Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Summary

  1. MPs met at 14.30 GMT for Work and Pensions questions; followed by the Armed Forces (Service Complaints and Financial Assistance) Bill completing its report stage and third reading.
  2. After that, MPs consider Lords' amendments to the Consumer Rights Bill.
  3. MPs approved the EU Commission's 2015 Work Programme; which was followed by a debate on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference.
  4. Peers also met at 14.30 GMT and after oral questions, considered the International Development (Official Development Assistance Target) Bill at third reading.
  5. This was followed by report stage of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill, and a debate on the awareness of Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APS) in the NHS.

Live Reporting

By Sam Francis and Aiden James

All times stated are UK

Goodnight

And that brings an end to today's proceedings in the Houses of Parliament.

MPs will return at 11.30 GMT tomorrow for questions to the Chancellor George Osborne and his ministerial team.

Peers will return at 14.30 GMT to debate the UK's influence in the world.

Picture: Education Minister David Laws

House of Commons

Parliament

Education Minister David Laws
BBC
Education Minister David Laws is responding to the debate

Adjournment debate

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs now turn to today's final business, the adjournment debate, today led by led by the Conservative MP for Calder Valley Craig Whittaker on rebuilding of Todmorden and Calder High Schools.

Both schools recently missed out on rebuild funding from the £2bn Priority Schools Building Programme II.

Government response

House of Commons

Parliament

Tobias Ellwood
BBC

Responding to the debate Foreign Office Minister Tobias Ellwood tells MPs that the government "remains deeply committed" to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

The UK's aims for the upcoming 2015 Review Conference, held from 27 April to 22 May 2015 at UN Headquarters in New York, are to uphold the NPT "along with the web of regimes and controls that compliment it".

And to "underline our commitment to a world without nuclear weapons", while maintaining a minimum and credible nuclear deterrent, he says.

P5 Conference

House of Commons

Parliament

The Non-Proliferation Treaty Nuclear Weapons States (P5) met in London on 4-5 February 2015 to review progress of commitments made at the NPT 2010 Conference.

The joint statement issued by the P5 members - the People's Republic of China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States - can be read

here.

Labour response

House of Commons

Parliament

Shadow foreign office minister John Spellar tells MPs that "countries don't distrust each other because they are armed, but are armed because they distrust each other."

Peace talks between agitating countries are needed if nuclear disarmament is to have any hope, he says, as "disarmament will proceed from confidence [that a country will not be attacked], and not the other way around.

'Punching above our weight' myth

House of Commons

Parliament

Labour's Paul Flynn accuses Dr Julian Lewis of "forgetting about the existence of the United States" and assuming the UK is the international "key player."

"If there is an attack on the Baltic states, they wont come looking for us to defend them, they'll look to the United states", he says.

Dr Lewis is buying into the myth UK must always "punch above its weight" - a "hangover form Victorian times" - that has led to the UK spending beyond its means, and dying beyond its responsibilities, he argues.

Lessons from Ukraine

House of Commons

Parliament

Dr Julian Lewis
BBC

Dr Lewis puts forward the argument that Crimea "would not have been land-grabbed" if Ukraine had kept some of its nuclear weapons.

He calls on MPs top take lessons from Ukraine's "one-sided disarmament in return for unreliable and undeliverable guarantees from other countries."

Not taking a 'blind bit of notice'

House of Commons

Parliament

Conservative defence expert Dr Julian Lewis says he has "news" for people who argue that the UK cannot criticise other countries for obtaining nuclear weapons "if we persist in renewing ours."

"Countries who are on the verge of obtaining nuclear weapons are not going to take a blind bit of notice of the likes of us", he says.

"Countries acquire nuclear weapons when they do as a result of a hard-headed reading of their own strategic interests." he adds.

'Particular obligation'

House of Commons

Parliament

Jeremy Corbyn
BBC

Jeremy Corbyn argues that, as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council ,the UK has a "particular obligation" to "pledge towards a nuclear free future".

If they do not work towards nuclear proliferation, then "who are we to criticise India and Pakistan for not making an agreement", he asks.

"If we want a nuclear-free world - it is possible, we have a responsibility to play a role in that", he adds.

Poor timing

House of Commons

Parliament

Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn complains that every time there is a Nuclear Proliferation Treaty review, there is a general election.

He says this means ministers are often too busy to attend, and only some time after the general election are government representatives able to respond to the recommendations.

Goodnight from peers

House of Lords

Parliament

The short debate in the Lords is over and the House rises earlier than usual for a Monday.

Peers will be back tomorrow from 14.30 GMT to put questions to ministers.

There will also be debates on the UK's influence in the world and on the Mental Capacity Act.

Stay with us tonight as MPs continue their debate on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Picture: Dame Margaret Beckett

House of Commons

Parliament

Labour MP and former foreign secretary Dame Margaret Beckett makes the opening speech in the debate.

The 2015

Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) will take place in April and May.

Dame Margaret Beckett
BBC

Non-Proliferation Treaty conference

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs have passed the motion on the European Commission work programme, with the European Scrutiny Committee amendment.

Now, Labour MP Dame Margaret Beckett is opening a debate on the forthcoming Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference.

About APS

House of Lords

Parliament

Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), also known as Hughes syndrome, affects the immune system, causing an increased risk of blood clots.

People with APS are at risk of developing deep vein thrombosis or arterial thrombosis, which can cause strokes.

One in six cases of deep vein thrombosis, strokes and heart attacks in people under 50 is caused by APS.

No cure exists for APS, but early identification can reduce the risk of developing blood clots.

Final debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Peers have made swift progress through a long list of amendments and the second day of report stage of the bill ends early.

The final debate today is on a motion calling on the government to raise awareness of Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APS) amongst GPs and throughout the NHS.

'Parliament supreme'

House of Commons

Parliament

Carrying on with the subject of free movement of citizens, Sir Bill tells MPs that "unless we [are] prepared to dig in and make this parliament supreme in the matters of such vital national interest we would not get the changes that [are] needed."

Some of these changes require treaty change, while other require the overriding of charter of fundamental human rights, he argues, and this is "not on offer in any substantial way from other principal states " or EU institutions, no matter how it may "affect us as a small island with an increasing population."

Bill Cash
BBC

'Regulation as bad as taxation'

House of Lords

Parliament

Conservative peer Lord Borwick introduces an amendment on access to the register of People with Significant Control.

The bill would require a company to make its register "available for inspection" and Lord Borwick is proposing that anyone requesting the information must do so for a "proper purpose" which must the same as the reason given to the company for the original request.

He attacks the requirement in the bill, which he claims will lead companies to waste money on lawyers, adding: "Regulation is as bad as taxation, often worse in fact as it is insidious and stealthy."

It would be better to give firms a corporation tax cut, he suggests.

'Shockingly delayed'

House of Commons

Parliament

Chair of the European Scrutiny Committee Sir Bill Cash explains why he has tabled his amendment to today's motion.

He says it is "truly shocking that it took over a year for the government to bring forward a debate on the question of free movement of citizens when the document in question was recommended in January 2014 on a matter of enormous significance which had goes right to the heart of the European question."

It is "inconceivable that this matter should be so shockingly delayed", he says.

'Remain to be seen'

House of Commons

Parliament

Pat McFadden
BBC

Shadow Europe minister Pat McFadden lends Labour's initial support to the measures.

While Labour support the new priorities, he tells MPs "It will remain to be seen to if the commission delivers as it has promised, to meet real and urgent priorities and ensure the European Union works in the interest of its citizens over the next five years."

'Massive con trick'

House of Commons

Parliament

Former Conservative cabinet minister John Redwood intervenes to argue that most of the 80 measures being withdrawn are "either obsolete or superseded by a measure already gone through or being withdrawn in favour of a more ambitious proposal."

"It's complete nonsense to say [the European Union is] giving up power and wish to do less, this is a massive work programme and the 80 are a massive con trick."

Minister tries to reassure

House of Lords

Parliament

Business Minister Baroness Neville-Rolfe attempts to reassure Lords Watson and Phillips that the bill's proposed register will be adequate and "an additional, bespoke report" is not needed.

It works, as Lord Watson withdraws the amendments.

European Scrutiny Committee report

House of Commons

Parliament

The European Scrutiny Committee report on the programme can be found

here.

Work Programme

House of Commons

Parliament

Under the new programme the Commission proposes 23 new initiatives, which are intended to contribute to the ten priorities set out by President Juncker in his political guidelines - to make a difference on the big economic and social and for less EU interference.

The Commission also plans to withdraw or modify 80 existing proposals, and proposes 79 actions under its Regulatory Fitness and Performance programme (REFIT).

In comparison to the 2014 Work Programme, this programme contains fewer new initiatives (29 were proposed in 2014), more proposals for withdrawal or modification, and more REFIT actions.

'Does not help' small businesses

House of Lords

Parliament

Conservative peer Lord Forsyth of Drumlean opposes the amendments, arguing that the requirement "does not help the small businessman", who he says will be faced with "additional costs".

Labour's Lord Watson, one of the proposers of the amendment, claims the amendments are aimed at bigger, international companies.

Commission programme

House of Commons

Parliament

The work programme, that MPs are being asked to vote on, sets out the actions the Commission intends to take over the next 12 months.

Opening the debate, Europe Minister David Lidington tells MPs that under Jean-Claude Juncker, the commission intends to focus on a "smaller number of key priorities" and set limits on the level of interference from the commission "on matters that can be better handled at local level."

To jeering from members of the European Scrutiny Committee, Mr Lidington says this is the first time he's been able to say "that the European commission intends to do things in a different fashion from how its work has been carried out in the past."

'Chain' of ownership

House of Lords

Parliament

Labour peer Lord Watson of Invergowrie and Liberal Democrat Lord Phillips of Sudbury have tabled amendments concerning the ownership register of "People with Significant Control".

The amendments apply to control "exercised through a chain of legal entities" and would require "details of name, service address and jurisdiction of registration of all legal entities in the chain".

Lord Phillips alleges that there are an "ever-increasing number of really shameful frauds which are conducted by the biggest and best companies and banks".

Lord Phillips of Sudbury
BBC

EU Commission motion

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs now move to a motion to approve a European document on the EU Commission Work Programme 2015.

Unusually, there's a cross-party amendment signed by members of the European Scrutiny Committee which calls for the government to encourage the Commission to develop policies on the free movement of peoples - an even more controversial issue.

This is the latest manifestation of a festering complaint that the government has been far too slow to schedule debates on EU business referred to the Commons by the European Scrutiny Committee.

Amendment accepted

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs agree to accept the Lords amendment after a limited rebellion from Tory "awkward squad members" including Philip Davies. The amendment is accepted by 353 votes to 5, a government majority of 348.

Register of ownership

House of Lords

Parliament

The debate on the Small Business Bill leaves the pub and moves on to a Labour amendment to "establish a register of freehold estates and leases owned by or granted to people of significant control".

Opposition spokesman Lord Mendelsohn says many offshore owners "hide ownership by creating UK holding entities".

One of the bill's aims is to increase transparency regarding ownership and control of UK companies with a register of beneficial ownership.

Sunset clause

House of Commons

Parliament

Philip Davies
BBC

Music and sports organisers are "cock-a-hoop" about the proposed changes because they can use this new information to "blacklist" consumers who want to sell their tickets on for a profit and "stop that secondary ticket market from continuing", Philip Davies argues.

He moves an amendment to introduce a "sunset clause" into the measures - meaning they would cease after two years - as no one knows "what impact this legislation will have", though he says he reckons it will "inevitably end in some sort of court case."

'Free market'

House of Commons

Parliament

Conservative MP Philip Davies accuses the government of doing "a massive U-turn" of which the government should be "embarrassed."

The current "free" secondary ticket market works "in the best interest of the consumer" by allowing them to make a profit if the tickets go up in price, he argues.

Tabling an amendment that would require today's amendments to end two years after they are first introduced, he bemoans the fact that the Conservatives are being asked, as he sees it, "to give up on the free market."

Secondary market criticism

House of Commons

Parliament

Websites such as Viagogo and Seatwave have long been criticised for allowing tickets for gigs, sporting events and theatre to go to touts, who then sell them on for inflated prices.

The Conservative co-chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Ticket Abuse, Mike Weatherley, has previoulsy said: "It's been clear for a long time that this market is not working in the interest of genuine fans or the people who put in all the hard work and investment to put on live events. Anyone operating honestly has nothing to fear from these changes, but they will make a big difference for ordinary fans."

Speaking for Labour

House of Lords

Parliament

Labour spokesman Lord Mendelsohn addresses peers from the opposition benches.

Lord Mendelsohn
BBC

Secondary tickets market reforms

House of Commons

Parliament

Jo Swinson
BBC

Culture Minister Jo Swinson announces that the government will now accept the changes put forwards by peers to provide greater help in stamping out the sale of counterfeit tickets and speculative tickets sold on the secondary market.

The new measures will ensure that fans buying tickets from reselling companies such as Viagogo, Stubhub and Seatwave will know the precise details of the ticket they are purchasing including "row, seat, face value, age restrictions, its original seller" - currently not legally required.

Online ticketing market places will also be required to report illegal activity to the police and event organisers, she tells MPs.

A full independent review into secondary ticket market will also be launched in the summer - to report next year - to look at further ways to reform the secondary ticket market.

'Kick his wishes into touch'

House of Lords

Parliament

Conservative peer Lord Hodgson has tabled an amendment to exempt franchise agreements from the requirement to offer a market rent only option.

Labour's Lord Snape claims he has heard "a paean of praise for PubCos" from his Tory counterpart.

He says he hopes the minister will "smother him with honeyed words but kick his wishes into touch".

The power of the PubCos

House of Lords

Parliament

The rise of the pub company or "PubCo" is largely thanks to the so-called Beer Orders, introduced in 1989.

The orders decreed no brewer could own more than 2,000 pubs and was aimed at enabling small brewers to survive in a market then dominated by six large national firms: Allied, Bass, Courage, Grand Metropolitan, Scottish & Newcastle and Whitbread.

However, the brewers, reluctant to open up their pubs to rival brewers' beers, instead created pub companies to which they sold their pubs.

These pub companies were exempt from the Beer Orders legislation and as a result were able to own more pubs than the 2,000 originally decreed.

@SharonHodgsonMP

Labour MP Sharon Hodgson tweets: Consideration of Lords amendments to Consumer Rights Bill underway in Commons now. At long last we will have some much needed transparency!

From today's Public Accounts Committee

Sean Curran

Parliamentary correspondent, BBC News

The chair of the Public Accounts Committee, Margaret Hodge, has called on Rona Fairhead to resign as chair of the BBC Trust.

Ms Fairhead was giving evidence to the committee in her role as a non-executive director on the board of HSBC.

Margaret Hodge told her: "I don't think that the record you've shown of your performance here as a guardian of HSBC gives me the confidence that you should be the guardian of the BBC licence fee payers' money.

"I really do think that you should consider your position and you should think about resigning and if not, I think the government should sack you."

Consumer Rights Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs now turn to the Consumer Rights Bill - where the main business is expected to be finding a workable compromise between MPs and peers requiring secondary ticketing operators to provide the name of the seller, the face value of the ticket, any age restrictions on the ticket, and details of the seat location.