27/01/2017 The Week in Parliament


27/01/2017

BBC Parliament's programme looking back at the week in Westminster, presented by Kristiina Cooper.


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Transcript


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Hello and welcome to the Week In Parliament.

:00:16.:00:17.

The Government loses the Brexit case in the Supreme Court, but seizes

:00:18.:00:20.

I can confirm to the House that our plan will be set out in a White

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Paper, published to this House. Ministers produce a Brexit Bill -

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MPs complain about a lack I was astonished at the amount of

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time it that the Leader of the House has given this Parliament to debate

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it. And doubts over whether Theresa May

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can stand up to Donald Trump. How confident is she getting a good

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deal for global Britain from a president that wants to put America

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first by American and build a wall between his country and Mexico?

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It's been a particularly fast-moving week for Brexit.

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On Tuesday, the Government lost a legal battle over who should

:01:02.:01:04.

authorise starting the formal process for leaving

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The Government argued that it could use the Royal Prerogative -

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a power left over from the days of medieval monarchs.

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But the Supreme Court thought otherwise.

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The President - Lord Neuberger - said it was a task for Parliament.

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Today, by a majority of eight and in the 23, the Supreme Court rules that

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the Government cannot trigger Article 50 without a Parliament

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motion of to do so. A few hours later,

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the Secretary of State for Exiting the EU -

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David Davis - promised to publish a Bill seeking Parliament's approval

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for triggering Article 50. But some MPs wanted to be clear

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about what they were voting for, and asked for a White Paper setting

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out the Government's strategy. David Davis batted

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away their demands. Will the secretary of state now

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agreed to accept the unanimous recommendation of the Brexit Select

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Committee, and, in the process, agree with himself, before he got

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this job, and now publish a white paper on the Government's

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objectives, so these can be considered alongside the legislation

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he has just announced? I don't often dispute with myself,

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but let me say this to the right honourable gentleman, the speech

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given last week by the Prime Minister was the clearest exposition

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of a negotiating strategy that I have seen in modern times. It laid

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out very clearly what we judge the national interest to be, how we

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intend to protect it, what we want to do, what we hope does not happen,

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and how we're going to go about avoiding that too.

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But on Wednesday, at Prime Minister's Questions,

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there was a surprise change of heart.

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Directly nice there is an appetite in this House to see that direction

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set out in a White Paper. I can confirm to the House that our plan

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will be set out in a White Paper published to this House.

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This is how the SNP's Pete Wishart saw it.

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What a week it's going to be. First there was good to be Nova, now's a

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vote. Then there was no bill, neither is going to be a bill. We

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should have cancer arm and said we should definitely be staying in the

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European Union! -- canst our arm. The timetable was laid out by David

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Davis. Presentation of Bill, Mr Secretary,

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David Davis. Second reading, what day?

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Tomorrow. CHEERING

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Tomorrow. There's a

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copy of the Bill, and to discuss what it means for parliaments, a

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former clerk of the Commons who advised MPs on parliamentary

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procedure. And a senior research from the Institute of the

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Government. You've seen many bills come and go in your time as a clerk

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in House of Commons, what you make of this one?

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It's very short bill which the Government will want to get through

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as quickly as possible. The opposition and very busy train

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to find ways to amend this Bill. Could you just explain to us how

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they're going to go about this? How easy it is it to get an amendment

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discussed in the Commons? You can say we have an amendment to

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negate the purpose of the Bill, that would be out of order. There are two

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areas of amendment possible, one is to impose conditions before Article

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50 is triggered. And the error when it is going to come into force. At

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the moment, there is no commencement provision in the Bill. That means it

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will come into force when it was said, but it will be properly

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possible to put down amendment is to delay that. The big question is

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then, what about selection of amendments? If this goes to the

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committee of the whole House, it is the person was once both selecting

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amendments is the Chairman of ways and Means. One area which is going

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to be really interesting is those who would like to have a

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post-negotiation referendum on the deal eventually being reached may do

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that by amendment to this Bill. But it's such a narrow bill, it may be

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decided that is outside the scope of the Bill.

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This is not just about procedure for many MPs, this is about the

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substance Brexit. We've been promised a White Paper, would you

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think ought to be in that White Paper to satisfy MPs?

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The purpose of the white papers should be to give MPs confidence to

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start negotiations. That it has thought through those negotiating

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principles and has not just, its own way. What we might see is an

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evidence base, showing the Government weighed up the cost as

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well as opportunities of its different negotiating opportunities.

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For example, to read the customs union, has weighed up the costs and

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benefits of that? Other things you might expect to see in that White

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Paper and that MPs would want to see, I'd be an expiration of how

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they will be able to scrutinise negotiations as they proceed. We

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heard, for example, the Government wants MEPs and MPs to have the same

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level of information about negotiations. We know that European

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Parliament areas tend to get quite a high level of information, they

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sometimes have access to private copies of provisional agreements or

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private briefings with negotiators. Could that happen for MPs? Access to

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private documents? There may be for example reading

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rooms but an place in the Palace of Westminster to allow certain MPs to

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draft agreement as they're being developed.

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What is your assessment of how this will go in the Commons?

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It will depend on the numbers. The Government will want to proceed

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quickly. In the explanatory notes to this Bill, they said they are going

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to past racket, that means, essentially, amendments can be

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tabled before the second reading debate. Thereafter, it's hack a

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matter of how quickly they want to push on with it. It may be sensible

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to programme it quite generously. Timetabling in the Commons, but that

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isn't in the Lords. A generous programme would allow a wide

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expression of views. That would allow -- draw some of the difficulty

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out of the Commons. You are a member of the House of

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Lords, there is no time limit, they can talk about any amendment as long

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as they like. Giving the Government will have more difficulty in the

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House of Lords? It may be that the Government has to

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work harder presenting its case, because as in Iran of occasions of

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this, even though the Bill is so short. -- the ramifications of this.

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It is interesting how many members said the Lords must not be silly

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about this, because the Commons is the elected House. The Lords can ask

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the Commons to think again, but it would be difficult after a lengthy

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consideration in the Commons to identify areas where it would be

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reasonable to ask the Commons to think again.

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So you believe the Lords will not be silly?

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I very much hope they will not be. It has been said this is a great

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opportunity for parliaments? It is heartening to see that

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Parliament will be involved in the very beginning, but also have a vote

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at the end. The other thing to say about Parliament is it's not just an

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opportunity for MPs to have their voices heard, it's chance were lots

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of other external voices, whether the public, third sector,

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businesses, to use Parliament as a channel to have their voices heard

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in the negotiations. Oregon to see God in years

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Parliament now? I agree I agree with everything

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Robyn said, but it hangs on uncertainty.

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If things are being decided in the two Chambers, and you can't predict

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what happening, and people will not be able to relate what is happening

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over the next two years. If Parliament can position itself that

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it is taking a central part and that process, it will be a very good time

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for Parliament. Thank you very much.

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The Government has announced the timetable

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There'll be two days for the second reading and three days

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for detailed scrutiny - called the committee stage -

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Some Labour MPs don't think that's enough.

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I was astonished at the amount of time that the Leader of the House

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has given this Parliament to get debate it. And he is being very coy

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about whether the White Paper will be published before the committee

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stage of the Bill. Can he give us more time and tell us whether he's

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going to publish the Bill before next week?

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I think, if you consider that this is a two-clause bill, in which the

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second clause is only dealing with the extent of the Bill to the United

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Kingdom, there is by the time, including two full days at second

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reading for all opinions to be fully expressed.

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As we discussed earlier, the Government could find things

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rather more challenging in the House of Lords.

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We will, therefore, be seeking to amend the Bill to provide for a

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referendum to be held under times of which the Government has been able

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to negotiate. The Government may have a mandate to start Brexit

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negotiations, it certainly does not have a mandate to impose harsh

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Brexit turns on the country. Does my noble friend except that if

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Parliament accepted the advice and treated the referendum as advisory

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and decided this country should not leave the EU, they would be no

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option for those of us who were in the majority and voted to leave

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Road, other than to take to the streets and start breaking things?

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All I can say is that I very much hope this does not happen. I thank

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the Lordships for the constructive positions are to be made through

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this process that we will avoid that.

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The Prime Minister Theresa May is one of the first foreign leaders

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In a speech during her trip to the United States,

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she said the UK and US could not return to what she called "failed"

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military interventions, "to remake the world in our own image".

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not "stand idly by when the threat is real".

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Donald Trump has made a series of controversial policy statements

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during his first week as President, including saying that waterboarding

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- a form of torture - "absolutely works".

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Before her visit, Theresa May insisted that she, too,

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pleased that I am able to meet President can't so early in his

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Administration. That is a sign of the strength of the relationship

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between the United Kingdom and the United States of America. --

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President Trump. A special relationship on which he and I

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intend to build. And I also say to the Leader of the Opposition, I am

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not afraid to use the frankly to a president of the United States. I am

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able to do that because we have that special relationship. A special

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relationship that he would never have with the United States. Mr

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Speaker, we would never allow Britain to be sold on the cheap. How

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confident is she getting a good deal for global Britain from a president

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who wants put America first, by American and built a wall between

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his country and Mexico? -- buy. The Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson

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was also quizzed - by a Lords Committee -

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on the UK's relationship Boris Johnson chose

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his words carefully. Do you think it's acceptable on the

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international relations shared by the UK and United States to have a

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ban on refugees from certain Middle East countries? I don't want to

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disappoint the committee by retreating too much into this

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formula, but we haven't yet seen the legislation brought forward. Rather

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than get into some sort of hypothetical dispute, let's see

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exactly what the proposals are. President Trump has been very clear

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that he wants to eliminate radical Islamic militancy from the face of

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the air and he has been Claire that he is prepared to have a new

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approach to vote or dot-mac prioritise the defeat of Isis, would

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you support a change of US- UK direction in that... To support

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those goals, possibly even joining forces militarily with Russia to do

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so? -- clear. We are already engaged in attacking Daesh in Iraq. We

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already know of what is sought, we are Are you prepared to see the

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lines of forces, including Russia, attack Daesh? To switch sides, to

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come in on the side of Assad and the Russians and would be seen as, I

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think, a great betrayal of the people of Syria who have opposed

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Assad and it would be seen as a betrayal of the moderately armed

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opposition that we have supported and it would be a... It would have

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grave repercussions in the area. This week sees the centenary

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of a report which helped pave At a Speaker's Conference in 1917,

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the issue was debated and resolutions were sent

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to the Prime Minister Lloyd George. As an exhibition in Parliament

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reveals, the key vote Britain during the First World War.

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With men sent to the front, women do the jobs they left behind. An

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excavation in Parliament shows how, as the war dragged on, the

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contribution shared MPs and peers to electoral reform. -- and exhibition.

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Of course, here were men in the middle of the war fighting and dying

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all over the world and it was politically acceptable to have a

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next general election on the basis that member there. They had to give

:16:04.:16:07.

the vote to more men and because women had been paying a great part

:16:08.:16:11.

in the war effort, they had to discuss whether to get the better do

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some women as well. MPs and pears debated the issue in January 1917 in

:16:17.:16:21.

a conference. It was Andy Dickinson who came up with this, as is grand

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daughter recalls. -- peers. The final one, as you can see that this

:16:29.:16:35.

is where he made his proposition that women of a certain age, which

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was 30, good get it. It only won by nine votes to eight. This accent

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into giving the vote to women with a property obligation. Having more

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women in Parliament, because in a very good at it in the country, and

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particularly bad in the Conservative Party. It's wonderful for this

:16:59.:17:01.

extraordinary heritage verity my grandmother and her father, Sir

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Willoughby. And you can see more

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of the Vote 100 exhibition Now for a quick round-up of a few

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other stories in Westminster. There was an unusual moment

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at the Brexit committee after the Chief Minister

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of Gibraltar made some impassioned remarks about the historic links

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between the people of Gibraltar We are born British. That rock is

:17:19.:17:29.

red white and blue for us. There is nothing that we have nine. -- red,

:17:30.:17:34.

white and blue. The make-up of my understanding of the world is

:17:35.:17:38.

British. How can I suddenly now do something else? I can seek fluent

:17:39.:17:43.

conversational Spanish but not professional or political Spanish

:17:44.:17:46.

anyway I'm might be expected to, should I had to navigate the waters

:17:47.:17:51.

of the Spanish system. You'll get the Spanish system today, it doesn't

:17:52.:17:54.

have much to commend it to the people of the world. We criticise

:17:55.:17:58.

ourselves in the British system so constantly and constructively that

:17:59.:18:02.

we it stronger. Maxi system we believe in. That's the role of water

:18:03.:18:12.

we believe in. -- rule of seven law. -- law. My blood is red, but I read,

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white and blue inside out and so is that rock. We will never exchange

:18:17.:18:19.

act. APPLAUSE

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That was a most passionate argument. Gordon Brown - the former

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Prime Minister - was back in Parliament to talk

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about his role as the UN's global I was in a village just outside

:18:33.:18:42.

Dubois and there was this project, the Bangladesh group who do the

:18:43.:18:47.

smallpox as schools. There are places in that school for only about

:18:48.:18:55.

20 kids and I remember being in that. -- small huts. In there, there

:18:56.:19:00.

were 100 kids who could get the education they wanted. One mother

:19:01.:19:04.

said she had to choose between twins, both eight years old, which

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one went to school. And the Wales Bill came to the end

:19:07.:19:08.

of a rather turbulent The former Welsh Secretary,

:19:09.:19:11.

the Conservative Stephen Crabb, was a driving force

:19:12.:19:14.

behind the legislation. The ritual objectives, Madam Deputy

:19:15.:19:20.

Speaker, that we sought to set out right at the start have not changed.

:19:21.:19:25.

What we wanted to do was create a stronger devolution settlement for

:19:26.:19:29.

Wales. A clearer devolution settlement to end the constant

:19:30.:19:33.

arguing that resulted in the UK governments and Welsh gelding and

:19:34.:19:36.

trotting off to the Supreme Court to argue about which administration is

:19:37.:19:39.

responsible for what aspect of policy. It is ridiculous.

:19:40.:19:40.

But he didn't think it was the end of the book - as he put it -

:19:41.:19:44.

But I think that we do need a prolonged periods now where the

:19:45.:19:51.

Welsh Government actually learns to really deploy its powers and used

:19:52.:19:54.

its competence in a way that benefits the people of Wales.

:19:55.:19:55.

At the start of the week, the Defence Secretary Sir Michael

:19:56.:19:58.

Fallon was summoned to the Commons to answer questions about newspaper

:19:59.:20:01.

reports of an unarmed Trident missile going off-course

:20:02.:20:03.

Sir Michael refused to give much away.

:20:04.:20:09.

In June last year, the Royal Navy conducted a demonstration and

:20:10.:20:16.

shakedown operation designed to certify eight M S Vengeance and her

:20:17.:20:24.

crew prior to their return to operation. -- HMS Vengeance. This

:20:25.:20:30.

included a Trident missile test launch. Prior to this, HMS Vengeance

:20:31.:20:36.

and her crew were successfully tested and certified as ready to

:20:37.:20:40.

rejoin the operational cycle. We do not comment on the detail of a

:20:41.:20:47.

submarine operations. The Secretary of State has advised us not to

:20:48.:20:50.

believe everything we read any Sunday newspapers but should be

:20:51.:20:54.

believe the White house official who, while we've been sitting here

:20:55.:20:59.

debating, has confirmed to CNN that the missile did or to self-destruct

:21:00.:21:03.

off the coast of Florida? If that is the case, why is the British

:21:04.:21:08.

Parliament and British public the last people to know -- auto

:21:09.:21:15.

self-destruct. We do not in this house, nor has any previous comment,

:21:16.:21:19.

given any operational details of the demonstration and shakedown

:21:20.:21:24.

operation of one of our sub dreams, conducting a test with one of our

:21:25.:21:26.

Trident missiles. The Defence Committee took up

:21:27.:21:28.

the issue, inviting Lord West - who was once head of the navy -

:21:29.:21:31.

to give evidence. He briefed MPs about nuclear missile

:21:32.:21:33.

tests and said finding out the details was easy -

:21:34.:21:36.

if you knew who to ask. First of all, we have two in falls

:21:37.:21:48.

all the aviators, aviator lines got across the Atlantic. -- in form.

:21:49.:21:54.

Also, whether it's an American firing or not, we won't rush so they

:21:55.:21:57.

don't think we are starting will walk free. We are very aware this

:21:58.:22:03.

all happen. We don't even know which date the guests to place on, but I

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have heard a suggestion that it was on the 20th of June. Are you in a

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position...? I absolutely don't know. I don't know the date and I

:22:13.:22:18.

don't know why, I can see no reason whatsoever... I can tell you, I

:22:19.:22:25.

could phone up Mr Putin because I did him a favour, rescuing some sub

:22:26.:22:28.

Mariners when they were drowning, and he could tell me. He would

:22:29.:22:31.

certainly know the date. Now let's take a look at what's been

:22:32.:22:32.

happening in the wider world Ed Miliband begs the time at Prime

:22:33.:22:49.

Minister's Questions since he was at the dispatch box and MPs were more

:22:50.:22:53.

than happy to welcome him back. It brings back memories, actually. What

:22:54.:22:57.

do you give the man who has everything? A traditional Scottish

:22:58.:23:05.

ornament was given to President Trump by Theresa May. Make dumb

:23:06.:23:10.

Michael Gove got a vote of confidence when discussing the arts

:23:11.:23:14.

and downs of political life. -- Michael Gove. Speaker John doco was

:23:15.:23:20.

the victim of a Mike gaffe when he offered advice to Michael Fallon on

:23:21.:23:28.

how to deal with the legionnaires. -- Bercow. And old habits die hard,

:23:29.:23:34.

as this baroness found herself using an old technique to calm the

:23:35.:23:38.

chamber. Order! We end with some worries

:23:39.:23:50.

about housekeeping. There are a host of problems

:23:51.:23:52.

with the Palace of Westminster. The plumbing fails regularly

:23:53.:23:54.

and the electrical system is faulty, And, there's a lot of asbestos

:23:55.:23:57.

that needs removing. There are strongly-held views

:23:58.:24:00.

on whether MPs should move out or stay while the work

:24:01.:24:02.

is carried out. Labour's Chris Bryant says

:24:03.:24:04.

the best - and cheapest - Our predecessors got it it is the

:24:05.:24:17.

wrong 19th-century. They get underlain necessary work. At

:24:18.:24:21.

delaying. That meant the fire in 1834 was not only possible but

:24:22.:24:27.

inevitable. Think even the chapel and the most set of beautiful

:24:28.:24:32.

medieval buildings renewal, they were then sends insisting on staying

:24:33.:24:37.

on-site in early new building was built around them and chronically

:24:38.:24:39.

complained about the noise and the design. The result was more long

:24:40.:24:45.

delays and a massive budget overrun. But a Conservative is on the

:24:46.:24:49.

ringside. As during the Second World War, the House of Commons debating

:24:50.:24:55.

chamber shoots at all sides be maintained in the Palace of

:24:56.:25:00.

Westminster. It is known that this was alluded to by Jennifer Ronda.

:25:01.:25:06.

There is an alternative expert review. Instead of building what I

:25:07.:25:09.

believe to be a fully costing ?85 million of a replica Chamberlain in

:25:10.:25:13.

the courtyard of which would house, that we should use the House of

:25:14.:25:17.

Lords chamber. -- chamber. What the two MPs do agree on,

:25:18.:25:20.

though, is that Parliament needs to make a decision

:25:21.:25:23.

as soon as possible. But the Government hasn't set a date

:25:24.:25:25.

for debating an issue that's almost as controversial

:25:26.:25:28.

as whether to And that's it from me for now,

:25:29.:25:29.

but do join Joanna Shinn on Monday night at 11 for another round up

:25:30.:25:34.

of the day at Westminster. But for now, from me,

:25:35.:25:37.

Kristiina Cooper, goodbye.

:25:38.:25:47.