21/02/2018 Wednesday in Parliament


21/02/2018

Highlights of proceedings in Parliament on Wednesday 21 February, presented by Mandy Baker.


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Transcript


LineFromTo

Hello and welcome to the programme.

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Coming up:

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Jeremy Corbyn muses on David Davis's

assurance that Brexit won't end

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in a Mad Max dystopia.

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Doesn't the prime Minister feel he

could set the bar just a little bit

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higher?

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Theresa May comes back

with a quip of her own.

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And the Health Secretary announces

a review into the way medical

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problems caused by NHS

treatments are handled.

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Patients and their families has been

too long feeling they are not

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listened to. Making a complex

situation even worse.

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But first, the exchanges between

Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn

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at Prime Minister's Questions

are usually a Brexit-free zone.

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But the Cabinet will be convening

at the PM's country residence,

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Chequers, on Thursday to pin down

the UK's future

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relationship with the EU.

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And so the Opposition Leader

made an exception.

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He began with David Davis's

assurance that post-Brexit,

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Britain would not descend

into a war-ravaged desert

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where society has collapsed.

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Yesterday, the Brexit secretary

assured the country that Brexit will

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not plunge Britain into a mad Max

style world, borrowed from this post

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be a fiction. Doesn't the Prime

Minister feel he could set the bar

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just a little bit higher?

My

Minister.

As the right honourable

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gentleman knows, when we leave the

European Union, we are going to be

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able to take control of our borders,

our money, and are lost. And I have

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to say to him, the only fiction

around in relation to Brexit and the

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European Union, is the Labour Party

putt front bench who cannot even

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agree with themselves what is.

He

also said fears about the regulatory

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praise to the bottom were based on

nothing. So, why then, did his own

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department exit polemicist State

there could be opportunities for

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Britain in the regulating areas such

as environment and employment law.

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Can I say to the right honourable

gentleman, he talks what we actually

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want to achieve when we leave the

European Union. I'll tell him what

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we want to achieve. We want to make

sure this is in a country that can

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negotiate free trade deals around

the world. We want to ensure that we

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have a good trade agreement with the

European Union, and that is what we

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will start to negotiate. We want to

ensure we have a good security

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partnership with the European union.

I set out in detail in my speech in

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Munich last week.

They were braving

the working Time directive would

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this be scrapped, the CBI and unions

are very clear that they are not

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looking for a bonfire of

regulations. Quite the opposite. The

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only part that wants scrap work are

the property opposite.

I have been

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clear since I became prime Minister.

This is a government that will not

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only protect workers' rights, but in

hearts workers' rights. Let's look

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at the conservative record in

government. Who was it, which

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government that was it that took

action? A conservative government.

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Which government is it? That got

Matthew Taylor to actually report on

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the new economy, so we assure

workers get the right. A

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conservative government, not labour.

Which government is it making sure

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that voices are heard on the boards

of companies are the conservative

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government, not labour.

I do not

know if she has had the chance to

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read the daily telegraph today, but

62 of her backbenchers want a

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bonfire of regulations. Wants to

destroy workers' rights, in this

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country. Halfway through the six

speeches we were told would set out

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the Government's negotiating

position. So far, all we have had,

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is waffle and empty rhetoric.

Business need to know. People want

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to know. Even her backbenchers have

demanded to know. But it is not

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clear from today's exchanges, this

government is not on the road to

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Brexit, Mr Speaker, it is on the

road to nowhere.

Prime Minister.

I

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think I have, I think I have

mentioned to the right honourable

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gentleman before, that his job is to

ask a question. Not to, but I am

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perfectly happy, I am perfectly

happy to respond to the point that

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he made. He said that we have not

set out any details. Can I suggest

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to him that he needs to think very

carefully about the security

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partnership that we want with the

European Union when we have left? I

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set out in my speech in Munich last

week, exactly what we want that

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security partnership to cover,

because we believe, we believe in

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ensuring that we are maintaining the

security and safety of people here

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in the UK, but also of people in

Europe.

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And she ended the exchanges

with this jibe.

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Young normally he's said that every

week and asked me to sign a blank

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check. I know he likes checks, but

really, that is terribly...

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Downing Street later clarified

that the Prime Minister

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was using what's commonly

known as a 'pun'.

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The Health Secretary has announced

a review into the way medical

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problems caused by NHS

treatments are handled.

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He concentrated on three treatments.

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Primados Primodos is a hormone-based

pregnancy test used in the sixties

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and seventies, which,

it's claimed, led to

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miscarriages and birth defects.

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Sodium valproate Sodium

valproate is a drug used

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to treat epilepsy which,

if taken during pregnancy,

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has been linked to autism

and learning difficulties.

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Mesh And vaginal mesh implants used

after complications in childbirth

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which some patients complain caused

crippling side effects.

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Jeremy Hunt admitted the NHS

hadn't listened to patients.

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We must acknowledge that the

response to the issues from those in

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authority have not always been good

enough. Sometimes, the reaction is

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felt, overly focused on defending

the status quo other than addressing

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the needs of patients. As a result,

patients and their families have

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spent too long feeling that they

were not being listened to, making

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agony of a complex medical school

situation even worse. So, today, in

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addition to practical steps for each

of these three cases, it all also

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setting out plans to establish a

fairer, quicker and more

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compassionate way of addressing

issues when they arise.

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Mr Hunt stopped short of announcing

a full public inquiry.

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Young we have heard that implants

lead women in pain. This is an

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ongoing public health scandal, and

we hope the Government will do much

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more to support those affected. Now,

Meche has been suspended in

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Scotland, and in other countries

around the world. I understand Meche

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has been paused for use in case of

prolapse. Will they consider fully

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suspending mashed totally while this

review is carried out?

When it comes

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to mash, there is no EU country that

has banned its use, and indeed, Mr

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alias and New Zealand, they have

not, in my understanding, introduced

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a full band. We have taken very

clear advice. We obviously have a

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responsibility to all patients and

medical advice from the chief

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medical officer is very clear, that

some women do benefit from Meche, if

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it is appropriately used, and so, we

are following that advice.

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Several MPs were worried

about the way previous

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investigations had been handled,

particularly in relation to the drug

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used as a pregnancy test.

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Half of my constituents, and I think

the Minister for this step in the

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right direction statement. By

announcing another review, can he

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reassure the House that one of these

reviews can investigate the cover-up

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we know has occurred over decades of

Primodos, and if a crime has been

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created, it will be dealt with.

The

difficulty in the case of Primodos,

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and this is important to families

concerned, is the fact that

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scientist did not agree about the

issue, and so, because of that, we

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do, unfortunately, find ourselves

having to review what has happened,

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and the expert working group was the

first attempt to do that. But we are

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going to give them a free hand to

look at that, and any other evidence

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that has come to light, and draw her

own conclusions.

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One MP wasn't happy

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about the Conservative peer who's

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been chosen to lead the review.

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Young is the Secretary concerned,

and as a director of the company,

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which specialises in introducing

pharmaceutical companies into how

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they can most effectively lobby

Parliament, what was that due to

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victims who start off being

incredibly suspicious of ourselves

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in this House and the NHS

establishment?

I do not think anyone

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has a better track record than her

for campaigning for women's health

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issues. She has shown in her career,

absolute willingness to take on the

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establishment am a the is scientific

establishment, when she thinks it is

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the right things to do. She does it

with a great deal of knowledge and a

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huge amount of passion, so I have

every confidence that she will do a

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good job.

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You're watching Wednesday

in Parliament with me, Mandy Baker.

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The Defence Secretary,

Gavin Williamson, says the world

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'got caught napping' when it came

to the rising threat

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from states like Russia.

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Mr Williamson was making his first

appearance in front of the committee

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that scrutinises the work

of his department.

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He was asked about the challenges

facing world security and stability.

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The Americans said that since

Christmas, the priority is potential

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conflicts. The French, their top

priority is terrorism. We understand

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why. Where, on that sort of scale,

where does the UK stand?

We will

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probably seek to compromise. We

would highlight a state based

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threats as the top priority, and at

the speed of which they are

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escalating, but within a hair, it is

followed by the terrorism threat

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that comes up straight after that. I

think the world got caught napping

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in terms of arise of those state

based threats. We had emerged out of

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a Cold War with the belief that

things were just going to get better

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and better. You had one superpower

that strode across the world, and

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you did not actually have any

challenge that. We are seeing that

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change quite dramatically. You are

seeing the rise of the increasing

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assertiveness of Russia. You have

seen that there has been a tenfold

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increase in the amount of submarine

activity in the North Atlantic on

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behalf of the Russians. You are

seeing the Russians being more

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interested in the Mediterranean

region. Of course, their involvement

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in the conflict in Syria. But then

you are seeing new nations that are

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starting to play a greater role in

the world, such as China. You are

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seeing the challenges that we face

in terms of North Korea.

You now see

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state based threats as perhaps the

top end of your priorities. That is

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a massive change from where we will

use that earlier in 2010, there was

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no existential threat to the United

Kingdom. If that is the conclusion

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that you have come to, which is to

some extent the conclusion that they

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have recently reached in the United

States, do you accept that that has

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an important consequence in both

terms of your for structure and your

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readiness?

Yes it does.

We are very

pro what you do, find frustrating,

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is on the one hand, we argue for

more resources for defence, but yet

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we see you're in, year out examples

of major procurement programmes that

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still run late or go very badly over

budget, despite being perennially

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told that lessons have been learned

and picked up what went wrong last

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time and so on and so forth. Can you

give us any confidence that as part

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of this NDP process, you are going

to design a system which will

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actually remove a lot of barriers?

The major theme for the programme,

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which we have conducted, gets

precisely after that issue. It is

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about can we more accurately do the

forecasting, can we make sure that

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we derive more stability in the

programme, can we shorten the

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process to make sure we are not

institutionally imparting delay,

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which in itself drives cost growth.

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Now, earlier this week

the Irish Deputy Prime Minister,

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accused three leading supporters

of the UK's departure

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from the European Union,

among them the Labour MP Kate Hoey,

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of being 'reckless'.

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The comment came after

the Brexiteers had criticised

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the Good Friday Agreement,

also known as the Belfast Agreement.

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Well, on Wednesday Kate Hoey

responded during a meeting

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of the Northern Ireland Affairs

Committee.

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If anyone says anything, and I have

said it, the best agreement could be

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refreshed, saying to kill all babies

at birth, do you think it is quite

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possible in Northern Ireland to be

absolutely 100% in favour of peace

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and against violence and against all

the things that are spoiling

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people's lives, and yet want to have

a look at how we make the

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institutions in Northern Ireland

actually work better?

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Did score the remember the

centrepiece.

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Seemed more focused on the get out

of you

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my comment had nothing to do with

Brexit. The

and I would just, the

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warning right there. But the impact

that has on communities is one that

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is very destabilising. And I for

one, and the people of Ireland as a

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whole, will not have a Good Friday

Agreement, just to facilitate so

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that is going on between... I say in

conclusion, tearing up the

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agreement, it does not do us any

favours to suggest that is the case.

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Well, there was an impassioned plea

for Brexit not to unravel

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the Good Friday Agreement

in the Lords, from the former

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Independent Reviewer

of Terrorism Legislation.

0:17:010:17:04

He said the Agreement

was a remarkable document,

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that had had 'stunning' effects.

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It has brought together in a

democratic forum, people who used to

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kill each other. It has and meant

that people that used to behaving

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that way have been prepared to put

aside their very sure wrongly dealt

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traditions.

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He was speaking at the start of ten

0:17:310:17:33

days of detailed debate

on the controversial EU Bill,

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which, as we all know by now,

is the Bill which brings an enormous

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raft of laws generated by the EU

over the past 40 years

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into UK domestic law.

0:17:410:17:45

As in the Commons, peers have put

forward huge numbers

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of suggested changes,

but it's not expected that the Lords

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will vote very often,

or even at all, on the issues

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at this stage.

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A Conservative former

chancellor said he wanted

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to speak up for leaving

the European Union customs union.

0:17:570:18:00

The Government, he said,

was aiming to strike a free trade

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agreement with the EU:

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What respect what having a

free-trade agreement leave it worse

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off than it is that it is now?

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He was interrupted by a Lib Dem

0:18:150:18:16

who pointed to Treasury forecasts

suggesting that leaving the single

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market would make the UK

economy worse off.

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The free trade agreement route still

needs an unbelievably damaged

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country in every region, especially

in the Northeast. And virtually in

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every single industry sector.

0:18:330:18:35

Lord Lamont wasn't

having that.

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I'm not when you were persuaded by

just a piece of paper with a

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statistic. What matters, noble

members, are they really going to

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say that this piece of paper with a

statistic somehow analyses the

0:18:490:18:54

product? What we are talking about,

if the free-trade agreement, to the

0:18:540:19:00

noble Baroness, if you have a

free-trade agreement, Yemen access

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to the market.

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Lord Lamont.

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And he and all the other

peers continue their work

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on the EU Bill next Monday.

0:19:070:19:09

The Government has promised

a new immigration system.

0:19:090:19:11

This is the procedure EU

citizens would use to apply

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for the new settled status,

which will grant those who've spent

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five years in the UK equal

rights on health care,

0:19:180:19:20

education, benefits and pensions.

0:19:200:19:24

The Immigration Minister said a new,

digital system was being

0:19:240:19:27

designed from scratch,

and it should go live

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from this autumn.

0:19:290:19:36

We are currently designing and

testing and working with groups to

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make sure that the system is simple

and straightforward as possible. I

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think that is critically important.

Must be something that needs to be

0:19:440:19:48

done on bone or a tablet, it has to

be something that people find

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user-friendly and easy to use. You

have to design them in a

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straightforward and intuitive ways

possible, and we very much hope,

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that it will be going live, I think

is important to emphasise that.

Soon

0:20:070:20:16

after Christmas, taking a bit longer

than we thought presumably. It is a

0:20:160:20:24

simple question, you sort of touched

on it, but there are are some more

0:20:240:20:32

is less technologically literate

than others.

There will still be

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those for possibilities for those

who cannot utilise it very well. I

0:20:360:20:47

sometimes take issue with the

slightly age assumption that those

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where order cannot utilise

technology. They my parents for

0:20:540:21:02

example they can utilise it as well.

But we got to be mindful,

0:21:020:21:08

particularly, and it is important

when designing a digital system to

0:21:080:21:12

think of those who may have some

accessibility issues those were

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vision impaired, learning

difficulties, and we know from

0:21:160:21:20

previous government, that if you

deny something for someone with

0:21:200:21:23

learning difficulties, then the

whole population finds its... I

0:21:230:21:30

think it is a really important

component yet to make them as

0:21:300:21:34

straightforward as he possibly can.

0:21:340:21:35

Another Labour MP had

concerns about the number

0:21:350:21:37

of applications.

0:21:370:21:41

If, as he expect it hits the

deadline, will be...

I gets very

0:21:410:21:51

important point, and I don't think

we should just be considering people

0:21:510:21:54

who cannot make an application

because the system failed, but there

0:21:540:21:58

may be applicants and for good

reason, have not been able to apply

0:21:580:22:02

within the two years due to ill

health. And so, we do not intend to

0:22:020:22:07

be very draconian, and obviously, if

there is a sort of problem with us

0:22:070:22:17

managing demand, we will have a

proportionate response. To those who

0:22:170:22:21

have not been able to respond within

the two years.

0:22:210:22:24

The Committee is also looking

into 'reciprocal arrangements',

0:22:240:22:26

the rights of UK citizens

who live in EU countries.

0:22:260:22:29

We've focused hugely on people from

the 27 coming here, and actually

0:22:300:22:37

there has been very little

commentary on British nationals who

0:22:370:22:43

choose to go over to the EU. These

are matters of the negotiations to

0:22:430:22:48

determine. But I think it is a

really important point and we must

0:22:480:22:51

focus not just on the nationals were

here, but also citizens who choose

0:22:510:22:57

to go overseas.

Because I have a

direct interest in this, declaring

0:22:570:23:05

an interest, if I may. I have three

children, grandchildren, so for

0:23:050:23:10

practical purposes I am very

considerable to agree with what you

0:23:100:23:15

just that. We need to protect them

and be suitably protective of all

0:23:150:23:20

those people who wish to come here

under the rules as they are.

0:23:200:23:22

The Committee Chair,

and long-time eurosceptic,

0:23:220:23:24

Sir Bill Cash, there.

0:23:240:23:25

Labour has said the Government must

assess the impact its economic

0:23:250:23:28

policies have on equality.

0:23:280:23:32

Speaking during a debate

on the Finance Bill which puts parts

0:23:320:23:35

of the budget into law,

the shadow Women and

0:23:350:23:37

Equalities Minister,

said the government's actions

0:23:370:23:38

were already having a damaging

effect on women and children.

0:23:380:23:46

I understand that the Prime Minister

is a little bit preoccupied. She is

0:23:460:23:51

a little bit we at the moment,

dealing with a very serious ransom

0:23:510:23:56

note at the moment. But I honestly

believe that she will not be pleased

0:23:560:24:00

that her legacy will be that of the

hindering of women and their life

0:24:000:24:04

chances. More children are homeless,

more children are homeless, or

0:24:040:24:13

living in temporary accommodation

that at any other time since 2007,

0:24:130:24:18

2008 financial crash.

0:24:180:24:20

A Conservative thought it would be

hard to gather the impact

0:24:200:24:22

information Labour wanted.

0:24:220:24:27

Does the minister agree with me that

to carry out these assessments, that

0:24:270:24:33

it would slow down government

business and that is perhaps why the

0:24:330:24:36

position was put in the new clause

to make it difficult for us to get

0:24:360:24:41

our voices through Rose

a lot of

this information is not available.

0:24:410:24:47

The button is not an argument for

not finding information, but some of

0:24:470:24:51

it is extremely difficult to

actually generate. I would as far as

0:24:510:24:55

my honourable friend was discussing,

is a Machiavellian plan to gum up

0:24:550:25:02

government processes,

0:25:020:25:05

And a little later,

Labour's move was defeated

0:25:050:25:07

by 304 votes to 265,

a government majority of 39.

0:25:070:25:12

Parliamentary procedure can

be a little baffling

0:25:120:25:13

but the government's business

managers, the whips,

0:25:130:25:16

are expected to know all the rules.

0:25:160:25:20

But spare a thought

for Kelly Tollhurst,

0:25:200:25:21

promoted to the job just last month

and still getting to know what's

0:25:210:25:25

what.

0:25:250:25:32

as amended in the public, to be

considered. Very good!

0:25:320:25:39

She won't do that again!

0:25:390:25:40

And that's all we've got time for.

0:25:400:25:42

So from me, Mandy Baker, goodbye.

0:25:420:25:45

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