26/10/2016 Daily Politics


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The Government says it's sorry to see Zac Goldsmith


resign over Heathrow, but won't be standing


Could this be a chance for a Lib Dem by-election upset?


Heathrow's third runway is unlikely to be up and running before 2025,


but there are still a range of obstacles including legal


challenges, planning laws and concerns over air quality.


Officials are continuing to dismantle the Calais camp


But how many migrants will refuse to give up their attempts to cross the


Channelled to the UK? Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn


will be facing each other over the despatch box at prime


minister's questions, we'll bring you all the action


live at midday. And when real life at Westminster


gets a bit dull, which fictional politicians do our MPs turn


to for inspiration? All that in the next


hour and a half. And with us for the whole


of the programme today, two politicians who we're pretty


sure aren't a figment Greg Clark is the Business Secretary


although, when Theresa May was appointing her first Cabinet,


she accidentally made him president of the Board of Trade as well -


a job he officially held for four days until officials


realised the mistake. John Healey was Shadow Housing


Minister until Labour's And now he's back in a new, exciting


role, as Shadow Housing Minister. First today, let's talk


about Calais, where French authorities are continuing


to demolish what became known Last night, several


huts were set on fire. There are concerns that many


migrants will not give up their attempts


to cross the Channel to the UK. So far, about 4,000 of some 7,000


migrants have been taken to shelters around France, and workers


have been dismantling It is thought that a large number


of migrants have disappeared, possibly to sleep rough around


Calais until they can Several hundred more young migrants


are expected to arrive in Britain from Calais


in the next few weeks, to join the 200 who


have already arrived. Greg, what will prevent another


migrant settlement developing incarnate? If history is a guide,


that is exactly what will happen again in the UK will continue to be


a magnet. French authorities have thought long and hard about what to


do with the situation all of us could seek if you had a camp of 7000


or 10,000 people, there are big pressures. What it has done in terms


of establishing centres across the country where people can be


processed and put into place those arrangements, that seems to be a


sensible approach for them to take to the problem. Do you think it will


prevent makeshift camps being rebuilt once the bulldozers have


left for those migrants who still want to come to the UK? It is for


the French authorities to act on that. To think it will happen? They


are determined to solve this problem in Calais for is you can understand


the people of Calais being very concerned about the continuation of


this. They are doing everything they can. It seems to me, in a parallel


situation, if we had an encampment of people, of course, both for


welfare reasons for the people concerned, we would want to take


steps to make sure that people are being treated properly. They're in


mind this is an encampment of people, many of whom have been


trafficked and are being trafficked on. The idea you are disrupting and


putting more civilised arrangements in place for people, rather than to


have them in the hands of traffickers... It is a big political


issue in France and will be at the presidential election. It could be


used, couldn't it, in terms of alternatives to border arrangements,


for example? It is a big concern to local French people. The French


authorities and the interior minister have clearly worked with


the local and regional authorities to put into place systems to deal


with the problem. They are going through it. It is clearly a matter


for the French but it is understandable they should want to


act. Two things will happen. The problem of people living in poverty


and misery will get disbursed and be more difficult to deal with. The


pressure points on the UK and on the UK Borders will disbursed as well.


Really the question for the Government now, in light of this,


what is the Government's and for dealing with that? The other thing


that will happen, and we know this happened last time, kids in


particular disappeared into the hands of smugglers and traffickers.


That is the real worry. Let's talk about the children. The Home


Secretary has had to issue an appeal because there are not enough council


places for the Calais children. The Local Government Association has


said the Government only wrote to council leaders on 14th of October.


That is only a week and a half ago. Why was it less so late? There is


constant communication with the local Government Association. David


Simons, believes councillor responsible for that has worked very


closely with the Home Office when I was community secretary, I met with


him and the LGA. The response of local councils across the country to


taking vulnerable people to Syria... This is not enough. We have known


what will happen at the Calais camp. There was a commitment to take


unaccompanied minors. Why were the only written to in the last week or


so? Communication has been constant, going back for years. In particular


over the last year. It is important to recognise the efforts that local


Gottman has made in housing people and giving support to people coming


from Syria. -- local government. They have met with individual


councils across the country. They are made very welcome. They have a


good record. In terms of the money, one of the agreements that was made


with local government was that the costs would be recognised and would


be met. Again, David Simons would tell you that has been a very


constructive relationship. We have left this far too late for Britain


to do its bit, especially for children and teenagers in the camp.


They have not been assessed for that there is no clear plan to bring them


back. It is late in the day, six months after we pass legislation in


Parliament with the Dubs Amendment, about these children who have a


right to be in the UK. Does before that the councils started stepping


up volunteering to places. How concerned are you that the age of


these children is being correctly assessed? I think that is a symptom


of an assessment process that has been rushed and left too late. You


think there should have been more rigorous checks? Assessment should


have been done earlier and plans in place earlier. Places should have


been found for them and prepared for them. All of this should have been


done earlier. It is far too late to do our bit as they are dismantling


the camps. You would be in favour of more rigorous medical assessment so


the British voting public has faith in the system that child refugees


means child refugees? You need to have confidence in the assessment


system that it is hard to do a good job and it is late and rushed like


this. The British public in large and others have wanted to see, and


have been ready to welcome, these children and teenagers who have gone


through the most appalling problems back in their home areas. They do


not have family in the camps. Most of them have family in Britain who


could already be looking after them, instead of this happening late in


the day. It is right to proceed in a carefully planned way. Thank you.


The Government's decision yesterday to go ahead with the expansion


of Heathrow Airport means we could be getting closer to seeing


the construction of the first new runway in the South East


And ministers still face some knotty problems, including the by-election


triggered by anti-Heathrow campaigner Zac Goldsmith,


opposition from local protestors, and the prospect of the whole thing


being ensnared in the courts and the planning process.


You can already hear the lawyers smacking their lips at the prospect


of a dripping roast. Theresa May has made her decision,


but there are a number of clouds on the horizon if plans


for a third runway at Heathrow Zac Goldsmith, the Conservative


MP for Richmond Park, resigned within hours


of the decision yesterday, triggering a by-election,


which he hopes will be a "referendum" on expansion


at the West London airport. Others are already planning


to oppose the third Four Conservative councils have


pledged to mount a legal challenge. Environmental groups,


including Greenpeace, are expected to join them,


over concerns about air quality. The Mayor of London,


Sadiq Khan, another opponent of Heathrow expansion,


has said he is also considering how he can "best be involved"


in a legal challenge. And then there are the divisions


in the Prime Minister's own Cabinet. Boris Johnson has already called


a third runway "undeliverable". Theresa May has had


to suspend collective responsibility to allow him


and Education Secretary Justine It means Mrs May will likely need


Labour support to win a vote But while many Labour MPs


favour Heathrow expansion, both Jeremy Corbyn and Shadow


Chancellor John McDonnell Well, Transport Secretary Chris


Grayling has been talking It's all about what's


right for the country. Everyone benefits


from pursuing this. Albeit, it's difficult for people


who live close by. But if you look at the difference


this will make in terms of creating jobs, creating new opportunities


around the world for British businesses, small, medium and large,


to sell their products, this is right thing


for the whole country. If we want to fund the National


Health Service in future, if we want to do the right


thing by our pensioners, we have to be a nation


that creates wealth, We have to be a country that


works for everyone in it. Well, let's speak


now to Sarah Olney. She's the Lib Dem candidate hoping


to challenge Zac Goldsmith Can you confirm that you will be the


Lib Dem candidate? I am currently the candidate. I was selected by the


local party at the hustings back in the summer. We just need to go


through a further process to confirm who the candidate will be in the


by-election. Do you expect anyone to argue in your constituency or the


wider Lib Democrat party? We need somebody much better known with a


higher profile. Perhaps a 67-year-old male with a knighthood


who used to have a neighbouring constituency. I can't imagine who


you mean. I have heard we will have a discussion about it. There will be


a short list put to the local party and it will be for them to decide.


So, it is not a slam dunk that he will be the candidate? I don't know.


There will be a process, there will be a short list. I do not know how


long that will be. That is the process. Zac Goldsmith has said he


wants this by-election to be a referendum on Heathrow. Given you


are against Heathrow, any Lib Dem candidate will almost certainly be


against Heathrow, the two front runners are against Heathrow, in


what way can be a referendum on Heathrow? Precisely. It is really


just a bit of a farce. Once again we see the Conservatives finding


themselves having to call an election to decide what really


should be an internal party matter. It is Conservative in fighting


again. We have seen this with the referendum. They cannot resolve


things amongst themselves so they call a referendum. The Lib Dems once


favoured a referendum on in or out. If you are a candidate, will you


make this election... This constituency voted 70% to remain on


June 23. Will you make this as much an election about the referendum,


about the future of Britain in Europe, is about Heathrow? It is a


good opportunity for the voters of Richmond Park to have a say about


what they think about Brexit and the way the Conservative government is


approaching the Brexit negotiations. As you said, we're on the same side


as far as Heathrow is concerned. For the voters to be able to choose


between us, it will be fought on other issues. Brexit will clearly be


the main issue uppermost in the minds of voters. We know the people


of Richmond by and large are against Heathrow expansion, because it is in


their neighbourhood. Window without doubt they wanted to remain in the


European Union, they voted roughly 70% to so do. What we going to find


out that we don't know already? People will be a bit puzzled because


we know all that. Quite. I agree with you. It seems a bit of a farce


we are having this by-election. I'm happy to have the opportunity to put


messages in front of voters. We are keen to get started and up for the


fight. Why would you be a better advocate of opposing the expansion


of Heathrow than Zac Goldsmith, who has a well-known almost national


track record on this issue? I think Zach has failed, to put it


Bruntly. He has had his opportunity and failed to influence the


Government in anyway. The Liberal Democrats have a good track record


of preventing Heathrow eggs spankings. We have had Liberal


Democrat MPs in the past who have fought very hard and very


effectively to prevent Heathrow eggs spankings and when we were in the


coalition we prevented Heathrow expansion. I think I would argue


that the Liberal Democrats have a much better track record in this


area than Zac Goldsmith does and also we are united as a party


against Heathrow which the Conservatives and Labour clearly


aren't. All right, thank you for joining us. Why are the


Conservatives not putting up a candidate against Mr Goldsmith?


Because we admire the work he has done in his constituency. He was


very clear he would resign if this decision was taken. Was it Sarah,


the candidate, Yes. I think she says this is a by-election that shouldn't


happen. I think she would be the first to be outraged if Zac


Goldsmith having said he would resign, hadn't. Yes, I think a lot


of people would think this is a by election which shouldn't happen.


Here is a Conservative MP, who fought the last election being


opposed to Heathrow. Knowing that the Government was likely to go


ahead with Heathrow. The Government has gone ahead with Heathrow. He is


going to fight a by-election being opposed to Heathrow. He hopes to


win. Back to the status quo, ante, nothing will have changed except


it'll have cost the country ?250,000 in money for the by-election. The


fist thing, Andrew, is the decision about Heathrow followed the Davis


commission report, so it wasn't possible for any of to us know what


the recommendations would have been, before the election. It was - we


have discussed it many times on this programme, it was very serious. I


forget, would the Davis commission report before the general election?


Yes. You knew it was the official recommendation. Mr Goldsmith says he


wants this to be a referendum on Heathrow. So if the pro-Heathrow


Government doesn't put up a candidate, how can it be a


referendum on Heathrow? Well, the Prime Minister has said even members


of the Cabinet who have had long-standing constituency


objections to Heathrow are able to continue to express them. I know


that. Who will put the case for Heathrow in the by-election? Well,


the by election is... A referendum on Heathrow The by-election is the


by-election and the candidates will say. And Mr Goldsmith already said


it was a referendum Heathrow. Let me try again, who will put the case on


this by election on Heathrow which you know will get national


attention? This is a by election to elect the next Member of Parliament


for Richmond Park. No, really, wow! The key thing, I think the


Government finally after which, in the 1940s when it was fist put


forward has agreed to ex-spanned airport capacity and taken an


important strategic decision, of course it was controversial, it was


always going to be. None of which has to do with the question I asked.


Never mind. For clarity. The final part of the Davis report came out


after the election. But, you had to be in New Zealand, I think, not to


know which way the wind was going Can I say something on, that the


Davis report was set up with the support of both parties, as John


will acknowledge, to to have a serious consideration of the case


and both main parties committed to... I understand all that. I need


to get on to John. But this must be. I want to stick with the policies


before I come on to it. This Is must be the first time since the 1940s


certainly when you have a Government not prepared to put up a candidate


in the by election. You are ducking the electorate. They want to avoid


the Liberal Democrats winning, it is clear, that's why they are doing t


isn't it? Obviously. Speaking of this... Well, a Member of


Parliament, with respect. Hang on, you have had your say. Ducking,


ducking, ducking, major party. Your colleagues, Clive Lewis, Jonathan


Reynolds, and another have written an article this morning saying


Labour shouldn't stand in Richmond. Do you agree with that? No. Labour


will stand. They will Labour will stand. In a pro-Heathrow stance?


Labour will stand To be honest, I can't see a by-election being simply


a referendum on Heathrow however Zac Goldsmith likes to argue it.


Normally referendums are a judgment, or if you like, at the time on the


Government. That's how we will fight that campaign for the by-election.


So Labour is standing. Yes. Right. Greg Clarke, when do you think the


first plane will take off from the new runway? Well, it clearly needs


to go through the planning process, the middle of the next decade.


2025-26 is the time in which it is... Except that that would only


happen, if everything went right, if the planning process was seamless.


If the legal challenges got nowhere. If people manage not to tie


themselves in front of bulldozers and all the rest of it. If


everything went, you might just make it by 2025. Anything goes wrong, and


these things tend to go wrong, remember Terminal 5, how long that


took t could be much longer than that. The responsibility of the


Government is to do everything meticulously, as we have done,


through the consideration of the report, through the decision of the


sub committee of the Cabinet made, through the parliamentary process.


But it could be a lot longer. The plan and the airports commission


looked at the timetables for each of the proposals, and they validated


the prospects for reach of them. But it is not the quickest one by far.


Not the quickest one. You have said - or your Government - that this is


Britain open for business, but you have actually chosen the most


expensive option and the one that will take the longest to deliver.


So, for the next 10, 12, could even be 15 years, you are pretty much


closing the UK for business. We are not going to get this expansion any


time soon? Andrew, I have come from a meeting before I came on your show


with the leaders of the institute of directors, the CBI, the federation


of small business, the British Chambers of Commerce and others,


they were unanimous in welcoming the decision, that a decision has been


made but also the particular decision for this Heathrow option.


But my point is that it will take the longest, won't it? Tell a take


longer than Gatwick. A lot longer. It is one of the considerations that


was made in the decision but the benefits from Heathrow,


establishing, reinforcing this UK's - as one of the world's premier hub


airports, is the right decision. Let me ask you two quick questions


before I come back to John Healy. - was the Government aware that the


plan may now be to build a ramp over the M25? Did you know that when you


took the decision? Yes, part of the ground transport improvements that


are needed to service it, need to be consistent with minimising the


disare up... But the talk was of a tunnel. Did you know that a ramp was


now possible? We knew that there would be changes to the road system


around there Was that in the proposal? Part of the consideration


was the required changes. But was it in the proposal that the Davis


commission considered? The Davis commission made deleer that there


would need to be changes, improvements. It proceeded on the


basis of a tunnel. Around transportation. Let me ask you


another one. David Cameron's advisors warned him last year that


he was "exposed on Heathrow, we don't yet have an answer on air


quality." That's what he was told. What is the answer? The air quality


aspect is one of the questions that was looked at again, which is why


the decision wasn't taken last year. What is the answer? The answer is


that we can meet the air quality requirements that we have by


proceeding with Heathrow. This has been established through the... Why?


Because we can live within our requirements to cap the pollutants,


from the ground level, as well as the airport on the trajectory. They


were stress-tested that the calculations there were robust.


Only assuming there is a massive increase in the use of public


transport and a massive increase in the use of electric cars, correct?


In terms of increasing public transport, this is one of the big


advantages of Heat Heath, and the move towards electric vehicles is -


of Heathrow, and the move towards electric vehicles... So that has to


happen But there are other unanswered questions in the


Transport Secretary's statement yesterday. Air quality, climate


change, that is your Greg's, and how on earth we are going to do that. I


think we've demonstrated that from the questions from the Government.


Can you answer this... It will he a bring benefits from around the UK.


Does Labour support the third runway? I support T Labour supported


the third runway in Government. It made this decision ten years ago.


But you fought. Mr Miliband fought the last election against it. You


have wasted six years. We have done enough on the Tories. Your partying


fought the last election against the runway There are differences within


the Labour Party, like within the Conservatives. I know, you have been


very honest and given us your view - and we know the Tories are divided


on this as well but the majority, it would seem, would be in favour and


as Mr Clarke said, they are proceeding. Is there a collective


view, a collective policy by the Labour Party on this? I think it's


hard to say at this stage. In a way, this is the start of the prose.s the


crunch point will come, as you said earlier, late 2017 or early 18 when


Parliament has to vote on this as part of the national policy


statement. It is at that stage that Labour will have a broader view.


Buts. Do you have a collective view? I would say to you that the majority


of Labour MPs, as things stand, like I do, believe this is the best


option, for much inform needed capacity in the south-east. Is Mr


Corbyn in favour? You will have to ask him? Or the Chancellor.


On-McDonnell is against it. This is a debate that only just started.


Only juster started. Harold Wilson started it in 1968! This is a debate


and process now, triggered by the decision yesterday which has only


just started. OK. We need to move on. Afterall, it's only how many


years, 48? . Keep counting. No, no, you have had


your say. Now how do you think


Greg and John will Well, apparently those are just two


examples of new hand signals for civil servants who want to stop


themselves being shouted down by passionate


ministers at meetings. I learned that in Framery 1. How


much are these consultants getting? Tea.


But for any civil servants watching I've got some news,


you don't need to rely on ludicrous suggestions by consultants


if you want to stop Greg or any one else shouting you down.


Just bring them on here, and I'll do it.


No, you just need to bring one of these to your meeting.


Because the Daily Politics mug is guaranteed to silence


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You ask me that every week, I don't know the answer. Slow counters.


And that can mean only one thing, Yes, Prime Minister's


And that's not all, Laura Kuenssberg is here.


Welcome back. The big storivity week is obviously Heathrow, runway


expansion, provoked a by election, the Government is divided on it,


some big names, so naturally, the Leader of the Opposition will go on


Heathrow, except - that he's just as divided. Well, indeed. Are we


allowed to do hand signals, warming up to Prime Minister's Questions? I


think actually what they may go on, given what has happened since last


week's Prime Minister's Questions, aside from Heathrow, is Theresa May


going to her first EU Council meeting. A really big deal a big


moment for the Prime Minister, to turn newspaper Brussels, to try to


make friends and to try to start - turn up in Brussels, to try to make


friends and start to edging her position which looks like a dynamic


where she will be able to get her way. It was not an easy couple of


days in Brussels at the end of week, at all and especially what went


down, was don't freeze us out, we may be leaving but don't exclude us,


I demand to be in on everything until we leave. It maybe that Jeremy


Corbyn will pick up on that. Do you think he will? Do you have inside


information or are you guessing? I'm always guessing. Last week's guess


turned out to be not bad. We guessed about Simon Stevens. That was true,


that was the health service and Mr Corbyn obviously is very clear. But


we will go straight over now. This morning I had meetings with


ministerial colleagues and others. I shall have further such meetings


later today. In the Black Country in the West Midlands, we are very proud


of our long, industrial heritage. We are also very proud of the recent


revival in the fortunes of the Black Country with new jobs and investment


in the local economy. With the Prime Minister agree with me not one of


the ways to create an economy which works for everyone is to further


devolved powers and funding to the West Midlands to drive investment


and to combine that with the strong leadership and vision that only Andy


Street can provide, the Conservative candidate for West Midlands? Thank


you. Our honourable friend speaks up well for the Black Country. I am


pleased to echo his comments about the economic growth in the West


Midlands. Since 2010 we have seen 220,000 more jobs, 55,000 more new


businesses in the region thought he is right that evolution deal is


important. It is the biggest deal, devolution deal that is being done,


for the West Midlands. Part of that is crucially the election of a


directly elected mayor. Andy Street, with his local knowledge and


business experience, will drive economic growth. Jeremy Corbyn.


Thank you. Could I stop by welcoming the child refugees who have arrived


in Britain in the last few days question that they are obviously


deeply traumatised and we should welcome and love them and support


them in the best way we can. Irrespective party, when members of


this House go through health problems, we reach out a hand of


support. I want to pay tribute to the member for Grantham and Stamford


for the social media message he sent out this morning which shows amazing


humour and bravery and we wish him all the very best and hope he fully


recovers. There are now to be regular sessions of the joint


ministerial Council to discuss Brexit. It seems the Prime


Minister's counterparts are already feeling the same sense of


frustration as members of this House. The First Minister Paul


Wales, Carwyn Jones, said there is a great deal of uncertainty that they


need full and unfettered access to the single market. Can the Prime


Minister help the First Minister of Wales and the other devolved


Administration is by giving them some clarity? First of all can I


commend the Home Office for the work that has been done in ensuring that


it is working carefully to look at the best interests of the child


refugees, so they are provided with the support they need when they come


here to the United Kingdom. Can I also join him in commending my


honourable friend the member for grants and Stamford, for being


willing to be so open about the health problem he has, and we wish


him all the very best for the future and for his place here in this


House. In relation to the issue of clarity on the aim is the Government


has in relation to Brexit, I have been very clear and I will be clear


again. There are those who talk about means


and those who talk about ends. I am talking about ends. What we need to


see is the best possible arrangement for trade with an operation within


the single European market for businesses in goods and services


here in the United Kingdom. I'd thought moment the Prime Minister


was to say Brexit means Brexit again. There are others... I am sure


she will tell us one day what it actually means. The Mayor of London


also added this is causing unnecessary certainty but it is also


very important uncertainty. It would be very helpful if the Prime


Minister could provide some clarity over the Northern Ireland border.


Will we continue membership of the customs union will be sea border


checks introduced between Northern Ireland and the Republic? The Leader


of the Opposition tries to poke fun at the phrase, Brexit means Brexit.


The whole point is this. Brexit, it is this government which is


listening to the voice of the British people. Brexit means Brexit


and that means we are coming out of the European Union. What the Right


Honourable gentleman appears to be doing is frustrating the well of the


British people by saying Brexit means something completely different


in relation to the Northern Irish border, a considerable amount of


work was already going on with the Irish government to look at issues


around the Common travel area. That work is continuing. We have been


very clear, the Government of the Republic of Ireland has been very


clear. The Northern Ireland Executive has been very clear. None


of us want to see a return to the borders of the past. I would remind


the right honourable gentleman that the Common travel area has been in


place since 1923. That is well before either of us joined the


European Union. Mr Speaker, on Monday, the Prime Minister said the


customs union was not a binary choice. I can't think of anything


other than a binary choice is whether you have a border or do not


have one. There is not a third way on that one. On Monday, her friend,


the honourable member for Broxtowe, expressed concern of the automotive


and aerospace industries while the British banking Association said its


members are poised, quivering, over the relocate button. Every day the


Prime Minister dithers over the chaotic Brexit, there are rumours


circulating about relocation. This cannot carry on until March of next


year. When will the Prime Minister come up with a plan? I have to say


to the right honourable gentleman, the fact that he seems to confuse a


customs union with a border where they are two different issues, it


shows why it is important that it is this party that is in government and


not his. He talks about the plan. I have been very clear that we want to


trade freely - both trade and operate within the single market. I


want this country to be a global leader in free trade. The Labour


Party is against free trade. I want to introduce control on free


movement so that we have an end to free movement. The Labour Party


wants to continue with free movement. I want to deliver on the


will of the British people. He is trying to frustrate the will of the


British people. Mr Speaker, there was no answer on the border, which


was the question. On Monday, Mr Speaker, the Prime Minister told the


house, and I quote that we have a plan not to set out at every stage


of the negotiation the details. I have been thinking about this white


couple of days, Mr Speaker. I think when you are searching for the real


meaning and importance behind the Prime Minister's statement you have


to consult the great philosophers. The only one I can come up with...


Mr cleverly, calm yourself or you are in peril in your own health. All


I can come up with Mr Speaker is Baldrick, who said, our cunning plan


is to have no plan. Brexit was apparently about taking back control


but devolved governments do not know the plan, businesses do not know the


plan, Parliament does not know the plan. When will the Prime Minister


abandon their shambolic Tory Brexit and develop a plan that delivers for


the whole country? I am interested that the right


honourable gentleman shows to support Baldrick. The actor playing


Baldrick was a member of the Labour Party. I will tell the right


honourable gentleman what we are going to deliver. We are going to


deliver on the vote of the British people, we are going to deliver the


best possible deal for trade in goods and services both with and


operating within the European Union. And we are going to deliver an end


to free movement. That is what the British people want and that is what


this government will deliver for them. Mr Speaker, three years ago


the United Kingdom backed Saudi Arabia former mission of the UN


Human Rights Council. On 28th of October, there are elections again


for the UN human rights Council. A UN panel has warned that the Saudi


Arabian bombing of Yemen has violated international law. Amnesty


International says, executions are on the increase, women are widely


discriminated against, torture is common and human rights


organisations are banned. Will Howard government again be backing


the Saudi dictatorship for membership of that committee? -- her


government. As the right honourable gentleman knows, whether our


legitimate human rights concerns in relation to Saudi Arabia, we raise


them. In relation to the action in the Yemen we have been clear that we


want those incidents which have been referred to to be properly


investigated and we want the Saudi Arabians, if there are lessons to be


learned, to learn lessons. I will reiterate the point I have made in


this House before that our relationship with Saudi Arabia is


important. It particularly important relationship in relation to the


security of this country and counterterrorism and boiling


activities of those who wish to do harm to citizens in the UK. A Yemeni


man living in Liverpool told me this week that Yemen is quickly becoming


the forgotten crisis. If people are not being killed by bombs, it is


hunger that kills them. The UK needs to use its influence to help the


people of Yemen. Bombs exported from Britain are being dropped on Yemeni


children by Saudi pilots trained by Britain. If there are war crimes


being committed, as the UN suggests, they must be investigated. Isn't it


about time this government suspended its arms sales to Saudi Arabia? The


issues are being investigated. I say to the right honourable gentleman.


We have taken action for the P is right to refer to the humanitarian


crisis in the Yemen. -- we have taken action. This country is at the


forefront to ensuring humanitarian aid is provided. I believe this


country are governing can be proud around the world in terms of actions


taken. It is important. There was as the station of hostilities in the


Yemen for a period of 72 hours over the weekend. -- a cessation. I spoke


to the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi at the weekend. One issue we discussed


was the importance of trying to find a political solution in Yemen and


trying to see if that cessation in hostilities could be continued, but


it has not. The only solution which will work for the Yemen will be to


make sure we have that political solution which will give stability


in the Yemen. Mr Speaker, 20 years ago, a Conservative government


agreed that Christchurch and East Dorset councils could retain their


sovereignty, independence, and control over their own destiny. Will


my right honourable friend assure the House that the Government will


not agree to the abolition of Christchurch or is Dorset councils


against the will of my constituents? My right honourable friend is right


to speak up for his constituents. He is also right that there is not a


single model that will work in every part of the country. That is why we


believe it is important for local people to come together and


determine what is right for them. I know my right honourable friend is


trying to build a consensus and also as to what the right way forward is.


It is right that local people are able to respond on the consultation


and their concerns are listened to. The Scottish Poppy Appeal is


launched today for parliamentarians, so can I take the opportunity it


praise all of the fund raidsers, the volunteers and veterans involved and


I'm sure colleagues in other parts of the House will commend efforts to


raise money for the Poppy Appeal in the rest of the UK as well. Hear,


hear. Mr Speaker, one of the biggest humanitarian catastrophes of our


time is in Syria, specifically in Aleppo, where we expect the


ceasefire to end shortly and an onslaught to begin. Will the Prime


Minister tell us what efforts the UK is currently undertaking to support


a peaceful resolution to the conflict, but also to deal with


those who are exacerbating the situation? Hear, hear. Well, first


of all, may join the right honourable gentleman in commending


and praising the work of all those across the whole of the United


Kingdom who give their time and efforts to raise money for the Poppy


Appeal. It is very important that we never forget those, through many


conflict, who have given of themselves for the safety and


security of us and it is important that we recognise that and give


generously to the Poppy Appeal over the United Kingdom. In relation to


Syria, of course it is important to approach this in a number of tracks.


We are involved - my right honourable friend the Foreign


Secretary, has been involved in discussions with the United States


of America, Secretary of State, Kerry about looking for a way


forward. I raised the issue of Russian actions in Syria,


particularly the bombing of Aleppo at the European Union at the end of


this week, it was only the agenda because the UK had raised T as a


result of that discussion, the EU agreed that should the atrocities


continue, then we will look at all available options for taking action


to put pressure on Russia to stop their indiscriminate bombing of


innocent civilians. I commend the Prime Minister for those endeavours,


but it is widely expected that the onslaught on Aleppo will be unleash


bid Russian airpower, which is currently steaming across the


Mediterranean Bonn a battle group of ships. And in recent years 60


Russian vessels have refuelled and resupplied in Spanish ports. So will


the Prime Minister join me and EU and NATO Allies in unequivocally


calling on Spain to refuse the refuelling? The right honourable


gentleman refers to the passage of Russian naval ships and of course on


the high seas they are able to travel as they wish, although, of


course, when they went through the English Channel they were


accompanied by royal naval vessels, as they went through. But, what we


have seen, sadly s that the Russians are already able to unleash attacks


on innocent civilians on Syria. What happens is that we put pressure on


Russia to do what everybody agrees is the only way that we are going to


resolve this issue, which is to ensure that we have a political


transition in Syria, and that's where we should focus our attention.


THE SPEAKER: Wendy Morton. Mr Speaker, my constituency of


Aldridge Brownhills forms parts of the UN West Midlands Combined can


Authority. So there will be new powers being devolved to the


authority and the mayor. Account Prime Minister tell me how these new


powers will help my constituents, and local businesses, in sectors


such as manufacturing, the automotive industry and bricks ander


is a ammics? I can confirm - and ceranics. I confirm the deal will


provide the West Midlands with ?1 billion over years for local


projects to drive economic growth. This is why it is so important to


have a mayor who understands the local area, but also has business


expertise, Andy Street to ensure the economic projects are being


developed with the interests of the locality in the prime focus for


them. I believe that the deal will deliver more jobs on economic


prosperity across the West Midlands. It is good for the West Midlands and


her condition constituencies and good for the rest of the country as


well. The independent inquiry on child sexual abuse was established


to deliver long-awaited justice for victims and survivors and to do so


it must have their could have, dethe Shirley Observation survivors


association represents more than 600 survivors of abuse that took place


in Lambeth Council children's homes and has raised concerns about


changes to the inquiry. Will the Prime Minister meet with me and the


how many from street that and survivors to ensure action so their


confidence can be restored. The whole purpose of the itch Quiry was


to provide justice for those whose voices have not been heard for too


long and who felt that people in positions of power and institutions


of the state and other organisations had not heard, their voice, they had


not been prepared tolies u listen to them and investigate properly what


happened. It is important that victims have confidence in the


inquiry. The inquiry is an independent inquiry and it is up to


the inquiry chairman to work with irsour viefrs and victims, which I


know the inquiry chairman has been doing, but I will certainly ensure


that the Home Secretary has heard the representations that the


honourable lady has made and we will take what she has said to us today


away and consider very carefully what she said. We all want this


inquiry to work properly and to work in the interests of survivors and


victims. THE SPEAKER: Trevelyan Trev.


The Prime Minister will be aware that our nation's commitment to our


present and former Armed Forces personnel and families by way of the


Armed Forces could have nanted is a work in progress and whilst we have


made important moves there is much more to do. Will she take this


opportunity to I a sure this house of her personal commitments of the


values and promises set out in the covenant and pledge to lend her


support to efforts to continue the good work begun, to ensure personnel


veterans and their families face no disadvantage for the service and


sacrifice they have all made for our country? My honourable friend is


absolutely right. I know she has championed the Armed Forces covenant


and is a great proponent of our veterans and Armed Forces. It is


right everybody in this House owes a great debt of gratitude to our


veterans and those serving today in our Armed Forces for what they do to


keep us safe and secure. And this is' why it is so important that the


covenant isn't just a responsibility for the Government, it is actually a


national responsibility. We should all be working to ensure that those


who served us and served us well, do not face disadvantage. It is why we


have been doing things like putting money into a forces help-to-buy


scheme to help them with house, I think the figure is ?200 million. We


must continue to do this. I absolutely commit to ensuring this


is a Government that continues to support our set rans and the members


of our Armed Forces. - our veterans. Mr Speaker, last year, my


25-year-old nephew committed suicide after a very short period of


depression. His GP had referred him for talking therapy counselling but


warned him it would be at least six months before he got an appointment.


Mr Speaker, these treatments in the NHS are very often a waiting game


and a dangerous waiting game and a postcode lottery. What is the Prime


Minister doing to sort this crisis out? Hear, hear.


Can I first of all recognise and commend the honourable gentleman for


raising the personal experience that he has of the terrible tragedy that


can occur when mental health problems are not properly dealt


with. He raises a very serious issue and it is a serious issue for


everybody in this House on how the NHS treats mental health. It is why


we have established this concept of parity of esteem forp mental health


and physical health in the National Health Service. It is why we are


seeing record levels of funding but the question of talking therapies,


which are therapies which are very effective and we have been


introducing waiting time standards for this area but I accept there is


more to do in this area to ensure that those with mental health


problems are properly treated, and are given the care and attention


they need. It is an issue not just for the them but for the whole of


our society. My right honourable friend became Prime Minister in


dramatic and extraordinary circumstances and in my judgment,


she has proved more than capable of rising to the many challenges... ...


Hear hear. It was not my right honourable friend's fault that the


Chilcot report took seven years or more than ?10 million in terms of


cost. Now that we know that Parliament was misled, would my


right honourable friend we assure me that she has a cunning plan to


ensure that action is taken. Well, I thank my honourable friend for his


comments. Obviously what the Chilcot report did was an important task but


although it did look at - and criticise - the way in which


information had been handled in a number of aspects, it did not say


that people had set out deliberately to mislead. I think it is important


that we recognise that. But it is important, also, that we learn the


lessons from the Chilcot report and this is' why the national security


advisor is leading a piece of work, an exercise to do precisely that.


This was a long time coming, it was a serious report. There is much in


it, we need to ensure that we do learn the lessons from it. THE


SPEAKER: Dr Alasdair McDonnell. Question 6, please. THE SPEAKER: Get


in there, man, let's hear it. The Prime Minister will be aware that


much of the foundation and many of the elements of the 1988 settlement,


the peace agreement in Northern Ireland was referenced and rooted in


EU approaches and processes of laws and that leaving the EU will


significantly destabilise the foundations of that settlement, has


the Prime Minister given any consideration to the extent of the


potential damage the EU withdrawal, from the European Union, could do to


do Good Friday Belfast agreement under the 1998 political settlement


and does she at this stage have any plan to protect that settlement? Can


I say to the honourable gentleman, I don't believe there is any reason to


believe that the outcome of the referendum will do anything to


undermine the absolute rock solid commitment of this Government and


the people of Northern Ireland, to the settlement that was set out in


the Belfast agreement. And there is and remains strong support for the


entirely peaceful future for Northern Ireland. That has been


determined by democracy and consent. We remain committed to that and we


remain committed to work with others to ensure that entirely peaceful


future. THE SPEAKER: Jeremy Lefroy General


Electrihas shown its confidence in the UK economy and my constituents


by starting construction of the second of its two new world class


research and manufacturing facilities on Staffordshire County


Council's redhill business park, would the Prime Minister meet with


General Electric and other West Midland manufacturers who hear how


important that may have chains and markets, free of tariffs and


bureaucracy are of them and their hundreds of thousands of staff. I'm


delighted to hear of the commitment made to Stafford but it is more than


a commitment to Stafford. It is a commitment to the UK and to the


future of our economy here in the UK. I understand my right honourable


friend, the international Trade Secretary, has already met with GE,


to discuss with them, their interests in trade and what we can


be doing to promote free trade. As I have said earlier, I want the UK to


be a global leader in free trade and we are listening to businesses


around the country, in the importance that they place on free


trade, as we look at the negotiations for exiting the EU.


Speak Jim Dowd. Is the Prime Minister aware of the recent reports


showing the continuing and alarming increase in average alcohol


consumption in the UK, and particularly, amongst women? Given


the numerous health risks associated with excessive alcohol consumption,


will her Government, together with the drinks industry, reexamine the


case for mandatory health warnings on all alcoholic products? Hear


hear. Well, I recognise what the honourable gentleman raises in terms


of the figures that have been shown recently, and particularly the


figures in relation to women and the use of alcohol. Of course, I was


part, as Home Secretary, part of the development of the alcohol strategy


that the Government produced a few years ago. I'm pleased to say that


at that time we were working well with industry to encourage them to


ensure that they could take steps to have an impact on the drinking


habits of the nation. THE SPEAKER: Maggie Troup. Thank you


Mr Speaker. With the final decision on the eastern route of HS2


imminent, it is important for the infrastructure, and additional


traffic this will bring to the areas around the station hubs, with this


in mind will my honourable friend back my campaign for a new phase of


the M1 to ensure that Erewash residents don't get stuck in a jam?


I seem to recall I first met my honourable friend when she was


campaigning on an issue in relation to motorways and she's absolutely


right, in order to support the rail infrastructure, we need to ensure


that the right roads infrastructure is there. And that's why we are


investing ?15 billion in the road investment strategy. That's about


boasting local economies and boasting growth and seeing further


economic growth. I understand highways England ark looking at the


issues in the eefted Midlands and looking at Brigging forward


significant new road enhancements around the site of the East Midlands


HS2 station and going forward, they are looking at an audit of roads in


the area. I trust my honourable friend will make her voice heard on


this issue and that of her constituents as she has done in the


past Can I return the Prime Minister to the answer she gave to my friend


for Hull. Because the Conservative manifesto promised shorter NHS


waiting times for those who need help with their mental health. But


as prescriptions for antidepressants still rise, my constituents in


Wirral, who need talking therapies, have to wait a month for referral,


and well over four months for treatment. So was that Tory


manifesto just words, or will the Prime Minister ever deliver?


Hear, hear. I gave a serious answer to her


honourable friend, which is that we have been looking at the whole issue


of talking therapies and the availability of talking they are


pains the waiting times that relate to talking therapies. And we do want


to improve the options that people have for having access to talking


therapies, precisely because they have been shown to be so successful


in so many cases. So this is something that the Government is


working on. We will continue to work on it to provide, as we have said,


that parity of esteem between mental health and physical health in the


National Health Service. As a former Wimbledonian my right


honourable friend will understand the significant of transport for


south-west London and in particular for Wimbledon. Could my right


honourable friend assure me the Government still supports CrossRail


2 and will she ask the Secretary of State it set out the timetable for


the delayed consultation? Well, I can absolutely give the commitment


that we continue to support CrossRail 2. We are waiting to see a


probust business case and a proper funding proposal in relation to


CrossRail 2. My right honourable friend, the Transport Secretary will


he be setting out what the timetable in relation to this is, but I can


assure my honourable friend, as a former Wimbledon, we are well aware


of his interest in the Wimbledon to Waterloo aspect of this and the


needs of the local area are being taken into account.


THE SPEAKER: Yash minute Qureshi. Mr Speaker, in the Indian-occupied


Kashmir, over the last three months, 150 people have died, 600 blinded by


the deliberate use of pellet guns, over 16,000 injured, many critical,


you unexplained disappearances, food and medicine shortages. Would the


Prime Minister meet with me and cross-party colleagues to discuss


the human rights abuses and the issue of self-determination for


Kashmiri people, as set out in the resolution of the UN in 1958 and can


she raise this matter with the Indian Prime Minister? THE SPEAKER:


Extremely grateful to the honourable lady. The Prime Minister? Well the


honourable lady sets out her case and the issues she has identified in


relation to this. I take the same view this Government has, since it


came into power and indeed previously, which is that the issue


of Kashmir is a matter for India and Pakistan to deal with and sort out


but the Foreign Secretary has heard her representations and I'm sure


will be interested in taking those issues up with her.


Thank you, Mr Speaker. Several months ago, I raised the issue of


enhanced medical assistance for the Kurdish Peshmerga with the former


Prime Minister at his last PMGs and wrote it the new Prime Minister. But


now with a campaign to liberate Mosul ongoing, will my honourable


friend agree it meet with me and representatives of Kurdish regional


Government to discuss if we can provide specialist medical


facilities here in the UK, for instance, ten beds for seriously


wounded Peshmerga and ensure the forces on the ground are getting all


the support they need, I understand they are sort of heavy weapons and


basic infantry equipment like helmets anded abouty armour. My


honourable friend is right and I recognise this is an issue he has


raised before. I would first say, obviously, what we have seen is the


that the coalition activity that is taking place is actually having some


impact and is having an impact, as we wish it to, in relation to Daesh.


There aren't plans, at the moment, either to undertake, or do what we


he has suggested in hi question or to provide a field hospital, and


field medical capabilities from the United Kingdom but we do continually


review what we are doing in terms of support of the coalition and of


course we are also, as part of the training that we are providing for


the Peshmerga, that does include training and the provision of


medical facilities. Mr Speakerer I am esure we all recognise that the


removal of the camp attical clay is not a long of it term Will term


solution to the humanitarian crisis but account Prime Minister tell us


what the Government is going to do to learn from the experiences in


Calais and speed up acceptance of vulnerable individuals as committed


to under the Lord Dubb scheme? Individuals are already being


brought to the United Kingdom under the amendment, in addition to the


resettlement scheme for vulnerable Syrians we have, the 20,000 that


will be brought to the UK over the course of this Parliament. And in


addition to the 3,000 vulnerable people, children and others, who we


will be bringing from the Middle East and North Africa, working with


UNHCR and all of these to make sure that it is right for the individuals


to come here to the UK and they have the support when they get here but I


would remind the honourable gentleman that it is this country


who is the second biggest by lateral donor in relation to humanitarian


aid in the region and we are able to provide and support more people in


region and that's the right thing to do. Around Heathrow legal air


quality limb Ritz being breached. Over Twickenham, noise pollution has


increased, according to Heathrow data. Account Prime Minister explain


how a third runway can be delivered and comply with pollution legal


requirements? Does she agree, environmentally, Heathrow is not


good enough, and cannot possibly be both bigger and better? The


Government looked very closely at this issue of air quality and


environmental impact of all three schemes that were proposed by the


airports commission. We took extra time to look at those, that was the


decision to take increased airport capacity in the south-east. We


wanted to look more particularly at the air quality issues. The evidence


shows that air quality standards can be met, as required by all three of


the schemes, including the north-west runway at Heathrow. But


my honourable friend raises an issue that is actually about more than


airports, because the question of air quality is also about road


transport and that's why we are looking to do more in relation to


what we are doing for air quality. It is y for example, I'm pleased to


see we are such a leading edge in the provision of electric vehicles.


Mr Speaker, the Prime Minister's real plan for Brexit seems to be to


pick winners, to cut a special deal for the City of London, to get the


bankers avoid the dire consequences of leaving their economic unions.


Wales has an exporting economy with a ?5 billion trade surplus last year


and 200,000 jobs dependent on trade with the European Union. A soft


Brexit for her friends in the City, a hard Brexit for everyone else.


Will she cut a similar deal for Wales?


I will be cutting the best deal for the United Kingdom, all parts. THE


SPEAKER: George Freeman Referry year hunces of people are diagnosed or


die prematurely from rare diseases like cystic fibrosis or rare cancers


for which there is no treatment or drugs are prohibitively expensive.


This week there has been a very view to get quicker access to other med


sip, will the Prime Minister welcome that and encourage NICE and NHS


England to implement it speedily? I certainly join my honourable friend


in welcoming the publication of the review, this in terms of patients


being able it get quicker access to drugs and treatments. It is, I


think, the United Kingdom has established a leading role in


relation it the life sciences, I would pay tribute to my honourable


friend for the role he has played in developing life sciences here in the


UK. I know the Department of health will be looking closely at the


specific recommendations from that report but will be doing so in the


light of recognising that if we can take opportunities to, through the


National Health Service, to be encouraging the development of the


new drugs, for the benefits of patients we should do so.


Thank you, Mr Speaker, Mr Speaker, the Prime Minister just told us that


there are record lefls of spending go into our mental health services.


Her Health Secretary stood at that despatch box on 9th December and


told us the proportion of funding go noop mental health from every one of


our CCGs should be increasing Y is it, then that 57% of CCGs in our


country are reducing the proportion of spend in mental health? Yet


another broken promise. When will we have real equality for mental health


in our country? The fact that I set out that we are spending record


levels in the NHS on mental health is absolutely right but I have said


in response to a number of people who have questioned on this, that we


recognise that there is more for us to do in mental health. I would have


thought we should have cross-party support on doing just that.


Thank you, Mr speaker, outside Downing Street on the day she became


Prime Minister, my right honourable friend said - if you suffer from


mental health problems there is not enough help to hand. Can I welcome


my right honourable friend's commitment to mental health,


expressed on that day... Hear hear...


And in her responses today and can I ask her what steps she has taken to


make sure the Boldewijn ambitions of the Government's five-year plan for


mental health are reachieved? Well I'm pleased to say, that what we


see, far far from the impression given by some of the comments


opposite since 2009-15 around 750,000 more people are accesses


talking therapies and 1,400 more people are accessing mental health


services every day, compared to 2010. So that's up by 40%. But my


honourable friend, who I know has a particular interest in this issue,


and a particular expertise in this area, is right that we need to do


more and that's why we are continuing to invest in mental


health services and continuing to increase the standards we provide.


Final poly, Mr Greg Mulholland. Just 20 children are diagnosed with


uninoperable brain tumours as a result of a disease every year, and


NHS England turned that down for funding, despite being affordable.


Will she meet with me and the families affected by this particular


issue, to discuss how the families can get the treatment these children


need? I'm happy to look at the issue the honourable gentleman has raised


and look in detail about what can be done to take that forward.


Prime Minister's Questions has come to an end. A bit earlier than last


week. Mr Corbyn devoted his first questions about Brexit, asking the


Prime Minister to clarify and clear up the uncertainty. We did not get


very far on other people asking questions. The Prime Minister said


something significant and we will come back to that in a moment. We


moved on after bringing Baldrick into the questions. We moved on to


Saudi Arabia and the Yemen with the human rights commission. Many people


wondered why they were on the human rights commission. Mr Corbyn moved


on to Yemen and again we did not really get very clear questions from


the Prime Minister. Angus Robertson, the leader of the Scottish


Nationalists in the House of Commons asked about Aleppo. He brought up


the issue of the Spanish refuelling this Russian task force that sailed


through the English Channel and is now in the Mediterranean. Whether we


should press the Spanish not to do it. Again the Prime Minister did not


really answer the question. We see on the BBC website that the Spanish


government is reconsidering it. Probably too late for this convoy.


They are being refuelled on the northern coast of Africa and juts


into Morocco. It is really Spain's Gibraltar was that they own this


sliver of land in the Moroccan area. That is where the refuelling has


been done. The biggest story of the week has been Heathrow. Not a single


mention, which frankly baffles me, on the Prime Minister Pozner speech


during the referendum to Goldman Sachs and no mention either I don't


think of the upcoming by-election Mr Goldsmith has triggered. You could


not say PMQ has its fingers on the national news pulse. Viewers


followed the line of the debate at the dispatch box. Brexit is an


unfortunate chain of questions. The primers to have often said she will


give a running commentary. -- the Prime Minister. The we ever know the


long-term economic and trade plan for Brexit? I agree with Baldrick,


the Government shows no signs of having a plan.


While right to raise issues around the bombing in Yemen, interesting Mr


Corbyn makes no reference to the evil being delivered on the people


of Aleppo Cracknell offer any useful advice on the matter. This from


Peter. Disgraceful that the Prime Minister could not answer the


question about the refuelling of Russian warships by Spanish


authorities. They are on their way to bomb the last remaining citizens


of Aleppo. The Prime Minister is not putting any pressure on Spain to


stop this action. They say they are reviewing it. They are under some


pressure from Nato but probably too late for the refuelling of that


particular Russian flotilla. Let's hope if they did refuel it hit would


be cleaner fuel than what it was using going through the English


Channel. New pictures are coming in from the


Calais so-called Jungle camp. It is quite dramatic, the pictures. The


fires have now taken. Some report suggest it was a group of anarchists


that set the fire is going. We have no evidence it was the refugees or


asylum seekers. What has happened but as you can see, it actually


looks like a scene from the Middle East with burning oil wells. These


are the camp is going up in flames. It seems there was a lot of gas


canister cooking facilities around. The refugees had to cook for


themselves and make their own meals. The fire has hit that, causing a


number of explosions. Some reports are saying the fires are now out of


control. Dramatic pictures from the Calais camp. Laura, what did we


learn during Prime Minister's Questions? Not very much. Jeremy


Corbyn is better in PMQs when he was back he is not laser-like in his


focus will start he does not or is picked on the hottest political


issues of the day. We are starting to learn that Theresa May is a class


act and not answering the question. Some people might have noticed there


was a small story about an academic at York who has studied this.


Studied how good politicians are at trying to dodge questions


effectively. Theresa May scores incredibly highly, elegantly and


evasively, saying nothing whatsoever. It was not a good


session. Some people are reading it, I do not know the fact words. People


are doing detailed textual analysis of what she says. There was an


implication she had not ruled out not staying in the single market. I


did not quite get that. People pounce on every nuance, misspoken


word, at the moment. That is because we have so little information. The


same happened at her press conference at the end of the


Brussels summit last week. Had she tweaked the formulation that she


wants to operate in the single market? That phrase was first used


at the party conference. Essentially, when you talk to people


about this privately, you talk to ministers who are involved, people


in Number 10. They insist that nothing is ruled in or ruled out. If


you look at what Theresa May has said in public, particularly the


suggestion that she is firm and we will leave the restriction of the


European Court of human justice, the application is it would be


impossible for us to stay in the single market. The vote leaves


campaign, whatever people campaigning against the hard Brexit


now say, they were explicit in the campaign that it would mean leaving


the single market. However, behind-the-scenes, again and again,


I have been told nothing is ruled in and nothing has been ruled out. The


most interesting reason is Cabinet ministers cannot yet agree what it


should look like. As you and I discussed before, because the cast


of characters around a table in Europe will change the match before


our negotiations get anywhere with the French and German elections in


other countries, there is a limit to how much point there is with the UK


Government is putting forward what they want to do before they know


what they might get. Briefly, there is an interesting echo. This time


last year the same thing was happening with David Cameron's


renegotiation of the European Union. People were saying, Britain has to


tell us what we want. There came no answer and the pressure built and we


ended up with a letter to Donald Tusk and everything else. There is


not a totally blank page. I once had a tutor University who did thesis on


why some Soviet candidates got 99.98% of the vote instead of 99


point 97 of the vote. That is the kind of thing that is going on at


the moment. Why would you not, even just for fun, mention the Prime


Minister's speech to Goldman Sachs? No great surprise that someone who


was a remainer gave that style of speech but as a supporter of


ordinary working class people, what was she doing speaking to Goldman


Sachs? I think because he may not pick up what the Westminster world


regards as the hottest topics of the day but he is picking up the biggest


topics beyond Westminster. He was right to talk about Brexit and the


card questions. It is exposing the Prime Minister for having no answer


on the customs union nor the Northern Ireland potential border,


nor access to the single market. I think he came out 1-0 ahead. Is


Labour in favour of staying in the customs union? Yes. If you want the


full access to the single market, the customs union is intrinsically


linked with that. As an ex-customs minister, I know what it is like


when you have to face customs borders. I understand that. It makes


business and trade more difficult. It is a prize we need to go for. By


definition, Britain out of the EU, on your formulation about would not


be able to do its own free trade deals? My formulation, one of the


aims I would go into these negotiations with. One of the ways


of getting around this constant textual analysis of what the Prime


Minister has said is for the Government. It is in the Court of


the Government to negotiate the best deal for Britain, to spell out its


negotiating aims. If I were doing that, one of my aims would be


remaining in the customs union. That means he would not be able to do our


own free trade deals. This is... That is the situation. The clue is


in the words, customs union. They do their own customs. If you're in


that, you cannot do your own free trade deal. I believe we are moving


in... The Brexit arrangements and Brexit negotiations herald a new era


in international trade arrangements. That is a different matter. It may


be the case now but not necessarily the case as we come to try to do our


own deals. We can do our own deals if we stay in the customs union. I


would doubt as I think we will see in two years' time, some of the


arrangements, some of the terms of trade deals with other countries,


trading. -- changing. I do not see that as a show stopper. That


situation is clear as night follows day at the moment. That is not even


a matter of argument, that you cannot do your own free trade deals


if you're in the customs union. That is why the leaders said they wanted


to leave the customs union. Let me move on for that this is a


government policy we should leave the customs union. The Prime


Minister said, there is no point analysing different words. She would


not give a running commentary. I am not asking for a running commentary,


actually a rather basic question. Since Liam Fox is running around


asking about all the great trade deals he will do with Australia,


Canada, even the United States, New Zealand. It therefore must be


governed policy that you are leaving the customs union. Theresa May has


been very clear. We have not taken decisions on what is our negotiating


brief yet. At the time we do, that will all be set out. No, no forced


on you answer these questions. These are important issues for people who


depend on export trade and imports. Neither of you can give any answers.


You can send a mounting frustration. They can sense mine. If we stay in


the customs union, we cannot do our own free trade deals. The European


Union will do them on our behalf. One thing that Theresa May has


said... You tell me! The arrangement we may be able to negotiate may not


conform to a stock arrangement that is currently bears. One of the


reasons she said she will not give a running commentary... Even a walking


commentary would be fine. A stumbling commentary I would settle


for. If we stay in the customs union, Brussels does our own free


trade deals. We cannot do a free trade deal with America if the


customs union is already negotiating a free trade deal. What it don't I


understand? What the Prime Minister has said, and I will repeat. The


Prime Minister has been clear about this. We're not going to specify


what our negotiating mandate is until we have decided in every


respect and it will be set out. Thanks for coming here. I think I


gave a running commentary. You could be in trouble. I am not going to


give a running commentary on the next item.


Now if you ever feel let down by our real leaders at PMQs,


perhaps instead you find yourself turning to the simpler world


But which political characters in literature and television


Well, in answer to this, surely one of the great unanswered


questions of our time, one academic has conducted a survey.


Of the 49 MPs who responded, the rest of them were perhaps too


The clear winner picked by 22% of those MPs is Jed Bartlett,


the US President in Aaron Sorkins' long-running and rather soppy TV


Perhaps unsurprisingly as President Bartlett is a Democrat,


he was the overwhelming favourite of Labour MPs.


In second place, with 18%, the authors have combined the votes


for Francis Urquhart and Francis Underwood.


Both are the scheming anti-hero of House of Cards,


first as a British book and TV series and later a huge


And coming in tied for third with 6% - which is a whopping


couple of mentions each - is everyone's dream ticket


of Yes Minister's Jim Hacker and Borgen's Birgitte Nyborg.


Well, to discuss this, we're joined by Professor Steven Fielding


He's written a book looking at the changing way politicians have


been reflected in fiction since the Victorian period.


Welcome to the programme. Were you surprised that Jed Bartlett came top


of the survey? No, not really. He obviously... We asked MPs to say why


they chose him. He expresses their ideal. He combines idealism with


pragmatism. He is witty, he is learning. As one MP ended, if only


they could all be like that, or their own leaders could be like


that. That was the thing. What is interesting, only Labour MPs picked


Jed Bartlett. Only Labour MPs! Right. Oh, right. Not a hero for the


Conservatives. One Conservative did pick a West Wing character but not


Jed Bartlett. It was called the left wing by critics. Nevertheless I was


surprised not a single Conservative MP did it. Maybe we need to know if


more Conservative MPs contributed to the survey. What made me laugh was


Alan starred was picked by one Tory MP and Mayor Jo Quimby from the


Simpsons was picked. Thank you very much.


There's just time to put you out of your misery and give


Press the red buzzer and we will find out the winner. It is Baldrick!


Jo Fisher in Birkenhead. The one o'clock news is starting


over on BBC One now. I'll be back here at noon tomorrow


with all the big political stories They have something on me


that I can actually remember. The final chapter between


Gibson and Spector.


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