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tv   The Week in Parliament  BBC News  March 17, 2019 5:30am-6:01am GMT

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good morning welcome to breakfast with ben thompson and rachel burden. our headlines today: tougher gun controls following the attack on two mosques in christchurch. the new zealand prime minister confirms her office received her comments came after emotional the killer's extremist documentjust meetings with members of the islamic minutes before 50 people were shot community in wellington. other security measures include dead at two mosques in christchurch. an increased police presence at mosques and schools. the number of people killed in the mass shooting has risen to 50. had it provided details that could 35 people remain in hospital. have been acted on immediately, it 13 are in a critical condition. would have been. but there, a 28—year—old australian man u nfortu nately, were has been charged with murder. would have been. but there, unfortunately, were no such details in that e—mail. in other news, french president theresa may calls for mps to unite emmanuel macron has cut short as "democrats and patriots" a holiday to hold an emergency and back her brexit deal when it returns to the commons this week. meeting in paris after yellow vest six nations glory for wales. protesters attacked shops and they become the first country to clinch the grand slam four times set fire to a bank in the city. the interior minister described some of the protesters as ultra—violent and looking for trouble. now on bbc news, it's time for a look back
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at the week in parliament. hello and welcome to the week in parliament. what a week. this is the moment and this is the time. time for us to come together, back this motion and get the deal done. the nose have it. their deal, their proposal, the one the prime minister has put is clearly dead and does not have the support of this house. a week when the prime minister lost
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amongst other things her voice, her authority, support of key ministers and another meaningful vote. the a nswer and another meaningful vote. the answer is one of her predecessors would put it, she is going to keep trying after meaningful vote to, the sequel, stand by for meaningful vote three. for all the weak‘s debates and votes, the chaos and political drama, the law as it stands says we are still leaving on march 29. it was all smiles on monday as theresa may headed to strasbourg to sign off some legally binding insurances on her brexit deal. assurances she hoped would convince her own mps and the du p that a deal would not lead to the uk leaving, only to find herself having to follow eu rules indefinitely. a lot hinged on the attorney general‘s legal advice. they said it is highly unlikely the uk and the eu would fail to agree a future trading relationship. were
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such a situation to occur, however, let me make it clear. the legal risk, as i set it out in my letter of the 13th of november, remains unchanged. the question for the houseis unchanged. the question for the house is whether, in the light of these improvements, as a political judgement, the house should now enter into those arrangements. paragraphs 15 to 19 of his advice constitute seven sentences that destroy the government strategy of re ce nt destroy the government strategy of recent weeks that sink the government's case that it had any chance of securing a right under international law to unilaterally exit the protocol's arrangements. we have gone from having a nothing has changed prime minister to attorney general. the role of the officer is not an easy one, particularly when he or she is a party political appointment but must from time to
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time burst his party's political bubble in the interests of professional integrity and independence of advice. and make no mistake, that is what the attorney general has done today. because today, the emperor has no clothes. none at all. not even a codpiece. the highly unlikely may come to pass, and i have a sneaking memory ofa pass, and i have a sneaking memory of a conversation that we had once in the lobby when i asked him, wouldn't it be a good idea, about three years ago, if he should become attorney general, and he said, no, thatis attorney general, and he said, no, that is home —— highly unlikely. attorney general, and he said, no, that is home -- highly unlikely. and so that is home -- highly unlikely. and so it was under that particular prime minister, mr speaker. i was telling him the truth is i am telling it now. mr speaker, ithink
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i have forgotten what the other question was. i was so taken aback, that was betrayal of talk that one. iamso that was betrayal of talk that one. i am so taken aback by the question i'd better sit down. the odds appear to be already stacked against the prime minister when she opened on tuesday's debate on the meaningful vote. mr speaker, i beg to move... ok, you may say that, but you should hearjean—claude juncker‘s voice as a result of our conversation. mr speaker, it was not this house that decided it was time for the united kingdom to leave the european union. it was the british people. it falls to us here to implement their decision. their desire for change. their demand for a better, more open, more successful future for our country. and today is the day that we can begin to build that future. this is the moment
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and this is the time. time for us to come together, back this motion and get the deal done. after three months of running down the clock, the prime minister has, despite very extensive delays, achieved not a single change to the withdrawal agreement, not one single word has changed. mrspeaker, in terms of the substance, literally nothing has changed. to stand here today with only 17 days to go until we exit the eu, to know that scotland's historic place in europe is under threat is devastating. the prime minister did win over some converts from her own party. but not enough. the ayes to the right, 242. the noes to the left, 391.
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so, the noes have it, the noes have it. i profoundly regret the decision this house has taken tonight. i continue to believe that by far the best outcome is that the united kingdom leaves the european union in an orderly fashion with a deal. and that the deal we have negotiated is the best and, indeed, the only deal available. the government has been defeated again by an enormous majority, and they must now accept their deal, their proposal, the one the prime minister has put, is clearly dead and does not have the support of this house. and quite clearly, no deal must be taken off the table. we've said that before and we'll say that again. as prime minister, it is the duty of the government to act in all our national interests and that means ruling out no deal. and then we in the scottish national
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party will be prepared to engage in discussion with the government on securing an extension to article 50 that is long enough to enable the issue to be put back to the people. and, so, less than 2a hours later, they were back, this time to vote on whether to reject leaving the eu without a deal. with theresa may still struggling with her voice, the part of prime minister was played by michael gove. there was confusion, though, over what mps were actually voting on — the government accepted britain shouldn't leave without an agreement on the 29th of march, but didn't want to rule out a no deal brexit forever. will my right honourable friend confirm that it is still the policy of her majesty's government to keep no deal on the table. otherwise, how will we get a better deal? well, my right honourable friend makes an important point. the motion which stands in my right honourable friend, the prime minister's name, and which i will vote for this evening, makes it clear that we do not believe we should leave in march 29th
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without a withdrawal agreement. but it does not take the option of no deal off the table because as i underlined earlier, the only way in which that can be done comprehensively is either through revocation or agreement to a deal. i'm simply making clear that as a result of last night's vote, we face a series of unpalatable choices. now, the government has put forward a motion tonight which i hope right honourable and honourable members will support, and that will ensure that we do not leave in march 29th without a deal. but this house has to decide. it has to decide what it wants and that is why i agreed with the honourable gentleman, this house has been very good at saying no and insufficiently statesman—like in supporting the prime minister in her efforts. it is now make your mind up time for this house. it is critical... it is critical that members of all sides respond appropriately. on this side of the house, we've never accepted that there should be a binary choice between the prime minister's deal or no deal. between very bad or even worse
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is not a meaningful choice, and it would be a very sorry end to the negotiations. yesterday, the house overwhelmingly voted to reject the first of those options, the prime minister's deal. today, we have the chance to reject the second and, mr speaker, we should do so with as big a majority as possible the mantra that my deal or no deal needs to be dead and buried tonight. the government was under pressure from a cross—party alliance. the house knows i don't support the uk leaving the eu without a deal in place. it would be disastrous for the economy, especially in my region. the manufacturing industry employ so many people in the west midlands, has given so many young people that start of a well—paid, skilled job. two weeks before the brexit day, we have a responsibility to be clear what the default position is. the government has maintained for all this time
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that the default position is no deal. well, that's not on anymore. we have to now decide tonight to vote tonight to change the default position to say we will no longer have a default position as no deal because it is too irresponsible. and when it came to make your mind up time, mps agreed. the ayes to the right, 312. the noes to the left, 308. that defeat by four votes didn't change the law, but it did give a clear indication of mps' thinking. an indication confirmed by another vote opposing a no—deal brexit at any point. the ayes to the right, 321. the noes to the left, 278. that defeat was bigger, partly because some cabinet ministers, including amber rudd and greg clark, decided to abstain. the house today has provided a clear majority against leaving without a deal. however, i will repeat what i have said before. shouting
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the legal default... the legal default in uk and eu law remains that the uk will leave the eu without a deal unless... shouting ..unless something else is agreed. the onus is now on every one of us in this house to find out what that is. mr speaker, tonight this house has once again definitely ruled out no deal. the prime minister said the choice was between her deal and no deal. in the last 24 hours, parliament has decisively rejected both her deal and no deal. while an extension of article 50 is now inevitable, the responsibility of that extension lies solely and squarely at the prime minister's door. let's be in no doubt that we are in a constitutional crisis. and we are
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in a constitutional crisis at the making of the prime minister that has run down the brexit clock and what we see from the prime minister is a denial of the facts, that she has faced two enormous defeats on her meaningful vote. her deal is dead. but is it really dead? or just resting? by thursday, mps were already talking of meaningful vote three or mv3. the prime minister, who had always insisted britain would leave the eu on march 29th, suggested asking for a delay of three months if mps back her deal. but what happens if they don't? i can confirm today that in such a scenario the government having consulted the usual channels at that time would facilitate a process in the two weeks after the march european council to allow the house to seek a majority on the way forward. but we should be clear
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about the consequences if that were to happen. so, more say for mps over the shape of brexit, but also, european elections in may. labour blamed theresa may. again, the prime minister risks splits, divisions and chaos by tabling a motion that wraps the question of whether there should be a third meaningful vote into what should be a simple question of extension. the idea of bringing back the deal for a third time without even the pretence that anything has changed, other than of course using up more time, is an act of desperation. sir keir starmer came under pressure to explain why labour wouldn't support a vote for another referendum. but i say to the right honourable member, ourfriend and colleague on the benches beside us, that we have that opportunity with the amendment today to express the views of people within the house of commons that we must have a people's vote.
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and i implore him not to stand against the amendment today. but i'm afraid that labour will be found out for what they are, a fraud and participating in brexit happening if they fail to back the people's vote. uh, great rhetoric, no substance. cheering. the brexit secretary wound up the debate for the government. mr speaker, this is the time for responsibility. yet, we have a motion from the leader of the opposition that ducks the choice. ducks the time. ducks the clarity. ducks any sense of national responsibility. it is time for this house to act in the national interest. it is time to put forward an extension that is realistic. i commend the motion put forward by the government to the house. having commended the government's motion, stephen barclay then went and voted against it,
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as did six other cabinet ministers. unusual, to say the least — even when tory mps weren't required to vote on party lines. but when the votes were counted, something rather unusual happened. the ayes to the right, 412. the noes to the left, 202. yes, the government — theresa may's government — won a vote on brexit. more conservative mps voted against the government motion than for it, but thanks to opposition votes, the prime minister won the day. she also narrowly fought off a backbench attempt to take control of the parliamentary agenda. so, after all the arguments and all the votes, where are we now? don't worry if you're a little confused by it all — some mps cheerfully admit they don't know what's happening either. luckily, we have an expert on hand — maddy thimont jack from the institute for government. maddy, after all that, what's changed 7 i think what this week has shown is a lot of what we already knew.
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we already knew there was not a majority in parliament for a no deal exit. that has been proved it this week. and we also suspected — and it has been confirmed — that a majority of mps would like to seek an exception of article 50 in the circumstances. i mean, it hasn't changed the legal default. we are meant to be — we are currently due to leave the eu on the 29th of march, with or without a deal. but we know now definitely for sure that mps would rather have an exception to article 50 than leaving on that date. i think what i say we still don't know is what mps would like instead of theresa may's deal. so they have rejected her deal again, this week, and — but they haven't said "this is what we want instead of it" and i think that is one of the challenges for theresa may going forward over the next few weeks. we do live in unusual times. still, pretty extraordinary to see a cabinet minister, steve barclay, say "vote for this deal, vote for this plan"
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and then go and vote the other way albeit on a free vote. i mean, i think i agree — it is very unusual, and i think that is something a lot of people have been picking up, that this is not normal times. no, he is still in a job! exactly! even more unusual is that on wednesday, on the vote where sort of theresa may was in an unusual position where at the start of the day, she said the government's position was against a no—deal brexit, but she ended up, after sort of her motion was amended by backbencher mps whipping her party in favour of no deal, which was in itself a very odd situation and in that scenario, five secretaries of state abstained on the vote on a three—line whip. so they are also still in theirjobs. i do think that is one of the things that we have learned from this week, is that theresa may's authority is really struggling at the moment. indeed! now, she says "we are all on standby for meaningful vote three." but will the speaker let her bring it back? will the speaker allow mps to vote on this again? so this has come up as an issue this
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week because of the convention that mps will not vote on the same thing twice, particularly if they have already rejected it. what we did before christmas, in december, the previous clerk of the commons did say that although that was the convention, if political circumstance changed or it was the will of the house to have a vote again, then it would not be unusual to hold that vote. so really, it will be up to the speaker to make that choice. but, you know, mps can make their feelings known to him. so up to the speaker? should theresa may be worried? i think it depends how mps are feeling ahead of the vote. will things change? because at the moment, brussels has said they are not going to change anything on the deal. but what she will be hoping us that the vote on the fact that she said "if you don't approve the deal before the european council, i will be seeking a much longer extension to article 50" — i think what she will be hoping is that will convince enough
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of her backbenchers to decide to support the deal the next time around. and in that scenario, then the speaker might read the will of the house and say actually, there should be another vote allowed. i hesitate these days to ask anyone to predict the future but what will happen over the next few days? i think what we can say is it is almost certain that the government will be requesting an extension to article 50 at the european council. don't know how long that will be for. i think we also know there will be another meaningful vote. again, provided the speaker allows, but i think that is probably quite likely. what we don't know is whether she will get the vote through on the third time around. i can imagine her margins were narrow again. —— i can imagine her margins will narrow again. i mean, she went from a 230 defeat injanuary, to a 149 defeat on the 12th of march. so will she be able to narrow it down again? i mean, that is what she will be hoping for, but i think we will have to wait and see what happens. maddy, thank you. on friday, mps and peers held a minute's silence to honour the victims of the terrorist attacks
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in new zealand. the speakerjohn bercow expressed the solidarity of the commons. colleagues won't be surprised to know that i intend to write to my opposite number in new zealand, and i know that i will be able to do so conveying the sympathies of the house and the collective outrage of the house at this slaughter. the uk stands shoulder to shoulder with new zealand against terrorism. we will not falter in our commitment to uphold the values of tolerance, religious freedom and democracy that we both hold so dear. later today, the home secretary and i will be speaking with police counterterrorist leaders and security services, to discuss what further measures we can take to protect our mosques and our communities from any threat here in the united kingdom. i want to add to the words that you've said to say to the muslims in my constituency. as jacinda ardern said this morning about the muslims in new zealand "we are you,
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and you are us. and this hatred is not us. it is not for us." because the pain that i know that my muslim constituents will feel at the thought that people could walk into a place of prayer and face this, it is really quite unbearable. the lord speaker, lord fowler, led the tribute in the house of lords. our thoughts and prayers are with their families and their friends and, indeed, with the whole people of new zealand at this particular time. silence. now, in any other week, the chancellor's spring statement, setting out the nation's finances, would have made headline news. philip hammond was keen to stress that his statement was not a fiscal event, like a budget or a spending review. but he did find some extra cash for the police to tackle the knife crime epidemic. 17—year—old jodie chesney was a recent victim — stabbed to death in
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an east london park. philip hammond announced extra cash for the police forces — six in england, one in wales — where serious violence is a particular problem. he told the commons action was needed now to stamp out the menace of knife crime. so the prime minister and i have decided — exceptionally — to make available immediately to police forces in england an additional £100 million over the course of the next year. ring—fenced to pay for additional overtime, targeted specifically on knife crime and for new violent crime reduction units, to deliver a wider cross—agency response to this epidemic. hear, hear! there were some other announcements — on housing, technology, tackling climate change, and period poverty. in response to rising concern by head teachers, that some girls are missing school attendance due to inability to afford sanitary products, i have decided to fund the provision of free sanitary products in secondary schools and colleges in england from the next school year.
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the most striking part of his statement was an appeal for consensus on brexit. higher unemployment, lower wages, higher prices in the shops — that is not what the british people voted for injune 2016. which is why all of us have a solemn duty in the days and weeks ahead, to put aside our differences and seek a compromise on what this house can agree in the national interest. he promised a multibillion—pound ‘deal dividend' if mps backed an orderly transition to what he called a "future economic partnership" with the eu. even today, the chancellor has tried to use the bribe of a double—deal dividend, or threat to postponing the spending review to control mps into voting for the government's deal. what we are seeing is not a double dividend. we are seeing brexit bankruptcies as a result of the delay in the negotiations.
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according to the joseph roundtree foundation, the current benefits freeze has made life harder for over 27 million people across the uk. this is the biggest policy behind rising poverty. costing families an average of £340 a year. if the fees continue, by 2020 it will have driven 400,000 people into poverty. this must end now. and the bidding for a share of the cash in that spending review is already under way. if we do get the orderly brexit that i know he and i want, can i urge him to consider schools funding the spending reviews? schools in my constituency are doing enormously important work but they are facing increased challenges, particularly with pupil volatility, pupil complexity, rising demands, they are having to do more, and i would invite him to ensure that they have the resources to match. my son's school is going to shut at 1pm, like 15
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other schools in birmingham. and hundreds of schools across the country who have been getting in touch with me — including the prime minister's constituency. i'm sure they will be writing to her, because they are certainly writing to me. what has he offered today, for the government to do the most basic thing and keep my children in school? what has been given today? what will be given in the csr? and i hope he is looking forward to seeing my children, because i am bringing them to be looked after by him every friday at 1pm. hear, hear! i shall look forward to it, mr speaker. and that was the week in parliament. keith macdougall will be with you on bbc parliament at 11:00 on monday with all the latest from the commons and the lords. thank you for watching. bye for now.
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if you are hoping for some warmer, drier and less windy spring weather, you might have to wait another day or so, although things are slowly improving. we've still got some strong winds around and some snow over the hills on sunday. this was the picture on saturday in conwy, north wales. we've had a lot of heavy rain over recent days that has brought some flooding issues across wales, parts of northern and western england too. now, through the day on sunday, as low pressure drifts off towards the north sea, we've still got a lot of isobars on the map, so still some fairly windy conditions. not as wet or as windy as it was on saturday, but sunday brings us a fairly chilly start, some icy stretches through the morning, scattered showers, and some of those showers will be falling as sleet and snow over the higher ground in scotland, northern england and northern ireland too. so, this is the temperatures first thing, just a degree or so above freezing in the north in our towns and cities. it will be below freezing in the countryside, a chilly start really wherever you are. do watch out for those icy stretches across northern ireland, scotland, northern england and north wales. now, through the day,
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it'll be a day of sunshine and scattered showers, so it'll be nice to see a bit of sunshine, but some of those showers will be quite heavy, chance of hail or thunder particularly towards the north—west, some sleet and snow over the higher ground too. temperature—wise, just 7 to 10 degrees at best on sunday. when you add on the wind chill, it will feel pretty chilly out there through the day. so, nowhere immune to seeing those showers. it does look like they'll fade away on into the evening hours and the winds will fall lighter too, so things are starting to change as we head on into the new working week. quite a chilly night to come for much of the uk under those clear skies with light winds, temperatures not far from freezing. even a few degrees below. could be seeing —4 or —5 in the countryside across parts of scotland for instance. through the day on monday, we will see the cloud and some patchy rain moving in from the west, so that's on this fairly weak warm front arriving here. but for much of the country actually, we should keep the blue sky and the sunshine on monday for much of the day. after that chilly start, some mist and some fog possible first thing in the east, that should clear away. you can see the cloud building in from the west, bringing some patchy rain
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to northern ireland, western parts of scotland, perhaps into the north—west of england and wales too. for eastern scotland and for eastern england, should stay dry and bright throughout the day, much less dramatic, much less windy than recent days and temperatures will start to nudge up a little bit too. on into tuesday, a similar story. we've got the cloud and patchy rain in the west and the north—west. clearer skies with some sunshine further east. temperatures around about 9 to perhaps 12 degrees or so by the time we get to tuesday. and looking ahead towards the middle part of the week, those temperatures will start to warm up a bit. so we could see around about 16 degrees through the middle part of the week. it'll be less windy and there'll be some sunshine around too. bye for now.
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