tv Thursday in Parliament BBC News November 30, 2018 2:30am-3:00am GMT
the latest headlines: president trump's former personal lawyer has pleaded guilty to misleading the mueller investigation into russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. michael cohen admitted making false statements about a project to build a trump organization skyscraper in moscow. the president says mr cohen is a weak man, who is lying now to get a reduced jail sentence. president trump has touched down in argentina's capital, buenos aires, for the 620 summit, where he's expected to have tense trade talks with china. the gathering of world leaders is being held at a time of growing differences over trade, climate change and global security. the world health organisation is warning of a global resurgence of the highly contagious disease measles. the who is blaming a sharply lower uptake of childhood immunisation for the increase in cases. a report by the organisation shows a growth in cases in almost every region of the world. it's just after 2:30am. it's time now for
thursday in parliament. hello there and welcome to thursday in parliament. on this programme, senior mps demand answers from theresa may on her brexit plan, with one wondering just who would put up a hard border between northern ireland and the republic? would the uk build it? would the irish republic build it? or would the eu build it? ahead of world aids day, a labour mp reveals he's living with hiv and urges others to get tested. it is better to live in knowledge than to die in fear. also on this programme, mps debate standards in schools and the environment secretary makes clear he won't give into french demands for access to uk fishing waters after brexit. the french president is, on this occasion, wrong. next week, mps will begin a five—day
debate on theresa may's brexit deal. the crunch will come on tuesday, the 11th of december, when there will be a series of votes, when parliament will approve or reject the uk's divorce agreement with the european union and a political declaration setting out the relationship between the uk and the eu. the prime minister has been out and about selling the deal. but when she appeared before the group of senior mps who make up the liaison committee, she faced a series of questions about what would happen if, as many of the politicians expected, the government lost the crucial vote in the commons. is there planning going on for a different approach if the deal is defeated? because it would be very strange if yoy said to us there's no planning going on. the... what has been made clear from the eu and has been made clear at the weekend is that this
is the deal that is being negotiated and this is the deal that people need to focus on when they're looking at the vote. my focus is on the vote that will take place on the 11th of december here in this house. i think we understand that, prime minister... i'm sorry... but is there any planning going on for that? what i am focused on, what the government is focused on is the vote that will take place on december 11th. following on from what hilary benn said, and given the analysis both by the bank and by the government yesterday on how catastrophic a no deal would be, i know that the prime minister takes her responsibilities to our country very seriously. will, therefore, the prime minister rule out that whatever happens in the vote on the 11th of december, that her government would consider leaving the european union without a deal? if parliament votes down the deal on the 11th of december, there is then a process, as you know, that is in the legislation for the length of time given
for government to come back and make a statement about the next steps. but the timetable is such that actually, some people would need to take some practical steps in relation to no deal, if the parliament were to vote down the deal on the 11th of december. can you confirm that under all scenarios analysed by the government analysis, we will be poorer in the future compared with our current position in the european union? that's what the government analysis shows, isn't it, prime minister? can i explain what i said in the prime minister's questions and why i made that point? i think if you went out to a member of the public and said, "we are going to be poorer outside the european union than inside the european union than we are today", they'd assume you mean poorer than today. actually, that's not what we're saying. what we're saying is that the economy will continue to grow, we will be better off in the future. the question is about
the relative rate of growth. mps turned to the border between northern ireland and the republic. the agreement sets out an insurance policy known as the backstop to stop a hard irish border being set up if no future agreement on trade is agreed before the end of 2020. many brexit—backing mps are worried that there's no date for when that backstop would end. do you share my worry that the backstop protocol is a bit like a postwar prefab? it's sold as temporary, it's built to last, and it's likely to outlive us all? laughter no, i don't. and there are a number of reasons why i don't. first of all, there are many, as you will see, a number of references throughout the withdrawal agreement that indicate that this is only temporary. a fellow tory wondered just who would put up the irish border? would the uk build it? would the irish republic build it? orwould the eu build it? now, i asked you this question on the 17th of october, but you didn't answer it. you merely stated, "we are all working to ensure there will be no hard border between northern ireland and ireland. " so, please answer it now. who would physically put this hard border in place? we certainly wouldn't.
the irish certainly wouldn't. and how could the eu possibly do it if neither of us were going to do so? first of all... again, you have asked... i can only speak for the united kingdom government in these matters. and we have said that we would do everything to avoid their being a hard border on the... between northern ireland and ireland. i can onlyjust note you have not shown who would physically erect it, and the answer is no one. the committee moved on to ask about the future relationship between the uk and the eu. despite the fact that we've gone through the most complex divorce talks that any country has been through, and despite the fact we're about to enter the most complex marriage negotiations through this free—trade agreement that we're hoping to negotiate with the european union,
there is no stage at which you'd wish to change either the structure of the way in which the marriage broker organises herself? well, i am not sure that a remarriage is perhaps the correct analogy for the relationship that's going to be in the future. we are going to be very good friends and working closely... friends with benefits, prime minister? laughter i'm i missed your quip, i'm sorry. friends with benefits, prime minister? the chair of the health committee is a leading advocate for a second referendum, something theresa may has repeatedly rejected. the most important reason why we should not be going down the route of a second referendum is that we asked the british people, they've given us their view, and we should deliver on that view. there are different views as to how we should deliver on that view, but i believe that we should deliver on it. i believe we owe it to the british people, having given them the choice, to actually make that choice happen for them. well, i'm afraid it would be a bit in my view like wheeling someone into the operating theatre based on a consent form they'd signed two years ago without really
knowing what the operation was and being able to give proper, valid, informed consent after weighing up the risks and benefits of the actual operation. would that not be a reasonable point? well, but i think, another point, i think if you were to go down another route, we would simply find ourselves in a period of more uncertainty and more division in this country. now is the time for this country to come back together and to look at our future outside the european union, not to be encouraging further division. theresa may. labour's lloyd russell—moyle has become the first mp to say in the house of commons chamber that he's hiv—positive. he made the announcement in a speech ahead of the 30th hiv and world aids day this saturday. next year i will be marking an anniversary of my own, ten years since i became hiv—positive. it has been a long journey, from the fear of acceptance and today, hopefully advocacy, knowing that my treatment keeps me healthy and protects any partner that i may have. when you are first diagnosed,
you get that call from the clinic and they just say you need to come in. they don't tell you the details, and you know immediately something is going to be wrong. so all the different worst—case scenarios flash through your mind, and of course, being someone who was a sexually active young man, hiv is one of those things that flashes through there. and so you kind of know going in there something is wrong and it might well be serious, but at the same time, you are working out all the ways that this is just some joke, this is some technical error, this is some tiny thing they are going to tell you that you will be laughing about later on. you try and imagine the ways that you are going to get out of this, and then in that nhs room with those cream carpets and the plastic seating that we all know, they tell you, and it hits you like a wall, and though you've prepared yourself for it in your mind, nothing quite prepares
you for when they say those words. and i remember looking up at that ceiling, those false ceilings that you get, and wishing that one of those tiles would just whip away and it would suck you up and you would wake up, and it would all be a dream. he said the uk was on the cusp of the eradicating new hiv transmissions, and he explained why he was speaking out. i wanted to be able to stand here in this place, and say to those that are living with hiv that their status does not define them, that we can be whoever we want to be, and to those who have not been tested, maybe because of — out of fear, i say to you, it is better to live in knowledge than to die in fear. mr deputy speaker, hiv in this country is no longer the death sentence it once was. a recent study led by the university of bristol found that due to the advances in hiv treatment, people living with hiv can expect to live a near—normal life.
unusually, the labour leader took part in a backbench adjournment debate. we just need to send a message out from this house of commons, this country has changed its attitudes. we have done a great deal medically to help people, we need to ensure that the rest of the world understands that we can do the same in every other country in the world. during his speech, lloyd russell—moye was congratulated for his bravery in speaking out by a number of labour colleagues and by the deputy speaker lindsey hoyle, who didn't interrupt the applause when he'd finished his speech. can ijust say, we shouldn't clap in the house, but i understand why people have? can ijust say from the chair, i think it's a very brave, and very moving speech, and has given hope to a lot of people around the world? the minister praised his decision to speak out. the turnout of his friends and his colleagues around him for the speech was testament
to the power of his speech, and how much they obviously think of him. clapping is not right in the chamber, but even i did clap at his speech, and that... i don't like to clap in the chamber or in church. it was an incredible speech, it was a very brave thing to do. steve bryan. meanwhile in the lords, the government was warned of the impact of cuts and closures on local council sexual health services. lord cashman, a leading campaigner for gay rights, said much had been achieved in the fight against sexually transmitted diseases, but there were worrying trends. councils have disproportionately cut funding to sexual health services, clinics have closed, staffing levels reduced, capacity reduced further because walk in sessions have been replaced by appointment—only sessions which cap demand, and the overall effect, my lords, has reduced access to screening and treatment with subsequent increases in sexually transmitted infections and considerable public health impacts, notably in fertility, teenage pregnancy and hiv transmission. he asked how the government
would ensure the local councils maintain an adequate level of sexual health provision. he mentions about sti rates. i said that attendances have increased. i know that service configurations are happening. there are changes in different parts of the country. it is important that attendances have increased. it is a mixed picture i think on sti infections, some are increasing, but there is good news. he mentioned teen pregnancy — not that that's an std of course, but pregnancy rates are down, hiv diagnoses are down as well, and we are seeing a positive picture of new data today, so i think there is cause for optimism. clearly as we look to the future and the spending review, be making the case for improved services of sexual health through the public health spending. lord o'shaughnessy. you're watching thursday in parliament with me, alicia mccarthy. and don't forget, you can catch up on all of our programmes via the bbc iplayer.
now, back to brexit, and in the commons, mps renewed their calls for the government's legal advice on the brexit withdrawal agreement to be released. earlier this month, the commons voted for it to be published. ministers declined and offered a summary instead. labour's brexit spokesman, sir keir starmer, came back to the commons to find out why the government wasn't doing what mps had asked. the solicitor general, robert buckland, told him the government would let mps have what he called a full reasoned statement, and said the attorney general would be in the commons soon to answer mps's questions. not good enough. mr speaker, nobody who was present during the debate on the 13th of november, including the solicitor general, could be under any doubt about what the house was asking for. the binding motion that was passed was for nothing less than the full and final legal advice provided by the attorney general, so it is wholly unacceptable, and frankly shows contempt
for this house, for government ministers, including the prime minister at dispatch box yesterday, now to pretend that the house was only asking for partial or qualified legal advice. throughout the brexit process, the government has repeatedly tried to sideline and push parliament away. if it is now intending to ignore parliament altogether, it is going to get into very deep water indeed. the attorney general is coming to this house on the next sitting day. he will make a full statement. he will answer questions from honourable members right across this house, and it might be then for the house to judge whether or not the government has discharged its obligations, consistent with the humble address. but not before. if the government did not want to comply with the instruction, they should have instructed their mps to vote against it. the reason they didn't was because they knew they would lose the vote. questions for the minister, mr speaker. does the minister accept the ruling of the chair that this decision is binding on the government?
if so, when does the government intend to comply? robert buckland said mps should listen to what the attorney general said. then he and other honourable and right honourable members can form a judgement as to whether or not the motion that was carried by this house has been satisfied. my argument is that he will meet the spirit and intention of the motion passed, but will preserve the important constitutional convention related to law officers' advice. the solicitor general is repeating the offer that was made during the debate on the 13th of november, and repeating what the prime minister said yesterday, but that was not accepted by the house, and the house unanimously adopted a binding resolution in the terms that the opposition spokesperson has outlined. so, why doesn't the solicitor general listen, and the government start listening? this has been the problem all along. what is it that they have to hide? he will have that opportunity.
this is not an instance where the government seeks to delay or hide, this is all about providing information at the right time, ahead of the important debate that i know he will be playing an important part in. staying with brexit, peers had their first chance to comment on figures from the bank of england on the consequences of a new deal brexit. releasing the numbers on wednesday, the governor mark carney said it could trigger a worst recession than the financial crisis, with the uk economy shrinking by 8% in the immediate aftermath if there was no transition period, and house prices falling by almost a third. the bank's analysis comes after the treasury said the uk would be worse off under any form of brexit. well, the bank scenario is not what it expects to happen, but represents a worst case scenario, based on the so—called disorderly brexit. the bank of england analysis actually shows that gdp would by 2023 be nearly 4% below the pre—referendum trend, so below the remain.
will the government now tell the british people very clearly, that its chosen deal leaves the country notjust marginally, but significantly poorer, less productive and with a smaller economy than remaining in the eu. the choice which is faced by parliament, the house of commons on the 11th of december, is a choice between the deal which the prime minister has negotiated and no deal, and it is right. it is right that the focus should be on that, and what that analysis shows from the bank of england and also that which was produced by the government yesterday to inform that debate was that overwhelmingly the deal which is proposed is better than no deal. is my noble friend aware that the report assumes that imports into this country will decline by 15%, because of what they call additional customs checks?
but customs checks are carried out on the basis of risk, the customs computer selects 1% of consignments for physical checks, and the head of customs and excise has said there'll be no additional checks. one peer wanted a reminder of the forecast made ahead of the brexit referendum. would he helpfully put the various forecasts that were made, including from the treasury and the chancellor at the time, in the library, so we can see the evidence that perhaps the spokesman was asking for, that we may have the facts about the colossal mismatch between previous economic forecasts on this issue and what has actually happened. in defence of the governor of the bank of england, could my noble friend confirm that these are not forecasts, they are scenarios where the governor thinks of three impossible things that could happen before breakfast and then asks the banks to plan accordingly to show that they would
have the capital that was required to meet those extreme conditions, and to present these as forecasts is misleading, and is undermining the bank of england carrying out its responsible activities. lord bates said that was the position, and the figures should not be taken out of context. back in the commons, mps spent the afternoon debating improving education standards. a south london mp focused on violence and the number of youngsters carrying knives. she quoted research by the british medicaljournal. children under 16 are at the highest risk of being stabbed on their way home from school. this backs up what police, youth workers and teachers have been saying to me for years. and as policy makers, i thoroughly believe we have a responsibility to intervene where we can. for example, could we go and consider keeping our kids in school until 6pm or staggering their leaving hours,
or making sure that we've gone and got youth work in schools. a conservative turned to the number of school exclusions, which he said were increasing. he said it was important that pupil referral units for excluded children were not set impossible standards. in staffordshire we have pupil referral units, which are being asked to provide more and more time per pupil. i fully agree with that, but with limited resources, and it results frankly in more anti—social behaviour, in stafford it's resulted in attacks on the teachers, such that they are put into danger and as a result they have to take action, which means reducing again the time per pupil, which has lessened the problems, but then they get attacked by oftsed. but a fellow conservative backed the decision to end the right of appeal against exclusion. i do think that while we must improve provision for those who could be on, as you said,
the honourable member said a pipeline towards prisons, and the network of the homeless, it's true some of these pupil's career begin with school exclusions, it must not come at the expense of increasing disorder for those who want to learn. young people do have agency, and they need to behave responsibly, and i'm afraid i don't agree with the idea of exclusions policy on taking away schools' freedom to exclude altogether. a labour mp said outcomes for children excluded from school were very poor. she said research suggested only 1% achieved five good gcses. now, who are these children? well... and this is not the labour party quoting this, this is from oftsed. ofsted says the children being off—rolled are the children with special educational needs, children eligible for free school meals, children looked after and some minority ethnic groups are all more likely to leave their school. these children, our most neediest children, are being failed by the system that this government introduced. emma hardy.
the environment secretary michael gove has claimed the french president was speechless with rage over the uk's proposed brexit deal and what it could mean for the fishing industry. at question time mr gove told mps they should celebrate emmanuel macron‘s anger. president macron has said he would demand continuing access to uk waters for french fishing trawlers after brexit, as a price of a future trade deal. and opposition mps were also angry about what the agreement with the eu could mean for fishing. knowing that the prime minster has signed an agreement with this eu, in which she agrees to it, and i quote, just for your ears, "build an existing reciprocal access and quota shares." can the minister help the house understand how this is in any way taking back control of the waters? i have enormous affection and respect for the honourable
member, and he makes his case with characteristic fluency. but i fear that he's been misled. the truth is that as an independent coastal state, we will be able to decide who comes into our waters and on what terms. and to make his point, michael gove quoted emmanuel macron. the president was nevertheless speechless with rage on sunday when he discovered that this withdrawal agreement and the future political declaration would mean that france would not have access to our waters, save on our terms. his anger should be a cause for celebration across this house. it is vital that the uk is in complete control of our fisheries after the end of the implementation period, and our fish stocks are not used as a currency to buy any trade deal. will my right honourable friend look at including a cut—off date in the fisheries bill of the end of december 2020, and urge the prime minister not to use our fish as a currency? the fishing industry has no stronger
friend than the honourable lady in this house, and i think that she is absolutely right to remind us that fishing will not be bartered away in the event of any final deal, and i will make sure that we work with her to ensure that consideration is properly given in committee to all possible safeguards for our fishing industry. but others were still worried about president macron. the secretary of state will have heard the comments of the french president about access to our fishing grounds. can he confirm to the fishing industry in torbay that these are hollow threats, and we will in future decide our own fishing policy. he speaks french. sorry, i will translate. the french president is on this occasion wrong. stunning. absolutely stunning. the articulacy, the accent, what a dramatic performance by the right honourable gentleman. almost as pleased with the right
honourable gentleman's performance as possibly was the right honourable gentleman. the secretary of state. no, i'm afraid not, mr speaker. i thought it was a hesitant and fumbling schoolboy attempt at the language, but if it brought you pleasure, then my day has not been entirely wasted. and that is it from me for now. but dojoin me on bbc parliament on friday night at 11 as i round up the week in parliament, when, among other things, i will be asking two experts what to expect from the debate on theresa may's withdrawal agreement. but for now, from me, alicia mccarthy, goodbye. hello there. yesterday was a really dramatic day of large and crashing waves and some very strong gusts of wind.
the top gust was recorded on the western edge of the isle of wight, at the needles — a gust of 82 miles an hour recorded here. 72 in plymouth, 72 as well in capel curig, in conwy in north—west wales. there were a number of sites that got into the 60s too. the area of low pressure that brought those strong winds was this one just heading to the western side of norway at the moment. the main parent low was still to the north—west of scotland and that is what is continuing to bring these strong winds. at the moment we are seeing a number of heavy showers flowing in to the western side of scotland and it will stay very windy here. windy too for northern ireland, north—west england, even further south. the winds are noticeably brisk, although continuing to gradually ease down. it is the strong winds that will
continue to feed the showers in. showers to start the day across western england, southern england and western wales. showers easing off later when the weather becomes dry here. single figure temperatures for scotland and northern ireland. fairly close to normal for this time of the year. onto the weekend, another low area of low pressure targeting england and wales. in the south was the persistent and heavy outbreaks of rain. the rain belt curls back across. for scotland and northern ireland, some brighter skies. temperatures further south at 13 degrees in cardiff and london as well. more rain saturday night into
sunday. some rain pushing northwards at the same time. uncertain how north that will get. many of us it will be bad with temperatures potentially reaching 1a, maybe 15 degrees celsius if we see brighter spells. a very warm welcome to bbc news — broadcasting to our viewers in north america and around the globe. my name's mike embley. our top stories: president trump's former personal lawyer, michael cohen, pleads guilty to lying to congress over trump business interests in russia. he's a weak person, and what he's trying to do is get a reduced sentence. so he's lying about a project that everybody knew about. president donald trump arrives in argentina for the g20, where he's expected to have tense trade talks with china. the world health organisation warns of a global resurgence of measles. and tackling climate change — why reducing greenhouse gas emissions will not be enough.