06/07/2017 Thursday in Parliament


06/07/2017

Highlights of proceedings in Parliament on Thursday 6 July, presented by Alicia McCarthy.


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Hello, and welcome to Thursday in Parliament.

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Our look at the best of the day in the Commons and Lords.

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On this programme, the Government says

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is unacceptable that standards in a third of nursing homes

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in England have fallen below safe levels.

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In some areas it is completely unacceptable that standards in some

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cities are below those likely expected by early users and their

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families. Claims that the news media

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are being too hostile to Brexit. I cannot recall a single instance in

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recent times when I have seen good economic news the BBC didn't

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describe as despite Brexit. And those maiden speeches

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by new MPs, they It is essential that we give people

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the tools they need to live their lives to the fool. Lincoln and its

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citizens have the hassle of defying the odds. We have a saying.

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But first, the quality of care in nursing homes for elderly and

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vulnerable people is once again in the spotlight.

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After inspecting 24,000 care services in England, the

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Care Quality Commission watchdog said it found completely

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problems according to the CQC with a third falling short of safety

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The report found examples of elderly people being shouted at

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humiliated, living in dirty conditions, not receiving adequate

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In the Commons, the care minister said he was heartened that

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the majority of care was good, but the failures

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We have seen the numbers of over 65s increase by nearly 1.2 million, 40%

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over the last five years, and today's report shows that in some

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areas it is completely unacceptable that standards in some cities are

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below those likely expected by Keir users and their families. This

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government sees social care as a priority which is why the spring

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budget this year than announced additional money to councils over

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the next three years to spend on adult social care services. On the

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side we have repeatedly raised the damaging aspects of budget cuts, the

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?5 billion cut since 2010. Does he now see that this has caused the

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crisis in peer staffing which is at the heart of the Porky are being

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reported. Poor staff training is a key factor. With social caring

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crisis that is not the time to be threatening to stop working with

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local councils, so will he reversed the threat and match the Labour

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pledge of an extra ?8 million including an extra ?1 billion this

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year. Nobody is making any threats. The government has very supportive

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of the best performing systems of local government and the NHS working

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together to tackle the challenge of delayed transfers of care. We said

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we would consider a review of the allocations of social care funding

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for the area is properly performing. This funding wall remain with local

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government to be used for social care. We obviously recognise there

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are real pressures in the system which is why we responded as we did

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and I think that party were pleased with that at the time. If I could

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just point out that the same report gives 92% good than 3% outstanding

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on caring and it comes down to the commitment of staff who sadly have

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not been given a breaking of the 1% cap. Obviously what has been raised

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as the safety issue with one in four feeling to provide safe care and it

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comes down to workforce and funding. Brexit threatens workforce because

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as the honourable member said there is a one in four turnover. Funding

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has reduced 9% and it is something that has to be tackled. Of the care

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homes requiring improvement on the inspection 5% have deteriorated so

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what action is the minister taking beyond just inspection to improve

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standards? It is an absolutely fair question which is why I said in my

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statement that through the dashboard we have picked 12 most challenged

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local areas for review. The reviews will cover providers and

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commissioners to look at the interface between social care and

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general primary care and include an assessment of the governments in

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place and management resources. I am sorry to read that it but I wanted

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it absolutely clear on the record. I welcome the sea QC inspections

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because it is driving up standards and highlighting problems but many

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older residents tell me what they want to do is stay in their own

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homes for longer. What is the minister doing to help that to

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happen tee I thank my right honourable friend for that and it is

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exactly why I said this has to be a one system solution and we need the

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NHS to work on delayed transfers of care but we need local authorities

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to work with us as well. I hope the Minister would agree that these

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widespread feel years of care are intolerable in a civilised society,

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and does he share my view that they will have to confront the need to

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increase taxes to ensure we have an efficient system and witty embrace a

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cross-party approach to come up with a long-term approach? Does the

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Minister agree it is deeply cynical to pretend there is some financial

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issue to this that doesn't involve difficult decisions both within and

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across generations. Yes, I do. The many disappointing things about the

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recent general election but I can say that one of the more

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disappointing things, being serious, one of the more disappointing things

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was that the debate in the future of adult social care was reduced to

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using the words dementia tax which I think is dead our public life and

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this Parliament an enormous disservice and I do think we need to

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have a grown-up debate in this country around this issue and that

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is why we are going to bring out proposals for consultation. I say

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gently to the Minister the only reason the Labour Party was able to

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mention dementia tax was because the Conservative Party had put something

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stupid in their manifesto. And really, this is far too important a

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matter for party politics. The former Conservative leader and

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Foreign Secretary Lord Haig has told a group of peers that Brexit

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will undoubtedly damage the UK's He's leaving the European

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union would also mean the UK having less influence

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in the rest of the world. He appearing at a Lords

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committee alongside former Nato Secretary-General and a former

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EU foreign policy chief. Lord Haig said being

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part of the EU had been Brexit will be damaging to our

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ability to work with other EU countries, obviously on foreign

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affairs and influence they overall. The UK's participation in the

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EUforeign affairs helps to keep the whole Western alliance together, and

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we have at a time of the danger of fragmentation of the Western world.

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We can see that for many reasons and in many ways. As the forthcoming

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summit in Germany is demonstrating. And so UK participation in

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influencing the foreign affairs of the other EU nations is a crucial

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aspect of averting such a fragmentation. How then will Brexit

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affect our relationship with the remaining EU countries with regard

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to the formulation and exercising foreign policy? The most fundamental

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issue is that in the process of working up the way in which policy

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is developed and determining what Europe's policy will be, we want to

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be in the room to either influence it in one way or another, and

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that'll be a loss to the European Union and potentially lost to our

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capacity to develop policy. Brexit changes the political relationship

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with the EU, it doesn't change their geography or the nature of the

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common threats that we face. And in many ways, it doesn't affect the

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corporation that is essential on handling the future of security

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threats as well. With American foreign policy veering

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slightly away from the old relationship, Europe is going to

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have to do more in terms of capability in terms of exercise and

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in terms of political priority, and therefore we need to be part of

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that, and the reality is today and for the future, UDP and defence

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actually as Britain and France. That's what it is. These are the

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only two countries with the capability and the headquarters and

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the ability to do things. So how we move forward on that is going to be

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complex and difficult. Speaking as someone not in favour of leaving the

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EU but effects we are doing, it is true that they will want our

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participation, our support. We do have the biggest military budget in

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the EU and the biggest development budget by some distance, and one of

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the equal biggest diplomatic network and a seat on the UN Security

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Council, and so there are many things that can't effectively be

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done by Europe without some degree of participation and support from

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the United Kingdom. And therefore the degree to which it is damaging

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depends on what we put in place to enable the maximum cooperation, and

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I think that will require a lot of political commitment by ministers

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but also a specific framework designed for this purpose. Can you

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say something about the influence on the rest of the world? Are you

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saying that our influence will be diminished not just in Europe but

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when we go and talk to the United States, if we are not a member of

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the European Union two or our influence at the UN will be

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diminished. I think it necessarily follows that if you are less

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influential and grafting the overall approach of the EU you end up with

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this influence on the rest of the world and I think there will be less

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solidarity with Britain invoked that the United Nations. We cannot simply

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depend on institutional relationships, because if you are

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not in the room then you are not part of the framework at the

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beginning, the concept of operations, if its military

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operations, and the exit strategy, and that is where we are bound to

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lose traction. And Lord Hague said some

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sort of post-Brexit And enhanced framework participation

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agreement between the UK and the EU on foreign affairs. Something of

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that kind would mitigate the damage that will undoubtedly because.

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The Lords committee discussing Brexit, but our journalists being

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too gloomy over Brexit's Commons leader Andrea Leadsom said recently

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on BBC's new site that she wished broadcasters could be a bit more

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Now her Cabinet colleague Liam Fox has accused media

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organisations of not wanting to see Brexit succeed.

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His remarks in the Commons followed a question from a

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I think the potential for trade with Commonwealth countries is very

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exciting but every time I open a newspaper or listen to the radio

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or TV, the story is done very negatively that it will be

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impossible to do these trade deals. Mr Speaker, it does appear that some

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elements of our media would rather see Britain fail than

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see Brexit succeed. I cannot recall a single time

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in recent times when I have seen good economic news that the BBC

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didn't describe as despite Brexit. This front bench team must know that

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a silly attack on the BBC cannot be used as an excuse for policy. This

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is a Secretary of State who has refused to meet the all-party

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manufacturing group. Can I tell him from the manufacturers I know that

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they have no confidence in the Secretary of State, living in cloud

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cuckoo land, they think he is not confident and want his resignation.

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I will take note of his comments. The members only Conservative

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backbencher desperate for the Secretary of State to give us more

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confidence that they will massively increased trade and the common law,

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but he is wise not to do so in that Australia and Canada collectively

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account for less than 5% of their exports. With research showing the

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most enduring statistic is that trade halves every time the distance

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between nations doubles, isn't it foolhardy far as to be turning away

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from close of trading partners and the lying on increasing trade with

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countries so very far away? I am sorry to hear that the lack of

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understanding of how the modern economy works, because particularly

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countries which have large proportion of their trade in

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services, services trade does not depend upon distance, and in fact,

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what we need to have is an increasingly close cooperation with

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countries that are similar to ours in terms of their economic status,

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not necessarily geographically proximate.

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You're watching our round-up of the day in the Commons and the lords.

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Still to come, the closure of job centres north of the border.

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The Minister for equalities has told MPs there

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will be no backsliding on

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rights for lesbian, gay and transgender people by this

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During Commons questions, MPs expressed concern

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that equalities policies could come under pressure following the

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Conservative's confidence and supply deal struck with Northern Ireland's

:14:52.:14:53.

DUP representatives have described homosexuality as repulsive, wrong,

:14:54.:15:07.

vile, immoral, offensive and obnoxious.

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Does the Minister agree that it is these hateful remarks

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themselves that are repulsive, wrong, vile, immoral, offensive and

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And they should have no place in our politics let alone in

:15:22.:15:25.

The DUP once ran a campaign called save also from

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Isn't it time to save Ulster from bigotry?

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The views that she set out are absolutely not ones

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that I agree with or indeed I think our shared by this house.

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As I said to her, I think it is important that

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the way in which we have this debate and progress continued improvements

:15:43.:15:49.

in LGBT rights, women's rights, in the rights of disabled

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All sorts of people who face discrimination

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in our country is in ameasured fashion.

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Where we can find some consensus, we will steadily win

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Equality and tolerance are important British

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Will the Minister work to overturn the ongoing

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ban on equal marriage in

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Northern Ireland, or does she believe that ?1 billion is a fair

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price to pay for selling of these fundamental values?

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I think we have to fundimentally win the argument on LGBT rights.

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This is something that needs to take place across our country, including

:16:30.:16:32.

There is a democratic Northern Ireland assembly

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and I think it is a debate that we all need to engage in, but I think

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it is one that we see progress made in over many, many years.

:16:39.:16:42.

She sets out that there is a lot of progress to

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I have spoken to my party leader, who is a woman and my

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closest colleague in MLA, who just happens to be a woman.

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And my most senior member of staff, my close

:16:54.:16:55.

adviser and shockingly is also a woman.

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Equality and rights in their party, they seem to be satisfied.

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Subsequently, I would ask the Minister 's question.

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I wonder what discussions have been held with

:17:03.:17:04.

Labour's sister party the SDLP, who hold many of the same moral

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issue stances that we hold, which is what

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I believe this question is ready seeking to highlight.

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I think he sets out that there is a discussion

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and debate to be had across political parties both here in this

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Parliament, but also in Northern Ireland.

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That is a debate and discussion that I welcome.

:17:26.:17:28.

Can I join everybody in this house in

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wishing all those celebrating London Pride this weekend a happy Pride.

:17:33.:17:34.

Despite a number of promises during the election

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campaign on the need to

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strengthen and protect equality legislation,

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there is no commitment in this year's Queen speech.

:17:47.:17:48.

People across the country have deep concerns that the Tory backbench

:17:49.:17:51.

deal with the DUP could undermine, halt or damage equality here in the

:17:52.:17:54.

What assurances will the Minister provide that progress on a

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quality will not be sidelined for political expediency?

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I think I have given those assurances on a number

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I will be very happy to come to this dispatch box and

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continue to give them because I think they are important.

:18:07.:18:10.

Later, the Work and Pensions Secretary David Gauke was called to

:18:11.:18:19.

the Commons to explain the Government's decision to close ten

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job centres across Scotland, including six in Glasgow.

:18:22.:18:23.

Ministers say online applications meant that

:18:24.:18:25.

More than 70 Jobcentres are being closed across the United Kingdom,

:18:26.:18:33.

Compassionate conservativism lasted fully two days.

:18:34.:18:40.

There should have been a statement at a vote in this

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Does the Secretary of State accept that there

:18:43.:18:49.

is a direct link with the index of multiple deprivation

:18:50.:18:53.

and those job centres earmarked for closure?

:18:54.:18:55.

Will he publish an impact on the quality

:18:56.:18:57.

assessment, particularly on those with disabilities and those

:18:58.:19:01.

It will be the case after these reforms have been completed that

:19:02.:19:05.

there will be a reduction in the number of job centres

:19:06.:19:07.

in Glasgow, that Glasgow will still have more

:19:08.:19:13.

job centres per head of population than any other city in the United

:19:14.:19:16.

It is also the case that a number of the Glasgow job centres

:19:17.:19:27.

It is therefore sensible that we rationalise this estate and can

:19:28.:19:31.

In some cases, what we need is much improved

:19:32.:19:35.

job centres with improved facilities, greater capability of

:19:36.:19:37.

That is exactly what this strategy involves.

:19:38.:19:44.

Having conducted a survey outside Batley

:19:45.:19:49.

Jobcentre, I know that the majority of users actually walk there often

:19:50.:19:51.

everyday to use the computers to look for jobs.

:19:52.:19:55.

With Batley's closing they will have to work to Dewsbury.

:19:56.:20:01.

A journey of 20 minutes if you are able bodied.

:20:02.:20:03.

So can the Secretary of State confirm whether new

:20:04.:20:05.

sanctioning guidance will be provided for those who are late or

:20:06.:20:08.

We don't expect people to miss appointments.

:20:09.:20:17.

It is the case that as I say, people who

:20:18.:20:19.

are looking for jobs are expected to spend 35

:20:20.:20:22.

That should enable them to travel from Batley to Dewsbury in

:20:23.:20:27.

As I say, we would expect people to make

:20:28.:20:34.

appointments, but we would look at the individual circumstances if

:20:35.:20:40.

somebody has missed an appointment to see if we can take into account

:20:41.:20:43.

whether there has been any mitigating factors.

:20:44.:20:45.

The more serious issue ahead is making sure we have

:20:46.:20:50.

got the right resources in the Jobcentre plus

:20:51.:20:52.

for the expanded role of

:20:53.:20:53.

Universal Credit that is starting next year.

:20:54.:20:55.

I think my honourable friend hits the nail on the head,

:20:56.:20:58.

It is very important that we have got job

:20:59.:21:01.

centres that are able to deal with the new and important role in terms

:21:02.:21:08.

of providing the support that claimants need, having worked

:21:09.:21:17.

coaches in place, having those facilities and sometimes that

:21:18.:21:19.

requires new estate, new improve estates.

:21:20.:21:21.

We shouldn't be stuck on where the footprint that we happen

:21:22.:21:23.

The class of 2017 continues to make itself

:21:24.:21:28.

Brand-new MPs have been making their maiden speeches in the

:21:29.:21:31.

I'm also thankful for my honourable friends for gathering around me

:21:32.:21:46.

like a protective huddle of penguins, I very much appreciate it.

:21:47.:21:49.

We must be realistic, pragmatic and determined about how

:21:50.:21:52.

we best shape this country as we leave

:21:53.:21:54.

But too often debate on how we do this is infected

:21:55.:21:58.

by corrosive pessimism that betrays a lack of confidence in our nation

:21:59.:22:00.

As a local councillor, I have also witnessed the impact

:22:01.:22:05.

of cuts to local council budgets and how

:22:06.:22:07.

austerity for some has caused untold misery for the many and not a few.

:22:08.:22:10.

At the beginning of the General Election campaign, it was unclear

:22:11.:22:13.

whether I would be standing here today making a speech, but Lincoln

:22:14.:22:15.

and its citizens have a history of defying the odds.

:22:16.:22:18.

From the development in the first tank in

:22:19.:22:20.

World War I, by a determined group of engineers, to the recent runaway

:22:21.:22:24.

success of Lincoln City's football club, the Imps, who took the fight

:22:25.:22:27.

in the FA Cup to the Emirates Stadium last

:22:28.:22:29.

proud history of going the extra mile.

:22:30.:22:33.

I want to quote in Gaelic to amuse your good selves, Mr Speaker,

:22:34.:22:36.

The mighty cairn is built of Little stones.

:22:37.:22:44.

I do hope Mr Speaker that this particular

:22:45.:22:51.

stone, myself, may play a suitable part in the mighty cairn that is

:22:52.:22:54.

It is essential that we give people the

:22:55.:22:57.

tools that they need to live their lives to the full.

:22:58.:23:02.

When I have worked with people in various jobs

:23:03.:23:04.

who are receiving benefits or support from charity, that is what

:23:05.:23:07.

They want support to do things for themselves.

:23:08.:23:10.

Not a hand-out, as some members of this

:23:11.:23:12.

house and the media, might have you believe.

:23:13.:23:13.

Some of the new members of the Commons.

:23:14.:23:15.

The issue of male MPs wearing ties in the Commons has been

:23:16.:23:19.

Last week, the Speaker, John Barker, said he was

:23:20.:23:23.

prepared to relax the rule on the compulsory

:23:24.:23:25.

wearing of ties in the

:23:26.:23:27.

At the start of the week, the transport Minister John Hayes

:23:28.:23:36.

declared that he wouldn't take interventions from sartorially

:23:37.:23:38.

challenged MPs who were not wearing ties.

:23:39.:23:42.

That prompted this response from the Lib Dem MP, who first asked

:23:43.:23:45.

the Speaker if the tie rule could be dropped.

:23:46.:23:47.

You were not in the chair on Monday and may not

:23:48.:23:52.

have heard the Minister of State for transport,

:23:53.:23:54.

who said that he would not take interventions from anybody who

:23:55.:23:56.

Given your pronouncements on this matter,

:23:57.:24:09.

Mr Speaker, do you think there is a risk of a slippery slope which might

:24:10.:24:18.

lead that member to refuse to take interventions from members who are

:24:19.:24:21.

sartorially challenged in other ways, such as wearing a gaudy tie,

:24:22.:24:24.

I'd welcome your advice on this matter, Mr

:24:25.:24:28.

I rather thought that what he had to say on this matter was

:24:29.:24:36.

proffered in his characteristically jocular fashion.

:24:37.:24:41.

However, insofar as I could be staged to have received

:24:42.:24:43.

an application from the Right Honourable gentleman by virtue of

:24:44.:24:51.

his pronouncements for the role of style

:24:52.:24:53.

right honourable gentleman and all members of the house that I have

:24:54.:25:02.

filed the application for the right honourable

:25:03.:25:07.

member for that post in

:25:08.:25:12.

The Speaker clarifying the position, I think.

:25:13.:25:19.

To join me for the week in Parliament when we not only look

:25:20.:25:24.

back at the last few days in the Commons and the Lords,

:25:25.:25:27.

but also discussed what the agreement between

:25:28.:25:29.

the DUP and the Conservative Government means for the future of

:25:30.:25:32.

For now, for me Keith McDougall, goodbye.

:25:33.:25:42.

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