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tv   British House of Commons Debates Queens Speech  CSPAN  June 25, 2017 9:15pm-10:40pm EDT

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announcer: the same day, members of the house of commons consider the proposals laid out in the queen's speech. as part of the discussion focuses on the brexit negotiations and the prime minister's ability to form a majority government with the democratic unionist party. it is just under an hour and a half. is, we present it as follows. most gracious, we, your majesty and loyal subjects, the commons of the united kingdom of great britain and northern ireland in parliament assembled. we beg leave to offer our humble thanks to your majesty for the gracious speech which your majesty has addressed to both houses of parliament. i call the leader of the opposition, mr. jeremy corbyn.
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thank you, mr. speaker. by tradition, the beginning of each parliamentary session, we commemorate the numbers we have lost in the last year. sadly, mr. speaker, this year must also mark the passing of those lost in horrific events in recent days and weeks. the fire at grenfell tower in london has killed at least 79 people. what makes it both a tragedy and outrage is that every single one of those deaths could have been avoided. something has gone horrifically wrong. the community are demanding answers, and they are entitled to those answers. thousands of people living in tower blocks around the country need urgent reassurances. and the emergency services, especially fire and rescue services deserve our deepest , respect and support. i also want to pay a very warm
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tribute to my friend, the member of kensington, who has demonstrated so clearly why her community put their faith in her. her determination to ensure that every family is rehoused locally is an exemplary work of a dedicated member of parliament. we welcome to her house. lessons must be learned in the public inquiry, and a disaster that never should have happened must never happen again. the terrorist attacks in manchester, london bridge, and finsbury park took innocent lives, causing judges -- causing dozens of injuries and traumatizing hundreds of people with willful and callous disregard for human life. the attacks in the early hours on monday morning in my own constituency is a reminder to us all that hate has no creed and violence has no religion and we
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must to stand up to hatred, whoever the target and stand , together against those who would drive us apart. and last night, hundreds of people assembled along the finsbury park mosque to give that message from all communities and all faiths. our communities and our country are strongest when we are united. as our late colleague joe cox said, we have far more in common than that which divides us. it just over a year ago that joe was taken from us by someone driven by hatred. joe was driven by love and by an infectious imagery. it was in the spirit of that imagery and passion for people's lives and justice that so many events were held in her memory around the country last weekend including one in my constituency , near the site of the attack that happened a day later. they held a great get-together
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at the weekend. we should remember her and thank her, and make sure these great get-together event do continue year in, year out to unite our local communities. earlier this year, we lost the father of the house who had , served his constituents for 47 years and previously worked for harold wilson in downing street. was an iconic and irascible figure in the labour party and , campaigned to bring peace to the middle east throughout his entire life. it was my pleasure to travel with him to many countries in the region and i loved the , conversations we had with him. nobody had a short conversation with gerald. [laughter] all whobe remembered by worked for him and with him. mr. speaker, i want to congratulate the mover and seconder of the queen's speech. first, i do congratulate the
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member from newbury on his speech. i went to visit my mom and i hope he will understand the deep love of humanity that motivated all those women and others to go to the commons during those days. and i would like to thank him for taking time out for his -- from his considerable responsibilities looking after an extensive property portfolio -- [laughter] and pending to his directorship of the u.k. water partnership. i hope one day a labour government will be able to come to the aid of its newbury constituents by taking water back into public ownership and to the aid of his tenants by ensuring the responsibility of landlords to ensure that all homes are fit for human habitation. areow the honorable women -- the honorable member will continue to pursue his other
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interests in parliament and his interest in defense and africa and rural affairs. i agree with part of what he said when he spoke of the need of us as a country to adhere of all of the agreements on climate change. i thank him for that part of his speech. i turn now to the seconder, the honorable member whose speech was typically articulate. after all, he is a former winner of the university challenge. so he would be able to do that. he mentioned benjamin disraeli. benjamin disraeli once said, if i want to read a book, i write one. well, mr. speaker, it seems the honorable gentleman has taken it to new levels. writing or co-writing six books during the seven years he has been a member of this house. and i think, looking for the back catalog of his books, one book absolutely stands out. it is a must-read. it is absolutely apt to our
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times. i hope it is reprinted. theame out in 2011, and book said, "after the coalition." [laughter] i don't want to cut across his literary representations but , perhaps a sequel may be in the offing. although i understand the latest coalition may already be in some chaos. nothing would emphasize that chaos more than the queen's speech we just heard. a threadbare legislative program from a government that has lost its majority and apparently run out of ideas all together. this would be a thin legislative program even if it was for one year, but for two years? two years? there is not enough in it to fill up one year. mr. speaker, it is therefore appropriate to start by welcoming what is not in the speech. firstly, there is no mention of
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fuelping the winter announcement. can the prime minister of sure us the conservative plan is now being withdrawn? notably, neither is any mention of ditching the triple lock. pensions across britain will also be grateful to know that the torilla best -- that the tory position on that has also been binned. all the people might be keen to some clarity around the government's policy on social care whether it is still what , was originally set out in the manifesto or what was later amended to or something else entirely. and a matter of historical but looking on a conservative record, website the manifesto down in itsaken entirety. it apparently no longer exists. [laughter]
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-- prime minister like minister might also like to confirm that food is not after all going to be taken from the mouths of infants and younger , children will continue to receive universal school meals. on the subject of schools, mr. speaker there was nothing about , grammar schools in the gracious speech. does the prime minister now agree with her predecessor that it is delusional to think that a policy of expanding the number of grammar schools is a good idea or even a right idea? , mr. speaker, the good news may even extends to our furry friends. if the prime minister can guarantee the barbaric practice of fox hunting will be banned. -- will remain banned in this country. mr. speaker, the government has recently embarked on what is likely to be very difficult negotiations concerning brexit,
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which the whole house will want to scrutinize. unfortunately, there have been some leaks where the other side in the process expressing dismay at the weakness of the government's negotiating skills. but that's enough about coalitions of chaos for the democratic union's party. we must get onto the even more crucial issue of brexit. labor excepted from the beginning that the decision of the referendum has been taken. we are leaving the european union. the question is, how and on what terms? the government could begin negotiations on a far better footing, had it been accepted in the house last year and granted full rights to european union nationals living in this country. i hope now that the minority government would indeed listen to the wisdom of this house a bit more and work in partnership with our european neighbors.
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of course. think the right honorable gentleman for giving way. during the election campaign he repeatedly refused to rule out a second random random -- a second referendum on our e.u. membership. given that negotiations have commenced, will he rule out the second referendum now? >> i don't think you have been listening to my many speeches. i made it clear we would negotiate sensibly and fairly with the european union and bring the results of those negotiations back to this house. mp corbyn: it is in all our interests we get a brexit deal that puts jobs and economy first. no deal is not better than a bad deal. it's a bad deal and not viable for this country. we need full access to the single market and a customs arrangement that provides britain with the exact same benefits as now.
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neither must arbitrary targets for immigration be prioritized over the jobs and living standards of the people of this country. let's decide our immigration policy on the basis of the need of our communities and our economy, not to the tune of sin -- of dog whistle cynicism of lyndon crosby or the hate campaign, or indeed, mr. speaker, the hate campaigns of some sections of our press, whose idea of patriotism is to base themselves in an overseas safe haven. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the honorable gentleman for giving way. and i would like to ask, can you -- can he confirm the contradiction in his own plan,
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or he plans not to reduce immigration numbers, yet also stopping employers recruiting overseas? is it not the right honorable gentleman that he is a bit wobbly? speaker, we made it very clear throughout the election campaign and before that those employers that unscrupulously recruit low-paid workers from overseas, exploit them in this country and run , away with the profits are wrong, are making money out of poverty, and are grossly exploiting very vulnerable people on both sides of the channel. >> the majority position on the single market and the customs is clear. what is the labour party position on the second market? mp corbyn: again, mr. speaker, our position has been absolutely clear.
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our position is we need free -- we need terrorist free -- we iff-free access to the european markets to protect industries and jobs in this country. and let's have a little bit less from the other side of the dangerous threat of turning britain itself into a tax haven which would hurt jobs and public services here far more than in mainland europe. we do not yet know the official title of the government's much trumpetted great repeal bill. but if we are talking about taking back control, parliament must be able to scrutinize legislation. thankfully come up mr. speaker, this gracious speech allows for greater debates and greater scrutiny. that must include ensuring that .
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it's our determination that by working with administrations spaulkts such as agricultural andficiaries will be divulged to those administrations and not hoarded. ask i also wish the prime minister every success in reconvening talks with all parties to restore the assembly in bellfast as soon as possible. we also very much hope that any done deal of the dup in this place respects the overriding priority of the good friday agreement to maintain peace in northern ireland. mr. speaker, a state visit from the spanish head oaf state was
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announced for july, but can the prime minister update? just a question. mr. speaker, as i said earlier -- as i said earlier -- as i said earlier public service workers such as fire workers, police and others such respond when their are terrorist attack. but it's not good enough to respond only in times of terrorism and disaster. they deserve dignity of fully funded services, the dignity of not seeing their jobs cut and living standards fall. there are now 20,000 fewer
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police officers than when the conservatives came into office in 2010. and when the police -- mr. speaker, when the police raise this subject with the then home secretary, do you know what? she accused the police officers of crying wolf. i hope the current prime minister will correct the mistakes of the former home secretary. the gracious speech promises them all the powers they need. but what the police and security services deserve and the public demand is that they will have all the resources that they need. >> order. order. it is clear that at the moment the leader of the opposition is not giving way.
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mr. jeremy corbyn. >> thank you, mr. speaker, because what was briefed to the media yesterday about scrapping the changes to the police funding formula is insufficient as they will only move funding between -- it's very pressed and very far forward sightings. as it will only move funding between rural and urban forces when the real issue is the 2.5 billion cuts that have been made in police budgets in the past five years. mr. speaker, our firefighters did an outstanding job at the grenfell town fire, but those firefighters worked incredibly long shifts. in part because there are 600 fewer firefighters in london.
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ten fewer fire stations in london, cuts and closures forced through by the previous mayor of london. and talking to those firefighters, mr. speaker, kpautkpau exhausted from their work who went into a burning building to save people, i said why do you do it? why did you go in when you know it's so difficult and dangerous? they said because we're firefighters. we need more of them. there needs to be greater security for all of them in the future. we have to properly fund our fire services not just at a time of crises. mr. speaker, i welcome the fact there's a possible inquiry going on into grenfell, but i pay tribute to those councils for its commitment this week to install sprinklers on all tower blocks of ten stories or more. but so minimal safety standards
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cannot be left. so will the government make available emergency funds for council to check cladding and to install sprinklers? the government should also be committed to a public safety bill, to implement recommendations of the 2013 inquiry into the fire at lackana house and reverse the requirement to install sprinklers into new school buildings. it will still do so and do so at our support. >> i thank the gentleman for what he said about sprinkler systems on high rise flats. we have 116 high rise flats at my constituency. at the moment only eight have
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sprinklers. it will cost 30 million pounds for all of those flats. will the honorable gentleman work with me? >> a friend raised a very similar point about the numbers of town blocks. and i don't suppose too many members of this house live in tower blocks. but just think for a moment of the sense of fear so many people had when they saw that house fire. they're living an the 16th, 17th floor knowing there's no helicopter than can reach them, nowhere they can land. we need to give everyone that assurance and local authorities that have seen massive cuts in their budgets over the past years need their resources now to install the necessary
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sprinkler systems and fire prevention smts. and you cannot just use the excuse the money isn't there. am money has got to be there to ensure we save life in the future. and we will support the government if it is able to bring that forward. for the last time, i'll gave way and then i must move on. >> on my own friend and myself, thank him for visiting the area and also for making this an absolute priority. would i ensure he and the government assure that both the disaster relief in north ken sing tennessee and also pursuing this issue over the safety of people in tower blocks is made the absolute number one priority. >> reporter: >> that's right, andy. >> i thank my friend. into thank him for the support he's given to my friend the member from kensington and the work done there. because what's happened in grenfell tower is terrifying for all those there, and i have to
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say the problems that have ensued since then indicate just what happens when you cut local authority spending to the bone and local authorities cannot cope as a result. we need properly funded, good quality public services in this country. the prime minister says that legal support will be made available to the families affected by the gren if he tower fire. but they should have had access to legal aid beforehand. and when they were raising their desperate concerns about fire safety, they were ignored and again, ignored by a conservative-controlled local authority. the lessons of the failed austerity program must urgently be learned. we cannot have council housing social housing on the cheap and we cannot have public services on the cheap. we have to invest in them. so will the prime minister now halt the cuts to the police, cuts that the former commissioner this week called an
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absurdity? those cuts, those cuts have affected our prisons too, mr. speaker. her majesty's chief inspector of prisons has expressed his concern at the lack of prisons and a courts refor bill one that could have implemented our election manifesto to employ another 3,000 prison officers. our children's schools are facing budget cuts. can the prime minister confirm whether cuts per pupil funding are going ahead and can she clarify to the house the status of the national funding formula? head teaches and teaches are going through incredible stress with oversized classes and the difficulties of maintaining employment of teachers. the gracious speech mentioned legislation to protect victims of domestic violence. but does that also include restoring legal aid in such cases or restoring the funding
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to reopen the many refugees that have been closed? we welcome reform of mental health legislation to give it greater priority. and we would welcome an ainsurance that no mental health trust will see its budget cut this year like 40% of them did last year. will she call on the public service, will she call time on the public sector pay cap which means our nurses are 14% worse off today than they were seven years ago? as the prime minister is aware, some nurses and other public service workers have been forced to resort to using food banks. alongside over a million other people in this country. rising inflation, the effects of low pay, falling real incomes are going to hit even more families. the 6 million workers earning less than a living wage, the millions of people in insecure work, those subject to benefits
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freeze and the 5.5 million public servants, we owe them a lot better deal than they've been given by this government in the past seven years. my party, labor, won almost 13 million votes in the election, mr. speaker. and that was because, mr. speaker, we offered hope and opportunity for all and a real change to our country. the prime minister began the election campaign, she began the election campaign saying if i lose just six seats, i will lose this election. when it came to it, she lost more than four times that many seats to labor alone. every card did i have to captor bury from, stockton to kensington, people chose hope over fear. and they sent an unequivocal message, and youquiv cal message, mr. speaker that austerity must be brought to an
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end. seven years of conservative rule has left wages falling, inflation rising, the pound falling, personal debt rising, and the economy slowing. by no stretch of the imagination could any of that be described as strong or stable. i've given way to three members on that side and three members on this side. so i will conclude my speech. thank you. if you want to boost pay, the most effective means is through strong and independent trade unions. workers collectively, workers collectively defending and improving their paying conditions. so we would repeal the trade union act and strengthen collective bargaining. across britain, people have shown they believe there is a better way. in recent years, this government
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as thrown away tens it of billions of pounds in tax giveaways to the very richest and to big business. and at the very same time, the very same time, closing sure start centers, closing libraries, tipping social care into crisis and our national health service into record deficit. under conservative rule, school budgets have been cut, college courses closed, students are being saddled with a lifetime of debt, and per patient funding in the nhs set to fall for the first time in history. our manifesto for many, not the few, and its popular policies set out a very different path which caught the manual nation of millions. a way -- a way for the public really to take back control. so that our utilities and our railways are taken into public
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ownership and run in the interests of the many, not to pay the dividends of the few. we would end austerity, mr. speaker, by making very different choices. by asking the highest 5% of earners to pay a little bit more while still keeping the top 10 percentage points lower than it was for most of margaret thatcher's time in office. by asking big business to pay a little more in tax while still retaining a lower corporation tax rate than any other g-7 country. austerity and inequality are choices. they're not necessities. they are not unfortunate outcomes. they are -- they are a choice, they are a choice to make life worse for the many, to maintain the privilege of a few.
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if this government rejects austerity, challenges inequality, invests to expand, and rebalance our economy, then then it would have our support. but it continues down this path of deliberately making people worse off, of deepening division, of deepening division and of neglecting communities that deserve support and respect. then we will oppose them every step of the way if they continue with that. mr. speaker, this is a governme government -- i will continue with my speech. thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker -- this is a government without a majority, without a mandate, without a serious legislative program led
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by a prime minister who has lost her political authority. and is struggling even today to stick together a deal to stay in office. >> it is a point of order. >> prejudge it, let's hear the attempted point of order. point of order, mrs. maria miller. >> i'm seeking your advice as somebody who's been in this house for 1 years. the members on this side can be somewhat disappointed that the leader of the opposition is not in a position to be -- perhaps he can advise on what the usual format is in these cases. >> all i will say to the right honorable lady is this, i'm much touchdown by her faith in my abilities or assessment of the extent of my powers. disappointment may be very
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regrettable. but it is not a matter for the chair. mr. jeremy corbyn. >> speaker -- i am deeply sorry that the members -- >> jacob reese. >> thank you, mr. speaker. further to that point of order. the right honorable gentleman, the leader of the opposition said about ten minutes ago in conclusion. i fear -- i fear as time has passed, he may be in danger of inadvertently having misled the house. and i thought you might want to take the opportunity to set this right. >> no, some people may think that the honorable gentleman is fas tid yoes and others he's pedantic. you pay your money and take your choice. there is no disorder in here although if people continue top insist to raise points that are
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not a point of order would be disorderly. mr. jeremy corbyn. >> thank you, mr. speaker. just for the record, i've givenway six times in this debate and the six days of debate. so you will have plenty of time to make your points during the debate. but mr. speaker, we will use every opportunity to vote down government policies that have failed to win public support. we will use every opportunity to win support for our program. labor is not merely an opposition, mr. speaker. we are a government in waiting with a policy program. mr. speaker, with a policy program that have enthused and engaged millions of people in
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this election, many for the first time ever in their political lives. we are ready to offer real strong and stable leadership. in the interests of the many, not the few. we will test this government's brexit strategy and what legislation comes forward against that standard. mr. speaker, this election engaged more people than for a generation, a tribute to our democracy. in the election, labor set out a vision of what this country could be. what it could be. it could be -- it could be more equal, it could be more prosperous. it could have opportunities for all. that is what we on this side will be putting forward in this parliament. what we'll be fighting for in in parliament, what we'll be demanding in this parliament. the people of this country deserve something better than
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this thin piece of very little when they have so many problems they want and demand answers to from this participant. we will engage fully and make that case out for a prosperous more stable, more cohesive society in britain. thank you, mr. speaker. >> i call the prime minister. >> mr. speaker, mr. speaker, first of all, i am sure the whole house will want to join me in sending our very best wishes to his royal highness, the duke of edinboro following the news he has been admitted to hospital. our thoughts are with the queen
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and whole royal family and we wish him a full and speedy recovery. mr. speaker, let me also join the leader of the opposition in condemning the appalling terrorist attack in his constituency earlier this week. and to let me pay tribute to the work that he did through the night with his constituents on sunday. i know the thoughts and prayers of the whole house are with the family and friends of the victim who died and all those who were injured. and i'm sure the whole house will want to pay tribute to the police and the emergency services for once again responding with extraordinary professionalism and courage that makes our whole country so proud of them. this was the fourth terrorist attack on our country in three months. following the attacks here in westminster, in manchester, and at london bridge. this time it was an attack on british mus muslims as they left their place of worship at a sacred time of year. it was a brutal and sickening reminder that terrorism,
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extremism and hatred can take many forms. and that our determination to tackle them must be the same whoever is responsible. and this queen's speech takes important steps in helping us to do so. we will review our counter-terrorism strategy to insure the police and security services have all the powers they need and that the length of custodial sentences for terrorism-related offenses are sufficient to keep people safe. we will work to reach international agreements that regulate cyber space to prevent the spread of extremism and terrorist planning and encourage tech companies to do more to remove harmful content from their networks. and we will establish a new commission for countering extremism as a statutory body to help fight hatred and extremism in the same way as we have fought racism because this extremism is every bit as insidious and destructive to our values. i hope whatever our
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disagreements, we can all at least welcome the focus in this queen's speech on stamping out extremist and hateful ideology of any kind, including islamaphobia. for like all terrorism in whatever form, monday's attack sought to drive us apart and to break the precious bonds of solidarity and citizenship that we share in this country. and our response must be to stand together more strongly than ever. to show that -- just one moment, to show that hatred and ebola of this kind will never succeed and that our values and our way of life will always prevail. i give way to the gentleman. >> the whole house would agree with what she said. does she agree with me that we need to work with communities and engage with communities? that is all communities, they should play a leadership role in ensuring that we reject once and for all terrorism.
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>> the right honorable gentleman is absolutely right. i was of struck when i visited fins bury park on monday to see the way in which the interfaith various faith communities there were coming together. i saw representatives from the muslim faith, from the jewish community, from the christian community. all coming together with one ambition which is to drive extremism and hatred out of our society. >> i'm very grateful. >> this is the first time we come together after manchester, london bridge and, of course, fins bury park. countering extremism and terrorism of all kinds must be a priority for this government. would she join me in calling on all members of this house to give our security agencies the tools they've asked for in this gracious speech so they can do the job properly. >> i'm grateful to my friend for the intervention that he has made and i would hope, given that i believe there is a desire across this whole house for us to deal with terrorism and drive out terrorism and extremism of
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all kinds, that all members of this house will feel able to support the government in measures that we bring forward to do just that. >> giving way. when she was home secretary, she took a decision to weaken the surveillance powers of the police and intelligence services by abolishing control. will she now accept that that decision was a mistake? will she review it and will she strengthen the powers of the police and intelligence services in the very difficult task that they have to do of monitoring suspect who's may have the intent of doing harm but who have not yet committed a crime? >> the right honorable gentleman refers to control orders. what was happening with the control orders that a previous labor government introduced was they were increasingly being knocked down in the courts. we introduced the terrorism prevention investigation measures and have subsequently enhances those measures. we have also insured through the investigatory powers act which
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we introduced when i was home secretary that our police and our intelligence and security agencies have powers they need. what we have seen now is an increase in the tempo of attack planning and remember, we have seen these terrible terrorist attacks that have taken place over the same time period five other plots have been foiled by our police and security services. this shows the increasing scale and tempo and it's in that context we need to look at the powers for the future to ensure that our security service and our police have the powers they need. i look forward to the right honorable joining us and making sure we give those powers to our agencies. i would like to say a few words about the disaster at grenfell tower. >> i find the prime minister for giving way, the prime minister should be aware across the country, concerns have been raised about the cuts to policing in the last parliament and the impact that has had on the connection between police
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and our communities. will she now today also confirm she will look to reverse those cuts to make sure that we have that connection at a time when there are greater demands on police time and that we need to have much greater reassurance connection back with our communities? >> as i'm sure the honorable lady is aware, we are providing funding for an uplift in armed policing, but we are -- we are also protecting police budgets, which, of course, which, of course, which, of course is different to the view that was put forward by the former shadow hope secretary, now the mayor of manchester who said the police could take 10% cuts in their budget. we didn't listen to that. we protected them. mr. speaker, i would also like to say a few words about the
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about daft at grenfell tower. the whole count was heart broken by the loss of life and the devastation we have seen. i'm sure the whole house will join me in sending our deepest condolences to the friends and families of those who loved ones. one laid i had met ran from the fire wearing no more than a t-shirt and a pair of knickers. she had lost absolutely everything. let me be absolutely clear. the support on the ground for families in the initial hours was not good enough. people were left without belongings, without roofs over their heads, without even basic information about what had happened, what they should do and where they could seek help. that was a failure of the state, local and national to help people when they needed it most. as prime minister, i apologize for that failure. and as prime minister, i've taken responsibility for doing what we can to put things right. that is why each family whose home was destroyed is receiving a down payment from the
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emergency fund so they can buy food, clothes and other essentials. and all those hose have lost their homes will be rehoused within three weeks. there will also be an independent independent public inquiry to get to the truth of what happened and who was responsible and to provide justice for the victims and to their family who's suffered so terribly. all those with an interest including survivors and victims' families will be consulted about the terms of reference and those affected will be have their legal costs paid. and because it is clear that the royal borough of kensington and chelsea haven't been able to cope with the scale of the tragedy, we will develop a new strategy for resiliences in major disasters which could include a new disaster problems task force that could help at times of emergency. finally, we must learn some of the lesson of this and previous disasters where bereaved families have not had the support they need. >> an estimated 8% of london's
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population live in tower blocks, the same point has been made in respect to other cities. in a london authority such as westminster have lost 45% of their funding in recent years including responsibilities for environmental health. in kensington, the figure is 38%. will she today guarantee local authorities will be fully funded for an urgent review of tower block safety and all remedial action that is necessary including the installation of spring offalers where point appropriate they they can proceed in a matter of days? and will she agree also that regulation is a necessary element of a safe society, not a burden and she will legislate swiftly when necessary to insure all high-rise residents are safe? >> we all across this whole house, we all share a desire to insure that people are safe and can have the confidence of being safe in their homes. work is -- the work started immediately by the department for communities of low government encouraging local authorities and they have been
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working with the fire service to look at -- to look at the issues in their tower blocks and to assess those tower blocks. we do not yet note the absolute cause of the fire in grenfell tower. that work is ongoing. we will take what action is necessary coming out of that including learning the lessons that come out of it. she speaks about the issue, the honorable lady speaks about the issue of regulation. of course, there is rigorous fire regulation in place. if there are requirements to change that that come out, if there are requirements to change ha that come out of the investigation that is currently taking place, then of course, we will act and we do so swiftly. just, mr. peeker so honorable and right honorable members of this house are aware, there are, of course, a number of investigations. the police have opened a criminal investigation. the fire service and the building research establishment are investigating as quickly as possible the exact cause of the fire so that any action that is
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required as a result of that can be taken and, of course, there is the public inquiry that i've also announced. finally, we must learn some of the lessons of this and previous disasters where bereaved families have not had the support they need. we will also introduce an independent public advocate for public disasters, a strong independent voice for victims, acting on behalf of bereaved families and supporting them at public incoasts inquiries. mr. speaker, let me join the leader of the opposition in paying tribute to the two members of parliament that we lost in the course of the last year. jared kaufman was an outstanding parliamentarianian who served this house and his constituents in manchester for an incredible 46 years. we didn't agree on everything. but as father of the house, he was an invaluable source of wisdom and experience for members on all sides and he will be greatly missed. the despicable murder of joe cox, shocked and dev stayed this house and this country. joe was an inspirational mp, a
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campaigner and a humanitarian whose mission in life was defined by hope and love. her killer sought instead to spread height and division, but last weekend as part of the great get together. >> reporter: and many hundreds of thousands of others i'm sure, members of this house in her honor came together, stood together, pulled together all across the country to unite against that hatred and to prove in joe's own words that we have far more in common than that which divides us. i'm sure the whole house will joip me in paying tribute also to j o's husband brendon. for the extraordinary courage and strength that he has shown in dealing with such personnel tragedy and for honoring joe's memory in such an inspiring way. whatever our disagreements in this house, may we all honor his memory and show in our united kingdom, hope will always triumph over hate. mr. speaker, the house will know that the first part of a successful queen's speech is finding someone to propose it. it is intended to be a witty
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speech. as indeed the speech from my right honorable member from newbury was today. from my point of view, a little too witty because he took all the jokes that he i had written in my speech. but i have to say that my -- wait for it. my right honorable friend over the years that he has been the member for newbury and in the years when i was fighting to take the seat has shown a great commitment to his constituents but also to the important task of government of building a stronger economy and a fairer society. i foe, for example, as a fellow mp, the work he has done to raise awareness of an issue that i'm particularly concerned about, namely the issue of mental health. he's also made a significant contribution during his time as a minister. i understand that once fisher is minister, he mixed up his card and skate. i'm sure like the rift of us, he won't fail to welcome the
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absence in this house today of salman. my right honorable friend, my right honorable friend. >> i want to -- >> i wonder if the prime minister's reason for not welcoming the former honorable member is that he scares her. >> i have to say to the honorable lady, the reason i'm not welcoming the former member to the house is because he was beaten by a conservative. my right honorable friend, my right honorable friend, the member from any bury showed
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great skill and tenacity on the common fisheries policy. it started with the uk as a minority of one and ended with the eu unanimously supporting a reform agenda, the principles of which will be at the heart of the fisheries bill in this green speech. he was also the minister who secured cross party support for moving our canals and waterways creating one of the biggest and best charities in this country. he made an excellent speech today in the finest traditions of this house. purchase speaker, the queen's speech was brilliantly seconded by my honorable friend the member for spellthorn. my honorable friend the member for spellthorn is a prelive if i can writer as the leader of the opposition pointed out. and my honorable friend i understand has a particular interest in female prime ministers. indeed, members may know, members may know that his most recent book profiled the most
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testing six months for our country's first female prime minister. it ran 272 pages. i fear his next book could be somewhat long isser. my honorable friend is also widely regarded for his good looks. the sunday telegraph once described him -- the sunday telegraph once described him as a tory heartthrob and during his time on university chal, i gather he even made it to page 3 of the sun. and perhaps most significantly my honorable friend is confounding the daily mail who cited the 1995 university challenge winning team of which my friend was a member when arguing all too often, the brainy winners of the program sink sunk without trace after their moment in the spotlight. i couldn't disagree more and the
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house has today seen my friend's talents on full display. a tremendous speech with flakes, substance and wit. he brings historian's wisdom to the challenges and opportunities which our country faces and i have no doubt he will make a major contribution in the years ahead. mr. speaker, let me welcome the honorable member for ross, sky as the new leader of the snp here in westminster and i'm also, of course, particularly pleased to welcome to the conservative benches my 13 scottish conservative colleagues. it's good that my right honorable the scottish secretary will not have to put up with any more jokes about pandas. mr. speaker turnout at the election was higher than 20 1r5, including many more younger people. while on this side of the house we would have preferred more of
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them to vote for us, more young people going to the ballot box is something we should all welcome. let me also welcome the right honorable member for is lington north back to his place as the leader of the opposition. he fought a spirited campaign and he came a good second which was -- which was -- which was both better than the pundies predicted and many of his own mps hoped for. i'll give way. >> i'm grateful to the prime minister for her giving way. she's celebrating her immense triumph during the recent campaign. i couldn't help but notice as the prime minister and the leader of the opposition went off to listen to the humble address think back to when i was at school and didn't see people at school for six weeks and they came back and you thought, has she shrunk or has he grown?
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>> well, mr. speaker -- >> order. we're going to hear from the honorable gentleman. we're going to hear from him in a minute. normally there is a response to an intervention. the prime minister. >> i was indicating the fact that i didn't think that intervention actually required or justified a response. >> procedural terms i'm afraid it did and it's now received a response. mr. christian matheson. >> as always i'm inclined to agree with you. >> i want to thank the prime minister for, can i thank her also for calling general in which i increased my majority votes to 9 thought 01? she talks about young people increasing their vote. in that case why, is she introducing voter suppression methods such as enforcing people oblige voters to show
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identification before they vote? >> i'm sure -- anybody in this house who values democracy will also want to ensure that that democracy is fair and free of fraud. and it is in that spirit that we are introducing that we are introducing requirements for people to identify them. i think it's a perfectly reasonable requirement to ensure that people who are voting are those who are entitled to vote. i'll give way to the honorable gentleman. >> thank the prime minister. if she values young people, i look forward to bringing forward a voice for 16 and 17-year-olds. >> well, that is an issue on which the honorable gentleman and i will continue to disagree. mr. speaker, the election also showed, the election also showed that as it faces the big challenges of our future, our country is divides, red versus
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blue, young versus old, leave versus remain. as i sat here last week, the test for all of us is whether we choose to reflect divisions or help the country overcome them with humility and resolve this government will seek to do the latter. we will do what is in the national interests and we will work with nip in any party that is prepared to do the same. >> i thank the prime minister's commitment to tackling social injustice. could see shea perhaps more about people being discriminated on grounds of race, as well. >> i thank my friend for raising that. this reflect the outcome of the very important racial disparity audit which we introduced as virtually as soon as i became prime minister last year. i think it's important we do test what is happening in relation to our public services. i was struck as home secretary by the examples i saw. i took action on stop and search. never had been done by a labor government but i took action on
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stop and search because i thought it was important that nobody was stopped on the streets of our country because of the color of their skin. there were other issues we addressed in government previously. our racial disparity audit will show us what is happening in our public services and we'll be able to act on the back that have to ensure truly that at approach we're taking is a fair one and that there is not that discrimination. i'm going to make a little progress before i give way again. mr. speaker, we will work every day to earn the trust and confidence of the british people. and we will make their priorities our priorities dealing head on with the major challenges our country faces, and that is what this queen's speech is all about. i'm going to make a little progress and then i will giveaway again. this queen's speech is about recognizing and grasping the opportunities for every community in our country to benefit as we leave the european union. it's about delivering the will of the british people with the brexit deal that works for all parts of our united kingdom and
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that commands the greatest possible public support. it's about building a new, deep and special partnership with our european friends and neighbors because we're leaving the european union, we are not leaving europe. and it is about seizing, it is about seizing this moment of national change to deliver a plan for a stronger fairer britain by strengthening our economy, tackling injustice and appropriating opportunity and aspiration for all because as i've said many times before, the referendum vote was not just a vote to leave the european union. it was a profound and justified expression that our country often does not work the way it should for millions of an ordinary families and this queen's speech begins to change that by putting fairness at the heart of our agenda. >> i thank my friend for giving way shoop she knows i've been a long-standing campaign for improving mental health care in this country. truth is that there are many people across our country today
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not getting the care that they need, including many children who in very traumatized states are spending too long. queues to get the appropriate treatment. can the prime minister tell us, what she's going to do to convert warm words of the government into actual action on mental health? >> i commend my honorable friend who has as he said while he has in this house and before been a champion of this issue of mental health. and has done important work on it. there are a number of strands to what the government wants to do. one of those is actually putting in a place a new mental health act. we will consult widely on that new act. i also want to ensure that every primary and secondary school has a member of staff trained to identify mental health problems and knows how to deal with those issues. i was very struck when i met the charity young minds a few weeks
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ago at the issue of raising awareness of mental health problems, particularly among young people. the earlier we can address these issues, the better we can deal with them and the better life we can ensure that the people with these mental health problems have. so those are some of the issues that we will be putting into place but i look forward to working with my honorable friend on ensuring what we're doing does address the issues we need to address. il give way to the honorable lady. >> grateful to her for giving way and it's good to see her here as she's facing the other parties. she turned up which is not always the case in the election campaign. the gracious speech contains eight brechity bills. but not one single one of those bills covered the environment. is her failure to propose a brexit bill on greatest challenge that we face because she doesn't care about the environment and climate change or because she's been influenced by the dup dinosaur -- in the
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future? >> i'm very conscious of the significant amount of legislation from europe which aches environmental matters and those issues are being -- >> point of order. >> son. mr. speaker, my party was elected by the people of northern ireland to represent the constituents who elected us here. is it parliamentary for the honorable lady to describe us in the unparliamentary terms that she did? which i regret. she does not understand the policy that my party has on the environment "she should go and read our manifesto. but we have the right to speak for the people of northern ireland and in this parliament, we will. >> order. let me just say two things in response to the i'm sure sincere point of order from the right honorable gentleman. first of all, the use of the word in question is note unparliamentary. it's a matter of taste as to its desirability or otherwise.
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secondly and i know how robust a character the right honorable gentleman is. i would simply say that the word in question refers to a species that survived for many, many millions of years. >> the prime minister. >> thank you. thank you, mr. speaker. as i said, the queen's speech is about putting heart fair at the heart of our agenda. it's about building a stronger economy, delivering a modern industrial strategy so all parts of our country and society share in the benefits of economic growth, investing in the world leading in infrastructure that can unlock growth in our economy and improve the quality of people's lives across the whole country and building a fairer society. increasing the national living wage so that people who are on the lowest pay see their wages go up as the economy strengthens and ensuring that every child has access to a good school place, creating a world class system, i'm going to make a little more progress, creating a world class system of technical
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education so that all young people have the vital skills they need to do the jobs of the future. acting to make markets fairer by tackling unfair practices wherever they are found. >> i am very grateful to giving way. the prime minister mentions opportunity. does she agree one of the opportunities we must deliver is to allow more young people to get on the housing ladder and will she reinforce to increase house building to be 250,000 homes a year which is a much bolder and more ambitious commitment than the party opposite? >> i have to say to my friend, is he incredibly prescient because the any investment sentence that i was going to say in my speech is tackling the housing crisis that has knocked so many people out of the housing market. we do recognize the signatures of the housing problem in this country. it's about building more houses and keeping schemes going which help people to get on the housing ladder and seeing a
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greater diversity in the housing market, rent to buy, shared ownership, a variety of opportunities for young people. and also, we will be tackling discrimination on the basis of mental health, sexuality, faith, disability, jeopardy or race. i'll give way to the honorable gentleman. >> i'm grateful. how is the interim prime minister going to convince -- going to convince the country that she can negotiate a successful brexit within the time limit with 27 other eu countries when she hasn't been able to even negotiate a deal with ten democratic unionist members of this house in the time limit before the queen's speech? >> can i thank the honorable gentleman for giving me the opportunity to welcome the work that the right honorable member might have secretary of state for the european union has undertaken in relation to preparing our negotiations and starting those formal
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negotiations on monday of this week. and i will be in brussels for the eu council later this week taking that further forward. mr. speaker -- >> prime minister, i'm also grateful that the brexit talks have now starred. as part of those talks, the ability for those people have come from the other 27 countries to live and work in the uk and for uk citizens living and working with within the other 27 countries is going to be vitally important. they will be waiting to learn of their future. will she guarantee to this house that she will come to this house as quickly as possible, not waiting until the discussions have finished in order to give them the assurance that they will be able to live and remain in the countries where they have decided to live and work? >> i'm grateful to my right honorable friend. behave always said from the beginning of this we want to address this issue at an early stage in negotiations and that is the agreement that has been
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reached. this is one of the first issues that will be addressed in the negotiations and i will make every effort and will guarantee to my right honorable friend i expect to be able to come to this house to show the constituents that the united kingdom will be setting out for those eu citizen who's live here in the eu. we want to see citizens in the uk union being treated fairly, as well. we'll be setting out soon our offer in relation to european citizens living here in the united kingdom. >> grateful to the prime minister for giving way. the gracious speech has been given today and prime minister still can't tell us how her government will be composed or supports 37ed. given that she will asked for a very personal mandate during the campaign and didn't get one, the only question is, why is she still here? sl >> let me just point out a few
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facts to the honorable gentleman. which party was it that got the highest percentage share of the vote, labor conservative? conservative. which party was it which party was it that got more votes? 800,000 more votes than the other snaert labor conservative? conservative. and which party was it that got 56 more seats than the labor party? >> order, i'm going to -- order. i will not have the prime minister or the leader of the opposition or any member of this house shouted down. order, mr. campbell, i'm sure you mean order. order you're going from a sedentary position for no purpose. i'm sure you mean well but i don't require your an sinssistat this time. the prime minister. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i was merely pointing out that
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the conservative party got 56 more seats than the labor party. we are doing but we are doing what is in the national interest which is forming a government to address the challenges that face this country at the moment. it is a critical time. it's important that we have a government committed to the national interests. i give way to my honorable friend. >> mr. speaker, the prime minister just mentioned prime minister just mentioned making markets work better and for everybody. she knows that the energy price cap had wide cross party support from all sides of this house. i was dlied to see energy price protection and pro consumer switching and transparency measures in. the queen's speech. can she confirm those measures mean the price cap to deliver 17 million customers the 100 pound savings which we promised on our manifesto rather than the narrower anti-competitive proposals from the big six energy firms instead?
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>> i can confirm we do indeed intend to take action on this issue. we recognize the problem there is in relation to energy bills. we want to ensure we get the best measure in place that is going to deliver what we all want which is to see people no longer being ripped off by the high energy tariffs they are given. so -- >> i thank the prime minister for giving way. the prime minister has talked about the national interests and the need for cross party support. does the prime minister agree with me that in her excellent proposal to have a commission for tackling extremism for that to work, it really does require the engagement not just of members on this side but members on the other side of the house if we're to stamp out the evil ideology of extremism that drives terrorism in this country? >> my honorable friend is absolutely right. we talk, we have spoken a lot about the need to deal with terrorism and, of course, we do need to look at the powers we have to deal with the
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terrorists. but we also need to insure that we are dealing with the extremism and hatred that fuel that terrorism. and that's why the commission for countering extremism is so important. and i hope it is a measure as i said earlier that can be supported across all parts of this house because it is important if we are going to insure that we drive this extremism and hatred out of our society. no. i have, i have already taken three times as many interventions as the leader of the opposition. so i will -- i will make some progress on my speech. mr. speaker, we have also want to build a more secure united kingdom. investing in our defense and national security and enhancing our leading role on the world stage. strengthening the social, economic and cultural bonds between england, northern ireland, scotland and wales. delivering on our commitment to devolution which working in
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cooperation with all the devolved administrations and working with all the parties in northern ifld to support the return of devolved government. building a country that is stronger, fairer, safer and more secure for all our children and grandchildren, a country that works for everyone, that is our ambition and that is what this yeen's speech will help to deliver. the first part of this yeen's speech is, of course, about brexit. a brexit deal that works for every part of the country and commands the greatest possible public support. over 0% of the electorate backed two major parties both of whom campaigned on manifestos that said we should honor the democratic decision of the british people. this government will respect the will of the people and see brexit through. we will build -- we will seek to build a wide consensus as we do this and as we take bills through there house, which will include a trade bill, a repeal bill, an immigration bill as have been referred to, and also,
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also, bills to deal we control of access to our waters for fishermen and greater stability to farmers with a new bill on agriculture. i would just make a little more progress and then i will take more interventions. if we're going to grasp the opportunities as we leave the european you know, we need to build a stronger economy. that's right. we've always understood as conservatives on this side of the house, that sound money and fiscal credibility is the foundation for everything else. that's why it was right to take the tough decisions we did after the financial crash. and it has paid off 37 the deficit is down by three-quarters. employment is up by 2.9 million. and because of policies like the national living wage and taking 4 million of the lowest paid out of income tax all together, inequality has been reduced to
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its lowest level for 30 years. so in this queen's speech, we will continue to improve the public finances and work towards getting our country back to living within its means. we will also invest in the world leading digital infrastructure we need to benefit from the opportunities of new technology and we will encourage businesses to grow and create jobs by continuing to cut corporation tax because that's how you raise more money, not less. >> i thank the prime minister. i thank the prime minister for giving way. does the prime minister recognize that the economy's evolving and changing and therefore, can the prime minister confirm that the government is absolutely committed to securing the rights for people in the gig economy who are on different types of contracts than has been historically the case. >> he is absolutely right. we have asked matthew taylor to do a report on changing structure of employment we see particularly obviously as my
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friend has referenced to the gig economy. we when that report is published, we will look at the steps the government needs to take to support people with their rights. as i've said in the past few weeks, we will enhance workers rights and believe in protecting those rights and enhancing them. i'll give way to my honorable friend. >> i thank the prime minister for giving way. will have my friend ensure that are legislation such as providing the next phases of the high speed rail project and other infrastructure investment means that we can rebalance the economy to make sure that the whole country benefits from the economic -- to which she refers? >> it's very good to see my honorable friend in his place and to have seen him out on the campaign trail during the general election campaign. and i can absolutely confirm that we will put the legislation through for the next stage of hs-2 and also insure that we are
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continuing to invest as my right honorable the chancellor set out in the autumn statement last year in infrastructure projects around the country because what i want to see is a country that works for everyone and every part of the united kingdom and infrastructure is an important way of helping to deliver that. mr. speaker, i will give way. >> to what she was saying about making brexit work for the entire united kingdom? can she tell the house if a legislative consent motion will be required in the scottish parliament for the great repeal bill? >> that is a matter which is currently being considered both here and in scotland. there is a possibility -- there is a possibility that a legislative consent motion may be required in the scottish parliament, but that is a matter being considered currently between the westminster and the scottish government. plaintiff -- no, i'm not going to -- mr. speaker, i'm conscious that i have taken a significant
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number of interventions. and i will make -- i will make progress so that other members are able to rise to speak. one thing we will not do, i've said we will protect rights and protect people at work as we leave the european union and indeed as we see changes in the employment structure in our economy. what we won't do is follow the economic prescriptions of the party opposite because there is absolutely nothing fair about punitive tax rises that lead to fewer jobs, lower wages and higher prices for ordinary working families. and there is nothing fair, there is nothing fair about racking up debts for our children and grandchildren to pay. the only government you can trust to build a stronger and fairer economy is a conservative government. and mr. speaker, i've mentioned a fairer society and i want britain to be a genuine great
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meritocracy where everyone has a fair chance to go as far as their talent and hard work will take them. that is ensuring everybody plays by the same rules and every child has access to a good school place. it's about inr ensuring that technical education is there and the measures in the green's speech will help to do that and also deal with some of the injustices in our society. the draft domestic violence and abuse legislation to provide a statutory definition of this hideous crime and ensure robust protective orders are available and that victims get the they deserve. il just say this. this is a measure that i hope will be able to command support across the whole of this house. there are many in this house who have championed the cause of dealing with domestic violence for years. i hope they'll be able to join us in supporting this legislation.
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>> mr. speaker, as the prime minister is well aware, victims of doe domestic victims are indirect victims such as children. can she reassure us that steps will be take it on support those indirect victims too? >> i think one of the problems over the years, too often people have looked at the immediate victim or survivor of violence and forgotten if there have been children involved in a house that, it's not just a question of whether they've not seen something happening, they know what's happening an affected by it. we will be looking at that issue of children. il give way one time more to the honorable gentleman. >> quite rightly this house praised the prime minister for the his burglary inquiry. today i met with the victims of contaminated blood. will she take this opportunity now to have a full public inquiry to those affected and their families?
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>> i will -- i know the the point the honorable gentleman has made about contaminated blood and i will speak to the secretary of state for health. this has already been looked at and other ways of dealing with this issue have already been introduced and addressed. no, mr. speaker, we are building opportunity and aspiration. i want to say just -- just one more. we will also deliver a more secure united kingdom because of the choices we're making to prioritize our defense and national security. our armed forces bill will give those who put their lives on the line the service of our country the proper respect they deserve with more security in the way they live and work. our commitment to renew trident means this country maintains its continuous nuclear deterrent as the ultimate guarantee of our safety and a prime minister who is prepared to use it. and we will continue to play a leading role in international
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efforts to tackle mass migration and climate changing to alleviate poverty and end plod dern slavery. we have always looked beyond europe to the wider world and we will continue to do so. no, i -- i am actually able to say this is in conclusion. this has been a difficult time, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, this has been a difficult time for our country. i know there are many parents who worry about the kind of world their children are growing up in. and i recognize that and understand it. it's been an unsettling time which has tested the spirit of our country but we are a resilient country. our response, our response to disaster and acts of terror which take the lives of innocent people must be this. compassion, unity, resolve. for we're a great nation and a great people.
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we have been through and survived the toughest of times before and we thrived. once again, we can and will grow strong o stronger from the challenges we face today. the queen's speech on its own will not involve every challenge our country faces. not every problem can be solved by an act of parliament. every solved by an act of parliament, but it is -- but it is a step forward. it is a step forward to building a more compassionate, more united and more confident nation. that's what this government will aim to achieve. it is what announcer: a member of the house ways and subcommittee in on
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trade, live at 11:45 a.m. eastern on c-span two. and debating the replacement bill. as soon asconsidered the score is complete. you can watch live senate floor debate on or live at c-span.org. you can also listen for free any time by downloading the free c-span radio app cap. announcer: c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies and is brought to today by your cable or satellite provider. tracks this past week, republican karen handel defeated sixthponent for the
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congressional district of georgia. it is estimated more than $50 million were spent in the race. with more than 52% of the vote, karen handel became the first woman to be elect did from the of georgia as representing them. here is a look at her speech. [chanting] [cheering] ms. handel: thank you. i have to start first of all i -- by saying thank you. [cheering]

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