tv The Week in Parliament BBC News April 6, 2019 2:30am-3:00am BST
hello, and welcome to bbc news. i'm lewis vaughan jones. this is bbc news, the headlines: clashes have been reported just 50 the un fear is a major military kilometres from the capital. conflict could take days in libya. ramzan karmali reports. he was meant to find a solution to an escalating problem, it comes after talks between the secretary general and the country's most powerful warlord broke down. forces under the command of libya's forces from the general khalifa hafta r‘s forces from the general khalifa haftar‘s self—proclaimed libyan national army are advancing on the capital. president trump is visiting most powerful warlord, khalifa haftar, the border with mexico after backing off from his threat to shut it down. he has praised mexico for stepping up he has praised mexico for stepping up security in recent days but left open the possibility of car tariffs if the flow of drugs is not stopped within a year. british prime minister theresa may has asked the european union for a further delay in the brexit process untiljune 30. european leaders have responded coolly to the request, asking britain to provide more clarity. all 27 leaders would need to agree to the move.
now on bbc news, it's time for a look back at the week in parliament. hello and welcome to the week in parliament as parliament takes back control. the ayes to the right, 313. the noes to the left, 312. it's all kicking off in the house of lords. sit down. i must remind of the noble lord that he's not in the house of commons. and, what can mps do when people won't talk to them? people often cite the ancient powers of the house to lock people up in a prison under big ben or lock people up here, and those powers do technically still exist. but first, another date or two
for your diary as theresa may asks for another brexit extension. this time until the end ofjune. her request follows and another week of political drama here at westminster, one that began with an unusual apology from a conservative mp who had voted for the prime minister's brexit plan. although doing what i believe to be in the country's best interests, at that moment in time, i quickly realised that i should not have voted with the government on friday afternoon. that apology was swiftly followed by another defection from the conservative ranks. by an mp who admitted failure in his attempt to broker a brexit compromise. i have failed chiefly because my party refuses to compromise. i regret therefore to announce that i can no longer sit for this party. 0h, nick. nick, don't go.
applause. along the way theresa may also lost two ministers and a handful of votes. as mps seize control of the brexit process. the cabinet met for seven hours. ministers were kettled into number ten to allow her to reveal her own plan to break the brexit logjam. back in the commons, there was a bare bottomed climate change protest in the gallery. on monday, mps voted on four different brexit options in so—called indicative votes. as before, they rejected each and everyone. but does anything sum up the current parliamentary situation better than this moment from wednesday? the ayes to the right, 310. the noes to the left, 310. the first tied commons
vote in 39 years. the ayes to the right, 310. the noes to the left, 310. order. in accordance with precedent, and on the principal that important decisions should not be taken except by a majority, i cast my vote with the noes. so the noes have it. the noes have it. that was a vote on whether to have more indicative votes. the speaker's casting vote spared the government but only for a moment. mps took control against the wishes of ministers. a backbench bill clearing the commons in a single day. yvette cooper's bill aims to force the prime minister to ask for an extension to the brexit process. to prevent the uk leaving without a deal. it still needs approval by the house
of lords to become law. and it is the eu which decides whether or not to grant an extension. the final commons vote on the bill came at the end of a long day and it was a close one. the ayes to the right, 313. the noes to the left, 312. the house has tonight voted again to make clear the real concern that there would be about a chaotic and damaging no deal and also to support the prime minister's commitment to ensure that we don't end up with no deal on april 12. i have heard what the right honourable lady has said but it is difficult to argue that you've had an extremely considered debate when you've rammed a bill through the house of commons in barely four hours. that is not a considered debate. that is a constitutional outrage! and it went through in
the end, mrspeaker. it went through in the end by one vote. but a win is a win. so on thursday, the cooper bill was off to the house of lords for more votes. a lot more votes. some votes on whether to have even more votes and then some heated debate. with great respect, sit down. i must remind the noble lord he's not in the house of commons, we do not have points of order in this house. the lords operates on convention and agreement and not to timetable. a long night was in prospect. i look forward to the second reading, i look forward to amendments committee and report. i've brought my toothbrush, it won't be the first time that i've spent all night in your lordship‘s house, many of my colleagues have done the same. labour eurosceptic peers of trying to talk out the bill. and no doubt, seeking to go
through the night to halt the commons desire to prevent a no—deal. because of course they can't win this by the strength of their arguments. they can't win it by the strength of support but only by those tactics. but i and my friends will be here all night. i have discovered that breakfast starts at half past seven in the morning so i am taking on orders now so it can be ready. but former ministers insisted they had wider concerns. this has got nothing to do with brexit. laughter. this is got to do with the procedures of this house. in parliament we here in the house of commons and another place voted for a referendum and yet what do the country see? they see an elite in both houses, an elite in london, blocking the decision democratically made by the electorate in the referendum. shame on you if you do anything to let that reality happen. i have served in
parliament for 45 years. and there has never been an instance of constitutional vandalism of this scale that we are witnessing today. 0ne anti—brexit peer described it as a "riot in a morgue", i have served in parliament for 45 years. and there has never been an instance of constitutional vandalism of this scale that we are witnessing today. 0ne anti—brexit peer described it as a "riot in a morgue", and that was just the debate about whether to have a debate. eventually, they packed away their toothbrushes and agreed to debate the actual bill. people don't trust the words of ministers even when they are in... enough have repeatedly said we won't leave without a deal but that lack of trust is what forced the commons to produce this bill which in effect and i am not a lawyer, it gives a legal force to that promise if you like. but the government still wasn't
happy as the clock ticks down to wednesday's eu summit. the bill creates a process whereby if the european council propose an alternative date on the 10th of april, we would need to come back to parliament the following day thursday the 11th of april to get their agreement to that alternative date. by this point the council will be over. the leaders of the other member states will have gone home and they will put us in a position of potentially having to try and agree a further extension with the eu through correspondence in the 24 hours leading up to our departure on the 12 of april. i simply do not believe this is a sensible or desirable process. the battle to wrestle control from the government continued despite the prime minister making her own offer to break the deadlock on brexit. theresa may and jeremy corbyn met for talks on wednesday and the negotiating teams continue to talk. i welcome the prime minister's offers for talks after the meetings
i've held with members across this house and look forward to meeting her later today and i welcome her willingness to compromise to resolve the brexit deadlock. but others felt left out. why does the prime minister continue to ignore scotland's voices? why has she restricted herself to inviting the leader of the opposition? why has she not invited the scottish government and the welsh government into formal talks? why is it that scotland's voices are being ignored by this prime minister and this government? prime minister! i am actually meeting the first minister of scotland later today and will be talking with her... and conservative brexiteers hated it. does it remain the position of the prime minister that the leader of the opposition is not fit to govern? mr speaker, last week, the prime minister said, "the biggest threat to our standing in the world, to over defence, and to our economy is the leader of the opposition". in herjudgement, what now qualifies
him for involvement in brexit? but prime minister, if it comes to the point when we have to balance the risk of a no—deal brexit versus the risk of letting down the country and ushering in a marxist, anti—semite—led government, what does she think at that point is the lowest risk? 0ne even channelled the spirit of margaret thatcher. as the prime minister seeks to get a short extension upon the short extension, will she make it absolutely clear to the european union that if they turn around and say no it has to be a long extension and you have to fight the european union elections, that she will say, "no, no, no"? i say to my right honourable friend... we had... we had the opportunity on friday to ensure that we cemented that extension to the 22nd of may and left on the 22nd of may. as i said earlier, i'm grateful to all those who supported that motion.
as i said, some did that with some difficulty, with a very heavy heart. but what i want to see now is us able to find a position where we can across this house support the withdrawal agreement and a deal which enables us to leave on the 22nd of may which enables us not to have to hold those european parliamentary elections. but we can only do that if we come together and find a way forward that this house is willing to support. and within days, the prime minister had written to the european council president, donald tusk, asking for an extension to the extension. and there could be european elections after all. confused? you're not alone. fortunately, maddy thimont jack from the institute for government is here. maddy, let's start with yvette cooper's bill. how unusual is it for mps to approve a law against the wishes of the government?
it is highly unusual. so there are ways for mps to introduce their own pieces of legislation in the commons, these are called private members bills. but normally very few of them make it to law and usually that's because the government actually accepts it and provides time for them to actually go through the commons. so the fact that we saw mps approve legislation against a government whipping and actually get it through and also very quickly, it was quite extraordinary to watch. yvette cooper says the aim is to rule out no deal. but would it really rule out no deal? how would that work? yeah, it doesn't rule out no deal because you can't really rule out no deal because the only way to stop no deal is to vote for a deal or to revoke article 50 and what the bill does is it says as soon as it comes into law, the government must move a motion in the house of commons setting out that it's going to seek an extension of article 50 and crucially, mps can amend that motion
so for example, if they disagree with what the government wants to do, the length of time that they want the extension to go on for, mps could amend that. but obviously what is quite interesting at the moment is that the government has now already asked for an extension to article 50. so i think what the bill really shows is that this lack of trust between parliament and the government and it also is an attempt from mps to try and maintain some level of control over this whole brexit process. yeah, you're right. it is because mps don't trust the government. but is it really a gamechanger if theresa may's going to do what they want anyway? i think not necessarily. the thing that is quite interesting with the bill is that it also says not only that mps have to approve what the government might ask forfor the eu. it says if the eu proposes something different, then mps will have to approve that. so what it really does is add another stage into this process in a very short...
in a process that is taking place in a very compressed timetable. so if the eu proposes something different on wednesday in terms of the length of extension, mps will have to vote to approve it the following day knowing that the next day we're technically meant to be leaving the eu without a deal. it's a bit of a strange situation where you are kind of making the process a bit more complicated and maybe not necessarily that it needed to be. and on monday, it's back in the house of lords. what happens next? so, the lords are going to go through the rest of the stages of the bill and i think what's really important here is they can amend it. so we might see some amendments come down that are actually reflecting the steps the government has already taken in terms of asking for an extension to article 50. not guaranteed but it will be interesting to see if they do that. once the lords are finished with that, it will go back to the commons. mps will approve or reject the amendments the lords have made and it will sort of start this process of ping—pong. and once that is sort of completed it can go from royal ascent under common law. could we still leave the eu on friday? essentially, we can't agree
an extension unless all the eu 27 member states agree to it. so until we've got that sign—off, until both the government, parliament and the eu all agree what date article extension is going to go to, then there really is a risk that we still leave eu on friday the 12 of april. maddy, thank you very much. time now for a breather from brexit, you've earned it. and a look at what else has been going on in westminster. the home secretary sajid javid has told mps there is no limit to the amount of money tha could be paid out to victims of the windrush scandal. the windrush generation is named after the boat that brought the first caribbean migrants to the uk. thousands of people who'd lived and worked in the uk for decades were wrongly targeted by the hostile environment strategy for illegal immigration. labour said the compensation scheme didn't go far enough. 0n the compensation scheme itself, we are glad to have further details but i believe it still falls short of what is expected, what is required and what is fair. is the home secretary able to tell the house how much is available for the competition
scheme as a whole? there is no cap to the scheme. no one knows what the eventual cost will be based on the claims and the needs that are actually made by eligible people, but the baseline estimate of my department is approximately £200 million. a conservative mp said the design of the new £50 note which is due to be unveiled this summer should be more representative of the current uk population where14% are from a black, minority, or ethnic background. there have been 2a banknotes featuring a notable person on the reverse side since the same was issued in july 1970. of these, all but three have been historic white men. the notable exceptions being three women. florence nightingale, elizabeth frye, and jane austen. the current £50 note features matthew bolton and james watt, key figures from the
industrial revolution. the bank of england says the face of the new note will be someone who's contributed to science in the uk. it's currently working its way through short of no fewer than 989 people who meet its criteria. could switching to vaping and e—cigarettes be a way to cut down on deaths from smoking? 0ne memberfrom the house of lords is a a fan. over five years ago i used to smoke 50 cigarettes a day. since then i took up vaping and i have not had a puff of tobacco since. shouldn't the government do more to encourage smokers to switch to vaping? i would like to emphasise to the house that smoking rates are now at their goal is to levels recorded and we should be proud of the fact that the uk is seen as a world leader in tobacco control. a labour mp who was the target of a neo—nazi murder plot has shared
details of her ordeal. jack renshaw who admitted plotting to kill rosa cooper is due to be sentenced next one. she called on the re—introduction of diplock courts used during the troubles. i was to be murdered to send a message to the state, to send a message to this place. members of this house are regularly abused and attacked. 0ur freedoms, our way of life, our democracy is under threat and we must do our utmost to defend it. and wants the home secretary is in his place, perhaps i might ask him to consider the diplock process for terrorist trials? applause. rosie cooper. more and more of us are using contactless bankers to pay for things. but there are still more than 2 million people who rely on cash
payments almost entirely and with more bank branches closing, getting access to cash has become more difficult for millions more. the issue was raised in the house of lords at question time. is my noble friend aware of the great worry that 17 million of our citizens are having about their need for virtually permanent access to cash? there was a situation emerging where particularly the most vulnerable people see access to cash as a payment option are getting reduced. it used to be one in six transactions were cash and is now one of three and it will go down to one in ten. this isjust the movement of technology but we are committed to supporting access to cash for the most vulnerable people he referred to. what kind of week has been for the wider world of politics? what kind of a week has it been in the wider world of politics? carol hall has our countdown.
the bbc‘s simon mccoy found that stormy times at westminster aren't only just for brexit. the only democratic way to sort out... thunder rumbles. hang on a minute. do you know what? i thought i'd dealt with everything! chris stevens from the snp had an idea how to make bbc parliament's ratings even higher. given the success in viewing figures of bbc parliament in the last few weeks, can the leader of the house look into plans of broadcasting committee meetings live? it is not only the cabinet that has problems with leaks. as a proceedings had to be suspended as water poured into the chamber. the sitting is now suspended and no photographs please. some disturbing news from brussels. in the event of a no—deal brexit, travellers could be banned from being theirfavourite british delicacies like pork
pies into europe. that's my spanish holiday cancelled then. and at one, you remember the war on terror? president trump has now declared war on windmills. if you have a windmill anywhere near your house, congratulations your house just went down 75% in value. and they said the noise causes cancer. imitates windmill. you know, and of course it is like a graveyard for birds. somebody better warn the dutch. carol hall. mps on select committees pride themselves on being him to hold the powerful to account. but what happens to the people they want to question refused to show up? on tuesday, mps agreed to admonish dominic cummings the director of the vote leave campaign. he refused to give evidence to an inquiry by the culture committee into fake news. for some mps, abusive variety
of sanctions ignoring parliament including summoning people to the bar of the house for talking to is gary connor reports. nowadays they are on the carpet. but here is captain kidd at a real bar for questioning about piracy at the turn of the 18th century. and this is the atheist mp charles bradlaugh in the 1880s. his campaign to take his seat without swearing in the then compulsory religious oath went to a spell in the cell of big ben's tower. most recently the journalist jothuno was summoned to the bar of the house in 1957 for an article criticising generous petrol allowances for mps at a time of fuel rationing. he apologised but defended his story. would you care to make a statement? i am happy that there has been such a satisfactory outcome.
during the debate on what to do about dominic cummings, several mps questioned the options available to them. people often cite the ancient powers of the house to lock people up in that prison under big ben or why people appear in those powers do still exists but would be rightly considered to be unenforceable so i think the house does have to debate and decide what we want to do when witnesses declined to attend. there is a very real danger given the nature of dominic cummings and i don't think the way he has behaved towards the select committee is any way different from the way he behaves generally that he will actually regard and admonishment for the house of commons as a badge of honour. and indeed there has to be some alternative measure by which future witnesses think that an admonishment is not the only thing might face them. in the end, mps did agree to admonished donna cummings, but what does admonishment?
the question i put to the chair of the privileges committee. people would understand it as a reprimand and in this case, it means in the parliamentary context that the actual resolution of the house is the admonishment. so, there is no requirement for in this case mr cummings to come to the house, it is not delivered to him orally in person, the resolution constitutes the admonishment and then that is notified to him and has indeed been notified to him by the clerk. i think you used the word feeble in your speech and it really is a bit of a slap on the wrist, isn't it? we have very limited powers in reality that we can use in the modern age. and i think that is a concern especially if it means that parliament is seen to be enfeebled. but those powers, that cell under big ben is still there, isn't it? it's certainly true that powers
of fining or imprisonment are theoretically still available to parliament but in practise, we know that they would most certainly be subject to legal challenge if we try to apply them. but i think there is a real case for looking up what we could do in a modern context that would signify pa rliament‘s displeasure on behalf of the importance of our whole democracy. and kate green's privileges committee is looking at the whole question of how to modernise sanctions. now what's that noise? sounds like it's time for the week in parliament to adjourn. thank you for watching. i hope you canjoin kristiina cooper on bbc parliament at 11:00 on monday evening for the latest from the commons and the lords. but from me, david cornock, bye for now.
hello there, it's looking like a pretty mild weekend across most parts of the uk, but, as i'll show you in a moment, sunshine amounts will vary. eastern areas to be plagued by some rain. we start saturday morning with rain. we start saturday morning with rain spilling in across scotland and we are going to be putting a lot of cloud in from the north sea england as the day wears on. the best of the sunshine the midlands, down to the south—west. a bit chilly for some in the north sea coast. cloud spilling in from the east on saturday. northern ireland holding onto clear skies. a touch of frost. generally i'll start. sunday starts off with a lot of cloud. through the day we are likely to see some showers breaking