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tv   BBC Newsroom Live  BBC News  March 29, 2017 11:00am-1:01pm BST

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this is bbc news — on the day that brexit finally begins. i'm jane hill in westminster on the day that brexit finally begins. britain will formally tell the eu it's leaving, after 44 years of membership. a letter — signed by theresa may — will be handed over in brussels to the president of the european council triggering article 50. the prime minister has just left downing street for the house of commons — she'll tell mps this is "the moment for the country to come together" as it embarks upon a "momentous journey". the chancellor confirms today will not be the cut—off point for eu migrants who hope to retain their rights in britain — and insists a deal can be reached. we have to go into this discussion understanding and accepting that we will have to do some give and take to get the best possible deal for britain. i'm ben brown at the european commission in brussels. in just over an hour's time this man
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— the uk representative to the eu — will hand over that letter from theresa may — signalling the start of two years of negotiations on leaving. we'll bring you all the latest news and reaction throughout the day, from across the uk and european union. good morning. i'm outside the houses of parliament on college green ahead of the triggering of article 50 — which marks the start of the formal process for the uk to leave the eu. the prime minister, theresa may, has
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just left number ten downing st. she is on her way to parliament. she will be addressing mps this lunchtime after prime minister's questions. she will be telling mps that today marks the time for the country to come together as it embarks on what she describes as a momentous journey. we embarks on what she describes as a momentousjourney. we know that embarks on what she describes as a momentous journey. we know that the prime minister has already signed that letter giving official notice under article 50 of the lisbon treaty. that letter will be delivered later today. the british ambassador to the eu, sir tim barrow, will deliver the letter to european council president donald tusk at about lunchtime. the letter is several pages long and sets out mrs may's vision of how brexit negotiations will go. negotiations will not start
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properly until the autumn, and have to be completed by october 2018 in order to be ratified by the european parliament. we can get the thoughts of norman smith he was at the house of commons. this is an historic day? smith he was at the house of commons. this is an historic dawm is. a genuinely historic day when mrs may hopes the country will come behind brexit. that is a rather optimistic idea because europe has been a great fault line in british politics certainly since the second world war. it is hard to see how that will end, simply with the brexit process. as for the letter itself, that will be a key document. we will get the first sense of its
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contents when mrs may comes here to make a statement at 12:30pm. she will set out the broad outlines the her ambitions for the negotiations, what she hopes to achieve from brexit. once she sits down then downing street will fire up that letter to journalists such as myself, so we can see exactly what mrs mayes says. crucial will be the sort of deal that that letter suggests mrs may is aiming for. a lot of the letter will be the obvious, it will be a restatement of the lancaster house agreement, so things like leaving the single market, getting back control of immigration, ending the jurisdiction of the european court ofjustice, we know that. what we don't know is the areas where mrs may is ready to give, to do a deal, to compromise. this morning, the chancellor philip hammond made very clear that we are in the business of striking a deal. he slapped down the idea from boris johnson that it was absolutely ok
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just to leave without a deal. he said we will get a deal. he also gave us said we will get a deal. he also gave us an indication of one thing we will compromise on, we will allow eu nationals to keep coming here during the course of the brexit negotiations over the next two yea rs, negotiations over the next two years, and they will still be able to enjoy the full rights they currently enjoy. and he said, we cannot have our cake and eat it. philip hammond is clearly in the market to compromise. every negotiation is about give and take on both sides and we have to go into this discussion understanding and accepting that we will have to do some give and take to get the best possible deal for britain. and it has to be a deal but works for britain and for its european union partners. that is the only way you can geta partners. that is the only way you can get a deal done. i am confident, as we have explored over the last nine months with our eu partners, that we have a sufficient meeting of
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minds on this issue, that we will be able to reach a deal that will work for us and work for them. jane, the key phrase there, give and take. we will have to give some ground if we wa nt to ta ke will have to give some ground if we want to take some concessions. the problem therefore mrs may is whatever deal she strikes, she has to come back here to sell it to parliament, and above all to the brexiteers in her own party who have been hugely encouraged by mrs may because they have been talking her language. after she has done a deal, she has got to sell it to parliament and the public. therein lies the difficulty for mrs may. the eu will wa nt difficulty for mrs may. the eu will want the best deal they can get. mrs may has to make sure she does not give too much ground, particularly on key areas like immigration, like money, which might make it very hard for her to sell that deal back here at westminster and in the country at large. thank you, norman. we will talk to some of those individuals in
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the next couple of minutes. first, let's head to brussels and get the thoughts of my colleague ben brown who is monitoring reaction there for us who is monitoring reaction there for us and they are presumably ready for all of this way you are, ben? it is very carefully choreographed on both sides. we are outside the european commission building. it isjust over the road where the european council buildings are that you can see there that the letter will be delivered. said tim barro is already in there with that letter —— sir tim barrow. injust over an with that letter —— sir tim barrow. in just over an hour's time, at 12:20pm your time, in just over an hour's time, at 12:20pm yourtime, 1:20pm in just over an hour's time, at 12:20pm your time, 1:20pm here, in just over an hour's time, at 12:20pm yourtime, 1:20pm here, he will go to donald tusk, the president of the european council and hand over that letter. it is when donald tusk acknowledges receipt of the letter we gather that article 50 is formally triggered and he will acknowledge receipt of it with a tweet, we hear, and the bdo
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statement afterwards saying he has received it. we will not get a fuller response from donald tusk for a couple days. —— a video statement. on friday he will make a statement setting out the broad principles by which the eu will conduct the negotiations over the next couple of yea rs. negotiations over the next couple of years. in theresa may's letter we gather there are the broad para meters gather there are the broad parameters of how she sees the next two years panning out, and echo really of her lancaster house speech backin really of her lancaster house speech back in january. so, really of her lancaster house speech back injanuary. so, the negotiations will not kick off really until may orjune. then you have the french and german elections in may and september. they will probably not start in earnest until the autumn of this year, and they have to be completed by october 2018, in orderfor have to be completed by october 2018, in order for approval from have to be completed by october 2018, in orderfor approvalfrom the european parliament and ratification. it is a pretty tight timetable. ben, thank you. we will have more
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from brussels shortly. let's discuss what lies ahead today and in the weeks and months ahead. joining me now on college green is mp dominic raab, who supports leaving the eu, and shadow brexit minister matthew pennycook. dominic raab, a very upbeat day for you? it is very important. we have had nine months of paving the way for negotiations. the cbi showed a survey of their members and they had manufacturing confidence at a 20 year high. that is buttressed by political ambition, theresa may's vision of a deal with the eu which is good for all quarters of the uk but also with our european friends. we are focused now on a two—year negotiation which lies ahead and focusing on a win—win deal. negotiation which lies ahead and focusing on a win-win deal. matthew pennycook, we are going ina
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going in a positive mood and the positive economic scenario?” passionately and tirelessly campaigned for a passionately and tirelessly campaigned fora remain passionately and tirelessly campaigned for a remain vote in my constituency but we are where we are and we need to focus on getting the right deal for our country. my colleague keir starmer said that six tests of what we need for the government. we have to be a partner and also have the type of vision for the type of country we want to see asa the type of country we want to see as a result of us leaving. we have yet to see the prime minister bringing the country behind her in it genuine consensus. you mentioned the six tests, labour is setting the bar very high with what you want the prime minister to be able to achieve. the idea that britain could exit from all of this with exactly the same benefits and access to the single market that we currently have is simply not possible, is it? those are not my words, it was david davis run the dispatch box on the 24th of january. he is looking for a deal on the single market that delivers the same benefits that we have now.
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the single market that delivers the same benefits that we have nowm that possible, realistically? lets see, we are at the start of the negotiations. we are the fifth biggest con me in the world. we have a £60 billion trade deficit with the eu. the clue is in the name, free trade. let's go into this looking for the win—win. i think labour's six tests are fairly irrelevant holding position, but that is fine. the country has shifted dramatically sincejune. the country has shifted dramatically since june. if you the country has shifted dramatically sincejune. if you look at all the polls there is strong support for the objective is theresa may has set out. now we have to go out and deliver them and the way we do that is not by bad—mouthing our european friends but focusing on our interests. one is not talking about bad—mouthing but one cannot be a member of the single market without the immigration issue with that and is that not what people voted against lastjune? is that not what people voted against last june? absolutely right. the idea that we could stay part of the single market was one of the
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consensus positions but what we can haveis consensus positions but what we can have is free trade and that is our starting point. we will make not just on free trade but on security and military cooperation, the best offer that in independent nation has ever given to the eu. we hope they will accept. we think there is a strong chance they will accept but we are ready for any outcome on these negotiations. you mention security and we are here at westminster one week to the day after the appalling atrocity, the death of a police constable and several other people. is that at all a concern for you that european countries still have to work together for security? a massive issue and i worked in the foreign office at the hague and europol. but there are 12 non—eu members who have liaison officers at europol. there are more american officers at europol than the majority of european states so it is a good example of the collaboration we can
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have without giving up control of oui’ have without giving up control of our democracy. we can go to these negotiations pointing out the intelligence we put in and the law—enforcement weeper tin. that is another example of where the eu do not want to lose a valued partner. it is all about win—win. not want to lose a valued partner. it is all about win-win. matthew pennycook, what are your concerns about security? it is a big concern. it is one of the six tests we have salvaged. i do not think they are holding positions. it might be a win—win, let's hope it is. i think there will be trade—offs and compromises and we have to hold the government to account. theresa may is not going to get a deal which is the same as the 12 objectives she set out. there will be compromises. we want to see a strong collaborative partnership, with the cooperation of all these areas. i'm sorry cooperation of all these areas. i'm sorry we cooperation of all these areas. i'm sorry we must leave it there but there are plenty more opportunities to discuss in the two years ahead.
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thank you for being with us. let's just returned to brussels and get more on the views and opinions there. yes, jane. there. yes,jane. in there. yes, jane. injust there. yes, jane. in just over an there. yes, jane. injust over an hour's time, sirtim barrow will yes, jane. injust over an hour's time, sir tim barrow will hand over that letter from theresa may signalling the start of brexit, the brexit process. nine months after the referendum, so really historic moment. the eu has been growing throughout its history. now it is about to shrink for the first time. let's talk to a conservative member of the parliament for the east midlands. you describe yourself as a pragmatic lever but are you relu cta nt, pragmatic lever but are you reluctant, do you find yourself with mixed emotions today?” reluctant, do you find yourself with mixed emotions today? i am pragmatic but not reluctant. we have got to do this but although there are downsides, there are more upside to
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it. today is an important day, an important milestone. it is not one that i am celebrating or feeling sad about, it is a welcome moment of clarity that we can now get on with the detail. the clock is ticking from the moment that letter is handed over in just over an from the moment that letter is handed over injust over an hour's time or so from here. can you all see it being done and dusted within that timetable? i think there has been a change of atmosphere and more good will and desire to get this done. of course people are sad that britain is leaving but they are clear about what we want to achieve andi clear about what we want to achieve and i think they are clear about what they need from a successful relationship between the eu and the uk. there are people'sjobs relationship between the eu and the uk. there are people's jobs at sta ke, uk. there are people's jobs at stake, there is a future relationship that needs to work. that is the prevailing mood here. you do not think there is any sense that people want to punish britain for leaving? there are undoubtedly people with that sense, there are people with that sense, there are people who are so wedded to the
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project that they would actually risk their people's on well—being to prove that you vision point, but i think they are well outnumbered, particularly at governmental level are specially by people who realise this has got to work and that has to bea this has got to work and that has to be a sensible deal for everybody. one of the key things is the divorce bill sorted out first, the £50 billion or whatever it turns out to be, or is it simultaneously? that is already a bone of contention?m will not be 50 billion, it will be less tha n will not be 50 billion, it will be less than that. their obligations we have to meet but they will be of a more reasonable nature. this will be a big point but i think what we want to happen is if general european fudge where there will be quite a lot of progress made on the mechanics of brexit, but then there will be talking about the trade deal as well because a gap would not be helpful to anybody. let's not forget the deal is something which works for the eu 27 as well as us. very
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good to talk to, andrew lewer, conservative mep for the east midlands. thank you. sirtim barrow will hand over that letter at 12:20pm your time. we are not expecting a huge fanfare around it. there will be some still photographs of that very historic moment but nothing more than that. jane, back to you. thank you. let's join our correspondent catriona renton in holyrood. another dimensional going on in westminster today when we think about negotiations between theresa may and nicola sturgeon. are we expecting any formal comments about what is going on in westminster today? we are expecting some formal approaches towards the end of the week. not today, she has ruled that out, to talk about the vote that happened yesterday in holyrood. it isa happened yesterday in holyrood. it is a lot quieter today than it was this time yesterday, when they were
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heading towards the vote for a second referendum. 62% of people in scotla nd second referendum. 62% of people in scotland voted to remain in the eu of those who voted. that led to this collision course between the scottish government and the uk government, which culminated in that vote yesterday. nicola sturgeon had said originally that she was prepared to explore all options with the uk government, when it came to negotiating a distinctive deal to scotland. but she said she was met with a brick wall of intransigence coming from the uk government, so that led to the second vote, vote for a second independence referendum. she has put proposals to the uk government and said she has had no formal response to those. the central plank being that she would like the uk release scotland to remain in the single market. she said she has had no formal response to that either. that led to this debate, led to this boat in support
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ofa debate, led to this boat in support of a second independence referendum. mrs may have repeatedly said now is not the time for that. we got further clarification from the uk government last night. what they are saying is they will not consider a timetable for a second independence referendum until the brexit process is complete. and they want scottish voters to experience what the new relationship between the uk and the eu is like. that could take some time. but that will not stop events from pressing on here. nicola sturgeon is now mandated by the scottish parliament to seek talks with theresa may with an eye to having a second referendum. catriona renton, thank you. to remind you, we will hear from the prime minister theresa may after pmqs this lunchtime. at seven o'clock this evening theresa may will talk to andrew neil about her plans for brexit on bbc one. so, here we are at westminster at
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the start of these divorce proceedings from the european union. detailed talks expected to begin later this year. ministers will soon have to face the question of whether the uk owes money to the eu to fulfil previous spending commitments. there have been suggestions that britain owes brussels as much as £50 billion. but the secretary of state for exiting the secretary of state for exiting the eu, david davis, says he does not expect to see that sort of money change hands. but what might the final bill be? ourformer europe correspondent chris morris has been investigating. our reality check question, do negotiations start straightaway? well, the big change is the clock started ticking on the two year
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period for negotiation, as set out in article 50. it's really not very long so it would be good if formal negotiations could start tomorrow. but they won't. first of all, the other 27 countries have to agree guidelines, a mandate for the european commission to negotiate with the uk. now, they say they want to get on with it and the president of the european council, donald tusk said he will have a draft agreement ready within 48 hours. he will be hoping there are too many objections but lawyers in every national capital will go through the document line by line. the plan is that the other 27 countries, without the uk, will meet for a special summit on the 29th of april to vote on the mandate that needs to get unanimous approval. then it could take a few more weeks for the commission to turn the mandate into a formal negotiating directive, and all this while france is holding its presidential election. the best guess is that negotiations could start in late may, maybe earlyjune, led for the uk by david davis, and for the eu by michel barnier. the problem is they have not yet agreed on what they are negotiating
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about and that will be the first point of controversy. the eu wants to start by talking about the divorce bill, how much money it thinks the uk owns. it also wants to talk about the status of eu citizens here in the uk, and the status of brits elsewhere in europe. only then does it want to move on to discuss the future relationship on trade and other matters. the uk, on the other hand, wants to talk about all of this at the same time. time is so short for such a complex process and trade talks will be key. if they can't find a compromise, there is a chance the whole thing could fall apart before it gets going. the aim will be to produce legal texts on the terms of suppression by about october 2018. that's roughly 17 months of negotiation in all. after that, a few months will be taken up getting the approval of the european council, the european parliament and the uk parliament, allowing the uk to leave the eu
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in two years' time. which brings us to the key date. 29th of march 2019. but will that be enough time to sort out the uk's future trading relationship with the eu? well, many people fear that it won't, because the legal and political details are just too complicated. which is why the toughest negotiations of all could be about transition arrangements, between full eu membership now and a permanent new settlement in the future. there's plenty to do but it all starts right here. chris, thank you. let's cross now to sunderland, where our correspondent fiona trott has the latest. jane, ina jane, in a city where 7000 people work for nissan, which exports more than 50% of its cars to eu
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countries, you knew that something extraordinary was happening when people here still decided to vote leave. we caught up with some of them today. they have absolutely no regrets of course. why? sovereignty and border controls. those are the two main reasons they had. we can speak to sir richard elfyn behind the leave campaign. you fought so ha rd the leave campaign. you fought so hard for this. can you believe that today has arrived? with difficulty. it isa today has arrived? with difficulty. it is a really surreal moment. we felt we had the whole world against us, the establishment and the media and we achieved the result we had been campaigning for. the day has arrived and it is almost difficult to comprehend. are you happy with the way negotiations are going so far? as happy as one can be. the thing is, we need to get on with it. we don't want to be talking about a ha rd we don't want to be talking about a hard brexit or a soft brexit, we
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wa nt to hard brexit or a soft brexit, we want to talk about a sensible brexit. both sides need to get around the table, it is in everybody‘s interest sorted out as much as possible. do you think the triggering of article 50 will bring some clarity? it is bound to bring some clarity? it is bound to bring some clarity. what do you want politicians to do? this is the problem! there needs to be a political will to get things done quickly but we are in the hands of the eu. it is a very slow working machine and they probably will not get around to do anything until october with the german elections and wanting to sort out the divorce proceedings before the settlement, without doing the two together which would make sense from a business point of view. they will have to go through the procedures as quickly as possible and hopefully, all sides will come to the table, be sensible about it and achieve a deal which is satisfactory to both sides. what to
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say to people who believe this can still be turned around?” say to people who believe this can still be turned around? i found it very disappointing. we have had a great debate over many years. we had a referendum. it is the will of the people. it is almost like saying we had a general election and one party has won but we don't accept it so can we have another election to get the party we really wanted? i think people have to accept the fact. it isa people have to accept the fact. it is a new chapter in our history. it is a new chapter in our history. it is an exciting opportunity for us to go forward in the world, to regain our sovereignty, to become self—governing nation again and i think the future is very bright. let's bring in alex abinger. you work for a company which makes specialist medical equipment. we spoke to your boss and he said most of the products you need you can only get in germany, so how do you feel now? are you more reassured?
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that is absolutely right. we have several key suppliers who come from germany and non—european countries. we are still very concerned that we will need a quick resolution to this and we will need contracts in place because of customs hold—ups might impact the country in a massive way. let me ask richard, because you say these are exciting times but business people like alex are concerned? and they have every right to be concerned. we should all be concerned but we should be concerned with getting free trade agreements as well as a customs arrangements sorted at the earliest possible opportunity. we have to have the political will to do it. the actual administration will not be too difficult. alex, you are a german person living here in sunderland. do you feel uncertain about your own future here in the uk? to a degree.
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i assume that something which will be sorted out quite quickly. the fa ct be sorted out quite quickly. the fact there was not the position earlier from either side to put something forward makes us feel a little bit like bargaining chip in this whole situation. as i said, properly not too concerned but a little more clarity would be nice. thank you forjoining me here at the winter gardens in sunderland, the city where that penny dropped, where people could understand why people we re people could understand why people were voting for leave. people have told us this is the day they have been waiting for. fiona, thank you. you are watching bbc news. we will have continuing coverage from here at westminster as we build up to prime minister's questions, and then that statement from theresa may, the prime minister to the commons on the day that article 50 is triggered and britain begins the process of leaving the
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eu. you are watching bbc news. and as you would expect we have very much continuing coverage all day on the news. i'm delighted to say that with me here outside the houses of parliament is the conservative peer lord dobbs. a very warm welcome to you. this is a good day for you, this is what you wanted?” you. this is a good day for you, this is what you wanted? i feel a sense of release and relief. there has been so much grandstanding and uncertainty. there is bound to be uncertainty. there is bound to be uncertainty about something like this but now we can get on with it, the posturing can be put aside. there will undoubtedly be bumps ahead and it is not beyond the wit of man to screw up the process entirely, but i see a process where europe, britain grows up. it is not a 0—sum game and into a
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three years' time we will look back on this moment as being a true turning point in the development of both eu and britain. because you think britain's decision to leave will force reform within the eu? absolutely. the reason why britain is getting out of the eu is because the eu refused to give david cameron what he asked for which was much more flexibility. that did not happen so we said if that cannot happen so we said if that cannot happen then we are off. it will force the eu to take a very close look at what it is about and also to start listening to the people, not just the bureaucrats but the in this country and all around europe who say we do not like what is going on, let's have a better direction. they have been very deaf until now, they will have to open their ears. we are infora will have to open their ears. we are in for a very long process. i have interviewed say mini people who have said there is not a snowball‘s chance in hell of this happening within two years, it is a very long process. do you have concerns that
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the domestic agenda will be sidelined? how much time will be be to talk about how bad education when everything will be focused on leaving the eu ? when the eu and those who support staying in say, this is not enough time, that is up to you, not the oss. time, that is up to you, not the oss. it will be a huge focus. it is usually historic —— not to us. i am a man he believes that government can end up doing much more harm than it does good and lots of legislation we have to deal with simply is not well enough thought through. if it gives us pause and chance to catch up gives us pause and chance to catch up on gives us pause and chance to catch up on some gives us pause and chance to catch up on some sensibly thought out legislation that might actually be a benefit. but this is what happens, brexit, getting the relationship, a positive ongoing relationship with europe, right. i can't go without
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reminding younger viewers that you wrote the original house of cards.” wrote the original house of cards.” wrote the original house of cards.” wrote the house of cards 30 years ago this year. and it seems that reality has overtaken fiction. my fictional work may be at an end, who knows? what we are seeing now is almost unimaginable, two three years ago. lord dubs, thank you very much indeed. before kevin spacey there was a great ian richardson and michael dobbs created that character. we are here to talk about the triggering of article 50. let's discuss what it might mean for businesses, individuals, with the mirror of london. —— the mayor of london. hejoins us now from paris. you are in paris today to make the
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point that as the maher of a huge, multicultural city, you want to tell people that that city is still open. absolutely. i just had people that that city is still open. absolutely. ijust had a meeting with emmanuel macron. we must all be pa rt with emmanuel macron. we must all be part of this great continent. it is important that nobody, whether it is france or the eu seeks to punish us, because if it is the case that businesses do leave london, and i hope not, they may not go to european capitals but to new york, singapore and hong kong. this process will have a profound impact on london and the uk on the standard of living, on security, air quality and workers' rights. we should not pretend it will not have an impact on our country and ultimately, europe as well. a huge number of
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people from lots of european countries live across the uk, but particularly here in london with its enormous population. there does seem to be positive noises from the chance of this morning, philip hammond, saying that there will be a process of negotiation offering a certain amount of protection, so far, for eu migrants living in this country and the city of which you are mayor. do you draw some comfort from that? we've got to recognise that in london alone there are 1 million londoners, and they are londoners, by the way, who are eu citizens, across the uk, 3.3 million, and they need from the prime minister today a cast iron guarantee that their future is certain in london and in the uk. i'm disappointed we have not had that certainty so far. when i met with the eu yesterday, they were keen to
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have that certainty given to eu citizens but also to give that reassurance to the britons who live across europe, 1 million of them. they contributed hugely to our citizen —— our city and our country. what the prime minister needs to be doing as a matter of urgency is working on an interim deal. if it is the case that we can't reach a deal with the eu within two years then in two years and one day, we fall off a cliff edge, and for the financial sector in particular, that uncertainty is not good business and it could be one of the reasons why they choose to leave london, and we don't want or that. do you really believe that is a genuine risk, that companies will start moving staff and offices outside london, outside the uk, because it is something that is often threaten but doesn't necessarily always come to fruition? one of the things i did when the referendum results were released was
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to put a major campaign with three simple words, london is open. that the city of london is open to talent, businesses and ideas and apple, google, facebook and others have come to london and expanded their businesses in london. it is also the case, i'm afraid, particularly in the financial sector that hsbc, ubs, morgan stanley, have talked about moving some of their operations leading london, because they need to have passporting rights and access to the single market and and access to the single market and a longer there is uncertainty, the greater the risk for financial services companies making plans outside of london, paris, brussels and elsewhere. that is why i am saying to our government, it is important, as soon as all, we work out an interim deal to make sure that, they have got two years and
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one day up until we have included the new agreement with the eu, and by the way, it is in the interests of the eu to have this interim deal, because all of the evidence from these banks and institutions is that ultimately, if they leave london, the only global financial city in europe, they will go to new york, singapore, hong kong, which is bad news for london, the uk and the eu, also. sadiq khan, the mayor of london, talking to me from paris. it is noisy and error in paris and noisy here in westminster as well on this momentous day. we are trying to get a flavour of how today's events are being received in various parts of the country. to that end, let's hear from of the country. to that end, let's hearfrom our of the country. to that end, let's hear from our correspondencejohn of the country. to that end, let's hear from our correspondence john k, where more than 60% of voters backed the remain campaign. postalvote by
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more than 60% to remain in the european union, so let's talk to some remainers about how they are feeling. what are your thoughts and sentiments on this day when article 50 is being triggered? the government is embarking on a journey where it doesn't know whether it is going what it is doing and it is not in control of negotiations from now on. you don't think it is in control? they are completely in the hands of the other 27 countries. whether you think that leaves the uk today? this is what the majority of people across the uk wanted. today? this is what the majority of people across the uk wantedm today? this is what the majority of people across the uk wanted. it is a shambles, this country is in an absolute mess, potentially, unless we decide to change our minds. you are proudly wearing your eu citizens badge but maybe only for two years maximum will you be an eu citizen.” am sure that i will be. the country will wake up. young people will come forward and we cannot be thrown out of the eu against our will and i do
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believe that the will of the people will change, but we need to give it time. it wasn't the will of the people last spring and summer when they voted to leave the european union. for many people there was a protest vote against the shambles of domestic policy. and these are, unfortunately, things that are leaving the eu will not be able to change for them. i do believe that their lives will become worse, there will be less money for welder —— welfare , will be less money for welder —— welfare, housing and the nhs. did you believe it is still possible that he could stay in the eu despite this day of history today? it is always possible. it's a democracy. we debate and discuss ideas and look at the arguments. as it becomes increasingly clear that this is not going to be simple and straightforward and that most of the things the government said during the referendum were lies, they promised we would be in a single
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market, we will not be, the country itself may break up. they said it was their intention not to be in the single market, busilyl was their intention not to be in the single market, busily i hope they change their mind, but these are core issues we need to discuss. people can change their minds on brexit. they might look at everything that has happened and decide that they would ratherjust remain in the eu. the government has no mandate for what it is doing. a very narrow vote to leave the eu. about as narrow as it can get, the government has taken that and is extrapolating that to mean a lot of things that he did not vote for, about breaking up the uk and leaving the single market. all three of you remain remainers, the country voted to leave, article 50 is about to be triggered, and the divorce proceedings begin. john k in bristol. what exactly happens next? joining me on college green now isjill rutter from the institute for government. it isa
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it is a huge question and potentially a long answer. what are the initial stages? this is the triggering of article 50 of the lisbon treaty. we are about to see the contents of the letter that is to be delivered to donald tusk by tim barrow, a prime ministerial statement. interesting to see how much more we know of the statement. the chancellor were suggesting there could be a bit more in the letter, maybe there uk view on what process we need for the negotiations. tomorrow, we see the starting gun fired on domestic processes with the publication of the white paper on the great repeal bill and how the uk depends —— intends to do with that, since wejoined the depends —— intends to do with that, since we joined the eu depends —— intends to do with that, since wejoined the eu in 1973, how to move all of that legislation into uk law. it is not simple, but is it fairto uk law. it is not simple, but is it fair to say, we will be talking about the great repeal bill tomorrow, but it is notjust
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possible to lift that european legislation and plant it in westminster and say that all of this is now on the british statute book, it applies from here on in. i'm assuming it is not that simple. what is going on in whitehall is a big task from officials setting off after the referendum to look at what that statute book looks like, to decide which bits of european law you can just cut and paste into british law, what is operable, and what is inoperable, and excellent brase, and is that depend on eu institutions and other eu provisions that do not apply in the eu any more. we meaning to tweak that to fit uk law. the other bit that they are doing, a lot of things they might depend on the actions and the negotiations. they might start this process but not that exactly where they need to end up. is it fair to say that this is a wide range of
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areas, environmental legislation, fisheries, it is a whole group, everything that governs our daily lives? in some areas the eu has not had much effect, like education. the uk school system will go on pretty much as was. other departments, the department for environment, food and rural affairs, 80% of their legislation comes from the eu, it is not domestic legislation. in every area they do business, this matters. then there is the matter of the devolved administrations. many of these areas have been devolved but within a framework that we are all pa rt within a framework that we are all part of the body of eu law, so some really interesting questions that we will see the government deciding tomorrow, how far is it proposing to retain the powers that be repatriate here orjust cascade them down to the devolved administrations. can these things happen in your opinion, at the same time as macro getting
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the eu law on to the british statute book, but we know that there is a raft of trade negotiations that have to continue as well. does all of this go on at the same time, because thatis this go on at the same time, because that is a lot of man and woman power! it is an awful lot. we don't have any choice. one of the things we have to be ready for, and again philip hammond was saying this this morning, we have to be ready for any possible outcome from negotiations and one of those is that the two year time period expires, in this time in two years' time we have the possibility of no deal and we have to be ready to avoid that, that cliff edge on day one, post brexit. so the government needs to be sure that it has got the laws and systems in place to make sure that there is this minimum disruption on that day after, as soon as possible. thank
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you very much indeed. we will be talking a lot in the coming days and weeks, i think. talking a lot in the coming days and weeks, ithink. let's talking a lot in the coming days and weeks, i think. let's assess the views of business. our business correspondent rachel home at the embankment on the edge of the city in central london. thanks, jane. and what a view i have here. over my shoulder you can see the city of london and the cloud seems to be gathering over those iconic buildings, housing much of the uk financial sector, which is worth £120 billion a year to the uk economy, employing more than 1.1 million workers. those workers today are watching and waiting. they want to know what is in that letter, being delivered to the eu president, donald tusk. how will the eu react? they need some certainty. there have been nine months of uncertainty that has dogged the markets and the uk currency. and the markets, if i've said it once i have said it 1000 times, they do not like uncertainty.
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iamjoined by the ceo of the eef, the manufacturers' organisation. how are you feeling today? it is a matter of let's get on with it. british businessmen and women are practical bunch. we have seen the direction of government travel. it is pretty clear. we are getting on with this and following the submission of the letter today we are hoping for some reasonable outcome of the big issues that affect us, access to the best free trade agreement in the world, the single market, and ongoing access to skills and the people we need. you mentioned that access to skills, so migration, customs, carrots, these are going to be big issues that your members are concerned about. —— tariffs.” issues that your members are concerned about. -- tariffs. i think that we have to look at this as a package, and to secure ongoing access to this market tarriff—free,
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and that there are no nontariff barriers, there will be compromises. if we look at our negotiating partners across the channel, all 27 of them, they will be looking for us to drop some of the ideology around so—called har border controls and controls of immigration. let's talk about sterling. it has weakened significantly since the brexit vote, down 15% against the dollar, 11% against the euro, and that must be boosting your members who export.- with everything in life, there are winners and losers. if you look at this devaluation of the pound, we have seen exports increased significantly. not just to the eu but other markets around the world. and that is very reassuring. equally, i have to say on behalf of much of british industry, those businesses who import arsene increased input costs, reduction in
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margins and so on. but i have to say from a national point of view, the devaluation of the pound is driving the export agenda and from my point of view, it is welcome. thank you very much for your time this morning. let mejust very much for your time this morning. let me just mention the markets to you, jane. the ftse 100 markets to you, jane. the ftse100 has increased by 16% in value since the brexit vote but a lot of that is down to the weakness of sterling. the ftse100 is made up of lots of multinational companies who make money abroad, bring it abroad —— bring it home and sterling increases the value of them and of the ftse 100. sterling is what the traders have told us to watch. if there is any hint of compromise we should see that reflected in the stirling prize, andy sterling price is down this morning by more than 0.5%, but we have not seen the content of those letters, yet. anticipation is the mood in the city, and those dark clouds gathering over those
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buildings, will they get darker, although the sun breakthrough? —— or roll the sun break through? our scotland correspondent james shaw is in aberdeen. he can tell us about the mood in peterhead. not be part of the uk is celebrating brexit. lots of people here in the north east of scotland, particularly in the port of peterhead, will be. this is the centre of the whitefish industry in scotla nd centre of the whitefish industry in scotland and in fact in the uk. said to be the biggest whitefish porting europe. many fishermen say that the eu prevented them from doing business in the way that they wanted to, with foreign boats coming into uk waters. for a lot of people this isa uk waters. for a lot of people this is a red letter day and in particular, our guest, jimmy buchan, who owns a fish marketing business. what does this they mean to you? for
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me and for uk fishermen, it is a great day, an historic day. hopefully we will get what we have wanted for many decades. i understand people'sconcerns, but they have to understand our concerns and what we have had to live with any last four decades. this is an opportunity for this industry to rewrite history and undo a wrong that was done 40 years ago. what should theresa may and her ministers achieving those negotiations for you? in particular for the fishing industry, take back control of our economic zone. and therefore we then have control and can i make this quite simple? we gifted away access to our european cousins in the economic zone for fishermen, but we never did it for the oil and gas. i wonder why? it all comes out of the same sea, wonder why? it all comes out of the same sea, the same area. therefore, why did we trade one and not the
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other? that is something that we need to address the brexit. feeling that lingers after 40 need to address the brexit. feeling that lingers after a0 years, that the fishing industry industry was sold out and that your rights we re was sold out and that your rights were lost. is there a danger that that could happen again? there is always a danger. there will be one man orteam always a danger. there will be one man or team negotiating on behalf of an industry. we have got to put our faith, and we have lobbied ministers, and let them know what the economic benefits can be for our industry, coastline and communities across the uk, and this is the one and only opportunity that we will get to make ours. very briefly, if i canjust say, get to make ours. very briefly, if i can just say, we get to make ours. very briefly, if i canjust say, we did join a common market. what we have now is not a common market. it is a political union. what we joined is not what we have today. therefore, this is our opportunity to undo that. and your biggest fear is that rights could be traded away again as part of the
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negotiations, a bigger negotiation that the uk government will be working on for two years. negotiation, as we all know, you have got a starting point and if you come out of there with what you went in fourthen you come out of there with what you went in four then you are good negotiator. but we must make sure that the fight for the best possible deal. and that may mean, although there is word of coming out of the single market, it doesn't mean that we will not be trading with europe, but it might mean trading globally with the rest of the world. what an opportunity. jimmy buchan, thank you very much indeed. that is one perspective from the north east of scotland. a day of hopes and potentially a day of fears for this vital industry in this part of scotland. it is around eight minutes to midday. prime minister's questions is coming up at midday. after that, theresa may will address mps in the commons behind me. all of
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this, the official triggering of article 50 of the lisbon treaty, is happening exactly one week since the attack here at westminster. the policeman, pc keith palmer and three other people killed in that attack, exactly other people killed in that attack, exa ctly o ne other people killed in that attack, exactly one week ago. and there will bea exactly one week ago. and there will be a memorial at westminster this afternoon to mark that. we are here to reflect on that and to talk about article 50. let's go to our assistant political editor norman smith, who is in the central lobby in parliament ahead of today's pmqs. of course, it is a grim anniversary, one week from those attacks. and the speaker of the commons has made a couple of comments in relation to that. he has announced there will be two security reviews following the attack at westminster. a number of issues were thrown up, one of them centring around the presence and location of armed police in westminster, because it now
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transpires that the attacker was actually shot dead by one of michael fallon's security detail who happen to be in palace yard. questions about the positioning of armed police and the security of carriage gate, the main access for cars coming into the house of commons. that date has frequently been opened and closed a lot which means the police often have its slightly ajar. —— that gate. that seems to be how the attacker got in, brushing past a policeman standing in the gap that gate. there will be a broader concern about the lane along westminster bridge. we have built a large, new cycle lane along which it seems the attacker was able to accelerate without any traffic in his way. there may be some consideration as to whether speed bumps or some sort of obstacles have to be put in the way of that cycle lane to make sure that someone cannot repeat that. 0bviously,
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lane to make sure that someone cannot repeat that. obviously, there will be a lot of issues to grapple with in terms of tightening up security. all right, norman, and yes, people will be remembering the victims later this afternoon. in terms of what we're all waiting for this lunchtime, we few minutes from prime minister's questions and then it is going to be a fascinating moment, isn't it, whatever your views, which ever way people watching voted lastjune, this is a significant moment. it is an historic moment. this is the moment when we begin our departure from the european union, when mrs may says she wants the nation to unite but we know europe has been the most divisive issue in british politics stretching all the way back to the second world war. so achieving that unity may still be extraordinarily difficult. it makes it actually yes prime minister's questions, because ina way, prime minister's questions, because in a way, it is a bit of a sideshow
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today. everyone is waiting for that statement by theresa may at 12:30pm, and that letter which will be handed over, it will then be sent out on e—mail, probably tweeted so that people can see exactly what mrs may has said in the letter, which we think will be about six or seven pages long, setting up a broader ambitions for brexit, and what she wa nts ambitions for brexit, and what she wants from the deal. that letter is going to be absolutely critical for any going to be absolutely critical for a ny clu es going to be absolutely critical for any clues and hints that we can glean from it about the sort of compromises that mrs may might be prepared to make. two of these ones are of course money, will be prepared to make financial contributions to get access to the single market for some key elements of british industry, and the other one centres on immigration, the numbers. will we have to give a bit in terms of preferential access for eu nationals, again, we want to secure tariff free access to the single market. we will be waiting to
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see whether theresa may is vague and ambiguous and believes that open because of those are left open that would suggest those are the areas where britain is prepared to give, and finally, hearing from the chance of this morning, stressing the need for give and of this morning, stressing the need forgive and take, of this morning, stressing the need for give and take, and with a very clear slap back of borisjohnson, saying that we cannot have our cake and eat it. in other words, we have to compromise. very interesting. i was talking to sadiq khan, the mayor of london, earlier. he was very, very strong, that he wants to hear something from the prime minister about the situation of eu migrants who are already living in this country. lots of them in london but elsewhere, as well. he's not the only person to be making that point. but how many specifics do you think we are going to get in that area?|j suspect we are going to get in that area?” suspect very little, but i would not be discouraged by that if you were
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an eu national. thatjust flags up the fact that that will form part of the fact that that will form part of the negotiations, that there are no specifics. we know that theresa may has said she wanted to be a priority, other eu countries have said they want it to be a priority. both sides want a deal. the difficulty, i think, both sides want a deal. the difficulty, ithink, comes both sides want a deal. the difficulty, i think, comes if we get bogged down in negotiations over money, because the eu has made clear, before we get into sorting out the details of what sort of arrangements we have agreed to settle on, britain has to sign up to its divorce bill, the brexit bill. if that negotiation gets very, very difficult, then securing agreement on eu nationals might get pushed further down the line, which means further down the line, which means further uncertainty for those eu nationals. one thing we did get todayis nationals. one thing we did get today is a clear indication from the chancellor that eu nationals will still be able to come here over the next two years whilst those
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negotiations are ongoing, and they will still be able to enjoy exactly the same rights as they currently enjoy, in other words, access to benefits and the nhs. that will remain so long as the negotiations continued. and a quick thought, because that ties in with the fact that lots of british people live in other european countries as well. and that is a factor that ties into all of this. we will have much more from norman in the coming minutes. just a reminder of what we are expecting on bbc news. prime minister's questions is coming up. after that, we saw theresa may leaving number ten downing st in the last hour, and she will address mps. perhaps in the middle of prime minister's questions, we will have the formal handing over of that letter. britain's ambassador or to the eu will hand over that letter, signed by theresa may last night, confirming that britain wishes to trigger article 50 of the lisbon treaty. this is bbc news.
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i'm jane hill in westminster on the day that brexit finally begins. britain will formally tell the eu it's leaving, after aa years of membership. the prime minister will tell mps this is "the moment for the country to come together" as it embarks upon a "momentous journey". we are heading straight to the commons and prime minister's questions. keith palmer. i am sure the house willjoin me in extending condolences to the families. the investigation continues and two people have been arrested and are in custody. this morning i had meetings with ministerial colleagues and i will have further such meetings later today. may i echo her sentiments and congratulate her also
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on all the good work done since last week. may i also congratulate the prime minister and government on triggering article 50 today. i know this is a momentous action to the whole of the united kingdom and while i like herself campaigned to stay in, we recognise the people have spoken and we offered the ulster unionist party. port in ensuring negotiations deliver the best for the whole of the uk and particularly for northern ireland. but could i ask the prime minister to confirm that in the extremely improbable event that a border poll should take place regarding the future of northern ireland within the united kingdom during her premiership, that a government will fully support any official remain campaign? just as the government have done both in regard of the eu
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andindeed have done both in regard of the eu and indeed scotland. the honourable gentleman is right. today we do give effect to the democratic decision of the people of the united kingdom who voted for us to leave the european union. it was a call to make the united kingdom a country that works for everyone not just united kingdom a country that works for everyone notjust the privileged few. we are within that fully committed to ensuring the unique interests of northern ireland are attracted and advanced as we establish our negotiating position. our position is we strongly support the belfast agreement including the principle of consent that northern ireland constitutional position is that the people of northern ireland to determine. we have a preference that northern ireland should remain pa rt that northern ireland should remain part of the united kingdom and we will never be neutral in expressing oui’ will never be neutral in expressing our support for that. that is
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because i believe fundamentally in the strength of our union. pupils and parents deserve good schools and real choice in education including schools focused unashamedly on academic rigour. can my right honourable friend tell us when the government will open applications for the new wave of free schools and can she confirmed they will be genuinely free to be run as they wish, serving the community and creating scores for everyone? my honourable friend is right. schools should be free to be run as best suit them. we put autonomy and freedom in the hands of strong leaders and outstanding teachers so they can deliver an excellent education. we want to get out of the way of outstanding education providers to set up the types of schools parents want which is why we have set out plans to remove the ban on new grammar schools and restrictions on new faith schools. we do expect to announce the details
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of the next wave of free school applications following the publication of the white paper.” wa nt to publication of the white paper.” want to begin by paying tribute to the emergency services as the prime minister did, across the country, especially those who responded to the westminster attack and to those who turned out to help the victims of the new ferry explosion on saturday. our thoughts remain with the injured and those who have lost loved ones and we thank the police for their investigations. could the prime minister assure ross police will be given all support and resources to take them through this difficult period —— assure us?” joined the right honourable gentleman in praising the work of the emergency services, who have to deal with a wide range of incidents that take place. ourfocus has been most recently on the attack last
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wednesday. we should not forget that day in day out emergency services work on our behalf and often put themselves in danger as a result. i have kept in touch as has my right honourable friend the home secretary with the security services and metropolitan police on the investigation taking place into the attack last week and i am looking forward to security arrangements and ican forward to security arrangements and i can assure him they have the resources they need to carry out vital work. of course we all pay tribute to the police for the work they do but there are some problems that between 2015 and 2018 there will be a real terms cut in central government funding to police forces of 330 million. can the prime minister assure the house the police all over the country have the necessary resources to do the job?” would remind him that what we have
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done is protected that police budget and of course the former shadow home secretary, his colleague, the right honourable member, prior to the... at the labour party conference said savings can be found. the police say 5-10% is savings can be found. the police say 5—10% is just about doable. we savings can be found. the police say 5—10% isjust about doable. we have protected the police budget. i have been speaking to police forces and they are cleared the work they are doing has the resources they need. the police federation survey recently undertaken the police federation survey recently u nderta ken reveals the police federation survey recently undertaken reveals that 55% of serving police officers say morale is low due to the way in which funding has been treated. front line policing is vital in tackling crime and terrorism. since 2010, there are 20,000 fewer police officers, 12,000 fewer on the front line. i asked the prime minister
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again, will she think again about the cuts and guaranteed policing on the cuts and guaranteed policing on the front line will be protected so every community can be assured it has the officers it needs in their community? i said we have protected those police budgets including of course the precepts they raise locally. let's think about what has happened since 2010. since 2010 we have seen crime is traditionally measured by the independent crime survey falling by a third to a record low, and that is the work of hard—working officers record low, and that is the work of ha rd—working officers up record low, and that is the work of hard—working officers up and down this country. they have been backed by this government. we have made them more accountable through directly elected police and crime commissioners and there has been reform, including reform of the police federation that was necessary , police federation that was necessary, but we have ensured police have resources to do their
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job and we see crime at a record low. the royal air forces preparing to fly typhoons from my constituency to fly typhoons from my constituency to romania, to support nato allies on the border with russia. this is as president putin is locking up political opponents and crushing calls for democracy. will my right honourable friend confirm that as we leave the eu, the united kingdom will continue to lead nato in defending this vital border, and will she paid tribute to the armed forces who safeguard our democracy at home and abroad?” forces who safeguard our democracy at home and abroad? i am very happy tojoin my at home and abroad? i am very happy to join my honourable friend at home and abroad? i am very happy tojoin my honourable friend in paying tribute to the men and women of our armed forces, they are the best in the world and they worked tirelessly to keep us safe and we
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open every gratitude. our commitment to collective defence and security through nato is as strong as ever. we will meet our pledge to spend 2% of gdp wand expense every year of the decade and we plan to spend 178 billion on equipment. she referred to work done by the royal air force in relation to romania. with nato we deploy a battalion to estonia and squadron to poland and i think that shows our commitment to our collective security and defence. we associate ourselves with the condolences of the prime minister and leader of the labour party and praise for the emergency and security services. after the appalling terrorist atrocity. last year, the prime minister promised before she would trigger article 50 on leaving the eu, she would secure
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auk on leaving the eu, she would secure a uk wide approach and agreement... last year the prime minister did make that promise and promised there would be agreement with the governments of scotland, wales and northern ireland before triggering article 50. the prime minister has now triggered article 50 and she has done so without an agreement. there is no agreement. why has she broken her promise and her word?” is no agreement. why has she broken her promise and her word? i have been clear throughout and since the first visit that i made as prime minister to edinburgh lastjuly, which was we would work with the devolved administrations and develop auk devolved administrations and develop a uk wide approach but in negotiations it would be a uk approach taken into the negotiations
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and it would be the united kingdom government that took forward that position and i would remind him that scotla nd position and i would remind him that scotland is part of the united kingdom. people will note the prime minister did not deny she would seek auk minister did not deny she would seek a uk wide approach and agreement with the governments of scotland, wales and northern ireland and there is no agreement. the scottish government was elected with a higher percentage of the vote with a bigger electoral mandate than the uk government. yesterday the scottish parliament voted by 69 to 59 that people in scotland should have a choice about their future. after the negotiations with the eu are concluded, there will be a period for democratic approval of the outcome. that choice will be
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exercised in this parliament, in the european parliament, and in 27 member states of the eu. given that everybody else will have a choice... will the people of scotland have a choice... ? i say to the right honourable gentleman that we are taking forward the views of the united kingdom into the negotiations with the european union on the united kingdom exiting the european union. the scottish nationalist party consistently talks... order! this is unseemly heckling. you are a distinguished qc. you would not behave like that in the scottish courts. you would be chucked out. prime minister. the snp consistently
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talks about independence as the only subject they wish to talk about. i said to him and his colleagues that now is not the time to be talking about a second independence referendum. on today of all days, we should be coming together as a united kingdom to get the best deal for britain. improving vocational and technical education is vital to closing our productivity gap so can the prime minister assure me vocational education will enjoy equal status with academic education so that as we leave the eu, our young people can be equipped to build the high skilled economy of the future? my honourable friend has raised an important issue. it is essential for
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young people we give vocational and technical education the right esteem and focus because it is essential in addressing the productivity gap. we wa nt to addressing the productivity gap. we want to deliver a world leading technical education system to create genuine options that are equal in esteem, two options for young people in esteem. in the budget, the chancellor announced a significant package of investment to represent the most ambitious post—16 reform since the introduction of a—levels. we will invest an extra half £1 billion in ingham's technical education and introduce maintenance loa ns education and introduce maintenance loans or those studying high—level technical qualifications at institutes of technology. the treasury select committee says that having to fill in a tax return every three months means that many smaller companies face disaster. the
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federation of small business says the extra cost is likely to be annually £2700 a year. this is another burden on business from this government. she got it wrong on national insurance, is she going to backtrack now on tax returns, as well? perhaps well? the honourable gentleman should perhaps the honourable gentleman should have listened to the announcement the chancellor made in the budget where he indicated he would be delaying the introduction of this for the smallest businesses below the vat threshold for a year. but i think it is right that hmrc does try to move to a greater digitisation of the way in which it operates. i think that will enable it to give a better service to those people who are completing their forms, and we should always remember that aspect of what is being proposed. i welcome the additional money the government has given for
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aduu money the government has given for adult social care, but it is important we also look at long—term solutions for the. will the prime minister look at issues with how the system works with northampton county council and northampton general hospital? i say to my honourable friend but i'm grateful that he is welcome for the extra money, the £2 billion going to social care and out by the chancellor. this shows we have recognised the pressures and demands on social care, but it is also important that we ensure best practice is delivered across the whole of the country, it isn'tjust about money, so we are trying to find a long—term sustainable solution which will help local authorities to learn from each other and raise standards across the system, and we will bring forward proposals in a green paper later this year to put the state funded system this year to put the state funded syste m o n this year to put the state funded system on a more sustainable and long—term footing. system on a more sustainable and long-term footing. as home secretary, the prime minister clearly didn't protect police
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budgets. last week she told me four times, we have protected the schools budget. does she still stand by that statement? we have protected schools budgets, and we are putting record funding into schools. today, mr speaker, the public accounts committee says the department of education that it does not seem to understand the pressures that schools are already under. and they went on to say that funding per pupil is reducing in real terms, and goes on to say schools budgets will be cut by £3 billion, equivalent to 8%, by 2020. is the public accounts committee wrong on this? what we see over the course of this parliament is £230 billion going into our schools. but what matters is the
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quality of education that we see in our schools. 1.8 million more children in good or outstanding schools, and a policy from this government to ensure that every child gets a good school plays. mr speaker, the daily experience of many parents who have children in schools is that they get letters from the schools asking for money. one parent, elizabeth, wrote to me to say she has received a letter from her daughter's school asking for a monthly donation to top up the reduced funds that her school is receiving. this government's cuts to schools are betraying a generation of our children. if the prime minister is right, then the parents are wrong, the teachers are wrong, the iff is wrong, the national audit office is wrong, the education policy institute is wrong and now the public accounts committee, which includes eight conservative members in it, is also wrong. so which
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organisation does back the prime minister's view on education spending in our schools?” minister's view on education spending in our schools? i would say to the right honourable gentleman that as i havejust to the right honourable gentleman that as i have just said to to the right honourable gentleman that as i havejust said to him, we said we would protect school funding, and we have. a real terms protection for the schools budget. we said we would protect the money following children into schools, and we have, it reaches £a2 billion as pupil numbers rise in 19/ 20. but it is also about the quality of education children are receiving. 1.8 million more children in good or outstanding schools than under the labour government. but i also say this, because time and time again, the gentleman stands up in pmqs and asks questions which would lead to more spending. let's look at what he has done recently. on the 11th of january, more spending. on the 8th of february, more spending. on the 22nd of february, more spending. on the first and the 8th of march, more spending. on the 15th and 22nd of
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march, more spending. barely a pmqs goes by that he doesn't call for more public spending. when it comes to spending money that they haven't got, labour simply can't help themselves. it's the same old labour, spend today and give somebody else the bill tomorrow. well, we won't do that to the next generation. thank you, mr speaker. i'm sure eve ryo ne thank you, mr speaker. i'm sure everyone in the house will want to join me in paying tribute to the thousands who worked in munitions factories in both world wars. often in very dangerous conditions. and they produced a vital equipment for they produced a vital equipment for the armed forces that helped us to victory. i'm sure my honourable friend will recognise that for practical reasons it is not possible to pursue individual awards, but i know that the department for
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business would be happy to work with him to look at further ways to recognise the collective effort of former munitions workers.” recognise the collective effort of former munitions workers. i thank my right honourable friend for that answer. these ladies found that the chemicals in the shells turned their skins yellow, and they were nicknamed canary girls. i know my right honourable friend is exceptionally busy at the moment, but could she find just a few moments in her diary to meet me and some of these canary girls to recognise their service?” some of these canary girls to recognise their service? i would be very happy to do that. i would be very happy to do that. i would be very happy to meet some canary girls. asi very happy to meet some canary girls. as i said, they did work which was vital to the war effort. they did work which in one sense was absolutely routine, but in another sense was extremely dangerous, and i think we should recognise the effo rts think we should recognise the efforts that they put in. thank you, mr speaker. the prime minister will be aware that the welsh labour government has established a children's funeral fund. many
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leading funeral providers have also indicated that there will be no charges for children and young people's funerals. i know the prime minister is a compassionate woman, andi minister is a compassionate woman, and i know she understands the importance of a children's funeral fund. will she agree to work with me to establish this fund to bring some comfort to bereaved parents in their darkest hour? i pay tribute to the honourable lady who has been campaigning tirelessly on this issue, and obviously it is notjust a passionate campaign, but she has spoken on many occasions moving in this house about her personal experience which she has brought to bear on this issue. i welcome the decision taken by the co—operative funeral company to waive the fees on this. there is some financial support available, we are looking at this issue on the problems faced by pa rents, this issue on the problems faced by parents, and at what more can be done through a cross government piece of work, and i ask the minister for the piece of work, and i ask the ministerfor the cabinet piece of work, and i ask the minister for the cabinet office who is meeting on that piece of work to
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meet with us and talk about the idea. as the prime minister will know, the budget gave an extra £200 million to the welsh labour government in order to provide business rate relief. will the prime minister agree with myself and the leader of monmouthshire council that welsh labour must now commit to spending that money on supporting welsh businesses and giving the same level of support that has been provided in england by this conservative government?” provided in england by this conservative government? i say to my honourable friend he is absolutely right. as he said at the budget, my right. as he said at the budget, my right honourable friend the chancellor announced a £200 million boost to the welsh budget. they will be able to use that money to support their own priorities, but the people of wales can send a clear signal about these priorities by voting for conservative councillors like peter fox on the ath of may. and i have to say it is the uk government actions to support working families throughout the country that will make sure wales benefits. the
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foreign secretary jury be make sure wales benefits. the foreign secretaryjury be eu referendum campaign urged people to, andi referendum campaign urged people to, and i quote, take back control of huge sums of money, £350 million per week, and spend it on our priorities such as the nhs. the prime minister will trigger article 50 today. can the prime minister confirm precisely when she wants to fulfil the promise made by her cabinet colleagues who is sitting on the front page smirking at the british public? shouting. order, order, boris is sitting perfectly comfortably, there is an airof perfectly comfortably, there is an air of repose about the fellow! prime minister.
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lam very i am very happy to tell the honourable lady that when this country honourable lady that when this cou ntry leaves honourable lady that when this country leaves the european union, we will have control of our budget and we will decide how that money is spent. with modification, schools in my constituency welcome the national funding formula, and given the leader of the opposition's intervention, i hope my next question doesn't land me on the naughty step, but given that stockport schools and other schools have been at the bottom of the funding pile for years, and have less so, less history has been made. article 50 so, history has been made. article 50 has been triggered. we hear that the letter has been handed over to donald tusk, the president of the european council, formerly notifying
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him that britain wants to leave the european union. that starts to years of brexit negotiations. it is the formal handover of that letter in brussels today that means britain is leaving the european union, nine months after the british people voted in the referendum ofjune 23 to leave. let's go straight to our europe editor katya adler who is here with me now, outside the european commission. a moment of history? this is a moment of history. politically, this is a massive moment of history. for the uk, it is ending more than a0 years of good times, bad times and lots and lots of legal entanglements which now come to an end, and now a fresh start will begin for the uk. for the —— for the eu, this is not what they are used to. they are used to countries knocking on the door to be let in. now one of the most influential countries wants to
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leave. they say they will keep it friendly but these will be tough and complex negotiations. we will hear soon what is in theresa may's letter but we will not here for a while what will be in the response? we know that after theresa may speaks to mp5 know that after theresa may speaks to mps in parliament, donald tusk who has received the letter, will come out with his statement and a statement from the other eu member states. the commission will be leading negotiations for the eu. the other member states are the power behind the throne. we were here something shot from them today about the guidelines. we will hear more on friday from donald tusk and more again at the end of april when the eu leaders hold a summit. you could say why are they taking so much time? they will say it has been nine months since the referendum and the letter has only arrived today. and the two—year timetable on a negotiations, it sounds like a long time but a lot of people are saying
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it isa time but a lot of people are saying it is a very tight timetable?m time but a lot of people are saying it is a very tight timetable? it is so tight. look at recent negotiations with canada. that was just a trade deal and it took seven years to complete. it was almost held up by a regional parliament in belgium which had a right to vote on it. the uk wa nts a had a right to vote on it. the uk wants a divorce bill and a new trade bill all within two years. they need six months for the 27 member states, the european commission and the european parliament to all be on board before they will talk about trade. it will be very tight indeed. they say it will be unrealistic to get it all done in that time. katya adler, our europe editor, thank you. sirtim adler, our europe editor, thank you. sir tim barrow has now delivered that letter to donald tusk, president of the european council, triggering article 50 and brexit. now is the time for us all to pull
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together and not tried to hang apart. derek thomas. on friday, thousands of people will be up and down this country raising funds and awareness for brain tumour research. many of these people will know people who have had brain tumours. yet, brain tumour research only receives about one centre will research funding for cancer, yet it kills, it is a bigger category of children than people under a0. will the prime ministerjoin me in raising awareness and discuss what we can do to increase funding? this isa we can do to increase funding? this is a very important area. i believe in this area the uk does have a good record on research for brain tumours. he is absolutely right. the people who are raising funds for this important cause should be commended. many of them will have
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had personal experience in one way or another. i think it is important that we recognise that there are many killers out there which do not often receive the publicity and support of others and we should recognise their importance and commend those who are raising funds. as we enter the world of article 50, can the primaries and see what she's doing to ensure that national and local government prioritise the purchasing and buying a british goods and services, because i have to say that her record as secretary on police vehicles does not give us for optimism. —— as home secretary. we have, as a government, been encouraging procurement of british goods and services. what we can do the local authorities, people around the local authorities, people around the country want local authorities that take their best interests and to heart, people should vote conservative. can i congratulate my
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right honourable friend the prime minister on invoking article 50 today? does she agree with me that this is the end of the phoney war, the end of posturing as we have heard from the other benches and focus now on the detail for every industry, sector and community, to get a bespoke deal that we can all get a bespoke deal that we can all get behind? absolutely agree with my honourable friend. now is the time to come together, to be united across this house and across this country, to ensure that we work for the best possible deal for the united kingdom and the best possible future for us all. the prime minister has been rightly emphasising her determination to deliver for all constituent parts of the united kingdom on this historic day. and whilst others are content to moan and whine, we want to see that delivery happening and we are confident that she will make that happen and, in northern ireland, while some have walked away from
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responsibilities in terms of devolution, we want to see devolution, we want to see devolution up and running, to have a functioning northern ireland government, and accept no preconditions in the way that. if others continue to stay away from devolution walk away, will she pledged to work ever more closely with those of us in this house to defend and protect the interests of northern ireland ? defend and protect the interests of northern ireland? we all want to work together to ensure we can protect the best interests of northern ireland. i think, as he does, that ensuring that we have strong, devolved government in northern ireland is important to the future. it is important so that we can build on the significant progress that has been made in recent yea rs progress that has been made in recent years for the people of northern ireland, and i would urge all parties to come to the talks with a view to finding a way through this so that northern ireland, once again, can be restored to devolved government. would the prime minister agree that social media. or. just
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leaving by melissa ‘s questions briefly. we have just received this still image, britain's ambassador or to the eu handing over that letter to the eu handing over that letter to donald tusk. norman smith, your thoughts about this clinching moment? this is the key moment. this means article 50 has been triggered. it is. we have begun our departure from the european union. we won't get the letter until theresa may sits down after beginning a statement at 12:30pm. depending how long the first part of her statement is, we're probably looking at about quarter to, ten to one, i would expect the letter will be e—mailed to journalists and that will be when we get ourfirst to journalists and that will be when we get our first chance to look at it. about six pages, setting out britain's ambitions. a letter that will be pored over in great detail for every hint and suggestion of a
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compromise, a possible area where theresa may might be prepared to give. interestingly, in the commons again, we get a sense of the real pressure on theresa may, tackled by angus robertson of the snp about lack of agreement with the scottish government over the approach to brexit and we heard from one ulster unionist mp warning about the possibility of a second, sorry, of a referendum in northern ireland over a united ireland. you get the sense of the real pressure on the union, something that mrs may has said she wa nts to something that mrs may has said she wants to fight for and keep, following brexit. isn't the problem there that those are issues that are not going away? we have got this stand—off between theresa may and nicola sturgeon over the question of a second scottish referendum. it is almost a who blinks first scenario at the moment. that's true, but it points to a broader truth, and that is for all the assertion by mrs me that she wants brexit to be a
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unifying process, she wants to put the divisions of the referendum behind us, it is probably not going to happen, not just behind us, it is probably not going to happen, notjust because of the situation in scotland, the potential situation in scotland, the potential situation in scotland, the potential situation in northern ireland, but because of the fact that... sorry to interrupter. we have more to come. we must hear from the interrupter. we have more to come. we must hearfrom the prime minister. today, the government acts on the democratic will of the british people. and it axed, also, on the clear and convincing position of this house —— it acts. a few minutes ago in brussels the united kingdom's permanent representative to the eu handed a letter to the president of the european council on my behalf, confirming the government's decision to invoke article 50 of the treaty on european union. the article 50 process is now underway. and in accordance with the wishes of the british people, the united kingdom is leaving the european union. this is an historic
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moment, from which there can be no turning back. britain is leading the european union. we're going to make our own decisions and our own laws. we are going to take control of the things that matter most to us, and we're going to take this opportunity to blow —— to build a stronger, fairer britain, a country that our children and grandchildren are proud to call in. that is our ambition and our opportunity. and that is what this government is determined to do. mr speaker, at moments like these, great turning points in our national story, the choices we make defying the character of our nation. we can choose to say the task ahead is too great. we can choose to turn our face to the past and believe it can't be done. or, we can look forward with optimism and hope and to believe in the enduring power of the british spirit. i choose to
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believe in britain and that our best days lie ahead. and i do so because lam days lie ahead. and i do so because i am confident that we have the vision and the plan to use this moment to build a better britain. for leaving the european union presents us with a unique opportunity. it is this generation's chance to shape a brighter future for our country, a chance to step back and ask ourselves what kind of country we want to be. my answer is clear. i want the united kingdom to emerge from this period of change stronger, fairer, more united and more outward looking than ever before. i want this to be a secure, prosperous, tolerant country, a magnet for international talent and a home to the pioneers and innovators who will shape the world ahead. iwant innovators who will shape the world ahead. i want us to be a truly global britain. the best friend and
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neighbour to our european partners. but a country that reaches beyond the borders of europe, too. can i apologise for interrupting the prime minister, mr boswell, calm yourself and learn to behave in a statesman—like fashion. that is your long—term goal, it might be very long—term goal, it might be very long term, but it is a goal. what i say to the house is this. you can study the record. i want all collea g u es study the record. i want all colleagues at the chance to question the prime minister, but this is a very important statement and i think it is reasonable to expect that the prime minister gets a courteous hearing and then every other colleague should get a courteous hearing. the prime minister. thank you, mr speaker. iwant hearing. the prime minister. thank you, mr speaker. i want us to be a truly global britain, the best friend and neighbour to our european partners but a country that you reaches beyond the borders of europe, too. a country that goes out into the world to build relationships with old friends and new allies alike. and that is why i
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have set out a clear and ambitious plan for the negotiations ahead. it isa plan for the negotiations ahead. it is a plan for a new, deep and special partnership between britain and the european union. a partnership of values, interests, based on cooperation in areas such as security and economic affairs and as security and economic affairs and a partnership that works in the best interests of the united kingdom, the european union and the wider world. because perhaps now more than ever, the world needs the liberal democratic values of europe, values... laughter values, perhaps... perhaps now, more than ever, the world needs the
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liberal, democratic values of europe, values that the united kingdom shares. and that is why, while we are leaving the institutions of the european union, we are not leaving europe. we will remaina we are not leaving europe. we will remain a close friend and ally. we will be a committed partner. we will play our part to ensure that europe is able to project is values and defend itself from security threats and we will do all that we can to help the european union prosper and succeed. so, mr speaker, in the letter that has been delivered to donald tusk today, copies of which i have placed in the library of the house, i have been clear that the special partnership we seek is in the best interests of the united kingdom and the european union, also. i have been clear that we will work constructively in a spirit of sincere cooperation to bring this partnership into being. and i have been clear that we should seek to agree the terms of this future partnership alongside those within
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the next two years. i am ambitious for britain. and the objectives i have set out for these negotiations remain. we will deliver certainty wherever possible so that business, the public sector and everybody else has as much clarity as we can provide, as we move through the process. it is white, tomorrow, we will publish a white paper confirming our plans to convert into british law, so that everyone will know where they stand, and that is why i have been clear that the government will put the final bill agreed between the uk and the eu to agreed between the uk and the eu to a vote in both houses of parliament before it comes into force. we will ta ke before it comes into force. we will take control of our own laws and bring an end to the jurisdiction of the european court ofjustice in britain. leaving european union mean that our laws will be made in westminster, edinburgh, cardiff belfast. and those laws will be interpreted byjudges not in luxembourg, but in course across
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this country. we will strengthen the union of the four nations that comprise our united kingdom. we will negotiate, as one united kingdom, taking account of the specific interests of every nation and region on the united kingdom. and when it comes to the powers that we will ta ke comes to the powers that we will take back from europe, we will consult fully on which powers should reside in westminster and which should be passed on to the powers that we will take back from europe, we will consult fully on which powers should reside in westminster and which should be passed onto the devolved administrations. but, mr speaker, no decisions currently taken by the devolved administrations will be removed from them and it is the expectation of them and it is the expectation of the government that the devolved administrations in scotland, wales and northern ireland will see a significant increase in their decision—making power as a result of this process. we want to maintain the common travel area with the republic of ireland, there should be no return to the borders of the past. we will control immigration so that we continue to attract the
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brightest and the best to work or study in britain, but manage the process properly so that our immigration system serves the national interest. we seek to guarantee the rights of eu citizens who are already living in britain and the rights of british nationals in other member states, as early as we can. that is set out very clearly in the letter, as an early priority for the talks ahead. we will ensure that workers' rights are fully protected and maintained. indeed, under my leadership not only will the government protect the rights of workers, but we will build on them. we will pursue a bold and ambitious free—trade agreement with the eu, that allows for the freest possible trade in goods and services between britain and the eu member states, but gives british companies the maximum freedom to trade with and operate within european markets, and that lets european businesses do the same in britain. because european leaders have said many times that we cannot cherry pick and remain
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members of the single market without accepting the four freedoms that are indivisible. we respect that position and accepting, if accepting this freedoms is incompatible with the democratically expressed will of the democratically expressed will of the british people we will no longer be members of the single market. we are going to make sure that they can strike trade agreements with countries from outside the european union, too. because important though our trade with the eu is and will remain, it is clear that the uk needs to increase significantly its trade with the fastest—growing export markets in the world. we hope to continue to collaborate with our european partners in areas of science, education, research and technology, so that the uk is one of the best places for science and innovation. we seek continued cooperation with european partners in important areas such as crime, terrorism and foreign affairs. and it is ouraim terrorism and foreign affairs. and it is our aim to deliver a smooth
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and orderly brexit, reaching an agreement about our future partnership by the time the two—year article 50 process has concluded, then moving into a phase process of implementation in which britain, the eu institutions and member states prepared for the new arrangements that will exist between us. mr speaker, we understand that there will be consequences for the uk of leaving the eu. we know that we will lose influence... we know that we will lose influence over the rules that affect european economy. we know that uk companies that trade with the eu will have to align with rules agreed by institutions which we no longer a part. just as we do in other overseas markets. and we accept that. however, we approach these thoughts constructively, respectfully and in a spirit of sincere cooperation. for it is in the interests of both the united kingdom and the european union that
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we should use this process to deliver our objectives in a fair and orderly manner. it is in the interests of both united kingdom and the european union that there should be as little disruption as possible and it is in the interests of both the united kingdom and the european union that europe should remain strong, prosperous and capable of projecting its values in the world. ata time projecting its values in the world. at a time when the growth of global trade is slowing, and there are signs that protectionist instincts are on the rise in many parts of the world, europe has a responsibility to stand up for free trading interests of all our citizens. with europe ‘s security more fragile today than at any time since the end of the cold war, weakening our cooperation and failing to stand up for european values would be a costly mistake. our vote to leave the eu was no rejection of the values that we share, as fellow europeans. as a european country, we will continue to play our part in
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promoting and supporting those values during the negotiations, and once they are done. we will continue to be reliable partners, willing allies and close friends. we need to continue to buy goods and services from the eu and sell them hours. we wa nt to from the eu and sell them hours. we want to trade with them as free as possible and work with one another to make sure that we are all safer, more secure and more prosperous, through continued friendship. indeed, in an increasingly unstable world, we must continue to forge the closest possible security cooperation to keep our people safe. we face the same global threats from terrorism and extremism. that message was only reinforced by the unwarranted attack on western minster bridge and this place last week. so there should be no reason why we should not agree any deep and special partnership between the uk and the eu that works for us all. mr speaker, i know that this is a day of celebration for some and disappointment for others. the
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referendum last june was disappointment for others. the referendum lastjune was divisive at times. not everyone shared the same point of view or voted the same way. the arguments on both sides were passionate. but, mr speaker, when i sit around the negotiating table in the months ahead, i will represent every person in the active kingdom, young and old, rich and poor, city, town, country and all the villages and hamlets in between. and, yes, those eu nationals who have made this country their home. and it is my fear termination to get the right dealfor my fear termination to get the right deal for every my fear termination to get the right dealfor every single my fear termination to get the right deal for every single person my fear termination to get the right dealfor every single person in my fear termination to get the right deal for every single person in this country —— my fierce determination. we face the opportunities ahead of us on we face the opportunities ahead of us on thisjourney, we face the opportunities ahead of us on this journey, our shared values and ambitions can and must bring us together. we all want to see a britain that is stronger than it is today. we all want a country thatis it is today. we all want a country that is fairer, so that everyone has the chance to succeed. we will want a nation that is safe and secure for our children and grandchildren. we all want to live in a truly global
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britain that gets out and build relationships with all friends and allies around the world. these are the ambitions of this government was like plan for britain, ambitions that unite us, so that we are no longer defined by the boat recast, but by our determination to make a success of the result. we are one great union of people and nations, with a proud history and a bright future. and now that the decision to leave has been made and the process is underway, it is time to come together. for this great national moment needs a great national effort, an effort to shape a stronger future for britain, so let us stronger future for britain, so let us do so together. let us come together and work together. let us, together, choose to believe in britain with optimism and hope, for, if we do, we can make the most of the opportunities ahead. we can, together, make a success of this moment, and we can, together, build
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a stronger, fairer, better britain, a stronger, fairer, better britain, a britain our children and grandchildren are proud to call home. i commend this statement to the house. cheering jeremy corbyn. thank you, mr speaker. i would like to thank the prime ministerfor speaker. i would like to thank the prime minister for advance copy of a statement. today, we embarked on the country's most important negotiations in modern times. the british people made the decision to leave the european union and labour respects that decision. the next steps along this journey are the most crucial. and, if the prime minister is to unite the country as she says she aims to do, then the government needs to listen, consult and represent the whole country, not just the hardline tory ideologues on her own benches. britain is going to change as a result of leaving the
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european union. the question is, how? there are conservatives who wa nt to how? there are conservatives who want to use brexit to turn this country into a low—wage tax haven. labour is determined to invest in high skill, high—tech, high wage future, to rebuild and transform britain so that no one, no community, is left behind. mr speaker, the direction the prime minister is threatening to take this country inn is both reckless and damaging. and labour will not give this government a free hand to use brexit to attack rights and cut services or to create a tax dodger‘s paradise. so, let me be clear, mr speaker. the prime minister says
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that no deal is better than a bad deal. but the reality is, no deal is a bad deal. less than a year ago, the treasury estimated that the leaving the european union on the world trade organisation terms would lead to a 7.5% fall in our gdp. and a5 billion in a loss of tax receipts. as the treasury updated those figures or do they still stand? those figures or do they still stand ? if updated, those figures or do they still stand? if updated, can they be published? stand? if updated, can they be published ? if stand? if updated, can they be published? if not, what deal could be worse than those consequences of no deal? it would be a national failure of historic proportions if the prime minister comes back from brussels without having secured protection forjobs brussels without having secured protection for jobs and brussels without having secured protection forjobs and living standards. so we will use every parliamentary opportunity to ensure
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that this government is held to account at every stage of the negotiations. mr speaker, we all have an interest in ensuring the prime minister gets the best deal for this country. to safeguard jobs, living standards, we do need full access to the single market. the secretary of state for exiting the eu seems to agree on this. he has stated in this house, on 2ajanuary, the government plan is, and i quote, "a comprehensive free trade agreement and a comprehensive customs agreement that will deliver the exact same benefits as we have". that is what they pledge. will the prime minister confirmed today that she intends to deliver a trade and customs agreement with the "exact same benefits"? customs agreement with the "exact same benefits" ? the customs agreement with the "exact same benefits"? the same goes for protecting the rights of workers and environmental standards, protecting
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british nations and regions, protecting britain's financial sector and services and making sure there is no return to a our border in northern ireland. and when, mr speaker does she expect to be able to guarantee the rights of all those eu nationals who live, work and make such a massive and welcome contribution to this country? and, for those british nationals who live in all parts of the eu, including guaranteeing that their uk pensions will not be frozen post brexit? mr speaker, brexit would be a huge task for any government. yet, so far, they seem utterly complacent about they seem utterly complacent about the scale of the task ahead. the government ministers can't make up their minds about the real objective. the foreign secretary, he is here today, said in october, "our
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policy is having our cake and eating it. u policy is having our cake and eating it. " how apposite from the foreign secretary. today, the chancellor on bbc radio a, said, we can't have our ca ke bbc radio a, said, we can't have our cake and eat it. maybe they should get together and talk about it. these, at one level, mr speaker, might seem like flippant exchanges from ministers, but they do reflect serious the prince is about britain's negotiating aims. the government must speak with a united voice. however, the foreign secretary is the same man who promised us £350 million a week for the nhs once we left the eu. now he believes that leaving the eu without a deal would be perfectly ok. it would not be perfectly ok. it would damage our economy and people's living standards. will the prime minister confirmed that she rejects
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such complacency? labour has set out our test for this government's brexit negotiations. and we will use all means possible to make sure that we hold this government to their word, on full access to the single market, on protecting britain from being dragged into a race to the bottom, and ensuring ourfuture relationship with the european union is strong and cooperative. a relationship where we can work together to bring prosperity and peace to our continent. at the prime minister can deliver a deal that means our tests that will be fine and we will back her. more than ever, britain needs a government that will deliver for the whole country, not just the few, that will deliver for the whole country, notjust the few, and that is the ultimate test of the brexit deal that the prime minister must now secure. prime minister. i'm grateful to the right honourable gentleman... i believe the commons after hearing the prime minister's
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statement and the response of the leader of the opposition. if you wa nt to leader of the opposition. if you want to continue watching proceedings in the commons, live coverage continues on bbc parliament. and on the bc2 mac viewers on the bbc news channel. so the prime minister has triggered article 50, the negotiations to leave the eu begin, and we can show you pictures of the actual letter being handed over. there is our man in brussels handing over the letter, a5, 6—page letter to donald tusk, the chairman of the council of ministers, body of the eu of which every member, or 20 members including britain, still, sit. and they determined the broad negotiating position that the eu 27 will have a nice talks, and they then task the commission, the european commission, to carry out the talks. the lead negotiator will
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be michel barnier, if an film the deal is done. an historic moment, as you see in our picture, as britain triggers our departure from the eu, and that is handed over to donald tuskin and that is handed over to donald tusk in brussels itself. the prime minister has said there can be no turning back. she thought it was a great turning point. she thought, our best days lie ahead. she wanted to see outside of the eu, a stronger, fairer, more united country, a magnet for talent, a global britain that continues to trade with the eu, but also trades far beyond the eu as well. she said, significant point process, that she to agree the terms of our departure as well as any sort of divorce agreement. she didn't use that phrase, divorce bill, but
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negotiating any cost that may incur to leave the eu, she wants to negotiate the terms of our relationship with the eu, once we leave. that is going to be an early stumbling block, because the europeans want to agree any kind of divorce bill first, before talking about a new relationship. she did, in the end, point out that tom in or out, we face the same global threats as the eu, and she wanted a new comedy and special partnership with the european union, even after we left. i suppose, the european union, even after we left. isuppose, although the european union, even after we left. i suppose, although there is nothing really new in a confit of the prime minister's statement, nor is anything in the letter that we have just had a chance to see, that you saw donald tusk getting. the tone was interesting. it was highly conciliar tray. it was an attempt to position britain even outside the eu, asa position britain even outside the eu, as a big supporter of the eu, wanting a good relationship with the
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eu. no threats from the prime minister, no statements such as no deal is better than a bad deal. the prime minister is trying to set the tone for these talks as they get underway, and trying to create an amicable environment in which they get underway. whether that succeeds or not is another matter. let's get reaction from laura kuenssberg, our political editor, who was listening to overlap. the key thing about this is exactly as you say. the tone is a world away from theresa may's conference speech in october when she was much more strident as people sought, then the lancaster house speech when she had become much more friendly to countries around the eu. she made that speech to the room of diplomats. that speech, that threat to walk away if that did not happen. and here, some people

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