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tv   Tuesday in Parliament  BBC News  December 9, 2020 2:30am-3:01am GMT

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with a worsening coronavirus health crisis which has killed nearly 300,000 americans. the us president—elect promised that one hundred million vaccinations would be carried out in his first 100 days in office. britain has become the first country to begin a mass coronavirus vaccination programme, with an authorized, fully tested jab. 70 hubs have been set up at hospitals around britain. 90—year—old margaret keenan, got the first dose of the pfizer biontech jab, outside of the clinical trials. boris johnson will travel to brussels on wedneday to have dinner with the president of the european commission in a last—ditch effort to reach a trade agreement. negotiations remain stuck with only weeks to go before the transition period ends at the end of december. now on bbc news,
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tuesday in parliament. hello there, and welcome to tuesday in parliament. on this programme — the health secretary welcomes the vaccination of the first uk patient against coronavirus and promises millions more to come. this week, we will vaccinate from hospitals across the uk. from next week, we will expand deployment to start vaccinations by gps, and we will vaccinate in care homes by christmas. there's a warning of disruption to food supplies as the clock ticks down to brexit, and there's no deal yet. it's too late, baby, it's too late. it's really too late. all of these arrangements are just too late for people to prepare. and music maker nile rodgers joins calls for artists to paid more fairly for songs streamed online.
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let's pay these people what they should've been making all along, and we're going to be one big happy family. bingo and done. but first — a 90—year—old woman from coventry has become the first person in the world to receive a clinically authorised vaccine against coronavirus. margaret keenan said she'd spent most of the year self isolating, and could now look forward to seeing family and friends. in the commons the health secretary told mps it was a momentous day. this simple act of vaccination is a tribute to scientific endeavour, to human ingenuity, and to the hard work of so many people. today marks the start of the fight back against our common enemy, coronavirus, and while today is a day to celebrate, there is much work to be done. the first 800,000 doses of the pfizer biontech vaccine are already here in locations around the uk. and the next consignment is scheduled to arrive next week. this week, we will vaccinate
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from hospitals across the uk. from next week, we will expand deployment to start vaccinations by gps and we will vaccinate in care homes by christmas. but he said it was a huge logistical challenge with the vaccine needing to be stored at —70 degrees celsius. he said people did not need to act to get the vaccination but would be contacted when it was their turn. labour welcomed the news. the pictures today of 90—year—old margaret keenan receiving her vaccine, given by may parsons, a nurse originally from the philippines, is a wonderful moment, bringing home to all of us that there is now light at the end of this very long tunnel. and we are all beaming with pride for our nhs today. can i ask them what the plans are to tackle anti—vax harm online?
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i've literallyjust been sent a whatsapp video claiming this is all a global plot to change our dna. we know harmful content circulates on facebook and other platforms. this is garbage. how can we deal with it? recent studies have shown as few as 54% of the uk population are certain to have the vaccination. there is clear need to counter misinformation, be that online scare stories or generalistic nonsense. so what extra steps will the minister take to ensure public trust in the vaccine's safety and effectiveness and encourage its take—up? i agree strongly with him, and in fact, the honourable member for the front bench opposite also raised this point, and i didn't answer it, so i shall now. countering misinformation is incredibly important. that is best done with positive information, and explaining objectively why the vaccine is safe and how it's safe. i think the thing that we can all do in this house is positively talk about the benefits of the vaccine for keeping you safe and keeping your community safe.
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so could the secretary of state say whether he still thinks it's feasible that the most vulnerable will be vaccinated by the spring, and how many of those of us who are healthy under 50—year—olds might be vaccinated by the school summer holidays? i understand why the honourable lady and many others want to know the answer to the speed of the roll—out. because we are reliant on the manufacturing process which is itself a difficult challenge, we cannot put figures on when that roll—out will be. given that i think the secretary of state is right to be a little cautious about the speed that we are going to be able to get this vaccine rolled out, it seems to me not right that we should keep every single restriction in place until we've rolled out the vaccine to the entire population. it still remains, the onus on the government to justify every restriction and the balance between the benefit to reducing covid, the economic impact and the non—covid health arm. but a labour mp criticised the criteria for deciding where the first vaccination
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centres were in her area. the three centers that have been set up are in affluent areas, not one of them, not one single one, is in inner city bradford, and yet the government's own review accepts that covid does affect black and minority ethnic communities disproportionately. when will this government actually stop discriminating against those who live in inner—city areas and prioritise them because of their health risks? mr speaker, the roll—out of the vaccine is being managed by the nhs. and the nhs does...it is entirely unfair of the honourable lady to describe the nhs in that way. a charming lady of 92 has contacted me. she lives on her own, and she can't get out of the house. i have assured her that the secretary of state for health will make a special effort to ensure that she is looked after and gets her vaccination as soon as possible. is that correct? yes, if she can travel,
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and when the nhs calls, my advice to my honourable friend's constituent is to get that card with that invitation and to phone up my honourable friend and he will give her a lift. laughing. matt hancock making sure at least one senior citizen gets herjab. meanwhile, the first minister of wales hinted at fresh restrictions there after christmas. wales has already had a so called firebreak lockdown in october and more recently banned pubs from selling alcohol. the conservative leader wondered if the measures were working. we know that infection rates in wales are 70% higher than when we entered the fire break in october, and rates have increased by 82% since the end of the fire break lockdown. indeed, the fact is that there are now more than 1,800 coronavirus related patients in hospitals across wales, which is the highest number since the pandemic began, and it shows that something has
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seriously gone wrong. now, yesterday, it has already been said, the health minister warned that the welsh government would be looking at whether further measures would be needed to suppress this virus, but the health minister fails to provide any further details to the people of wales on what those restrictions would look like and whether they would be concentrated on specific sectors and environments, and whether they would be nationwide restrictions. therefore, will the first minister confirm exactly what further measures are now being considered, and is the welsh government looking at further restrictions before the christmas period restrictions, or is the intention to bring in further measures post—christmas? well, all those facts and figures that the leader of the opposition began with are the facts and figures that i put to him last week when he refused to support the measures we took in relation to hospitality. measures which this week,
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i think nobody could possibly deny were right and necessary. now we need to give those measures an opportunity to make a difference. so he didn't think there'd be new measures this side of christmas, but a relaxation of the rules over the holiday would lead to a further rise in numbers. and that means any responsible government has to think about the measures that might be needed in order to protect the health service so it can go on doing everything else, it has to deal with the most pressurised point in any year and to prevent avoidable deaths. in scotland, the first minister, nicola sturgeon, announced that all 11 areas living under the toughest coronavirus restrictions are to be downgraded. it means that non essential shops and many other businesses across much of western and central scotland will be able to reopen from friday. meanwhile, the education minister, john swinney, announced that next year's higher and advanced higher exams have been cancelled.
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the question is less whether we can hold the exam safely in the spring and more about whether we can do so fairly. there's no getting around the fact that a significant percentage of our poorest pupils have lost significantly more teaching time than other pupils. he said a system of teacher assesment would be used instead. let me be clear that no algorithm will be used in this exercise. it is a model that will be based on learner evidence, subject to quality assurance at local and national level to deliver a credible and fair set of results. we on these benches called for a debate for this decision to be made after months of dither and delay which caused so much upset amongst parents and thousands of pupils. but the decision today to cancel higher exams will come as a disappointment to those who believe that exams offer consistency, fairness and a level playing field. the statement today is far from one which makes good on promises, and it is instead an admission of complete failure.
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because we were told in october that cancelling national five exams would save the highers, failed. we were told it was the safety of exams which sat at the heart of that decision making, failed. we were told it was home learning which was delivering for every pupil in every part of scotland, again, failed. we were told it would not be teachers who would bear the brunt of the assessment workload, again, failed, cabinet secretary. following the controversy of moderation in 2020, will the cabinet secretary commit to publishing whatever system is used to verify and alter grades in order to avoid it this year in full and in a repeatable and transparent methodology? john swinney said material that had been published alongside his statement would give a clear and transparent explanation of the approach that would be taken. back at westminster, the government announced it is to ban under 18s from playing the national lottery as part of a wider review of gambling. from next april, 16 and i7—year—olds won't be able to play online and from october they won't be able to buy
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tickets at all. in the commons, the minister explained why. and while evidence shows that most 16 and i7—year—olds do not experience gambling related harm from playing the national lottery, some recent studies point to a possible correlation between national lottery play at 16 and i7 and problem gambling later in life. moreover, few other countries allow 16 and i7—year—olds to purchase their national lottery products. protecting young people from the risk of gambling related harm is of paramount importance. i welcome today's news that the government will extend the ban on under 18's gambling on the national lottery. but the minister will be aware that the recent online ban on gambling with a credit card does not apply to lottery. if a betting shop in barnsley rightly does not accept gambling on a credit card, then why should it be allowed on the national lottery? there is evidence to suggest, for example, that the gambling harm is lower in lottery than other forms of gambling, and therefore, there is
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a difference between the types. why are we having to wait until april of next year? surely, it's something that could be actioned relatively quickly. there are notifications, there are technology changes and logistical considerations, as well as training considerations. it's not the kind of thing that can occur overnight, but we're having productive conversations with the operators to make sure we can implement as soon as possible. when are we going to confront the fact that in many of these working—class communities, where the ticket sales are higher, they don't actually see a lot of the funding follow—through, which in my experience, tends to go to upper—class areas with professional fundraisers. the minister said all the issues would be looked at in the wider review of gambling which many mps were keen to discuss. the architects of the 2005 gambling review, gambling act, never would've anticipated that in 2020, technology would've allowed phones, tablets and computers to become 24/7 limitless gambling hubs. for far too many, this has led to devastation, demoralisation and at worst, death.
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so can the government assure this house that the voices of bereaved families, those with lived experience, campaign groups and colleagues and friends from right across this house will be given the same consideration when feeding into this review as the well resourced, confrontational and relentless gambling lobby, whose sole motivation is profit and not people? nigel huddleston said people with "lived experience" would have a key role. a conservative who used to work for a betting company spoke for those employed in the gambling industry. can my honourable friend therefore assure me and them that this review will look to strike a balance, acknowledging the enjoyment millions of people get from gambling in a responsible manner and how important it is that people are not driven to unlicensed operators
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where they would have neither basic consumer protection nor the regulatory supervision we all want to see. the industry does itself acknowledge that harms can happen. they have played, and i expect them to continue to play, an important role in identifying harms and what we can do to minimise them. their voice will be heard in this review, but we all have a shared goal of making sure we do everything we can to minimise gambling harms. nigel huddleston. you're watching tuesday in parliament with me, alicia mccarthy. don't forget you can find all our programmes on the bbc iplayer. just search for parliament. food companies cannot be sure they'll be able to get supplies across the border when the brexit transition period expires at the end of the month. representatives from across british industry warned mps that there would be disruption to business whether there is a deal in place three weeks from now or not. the government has announced a further agreement with the eu on goods going to northern ireland. but the commons business
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committee was told that forfood suppliers, time was very short. we have no clue what's going to happen in terms of whether we do or don't face tariffs, and that isn'tjust a big imposition, it's a binary choice as to whether you do business in most cases. so, my members will not know whether they're exporting their products after the ist of january or whether they'll be able to afford to import them and charge the price that the tariffs will dictate. and in northern ireland, it's even worse. it is a complete, i have to say, the northern ireland protocol is a complete shambles. the difficulty is that there is only a certain amount of lipstick that you can apply to the pig if you don't know the answers to the questions. and the problem is, the deal of being negotiated in timely fashion, both the eu and northern ireland, then an information campaign can be incredibly effective, even reaching those small businesses you talked about.
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if you're still trying to negotiate a deal 14 working days before it's actually supposed to come into effect, even the most brilliant communication is not going to work. you need a vulcan mind meld to make it work if it's going to work in time. motor manufacturers said uk production could drop by as much as half if there were tariffs, and there were worries about border delays. border delays could cost the industry up to £50,000 a minute, which translates into about £70 million a day for the industry, and we run on tight margins, between two and 4% at the moment. and what we're potentially faced with is those stockpiles, as i mentioned earlier, some businesses have done and some haven't done that. therefore, the impact will vary from day one significantly from company to company, but it's by no means going to see them through the whole ofjanuary or any further than that. in the worst case scenario, what we would see is actually parts not arriving on time to the production site if stockpiles have been used as well.
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they can't produce cars if they haven't got all the parts, and indeed, if a steering wheel's missing, it's not a complete car. if the person in front of you in the queue does not have the right paperwork, you will be penalised even though you may have all the right paperwork and done all the checks. and i think it's more about interruption of supply in those first three or four weeks that will be hit, and to me, that is a big concern because it will reduce, erode the confidence of the shopper. financial services are prepared for brexit, but mps were told the process had benefitted the us and asia. the uk industry works extremely closely with its european counterparts. it is an ecosystem, and the risk is there is the result of the way that this kind of brexit has been handled and the fact that we see, i think, a really regrettable politicalisation of what ought to be technical decisions on the european side.
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so, the equivalence process, for instance, i think has unfortunately become politcised. companies will just look at this, they'll consider that there is uncertainty, they'll consider those costs. particularly, with some foreign companies, they may decide that for now, the united states or asia is a better bet short to medium—term. the uk and eu have reached agreement on how rules in the brexit divorce deal will be implemented, particularly in relation to northern ireland. the government says an agreement in principle has been found for issues including border control posts. it means controversial clauses in the internal market bill giving ministers the power to row back on parts of the brexit divorce deal will be dropped. the agreement also means ministers won't press ahead with some parts of the taxation bill due to go before mps on wednesday. during a debate on a technical motion ahead of the publication of the taxation bill,
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the minister was asked if he could say any more about the deal reached. i am not better cited on this breaking news than he is, and he will have ample opportunity to address this matter tomorrow with the chancellor of duchy of lancaster when he comes to this house. as to the talks on the wider trade deal... 0ur negotiations with our counterparts in the eu continue. the government remains optimistic, cautiously optimistic, about the conclusion of those talks. ..labour focused on what would be in the taxation bill due to be considered by mps next day. we still have little clarity on the bill. the government tells us it will present tomorrow to set the legal framework for future taxation in northern ireland for value added tax, aviation fuel duty, insurance premium tax, state aid rules. is the minister really telling us that it was not possible before today to set out the government's proposals in relation to aviation fuel duty or insurance premium tax? of course it wasn't. these clauses were,
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still are, held back so that the government could, until a few hours ago, continue to brandish the threat of breaking international law as part of its negotiating tactics with the european union, believing it has an ace up its sleeves, when in fact, the whole world sees this government as a pack ofjokers. there is really nothing normal about this situation, there is nothing normal about the situation here today. i mean, you go to the public bill office and ask them for advice on what's in the bill and they don't know. you ask the library for what's in the bill and they don't know. and none of this is their fault, madam deputy speaker, it's the government's fault that we don't know what's in this bill. it's an absolute farce. alison thewliss there. the frontman of chic, nile rodgers, has told mps that streaming platforms should be paying musicians more money for their work. he was appearing via videolink in front of the digital, culture, media and sport committee which is looking into the economics of music streaming. before speaking to him the committee spoke to two other musicians and asked if the process of paying artists for music that was streamed was cloaked in mystery.
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any songwriter will know that when they get their pra statement and see their streaming income, it's all 0.0003 for this, 0.0005 for that, and in different countries, it's different amounts. we don't know the rates for each country because of the ndas between the streaming platforms and the publishers and labels. ndas being non—disclosure agreements. eight out of ten songwriters earn less than £200 a year from streaming, so we have a big problem here. there are people that are interested in keeping that system as opaque and sort of unintelligible as possible because if you don't know what to ask for, you don't know what you're entitled to. we never have a david bowie and today's musicology because there aren't people making those sorts of investments. for an independent artist like that, you are making songs for playlists. you're making songs for a very narrow side of the wall.
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you're not making musical risks that you might have taken decades ago. the committee also heard from us singer songwriter and record producer, nile rogers. the only time that we really get to check to see if things are where they should be as we go in audit, and every single time, and i am not making this up for dramatic purposes or committee purposes, but every single time i have audited a label, i have found it's staggering the amount of money sometimes. that's because of the way of the system was designed from the beginning. let's go into a room, have an organisation that represents songwriters at artist at the table and say look, we love you guys, we're in business together for the rest of our lives, let's make it right. let's make it fair now because your stockholders and shareholders are going to be thrilled because you're about to experience explosive
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growth in the next few years. let's pay these people what they should've been making all along and we will be one big happy family. bingo and done. ministers have come under pressure to do more to safeguard the pensions of workers who lose theirjobs with the collapse of arcadia. the company, which includes topshop among its brands, fell into administration last week, putting 13,000 jobs at risk. some may face a 10% cut in their retirement incomes. 0ne peer called for the compa ny‘s chairman, sir philip green, to lose his knighthood. does the minister agree with me that the green family paying itself over £1 billion while the pension fund is depleted of the money it needs is bad behaviour, and if so, as the government really satisfied that the pension regulator has enough power to deal with the sort of owners of the sorts of companies?
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i understand his point and the spirit in which he makes it, but it would be inappropriate for the ministers to comment on this individual case. debenhams collapsed, arcadia was legally robbed by the greens. in the united states, a regulator would have gotten back every single cent and serving life without parole. when in this country are we going to get some proper regulation and legislation to tackle people whose behaviour is de facto criminal, but it at the moment, is technically legally 0k? i and the whole house actually agree that we are to ensure our legislation can deal with those that would plunder pension schemes. that is why we currently have a pension scheme bill going through parliament.
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would the minister agree with me that perhaps she should contact the prime minister and try to get philip green's knighthood revoked, as he's clearly less than an honourable man? it would not be right for me to comment on individual cases, as i've already said. however, i would point out that there is a very clear independent process in place for the forfeiture of an honour and the final decision on whether to revoke and honour is made by an independent committee. lady stedman scott. and that's it from me for now but do join me next time for the highlights of the day at westminster, including prime minister's questions. but for now, from me, alicia mccarthy, goodbye.
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hello there. low pressure will continue to bring more unsettled weather to our shores for the rest of this week and very slowly, those temperatures will be creeping up as we reach the end of the week and into the weekend. now for wednesday, we'll have some showers across eastern areas. some sunshine will develop, though, behind it is this ridge of high pressure that builds in and then there will be rain pushing to western areas later on all courtesy of this new frontal system. so we'll start off rather grey, misty, murky conditions with some showery bursts of rain through this morning. they should eventually clear away, it's an improving picture with some sunshine developing though showers holding on across northeastern scotland. later in the day for northern ireland, western fringes of england, wales and practically into the south west we will see thicker cloud moving in here with outbreaks of rain. temperatures slowly climbing but again it's going to be another chilly day for most, temperatures range from to 5—7 celsius quite typically. as we head through wednesday
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night, we will start to see that cloud thickening up across the east as well. it looks like most of the heaviest rain will start to push across wales, the south west england, to the channel islands. elsewhere, we will hold onto quite a bit of cloud, some light and patchy rain under clearing skies across the north, it will be quite chillier otherwise, less cold than it's been on other nights. on thursday, we are in between weather systems although we have this weather front affecting the northern half of the uk. we've got a slack airflow once again so winds will be light rather grey skies for many with some patchy light rain or drizzle, little bit heavier across scotland. could see a touch of winteriness over the high grounds. the air is still quite cool with those highs ranging from 5—8 celsius. but slowly coming up across the south west, 9—10 celsius there for cardiff and for plymouth. as we head on into friday, a more substantial frontal system spreads its way eastwards across the country. this one will bring a bit of a change to the weather, some heavier rain at times will make its way towards the eastern side of the country, winds stronger for a time, and then skies will brighten up across western areas, perhaps one or two showers here.
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so, it's out west where will start to see temperatures lift by the end of friday, 10—11 celsius here. a little bit less cold further east, too. still on the chilly side — with temperatures in single figures. into the weekend, we hold onto a lot of cloud, some rain in northern and western areas. by sunday, we'll see another area of low pressure which will bring windier weather, some milder air, and also outbreaks of rain.
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welcome to bbc news, i'm aaron safir. our top stories: joe biden promises a hundred million vaccinations against covid in his first one hundred days as us president. iam i am absolutely convinced that in100 i am absolutely convinced that in 100 days we can change the course of the disease and change life in america for the better. a 90 year—old british woman becomes the first person in the world to be given the pfizer vaccine to protect against covid—19. a champions league match in paris is abandoned, with teams walking off the pitch following an alleged racist slur. a cyber—security firm which protects big companies from data theft has itself become the victim of hacking.

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