02/03/2017 Wednesday in Parliament


02/03/2017

Highlights of proceedings in Parliament on Wednesday 1 March, presented by Keith Macdougall.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 02/03/2017. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

Now it's time for a look back at the day in parliament.

:00:00.:00:17.

Hello and welcome to Wednesday in Parliament, our look at the best

:00:18.:00:20.

of the day in the Commons and the Lords.

:00:21.:00:22.

Drama in the House of Lords, as the Government suffers its first

:00:23.:00:27.

defeat on the Bill that starts the UK's departure process

:00:28.:00:29.

The Labour leader attacks Theresa May over changes

:00:30.:00:47.

This is a shameful decision that will affect people with dementia.

:00:48.:00:56.

Why will they not let local authorities decide what's best

:00:57.:01:05.

We're back to the situation where every Labour councillor

:01:06.:01:11.

is trying to set up their own bus company.

:01:12.:01:18.

Lots of ideas on how to run our bus services.

:01:19.:01:21.

But first, the Government has suffered a setback in the House

:01:22.:01:24.

of Lords in its plans to start negotiations on leaving the EU

:01:25.:01:27.

Peers decisively backed a Labour-led amendment to guarantee the rights

:01:28.:01:31.

The defeat means the EU Notification of Withdrawal Bill,

:01:32.:01:35.

better known as the Brexit Bill, will now have to return

:01:36.:01:38.

to the Commons, where MPs will either accept or reject

:01:39.:01:41.

The crucial vote in the Lords came after a three-hour debate

:01:42.:01:45.

First, Labour's Lady Hayter spoke about the interests of British

:01:46.:01:49.

citizens living in the 27 countries of the EU outside the UK.

:01:50.:01:55.

We all have heard lots of representations of the serious

:01:56.:02:00.

worries of Britons who have settled abroad.

:02:01.:02:03.

They've got homes, children, jobs or lives there and they now

:02:04.:02:06.

fear for their rights, their access to medical treatment

:02:07.:02:08.

and other services and wonder what the future holds for them.

:02:09.:02:16.

And it's not acceptable to place such people under that pressure.

:02:17.:02:20.

And it is quite clear to everyone in this House that there is no

:02:21.:02:24.

chance that Parliament would approve the expulsion of EU citizens legally

:02:25.:02:27.

And this is understood by the Government.

:02:28.:02:38.

There is no way the Government would propose this so there is no

:02:39.:02:41.

danger what ever to EU citizens resident in the UK so apart

:02:42.:02:45.

from a certain amount, too much I would say,

:02:46.:02:47.

in my personal opinion, of virtue signalling,

:02:48.:02:49.

what is the purpose of this amendment?

:02:50.:02:51.

This amendment has no place in this Bill whatever.

:02:52.:03:00.

In the end, this is a matter of principle.

:03:01.:03:05.

This House can, in fact, make a unilateral decision and give

:03:06.:03:08.

a unilateral guarantee and, my Lords, that is what we should do.

:03:09.:03:12.

Let us all remember how shocked we were when Idi Amin expelled

:03:13.:03:15.

So shocked that we offered them refuge in this country.

:03:16.:03:24.

The question that your Lordships have to decide this afternoon

:03:25.:03:31.

is what action to take in the light of the truth,

:03:32.:03:37.

perhaps unpalatable to many of your Lordships,

:03:38.:03:44.

unpalatable to me because I have made it clear on numerous occasions

:03:45.:03:49.

that I actually favour a unilateral guarantee,

:03:50.:03:53.

that I think that is what the Government should give,

:03:54.:03:58.

but nevertheless, what actions should your Lordships take

:03:59.:04:01.

in the face of the unpalatable truth that the Government is not

:04:02.:04:07.

As we've heard, over 3 million people live in this country

:04:08.:04:11.

It's not just them who are experiencing anguish.

:04:12.:04:17.

It's also their family members, it's also their employers,

:04:18.:04:21.

Indeed, it affects a whole cadre of people well

:04:22.:04:27.

And I suspect that our committee is at the receiving end

:04:28.:04:33.

of the greatest number of communications from those people

:04:34.:04:37.

about their distress, their anxiety, the fears of their children

:04:38.:04:40.

and the fears that they have as to their future.

:04:41.:04:46.

Why is everybody here today so excited about this amendment

:04:47.:04:49.

which looks after the foreigners and not the British?

:04:50.:04:54.

I just would like to point out to the noble Lord that the reason

:04:55.:05:04.

that the amendment is structured as it is because we are conscious

:05:05.:05:07.

of the powers of the British Government and the British

:05:08.:05:10.

Government is able to determine the lives of the EU citizens

:05:11.:05:13.

resident in this country but we are not able to determine

:05:14.:05:16.

the lives of our own citizens abroad but that does not mean to say

:05:17.:05:20.

we think any less of them and we are fighting for them.

:05:21.:05:24.

So, of course, we don't have the power to look

:05:25.:05:26.

Not in these days when we don't have many gunboats.

:05:27.:05:32.

But we have an obligation to look after the rights of those

:05:33.:05:40.

people and to look after those rights first and I think

:05:41.:05:43.

that the best way in which we can in fact preserve the rights

:05:44.:05:46.

of all those concerned, EU citizens here, our citizens

:05:47.:05:50.

on the continent, is to allow the process of section 50 to be

:05:51.:05:53.

proceeded with as expeditiously as possible.

:05:54.:06:06.

Lord Bragg believed the outcome of the referendum was a disaster.

:06:07.:06:11.

One major aspect of the disaster is to turn our backs on those

:06:12.:06:14.

who come here and give their talents and skills to the United Kingdom,

:06:15.:06:18.

settle here, transforming us in so many ways for the better.

:06:19.:06:23.

They're now reduced to pawns in a Government strategy that too

:06:24.:06:29.

many observers here and abroad seems largely clueless and without any

:06:30.:06:32.

response, save bluster, to any critical questions.

:06:33.:06:33.

I think that the Government ought to accept that the weight of opinion

:06:34.:06:37.

is in favour of that unilateral guarantee which will then trigger

:06:38.:06:40.

What has changed is the Prime Minister has said

:06:41.:06:48.

She has said that the fate of those people living in this country

:06:49.:06:53.

from Europe will be determined by primary legislation and that no

:06:54.:06:57.

change will be made other than with the agreement of the other

:06:58.:07:00.

That's good enough for me not to wish to amend a Bill

:07:01.:07:04.

Which allows us to get on with the process

:07:05.:07:10.

These people are not bargaining chips.

:07:11.:07:13.

If we say, quite freely, that they are now free to stay,

:07:14.:07:17.

that actually does give the moral high ground to our Government

:07:18.:07:20.

in its negotiations and I would argue that all noble Lords,

:07:21.:07:23.

including noble Lord Howard, should vote with their consciences

:07:24.:07:25.

If, as I do, we want to see this decision which the Government makes

:07:26.:07:36.

on the half of all of us, that citizenship should be

:07:37.:07:42.

guaranteed to remain, the best way to do it is to call

:07:43.:07:45.

the bluff of Angela Merkel by saying, we have now triggered

:07:46.:07:48.

Article 50 and we will go in unilaterally and talk

:07:49.:07:51.

It will be much quicker than the three months of proposals

:07:52.:07:55.

which have been written for this amendment.

:07:56.:07:59.

My Lords, this is a matter of principle.

:08:00.:08:01.

It is a simple matter of principle of being prepared to do the right

:08:02.:08:05.

thing because it is the right thing and being prepared to say

:08:06.:08:09.

so and that is what I hope these benches and members on all sides

:08:10.:08:13.

of the House, not all members, but members on all sides

:08:14.:08:16.

of the House, including the Bishop's bench, will be prepared to do

:08:17.:08:19.

The reason why I cannot support these amendments is the fundamental

:08:20.:08:30.

flaw that lies at the heart of these amendments is that they will create

:08:31.:08:34.

more uncertainty in particular for the million British

:08:35.:08:39.

The noble Lord said we should trust the British Government.

:08:40.:08:46.

The Home Secretary's written a letter to all of us

:08:47.:08:49.

in which he says, I reassure my colleagues that Parliament

:08:50.:08:51.

This is the same Home Secretary who wanted companies to list

:08:52.:08:56.

This is the same home department that has a minister who wants EU

:08:57.:09:01.

workers, for companies to pay ?1000 per EU worker.

:09:02.:09:03.

The law can only be changed with the agreement of Parliament.

:09:04.:09:12.

That is why these amendments are at the wrong time in the wrong

:09:13.:09:16.

bill on the wrong subject and we should support the rights

:09:17.:09:20.

of British citizens living in Europe.

:09:21.:09:25.

But when the House divided, peers voted for the Labour-led

:09:26.:09:28.

amendment and against the Government.

:09:29.:09:34.

Later, Government sources said Ministers would seek to overturn

:09:35.:09:51.

the Lords defeat on the Brexit Bill in the Commons.

:09:52.:09:56.

At Prime Minister's Questions, Jeremy Corbyn has claimed Ministers

:09:57.:09:59.

have made a "shameful decision" on the entitlement of people

:10:00.:10:03.

The Government intends changing the criteria for the daily living

:10:04.:10:08.

component of Personal Independence Payments,

:10:09.:10:11.

or PIPs, to make the system "fairer."

:10:12.:10:15.

The Labour leader asked why Ministers couldn't find the money

:10:16.:10:17.

to support people with mental health conditions.

:10:18.:10:20.

A year ago, the new Work and Pensions Secretary said you can

:10:21.:10:40.

tell the House, "We're not going ahead with the changes to PIP

:10:41.:10:43.

Her friend, the member for South Cambridgeshire,

:10:44.:10:48.

said "In my view, the courts are there for a reason.

:10:49.:10:51.

If they've come up with this ruling that says that the criteria should

:10:52.:10:55.

be extended, I believe we've got a duty to honour that."

:10:56.:10:57.

He referred to the Social Security advisory committee and they can

:10:58.:11:04.

My right honourable friend the Work and Pensions Secretary called

:11:05.:11:10.

the chairman of the Social Security advisory committee and spoke to him

:11:11.:11:13.

about the regulations on the day they were being introduced.

:11:14.:11:16.

He called the chairman of the Work and Pensions select committee

:11:17.:11:21.

and spoke to him about the regulations that

:11:22.:11:24.

He called both offices of the Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary,

:11:25.:11:29.

but they were still outside and they didn't come back to him

:11:30.:11:32.

Mr Speaker... Mr Speaker...

:11:33.:11:42.

Calling the... Mr Speaker, calling the...

:11:43.:11:46.

Mr Speaker, calling the chairs of two committees and making

:11:47.:11:53.

a written statement to the House does not add up to scrutiny and,

:11:54.:11:56.

as I understand it, there was no call made to the office of my friend

:11:57.:12:00.

Mr Speaker, the reality is this is a shameful decision that

:12:01.:12:08.

will affect people with dementia, those suffering cognitive disorders

:12:09.:12:11.

due to a stroke, military veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder

:12:12.:12:14.

Can she look at the effects of her decision to override

:12:15.:12:27.

what an independent court has decided and think again?

:12:28.:12:33.

The issues that he raises, the conditions that he raises,

:12:34.:12:36.

these are taken into account when decisions are made

:12:37.:12:38.

about the personal independence payments.

:12:39.:12:43.

What the court said was that the regulations were unclear.

:12:44.:12:45.

That is why we are clarifying the regulations and we are ensuring

:12:46.:12:49.

that they respect that they reflect the original intention

:12:50.:12:51.

Theresa May said the Government wasn't cutting benefits and said

:12:52.:12:59.

no-one would see a reduction from the benefit already

:13:00.:13:01.

This week, her policy chair suggested people with debilitating

:13:02.:13:09.

conditions were those who, and I quote, "who take pills

:13:10.:13:11.

at home, who suffer from anxiety and were not really disabled."

:13:12.:13:15.

Isn't that proof the nasty party's still around?

:13:16.:13:22.

My honourable friend has rightly apologised for the comments

:13:23.:13:24.

that he made and I hope that this whole House will accept his apology.

:13:25.:13:28.

The right honourable gentleman asks me about the parity

:13:29.:13:32.

between mental health and physical...

:13:33.:13:34.

Mental health conditions and physical conditions.

:13:35.:13:37.

It is this Conservative Government that has introduced parity of esteem

:13:38.:13:41.

in relation to dealing with mental health in the National Health

:13:42.:13:44.

There are 6600 fewer mental health nurses and 160,000 people

:13:45.:13:53.

with severe mental health conditions are about to lose out on support.

:13:54.:13:59.

Can she not recognise parity of esteem means funding it properly

:14:00.:14:02.

and not overriding court decisions that would benefit people suffering

:14:03.:14:06.

We should reach out to them, not deny them the support they need.

:14:07.:14:16.

As I say, we are spending more than ever on mental health.

:14:17.:14:19.

More people each week are now receiving treatment in relation

:14:20.:14:24.

to mental health than have done previously.

:14:25.:14:26.

Is there more for us to do on mental health?

:14:27.:14:28.

I've said that in this chamber in answer to questions that

:14:29.:14:34.

"Well, do it," shouts the Shadow Foreign Secretary

:14:35.:14:42.

from her normal sedentary position, commenting...

:14:43.:14:44.

We are doing it, that's why we're putting record

:14:45.:14:52.

That's why we're seeing more people actually being provided with mental

:14:53.:14:58.

health treatment every week under this Government.

:14:59.:15:09.

Theresa May has tried to reassure Scottish Nationalists that those

:15:10.:15:12.

negotiating Britain's exit terms from the EU will be taking "full

:15:13.:15:15.

account" of the concerns of the devolved administrations

:15:16.:15:17.

At Prime Minister's Questions, the SNP's Westminster leader said

:15:18.:15:20.

Ministers had failed to come up with any answers

:15:21.:15:24.

as to what the future will be for Scottish agriculture and fishing

:15:25.:15:27.

These are important industries for the rural economy

:15:28.:15:31.

and they are devolved areas to the Scottish Government

:15:32.:15:34.

With Brexit ending the role of Brussels in these areas,

:15:35.:15:39.

we'll all decisions about agriculture and fisheries be

:15:40.:15:41.

Well, the right honourable gentleman knows very well

:15:42.:15:48.

that we are discussing with the devolved administrations

:15:49.:15:50.

the whole question of the UK framework and devolution of issues

:15:51.:15:53.

During the Brexit referendum, people in Scotland, including those

:15:54.:16:01.

working in the agriculture and fisheries sector,

:16:02.:16:03.

were told that farming and fisheries powers would be exercised fully

:16:04.:16:06.

by the Scottish Government and the Scottish parliament,

:16:07.:16:08.

Now, it seems judging by the Prime Minister's answer,

:16:09.:16:17.

Will the Prime Minister confirmed today, she has the opportunity,

:16:18.:16:23.

will she confirmed today that it is her intention to ensure

:16:24.:16:26.

that it is UK ministers that will negotiate and regulate over

:16:27.:16:29.

large areas that impact on Scottish fisheries

:16:30.:16:31.

When he asks about the negotiations were Brexit with the European Union,

:16:32.:16:41.

it will be the UK Government that will be negotiating

:16:42.:16:44.

with the European Union, taking full account of the interests

:16:45.:16:47.

And, indeed, of all the other regions of England.

:16:48.:16:56.

Then came a link between Brexit and supposed leadership manoeuvring

:16:57.:16:59.

The Prime Minister I'm sure cannot fail to have noticed

:17:00.:17:06.

the intervention by two former prime ministers recently in relation

:17:07.:17:09.

And as a result, very helpful they were, I'm sure.

:17:10.:17:14.

I'm sure the Prime Minister will know, of course,

:17:15.:17:17.

what they and everybody else means by hard Brexit,

:17:18.:17:20.

what is meant by soft Brexit, but we're all now wondering

:17:21.:17:24.

what is meant by a soft coup and when, indeed...

:17:25.:17:29.

And when indeed it might be triggered and when we will know it

:17:30.:17:39.

Perhaps the Prime Minister can elucidate on that as well

:17:40.:17:45.

since she's been so helpful in so many other ways.

:17:46.:17:48.

Would she take the opportunity today, however, to make it clear

:17:49.:17:51.

that whatever former prime ministers may say and whatever members

:17:52.:17:54.

of the unelected upper house may say, the reality is that her plan

:17:55.:17:57.

to trigger Article 50 by the end of March is now clearly on track?

:17:58.:18:11.

I thank the right honourable gentleman for the question

:18:12.:18:13.

It is indeed my plan to trigger by the end of March when I refer

:18:14.:18:18.

to that, I refer of course to the triggering of Article 50

:18:19.:18:22.

rather than attempting to trigger any coup,

:18:23.:18:24.

soft or otherwise, that might take place.

:18:25.:18:26.

It is still our intention to do that.

:18:27.:18:28.

You're watching our round-up of the day in the Commons

:18:29.:18:31.

Still to come: Parliament's newest MP gets a warm welcome,

:18:32.:18:35.

from one half of the House of Commons.

:18:36.:18:39.

There's been growing concern in recent months about Russia's

:18:40.:18:42.

Russia is building up its forces there, causing the US

:18:43.:18:48.

to describe its actions as "aggressive".

:18:49.:18:52.

It is also planning a new wave of giant icebreaking ships.

:18:53.:18:56.

The region is believed to contain massive and,

:18:57.:18:58.

as yet untapped, reserves of oil and gas.

:18:59.:19:00.

A Commons defence committee is investigating what is happening

:19:01.:19:02.

in the region and what the UK should be doing about it.

:19:03.:19:06.

In its first session the committee heard from the Ambassadors of three

:19:07.:19:09.

To what degree do you sense any kind of threat in the Arctic?

:19:10.:19:21.

Quite clearly, Poland has expressed a threat coming from Russia.

:19:22.:19:23.

To what degree is there a threat to the peace and security

:19:24.:19:27.

If I can ask you to talk about Greenland.

:19:28.:19:31.

One of the main elements in our defence strategy

:19:32.:19:34.

for the Arctic region is a priority for us in Denmark to maintain

:19:35.:19:37.

the Arctic as a low tension region, which it actually is.

:19:38.:19:45.

We have a significant operation of all the Arctic states,

:19:46.:19:56.

both on a bilateral basis and a multilateral basis.

:19:57.:19:58.

We see the same things as I think everyone else sees.

:19:59.:20:01.

We see a Russia that is upgrading, modernising, building

:20:02.:20:04.

up its military forces in general and that takes place

:20:05.:20:06.

We also see a Russia that, in general, has showed itself ready

:20:07.:20:11.

to use military force to further its objectives

:20:12.:20:14.

in contravention of international law and we see, obviously,

:20:15.:20:16.

the Arctic is an area that is strategically crucial

:20:17.:20:18.

for Russia in several ways, not least being the basing area

:20:19.:20:21.

for their nuclear deterrent in Murmansk.

:20:22.:20:48.

The Russian official line is the re-militarisation,

:20:49.:20:49.

as we would see it, of the Arctic, with an additional 6000 troops

:20:50.:20:53.

which have been deployed recently, and the reopening of Arctic bases

:20:54.:20:56.

as well as a considerable, it would seem, investment in capabilities.

:20:57.:21:06.

It's merely an answer to the bad days of the Soviet Union

:21:07.:21:09.

when the infrastructure has been degraded and it is no more

:21:10.:21:12.

than an assertion of Russian sovereignty and with planet changing

:21:13.:21:15.

A different view, a second scenario, would be that this

:21:16.:21:25.

is a manifestation of Mr Putin's ambitions, that it fits

:21:26.:21:28.

with a greater Russian strategy and that in the shadow of Ukraine,

:21:29.:21:31.

Crimea, Georgia and indeed I would go back as far as the second

:21:32.:21:34.

Chechen war, that this could be preparation,

:21:35.:21:42.

So what role could and should the United Kingdom play in the region?

:21:43.:22:01.

I suppose that the United Kingdom could play a very positive role

:22:02.:22:04.

as a noble broker in the Arctic, because it has no geographical

:22:05.:22:07.

access to the region, but still, it plays a very substantial

:22:08.:22:10.

historical role of this region in exploration,

:22:11.:22:12.

and it could serve as a intermediary between Russia and other neutral

:22:13.:22:15.

countries at least with an understanding of This Place.

:22:16.:22:35.

And so my recommendation is that yes, we should think about some

:22:36.:22:38.

military and security developments in the Arctic and be cautious

:22:39.:22:41.

in formulating these ideas and projects.

:22:42.:22:57.

that was the pledge of Transport Secretary Chris Grayling

:22:58.:23:07.

when MPs debated the bus services bill.

:23:08.:23:09.

Among other things, it gives a new generation of directly elected

:23:10.:23:12.

mayors in the city regions of England responsibility

:23:13.:23:14.

But in the Lords, peers have altered the bill.

:23:15.:23:18.

Their change would allow local councils to set

:23:19.:23:20.

The Transport Secretary disagreed with that.

:23:21.:23:25.

We're not going back to the 1970s world, of local authority plans

:23:26.:23:28.

It was one of indifferent services that cost the taxpayer.

:23:29.:23:39.

We want decommissioning and provision of bus services to be

:23:40.:23:42.

kept separate as far as possible and to ensure that it will retain

:23:43.:23:46.

Although we will seek, Mr Speaker, to return this bill so that it

:23:47.:23:51.

What I was seeking to ask the Secretary of State

:23:52.:23:56.

was to understand his approach to municipal bus operators.

:23:57.:23:58.

When we look at the UK bus awards, and in four of the last five years

:23:59.:24:02.

it has been won by a municipal bus operator.

:24:03.:24:05.

I don't think the municipals are the answer to everything

:24:06.:24:08.

and I certainly wouldn't expect every local authority to want to set

:24:09.:24:11.

one up, but why will he not let local authorities decide what's

:24:12.:24:14.

We do not want to go back to the situation where every Labour

:24:15.:24:19.

council is trying to set up its own bus company.

:24:20.:24:21.

We think it will absorb private sector capital that could be

:24:22.:24:24.

The by-election winner in Copeland in Cumbria was welcomed

:24:25.:24:31.

into the Commons at the end of Prime Minister's Question Time.

:24:32.:24:34.

Huge cheers sounded from the packed benchers of the Conservatives

:24:35.:24:37.

as 40-year-old Trudy Harrison entered to take a seat.

:24:38.:24:41.

It had been, to say the least, a notable election victory

:24:42.:24:44.

for the former parish councillor in West Cumbria,

:24:45.:24:49.

as it was the first time a governing party had made a by-election gain

:24:50.:24:52.

The seat had been made vacant by the departure of the previous

:24:53.:24:59.

Labour MP for a job in the nuclear industry.

:25:00.:25:02.

Trudy Harrison took the oath in the traditional way.

:25:03.:25:08.

I swear by Almighty God that I will be faithful and bear

:25:09.:25:12.

true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, her heirs and successors,

:25:13.:25:15.

Do join me for our next daily round-up.

:25:16.:25:26.

Until then, from me Keith McDougall, goodbye.

:25:27.:25:53.

Well, a very blustery night out there for some of us,

:25:54.:25:55.

particularly across southern parts of the UK, especially

:25:56.:25:58.

the south-west, around the Bristol Channel.

:25:59.:26:00.

Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS