14/03/2017 Tuesday in Parliament


Highlights of Tuesday in Parliament presented by Alicia McCarthy.

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 14/03/2017. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



Hello there and welcome to Tuesday in Parliament.


The Prime Minister calls the passing of the Brexit


We will be a strong, self-governing, global Britain with control once


again over our borders and laws. Labour says britain needs


an inclusive government. decisions are made that we will pay


the price for decades to come. Also


on this programme... A Scotland minister tells


Nicola Sturgeon to take a second independence referendum


"off the table". A leading economist backs


Philip Hammond's decision to raise national insurance


for the self employed. And an MP calls for English


sparkling wine to be served What could be a more appropriate


setting to promote English wine than the famed Ambassador's reception?


Theresa May came to the Commons to make a statement following last


week's European Council meeting and told Mps the UK faces


a "defining moment" as it leaves the European Union.


Updating MPs on the Brussels meeting, Mrs May said European


leaders had discussed security in the western Balkans


and migration, and she announced the UK would be hosting a Somalia


Theresa May then turned to the UK's future relationship with the EU.


She was in the Chamber for the first time since legislation


allowing her to trigger the Brexit process cleared Parliament


Last night, the Bill on Article 50 successfully completed its passage


It will now proceed to royal assent in the coming days so we remain


on track with a timetable I set out six months ago and I will return


to this House before the end of this month to notify when I have formally


triggered Article 50 and begun the process


through which the United Kingdom will leave the EU.


This will be a defining moment for our whole country as we begin


to forge a new relationship with Europe and a new role


We will be a strong, self-governing global Britain,


with control once again over our borders and our laws.


The new relationship with the EU that we negotiate will work


That is why we have been working closely


..including the Scottish Government, listening to their proposals


and recognising the many areas of common ground that we have come


to such as protecting workers' rights and our security


So, Mr Speaker, this is not a moment to play politics or create


There is no doubt that if the wrong decisions are made,


we will pay the price for decades to come.


So now more than ever Britain needs an inclusive government that listens


However, all the signs are that we have a complacent


government, complacent with our economy, complacent


with people's rights and complacent about the future of this country.


When the Foreign Secretary says no deal with the EU


would be perfectly OK, it simply isn't good enough.


Far from taking back control, leaving into World Trade


Organisation rules would mean losing control, jobs and,


So when the Prime Minister says a bad deal is better than no


deal, let me be clear - no deal is a bad deal.


It was also Theresa May's first Commons appearance


since Nicola Sturgeon announced her intention to push


for a second independence referendum in Scotland.


The SNP's Westminster leader turned to what the Prime Minster


Last July we were told by the Prime Minister herself,


saying these very words, that she would not trigger


Article 50 until she had, and I quote her own words,


Now she knows that she has no agreement with the devolved


administration despite months of compromise suggestions


So will the UK Government, even at this very late


days to secure a compromised UK wide approach or does she still plan


to plough on regardless even though she knows what the consequences


He talks about a single market, he talks about the importance


of access to the single market of the EU.


I would simply remind him and his colleagues once again


that the most important single market for Scotland is the single


The Prime Minister has said that no deal is better than a bad deal,


and whilst we all wish her well in getting the best possible deal


for the UK, will she now publish what the effects would be


of crashing out of the EU on WTO rules so that we can have a debate


in the country about her assertion that no deal is better


I say to the right honourable lady, I'm grateful for the comment she has


made, being in support of the Government in looking ahead


and trying to negotiate the best possible deal for the United Kingdom


and that is precisely what we will be doing.


As my right honourable friend launches into the negotiations,


I wonder if she has had time to consider the excellent House


of Lords report that says we have no legal obligation to pay any money


And does she share my view that this is an excellent basis


I can assure my honourable friend that I have noted the House of Lords


on the 23rd of June last year, I think they were very clear


they did not want to continue year after year to be paying huge sums


On the committee corridor, the Mayor of London called


on the Prime Minister to strike an early "interim deal"


on transitional trade arrangements with Brussels.


Labour's Sadiq Khan warned that banks "can't wait" for the full


two-year negotiation to be concluded and would start making plans to move


operations out of the UK as soon as Theresa May triggers


Facing the Exiting the EU Committee, Mr Khan said without assurances


on a trade deal London could face a catastrophe.


The Prime Minister talked about no deal being better than a bad deal.


Of course there are circumstances where that is the case.


If, for example, a bad deal with us paying a massive cheque


and all the rest of it, without the right benefits to us.


That's a bad deal, no deal may be better.


But in most circumstances, no deal means WTO terms,


which means tariffs for goods, nontariff barriers in relation


to regulation legal frameworks for services, and bearing in mind


we have a service surplus and when you speak to the service


sector in particular, no deal equates to WTO terms,


a catastrophe as far as they're concerned.


What is your perception of the impact of the referendum


result on what financial services companies are doing now?


The bad news is already in the public domain are some


of the decisions taken by financial institutions.


Whether it is UBS talking about 1000 of their 5000


Whether it is JP Morgan, they employ 16,000 staff in the UK.


They have talked about moving 4000 out of the country.


HSBC, of course, massive employer in the country.


Their biggest presence is in the UK and Hong Kong.


They have said publicly that they worry about 20%


of revenue being affected and could move to Paris.


You have already made very clear that, in your view,


transitional arrangements in the absence of a deal


being signed up in 18 months, are essential for London.


I don't see a downside to having an interim deal there.


It could well be we reach a deal within two years,


which is fantastic, but an interim deal gives the certainty and clarity


You say that if we don't conclude a deal and revert back to WTO


that this will be a disaster and our economy will suffer.


Surely your job as the Mayor of London actually is to talk up


London and tell people that London is going to be an even greater city


once we leave the European Union, not that it is at risk and it's


going to suffer all these dire consequences.


I appreciate the advice how to be a great Mayor but actually one


of my jobs is to articulate what businesses tell me.


It is my job and I can be naively optimistic


I am optimistic with reason because our underlying strengths


are not going to change but it will be, I think, unwise


for me not to articulate to you what is being told to me


about businesses by business leaders, from finance,


creative and culture, public services, to construction.


The transitional arrangement, as you envisage, is to make


There is no circumstance in which they will want to punish


us but wants to make that punishment painless.


That is a point of view you've got but my point of view is different.


I am quite clear in relation to what businesses are telling me,


as demonstrated by the CBI in the evidence they have given


which is that an interim deal would provide certainty,


not least that financial services need in relation


Over in the Lords, a minister was called to the Chamber to deal


with the other big development of the week.


Nicola Sturgeon's announcement on Monday that she wants another


independence referendum for Scotland, to be


held between the autumn of 2018 and the spring


Lord Dunlop told peers why the Westminster government


The UK Government remains of the view that there should not be


a further referendum on independence and, even at this late hour,


we call on the Scottish Government to take it off the table.


Another referendum would be divisive and cause huge economic uncertainty


If a referendum is allowed, it is essential that it is held


after the Brexit negotiations are completed, not in the midst


of complex negotiations, with no ability whatsoever


to understand the implications of the detailed agreements


Nicola Sturgeon said yesterday that she wanted


I have to say, my Lords, I can think of nothing more


calculated to undermine the achievement of a good deal


than holding a divisive and disruptive independence


referendum during the last six months of one of the most important


peacetime negotiations this country has ever faced.


We certainly call on tough negotiations, tougher than the last


time, over the timing and the question, because it is


quite clear that Mr Alex Salmond ran rings round the Prime Minister


of the day at that time, and if they want any


advice on negotiations, I'm available.


It is not what people in Scotland want, not now nor after Brexit.


The SNP should stand by the Edinburgh agreement and stick


to their word that this was once in a generation, not


a never-endum to be repeated and repeated and repeated.


In the past half-hour, I have received an e-mail


from a leading player in the Scottish commercial property


market to say that overnight ?50 million worth of deals have been


withdrawn as a consequence of the possibility of


Would the noble Lord, the minister, agree with me that when the Scottish


economy is already weakened, while we are seriously


troubled about our education and our health sectors,


that the First Minister's action is one of unpardonable folly?


Well, yes, I would very much agree with the noble lady.


I meet many Scottish businesses and I have yet to find one


who thinks it is a good idea to engender this uncertainty


by calling for another independence referendum.


You're watching Tuesday in Parliament with me, Alicia McCarthy.


Last week's surprise announcement in the Budget of a rise


in National Insurance paid by self-employed workers has been


supported in Parliament by Paul Johnson, of the Institute


The day after the Budget, Theresa May said decisions


on changing NI would be made in the Autumn.


At the Treasury Committee, Paul Johnson was asked about the gap


between the NI amounts paid by employed people and


Historically there has been a justification


which is that the self-employed have been entitled to significantly


smaller state benefits than employees.


That gap is almost completely closed now, particularly


with the introduction of a single tier pension, so the only difference


is in terms of maternity benefits and contributing


That might imply a difference in national insurance rates of up


to one percentage point, certainly no more than that.


Other differences are first of all very different according


to the type of self-employment people are in.


Let's talk about the genuinely self-employed.


The self-employed self-employed, not people who might easily have


Let's just concentrate at that end of the sector.


Then you need to think about what exactly it is you want


Is it that you want to compensate or subsidise for,


as you were saying, risk people are taking?


And you need to ask is the best way of doing...?


First of all, why do we want to subsidise risk?


We don't subsidise all risk and we don't think all


Secondly, if you do want to do it, why do it through the tax system


in a blanket way which subsidises or helps an awful lot of people


Do you want to find some better way of achieving that.


Mr Johnson was challenged on his use of the word "subsidy".


On the whole, when one is talking about one group paying less


than another doing very similar things, one can think


Well, I think only if you assume that it is


If you think there is a case of horizontal equity.


And the Government isn't giving a subsidy by not taking your money.


I think linguistically that is very important because it slightly shows


To put it another way, you are charging other people more


tax in order to reduce the tax on another group.


You are charging people more tax not necessarily in order


to do anything else, you are just charging


But I think language is important because it gives an indication


You always seem to be in favour of higher taxes, which worries me.


What we are saying here is there is a case of horizontal


equity between people and if you want to have a lower rate


of tax across the board, that is absolutely reasonable.


I think there is a case, but it is much harder to make a case


for treating this group very differently from this


group when they are doing very similar things,


and that creates complexity at cost to the economy and to those


who are not benefiting from the reduced tax.


You didn't make a case for reduced tax for the others,


you made a case for higher tax per self-employed.


We are making a case for bringing the two together.


The House of Lords is too big, leading peers have admitted


The problem is no-one can agree on the best way to reduce it.


Lady Smith, the Labour leader in the Lords,


gave evidence along with the Lib Dem leader, Lord Newby,


and the convenor of the crossbench or independent peers,


Given how difficult it has been to attempt radical reform


of parliament's second chamber, they were asked what smaller


reforms they would make if it were up to them.


Labour's Paul Flynn began with a reference to the recent


BBC Two documentary Meet The Lords.


My admiration for your house as a body for scrutinising


legislation far superior to what happens here.


But the position of the Lords, which is nothing to do with you, is


one that is indefensible in so many ways, in


that it is possible to buy a place in the Lords if you


contribute enough to any of the three main parties.


The fact it overrepresents London and underrepresents Scotland,


All the problems that arise, all the illogical


Could you list some practical ways to


reforming the excesses in the near future?


I think there are a number of things that can be achieved quite easily.


Ending the hereditary by-elections, which are complete and


utter nonsense and an embarrassment to the house would be


a first, that could be done tomorrow.


There is a private members bill which the


The Government takes the view there should be consensus.


To get complete consensus on anything is very difficult.


There is a broad consensus that the House of Lords


should be reduced in number, but there is no consensus


Not least because each of the parties are differentially


affected by virtually any reform that you might care to make.


The convenor of the crossbench peers wanted to see the brakes put


I would like an absolute cap but that depends


Prime Minister, frankly, whose prerogative is affected by the


appointments process said that she operates.


Interesting statistic to bear in mind, we had a vote


last week on the Brexit Bill, the largest


vote since the 19th century, and


Now, you test that against the nominal number of our membership,


which is over 800, and you can see that


actually, in practice, even


with all the efforts to get people in,


we don't get anything like the


800 people coming in and so there is a question as to the actual


working number, as opposed to the nominal number that is


I would go for a cap, frankly, at around 600.


And should there be a set retirement age?


There are members in their 80s making a


phenomenally great contribution, Alf Dubs, for example, on my side.


Then you've got others in their 30s who you


never see, so I think the committee will have to look at things like


attendance, activity, whilst not the same time


ignoring those people who


bring expertise when they do come in, but there should


Some of those things have been partially dealt with.


If you don't attend in a session now,


you're automatically retired and that's the end of your


Lady Smith was referring there to a committee set up


by Lord Fowler to aim to reduce the size of the House of Lords.


The SNP's Ronnie Cowan had another idea.


I've got a solution to this, which I'm sure you're not


Have a second chamber, which is elected by all the


people the United Kingdom and therefore will represent all the


regions of the United Kingdom, and that seems to solve a lot


Lord Newby agreed, although Lady Smith warned


an elected second chamber might be a challenge to the primacy


It's a dilemma presented to many a dog walker.


Everyone knows that owners are supposed to clean up


after their furry friend makes a doggy deposit, but increasingly it


seems many then don't know what to do with the plastic poop bag.


A Conservative MP set out the problem.


There is no doubt that dog fouling is an anti-social, environmentally


It blights parks, forests and farmland apart from


being left on fields and verges and, to compound the problem,


we've now seen the rise of the phenomenon of


Fellow walkers, cyclists and families out


with small children are met with lumps of dog faeces


wrapped in pink, blue, black, even


apricot coloured plastic, dangling from trees,


bushes or decoratively tied to people's fences.


Deers ingest the bags, children may handle


the packages, cyclists have


even ridden head on into them as they dangle from overhanging


She called for better signage so owners knew where bins were.


But there was an alternative in very rural areas.


If the walker is further on in their walk


out in a no-bin area, an area of natural habitats,


that walk should show dog walkers that, in that area, they ought to


This is an approach on the Forestry Commissions website.


Having been on the Jeremy Vine show trying to flick a pseudo-poo


eclair and didn't flick at all well, I can say it is actually quite


an effective, in reality, way of doing things but actually


stick and flick will cover the poo with leaves and vegetation,


so we need clear, easy to recognise graphics for these


The minister, Marcus Jones, said irresponsible dog owners


spoiled the environment and that local councils were looking


at improved signage and other "innovative solutions".


The new MP for Stoke-on-Trent Central has made his maiden


Gareth Snell was speaking on the last day of the Budget debate.


He held the seat for Labour after Tristram Hunt stood down


from the Commons to become the director of London's Victoria


Gareth Snell turned to the potteries' most famous export.


We were the beating heart of a ceramic


empire that stretched to the


Today, proud members of the turnover club


can be seen inspecting their tableware for that


hoping to find neatly inscribed on the back of their plate the five


greatest words in the English language,


It is a ceremony, Mr Speaker, which may own


daughter Hannah has taken up with vigour.


In doing so enthusiastically, she wished to


discover the origins of the dinner plate that she has on occasion


forgotten to finish its contents before turning it over


there and depositing her lunch on her lap.


The new MP for Stoke on Trent, Gareth Snell.


Finally, feeling the need for a bit of sparkle in your life?


How about a nice, cool glass of fizz?


Not champagne, or prosecco, but English sparkling wine.


According to a Conservative MP, the industry is on the up,


with sales topping ?100 million in 2015.


And Nusrat Ghani wanted to give the trade a bit more of a boost.


She brought in a bill to have English wines served


In a post-Brexit world, we must do all we can to get behind


industries that show the sort of potential of our wine


industry and what better way to do that than to give the world a taste


by serving UK produced wine and sparkling wine


in our 268 embassies, high commissions and consulates around


What could be a more appropriate setting to promote


English wine than the famed Ambassador's reception?


However, the lack of consistency in embassy policies


for hosting and serving British product mean we are missing


opportunities to show it off in new markets that should be


fertile territory for export, such as China,


Japan, Singapore and even India where wine consumption among the


professional classes is growing exponentially.


So she argued the UK should make the most of the chance to promote


Ms Ghani won the right to take her bill forward,


though unless the Government backs it it may well fall flat.


And that's it from us for now, but do join me at the same time


tomorrow for another round-up of the day at Westminster,


including the highlights from Prime Minister's Questions.