Highlights of proceedings in Parliament on Wednesday 18 January, presented by Alicia McCarthy.
Browse content similar to 18/01/2017. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
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