tv The Week in Parliament BBC News April 14, 2019 5:30am-6:00am BST
good morning welcome to breakfast with rachel burden and rogerjohnson. our headlines today: the meeting came in response to a call for dialogue made by the country's third jeremy corbyn admits in a secret leader in as many days. recording that labour may have lost a spokesman for the protesters told or ignored evidence the bbc they insisted on the formation of of anti—semitism within the party. poverty is damaging children's education — a civilian government. the warning from teachers, who say some pupils arrive at school hungry, thirsty and without appropriate clothing. the maltese navy has transferred more than 60 migrants from a german charity open champion francesco vessel to a maltese port, molinari leads the way in augusta. but tiger woods is on the prowl. after a number of other eu countries offered to take them in. he's just two shots behind going into the final day india has observed of at the masters. the centenary of a massacre by british troops that's seen as one of the darkest incidents of the colonial era. on april the 13th, 1919, soldiers killed hundreds of unarmed people protesting against repressive laws in amritsar. is there is now on bbc news it's time for a look back at the week in parliament.
hello there, and welcome to the week in parliament, where there's anger at the prime minister over the further brexit delay. does my right honourable friend, the prime minister, appreciate the anger that her abject surrender last night has generated across the country? mps welcome plans to get tough with internet companies. for the sake of the family of molly russell and the victims of christchurch, we must work together across this house to make sure that social media companies and tech companies are properly held to account. also on this programme, mps mark 50 years of the uk's at sea nuclear deterrent. jeremy corbyn challenges theresa may over funding for local services.
and, in the lords, a peer has a solution for those worried that new uk passports don't have the words european union on the front cover. it would be sensible to put a question mark after european union. and then in due course, my lords, we can tipp—ex it out. but first... just as the uk was heading for another brexit—exit day, the brakes were jammed on — and the date of our departure from the eu put off for up to 6 months. the flexible extension runs until the 31st of october — or earlier if mps agree a deal — and means the uk looks set to take part in the european elections in may. so how exactly did we get here? the week had started with parliament passing emergency legislation late on monday, binding theresa may to asking for a further delay. with that demand ringing in her ears, the next day, the prime minister went off to berlin for talks with the german chancellor, angela merkel — and then on to paris to meet president macron, preparing the ground for wednesday's crucial eu summit, which was to set the date for any extension. but before that meeting on wednesday night, there was a dash back to the uk for pmqs, where the snp's westminster
leader wanted to know how the talks with labour — aimed at finding a brexit compromise — were going. it is now one week since talks began between the tory government and the labour party. i want to ask the prime minister, at any point during these talks, has a second referendum been offered on the government's side of the negotiating table? yes or no, prime minister? my position, the government's position, on the second referendum has not changed. the house has rejected a second referendum two times. now, when we come to a deal, we will have to ensure that legislation comes through this house. of course, it may be that there are those in this house who wish to press that issue as the legislation goes through, but my position on this has not changed. and with that it was back to brussels to make a one hour presentation —
before eu leaders sat up late into the night arguing over the length of the brexit extension. in the wee small hours, the news came that the new brexit date was to be the 31st of october, halloween. the decision a compromise between eu leaders who want the uk to get on and leave — and those prepared to be a bit more patient. and after a few hours' sleep theresa may was back at westminster to tell mps what it all meant. in short, the date of our departure from the eu and our participation in the european parliamentary elections remains a decision for this house. as president tusk said last night, during this time, the course of action will be entirely in the uk's hands. the choices were stark and the timetable clear she said, and mrs may promised more talks with labour to try to find a way forward. mr speaker, i know the whole country is intensely frustrated that this process to leave the european union has not still been completed. i never wanted to seek this extension, and i deeply regret that we have not yet been able to secure an agreement in this house for a deal that will allow us to leave in a smooth
and orderly way. i know too that this whole debate is putting members of all sides of this house under immense pressure and causing uncertainty across the country. we need to resolve this. so, let's use the opportunity of the recess to reflect on the decisions that will have to be made swiftly after the return from easter. and that has been resolved through this empasse. the labour leader said the talks between his party and the government had been serious and constructive — but if they failed... we believe all options should remain on the table, including the option of a public vote. hear, hear! he turned to speculation about how long theresa may would stay in power. we have no idea who may succeed her, so with that in mind, with that in mind, we have to entrench any agreement because some of those already throwing their hats into the ring have said they will scrap the human rights act, they would rip up burdensome regulation, or even prefer to leave without any deal at all.
what an irony that it is the european union that has got the uk out of this mess. let that be a lesson for members in this place that it is the eu that has put the interest of our citizens and the uk first — our businesses, our farmers, and our fishermen. we should not be blasting the eu, we should be thanking them. does my right honourable friend the prime minister appreciate the anger that her abject surrender last night has generated across the country, having broken promises a hundred times not to extend the time? will she resign? i think you know the answer to that. up until yesterday, the eu were saying very clearly that it i think you know the answer to that. up until yesterday, the eu were saying very clearly that it
would not grant an extension unless there was a credible plan, either an election or referendum or the prospect of getting the withdrawal agreement through soon, it would not grant an extension, and if it did, it will be stringent conditions. in fact, neither of those things were held to by the european union because when they were faced with an palatable choice of a no deal, they backed down. —— unpalatable. a number of honourable members have heard the words of the prime minister when she speaks about compromise. but she still has refuses or is unable to tell the house what is her compromise, what are the red lines that she sat down, that she now intends to rub out? the whole point of sitting down and negotiating in trying to come to an agreement is that both sides are exploring where that point of agreement may be.
when two years ago the prime minister was devising a brexit for the will of the people, i assumed it did not include many elements of labour policy. if the prime minister agrees a blue red brexit with the leader of the opposition, it cannot, by definition, reflect her interpretation of the will of the people. doesn't that make the case of a people's vote unassailable? there is much we do agree on. we are working to see on a final agreement that look as ——that will get us a majority in this house. theresa may. the government has announced plans to fine or block internet sites if they fail to tackle material relating to terrorist activity and child abuse. there are also proposals for an independent watchdog to oversee and sanction tech firms. the culture secretaryjeremy wright told mps it was time to end the era of self—regulation. no one has done it before. there is no comprehensive international model to follow, and there are important balances to strike in sustaining innovation in the digital economy and promoting freedom of speech, as well as reducing harm. he said online companies
had been too reactive. it can no longer be right to the online companies find —— to leave online companies to find for themselves to decide what actions should be taken, as some of them are beginning to recognise. some will say the internet is global and some no country can act alone. but i believe we have both a duty to act to protect uk citizens and also an opportunity to lead the world on this. labour urged cross party cooperation and warned the industry would fight back. those tech giants are certainly gearing up for a fight, hiring an army of lobbyists who i suspect will be touch with each of us very soon. so i hope we can all commit now that these measures will be the minimum standard of regulation, and we will not resile from any of the recommendations in the report. we must get this right for the sake of the family of molly russell and the victims of christchurch, we must back together across this house to make sure that social media companies and tech companies are properly held to account.
hannah ba rdell. now, let's take a look at some other news from around westminster in brief. there was a mixed reaction to the news that the co—founder of wikileaks — julian assange — had been arrested. he'd been sheltering in the ecuadorian embassy since 2012. he's facing charges in the us related to one of the largest ever leaks of government secrets. ecuador‘s actions recognise that the uk criminaljustice system is one in which rights are protected and in which contrary to what mr assange and his supporters may claimed, he and his legitimate interest will be protected. julian assange is not being pursued to protect us national security, he is being pursued because he has exposed wrongdoing by us administrations
and their military forces. the treatment that mr assange receives in the period to come must take place with appropriate due process and with respect to the protection of his rights that the home secretary stresses. it's 25 years since the rwandan genocide — that left nearly a million people dead. in 1994, hutu extremists killed hundreds of thousands of minority tutsis and moderate hutus. marking the anniversary, the rwandan president paul kagame lit a flame of remembrance. five alleged perpetrators of the rwandan genocide are living in the uk. in spite of all the evidence being available here already in the united kingdom, the metropolitan police had indicated it could take a further ten years to process. mr speaker, the souls of those murdered in the genocide cry out for justice, but from britain, justice has, at the least, been delayed, and at the worst, denied.
there is a live police investigation into a number of individuals for potential war crimes. my right honourable friend will also understand that as it is a live police investigation, there is no more i can say to this particular matter. new zealand's parliament has voted to ban all types of semi—automatic weapons and assault rifles following the christchurch attacks. the gun reform bill passed by 119 votes to one. the country's prime minister, jacinda ardern, announced changes to the law after 50 people were killed by a suspected lone gunman at two mosques in christchurch. i have to reflect, mr speaker, when i visited the hospitals and the victims, that none of them had just one gunshot wound. i struggle to recall any single gunshot wounds. in every case, they spoke of multiple injuries, multiple debilitating injuries that deemed it impossible for them to recover in days, let alone weeks. they will carry disabilities for a lifetime, and that is before you consider the psychological impact.
the immigration minister faced questions about compensation for the windrush generation — people from the caribbean who arrived in britain after world war two and who've faced deportation or detention by the home office if they couldn't prove their right to be in the uk. the government announced a compensation scheme and said payments wouldn't be capped. but a labour mp thought official documents suggested otherwise. a £500 payment for legal costs incurred, £500 for people who've been denied the chance to go to university, £1,000 for those wrongly obliged to leave the country under a so—called voluntary return scheme, and a mere £10,000 for people who were wrongly deported. these different heads of claim which can be claimed for need not be in the singular, but can be cumulative. there also is a discretionary category which will enable people to claim for other losses not
necessarily identified within the scheme, which is uncapped. the new mp for newport west took her seat in the commons at the start of the week. labour's ruthjones won the by—election held following the death of a veteran labour mp, paul flynn, in february. i swear by almighty god that i will be faithful and bear true allegiance to her majesty queen elizabeth, her heirs and successors, according to law. so help me god. now to prime minister's questions. as we saw at the top of the programme, the snp's westminster leader used his questions to press theresa may over the possibility of a second brexit referendum. the labour leaderjeremy corbyn focused his attention elsewhere. in the run up to may's local elections, he attacked the conservatives' record on local government funding. since 2010, 50p of every pound has been stripped from local authorities by her government.
that is the reality of what life is like for those trying to deliver services. mr speaker, the evidence is clear. the tories have abandoned communities across the country. they've left towns and cities to fend for themselves after nine years of vindictive, damaging austerity. i'm proud to lead a government that's seen more children in good schools, more doctors, more jobs, lower borrowing, lower unemployment, lower taxes. that's conservatives delivering across the country for everyone. and what would we see with a labour government under the right honourable gentleman? destroying our defences, abandoning our allies, billions more in borrowing, fewer opportunities and higher taxes for everyone. that's a labour future. we will never let it happen. time now for a look at what's been happening in the wider world of politics this week. here's selina seth with our countdown. at 5, it's bercow bonjovi.
the speaker channels a new jersey rocker. thangam debbonaire. thank you, mr speaker. erm... laughter the dangers of internet memes! at 4, theresa may arrived a bit too early for a big meetup with angela merkel, so here's an action replay. at 3, the world's biggest ever general election gets under way in india. 900 million people can vote. results are due on may 23. at 2, revealed in brussels, it's brexit — as seen from space. onlyjoking. this all—consuming vortex is, of course, a black hole.
and at 1, once a speaker, always a speaker. order, order! baroness boothroyd greets a people's vote rally. selina seth. now for the last 50 years, the uk has had what's known as a continuous at sea deterrent — with one of four submarines armed with a nuclear weapon always on patrol. in 2016, the house of commons approved the decision to maintain the uk's nuclear deterrent beyond the early 2030s, with the current vanguard—class submarines being replaced. the cost of the design and manufacture of a class of four new submarines has been estimated at £31 billion. the defence secretary reminded mps of the deterrent‘s history. half a century ago, hms resolution glided into the clyde and sailed into the history books. this was the start of our longest sustained military operation,
operation relentless, and the beginning of our continuous at sea deterrence. since then, there has always been a royal navy ballistic missile submarine at sea protecting our nation. i wonder how he thinks we can possibly lecture other countries about not seeking to acquire nuclear weapons. what moral high ground do we have to do that if we ourselves not only possess them but are upgrading them? does he really think the world will be a safer place if every country had nuclear weapons? and if that's not the case, how on earth do we justify it if we're doing it? i firmly believe that the world is a safer place by us having a nuclear deterrent. the nuclear dangers have not gone away. on the contrary, the geopolitical situation is more unstable than ever before. we are facing challenges that are growing in scale, complexity and also diversity. russia is rebuilding its nuclear arsenal.
it has breached the inf treaty, and in europe has now deployed new nuclear—capable missile systems to target and threaten the west. north korea is the only state to have detonated a nuclear weapon in the 21st century. despite positive dialogue, its weapons remain intact. we hope that north korea will return to compliance with its obligations under the nonproliferation treaty, but the point is that both nations have shown their willingness to wrestle the nuclear sabre in the past. labour's shadow defence secretary confirmed labour's official policy of renewing trident, even thoutheremy corbyn is a long—standing opponent of nuclear weapons. labour fully supports the uk's continuous at sea nuclear deterrent, and we are committed to the renewal of the nuclear submarines. the threats facing the uk are real and undiminished, and there is a need to deter against the use of nuclear weapons in all circumstances.
because, madam deputy speaker, none of us ever wants to be in a position where the deterrent is used. if we ever got to that situation, it would represent a catastrophic failure of our rules—based system and the very concept of deterrence. the only issue on which i take a little exception to in the contribution of the shadow defence secretary was one turn of phrase when she said about how appalling it would be if the deterrence weapons were used. and i would gently remind her that the nuclear deterrence is in use every day of every week, all around the year. i don't know about him, but if i had been obliterated by a nuclear weapon, i actually don't give a jott whether we obliterate somebody back. i'm very sorry to have to explain to the honourable lady that the whole point of our ability to retaliate is to ensure
that we are not attacked in the first place. only in this house of commons, at this time — against the backdrop of major constitutional crisis where each day is worse than the last — could it be thought of as a good use of our time to back slap each other on the uk being 50 years as a marine nuclear power. it ought to be the case for sure — and on this, i'm sure we do agree with others — that the government carries out a threat analysis, and subsequent to that threat analysis, it gets in itself what it needs to meet that threat and to keep the people safe. but we don't believe, quite simply, that trident complements that effort. the total costs of trident, from design through life—support, run into the many, many billions of pounds — estimated by some as high as 200 billion. now what we do know for sure, mr deputy speaker, is that the current new project
is already woefully out of control. indeed, over £1 billion of the £10 billion contingency that was set aside by the ministry of defence has already been tapped into. stewart macdonald. the transport firm stagecoach is up in arms after being barred from bidding on three rail franchises by the government. the company, which owns 49% of virgin trains, applied for the east midlands and south eastern franchises, and to renew its west coast agreement. but it's been told by the department for transport its bids have been disallowed — as they did not meet pension rules. the minister explained why. they chose to put in a noncompliant bid, which resulted in their disqualification, in line with the terms of the published invitation to tender. that said, stagecoach have played an important role in our railways, and we hope they will continue to do so post the conclusions of the rail review.
however, it is entirely for stagecoach and their bidding partners to explain why they decided to ignore established rules by rejecting the commercial terms on offer. a conservative criticised the choice of company for the east midlands franchise — abellio — due to his own experience of the firm in essex. abellio were hopeless. the minister will recall an adjournment debate he had with a number of mps a couple of months ago. and mr speaker, the business collapsed early, so lots of us piled in. from memory, six or seven essex members of parliament whose constituents suffer this company every day got up, one after another, to tell the minister how utterly useless this company are. we've been waiting for years for new trains from abellio, and still they don't turn up. they're dutch/japanese owned, and they don't give a monkey's about the people they have as passengers. i'm sorry. this is a massive mistake and yet another grayling cockup.
labour's front bench took issue with the whole franchise approach. surely even this beleaguered government can see what is staring them in the face, that the franchise system is in complete collapse and they need to respond to long—suffering passengers and do what the next labour government will do, which is to bring track and train back together in state ownership. this state. but the minister said the system brought billions of investment into the uk's rail network and mps should celebrate the positives. now the chances are if you've got a passport, you don't look at it that closely — except perhaps to cringe at the photo at the back. but over the weekend, it was revealed that the first british passports without the words "european union" on the front had been issued — even though brexit has been put off. in the lords, a liberal democrat thought that was a little premature. my lords, not only are we still in the european union, but after tonight, we may be so for another nine months or even one year at least. during that time, the uk, as a country and government, will enjoy all the rights
and obligations of eu membership, including that of sincere cooperation. why is the government refusing to pass on those rights to its citizens, who want european union on their passports? this has got absolutely nothing to do with the will, or otherwise, of the british people. this is everything to do with the british people voting to leave the european union, the home office preparing — in changing the passports — and i really think it's not a very good point. could my noble friend perhaps consider getting the home office to produce disposable peel—off stickers for those people who feel concerned about this, with the words "european union"? my noble friend makes a very practical point, and in fact, one can purchase passport covers and they can be in any colour. and they can say anything that anybody wants. they can... the noble lady is quite at liberty to do that, but i think it's absolutely right that the home office prepares for the situation of the uk leaving the european union.
given the limbo that the country finds itself, wouldn't it be sensible to put a question mark after the "european union"... laughter and then in due course, my lords, we could tipp—ex it out. lord blunkett — with a tongue—in—cheek suggestion for the uk's new—look passports. well, after a "will they, won't they?" few days, mps and peers found out on thursday that they could have a week's easter break. they'll be back on tuesday 23 april — and so will we. so please join us then. but for now from me, alicia mccarthy, goodbye. hello, after a chilly start to the weekend, if anything during sunday it
will feel a bit colder. of course it always helps if you get to see some sunshine, and most of us did at some stage on saturday. but for sunday there is expected to be more cloud building up and the east—south—easterly wind will be a bit stronger too. all that comes after a frosty start, and a good few degrees below freezing where we've had clear skies overnight, and away from any breezy conditions along north sea coasts and this weather front in north—western parts. this is a different flavour to the weather on sunday. more cloud around and some of us seeing a bit of rain. it is a frosty start for some, particularly where you are in the blue. we can see the effect of the cloud on the west, keeping temperatures up a little and breezes coming along north sea coasts. lots of early sunshine to come, but the cloud is expected to build. in terms of catching a shower, early showers should fade and we may catch some in north—east england, a few more towards eastern scotland, wintry on the high hills. remember that weather front? here is the cloud and patchy rain from that. the isles of scilly, parts of cornwall
and pembrokeshire, the further west you are, in northern ireland. the breeze is stronger. average speeds across western parts, you could get some gusts in excess of a0 miles an hour. more cloud, more wind, that will make you feel colder. really, these temperatures are already struggling for the time of year. now, as we go on through sunday night and into monday morning this weather system to the west really doesn't want to move. the closest you are to it, the more cloud there is around, still the chance of seeing outbreaks of rain, maybe still the odd shower clipping parts of eastern scotland, but most places stay dry. away from the west, not as much blue, not so much in the way of frost. still a chilly start for many of us on monday morning. early sunny spells, again, some cloud expected to build. most places will stay dry. still getting some outbreaks of rain into parts of south—west england, wales and northern ireland. a few showers running into eastern scotland. still decidedly breezy on monday. temperatures may be a degree also higher. it is beyond monday when we are expecting more significant changes in our weather. still patchy rain in western parts on tuesday. low pressure to the west and high pressure to the east. the position of the weather system