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Summary

  1. Environment questions to Michael Gove and team
  2. Urgent question on hostile environment agenda
  3. Urgent question on policing during US president's visit
  4. Business statement from Leader of the House
  5. Statement on Brexit white paper

Live Reporting

By Richard Morris and Lucy Webster

All times stated are UK

Today in the Commons

What happened?

House of Commons

Parliament

Two urgent questions and a statement kept the Commons busy today.

The sitting was briefly suspended about a minute into Dominic Raab's first speech from the dispatch box as Exiting the EU Secretary. The Speaker was unhappy that MPs did not have copies of the Brexit white paper in front of them to ask questions, so MPs started distributing them amongst themselves, during which time the sitting was suspended.

MPs from all parties were critical of the move, while Mr Raab said he would speak to the clerks office over the confusion.

The long-awaited White Paper is aimed at ensuring trade co-operation, with no hard border for Northern Ireland, and global trade deals for the UK.

It fleshes out the Chequers agreement that sparked the resignations of Boris Johnson and David Davis.

The UK is hoping the EU will back the proposals in the White Paper so an exit deal can be struck by the autumn, ahead of the UK's official departure from the EU in March.

Labour MPs asked two further questions, one on the pausing of the hostile environment policy for those over 30 in the wake of the Windrush scandal; and the second on police staffing and funding levels during the visit of the US President, Donald Trump.

The Commons returns at 2:30pm on Monday, with Home Office questions.

Government must do everything it can to stop this from happening again

Carillion collapse debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Business Minister Andrew Griffiths says it is easy to "underestimate" how significant the collapse of Carillion was, including the impacts on the lives of "too many".

It is important that "everything" the government does is to prevent this from happening again, he says.

The business secretary has commissioned a review into the responsibilities of the Financial Reporting Council, he adds.

He adds that "thousands of documents are being considered" in trying to trace what went wrong at Carillion.

Carillion collapse 'a fiasco'

Carillion collapse debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Shadow business minister Bill Esterson says the collapse of Carillion was "a fiasco" for the 30,000 employees and 20,000 sub-contractors, the 27,000 members of its defined pension scheme, 30,000 suppliers owed £2bn in unpaid invoices, the children who depended on school meals, armed services personnel whose housing is mismanaged and the taxpayer who is picking up the tab for the colossal failure of the government to safeguard large sums of public money.

He says the "cosy" way in which the big four accountancy firms (Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young, and KPMG) operate must come to and end and ask if the government supports calls for the big four to be broken up.

He ends by saying that Labour in government would be a party of business for the many, not the few.

Collapse of Carillion nothing to be surprised about - SNP

Carillion collapse debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Chris Stephens
HoC

The SNP's Chris Stephens says that the mystery of Carillion's collapse is not something to be surprised about, but instead the surprise was how long the company lasted for.

He says the company exploited suppliers and "gamed with public assets" and sought to "eliminate any competitors".

'Directors are culpable'

Carillion collapse debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Ms Reeves says the directors, who made the decisions which led to the company's collapse, still refuse to accept their responsibility and continue to deny the findings of her committee's report.

She says they awarded themselves bonuses while workers have lost jobs and pensions.

She says the auditors, including KPMG, also did not issue the appropriate warnings. She says auditors have the wrong incentives because they report to senior managers.

She says that when management and the auditors were seen to be failing, the regulators should have stepped in. She says they were too "passive" and acted too late. She says the pension regulator eventually "barked but did not bite."

She concludes that "urgent action" must be taken for those affected and for those who would be affected if the same were to happen again.

"Best value is not the same as lowest price," she says.

Warning lights should have been flashing

Carillion collapse debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Rachel Reeves
HoC

MPs move on to a debate on the collapse of Carillion, introduced by the Chair of the Business Committee, Rachel Reeves.

She says that this Sunday will be six months since Carillion collapsed, owing money to suppliers and subcontractors and with major projects "mothballed".

Five committees have looked into its collapse, she says, with her committee considering the causes for its demise.

"Warning lights should have been flashing when such a big business was on the brink," she says.

Children and parents have suffered from this

Forced adoption debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Nadhim Zahawi
HoC

Education Minister Nadhim Zahawi says that many adopted children have struggled with "overwhelming" feelings of rejection and with forming attachments.

"It is truly shocking to hear how single mothers were treated at that time in our country," he says, while adding that the church has apologised for their role in this.

He says that there general principle that children are better looked after by their own family. He adds that these days forced separation takes place from a court order.

These stories are of 'powerlessness' - Labour

Forced adoption debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Emma Lewell-Buck
HoC

The shadow children and families minister, Emma Lewell-Buck, says that "culturally, the 50s, 60s and 70s" when the majority of these adoption orders were made, was a different time.

Welfare benefits were not available and sex education was nonexistent, which affected people who had children out of wedlock, she says.

She adds that many of the stories from the time show the "powerlessness" women experienced.

The very least these women need "is an apology," she says.

MPs debating forced adoptions

Forced adoption debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Commons motion
HoC

MPs are holding a debate on the practice of forced adoption - a backbench business debate proposed by Labour MPs Alison McGovern and Stephen Twigg.

MPs hear a statement on the Western Balkans

House of Commons

Parliament

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Serbia's Prime Minister Ana Brnabic and Prime Minister Theresa May
PA
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Serbia's Prime Minister Ana Brnabic and Prime Minister Theresa May during a reception at the end of the Western Balkans Summit

The statement on the Brexit white paper concludes and MPs move on to a statement by a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee on global Britain and the Western Balkans.

On 9 and 10 July 2018, the UK hosted the 5th annual Western Balkans Summit.

Committee member, and Labour MP, Mike Gapes says, due to the resignation of the summit host - the then Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson - the summit "didn't get the attention it deserved".

He says this was the first time the UK had hosted the summit and was "a test of the UK's commitment to European scrutiny".

'Don't listen to siren voices,' says Tory MP

Brexit white paper statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Stephen Metcalfe
HoC

Conservative Stephen Metcalfe says his constituents want reassurance the white paper will "return control over our borders, over our money and our laws".

"Don't listen to the siren voices," he urges, advising people to instead look at the document "and see where it delivers".

Streeting: MPs don't take proposals seriously

Brexit white paper statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Wes Streeting
HoC

Labour's Wes Streeting suggests that the government's white paper "doesn't command the support of a majority of the House of Commons".

He asks how the EU, European Commission or European Parliament can take the proposals seriously "because this house, it is clear, does not."

Dominic Raab accuses the MP of "blithely skating over divisions in his own party".

He defends the government's plan as a "positive, principled approach that is deliverable".

Colleagues have 'grave concerns' about this

Brexit white paper statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Andrew Bridgen
HoC

Conservative Andrew Bridgen says colleagues have "grave concerns" about this proposal, in terms of how it will play out the wishes of the British people during the referendum.

He asks why Mr Raab's first choice of special advisor, Stewart Jackson, was rejected by the Cabinet Office.

Mr Raab pays tribute to the work of special advisors and says he will be naming his shortly.

Role of European Court of Justice questioned

Brexit white paper statement

House of Commons

Parliament

David Jones
HoC

Conservative David Jones says that the role of the European Court of Justice is preserved as the interpreter of EU rules in the UK. He asks what kind of audience British applicants to the court could expect when no longer an EU country.

Mr Raab says there is provision for "consistent interpretation" of the law under the ECJ. The UK would have a veto over decisions, he says, adding that the UK needs to have agreement over common rules.

Brexiteer Tory raises doubts over common rulebook

Brexit white paper statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Owen Paterson
HOC

Brexit-supporting Conservative Owen Paterson asks the Brexit secretary if the "common rulebook" will lead to EU policy being put back into UK law without the ability to amend it.

Dominic Raab says the common rulebook will only apply to the extent that is necessary to avoid friction at the border.

What's the common rulebook? Have a look here.

'Nonsense' that MPs got this so late, Hoey says

Brexit white paper statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Kate Hoey
HoC

Labour's Kate Hoey says that it is "nonsense" that MPs got the white paper so late, and she asks if Angela Merkel has seen this document before MPs.

She asks for assurances that European citizens will no longer receive special treatment in immigration after the UK leaves the EU.

Mr Raab says that freedom of movement is something which discriminates the rest of the world against EU nationals in UK immigration.

Post-Brexit immigration policy questioned

Brexit white paper statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Home Affairs Committee chair Yvette Cooper questions why there is a lack of detail on the government's post-Brexit immigration plan.

Dominic Raab responds that the paper is very clear that free movement will end.

Home Secreatry Sajid Javid told the Home Affairs Committee on Tuesday that there will be a separate white paper on post-Brexit immigration in the autumn.

Who has supported government's stance?

Labour MP tweets reply to deputy political editor of The Times

Can we see the full consequences of a no deal Brexit? asks Tory MP

Brexit white paper statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Dr Sarah Wollaston
HoC

Conservative Dr Sarah Wollaston says it is not possible for MPs to question Dominic Raab, given the late publication of the white paper.

She asks for a full publication of the consequences of a no-deal Brexit.

Mr Raab says that the government has some "tough choices to make", and says that he will update the House on no deal planning in the future.

He adds that under previous administrations there have been late publication of documents to the Commons.

'There is no majority for this white paper in the Commons'

Brexit white paper statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Chris Bryant
HOC

Labour's Chris Bryant says there is no majority for the white paper in the Commons and adds "the sooner we have a vote on this the better".

He urges Dominic Raab to work with all members to try to secure a better deal and warns that without doing so, the UK could well leave the EU with no deal.

Dominic Raab says both Labour and the Conservatives stood on manifestos in 2017 to leave the EU and you cannot do that without leaving the single market too.

What's the cost of Brexit? - Lib Dem MP

Brexit white paper statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Lib Dem Tom Brake asks whether the secretary of state can point to where in the white paper it lays out the cost of Brexit to businesses and households.

Dominic Raab says the approach is to make sure "we have frictionless trade between the EU and the UK.

Brexit white paper is 'a blow' says City

Canary Wharf skyline
Getty Images

Catherine McGuinness, policy chair at the City of London Corporation, says the white paper describing the UK's plans for relations with the EU after Brexit is "a real blow for the UK’s financial and related professional services sector".

She says: “With looser trade ties to Europe, the financial and related professional services sector will be less able to create jobs, generate tax and support growth across the wider economy. It’s that simple.

Ms McGuinness adds: “Time is running out so it is essential that the pace of negotiations accelerates to ensure an orderly Brexit.

"Both sides should engage constructively to deliver a deep and comprehensive relationship covering services, not just goods, for the benefit of consumers and citizens across Europe.”

'No off the shelf' model for what government seeks

Brexit white paper statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Steve Baker
HoC

Conservative Steve Baker asks why Mr Raab believes he can negotiate with the EU over a mechanism which does not agree with the principles of the European Communities Act, where EU law comes to the UK without the UK having a veto.

Mr Raab says there is no "off the shelf" model for what the government is seeking with the EU, in terms of seeking control of borders, laws and money.

Bercow criticises government for giving statement to journalists

Brexit white paper statement

House of Commons

Parliament

John Bercow
HOC

Brexit committee chair Hilary Benn also criticises the government for failing to provide the Brexit secretary's statement to the opposition before being given to journalists.

He also welcomes Dominic Raab into his new Cabinet role.

After an intervention from John Bercow to call for good practice, the Brexit secretary accepts the events that took place at the start of the statement were unfortunate.

How will Brussels react?

BBC Europe editor tweets

Proposals for parliamentary scrutiny questioned

Brexit white paper statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Sir Bill Cash
HoC

Conservative Sir Bill Cash says he is "deeply worried" about the proposals in this white paper.

He says that there are proposals for Parliament to choose whether or not to enact aspects of the "common rule book". He says there has never been an occasion when Parliament has overturned an EU regulation.

Mr Raab says the government would expect to have a "proper dialogue" on both sides in Parliament for any changes to be made. There is a dispute resolution mechanism which has been "tailored" for this, he adds.

Commons suspended as Brexit paper delivered
Speaker John Bercow said it was "most regrettable" the White Paper had not arrived on time.

SNP accuses government of disrespecting MPs and Opposition

Brexit white paper statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Deidre Brock
HOC

The SNP's Deidre Brock says Parliament has been provided with neither certainty nor clarity and adds that "Scotland is right in the firing line" for negative Brexit effects.

She calls for the government to "listen to wiser heads" and keep the UK in the single market and customs union. She ends calling the government's treatment of Parliament "contemptuous".

Dominic Raab responds that the SNP argument "made no sense at all" but makes no further reference to the late handing out of the white paper to MPs and opposition spokespeople.

'Misgivings' about this position - IDS

Brexit white paper statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Iain Duncan Smith
HoC

Conservative Iain Duncan Smith welcomes Dominic Raab to his new position, while saying he has "misgivings" about this position from the government. He says he voted to "leave" and not "half leave".

He asks whether the minister believes that the EU would be happy for the government to withdraw benefits for EU nationals without jobs.

Mr Raab says that government will take an approach on immigration with visas.

Did Dominic Raab breach the ministerial code?

Brexit white paper statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Here is what the ministerial code says about submitting oral statements to the opposition prior to the speech:

ministerial code
gov.uk
ministerial code

'Confident' white paper will provide 'lasting deal'

Brexit white paper statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Dominic Raab
HoC

Dominic Raab apologises for the late arrival for the paper, and says he will discuss what happened with the clerks.

He says that both Labour and the Conservatives stood on manifestos which were platforms for leaving the EU.

He says, in regards to Cabinet unity, "people in glasshouses shouldn't throw stones". He says that there has been 103 cabinet resignations under Jeremy Corbyn.

The government is confident that this will provide a "lasting deal" for the United Kingdom and the EU.

The government has made it clear that the country will "take back control of its borders" while at the same time being an "open, outward looking country", he says.

Criticism from Labour MP over publication

Brexit white paper statement

Reaction from Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg

The Telegraph's deputy political editor tweets

House of Commons

Parliament

This is a 'breach of protocol' - Labour

Brexit white paper statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Sir Keir Starmer
HoC

Shadow exiting the EU secretary Sir Keir Starmer says he "genuinely" wishes Dominic Raab well but says the new Brexit secretary has "not got off to a very good start". He says that to suspend the Commons during a statement "is clear evidence of why the government is in such a mess".

He asks why the government thought it was appropriate to share the white paper with journalists this morning before Labour received it at midday.

He says this is a "breach of protocol," and believes that this is "in breach of the ministerial code" and is "deeply discourteous and unacceptable".

He says that the point of this is to provide "proper scrutiny", when questions can be asked after a statement.

Keir Startmer asks when Dominic Raab was told that this was the policy "he had to sell" to laughter from MPs; and whether Mr Raab agrees with everything "he is selling" in the paper. He adds that there is a "growing unity" across the business community, in the public and in the Commons that there should be close financial co-operation with the EU to avoid economic hardship and a border on Northern Ireland.

He asks if this is paper is the government's starting position, or the final position.

Situation 'surreal' as Raab outlines plans to MPs

BBC political editor tweets

UK will not spend taxpayers' money 'in return for nothing'

Brexit white paper statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Conservative MP Dr Sarah Wollaston - who is also chair of the Liaison Committee - asks that the Commons is suspended further, so that MPs can properly read the white paper.

The Speaker says that it is not right for him to decide on this today, but that further times will be available for MPs to ask questions on this matter.

Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab continues his statement.

He says the UK will not spend taxpayers' money "in return for nothing".

"Both sides have been clear, nothing is agreed until everything is agreed," he states.

He adds that he is confident that a deal is "within reach," adding that most issues "have by now been resolved".

It is now time for the UK to respond "in kind," he says.