David Lidington Briefings


David Lidington

Cabinet Office minister David Lidington making a speech in Wales on the government's vision for the UK and for devolution after Brexit, from Monday 26 February.


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Transcript


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Good afternoon. It is a pleasure to

be with you this afternoon in Bolton

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and I want first to thank Airbus for

the hospitality. This company is a

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great success story, a success story

for Wales, for the United Kingdom

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and for Europe. This is the biggest

private-sector employer here in this

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place but with two fifths of workers

commuting every day from homes in

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England and, of course, Airbus is

part of the European enterprise that

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is now operating over five

continents and employing people from

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more than 130 different

nationalities. It is a vivid example

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from the business world of how

diversity in unity can make for a

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global success. And it is those same

characteristics that have very much

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defined the success of the United

Kingdom over the years. The

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different nations that make up our

country have had a long, often

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uneasy, history. The castle is just

a few miles down the road from here

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remind us of ancient quarrels, but

the shared experience and solidarity

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of our formation at times of great

success and grave danger alike have

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come to represent one of the most

powerful and enduring symbols of

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freedom, liberty and democracy

anywhere in the world, and the

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proudest citizen of Aberdeen,

Plymouth, Coleraine or indeed

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Brighton, Kemptown huge pride in

also being part of the United

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Kingdom, a united kingdom greater

than the sum of its parts. As we

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prepare to leave the EU, preserving

and strengthening that union of the

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United Kingdom matters more than

ever.

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As we negotiate a new partnership

with our friends and neighbours in

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Europe and forge a new role for the

United Kingdom in the world, we must

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work for the future that fosters

wealth creation, opportunity and

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innovation in every part of the

United Kingdom, and which

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strengthens the sense of security,

belonging and solidarity in all

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communities, building a country that

really does work for everyone. We

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are at a crossroads in our history,

we face a choice. The choice that

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represents the difference between a

prosperous, secure nation that is

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united at home and strong abroad,

and a broader country, divided at

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home and eat weaker player on the

global stage. This choice is not

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about whether we leave the European

Union. As many of you will know, I'm

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bloated and campaign very hard to

remain in the EU, as did many other

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people in this country. But I

recognise, as indeed do are 27

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European partners, that the people

of the United Kingdom took a

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democratic decision to leave the

European Union and that is what we

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must now focus our energies on

delivering, seeking both to minimise

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the risks and to seize the

opportunities. The choice is

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therefore not whether we believe but

how we choose to do so. We could

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leave as a nation divided, a country

split, an economy disjointed,

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struggling to forge a unified

consensus on the way ahead. But

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there are opportunities as well,

opportunities we can see is if we

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come together comedy night and

develop into that stronger global

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Britain, which we can be. There were

many different reasons why people

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voted to leave the EU in 2016, but

reflecting on that campaign, I think

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that above all else, people

throughout the country sought to

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regain a feeling of control, not

just control over our laws, but over

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our lives to the people we elect

into office. When you talk to people

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on the doorstep, what you find is

that vote was expressing not just a

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rejection of membership of the EU,

but the demand to bring

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decision-making into accountability

closer to home, to restore a sense

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of belonging in communities, a sense

of connection between the electorate

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and the elected. Yes, we had to

ensure that breaks it means more

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power is going to be devolved

governments and not fewer. But I

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believe that to renew that sense of

connection between citizen and

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government, we need to press on as

well with a broader issue to deliver

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greater freedom, more power to act

to cities, towns and counties in all

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parts of the United Kingdom. I hope

the devolved governments will choose

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to take that approach as well. After

all, by someone in Broughton or

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Llandudno, Cardiff can seem as

distant as London. From the

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perspective of Orkney, prior cheese

made with very different from those

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of central Scotland. Our aim should

be nothing less than to see our

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entire country coming together and

having their voices heard. It means

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people here in Wales as well as in

Scotland, Northern Ireland and

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England, and it means our villages,

towns, cities and communities

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throughout the UK all having a voice

as well. At the heart of the

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Conservative political tradition is

both patria tourism, loyalty to the

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special shared union of the United

Kingdom, but also a commitment not

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just to individual rights but to the

vital importance of family and

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community, of village, town and

county, in enabling individual men

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and women to find meaning, value and

fulfilment in their lives. As Edmund

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Burke put it more than 200 years

ago, to be attached to the

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subdivision, to love the little

platoon we belong to in society is

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the first principle, the germ, as it

were, public affections. It is the

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first link by which we proceeded to

of our country and of mankind. And I

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suspect that most of those here

derive our sense of who we are from

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many different sources, from our

family, from where we live, perhaps

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from a sports club or choral Society

or community group we support, in

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many cases from our religious faith

and of course, from our nation. In

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the United Kingdom, we know there is

no contradiction between being an

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ardent Welsh Scottish patriot and

being a committed supporter of the

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Union. If I needed a reminder of

that truth, it was when the

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Secretary of State for Scotland was

gloating to me about the rugby

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result on Saturday. Looking back to

last century, I think that my party

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was too slow to recognise the

increasing calls for devolution and

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decentralisation represented a

genuine shift in public mood. I

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think if dealer look at our record

in government in the last eight

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years, we have demonstrated we got

that message. The two Scotland's

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Acts in 2012 and 2016, have made

Hollywood one of the most powerful

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parliament of its kind in the world.

City deals in Scotland, backed by UK

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Government spending, have now been

agreed or committed to for all of

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Scotland's southern cities. That

Wales Act is delivering a better

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devolution settlement for Wales.

City deals for Cardiff and Swansea

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and the future in North Wales growth

deal are supporting industries and

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jobs of tomorrow. The passage of

English votes for English laws at

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Westminster means MPs representing

English voters rightly have the

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final say on issues which matter

directly to them and to their

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constituents. We have created new,

combined authorities with elected

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mayors across England, but in power

firmly in the hands of local people

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in the West Midlands, the West of

England, Cambridge, greater

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Manchester, Liverpool and Sheffield.

This government will continue to

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strive to restore devolution in

Northern Ireland, and will remain

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fully committed to the Belfast

Agreement. We will continue to

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govern in the interests of all parts

of the community in Northern Ireland

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and to uphold the totality of the

relationships embodied in that

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agreement. Both East, west and

north, south. And we shall stand by

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the commitments in the joint report

between the UK and the EU that was

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agreed in December last year. But

while we can take pride in that

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record of progress in decentralising

power, we can and should go further

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to drive forward both the economic

and political regeneration of our

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country. So we are working with both

devolved and local authorities to

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help them coordinate their own

economic plans with our UK wide

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national industrial strategy,

bringing together local businesses

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and leaders to deliver growth,

enterprise and job creation in every

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part of our country. We are

supporting combined authorities

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located around our English cities to

adopt elected mayors should they

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wish to do so. We will bring forward

a borderlands growth deal, including

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all the councils on both the

Scottish and English sides of the

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border, to help secure prosperity in

southern Scotland. We will build on

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the future North Wales growth deal,

but also fostering opportunities

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between Welsh cities and the rest of

the UK, for example by linking

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economic development opportunities

in Cardiff, Newport and Bristol. And

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we have committed to looking at the

city deal for Belfast. At the same

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time, we are unapologetically

committed to the constitutional

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integrity of the United Kingdom, so,

alongside those initiatives to bring

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more power is closer to the people,

we are working to ensure that the

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institutions and the power of the UK

are used in a way that benefits

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people in every part of our country.

For a country that not only has a

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shared past, but continues today to

draw strengths from all parts of the

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Union, there are more than 31,000

United Kingdom civil servants based

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here in Wales, including in our new

UK Government hub in Cardiff. Eight

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out of ten goods lorries leaving

Wales go to the rest of the UK,

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highlighting the importance of the

United Kingdom- wide market.

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Bombarding a's factory in Belfast

has a supply chain of 800 companies

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throughout the UK and Ireland,

supporting thousands of highly

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skilled jobs. And it is from the

Department for International

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Development headquarters in East

Kilbride, Scotland, that the UK's

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International work to vaccinate

children against killer diseases, to

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educate girls and provide clean

water and sanitation to people who

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desperately needed, is driven. And

of course, are based on the Clyde,

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home to thousands of shipbuilding

jobs, is central to the UK's defence

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capabilities. Put simply, we are all

more prosperous and secure when we

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work together for our common good as

one United Kingdom. Leaving the EU

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presents many challenges for our

centuries-old union story, and

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opportunities as well. And someone

to use this as an excuse to loosen

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the ties that bind us together or

even sever them completely. I

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believe such an outcome would lead

every one of our four nations both

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weaker and crueller. The task before

us is not an easy one, it is

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complex. How do we alone greater

control across England's Scotland,

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Wales and Northern Ireland over the

things that affect them separately,

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while preserving the things that

affect us all collectively, as we

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return powers from Brussels to the

United Kingdom. How do we ensure

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that a new wave of devolution

delivers for the people of Scotland,

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Wales, England and Northern Ireland,

but at the same time, protects the

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essence of our Union. For a start,

all the governments together have

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agreed that we will need to have

frameworks that breakdown which

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powers should sit where, once they

have returned from Brussels, and

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that is a sensible and constructive

approach, because these powers are

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not all the same. Some are very

obviously for the devolved

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governments and parliaments to

exercise, and they don't need any

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involvement on the UK- wide basis.

For example, the devolved

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governments are best place to manage

the safety and quality of the water

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people living their drink, as well

as looking after and caring for the

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natural environment. At the same

time, there are other powers which

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are, yes, for the devolved

government to shape according to the

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needs and ambitions, and where they

don't need legislation to underpin

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how what they do relates to the

other nations of the UK, but where

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it would nevertheless still be in

everybody's interests to agree a

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loose form of cooperation, perhaps a

memorandum of understanding between

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the devolved and UK governments. For

instance, we will need to be able to

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continue to work together on

important domestic policy areas. For

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example, ensuring that a vital organ

that is donated by someone in one

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part of the United Kingdom can still

be used transplant to treat a

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patient in another part of the

Kingdom. Those powers should still

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rightly be devolved, not

centralised, and that is the offer

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we have put on the table. But on the

other hand, some powers are clearly

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related to the UK as a whole and

will need to continue to apply in

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the same way across all four

nations, in order to protect

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consumers and businesses who buy and

sell across the UK. In all parts of

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what we might call the United

Kingdom's Common Market. That market

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is one of the fundamental

expressions of the constitutional

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integrity that underpins our

existence as a union. The government

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will protect that vital Common

Market of the UK. By retaining UK

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frameworks were necessary, we will

retain our ability, not only to act

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on the national interest when we

need to, but to do so with the unity

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of purpose that places the

prosperity and security of other

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citizens, no matter where they are

from or where they were born, to the

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front. For example, at present, EU

law means that our farmers and other

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food producers already to comply

with one set of package labelling

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and hygiene rules. For different

sets of rules in different parts of

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the UK would only it more ethical

than more expensive for a

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cheesemaker in Monmouthshire to sell

to customers in Bristol, or body

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cattle farmer in Aberdeen Shire to

sell his beef in Berwick-upon-Tweed.

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These are everyday issues affecting

how people live their lives. They

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are the issues that people in the UK

expect governments to get on and a

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delay in a clear interest of

families and businesses in every

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part of England's, Scotland, Wales

and Northern Ireland alike. So that

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is entirely what the United Kingdom

government stands ready, waiting and

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willing to do.

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An to ensure that the factory can

continue to sell, that the family

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firm in Swansea can continue to buy

supplies in Swindon, and customers

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in Londonderry can still placed

orders in Leeds without any extra

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red tape or expense. And I want to

say one thing for that. The Prime

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Minister has been clear throughout

the negotiations with the European

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Union that we want to preserve the

standard super tech employment and

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workers' rights, to deliver consumer

protection and safeguard the

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environment. That means keeping

these high standards right across

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the whole of the United Kingdom, and

for our part as the United Kingdom

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Government, we are committed to

working in partnership with the

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devolved governments to ensure that

those standards are universal in all

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four parts of our country. It is

fair to say that the road to agree

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on how we go forward together has

not always been a smooth and

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straight bond. Along with my

predecessors in the Cabinet Office

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and the secretaries of State for

Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

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have engage closely with the

devolved governments to understand

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their concerns and respond to them.

They have been expressed clearly and

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often forthrightly, but we have

continued to talk. Both that

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political and official level, and

even more importantly, we have

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continued to listen. The Prime

Minister's first visit after

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entering Downing Street was to

Edinburgh. Two of my first phone

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calls upon moving across to the

Cabinet Office last month were to

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the Deputy First Minister of

Scotland and the First Minister of

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Wales. I met them both in person

during my first weeks in this role

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to underline my personal commitment

to engaging constructively, and

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striking the agreement that is in

all interest. While they have always

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acknowledged that the Government has

said we want to seek many of the

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powers from Brussels go straight to

the devolved governments, there has

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been a question throughout about

what our starting point should be.

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Should those powers sit at a UK wide

level while we then agreed a future

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framework? Or should be set at the

devolved level well be a dream --

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well be a great Davey? We have a

different point of view and to the

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views expressed in the devolved

parliament. Just last week, we held

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constructive discussions in London,

where we put forward a considerable

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offer- a commitment that the vast

majority are powers returning from

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Brussels will start off in

Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast and

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19 Whitehall. And let me be in no

doubt, this would be a very big

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change to the EU withdrawal build

bridges before Parliament, and a

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significant step forward in these

negotiations. It but put on the face

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of the bill what we have always said

would be our attention, wide ranging

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devolution not just a way from

Brussels but from Westminster too.

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And if accepted, this offer put

beyond doubt our commitment to a

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smooth and orderly departure from

the European Union in a way that

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does not just respected the

devolution settlement, but

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strengthens and enhances them. Our

postal is to amend the bill before

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Parliament to make clear that both

frameworks at the agreed, the

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presumption would know about speed

that powers returning from the EU

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should set to devolved level.

Westminster would only be involved

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where, to protect the Common Market

or to meet our international

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obligations we need to pause, and I

stress pass, to give the Government

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is time to design and put in place a

UK wide framework. We expect to be

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able to secure agreement but the

devolved Government about what

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framework should or should not apply

to each power. By Palestinian to be

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returned to a UK wide framework, we

would retain the ability to

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legislate to do that. Just as the

current tradition with an EU

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withdrawal bill on releasing powers

are intended to be by consensus and

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agreement, with the devolved

governments themselves, so we should

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expect these new inverted power to

operate in the same way, by

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consensus and by agreement. Norma

does proposed arrangement provides a

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devolved Government from doing

anything that is already within

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their competence. At the same time,

our proposal offers an important

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protection. It would insure that

rather not to be an agreement, and

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not having an agreement on a

framework would put at risk debates

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being smooth and orderly exit that

we all need, the UK parliaments

0:23:120:23:17

could protect the essential

interests of businesses and

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consumers in every part of the

kingdom. So, I am clear that is in

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the interests of all parts of the

United Kingdom to a Greek Iborra/

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fully respects the devolved

settlement, that reserves the

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integrity of the United Kingdom

market, and maintains the ability to

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shoot an agreement with the European

Union on a future partnership. Our

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new proposal is a reflection of the

seriousness of our desire to strike

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agreements with the devolved

governments, our seriousness about

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delivering more powers to Scotland,

Wales and Northern Ireland, while at

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this time ensuring that there are no

new barriers for people across the

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nations of the United Kingdom, so

families can continue to buy and

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sell it freely, so businesses will

not face except the rocky sea at

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higher cost, so people they minimal

destruction to their everyday lives,

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and maximum security in the future.

I hope the talks that are Mounted

0:24:210:24:25

Regiment will lead in the coming

weeks to an agreement to take

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forward ended the withdrawal build,

and which we can all welcome to

0:24:280:24:34

being to our mutual benefit. As we

look to our future, this is a

0:24:340:24:39

balance that, working together, we

can strike. A strong and fair

0:24:390:24:43

devolution settlement for our

devolved honours with power sitting

0:24:430:24:46

at the most important level. Common

frameworks where necessary with the

0:24:460:24:53

constitutional integrity if

attacked. By making that kind of

0:24:530:24:56

agreement, we can truly become that

United Kingdom we need to be here at

0:24:560:25:04

all, and that greater stronger

United Kingdom abroad. For that is

0:25:040:25:08

the task we now face, to build a

global Britain that is fit for the

0:25:080:25:13

future, they could not only to

tackle head-on future global

0:25:130:25:17

challenges, but confident it can

seize the opportunities available to

0:25:170:25:22

us, and so we do speak and act on

the world stage, we do so with one

0:25:220:25:28

authoritative voice that both

reflects and represents the

0:25:280:25:30

interests of all four nations. A

country that has the strength and

0:25:300:25:36

flexibility to survive and even

thrive on that international stage,

0:25:360:25:42

and without considerable strength, I

am confident that that future can be

0:25:420:25:46

secure and prosperous. After all, we

at the sixth largest economy in the

0:25:460:25:51

world, a permanent member of the

United Nations Security Council, the

0:25:510:25:57

biggest European defence spending in

Nato with significant capabilities,

0:25:570:26:00

and a proven readiness to deploy in

defence of our interest. A key

0:26:000:26:05

player in a highly developed sense

of security relationships such as

0:26:050:26:11

Five As. Our country has one of the

best promoting services in the

0:26:110:26:15

world, and one of the biggest aid

and development programmes. We have

0:26:150:26:20

one leading universities that

attract the best talent from London

0:26:200:26:24

the globe, more noble laureate that

any country by the United States. A

0:26:240:26:29

globally competitive economy with

some exciting, burgeoning industries

0:26:290:26:32

like digital. In language that is

the language of the world, and

0:26:320:26:37

thanks to institutions like the BBC

and the National Health Service, the

0:26:370:26:41

greatest soft power of any nation on

the planet. But just imagine if we

0:26:410:26:46

spoke with more conflicting voices,

each misheard as a global

0:26:460:26:53

competitors shouted louder, with the

strong single voice, and a divided

0:26:530:26:57

country at would be weaker, less

secure, and prosperous overseas. The

0:26:570:27:05

unity that exists between our four

nations gives us is killer of

0:27:050:27:08

ambition that none of the four of us

could possess alone. We need to be

0:27:080:27:13

using our collective economic clout

and experience and reach of our

0:27:130:27:19

diplomatic network in the United

Kingdom to sell Scotch whiskey and

0:27:190:27:27

engineering expertise, Welsh cheeses

and many computers. Buses and levies

0:27:270:27:33

from Northern Ireland right around

the world. And maintaining the

0:27:330:27:37

Common Market of United Kingdom will

give us back the heft to lead the

0:27:370:27:42

charge of common regulator of

standards. We can be at the

0:27:420:27:52

forefront of developing the

regulatory environment we need for

0:27:520:27:55

the exciting technologies after one.

What the waters for an event as

0:27:550:27:59

right across the four patients and

to be ahead of the car. By sticking

0:27:590:28:11

together, we will be able to provide

global leadership, standing up and

0:28:110:28:17

human rights, democratic values and

the rule of law. And defending the

0:28:170:28:24

rule-based international order that

is so vital to our security and

0:28:240:28:27

prosperity together. It would be

easy to listen or even sever those

0:28:270:28:31

boards that connect us back, but

with a shrug demolition settlement

0:28:310:28:38

that ensures powers of

decision-making and exerted as close

0:28:380:28:41

to people as is practical, I believe

a sense of trust can be restored

0:28:410:28:46

between the people of the United

Kingdom and those they choose to

0:28:460:28:49

govern on their behalf. And with

common frameworks in place to

0:28:490:28:55

maintain the integrity of argued, we

can ensure we continue to speak with

0:28:550:28:59

a powerful voice globally, each of

those two principles strengthens the

0:28:590:29:02

other. Let us seasonable wit and

focus on the prize that is on offer.

0:29:020:29:09

A good unit greater than the sum of

its parts, a country that a strong

0:29:090:29:15

global leader, a United Kingdom at

home and an active force for good in

0:29:150:29:19

the world. Thank you very much

indeed.

0:29:190:29:32

APPLAUSE

0:29:340:29:37

We have got time for a number of

questions. I'm going to go to the

0:29:370:29:43

Airbus people before coming to the

press.

Good afternoon. I'm a trade

0:29:430:29:52

union ret. Does the Government

agreed with us that we need to be

0:29:520:30:01

able to freely move part to our

colleagues in Europe, and also

0:30:010:30:10

regarding Airbus, a lot of people

work inside the UK, and a lot of

0:30:100:30:15

colleagues work outside the UK as

well, what was it freely movement of

0:30:150:30:18

labour look like going forward?

It

is one of a number of European

0:30:180:30:26

bodies that we will want to have a

means of staying close to. Clearly,

0:30:260:30:32

those bodies are designed for EU

members, and we will no longer be an

0:30:320:30:36

EU member once exit has taken place

at the end of March next year. But

0:30:360:30:44

they were one of a number of bodies

that came up in the conversation in

0:30:440:30:49

Chequers last Friday, and it is

something that the PM and other

0:30:490:30:52

members of the Cabinet and indeed

very focused on, and we recognise

0:30:520:30:57

its importance to this company, but

also to an number of other very

0:30:570:31:01

important enterprises in the UK.

Obviously, the exact nature of the

0:31:010:31:08

relationship is something we will

have to negotiate. About three

0:31:080:31:11

moment, I think that again, in

reality is that the freedoms of the

0:31:110:31:19

EU are indivisible. They have been

absolutely clear about that all the

0:31:190:31:24

way along, and once we leave the EU,

then a free movement rights as they

0:31:240:31:31

currently exist under EU law will no

longer apply. We will need to have

0:31:310:31:37

in place and immigration system that

will cover EU nationals who

0:31:370:31:43

currently have the right to come and

go in order to take work. We have

0:31:430:31:48

been listening to what business is

it saying to us about the importance

0:31:480:31:53

of two thanks, about her

international companies need to be

0:31:530:31:56

able to move staff around between

different locations in that

0:31:560:32:01

international business from ten to

ten, but also more generally in the

0:32:010:32:06

economy, about how there are sectors

with labour shortages, and they need

0:32:060:32:10

to be able to have people in to fill

those shortages. Without going into

0:32:100:32:16

the big debates about how we need in

Britain to do more in terms of

0:32:160:32:20

upscaling the workforce and

improving training, not just for

0:32:200:32:28

school or college leavers, but

throughout people posh cameras so

0:32:280:32:31

there are fewer such labour

shortages in the future, those

0:32:310:32:38

points are ones that the Government

recognises, so clearly, in designing

0:32:380:32:43

a future migration relationship with

ourselves and the EU and other

0:32:430:32:46

countries outside of the EU, that

will be in the very forefront of our

0:32:460:32:51

thinking.

0:32:510:32:56

Another Airbus question?

I am

French, working in Broughton, and my

0:32:560:33:04

question was, what are your views

regarding people from the Continent

0:33:040:33:09

working in the UK as well as people

from the UK working in other

0:33:090:33:13

European countries?

You do a great

job, you're working, paying taxes,

0:33:130:33:21

contributing to our society. I

applaud what you and people from all

0:33:210:33:24

other member states of the European

Union have done in contributing to

0:33:240:33:28

life in this country. The referendum

to give political decision, but I

0:33:280:33:34

think it's very important that, that

decision having been taken, we

0:33:340:33:39

recognise a positive contribution

that you and other colleagues make

0:33:390:33:43

and continue to make in our country.

If I can move on, it is to bring

0:33:430:33:51

real people and men become to the

journalists?

Sky first. You said

0:33:510:34:00

there were many different reasons

why people voted to leave. Do you

0:34:000:34:04

think all of the 52% voted to leave

the customs union? And I want to

0:34:040:34:11

post your question posed by Jeremy

Corbyn in his speech in Coventry. He

0:34:110:34:16

said that, if the government

position is to leave the customs

0:34:160:34:20

union, then in which sectors of the

economy and industry does the

0:34:200:34:24

government think it would be

acceptable for there to be tariffs

0:34:240:34:27

between the UK and the EU?

I think

there are many different motives,

0:34:270:34:33

but primarily a question of a sense

that rules were being imposed on the

0:34:330:34:39

United Kingdom. We had the argument

about that at the time of the

0:34:390:34:47

referendum, but that was the

dominant theme of those voting to

0:34:470:34:51

leave, in their comments. On leaving

the customs union, but the Leader of

0:34:510:34:58

the Opposition is ignoring is that

the four freedoms and indivisible

0:34:580:35:03

here. I read his speech this morning

and I cannot find a coherent theme

0:35:030:35:10

to it. I think that if you look at

what the Prime Minister said in her

0:35:100:35:18

Lancaster Has speech, she said very

clearly there that we would not want

0:35:180:35:23

to be part of the Common Commercial

Policy and we wouldn't want to be

0:35:230:35:29

part of the Common External Tariff,

but we would look at an arrangement

0:35:290:35:34

with our partners in the EU. That

was the speech supported by

0:35:340:35:38

everybody in the government and my

side of the highs and parliaments,

0:35:380:35:41

so that would be the approach we

would continue to take. ITV?

Angus

0:35:410:35:51

Walker, ITV News. Many large firms

like Airbus will welcome what label

0:35:510:35:55

is suggesting on negotiating a

Customs Union. Will you tell large

0:35:550:36:01

films like Airbus if they support

that Labour position that they are

0:36:010:36:04

wrong? This is a speech about

devolution, but you didn't go into

0:36:040:36:08

detail about the Irish border. Do

you think what the EU will see on

0:36:080:36:12

the Irish border this week will be

acceptable or are more talks on that

0:36:120:36:16

issue required?

On your second

point, I'm afraid I do make it a

0:36:160:36:22

rule that I will not speculate about

texts that I haven't yet seen. We

0:36:220:36:28

are talking both to the commission

and the Irish are all the time about

0:36:280:36:33

these and many other matters. On

your first point, two points. One,

0:36:330:36:43

we have always made it plain that

our objective is to have the trading

0:36:430:36:50

relationship that is as frictionless

as it is possible to negotiate. It

0:36:500:36:55

seems to me that, if you look for

example at the balance of trading in

0:36:550:36:59

goods between the EU 27 and the

United Kingdom, which at the moment

0:36:590:37:05

is strongly in favour of the EU 27,

it is in everyone's interests that

0:37:050:37:10

we have that outcome at the end of

the day. On the Leader of the

0:37:100:37:16

Opposition's points, I think he is

ignoring some realities about the EU

0:37:160:37:19

and how it operates in trade

negotiations. I have been in EU

0:37:190:37:28

Council meetings, where we have

tried to thrash out the opening

0:37:280:37:32

position for a free trade

negotiation with the third country.

0:37:320:37:35

That is done by unanimity. The idea

that the EU would give a non-member

0:37:350:37:40

state the right to veto their

approach to the causation is utterly

0:37:400:37:44

fanciful. BBC Scotland?

BBC

Scotland. You say you are making

0:37:440:37:59

process with negotiations with the

Scottish Government. They remain

0:37:590:38:03

resolute that, as far as they're

concerned, you are disrespecting the

0:38:030:38:08

devolution settlement, because they

argue that all powers in the

0:38:080:38:12

Scottish Parliament should retain

their and it should be those powers

0:38:120:38:16

that be decide whether they are

decided on the UK level. They say

0:38:160:38:20

you are essentially playing fast and

loose with the devolution

0:38:200:38:23

settlement.

Now, I think that would

be a mistaken interpretation. Last

0:38:230:38:32

week, we had constructive set of

conversations with the Welsh and

0:38:320:38:36

Scottish governments. We have not

yet come to an agreement, but we

0:38:360:38:40

have agreed to intensify those talks

and take them further. There was a

0:38:400:38:45

recognition by both devolved

governments that the proposed change

0:38:450:38:50

to the withdrawal bill but I put on

the table did mark a very

0:38:500:38:54

significant move from the UK. I hope

we will bridge the final gap before

0:38:540:39:01

too much longer. My argument has

always been that we are determined

0:39:010:39:06

to respect the devolution settlement

in their entirety. When those

0:39:060:39:10

devolution settlement were

negotiated and then put into law

0:39:100:39:14

back in 1998 and 1999 and subsequent

legislation, it was done the

0:39:140:39:22

assumption that everybody shared

that there were certain powers that

0:39:220:39:27

were not devolved. This question of

how you dealt with a UK single

0:39:270:39:32

market because it was all done as a

European level. Now we have to work

0:39:320:39:37

out how we make life easy for

business but also their customers. I

0:39:370:39:41

don't think businesses or customers

in Scotland will benefit if there

0:39:410:39:46

are extra barriers to stop and

selling across the borders into

0:39:460:39:49

England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

BBC Wales?

Given the shift from

0:39:490:40:00

Labour in supporting a Customs

Union, are you concerned your

0:40:000:40:06

government is facing defeat on the

amendment on the Customs Union in

0:40:060:40:11

Parliament? One of your MPs

described new offer on the

0:40:110:40:15

withdrawal bill as a capitulation,

but there's still no agreement with

0:40:150:40:19

the Welsh government. So are you

happy to go further?

Are you happy

0:40:190:40:23

to do so? On your second point, we

add I Ching constructively with the

0:40:230:40:28

Welsh government and the Scottish

Government. Our objective is to

0:40:280:40:33

reach a clear agreement and I think

what we have that on the table is a

0:40:330:40:39

very fair offer, which maintains the

ability for us to legislate at

0:40:390:40:47

Westminster, where there are United

Kingdom interests involved. Both our

0:40:470:40:51

international obligations and the

need to protect the interests of

0:40:510:40:55

businesses and consumers in the

single market, while ensuring that

0:40:550:40:59

the default position is that, where

a power might be devolved, it would

0:40:590:41:05

go automatically to the devolved

level. On your first point, my first

0:41:050:41:12

parliament, back in 1992-97 was a

Conservative government with a very

0:41:120:41:16

small majority and I'm afraid I got

used to these rumours every week

0:41:160:41:20

about whether the government will be

defeated on this or that. I think

0:41:200:41:26

that when my colleagues here the

Prime Minister speak on Friday, they

0:41:260:41:29

will be encouraged and reassured by

what she has to say. Guardian?

0:41:290:41:33

Stephen.

What will you do to prove

to the devolved government is that

0:41:330:41:42

you will respect their views when it

comes to developing yours within

0:41:420:41:45

this common framework Western

remarked how can you reassure them?

0:41:450:41:54

It is one of the areas we are

discussing at the moment. I have

0:41:540:42:01

given a public commitment to that on

many occasions. And I have actually

0:42:010:42:05

put on the table some arrangements

where we would write in so long a

0:42:050:42:15

very specific requirements to

consult and publish the results from

0:42:150:42:20

consultation of the views of the

devolved governments in Scotland,

0:42:200:42:24

Wales and I hope Northern Ireland

before too long. But also that we

0:42:240:42:29

would write interval in requirement

for the UK Government to report back

0:42:290:42:34

to Parliament at very frequent

intervals, perhaps every quarter, on

0:42:340:42:38

why any of these powers to set

frameworks was still being held at

0:42:380:42:45

Westminster. I want to emphasise

that the power to hold something

0:42:450:42:50

back, pending the negotiating

framework, is a power intended to be

0:42:500:42:56

exercised as a backstop. It should

only be used proportionately and

0:42:560:43:01

tempered until the framework has

been put in place. And by having a

0:43:010:43:07

requirement for the UK Government to

have a parliamentary report at very

0:43:070:43:14

frequent intervals, I think would

put the pressure on any government

0:43:140:43:19

department in Whitehall that is

perhaps dragging its feet because it

0:43:190:43:21

has other business and it's not

giving the devolution question is a

0:43:210:43:26

top priority it needs to be given.

We are very willing to continue

0:43:260:43:32

talking about how we find

institutional means of ensuring we

0:43:320:43:37

really are delivering on a promise

we have given.

0:43:370:43:45

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