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tv   Thursday in Parliament  BBCNEWS  July 14, 2017 2:30am-3:01am BST

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mr trump said something could happen with respect to the paris accord on climate change, from which the us withdrew six weeks ago. president trump and chancellor angela merkel have led the tributes to the chinese nobel peace laureate, liu xiaobo, who has died of liver cancer. but his death has not been acknowledged by the government in beijing, which had sentenced him to 11 years in prison for subversion against the state. a us doctor offering to treat the seriously ill charlie gard has told the high court there's a 10% chance he could improve the ba by‘s condition. ajudge is looking again at the case. doctors at great ormond street hospital don't believe his quality of life can be significantly improved. now on bbc news, thursday in parliament. hello, and welcome to the programme.
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coming up, the bill putting it eu legislation into uk law sets out on its journey through parliament. the european union withdrawal bill. should england change the laws on organ donation to presumed consent? and mps remember one of the bloodiest battles of the first world war. it is difficult if not impossible to imagine the mind, the blood and the horror, and the sheer scale of the losses of passchendaele. —— the mud, the blood. first, the government has launched a key part of its strategy —— brexit strategy into parliament. the repeal bill, designed to convert
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eu legislation into uk law, was formally introduced in the house of commons. opposition parties say they will fight its passage through parliament. at the start of the day, the leader of the commons hailed its arrival. the eu withdrawal bill will be presented to the house today. as the brexit secretary has said, this is one of the most significant pieces of legislation that has ever passed through parliament. and it is a major milestone in the process of oui’ a major milestone in the process of our withdrawal. it means we will be able to exit the european union with able to exit the european union with a maximum certainty and continuity, and control. that is what the british people voted for and it is exactly what we will do. but her labour shadow reckons despite the fa nfa re for labour shadow reckons despite the fanfare for the repeal bill, mps had had little to do since the general election. i and other opposition members are appalled, saddened and the welded in equal measures. —— bewildered. we have asked the good citizens of this country to vote for us, and they have, and as we are in
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a parliamentary democracy they have given their consent to be governed, to enable mps to form a government to enable mps to form a government to pass legislation and hold ministers to account. we have not been allowed to do that. mr deputy speaker, this is not the end of term, where we have no lessons in daylight timetable, spending our time singing or whistling. it is a time singing or whistling. it is a time of critical importance to this country. and the clock is ticking. we have been back here for 31 days and in that time we have only had seven votes. a zombie parliament makes it sound amusing, but this is serious. it is a threat to the parliamentary democracy. she is raising some very important points about our parliamentary democracy. but i do find it deeply disappointing that the opposition are trying to make something of what is absolutely normal —— and absolutely normal situation following a general election. the government was getting on with business at pace, she said. what i am left to conclude is that this is
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just gameplaying. let me refer back to what the prime minister said on the anniversary of her leadership of this country. she asked, she asked, the honourable lady is clear enough listening, she has other things to talk about, but she asked all members to come together in the interests of our country, to give oui’ interests of our country, to give our ideas, their input and their support, as we seek to fulfil the democratic will of the people in this country, to leaving the eu. and what did the opposition do? they ridiculed it. they are absolutely reject the concept of working together in the interests of our country. well, 13 million people voted for them and they should actually support those people in their wish to see the democratic will of this country fulfilled. the great repeal bill is out today, a bill to unite the country and an invitation to climb aboard the jalopy is it trundles over the cliff
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edge. apparently labour are going to poseit edge. apparently labour are going to pose it — — edge. apparently labour are going to pose it —— oppose it why agreeing with the tory hard brexit to take us out of the single market and then freedom of movement. poor opposition has been offered by the labour party. in the meantime we will continue to look after scottish interests and fight for a place in the single market. i do also think it isa the single market. i do also think it is a great shame that he co nsta ntly it is a great shame that he constantly talks about wanting to stay in the single market, which he knows for a fact means not leaving the eu. in other words, for his colleagues, the scottish nationalists‘ own ends, they would seek to undermine the will of the united kingdom. that is totally undemocratic on this side of the house and i hope on the opposition benches, we will fulfil the will of the people. a short time later, the bill was formally put for parliament. well, a short time later the bill was formally put before parliament. second reading. what date? tomorrow. but don‘t be deceived by that shout of tomorrow — in parliamentary procedure a bill is always said to be read tomorrow —
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in reality the first big debate on the repeal bill will probably come in october. southern rail‘s parent company has been fined more than £13 million following widespread delays and cancellations to services. southern, owned by govia thameslink, has been embroiled in a bitter dispute with the unions over driver—only operated trains. the department for transport said a recent report by chris gibb — a non—executive director at network rail — made clear that "the responsibility for disruption was primarily caused by industrial "action led by rmt and aslef and exceptional levels "of staff sick leave." the government says the fine it‘s imposed on govia thameslink will be used to improve services for passengers hit by the disruption. the continuing dispute was raised by labour at transport questions. two weeks ago today the high court of the secretary of state 14 days to make a decision over southern rail‘s claims that its appalling service
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wasn‘t their fault but all down to industrial action. with the record fine imposed today, such nonsense has been totally blown out of the water after months and months of the secretary of state and his ministers coming to the dispatch box and blaming the unions, they have had to come clean and accept the southern rail is not fit for purpose. does he know except that continuing to tolerate such an attitude, expecting a rail service to rely on workers overtime and compromising saving the accessibility, simply won‘t wash any longer and he now has to call time on gtr? he is clearly still not read the judgment two weeks ago, a case that we actually want. it's because about what has been done today. i have for months that the problems on this railway are not purely down to industrial action.
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there are other reasons. but i am very clear and so is the chris gibb report that the prime responsibility for the trouble on that network has come from trade unions fighting the battles of 30 years ago and still they get support from the labour party and the reality is it is the labour party and the unions colluding to bring trouble to passengers and it should stop. newly elected chair of the transport committee, question about fares. the ticketing information passengers are most interested in is the price. since 2014 commuter rail fare increases have been capped at rbi but an acid to me yesterday the rail minister said that there is policy is under review. next month‘s inflation figures will determine the cup forjanuary 2018 and at the department reverts to the old formula, there could rise by 5% or more, pricing many off the railways. next week when the secretary of state announces his investment plans for the control period six, will he pledged that improvements passengers need will come at a price they can afford?
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i suppose i should welcome her to her new position. she now seems to be wondering about what will be occurring in the future. we have no intention in seeking to raise there is in the way that she describes and i don't think that would be appropriate. is it that passengers first and we continue to maintain the cup at the moment but we keep ball policies under review at all times, she shouldn't read more into that and is actually there. another labour mp asked about provision in the north east of england. we have heard many flowery words from the government benches about understanding the experience of our constituents in the north—east forced to use crumbling rolling stock on tyne & wear and metro, but flowery words will not get them to work on time. unless they are matched by investment. will he now commit to investing from the public purse in our rolling stock? she should know that investment of course is central to what we want to achieve.
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we are investing 370 million through an 11 year asset renewal problem. we are undertaking major track renewals, refurbishing and modernising stations and vehicles, new smart style ticketing. what is not to like about that? you‘re watching thursday in parliament with me, alicia mccarthy. the defence secretary has told mps that a report about civilian casualties in iraq by amnesty international should be treated with "extreme caution". the human rights group has alleged that iraqi and coalition forces have used unnecessarily powerful weapons in the battle to retake mosul from so—called islamic state — or daesh as mps call it — and had failed to take adequate measures to protect civilians. the report was raised by the shadow defence minister,
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wayne david. it has been alleged that the actions of the coalition in mosul have been i quote, disproportionate and even, i quote again, unlawful. i know that the deputy commander of the international anti—daesh coalition has condemned a report in the strongest possible terms, saying that it is deeply responsible —— irresponsible and he has emphatically stated that we should not forget that it is daesh who are deliberately killing civilians. sir michael fallon said he had not read the report, but said raf airstrikes were lawful and there were robust procedures designed to minimise the risk of civilians casualties. i have seen no evidence as of yet that an raf strike has involved civilian casualties. i wait to see that evidence
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being produced and if anybody has any evidence then it needs to be forwarded to us as indeed other organisations like air awards have been doing throughout the conflict and we are ready to investigate, but otherwise i would urge extreme caution in the handling of the amnesty report. an snp mp voiced concern at what he said had been a dramatic rise in civilian casualties. injune longer has been a 52% increase in comparison to the month of may‘s estimated somewhere between 529 744, according to air war is who he mentions in response to the shadow minister, of the 1350 uk personnel fighting daesh air war claim there is not one permanently tasked with monitoring civilian casualties, so can the minister outline if he will make a commitment to greater scrutiny and transparency on that? this is a highly compact city,
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very densely populated, with daesh pushing civilians into buildings, holding them hostage, shooting them if they try to escape, this is a kind of urban warfare that we have not seen and not be involved in since probably a second world war. a very complex military operation. sir michael fallon. now from the conflicts of today to the conflicts of the past. because these were the fields where, 100 years ago, more than half a million men lost their lives. the battle of passchendaele — through the summer and autumn of 1917 — is generally regarded as the bloodiest conflict of the first world war, with these belgian fields seeing weeks of heavy military bombardment and fierce fighting, much of it in atrocious weather. by october 1917 british and commonwealth forces had advanced just a few kilometres with the loss of more than 300,000 men. casualties on the german side numbered 200,000.
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a special commons debate has taken place, to mark passchendaele 100 years on. it is important to remember that many of those who fought at passchendaele were conscripts and that this was a war which had already led to huge changes around these islands. women were already playing a vital role in the war effort, particularly in the production of munitions but the artillery which was so critical to the outcome of the fighting. many of us passchendaele has come to epitomise horrors of trench warfare on the western front. but he answered a question about the role of the medical profession after passchendaele and much of the trench warfare of the first world war given the fact that we are commemorating those who lost their lives and those who came home would have suffered many of them from shell—shocked, some of the advices of psychiatry will end on the front line in dealing with that on the impacts of armies and will not play any part in the commemoration
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of those who survived? we‘ll have those things in mind. it is very difficult to go back and reinterpret events as they were at the time and as they were experienced at the time but i think the honourable gentleman makes a very perceptive and worthwhile point. can i share with him these photographs that shows passchendaele village injune 1917 and in december 1917 and even from a distance it is possible to see how entirely the landscape was obliterated by the bombardment. a labour mp said his father went to passchendaele at the age of 15 to fight german aggression. we cannot look at this without remembering that many who lost their lives did not give their lives, they were told if they went that they would stop the huns bayoneting belgian babies. they went there as result of propaganda. we must remember that if we learn the proper lessons of warfare
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and the immense wasteful loss of life. an mp who‘s a military historian read a first hand account from a british soldier. the germans did not have much to fear from me that morning. there was no fire in my belly, nothing. i staggered up the hill, i froze and became frightened because of big shell at first and loading up group of our lads to bits. a terrible sight, men blown to nothing. i just stood there. it was still and misty and i could taste their blood in the air. i could not move. i stood there staring. these men had just been killed. we just had to wade through them to get on. that‘s one thing i‘ll never forget, what i saw and smelt. the battle is notorious not only for the number of casualties, but also the conditions in which the battle was fought. the first few days of the offensive
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were marked by the heaviest rainfall in 30 years, turning the field into a quagmire trapping soldiers and horses and immobilised weaponry. one century on in the safety and grandeur of this place, it's difficult, if not impossible, to imagine the mouth, it's difficult, if not impossible, to imagine the mud, the blood and the horror and sheer scale of the losses of passchendaele. that's why it is absolutely right that we do remember. 325,000 allied casualties is difficult to comprehend. as is their bravery, valour and sacrifice. an mp who‘s a former army officer spoke about the effects of the rain at passchendaele. the men could not even get into the shell holes, they were full of water. so they are absolutely sitting ducks. covered in filth. trying to go forward, absolutely exhausted. and yet, they did.
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some of them sank to their waste in the mud, right down to their waists. it took six soldiers for them to be pulled out. stretcher bearers could not move. there was no chance of stretcher bearers moving in that mud at all. our soldiers were not brave, of course they were brave, what they really experienced was terror. bob stewart. theresa may‘s decision to do a £1 billion deal with the dup to keep her government afloat clearly still rankles with some, not least politicians in wales. they argue that under what‘s known as the barnett formula, the system under which money is allocated to scotland, wales and northern ireland, if northern ireland gets more money the other nations should too.
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the cause was taken up by a plaid cymru peer. the naval lord will be aware thati billion is being allocated the noble lord will be aware thati billion is being allocated to schools and roads and hospitals in northern ireland. clear, basic barnett elements. the government has perceived an extra needed northern ireland, however that is defined. will they therefore move towards a needs—based formula for scotland, wales and the regions of england? but the minister argued money had also gone to wales in different ways. there are number of investments taking place in wales, they have been outside the barnett formula. the cardiff capital region city deal. £500 million. the swansea city deal, £150 million. leave the north wales growth deal.
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—— hopefully. all outside of the barnett formula. reflected in the particular needs of wales. as the deal reflects the particular needs of northern ireland. what advice would the minister give us? what do we in wales have to do to get an extra £1 billion? we spend £120 in wales for every £100 we spend in england. we continue to be committed to that. that's the reason why we increased the overall capital borrowing limit to £1 billion, up from £500 million. we continue to look for ways to grow the economy in wales within the barnett formula and outside it. is it worth the minister noting, northern ireland appears to have considerably more disadvantaged young people as against scotland. and cannot afford the sort of things scotland appears to be affording in social care and tuition fees? does the government understand this is an issue of trust. while the barnett formula is not a legal requirement,
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it is clear to everyone in the house that the additional1 billion for northern ireland is a pork barrel, as they would say in america. politically—induced donation. it ought to fall within the formula if one was keeping to the conventions of parliament. i think it‘s wrong for the honourable lady to refer to it in that way. the details have been made very clearly, published on the website on the 26th ofjune. there have been written ministerial statements. in terms of saying it is a donation. i will stand by a donation of 100 million extra for health and education, 400 million for infrastructure, 50 million form as well. 100 million for severely deprived areas. £150 million for broadband in one of the most needy parts of the united kingdom.
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in westminster hall a labour mp called for a change to the rules around organ donation in england. danjarvis argued there should be a switch to the same system used in wales, where it‘s presumed that organs are to be donated after death, unless someone has actively opted out. he said more than a50 people died every year waiting for a transplant. the truth is there is a common misconception about how organ donation works. only a very small number of people die in such a way that allows for organ donation. the vast majority of people on the organ donor register will never actually donate their organs. the figures are startling. around half a million people die every year in the uk. yet last year out of the half a million, only 5,681 people died in circumstances where donation was possible. that was about 1%, so the simple fact was there were not enough donors and people
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were dying as a result. he accepted there were sensitivities. that some members of our muslim and jewish communities have different interpretations of the religious legitimacy of donations. i understand their views and have the most upmost respect and sympathy for them. but i firmly and wholeheartedly believe that not only do the benefits of an opt out system far outweigh the risks, but that these risks can be mitigated through first a public awareness campaign, tailored to different ethnic and religious communities, and second, the use of in—hospital safeguarding measures. but one mp raised what she called some "notes of caution" the minister doing nothing at all triggers a consequence, silent action. quite a major one.
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that action is that those organs could be taken at a later date be taken and transplanted. their consent is deemed even though they have done nothing at all. the minister said an opt out is not a panacea. the crucial point as to what affects a donation is the conversation that happens in the room three medical professionals and bereaved families. we see examples of families refusing consent, they are convinced in no way their relatives really wanted to donate it feels selfless to say no. we see that being overruled. what we find is that the highest rates of donation are achieved where we have specially trained nurses, who have that conversation with the family in a sensitive way. but she added the government was interested to see what happened in wales and it was something ministers were prepared to consider. earlier we heard labour‘s shadow leader of the commons,
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valerie vaz, protesting about the way the government was organising parliamentary business. she returned to the issue a later when she applied for an emergency debate. valerie vaz complained that the government had not given any opposition parties the chance to organise debates and votes in the commons and said the rules needed to be changed to reflect the fact that this session of parliament would run for two years — rather than the usual 12 months. she had three minutes to make her case, after which the deputy speaker, eleanor laing, gave her verdict. i can tell the house that mr speaker is satisfied that the matter raised by the honourable member is proper to be discussed understanding order number 24. i now wish to ascertain whether the honourable member has the disease of the house. —— leave of the house.
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labour and mps from other opposition parties stood up to indicate their support for valerie vaz. the debate will take place on monday afternoon and will last for three hours. and that‘s it from me for now, but dojoin me on friday night at 11pm for our round—up of the week here at westminster when among other things we‘ll be talking to the new chair of the treasury committee — nicky morgan. and hearing from herfellow backbencher simon hart on what can be done to counter the abuse being levelled at mps and activists but for now from me, alicia mccarthy, goodbye. hello there. the weekend is upon us and there
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will be more detail on that in the next half an hour but as for today, looks mainly dry wit spells of sunshine. one or two flies in the ointment, these were the system is working southwards through the night bringing initially heavy showers but they tend to beat out but nevertheless there could be some first thing. as a result, suddenly a comfortable night, not as chilly as yesterday morning but some brightness around with sunshine coming through, behind those weather systems, a scattering showers for scotland and northern ireland and increasing sunshine coming through after that initially cloudy start in the east and further west some good spells of sunshine but towards the north—west later in the day we see the next band of rain but with sunshine and light winds it looks like it will feel warmer in the north compared yesterday on a par in the south. more cloud in prospect certainly for saturday and some rain as well, certainly not a washout but things will dry up later on and warm air across the country then. welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america
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and around the globe. my name‘s mike embley. our top stories: a trip to france and a hint from donald trump that he might change his position on the paris climate change agreement. china‘s best—known political prisoner, the nobel peace prize winner liu xiaobo, dies of cancer after eight years in jail. the parents of baby charlie gard return to court as an american doctor says a trial therapy could give him a slim chance of meaningful improvement. another attempt to close the world‘s deadliest migration route. italy tries to stem the flow across the mediterranean.
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