tv The Week in Parliament BBC News September 16, 2019 2:30am-3:01am BST
this is bbc news, the headlines: a day after attacks on two saudi oilfacilities, oil prices have risen sharply on international markets. the benchmark brent crude initially rose almost 20% but prices fell back after president trump tweeted that he had authorised the release of strategic us oil reserves if needed. clashes between police and protesters in hong kong have ended after a night in which several people were seriously injured. violence had earlier broken out between pro—democracy and pro—china demonstrators in north point. in the central district, police fired water cannon and tear gas to disperse the crowd former british prime minister david cameron has accused his successor borisjohnson of only supporting brexit to further his political career. in the latest extracts from his memoirs to be published in the times newspaper, he said mrjohnson did not actually believe in brexit.
now on bbc news, a look back at this month's short, but eventful, parliamentary session in a special edition of the week in parliament. hello, and welcome to a special programme looking at the dramatic last days of an extraordinary session of parliament. coming up, mps force a change in the law aiming to stop a no—deal brexit. 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. borisjohnson tries and fails twice to call an early general election.
if you really want to delay brexit beyond october 31, which is what you seem to want to do, then vote for an election and let the people decide! the prime minister is running away from scrutiny. running away from scrutiny with his blather and his shouting. and a defiant speaker announces he is standing down. i have sought to increase the relative authority of this legislature for which i will make absolutely no apology to anyone, anywhere, at any time. historic, unprecedented and quite, quite extraordinary. how else to describe five days in parliament unlike anything in living memory? five days which saw the governments lose every vote it put to the commons, mps force through a bill ministers didn't
want, and the surprise resignation of the commons speaker. borisjohnson became prime minister just before pa rliament‘s summer break in july, so it wasn't until september mps got the chance to put him, his government and his policies to the test. from the first day back it was clear he was in for a torrid time. for many mps, the number one priority was to stop the uk leaving the eu without a deal on its scheduled exit date, october 31. they asked the speaker for an emergency debate and vote, which if they won, would allow them to take over the commons timetable, creating space to debate a law ruling out no deal. opposition and some government mps stood to show they backed the request. conservatives set out the case. the government's intention or willingness to lead the country into a no—deal exit is a threat to our country.
the prime minister is much in the position of someone standing on one side of the canyon, shouting to people on the other side of the canyon that if they do not do as he wishes, he will throw himself into the abyss. that is not a credible negotiating strategy. and it is also not a responsible strategy, given that the rest of us are to be dragged over the edge with the prime minister. order! mps backed the demand that they should be able to take over the commons timetable, borisjohnson losing his first commons vote by a clear majority. the ayes to the right, 328, the noes to the left, 301. the government's reaction to that was swift and brutal. 21 rebel conservatives were thrown out of the party. former chancellors philip hammond and kenneth clarke were gone, as was winston churchill's grandson, sir nicholas soames. one conservative, phillip lee, had already crossed the floor, publicly defecting, walking to sit with the lib dems.
the loss of those mps left boris johnson without a majority. while the commons timetable takeover meant mps could debate a bill demanding the prime minister ask for a brexit extension until the end ofjanuary unless a deal was signed or no deal accepted by parliament by october 19. in effect, shutting off no deal. one of those thrown out of the party said he was proud but slightly bemused to now be an independent. the obsession that my party has developed may have sought to devalue my past as a friend of the eu, of our sister centre—right parties, and of 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 former tory rejected claims 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. the bill had been 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 have written an amendment to that end. 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 tories in a summer by—election in brecon and radnorshire made her first speech.
currently, if farmers in brecon and radnorshire export to the eu, export tariffs are — well, let me have a think. they're 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 explained his objections 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 the 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, voting by 329—300 for it to clear its first commons hurdle — defeat number two for the government. the legislation later passed all its commons stages and went off to the lords, where we will catch up with it injust a moment. borisjohnson has repeatedly said he wants to leave the eu on october 31 come what may, and with mps having passed that bill blocking no deal, he came to the commons to ask for an early general election, arguing it was time for the people to have their say. in my view, and the view of this government, there must now be an election on tuesday the 15th of october, and i invite the right honourable gentleman to respond to decide which of us goes as prime minister to that crucial counscil on thursday october 17. 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 the election today is a bit like the offer of an apple to snow white from the wicked queen. because what he is 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, unworthy of his office. mr speaker, we will not be party to the prime minister's games. we will not allow the prime minister to use an election to force a no—deal brexit through the back door. 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 of the european union with no deal, either during the campaign or in the immediate aftermath. so if he wants an election, extend article 50 for the purposes of having a general election, and bring it on. for borisjohnson‘s election motion to pass, two—thirds of mps had to vote for it, but he didn't get enough support. the ayes to the right, 298. the noes to the left, 56. so the ayes have it, but the house will be aware that the motion has not obtained the majority required under the fixed term parliaments act 2011. unlock.
defeat number three. the prime minister made a statement and mocked the labour leader for failing to back the election. 48 hours ago he was leading the chants of "stop the coup, let the people vote." now he's saying, "stop the election, stop the people from voting." i can only speculate as to the reasons behind his hesitation. the obvious conclusion is, i am afraid, that he does not think he will win. borisjohnson. down the corridor, it was the peers‘ turn to get their teeth into the bill ruling out no deal. even in the normally serene house of lords there were guerrilla tactics and bad—tempered exchanges as peers who backed brexit tried to stop the bill even being discussed. they put down dozens of changes or amendments to a motion limiting the time for debate on the bill in the lords.
the cunning plan being to keep peers voting for so long that the no deal bill itself would never get to the wicket. there were threats of all—night sittings, and keeping peers in the chamber for days on end. but eventually a late—night truce was reached, and on thursday, after a few hours of sleep, peers moved on the bill itself. parliament has, i regret to say, sought to prevent the implementation of the decision of the british people. and 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 simple say—so of the prime minister, has 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. can she tell us, please, what the coalition of people intend to do with those three months? the coalition is perfectly open about the fact they have coalesced on a specific, narrow purpose, to prevent massive harm to the people of this country. beyond that, they will be further discussion about how to proceed. the only way, if we leave the customs union and the single market, of solving the problem in ireland, is to have a border down the irish sea and cut ireland off. is that what the conservative and unionist party wishes to do? that statement reveals the sort of manichaean approach, "the only way." there are in fact controls that are already in place on animals, livestock, down the irish sea. when it came to the vote, peers backed the bill without a formal division. a fourth defeat for borisjohnson. the legislation passed through all its remaining stages
in the lords the next day, clearing the way for it to become law at the start of the following week. to top it all off, there was another blow for boris johnson, when this man, his younger brotherjo, announced he was quitting as a minister and mp, saying he was torn between family loyalty and the national interest. mps returned on monday for their last sitting day before a controversial five—week suspension or proroguation of parliament. it was an expectant house that gathered for a day of political argy—bargy, but first came a surprise announcement from the speaker, john bercow. i would like to make a personal statement to the house. 0n the eve of the 2017 election, i promised my wife and children that it would be my last. this is a pledge that i intend to keep.
if mps voted later that night for an early general election, he would stand down then. if not, he would go on until october 31, which as well as being halloween, is the day the uk is currently scheduled to leave the european union. john bercow‘s ten years in the chair have been controversial. once a conservative, he has faced fierce criticism from brexit supporters who have questioned his impartiality. he has also been at the centre of bullying allegations, which he robustly denies. throughout my time as a speaker, i have sought to increase the relative authority of this legislature, for which i will make absolutely no apology to anyone, anywhere, at any time.
to deploy a, perhaps, dangerous phrase, i have also sought to be the backbenchers‘ backstop. he said he couldn't have done it without colleagues, friends, and family. and, above all, my wife sally, and our three children, 0liver, freddie, and jemima. applause. there were tributes from all sides. in your role as speaker, you've totally changed the way in which the job has been done. you've reached out to people across the whole country.
you visited schools, you visited factories, you visited offices, you've talk to people about the role of parliament and democracy. it is the case that this evening i shall vote, with many of my colleagues, for an early general election. i hope you won't take that personally, mr speaker, because i have no wish to prematurely truncate your time in the chair. because it is the case, however controversial the role of a backstop has been in other areas, your role as the backbenchers' backstop has certainly been one that's been appreciated by individuals across this house. john bercow paid a tribute of his own to the speaker's chaplain, rose hudson—wilkin, who he said he'd appointed despite opposition from bigots. they hadn't met rose, they didn't know her, they couldn't form a view, they had a stupid, dimwitted, atavistic, racist, and rancid opposition to the reverend rose. i was right, they were wrong, the house loves her. applause. john bercow insisting he was right all along. those tributes tojohn bercow lasted well over an hour.
then it was down to business. one of the conservatives thrown out of the party move to force the government to release internal communications on the controversial decision to suspend or prorogue parliament for five weeks. ministers insist it's to allow for a new queen's speech setting up the government's plans for the next year. opponents reckon the unusually long suspension is a cynical move to keep mps away from westminster in the run—up to brexit. dominic grieve demanded to see all the communications between ministers and special advisors. we have seen documents which show that although on the 23rd of august of this year number 10 downing street and the prime minister denied considering the idea of proroguing at all, in fact, internal government documents reveal that this matter was under consideration some ten days before. he said a remarkable memo had shown the prime minister was happy
with that and thought the idea of mp sitting in september are necessary and contemptible. it's also rather noteworthy that when we found what was under the reduction it turned out he condemned mr david cameron's belief in having a september sitting as being a "girly swot" which i suppose was meant to be contrasted with his manly idleness. but the government did have supporters. it is important that civil servants have space and safe space to speak truth to power. and i think that by his actions today he is damaging the civil service's ability to communicate and discuss freely matters with ministers. does he not see the damage he is doing? 0ne mp worried the government wouldn't release the information
regardless of the commons vote. the daily mailjust reporting right now, quote, "downing street is not in any move to bow to grieve‘s demands." number ten source, quote, "under no circumstances will number 10 staff comply with grieve‘s demands, regardless of any votes in parliament. " labour reckoned there were two key questions. why now? why prorogue now at such a crucial time? what is wrong with november? well, we know the outcome of the negotiations and have a decision. so why now and why five weeks? the snp spokesperson revealed what her sources had told her. that what has been going on is that key figures in number 10 and the government have been communicating about the real reasons for prorogation, not through the official channels of government e—mails oi’ government memos, but using personal e—mails, whatsapp, and burner phones, which, of course, are phones that are usually used by people who are involved in a criminal enterprise in order to avoid being traced. but the minute are described what was being asked
as for as a trawl. it is unprecedented, it takes a coach and horses through our data protection legislation. it is questionable in right of the article 8 rights that individuals have under the echr, and it would, for the first time, say that no, no, that this house of commons, by a simple majority vote, can say that any individual's communications should be rendered transparent. do members realise what they are doing? when it came to the vote, the motion calling for the release of the prorogation communications and documents on the government's no deal contingency plan, known as operation yellowhammer, was approved by 311 votes to 302. defeat number five. as the day drew to a close and with his hands increasingly tied, boris johnson came to the commons again to ask mps
to vote for a general election. just before 11 o'clock at night, in an increasingly rowdy chamber, he set out his arguments, using the labour leader of running scared. why are they conniving to delay brexit in defiance of the referendum, costing the country next to £250 million a week for the privilege, £250 million a week for the privilege of delay, enough to upgrade more than five hospitals and train 4000 new nurses? the only possible explanation is that they fear that we will win it, mr speaker. i will it! i'm grateful, thank you so much... at one point the heckling got so loud mps complained they couldn't hear. borisjohnson move the microphone closer to him. he insisted he would try to get a deal but would not ask for another delay. if you really want to delay brexit beyond october the 31st, which is what you seem to want to do, then vote for an election and let the people decide, let the people decide
if they want to delay or not. the prime minister is running away from scrutiny, running away... jeering. ..running away from scrutiny with his blather and his shouting. once the threat of a no—deal brexit is removed from the table the snp will act. and we urge others to act to bring down the tories, oust this prime minister, and let the people have their say. once we are safe in the knowledge that we are not leaving the european union on halloween, the days of this government will be over. the lib dem leader confirmed if her party won the election they would halt the uk on leaving the eu. and in a general election, where we will stand to secure a liberal democrat majority, such a liberal democrat majority
government would indeed provoke article 50. but it wasn't just the prime minister who was under attack. a former labour mp hit out atjeremy corbyn, saying he knew he'd lose the election. not because of the vast majority of the values of decent labour mps and many labour party members, but because of as a lifelong eurosceptic leading a party of remainers he's been caught out trying to have it both ways on brexit time and time again. those fiery exchanges continued until well after midnight, when the vote was finally called. the ayes to the right, 293. the noes to the left, 46. the ayes the, ayes have it. labour had abstained. meaning borisjohnson once again failed to get the two—thirds of mps needed. defeat number six. this government will not delay brexit any further. we will not allow the emphatic
verdict of the referendum to be slowly suffocated by further calculated drift and paralysis. and while the opposition run from their duty to answer to those who put us here, they cannot hide forever. this government is a disgrace and the way the prime minister operates as a disgrace. jeremy corbyn. after that vote and at well past 1:00am, parliament began the ceremony of prorogation, shutting westminster‘s doors five weeks. the senior official, black rod, right to ask mps to come along to the lords for the ceremony. it's normally a formality. not this time. desire the presence of this honourable house. no. no! black rod was drowned out in all the hullabaloo. mps clustered around the speaker's chair holding signs saying "silenced".
there even appeared to be a slight scuffle as some mps tried to take control. the speaker did eventually leave the chamber to join the ceremony in the lords, but only after he made it clear that for many people he called this an act of executive fiat. the traditional procession left the chamber to cries of "shame on you" from the opposition benches. chanting: shame on you! prorogation finally complete, an extraordinary session of parliament ended. finishing on a crescendo of government defeats, opposition outrage, and the resignation of the commons‘ speaker. we will be back with you when parliament returns for whatever comes next. but for now, from me, alicia mccarthy, goodbye.
hello. the weekend has been very mixed. glorious across much of the south—east, really wild for a time across the north of scotland, and in between, something a little bit in between. some sunshine, but a bit of rain as well. the forthcoming week — largely dry. 0k, a little bit of rain, perhaps, in the north—west of scotland at times. there will be some chilly nights around as well. this is how we're shaping up for monday. the remnants of the weekend's weather front still to be had across the south. a lot of cloud around, the odd bit of rain, primarily i would have thought before lunchtime. after lunch, a lot of cloud. further north, a better chance of seeing some sunshine. a gaggle of showers there across the north of scotland, urged along by a noticeable breeze, but nowhere near as windy as the weekend. and a cooler, fresher feel for the most part, simply because we're developing a bit of a north—westerly across the british isles.
high pressure trying to elbow its way in, so giving that impression of a lot of dry weather to be had. variable amounts of cloud, quite a noticeable wind down the eastern shores and through the northern isles, and there comes that finger of rain just pushing into the north—western quarter of scotland. temperatures — better get used to it, this is how it's going to be for a wee while — 13 in the north to around about 20 or so in the south. from tuesday on into wednesday, the high pressurejust eases in a little bit further, cutting off that supply of north—westerlies. so perhaps just feeling a tad warmer. more cloud as this warm frontjust hangs around across scotland and there are bits and pieces of rain to be had here. cloudy fare for northern ireland the north of england. the best of the sunshine away towards the south—west, through the south—west midlands and into wales. and again, 12 to about 20 willjust about cover it. from wednesday on into thursday, that high pressure really does become ours. little in the way of breeze. it could be a foggy start to the day and it could be a grey day
where that fog lingers, because there's little breeze to shift it, there are no weather fronts to speak of. so it could be quite a cloudy day for some. but at least for the most part it is dry, if you've got outdoor plans to consider. maybe we're just finding a degree or two in some locations on those temperatures. 22 there in the south. by friday, we're just beginning to bring in some air from the continent. so that's drier air, so less of a chance of cloud getting in the way of what is going be a sunny day. and the temperatures responding, coming up three or four degrees in hull, for example. and as we move towards the weekend, i think we'll begin to tap into some real warmth coming up from iberia, the western mediterranean, towards the british isles, such that on saturday we could be looking at 211—25 somewhere in the south. and it's as far ahead as sunday before we see meaningful rain coming from the atlantic.
welcome to bbc news, i'm maryam moshiri. our top stories: a huge surge in the price of oil one day after an attack on saudi arabia's largest production facility. water cannon and tear gas mark the 99th day of protests in hong kong. a special report from kashmir six weeks after the indian government revoked its special status and locked down communication. more than a dozen families have told us that a child from their home was taken into custody. some were released after several days, some are still locked up. and we meet the 97—year—old former fighter pilot taking to the skies to mark battle of britain day.