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tv   The Week in Parliament  BBC News  July 19, 2020 2:30pm-3:01pm BST

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it is deeply, deeply troubling. and the reports on the human aspect of it, from forced sterilisation to the education camps, are reminiscent of something we have not seen for a long, long time. meanwhile — china's ambassador to the uk tells the bbc the decision to drop huawei from it's 56 networks is a bad move for the country. i think uk should have its own independent foreign policy rather than to dance to the tune of americans, like what happened to huawei. there's been a record number of new cases of coronavirus in 2a hours — 260,000 cases were reported — the biggest increases were in the us, brazil, india and south africa. borisjohnson says he doesn't believe another nationwide lockdown will be needed — even if there's a second spike of coronavirus this winter.
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eu leaders meet for an unscheduled third day of talks on a post—coronavirus economic recovery plan. and the first official photos of the wedding of princess beatrice and italian count edoardo mapelli mozzi are released — from their private ceremony on friday — attended by the queen and the duke of edinburgh. now bbc pa rliament‘s programme looking back at the week in westminster. hello again and welcome to the week in parliament — a week when borisjohnson promised to learn the lessons of the pandemic. and certainly, we will have an independent inquiry into what happened. ministers pulled the plug on chinese
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involvement in the uk's 56 mobile network. this is a car crash for our digital economy, but one which could've been visible from outer space. and could the house of lords really move north? peers wondered who gave ministers that idea. henry viii sought to placate his rebels with a parliament in york. but first, there will be an independent inquiry into the coronavirus outbreak — but not yet. borisjohnson said the middle of a pandemic was not the right time to hold one. but at prime minister's questions, there was a foretaste of some of the arguments that will be aired when the inquiry finally comes. the labour leader sir keir starmer asked about a report that warned "intense preparations" were needed now for a possible second wave of coronavirus with the potential to kill as many as 120,000 people this winter. one of the key recommendations
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in this report, commissioned by the government's 0ffice for science, is that testing and tracing capacity will need to be significantly expanded to cope with increased demands over the winter. the reality is this — trace and track is not working as promised as it stands today. the report makes clear it needs to be significantly expanded to cope with the risks of autumn and winter. what assurance can the prime minister give that the system will be fit for both purposes in the time frame envisaged in this report — ie, by this september? mr speaker, once again, he attacks the test and trace operation which is working at absolutely unprecedented scale, and 144,000 people across the country — 144,000 people across the country have now agreed to self—isolate to stop the spread of the virus. and i can certainly give the house the assurance that our test and trace system is as good as or better than any other system anywhere in the world and, yes, it will play — it will play a vital — it will play a vital part
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in ensuring that we do not have a second spike this winter. but i have to ask in light of the last few questions, has the prime minister actually read this report that sets out the reasonable worst—case scenario and tells the government what it needs to do about it in the next six weeks? has he read it? mr speaker, lam, of course, aware of the report and we are of course — we are of course taking every reasonable step to prepare this country for — for a second spike. borisjohnson said keir starmer should support what the government was doing. instead of endlessly knocking the confidence of the people of this country, knocking their confidence in test and trace, knocking their confidence in our schools and the safety of our schools, and knocking the — our confidence in our transport network, now is the time for him to decide whether he backs the government or not. keir starmer!
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it is perfectly possible to support track and trace and point out the problems, and standing up every week saying it's a stunning success is kidding no—one. that isn't giving people confidence in the system. they would like a prime minister who stands up and say "there are problems and this is what i'm going to do about them", not this rhetoric about stunning success when it is obviously not true. finally, this afternoon — this afternoon, prime minister, i'm meeting the families of the covid—19 bereaved families forjustice group — a group of hundreds of families who've lost loved ones. they will be listening to the prime minister's answers today. so what would the prime minister like to say to them? prime minister! mr speaker, ijoin with, i think, every member of the house in mourning the loss of everybody who has died in this epidemic. we will do absolutely everything we can to protect our country and to stop a second spike, but what he has to decide is whether he wants to back that
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programme or not because one day, he says it's safe to go back to school, the next day, he's taking the line of the unions. one day — one day, they're supporting our economic programme, the next day, they're saying our stamp duty cut is an unacceptable bung. one day, they're saying they accept the result of the brexit referendum, the next day, today, they're going to tell their troops to do the exact opposite. he needs to make up his mind which brief he's going to take today because at the moment, mr speaker, he's got more briefs than calvin klein. we're getting on! we're getting on — we're getting on with delivering on our agenda for the country, getting this country through this pandemic, and taking it forward! it was the acting lib dem leader whose question prompted the more substantial response. under this prime minister, we suffered one of the worst death rates in the world, and europe's worst death rate for health and care workers. previously, he's refused my demand for immediate inquiry — immediate independent inquiry — saying it's too soon. even though back in 2003, he voted for an independent inquiry into the iraq warjust months after that conflict had started.
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if he still rejects an immediate inquiry, will he instead commit in principle to a future public inquiry? yes or no? prime minister! mr speaker, as i have told the house several times, i do not believe that now, in the middle of combating — still as we are — a pandemic is the right moment to devote huge amounts of official time to an inquiry but, of course — of course, mr speaker, we will seek to learn the lessons of this pandemic in the future and certainly, we will have an independent inquiry into what happened. the snp focused on life after brexit, warning of a possible power grab with the uk government imposing lower food standards on scotland. we know this government is undertaking a full—scale assault on devolution. a brexit settlement scotland rejected imposed on scotland. an immigration system scotland rejected imposed on scotland.
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a decade of tory government scotland rejected imposed on scotland. it is no wonder the first minister's approval ratings are three times that of this prime minister. effective leadership and respecting the will of the people contrasted with the bumbling shambles coming from westminster. i find it extraordinary for him to attack unelected bureaucrats for — for any role they may have in scotland when his proposal is to hand back the powers that we are going to be — that this place is going to be transferring to scotland back to brussels, where they are neither elected nor accountable to the people of scotland. so i really don't know what he means. the prime minister. after some confusion, the government confirmed that from july 24, it will be compulsory to wear a face covering in shops and supermarkets in england. if you don't, you could face a £100 fine. the announcement brings england into line with scotland and other european nations.
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the health secretary explained to mps why he was taking the action now. we want to give people more confidence to shop safely and enhance protections for those who work in shops. both of these can be done by the use of face coverings. sadly, sales assistants, cashiers and security guards have suffered disproportionately in this crisis. the death rate of sales and retail assistants is 75% higher amongst men and 60% higher amongst women than in the general population. so, as we restore shopping, so we must keep our shopkeepers safe. there's also evidence that face coverings increase confidence in people to shop. after days of ministerial muddle, we finally have a decision. i've long warned that this virus exploits ambiguity and that mixed messaging in a pandemic
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is so damaging. on friday, we had the prime minister say he favoured face masks. on sunday, we had the chancellor of the duchy of lancaster saying he didn't favour face masks. yesterday, the justice secretary, unsure what to say, had to say in the end he was perhaps in favour of face masks. it didn't have to be this way. we didn't have to have this confusion. a conservative, sir desmond swayne, was unhappy. nothing would make me less likely to go shopping than the thought of having to mask up. i think i can help the member from new forest west with his problem about wearing a mask. he's a knight of the realm, so he should just consider it a visor. in wales, the first minister mark drakeford rejected calls at question time in the senedd for masks to be compulsory for shoppers.
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your careful approach in terms of the easing of restrictions has served well in many ways but, you know, i think risk treading the line between being too cautious and being too slow on this issue. why is wales lagging behind when so many other countries have acted so decisively? ijust reject the language of "lagging behind". we are doing the things that are right for wales. that does not mean following anybody else just because they have done something that we have decided not to do. is it proportionate to require every welsh citizen going into a shop to wear a face covering when the virus is in such a low state of circulation here in wales? mark drakeford. now, we may have left the european union, but brexit is still with us. the government has launched a new campaign to help prepare the uk for the end of the transition period with the european union. although we left injanuary, we're still following eu rules until the end of this year.
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so we're all advised to review our travel insurance, ensure our passport is valid, and check the roaming policy with our mobile phone provider. and if you want to travel to the eu with your pet next year, you need to contact your vet at least four months before you travel. there are new rules for businesses, too, with extra checks and customs declarations and new border posts, whatever the result of the continuing trade talks with the eu. michael gove, the minister overseeing those talks, came to the commons to make a statement. we're launching a major new public information campaign to make sure that everyone has the facts they need about the actions that we all need to take in order to be ready, and we are also releasing for the first time an operating model for the border that will benefit importers and exporters and provide information to hauliers, shippers, freight companies and our customs intermediaries. the public information campaign — the uk's new start: let's get going — will run in the four home nations and internationally, encouraging us all to play our part in preparing for change. the campaign will be supplemented by the deployment of experts in the field, giving one—to—one support to business and their supply chains to ensure they've made arrangements that will help keep their operations running efficiently.
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it is vital that businesses and jobs are supported and that the oven—ready deal that the country was promised is delivered upon this year. and yet, frankly, mr speaker, many of us are worried about whether the oven was even turned on. mr speaker, the best way to help all businesses to prepare is, of course, to agree a deal with the european union on the terms we were told to expect. that means no fees, charges, tariffs or quantitative restrictions across all sectors. it does not mean, as we had in the statement today, customs, physical checks, export declarations, a commodity code, an economic operator, restrictions and identification, and it certainly doesn't mean a living document with guidance that changes day by day. some senior conservatives were also unhappy. madame deputy speaker, with so many of our small and uk—wide businesses struggling to survive following the covid crisis, the idea of adding additional friction and cost to the trade relationship with our biggest market is really and deeply problematic and worrying.
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my right honourable friend may be aware that i consider the decision to put an outbound emergency lorry park in my constituency near where several thousand new homes are being built on one side and with a large hospital nearby on the other side to be wrong—headed. the snp said the government's refusal to extend the brexit transition period beyond the end of the year was the "ultimate act of self harm". in a debate initiated by the party, its leader at westminster set out his demands. if we are to ensure the most rapid recovery possible from the covid—19 crisis, the uk must immediately seek an extension to the brexit transition period for two years. we are in unprecedented times — a health pandemic, an economic crisis, the very real threat of a second wave of covid—19 later this year.
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now is the moment for the uk government to recognise reality and to reconsider its position. i wonder what the right honourable gentleman opposite thinks the odds are of the government extending the transition period? how likely does he think that we would do that? given, after all, its end date is enshrined in law. given that the government of the uk was elected on a mandate not to extend the transition period. given that the deadline set for asking for an extension to the transition period has passed. penny mordaunt with what sounded like a "no". the uk's mobile providers are being banned from buying new huawei 5g equipment after december 31, and they must also remove all the chinese firm's 5g kit from their networks by 2027. only six months ago,
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the government agreed huawei could have a limited role. the u—turn follows sanctions imposed by washington, which claims the firm poses a national security threat — something huawei denies. it says the decision is bad news for anyone in the uk with a mobile phone. the culture secretary, 0liver dowden, told mps the uk could no longer be confident of being able to guarantee the security of future 5g equipment affected by the us sanctions. today's decision to ban the procurement of new huawei 5g equipment from the end of this year will delay roll—out by a further year and will add up to £500 million of costs — requiring operators in addition to remove huawei equipment from their 5g networks by 2027 — will add hundreds of millions of pounds further to the cost and further delay roll—out. this means a cumulative delay of 5g roll—out of two to three years and costs of up to £2 billion. this will have real consequences for the connections on which all our constituents rely.
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it has been clear for some time that there are serious questions over whether huawei should be allowed to control large sections of our country's telecoms networks, yet the government refused to face reality. their approach to our 56 capability, huawei, and our national security has been incomprehensibly negligent. mr speaker, this is a car crash for our digital economy, but one which could have been visible from outer space. bt and other vendors have put the cost of this decision in the billions, he says 2 billion. what is the basis for this estimate and how will he ensure the cost is not passed on to consumers? well, well, well, here we go again, mr speaker, sir, another screeching return.
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—— another screeching handbrake turn. when we debated this injanuary, we on the snp benches warned the government that huawei could not be trusted with our 56 mobile network. security experts were clear — we should not open up the central nervous system of our modern society to a company owned by the chinese communist party. conservative mps welcomed the decision, but some wanted the 2027 deadline brought forward. this does look like a long, slow goodbye to huawei, but does he understand the concerns of some people here, that seven years is a very long time in politics and it would be better to be done sooner? if the government is going to be clear—eyed about china, it must also be clear—eyed about the human rights violation that are reportedly being undertaken by huawei and their use of slave labour. it is not acceptable for a global britain to be involved in a company that is perpetually using slave labour in their supply chains. 0thers saw contradictions in the government's approach. if the government is banning a chinese tech company from our telecommunications industry on the grounds of national security, how come it's safe for them to participate in building a nuclear power station?
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secretary of state. the advice that we have received today relates to the impact of the us sanctions. the us has imposed sanctions specifically on 5g. we have analysed the impact of those sanctions and it has undermined reliability of huawei equipment, which is why we are now advising and then will set out in statute that mobile network operators can no longer purchase that equipment. 0liver dowden. time now for a brief look at some other stories around westminster. the author of a landmark report on funding social care in england says he'd now recommend a cap on costs at around £45,000. sir andrew dilnot, who published his report on paying for care nine years ago, told mps on the health and social care committee that not enough money was spent on care. we want to be a society where we look after people, and right now, the funding of social care is inadequate and it's inadequate both for the means tested system that simply looks after those
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who cannot look after themselves, we are not putting enough money into that. that's a stain on us as a nation. but we also have a social care funding system that doesn't help the rest of the population that has some resource, prepare and look after themselves well. mps backed a proposed new law to give effect to a temporary holiday on stamp duty on the first £500,000 of all property sales in england and northern ireland. the tax threshold has been temporarily raised until next march to boost the property market and help buyers struggling because of the coronavirus crisis. the government's plan forjobs will support the construction sector by injecting new confidence and certainty into the housing market. it will do this by ensuring that anyone buying a main home for under £500,000 before the end of march next year will pay no stamp duty whatsoever.
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the bill will save homebuyers up to £15,000, even if they're buying a second property. the government has decided to direct a huge bowl to second homeowners, landlords, holiday homebuye rs, while millions of people are desperate for support. ministers from the department for international development took mps‘ questions for the last time before its merger with the foreign 0ffice. anne marie trevelyan said the uk would continue to spend 0.7% of its national income on overseas aid. it is world—renowned for its focus and programme expertise, and that will continue to be the case. poverty reduction will continue to be a critical focus of how we spend the 0.7 that this government continues to be committed to, we enshrined it in law, and it stays there, the prime minister is absolutely committed to that. the new chair of the intelligence and security committee, julian lewes, was expelled from the conservative parliamentary party after he was elected at the expense of the government's preferred
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candidate, the former cabinet minister, chris grayling. can the minister explain orjustify the decision of his party to withdraw the whip from the honourable member from new forest east — a conservative mp for 23 years, former navy royal reservist and chair of the defence select committee for the crime of being elected as chair of the intelligence and security committee. losing the whip used to be the result of serious misdemeanour, not independent thought. what does this say about the government's approach to expertise and scrutiny? the intelligence and security committee's membership was chosen by this house, an election was appropriately taking place, but whipping matters are quite properly matters for the respective whips officers of our parties and not for those like myself who exercise a different constitutional role. michael gove, again. borisjohnson has suggested parliament could move to york temporarily while the palace of westminster is refurbished under the restoration and renewal programme. ministers are looking at setting up a government hub in the city. a piece of disused land has apparently been identified
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as a possible site. michael gove said the location of the lords was a matter for parliament and borisjohnson acknowledged it was a constitutional issue. the continuing speculation prompted an urgent question in the lords. in the words of an exasperated lord speaker, "here we go again." it's all very well to say it's a matter for parliament, but it is the executive — not parliament — that keeps this running. my lords, government policy was set out in may last year. i quote, "we agree with committee that the rnr programme should ensure "that the palace of westminster is fit to serve as the home "of the uk parliament in the future." has government policy — now in primary legislation — changed? and have civil—service resources been considering moving your lordship‘s house to york, and if so, who authorised it? and what is the remit and cost so far? this is a matter which would, in the end, be resolved by parliament and in parliament.
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i would say to my noble friend, who i greatly respect, that given the circumstances, it is reasonable, i think, for all of us to examine how every part of parliament may find itself closer to the people. my lords, henry viii sought to placate his rebels with a parliament in york. so could the noble lord, the minister, let us know who this time they are trying to placate by suggestions of a parliament in york? it sounds as if he's trying to rid himself of these pesky lords. he should be careful what happened to an earlier henry when that happened. given the various attempts by number ten to emasculate the scrutiny working in the lordships house, could we take at this proposal to banish us to york is simply a threat to cut off the house from mps, ministers,
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cabinets, civil servants and the rest, and to weaken our constitutional role? i reject any contention that this government, at any time, would want to weaken parliamentary scrutiny. york is seen as something of an outer mongolia by the general public — who view the house of lords as something as an outdated institution. the reality is that it is packed with experts in every field of life. the house should not present itself as in a state of shock—horror at the idea that some of its proceedings and some of its activities might take place outside london. lord true, struggling to win over a sceptical house of lords. now, as we've seen over the last few months, the introduction of the "virtual" parliament, with mps and peers able to contribute remotely, has thrown up the occasional challenge, including parliamentary proceedings being interrupted by uninvited guests.
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here's an example from the culture committee, where the snp's john nicolson was asking media executives why they didn't automatically put subtitles on children's tv. it's been shown to double literacy. youtube — which you mentioned — already do it. youtube kids do it and the bbc are also now embracing this. why — and i apologise for my cat's tail — why are you not doing this by default? rocco, put yourtail down, please. 90% of citv. .. cats are guaranteed... 90% of citv content comes through subtitled. can ijust say, ijust... ..people appearing before us, it's particularly effective with cabinet ministers. i'll have another go. rocco the cat auditioning for her own series there.
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that was the week in parliament. thank you for watching. i do hope you canjoin me again at 11:00 on monday evening for the latest from the commons and the lords. until then, from me, david cornock, bye for now. cat meows hello there. we can split sunday's weather quite cleanly into three areas. it has been rather cloudy, damp and dull so far in the south east corner, the best of the sunshine has been across england, wales and northern ireland, with a scattering of showers into the far northwest of scotland. and that is how we are going to close out the day, with temperatures peaking between 15 and 22 degrees, now, through this evening and overnight, skies will continue to clear.
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those showers, bit of a nuisance into the far north, but under those clear skies, temperatures are likely to fall away into single figures. quite unusualfor the middle part ofjuly, so it is going to be a chilly start, but there will be lots of sunshine to compensate, and that is going to help with those temperatures quite rapidly. we still run the risk of a few showers, particularly into the northwest of the great glen, but with lots of sunshine coming through, temperatures will respond quite nicely with highs of 23, maybe 24 degrees. that is mid—70s in fahrenheit.
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risk this is bbc news with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. britain's foreign secretary, dominic raab, accuses the chinese government of carrying out human rights abuses against its uighur population. it is deeply, deeply troubling. and the reports of the human aspect of it from forced sterilisation to the education camps are reminiscent of something we have not seen for a long, long time. meanwhile, china's ambassador to london tells the bbc the uk's decision to drop huawei from its 5g networks is a bad move for the country. more than 250,000 coronavirus cases in 24 hours — the largest single—day global rise in cases since the start of the pandemic.


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