04/10/2016: Conservative Party Conference Daily Politics

04/10/2016: Conservative Party Conference

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Welcome to day three of the Conservative Party conference


here in Birmingham, where, as Prime Minister, Theresa May


was doing the rounds of broadcasters to flesh out her particular brand


of Conservatism, the pound plunged to a 31 year low


Welcome to this Daily Politics Conference Special -


live from the Tory party conference here in Brum.


Yesterday the Chancellor tried to reassure markets that he knew


what he was doing when it came to Brexit,


by making clear he wasn't a hardliner on the issue.


The exchange markets took fright and sterling plunged.


She failed to bring down net migration as Home Secretary...


Can Theresa May be any more successful at controlling


The Defence Secretary says that in future our armed forces will be


exempt from the jurisdiction of the European Court of


Human Rights in some circumstances - will this put an end to the flurry


Also this afternoon - transatlantic political allegiances.


Conservatives have traditionally supported the Republicans,


Labour, the Democrats - but what about in next month's


We send Adam out with his balls - would they plump


You know Ed wasn't their first choice for Strictly, they were going


to ask Jeremy Corbyn to do it, but somebody told them he had two left


feet! And there are polite


chuckles in the hall, Now, the Prime Minister has said


there will be "bumps in the road" as we negotiate our exit


from the EU and build Chancellor Philip Hammond's went


further warning of "turbulence" and a "rollercoaster" ride


for the economy. The exchange markets took him


at his word this morning when they opened and placed


sterling on a rollercoaster, heading down to its lowest level


against the dollar in 31 years. Here's what Theresa May had to say


on ITV earlier today. This isn't about saying well we're


coming out of the European Union, but what bits of men should do we


keep? It's saying when we leave the European Union it will be that


independent, sovereign country and we will be negotiating a new


relationship with the European Union. It won't be plain sailing,


there will be some bumps in the road as we go through this process. The


economic data we've seen so far in the last few weeks has been more


positive than people were expecting. It is early days but it has been


more positive than people were expecting. But I recognise the


concern business has, wanting to see a smooth process as we go through


these negotiations. We're joined now by Kate McCann


of the Telegraph and Sam Mr Hammond the new Chancellor, meant


to be a reassuring figure, an accountant, safe pair of hands but


the exchange markets didn't think so? I think what's been going on is


the markets have been broadly doing what the rest of us are trying to


do, trying to work out the nature of Brexit that we are going to have. We


are in a world where we have very few hard facts. We know the timing


of Article 50 but few details on the relationship Britain will have with


its closest neighbours and the rest of the world going forward. What


happened is the financial markets, broadly speaking, slightly out of


touch with the direction of travel of this government over the last few


weeks. It's been fairly clear to me we are heading to the sum had


Brexit, we won't stay in the single market, we will probably come out of


the customs union. There will be some kind of agreement between the


UK on the European union block, to some extent. And the markets in the


last 36-48 hours have woken up to that fact. Talking to traders on


Friday they said around the world there was a general misconception of


where we were going to end up on Brexit. I think the comments of


Theresa May yesterday and on Sunday have really put that to rest. That's


why we're getting such a sharp correction at this point. Can they


just shrug it off? We have a floating exchange rate now, we've


had one for years and years. Sterling goes up and down. Many


people thought it was overvalued anyway before the referendum. Or do


they start to get worried, because it will feed through into prices? It


well. The people who start to get worried will be us, people who it


matters to day today. It is worrying when you don't know the implications


of what it means, but what it does mean is anyone going on holiday to


America will be in a worse off position than they were before.


Before the vote we had these warnings. Chuka Umunna today warning


this means people will be worse off. They will feel their pound is worth


less in their pocket. That will cause people to stop and pause and


wonder if to buy or sell a house, or if to put that decision. That will


have a bigger and slower impact on what we are seeing today. The FTSE


100 is going through the roof at the moment, over 7000 and still rising.


Most people have their pensions and FTSE 100 companies, so to some


extent that is good news. But a big chunk of the FTSE are companies that


operate abroad, so when sterling goes down, they often do much better


because their foreign exchange then turns into sterling at a much better


rate. So it doesn't tell you that much? There are a range of


indicators we can look at. A lot of people think the FTSE 100 is to


short term to draw big conclusions from. What indicators and my most


interested in? I think in the next few months we will get more of a


settled sense of which direction this country is going in. The


numbers I will be looking at other ones published on November 23 by the


office the budget responsibility, will set up the predicted rates for


this country going forward, and critically the tax revenue the


Exchequer is expected to receive every year. This is the people at


home is the most important consequence of what is going on


here. Talking to the ISS and people in government, there is a widespread


assumption that by the time we get to 2020, you are perhaps looking at


15-20 or ?25 billion less tax revenue year. That's when it starts


getting tangible for people at home. Currency is one thing, but when


there is less money for schools and hospitals, when departmental budgets


will be hit, I think that's when people watching this programme are


going to most notice the consequence of Brexit. There is another side of


the argument, people who supported leaving the European Union at this


conference saying traditional bodies like the Institute for Fiscal


Studies are being too downbeat and not seeing the advantages that will


come from being a free trading nation, but it will come down to


cold hard economic reality. Other deals we can do now, will they


compensate for the loss people think we will see? It is a big question


and markets today seem to have taken a rather pessimistic medium-term


view. Most people think forecasters get it wrong, that's a problem. OBR


often gets it wrong. Yes, and we are at the start of a very slow process.


We haven't triggered Article 50 yet or left the EU yet, so goodness


knows what happens when we do. That's usually written into market


indicators. The problem we will have as this goes on, if Theresa May's


government decides to continue this kind of line of Brexit, we will know


very little. Some Conservative MPs at this conference has been saying,


I don't think there will be a hard Brexit. They are talking like that


is a given. We shall see. Forecasts can be wrong, and so can our


speculations. We will leave it there.


Now, the new Home Secretary Amber Rudd has just taken


-- is due on stage imbibing in shortly.


And she is expected to announce new restrictions on people coming


The Government is still committed to bringing net migration down


But, as Ellie Price explains, the level of non-EU migration


Net migration is the difference between the number of people coming


into the UK and those leaving each year. Last year it was 320 7000.


Around half came from the EU, the other half came from the rest of the


world. They are eye watering figures when you think the Conservatives


have been wanting to get the net migration figures down to 100,000


since 2010. You are completely committed to the


tens of thousands target? I am completely committed to reducing


Icahn and tens of thousands, but it will take some time. Whether they


can meet that target will depend on what type of Brexit deal is agreed


on whether there are changes to freedom of movement from the EU. But


don't forget the number of non-EU migrants is still 190,000. Even


though the government already can and does apply immigration controls


to the rest of the world. The composition of non-EU migration is


very different EU migration. People from the EU are mainly coming as


workers, where as the largest group of people coming from outside of the


EU are actually international students. That is the largest group.


Then we have people coming as workers, coming mainly in highly


skilled jobs. Then we have family members, and the smallest group is


asylum. Let's look at the numbers. The largest number of non-EU


migrants is students, 72% of people who came to study in Britain last


year came from the rest of the world. That was 111,000 people.


Mostly coming from China and other Asian countries. There have been


concerns that route was being exploited. The government says it


closed 920 bogus colleges since 2010. That might partly explain why


the visiting student numbers last year were the lowest since 2007.


The second largest group of non-EU migrants as workers, usually in


higher skilled roles. 71,000 people came from outside the EU to the UK


last year to work. 20,000 were job-seekers and another 51,000


already had a job lined up. Then you have another 47,000 who came to join


or a company family members. And finally, around 44,000 claiming


asylum. All of these numbers relate to non-EU immigration, before we


even get to deciding how many people can come from EU countries. Brexit


means UK politicians could soon have complete control over migration, but


it doesn't mean the choices they face will be any easier.


I'm joined now by the Work and Pensions Secretary Damian Green.


In a former life he was the Immigration Minister


Welcome back to the programme. Do you accept if you are to get


anywhere near your target for net migration into this country that you


will have to cut both EU migration and non-EU migration? I think


mathematically that must be the case. Last time I looked it was


about... The net figures were 190,000 each. I think slightly


more... 330000 and it's roughly 50-50. So both will have do come


down. Yes. I think what Amber will be talking about today is measures


you can take to reduce migration from outside the European Union


first. Why haven't you done that? Net migration from the EU, from


outside the EU is way over your overall 100,000 target. What are you


doing about it? As your package just showed, I think it was some years


ago I was Immigration Minister. One of the most effective measures we


took was closing all the bogus colleges. That gives some context.


Everyone says we want students here. Some of them, they weren't students,


they were coming here to work and attending bogus colleges. I


understand that but the overall figure is 3.3 times your target. If


nobody came here from the EU, even if there was no migration from the


EU, you would still be 90,000 above your target. Which would have been


lower than what we had. Why do make promises you can't keep? It's like


pushing a balloon, you push one side and the other side comes up. It is a


permanent struggle to keep immigration numbers at an acceptable


level. A struggle you are losing. It is a struggle you have to keep at.


You have lost 330,000... Higher than the year before and that was higher


than the year before and that was higher than the year before that. It


came down and went up again. Went up for three years. It was going down.


It came down and went up again and went up again be partly because our


economy was growing much faster than the economy of many other European


countries. In some ways that makes it more difficult to control


immigration, but I don't think anyone's complaining about the fact


we had higher growth rates than many of our comparable countries. Can you


give us any idea when you might get even close to your target? It will


take time. I am not the Immigration Minister any more. Beyond 2020? It


will be a few years yet, yes. It depends how fast the relative


economic growth is in other countries. I would love other


countries in Europe to get to grips with their economy is, particularly


inside the euro zone, so there growing so very many young people


who come here can find jobs in their own country. Do you think when


people are worried about immigration into this country, and the


referendum showed there was worry about it, particularly outside the


metropolitan areas. Do you think they had doctors in mind when they


were worried about migration? Probably not, but you would have to


ask them that, Nigel Farage was forever at the forefront of saying


that we wanted few immigrants and he would never answer the question,


whether he meant doctors. Why would you want to not want to in Courage


medical people to come to this country? -- encourage. In an ideal


world we would train more doctors ourselves because this is a good


profession for people to go into and what we and other richer countries


are doing around the world, we are tending to take badly needed medical


professions from poorer countries. In the long term that is not a good


thing to do, that is not sustainable for them, but we are doing that


because we need to fill gaps because at the moment we are not training


enough doctors, so we should train more doctors. You have put the


doctors and other medical people working here already, you have put


them on deportation notice. No, we haven't. Really? The Prime Minister


was asked this morning if foreign doctors would be allowed to stay and


she said, until further numbers of home-grown doctors are trained. When


we train our doctors they will want to find jobs. But what happens to


the others? That is a Duport Asian notice warning to doctors already


here. -- deportation. Would you like to say to anyone who has come to


this country to work in the NHS, are they welcome to stay? They well,


while they are doing a job and they will be necessary for that time --


they are well, for the wild way are doing a job. -- play a welcome.


So they don't have to go? What I will say again, it she said, doctors


will be allowed to stay until further numbers of home-grown


doctors are trained. Not talking about new foreign doctors coming in,


talking about those already here. You have clarified they won't have


to leave, correct? If we are training up more doctors, those


doctors will be available to apply for jobs in the future, many years


in the future, it takes many years to train a doctor, but they will


then presumably be competing for jobs with foreign doctors who are


not yet here. For a country with a national health 's is and with an


international reputation with health -- National Health Service. With


world beating hospitals and breakthroughs in medical techniques,


don't you want an international market in medical expertise? Don't


you want the best and the brightest to come to this country? Yes, of all


people to come to this country, the best and brightest, when I was


Immigration Minister I said we don't just want our fair share, we want


more than our fair share and we think this is a very attractive


country to come to. You have said you would like more of the best and


brightest to come, Boris Johnson has said he would like more Australians


to come, Philip Hammond says he thinks the City should be exempt


from any kind of immigration controls, and Sajid Javid says we


need more foreign builders. If all these are the people are coming into


the country, who is not coming in? These are people who are already


coming in. Mr Johnson says he would like more Australians, Sajid Javid


said we need more foreign builders. One of your other colleague said we


need more farm workers. If we need all these extra people to come into


the country, who are you not going to let in? How are you going to get


the numbers down? The basis of any sensible immigration policy and this


is what we seek to do, is to bring people in who are highly skilled and


world-class or filling gaps in the Labour market. One of the tasks of


other ministers including myself, is to make more highly skilled our own


workforce so that British workers are trained to do jobs that would


otherwise have to be done by workers from overseas. That is a permanent


struggle, not something you ever get to the end of, but absolutely, that


is a task for any British government to make sure our skills are better


and we have people who can do those jobs. The basis of your immigration


system is not allowing people to come in with skills that we need,


but the basis is to get net migration down. Most people, even


though most worried about immigration, they say they want


doctors and skilled people, they want the best people in the world


here. What you said in the referendum campaign, that was very


much the thought that we are bringing into many relatively low


skilled workers and the question is, can't we find British workers to do


those jobs which are not that is a legitimate question. -- to do those


jobs? Of course. How much for -- further does sterling have to fall


before you get worried? I have seen this happen, working in finance, and


anyone who worries over a few days in the market, but would find


themselves bouncing around every day. It is a trend. You will know


the trend has been down for 100 days. It is now down about 13.5%


since the 23rd of June. $1.28. How low does it go before you get


worried? You make long-term policy not on the basis of international


currency rates, but what you do, it seems to me the Prime Minister


giving a date for when we invoke Article 50, that actually promotes


stability. How did that work in the exchange markets this morning? The


Prime Minister gave a sedate over the weekend and then the pound


plunges as soon as the markets open -- gave a date. That is a classic


market reaction. Unless wondering where the stability comes in. The


longer you leave it uncertain, for markets and investment, long-term


investment, it is worse, and I think proceeding at a sensible pace with


the Brexit negotiations, and we are now single the timetable is, that is


the most sensible way to do it. It will be an uncertain period, they


will be bumps in the road, and knowing how long that road is seems


to be promoting stability. Damian Green, thanks for joining us.


Conservatives have traditionally supported US republicans -


But what about in next month's presidential election?


It is rather different from most elections in America.


Adam wheeled out his mood box amongst conference goers - would


Most people here don't have a vote in the American presidential


election but we're not letting that stop us, who do people prefer?


Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton? This is going to be awesome, so


awesome. Clinton, she is the lesser of two evils. Ringing endorsement


exclaim Aqua grab a ball and put that in the Clinton box. It would be


great to have a female president. Go for it, then. I'm going to go for


Trump because I hate every Clinton. She is alive and she will say


anything for a of votes and I think Trump has a bit more credibility and


I would go for him. It is a kick in the face or a kick in the crotch,


and Clinton would probably kick me in the crotch full stop I don't know


what I would go for. Thank you very much. I share the same hairdresser


as Donald Trump, I've got to grab one of these. You wearing better.


Mine is just as false. It is going to be fantastic. I'm not sure


Clinton will do the best for America. It is like the Iran-Iraq


war come I want them both to lose, but I think if I was an American


citizen I'm afraid it would have to be, for world peace, the safer


world. I think Donald Trump will win. Unfortunately. This rolling


ball is for Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate. Trump or


Clinton? Trump, I think of are just so I can see the President of North


Korea's face when I -- someone whispers in his ear that Donald


Trump is the American president. -- I think just so I can see the


president of North Korea. Jim Davidson, News at ten, Conservative


conference. Who are you going to be announcing as the winner? Trump. I


don't want a madman and an idiot running the United States of


America. Who would you give this ball to? I give this to the


Republican candidate, Donald Trump. I won't vote for a very left-wing


Democrat. I'm doing some writing about this, about the US election, I


do a podcast every Friday, and in that position, I have to remain


neutral. Few people went for Donald Trump but the majority went for


Hillary Clinton. We have made the move box great again, not that it


wasn't great before -- mood. STUDIO: Ad showing that there is a clear


majority for Hillary Clinton at the Conservative conference -- Adam.


Stressing the difference between Britain's form of conservatism and


America's current style of conservatism. That is if you regard


Donald Trump as a Conservative. Now, Theresa May has said


she will trigger Article 50 - beginning the process of our exit


from the European Union But should it be her decision alone,


or should MPs have a vote on it? Well Conservative supporter,


Leave campaigner and founder of Pimlico Plumbers -


Charlie Mullins - is funding a legal challenge to try and force


a parliamentary vote. Good afternoon. People voted to


leave the European Union, why are you finding a vote to try and stop


the will of the people? I'm not against the result. You are. I'm


trying to clarify whether Theresa May is legally entitled to trigger


Article 50 and whether issued B Parliament, and I believe it should


be Parliament. -- and whether it should be Parliament. The government


says they have the legal power to do so. It should be Parliament.


Parliament makes the laws and decisions, so surely it should be


them that do it. Your slide in the campaign never told us that if we


voted to leave it would still be subject to a vote in parliament --


side. We were never told that. We were told by the then Prime Minister


that if we voted to leave, the will of the people would be respected.


I'm not against the referendum, I'm here to clarify whether she is


entitled to trigger Article 50 or whether Parliament should be doing


it. You have never shown a massive interest in such intricate


constitutional matters before, why now? I'm sure aim is to thwart the


result. -- unless your aim. We have to accept the resort. If someone


challenges this 80 months down the line, and we have been in a complete


mess, there will be more uncertainty and we need to find whether she's


entitled to or whether it is Parliament. -- we have to accept the


result. Parliament is voting for us to leave in essence, by getting rid


of the European communities act. The idea of Parliament voting, they make


the laws, why should it left to the government? If we hadn't voted for


Parliament, how would you encourage MPs to vote? If we didn't have a


Parliament? No, if we had a vote in Parliament. I'm a Remain, but we can


live with the decision, it is about businesses preparing for the exit.


Do you want them to vote against triggering out of 50 -- Article 50


question -- Article 50? I would rather they voted to Remain. So you


want this vote so that Parliament can reverse the result of the


referendum? Not at all, there's a campaign formed by Gena Miller,


businesswoman, she believes Theresa May is not entitled to trigger


Article 50. You have said if Parliament had a vote on Article 50


you would want Parliament not to trigger Article 50, therefore not to


carry out the will of the referendum. No, no. We have two


except the result, even if we are not happy with it, but this is about


legally finding out whether it is Theresa May or Parliament should be


doing it. -- to accept. You have said you want MPs to vote not to


trigger Article 50. Obviously I have an opinion and from a business


perspective that is my opinion. What kind of constitutional crisis would


we have if the people, having voted to leave the EU, Parliament then


votes that we shouldn't leave? We don't own what they would vote. We


are uncertain at the moment, but we have got to go back to why I'm here,


the point is whether she is legally entitled to do it or whether it


should be Parliament. Thanks for joining us. When is the court case?


Ten days from now, the High Court's Lord Chief Justice is dealing with


it. More money for lawyers. It is your money.


Now, the Conservatives have used their conference to make a raft


Let's go back to London and see what we've learned so far.


Yes, Andrew, thank you. There have been a raft of announcements and we


will have a look at the big policies that were stated and have been since


Sunday. At the start of the conference


on Sunday, Prime Minister Theresa May announced that the UK


will trigger Article 50 by the end of March,


starting the two year She also promised


a "Great Repeal Bill," removing the 1972 European Communities Act


from the statute books, and enshrining existing EU


law into British law. Yesterday, Chancellor Philip


Hammond abandoned his predecessor George Osborne's aim to balance


the books before 2020. Also, Communities Secretary Sajid


Javid said the Government will borrow money to build 1 million


new homes by 2020. Today, Defence Secretary


Michael Fallon announces plans to ensure UK troops are given legal


protection against While Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt


is announcing a 25% increase in medical school places,


to make England "self-sufficient" Joining me now from Leicester


is Labour Shadow Cabinet Welcome to the Daily Politics. As we


just said Chancellor Philip Hammond announced yesterday he is ditching


George Osborne's target to eliminate the Budget deficit by 2020. I assume


Labour is backing that? We always said he couldn't meet that target.


It was surplus by 2019, that was the basis of the Conservative 's general


election campaign last year. We said it would be unrealistic without deep


cuts in public expenditure. We have been calling for more investment in


infrastructure, that's what we think would be a sensible approach for the


economy and he seems to be adopting that approach, but we would have to


look at the details. It seems to vindicate the arguments we've


outlined in the last 12 months. So you are backing that. Your plea for


more investment seems to have been answered by the Conservatives. They


have announced they're going to borrow to build a million homes.


There is your public investment in infrastructure. You would support


that as well? We think we could go further. We have had the lowest


house-building on record since peace time, the nineteen twenties. How


many homes did Labour Bill did the last government? Not enough. Nothing


like it. We put investment into the housing stock, that was our priority


in the first few years of the Labour government. We want this government


to go further. We want more investment in our infrastructure.


Sticking with housing, you said Labour didn't build enough. The last


Labour government promised to build 240,000. The completions by the end


of that government were only 130 6000. You fell well short of that


promise so it's a bit rich for you to complain about the Conservatives'


record, which were right, completions was worse under David


Cameron, but now they are promising to build those homes. You support


that aspiration? I don't think it's rich when I am conceding to you we


didn't build enough homes. Not just enough... We wanted to put


investment in the existing housing stock, because it had had no


investment for 18 years of the previous Conservative government.


Why should voters trust you more than the Conservative government? On


the housing promises? What we have now, a Conservative government which


last year promised to balance the books and run a surplus by 2019.


They have completely abandoned that and completely abandoned any fiscal


rules whatsoever. We have a fiscal framework, we want to bring forward


billions and billions pounds worth of investment, not just houses but


Rhodes, broadband, and new sewage works that is needed, rail lines and


things like that. The Conservatives are just talking about housing,


which is welcome, and good as far enough and that is the


difference between us. You have abandoned any ambition to bring down


the deficit any time soon. You are pledging ?500 billion in new


investment to create jobs in new infrastructure projects. How much


are you going to add to the deficit? We will have to see what the public


finances are when we get into government and see what we inherit.


That you will be adding to the deficit quite dramatically much


about our pledges 25 billion over five years. We currently spend


something like 23 billion at the moment. There are ways in which we


can do this. If the deficit comes down of course we won't be boring,


but we will have to see what the public finances are like. What would


you do to bring the deficit down? If you invest in the economy, you grow


the economy. The reason the Conservatives have not been able to


deal with the deficit is because they haven't been investing in the


economy, haven't been growing the economy. Labour want to grow the


economy faster than it is now, at around 2.1%? What growth rate are


you predicting? We will make our decisions when we see what the


Chancellor says in his Autumn Statement and budget. The key event


will be the budget before the general election, as you know. In


the meantime, the Conservatives are talking about bumps on the road,


taking this very casual attitude to Brexit, apparently pushing us into


what is being called a hard Brexit, not being clear about whether they


want to remain in the single market or keep access. It seems like


they've moved away from that. We think that would be a catastrophe


for jobs, investment and the prosperity of the people I represent


in Leicester. If they push us out of the single market they need to be


clear about what that means the British manufacturers who are


worried about tariffs on perhaps the cars they produce in Sunderland and


elsewhere. This is the clarity we need from Theresa May. Been boosted


recently depending on the fall in sterling, that could be a good or a


bad thing. I don't think they will want tariffs. No, but at the moment


exports have been boosted. In terms of looking at the economy, although


sterling has fallen, the share prices have gone up in the FTSE 100.


Do you welcome that? Of course we welcome share prices increasing. We


need to know what will happen to the economy in the next few months.


Philip Hammond was warning us yesterday it will be difficult.


Theresa May talks about it is bumps in the road, as if people's jobs can


be dismissed in that casual way. People are genuinely worried, if we


leave the single market and don't have access, what will that mean for


jobs in the UK? Do you think Labour voters, particularly in northern


heartlands, will also be worried about immigration and the fact you


are pledging and would like the UK to remain within the single market,


which would mean freedom of movement, as it stands now? Many


Labour voters back Brexit because they want to see immigration fall.


Do you want to see the numbers fall? I don't think immigration policy


should drive economic policy. That's not what I asked, would you like to


see the immigration numbers fall? A lot of voters in those working-class


northern constituencies you are talking about would be concerned if


we went into recession because we don't have access to a single


European market. Jeremy Hosking talking about a migration impact


fund... -- Jeremy Hunt 's been talking. I don't see how a putting


these are the tree figures out that helps the case, it hasn't helped the


Tories. Because Labour voters want it. They have failed to do that.


Labour voters backing Brexit wanted to see fewer people coming here?


Labour voters who voted to leave the EU wanted us to leave the European


Union. I think there are other issues going on. People were annoyed


about the fact you can't get decent housing in this country, that wages


have been stagnant for years, that London and the south-east appears to


be booming and elsewhere cities are being left behind. These are not


self correcting issues, you need a government intervening to deal with


them and that is why the Labour Party has a stronger offer in these


areas. Thank you. Back to you, Andrew, in Birmingham.


Thank you. The Defence Secretary has announced


that UK troops will be protected from future


"vexatious" legal claims. The change in policy means


parts of the European Convention on Human Rights -


or ECHR - could be suspended Here's what Michael Fallon


had to say earlier. Much of the litigation that we face


comes from the extension of the European convention on human rights


to the battlefield. That has been damaging our troops, damaging


military operations and costing the taxpayer millions that should be


invested in defence itself. APPLAUSE So I can announce today that in


future conflicts we intend to Dehra great front that European


convention. That will protect in future our


Armed Forces from many of the industrial scale claims we have seen


coming out of Iraq and Afghanistan. I want to be clear, this is not


about putting our Armed Forces above the law. They wouldn't want that.


They have to comply with the criminal law of this country, and of


course with the Geneva conventions. Serious claims must be investigated,


but spurious claims will be stopped and our Armed Forces will now be


able to do their job fighting their enemy and not the lawyers. APPLAUSE


That was Michael Fallon talking to the conference earlier this morning.


I am joined by the Defence Secretary now. Welcome to the Daily Politics.


This has been spun as a great announcement, but we have always


been able, if we chose, to get out of the European convention when


going into a conflict and it's just we haven't chosen to do it. It is


nothing new? Yes it is. We have to change the law. We have to get


Parliament to vote an amendment to the Human Rights Act allowing us to


do this in future conflicts. This is a big decision today, the big day


for our military. We will be asking Parliament to ensure in future


conflicts the government of the day will have the power, the power, to


do so. What do you do if Parliament says no, we don't want to give you a


blank cheque. We will just vote on a conflict by conflict basis? That is


not how the convention is constructed. Other countries have


done this before. For the French state of emergency, not for a


foreign conflict. And it was very necessary. But the convention was


drawn up to deal with foreign conflict. It was drawn up, as you


well know, after the war for those countries that had been fighting


each other. It was never envisaged to extend the battlefield overseas


and we will stop that. Why do you think no country has sought this in


advance of a conflict? They haven't been subject to this industrial


scale fighting of spurious allegations. Several thousand


allegations have been made up and pushed through the system against


our troops years after the alleged offences. If they are spurious why


has your department paid so much out in compensation? Because under the


convention you have to do that, otherwise the court would rule


against you and that is precisely the point. I think we have paid out


some ?20 million in some 300 cases. 326 cases. We had to settle when we


shouldn't have had to because the convention applied. We will this


apply the convention in the right to liberty. If someone is firing on


British troops and they then detain them, they shouldn't be able to sue


for loss of liberty, while you're arresting them, trying to find out


who they are, who they are working with, gather vital intelligence. We


must stop that kind of nonsense. Are you telling our viewers this morning


your department paid out ?20 million in compensation to people who don't


deserve it? We have had to because of the court system and convention,


and that has been the past. 20 million? We are taking action today


to make defence budget money is spent on our Armed Forces, not


paying off these spurious cases. Are they all spurious, the 20 million?


We've had thousands of cases of people who have said they are suing


us... 326 you settled, there must be something going on where there is


some merit? I don't understand why the department would have used


taxpayers money in such a cavalier way if these cases were without


merit? Because otherwise they could rest on the European Convention, the


articles about the right to liberty, to say they've been detained in


properly and they would have been able to do that through the courts.


We are going to stop that. There were cases where our Army detained


people improperly? Where there are serious cases they need to be


investigated. Our Armed Forces wouldn't want this, nobody would say


they be above law but there is criminal law of the United Kingdom


and the Geneva Convention. Our Armed Forces have to respect that and will


go on respecting in the future, after we've done this.


What you say to the Army's former chief legal adviser in Iraq, he says


genuine grievances would not have come to light if it hadn't been for


this? I don't agree with that. It is important they can't be investigated


properly, when you are cluttered up with several thousand allegations


which have no basis in fact. If there are serious allegations they


will be pursued. He was the chief legal adviser in Iraq. Well, he was.


He thought without the conventions application serious cases of


wrongdoing would not have come to light. Serious cases can still be


pursued because as I said, the Armed Forces will remain subject to our


law and must comply with the Geneva conventions, international


humanitarian law and the Law of armed conflict. Why have you done


nothing for those who have already been pursued? We are doing


something, we are putting more resources into the investigation to


get rid of the spurious claims and we have got rid of over 1000 already


and we threw another thousand out by January and there will only be a few


hundred left of the original 3000 and then we will have a time limit,


so no you claims can emerge and we will tackle the culture and we have


already had one of these law firms pursued through the solicitors


tribunal for making false allegations and that firm has been


shut down. Based in Birmingham, no less. Yes, but no longer. They felt


they were lettering out to dry by the army, some of the soldiers have


said, what are you doing about that? -- they felt they were hung out to


dry. We will give them support and we will do our best to protect them


as they go through that process. We will make sure that in future


complex they would be subject to this kind of nonsense -- conflicts.


This will have to go to the House of Lords. What happens if they say they


aren't giving you a blank cheque and it wasn't in the manifesto and they


would rather do this on a conflict by conflict basis? It was in our


manifesto, there was a very clear commitment to tackle the nonsense of


what is called law fair. But not to derogate from the EC HR. The


manifesto did not say you were derogate from the EC HR, correct?


The manifesto said we would tackle law fair and this is part of


tackling law fair and I would expect the House of Lords to support it and


I would expect the former service chiefs to welcome this announcement


and I would expect the House of Commons to support it. How much of a


toll is the continuing fall in sterling taking on your defence


budget question mark given how much we buy overseas. -- defence budget?


There are fluctuations. More than a fluctuation, it is a one-way street


since the 23rd of June. This is how the graft goes. Like any large


organisation, we take precautions against movements in the currency,


and you would expect us to do that because we purchase a lot of


equipment in dollars. You would expect us to protect our position


and we will go on doing so. Does Philip Hammond have to give you a


top up to account for the fall in sterling? We have a defence budget


which is going up each year at the moment and that is a protection.


While sterling is going down. It is going ahead in real terms ahead of


inflation, and we are relatively fortunate compared with other


colleagues whose budgets are going down, but we do purchase a lot in


dollars and we take the precautions. Michael Fallon, thanks for joining


us. That was the Defence Secretary in Birmingham, and now back to


London. We are going to see Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary. She will


be talking about immigration no doubt in her speech to the


conference. And she announced she is going


to look at new ways to bring Right, I think we are slightly


delayed, but hopefully she will appear very shortly on your screen.


As you know the Conservative Party was elected on a manifesto


commitment to reduce net migration to sustainable levels and that means


tens of thousands, not the hundreds of thousands. My commitment to you


today is that I will be working with colleagues across government to


deliver this. But I'm also here to level with you, conference, this


will not happen overnight. Leaving the EU is just one part of the


strategy we have to look at all sources of immigration if we mean


business. I'm announcing today that from December landlords that


knowingly rent out property to people who have no right to be here


will be committing a criminal offence and they could go to prison.


APPLAUSE Furthermore from December


immigration checks will be a mandatory requirement for those


wanting to get a license to drive a taxi. APPLAUSE


And from next autumn banks will have to do regular checks to make sure


they are not providing essential banking services to illegal


migrants. I can announce today we will shortly be consulting on the


next steps needed to control immigration. We will be looking


across work and study groups and this will include examining whether


we should tighten and test -- the test companies have to take before


recruiting from abroad. British businesses have given the economic


recovery in this country with employment at record levels but we


still need to do more. All British people therefore get the


opportunities they need to get on in life. The test should make sure


people coming here are filling gaps in the Labour market and not taking


jobs that British people could do. That was Amber Rudd. Home Secretary.


"A bid for the weakest joke of Tory conference",


"a half hour cringe, my face has just about returned to normal"-


those were just some of the reviews of the jokes to come


out of the Tory Conference speeches yesterday.


But were critics being overly harsh on the Conservatives'


We sent Adam out to test the gags with the Birmingham public.


Last week it was a Jeremy Corbyn joke book but now it is a bag of


gags from Tory party conference speeches which we will try out on


commuters at Birmingham new Street station. This is the Culture


Secretary, Darren Bradley. If you think I want to read more


spreadsheets, your grip on reality is as loose as Jeremy Corbyn's. If


that meant to be funny? -- is that meant. OK. This is a joke from


Philip Hammond. Did you know that Ed Balls was not the first choice for


sticky come dancing, it was Jeremy Corbyn, but then they found out it


was the case that he had two left feet -- Strictly Come Dancing. This


is a joke from Andrea Leadsom. Agriculture Secretary. We are


determined to improve mobile phone coverage and out superfast broadband


and I know how frustrating it is to search with a single bar of signal,


worse still if you can't get into your Pokemon account. That was the


joke. Not impressed, really. How many Shadow Cabinet members does it


take to change a light bulb? No one knows because the light bulb has


outlasted all of them. Fairly good. Imagine Labour win the 2020 general


election, Jeremy Corbyn is in Downing Street raising a red flag


and John McDonnell is raising every taxi can find an Ken Livingstone is


perched in the back-seat of the prime ministerial car. Tony Blair


and Gordon Brown is in the boot. Well, every cloud has a silver


lining. To get to the top woman has to be twice as good as a man, but


fortunately that is not very difficult. I don't get this Yuma,


man. Fair enough. -- humour. He had a point. I'm not sure I get it


either. With us is Geoff Norcott,


an openly pro-Tory comedian who hit Edinburgh Fringe with his show


'Conswervative' this summer. And the Labour comedian Ahir Shah


who today kicks off his show As a Tory comedian you are a rare


species? Yes, not completely unique, but I'm the only one stupid enough


to go to Edinburgh and talk about it for a month. Did you get lynched?


No, but I did get some strange looks. There was a sense of morbid


curiosity. Novelty item? Yeah. Given what we have seen in Birmingham so


far and the conference speeches, is it any wonder there are not many


Tory comedian 's question -- questions? -- Tory comedians? Yes, I


don't imagine they remember the first time Pokemon came round, and


to think they have kept up with the Apple -based phenomenon. Being a


mother probably hindered her because she was probably too clued up. You


kids with your Britpop and your mega drives. Is it easier for you as a


left-leaning comedian? I don't know, but there are probably more Tory


voting comedians than would be honest about it. At some clubs I


would not regarded as bastions of left-wing humour. Certainly. But


being a political comedian from the left is slightly easier. Why? The


left's earnestness, you could say, does that mean you are funny? It is


easy at the moment because we are losing so badly. Stand-up comedy is


aways funnier when the comedian is the loser in this situation and for


a left as moribund as it is at the moment, punching up is very easy.


Not good for Labour, but funny. In terms of material. Yes, fantastic.


In terms of material, you haven't enough, but there is Boris Johnson.


Yes, there is Boris. The Tories are putting a lot of eggs in his basket


immediately ended you were booking the conference as a gig, he would be


on last. -- in his basket, and if you were booking the conference.


There was something very abstract from him, I thought he could have


taken it further, speculating on what kind of ice creams we could


have had under Jeremy Corbyn. Maybe a chocolate would be seen as a


bourgeois asset. They have gone for Jeremy Corbyn, but they have not


really got him. Liam Fox said there is nothing funny about Jeremy


Corbyn, but he looks like Obi-Wan Kenobi, a cross between him and


Albert Steptoe, I think there is plenty funny about Jeremy Corbyn.


Theresa May question what everything she is doing -- Theresa May? I'm so


depressed by everything she says, I've not found anything funny or


stop by family in India -- my family in India find it quite funny,


because they are enamoured with the idea of Britain destroying itself or


by next August it will probably be fine. Across the dispatch box, she


did do the remind you of anybody. It was a bit intense. The joke was


fine. Theresa May doesn't have to be funny, she has grabbed has and that


is OK, I suppose. Thank you very much. -- Gravett has.


On the day that sterling plunged to record low levels against the


dollar. But I'll be back with the highlights


from Birmingham at 11.15 tonight, and back tomorrow at 11am for a two


hour special and Theresa May's first Although Olly's the reason


I started making this film,


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