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tv   The Week in Parliament  BBC News  October 13, 2018 2:30am-3:01am BST

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journalist jamal khashoggi with king salman as the saudi authorities face growing pressure over his alleged murder. mr trump told reporters he had not spoken to the saudi ruler yet, but would call him soon. washington insists no deal was done with turkey to secure the release of the american evangelical pastor andrew brunson. he's flying back to the us via germany after a turkish court freed him. president trump said he'd welcome mr brunson at the white house, most likely on saturday. rescue workers are still searching through debris for people who may have been trapped or lost their lives when hurricane michael tore into the south—eastern united states on wednesday. 16 people are now known to have been killed by the storm in florida, virginia, georgia and north carolina. now on bbc news, the week in parliament. hello there, and welcome to the week in parliament,
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our look back at the last few days here at westminster. coming up: jeremy corbyn tackles theresa may over one of her party conference promises. isn't the claim that austerity is over simply a great big conservative con? but the prime minister says fewer people are in poverty, employment is up, and labour's agenda would cost the country dear. uncontrolled borrowing, spiralling taxes, working people paying the price of labour — yet again, labour taking us back to square one! hear, hear! also on this programme: there's been a lot of talk of another referendum on brexit butjust how hard would it be to get that idea through parliament? the parliamentary hurdles are considerable but you have to look at that in the context that the parliamentary hurdles to either a deal or a no—deal brexit are also considerable. and are we running out
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of places to hear live music? there are so few small music venues around the country and there's a lot of them that are dying. but first, mps and peers return to westminster after a break for the liberal democrats, labour and the conservatives to hold their annual autumn party conferences. it was an eventful time for all three what with sir vince cable's talk of erotic spasms over brexit, jeremy corbyn setting out his party's ambitions on everything from green energy to pensions and child care and, of course, who could forget theresa may's dancing and appeals for unity in her party? when mps gathered for prime minister's questions, jeremy corbyn picked up on one of the prime minister's conference pledges — the promise of an end to austerity. jeremy corbyn wanted to know when that would come for health workers, teachers, police and councils. eight years of painful austerity. poverty is up. homelessness and deaths on our street is up. living standards down.
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public services slashed. and a million elderly are not getting the care they need. wages have been eroded and all the while, mr speaker, all the while, billions were found for tax giveaways, for big corporations and the super—rich. hear, hear! the prime minister, mr speaker... the prime minister declared she is ending austerity. but unless the budget halts the cuts, increases funding to public services, gives our public servants a decent pay rise, then isn't the claim that austerity is over simply a great big conservative con? hear, hear! can i say to the right honourable gentleman, actually, wages are going up, we've increased the national living wage as well. there are 1 million fewer people in absolute poverty under this government. hear, hear! under universal credit, one million disabled households
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will get around £110 a month more as a result of being on universal credit. and he talks about cuts! i'll tell him about some cuts that have been of benefit to working people in this country. what about the {18.5 billion of income tax cuts that have helped household incomes under this government? hear, hear! what about the cuts that those in their household bills that 11 million households will see as a result of our energy price cut? and — and what about the £46 billion of cuts through freezing fuel duty that has made a real difference to people's lives? but we know what would really hurt working people. labour's plans would cost £1 trillion. 1,000 billion pounds of people's money! uncontrolled borrowing, spiralling taxes, working people paying a price of labour — yet again, labour taking us back to square one. hear, hear! jeremy corbyn didn't ask about brexit but a pro—european
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former cabinet minister did. kenneth clarke, the longest—serving mp, told theresa may she could only get an agreement with brussels through parliament with the support of pro—european conservative and labourmps. which would reveal that the hard—line eurosceptic views of those on the labour front bench and the right—wing nationalist now party are a minority in this parliament. will she therefore proceed courageously on that basis in the formidable task that lies ahead ? theresa may said she was working on a good agreement for the uk. when we come back with a deal, i would hope that everybody across this whole house will put the national interest first. hear, hear! that everybody across this whole
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house will look not only at a good deal for the future of the united kingdom but will also remember that having given the decision as to whether we stay in the european union or not to the british people, the british people having voted to leave, it is our duty to ensure that we leave. well, the brexit talks had, of course, been continuing while mps were away from westminster. and so, at the start of the week, there was an update on what had been going on. the brexit secretary, dominic raab, told mps the uk had brought forward serious and credible proposals and it was time for the eu to match that ambition and pragmatism. but labour reckoned it was like groundhog day with the government pretending everything was going to be all right. one of the big sticking points remains northern ireland. during that statement, the snp told the minister that peace there was not negotiable and the dup said its red lines were still clear. because he needs to understand that as far as we are concerned, as a democratic unionist party,
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we will not tolerate anything that separates northern ireland from the rest of the united kingdom in terms of customs or single market as we leave the european union. we've been clear about that from day one. and just to reinforce the point, the next day, the dup abstained in a vote on the first piece of brexit policy legislation, to be debated in the commons — the agriculture bill. in england, the government wants to move away from the current subsidy system, which is based on the total amount of land farmed or owned, but it's not going to happen overnight. there will be a 7—year transition period from 2021 in order to enable our farmers to take advantage of the new opportunities that this bill provides. there is no commitment to producing healthy, home—grown food in a post—brexit world. and there is no commitment to protecting the people of this country from food poverty at a time when thousands rely on food banks. some mps thought the bill
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a little premature. no—one even knows where the uk's borders will be. perhaps in the middle of the irish sea! and it that uncertainty which is causing the most concern to farmers and other food producers. with over 70% of uk for agriculture purposes, now is the time to place —— with over 70% of land used uk for agriculture purposes, now is the time to place a legally binding responsibility on ministers to ensure that the land is managed and farmed in a way that restores the natural world. a former lib dem leader said direct payment to farmers should continue. the ill—intended but often utterly predictable consequence is that the government will flood the market with cheap foreign imports and remove the lifeline of direct payments, hundreds of farmers — especially hill farmers — would then go under. so this is not a nice, gentle 7—year phase—out for hill farmers or those in less fatal areas. for many, it is a 7—year notice to quit the landscape altogether. and the dup, whose mps
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support the government, one of the dangers of britain having to operate on the world trade organisation, or wto, rules. it could decimate the lamb industry overnight. with 14%, 15% tariffs, and we export 90% of our lamb. and the dup later abstained on the vote on that bill, issuing a shot across the government's bows that it —— that its support in westminster could not be taken for granted. and the northern ireland issue was highlighted in the lords as peers debated the impact of brexit on the peace process. it's 20 years since the belfast, or good friday, agreement was signed, helping to end the violence there and paving the way for devolution and the northern ireland assembly to be set up. a former first minister said the agreement had led to a change in the relationship between ireland and the uk. that is now being threatened. and it's been threatened not by us in northern ireland, but it's being threatened by brussels and dublin.
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but a dup peer said for peace were overstated. the vast majority of people right across northern ireland — from both communities and in the republic of ireland — have no intention of allowing the men of valence to resume their destructive campaign. lord browne. of course, for some, the whole idea of brexit is unpalatable. in recent weeks, the snp and labour had opened the door to the possibility of a second vote. there had been a big march calling for another referendum ahead of labour's autumn conference in liverpool, while around 1,000 dogs and their owners marched on parliament recently. organisers of the so—called ‘wooferendum' claim that, among other things, brexit would lead to a shortage of skilled vets from the eu. and there's yet another march, this time for humans, scheduled for october 20th. but while calls for another referendum may be growing, making it happen is not simple.
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the constitution unit at the university college london has produced a report on the process, identifying a number of trigger points that could spark a vote. i asked professor meg russell, one of the report's authors, if the most likely trigger was mps refusing to vote for whatever deal the government put before them. well, what becomes likely depends first and foremost on the outcome of the negotiations. because there are two routes at the beginning — one way is there is a deal and the other way is there is not a deal. so if there is a deal, then the deal has to be put to parliament, and that gives mps an opportunity to intervene, to either vote down the deal or to maybe make support for the deal conditional on a referendum. then, of course, there is a route where if there is not a deal, there's going to be pretty much a crisis situation, and there may be calls for a referendum at that point as well. but as we have seen this week, with the warning shots fired from the dup, theresa may is going to struggle to get a majority, or get the numbers on anything at all that she wants to put through parliament. so would that rule out any kind of referendum getting through?
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well, this remains unclear. it's unclear whether the deal will get through parliament. it's unclear whether a referendum will get through parliament. but one of the points that we make is that if she's trying to build a majority for the deal, it could be that one way of doing that is to offer a referendum in order to get more people on side who might be prepared to accept it on the basis that if it is approved by the people, then they will allow it to go through. so a referendum could be a way out of now being able to build a majority for even a deal orfor a no—deal situation. —— a majority for either a deal orfor a no—deal situation. a lot of the focus, understandably, has been on what has been going on in the house of commons but there hasn't been a lot of talk about the house of lords. could there be a trigger for a second referendum in the house of lords? potentially there is, but it is a rather uncomfortable one. so the process, the parliamentary process if a deal is agreed, is that first, the deal is put in a motion which will consider both the short—term deal and the future relationship, which is actually most of the arguments are about
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the future relationship in terms of customs union and so on. so mps get to vote on that deal. and they can either support it or reject it or possibly amend it. at that point, peers cannot really intervene. they get to debate it, but they cannot vote it down. if it goes through the house of commons, there then has to be a bill to implement the deal. because it is a bill, it has to go through the commons and then the lords. so there a potential route whereby mps have not imposed a referendum requirement, but peers would write that into the bill. what we say in our report is that will be quite troublesome for the timetable because we say that holding a referendum takes time. and that would be a much later trigger. and we are very much pushing up against the proposed exit date and we'd have to have quite a long extension to article 52 to enable a referendum to happen, if it was the lords that did it. but another referendum couldn't happen quickly, as you mentioned there, because it would mean another mall going to parliament. —— as you mentioned there, because it would mean another law
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going to parliament. absolutely, yes. i mean, the government cannot just hold a referendum — there has to be a referendum bill to facilitate them to do that. and that would be not an uncontroversial bill. so it would have to pass through the stages in the commons, and that it would have to pass through its stages in the lords. there might be arguments on the nature of questions to be put to people. there might be arguments about the franchise, that kind of thing. and alongside that, the electoral commission tests the clarity of the question, so it actually talks to members of the public, talks to various experts to check whether the question perhaps could be clearer. and that process takes place alongside the passage of the bill. so it is quite hard to rush those processes. you cannot condense them. you couldn't do it as a piece of emergency legislation in three days. they will certainly take a matter of weeks. so, to sum up then, you're noting in this report that another referendum is completely impossible, but you does see some very big parliamentary hurdles? the parliamentary hurdles are considerable but you have to look at that in the context
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that the parliamentary hurdles to either a deal or a no—deal brexit are also considerable. so i think everybody appreciates the prime minister is in a very difficult position. she has got very uncertain levels of support in the house of commons for anything, and so one of the possible outcomes is that a referendum emerges from that process as a way out. and certainly, in a no—deal situation, we know that mps do not want — i mean, some of them may be do, but they are very much in a minority those who think the no—deal is the right way out of the situation. and so, if no deal is reached, then actually the prime minister might herself be reaching for a referendum in order to offer the people and choice to get out of a situation that very few people want to be in. —— the people a choice to get out of a situation that very few people want to be in. professor meg russell. let's go back to prime minister's questions. at the start of the day, theresa may had announced the appointment of england's first minister for preventing suicide. the snp welcomed the news, but raised reports that some women facing benefits tests had tried to take their own lives.
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a series of secret internal enquiries revealed that conservative ministers were repeatedly warned of the policy's shortcomings. will the prime minister commit today to ensuring that her new minister of suicide looks at the impact of her own government's security policies and at long last, prime minister, scrap the appalling work capability assessment? the prime minister told him assessing people's ability to work was important, and the government did look at the impact of the assessments. there was a build—up of pressure during the week about another benefit, universal credit. two former prime ministers criticised the way it's being introduced. labour's gordon brown warned the rollout to another two million
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claimants next year could lead to poll tax—style chaos in what he termed "a summer of discontent". and a former conservative prime minister, john major, also compared the changes to the poll tax that helped end margaret thatcher's time on downing street. work and pensions secretary esther mcvey admitted some people could be worse off because of the switch, but said there'd be protection for those affected. at business questions, labour mps queued up to condemn the change. the damage that is going on now, let alone next year, cannot be underestimated. the government is determined to continue with the roll—out of universal credit, because it is helping more people back into work. the government has also, however, been determined to improve the system as we roll it out, which is why it has been highlighted and we're making sure no—one sees a reduction in their benefits when they're moved on to universal credit. my constituent has been in and out of work and has now told me he has
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been unable — he has exhausted the number of universal credit advance payments he can receive. he's out of work now and received his last pay cheque two weeks ago. he've even exhausted his food bank vouchers. the dwp has told him he has to wait seven weeks for any kind of payment. thanks to interventions from my office, he has been awarded £350 towards paying his rent — which isn't enough — so can i ask for an urgent debate in government time on the horrendous realities of universal credit's roll—out and the impact it's having on constituents on all sides of the house? absolutely. andrea leadsom said there would be a chance to put his questions to the commons on monday afternoon. let's take a look at some other news in brief. the death of 15—year—old natasha ednan—laperouse following an allergic reaction prompted calls to improve food labelling and quickly. the teenager died after eating a pret a manger baguette while on a flight to france. it contained sesame, which she was allergic to. pret now say that they will include full ingredient labelling
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on all food products, so they can do it if they want to, but must it always take a tragedy to affect meaningful change from this government? alexanda kotey and el shafee elsheikh of london are accused of carrying out atrocities while fighting for so—called islamic state. they're said to be the surviving members of a group nicknamed ‘the beatles‘. ministers came under fresh criticism this week for not getting assurances that the death penalty wouldn't be used if the men were convicted in the united states. mr speaker, you know what i think really happened? the government got the collywobbles, jeff sessions huffed and puffed and blew the home secretary down, the prime minister decided to kowtow to trump, and the government changed the policy secretly without telling the house. my right honourable friends considered this strongly, found that there were strong reasons, and took the necessary decision that in this case we would share
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evidence with the united states, on the condition that guantanamo was not part of the process, but in this case, that we did not seek death penalty assurances. a bill banning letting agencies charging tenants fees cleared its first hurdle in the house of lords. in future, landlords will be responsible for paying for agency services. the legislation also caps deposits in the private sector at a maximum of six weeks‘ rent. shelter states that over the past five years alone, tenants have paid more than £678 million in unfair fees, so when the landlords suggest that the legislation would cost them 82 million, i would look at it in that context. a former cabinet minister is calling for an overhaul of the criminal records system for youngsters who've had minor brushes with the law. she said criminal records checks could throw out cautions, warnings or minor convictions. i fully accept that those
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who commit criminal offences in childhood should face prosecution and punishment. if they have the capacity, they must face the consequences of their actions, but except in cases of really serious criminal offences, i just don't think it is fair for people to have their entire lives blighted by the poorjudgements and the mistakes they made in childhood. now, whether it's glyndebourne or glastonbury, live music plays a big part in our cultural life, but for how much longer? musicians warned a group of mps that smaller venues, traditionally home to live music, are dying. do you feel that the loss of venues and practice and rehearsal spaces is having an impact on young and emerging artists, in particular? critically, yes. not just younger artists, but any artists in the process of trying to build a sustainable touring arm to their quote,
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unquote business. i think that small music venues help to not only hone the craft of performing in front of a small crowd, you can proceed to larger venues and arenas, et cetera, et cetera, but it also builds a community element and the ability to connect almost one—on—one with your fans, and i think it is not only a crying shame that there are so few small music venues around the country and a lot of them are dying. if you strip out some of the — literally grassroots is a beautiful image, but it you take it out of the ecosystem, the music we all take a lot of pride in as a countryjust would not be there, and we have had a lot of artists talk about this subject, when they get to the level, frank turner and ed sheeran talk about having that platform. i am not sure how you're discovering your new artists, but the channels in which you do have changed drastically. streaming services have algorithms
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that create playlists of artists that they think they know you better than you know yourself. sometimes they have a good guess, but we can't have our culture curated by robots. we have to be curated by people who really know what they're talking about. i believe that hip—hop and grime are — as a genre is one of the most streamed music genres on spotify at the moment, but it is still incredibly difficult to find small music venues who are willing to take a risk to put it on because they're worried about their licensing terms. it's not explicitly said but indirectly, certain genres of music, if it's urban, you might have a little bit more trouble from — with your licensing terms, you might have your license come up for review next year, and some venues, understandably so, are not willing to take that risk.
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a very good friend of mine, who is a rapper and doesn't swear in any of his music and is as positive as you could possibly be, had a venue in derby cancel on him this week because they thought he was a band for the last month and suddenly realised he was a hip—hop artist and said we cannot put this on because we will lose our licence. a little stardust there being sprinkled on the culture committee. let's have a look at what's been happening in the wider world of politics. at five, hillary clinton unveils a statue to former first lady eleanor roosevelt in oxford to mark 70 years of the universal declaration of human rights. at four, as the us midterms approached, taylor swift backs democrats, but donald trump can still rely on kanye. i love this guy. i love this guy right here. let me give this guy a hug. i love this guy right here. at three, did theresa may start a dance craze? here's european commission president, jean—claude juncker.
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at two — then again, maybe not. scotland's first minister declines to follow suit. i can barely walk in these heels. dancing was never an option. and at one, shoes polished, cravat straightened, and oops! the sergeant and his arms. julia butler. finally, some news about the building in which mps and peers work. the palace of westminster is a world heritage site, but it's also falling down. injanuary, mps voted to move out while a multibillion pound refurbishment took place. the leader of the commons told the committee a law to make that happen had been drafted and she accepted the work was long overdue. i do accept the concerns of colleagues right across the house
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about some of these recent incidents with falling masonry and floods, and with the various problems with the work that is underway at the moment, and i do want to reassure the committee that the house authorities are taking every step possible to protect everybody on the estate. but mps don't need to start packing just yet. the work isn't due to start until the mid 2020s. and that's it from me for now. don't forget tojoin christina cooper on bbc parliament on monday night at 11pm for a full round—up of the day here at westminster, when ministers are expected to face more tough questions about universal credit. but for now from me, alicia mccarthy, goodbye. the friday was a windy day across
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many parts of the country, all down to the influence of storm callum and we're not out of the woods yet. we're going to see particularly heavy rainfall and storm clouds on saturday. here is the low pressure system. it is moving off towards the north—west but as this lingering weather front, which is north—west but as this lingering weatherfront, which is going to bring particular issues in terms of the heavy rainfall, we have a warning in place for south wales. there have already been 100 millimetres of rain in some places. there could be 160 millimetres by the end of saturday. certainly enough to cause significant problems of putting in transports option as well. saturday, a very mild night. temperatures down to 17 or 18 degrees in the south. it could be a record—breaking mild start of saturday morning. a front sitting across the country. you will be raining across the far south—west of england, into wales too. these numbers in the black circles are the
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wind gust. 60 to 70 miles an hour or even a little bit more than that. north—west into northern ireland, northern scotland as well, where you out of that rain, but the rain really will be quite persistent through the day anywhere in the south—west of england, wales, northern ireland at times, into scotla nd northern ireland at times, into scotland as well. there could be sent further flooding scotland as well. there could be sent furtherflooding issues. central and south—eastern england stays dry and sunny. although it is very windy, look at those temperatures, 21120 by degrees. very warm indeed for the middle of october. —— 2425 degrees. moving to saturday evening and into sunday, the front starts to reposition, sta rts the front starts to reposition, starts to push a little further eastwards. —— 24 or 25 degrees. still very mild to the south—east, less mild towards the north—west. heading through sunday, this fund just starts to clear western parts of the uk. some sunshine returns to
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northern ireland, western parts of scotla nd northern ireland, western parts of scotland and northern ireland as well. we have got much cooler conditions on sunday with cloud, it's still quite breezy and outbreaks of rain. could be 10 degrees cooler on sunday than saturday. bye—bye. hello and welcome to bbc news. saudi arabia has again denied allegations that it was responsible for the disappearance of the journalist jamal khashoggi. turkish sources say they have documentary evidence that a saudi security team murdered mr khashoggi at the saudi consulate in istanbul. earlier, president trump said he would raise the issue with king salman. bill hayton reports. jamal khashoggi walked through this door ten days ago and was never seen again. leaks to localjournalists suggest turkish police have documented evidence that mr khashoggi was interrogated, tortured, and murdered within these walls. translation: government officials say they are going to publish
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