03/02/2016 Wednesday in Parliament


Highlights of Wednesday 3 February in Parliament, presented by Alicia McCarthy.

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Hello there, welcome to the programme.


Coming up: David Cameron sets out his plan to change Britain's


relationship with the EU - to a very mixed response.


In the parts of Europe that work for us and out the parts that don't.


I suggest that he stops pretending at having won


His negotiation in reality is a Tory party drama.


There's a plea for more help for foster carers.


And a Labour MP says changing the way we register to vote has had


A staggering 800,000 people have dropped off the register.


But first: David Cameron has asked MPs to support his draft deal


on reforms to the UK's relationship with the European Union,


describing it as an "important milestone".


On Tuesday the terms of the deal were agreed in principle


and set out by David Cameron in a speech in Wiltshire.


The proposals will need to be approved by all 27


and then there'll be a referendum here.


Labour criticised David Cameron for not making the announcement


to the House, but he argued MPs needed time to read the documents.


So 24 hours on - after PMQs - David Cameron stayed


on at the Despatch Box to set out the changes.


Starting with the subject of sovereignty.


In keeping Britain out of ever closer union,


I also wanted to strengthen the role of this House and all national


Parliaments, so we now have a proposal in the texts that


if Brussels comes up with legislation that we do not


want, we can get together with other Parliaments and block it


We have also proposed a new mechanism to finally enforce


the principle of subsidiarity-a principle dear to this


House-which states that, as far as possible, powers should


sit here in this Parliament, not in Brussels.


So every year the European Union has got to go through the powers


they exercise and work out which are no longer needed


and should be returned to nation states.


Moving on, he said he'd asked for commitments


competitiveness and on reducing the burdens on business,


and third a commitment that the single market would be


protected for Britain even it permanently stayed out


Then he moved on to the subject of immigration.


The draft texts represent the strongest package we have ever


had on tackling the abuse of free movement and closing down


It includes greater freedoms for Britain to act against fraud


and prevent those who pose a genuine and serious threat from


It includes a new law to overturn a decision by the European Court


which has allowed thousands of illegal migrants to marry other


EU nationals and acquire the right to stay in our country.


It has been a source of perpetual frustration that we cannot


impose our own immigration rules on third-country nationals coming


from the European Union, but now, after the hard work


of the Home Secretary, we have a proposal to


And he turned to reducing what he called the "pull factor


David Cameron said there were four areas the Government


We had already delivered on two of them within months


Already, EU migrants will no longer be able to claim universal


credit-the new unemployment benefit-while looking for work.


And if those coming from the EU have not found work within six months,


In these texts, we have secured proposals for the other two areas.


If someone comes from another country in Europe, leaving


their family at home, they will have their child benefit


paid at the local rate, not at the generous British rate.


And crucially, we have made progress on reducing the draw


People said that it would be impossible to end the idea


of something for nothing and that a four-year restriction on benefits


was completely out of the question, but that is now what is in


the text-an emergency brake that will mean people coming to Britain


from within the EU will have to wait four years until they have full


The European Commission has said very clearly that Britain qualifies


already to use this mechanism, so, with the necessary legislation,


David Cameron stressed that there was still much to do


to secure the changes and that he ruled nothing out.


The Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn was dismissive of the deal.


But in truth-in reality-this negotiation is a Tory party drama


that is being played out in front of us, as we see at the moment.


The Labour Party is committed to keeping Britain in


Don't get too excited; let me tell


you the rest of it: because we believe it is the best


framework for European trade and co-operation in the 21st


century, and in the best interests of people in this country.


We believe that the Prime Minister has been negotiating the wrong goals


in the wrong way for the wrong reasons.


For all the sound and fury, the Prime Minister has ended up


exactly where he knew he would be: making the case to remain in Europe,


which was what he always intended, despite a renegotiation spectacle


choreographed for television cameras over the whole continent.


The crucial detail of the emergency brake on workers' benefits for EU


When is that information going to be made available?


In any case, what the Prime Minister calls the strongest package ever


on the abuse of free movement does not actually begin to tackle


the real problems around the impact of migration on jobs,


The Prime Minister says that he has secured Britain's exclusion


from Schengen, a European army and a European superstate.


The Prime Minister is living in never-never land.


We have never argued for those things, and we do not intend to.


We need to work with our allies in Europe to achieve the more


progressive reforms that its people need-to build a more democratic


Europe that delivers jobs, prosperity and security


May I suggest that he stops pretending to have won


He has not even secured the treaty change he promised


What is at stake is much bigger than his recent discussions;


it is about whether or not we remain in the EU.


That is what the debate across the UK will be


about in the run-up to the referendum.


A Labour MP turned to the speculation about


whether Conservative Mayor, MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip


and potential tory leadership candidate, Boris Johnson


Will the Prime Minister join me in welcoming the launch today


of Environmentalists for Europe, which is co-chaired


by Stanley Johnson, the father of the hon.


Member for Uxbridge and South Ruislip -


Will he also welcome the splendid article last week setting out


the importance for science and technology of remaining


in the European Union, which was penned by his Minister


for Universities and Science, who is the brother of the hon.


Member for Uxbridge and South Ruislip?


Friend to tell him about the importance of family solidarity


and of joining the swelling ranks of Johnsons for Europe?


Is not the only way to get control of our borders,


our tax revenues and our welfare system to leave, be a good European


and let them get on with their political union?


The thin gruel has been further watered down.


My right honourable friend has a fortnight, I think,


in which to salvage his reputation as a negotiator.


In the words of John Kenneth Galbraith:


"All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common:


it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety


This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership."


Once the EU negotiations are complete, will the Prime Minister


confront people's anxiety, demonstrate strong leadership


and unequivocally come out in favour of our EU membership?


If we can achieve this negotiation, I will work very hard to convince


people that Britain should stay in a reformed European Union.


That would be very much in our national interest.


I am not an expert on JK Galbraith, but when people have serious


concerns-as people in this country do about the levels


of immigration-it is right to try to act to address them,


A plea for more help for those who foster children with mental


health problems has been made in Parliament.


As part of its inquiry into the well-being of looked


after children, the Education committee listened to the first-hand


experiences of two carers, who've fostered children with widely


But first, the committee heard from a 16-year-old girl who's been


I am going to ask you the first question. Can you tell the community


about placement you have had since you have been in care? I have been


in care for the enough years and the longest post and was about ten


months, and I have had 13 placements. Quite a lot of movement.


Very unsettling. 13 places in two and a half years. I gave up


believing in myself. I let people use me as I was used because I felt


that was natural to let people do that. I have had bad relationships


were things have gone wrong, I thought it was normal until I moved


to Christie 's, when I watched I did not understand that I am still


learning, my mum is still horrible and my family is not great and to me


that is still normal. I would rather be back with my family can be in


care because I find it really hard. I have a lot of problems going on, I


am not seeing family members like they should be. The committee then


heard from foster carers. The first three to six weeks of placement is


not the child you will have after the six weeks. They settle in and


then you see the real child. By then you have ticked the box saying they


sleep well, they do not believe, and it is a lot of rubbish. Six weeks


later you have a potential monster in your house. Because you have been


given a child with no diagnosis, no help, what can you do? It is really,


really difficult. I think we should not do it on how long the child is


therefore, the same person who is cancelling them should follow them


around, not wait until now like ten months down the line for Shankly to


get some counselling. She should have had it right from day one


whenever she lived and whoever she was with. And a recollection of what


one foster child had said. I find with children, and how Facebook


about it when he was younger but at the age of nine, when they come into


your home, I remember him saying to me, he has always called be my


husband mum and dad from day one, why doesn't that shout at you? Why


doesn't that hits you? And they find it really, really difficult when


they see people who are actually nice to each other because they have


not experienced that. I was going to ask trees and Christine first of all


what training, if you could outline the training received specifically


on mental health and well-being. Pretty easy though. Did you request


any? Had you actively refuse any? We get sent an e-mail at the beginning


of the year stating what training will be held over the 12 months and


that is it, really. It would be interesting if you could outline


what you see the role of a carer or foster carer is in terms of the


well-being of the child. And you see your role in that area. We are the


in the face punch bags. That is what we are. We don't know. We get a


piece of paper that pops up on the computer and says this is the child


you are getting. You just don't know. We need as carers we need to


have some kind of intense training. The committee later heard from the


minister. I was anxious to make sure that we would very carefully going


back to enough years ago when I took on this role at how we support


foster carers so that they have the skills, the knowledge. The


understanding as to what other types of behaviour we have to deal with


potentially? And what is the best weekend of handling them? Or can


they go to for support? It was about ?36 million I think that be spent on


providing systemic therapy, so that there was a greater prospect of


foster carers feeling positive that the role they were taking on was one


that they were able to cope with because if you go back to the very


first question about stability, one of the reasons placements breakdown


is because foster carers are unable to cope.


The Education minister, Edward Timpson.


You're watching Wednesday in Parliament with me,


David Cameron has admitted that the NHS in England is falling


short of its target to treat cancer patients within two months


of their first referral to hospital from a GP.


Speaking at Question Time, the Prime Minister said


the Government must "improve our performance".


The Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, said the 62 days target had not been


met for more than a year and a half, as he focused on the treatment


of cancer patients ahead of World Cancer Day.


Cancer is a disease that almost every family in the country has been


affected by in one way or another: 2.5 million people in the country


have cancer, and Members on both sides of the House have received


cancer treatment or are receiving it at the present time.


A thousand people a day are diagnosed with cancer,


and they go through a trauma as soon as they are diagnosed.


In the last year, however, there has been a 36% increase


in the number of people waiting more than six weeks


Can the Prime Minister do something to bring that down?


First, I completely agree with the right honourable


Every family in this country will know someone affected by cancer. We


are treating more patients and let me give him the figures. Compared to


2010 over 645,000 word patients with suspected cancers have been seen.


That is an increase of 71%. Early diagnosis is absolutely essential. I


think on that we all now, we know from personal experience on this. I


said when it comes to the first treatment with and 65 days, we need


to improve our reformers. And Mr Cameron turned to Labour's


health record in Wales. Treatment of cataracts, hernia


operations, take two months longer in England. Labour are running


Wales. He responsible for Labour. Pick up the phone, tell them to stop


cutting our NHS. Mr Speaker LuPone Brewster is responsible for the


health service in England, Wales is a devolved matter. He must be aware


that cancer survival rates are improving better in Wales than in


any other part of the UK. The Labour leader then appealed to Mr Cameron


not to overturn a large decision to offer a increase the support for


cancer patients. It might be funny for members opposite but it is not


fair for Martin. Martin has a close friend who has breast cancer and I


quote, is obviously too unwell to work and cuts will put her into a


hardship but the tide would she was most vulnerable. There are 3200 more


people with cancer had by this cut to the essay. Will the Prime


Minister confirm when that matter returns to the Commons he will


ensure the large position is upheld and people like her do not suffer


the cut that he wanted to make in the first place. Let me explain to


the Right Honourable gentleman at the house, as everyone knows that


are two sorts of employment and support allowance is, the


work-related activity group who are able to train for some work and then


the support group who get to go on getting employment and support


allowance indefinitely. That is the situation and what we have said is


that in future the work-related activity group should be paid at the


same rate as job-seekers allowance. But that is for future claimants,


not existing claimants who continue to be paid at the same rate. If


someone has cancer and can't work then they should be in the support


group. Talks aimed at ending the conflict


in Syria have continued today. In the Lords, peers asked how many


civilians had been killed in air strikes by the Coalition and Russia.


It has been reported that some 40 civilians or more were killed in


January and is the first two days of this week. Surely we are involved in


a joint enterprise and by long-standing crucibles of English


law we are, all of us, legally and morally responsible for the lives of


those who are killed, innocent civilians, innocent men women and


children, by these bombs. What comment with the Minister have? My


Lords, so far as we're concerned as a member of the Coalition, we take


the possibility and the risk of civilian casualties extremely


seriously. But I said that my initial answer to date there is the


evidence that UK strikes have resulted in civilian casualties. I


think there are three factors that underpin that. Our US first of all


opposition guided weapons, secondly our adhesions to very strict


targeting and planning protocols, and above all, the skill of our


pilots and air crew, where I think it does make a difference whether it


is the RAF for another are taking part. Heavy bombers unloading


unguided bombs in large numbers and killing almost indiscriminately,


doesn't that also have a dramatic effect in driving up the refugee


numbers which also continues to destabilise Europe? Really, just


maybe, we are not taking this seriously enough. The noble Lord is


right, that is no question that Russia is actively targeting


civilians and is almost certainly in breach of international humanitarian


law in the process. That has to stop. Russia cannot continue to sit


at the table as a sponsor of the political process and that the same


time the bombing the civilian areas of the very groups of people that we


believe will form the backbone of the new Syria once Assad has left.


The refugee tragedy is caused largely by the evil Islamic State,


which we are united states, our allies, could destroy on the ground


in a few months. He's the reason we do not do so because we have lost


our nerve after her disastrous invasions of Iraq elsewhere? And


hasn't the time, perhaps to think again because we clearly cannot


solve the problem with air power alone. White House aide air strikes


on military action alone would not defeat Daesh, also known as the


Islamic State grip. It is a question of defeating their ideology. He also


added that he was against putting British troops on the ground in


either Iraq or Syria. The Chancellor and his team have been accused of


not getting it in the row over Google's tax affairs. Last month the


company agreed to pay ?130 million in tax hitting back to 2005. George


Osborne described the deal as a great success but he and Google were


immediately criticised. Labour's Dame Margaret Hodge the former chair


of the Commons Public Accounts Committee said that Google have been


arrogant and the government hopeless. I think the reason the


Chancellor and his team do not get it is the, because the people they


talk to about tax and there is a small army of tax professionals and


multinational companies are the only people with whom they conversed. I


have to say to the ministers, there is a difference between good working


relationships, which I applaud, and Anju influence. There is a good


thing about talking to stakeholders, there is a bad thing about being


captured by stakeholders. In the debate I was very keen to see some


facts about the cover of's records so I turned to a study published by


the Oxford Centre for business taxation which is probably the most


academically reputable institution in the area of corporation tax and


the reportedly published in the body of last year identifies 42 separate


measures, that the government has taken since 2010, to clamp down on


corporation tax avoidance and evasion, which are forecast to raise


?34 billion. There is widespread scepticism and lack of confidence


from the public, it means they have no confidence in the government


handling of this affair and in dealing with tax avoidance and tax


evasion. Just a smattering of the backbenchers taking part in the


opposition debate. Now a Labour MP is calling for a change in the rules


to make it easier for people to register to vote. He said there has


been a dramatic drop in numbers on the electoral roll since the


introduction of individual electoral registration. Since its introduction


a staggering 8000 people have dropped off the register, that is


1.8% nationwide. Liverpool has seen a drop in intelligible register of


14,000. Birmingham 17000 and Lewisham 6000. And these are all


areas which have seen an increase in population. She said the research


should pensioners in the shires had a 90% chance of being on the


register. But a young man in an inner city from an ethnic minority


background had a less than 10% chance. So she proposed a change so


that people could be registered automatically when they came into


contact with the government agency. Whether it is when they pay tax,


receive a benefit, use the NHS claim a pension. A similar model operate


in Australia with huge success. For instance the state of Victoria has a


population of the half-million people and has a 95% accuracy in its


registration process. It does this at low employing five members of


staff who maintain the rolling register. Rolling out this reform in


the UK is timely for so many reasons. Greater Manchester will


submit to the Cabinet Office next week it plans to pioneer of this


system of automatic electoral registration and its proposals for a


pilot scheme. Siobhan McDonagh who won the right to take her bill


forward of all it stands little chance of becoming law. Finally back


to the statement from David Cameron on his EU negotiations. There are


already groups campaigning hard for the UK to stay in the EU and its


campaigning for us to leave. Among the latter a group called grassroots


out, and now it even has a tie to make it easier to identify its


members. One of its keenest invaders David Cameron to join the campaign.


Kitty come along to a goal conference, if he does not get what


he wants, and with it be possible for me to drop off a tie? My


honourable friend is always very generous with his time, with his


advice is now also with his clothing. The tie is here, I feel


the Blazer is soon to follow. And that's not a problem brings us to


the end of this edition of the programme. Thanks for watching. I am


back at this time tomorrow. Until then, from the, goodbye.


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