01/02/2017 Wednesday in Parliament


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Hello and welcome to Wednesday in Parliament,


to the bill beginning the process of exiting the EU.


So the ayes have it, the ayes have it.


Jeremy Corbyn demands the Prime Minister retracts the invitation


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


Just what more does the President Trump have to do


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


have already called for his state visit invitation to be withdrawn?


and says Labour has nothing to offer the UK.


And the Trade Secretary dismisses accusations that his department


Do you regret the title to your press release?


Because it wasn't really your Department that


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


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


the moment finally came for MPs to vote on the bill


allowing the Government to trigger our exit from the EU.


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


CHEERING The ayes to the right, 498. The noes


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


That result was the culmination of a process started


when the Government's right to trigger Brexit


without Parliament's consent was challenged in the courts.


There had been nearly 12 hours of debate on Tuesday,


and a further six hours on Wednesday -


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


in the UK now looking to forge a closer relationship


with the President of the United States.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


European projects that were undertaken while we were a member.


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


as all divorces are, between access and money.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


negotiates. Democracy! Democracy means accepting the will of the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


absolutely delighted about that. I campaigned like others fall remain


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


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


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


A Labour MP who resigned from her front bench position


explained why she couldn't vote for the Bill.


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


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


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


European Union. The DUP's Westminster


leader rejected warnings of dire consequences


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


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


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


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


None of that happened. People adapted.


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


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


the bill before the house triggering the start of Brexit.


But she issued a warning to the Prime Minister.


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


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


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


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


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


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


Bill to the House. attempting to stop


the bill in its tracks, but that was rejected


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


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


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


Theresa May had faced the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn,


for the regular round of Prime Minister's Questions.


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


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


before giving a joint news conference.


Just hours after Mrs May left Washington,


the President announced a ban on people from seven mainly Muslim


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


to the Commons just ahead of her visit.


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


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


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


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


without most important ally, and do get some very significant


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


notice that the executive order could affect British citizens, the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


international agreements on refugees, she has threatened to dump


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


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


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


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


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


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


insult the democratically elected head of state of our most important


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Up on the committee corridor, the International TradeSsecretary


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


deals with countries including Australia,


Liam Fox told the Commons International Trade Committee


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


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


to a free trade deal with the remaining member states.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Your Department released a press release at the beginning of the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Liam Fox. The former UK ambassador to the EU,


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


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


in December after the BBC reported his private remarks


to the Prime Minister about how long


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


ten months earlier than expected. In his resignation letter,


he told officials to challenge "muddled


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


since his resignation, he has told


the European Scrutiny Committee that Brexit negotiations


could be difficult. It is a negotiation on the scale


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


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


generalising from specific experience in budget negotiations


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


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


enormous amounts of business running up various different channels. And


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


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


Sir Bill Cash asked him about an assertion in the letter


last October that exit negotiations could take ten years.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


ratification process from all 28 parliaments would probably take


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


being said by others in the commission that the total financial


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


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


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


figure. He called it a predictably very hard


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


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


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


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


might have to reconsider Answering questions in the Lords,


Lady Anelay was adamant Could we not have a new realistic


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


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


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


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


establish diplomatic representation in Damascus and be at the centre so


that when peace is eventually restored, we have played a


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


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


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


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


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


us whether the Foreign Office are considering any increase or any


installation of diplomatic presence in Damascus? My Lords, certainly


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


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


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


the SNP's Westminster leader offered his congratulations.


The Prime Minister had a very successful international visit in


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


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


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


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


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


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


to explain how she will deliver these sensible and important


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


negotiation objectives is to see as frictionless a border as possible


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


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


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


of the European Union with independence!


A Conservative stood up next and asked when MPs would see


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Theresa May announcing the publication


of the Government's Brexit policy paper.


but do join me at the same time tomorrow,


MPs will debate the harm caused by alcohol.


But for now from me, Alicia McCarthy, goodbye.


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