18/01/2017 Wednesday in Parliament


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Hello and welcome to Wednesday in Parliament.


Coming up: After her Brexit speech the Labour leader challenges


Can't night urged her to stop the threats of the bargain basement


Brexit? I have a plan, he does not have a clue.


MPs demand the Government do more to help a persecuted


According to reports the minority group have been subject to arson,


rape and murder. MPs try to find out why


we waste so much food. And: Pretty much everyone


hates theirs - but could we be about to enter a new era


for the passport photo? Any of us can send essentially a


selfie to the passport office for our passport.


But first: There'd been mutterings in the Commons on Tuesday


after Theresa May decided to make her big Brexit


speech not in the chamber but to an outside audience.


So Prime Minister's questions was the first chance for MPs


to grill her directly on her 12 point plan.


In her speech Theresa May made clear that the UK would not stay


in the single market, that MPs and Peers would get a vote


on the final exit deal and insisted no deal was better than


The Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn began with a swipe at


the Prime Minster for not setting out her plans in Parliament.


Restoring parliamentary democracy while sidelining Parliament.


Not so much the Iron Lady as the Irony Lady.


Yesterday the Prime Minister finally provided some detail.


Can I urge her to stop her threats of a bargain basement


Brexit - a low-pay tax haven on the shores of Europe?


It would not necessarily damage the EU, but it would certainly


damage this country - businesses, jobs


She demeans herself, her office and our country's


What I set out yesterday was a plan for a global Britain,


bringing prosperity to this country and jobs to people, and spreading


Yesterday we learned a little more of the right honourable


He said: "She has said, 'leave the single market,'


"but at the same time says she wants to have access to the single market.


"I'm not quite sure how that's going to go down in Europe.


"I think we have to have a deal that ensures we have


I've got a plan - he doesn't have a clue.


Last year the Prime Minister said that leaving the single market


would make trade deals "considerably harder," and that


"while we could certainly negotiate our own trade agreements,


"there would be no guarantee that they would be on terms as good


"as those we enjoy now," but yesterday she offered us


I also said it reported to leave the sky would not fall in and look at


what has happened to our economic situation since we voted to leave


the EU. Gentleman talks about


the future of the economy. I want us to be an outward-looking


nation trading around the world, and bringing prosperity and jobs


into the United Kingdom. The one thing that would be bad


for the economy is the answers He wants a cap on wages,


no control on immigration That would not lead to prosperity -


it would lead to no jobs, Will the Prime Minister provide


a commitment today that no part of the Great Repeal Bill will be


subject to English The honourable Lady knows full well


that if any part of proposed legislation brought before this


House applies only to England, it will be subject to English


votes for English laws. It was quite clear from


the Prime Minister's speech yesterday that she seeks to build


a Brexit consensus and to bring our To that end, and indeed


to strengthen the Prime Minister's negotiating hand, before Article 50


is triggered, will she please at least consider publishing


all those 12 objectives in a White Paper so that we can


debate them here in this place I absolutely understand


my right honourable Friend's point about Parliament's


desire to be able to debate the objectives that I set out very


clearly in my plan yesterday. One of the objectives


and principles I set It continues to be the Government's


intention that we will provide clarity whenever it is possible,


and we will ensure that, at appropriate times,


both the public and Parliament are kept informed and are able


properly to consider Member for Broxtowe,


the Prime Minister talked about her desire to give clarity


around our exit from the EU. Many of my constituents are European


citizens who are paying tax What assurance can she give


them about their future, particularly if they change employer


or are freelancers? One of the objectives I set out


in my speech yesterday was something I have said before


about the guaranteeing of rights for EU citizens


living here in the UK, but I also want to see the rights


of UK citizens living in the I remain open, and I encourage


others across Europe to agree with me that this is an issue


we should look at as early as possible in order to give people


the confidence and reassurance that the honourable


Lady is looking for. How can abandoning membership


of a customs union that takes 68% of Wales's exports,


including, crucially, 90% of our food and drink exports -


and that supports 200,000 jobs What we will be doing


is negotiating a free trade agreement with the European Union


to get the best possible access for trade with the EU,


but we also want to be able to negotiate trade agreements with


other countries around the world. A number of countries have


already expressed interest We want to do that to open up


new export markets being delivered for businesses


here in the United Kingdom, including the sort of trade


in Wales that the honourable On the question of customs


with the European Union, we want an arrangement that


will involve the most The arguments on Brexit continued


on the committee corridor, where there were calls


for the Government to immediately guarantee the rights of EU


citizens to stay in the UK. During the latest session


of the Exiting the European Union committee that demand was made by EU


nationals living here and by British We do not want to be


these bargaining chips in the renegotiations and we


feel we have been taken hostage. That is a very strong


feeling people really feel in the communities


that we are This is a political issue but not


granting our rights... The Prime Minister


has said she wants to achieve this soon,


but in She tried to get agreement to


discuss this last council meeting, a lot of European countries wanted


to but Germany and others refused. Are you putting any pressure,


or you tell me what pressure you are putting on your home governments


to ensure they put pressure on the rest of the EU to


settle Our position is we want the British


Government to make the first move because the UK


is leaving the EU, not the other way round,


and that decision can only come


from the British Government because in the EU the national


governments have been told by the Commission


they cannot open any talks or negotiation before


Article 50 is triggered, Kafkaesque situation, as a result,


because no one wants No-one in the EU can make any move


because Article 50 You do not look up the Polish


or Romanian or other governments at I would say we are focused on the


British Government because we really believe they are the party that can


make the first move. We live in the UK, our Government


is the British Government. We want something to


be done immediately, in line with the Prime Minister's


speech yesterday. I think there should be


a resolution on the day I think there should be a resolution


in place by both houses of parliament calling on the other


member states to make Of course, this can be prepared


by diplomatic channels There is time between now


and the end of March Do you agree with the Prime Minister


that she should await for agreement from the other EU


countries to protect British citizens living abroad before giving


the rights to EU citizens here? It is the UK triggering


this process, it is Therefore it would be a magnanimous


gesture on the part of the Prime Minister and a good way


of opening negotiations. you are negotiating you should try


and offer benefits I think it would be an extreme


magnanimous gesture by saying, look, nationals in the UK,


we call upon you to do the same. These people cannot wait for it to


be happy is to get a resolution. I would prefer she acted unilaterally


now and that would encourage other countries to reciprocate, it would


improve relationships at the start of the negotiations and I cannot see


any reason why the 27 countries would not reciprocate.


You have a huge displacement crisis in terms of 1 million people, the


population of Birmingham, who are we can assume and I imagine are working


in the shape form and our people that may have to look at returning


to the UK or other arrangements, that does not include the May be


married to foreign spouses, like myself. If that happened to me, how


would my Italian wife and my son get the chance to stay in the UK? We're


talking about splitting families as well.


A foreign office minister has told MPs that Boris Johnson will raise


concerns about allegations of human rights abuses in Myanmar


when he meets the country's leader Aung San Suu Kyi shortly.


Thousands of Rohingya muslims are said to have fled


to neighbouring Bangladesh amid allegations that the Burmese


army has carried out human rights abuses.


Troops took control of the region after armed men raided police posts,


The Minister Alok Sharma came to the Commons to answer an urgent


While we condemn the attack and recognise the right of security


forces to carry out security operations to root out


the perpetrators, we remain deeply concerned by the conduct of the army


Although restrictions on media, diplomatic and humanitarian access


make the facts difficult to ascertain, we have been worried


by numerous reports alleging widespread human rights violations


As I said, we continue to monitor the situation closely.


The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs


will visit Burma soon and will reiterate our


It is very difficult to get accurate information for what is happening


in the current states or in order to get to the truth beyond false


reports, will he call for access for independent observers


and journalists to visit displacement camps in this state?


The asked about UK support for an international commission,


I assume a UN type commission, and I just say that a UN-led


commission and enquiry can be established in one of three ways,


either by the UN Secretary-General, by the UN Security Council


Establishing and enquiry in this way would acquire broad international


support which we assess does not exist in the current


The Minister rather sidestepped the question of action in the UN


by saying that the government's opinion was that there


was not a sufficient consensus at the present time


Will the government commits to try and build that consensus


as opposed to merely remarking that it doesn't exist?


Will the Minister made very clear to the Burmese authorities


that the welcome re-entry into the international community


will not be helped if they fail to protect minorities


and particularly this second community?


A conservative returned to the plight of the Rohinga.


Hundreds are being attacked, many are being murdered.


The villages are being systematically burned or destroyed,


many are being sold into slavery with the complicity


The very authorities that treat the Rohinga.


My honourable friend the Minister has avoided the challenge


from the right honourable member from Gordon and my honourable friend


It is not sufficient for the government to cooperate,


the government needs to lead UN support if these reports are true.


Since the Burmese security forces started the campaign in October it


has been estimated that around 65,000 Rohinga.


According to reports, the minority group have


been subject to arson, rape and murder at the


Such allegations are incredibly serious and it is for that reason


I ask the Minister for the fourth time I believe if he will continue


to call for the establishment of an independent investigation


I hope Mr Speaker that I have made clear today that there are a huge


number of avenues that we in the UK are pursuing in terms of getting


humanitarian aid and making the case for minorities and actually making


very clear that we care very deeply about these matters and at the end


of the day that is something we will keep doing.


Going back to the point about the approach from a UN


perspective, as I have said, there are a number of areas


in which the UN is already engaged and will continue to work with us


to make the case that we must make sure there is resolution


You are watching Wednesday in Parliament.


Around 8 million tonnes of food, post-manufacture, as it is called,


The environment, food and rule affairs


committee is carrying out an enquiry into food waste in England and has


been healing from a panel of supermarket chain representatives.


One of the issues that get a lot of attention is what to do with


misshapen fruit and veg that does not make the grade.


Tesco has told the MPs about its Perfectly


What we typically have done, and I know others have


done the same, is we have widened our specifications to the point


where that is still perfectly edible food and it can be sold either at


discount, it takes account of the whole crop


flash of a specific product we can then


move extra product that would


not make our specifications normally into this perfectly imperfect world


and pretty much every customer who has ever bought one of those has


come back and bought another on the basis


that it works as a concept. Where the product is still outside


the specifications then again, you will hear a slightly different


story from Morrisons because of the


vertical integration but in our world what we do is we facilitate


for example potatoes that are too big or too small or into making our


recipe dishes, so potato products made by one


of her manufacturers are


supplied with potatoes that we could not possibly


sell within the stores because they would either be


enormous and very tiny and they are utilised,


165 tonnes or so loss but


We take the manufacturing approach so anything that is the


wrong shape or we could not sell goes into juices, smoothies, soups


So we try to do the same thing but I guess in a slightly


different way because we do not sell it in store messages in her basics


Morrisons and said it sold 25,000 tonnes of wonky vegs last


As of this year there will be 13 different types of fruit and


vegetable that we sell which is out of normal spec, why we are selling


more is because customers are more interested in the whole agenda and


want to buy more of it so they can buy it at a lower price or any


bigger back, but particularly because we have taken the extra step


to market it it has driven that kind of interest in the customers and if


you will pardon the pun, it is feeding the interest.


But, said a Conservative committee member,...


I wonder why you call these vegetables


wonky or misshapen or less than perfect.


They are perfect, they are just a different shape.


And I think you are contributing, or I wonder if


you are contributing by referring to them as some kind of weird


Wouldn't it be better simply to sell them as they are?


I think it helps customers to work out what the


buying in store sold by designating them


in a particular way it is


So if you were to buy onions from our wonky range they might be


more dirty, they may have more dirt on them and the sizes may be


different, and if the customer is not aware that they are buying


something slightly different to what they might ordinarily by typically


they will come back and say is this the same product?


And start to question what we are selling them.


One of the things we are trying to do is to be clear about what it is


customers are buying and provide choice.


What we're trying to do particularly with the way the


packaging is designed and in the way that we talk about it is to talk


I don't think it is about saying that


there is something we don't like or in fact


it may not be perfect, but I


don't think anybody around the table is sick guessing are trying to


suggest in the way that the market these


at the fruit and veg is


anything other than perfectly good to eat.


If you have that range, and most of us have a range which is


usually three tiers or two tiers, if you


introduce another part to the


range and don't signal to the customers in some way what the


purpose of that is, they find it pretty


unhelpful and confusing, so


we are adding to the choice, not just making it wider.


The marketeers have kind of found this way and


indifferent supermarket you will see different responses, it is the same.


We let people reach their own conclusions.


Millions of us have one and millions of us hate ours, I am


The photo booth shockers are the embarrassment of many a seasoned


traveller but couldn't be possible for people


to their own picture, the


so-called selfie, and send that in instead?


As I understand it, the government is seeking to arrange


that any of us can send essentially a selfie to the passport order


The passport is the gold standard as far


as identity assurance in this country is concerned.


Why is the opportunity not been taken to


prevent a situation in which people can afford to shop images to make


sure there is proper certification of when an image has been taken,


that it was duly carried out in the proper way


secure and reliable basis on which we can prove your identity?


The noble Lord is absolutely right, security standards are absolutely


paramount whether it is under the old system, shall we call it,


or indeed the new digital system and under


both systems the security standards are exactly the same, let me


Just by examples, both the USA and New


Zealand allow people to take their own photographs.


In terms of a selfie, a photograph that is


identified as a selfie that does not meet those security standards


and requirements are objected in the examinations process,


but that gold standard as the noble Lord is right


to point out is absolutely paramount as the robustness and confidence in


this very important document going forward.


Under the old system as it is called,


someone has to certify on


the back of the photograph that it is a true likeness of the passport


holder, how is that going to be achieved if it is a completely


My Lords, the current service that has


been in place since April of last year actually is only available at


this point in time to adults over the age of 26 who have previously


held British passports, there is the rigour in the new process.


What is the difference between a dodgy


A dodgy selfie my Lords is one that does not meet the rigorous


Finally, the Labour MP Tristram Hunt has made his last parliamentary


As to Hunt, a historian, is leading the director of London's


This decision will mean there will be a


by-election in the Stoke-on-Trent Central constituency.


Tristram Hunt said goodbye during the afternoon's


debate on Brexit and its applications for security, one for


It has been a profound privilege to represent


Stoke-on-Trent Central in


this chamber for six and a half years and I would like to place my


thanks to the Speaker, the clerks of the house,


the doorkeepers, staff, perhaps above all the library staff


who I feel now face quite a drop in demand.


It perhaps it seems particularly perverse to leave the


house now and let me apologise to the political parties and people


by-election upon them but it seems perverse to leave just as this place


is about to enjoy the largest return of powers since the act of restraint


In case you are wondering, an act of Parliament way


It transfers powers from the Catholic Church to Henry


Mr Hunt turned to what the impact of Brexit might be.


And as power and sovereignty is returned to


the UK Parliament I think the question we are debating today and


you will be into the future is whether we see a Britannia


unchanged, forging a new use of free trade, cultural exchange and


innovation or whether the world today is my right honourable friend


from Leeds Central suggested is so interconnected


in terms of economy, security of political power that we


have in leaving the EU expose ourselves to international headwinds


that will batter rather than benefit us.


And at this stage we have no answer to that.


The outgoing Labour MP Tristram Hunt.


And that is it from me for now but to join me again


at the same time tomorrow for another


round-up of the best of the


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