15/03/2017 Politics Scotland


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15/03/2017

Coverage of some of the day's debates in the Scottish Parliament.


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Hello and welcome to Politics Scotland.

:00:15.:00:18.

Coming up - a U-turn from the Chancellor on plans

:00:19.:00:20.

to raise National Insurance for the self-employed.

:00:21.:00:23.

And independence and the EU - we'll be looking at the polls

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and trying to get to the bottom of what Scotland's place in Europe.

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Where next for the Brexit negotiations - after

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the First Minister announced on Monday that she wanted another

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And what will Scotland's position be in those negotiations.

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Charles Grant is director of the Centre for European Reform

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and a member of Nicola Sturgeon's standing council on Europe

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I know you weren't very optimistic about the proposals for Scotland to

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be in the EU while staying in the UK? I thought they would report

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produced in December was a noble effort to think legally,

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constitutionally and politically how could this cake is stay in the

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single market if Scotland leave the UK but it was very difficult to

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conceive the circumstances in how it could succeed. Partly there are

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legal problems if Scotland stake and England were to be different, it

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would be difficult. Partly for political reasons. Spain would be

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reluctant to give any special deals for Scotland in case the Catalans

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asked for some special deal on their own so I didn't think it was going

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to work very easily, the ideas put forward by the present Minister in

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December. What about now, given what Nicola Sturgeon said earlier this

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week, if there was an independence referendum before the Brexit

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negotiations had finished and if Scotland voted for independence,

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could it in any sense stay in the European Union or would it leave

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with the rest of the UK and tough to rejoin? I'm afraid it is the latter,

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because the other EU countries don't recognise any special status for

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Scotland, supposing there was a referendum in December 2018, Britain

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is still on the way out and Scotland are partners say in the commission

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in Brussels say, they would have to apply to rejoin as an independent

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sovereign state which would take a few years but probably not that many

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years because your laws are all very -- already crossed the line but the

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rest of the EU so I think it would be fairly easy. The Spanish would be

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difficult but I think they would probably not veto Scottish

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membership. But in that sense if Scotland is going to leave the

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European Union come what may, it doesn't really from that point of

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view matter very much when a referendum is. I think the exact

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timing doesn't matter too much. I do speak that the Budget government but

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the word here is that Theresa May is unlikely to allow Scotland to have a

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referendum before Britain has left the EU. I don't know if that is the

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official position. When will that be? I think it will leave on the 1st

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of April 2019 exactly two years after Article 50 is invoked. That

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would be the legal divorce but start but the future relationship and

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trade agreement between the EU and UK will take many more years to

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negotiate. You can speak for the British Government, but what does

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the speculation? Is it that Theresa May will say you can't have a

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referendum until Britain has formally left the European Union or

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you can't have a referendum on the Britain has formally left and we

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know what the new agreement with the EU between Britain and the EU is? I

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think it will be after Britain has formally left and I suppose Mrs May

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will try and square the circle by saying we will leave in 2019 April

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with a divorce settlement and although we won't have negotiated

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the future free-trade agreement we will have a kind of declaration of

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the broad outlines of it so she will claim, Mrs May, and that we know

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roughly what the future relationship will be although many of the most

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difficult details will require many years of painstaking negotiation.

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Let's reiterate your own statement. You don't speak that the British

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Government, but Nicola Sturgeon took everyone by surprise this week but

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it has also left the British Government an opportunity to reply,

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so apart from on timing, what would you say because presumably Mrs May

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would want to come up with some proposal that is along the lines of

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we're not going to have a hard Brexit, we are not proposing that

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much different from what you're proposing what are her options to

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eat do you think? So far the Tory government in London has done little

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to lean towards the Scottish desire to stay in the single market ought

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to have some sort of special status within the UK, it is true that the

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other 27 governments would not be very keen on it but Mrs May has not

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done much to encourage the Scots. What Ms Sturgeon's declaration a

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couple of days ago that was hugely for the Brexit talks because now

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they will be some pressure on Mrs May to go for a softer deal. The

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moment newly on the pressure is on her to go for a hard Brexit. They

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organised a respected lobbies, the backbenchers, the Daily Mail, the

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telegraph, all these newspapers pushing for a clean break with as

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little connection between Britain and Europe as possible and know you

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will have the Scottish nationalist government saying the break is very

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clean and very hard that will increase support for independence in

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Scotland, so in fact the new situation is some countervailing

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pressure on Mrs May towards a more moderate exit and we don't know

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exactly the details yet, much is still to be determined. It will be

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quite hard but it could be quite hard or extremely hard and that is

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still up for negotiation. Going back in this conversation a couple of

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steps, if what you have just said is true and Mrs May will have pressure

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not to go for as hardy Brexit as she might otherwise have gone for, will

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we know that to be the case by April 2019? I think we probably will, it

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is by able 2019 Britain will have completed its divorce settlement and

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will be legally no member -- no longer a member of the EU and

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although we won't have finished all the negotiations or the future

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relationship concerning trade, security, energy, science,

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universities etc, I think the general direction of travel of those

:07:12.:07:14.

negotiations will be quite clear, because Mrs May wants to come up

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with at least the broad heading, some sort of framework for the

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future relationship so although for example whether or not the European

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Court of Justice would have any say in what happens to Britain during

:07:26.:07:33.

the transitional phase, we will know roughly the rights of EU citizens

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living in Britain. We will have a pretty strong flavour of how hard

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the Brexit is though not all the details. We have heard a lot this

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week of what Mrs May and Miss Sturgeon wants, but the biggest

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party is by far in this negotiation and the rest of the European Union,

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are you getting any sense of how they are coming round to approaching

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the negotiations with Britain, whether their mood is Britain has to

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be seen to be punished otherwise there is no point in being a member

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of the European Union or is it, let's try to come to some sort of

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accommodation? It is both of those elements. For a start, most of them

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are quite united. There is a strong line said by the French, the

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Germans, the commission, the Council of ministers to be pretty tough on

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the Brits. The Brits need to be seen to be doing less well outside the EU

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than they did inside otherwise what is the point in staying in, others

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might want to leave. There is a strong desire that economically the

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British should not get such a good deal as they have now. On the other

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hand they are not malicious and they don't want to punish us just for the

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hell of it, but they do want to cooperate on Security and the no

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Britain can contribute a lot to European defence, counterterrorism,

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policing etc. They don't want to cut all ties. Once negotiations start,

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divisions will emerge amongst the 27 and they would be so united. Thank

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you for joining us. -- won't be so united.

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The Chancellor has made a U-turn over plans to raise

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National Insurance contributions for self-employed people -

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which were announced in last week's Budget.

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Philip Hammond has told Conservative MPs that while he thought

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the measures were "fair", he's abandoned the idea

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after criticism that the decision was in breach of a pledge given

:09:17.:09:18.

Our Westminster correspondent David Porter is with us.

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This isn't just a U-turn that could be fudged into not being a U-turn,

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is it? It is almost the platonic ideal of a U-turn. You are quite

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right. As gold this is pretty dramatic. You virtually hear the

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tyres screeching around lunch time this morning when a letter from the

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Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond actually was published in

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which he said that he would be reversing this tax change which was

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only announced one week ago today in the Budget about this time he was

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answering questions on the Budget and he was arguing that he plans to

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increase National Insurance contributions for the self-employed

:10:04.:10:07.

was an act of fairness to bring taxation in the line but also as

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world that it would actually bring in much-needed revenue to help boost

:10:13.:10:17.

social care in England and also alleviate some of the business taxes

:10:18.:10:21.

in England. Knock-on consequences for Scotland through the Barnett

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Formula. Today he has had to come back to House of Commons and said he

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has had a think and listened to what people said and I am no longer going

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to do it. It is a major U-turn and there is no way of dressing it up

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any other way. Normally in budgets when things go wrong it emerges in

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the days perhaps sometimes weeks after the Budget, this emerged very

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quickly but normally there is a toing and froing and governments see

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if they can get away with things if they can ride the storm out. There

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was a huge amount of protest from backbench Tory MPs and Philip

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Hammond I think is that he has gone back and looked at the Conservative

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manifesto and seemed there was a commitment not to increase taxation

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so he has decided that discretion is the better part of valour and he

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will not go ahead with the increase. It raises a couple of interesting

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questions, who was to blame and how in the future will Philip Hammond

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now fill that gap in the Treasury's coppers? As I understand it, tell me

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if I am wrong, what they are saying is the reason they are going back on

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this is because for some unaccountable reason they didn't

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realise it was in the manifesto not to do this, they are not conceding

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on the principle of the thing, they are still saying that they think it

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is the right thing to do to narrow the gap between self-employed and

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employed people? Perhaps in the next manifesto they will just do that? It

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is extraordinary. The Treasury is meant to be full of very important

:11:51.:11:55.

people, intelligent important people who when it comes to economics have

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pointy heads and can come up with all sorts of theories. You would

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have thought that someone on the Treasury and indeed someone around

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the Cabinet table when Pope Hammond explained it to his colleagues last

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week with her said, -- Philip Hammond. But didn't we say something

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completely different in our manifesto? He would have thought

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someone would have checked the manifesto. Apparently in days gone

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by the Treasury mandarins have tried to get this through before and

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previous Conservative chancellors have said we will not do that

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because we gave a commitment not to do that. Someone didn't join the

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dots on this but on the wider question of wanting to equalise the

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tax regimes between those employed by companies and those who are

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self-employed, they do want to look at that again and there is a

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full-bodied of work going on about reporting of that. A key point of

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this is more people these days are self-employed so if you have a more

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favourable tax regime for the self-employed they are growing in

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number and potentially means the Treasury is losing a lot of revenue.

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But they will now have to try and do is find a way somehow getting this

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revenue back, probably in the autumn Budget. But my goodness me, they

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will be under an awful lot of scrutiny. We will join you later. I

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will not comment on the sunshine not because it is bad luck, but because

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I am jealous. I am glad you are jealous. It is very nice at the

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moment but let's not tempt fate. He just tempted fate!

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To Holyrood now where MSPs are debating a report released

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at the weekend from the Culture, Tourism and External Affairs

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Committee on the implications of the EU referendum on Scotland.

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The Committees' convenor is speaking - let's listen

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I would also like to thank them for the many briefings they have

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published on the impact of Brexit on individual sectors within Scotland

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as well as the specific briefings that they have prepared for the

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Committee. In conducting our enquiry we aim to hear from stakeholders

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representing as many sectors as possible as well as individuals

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affected by Brexit. I am very grateful to all those who gave

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evidence to the Committee. It didn't our understanding and raised

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awareness on the implications for Scotland of leaving the EU. We

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received over 160 written submissions in response to our call

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for evidence and those views are summarised in one of the reports we

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are debating today, Brexit, of Scotland thinks. This shows that all

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sectors of the economy with the notable expections of the catching

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part of the fishing industry, Brexit is a challenge. Whether the

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submissions were focused on justice and home affairs, further and higher

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education, schools and skills, agriculture and food, climate change

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and the environment, health and sport or equal opportunities and

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human rights, the overwhelming message was one of concerned and the

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risks that they identified as lying ahead.

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There were fears about leaving the single market, losing access to EU

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funding, the erosion of rights, the huge volume of legislation that

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would need to be revised, environmental standards and losing

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EU citizens to work in so many sectors. There was little optimism

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or sense of opportunity in the evidence we proceed. The report is a

:15:27.:15:34.

summary of Scottish interests and in the years ahead I call on the

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Scottish and UK governments to recognise those views in all

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discussions, negotiations and decisions relating to Scotland's

:15:44.:15:48.

future. The report should be a reference point for identifying what

:15:49.:15:53.

is in Scotland's interest. The committee also visited Brussels in

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July last year and January this year. In July there were still a

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sense of shock concerning the result of the referendum and uncertainty,

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but by January the Prime Minister had made her intention to pursue a

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hard Brexit known, an expert in EU policy were clear about the

:16:15.:16:18.

challenges of the negotiations that lay ahead. These visits were

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important to give us a perspective on the views from Brussels on the

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negotiations. The visit in July contributed to our first report in

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September, which summarised the initial evidence we heard and our

:16:35.:16:38.

conclusion that access to the single market was vital to Scotland. The

:16:39.:16:44.

visit in January extended our understanding of the negotiations to

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agree a new treaty. In January we published a report, EU migration and

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EU citizens' writes. The evidence this report brings together provides

:16:57.:17:03.

valuable material on migration patterns and the contribution of EU

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migrants to the Scottish economy and society. It also considers the

:17:08.:17:15.

rights of the 181,000 EU citizens in Scotland who represent 3.4% of the

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population, as well as the rights EU citizens enjoy as UK citizens. The

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withdrawal from the EU has made all our future is uncertain but for no

:17:29.:17:34.

group is this more felt than those EU citizens who live in Scotland and

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Scots who have made their homes in Europe. With me is the former

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Scottish shadow secretary, Margaret Curran. Did Nicola Sturgeon take you

:17:45.:17:54.

by surprise? She did. If you asked me six months ago I would have said

:17:55.:18:01.

I did not think a second independent reference would happen, then I

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thought it was on the cards but I didn't expect it so tightly. I'm not

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sure it's the right thing. Which way would you vote? I will vote no. I

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cannot see any argument that persuades me the vote we had last

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time was wrong, if anything I think it is frustration in Scotland, I'm

:18:23.:18:27.

sure other people have different views but we have so many things to

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focus on, it issues on education and health and now this for another two

:18:35.:18:39.

years and and other fractious debate. A number of us who were

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caught between the extremes of the Theresa May government and the

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Scottish Government. To some extent the ball is in

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Theresa May's court. What would you do if you were her? Would you say,

:18:58.:19:04.

fine, go ahead, or would you say you can have your referendum but not

:19:05.:19:10.

until Britain is out of the EU, so you know what you are voting on. I

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cannot imagine a scenario where to reason they would give up any stake

:19:16.:19:21.

in this negotiation. It would be difficult for her to say the

:19:22.:19:25.

Scottish parliament couldn't have a referendum, I think she has a

:19:26.:19:29.

reasonable point to safe if we are going to have this referendum we

:19:30.:19:35.

have to be clear of the terms, clear of the implications so it is

:19:36.:19:41.

reasonable to say, and Nicola Sturgeon has conceded that because

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it is far away, it will be 2019, from belief -- probably, and we will

:19:46.:19:53.

have some degree of knowledge of what Brexit looks like but I think

:19:54.:19:59.

Theresa May will put a stake in trying to negotiate around the

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timing, there is a bit of me, I have been in politics along time, I

:20:06.:20:10.

didn't come into it to talk about a referendum, but about health and

:20:11.:20:13.

education and improving people's lives. Tough luck! The wrong

:20:14.:20:17.

generation, perhaps. Today we've got Ivan

:20:18.:20:19.

McKee for the SNP. From the Scottish Conservatives,

:20:20.:20:22.

it's Murdo Fraser. Richard Leonard is from Scottish

:20:23.:20:24.

Labour and Patrick Harvie is Murdo Fraser, you heard us saying

:20:25.:20:37.

about Theresa May's reaction to Nicola Sturgeon, should she just say

:20:38.:20:44.

a few do or say you can have your referendum but not until after we

:20:45.:20:50.

have negotiated with Europe? I don't think Theresa May need any advice

:20:51.:20:56.

from me. But tell us what you think. She will come up with her view. I

:20:57.:21:03.

don't think we need a referendum, there is not public demand, we have

:21:04.:21:06.

been told by the SNP that there should only be a referendum if there

:21:07.:21:12.

is demand for it but I do not see that, but if we are to have another

:21:13.:21:18.

referendum we need to be clear what we are voting on, so we need to be

:21:19.:21:23.

clear what Brexit means for Scotland and the UK together, and also if we

:21:24.:21:29.

did vote for independence, what does that mean for our relationship with

:21:30.:21:35.

the EU? We're not quite clear what the SNP are now saying in relation

:21:36.:21:40.

to EU membership if Scotland became independent and if they are backing

:21:41.:21:45.

off their previous position as it looks like they might be that an

:21:46.:21:50.

independent Scotland would be a full member of the EU, why the aid to

:21:51.:21:55.

writing Scotland out of the EU? What then is the point of an independence

:21:56.:21:59.

referendum if we will not be in the EU after all? I'm sure Ivan McKee is

:22:00.:22:07.

poised to answer that question. If you have another referendum, will

:22:08.:22:13.

the SNP campaign for independence with Scotland to be a full member of

:22:14.:22:20.

the EU? The SNP's position is bigger in favour of EU membership. Full

:22:21.:22:27.

membership? What happens will depend on where we are in the Brexit

:22:28.:22:33.

process. But your campaign for independence would be vote for

:22:34.:22:37.

independence and Scotland will try to become a full member of the EU?

:22:38.:22:43.

Our position is we are in favour of EU membership. What would you say to

:22:44.:22:49.

people around your own party by Kenny MacAskill, who say that

:22:50.:22:53.

doesn't make sense because they third of Yes supporters last time

:22:54.:22:59.

voted to leave the EU and perhaps it isn't that attracted a place to

:23:00.:23:03.

join, they say it would be better to argue for something like joining

:23:04.:23:07.

after and being part of the single market, but what would you replied

:23:08.:23:13.

the? We will campaign for an independent Scotland, that will be

:23:14.:23:19.

the question on the ballot paper, we believe the people of Scotland are

:23:20.:23:23.

best placed to take decisions to run this country. Richard Leonard, what

:23:24.:23:29.

you think the British government's response should be? They will make

:23:30.:23:35.

their own mind up, we haven't even had a vote in the Scottish

:23:36.:23:42.

Parliament. I'm asking your opinion. We don't know what we are being

:23:43.:23:46.

asked to vote on Ibn Edinburgh and until that vote we do not know what

:23:47.:23:51.

the next stage will be, so I will not second-guess what the SNP will

:23:52.:23:55.

put the fourth Parliament and whether there will be amendments to

:23:56.:24:00.

it, on Monday the First Minister spoke about a specific timetable and

:24:01.:24:05.

that would be contentious for some people including those in her own

:24:06.:24:11.

party, we would oppose a second independence referendum because of

:24:12.:24:14.

the divisive nature it brings with it. When you say amendments when she

:24:15.:24:21.

puts this before Parliament, do you mean you will vote against it or do

:24:22.:24:25.

you have some wizard wheeze up your sleeve? I don't how one this

:24:26.:24:31.

afternoon but we will need to see the content of any think before

:24:32.:24:36.

Parliament before deciding our response, but if there is a firm

:24:37.:24:41.

proposal to trigger a second independence referendum, the

:24:42.:24:44.

Scottish Labour Party will oppose that. Patrick Harvie, you will

:24:45.:24:52.

demand no conditions but will say Ness, Nicola, I'll do anything you

:24:53.:24:59.

like. Don't be silly, Gordon, you know the Greens are persistent in

:25:00.:25:03.

opposing the SNP when we think they are wrong, we have a view that our

:25:04.:25:08.

party members have voted in favour of independence and will continue to

:25:09.:25:16.

take that forward. The timing is an important thing to discuss speakers

:25:17.:25:21.

after autumn next year, every other European country will have its

:25:22.:25:25.

chance to ratify a deal that has been negotiated by then pre-dash-mac

:25:26.:25:32.

between the EU and the UK, why should it only be Scotland which

:25:33.:25:36.

doesn't have a choice in that? The UK Government gets a choice on a

:25:37.:25:42.

Brexit deal we did not choose, the EU gets a choice and every other

:25:43.:25:49.

European country, I personally understand why many people regret

:25:50.:25:53.

the fact this is coming back so soon but on that timescale there is

:25:54.:25:58.

uncertainty and delaying it until after 2020 would give us four years

:25:59.:26:03.

of uncertainty instead of two. Let's give Scotland a choice on the same

:26:04.:26:07.

timescale that every other European country will have. Would you

:26:08.:26:12.

encourage Ivan and his colleagues to stick by what he has just said, that

:26:13.:26:17.

the campaign for independence should also campaign for Scotland to be a

:26:18.:26:23.

full member of the EU? I hope the SNP doesn't change its policy on

:26:24.:26:29.

supporting EU membership, that is for them to debate, I see no

:26:30.:26:33.

appetite in the Greens to change from our policy of supporting EU

:26:34.:26:38.

membership and I hope the others who spent the last couple of years

:26:39.:26:42.

arguing that our place is strongest within the EU, that our social,

:26:43.:26:46.

environmental and economic conditions are best met by

:26:47.:26:52.

membership, will continue to advocate that if Scotland decides it

:26:53.:26:55.

wants to make that path as an independent state. Murdo Fraser,

:26:56.:27:02.

both Patrick Harvie and Ivan McKee have answered your questions,

:27:03.:27:09.

haven't they? I don't think the SNP leadership is unequivocal on the

:27:10.:27:12.

issue as Ivan has been, they have kept the door open because there are

:27:13.:27:19.

a lot of people who voted yes in 2014, then voted leave in the EU

:27:20.:27:24.

referendum and are now saying if the choice is to leave the UK but to go

:27:25.:27:31.

back into the EU, they would rather stay in the UK, and the SNP

:27:32.:27:35.

leadership are trying to ride two horses, trying to keep on board

:27:36.:27:40.

people who are in that category but they cannot lose the justification

:27:41.:27:44.

for a referendum because if they will not take us back into the EU,

:27:45.:27:51.

how can they argue for a referendum? What would your pitch be this time?

:27:52.:27:56.

We do not know if it will be yes or no in the same weight as last time

:27:57.:28:02.

but the anti-independence campaign, if there is an agreement between the

:28:03.:28:06.

British government and the EU, would you argue there are still some

:28:07.:28:11.

access to the single market so there is not much difference between what

:28:12.:28:15.

the Scottish Government is proposing and what is agreed between Britain

:28:16.:28:20.

and Europe, so what is the point of a referendum? We want a strong

:28:21.:28:26.

relationship with the EU for all British industry and residents, but

:28:27.:28:33.

the UK domestic market is worth four times to the Scottish economy what

:28:34.:28:38.

the EU single market is worth, so any suggestion we should prefer the

:28:39.:28:43.

EU single market over our relationship with the rest of the UK

:28:44.:28:48.

simply makes no sense in economic or in social terms, so our interest as

:28:49.:28:55.

Scotland are better served being part of the UK, but I'm confident we

:28:56.:29:00.

will have a positive deal for the whole UK with the rest of the EU.

:29:01.:29:06.

Ivan McKee, that will be the challenge for you, even if people

:29:07.:29:11.

agree with you on Brexit and how it has been handled, and how you prefer

:29:12.:29:18.

to be a member of the EU, the problem will be the economics of

:29:19.:29:24.

this, there is no oil money left and Britain is a bigger trade party of

:29:25.:29:26.

Scotland than the EU. I think the UK or what is left out

:29:27.:29:35.

of the UK after Brexit will be trading with the European Union.

:29:36.:29:39.

Scotland will be part of the EU, an independent country that will be in

:29:40.:29:46.

the single market... But that doesn't get you around the economic

:29:47.:29:53.

problems, no oil and a huge deficit. It is icing on the cake according

:29:54.:29:58.

to... Not according to Andrew Wilson. It was baked into the

:29:59.:30:03.

economic forecast. Without oil Scotland GDP per head is the same as

:30:04.:30:08.

the UK average and it is taxed the same as the UK average. The oil is

:30:09.:30:12.

the icing on the cake. But do we want to allow the UK Government to

:30:13.:30:16.

waste any more oil money still to come that they have wasted the last

:30:17.:30:20.

?300 billion of tax revenues from the North Sea that they have had and

:30:21.:30:23.

wasted rather than doing what no did... What exactly is Labour's

:30:24.:30:29.

principal argument against independence these days? It can't be

:30:30.:30:33.

that you would rather be in the European Union. We want to see unity

:30:34.:30:42.

of people across the UK to secure progress of change and we want...

:30:43.:30:47.

But why not unity across Europe? At the level where power lies. Even

:30:48.:30:52.

under the SNP's 2014 prospectus a lot of economic power would still

:30:53.:31:00.

live at a UK level, it is clear we need to intervene democratically at

:31:01.:31:02.

the level where economic power lies and that is the UK. We think that is

:31:03.:31:07.

where we need to be. Back from a socialist point of view why is it

:31:08.:31:10.

better for Scotland to be part of a Britain moving the little England

:31:11.:31:15.

than the part of the European Union and argue its case there? Because I

:31:16.:31:18.

am not so pessimistic and you need to take the long view. This is not

:31:19.:31:24.

just about a referendum on the current Conservative government, it

:31:25.:31:26.

would be about where our place lies in the world and where we set with

:31:27.:31:33.

our biggest trading partner and the economic monetary union we are part

:31:34.:31:37.

of, so it is not simply a matter of whether we like Theresa May or not

:31:38.:31:40.

or whether they climbed down today by the Chancellor was a good or bad

:31:41.:31:45.

thing... It is about a much bigger question. Patrick Harvie, what do

:31:46.:31:51.

you think? Is it a left wing or left of centre position from your point

:31:52.:31:55.

of view? Presumably it is better to be in Europe but not but than in

:31:56.:31:59.

Britain but not Europe? Is a great deal about the EU that can be

:32:00.:32:02.

improved and that must be improved and it could be more democratic and

:32:03.:32:06.

should be and can be and I think many European countries are moving

:32:07.:32:10.

in that direction. But I do think many people if we get to the point

:32:11.:32:13.

of a referendum will be looking at this as a choice of judgment on one

:32:14.:32:21.

path towards membership of the EU and another towards a hard right

:32:22.:32:24.

angry and isolationist Brexit Britain. We will be judging the UK

:32:25.:32:29.

political landscape as it stands now with the Labour Party in disarray

:32:30.:32:34.

and a rather more toxic tone of politics coming from the UK

:32:35.:32:38.

political landscape. Thank you all very much. Let's get that swayed

:32:39.:32:44.

back and the magnificent shot of all standing in a line there.

:32:45.:32:45.

An academic survey suggests that support for independence

:32:46.:32:47.

But the Scottish Social Attitudes survey also indicates

:32:48.:32:50.

a relatively weak commitment to the European Union.

:32:51.:32:53.

The report's author, Professor John Curtice,

:32:54.:32:57.

says that could mean the timing of a further referendum is crucial.

:32:58.:33:00.

He joins us from our studio in London now.

:33:01.:33:06.

John, first ball we should make few caveats. The survey you did on this

:33:07.:33:14.

presumably is several months ago now, is it? It was done in the

:33:15.:33:19.

second half of last year. You are absolutely right. This is not a

:33:20.:33:22.

survey designed to tell you what the weather was yesterday. It is much

:33:23.:33:26.

more about trying to understand climate change. How the mood of

:33:27.:33:33.

Scotland changes over the long run and it is an annual survey but the

:33:34.:33:37.

point is we have at the same question on how Scotland should be

:33:38.:33:41.

governed all the way back to 1999. It is the only time series we have

:33:42.:33:46.

in Scotland by which we can measure how attitudes have changed and, yes,

:33:47.:33:52.

the headline is that where as recently as 2012 support for

:33:53.:33:55.

independence in response to this question was still only at 22% and

:33:56.:33:59.

for much of the early years of devolution it was never much more

:34:00.:34:03.

than between a quarter and a third, now it stands at 46%, so two years

:34:04.:34:09.

on from the first referendum it seems pretty clear that the

:34:10.:34:14.

long-term legacy of the first independence referendum is to

:34:15.:34:18.

produce a Scotland that is much more divided on the constitutional

:34:19.:34:21.

question and on the merits of independence than it was when this

:34:22.:34:25.

whole process began back in 2012. Your findings on Europe were a

:34:26.:34:31.

little bit surprising perhaps. It seems not quite as Euro enthusiastic

:34:32.:34:35.

as we all assumed. I think that is probably the the survey that will

:34:36.:34:39.

surprise people. The truth is we have been saying that magazine from

:34:40.:34:45.

Question Time that Scotland is more Europhile than England but don't

:34:46.:34:49.

exactly traits that are exaggerated. Previously I have suggested that one

:34:50.:34:52.

of the reasons why the vote with the EU was so high in Scotland was not

:34:53.:34:56.

so much to do with people's attitudes towards the EU but rather

:34:57.:35:02.

for SNP supporters being in the EU was part of the independence person

:35:03.:35:06.

and therefore they are putting part of the Independence. Crucially what

:35:07.:35:09.

we're discovering is that many of the people who did vote to remain

:35:10.:35:16.

did do so seemingly without a great deal of enthusiasm. The question we

:35:17.:35:20.

have got here to get at this, it is a question where people are given a

:35:21.:35:23.

range of options ranging from Britain should get out of the

:35:24.:35:28.

European Union through to crucially, the most popular group, Britain

:35:29.:35:31.

should remain in the EU Budget should try to reduce the power of

:35:32.:35:34.

the European Union and then there are options that implied the EU

:35:35.:35:39.

being more powerful. The second option is by far the most popular in

:35:40.:35:43.

Scotland and if you combine that option with the idea of leaving, two

:35:44.:35:48.

thirds of people in Scotland can now be classified as Eurosceptic where

:35:49.:35:52.

in the early years of devolution it was no more than two fifths. So they

:35:53.:35:56.

are turning more sceptical in the long run which we have seen south of

:35:57.:36:00.

the border has also been going on, north of the border as well.

:36:01.:36:05.

Crucially therefore that means a lot of Remain voters, over half, and

:36:06.:36:11.

around two thirds of those Remain voters who voted no in 2014 who

:36:12.:36:16.

should be the crucial swing group, the crucial group amongst whom

:36:17.:36:19.

Nicola Sturgeon is presumably trying to win new builds on the back of the

:36:20.:36:24.

Brexit issue, two thirds of that group are also saying the EU should

:36:25.:36:28.

be less powerful so they don't therefore look like a group for whom

:36:29.:36:32.

the EU is so important that they really like they're going to change

:36:33.:36:36.

mind. The implications of this is having a independence referendum

:36:37.:36:39.

that basically says but for independence so we can rejoin as

:36:40.:36:43.

full members of the European Union isn't necessarily the cleverest way

:36:44.:36:47.

to go about it. Indeed and I think that comes back to conversations we

:36:48.:36:50.

have been having that that is one of the reasons why it sounds as though

:36:51.:36:55.

the Scottish Government is not committing to the position that we

:36:56.:36:59.

want to say to hang on the single market but it is not that we will

:37:00.:37:03.

absolutely try to get Scotland back inside the EU and by also and

:37:04.:37:08.

Patrick are be referred to this, the First Minister on Monday, why

:37:09.:37:12.

already you can see the yes movement trying to widen the argument beyond

:37:13.:37:17.

the question of Brexit, the Labour Party is helpless, if you stay

:37:18.:37:21.

inside the UK we will be run by what is a nasty Tory government for ten

:37:22.:37:26.

or 15 years, is that the teacher you want? They are already trying to

:37:27.:37:28.

widen the argument beyond Brexit and G should appreciate that

:37:29.:37:33.

irrespective of whether the referendum is held to Nicola

:37:34.:37:39.

Sturgeon's timetable or later as the Prime Minister seems to be more

:37:40.:37:42.

inclined, don't expect to be dominated by the issue of Europe and

:37:43.:37:45.

not even from the yes side because I think they want to widen it. So,

:37:46.:37:52.

your survey, opinion polls, we heard a couple yesterday, pro-independence

:37:53.:38:00.

and anti-independence neck and neck. A couple since then, I think one was

:38:01.:38:06.

about 53-47 and one is 57-43 in favour of staying in the UK. What

:38:07.:38:11.

are we to make of this? Everyone was safe that is unmoved independence,

:38:12.:38:15.

does that mean there is a move against it or does not mean

:38:16.:38:21.

anything? That's why you always have to be very careful about building

:38:22.:38:25.

too many sand castles on the sand of one or two opinion polls. The best

:38:26.:38:30.

way I can describe it is that if you take all seven including the two so

:38:31.:38:35.

morning holes that have been conducted since the Theresa May

:38:36.:38:40.

speech at Lancaster house, the average is no 53, yes 47. If you go

:38:41.:38:44.

back to the dozen polls were conducted in the first-half 20 16th

:38:45.:38:49.

immediately before the EU referendum the average was, yes, you have

:38:50.:38:56.

guessed this, no 53, yes 47. Therefore the grizzled message with

:38:57.:39:01.

the opinion polls ties up with that the balance of public opinion in

:39:02.:39:04.

Scotland so far at least has not been affected by the Brexit debate

:39:05.:39:09.

and that yes Makro are going to pull ahead they will have to come the

:39:10.:39:17.

other arguments. Those have switched from no to yes have switched on the

:39:18.:39:20.

other direction and the net effect looks though it has been zero. It is

:39:21.:39:26.

going to be another referendum and has to be a bit about Europe, you

:39:27.:39:30.

can say we're going to have a referendum on leaving the UK because

:39:31.:39:36.

the UK voted to leave Europe but it is not about Europe and we don't

:39:37.:39:42.

want to rejoin. Indeed but I expect, I think that what the Scottish

:39:43.:39:45.

Government will try to go for in the first instance is to try and remain

:39:46.:39:49.

inside the single market possibly through membership... If the

:39:50.:39:58.

referendum is by the spring of 2019 there is no way you can keep

:39:59.:40:02.

Scotland continuously inside the EU. There is not the time. They will not

:40:03.:40:06.

be independent by the time the UK manages to leave so even Nicola

:40:07.:40:08.

Sturgeon's timetable doesn't make that possible but maybe Spain will

:40:09.:40:19.

object less, it might be easier to get into the single market

:40:20.:40:22.

relatively quickly. I am guessing but I wouldn't be entirely surprised

:40:23.:40:28.

if the SNP say perhaps we will have a referendum at some point in the

:40:29.:40:32.

future on whether or not an independent Scotland should become

:40:33.:40:37.

and apply for membership of the European Union. That would be one

:40:38.:40:41.

way of trying to assuage the concerns... You just want referendum

:40:42.:40:52.

after referendum! The reason why the SNP think we have to have a

:40:53.:40:56.

referendum before the country becomes independent is because quite

:40:57.:40:58.

a while ago they said we need to park this issue because otherwise it

:40:59.:41:01.

makes it difficult to win any elections. If there is another

:41:02.:41:07.

issue, long that makes it different for the SNP to win the referendum

:41:08.:41:10.

maybe they will want to park that issue as well. On that bombshell we

:41:11.:41:14.

will have to leave it there stop thank you. Margaret Curran is still

:41:15.:41:23.

with me. Referendum campaigns for now the forever. You think it makes

:41:24.:41:28.

sense? I'm sure there is some thinking going on around that. It is

:41:29.:41:35.

absurd to say that UK, it is such a monumental vote, that membership

:41:36.:41:39.

matter so much we'll go back to referendum two and a half years

:41:40.:41:46.

after... But they can say is that we want to stay in the single market. I

:41:47.:41:51.

understand that. A route to doing that without being a full member of

:41:52.:41:55.

the EU and we think Theresa May is going to rip Britain out and you

:41:56.:41:58.

would be better off in an independent Scotland which is in the

:41:59.:42:02.

single market and we could make up our mind on full membership of the

:42:03.:42:06.

EU later. That is clearly the direction they are heading in

:42:07.:42:12.

because the Scottish attitudes survey is very interesting because

:42:13.:42:15.

this portrayal that I think will show itself, that Scotland is

:42:16.:42:22.

somehow pro-European and very comfortable with being in the

:42:23.:42:24.

European Union and all that brings and England is very difficult --

:42:25.:42:29.

different and the difference is so profound that it is a big argument

:42:30.:42:34.

to separate and the evidence from the survey suggests that isn't a

:42:35.:42:36.

straightforward as people think it is and I do think you'll get the SNP

:42:37.:42:40.

changing tactic about a lot but they still think there are signs that

:42:41.:42:44.

people are saying we're are having another random on a full spammers

:42:45.:42:47.

and you putting us through this again on a -- false premise. There

:42:48.:42:56.

is a bit of it. I don't think that is good enough from the Government.

:42:57.:43:00.

Your old lot are going to have a challenge. I think some of the

:43:01.:43:08.

arguments, as I have said, the arguments he used to be part of the

:43:09.:43:12.

European Union are very similar to the arguments you used to be part of

:43:13.:43:17.

the UK. There are times when you have self-government and you make

:43:18.:43:20.

your own decisions, there are times you share sovereignty and there are

:43:21.:43:24.

times where it is in your economic and international interest to share

:43:25.:43:27.

sovereignty and I think that is part of it. It is absolutely. It is in

:43:28.:43:36.

Scotland's interest to share sovereignty with the European Union

:43:37.:43:39.

and be part of the single market. We would love to come and they will

:43:40.:43:43.

say, do the same with the UK, it is not an option any more. They voted

:43:44.:43:46.

to get out of the EU and we do want to do that. I am not saying it is

:43:47.:43:52.

exactly the same experience. If you get an argument that says you should

:43:53.:43:55.

part of the European Union because they have got such a market with

:43:56.:43:58.

them and you need to influence them, it is a bigger argument so say we

:43:59.:44:04.

have got a shared market with the UK and they make decisions that

:44:05.:44:07.

influence us and we need to be part of that. We will be back with you

:44:08.:44:10.

later on. It was a pretty lively

:44:11.:44:12.

at Prime Minister's Questions today, with the Chancellor's U-turn

:44:13.:44:14.

on National Insurance for the self The Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn said

:44:15.:44:17.

the U-turn showed the UK Mr Speaker, I think

:44:18.:44:20.

the Prime Minister should offer an apology for the chaos

:44:21.:44:31.

that her Government has caused during the past week

:44:32.:44:34.

and the stresses caused to the 4.8 million self-employed

:44:35.:44:36.

people in this country. Her friend, the member for other

:44:37.:44:52.

Conway, said so a week ago and it's time that she said so as well.

:44:53.:44:53.

This measure, if carried through, will create

:44:54.:44:55.

What is she going to do to fill that black hole?

:44:56.:45:03.

If the right honourable gentleman is so concerned

:45:04.:45:08.

about balancing the books, why is it Labour Party policy

:45:09.:45:10.

to borrow half a trillion pounds and bankrupt Britain?

:45:11.:45:20.

The Prime Minister can wag her finger as much as she likes.

:45:21.:45:22.

Not discussions, an agreement with the Scottish Government

:45:23.:45:39.

The Prime Minister promised an agreement.

:45:40.:45:53.

Because does she not understand that if she does not secure an agreement

:45:54.:46:01.

before triggering Article 50, if she is not prepared to negotiate

:46:02.:46:06.

on behalf of the Scottish Government and secure membership of the single

:46:07.:46:12.

European market, people in Scotland will have a referendum,

:46:13.:46:21.

We have been in discussions with the Scottish Government

:46:22.:46:26.

and other devolved administrations about the interests that they have.

:46:27.:46:31.

As we prepare, as the United Kingdom government, to negotiate a deal

:46:32.:46:36.

on behalf on the whole United Kingdom,

:46:37.:46:40.

a deal which will be a good deal, not just for England,

:46:41.:46:44.

Wales and Northern Ireland, but for the people

:46:45.:46:46.

of Scotland as well, and as we go forward

:46:47.:46:50.

I think the right honourable gentleman should remember this -

:46:51.:46:56.

Scotland will be leaving the European Union.

:46:57.:46:59.

It will leave the European Union either as a member

:47:00.:47:02.

of the United Kingdom, or with independence,

:47:03.:47:05.

it's very clear with the document that it would not be

:47:06.:47:10.

What we need now is to unite, to come together as a country

:47:11.:47:15.

and to ensure that we can get the best deal for the whole

:47:16.:47:18.

Our First Minister was elected with the largest vote in Scottish

:47:19.:47:24.

parliamentary history, on a manifesto pledge which stated

:47:25.:47:28.

that the Scottish Parliament should have the right to hold

:47:29.:47:30.

an independence referendum if there was a significant

:47:31.:47:32.

and material change of circumstances like Scotland being taken out

:47:33.:47:39.

My question to the Prime Minister is simple -

:47:40.:47:46.

does she agree that Governments should stick to their manifesto

:47:47.:47:48.

promises and if so, she cannot object to the First Minister

:47:49.:47:50.

I, of course, recognise that there was a vote that took

:47:51.:47:58.

place in the Scottish Parliament and the First Minister was returned

:47:59.:48:00.

as the First Minister of a minority Government.

:48:01.:48:04.

But I would refer the honourable lady to two other

:48:05.:48:09.

In 2014 the Scottish people were given the opportunity to vote

:48:10.:48:21.

as to whether or not they wished to remain in the United Kingdom.

:48:22.:48:24.

They choose that Scotland should remain part of the United Kingdom.

:48:25.:48:29.

And the other vote to take note of is that on June 23rd last year,

:48:30.:48:32.

the people of the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union,

:48:33.:48:35.

To Westminster now, where our correspondent David Porter

:48:36.:48:42.

I have, you didn't mention the weather but I will mention it, it is

:48:43.:48:57.

a beautiful day and the sun shines on the righteous. Let me introduce

:48:58.:49:02.

our panel, one Lord and three MPs, one Jeremy and three people called

:49:03.:49:10.

Ian. Ian Murray for Labour, Iain Stewart for the Conservatives. Iain

:49:11.:49:17.

Stewart, a tax that wasn't introduced at a policy that only

:49:18.:49:21.

lasted a week. One heck of a U-turn today. At least it was quick. It was

:49:22.:49:29.

the right decision. The Chancellor was addressing an important issue in

:49:30.:49:37.

changes in National Insurance contributions, I wasn't especially

:49:38.:49:40.

happy with the rise but we are still dealing with a budget deficit, I

:49:41.:49:45.

think the Chancellor was right to listen to colleagues and make the

:49:46.:49:49.

change quickly to remove any uncertainty and he's right to look

:49:50.:49:53.

at the whole package in the round. Ian Murray, it seemed it was Tory

:49:54.:49:59.

backbenchers who brought this change about. We voted against this change

:50:00.:50:05.

in the budget last night so we opposed it. Only seven days from

:50:06.:50:11.

John Stevenson standing here defending the National Insurance

:50:12.:50:16.

rise, this is an embarrassing U-turn and the leaked letter to

:50:17.:50:21.

backbenchers saying it was not a manifesto promise is fudging the

:50:22.:50:26.

truth to them, this is insulting to self-employed people, the rule is

:50:27.:50:33.

always the case that the loader Tory backbenchers cheer a budget, the

:50:34.:50:37.

quicker it unravels. The pass the tax, the caravan tax, this is

:50:38.:50:44.

embarrassing for the Chancellor and I bet he regrets talking about

:50:45.:50:46.

Norman Lamont at the start of his speech. He said it was because it

:50:47.:50:53.

was a broken manifesto commitment but paid 76 of the Conservative

:50:54.:50:57.

Party manifesto commits to mint taint access to the single market. I

:50:58.:51:05.

hope for a U-turn on that. Ian Blackford, the U-turn has been made

:51:06.:51:09.

but there are still a question of how he fills that gap in the

:51:10.:51:13.

coffers. He will still have to tax elsewhere. There is a ?2 billion

:51:14.:51:20.

hole in the budget as a consequence of this, it unravelled overnight and

:51:21.:51:25.

now we see the Prime Minister and the chance of coming to the deal,

:51:26.:51:32.

this is no way to run a country and the Chancellor of the X said last

:51:33.:51:36.

week they would be ?350 million extra for Scotland but as a

:51:37.:51:40.

consequence of this, will our budget be cut? There is no indication he

:51:41.:51:46.

will reduce the Barnet consequentials. He has not been able

:51:47.:51:53.

to answer that question, there would have been consequentials as an

:51:54.:51:57.

answer to this. This Government has lost control of the economy. We need

:51:58.:52:05.

to invest in jobs, to show as the UK comes out of Brexit there is

:52:06.:52:08.

confidence to invest in this country, that is not happening, it

:52:09.:52:15.

is a failed Chancellor. Jeremy Purvis, I would not expect you to

:52:16.:52:18.

defend the Chancellor had this idea of equalising between the

:52:19.:52:23.

self-employed and the employed, it has some merit. The self-employed do

:52:24.:52:28.

not have the same rights as those who are employed, there are still a

:52:29.:52:35.

distinction between the two categories, we recognised that when

:52:36.:52:39.

in coalition and focused on reducing the tax burden, and now the

:52:40.:52:43.

Conservatives saw a chance to hammer what would have been up to 200,000

:52:44.:52:51.

people across Scotland, a ?16 million tax increase this year and

:52:52.:52:55.

Ruth Davidson endorsed at and double down on supporting it, so she needs

:52:56.:53:00.

to apologise to people across Scotland for the Scottish

:53:01.:53:03.

Conservatives supporting this, now the Government has admitted they had

:53:04.:53:09.

broken a promise, they rightly corrected it but when the House of

:53:10.:53:14.

Lords defeated their attempt to reduce support for those on tax

:53:15.:53:18.

credit, they said it was a constitutional crisis. Now they have

:53:19.:53:24.

acknowledged a big mistake. The tax issue the big issue of the day,

:53:25.:53:30.

probably the issue of the week for everyone in Scottish politics, the

:53:31.:53:36.

announcement by Nicola Sturgeon that she wants a second independence

:53:37.:53:41.

referendum. From the UK Government's perspective done here, will you

:53:42.:53:46.

allow the Scottish Parliament to hold a referendum? That decision is

:53:47.:53:52.

above my personal pay grade but there is no need for this

:53:53.:53:57.

referendum. Nicola Sturgeon should roll back on what she has announced,

:53:58.:54:01.

it is causing massive uncertainty to lots of people. The Scottish

:54:02.:54:07.

business community are worried about this uncertainty. Do the sensible

:54:08.:54:12.

thing and take this off the table. Ian Murray, you were against a

:54:13.:54:18.

second referendum but it is coming. It looks like it is a matter of when

:54:19.:54:23.

rather than if, but the two things that need to happen or that the

:54:24.:54:28.

Scottish Parliament have to pass this. We do not need another

:54:29.:54:33.

referendum, we had enough division, we need to start ringing the country

:54:34.:54:39.

back together and you cannot compound what is a bad decision in

:54:40.:54:44.

terms of Brexit with an even worse decision to rip Scotland out of the

:54:45.:54:48.

UK, it doesn't make sense to turn your back on your biggest partner,

:54:49.:54:53.

whether trade, cultural or political, and turned the so we will

:54:54.:55:00.

vote against it next week and I hope the First Minister will do the

:55:01.:55:03.

decent thing and get back to dealing with the day job in terms of the big

:55:04.:55:08.

issues of the Scottish Parliament. Public services are crumbling, the

:55:09.:55:12.

economy is lagging behind the rest of the UK, that should be her focus.

:55:13.:55:19.

Your opponents say it is a distraction but also there seems to

:55:20.:55:25.

be inconsistency and that the SNP says because of Brexit Scotland

:55:26.:55:29.

needs another referendum but reports from Edinburgh suggest that an

:55:30.:55:35.

independent Scotland made not want to go back into the EU immediately.

:55:36.:55:43.

Our position is clear, we asked Westminster to respect the situation

:55:44.:55:45.

and that the people of Scotland voted to remain in Europe last year

:55:46.:55:52.

and what the reason may promised us, they would consult and take on board

:55:53.:55:56.

the views of the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland,

:55:57.:56:00.

Scotland and Wales, and the Government has refused to do that.

:56:01.:56:04.

We will be dragged out of Europe against our will, a hard Tory Brexit

:56:05.:56:10.

that will threaten jobs and prosperity, and its rich to hear

:56:11.:56:13.

Conservatives talk about uncertainty because the OBR last week made it

:56:14.:56:20.

clear that Brexit is causing that uncertainty. We are seeking to

:56:21.:56:24.

protect jobs and investment and the best way of doing that is protecting

:56:25.:56:29.

our place in the single market, making sure we retain membership of

:56:30.:56:36.

the EU, it is about making sure there are jobs, prosperity and

:56:37.:56:39.

growth and Westminster has to respect the wishes of the Scottish

:56:40.:56:44.

people and I would say to Ian, there is a big question because if the

:56:45.:56:49.

Scottish parliament votes for this, the people of Scotland should be

:56:50.:56:53.

given that choice and Labour have to learn from last time about allying

:56:54.:56:58.

themselves with Tories, that will deepen the damage to their own brand

:56:59.:57:04.

in Scotland. If a second independence referendum happens,

:57:05.:57:09.

from the Conservatives and from Labour's point of view, do you try

:57:10.:57:16.

and coalesce around one message, one better to be a message or by those

:57:17.:57:21.

days gone? That's on the assumption it will go ahead. Liberal Democrat

:57:22.:57:27.

MSP 's are clear in their opposition to this because there is a world of

:57:28.:57:31.

difference between where we are now and where we were before the

:57:32.:57:36.

referendum. That referendum took place after cross sided --

:57:37.:57:41.

cross-party agreement would said both sides would respect the result.

:57:42.:57:45.

The SNP have breached that. That's not true. Now we have a proposition

:57:46.:57:54.

that Scotland will not retain full EU membership. We have to leave it

:57:55.:58:00.

there. I'm reminded about the gag about London buses, you wait ages

:58:01.:58:06.

for one to come along and now with people called Ian, you wait ages for

:58:07.:58:10.

one on College Green and then three come across at once.

:58:11.:58:13.

He's in good form today! He's always inform. Philip Hammond...

:58:14.:58:27.

Embarrassing. Not his best day but he will get away with this. It

:58:28.:58:35.

depends on Tory internal politics. Clearly the knives were out for him,

:58:36.:58:40.

and how he could possibly not know it was a manifesto... Everyone had

:58:41.:58:47.

forgotten about it. He made a complete U-turn to get out of it. We

:58:48.:58:50.

will have to leave it there. First Minister's Questions

:58:51.:58:52.

is tomorrow at midday. Scotland is coming out

:58:53.:58:54.

of the European Union But Alan Little asks whether

:58:55.:59:03.

Brexit could break up Britain too. Which union do you want

:59:04.:59:08.

to leave more? The British one

:59:09.:59:10.

or the European one? and given us a chance to be part

:59:11.:59:19.

of the BBC's News Team. Young people

:59:20.:59:19.

from all over the country have been getting involved

:59:20.:59:22.

in BBC School Report. We've been doing interviews

:59:23.:59:24.

about news and sport, and some of us have

:59:25.:59:27.

even made our own news bulletins. we've been telling the stories

:59:28.:59:30.

that matter to us. and given us a chance to be part

:59:31.:59:35.

of the BBC's News Team. and read and watch our reports

:59:36.:59:42.

online and across BBC News.

:59:43.:59:46.