14/03/2017 Daily Politics


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14/03/2017

Jo Coburn is joined by SNP MP Tommy Sheppard to discuss Parliament's approval of the legislation to trigger the formal process for Britain to leave the EU.


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LineFromTo

Hello and welcome to the Daily Politics.

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The question is that the motion be agreed to. As many of that of the

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opinion site content. Not content? The bill that gives Theresa May

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the power to trigger Brexit passed its final Parliamentary

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hurdles last night. How will the Prime Minister

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wield that power and how Scotland's First Minister Nicola

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Sturgeon has called for a fresh referendum on Scottish Independence

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- but will Theresa May stop it happening before

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Brexit is completed? Last week's budget confirmed plans

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for a sharp increase in probate fees Some Tory MPs are calling

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it a "stealth tax". Is another rebellion

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brewing for the Chancellor? Well, at least I don't have to worry

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about her running off All that in the next hour

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and with us for the whole of the programme today

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the comedy impresario, founder of "The Stand" comedy clubs,

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turned SNP MP, Tommy Sheppard. So we're expecting

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the "European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill"

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to pass into law today. Last night parliament had,

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what turned out to be, its final opportunity to debate and vote

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on the bill. Here are some of the contributions

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from MPs in the Commons. Over the last five weeks,

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we have seen Parliament at its best. Honourable and Right Honourable

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members and peers have spoken with passion,

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sincerity and conviction. However, I was disappointed

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that the House of Lords This bill is just the next step

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in a long, democratic process surrounding our exit

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from the European Union. Are we prepared to use one set

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of people, those that are here, as a bargaining chip to get

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the right set of... Parliament will find

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a way to have a say, whether a deal is reached

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or whether no deal is reached. If he recognised that,

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would he agree with me that it would be better if the Government

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officially recognise that position As I said last week,

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because it is unnecessary. When a minister gives an undertaking

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at this dispatch box in this House, If we pass this today,

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we are passing this Government a blank cheque, a blank cheque

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on one of the most crucial issues that this parliament has ever

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discussed and one that will have an impact on each

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and every one of us and each The simple truth is this,

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deal or no deal, vote or no vote, positive vote or negative vote,

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this process is irreversible, we are leaving the EU and that's

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what the people want. Stubbornness can be

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a sign of suspicion Rejecting the rightful conventional

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role of the House of Commons and the Other Place to apply

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democratic accountability to the actions and decisions

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of the Executive can be a sign I shall vote against all

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of the amendments... ..on the simple basis that this bill

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has one purpose and one purpose only and it's to give legal effect

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to the decision of the people Any amendments which go beyond that

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are inappropriate for that bill. However, I would like to say

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to the Secretary of State that I look to him to give the firm

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assurances that he stop and that the first priority will be

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the rights of EU citizens. Some of the debate in the commons

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last night ending with MPs rejecting the two Lords' amendments

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passed by peers last week. So the Bill then went back to

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the Lords who had their final say. This evening is really not the time

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nor the place to return to the fray and insert terms and conditions

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to our negotiating condition, still less to force the Government

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to make a unilateral move as regards the status of EU

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nationals in the UK. We will also campaign for an early

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resolution to the plight of those caught up in a legal Neverland not

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of their making, and we will continue to press the Government

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to move on this and to provide Albeit maybe by other,

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perhaps I should say imaginative, It is a very dangerous step

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towards the doctrine that the people's will

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must always prevail. My Lords, this is the doctrine

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which has always been favoured by Hitler, by Mussolini,

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by Stalin, by Erdogan It is denial of the

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essence of democracy. I hope the noble Lords

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of all parties and none will, on this occasion, pay attention

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to their conscience rather than their party whip and join us

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in the division lobby. For the Liberal Democrats

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to press this matter is, in Parliamentary terms,

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I say nothing about any other consideration,

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but in Parliamentary terms, it is a completely

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pointless gesture. They have voted, content

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is 135, not contents 274. They have voted, contents

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135, not contents 274. Peers rejecting an attempt

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to re-introduce an amendment which would have protected

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the rights of EU Nationals Now Theresa May is due to trigger

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Article 50 by the END of the month. END "In capitals", as the Number Ten

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spokesman said yesterday. European Council president

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Donald Tusk has said he would need just 48 hours to respond to the UK

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with "draft guidelines Tusk has also said an extraordinary

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meeting of the EU27, that's all the EU countries

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minus Britain, will take place in April, or possibly May,

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where European leaders will decide a guideline for the

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negotiating mandate. Only once the mandate is agreed will

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the official negotiations begin, probably sometime in June or July,

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with citizen's rights and the Brexit divorce bill likely

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to be top priorities. Meanwhile in the UK the government

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must jump some domestic hurdles A 'great repeal bill' to revoke

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the European Communities Act 1972 and incorporate EU law into domestic

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law wherever possible, is expected Reports this morning suggests

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government departments have reportedly requested a further 13

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bills to cover areas that they believe some changes

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cannot be wrapped in under the great repeal bill, including

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on immigration, agriculture, Back in Brussels both sides need

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to reach an agreement by October 2018, leaving enough time for the UK

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and European Parliaments to sign off If parliaments don't agree

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on the deal, or if the negotiating teams reach a stalemate

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on the continent there is a chance that the UK

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could crash out of the EU. We're joined now by the Conservative

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MP, Theresa Villiers. Welcome pack to the Daily Politics.

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What price do you think the British public should accept for the

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so-called divorce settlement Bill? The commission is saying 60 billion

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pounds. What price would be acceptable? I don't think we will be

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legally obliged to pay anything. There may be a case to make some

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payments in relation to programmes we might want to take part in like

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some of the scientific programmes and the Justice. But this is the

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divorce settlement in terms of pensions and deficit payments, what

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price do you think will be acceptable. There is no doubt the

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chief negotiator is going to accept nothing? Arguably, they probably owe

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us about 9 billion in relation to the European investment bank. We

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need to be pragmatic and open to compromise. I don't believe paying

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significant sums into the EU budget on an ongoing basis is defensible.

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We need to see those big payments come to a halt. You are talking

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about an ongoing basis looking to the future. The commission have a

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stronger bargaining hand, the UK will need a divorce settlement in

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order for the negotiation on trade to go ahead of the future

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relationship between the UK and the EU can be decided. Let's park on

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going payments, but look at what you would be happy to pay just to

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extract the UK from the EU before negotiating trade relationship?

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Normally when you leave the club, you don't pay a charge in relation

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to its assets or liabilities. We could have an argument with them

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that there are significant asset we are owed apart. I wouldn't be

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comfortable with paying any significant sum on departure from

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the EU. Do you agree, we shouldn't have to pay anything at all, in fact

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they owe us some money? On the 23rd of June, there was nothing in the

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ballot paper to say what the vote meant and nine months later we still

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haven't got the first clue as to what Brexit means. The government

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has refused every attempt to define what the post Brexit arrangements

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should be and it is going into this, I don't know what. If it thinks it

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is going to get a better trading relationship with the European Union

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for less money than it costs at the minute, it is kidding itself. It is

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pie in the sky and it will not happen. Do you agree we are no

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clearer now than we were on the 23rd of June that what Brexit would look

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like? I think we are much clearer now, it is clear we will be leaving

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the single market because that is only how we regain control of making

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our own laws and controlling our borders. We want an independent

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sovereign working with its European partners. It is not clear that

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leaving the single market is a disaster for the European kingdom.

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But we do now know the government would like to leave the single

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market and probably the same for the customs union, perhaps with some

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exemptions? That is a clear position, you may not agree with it.

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Even though that wasn't put before the people on the 23rd of June last

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year. Many people campaigning to leave the EU said explicitly it did

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not mean leaving the single market. But now there is a hard, right wing

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extreme interpretation of what Brexit means. The only body that

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stands between the government and that interpretation is Parliament.

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Parliament has been dismissed at every attempt it has made to qualify

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it, it has been voted down. I agreed with Nick Clegg, it is a sign of

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government weakness and not strength. I don't think the

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government knows where it is going and what the outcome will be. It is

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true to say Parliament is being sidelined in so far as having any

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meaningful vote. The voter will be on the deal put before them if there

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is one, or no Deal at all. Between the period of now, that being put to

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Parliament, there will be no role for Parliament in changing the

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course of Brexit? There will be a huge role for Parliament with the

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repeal bill. They different votes on different things? What Parliament

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will have the opportunity to do is make our own decisions on huge areas

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of policy because they were out of bounds before. These are the issues

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our constituents care about. For the first time, we will regain control

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over animal welfare rules, we may want to pass tougher rules than the

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EU would permit it. Is that why you wanted to leave the EU so you cook

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pasta for rules on animal welfare? It was part of why I wanted to leave

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because I think it is in our interest to take decisions in our

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own laws and our own Parliament on issues like animal welfare, where we

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in this country care very greatly about these things. What other areas

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are you interested in changing and, once EU law is changed to UK law,

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there will be a process of deciding which one you want to keep, which

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one will you get rid of? We need to reform the way agriculture is

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regulated and the way we support farmers. We need to continue those

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financial payments. In the EU, they have come with absolutely huge

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amounts of regulation, some of which hasn't been helpful at all. I think

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we need to reform the way we look at farming in this country.

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How would you feel about the UK crashing out, to use the term, of

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the EU without a deal? It would be a disaster, which is why, and I know

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we are discussing it later, we have come to the view in Scotland we need

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to go back to the Scottish people and ask their view. To take

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agriculture and fishery, some people in Scotland voted to leave the

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European Union, a big majority didn't, but some did because they

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believe somehow it would return control of Scottish agriculture and

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Scottish fisheries to Scotland. Despite many attempts to press the

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British government for a commitment, none has been given and there is now

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a suspicion that what it means is repatriation of powers from Brussels

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will mean they go to Westminster, rather than

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Scotland. This is an opportunity for decentralisation, I accept. Brexit

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could be that. You would think by now they would have published a raft

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of proposals of what new powers will be going to the Scottish Parliament

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as a result of Brexit. So, yesterday, Nicola Sturgeon told

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a press conference that, with the UK on the verge of Brexit,

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she wants a second referendum on Scottish independence to take

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place before the spring of 2019 - and she'll ask the

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Scottish Parliament A new poll would need the approval

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of MPs in Westminster too and therefore the support

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of the Government. Let's talk to our political

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correspondent, John Pienaar. What is the Prime Minister going to

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do next, John? At the moment, it feels a bit like one of those tens

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showdowns in a spaghetti western, you know there was a gunfight coming

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but no one seems in any hurry to draw. Nicola Sturgeon once a

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referendum, but not yet, she wants to have a clearer view of Britain's

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future outside European Union. Theresa May will look at this

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referendum but in her own good time. It was very clear from the

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statements put out yesterday by Number Ten that they see a

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referendum, if there has to be one, as best coming after Britain leaves

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the European Union and in that way, presenting the Scottish voter with

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the more, as they see it, an attractive choice of leaving the

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United Kingdom at the same time as going away from the European Union.

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Will Theresa May make our plans plainer? You would imagine but when,

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after the Scottish Parliament take their decision to push that the

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referendum. Because the SNP will argue that if they are blocked in

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any way, or if Westminster is seen to be blocking a second independence

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referendum, if the Scottish Parliament passes it through, that

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will pile up votes for independence. That will be the calculation.

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Theresa May, as the Prime Minister here at the Westminster Parliament,

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clearly know she has the constitutional, the legal by hand,

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you need Parliament here to agree to the referendum but the politics is

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more complicated than that and if Theresa May doesn't know that, she

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only has to ask David Cameron. He didn't want a referendum but the

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political reality was there had to be one. It is difficult to stand

:17:47.:17:52.

against the will of the Scottish parliament and politically

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impossible to stand against the will of the Scottish people in the weight

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of opinion is for a referendum. That is not the case yet so we are still

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in the position of tugging and pulling Scottish opinion, along tug

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of war starting now, to shift the balance in favour of a referendum

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and subsequently, if you are Nicola Sturgeon, to tilt those opinion

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polls are you have a better chance of winning the referendum itself.

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by the Scottish Labour Leader, Kezia Dugdale.

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Welcome to the Daily Politics. Nicola Sturgeon said yesterday that

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one of the reasons she is calling this referendum is the collapse of

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the Labour Party and the prospect of the Conservatives rule in Scotland

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from Westminster until 2030. So do the current Labour leaders like you

:18:32.:18:34.

and Jeremy Corbyn have to take some responsibility for the fact that

:18:35.:18:37.

Scotland their faces the possibility of another referendum? It is

:18:38.:18:44.

laughable that the idea of Nicola Sturgeon was scrambling around for

:18:45.:18:47.

reasons for another referendum. This is all she wanted, it is what her

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political life has been about. I understand there are people who are

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angry at the Tories, angry at Brexit and think there is justification for

:18:55.:18:57.

another independence referendum but what I would us people to focus on

:18:58.:19:01.

is the sheer harsh economic realities of the case for

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independence. There is no doubt that the case for independence, the

:19:07.:19:09.

economic case, is weaker now than it was two and a half years ago. And it

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was just two and a half years ago that we revisited this question, we

:19:15.:19:18.

talked about it for two and a half years, 85% of the population voted

:19:19.:19:23.

and they voted no largely because of those economic arguments around

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currency. That hasn't changed and if anything, it has got worse. You only

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have to look at the oil price for evidence. If the situation has got

:19:31.:19:34.

but much worse in the way you describe, economically, why did

:19:35.:19:38.

Jeremy Corbyn describe a second referendum on independence as

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absolutely fine? He says he has been misreported but we can listen to

:19:42.:19:43.

exactly what he did say. Well, a referendum is held and it's

:19:44.:19:45.

absolutely fine, it should be held. I don't think it's the job

:19:46.:19:48.

of Westminster or the Labour Party to prevent people holding

:19:49.:19:51.

a referendum. I do think we should set it

:19:52.:19:52.

in the context of the economic relationship with the rest

:19:53.:19:56.

of the UK, and the question of evolution of EU powers to English

:19:57.:19:59.

regions and to Scotland. What did you think when you have

:20:00.:20:16.

bad? I thought it was quite clumsy with his language, he would accept

:20:17.:20:19.

that insult but the reality is that later that day, he issued a very

:20:20.:20:22.

clear and strong statement to say not only was he opposed a second

:20:23.:20:27.

independence referendum but he was opposed to independence itself. When

:20:28.:20:30.

it comes to vote in the Scottish Parliament next Tuesday, Scottish

:20:31.:20:33.

Labour MSP is will do what the manifesto said we will do and oppose

:20:34.:20:38.

that referendum. But the reality is, the SNP and green votes mean that

:20:39.:20:41.

that is going to go through. When we look at the UK wide vote and the

:20:42.:20:48.

process around the section 30 order, it is Ruth Davison, leader of the

:20:49.:20:51.

Scottish Tories, who has been advising Theresa May for months that

:20:52.:20:54.

she shouldn't do anything to frustrate or block a second

:20:55.:20:57.

referendum. That is exactly what Jeremy was saying at the weekend and

:20:58.:21:01.

what I said several months ago. It is clumsy to say absolutely fine but

:21:02.:21:06.

let's be clear, Jeremy Corbyn is firmly against independence and the

:21:07.:21:09.

reason is he recognises it would mean terrible austerities in

:21:10.:21:14.

Scotland. We have Tory austerities at the moment but the gap between

:21:15.:21:18.

what Scotland races in its taxes and spend some public services will be a

:21:19.:21:23.

deficit of ?15 billion, that is less money for schools and hospitals and

:21:24.:21:25.

you will never see Jeremy Corbyn advocate that. Do you agree with

:21:26.:21:29.

Nicola Sturgeon that it would be wrong for the UK Parliament to block

:21:30.:21:33.

this referendum from happening altogether? I said several months

:21:34.:21:36.

ago that I don't think it is right for Westminster to frustrate the

:21:37.:21:40.

process. That doesn't mean that I can't be angry that we are being

:21:41.:21:43.

dragged back to a debate that many Scots want to leave behind. We are

:21:44.:21:48.

so divided as a nation, it was an incredibly divisive experience to

:21:49.:21:51.

add a half years ago and we are about to go through it all over

:21:52.:21:55.

again. It is not what the vast majority want, that is the evidence

:21:56.:21:59.

in the opinion polls. You can look at voting intentions and say it is

:22:00.:22:03.

quite close between the leave and remain sides but if you ask Scott if

:22:04.:22:06.

they want to go through this again, time and again you see a majority

:22:07.:22:10.

opposed to that. So you will be joining hands with Ruth Davison, the

:22:11.:22:14.

leader of the Conservative Party, and also Theresa May, because you

:22:15.:22:19.

all agree you shouldn't block this referendum from happening

:22:20.:22:21.

altogether, you can't change the vote in the Scottish parliament,

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there will be a boat and at Westminster again that you won't

:22:25.:22:31.

want to block going ahead, C must be joining forces with the

:22:32.:22:33.

Conservatives to put for the prounion case. I will put forward a

:22:34.:22:38.

very strong Labour case as to why we should remain part of the United

:22:39.:22:40.

Kingdom and if I can offer you an example, I just mentioned that

:22:41.:22:46.

deficit, that 15 billion pounds less that Scotland would have less for

:22:47.:22:50.

its services. You have Tommy Sheppard in the studio, a friend of

:22:51.:22:55.

mine and we represent a similar area, he represents Craigmillar, the

:22:56.:22:58.

back of the late one of the poorest areas of Scotland and it is the

:22:59.:23:05.

false people like Tommy the constituents that we will have a

:23:06.:23:08.

better welfare system and more money for schools and hospitals when they

:23:09.:23:13.

completely failed to address the reality that the case for

:23:14.:23:15.

independence economically has fallen apart. It is a blatant lie to the

:23:16.:23:19.

poorest in Scotland and it is time Tommy started to stop pushing it.

:23:20.:23:25.

Are you lying to your constituents? Of course not. She is trying to

:23:26.:23:31.

infer that Nicola Sturgeon will call a referendum every day of the week,

:23:32.:23:35.

issue gets the chance. It is only two and a half years...

:23:36.:23:39.

Once-in-a-lifetime, once in a generation! Let me just make this

:23:40.:23:45.

point. We are not in a situation of our own making. The reason why this

:23:46.:23:48.

is on the table is not because the people who lost the referendum in

:23:49.:23:52.

2014 don't accept the result, we did, the reason it is on the table

:23:53.:23:56.

is because the people who won the referendum had changed the deal.

:23:57.:23:59.

People voted for something in 2014 which is not going to exist any

:24:00.:24:05.

more. But there was UK wide referendum on EU membership. Not me,

:24:06.:24:12.

not Kezia Dugdale, Nicola Sturgeon, but the Scottish people themselves

:24:13.:24:19.

get a change in these -- wrote in the changed circumstances... Can you

:24:20.:24:21.

answer Kezia Dugdale's question on the economics, do you accept they

:24:22.:24:24.

are worse than they were this matter the late last time around? No, I

:24:25.:24:31.

don't. The oil price has gone down but Shazier wants to depend that the

:24:32.:24:38.

-- pretended that it was predicated last time on oil and gas. What was

:24:39.:24:45.

the SNP case? The SNP case was that there was a compelling argument for

:24:46.:24:48.

an independent Scotland to be a successful economic country and I

:24:49.:24:53.

think Kezia should look at the figures and understand them. Oil and

:24:54.:24:58.

gas would be a bonus. We are currently working, by the way, and

:24:59.:25:02.

we will come later in the year and present to people a compelling

:25:03.:25:05.

narrative as to how the economic case of Scotland stacks up. Kezia

:25:06.:25:11.

Dugdale, what do you say? I find that totally incredulous. What Tommy

:25:12.:25:15.

wasn't able to say was the white Paper was very clearly predicated on

:25:16.:25:19.

oil and for this financial year, it predicted ?11.8 billion worth of

:25:20.:25:22.

revenue coming from North Sea oil and gas. The reality is it is less

:25:23.:25:27.

than 1 billion. That is the gap in one year between what the SNP said

:25:28.:25:31.

we would get and the reality of what we would have. Tommy and I knocked

:25:32.:25:34.

the same streets and Dawson Craigmillar and he cannot possibly

:25:35.:25:38.

suggest that when he is knocking on those doors, the people behind them

:25:39.:25:41.

are asking first and foremost how we stay in the European Union, how we

:25:42.:25:45.

make sure we don't have the Euro or part of the Schengen Agreement.

:25:46.:25:47.

People want to know how they will have a better start in life, how we

:25:48.:25:51.

will eradicate the Child poverty that so many in the community he

:25:52.:25:55.

represents suffer from and he is selling alive. We will be faced with

:25:56.:26:00.

a ?15 billion deficit and he cannot escape that fact -- selling a lie.

:26:01.:26:05.

Just briefly before you go, you say the Westminster Parliament shouldn't

:26:06.:26:08.

block a second independence referendum going ahead. Should

:26:09.:26:12.

Theresa May block the timing, being before the Brexit negotiations are

:26:13.:26:17.

complete? That is very difficult to answer at this stage because I

:26:18.:26:20.

listen to the First Minister very closely yesterday talk about the

:26:21.:26:23.

need for clarity. That applies as much to her as it does to the Prime

:26:24.:26:27.

Minister, so at the moment, Nicola Sturgeon is asserting that if we

:26:28.:26:30.

were to have a referendum before we leave the European Union, Scotland

:26:31.:26:35.

would be able to stay and somehow inherit the UK's membership of the

:26:36.:26:39.

European Union. I have yet to see a single scrap of evidence that that

:26:40.:26:43.

is possible. Should Theresa May stop the referendum happening before

:26:44.:26:47.

Brexit negotiations are complete? I have said clearly on this programme

:26:48.:26:51.

already I don't think it is for any Westminster politician to

:26:52.:26:55.

frustrate... So the timing should be frustrated by Theresa May. Kezia

:26:56.:26:56.

Dugdale, thank you very much. Also in Edinburgh now for us is the

:26:57.:26:57.

Conservative MSP Adam Tomkins, who is the party's Constitution

:26:58.:27:00.

Spokesman. Welcome to the Daily Politics. Good

:27:01.:27:09.

to be here, thank you. Nicola Sturgeon said yesterday the Scottish

:27:10.:27:12.

Government's mandate for another referendum is beyond doubt, that is

:27:13.:27:17.

true, isn't it? I don't think it is remotely true. Our view is there is

:27:18.:27:21.

no justification for a second independence referendum, there is no

:27:22.:27:23.

need for a second referendum and there is no mandate for it either.

:27:24.:27:28.

The SNP put some lines in their manifesto about a second

:27:29.:27:32.

independence referendum for the last Holyrood elections in May and they

:27:33.:27:36.

promptly lost their majority. They did say very clearly in their

:27:37.:27:39.

manifesto that Scotland would hold another referendum in the event of

:27:40.:27:42.

Scotland being taken out of the EU against our will. They won that

:27:43.:27:47.

election so they have a mandate. You say they won the election, they lost

:27:48.:27:53.

their majority. In 2011, Alex Salmond won an overall majority of

:27:54.:27:56.

seats in Holyrood Parliament and in 2016, Nicola Sturgeon lost that. If

:27:57.:28:04.

you are a Government that is not a majority, you have no cast-iron

:28:05.:28:07.

mandate for anything, least of all a second secession referendum.

:28:08.:28:11.

Once-in-a-lifetime, once in a generation was going to be the last

:28:12.:28:15.

independence referendum. You lost the overall majority, there are not

:28:16.:28:19.

clear polls indicating the majority of Scottish people consistently

:28:20.:28:21.

would like a second referendum. Where is the mandate? Adam is wrong

:28:22.:28:27.

on the question of mandate, the SNP was elected on a manifesto is that

:28:28.:28:32.

said in circumstances such as these, we would have a second referendum or

:28:33.:28:38.

put opposition to the Scottish parliament. The SNP was elected with

:28:39.:28:45.

47% of the constituency vote, and increased vote share, and an

:28:46.:28:46.

increased number of votes and we know form a minority Government,

:28:47.:28:51.

just. There is clearly a majority position inside the Scottish

:28:52.:28:54.

parliament to have a second independence referendum unless the

:28:55.:28:58.

British Government refuses to respect the wishes of the Scottish

:28:59.:29:01.

people, differential Brexit arrangements in Scotland. This is

:29:02.:29:06.

something you and your Government has created and I think also,

:29:07.:29:11.

viewers outside Scotland ought to be aware that Adam's party the

:29:12.:29:17.

Conservatives and Kezia's party Labour combined represent about one

:29:18.:29:21.

third of the Scottish electorate. Let me put to Adam Tomkins the idea

:29:22.:29:26.

that there hasn't been any respect for the Scottish Government. On that

:29:27.:29:30.

idea of respecting the wishes of the Scottish Government and the timing

:29:31.:29:34.

of a second independence referendum, should Theresa May decide the timing

:29:35.:29:39.

of that poll? First of all on the question of respect, what has

:29:40.:29:43.

happened is the Scottish Government published a pretty complex paper in

:29:44.:29:47.

December in which it set out a variety of views about how it

:29:48.:29:53.

thought the Scottish Government thought Brexit should unfold going

:29:54.:29:56.

forward and what has happened to that paper is it has been discussed

:29:57.:30:00.

by the Prime Minister, discussed by the Cabinet, discussed by the joint

:30:01.:30:04.

ministerial committee, and, you know, the idea that Brexit is

:30:05.:30:07.

something which is being taken forward by the UK Government without

:30:08.:30:10.

involving the devolved administrations, not only in

:30:11.:30:15.

Scotland but also Wales and Northern Ireland, is simply untrue. Should

:30:16.:30:19.

Theresa May decide the timing? Should it be when the Prime Minister

:30:20.:30:24.

decides it should be, which would be after the negotiations are complete,

:30:25.:30:28.

possibly late 2019? Or should Nicola Sturgeon be allowed to choose it in

:30:29.:30:29.

the autumn of The starting point on this, there is

:30:30.:30:40.

no justification or mandate for a second independence referendum.

:30:41.:30:46.

Unless this reckless plan is endorsed, that is where things lie.

:30:47.:30:52.

What happened in the making of the 2014 referendum was there was a

:30:53.:30:55.

bilateral agreement, a formal agreement between the Scottish

:30:56.:30:58.

Government and the UK Government that agreed a number of the

:30:59.:31:03.

parameters for the independence referendum in 2014, including the

:31:04.:31:07.

question of timing. So the lesson to draw from that, the lesson of timing

:31:08.:31:12.

should not be in the unilateral demand in either the First Minister

:31:13.:31:17.

of Scotland or the Scottish Parliament, it needs to be agreed

:31:18.:31:21.

between both governments and both parliaments if we are to have a

:31:22.:31:27.

second independence referendum. Theresa May has gone into the

:31:28.:31:31.

chamber of the House of Commons. We are expecting her to give a

:31:32.:31:36.

statement which is about last week's European Council meeting. It is also

:31:37.:31:40.

her first appearance in the Commons since the Brexit bill passed its

:31:41.:31:44.

Parliamentary stages last night. We will go over there as soon as she

:31:45.:31:48.

stands up. But Tommy Sheppard, you are trying to win this referendum on

:31:49.:31:51.

the issue of Brexit and he wanted to happen before the UK leaves the EU.

:31:52.:31:57.

But if Scotland leaves the UK, it also leaves the EU, doesn't it? It

:31:58.:32:06.

is a choice of leaving one union or leaving Jo unions? We are trying to

:32:07.:32:09.

win this referendum on the question of respect. Adam is wrong in his

:32:10.:32:17.

description. You are holding a referendum on the issue of respect?

:32:18.:32:24.

We were told if we voted to stay with the European Union, we were

:32:25.:32:32.

told we would be part of the EU. A document was published called

:32:33.:32:35.

Scotland's place in Europe. It was produced by a government that

:32:36.:32:38.

believes in an independent Scotland and believes it should be part of

:32:39.:32:41.

the European Union, which argued for neither. A respected the Brexit

:32:42.:32:48.

decision. My question is, do you accept, if the referendum... Can I

:32:49.:32:56.

just be clear, in your mind if you hold a referendum before the Brexit

:32:57.:33:00.

negotiations are complete, you would be taking Scotland out of the UK,

:33:01.:33:06.

out of the union, but you would also be, in effect, leaving the EU.

:33:07.:33:11.

Nobody in the EU has said Scotland could remain part of the EU wants

:33:12.:33:17.

she leaves the UK? If Scotland were independent, we would want to

:33:18.:33:20.

negotiate membership of the European Union and that would involve looking

:33:21.:33:25.

at all of the arrangements. But it is crystal clear that if we wanted

:33:26.:33:28.

to do that, then we should signal our intention to do that before the

:33:29.:33:35.

Brexit negotiations are complete. Has anybody said Scotland could

:33:36.:33:39.

leave the UK and definitely stay in the EU? If you look at the range of

:33:40.:33:44.

political opinion in other European countries, you will find a different

:33:45.:33:49.

attitude than what we had in 2014. Which EU leader has said, yes, we

:33:50.:33:54.

would leave Scotland within the EU even if she leaves the UK? Quite a

:33:55.:34:05.

number. Who? A lot of politicians... Watt say does he have? I have tried

:34:06.:34:11.

to indicate the range of political opinion in Europe is changing

:34:12.:34:15.

towards this proposition. If you look at the European press this

:34:16.:34:19.

morning you will find a different description of what has just

:34:20.:34:23.

happened than you will get in the London press. Attitudes are changing

:34:24.:34:28.

and people realise in a post-Brexit scenario, the idea of an independent

:34:29.:34:32.

Scotland being part of the EU, is an attractive one. He has a point, why

:34:33.:34:37.

wouldn't the EU in the end, of course they will say no at the

:34:38.:34:41.

moment, particularly Spain because they have issues themselves are part

:34:42.:34:46.

of the country who would like to go independent, but EU leaders were

:34:47.:34:50.

also opposed the Brexit. The Scotland minus the UK would be a

:34:51.:34:56.

good thing? Yesterday the First Minister couldn't confirm an

:34:57.:35:01.

independent Scotland could seek full membership of the EU. She knows the

:35:02.:35:07.

people who voted to leave the European Union, including 400,000

:35:08.:35:12.

SNP supporters. The idea of an independent Scotland is necessary in

:35:13.:35:17.

order to preserve Scotland's current place in the European Union, which

:35:18.:35:22.

seems to be what Tommy Sheppard was just saying, is legally incorrect,

:35:23.:35:26.

it is constitutionally incoherent and is different to what his own

:35:27.:35:30.

leader and bass was saying yesterday. Would Scotland then apply

:35:31.:35:37.

to be a full member of the EU? If Scotland were independently would

:35:38.:35:41.

commence negotiations on that basis. Adopting the euro? It is important

:35:42.:35:46.

to signal we would want to do that and moving towards independence

:35:47.:35:51.

before Article 50 negotiations are complete. The longer we wait, the

:35:52.:35:56.

harder the process would be. Can I just make it clear to Adam, a lot of

:35:57.:36:01.

people in Scotland voted to leave the European Union. The vast

:36:02.:36:05.

majority voted to stay, but some voted to leave because they were

:36:06.:36:09.

concerned about the European Union and concerned over agricultural

:36:10.:36:16.

stuff and fisheries. The Reges ship an independent Scotland have with...

:36:17.:36:21.

Let's go straight over to the House of Commons today,

:36:22.:36:23.

where Theresa May is making statement - it's ostensibly

:36:24.:36:30.

The summit began by re-electing Donald Tusk as president of the

:36:31.:36:36.

European Council. I welcomed this because we have a close working

:36:37.:36:40.

relationship with him and recognise the strong contribution he has made

:36:41.:36:44.

in office. In the main business of the Council we discuss the challenge

:36:45.:36:49.

of managing mass migration, the threat from organised crime and

:36:50.:36:51.

instability in the Western Balkans, and the measures needed to boost

:36:52.:36:56.

your's growth and competitiveness which remain important to us as we

:36:57.:37:00.

build a new relationship between the EU and the self-governing global

:37:01.:37:04.

Britain. In each case, we were able to show how Britain will continue to

:37:05.:37:08.

play a leading role in Europe, long after we have left the European

:37:09.:37:13.

Union. First, on migration, I welcomed the progress in

:37:14.:37:16.

implementing the action plan we agreed at the informal EU summit

:37:17.:37:21.

last month. This included Italy strengthening asylum processes and

:37:22.:37:26.

increasing returns and Greece are working to implement the EU Turkey

:37:27.:37:31.

deal where the UK is providing additional staff to start

:37:32.:37:34.

interviewing Iraqi, Afghan and Eritrea nationals. We argued we must

:37:35.:37:39.

do more to dismantle the people smuggling rings who profit from the

:37:40.:37:47.

migrant's misery. Mr Speaker, with coordinated and committed action, we

:37:48.:37:51.

can make a distance. Last month, an operation between our national crime

:37:52.:37:55.

agency and the Hellenic Coastguard led to the arrest of 19 members of

:37:56.:38:00.

an organised immigration crime group in Greece. As I have argued, we need

:38:01.:38:05.

a managed, controlled and global approach and that is exactly what

:38:06.:38:11.

this council agreed. We need to help ensure refugees claim asylum in the

:38:12.:38:14.

first safe country they reach and help those countries support the

:38:15.:38:17.

refugees so they don't have to make the perilous journey to Europe. We

:38:18.:38:22.

need a better approach to managing economic migration, one which

:38:23.:38:25.

recognises all countries have the right to control their borders.

:38:26.:38:30.

Engaging our African partners in this global approach will be crucial

:38:31.:38:33.

and this will be an important part of the discussions at the Somalia

:38:34.:38:37.

conference, which the UK will be hosting in London in May. Turning to

:38:38.:38:43.

the deteriorating situation in the Western Balkans, I made clear, my

:38:44.:38:47.

concerns about the risks this presents to the region and our wider

:38:48.:38:51.

collective security. Organised criminals and criminals are ready to

:38:52.:38:55.

exploit these vulnerabilities and we are seeing brazen interference by

:38:56.:39:02.

Russia and others. In light of the Montenegrin coup plot, I called on

:39:03.:39:07.

the council to do more to counter destabilising Russian campaigns and

:39:08.:39:11.

raise the visibility of the Western commitment to this region. The UK

:39:12.:39:15.

will lead the way. The Foreign Secretary will be visiting Russia in

:39:16.:39:19.

the coming weeks, where I expect him to set out our concerns about

:39:20.:39:23.

reports of Russian interference in the affairs of the government of

:39:24.:39:29.

Montenegro. We will provide strategic communications expertise

:39:30.:39:32.

to the EU institutions to counter this information campaigns in the

:39:33.:39:37.

region, and we will host the 2018 Western Balkans summit and in the

:39:38.:39:40.

run-up to that summit, we will enhance our security cooperation

:39:41.:39:46.

with Western Balkan partners on serious and organised crime,

:39:47.:39:51.

anti-corruption and cyber security. More broadly, I re-emphasised the

:39:52.:39:54.

importance the UK places are Nato as the bedrock of our collective

:39:55.:40:00.

defence. And I urged other member states to start investing more in

:40:01.:40:04.

line with Nato's target, so every country plays its part in sharing

:40:05.:40:10.

the burden. It is only by investing properly in our defence, we can

:40:11.:40:14.

ensure we are properly equipped to keep our people say. Turning to

:40:15.:40:18.

growth and competitiveness, I want to build a new relationship with the

:40:19.:40:26.

EU that will give our company is the maximum freedom to trade with and

:40:27.:40:29.

operate in the European market and allow European businesses to do the

:40:30.:40:32.

same here. So successful and competitive European market in the

:40:33.:40:35.

future will remain in our national interest. At this council I call for

:40:36.:40:40.

further steps to complete the single market and the digital single

:40:41.:40:52.

market. I also welcomed... I also welcomed the completion of the free

:40:53.:40:58.

trade agreement between the EU and Canada and pressed for an agreement

:40:59.:41:02.

with Japan in the coming months. For these agreements... Yes, these

:41:03.:41:14.

agreements will lay the foundation for our continued trading

:41:15.:41:16.

relationships with these countries as we leave the EU. At the same

:41:17.:41:25.

time, we will also seize the opportunity to forge our own trade

:41:26.:41:29.

deals and reach out beyond the borders of Europe to build

:41:30.:41:33.

relationships with old friends and new allies alike. This weekend

:41:34.:41:37.

renounced a two-day conference with the largest delegation to visit the

:41:38.:41:42.

UK, building on the ?5 billion of trade we already do with Qatar every

:41:43.:41:47.

year. We will also strengthen the unique and proud global

:41:48.:41:50.

relationships we have forged with the diverse and vibrant alliance of

:41:51.:41:54.

the Commonwealth, which is celebrated on Commonwealth Day

:41:55.:41:59.

yesterday. Finally, last night the bill on Article 50 successfully

:42:00.:42:02.

completed its passage through both houses are unchanged. It will now

:42:03.:42:08.

proceed to Royal assent in the coming days, so we remain on track

:42:09.:42:13.

with the timetable I set out six months ago. I will return to this

:42:14.:42:16.

House before the end of this month to notify when I have formally

:42:17.:42:21.

triggered Article 50 and begun the process through which the United

:42:22.:42:24.

Kingdom will leave the European Union. This will be a defining

:42:25.:42:28.

moment for our country, as we begin to forge a new relationship with

:42:29.:42:32.

Europe and a new role for ourselves in the world. We will be a strong,

:42:33.:42:39.

self-governing, global Britain with control once again over our borders

:42:40.:42:44.

and our laws. We will use this moment of opportunity to build a

:42:45.:42:48.

stronger economy and a fairer society, so we secure both the right

:42:49.:42:52.

deal for Britain and abroad and a better deal for ordinary working

:42:53.:42:59.

people at home. And, Mr Speaker, the new relationship with the EU that we

:43:00.:43:04.

negotiate, will work for the whole of the United Kingdom. That is why

:43:05.:43:08.

we have been working closely with the devolved administrations...

:43:09.:43:21.

Including the Scottish Government, listening to their proposals and

:43:22.:43:25.

recognising the many areas of common ground we have, such as protecting

:43:26.:43:31.

workers' rights and our security from crime and terrorism. So this is

:43:32.:43:35.

not a moment to play politics or create uncertainty... It is a moment

:43:36.:43:46.

to bring our country together, to honour the will of the British

:43:47.:43:51.

people and to shape for them, are better, brighter future and a better

:43:52.:43:55.

Britain and I commend this statement to the House. Jeremy Corbyn. I would

:43:56.:44:04.

like to thank the Prime Minister for an advanced copy of this statement.

:44:05.:44:10.

The passing into law of the EU notification of withdrawal act marks

:44:11.:44:14.

an historic step. Later this month, the triggering of Article 50, a

:44:15.:44:19.

process that will ship this country's future. There is no doubt,

:44:20.:44:23.

that if the wrong decisions are made, we will pay the price for

:44:24.:44:29.

decades to come. So, now more than ever, Britain needs an inclusive

:44:30.:44:33.

government that listens and acts accordingly. However, all the signs

:44:34.:44:41.

are we have a complacent government, complacent with our economy,

:44:42.:44:44.

complacent with people's writes and complacent about the future of this

:44:45.:44:50.

country. I urged the Prime Minister to listen to the collective wisdom

:44:51.:44:55.

of this Parliament and to give this House the full opportunity to

:44:56.:45:01.

scrutinise the Article 50 deal with meaningful vote. The people's

:45:02.:45:15.

representative... and if we are to protect jobs and living standards

:45:16.:45:21.

and the future prosperity of this country... The Government needs to

:45:22.:45:26.

secure tariff free access to the European single market. The Prime

:45:27.:45:31.

Minister has already made the threat to our negotiating partners to turn

:45:32.:45:35.

Britain into a deregulated tax haven. Is that what she means by

:45:36.:45:39.

global Britain? When the Foreign Secretary says no deal with the EU

:45:40.:45:46.

would be perfectly OK, it simply isn't good enough. And far from

:45:47.:45:53.

taking back control, leaving Britain to World Trade Organisation rules

:45:54.:45:58.

would mean losing control, jobs and, frankly, losing out. So when the

:45:59.:46:01.

Prime Minister says a bad deal is better than no deal, led the be

:46:02.:46:10.

clear, no deal is a bad deal. -- let me be clear. Such a complacent

:46:11.:46:14.

strategy would punish business, hit jobs and devastate public services

:46:15.:46:21.

on which people rely. The Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn they're

:46:22.:46:25.

responding to Theresa May, the Prime Minister, who has reported back to

:46:26.:46:28.

the House of Commons on her EU summit last week. She also

:46:29.:46:32.

underlined the fact that the EU notification of withdrawal bill,

:46:33.:46:37.

which passed through both houses of Parliament last night, will get the

:46:38.:46:39.

royal assent, in other words passed into law in the coming days and at

:46:40.:46:44.

that point, she will then fired the starting gun on starting two years

:46:45.:46:48.

of negotiations. In other words, she will trigger Article 50, certainly

:46:49.:46:51.

before the end of the month, which was the deadline she set herself.

:46:52.:46:53.

Tucked into the Budget documents last week was confirmation

:46:54.:46:55.

that the Government is pushing ahead with planned rises to the cost

:46:56.:46:58.

of applying for probate - the legal process of giving

:46:59.:47:00.

authority to distribute someone's estate after their death.

:47:01.:47:03.

But the sizable increases have caused an outcry amongst

:47:04.:47:06.

Conservative backbenchers, who labelled the changes

:47:07.:47:08.

a "stealth tax" during last week's Budget debates.

:47:09.:47:11.

Probate fees are currently capped at ?215 for estates worth over

:47:12.:47:16.

?5,000, unless there is no property involved.

:47:17.:47:20.

That is paid to the Probate Registry.

:47:21.:47:24.

But from May, a sliding scale of fees is being introduced,

:47:25.:47:27.

starting at ?300 for estates worth between ?50,000-?300,000.

:47:28.:47:35.

And rising to ?20,000 for estates worth over ?2million.

:47:36.:47:40.

And rising to ?20,000 for estates worth over ?2 million.

:47:41.:47:42.

Budget documents estimate that the changes will raise

:47:43.:47:44.

I'm joined now by the former Minister of State for Pensions,

:47:45.:47:51.

Is this a stealth tax, in your mind? It is a stealth tax and a death tax,

:47:52.:48:02.

they have rolled the two into one. The death tax was originally put

:48:03.:48:08.

forward, suggested under Gordon Brown's Government but criticised by

:48:09.:48:11.

the Conservatives at the time. We have had a number of death tax is

:48:12.:48:14.

being proposed, particularly to raise money for example the social

:48:15.:48:18.

care. Suddenly we are finding that this one has been snuck in by the

:48:19.:48:22.

back door and there is no question that this is a tax revenue raising

:48:23.:48:26.

measure, because the Ministry of Justice has said that the probate

:48:27.:48:32.

registry is self funding, so the current fees cover the costs of

:48:33.:48:36.

finding probate. What they are trying to do is raise an extra ?300

:48:37.:48:41.

million to subsidise other parts of the court system. The Government

:48:42.:48:45.

argues that this sliding scale makes payments fairer and no state will

:48:46.:48:49.

pay more than 1% of its value. Why isn't that better? -- no estate. We

:48:50.:48:57.

only fixed the costs of probate in 2015 and suddenly we are coming

:48:58.:49:00.

along with this massive increase in taxes. Who gets the massive increase

:49:01.:49:07.

in taxes? 58% of all estates in England and Wales will pay nothing.

:49:08.:49:12.

Yes, that those who do pay and particularly people in the

:49:13.:49:15.

south-east, who have any kind of property, if you have any property

:49:16.:49:19.

there you will have do face this potential tax, but in terms of the

:49:20.:49:27.

way it works, with probate, you have to pay the money upfront. So if you

:49:28.:49:31.

have an executor of your well, maybe a friend or someone who isn't a

:49:32.:49:35.

beneficiary of the will, they will have to find money in their own

:49:36.:49:39.

pocket to pay perhaps ?20,000 before they can release the assets. So if

:49:40.:49:45.

you haven't got cash, if you have got property and shares in your

:49:46.:49:49.

estate, and a lot of people do, where is the money going to come

:49:50.:49:53.

from? Choosing those sort of increases are there? They are very

:49:54.:49:58.

high, admittedly, on the better of Estates, do you think it is fair?

:49:59.:50:02.

They don't apply in Scotland but personally I don't have a problem

:50:03.:50:06.

with it. I think the people really clobbered by it will be people with

:50:07.:50:10.

estates more than ?1 million and those are the very people who will

:50:11.:50:14.

benefit from George Osborne's changes to inheritance tax, which

:50:15.:50:18.

made the 26,000 richest households in the country even richer. So I am

:50:19.:50:21.

guessing the Government is doing this as a way to compensate the

:50:22.:50:25.

difficult as it will have by not getting inheritance tax it had

:50:26.:50:29.

planned for. I think if we are going to do something like this, it should

:50:30.:50:33.

be done fairly and properly. The sudden Draconian increases in the

:50:34.:50:37.

level of tax, and from a practical perspective, expecting executors to

:50:38.:50:43.

find the money when there is no money to use, they may have to take

:50:44.:50:47.

out a personal loan or they can't get the probate. Jee think there

:50:48.:50:52.

will be a backlash? I suspect so, to maybe phase it in. I think it makes

:50:53.:50:58.

sense to have some kind of tax on estates but it has to be done

:50:59.:51:02.

fairly, with proper consultation. 97% of people who responded to this

:51:03.:51:08.

consultation were against it. We did ask the Ministry of Justice for an

:51:09.:51:11.

interview that no minister was available.

:51:12.:51:13.

Now, our guest of the day Tommy Sheppard is almost as famous

:51:14.:51:16.

for being a politician as he is for founding The Stand

:51:17.:51:18.

comedy clubs in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle.

:51:19.:51:20.

But has the impresario recognised any comic talent on the benches

:51:21.:51:23.

Let's have a look at some of his political colleagues

:51:24.:51:26.

attempting to make us laugh, starting with Tony Blair making

:51:27.:51:29.

light of his wife Cherie's spat with Gordon Brown.

:51:30.:51:31.

And - just by way of warning - there's some flash photography.

:51:32.:51:34.

Well, at least I don't have to worry

:51:35.:51:49.

about her running off with the bloke next door.

:51:50.:51:51.

The Shadow Chancellor literally stood at the dispatch box and read

:51:52.:52:00.

Oh, look, it's his personal signed copy.

:52:01.:52:16.

The problem is, half the Shadow Cabinet have been

:52:17.:52:18.

If you are a passionate Yes Campaigner, by definition

:52:19.:52:25.

therefore you are also very intelligent, in my view...

:52:26.:52:27.

I am the Minister of State for Children and Families

:52:28.:52:32.

Now that's a bit of a mouthful, but I want to assure you that

:52:33.:52:37.

however much he begs, neither Lynne Featherstone

:52:38.:52:39.

or myself will let George Osborne call us Louise.

:52:40.:52:45.

Do you know, you guys are really slow.

:52:46.:52:54.

His Shadow Chancellor was asked on the television,

:52:55.:53:02.

could he think of one single business leader?

:53:03.:53:05.

Do you know what he said, Mr Speaker?

:53:06.:53:09.

Mr Speaker, Bill somebody is not a person, "bill

:53:10.:53:15.

We are producing more varieties of cheese than the French.

:53:16.:53:22.

"My Government will make it easier for people

:53:23.:53:43.

It must be the first instance of something being put

:53:44.:53:57.

in the Queen's Speech entirely as a joke.

:53:58.:54:01.

But if he's finding it so difficult,

:54:02.:54:05.

Why doesn't he split the job of Mayor of London?

:54:06.:54:09.

The former Health Secretary can run as his day mayor

:54:10.:54:11.

and the Honourable Member for Brent East

:54:12.:54:13.

I'm joined now in the studio by Gyles Brandreth,

:54:14.:54:25.

who has spent time on the green benches as a Conservative MP,

:54:26.:54:28.

but is now more likely to be found in the green room of a TV studio.

:54:29.:54:35.

Or indeed at the stand in Edinburgh, where I go quite regularly. To

:54:36.:54:44.

perform, or to watch? To perform. You allow him to perform? Of course,

:54:45.:54:52.

we have Eddie is next week. William Hague is there one of the

:54:53.:54:56.

highest-paid speakers on the circuit because Hezbollah. David Cameron two

:54:57.:55:00.

is still very amusing. I came across the other day and asked him the all

:55:01.:55:04.

that has been happening whether he sleeps at night out and he replied,

:55:05.:55:10.

immediately, "Yes, I sleep like a baby. Every hour, I wake up crying

:55:11.:55:14.

mummy, mummy!" Maybe shouldn't have shared that. You should definitely

:55:15.:55:21.

share everything. It works when it is well timed and when it rings a

:55:22.:55:27.

bell. Vince Cable's wonderful line to Gordon Brown, within three days

:55:28.:55:30.

he has gone from Stalin to Mr Bean was a joy to listen to. Why did that

:55:31.:55:36.

work? Because it was of the moment and it rang true. When it feels

:55:37.:55:40.

real, it works. But you have to realise why these guys do it in

:55:41.:55:45.

Parliament. It is on to appeal to us viewers. It is to boost the morale

:55:46.:55:48.

within the House, to show you are confident and competent. What

:55:49.:55:53.

happens when it falls flat and the jokes don't work? It is awful, that

:55:54.:56:00.

moment, the Tumbleweed moment. I had one, almost the first question I

:56:01.:56:03.

asked, I was set up for it by the whips. The whips give what they

:56:04.:56:08.

think of funny questions to obliging backbench MPs and the present Brexit

:56:09.:56:13.

secretary, David Davis, who was a very frightening person in those

:56:14.:56:16.

days in the whips office, I nicknamed him DD of the SS, he gave

:56:17.:56:20.

me this question which I duly performed and it died on its feet, I

:56:21.:56:26.

died on my feet. It is terrifying. Better not to do it than to get it

:56:27.:56:29.

wrong. Theresa May this morning could have, there was a moment when

:56:30.:56:34.

she should have done a put down to the opposition and she chose not to

:56:35.:56:37.

because she isn't very good at them. She couldn't think of them. She's

:56:38.:56:43.

not... How do you find the chamber parliament, is it a funny place? I

:56:44.:56:49.

don't been funny strange. I have never once tried to make a joke. Why

:56:50.:56:56.

not? You are the comedian. No, I hire comedians to entertain other

:56:57.:56:59.

people. One reason I do that is because I have never been any good

:57:00.:57:04.

jokes. I think when it works it can be brilliant but when it is forced

:57:05.:57:07.

and scripted, quite often it falls flat. If people are doing it

:57:08.:57:11.

off-the-cuff and in an improvised way, it can work and be of the

:57:12.:57:16.

moment. It is risky and I think Mrs May is wise to pull back. She has

:57:17.:57:20.

made jokes, one unfortunate one at the expense of an MP named Mr bone

:57:21.:57:26.

that didn't quite come off. I think people are trying to be funny and

:57:27.:57:30.

usually they end up not being. What about the Tony Blair joke about not

:57:31.:57:33.

running off with the bloke next door. It was forced. Did you not

:57:34.:57:40.

think it was funny? Speaking I thought it was funny. It rang true.

:57:41.:57:46.

And it is a matter of confidence of doing it, as sometimes Theresa May

:57:47.:57:52.

get away with somewhat lame lines, because the people behind wanted to

:57:53.:57:57.

work. Is it about timing? You saw that in the clips. It is also about

:57:58.:58:03.

perspective. I have been rereading the speeches of George W. Bush, who

:58:04.:58:07.

I thought was appalling. Why are you reading them? While I was very

:58:08.:58:15.

interested in a man who said, the French don't have a word for

:58:16.:58:20.

entrepreneur. In retrospect, Bush was Cicero combined with Martin

:58:21.:58:22.

Luther King and a touch of Jack Benny. What a concoction. But a

:58:23.:58:30.

great time for satire. Indeed, and thankfully, satire is coming back in

:58:31.:58:33.

a big way, which is good entertainment. Is Nicola Sturgeon

:58:34.:58:38.

good jokes? I don't think she's a natural comedian, she takes itself

:58:39.:58:42.

seriously. Ruth Davidson is stronger on the jokes. I am not good on the

:58:43.:58:46.

jokes but will say goodbye at this point, thank you to the guests. The

:58:47.:58:51.

one o'clock News is starting on BBC One and I will be back tomorrow for

:58:52.:58:52.

Prime Minister's Questions. Goodbye. It took us once to get through

:58:53.:59:08.

the novel Anna Karenina. It was used to help my friend

:59:09.:59:13.

with depression,

:59:14.:59:17.

Jo Coburn is joined by SNP MP Tommy Sheppard to discuss Parliament's approval of the legislation to trigger the formal process for Britain to leave the EU and debate Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon's call for a fresh referendum on Scottish Independence with Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale.