tv British Prime Minister Theresa May Discusses Brexit Plan CSPAN May 6, 2019 11:42am-12:16pm EDT
be a woman and having the kind of power that i have, i can vote. i can thrive, i can do all sorts of things and a lot of places in the world would be nine to me. i feel so blessed and so lucky to be someone at this time in this country. >> being an american is being able to enjoy the freedoms and rights and liberties that we have as americans and also celebrating our diversity and trying to increase our right to liberty for all. >> voices from the road on c-span. >> british prime minister theresa may fielded questions from parliamentary leaders last week on the next for breakfast, the european council was given britain until the end of october plan on leaving parliament had not been able to agree on a way forward and the prime minister was still negotiating with the opposition labor party on securing a deal. during this30 minute portion
of the hearing, the chairs of the select committees in the house of commons asked the prime minister about her plans . >> good afternoon, prime minister. the government has canceled the no deal brexit contracts and how much is it going to cost? >> i wonder if it would be helpful before i do that if i would set the scene if you're interested in where we are in negotiations and what we're doing. >> we had quite a lot of questions i thought it might be we can answer some of those questions. because i think if i obviously our policy to leave the eu and as orderly fashion as possible and i regret the fact that hasn't been possible . >> obviously everybody knows the house has also rejected no deal and other actions including an equal approach and by the legislation which has passed, it's an extension and as you know, i called an
extension until 13 june but the council after deliberations gave an extension until 31october . we can leave, at any point up until that time and we will leave at the end of the month in whichparliament ratifies a stalled agreement . it's important because i want that to happen for the october deadline and i think that's once that is reached, members should look to pass thenecessary legislation . as soon as is practically possible. it would be making a concerted effort to fill that, of course discussions on workers rights, making it clear we accept yemen cable by mandy on the world of parliament and possibly trying to ratify the agreement itself house chose not to do. but obviously then the cabinet agreed that the rights reaching out to the opposition, in order to decide how we can build a majority of this presentation .
and i think that was unprecedented , but i was convinced it was the right thing to do, to see if we are working together to deliver the results of the referendum andwe been having constructive meaningful plots which are continuing . there are policy issues in many of the key areas on which we work with common ground but we know we need to end this uncertainty and do it as soon as possible. and i hope that we certainly approach this with an open mind but if we're not able to do that, we will brief the house in order to show them what the house can support and we stand ready to's and by that decision if the opposition is willing to do so and obviously, there will be lots of technical questions but i think the choice before the house remains in relation to this issue which is we can get a formal majority, we can decide to leave with no deal, go back to say thank again or
reframe brexit, the only one acceptable is the form a majority to ratify the agreement. we will continue to work and do everything i can to do that because i think that's what's right inthe national interest . but we do meanwhile discontinue our preparation for no deal which i have a contract, those contracts is the right of the extension that i just referenced, we're reviewing the contingency plan that's taking place in relation to those deals. if we decide to terminate the contract , those contracts were a vital contingency measure ensuring that they could enter the uk in the event of a disruption and a no deal scenario but they put into play termination fees to
make sure we would not have to take into account thefull cost . >> could we cancel the contracts? >> it would cost less than it would to carry on running the contracts. >> it would be around 6 million quid, can you confirm that? >> i think that what we're talking about is the question of cost. the point i just made is an important one which is to define termination costs would be operating, it's substantially lower than the and ao's recent estimate of termination costs. thanks to the decisions we took but it is so low in keeping those contracts on, i'm sure everyone would agree we have to make a decision that is best in terms -- >> i understand that entirely but does that mean the government has now accepted that there won't be a no deal brexit?
in other words, if you have accepted that, i can see why you'd cancel the contracts and won't do anymore or might you have to stand them up again if we come to 1 october without an agreement. what is the government's policy on the no deal brexit? >> we won't leave the european union without a deal and that is what we continue to work for but it is not entirely in the hands of government as to what happens there. parliament has to ratify an agreement that they made with us to leave with a deal and so far parliament has not been willing to do that although parliament has also not been willing to accept no deal but the extension and decisions at the end of that where we could get to that without a deal ratified and with having left the european union i hope we don't come to that position . it would not simply be a decision of the government as to what happens, because obviously at that point , there would be a request for further extension, that would be in the hands of the european union as well.
>> you referred to the talks of the opposition. if they can't reach agreement as you just said, you're going to put a number of options to the house, will that be a decision for the customs union? >> what we would do is discuss with the opposition because we want this to be a process with which we have discussed with the official opposition and which they are willing to support. we discuss with them the oppositions that would be put for the house. we would discuss the option. >> since there are going for a customs union, one would have thought they'd be happy to see that put to avote . >> one of the discussions we've been having and i've made this sort of in public as well is the whole question about customs arrangements of the future, there is terms are used in relation to customs, times people use different terms mean the same thing, times meaning differentapproaches , but what i think would be important to come to that process is that anything that
is put before the house and obviously customs unions being put before the house usually have been rejected by the house and there is hope that we get an agreement with the opposition so there's a process that everybody stand behind. >> include a second referendum? >> that's the question of a different order, isn't it? that's not a question of a substantive deal that would be required in order to ratify the old agreement, that's about process in relation to an issue. and as the, as you know, there are differences of opinion in relation to his second referendum and either we the part in government or the official opposition have a policy of second referendum in all circumstances. >> it's a perfectly coherent opposition, do you agree with him? >> it's a proposition that has been caught by the number of members at inside the house and elsewhere. my view about the second referendum is that we should get on with delivering the first referendum to reedit and that what people want us
to do that's what people expect us to do. it is what the government is applying as a referendum said we would do .>> can i turn to the plans and negotiating objections for phase ii if a deal is agreed. can you confirm who leaves those negotiations for the uk side mark. >> that is, we would have a different arrangement forthe negotiation. most likely it would be set by the secretary of state . >> but if i can just explain, obviously the next stage of negotiations, face to includes a wide range of issues and of course it would be necessary to be able to draw a cross expertise from across government, for example one element is security . so obviously making sure that those who are expert and well-versed inthose are part of those negotiations . >> would be your role or the role of your successor if
that happens in the initiation, i would that be handled with the secretary of state ? >> the secretary of state would of course operate according to policies set by the government. so they would be not just able to minister to negotiation. >> i ask because they asked about a month ago, the government was planning to set up an expert advisory group of technical experts in trade and customs, having been established? >> there are various pieces of work to be done, some of the announcements have been made in relation to work that we will do on looking for example at alternative arrangements to the back stock and with all agreements . we would be wanting to extend the inputs that we had on these matters. in the second phase of negotiations and that's why we've referenced not just experts on issues like trade and government but also a greater interaction with
generally with trade unions and with work requirements. >> at any been established yet? it took the government year and have to decide what to ask for, what i'm trying to establish is whether the government is waiting for phase ii negotiations if we get to that point so the question i'm asking is you announced you want to set up a group of experts in trade and customs, has been established? >> what you will see the government a year and a half to decide what was going to ask for, i set out the icon of what the government was going to ask for in the lancaster house which was in early 2017 but we obviously flesh that out in the lesser article 50. we then went through obviously we had discussions focusing on the withdrawal agreement aspect of the european union but, you will see a great deal in there which is being from the government's point of view hard-fought in order to ensure that we can have a
situation going into the second phase that we requirements for the united kingdom actually go forward. at the moment, obviously the whole question of what those objectives should be, and you see and as i said the amendment that we put out, that parliament having a greater role in that, that whole issue is one that is for further discussion. >> are you concerned that time is being lost because with each month of extension of article 50,that is a month off the transition . >> and like to leave out quite a lot. >> if it crosses the house of commons, the way i did we would already know longer be members of the european union . >>. >> we turn now to thecivil service and no deal preparations . >>.
>>. >> the question is whether the civil service is preparing for leaving without a deal. and it confirmed that that's still the default legal position but what is the policy of the government because as a matter of fact, of international law, the moment of which the 29th deadline was extended was when you accepted the extension offered to you at that european council in mid-march, that's correct, isn't it? >> the first extension? yes. >> what you accepted the extension. >> and the as i went past the exit date. >> the changes to the si exit date was necessary to ensure uk domestic law was inline with international law .>> so in the government's
response to the inquiry into the status of resolutions of the house of commons, the government said that even promotions of humble addresses, this is the government's response lacks statutory force and emotion cannot be used to change the law, compel the government to legislate orleans recommendation or tell the minister how to perform a statuterequirements . so whatever the political pressure is on you, you are under no legally binding obligation of any kind to accept the extension. >> the government had a decision was appropriate at the time in order to accept that extension. that was as you know a limited extension and that was done with the expectation that it would be intent of trying to ensure within that
third space of time we were able to ensure a deal, this is why i indicated earlier remains the government's position that is the best option for the united kingdom is to leave with a deal. >> at the subsequent summit you made the same choice without any legal obligation. >> there was a legal obligation at the second summit because the house of commons and pass legislation that required governments to seek an extension. >> it didn't require you to accept any terms and that's what you did. >> i accept that there was a significant discussion on the council. i did accept the terms of office. there was a crucial element that we insisted on, made clear that we wanted and that was a term that should it go beyond a tree and a of extension that we asked for but i think that the practice the house of commons and not just in our first question referenced the motion of the
house of commons, it was an act of parliament that was passed requiring the government to seek an extension and setting those parameters for that extension . >> but you were obliged to seek an extension but you weren't advised to accept an extension. >> i think if one is obliged to seek and ask extension, one is obliged to seek an extension. let me explain that because the education to your question is this, we said we were going to ask for an extension to 30 june, the house and concern that, if the european council had come back when extension, i should have said no and then we don't want it any longer. i don't think that's quite how the international vote conspired. >> if you take the advice, you weren't actually under an obligation to accept any such
extension.you were under an obligation not to accept it but the point is this that under what conditions were you prepared to set aside in order to deliver the referendum to refuse on further extension under article 58 and if necessary, leave without a deal. >> i want us to leave the european union, i've been working for us to leave the european union. i have voted consistently in parliament to leave the european union. everybody in parliament voted the same way, we would no longer be a member of the european union . >> i take that to mean that you're not going to contemplate leaving the european union without a withdrawal agreement. >> i'm making a very simple point which is, i know. i'm answering yourquestion the way in which i choose to answer it . the point is very simple.
i stand by the resolutions i've made in the past of not leaving with a bad deal but i happen to believe we can leave with a good deal. i should have made that reference, i was talking in the abstract, we now are no longer talking in abstracts, we're talking against the background of a negotiated deal hard-fought which i believe is the right to have a good deal for the united kingdom. >> .. i do not believe we should remain in the european union and deathly. i believe that's what i want to see the house of commons -- we will only stay if article 50 is
revoked. i have been clear that i believe it is the best option for united kingdom is to leave with the deal. that's what we're continuing to work for. >> one final question. why haven't you help the house of commons by publishing the withdrawal agreement bill? >> we will publish the bill would with complete the work we're doing on the withdrawal equipment built. >> what's going to change since you agreed the end of last year? >> we've already seen a things that have changed that need to be reflected in the withdrawal agreement bill. there are the issues that the been agreed come for the issues combine issues have been agreed with the european union and commitments the government has given, for example, i've already referenced one. there are also commitments that we've given and i've given an
house of commons to workers' rights. it is not the case that the withdrawal agreement bill that will be presented to parliament today will be the same. there will be changes. >> isn't not unusual for the government to publish draft bills and then produce a final bill that's different or amended or indeed to it is a minute during the passage of the boat? wouldn't that help the house of commons but we do if you published the withdrawal agreement now? >> i think it would be helpful for the house of commons for us to publish the withdrawal of the bill when we have considered all the issues that have changed since withdrawal agreement in november of last year. and when we are able to enable the house to proper consideration of that bill. >> in continuing the theme of basic provisions. >> thank you, chairman. you just that i want to leave the eu, prime minister. why don't you get on with it and bring the commencement order to
staff? that would be bad way to begin. but while you claim you to death referendum vote in leaving to you and our manifesto when the withdrawal agreement legally requires not a kingdom citizens, businesses and workers to obey laws made by the choices of the 27 other member states, going on years without our involvement, gives uk courts the right to override united kingdom acts of parliament, undermines the constitutional status of northern ireland and thereby undermines our national interest. why do you repeatedly and again today say that what you're doing in the withdrawal agreement is in our national interest? it most obvious is not. >> you sit said at the beginnif your question that i said outages that i wanted to leave european union. you thought i should get on with it. i've been trying to get on with it. i voted three times now for the withdrawal agreement that would enable us to ratify that. such we can use the lead
european union. i repeat that had the first meeting phone vote country we could've gotten and they out already. i do not accept the description you have given, the position the united kingdom will be an following on the basis of the withdrawal agreement and the future proposed future relationship that we're negotiating. i could go through the specific issues if you like but it is not the case, it is very clear that it is not the case were going to see the continued court of justice here in united kingdom. >> prime minister when a calling you to resign the other day in the house, you said the withdrawal agreement with a good deal for the united kingdom. but how can it be so when it deliberately undermines the repeal of the european commission act of 19 1972? i mention there's no commencement order. this shackles us to all eu --
submitted if i may. this shackles us to all eu treaties and laws. your 108 promises not to extend the time have been overridden by what many regard as an unlawful statute instrument which is now before the joint committee. you gave instructions the conservative mps to defeat my amendment in the cooper bill which would have stopped our taking part in the european elections. so we passed the european union withdrawal act, and you know perfectly well and we agree about this, if nothing else, how to put an enormous amount of time and effort, as we all did, indicating that withdrawal act through on the 26th of june 2018. so that would've taken it out of the eu. not this withdrawal agreement. furthermore what have you gone back on the repeal of the 1972 act? >> first of all i would say we also would now agree about wanting to leave the european
union wanting to ensure speedy it a proper weight. >> but we had exchanged about the 1972 act on the floor of the house. the european withdrawal, the act has always been passed. does repeal european act of 1932 and does at the point of it. but, but what we've negotiated with in the withdrawal agreement is that implementation period, transition. as it is referred to in the documentation for a time up to the end of december 2020. during that time we will be continuing to operate pretty much as we do today. we would be a member but we will continue to operate and it would be necessary to reintroduce the -- >> we will have laws passed upon us by 27 other member states without our involvement, taken
behind closed doors without even a transcript that is not anything less than castrating the united kingdom parliament. >> that is, first of all, if you look at the timetables that are taking place in relation to direct his european union, actually i think with your experience and your scrutiny committee i'm sure you know it isn't the case you suddenly get a lot of laws passed by european union within the time for would effectively be 12 months. but secondly, what we talk about is the implementation period. we are not talking about the future relationship with european union. we're talking about a transition period that enables people to have a smooth and orderly exit after the point at which we live that gives businesses an absolute certainty that the basis of which they will be operating at that point in time and gives them the time to prepare, gets in the time to prepare for the future
relationship that would obviously be negotiated during that time. >> i don't agree. [laughing] >> we know. we know. >> the committee has recommended on 61 occasions that the governments reversed its original proposal to go from a negative procedure to an affirmative procedure. the government has accepted it. i'm grateful that cooperation. when a a committee of the house has said they want something to be change, , the government has been going to change it. in your view now, as far as you are concerned, following the cooper bill, is it your view that it is impossible for us to leave without a deal? >> what i think is that parliament will act to make it,
to insist that the uk government is not willing to leave without a deal. as i said, actually leaving without a deal is not entitled in the hands of the uk government because the issue of extension article 50 rests 50 h all of the european union sitting around that table. >> isn't that the fact that the bill that was passed, i did that support the bill was passed, actually says the deal has to be done, , your view as prime minister is that we have to, you have to as prime minister and any future prime minister would have to ensure a deal to satisfy the house of commons? >> the house of commons has expressed its view. as it happens that you the house of commons has expressed that wants to leave with the deal is the same view the government has in terms of our policy. we believe leaving with a deal is the best, actually this deal is the best route for united
kingdom. >> you have said in the past that leaving with no deal is better than leaving with a bad deal. you believe the deal you negotiate and come to agree to years of the negotiation is a deal that is in the best interest of united kingdom as a whole. that is something which is been followed to buy about the business leaders and industry as well. i would press you to reconsider the publication of the withdrawal agreement bill, because it isn't uncommon for governments to make lots of amendments during the passage of the bill. i think the fact that one could make and it would need to the amendment is not with a good reason not to publish it. i think i would ask you to reflect on whether, actually to help parliament. the frustration not only across the house of commons but i also think across the country is just exactly where we're going, what is the direction of travel. that is something which is
causing a lot of concern from people i speak to, be it big business leaders or be they individuals. so i think one of the things i would ask fairly quickly, hopefully we are going to the outcome across party talk soon. they do seem to have been going on almost as long as the original discussions, but i realize that's a slight exaggeration but hopefully we will know in the next week or so. they give very much. >> good afternoon, prime minister. you mentioned workers' rights in your earlier statement. the governments -- around workers' rights. you think they could go far enough in protecting and enhancing marcasite? >> it is important that we have with in our legislation that the commitment we've given within the withdrawal agreement about nonaggression terms of workers' rights. as you will know, actually this
government, this country has workers in many areas, as workers' rights that are provided by the european union legislation. obviously the issue of workers' rights is one of those that it's been raised with us by members across the house but particularly raised by the official opposition. this one of the issues we will look at to see whether, how we can ensure the commitments that a been given by the government on workers' rights can be enshrined and clear for the future. >> i think we can go, if you look at section one as a .52 relevant bills while section two is on exactly the legislation. so who decide what is relevant, parliament or the government? >> this is, well, what of the issues that we are trying to ensure is that there is sufficient capability and the
ability for parliament to be able to look at these issues. and the question that when there is any change in the european union, government making obviously the statement as to whether or not we believe that is an enhancement or not, and parliament then have the opportunity to give its opinion on that, i think is important but it's getting the balance between government and parliament right. it will be one of the issues that would be debated we do come to an withdrawal agreement. >> on that come understand is it only commits the government to make a statement on new bills but does that say, it has to make statement whether or not it removes any workers' rights or any other protections so is still quite wishy-washy. >> i think the intent is that government would be able, would be making clear to parliament
whether it in its view any decisions that have been taken in european union in relation to workers' rights were an enhancement of workers' rights, or what the interaction with uk legislation was in relation to that. but i'm happy to look at the specific points that you phrase about the language within the clause. >> thank you. i think no part is able to -- as a proposal are currently formatted it does look as though there's not individual protections. it's just consultations in the court sanchez concern we can go much further if we tighten up the language. >> we are certainly looking at what it would be appropriate to put in legislation on this issue. so once again i'm happy to take those . >> thank you, prime minister. >> the chief of naval operations admiral john richardson talks about challenges facing maritime security across the globe. he's addressing the navy air and space exposition in the
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