Andrew Neil is joined by Robin Walker and Anneliese Dodds, with live coverage of Prime Minister's Questions. Plus discussion on Brexit, the economy and the future of PFI deals.
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Morning folks - welcome
to the Daily Politics.
Unemployment in the UK has
fallen again this morning,
it's good news for Theresa May -
and she probably needs it
after a bout of cabinet infighting
over whether to spend more public
money on the NHS.
Brexit secretary David Davis has
been talking to MPs this morning,
where it's been claimed the UK
will remain a 'vassal state'
of the EU for a further
two years, or longer.
The use of public funds to pay
private sector companies
like Carillion is still exercising
Labour, it says the party
is over for outsourcing -
we'll look at what that really
All of which and more could come up
when the two party leaders face off
at Prime Minister's Questions,
we'll bring you all
the action live from noon.
All that still to come in the next
90 minutes of public sector
broadcasting that is so important
to the proper functioning
of the nation that we expect
all of our viewers to observe
the strictest cabinet
By which of course I mean you should
tell everyone about it
at every opportunity.
And joining me for all of it,
two MPs who haven't
yet made the cabinet -
and so should feel free to keep
absolutely nothing secret.
It's the Brexit minister
Robin Walker and the shadow Treasury
minister Anneliese Dodds.
Theresa May is preparing
for Prime Minister's Questions
in about half-an-hour's time,
and after that she'll fly
to the Swiss resort of Davos
for the annual gathering
of the global business
and political elite -
including this year well-known
like Donald Trump and shadow
chancellor John McDonnell.
The theme is finding a 'shared
future in a fractured world',
I have no idea what that means
So perhaps she's hoping for tips
on dealing with her cabinet,
which yesterday became the latest
example of a challenge
to her authority thanks to her
foreign secretary Boris Johnson.
Lizzie is here to tell us
about the obstacles facing the PM.
Thanks Andrew and who knows,
Theresa May might even get a little
'down time' to have some fun
on the slopes.
After all she does
have some good news,
figures out this morning show
a fall in unemployment.
However, there are quite a few
tricky issues that the PM needs
to navigate if she's to avoid
a 'wipe out'.
We're now into the second phase
of the Brexit negotiations
and Mrs May will soon have
to show her hand and outline her
vision of the transition,
before we finally leave the EU.
Then of course there's the final
deal, will we mirror the EU's rules
and regulations to get full access
to their single market?
Or break away so we can
negotiate our own trade deals?
The Prime Minister has
a tough course to navigate.
Away from Brexit, Mrs May is also
facing criticism from
a number of senior back benchers
with the likes of Nick Boles,
Grant Shapps and Nicholas Soames
all publicly bemoaning
what they see as a
lack of ideas and direction
emanating from the government.
Then there's the
financial pressures on
the NHS with a constant stream
of reports of hospitals struggling
to cope over the winter period.
One man who claims
to have an answer is
Boris Johnson, who was planning
to demand spending an extra
£100 million a week on health
after we leave the EU.
The Foreign Secretary was slapped
down for going 'off piste'
in yesterday's cabinet meeting,
but there are rumours that
Mr Johnson may be on manoeuvres.
We're not sure whether
that's down hill or not.
Thank you for that. Let's now have a
look, before we go through some of
these things, at what the Brexit
secretary David Davis, he is Robin
Walker's boss, had to say in an
exchange with Jacob Reese-Mogg at
the Brexit select committee hearing
a little earlier.
different because transition means
we are de facto inside the European
Union for that period. We are only
out at the end of the transition.
That's a big shift in government
policy and a big move away from the
vote in June.
vote in June.
We don't have
representation on the council and
the court and so on, we will debate
how we manage that. But I do not
accept your description.
accept EU rules?
That is an area of
some interest. The time it takes to
put a rule into effect, regulation
into effect in the European Union,
the average is 22 months. The
proposal we are having is we leave
in 21 months.
Lets start on Europe
Robin Walker, it is your department,
before we come onto some of the
other matters raised. If we leave in
March 2019 there is going to be a
transition period of perhaps up to
two years. Throughout that two years
we will remain subject to the
rulings of the European Court of
What we said clearly is we
want to have access to the European
market on the same terms which we
think is in the mutual interest...
will come onto the single market, I
am asking about the European Court
It will remain the
Supreme Court over that and where it
rules on the rules of that market we
will have to take account of that.
We take account of the rulings of
the Supreme Court in the United
States but we do not follow them
unless we want to. So let me
clarify, we will remain subject to
the jurisdiction of the European
Court until 2021?
period we would seek to agree would
say and the same rules, under the
same basis as our current membership
so yes. But we would be out of our
membership of the European Union, we
would be doing that for an agreed
time on it.
You say we would be out
of it but for most people it would
still feel like in. We would still
remain a member of the customs
We would continue to access
the customs union on the same basis,
you have to be careful with your
definitions. If you talk to the EU
we have left...
We would still be
subject to the external tariffs of
the customs union for two years.
Prime Minister has been clear that's
And we would remain a
member of the single market for
another two years?
We would maintain
our access under the same rules and
So we would have all
the obligations of being in the
single market, the customs union,
and the ECJ for another two years
without any representation on the
bodies which run these institutions?
We want to make sure we exit with
certainty and stability of how
things stand, that businesses and
government have time to prepare.
That is what the Prime Minister sent
out to achieve.
nothing really changes. You're in
the single market, customs union, do
we continue with the free movement
People will be able to
come here to live and work and
Robber still be free
We will want to introduce
a registration process...
still be free movement?
be able to come here but they will
need to register to prepare for our
new immigration system.
Merkel and Emmanuel Macron
get-together and introduce a
transactions tax on financial
dealings, something Emanuel Macron
is very keen on, say that is
introduced in the summer of 2019, do
we have to introduce it?
think it's possible to get something
that significant through the
European system, I don't think
If they could would
we have to implement it?
We have to
be clear that the UK has played a
role and will continue to play a
role in making these decisions right
up until our exit.
If they introduce
something like a transactions tax
during the transition period do we
have to implement it?
believe that is likely to be the
case, it's a theoretical.
is a long while, they could do lots
of things. Labour agrees, want to
stay in the customs union and single
market and you like the ECJ.
find frustrating is that Labour has
been saying for a long time that
until the government gets its act
together we would have two as a
country accept the reality of
needing a transition period because
we're not going to be ready. Finally
the government has caught up with it
but we still have all this
The government is now
doing what you wanted to do.
it is still confused.
We are all
confused! Do you want to stay in the
customs union after the transition?
We don't want the government to rule
out options like staying in...
you think we should stay?
the benefits we currently have
because we recognise if we were in
the driving seat for negotiations we
would have to be talking to the
other 27 countries. There are a lot
of benefits of that union. Relating
to the comment about how the
government is trying to keep things
on an even keel during this process,
I have been in the customs bill
committee hearing from businesses
about how the government is not
taking on the union customs code
which is not something people
mentioned to me when I was
campaigning in the referendum. It is
adopting a different process making
huge disruption for business when it
should have said we will continue
with the current system.
just passed EU withdrawal bill to
provide continuity which Labour
Because of the power grab.
Let's come onto the issue which
dominated Cabinet yesterday. We were
promised by the Leave side there
would be more money for the NHS
after breakfast, Brexit! After
breakfast as well! We know the NHS
is currently under severe financial
pressure, so why not make it down
payment? Why not put more money into
the NHS now?
I fully support
increasing funding and the NHS and
we are delivering on that. What we
have seen in 2010 is an increase of
about 12 and a half billion. We saw
extra money for winter pressures
last year which was vital. I have
seen the biggest investment in my
hospital since it was built in the
90s. I think we need to keep up with
If you are keen on
investment the last Labour
government run 1987-2010 on average
in real terms increased NHS spending
by £5 billion a year over that
period. On average how much have you
increased NHS spending?
increased it every year.
Billions more going on. About
2 billion per year.
So you put into
billion per year since 2010 the last
Labour government put in 5 billion a
That was in the context of the
government losing control of the
country's debts and running a huge
We had a financial crisis
and you took support of the measures
Do you not see the hard of
a problem that under the last Labour
government spending rose by 5
billion per year on average. Under
you, just under 2 billion per year
which is the problem because the
demands on the NHS are ever rising
but the rises in cash you are giving
it are falling.
I think it's also
about how we invest the money and
make sure it makes the most
difference, increasing spending on
mental health which is at the
highest it has ever been can save
money elsewhere in the system.
clear your 2 billion per year is not
enough, just look at the NHS, there
might be other things you have to
do, I'm not saying it's on money,
but it's clear your 2 billion per
year which is only 40% of what
Labour was putting in terms of the
increase not enough.
I stood on a
manifesto last election offering a
more substantial increase to the
NHS, meeting the terms the NHS had
You have not matched the
Labour Party's record. We are in a
We had to pick up
the pieces after the financial
price. We have made the NHS a top
Except you are still going
to increase its only by about 2
billion per year.
I do not recognise
that. What we are seeing will take
us up to about 16 billion...
go to 2018-19, on real terms you
will be 126 billion which is 14
billion more than 2010-11 when he
came to power, that, divided by six
is less than 2 billion per year. So
you're not increasing it in real
terms by much at all.
We are every
year and we are taking steps to
increase the number of front line
staff in the NHS, to make sure we
have less dependence on the very
expensive agency workers.
nursing posts are unfilled. Nurses
are leaving the NHS at a higher rate
We had the biggest
increase in medical training going
Even in young nurses are
I'm sorry, in my local
trust the number of vacancies is
That is very unusual.
am sure it is Shangri-La at your
local trust but across the country,
is this what Nick Boles meant about
your inability to rise to the
challenge when he called the
government tenet and lacking in
ambition and what Nicholas Soames
called dull, dull, dull, one Cabinet
minister said we are governed by
visionless mediocrity that is what
your government has come to.
I don't think there is anything
visionless. Meeting the demands of
the NHS, 10 billion more funding in
this government, raising the
priority on mental health.
you timid and lacking ambition,
dull, dull, dull and visionless.
had to make sure people see an
increase in their wages through a
significant increase in the national
living wage, which we will see this
This is not meeting its,
these are Conservatives saying it.
It is always good for the
backbenchers to challenge the
government to do more. We are seeing
fairer funding for our schools.
have you done for the just about
We have increased the
national living wage.
That was done
by George Osborne, what has Theresa
Continuing to drive this,
focusing on productivity, which
Labour said for many years we
couldn't turn around...
That is one
It is beginning
to show real improvement and that
means higher wages. We want to
combine that with the lowest paid
paying less tax.
The figures this
morning show wages are lacking
behind prices and in real terms,
wages are still falling.
Productivity is the key...
wages were rising.
wages were rising. Would Labour
increase NHS spending by £5 billion
Yes we would and we set out
how we would do it at the general
election. We would also
election. We would also lift the PEI
cap, which is having an impact on
What was the main
source of the 5 billion a year?
is all set out, for example,
reversing some of the changes to the
top rate of tax the government said
it wanted to prioritise.
cost you money?
It could, but we had
many different funding sources. My
trust is struggling because we
cannot get enough people in and the
number one reason they cannot work
in my city is because the wages
cannot keep track of costs.
This time last week we were talking
about the impact of the collapse
of the construction firm Carillion
and today Labour is trying to force
a binding vote in the Commons
which would make ministers hand
over their risk assessments
for the company before it went bust,
hoping to prove they knew
it was in trouble before
handing over big contracts.
Well we know Labour believes this
is a watershed moment in the way
the public views the use of private
companies to provide public
services, and this week they set out
more of their thinking.
Shadow cabinet minister Jon Trickett
said on Monday Labour would change
the way procurement works
"within hours" of taking office.
He said on Twitter: "Let me be
clear to the outsourcing
firms: the party is over.
A Corbyn Government will
reverse the presumption
in favour of outsourcing."
Under a Labour government,
firms will only be be able to bid
for a public contract if it
meets rules including:
Giving full union recognition
for their workforce and comply
Move towards a pay ratio of 20-1,
meaning the highest paid employee
could earn no more than
20 times the lowest.
And firms would have to agree
to maintain high environmental
standards and adopt best practices
in equal opportunities.
Let's have a look at this. Can you
name any FTSE company where the boss
is paid only 20 times the lowest
I cannot say to you I know
exactly what the ratio is for every
FTSE company, but I can say it is a
mainstream opinion. I saw in the
recent submission, that the
government hasn't fulfilled its
Let's look at how it
would work. You wouldn't get a
government contract unless the
average pay of the boss was no more
than 20-1. Lockheed and British
Aerospace are building our new
fighters for the aircraft carriers.
Neither meets the 20-1 criteria, who
would build our fighters?
this could change behaviour in the
private sector. When you look at
other countries who have adopted
similar, that is what happened.
Really? You are telling me the boss
of Lockheed would take a massive pay
cut in order to continue to supply
We don't think
essentially government should be
paying for these massive pay
If the boss of Lockheed and
Bae, it is bigger in America than
here now, if these two company say
sorry, we're not cutting executive
pay. It wouldn't just be the boss it
would be all executives, but they
wouldn't do it, who would supply the
We would have to change
that business behaviour.
don't change, who would supply them.
Who is going to innovate new F35
fighter which has been 15 years in
development and still not ready for
We need to look at
this system from start to end,
because we're not talking about pay
issues, but also export credit
But Bae, it is the one
that jumps out. The NHS, it is a
huge success story of this country,
we have some of the biggest
pharmaceutical companies in the
world and they supplied drugs to the
NHS. Their executives are paid more
than 20-1, who would supply our
drugs if they didn't change the PEI
Labour isn't saying we want
every single company in the whole
country to change.
You have said it
would be a condition of getting a
public contract that the pay ratio
is 20-1, so who would provide the
You are not outsourcing
services, you are purchasing the
drugs from them. The NHS has done
that. We're looking at things like
cleaning and catering.
outsource massively. Hewlett
Packard, IBM and the French company
have been named as part of the top
20 companies you outsource to.
Hewlett Packard is a massive
American company. Who do you go to
if they will not cut their American
We need to look at
how we would do with multinational
companies like that.
How would you
deal with that?
I accept it is
something the Labour government
wasn't always perfect act, but we
have many problems at the moment and
we need more accountability for that
process. If that means potentially
more firms coming in who don't have
What British company could
do that Hewlett Packard does for the
We have these contracts
going to these huge firms that
haven't delivered. It might mean
smaller portions of these contracts
going to different firms.
going to different firms.
company, is massive, what if they
say we don't want British contracts
any more, where do you go?
point, I cannot say off the top of
my head, but the public are fed up
with the system where taxpayers are
supporting very, very high pay
packets. Through that public purse
and that has got to end. Government
activity can change these issues.
Theresa May herself for saying she
was thinking of looking at this
issue of pay ratios, not just for
outsourcing, but for the whole
economy. She hasn't done that.
your policy, the Spanish
construction company, key to the
Crossrail programme going on, could
be key to the new Crossrail going
from north to south. Its boss is
paid £3.7 million. Unless he cuts
his pay on your ratio, to around
£400,000, he couldn't bid for these
We believe there should
be a change in that kind of pay
system and we have been upfront
No major international
construction company would not be
able to bid for a contract?
not the case. We think people would
cut their pay, potentially.
think they would cut their pay to
get a British contract?
When we are
looking at international firms, we
need to focus on the national
leadership and management.
international company could get a
construction contract with the boss
being paid millions, but a British
company wouldn't get it unless the
boss wasn't paid very much?
not what I said, I said about the
leadership within the country so we
would compare like with like.
haven't thought this idea through,
We have. The government
said itself it would look at these
pay ratios but it has abandoned
You name one company that
would fall in with that. It would be
an infrastructure programme that
would be dead on arrival because
nobody would be around to do it
because they wouldn't have you
fixing their executive's pay.
we grasp this nettle of high pay at
the top end as we have seen falling
wages at the bottom end, we will
have continued public anger around
this problem. Labour is trying to do
something about it.
that and that is why I am
questioning you. But I think we have
gone as far as we can today.
The United States experienced
another government shutdown
at the weekend, which means many
government agencies stopped working
and thousands of federal employees
are placed on temporary unpaid leave
because of a disagreement over
the Budget in Congress.
The White House released a series
of photographs of president
Donald Trump to show he at least
was hard at work
to end the shutdown.
Here he is in the Oval Office.
Critics of the president,
of which there are many,
were quick to claim that it looked
perhaps a teensy bit staged.
I don't think so, it is always like
Certainly the desk looks a bit
empty, although he's previously been
criticised for having a busy desk
so perhaps that just shows
you can't win them all.
Sadly the White House didn't relate
who exactly the president
was calling although we understand
it was a matter of
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that. It is for our viewers.
We talked earlier in the programme
about David Davis and the European
Court of Justice continuing to have
jurisdiction over us through the
transition period. How has that gone
Use a transition period but
many Brexiteers would rather see
Minister has been using that phrase
but we know it is transition.
absolutely vital that it is an
implementation phase for some loud
voices on the Tory backbenches. The
viewers want to throw their
dictionary at the TV, the important
distinction and white Brexiteers are
worried about people talking about
transition as David Davis did this
morning is that an implementation
phase as set out by the Prime
Minister, the whole idea is that
I'm going to up to
stop you, we will come back to this
but for the moment I apologise we go
straight to the House of Commons.
This morning I had meetings with
ministerial colleagues and others in
addition to my duties in this house
I shall have other such meetings
later today and later I will travel
to Switzerland to attend the World
Economic Forum and I might even bump
into the Shadow Chancellor why I am
As you know, last week was the very
successful launch of the engineering
campaign aimed at changing the
perception of engineering and
inspiring the next generation of
engineers, I know the Prime Minister
is personally committed to this
campaign so can I invite her to join
me and 80,000 young people at this
year 's Big Bang fair to reinforce
the message that engineering is a
great career and open to anyone
regardless of background, ethnicity
My honourable friend
makes an important point, this issue
of engineering particularly for more
women seeing engineering as a career
is something I have promoted for
many years now. Engineers are vital
to our economy and that is why we
want to see everyone and it's not
just about gender, it is background
and ethnicity, everybody whatever
their background having the chance
to build a career in engineering and
the year of engineering gives us a
great opportunity to work with
business to do exactly that. If I
have the opportunity, if my daddy
allows, I would be happy to attend
what he refers to. -- if my diary
I join in the Prime Minister
in commemorating Holocaust Memorial
Day, many members will attend the
events tomorrow, we have to teach
all generations that the descent
into Nazism and the Holocaust must
never, ever be repeated. Anywhere on
this planet. Does the Mr mac agree
with the Foreign Secretary that the
National Health Service needs an
extra £5 billion?
extra £5 billion?
I think the right
honourable gentleman, as I recall
was here in the chamber for the
autumn budget given by my right
honourable friend the Chancellor of
the Exchequer where he announced we
would be putting £6 billion more
into the National Health Service.
The only problem with that Mr
Speaker is that it was 2.8 billion
spread like thin gruel over two
years. Two weeks ago the Prime
Minister told the house and I quote
it is indeed the case that the NHS
was better prepared this winter than
ever before. 68 senior accident and
emergency doctors have written to
the Prime Minister about what they
describe as serious concerns for the
safety of our patients, they say
patients are being treated in
corridors and they are dying
prematurely. Who should the public
believe, the Prime Minister or the
It is right that the NHS
was better prepared for this winter
than it ever has been before. We saw
3000 more beds being brought into
use over the winter period. We
sought the use of the one-on-one
call system leading to the
significant reduction in the number
of call-outs. We have seen changes
made in accident and emergency with
GP streamlining helping to ensure
that people who do not need to go
into hospital went into hospital.
Overall, overall we have seen 2.8
million more people last year
visiting accident and emergency than
did so in 2010. Our NHS is indeed
providing for patients. There are
winter pressures, we were prepared
for those winter pressures and we
will ensure, as we have done every
year under this Conservative
government that the NHS receives
Mr Speaker since 2010
we have lost 14,000 NHS beds, the
King 's fund, the health foundation
and Nuffield trust all agreed the
NHS and needs another 4 billion. In
December, the month just gone, NHS
England recorded its worst ever
accident and emergency performances
with more patients than ever waiting
over four hours. Now the UK
Statistics Authority say the numbers
might be worse because the figures
have been fiddled. Can the Prime
Minister tell the house when figures
calculated in line with previous
years will be published?
I have to
say to the right honourable
gentleman that the NHS is open and
publishing a whole variety of
figures in relation to the targets
it has. We are putting more money
into the NHS every year and we are
continuing to do that. If he wants
to talk about figures and targets
being missed... Yes the latest
figures show that in England 497
people were waiting more than 12
hours. But the latest figures also
show that under the label government
in Wales -- under the Labour
government in Wales 3471 people were
The Prime Minister is
responsible for the underfunding of
the Welsh government. And despite
that, despite that, the overall
Welsh Labour health budget has grown
by 5% in 2016-17. It is Labour Wales
with the problem of underfunding
from a Conservative government based
on Westminster. So far Mr Speaker
this winter 100,000 patients have
been forced to wait more than 30
minutes in the back of an ambulance
in NHS England for which is she is
responsible. Yet still the Prime
Minister refuses to give the NHS the
money it needs. Can she tell us how
many more patients will face
life-threatening weights in the back
of ambulances this winter?
I say to
the right honourable gentleman that
of course we want to ensure that
people are not waiting in those
ambulances. But the only answer he
ever comes up with is the question
of money. No, no, this is... The
question... The question is this,
the question is this, why are there
are some hospitals where the
percentage of patients waiting more
than 30 minutes is zero and other
hospitals where the percentage of
patients waiting more than 30
minutes is considerably higher? If
he wants to talk about funding
perhaps we should look at what the
Labour Party promised that the last
general election last year... It's
all very well shadow ministers
shouting about the comparison of
money, the point is that at the last
election the Institute for Fiscal
Studies said this, Labour and the
Conservatives are pretty much on the
same page. There is not much to
choose between them in terms of the
money they will put into the NHS.
Labour government would not be
underfunding the NHS, a Labour
government would not be privatising
the NHS, a Labour government would
not be underfunding social care, a
Labour government would be committed
to an NHS free at the point of use
as a human right. Mr Speaker,
according to the whistle-blower, as
many as... Hang on, hang on,
according to a whistle-blower, as
many as 80 patients were harmed or
died following significant ambulance
delays over a three-week period this
winter. This is a very serious
situation and the Prime Minister
must be aware of it. What
investigation is the Department of
Health carrying out into these
deeply alarming reports?
hear reports of that sort of course
they are very alarming. That is why
the Department of Health does make
sure that investigations take place.
That might be undertaken by the
Department of Health or by the
particular trust involved, the
ambulance trust or the hospital but
these issues are investigated
because we don't want to see that
happening. We want to see people
properly cared for and if there were
lessons to learn to them they will
be learned because we want to do is
that our support for the NHS is
about providing it with the funding,
doctors and nurses, treatment and
capabilities that it needs in order
to deliver for patients. That is why
we are backing the NHS with more
funding, that is why we ensure they
get the best treatments and survival
rates for cancer are higher than
they have ever been before. It is
why we are ensuring better joined up
services across the NHS and social
care so those people who do not need
to go into hospital are able to be
cared for at home and it is why we
are ensuring we are reducing waste
in the NHS so taxpayers money is
spent as effectively as may be on
patient care. That is a plan for the
NHS but it is a plan which put
Mr Speaker, the
Prime Minister must be aware of
ambulances backed up in hospital car
parks with nurses treating patients
in the back of ambulances, ambulance
drivers and paramedics desperate to
get on to deal with the next patient
cannot leave because the patient
they are dealing with at that moment
cannot get into the accident and
emergency department. It has been
reported a man froze to death
waiting 16 hours for an ambulance.
Last week a gentleman wrote to me
saying my friends 93-year-old father
waited four hours for an ambulance
after a fall. These are not isolated
cases. These are common parlance all
over the country. It needs money, it
needs support and it needs it now.
The Prime Minister is frankly in
denial about the state of the NHS,
even the absent Foreign Secretary
recognises it by the Prime Minister
is not listening. People using the
NHS can see from their own
experience it is being starved of
resources. People are dying
unnecessarily in the back of
ambulances and in hospital
corridors. GP numbers are down.
Nurses are leaving. The NHS is in
crisis. Mr Speaker, Tory MPs might
not like it but I ask this question
of the Prime Minister, when is she
going to face up to the reality and
take action to save the NHS from
death by a thousand cuts?
only one part of the NHS which has
been cut, seen a cut in its funding,
it is the NHS in Wales under a
Labour government. This is a
government, this is a government
that is backing the NHS plan, that
is putting more money into the NHS,
that is recruiting more doctors and
nurses, that is seeing new
treatments come on board which
ensure people are getting the best
treatment that they need. This is a
government that recognises the
priorities of the British people.
Priority is to ensure the NHS
remains a world-class health care
system, indeed the best health care
system in the world. Priority is to
build the homes people need, to make
sure our kids are in good schools.
This is a government which is
building a country which works for
everyone, a country in which... A
country in which people can look to
the future with optimism and hope.
Thank you Mr Speaker, the British
people need to be confident in the
integrity of our voting system. So
what is my right honourable friend
doing to follow up on Sir Eric
Pickles report securing the ballot
to minimise voter fraud, whether
this is for referenda, general
elections or local elections?
honourable friend raises an
important point, can I congratulate
him for a very good council
by-election result, the
Conservatives taking a seat from the
Labour Party. But he raises an
important issue about strengthening
our process and enhancing the
confidence people have in our
democratic processes. We will
shortly be running pilot screams in
five local authorities to identify
voter ID by nationality, and in
Tower Hamlets and slow and
Peterborough they will pilot
measures to improve the proxy and
postal vote process. Democracy
matters but it's important people
have true faith in it.
Can I wish
you a happy Burns day for tomorrow
Mr Speaker and can I associate
myself with the remarks of the Prime
Minister for Holocaust Memorial Day,
we should never forget the horrible
tragedy and the price people had to
pay but we should remember a
genocide happening in many
territories since that time as well
and we must work to eradicate that
scourge our society. Mr Speaker,
earlier this week the Royal Bank of
Scotland chief executive officer
admitted in a leaked memo that
closing 22 local branches would be
painful for customers. 13 towns are
to lose their last bank in Scotland.
Prime Minister I will give you one
other opportunity, as the majority
shareholder will you meet with RBS
and make the case to keep the
The right honourable gentleman has
asked me this on a number of
occasions and I have made the point
in every answer, and that will not
change today. We do have a duty as a
government and we look at how the
market is working. That is why we
establish the access to banking
standard that commits banks to carry
out a certain number of steps before
closing a branch and that is why we
welcome the post office but welcome
customers to use Post Office
services. 99% of personal customers
can carry out their day-to-day
banking at a post office as a result
of a new agreement. People are
covered by the services they need.
would say to the Prime Minister, we
owned RBS and it is time you took
responsibility. By closing these
branches and replacing some with a
mobile banking vans which do not
provide disability access, The Royal
Bank of Scotland appears to be in
breach of the UK a quality act. A
wheelchair user has described using
this as degrading. Does the Prime
Minister agree RBS has the
responsibility to deliver services
to disabled people and will she be
held accountable and this issue.
all want to be able to see that all
customers are able to access the
services they need. That is
customers who are disabled and
customers who live in remote areas.
As I have said, this is a commercial
decision taken by The Royal Bank of
Scotland. Banks are closing
branches, other banks are closing
branches because what they see is
less use being made of those
branches. As the right honourable
gentleman has been talking about
matters financial, I am sorry he
wasn't able to welcome the fact the
trade figures for Scotland showed
their biggest export market remains
the rest of the United Kingdom.
Thank you. It is
easier asking them than answering
them. It is vital for long-term
prosperity the government maintains
infrastructure investment. With this
in mind and especially as proposals
for new bridges are fashionable, can
I ask the Prime Minister to commit
the government to a practical idea,
which is an early start on the lower
Thames crossing between Kent and
Essex which would create 5000 jobs,
relieve pressure on the motorway
network and provide a boost to the
economy of the whole eastern side of
honourable friend is right in
drawing attention to the impact of
infrastructure when it is developed
in various parts of the UK. In terms
of the Thames crossing it will
unlock growth for the region and
offer new connections and better
journeys. It is the best investment
in the road network in a generation.
Highways England have announced the
preferred route last year. I
recognise this has raised concerns
in effect constituencies, but can I
get sure that there will be further
opportunities for those who both
support the proposals and those who
do not, they can give their views
and have their say. But he is right,
infrastructure developments can make
an impact, not just on jobs during
the infrastructure but on the
economy locally and nationally.
Outside the customs union, many UK
businesses would face, complex and
punitive rules of origin tariffs.
Given the Prime Minister's aim of
frictionless trade post Brexit, can
she confirm if it is her intention
to pursue a customs union with the
I have said this on many
occasions and I am happy to repeat
it. Leaving the European Union means
we will be leaving the single
market, we will no longer be members
of the customs union. We want to
sign and implement trade deals with
other parts of the world as part of
an independent trade pussy. But in
the negotiations we are looking
forward to for Abbas but feel, we
will be looking for a tariff free
and frictionless trade agreement as
Many members on both sides
of the House, myself included have
expressed concern over the Ministry
of Defence. The Ministry of -- this
government will always take longer
to protect this country.
honourable friend has raised an
important subject. In July the
government initiated the National
security capability review, which
was in support of the
implementation of the 2015 national
security review, to ensure we do
indeed, have the capabilities, the
investment in those capabilities we
need in our national security and
that investment, those capabilities
are as effective and joined up as
possible. I have agreed the
high-level findings with ministers
at the National Security Council and
have directed the work should be
finalised with a view to publishing
a report on this in late spring. It
has been significant and it will
ensure we have the right
capabilities. As part of that we
realise more work was needed on
defence to work on modernising
defence. We want to ensure the
defence budget is being spent
intelligently and efficiently and we
are investing in the capabilities we
need to keep the nation safe. And
the Defence Secretary will update
the House on this in due course.
is a tragedy that in the past year
knife crime has risen by 26%. The
youth of Ireland's commission is
conducting the first National youth
survey to look at their experiences
of trauma and violence. Will the
Prime Minister meet with me to
discuss the causes of youth violence
and how we can find solutions?
say to the honourable lady, it is an
important issue and we need to look
at this issue. Although she won the
crimes that are traditionally
measured by the National crime
survey have dropped over a third
since 2010, we need to consider
these issues of the root causes of
violence, among young people and
these knife crimes we seek among
young people. It is important we
remain adaptable and resilient and
we need to understand that. I am
sure the Home Secretary will be
happy to meet her to talk about
youth violence and the causes.
the 28th of December, the East of
England Ambulance Service attended
and addressed in lower soft in which
a man was sadly confirmed of having
died. It followed on from a call
from the previous afternoon from the
police regarding the same person who
was left outside in inhospitable
conditions. I have spoken to the
person who made the initial call and
I have concerns over how the matter
was handled by the case only came to
light in the last few days. I would
ask the Prime Minister to endorse
the request I have made to the east
of England Ambulance Service and
Suffolk police to immediately
instigate an independent enquiry to
establish exactly what happened and
to then put in place measures to
ensure such a tragic event does not
Can I share his
concerns about this event, about
what happens, the tragedy that
happened here. We should recognise
our Ambulance Services, those
delivering services, work hard and
regularly go above and beyond the
call of duty to ensure our safety.
But there have been concerns raised
about the service in the East of
England ambulance trusts, including
this very, very worrying and tragic
case is my honourable friend has
raised. As I said in response to the
Leader of the Opposition earlier, we
take these cases very seriously. Any
claims patient safety has been put
at risk are taken seriously and the
Department of Health and social care
has received assurances these
reports are being investigated by
the trust as a serious incident. It
is an issue that my honourable
friend, the Minister of the health
has discussed with executives of NHS
England and NHS improvement.
million people in this country live
in homes that are unfit, posing a
threat to their health and safety.
It costs the NHS billions. The House
gave the secondaries into my housing
fitness pill which will give tenants
new legal rights to act against the
worst landlords. I was grateful to
have the support of the government
and the backing of these benches.
But time the Private member 's'
bills are limited and tenants cannot
wait. Canty ensure this important
bill will make rapid progress and
The honourable lady
raises an important point. We have
seen, over the last six or seven
years, a significant number of homes
now meeting the decent homes
standard. The condition in which
people are living is important and I
will ask the Leader of the House to
look at the issues she has raised
about her own bill.
Cumbria is internationally
celebrated for its lakes and
mountains and known for nuclear
excellence. This afternoon
Parliament is hosting a taste of
Cumbria, showcasing our final food
and rent. Can I extend a warm
invitation to yourself and the Prime
Minister, to come along and sample
some of our finest fare?
Can I say
to my honourable friend, I am afraid
my diary does not permit me to
attend that event this afternoon,
but if I can drop a hint, I
understand there was a taste of
Lincolnshire offend recently and my
honourable friend sent me some
Lincolnshire products after the
event. I am not hinting at anything,
I will come along. Sarah
Mr Speaker, this morning,
thousands of us across the country
heard my friend and former boss,
Baroness Tessa jowl talk for the
first time since she was diagnosed
with a high-grade brain tumour. It
was a joy to hear her relentless
positivity and complete commitment
to changing the world. In a speech
in the other place tomorrow, she
will call for improved cancer
diagnosis and treatment. Will the
Prime Minister and the Health
Secretary meet with Tessa, me and
other health experts to talk about
how we improve outcomes, to meet her
goal and ultimately save lives?
will say to the honourable lady, I
am sure the whole House was saddened
to hear of the diagnosis of the
noble Baroness, the noble lady
baroness Abbott encouraged by the
approach he is taking. I told the
Home Secretary, and her speech this
morning was very moving in this. I
am sure everybody across this House
of Sand heard the very best wishes
at this time. We do want to make
sure cancer treatment is a priority
and we want to make sure the best
treatments are being provided. We
will consider investing in anything
that improves that and we have
accepted 96 recommendations in the
NHS Cancer strategy. We constantly
need to look at this. My right
honourable friend the Health
Secretary will be happy to meet with
the honourable lady and Tessa
Tessa Jowell has been an
outstanding public servant. In my 20
years of this place I have never met
a more courteous or gracious member
The Prime Minister will no of the
devastation caused by fixed odds
betting terminals. Far cry from the
bingo Hall, the pools coupon. Given
there is a review, will she meet me
and others to discuss how the
maximum bet on these terminals can
be reduced. And to plan how a
crackdown on the online gambling
sites which target young children.
Mr Speaker, the stakes are too high
to gamble with our children's
We are clear the fixed odds
betting terminals stakes will be cut
to make sure we have a safe and
sustainable industry were vulnerable
people and children are protected.
As I suspect, he knows the
consultation the Department for
digital culture media and sports has
launched on this and a close
yesterday so a final decision will
be made in due course. He will know
with regard to the specific point on
children, there are in place,
controls to prevent children and
young people from accessing online
gambling and the gambling commission
has asked the gambling strategy
board to examine the wide
relationship between children and
gambling. It is important we
recognise the potential threats and
dangers but ensure we have the best
information possible to be able to
My 25-year-old constituent lost her
battle with cervical cancer and died
in January last year. She went to
her GP around 30 times with symptoms
and repeatedly asked for a smear
test and was refused. She only got
the test when she paid to have it
done privately. Sadly the cancer had
spread by that point. We'll be Prime
Minister support of the family in
their campaign to introduce Amber's
law which would change the
regulations so that women under 25
can access a smear test on the
National Health Service when they
I send my
condolences and I am sure the whole
house does to Amber's family for
this terrible thing which has
happened. The smear test is hugely
important. Sadly what we see even
for those who qualify today to have
the test is that too many women do
not take it up. I know it's not a
comfortable thing to do. Because I
have it as other stew. But it's so
important for women's health. I
first of all want to encourage women
to actually take the smear test.
Secondly she has raised an issue
about the availability of that test
and I will ask my right honourable
friend the Secretary of State for
Health to look at this issue. It has
been raised before for those under
the age of 25. Action has been taken
in terms of the vaccine which has
been introduced for teenagers. There
have been questions about that, I
have had people in my constituency
raising questions about that. We
need to address this issue in every
way possible so we will look at the
question of age qualification and my
overall message is, please, those
called for a smear test, go and have
Would my right honourable friend
join me in congratulating Bexley
rugby club on its 60th anniversary
and agree with me that the pursuit
of sport is good for health and
I can see to my right
honourable friend that I am very
happy to endorse what he has said
about sport and indeed to enjoy him
in congratulating the rugby club on
a significant anniversary. I am sure
over all of those years it has given
many young people and others an
introduction to the joy of sport and
the way sport can be good for the
community and society and also the
individual. I am happy to endorse
This week I have been
approached by a constituent who is a
single mother and up until December
was a teacher. She has been told she
will have to wait over six weeks for
Universal Credit payment and been
denied hardship loans. This means
that she is living on £20 per week
child benefit and the charity of
food banks. Can the Prime Minister
tell us that is how Universal Credit
is supposed to work? And does she
regret that my constituent's son now
joins the nearly 9000 children
living in poverty and Batley and
We made changes to the
Universal Credit which were
announced in the budget including
changes which mean the availability
of advanced payments has increased.
The size of those advanced payments
has increased but if she would like
to send the details, write in with
the particular details we can look
at it and make sure it is properly
The latest figures from
the Office of National Statistics
show the government is making
further progress in reducing the
deficit. Would my right honourable
friend agree it would be reckless to
change course now in terms of a
policy of Reena as localisation --
friend raises an important point, it
has not been easy to the dues the
deficit in the way that we have. We
had to deal with the biggest deficit
in our peacetime history left to us
by the Labour Party, decisions from
the government... Yes. Yes.
Labour might not like hearing it but
it is what happened. It is by the
hard work of the British people and
by decisions the government has
taken we have been able to produce
that deficit. But £170 billion extra
in order to meet the ideological
desires of the Leader of the
Opposition would saddle people up
and down this country with higher
debt and ordinary people would pay
Will she instruct the DWP
to release the details of benefits
claimants with disabilities who have
taken their own lives after the
claims were turned down, stop
without notice or significantly
The DWP does not give
details of individuals with whom it
deals. That is absolutely right.
Absolutely right. What it does do is
ensure we have a welfare system
which provides support to those who
need it and welfare system that
increasingly encourages those who
can to get into the workplace
because we continue to believe work
is the best route out of other day.
In her December press release the
Bank of England described the UK
financial system as both a national
asset and a global public good. Does
my right honourable friend think it
is reasonable that the UK financial
services sector which pays billions
of pounds in taxes wants to hear the
government ambitions to ensure the
City of London remains a global
pre-eminent financial settlement in
the same way it set out ambitions
for other sectors in the summer?
have said in this chamber we retain
that ambition for the City of London
to remain a global financial centre,
I have said it outside this chamber,
it is indeed what we are working on.
I was pleased to welcome a number of
senior representatives from the
financial services sector to number
ten Downing St only a matter of
weeks ago. To sit down and talk to
them about how we can ensure that we
do exactly that. London's place as
the financial sector for the world
is not just to benefit the United
Kingdom, it's a benefit to the
global financial system and the
wonderful Mr Speaker that people are
top thing about building walls but
we in Britain are talking about
building bridges. But let me
reassure our American friends that
the Mexicans and the French will be
paying for it because our NHS needs
to be properly funded first. Can the
Prime Minister confirm that rather
than building 22 mile long bridges
over the English Channel or a £50
billion Boris airport in the Thames
estuary, when will be Western rail
link to Heathrow connect in Wales,
the South and the West directly to
Heathrow, when more that finally be
built and will we be subjected to
further studies and consultations?
Can I say to the honourable
gentleman that I believe there is
very strong cross-party support for
the Western rail link for Heathrow.
The honourable gentleman has
expressed his support and my right
honourable friend the member for
Newbury has been supporting this. It
would reduce journey times for
passengers in the south-west and
good support the Thames Valley
economy. It is something I have
looked into as a Thames Valley MP
previously. Development funding has
been committed for the project and
the Department for Transport will
write further detail in due course.
Can I congratulate the Prime
Minister and the parties in Northern
Ireland for the resumption today of
talks at Stormont. What more can be
done to ensure the executive is
restored and the nightmare of direct
My honourable friend
is absolutely right, the people of
Northern Ireland need strong
devolved government and political
leadership and they cannot continue
to have their public services
suffered by lack of an executive
without ministers making key policy
and budget decisions. We are
determined to re-establish a fully
function inclusive devolved
administration which works for
everyone in Northern Ireland. We
believe that the basis for a deal
exists and that is why as my
honourable friend has said today,
the Northern Ireland Secretary
starting a set of political talks to
restore the executive. I would
encourage, strongly encourage all
parties to come together and focus
on the job of restoring devolved
government in Northern Ireland.
Christmas Newcastle United football
fans raised over £50,000 for the
Western food bank in my constituency
which you are soon to visit Mr
Speaker, helping to feed people like
John who despite having COPD,
arthritis, dyspepsia, prose that is,
type two diabetes and anxiety and
depression was sanctioned for not
working hard enough to try to find
work. We'll be Prime Minister
congratulate the people of Newcastle
on their generosity and will she
explain why it was necessary?
can say to the honourable lady is
that I applaud all those who give
their time voluntarily, raise money
across the board in terms of the
activities, she has raised a
specific example of the work of
people in Newcastle and I commend
people for when they do raise money
for causes. Can I just say to the
honourable lady, I cannot discuss an
individual case across this dispatch
box as she will knows. I think it's
important, it is important that we
do ensure we have a system which
works, does work properly and fairly
and I am sure if she wants to raise
the individual case with the
Secretary of State for Work and
Pensions it will be looked into.
Prime Minister will now be very
welcome and introduction of the
national minimum wage has created an
as yet unresolved difficulty for the
care sector. Specifically for 24
hour care for those with significant
learning difficulties. The issue is
commonly referred to as sleeping
shifts and owed money to the HMRC.
Will the Prime Minister meet with me
and a number of concerned colleagues
to discuss the best way forward?
honourable friend raises an
important issue which is of concern
to a number of organisations and to
others around the house. I am very
happy to meet her and looked into
this particular question. I would
say to my honourable friend this is
a matter the Cabinet Office has been
looking at and working with the
relative Ottoman departments --
government departments to find a
solution which I know has caused
concern. That is why there have been
the measures taken to defer the
abomination of certain aspects of
this but we continue to work on it
and are happy to look into it.
Nobody has been charged with the
death of Poppi Worthington despite
the 13 month -year-old having been
anally penetrated in the hours
before her death at home. She was
not known to social services despite
a staggeringly troubled family
history so will she agreed to a
public enquiry so we can learn the
lessons from this and the children
safer across the country?
this is a case which has shocked and
appalled everybody around the
country when they have seen the
horrific abuse which was carried out
and obviously the tragic
circumstances of the death of Poppi
and obviously the tragic
circumstances of the death of Poppi.
I'm sure everyone will join me in
offering my condolences. As I
understand that the Crown
Prosecution Service has announced it
is considering the coroner 's
decision in the lesion with Cumbria
Constabulary and I think is right we
allow that process to continue to
take place and await the outcome of
it before considering any further
action being needed. I can assert
the honourable gentleman that I
think everyone across this house is
well appraised of the significance
of this issue and how appalling this
tragedy was and the need for us to
ensure there was indeed Justice but
also lessons are learned.
ANDREW: PMQs ending on a sombre
note. As expected, Jeremy Corbyn
went on the NHS. The extra money the
government was putting in wasn't
enough. And he quoted A&E doctors
and who should we trust, them or the
experts. The Prime Minister quoted
statistics, showing various areas
how she thought the NHS was doing
well. Inevitably, we may want to
start betting on this.
start betting on this. Jeremy Corbyn
use some detail, he said 100,000
patients had to wait more than 30
minutes in an ambulance. He talked
about the numbers waiting for how
the A&E figures, a weight of no more
than four hours have been regularly
breached. He said 80 patients had
been harmed or died over three weeks
while waiting in the ambulances.
That was the exchange. Whether we
got anywhere is another matter but
the NHS is always a powerful issue.
Labour think it is its issue and
that is why Jeremy Corbyn regularly
goes with it. And in the winter
there is plenty of material he has
to put to the government.
Let's discuss all this with Brexit
minister Robin Walker and Shadow
Treasury Minister Anneliese Dodds.
Laura Kuenssberg is here too.
Before I interrupted you, Laura.
did, well, John Bercow bid, by
starting on time.
I am happy to be
corrected. And finished early as
well. We talked about the NHS in the
first part of the programme and
spoke to the Minister about them. Mr
David Davis, the Brexit minister was
in front of a select committee and
was being asked questions, maybe it
was Jacob Rees Mogg that responded,
but he seemed to tell us that in
this transition period of two years
after we leave, the European Court
of Justice will still rule and have
jurisdiction in this land.
And in her Florence speech, the
Prime Minister said the transition
period will be the status quo and
the rules and regulations will stay
broadly the same and that will mean
the oversight of the European Court
of Justice. The context is, the
government is expected to set and
much more detail about the two years
up Brexit day by the end of this
week. So ears are wagging around
Westminster for any clues. The
second thing is, for the Tory party,
this debate around what the
transition period looks like is one
of the central issues of dispute
between the Brexiteer tendency, of
course from top to bottom in the
party and those who were advocates
for Remain. And David Davis, who was
a Brexiteer but now had to make the
thing work. We were saying before
PMQs, there is even a row before you
get to the actual thing, there is a
row over what to call it. Is it a
transition period or in
implementation phase, which is what
the Prime Minister said last day.
That matters because implementation
is basically meant to be both sides
getting used to the new arrangements
and transition is things preserved
in aspect. In your view, what is it,
implementation or transition? This
matters to a lot of people.
look at the joint report, it is
both, it refers to both terms. But I
think it is important to reflect the
fact that this is not a question of,
do we stay in the EU. It is, we are
leaving the EU but we are taking
time to do it in an orderly way.
There is a period, if you have two
years, were both sides of the EU and
the UK get used to set of new
Which would be
Which would be agreed. Or
you have a two-year period which
would be the status quo and the UK
would be expected to abide by any
new rules. It will be interesting to
hear from the minister, people want
to know if the UK can set its own
rules during the two-year period?
you said, the Secretary of State
will be setting out in more detail,
the way it will work later in the
week. But what I want to point out,
the UK will be able to start to go
out and prepare a new policy,
prepare new ground for how things
will be different in the future. The
Prime Minister said in her speech,
both in her Lancaster House and
Florence beaches, we need continuity
during the process.
Will anything be
different in the transition period?
We will no longer be a member of the
European Union. Anything other than
that? That is a significant point.
How we prepare for trade policy, go
out and talk to countries. At the
moment, we can't.
That is not
implementation, it is a preparation
It is both.
implement, under what is being
proposed, you could not implement or
sign in new free trade deal with a
I think that is
something obviously we are entering
negotiations on this implementation
period, but we want to be going out
and talking to the parties during
these arrangements and putting those
arrangements into place, so they are
ready for the point at which really.
There is agreement from both parties
about the benefits of having time to
prepare. Not just from a business
perspective, which we have heard
loud and clear from businesses in
all sectors, but also in respect of
the government being able to prepare
for new arrangements that might be
in place between us in the future.
There is a lot of anxiety about what
the actual answers to these
questions are on Tory backbenchers,
which was demonstrated by Mr Rhys
Marg, because he is the head of the
reform group, the research group,
sorry. They are a powerful grip on
the Tory backbenches.
informed, they do their research.
Will we be able to set out our own
rules and regulations during the
implementation, transition period
and I think there may be some
rumblings on the Tory benches that
may become more public.
get an answer, and I didn't get an
answer and that would have been bad.
If the transition period goes up to
December 2020 or even into March of
2021, assuming this parliament runs
its life, that is quite a big
assumption, but assuming it does,
there is only a year until the next
election as well. There isn't a
period on which to fight an election
where people have any sense of being
able to say, well I am glad we did
this, or, it is turning into a
disaster, because there isn't enough
I think a lot of viewers will
be thinking, why are we talking
about the interests of a small
number of Conservative backbenchers
and why aren't we talking about the
interests of this country? The
message that has come across to me
from business, we had it again with
the custom-built committee, they
need to know they will be sticking
with existing rules and all of this
talk about whether we have got a
transition period, implementation
period, half in, half out, whatever
it is, it's not helping. We have
some evidence it is costing jobs. It
is holding up investment decisions.
Not showing up in this morning's
unemployment figures, is it?
right, but look at different
sectors. Not staying part of the
EU's trade remedies regime or not
having rules are strict is that
regime, we could be flooded with
Chinese imports, potentially.
mean unlike now?
To be fair we have
a number of trade remedies. If we
didn't have those and if the
government is threatening to take
those away, we need to have that
security. Being held to ransom by
somebody like Jacob Rees Mogg, I
have nothing against him personally,
they are not representing this
country and the government should
not be driven by this.
like the government is closer to you
on this than it does to Jacob Rees
The government has finally
come up with what Lega has argued
for, for a long time, we have got to
accept the reality...
What came from
Labour was absurd. It was in the
Florence speech, the Lancaster House
speech, we have been clear there
would need to be a period for the
implementation and move to a new
agreement. That is the policy we are
You wouldn't accept
initially there would be any
involvement of the ECJ when it was
obvious it would have to happen.
Prime Minister set that out in her
Florence speech, it would be under
the same rules.
She didn't, there
would be instability and concerned
before the government accepted what
Labour said the whole way.
true a lot of Eurosceptics had
argued when we leave, the moment the
technically leave, that is when the
ECJ should no longer... There was a
residual thing in Phase one, they
would have a residual locus on EU
But that was meant to be
it. It is indeed the case the
Eurosceptics in the Tory party has
moved a bit about what they were
willing to accept. There is no
question about that and some
ministers did start off thinking
there didn't have to be a transition
and then they accepted that, as you
have been suggesting. The broader
point, the Tory party is not all
peace and harmony about the
transition period, which is the next
phase of the huge Brexit challenge
we are about to enter into
So watch this
space. We shall watch this space
indeed. Let me bring you back,
Anneliese Dodds, to a more domestic
issue. Labour's executive committee
comic called on Labour councillors
in Haringey to stop a controversial
housing partnership to redevelop a
large council housing estate. The
NEC said they should stop doing
this. Is it a proper role for the
I believe what they said this
to have a review after some members
referred it to them. It is a
There is a
mediation process and they are
asking the council to halt it.
it seemed clear, the NEC is against
I am not sitting on the NEC, I
don't know what individuals on the
This is a local councillor,
he thinks the NEC that Matt Prior
serve the people of my borough
first, not my party. Regardless of
what the Politburo say.
Well, it is
funny, I know Joe Goldberg from a
long time ago. The context for this
is a situation where it is very
difficult for councils to do
regeneration because of a lot of the
rules around viability. There is a
discussion about whether this big
project, whether it is the right way
But the elected Labour
councillors of Haringey, most of
them wanted to proceed. Some I read
in the papers, were quite excited
about what this would do for this
large council estate in terms of
Do regeneration is
certainly needed, the question is
whether this is the right way to
achieve it. That is why we will have
this review. It is important we have
it. I hope this will raise more
generally, some of the problems we
have around regeneration. We are in
a difficult situation, where
developers hold the cards and the
government has done nothing to
improve that situation, in fact has
done more to make it worse.
you side with, the Haringey
councillors or the NEC?
I don't know
what the opinions of the individual
NEC members are. They are holding
the review, which is a good idea.
you think the NEC should turn its
attention to cuts in the council?
I was laughing
There is a lot to be seen
in Oxford, let me tell you.
the issue of regeneration.
need to put our viewers out of their
misery and give them the answer to
Guess the Year.
Guess the Year. It was 2016, not
that long ago. Can you press the
buzzer. The NEC approved when it
That's all for today.
The One o'clock News is starting
over on BBC One now.
Sarah Smith at noon tomorrow with
another Daily Politics. I hope you
can join her, goodbye.
Andrew Neil is joined by undersecretary of state for the department for exiting the European Union Robin Walker and shadow treasury minister Anneliese Dodds with live coverage of Prime Minister's Questions.
Plus discussion on Brexit, the economy and the future of PFI deals.
The Guess the Year competition closes at 12.30pm during the live broadcast of this programme.