07/02/2017 Monday in Parliament


Highlights of proceedings in Parliament on Monday 6 February, presented by Joanna Shinn.

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Hello and welcome to Monday in Parliament, our look


The headlines: The Speaker of the House of Commons has told MPs


he doesn't want President Trump to address the Houses of Parliament.


Our opposition to racism and to sexism, and our support for equality


before the law, and an independent judiciary, are hugely important


considerations in the House of Commons.


By comparison, slightly more measured tones


from the Prime Minister on the special relationship,


as she reports back from an informal EU summit in Malta.


We should engage patiently and constructively with America, as a


friend and ally. An ally which has helped guarantee the longest period


of peace which Europe has ever known.


And radically different views as MPs try to get to the bottom


of what it's like to work in the "gig" economy.


First: The Speaker of the House of Commons has told MPs


he is strongly opposed to President Trump


on his state visit to the United Kingdom.


John Bercow said the migrant travel ban has made


He said that an address was not an automatic right,


Before the imposition of the migrant ban, I would myself have been


strongly opposed to an address by President Trump in Westminster Hall.


After the imposition of the migrant ban by President Trump, I am even


more strongly opposed to an address by President Trump in Westminster


Hall. So far as the Royal Gallery is concerned, and again, I operate on


advice, I do not perhaps have as strong a say in that matter. It is


in a different part of the building, although customarily an invitation


to a visiting leader to deliver an address their would be issued in the


names of the two speakers. I would not wish to issue an invitation to


President Trump to speak in the Royal Gallery. And I conclude by


saying to the honourable gentleman this. We value our relationship with


the United States. If the state visit takes place that is way beyond


and above the pay grade of the speaker. However, as far as this


place is concerned, I feel very strongly that our opposition to


racism and to sexism, and our support for equality before the law


and an independent judiciary are hugely important considerations in


the House of Commons. The long-standing Labour MP,


Dennis Skinner, stood Clapping is not normally permitted


in the chamber. No, we shouldn't have clapping. We


shouldn't have clapping in the chamber, but sometimes it is easier


just to let it go them to make a huge fuss about it. But there you


go. In more moderate tones,


earlier Theresa May told MPs the world should engage patiently


with the new US administration. While reporting back


on an informal EU summit in Malta, the Prime Minister said


it was important other Nato members kept to their 2% defence spend,


and said again that the rights of EU citizens to stay in the UK had to be


part of the Brexit negotiations, because that was what


other countries wanted. Labour says the uncertainty on that


could be ended much sooner. Theresa May began by paying


tribute to the Queen, on the occasion


of her Sapphire Jubilee. Mr Speaker, before I turn to the


European Council I am sure that the whole house will want to join me in


sending our congratulations to Her Majesty the Queen, as she marks her


Sapphire Jubilee today. It is testament to Her Majesty's selfless


devotion to the nation that she is not marking being the first monarch


to serve for 65 years with any celebration, but instead getting on


with the job to which she has dedicated her life. Written is


leaving the European Union but it is not leaving Europe and the global


Britain which stands tall in the world will be a good friend and ally


to all of our European partners. So at this summit which showed how


Britain will continue to play a leading role in Europe, long after


we have left the EU, in particular through our contribution to the


challenge of managing mass migration, through our special


relationship with America, and through the new and equal


partnership that we want to build between the EU and independent,


self-governing global Britain. Of course there are some areas where we


disagree with the approach of the new Administration, and we should be


clear about those disagreements and about the values that underpin our


response to the global challenges that we face. But I also argue at


this council that we should engage patiently and constructively with


America as a friend and ally, and ally that has helped guarantee the


longest period of peace that Europe has ever known. For we should be


clear, Mr Speaker, that the alternative of division and


confrontation would only embolden those who would do us harm, wherever


they may be. But the Labour MP


Jeremy Corbyn cast doubt So while the Prime Minister is


lecturing other countries, can she tell the house of why the government


change the accounting rules to include aspects of expenditure that


were not previously included? The Defence Select Committee, in 2015,


noted the government is only meeting the 2% figure by including other


areas, such as pensions, which have not been included before. And goes


on to say this redefinition of defence expenditure undermines, to


some extent, the credibility of the government's assertion that the 2%


figure represents an increase. Labour has been unequivocal that it


is within this government's gift to guarantee the rights of EU citizens


to remain in this country. There is no need to wait for negotiations to


begin. The government could do it now. This is not a question about


Brexit. It is a question about human rights, democracy, and decency,


towards people who have lived and worked in these countries, and many


families here have children born here, and I think we must guarantee


their rights. Did the Prime Minister remind European colleagues that in


Scotland we voted by 62% to remain within the European Union, and that


only one, only one, Member of Parliament representing a Scottish


constituency voted for her Brexit legislation? Mr Speaker, we are


getting to a stage where warm words from the government are not enough.


It is the member state that is supposed to negotiate on all of our


behalf is within the European Union. Scotland didn't warrant a single


mention in the prime Minister's statement. She now has the


opportunity to tell us what Scottish priorities did she raised at the


European Summit? Did she raised any at all?


The Prime Minister replied that she was putting forward


The issue of EU nationals living in the United Kingdom was returned


to, as members of Parliament continued their scrutiny


of legislation which will lead to a triggering of Article 50


The Government says the fate of European Union citizens living


in the UK must be decided along with that of UK citizens living


But one senior Labour MP said the Prime Minister


On the one hand, she says no one who is lawfully here has anything to


worry about. On the other hand, she says that she can't commit to giving


them residency rights, because their future must depart of the


negotiations. I just cannot feel it is anyway right to use the lives of


3 million people and their families as a bargaining chip. They and their


families are not pawns in a game of poker with the EU. They cannot be


used as a human shield, as we battle it out in Europe for our UK citizens


in other countries abroad. That may well put at rest the concerns of EU


nationals in Britain but it seems to me it was simply throwing overboard


the interests and concerns of UK citizens living elsewhere in the


European Union. We would not have secured their interest is, and would


have thrown away our ability to do so. I thank the honourable gentleman


for giving way, and 15% of the stuff, 5% of students and 10% of


research students in Cardiff University in my constituency from


the EU. Does he agree with me that there is a significant risk that the


EU staff and their spouses will seek employment elsewhere, outside the


UK, if they don't have certainty now from the government, and we lose all


our intellectual capital? I agree with the honourable lady, which is


why I'm very pleased that the prime Minister, in a statement that she


made today and on a number of other occasions, has made it clear that


she wants to reach an early agreement, and has been seeking to


do so with our European partners. I am a member of the exiting the EU


Select Committee and we heard evidence from a number of British


nationals living in Spain, Germany, Italy and France a few weeks ago,


and they were members of representative organisations of


other British nationals. Every single one of them said that they


felt if the UK government made a unilateral guarantee of the right of


EU nationals living here, and the other member states would


reciprocate. The Liberal Democrat Alistair


Carmichael said that certainty on where people could live


was very important. The challenge that faces upcountry


at this point -- our country at this point is how we go forward in a way


that allows us to bring the 52% in the 48% back together. This is an


enormous challenge for our country. It is one that we cannot meet simply


with the support of half of our population. It is something for


which we need all of our people to be able to pull together. This would


be one small measure that would allow the government to bring the


two sides together, to get the best possible deal for all our citizens,


whether they are British by birth or British by choice. It is as


important to us as British parliamentarians, as the British


government, to defend the rights of British citizens living overseas,


and there are a lot of them and not all of them are contributing


particularly to their society and a lot of them are retired, so they are


even more vulnerable, in a sense, and many of those EU workers who are


here, actively working. It is the first duty of this house to look


after Rajesh citizens wherever they may be. But also, being aware that


we have a duty to EU nationals at the same time. So I think, again, it


would be completely wrong in terms of negotiating, in terms of our


negotiating position, to declare your unilaterally, that all EU


nationals up to a certain date can continue to live here without any


fear or favour. Sir Hugo Swire, defending


the Prime Minister's arguments You're listening to


Monday in Parliament. Coming up: A change in headgear sets


the Commons aflutter. But first: Rarely on the Committee


corridor do you hear quite such contrasting opinions as those


presented to the Work and Pensions The subject was the "gig" economy,


where workers get paid for each job they do, rather than being fully


employed or on a contract. One set of witnesses was full


of praise for cab and courier firms. working as a career? I was a


full-time tennis coach and I was finding it tough. I wanted another


job to mix in with my coaching. The courier job just fit that bill. It


fits in with my coaching so I can deliver, do tennis coaching and that


was white. Dip in and out. I can go out delivering for a couple of


hours, do a tennis lesson, go out and deliver, do another tennis


lesson. It suits my lifestyle. It is a matter of attitude. Any other


minicab company, then the view that they have one customer. The great


thing about Uber, it sees it as to customers. Other companies don't,


but Uber sees the driver as a customer and doing things like


making life easier for us. Over four years, I've been able to have that


view, they have a driving an easier experience. I always know what


rounds I have. I go to the depot. I know what minimum pass as I will


have. I always do well at the minimum. I do well above minimum


wage. I get the hours to do when there is work out there. You are


here to speak to yourselves and talk about your own stories. We are very


grateful. Do you consider yourselves to be typical of the group of people


that you work with in each of the areas you to work? It's difficult to


say. My contact with other Uber drivers has been limited. Two of


them are at Uber Christmas parties, which are very nice. All the other


drivers seem happy. I occasionally use Uber as a passenger and a chat


with the driver and say I am a driver. Never hurt anybody who had


anything bad to say. My brother was a Uber driver in Manchester. He is


happy. Contrast that with the next witnesses. It's now very expensive


to me personally to work. The number of drivers now is restricting what


you can earn. A year ago, there was a lot less drivers and a lot more


work. Now it is a case of it is much slower. There are more drivers out


there. You've got to work longer hours to earn what you weren't


before. Don't get me wrong, either gets a great platform, a super


platform for the public, there is no doubt about that. But for the


drivers, it is the cheapest form of transport for the public so out


there is the cheapest. And it's the most bookings service for any driver


to use. It then becomes expensive rice and cheaper the public and


those things do not match. One of the biggest expenses is your car? He


actually had to buy it to get the job. And Uber don't take old cars. I


was on the exact form, you need to have a certain car. You need to have


a $40,000 car. I find myself is running around with an E class doing


jobs that to pounds 25 and that is a nerd. Black charges ?2 for the first


and they can make money. We've got all these things to do. You sit down


and you talk to Uber and I have tried. I said I would like you to


negotiate with me on the feed that you charge and the fees that are


charged to the public. We want to charge more. They refused to do it.


In July last year, my car was off the road, the morning I was supposed


to go back to work, they said I haven't got any rounds any more.


Basically, yes. They just sent me a text and said we have taken the


rounds off you. You should have gone on holiday and that is that. Now to


the Lords when peers from all sides raise concerns about the pressure


facing adult social care in England. It is evident that the care homes


are facing an existential problem. The costs of increased by 30% over


the last year with the introduction of a national living wage and net


profits reduced. 1500 homes have closed over the last six years and


there is a major problem going on. It's good -- not good enough to


exhort that councils pick up the gap when our funding has been curtailed


and it's not helping care homes. When will the government get a grip


of this serious crisis? I'm pleased this is a government that has


introduced the national living wage which is supported across this house


and the other place. There is an impact on social care home providers


lots of the staff in which to operate and are paid at that level.


There is pressure in the social sector and that is one of the


reasons the precept is rising and the better care fund has been


created to support more care provisions in the appropriate


setting that people want to have it in. A BBC survey has found a number


of patients on hospital wards in England has been at unsafe levels in


nine out of ten NHS trusts this winter. Bosses have said that


hospitals have major problems discharging frail patients. The


Independent or crossbench peer Lady Green Cross said the government


should follow the lead of other countries and provide rehabilitation


centres. The Minister conceded that in many countries, people who are in


acute hospitals don't need to be there if there was somewhere they


could go very quickly after being admitted to hospital to


rehabilitation centres? In many countries, small rehab centres which


could be a lot of our smaller hospitals, are being closed down,


nurse - glad, I where people go immediately part of the acute


hospital sector and that if we did that, we could sell some of the


problems and we would have the right sort of care for a lot of field


people who at the moment are accused of blocking hospitals which they do


but it's not their fault. I think the noble lady raises an incredibly


important point. It's often the case that patients and up in hospitals


for a variety of reasons which is not always the best setting for


them. The kind of care she is describing as important. It might be


rehab centres or cottage hospitals and what we are seeing food the


sustainability and transformation plans are ideas for immediate care


or stepdown care which provide the sort of thing she is talking about.


Will she ensure -- will he ensure the number of care home places


remains at a level to enable those to be discharged from hospital when


they are deemed safe to do so and if there is cut the shortage of care


home beds in counties such as North Yorkshire, will his department work


closely with the local authorities up and down the country to ensure


that people can leave hospital and go to a care home where that is


appropriate? I think my noble friend from making an important point. The


capacity in the care home sector is important in making sure there was a


proper flow of patients out of hospitals and into a more


appropriate setting. Where there is a shortage of residential or nursing


home care beds, the onus of care falls on the families and would he


take this opportunity to update his honourable friend in the other


place, the Minister of health, who last week exhorted the nation to


care for its elderly relatives. Apparently forgetting that there are


6.5 million people who already do so, at great personal cost to


themselves? The noble lady is quite right to highlight the work that


carers do. There is a national carers strategy to support those


people who are supporting the family often in very difficult


circumstances. The point that my honourable friend in the other place


was trying to make was that there is an important role to families to do


so in the way parents would do for children, that children should do to


their parents can return. The Health Minister. Before John Bercow's


statement on Donald Trump, he said hearts racing on the benches. The


commission endorsed a proposition reflecting the overwhelming view of


his college that clerks should no longer wear wigs at the table in the


chamber. They will also cease to wear court dress but they will


continue to wear gallons so as to be distinguishable as experts in


Parliamentary procedure, not lawyers and certainly not members. Details


are in a letter from the clerk of the house to the chair of the


procedure committee, available on the committee's website and in the


vote office. Colleagues will be pleased to learn that this change


will, in the longer term, save money, and it will I believe be


welcomed by those clerks who serve all look forward to serving at the


table and it will moreover in my view, which I recognise may not be


universally shared, conveyed to the public a marginally less stuffy and


forbidding image of this chamber at work. The new regime, colleagues,


will start soon after we return from the short February recess. Order.


With that, on to education but questions on that announcement won't


exhausted and return to after the Prime Minister's statement. With


great respect to your statement at the beginning of proceedings on


behalf of the commission that the dress and composition of the clerks


sitting in this house should change forthwith after the recess, can I


urge you to reconsider this and consider whether the whole house or


to have an opportunity to address this matter before its inactive.


What I would say to the honourable gentleman is this. If he believes


that the time of the house either in the chamber or in Westminster Hall,


would be well spent by discussing this matter, he knows the avenues


that are open to him. Sir Gerald. Further to that point of order,


eyeing gree --I agree with Mike honourable friend and I was taken by


surprise which had the appearance of a misunderstanding but it had the


appearance of an executive order. I was slightly surprised by that. I


had discussed the matter with the clerk who had done me the enormous


courtesy of asking my view and I had declared informally but I thought it


was sensible to continue because this, Mr Speaker, is the High Court


of Parliament. And I do think that the clerks dressed as they are add


to the dignity of the house. Some of us are not always capable of


enhancing that. But the clerks do. It wasn't an executive order. It was


a request from the clerks themselves to which I, and the members of the


House of Commons commission, agreed. Now, people are entitled to their


views about it but the idea this was something that I dreamt up and


sought to impose against the will of the clerks is 100% wrong. The


Speaker, John Bercow. That is all on me. Keith McDougall is yet to the


rest of the week. But from me, goodbye.


Monday turned out to be quite a day of weather across some parts


of the British Isles with a combination of wind and rain


and hill snow through the northern parts as well.


Tuesday, a chilly start wherever you may be.


There will still will be some of that Monday rain lingering,