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tv   The Week in Parliament  BBC News  March 17, 2019 2:30pm-3:00pm GMT

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see what is this afternoon. let's see what is going to be like for the next 48 hours are so. afternoon, susan. are you bringing joy to us this afternoon? we have punchy showers around. heavy rain as we speak. heavy rumbles of thunder. here is oui’ heavy rumbles of thunder. here is our satellite at the moment. there is the law from yesterday. still breezy out there. blobs of cloud behind me. showers are targeting wales and the midlands. some in the south—east as well and eastern scotland. yes, a lot of sunshine to be had. a fresherfeel this afternoon gci’oss be had. a fresherfeel this afternoon across the southern half of the uk. milderfor scotland. overnight, clear skies across central and eastern areas. a frosty start to the new week. in the west, thick cloud. for northern ireland and west of scotland, brightness is and west of scotland, brightness is
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a limited first thing and throughout the day where the cloud keeps feeding in. in the east, temperatures up to 12 celsius. later wins and dry weather to come. the week ahead looks calmer. hopefully week ahead looks calmer. hopefully we can all breathe a sigh of relief. hello this is bbc news, with shaun ley. now on bbc news, the week in parliament. hello and welcome to the week in parliament. and 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.
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the ayes to the right, 242, the noes to the left, 391. so the noes have it, the noes 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 among other things her voice, her authority, the support of key ministers and of course another meaningful vote. her answer — as one former pm would put it, to kbo. she's going to keep trying. after "meaningful vote ii, the sequel", stand by for meaningful vote three, or mv3. and for all the week's debates and votes, the chaos and the political drama, the law as it stands says we're still leaving on 29th march. it was all smiles on monday as theresa may headed to strasbourg to sign off some "legally binding" assurances on her brexit deal. assurances she hoped would convince her own mps and the dup that the deal would not
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lead to the uk leaving, only to find itself having to follow eu rules indefinitely. a lot hinged on the attorney—general‘s legal advice. geoffrey cox said it was highly unlikely the uk and the eu would fail to agree a future trading relationship. were 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 house is whether in the light of these improvements as a politicaljudgment the house should now enter into those arrangements. paragraphs 15 to 19 of his advice constitute seven sentences that destroy the government's strategy of recent weeks, that sink the government's case that it had
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any chance of securing a right under international law to unilaterally exit the protocol's arrangements. we've gone, mr speaker, from having nothing has changed prime minister to having a nothing has changed attorney general. the role of the law officer is not an easy one, particularly when he or she is party political appointment, but must nevertheless from time to 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, mr speaker, today, the emperor has no clothes. none at all. not even a codpiece. the highly unlikely may indeed come to pass, and i have a sneaking memory of a conversation that he and i had once in the lobby when i asked him wouldn't it be a good idea... i think this was about three years ago. wouldn't it be a good idea if he should become attorney general, and he said, "oh, no, that's highly unlikely."
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laughter. and so it was under that particular prime minister! laughter. i was telling him the complete truth, as i'm telling it now. mr speaker, i've forgotten what the other question was. i was so taken aback by that. that was betrayal of robing room talk, that one. i'm so taken aback by it that i think i'm going to sit down. so the odds appeared to be already stacked against the prime minister when she opened the debate on the meaningful vote. mr speaker... she clears her throat. 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
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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 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
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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. so, the noes have it, the noes have it. i profoundly regret the decision that this house has taken tonight. i continue to believe that by far the best outcome is that the united kingdom leave 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
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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 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 24 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
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shouldn't leave without an agreement on 29th 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 on march 29th without a withdrawal agreement. but it does not take the option of the 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. the government has tonight put forward a motion which i hope right honourable and honourable members will support,
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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 they should be a binary choice between the prime minister's deal or no deal. between very bad or even worse 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 leaving the eu without a deal in place.
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it would be disastrous for the economy, especially 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 that the default position is no deal. well, that is not on any more. we have to now decide tonight, to vote tonight, to change the default position to say we will no longer have the 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
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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. the legal default... the legal default in uk and eu law remains at the uk law remains that the uk will leave the eu without a deal unless... shouting. unless something else is agreed. the onus is now on everyone of us in this house to find out what that is. mr speaker, tonight this house has once again definitely ruled out no deal.
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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 for 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 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 29th march, suggested asking for a delay of three months,
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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 about the consequences if that were to happen. so more say for mp5 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 they should 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
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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. 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 failing to happening if they fail to back the people's vote this afternoon. great rhetoric, no substance. 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
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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, 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
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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 ? i think what this week has shown is a lot of what we already knew. we already knew there was not a majority in parliament for a no deal exit. that has been proved it this week. that has been proved this week. we also suspected — and it has been confirmed — that a majority of mps would like to seek an extension of article 50 in these circumstances. it hasn't changed the legal default. we are currently due to leave the eu on 29th march, with or without a deal. but we know now definitely that mps would rather have an exception would rather have an extension to article 50 than leaving on that date. i think what we still don't know is what mps would like instead
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of theresa may's deal. they have rejected her deal again this week. but they haven't said — this is what we want instead of it. 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," and then go and vote the other way albeit, on a free vote. i agree. it is very unusual. i think that is something a lot of people have been picking up. this is not normal times. no, he is still in thejob. exactly. even more unusual is that on wednesday, on the vote where 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 her motion was amended by backbencher mps whipping her party in favour of no deal. that was in itself a very odd situation.
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in that scenario, five secretaries of state abstained on the vote, on a three—line whip. they are also still in theirjobs. i do think that is one of the things that we have learned from this week — theresa may's authority is really struggling at the moment. indeed. 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? this has come up as an issue this 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. really it will be up to the speaker to make that choice. mps can make their feelings known to him. so, up to the speaker? should theresa may be worried? i think it depends how mps
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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 us that will convince enough of her backbenchers to decide to support the deal the next time around. in that scenario, the speaker might read the will of the house and say actually there should be another thought. be another vote. i hesitate 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
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through on the third time around. i can imagine her margins were narrow again. she went from a 230 defeat injanuary, to a 149 defeat on 12th march. will she be able to narrow it down again? 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 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 bestial 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
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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 said to the muslims in my constituency. jacinda ardern said this morning about the muslims in new zealand "we are you, 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, 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.
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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 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. ringfenced to pay for additional overtime, targeted specifically on knife crime and for a new violent crime reduction units, to deliver a wider cross agency response to this epidemic.
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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. 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 multi—billion—pound "deal dividend" if mps backed an orderly transition
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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're seeing is not a double dividend. we're seeing brexit bankruptcies as a result of their delay in the negotiation. of their delay in the negotiations. 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 property. costing families an average of £340 a year. 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 the chancellor to consider schools funding in
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the spending reviews? schools in my constituency are doing enormously important work, but they are facing increased challenges particularly with people volatility, people 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 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 one 1pm. hear, hear! i shall look forward
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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. well, after yesterday's flooding in parts of wales finally, a breather in the week ahead of. things become much calmer, much lighter winds much drier weather as well after we saw flooding triggered by the downpours yesterday, thanks to this area of low pressure that is now tracking towards scandinavia just we can still see some areas of white
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chasing in behind, showers this afternoon, some of them heavy and thundery across england and wales, a few more rumbling away into the early evening, getting into the south—east. early evening, getting into the south-east. to the north, it is a windier day for scotland, the strongest winds today across the north of scotland, gusting up to 50mph. a lot of sunshine around however and it feels milder than yesterday. sunshine for northern ireland to close out the day and further south, showers to contend with. the gusts nowhere near as strong as they were yesterday afternoon. but as the hours go by, what we are looking at is an area of high pressure trying to build in from the south so we will start saying goodbye to this low pressure as we go through the evening into the small hours of monday. the skies are the small hours of monday. the skies a re clear the small hours of monday. the skies are clear and we are expecting quite are clear and we are expecting quite a widespread frost first thing on monday. lows of —4 in parts of scotland. further south, just above freezing. milder to the west because
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by the end of the night we will have more cloud coming into northern ireland and eventually into western scotla nd ireland and eventually into western scotland and the north—west of england and wales and the south—west of england. quite a grey day with outbreaks of rain and drizzle on and off throughout the day. the best of monday's sunshine will be towards the east just highs monday's sunshine will be towards the eastjust highs of 11—12. monday into tuesday, overnight, we pull in a bit more of cloud as we see a warm front tipping in to our atmosphere. but what we are also doing is introducing warmer air and by the time we get into the middle of the week of the south of the uk, with the jetstream to the north and high pressure building, we could be seeing temperatures across central and eastern areas into the midteens, maybe even getting up towards 17 degrees on wednesday afternoon. so a very different outlook for you for the week ahead, as promised, much drier, much lighter winds and i
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think distinctly springlike across the majority of the uk by the time we get into the middle of the week. this is bbc news. i'm shaun ley. the headlines at three... thousands of people attend vigils across new zealand to remember the victims of the mosque attacks — as the country's prime minister says her office received a message from the suspected killer minutes before the shootings. stories of heroism are emerging from the attacks, as survivors talk of their shock that something like this could happen in christchurch. forget gun shots, even a simple quarrel is alien news over here. this is the most peaceful place on earth. theresa may calls on mp5 to make an ‘honourable compromise' and back her brexit deal — or risk never leaving the eu. police response times to the most urgent calls at two of england's biggest forces have become significantly slower in the past five years, according to figures obtained

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