06/12/2017 Wednesday in Parliament


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06/12/2017

Highlights of proceedings in Parliament on Wednesday 6 December presented by Alicia McCarthy.


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Hello and welcome to our round up

of Wednesday in Parliament.

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On this programme: There's

conflicting advice for

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Theresa May as talks continue

on an interim Brexit deal.

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One Labour MP reckons it's time.

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She added jobs her redlines, DUP...

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But a leading Brexiteer urges

the Prime Minister to stand

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firm ahead of the next

round of talks in Brussels.

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Was she apply a new coat of paint to

her redlines? Because I fear Monday

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we will look a bit pink.

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Also on this programme: MPs demand

answers about the promised

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Brexit impact assessments.

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And: a committee looks

into the extent of sexual

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abuse and harassment.

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But first: good progress has

been made, but there's

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more work to be done.

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That was Theresa May's assessment

of the state of the Brexit talks.

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The Prime Minister was answering

questions in the Commons

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for the first time since

the Democratic Unionist Party,

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whose support she needs to win key

votes at Westminster,

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objected to a draft proposal drawn

up by the UK and the EU.

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The DUP said the plans which aimed

to avoid a hard border by aligning

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regulations in Northern Ireland

with the Republic of Ireland,

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were not acceptable.

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Jeremy Corbyn attacked what he said

was a coalition of chaos.

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Two months after the original

deadline, is the Prime Minister now

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able to end the confusion and

clearly outline what the

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Government's position is now with

regard to the Irish border was

Mac.

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I am very happy to talk about the

position. It is the exact same

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decision that took in the Lancaster

House speech, that I took and

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affords a speech, that we have taken

consistently in the negotiations.

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Which is we will ensure that there

is no hard border between Northern

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Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

We would do that while we respect

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the constitutional integrity of the

United Kingdom. And while we respect

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the internal markets and protect the

internal markets of the United

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Kingdom. And those Labour members

who shout how? That is the whole

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point of the second phase of the

Bush Asians. -- negotiations.

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Because we both deliver this. We aim

to deep River this as part of our

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overall trade deal between the

United Kingdom and the European

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Union.

Jeremy Corbyn turned to

comments for David Davis the Brexit

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Secretariat

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the Brexit Secretary about analysis

of the impact of Brexit.

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he told the programme in June that

it is my job that I do not think

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about and I do not make guesses. I

try and make decisions. You make is

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based on data, the data has been

gathered. We have 50 nearly 60

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sectoral analyses done. This House

voted to see these analyses. But

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today, the Brexit secretary told the

select committee that they do not

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exist. Well, Candy premise or put us

out of our misery? Due date exist or

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don't they? Had they done the work

or haven't they? That is surely one

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question she can answer after 18

months.

The House requested as I 58

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sectoral impact assessments. There

are no 58 sectoral impact

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assessments. There was sectoral

analysis over 800 pages of sectoral

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analysis has been published. And

made available to the select

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committee. And arrangements have

been made available for members of

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this House to see it. We are very

clear that we will not give a

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running commentary on negotiations.

But what we will do is work for what

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this country wants. We will ensure

we meet the European Union in March

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2000 19. We believe the internal

market, we believe the customs union

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at the same time. And we will ensure

that there is a hard border between

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Northern Ireland and the Republic of

Ireland when we do it.

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Well, we'll take a look at exactly

what David Davis said in that

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committee in just a moment,

but staying with Prime

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Minister's Questions,

plenty of other Mps had questions,

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and suggestions, about Brexit.

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The clock is ticking and we need a

job that keeps us in the single

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market and the customs union. To do

otherwise would devastate the

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economy and cost jobs. What the

prime -- with the promise to

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recognise that such a deal would

dissolve the average worker

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question. Anything less will be a

failure of leadership.

I have to say

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to the right honourable General

meant that he could use to park on

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the wrong tree. We believe the

single market and the customs union.

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A Plaid MP turned to which powers

would go from Brussels to

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the nations of the UK after Brexit.

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This Scrabble to repatriate powers

from Brussels provides a grubby

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excuse to deny our democratic rights

and we'll.

What we will be doing the

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movie the European Union is grabbing

powers back from Brussels for the

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United Kingdom. And that is exactly

right. And following that, we expect

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to see a significant increase in the

decision-making power of default the

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ministrations.

The prime Minister

has been unable to provide us with a

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present scenario that will meet her

redlines and be except with to her

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cabinets, to Ireland, and the DUP.

Is it therefore time that she either

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dropped her redlines, DUP, with the

pretence that she can govern this

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country?

Before she goes to

Brussels, would she apply new coats

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of paint to her redlines? Because I

fear on Monday, they will look pink.

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When the British people voted to

lead the European superset, they

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voted to end the free movement of

people. To end sending billions

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sending billions and billions of

pounds to the EU every year. And

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they voted to prevent out was being

judged by our own judges. By Mr,

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resell on course to deliver that?

And if we have a problem, would it

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help if I came over to Brussels with

you to sort it out?

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After something of a pause,

Theresa May said she was always

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happy to spend time in Peter Bone's

company and the Government

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was on course to deliver

what the people of the UK voted for.

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Jeremy Corbyn quoted

one Conservative donor.

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MPs, you voted -- voted to release

the press impact studies to show

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have 58 different sectors of the

economy would be affected by the EU

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-- British exit from the EU. But

when the documents were released,

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they turned out to be incomplete.

David Davis was asked to appear

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before the MPs to explain just why

that was. And he told them that the

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impact assessments was in fact

impact assessments at all.

Dance to

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the question is no. The Government

has not undertaken any impact

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assessments for leaving the EU. So,

there isn't one for example on the

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sector?

On the automotive sector.

No. No map one for financial

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services? Note to all of them. Don't

know to all of them. --

Nadal them.

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Doesn't it strike you as strange

that the Government undertakes

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impact assessments all the time, on

the most fundamental change, that

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we're facing as a country, you just

notice of the Government has

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undertaken any assessments at all

looking at the impact on individual

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sectors?

The first thing to say, Mr

Chairman, is when these sectoral

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analyses were initiated, they were

done to understand the effect of

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various options. What the outcome

would be. You do not need to do an

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impact assessment to understand that

if there is a regulatory hurdle

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between our producers and an market,

that they will have an impact. It

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will have an effect. The effect of

that -- the assessment of that

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effect is not as straightforward as

people imagine. I am not a fan of

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economic models because they have

all proven wrong.

And we have been

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treated to enormous descriptions of

arrangements, impact assessments,

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mathematical purchase, empirical

approaches, broadbrush analysis...

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And probably lots more. You could

understand my members of the

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committee could feel a little bit

bumpy. Because none of this is an

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undertaking it. I think what I'd be

interested to know is how is his

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material action being used and shape

in our negotiating strategy?

I had

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not use phrases like impact

assessment. That is not my phrase.

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Sectoral analysis was used for a

real reason. It is the analysis of

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what the sector was like.

Can you

just explain where, in your mind,

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this misunderstanding grows from the

House and the public at large who

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thought that there were impact

assessments, and yet there weren't

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impact assessments. Where did this

misunderstanding come from?

You have

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to put that question to the people

would use the passphrase impact

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assessment. I am making a fall for

myself or not correcting her when

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she was argument impact assessments.

I was assuming she meant sectoral

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analyses which is the only phrase I

have used. But in the debate in the

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House, I'm sure Walker made that

phrase.

To the Government undertake

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an assessment of leaving the customs

union before the Cabinet voted on

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decisions?

Not a form one.

So no

formal assessment?

No quantitative

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assessment. There is always a

judgement made on qualitative

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things, but not a qualitative one.

Isn't that quite extraordinary?

No.

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They are phenomenal numbers of

variables in that. At the last thing

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I was at when I took you through for

example, and the impact of trade

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agreements, and if I said to your

fire member correctly, that the book

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trade will increase by 25% after by

40%. And that is the son of

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things... They're qualitatively

different. There are three Carrick

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-- trading is being carried out by

the European Union who have not been

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particularly beneficial to the

United Kingdom. There've been others

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for hundreds this was when I've been

much more beneficial. We have to

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make judgements about the

effectiveness of ourselves in that

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upcoming relationship. The sort of

judgements were taken into account.

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You are watching Wednesday in

Parliament with me, Alicia McCarthy.

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Still to come in this programme, MPs

continue their detailed scrutiny of

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the EU withdrawal bill. Which was EU

law onto the UK statute book.

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Time magazine in the United States

has named "the Silence Breakers",

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women who spoke out against sexual

abuse and harassment,

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as its "Person of the Year".

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A decision associated

with the #MeToo hashtag which sprang

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up as allegations emerged

against Hollywood producer,

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Harvey Weinstein.

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Time's move came as the Women

and Equalities Committee looked

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into whether or not it should hold

an inquiry into women's

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experiences of everyday sexism

and sexual harassment.

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Just how prevalent was the problem?

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YouGov did a national poll. 64% of

women of all ages have experienced

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unwanted sexual harassment in public

places. An additional 35% have

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experienced unwanted sexual

touching. 45% had experienced

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unwanted sexual touching in other

spaces.

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Similar work had been

carried out by the TUC.

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Over half of the women polled had

experienced sexual harassment at

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some point in their lives. For the

18 to 24-year-old group, it was two

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thirds of women who experienced some

form of sexual harassment. This was

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all different types of sexual

harassment. Some of those were

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serious assaults, some were to do

with jokes and unwanted comments in

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the workplace, which is also serious

by different.

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And recent events had led

to surveys of peoples views

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about sexual harassment:

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It was not in line at all with what

the law says sexual harassment is

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and actually some quite worrying

findings and lots of things that I

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would consider to be very serious

and I am sure it that Mark would

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consider to be serious crimes were

not perceived by everybody to be

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sexual harassment or to be crimes

and were seen as part of everyday

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life.

The basic word for me is

unwanted. It is any conduct that is

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unwanted. There for there is an onus

on the person who is committing it

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to understand that their behaviour

is either wanted or not. What we are

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trying to do then is create an

environment where people who receive

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unwanted behaviour have the strength

and support to come forward and

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report it. I think seeing more and

more of that but it is very basic.

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It is unwanted behaviour.

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So what was to be done and how much

of a role did education have?

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When we be addressing a significant

part of the Republic we addressed

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gender stereotyping?

I think you

need to do both. I do not think it

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is either addressing gender

stereotyping in schools and

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magically solving this problem,

there will be no more sexual

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harassment, these boys will go on to

have much more respectful attitudes

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towards women. I think it is part of

a picture. I think it is part of a

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series of actions that you might

want to look at and addressing

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different acts acts of -- different

aspects of sexism in society. I

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think there are correlations between

for instance, very male-dominated

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workplaces, making a false

distinction between sexism and

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sexual harassment. I think a lot of

the stuff overlaps.

There was a lot

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of work on prevention to be done. We

have had workshops on compulsory sex

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education but of I were to wave my

wand, it would be up about making it

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more compulsory to make sure that

the issues we're talking about here

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today are talked about in schools by

experts but there is also a need, I

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think, to update some of our laws in

this regard which might then send a

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clearer message, which might then

help to bring people together to a

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common understanding of what

constitutes sexual harassment and

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why it is harmful.

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And the focus needed to be

on the harm to the victim:

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Sexual assault of young women over

13 is one of the highest

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contributors to sexual violence. It

is trivialized but it is one of the

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areas in which we are seeing more

and more reports and it is not

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always taken seriously and it is not

always treated appropriately come up

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but that is on the statute books, so

it is implementation as much as new

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laws, that I think we need.

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Now back to Brexit.

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The independent Northern Ireland MP

Sylvia Hermon has made

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a plea for the principles

of the Good Friday Agreement to be

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preserved in the EU Withdrawal Bill.

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In a powerful speech,

she recalled how the Troubles had

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affected her family and community.

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She said her amendment was designed

to protect the principles behind

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the Belfast Agreement of mutual

respect for all communities.

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I grew up not in some stately home.

I grew up on a 50 acre farm west of

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the river. Very close to what

unfortunately became known as the

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murder triangle for the number of

people who were murdered, both

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Catholic and Protestant, by the IRA,

and subsequently by loyalist as

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well. Many of our farming neighbours

were attacked on tractors or went

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out to a shed and opened the shed

door and there was a booby trap and

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had their heads or faces blown off.

-- Hans or faces. I would say ever

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so loudly and strongly to senior

members that I do not want to hear

0:17:440:17:48

them or see them on television

talking about pushing ahead and no

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deal. It is an absolute nonsense. It

is so reckless and so dangerous. In

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the event of no deal, we certainly

face a hard border and dissident

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Republicans will regard HMRC

officers and other officers and UK

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border officials as legitimate

targets. I do not want that on my

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conscience. I don't believe for one

moment that the Prime Minister wants

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that either.

The Prime Minister, 48

hours ago, reached an agreement

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which seems to show that she shared

the honourable Lady's concerns,

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because you cannot have an open

border without having some

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regulatory conversions, customs

convergence on both sides. That all

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came to an end when the DUP vetoed

it, which makes it extremely

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important that her amendment is now

put in the Bill to make sure we are

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not backsliding but of course, the

DUP can always, actually, rescue

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their reputation if they confirm

that their only objection was to not

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having regulatory customs

convergence across the whole United

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Kingdom, and they were quite

prepared to raise that regulatory

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and customs convergence across the

hall of the Republic of Ireland

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eight -- the island of Ireland is

certainly in the interests of

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inhabitants on both side of the

border.

Thank you. That was really

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very interesting. But a point I will

raise there. The DUP will have to

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speak for themselves and I'm sure

this afternoon you'll want to

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contribute to this debate will stop

can I intervene?

To answer the

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question posed by the right

honourable gentleman, when she said,

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does she accept as he does that is a

good idea to have regulatory

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convergence and common rules between

Northern Ireland and the Republic.

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To give a straight answer to that,

because many in Northern Ireland now

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view her as being on the side of the

Dublin government.

Thank you so

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much. The right honourable member

for North Belfast.

I was moved by

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what the honourable Lady had to say

and I think she speaks for many

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people in Northern Ireland that I

know and love and it is a shame that

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there are not more voices like hers

calling for what, moderation and

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focus on what really matters which

is peace and stability.

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But the Minister said

the Government would not be

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accepting her amendment.

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The Government is wholly committed

as my honourable friend have said,

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to the Belfast agreement had has

accepted our commitment to that

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under international law. Nothing

about our leaving BU will change

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that and these are numbered, --

members, well-intentioned as they

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may be. -- leaving Viggo.

-- the EU.

This he realised the signal they'll

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be sent out in asking artist to vote

against us?

Let me reiterate to the

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honourable gentleman that we are

absolutely committed to the Belfast

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and Good Friday Agreement.

As the

debate drew to a close, there

0:21:120:21:16

appeared to be last-minute

escutcheons between a Minister, Lady

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Herman and opposition MPs. --

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discussions between the Minister,

Lady Hermon and opposition MPs.

0:21:290:21:31

In the end Lady Hermon

withdrew her amendment.

0:21:310:21:34

the greater objective is to maintain

the integrity of the Good Friday

0:21:340:21:38

Agreement, to make sure that they do

nothing in this House that increases

0:21:380:21:47

a risk of terrorism. I will not call

a vote but I will accept the very

0:21:470:21:51

nice imitation to table, I want a

commitment from the Minister, to

0:21:510:21:59

give me a commitment that the Good

Friday Agreement will be preserved

0:21:590:22:04

in some other form, if not today

then in some other form.

That

0:22:040:22:08

commitment, the Good Friday

Agreement, is an absolute commitment

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that we stand by all stop it will be

preserved. I will work with the

0:22:120:22:17

honourable Lady as I have been

invited to do in order to ensure

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that the whole of this process we

deliver on the principles.

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Debate on the EU Withdrawal Bill

continues next week.

0:22:220:22:28

Now recently, MPs heard from people

with disabilities and long-term

0:22:280:22:32

illnesses about the problems they've

encountered applying for benefits.

0:22:320:22:36

On Wednesday, they questioned

contractors who carry out

0:22:360:22:38

the medical assessments on behalf

of the Department of Work

0:22:380:22:41

and Pensions, the DWP.

0:22:410:22:42

The committee chair asked

if they had ever met the DWP target

0:22:420:22:50

for the level of "unacceptable"

assessments, a target of 3%.

0:22:500:22:54

Is there a period where you have

ever met the target?

I think the

0:22:540:22:59

committees have the data from the

department. Our best performance has

0:22:590:23:03

been prepared by percent. That has

been 3.5.

So you have never met the

0:23:030:23:12

target.

A similar question, in the

last three months rolling, they have

0:23:120:23:20

really lifted which means we have

got some pretty stinky fingers

0:23:200:23:24

coming from recent months and at

times you have had dirty percent of

0:23:240:23:27

your assessment, an upset but again,

the same question is do you. -- 30%.

0:23:270:23:36

We were clear that the contract was

unacceptable and it was an absolute

0:23:360:23:42

prime target and prime focus and I

am not happy at all until the cases

0:23:420:23:47

are deemed to be acceptable, have

passed the criteria.

0:23:470:23:51

Back now to Prime Minister's

questions, where Theresa May said

0:23:510:23:53

she'd talk to United States

President, Donald Trump

0:23:530:23:58

over his plan to recognise Jerusalem

as Israel's capital.

0:23:580:24:01

Mr Trump will also start the process

of moving the US embassy

0:24:010:24:04

from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

0:24:040:24:06

The decision makes it difficult

for the US to be seen

0:24:060:24:08

as a neutral mediator

in the Middle East peace process.

0:24:080:24:14

Israel has always regarded

Jerusalem as its capital,

0:24:140:24:17

while the Palestinians want

East Jerusalem to be the capital

0:24:170:24:19

of a future Palestinian state.

0:24:190:24:25

The recognition by Donald Trump of

Jerusalem as the capital of Israel

0:24:250:24:30

will do grave damage to the

prospects for a just and lasting

0:24:300:24:34

peace settlement between the

Israelis and the Palestinians, which

0:24:340:24:38

has been British and indeed American

foreign policy for decades. Was she

0:24:380:24:42

consulted about this announcement

and if so, what did she say, and

0:24:420:24:48

bushy, here and now, unequivocally

and clearly condemn it? -- will she.

0:24:480:24:55

I say to the right orderable

gentleman that I am intending to

0:24:550:24:57

speak to President Trump about this

matter, but our position has not

0:24:570:25:05

changed. Our position, as he says,

has been a long-standing one and is

0:25:050:25:11

also a very clear one the status of

Jerusalem should be determined in a

0:25:110:25:16

negotiated settlement between the

Israelis and the Palestinians and

0:25:160:25:19

Jerusalem should ultimately form a

shared capital to meet the Israeli

0:25:190:25:23

and Palestinian states. That is, we

continue to support a two state

0:25:230:25:28

solution, we recognise the

importance of Jerusalem and our

0:25:280:25:31

position on that has not changed.

Theresa May.

0:25:310:25:35

And that's it from me for now,

but do join me at the same time

0:25:350:25:39

tomorrow, when it's environment

questions in the Commons and MPs

0:25:390:25:41

debate prison safety.

0:25:410:25:42

But for now from me,

Alicia McCarthy, goodbye.

0:25:420:25:46