tv The Week in Parliament BBC News April 3, 2017 2:30am-3:01am BST
the bbc has seen evidence of so—called islamic state appearing to use children as human shields in the battle for mosul. it comes as the militants — are all but surrounded in the old centre of iraq's second city and there's a growing concern over civilian casualties. more than 200 people have died, many of them children, in colombia's southern city of mocoa. the colombian army and emergency services have joined the search operation. but with many others injured or missing, the country's president says the final death toll is impossible to predict. president trump has indicated that the united states would be prepared to act alone to counter the nuclear threat from north korea. in an interview with the financial times newspaper, mr trump is quoted as saying the us could take unilateral action if china did not put more pressure on pyongyang. now on bbc news: the week in parliament. hello, and welcome to
the week in parliament. a dream come true for many people, but a day others hoped would never arrive. the uk has told the european union that it is going to leave. this is an historic moment from which there can be no turning back. britain is leaving the eu. we are going to make our own decisions and our own laws. the terms of the uk's divorce deal will be subject to intense scrutiny. the labour party set out its red lines. labour will not give this government a free hand to use brexit to attack rights, protections and cut services, or create a tax dodgers‘ paradise. and the scottish parliament voted in favour of a second referendum on independence. the snp urges the prime minister to show some respect. if she remains intransigent, and if she denies
scotland a choice in our future, she will make scottish independence inevitable. the journey towards triggering article 50 began nine months ago. 52% of voters in the eu referendum put a cross next to the box that said leave the european union. those 7.4 million people unleashed a huge political upheaval. david cameron resigned the next day, prompting a lively fight to replace him as conservative leader. one by one the candidates fell by the wayside, allowing theresa may to be installed at number ten in july. theresa may had taken on one of the toughestjobs in british politics in decades. to start with, her aim to invoke article 50 without approval from parliament was subject to a legal battle. gina miller's successful high court challenge, backed later by the supreme court, led to a ruling that parliament must give permission before the government can trigger article 50. legislation was produced, giving parliament the right to authorise the start of the brexit process. the eu notification of withdrawal
bill had a bumpy ride in the lords, but earlier this month became law, allowing theresa may to meet her deadline for triggering article 50 on wednesday march 29th. on wednesday, all eyes were on brussels at 12:30pm as the uk's ambassador to the eu handed theresa may's letter to the eu council president, donald tusk. mr tusk said at a press conference later in the day, we already miss you. meanwhile the prime minister made a statement in the commons, calling on the country to pull together. in accordance with the wishes of the british people, the united kingdom is leaving the eu. this is an historic moment, from which there can be no turning back. britain is leaving the eu. we're going to make our own decisions and our own laws. we understand that there will be
consequences for the uk of leaving the eu, we know that we will lose influence over the rules that affect the european economy. we know that uk companies that trade with the eu will have to align with rules agreed by institutions of which we are no longer a part, just as we do in other overseas markets. and we accept that. she said that for some people it was a day of celebration, for others it was a day of disappointment. let us come together and work together, let us together choose to believe in britain with optimism and hope. for if we do, we can make the most of the opportunities ahead, we can together make a success of this moment. and we can together build a stronger, fairer, better britain, a britain our children and grandchildren are proud to call home. the direction the prime minister
is threatening to take this country in is both reckless and damaging. and labour will not give this government a free hand to use brexit to attack rights, protections and cut services, or create a tax dodgers' paradise. so let me be clear, mr speaker, the prime minister says that no deal is better than a bad deal. but the reality is no deal is a bad deal. the snp leader at westminster said the prime minister had broken a promise to reach an agreement on brexit in scotland before triggering article 50. the prime minister says that she thinks that brexit will bring unity to the united kingdom. it will not. on this issue, it is not a united kingdom and the prime minister needs to respect
the differences across the nations of the united kingdom. she does not. if she remains intransigent, and if she denies scotland a choice in our future, she will make scottish independence inevitable. the question and answer session went on for three hours or so. there weren't many signs of the country pulling together. it was indeed, as theresa may had remarked, a day of celebration for some, including the veteran conservative mp sir bill cash, who has been campaigning to leave the eu for 30 years. sir bill was one of the rebels who tried to stop the maastricht treaty being approved by the commons in 1992. and now he is witnessing the fruits of his labour. today is a historic day indeed. can my right honourable friend reaffirm that at the very heart of this letter lies a democratic decision in the referendum of the uk voters, given to them by a sovereign act of
parliament by 6—1 in this house, enabling the british people to regain their birthright to govern themselves, for which people fought and died over generations? but the liberal democrat leader was not in a celebratory mood. today the prime minister is not enacting the will of the people, she is at best interpreting that will, choosing a hard brexit outside the single market that was never on the ballot paper, so on this day of all days the liberal democrats will not roll over as the official opposition has done. our children and our grandchildren willjudge all of us for our actions during these times. i am determined that i will look my children in the eye and be able to say that i did everything to prevent this calamity that the prime minister has today chosen. theresa may's statement was read out in the
lords, where lady smith compared it to a celebrity divorce. there will be some who rejoice and look forward to the opportunities, others though will despair for the shared past and lost love. a few well fondly recall the marriage, divorces and remarriage of richard burton and elizabeth taylor with some hope. but through it all, my lords, the only people to get rich were those trying to unravel those ao—plus years of relative harmony, the lawyers. meanwhile, the former diplomat said that it wasn't a day to carp or criticise. the prime minister and the government are setting off on a road which could best be described as a magical mystery tour. for its destination, they have no clue any more than the rest of us do. time now for a quick tour of the year 1972. it was the year david bowie released his ziggy stardust album, and that the swedish
supergroup abba was formed. there was a miners‘ strike and an emergency three—day week. the conservative edward heath was the prime minister at the time. one of his jobs that year was to get the european communities act 1972 approved. the act paved the way for the uk tojoin the european economic community, as it was then, in 1973. and it gave eu law supremacy over uk national law. bbc panorama made a programme about the uk's entry into the eec. well, at 45 years later, the uk government is go to repeal the 1972 act through a new great repeal bill. the day after article 50 was triggered, the brexit secretary david davis explained the task ahead. repealing the eca on the day we leave the eu enables a return to this parliament of the sovereignty we ceded in 1972. it ends the supremacy of eu law in this country. the great repeal bill will also convert all eu law into uk law.
this means, for example, that workers‘ rights and environmental and consumer rights that are insured under eu law in the uk will continue to be available in the uk law after we have left the eu. can i thank my right honourable friend for making it clear that two years from today, our sovereign parliament will indeed have the power to amend, repeal or improve all this ghastly eu legislation. i will pass on the assessment of the legislation, but i will of course reinforce the point ive already made. the aim of this bill is to bring the decisions back to this house. if he panders too much to the secret and not so secret agenda of the barmy army eurosceptics, prominent behind him, we will not get the level of collaboration we otherwise would,
when he talks about pragmatism. wednesday the 29th of march, as well as being article 50 day, marked one week since the terror attack at westminster. khaled masood drove at pedestrians on westminster bridge, killing three people and injuring dozens. he went on to kill pc keith palmer in a knife attack inside the gates to parliament. the palace of westminster and surrounding area went into a security lockdown. on wednesday, a commemoration was held at westminster bridge. hundreds of people gathered on the bridge, which was closed to traffic. commons speaker, john bercow, announced two reviews of security at the palace of westminster, and he harked back to the attack. 2:40pm today marks a week on from the shocking events of last week. our thoughts will be in particular with the metropolitan police, as they mourn their colleague, pc keith palmer. the foreign office minister, tobias ellwood, has received widespread tributes for coming to the aid of pc keith palmer. mr ellwood has said
he is heartbroken that the police officer died. foreign office question time was the first occasion since the attack on which tobias ellwood has appeared on the front bench. labour‘s shadow foreign secretary took the opportunity to praise him. may i start by paying tribute to the member for bournemouth east, for his extraordinary courage last wednesday. as pc keith palmer‘s family said this weekend to the minister and to others who rushed to help, there was nothing more you could have done. you did your best and we are just grateful that he was not alone. i'm very grateful for her kind remarks. i will make it clear that i was one of many that stepped forward on that dark day, and our thoughts and prayers remain with those families and friends of the victims, including our own pc keith palmer. tobias ellwood.
the activation of article 50 came on the day after the scottish parliament voted in favour of holding another referendum on independence for scotland. the vote had been scheduled for last wednesday, but proceedings were suspended as news reached holyrood of the westminster terror attack. resuming the debate, the scottish first minister, nicola sturgeon, said withdrawal from the eu would bring profound changes to scotland. it is change that will impact on our economy, notjust in the here and now, but for the long—term. indeed it was the uk treasury ahead of the referendum last year that said brexit would make the uk permanently poorer. there will be an impact on trade, investment and on living standards, and an impact on the very nature of the society we live in. much that we have come to take for granted over, certainly most of my lifetime, the freedom, just as one example, to travel
easily across europe, is now up for negotiation, with outcomes that are, at this point, deeply uncertain. the first minister says that she wants the uk to get a good brexit deal. but no matter how good it is, she still wants to push for independence anyway. whereas our view, and the uk government's view remains this. at a time of enormous uncertainty, where it is only three years since the last vote, when we were told it would be once in a generation, that the decision of the scottish people would be respected by both sides, where there would be no rerun without an overwhelming change in public opinion, and that the people in scotland have the right to see the brexit process play out, they need to see it operating, to see it working in practice. and that, at this moment, we should be pulling together, not hanging apart. the labour leader blamed the conservative party for causing division. they set scotland against england in the general election, and whose reckless brexit gamble brought us to this point — where leaving the eu has just provided the snp with the latest excuse it was looking for to push for another referendum. so some humility from the tories,
and a genuine desire to properly engage with this place wouldn‘t go amiss. the scottish parliament backed another referendum by 69 votes to 59. it means the scottish government is now authorised to seek permission from the uk government for a referendum. theresa may has however said that now is not the time. but now it‘s time for a round—up of some of the other stories in parliament. the energy secretary greg clark promised lessons would be learned as he gave details of how a multibillion pound contract to decommission magnox nuclear—power sites had to be scrapped. this was a defective procurement with significant financial consequences. i am determined that the lessons to be learnt should be exposed and understood. that those responsible should be properly be held to account and that it should never happen again. thejoint committee on national security strategy held a session with cyber security retreat experts. what is the worst—case scenario for a cyber attack on this country and how likely is it? you could see a very likely scenario where our ability for our financial markets to operate, our ability
for much of our health systems, our electricity, our critical national infrastructure to function could be disabled. and a labour peer was lost for words when the government agreed to the proposal to change the law on money held by letting agents. i‘m pleased to announce that the government intends to make client money protection mandatory in line with the recommendation of the review shared by the noble baroness and the noble lord palmer of child‘s hill. this will ensure that every agent is offered the same level of protection giving tenants and landlords the financial protection that they deserve. the government, my lords, will protect on how mandatory client money protection should be implemented and enforced. well, that has taken the wind out of my sails. will the noble lord, the minister accept my thanks? what with triggering article 50,
pmqs was not, for once, the highlight of the week. jeremy corbyn raised a critical issue with funding in schools. last week, she told me four times we have protected the school‘s budget. does she still stand by that statement? prime minister! we have protected schools budget and we're putting record funding into schools. mr corbyn! today mr speaker, the public accounts committee says of the department for education that it does not seem to understand the pressures that schools are already under. and they went on to say that funding per—pupil is reducing in real terms and goes on to say, schools budgets will be cut by 3 billion, the equivalent of 8% by 2020. is the public accounts committee wrong on this? what we see over the course of this
parliament is £230 billion going into our schools but what matters is the quality of education that we see in our schools. 1.8 million more children in good or outstanding schools, and a policy from this government to ensure that every child gets a good school place. is the prime minister right? then, the parents are wrong, teachers are wrong, the ifs is wrong, the national audit office is wrong, the education policy institute is wrong, and now the public accounts committee, which includes eight conservative members in it is also wrong. so, which organisation does act prime minister‘s view on education spending in our schools? we said we would protect school funding and we have. real terms protection for the schools budget. we said we would protect the money following children into schools, and we have.
the school budget reaches 40 million as pupil numbers rise in 2020. barely a pmqs goes by where he doesn't call for more public spending. when it comes to spending money that they haven't got, labour simply cannot help themselves. it is the same old labour, spent today and give somebody asked the bill tomorrow. well, we won't do that to the next generation. theresa may, at pmqs. now, some distressing stories about animal cruelty have been shared in the commons as mps look for an increase in penalties for offenders in england. they want the maximum sentence for offenders to be increased to five years. it is currently six months. a young fox had a habit of going to a large supermarket every night to hunt for food. the fox was got hold of by a gang of boys from my own constituency. they got it by the tail, pulled it round and round and round, smashed head against a wall several times, and then stamped on its head. and the punishment for that, well,
it was hardly punishment at all, so i think it is absolutely necessary to increase the penalties for people who put that kind of cruelty on animals. the small dog named scamp was found buried alive on the 19th of october with a nail hammered into its head. on the 22nd of february, 59—year—old michael heathcock and 60—year—old richard finch, both from redcar, pleaded guilty to offences under the animal welfare act. they were sentenced to just four months, meaning they probably served just eight weeks in prison. not enough time for reflection, punishment, or rehabilitation. the people of my constituency have been horrified by these cases, and it is important for me to pay tribute to their response. after hearing of these incidents, they held vigils for the animals with hundreds of people coming to lay flowers and send their message loudly and defiantly. there are also plans for a dog park to be built in their memory. the perpetrators do not
represent our community. people in redcar are decent and kind. i know many passionate animal lovers and i meet wonderful dog owners as i walk my own dog on the beach or in the hills. but, mr deputy speaker, my constituents are angry. they feel the criminaljustice system is letting them down and that is why i am standing here today. and i know from working in psychology that there is certainly a link between cruelty to animals and psychopathy, and cruelty to humans. so, this is something that must be taken seriously, both in terms of animal welfare standards, but also in terms of thinking of the impact of this on other victims of cruelty because these individuals are practising cruelty basically on animals which they will then transfer onto humans. the government does not have any plans to increase sentences. the environment minister said magistrates could already impose unlimited fines and ban people from owning or even being involved with animals. election fever has swept through the house of lords as 27 hereditary peers vied
for a seat in the upper house. tony blair expelled hereditary peers from the lords in 1999, although 92 were allowed to stay on, and an additional 15 were elected deputy speakers. a seat became available following the death of lord lyell. a total of 346 peers took part, a turnout of 43%. after 16 rounds, using the alternative vote system, the candidates were whittled down to two. the results of the by—election came in on monday. the conservative lord colgrane emerged victorious with a votes to his fellow tory who had 108. lord colgrain is an executive headhunter and former high sheriff of kent. he is the great—grandson of the scottish banker lord campbell. the title was created in 1946. to mark the occasion, we have dusted off our ermine—o—meter and the election of lord colgrain brings the total number of peers
sitting on the red benches to 105. elections to the northern ireland assembly were held at the start of the month. the idea was for the democratic union party and sinn fein to form at aquatic coalition. —— a governing coalition. the talks failed to produce a deal. the secretary said that it was a source of deep disappointment and regret. the situation is not sustainable, and beyond a short period of time, will have an impact on public services. what we are talking about here is the health service, schools, voluntary groups, and services for the most vulnerable in society. this isn‘t what people voted for on the 2nd of march. he said he was hopeful for a positive outcome from the talks. if these talks are successful, it would be my intention, weekly, to bring forward legislation after the easter recess to allow an executive to be formed. it would avoid a second late assembly election for which i detect
little public appetite. brexit negotiations in northern ireland are the most sensitive in all parts of the united kingdom. the european commissioner lead negotiator has identified an occasion for the peace process one of three main priorities for him to enter these negotiations and we don't have proper people attending the talks under the gmc. in the background to all this is the worry that any vacuum could be filled by those for whom the bullet is preferred to the ballot box. we end with some of the more offbeat moments in the week that theresa may triggered article 50. a baby was born on article 50 day to mps andrea jenkyns and jack lopresti. the conservative jason mccartney announced the news. this is indeed a momentous day. on the half of the whole house, may i pass on our congratulations to our honourable friend the member
for morley and outwood on the birth of a baby boy this morning, clifford george. in congratulating the honourable member for morley and outwood on that excellent news to which you have just referred, i think it right also to congratulate the honourable gentleman, the member for filton and bradley stoke who i think had some hand in the matter as well! a total of 113 mps answered questions over three hours and one of the speakers started to get confused as he called angus macneil. he isjovial, let's put him out of his misery. we've already heard from him. i'd forgotten. i do apologise. no! once is enough! enough! let‘s give the last word to lord kerr, the man who wrote article 50. as this negotiation proceeds, the country will not forget what it was told and ministers will be judged by their own words.
wise words from the author of article 50. the house of commons is now on its easter break. the house of lords will be sitting as usual next week, we will be back on tuesday the 18th of april. in the meantime, look out for a review of the year so far with my colleague keith macdougall, but for now, from me, kristina cooper, goodbye. good morning. if you like your weather dry and sunny, you were very happy with the first couple of days of april. in fact, we had sunshine topping and tailing the country. just look at this picture from sunday in south—west scotland. a beautiful day here. similar story in the london area, as well, where you can enjoy the spring blossom.
it was the warmest place in the country with 17.2 celsius in st james‘s park. now, our week ahead will be a mostly dry one. just a little bit fresher, though, and i suspect through the night, some chilly nights will come. a touch of light frost not out of the question. high pressure hanging on in there in eastern areas, but out of the west, these are these fronts pushing in. they will not bring significant rain but will bring a change through northern ireland and western scotland, as we go through the morning, eventually into western fringes of wales in the south—west. ahead of it, though, any early—morning mist will lift away for sunshine. so, by the middle of the afternoon, eastern scotland should cling on to the dry weather, but elsewhere, those weather fronts bringing some showery outbreaks of rain into scotland and into northern ireland. ten or 11 degrees the high. eventually pushing into the west of wales. more cloud, certainly, through the lake district, wales, and down into cornwall. but to the east, we should see highs of 17 degrees inland. maybe if we keep a little bit of coastal cloud cover it could stay
a little cooler and disappointing. our weather fronts continue to push across from the west through monday night into tuesday morning. by now, a band of weak spits and spots of rain, really, just pushing into the south—east. but it keeps a fair amount of cloud first thing on tuesday morning. that will clear away into the afternoon. slowly brightening up from the west, breezy with a scattering of showers to the north and west of scotland. high expected on tuesday, though, temperatures in scotland fresher on tuesday, at about eight to 15 degrees. so as we move out of tuesday afternoon into tuesday night, there‘s some premier league matches. it looks as though it will be a dry affair for all the kick offs. just that little bit fresher. but all in all, not too bad, if you are going to watch those matches. and a similarfor the scottish premiership — dry, with temperatures over eight or nine degrees as a high. talking of high, stays with us, really, through the middle
of the week, building from the south—west. all the while, these weather fronts toppling off the top into scandinavia. a bit of a stronger wind into the far north and a slightly fresher direction, but this does mean a fair bit of dry, sunny weather on offer for many. very pleasant indeed. take care. welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name‘s tom donkin. flying over the front line. we have an exclusive report from mosul where islamic state fighters appear to be using children as human shields. we are now over old mosul where the battle is at its fiercest. there are many civilians trapped in the narrow alleys. waiting and hoping. president trump says the united states would be prepared