Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen, including PMQs, the debate on publishing the government’s Brexit impact assessment and the debate on renovating parliament
British beef will be on the menu in China within six months, decades after it was banned during the BSE crisis. Beyond that, the prime minister and her Chinese counterpart had little of note to announce, though both stressed their commitments to a close future trade partnership.
Premier Li Keqiang made encouraging noises about a future British-China trade deal post-Brexit and signalled a new interest in opening up Chinese markets to British agricultural produce.
The Labour motion calling for the Brexit impact report to be given to the Brexit select committee (with a view to publication) will be passed. According to Tory sources, government MPs are being told to abstain – which means the motion will go through unopposed.
This is what Theresa May said in her press conference about “the British dream”. She used the phrase as a key theme in her ill-fated party conference speech last year. Since then she has not said much about the concept, but she may be tempted to revive it in the face of the repeated criticism she has been getting recently about her alleged failure to have an uplifting vision for domestic reform. May said:
On the domestic agenda, if you look at what we’ve been doing over the recent weeks and months, I think that there are many people in the United Kingdom want to ensure that they are their families can achieve the British dream of ensuring that each generation has a better future than the last.
For a lot of young people, that’s about owning their own home, being able to get their foot on the housing ladder. We’ve cut stamp duty for 95% of first time buyers and I’m pleased to say that figures out only last week show that we have seen the highest number of first-time buyers in the last year for a decade.
There are countless examples of people from humble beginnings who make it to the top: who live the British Dream. So we should talk about it. We should embrace it. We should celebrate it. I want everyone to live the British Dream.
Because all that should ever drive us is the duty we have to Britain and the historic mission of this party – this Conservative party – to renew the British Dream in each new generation.
That dream that says each generation should do better than the one before it. Each era should be better than the last.
Now there is a question from a Chinese journalist.
Q: What measures will China and the UK take to boost globalisation?
There will be two questions.
The BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg goes first.
Theresa May is speaking now. She says it may be winter, but she has had the warmest of welcomes.
She says she is committed to intensifying the golden partnership with China.
Li Keqiang says China will open its markets to the UK, including for agriculture products.
On Brexit, Li say this is a situation both countries face. But bilateral relations have been going forward, and that will not change because of Brexit, he says.
The press conference in Beijing is starting.
Li Keqiang, the Chinese prime minister, starts by describing what he and Theresa May talked about at their meeting earlier.
Here are some pictures from Theresa May’s China trip.
When prime ministers embark on major trips abroad, they expect to spend a few days focusing on foreign relations. But invariably domestic politics catches up with them (not least because they take lobby journalists with them who are much more interested in Westminster than abroad – they are paid to be) and so when Theresa May holds a press conference in Beijing this morning, she is likely to be grilled about leadership and Brexit.
Today Labour will use a Commons vote to try to get the government to publish the Brexit impact report that Steve Baker, a Brexit minister, was so scathing about yesterday. Baker might not think much of its conclusions, but another minister, the justice minister Phillip Lee, used Twitter last night to urge May to rethink her Brexit strategy in the light of what the secret report says. He implies she should reconsider her decision to rule out keeping the UK in the single market or the customs union.
The next phase of Brexit has to be all about the evidence. We can’t just dismiss this and move on. If there is evidence to the contrary, we need to see and consider that too. https://t.co/A0MeP9BCJr. 1/3
But if these figures turn out to be anywhere near right, there would be a serious question over whether a government could legitimately lead a country along a path that the evidence and rational consideration indicate would be damaging. This shows the PM’s challenge…2/3
The PM has been dealt some tough cards and I support her mission to make the best of them. It’s time for evidence, not dogma, to show the way. We must act for our country’s best interests, not ideology & populism, or history will judge us harshly. Our country deserves no less 3/3