tv The Week in Parliament BBC News September 9, 2019 2:30am-3:01am BST
the taliban say americans have the most to lose after trump cancelled peace talks aimed at ending 18 years of war in afghanistan. despite the cancellation, the us secretary of state, mike pompeo, said the conflict would ultimately be resolved through dialogue. the taliban, too, say they're committed to continuing negotiations. the head of a us aid agency says that hurrican dorian has left parts of the bahamas looking like they were hit by a ‘nuclear bomb'. a huge relief operation is underway to provide emergency shelter, medical care and food and water. 43 people have been confirmed dead, but the number's expected to rise. there've been fresh clashes between police and protestors in hong kong for the fourteenth week in a row. earlier, activists marched on the us consulate to call on donald trump to intervene personally in the political crisis. now on bbc news, a look back at the week in parliament.
hello and welcome to the week in parliament — a few historic, extraordinary, tumultuous days filled with government defeats, party expulsions, defections and resignations. on this programme: mps back a bill demanding the pm ask for a brexit extension — and push no deal off the table. borisjohnson says it puts the eu in charge. there is only one way to describe this deal. it isjeremy corbyn‘s surrender bill. his is a government with no mandate, no morals, and as of today, no majority. the prime minister tries and fails to call a general election. the motion has not obtained the majority required under the fixed—term parliaments act 2011. unlock.
also on this programme: mps react to the news that the pm's brother is to quit as a minister and mp. applause in the commons for a labour backbencher after he tears into borisjohnson over his comments on muslim women. and — in what would normally be the week's big parliamentary event — the chancellor sets out his spending plans — to a frosty reception from opposition mps. our careful management of the public finances means we can now afford to spend more on vital public services. this will not help end austerity. it will only pause some of the hardship in the short term. what a week. borisjohnson putting his first votes to parliament — and losing the lot. mps taking over the commons and forcing through a bill the prime minister didn't want. party expulsions, defections and the resignation of his own brother.
the week ended with the government saying it would try again to get parliament to agree to an early election — butjust how did we get here? the week had started with borisjohnson reporting back on the summer's g7 summit in the french resort of biarritz. unsurprisingly his remarks were dominated by brexit. he said he believed in the last few weeks the chances of an eu deal had risen — but that would be jeopardised by the bill that opposition and rebel tories planned to put forward to extend the brexit deadline. but labour said there was no sign that the government had put forward any new ideas. whilst the conservative philip lee caused a stir in the chamber when he walked in with two lib dem mps — and took up his seat next to jo swinson — a very public announcement of his defection to her party and a move that wiped out borisjohnson‘s commons majority. the longest serving mp — the father of the house —
summed up what he said was boris johnson's strategy. to set conditions which make no deal inevitable, to make sure that as much blame as possible is attached to the eu and to this house for that consequence, and then as quickly as he can hype a flag—waving general election before the consequences of no deal become too obvious to the public. but borisjohnson insisted the bill to extend the brexit deadline would be disastrous. it would enable our friends in brussels to dictate the terms of the negotiation. that's what it does. there is only one way to describe this deal. it isjeremy corbyn‘s surrender bill. that's what it is. it means running up a white flag. it means running up the white flag. will the prime minister admit that a no deal scenario would be
catastrophic or will he continue to face both ways, deceive the public and use no deal for his own electoral gain? of the top ten of the eu's trading partners half are trading on wto no deal terms. with the prime minister therefore continue to put to the sword the ludicrous suggestion that britain would be incapable of trading on such terms? we would prosper. your argument seems to be that you have a plan but you just can't share it with the house or indeed with chancellor merkel and we just have to trust you. and that parliament, which has a mandate, unlike your government, which no longer has a majority, shouldn't legislate against a no deal because that would somehow scupper your plans which nobody knows. rachel reeves. well, a little later mps took the first steps to bring in that bill forcing the government to seek
a brexit deadline extension. a senior conservative — sir oliver letwin — put in a formal request for an emergency debate on whether or not the commons should be able to take control of the agenda on wednesday — and use that time to pass legislation designed to prevent a no deal brexit. i am satisfied that the matter is proper to be discussed under the terms of standing order number 24. does the right honourable gentleman have the leave of the house? uproar and so mps moved on to the debate on whether or not they should take over the commons timetable to make room for legislation asking for an extension to the brexit deadline. and the vote at the end of it was decisive — borisjohnson losing his first commons vote by a clear majority. the ayes to the right, 328.
the noes to the left, 301. well, immediately after that it was announced that the government was throwing out of the party — removing the whip in the jargon — the 21 conservative mps who'd voted against the government. it meant that former chancellors philip hammond and ken clarke were out — as was winston churchill's grandson, sir nicholas soames. so it was a fractious, raucous, slightly stunned house of commons that gathered next day for boris johnson's first pmqs where one of those ejected from the party had some advice for the pm and his chief of staff, dominic cummings. the great lady who you and i both revere i am sure, mr speaker, once said, advisers advise, ministers decide. can i ask the prime minister to bear that statement closely in mind in relation to his own chief adviser dominic cummings? the labour leader challenged the prime minister to publish
the details of any alternative brexit proposals. boris johnson shouted across the chamber — lip readers reckon he yelled, "call an election, you big girl's blouse". jeremy corbyn said the pm had no plan, no authority and no majority. if the prime minister does to the country what he has done to his party in the past 2a hours i think a lot of people have a great deal to fearfrom his incompetence, his vacillation, and his refusal to publish known facts that are known to him about the effects of a no deal brexit. borisjohnson said it was the labour leader who wasn't willing to stand up to scrutiny. he thinks... we think that the friends of this country are to be found in paris and in berlin and in the white house. and he thinks that they are in the kremlin and tehran and... uproar and in caracas. the snp‘s westminster leader urged
borisjohnson to accept the extension bill if it was passed later in the day. will the prime minister accept the legislation today so that no deal can be avoided? and let us vote for an election so that the people can truly decide the next steps. mr speaker, i am a democrat, because i not only want to respect the will of the people in respect of the referendum but i also want to have an election, or i am also willing to have an election if the right honourable gentleman opposite‘s terrible bill goes through. it was a labour mp who brought the house down when he turned to the subject of race and religion and an article that boris johnson had written. if i decide to wear a turban or you decide to wear a cross or he decides to wear a kippah or a skullcap or she decides to wear a hijab or burka does that mean it is open season for right honourable members of this house to make derogatory and divisive remarks about our appearance?
for those of us from a young age have had to endure and face up to being called names such as towel head or taliban or coming from bongo bongo land, we can appreciate full well the hurt and pain felt by already vulnerable muslim women when they are described as looking like bank robbers and letter boxes. so rather than hide behind sham and whitewash investigations when will the prime minister finally apologise for his derogatory and racist remarks... applause go on. go on. racist remarks, mr speaker, which have led to a spike in hate crime. if he took the trouble to read the article in question he would see that it was a strong liberal defence, as he began his question by saying, of everybody‘s right to wear whatever they want in this country. and i speak as somebody who is not
only proud to have muslim ancestors but to be related to sikhs such as himself. and i am also proud, mr speaker, to say that under this government we have the most diverse, the most diverse cabinet in the history of this country. the lib dem leader was not impressed. can i say to the prime minister that his response to the honourable member for slough was appalling? an apology is what was required rather than some kind ofjustification that there is ever any acceptable context for remarks such as he made in that column. we re jo swinson. there was another big parliamentary set piece on wednesday. in what on any normal day would have been the headline event, the chancellor, sajid javid, delivered his latest spending plans setting out overall budgets for government departments. his predecessor, philip hammond,
had promised a three—year comprehensive spending review, but with eyes on brexit and a possible general election, mrjavid opted to plan only as far as 2020/21. the chancellor told mps austerity had finally come to an end. our careful management of the public finances means we can now afford to spend more on vital public services. so today i am deciding to set the real increase in day to day spending next year at £13.8 billion. delivering on the people's priorities across the nhs, education and police, and giving certainty to all departments about their budgets for the next year. a full fiscal event would have meant new economic forecasts, the need for a fiscal framework to give departments security over the parliament, allowing them to plan ahead after years of cuts. instead we get this sham of a spending review. they are claiming to be against austerity after years
of voting for it. while the chancellor has announced increased spending today this will not help end austerity. it will only pause some of the hardship in the short term. meanwhile brexit will bring a lasting and long—term damage to our livelihoods. the independent watchdog, the office for budget responsibility, said just two months ago that a no deal brexit would add £30 billion a year for the next four years to public borrowing. ed davey. well, then it was on to the day's main business — that bill forcing the prime minister to ask for an extension to the brexit deadline in the hope of averting a no—deal brexit. a number of mps who'd had the conservative whip withdrawn following the previous night's rebellion spoke. one former conservative foreign
office minister said he was proud but slightly bemused to now be an independent. i will leave with the best of memories the eu, of our sister centre—right parties and many friends, and it may have curtailed my future, but it will not rob me of what i believe, and i will walk out of here looking up at the sky, not down at my shoes. applause. another now former tory rejected the prime minister's claim that backing the bill was playing intojeremy corbyn‘s hands. i would sooner boil my head than hand power to the leader of the opposition. the purpose of this bill is to instruct this government and this administration how to conduct the uk's future arrangements with the european union. it is not an attempt to remove this government, it is certainly not an attempt to hand power to the leader
of the opposition. they were backing the extension bill put forward by a senior labour mp, who said it had cross—party support. what unites us is a conviction that there is no mandate for no deal and that the consequences for the economy and for our country would be highly damaging. the best way to stop any damage at all is to revoke article 50. i've made an amendment to that end and a helpful letter the schedule. it needs one signature, that of the prime minister, and this nightmare is over in that length of time. a lib dem who took a seat from the conservatives at the brecon and radnorshire by election this summer made her first speech. currently, if farmers if brecon and radnorshire export to the eu, export tariffs are — well, let me have a think — they are zero. a no—deal brexit would mean 40% of tariffs go on welsh lamb exports.
this would risk putting farmers in my constituency and right across wales out of business. the brexit secretary set out his objection to the bill. there is no incentive on the eu to move because the bill gives the eu complete control of the outcome of these talks. those on the other side of their negotiation do not want the uk to leave, they don't want to lose the 12% of the financial contribution to the eu budget that the united kingdom pays, £1 billion a month that this extension will cause, and, therefore, in short, there will be no incentive for the eu to move. he said the bill would lead to purgatory and delay. but mps did not agree — they voted by 329 votes to 300, a majority of 29, for the bill to clear its first commons hurdle — another big defeat for the government. the legislation went on to pass all its commons stages and was sent
off to the lords, and we'll catch up with what happened there injust a moment. well, borisjohnson has repeatedly said he wants to leave the eu on october 31st, and with that bill telling him to go to brussels and seek an extension instead on track to become law, the prime minister decided he'd rather call a general election. but for that to happen, two—thirds of mps had to vote in favour. borisjohnson set out his case. i don't want an election, the public don't want an election, the country doesn't want an election. but this house has left no other option than letting the public decide who they want as prime minister and i commend this motion to the house. the offer of an election today is a bit like the offer of an apple to snow white from the wicked queen. because what is he offering is not an apple or even an election, but the poison of a no deal. the truth, mr speaker, is that this motion from the prime minister
is about playing a disingenuous game that is unworthy of his office. simply put, the snp cannot support this motion tonight because we do not trust the prime minister. we could have a general election. and i say to the prime minister, such an election should be held in a responsible, calm and orderly way, not with the threat of crashing out with no deal, either during the campaign or in the immediate aftermath. so, if he wants an action, extend article 50 for the purposes so, if he wants an election, extend article 50 for the purposes of having a general election, and bring it on. and when it came to the vote, not enough mps back the government. the ayes to the right, 298. the noes to the left, 56. for a second night following a defeat, the prime minister made a statement,
accusing the labour leader of running scared. i can only speculate as to the reasons behind his hesitation. the obvious conclusion is, i'm afraid, that he does not think he will win. and i urge his colleagues to reflect on what i think is the unsustainability of this position overnight and in the course of the next few days. so, where did all that leave borisjohnson‘s government, parliament having passed a bill asking him to extend the brexit timetable and rejected his call for a mid—october general election? well, it was down to the leader of the house, jacob rees—mogg to set out the next moves when parliament reassembled on thursday morning. he announced the list of things the commons would be dealing with on monday, including any changes made by the lords to the brexit timetable bill and that would be... ..followed by a motion relating to an early
parliamentary general election. ah! same as last night. the house will not adjourn until royal assent has been received to all acts. those oohs and aahs there, the reaction to the news that the government was going to have another go at calling an early general election. and that reference to making sure all acts had royal assent was an attempt to counter opposition concerns that the government might try to circumvent the brexit timetable bill and take the uk out of the eu without a deal on october 31st. if the house agrees to an election date on the 15th of october on monday, the leader of the house of lords very knowledgeable —— is very knowledgeable about procedural issues. is there any device that the prime minister could use to move that date to be on the 31st of october whilst the house is prorogued, in order to take the country out with no deal? what i can assure the house about is that the date will be set and the date will be stuck too. i think everybody —
everybody in this house wants to see this issue settled. it is the one thing we have agreement about. and the best way to settle it is through a general election, and a general election before the 31st of october. doesn't the leader of the house understand that such is the lack of trust in this government because of its behaviour that we simply will not vote for a general election unless and until an extension of article 50 has been secured, guaranteeing this country cannot be dragged out with no deal. that is the condition. well, all of that came against a backdrop of the news that borisjohnson‘s brotherjo had decided to quit the government and parliament, saying he was torn between family loyalty and the national interest. opposition mps pounced on that. laughter we've had the resignation from the right honourable member from orpington and his desire to spend less time with his family. laughter
mr speaker, there is only one piece of business that the right honourable gentleman craves, and that is to secure his general election while still being able to get the no deal that they crave. and to his great frustration and to the brexit cult that occupy these benches, they have been unable to get away with it. his general election is coming, but everybody has to be certain that the no deal is dead and buried. and the funniest thing about last night, mr speaker, during that general election motion was the sight of scottish conservatives shooting through the lobby in favour of an immediate general election on the day that an opinion poll showed that they would be decimated in scotland. this isn'tjust turkeys voting for christmas, it's turkeys lathering themselves in cranberry sauce and shoving the stuffing up their own posteriors! what we have seen today is, ithink, in history unprecedented, unknown, unseen. we have seen a frightened scotsman. people who are known for their courage, their forthrightness
and their steadiness, and they are scared of going in front of their own voters. well, there was another pre—election boost for the liberal democrats. after former tory philip lee joined their ranks at the start of the week, ex labour member luciana berger announced she too had signed up to the lib dems, taking their total in the commons to 16. back inside the palace of westminster, attention turned to the house of lords. there were some feisty exchanges as peers debated how they should handle the brexit extension bill when it came before them. debates in the lords aren't, by convention, timetabled, but in order to get this bill through in time, labour put forward a motion time—limiting debate. brexiteers retaliated by making lengthy speeches and forcing lots of votes on that, even threatening to sit all night in the hope of stopping the actual bill even getting to the wicket. one peer was passionately opposed to the idea of timetabling the bill. i have to confess, my lords, that when i saw that motion,
i went to the table office and saw that motion in black and white, the like of which has never been tabled in this house in its history by a government, still less an opposition. to appropriate a phrase — to appropriate a phrase — it was a dagger in my heart. i wonder what his cardiologist would have said when he learned about the longest prorogation since the 19305 at a time when this parliament is engaged in extraordinarily important discussions about the national interest. isn't that a rather larger dagger, a rather larger guillotine than anything we are talking about today? i very strongly disagree with my noble friend. and i will discuss my heart when he discusses his soul on this matter. what... well, in the end, peers didn't sit
all night discussing the bill's timetable, and so they were back the next day to talk about the brexit extension bill itself. and parliament has, i regret to say, sought to thwart at every turn the interpretation and implementation of that decision of the british people. this bill is but the latest instalment of that said sad endeavour. my lords, this is actually a simple and quite straightforward bill. but that doesn't make it unimportant. because what it seeks to prevent, a no—deal crash out on the say so simply of the prime minister, does have major implications. it is taking back control for parliament in action, rather than in empty rhetoric. she has talked about the coalition of people who have grouped together to propose this bill, which essentially delays brexit for a minimum of three months. could she tell us, please, what the coalition of people
intend to do with those three months? the coalition is perfectly open about the fact that they have coalesced on a specific narrow purpose to prevent massive harm to the people of this country. beyond that, there will be further discussion about how to proceed. and the bill passed through all its remaining stages in the lords on friday and is expected to receive royal assent on monday. and you can see full coverage of what promises to be another dramatic day at westminster on bbc parliament on monday. but for now from me, alicia mccarthy, goodbye. hello once again. a pretty decent weekend for many parts of the british isles.
however, i suspect the way that monday's going to start for some, that's going to be but a distant memory because if you are anywhere near that frontal system, which really doesn't want to move away very quickly from the british isles, then it is going to be a soggy old start to the day. this is how it's shaping up first thing with quite a bit of rain for the greater part of scotland, save the shetland isles, it should just about clear northern ireland in the first part of the day. it will be there to be had across a good part of england and wales. through the afternoon, we lose the intensity from the rain, save for the south—western quarter, best temperature of the afternoon about 16 or 17. pretty shabby for the time of year. the rain eventually clears away even from that south—western quarter, little ridge of high pressure building in. so that offers the prospect of a drier, brighter, chillier start to tuesday for sure. temperatures widely across central and eastern areas in single figures. and it's a decent enough day, but again, here we bring in some very wet and very windy weather to finish off the afternoon, across northern ireland and into the western
side of scotland. we keep the sunshine further to the south and east well, we'll take those temperatures up by two or three degrees or so. from tuesday into wednesday, see the number of isobars we've got on the chart here, tuesday night, a really windy one across the northern half of the british isles and very wet too. couple of inches of rain, top gusts around 60 miles an hour or so as we see it at the moment. this is wednesday, that weather front easing its way, weakening all the while, down and across england and wales. brighter skies following on behind, but the wind will be a feature of the day, widely across the british isles. some of those gusts in exposed locations still exceeding a0 miles an hour or so. temperatures really not bad, at least the wind is coming in, and there's plenty of it, from the west and the south—west, helping to boost the temperatures widely across england and wales, up to around about 20, 21 or so. this little system was the remnants of a tropical storm that was sitting in the mid—atlantic and brings the prospect of yet more
wet and windy fare, back towards northern ireland, then onto scotland, to the north and west of england, the north of wales. again, generally speaking, the further south and east you are, the drier and finer your day will be. and warm too, some of that tropical air really boosting the temperatures by this stage to around 22, possibly 23 degrees. now, once that system has quit the scene, then a high pressure is going to build in, not only for friday, but for a good part of the weekend, for a good part of the british isles, though you'll notice it doesn't keep the front away from the northern parts of scotland.
welcome to bbc news, i'm simon pusey. our top stories: the taliban says the us has the most to lose — after president trump pulled out of peace talks to end the afghan war. the head of a us aid agency says hurricane dorian has left parts of the bahamas looking like they were hit by a ‘nuclear bomb‘. and — a champion for conservation and christianity. pope francis takes his message to millions in madagascar. and from a wheelchair to a waterski. 15 years after he was shot and left for dead a fresh challenge for our security correspondent frank gardner.