tv BBC News at Nine BBC News March 29, 2019 9:00am-9:31am GMT
you're watching bbc news at nine, with me, annita mcveigh. the headlines: on the 29th march, the day the uk was due to leave the eu, mps are voting yet again on a plan for brexit, nearly three years after the referendum. the serious issue here is can we deliver us parliament on what the voters instructed us to do way back in 2016? that is a clear democratic and very important decision we take today. what theresa may has done is to cut the deal in half and to present one half without the other. the bit she has cut off is the bit that tells you where you are heading. mrs bay —— micro mrs may battles with brexit deal with a warning that
defeat today could mean a lengthy delay to brexit. in other news, in new zealand, more than 20,000 people attend a national remembrance service in christchurch for the 50 people shot dead in two mosques a fortnight ago. and at a rally, donald trump accuses his political opponents of using the investigation into alleged russian collusion to try to seize power illegally. good morning and welcome to the bbc news at nine. today is the day the uk was due to leave the eu. but in westminster, the prime minister is still trying to get mps to back her brexit deal. this time, they'll only be voting
on one half of her proposal — and if it doesn't pass, they have just two weeks to come up with another plan. today's motion is an amendable, which allows mps to put forward their own changes to it. it will be up to the speaker if he accepts any of the amendments, and he'll announce them at the start of the debate at half past nine this morning. once the debate is finished, mps will then get a chance to vote on any amendments and then the motion itself. we should know the result by about half past two this afternoon. if the withdrawal agreement is approved, they'll have met the requirements to push exit day back to 22 may. but under current law, it won't be enough to ratify the deal, because only one part would be approved. the government would either have to pass part two of the deal — the political declaration on the future relationship — at a later date, or change the law so that it is not needed to ratify the treaty.
norman smith is in central lobby at the houses of parliament. even those who predicted the least orderly sort of brexit probably could not have imagined that on the very day the uk was due to leave the eu, mps would still be voting on a plan? it is a huge day today. all right, it is not the meaningful vote but it is a very important vote for mrs may on it hinges whether she can secure more time to get her brexit deal through. giving her until may 22, the crucial breathing space in which to try and win over those members of the european research group and the dup still holding out against her deal. if she fails, and the odds are she probably will fail, then it opens up the possibility, maybe even
probability, that parliament will press for a lengthy delay to brexit. as my colleague ian watson now reports. this was the day when britain was due to leave the european union, but instead, theresa may is trying to break the deadlock over her deal. she used to say no deal is better than a bad deal. today her message to mps is, in effect, half a deal is better than no deal. she has already had two defeats, so she's trying a different approach. she is splitting the deal in two. mps will vote on the withdrawal agreement, or divorce bill. that settles a leading bill of £39 billion and guarantees citizens‘ rights. mps will not vote on the political declaration on our future relationship with the eu. the government says if the withdrawal agreement alone goes through, the eu will extend brexit to may 22. but if it doesn't... we would have until the 12th to tell the eu what on earth happens next, and that takes us into another soft
brexit, or not leaving the eu at all, or potentially a general election. but labour will not back even the stripped down deal. what the prime minister has tried to do is do something that she denied she would do on the 14th ofjanuary, and that is separate the withdrawal agreement from the political declaration for the future arrangements. well, you cannot separate them because, otherwise, you move into a blindfold brexit on the basis of the withdrawal agreement. and her usual allies, northern ireland's dup, say they will not support the prime minister either. so instead of leaving the eu today, how, if, and exactly when brexit will take place, remains uncertain. iain watson, bbc news, westminster. todayis today is not just today is notjust about today is not just about trying today is notjust about trying to find more time for mrs may to get a deal through. it is also to craft a message to the public who have been told again and again by mrs may that today was the day when we are going
today was the day when we are going to leave the eu. now mrs may has in effect has to say, sorry, that is not happening, but i promise you we are leaving in may 22. even though for many that will be a hard message to stomach. here was andrea leadsom speaking about that. i'm very much hoping so. this really is such an iconic day. it is march the 29th. we were due to be leaving the european union today, and ijust urge all colleagues, this is to approve the withdrawal agreement, which is what the eu needs to have us approve in order to give us the extension to get the legislation done, so this really is the last chance and i would urge all colleagues to take it. thanks very much. pa rt part of the politics of this is to try and take off the table the option of a long delay because the argument goes if mrs may secures the guarantee of going to may 22, that enabled her to go beyond the cut—off point of april the 12th, by which
time the eu say we will have had to ask for a long delay if that is what we want. in other words, to try and ensure that the idea of buying more time to pursue a customs union or another referendum, that is no longer possible. in effect, it becomes mrs may's deal or nothing. that has infuriated labour, with sir kier starmer this morning accusing mrs may of a cynical political ploy. what theresa may has done is to cut the deal in half and present one half without the other. the bit that she has cut off is the bit that tells you where you're heading, the political declaration. that's never going to work. don't take my word for it. the prime minister, injanuary, when she first put her deal up to vote, said you've got to have both halves. the two go together. you can't back one without the other, you can't leave without knowing where you are going. so, she has turned her own argument completely on their head in this desperate last bid to get something over the line.
joining me now is conservative mp mark webber, —— mark harper, who is going to support the prime minister. let me put it to you that today is just political gamesmanship? no, i think it is incredibly important. i voted against this deal twice. that it was the first time i voted against my party leadership for the 14 years i have been here. the conclusion i have reached is the fa ct conclusion i have reached is the fact i think it is clear the prime minister is not up for leaving the european union without a deal. my view is if we don't get at this withdrawal agreement approved, we are never going to leave. if we have to have a long extension, then i think the numbers in parliament will mean we think the numbers in parliament will mean we are never think the numbers in parliament will mean we are never going to leave the eu. if we don't deliver on that promise to the british people, they won't forgive us. the stakes today are if mrs may is defeated, the probability is that parliament will
ask for a long delay. what is at issue today is whether we leave on may 22, or we head towards a long delay? that is right. a long delay means we delay? that is right. a long delay means we will never leave. from my own party, and that is —— of this is aimed at my colleagues, the danger is that next week we have some more indicative votes on monday. 0rder papers being taken over by largely opposition mps. we will end up with the house legislating for a customs union, forcing the conservative government to argue for it, which is opposed by 75% of conservative mps. a government of one political party doing something fundamentally opposed by most of its mps will not end well. the problem is you may have come over but there are some of your colleagues, the european research group, who have resigned themselves to voting against whatever theresa may does, and you have the dup saying they will not support it, you are going to lose
tonight? i don't know how the numbers will shape up. my message to my colleagues is if we don't get this done now, and there is a long extension, my judgment is, this done now, and there is a long extension, myjudgment is, and it is myjudgment, extension, myjudgment is, and it is my judgment, people can extension, myjudgment is, and it is myjudgment, people can reach their own conclusions, i think we will never leave. 0ur voters will not forgive us. that is what they need to reflect on today. labour mps forgive us. that is what they need to reflect on today. labour mp5 from areas of the country who voted to leave also need to reflect on how they will explain to their constituents that they are not delivering on the promise they made in their manifesto. let me put it to you that actually may be mrs may, her own position is at stake today, because if she loses she would in all probability be forced to either accept a long delay, going past the european elections, or a customs union, both of which she has set her face against. it is surely inconceivable she could remain and implement those policies? she made
it clear she is going to step down when we leave the european union, hopefully on the 22nd of may, anyway. it is worse than that for my own colleagues to think about. if
the house of commons passes a law which would definitely be agreed by the house of lords, that would make it the law that a government would have to negotiate a customs union, it wouldn'tjust have to negotiate a customs union, it wouldn't just be theresa may having to implement that, it would be whichever conservative leader that follows her. as i said, they would have no choice because it would have no choice because it would be the law. a government delivering something most of its mps do not want to do, is not going to end well. that is what my colleagues need to think about today when they are asked to vote on this very important decision. does that mean a general election becomes a real possibility? i don't think it does in the sense that i don't think conservative mps will vote for a general election, certainly not in the near future, because of the fixed—term parliaments act mps have to vote to have an election. but i
don't think it will end well because we don't think it will end well because we would have to support a commitment but it will not end well. that is
something for my colleagues to reflect on today until 2:30pm. 0ne to reflect on today until 2:30pm. one of the things i learned as chief whip is it is not over until the votes are right out. there is time for colleagues to change their minds. i would encourage all of those who plan on supporting the government today to think about it before 2pm and to do so in order to deliver brexit. isn't there another dangerfrom holding deliver brexit. isn't there another danger from holding this vote on the withdrawal agreement in that it will strengthen the likelihood that the speaker, when mrs may brings back a meaningful vote, may well conclude you have already voted on the withdrawal agreement, you are bringing it back again with no changes but basically it is the same motion. it strengthens the likelihood, the speaker will say, you can't have your meaningful vote.
in other words, she has her vote today but the price of that may be for closing on the option of having a meaningful vote? we for closing on the option of having a meaningfulvote? we need to for closing on the option of having a meaningful vote? we need to get the withdrawal agreement approved. the government can bring in a bill that will implement it, put it into uk law. we can then consider that in detail and make progress. a number of my colleagues want to move on to that next stage. the speaker has demonstrated on some matters he follows president and on others he doesn't. we should make our decisions based on the facts in front of us, not what he does. what he has shown is he is prepared to facilitate those in the house of commons who are trying to stop us delivering the brexit process na manifesto. we shouldn't give him or that opportunity. a lot of criticism of the failed attempts of mps on wednesday to come up with an agreed consensus. there are clearly signs of them trying to get their act
together. how realistic do you assess the possibility that on monday mps will actually come up with a consensus around some kind of compromise customs union proposal? there is a high chance. it was only eight votes away from getting over the line. i think those people that supported the emotions that were lower down the pecking order are likely to roll in behind it. they will take control of the order paper. they have the numbers to do so on paper. they have the numbers to do so on wednesday. they will be able to pass a bill, which will be approved by the house of lords. it will then be the law that the government has to implement a customs union. that would be something my colleagues would very much regret. it would damage the government and would not deliver on out government and would not deliver on our promises, lock us into trading arrangements over which we have no say, and we may be forced to do so. i think the opportunity to avoid thatis i think the opportunity to avoid that is to vote with the government today in favour of the withdrawal
agreement, and then we can leave the european union a little bit later than promised, but as promised, on the 22nd of may. mark harper, thank you. i know it is complicated but it is high—stakes friday because what is high—stakes friday because what is at issue today is one, whether mrs may can buy some more time to get a deal through, two, if she can't, whether we are then heading inexorably towards a much longer delay to brexit. and three, if the prime minister can possibly survive that. are all very big questions as mps consider the prime minister's latest attempt to get her plan through today. in the last few moments we have heard from the chair of the pro brexit european research group, jacob rees—mogg. this is the day we should have been leaving the european union. we should have been leaving at 11 o'clock this evening and it is a great failure we are not leaving. we
should have left without a deal at 11 o'clock. that is what people expected. will you be spending the morning trying to persuade your collea g u es morning trying to persuade your colleagues to vote for the deal? no, people make up their own minds. what is your message to the doubters?” am not giving any message. it is a difficult decision and people will make up their own minds according to their feeling as to whether mrs may's deeply unsatisfactory deal is closer to brexit than potentially a two—year delay. that is the dilemma we are facing. will today be the dale that we lose brexit? that is my concern. if i turn out to be right oi’ concern. if i turn out to be right or not is another matter. lets get the latest reaction from brussels from adam fleming. eu officials saying that if this deal is not passed today, then the
president of the european commission will be calling an emergency summit in the days before april 12? yes, there was a meeting yesterday in brussels with the ambassadors from the other 27 eu countries, senior officials from the european council where they as was michelle barney, and the secretary general of the european commission. they discussed lots of issues. they talked about what happens if the withdrawal agreement was not approved by the deadline of midnight tonight, which was agreed by mrs may last week. basically how it looks like the next few weeks will pan out is that donald tusk the president of the european council will call an emergency summit of eu leaders in the days before the 12th of april, which was the next deadline agreed by theresa may and eu leaders. and they are the leaders will make a choice. is it now deal on the 12th of april and the uk leaves with no withdrawal agreement or political declaration in place? 0r
withdrawal agreement or political declaration in place? or have the conditions been met for another extension to the brexit process? the extension to the brexit process? the extension that was being kicked about in that meeting yesterday was about in that meeting yesterday was a longer extinction to the end of the year or the start of next year, that sort of duration, which require two things. a clear plan from the uk about what it is going to do, why this extension is happening. and also, the uk taking part in the european parliament elections, which are due to take place on the 23rd of may, which the uk would have to signal its approval it was taking pa rt signal its approval it was taking part in those elections by the 11th of april. sorry to fire lots of dates at you but that is the plan beam that the eu is sketching out if the withdrawal agreement is not approved today. —— plan b.” the withdrawal agreement is not approved today. -- plan b. i know there has also been a discussion about the sort of pledges the uk would have to make in order to come back to the table in the event of a no—deal brexit. tell us about that?
the eu has been working on contingency issues if the uk leaves without a deal. it is a set of bare—bones arrangements for things like aviation, road haulage, some stuff on the citizens‘ rights, some stuff on the citizens‘ rights, some stuff in financial services, something about the eu budget. but these are bare—bones things. what people on the eu side are saying is, thatis people on the eu side are saying is, that is not a sound basis for the future relationship, whatever it ends up being, between the uk and the eu that has to be salvaged from the eu that has to be salvaged from the scenario. people on this side of the scenario. people on this side of the channel are starting to think, what would the conditions be for the eu and the uk sitting down together after no deal has happened, and trying to hammer out some sort of future relationship between the two? there probably will have to be something because those bare—bones agreements either are too bare—bones, they don‘t provide enough of a —— basis for the
relationship between the economies, and those contingency plans on aviation, road transport etc, they have end points. they don‘t last forever. they were starting to be a discussion now under what circumstances you can get the two sides back around the table. the eu seems to be saying they want a pledge from the uk on citizens‘ rights, the rights of eu nationals living in the uk and uk nationals living in the uk and uk nationals living in the eu. the —— the eu budget and the uk contribution to that, and the irish border. those we re that, and the irish border. those were the three key issues from the very, very first phase of the brexit talks. we would be right back to square talks. we would be right back to square one, where we were at talks. we would be right back to square one, where we were at the start of the negotiations, but in a very, very different, radically different context, as michelle barney described it yesterday. thank you. adam fleming in brussels. plenty more on brexit throughout the day. they will be a special programme on bbc one and the bbc news channel to bring you the
results of the vote in the house of commons from quarter past two. now to other news. more than 20,000 people have attended an open air service in christchurch, to remember the 50 people shot dead by a gunman in two mosques. new zealand‘s prime minister, jacinda ardern, was greeted with a standing ovation as she condemned what she called a "vicious cycle of extremism". hywel griffiths reports. linda susan armstrong. musa nur awale... the names of the fallen, the 50 who came to pray. as new zealand remembered the victims of the mosque shootings, its prime minister called on the nation to stay united, far beyond these days of mourning. we will remember the tears of our nation and the new resolve we have formed, and we remember that ours is a home that does not and cannot claim
perfection, but we can strive to be true to the words embedded in our national anthem. two weeks ago, parts of this park were a crime scene. today, it was a place of reflection and resilience. adeeb sami was shot in the back as he hugged his son, shielding him from the bullets. he watched the gunman walk around the mosque, hunting down the living. this is my wife... but he tells me the legacy of that day will be love, not hate. if the shooter could imagine that this would happen, he would never shoot us. we became more unified, and the community is one, you feel that christchurch is one city, new zealand one country, and by the way, it — i'm sure it will change the world. the al noor mosque has now been reclaimed as a place of worship, rather than fear. but armed police officers
still stand guard over this city as it tries to recover, to heal. hywel griffith, bbc news, christchurch. president trump has held his first political rally since the end of the investigation into alleged collusion between his election campaign and russia. he said the claims had been the single biggest hoax in the history of politics, and called for officials and politicians to be held accountable. the russia witch—hunt was a plan by those who lost the election to try and legally regain power by framing innocent americans, many of them, they suffered, with an elaborate hoax. the debate over how the uk and the eu should split up has divided families and friends so on the day we were due to leave the union. graham satchell has been meeting people who are looking for ways
to heal those wounds. i think the country is divided in a way that i don‘t think i have seen in my lifetime. we are in boston where 75.6% voted to leave. it is the highest in the country.” where 75.6% voted to leave. it is the highest in the country. i am from lambeth. we were the highest in the country to vote remain. how much cooking do you actually do?! i've voted to leave because boston had had something around about 15,000 eastern europeans arrived in this town. we were at capacity and the government were town. we were at capacity and the government were not listening.” felt abandoned by government. we just couldn't cope with the levels
of people settling in boston.” voted to remain micro because we are a multicultural society. it doesn't matter if you're from poland, if you are english, pakistan, we are all united. we are all one. it is sad. we are all part of an initiative called more in common. it was started following the tragic death ofjo cox mp. 0ne started following the tragic death ofjo cox mp. one of the things she said was that we have more in common than that which divides us. we realised that there were so many joint issues that we had together. the issues that brixton face is the same as the issues that brixton face is the same as the issues boston face in slightly different angles.” same as the issues boston face in slightly different angles. i thought i would celebrate the european exit macro and get some french croissant.
lots of people were saying, i don‘t understand why people would vote to leave. they are racist, they are scared of immigration. having met people from boston has really allowed people from london to see a different way of life. it isn‘t racist to say, we need more services, we need more support from london. julian has visited us a few times. he saw the diversity, the love and he saw how we can live together. we can learn a lot from brixton and lambeth. you can be a space with different people and it becomes natural to be there. people are comfortable with each other. boston could learn a lot from that. when people sit down and talk to each other, people —— people can come together somewhere in the middle.” would dearly love to see thousand equivalent meetings so people can know each other across the country,
people can see actually we do have more in common. let's have a look at three rare tiger cubs that have made their debut at sydney zoo. they were spotted outside for the very first time. the species is currently endangered with only 400 remaining in the world. time now for a look at the weather forecast. how are we heading into the weekend? hello there. we have had some patchy fog this morning which has been quite dense in places. for many, clear blue skies. the suntan will continue for much of england and wales throughout this afternoon. —— the sunshine. cloud in north—west england and the south—west. that
will clear. more cloud rolling into scotland. maximum temperature is 11 to 13 degrees. for england and wales, another warm day with highs of 15 to 17 celsius. through tonight we will continue with the cloud across scotland and northern ireland. further south, fog patches developing into saturday morning, especially towards the south and east. clear spells for many. another chilly one taking us into the weekend. 0ver chilly one taking us into the weekend. over the weekend it will turn chillier. still warm on saturday. 18 degrees in london. 11 degrees by sunday. let‘s just bring you a live shot of the house of commons, where mps are about to start debating ahead of another vote on half of theresa may‘s brexit deal. a reminder that the results of that vote are a reminder that the results of that vote are expected a reminder that the results of that vote are expected around a reminder that the results of that vote are expected around half a reminder that the results of that vote are expected around half past two this afternoon. there will be a special programme
here on bbc news and bbc one from 2:15pm. now, just a little bit earlier than normal, let‘s get victoria derbyshire. hello. it‘s friday, it‘s 9.30, i‘m victoria derbyshire. it‘s march 29th. it was meant to be brexit day — the day the uk was supposed to leave the eu. how do you feel about the fact that brexit isn‘t happening today? i‘m happy we are not leaving the eu. brexit run my business and we need more time. britain is the laughing stock of europe at the moment. it's a shambles, we should have left today. we haven't, but it needs to be sorted. i am glad we have a left today. i voted to leave but now i wish to remain, as i believe i was givena wish to remain, as i believe i was given a wrong product and the wrong information. i voted to remain but i
was outvoted by 52%, and i think with democracy as it is, the politicians should all be forced to make a decision and paid no expenses until they have. here with us are british voters and a variety of politicians will also be dropping in throughout the morning. wherever you are in the uk, tell us how you are feeling right now. instead of leaving the eu today, mps are gathering in the commons right now ahead of a vote on half of theresa may‘s brexit deal. if it passes, it means an extension to the brexit process until 22nd may will be granted by the eu. it's it‘s not the big, bad meaningful vote, but it is high—stakes friday. at issue, are we leaving in may or are we facing a long delay? this is what one cabinet minister — a member of theresa may‘s top team, told bbc‘s newsnight nick watt last night when he asked why the prime minister is holding a vote when she‘s pretty sure she‘s going to lose.