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tv   Afternoon Live  BBC News  October 29, 2019 2:00pm-5:01pm GMT

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independence and the demand that the is the right of scotland to choose the future it wants based on the decisions of the scottish people. hello, you're watching afternoon live — i'm simon mccoy at westminster. borisjohnson is trying once again foran borisjohnson is trying once again for an election on the 12th of december. he has tabled a short bill in the house of commons and the debate has begun. he will need a majority of just one debate has begun. he will need a majority ofjust one for the bill to be approved. labour has signalled support for an election. so let's rejoin the debate. stella creasy is on her feet. it showed what the government was trying to do was read today's debate. they have done that by removing part of the standard orders of this has which allows the chair proceedings the right to select any amendment, new clause or new schedule for vote. to do that
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late at night without any consultation with the opposition and in the hope that nobody notices, is frankly, and i hope the leader of the house understand this concept, not cricket. it is to admit that rather than when the case for this bill as it stands, the executive wa nts bill as it stands, the executive wants no challenge to it at all. and that, whether you think this is a good thing or not, should be a concern for all of us in this house because if we let this lie, it will become standard practice in the future. this is not the first time the government, when backed into a corner, has tried such a measure. it didn't also on the 24th of october last year with legislation on northern ireland. thankfully, then the government saw sense and agreed to restore it, which is what amendment see c will do. it simply puts back the concept of fair play in this house by restoring our standing orders as they would be for any other piece of legislation and
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in doing so, it prepares both our rule book and frankly, our reputation. because letting this programme mission go through without the full list of rules is like letting lance armstrong keep his medals, maradona benefit from the hand of god and accepting major income as a winner of who wants to bea income as a winner of who wants to be a millionaire. —— major ingram. and that reaction is the point. you love a cheat! let us not confirm the reputation the public already think we have of people trying to do backroom deals, and cheats and liars. whatever you think of this legislation, let it be won by fair play today. let's use the rule book and include amendment c. order. the original question was as on the order paper is, when they are men
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that has been proposed. the question is that the amendment be made. it appears that there are no other speakers. the question is that the amendment be made. as many as are of the opinion, say "aye". to the contrary, "no". division! clearthe lobby. simon mccoy: so, before the full debate on the motion to hold a general election, a number of amendments and votes that go with that. the commons leaderjacob rees—mogg has told mps he shouldn't be disadvantaged by having a data debate the bill, as it is simple and only two close long. normally, the stages of legislation would be debated over several days. but for
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the prime minister borisjohnson, the prime minister borisjohnson, the news that labour have decided to back a call for the election means that his pre—christmas wish of a pre—christmas election looks to be on. labour leaderjeremy corbyn said he would back the call to go to the polls in december and the prime minister is making this fresh attempt to get backing. they have been looking at the amendments now. we will hear from the prime been looking at the amendments now. we will hearfrom the prime minister later. but it is likely that he will get his early christmas present. the government wants to sever the trust that the snp and liberal democrats wa nt that the snp and liberal democrats want it to be on the ninth. our political correspondent chris mason reports. rollup, rollup, it's election time.
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labour have opposed a general election until now. their support means an election in december will happen. we are ready for an election, we are going to go out there with a very strong message of how we transform our society, to end inequality and injustice and deal with the devastating poverty that so many people face. we always said we wanted an election, we do want an election, but we wanted no deal to be taken off the table and we've now had confirmation from all 28 eu member states that no deal is off the table, so we are going to go out there with the biggest campaign this party has ever mounted. the conservatives have been saying for weeks that this place needs a clearout, that the current set of mps are blocking brexit. and now they will get their wish to try to change who sits here, but predicting the results of elections is, frankly, a mug's game. nonetheless, the tories are happy.
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let's get on with a general election. we've had three votes on it. labour voted against having a general election three times, let's make sure we get a general election, get on with it straight away. parliament is rotten, parliament is broken, it is standing in the will of the british people to deliver brexit. we need to go to the people and let them have the choice. that's what we've been asking to do. so, here we go again. in 2014, there was the scottish independence referendum. 2015, a general election, 2016, the eu referendum and a new prime minister, 2017, another general election. 2018, brexit negotiations, and this year, 2019, two missed brexit deadlines, a new prime minister, and now another general election. the scottish national party say they will wait until a commons debate this afternoon before setting out their view on an election in december. the lib dems say...
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our preference was to have a general election early in the week of the 9th of december. we will look carefully at this bill. we may put down an amendment on the day looking to maybe the 10th or the 11th, our preference would have been the ninth. but some labour mps will oppose a general election. they say the priority should be another eu referendum. as a matter of principle, a general election, the secret is in the name, general election, it's everything about governing the country. you shouldn't have one, it's not a democratically legitimate way to resolve brexit, a binary issue, far better to do that via a referendum. but those opposing an election here now looks certain to be in a minority. this afternoon, mps will debate the specifics, not least the day in december we will go to the polls. after weeks of uncertainty, there is now some clarity. it's election time again. chris mason, bbc news at westminster.
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our chief political correspondent vicki young is in the central lobby in parliament. they are voting on a stella creasy amendment. our political correspondent laura kuenssberg was tweeting that there are still fears that some in labour might try to derail all this. to explain what is going on, there is a business motion. that is what you need to make sure the bill about a general election can get through all its stages in one day in the house of commons, because that is pretty unusual. so first, you have to set out the timetable, that is what they are trying to do. the labour mp stella creasy is trying to make sure that when they move on in a minute to talk that election bill, it can be amended or changed by backbenchers. at the moment, when they decide to talk about that bill, only the government can bring changes to it. if they want to changes to it. if they want to change the date, for example, the government can do that, but backbench mps couldn't. so stella creasy is trying to amend the business motion to make sure the
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bill itself could be changed. that is where there could be problems for the government because if this were to succeed, that would mean mps could then bring forward amendments to the bill. then they could not only change the date, they could try to make sure that 16 to 18—year—olds would be given the vote in the upcoming election, or another option would be to make sure that eu citizens living in this country could also have the vote in that general election. those would be quite big changes to the election, with not many weeks to get ready. the government would be fighting those tooth and nail to make sure they didn't happen and if those kinds of changes were to be brought into the bill, it is possible that the government might decide not to proceed with a general election on those terms. so this amendment by stella creasy is quite important, because it could mean that later this afternoon, mps could try to change the bill and possibly even derail it. labour accept that they will have some rebels on their side.
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there are lots of labour mps who are really unhappy about the idea of an early general election. lots of them are people who have backed a so people's vote. they want a second referendum. they think the labour party should not be giving up on that and should be pursuing that rather than going for a general election. some of those labour mps, looking at the opinion polls, are also fearfulfor their looking at the opinion polls, are also fearful for their chances of holding onto their seats. so there isa holding onto their seats. so there is a lot of unhappiness on that side, but it is not confined to the labour party. there are many miserable —looking conservatives as well, who think this is a huge gamble by boris johnson well, who think this is a huge gamble by borisjohnson and they are not sure it pay off. so when the tellers come back, if they vote for stella creasy‘s amendment, all hell brea ks stella creasy‘s amendment, all hell breaks loose? well, it means that when they go on to talk about the bill, at committee stage it can be amended by backbench mps. so itjust means it is a more uncertain process. the government were trying
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to control the process by saying only ministers can make changes to the election bill. this would open it up to all mps to lay down amendments. there are still a passage for them to have to go through. but it makes it more uncertain for the government. for those of us who are not involved in the westminster bubble don't understand all this, this smacks once again of us seeming clear on what was going on, and then the minutiae, the fiddly bits come in and suddenly everything is back up in the air. defenders of the volu nta ry in the air. defenders of the voluntary system would say this is mps wanting to scrutinise legislation that has been put upon them. it was only decided yesterday to introduce this bill and there are changes they might want to make. and of course, politics comes into it as well. you have gotjeremy corbyn, the front bench and the government going for an election. but as we have seen in the last three years,
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you cannot always control your backbenchers. so if they want to bring in changes, they are within their rights to do so and they are saying it is unusual to have a bill which can't be amended. therefore, they should be allowed to do that. i think the numbers probably are not that, but if a labour backbencher says, votes for 16 to 18—year—olds, what do the snp and the liberal democrats do? that was in their ma nifesto democrats do? that was in their manifesto and they would be led difficult position because they do wa nt difficult position because they do want a general election and they know that having 16 to 18—year—olds put into it would risk the government pulling the election completely. so they will be in a tricky position if that amendment is passed, but let's give it another 15 minutes. talk me through the afternoon. after this business motion, they will move on to discuss the bill itself. that is the government calling for a general election on the 12th of december. it means you have to amend the law
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because the fixed term parliament a cts because the fixed term parliament acts as the next election is not due until 2022. so it would mean the date being set in law. but we also know there is a rancour behind the scenes about the date itself. the liberal democrats and the snp are not happy about the date of the 12th of december. they are worried that that gives borisjohnson a few days before this place is dissolved before this place is dissolved before a general election on the 12th. that would give him a few days to push through the withdrawal agreement bill, getting his brexit deal through parliament even though the government said it would not do that. the snp and the liberal democrats don't trust boris johnson. so they want an earlier date for a general election so that this place is dissolved earlier. they want it to be packed up and gone away by friday. then disappear, we will keep an eye on what is happening and we will return to you once we get the vote on the amendment. let's talk now to joe twyman from deltapoll. .. let's assume that this election gets the go—ahead. as we have been
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hearing, this is a high—risk strategy for everybody. it represents an enormous gamble not just for the conservatives and labour, but for the smaller parties as well. the conservatives need to wina as well. the conservatives need to win a majority. if they don't, the likelihood of borisjohnson being able to remain as prime minister seems small, given the allegiances he has lost within the house of commons. at the same time, labour area commons. at the same time, labour are a long way behind in the polls, not just are a long way behind in the polls, notjust in terms of what we call the horse race, the voting intention polls, but also on the underlying data, who would make the best prime minister, which party would be better able to deal with the economy, which party could deal with brexit. let me interrupt, because for many people, this will in effect bea for many people, this will in effect be a second referendum, isn't it? potentially, and that could have a huge influence on things. for instance, there are 45 seats that the conservatives hold which are more remain leaning and less safe in
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the brecon and radnorshire constituency that was won in a by—election in august. by—elections are different in many ways but it goes to demonstrate the potential. similarly, there are leave leaning constituencies, more than 40 of them, that could fall to the conservatives with a swing of 7.5%. how conservatives with a swing of 7.5%. h ow ofte n conservatives with a swing of 7.5%. how often has not been achieved in the post—war period ? how often has not been achieved in the post—war period? only once. how often has not been achieved in the post-war period? only once. and looking at mid december, it is cold and dark. that is going to worry conservatives, isn't it, because those who are perhaps a bit more frail will think twice. it means more uncertainty. we don't have many historical points to compare it against. we have only had two winter elections in the post—war period. the last one was in 1974. but you can speculate that it may damage turnout among certain groups although large numbers of people vote by post now. but it could also affect the ground game, getting people out knocking on doors and that sort of thing. you could say that sort of thing. you could say that might hinder the conservatives, but it depends on the individual
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constituency. it is just another layer of uncertainty. we haven't heard from nigel farage for a while. no, which is quite remarkable. i am sure he will come up from his tent and give an opinion. the brexit party wa nt and give an opinion. the brexit party want to make this about trust in the conservatives and boris johnson. they will be pushing the idea that an extension has been granted despite the fact that boris johnson said he would die in a ditch with his legs cut off and all the other metaphors, and it hasn't happened. they will want to pick up seats and votes from the conservatives and labour. but in doing so, will they damage the chances of the conservatives winning particular constituencies? and the liberal democrats have made their position clear — this is about brexit. the lib dems and the snp have the most to gain from this, but it is still a risk for them. their position of, if they win a majority, they would revoke article 50
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entirely, could hurt them on the doorstep among more moderate remainers and leavers who are potentially their voters, so it is very competitive. this has come to pass because this morning, labour said they would agree to it. it is difficult to see that they have any chance luke joyce, difficult to see that they have any chance lukejoyce, —— it is difficult to see that they had any choice. that is true. vicki young we re choice. that is true. vicki young were saying they could introduce a technicality that means that to all intents and purposes, they said they wa nted intents and purposes, they said they wanted an election, but they were prevented from doing so by some sort of technicality. so although it looks likely, it is far from certain. if this goes ahead, which a few hours ago seemed more likely thanit few hours ago seemed more likely than it does now, how does the timing work? you need a minimum of five weeks once parliament has been dissolved for the election to take
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place. that is five working weeks. i believe parliament would be dissolved this weekend. this is where we are talking about the ninth, tenth, 11th and 12th of december. exactly, but the date has not been decided upon yet and it may be that there are last minute negotiations over that. whether it is the monday or the thursday. traditionally, it is thursday in this country, but there is no rule that says it has to be. if theresa may was asked for advice by boris johnson, she might well say, i was there only last year, don't count on there only last year, don't count on the polls. if she sensible, she would say, remember the impact that the campaign can have. it could be positive or negative. theresa may enjoyed a strong lead in the polls going into the campaign, but the campaign itself was a disaster for the conservative party. labour will be hoping for a repeat this time
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around to close the gap on the conservatives, that relies firstly on labour having a campaign as strong as last time. that is within their control, but they also need to depend on the conservatives having as bad a case of a campaign as last time, and that is virtually impossible to conceive of. the tellers are taking their place. that vote looks fairly imminent. the big event is tonight at 6.30, when we are expecting a vote on whether there is an election taking place. i know vicki young is monitoring this alongside me. vicki, we are not far offa alongside me. vicki, we are not far off a vote here? that is right. this isa off a vote here? that is right. this is a vote on an amendment to the business motion which has been brought forward by stella creasy, the labour mp. she wants non—government amendments to be allowed when we get to the bill itself on the date of a general
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election. the business motion has to go through before you get to the bill. here is the result. order, order. the ayes to the right, 312. the noes to the left, 295. where is that ditch? you need a bigger ditch! the ayes to the right, 312. the noes to the left, 295. the ayes have it, the ayes have it unlock. what vicki, that changes things a bit, doesn't it? just hold on one second. the business of the house motion as
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amended. as many as are of the opinion, say "aye". to the contrary, "no... opinion, say "aye". to the contrary, "no". the ayes have it, the ayes have it. order. the clerk will now proceed to read the orders of the day. early parliamentary general election bill, second reading. maybe so, vicki, tell us what we can expect. sorry, i just so, vicki, tell us what we can expect. sorry, ijust wanted to check. so stella creasy‘s amendment has gone through. there are now going to move on to discuss the bill. this is the government bill calling for a general election on the 12th of december. because of stella creasy‘s amendment, it now means that non—government mps can bring forward amendments. so it potentially makes it a trickier path for the government to get this
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through without any changes. until a few minutes ago, it was only the government that could bring in changes, for example to the date of the general election or other aspects. now other amendments could be selected which could mean things like votes for 16 to 18—year—olds or other aspects of the bill could be changed. this is all timetabled in the sense that there will be a moment when this has to stop and they have to move on to a vote. so it can't go on all night. they have to be finished by this evening. let's pick up on the wider issue. joining me now is owenjones, columnist for the guardian. a high—risk policy for boris johnson. stella creasy‘s amendment, is labour's heart in this? all the
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opposition parties have voted for it, including the scottish national party and the liberal democrats, to expand the franchise. in terms of the labour leadership, they have come out swinging. they want the election. but a lot of the parliament labour party want a referendum before an election. it is not on the cards. there aren't the numbers for another referendum. the only way there could be another referendum to go back to the british people between remain and a brexit deal is if the tories lose their majority in a general election. so now, rather than suffer about, frankly, for the next few days, the opposition parties have to unite around a, let's get stuck in. the liberal democrats, the snp and labour are all competing for those votes, but the labour strategy should be firstly not just to make this about brexit. they need to win back to solutions remainers. sorry, let's hear from the back to solutions remainers. sorry, let's hearfrom the prime minister. it isa let's hearfrom the prime minister. it is a week since this parliament voted yet again to force brussels to keep this country in the european
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union for at least another three months, at a cost of £1 billion a month. and in the days since then, the government has tried to be reasonable and to ascribe the best possible motives to our friends and collea g u es possible motives to our friends and colleagues around the house. i twice offered more time for debate. i offered more time for debate. i offered more time last week. i made the same offer last night. i said we we re the same offer last night. i said we were prepared to debate this with your bill around the clock to allow parliament time to scrutinise this bill, to the point of intellectual exhaustion. and bear in mind that not only has this house been considering this issue for three and a half years, but last week, when this bill was being debated, there was not a single new idea. there was not a single new suggestion. all they wanted was more time, more
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weeks and months, when they couldn't even provide the speakers to fill the time allotted. i give way to the honourable lady. i thank the prime minister for eventually giving way. well, we can all go "ooh!" like children, but we are trying to get something through. going back to the comments that the prime minister made when he opened, either this house voted for the second reading, or it delayed it. we can't have it both ways, which is what he seems to want. i would like to ask the prime minister if he would like to go back over his first comments and address whether he thinks they were entirely correct. almost everything that he said to me seemed as if he might be misleading the house and the
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country. i am astonished to hear that the honourable lady thinks that she voted for the programme motion last week. that is the logic of what she said. as far as i understand, she said. as far as i understand, she voted for delay. she voted to delay brexit indefinitely. let's be clear. the whole country can see what is really going on. does she wa nt to what is really going on. does she want to deliver brexit? no, she doesn't. they don't want to deliver brexit. all they want to do is procrastinate. they don't want to deliver brexit on october the 31st, on november the 31st, even on january the 31st. i will give way. can the prime minister confirm that the only negative vote that passed through this parliament was to find
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alternative arrangements to the backstop, and the prime minister removed the backstop from the deal. this parliament would still not vote for it, this remain parliament. so his call for an election is the right thing to do, let the public decide. my honourable friend is right. he speaks for his constituency. they want to deliver brexit. he wants to deliver brexit. they just want to spin brexit. he wants to deliver brexit. theyjust want to spin it out forever until the 12th of never. and when the 12th of never eventually comes around, they will devise one of their complicated parliamentary procedures and move a motion for a further delay and they further extension. i think that this delay is becoming seriously damaging to the national interest. families can't plan, businesses can't plan and the climate of uncertainty is not only corroding trust in politics, but is beginning to hold everybody back from making vital
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everyday decisions which are important for the health of our economy. buying new homes, hiring new staff, making new investments. the performance of the uk economy is frankly miraculous, considering the stasis here in parliament. that is why i hope that so many of our collea g u es why i hope that so many of our colleagues will support this bill today, including the father of the house, for whom i have the highest respect. my right honourable friend was one of those who delayed brexit in march by voting against departures and on the deal then being negotiated. he didn't get a majority of 30 four his deal last week. if the house had been devoted to the committee and report stage of the house following the ordinary principles of government, we would be well on our way to living in the middle of november. so can i say to
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my right honourable friend, can he find a slightly better basis for fighting this election when we go to the campaign in due course? actually, my right honourable friend is in error. i voted for the withdrawal bill and i hope he will vote for this bill today to get brexit done. i take his not as assent to that proposition. i will give way. might i ask the prime minister to look at the amendment that i have tabled, which suggests that i have tabled, which suggests that if wework seven days a week, like many of my constituents do, we could get the brexit bill through and meet his deadline? isn't a brexit in hand better than two brexits in the bush? i'm grateful to the right honourable gentleman, who i know wants to do it ever brexit
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and the idea he puts forward is one that i'm afraid we tried twice. we tried it last week and last night. it would have been a good offerfor the right honourable gentleman to ta ke the right honourable gentleman to take up. he refused to take it up and we are left with no choice but to the country to break free from this impasse and to allow us all to submit in all humility to the judgment of the electorate. and to allow us to make our case and above all, to allow a new and revitalised parliament with a new mandate to deliver on the will of the people and get brexit done. because that new parliament, in just a few weeks, we'll have before it a great new deal with the eu, a great new deal. it brings together members across the house, as the honourable lady mentioned earlier, and it will be thejob of lady mentioned earlier, and it will be the job of that new parliament in just a few weeks to ratify that
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deal, that withdrawal deal, and put an end to this long period of parliamentary dither and delay. i'm glad to say, mr speaker, that since i first put forward the idea of a general election as a way out of this impasse, the ice flows have begun to crack and the lib dems are now in favourite, and the scottish nationalist party is now in favour of it. there is only one blockage still standing in the way of democracy, only one party that refuses to trust the judgment of the people. there's only one party that is still running scared of an election, and that is the main party of opposition. who are failing in their defining function. dogs bark... well, dogs bark, cows moo,
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and oppositions are meant to campaignfor and oppositions are meant to campaign for election, apart from this one. i have no idea what the right honourable gentleman is going to say. he has called 35 times for an election since last year alone. i've no idea why he has been so opposed to an election. maybe it's because he has been following the precepts of his intellectual mentor, fidel castro. revolutions, yes, elections, no. maybe he is congenitally opposed. or maybe he has been listening to the shadow chancellor or the right honourable memberfor holborn chancellor or the right honourable member for holborn and st pancras, who have been against an election. beware of their motives in counselling him. it is not so much they fear a general election, though probably they do, it's just that they don't want a general election with him as their leader. i don't
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know what has been holding him back from this obvious democratic exercise, but whatever it is, i hope that he will now stand up and say that he will now stand up and say that he will now stand up and say that he has mastered his doubts and that he has mastered his doubts and that he has mastered his doubts and that he is finally willing to submit to the electorate. he mentioned that he isa to the electorate. he mentioned that he is a great eater of porridge, mr speaker. when it comes to elections, he reminds me of goldilocks, mr speaker. one offer is too hot, one too cold, but i hope you will be able to stand up this afternoon and say, this time, this offer of an election is just right, say, this time, this offer of an election isjust right, because it is, mr speaker. if he does, then we will be able to put the choice to the people of this country. we can go his way, which is for an economic recipe that would mean the destruction of the uk wealth
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creating system, over taxation of a kind that is derived from revolutionary venezuela, combined with the political nightmare, a nightmare agenda of not one but two referendums, one on the eu — that policy, as far as i understand it — one in scotland, with all the potential for further rancour and recrimination, or else we can go forward with this government, a government that has secured a great deal that allows us now to leave the eu as one, whole united kingdom — england, scotland, wales and northern ireland. able together to do free trade deals around the world, able to set our own path and make our own laws, to take back control of our money and our regulations, able to deliver all the benefits and all the freedoms of
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brexit from new freeport to more humane treatment of animals, which he would block, from tax breaks for new technology to cutting vat on sanitary products. it is a deal, mr speaker, that they said was impossible three months ago. they said we couldn't change the withdrawal agreement. they said we would never get rid of the backstop, and we did. and the deal is there, and we did. and the deal is there, and it is ready to be approved by a new parliament. and it will have a government that is yearning with every fibre of its being to be able to get on and deliver our one nation conservative agenda, a vision for uniting this country and levelling up uniting this country and levelling up with record investments in health, like nothing else in a generation, 20,000 more police officers, more funding for every primary and secondary school in the country, levelling up across this whole united kingdom, a government thatis whole united kingdom, a government that is able to commit to fantastic
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public services and infrastructure precisely because we believe in free markets and enterprise. we believe in them. and we believe in free markets and enterprise in the wealth creating sector of this economy that causes a shadow of transylvanian horror to pass over the faces of the front bench opposite. that is the argument that i want to have with the right honourable gentleman, because that, frankly, mr speaker, is the biggest and most important difference between us. there is only one way now to move this country forward and to have that debate, and thatis forward and to have that debate, and that is to get brexit done, and there is only one way to get brexit donein there is only one way to get brexit done in the face of this unrelenting parliamentary obstruction, this endless, wilful, fingers crossed, not me, governor, refusalto
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endless, wilful, fingers crossed, not me, governor, refusal to deliver on the mandate of the people, and thatis, on the mandate of the people, and that is, mr speaker, to refresh this parliament and give the people a choice. i say to the whole first night, until all those who may still be hesitating about whether to vote for this bill, there is only one way to restore the esteem in which our democracy is held, and to recover the respect in which parliament should be held by the people of this country, and that is finally to offer ourselves to the judgment of the people of this country, and i commend this bill to the house. order! question is that the bill be now read a second time. i call the leader of the opposition, jeremy corbyn. thank you, mr speaker. labour backs a general election because we want this country to be rid of this reckless and destructive
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conservative government. a government that has caused more of our children to be living in poverty, more pensioners to be in poverty, more pensioners to be in poverty, and more people to be in in— work poverty. more families without a home to call their own, and more people sleeping rough on our streets. a government that has cut and sold off so much of our important public services. i won't give way. and that government which created the vicious, hostile environment which saw our own citizens deported from this country. it is time for real change. i have said consistently, when no deal is off the table, we will back an election. today, after much denial and much bluster by the prime minister, that deal is officially
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off the table. so this country can vote for the government that it deserves, one... yes. sigh ——|j encourage as many of deserves, one... yes. sigh ——|j encourage as many of my colleagues as possible to deny the threats and blandishments to vote for the election, because it does not take no deal off the table.|j election, because it does not take no deal off the table. i hope my friend willjoin in this campaign to defeat this government, to bring in a government that will end injustice, poverty and inequality in this country. that is what ijoined the labour party for all those years ago, and! the labour party for all those years ago, and i will be very proud to ta ke ago, and i will be very proud to take that as the message to the country, and to give our public services the funding they need and end the threat of privatisation that
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hangs over so many public service workers. and stop the grotesque poverty and inequality in our country. rebuilding an economy in every region and every nation of this country. tackle the climate emergency with a green new deal, a green industrial revolution that will bring good qualityjobs to many areas of the country that have been denied them by this government and their liberal democrat accomplices during the coalition years. and after three years of conservative failure, get brexit sorted. we are the only party doing it. give the people a final say on what happens over brexit. we will now launch the most ambitious, radical campaign for real change in this country, and i look forward to campaigning in a general election all over the
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country, including in uxbridge, if the prime minister is still the conservative candidate at that time. mr speaker... i'm extremely grateful to the leader of the opposition for giving way. can i ask him, in the upcoming election we are about to have, front and centre will be the right of the scottish people to choose their own future? if the scottish national party win a majority of seats in scotland, would he respect that result? i'm looking forward to campaigning all over scotla nd forward to campaigning all over scotland to support labour candidates to be elected in scotland. indeed, iwas candidates to be elected in scotland. indeed, i was there last weekend, and the enthusiasm of scottish labour to get out there and campaign is palpable all over, and i'm delighted to support scottish labour in theircampaign i'm delighted to support scottish labour in their campaign to bring £70 billion of public investment into scotland under a labour
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government, something the snp cannot offer. i thank my right honourable friend for giving way and i look forward to campaigning with him in scotland in the upcoming election, but as he will know, one of the crucial things in this election is going to be torn out and ensuring we can get as many people out and using their votes as possible. in scotland especially, it is very dark, cold, so would he support the idea to have a polling day as a public holiday to ensure maximum turnout?” a polling day as a public holiday to ensure maximum turnout? i thank my friend for that intervention and compliment her on her work. and i agree with her that a public holiday on election day would actually be a very good idea because it does mean that everyone could then get along to vote without the problems of being at work at that time. it's something that has been discussed before, and i don't know all the amendments that are coming up later on this afternoon, mr speaker, but
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if that one is included, that would be very welcome indeed, yes. if that one is included, that would be very welcome indeed, yeslj if that one is included, that would be very welcome indeed, yes. i thank my right honourable friend for giving way. i raised this yesterday, i have tabled a cross—party amendment supported by many labour colleagues for votes at 16, and would he agree with me, the prime minister talks a lot about the united kingdom, but in wiles in scotland, 16—year—old have the right to vote in elections and referendums, and that should be afforded to all 16—year—olds.|j referendums, and that should be afforded to all 16-year-olds. i will come onto that in a moment. i absolutely do agree that all 16—year—olds should have the right to vote because it seems to be fundamental to our democracy. it is young people because my future that will be devoted in —— debated in this election. i welcome his work on bringing parliamentary scrutiny back to this process. mr speaker, the house has amended the programme motion, and it did that in a very
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helpful way, i think, motion, and it did that in a very helpful way, ithink, which motion, and it did that in a very helpful way, i think, which empowers this chamber, the house of commons, to amend this legislation. i think we should reflect for a moment. the prime minister was actually trying to stifle parliamentary democracy, an almost unprecedented edict that only the government could amend its own legislation, which presumably their route last night, so the idea of amending today what they wrote last night suggests they have a problem over memory loss, perhaps, overnight or something. i don't know what it is. so, i'm pleased that those amendments will be debated today. i won't give way. what it does, mr speaker, it sums up in a couple of words the on democratic and authoritarian instincts of this government and prime minister in relation to parliament. i want to put on record my thanks to the memberfor put on record my thanks to the member for walthamstow for her persistence in tabling that amendment last night, which means
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that the house will have an opportunity to debate a number of very serious amendments today. and we will be seeking to expand the franchise in the december election. that means supporting votes at 16, as is the case now for scottish parliament and welsh assembly elections, and i think it also means that we support the rights of eu citizens with settled status to vote in elections in this country. after all, we do recognise their contribution to our society, we do give them votes in local elections, so it seems to me only logical, since they've made their future in this country, in our society, they should have a right to vote on their future as well. and i look forward to supporting those amendments later today. i thank the honourable gentleman, andl today. i thank the honourable gentleman, and i look forward to getting out on the campaign trail and smashing the conservatives at the ballot box and returning more
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labour colleagues here. i'm particularly pleased about what he hasjust said particularly pleased about what he has just said about particularly pleased about what he hasjust said about eu settled status here. we already allow commonwealth citizens to vote in our elections, and i want to ask him if he will make sure that we try and ensure all eu citizens who are settled here get to vote as well. my friend is right that, permanently, commonwealth citizens have had the right to vote in british elections, and that is absolutely right. most commonwealth countries, as far as i know, reciprocate on that. the relationship with ireland means that all irish nationals have an automatic right to vote in uk elections and vice versa. i won't give way. no, i won't. elections and vice versa. i won't give way. no, iwon't. it elections and vice versa. i won't give way. no, i won't. it seems to me...i give way. no, i won't. it seems to me... i already reminded you that i wasn't going to give way, so i say it again — no.
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wasn't going to give way, so i say it again - no. the right honourable gentleman should resume his seat. he is familiar with parliamentary etiquette that stipulates clearly when someone who has the flow is not giving way, the right honourable gentleman accept the verdict. jeremy corbyn. thank you, mr speaker. just make that point that we want any election to involve as many people as possible. it is meant to be a big exercise in democracy, and i hope the amendments that mike i've already reminded you i wasn't going to give way, so i say for the fourth time, no. in that election, everyone should have the right to participate in it. it's theirfuture, and this country's future, that is at stake. mr speaker, the prime minister has failed in his promise to be out of the european union, do or die, on the european union, do or die, on the 31st of october, but it may be that date parliament dissolves and
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therefore will mark the end of his tenure in office. whatever date the first might the election will be, i'm ready for it, we are ready for it, because we want to be able to say to the people of this country, there is an alternative to austerity, an alternative to inequality, to sweetheart trade deals with donald trump, an alternative of a government that invests in all parts of the country, a government that is determined to end injustice in our society, and a government determined to give our young people a sense of hope in their society rather than the prospect of indebtedness and insecure employment in the future, which is sadly all the conservative government and they are coalition with the lib dems ever brought them. i'm very ready to go out there and give that message in any election, whenever it comes. i very much
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applaud the prime ministerfor the stand he has taken continuously over the past months. he is doing the right thing for the right reason. furthermore, i've listened to the leader of the opposition talking about autocratic, undemocratic decision—making. we have witnessed time and again undemocratic decisions taken on the benn act, on a series of other enactments, on motions, continuously over the same period of months. the opposition are a disgrace. they have completely undermined the democracy in this house will stop they have undermined the referendum, or are trying to do so. and at last, they've been dragged kicking and screaming to the
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dispatch box, and it sounds as if, today, they are effectively going to agree that we do have a general election in december. so, i have absolutely no compunction whatsoever in condemning the opposition for their shameless behaviour, and also for voting against early on motions over the last few months to have an early general election. i just want to add one other thing, mr speaker, and it is this: during the passage of the fixed—term parliaments act backin of the fixed—term parliaments act back in 2010—11, i'm glad to be able to say i voted against the second reading of that bill for precisely the reason is that we are now having to overcome. i said at the time, in the second reading and again on various amendments, that the provisions of that bill, which this bill is at last putting straight, that the provisions are in defiance
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of the democratic mandate. it is about whips and patronage, nothing to do with the people outside. there is damage being done to the people of this country. i went on to say that there is no mandate of any kind for any party or any —— in any ma nifesto for any party or any —— in any manifesto or in any part of the political system. i also said with regard to the supermajority of one that this has been the case from time immemorial, from the very inception of our parliamentary process , inception of our parliamentary process, in what is sometimes described as the mother of parliaments, that is now being changed —— which is now changing the way our government may fall. it is a constitutional principle which underpins the basis of having a simple majority in this house. this two thirds majority has always been
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wrong. i will not give way to either of the gentleman from the other side of the gentleman from the other side of the gentleman from the other side of the house, for the very simple reason that they have consistently tried to obstruct brexit on the most specious and completely unacceptable reasons. has the honourable gentleman completed his ordination? he has. mr linden, you are a very over excitable fellow today. calm yourself. mr newland next to you is clearly moderately embarrassed. he is going to try to encourage you to tread a path of virtue, and we should say three cheers to that. meanwhile, you can smile, mr liddle, because i'm about to call your leader. mr ian blackford. thank you, mr speaker. it's a pleasure to follow the honourable member. i think he hasjust follow the honourable member. i think he has just written the snp
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leaflets in the election campaign for us. the honourable member says that the snp has tried to obstruct brexit. mr speaker, guilty as charged. because, let me explain to the house exactly why. we are used to referendums in scotland. we had one in 2014 and one in 2016, but crucially, mr speaker, we were told in 2014 if scotland stayed in the united kingdom, it would be staying in europe. but more than that, we we re in europe. but more than that, we were told that this was going to be a union of equals, that scotland was going to be respected. mr speaker, what has happened? scotland in the european referendum voted by 62% to remain in europe. our parliament, our government, has sought to give voice to that. we have published
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document after document — scotland's place in europe — where we have sought compromise with the uk government. whether it was the previous prime minister or this one, we have been ignored. i make no apology for making the point here again today — we on these benches are simply not prepared to sit back and allow scotland to be taken out of the european union against its will. so, on that basis, mr speaker, i welcome the opportunity of an election, because make no mistake, the election that's coming is going to be the right of scotland to determine its own future. and we will reflect on everything which has happened 2017, with 13 scottish conservatives temporarily elected to this house. because every step of
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the way, they have voted against scotland's interests. they have given no consideration to the fact that every single local authority area in scotland voted to remain. and mr speaker, just think about what brexit would do to us. just think about the challenge that we face, a challenge we have had for decades. on the basis of free movement of people, one that we have risen to over the last few decades, our economy is growing, european citizens have made a contribution to our economy. we have collectively benefited from the right to live, work and travel in 28 eu member states. we have voted to retain those rights, and yet, the conservatives want to take us out. mr speaker, i really look forward to that election. and we can reinforce the mandate that we already have from the election in scotland in
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2016, when yet again, the people in scotla nd 2016, when yet again, the people in scotland voted the snp into power. mr speaker, we have a mandate for an independence referendum, and it ill beholds this house to frustrate the legitimate demands of our parliament, our government. and when we get back, it has to be the case that if the people in scotland back the snp again, that we have the right to determine our future full stop i am grateful that the european union have granted us an extension till the end of january, union have granted us an extension till the end ofjanuary, and we must use that time wisely. but i say to our friends use that time wisely. but i say to ourfriends in europe, please remember to stand by scotland in our hour of need. as alan smith in the european parliament said, keep a light on for scotland, because we are coming. mr speaker, that is because we are ambitious for our
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country. we want to grow our economy. we want to continue to benefit from the single market and the customs union, to make scotland a destination in europe. and indeed, mr speaker, to complete thatjourney that scotland embarked on with devolution 20 years ago, a parliament that has delivered for the people of scotland, that is pushing on with addressing the climate change challenge that we face, a parliament that is doing its job, that has delivered education free at the point of need, not delivering education based on ability to pay. i could go on about the differences in the way that our government has delivered for our people and the growing self—confidence we see in that country. mr speaker, . .. self—confidence we see in that country. mr speaker, . . ij self—confidence we see in that country. mr speaker,... ithink self—confidence we see in that country. mr speaker,... i think the right honourable friend for giving way. as he points out, it will be straightforward for snp to write the
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manifesto for the election upcoming, but the prime minister has failed in his promise of do or die, and the scottish conservatives have been acting against the interests of the people of scotland and against the wishes in the referendum in 2016, so i wonder how easy it will be for them to be trusted in this election. isn't it true that in this election we cannot give the scottish conservatives or this prime minister any chance at all? absolutely, and that allows me to ask the question — where is the prime minister? he seems to have been told and scuttled out of the chamber. one wonders if he isa out of the chamber. one wonders if he is a way to dig a ditch. mr speaker, one of the things i can be proud of, in a referendum in 2014, we gave the right to 16 and 17—year—olds to vote in that referendum. why? because it was about their future. it was a principled decision that those that
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are following us, that will be living and working in our country, have a right to have a say in its future. mr speaker, the snp call on members to reduce the voting age for all elections to 16, and to extend the franchise to citizens of the european union. you know, we've heard in the debate today about the fa ct heard in the debate today about the fact that citizens from the commonwealth are given the right to vote in our elections. why? why, mr speaker? is it the case that european nationals, our friends speaker? is it the case that european nationals, ourfriends that work with us, that are part of our community, whose rights are affected by what the conservatives want to do, do not have that right to vote in our elections? that is an absolute disgrace. those that pay taxes in our country should have rights of representation. i will give way one time. i thank the right honourable gentleman forgiving way. can he tell me, are there any other
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european countries which offer the right for european citizens not from their country to vote in their national elections? well, if the honourable lady was listening, i just explained... it is 3pm - you are watching bbc news. live coverage of the debate in the house of commons is boris johnson of the debate in the house of commons is borisjohnson tries again to getan commons is borisjohnson tries again to get an election on the 12th of december by tabling a short bill which is being debated now. but perhaps a slight fly in the ointment for borisjohnson, perhaps a slight fly in the ointment for boris johnson, there perhaps a slight fly in the ointment for borisjohnson, there has been an amendment from stella creasy, the labourmp, amendment from stella creasy, the labour mp, which would allow backbenchers to vote on future legislation in terms of that election call. we are hearing from the snp, ian blackford, and we expect a vote later on this afternoon, perhaps early this evening, on this proposal. the one
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thing that is not for sure is the proposed date of an election. the government wants the 12th of december. the snp and lib dems want the 9th of december. there is talk ofa the 9th of december. there is talk of a possible election on the 11th of a possible election on the 11th of december. at the moment, it is a heated debate in the house of commons, and that is where we return. eu nationals are already on the voter register because they are allowed to vote in local elections. there is no moral reason as to why the government doesn't allow that. mr speaker, this is about choosing our future. it is about choosing our future in europe. it is about choosing freedom from austerity. it is about opportunity. we cannot be held back any more by westminster. the snp will take that message to the public. it was said in a letter many decades ago by steinbeck to mrs
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kennedy that scotland is not a lost cause, scotland is a cause un—won. we will win that battle. scotland will become an independent country and a general election will be an important step in the way to completing thatjourney. important step in the way to completing that journey. very well. i was going to call the leader of the fourth party, but very well. when i first arrived in this house asa when i first arrived in this house as a new mp nearly two and a half yea rs as a new mp nearly two and a half years ago, i knew that delivering brexit would be a complex problem andi brexit would be a complex problem and i knew that achieving a negotiation between our country and our 27 nearest neighbours was going to bea our 27 nearest neighbours was going to be a huge challenge and cover many areas. i also knew that leaving the eu with a deal is in the best
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interests of so many of our constituents, especially those who have shared families with residents from other eu countries, who have jobs that trade with europe, who are involved in our security services where they want to share data with our closest allies. those of our scientific community who often work on collaborative projects that make a difference to our world's future and where they want to continue to work with those in our neighbouring countries easily. the deal that the first prime minister delivered was challenging. some people thought the backstop may last for. i always saw it as backstop may last for. i always saw itasa backstop may last for. i always saw it as a temporary issue, but i saw
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it as a temporary issue, but i saw it as a temporary issue, but i saw itasa it as a temporary issue, but i saw it as a way to deliver brexit and move on. i voted for it three times. our current prime minister has done what nobody thought he would achieve, and he has reopened those negotiations and found a different way to resolve the incredibly complex situation in northern ireland, with a solution that keeps open the border between northern ireland and ireland. i voted for that deal again, and many colleagues from the opposite benches were brave enough to come through the lobbies with us to support it. i would have liked to have seen a programme motion carried. i believe our constituents expect us to roll up our sleeves and work day and night
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to get that deal over the line. i would have liked to have seen a second programme motion, but i genuinely do not believe that the opposition would have supported it. i thank my honourable friend for giving way. would she agree that the best way in which our governing party ca n best way in which our governing party can face the electorate is to say clearly that the best way of delivering brexit is with the deal that the prime minister has agreed with the eu? i absolutely agree, because the deal is in the interests of our country and has been negotiated with 27 other countries. continuing this uncertainty does not solve anything. a second referendum won't solve the uncertainty. the labour policy to try to renegotiate and then have another referendum
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does not solve the problem. and then have another referendum does not solve the problemlj and then have another referendum does not solve the problem. i am grateful to her for giving the way but she made the case that a second referendum would not solve the brexit impasse. i would like her to elaborate on that because surely a question about whether this bill that the prime minister is proposing un—amended that he has now pulled so that this house can't take it forward , that this house can't take it forward, surely a referendum on whether that proceeds or not actually does give a definitive outcome and perhaps if the house allowed the public a vote on the previous prime minister's deal, we could have had definitive outcome of many months ago. the prime minister's brexit deal was pulled the moment the programme motion was rejected, sadly. if i believed that the opposition were true about wanting to have a couple of extra
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days to scrutinise it, i would give it another chance, but they have proved again and again, when they have failed to turn up to scrutiny committees in this house, when they have failed to turn up to second debate again and again. i am going to carry on with my thoughts. would the honourable lady recognise that for the majority of people here who are concerned that we are leaving the eu, the main issue is not the backstop, it was the lack of clarity about the future relationship with our european neighbours and trading partners. and this second deal doesn't change that one iota. the eu has made it clear since day one that we cannot discuss the detail on the future partnership until we have agreed the terms of withdrawal. that is in article 50. read it, it is only the tiniest paragraph. the
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documents on the future relationship actually cover a wide range of issues. i have been impressed by how much the eu 27 have been prepared to put into that document, saying the areas like cooperation on science and security and access to trade and detailing important issues like financial services and how they can work together in our regulatory environment and why sharing data is important. that is all in the future framework. but we cannot discuss the detail in it until we have agreed the term of exit. every time the opposition parties say otherwise, they are being disingenuous to the british people. saying that you would go back and have another referendum in a constituency like mine, which was 51 — 49, will not
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heal the divisions. itjust leads to lack of decisions. and in my constituency, people want to get on and focus on other things, focusing on the more police they are now seeing on the streets, the improvements we are seeing in a nearby hospital, the money coming into our nhs, the money that our schools have been asking for and is now being delivered, the infrastructure improvements that has given my constituency the largest housing infrastructure grant in the country and unlocks a railway station that has been blocked for 20 yea rs. station that has been blocked for 20 years. the work that we are doing on the environment when incidentally, the environment when incidentally, the lib dems couldn't be bothered to turn upfor the lib dems couldn't be bothered to turn up for the environment bill last night. that is what my constituents want us to work on. they want us to be working on the issues that affect them and their future and not going round and round
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in circles on how we resolve brexit. i think the honourable lady has finished. point of order, lucy on i listened closely to the comment made by the member opposite and she said the lib dems were not present last night. that is not the case. the spokesperson for the environment was here for the entirety of the debate, soi here for the entirety of the debate, so i would ask that that is amended in the record. no. order. i don't require any help from the honourable lady. and perfectly capable of adjudicating upon these matters without her said entry chuntering. the honourable lady has corrected the record as she sees it. i wasn't in for that debate. the honourable lady for chelmsford appears to acce pt lady for chelmsford appears to
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accept the veracity of what the honourable lady said. but i do know that the honourable lady for brighton pavilion or waited in the debate herself. she couldn't have done so if she wasn't here. and she did, so she was here. 0h, done so if she wasn't here. and she did, so she was here. oh, if you really feel it is necessary. did, so she was here. oh, if you really feel it is necessarylj did, so she was here. oh, if you really feel it is necessary. i do apologise if there was one member of the lib dem party here last night, but as i saw it, the honourable memberfor but as i saw it, the honourable member for brighton represents the green party. no, no. i'm perfectly aware of that. the honourable lady has corrected the record as far as her party is concerned. she referred to the member for brighton pavilion, who was here and really, with the greatest of respect, there is nothing to add. there are a lot of other colleagues who wish to speak in the debate, from whom we can now here and in whose contributions i'm sure everybody is interested. jo swinson. thank you, mr speaker. the
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question we are grappling with in this house and the debate in our wider country is not just this house and the debate in our wider country is notjust a narrow matter of our relationship with the european union, although it is certain that this debate on brexit has exposed significant differences in how people feel about those issues. the identities of whether people are remain or leave run deeply. this is not only about whether we remain in the eu or whether we remain in the eu or whether we remain in the eu or whether we leave, it is about who we are as a country. it's about our values. it's about whether we are open and inclusive and internationalist in our outlook, whether we are facing the future, or whether we are facing the future, or whether we are closed and insular and wanting to pull up the drawbridge and look to the past. that is the key question that we as
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a country need to resolve. i heard the prime minister talk about our whole united kingdom. i have to say, i thought he had a cheek, because this prime minister has not been acting ina this prime minister has not been acting in a way that is protecting our whole united kingdom. he has sold out the people of northern ireland with the deal that he has done with the eu with his latest withdrawal agreement. and this is a man who said that he thought no conservative prime minister should ever accept a border in the irish sea, and yet that is exactly what he has done. i and my colleagues on these liberal democrat benches think that our united kingdom is something
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precious. it is something that is worth protecting. as scotland, england, wales and northern ireland together, we are stronger and we stand better together. on the united kingdom, if there was a vote across the whole country, one person, one vote, on prime ministerjohnson's deal, my view is that the majority of people would vote remain. but wouldn't she agree that there is a great fear that with a minority of votes, the tories could get a majority of seats and we would end up majority of seats and we would end up with a brexit, thanks to her provocation? the honourable gentleman and i have both been campaigning fora gentleman and i have both been campaigning for a people's vote. and i believe that would be the ideal way to resolve this issue, to put this brexit deal to the public. and
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he is right that i think the public would be likely to reject this bad brexit deal. if you look at the polls in recent months, you have to go back some way to find the leave vote ahead of remain and that has been an increasingly consistent pattern in the last couple of years. when i listen to people who support brexit, and we see it day in, day out in this chamber, they struggled to agree amongst themselves about what brexit should look like. to some people, the prime minister's deal is not brexity enough, and others want a softer brexit. there is the suggestion that there is a majority out there in the country for this is specific brexit path, i think is wrong. that is why this needs to be put to the people for a final say. but i have campaigned and
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marched for that. we have argued for that and tabled amendments for that and we have not been able to secure that. my fear is that we will not, in this parliament, and we do not have a luxury of time because the eu have a luxury of time because the eu have given us an extension to the 3ist have given us an extension to the 31st of january. we have given us an extension to the 31st ofjanuary. we need have given us an extension to the 31st of january. we need to resolve how we will use that time. we need to resolve it because further extensions should not be guaranteed. i thank the honourable lady for giving way. we have both stood on a platform asking for a people's vote. my platform asking for a people's vote. my constituency of tooting is the second youngest in the country. would she agree that it is essential that 16—year—olds have the vote to save their future? we do agree on much, myself and the honourable lady for tooting, and i do 116 and
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17—year—olds to be able to vote. i think its time is coming and i will a lwa ys think its time is coming and i will always vote to support 16 and 17—year—olds voting. i would say to those members of the house who are sceptical, because i have debated this issue over many years with many mps, i would say, look at scotland. look at the success of votes at 16 in scotland, where you see, on polling day, at four o'clock in the afternoon, young people leaving school, walking down the road and going en masse to the polling station. it is a sight to behold, and it is a positive step. there are many conservative members who are sceptical of this, who in scotland had then come around to the idea after seeing that it is a successful change. i wonder whether the honourable lady has considered the
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liberal democrat contrary to the present predicament. their cannibalisation by the conservatives in 2015, helped by the record on tuition fees in coalition, gave david cameron the majority to get the referendum legislation through. why is she making it worse by pushing for this early date? the uncertainty of the outcome of the general election does not take no deal off the table. i would say to the honourable gentleman that while we we re the honourable gentleman that while we were in coalition, there was not a referendum on our membership of the european union and we passed a law that said that should only happen when there was a significant treaty change. it was the loss of the liberal democrats from the government that meant that was able to be pushed through this house of commons. i won't give way to the honourable lady for st albans. the honourable lady for st albans. the honourable lady for st albans. the honourable lady said there wasn't a referendum in 2010 as a result of the liberal democrats. in 2008, the
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honourable lady said, mr speaker, we are being gagged. only the liberal democrats will offer an in—out referendum. so the liberal democrats we re referendum. so the liberal democrats were actively campaigning. they were saying the conservatives were only offering it on the lisbon treaty and they were giving the public a say. so whatever happened in 2010, she has been a long campaign of foreign in—out referendum for the country. which we then voted to pass an act of parliament to say that that should happen at the point of significant treaty change, which we have not seen. i thank the honourable lady for her intervention. she has a beautiful constituency which i am familiar with and i expect to be there more in the coming weeks. mr speaker, the prime minister has not supported the uk. he's agreed to a border down the irish sea. and i think this is
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because he does not care sufficiently. this is all about him. it is not what he thinks is right for the country. there are different views on the european union across this house. the honourable member full stone has had a consistent view on membership of the european union. i have taken a different view. but most people in this house know where they stand on our membership of the eu. they don't have to write two different newspaper articles to decide which way to come down on that matter and to make that decision on the basis of what is more likely to get them elected as leader of their party. the fact that the prime minister was prepared to make that call in his own interest rather than in the national interest proves that he is not fit to be prime minister. this is a man who has been prepared to say anything and sell out anyone to become prime
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minister. no wonder people don't trust him. he said he would get a great deal. what has he brought forward ? great deal. what has he brought forward? it great deal. what has he brought forward ? it is great deal. what has he brought forward? it is an atrocious deal. it is bad for our nhs. we have already lost 50 0 0 is bad for our nhs. we have already lost 5000 nurses from the european union 27 countries. it is a bad deal for our security. it's a bad deal for our security. it's a bad deal for our security. it's a bad deal for our economy, so bad that the government hasn't even published an economic impact assessment. so much for a party that like to say they have economic competence. now they have economic competence. now they have even given up doing the analysis because they know the result would be so bad. and it's a bad dealfor workers' result would be so bad. and it's a bad deal for workers' rights result would be so bad. and it's a bad dealfor workers' rights and environmental protections, that have been removed from the treaty and put into the declaration that is not worth the paper it is written on. the prime minister also said we would leave on the 31st of october.
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that is thursday, halloween. and we are not leaving on the 31st of october. ifor one will are not leaving on the 31st of october. i for one will be celebrating that that is the case, that we are still members of the eu. so will the 3 million citizens in our country from other eu countries, and so will millions more. it shows that the prime minister says one thing and isn't bothered about whether he delivers it. on the question of trust, isn't it the case that she has said her party's policy is to have a second referendum but if that referendum comes up with the wrong result, she will ignore it? and if that doesn't happen and her party got into majority government, she would just dispense with article 50 and ignore 17.4 million people. why should anybody trust what she says and why should anybody believe that she places any truck in being called a liberal democrat any more?
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i have to scotch this suggestion. i am not going to change my basic belief and i don't think there are many in this house who would. had we voted to remain in 2016, i wouldn't expect that the right honourable memberfor stone would expect that the right honourable member for stone would suddenly think that being a member of the european union was a good idea. so of course i'm always going to think it's a good idea to be a member of the european union. but what would be the case if we had a people's vote on the deal if there was to be a vote in favour, i would at least have confidence that there was a majority view in the country in favour of leaving under those circumstances. right now, i have no confidence of that whatsoever. he mentions the policy of the liberal democrats to go into a general election and say to people, we are a party of remain. we believe our best future is in the european union and if you vote liberal democrat, we will do all we can to stop brexit.
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and if you elect a majority liberal democrat government, we will revoke article 50 and if we are then in that situation, on day one, i would revoke article 50. that is setting out what you plan to do and then if you win the election doing it, that is the essence of democracy. i am going to make some progress now. we asa going to make some progress now. we as a country face huge challenges. we have a mental health crisis, particularly amongst young people, that needs to be tackled. we have schools that need investment to make them world—class centres of learning. we need to take bold action to tackle the climate emergency, because the scientists tell us that time is running out. and we have huge reason to be hopeful. we have people who have
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huge innovation, ingenuity. our universities, our businesses, the spirit of entrepreneurialism in our country. we are in the middle of a technological revolution that can help provide answers to the climate emergency, to the shared problems we face, to improve our health and well—being for the future. and when i speak to young people, whether it is in schools in my constituency or the climate strikers or the people on the march is about remaining in the eu, those young people have an energy and enthusiasm that should be an inspiration to us all. and as members of the european union, working with our closest neighbours, asa working with our closest neighbours, as a united kingdom family of nations strung together, working within the eu, we can reshape our economy and harness the technological revolution and build a brighterfuture. technological revolution and build a brighter future. that is the message the liberal democrats will be taking to the country in this general election. simon mccoy: lets pull
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away from that for a moment and go to our chief political correspondent vicki young, who is in the central lobby. this seems to be going faster than we would have anticipated, so we could be looking at a vote sooner rather than later. we are on the second reading of the bill, which is the first stage of that bill. the most significant thing that has happened this afternoon is that the rules have been changed in an earlier vote, which means that mps can now bring amendments to this bill. they can try and change it in significant ways, and this could be a problem for the government. the snp is planning on tabling amendments to change the voting franchise to say that 16 and 17—year—olds should be allowed to vote in this general election for the first time and that eu citizens living in the united kingdom should be allowed as well. the indications from number ten are that either of
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those two amendments were to pass and labour supports it, the liberal democrats and snp support moves, they would pull the bill so that the election would not go ahead on those terms. so that could be what happens later if the bill gets through its second reading. that vote could be coming up in the next hour. so that would be a significant moment. having talked all day about labour getting behind all of this and therefore the election in december happening, the wrangles over the date are still going on, but this could be a bigger headache for the government and there are certainly some in downing street who think that this could be a ruse by labour. they say it is allowing labour to pretend they are in favour of an election and then back changes and amendments which would wreck the bill. that is something that labour would of course dispute. they think 16 to 17—year—olds should have the vote. it is something they have campaigned for for a long vote. it is something they have campaigned forfor a long time. but the government's argument is that it
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is too late at this stage to make such a fundamental change without any consultation and without considering it more carefully. and when it comes to the administration of it, it would be virtually impossible to achieve. so all eyes on the speaker to decide whether those amendments are put? that is right. there is some suggestion that you can't bring forward an amendment if there are financial implications to it. it would be deemed to be out of scope. they can't do it if it means government money has to be spent on it. that is the bit they will be arguing over, and the government would say that if eu citizens, who are on an electoral register because they are allowed to vote in local but not general elections, it means that you could potentially have 2.5 million more people taking part. that obviously does have financial consequences, you could argue. so that decision is to come and we will not know which
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amendments have been selected. i think it could be by the deputy speaker rather than the speaker, but they will make the decision later as they will make the decision later as they progress to the next stage of they progress to the next stage of the bill. then there is a committee stage where they look at the detail and can bring amendments, and then you go to report stage and third reading, all of which the government is hoping to complete in the house of commons by this evening. so anybody watching you now who is gagging for a cup of tea, do they put the kettle on now? at what time will we be able to look at what is happening in the house and say there was a problem? you have to stay glued all afternoon, simon, you know that. that was the right answer, well done. i will come back to you later. by the way, if you want to watch proceedings in parliament, bbc parliament has continuous coverage of the ongoing debate and it is still going on. let's talk now to the journalist and former director of strategy at the labour party, steve howell. the accusation from
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borisjohnson was that labour are playing games here. you mean in relation to the 16 and 17—year—olds? in relation to the amendments that seem to suddenly be appearing. that is one of them. the sense is that thatis is one of them. the sense is that that is to derail talk of a general election. well, our hapless prime minister needs to think through things he says. he has wanted this general election, he says, and he has been pressing for it since september. he notes that the labour pa rty‘s september. he notes that the labour party's position is to give the vote to 16 and 17—year—olds, so it was obvious that as soon as the question ofan obvious that as soon as the question of an election came up that that would be an issue. and here we are, it is an issue. so why he didn't foresee that and why he didn't have this debate earlier if he now feels it isa this debate earlier if he now feels it is a problem, is a question you should ask him. i think it is reasonable, giving the long—standing policy of the labour party on the
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issue, for the labour party to be raising it now. this in the past the tories have said labour is running scared because they think they will lose the election, but what is the sense with activists, those who will be doing the work?” sense with activists, those who will be doing the work? i have done more than 50 meetings around the country in the last year around my book which was about the previous election campaign in those meetings have been well attended and enthusiastic and there have been great discussions and people are raring to go. they have been wanting this election, our members, since the ink was dry on their vote in 2017, and they are glad they have now got a chance to get rid of this government. and an opportunity to make the election notjust about brexit but also about the future of the country and about climate change and the way in which our country is run, not in the interests of the minority, but should be run rather
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in the interests of the great majority. you raise a point about brexit and there are plenty of people who will use this as a second referendum, that it is absolutely about brexit. the polls are saying that people are actually concerned about other issues, brexit is undoubtedly the one coming up highest, more than 60% say that would be one of their top three issues, but 35% say one of their top three issues is the nhs and others have climate change in there. and the economy. there are other issues and the brexit question needs to be seenin and the brexit question needs to be seen in the context of how we run the country and in whose interests we run it, and how we are going to tackle climate change. our trading relationship and our political relationship and our political relationship with the eu is only one aspect of this wider debate. that is the way in which we should, the labour party, should be presenting it. do you feel the narrative is not
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clear at the moment? we are at the beginning ofan clear at the moment? we are at the beginning of an election and so that narrative will develop as the election campaign develops but my view would be that we need to place brexit in that context of, there are two great challenges and issues for us in this election, for the british people, how is it that living standards have been flat for the last ten years, real wages have not gone up, when there has been real term real gdp growth every year for the last eight years? where is the wealth going? if it is not going into the pockets of the great majority of people. at the same time, young people face huge amounts of debt because of tuition fees and older people have lost their state pensions, so that is one issue and the other issue with climate change and how we are going to tackle it. both these things are wrapped up in one solution which is our green new
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deal and if we can get that across, the need to invest in the need to transform our economy, through a green new deal, i think we can win this election. those are the policies, what about the personalities? jeremy corbyn still seen as an asset? you saw today, he came out to announce the position that had been adopted of going for a general election and immediately he was into campaign mode. he has been up was into campaign mode. he has been up in scotland at the weekend campaigning, he has been all over the country for many weeks, he never stops. i think oncejeremy gets campaigning, once the activists get out there campaigning, and once we have the broadcast balance rules which allowjeremy to have a good hearing in debates on broadcast media, then i think we will see a change in the polls, which
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incidentally don't accurately reflect the position in this context, because most of the polls assume that borisjohnson would have delivered brexit by the time the election takes place. the only poll which has been conducted which asked people how would you vote in the event of brexit not having been delivered actually has labour one point ahead, that was a poll last week. the simple reason that the brexit party takes votes away from the tories in the context we are now in of brexit not having been delivered. the tories have a problem andi delivered. the tories have a problem and i think there's a huge opportunity for the labour party to build on its support in the polls which has actually been around 40% for the last two years until the last six months and i don't believe those people who have supported us in the last election have suddenly changed. they might be unhappy with us on brexit and want us to take one side or the other but i don't think
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that fundamentally they have changed in terms of supporting the kind of things i've been talking about like a green new deal and our policy is to transform the economy. steve, thanks forjoining us. thank you very much for waiting. that is the nature of these debates, that we have to see them through. pleasure. we've been asking lots of questions this morning here at westminster but now it's time to answer some of yours. joining me to do that isjill rutter from the uk in a changing europe — which conducts independent research into uk—eu relations. good afternoon. milesh from milton keynes asks: "we have a government
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who wishes to deliver brexit. "we have an agreement brought back by boris johnson. "why do we need an election? that is a great question and many people have been asking to my philip hammond said why doesn't he just tried to get his bill through? the mps tried to get his bill through? the m ps voted tried to get his bill through? the mps voted in principle for it last week at a second reading and boris johnson had a surprisingly big majority, 30, more than people would have forecast. but mps thought he was not giving them enough time to consider it. he wanted a very compressed timetable to deliver his 3ist compressed timetable to deliver his 31st of october deadline. people have said you have got the deal, why not programme it slightly longer timetable and give mps a bit more timetable and give mps a bit more time to consider it and give the lord's time and then we could still be leaving the eu at the end of november with the rolling flex extension the eu have granted? there
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is no need for an election in that sense, but i think the prime minister might have a few motivations, he may have feared that the majority of 30 would have evaporated, so that some of those labour leavers would have left him. that he might have had to stomach some unpleasant amendments from the government perspective. so that is what he might have been worried about. you might have one eye on the polls which suggest he is doing pretty well at the moment —— he might. that it might be a good time for him to do an election as it it might bea for him to do an election as it it might be a better thing to do it before christmas —— and that it might bea before christmas —— and that it might be a better thing. amy on email asks: why does jeremy corbyn now support a general election? that is even harder than the first question. delving into motivation is quite difficult, and this is difficult for the opposition party which has been calling for a general
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election, to be seen to be opposing it, when it may pass, so there is, if it is going to happen any we might as well be seen to be on board with it. -- might as well be seen to be on board with it. —— any way we might as well. there is people have said how committed was labour to the election with some of the amendments, to say they are supporting it in principle but actually trying to stop it happening, so we will see. jeremy corbyn has always said he would want a general election, he is more up for it than many of his colleagues, he wanted one as soon as no deal was taken of the table. it took him time to work out what the eu have done, but by agreeing to the extension yesterday they did take no deal off the table, at least for now. it is 01:39:51,026 --> 4294966103:13:29,430 difficult to say they cannot have a
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