21/10/2016 Daily Politics


21/10/2016

Andrew Neil talks to Paul Waugh from the Huffington Post and Rowena Mason from the Guardian about Theresa May the the European summit.


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Transcript


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Hello and welcome to the Daily Politics.

:00:38.:00:42.

Theresa May enters the 'nest of doves' -

:00:43.:00:45.

and tells EU leaders in Brussels that the UK expects to play a full

:00:46.:00:48.

He says the Lib Dems are the 'come back kids' of British politics,

:00:49.:00:58.

after they take second place in the Witney by-election.

:00:59.:01:01.

The Conservatives held David Cameron's old seat

:01:02.:01:06.

Plaid Cymru hold their autumn party conference in Llangollen.

:01:07.:01:12.

The party's leader - Leanne Wood - joins us live.

:01:13.:01:16.

And Hilary and Donald trade jokes - and insults - at a white-tie

:01:17.:01:19.

This is the first time ever, ever, that Hillary is sitting down

:01:20.:01:30.

and speaking to major corporate leaders and not getting paid for it.

:01:31.:01:45.

The tone of the US election keeps on rising.

:01:46.:01:49.

And with us for the whole of the programme today.

:01:50.:01:53.

The Guardian's deputy political editor Rowena Mason, and Paul Waugh,

:01:54.:01:56.

executive politics editor at the Huffington Post.

:01:57.:01:57.

Now, in the small hours of this morning we got the results

:01:58.:02:04.

There were no upsets - Labour won Batley and Spen,

:02:05.:02:16.

while the Conservatives retained David Cameron's Oxfordshire

:02:17.:02:18.

Our political correspondent, Mark Lobel can bring us

:02:19.:02:20.

Starting with Batley and Spen, this was Jo Cox's old seat, the

:02:21.:02:28.

by-election created by her tragic murder. Tracy Braeburn, a friend of

:02:29.:02:34.

Jo Cox, who was killed last June, and why we are having this

:02:35.:02:39.

by-election, she won A confident of victory, there were some far right

:02:40.:02:43.

parties that stood but none of them retained their deposit. None of them

:02:44.:02:49.

got more than 5% of the vote. In her speech Tracey Bray been said it was

:02:50.:02:53.

a bittersweet moment, it was a tragedy that the by-election had to

:02:54.:02:57.

be held in any place, and Brendan Cox, the husband of the late Jo Cox,

:02:58.:03:01.

he said he was happy that the purveyors of hate, as he regarded

:03:02.:03:07.

the opponents, were defeated commended not return their deposits,

:03:08.:03:13.

there were some heckling in the acceptance speech -- were defeated

:03:14.:03:21.

and did not return their deposits. Labour did contest the Witney

:03:22.:03:25.

by-election, David Cameron's old seat. The Lib Dems through a lot

:03:26.:03:31.

into this and they went from a rather poor fourth in the election,

:03:32.:03:36.

now to second. Conservatives held onto it reads to become to be, what

:03:37.:03:40.

is being said about this result? -- held onto it reasonably comfortably.

:03:41.:03:46.

It was the first test of Theresa May, it was not a great victory,

:03:47.:03:50.

with the loss of 20,000 votes, but for the Liberal Democrats, they are

:03:51.:03:55.

claiming a big victory, going from fourth to second place, from seven

:03:56.:04:03.

to 30% of the vote. Tim Farron suggests in such a constituency with

:04:04.:04:08.

a strong Remain vote, voters were calling to him and to look at

:04:09.:04:16.

keeping the UK in the EU single market, and he was cock-a-hoop

:04:17.:04:17.

whatever the reason. All right. I mean, 19% swing from

:04:18.:04:22.

the Conservatives to the Liberal Democrats is the best result

:04:23.:04:26.

for the Lib Dems in a by-election against the Conservatives

:04:27.:04:29.

for nearly 20 years. And it feels like we

:04:30.:04:30.

are the comeback kids We've fought a great campaign

:04:31.:04:32.

here and lots of people have voted for us because they saw

:04:33.:04:41.

us as fighting for a much better direction for our country,

:04:42.:04:44.

a strong alternative to the Tories, That is why Labour faded

:04:45.:04:46.

and we took second Mark, did they harbour hopes of

:04:47.:04:56.

winning this by-election? Are they contend with a decent second?

:04:57.:05:02.

Labour's deputy leader Tom Watson said the real reason was to

:05:03.:05:06.

embarrass Labour by taking the second place slot, but they threw

:05:07.:05:10.

everything into this, 100 peers came out, Tim Farron visited five times.

:05:11.:05:15.

They were hoping for a close second place. And maybe with the hope of

:05:16.:05:22.

taking the seat, one of these seats which they need to start taking back

:05:23.:05:26.

in order to reverse the terrible losses they suffered last year. It

:05:27.:05:30.

is fair to say this could be seen by some Lib Dems as at least

:05:31.:05:34.

kick-starting their recovery, although as the turnout was under

:05:35.:05:38.

50% we can't take it that serious way. Mark, thanks for joining us. --

:05:39.:05:47.

seriously. Rowena Mason, can you be the comeback kid by coming second?

:05:48.:05:53.

No. LAUGHTER Young if we look at the National

:05:54.:05:57.

polls, the Lib Dems are still down on six, 7%, but it is also the sort

:05:58.:06:06.

of all you would expect for a government in a by-election. --

:06:07.:06:13.

besought of fall. You might expect the official opposition to be the

:06:14.:06:16.

party who would do better in that say, Labour gaining more than the

:06:17.:06:19.

Lib Dems come and it is a huge amount to have gone up -- in that

:06:20.:06:26.

seat. It might give Theresa May a bit of pause for thought, if it is

:06:27.:06:29.

still in the back of her mind that she might call a general election in

:06:30.:06:33.

the next year. There are many seats in the South West that the Tories

:06:34.:06:38.

took off the Lib Dems last time and if there were to be a Lib Dem

:06:39.:06:42.

revival some of those seats could swing back and that could be

:06:43.:06:45.

dangerous to her majority, that will be one of the dangers of her calling

:06:46.:06:52.

a general election. Tim Farron is claiming that this was a vote for

:06:53.:06:57.

staying in the single market. What is the evidence for that? There is

:06:58.:07:02.

no real evidence for this. Is there any evidence? There is some, this

:07:03.:07:08.

was a seat which voted Remain in the referendum and that is what they are

:07:09.:07:13.

trying to extrapolate. It is like the government reading many things

:07:14.:07:17.

into the Brexit vote, because at the party conference they have read in

:07:18.:07:22.

all sorts of stuff about whether it was a vote on migration or written

:07:23.:07:27.

is being left behind globalisation. -- Britain. You can over interpret,

:07:28.:07:34.

but you can't over interpret the Ford in the Labour vote, and Jeremy

:07:35.:07:37.

Corbyn has got to have worries about this -- the fall. What was the fall?

:07:38.:07:47.

They went down a little bit, but they did not much up the

:07:48.:07:52.

disaffection with the Tories. They have reversed to type, 22010, when

:07:53.:07:59.

Labour came third, and don't forget the reason this is worrying for

:08:00.:08:03.

Labour, the Lib Dems surge has been in council by-elections, as well.

:08:04.:08:08.

Not just against the Tories. Labour have lost against the Lib Dems in

:08:09.:08:13.

big swings in Derbyshire, the north-east, and in Sheffield, and

:08:14.:08:16.

that is why Labour MPs are worried. Their own leader says judge us by

:08:17.:08:22.

by-election results and counsel by-election results, but they have

:08:23.:08:29.

not been that good. Would you be mad not to consider this if you were

:08:30.:08:34.

going to call a general election? What will determine what she does is

:08:35.:08:38.

how poorly Labour continues to poll nationally. If it continues on the

:08:39.:08:43.

low level at the moment and if the Tories are above 40%, there was a

:08:44.:08:48.

poll which put them on 47%. Partly because of the collapse of Ukip.

:08:49.:08:55.

Yes, that is what she will be looking at more than anything else,

:08:56.:08:58.

and the big gap between the Tories and Labour. So don't keep your eye

:08:59.:09:01.

on Witney. No. With the renewal of Trident

:09:02.:09:06.

the Royal Navy will get four brandspanking new submarines to play

:09:07.:09:10.

with, and this morning they've So our question for today is,

:09:11.:09:12.

what have they called it? At the end of the show

:09:13.:09:17.

Rowena and Paul will give Theresa May is in Brussels

:09:18.:09:23.

for her first full summit of EU leaders since becoming

:09:24.:09:30.

Prime Minister. Brexit is not officially

:09:31.:09:31.

on the Council agenda - but that hasn't stopped it

:09:32.:09:35.

being talked about. Last night Mrs May insisted that

:09:36.:09:38.

Britain would play a full role in all EU business until the moment

:09:39.:09:42.

we leave, while the president of the EU Council, Donald Tusk,

:09:43.:09:47.

said the other 27 EU member states would not behave like a den of lions

:09:48.:09:50.

- insisting instead that for Theresa May it would be

:09:51.:09:55.

like entering 'a nest of doves'. The PM is due to hold

:09:56.:09:59.

talks with the president of the European Commission -

:10:00.:10:01.

Jean Claude Juncker - later today but arriving

:10:02.:10:05.

at the summit, Mr Juncker seemed exasperated by

:10:06.:10:07.

questions about Theresa May. How did the evening

:10:08.:10:18.

go with Theresa May? We had no special event with

:10:19.:10:23.

Theresa May yesterday. She was explaining

:10:24.:10:30.

what her intentions were. I will have lunch with her, and then

:10:31.:10:32.

we will see what has to happen. What do you plan to say

:10:33.:10:36.

to her over lunch? Yeah, yeah.

:10:37.:10:38.

But that makes a difference. Let's get the latest

:10:39.:10:46.

from Brussels, and speak to our Europe Correspondent

:10:47.:10:48.

Damian Grammaticas. We understand Theresa May is about

:10:49.:10:54.

to give a press conference, and if we have a clip of that we will run

:10:55.:11:00.

it. Coming on to the more important issues, but first, is anything

:11:01.:11:04.

regarding Brexit really happening over there? To be honest, not much.

:11:05.:11:10.

LAUGHTER The Gaelic rosemary which

:11:11.:11:15.

Jean-Claude Juncker gave today was precisely because of that --

:11:16.:11:25.

Rasberry. He kept being asked about Brexit and his answer was, not much,

:11:26.:11:29.

because not much is happening until the Article 50 native occasional

:11:30.:11:34.

letter arrives in this building, and he knew very well that last night

:11:35.:11:38.

Theresa May's intervention was only five minutes long after coffee when

:11:39.:11:45.

she explained about the timetable for Brexit. It is overshadowed by

:11:46.:11:51.

the bigger issues of Russia and until the UK triggers it there won't

:11:52.:11:56.

be negotiations. He will have lunch with her today, he was asked how he

:11:57.:12:01.

found her, famously having said he might find difficult, he said he

:12:02.:12:06.

found her charming. There you go. He's back in diplomatic mode. And

:12:07.:12:11.

now to the bigger issue, the more immediate issue, the British,

:12:12.:12:18.

Germans and the French want to take a tougher line regarding sanctions

:12:19.:12:21.

against the Russians because of what is happening in Syria. And

:12:22.:12:26.

elsewhere. As I understand it it was effectively blocked by the Italian

:12:27.:12:33.

Prime Minister. How serious is that? It is quite serious. To be honest,

:12:34.:12:39.

from my understanding it is not just the Italians, the Austrians have a

:12:40.:12:43.

significant part in this, as well. Both of those countries have quite

:12:44.:12:48.

significant business trading relationships with Russia. Both also

:12:49.:12:57.

have issues politically, they want to exert themselves a bit inside the

:12:58.:13:03.

EU and they don't want Germany and France dominating things, so there

:13:04.:13:06.

is a bit of that going on in the background, up it is significant, at

:13:07.:13:11.

this moment in time when Europeans are looking at what is happening in

:13:12.:13:16.

Syria, what is happening in Aleppo, and what has been happening in

:13:17.:13:20.

Ukraine, trying to find a unified approach and still struggling to

:13:21.:13:25.

find that language which they wanted to toughen up. Some of the leaders

:13:26.:13:30.

want to get tougher and they wanted the mention of sanctions, but that

:13:31.:13:38.

was toned down. Wallonia, I don't often say that on The Daily

:13:39.:13:41.

Politics, but the Socialist leader of Wallonia has been holding up, he

:13:42.:13:48.

is the stop out on the EU site, the free trade deal with Canada -- side.

:13:49.:13:55.

He has been invited to join them, Wallonia being one of the regions

:13:56.:14:00.

part of the Belgian federal structure, is he under a lot of

:14:01.:14:03.

pressure? Is he about to break on this? Will the deal now be done?

:14:04.:14:10.

Yes, he is under an enormous amount of pressure, and I don't think he

:14:11.:14:14.

has been invited here but he has been locked in meetings with the

:14:15.:14:18.

European Commission and the Belgian federal government because they need

:14:19.:14:21.

his say-so to sign that deal to give the whole of the EU, 500 million

:14:22.:14:25.

people, the go-ahead to sign that trade deal with Canada. Is he about

:14:26.:14:34.

to cave? My sense is no. We are in Wallonia this week talking to

:14:35.:14:36.

members of his Socialist party and they were very clear, although they

:14:37.:14:42.

represent a small regional area, 3.5 million French bakers in the south

:14:43.:14:47.

of Belgian, their view, they do not like this trade deal -- French

:14:48.:14:52.

speakers for the day think it could undermine workers' rights and the

:14:53.:14:58.

rights of citizens in European countries, consumer rights, in

:14:59.:15:02.

favour of multinationals and big businesses, and they also do not

:15:03.:15:06.

like what they see as the protections given to multinationals.

:15:07.:15:11.

A court dispute system which would sit outside European courts. They

:15:12.:15:17.

want that element of it changed. Canada's Trade Minister has been

:15:18.:15:20.

here locked in talks with Wallonia, it sounds incredible, when you think

:15:21.:15:26.

about it. But they are sitting there today, their parliament has been

:15:27.:15:29.

meeting, saying they are not signing until they are satisfied, and they

:15:30.:15:33.

feel they are in the vanguard of an anti-trade feeding that is growing

:15:34.:15:38.

worldwide and that is why they are doing so -- feeling. The Socialists

:15:39.:15:46.

in Wallonia and the centre right here in Brussels, there are

:15:47.:15:48.

differences, but they are pressing on. Theresa May is giving her press

:15:49.:15:54.

conference now and if we have a clip we will run it.

:15:55.:15:58.

We've been joined by the acting director of the

:15:59.:16:00.

think-tank Open Europe, Stephen Booth.

:16:01.:16:02.

Before I come onto Brexit, let's not be too myopic, let's come onto the

:16:03.:16:09.

other things I was talking to Damian Grammaticus about. As Russia is

:16:10.:16:15.

increasingly being accused of war crimes in Syria and being on

:16:16.:16:19.

manoeuvres elsewhere, the Europeans are unable to come to a common

:16:20.:16:26.

position to turn up the sanctions screw. The EU has negotiated a

:16:27.:16:31.

free-trade deal with Canada, democratic, progressive, civilised

:16:32.:16:36.

nation and 3 million people look like they might be able to stop it.

:16:37.:16:42.

Aren't both these things signs of a certain dysfunction in the European

:16:43.:16:47.

Union? Yes, I think that's a fair comment. On both those issues,

:16:48.:16:51.

Russia, I think, that is where Theresa May wanted to go there with

:16:52.:16:55.

a constructive attitude and say we can help you with some of these

:16:56.:16:58.

things. And the French and Germans were on the same side. And within

:16:59.:17:04.

the European Union, and afterwards, it is an important message we can

:17:05.:17:07.

send when we come to Brexit but on the trade side of things, it is of

:17:08.:17:11.

some concern, because the UK may be in the same position as Canada,

:17:12.:17:14.

seeking that trade agreement with the rest of the EU and this anti

:17:15.:17:19.

trade globalisation is difficult to do these kind of deals. We know that

:17:20.:17:24.

if we attempt to do a free-trade deal to replace our membership of

:17:25.:17:29.

the single market, why do we think that in that case, Wallonia or

:17:30.:17:33.

anybody else would be in the same position? This is to do a free-trade

:17:34.:17:38.

deal that is opening out trade between the EU and Canada.

:17:39.:17:42.

Allerdale, no matter how good it is, would not be as open as being in the

:17:43.:17:47.

single market -- our deal. So Wallonia may not have a say. That

:17:48.:17:52.

political argument doesn't stand up for the reasons you say, this is not

:17:53.:17:57.

about new, opening up... If anything, we might talk about a

:17:58.:18:01.

trade barrier between the UK and the EU, so the argument doesn't stand

:18:02.:18:04.

up. Brett procedurally, it may need to go through the same process. But

:18:05.:18:09.

back the lead but we don't know that but does it also suggest that these

:18:10.:18:15.

multilateral trade deals are in real trouble because of anti trade

:18:16.:18:18.

globalisation forces and Wallonia would not be an issue if Britain and

:18:19.:18:22.

Canada were to do a free-trade deal? Yes, exactly and I think that is

:18:23.:18:31.

something that would vindicate the decision to leave the EU, it is not

:18:32.:18:36.

the sort of thing we would try and face making lateral deals with the

:18:37.:18:39.

likes of Canada but multilateral deals within the WTO, is it

:18:40.:18:44.

something we can build allies for, greater free-trade? The likes of

:18:45.:18:49.

Australia, Canada, perhaps the US, depending on what happens, might see

:18:50.:18:51.

us as useful allies in that endeavour. The meetings that are

:18:52.:18:56.

going on at the moment, and will continue until we trigger Article

:18:57.:19:00.

50, they are just Shadow dancing at the moment, aren't they? Posturing.

:19:01.:19:05.

Yes, but what I think the UK needs to do is shift the terms of the

:19:06.:19:09.

debate. We are having this Shadow dance but it is all around this very

:19:10.:19:12.

detailed discussion of how much trade can we get to control

:19:13.:19:16.

immigration? No one is thinking strategically about what kind of

:19:17.:19:19.

relationship we want between the UK and the EU on both sides. Trade is a

:19:20.:19:23.

fundamental element but it is not the only element. The UK is

:19:24.:19:29.

important to the EU's internal and external security, the issues about

:19:30.:19:32.

Russia, which is something the UK would want to be engaged in and the

:19:33.:19:38.

EU should want UK engagement in it. So before we get to the nitty-gritty

:19:39.:19:42.

negotiation, we need to explain how we see the EU as a valuable

:19:43.:19:47.

geopolitical partner. Some of these issues will be naughty and difficult

:19:48.:19:50.

but if you set them in the context... Of the broader

:19:51.:19:57.

geopolitical context. And do we want to create a trade war in the context

:19:58.:20:04.

of where we are dependent on each other with these issues? We find it

:20:05.:20:10.

hard to get to grips with the British Government's bargaining

:20:11.:20:13.

position, they do not yet know, they'll still grappling towards it,

:20:14.:20:17.

but we are even more in the dark, other than the posturing from

:20:18.:20:21.

Francois Hollande or Jean-Claude Juncker, we are even more in the

:20:22.:20:25.

dark as to what the EU's bargaining position is going to be, aren't we?

:20:26.:20:29.

Yes, and that is partly because there is a high degree of

:20:30.:20:32.

self-preservation in the sense that a lot of these people face their own

:20:33.:20:36.

elections, so they can't be seen to give anything to the British, but I

:20:37.:20:40.

think more importantly and the point I alluded to earlier, no one is

:20:41.:20:44.

thinking in strategic terms and we can't expect Jean-Claude Juncker

:20:45.:20:47.

Donald Tusk to think about that, because they deal with the EU. What

:20:48.:20:51.

we are talking about now is a broader issue of how we manage

:20:52.:20:55.

European affairs between the EU and the UK and other nations. That is a

:20:56.:21:00.

fair point, if you narrow it down to trade, you get the beating of

:21:01.:21:05.

breasts and the rattling, but if you place the negotiations in the

:21:06.:21:09.

context of Britain being the biggest military power in Europe, being a

:21:10.:21:13.

key part in security and intelligence and having a major

:21:14.:21:16.

geopolitical role to play in Europe, in or out of the EU, you may then

:21:17.:21:22.

get a different result. That is why you had to go back to what David

:21:23.:21:25.

Cameron was trying to argue in his negotiating with the rest of Europe.

:21:26.:21:29.

He was saying let's recognise that Britain plays all of these other

:21:30.:21:33.

roles, it is not just about trade, it is the global role in Nato,

:21:34.:21:37.

internal intelligence, all that kind of stuff. But crucially, Cameron

:21:38.:21:42.

could persuade the rest of the EU to water down freedom of movement in

:21:43.:21:46.

any way and we can't get away from that. You are right, Andrew, do the

:21:47.:21:51.

EU in any way want to negotiate or just play hardball? Even though

:21:52.:21:56.

Chuka Umunna, sitting in that seat last night, tried to argue that the

:21:57.:22:00.

Europeans were coming around to a different view of freedom of

:22:01.:22:08.

movement. But as they say... I'm not sure that Angela Merkel when it

:22:09.:22:12.

comes to that, given that she was brought up behind the Iron Curtain

:22:13.:22:15.

and so on, it is important to... Are we aware of just how divided the

:22:16.:22:22.

British Government is on this? I mean, when I first heard some of the

:22:23.:22:25.

stories, I thought it was exaggerated. But the more I have

:22:26.:22:29.

looked into it, there are huge divisions, but particularly through

:22:30.:22:37.

the three Brexiteer is and Philip Hammond in the Treasury and now

:22:38.:22:40.

between Mr Hammond and Theresa May and ten Downing Street. They have a

:22:41.:22:43.

lot of work to do to get a united front, I would suggest. I think you

:22:44.:22:48.

are absolutely right, there are some serious divisions between members of

:22:49.:22:51.

the Cabinet and one consequence of Theresa May saying let's have some

:22:52.:22:55.

of these discussions as a Cabinet group, rather than taking them as,

:22:56.:23:03.

as previous governments might have done, behind closed doors at Downing

:23:04.:23:06.

Street, we are seeing some of the tensions come out into the Open.

:23:07.:23:11.

There have been briefings and leaks. They come and speak to you! Exactly,

:23:12.:23:19.

it is quite beneficial from that point of view. There are definitely

:23:20.:23:24.

issues over the immigration and different systems that might be used

:23:25.:23:27.

to bring down immigration. There is a point of tension over whether you

:23:28.:23:32.

include students in the immigration or not. Which Mr Hammond seems to

:23:33.:23:36.

have been slapped down on. He seemed to be hinting that the public didn't

:23:37.:23:41.

consider foreign students necessarily as migrants. And Number

:23:42.:23:45.

Ten has categorically ruled out budging on that. Then there is the

:23:46.:23:48.

issue of the single market. We don't quite know when Number Ten itself

:23:49.:23:51.

stands but Philip Hammond seems to be leading the charge as the person

:23:52.:23:57.

saying we need as full as possible access to the single market. The

:23:58.:24:00.

three Brexiteers have a different viewpoint on that. When Article 50

:24:01.:24:06.

is triggered, before the end of March, the Prime Minister tells us

:24:07.:24:11.

when it is done, if it is not done at the time, surely in the immediate

:24:12.:24:15.

aftermath, the Government will come under huge pressure to give a

:24:16.:24:18.

general idea of what its negotiating position is, not to be detailed, not

:24:19.:24:23.

to give away its tactics, but surely it has two layout "This is broadly

:24:24.:24:29.

what we are going to demand in the negotiations". Yes, I agree and I am

:24:30.:24:34.

not of the view that it necessarily hinders its progress in the EU,

:24:35.:24:37.

because we have to set some parameters, what is the EU talking

:24:38.:24:42.

about? We have said we are taking a political decision to have political

:24:43.:24:49.

autonomy from the EU that governs the trade and the UK will want an

:24:50.:24:56.

individual policy. Are we going to do it so closely that we give up the

:24:57.:24:59.

freedom we have voted for question what the Government will set of

:25:00.:25:02.

parameters but there are still shades of grey we can negotiate. But

:25:03.:25:07.

without the parameters, Theresa May is going to find it increasingly

:25:08.:25:11.

difficult to manage the domestic politics, because it is clear that

:25:12.:25:15.

the vote will have consequences for the relationship and setting at

:25:16.:25:18.

those early on will let businesses and the public know where they

:25:19.:25:22.

stand. Wood in July to be a fly on the wall -- wouldn't July to be a

:25:23.:25:29.

fly on the wall with Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker?

:25:30.:25:31.

Now, if you were watching the Daily Politics on Wednesday,

:25:32.:25:33.

you may remember this exchange during PMQs.

:25:34.:25:35.

Some of my constituents who have had their tax credits suddenly

:25:36.:25:37.

stopped by Concentrix have been accused of being in a relationship

:25:38.:25:40.

with the previous tenants of their homes who they have

:25:41.:25:42.

And in some cases they have been accused of being in a relationship

:25:43.:25:47.

with members of their own family and told to prove that they are not.

:25:48.:25:50.

This Kafkaesque situation is causing deep distress and hardship amongst

:25:51.:25:52.

Is this what the Prime Minister means by being on the side

:25:53.:25:58.

And what is she going to do to put it right?

:25:59.:26:05.

The right honourable lady raises an issue which is of concern

:26:06.:26:08.

Making sure that those who are being assessed

:26:09.:26:13.

are being assessed properly and the decisions, the right

:26:14.:26:16.

The Department for Work and Pensions is looking at that whole process

:26:17.:26:22.

of what should be done and how those assessments should

:26:23.:26:25.

The Prime Minister replying to Maria Eagle.

:26:26.:26:36.

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs contracted the US company Concentrix

:26:37.:26:40.

to look for fraudulent or incorrect tax credit claims back in 2014.

:26:41.:26:44.

The contract, worth up to ?75 million over 3 years,

:26:45.:26:52.

was meant to save the Government ?1 billion in tax

:26:53.:26:54.

The company cross checks public records such as council tax,

:26:55.:27:00.

the electoral register and postal records against tax credit claims

:27:01.:27:02.

HMRC say Concentrix has identified ?280 million of fraud

:27:03.:27:10.

But MPs have been inundated with requests for help

:27:11.:27:15.

by constituents who have had their tax credits taken away.

:27:16.:27:23.

When claimants tried to challenge the decisions, many found it

:27:24.:27:25.

impossible to contact Concentrix - HMRC say that only 10% of calls

:27:26.:27:28.

On 14th September, HMRC announced they would not extend the Concentrix

:27:29.:27:37.

181,000 cases were handed back to HMRC who say they have now dealt

:27:38.:27:48.

Giving evidence to the Work and Pensions Select Committee

:27:49.:27:56.

earlier this month, HMRC said that there have been 15,000 appeals

:27:57.:28:00.

90-95% of appeals have been successful in overturning

:28:01.:28:06.

Maria Eagle joins us now from Liverpool.

:28:07.:28:16.

And I should mention that we did ask the Treasury and HMRC

:28:17.:28:19.

for an interview with someone responsible, but they declined.

:28:20.:28:29.

Let's go to Maria Eagle. Are you relieved, gratified, even, that HMRC

:28:30.:28:38.

is now back in charge of this? Well, I am not sure all of this mess is

:28:39.:28:45.

Concentrix's fault, it is the fault of HMRC as well. It is they that

:28:46.:28:50.

passed over this 1.5 million pieces of information. And the quality of

:28:51.:28:56.

some of it seems to be so poor. And, you know, HMRC say in their charter

:28:57.:29:00.

that the people that deal with them have a right to be believed. The

:29:01.:29:07.

upper tier tribunal says in law that it must be HMRC that proves there is

:29:08.:29:10.

a problem. Yet what has happened to my constituents is that they don't

:29:11.:29:14.

get paid, they then get a letter that says they have an undeclared

:29:15.:29:19.

partner, but the letter doesn't say who it is supposed to be. They then

:29:20.:29:23.

have to prove that they don't Allsup this is a complete mess that is the

:29:24.:29:28.

making of both HMRC and Concentrix. Some of the cases that I have have

:29:29.:29:34.

been dealt with HMRC after the cases have gone back to them. And so I am

:29:35.:29:38.

not convinced that this is entirely content chicks -- Concentrix. But

:29:39.:29:46.

the reality is that my constituents, who are vulnerable financially, they

:29:47.:29:49.

are young mums with very little spare cash, are being forced to

:29:50.:29:55.

stand to the pressure of this and it is completely outrageous. I want to

:29:56.:29:58.

come back to the human cost of this in a moment and just hear some of

:29:59.:30:01.

the problems of your constituents, but before I do, can I just get it

:30:02.:30:08.

clear that although Concentrix clearly has made mistakes, otherwise

:30:09.:30:11.

they wouldn't be losing so many appeals, and obviously haven't

:30:12.:30:14.

handled this well or they wouldn't be losing the contract, but HMRC are

:30:15.:30:19.

guilty as well because it was their job to monitor, regulate and enforce

:30:20.:30:23.

what Concentrix was doing. Is that your case?

:30:24.:30:26.

That is true, and HMRC, this contract which passes over on a

:30:27.:30:35.

payment by payment result spaces, you only get paid if you save money

:30:36.:30:38.

and if you stop claims, in other words. -- basis. You hand over the

:30:39.:30:46.

power to Mali to make decisions and to do the mandatory considerations

:30:47.:30:49.

of those decisions -- you hand over the power to Concentrix to make

:30:50.:30:55.

decisions. They have not thought about the effect on very vulnerable

:30:56.:31:00.

young mothers. These are young mothers who are working part-time

:31:01.:31:04.

and don't have much spare cash in my constituency. The trend as you are

:31:05.:31:09.

picking up from your constituents, and my right in thinking that one of

:31:10.:31:15.

the things they are doing, if you are on tax credits, they tried to

:31:16.:31:20.

check if you were cohabiting with someone and whether or not there is

:31:21.:31:23.

a partner in the house and if they are established that, to their

:31:24.:31:27.

satisfaction, they then just stopped the tax credit? That is what has

:31:28.:31:35.

been happening? Yes, the first thing that people knew about it, they said

:31:36.:31:38.

we didn't get paid, and then they tried to get through on the phone

:31:39.:31:42.

and can get through and then they would get a letter saying they had

:31:43.:31:45.

an undeclared partner, but it didn't say who the partner was supposed to

:31:46.:31:50.

be. Then when you have got to the bottom of it, the allegation is it

:31:51.:31:53.

was someone who lived in the same house for- five years previously

:31:54.:31:59.

after that the same sex, by the way, and my constituent never even knew

:32:00.:32:05.

this person. One of your constituents was having an affair

:32:06.:32:08.

with Joseph Rowntree who died in 1925? ! That was a case in

:32:09.:32:15.

Birmingham, but Joseph Rowntree is a 19th-century Quaker. I got that bit.

:32:16.:32:21.

LAUGHTER How on earth is a person supposed to

:32:22.:32:25.

work out that that is the person they are supposed to be cohabiting

:32:26.:32:28.

with in order to prove that it isn't, that they are not, it is

:32:29.:32:33.

ridiculous. Clearly mistakes have been made, big mistakes, at human

:32:34.:32:40.

cost. Especially if you cut someone's tax credit and you don't

:32:41.:32:43.

even tell them. And then they can't find out why. Do you accept there

:32:44.:32:48.

was fraud and error going on, though? They identified ?218 million

:32:49.:32:55.

of fraud and error and HMRC have validated that that bit was right.

:32:56.:33:02.

We all want tax credits to be paid in the proper amount to the right

:33:03.:33:06.

people and nobody will defend fraud or error. I suspect there is far

:33:07.:33:12.

more error than fraud. I've had cases where HMRC have accepted they

:33:13.:33:18.

have got the address wrong and as a consequence people have had money

:33:19.:33:21.

stopped and I have had to borrow money and then have been offered ?5

:33:22.:33:25.

a week of the moneyback -- they have had to borrow money. It takes weeks

:33:26.:33:31.

for them to get the moneyback they were entitled to through no sense of

:33:32.:33:34.

their own -- through no-fault of their own. This is not a sensible

:33:35.:33:39.

way of administrating tax credits. Given this has caused pain to

:33:40.:33:47.

members of society who are already struggling to make ends meet, that

:33:48.:33:52.

is why they are getting tax credits, so what we do next? Do we leave it

:33:53.:33:59.

as this now it has gone back to her HMRC? Hasn't there got to be some

:34:00.:34:05.

culpability for this? I think so, we need to know more about why this has

:34:06.:34:09.

gone wrong and we have seen buckpassing between HMRC and

:34:10.:34:14.

Concentrix, the contract treated like a hot potato, and I think the

:34:15.:34:18.

Parliamentary review is a good thing. What has been forgotten by

:34:19.:34:25.

HMRC and Concentrix is the vulnerable nature of the individuals

:34:26.:34:28.

who are entitled to this money, there has been a breach of the

:34:29.:34:33.

HMRC's own charter and people are being left to try and manage and

:34:34.:34:37.

I've had to hand out food, bank fractures, people have gone into

:34:38.:34:41.

debt. There have been ongoing issues for people who have got into arrears

:34:42.:34:48.

with their rent and I've got constituents who are being

:34:49.:34:50.

threatened with eviction, this is not acceptable as a way of making

:34:51.:34:54.

savings, making sure that fraud and error is reduced. Something needs to

:34:55.:34:59.

be done about this. The bomber ability of these individuals has to

:35:00.:35:04.

be acknowledged -- the vulnerability. They can't be made

:35:05.:35:09.

scapegoats for this nonsense and this buckpassing between HMRC and

:35:10.:35:21.

Concentrix. Thanks for joining us. Paul, it has not been a great week

:35:22.:35:25.

the government, Maria Eagle brought this up in PMQs and this is the kind

:35:26.:35:31.

of thing which goes on under the radar until it is brought up. The

:35:32.:35:36.

Home Office has got into a mess over what child migrants are and what

:35:37.:35:40.

aren't and they did not seem to be able to tell the difference. Not a

:35:41.:35:46.

great week for government competence. This is a huge

:35:47.:35:51.

bureaucracy at work and sometimes the consequences of the way the

:35:52.:35:54.

state interacts with individuals, it is messy and often incompetent,

:35:55.:35:58.

let's be honest, there's a large degree of public service is with

:35:59.:36:03.

this going on. But the political problem for Theresa May is that she

:36:04.:36:06.

is opposed to be a new kind of government on the side of the

:36:07.:36:08.

striving classes, the just coping classes. These are the people being

:36:09.:36:15.

affected by this kind of thing, and that is why people like Damian Green

:36:16.:36:18.

say, let's have a look at this again. He has made jobless contract

:36:19.:36:23.

has ended early, as well as her HMRC, and his idea of reviewing the

:36:24.:36:26.

way benefits are recessed the disabled -- he has made this

:36:27.:36:35.

contract and early. -- end early. I bring you in as an outside company

:36:36.:36:39.

to look at the tax credits situation and you get a free, but then I say

:36:40.:36:46.

you will get more if you can find people who are cheating and does

:36:47.:36:49.

that give you a perverse incentive to do that? -- fee. It is a perverse

:36:50.:37:01.

incentive, and it would encourage any company to not give as much

:37:02.:37:04.

leeway as they might have done on some cases. Remarkable they did not

:37:05.:37:09.

tell people before they withdrew their tax credits, isn't that a

:37:10.:37:15.

breach of proper government, maybe even human rights, that is just

:37:16.:37:18.

wrong. It will have to be investigated. To add to what Paul

:37:19.:37:23.

was saying, Theresa May has allowed herself to be painted as a safe pair

:37:24.:37:28.

of hands and if you have more of these scandals of confidence in

:37:29.:37:34.

government... The Goddard inquiry. It won't play with at well for her.

:37:35.:37:41.

-- it won't play out well for her. We have got to move on.

:37:42.:37:44.

You may have thought the autumn political

:37:45.:37:45.

conference season was over - but you'd be wrong.

:37:46.:37:47.

Plaid Cymru are holding their conference this weekend

:37:48.:37:49.

in the north-east Welsh town of Llangollen.

:37:50.:37:51.

The party has 11 members of the Welsh Assembly

:37:52.:37:53.

and is considering a formal coalition with the minority

:37:54.:37:55.

The party's leader Leanne Wood is there and joins us now.

:37:56.:38:03.

Welcome back to The Daily Politics. One of the big issues is the

:38:04.:38:11.

direction of your party, there seems to be confusion, maybe there isn't,

:38:12.:38:16.

you can put it right, are you considering a formal coalition with

:38:17.:38:19.

the Labour government in the Welsh assembly? There seems to be at

:38:20.:38:27.

session about whether or not Plaid Cymru would like to go into

:38:28.:38:30.

coalition or not, what we have always said is that Wales's best

:38:31.:38:34.

interests are at the top of our agenda and at the moment being in

:38:35.:38:40.

opposition is working very well for us. Just this week we announced a

:38:41.:38:46.

deal with the Welsh government in order to enable their budget to pass

:38:47.:38:53.

where they alligator ?290 million towards some joint priorities --

:38:54.:39:01.

where they allocated. And ?190 million to Plaid Cymru's election

:39:02.:39:04.

priorities for the this week we get to implement our manifesto and we

:39:05.:39:10.

also get to hold the government to account and that is crucial,

:39:11.:39:13.

especially as we move towards the triggering of Article 50. The Welsh

:39:14.:39:21.

voice needs to be articulated. To make sure the Welsh government is

:39:22.:39:26.

doing a proper job of that. Are you considering a formal coalition with

:39:27.:39:33.

Labour or not? No, we're not. You told the BBC earlier this week that

:39:34.:39:39.

you work actively considering a coalition? -- you were. Andrew, the

:39:40.:39:46.

BBC ask me every month if I'm considering a coalition with Labour

:39:47.:39:50.

and the answer is always the same. I'm not prepared to rule it out

:39:51.:39:53.

because it might come to the point where it is in Wales's best

:39:54.:39:58.

interests to have Plaid Cymru in government in order to shape the

:39:59.:40:02.

government's response to Brexit because they not doing a very good

:40:03.:40:06.

job of that at the moment. It is our view that a soft Brexit would be in

:40:07.:40:11.

Wales's best interest but the Labour government have recently voted with

:40:12.:40:15.

Tories and the Ukip in the assembly for a hard Brexit approach, and we

:40:16.:40:20.

are saying that we need to be a member of the single market to

:40:21.:40:24.

protect the 200,000 jobs that are in Wales and rely on membership of the

:40:25.:40:31.

single market. There needs to be an alternative voice put in the

:40:32.:40:34.

National Assembly because otherwise the opposition will just come from

:40:35.:40:37.

the right and that will be no good for Welsh people either. Keeping

:40:38.:40:43.

your options open, which is what you have just told me now, that is not

:40:44.:40:49.

the same as actively considering a coalition as you told the BBC

:40:50.:40:54.

earlier this week? It is a debate we are having all the time, because we

:40:55.:41:01.

are constantly considering what our best interests are, Wales's best

:41:02.:41:04.

interests, and some people think the best interests are to be in

:41:05.:41:07.

government and others think the opposite. It is an ongoing debate,

:41:08.:41:12.

there is an active consideration, we are not wanting or seeking a

:41:13.:41:16.

coalition, but we want to keep the option open just in case it comes to

:41:17.:41:20.

the point where it is in Wales's best interests to do that. Wales

:41:21.:41:26.

voted to leave the European Union and everybody, the top people in the

:41:27.:41:33.

Remain campaign and Leave campaign made it clear that leaving the

:41:34.:41:36.

European Union means leaving the single market in terms of membership

:41:37.:41:40.

of the single market, so why are you defying the will of the Welsh

:41:41.:41:46.

people? I don't recall the question about the single market being on the

:41:47.:41:49.

ballot paper and I don't recall the question about hard or soft Brexit

:41:50.:41:56.

or even immigration. No, but leaders on both sides made it clear that the

:41:57.:41:59.

vote to leave was a vote to leave the single market, are you disputing

:42:00.:42:05.

that? As I understood it the vote was to leave the European Union and

:42:06.:42:11.

we will leave. The question is how and what the arrangements are. Let

:42:12.:42:17.

me run you this clip of the leaders of both Leave and Remain and what

:42:18.:42:21.

they said about the single market and leaving the EU.

:42:22.:42:29.

The British public would be voting, if we leave, to leave the EU

:42:30.:42:32.

Should we come out of the single market?

:42:33.:42:35.

I think that that is almost certainly, that would

:42:36.:42:38.

Do you want us to stay inside the single market, yes or no?

:42:39.:42:42.

We should be outside the single market.

:42:43.:42:44.

I had Michael Gove in that chair and I said, after Brexit,

:42:45.:42:47.

will we be in the European single market, yes or no?

:42:48.:42:50.

So we won't be in the European single market?

:42:51.:42:54.

We would be out of the single market.

:42:55.:42:57.

Britain would be quitting, quitting the single market.

:42:58.:43:00.

There we have it, David Cameron, George Osborne, Andrea Leadsom,

:43:01.:43:08.

Michael Gove, Boris Johnson, what did you not understand about that?

:43:09.:43:11.

If you vote to leave you will be outside the single market. Those are

:43:12.:43:18.

Tories and the Tories have never Michel a mandate to speak on behalf

:43:19.:43:22.

of the people in Wales. -- have never won a mandate. They said a

:43:23.:43:27.

vote to leave means leaving the single market. They can say what

:43:28.:43:31.

they like, that was not on the ballot paper. The Tories said a lot

:43:32.:43:35.

in the referendum campaign that I would want to distance myself from.

:43:36.:43:39.

I think that leadership of the Remain campaign by tossed -- Tories

:43:40.:43:50.

is what lost us the referendum. You trying to tell me that the Welsh

:43:51.:43:53.

people did not know what they were voting for when they voted to leave,

:43:54.:43:56.

that they were also voting to leave the single market? When the leaders

:43:57.:44:02.

of the Leave and Remain campaigns were explicit in saying that if you

:44:03.:44:06.

vote to leave the EU, you vote to leave the single market. The Welsh

:44:07.:44:15.

people understood that. Look, the Leave campaign said ?350 million a

:44:16.:44:22.

week would be made available to the NHS and that was a lie, as well. My

:44:23.:44:27.

contention now is that there are 200,000 jobs in Wales which rely

:44:28.:44:32.

upon us being a member of the single market and I intend to advocate the

:44:33.:44:35.

best interests of Wales and that is what we think is in the best

:44:36.:44:39.

interests of Wales at this point in time, and I'm not going to stop

:44:40.:44:43.

advocating that. Why is it in the best interests of Wales, that in

:44:44.:44:50.

?190 million allocated to your priorities, out of a ?15 billion

:44:51.:44:55.

budget, so you did not get that much for your priorities, your priorities

:44:56.:44:59.

were to give only ?1 million to support end of life care but ?5

:45:00.:45:05.

million to the Welsh national language agency, is that the

:45:06.:45:06.

priorities of Plaid Cymru? Well, we will vote for ?1 million

:45:07.:45:20.

towards end of life care in addition to what is there already. You can

:45:21.:45:28.

always attack spending on the Welsh language and arts and music and all

:45:29.:45:33.

those things that are in our front line public services, but I happen

:45:34.:45:37.

to think culture is important. Five times more important than end of

:45:38.:45:42.

life care? No, that is not what I'm at all. The money for the end of

:45:43.:45:48.

life care is in addition to what is being spent already. The ?5 billion

:45:49.:45:52.

for the Welsh language agency, there is no money being spent on that at

:45:53.:45:57.

the moment -- ?5 million. There is money spent on the Welsh language at

:45:58.:46:01.

the moment, this is just going into a quango. There has always been a

:46:02.:46:04.

lot of money spent on the Welsh language. Well most money is spent

:46:05.:46:09.

on the English language, of course. We are talking about a very small

:46:10.:46:13.

amount for the Welsh language and if you were talking equality, we would

:46:14.:46:17.

be spending around ?7 billion on the Welsh language, so we are not

:46:18.:46:22.

anywhere near equal. ?7 billion question mark will that be in your

:46:23.:46:28.

next manifesto? That is about half of the budget. No, not in the next

:46:29.:46:33.

manifesto, of course! We have won a significant amount of games out of

:46:34.:46:36.

this budget deal, it is a budget deal I am very proud of, the biggest

:46:37.:46:42.

ever agree by an opposition party since the beginning of devolution

:46:43.:46:45.

and it is something we stand very pleased with and we are going to

:46:46.:46:48.

shout about it. You have just done that, thank you very much the

:46:49.:46:49.

joining us. Now it's one of the most frustrating

:46:50.:46:51.

things to hear when you're driving. But seeing as more than half

:46:52.:46:54.

of us use a sat nav now, rather than a map, it's one plenty

:46:55.:46:58.

of us will have heard. Well, a Government-backed project

:46:59.:47:01.

could change all that. all-sat-naving map that's been

:47:02.:47:03.

made of all British roads. Our Ellie has gone for

:47:04.:47:07.

a spin to find out more. Turnaround when possible...

:47:08.:47:26.

# Whereon around the village road to nowhere --

:47:27.:47:29.

# We're on a road to nowhere # Come on inside... OK, so I know

:47:30.:47:35.

I'm not the only person who get really frustrated with Sapnas, but

:47:36.:47:38.

hope Mac though it helpfully, the Government has gone badly put some

:47:39.:47:43.

money in to help things run more smoothly. They paid ordnance survey

:47:44.:47:50.

?3 million to make the ultimate Battle of Britain's 200,000 plus

:47:51.:47:56.

miles of Rome. -- Road. We have benefited from height restrictions

:47:57.:47:59.

and with restrictions, which we can use to tell such love riders that it

:48:00.:48:05.

may not have restrictions but it is not suitable for your vehicle. -- to

:48:06.:48:12.

tell SAP nav riders. That might have been useful to these riders, who

:48:13.:48:16.

opted to take big lorries down the small roads and under low bridges.

:48:17.:48:24.

The data that has been collected will be made available for sat nav

:48:25.:48:27.

manufacturers, so they will have to pay for it. And seeing as it is

:48:28.:48:32.

truck drivers that can to get blamed for when sat navs go wrong, they are

:48:33.:48:36.

cautiously welcoming this new development. We have been supplying

:48:37.:48:42.

sat navs the many years and the crucial thing this gives us is one

:48:43.:48:46.

single source of data. That is great but the really important thing is

:48:47.:48:49.

that the funding needs to continue so it is kept up-to-date and truck

:48:50.:48:53.

drivers have the very latest information in their systems to be

:48:54.:49:00.

able to use, because things changed. -- change. And it will be up to

:49:01.:49:03.

councils to keep the information up to date. Of course, there is one

:49:04.:49:11.

other way of making the whole sat nav thing a little bit more

:49:12.:49:14.

enjoyable. Let's change the sound, shall we?

:49:15.:49:25.

ANDREW NEIL'S VOICE: It is clear we are not making any progress here, so

:49:26.:49:31.

let's move onto the next destination. Ellie Price, I am

:49:32.:49:38.

always giving her directions. And we've been joined

:49:39.:49:40.

from Tunbridge Wells the deputy chairman

:49:41.:49:42.

of the Local Government Association. It represents all local governments

:49:43.:49:50.

in England. The mapping system is clearly in the right direction, do

:49:51.:49:54.

you think it will solve this problem of heavy goods vehicles blighting

:49:55.:49:58.

roo wrote villages? Will it do much for that, do you think -- blighting

:49:59.:50:04.

rural villages. Like you, we think it is a step in the right direction

:50:05.:50:08.

but not as far as we would like to go. At the moment, truck drivers do

:50:09.:50:12.

have access to a lot of information and some choose either not to access

:50:13.:50:16.

it or to ignore it. Quite obviously, there are signs about weight or

:50:17.:50:22.

height restriction coming up and those are perfectly visible to a

:50:23.:50:26.

truck driver, so many of our communities, particularly rural

:50:27.:50:29.

communities, has seen this blight for many years and what we are

:50:30.:50:35.

saying is this is a good step for responsible lorry drivers, but those

:50:36.:50:41.

irresponsible ones, inconsiderate drivers, we need a bit of a stick as

:50:42.:50:47.

well. At the moment, police take them through the courts. It is a

:50:48.:50:51.

long, lengthy, costly bureaucratic process. We are saying and on the

:50:52.:50:56.

spot fine for lorries that are using roads that are clearly unsuitable

:50:57.:51:00.

for them. Do you have enough enforcement powers at the moment to

:51:01.:51:04.

do them or to make these finds effective or do you need more power

:51:05.:51:11.

-- fines. We have consistently asked for more power on this issue. At the

:51:12.:51:16.

moment, only the police can take the drivers through the courts, hugely

:51:17.:51:21.

costly bureaucratic process and we are saying it is fairly obvious when

:51:22.:51:25.

an infringement has happened and councils are best placed to put an

:51:26.:51:30.

on the spot fine and get that company thinking again about sending

:51:31.:51:33.

their drivers on a particular route. I think it is kind of hard to miss a

:51:34.:51:39.

32 tonne articulated truck on a road that it shouldn't be. What do you

:51:40.:51:44.

think would be an appropriate level of fine, that would hit the hauliers

:51:45.:51:50.

and make them stop doing this? We haven't spoken about the level of

:51:51.:51:55.

fine, we are saying let's look at something that is sensible, because

:51:56.:51:57.

actually, not all infringements are the same. But I think we need to at

:51:58.:52:05.

least go in the right direction and say let's take this off the police

:52:06.:52:08.

who frankly have other things to do and should be spending their time is

:52:09.:52:11.

in the with the bureaucratic process we have at the moment, where pounds

:52:12.:52:15.

in the late councils would be better placed to sort these problems out --

:52:16.:52:22.

where councils would be. I see the haulage Association is blaming you

:52:23.:52:24.

with poor signage. What do you say to that? TROs, the pieces of paper

:52:25.:52:31.

we have to put in and we put in a height or weight restriction, they

:52:32.:52:35.

are public knowledge, this is the information they are using for this

:52:36.:52:39.

new system, so to say that they don't know where the issues are is a

:52:40.:52:46.

bit of a misnomer, I think a red herring. Clearly, they are

:52:47.:52:51.

representing their own people in this, but we have all seen stories

:52:52.:52:56.

of historic buildings being damaged, bridges being damaged, vehicles

:52:57.:53:02.

being stuck. We are all getting frustrated when something like this

:53:03.:53:06.

happens and we can't get to where we need to get to. Thank you for being

:53:07.:53:10.

with us and explaining that. It is an interesting issue to talk about.

:53:11.:53:14.

Let me turn to our guests here, with a quiz. How many miles of road are

:53:15.:53:24.

there in Great Britain? In crikey. 100,000? 10,000. You are closer, but

:53:25.:53:35.

not close. 215,000 940. What is the most common road name? Station Road.

:53:36.:53:44.

Almost kind of close, I consider where you are thinking. Something to

:53:45.:53:52.

do with Elizabeth. High Street. Got it, there are 2151. How many mini

:53:53.:53:57.

roundabouts are there across Great Britain, excluding Northern Ireland,

:53:58.:54:09.

I guess? 2,000. 5,000. You are closer, 13100 and 48. There you go,

:54:10.:54:13.

interesting but useless stats here on the Daily Politics.

:54:14.:54:16.

There are just over two weeks to go until the US election,

:54:17.:54:19.

and after the intensity of Wednesday night's presidential

:54:20.:54:21.

debate, Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump traded jokes -

:54:22.:54:23.

and insults - at a white tie charity dinner in New York last night.

:54:24.:54:27.

The media is even more biased this year than ever before.

:54:28.:54:32.

Michelle Obama gives a speech and everyone loves it,

:54:33.:54:43.

My wife Melania gives the exact same speech...

:54:44.:54:53.

People look at the Statue of Liberty and they see a proud symbol

:54:54.:55:05.

of our history as a nation of immigrants.

:55:06.:55:09.

A beacon of hope for people around the world.

:55:10.:55:13.

Donald looks at the Statue of Liberty

:55:14.:55:15.

Maybe a five, if she loses the torch and tablet

:55:16.:55:24.

Well, I think Mr Trump's joke was better, wasn't it? It was quite

:55:25.:55:41.

clever, in a way. The delivery was a lot better. That was the only good

:55:42.:55:46.

joke he had, because it was self-deprecating, the rest of it was

:55:47.:55:50.

a barrage of attacks. It was excruciating to watch, if I had been

:55:51.:55:54.

in the audience, I would have been embarrassed. Mrs Clinton is sitting

:55:55.:55:58.

there and he is saying all that, and then she does it to a lesser extent.

:55:59.:56:03.

It kind of underpinned the horrible tone, the toxic tone of the whole

:56:04.:56:07.

campaign. Absolutely, this was supposed to be a charity event. You

:56:08.:56:13.

don't go on the attack. When it was Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, they

:56:14.:56:17.

undermined themselves with some nice gentle, self-deprecating humour.

:56:18.:56:22.

This one was all toxic. If the polls are right, and this is always a big

:56:23.:56:25.

if these days, but if they stayed away we are, -- they are, are we

:56:26.:56:31.

starting to work out what the Clinton presidency might look like?

:56:32.:56:35.

This has been a campaign dominated by personal smear and almost total

:56:36.:56:41.

absence of policy. I think that certainly foreign leaders will have

:56:42.:56:44.

to turn to that in the coming weeks, but as you say, you just can't count

:56:45.:56:48.

any chickens before the actual election day. Mrs Clinton got

:56:49.:56:54.

dragged to the left by Bernie Sanders during the primary campaign.

:56:55.:57:02.

As she moved more towards the centre during... That is not the what

:57:03.:57:06.

happens, you get dragged, though not necessarily in Mr Trump's case, you

:57:07.:57:10.

get dragged to the extreme in the primary, or to your grass roots,

:57:11.:57:15.

more fundamentalists, and then because you have to reach out to a

:57:16.:57:19.

wider electorate beyond your base, you become more centrist again. Has

:57:20.:57:23.

she followed that? It will be interesting and picks up on what we

:57:24.:57:27.

said earlier about free trade and the threat to free trade and

:57:28.:57:30.

globalisation and whether there is a new movement towards protectionism

:57:31.:57:34.

abroad. The way she has talked in this campaign, she has said maybe we

:57:35.:57:39.

don't need a free-trade area with the Pacific region as much as we

:57:40.:57:44.

have had. I suspect she won't say that when she wins and when it comes

:57:45.:57:47.

to foreign policy, which is where the president can have free rein by

:57:48.:57:51.

and large, we will see a lot more of her talking about climate change on

:57:52.:57:56.

Middle East policy and a more robust policy against Russia. Even if it is

:57:57.:57:59.

Mr Trump and a Republican Congress, he will have trouble with that

:58:00.:58:02.

Congress because a lot of Republicans don't think he is a

:58:03.:58:06.

Republican. And if it is Mrs Clinton in the White House with a Republican

:58:07.:58:12.

Congress, she will definitely have a lot of trouble with it. It is not

:58:13.:58:15.

plain sailing, whoever wins. Whoever wins, it will be an interesting time

:58:16.:58:19.

watching US politics and I think Paul is absolutely right, I think if

:58:20.:58:24.

it is Hillary Clinton, as looks likely, she will be tacking more to

:58:25.:58:27.

the centre. But Trump can undermine her. Sorry we couldn't bring it is

:58:28.:58:33.

it was a press conference, because it hasn't happened, we haven't had a

:58:34.:58:37.

link. And what was the name of the new submarine we are going to get?

:58:38.:58:43.

Dreadnought, Thatcher, Trafalgar, Churchill? Any idea? It is

:58:44.:58:47.

dreadnought, not that original but a famous name in the Royal Navy. The

:58:48.:58:50.

one o'clock News is starting over on BBC One and I will be back at 11am

:58:51.:58:58.

on Sunday morning with the Sunday Politics. Cabaye. -- goodbye.

:58:59.:59:01.

Paul Waugh from the Huffington Post and Rowena Mason from the Guardian keep Andrew company throughout the programme.

They discuss Theresa May at the European summit in Brussels with Stephen Booth from Open Europe and Labour MP Maria Eagle is on to talk about her concerns over how the private contractor Concentrix manages some people's benefits.

Plus analyis of last night's by-election results and Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood speaks to Andrew live from her party conference in Llangollen.


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