01/02/2017 Wednesday in Parliament


01/02/2017

Highlights of proceedings in Parliament on Wednesday 1 February, presented by Alicia McCarthy.


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Transcript


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Hello and welcome to Wednesday in Parliament,

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to the bill beginning the process of exiting the EU.

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So the ayes have it, the ayes have it.

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Jeremy Corbyn demands the Prime Minister retracts the invitation

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for Donald Trump to come to the UK and meet the Queen.

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Just what more does the President Trump have to do

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before the Prime Minister will listen to the 1.8 million people who

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have already called for his state visit invitation to be withdrawn?

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and says Labour has nothing to offer the UK.

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And the Trade Secretary dismisses accusations that his department

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Do you regret the title to your press release?

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Because it wasn't really your Department that

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I think the more good news we give to the public,

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After two days of debate and passionate speeches on all sides,

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the moment finally came for MPs to vote on the bill

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allowing the Government to trigger our exit from the EU.

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The ayes to the right, 498. The noes to the left, 114.

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CHEERING The ayes to the right, 498. The noes

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to the left, 114. So the ayes have it, the ayes have it.

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That result was the culmination of a process started

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when the Government's right to trigger Brexit

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without Parliament's consent was challenged in the courts.

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There had been nearly 12 hours of debate on Tuesday,

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and a further six hours on Wednesday -

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At the start of day two, a former Labour leader saw a danger

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in the UK now looking to forge a closer relationship

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with the President of the United States.

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I can go along with the Prime Minister that Brexit means Brexit.

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But I cannot: with the idea that Brexit means Trump. Nor do I believe

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that that is inevitable, nor do I believe that is what the British

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people want. But the danger is this. The Prime Minister feels it is an

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inevitable consequence of leaving the EU that we are driven into the

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arms of resident Trump. We will see sweep aside the political damage. We

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will not accept the proposals from Scotland to follow the votes of

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people and a nation of Scotland that retain our European connection.

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We're not interested in preserving Scottish jobs. That is the criteria

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and attitude of government. If that is what this Prime Minister wants to

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do with Scotland, if she's determined to throw down the

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gauntlet, then she can be absolutely sure that Nicola Sturgeon as First

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Minister will pick it up. We will need to have a bridge that we seek

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with the European Union. At the same time, the European Union needs from

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us financial commitments that it believes we entered into to pay for

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European projects that were undertaken while we were a member.

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In practice what that means is that the negotiation will be a trade-off,

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as all divorces are, between access and money.

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The debate featured a maiden speech from the House's newest MP.

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I'm not a lawyer, but I fail to understand how one can ask the

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electorate a question and then even consider disregarding the result. I

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believe that the referendum is not advice but an instruction to us. We

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asked the people, and the people said out, so out we must go. When

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all is said and done, the decision on whether the deal but Prime

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Minister negotiates is good enough will be decided by someone. Someone

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will make that decision. Should it be the Prime Minister? Should it be

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those privileged to be here? Or should it be the British people who

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have delivered that decision? I say it should be put to the people in a

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referendum. That is why the Liberal Democrats are fighting for the

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British people to have the final vote on the deal this government

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negotiates. Democracy! Democracy means accepting the will of the

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people. At the beginning of the process and at the end of the

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process. I would caution those thinking of voting against the night

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to be careful what they wish for and to be careful for wishing for a

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second referendums. I think the people, advocates of free speech and

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free press in a powerful democracy would view their wishes dimly. So

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much of this has been about how we defend democracy by voting for

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Article 50. It should not be about that, it is how we strengthen

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democracy over the next two years. This is the moment we begin to take

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back control of outlaws, how borders and our money. Once again, we become

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a sovereign nation state in command of our own destiny, and I'm

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absolutely delighted about that. I campaigned like others fall remain

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but I accept the Democratic revolt and I think we should allow the

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article 50 notice to be triggered. I do agree with those that said that

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if we do not do that, a crisis in our democracy helps no one. A Labour

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A Labour MP who resigned from her front bench position

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explained why she couldn't vote for the Bill.

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I feel I would be abandoning my duty to my constituents who have over one

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in the and unwaveringly made their point that they do not want to leave

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the European Union. 75% of my constituents voted to remain in the

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European Union. The DUP's Westminster

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leader rejected warnings of dire consequences

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for Northern Ireland of Brexit. The fact is that when we remained in

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sterling and the Irish Republic join the euro along with other European

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partners states, this would cause all sorts of problems on the island

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of Ireland, this would lead to destruction, economic and political.

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None of that happened. People adapted.

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Well, that second and final day of debate was wrapped up

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with the Shadow Minister for Exiting the EU confirming Labour would back

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the bill before the house triggering the start of Brexit.

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But she issued a warning to the Prime Minister.

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This must be a deal worth the of the consent of this House. If she and

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her negotiators failed to achieve a deal worthy of our country, they

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will not achieve our consent. The Prime Minister must deliver the deal

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she claims that she can. This is a straightforward Bill. It delivers on

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the promise made do the people of the United Kingdom to honour the

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outcome of the referendum. We must trust the people. I commend this

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Bill to the House. attempting to stop

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the bill in its tracks, but that was rejected

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by 336 votes to 100. Then it was onto the main vote,

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which won by 498 to 114. The cover for majority means the legislation

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will now go on to be debated in more detail in the Commons next week.

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Theresa May had faced the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn,

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for the regular round of Prime Minister's Questions.

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He pressed the Prime Minister over her recent visit to the US

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Theresa May was the first overseas leader to meet Mr Trump last week.

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before giving a joint news conference.

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Just hours after Mrs May left Washington,

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the President announced a ban on people from seven mainly Muslim

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The Labour leader took Theresa May back to what she'd said

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to the Commons just ahead of her visit.

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The Prime Minister told the House, I'm not afraid to speak frankly to

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the President of the United States. What happened? I'm happy to say to

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the right honourable gentleman that when I visited the United States,

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I'm pleased to say I was able to build on the relationship we have

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without most important ally, and do get some very significant

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commitments from President Trump. And crucial among those was a 100%

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commitment to Nato. Nato, which gives us safe and keep Europe safe

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as well. Downing Street has not denied that the prime Esther was

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told by the White House that the executive order on travel to the US

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was imminent. Let's be clear, was the Prime Minister told about the

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ban during her visit, and did she tried to persuade President Trump

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otherwise? If the is asking me whether I had advance notice of a

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ban on refugees, the answer is no. If he is asking me if I had advance

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notice that the executive order could affect British citizens, the

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answer is no. If he is asking if I advanced notice of the travel

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restrictions, the answer is that we all did because President Trump said

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he was going to do this in his election campaign. The question is

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how you respond. The job of government is not to chase the

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headlines. The job of government is not to take to the streets in

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protest. The job of government is to protect the interest of British

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citizens, and that is what we are doing. President Trump has torn up

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international agreements on refugees, she has threatened to dump

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international agreements on climate change, he's praised the use of

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torture, he has incited hatred against Muslims. He has directed

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attacked women's rights. What more does the President Trump have to do

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before the Prime Minister will listen to the 1.8 billion people who

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have already called for his state visit invitation to be withdrawn?

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The right honourable gentleman's foreign policy is to object to add

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insult the democratically elected head of state of our most important

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ally. Let's just see what he would have achieved in the last week.

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Would he have been able to protect British citizens from the impact of

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the executive order? No. Would he have been able to lay the

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foundations of a trade deal? No. Would he have got a 100% commitment

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to Nato? No. That is what Labour has to offer this country. Less

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protection for British citizens, less prosperous molest safe. -- less

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prosperous, less safe. He can lead a protest, I'm leading a country.

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

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Up on the committee corridor, the International TradeSsecretary

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told MPs that the UK is already having talks over potential trade

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deals with countries including Australia,

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Liam Fox told the Commons International Trade Committee

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that the new trading relationships could not be a "substitute"

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for the EU's single market, but hoped they would be in addition

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to a free trade deal with the remaining member states.

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A Labour MP questioned him about claims made by the department.

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You wrote in the Telegraph on the 18th of January, embraced the Brave

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new world of free trade, and you talked about... The headline was,

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Liam Fox confirms Brexit talks with 12 countries across the world. Could

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you list those 12 countries? I won't list them all because some of them

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we are still in confidential discussions with. But I can say that

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in terms of Australia, we have a trade working group. In terms of

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China, we have a trade working group and I'm chairing the committee in

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Beijing in April. With the collection of Gulf states, we are

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working with them to determine what our relationship would be, given

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that they are keen on our potential future FTA with India, we have a

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working group. We have embarked on a process of trade on it. If you were

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to add up all of those potential countries, the level at their

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exports that you are talking about, all the lists you have that, it

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doesn't come anywhere near the level of exports that we have today you.

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Relative to our primary block, that set of relationship comes nowhere

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close, does it? I'm sure the former chief secretary is aware that adding

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a small mummers gets bigger in the end. Of course, it is not an either/

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or. We are looking at either we trade with the EU IP body else. But

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it is not a substitute, is it? Nobody has said it is a substitute.

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Your Department released a press release at the beginning of the

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dear, securing over 60 billion of foreign investment. The financial

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Times went through the lists that you had here. In fact, most of those

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had already been secured long before the referendum. Fake news?

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It's the continuity of what UKTI is doing. And it was an antidote to the

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idea that people are not going to be investing in the United Kingdom. We

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will be chairing the UK Qatar investment conference in March. Do

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you regret the title to your press release? I don't regret it at all.

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Liam Fox. The former UK ambassador to the EU,

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Sir Ivan Rogers, has told MPs that Brussels could issue a Brexit bill

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of up to 60 billion euros. Sir Ivan made the headlines

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in December after the BBC reported his private remarks

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to the Prime Minister about how long

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Brexit negotiations could take. Sir Ivan stepped down last month -

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ten months earlier than expected. In his resignation letter,

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he told officials to challenge "muddled

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thinking" in the Brexit process. Now, in his first public appearance

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since his resignation, he has told

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the European Scrutiny Committee that Brexit negotiations

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could be difficult. It is a negotiation on the scale

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that we haven't experienced, probably ever but certainly since

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the Second World War. I think there's always a danger in

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generalising from specific experience in budget negotiations

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I've had all tax negotiations or emissions. They all have a

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specificity to them. This is going to be on a huge scale, we will have

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enormous amounts of business running up various different channels. And

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they involve difficult trade-offs for Her Majesty's governments and

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difficult trade-offs for the other 27 on the other side of the table.

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Sir Bill Cash asked him about an assertion in the letter

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last October that exit negotiations could take ten years.

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You said that it was going to take ten years. Can you confirm whether

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in fact you actually said that? Or was that meant to be, was it a leak?

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Was it an intention that you thought you would be able to get across a

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message without anyone really knowing quite... Can you give us

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some more information about that? I can indeed. I never said it would

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take ten years. I think what I put in print, as I say, I have the

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formula here somewhere but I'm not shy can lay my hands on it. What I

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put in print was that Mike summary of the Beltway wisdom from the

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people I talked to on a daily basis was that a negotiation on FTA and a

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ratification process from all 28 parliaments would probably take

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until the early born mid-2020s for ratification. I think those were my

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exact words. Is this reporting by BBC based on off the record remarks

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and observations that you made them? No. It isn't? No. Where do you think

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it came from? I had no idea. I know the origin of it in terms of which

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bit of text it comes from and I've just given you the more accurate

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account of what that bit of text said and wrote that before the first

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Council appearance. The route by which it got to the BBC by December

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15 which was the day of the European Council issue when it exploded and I

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was all over the screens on the 15th, why it took two months to get

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there and buy what route it got where I couldn't possibly say. But

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to be very clear, I never leak, I never have never would, never have

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under any Government. The origin of this has nothing to do... We hear

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threats and I can only issue they are threats that we will have to pay

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billions of pounds to leave this club. You don't pay to leave a club.

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You say thank you very much indeed and leave. So do you think this is a

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genuine threat to us to have to pay billions of euros to a club that we

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are leaving? Do you think that is a reasonable thing? I think it can be

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both genuine and reasonable, if I may say so. I think it is genuine

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and you have seen the coverage in various Bahrain newspapers so it is

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being said by others in the commission that the total financial

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liability as they see it might be in the order of 40- 60 billion euros on

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exit. I think they do believe that. I don't know the origin of that

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figure but I think I can guess it. I think they will mount up that

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figure. He called it a predictably very hard

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line coming from the EU commission A Foreign Office Minister has told

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peers that President Assad cannot be trusted and is incapable of bringing

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an end to Syria's bloody conflict. Last week the Foreign Secretary,

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Boris Johnson, appeared to suggest to a Lords committee that the UK

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might have to reconsider Answering questions in the Lords,

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Lady Anelay was adamant Could we not have a new realistic

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approach recognising that we cannot remove Assad? In the words of the

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patriarch of the Orthodox Church here a few months ago, he should be

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a candidate in any election, far be it from me to suggest that if he

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wins he be invited on a second state visit... But my Lords, should we not

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establish diplomatic representation in Damascus and be at the centre so

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that when peace is eventually restored, we have played a

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constructive part in restoring it? This is, my Lords, a country where

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Assad has shown he is incapable of protecting his own people. But my

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Lords, where I agree with my honourable friend is that we should

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not dictate an outcome. What we are saying is that Assad has not proved

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that he can bring peace to the country. Can the noble minister tell

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us whether the Foreign Office are considering any increase or any

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installation of diplomatic presence in Damascus? My Lords, certainly

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not. What we found in the past is that Assad is an unreliable person

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come in dealings we had with him. It would not be appropriate to show

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that we trust him in anyway, because he isn't to be trusted.

:22:30.:22:31.

the SNP's Westminster leader offered his congratulations.

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The Prime Minister had a very successful international visit in

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this last week. To Ireland! And there she spoke publicly about her

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commitment. And it's very important, I think, this. Commitment not to

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have a hard border on these islands, that there should continue to be

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free movement of peoples on these islands and that trade should be

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protected and enhanced. So given that people will be watching this

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not just in Britain but in Ireland, would she take the opportunity now

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to explain how she will deliver these sensible and important

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outcomes? These are absolutely the outcomes that we want to see. I was

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very pleased to meet and discuss the joint intent that both his

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Government and mine have to ensure that we don't see a return to the

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borders of the past in Northern Ireland. Just do say that of course

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we focus on the land border that is between Northern Ireland and the

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Republic of Ireland. Of course the issue of movements from Ireland

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affects other places as well, it affects sports in Wales and of

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course Stranraer. The Prime Minister has very helpfully explained that it

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is perfectly possible for parts of these islands to be in the single

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market, without hard borders, with free movement of people, and at the

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same time protecting and trading with one another. This is very, very

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welcome, Mr Speaker. So a commitment to work with the Irish Government

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and to work with the Scottish Government to deliver all of these

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things... He really should listen to the answers that are given because

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he is trying to imply something that isn't there. Yes. We're very clear

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that we want to see the frictionless border between Northern Ireland and

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the Republic of Ireland. But I'm also clear that one of our

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negotiation objectives is to see as frictionless a border as possible

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between the United Kingdom and the rest of the European Union. And of

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course, if he is so worried about having a frictionless border between

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Scotland and the European Union, he shouldn't want to take Scotland out

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of the European Union with independence!

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A Conservative stood up next and asked when MPs would see

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the Government's policy document, or white paper, on Brexit.

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EU nationals provide a vital and experts that this in my local

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hospital in Basingstoke. And along with thousands of others, they face

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an uncertain future. I know this is something the Prime Minister wants

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to give priority to in sorting out. Will we be hearing more about it in

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the forthcoming White Paper? I hope we will be working to ensure that

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this is an issue we can deal with in the early stage. It was one of the

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objectives I set out in the plan and it will be referenced in the White

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Paper which will be published and I can inform my right honourable

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friend and the house that that paper will be published tomorrow.

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Theresa May announcing the publication

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of the Government's Brexit policy paper.

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but do join me at the same time tomorrow,

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MPs will debate the harm caused by alcohol.

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But for now from me, Alicia McCarthy, goodbye.

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