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Summary

  1. David Davis and ministers take questions
  2. Business statement outlines forthcoming debates
  3. General debate on various issues
  4. Lords questions at 11am
  5. Debate on Brexit sanctions

Live Reporting

By Gary Connor, Esther Webber and Richard Morris

All times stated are UK

House of Lords adjourns

House of Lords

Parliament

The House of Lords adjourns and will return on 8 May, when peers will have their sixth and final day of report-stage debate on the EU Withdrawal Bill.

Today in the Commons

What happened?

House of Commons

Parliament

With the conclusion of the general debate, the Commons adjourns.

The day started with Exiting the EU questions, of which many were tabled along the same lines: what is the progress of negotiations? David Davis insisted that progress had been made on the issues of citizens rights and financial arrangements.

The government once again confirmed that they were seeking a special solution to the problem of the Northern Irish border.

The Business statement followed, with some legislation to be wrapped up next week.

The general debate raised issues over the ongoing row over immigration at the Home Office, NHS funding, young criminal barristers and workers' rights.

The Commons is not sitting on Monday due to the May bank holiday, but will return on Tuesday at 2.30pm with Health and Social Care questions.

Minister stresses determination to understand breast screening failure

Breast cancer screening statement

House of Lords

Parliament

O'Shaughnessy
HoL

Health Minister Lord O'Shaughnessy is repeating a statement given by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt in the Commons yesterday.

He announced an independent review into why 450,000 women in England failed to receive invitations for a final routine breast cancer screening between the ages of 68 and 71.

Labour spokesperson Baroness Thornton says "as a woman of my age, we absolutely rely on these tests", adding: "Eight years is a long time for an error of this magnitude to go unnoticed."

Lib Dem Baroness Maddock wants to know if the NHS has enough staff to process the screening backlog, stressing "speed is of the essence".

Lord O'Shaughnessy replies that the government wants to work with other parties to get it right.

He says questions over whether the failure could have been detected sooner must be answered by the review, and it must not affect ongoing screening processes.

Breast cancer screening: what went wrong?

Debate taking place for 'one day off'

General debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Paul Maynard
HoC

Paul Maynard, government whip, says that an adjournment debate is taking place for "one day off," and calls it "a treat".

Mr Maynard says that the UK government has been clear on the rights of EU citizens arriving in the UK during the transition period.

He says that the justice minister "is working with the Bar Council" to raise the issues faced by young criminal barristers, which Conservative MP Bob Stewart raised during his speech.

He adds that "humanity and dignity should be at the heart of everything we do," in replying to Chris Stephens' speech, where he raised concerns over the UK's immigration system and workers' rights.

Looking forward to a 'quieter' bank holiday - Labour

General debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Karin Smyth
HoC

Labour's Karin Smyth says that in the three weeks since Easter, the government "has managed to have two scandals and a resignation" - and she says she is looking forward to a "quieter" period over the bank holiday weekend.

She agrees with Bob Stewart's speech, on the "crisis" at the criminal bar and underfunding of legal aid availability.

She agrees with Chris Stephens that the government is confusing people about whether or not the public sector pay cap has been lifted or not.

She raises concerns that the NHS is not planning enough for emergency situations. She states that it is one of the most "undermanaged" public services for its size in the world.

"We do have a concern now about the level of funding compared to the issues around safety," she says, before praising the "marvellous work of NHS managers across the country"

Minister promises continued sanctions cooperation

Sanctions policy

House of Lords

Parliament

Foreign Office Minister Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon says that the UK will continue to cooperate on security with the EU after Brexit.

"This cooperation after we leave... sanctions will continue to be a multilateral tool, and we will continue to seek to impose them with others."

Lord Ahmad adds that it is in both the UK and EU's interest to discuss sanctions in future.

"Through the exchange of analysis and information this will allow us to combine our efforts on sanctions to the greatest effect," he says.

Sanctions 'integral part of foreign policy'

Sanctions policy

House of Lords

Parliament

Responding on behalf of Labour, Lord Collins of Highbury, the party's foreign affairs spokesperson in the House thanks Baroness Verma and the committee for the "excellent and timely report".

"Sanctions are not in isolation of our foreign policy. They have to be an integral part of it," he says.

He says that sanctions in isolation do not work - "they are gesture politics".

He urges the government to ensure UK and EU co-operation continues after Brexit.

Has the public sector pay cap gone or not?

General debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Chris Stephens
HoC

The SNP's Chris Stephens alleges that, while the prime minister has said that the public sector pay cap has been lifted, it still is being followed as workers are only to expect a 1% pay rise from their departments.

He raises concerns that regulations for workers are under threat as there have been job losses in the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, as well as at the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service.

He says that staff at ACAS are, ironically, wanting to strike themselves over work and pay.

Sanctions not 'gesture politics' - Labour peer

Sanctions policy

House of Lords

Parliament

Labour peer Lord Anderson of Swansea welcomes the "highly timely report".

He warns that Russia "must learn that there is conduct that will not be accepted and will have to pay a price".

The Labour peer disagrees with those who dismiss sanctions as "gesture politics".

"Sanctions are indeed biting in Russia," he says.

Young criminal law barrister's struggle raised

General debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Bob Stewart
HoC

Conservative Bob Stewart raises concerns on how young criminal barristers are treated in terms of pay and conditions.

He raises the case of a young woman who could only take five days of holiday a year, could take no sick days and worked late nights and even weekends.

He says she had to represent two different clients often in the same day at different courts.

"She told me there was simply no breaks at all. But it was her vocation and the job she wanted to do in her life," he says.

After all her expenses, she only earned £10,000 in London a year.

"If this continues, we simply will not have enough criminal law barristers," he warns.

Peers debate the UK's sanctions policy

Sanctions policy

House of Lords

Parliament

The Lords is beginning a debate on a report from the EU Affairs sub-committee on post-Brexit sanctions policy.

The report looked at the UK's current sanctions regime and options for designing an autonomous regime and collaborating with the EU and other international partners after Brexit.

The report warns that the effectiveness of UK sanctions will be undermined unless the UK can quickly agree arrangements for future sanctions policy co-operation with the EU.

It warns that without agreement, the UK could be left with the choice of imposing ineffective unilateral sanctions or aligning with EU sanctions it has no influence over.

Concern expressed on EU immigration cases

General debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Ian Mearns
HoC

Moving the debate, Backbench Business Committee Chair Ian Mearns says that members of the EU negotiating team are expressing "concern" about the UK's ability to handle EU immigration cases after the Windrush scandal.

He states the case of his constituent who has been refused benefits in the UK since a disabling accident. He says she is struggling to fill out the forms online, as the forms insist she puts down when her children came to the UK - but they were born in the UK.

He says that the number of people who have died in work related accidents have reduced since Health and Safety legislation was introduced. He adds that he is concerned that the government wants to remove Health and Safety legislation in the UK.

"HSE are working under great pressure" in order to carry out their role, he says.

Peers question government on ID cards

Oral questions

House of Lords

Parliament

UUP peer Lord Empey is now asking whether the government plans to introduce ID cards.

There have been periodic calls for the return of identity cards ever since they were scrapped in the UK in 1952.

The most recent - and serious - attempt to bring them back began after the 11 September attacks in the US in 2001, when the Labour government adopted a significantly tougher stance on security and immigration.

"This government has no plans to revisit this decision," says minister Baroness Manzoor.

Commons moves to general debate

General debate

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs move on to their adjournment debate. This is standard practice before any break in Parliamentary time, as the Commons is not sitting on Monday.

Any matters can be raised during a general debate such as this.

MPs often use the opportunity to tell others about upcoming events in their constituencies and to raise issues of genuine concern to their communities.

This debate will end at 5pm.

More criticism of Speaker

Political editor, Evening Standard, tweets

Peer presses government on sign language

Oral questions

House of Lords

Parliament

It's question time in the Lords - the chance for peers to question government ministers.

Lib Dem Lord Bruce of Bennachie is asking whether the government plans to enable the establishment of a nationwide video relay service (VRS) for users of British and Irish sign language.

Minister Baroness Buscombe says that it is important to recognise that help is available "in a number of ways".

Labour spokesperson Baroness Sherlock asks whether the roll-out of VRS is delayed, or whether it will happen at all.

"I can reassure her that there is no question of us not considering this service for UC [Universal Credit] roll-out," replies the minister.

Unusual visitor

Political correspondent, the Telegraph, tweets

SNP 'cannot believe how busy it is'

Business statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Pete Wishart
HoC

SNP Commons business spokesperson Pete Wishart says he "can't believe how busy it is" in the Commons, jokingly.

He says that around the Cabinet table, there is a "titanic struggle" between those who are against the customs union and those who are "really, really" against the customs union.

He asks how long the Commons will be considering Lords' amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill, considering there have now been many defeats and amendments made to the bill.

He asks for more time for private members' bills.

Ms Leadsom states that it is "fantastic to see so many of our Scottish colleagues" in the Commons. Ms Leadsom says that she "may not agree with" the Lords amendments but she defends "their right" for scrutiny of the bill.

She adds that there has been significant progress on private members bills in recent weeks.

Labour responds to business statement

Business statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Valerie Vaz
HoC

Shadow Leader of the House, Valerie Vaz, says that Macmillan will produce a report on Monday which will show that cancer nursing specialists and other oncologists are in short supply within the NHS. She asks for a statement on the NHS cancer workforce.

There is a £2.5bn social care funding gap, and she asks for a statement on Allied Healthcare, which is a social care provider no longer paying their staff pensions.

She asks for members of the Cabinet to visit the Northern Ireland border.

Mrs Leadsom says that she is "delighted" that there are 12,900 more nurses on wards since 2010. The government has introduced new nursing associates which pay as people learn how to be a nurse.

Future business outlined in the Commons

Business statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Andrea Leadsom
HoC

Leader of the House, Andrea Leadsom, is outlining future business in the Commons. Highlights include:

Following week:

Customs union amendment: Commons showdown to come

Political editor, The Spectator, and political reporter at The Times tweet

Labour questions Davis on customs union

Exiting the EU questions

House of Commons

Parliament

Sir Keir Starmer
HoC

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer says that Mr Davis' "resignation is not imminent" but wonders what message is being sent out by him saying that this morning.

He asks if a customs partnership has now been taken off the table.

Mr Davis says "not to believe everything he reads in the papers, even about himself". He says the government is taking time to ensure that there is the best deal for all outcomes.

Sir Keir says the PM has made a "solemn promise" that there would be no hard border in Northern Ireland. He asks if on "serious and sober analysis" that the only way to avoid a hard border is to be in the customs union, then if any responsible government would take this position.

Mr Davis says "the customs union doesn't really solve your problem with Northern Ireland" which is something that has been said by David Trimble, who was First Minister of Northern Ireland from 1998 to 2002.

Lord Trimble played a key part in the negotiations that led to the Good Friday Agreemenet in 1998 and, along with John Hume, won the Nobel Peace Prize that year.

How will the integrity of the UK remain?

Exiting the EU questions

House of Commons

Parliament

Emma Little-Pengelly
HoC

DUP MP Emma Little-Pengelly asks what steps the department is taking to maintain the integrity of the UK during the UK’s exit from the EU.

Minister Robin Walker says internal trade between Northern Ireland and Great Britain "is of critical importance to the Northern Ireland economy", and goods sold from Northern Ireland to the rest of the UK stood at £10.8bn, he adds.

Ms Little-Pengelly says that it is essential to the integrity of the UK that there are no barriers to internal trade. She asks him to confirm that this is an "absolute red line in all of these negotiations".

Mr Walker says that the UK government will not accept any borders within the UK.

What assessment of the customs union is there?

Exiting the EU questions

House of Commons

Parliament

Sir Henry Bellingham
HoC

Conservative Sir Henry Bellingham asks what assessment has been made of remaining in the customs union on the UK’s ability to trade with the rest of the world.

Minister Suella Braverman says that the UK is leaving the customs union and single market, because only then can the UK set its own tariffs on imports and trade.

Sir Henry says if the UK remains in the customs union then Brussels will remain in charge of trade policy. He says the UK speaks the language of international trade.

Ms Braverman says that the UK has "so many strengths," adding that 90% of global growth in the future coming from outside the EU, she adds.

How will the Northern Ireland border work?

Exiting the EU questions

House of Commons

Parliament

Karin Smyth
HoC

Labour’s Karin Smyth asks what agreement has been reached on border arrangements between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland after the UK leaves.

Minister Robin Walker says that the UK is committed to avoid any hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, "including any related checks and controls".

Ms Smyth asks what people thought of Mr Davis' "proposed solution" to the Northern Ireland border issue during his visit two weeks ago.

Mr Walker says the secretary of state visited last week, and he himself has visited "on a number of occasions" to speak to a number of "cross-border businesses".

Free movement for businesses is something the government continues to talk about, he adds.

What about the Galileo space programme?

Exiting the EU questions

House of Commons

Parliament

Norman Lamb
HoC

Liberal Democrat Norman Lamb says that the procurement programme for the Galileo space programme, run by the EU, runs the risk of the UK being locked out of it. He adds that 400 jobs are dependent on the sector.

Minister Suella Braverman says there is "mutual benefit" in the UK's involvement with Galileo, but the government has said that involvement must be fair and open to the UK.

What progress has been made on Brexit?

Exiting the EU questions

House of Commons

Parliament

Gavin Newlands
HoC

The SNP’s Gavin Newlands asks what progress has been made on negotiating the UK’s exit from the EU.

Exiting the EU Secretary David Davis says that "we have made significant progress in negotiating our exit" by setting the terms of time limited implementation period and a financial arrangements as well as rights of citizens.

Mr Newlands says "there is a clear consensus in this Parliament" for a form of a customs union. He adds that a minister has left the government every 42 days, "and the Secretary of State is [at] 61, third favourite to be the next to go, good odds".

He asks if he will resign if a customs arrangement is sought with the EU.

Mr Davis says, laughing, "I'm not quite sure whether it's constitutional to discuss my resignation, Mr Speaker," adding that it is not "imminent".

He says the government is committed to protect the Northern Ireland Peace Agreement "at all costs".

Good morning

Coming up today in the Commons

House of Commons

Parliament

We're back to cover the day at Westminster.

The day kicks off with Brexit questions at 9:30am, followed by the Business statement.

Later on today, the Commons will debate “matters to be considered before the forthcoming adjournment" - in other words, a general debate.

This is because the Commons is not sitting on Monday due to the bank holiday. With local elections taking place today, attendance is likely to be low.

Thanks for joining us

We'll be back with coverage of Westminster tomorrow, with Brexit questions in the Commons at 9.30am.

See you then...

What happened in the Lords today?

House of Lords

Parliament

The government's key amendment on devolution is accepted and becomes part of the bill without a vote.

That's where we leave our live coverage of the Lords for tonight.

The main action today was a sizeable government defeat - by a majority of 67 - on an amendment from Conservative Lord Patten, requiring ministers to act in a way that is compatible with the 1998 Northern Ireland Act and the Belfast principles.

'Door still open' to Scottish government on devolution

EU Withdrawal Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Keen wraps up for the government, explaining that ministers believe "we must respect the devolution settlement".

He says the intention is not to intrude on existing legislative competences.

But, he adds, "as powers come back, it must be decided which have to be maintained in order that we can have a functioning internal market".

He repeats that he's grateful to have reached agreement with the Welsh government, and that "the door is still open" to the Scottish government.

Labour backs proposed answer to devolution deadlock

EU Withdrawal Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Griffiths
HoL

Responding to this evening's debate for Labour, Lord Griffiths of Burry Port says that if politics is the art of the possible this amendment "is as good an illustration of that as we could hope to find".

The amendment proposed by the government means the consent of the devolved legislatures would normally be required for changes to UK-wide powers, and that those powers will be held in Westminster for no more than seven years.

He outlines that the requirement for UK ministers and devolved ministers to publish statements if consent is withheld means that when Parliament decides whether to proceed it will be "genuinely deciding on the facts".

Lib Dems' guarded welcome for devolution plan

EU Withdrawal Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Steel
HoL

Lib Dem former leader Lord Steel of Aikwood says the amendment is not ideal but he thinks the discussions of devolution leading to this point have gone well.

He hopes that when this comes back at third reading the UK government and Scottish government will both show flexibility.

His party colleague Baroness Randerson agrees, arguing the amendment shows the weaknesses of the current devolution settlement that has been smoothed over in the past by overarching EU frameworks.

Brexit 'will strain devolution to breaking point'

EU Withdrawal Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Wigley
HoL

Plaid Cymru's Lord Wigley, the only peer representing a nationalist party, says the proposals before the House still suffer from an absence of "mutuality".

He predicts that Brexit will "strain to breaking point" current devolution arrangements and what he terms Westminster's veto will "put a constraint on devolved ambitions".

He says this isn't about mistrusting individuals but "a lack of trust in respective institutions" and asks that the sunset clause be used to make a plan for a comprehensive devolution settlement.

Lord Hope seeks explicit consent for devolved bodies

EU Withdrawal Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Crossbencher Lord Hope of Craighead, former deputy president of the Supreme Court, introduces an alternative amendment for UK-wide powers to explicitly require consent of devolved administrations, through a mechanism called Orders in Council.

He says this is a "fundamental principle" of the devolution settlement and he has some sympathy with the Scottish government on this score.

He notes that he regrets the absence of the SNP in the Lords, saying it will matter a “great deal” as this goes forward and Scotland is not being well-served.

Today in the Commons

What happened?

House of Commons

Parliament

The big news of the day was the Windrush debate. After nearly six hours of debate, the Labour motion was defeated by a majority of 95.

The motion would have required the government to give the Home Affairs Committee access out all documents relating to Windrush cases from 2010 onwards.

The government said this would divert resources unnecessarily and at cost to the taxpayer. Labour said that the documents needed to be in the public domain for scrutiny.

PMQs was dominated by immigration, the NHS and education budgets.

A statement from the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, announced a big failure in an NHS IT system which was responsible for inviting women to attend mammograms as part of the national breast cancer screening programme.

Women affected will be contacted by the end of the month to be offered alternative appointments. The backlog will be cleared by the end of October, the health secretary said.

The Commons is back tomorrow at 9:30am with Brexit questions.