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Summary

  1. MPs question Bank of England governor
  2. Lords start second day debate on Brexit bill
  3. Health Committee to look at impact of Brexit
  4. MPs examining Criminal Finances Bill

Live Reporting

By Kate Whannel and Ben Butcher

All times stated are UK

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Brexit endangers NI peace process, says Baroness O'Loan
Baroness O'Loan warns that leaving the European Union could endanger the Northern Ireland peace process

Lords adjourn

Brexit bill

House of Lords

Parliament

House of Lords
BBC

And that ends the day in the House of Lords.

Tomorrow peers will get a break from Brexit debating instead the Digital Economy Bill.

Business kicks off at 3pm.

What next?

Brexit Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

The bill therefore passes its first hurdle in the House of Lords.

Next up is the committee stage which gives peers the chance to table, debate and vote on amendments.

The committee stage will begin next week. A list of the amendments tabled so far can be found here 

Bill passes second reading

Brexit Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

House of Lords
BBC

The Minister concludes his speech by suggesting that after 20 hours of debate "it is time not to remain but to leave this house and go to bed".

The Lord Speaker puts the question of whether the bill should progress to its next stage and peers agree verbally without pushing it to a vote. 

Article 50 process will not be reversed - Minister

Brexit Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Bridges of Headley
BBC

On the question of reversing the Article 50 process Lord Bridges says that it is "a matter of firm policy" that the UK's notification of withdrawal "will not be withdrawn".

Concerning a second referendum he argues that "we cannot go round and round in circles".

He describes calls for the government to guarantee the rights of EU nationals living in the UK as “well intentioned”

However he says acting unilaterally will not help the “hundreds of thousands” of UK citizens living in the EU.

They could face two years of uncertainty he says.

Government will go 'above and beyond' constitutional requirements

Brexit Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Bridges
BBC

Brexit Minister Lord Bridges of Headley begins his speech by seeking to assure peers that he does not dismiss their concerns.

However such concerns, he argues, are not the subject of this bill.

The bill's core purpose is to begin the process of leaving the EU he says.

During the debate some peers asked if a further bill would be needed to approve the final exit deal.

Lord Bridges tells peers that the government would go "above and beyond" constitutional requirements by giving Parliament a vote on a motion. 

Hayter: There is a majority for Labour amendments

Brexit Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Hayter
BBC

Labour's Brexit spokeswoman Baroness Hayter now begins her response.

She congratulates peers on adhering to the "just a minute rules" by avoiding deviation hesitation or repetition - although this last one provokes some laughter.

She tells the House that she expects Labour amendments seeking to secure the rights of EEA nationals living in the UK to receive majority support.

She also believes there is enough support to pass an amendment requiring Parliament to have a say on a final exit deal.

The minister can count she says, "if not he has a five year old who can teach him".

Lib Dems have not 'thrown in the towel'

Brexit Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Ludford
BBC

Lib Dems are not prepared to thrown in the towel says the party spokeswoman Baroness Ludford.

She welcomes indications of support for Lib Dem amendments "from across the House".

Waiving the bill through the bill would be "a serious abdication of responsibility" she argues. 

Concluding her speech she says that the Tory government needs to be diverted from this "hardest of hard Brexits".

Dobbs: Delaying bill would undermined the Lords

Brexit Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Dobbs
BBC

"It's a funny old world" muses Conservative Lord Dobbs.

He recalls introducing a bill to the House of Lords calling for a referendum on the EU in 2013.

"I thought it had a snowball's chance in hell" he says.

He warns peers that trying to delay this bill would undermine the reputation of the Lords - "at a time when everything we do is being mocked by the media".

Approaching the home straight

BBC Journalist tweets

Brexit white paper 'insultingly uninformative'

Brexit Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Labour's Lord Davies of Stamford describes the government white paper on Brexit as "insultingly uninformative".

"Nothing precise was said about the costs or benefits of Brexit" he says.

He suggests that if someone "put out something like that to shareholders" they would be faced with a criminal prosecution.

Murphy: Peace in Northern Ireland should not be jeopardised

Brexit Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Stormont
PA

Labour's Lord Murphy of Torfaen says he accepts the referendum result but says Parliament should have a role. 

The former Northern Ireland Secretary was involved in negotiations leading up to the Good Friday Agreement.

That agreement, he says, was based on the UK and Irish governments' membership of the EU.

He tells peers that EU membership "permeated every strand" of the agreement negotiations.

He urges ministers to ensure that peace in Northern Ireland is not jeopardised by Brexit.

Viscount Ridley offers 'project cheer'

Brexit Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Viscount Ridley
BBC

The House of Lords prides itself on scrutinising legislation says Conservative Viscount Ridley.

But what is there to scrutinise in such a simple bill? he asks.

He uses the rest of his speech to provide some optimisim or "project cheer" as he labels it. 

He sets out a vision of Brexit that is "a global outward advance, not an isolationist retreat". 

Britain, he says, is a great country with a great history "but we've hardly started". 

'Don't push it'

Brexit Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Cormack
BBC

Conservative Lord Cormack says his heart is with those who want to vote down the bill but his head is telling him to let it pass.

The House of Lords, he argues, must recognise that supremacy lies with the elected house. 

He accepts that peers may want to vote on some amendments but he warns them "don't push it".

EU needs the 'electric shock' of Brexit

Brexit Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Earl of Caithness
BBC

Conservative peer Earl of Caithness says voices in the debate warning about leaving were delivering the same warnings in 1971 and 1972. 

He says enough of the British people have changed their mind of the benefits of staying in the EU - and peers must respect that decision. The EU "is in a mess", he says, and although Brexit is "our top priority" it is not the EU's top priority.

He quotes friends from France, saying Brexit is the shock the EU needs in order to change, likening it to an "electric shock". 

Budgets will have to change, he says, as one of the biggest contributors (or "milch cows") is leaving.

Wales's reasons for voting out examined by Lib Dem peer

Brexit Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Wigley, a Plaid Cymru peer, says he hopes the House will not be rushed into a decision against its better judgement, based on an "arbitrary timetable".

He says that people in Wales voted out because they were told EU funding would be matched. And he says he does not believe that people in Wales voted to halt immigration.

Wales needs unfettered access to the single market, he says.

He says he appeals to the government to step back from "mindless threats" to the Chamber, and asks if the Lords cannot change a thing in the bill, what is the point of the Chamber?

View more on twitter

Brexit and bendy bananas

Brexit Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

An art installation of bananas
PA

"Bananas," begins Labour's Lord Giddens.

He admits he is trying to get attention of the Lords but also says he wants to address the subject of EU regulations on "bendy bananas".

Such regulations, he says, are often held up as a reason for leaving the EU.

He suggests that when the UK leaves the EU it will still need similar regulations in order to trade bananas.

However, he adds, that without EU membership the UK will have "less clout" in negotiating these regulations. 

Ours not to reason why...

Brexit Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Engraving of The Charge of the Light Brigade at the battle of Balaklava during the Crimean War.
Getty Images

Lib Dem Lord Thomas of Gresford notes that the Conservative peer Lord Forsyth used his speech to attack the Liberal Democrats for seeking to amend the bill.

"He is a latter day Lord Cardigan," he says and quotes from the poem The Charge of the Light Brigade - "Ours not to reason why, ours but to do and die."

He adds that the Russian gunners thought the Light Brigade charged the guns at Balaclava "because they were drunk".

Brexiteers are intoxicated by their success, he says, but others will "share the depths of their hangover".

Deech: House of Lords should not act like tinpot dictators

Brexit Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Deech
BBC

Crossbench peer Baroness Deech argues that the benefits of EU membership are outweighed by the EU's weakness over proper governance.

She suggests that the judgement of peers may be affected by their close ties with the EU.

She questions the wisdom of holding a second referendum, asking what would happen if leave lost.

Would it go to best of three? she wonders.

She urges the House of Lords not to act like "tinpot dictators" and give the bill "a fair wind".

Controversy over Speaker continued today

House of Commons

Parliament

A Conservative MP asked the Speaker of the House of Commons directly if a vote of no confidence will be held in him earlier today.

James Duddridge raised a point of order and asked the Speaker John Bercow if the “government or indeed the Backbench Business Committee contacted you in any way to allocate time for this unresolved matter to be debated and indeed voted on”.

He also acknowledged that there had been a “somewhat underwhelming” response to his call for a vote of no confidence.

Speaker Bercow said “the short answer is no and there is absolutely no reason why they should have done”.

He said his point was “fortified in the knowledge that it is also the sound advice of the experienced clerk of the House”.

Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen later raised another point of order and asked the Speaker to “apologise” in the Commons for “unilaterally seeking to ban the President of United States from Westminster Hall”.

Speaker Bercow said he had “treated of that matter very fully” when he addressed previous points of order in the House of Commons, adding “we shall leave it there”.

'The murky waters of illusory independence'

Brexit Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Harrison
BBC

Labour's Lord Harrison suggests that the UK voted for Brexit because "we don't learn foreign languages".

He tells peers that he will do his "patriotic duty" and vote against the bill.

He adds that he has no wish to "dive into the murky waters" of "illusory independence in a world of increasing interdependence".

"I was sent to the Lords to use my block," he says "not to be part of the block vote of Brexiteers."

House of Commons adjourns

House of Commons

Parliament

There's still a long evening ahead in the House of Lords, but for now the House of Commons has adjourned until 11.30am tomorrow.

Murrison: 'last opportunity to shine light on unforgotten'

Adjournment Debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Andrew Murrison
BBC

Conservative Andrew Murrison says the World War I centenary is the "last opportunity to shine a light on the unforgotten", in this case the 646 who died in the Mendi tragedy.

He says the incident is a story of "stoicism and bravery in the face of adversity", but also raises questions about our attitudes to race in the early 20th Century and how far we have come. 

He finishes by saying they "were denied the respect they deserved then, so we must honour them today."

Lansley: No deal is potentially the worst deal

Brexit Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Lansley
BBC

Conservative Lord Lansley tells the House that he regrets that the remain side lost the referendum but accepts the result and so "must back the bill".

He says the government's mandate to leave the EU lies in the referendum but adds that the authority over future agreements with the EU "derives from this Parliament".

"We must exercise this authority at the right time," he says, "ie before the die is cast."

He objects to the idea that "no deal is better than a bad deal."

No deal is potentially the worst deal, he says.

Centenary of SS Mendi sinking

Adjournment Debate

House of Commons

Parliament

SS Mendi
BBC

Conservative Andrew Murrison starts his adjournment debate on the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the SS Mendi

The SS Mendi was a troop ship carrying more than 800 predominantly black South African men recruited to work as manual labourers. The ship was hit in thick fog off the Isle of Wight by a cargo steamship.

The men on board were travelling to France to assist the allies in World War I. A total of 646 people died in the tragedy. 

Andrew Murrison says he wants to make "amends" for the fact that, at the time, the incident was not mentioned in the House of Commons.

Town and Country Planning motion approved

Town and Country Planning motion

House of Commons

Parliament

The Town and Country Planning motion has been approved with a majority of 166.

Division!

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs are voting on the Town and Country Planning motion.

This makes amendments to the Housing and Planning Act, regarding permissions needed for local planning. 

Pensions and social security orders approved

Social security and pension orders

House of Commons

Parliament

The order passes without a vote, sealing an increase in some pension and social security payments. 

In response to Opposition fears that other benefits are not receiving equal weight, Work and Pension Minister Caroline Nokes notes that "difficult decisions on spending" have been made. 

Amendments would 'strengthen PM's hand'

Brexit Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Pannick
BBC

Crossbencher Lord Pannick is one of the lawyers who represented Gina Miller in the lawsuit that led to the Supreme Court ruling that a bill must be passed through Parliament before the Brexit process can begin. 

He pays tribute to her and says that "the whole House should be very grateful to Mrs Miller" for giving them the opportunity to debate the manner and timing of the UK's withdrawal from the EU.

He says that the bill needs amendment and that the government must return to Parliament to ratify the terms of the deal, giving it "at least the same powers as the European Parliament has".

Lord Pannick goes on to refute two arguments made by peers and MPs who oppose amendment of the bill. 

In response to those who say we should "get on with it", he says that amending the bill will not affect the March deadline set by the PM to trigger Article 50.

And in response to the argument that amendments would "weaken the negotiating power of the government in Europe" he says the prime minister has already committed to return to Parliament. It "should strengthen her hand", to be able to say to the EU that she "has to get this deal through Parliament".

Social security and pensions orders announced

Social security and pension orders

House of Commons

Parliament

Caroline Nokes
BBC

Work and Pensions Minister Caroline Nokes is announcing increases in social security and pensions from 2 April 2017. 

The new state pension will increase from £155.65 to £159.35 per week, an increase of 2.5%. 

Statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay will increase from £139.58 to £140.98 per week. 

The order fulfills the duty of the Work and Pensions Secretary to review the rates of social security benefits and pensions in line with general price increases. 

Shadow work and pensions secretary Debbie Abrahams says she "will not stand in the way" of increases, but raises her "concern" that other social security benefits have been cut or frozen. 

Bill passes third reading

Criminal Finances Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

The Criminal Finances Bill has passed third reading and will now head to the House of Lords.

Criminal Finances Bill has third reading

Criminal Finances Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Third reading
BBC

Home Office Minister Ben Wallace makes the case for the Criminal Finances Bill at third reading. 

He calls for "further steps" to be taken by Overseas Territories and Crown dependencies in improving transparency. 

Much of the debate at report stage was dedicated to the subject, but the minister notes that this was not the point of the bill. 

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott welcomes the bill, but argues that tax evasion and avoidance were "not victimless crimes" due to their impact on decreasing tax revenue in both the UK and developing world. 

She believes that there is, therefore, space for improving transparency in the legislation. 

'No wiggle room' after referendum

Brexit Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Grocott
BBC

Labour's Lord Grocott says "there really is no wiggle room" for Remain supporters in Parliament after the referendum. 

"If you enter a contest, particularly one you have written the rules for, you must accept the result." 

He has no patience with people who say the referendum was "advisory" either.

"When I watch Stoke City at the weekend I accept the rules and the result, although I must admit that there have been many occasions when I wish I could say the goals against us were advisory."

Amendment rejected

Criminal Finances Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

New Clause 19 vote
BBC

MPs have voted against New Clause 19, with a majority of 59.

Amendments 2-19 and 20-72 were approved without a vote. 

Owen: UK must leave EU as quickly as possible

Brexit Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Owen
BBC

Former leader of the SDP, Lord Owen, criticises the former prime minister David Cameron for making "no preparations" for the referendum.

He also attacks  another former prime minister, Tony Blair, for his speech urging people "to rise up".

What we need, he argues, is "the maximum unity possible".

He tells peers that the UK needs to come out of the EU "as quickly as possible". 

He adds that the EU has proved itself to be "dysfunctional" and "unable to grapple" with its problems.

Division!

Criminal Finances Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs have divided once again over New Clause 19. 

This calls for a review into the extent 'banking culture' contributed to the failure to stop tax evasion in the banking sector. 

Amendment rejected

Criminal Finances Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs have voted against New Clause 17, with a majority of 113. 

The clause, tabled by the Labour frontbench, would have established public registers of beneficial ownership of companies registered in Crown dependencies. 

Committee session ends

Health Committee

Select Committee

Parliament

And that's it from the Health Committee. 

Most striking in today's session was the call from all three representatives of health and social care employers that recruitment of health professionals from abroad be made easier after Brexit, their criticisms of the current immigration system for non-EU migrants, and their instance that the NHS, social care and medical training need access to migrants to function.