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tv   Monday in Parliament  BBC News  December 4, 2018 2:30am-3:01am GMT

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in its plan to prevent catastrophic climate change. he warned heads of state and government at the un climate conference in poland that they were still not doing enough or moving fast enough. president trump has paid his respects at the us capitol rotunda where the body of former president george hw bush is lying in state. mr bush, who served as the 41stus president between 1989 and 1993, died on friday at the age of 94. he will be buried on thursday. mexico's new president, andres manuel lopez obrador, has signed a decree creating a truth commission to investigate the kidnapping and killing of 43 students four years ago. the incident sparked weeks of protests against the impunity of people in power in mexico, where prosecutors accused the security forces of involvement. it's just gone 2:30am in the morning. it's time now for monday in parliament. hello again and welcome
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to monday in parliament — as the government admits its brexit deal isn't perfect. i make no bones about it. i would have preferred to have seen a unilateral right of termination in this backstop. a disabled peer shares her experience of travelling by air. i was then passed from pillar to post, ending up in a corner facing a concrete wall and dumped by staff trying to sort out what was going on. and a sportswear tycoon goes into battle with mp5. by the way, that might be a godlike performance, and before anybody says it, i'm not comparing myself to god. all that to come — and more. but first: parliament is gearing up for one of its most significant votes for decades. on tuesday, the prime minister will open a0 hours of debate on her brexit deal.
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on the eve of that debate, the government's chief law officer came to the commons to explain the legal position, and why the government has rejected a demand by mps to publish the attorney general‘s legal advice in full. that refusal has prompted six opposition parties to try to force a debate on whether the government is holding parliament in contempt. most of geoffrey cox's statement focused on the plan to avoid border checks between northern ireland and the irish republic if there's no trade deal between the uk and the eu — the plan known as the backstop. some mps are concerned the uk couldn't leave the backstop without the eu's agreement, leaving the uk in a trap that would mean following eu rules. there is therefore no unilateral right for either party to terminate this arrangement. so, it's a trap? this means that if no superseding agreement can be reached
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within the implementation period, the protocol would be activated, and an international law would subsist even if negotiations had broken down. the gradual loosening and removal of the legal ties that have bound us to the european union for 45 years will take time to work out. this agreement, and the eu withdrawal act already passed by the house, allow for the necessary time and legal means for that process to unfold in a peaceful and orderly way. the reality of this situation is that all members are asking questions at a major disadvantage, because they have not read the legal advice upon which this statement is based, and it is totally unacceptable we are to be in this position when aspects
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of the attorney general's advice have been selectively leaked to the press over the weekend. does he accept that it was central to the good friday agreement, belfast agreement, that both sides commit themselves timelessly to an open border, and that is all wrapped up if we ever move to the northern ireland protocol, and it will be quite shameful if either the european union or the republic of ireland, or the united kingdom was given the right, unilaterally, to terminate that at a time of its political choosing. i make no bones about it. i would have preferred to have seen a unilateral right of termination in this backstop. i would have preferred to have seen a clause that allowed us to exit if negotiations had irretrievably broken down.
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but i am prepared to lend my support to this agreement because i do not believe... because i do not believe... laughter. i am most grateful for those cheers of applause. i do not believe, mr speaker, that we are likely to be entrapped in it permanently. he has just said that he doesn't... it is not his belief that we will be trapped in the backstop permanently, but this house who has to take the final decision, not the cabinet, is not interested in his believe, it is interested in his legal opinion. it seems to me, a situation where we are now reliant on our learned friends to take kisses and international quartile this sovereign parliament being able to decide when we can get out of these arrangements. can the attorney general confirm what he said,
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that this is an indefinite arrangement, that it can be permanent despite what some of his cabinet colleagues are saying in law? in law? the right honourable gentleman throws down a gauntlet to me to re—examine my support for the agreement, and i don't mind confessing to him that i have wrestled with this question, because i am a unionist, and any divergence between northern ireland and the rest of the united kingdom, i dislike. but i have had also to take into account that this is an arrangement which we can avoid, and secondly that if we were in it, it would be as much an instrument of pain to the european union as it would be to the united kingdom. unfortunately he does not answer the basic point about denying a motion passed by this house, saying that in his view that that is not in the national
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interest is not good enough. when the government loses a vote it must follow the will of this house under an humble address according to all precedent. in this case, i am convinced that an order to disclose any advice that might have been given would be fundamentally contrary to the interests of this country. it is no use the braying and shouting of members opposite. what i am trying to do is guard the public interest! that's all! and it's time... and it is time they grew up and got real! but that wasn't enough to prevent six opposition parties asking the commons speaker to begin contempt proceedings
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against the government for failing to comply with a motion instructing it to publish the legal advice. and that wasn't the last we heard of the plan to avoid border checks between northern ireland and the irish republic. the prime minister's chief brexit adviser told mps on the exiting the eu committee that the backstop is "uncomfortable" for the uk. can i begin by expressing appreciation to you and all of your civil service colleagues for the very hard work you have put in over the last two and half years into these negotiations, in what i think it would be fair to describe as quite challenging circumstances. so, if you could convey those thanks on behalf of of the committee we would appreciate it. do you think the customs backstop is a bad outcome forthe uk, and if so, why? i think that the backstop is not the future relationship that either the uk or the eu wants to have with one another, and so it is an uncomfortable position for both sides, and the reality as you know i think in evidence from us
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or in your meetings in brussels is that there is not a withdrawal agreement without a backstop. that reflects of course also as i've said to this committee before ministers' commitments to northern ireland, and to avoid a hard border on the island of ireland rather than it being something imposed upon us, so it is a necessity and a slightly uncomfortable necessity for both sides. also giving evidence was the new brexit secretary stephen barclay: are there any provisions of that backstop protocol that you have concerns with, or are you wholly comfortable with the way that it's drafted? well, there are compromises. i think with any negotiation there are compromises. no, but concerns that you have. what would be the specific concerns that you have about the way the current backstop is drafted? i think the first point i make is the intention is not to go into the backstop, so there's a number of safeguards. one of which is the option to avoid going into the backstop. there is also things for example
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like staying in the interim period, implementation period. he said the backstop would be uncomfortable for the uk and the eu. some in europe have criticised the backstop, and though it seems odd in the context of the uk political debate, but some in europe have criticised the backstop because they feel that mr robbins has got an advantage in the negotiation and the prime minister has an advantage, because it gives access to that market without the financial contribution, and without freedom of movement. that is another reason why it is not an advantageous position for the eu. mr robbins, can i first ask you about today's daily telegraph, and a couple of extremely interesting comments that are attributed to you, which you may wish to disassociate yourself from, and i at least want to give you that opportunity. first of all, he, that is to say you, argued that extending the transition period after brexit would provide a more cast iron escape route. is that your view?
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you'll expect me to say that i'm not going to comment on an apparently leaked document, but it is certainly true that if the uk were to enter into an extension to the implementation period, some of the other negative consequences of being in the backstop that the chairman refers at the beginning would not apply. secretary of state, could i ask you if you think there are any circumstances between now and next tuesday where the prime minister will pull the vote? no, i think the vote will happen on tuesday and i'm very much looking forward to making the case. i think the cabinet has an important job. it's for the cabinet as a whole to make the case ahead of tuesday, and i think certainly what i hear from businesses up and down the country is many businesses themselves are making the case because they don't want the uncertainty that will flow if this vote does not go through. now brexit means the uk will be able
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to set its own immigration policy. but the home secretary has said it's "very unlikely" that mps will see the government's plans before next week's vote on the brexit deal. amid reports of internal tensions over its current immigration target, sajid javid said the long—awaited paper would be published "soon". he was challenged on the issue at question time. the home secretary told the home affairs select committee that the immigration white paper would be published certainly in december. he will know that there's obviously concern about the delays to the white paper. can he tell us now whether it will still be published in december, and if so, why it will be published after the meaningful vote? mr speaker, all i can say at this point is that the white paper will be published soon. i wish i could say more than that. it is worth keeping in mind
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that this is the biggest change in our immigration system in four decades. it is important that we take the time and that we get it right. mr speaker, as well as control, fairness is a principal in treating people equally regardless of where they came from in the world was right at the heart of why so many people voted to leave. so, what consideration is being given to that principle of fairness as we design a new immigration system? mr speaker, i think one of the lessons from the brexit vote was that people wanted to see control over our immigration system. a immigration system designed in britain for our national interest, and that is certainly what we'll be setting out. a system that is based on an individual's skills and what they have to contribute, and not their nationality. you're watching monday in parliament with me david cornock. don't forget if you miss our daily round—up, orjust want to watch it again, you can catch up via the bbc iplayer. the sports direct founder
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mike ashley has warned there might not be a high street left by 2030. unless mps do something to check the internet retailers such as amazon. he said the high street woes weren't his fault. he said he was neither father christmas nor god. mr ashley was appearing before mps on the housing communities and local government committee. they also wanted to know more about plans for his latest acquisition: the department store, house of fraser. he took charge of that. he said that you're going to turn it "into the harrods of the high street" and you are hoping to keep about 59 stores open. there are many around the country that are anxious in terms of store closures. what factors would you take into consideration or will you take into consideration when deciding on whether to close a store? please. it is not possible you call me here today and quote that i said
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i would try and keep 59 stores open. i never, never, never said that. and you know it! this group here doesn't know... i never said i would keep 59 stores open. never, never, never. i've got a direct quote from you, you wanted to turn... the house of fraser into the harrod's of the high street and hope to keep 59 stores open. so somewhere someone is wrong. as many of the 59, and everyone knows i set a target of 80%. everybody knows i set a target of 80%. what person could keep 59 stores open? besides god. it's impossible. it cannot be done. why do you want to drag me to these committees and try to get me to commit to things that cannot be done? there is no point. let's be realistic. if i manage to save 80% of them, by the way that might be a godlike performance and before anybody says it i am not comparing
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myself to god... ok, brilliant. laughter. i don't think anybody else in the committee did either. every big retailers as the way to fix this is business rates and free parking. and where's that money going to come from? is not as simple as that though, is that? no. it is actually if you provide one that will provide it whether it is on the internet or in your store, buy an experience like you are saying. correct. but not enough experiences for the big retailers to suddenly offer overnight. what you have got to do is help them, by helping them help themselves. if you think about it, i said it earlier, sports direct won't be very pleased with me for my suggestion, it's not necessarily a good fix for sports direct as a group. what it is is a fantastic fix for the high street. and we have to realise, the high street won't make 2030, it's not going to be there,
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unless you do something really radical and grab the bulls by the horns, it won't be there. i'm sitting here voting to punish the group. that is not very normal. why would i do it? because if the high street miraculously... the minority now can be saved, in 2030, guess what? i might have a fabulous business still. otherwise, i'm just going to end up being a whip. like the vast majority of the high street. you really have to grab the bull by the horns, but now. and you cannot put in watered down version, because that won't work. mike ashley. the naturalist sir david attenborough has said climate change is humanity's greatest threat in thousands of years. he was speaking at the opening ceremony of united nations sponsored
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climate talks in poland. climate change was among the topics raised with the prime minister on her return from the g20 summit — the meeting of the leaders of the world's largest economies. as climate change is the biggest issue facing our world, it is imperative that a sustainable economic trade model is put forward that puts people and the planet over profit. on climate change, i made clear the uk's determination to lead the way on the serious threat this poses to our planet. we need a step change in preparing for temperature rises to cut the cost and impact of climate related disasters, and to secure food, water and jobs for the future. will the prime minister share with us an update on her government's actions of the past two years to tackle climate change? or has she been too distracted to get on with the real job of government? speaking today at the un climate summit, sir david attenborough told world leaders that the collapse of our civilizations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon. that is a very stark warning.
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i welcome the government's contribution to the renewable energy platform, but can the prime minister explain why the government is refusing to engage in the important fossil fuel subsidy peer review process, which is being led by the 620, despite the uk handing out billions to dirty energy every single year? can i say to the honourable lady that we do recognise the significance of climate change? we also recognise — she referenced a quote from david attenborough there — actually we recognise the importance of action in other areas as well, such as the protection of species around the world. that's why we held the conference in october here in the uk on the international wildlife trade, which is another aspect of the future of our world. and in relation to energy sources, we do believe in having a mixed economy in relation to those sources. mrs may was also pressed over the seizure of ukrainian ships by russia, and over her meeting with the crown prince of saudi arabia, mohammad bin salman, following the murder
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of the journalist jamal khashoggi. rather than be robust, as she promised, we learn the prime minister told the dictator "please don't use the weapons we are selling you in the war you're waging", and asked him nicely to investigate the murder he allegedly ordered. leaders should notjust offer warm words against human rights atrocities, but back up their words with action. we've been absolutely robust in our response in relation to the terrible murder ofjamal khashoggi, and very clear about the need for those responsible to be held to account. he referenced the war in yemen. i might remind the right honourable gentleman that the coalition intervention in yemen was actually requested by the legitimate government of yemen, and has been acknowledged by the united nations security council. 56,000 people killed, 14 million living through a humanitarian crisis in yemen. what is her price to ensure human
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rights are more important than blood money from the sale of arms? the question of providing for those people who are suffering terribly in yemen today is about ensuring that there is a political solution in yemen. that's what we believe — there is an opportunity for that now. that's what we have been encouraging all the parties to come together for. that is why the talks that are going to take place over the coming days and weeks in stockholm are so important. what executive actions beyond condemnation, the g20 partners agreed on russia's blatant and wholly unacceptable piracy in the sea of azov and the wider black sea? will she look at ways in which we can step up pressure on russia to release notjust the 24 sailors, but also the 68 other political prisoners held in occupied crimea and russia? this fits into a pattern of russian behaviour.
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we will indeed continue to press for appropriate action to be taken in these matters. as i've said in response to a previous question — the uk has been leading in the eu in pressing for sanctions, and we will continue to do so. i look forward to discussing with other eu leaders further steps that can be taken. the government was defeated in the house of lords over part of its counterterrorism bill. peers voted in support of a proposal to give greater safeguards to aid workers going into conflict areas. the bill includes a measure that could lead to a british national being jailed for ten years, if he or she visited a designated conflict zone without a reasonable excuse. it's not clear either what would count as proof of a legitimate reason for being in a designated area. would it be a letter on headed paper from the employer or more substantive evidence? and carrying such evidence in some form in and out of a war zone could pose security risks
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for the individual and those in the conflict area. and if the risks of going to a particular area are increased for uk nationals or residents, then their organisation, national or international, is less likely to want to send them. the police have been extremely clear for some time, since well before this new power was introduced, that any person returning from syria, who has travelled there — for any reason — can expect to be investigated to establish what risk — if any — they may pose. and this, my lords, is simply common sense, given the level of risk associated with such areas. but a few minutes later, the proposal to safeguard aid workers was passed by 220 votes to 191 — a government defeat by 29. also in the lords, ministers came under pressure to do more for disabled people travelling by air. two peers shared personal experience of the challenges some people
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with disabilities can face from airline and airport staff. a fortnight ago, i travelled from heathrow to madrid and back. my experience included staff telling me they couldn't lift my suitcase because they weren't insured to lift suitcases on check—in. and despite a large orange label on my chair saying "bring to the plane at madrid", when i arrived at madrid, i was told i didn't have a chair on the plane at all. i was then passed from pillar to post, ending up in a corner facing a concrete wall and dumped by staff trying to sort out what was going on. i ended up in tears while they tried to find my wheelchair. my lords, if this were an unusual occurrence it would be horrific, but it isn't. what's even more horrific is that this happens every single day to air passengers. charters, butter, no parsnips. when will the regulations be enforced and stop air travel being a ghetto for disabled people? hear, hear. my lords, i'm incredibly sorry to
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hear of the noble lady's experience. she is absolutely right that these occurrences happen far too often and that's what we need to change. today is the united nations international day of persons with disabilities. i think it's really important that we as a country continue to work with international forums to promote greater accessibility for flying for people with reduced mobility. one of the main reasons actually for some of these issues is the provision of information, particularly on inbound flights coming in and when people travel internationally, and that absolutely is something which we should get right and we will be working with our international partners to try to do so. isn't it about time that the security rules were proportionate to the services? my stepson, who's lost a leg some time ago, was forced to take his leg off, his prosthetic leg off in newquay airport in front of a lot of passengers and his family, when he was flying on that
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international service to the isles of scilly. now, for goodness' sake, surely there should be a rule to have a bit more common sense applied to such searches. my lords, as well as setting the right standards for service, we do need to, of course, make sure that all staff are properly trained and properly trained tp address these issues. —— to. we are including a proposed measure for training programme to improve disability awareness for all customer facing staff, be that the border or for ground handlers, but absolutely including security staff as well. and that brings us to the end of monday in parliament. thank you for watching. alicia mccarthy will be your guide to the day in parliament for the rest of the week. but from me, david cornock, bye for now. hello.
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a quieter, colder spell of weather for tuesday, but then the weather gets more active again from midweek. yes, it'll get milder, but it'll also turn wetter and windier once again. but at least for tuesday, we are in a gap between weather systems. here's the next one coming in, really isn't much of an issue though until we get to tuesday night and wednesday. but in that gap between weather systems, temperatures dropping away to give a widespread frost for tuesday morning, as low as —6 in highland scotland. a few mist and fog patches around as well, and ice a potential hazard across northern and western parts of scotland, where we've seen a few showers overnight, wintry on hills, and there is more to come, at least during the first part of tuesday. but for many for much of the day, it is dry, it is sunny, but yes, it's cold. the cold enhanced by the increasing cloud, though, across southern and south—western parts. as we go on through the day, some rain into the far south—west by the end of the day may see double figures here, but most of us around four to seven degrees. but again, through parts of highland scotland,
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there will be some places hovering close to freezing. and on through tuesday evening and night, here comes the rain, slowly pushing northwards through more of england, wales, into northern ireland. ahead of that weather system, temperatures are dropping away again, for a frost, coldest again in highland scotland. some fog patches, it becomes less cold though from the south, where you see that rain moving in. and then for wednesday, there's some uncertainty about how far north the wet weather will get. could well see some snow though into the pennines, the southern uplands, and if it gets that far north, into the higher ground north of the central belt. much of northern scotland, though, looking to stay dry and cold. elsewhere, it is less cold where you're seeing the wetter, breezier conditions. the rain will clear away from northern ireland, but a big range of temperatures from north to south across the uk. now, as we look at the bigger picture for thursday and friday, further weather fronts on thursday, so further outbreaks of rain pushing eastwards, but we're really focusing on friday as a deepening area of low pressure comes across the northern half of the uk. so it's here we're going to see the strongest winds, particularly affecting parts of scotland, northern ireland,
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northern england, irish sea coasts, with gales or even severe gales in places, potentially destructive winds, and along with that, there'll be some more wet weather around as well and some snowfall, particularly into the hills of scotland. so we are monitoring that weather system very closely. i will provide you with further updates. but this is how the rest of the week is shaping up. after the colder, drier, sunnier tuesday, it will be turning wetter, very windy, potentially stormy at the end of the week, but it will be turning milder for all of us for a time. welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers
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in north america and around the globe. my name is mike embley. our top stories: a crucial summit on climate change, a warning that our civilisation, and much of the natural world, risks collapse. a call to action from the naturalist and bbc presenter david attenborough. if we don't take action, the collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon. president trump pays his respects to george hw bush, whose body is lying in state in the us capitol rotunda. british mps are to vote on whether the government is in contempt of parliament by not publishing the legal advice it's received about the prime minister's brexit deal. mexico's new president creates a truth commission to investigate the kidnapping and killing of 43 students.


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