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Summary

  1. MPs met at 9.30am for environment, food and rural affairs questions, followed by news of the chairs of the Commons select committees.
  2. Leader of the House Chris Grayling announced the week's business and takes questions from backbenchers.
  3. The main business of the day was the second day of committee consideration of the EU Referendum Bill.
  4. Peers assembled at 11am and following oral questions, conducted two debates.
  5. The debates were on proposed reforms to the state and private pension; and the contribution of the creative industries to the UK economy.

Live Reporting

By Ros Ball and Eleanor Gruffydd-Jones

All times stated are UK

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School's out!

House of Commons

Parliament

And with that, MPs finish their work for the day and, indeed for the week. 

They will return on Monday at 2.30pm for the main legislative business - a second reading of the government's new Education and Adoption Bill. 

The Commons may not be sitting tomorrow, but their Lordships certainly will be.

From 10am tomorrow, they will be treated to a day of peers' private members' bills, starting with Lord Empey's Airports Act 1986 (Amendment) Bill. 

Thanks for joining us.

Eye on the clock

House of Commons

Parliament

The education minister is denied the chance to conclude his closing speech by deputy speaker Eleanor Laing, who cuts him off. 

MPs have had their half an hour for the adjournment debate, she says, and now they must adjourn.

Eleanor Laing
BBC

Strong adjournment turnout

House of Commons

Parliament

Commons
BBC
Louise Haigh has a large support team of colleagues sitting on the Labour benches...which is rather unusual for an adjournment debate

'Very popular' profession

House of Commons

Parliament

Nick Gibb
BBC

Education Minister Nick Gibb replies to Louise Haigh - and the packed Labour benches - that there are more teachers, and more qualified teachers, working in schools than at any recent time. 

Teaching continues to be a very popular career, he maintains, but he adds there is a need to continue to promote teaching as a profession amongst graduates. 

'Out of control' teacher workload

House of Commons

Parliament

Louise Haigh
BBC

"It is a scandal that the teaching work load is out of control", Louise Haigh laments.

Coupled with increasingly "politicised" inspections by Ofsted, she adds that this means it is becoming "harder and harder" to keep "qualified but demoralised" teachers. 

The Association of Teachers and Lecturers claimed in March that four in ten new teachers quit within a year. 

Adjournment debate

House of Commons

Parliament

The second day of committee stage on the EU Referendum is over, and after a point of order from Cheryl Gillan on tabling a debate on HS2 for Tuesday, MPs move onto the adjournment debate.

Labour MP for Sheffield Heeley, Louise Haigh, is introducing her debate on the recruitment and retention of teachers. 

Labour amendment defeated

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs reject Labour's amendment to prevent the referendum being held on the same day as Scottish, Welsh, London or local authority elections in May 2017. 

The result was 308 votes to 267, with the amendment falling by 41 votes. 

Third division

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs divide on Labour's amendment 3 which would prevent the referendum from being held on the same day as Scottish Parliament, National Assembly for Wales, London mayoral or local authority elections in May 2017.

John McDonnell has withdrawn his amendment on electronic voting. 

Brief introduction

House of Commons

Parliament

Conservative Sir Bill Cash jumps in quickly to put his amendment on record. This amendment would ensure that the legislative framework for the referendum is set out at least six months before it is "required to be implemented or complied with".

The last time Sir Bill introduced an amendment on this matter to the House, on Tuesday, he had to contribute seated on the benches rather than on his feet, having been discharged from hospital four days previously.  

E-voting may increase democratic 'mistrust'

House of Commons

Parliament

Turning to John's McDonnell's amendment on introducing electronic voting, David Lidington says he sees how e-voting is attractive, but the system could be "vulnerable to attack or fraud".

He argues that to move too swiftly to a system of electronic voting could lead to a "greater level of public mistrust in our democratic processes", adding that he doesn't yet have the "requisite level of assurance" to implement it. 

'Ticket-splitting'

House of Commons

Parliament

David Lidington
BBC

Foreign Office Minister David Lidington responds first to Labour's amendment on the voting date.

Mr Lidington says he is not persuaded yet that the arguments are sufficiently compelling to include this amendment in the bill. 

"The timing of the referendum is determined by the progress of negotiations at EU level", he says, so will likely happen when the Prime Minister is ready to present a membership package to voters and when the House and the public have an "appetite" to start the campaigning period. 

If it did come to a date clash, evidence shows that the public is perfectly capable of "ticket-splitting", he argues. 

No election clash

House of Commons

Parliament

Pat McFadden
BBC

Shadow Europe Minister Pat McFadden is introducing his party's amendment which prevents the referendum being held on the same day as Scottish, Welsh, London or local authority elections in May 2017. 

On such a major constitutional question, the focus should be entirely on the EU referendum issue, he says, and the legislation should separate this poll from the others.

He promises to "test the will of the House on this matter if allowed to do so". 

Electronic voting amendment

House of Commons

Parliament

John McDonnell
BBC

MPs vote on to the next group of amendments on electoral conduct regulations.

Labour's John McDonnell is introducing his amendment 48, which would introduce electronic voting in the referendum, saying it would raise voter turnout and reduce the cost of voting. 

"We in this House should facilitate democracy in everyday we can", he says. 

Lords adjourn

House of Lords

Parliament

The House of Lords has concluded its business for today. 

Peers will be back on Monday at 2.30pm for questions, followed by committee stage of the Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill. 

'We all need to play our part'

House of Lords

Parliament

Summing up for the government, the Earl of Courtown tells peers the interest shown in the debate is a testament to the essential role played by the creative industries in national life.

He goes on to say that the arts are a crucial part of education. He says in 2015-2016 the government will provide over £109 million to support arts and cultural education projects, an increase of £17 million from last year.

Addressing Lord Bragg's concern about cuts, the Earl of Courtown says the government recognises the value of arts, but adds: "We all need to play our part in contributing to government savings." 

He finishes by saying the government is working with organisations to ensure they have a broad funding base incorporating public and private funding. 

Earl of Courtown
BBC

BreakingLabour amendment defeated

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs vote against giving 16-and 17-year-olds a vote in the EU referendum by 310 votes to 265 - a majority of 45. 

Division

House of Commons

Parliament

In what is likely to be a tighter vote, MPs divide on Labour's amendment 1 to allow British citizens, qualifying Commonwealth citizens and citizens of the Republic of Ireland aged 16 and 17 to vote in the referendum. 

SNP amendment defeated

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs vote against giving EU citizens living in the UK a vote in an EU referendum by a majority of 443 (514 votes to 71). 

'When Radio 4 ceases to sound'

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness King is commending Channel 4's approach to diversity and how it ensures there were people from all backgrounds working in the media. 

Moving on the BBC, Baroness King says she urges the government not to use the Charter Renewal as "an inadvertent exercise in cultural vandalism."

Closing with a quote, Baroness King says: "Proverbially, when the bombs rain down, the captain of the last nuclear submarine will judge Britain ended when Radio 4 ceases to sound."

She sums up: "The cultural industries have given Britain a sense of itself and none more so than the BBC. They will protect our future, those industries, and as such they could hardly make a greater contribution to the UK economy." 

Sprint finish

House of Commons

Parliament

Commons
BBC
MPs make a dash to vote minutes before the doors to the division lobbies close

Paraphrasing the Bard

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness King of Bow
BBC

Baroness King of Bow is summing up for the opposition in the House of Lords. She tells peers the Blair government became the first in the world to recognise the creative industry as an industrial sector in its own right.

Going on to speak about the state of funding in the arts, she jokes about the moment earlier when Lord Bragg quoted Shakespeare's Richard III. 

Baroness King says it is sad that so many arts organisations are calling out: "A grant, a grant, my Kingdom for a grant." 

Division

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs divide to vote on the SNP's amendment 18, which would extend the franchise in the referendum to EU nationals resident in the UK. 

Vote with us

House of Commons

Parliament

Stephen Gethins
BBC

SNP MP Stephen Gethins urges the House to vote on the SNP's amendments on extending the franchise to 16 and 17 year-olds  for the EU referendum.

"There is so much you can learn from the Scottish parliament", he concludes. 

'Skewing' vote

BBC Scotland Westminster Correspondent tweets

Penrose tells MPs that allowing 16/17 year olds vote now would open gov up to charge of "skewing" vote by altering franchise for EU ref

'Votes for life'

House of Commons

Parliament

Turning to the minimum voting age, John Penrose says attaining adulthood in this country is viewed "as a process rather than an event." There is no "neat" starting point, he says.

He argues that this issue should be properly debated at a separate time where all the arguments can be properly explored in a long-term and wide ranging discussion to include general elections. 

He concludes that the government will be bringing plans to the House on "Votes for Life" in this parliament, so British citizens living abroad who are not currently able to vote may be given that democratic right.

A sceptic speaks

Daily Mail political correspondent tweets:

Experts suggest total 'decant' from Parliament would make refurb cheaper & quicker. Yeah right. Ever been on hols and let builders move in?

Call to follow previous referendums

House of Commons

Parliament

John Penrose
BBC

Minister John Penrose responds to the amendments relating to the entitlement to vote.

Under the bill as it stands, the franchise would be extended to citizens of Gibraltar and members of the House of Lords.

"I don't think it is principled or right to change the franchise", he says, before recommending that they should follow the precedent set in the 1975 and 2011 referendums - which stuck to the parliamentary franchise. 

A separate issue

House of Commons

Parliament

Kevin Foster
BBC

Conservative Kevin Foster argues against extending the vote to EU nationals resident in the UK, saying you cannot pick and choose the franchise, but does support enfranchising 16 year-olds. 

He argues that this issue should be debated separately and not tacked on to another debate.

A progressive house

House of Commons

Parliament

Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh
BBC

The SNP's Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh says the franchise should be as wide as possible in this referendum so many people can have a say. She urges the House to be progressive, "if that's what it plans to be", and support the SNP's amendments.

Yes for an election, no for a referendum

House of Commons

Parliament

James Cartlidge
BBC

Conservative MP James Cartlidge supports giving young people the vote in the general election but argues there's no mandate for doing it on the EU Referendum.

Scotland trumps all

House of Commons

Parliament

Hywel Williams
BBC

Plaid Cymru's Hywel Williams argues that "whatever we might speculate about the effects of giving 16-year-olds the vote", that is all "trumped" by what happened in the Scottish referendum - the high turnout and strong voter engagement amongst the youngest voters.

Debate goes on

Labour MP tweets

On frontbench in chamber for EU referendum bill debate on extending franchise to 16-17 year olds, shame I just missed @tdebbonaire's speech.

Citizenship vote

House of Commons

Parliament

Tom Tugendhat
BBC

Conservative MP Tom Tugenghat says extending the franchise to EU nationals is a major constitutional change to the state of the United Kingdom, and warns against doing this during a referendum that is effectively about citizenship.

"Citizenship is not a thing to be added or taken away," he says, and if someone chooses to live in the UK, by then extending the franchise, you are effectively "pushing people into a contract without their choice".

Lower the voting age

House of Commons

Parliament

Thangam Debbonaire
BBC

Labour's Thangam Debbonaire supports lowering the voting age and says her experience of politically engaged young people is that they are more well-informed than in their adult contemporaries.

As recently as the general election, she reports that during hustings, young people wanted to know what was going on and wanted to participate.

Why 16?

House of Commons

Parliament

Tommy Sheppard
BBC

The SNP's Tommy Sheppard says if we are going to have this referendum, we must have "widest possible engagement in it" and backs his party's calls to extend the franchise to 16 and 17-year-olds.

"Why 16?" he asks. "Well at 16, they give you a number. You get a National Insurance Insurance number" - so, for him, this "age of economic maturity" marks the age of electoral maturity.

Young people are "far more connected, more aware, more engaged than ever before", he argues, and usually, even more than their parents.

Looking at the Scottish referendum, he adds, extending the voting age caused a 97% registration rate amongst 16 and 17-year-olds.

Finding the key

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Bragg speaks with emphasis as he continues on his theme of how much value the arts bring to the economy, He says: "Why are we slashing key investments when the arts are in such a strong state?"

He tells peers that when "small amounts are put in, huge amounts come back", but that the key is the contribution from state or local authorities. Lord Bragg says it is almost like a key that “unlocks, it is an enabler”. 

Lord Bragg
BBC

Jurassic world

Tory & Labour dinosaurs line up to say no to #votesat16 in EU Referendum even though young people's lives could be badly affected by #Brexit

Waiting to speak

Lib Dem peer tweets

I'm speaking on the power of creativity to enhance social & economic wellbeing in Lords debate on the importance of creative indsustries