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tv   Wednesday in Parliament  BBC News  February 22, 2018 2:30am-3:01am GMT

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and anguish, appealing to him directly to bring in new gun control measures. mr trump said he was considering arming school staff and banning gun free zones around schools. as international concern grows over the syrian government's bombardment of a rebel—held area of eastern ghouta on the outskirts of damascus, diplomats at the un are considering a new attempt at a 30—day ceasefire. it's not clear whether russia — a major supporter of the assad government — will veto the measure. a new study from the university of oxford has found that antidepressant medications are effective. researchers analysed more than 500 clinical trials and included previously unpublished data held by drug companies. the findings refute recent suggestions that some treatments don't work. now on bbc news, wednesday in parliament. hello and welcome to the programme.
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coming up: jeremy corbyn muses on david davis's assurance that brexit won't end in a mad max dystopia. doesn't the prime minister feel he could set the barjust a little bit higher? theresa may comes back with a quip of her own. the only fiction around in relation to brexit and the european union is the labour party's front bench, who cannot even agree with themselves what their policy is. and the health secretary announces a review into the way medical problems caused by nhs treatments are handled. patients and their families have spent too long feeling they were not being listened to, making agony of a complex medical situation even worse. but first, the exchanges between theresa may and jeremy corbyn at prime minister's questions are usually a brexit—free zone.
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but the cabinet will be convening at the pm's country residence, chequers, on thursday to pin down the uk's future relationship with the eu. and so the opposition leader made an exception. he began with david davis's assurance that post—brexit, britain would not descend into a war—ravaged desert where society has collapsed. yesterday, the brexit secretary assured the country that brexit will not plunge britain into a mad max—style world, borrowed from dystopian fiction. doesn't the prime minister feel he could set the barjust a little bit higher? prime minister... i'll tell you, as the right honourable gentleman knows, we're very clear that we're going to ensure that when we leave the european union, we are going to be able to take back control of our borders, our money, and our laws.
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and i have to say to him, the only fiction around in relation to the brexit and the european union, is the labour party's front bench, who can't even agree with themselves what their policy is. in his speech, the brexit secretary also said fears about a deregulatory race to the bottom were based on nothing. so, why then, did his own department's exit analysis state there could be opportunities for britain in deregulating areas such as environment and employment law? prime minister. can i say to the right honourable gentleman, he talks about what we actually want to achieve when we leave the european union. i'll tell him what we want to achieve. we want to ensure this is a country that can negotiate free trade deals around the rest of the world. we want to ensure that we have a good trade agreement with the european union, and that's what we'll be starting to negotiate. we want to ensure we have a good security partnership
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with the european union, as i set out in detail in my speech in munich last week. in december, the foreign secretary and the environment secretary were briefing that the working time directive would be scrapped, the cbi and unions are very clear that they're not looking for a bonfire of regulations. quite the opposite. the only party that wants scrap workers' regulations protections are the party opposite. i have been clear since i became prime minister that this is a government that will not only protect workers' rights, but enhance workers' rights. let's look at the conservative's record in government. who was it? which government was it that took action on zero hours contracts? a conservative government, not labour. which government is it that got matthew taylor to actually report on the new economy, so we ensure workers get the highest rights. a conservative government, not labour. which government is it that's ensuring that workers' voices are heard on the boards of companies?
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a conservative government, not labour. jeremy corbin. i don't know if she has had the chance to read the daily telegraph today, but 62 of her backbenchers want a bonfire of regulations, want to destroy workers' rights, in this country. halfway through the six speeches we were told would set out the government's negotiating position. so far, all we've had is waffle and empty rhetoric. businesses need to know. people want to know. even her backbenchers are demanding to know. but it isn't clear, from today's exchanges, this government isn't on the road to brexit, mr speaker, it's on the road to nowhere. prime minister. i think i have — i think i have mentioned to the right honourable
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gentleman before that hisjob is actually to ask a question. not to make... but, you know, i'm perfectly happy, i'm perfectly happy to respond to the points that he made. he said that we have not set out any detail. can i suggest to him that he needs to think very carefully about the security partnership that we want with the european union when we have left? i set out in my speech in munich last week exactly what we want that security partnership to cover, because we believe — we believe in ensuring that we are maintaining the security and safety of people here in the uk, but also of people in europe. and she ended the exchanges with thisjibe. can i congratulate the right honourable gentleman? because normally he's stands up every week and asks me to sign a blank check. and i know he likes checks, but really, that is terribly...
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downing street later clarified that the prime minister was using what's commonly known as a ‘pun‘. the health secretary has announced a review into the way medical problems caused by nhs treatments are handled. he concentrated on three treatments. primodos is a hormone—based pregnancy test used in the ‘60s and ‘70s, which, it's claimed, led to miscarriages and birth defects. sodium valproate is a drug used to treat epilepsy, which, if taken during pregnancy, has been linked to autism and learning difficulties. and vaginal mesh implants used after complications in childbirth which some patients complain caused crippling side—effects. jeremy hunt admitted the nhs hadn't listened to patients. we must acknowledge that the response to these issues from those in positions of authority have not always been good enough. sometimes, the reaction is felt, overly focused on defending the status quo rather than
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addressing the needs of patients. and as a result, patients and their families have spent too long feeling that they were not being listened to, making agony of a complex medical situation even worse. so, today, in addition to practical steps for each of these three cases, i'm also setting out plans to establish a fairer, quicker and more compassionate way of addressing issues when they arise. mr hunt stopped short of announcing a full public inquiry. we've heard how mesh implants have left women in permanent pain, unable to walk, unable to work. this is an ongoing public health scandal, and we hope the government will do much more to support those affected. now, mesh has been suspended in scotland, banned in other countries around the world. i understand mesh has been paused for use in case of prolapse. will they consider fully suspending mesh use totally while this review is carried out?
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when it comes to mesh, there is no eu country that has banned its use, and indeed, in australia and new zealand, they have not, in my understanding, introduced a full ban. we have taken very clear advice. we obviously have a responsibility to all patients and the medical advice from the chief medical officer is very clear — that some women do benefit from mesh, if it's appropriately used, and so, we are following that advice. several mps were worried about the way previous investigations had been handled, particularly in relation to the drug used as a pregnancy test. half of my constituents, whose families have suffered due to the effects of primodos, can i thank the minister for this step in the right direction statement. by announcing another review with a remit for another review, can he reassure the house that one of these reviews can investigate the cover—up we know has occurred over decades over primodos,
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and if a crime has been committed, it will be dealt with. the difficulty in the case of primodos, and this is incredibly distressing to families concerned, is the fact that scientists do not agree about the issue, and so, because of that, we do, unfortunately, find ourselves having to review what's happened, and the expert working group was the first attempt to do that. but we are going to give baroness cambridge a free hand to look at that, and any other evidence that has come to light, and draw her own conclusions. one mp wasn't happy about the conservative peer who's been chosen to lead the review. is the secretary concerned, and i ask this sincerely, is he not concerned that baroness cambridge, and as a director of the company, which specialises in introducing pharmaceutical companies into how they can most effectively lobby parliament — what will that do to victims who start off
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being incredibly suspicious of ourselves in this house and the nhs establishment? i don't think anyone has a better track record than heron campaigning for women's health issues. she has shown in her career absolute willingness to take on the medical establishment and the scientific establishment, when she thinks it's the right things to do. she does it with a great deal of knowledge and a huge amount of passion, so i have every confidence that she will do a good job. jeremy hunt. you're watching wednesday in parliament with me, mandy baker. the defence secretary, gavin williamson, says the world "got caught napping" when it came to the rising threat from states like russia. mr williamson was making his first appearance in front of the committee that scrutinises the work of his department. he was asked about the challenges facing world security and stability. the americans have said that since christmas, that their main priority
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is potential conflicts state on state. the french, their top priority is terrorism. and we understand why. where — on that sort of scale, where does the uk stand? we will probably seek to compromise. we would highlight state—based threats as the top priority, and at the speed of which they're escalating, but within a hair, it is followed by the terrorism threat that comes straight after that. i think the world got caught napping in terms of a rise of those state— based threats. we had emerged out of a cold war with the belief that things were just going to get better and better. you had one superpower that strode across the world,
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and you didn't really actually have any challenge to that. we're seeing that change quite dramatically. you're seeing the rise or the increasing assertiveness of russia. you've seen the fact that there has been a tenfold increase in the amount of submarine activity in the north atlantic on behalf of the russians. you're seeing the russians be more interested in the mediterranean region. of course, their involvement in the conflict in syria. but then you're seeing new nations that are starting to play a greater role in the world, such as china. you're seeing the challenges that we face in terms of north korea.
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you now see state—based threats as perhaps the top end of your priorities. and that's a massive change from where we were, as you said earlier, in 2010, when there was no existential threat to the united kingdom. if that's the conclusion that you've come to, which is to some extent, the conclusion that they have recently reached in the united states, do you accept that that has quite important knock—on effects and consequences both in terms of your forestructure and your readiness? yes, it does. one of the things that those of us who are very pro what you do, find frustrating, is when, on the one hand, we argue for more resources for defence, but yet we see year in, year out, examples of major procurement programmes that still run late or go
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very badly over budget, despite being perennially told that lessons have been learned and people have picked up what went wrong last time round and so on and so forth. can you give us any confidence that as part of this ndp process, you're going to design a system which will actually remove a lot of that risk? certainly, a major theme of the programme, and indeed, one of the work strands which we are conducting, gets precisely after that issue. it is about can we more accurately do the forecasting, can we make sure that we derive more stability into the programme, can we shorten the process to make sure we are not institutionally imparting delay, which in itself drives cost growth. general mark poffley. now, earlier this week the irish deputy prime minister, accused three leading supporters of the uk's departure from the european union, among them the labour mp kate hoey, of being ‘reckless'. the comment came after the brexiteers had criticised the good friday agreement,
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also known as the belfast agreement. well, on wednesday kate hoey responded during a meeting of the northern ireland affairs committee. if anyone says anything, and i have seen it myself the day or two, that i have said the belfast agreement could be refreshed, and we could look at ways, i don't know, saying to kill all babies at birth, it really is... do you think it is quite possible in northern ireland to be absolutely 100% in favour of peace and against violence and against militaries and against all the things that are spoiling people's lives, and yet want to have a look at how we make the institutions in northern ireland actually work better? one of the witnesses, the leader of the sdlp, told kate hoey that at its core, the good friday agreement represented peace. the conservative chair of the committee, andrew murrison
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at the end there. did score the remember the centrepiece. seemed more focused on the get out of you my comment had nothing to do with brexit. the and i would just, the warning right there. but the impact that has on communities is one that is very destabilising. and i for one, and the people of ireland as a whole, will not have a good friday agreement, just to facilitate so that is going on between... the uk and the eu. i say in conclusion, tearing up the agreement, it does not do us any favours to suggest that is the case. the government has promised a new immigration system. the former independent reviewer of terrorism legislation has asked for
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the document to not be torn up. terrorism legislation has asked for the document to not be torn upm has brought together, in a democratic forum, people who used to kill each other. it has meant that people who used to behave in that way have been prepared to put aside their very strongly felt traditions. he was speaking at the start of ten days of bitter debate on the controversial eu withdrawal bill which, as we all know by now, is the builder brings an enormous raft of laws generated by the eu over the last a0 years into uk domestic law. peers are put forward is a huge number of suggested changes but it is not expected that they will vote often, or at all, is not expected that they will vote often, orat all, on is not expected that they will vote often, or at all, on the issues at this stage. a conservative former chancellor said he wanted to speak up chancellor said he wanted to speak upfor chancellor said he wanted to speak up for leaving the eu customs union. the government, he said, was aiming to strike a free—trade agreement with the eu. in what respect, with
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having a free—trade agreement will leave the country worst off than it is now was to mark he was interrupted by a liberal democrat who pointed to treasury forecast that suggested leaving the u k —— eu would leave the uk were soft. and irredeemably damaged country in every region, especially in the north—east, and in virtually every industry sector. he was not having that. i will not be persuaded by a piece of paper with a statistic. no. what matters... noble members cheer up what matters... noble members cheer up will they really say that a piece of paper with a statistic somehow a nalyses of paper with a statistic somehow analyses the problem ? of paper with a statistic somehow analyses the problem? what we are talking about, if you have your free—trade agreement, i put it to the noble baroness, if you have a free—trade agreement you have access to the market. he and all the other
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peers will continue their work on the eu withdrawal bill next monday. the government has promised a new immigration system. this is the procedure eu citizens would use to apply for the new settled status, which will grant those who've spent five years in the uk equal rights on health care, education, benefits and pensions. the immigration minister said a new, digital system was being designed from scratch, and it should go live from this autumn. we are currently designing and testing and working with groups to make sure that the system is simple and straightforward as possible. i think that is critically important. must be something that needs to be done on bone or a tablet, ——a phone or a tablet, it has to be something that people find user—friendly and easy to use. what we know of digital systems is that you have to design them in a straightforward and intuitive ways possible, and we very much hope, that it will be going live, i think is important to emphasise that.
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important to emphasise that it will be going live on a voluntary basis. soon after christmas, taking a bit longer than we thought presumably. it is a simple question, you sort of touched on it, but there are are some more is less technologically literate than others. “ some —— some of us are less it literate than others. there will still be those for possibilities for those who cannot utilise it very well. they can apply by paper means. sometimes i take issue with the slightly ageist assumption that those who are older and not use it. my those who are older and not use it. my parents are both 75 and they have a phenomenal capacity to send me endlessly malls and purchase all sorts of things online. but we got to be mindful, particularly, and it is important when designing a digital system
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to think of those who may have some accessibility issues those were vision impaired, learning difficulties, and we know from previous government, that if you deny something for someone with learning ——design something for someone with learning difficulties, then the whole population finds its... i think it is a really important component yet to make them as straightforward as he possibly can. another labour mp had concerns about the number of applications. if, as he expect it hits the deadline, will be... what will be the government's position of people are unable to make applications on time because the system fails? that is an important point and we should not just consider people who can make an application because the system failed but also there may well be applicants who, for good reason, have been unable to apply within the two years, perhaps for ill—health.
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we do not intend to be draconian in this and, obviously, if there is any sort of problem with us managing demand on our own it system we will, of course, have a proportionate response to those who have been unable to apply within the two year period. the committee is also looking into ‘reciprocal arrangements‘, the rights of uk citizens who live in eu countries. we've focused hugely on people from the 27 coming here, and actually there has been very little commentary on british nationals who choose to go over to the eu. these are matters of the negotiations to determine. but i think it is a really important point and we must focus notjust on the nationals were here, but also citizens who choose to go overseas. because i have a direct interest in this, declaring an interest, if i may. i have three children, grandchildren, so for practical purposes i am very considerable to agree with what you just that.
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we need to protect them and be suitably protective of all those people who wish to come here under the rules as they are. the committee chair, and long—time eurosceptic, sir bill cash, there. labour has said the government must assess the impact its economic policies have on equality. speaking during a debate on the finance bill which puts parts of the budget into law, the shadow women and equalities minister, said the government's actions were already having a damaging effect on women and children. i understand that the prime minister is a little bit preoccupied. she is a little bit we at the moment, dealing with a very serious ransom note at the moment. but i honestly believe that she will not be pleased that her legacy will be that of the hindering of women and their life chances. more children are homeless, more children are homeless,
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or living in temporary accommodation that at any other time since 2007, 2008 financial crash. a conservative thought it would be hard to gather the impact information labour wanted. does the minister agree with me that to carry out these assessments, that it would slow down government business and that is perhaps why the position was put in the new clause to make it difficult for us to get our voices through a lot of this information is not available. that is not an argument for not finding information, but some of it is extremely difficult to actually generate. i would not go as far as my honourable friend was discussing, that this is a machiavellian plan to gum up government. and a little later,
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labour's move was defeated by 30a votes to 265, a government majority of 39. parliamentary procedure can be a little baffling that the government's business managers, the whips, are expected to know all the rules. spero thought for kelly tolhurst who was still getting to know what is what. finance number two bill to be considered. now. now. very good. she will not do that again. but as we have time for today. it is starting to feel a little bit
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colder but the big freeze on still days away. in fact, temperatures will not drop away properly until after the weekend. in the short term, the weather does not look bad at all with a bright day on the way on thursday with some sunshine. here is the high pressure giving us the settled weather, building from russia and across scandinavia into western parts of europe, stopping any atlantic weather fronts coming oui’ any atlantic weather fronts coming our way. now close to our shores, in fa ct, our way. now close to our shores, in fact, still a southerly wind here across ireland and the very far west of scotla nd across ireland and the very far west of scotland however for most of us it is the easterly wind that is winning and first thing in the morning on thursday it will be chilly. a couple of degrees above freezing in city centres, a couple of degrees below outside of town. here thursday with a lot of bright weather around inevitably there will be some clouds stuck in this area of high pressure because that is what high pressure because that is what high pressure because that is what high pressure does. it is never clear in them. a little cloud with light wind floating around. a bright day for some of us, cloudy for many of us and a fairly sunny day.
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starting to feel colder. for degrees in norwich. here is the easterly wind keeping the weather fronts out to be there come out in the atlantic. and those temperatures will continue to differ away. a5 degrees still for some of us on friday, around seven in belfast. at least the weather is looking mostly bright. having a look at the weekend, the high pressure really sta rts weekend, the high pressure really starts to strengthen and when it strengthens that means that the winds are rounded start to blow a little harder and with more intensity ringing that colder air in oui’ intensity ringing that colder air in our direction. i suspect even these temperatures here, belfast, cardiff, london, they could drop a couple of degrees below freezing by the time we get to sunday. next week, that high—pressure stretches all the way from northern and central parts of russia, from siberia. we are in for a real blast and the cold spell is most certainly on the way but still a little uncertainty as to exactly where that cold air will go, whether
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cold as the ba will go. it could go south or a right across the uk. the indication is that the two britain next week across many parts of the country will stay below freezing during the course of the day and well below freezing at night. there is snow on the wayjust not when and where. welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is mike embley. our top stories: a white house meeting for survivors of school shootings, president trump hears the anger of family members. it doesn't make sense of. fix it. it should have been one school shooting and we should have fixed it! meanwhile, survivors of last week's high school massacre, protest in florida, after the state refuses to discuss gun control. the head of the un demands an immediate end to fighting in the syrian enclave of eastern ghouta, calling it "hell on earth". psychiatrists welcome a new review of scientific evidence that says
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anti—depressant drugs do work after all.

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