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Summary

  1. Justice Committee take evidence on Lord Chief Justice report
  2. MPs sit at 11.30am for Foreign Office questions
  3. Opposition Day debates on education and social mobility, and on National Health Service
  4. Peers start the day with questions to government ministers
  5. Lords consider a number of regulations, and deal with several bills
  6. Debate on report about Brexit and Parliamentary scrutiny
  7. Defence Committee questioned BBC executives

Live Reporting

By Patrick Cowling, Kate Whannel and Aiden James

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Lords adjourns

House of Lords

Parliament

House of Lords clock
BBC

The debate concludes and that ends the day's business in the House of Lords.

Peers will return tomorrow at 3:00pm for oral questions. 

Farmers face a 'volatile' world, says peer

Agriculture debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Gardiner of Kimble
BBC

Winding up for the government, Lord Gardiner of Kimble praises British farmers for producing good quality food whilst maintain high animal welfare standards.

He notes the challenges faced by farmers, specifically falling demand and the Russian embargo. Russia banned many food imports following EU sanctions over Russian actions in Ukraine.

He says farmers face a volatile world but one that also offers opportunities.   

He tells peers what the government is doing to help farmers, including "substantial funding" for those hit by flooding, investing in agri-tech and establishing the food innovation network.

Peer calls for government to tackle unfair trading practices

Agriculture debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Grantchester
BBC

Dairy farmer and Labour peer Lord Grantchester now responds on behalf of the opposition.

He tells peers that in his farming career, he experience difficulties of TB and foot and mouth, political challenges including changes in deregulation and bad weather.

He adds that farmers also face poor levels of behaviour in the supply chain and calls for unfair trading practices to be targeted. 

UK must aim to be self-sufficient says peer

Agriculture debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Trees
BBC

Crossbencher Lord Trees begins by stating that this debate is not all about Brexit - "your lordships may be grateful".

He argues that although Brexit may accelerate changes "major innovation is inevitable".

He tells peers that, although "we will never be self-sufficient" it is strategically and economically important that the UK produces as much of its own food as possible.

This, he argues, would allow us to control how all aspects of our food is produced.

Peer questions if EU payments for farmers will be replaced after 2020

Agriculture debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Teverson
BBC

Chair of the committee Lord Teverson notes that since the report was published the EU referendum vote happened -a vote that he says will create "huge challenges".

He says it is "hard to believe" that "the regular payments we have at the moment" will continue beyond 2020.

"I can't see the British taxpayer putting up with that" he says. 

EU subsidies currently account for 50% of British farm incomes.  

Commons adjourns

House of Commons

Parliament

The debate comes to an end and the House of Commons adjourns for the day.

MPs return for an event filled day tomorrow, with both prime minister's questions and the chancellor's Autumn Statement waiting on the order paper.

Minister 'very aware' of flood impacts

Adjournment debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Therese Coffey
BBC

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Minister Therese Coffey responds to the debate.

She begins by saying "I am very aware of the impact of flooding", and goes on to explain the government's policies and actions in this area.

The minister says that the government plays a "key role" in improving protection for those at flood risk, telling the chamber that £2.5bn is being spent on 1500 new flood defence schemes for 300,000 homes by 2021.

She goes on to say that £825,000 was spent on maintenance on the river Medway in the last year.

Peers begin debate on agricultural sector

House of Lords

Parliament

Silhouette of a farmer in a tractor
Getty Images

Peers now move on to the second debate of the evening - this one focuses on an EU-Energy and Environment sub-committee report on the agricultural sector.

The committee's report, "Responding to price volatility: creating a more resilient agriculture sector", called on the European Commission to reform the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to primarily support the provision of public goods such as increased food security and high animal welfare standards.

Brexit debate concludes

Brexit debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Bridges of Headley
BBC

Lord Bridges of Headley responds for the government.

He tells peers that the government is committed to giving Parliament at least as much information as members of the European Parliament will have.

He says his colleagues are currently considering the best mechanism to ensure that there can be timely debates but that negotiation confidentiality can be maintained. 

MP opens debate on Medway flooding

Adjournment debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Tom Tugendhat
BBC

Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat is now moving the adjournment debate, which is on the subject of flooding on the river Midway - the main river in Kent.

Towns on the Medway suffered flooding in December 2013 and January 2014.

A tidal surge forced 500 homes to be evacuated in the Medway area, with 40 properties flooded.

The Medway flooded again over Christmas and New Year 2013-14 with Tonbridge, Mereworth and Yalding affected.

The damage done, Mr Tugendhat says, even if it doesn't seem like a vast quantity of water, can be "overwhelming".

Labour motion defeated

House of Commons

Parliament

The Labour motion is defeated by 306 votes to 213, a majority of 93.

Labour MP Nic Dakin is now presenting a public petition about the Waste Transfer Station in Scunthorpe.

Government appeal 'an unnecessary sideshow' - Labour peer

Brexit debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Hayter
BBC

Why on earth is the government appealing the High Court's decision on Article 50, asks Labour's Baroness Hayter.

It is, she argues "an unnecessary sideshow".

She urges the government to allow parliament to fulfill its rightful role in "taking this momentous step". 

Vote on NHS motion

NHS funding debate

House of Commons

Parliament

The House of Commons divides to vote on the original Labour motion on NHS funding.

The result of the vote is expected at 7.15pm.

Words out of context?

NHS funding debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Sarah Wollaston
BBC

The minister thanks Health Committee chair Sarah Wollaston for "graciously conceding" that "both sides are correct" on the issue of whether the government's figures about NHS spending are accurate.

Ms Wollaston intervenes to clarify that "the way it has been arrived at is not a way in which the public would understand health spending".

"So I think the minister is perhaps taking my words out of context" she says.

The minister responds, saying "we never claimed that we were increasing the department of health's budget; we were talking about increases to the NHS".

Ms Wollaston however does not look impressed with this answer.

Parliament not 'a pesky nusiance' says Lib Dem peer

Brexit debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Ludford
BBC

Lib Dem Baroness Ludford says Parliament must be involved in the negotiations at all stages. 

She argues that "taking back control" should not mean handing power to the executive.

Parliament, she says, should not be viewed as "a pesky nuisance".

Minister: 'High pitched debate'

NHS funding debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Health Minister Philip Dunne says it has been an "occasionally high pitched debate" in which a number of MPs made constructive contributions, but is quick to clarify that he does not apply this label to any Labour contributions.

The minister also cites the fact that more Conservative backbenchers spoke in the debate than Labour MPs, calling it "a shambles". 

"We shall have to see if they turn up to vote - they obviously didn't turn up to speak" he says.

Labour: NHS facing 'unprecedented' crisis

NHS funding debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Justin Madders
BBC

Shadow health minister Justin Madders responds to the debate for Labour, complimenting MPs for a "high quality and passionate debate", which he says demonstrates concerns across the House about the sustainability of the health service.

Mr Madders also warns of "dire consequences" if the chancellor does not "deliver the rescue package needed" in the Autumn Statement tomorrow.

He says that the NHS is facing the biggest financial crisis in its history.

The true picture, he says, is of "a service that is creaking at the seams, of a workforce stretched to the limits, and of a health secretary in denial about his own culpability for this shocking state of affairs". 

'Let the divorce be quick' - Labour peer

Brexit debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Desai
BBC

Some peers have raised the fact that a majority of voters in Scotland and Northern Ireland backed remaining in the EU. A majority in England and Wales voted to leave.

Labour peer Lord Desai claims that "the English public will be extremely angry" if people suspect that Parliament is trying to reverse the verdict of the referendum.

He proposes a "short resolution" to say that Parliament accepts the referendum result.

Of the Brexit process, he says: "Let the divorce be quick and let the cohabitation negotiations be fruitful and beneficial."

Background to the debate

NHS funding debate

House of Commons

Parliament

The House of Commons Library have also produced a detailed briefing pack for this debate.

The full debate pack can be read here

Government amendment

NHS funding debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Once again this afternoon the government have tabled an amendment to the Labour motion.

The amendment would change the motion to read:

That this House welcomes the Government’s investment, on the back of a strong economy, of significant additional funding and resources each year for the NHS during the 2015 Parliament; notes that this settlement was frontloaded at the specific request of the NHS in NHS England’s own plan to deliver an improved and more sustainable service, the Five Year Forward View; and further notes that the NHS will receive a real terms increase in funding in each year of the Spending Review period, while the Labour Party’s Manifesto at the last election committed to only an extra £2.5 billion a year by 2020, far less than the NHS requested."

Labour motion

NHS funding debate

House of Commons

Parliament

The text of the Labour motion on NHS funding being debated today is as follows:

That this House notes with concern that the deficit in the budgets of NHS trusts and foundation trusts in England at the end of the 2015-16 financial year was £2.45 billion; further notes that members of the Health Committee wrote to the Chancellor of the Exchequer about their concerns that Government assertions on NHS funding were incorrect and risked giving a false impression; and calls on the Government to use the Autumn Statement to address the underfunding of the NHS and guarantee sustainable financing of the NHS."

Former MEP: Government would not lose Article 50 vote

Brexit debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Conservative peer Lord Balfe is a former MEP who thinks the UK made a "foolish" decision in June by voting to leave the EU.

However, he says Parliament would not defy the referendum result if given a vote on triggering Article 50.

"I don't understand why the government doesn't come to Parliament for a vote," he says. "They're not going to lose it. In the Commons it would be made a matter of confidence and in the Lords, we would not defeat it."

The government appealed to the Supreme Court after a "lower court", in this case the High Court, ruled that Parliament must vote before the triggering of Article 50.

Crossbencher defends the role of 'unelected peers' to scrutinise Brexit

Brexit debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Bilimoria
BBC

Crossbench peer Lord Bilimoria says he has heard warnings that "you unelected peers, you push this too far, your days are numbered".

He defends the right of the Lords to be consulted on the Article 50 process. "This House does not block for the sake of blocking", but debates matters for the sake of the country, he says.

He calls on the government to drop its appeal against the High Court's ruling that Parliament must vote on triggering Article 50 and "just get on with it".

Referring to the prime minister's recent visit to India, the Indian-born businessman tells peers that "everyone I speak to in India" thinks the UK should be part of the EU. 

He adds: "The whole world, except Donald Trump, thinks we should stay in the EU."

He dismisses the argument that there was a "definitive" referendum vote. Referring to the Leave campaign's proposal to fund the NHS with money saved from the UK's contribution to the EU, he says: "People voted for various reasons, based on lies."

Opposition day debates

House of Commons

Parliament

You might be wondering why Labour, rather than the government, are leading the debates today.

Opposition days are days allocated in the House of Commons for the discussion of subjects chosen by the opposition (non-government) parties. There are 20 days allocated for this purpose per session (under Standing Order 14).  

Preston student applies for House of Lords seat

A university student has applied for a seat in the House of Lords.

University of Central Lancashire post-graduate Tom Molyneux put himself forward after learning it was possible to self nominate.

There are currently about 825 members who are eligible to take part in the work of the House of Lords.

The youngest member of the Lords is currently 39 years old. 

Government 'unrealistic' to believe negotiations can be secret

Brexit debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Beith
BBC

Lib Dem Lord Beith tells peers that, given 27 governments will be involved, it is "completely unrealistic" to suppose that negotiations can take place in secret.

"They will leak," he predicts "if not like a sieve, at least as much as my old watering can."

He says that if parliament is excluded from the negotiations it could represent "the biggest transfer of power from parliament to the crown since the civil war". 

Health committee chair calls for better tone of debate

NHS funding debate

House of Commons

Parliament

The chair of the Health Committee Sarah Wollaston asks MPs from both sides of the chamber to address the issues facing the NHS in a more collegiate manner.

She says that the state of care provision is "in collapse" and suggests that MPs should come together to face this "enormous challenge" rather than having this "continual confrontational debate".

Sarah Wollaston
BBC

Committee chairman's concern about 'pressure' on overseas staff

BBC Monitoring

Select Committee

Parliament

Julian Lewis
BBC

Defence Committee chairman Julian Lewis says he is concerned that cutting back BBC Monitoring staff in the UK would leave the service "over-dependent on people who are stationed abroad, who might be subject to pressure, who might self-censor".

Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan says the BBC has responsibility to manage its overseas teams, as the government does its diplomatic missions.

Mr Lewis urges Sir Alan to "please go" to Caversham and see the work done there before the government agrees to the BBC's proposed changes to the service.

Sir Alan says the deal under which the BBC took on funding for BBC Monitoring is "part of the contractual status of the BBC". He also argues: "In the modern world, you probably can do more with fewer people."

Sir Alan says he could visit Caversham if his diary permits but cautions that he is not likely to be the minister signing off on the deal with the BBC. With that final exchange, the committee adjourns.

SNP: Funding social care 'absolutely crucial'

NHS funding debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Philippa Whitford
bbc

SNP health spokesperson Philippa Whitford, who is herself a practicing doctor, says that although there might not be privatisation in the NHS, "there is marketisation and outsourcing".

She asks why nurses are choosing to work for an agency rather than the NHS, saying that looking at this could address the issue as "all of them would prefer to be in one place than a different place every week".

Ms Whitford also suggests better use of community pharmacies and hospitals to address the NHS's challenges.

Finally, she says that it is "absolutely crucial" to fund social care so that elderly people are cared for in their own homes.

Gove: Pay attention to experts

NHS funding debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Michael Gove
BBC

Conservative Michael Gove's past comments in the referendum campaign are returning to haunt him once again, as he is roundly heckled when saying that Labour should listen "rather more" to independent experts on the NHS "rather than repeating their own press releases".

Mr Gove said in the EU referendum campaign that the British people had "had enough of experts".

The health secretary cannot himself resist a dig, saying "I think he's right that just occasionally we should listen to experts, but only very occasionally". 

Ownership of Caversham Park could 'become a complicated issue' - minister

BBC Monitoring

Select Committee

Parliament

Labour MP Phil Wilson asks whether BBC Monitoring is wise to cut its "source management team" amid concerns about "fake news" stories.

Such decisions are a matter for the BBC, says minister Sir Alan Duncan.

Turning to the BBC's claim to own Caversham Park, as World Service director Fran Unsworth stated earlier, Sir Alan says "it was, as I understand, requisitioned in the war".

He adds: "Legal ownership can become a very complicated issue."

Referendums are 'immensely divisive'

Brexit debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Conservative Lord Higgins says he believes the whole issue of referendums should be considered. 

He argues that both the referendum on the EU and Scottish independence have been "immensely divisive".

He declares himself to be "totally opposed to referendums" preferring the "representative parliamentary system".

This parliamentary system, he argues, allows for detail to be scrutinised and minority views to be represented.

Hunt: Important to acknowledge NHS successes

NHS funding debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Jeremy Hunt
BBC

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt rises to speak in the debate, saying that whilst there are many pressures in the NHS today, "I want to acknowledge some successes".

He tells MPs that there are a "record number" of doctors and nurses in the National Health Service today, and also points to improved cancer treatment and dementia treatment rates.

Mr Hunt says that the NHS is "gripping the very problem" that Labour have called a debate on, and heavily criticises Labour's record on care in government and policies since.

Government will be able to commission extra work from BBC Monitoring - FCO

BBC Monitoring

Select Committee

Parliament

Sir Alan Duncan is asked about allegations that BBC Monitoring does not feel comfortable supplying the intelligence services if it is not paid for by the government.

The Foreign Office minister says he found the Newsnight film which began the committee session "wholly unconvincing" and rejects the suggestion that Monitoring journalists do not want to produce material used by the intelligence services.

Foreign Office official Robert Deane says that BBC Monitoring's "core service will not deteriorate" while "government customers" will be able to "commission extra work from BBC Monitoring for an extra cost".

Peer says public should be prepared for 'a long haul'

Brexit debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord MacGregor of Pulham Marke
BBC

Conservative Lord MacGregor of Pulham Market laments the complexity of the Brexit negotiations.

He tells peers that the "long term ghastliness of legal complications is almost unimaginable".

He believes that the government should prepare the public for "a long haul". 

Shadow health secretary in a fighting mood

NHS funding debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Jonathan Ashworth
BBC

The shadow health secretary is in a combative mood this afternoon.

Responding to an intervention from Conservative Anna Soubry who tells him to stop "talking down our great NHS", he says "I rather suspect that staff in the NHS will have more sympathy with the position I'm outlining than the position she is outlining".

Another Tory MP Stewart Jackson asks Mr Ashworth why in 13 years of Labour government there was not a better plan for social care.

Jonathan Ashworth jumps straight down Mr Jackson's throat, saying "It beggars belief. We tripled funding in the NHS whilst he and his horrible friends voted against every penny piece of it."

Work of BBC Monitoring 'not espionage' - Minister

BBC Monitoring

Select Committee

Parliament

Of BBC Monitoring's material used by UK intelligence agencies, Foreign Office Sir Alan Duncan says: "This is not espionage, this is open source information."

Defence Committee chairman Julian Lewis says that transferring funding from the Foreign Office to the BBC licence fee left BBC Monitoring open to cuts in line with those seen elsewhere in the BBC.

However, Sir Alan says Monitoring's move from Caversham would mean it is located in a "more modern building" closer to other BBC departments, which could derive benefits from the arrangement.

"It could be the level of financial security is greater" under the licence fee than under government funding, Sir Alan suggests, as government departments also make spending cuts. 

Deviser of Article 50 says notification could be revoked

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Kerr of Kinlochard
BBC

Crossbencher Lord Kerr of Kinlochard, a former ambassador to the EU who devised Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, seeks to make two points.

Firstly he notes that the President of the European Council Donald Tusk has confirmed that an Article 50 notification is "not irrevocable".

Secondly he recalls that, following the High Court ruling on Article 50, the government lawyers made clear that it was "a matter of firm policy" that the Article 50 notification would not be withdrawn.

He suggests that this is an implicit concession that notification could be withdrawn if the government has a change of heart.

Labour: "It is by their deeds that they shall be known"

NHS funding debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Jonathan Ashworth
BBC

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth is kicking off the debate with a long list of criticisms of the health service policies since 2010. He compares this to the comments made by government ministers in public: "fine words but it is by their deeds that they shall be known".

He says that there are "unprecedented cuts" to social care and warns MPs that the health secretary will "persist with the fiction" that the NHS is receiving an additional £10 billion a year

After an intervention by prominent Leave campaigner Michael Gove in which he asks the shadow health secretary to "repudiate" his comments, Mr Ashworth says "if we're talking about repudiation then when are we are going to get our £350 million a week?" - mentioning the Leave campaign pledge from the referendum campaign.

Foreign Office minister questioned by MPs

BBC Monitoring

Select Committee

Parliament

Robert Deane and Sir Alan Duncan
BBC

The next witnesses in front of the Defence Committee are Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan and Robert Deane, head of the Foreign Office's Knowledge and Technology Directorate.

Sir Alan says that, "in theory" the Foreign Office has responsibility for BBC Monitoring.

However, the contract with the BBC rests with the Cabinet Office "as does any relationship with the intelligence agencies".

"There is no straightforward, direct, easily identifiable line of ministerial accountability," he tells the committee, "but I was very happy to oblige."