20/01/2017 The Week in Parliament


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Hello and Welcome to the Week In Parliament.


Coming up, after the Prime Minister's big Brexit speech


the Labour leader challenges Theresa May on her EU exit plan.


Can I urge her to stop her threat of a bargain basement Brexit. I


consider the issue, I set out my plan and I stick to it. It's called


leadership. He should try it some time.


With the Supreme Court due to rule on whether MPs and Peers should


have a say in triggering our formal exit from the EU, we talk


to a Brexiteer and a Remainer about Parliament and Brexit laws.


And, there's no decision yet on whether to move everyone out


of the Palace of Westminster which needs essential repairs.


The Chairman of the Treasury Committee tells us why he's decided


The big question is whether we need to spend ?3.5 to ?4 billion and


pretty quickly. But first, there'd been mutterings


in the Commons on Tuesday after Theresa May decided


to make her big Brexit speech not in the Chamber


but to an outside audience. So Prime Minister's Questions


was the first chance for MPs to grille her directly


on her 12-point plan. In her speech, Theresa May made


clear that the UK would not stay in the single market,


that MPs and peers would get a vote on the final exit deal and insisted


no deal was better than a bad The Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn


began with a swipe at the Prime Minister for not setting


out her plans in Parliament. Restoring Parliamentary democracy


whilst sidelining Parliament. Not so... Mr Speaker, it's not so much


the Iron Lady as the irony lady. Yesterday, Mr Speaker, the Prime


Minister finally provided some detail. Request I urge her -- can I


urge her to stop her threat of a bargain basement Brexit. Low pay tax


hive none Europe won't necessarily damage the EU but it will certainly


damage this country. Businesses, jobs and public service. She demeans


herself and her office and our country's standing by making these


kind of threats. Well, I set out yesterday a plan for


a global Britain, bringing prosperity to this country and jobs


to people and spreading economic growth across the country. But


actually yesterday, we also learnt a little more of the Right Honourable


gentleman's thinking on this issue. What he said was the following: She


has said that leave the single market, then at same time says she


wants to have access to the single market. I'm not quite sure how


that's going to go down in Europe. I think we have to have a deal that


ensures we have access to the market.


I've got a plan. He doesn't have a clue.


Jeremy Corbyn said Theresa May had talked about the pressure migration


put on public services but tens of thousands of EU citizens worked


Instead of threatening to turn Britain into an off shore tax haven,


let's look after those who fund our Public Services properly so that we


do have the fully functioning NHS that we all need and deserve.


Theresa May accepted, said there were difference


between her approach and Jeremy Corbyn's.


I set out my plan and stuck to it. It's called leadership. He should


try it some time. at Westminster, Angus Robertson,


said Theresa May's plans for leaving the European Union would lead


to job losses in Scotland. The forecast for people's income is


that it's likely to drop by ?2,000 and that... Mr Speaker, that 80,000


people may lose their jobs in Scotland as a result of the hard


Tory Brexit plan off the Prime Minister. Does the Prime Minister


believe that this is a price worth paying for her Little Britain


Brexit? The Right Honourable gentleman, once


again, talks about the possibility of negative impacts on Scotland if


Scotland were not part of the single market. His party is dedicated to


taking Scotland out of the single market by taking it out of the


United Kingdom. It was quite clear from the Prime Minister's speech


yesterday that she seeks to build a Brexit consensus and to bring our


country back together and I thank her for that. To that end and indeed


to strengthen the Prime Minister's negotiating hand before article 50


is triggered, would she please consider at least publishing all


those 12 objectives in a White Paper so that we can debate them here in


this place behalf of all our constituents?


Well, my right honourable friend is right, I absolutely understand the


point that she raised about Parliament's desire to be able to


debate the objectives which I set out very clearly in the plan that I


set out yesterday. One of the objectives, one of the principles I


set was about certainty and clarity and it continues to be the


Government's intention that we will provide clarity whenever it's


possible and we will ensure that at appropriate times, both the public


and Parliament are kept informed and are able to consider and properly


scrutinise the issues. Theresa May and Anna Soubry


on Parliament and Brexit. And the role of MPs and Peers


will be in the spotlight The Supreme Court is due to rule


on Tuesday on whether or not the Government will have to put


a Bill through Parliament triggering Article 50,


beginning the formal start While in the spring ministers


are due to put forward the Great Repeal Bill incorporating


EU laws into UK legislation. In both cases there have already


been suggestions that peers, particularly the pro-EU Lib Dems


could seek to put down amendments making the whole complicated process


that bit more tricky. So to discuss what MPs and Peers


could and should be doing I spoke to Conservative MP Sir Bill Cash


and Lib Dem former MEP I began by asking her if Peers


were going to cause trouble I wouldn't call it trouble if the


Lords does its proper job of scrutinising legislation. After all


if take back control, it meant Parliamentary sovereignty. This is


triggering Brexit so how can you object? I think it's perfectly


within her view of the Lord's to scrutinise very carefully what the


Government's plans and negotiating objectives are and the Prime


Minister spelled out 12 points, and to put them through the normal kind


of scrutiny. If it's a Bill, legislation, then we have every


right to pin the Government down on what exactly its plans are. Sir Bill


cache, any article 50 Bill, let's call it that, will have to go


through the Commons too. What do you think will happen there -- Sir Bill


Cash? The indications are clear what the Commons will put it through. No


doubt about that. We have had lots of indications from the Labour Party


and other Members of Parliament on the other side of the House. I think


it will go through the House of Commons. As to the House of Lords, I


think it's, as you indicated at the beginning, pretty inKong ruous and


pretty disgraceful I would say, so suggest that when you have a


sovereign Act of Parliament that's decided on the referendum itself, an


Act of Parliament passed by 6-1 in the House of Commons and passed by


the House of Lords to have a referendum on simple questions you


want to remain in or leave and then to start quibbling about the manner


in which that would be done, subject only to the question of whether the


Supreme Court actually makes a decision, which in itself is not -


because we already had a vote on article 50 - is not going to alter


the voting in the House of Commons which is the elected chamber. Let's


assume the article 50 Bill goes through. The next thing we'll


probably get would be the great repeal act as it's being called, due


to come up in the Queen's speech. There are suggestions that the


Lord's might try to block this too because this would be the


legislation that puts all EU laws into our laws so it can be amended?


The Lord's has traditionally objected to Henry VIII classes


whereby the Government aboutry Kates to itself a great deal of the


decision-making. I mean, it's going to be the most enormous exercise,


but again, the Lords will be subjecting it to close analysis and


not just writing blank cheques to the Government. Bill Cash, doesn't


Sarah have a basic point here, the Government's going to have to change


a lot of rules and regulations that will be done by ministers, secondary


legislation - isn't that giving the Government an awful lot of power,


isn't she right that the Lord's should scrutinise it? I drafted the


Repeal Bill in May because I had a feeling we were going to get the


right result and I drafted it based on five principles which were that


we'd withdraw, repeal the European communities act, transpose the


legislation now in Europe into UK Westminster jurisdiction so that it


would be UK law and that we would effectively deal with the treaties


at the same time. Now, the bottom line is, that will be redrafted, I'm


sure, by Parliamentary council, so the question of the scope of the


Bill is something which also applies to the article 50 Bill. I think it


will be drafted too tightly because the principle has been established


by the outcome of the referendum which is terribly simple which is,


do you want to remain in or do you want to leave. Sarah, you've


obviously got reservations, you have got things about this you want to


change but many watching will say look, the majority of the British


public voted for Brexit and with the best will in the world, nobody voted


for you? That is absolutely right. We are very conscious of the


conventions and the constraints on the role of the Lord's and of


course, the main constitutional role is for the House of Commons which is


why we are saying, the ultimate sovereignty lies with the people.


They must decide whether they accept the outcome of these negotiations or


whether they want to choose to remain in the EU. The answer is


implicit in what Sarah's just said. The answer lies in the decision of


the referendum, do you want to remain in or to leave. That was the


sovereign decision of the people, that's what we stick to as the


direction, as the remainers themselves have accepted, let alone


respected, that this is the outcome and that has to be implemented, it


will be implemented and it's been agreed there will be a final vote in


the House of Commons and in the House of Lords on the outcome of the


treaty. The bottom line is that therefore the discussions that take


place which she's asking for will take place, but at the same time,


the outcome of that will be put to a vote in Parliament and so you get


both. You get the sovereign decision of the people in the referendum


which has taken place and the vote of Parliament at the end. I don't


think any reasonable democratic person could argue otherwise but


then, if I may say with respect, Sarah, as you were just asked, you


are not exactly in the best position, you got 110 appointed


peers in the House of Lords following your line. You have over


more, double that. And keep appointing many more, your party.


With which is the problem. The real... No, you have to let Bill


Cash finish. The will of the people, as expressed in the referendum


itself demonstrates point one and point two, that that referendum


itself, a sovereign act was passed by 6-1 of the House of Commons who


are elected. That is the bottom line and I don't think it's up to the


House of Lords or indeed for that small part of the unelected body


which represents the Liberal Democrats to stand in the way of the


will of the British people. We can talk about this a lot longer


but we're out of time. Sarah Ludford and back -- Bill Cash, thank you.


Now, let's take a look at some more news from around


A bill which aims to speed up house building in England


with neighbourhood plans received a mixed welcome in


Many peers liked the idea of consultation with local


people about how best to develop their area.


But others warned of a top down system.


The minister said home ownership was becoming harder.


Millions of young people live with their parents until in their 30s or


struggling to save for a deposit while they rent. Too many cannot


afford a roof over their head at all. This is a profound social


failure. In spite of the general consensus about the urgent need for


new homes, there is always that tendency within every group, even


MPs in the debates, to say yes but. We must make an exception for this


valley, this village, etc. I do hope we don't have an outbreak of yes but


and I hope that every amendment will be looked at in terms of Will this


reduce or increase the number of homes available to the younger


today. The Northern Ireland Secretary James


Brokenshire says he hopes campaigning for Assembly elections


does not "exacerbate Northern Ireland is going


to the polls on March the second following the collapse


of the Executive in Belfast. The Deputy First Minister


Martin McGuinness resigned - in protest at the handling


of a renewable energy scheme. His decision meant


the First Minister - the Democratic Unionists Arlene


Foster - was also out of a job - bringing the Northern Ireland


Executive to a halt. This election is about the future of


Northern Ireland and its political institutions. Not just the assembly


but all the arrangements that have been put in place to reflect


relationships through these islands. That is why it will be vital that


the campaign to be conducted respectfully and in ways that do not


simply exacerbate tensions and division.


Around eight million tonnes of food is wasted each year in the UK.


The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee


is investigating and heard from the big supermarkets.


A Conservative questioned the policy on selling misshapen fruit and veg.


I just wondered why you bought these vegetables were less than perfect.


They are perfect, they are just a different shape. I wonder if you are


contributing to the problem as referring them to buy products,


wouldn't it be better to sell them as they are? Why don't you do that?


I think it helps our customers to work out what they are buying


in-store. Soap for example, if you were to buy onions from our wonky


range, they may be more dirty, the sizes may be different. If the


customer isn't aware they are buying something different from what they


ordinarily would buy, typically they will come back and question what we


are selling them. What we are trying to do is speak clear about what it


is they buying and providing the choice.


MPs have been told that staffing is the biggest problem facing


The Health Committee heard that enough midwives


are being trained but they are not necessarily being employed.


The committee's hearing followed a report from


the National Childbirth Trust which blamed a shortage of midwives


for women feeling like they had been treated "like cattle".


The number has been granted of 2600 of the gap, if that figure you


would... Our current figure is we are 3500 full-time with white short.


There are various issues. We are seeing a rapidly increasing number


of midwives retiring from the service so the number of midwives


now over 50 is very significant so there is a need to replace, as


midwives to leave and the number going out is now pretty much


equating to the number coming in so you are getting flat-lining of the


workforce. As Donald Trump prepared to take


over as US President, a Conservative peer lambasted his predecessor


Barack Obama as "the most "useless American


president in my lifetime". Lord Blencathra was taking part


in a debate on the rise of populism He made clear he'd be pleased to see


the end of the Obama era. Tomorrow we will be rid of the most


useless American president I have ever seen in my entire lifetime


whose only legacy is rhetoric. He has withdrawn America from the world


stage and left a disastrous back Hume which has been filled by Putin


and China. -- he laid down laws in Syria did nothing to enforce them


they were reached. She turned up line guide to Russian hacking for


seven years and nine months but suddenly became conservator when


Hillary lost the election. But never mind, he has his face in history,


the next time I visit the US, I will be able to use transgender toilets.


His world view was challenged by a former Liberal Democrat leader


who argued it was time for politicians to abandon


Spare a thought for the lost tribes of Labour and the Tory party. What


you do these days if you are part of that great Tory tradition of


internationalism and now find yourself in a party that has


completely abandoned it? What do you do if you are a Labour member of


Parliament who believes in the free market not as our master but as our


servant and finds your party has expository reject it? It is


extraordinary how much politics has spun away to the extreme and this is


the time for us to get out of our tribes and start working together to


ensure we can help build that moderate, liberal consensus in which


I believe the only chance lies for altering the very dangerous


trajectory of our country. Back in the Commons, an MP raised


concerns about human rights abuses in Myanmar,


also known as Burma. Thousands of Rohingya Muslims


are said to have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh


amid allegations that the Burmese army has carried out


human rights abuses. Troops took control of the region


after armed men raided police posts, It is very difficult to get accurate


information. In order to get to the truth, when he called for full


access to independent observers and journalists to bilges and


displacement camps -- villages? Can I just say that UN led commission


can be established in one of three ways, either by the Security


Council, the human rights Council of the Secretary General. It would


require broad international support which does not exist right now. The


Minister Rather sidestepped the question of action in the UN by


saying that the government opinion wasn't sufficiently consensus at the


present time. Will the government commit to trying to build that


consensus as opposed to remarking that it doesn't exist? Will the


Minister may clear to the Birmingham property is that there are welcome


re-entry into the international community will not be helped if they


failed to protect minorities and particularly the Rohingya community


rushed and Mark Hunt was up being attacked, many are being murdered.


Many been sold into slavery with the complicity of Burmese authorities.


The very authority of which treat the Rohingya as a non-people. And my


honourable friend the Minister has avoided the challenge that it is not


sufficient for the government to cooperate. The government needs to


lead UN support, if these reports are true. Since the security forces


start of the campaign in October, it has been estimated that around


65,000 Rohingya Muslims have Fred come three, according to reports,


and ready groups have been subject to our son, rape, and murder at the


hands of the military. Such allegations are incredibly serious


and for that reason I asked the Minister for the fourth time if he


will continue to call for the establishment of an independent


investigation into these claims. The minister said there


were a number of avenues the Government could pursue and that


included continued work with the UN Now what's been happening


in the wider world With our countdown


here's Simon Vaughan. A good week for Brexit secretary


David Davis. He has revealed he made ?1000 eating on the results of the


EU referendum. Government and opposition whips work-out on


Wednesday, they swapped their House for this House, a play set in the


1970s and posed for photos with the cast.


The House of Lords plans to reupholster the arms of the state in


the next financial year. Big speeches on Brexit from Theresa


May and she has found time to pose for US Vogue.


And, finally, sport. The Speaker interrupted Scottish questions on


Wednesday to update MPs on the tense.


I'm pleased to inform the House I have been informed the House that


Andy Murray has won his second match in Melbourne.


It's one of the most iconic buildings in the world -


but the Palace of Westminster is in need of urgent repairs.


It's not clear yet whether MPs and peers might have to move out


while the work takes place - a vote on that is expected


But the estimated repair bill is substantial.


The Treasury Select Committee is investigating


The Palace of Westminster is in a pure state of repair and certainly a


lot of money will have to be spent to sort it out. The big Western is


whether we need to spend 3.5 to four alien pounds and pretty quickly. So,


both, how long it takes and the amount will need to be carefully


examined. The public will want to be confident that everybody has looked


at this and has made sure all this spending needs to be undertaken and


undertaken now, and that is what the Treasury committee will look at. It


will look at the report produced by Deloittes on which both houses of


the committee came to its comp allusions.


And that's it from me for now, but do join Joanna Shin on Monday


night at 11pm for another round up of the best of the day


But for now, from me, Alicia McCarthy, goodbye.


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