funding it when they already have a ?9


billion contract until 2021? As we saw yesterday, with the announcement


and results for Go Ahead,, this is a train company not making a profit at


the moment. They're taking a hit because they were goblins on the


train. They haven't been driven to sort it out. I think there's a


strong incentive for them to deliver an adequate service on behalf of the


passengers, which is timely, punctual, reliable and which offers


a decent chance of getting a seat. The problems on Southern go beyond


industrial relations. But we can't tackle those problems while we have


both hands tied behind our back as a consequence of industrial action. If


you look at their punctuality record, it is deemed the poorest in


a four-week period just before Christmas. This is across all its


services. They have failed to meet any of the targets that have been


set. They're worse than almost any other rail line? That is precisely


why we are infecting 300 million in upgrading the network on Southern.


That's what we need to do to bring the level of performance back. --


why we are injecting 300 million. We can't do that while we have both


hands tied behind our back by the RMT who was determined and having


industrial action week in, week out. Luckily, we are starting to overcome


that. The strikes are having a diminishing impact week on week.


Does that mean you're not going to put the company under pressure? Do


you accept that the buck stops with you? What I accepted passengers are


deeply frustrated by the quality of service on Southern. What I want to


see is a resolution. That means Southern and Aslef in particular


reaching an agreement. They came very close. I hope this week we can


start to resolve it. Jon Ashworth, do you support the RMT's Basic


principle that all trains should keep a deck and safety critical


person on board? Of course. You support the strikes? Of course.


Union members have the right to go on strike and we will always support


them to take strike action with the Labour Party. I'm sat in the middle


and the minister won't even talk to the general secretary for trade


union. For goodness sake, get around a table and sort it out. Mick Cash


said they haven't spoken yet. I'm sure if Mick Cash and the Labour


politicians want to speak, they will happily do so. This is going to put


passengers at a huge inconvenience. Just get round a table with them and


sort it out. Why is it Aslef has managed to do this, and the RMT


can't, and yet you are still supporting them? Aslef are obviously


come to a different judgment. The key thing to me is our ministers


doing all they can to sort things out in the interest of passengers?


Paul is a good bloke but he won't even address make directly. You're


both here, why don't you have a cup of tea after the show and try and


sort it? We are very clear that if unions call strikes, we are more


than happy to have discussions. I don't want passengers held to ransom


by the RMT. And you would obviously take up that offer to meet, but not


if you have to call off the strike action? I'm happy to take that


offer. There is my diary, Paul. We can sort something else. Are you


calling off the strike? I will take that matter back to my executive. If


you give me a guarantee that we can get to the table, I will take that


back this afternoon. Is that an agreement, the strikes will be


called off, if you agree? We will leave it there, Mick Cash, thank you


very much for coming in. Francois Fillon the centre-right,


the Republican candidate and France's Presidential election, at


one stage she was favourite to win, he has been summoned to a French


judge, a prosecutor magistrate, he has been accused of paying his wife


in the French Parliament to do a job but she didn't actually do the job.


That is the accusation, other members of his family have faced


similar accusation, normally when you are summoned to see a French


prosecutor it means you are going to be charged. That is the expectation


that he will be charged, with these accusation, he has said before that


if charged, he would stand down from his Presidential bid, but a press


conference this morning he said I will not give up, will not be draw,


so we have the prospect that the mainstream centre-right candidate


will continue to fight the election, with this prosecution hanging over


him. We will see what that does to him in the poll, it has been


damaging to him, we will bring you more news out of Paris as it


In case you hadn't noticed, it's the first day of March -


and a happy St David's Day to you all.


If all goes to plan, by the end of this month Theresa May


will have triggered Article 50 and begun the formal process


But before we get to that, there's the small matter of a Budget,


There's plenty in the in-tray for the Chancellor Philip Hammond,


so can he avoid any potential hiccups before we begin


One major issue is funding for social care.


Directors of adult social services in England say


they have had to cut ?4.6bn from their budgets since 2010.


It's reported that the Chancellor will make extra cash available


to plug the short-term gap in funding.


But could there be more controversial reforms


In 2010 the Tories accused Labour of planning a so-called "death tax'


But yesterday's Times reported that Philip Hammond is looking at how


the assets of older people can be claimed by the state


Another contentious issue has been the business rates revaluation.


?3.4 billion has already been promised for transitional relief.


There has also been cross-party criticism for the government's plans


Critics say the majority of the schools that will lose money


are in urban and poorer areas and that the redistribution


The government claim no school will face a reduction


And there's been anger over plans to change who qualifies


for Personal Independence Payments, or PIPs - it's a weekly payment that


goes to people with a disability or a long-term health condition.


PIPs will cost an extra ?3.7 billion by 2022,


due to a tribunal ruling that allows more people to claim.


So instead, the Government is legislating to change the rules


Paul Maynard, there is huge pressure to spend more on social care, after


these massive cuts that Jo told us about. It has implications for our


hospital, because the lack of social care means that older people often


to to stay in hospital. Is the Government up for putting more money


into social care? We will have to wait and see what happens next week.


We have made sure that we have given the NHS what it has asked for, in


addition we put more money in for social care but it isn't... Forgive


me, first of all, the NHS is a different matter from social care,


they are both interlinked but where is the extra money you have put into


social care? We are allowing councils... You are asking councils


to tax their people to put more money in. You are not doing it The


key point I am making it isn't just the overall amount of money you


spend that matter, I cover a constituency that has two social


care providing authorities, both Lancashire and Blackpool. That is a


different outcomes in the two of them as to how people who are


waiting to be discharged from hospital are dealt with, once they


are being put into care homes and so on. The amount of money is one


thing, it is how you imagine that -- manage that care... Clearly some


authorities will be doing it better than others and you can learn from


what the management jargon is best practise, are you seriously


maintaining this morning you can take five billion out of social


care, as you have since you have come to power, and it makes no


difference? Roughly half of delayed discharges as they are called are


concentrated on ten local authorities. That isn't what I was


asking, can you maintain to viewers it makes no difference? We will have


to wait and see what the Chancellor announces next week. You have taken


the 5 billion out. What we are waiting to see is if he is going to


put more back in Wait and see next week. Well, the last thing... The


last thing I expect you to do is tell me what is in the budget next


week buzz because I am sure you don't know. I am asking about the


principle. For example, the idea that before you transfer your


estate, if it is a substantial estate to your children that you


would have to pay something towards social care in the community, is


that a runner now? I don't know whether it is is a runner or not. I


can only read what you read in The Papers. Does it appeal to you. I


want to see a system that ensures we have if right amount of money and


those who are spending it are doing so in the most efficient way


possible, to make sure that the people who really matter, those who


are waiting in hospital to get a place in the a care home, get their


discharges when they need them and the quality of care they most need.


Do you think it is fair people can transfer their wealth to their


children, and then depend on the state for their social care in There


are all sorts of balances and issues you have to consider. Is that fair?


The correct system going forward for funding long-term care, a lot of


work is going on within the Treasury and with the Cabinet Office, I am


not privy to it but I recognise there will be questions that need to


be asked. There is a shortage of money in social care, but given that


there is a shortage of money, often it is the poorest who are suffering


from a lack of social care, would it not make sense to look again at the


changing to inheritance tax, that you will be able to own a property


up to ?1 million you could leave free of tax to children or


grandchildren, given the squeeze on resources which every party would


face in power, would it not be worth looking at that again when people


are suffering? I am sure the Treasury are carefully considering


all the options they have. I don't know what they are looking at or


what they are not. What they have ruled out or not. What would it say


in general, the principle of a government which is preparing this


substantial improvement in inheritance tax for what is clearly


the better off end of our society, and yet only recently the DWP cut


the disability benefits of a man many Hackney who is a double leg


amputee because he could climb the Zaires with his arms? What does that


say? I don't know the details of it. Doesn't that upset you? No, because


I welcome the fact that we have moved to personal independence


payment from disability living allowance, it is more modern, it


fulfils a fundamental concern of mine which the people most in need


weren't getting the most amount of help. PIP targets that help to


people who need it most. That is crucial. More importantly, it brings


in mental health, which is forgot un. Now it gets its true weights


under PIP. We need to make sure... The head of policy in Downing Street


said it is only the really disabled who need it not those taking pills


at home suffering from anxiety. I should point out... I need to move


on. I should they the man in Hackney appealed and the disability was


restored. To follow the court ruling on


disability benefits would cot 3.7 billion, would Labour pay that? We


said we support the court ruling. We urged the Government to support it.


Where would you find the money? We're have not outlined that yet. By


2023 we have a general election, it is more likely, as we go into that


election... You want to spend more on social care. Certainly do. You


want to spend more on the NHS, you want to spend more on these


disabilities, you are complaining about the school funning round, it


all adds up. Where would the money come from? It is a fair question.


What is the answer? At this stage we don't have a detailed budget because


we have three or four budgets and Autumn Statements and maybe one or


two Spending Reviews to come. You don't know, do you. You are in the


position, because it is popular to say we will spend on these thing,


the case for people, want to help people with disabilities but to say


you will spend it but give us no idea where the money would come from


is irspoonsable and means your promise is worthless. No shadow


ministers have outlined details spending plans three years out from


general election. Where would you get the money from? When the Shadow


Chancellors coming on your programme he will be able to outline it to


you. You don't know. At this stage of a Parliament in opposition, not


knowing what the books will look like it will inherit will not


outline detailed plans. So back to the same old Labour, we will spend


all these things but we have no idea how we will pay for it. It is not


same old Labour. Every opposition party outlines plans closer to


elections. Tory spokespeople would come on and say wait until the


elections. People want some kind of credibility on this. I don't think


they trust the days when politicians just say yes we would spend on that,


that and that that but we can't tell you how we will get the money? We


outline our plans closer to a general election. Could Labour


afford this? We will have to come forward with a set of policies to


fund it. So like for example on social care the Chancellor has to


find, if he wants to stabilise social care next week, something


like ?2 billion. Now, as you say he doesn't need to go ahead with that


inheritance tax cut which is due in this April. He could find 1 billion


there. Some of decisions on corporation tax he could change.


Your spokesman has said that. You have spent that corporation tax ten


times from. You have spent it ten times over. We will have to come


forward with our spending plans won't we. You will indeed.


Now, today is Ash Wednesday, so put down the chocolate and get


rid of those glasses of wine, the time for abstinence is upon us.


Even the Prime Minister is getting in on the action -


with Downing Street confirming yesterday that Mrs May will be


forgoing her favourite salt and vinegar crisps


But if six weeks of self-denial seems bleak, never fear.


We are here to brighten your day with a chance to win


one of our much-coveted Daily Politics mugs.


But to be in with a chance to win, all you need to do is tell


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and conditions for Guess The Year on our website - that's


It's coming up to midday here - just take a look at Big Ben.


And that can mean only one thing - yes, Prime Minister's Questions


And that's not all - Laura Kuenssberg is here.


We've got a week to go till the budget, and as he illustrated there


are some difficult choices in front of the Chancellor. I think where


Jeremy Corbyn may press today is the question of Pips, personal


independence benefits to people with disabilities. Not least because this


is a matter of concern to many people, but also because this time


last year the government suffered a bruising humiliation over all of


this which ended with Iain Duncan Smith storming out of the Cabinet


full of rage. But also because this is something where some Tory


backbenchers have concerns, too. It's not just a concern for the


Labour Party, but it is an area of political vulnerability for the


government. It doesn't seem right now that this is the kind of round


that will... It's a tribunal ruling that will extend the accessibility,


of certain disability payments, the Pips. But it adds substantially to a


bill that is already out. So the government is changing... I will


have to stop you because we are going to start on time today.


I'm sure the people here would like to join me in wishing the people


across the world a happy St David's Day. I'm sure the whole house will


also want to join me in paying tribute to our former colleague, Sir


Gerald Kaufman, who died over the weekend. He was an outstanding MP


who dedicated his life to the service of his constituents. As


father of the House, his wisdom and experience will be missed right


across the House. I'm sure our thoughts are with his friends and


family. I had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others,


in addition to my duties with the House I will have further such


meetings today. I would like to associate myself with the Prime


Minister's remarks and assure the many relatives and friends of our


former colleague that they are very much in our thoughts and prayers at


this difficult time. Mr Speaker, following last week's historic


by-election victory in Copeland... CHEERING


Does my right honourable friend believe this is an endorsement of


her government's plans to maintain a strong economy, bring our society


together, and ensure that we make a huge success of leaving the European


Union? I thank my honourable friend. First of all, I would like to


congratulate my honourable friend, the new member for Copeland, and I


look forward to welcoming her to this house very shortly. But my


honourable friend is absolutely right that last week's historic


result in Copeland was an endorsement of our plans to keep the


economy strong. And our plans to ensure places like Copeland to share


in the economic success after years of Labour neglect. It was also an


endorsement of our plans to unite communities where Labour seeks to


sow division. And I think it was an endorsement of offering strong,


competent leadership in the face of Labour's chaos. Jeremy Kerley bin.


Thank you, Mr Speaker. -- Jeremy Corbyn. Could I join the Prime


Minister in wishing everyone in Wales and all Welsh people all


around the world a very happy St David's Day. And could I also


expressed the hope that the workers at the Ford plant in Bridgend gets


today daily assurances they need about their job security and job


futures. Mr Speaker, I also want to echo the Prime Minister's tribute to


Gerald Kaufman who served in this house since 1970 - the longest


serving member. He started in political life as an adviser to


Harold Wilson. He was an iconic figure in the Labour Party and


British politics. He was a champion for peace and justice in the Middle


East, and around the world. Yesterday at his funeral, the rabbi


who conducted the service, radio message on behalf of the House to


his family, which was so much appreciated. -- conveyed your


message on behalf of the House. Yesterday I spoke to his family and


I asked how would they describe Gerald. They said he was an awesome


uncle. I think we should remember Gerald as that. We convey our


condolences to all of his family. Mr Speaker, just after the last budget,


we then Work and Pensions Secretary resigned, accusing the Government of


balancing the books on the backs of the poor and vulnerable. Last week,


the Government sneaked out a decision to overrule a court


decision to extend personal independence payments to people with


severe mental health conditions. A government that found ?1 billion in


inheritance tax cuts to benefit 26,000 families seems unable to find


the money to support 160,000 people with debilitating mental health


conditions. Will the Prime Minister change her mind? Let me be very


clear about what is being proposed in relation to personal independence


payments. This is not a policy change. This is not a cut in the


amount that is going to be spent on disability benefits. And no one is


going to see a reduction in their benefit from that previously awarded


by the DWP. What we are doing is restoring this particular payment to


the original intention that was agreed by the coalition government,


agreed by this parliament after extensive consultation.


Extensive consultation is an interesting idea because the court


made its decision last year. The Government did not consult the


Social Security advisory committee and instead at the last minute


snaked out its decision. The court ruled that the payment should be


made because the people who are going to benefit from it were


suffering overwhelming psychological distress. Just a year ago, the new


Work and Pensions Secretary said you can tell the House were not going


ahead with the changes to Pip that were put forward. Her friend, the


member for South Cambridgeshire, said that in her view, the courts


were there for a reason. If both, with a warning that raise the


criteria should be extended, she believed there should be a duty to


honour that. Isn't she right? First of all, on the issue of these


payments and those with mental health conditions, actually,


Personal Independence Payment is better for people with mental health


conditions. Two thirds of people with mental health conditions who


are in receipt of Personal Independence Payment, two thirds of


them get awarded the higher daily living rate allowance. That


compares, that two thirds compared to less than a quarter under the


previous DLA arrangements. But it second time that the right


honourable gentleman has suggested that somehow this change was sneaked


out. It was in a written ministerial statement to Parliament. And I...


Can I remind him, week after week he talks to me about the importance of


Parliament. We accepted the importance of Parliament and maybe


statement to Parliament. But also she referred to the Social Security


advisory and they can look at this. My right honourable friend the Work


and Pensions Secretary called the chairman of the Social Security


advisory committee and spoke to him about the regulations on the day


they were being introduced. He called the chairman of the work and


pensions select committee and spoke to him about the regulations being


introduced. He called both officers of the Shadow Work and Pensions


Secretary, but there was no answer and they didn't come back to him for


four days. Mr Speaker... Mr Speaker, calling the... Mr Speaker, calling


the chairs of two committees and making a written statement to the


House does not add up to scrutiny. And as I understand it, there was no


call made to the office of my friend, the shadow Secretary of


State. Mr Speaker, the reality is this is a shameful decision that


will affect people with dementia, those suffering cognitive disorders


due to a stroke, military veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder,


and those with schizophrenia. Can she looked at the effects of her


decision to override what an independent court has decided and


think again? The issues that he raised, the conditions that he


raised, is these are taken into account when decisions are made


about Personal Independence Payments. What the court said was


the regulations were unclear. That is why we are clarifying the


regulations and ensuring that they respect and inflect the original


intention agreed by this Parliament. If the right honourable gentleman


wants to talk about support being given to people with disabilities,


this government is spending more than ever on support for people with


disability and health conditions. We are spending more than ever on


people with mental health conditions. As I say to him, what we


are doing with the Personal Independence Payments is ensuring


that those who are most in need get most support. The Government has


overridden an independent court decision on this, and they should


think very long and hard about that. Her friend, the member for North


East Bedfordshire, said this week the Government had to make it very


clear that physical and mental health of the same priority. In


2002, the Prime Minister made a speech at the Conservative Party


conference. I was watching on television. She described her party


as we Nasty Party. She said some Tories have tried to make political


capital by demonising minority. This week, her policy chair suggested


people with debilitating conditions were those who, and I quote, take a


at home, who suffer from an anxiety, and were not really disabled. Isn't


that prove the Nasty Party is still around? My honourable friend has


rightly apologised for the comment that he made, and I hope that the


whole house will accept his apology. He asks me about the parity between


mental health and physical conditions. It is this Conservative


government that has introduced parity of esteem in relation to


dealing with mental health in the National Health Service. How many


years where labour in government and did nothing about that? 13 years! It


was a Labour amendment to the health and social care bill that resulted


in parity of esteem being put on the face of the bill. I'm surprised


she's forgotten that, because she could take this opportunity to thank


the Labour Party for putting that forward. Earlier this... The Prime


Minister made a speech earlier this year supporting parity of esteem for


mental health, and I'm glad she did. 40% of NHS mental health trusts are


having their budgets cut. There are 6600 fewer mental health nurses, and


160,000 people with severe mental health conditions about to lose out


on support. Can she not recognised parity of esteem means finding it


properly, and not overriding court decisions that would benefit people


suffering from very difficult conditions? We should reach out to


them, not deny them support they need. As I say, we are spending more


than ever on mental health. That's ?11.4 billion a year. More people


each week are now receiving treatment in relation to mental


health than have done previously. Is there more for us to do mental


health? Yes, there is. I've said that in this chamber on answer two


questions I have seen previously. "We Will -- "Well, do it!" Shouts


the Shadow Health Secretary from her normal sedentary position. We are


doing it, that's why we are putting more money into mental health in


seeing more people being provided with mental health treatment every


week and this government. But there is one thing that I know. If you're


going to be able to provide that extra support for people with these


conditions, if you're going to be able to provide treatment, you need


to have the strong economy that enables us to pay for it. And the


one thing we know about labour is that they would bankrupt Britain.


Coming from a government that by 2020 will have borrowed more and


increased the national debt by the total borrowing of all Labour


governments, that comes rich! Mr Speaker, the mental health charity


Rethink says the Government has spoken forcefully about the


importance of parity of esteem between physical and mental health.


Yet when presented with a chance to make this a reality, has passed the


opportunity by. Mr Speaker, as a society where judged by how we treat


the most vulnerable. The respected mental health charity Mind has said


this misguided legislation must be reversed. Can the Prime Minister


look again? Look again at the decision of the court. Look again at


the consequences of it. And withdraw this deep decision, this nasty


decision. I accept the court's judgment and support those going


through a difficult time in their life. -- accept the court's


judgment. That is how we will all be judged. The way we are dealing with


disability benefits is to ensure payments are going to those who are


most vulnerable. What we are doing in relation to Personal Independence


Payments is ensuring that the agreement of this Parliament is


being put into practice. But he talks about funding and he talks


about boring. I understand that today. Siam have a constant debate


-- have a constant debate while the high minister is answering a


question. The question was heard and the answer was heard.


I understand that the Labour Shadow Health Secretary today when asked


how Labour would pay for the increase if it was put in place,


said we've not outlined that yet. That just sums up the Labour Party


and the Labour Party leadership, you know, after the result in Copeland


last week, after the result in Copeland, the honourable member for


Lancaster and Fleetwood summed up the result by saying it was an


incredible result for the Labour Party. You know, I think that word


describes the right honourable gentleman's leadership. Incredible.


Thank you Mr Speaker. On Monday... Thank you. On Monday I chaired a


seminar at the rote society looking at the priority for the science


committee. A report of the meeting will be launched here on 21st March.


I understand the Prime Minister might be too busy to attend that


herself will she agree to meet me so I present the collective concerns to


her in person, round collaboration and people in particular. I thank


him for raising this, this it is San important issue, he is right to


raise it. We want the UK to be the go to place for innovators, we want


to secure the best possible outcomes for the UK research base as we leave


the European Union, indeed it is one of the objectives I have set out in


our negotiation, are lates to science and research, we are already


a leading destination for sign and innovation and we welcome agreement


to continue to collaborate with our European partners I am interested in


what he has said and I am sure that report will be looked at carefully.


We on these benches join the Prime Minister and the Leader of the


Labour Party in entending our condolences to the family and friend


of Gerald Kaufman. Prior to PMQ today in Scottish questions minute


stirs were unable to answer basic questions about Government plans for


agriculture and fisheries. They are devolved areas to the Scottish


Government and Parliament. With Brexit ending the role of Brussels,


will all decision about agriculture and fisheries be made at Holyrood,


yes or no? Well, the right honourable gentleman knows very well


we are discussing with the devolved administration the question of the


UK framework and devolution of issues as they come back from


Brussels. The overriding aim I think for everything we do, when we make


those decisions is making sure we don't damage the very important


single market of the United Kingdom. A market which I might remind him is


more important to Scotland and that the European Union is.


There is a very interesting answer because during the Brexit


referendum, people in Scotland, including those working in the


agriculture and fisheries sectors were told the powers would be


exercised fully by the Scottish Government and the Scottish


Parliament. Now it seems judging by the PM's answer that that is not


going to be true. Will the Prime Minister confirm today, she has the


opportunity, will she confirm today, that it is her intention to ensure


that it is UK ministers that will negotiate and regulate over large


areas that impact on Scottish fisheries and agriculture


post-Brexit. I repeat to the right honourable gentleman he seems no to


have quite understood this point, we are in the process of discussing


with the devolved administration the question of which of those powers


that currently reside in Brussels, will be returned and remain at a UK


level for decision and which would be further devolved into the


devolved administrations, that is taking place at the moment. When he


asks about the negotiations for Brexit with the European Union, it


will be the UK Government that will negotiating with the European Union,


taking full account of the interests and concerns of the devolved area of


the devolved administration and the other regions of England.


Does the Prime Minister aglee when tickets to a teenage cancer charity


gig by Ed Sheeran are being resold on a ticket website for over ?1,000


with none of that money going to the charity, and tickets to the hit


musical Hamilton, are touted for up washed of ?5,000 when via go go know


the tickets are invalid, what will the Government do ensure genuine


fans are not fleeced by ticket touts and rogues?


I thank hill for raising this important issue. I know he has been


working on it for some time. He is right to identify those


circumstances as he does where there are websites that are causing, that


are acting in the way he talks about and causing the problems for people


who believe they are able to buy tickets for what they wish to


attend. I understand he has met by right honourable gentleman the


Minister of State for digital and cultural matters to discuss this


issue, as he will by a wear the consumer rights act introduced new


rules on ticketing and that will be responded to. But we are as a


government looking at the general issue of where markets are not


working in the interest of consumers. Can I add my condolences


to those expressed about the former father of the house and welcome to


his place the new member for Stoke on Trent. Mr Speaker, young black


men using mental Health Services are more likely to be subject to


detention extreme forms of medication and severe physical


restraint and others and this has led to death in extreme case, too


many black people with mental ill health are afraid to seek treatment


from a service they fear will not treat them fairly. Will the Prime


Minister meet with me and some of the of effected families to discuss


the need for an inquiry into institutional racism in their mental


Health Services? I thank the honourable gentleman, I am happy to


member the new member for Stoke-on-Trent to this house. It is


because of concern about how many various people were being treated


within our public services, that this Government has introduced, I


introduced an audit of disparity of treatment within public service, I


saw this as Home Secretary when I looked at the way that particularly


people with, black people with mental health issues were being


dealt with in terms of police and detention in various ways and that


is the sort of issue we are looking at. I am happy for him to write to


me with the details of the issue he has set out.


Le Thank you. Would the Prime Minister join me in congratulating


my West Suffolk college, all the staff and the principal who last


week in the times education alfurther education award won the


teaching and learning initiative for the whole country. By combining


maths, art, religion and science, this initiative drives forward


inquisitive minds and grows future generations we will need for the


skills they need succeed. I am very happy to join my right honourable


friend for the award they have been given in this category for best


teaching and learning initiative. It is a really interesting initiative


they have put in place. Congratulate all the staff and this is a sign, I


think, this award of the dedication of the staff and the students at


West Suffolk college. All colleges across the country should be


aspiring to reach #24ez standards, she is is right, we need to ensure


that young people have not just a skill set, but also the entiring


mind that enables them as they look forward to what might be different


career, to emgreats new skills and change throughout their careers.


My constituent Joanne Good's 16-year-old daughter Megan


tragically died after drinking half a three litre bottle of Frosty Jack


cider which is 7.5% proof and at under ?4 a bottle contains 22 vodka


shot equivalents. Does the Prime Minister accept that cheap


super-strength white cider is a health hazard and should be banned


or at the very least carry a much higher duty per unit. First of all.


I am sure that members across the whole house will want to join me in


offering our deepest similar thinks to the family of this former


constituent of the honourable lady. She does raise a very important


issue. That is why we do as a government recognise the harm that


is associated with problem consumption of alcohol. These high


strength cider and beer are taxed more, we have taken action on the


very cheap alcohol by banning sales below duty plus vat. Young people


must be made assure of the danger and hashes of alcohol abuse.


Campaign have had been run offering advice and support and they work


with charities and in schools to help raise awareness which I think


is San important part. We are rightly proud that young


people regardless of race, creed or colour with study at our colleges


and university, yet this week Jewish students are being subjected to


intimidation, fear, and to anti-Semitism as a result of


so-called Israel apartheid group, what action willry of make that


Chancellorings and principles ensure that anti-Semitism is not allow to


prosper on campuses. Well, first of all I want to assure my right


honourable friend hiring education institution have a responsibility to


ensure they provide a safe and inclusive environment for all


students and we expect them to have robust policies in place to comply


with the law, to ingaes gate and address hate crime including


anti-Semitic incidents reported. I know the universities minister has


written to remind institutions of these expectations and urged them to


follow the Government's lead. There is a flaw in the legislative


reform order with which the Government is seeking to create


private fund limited partnerships which allows criminal owned cosh


limited partnerships to easily convert to to these new types of


partnerships. Will the Prime Minister delay that until such times


as the current review into SLPs is completed? Completed? Well we have


taken important steps to tackle money launders and other crimes. On


the question think raises of Scottish limited partnerships, I


understand that the Department for Business consulted last year on


further transparency requirements and they will be publishing


proposals soon. The Business Secretary is gathering evidence


which may lead to further reform. My right honourable friend will be


aware of the concern overs the new business rates and why there is a


welcome for many of the businesses who have been taken out of business


rate there's is a concern among those who have Ian an increase. Can


she give me an assurance that we will do all we can for these people


who work very hard to be the engine room of our economy and a rise of


this size threaten their livelihood itself. Business rates are based on


property value. It has opinion seven years since those, this property


values were last looked at. It is right that we update them. Of


course, as I recognised last week it is important we have put already put


-- so that we help the companies who are facing increased bills but as I


said in this House, have asked my right honourable friends the


Chancellor and the Communities Secretary to make sure that support


that is provided is appropriate and is in place for the hardest cases


and I would expect my right honourable friend the Chancellor to


say more about this next week in the budget.


A recent national awe deaf report showed massive overspend on free


school sites with the department ex mating it will need to respond more.


Schools in my constituency are reporting chronic levels of


underfunding. Will the Prime Minister provide our existing


schools with the ininvestment they need. #4s...


Does the Prime Minister agree with me that Welsh interests must remain


at the heart of the United Kingdom? As we leave the European Union, the


future of the UK union has never been more important.


I'd like to thank my honourable friend. He's absolutely right to


raise the importance and I would like -- and minding the world -- we


are committed to getting a deal that works all parts of the UK, including


Wales. The best way to do that is for the administration to continue


to work together. I'm pleased to say that I will be hosting a St David's


Day reception in Downing Street to celebrate everything that Wales has


to offer. Can I once again wish all members of the house...


SHE SPEAKS WELSH congestion journey times and Bradford Leeds are amongst


the worst in the country. Will the Prime Minister committee


delivering the investment that we desperately need far West Yorkshire


Powerhouse? I apologise to the honourable lady because I missed the


first part of her question. I think she was talking about investment in


infrastructure. HS three, right. I'm very clear that we have set out


commitments we have made of the government in relation to


infrastructure. As she will know, we do believe that infrastructure plays


an important part in encouraging the growth of the economy, and in


ensuring that we do increase productivity around the rest of the


country. economy and ensuring that we do see


that we increase productivity around the rest of the country and we'll be


looking at further projects that can do just that. Canvassing in Cortland


recently, people wanted to talk about the future of their local


maternity unit -- Copeland. It was like being at home in Banbury.


Rather than politicise the NHS, with the Prime Minister agree to a review


of maternity services, encouraging not just care that is safe but also


clear that is kind and close to home. My honourable friend raises an


important point in relation to local maternity services. I am looking


forward to welcoming the new member for Copeland in this House but


during the campaign, she made it very clear that she did not want to


see any downgrading of the west Cumberland Hospital services but she


also put forward a very powerful case for what my honourable friend


has just suggested, which is a review to tackle the recruitment


issues that affect these maternity services out there and the


professionally led review does seem very sensible and then know the


health minister is looking at it. A 90-year-old constituent of mine


faces being discharged by the mental health trust for a second time


because they have neither the skills nor the cash to provide the support


he needs. What's the Prime Minister's message to him? I don't


not the individual details of the case the honourable gentleman has


raised. I know we are ensuring all money is being put into mental


health conditions over the year and will continue to be, but if you wish


to write to me at the Secretary of State for Health, I'm sure we can


look into it. As a leader who wants to spread wealth and opportunity as


widely as possible, will the Prime Minister insurer that we end the


practice of developers buying freehold land on which they sell new


house is on a leasehold basis? Many first-time buyers on help to buy


feel they're being ripped off by this practice and look to the


Government for help. I thank my honourable friend for raising this


point, an issue he has raised previously. I know he is working on


it. Our house on the White Paper -- housing White Paper says there


should be house developed for people to live in for fairness for


leaseholders but we will be consulting on a range of measures to


tackle unfair unreasonable abuses of leasehold as my friend has said.


Other than exceptional circumstances, I don't see why new


homes can't be built and sold at the point. I add my condolences to the


family of Gerald Kaufmann. Yesterday I received a new mill from your


local pharmacist who since the Government announcement in October


has cemented cost-cutting measures including staff and services. --


implemented. He has had a reduction of nearly ?9,000 which represents


18.8%, well beyond the 4% the pharmacy ministers spoke about in


October. Will the Government commit to revisiting community pharmacy


funding as a matter of urgency? We all recognise the important service


that pharmacists provide that is by spending them has risen in recent


years and also we have seen an increase of over 80% in the past


decade. The system does need to reform so that the NHS resources are


spent efficiently and effectively and just look at some of the


figures, two thirds of pharmacies are within ten minutes


walk of two others. Many receive a subsidy regardless of size or


quality. What we did do is to look at this concern when it was raised


last summer and make changes to ensure there was greater support


available to pharmacies in particular areas. One of David


Cameron's greatest legacies were his efforts to fight human trafficking


and modern-day slavery under the act. Last year this country looked


after 800,000 children in Syria or the surrounding countries for the


same investment of looking after 3000 in this country. By doing that,


we helped defeat human trafficking. Could the Prime Minister confirm


that we will continue with that policy? I'm very happy to join my


honourable friend in paying tribute to David Cameron. I was very pleased


he supported the modern slavery act when I propose we should introduce


it and we had indeed committed to continuing our policy in relation to


this area. I have setup a modern slavery task force at number ten,


which I chair, bringing together various parties to ensure that


across Government, we are doing what is necessary both to break the


criminal gangs, deal with the perpetrators and provide necessary


support for the victims. May I on behalf of my honourable friend join


with the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition in expressing


condolences to the family of the late father of the House, he will be


greatly missed. The Prime Minister I'm sure cannot have failed to


notice the intervention by two former Prime Ministers recently with


the Brexit debate and as helpful as they were, I'm sure, I'm sure the


Prime Minister will know, of course, what they and everyone else means by


hard Brexit, soft Brexit, but we all wondering what is meant by a soft




When indeed it may be triggered and when we bother it has been triggered


or not! Perhaps the Prime Minister can elucidate on that since she has


been so helpful in so many other ways. Which eg the opportunity today


however to make it clear that whatever former Prime Ministers for


the unelected upper house might say, the reality is that her plan to


trigger Article 50 by the end of March is now clearly on track?


CHEERING I thank the honourable gentleman for


the question that he has asked. It is my plan to trigger Article 50 by


the end of March, rather than triggering any kind of coup. It is


still our intention to do that. It is important the Article 50 builders


respond to the judgment of the Supreme Court but also responds to


the voice of the United Kingdom when people voted to ensure we do leave


the European Union and that is what we will do. Mr Speaker, perhaps you


like many here today took a shower this morning.


LAUGHTER I am sure, Mr Speaker, you are very


careful to check whether the shower gel contained micro beads. Products


containing them can result... The thrust of this fascinating question!


Let's hear it. Shower gel products containing them can result in


100,000 micro beads or plastics being washed down the drain every


time you use them. This damage is precious habitats. With the Prime


Minister join with me in welcoming the steps this Government is taking


to introduce a ban on micro beads used in cosmetics and care products.


The consultation ended just a few days ago. Thank you, Mr Speaker. I


think I should say for clarity to members of this House that I am not


in a position to know whether or not you took a shower this morning.


LAUGHTER My honourable friend has raised a


very important point and it is completely unnecessary to add


plastics to products like face washes and body scrub were harmless


alternatives can be used. As she referred to at the end of her


question, our consultation to ban micro beads in products closed


recently. We were aiming to change legislation by October 20 17th and


we also ask for what more can be done in future to prevent other


sources of plastic from entering the marine environment because we are


committed to being the first generation ever to leave the


environment in a better state than it was inherited and I'm sure we can


work together to bring an end to these harmful plastics clogging up


our oceans. I think people are assured by what the Prime Minister


just said! Along the corridor in South Wales, families woke up this


morning worried about potential job losses at Ford in Bridgend. Families


are particularly frightened that Ford is not going to be able to


bring new contracts into the factory with the uncertainty of Brexit ahead


of them. Can I have an assurance from the Prime Minister that she


will ensure our ministers meet with Ford and the union to see what can


be done to support Ford to ensure continuity of engine production in


the Bridgend Ford plant? Can I reassure the honourable lady that


one of our automotive sectors is one of the most productive in the world


and be what is she going from strength to strength? That's why


ministers in this Government have been engaging with various companies


within the sector including Ford and other companies. Ford is an


important investor here. It has been established for over 100 years. We


now account for around a third of its global engine production and


Bridgend continue to be an important part of that. We have had dialogue


with Ford and will continue to have regular dialogue with Ford about the


ways Government can help to make sure the success continues.


into extra time yet again Prime Minister's Questions. It's almost a


quarter to one. We will come back to that in a minute. Some big news out


of Paris, Francois Fillon, the centre-right presidential candidate,


has been summoned to meet magistrates on March the 15th


because of their investigation into the employment of his wife and a


total sum over the years of 900,000 euros. There is some doubt over


whether any work was done for that tax payers' money. To be summoned


before magistrates is almost a certain precursor to Mr Fillon being


charged with misuse of public funds. March the 15th is just over five


weeks away from friends going to the polls in the first round of the


presidential election on April 23. Mr Fillon was a one-time favourite.


He was knocked back because of this scandal. Now that it looks like he


is being prosecuted, he could take a further hit in the polls which could


mean that the play-off on March the 7th could be between Mr Macron, and


the national front's Madame Le Pen. This is important not just for


friends, but the United Kingdom because Macron or Le Pen will have


serious implications for Brexit negotiations. Mr Macron is not keen


to give written much at all, as he made clear last week. Madame Le Pen


wants to come out of the euro and EU, which would probably ten Brexit


into something as a sideshow as far as the EU was concerned. So


important news that out of Paris. We were talking about disability


allowances before PMQ. The Prime Minister tried to answer as best she


could. It's a difficult issue for the Government. Michael Murray,


excellent forensic performance by Jeremy Corbyn, Theresa May's


response proves the Tory party is till the nasty party. Theresa May


very strong today. Well prepared meaning she could answer


questionings. John said cheap shots from May on the Copeland vote. It


was not a vote of confidence in the Tory, I live there. Andy says going


by Jeremy Corbyn's question it is clear Labour have relinquished by


the party of the worker they are the party of the disability. The court


ruled to extend the paymentstor, people suffering psychological


distress, was that the main widening? There are two separate


rule what the two tribunals did was extend the criteria from the


existing rules and regulations, so technically speaking it is not a


cut, but there are people who do not currently receive the benefits who


appealed to the court to say they ought to be entitled to them, the


court decide they should. The Government said they disagree


because of the cost. The cost would be 3.7 billion. So not insignificant


when the Chancellor made it clear there is not much money to go round,


my sense at the moment is while there are Tory backbenchers who are


concerned it doesn't right now have the heat in this to force the


Government to back down, but I think ministers are working hard to stave


off a rebellion. And the Prime Minister was saying that this


wouldn't make a difference to people who already get benefits, is that


true? That is my understanding, is this is about the history natural


said PIP payments should be extended to people in some groups, for


example people who have such, mental health problems who find it in the


one case that went the tribunal extremely distressing to go out and


about. Therefore they should be entitled to some form of help to go


about living dale life more easily. As I understand it the ruling would


extend the benefits to people who do not receive them, rather than what


Jeremy Corbyn was suggesting, these are what we would see as traditional


cuts and the implication is taking away from people something they


have. It is harder to fight something if it is a benefit that


people get into their bank account and you are going to take away. The


3.7 billion is a build up, 2022,/23. It is not like 3.7 #3w8 tomorrow.


No, over the course of time. Who would have thought John Ashworth


that the Prime Minister was watching you on television? Assuming she has


rushed back to the TV set again... I hardly think it was a zing tore say


the Labour Party can't write a budget for 2022/23. It is reasonable


not to expect them. That is point we are making, as we go into the next


election will put forward detail plans for spending commitments. We


won't do that in 2017, that is not what opposition parties do at this


stage. She knows that. She used to make arguments like this when we


were in Government. I remember during the election campaign in this


very studio, asking Conservatives again and again, if they plan to cut


welfare by 12 billion, and how would they do it? And answer came there


none to either question, that is how oppositions behave, because they


then do it. We have seen today a very full and Frank discussion on


what we are planning to do on #3i7, making sure the assessment is right


and accurate. Getting the assessment right, this is what matters and


taking this tribunal ruling into account, to make sure we ensure that


everybody is assessed properly, but people will always have differing


needs, and differing costs flowing from those needs. The assessment has


to capture that. Events across then champion, very significant, because


Mr Fillip's campaign was already in trouble before the news it is almost


certain he is going to be prosecuted which makes his campaign more of the


walking wounded and suggests, polls will suggest Mr Macron or Madame Le


Pen will be the two candidates to go through to the second round. France


doing a clearing out to the top two, unless someone gets 50% in the first


round. Speaking to some people in the Foreign Office, just as the


British government had no plan for Brexit, I was astounded to be told


they had no contingency plan for a Le Pen President S When you talk to


minister, it is something interesting since the Lancaster


House speech, in the last month or so ministers are becoming more


optimistic, of doing a Brexit deal. They say this European counterparts


have got over the original fury and are starting to feel we can go down


and do a deal. So the first stages of a divorce you tell someone you


are leaving then the other person says I hate you, then they say I


hate you so we have to talk about access to the children. That process


has happened. When you ask the question what about Le Pen, that is


the unexploited bomb. That is uncontrollable, an event they are


not planning for because knob would note what she would do. She said she


would try to take people out of the euro in a slight parallel to Trump


perhaps, there are parallels that are too simplistic to draw, but new


a parallel to Trump there is a question about her, would she do the


things she said she wants to do? Would she say I am going to try and


immediately take France out... She count have a majority in the


assembly to do so. 23 we think how they have been some of them the


strongest federalists in the European Union, how France has been


the driving force in terms opt no just keeping the European Union


together, but in terms of expanding its reach, it is not clear to the


Foreign Office here or anyone else she would want to do the things she


said she would be able to do. Be able to do them. You are right. One


of the huge events that would upset the ale card. Where the uncertainty


would come in, is that neither Mr Macron Norma dam he pep would have


the votes in the French Parliament, there are few National Front MPs and


although there will be more, there will still be a small number. Mr


Macron doesn't have a party, he is trying to turn one into a party. It


would be a time of great uncertainty in either result. Huge uncertainty


and instability, which means the whole approach to Europe and the


Brexit negotiations become more precarious, and Brexit has happened


now, we have to respect the wisheses of the country, I accept that as


much as I'm campaigned for the other side, but I am worried about what


means over the coming weeks and months. A quick thought today


Jean-Claude Juncker is put foger ward a white paper for the future of


the European Union, so without the Marine Le Pen potential victory,


there are serious conversations happening in the European Union


about what it should look like in ten years' time. I wonder if to


tease the UK Government one of the options they have put forward is


about only having the single market. What an economic relationship? Which


is what many Tories who campaigned said, if it just a trading


agreement, fine. Happy days. He obviously has had a good breakfast.


Later the Government could be dealt the first defeat for its Brexit


bill. Later this afternoon,


peers are expected to agree an amendment to the bill -


demanding that the rights of EU citizens living


in the UK are protected. Despite the Home Secretary writing


a letter to peers and reassuring them that this will be


a priority once divorce talks begin, the amendment has attracted support


from across the House. To discuss the politics of it all,


I'm joined now from the Lords by Labour's Dianne Hayter,


who tabled the amendment. Do you not think the Home Secretary


has a point. However well intentioned this is about


guaranteeing the right of EU foreign nationals it risks leaving hundreds


of thousands of British citizens on the Continent in limbo if we do


something unilaterally. ? Remember, we started this process, we decided


we want to come out of the European Union, and I think therefore, we


have an obligation to those people who moved to Britain in good faith,


thinking we were going to stay in the European Union, to safeguard the


rights they thought they had when they came here, a number are married


to Brit, they have been here 20, 30 years, they may have British


children, they have been in jobs for years, and the different between


these, and the nationals who live abroad, is it for us to decide what


happens to those people in on our own shore, that is what we are


asking to Government to do. Do you expect the Government to be defeated


in the Lords on this? My amendment has the support after a Liberal


Democrat, a kith, and of an independent peer. And I think that


is always a very strong signal. You think, yes. We always in the Lords


still have to argue our case, we don't whip them in in the same way,


we still have to make the argument. If fact we are hoping the Home


Secretary might listen in to the arguments. A bit like Theresa May


did. It was a shame she said we should not pass an amendment without


having listened to the arguments. If you get it through how situation


significant is it really? Unless there is a big backbench rebellion


in the Commons or ministers make a concession, it won't come back,


would you try and am end maniment for a second time. First let us win


end see what they do. My judgment is if we get a big vote today and it's


a very clear direction to the elected Government, that it should


do something, it needs to think, listen, maybe we got this wrong,


maybe we should do this unilateral thing now of simply saying to


people, the rights you already had and expected we will look after


those and which ought not to be part of the negotiation in any way. Put


that to one side. I hope that the Government will listen. Just stay


there for a moment. If there is a big groundswell of support for this


and it is passed in the Lord. It does put the government in an


awkward position. We asked the EU to deal with it before we triggered


Article 50. They declined that opportunity. They want to say it


should only start by discussed after we triggered Article 50. We hope we


can resolved it shortly thereafter. Should the Government think again?


This is about a unilateral move. I no the Government tried it says it


in negotiations but should they think again? It isn't just about it


being unilateral, it has to be with the agreement of the EU. We can't


have that discussion. It will be a case of pinging it back to the Lords


and then if they have said to its us they are going to stick to


timetable? Your earlier thing about what is happening in France and


election in Germany, means it would be at least a year before the EU is


in a position to say anything about EU nationals. I don't think it is


right for three many people to have to wait a year to know their future.


We are not clear whether hay would have to wait that long. Thank you


for joining us. My understanding is the British Government expects to


deal quickly that the Spanish and east Europeans have been squared on


that, it could be resolved quickly. Let us give you the answer to guess


the year. The one o'clock news is


starting over on BBC One now. Jo and I will be here at noon


tomorrow, with all the big The very embodiment of the England


that must emerge.


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