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tv   Thursday in Parliament  BBC News  June 22, 2018 2:30am-3:01am BST

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america's first lady, melanie trump, has visited a facility in texas housing children who've been separated from their parents under draconian immigration rules introduced by her husband to try to stop illegal immigration. president trump, on wednesday, reversed his decision following a public outcry. indonesian police have detained the captain of a ferry that sank in lake toba in sumatra. nearly 200 people are missing, in what could be one of indonesia's most deadly maritime disasters. the vessel was only licensed to transport 60 passengers and it didn't have a proper manifest. croatia have delivered a shock defeat to football giants, argentina, in the world cup in russia — thrashing them by three goals to nil in a spirited performance. they now become the latest team to qualify for the knock—out stages. argentina could still qualify but it may come down to goal difference. now on bbc news, thursday in parliament. hello there, welcome
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to thursday in parliament. coming up on this programme: the government has set out its plans for how eu citizens living in the uk will be able to settle here after brexit. our default position will be to grant status, and so we will be looking to grant status as quickly as we can. capita gets a new government contract, mps are alarmed. a company that scores ten out of ten in an internal document produced by the mod for risk can be awarded a contract. and the government rejects fresh criticism of a key benefit, universal credit. we know 83% of universal credit claimants are happy with the service they receive. but first: the home secretary, sajid javid, has told more than three million eu citizens
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uncertain about their status after brexit that the scheme allowing them to stay in the uk will be simple. speaking to a lords committee, he said that people would need only to apply online orfrom an android phone. there are around 3.8 million eu nationals living in the uk and around one million uk nationals living in the european union. it will be very much an online scheme, including whether it's through your own pc, your phone, your own personal mobile device. you will be able to access the website or download an app immediately and that's the key three bits of information, or three key steps to it, which will be the need to prove your identity, two that you live in the uk and three that you have no serious criminal convictions. so those are the three key steps. our position, a wonderful position, will be to grant status and so we will be looking to grant status as quickly as we can. we will not be looking
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for reasons or excuses to try and not grant status, of course, it will be very driven by the default view that you provide us information and if you are not going to be granted status, there has to be a very good reason why you're not going to get that and that means either let's say you've got a serious criminal conviction, or you've given some false information about your identity or something of that type. there's been rumours, which are probably misplaced, that these apps aren't going to be compatible with iphones and people's normal phones. is there any truth in that? and the second part of the question is the opposite end of the spectrum, which is a lot of people, me included, are quite technophobic and find it very difficult to fill in a form online. in most cases, you will be able to have an app, download an app, which you will be able to put the passport next to your phone
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and it will be able to download that information, send it to us straight away through the app you've got and then you will take a picture of yourself, a selfie, i'm sure you have done that many times. even though you're technophobic, i'm sure you have done that and then you take your selfie and you download that, too, and it will match that with the information that is downloaded from the chip, put it together and it will confirm your id. and in that case, to confirm your id, you don't have to send anything and if you say you are working in the uk for ten years, you give your national insurance number and we check those against records, you don't have to send anything, it's all done electronically. we would like that to work for anyone, whatever smartphone they've got, but we don't control obviously their own software or hardware but we are trying to work with them and at the moment, there is an issue. how confident are you that the home office is able
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to deliver the technical, physical infrastructure that is going to be needed to register three million eu nationals in this country? that is a massive task. how confident are you that this can be done? ever since the vote to leave and certainly the triggering of article 50, the home office has been preparing for this, it's always been understood that there's going to be some sort of scheme put in place, even before reaching the agreement with the eu. so there's been a lot of work going on for a long time. we are making use, as i've already alluded to, of new technology, new processes, keeping it as simple as possible, which helps and that means also working with other departments and making sure we are talking to the sort of computer networks properly and it's all connected. we want to minimise the casework, that is one reason to keeping it simple, there will be some complicated cases that come up, we understand that and we recognise that we need to hire more people and train them up, so in our european casework team, we are increasing staffing levels
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from about 700 to more than double, to 1500 and most of those people should be in the place by the end of this year and that will ratchet it up quite considerably and that will help as well. sajid javid. well a short time later the immigration minister took questions from mps about the plans. questions from mps about the plans. the absolute principle here should be that no eu citizen living in the uk should suffer from the result of the brexit outcome. in which of course they had no vote. and will she consider waiving the fee of registration as the scottish government is going to do for the public sector workers and suggested the british government should do across the board? i think it is important that we reiterate the message of the prime minister. which is, we want them to stay, they have contributed a great deal to our country and we wish them to continue to do so. a conservative thought the offer generous. as someone whose sister lives and worked pretty much
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all her life now in italy. can i say, is she aware that recently, she has chastised the other countries for failing to make the same kind of arrangements at the pace of change that was necessary alongside our changes that we brought forth? can the minister confirm that the offer that the government is making of settled status will apply to the three plus million eu citizens in all circumstances? and in particular, heaven forbid, if no deal were reached, will those citizens who have already been granted under the roll—out timetable that the minister reported to the house today, be granted their settled status, with they keep it? and will the government keep it open to those who have not yet applied, so they can remain in the united kingdom, even if there were no deal? we are not anticipating failure, and i think that is an important part, we have confidence that there will be a deal. the european citizens
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in my constituency say that they may have to move between european countries and here when they have family obligations. some of them may not have worked, or claimed benefits. she mentioned flexibility, but there are citizens in my constituency right now, who will unfortunately not feel reassured and would like to know more about the details on how that criteria will be assessed, so it will actually be consistent with the principles of respect to family life. i thank the honourable lady for the question. we are determined to make sure there is a whole range of evidence clearly set out in the statement of intent for those may not have worked, for those who have been here for the required period but can't evidence it through hmr c, or dwp records, and they includes a wide range, such as mortgage statements, tenancy agreements, utility bills and certainly what we will be encouraging casework to do is be flexible and understanding and appreciate that some individuals may not have those documents in theirown name, but in a partners name. and evidence of a durable relationship
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will suffice. children will not be able to provide utility bills, they won't be able to provide employment records. and in the case of the parents, they probably have not received any benefits for those children either. so what other evidence would the government find acceptable to demonstrate that a child has the right to settle status and where will the government be looking for that information? obviously, there will be a significant linkage between many children and their parents status, but we will accept evidence from educational institutions, from health care professionals who have encountered people during the course of their stay, and that doesn't just count for children but for those who cannot provide hmr c records, evidence of university and college attendance, will suffice.
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mps have expressed alarm that the outsourcing company, capita, has been awarded a contract by the ministry of defence to provide firefighting services on military sites. capita already holds a variety of government contracts, including the management of tv licensing and the london congestion charge. but the firm was given the highest possible risk rating after a financial health assessment. the defence minister tried to reassure mps. capita financial status has been analysed by the by the cost assurance and analysis service over the course of the bidding for this contract. and we have the necessary contingency plans in place to ensure that the contract is managed accordingly. we will actively manage the contract to provide early warning of any performance concerns, in order that these can be addressed thoroughly. following a competitive billing process, capita's bid was deemed to deliver the best technical solution and the best value for money for defence. the minister's department received advice as recently as the 7th ofjune, that capita represents
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a ten out of ten risk. what, if any consideration, was given to the advice that the ministry of defence has received on the financial health of the company? now we know that capita has a record of poor performance delivering mod contracts, they were stripped of the defence of state contract and the less said about their army recruitment contract, the better. but in spite of this, the government has knowingly chosen to give capita another contract. the deal was announced, capita's chief executive was appearing before the public accounts committee to answer questions over it's delivery of services to the nhs. so can the minister explain why the government failed to privatise these services, when not even the us department of defence do? and how can a company with such obvious shortcomings, how can they be seen to be the best option to deliver this contract? mr speaker, i can only repeat what ijust said earlier.
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there was a robust process, bidding process, that was went through, it was deemed that capita offered the greatest contract that we could actually have. there are concerns that have been raised about capita and other areas of recruitment as mentioned. but as i say, i am convinced that we have the necessary scrutiny in place to make sure they can provide the necessary deal and support for our service. but several mps weren't satisfied with that response and pressed the point. considering the fact that this company has earned the highest risk rating of ten out of ten, and a health score of three out of 100, how can the minister convince this house that this is not a case of penny wise, and at the expense of our defence, fire and rescue service? can i try again with the minister? i don't understand how a company that scores ten out of ten in an internal document produced by the mod for risk can be awarded a contract. the bid that was placed forward and the expectation that is made
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here for managing our high risk capabilities, it was under those circumstances which capita is being judged. we don't step back and take a look at the numbers and bits and pieces in other areas. it's for this aspect of it, the concern that she raises must be taken into account in making sure that there is a robust scrutiny, or an effectiveness of that contract as it ensues. and i'll be happy to come back to the house through port on the success or otherwise on the contract with capita in the future. i give her that guarantee. a conservative was anxious that the lessons from the collapse of another contracting company, carillion, had been learnt. in my constituency, fell victim to the carillion scandal because of their obscene practise of 120 day payment terms. can the minister assured me that that such invidious practise will not continue under capita?
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his question gives me licence to just confirm the shadow of carillion hangs over all departments of we're fair. and any new contract with capita needs to be robust enough that we don't fall foul of the problems that carillion experienced. tobia ellwood. you're watching thursday in parliament, with me, alicia mccarthy. the public spending watchdog — the national audit office — has published a highly critical report about universal credit. it concluded that the new benefit was causing hardship and was not delivering value for money. the conservative former work and pension secretary — iain duncan smith — who introduced the new system called the nao report "a shoddy piece of work", while the current post—holder esther mcvey said universal credit was an example of "great british innovation". universal credit is a brand—new benefits system.
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it is based on leading edge technology and agile working practises. our strategy is based on continuous improvement, listening, learning and adapting our deliveries as changes roll—out across the country. the result will be a tailor—made system based on the individual. this is a unique example of great british innovation, and, mr deputy speaker, we are leading the world in developing this kind of person centred system. she said that, along the way, changes had been made to the benefit. we know 83% of universal credit claimants are happy with the service they receive. in conclusion, mr deputy speaker, we are building an agile, adaptable system that for the 21st century. we want people to reach their potential regardless of their circumstances or background, and we will make changes when required in order to achieve this ambition. universal credit is this government's flagship social security programme. the report on it by the nao published on friday is damning indeed.
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it concludes that universal credit is a major failure of public policy, it is failing to achieve its aims, and as it stands, there is no evidence it ever will. the report suggests that universal credit may cost more to administer than the benefit system that it replaces and concludes that it has not delivered value for money, it is uncertain it ever will, and that it will never be able to measure whether it has achieved its stated goal. the government must now listen to the nao. it must stop the roll—out of the universal credit and fix the flaws before any more people are pushed into poverty by a benefit that is meant to protect them from it. universal credit is having a devastating impact on many people, and will reach 8.5 million people by 2024/25. the secretary of state must now wake up to the misery being caused by her policy. but esther mcvey had some positive case studies. these are real people who i meet and speak to, and this is what they are saying about universal credit. this man was homeless,
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and he said, "i got an advance, i got a temporary accommodation, got me into a better place to look for work. and you know what? itjust helped me out so much. i would have been lost without it." he's now in a job. lisa said an advance payment "helped me secure a place with my childcare provider. i'm paying back over 12 months, but this has meant a great deal to me." iain duncan smith introduced universal credit when he was work and pensions secretary. the report i think is, frankly, a shoddy piece of work. it has simply failed to take... no, genuinely, anyone that reads it — i don't know if they do bother to read on the other side... the reality is that anybody who reads it realises that they fail to take account of a whole series of issues, not least of which were the treasurer signed off figures of savings, 8 billion recurring a year, and more importantly, the changes made last december/november actually have made a huge difference to peoples' lives. i'm honestly surprised that anybody on the government side would stand up and they say that they do not agree with the national audit office. this is what they do! they audit things!
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this is their role. i cannot believe what i'm hearing from the government, mr deputy speaker. they are in absolute denial, not just about this report. over the last six months, there have been not one, not two but three high court decisions or tribunal rulings which have said the government's actions with regard to pip, and most recently in relation to severely disabled people transitioning onto uc, are discriminatory and unlawful. now after president donald trump signed an executive order seeking to end the separation of migrant children from their parents at the us border, the issue of refugees has once again come into the spotlight. in the commons, mps were debating the importance of reuniting refugee families. the debate was led by the snp's angus macneil, who said there were 22 and a half million refugees in the world and half of them are under 18.
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when you drill down with the public — despite what some in the media would like to say — but when you drill down with the public, engage with the public and talk to the public about refugees and you're not afraid of the arguments, you see that the public to come on board. in actual fact, when you drill down further, you see the public are doing it anyway. and what we need to do, actually, in public discourse, in public debate, is catch up with what members of the public are actually doing. people are doing this everywhere, and people do have an understanding and a sympathy towards refugees. a conservative said what would help many refugees was to make swifter decisions about their futures. probably the most common reason that people seeking asylum come to my surgery is because they've gone past the deadline that they were told about for the decision on their application, and they're wondering what is happening. now, clearly, it is a very difficult thing sometimes to make decisions
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in these complicated cases. you're dealing with people who are fleeing from war zones where many of the public records have been destroyed or are unavailable, and it's not an easy thing to do, but i do think if we could speed up the decision times, that would help a lot of people who spend a very, very long time not really being able to do anything but wait, and it's a very painful experience for them. i support everything that hasjust been said. however, there is a real problem with identifying people, and it's got to be clear. i've actually been dealing with people who claim to be someone and they're not, and the danger is that you get the wrong person, you get the wrong country. so it is very, very important that these facts are ascertained. and that is really the reason why it takes so long. this, madam deputy speaker, this is about who we are as a country. it's about how we want to be seen in the world. it's about the fact that in our increasingly, heartbreakingly divided world, where differences are reinforced more than they are bridged, it's about those countries who live
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out the values and provide safe haven for those who flee war and persecution. those countries are those that light up a more hopeful future for us all. i think in britain, as the honourable member for na h—eileanan an iar said in his opening remarks, the debate has been driven — perhaps for too long — by sensationalist tabloid headlines. and of course, there's a huge swell of emotion whenever the issue of immigration and refugees are raised, but we have to distinguish between different types of immigration. we have to distinguish between economic migrants and also refugees. we have to distinguish between opportunistic traffickers, who exist. we can't turn a blind eye to that. and it's a complicated picture. the minister explained that the government wanted
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to stop exploitation. we do not wish to see children in the hands of traffickers, and i think that is a really important point. from my earliest days at the home office, i have been struck on the interlinks between organised crime, people trafficking, modern slavery, violence against women and girls, and we are absolutely determined to do our utmost to tackle trafficking. and the government would help those fleeing conflict. we are on track to resettle 20,000 refugees from syria and a further 30,000 children and families from the wider region. under our resettlement schemes, we have very deliberately targeted those who are in the greatest need of assistance, including people requiring urgent medical treatment, survivors of violence and torture and women and children at risk. finally, as well as being the summer solstice, thursday was also international yoga day. originating in ancient india, there are now dozens of different forms, and it's practised by millions of enthusiasts around the world.
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fans claim it improves muscle strength, posture and flexibility. but can it help in the fight against childhood obesity? 0ne peer suggested that it could. is he aware that in india, the largest ngo there uses yoga as a means of attracting young drug addicts, drunks and people with hiv into recovery? given the success there and the problems that we have with our current obesity plan, which would he agree fails to get into the heads of young people — we have great difficulties in making connections — so that they can become more self—aware about the need to take responsibility for their own health? and if in fact we started exploring methods such as yoga with them, it might be a means whereby they will have a closer look at themselves, at the problems they have and the opportunities they have to make a better life in the future? well, i'm not aware of the particular charity
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that the noble lord mentioned, although i did spend six months in india as a teacher after university, and in the school that i was teaching in, they did practise yoga with the children. it did seem to have a calming effect on them. which is just as well, because i'm not sure my teaching skills had such an effect. i think probably many noble lords know personally the benefits of yoga. it isn't, it has to be said, proven to have any impact on obesity, although it does have many other benefits, as the noble lord has pointed out. it is something that schools can and do use as part of their repertoire within the pe curriculum, to provide exercise for children, although it doesn't, as i say, count towards the moderate and higher levels of activity that are demanded in the pe curriculum.
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my lords, would the minister agree that inactivity... exercise doesn't deal with the obesity problem at all. there's only one way of dealing with obesity, and that's eating less. but would he also agree that pregnant women who are obese transfer that tendency of obesity to their offspring by a mechanism which we don't understand which is called epigenetics? and while we're on the subject, could i congratulate the minister as a shining example of controlling his measurements? because i notice that his waist measurement is less than half his height. i'm wondering how my noble friend has made such an accurate assessment. he didn't see my weight on the scales this morning. he is quite right. of course, there is a combination of exercise and healthy eating, which is why there has been a push for both of those things within our schools. in terms of the impact of pregnant
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women, there are great risks to pregnant women for being obese, not just to themselves in terms of diabetes in pregnancy which then tends to reappear in later life, but also in terms of impacts on children, which is why it is so important that women — when they are pregnant — get good advice about healthy eating. lord 0'shaughnessy, not rolling out his yoga matjust yet. and that's it from me for now, but dojoin me on friday night at 11pm for a round up of the week in parliament, when, among other things, i'll be talking to a conservative peer and constitutional expert and the snp's europe spokesman about the fallout from the eu withdrawal bill. but for now, from me, alicia mccarthy, goodbye. hello.
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a robert gould. to friday morning. temperatures widely in single figures for early rises —— a rather cool start. lighter winds compared with thursday. quite breezy in the far north of scotland and northern ireland, with thick cloud that mcleod and light rain and 0zil spreading east for airtime. the vast majority will have a dry and sunny day. high uv and pollen across parts of england and wales in particular. take care with that. temperatures into the high teens and low 20s. temperatures dip away under clear skies and a breath of wind friday night into saturday. not as low as they will be for friday morning. some into single figures. for part one of the weekend, while most will be dry with plenty of sunshine, quite hazy with some cloud, there will be some outbreaks of rain moving through northern scotland and the northern isles. heavier compared with friday. quite a brisk breeze. here are your saturday temperatures.
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it is only getting warmer. welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is mike embley. our top stories: america's first lady meets children separated from their parents at the us border, as her husband's government tries to work out how to reunite them. nearly 200 people are still missing after a ferry sinks in indonesia — the captain has been detained for questioning. argentina's hopes of reaching the knock—out stages of the world cup suffer a blow, after a 3—0 defeat to croatia. and namaste on a global scale — millions of people around the world celebrate the international day of yoga.
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