13/03/2017 The Papers


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13/03/2017

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Hello and welcome to our look ahead to what the papers will be

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With me are Matthew Syed, columnist at the Times,

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and Kevin Schofield, editor of PoliticsHome.

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Tomorrow's front pages: The Times, unsurprisingly leads

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on the Scotland First Minister's demand for a second referendum

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on Scottish independence, calling it an ambush,

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and reporting that Theresa May is preparing to reject

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A witty play on words from the Metro.

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Scots throw a sporran in the works, reporting that the First Minister's

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announcement has thrown Downing Street's Brexit

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And the Guardian continues the theme, headlining

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that the Prime Minister's plans have been upstaged by Scotland's First

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The Daily Telegraph calls the face-off between the two leaders

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the new battle for Britain, and the paper includes quotes

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from Theresa May accusing Nicola Sturgeon of tunnel vision.

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Finally, the Daily Express switches focus to this evening's events

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in Westminster, saying that, following the votes in Parliament

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pushing through the Government's Article 50 bill, the Queen

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could sign Brexit into law as early as tomorrow morning.

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Well, let's have a look at some of those at least in detail over the

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next few minutes. We start with the Telegraph. A new battle for Britain.

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Picture of Nicola Sturgeon at her press conference early this morning.

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That is the way this is being portrayed by a number of the papers

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going into the morning. Yes, and I sort of agree with it. I think this

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is blatant opportunism for Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish

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Nationalists. It was supposed to be a once in a generation referendum

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the last campaign, and 900 and something days later they are

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calling for another one. Has been material change since. That is what

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she claims. She does indeed, and she campaigned on that during the

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elections, but I don't remember during the election campaigns, even

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though David Cameron had promised them and in out referendum and those

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who voted for remaining in the United Kingdom must have understood

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and those who campaigned against the jury that referendum must have

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understood that if that was the democratic will of the Scottish

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people that they would have to respect the opinion of the UK as a

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whole. I also think this is a dangerous gamble, because there is

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quite an interesting detail here towards the end of the Telegraph

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piece, saying that there is a BMG poll, showing that 43% oppose,

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equally significantly, 49% say they should be no referendum before

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Brexit, which is precisely what Theresa May as saying. Nicola

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Sturgeon would seem to want to have one before then, of course. You can

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see why, it is a moment of maximum chaos as far as Great Britain is

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concerned, so I suppose at that point in time the thought of being

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able to have an escape hatch, if you like, becomes very, very attractive.

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But I just don't see why it Theresa May would agree to have... To allow

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the Scottish Parliament the power to vote in the referendum at the same

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time she is trying to extricate Britain from the European Union. We

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are going to be. I mean, the last are going to be. I mean, the last

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independence referendum was all-encompassing, certainly in the

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final weeks of the campaign. The government effectively shut down

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here. They cancelled Prime Minister's Questions, when that

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famous poll put the yes campaign in front. David Cameron's sole focus

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was on keeping the country together. So the idea that the Prime Minister

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could do that while also holding these discussions with 27 other EU

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member states is just fanciful. I wonder how this will be seen in

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terms of the two prominent women involved at the top of this dispute

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in the coming weeks and months, looking at what Theresa May decides

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to do. Last time it was David Cameron and Alex Salmond, this time

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it is Theresa May and Nicola Sturgeon, it will be interesting how

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that is covered. I think so, and I think as well that Theresa May's

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approach will be very different from David Cameron's. A bit more of a

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gambler, he was a bit more arrogant, I think he thought he was a lucky

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general. He had won the election in 2010, squeak at it, really, in

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coalition and in 2015 it was a surprise victory but he was a guy

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who thought he would come out on top -- squeaked it. So he didn't drive a

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hard bargain when it came to give giving Alex Salmond a referendum and

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this time around Theresa May will drive a harder bargain, put down

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some more red lines and conditions on this, so it won't be quite a

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straightforward for Nicola Sturgeon as it was for Alex Salmond. In the

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Daily Mail very much a tie in with Brexit, as far as they are

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concerned, as a result of what Nicola Sturgeon has decided to do.

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Two yes, quite. I think it is noteworthy that there is a lot of

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uncertainty both in the United Kingdom but also in Scotland. For

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businesses in England, for example, they don't know precisely what the

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terms of Brexit are going to be. That is going to be very complex,

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thorough negotiation over the following two years. They are

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probably going to take the view that they will not be the single market,

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and probably won't be in the customs union. For Scottish businesses, the

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time of uncertainty is endemic, because they don't know either of

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those two things, but they don't even know what the currency is going

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to be. When it comes to inward investment, forward planning, all

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these strategic investments that businesses and others are making,

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this will be an extraordinarily difficult time. The Guardian's take

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on it is more about the way Nicola Sturgeon has played it politically

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in the last 12 hours or so, her timing, which took a lot of people,

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apparently including the prime apparently including the prime

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minister, by surprise. I think it certainly did. There was not much of

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a prior indication, I think it was on the front of the Telegraph this

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morning, they have the late last night that Nicola Sturgeon was going

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to have this event in Edinburgh. So Number Ten did not see this coming.

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It is incredibly canny, astute politics late Nicola Sturgeon,

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because she will appreciate that the Article 50 bill would probably pass

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today. At that time all the briefing coming from Number Ten was that

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Article 50 will actually be triggered tomorrow. All that went as

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soon as Nicola Sturgeon got up and said this is what I want, I want a

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referendum in 2019. These are my red lines. Everything changed as far as

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Downing Street was concerned. All of a sudden Article 50 was not going to

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the month has always been the plan. the month has always been the plan.

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You are fairly convinced that is all connected? I think it is definitely

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connected and I think she has thrown Number Ten, Theresa May,

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off-balance. If you see this as the first shots in the second referendum

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battle than she has certainly won this particular leg. There may well

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be a couple of things that suit Theresa May, but there is definitely

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fatigue. Even though there were was an enthusiastic campaign last time,

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there is a huge amount of enthusiasm for another referendum -- isn't a

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huge amount of enthusiasm. The economic argument in favour of

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independence is more robust now that it was last time. Over those things

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that well for Theresa May. The two personalities involved in this one

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at the top of the Scottish and UK governments are very different to

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last time around, and I think that the psychology of the electorate

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will be influenced by the credibility and power of those two

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campaigns. I think they are quite canny politicians. Yes, Alex Salmond

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was more of a divisive figure, I think it is safe to say. He was more

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of a Marmite figure and Nicola Sturgeon is not in that vein of

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politics. I think he could be a little bit limited, because I don't

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think he is a vote winner. A quick nod to the Scottish Daily Mail,

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where it is fairly clear where it is pointing. Very clear about their

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editorial line. On any other day, the vote in the British Parliament

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going through the House of Lords, Brexit Bill likely to get Royal

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assent tomorrow would have been the dominant story. And yet it has been

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completely scuppered. It just shows how monumental that upcoming period

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is going to be in our politics, is entangling the UK and the European

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Union. The constitutional crisis between Scotland and the rest of the

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UK. Who knows what other things are going to be coming down the track?

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What it seems to me is the level of political uncertainty is at a level

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unprecedented in our lifetimes, and I think it is really difficult to

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envision what else might come along. envision what else might come along.

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Will there be other nations looking for independence? I think it is

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unlikely, but I do think that there will be eventualities that we

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haven't yet foreseen. Sinn Fein have said there should be a referendum on

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a united Ireland. The Plaid Cymru leader has suggested something

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similar. Those political assumptions we have lived with all our lives. We

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thought the Thatcher watershed in 1979 was a big change in the

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post-war consensus. What we have now is of a completely different scope.

:10:09.:10:11.

As you are saying about Brexit and the competition is there, they are

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writ large on the front of the Times. And the Times have a list of

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legislation prepared by Whitehall to cover the various areas that have to

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be dealt with as we leave the European Union. So we have this

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great repeal bill coming, and that would tie up all the loose ends, in

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one fell swoop, as it were. And that was going to be compensated enough

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because it you imagine how much legislation that has been

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accumulated over the last 40 or so years... According to this leaked

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list of legislation being prepared, it is covering immigration, tax,

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agriculture, trade and customs regimes, fishing, data protection,

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sanctions, a bill for each one. A bill for each one, and amendments

:11:05.:11:09.

reach one, and... The sheer complexity is mind blowing, really.

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The idea that they are going to be able to get through all of this

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within two years while also holding discussions with the other 27

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leaders and trying to gain free trade deals, because the official

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position at the moment is that Downing Street can do all of that

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within two years, two years is nothing. It is the blink of an iron.

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It is quite a to-do list. Imagine them waking up in the with post-it

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notes all over David Davis's bathroom. I was very strongly in

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favour of remain, but I think it is right that this is going to be

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triggered and Brexit must happen. Whether they get a good deal or a

:11:47.:11:51.

bad Deal or no Deal, I think it is vital that the democratic judgement

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of the British people is carried through. And I just got the

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impression last week, that backbench Conservative MPs and Lords were

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using what looked like on the face of it democratic arguments, you

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know, Parliamentary sovereignty, when they were really looking to

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overturn Brexit itself. I think that would be wrong. Interestingly, in

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today's voting or this evening's voting, one or two conservatives

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were expected to vote against. There were some abstentions, but not many.

:12:22.:12:26.

No, it completely collapsed. The talk of 20 Tory MPs voting against

:12:27.:12:31.

it just didn't happen. The amendments were overturned pretty

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comfortably. Let's finish with the Express, the Queen glowing on the

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Commonwealth Games, they say. And further coverage on, with regards to

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the Commonwealth, the start-up of the run-up to the Commonwealth

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Games. On the 2020 to Commonwealth Games in Durban will not take place

:12:54.:12:57.

there are any more. And there are other cities which are therefore now

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in the running and I think Liverpool and Birmingham have made initial

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soundings and they may be interest in hosting at. A second opportunity

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to see it. Having played in the Commonwealth Games in 2000 in

:13:16.:13:20.

Manchester, in table tennis, and having won a gold medal in the team

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event, I know that you want to talk to me about that very much. Victory

:13:25.:13:27.

over India in the finals. Some wonderful backhand slices on in

:13:28.:13:31.

there. It is a wonderful festival of sport, very different from the

:13:32.:13:35.

Olympic Games. People often say the Commonwealth Games is an anachronism

:13:36.:13:39.

because there is no British Empire, but it is terrific fun. It is a

:13:40.:13:43.

great privilege to play in it. I know you want to talk about your

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swimming bronze medal. I actually made that up. You were panicking,

:13:47.:13:50.

because you have nothing to contribute. I won a couple of golf

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trophies, I wasn't as good as my friends. In the last Commonwealth

:13:57.:14:00.

great success. A huge success, and great success. A huge success, and

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it is an opportunity for the nations within the United Kingdom,

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independently. I remember in 2014 Commonwealth Games there was a

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feeling that that would be another boost of Scotland did well, they

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would vote for independence. It didn't quite work out that way. On

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that note, no more medal talk.

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No need to wait until tomorrow morning to see what's in the papers - tune in for a lively and informed conversation about the next day's headlines.