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tv   Prime Ministers Questions Prime Ministers Questions  CSPAN  December 20, 2020 8:58pm-9:42pm EST

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20, the inauguration of the 46th president of the united states. i would live coverage begins at 7:00 a.m. eastern, from the statehouse to the congress to the white house. watch it all live on c-span, on the go at, or listen on the free c-span radio app. listen to c-span's podcast, the weekly. we're talking to a purdue university political scientist, who directs the c-span archives about congresses increasing use of lame-duck sessions to tackle big legislation. find c-span's the weekly where you get your podcasts. >> british prime minister boris johnson fielded questions from members in the house of commons in the last question time session in the year. he answered a range of questions on the government's response to the pandemic, including the distribution of the covid-19
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vaccine, and later questions on the december 31 deadline for brexit negotiations. and what will follow. >> we now come to questions for the prime minister. i call you to answer the engagements question. >> yesterday i made a statement updating the house on the latest position on the leak investigation as you requested. the whole house will want to join me in wishing all members and staff merry christmas and happy new year. members will want to join me in sending our warmest wishes to all our armed forces in the
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united kingdom and those stations overseas. members will join me in sending our best wishes to members of emergency services health and care workers and those working over christmas. ministerial colleagues and others in addition to my duties in this house, i have further such meetings later today. >> thank you, mister speaker. may i join the prime minister and add my own good wishes to you, mister speaker and the prime minister and hope you both have a peaceful and safe christmas period. but also my constituents in the rest of the country have had a torrid year with the covid-19 pandemic and we had a break
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over christmas and people have to use common sense, don't start hugging granny over christmas, my right honorable friend the prime minister previously said let's be jolly careful over christmas, it would not be helpful if some smarmy lawyer at this late stage were to argue for a change in the law. i asked my right honorable friend here and now who is not a lawyer. >> we got the message. >> my honorable friend is absolutely right to stress the importance of people taking care this christmas because even though some things are going well, to tell the house
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that we had a good start with the rollout to the vaccination program and in 7 days 108,000 people in england, received their first vaccination, we must remember transmission takes place asymptomatic we in so many cases, one in three people are asymptomatic, my right honorable friend is right that we should exercise extreme caution the way we celebrate christmas, in the way we behave. >> i joined the prime minister, i thank you and house authorities for doing all you have done to keep parliament
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safe and open in challenging circumstances since this is probably the last pmq of the year, let me start with the beginning of the pandemic where images for hospitals in italy and spain were being shown and infection rates were rising in the uk. does the prime minister accept his slowness to respond lead to more deaths in a deeper economic damage. >> mister speaker, at every stage we followed the scientific guidance and continue to do so and he's right to draw attention to what is coming across the whole of europe and what is taking place across the whole of the eu thanks to the system we have in place thanks to the heroic efforts of people of northwest, northeast, yorkshire, we see
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that coming down and in some parts of london, we will make sure with adjustments that we conduct over the next few weeks, that is the right way forward for the country and how we will do this with community testing and what people would like to hear in the season of goodwill to all men is a little support from the right honorable gentlemen for what the government is trying to do to beat coronavirus and pass that. >> can i quote his spending watchdog the office of budget responsibility because the uk lockdown later in longer than some of its european neighbors and experienced a deep slow economic recovery.
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this isn't bad luck or inevitable. it is a result of the prime minister's shoelaces. of the prime minister disagrees with me perhaps he can tell us why does he think britain, the sixth richest country in the world with all our brilliant scientists and amazing nhs, with one of the highest numbers of covid-19 deaths in europe, 64,000, each one leaving a grieving family, from the deepest recession of any major economy. why does he think that has happened? >> a change of tune in criticism of the uk performance, perhaps he could tell me why is it the uk is the first for a viable treatment in the form -- the best country in the world to roll out a clinically tested vaccine. this is a pandemic that has
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affected the whole of europe and this government has continued to take tough decisions necessary to beat it and without wishing to cast aspersions on the point of view of the right honorable gentlemen i take his criticism a little more seriously. if he hadn't been able to decide last week or the week before whether he supported the approach we are taking or opposed it. he couldn't do either. >> i said two weeks ago that i was very concerned that tier 2 would not be enough to hold the virus with the prime minister said just support us, throw away the problems. two weeks later what do we know? the virus rising in tier 2 and tier 3 but if the prime minister thinks the highest numbers, the deepest recession is somehow delivering for the
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bridge people he is a long way removed from the truth. the problem is the prime minister makes the same mistakes over and over again. two weeks ago he unveiled the latest covid-19 plan, as he has done so many times before this would suppress the virus but the latest figures show the opposite and the prime ministers said spikes here and there. in 3 out of 4 tier 2 hours infections are going up. in over half of the tier 3 areas infections are going up. exactly the concern i had two weeks ago when he said just back us anyway. 10 million people voted for tougher restrictions, exactly what we said would happen. does the prime minister not recognize his latest plan failed to control the virus, to protect the nhs and our economy?
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>> he criticizes the government's plan without producing any plan of his own and if you look at what is happening, the labor in wales and if you look at what is happening across the country thanks to the efforts of the british people we are seeing significant reductions in the virus in some of the areas it was surging because of our hard work of the people of this country and we will continue to reflect that as we go forward and we will continue to roll out the vaccine and community testing. i think is time would be better employed supporting the wonderful initiative and community testing, encouraging
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people to get a vaccine rather than continually attacking what the government is trying to do. >> every time i stood up and talked about it but the prime minister is avoiding the issue. infection rate has gone up 17%. every one knows this is a problem. the prime minister is pretending it isn't. another major mistake the last 12 months. >> >> to the castle, and the humiliating way the prime minister chose to defend it and now we learn that while the prime minister and chancellor are telling the armed forces, police officers, care workers and firefighters that they will get a pay freeze, hand a 40,000 pounds pay raise.
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how on earth does the prime minister justify that? >> he trivializes the efforts of the british people in getting the virus down and that none of the lockdown measures have worked, absolutely untrue. from november '50 december 3rd the people of this country came together to get the virus under control and made a huge amount, we will continue with is that tearing system and get the virus down. that's the best way forward. all he wants to do is to lock the whole country down. that is the only solution he has and all he does is attack the economic consequences of lockdown. you could script that from october and november.
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two weeks later put it on the table and voted for it, the problem we have got, not learning from mistakes and we know about dominic cummings. it wasn't performance related. -- people find it hard to understand why one rule for workers and another for his advisers and it is now likely the next big mistake will be easing of restrictions over christmas. let me give you the british medical journal that said this. we believe the government is about to blunder into another major error that will cost many lives. the prime ministers of this and that advice, not just ignore it as usual and if he really is going to press ahead with this, tell us about the impact it will have on infection rates and increased pressure on the nhs.
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>> i wish he had the guts to say what he wants to do which is to cancel the gains people have made and i think that is what he is driving at but i can tell him that as of today just this morning, there is unanimous agreement across the uk government including members of all parties including his own that we should proceed with the regulations because we don't want to criminalize people long made plans but it is vital people should at this tricky time exercise a high degree of personal responsibly
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when they come into contact with elderly people and avoid contacts when possible and that is how by being sinful and cautious, not by imposing and lockdowns are canceling christmas as he would appear to want to do, that is what i draw from what he said he wants to announce some idea that is the way to continue to work to get it to keep this virus under control. >> we go ignoring the medical advice. we know where that leads because we've seen what happened in the last 9 months and what of the prime minister said there is no asked escaping that britain has one of the highest numbers of covid-19 deaths and the worst economic damage. the last pmqs of the year i wonder where the prime minister gets his advice from. now i know the official
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newsletter of the conservative party that is not on everyone's christmas reading list but it is a fascinating read because it gives a lot of advice to wannabe politicians. say the first thing that comes into your head. it will probably be nonsense, you make it about headlines but if you make enough dubious claims fast enough, you can get away with it and it includes the december edition, sometimes it is better to give the wrong answer at the right time rather than the right answer at the wrong time. my final question to the prime minister is this. is he the inspiration for the newsletter? >> i think what the people of this country would like to hear from the right honorable
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gentlemen in this season of goodwill is any kind of point of view at all on some of the key issues which he couldn't make up his mind whether it was right for kids to be in school or not, couldn't make up his mind whether or not to support with the government was doing, told his troops aerobically, couldn't make up his mind about brexit, whether he will vote for a deal or not. he can't attack the government if he can't come up with a view of his own. in the words of the song all i want for christmas is you, mister speaker. it is one thing to produce one. this government is getting on delivering the people's priorities, 50 thousands more
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nurses, 48 new hospitals and it is tough and difficult and everybody appreciates the suffering and hardship the people of the country have been going for you. we are by rolling out the vaccine, community testing and tough tearing which i hope he supports we are going to defeat coronavirus and take this country forward into a great 2021. >> at the beginning of this career the prime minister delivered historic vote for brexit regardless of the outcome of current talks, does he agree with me this outward looking nation has a world of global opportunities ahead of it? >> i thank my honorable friend, we have set up a point based
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immigration system and ensure we set up and already done many free trade deals but we will use the economic advantages of brexit coming out of the european union, to make this the most attractive place for investment enterprise around the world and depredations that would destroy that opportunity and do everything they could to take us straight back to the european union which is the true ambition of the right honorable gentlemen. >> can i wish you and all colleagues and staff and essential workers, all the best for christmas, keep everybody safe. in the last few hours the
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president of the european commission said the next few days will be decisive in brexit negotiations with with two weeks to go, businesses and people are left with crippling uncertainty and the real threat of food and medicine shortages. one year ago at the general election scotland rejected this prime minister, rejected the story government and rejected brexit. people in scotland need to know the price we are forced to pay ahead of anybody in parliament, will trimester commit to releasing a detailed economic impact assessment in the cost to the uk of his extreme -- >> mister speaker, every
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opportunity notwithstanding from the right honorable gentlemen, every hope i have that our friends and partners across the channel will see sense and do a deal and all it takes is understand the uk has a natural right like every other country to control its own laws and fishing grounds that ought to be important but whatever happens in the next few days, i know this country will profit mightily on terms that we agree with our european friends whether they are australian or canadian, go forward with high confidence knowing there are great opportunities for scotland and the rest of the uk. >> not sure what that law is, didn't answer the question but i'm not surprised because the prime minister doesn't want to answer the question because he knows the uk is more soft, and
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scotland has already lost 4 billion pounds as a result of brexit. bloomberg economic estimates the uk has lost 200 billion and scottish government analysis estimates every person in scotland on average will be worse off. scotland has been ignored, we are being kept in the dark over the devastating price we are forced to pay. people in scotland are not willing to suffer the consequences of this economic vandalism. 16 consecutive votes show a majority for independence and little wonder. the only way left to protect scotland's interests and our place in europe is for scotland
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to become an independent country. >> despite the gloom the right honorable dental and speaks to spread about scotland and the rest of the uk the uk currently has the highest youth employment in the g7 and lower unemployment than france, italy, spain the united states and canada and of course there is a threat to the scottish economy and that is the high tax regime, the mismanagement of the scottish nationalist party. that is the problem scotland faces and i hope the people of scotland can see it. >> as my right honorable friend knows the tourism and hospitality sector across the country, have been severely affected by the pandemic and
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restrictions, like stanton, what support and hope can this government give the sector in the weeks and months ahead? >> i thank my honorable friend for everything she does. it has been a terrible time but we share the anguish of those who work in the hospitality sector. what she knows from 20% to 5% in those sectors until march and we will develop with her help a tourism recovery plan to help people in particular to see these beauties. >> last week, northern ireland would have the best of both worlds as a result of talks with the european union but we need access to uk trade deal.
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can he confirm whether he is pushing for this in these talks? >> of course as the agreement with our friends has already made clear the whole of the uk including northern ireland would participate in all trade deals the uk does in northern ireland continue to have unfettered access to the uk market. >> over 14 billion pounds located for research and development and this is excellent news but the concern the charity funded medical research which was hit hard by the pandemic, will my right honorable friend the prime minister intervene to assure this funding to boost medical research, protect thousands of
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skilled jobs and promote a science superpower? >> yes indeed and i know my honorable friend knows the importance of medical research and pure science and that is why the government is investing record sums, $14.6 billion 2021-2022 and that will support all the life sciences. if you want evidence why it is so vital they only have to look at events of the last few months. >> in the north, reversing the trend of losing skilled work, the prime minister promised it would be built in full. national infrastructure commission review roof reduces this 2-part way. the connectivity in the north
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or the economic uplift. will the prime minister a firm his commitment to rejects this or is it another broken promise to our community? >> the honorable gentlemen put it quite wrong. there are other things we can do including improving the midland mainline and everybody would want to do that, the ambition as i said before remains absolutely unchanged. >> schools and teachers across the country are working miracles to provide education throughout the pandemic grateful for the exam regime and very much welcome the new testing regime for coronavirus but they had the lowest bending of any in the country, left at desks they cannot fill. will my honorable friend work with me to make sure they get the resources they need.
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with the prime minister do that? >> the whole country and taxpayers of this country play that role and it is our job to spend money sensibly and that is what we are doing and i am delighted with the campaigning by my honorable friend, 3.8% more compared to this year through national funding in addition to our commitment to pay every teacher a starting salary of 30,000 pounds. >> the hospitality sector, with
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local music tradition have been devastated by the restrictions since september, the heart of our community. the various compensation schemes don't allow these folks to survive. will trimester commit to financial support which will allow our hospitality sector to survive? >> she's quite right to raise the problem in the hospitality sector and we are committed to doing what we can to grant an additional 2100 plus the 1000 but the best thing of all in addition to the cuts in business rates is areas to work to gather, areas in the northeast to work together to reduce the virus through
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community testing the way liverpool has succeeded and appreciate things are very tough but if we work together we can get the virus -- get our pubs open again. >> mister speaker. we are confident the uk will prosper on a canada style arrangement. >> in light of the new opportunities is the prime minister aware of the ambitious economic growth proposition and will he back this bid to ensure they continue to increase contributions for a win for the businesses and the leveling of the agenda? >> yes indeed.
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but can come sure counsel is working with my honorable friend and my partners across the sector and we have been in initial discussions with buckinghamshire. >> ronnie cowan. >> a number of deaths reported in scotland yesterday. if you worry you can do something about not just scotland but across the united kingdom, the creation of drug consumption. >> order one seconds just to say you keep saying you and i don't respond to any of this. >> my apologies. my question to the prime minister.
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across the united kingdom, drug consumption at westminster. in the uk government, ideological view that consumption is encouraged, drug taken in the prime minister engage with me to help the prime minister do a good thing? >> i listen carefully to what the honorable gentlemen had to say is we don't want to do anything to encourage the consumption of more drugs nor to decriminalize possession of drugs because they ruin lives and drive criminality across the united kingdom but i'm happy to look at the proposals he makes one more time and to
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pursue the agenda but the majority, the vast penalty power is needed are already vested with the administration in scotland and the failures he talks about are largely down to that. >> i wish you and everyone in parliament a merry christmas and thank you for tea keeping us in our place and extend the best wishes to the prime minister. of tomatoes two months, showing great resolve and determination leading our nation through it. it has been a wretched year due to covid-19 but vaccination offers a ray of hope in 2021. does the prime minister agree with me all those called upon to take the vaccine will not only be protecting their own health but doing civic duty and helping the health of others keeping people in jobs, to our cherished way of life. >> great to hear my honorable
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friend's good sense on this matter, absolutely right that people offered the vaccine take steps to get it immediately and protect themselves and everyone else. >> to the northeast. >> highly skilled engineers in my constituency were told they had to sign new contracts for christmas or he would be fired and rehired in the new year on worst terms, fire and rehire is an illegitimate negotiation tactic that causes anger. will the prime minister join me to withdraw its threats and the negotiation table with workers and the union, with labor and the trade union to introduce
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legislation. >> it is very important that all businesses treat their employees with fairness and respect and in that sense i share the point of view of the honorable lady but it is vital to have a flexible economy able to generate jobs particularly when we are going through difficult time and we have a proud record of keeping employment high and keeping unemployment low as we continue. >> despite the challenges of the pandemic, the college managed to open, not only does
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that give a boost but it will open up skills and apprenticeships to young people throughout my constituency. will my right honorable friend accompany me on a visit to view the amazing sculpture by renowned artist as soon as schedule and restrictions allow. >> i thank my honorable friend and i will do what i can to fit in his kind invitation and i am delighted the open high level education skills raids and i thank him for what he is doing to campaign for that. >> john michael. >> mister speaker, the prime
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minister -- by 2024, by extending 800, why does the prime minister say that about that sector, does the prime minister mean it is time through the court to get the reductions leans filled in yorkshire, support what he promised. >> i can say is a number of member of this house, as many as i have -- absolutely committed to rolling out as he rightly says, 40000 emission buses in the country's first all electric bus and he's right to lobby for the buses built,
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we will be championing them and elsewhere it is a 0 carbon way we are putting the pedal to the floor to get that done. >> will the prime minister join with me in congratulating kevin's infield in raising 2 and a half million pounds, running tweet 7 marathons. increasing the investment in research and marching together to find a q or. >> thank you, mister speaker. i share your enthusiasm, thank you.
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as they have done, a devastating condition, i congratulate kevin in his actions on the government, in full support. >> my constituent charlotte, a single parent, had to stop work due to her 5-year-old son's self isolating. she is ineligible for the 500 pound support payment, the concerned parents need to use on annual or unpaid leave. isn't it wrong to exclude from the cost of the children, wales and scotland have done so, why won't he support parents in england? >> she's right to draw attention to the hardship of parents, kids who come home
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from school from cyprus double self isolation and things we're trying to do, rolling out lateral flow testing for schools on a grand scale to reduce the size of the bubble that go home. and do what we can to support families throughout the crisis and universal credits, all manner of support we are providing in addition to free childcare. the best answer for this crisis is to keep our kids in school, to test them and roll out the community testing which i hope she supports in her neighborhood and i am sure she does to drive the virus down. allow the vaccine time to
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protect our elderly and vulnerable so we can all move forward together as a society. in the meantime i appreciate the problem she is addressing. we will do our best. the british house of commons is in recess for the holidays until tuesday, january 5. prime minister's questions returns wednesday, january 6, 7:00 live on c-span 2 at a.m. eastern. announcer: tonight on the communicators, zoom's head of global public policy on the videoconferencing company's growth during the covid-19 pandemic. >> it's been an utterly transformational year for this company. we went from something on the order of 10 million daily
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meeting participants in december, to something north of 300 million in april. prior to the pandemic, we were focused almost entirely on business customers. and of course all of that changed. and when the pandemic arrived, we understood that we had the opportunity to connect not just companies, but people, families, faith institutions, schools, health care institutions, and it's been extraordinary. we worked to scale up incredibly quickly to avoid disruptions and to be there for people. om's just calm her tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern on the communicators on c-span 2. announcer: statement c-span for our continuing coverage of the transition of power, as president-elect joe biden moves closer to the presidency. with the electoral college votes
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cast from states across the country, join us on january 6 live at 1:00 p.m. eastern for the joint session of congress to count the votes and declared the winner for vice president and president. and finally at noon on january 20, the inauguration of the 46th president of the united states. our live coverage begins at 7:00 a.m. eastern from the statehouse, to congress, to the white house. watch it all live on c-span, on the go at, or listen using the free c-span radio app. announcer: now, an update on the government funding bill and the coronavirus aid package from house speaker nancy pelosi and senate minority leader chuck schumer. speaker nancy pelosi and senate minority leader chuck schumer. have a pelosi: that we vote on. space.y had this good evening, everyone. honoredy


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