tv The Week in Parliament BBC News March 3, 2018 2:30am-3:00am GMT
mr trump said trade wars can be good, because the us is losing billions of dollars from existing deals. the united nations‘ top human rights official says it's very likely war crimes are being committed in the syrian region of eastern ghouta and there must be prosecutions. hundreds have been killed in the rebel—held enclave in the past 12 days. severe weather is bringing chaos to large parts of europe. at least 60 people have died in sub—zero temperatures. heavy snowfall and blizzards are forecast to continue well into the weekend. now on bbc news, the week in parliament. welcome to the week in parliament.
our look back at the last few days here at westminster. on this programme, theresa may is urged to set out more details of her brexit strategy. we will bring back control of our laws, our borders and our money. but labour says the government is in chaos. when is she going to put the country's interest before the outsized egos of her own cabinet? also on this programme: we talk to welsh mps as scotland and wales turn up the pressure on ministers to make sure they get control of some of the powers coming back to the uk after brexit. there's a call for a ban on live animal exports. and is facial recognition technology a security boost or a big brother threat? the chinese alibaba site has
introduced a system whereby you can smile to pay. but first: the acceptance that the uk cannot have its cake and eat it, was just one of the messages from theresa may as she set out details of what the uk wants from brexit. in a speech on friday she laid down five tests for a future agreement with the european union, including whether any deal respects the result of the 2016 referendum, protects jobs and security, and strengthen the ties between the four nations of the uk. the prime minister will update the commons on her ideas in a statement on monday afternoon. it will be another chance for mps to question her overjust where she sees brexit going. at prime minister's questions on wednesday, the labour leader jeremy corbyn had taunted theresa may over a recent ministerial get—together at her country retreat, which aimed to thrash out the government's strategy and come up with a united way forward. mr speaker, the prime minister
emerged from her chequers away day to promise a brexit of "ambitious managed divergence." what on earth ambitious divergence will mean in practise? we will bring back control of our borders and our money. that is in direct contrast with the labour party is positioned, want to be in a customs union, and do whatever it takes that would mean giving away control of our laws, our borders, and our money. and that would be a betrayal of the british people! the government is so divided that the prime minister is incapable of delivering a coherent and decisive plan for brexit! so when is she going to put the country's interests before the outsized egos of her own cabinet?
jeremy corbyn. well, one problem that's proving particularly tricky in the brexit talks is how to take the uk out of the eu's customs union while still avoiding checks on the irish border. in the week the eu put forward a plan for a common regulatory area for the whole island of ireland, which would avoid what's known as a hard border with checkpoints between the north and south. but at prime minister's questions, theresa may made it clear that proposal wasn't acceptable to her. the draft legal text the commission has published would, if informative, undermined the uk common market and threaten the integrity of the uk by custom me —— creating a customs and regulatory border through the irish sea, and no prominent state could ever agree to that. —— no prime minister. the snp‘s westminster leader picked up on the irish border issue,
and a leaked letter from the foreign secretary borisjohnson to theresa may. in it he said the government should prevent the borderfrom becoming "significa ntly" harder, a comment that came hot on the heels of a bbc interview where he'd compared the issue to crossing between london boroughs and the use of the congestion charge. the foreign secretary's letter, shows he cannot get to grips with one of the most fundamental issues of brexit. the foreign secretary compared crossing the irish border to going between camden and westminster! frankly, you could not make this stuff up! this is a uk government, that is prepared to put in jeopardy the good friday agreement! does the prime minister agree with the foreign secretary who is making the united kingdom a laughing stock? theresa may didn't mention boris johnson specifically in her reply but insisted the government was committed to the good friday agreement. but mps wanted the foreign secretary to explain himself directly to them.
so, straight after pmqs, labour put down what's known as an "urgent question," asking him to come to the despatch box. but as you might be able to see mrjohnson left the chamber, provoking much shouting from the opposition side. the dup‘s westminster leader used the opportunity to speak up and back theresa may in rejecting the deal proposed by the eu. it is ironic, is it not, that some of those who complain hardest about creating a hard border between the irish border and the irish republic have today welcomed proposals from the eu which would create a hard border between them. to use the belfast agreement or most specifically, to thwart exit in shape it in the way, it is outrageous and disgraceful! we are not going to rip our nation further apart. we not only to have a pragmatic
approach, but in honest approach. and the only solution to a hard border is, membership of the custom union, mr speaker, they will get there in the end. anna soubry. of course the irish border isn't the only big unresolved issue. the governments in wales and scotland have real concerns too. for example, what might brexit mean for regulating welsh farming or the scottish fishing industry? control over agriculture and fisheries is technically devolved. but these powers are currently exercised from brussels. once the uk leaves the eu these powers will be heading to the uk. but where will they go? the welsh and scottish governments claim that westminster might try to grab them. the cabinet office minister david lidington tried to reassure the doubters. the vast majority of power is returning, will start off in edinburgh, cardiff and belfast,
and not whitehall. let there be no doubt, this will be a very big change to the eu withdrawal bill that is before parliament and a significant step forward in these negotiations. but both the welsh and scottish governments think that's not good enough, and responded by introducing continuity bills, in effect making sure those responsibilities go directly to them, not westminster. bad weather cancelled the st david's day debate in the commons. but we thought we'd stage our own. first i asked plaid cymru's westminster leader, liz saville roberts, why she thought westminster would hold on to the powers and not pass them on. why would the governmentjust not allow these powers to go straight to cardiff for edinburgh? if we are equals, with the nations of the uk, we should be owed to discuss that within the parliament so we can come into an agreement together.
according to our needs. here in london, not expecting them to be held back the fallout passed on to us. i am joined by labour mp steven doughty and joined via webcam by david davis. let me start with you. these powers are going to affect people for years to come. shouldn't they have a say on them from day one? they will have a say from day one, and they will have a greater say. those powers are currently in brussels and they are going to come back to london where they will be decided upon by a british government made up of mps from england but also wales, scotland and northern ireland, so those powers are already coming back to the united kingdom. it will already have a much greater say to how these laws are made. and in the very short term, maybe not immediately but in the period of the next two years, many of the powers will be devoolved straight down the m4
towards cardiff or scotland and northern ireland. but that's the major sticking point, eventually those powers will go to scotland and wales, why can't they go straightaway? there is not one single thing that the welsh assembly can do at the moment that it won't be able to do after brexit. we are not taking any powers away from belfast, scotland, nowhere else. no powers have been taken away and more powers will be going to them. we need to ensure that we don't have, if you like, four different nations all doing their own thing and that would undermine the single market in the uk and it is such an irony that all of these people, i respect steven doughty and labour mps who say we need to be a part of this single market. if we have a situation where they have different agricultural policies we will lose the single market in the uk. it sounds utterly reasonable.
the uk government had plenty of time during this process to resolve the issues with the welsh and scottish governments. and the discussions have come to a stalemate at this time. the welsh government has had to set out a continuity bill to try to keep things going because they haven't come to this agreement and that is not the situation we want to be in. we don't want to end up back in the supreme court arguing about these powers. the powers that have been given to scotland and wales have been in place since 1999 and it is established they have powers in those areas and that they would get stuck in westminster and grab back by some ministers is not an acceptable situation. you talked there about these continuity bills, wouldn't everyone be better off trying to sort out and negotiate with the government at westminster rather than going for this nuclear option of having a continuity bill and making more confusion and as you say, more potential to turn up in the courts? to be fair, we have raised this
problem since day one and i work closely with my colleagues and national assembly and indeed from snp and plaid cymru. we agree that this is about respecting devolution and the different powers that the government and united kingdom have in keeping the constitutional stability here in the uk in the uk government has not responded adequately to that. even conservative scottish mps are agreeing that this is not an adequate situation. and they have not come forward. either that is to do with the chaos seeing or whether they are grabbing back the powers and hold them in westminster, neither of those are acceptable. david davis, isn't there a problem for the government that it is going to look like it is walking roughshod over devolution — if it hangs onto the powers it is in trouble, if the continuity bill goes through it is also in trouble. whatever the government does,
and no matter how far is it traced whatever the government does, and no matter how far is it tries to support the welsh assembly and scottish parliament, leaders of those institutions are not going to support brexit. we are not taking any powers away, we are taking powers from brussels. but that is a wonderful thing, we're taking this powers from brussels and back to the uk parliament, where welsh mps will have a say over it, and the welsh mps will bring it down to cardiff. that is respecting the result of the brexit referendum in wales. last ten seconds, what do you you make of that? he is incorrect. we voted for the wales act and this is an intent to claw back the powers and even ukip in the welsh assembly are backing the welsh government on this, and it is this silly route that we don't need to have. it is not about blocking brexit, and it is about
respecting the powers of the governments in the uk government should do that. david tc davies and stephen doughty there. now, i hear you ask, what's been happening in the wider world of politics this week? here's duncan smith with our countdown. # five, four, three, two, one.# five. a wintry week at westminster and the heating failed at a late—night sitting in the house of lords, prompting peers to wrap up warm. four. welsh nationalist mps are backing manchester city boss pep guardiola for wearing a pro—catalan ribbon at the cup final. he was charged by the fa for promoting a political message. plaid cymru mps tabled an early motion praising his stance. three. back in the lords, a the quick thinking doorkeeper saved the day on wednesday. business can't end if the mace is in place. two. most fashionable subject for a speech this week, brexit as seen on monday, tuesday, wednesday, thursday, and friday. one.
we return to the weather for our top story. and the snow at westminster inspired these images on social media. # five, four, three, two, one.# duncan smith with our countdown. now let's take a look at some westminster news in brief. the international development secretary is considering stopping uk aid for a number of charities after they failed to provide assurances over safeguarding to her department. penny mordaunt had set a deadline for the information following the scandal surrounding sexual misconduct by aid agency workers. a number of organisations unbelievably, mr speaker, have not replied. we are following up. but without compelling justification, they would have lost our confidence and we will consider whether it is right to continue their funding. the government's announced its abandoning the next stage of the leveson inquiry into press intrusion set up in the wake of the phone—hacking scandal.
the culture secretary argued the industry had changed and he reminded mps that the first phase had cost £48 million. i have informed sir brian that we are formally closing the inquiry. but we will take action to safeguard the lifeblood of our democratic discourse and tackle the challenges that our media face today, not a decade ago. this announcement, conveniently timed to be buried under a flurry of snow, is a disappointment. a breach of trust and a bitter blow to the victims of press intrusion. but it is not in any way a surprise. uk millennials are on track to be the most overweight generation since records began, health experts say. based on population trends, more than seven in every ten people born between the early 1980s and the mid ‘90s will be too fat by the time they reach middle age.
5—year—olds are now eating their own body weight in sugar every year. obesity is the second largest cause of cancer, and it reduces life expectancy up to ten years. what is needed are mandatory reformulation targets for reduction in added sugar, fat, and calories across all products, as well as common—sense policies directed at early years. we have seen action in what we will see in the spring is evidence had the desired effect and if it hasn't, we have left all options open to take more if required. the electricals retailer maplin collapsed in the week, putting 2,500 jobs at risk, on the same day, a further 3,000 jobs were under threat when the uk's biggest toys retailer toys"r"us went into administration. in the lords, there was a dire warning that trading in britain's shops could decline by nearly a quarter in the next year. there is a crisis on the high street. can the minister tell us what the government is doing
to recognise the pressure the internet is putting we found 2.3 billion and cutting business rates and found a degree of fairness to the system. there are limits to how far one can go and one has to accept that a lot of what is happening as a result of what the consumers want. mps debated a call to ban live farm animal exports after more than 90,000 people signed an online petition. ministers are said to be considering the change. currently, live animal exports from britain are controlled by eu regulation. in 2012, a0 sheep had to be euthanised after being crammed into a truck. last august, 500 sheep spent four days without having access to food or water while being transported to turkey. let us, mr wilson, make this be one
of the great steps as britain takes back control from the european union. because, as gandhi once said, the greatness of the nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. we should not be banning live exports because if we do that, we will lose control through the irish border and potentially, the animals that we are seeking to improve the welfare of will end up travelling from southern ireland to spain or france — journeys that are considerably longer than they need to be. mps have been increasingly concerned about the plight of the rohingya people fleeing myanmar, formerly known as burma. now, the chairman of the international development committee says it's been blocked from making a fact—finding trip to the country after publishing a report on the crisis. yesterday, our passports were returned to us without visas and clearly, the failure of the burmese government to grant these visas simply prevents us from doing ourjob as a select committee,
which is to oversee how overseas development assistance is spent in the country. i understand, mr speaker, it was the leader herself who blocked the approval of our visas. they indicated three reasons for that refusal — first, that there is an extended public holiday in burma and secondly, that access to rakhine state remains restricted for security reasons and finally — and i think this was something that was brought up in the press release by the honorable gentleman yesterday evening — they were unhappy that individual members had signed a letter calling for the senior general of the burmese army to be held to account for the military behaviour. in the lords, there was a call for better regulation of facial recognition technology by the security services and police. biometric software can identify someone by comparing a photo
or video to a stored face—print. it's used for security but also increasingly by private companies. one peer who said she'd been arrested but not charged while attending peaceful protests raised concerns. this technology is being used for a database full of illegal images of innocent people, and i include myself in that number. it seems that facial recognition technology is using the police national database which contains tens of thousands of people who are never charged, nor convicted of an offence. it is six years since the high court ruled that the policy of retaining the mugshots of innocent people was unlawful, but the police still do it and they still upload them onto the police national database. the government's solution in 2017 was to allow individuals to write to the police asking to be deleted. thatjust isn't good enough. although it is still at a very early stage of development as far as its use in the criminaljustice
system is concerned, i have no doubt that it will eventually be accepted by the police and the courts as a quick and reliable method of eliminating the innocent from suspicion, as much as for identifying and convicting the guilty. but he added there were no national or international standards for how to implement its use. these techniques are extremely powerful but they are out of the bag, the train has left the station, or whichever metaphor you want to use on this concern. the chinese alibaba site has introduced a system whereby you can smile to pay. now, as far as i know, it is china, and it is different, of course, and i am not aware that any other similar system being adopted in the uk or in other western countries,
but the point is that the technique is there and it is actually only a matter of time before non—state actors start to use these techniques far more widely than is currently the case. one peer and former mi5 chief stressed the benefits in counter—terrorism, and was impressed with a system he'd experienced. i was going into the building the other day and they had a facial recognition system at the door and it immediately and accurately identified me as myself and was able to do it on the basis of a 12—year—old photograph taken from the internet. so this is notjust about police custody records — you can do it without any of that stuff — and a lot of people are doing so in the private sector. so, for example, the german police force is using image capture to make a troublemaker data base, which is against the principles of data protection and against the spirit of not using this type of technology for and intelligence—gathering tools. but as there is no legal status
and no proper regulations and oversight, they are getting away with it. the home office minister said biometric data was critically important in law enforcement. my lords, maintaining public trust and public confidence is key. achieving this involves a more open approach to deployment and the development of new technologies. we remain committed to ensuring that our use of biometrics, including those provided to law enforcement partners is legal, transparent and robust. she also said the government was committed to creating a framework so that organisations could innovate with biometric data in an ethical and transparent way. finally, march the first is the meteorological start of spring — which might have been a little hard to believe over the last few days — but it's also st david's day, and a chance for a few non—welsh speakers to have a go at the traditional greeting.
can i wish all members speaks welsh. the non—welsh speakers with us. and here is the scottish accent. speaks welsh. and here is how it should be done. speaks welsh. st st david's day. but there was some bad news for those wanting more talk of st david's day. i'm afraid to saw when the beast from the east meets stormageddon emma, one of the victims of the victims of the house will be the welsh members.
the debate on saint david's day has been cancelled so they can travel home safely. the weather intruding on commons business once more — something pete wishart was keen to explore, sort of. there are two items of business — the beast from the east and the home secretary. —— there are two items of business — the beast from the east and the foreign secretary. one is a white—out that causes damage wherever it goes and whatever it touches and the other is the beast from the east. pete wishart. and that's it from me for now. but do join lucy grey on bbc parliament, on monday night at 11pm for a full round—up of the day at westminster. but for now from me, alicia mccarthy, goodbye. hello again. there is not as much snow falling now and attention turns to the icy conditions.
it is still quite treacherous out there for many of us. it there for many of us. is slowly turned a little less cold it is slowly turned a little less cold from the south but we will still have a wintry mix of rain, sleet and perhaps an snowman in the hills. an icy start of the morning, a frosty start also, some snow falling across northern england, northern ireland, it peters out and becomes lighter, though showers further north and scotland in the cold wind and wet conditions across southern parts of england, focused on the south—west, most lieb rain but some snow over the hills of wales, temperatures getting six to seven and further north just above freezing so improvement on what we've seen. icy patches around on morning and frost, too,
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