12/02/2017 Sunday Politics North West


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12/02/2017

Andrew Neil is joined by Baroness Smith and Oliver Letwin. The political panellists are Janan Ganesh, Julia Hartley-Brewer and Steve Richards.


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Commons Speaker John Bercow is accused of compromising his

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impartiality by revealing he voted Remain in last year's EU referendum.

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The EU Withdrawal Bill clears its first Parliamentary hurdle.

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But will the House of Lords be quite so accommodating?

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Labour's Leader in the Lords joins us live.

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And we report from Stoke-on-Trent ahead of a crucial by-election

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later this month, where Ukip is looking to give

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And in the North West, riding roughshod over rural businesses -

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why the countryside is not champing at the bit for rate reform.

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And with me a political panel who frequently like to compromise

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Steve Richards, Julia Hartley-Brewer and Janan Ganesh.

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I'll be trying to keep them in order during the course of the programme.

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So, Commons Speaker John Bercow has insisted his ability

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to act impartially is not damaged by reports that he voted to Remain

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The Sunday Telegraph reveals that Speaker Bercow revealed his views

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in front of an audience of students at Reading University

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This may not be popular with some people in this audience -

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I thought it was better to stay in the European Union than not,

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partly for economic reason, being part of a big trade bloc,

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and partly because I think we're in a world of power blocs,

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and I think for all the weaknesses and deficiencies

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of the European Union, it is better to be part of that big

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Speaker Bercow speaking at Reading University earlier this month. Does

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he not care is this I get that impression, he knows perfectly well,

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it states he has to be particularly -- Parliamentary neural. Whether

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there are going to be enough votes to force him out, the question, the

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last speaker wept out with the 20 vote against him. You yes to have

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the command of the support across the House. There is a Deputy

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Speaker, waiting, who would be superb. I think even the people who

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pretend to support Macis have had enough -- Speaker Bercow have had

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enough of his ways. The reason I ask whether he care, he didn't just tell

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the students that he voted to Remain, he then gave them a running

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commentary on all the issues that will be part of the Brexit

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negotiations, workers' rights, immigration, trade policy, everyone

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maternity leave got a hat tip from him. He would be a very well

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prepared Brexit minister if attendance needs a colleague --

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David Davis needs a colleague. I don't think this story makes his

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position untenable, what does is the wired pattern of behaviour of

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excessive candour on his political views, going back years, this is a

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guy who when the Queen visited Parliament described her as theical

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lied scope Queen. He had a running argument with David Cameron. We know

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his views on Brexit, we know his views on Donald Trump. . He has

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given interviews, none of the views are illegitimate but the candour

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which they are expressed with is scrupulous. Given Lyndsay Hoyle is a

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class accuse. He is the Deputy Speaker. And a fairly ready

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replacement, whether there is more of a movement to say, maybe not

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force Bercow out but acknowledge he has had a few years in the job and

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the question of successor ship comes into play. Has he concluded he is

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untouchable? What I can definitely say, is that he is determined to

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fight this one out, and not go of his own volition, so if he goes he

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will have to be forced out. He wants to stay. Which will be tough. It

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will be tough. Likely as things stand. I would say this, I speak to

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someone who likes the way he has brought the House of Commons to

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life, held ministers to account, forced them into explain thing,

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whenever there is a topical issue you know it will be in the House of

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Commons. He has changed that. He has. Time has been courageous, Ied a

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mire the way he has been a speaker. I would say this, during the

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referendum campaign, he asked me Nick Clegg, and Peter Hitchens to

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debate Brexit if his constituency. It was a packed out meeting. He

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chaired it. I said don't you want to join in? He didn't. He showed no

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desire to join in, he was impartial. He goes out to universities and kind

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of demyth GCSEs Parliament by speaking to them in a way, he

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doesn't gets credit for it and stays on after and drinks with them.

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Sometimes he, you know, it is clearly a mistake to have gone into

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his views retrospectively on that referendum campaign, I don't think

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that, did he try and stop Article 50 from being triggered in the House of

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Commons? That would be a scandal. Even that would be beyond him.

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Briefly, yes or no, could you imagine Betty Boothroyd behaving

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like that? Not at all. None of the recent speakers I could imagine

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doing that. It is good he is different.

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The bill that will allow the government to trigger Article 50

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and begin Brexit negotiations was voted through

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Many MPs were in a difficult position - unsure whether to vote

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with their conscience, their constituency,

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Europe, once such a divisive issue for the Conservatives,

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is now causing major divisions inside the Labour Party.

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So, let's have a look what happened in a bit more detail:

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Thanks to academic research carried out since the referendum,

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we now have estimates of how each individual constituency voted.

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It's thought that 410 constituencies voted Leave.

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On Wednesday night, the EU Notification of Withdrawal Bill

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was voted through by the House of Commons.

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The bill left the Labour Party divided.

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Jeremy Corbyn told his MPs to respect the result

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of the referendum and vote for the government's bill -

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But 52 Labour MPs defied Mr Corbyn's thee-line whip

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That's about a fifth of the Parliamentary Labour Party.

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Of those 52 Labour MPs who voted against the bill,

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the majority, 45 of them, represent seats that voted Remain.

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However, seven Labour MPs voted against the Article 50 Bill,

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even though their constituents voted Leave in the referendum.

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The Conservative Party were much more united.

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The vast majority of Tory MPs, 320 of them, voted for the bill.

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Just one Conservative MP, Ken Clarke, voted against it.

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His constituency, Rushcliffe in Nottinghamshire, voted Remain.

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The bill will now go to the House of Lords -

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peers will start debating it on Monday the 20th of February.

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Joining me now is Matthew Goodwin, politics professor at

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He's got a book out next month called

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Brexit: Why Britain Voted To Leave The European Union.

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Welcome to the programme. Has Brexit, how you voted in the

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referendum and your continuing attitudes toward it, is that now

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becoming the new dividing line in British politics? I think it

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certainly is contributing to a new dividing line, in western politics

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more generally, we know over the last ten years, that the old left

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and right division has been making way for a new division, between

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essentially social liberals and Conservative, and Brexit was a, an

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incident a moment that really reflected that new dividing line, so

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it wasn't just the case that Brexit has cut across Labour's base, it is

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that dividing line, that deeper division is cutting across social

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democracies more generally. Is there a possibility, no higher than that,

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that it will reShane our party politics? I think it is too early to

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know whether this is a fundamental long-term realignment. If we look at

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what is happening in local by-election, what is happening at

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by-elections, pictures a bit mixed but if you look at how some of the

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Labour vote is responding, I think that potentially reflects the

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possibility of a terminal decline for the Labour Party, it is going to

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be incredibly difficult for Labour to win these voters back, these are

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traditional working class, socially Conservative voters who are leaving

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the party, don't forget, since the 1997 general election. It is not

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just because of the referendum. If that was the case, Labour would

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become more a party of the Metropolitan areas, and less of a

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party outside of these area, is that what you are saying? What we are S

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seeing across the west can social democracy that retrenchment into the

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cosmopolitan, Metropolitan city area, university towns, you can

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seeing in many European states populist right parties filling the

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traditional socialist area, why are they doing that? Because they are

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offering two message, economic and cultural protectionism. Social

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Democrats are clinging to that economic protectionism but not

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saying much about migration and multiculturalism and that sort of

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stuff. Are there deeper forces at work than Jeremy Corbyn? He often

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gets the blame for what is happening to the Labour Party now, but if you

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look the way the Greek socialist party has been wiped out. The German

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Social Democrats are in trouble. The Italian socialist party has lost a

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referendum. The French socialist are coming close to being wiped out on

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April 23rd, Labour's problems, are part of a much wider problem of

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social democracy S Jeremy Corbyn is a surface problem, what I mean by

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that is you could replace him tosh with another leader, they would

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still have this fundamental tension within the electorate. They are

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trying to appeal to two differenter reconcilable groups of voters who

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think differently about the key issues of the day. It is very

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difficult for any centre left party now to assemble the kinds of

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coalitionses we saw in the '90s with Clinton and Blair and Schroeder.

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Those days are gone. Does that explain why it is now Labour, rather

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than the Conservatives, historically the party divided over the European

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Union, does all of that help to explain why its Labour that now

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seems, disunited over the EU? I think so, I think also that the

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issue of Brexit, and the EU, is so immatly wrapped up with that issue

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of immigration, if you look at who has been abandoned Labour since 2015

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or the late 90s, the one thing those voters share is a rejection of the

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so-called liberal consensus on EU membership and mass immigration. It

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is difficult for any Labour lead eer co-bin or Clive Lewis on Dan Jarvis,

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to bring those voters back unless they are going to move on that

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cultural terrain. If they are not, they may not go to Ukip, they might

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go to somewhere more difficult for Labour which is political apathy.

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Thank you for that. Attention now shifts to the House

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of Lords where peers will begin scrutinising the EU Withdrawal Bill

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in just over a week. Brexit Secretary David Davis urged

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the Lords "to do its patriotic duty" and resist the urge to tinker

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with the legislation. Former minister Oliver Letwin

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went one further - mooting the possibility

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of the abolition of the Lords if it sought to frustrate

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the bill in any way. Here he is posing the question

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in the Commons on Thursday. Would he find time, in government

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time for a debate, should the other place seek to delay beyond the end

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of March the passage of our accession to Article 50, for this

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House to discuss the possibility of either the abolition or full-scale

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reform of the other place? And Oliver Letwin joins

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me now from Dorset. Welcome back to the programme Mr Let

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win. Before we come on to the Lord's, can I get your thoughts on a

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matter that has been making the news this morning and John Bercow's

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remarks about being a remain voter an giving something of a running

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commentary on various Brexit issues, has he sqloefr stepped the mark as

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speaker? -- overstepped the mark. I think this is slightly a fuss about

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nothing. Every person who thinks about politics will have had some

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opinion about great matters like Brexit, and I really don't see any

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particular reason why his opinion shouldn't be known after the fact.

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I, I was there throughout the five days of the Brexit debate, and I

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have to say, I thought he was pretty scrupulously fair in the way he

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handled the House, so, I, I don't really share the view that there is

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some terrible thing that has been revealed this weekend. Let me come

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on to what we are here to talk about, which is the Lords. Why have

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you raised the threat of the abolition of the Lord for doing its

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job of scrutinising what is coming out the Commons? Well, you know,

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Andrew, this question of the job of the House of Lords and scrutiny, has

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to be looked at carefully. There are all sorts of bills that come out the

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House of Commons which are detailed things that relate to, finance, and

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expenditure, and the criminal law, and all that sort of thing, and all

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of that, I admire the work that the House of Lords does, as you say

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scrutinising and we shouldn't use that word loosely, it means looking

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carefully at the detail, line by line of complicated legislation,

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hundreds of Paps in some cases, and spotting, using the considerable

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expertise many, not all be many of the peers have, in any given field,

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to identify things where the Commons has got it wrong in the sense that

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the legislation wouldn't achieve what the Government of the day is

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seeking to make it achieve. That is a serious proper role for an Upper

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House and the House of Lords performs it pretty

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Now this is a very different case. This is a two clause bill. The first

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clause which is the operative clause says the Prime Minister should go

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ahead and sign... I understand all that. We haven't got that much time,

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this is becoming a monologue. There is nothing to scrutinise, Andrew.

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There were plenty of amendments put before the Commons, none of them got

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through, it is true. There are eight Labour amendments in the Lords, are

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you resigned to this bill coming back to the Commons with amendments?

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No, it should not come back with amendments. There were hundreds of

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amendments literally put down in the House of Commons, they were all

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drunk. They were all trying one way or another to derail the process.

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This is a binary issue, should Theresa May sign the withdrawal or

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not? What should the Commons do? The Commons has now voted in favour of

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it. Node do should tolerate and unelected chamber forcing the

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British people... The people voted in a referendum and the Commons

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voted. The matter is now signed and sealed and should not be derailed by

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the House of Lords. On Labour amendment wants confirmation that

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when it is done, the potential Brexit agreement will be put before

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parliament before any vote in the European Parliament, that has been

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an agreed principle, what is wrong with that amendments? The government

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has already agreed there will be a vote, but actually, what the

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amendments were seeking was to give the Commons a further vote on

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whether we actually leave or not. That is already decided. Neither the

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House of Lords nor anybody else has a right in my view, despite the fact

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I was a remain, to what the will of the British people. Nobody should

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think an unelected chamber should now try to change the course of

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British history by asserting amendments in a very effective on

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clause bill which says go ahead and trigger Article 50. Are you

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concerned that amendments by the Lords which would then have to go

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back to the Commons for consideration, are you concerned

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that could derail or delay the Prime Minister's timetable for Article 50?

:18:40.:18:44.

Yes, exactly. That would be the result of a prolonged bout of

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ping-pong between the two houses, or much worse, if the House of Lords

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failed to give way and the Parliament act had to be used. It

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would really be intolerable. It is not good for our country. Those of

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us who voted remain would prefer for that not to happen. The whole

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country -- it is important for the whole country that this happens in a

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rapid way and allowing the government free rein to negotiate,

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that is surely in all our advantages? Deed think any efforts

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to abolish the House of Lords, an issue you have raised, does that

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make it easier because your friend David Cameron stuffed the upper

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chamber with donors, lapdogs and lingerie designers? I was among

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those who advocated for many years wholesale reform of the House of

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Lords, to turn it into a serious elected second chamber. I think we

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should have an upper house which commands legitimacy. This is a

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second issue. Here we have not got such a House and it seems to be very

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clear that it should not seek to derail on delay the action which has

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been mandated by the referendum, agreed by the House of Commons, and

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what we want to see now is a smooth orderly effect for this bill, so it

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becomes law and Theresa May can go ahead and negotiate on our behalf.

:20:09.:20:14.

One more question on the process, if the Lords to amend the bill and it

:20:15.:20:17.

goes back to the Commons and the Commons sends these amendments back

:20:18.:20:23.

again, take them out, how long could this ping-pong between the two

:20:24.:20:30.

chambers go on in your experience? It is a very, very interesting and

:20:31.:20:34.

complicated question with the clerks of the two ends of the Palace of

:20:35.:20:38.

Westminster not always agreeing about this. But through certain

:20:39.:20:44.

machinations of slightly changing amendments as they go, in my

:20:45.:20:47.

experience this could carry on for an awful long time if clever people,

:20:48.:20:51.

and there are plenty of clever people in the House of Lords, want

:20:52.:20:54.

to do that and that is precisely why I think we should not tolerate it.

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Oliver Letwin, thank you for joining us from Dorset.

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Joining me now is Labour's Leader in the House of Lords, Angela Smith.

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The Commons passed this bill without any amendments... There were

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changes, the government did concede a couple of points. But the

:21:13.:21:17.

amendments did not go through. Does that put pressure on the Lords to do

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the same? I think the Lords always feels under pressure to do the right

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thing. When I heard Oliver Letwin, I did not know whether to laugh or

:21:27.:21:32.

cry. We will not frustrate, we will not wreck, we will not sabotage. We

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will do what David Davis said was our patriotic duty. We will

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scrutinise the bill. We have at amendments from the Labour Party. We

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will look at those. It depends on the government response if we vote

:21:46.:21:49.

on those. There could be amendments asking the Commons to look again.

:21:50.:21:53.

That is normally what we do. It is not the wrong thing to do. But if

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you do this and make amendments, it then goes back to the Commons. If

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the Commons rejects the Lords' amendments, what do you think will

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happen? I do not see any extended ping-pong at all. It is perfectly

:22:08.:22:14.

legitimate. We are not talking about the outcome of negotiations, we are

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talking about the process. The process of engaging with Parliament

:22:19.:22:21.

and reporting to Parliament. It would be totally responsible for

:22:22.:22:25.

Parliament to say, off you go, Theresa May, have two years of

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negotiation and come back and talk to us at the end. The has to be a

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process where the government can use the expertise of parliament to get

:22:33.:22:36.

this right. But if you do put in some amendments, it has to go back

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to the Commons, they may well say they don't want those amendments and

:22:43.:22:45.

it may go back to the Lords, could that at the very least delay the

:22:46.:22:50.

Prime Minister's Brexit timetable? I don't think so. She said the end of

:22:51.:22:56.

March. Time has been built in for all the normal processes. I think

:22:57.:23:00.

Oliver Letwin and others are getting a bit overexcited. This is the

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normal process. Unless the government get things right the

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first time every time, the has to be this kind of process. These are

:23:08.:23:11.

reasonable amendments. This is a Labour amendment we are talking

:23:12.:23:16.

about here, you want a vote in the UK Parliament before any

:23:17.:23:29.

vote in the European Parliament if and when the Brexit deal is done,

:23:30.:23:33.

the Commons and the Lords get to vote on it first. But the government

:23:34.:23:36.

I think have already agreed to that so what is the point? It needs to be

:23:37.:23:40.

on the face of the bill. It is over well if the government have agreed

:23:41.:23:42.

it. Lord dubs had an agreement about child and look what happened to

:23:43.:23:46.

that. Does not sound as if you would go to the wire on that? It is

:23:47.:23:51.

important it is not just about the vote at the end, you have the

:23:52.:23:56.

ongoing engagement. If it is going to be a bad deal, we need to know

:23:57.:24:02.

long before we get to that stage? Is it something you would hold out for?

:24:03.:24:07.

I don't know yet. It is about how the House of Lords votes, Labour do

:24:08.:24:12.

not have a majority, we never had a majority in the House of Lords when

:24:13.:24:16.

we were in government. It is wrong to suggest that we cannot debate

:24:17.:24:21.

these issues... I don't think anyone is suggesting that. They are. It is

:24:22.:24:27.

not unfair to ask the government to ask the House of Commons to look

:24:28.:24:30.

again to look at those issues if that is what the House of Lords

:24:31.:24:34.

decides. Bit of the House of Commons says we looked, we are sticking with

:24:35.:24:39.

what we voted for, we rejected every amendment by at least 30 votes on

:24:40.:24:44.

all occasions, the Lords then have to buckle, is that what you are

:24:45.:24:48.

saying? Some point I think it is clear the House of Commons have to

:24:49.:24:52.

have its say. I think it is inconceivable that having had a

:24:53.:24:56.

referendum, which was not overwhelming, but it was a clear

:24:57.:25:01.

result, the House of Lords has no intention of sabotaging that but

:25:02.:25:04.

there are things which are not good about the process that we think

:25:05.:25:08.

could be improved. We have not just have the result of the referendum

:25:09.:25:12.

which voted to leave, but we have had the will of the Commons that

:25:13.:25:18.

passed this legislation by a majority of 372. And I am not

:25:19.:25:25.

contesting that for a second! Could you cite a precedent for the upper

:25:26.:25:29.

house amending a bill which passed by 372 votes in the Commons? Quite

:25:30.:25:34.

other things will come to the House of Lords with big majorities from

:25:35.:25:36.

the Commons and quite often the amendments we get, with that then

:25:37.:25:41.

forward and the government sees it could do better. Though not

:25:42.:25:47.

necessarily saying the government has got things wrong, but they could

:25:48.:25:49.

do things better. That happens time and time again and it is not

:25:50.:25:55.

unusual. If you were seen to thwart the referendum result and the vote

:25:56.:26:00.

in the Commons, the elected chamber of parliament, is the threat of

:26:01.:26:04.

abolition hanging over you? I think that is really ridiculous and

:26:05.:26:08.

absolute nonsense. We are not tying to what the decision of the House of

:26:09.:26:11.

Commons, we are trying to do better. It is a bit rich of the government

:26:12.:26:15.

and Oliver Letwin to complain about getting things through in time when

:26:16.:26:20.

the House of Commons spent -- the government spent three months trying

:26:21.:26:25.

to debate this issue. There have been some strong questions put to

:26:26.:26:28.

the government from the House of Lords on all sides. I don't know if

:26:29.:26:31.

the amendments have been passed or not. I think we have a good case for

:26:32.:26:40.

the government to get debate the point. If a traditional MP like

:26:41.:26:48.

Oliver Letwin is calling for the abolition of the hereditary and

:26:49.:26:51.

appointed chamber, and the Labour person like yourself was trying to

:26:52.:26:55.

defend that, that would not be a sustainable position, I would

:26:56.:27:01.

suggest! We saw this with the Strathclyde report as well, this is

:27:02.:27:03.

a government like no other. It is the first Conservative government in

:27:04.:27:06.

history not to have an automatic majority. They do not like challenge

:27:07.:27:12.

or scrutiny. But you get my point, Labour cannot go to the wire in

:27:13.:27:17.

defending and an elected second chamber, can it? Actually, Labour

:27:18.:27:20.

can go to the wire in saying the government does not get it right

:27:21.:27:23.

every time. House of Lords is going to normal processes and people like

:27:24.:27:30.

Oliver Letwin are really getting a little bit over excited, and people

:27:31.:27:34.

who have been anonymously briefing. Who has been anonymously briefing? I

:27:35.:27:41.

don't know, they are anonymous! I understand people want to make

:27:42.:27:44.

amendments, that is the role of the House of Lords, but can I just for

:27:45.:27:48.

the avoidance of doubt, is it still your case that whatever amendments

:27:49.:27:52.

to make, whatever may go back and forward, it is not your intention to

:27:53.:27:57.

stop Article 50 being triggered by the end of March? I have been saying

:27:58.:28:03.

that, exactly that for months and months and months. It is

:28:04.:28:06.

inconceivable that an unelected House will thwart the will of the

:28:07.:28:09.

House of Commons and a referendum on this issue. But that does not mean

:28:10.:28:13.

we will be bullied by Oliver Letwin and others. But the triggering will

:28:14.:28:18.

happen by the end of March? I very much suspect so unless Theresa May

:28:19.:28:23.

has second thoughts, I suspect that will happen. Thank you.

:28:24.:28:26.

Now, just because it's parliamentary recess next week

:28:27.:28:28.

There are two by-elections round the corner -

:28:29.:28:32.

one in Copeland, and another in Stoke-on-Trent Central

:28:33.:28:34.

where the former Shadow Education Secretary,

:28:35.:28:36.

Tristram Hunt, vacated his seat to take up a role

:28:37.:28:38.

as Director of the Victoria Albert Museum in London.

:28:39.:28:41.

But Labour are facing a fight to hold onto the constituency

:28:42.:28:44.

Seconds away, Ukip's new leader has stepped into the ring

:28:45.:28:50.

as their candidate in a by-election bout to see

:28:51.:28:52.

At the last election Ukip came second to Labour here

:28:53.:28:59.

But now they are confident they can land a knockout blow,

:29:00.:29:04.

because this place is packed with people that voted to leave the EU.

:29:05.:29:11.

70% of people voted to leave the European Union.

:29:12.:29:14.

I'm the only candidate standing in this election

:29:15.:29:22.

who is a true Brexiteer, who has always campaigned to leave

:29:23.:29:24.

the EU and therefore I believe I would be the best person

:29:25.:29:27.

But he has had to fight off allegations

:29:28.:29:30.

he wasn't living in the constituency when he entered the contest.

:29:31.:29:33.

Explain to me what is going on with this issue about your house?

:29:34.:29:36.

Well, we took up the lease the day before nominations.

:29:37.:29:39.

Everything we've done is perfectly legal and within the law.

:29:40.:29:41.

The Labour Party are trying to get off the real issues in this election

:29:42.:29:46.

and focus on something which is banal nonsense.

:29:47.:29:53.

And there's been trouble as well for the Labour contender.

:29:54.:29:59.

He's been labelled a Remoaner after he sent a series

:30:00.:30:01.

of anti-Brexit tweets, filled with words

:30:02.:30:04.

I can't believe I'm about to ask this question in a nursery

:30:05.:30:15.

on a Sunday morning TV programme, but did you really tweet that

:30:16.:30:17.

I tweeted many things about Brexit, that's tweet is out there.

:30:18.:30:22.

It was done quite after the referendum result and it

:30:23.:30:25.

was my way of showing my frustration at the fact that months

:30:26.:30:28.

after the result we hadn't had anything from the government.

:30:29.:30:33.

Theresa May had failed to produce any plan,

:30:34.:30:35.

she had failed to give any meaningful statement

:30:36.:30:37.

about what Brexit meant other than bland statements

:30:38.:30:39.

about Brexit is Brexit, and it's a hard Brexit, or a soft Brexit.

:30:40.:30:42.

The context of it was it was out of frustration.

:30:43.:30:46.

So you didn't mean to insult the 70% of the people who live here

:30:47.:30:49.

I never mean to insult anybody and you know,

:30:50.:30:52.

I've made it quite clear, if I'm elected as the member

:30:53.:30:55.

of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent Central, I will absolutely respect

:30:56.:30:57.

the wishes of the people of Stoke Central.

:30:58.:30:59.

I will make sure my vote in parliament is to trigger Article 50.

:31:00.:31:03.

While the Tories' man has done little bit of rebranding too.

:31:04.:31:06.

I voted Remain and I've been open about that, but my top priority

:31:07.:31:09.

is about the economy and to ensure we still have an

:31:10.:31:12.

Theresa May has set out clear proposal to ensure we develop

:31:13.:31:15.

a trade relationship with Europe and make that a success.

:31:16.:31:25.

It means the Lib Dems and the Greens are the ones battling Brexit.

:31:26.:31:28.

Well, when the Lib Dem candidate is actually here.

:31:29.:31:31.

The candidate is a consultant cardiologist.

:31:32.:31:36.

He is actually at work today doing very important heart surgery.

:31:37.:31:39.

He will be back tomorrow, back on the campaign trail working hard.

:31:40.:31:42.

30% of people voted to Remain and nobody else

:31:43.:31:46.

is representing them, so, you know, it is still a live issue.

:31:47.:31:50.

It is still something people care about.

:31:51.:31:51.

We are only at the start of the Article 50 process

:31:52.:31:54.

We are very a clear that we are standing up for those

:31:55.:31:59.

who want to remain in the single market, who want to protect jobs

:32:00.:32:02.

Labour have taken people for granted in this area for a great many years.

:32:03.:32:07.

Ukip, I'm afraid, all Ukip can offer to politics is division.

:32:08.:32:10.

I've covered a lot of by-elections where Ukip have come second.

:32:11.:32:12.

We'll find out if they really got Labour on the ropes this

:32:13.:32:15.

And here is a full list of all the candidates standing

:32:16.:32:35.

in the Stoke-on-Trent Central by-election.

:32:36.:32:46.

They do atract lots of candidates. You can get that on the BBC website

:32:47.:32:55.

as well. I was trying to think back, here we have the main opposition

:32:56.:33:03.

party defending two seats in by-elections in the midterm of a

:33:04.:33:04.

government. All the speculation is where the

:33:05.:33:12.

opposition party can hold on, that is unprecedented. I can't give of an

:33:13.:33:17.

equivalent. You wouldn't just expect them to win seats they have held

:33:18.:33:22.

traditionally, you would expect hem to make inroads into seats held by

:33:23.:33:28.

the other party, I wonder if they fail to hold on to just one of

:33:29.:33:32.

these, whether it accelerates the momentum and criticism of the

:33:33.:33:38.

leadership of the moment. I think they are interesting constituencies.

:33:39.:33:42.

Matthew good win was talking about the left win coalition over the

:33:43.:33:48.

years, almost being too broad for its own good, including places like

:33:49.:33:55.

Primrose Hill and Hackney. Big university towns in Manchester,

:33:56.:33:59.

Bristol. Diverse ethnically and included places like Stoke which are

:34:00.:34:09.

more Conservative. With a small c. Less economically well-off, more

:34:10.:34:14.

diverse, can the left hang on to both bits of country. Recent

:34:15.:34:17.

evidence suggests it cannot and the opportunity for Ukip is to pick up

:34:18.:34:21.

the second of those two types of community, the Stokes and the cope

:34:22.:34:25.

lands. That what makes the by-elections interest I would

:34:26.:34:29.

suggest. It is not just about Mr Corbyn's future about which we hear

:34:30.:34:34.

too much, it is about this traditional Labour coalition, can it

:34:35.:34:38.

still survive, particularly in places like Stoke? Europe clearly is

:34:39.:34:42.

a test. I think it's a myth by the way that Labour are only split now,

:34:43.:34:49.

over Europe and it has always been a Tory problem, last time I was on I

:34:50.:34:54.

mentioned it. That is why we had a referendum in 75. That is why they

:34:55.:35:01.

had a round then. But they were in chaos behind the scenes over what

:35:02.:35:06.

they thought about the euro, skillful leadership can paper over

:35:07.:35:11.

the cracks, and to address the wider issue of whether we are now in an

:35:12.:35:15.

era where left right issues have disappeared, and there is more of a

:35:16.:35:19.

regional divide, if you take Europe out of the equation which you can't,

:35:20.:35:27.

but if you were able to, issues about health, transport housing do

:35:28.:35:30.

split more left-right than a regional divide, so I think there is

:35:31.:35:36.

still fundamental left-right issues, but Europe isn't one of them and

:35:37.:35:41.

Europe has to be managed by a Labour leader skill fully and evidently

:35:42.:35:45.

that hasn't happened now. How would you see the by-elections in the

:35:46.:35:50.

current political context? Labour should be walking them, it should be

:35:51.:35:55.

a sign of the March of the Labour Party taking on the current

:35:56.:35:56.

Conservative Government. I don't think they raise any questions about

:35:57.:36:00.

Corbyn's leadership because the people who put him in don't think

:36:01.:36:04.

that winning elections matter, you have to remember this will be the

:36:05.:36:09.

mainstream media, it will be our fault why any of those Labour

:36:10.:36:14.

candidates don't win, the thing that is interesting is whether there is

:36:15.:36:17.

is a role for Ukip. The argument after the referendum was Ukip has

:36:18.:36:21.

done its job, it got the referendum, nothing to see here, I remember

:36:22.:36:27.

speaking to put a Nuttall before he was Ukip leader, on the day after

:36:28.:36:33.

the battle and he said this is Year Zero, where Ukip starts now, and

:36:34.:36:37.

this, and this is the interesting thing, does, do we see this one

:36:38.:36:41.

particular party having a role in the future? And I think it is all to

:36:42.:36:45.

play for, they could not not have stood in this seat. They have to win

:36:46.:36:50.

it to be an electoral force. The Labour candidate in Copeland has

:36:51.:36:53.

made the NHS the issue for her in this, that goes into the left-right,

:36:54.:36:57.

are we spending enough, are we not? That will be a test of what you were

:36:58.:37:03.

saying to see if traditional left-right issue, which at the

:37:04.:37:06.

moment would play Labour's way I would suggest, are big enough to

:37:07.:37:10.

overcome all the things you have been talking about and Matthew has

:37:11.:37:14.

been talking about. Maybe at this particular junction they are not,

:37:15.:37:18.

but I don't think any of those issues will go away, and that is why

:37:19.:37:24.

I question whether we are see the end of a historic left-right divide.

:37:25.:37:30.

At the moment with Europe so prominent, clearly these

:37:31.:37:33.

by-elections are unusual. And they will be a test of leadership for

:37:34.:37:37.

Theresa May in the coming months if not at the moment, as they have been

:37:38.:37:41.

in a way that he hasn't risen to, for the Labour leader.

:37:42.:37:45.

We will be leave on BBC One on the night, February 23rd off back of

:37:46.:37:49.

this week, we will bring you the result of both these crucial

:37:50.:37:51.

It's just gone 11.35, you're watching the Sunday Politics.

:37:52.:37:55.

We say goodbye to viewers in Scotland who leave us now

:37:56.:37:58.

Coming up here in 20 minutes, the Week Ahead.

:37:59.:38:01.

First though, the Sunday Politics where you are.

:38:02.:38:09.

Coming up in the North West: Riding roughshod over rural businesses -

:38:10.:38:15.

why the countryside's not champing at the bit for rate reform.

:38:16.:38:21.

But under starters orders in the studio this week

:38:22.:38:24.

are Lucy Powell, the Labour MP for Manchester Central,

:38:25.:38:26.

and David Rutley, the Conservative for Macclesfield.

:38:27.:38:32.

Another bad week for Jeremy Corbyn. Brexit rebellion, rumours of a

:38:33.:38:44.

leadership contest. How long can it go on? With the country in such flux

:38:45.:38:50.

and the need for an effective opposition, the last thing we need

:38:51.:38:53.

is more speculation about the leadership of the Labour Party. The

:38:54.:38:56.

last thing we need is more navel-gazing. It has been a

:38:57.:38:58.

difficult period but we got to move on and get back to the job of being

:38:59.:39:04.

an effective opposition. Totally unfounded? Angela Rayner and

:39:05.:39:14.

Rebecca's names are being mentioned. Anyone on manoeuvres, you need to

:39:15.:39:17.

stop it, we got so much going on in these the Labour Party to focus on

:39:18.:39:19.

the job. And, David, a minor local

:39:20.:39:19.

rebellion in your party - Antoinette Sandbach backing Labour's

:39:20.:39:22.

defeated amendment to give Parliament a decisive say

:39:23.:39:24.

over the final deal. I think it is absolutely vital that

:39:25.:39:34.

Parliament has a vote on a deal if there is a deal and if there is no

:39:35.:39:38.

deal, we also need a vote. The vote for Brexit was to bring back control

:39:39.:39:42.

to this Parliament and I voted for that democratic decision-making in

:39:43.:39:44.

this Parliament. MPs this week promised a meaningful

:39:45.:39:52.

vote on the final deal but they will have to back it off back which could

:39:53.:39:59.

the North West. If voters were the North West. If voters were

:40:00.:40:02.

looking for the sovereignty of Parliament over Brexit, they haven't

:40:03.:40:07.

got it. Parliament has decided this week it will back Article 50 and now

:40:08.:40:11.

everything is to play for. We need to work on a negotiation with the

:40:12.:40:17.

EU. There are huge opportunities. The Germans wanted rebuttals, the

:40:18.:40:24.

French want to trade with us. Between a rock and a hard place for

:40:25.:40:29.

most people want to support the will most people want to support the will

:40:30.:40:33.

of the British public. Now we need to come forward with the best

:40:34.:40:36.

vote in parliament. Lucy, Labour vote in parliament. Lucy, Labour

:40:37.:40:42.

were accused of rolling over for the Government on this. Should they have

:40:43.:40:45.

put up more resistance? What we had to do this week was give effect to

:40:46.:40:49.

the outcome of the referendum. That's why I and many other MPs who

:40:50.:40:54.

campaigned to remain in the EU voted to trigger Article 50 but that isn't

:40:55.:40:57.

a blank cheque, it doesn't mean we will ball over on anything but what

:40:58.:41:05.

most people in this region and country want to see is for us to

:41:06.:41:08.

work together to get the best outcome and not stand there saying,

:41:09.:41:12.

we told you it would be terrible and actually make that an outcome, we

:41:13.:41:16.

got to get the best possible outcome for the North West for all the

:41:17.:41:20.

people we represent out of something many of us didn't want to see

:41:21.:41:23.

happen, but that's life, that's democracy.

:41:24.:41:23.

Onto health care now, and it's been a week of ups

:41:24.:41:26.

There have been worrying death rates, and a high-profile

:41:27.:41:30.

resignation, but also significant improvements at some previously

:41:31.:41:31.

struggling hospitals, and plans for a state-of-the

:41:32.:41:33.

It's not the place to wear a white coat yet.

:41:34.:41:44.

Before Clatterbridge's new cancer centre can open

:41:45.:41:48.

on this site in Liverpool, local people are being asked to dig

:41:49.:41:51.

deep to help pay for it and famous faces have been helping.

:41:52.:41:55.

Sad subject, really, but it's something that affects us all,

:41:56.:41:58.

whether individually or through a family or friend

:41:59.:42:01.

at some stage in your life and having a facility like this

:42:02.:42:03.

in the heart of Liverpool can only benefit people in the city.

:42:04.:42:06.

Over ?100 million is due to be spent on all 11 floors of hospital,

:42:07.:42:11.

which will be built behind me by around 2019.

:42:12.:42:18.

It seems like a rare good headline for the NHS in a week

:42:19.:42:21.

where there has been a lot of bad news.

:42:22.:42:23.

This has been a week where the pressures facing the NHS

:42:24.:42:27.

in the North West have been laid bare, Royal Blackburn Hospital

:42:28.:42:30.

There are too many people that come. There's only so much that we can do.

:42:31.:42:34.

We need beds and staff. It's like banging your head on a brick wall.

:42:35.:42:39.

Times are desperate. We need more staff and more space.

:42:40.:42:46.

2,000 doctors warned Theresa May of unacceptable safety concerns this

:42:47.:42:51.

week and there were reports of unsafe levels of overcrowding

:42:52.:42:54.

You don't want to be in hospital if you don't need to be.

:42:55.:43:00.

I would far rather have capacity in the community in terms of nursing

:43:01.:43:03.

That's the responsibility of council social care and the man who runs

:43:04.:43:14.

that in Liverpool resigned over funding cuts, warning social care

:43:15.:43:16.

We don't know where we'll be in two years.

:43:17.:43:22.

As it currently stands, it will be difficult for us

:43:23.:43:26.

to get through this year, but I imagine it'll be harder,

:43:27.:43:29.

but I'm doing everything I can to make sure that people take social

:43:30.:43:43.

Back in the NHS, more bad news at the Countess of Chester Hospital,

:43:44.:43:49.

told not to reintroduce neonatal and intensive care because

:43:50.:43:51.

But despite all the shortages, inspectors recorded improvements

:43:52.:43:54.

at Morecambe Bay and ten side, two hospitals in special

:43:55.:43:56.

It has certainly been a challenge for all of us,

:43:57.:44:01.

but it's about the leadership team supporting the staff to deliver.

:44:02.:44:03.

For the politicians over the last week, though,

:44:04.:44:05.

it's been images like this that have been hard for them to avoid.

:44:06.:44:12.

Some insight into the incredible work done at the Royal Blackburn

:44:13.:44:17.

Hospital under incredible pressure. This week, Jeremy Hunt has conceded

:44:18.:44:22.

that waiting times are too long in A but at the same time the Prime

:44:23.:44:25.

Minister has said we don't need more money for social care. That doesn't

:44:26.:44:31.

add up. There's no question that they're not unusual pressures on the

:44:32.:44:34.

NHS at the moment. I've been in hospital for the last two weeks

:44:35.:44:37.

visiting family who have been through A and been cared for very

:44:38.:44:44.

well and Macclesfield Hospital, so we got some great care, we got extra

:44:45.:44:47.

funding going into the NHS and we got extra funding... not enough,

:44:48.:44:54.

though. We put money where the crisis is. It's not just the money,

:44:55.:44:59.

it's what we can do to improve health care and social care. The

:45:00.:45:06.

Liverpool adult social care said he has had enough, I can do this any

:45:07.:45:09.

more because of the impact it has had on people. He says it's got two

:45:10.:45:17.

years of life left. There are pressures but we need to look more

:45:18.:45:21.

innovative ways of doing things. In Macclesfield, we've found within its

:45:22.:45:24.

best bases in the hospital, an extra 29 beds and we've would have more

:45:25.:45:28.

domiciliary care, care at home, working closely with GPs and social

:45:29.:45:36.

so let's get more innovative. It will just be cash alone. Is there

:45:37.:45:43.

enough cash? 500 million pledged isn't enough. Its 10 billion per

:45:44.:45:50.

year going into the NHS. What we're seeing now is the aggregate of a

:45:51.:45:53.

number of Conservative policy is all coming home to roost. It does take a

:45:54.:45:58.

few years for Government policies to have a direct impact on public

:45:59.:46:01.

years of a Conservative Government, years of a Conservative Government,

:46:02.:46:06.

we're now seeing the full force of all of those policies, the cuts to

:46:07.:46:11.

social care, the changes to primary care, the cuts being made to

:46:12.:46:14.

hospitals as well, all of those things are now piling this

:46:15.:46:18.

unbearable pressure on the NHS and my husband is in A Doctor here in

:46:19.:46:23.

the region and that's what he will tell you, that A and hospitals

:46:24.:46:28.

cannot deal with the amount of people coming in who should be being

:46:29.:46:32.

looked after in the community or in social care. David, this bed

:46:33.:46:36.

blocking, we could have predicted when council budgets were slashed.

:46:37.:46:41.

There are examples of the strikers were there fewer delays and

:46:42.:46:45.

discharges in St Helens, for example. We need to look at how much

:46:46.:46:51.

quicker we can integrate care between social care... but Lucy's

:46:52.:46:56.

point that the slicing services has led to a reduction in hospital care.

:46:57.:47:01.

There are challenges but we are putting more money in. Lucy would

:47:02.:47:05.

agree that it's not just about changes that are taking place or the

:47:06.:47:09.

money, there is no increasing and unprecedented demand over the last

:47:10.:47:15.

year and this is about demographics. But those ageing populations and

:47:16.:47:18.

demographic changes have been coming for a very long time, they've now

:47:19.:47:22.

been made a cute by the huge cuts to adult social care, which hasn't been

:47:23.:47:29.

the same everywhere. Some councils, particularly those most deprived

:47:30.:47:32.

like Manchester and Liverpool have seen absolutely enormous cuts to

:47:33.:47:35.

their social care budget. Other authorities less so. in some places

:47:36.:47:46.

that are under an emotional delved -- under intense pressure, there are

:47:47.:47:52.

improvements. Yes there are places where things can be done

:47:53.:47:55.

professionally but let's not hide behind that, this is a profound and

:47:56.:47:59.

deep problem we are facing. The accumulative effect of many

:48:00.:48:10.

different policy decisions that the Conservatives have made. You need

:48:11.:48:14.

more demographics to limit all on the Conservatives. We knew the

:48:15.:48:16.

demographics were coming yet the Government decided to take billions

:48:17.:48:19.

of pounds out of adult social care. It's false economy. We're putting

:48:20.:48:29.

7.6 billion in now. In that, there is 900 million extra to help social

:48:30.:48:33.

care so steps are being taken. Is a bit extra going in in the last year

:48:34.:48:37.

but that on the backdrop of huge cuts over many years which we're now

:48:38.:48:41.

just seeing the impact of commerce of these things are false economies

:48:42.:48:44.

so you have to get early intervention. The money has to go

:48:45.:48:48.

into prevention and early intervention instead of just saying

:48:49.:48:52.

we go to plough more than more money into acute services, which is what

:48:53.:48:56.

has happened, so we could have saved money, actually. There's an

:48:57.:49:02.

opportunity with devolution and seeing integrated care coming

:49:03.:49:04.

together in Manchester, we can learn from that.

:49:05.:49:05.

Rural communities say their way of life is at risk

:49:06.:49:08.

The amount of local tax paid by companies is being recalculated

:49:09.:49:13.

in April for the first time in seven years.

:49:14.:49:15.

And critics reckon towns and cities could benefit

:49:16.:49:18.

at the cost of the countryside, as Mark Edwardson reports

:49:19.:49:20.

from a riding school in Cumbria facing a 60% hike.

:49:21.:49:27.

Ella Wadsworth is a 19-year-old student who's visually impaired.

:49:28.:49:36.

I can't drive legally so coming here and getting on a horse,

:49:37.:49:40.

Ella rides 17-year-old cob Jack three times a week

:49:41.:49:43.

It's one of many rural enterprises facing a business

:49:44.:49:46.

If the Government are trying to encourage people to go out and do

:49:47.:49:52.

sports, how do they expect people like me who are students and have

:49:53.:49:55.

to save money and come and do what we love?

:49:56.:50:01.

So the costs, you think, could become prohibiting?

:50:02.:50:03.

Business rates are the commercial version of council tax.

:50:04.:50:11.

It's claimed rural businesses, which typically occupy more space,

:50:12.:50:14.

are put at an unfair disadvantage by a bricks-and-mortar tax based

:50:15.:50:18.

The rise is from ?183 per stable to ?375.

:50:19.:50:24.

Other facilities at Witherslack hall Farm will push the bill even higher.

:50:25.:50:33.

We are either going to have to pay it and just carry on as we are,

:50:34.:50:40.

but it would mean that we weon't grow as a business.

:50:41.:50:46.

Other possiblities are we will have to put the price of the lessons up.

:50:47.:50:49.

Do you feel like the business is under threat?

:50:50.:50:51.

Riding schools will be joined by livestock markets and kennels

:50:52.:51:00.

and catteries as businesses facing the biggest increases

:51:01.:51:02.

But there will be winners too - oil refineries, cement works,

:51:03.:51:08.

bingo halls and even photo booths are looking at reductions

:51:09.:51:12.

You can easily look at the geographical size

:51:13.:51:19.

of a business and compare that to their turnover and make sure

:51:20.:51:22.

you reduce business rate accordingly, but in the end we're

:51:23.:51:24.

asking the Government to put yet another bit of sellotape

:51:25.:51:27.

And the industry's not taking the increase lying down.

:51:28.:51:36.

Why is it the case this is happening now?

:51:37.:51:39.

Because we don't believe it's appropriate for this

:51:40.:51:41.

level of increase to have happened right now.

:51:42.:51:44.

The Valuation Office Agency says it uses, "a wide range

:51:45.:51:47.

We approach all classes of property fairly and equally."

:51:48.:51:54.

The riding school's got two months before it's officially saddled

:51:55.:51:57.

Also with us is Christian Spence from Greater Manchester Chamber

:51:58.:52:04.

of Commerce, who recently advised MPs on local Government finance.

:52:05.:52:12.

We sat with you, Christian. On the face of it, this looks fed enough,

:52:13.:52:18.

your business can make more money, therefore it pays more tax, that is

:52:19.:52:25.

basically -- basic redistribution of wealth. Not quite, because it is

:52:26.:52:30.

based purely on valuation property itself and that can be affected by

:52:31.:52:34.

wider economic conditions and also improvements the business has made

:52:35.:52:38.

so if you're looking to invest in a property to improve it, even to

:52:39.:52:41.

install plant and machinery to make it more productive, it adds to the

:52:42.:52:47.

value as far as an operational system and then you get taxed on

:52:48.:52:50.

those benefits. that sounds to me like it would not be an incentive

:52:51.:52:54.

for people to improve businesses or the high street because you will get

:52:55.:52:59.

lumped with more tax. This is a tax that gets increased the time and it

:53:00.:53:05.

raises ?29 billion a year. Businesses are used to the Sachs, a

:53:06.:53:07.

like corporation tax, it's been around long time -- used to this

:53:08.:53:15.

tax. There comes a point where you have to have a valuation and there

:53:16.:53:19.

are thresholds in place. For some brutal businesses there are good or

:53:20.:53:25.

great as well, small pubs and petrol stations, small stores and things.

:53:26.:53:30.

But in Suffolk, they will see raises a 152% and they clearly are the

:53:31.:53:34.

victims of their own success and have made it a tourist hub and

:53:35.:53:37.

because they have done that they will be punished. There are

:53:38.:53:44.

challenges around. The value of your property is increasing, but again

:53:45.:53:49.

you can anticipate this stuff. One reform that the Government said it

:53:50.:53:53.

will put in place is not have these rates revaluation is done every six

:53:54.:53:56.

or seven years, we will do them more frequently so it is not a big

:53:57.:54:02.

surprise. is doing it annually less of a shock? It could be. For many

:54:03.:54:06.

small businesses, they would say that business rates are too high and

:54:07.:54:10.

that they are not competitive, especially with the development of

:54:11.:54:12.

so many online businesses who perhaps don't have the same level of

:54:13.:54:16.

business rates as, say, a high-street provider or another

:54:17.:54:22.

service with a high overhead so we do need to look at the context of

:54:23.:54:26.

the overall environment. What do you replace the revenue with if you

:54:27.:54:32.

reduce the rates? You need to look at how you can better adapt that to

:54:33.:54:35.

the modern business environment that we had in. It is a difficult issue,

:54:36.:54:40.

these re-evaluations are always difficult to do so we got to make

:54:41.:54:43.

sure that we got the revenues coming in to provide the sort of services

:54:44.:54:46.

we were just talking about in terms of adult social care and other very

:54:47.:54:50.

important services that local authorities provide, but we got to

:54:51.:55:01.

make sure that they don't diss incentivise -- failed to act as an

:55:02.:55:07.

incentive for businesses. I think there are some important reforms

:55:08.:55:12.

ahead. In the pilot scheme where councils will keep 100% of their

:55:13.:55:18.

business rates, is that a good idea or two places like Greater

:55:19.:55:21.

Manchester stand to lose out? In the last figures, it was only Trafford

:55:22.:55:24.

and Stockport that had a net gain through taxation so why would we

:55:25.:55:29.

want to go through that ordeal? What you've got is a concept that in

:55:30.:55:33.

principle is a really good idea. Businesses have complained for the

:55:34.:55:37.

long term that their connectivity between the business community and

:55:38.:55:40.

local Government has been strained for a very long time and that

:55:41.:55:44.

relationship has not been fruitful, so I think devolving is good in

:55:45.:55:48.

principle. Anything that returns control closer to the places where

:55:49.:55:52.

the money is going to be spent is inherently and in principle a good

:55:53.:55:56.

thing. The challenge is for local authority is by retaining rates, how

:55:57.:56:00.

it will incentivise Government to look after its businesses. The

:56:01.:56:06.

question is can you go more money from it? From local authorities like

:56:07.:56:07.

Manchester and London, it doesn't Manchester and London, it doesn't

:56:08.:56:13.

have a great deal of land to build premises on because it's not about

:56:14.:56:17.

the number of businesses, it's about businesses occupying large floor

:56:18.:56:21.

space. Is that a body that Greater Manchester will lose out on

:56:22.:56:25.

devolution in terms of business trip attention? It depends on business

:56:26.:56:34.

attention so Labour supporters the devolution of business rates but

:56:35.:56:38.

it's got to be set in the context of not further cuts elsewhere so the

:56:39.:56:42.

other grams coming from central Government, if they're going to be

:56:43.:56:46.

cut alongside it, overall the pot of money available to local authorities

:56:47.:56:49.

will continue to diminish and then important services like children's

:56:50.:56:53.

services and adult social care will get cut even further so we have to

:56:54.:56:59.

make sure that those... There are safeguards in place, for example,

:57:00.:57:05.

local authorities like Oldham found a big local employer was moving

:57:06.:57:09.

somewhere else that they would be safeguards in place for that loss of

:57:10.:57:15.

revenue. David, is it fair that Surrey essentially holds the

:57:16.:57:21.

Government to ransom and they say you can keep 100% of business rates

:57:22.:57:25.

worrying about business rates? The worrying about business rates? The

:57:26.:57:31.

conversation there between Surrey and Government is unusual so I'm not

:57:32.:57:37.

sure I follow your point. I don't know the detail on the text

:57:38.:57:41.

messages, but there was no special deal for Surrey, just part of the

:57:42.:57:42.

normal dialogue between businesses normal dialogue between businesses

:57:43.:57:47.

and county councils. one minute you've got a leading Conservative

:57:48.:57:49.

local authority saying they're going local authority saying they're going

:57:50.:57:53.

to put up council tax by 50% to meet the shortfall in social care. It's

:57:54.:57:59.

hitting the airwaves and media, creating unwelcome headlines and

:58:00.:58:05.

next thing you got text messages with special advisers and the call

:58:06.:58:12.

of their 15% hike. they made the decision but I think there are

:58:13.:58:16.

people who suffer with text messages from time to time. Let's not go too

:58:17.:58:23.

far down that track. it's about the substance, not the fact it was

:58:24.:58:28.

leaked, is the fact they have been offered 100% business trip retention

:58:29.:58:30.

which hasn't worked across the board. Is that fair? Those

:58:31.:58:33.

conversations between Government and conversations between Government and

:58:34.:58:37.

Sally are part normal conversation between local Government and

:58:38.:58:41.

businesses. With another school closure

:58:42.:58:42.

and the rest of the week's news, here's Gill Dummigan with 60

:58:43.:58:44.

Seconds. Standing firm - anti-fracking

:58:45.:58:50.

protesters forced a concrete company to pull out of supplying

:58:51.:58:53.

a site in Lancashire. Cuadrilla - which is

:58:54.:58:56.

drilling for shale gas - We will not be intimidated,

:58:57.:58:57.

we will not be bullied. A second university technical

:58:58.:59:06.

college is to close. Oldham's - for pupils over 14 - has

:59:07.:59:07.

failed to attract enough of them. Burnley's UTC has

:59:08.:59:12.

already shut up shop. ID checks could be increased

:59:13.:59:18.

for travellers to and The Manx Government

:59:19.:59:21.

is considering extending checks for air passengers

:59:22.:59:23.

to those by ferry. Whosoever shall call

:59:24.:59:26.

upon the name of the Lord... Cheshire East Council

:59:27.:59:30.

stood accused of lacking brotherly love after refusing

:59:31.:59:33.

the Exclusive Brethren Christian Group permission

:59:34.:59:38.

to build a meeting hall. And the leader of St Helens Council

:59:39.:59:39.

is back in business. Barrie Grunewald has

:59:40.:59:42.

recovered after he was put in a medically induced coma

:59:43.:59:44.

in Gran Canaria in October. the closure of another university

:59:45.:00:01.

technical college, David, is the idea pointless? I think there are

:00:02.:00:04.

real opportunities within them but real opportunities within them but

:00:05.:00:09.

clearly they need to learn more about how to make them work

:00:10.:00:15.

effectively but we need to focus on technical colleges and education

:00:16.:00:18.

more broadly. I think it's an area where we have failed as a nation for

:00:19.:00:22.

decades and we need to put more focus on that, so we will learn from

:00:23.:00:28.

university technical colleges. You like we've said to the Government

:00:29.:00:32.

all along that the starting age of 14 was structurally never going to

:00:33.:00:35.

work because parents and children don't want to swap schools halfway

:00:36.:00:38.

through school life and unfortunately we've seen millions of

:00:39.:00:44.

pounds going into several university technical colleges across the region

:00:45.:00:48.

is now closed so I think let's learn the lessons, but this is a heavy

:00:49.:00:51.

price to pay and a lot of money that has gone wasted for something that

:00:52.:00:55.

we all told the Government beforehand was going to be difficult

:00:56.:00:57.

to make work. My thanks to Lucy Powell

:00:58.:00:57.

and David Rutley. I'll see you again the week

:00:58.:01:01.

after next, but for now I'll hand After the excitement and late nights

:01:02.:01:02.

in the Commons last week, MPs are having a little break this

:01:03.:01:13.

week as we head into But there's still plenty

:01:14.:01:16.

in the diary in the near future - let's just remind ourselves of some

:01:17.:01:20.

key upcoming dates. There they are. We have the two

:01:21.:01:34.

by-elections on February 23rd. The budget is 8th March. That will be

:01:35.:01:38.

the last spring budget under this Government because it moves to the

:01:39.:01:40.

autumn. That round of French elections

:01:41.:01:59.

narrows the candidates, probably about eight or nine, down to two,

:02:00.:02:04.

the two who come first and second, then go into a play off round on May

:02:05.:02:10.

7th. That will determine the next President. Steve, listening to

:02:11.:02:16.

Oliver Letwin and to the Labour leader in the House of Lords, is

:02:17.:02:20.

there any way you think that end of March deadline for Mrs May could be

:02:21.:02:25.

in jeopardy? No, I don't. Andrew Smith couldn't have been clearer

:02:26.:02:29.

with you they would do nothing to block not just Article 50 but that

:02:30.:02:33.

timetable, so I would be surprised if they don't make it. Given her,

:02:34.:02:39.

Theresa May's explicit determination to do so, not to do so would have

:02:40.:02:45.

become a problem for her, I think one way or another... No before this

:02:46.:02:50.

vote last week there was a vote nor the deadline, to agree the deadline

:02:51.:02:53.

by all sides. Plain sailing do you think? There is no serious

:02:54.:02:58.

Parliamentary resistance and it would be a personal embarrassment, I

:02:59.:03:01.

think for the Prime Minister to name the the end of March as the deadline

:03:02.:03:05.

and to miss it, unless she has a good excuse. I I reckon it will

:03:06.:03:10.

change the atmosphere of politics for the next two years, as soon as

:03:11.:03:14.

the negotiations begin, people in our profession will hunt for any

:03:15.:03:18.

detail and inside information we can find, thing also be leaked, I think

:03:19.:03:21.

from the European side from time to time, it will dominate the headlines

:03:22.:03:26.

for a solid two years and change politics. Let me just raise a

:03:27.:03:31.

possible, a dark cloud. No bigger than man's hand, that can complicate

:03:32.:03:36.

the timetable, because the Royal Assent on the current timetable has

:03:37.:03:41.

to come round the 13th. I would suggest that the Prime Minister

:03:42.:03:45.

can't trigger that until she does get the Royal Assent. If there is a

:03:46.:03:51.

bit of ping-pong that could delay that by receive day, the last thing

:03:52.:03:55.

the Europeans would want, they have another big meeting at the end of

:03:56.:04:01.

March which is the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome. They don't

:04:02.:04:06.

want Article 50 to land on the table... It would infuriate

:04:07.:04:12.

everybody. My guess is she will have done it by then, this is between the

:04:13.:04:16.

Commons and the Lords, I mean Andrew Smith couldn't have been clearer,

:04:17.:04:21.

that they might send something back but they didn't expect a kind of a

:04:22.:04:28.

long play over this, so. The Liberal Democrats, they are almost an

:04:29.:04:33.

irrelevance in the Commons but not the Lords, they feel differently.

:04:34.:04:38.

Now, we don't know yet what the European Union negotiating position

:04:39.:04:42.

is going to be, we don't know because there are several crucial

:04:43.:04:44.

elections taking place, the Dutch taking place in March and then the

:04:45.:04:49.

one we put up, the French, and, at the moment, the French one is, it

:04:50.:04:54.

seems like it is coming down, to a play-off in the second round between

:04:55.:05:00.

Madame Le Pen who could come first in the first round and this Blairite

:05:01.:05:07.

figure, independent, centre-leftish Mr Macron, he may well get through

:05:08.:05:12.

and that, and the outcome of that will be an important determine napt

:05:13.:05:17.

on our negotiations. -- determinant. You o couldn't have two more

:05:18.:05:22.

different candidate, you have a national a front candidate and on

:05:23.:05:26.

the other hand the closest thing France could have you to a liberal

:05:27.:05:33.

President. With a small l. A reformist liberal President. It

:05:34.:05:37.

would be the most French thing in the world to elect someone who while

:05:38.:05:45.

the rest of the world is elected elitist, to elect someone who is the

:05:46.:05:50.

son of a teacher, who has liberal views, is a member of the French

:05:51.:05:57.

elite. It would be a thing for them to elect a man like that which I why

:05:58.:06:05.

I see them doing it. If it is Le Pen, Brexit becomes a minor

:06:06.:06:10.

sideshow, if it is Le Pen, the future of the European Union is?

:06:11.:06:14.

Danger, regardless of whether we are were in or out. I suggest if it is

:06:15.:06:21.

Mr Macron that presents some problems. He doesn't have his own

:06:22.:06:25.

party. He won't have a majority in the French assembly, he is untried

:06:26.:06:29.

and untested. He wants to do a number of things that will be

:06:30.:06:34.

unpopular which is why a number of people close to Mrs Le Pen tell me

:06:35.:06:41.

that she has her eye on 2022. She thinks lit go to hell in a hand

:06:42.:06:50.

basket under Mr Macron. He hasn't got the experience. What I find

:06:51.:06:55.

fascinating. It is not just all to play for in France, it is the fact

:06:56.:06:59.

what happens in France and Germany, not so much Holland I think but

:07:00.:07:05.

Germany later on in the year, how much it impacts what we are going to

:07:06.:07:14.

get. How much which ex #i78 panting on them. And at the time we are

:07:15.:07:22.

trying to, withdrawing ourself from European politics it is fascinating

:07:23.:07:25.

how much it will affect us. You see what Matthew was talking about

:07:26.:07:31.

earlier in the show, that what we do know, almost for sure, is that the

:07:32.:07:34.

socialist candidate will not get through to the second round. He

:07:35.:07:39.

could come firth but the centre-right candidate. If we were

:07:40.:07:43.

discussing that monthing a we would say it between teen the centre-right

:07:44.:07:47.

and the national fronts. We are to saying that. Matthew good win who

:07:48.:07:53.

spent a time in France isn't sure Le Pen will get into the second round,

:07:54.:07:57.

which is interesting. It is, I mean, it is going to be as important for

:07:58.:08:05.

the future of the European Union, as in retrospect the British 2015

:08:06.:08:08.

general election was, if Labour had got in there would have been no

:08:09.:08:11.

referendum. That referendum has transformed the European Union

:08:12.:08:17.

because we are leaving and the French election is significant. We

:08:18.:08:21.

will be live from Paris on April 23rd on the day France goings to the

:08:22.:08:28.

first round of polls. Tom Watson, he was on The Andrew Marr Show earlier

:08:29.:08:31.

today, was asked about Mr Corbyn, this is what he had to say.

:08:32.:08:36.

We had a damaging second leadership election, so we've got

:08:37.:08:39.

The polls aren't great for us, but I'm determined now we've got

:08:40.:08:43.

the leadership settled for this parliament, that we can focus

:08:44.:08:46.

on developing a very positive clear message to the British people

:08:47.:08:48.

So Julia, I don't know who are you are giggling. I find it untenable

:08:49.:09:04.

that, he is a very good media performer and he comes on and he is

:09:05.:09:09.

sitting there so well, you know, things are bad but don't worry we

:09:10.:09:12.

are looking at what we can do to win 2020. The idea that Tony Blair and

:09:13.:09:17.

Gordon Brown were sitting in their offices or on TV screens at this

:09:18.:09:22.

time in the electoral cycle thinking well I wonder if we can come up with

:09:23.:09:26.

a policy the British people might like. It is a nonsense, this is

:09:27.:09:34.

Tuesday night book zlufb. I am going to ask you the question I was going

:09:35.:09:42.

to before. I would suggest that he the right. The deputy Labour leader

:09:43.:09:48.

Tom Watson is violent the leadership is settled, with one caveat, unless

:09:49.:09:52.

the Corbynistas themselves to decide to move on Mr Corbyn, if the left of

:09:53.:09:58.

the Labour Party decides then it is not settled. Settled. If that

:09:59.:10:03.

doesn't happen that is That would be the worst situation if you are a

:10:04.:10:07.

Labour moderate. The Corbynistas would be saying the problem is no

:10:08.:10:13.

Corbynism, it is Corbyn himself, if we a younger person leading the

:10:14.:10:19.

process we can win the next general election, which means you have

:10:20.:10:22.

another itration of this, another five year experiment. And that is

:10:23.:10:30.

worst of all. If you are a Labour moderate, what you want is Jeremy

:10:31.:10:35.

Corbyn contest the next general election, possibly loses badly and

:10:36.:10:39.

then a Labour not moderate runs for the leadership saying we have tried

:10:40.:10:44.

your way, the worst would be Corbyn going, and a younger seven version

:10:45.:10:48.

of him trying and the experiment being extended. I see no easy way

:10:49.:10:54.

out of this. That is why he radiated the enthusiasm of someone in a

:10:55.:10:59.

hostage video in that interview. Maybe he has the Stockholm Syndrome

:11:00.:11:05.

now. The Labour moderates have had their day in the sun, two days in

:11:06.:11:09.

the sun and they lost. I suggest they are not going to try for the

:11:10.:11:14.

hat-trick again. Is there any indication that on the more Corbyn

:11:15.:11:20.

wing of the Labour Party, there is now doubts about their man. Yes,

:11:21.:11:25.

just to translate Tom Watson, what he meant was I Tom Watson am not

:11:26.:11:31.

going to get involved in another attempted coup. I tried it and it

:11:32.:11:36.

was a catastrophe. That is question enhe says it is set selled. It is

:11:37.:11:41.

because there is speculation on a daily basis. I disagree, Julia said

:11:42.:11:47.

I think this lot don't care about winning, I think they do. If the

:11:48.:11:52.

current position continue, one of two things will happen. Either

:11:53.:11:57.

Jeremy Corbyn will decide himself will decide he doesn't want to carry

:11:58.:12:02.

on. He half enjoys I it and half hates it. Finds it a strain. If that

:12:03.:12:07.

doesn't happen there will be some people round him who will say, look,

:12:08.:12:15.

this isn't working. There is another three-and-a-half years. There is a

:12:16.:12:19.

long way to go. I can't see it lasting in this way with politics in

:12:20.:12:24.

a state of flux, Tories will be under pressure in the coming two

:12:25.:12:30.

years, to have opinion polls at this level, I think is unsustainable.

:12:31.:12:34.

Final thought from you.? Yes, the idea it St another three-and-a-half

:12:35.:12:38.

years is just madness, but the people we are putting up at

:12:39.:12:43.

replacement for Jeremy Corbyn, and they have been focus grouping them.

:12:44.:12:48.

Most members wouldn't know who most of people were let alone most of the

:12:49.:12:50.

public. Angela rain? They are not

:12:51.:12:59.

overwhelmed with leadership potential at the moment. Very

:13:00.:13:04.

diplomatically put. Neither are the Tories, but they happened to have

:13:05.:13:06.

one at the moment. All right. That is it.

:13:07.:13:10.

Now, there's no Daily or Sunday Politics for the next week

:13:11.:13:13.

But the Daily Politics will be back on Monday 20th February and I'll be

:13:14.:13:17.

back here with the Sunday Politics on the 26th.

:13:18.:13:21.

Remember if it's Sunday, it's the Sunday Politics...

:13:22.:13:23.

Just back from a very long shift at work...

:13:24.:14:05.

The staff are losing - they're just giving in.

:14:06.:14:11.

Panorama goes undercover to reveal the real cost

:14:12.:14:17.

Andrew Neil presents the latest political news, interviews and debate and is joined by shadow leader of the House of Lords Baroness Smith and Conservative Oliver Letwin. The political panellists are Janan Ganesh from the Financial Times, Julia Hartley-Brewer from talkRADIO and journalist Steve Richards.