Skip to main content

tv   Thursday in Parliament  BBC News  July 20, 2018 2:30am-3:01am BST

2:30 am
the white house says donald trump intends to invite vladimir putin to washington later this year, despite continuing criticism of his summit with the russian leader in helsinki. the us director of national intelligence, who was personally appointed by president trump, was visibly taken by surprise on live tv when the news was broken to him. britain's new brexit secretary has promised to intensify talks with brussels, as the official departure date — next march — fast approaches. meanwhile, the european commission has advised eu member states to step up preparations for a no deal brexit. south korea's foreign minister has responded to criticism over the lack of progress in talks to denuclearise the north. talking to the bbc, she insisted the negotiations still have momentum. just after 2:30am on the morning. now on bbc news, thursday in parliament. —— in the morning.
2:31 am
hello and welcome to the programme. coming up... the new secretary of state spells out his brexit game plan. working hard, listening to all sides and delivering for the people of the united kingdom. mps accuse the government of "cheating" in a crucial vote over brexit earlier in the week. the idea that pregnant and new mothers will be cheated out of their voting representation to save the skin of this shambolic government is a disgrace. and a censured mp turns to the old testament in his apology to the commons. you were angry with me? that anger has turned away. you comfort me. i hope to learn that lesson. but first, the new brexit secretary had a packed diary on thursday. dominic raab met the eu negotiator michel barnier in brussels for the first time since taking over from david davis.
2:32 am
both the uk and the eu have signalled that preparations must increase for the uk leaving the eu without a deal. with his suitcases waiting, dominic raab had earlier answered his first departmental questions in the commons. today i will travel to brussels to meet with michel barnier to discuss negotiations, and i look forward to working with him to secure a deal in the interests of both the united kingdom and our european partners. what steps is my right honourable friend taking to bolster and emphasise the importance of no deal planning across government? i would say to my honourable friend most of our no deal preparations is developed internally with targeted engagement with relevant parties. we are now at the point where more of this delivery will start to become more public and over the summer, the government will release a series of technical notices to set out what uk businesses and citizens in various sectors will need to do in a no deal scenario and make public more of our preparations.
2:33 am
it is the responsible thing for any government to do. given so many of his friends and colleagues want to bring down the prime minister, how's the brexit secretary going to get his withdrawal agreement through in the autumn? well, the same way we got the customs bill through this week, which is working hard, listening to all sides, and delivering for the people of the united kingdom. dominic raab wasn't the only new face on the conservative frontbench. a brexit minister, steve baker, had resigned too. replacing him was chris heaton—harris, who also faced questioning about a no deal outcome. does he agree that the government needs to actually do a lot more on options, work hard and get a deal, rather than face up to this no deal scenario? i thank the honourable gentleman for his question and obviously, we would much prefer to have a very good deal with the european union than not. and so that's why most of the work in my department is focused on that. but we do have to prepare for every
2:34 am
scenario and i'd like to finish off, the honourable gentleman quoted, by saying the financial consequences for the eu will be far greater. labour's shadow brexit secretary was interested in what steve baker had been saying since his resignation. yesterday the former brexit minister, the honourable member for wycombe, made a direct threat to the secretary of state that conservative mps on his wing of the party are not prepared to vote for any brexit deal that does not meet their demands. talking about the white paper, he said 40 plus members on the conservative benches, and i quote, "do not like this deal and are willing to vote in line with that dislike." against that threat and without just saying it's a great white paper, what evidence can the secretary of state point to that would suggest that the white paper could command a majority in this house? i would say to the right honourable gentleman he seems more interested in doing thejob of whipping this side than coming up with any serious substantive proposals from his side. we've got a white paper.
2:35 am
i'm going to brussels. we ought to unite the united kingdom by getting the best deal for this country and our european friends. keir starmer. let me follow on. given the threat that has been issued by the honourable member for wycombe, the burning question that the secretary of state is going to be asked again and again in this house, across the country, and i've no doubt by michel barnier, later today, is whether he personally is prepared to face down that threat. what's the answer? i have to say to the honourable gentleman i am not interested in the media circus or any of the drama. we have proper scrutiny in this house and what we are relentlessly and unflinchingly focused on, and i am sure our european partners will be the same, is narrowing the differences, accentuating the positive and getting a win—win deal, good for good for this country, good for our european friends. he should get behind that effort. it wasn't long before steve baker himself rose to ask a question — and there was something tongue
2:36 am
in cheek about what he chose to ask. given that hmrc make available online the documentation for their computable general equilibrium model, would the department follow suit so that the public can be objectively informed about the shortcomings of such models, and so that the model can be fully scrutinised by interested external economists? i thank my honourable friend for the first in what i'm sure is going to be a series of valuable and important forensic contributions and i will take that and take a good long hard look at it. dominic raab getting to grips with the complexity of brexit. one of whitehall‘s most senior officials has warned of potentially "horrendous consequences" of a no deal brexit if co—operation with the eu breaks down completely. the chief executive of the civil service told mps that britain would be ready, but not everything would be perfect. most of these no deal preparations require third—party engagement. you can't really do it in isolation, they require a dialogue with traders or businesses, and it's always a balance because you don't
2:37 am
want to scare the system unnecessarily. we have to put it in the right context, we have to say we're heading for a deal, this is the deal we want, butjust in case we have to do this, because the first question that a trader will say is who is going to pay for that then? i'm not going to do it in the event perhaps there is no deal. that is why this is a process that is building. i think there has been an increased clarity in the last few days now, post chequers, so that we can ramp up those no—deal communications and that is what was announced yesterday and i think in the next few months, that is what you will see. i take your point about not wanting to scare the system as you put it, but on the other hand surely you would recognise that far from scaring, it would provide reassurance for businesses to know that preparation is being made. i think the dutch are taking on 1000 officials. the irish are taking on 1000 officials. are we seeing the united kingdom taking on a sufficient number of customs officials and border guards?
2:38 am
the united kingdom has taken on 6800 officials so far, i've just told you. there is a high probability... an increasingly high probability that there will be a no deal brexit or perhaps a skeleton agreement wto brexit, and it is the prime minister's stated policy to be prepared to have a no deal brexit. how confident are you that the united kingdom will be ready for a no deal brexit? let me put it this way. i have been arguing for some time that the political certainty needs to be clarified so that the civil service can get on and organise itself and get it done. the civil service will react. i believe that we have reached another stage of clarity, post chequers. that's what i've been saying. i believe that the civil service will react with increasing clarity. we will be ready for a no deal brexit,
2:39 am
not everything will be perfect. i think that puts it very well. we will be ready, but we shouldn't assume it will be smooth. sir bernard jenkin wanted to know which areas were causing most concern in whitehall. it's the third—party activities which contain the most difficulty, and some things are very complicated in the absence of cooperation. i mentioned data, that is a difficult area because it will require lots of individual actions by individual companies, usually in legal frame in the event we are not able to have data sharing. these things are in everybody‘s interest to get right but on the other hand, we have to prepare in the event that there are spiteful or ignorant or whatever activities by third parties, and i think that obviously
2:40 am
makes it uncomfortable and some horrendous consequences, which we have to do our best to try to mitigate against. i would not want our european partners to think that we aren't well prepared enough that it becomes a negotiating card their side of the table. would you like to say something to make it clear to them so we have confidence... we do have confidence. we know it will be disruptive for them and asked if there is no deal and we have not been able to find another arrangement. we will be ready for that and we have a range of mechanisms, some of them designed over many years for different circumstances, that we can apply should that be the case, against a range of no deal scenarios and i wouldn't want partners to think we would not be ready for it.
2:41 am
you're watching thursday in parliament with me, mandy baker. if you want to catch up with all the news from westminster on the go, don't forget our sister programme, today in parliament, is available as a download via the bbc radio 4 website. now, the government's chief whip faced calls to make a commons statement amid ongoing anger over the breakdown of pairing arrangements during tuesday's vote on the trade bill. now, to explain. the chief whip is often a slightly shadowy figure, who's in charge of making sure the government gets its way when it comes to commons votes. pairing is an informal arrangement whereby two mps from opposing parties agree not to vote. but on tuesday, the conservative chairman brandon lewis did vote, despite being paired with the liberal democratjo swinson, who's on maternity leave. many mps were up in arms about the whole thing. i was quite ill when we were voting on the withdrawal bill
2:42 am
and there were lots of votes and i came in to vote and, after a number of votes, the labour whips agreed to nod me through. that courtesy should be extended to everyone and i don't think that happened recently. i am very concerned to hear that a pairing was broken. i am very concerned we tried to end parliament two days early, which i think was for party political reasons. so could we have a statement from the leader of the house when we come back, or early next week on this place and the fact that we must uphold the rights of this house and not hide behind small print, because otherwise this place won't work? a pair was broken, people were extremely apologetic. it was an error. in addition, i would just like to set out again that i absolutely uphold the rights of this house and the conventions of this house at all times and will always continue to do so.
2:43 am
there were reports that the chief whip told other conservative mps to breach their pairing agreements. twice now, the leader of the house has told this place that what happened with the breach of pairing arrangements was a result of administrative error. if the report in the times newspaper is to be believed, it was not a result of accident, it was a result of design, so when the leader returns to the dispatch box, i hope she will choose her words carefully because she may have been set up to mislead however inadvertently the house, which would be serious, and before people heckle opposite, i think actually some silence and humility might be required, because the idea that pregnant and new mothers would be cheated out of their voting representation to save the skin of this shambolic government is a disgrace and an affront to the house. i assured the house yesterday
2:44 am
it was an error and the chief whip and the member for great yarmouth had both apologised for. there were three pairs on tuesday, i was one of them. i did not receive any call from anyone telling me to vote. i hope he will accept that because he is calling me something which is not acceptable parliamentary language, i have made absolutely clear my personal commitment to resolving this issue so that new parents can spend time with their new babies uninterrupted, that was an error that has been profusely apologised for and the honourable gentleman should be ashamed of himself. the liberal democrat chief whip said he'd spoken to the chief whip about what happened. i still do not understand how this highly regrettable state of affairs came to pass. so today, i have a somewhat novel request for the leader of the house, and that is that the government's chief whip should come
2:45 am
to the despatch box and make a statement himself. it was absolutely clear to me from conversations i had with him that he was totally unaware he was paired with the honourable member... i myself had texted his honourable friend, and i have made very clear to her that i will continue to ensure that her maternity pair is in place. i have reassured the house that that is the case. i apologise again for that error. tuesday's events were cataclysmic for the representation of this house. ——— reputation. we're supposed to the mother of parliaments, and my constituents now think that there was skulduggery going down on tuesday night. and they don't get messages or texts from the leader of the house, they read in the newspapers that something very dodgy went on,
2:46 am
and they ask why it can't get it right, why can't there be another vote? he said it was one of the most important votes in the history of commons. and that wasn't the end of it. labour's wes streeting was back on his feet later in the afternoon, saying there'd been a development. he claimed new information had emerged about the behaviour of the chief whip, julian smith. here is what one honourable member from the conservative benches is quoted as saying. "julian told me i was needed and told me to come in and vote. of course he knew i was paired. i didn't vote and honoured my pair, and he demanded to know why not afterwards. it then appears he told the prime minister it was all an honest mistake. " madam deputy speaker, i have no doubts or any reason not to believe that the leader of the house is only relating what they've been told to say. so given this, how can we compel the chief whip to come to the despatch box
2:47 am
to account for his actions? because if the trust of the pairing system has been abused in this way, he must surely now resign? now, by convention the chief whip doesn't speak in the commons, but a liberal democrat reckoned these were unprecedented times. we were also waiting quiet as to whether there were ways if an urgent question is submitted, which addresses this issue to the chief whip, that with the speaker's permission and the question is accepted, that the chief whip can come to the chamber in response, rather than hiding behind the leader of the house. the deputy speaker said mps shouldn't rush to judgement and as to whether the chief whip should speak, that was a matter for the government. now there's been much focus recently on the behaviour of big tech companies such as facebook and google. but the lords were concerned about a different problem, people who struggle to do anything much at all online, because of low broadband speeds.
2:48 am
the bishop of st albans said the uk had dropped four places from 31 to 35 in global league of broadband speeds. we lag behind countries such as madagascar, latvia, bulgaria, and so on. so the question for us is we need access to full fibre if we're going to get ahead of the technological revolution post—brexit. and i wonder if the minister will explain to the house why currentlyjust 4% of premises are connected to full fibre, and why the government's failed to even set a date to respond to the national infrastructure commission report, which has set out a pathway to achieving nationwide fibre access by 2033? the house will know that in may 2018, the chancellor announced the government's full fibre roll—out, so 15 million premises connected by 2025 is the plan, and a nationwide network by 2033. full fibre will enable speeds
2:49 am
of over 500 megabits—per—second. can he confirm that he's backing the chancellor of the exchequer's other call this week, which is to switch off every copper phone line in the uk so as to force telecom firms to improve their rural broadband speeds? he declared himself ignorant of that suggestion. a liberal democrat thought rule communities were losing out. and are people in such areas denied broadband access, or can i ask does the government have a cunning plan? the cunning plan perhaps, to reassure the noble baroness, is in the marvelously—worded barrier— busting task force. and this is designed to help relax planning laws and to roll—out faster broadband to rural areas. lord younger. now, tens of thousands of disabled people denied welfare benefits due to a government error are to receive additional back payments totalling as much as £150 million.
2:50 am
the payout results from a decision by the previous work and pensions secretary esther mcvey to shelve a policy of refusing to reimburse missed payments dating back before october 2014. the department for work and pensions has already accepted that it wrongly underpaid disabled people switching from incapacity benefit to employment and support allowance. 70,000 ill and disabled people were underpaid thousands of pounds after having been wrongly migrated from incapacity benefit to contributions based esa, thereby denying them as additional social security payments such as the severe disability premium. this meant they were denied vital support causing significant hardship on people already neglected by the government social security system. the dwp was alerted of this error as early as 2013, but in what the public accounts committee report published yesterday, described as "a culture of indifference at the dwp," the error was neglected only to be taken up six years after it had occurred. first of all, i want tojust disabuse the house
2:51 am
and the honourable lady of the character of people working in dwp. week after week, we hear this characterisation of the staff of the dwp, and it simply isn't fair. the staff of the dwp work very hard day in, day out to support people with health conditions and disabilities in our country. can the minister advise when this money will be paid out, and whether it will follow with compensation? can the minister advise the house whether they have done any work to check whether their mistakes have had any other adverse consequences for those who have lost out, such as increased debt debt or health problems? and can the minister advised the house in light of the errors on esa, in light of the errors on universal credit, whether they will carry out across cross party review of all security systems, to build one which is built on fairness, dignity,
2:52 am
and respect as is happening in scotland, rather than one that is subject to frequent legal challenge? i think the honourable gentleman for his question. can ijust remind him that it was the department itself, because it's so important to us to make sure that people who are not underpaid, it was our own work that led us to find this error, and as soon as we did, to put in place the actions to make sure that we underpay? there were warnings both from staff and the department, and from other agencies dealing with people from 2013 onwards, so she says that the department found this out but it took a long time to act. and there were many people who have still lost out on passported benefits, some easy to calculate like free school meals. so in light of our report and recommendations,
2:53 am
can she really look closely at the impact of those passported benefits that were lost and consider a compensation scheme? as a result of the work of the secretary of state has been doing since she got into the department with our new permanent secretary, new structures have been put in place to make sure that that escalation of concerns is appropriately considered across operations, policy, legal, and appropriate action can be taken. and i believe that action will prevent this from happening again in the future. sarah newton. parents are to lose the right to withdraw their children from sex education classes in england, the education secretary has announced. damian hinds also said that sex and relationships education would become compulsory in england's secondary schools in two years' time. all schools will be required to teach the new subjects from september 2020. and this is in—line with the department's approach that any significant changes to the curriculum have a year's lead—in time, and will enable us to learn lessons from the early adopter schools and share good practise further across the sector. we will be seeking views through the consultation to test the right focus for a school support
2:54 am
package, as we know it is crucial for schools and teachers to be confident and well—prepa red. madam deputy speaker, i believe our proposals are an historic step in education that will help equip children and young people with the knowledge and support they need to form healthy relationships, lead healthy lives, and be safer, and happy in modern britain. damian hinds. the dup‘s ian paisley has made an emotional apology to the commons forfailing to register and declare two free trips to sri lanka in 2013. the family holidays, worth an estimated £50,000, were paid for by the sri lankan government. the commons standards committee has recommended that mr paisley be suspended from the commons for 30 days. that proposal will be debated by mps. i say sorry and apologise for the feelings that were identified in the standards committee report. i am disappointed that i was not able to persuade members
2:55 am
of the committee of the weight of my arguments on some of the major matters of mitigation, especially on the issue of paid advocacy. however, i accept the report, but i do so regret it sanctions. i believe i conduct myself with colleagues with integrity, openness, and that is why i have such remorse about the matter as i believe it goes against the grain of who i am, especially how it is portrayed. he may face a by—election under the new recall arrangements. it is to my constituents, mr speaker, who have set me here since 2010, that i make the profoundest of all apologies. they have honoured me with a unwavering support to be their voice, and i hope they will continue to have that confidence in me in the future.
2:56 am
a prophet said, "you are angry with me. the anger has turned away. you comfort me." i hope to learn that lesson. and that's all we've got time for. don't forget to join me again at the same time tomorrow for a round—up of the whole week in parliament. but for now from me, mandy baker, goodbye. hello there. we're set to see a little bit of a change to our weather for the next 2a hours, some very useful rain moving in across northern and western areas. thursday, though, was another fine, dry day. quite warm, too, plenty of sunshine. we start to see the change taking place, though, across the north—west of the country. clouds thickening, outbreaks of rain into the highlands later on in the day.
2:57 am
now, during the early hours of friday, that tangle of weather fronts will continue to move south—eastwards slowly across the country, bringing some rain, initially to parts of northern ireland and scotland, with some heavy bursts of rain, turning quite breezy as well. but early on on friday, it's going to be a dry one again for england and wales, bar the odd shower across the extreme south—east. a warm and muggy to start the day, too, but something a bit cooler and fresher in the north, with that cloud and rain. so this is the picture on friday, then. a lot more cloud across northern and western areas, with outbreaks of rain, some of it quite heavy. the rain will tend to become light and patchier as it pushes further southwards and eastwards. so it will be a cooler day because of more cloud around, the rain, the breeze. temperatures in the mid—to—upper teens celsius. but across the south—east, it could be quite warm again, 211—25 degrees. now, what we'll see through the afternoon across the south—east is also the risk of some thundery downpours. hit—and—miss showers, generally starting in a line from the wash down to hampshire, and then moving eastwards. if you catch one of these downpours,
2:58 am
you really will know about it. it could give rise to some disruption, perhaps some flash—flooding too. now, as we head on in towards saturday, we lose the showers across southern areas, and actually across england and wales we'll have good spells of sunshine. a little bit of patchy cloud in the afternoon, and there'll also be a bit more sunshine across northern and western areas. so it'll feel a bit warmer, certainly across england and wales — 24—27 degrees. high—teens to low 20s further north. on sunday, again a fine—looking day for much england and wales, and more sunshine around, so it's going to be warmer, too. a bit more cloud further north, more of a breeze. thicker cloud could bring some outbreaks of rain to western parts of scotland, where it'll be cooler. but eastern scotland will do pretty well. we could be looking at 26—29 celsius in england and wales. then, as we head on in towards next week we'll see this weather front, a new one, waxing and waning across the north—west corner of the country. further south and east, though, we'll be tapping into some very warm and humid air off the near continent, so it's likely
2:59 am
we could see temperatures reaching the low 30s celsius in one or two places. so always a little bit cooler and cloudier further north and west, with some fierce heat and humidity further south and east. a very warm welcome to bbc news — broadcasting to our viewers in north america and around the globe. my name's mike embley. our top stories: now they're going for a second summit. the white house announces surprise plans to invite vladimir putin to washington. president trump bats away accusations he's cosying up to russia. getting along with president putin, getting along with russia's a positive, not a negative. now, with that being said, if that doesn't work out, i'll be the worst enemy he's ever had! britain's new brexit secretary promises to intensify talks with brussels, but the european commission is now warning that no deal looks more likely than ever. a facebook furore, as mark zuckerberg says posts from holocaust deniers should be allowed. and it's been buried for 2000 years, but what's inside? an egyptian sarcophagus
3:00 am
spills its secrets.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on