26/11/2015 Thursday in Parliament


26/11/2015

Georgina Pattinson presents highlights of Thursday 26 November in Parliament.


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Hello and welcome to Thursday in Parliament.

:00:12.:00:14.

The Prime Minister outlines the case for bombing the terror

:00:15.:00:20.

If we will not act now when our friend and ally France has been

:00:21.:00:34.

struck in this way our allies could be forgiven for asking if not now,

:00:35.:00:37.

Jeremy Corbyn questions whether the proposed air strikes would succeed

:00:38.:00:41.

Does the Prime Minister accept that UK bombing of Syria food cause more

:00:42.:00:52.

of what the US President called unintended consequences?

:00:53.:00:56.

And peers warn about the future of Syria.

:00:57.:01:01.

Whatever piece we achieve will be even more messy. It will be a

:01:02.:01:04.

fractured peace. In the Commons, the Prime Minister

:01:05.:01:07.

laid out a detailed case for He told MPs he believed Britain had

:01:08.:01:10.

to strike at the heartlands of the so-called Islamic State,

:01:11.:01:14.

also known as Isil, in Syria to David Cameron began his statement

:01:15.:01:20.

by outlining the questions that Where are the ground troops to

:01:21.:01:23.

help us meet our objectives? What is the strategy that brings

:01:24.:01:36.

together everything that we are Is there an end to this conflict and

:01:37.:01:38.

is there a plan for what follows? He went on to address each

:01:39.:01:53.

of those concerns, In the last 12 months our police

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and security services have disrupted no fewer than seven terrorist plots

:01:56.:02:06.

to attack the UK. Every one of

:02:07.:02:09.

which was either linked to Isil or I am in no doubt that it is

:02:10.:02:11.

in our national interest for action to be taken to stop them

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and stopping them means taking Mr Cameron said

:02:16.:02:30.

the UK's allies were looking for help and that British forces had

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the unique capability to carry out We should not be content with

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outsourcing our security to If we believe that action can help

:02:36.:02:44.

protect us then, with our allies we should be part of that

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action, not standing aside from it. And from this moral point comes

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a fundamental question. If we won't act now when

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our friend and ally France has been struck in this way then our allies

:02:54.:02:56.

in the world could be forgiven The Prime Minister also laid out

:02:57.:02:59.

the legal basis of the move to carry out air strikes in Syria, citing

:03:00.:03:03.

the UN Security Council resolution. And he turned to the issue

:03:04.:03:06.

of ground forces. We believe

:03:07.:03:20.

there are around 70,000 Syrian opposition fighters, principally the

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Free Syrian Army, who do not belong to extremist groups and with whom

:03:23.:03:24.

we can coordinate attacks on Isil. In addition there are the Kurdish

:03:25.:03:27.

armed groups who have also shown themselves capable

:03:28.:03:30.

of taking territory, holding And crucially relieving

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the suffering that the civilian population had endured

:03:32.:03:34.

under Isil control. We can't defeat Isil simply

:03:35.:03:36.

from the air or through military It requires

:03:37.:03:38.

a full political settlement but the question is can we wait for that

:03:39.:03:43.

settlement before we take action? The Prime Minister said there would

:03:44.:03:47.

be no vote in the House of Commons unless there was a clear majority

:03:48.:03:56.

as he did not want to hand Some hours after the statement,

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the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn announced - in a letter to his MPs -

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that he could not support the Prime Minister's position

:04:03.:04:06.

and vote for air strikes. But in the Commons, he restricted

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himself to asking a number On the question about whether

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extending the UK bombing from Iraq to Syria is likely to reduce or

:04:13.:04:24.

increase that threat, and whether it will counter or spread the terror

:04:25.:04:27.

campaign Isil is waging in the Middle East, with that

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in mind is it his view that the air campaign against Isil areas can be

:04:31.:04:33.

successful without ground forces? If not does he believe that

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the Kurdish forces or the relatively marginal Free Syrian

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Army would be in a position to back up Isil-held territory,

:04:45.:04:47.

to take back Isil-held territory, if Does the Prime Minister think an

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extension of the UK bombing would contribute towards a comprehensive

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political settlement of the Syrian civil war which is widely believed

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to be the only way to ensure The Vienna conference last weekend

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was a good step forward In the light of the record

:05:04.:05:09.

of Western military intervention in recent years including Iraq,

:05:10.:05:17.

Afghanistan and Libya does the Prime Minister accept that UK

:05:18.:05:21.

bombing of Syria could risk more of what President Obama called

:05:22.:05:25.

unintended consequences? It is now my personal view that on

:05:26.:05:32.

balance the country would be best served by this House supporting his

:05:33.:05:39.

judgment that the United Kingdom should play a full role in the

:05:40.:05:43.

coalition to best support and shape the politics thus enabling the

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earliest military and eventually We strongly support

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the international initiative on Syria agreed in Vienna to secure

:05:54.:06:01.

a ceasefire in Syria, the transition to stable representative

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Government, and countering terrorist We believe that these gains

:06:06.:06:12.

will only be secured through agreement and a serious

:06:13.:06:17.

long-term commitment to Syria. May I ask the Prime Minister is

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the UK supporting the international Syria support initiative and other

:06:24.:06:26.

diplomatic efforts to secure that ceasefire in Syria, the political

:06:27.:06:28.

transition and combating terrorists like Daesh and planning

:06:29.:06:33.

for the long-term reconstruction Air strikes alone will

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not be effective. They have got to be in coordination

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with credible ground forces. The suggestion that there are 70,000

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non-Islamist moderate credible ground forces I have to say is

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a revelation to me and I suspect Adequate ground forces

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in my view depend on the So if the dictator Assad refuses

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to resign, which is the greater Syria under him or

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the continued existence Because you may have to choose

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between one and the other. Air strikes alone will

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not defeat Isil. The Prime Minister has already

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heard that he will need to give much more evidence to this House to

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convince it that the ground operations are sufficient, have the

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capability and the credibility to deliver on the ground, which is what

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he knows needs to be delivered. And what role could Saudi Arabia,

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the UAE, Qatar and other Gulf States play

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in delivering this victory if that is the direction in which we choose

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to go as a country, as a House? What a pivotal moment was that

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United Nations Security Council Can he confirm that it doesn't

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just permit all necessary steps Does it not just allow all

:07:55.:08:02.

necessary steps but that it actually calls upon member states

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to take all necessary steps? What would it say about our judgment

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if we failed to take heed of We on these benches know

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from long experience the consequences of appeasing and

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indulging terrorism for too long. Will the Prime Minister confirm

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today that unlike last time the action foreshadowed today is against

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Isil terrorists and nobody else? I ask the Prime Minister

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before he comes to this House again to put the case for more war to

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the vote that he should examine his conscience, that he should examine

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all choices short of bombing. It is a case of life and death

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and eventually for all I agree this is a matter

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of integrity and there is no part of me that wants to take part

:08:58.:09:09.

in any military action that I don't believe this 100% necessary

:09:10.:09:12.

for our own safety and security. Now, is expansion at

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Heathrow Airport in London vital Or would it be

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an environmental disaster? Heathrow is already running

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at 98% capacity. No fewer than 73 million passengers

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used the airport in the last year. A third runway, built to

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the north of the existing airport, is the central recommendation

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of the lengthy report drawn up It would cost ?18 billion to build

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and would create tens But not everyone wants the third

:09:45.:09:51.

runway, and in a Commons debate, There is no current trust between

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Heathrow Airport and the community. Why would

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a third runway increase the trust? The report talks of a

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noise levy. But for my residents they are

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not interested in a noise levy. They are interested

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in a good night's sleep. I therefore believe that it is

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impossible to have too many runways. I live about 300 or 400 yards north

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of the extended runway and so I see And I have to say that if you choose

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to live in Twickenham you have to take into account the airport which

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was there a long time before you And I am afraid the same

:10:54.:10:56.

applies to people in Richmond. Sadiq Khan is the Labour candidate

:10:57.:11:07.

to be the next Mayor of London. That joke came from the Conservative

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candidate for London Mayor. And to remind ourselves

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of the challenges we face in London last year alone almost 10,000

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Londoners died as a direct result There are children whose lungs are

:11:23.:11:25.

underdeveloped in parts of London And a couple of months ago the

:11:26.:11:28.

UK Supreme Court held that are there was in breach of the EU and UK

:11:29.:11:32.

air quality directive. In those circumstances I don't see

:11:33.:11:35.

how a new runway at Heathrow addresses the requirement we have to

:11:36.:11:42.

meet the Supreme Court's judgment. I do have to say that

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the honourable member for Tooting's position on this issue seems to ebb

:11:45.:11:47.

and flow with the weather. He seems to say one thing to one

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audience, His position on Heathrow is about as

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authentic as Donald Trump's hair. That joke came from the Conservative

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candidate for London Mayor. How do you accommodate 25

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million extra road passenger The Commission put the cost

:12:10.:12:11.

at ?6 billion. Heathrow puts the cost

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at ?1 billion. Transport for London has put

:12:15.:12:17.

the cost at around ?20 billion. And that is just some

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of the downside. You may consider accepting

:12:19.:12:23.

that downside if the economic But what is amazing about the report

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is that it makes the economic case There is a giant gap

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between the report itself Heathrow is absolutely vital to

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areas such as mine in Chesham, Amersham and in Buckinghamshire,

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where in Buckinghamshire we have over 700 companies headquartered

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in the region. And my constituents quite frankly

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would rather see an expansion at Heathrow which would benefit

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them economically than the building of HS2

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which does nothing for the economy. Even if it were built and could be

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full at the point of completion. And it does not deliver the extra

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connectivity that we all want. That does not hook up British business

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with those destinations in China and Latin America. According to the

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figures the number of new long-haul destinations would only increase by

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seven. Heathrow Airport Ltd may be winning

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on the amount spent on PR but this Parliament has a duty to assess what

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is the optimum solution and not be How long does she think

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that we can assess this? This is a debate that has

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been running for 20 years. How many more years do we need to

:14:03.:14:05.

debate this Will there ever be

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a conclusion to this debate? There will be if the Prime Minister

:14:08.:14:16.

considers the quicker, less costly You're watching Thursday

:14:17.:14:18.

in Parliament, with me, Will you give up your salary,

:14:19.:14:22.

Minister? the possibility of UK air strikes

:14:23.:14:30.

on Syria. The House of Lords won't be asked to

:14:31.:14:36.

vote on potential military action but with so much political and

:14:37.:14:40.

military experience between them, peers are keen for their voices

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to be heard. So David Cameron's statement

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was read out and debated For the first time

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in almost 300 years, we are facing a conflict that has a distinct

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theological and religious element We must realise that facing this

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conflict there must be an ideological response that is not

:14:59.:15:06.

only national in dealing with the threat of extremism here but is

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global in challenging the doctrines that draw so many people to

:15:12.:15:18.

support Isis internationally. Other people are already doing

:15:19.:15:24.

plenty of things. If one believes military action

:15:25.:15:29.

is counter-productive, But if one believes it is necessary

:15:30.:15:33.

for our own security, to suggest we should not employ

:15:34.:15:38.

that military capability because others already are

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is not only wrong but shameful. The intention is to improve

:15:43.:15:46.

our effectiveness against Daesh We cannot should our responsibility

:15:47.:16:14.

here. We see this ISAs force as a threat to our own way of life. -- IS

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force. The intention is to improve

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our effectiveness against Daesh and not pursue the Government's

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vendetta against Bashar al-Assad. It can't make the slightest sense

:16:25.:16:27.

while we are engaged in an involuntary and unavoidable war

:16:28.:16:30.

against Daesh, which we must win, to be fighting on the same

:16:31.:16:32.

territory another voluntary war I have to say that the Government's

:16:33.:16:36.

predictions, which I assume is part of their policy, they have made

:16:37.:16:41.

consistently over three years that Bashar al-Assad's regime

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is about to collapse I spent last weekend in Damascus

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and I was struck by the health of the economy and the resolution

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and morale of the regime. I fear the Government

:16:55.:16:56.

were very misconceived I hope now they will be able to

:16:57.:16:59.

focus on the real enemy What we achieve, I hope we do,

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in Syria, will be even more messy. This will not be

:17:05.:17:10.

a comfortable pace, it will be a fractured peace, and the best we

:17:11.:17:12.

can say about it is that fraction and uncertain and unsatisfying

:17:13.:17:16.

though it is, it is better than

:17:17.:17:20.

continuing this terrible war. If that is the case,

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that's good enough for me. What contact do we actually have

:17:24.:17:26.

a day to day with the Russians, the Iranians and, most particularly,

:17:27.:17:31.

I'm afraid the answer to this must that we are talking about

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military action on. Now, ministers are used to getting

:17:36.:17:44.

requests and suggestions from MPs. But the Education Secretary,

:17:45.:17:49.

Nicky Morgan, She was asked to give up her salary

:17:50.:17:52.

for the rest of the year to improve her understanding

:17:53.:17:57.

of the gender pay gap. Would the Secretary of State,

:17:58.:18:03.

who I know cares about this issue, symbolically forego her salary

:18:04.:18:06.

from 9th of November until the end of the calendar year so she knows

:18:07.:18:10.

from personal experience what it feels like to do the work of a male

:18:11.:18:13.

colleague but for 20% less salary? Wouldn't she say that all

:18:14.:18:18.

governments have failed in this field and now the time is

:18:19.:18:22.

not of declarations about change over a generation but to seize

:18:23.:18:25.

the legislative agenda for which she would have massive

:18:26.:18:29.

support across the House to finally bring equality

:18:30.:18:31.

to women in our country? The honourable gentleman

:18:32.:18:35.

can give up his salary if he feels so strongly about it

:18:36.:18:39.

and wants to make a statement. The important thing is that this

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government is taking action on an issue his party

:18:43.:18:45.

did not take action on for 13 years

:18:46.:18:49.

whilst they were in government. The honourable gentleman is right to

:18:50.:18:52.

say that this does now need to be tackled by legislation,

:18:53.:18:56.

which is why this government is going to be publishing regulation

:18:57.:18:58.

shortly to make that happen. What specific policies

:18:59.:19:18.

does the minister have Can I thank the chairman of the

:19:19.:19:22.

Select Committee very much indeed. I know this is an area the Select

:19:23.:19:28.

Committee will be looking at. She may be interested to know that

:19:29.:19:31.

in the latest gender pay gap figures published earlier this month,

:19:32.:19:34.

women aged between 40 and 49, saw a 1.6% drop

:19:35.:19:37.

in the gender pay gap and that is repeated in the other

:19:38.:19:40.

age gaps of over 50s and over 60s. But she is right to say that

:19:41.:19:43.

this does need to be tackled. And the Chancellor's announcement

:19:44.:19:48.

that VAT receipts from sanitary products would be used for

:19:49.:19:52.

women's causes came under review. The women's sector is under

:19:53.:19:57.

enormous pressure, especially specialist

:19:58.:20:00.

organisations which, for example, The charity Eaves was forced

:20:01.:20:03.

to close earlier this month. A body reported 67% of their

:20:04.:20:09.

members are uncertain about the future sustainability

:20:10.:20:12.

of their funding and generic providers

:20:13.:20:15.

are increasingly being commissioned Isn't it time for a proper

:20:16.:20:18.

sustainable funding strategy for services for victims of domestic

:20:19.:20:24.

and sexual violence rather than gimmicky short-term fixes like the

:20:25.:20:28.

tampon tax that only women pay for? I think it is a shame that

:20:29.:20:34.

the honourable lady While we are in the position

:20:35.:20:37.

where we have to pay this VAT, And I congratulate my honourable

:20:38.:20:42.

friend from Colchester for coming up with the idea, that we use this to

:20:43.:20:47.

provide additional support to those services and she is quite right that

:20:48.:20:50.

we need those additional services. Back to the Lords and the Government

:20:51.:20:54.

has faced renewed calls to introduce national identity cards in the wake

:20:55.:20:57.

of the Paris terror attacks. The National Identity Card scheme,

:20:58.:21:00.

which was set up by Labour, There were calls

:21:01.:21:03.

for the government to look again. But particularly

:21:04.:21:09.

in regard to the national security and the protection of all

:21:10.:21:12.

of our citizens in counterterrorism and the assurance that we can give

:21:13.:21:16.

this to them that the Government will consider again their position

:21:17.:21:19.

on this before it is too late. I welcome the fact

:21:20.:21:22.

the Government is not averse to U-turns, including very big ones,

:21:23.:21:26.

and I hope on this one that they can reconsider and no-one will score

:21:27.:21:33.

any political points because it is If it was a question

:21:34.:21:38.

of the effectiveness of this, our view is that it was not going to

:21:39.:21:46.

be effective because the very people you would want to catch would

:21:47.:21:50.

not be the people who would comply. That is the reason spending

:21:51.:21:53.

the money on better security, better surveillance, better use

:21:54.:21:57.

of intelligence, the investments we have announced in national security,

:21:58.:22:01.

the improvements to the funding of the police

:22:02.:22:05.

and cyber security are the right way Nearly all European countries now

:22:06.:22:08.

have national identity cards. Germany's latest card,

:22:09.:22:16.

which is highly secure, includes a photo, a digital photo,

:22:17.:22:19.

an electronic data function and biometric data

:22:20.:22:27.

which can include a fingerprint. In these difficult circumstances,

:22:28.:22:32.

when identity is at the heart of our problems, shouldn't all the

:22:33.:22:37.

political parties now reconsider their positions on national identity

:22:38.:22:42.

cards introduction. If other European

:22:43.:22:47.

countries can have confidence in their ID card systems,

:22:48.:22:50.

why can't we do the same? Times are changing,

:22:51.:22:55.

the world is very different. The decision was taken to

:22:56.:22:58.

abolish the national identity register and identity cards

:22:59.:23:02.

introduced by the last Labour It was ?85 million to run and nearly

:23:03.:23:06.

?1 billion to maintain the register. The second one was in terms

:23:07.:23:16.

of effectiveness. The very people we might want

:23:17.:23:19.

to have the identity of would be the last people to comply

:23:20.:23:23.

with that. That is not to say we are not

:23:24.:23:26.

doing anything about that. We are simply saying it is

:23:27.:23:29.

a different approach. We have passports, we have driving

:23:30.:23:32.

licences, passports at 84%, driving licenses at over 60%, and for all

:23:33.:23:36.

people who come from outside the UK to be in the UK for a period in

:23:37.:23:40.

excess of six months, they are also required to have a biometric

:23:41.:23:46.

permit in order to do so. Would it not have been better to

:23:47.:23:52.

have corrected the faults in the Labour Party proposals,

:23:53.:23:56.

put that under operation so that now we would have

:23:57.:24:00.

a system which was working? And isn't it odd that we are the

:24:01.:24:05.

only country in Europe that thinks that this system without identity

:24:06.:24:10.

cards is somehow or other superior? Should we not learn

:24:11.:24:17.

from others just occasionally? At a time when the principal concern

:24:18.:24:21.

we have is of national security, we have said we will choose to spend

:24:22.:24:25.

the investment required to put in place ID into better equipping our

:24:26.:24:28.

security forces, better securing our borders to make ensure we can

:24:29.:24:33.

keep people secure and safe. I welcome the minister saying there

:24:34.:24:38.

will be no rethink on identity cards because often the knee jerk reaction

:24:39.:24:43.

is the one that leads to massive I don't see why we should

:24:44.:24:47.

not try identity cards. Those of us who drive

:24:48.:24:53.

have to carry a driving licence, Otherwise there's difficulties

:24:54.:24:57.

with the police if you are stopped. I don't know why we shouldn't

:24:58.:25:03.

see whether it actually works. And finally, former Foreign

:25:04.:25:09.

Secretary William Hague has taken his seat

:25:10.:25:12.

in the House of Lords. Lord Hague of Richmond,

:25:13.:25:14.

as he will now be known, He stood down at this year's

:25:15.:25:16.

General Election after a year He is one of 45 new peers whose

:25:17.:25:22.

appointments were announced I, William, Lord Haig of Richmond,

:25:23.:25:27.

do swear by Almighty God that I will be faithful and bear

:25:28.:25:34.

true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth,

:25:35.:25:37.

her heirs and successors, The latest addition to

:25:38.:25:41.

the red benches. I'll be back with the look at

:25:42.:25:46.

the week's events in Westminster tomorrow but, until then, from me,

:25:47.:25:51.

Georgina Pattinson, goodbye.

:25:52.:25:56.

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