10/07/2017 Monday in Parliament

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Highlights of proceedings in Parliament on Monday 10 July with Kristiina Cooper.

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Hello and welcome to Monday in Parliament.


The main news from Westminster: After the G20 summit,


the Prime Minister is confident about the UK's position in the world


- but dismayed at America's position on climate change.


I spoke personally to President Trump to encourage them to rejoin


the Paris Agreement and I continue to hope that is exactly what he will


do. Theresa May is reaching out to other


parties on big policy issues - Labour says her Government has run


out of steam. If the Prime Minister would like it


I am very happy to furnish her with a copy of our election manifesto, or


better still an early election so that the people of this country can


decide. Also on the programme:


The Falkland Islander who travelled 8,000 miles to raise


concerns about Brexit. We may well lose the support of the


rest of Europe and may well see Spain and possibly other members of


Europe giving greater support to Argentina over its mistaken and a


legal claim to the Falkland islands. When the leaders of


the G20 countries - the world's leading economies -


descended on Hamburg, in Germany, last week -


there was a lot to talk about. Terrorism, internet security,


international trade These events are also interesting


for what they reveal about the dynamics between


the world's most powerful politicians and the


countries they lead. When Theresa May reported back


to Parliament she expressed confidence about the UK's place


in the world, saying that it made "leading


contributions" on many issues - At this summit we set the agenda


again calling on our G20 Calling on our G20


partners to squeeze the lifeblood out of terrorist networks


by making the global financial system an entirely hostile


environment for terrorists. And we secured agreement


on all our proposals. She was upbeat about the UK's


prospects after Brexit. As we leave the


European Union we will negotiate a new comprehensive,


bold and ambitious free trade But we will also seize the exciting


opportunities to strike deals with old friends


and new partners. And at the summit I held a number


of meetings with other world leaders all of whom made clear


that there are strong desires to forge ambitious new bilateral


trading relationships with the UK This included America,


Japan, China and India. And this morning


I welcomed Australian Prime Minister Turnbull


to Downing Street where he also reiterated his desire for a bold


new trading The US President Donald Trump


has pulled the US out of the international Paris Agreement


on climate change. At the end of the summit,


19 countries reaffirmed Theresa May raised the issue


with the President. I and my counterparts


in the G20 are dismayed at America's withdrawal


from this Agreement. I spoke personally to


President Trump to encourage him to rejoin the Paris Agreement and I


continue to hope that is exactly Theresa May is on a mission to reach


out to opposition parties, saying she is amenable to ideas


about the big issues of the day - Her appeal was dismissed


by the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, who demanded


a general election instead. This Government is apparently now


asking other parties If the Prime Minister


would like it I am very happy to furnish her with a copy


of our election manifesto. Or better still an early


election in order for the Let's face it, the Government


has run out of steam, in our country and the


world amid uncertainty the Gulf states, nuclear sabre


rattling over North Korea, refugees continuing to flee war


and destruction, ongoing pandemics, cross-border terrorism, poverty,


inequality, and the impact of climate change, are the core global


challenges of our time. Just when we need


strong Government we This Government is


the architect of these failed austerity policies


and now threatens to use Brexit to turn


Britain into a low wage, deregulated, tax haven


on the shores of Europe. A narrow and hopeless version


of the potential of this country which would only


serve the few, one that would ruin industry,


destroy innovation and ruin people's The SNP leader said the UK


was floundering around on the world alliance formed with


the American President on trade. Goodness knows what a trade deal


with America right now would mean for public services,


food quality or worker's rights. Indeed talk about UK-US trade


deal was dealt a blow by the Prime Minister's


own Justice Secretary who just hours after


the summit ended said it wouldn't


be enough on its own. The Prime Minister


must now come to her A United Kingdom outside the single


market would be ruinous. Our EU friends and


partners are moving on without us, just this year alone


finalising trade deals with Japan and Canada while the UK


readily turns in on itself. There are only two weeks


to go before Parliament It is one of the last chances MPs


will get to quiz the Prime Minister. Several MPs are concerned


about the UK withdrawing from the European nuclear safety


and research watchdog. The Prime Minister


will no doubt be aware about the growing concern


across the House about her proposal to withdraw the UK from the Euratom


treaty despite the concerns


there are about the implications for the movement of scientists,


nuclear materials and Can she explain to


the House what the UK nuclear industry gains


from such a policy? I am sure the right honourable


gentleman will be aware, he is chairing the Select Committee,


that membership of Euratom is inextricably


linked with membership But what we are doing, as we


signalled in the Queen's speech, with reference to a future bill


on this issue, is wanting to ensure relationships, that cooperation


with Euratom, which enables the exchange of scientists,


the exchange of There are countries around


the world that have that relationship with Euratom


which are not members of the European Union,


but we need to put that Bill in place and I look forward


to his support for the Bill. When journalists have


been murdered in Putin's Russia does the Prime


Minister share my anger at the chilling sight of Presidents


Trump and Putin joking And will she commit to stressing


the importance of the independence of the media to both


leaders when she meets them next? About this new love fest


with the benches opposite, given the record of the Leader


of the Opposition on the counterterrorism and security


act, does she possess a very long Well, yes, I can say to my right


honourable friend that I have in the past as Home Secretary


welcomed the cooperation which I have had from the Labour benches,


not from the right honourable gentleman who is currently


Leader of the Opposition, but from others on his benches,


who have seen the need to ensure that agencies have


appropriate powers to deal with the Those calls for cooperation


were also seized on by She wondered if Defence Ministers


would agree to a pay rise After losing her


majority at the general election the Prime Minister has now


signalled that she is prepared to work across the House with other


parties in areas of agreement. In that spirit I


would like to make a The Government has just


introduced an Armed Forces If they agree to amend that


Bill to include a real terms pay rise for our


Armed Forces personnel then they can count


on Will the Government agree


to work with us to give our Armed Forces the pay


award they deserve? We all want to see our


Armed Forces being properly remunerated for the service


that they give us. But it is also incumbent


on the honourable lady to make it very clear how any increase


that she is favouring would be And that is something


she hasn't done, her party hasn't done, and they certainly


didn't do it the last election. The pay review system


we have is beyond It's an independent pay


review body that looks at comparability with the civilian


sector, looks at the issue of retention and recruitment,


and makes its recommendation. On the contrary we had


our manifesto fully They know how to raise


taxes if they need them. The fact of the matter is that


the Armed Forces pay review body is severely constrained


by the overall cap of 1% on public sector pay


the If the Government will not


legislate for a pay rise will the Secretary


of State at least allow the pay review body


to carry out a review and report


on what our Armed Forces should be receiving if the cap


were not in place? On the first point I


am staggered to hear the honourable lady thinks


that her manifesto was fully costed


or indeed fully funded. There were billions


and that manifesto that were due to be borrowed and paid


for by future generations. So far as we have implemented


the recommendation in full by the review body for this


financial year, so far as next year is concerned evidence


is ready being acquired I will give my own evidence later


in the year and we will see what recommendation


they come up with. The Defence Secretary,


Sir Michael Fallon. You're watching Monday In Parliament


with me, Kristiina Cooper. Coming up: fears that


Brexit means piracy. There are voices that think that


Brexit means Britain can hoist the Jolly Roger.


The High Court has ruled that UK arms sales to


The court rejected campaigners' claims that ministers were acting


illegally by failing to suspend weapon sales to the kingdom,


Some of the evidence was heard in secret.


When the International Trade Secretary came to the Commons


to brief MPs on the ruling, he faced some hostile questioning.


The Government relied upon material which was brought forward


evidence which was not able to be seen or heard by


the Campaign Against the Arms Trade or their lawyers.


As such, the court ruling that the Government's decision


was a rational one given the procedures and evidence it


considered was based on secret evidence,


which it was impossible to challenge.


Does the Secretary of State accept that the court judgment


makes specific reference to the substantial body of evidence


presented in open session that in fact suggests a clear risk does


exist that British arms might be used in violation


of international humanitarian law, will he agree to make the evidence


that was available only in closed session available to members of this


House on Privy Council terms, or indeed, make it available


to the intelligence and security select committee?


I do take exception, Mr Speaker, with the final point that he made.


Because this idea that somehow, if we have closed sessions,


that makes the judgment less valid, I simply don't accept.


Because I don't accept this idea that we cannot have closed sessions


that protect our national security, for the personnel involved


in our national security, sources need be protected.


I will listen to the argument that he makes, but I simply


Medecins Sans Frontieres report today that Yemenis are afraid to go


and to stay in the cholera treatment centre in Abs,


since it was bombed by Saudi Arabia last August, killing 19 people.


This atrocity was declared an unintentional mistake, along with


facilities in Hayden, Razeh and Saada, among others,


How many hospitals, protected by international humanitarian law,


will the Secretary of State allow to be hit by Saudi Arabia before


Mr Speaker, the Honourable lady talks as though there is only one


party in this particular dispute in that part of the world,


And as I say, we take the absolute, the clear risk criteria


But I'm afraid that making the sort of rather uninformed points


that she does for propaganda purposes doesn't actually help


While the Secretary of State and the Government may have won


this legal skirmish, they certainly haven't won the moral


case and there are still many unanswered questions


about the relationship here and the terrible situation


The Secretary of State said that on one hand, he was confident,


but on the other hand, the court judgment makes it clear


that he was anxious, and in fact, as he knows,


he wrote to the Foreign Secretary saying, "I am concerned


that the issue continues to be finely balanced.


I ask that you commission a further detailed assessment


and send me updated advice, and that you seek advice


from senior Government lawyers before making a recommendation."


It is my job to be anxious about these things.


It is my job to give the nth degree of scrutiny,


because lives are potentially being lost if we make


And it is the judgment of myself, the Foreign Secretary and other


senior ministers that gives us such anxiety.


Were we to be cavalier, the honourable gentleman


would be absolutely right to command criticise us.


When we take the nth degree of care about the judgments we make,


as previous governments before have done, then he ought to be very


grateful we are doing so in the country's interests.


Eight British Overseas Territories have sent representatives to give


evidence to a Lords Committee investigating the long-term


Roger Edwards, a Member of the Legislative Assembly


of the Falkland Islands, told peers about the potential


With the UK a full member of the European Union


and a signatory to the Treaty of Rome, all the rest of


Europe is obliged to recognise and accept that the UK OTs


Once the UK is no longer a member state, nor a signatory to


the Treaty of Rome, the same obligations do not apply and we may


well lose the support of the rest of Europe,


and may well see Spain and possibly other members of Europe


giving greater support to Argentina over its mistaken and illegal claim


There are concerns, too, in Pitcairns -


the UK's smallest overseas territory.


We would, ideally, likely be in a position where we are no worse


off than we would have been had we stayed in the EU.


We have one of the purest honeys in the world,


Europe is one of our biggest markets.


And what will be the impact, it has to be tested each year


for us to be on the EU list, will we be still be allowed to do that?


It's not significant in terms of quantum,


it's only 25,000 units a year, which is the maximum we can put


But not being able to ship that to Europe would certainly have


The wider concern, he said, was that Pitcairns would become isolated.


Now, MPs are to hold an emergency debate on the infections of NHS


patients by contaminated blood products in the 1970s and 1980s.


The request for the debate was made by Labour's Diana Johnson, who said


the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, had used his


final speech as an MP to present a dossier.


In his valedictory speech to this House on the 25th of April 2017,


the then right honourable member for Leigh outlined a dossier


amounting to criminal conduct on the part of individuals involved


He said that if the Government did not commit to a public enquiry


before the summer recess, he would refer this


The then Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for Health


asked him to submit his dossier of evidence to the Health


She assured the House that this would be given the highest priority.


However, we have heard nothing since then.


And we now have further unanswered questions which underline the need


And she referred to recent newspaper reports.


the Daily Mail set out evidence that as early as 1980, officials


knew that 50 people with haemophilia a year


were being infected with hepatitis C.


Nothing was done about this for five years.


Secondly, as reported in the Sunday Times,


on Friday the 7th of July, the Westminster leaders of all six


non-government parties in the House of Commons,


including the Democratic Unionist Party, wrote a joint letter


to the Prime Minister urging her to commit


the right honourable Andy Burnham reaffirmed his commitment to refer


cases of alleged criminality to the police and confirmed he has


an appointment with the police on the 26th of July.


The Speaker granted the debate - it willl take place on Tuesday.


The former head of MI5 has described the scale of the terrorist threat as


unprecedented. She told the Lords that the threat has grown since the


attacks in July 2007. This year, on four dates over


the course of three months, our country has been


attacked by terrorists. Westminster, Manchester Arena,


London Bridge and Borough 36 dead and over 150 injured


in these atrocious attacks. Terrorists mean to sow fear


and division, but ours is a community of many faiths


and many nationalities and all have come together in the face


of these senseless acts. And if these attacks


have shown us anything, it is that attack on one part


of our community is This Government is committed


to ensuring there is no safe space My right honourable friend


the Home Secretary continues to lead efforts with technology companies


to remove terrorist material. We continue to work closely


with social media companies, to progress an industry led forum


that will look to take a new, global approach to tackling


terrorist use of the internet. Lord Harris was commissioned


by London's Mayor Sadiq Khan to look at how prepared London would be


for a terrorist attack. My lords, I remain disturbed that


even now, not enough is being done We benefit from the fact that


firearms are more difficult to acquire in this country


than elsewhere in the world. However, there is almost


a complacency about this, with an assumption that the sort


of attacks that occurred in Paris But London and other cities


are by no means firearms free. During July and August in my review,


the Metropolitan Police recorded 202 firearms discharges,


compared to 800... Compared to 87 in the same months


of the previous year. I think the scale of the problem


is genuinely unprecedented. But when we are told that MI5 has


500 active investigations involving 3000 subjects of interest and also


has a vast pool of some 20,000 people who they can't


focus on at the moment, about whom there have been concerns


and who they would like to go back to look at if time and resources


allow, this is pretty serious. One of the things which I guess


pains us most about recent incidents is the way these


terrorists are home-grown. And it gives me no pleasure to say,


in the diocese where I serve, which covers five east London


boroughs and the whole of the county of Essex, in the work I do,


visiting communities, often visiting young people,


many young people do feel disenfranchised,


overlooked, do not have the opportunities


that we would wish them to have. Lady Lane-Fox, a high


profile internet pioneer, said those writing laws


about the internet first How will we ensure we make the right


decisions if our parliamentarians do not have the experience


from which to understand I find it hard and I have devoted my


life to the technology sector. I believe the gap between


innovations driving the pace of change in citizens'


lives and the ability of policymakers to keep up is one


of the most pressing Lady Lane-Fox suggested


parliamentary education programmes. She said understanding the issues


around cyber-secuirty was vital. Over a year ago, an anti-corruption


summit was held in London. The Government promised a strategy


to tackle corruption But along came Brexit,


and then the general election. A Liberal Democrat in the House


of Lords is worried that, in a Brexit world, the issue has


fallen down the agenda. There are voices around that suggest


that Brexit is an opportunity for Britain to hoist the Jolly Roger and


to book a year its way around the world with scant regard to things


like bribery or money laundering. So isn't it time the Government sent


out a clear message that it's a beacon of integrity in these matters


by bringing forward this strategy, by giving a vote of confidence in


the Serious Fraud Office, and by finding a new anti-corruption


campaign to succeed the one that has now departed the other place? Those


are the challenges that would make us a beacon of integrity rather than


the other way. There are a number of questions. Firstly, he is right, the


deadline has been missed. We hope to publish the updated strategy by


December last year. There was some turbulence in Whitehall following


the outcome of the referendum... LAUGHTER


And then in March, when the ministerial group met to consider


the draft strategy, there was further discontinuity with the


general election. However, a near final draft of the document is being


prepared and we hope to publish it shortly. On the anti-corruption


campaign, there have been a series of these, there was Hilary Benn,


Jack Straw, Ken Clarke, Eric pickles was the last. But with the election,


Sir Eric is no longer a member of Parliament. We helped appoint a new


champion discourse. On the point about the Jolly Roger, I prefer the


union Jack. But he is right, this country has a reputation for


integrity and fairness. Throughout the world. And that helped us win


export orders are helps us win investment, in a recent analysis of


integrity, the UK was ranked joint tenth out of 176 on the transparency


International corruption perceptions index. He's quite right, we value


our reputation we are determined to maintain it and enhance after


Brexit. Alicia McCarthy will be


here for the rest of the week. But from me, Kristiina


Cooper, goodbye!