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tv   The Week in Parliament  BBC News  December 17, 2018 2:30am-3:01am GMT

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north korea has condemned the us state department for imposing new sanctions on its officials, warning of a possible permanent block on any denuclearisation. sanctions were imposed on three north korean officials on monday after reports of press censorship and people being imprisoned for watching foreign films. an explosion at a restaurant in the northern japanese city of sapporo has injured more than forty people, at least one seriously. it's not known what caused the blast but people living nearby reported a strong smell of gas in the area before it happened. a brazilian faith healer accused of sexual abuse by more than 300 women has handed himself in to the police. joao teixeira de faria, known as "john of god" went on the run on friday, after an arrest warrant was issued. he denies the accusations. now on bbc news, a look back at the week in parliament. hello and welcome to the week
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in parliament, your backstop to the most turbulent dramatic week at westminster since the last one. the parliamentary party does have confidence. the prime minister survives an attempt to force her out. but that wasn't the meaningful vote mps had been expecting. this house agreed to five days of debate. this house agreed when the vote was going to take place. amid chaos, an mp removes a symbol of royal authority in protest. shouting order. put it back. no, no, no, no. this was a week of two votes, one that happened, one that didn't. theresa may saw off an attempted coup by her own mps but only after promising not to lead them into the next election. even then, more than
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a third voted against her. that vote was prompted by her decision to pull the vote parliament expected on her brexit deal. as late as monday morning, ministers insisted the vote scheduled for tuesday was going ahead. then suddenly it wasn't. the prime minister told mps she detected concern about what the deal would mean for northern ireland as a result. if we went ahead and held the vote tomorrow, the deal would be rejected by a significant margin. we will therefore defer the vote scheduled for tomorrow and not proceed to divide the house at this time. but mr speaker, if you take a step back, it is clear that this house faces a much more fundamental question. does this house want to deliver brexit? members: o-o-oh! laughter. hubub.
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and clear a clear message from the snp. but if the house does, does it want to do so through reaching an agreement with the eu? if the answer is yes and i believe that is the answer with the majority of this house. we all have to ask ourselves whether we're prepared to make a compromise because there will be no enduring and successful brexit without some compromise on both sides of the debate. the government is in disarray. uncertainty is building for business. people are in despair at this stage of these failed negotiations. i'm concerned about what it means about theirjobs their livelihood and their communities. and the fault for that lies solely at the door of this shambolic government. the prime minister is trying to buy herself one last chance to save this deal. if she doesn't take on board the fundamental changes required
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then she must make way for those who can. the speaker wasn't impressed either. halting the debate after no fewer than 164 colleagues have taken the trouble to contribute will be thought by many members of this house to be deeply discourteous. i politely suggest that in any courteous, respectful and mature environment, allowing the house to have a say, its say, on this matter would be the right and dare i say it the obvious course to take. but the government chose not to take the obvious course, annoying its own side in the process. the whole house wanted to debate this. we wanted to vote on it.
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the people expected us to vote on it and the government have gone and run away and hidden in the toilets. people watching this on television will be confused and bemused and very, very angry at the way their own parliament has let them down. the government front bench should literally be ashamed of themselves. i simply do not agree with my honourable friend's assessment. so, on tuesday, the government had an emergency debate about why they weren't having a debate on the brexit deal and the so—called meaningful vote. by wednesday, enough conservative mps had submitted letters of no confidence in the prime minister to trigger a ballot on her future. it was almost business as usual at prime minister's questions. mr speaker, today, i will have meetings, possibly many
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meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. terry mccarthy. just a normal day in the office, then, prime minister. jeremy corbyn had another vote on his mind. can she now confirm that we will have the concluding days of debates and votes within the next seven days before the house rises for the christmas recess? if he says... well, i'll tell all members on the other side — we've had a meaningful vote, we had it in the referendum in 2016. and if he wants a meaningful date, i'll give him one. 20th march 2019 when we leave the european union. jeremy corbyn. totally and absolutely unacceptable to this house in every way. this house agreed a programme motion. this house agreed the five days of debate. this house agreed when the vote
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was going to take place. the government tried to unilaterally pull that and deny this house, deny this house the chance of a vote on this crucial matter. the prime minister and the government have already been found to be in contempt of parliament. her behaviour today is just contemptuous of this parliament. this government is a farce. the tory party is in chaos. the prime minister is a disgrace for those actions. the reality is that people across scotland and the uk are seeing this today. prime minister, take responsibility, do the right thing, resign. theresa may said deferring the vote proved she'd been listening. her tory critics largely stayed silent during question time.
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a former cabinet colleague who once described her as a bloody difficult woman weighed in with his support. can my right honourable friend think of anything more unhelpful, irrelevant and irresponsible than for the conservative party to embark on weeks of a conservative leadership bid? cheering. well, can i say too... can i say, too... my right honourable and learned friend has raised an important issue and i think it is the impact that those weeks of that campaign would have on the decision that the house has to take and the decision that we have to take as a country, in relation to leaving the european union, because there is no doubt that would go beyond the legislative date of 21st of january and it would mean that the new leader, were a new leaders come in, one of the first things they would have to do would be to either extend article 50 or rescind article 50
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and that would mean either delaying or stopping brexit. smaller opposition parties try to put pressure on the largest — labour — to call a house of commons vote of no confidence in the whole government. does the prime ministerjudge that is more welcome or more appropriate to face a no confidence motion from her backbenchers or from the leader of the opposition? i say to the right honourable gentleman that is not... obviously we have one of those which is going to to take place. and so the most meaningful vote of the week did take place not in the chamber but in a commons committee room. the result of the ballot held this evening is that the parliamentary party does have confidence... cheering. the number of votes cast in favour
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of having confidence in theresa may was 200, and against was 117. that reaction suggested theresa may's victory left many questions unanswered, some of which were put to the leader of the house on thursday. it's the morning after the night before and as the handover starts to kick in, they'll all be asking themselves just what on earth did we get up to last night? as we survey the wreckage of the night of mayhem, we now find we have a prime minister who only has the confidence of 200 members of this house. a lame duck prime minister who would give water filled with walking sticks a bad name. the prime minister won 63% of the vote, and that was against 37% who didn't support her. and that means she won that vote by a significant majority. she is deliberately pursuing a policy of running down the clock
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and spending taxpayers‘ money in order to blackmail parliament into supporting her deal. can i tell her now, it will not work. i would like to know when oh when are we going to get to have our meaningful vote? and as i've said and as my right honourable friend the chancellor of the duchy of lancaster said, at the very latest by 21st january. downing street said later that the vote wouldn't take place before christmas. and after all that, theresa may is still in number ten. but what does her win in that confidence vote mean for her brexit plans? has anything changed ? who better to ask than dr catherine haddon, who's a senior fellow at the institute for government. it doesn't change the arithmetic that she already faced. i'm not sure how much it will take to change her relationship with her party. 0ne assumes that many of the people that voted no confidence were many of the people that were likely to have had
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a problem with the deal, the reason why she pulled that on monday. so in that sense no. i think it changes things slightly for her, depending on how she uses it. because obviously they can't now use the leadership vote of confidence, the conservative party vote of confidence, to try and oust her for another year. so she knows that she's safe at least from that point of view. but, no, it doesn't change anything in terms of what she's got to do to try and get the deal through parliament. so it gives us some breathing space but not a lot because she has told us that vote is going to take place before january 21st. that's right. january 21st was this all important date whereby the government had to bring a deal or at least inform if it hadn't got a deal and was likely to end up having a no deal situation. now, back in the early 1970s, another conservative prime minister, ted heath, got britain into the european economic community as it was then with the votes of opposition labour mp. could theresa may take a leaf out of his book? it's always been one
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of the possibilities open to her. we know that there's all sorts of different factions in parliament at the moment and they completely cross party boundaries at the moment, there's various little groups and factions and so forth who are looking for different deals. and we've been seeing that with the kind of amendments that have been put down in the kind of groupings of mps who are getting together notjust in parliament but also on twitter and elsewhere to try and sort of push their vision of what we could do now. so she's always had a different range of options of people she could go to, some of whom could be labour mps. and thus far she seems to have focused on her core vote which is trying to hold the conservative party together and the all important dup votes to try and get over the line. but, you know, if the reports have all been true in the run—up to last weekend and the expected meaningful vote, there is a core rump of conservative mps who are unlikely to support her deal, whatever shape it comes back in. the dup is another question, how she responds to that, tries to bring the confidence and supply agreement back on board.
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we don't know. now, she survived one vote of confidence in her own party. why haven't labour moved a vote of confidence in parliament to try to force her out? i think the key must be that they don't think they can win it at the moment because they would need, again, either some conservatives to vote down their own government, which is a very big deal, it's different from the vote of confidence that they had in their own conservative party rules. it's different indeed from the vote of contempt that we saw as well that was won against the government because it would basically be bringing down your own government. it would be bringing about a general election very likely unless they could win a second vote of confidence. it's a very sort of serious thing to do — to bring down your own government, and to say to the world you know i as a conservative mp have no confidence in my own government. it's a very different thing.
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so i think labour must feel they can't win it at the moment. and i think they must only want to go for it if they feel that they can. jeremy corbyn said he'd move a vote of confidence at the appropriate time but it sounds like we shouldn't really hold our breath. i think it seems unlikely to happen before the christmas recess. the house breaks next thursday and also even if labour put down a motion at this point, it's time for the government to timetable it. the usual practise is that that would happen very early. it would be happening under a different system of rules than previous votes of confidence that we've seen in the past. so when the government would be wanting to timetable a vote like that, whether they could do it very quickly or whether they would want a bit more time — you go back to the the last time we have votes of confidence, which is the late 1970s, you would see a week or so at least which allowed the government time to try and build up support, create deals. in 1977, they managed to get their own sort of confidence
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and supply agreement with the liberals, which kept them in power for another two years. catherine haddon, thank you very much indeed. catherine haddon. time now for a breatherfrom brexit. we all need one now and again. and a brief look at a few other goings—on around westminster. a ban on the sale of ivory in the uk has moved a step closer, after the ivory bill finished its parliamentary journey. around 20,000 african elephants are killed by poachers each year for their ivory tusks. the bill aims to curb elephant poaching and a growing black market in ivory. but there were warnings that more needs to be done to preserve the world's wildlife. whether it be elephants, or whether it be whales, whether it be giraffes, whether it be any sort of species like this. unless we wake up as a world, these animals are going to be extinct. the problems at birmingham prison that followed a riot there two years
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ago led the prison service to take it back temporarily from the private company gas. mps on thejustice committee wants to know more about the government's plans. minister, will you be handing the prison back to gas on 20 january as planned? not if that prison is not a stable, clean, safe, decent prison. we will not be handing that prison back unless we are absolutely confident that that prison is now fully under control, and g45 is able to run a safe, decent, clean prison in the future. back to wildlife, and pygmy elephants, tigers, and orangutans are three of the species being hit by the world's increasing use of palm oil. it's used in everything from pizza to chocolate, shampoo to lipstick. in westminster hall, mps debated a petition signed by more than 80,000 people calling for products containing unsustainably—sourced palm oil to be banned. we are acting domestically,
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but we will continue to press for global and concerted action across all the areas to ensure that we're successful. that's why we will continue to support business, other governments, and civil society to develop methods of productions that are environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable. and we will continue to act on that, so that genuinely we can do our best to leave the global environment in a better condition for the next generation. a former health minister launched an attempt to legalise cannabis. norman lamb said the government's decision to allow some patients to access cannabis—based medicines didn't go far enough. another constituent who has rapidly advancing parkinson's disease also uses cannabis. it's the only thing that helps him. he has also been told by his gp that he can't be referred to a specialist for cannabis to be prescribed. so we leave this man, who is acutely unwell, having to break the law in order to get relief from pain.
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this is surely cruel and inhuman. but his bill was blocked by mps. back to brexit now, there's no escape, and a bruising encounter for civil service mandarins before mps on the public administration and constitutional affairs select committee. they've been trying to find out what impact planning for brexit is having on the other things in the government's in—tray. some departments, for example, have paused some of their other domestic policy agenda in order to focus their attention on planning for 29 march, and that partly reflects the nature of their brexit portfolio, if you like, compared to others, in some of the cases, we're releasing officials to do so. each department essentially needs to make its ownjudgments between the secretary of state and the permanent secretary about what their capacity is to deliver. but essentially, the brexit agenda is incorporated alongside the rest
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of the department's agenda. in some cases, we've had increases in resources, and i think we'll be familiar with some of the numbers on that. but then, they have to prioritise within that, and mainstream as much as they can of the work to navigate their particular portfolios through the brexit transition. 0ne brexit—supporting mp complained about the chief executive of the civil service referring to leaving the eu without a deal as a "disorderly brexit". i'm just concerned that the use of expressions like that may be, if you're like communicating a lack of readiness on the part of the government and the civil service, and may also be causing some concern among those who are expecting the government and the civil service to deliver an orderly brexit, whether it's negotiated or not. so, when i negotiated brexit, we'd have two more years to make it more orderly than we will if we don't have a negotiated brexit.
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well, that's at least the basis of the agreement so... forgive my intrrupting, but to repeat, it's been perfectly obvious since before we served the article 50 notice that we might leave without a deal. so surely, the contingency of leaving without a deal should be something that was planned for. well, as i've mentioned, we've hired 15,000 people in order to prepare for all of this. it's because, as i've said, there will be consequences without a deal, which will not be fully mitigated, such as the border that we've just spent some time talking about. but those are things that you can plan for, and you can make contingencies for. i have to say, i really think that the use of expression such as "disorderly brexit" by some... should i say "less orderly"? it really does concern me, because you used it as if it was an expression that was in currency in the civil service generally. i really think that that is really
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worrying, and i really do wonder whether it's an expression you should continue using. some orderly arguments there on the committee corridor. now as westminster remains obsessed by brexit and talk of theresa may's leadership, politicians in other parts of the uk have been getting on with their dayjobs. in cardiff, where labour's been in power for almost 20 years, labor's mark dra keford, jeremy corbyn supporter was sworn in as the new first minister of wales, replacing carwynjones. it is, as you all know from yesterday's proceedings, an enormous privilege to lead a political party here in wales, and even more so to be nominated and elected as first minister in the national assembly. i am absolutely conscious both of the opportunity and the responsibility which comes with this position. at holyrood, scotland's finance
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minister told msps he wouldn't pass on the tax break for higher earners announced by the chancellor in his uk budget. and bailing his scottish budget, derek mackay said it wasn't a time to cut taxes for higher rate payers. protecting the lowest paid taxpayers and proving progressivity, raising additional revenue for public services, and protecting the scottish economy. i have decided this year that i will not increase any of the rates of income tax. tax rates will remain the same. and as a result, 99% of all taxpayers will see no increase in the tax they pay. however, in 2019—20, i'll increase the staff on basic rate bonds by inflation to protect our lowest and middle—earning taxpayers. the higher rate threshold will be frozen. this will ensure that 55% of scottish taxpayers
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continue to pay less than they would if they lived elsewhere in the uk, and scotland will continue to be the lowest—taxed part of the uk. some stories now from the wider world of politics. here's ryan brown with our countdown. at five, theresa may has car problems on the road to brexit this week. after the prime minister's backstop tour of europe, it's unclear how many doors remain open for negotiations. at four, an early christmas present for radio 4 listeners from greater manchester. with big ben still out of commission, the traditional bongs will be from the bells of rochdale town hall this christmas eve. at three, unlike other members of parliament, borisjohnson seems underwhelmed by the government's decision to delay the meaningful vote. at two, leader for house andrea leadsom announces the new edition will be publicly available for the first time online. if you're stuck for stocking fillers, you can pick up a hard copy of the guide
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to parliamentary practise forjust a few hundred pounds. and at one... 0rder, put it back! no, no, no... snp mp mary back sums up monday's shenanigans. and see that they won't pull the votes to them through the vote and use the archaic processes of this place to prevent a vote on whether to have their original vote pulled showsjust how much of a rankle this government has gotten itself into. and to top it all off, that they've finished with a woman wielding a sword chasing after the guy stealing... laughter. 2018, as you may have noticed, is the centenniary year of some women gaining the vote in the uk. and they voted for the first time in the general election held on december 1a, 1918. to mark that anniversary, parliament has launched an exhibition. "209 women", featuring images of the current 209 women mps shot by female photographers. it's on until february,
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and you can book tickets via the website. and there were celebrations in manchester, where a statue to the suffragette leader emilie pankhurst was unveiled in her home city. and that reminder of the campaign to win women the vote brings us to the end of another extraordinary, if occasionally nebulous, week in parliament. thank you for watching. i'll be back on monday on bbc parliament at 11pm with the latest news. theresa may's due to update mp's on the brussels summit and those brexit talks. i do hope you'll be able to join me then. bye for now. the weather will look very different
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to the weather we had last week. cold airfrom to the weather we had last week. cold air from the near continent. cold air from the near continent. cold air from the near continent. cold air pushing end. weather coming in from the atlantic. this area of cloud will bring some rain in this area has already brought some rain. the sky is clear. quite chilly by the morning. temperatures close enough for a touch of frost and maybe some icy patches. plenty of sunshine and lighter winds. further west, winds picking up, cloud increasing and eventually some patchy rain and drizzle as well not the winds may be touching galeforce. mild. milder than sunday. the winds may be touching galeforce.
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mild. milderthan sunday. further ahead, this area of low pressure will bring showers but for the time being it is pushing in that weather front and a band of rain. when the start to monday. and tuesday. heavy rain, especially over the hills and with some snow melt in scotland may be some localised flooding. we may see some improvement in northern ireland stop it takes all day for the rain to arrive here. rain out of the rain to arrive here. rain out of the way overnight and on wednesday we see the area of low pressure approaching the uk and that will be the focus for the showers. good spells of such an around on wednesday. showers here from the word go. then towards northern ireland and out into the irish sea and parts of england and wales. temperatures are lower on wednesday but still pretty good. that low
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pressure is going to dominate our weather as we move into thursday. not a particularly deep area and in fa ct not a particularly deep area and in fact the pressure is rising so the showers will be turning fewer and some sunny showers will be turning fewer and some sunny spells. a bit more sunshine in scotland and eastern parts of england. temperatures on thursday much like those of wednesday. if they feel that they can. welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers
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in north america and around the globe. my name is reged ahmad. our top stories: north korea warns the us that imposing new sanctions could halt any de—nuclearisation for good. police injapan investigate after a blast at a restaurant leaves at least a0 people injured. the manhunt ends for a brazilian faith healer accused of sexually assaulting hundreds of women, after he turns himself in. vladimir putin goes head to head with russian rappers. we'll find out what's the beef.


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