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tv   The Week in Parliament  BBC News  May 19, 2019 2:30pm-3:00pm BST

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‘ across northern ‘acress northern ireland ‘ across northern ireland and widely across northern ireland and high ground in scotland and wales, down through north—east england in twos central parts, 20 degrees in the south—east, 16 through the central belt of scotland. hello, this is bbc news with shaun ley. the headlines: theresa may promises mps a "bold" new offer on brexit, to try to get her deal through parliament before she leaves office. the new national rail summer timetable comes into effect today. train companies say they've learned lessons from weeks of chaos on the network last summer a bbc investigation finds a fall in the number of prosecutions for revenge porn, even though there are more reported incidents. triumph for the netherlands in this year's eurovision song contest, but despair for the uk, which finished last.
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now on bbc news it's time for a look back at the the week in parliament. hello and welcome to the week in parliament. a brexit showdown — could june be the end of may? the withdrawal agreement bill will have a second reading during the week beginning monday 3rd june 2019. tory activists say she shouldn't hang around that long. they've lost confidence in the prime minister and wish her to resign before the european elections. and accentuating the positive — how mps can avoid brexit—related stress. your mind is here, your body is there but quite often your mind is drawn back to the past and it ruminates and cogitates the negative things that happened to you. all that to come, and more. but first, after all the debates, the meaningful votes,
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the defeats, the attempted coups and the collapsed cross—party talks, the end is nigh. theresa may met senior conservatives on thursday and agreed that she would set out the timetable for the election of her successor after another brexit vote. whatever happens. this vote will be on the withdrawal agreement bill to put her brexit deal into law. and we now know when that vote will be. i can also inform colleagues that the withdrawal agreement bill will have second reading during the week beginning monday the 3rd ofjune, 2019. the bill will be introduced as soon as possible to give colleagues the chance to consider the provisions within it. if the government loses that vote in less than three weeks, then the prime minister is expected to resign, officially firing the starting gun for a leadership election that's already underway. so it may not be the meaningful vote, mps have had three of those, but it certainly is a meaningful vote. whatever the consequences for her political career, peers tried to find out from the brexit secretary what defeat could mean for the prime minister's deal
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with the european union and its chief negotiator, michel barnier. is it clear that this is the last chance saloon for the withdrawal agreement in its current form? that is to say, the last chance that the commons will get to vote on it? i think if the house of commons does not approve it, then the barnier deal is dead in that form. and i think the house will have to then address a much more fundamental question between whether it will pursue and communicate on the no deal option or whether it will revoke. but some supporters of a no—deal brexit want theresa may out within days. 0ne brexiteer mp delivered a message from his local party directly to the prime minister. this saturday, 40 of us went out campaigning for the european elections.
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but unfortunately i have a letter from those conservatives addressed to the prime minister. they say that her deal is worse than staying in the european union, that they want us to come out now on a no deal basis, and, sir, more importantly, they have lost confidence in the prime minister and wish her to resign before the european elections. prime minister, what message do you have to say to these dedicated and loyal conservatives? and loyal conservatives? i would say to conservatives up and down the country who are concerned about delivering brexit, this is a government that wants to deliver brexit and has been working to deliver brexit. sadly, so far, the house of commons has not found a majority to do that. if everybody in the house of commons had voted alongside with the government and the majority of conservative members of parliament, we would already have left the european union.
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the previous evening, theresa may had metjeremy corbyn to try to find a way forward. but the snp were cross at being excluded from the cross—party talks. the people of scotland are none the wiser of what is going on in these secret tory labour talks. scotland's people and the will of the scottish parliament is being ignored. mr speaker, enough is enough. why is the prime minister so afraid of giving the people of scotland their say? and by friday we were all a little wiser about those private talks as the labour leader declared they had gone as far as they can, reducing the prime minister's options yet further. some ofjeremy corbyn's mps still hope for a second referendum. the snp could sense power seeping away. i don't know about you, mr speaker, but it is looking a bit threadbare over on these benches. maybe we should examine the reason why the government can barely secure double figures in the opinion polls, the uk is now an international
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laughing stock with our backbench wanting her going, as does the nation, she is now going to be bringing back her withdrawal agreement for a fourth time, there is a backbench coup to say that they won't support her. has the road nowjust not run out, prime minister? for the sake of her nation, will she please just go and let scotland go too? well, i can say to the right honourable gentleman that from his references to those of us across this house, it is obvious his charm offensive to become the next speaker has already started. and i also say to him it is in the interests of scotland that it remains part of the united kingdom and it is in the interests of the whole of the united kingdom that we deliver on what people voted for in the referendum and deliver brexit. by thursday, we got more of an idea of how she planned to deliver brexit. and peter bone was starting to wonder about his rapidly—filling diary.
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could the leader explain to me why it is coming back in the first week after recess? that week we have very important d—day celebration, and we also have, on the political side, the peterborough by—election. we have president trump coming that week. is it the intention of the leader to invite president trump to sit in the special box in the chamber reserved for important people so he can see how british democracy works on a major constitutional bill? it is quite clear that in order for us to leave the european union in line with the referendum in 2016, we need to get on with it. that is why the bill as being brought forward. we certainly will publish the bill in time for colleagues to be able to consider the legislation. and, in case you were wondering, she said president trump would be very welcome. now with all the rows about brexit, and all the leadership plotting, it can be easy to forget it's election time. voters across the european union are going to the polls
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between thursday, may the 23rd and sunday the 26th to elect the members of the european parliament. and that includes voters in the uk. the westminster government didn't want us to take part but with a brexit date postponed the elections are taking place here on thursday 23rd. results from across europe are announced on the same date, the following sunday. so we thought it timely to take a look at what the european parliament does. here's adam fleming from the parliament in brussels. the european parliament prides itself on being the only directed elected eu institution, although i imagine the prime ministers, presidents, and chancellors might have something to say about that. each member state sends a group of meps that is roughly correlated to its population size. so the uk has 73, the same as italy. the european parliament has the power to approve most new pieces of european legislation, the eu's annual and long—term budget, and the top team at the european commission, including its president,
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a power that the european parliament will exercise later this year. in terms of how it is organised, the national political parties form pan european political blocs with other parties that share their worldviews. so it is organised around the centre—right, the centre—left, the liberals, the greens, and the eurosceptics. and there is one other big thing — the european parliament has to give its consent to the final brexit deal. adam fleming in brussels. one of the possible candidates to succeed theresa may is the new defence secretary, penny mourdaunt. but if she hoped to win the loyalty of the tory rank—and—file mps with her plan to end the threat of historical investigations into military veterans, it seems rather to have backfired. ms mourdant, who delivered her first big speech in the role on wednesday, wants veterans to be exempt from criminal prosecution for events overseas that happened in the line of duty more than ten years before.
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but the policy will not apply in northern ireland, as it's part of the uk. with former soldiers still being investigated over bloody sunday during the troubles in northern ireland more than a0 years ago, some mps who served in the province say the policy would be unfair. a northern ireland minister was summoned to the commons to answer an urgent question. we all want to see the northern ireland executive re—established. of course we do. but that cannot be at the price of some rancid backstairs deal between the northern ireland office and sinn fein ira to sell corporaljohnny atkins down the river as the price of re—establishing the executive. up with that, i believe this house will not put. we have a moral duty to defend those who defended us, and we abrogate that duty if for reasons of political convenience we allow
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the scapegoating of our veterans to pander to terrorists. i am sure that my honourable friend speaks for everybody in this house, he certainly speaks for me when he says we will have no rancid political deals here. that is not acceptable and it is something which, if we are going to ask people to potentially put their lives on the line to serve in her majesty's armed forces anywhere in the world, then we need to make sure that we are doing the right thing by them when they have done the right thing by their country. i think we have to be very clear in this house that investigating the most serious crimes, a death has taken place, crimes, we have to be resolute and absolute in saying there can be no statute of limitation. crime is crime, murder is murder, and we need to establish, as a house, as a nation, that our principles uphold the rule of law. i completed seven tours in northern ireland,
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all with the infantry or associated units. i lost many men and i was involved in fatality shootings. i was investigated, along with others. the investigations were thorough, aggressive, and bloody awful to go through. when the investigations were completed, we sometimes had to go to court to prove that we had acted in accordance with the yellow card. i told two soldiers in 1978, who were with me, that because they'd been to court and being proved innocent and acted within the law, they would never, ever be asked to do such a thing again. how the hell can our government allow such people to be possibly investigated again? could the minister explain the fundamental difference between soldiers following orders in uniform in afghanistan and iraq, and
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soldiers following orders in uniform in northern ireland? other than a militant republican drive to rewrite history to make it seem as if their blood loss against the free scottish soldiers and all of those other men and women slaughtered by evil people was in some way acceptable? we must, minister, have equal treatment for all who served in army uniform, wherever it was, or is in the world. people who suggest we should have some kind of statute of limitations for forces that have been serving abroad need to realise that if we try to do that in the uk, that statute of limitations, according to human rights law, would have to apply to all sides of the conflict in northern ireland. i don't know how i can honestly, with a clean heart, say that my government represents the best interests of ex servicemen and women who have served their country. i simply say to him this simple principle — when naturaljustice collides
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with the law, we change the law. and mr speaker, that has to be correct, that is why we are talking about bringing forward an act of parliament, a bill, to this place, in order to change the law, in order to put this right. john penrose, who spent nearly an hour answering questions, although he had to admit that all he had to go on were press reports and the outline of the defence secretary's proposals. now, you're a humble backbencher and you want to change the law. how do you go about it? well, one option is for an mp to bring in their own bill. very few of these succeed because they often lack government backing and parliamentary time. but two mps launched separate bids this week, via the ten minute rule system. i've been finding out how that went. ten minute rule motion. george eustice. two mps, each with ten
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minutes, one speech, and the commons to win over. former agriculture minister george eustice is seeking greater protection for wild hares. you were a minister as recently as february. would it not have made more sense to get this done while you were in government? yes, and i tried very hard to get it done. one of the great problems we all face in politics, the first thing you learn when you come to the house of commons, is it is difficult to get things done. labour's faisal rashid wants more access for trade unions to workplaces. it is a good ten minute rule bill. if i get the support from the shadow team and in turn from the government, which is highly unlikely the government will support a union related bill, however, we have to keep pressing this. it is a massive issue in this country. both bills went through this stage unopposed. the question is that the honourable member have leave to bring in the bill. as many as are of that opinion say aye? aye. 0n the contrary no. i think the ayes have it. the ayes have it. very few make it into law. only six between 2000 and 2017.
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parliamentary time is limited. it'll get in the queue and we are working with the clerks as much as possible to get a second reading as soon as possible. and given the lack of parliamentary time, is there going to be time for a second reading? you are absolutely right. then again, you cannotjust stop and not do anything, you have got to keep going. the difficulty at this end of the session is that there is not a great deal of time left to progress the bill. that does not mean that it is a pointless exercise because what i shall be seeking to do as a next step is to draft the bill, draft what the clauses should look like. i will be putting pressure on the government to allow me to have access to some of their parliamentary help, to draft legislation professionally. and even if i cannot get it through in this session, if we have a ready drafted bill and it is a consensus that this should happen it could either be picked up by the government
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in a later session or indeed i could give it to another member who might for instance have a private members bill which is another way that a private member can bring forward a bill. george eustice. time now for a quick look at what else has been happening around westminster. the government has come under pressure to ban the import of hunting trophies. a conservative mp said there were now only 415,000 african elephants, compared to more than three million a century ago. zac goldsmith also challenged those who argued that hunting could promote conservation and provide badly needed income for poor areas. there is very little evidence that money is genuinely reinvested in protecting habitats or helping local communities. do ministers really believe that the money generated from hunting is preferable to the much larger sums that could be generated where appropriate from things like wildlife tourism or sustainable land use?
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the wildlife trust estimates that a live elephant is worth 76 times more than a dead elephant. an environment minister accepted that for many it was a moral issue, but some countries saw hunting as an important source of income and a conservation tool. there were, however, strong eu rules in place which restrict imports by country or area. trophies from hippos can be imported from tanzania but not mozambique. at the moment it has suspended imports from cameroon. another example, trophies from african elephants in tanzania can only be imported into the eu if they are from populations in specific areas and certain reserves like the serengeti. the emergency services network is a new communication system for police, fire and ambulances. it is supposed to make it easier and quicker for the emergency services in england, wales and scotland to talk to one another and respond to incidents. but it has been delayed and is £3 billion over budget. in the lords a former metropolitan police chief said the police had no confidence
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in the system. not only has the cost risen by 49% but what should have finished in 2019 and is hoped will finish in 2022, the audit commission have no confidence this project will be delivered. even the technical solution is not defined. the police have no confidence. will the government guarantee the extra funds needed for this project which is significant will not be taken from the police, fire or ambulance budgets? well, the noble lord is right to point out what the report says and i am not going to sugar coat it about cost and time overruns. what i think gives us some comfort is the new team is in place. in terms of additional costs they should be ultimately recouped. but i take the point that reset is needed. the project needs to run to time and run to cost.
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that needs to be done as a matter of priority. mps have said it's terrifying that hackers were able to remotely install surveillance software on phones and other devices using a major weakness in whatsapp. the messaging app, which is owned by facebook, said the attack targeted a "select number" of users and was orchestrated by what it called an "advanced cyber actor". a minister has advised users to update their app. what conversations has the minister or the secretary of state had with whatsapp to bring in a system of prompting whatsapp to alert users to update the app? because at the moment i fear that many of the millions of whatsapp users in the uk will not have updated the app and should be doing so urgently. i quite agree with the honourable lady that people on hearing about this, and it is ironic
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that they have to hear about it through traditional print media and television, but on hearing about it they really should update their whatsapp. and get into the habit of installing security updates whenever they are prompted to do so. handy advice for those using whatsapp to plot their conservative leadership campaigns. what's been going on in the wider world of politics this week? time now for our countdown with julia butler. at five, 2015 brought ed miliband's two kitchens. this week brought us james brokenshire is four ovens. the former labour leader and housing secretary do not share much in common but they have both received a roasting. at four, former prime minister david cameron has announced his memoirs will be released in september, before the brexit deadline of 31st of october.
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his book will be called, for the record. at three, this is the third time mark reckless has resigned from a political group to join another in the last five years. the former tory mp defected to ukip in 2014, then returned to the conservative group, then became an independent, and now supports the brexit party. are you following? at two, crossbench peer lord singh put in a polite request for president trump to listen to climate change concerns on this side of the pond. could the government get the united states president to drop in on one of these classes during his visit? and at one, election officials in india crossed land and sea to bring voting machines to a remote island off gujarat this week. 29 islanders took part in what is the world's biggest general election. votes are counted on may the 23rd. julia butler. it's fair to say these are testing times at westminster. brexit has divided parties
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and the longest parliamentary session in modern times has strained relations. so little wonder perhaps that so many mps wore green ribbons to mark mental health awareness week. may i start by thanking the mental health foundation for organising the mental health awareness week. having good mental health is vital to us all and that is why we are investing record levels in mental health. we want to ensure that people receive the treatment and care when they need it. ijoin the prime minister in acknowledging mental health awareness week and i want to send my support to all those campaigning all across the country to raise awareness of mental health, and also a message that all of us can do something about it by reaching out and talking to people going through a mental health crisis, and also ensuring there is proper funding for our mental health services. mps‘ own mental health has been challenged by the fallout from the brexit referendum and the stresses of a hung parliament.
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in my 22 years here on and off in parliament i cannot remember a time as divisive over such a long timescale. chris ruane has taken practical steps to cope better with a politician's life. one of the things i have done is to introduce mindfulness into parliament. we introduced it six years ago. we had 250 members of parliament attend our course. 350 members of their staff as well. and this is how he sells it to his fellow mps. mindfulness, your mind is here, your body is there. quite often, your mind is drawn back to the past and it ruminates and cogitates on negative things that happen to you. sometimes your body is but you are projecting forward, planning, and you are not soaking up the goodness that is before you. it might be a difficult interview, it might be a sunset, a lovely day, but you are not fully present for it. mindfulness is about living in the present moment. and he's even tried to recruit the prime minister. after brexit negotiations have been concluded, when she might need to de—stress,
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will she meet with representatives of our cross—party group and senior scientists to look at what more could be done with mindfulness to reduce human suffering and to promote human flourishing? i recognise the training that has gone into staff. i recently, some weeks ago, had an individual from my constituency come to my surgery to talk about mindfulness and the member of my parliamentary staff i had with me had actually undertaken the training and was therefore able to speak about the impact that that had had. chris ruane's journey to mindfulness surprised those who've seen — and heard — him heckling ministers from both the front and back benches. the gentleman is obviously a beneficiary of mindfulness himself. he seems a very calm and phlegmatic fellow these days. it was not always the case in the past. we are grateful to the honourable gentleman. we have talked about learning to hold your tongue. some people would be surprised and perhaps not consider you the most mindful mp.
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the speaker described you as an incorrigible delinquent at times. absolutely, he did that. i believe the speaker was one himself in a previous life as a backbencher. i asked the prime minister a question about mindfulness earlier this year, the speaker got up from his chair, and said the honourable member has changed. i could have no finerjudge. chris ruane — and if it worked for him then perhaps the increasingly—crowded field of wannabe conservative leadership candidates should sign up for his mindfulness lessons. if they can find a room big enough. well, we've gone as far as we can. thank you for watching. alicia mccarthy will be your trusted guide to monday's events in the commons and the lords on bbc parliament at 11 o'clock on monday. but from me, david cornock, bye for now.
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we have light winds again today. it is very slow—moving sort of weather. we are seeing a bit of sunshine coming through. that should be developing more widely. it brings with it the threat of some showers as well. we are starting to see more of those down towards central and southern england. we still have a lot of cloud across western scotland and northern ireland. the cloud slow to break up. but you will get some warmth in the sunshine and that will lead to more showers. showers developing across central and eastern areas of scotland. a fraction warmer than it was yesterday across northern ireland. some sunshine for northern england.
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showers to the east of the pennines. wet around dorset, thunderstorms are possible. very slow—moving showers. showers becoming fewer and lighter overnight. it has been misty around north sea coasts. low cloud pushing inland tonight. temperatures on the mild side. eight or 9 degrees. 0n monday, i said the weather was slow—moving, slow changing, it is a repeat performance on monday. warmth in the sunshine but potentially heavy thundery showers. many places will start dry. the low cloud will lift and we will get some sunshine, triggering showers. those temperatures very similar to what we are seeing today. highs of 20 or so in the south—east of england. low pressure close by to keep the threat
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of showers going. at high pressure is moving in from the atlantic. it will bring a few changes on tuesday at last. it will start colder for the western side of the uk. more places will be dry with sunshine. some showers setting off through the day but something a bit wetter in the north of scotland. temperatures still 16 in the central belt, 20 or 21 across parts of england and wales. that should feel pleasant in the sunshine. dry weather later in the sunshine. dry weather later in the week. temperatures are not really changing over the week ahead.
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this is bbc news. i'm shaun ley. the headlines at 3pm: theresa may promises mps a "bold" new offer on brexit, to try to get her deal through parliament before she leaves office. the new national rail summer timetable comes into effect today. train companies say they've learned lessons from weeks of chaos on the network last summer. security sources in egypt say at least 17 people have been injured, in a blast appearing to target a tourist bus. a bbc investigation finds a fall in the number of prosecutions for revenge porn — even though there are more reported incidents. #0h # all i know # loving you is a losing game... triumph for the netherlands in this year's eurovision song contest —

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