30/01/2017 Monday in Parliament


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Hello, and welcome to Monday In Parliament -


The Foreign Secretary says all British passport holders will be


able to travel to the United States, despite


This executive order will make no difference to any


British passport holder, irrespective of their country of


birth or whether they hold another passport.


But despite Boris Johnson describing the policy as "wrong",


opposition MPs say he's not going far enough


This order was signed on Holocaust Memorial Day.


For the sake of history, for heaven's sake, have


Also tonight - concerns the closure of Jobcentre Plus buildings may not


Can my honourable friend assure me that those who have put forward


the proposals have indeed visited places such as the Calder Valley


to understand the demographics and geography, or have they just sat


in their offices in Whitehall using Google Maps?


The Foreign Secretary has told the Commons that President Trump's


travel ban on refugees from Syria and citizens from seven mainly


Muslim countries will make "no difference" to anyone


Boris Johnson said the policy was divisive and wrong.


But Labour have accused the Government of being slow to react.


The general principle is that all British passport holders remain


We have received assurances from the US Embassy that this


executive order will make no difference to any British passport


holder, irrespective of their country of birth


or whether they hold another passport.


This order was issued at 9.45 on Friday, UK time.


It then took Number 10 until midnight on Saturday,


a full 27 hours later, to say that they would consider


It then took the Prime Minister until Sunday morning to tell


the Foreign Secretary to telephone the White House and took him


until midday on Sunday to call the travel ban divisive and wrong.


That is 38 hours, Mr Speaker, to have the courage to say


what everyone else was saying on Friday night.


We have an exemption for UK passport holders, whether you're


And I think most fair-minded people would say that that actually showed


the advantages of working closely with the Trump Administration.


The advantage of having a relationship that enables us


Without a thought to the context, on Holocaust Memorial Day,


President Trump issued an executive order to ban seven predominantly


Muslim countries from entering the USA,


Including, and I quote, those "bad dudes" who are actually


the real victims of violence who are fleeing


This action is inhumane, it's racist, and it's immoral.


And I welcome the fact, Mr Speaker, that this House is now treating


the threats posed by President Trump with the seriousness


I have already made my views about this.


It is up to members of the House of Commons if they wish


The denunciation of this policy - I've made my position clear.


I said it was wrong to promulgate policies that stigmatise people


on the basis of their nationality, and I believe that very profoundly.


Mr Trump is what we might call a known unknown.


We know that he will do and say unpredictable things,


and often just as quickly abandon those positions.


And what we have to remember is that our security and that


of Europe depends on the Atlantic Alliance.


This is not just about the impact on British citizens.


One of our closest allies has chosen to ban refugees and target Muslims.


And all he can say is that, well, it wouldn't be our polity.


Has he urged the US Administration to lift this order, to help


refugees, and to stop targeting Muslims?


This order was signed on Holocaust Memorial Day.


For the sake of history, for heaven's sake,


As they say, it is open to MPs on all sides of the House to come


forward with yet fresh expressions of outrage about the


And they are entitled to it.


I share the widespread disquiet, and I have


I've said that it is divisive, and said it is wrong,


and I've said that it stigmatises people on grounds of nationality.


What I will not do, which is what I think


is disengage from conversations with our American friends


and partners in such a way as to do material damage to the interests


Given our new-found closeness with the Trump Administration,


what plans does my right honourable friend have to try and persuade


the Administration after the 90 days to abandon what, to many,


And would my right honourable friend agree,


in paraphrasing a far wiser president, John F.


Kennedy, that those that ride on the back


The condemnation of Donald Trump's actions continued into the evening


after the Speaker granted an emergency debate.


It was requested by the former Labour leader Ed Miliband,


who said the travel ban brought to mind the actions of


Also sponsoring the debate was the Conservative Nadhim Zahawi,


who was born in Iraq and who was personally affected


The only way of understanding this ban when you look at it, Mr Speaker,


is that it does represent the suspension of reason


Indeed, it has perversity, discrimination and


I'm always grateful to my right honourable friend, but one


of the key aspects is the dramatic affect it has on those who had


boarded aircraft ready to go to the United States with valid


visas, only to arrive and being told that they have to go back.


It is that physical, that emotional effect


that is the most damning part of what is being proposed.


My right honourable friend speaks with great eloquence on this issue,


One of the most chilling things I've found, and I'm sure other


members did as well, reading the account at the weekend


of what had happened to individuals, which frankly sounded


like the actions of tinpot the leadership.


It did not sound like what we would expect or hope


The US has always been our oldest and closest ally.


Some people will say this is not a matter for us, as long


I profoundly disagree. It absolutely is a matter for us.


Because the fundamental and dangerous betrayal of values


this measure represents is indeed an affront to all of us.


It is an affront to the Muslims living in this country,


And, as I have said, it will make the world


Mr Speaker, if we allow this to stand and we shrug our shoulders,


it will amount to complicity with President Trump.


These actions are not normal, rational or sensible.


We know, Mr Speaker, President Trump is a bully.


The only course of action in relation to his bullying


Nadhim Zahawi was born in Iraq and is now a British citizen.


He described how uncomfortable the weekend had been


I learnt my ability to travel to the United States


A country that I revere so much for its values,


with which I have such great affinity and affection


and to which I have sent both my sons to university.


I learnt, Mr Speaker, that this great nation had


put in place measures that would prevent mine


and my family's ability to travel, study and feel welcome there.


I was concerned about the next time I would see my boys.


Due to our reluctance to let them fly home in the eventuality


that they be prevented from returning to university.


My wife and I despaired at the thought that had one


seriously ill again, as he was last year


whilst at university, we would not be able to go to him


He called the executive order wholly counter-productive.


Over the weekend, pro-Islamic State social media accounts have already


begun hailing the order and the President's comments


as clear evidence that the USA is seeking to destroy Islam.


They have even called it the Blessed Ban.


Yvette Cooper said she was deeply worried about a


By rushing in to this state visit, I fear that actually the Government


is going to do the opposite of what they want.


Instead of this being a celebration of friendship and shared values,


and a sign of increased cooperation, instead it will show the huge


divisions and a huge concern concern we have about what


And it will look like an endorsement of a ban that is so morally


wrong, and that we should be standing against.


Another MP said the UK should be a candid friend.


Very little at all will be achieved by cancelling a state visit


when the invitation has already been extended and


It is part of a process of seeking to engage,


Money needs to be spent on work coaches and not buildings,


the government has insisted, asked about the closure


Many MPs said their constituents were not ready for a system


which relied heavily on internet access and the ability to use a PC.


But the minister said that vulnerable claimants would be served


- either by post or, in some cases, home visits.


Eight out of ten claims for Jobseeker's Allowance are now


made online and 99.6% of applicants for Universal Credit full service


This has resulted in the DWP buildings being used much less.


20% of the DWP estate is currently underutilised.


As we renegotiate our out of date contract, we are merging some


smaller Job Centres with larger ones and co-locating others with local


This will help DWP offer a better service for people looking for work,


whilst delivering a better deal for the taxpayer, saving


about ?180 million a year for the next ten years.


The UK Government's proposal to drastically cut the number


of Job Centres and DWP offices across Scotland and in the UK,


including my constituency of Inverclyde, will have a profound


impact on thousands of people desperately seeking


work and the support to which they are entitled.


There has been a distinct lack of consultation


with the communities affected and, with the government in Scotland,


That lack of consultation is against the principles


outlined the principles for Scottish devolution,


following the independence referendum.


We are particularly concerned about the impact on women, children


Will the government publish an assessment of the impact of these


The government is continuing to roll out Universal Credit


and, for the first time, people who are actually in work will have


Will the government delay its plans to reduce its estate until it has


a clear idea of what the demands on Job Centres and staff will be


One of the things that really impressed me during my spell at DWP


was the quality of the work coaches and their capacity for supporting


real positive change in people's lives, so,


if there is an opportunity to spend less on near-empty bricks


and mortars and actually to invest more in a greater number of work


coaches, isn't that exactly the right thing to do?


SOME: Hear, hear! SPEAKER: Minister!


I thank my Honourable Friend for that question.


Our work coaches are at the front line delivering services


to claimants, helping them, not just into work,


but when they are in work, helping them into more work


That's why we are recruiting will work coaches and looking


That's why we are recruiting more work coaches and looking


to make sure that our DWP estate best reflects value for money,


both for our taxpayers and, of course, providing the support


In 2010, I had three Job Centres in my constituency.


Old Swan was closed by her department at the start of 2010


and now she wants to close the other two in Edge Hill and Wavertree.


My constituency has the 39th highest level


Why does she want to make it harder for the 2950 people who wanted


to access support and who will have to pay ?8.80 every single


SOME: Hear, hear! SPEAKER: minister!


I thank the honourable lady for that question.


It is of course important to reflect that what we are trying to do


is make it easier for those claimants who interact


with the DWP online to do so, to look at instances where we can


get involved in outreach projects, as has happened in various


points around the country, and make sure that,


where there are special circumstances where people


are vulnerable, that they can be given assistance


Brighouse is the largest township within the Calder Valley,


so to relocate our Job Centre uphill and down dale out of


the constituency will be a disaster to the long-term unemployed who rely


Can my Honourable Friend assure me that those who have put forward


the proposals have indeed visited places such as the Calder Valley


to understand the demographics and geography, or have they just sat


in their offices in Whitehall using Google Maps?


SOME: Hear, hear! SPEAKER: Minister!


I thank my Honourable Friend for that question.


This is not an exercise using Google maps.


This is an exercise which we having gauged in over very many months


to make the best use of our DWP estate.


It's critically important, when we are not using the space


that we have, but are paying for it, that we think very hard


about how we can best provide services to our claimants.


The Work and Pensions Minister, Caroline Nokes.


You're watching Monday in Parliament.


The Foreign Secretary says the United States has given


assurances that holders of a British passport will be unaffected


by travel bans imposed by President Trump.


But opposition MPs have accused the government


Ministers have rejected the suggestion that the adult social


But appearing before the Communities Committee,


a health minister and a local government minister accepted


that the system was "stressed" and said more money


But they also accepted that pressures on the care system


would continue to grow and one hinted that children


may have to take more responsibility for looking


Is social care in crisis in this country at present?


The social care system is under stress, and that is the word that


I'd rather use than the word you that chose.


The second point I would make is I don't think it's accurate


to say there is one social care system in this country.


There is a mass disparity in different locations


between different local and different authorities


and actually different health authorities as well.


STUDIO: Another minister highlighted the extra money


being provided for social care - ?3.5 billion.


That comprises of ?2 billion from the Adult Social Care precept


and the additional flexibilities that we've given councils


in ?1.5 billion from the improved Better Care Fund and,


together with that, we've also since identified an additional


?240 million this year as a social care precept, a social care grant,


to local authorities and we've also indeed given further flexibility


around the precept which could enable councils to realise


-- an additional ?900 million in the next two years.


STUDIO: But it wasn't, he said, just about money.


We are requiring all areas to bring health and social care together


by the end of this decade to make sure that we are providing the most


To what extent do you feel the pressure is on the NHS


are directly attributable to the problems and social care?


What Simon Stevens was talking about was delayed transfers of care,


which has increased in the last 18 months.


In fact, interestingly, it is stabilised in the last couple


of months, but it certainly increased in the 18


STUDIO: An MP turned to a warning from the head of the NHS


There is an extraordinary disparity in delayed transfers of care


And I, um... I was looking at some figures today.


The four worst local authorities versus the four best.


The disparity is a factor of 40, 4-0, in terms of the impact of that.


Nevertheless, they have gone up on the system as a whole.


And there is an impact on that in terms of NHS beds.


The thing that we really do need to get a better understanding


of is why that factor of 40 exists, because that's out of all comparison


in terms of budget pressures and those types of things.


We're expecting to see a rise of nearly 50% by 2035


in the numbers of 65, people who are aged over 65,


and I wonder how you plan to fund social care to keep pace


If your point is that this is going to become a bigger


and a higher proportion of our country's GDP over time,


I personally think there's a lot of interwoven issues here.


One of them is for us to start thinking, as a society,


how we deal with care of our own parents,


and one of the things that's always struck me,


as I've been doing this role, is that nobody ever questions


the fact that parents, that we look after our children -


that is obvious and nobody ever says that's a caring responsibility,


Um, I think some of that logic, and some of the way that we think


about that, in terms of the sort of volume of numbers


that we're seeing coming down the track, will have to,


you know, impinge on the way that we start thinking about how


we look after our parents, because, in a way,


it's a responsibility, in terms of our life cycle,


Now, President Trump's views on Nato were described


at Question Time as a "wake-up call" for the organisation.


On the election trail, Donald Trump called the alliance "obsolete"


and said many of its members were not spending enough on defence.


One Conservative told the Defence Secretary


that was a message that needed to be heard.


The Prime Minister securing 100% support for Nato and also


the auditor general's support for Nato is, of course,


But would my Right Honourable Friend not agree with me that some


of the less than helpful remarks the president might have made


about Nato in the recent weeks and months is actually quite


We need to modernise some aspects of the administration of Nato


and we need to see to our Nato partners they've got


to step up to the mark and pay their 2%, like we do?


The new president has called for members of Nato to fulfil


the commitments that we agreed and we and the United States agreed


back at the Wales Summit in 2014, and a number of other Nato account


members still have a long way to go to meet the 2% target.


We also agree with the new president that we need to continue


to modernise Nato to make it effective as a response


Now that the United States of America has clearly become a less


stable and reliable Nato partner, how pragmatic is


And what consideration has the Secretary of State given


to allocating more time for European defence is European defence simply


-- to allocating more time for European defence


or is European defence simply not fashionable any more?


Well, so far as our partnership with the United States is concerned,


it is the broadest, deepest and advanced most defence


partnership in the world, and my aim is to continue


to strengthen it with the new administration,


particularly in the shared programmes we have and the joint


strike fighter aircraft and in the reinstatement


of our maritime patrol aircraft capability.


So far as European defence is concerned, and the President's


remarks during the campaign and subsequently, are I believe


the wake-up call to all of us in Europe to make sure that,


when we make these commitments, that we honour them.


But if the new US President follows through with his stated intention


to reinstate rendition and torture, then Nato allies would be


legally obliged not to work them on intelligence.


So will the government ensure that the alliance rules out


the use of torture in all respects for the good of Nato effectiveness?


Well, I understand the point the Honourable Gentleman is making.


We do not condone the use of torture and there are obviously implications


Several questioners were asked about the travel ban, but were referred to


the Foreign Secretary's statement from later in the day.


Over in the House of Lords, a Liberal Democrat peer


was attempting to convince his fellow peers of the need


to install life-saving defibrillators in schools.


A campaign was started following the death in 2011


of Oliver King, a 12-year-old boy who died from a heart


The Minister will be aware that today 82 people will get


a sudden cardiac arrest and, of those 82,


You will also be aware of the work of the Oliver King Foundation.


The foundation was set up after the death, very tragically,


of a 12-year-old boy, who died in a swimming pool


in Liverpool, and they've campaigned ceaselessly for this to happen.


STUDIO: But an independent crossbench peer, Lady Finlay,


said simply buying a defibrillator wasn't enough.


It's essential to have emergency action first aid training in both


primary schools and secondary schools, so that children


can recognise cardiac arrest in another child,


can respond appropriately, called for help appropriately, and also


Simply purchasing a defibrillatoris inadequate.


Simply purchasing a defibrillator is inadequate.


As I say, we leave it to schools to deal with the precise details


of this, but of course, they will make it absolutely clear


where the defibrillator is and, as I've already referred to,


These machines are now so sophisticated that,


if any operator is about to use them inappropriately,


the machine has been programmed to tell the operator to push off!


Well, I don't know if it quite puts it in those terms,


My Lord, but I am aware that they are apparently


very, very easy to use, and the instructions are very clear.


270 children die every year after suffering a sudden cardiac


arrest at school and 12 young people die a week from Sudden


There are laws that mandate smoke alarms, fire extinguishers,


seat belts and life jackets to save lives, but there is no law


mandating a simple piece of equipment that could restart


the lives of 12 young people each week.


So can the Noble Lord, the Minister, say whether the government


intends to give a fair wind to Maria Caulfield MP's


Defibrillators Availability Bill, which will have its second reading


in another place next month, so as to bring to an end


the shameful situation that means access to defibrillators


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


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