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Summary

  1. Day starts with Culture, Media and Sport questions, as well as International Trade questions
  2. Urgent question on grammar schools
  3. Debates on scamming; and the Fourth Industrial Revolution
  4. Lords debate lobbying; and the NHS
  5. Chancellor questioned over economy and Brexit

Live Reporting

By Esther Webber, Sam Francis and Kate Whannel

All times stated are UK

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Pupils in class

The education secretary says allowing new grammar schools would not mean a return to the days when young children were split into winners and losers.

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End of business in the Lords

House of Lords

Parliament

Peers agree the pensions regulations, which brings the day in the Lords to a close. 

Lords return tomorrow at 10am for private member's bills, starting with Labour Peer Lord Grocott's House of Lords Act 1999 (Amendment) Bill.

Houses of Parliament

The Palace of Westminster risks "crisis" and a growing risk of a "catastrophic event" without a £4bn restoration, MPs and peers warn.

Read more

End of Commons business for today

House of Commons

Parliament

And with that business in the House of Commons comes to an end.

MPs will be back on Monday 12 September for Defence questions and the final stages of the Wales Bill.

Peers ask about future of the infrastructure commission

Economic Affairs Committee

Select Committee

Parliament

Chair Lord Horlick apologises for finishing on "a narrow parochial point".

He tells the Chancellor that the committee felt the government process of evaluating projects (such as HS2) "left much to be desired".  

Therefore, he continues, the peers welcomed the decision to establish an independent infrastructure commission. He asks if it is still the government's intention to put the commission on a statutory footing.

Mr Hammond replies that the government intends to support and use the infrastructure commission.

"That sounds like a no," concludes Lord Horlick.

And that exchange brings an end to this committee session. 

Economic Affairs Committee
BBC

Government working to help situation in Bangladesh, says minister

Adjournment debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Foreign Office Minister Alok Sharma
BBC

Foreign Office Minister Alok Sharma says that the government has noticed that the "threat against minority groups has intensified" in Bangladesh. 

Direct intervention will not work but the government is "supporting organisations who work to protect minorities in Bangladesh", he argues.

The UK and Bangladesh are "long standing and close friends" and Mr Sharma says the government is urging the Bangladeshi "government to do everything it can to tackle the scourge of violence, bring perpetrators to justice and explore the root causes of the attacks".

This is not only to end violence but because a country can "only reach full potential if it values and harnesses the power of all its people".

How much will Brexit cost?

Economic Affairs Committee

Select Committee

Parliament

UK and EU flags
PA

Baroness Wheatcroft asks if the government has budgeted for additional costs incurred as a result of Brexit. Such costs, she suggests, might include hiring negotiators or taking on subsidies currently provided by the EU.

The Chancellor says that given the UK is a net contributor to the EU he would not expect the process of Brexit to lead to fiscal pressures.

He adds that the greater risk comes from a slowing down of the economy.

Peers debate uprating pensions

Pensions Act 2014 (Consequential Amendments) Order 2016

House of Lords

Parliament

Work and Pensions Minister Lord Freud is presenting the Pensions Act 2014 (Consequential Amendments) Order 2016, which are designed to:

  • ensure existing arrangements for annual uprating will continue
  • give appeal rights relating to National Insurance credits for pensions.

Hammond: Tension between accountability and negotiation

Economic Affairs Committee

Select Committee

Parliament

Labour's Lord Darling asks when they can expect the government to spell out the detail of Brexit negotiations.

Mr Hammond sets out the two principles of the negotiation. Firstly to obtain "greatest possible level of access" to European markets. Secondly to ensure control of UK borders.

He says he understands "the thirst for detail" adding that there is an "intrinsic tension" between democratic accountability and effective negotiation.

He concludes "we are not going to provide a running commentary"

Lords asked to approve minimum wage rise

National Minimum Wage (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2016

House of Lords

Parliament

Business Minister Baroness Neville-Rolfe is presenting regulations which increase the hourly National Minimum Wage rates and increase the maximum amount for accommodation. 

Hammond: UK is not Norway, Switzerland or even Canada

Economic Affairs Committee

Select Committee

Parliament

Crossbencher Lord Kerr of Kinlochard doesn't want to ask Philip Hammond what Brexit means.

Instead, he wants to know what he would like Brexit to mean.

Lord Kerr notes that Brexit Secretary David Davis has said it is unlikely that the UK would stay in the UK common market. He contrasts this with comments made by the Chancellor that "it is in the interest of the UK to keep things as they are".

Philip Hammond notes that he was foreign secretary when he made those remarks. A time, he wistfully adds, when he had a bigger office.

Addressing the question, he says he wants to "get away" from talking as if there are only existing models.

The UK, he tells peers, is "not the Norway, it is not Switzerland, it is not even Canada".

Philip Hammond
BBC
Palace of Westminster is in need of major repair work
Former Clark of the Commons Lord Lisvane explains why the Palace of Westminster is in need of major renovation.

Brexit: Are we nearly there yet?

Esther Webber

BBC News

Car
Thinkstock

"Brexit means Brexit" is a phrase we are all now familiar with, but parliamentarians have this week furnished us with a new way of understanding it: the journey.

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron got the ball rolling yesterday when he said: "We trusted the British people with the question of our departure, so we should trust them with the question of our destination."

The analogy resurfaced in the Lords today as Labour frontbencher Baroness Hayter said Brexit was "a journey" for which the government "needs a clear map". 

This prompted Conservative Lord Forsyth to jump in, pointing out: "There is nothing more irritating on a journey than having people in the back seat saying, 'Are we nearly there yet?'"

Lord Bridges, the minister for exiting the EU, concurred. Something tells us this metaphor has legs.

Blackman: human rights abuses getting worse

Adjournment debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Bob Blackman
BBC

Bob Blackman says he is holding today's debate to "highlight the deterioration in human rights abuses in Bangladesh". 

"Widespread persecution by extremist armed groups are deeply worrying to all concerned," he tells MPs.

The treatment of Hindus during the 1970 struggle for independence "ranks with the worst mass killings of the 20th century" and has helped created a situation "rife for extremist ideology".

Up to 3m people were killed and up 200,000-400,000 systematic rapes were carried out during the war of independence, he tells MPs.

Officially secular Bangladesh is "slowly turning into a land of political thugs and religious extremists".

Health minister says NHS is in 'tough' situation

NHS debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Health Minister Lord Prior of Brampton responds to this afternoon's debate for the government, conceding the current situation of the NHS is "really tough". 

"We believe in a tax-funded, comprehensive health service - I don't want there to be any doubt about that," he says. 

He adds the NHS' shape is not determined by "numerous reorganisations" but by "demography" and "we may think we can tinker with the NHS in this House but to persuade people to change the way they work is difficult". 

Department for ... erm ...

Daily Mail Deputy Political Editor tweets

Protection of minorities in Bangladesh

Adjournment debate

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs now move to today's final business, the adjournment debate.

Conservative MP, and chair of the APPG on Hindus, Bob Blackman is leading a debate on the protection of religious minorities in Bangladesh.

Hammond: PM will decide on Hinkley Point by end of month

Economic Affairs Committee

Select Committee

Parliament

Chair Lord Horlick now asks about the wisdom of going ahead with the plan to build a new nuclear plant at Hinkley Point.

He suggests that the project fails to meet the criteria of being a "well-designed transfer of risk" and doubts that Hinkley Point can deliver the goods for the UK.

The Chancellor tells peers that the prime minister will reach a decision on Hinkley Point by the end of the month. 

He offers some defence of the project as a good deal for the UK, noting that if Hinkley doesn't generate electricity, the operator will "not generate a penny of return". He also says there would be a penalty if the operator is late in delivery. 

He adds that design, construction and operation risks have been transferred entirely to the operator.

Hinkley Point
AFP/ EDF Energy

Challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Fourth Industrial Revolution

House of Commons

Parliament

Shadow business minister Chi Onwurah
BBC
Shadow business minister Chi Onwurah at the despatch box

Shadow business minister Chi Onwurah warns that the opportunities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution "also bring challenges".

She points out in the digital economy "has introduced a "new set of intermediaries such as Uber and Deliveroo whose workers are dis-empowered and to whom they are not accountable".

Digital changes and the "gig economy" gives workers "little security and a few rights" and can place "downward pressure on wages" and move risk on to ordinary people".

Many others could find the "digital economy inaccessible" due to poor internet connection.

The economy must "work for everyone" and not "for the benefit of the few".

Baroness Wheatcroft: is government inflating house prices?

Economic Affairs Committee

Select Committee

Parliament

Baroness Wheatcroft
BBC

Former editor-in-chief of the Wall Street Journal and Conservative peer Baroness Wheatcroft asks if government schemes to subsidise home ownership (such as Help to Buy) inflate prices.

Philip Hammond replies that government schemes are responding to the aspirations of 90% of the population to own their own home.

He adds that the government is looking at housing policy in the round and will announce changes in due course.

Labour: NHS tendering produces poor outcomes

NHS debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Winding up today's debate on the NHS, Labour health spokesman Lord Hunt of Kings Heath tells peers he has "no problem whatsoever with the involvement of the private sector".

However, he adds, "where the NHS seems to have been forced to tender out services willy-nilly" this has led to "poor outcomes".

He also defends the PFI schemes used to build hospitals under Labour, saying that while some were "not well-managed, we invested huge money in infrastructure". 

Is Bank of England 'running out of room'?

Economic Affairs Committee

Select Committee

Parliament

Crossbencher Lord Burns worries that the Bank of England is "running out of room". He asks if the Chancellor agree that "monetary policy needs more support".

The Chancellor notes that Mark Carney has said the floor limit for interest rates is very close to zero and therefore "there is more the bank can do".

On fiscal policy, Mr Hammond says the government can create "headroom" for fiscal stimulus, if appropriate.

Did Bank of England's action avert an economic shock, asks Lord Lamont

Economic Affairs Committee

Select Committee

Parliament

Another former Chancellor, Lord Lamont, asks if the Chancellor agrees with Mark Carney (the Bank of England's governor) when he said that the monetary stimulus provided by the Bank of England averted an economic shock following the referendum.

Mr Hammond to some extent agrees but suggests it will be some time before he can distinguish what contribution the stimulus made to calming the economy.

Bank of England
BBC

Hammond: Any fiscal stimulus would have to be well designed

Economic Affairs Committee

Select Committee

Parliament

Former chancellor Lord Darling asks what monetary policy and fiscal policy can do - "and has monetary policy has run its course?"

Mr Hammond replies that fiscal policy can play a role alongside of monetary policy - he emphasises that the latter is the responsibility of the Bank of England.

Lord Darling pushes the Chancellor on whether he would introduce fiscal stimulus.

He says if he did introduce a fiscal stimulus it would have to be well designed.

Lord Darling
BBC

What is the Health and Social Care Act?

NHS debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Patient
Thinkstock

The Health and Social Care Act 2012, which peers are discussing this afternoon, was one of the most significant pieces of legislation passed by the coalition government. 

It gave GPs and other clinicians much more responsibility for spending the budget in England, while greater competition with the private sector will be encouraged.

The bill gained Royal Assent in March 2012, more than 14 months after first being tabled in the House of Commons.

Ministers even had to take the unprecedented step of putting the plans on hold at one stage after criticisms from MPs and health unions.

Read more.

Hammond: Autumn statement will be on 23 November

Economic Affairs Committee

Select Committee

Parliament

Economic Affairs Committee
BBC

Chair Lord Hollick opens the session and allows Philip Hammond to make an opening statement.

The Chancellor starts by telling peers that the Autumn Statement will be delivered on 23 November.

The Autumn Statement gives the Chancellor the opportunity to set out the state of the economy and produce future spending plans.

Minister: I'm sceptical about the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Fourth Industrial Revolution

House of Commons

Parliament

Business Minister Jesse Norman
BBC

Business Minister Jesse Norman says he is "sceptical about the language of the Fourth Industrial Revolution".

To him the revolution is "neither the fourth, nor particularly industrial and not, indeed, a revolution".

But, he says, he is an optimist about change. 

"All you need is imagination, energy, capacity for risk and ability to work," he says.

"We want to be at the forefront of the changes being discussed here," he tells MPs and "lead this revolution, as we led the first".

Rethink of commissioning groups needed, says peer

NHS debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Lib Dem Baroness Tyler of Enfield concedes there is "no appetite for further structural reform" but says the government needs to find other ways of meeting "huge financial and operational pressures".

She points to the organisation of clinical commissioning groups is "not strategic" as there are more CCGs than hospitals, which leads to "fragmentation". 

Set phasers to back bench business debate

Parliamentary reporter tweets...

Former health secretary denies undermining NHS principles

NHS debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Lansley
BBC

Former health secretary, now Conservative peer, Lord Lansley defends the reforms he enacted, saying: "We did not at any point countenance a shift away from the NHS as a comprehensive, universal service free at the point of service."

"In the midst of financial imperatives, we gave the NHS the priority it deserved," he insists, adding the core aim of the 2012 act was to "give greater freedom to providers and promote patient choice". 

He stresses that sustaining the NHS "requires investment on a scale not provided for in the current spending review".

Hammond to appear before Lords committee

Select Committee

Parliament

Philip Hammond
Reuters

At 3:35pm, Chancellor Philip Hammond will be appearing in front of the Lords Economic Affairs Committee. 

This will be his first appearance in front of a committee since his appointment in July.

 Members of the committee are: 

  • Lord Hollick (Chairman) Labour 
  • Baroness Bowles of Berkhamsted, Liberal Democrat 
  • Lord Burns, Crossbench
  • Lord Darling of Roulanish, Labour 
  • Lord Forsyth of Drumlean, Conservative 
  • Lord Kerr of Kinlochard, Crossbench 
  • Lord Lamont of Lerwick, Conservative 
  • Lord Layard, Labour 
  • Lord Livermore, Labour 
  • Lord Sharkey, Liberal Democrat 
  • Lord Tugendhat, Conservative 
  • Lord Turnbull, Crossbench 
  • Baroness Wheatcroft, Conservative 

Questions are likely to cover public debt, the future of the City of London, Hinkley Point, globalisation and HS2. 

Revolutions need a 'social conscience' says MP

Fourth Industrial Revolution debate

House of Commons

Parliament

SNP MP Ronnie Cowan
BBC

SNP MP Ronnie Cowan uses his Inverclyde constituency as a warning of what can happen if an industrial revolution "lacks a social conscience".

Inverclyde "benefited from the first three industrial revolutions" but most of the profit went to "large multinationals" and money did not remain in the area after industries such as ship building declined.

After the UK government withdrew public funding for ship building in the 1980s there was a "rapid decline" in the area with workers "struggling to survive under the long shadow of government failures".

Unless local areas receive support from central government technological innovation "will never reach its full potential" and will only "reinforce inequality", he adds.

Remembering the fallen

DUP MP tweets

Peer criticises NHS changes

NHS debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Viscount Hanworth
BBC

Labour's Viscount Hanworth is opening his debate, moving that the House takes note of the impact of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 on the current performance of the National Health Service and its future sustainability.  

The act overhauled the way the NHS in England works, giving GPs and other clinicians more responsibility for spending the budget in England, while greater competition with the private sector will be encouraged.

Viscount Hanworth begins by saying the NHS' "original intentions have been subverted" and it has become "easy prey" for greater involvement of the private sector. 

Government pledges to review selection age for grammar schools

Grammar schools statement

House of Lords

Parliament

For the Lib Dems, Lord Paddick warns of children being "written off" aged 11 by selection tests.

The minister tells him "we want an inclusive system" and pledges to look at whether pupils will be able to move between schools at different ages. 

The three industrial revolutions so far...

House of Commons

Parliament

With all the talk of the future after the Fourth Industrial Revolution, it's easy to forget how we got here.

According to the father of the Fourth Industrial Revolution these are the three industrial revolutions we've had so far:

  • The First Industrial Revolution – Spanning from the 1760s to the 1840s and characterised by the use of water and steam power to mechanise production. 
  • The Second Industrial Revolution – Spanning from the 1870s to the 1910s, characterised by the use of electrical power to create mass production. 
  • The Third Industrial Revolution – Beginning in the 1960s, this digital revolution has been characterised by a shift away from mechanical and analogue electronic technologies to digital electronics, as well as further automation of industrial production.  

Labour claims Justine Greening is ambivalent on grammar schools

Grammar schools statement

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Watson
BBC

Responding for Labour, Lord Watson of Invergowrie says Education Secretary Justine Greening sounded "unconvinced" when she spoke about the government's policy on grammar schools. 

He says that Theresa May's commitment to social mobility has been "cast into doubt" by her willingness to consider new grammar schools. 

Education Minister Lord Nash responds that he does not want it to be a "dogmatic debate" and "just because it has not worked in the past it does not mean it cannot be made to work in the future". 

What is the Fourth Industrial Evolution?

House of Commons

Parliament

In his 2015 book The Fourth Industrial Revolution, Klaus Schwab identifies specific features that define the fourth industrial revolution.

These include: 

  • the emergence of “smart manufacturing” and “smart factories” – automated manufacturing responding to supply and demand using digital technologies to collect data and make real-time changes
  • the ‘Internet of Things’ - everyday objects connected to the internet, able to identify themselves to other devices to collect and exchange data
  • the replacement and augmentation of certain kinds of labour and office jobs using automation technologies, including robotics and machine learning
  • ongoing developments in new and emerging technologies, including nanotechnology, 3-D printing, biotechnology, quantum computing and renewable energy and energy storage 
  • the rate of change is considerably faster than in preceding industrial revolutions

Lords hear grammar schools statement

Grammar schools statement

House of Lords

Parliament

Classroom
BBC

Education Minister Lord Nash is repeating an answer to an urgent question in the Commons on grammar schools. 

Earlier Education Secretary Justine Greening told MPs the government will take a "pragmatic" look at new grammar schools but will not be "going back to the past".

Read the statement in Hansard

MPs debate new 'industrial renaissance '

Fourth Industrial Revolution debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Conservative Alan Mak
BBC

MPs now move to today's second backbench business debate, as Conservative Alan Mak opens a debate on the "Fourth Industrial Revolution".

German engineer, economist and founder of the World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab, has argued this period of history began at the turn of the century, driven by automation and connectivity and characterised by “a more ubiquitous and mobile internet, artificial intelligence and machine learning.”  

Mr Mak argues that preparing for the impact of the "revolution" must make up part of Theresa May's industrial strategy.

Taking an "early stance" will give Britain a competitive advantage, and MPs must take a "key role leading the debate and making the Fourth Industrial Revolution a success for Britain", he argues.

This is the chance for a new "industrial renaissance in the UK", he adds.