19/10/2016 Wednesday in Parliament


19/10/2016

Highlights of Wednesday 19 October in Parliament, presented by Alicia McCarthy.


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Hello, and welcome to Wednesday In Parliament.

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At Prime Minister's Questions Theresa May is challenged over

:00:19.:00:22.

mental health, sexual abuse and arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

:00:23.:00:25.

The Chancellor urges fellow Tories to stop leaking to newspapers

:00:26.:00:29.

as ministers work out how to tackle Brexit.

:00:30.:00:34.

And a Conservative wonders why it's not possible to check the tdeth

:00:35.:00:38.

of child migrants to make stre they're under 18.

:00:39.:00:47.

There are various tax rate that can be done without even opening a

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child's mouth. -- various x,rays. The session started with both

:00:51.:00:53.

Theresa May and Jeremy Corbxn 50 years ago on the 21st of October

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1966, an avalanche of coal waste crashed into a school and 18 houses

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in the South Wales village of Aberfan, killing 116

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children and 28 adults. The disaster made headlines around

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the world and devastated thd Jeremy Corbyn reckoned it

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would never be forgotten. Many in that community are still

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living with that tragedy and they will live with that tragedy for the

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rest of their days. I remember it very well as a young person growing

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up at that time and watching collections for the disaster fund. I

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think the BBC documentary presented last night was absolutely brilliant

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and poignant. It serves to remind us all of what that disaster w`s about.

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I'm an age where I can remelber those terrible scenes on television

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about what happened in Aberfan. I did not see the whole of thd

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documentary, but the bits that I did see I thought were very poignant, as

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the Right Honourable gentlelan said. Interestingly, what it showdd that

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issue of those in power not being willing to step up to the plate

:02:04.:02:07.

initially and accept what h`d actually happened.

:02:08.:02:08.

Jeremy Corbyn moved on his lain topic, mental health and thd NHS.

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One in four of us will suffdr a mental health problem. Analxsis by

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the fund suggests that 40% of our mental health trusts had thdir

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budgets cut last year. Six trusts have seen their budgets cut for

:02:26.:02:32.

three years in a row. Is thd Government happy that we ard

:02:33.:02:35.

delivering parity of esteem for mental health? It is right that we

:02:36.:02:40.

are delivering parity of esteem in our National Health Service. We ve

:02:41.:02:43.

been waiting too long for this. It's important that it is being done But

:02:44.:02:48.

we are investing more in mental health services. An estimatdd record

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?11.7 billion. Particularly, we are increasing the overall numbdr of

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children's beds to the highdst number of children's beds in

:02:57.:03:01.

relation to mental health problems. I had a letter from Colin, ` family

:03:02.:03:05.

member of his have a chronic mental health condition. He, like lany

:03:06.:03:08.

others, who have relatives going through mental health crisis, says.

:03:09.:03:14.

The NHS is so underfunded that too often it's left to the underfunded

:03:15.:03:18.

police forces to deal with the consequences of this crisis. Indeed,

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the Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall have this month threatens

:03:23.:03:26.

legal action against the NHS because he is forced to hold people with

:03:27.:03:31.

mental conditions in police cells because there aren't enough NHS

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beds. I simply ask the Primd Minister this. If the Government is

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truly committed to parity of esteem, why is this trust and so many others

:03:40.:03:43.

facing an acute financial crisis at the present time? Halai first of all

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stay to: but I think we all in this house recognise the difficulty that

:03:50.:03:56.

people have when they are coping with mental health problems. Can I

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commend those in this house who have been prepared to stand up and

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referred to their own mental health problems. I think that's bedn an

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important signal to people with mental health issues across the

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country. He raises the whold question of the interaction between

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the NHS and police forces. H'm proud of the fact that when I was Home

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Secretary I worked with the Department of Health to bring a

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change to the way in which police forces were dealing with people in

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mental health crises so that we do see those triage pilots out on the

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street. We do see better NHS support being given to police forces say the

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number of people who are having to be taken to a police cell as a place

:04:34.:04:40.

of safety in some areas has, overall, I think it has mord than

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halved. In some areas it cole down by even more than that. This is a

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result of the actions that this government has taken.

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A Labour MP asked about the latest problems around the child

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sexual abuse enquiry, which is now on its fourth

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chairwoman after Dame Justice Lovell got quit in the summer.

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She set up the enquiry. She appointed the chair. She was the

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individual responsible for the s successful Sochi was Home Sdcretary

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in April and the only person who had the power to act. Can she now

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finally tell us when she personally learned of the serious problems

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developing in this enquiry, and why it was that she took no acthon at

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all? Can I say I recognise that the honourable lady has taken a

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particular interest in this issue. I'm sure she will recognise, as I

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hope other members of this house do, why it was that I set up thd

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enquiry. For too long peopld who had been subjected to child sextal abuse

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had their voices unheard. They felt they weren't getting justicd. That's

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why it's very important that the enquiry is able to continue and

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finite justice for them. Thdre were stories around about the enpuiry and

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about individuals related to the enquiry. But the Home Secretary

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cannot intervene on the bashs of suspicion, rumour or hearsax.

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The SNP's Westminster leader turned to the conflict in Yemen and

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whether or not British arms were being used by Saudi forces

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It is beyond doubt that the Saudi air forces bombing Yemen flxing

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planes made in Britain by phlots trained by Britain, and thehr

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droppings missiles made in Britain. I asked a direct question and she

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couldn't answer it. I can try for a second time. Can she give this house

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an assurance that civilians have not been killed by bombs being dropped

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on Yemen which are partiallx manufactured in Scotland under

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license by our government? Hf she doesn't know the answer to that

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question, how can she possibly in good conscience continue selling

:06:56.:07:01.

them to Saudi Arabia? First of all, in response to the right honourable

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gentleman, the point he madd was very simple, which is that we press

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for proper investigations into what has happened and that those

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incidents before we reach a decision or a conclusion on what has happened

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in relation to those incidents. We have a very strong relationship with

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Saudi Arabia, that is important for this country. It's important in

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terms of dealing with counterterrorism and a numbdr of

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other issues. But what mattdrs when incidents happen about which there

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was concern is that they're properly investigated.

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Earlier this week, Downing Street said that Theresa May had ftll

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confidence in her Chancellor, Philip Hammond, after reports

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he was trying to slow progrdss towards the UK's leading thd EU

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Some newspapers said colleagues believe that Mr Hammond

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was attempting to undermine the process by delaying

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A Treasury source said the claims were rubbish.

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The man himself was asked about the newspaper stories

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when he appeared before the Commons Treasury committee.

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He was also asked about the progress of Brexit negotiations, and angered

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a Labour MP when he repeated the Government's line that linisters

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We cannot have a public deb`te about what our negotiating

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If we were to do that, we would have no negotiating position.

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So we won't be having a public debate, Chancellor,

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about the future relationshhp with the European Union?

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We must now leave that in the hands of the Governmdnt?

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That's a ridiculous extrapolation, if I may say so.

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Of course we'll be having a public debate.

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We are clearly having it every single day.

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But what we can't do is publish the various options which mhnisters

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will be considering and the modelled output of those options in terms

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That would be to undermine our negotiating position

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A public vote is very difficult to have, Chancellor,

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without the evidence available either to parliamentarians

:08:55.:08:56.

So we could have a public debate, but it won't be

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I would be a very poor publhc debate and I think that the disappointing

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I would suggest to you that there will be plenty of people producing

:09:07.:09:10.

material, between now and ndxt March.

:09:11.:09:13.

Tax payers pay for the Treasury to do that work, Chancellor.

:09:14.:09:16.

I think the public and parliamentarians deserve

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I have to say that I expect that the majority view

:09:18.:09:25.

The heart of the matter is that we are having

:09:26.:09:31.

And the public debate occurs every time the Brexit Cabinet

:09:32.:09:38.

Within 24 hours we have a vdry full and public debate.

:09:39.:09:43.

I'm not going to tie everybody in the room with the long lhst

:09:44.:09:47.

of leaps that there have bedn, but we can identify the datds

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of meetings even if they're not made public merely from the arrival

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Don't you think it would be a far more intelligent way

:09:57.:10:02.

to have a debate by publishhng proposals, than to carry

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on with this idea that we c`n't say anything because it will interfere

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with our negotiating position and running commentary?

:10:09.:10:10.

We're having a running commdntary anyway.

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The Government can't keep this stuff secret for 24 hours between itself.

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Once it gets into the hands of our counterparties,

:10:18.:10:19.

27 countries plus the EU, it might as well get

:10:20.:10:21.

I think it would be far mord helpful to this debate if we were able

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to conduct these internal discussions privately

:10:27.:10:27.

We need space to explore different options.

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It's no secret that there are different views about how

:10:31.:10:33.

we should approach of the negotiation.

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We are exploring together how to give the Prime Minister

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I think your first sentence gives a pretty clear view of your own

:10:38.:10:41.

attitude to whether or not one agrees with it is another m`tter.

:10:42.:10:44.

Andrew Tyree the main campahgn during the referendum,

:10:45.:10:46.

Another committee member, the Conservative Jacob Rees Mogg,

:10:47.:10:49.

was and is an outspoken supporter of Brexit.

:10:50.:11:10.

The press have had you down as a Remainer, but I think

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everything you said has been a positive view of how Brexht can

:11:14.:11:16.

The Chancellor smiled slightly at that.

:11:17.:11:21.

My job is to look at the economy, the challenges it will face

:11:22.:11:25.

and the opportunities that will be in front of us to make sure

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we are well-equipped to seize those opportunities.

:11:30.:11:30.

But also to make sure that we spot the challenges coming.

:11:31.:11:33.

The Chancellor on his Brexit position.

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You're watching Wednesday in Parliament, with me,

:11:42.:11:43.

The former head of a progralme to help England's most disadvantaged

:11:44.:11:46.

families has hit back at cl`ims that the initiative has madd

:11:47.:11:49.

The programme was launched hn 2 12, at a cost of ?448 million,

:11:50.:11:57.

and was intended to turn around the lives of 120,000 familids.

:11:58.:12:03.

But the National Institute of Economic and Social Rese`rch

:12:04.:12:06.

using data from a quarter of the families taking

:12:07.:12:09.

part in the first stage, found a very small number

:12:10.:12:13.

Jonathan Portes, one of the authors, called it "a perfect case study

:12:14.:12:19.

of how the manipulation and misrepresentation

:12:20.:12:21.

of statistics by civil serv`nts and politicians meant bad

:12:22.:12:24.

Well, the top civil servant at the Department for Communities

:12:25.:12:33.

argued the research and the way it was reported didn't

:12:34.:12:36.

What the evaluation does show is that the families

:12:37.:12:42.

in the programme did improve their outcomes.

:12:43.:12:43.

It does show that quite cle`rly whether that's work or school

:12:44.:12:46.

It also shows that there is a statistically signific`nt

:12:47.:12:53.

improvement in how they feel about their lives,

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and in particular about feeling that the worst is behind thdm.

:12:56.:12:57.

We don't want to go into the detail of...

:12:58.:13:00.

Well, I think at some level you have to bring out the detail a bht,

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if you will just forgive me with one more point.

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What I think we need to sort of in a way put in context

:13:10.:13:12.

is that this evaluation onlx ran for 12 to 18 months with individual

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bits of data, and what provdd not to be possible in the research

:13:17.:13:19.

was to be able to form a kind of control group,

:13:20.:13:21.

that would have allowed you to say, here's a group of families that

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didn't have a troubled families intervention,

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that are similar to the ones that did, and therefore how can

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That's the thing that the rdsearch wasn't able to prove.

:13:30.:13:32.

But the report does also sax they were unable to find consistent

:13:33.:13:35.

evidence that the programme had had any significant or systemic impact.

:13:36.:13:38.

That was attributable to the programme -

:13:39.:13:39.

although the outcomes did ilprove and that is shown in the ev`luation.

:13:40.:13:45.

We're going to move on now from the actual publication

:13:46.:14:05.

The frustration is that it hs one part of a much bigger story,

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and I think the other thing is the way that it is being

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presented in the media, and if I'm honest quite

:14:12.:14:13.

deliberately, is that it hasn't got the caveats across.

:14:14.:14:15.

Nowhere does the word "Attributable"...

:14:16.:14:17.

When you say "quite deliber`tely," who are you attributing that to

:14:18.:14:20.

Sorry, I mean I've got nothhng to lose in a scenario like this

:14:21.:14:26.

I think lots of comment madd by those closely involved

:14:27.:14:29.

with the evaluation, which has been leading on the press

:14:30.:14:31.

in the last few days, has been unedifying.

:14:32.:14:33.

They didn't wait until the rest of the evaluation was out,

:14:34.:14:35.

I'm sure they feel suppressdd, that simply isn't true.

:14:36.:14:38.

I'm the first to say that Jonathan Portes and NIESR,

:14:39.:14:40.

their research, after a lot of correction and sorting ott,

:14:41.:14:42.

I accept the findings of the research.

:14:43.:14:44.

Which is over the timescale they looked at the families,

:14:45.:14:47.

which was really early on in the programme,

:14:48.:14:50.

that the changes in those f`milies, which they do not dispute,

:14:51.:14:53.

you cannot directly attribute to the troubled families programme.

:14:54.:14:55.

You can on the other hand fhnd a lot of information as to why thdy hadn't

:14:56.:14:59.

frankly put any of the cave`ts in the public domain...

:15:00.:15:02.

So you're unhappy with the way the people who are funded

:15:03.:15:05.

by the department to do this the evaluation have

:15:06.:15:07.

And I don't want to make it a personal thing, because actually

:15:08.:15:15.

I accept that within this one piece of research it doesn't provd

:15:16.:15:18.

Did I ask the department to sit on it?

:15:19.:15:21.

No, I didn't, I think it's better to have that stuff out and washed

:15:22.:15:25.

out in the public domain so you can have a discourse about it.

:15:26.:15:28.

Now, a Conservative MP is c`lling for child migrants arriving

:15:29.:15:30.

in the UK from Calais to have their teeth tested

:15:31.:15:33.

Several unaccompanied children have arrived to join relatives

:15:34.:15:41.

in the UK this week, but there have been suggesthons that

:15:42.:15:43.

The Monmouth MP David Davies said mandatory teeth checks

:15:44.:15:55.

would reassure people, and it was a suggestion takdn up

:15:56.:15:58.

There was a lot of dissatisfaction in the paper today, saying

:15:59.:16:08.

that these are adults rather than children, and it went on to say

:16:09.:16:11.

that the best way of identifying the age is dental examination.

:16:12.:16:15.

And that's why I'm asking this question, because it then wdnt

:16:16.:16:17.

on to say that they couldn't do a dental examination becausd wisdom

:16:18.:16:20.

teeth are highly significant, and they couldn't do it

:16:21.:16:22.

But of course, there are various X-rays that can be done without even

:16:23.:16:26.

So I think there is something very strange about that,

:16:27.:16:30.

and I wondered why it hasn't been possible to make some agreelent

:16:31.:16:33.

whereby if you wanted to cole in you should be obliged

:16:34.:16:35.

to be allowed to be checked in terms of age.

:16:36.:16:38.

Well, my lords, I must confdss to be 49 years of age and still not

:16:39.:16:41.

having wisdom teeth, but that probably says

:16:42.:16:43.

We are working very closely with the French authorities

:16:44.:16:50.

and their partner agencies to ensure that all those who come to the UK

:16:51.:16:54.

from the camps are eligible under the Dublin Regulations.

:16:55.:16:59.

So all individuals who are referred to the UK authorities by thd FTDA,

:17:00.:17:03.

and are then interviewed by French and UK officials, and where credible

:17:04.:17:06.

and clear documentary evidence of age is not available,

:17:07.:17:08.

criteria including physical appearance and demeanour ard used

:17:09.:17:10.

as part of the interview process to assess age.

:17:11.:17:13.

That is the process in France, and I want noble lords to bd quite

:17:14.:17:16.

clear that we are bound by the French system

:17:17.:17:18.

When those children come here, we do not use dental X-rays

:17:19.:17:33.

to confirm the ages of thosd seeking asylum in the UK.

:17:34.:17:36.

The British Dental Associathon is vigorously opposed to thdm,

:17:37.:17:38.

and has described them as inaccurate,

:17:39.:17:39.

May I do something I don't think I've ever done before,

:17:40.:17:56.

The peer who'd championed t`king children from the so-called

:17:57.:17:58.

Jungle camp in Calais welcomed their arrival.

:17:59.:18:10.

May I do something I don't think I've ever done before,

:18:11.:18:13.

which is to welcome what the Government has said today.

:18:14.:18:15.

Could I say that this is good news that child refugees

:18:16.:18:18.

are coming to Britain, I wish we'd had these

:18:19.:18:20.

statements several months ago, but it's happening now

:18:21.:18:22.

May I simply ask the Ministdr to assure us that all presstre

:18:23.:18:26.

is being brought to bear on the French Government,

:18:27.:18:28.

because I understand they have a part to play

:18:29.:18:30.

in assessing the other children who come under the Immigrathon Act.

:18:31.:18:33.

The minister said pressure was being brought to bear,

:18:34.:18:35.

and the UK Government was trying very hard to work with the French.

:18:36.:18:38.

Now, Scottish Nationalists have led calls in the Commons for ministers

:18:39.:18:41.

to guarantee all European Union citizens living in the UK

:18:42.:18:43.

retain their existing rights after Brexit.

:18:44.:18:45.

Around 3 million EU citizens are waiting to find out

:18:46.:18:47.

if they can remain here, while the Government seeks

:18:48.:18:49.

to guarantee the futures of Britons living overseas.

:18:50.:18:51.

The SNP accused Conservativds of using EU citizens

:18:52.:18:53.

Despite repeated requests, this Government has refused

:18:54.:19:01.

to guarantee in the long term the rights of EU nationals who have

:19:02.:19:05.

made their home in the United Kingdom.

:19:06.:19:06.

In the meantime, in England and Wales hate crime has so`red

:19:07.:19:10.

and xenophobic rhetoric is common in the mainstream media and sadly

:19:11.:19:13.

also sometimes in the mouths of Government ministers.

:19:14.:19:18.

Nobody is suggesting that anybody is going to be ejected

:19:19.:19:21.

from the United Kingdom, and she is simply

:19:22.:19:23.

But would she understand and admit that there is a layer of colplexity

:19:24.:19:28.

So, if she is giving rights to people, which I think

:19:29.:19:33.

we would all accept, what effective date

:19:34.:19:36.

what then happens when people go outside the UK and seek

:19:37.:19:42.

to return, and all these things are relevant also

:19:43.:19:44.

to British nationals, that the Government has to negotiate

:19:45.:19:46.

Many of the people we're talking about provide vital services

:19:47.:19:52.

For instance, 6% of the doctors working in the Welsh health

:19:53.:19:58.

We are facing a crisis wherdby a third of our doctors may retire

:19:59.:20:03.

We're going to need these pdople, and extra qualified individtals

:20:04.:20:06.

to work in health services, and the rhetoric by the Govdrnment,

:20:07.:20:11.

if enacted in policy, will have a detrimental imp`ct

:20:12.:20:14.

on the delivery of health services in my country.

:20:15.:20:16.

Isn't it time we got our act together as a country, and gave

:20:17.:20:19.

people who given their lives and their taxes to this country

:20:20.:20:21.

the security that they need to know that they can remain?

:20:22.:20:27.

The point is that there are people out there who have been emboldened

:20:28.:20:31.

by the current political clhmate, who want to see EU

:20:32.:20:33.

nationals living here expelled, and worse.

:20:34.:20:35.

And giving the sort of sign`l but she is calling for

:20:36.:20:37.

and which I support today would be a very powerful signal in s`ying

:20:38.:20:42.

that the views of these people are wholeheartedly rejected

:20:43.:20:44.

On this side of the House wd don't believe in cutting off our nose

:20:45.:21:02.

to spite our face, we want to see unilateral and immediate action

:21:03.:21:04.

to guarantee the status of DU national succumbed to be it

:21:05.:21:08.

And we don't believe, to be absolutely clear,

:21:09.:21:11.

that that will undermine the Government's ability to secure

:21:12.:21:13.

the status of UK nationals living in other EU countries,

:21:14.:21:16.

because we believe they also are an asset to the communities

:21:17.:21:18.

The Government has been cle`r that it wants to protect thd status

:21:19.:21:23.

As the Prime Minister's madd clear, the only circumstances in which that

:21:24.:21:33.

would not be possible, are if British citizens' rights

:21:34.:21:39.

in other EU member states wdre not protected in return.

:21:40.:21:42.

The Government has provided repeated assurances on this point,

:21:43.:21:44.

And I'm sorry but the SNP has not included this

:21:45.:21:48.

At the end, the SNP's motion was rejected by 43 votes.

:21:49.:21:55.

Now, plans to allow people to raise money by selling their penshon

:21:56.:21:58.

annuities have been dropped by the Government.

:21:59.:22:00.

Annuities - financial products that provide regular payments to retired

:22:01.:22:02.

people until death - have long been criticised for giving

:22:03.:22:05.

Last year, the then Chancellor George Osborne announced

:22:06.:22:10.

he'd be extending pensions freedoms, allowing people

:22:11.:22:12.

But this week, that option was withdrawn.

:22:13.:22:22.

A Lib Dem said dropping the policy showed the Government didn't

:22:23.:22:25.

trust people to look after their own money.

:22:26.:22:31.

It was specifically included in the manifesto on which this

:22:32.:22:34.

Government was elected, yet yesterday afternoon

:22:35.:22:35.

the Government announced, Mr Speaker, via the press,

:22:36.:22:37.

not via this House, that thdy were scrapping the whole deal.

:22:38.:22:40.

This is a huge U-turn, announced after clear lobbyhng

:22:41.:22:42.

by the industry that never really subscribed to this, and a f`ilure

:22:43.:22:45.

with the Government to work to build a reasonable

:22:46.:22:47.

Of course it's right that protections are put in placd

:22:48.:22:50.

to ensure people are not exploited on the secondary annuities larket,

:22:51.:22:53.

but there are tens of thous`nds of people trapped in poor v`lue

:22:54.:22:56.

annuities who are eager to be able to take advantage

:22:57.:22:58.

Rather than being to the benefit of British pensioners, it

:22:59.:23:02.

And it is for this reason, Mr Speaker, that we are not prepared

:23:03.:23:10.

to allow such a market to ddvelop, and we will not be taking

:23:11.:23:13.

Doesn't this announcement rdpresent two new problems - first of all

:23:14.:23:20.

to those hundreds of thousands of pensioners who have been marched

:23:21.:23:22.

up the hill only to be marched back down again, and left uncert`in

:23:23.:23:33.

about their own financial options, but secondly also to those other

:23:34.:23:36.

generations of potential savers who are baffled by pensions

:23:37.:23:38.

generally, and will find thhs mixed message about chopping and changing

:23:39.:23:44.

on flexibilities even more of a reason to feel sour towards

:23:45.:23:49.

We've got a savings crisis hn this country, and the Government needs

:23:50.:23:52.

far more consistency and a clearer policy here.

:23:53.:23:58.

The minister said no-one wanted to see people being baffled,

:23:59.:24:00.

and all politicians had a dtty to educate and inform peopld

:24:01.:24:03.

about the importance of savings and pensions.

:24:04.:24:06.

A Labour MP is calling for a tightening up of the rules

:24:07.:24:09.

The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons said

:24:10.:24:13.

there were just over 51,000 surgical procedures in 2015 -

:24:14.:24:15.

Kevin Jones put forward a Bhll calling for a change in the rules,

:24:16.:24:26.

to allow the General Medical Council to strengthen the rules,

:24:27.:24:29.

and recognise specific qualifications and accredit`tions.

:24:30.:24:32.

His Bill also aims to tackld the marketing around

:24:33.:24:35.

The law at present allows any qualified doctor, not even

:24:36.:24:37.

a surgeon, to perform cosmetic surgery without undertaking

:24:38.:24:40.

additional training or qualifications.

:24:41.:24:43.

My Bill aims, Mr Speaker, to close this loophole,

:24:44.:24:45.

and has the support of the Royal College of Surgeons.

:24:46.:24:52.

His Bill also aims to tackld the marketing around

:24:53.:24:54.

Some of the techniques that are used would be more appropriate

:24:55.:24:59.

for selling double glazing than cosmetic surgery

:25:00.:25:00.

These include two for one offers, along with glossy brochures,

:25:01.:25:04.

with no explanation of the potential risks of undergoing surgery.

:25:05.:25:06.

The whole thrust of the advdrtising is to sell procedures withott any

:25:07.:25:09.

counselling or advice on whether or not it is appropriate

:25:10.:25:12.

for an individual to undergo such procedures.

:25:13.:25:19.

Well, Mr Jones won the right to take his Bill forward,

:25:20.:25:22.

but it won't make real progress unless it's backed

:25:23.:25:24.

And that's all from me for now, but do join me again at the same

:25:25.:25:35.

time tomorrow for another round up of the day in Parliament,

:25:36.:25:38.

including a Commons debate on what went wrong at BHS.

:25:39.:25:40.

But for now, from me, Alicia McCarthy, goodbye.

:25:41.:25:46.

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