05/12/2017 Monday in Parliament


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05/12/2017

Highlights of proceedings in Parliament on Monday 4 December, presented by Kristiina Cooper.


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The main party in Northern Ireland,

the DUP, said it would not support

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a deal which gave significant

concessions to the Irish Republic.

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Now on BBC News it's time for a look

back at the Day in Parliament.

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Hello and welcome to Monday in

Parliament. Our look at the best of

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the day in the Commons and Lords.

Will Brexit meant taking back tales

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from Scotland, Wales, and Northern

Ireland?

This bill tramples all over

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the default competencies of the

Parliament in Edinburgh, Cardiff,

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and Belfast.

We are grabbing the

powers back from Belfast and bring

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them to London.

-- Brussels. Labour

peers described an unusual meeting

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in the street.

Robert Plant, a

multibillionaire rock star of led

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Zeppelin wanted to know, I have been

sent £300 by the government, why?

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And has everything stopped for

Brexit? The social mobility

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programme continues, despite

resignations of the Social Mobility

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Commission.

While Brexit is an

important part of this government,

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we are absolutely committed to

ensuring that we continue this

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process.

But first, Theresa May and

the European Commission president,

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Jean-Claude Juncker, have held talks

in Brussels, but fail to reach a

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deal to allow the Brexit

negotiations to continue to trade

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issues. Initially, it had appeared

that a deal was imminent, when

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Northern Ireland was offered a close

relationship with the single market

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and customs union. But the leader of

the DUP, Arlene Foster, said her

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party could not accept any proposal

that would be to Northern Ireland

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being treated separately to the rest

of the UK. In the Commons, a labour

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MP reacted to the news of the

failure to reach a deal.

After

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incessant briefing in the last two

days that Theresa May and the Prime

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Minister and Governor Douglas to

deal, it has just emerged in the

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last few seconds that she is going

to come home empty-handed, with no

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deal. This is a shambles that into

perspective the constitutional

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settlement for our country here. Can

we expect it to make a statement

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tomorrow.

I'm about to say it was my

expectation that they would be a

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statement to this house this week,

and although I cannot predict with

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certainty, I thought there was

reason to believe it would be likely

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to be tomorrow.

Between courses at

large, this afternoon, keep a

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minister has gone from negotiating

an agreement to a set of texts to

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throwing it in the bin alongside any

leftovers. It is clear that the

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Democratic Unionist Party, ten

Members of Parliament, ten Members

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of Parliament from Northern Ireland,

are holding this government to

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account, art holding this government

by the neck, because it is much more

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important for the Prime Minister to

hold onto power than it is to do

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what is in the best interests of all

the nation.

Decay reports that a

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planned statement by Theresa May had

been cancelled.

The speaker made it

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clear, when asked, that the Prime

Minister was intending to make any

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statement to this house that the

negotiations a discussion she had

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been having with the DUP on Europe,

I gather that Downing Street is

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notify the press, not this house,

that there will be no such statement

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tomorrow, and the Prime Minister is

not intending to make a statement. I

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wonder if there is any means of

making sure that Downing Street is

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fully aware that this house would

expect, if we are taking back

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control, that this house should be

kept informed of the negotiations

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fully and appropriately at every

stage.

I will certainly pass on your

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remarks to the speaker, but I think,

in the meantime, you have made your

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point to the house.

Now, how Brexit

will affect the devolved

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administrations of the UK has

dominated the letters air debate on

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the EU withdrawal. Enda Brady

legislation is designed to avoid

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leaving Britain in a legal limbo

when it leaves the EU. During the

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fourth day of consideration of the

bill, MPs of Scotland and Wales in

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particular claim the Brexit process

was going to result in a Westminster

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power grab and the UK government was

in line to take functions back from

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the devolved bodies in Edinburgh,

Cardiff, and Belfast. The shadow

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Brexit minister want the government

not to use Britain as an excuse to

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take powers back.

I sense that the

government's decision to withhold

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retained EU powers in Whitehall is

not an anti- de- pollution stands,

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but is instead one of the clearest

indications yet that the government

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is not coping with the task of

Brexit. -- anti-devolution. The

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government said we has not had the

ministerial had space or bandwidth

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to engage with the consequences of

Brexit for the established, get

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still young, devolution settlement

is now in place.

But does she accept

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that those powers are not being

ripped away because they are not

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there for the devolved

administration. Whether you think

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that is right or not, just as a

matter of law, those powers are

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vested in the EU, and therefore, if

they come back to the devolved

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administrations, that is an

additional power, not one that has

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been taken away.

The reality is that

this will be called a power grab. I

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did not hear the phrase today, but

it will be. And I is a very good. It

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is a power grab. Of course it is. A

wonderful power grabbers. We are

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grabbing those powers back from

Brussels and bringing them to

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London. Not only that, the next few

years, Juno at - the SNP can chat or

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they want, I am waiting to want to

interrupt.

I believe 100% in the

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ancient idea that the people are

sovereign. If he tells me that

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ultimate sovereignty over Scotland

and is right.

That is a matter for

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the Scots to decide. And they did

decide. And they decided that for

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the time being that ultimate

sovereignty rests within the United

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Kingdom Parliament in which the

Scots are very heavily and well

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represented, or they may say so.

What is happening here is that

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without agreement, Westminster is

taking back control over matters

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that have a vault without showing to

respect and negotiating

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appropriately with the devolved

administrations. We are willing to

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compromise and reach agreement, but

we are some distance from that

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point. The UK government has failed

to see a sense of urgency in

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concluding anything with the

devolved administrations. That means

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Scotland losing powers. I can hear-

coming from the other side. I

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wouldn't let any member of the

government benches rise now and then

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won power. One power that is coming

back to Scotland as a consequence.

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And the two governments will bring

forward their proposals in due

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course. This power grab talk, this

naming one power, it is pantomime.

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What this government is involved in

is the reality of negotiating a way

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forward on this matter.

Brexit must

be delivered in a way that respects

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and is ceased to devolution,

ensuring that the UK can pull apart

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the three centuries old market.

We

see the Mr Ismay is making of the

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negotiations. We have seen as. She

has held - being held to account by

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a small minority party, the DUP. We

have seen at this afternoon in the

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negotiations. How Brexit or no deal

with challenge devolution, as well

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as risking the union. As a

devolutionist who wants the UK to

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stay together, these issues are

likely to cause the UK to begin to

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unravel.

Some members have been in

here will roll. The Secretary of

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State for Wales is completely

absent. For about 20 minutes of the

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start of the bill. I don't think

that shows the level of respect for

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the people of Wales, the members of

the assembly, that have been putting

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these concerns were. I sincerely

hope that the government ministers

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to listen. But they do, with pieces

to these problems. Because otherwise

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I can tell you that they will have a

very rocky ride but it comes to the

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report stage on this bill.

As part

of the EU withdrawal process,

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Scotland's to government are

currently discussing where where the

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power is taken back should be

vested. Just as those powers

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relating to Scotland, as we have

heard about, are being discussed,

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the Welsh government has a list of

£64 it feels could be vulnerable

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this agreement.

Devolution demands

that all countries within the UK

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have a say in the future, not this

one. Numbers will have the

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opportunity to date to assess this

power grab. In the interests of the

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devolved countries, we can have

these discussions about sovereignty

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and put all four countries in the UK

on an equal footing.

In the deeper

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consideration of the bill continues.

The bridge economy is stagnating,

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and Brexit will only damage and

further, the view of Alistair

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Darling. It has been contributing to

a general debate in the House of

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Lords that followed the Chancellor's

budget statement at the end of last

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month. The Darling said the latest

economic forecast showed that almost

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one together from the great

financial crash of 2008, the UK

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economy had still not returned to

its growth levels experienced in the

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preceding years.

The economic

prospects that we thought by now

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would have been given a lot better

at it to be stagnating at best, if

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not deteriorating, and, of course,

that has indications for all of us.

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But I think there is a real problem

in that our economy seems to be

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stagnating. I think it is fantasy to

believe that if only we were free of

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the European Union at the earliest

opportunity that somehow things

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would get better. And indeed, I

would argue that at a very time when

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the economy has been dipping a long,

the last possible thing we need is a

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disruption to our economic prospects

since the Second World War.

Of

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course our productivity is too low.

I welcome the steps to be Chancellor

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is taking to improve matters. But

ethically concerned with the way in

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which we make comparisons of our

productivity without mentioning the

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level of employment in this country

altogether with the lower

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unemployment, which, in a different

ways, are at record levels, and, I

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believe, cannot be totally

dissociated from the levels of

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productivity. Those are things which

in any civil society we should be

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proud of.

George Osborne used to be

proud of squeezing the UK can be

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tighter than any in the advanced

world, all in the name of ending the

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budget deficit. But squeezing out of

the economy has left the Tories

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short of a palace budget while

doubling national debt. Having

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failed to end the deficit by 2015,

their original target, they say they

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will only harboured by 2022, and by

that stage, the corpus will have

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moved yet again to maintain the

illusion that their plan is still on

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track and to justify still more

austerity. There has been much

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handwringing in political circles

about the so-called austerity of the

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last decade.

But in truth, it has

been to lack. Australian island,

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where tough things were adopted. --

austerity in Ireland. In the UK,

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concessions to this, in this or that

budget, the Chancellor feels obliged

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to take a rabbit out of the hat, and

the political pressures which lead

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to this should be seen against a

sombre background.

When it comes to

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research and development and

innovation, cover the good news is

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the garments as the UK will invest

more in this area, but what is

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more,? And what is required? Germany

and America spend 2.7 2.8%. £2

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billion a year is a good move. But

it is £20 billion a year that we

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need the year just to catch up with

them level on the backlog.

Big

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government, the media, and most

industry have all expressed

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confidence that in the end they will

be a soft Brexit. But suppose they

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are wrong and we end up with no

deal, or the hardest of hard

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Brexits, if the financial market

should start to believe that this is

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where we are heading, it is very

possible that there will be a panic,

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the pound will sink, business and

consumer confidence will evaporate,

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and investment will dry up. And then

we would be a very severe crisis.

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And what prize then, the so-called

pessimism of present forecasts?

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I was stopped in the street by

Robert Plant, a multibillion rock

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star of Led Zeppelin, who wanted to

know, I've been sent £300 by the

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government. Why? Why indeed. The

heating allowance for all the people

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should be means tested. -- older

people. When I first received it I

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tried to send it back, but I

received a message that it couldn't

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be received. There was no facility

for taking it back. And I, like many

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like me, and perhaps like you, give

that heating allowance to charity.

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The budget take sensible actions in

light of revised forecast is to

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address some of the key challenges

and opportunities that lie ahead.

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And in doing so lay foundations

tried prosperous future. It invests

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sustainable in our public services

for supporting people in businesses,

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and continues to invest to secure a

bright future for Britain. And I

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commend it to your logic's oust.

Lord Bates. You are watching our

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round-up of the day in the House of

Commons and the House of Lords.

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Still to come, the Speaker tells a

cabinet minister he is using

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unparliamentary language. Four

members of the social mobility

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commission were stood down at the

weekend. The commission's job is to

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check on the government's progress

in bringing children out of poverty

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and providing opportunities for all

communities. At the chairman, the

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former Labour cabinet minister Alan

Milburn, resigned, saying he had

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little hope that the current

government could make progress on

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social mobility because it was too

focused on Brexit. It gave Lib Dem

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leader Sir Vince Cable the

opportunity to ask ministers about

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the resignations in the Commons.

I

don't think Conservatives have ever

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claimed to be a party of equality,

but they have always claimed to be a

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party of equality of opportunity, in

other words, social mobility. And

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when the Prime Minister took office,

her first speech set out very

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clearly the objectives to do

everything to help anybody, whatever

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their background, to go as far as

their talents would take them. So

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what does the resignation of the

commission tell us about the

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government's success in achieving

that objective? The chairman of the

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commission was very pointed. He said

the worst possible position in

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politics is to set out a proposition

that you want to heal social

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division, and then do nothing about

it. In conclusion, can I just ask

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the minister whether he would agree

with the commission and shout's

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point that Brexit is now sucking the

life out of government? --

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commission shout's. And of the

biggest casualties of Brexit,

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especially the extreme Brexit of

withdrawing from the single market

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and the customs union, the biggest

casualties will be the 60 of the 65

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social mobility seats that voted for

Brexit.

Thank you, Mr Speaker. I

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would not recognise the

characterisation that the right

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honourable gentleman made, that we

have done nothing, in his words, to

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address social mobility. If you look

at a number of our policies, look at

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university entrance, where 43% of

disadvantaged children, they are 43%

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more likely to go to university in

2009. -- then in 2009. We have 1.9

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million more good or outstanding

skills compared to 2010. We have

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more teachers in schools than ever

before. I wouldn't recognise that

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characterisation. Could I also make

clear that while Brexit is very

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important, this government can walk

and chew gum at the same time. We

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are absolutely committed to ensuring

that we continue this process of

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improving social mobility for

everybody in our country.

Many

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people were inspired by what prime

ministers and on the steps of

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Downing Street when she took office.

Would my honourable friend look at

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the idea of using this opportunity,

would be social mobility commission,

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reforming to create a social justice

commissioner of the out of Downing

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Street, and using it to assess the

impact of every bit of domestic

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legislation on social justice?

Well,

can I put on record our commitment

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to maintain the social mobility

commission. It has done great work

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over the last five years and I would

once again pay tribute to Alan

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Milburn for his work as chair. We

intend to refresh the commission, we

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need to bring in some new people,

some people that will hold us to

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account, who will hold our feet to

the fire, to ensure that we get a

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good spread of representation on

that particular commission.

Is the

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government, if the government really

committed to the commission as an

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independent body? And although the

government have just said they put

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that on record, their commitment,

what do they see as its role? And

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what will its remit be now? And how

much funding will be commission

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have? Can he confirmed that in the

US and is the commission's pretty 16

0:19:520:19:58

report, the government has not

adopted a single one of its

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recommendations? -- in the years

since the commission's 2016 report.

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The report said that the UK had a

deep social mobility problem, and on

0:20:090:20:13

fairer education system, a two tier

labour market, and imbalanced

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economy, and an unaffordable housing

market. So what are the government

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doing about it? And was this a

factor in those resignations?

She

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asked, is the government really

committed to this commission? The

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answer is yes, absolutely. She asked

about the role of the commission.

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That will not change. I pay tribute

to the commission for the work it

0:20:330:20:37

has done, and I pay tribute to Alan

for the working has done over that

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time.

The debate of the social

mobility. Campaigners say government

0:20:410:20:45

plans for changes to the welfare

system could mean that victims of

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domestic violence are made homeless.

Currently, women can use housing

0:20:480:20:52

benefit to pay for their stay at a

refuge. Ministers believe their

0:20:520:20:56

changes to the system will mean

vulnerable people will not have

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defined their rent at a difficult

time. In Commons questions, Labour's

0:21:000:21:05

Housing spokesperson wanted to know

if funds for homeless shelters or

0:21:050:21:08

women's refuges would be cut between

now and the next general election.

0:21:080:21:14

Mr Speaker, the Secretary of State

tries to tell us the government has

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a good record on homelessness. Since

2010, ministers have made 452

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announcements of homelessness. But

47,000 more children are now

0:21:220:21:28

homeless. That is 100 more homeless

children for every Conservative

0:21:280:21:34

press release. What is needed now is

action to deal with the root causes

0:21:340:21:40

of the rising homelessness. Not more

warm words. A straight question to

0:21:400:21:44

the Secretary of State. Will there

be any further cuts in funding in

0:21:440:21:48

this Parliament for homeless hostels

and women's refuges under his plans

0:21:480:21:52

for short-term housing?

We have no

plans to cut the funding for women's

0:21:520:22:01

refuges or other support networks

providing for homelessness. Indeed,

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what we saw in the budget from my

right honourable friend, the

0:22:040:22:07

Chancellor, just a couple of weeks

ago, was an increase in spending and

0:22:070:22:11

resources to fight homelessness.

The

tragedy is that we know what works

0:22:110:22:14

because we have done it before,

Labour was in government. So if he

0:22:140:22:18

wants to act cross-party, will he

backed Labour was Mac plan to end

0:22:180:22:21

rough sleeping homelessness within

Parliament, provide 4000 extra homes

0:22:210:22:27

for rough sleepers, review the

Social Security system and build a

0:22:270:22:30

new low-cost housing that is needed?

Secretary of State.

With respect, I

0:22:300:22:35

say to the right honourable

gentleman, he is being a bit

0:22:350:22:39

disingenuous with his use of those

figures and those so-called facts.

0:22:390:22:42

He will know that when it comes to

women's refuges...

Disingenuous

0:22:420:22:47

means dishonest. And that cannot be

said. That cannot be said without a

0:22:470:22:57

response. The Secretary of State is

a most versatile fellow, very

0:22:570:23:02

dextrous in his use of language, and

I'm sure he will withdraw and use

0:23:020:23:06

some other word. I cannot hear what

the honourable gentleman is seen

0:23:060:23:09

from this entry position but we can

have a cup of tea later.

Mr Speaker,

0:23:090:23:13

I withdraw the word disingenuous.

That we say, my right honourable

0:23:130:23:16

friend is not being as clear as he

could yet he wanted to be. When it

0:23:160:23:21

comes to women's refuges, we have

dedicated £20 million, which will

0:23:210:23:26

provide some 2200 additional bed

spaces. And in future years, it is

0:23:260:23:29

right to see what either there is,

and made sure we make appropriate

0:23:290:23:34

resources available.

Sajid Javid.

Should packets of sugary breakfast

0:23:340:23:39

cereals contain a free toothbrush?

That was the suggestion of a bid and

0:23:390:23:43

member of the House of Lords, when

peers turned their attention to

0:23:430:23:46

dental decay. It is show that the

number of children having to have

0:23:460:23:50

their teeth extracted because of

decay has risen for four years in a

0:23:500:23:54

row. Within a 12 month period,

33,000 children in England had to

0:23:540:23:58

have at least one tooth removed. An

independent PSO part of the problem

0:23:580:24:03

was getting parents to recognise the

importance of visits to the dentist.

0:24:030:24:08

-- independent review said.

My

Lords, in order to get children to

0:24:080:24:13

be seen by a dentist, their parents

have got to take them to the

0:24:130:24:16

dentist. Many parents are not very

happy themselves about going to the

0:24:160:24:20

dentist. How can this be overcome?

I

was probably not giving out lollies

0:24:200:24:29

to say well done for coming. The

noble lady makes an important point.

0:24:290:24:33

I should point out that 7 million

under-18s were seen by a dentist in

0:24:330:24:38

the last year for which data is

available, an increase on previous

0:24:380:24:41

years, citing things are improving.

It is not the case that research

0:24:410:24:44

evidence shows that milk helps to

protect the teeth of young children

0:24:440:24:50

as well as combating obesity?

I am

sure milk does have those benefits.

0:24:500:24:56

I should also point out that one of

the best things that you can do for

0:24:560:25:01

all bone health is to have vitamin D

and calcium supplements, which are

0:25:010:25:04

recommended for young children.

Asking manufacturers of sugary

0:25:040:25:08

cereals to include in the packets a

free toothbrush, which would cost

0:25:080:25:14

them very little?

That is one idea I

will certainly take away. I think

0:25:140:25:24

some of the impact we are having is

on reformulation, which is I inked

0:25:240:25:29

preventative, even more so than

putting toothbrushes in cereals.

0:25:290:25:32

There is a plan to reduce by 20%,

sugar in key foods, by 2020,

0:25:320:25:37

specifically for the benefit of

children.

Lord O'Shaughnessy. That

0:25:370:25:39

is it for this programme. This you

McCarthy will be here for the rest

0:25:390:25:44

of the week, for now, from me, Keith

McDougall, goodbye. -- Alicia

0:25:440:25:47

McCarthy.

0:25:470:25:49