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tv   Monday in Parliament  BBC News  November 14, 2017 2:30am-3:01am GMT

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is fighters escape from raqqa when it fell to us—backed forces last month. hundreds of so—called islamic state fighters and their families escaped in exchange for hostages. some of those who left included is's most notorious criminals. a huge relief effort is underway following the earthquake on the iran—iraq border — that left at least 400 people dead and thousands more injured. communities left homeless by sunday's quake are spending a second night in the open. officials in iran are setting up relief camps for those displaced. roy moore — the republican candidate in alabama election race for the senate — has been told by senior party figures he should step aside in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations. roy moore dismissed claims he initiated sexual contact with a 14—year—old nearly a0 years ago as fake news. now on bbc news, monday in parliament. hello and welcome to our look back
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at the day here in westminster. coming up, the brexit secretary makes a surprise concession to pro—eu mps, the foreign secretary admits he was wrong over controversial remarks about the british woman jailed in iran, and the ministry ofjustice gets a dressing down over its electronic tagging system. whoever put this down as a procurement strategy i don't think had any idea what they were trying to achieve. but first, tuesday will be a big day for brexit, mps are to start their long—awaited scrutiny of the european union withdrawal bill. but as something of a curtain raiser the government has offered a concession to mps, calling for parliament to have a greater say on the final brexit agreement. in a significant shift the brexit secretary told the commons he intends
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on bringing forward a new lot to implement the final deal, giving mps the chance to go through it in detail. labour described the move as a climb—down by ministers facing potential defeat on the eu withdrawal bill. david davis warns that if mps voted the new bill down the uk with leave without a deal. mr davis unveiled a plan while reporting back on last week's talks with brussels. i can now confirm that once we have reached an agreement we will bring forward a specific piece of primary legislation to implement that agreement known as the withdrawal agreement and implementation bill. this confirms the major policy set out in the withdrawal agreement, will be done correctly implemented in the uk by primary legislation. not by secondary legislation of the withdrawal bill. this also means that parliament will be given time to debate, scrutinise and vote on the final agreement we strike with the eu.
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this agreement will only hold of parliament approves it. can the secretary of state confirm to this house that this house will get a vote in the event that there is no deal? mr speaker these questions have been pressing for months, this last—minute attempt to climb—down brings them into very sharp focus. and we are entitled to clear answers. will it simply be a question of take it or leave it? will the house be given an opportunity to amend that bill as the house must have the opportunity to amend any bill and therefore will the house have the opportunity to amend to amend the agreement? i don't think it is in the gift of the government to put a piece of primary legislation before the house which is incapable of amendment. it is the nature of primary legislation that it is always capable of amendment. of course we will have the practical limitations of having a deal with signed and there will be applications to that, and the whole thing will be put in
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front of the house. i welcome the announcement that there will be primary legislation to implement eu withdrawal agreement and i would say it's another recognition of the government having to listen. if the house of commons votes down the new withdrawal bill, will the consequence be that we will still leave on the 29th of march 2019 but without an agreement? yes. what was that? yes. the secretary of state said yes. can he confirm that in the event of no agreement, no deal, this place will have no say and we will leave on that date because it is on the face of the bill without any say from this supposedly sovereign parliament which voted to take back control. what i can say to her is that if we don't have a withdrawal agreement we can have a withdrawal agreement bill. hasn't he does giving the game away on what a sham offer this is?
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totally worthless to parliament, essentially tried to buy people by saying we're going to give you an act to shap things when in fact is a post—hoc after the horse has bolted piece of legislation, we might have left the eu, the treaty and the deal would have been done and parliament could do nothing at all to shape the nature of that withdrawal agreement. he has to do much better than this. parliament must have a say on that withdrawal agreement before we are thrown over the cliff edge. let the repeated and the probable sequence of events. if mr barnier hit his target and i had mine we will conclude the withdrawal agreement and associated agreements in the latter part of next year. he is aiming for october next year, that is his stated aim. if we do that then the withdrawal, the first withdrawal and treaty vote will come to the house, the simple in principle vote and then as soon as possible thereafter the withdrawal agreement bill will come through the house.
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that is the sequence and that will be plenty of time and it will be implemented at the time. if the agreement only happens on the very last day in march, could he explain how the bill which is intended to ensure the meaningful vote only comes forward after that date, in any sense meaningful? a meaningful vote is a vote that allows you to say you want the deal or you don't want the deal. while parliamentary involvement is essential, this is not and never should be construed as an opportunity to reverse brexit, to return the uk to the eu or go behind the wishes of the british people as expressed in last year's referendum. my honourable friend is entirely right, it is a meaningful vote but not meaningful in the sense that some believe meaningful, which is that you can reverse article 50. that is not available. david davis. now the case of british iranian national being held in prison in iran continues to make headlines. nazanin zaghari—ratcliffe is being held on charges of plotting to
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overthrow the iranian regime. you may remember that the foreign secretary issued a clarification after appearing to suggest she was in the country training journalists rather than merely on holiday as her family have stated. the remarks prompted fears that her five—year term could be extended. borisjohn was called to the commons to update mps on the situation and there was anger on both sides of the house. the whole house willjoin me in expressing our deep concern about the ordeal of this young mother who has spent the last 19 months injail in iran and have the honourable member willjoin the government in urging the iranian authorities to release on humanitarian grounds. i spoke by phone to her husband, richard ratcliffe, yesterday, and we agreed to meet later this week. i told mr ratcliffe that the whole country is behind him and we all want to see his wife home safe.
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the foreign secretary argued last week that his comments to the select committee and i quote no connection whatsoever with the latest threat by the iranian authorities to extend nazanin's sentence and that it was simply untrue to suggest otherwise. that, mr speaker, is entirely contradicted by what has been said by the iranian courts last weekend and an iranianjudiciary websites and an iranian state tv. all of them set explicitly that the foreign secretary's remarks were the basis of the renewed action against nazanin so in conclusion after one week of obtuse cajun and plaster, —— obfuscation and bluster, will he finally take the opportunity today to state simply and unequivocally for the removal of any doubt, either here or in teheran, that he ' ? mr speaker i am more than happy to see again what i said to the right honourable lady last week,
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that yes of course i apologise for the distress, for the suffering, but that has been caused by the impression that i gave that the government believed, that i believe that she was there any professional capacity she was there on holiday and that is the view of... i do apologise, i do apologise and of course i retract any suggestion that she was there in a professional capacity. you must have heard that from me about a dozen times. regrettably more than a faint whiff of opportunism hangs over this urgent question. others will question the wisdom of having this discussion at all. would my right honourable friend not agree with me that it is incumbent on each and every one of us in this house to pay very close attention to what we may may not be about to say because the iranians will be watching
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the deliberations and we do not want to exacerbate an already extremely difficult situation. at the weekend when asked about the case the environment secretary michael gove said he did not know why nazanin had been in iran. why was another cabinet member not briefed properly and said live on television that he did not know why she was there? what is going on in the heart of this government? every time he says things like my words were open to misinterpretation, he provides a lack of clarity and sounds like he's wriggling in a way other people can exploit. so could he for the sake of miss zaghari— ratcliffe, say unequivocally for the record i got it wrong. i hope that the house will understand, with crystal clarity, that mrs nazanin zaghari—ratcliffe was there on holiday and she was not there in any professional capacity, insofar as people got a different impression of what i
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was saying at the fac, that was my mistake, i should have been clearer. can the foreign secretary tell me if he is confident in the quality and competitiveness of the foreign office briefings and that they are promptly made available to other government ministers in advance of media appearances? if not, will he sort it out? if so does he accept that that there is no excuse for ministers to continue to get it wrong? does my right honourable friend accept that this has not been his finest hour? but before the opposition make too much of that, may i urge them to avoid headlines such as that in the independent online where it says boris to should resign if british mother stays in iranian jail for even one more day. the iranian regime plays politics with hostages and thus my right honourable friend
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agree that if they believe that they longer then they will jail that hostage for longer? could he reflect on this and the rest of his conduct as foreign secretary and realise that his brand of clownish incompetence is a joke that is no longer funny and consider being replaced by a competent politician who will attract the respect of the world and not the ridicule that he attracts? paul flynn. you're watching monday in parliament with me, mandy baker. if you want to catch up with all the news from westminster on the go, don't forget our sister programme, today in parliament, is available as a download via the bbc radio 4 website. now, some a0 months have passed since voters north of the border
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decided that scotland should stay in the united kingdom. the winning margin for no to independence was 55% to 45%. so that was that then. well, not quite. over the last three years, a second referendum, sometimes called indy ref 2, has been much discussed. now a petition on the parliamentary website is demanding that a second vote is held. while a rival petition is demanding that a second referendum is not held. the two pertitions made for an interesting debate in westminster hall. when people go to the polls and make their deocratic choice to stay part of the united kingdom, that should be respected. for a number of reasons — one, it's democratic, but secondly, we were promised by the proponents of an independent scotland it would be once in a generation, or indeed once in a lifetime. when proponents say that, when you go to the polls and you put your cross in the box, whether it's yes or no, you should be able to trust what people say
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when your are doing that. i appreciate that scotland being dragged out of the eu against its will hasn't yet caught the fire the general populace as a reason to hold a major referendum just now. however, surveys have shown that people would like a referendum when the impact and the effects of brexit are fully understood. so there is actually a will to have another referendum, just not right now, but sometime in the future. the majority of people in east lothian recognise that devolution was created to empower scotland within the union, not pull it further apart. during the recent election, i ran on the promise of no second independence referendum, and i know some members of this house do not agree. but the evidence from east lothian is that they did not want, that they do not want, a second independence referendum. 70% of the voters who cast their votes voted for a party or parties that did not want a second independence referendum. it will be no surprise that i often wear a yes badge, it's something i'm proud of my involvement in.
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but the reasons are more important thanjust being in or out of europe, although that's a very important issue at the moment. my motivation is a hope that scotland can become a fairer and more equal society. but that, to me, requires us to have the full levers of power to make it a successful country. just now, with 70% of tax and 85% of welfare powers remaining controlled by westminster, the scottish parliament has no say over immigration and is powerless to prevent trident weapons of mass destruction sitting a few miles from our largest city. we need an alternative to the economics of austerity, where our scottish government is not merely restricted to mitigating some of the worst aspects of westminster. since september 2014, there've been over 70 polls taken across scotland, and they have consistently said the scottish people do not want independence and they don't want to have another referendum. after all these elections that you have suffered so much from, what's it's going to take for the scottish national party to listen to the people of scotland, who they supposedly represent?
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i feel that reflecting on the binary nature of that referendum was what truly disrupted the civic discourse in scotland. having the yes or no position offered a simplistic answer to a very complex question. that was what was so unsatisfactory about it. i was one of those people at the very early stages of that referendum that favoured a third option, and that would have actually opened up the debate in scotland during that referendum for a more nuanced discussion about the process of devolution, which, we recall, donald dewar called a process, not an event. so enough. indeed, we've heard all the figures. there is now no reason, no will and a lot of people would argue no need for a second referendum. since the smith commission, and the latest tranche of powers, which remarkably seems to slip the minds of the snp at any given opportunity, when they tell us about the rosy picture they've created in scotland and ignoring the lack of gps, the shortage of teachers, the closing of gp practices. christine jardine there. the government's flagship welfare
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policy, universal credit, dominated work and pensions questions at the beginning of the commons day. universal credit combines six working—age benefits into a single payment. the government says it's been designed to make the system simpler. there have been criticisms from labour and the snp over length of time claimments wait for money and the system of advance payments. while many conservative mps have supported the roll—out. we hear a lot on the other side about universal credit, but we do need to remember this is a much more effective system at getting people into work and that, nationally, 113 people move into work under universal credit for every 100 under the previous system. and in my constituency, which was a pathfinder for universal credit, we are seeing very substantial falls in people claiming it. isn't this a better system altogether? my honourable friend is absolutely right.
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universal credit is helping people get into work, to progress in work, and it is also clear that people on universal credit are spending more time looking for work than on the legacy benefits. and i think it's really important we all work to ensure that universal credit is a success. we believe it will result in 250,000 more jobs in this country as a consequence of its operation, and that is something that is worth achieving. i wonder if the secretary of state has seen the report from the child poverty action group on the ippr? they say that cuts to universal credit will leave an extra 1 million children in poverty. is a million more children in proverty not evidence enough for the uk government to reverse the cuts to work allowances and make work pay? my point was that the scottish government are delivering universal credit in a different way, but in a way that i think is worse than the situation in england and wales. i have to say, the point about universal credit is that it will help people in the work.
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i'll give one brief example, if i may, mr speaker. i heard of an account last week of someone, a single mother, on income support, not currently or previously able to claim for her childcare costs. now under universal credit, she is able to do so. she is taking up a job working eight or nine hours a week, which she was previously unable to do. a first step on the ladder, that is an example of what universal credit is delivering. i won't ask the government bench for a fifth time whether i should believe his statement that the roll—out of universal credit in birkenhead will go hunky—dory, or the foodbank that says it will need ten times more food to prevent a scenario of people going hungry. they can't abide the word starving.
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we have a debate on thursday, which is signed by members across the house of commons. it will be the first time when members opposite can actually vote whether they want to reform universal credit. will he be opening that debate and hearing it and taking a message directly back to cabinet, please? well, the position we have made very clearfor a long time is that we want to ensure that universal credit works. this is a test and learn system, and we are always looking for ways in which we can improve the system, particularly for that first period. david gauke. the top civil servant at the ministry ofjustice has admitted to mps his department was too ambitious when it attempted to introduce a new form of electronic tagging for criminals. the ankle tagging scheme makes use of gps satellite technology. it was meant to be a cheaper alternative to prison. but a national audit office report found that, by march, it cost the government £60 million and still hasn't been implemented.
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monday's session of the public accounts committee investigated the report's findings. the failure to pilot is something we all now regret. i think it was done because the department wanted to see results quickly and had faith in the contract being able to deliver more quickly than we realise now that they could have delivered. and there was an overoptimistic belief that tagging could be used as an alternative to other disposals. and without an insight into either behaviour of sentences or behaviour of offenders under a tagging regime. there was some basic research done, i understand, by the home office, but it was very limited. what i am accepting is that, by the time we came to renew the contracts that we had that were running out in 2013, we were effectively looking at this as a reprocurement, with wanting, through that reprocurement, to provide options for the future.
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what we got wrong was not recognising that this was a major transformation programme, and that should have been based on a much more solid policy base than we had, and we should have had better research to be able to launch it in that way. having been an it procurement bmanager myself, i do have insights here. the procurement was absolutely shambolic. you had untested providers. you had no clear accountability for who was responsible for the service. and you didn't have an integrator, so whoever put this down as a procurement strategy, i don't think had any idea what they were trying to achieve. it was completely, fundamentally flawed. this is a mistake we made thinking, as part of the reprocurement, we could somehow get suppliers to invent on the hoof tags that could do everything. that was an overly ambitious reading of what the market was capable of delivering. richard heaton. earlier this year, new penalties
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were introduced for people caught driving while using a hand—held mobile phone. a fine of £200 as well as six penalty points could be imposed for first—time offenders. more than 15,000 drivers have been fined under the new rules. in the lords, peers asked about the impact of the regulations. young people aged between the ages of 17 and 29 are more likely to use hand—held mobile phones and other hand—held devices. can my noble friend the minister say what the government is doing to take action against this, and also in relation to further education for that particular group? my noble friend is right to highlight the importance of addressing young drivers. around 20% of new drivers will have a crash within the first six months of passing their test. so any novice drivers caught using a mobile phone within the first two years will have their licence revoked. we've announced changes
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to the practical driving test, which will come into force in december. i've mentioned the think campaign, which is targeting young drivers, we have also produced a provisional licence mailing insert which is estimated to reach nearly 1.7 million new drivers annually. what representations, if any, have transport ministers been making to the treasury that road traffic offences, including vehicle theft and using hand—held mobile phones while driving cannot, even in increasing numbers of occasions, even be pursued by the police, let alone see perpetrators brought to justice, due to the continuing squeeze on police budgets and continuing reductions to the number of police officers? can i take it the department for transport, despite the recent publicly expressed concerns of hm inspectorate of constabulary, has remained utterly silent on the issue of inadequate police resources? my lords, we are very sensitive to the pressures which police face and we recognise the importance of wider police spending in the 2015 police spending review, which did protect overall police spending in real terms. it is of course up to police and crime commissioners and chief
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constables for each force to decide how they deploy resources. can the minister tell us what she's going to do about cyclists who use their phones, often at high speed, and are becoming a danger on our roads? my lords, i agree that everyone who uses highways does have responsibility to behave safely. there are a number of offences that can cover cycling behaviour. fixed penalty notices, or officers can report the road user for prosecution. the government announced last month its cycle safety review that will involve a consultation on these issues, and is working with stakeholders for their input and will publish results this year. members of the lords come from all walks of life. lord bradshaw worked for thames valley police association, specialising in road safety. he was concerned about drivers stopping to take calls. throughout the area, the regulations about parking are universally ignored, and some very dangerous parking is taking place in a town centres.
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does this not indicate a lack of respect for the law? i wonder what the government is doing about that? i'm afraid i am not aware of the incident the noble lord raises. obviously, we're working with police forces across the country to ensure enforcement is taking place. because laws are only as good as their enforcement. that's it, but dojoin us at the same time tomorrow for another round—up of the day at westminster. for now, from me, mandy baker, goodbye. hi there. yesterday was a pretty chilly day, with temperatures between five
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and seven celsius. it was even cold enough for a bit of snow in scotland. i know many of us go nuts for snow, but these scenes are likely to be short—lived, because the air is going to be turning a little bit milder today. the cold weather we had yesterday was due to these northerly winds moving down across the uk. but we've had a change of wind direction over the last 12 hours orso, dragging in much milder conditions. a weak weather front lying across central portions of the uk will thicken the cloud up, to bring us some spots of light rain or drizzle. but still, for most of us it is a cloudier, milder kind of day. now, first thing in the morning, these are the kind of temperatures you'll be contending with as you head outside the door, typically around 6—10 degrees. a little bit colder than that around rural parts of southern england, and perhaps cold enough for a touch of frost in sheltered parts of northern scotland first thing. but, for most of us, it is quite a mild start to the day. it's mild because it's cloudy, so cloudy skies for much of england and wales. notice that cloud thick enough to give us some bursts of rain,
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particularly across wales, but also some dampness at times getting across the midlands and into east anglia. north—east england, particularly over the pennines, also pretty grey. a lot of cloud first thing in the morning, too, for northern ireland. but 10 degrees in belfast, mild conditions here. best of the early—morning sunshine will be across much of scotland, although there will be a few showers in the far north. through the rest of the day, slow changes overall. it will brighten up, though, for north—east england. the best of the sunshine continues to be in scotland. otherwise, a lot of cloud for northern ireland, england and wales, continuing to be thick enough for occasional patches of rain, not really amounting to too much. temperatures up on those of yesterday, 10—12 degrees for most. still a little on the cool side to the north and east of scotland. now, for tuesday night, if we see some cloud breaks, we may well see things turning rather foggy. otherwise, it stays cloudy for england and wales, and that cloud will help keep temperatures up, 8—11 degrees. the colder conditions there in scotland, again, with a frost, and probably coming a little bit sharper, as well. bear in mind, though, for wednesday, some of us may well start off
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with some dense patches of fog. the thickness of the fog will depend on the length of those overnight cloud breaks. but, even if it doesn't start off foggy where you are, across england and wales, it will be grey — fog or cloud being the order of the day. further west, after a bright start in scotland, we'll see a band of rain moving into western areas. still quite cool for north—eastern parts of scotland, but otherwise temperatures around about where they should be, really, at this time of the year. for thursday, we keep rather cloudy conditions for much of the country. a band of rain slips southwards. cooler, fresher conditions for the north—west. that's your latest weather, bye for now. welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers
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in north america and around the globe. i'm mike embley. our top stories: from raqqa to safety. a special report on the secret deal that let hundreds of is fighters escape. it is here that they realised they could fight another day. the deal to get them out of here is the deal that no one wants to talk about. it is raqqa's dirty secret. a huge relief effort is under way after the devastating iran—iraq earthquake. a50 people are dead and thousands more injured. ala bama's republican candidate for the senate faces more calls from the top levels of his party to step aside as a fifth woman accuses him of sexual misconduct. he says it's "fake news". and from breaking bad to breaking news. we get into character with bryan cra nston.


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