06/12/2016 Daily Politics


06/12/2016

Jo Coburn is joined by Tim Montgomerie to examine the government's plans to change the way some rail services are run, plus the latest by-election news from John Curtice.


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Transcript


LineFromTo

Hello and welcome to the Daily Politics.

:00:36.:00:38.

The Transport Secretary announces a shake-up of the railways

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and promises passengers will see big improvements.

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Theresa May jets in to Bahrain and promises closer

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co-operation with Gulf states on defence and counter-terrorism.

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The PM also says she's "ambitious" about Britain's Brexit future.

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The man in charge of the EU's Brexit negotiations,

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Commissioner Michel Barnier, says there'll only be time

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for 18 months of talks once Article 50 is triggered

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to ensure enough time for the deal to be approved.

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I suspect that I will prove no more adept at pulling rabbits from hands

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than my successor as Foreign Secretary has been a retrieving

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balls from the back of scrums. And should senior Conservatives stop

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making fun of Boris Johnson? All that in the next hour

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and with us for the whole of the programme today the political

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columnist Tim Montgomerie, who briefly resigned

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from the Conservative Party earlier this year, before rejoining

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following the referendum result. In the last hour the man in charge

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of the European Union's Brexit negotiations,

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Michel Barnier, has been giving his first press

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conference in Brussels. He said Brexit must be

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an orderly process, and that negotiations must be

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completed within 18 months. All in all, there will be less than

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18 months to negotiate. Once again, that is short. Should the UK notify

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the Council by the end of March 2017, as the Prime Minister Theresa

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May said she would, it is safe to say that negotiations would start a

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few weeks later and an Article 50 agreement would be reached by

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October 20 18th. -- 2018. Damian Grammaticas is our

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Europe Correspondent in Brussels and was at

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the press conference earlier. He also said to keep calm and

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negotiate. No doubt that will negotiate -- resonate here in the

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UK, but he is quite a tough cookie, Michel Barnier. Tell us about him.

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Yes, he's a former French minister and former Commissioner in the

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European Commission here. He is from the centre-right and has had a long

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history of association with the EU and now has been put into this role

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as the chief negotiator for the European Commission. By all

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accounts, all descriptions of him are that he is a man who is

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incredibly hard-working, always on top of his brief, very well briefed,

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and a tough negotiator. I think in his press Conference we saw today

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someone who was trying to exceed this sense of calm, competence,

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preparing us, and he said he was convinced that the EU side -- side

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were ready and it would be important when the uncertainty as quick as

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possible, a little dig at the UK, really, saying that the other side

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were not ready. There were quite a few knows for a better deal, and no

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to an individual country by country negotiation, which we already knew

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and he already repeated his phrase no to a negotiation before

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notification. This is obviously one of his first explanations of the

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stands he will take. Does it mean it will be very bruising, the encounter

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between the UK and himself on these negotiations? I'm not sure bruising,

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but if you read between the lines of what he is saying there are some

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clear messages, and that is the fact that the view from the commission,

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from Mr Barnier, and repeated by Angela Merkel in Germany, that there

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will be no division on their side. The countries don't want to allow

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themselves to be divided in these negotiations on the EU side, and the

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basic fundamental freedoms and obligations of the single market as

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well will not be divided. That is important, because Mr Barnier

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addressed some of the questions raised in the UK recently, the idea

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that the UK could get a special deal by paying into the budget. Could it

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secure access to bits of the single market? What he said, and I asked

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him about it, was that there could be, but only if you looked at the

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existing deals in places like Norway, who pay into the budget and

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accept the rules. What I think the message of that is is, no cherry

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picking, no division of the freedoms of Europe, the freedom of movement

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in particular, and the EU have a very principled stance, as they see

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it, and they do not want to compromise on that. They do not want

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the UK to start splitting that apart. Damien, thank you very much.

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Is Theresa May fighting on all fronts here? That is what is going

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to be happening on the EU side for David Davis, but here, there is an

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opposition day debate tomorrow and the Labour Party have put down an

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amendment saying they would like to see the broad plan of the

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negotiations before Article 50 is triggered, and there are 15 or 20

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Tory MPs who might back the amendment. Dangerous territory for

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Theresa May. It is. Some of her own backbenchers, and Anna Subaru has

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been mentioned, are being unhelpful. -- Soubry. I think the government

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have made things clear, like saying the freedom of movement should end,

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which means coming out of the single market and that they want to do free

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trade agreements with America which means leaving the customs union. We

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had talked last week about paying money into the EU to help lubricate

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any deal and I think that is a significant point of direction. And

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they signed the patented agreement, which sounds a bit obscure, but it

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means they are willing to opt into something that the European Court of

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Justice has authority over. So if you add up all of the little things

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that have been revealed, the idea that the government has given away

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quite a lot of its direction I think is false. How much influence do you

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think the Remainers in the Tory party have? You mentioned Anna

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Soubry, Nicky Morgan, and others, who have said, looking at the

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wording of the amendment, there's nothing there I can disagree with,

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there's nothing wrong with setting up the broad negotiating position.

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How much trouble could they cause? You say it's unhelpful, but in the

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long run? One of the reasons it is unhelpful is there are 17 elections

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across Europe over the next 12 or 18 months. We don't know who the

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Chancellor of Germany will be, the President of France will be, or the

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Prime Minister of Italy will be, and Spain could have a change of

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government. Why, despite Mr Bernier's clarity this morning, he

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doesn't know which leaders will be sat around the table with him -- Mr

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Barnier. We don't really know what Europe is going to expect. I think

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it is perfectly legitimate for Britain to hesitate in revealing

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everything until the other side of the table is clear as well. Tory MPs

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should not be making it more difficult for a Tory Prime Minister.

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We will see what happens tomorrow. The vote is not binding, but it

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would be a defeat if she were outvoted by that motion. And the

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Supreme Court is still sitting this week of course.

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Now it's time for our daily quiz and it seems Chinese companies

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So our question for today is, what is their latest acquisition?

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Is it a) The Angel of the North?

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At the end of the show, Tim will give us the correct answer.

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Now, today sees the government announce new policy on integrating

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It's full steam ahead for a new overhaul

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of the railways being launched by Transport Secretary

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He wants each new rail franchise to be run

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by joint-management teams, including representatives

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from both the train operating company and Network Rail.

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The first franchises on track for the changes

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are East Midlands Trains and South Eastern, which runs

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services between London and Kent, though not until mid-2018.

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that the new line linking Cambridge and Oxford, to be known

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as East West Rail, will be run separately from Network Rail

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A further shake-up will see a national

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roll-out of pay-as-you-go smartcards across the rail network

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by the end of 2018, similar to London's Oyster cards.

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Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne said he "welcomed"

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the plan to bring more joined up working within the industry.

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the RMT general secretary, said it was a "slippery slope

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to privatisation" of rail repairs and warned it could take the UK back

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This morning Chris Grayling explained why

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he thinks Network Rail needs to change.

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Network Rail needs to change. It is too big, too monolithic, too

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centralised and has not got a great track record of delivering projects

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on time and on budget. What needs to happen in Network Rail is that it

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needs to become more of a collection of route based businesses with local

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management focusing on what is best for their own line, their own

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passenger -- passengers and community. Network Rail has not

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focused enough on the needs of the passenger and that will change as a

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result of pushing power down to the individual routes and it will change

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as a result of joining up the operations with those of the train

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operators. We did ask the Department

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of Transport for an interview with We've been joined from central lobby

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in the Houses of Parliament by the Shadow Transport

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Secretary Andy McDonald. Welcome back to the Daily Politics.

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Before we get into the policy, you have an urgent question today on

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this. What is your frustration with Chris Grayling's announcement via

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the media? He has got form of this to be honest, as he did it with HS2

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and with Southeast air capacity, so it's frustrating but people who

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fought very hard about bringing this back to the Parliament and then they

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have to put statements before the house. You have been out on the

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airwaves criticising the announcement today, but if the plans

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are so bad why is the Network Rail chief welcoming them? He doesn't

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have much choice as the chief executive of Network Rail. Really?

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Nicola Shaw carried out her own review at the government's behest,

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and you wonder why they went all that trouble of at piece of work to

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abandon the findings. I think this will just add greater complexity to

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an already complex and fragmented industry. It's wholly unnecessary

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and there will be costs involved. Who pays for that? The taxpayer and

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the fare-paying passenger yet again. So here we are just completely

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wasteful with resources. But not everyone in your party agrees with

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you. One respected rail journalist, and your candidate in the recent

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Richmond Park by-election, says the best railways in the world bring

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together the network and train operators into companies that

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operate boats. So why could that happen here? -- that operate both.

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It works in Germany where they operate the infrastructure and

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services, and in France to a large extent, but what we do is simply

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subsidise the operations back in their home states. We do remember,

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don't we, what happened with Railtrack and Ladbroke Grove and

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Potters bar. The last time the private sector was involved in

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safety and infrastructure. We don't want to go back to those days. But

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is that a fair comparison? You said you don't have a problem with the

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network and train operators being brought together into companies, so

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what is your objection? It's the fact that the whole focus is about

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extracting profit and value at every turn. We have franchisees wasting

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money on the franchise process, and we have the operational costs, the

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transactional costs and the intermission of those costs and the

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profit margins which are opaque in the extreme. So there are millions

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of pounds leaking out of the railway system every year into Private

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entities. Why on earth should we, as taxpayers and fare-paying

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passengers, be subsidising that structure? Stay with us. Tim, the

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point that Andy McDonald makes that it's all about focusing on the

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profit won't that damage the railways further? We have an

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incredibly successful railway industry in the UK. If you look at

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the station by travelling to, Waterloo, before privatisation about

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100,000 people were coming into it every day and now it's a quarter of

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a million. They can't cope with the numbers of people. That is why I

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think the reform is a useful one. There's sometimes a clash between

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the operating companies and Network Rail for the provision of

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infrastructure and now they are bringing the two together which will

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mean the train operating companies can get on with the work that needs

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to be done more urgently themselves. But will they if there are only

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looking at profit margins? If they're worried about punctuality

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and hitting the targets they have to meet under the franchise agreement,

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they will take that responsibility more seriously. Let's look at your

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comparison to Railtrack, because it isn't exactly the same as what is

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being proposed by Chris Grayling, because then the issue was

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subcontracting to private companies and his proposal is about involving

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train operating companies in decisions. It's not exactly the

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same. Who's going to take responsibility

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where there is a crossover if you are getting line that is crossover

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on to others, HS2, for example, or east-west lines conflicting with a

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north-south lines, who's going to take responsibility for that? Is it

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Network Rail or the train operating company? We are adding more

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complexity to a system that doesn't need any more. Right. Why is it

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adding complexity if you are bringing them together to joint

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decision-making, surely it will simplify the set-up? That's the case

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that's made, but I think in - we look at the south-west alliance

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where similar proposition was made, that ultimately collapsed. It did

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not work out well. Let's look at history. Let's look at these

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alliances and see how they functioned. They haven't. Let's look

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at Railtrack and see the disaster they rendered to this nation and

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people expressing sadness about bereavements on our railways, we do

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not want to be there again. Looking at the east-west railway from Oxford

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to Cambridge that Chris Grayling is focussing on today, this will be

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privately built. And privately run. Do you reject that proposal? Well,

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what I do observe is that that's the slippery slope. This is clearly the

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intention for the entire network. What we are making clear is that

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train operating companies will come back under public ownership as those

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franchises arise. Now the case in point, Oxford to Cambridge is a

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separate and distinct issue, has to stand on its own merits. The rest of

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the network will be looking to bring back into public ownership. That's

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Labour policy. But what about this idea it's the slippery slope towards

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privatising? Look, there are many companies, virgin trains network

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that are popular with customers, it's a shame that Labour still have

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this private sector bad public sector, good, mantra. We saw with

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Jeremy Corbyn's famous train journey when he was sat on the train and

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there were seats vacant. There is a negativity towards private trains

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still in the Labour Party that's unjustified and doesn't celebrate

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the fact that our railways now in Britain carry these extra passengers

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and are one of the safest in the world. The safety record on our

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railway network is beyond comparison to almost every other nation in the

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world. Do sip that? Thank goodness it is a safe railway system. Let's

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look it at some incidents that have occurred, people have been dragged

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down platforms, we don't want to see... No one wants to see an

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increase. We don't want to compromise on safety. A record of

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doing this and that's exactly what will happen on this occasion because

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profit will triumph and trump over safety on every occasion. Let me

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pick you up on those things. At the moment you are saying that there is

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a good safety record on the railways, as it stands, but you

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think that more privatisation or private money or private funding

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will automatically lead to more tragic accidents? We know this is

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the case, the last time this experiment was conducted that's the

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outcome we had with Railtrack. You have admitted this isn't like

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Railtrack? It's another modification. But it's not the same?

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I grant you that, it's a modification of the same principle.

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But it's a starting point. We know the ideology of the Secretary of

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State, we know where he wants to be. He wants... I suppose arguably you

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are being idea logical on the other side, rightly or wrongly? It's about

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having the right ideology. If ideology is wrong per se... You have

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to have the right conviction. You are happy if it's your ideology but

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you think obviously the Government's ideology is wrong. I do. I

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understand your point. If we are looking to simplify the railways and

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keep them safe, wouldn't it be better to see if these changes work?

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You have already made up your mind they won't. Before pushing ahead

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with what would be a disruptive and complicated renationalisation

:19:07.:19:11.

programme. Well, no, not a comply - privatisation system, that's being

:19:12.:19:15.

proposed. Hang on. Your proposal is a renationalisation programme.

:19:16.:19:20.

Nicola Sure talked about route-based businesses, they've gone a long way

:19:21.:19:23.

through the benchmarking process to bring that to fruition. I would put

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it the other way. Why do we not let those changes bed down and let's see

:19:28.:19:31.

what the benefits are? It may be that people are content with what

:19:32.:19:34.

comes out of that process. All right. Thank you very much.

:19:35.:19:40.

She's attending a meeting of the Gulf Co-operation Council

:19:41.:19:43.

and this morning she made a short speech on board the Royal Navy's

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This week, I am in Bahrain to attend the Gulf Co-operation Council,

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to reaffirm our partnership with the GCC countries

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and to step up our defence and security co-operation,

:19:57.:19:59.

to keep British citizens safe at home and abroad.

:20:00.:20:05.

And, to ensure the stability necessary for global

:20:06.:20:08.

Here on HMS Ocean, all of you are a vital part of Britain's

:20:09.:20:14.

global mission and your role in our commitment to

:20:15.:20:17.

security in the Gulf could not be more important

:20:18.:20:19.

and you can be very proud of everything you are doing.

:20:20.:20:24.

A little earlier I spoke to the BBC's deputy political

:20:25.:20:26.

editor John Pienaar, who's in Bahrain reporting

:20:27.:20:29.

I asked him how Theresa May was going to square her design for

:20:30.:20:38.

greater co-operation with the Gulf states with well documented human

:20:39.:20:43.

rights abuses in the region? Well, I think Theresa May, it's a fairly

:20:44.:20:46.

simple question, she's been spending the morning and will spend tomorrow

:20:47.:20:50.

talking to a succession of Arab leaders. You can see one of the

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King's many palaces behind me, there are a number in this area, it's the

:20:55.:20:59.

ultra upmarket housing estate, you go from one to the other. She's met

:21:00.:21:07.

the leader, later the King of Saudi Arabia, to her these are key allies,

:21:08.:21:12.

for Britain's strategic interest as well as the region and the world as

:21:13.:21:16.

well as the business of those lucrative arms sales. When it comes

:21:17.:21:19.

to human rights she argues if you are not in the room with them you

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can't raise questions of human rights. Which is an answer you have

:21:23.:21:26.

heard from Prime Ministers, but for Theresa May her time as Home

:21:27.:21:29.

Secretary I think has schooled her into thinking that questions of

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practical security outweigh liberal sensitivities and she answers those

:21:36.:21:39.

questions pretty much full-on. She can't escape the discussions over

:21:40.:21:43.

Brexit, not least an opposition day debate tomorrow where Labour is

:21:44.:21:47.

going to put down an amendment calling for the Government to set

:21:48.:21:53.

out its plans. We have also heard from the main EU negotiating person

:21:54.:21:56.

on Brexit who has said Britain can in the get a better deal outside the

:21:57.:22:01.

EU than it had when it was a member. What does Theresa May say to that?

:22:02.:22:05.

Those questions follow her wherever she goes. A while ago she was aboard

:22:06.:22:11.

HMS Ocean, the flagship of the Royal Navy here in Bahrain, the symbolism

:22:12.:22:16.

is clear, Britain is to remain a world power after Brexit. Alliances

:22:17.:22:20.

like those here count as well as getting a good deal in Europe.

:22:21.:22:23.

That's a struggle too. Aboard that ship she looked like a war leader,

:22:24.:22:27.

we are not at war but it is a struggle wherever she goes. At home

:22:28.:22:31.

at Westminster, as you say, we are now hearing Minister after Minister

:22:32.:22:34.

telling us that Britain may well be in the business of paying Europe for

:22:35.:22:37.

access to the European market. She's leaving that open. She didn't put it

:22:38.:22:41.

quite like that, she put it like this. Sometimes people look at this

:22:42.:22:47.

as somehow the UK taking one particular model, the UK trying to

:22:48.:22:51.

take some of the elements of membership. It's not about this sort

:22:52.:22:54.

of Brexit or that sort of Brexit. It's about a red, white and blue

:22:55.:22:57.

Brexit, that is the right Brexit, the right deal for Britain.

:22:58.:23:02.

It's obviously going to be tough, tough with the EU negotiating

:23:03.:23:05.

partners, they say at the moment they're going to make it difficult

:23:06.:23:08.

for Britain. Yeah, everything that you hear suggests there's going to

:23:09.:23:11.

be hard bargaining when those Article 50 talks, the talks on

:23:12.:23:15.

leaving the EU finally get started. We are now hearing from different

:23:16.:23:19.

ministers at different ends of the spectrum, David Davis, the Brexit

:23:20.:23:24.

Secretary, Philip Hammond today saying we may be in the business of

:23:25.:23:27.

give and take when it comes to paying into the EU. You heard there

:23:28.:23:32.

a red, white and blue Brexit which means give and take. How much is

:23:33.:23:36.

given and how much is taken, we don't know, she doesn't know and

:23:37.:23:39.

they won't know until the talks are well under way and that will happen

:23:40.:23:43.

when parliament gives its say. That will happen after the Supreme Court

:23:44.:23:45.

says it's up to parliament to give its say. Theresa May struggling as

:23:46.:23:49.

it were on so many fronts at once. Thank you.

:23:50.:23:54.

Let me bring you some more news following on from that, about the

:23:55.:23:57.

Government's position in terms of that debate tomorrow on the Brexit

:23:58.:24:00.

negotiations. Downing Street refused to be drawn on whether it will try

:24:01.:24:04.

to amend a Labour motion, that's a motion that's pushing Ministers to

:24:05.:24:09.

reveal their stance on Brexit talks and as we discussed earlier, there

:24:10.:24:15.

could be up to 20 or so Tory rebels backing that Labour motion. Pressed

:24:16.:24:18.

on whether the Government would seek to amend the motion, the Prime

:24:19.:24:21.

Minister's official spokesman said our approach to this debate and vote

:24:22.:24:24.

tomorrow will be guided by the position we have taken thus far, we

:24:25.:24:27.

don't intend to reveal our negotiating position ahead of

:24:28.:24:30.

triggering Article 50 by the end of March. It looks at the moment as if

:24:31.:24:34.

there isn't going to be an amendment but we will see.

:24:35.:24:39.

The sudden resignation of Conservative MP Stephen Phillips

:24:40.:24:41.

over disagreements with the Government about Brexit means

:24:42.:24:43.

This time in rural Lincolnshire in the constituency

:24:44.:24:45.

Voters returned a large Conservative majority

:24:46.:24:50.

in 2015 but that was before the EU referendum.

:24:51.:24:52.

By the end of the week there'll be a new political mix

:24:53.:25:02.

At this family-run food supplier in Lincolnshire are some

:25:03.:25:09.

of the 60% who backed Leave, working alongside the quarter

:25:10.:25:13.

of its staff from Eastern Europe, equally waiting to see what kind

:25:14.:25:16.

Obviously, Brexit's a big issue at the moment.

:25:17.:25:21.

I think we should stick by whatever decision's been made.

:25:22.:25:26.

In this mainly rural constituency a quarter of people are over 65

:25:27.:25:30.

Its last Conservative MP had a majority of 24,000.

:25:31.:25:38.

But that was before the EU referendum.

:25:39.:25:46.

So what do voters want to see on the big issue of Brexit now?

:25:47.:25:49.

Really it's making the best out of the decision that's been taken.

:25:50.:25:52.

Obviously, there's got to be a good deal, but a lot just seems to be

:25:53.:25:59.

about when are we going to make the decision at the moment,

:26:00.:26:02.

just make the decision and get it done as quickly as possible.

:26:03.:26:05.

Get out so we can get our borders back.

:26:06.:26:07.

This has been a Tory stronghold but following on from what happened

:26:08.:26:10.

in Richmond, when Brexit played a big part in the by-election there,

:26:11.:26:13.

in this pro-Leave constituency the UK Independence Party hopes

:26:14.:26:15.

to capitalise and is pledging to stop the Government

:26:16.:26:17.

By having a Ukip MP, not only will it shake the Government up,

:26:18.:26:23.

because they'll be terrified of losing other seats,

:26:24.:26:28.

but also I will hold them to account very vocally and very strongly.

:26:29.:26:36.

30 seconds to say why you should be voting for them this week...

:26:37.:26:39.

But the Liberal Democrat candidate, who voted for Remain,

:26:40.:26:41.

taking part here in a BBC radio Lincolnshire hustings at a local

:26:42.:26:45.

academy, thinks he can offer voters an alternative.

:26:46.:26:55.

You do have the chance to change your mind, this

:26:56.:26:57.

You don't have to stay with your original decision.

:26:58.:27:01.

We have met many people on the doorstep who regret voting

:27:02.:27:03.

to leave because of the lies that were told during the Brexit campaign

:27:04.:27:06.

Its candidate decries six years of austerity and says his party

:27:07.:27:12.

would best protect workers' rights and the NHS.

:27:13.:27:15.

It's the Tories running the country, supported

:27:16.:27:17.

They're the ones running the country, they're the ones that's

:27:18.:27:22.

We had nothing in the Autumn Statement about extra

:27:23.:27:25.

If you want to be taken for granted by the Conservatives, vote Tory.

:27:26.:27:31.

If you to send a message to Theresa May vote for me.

:27:32.:27:36.

Defending the seat for the Conservatives its candidate,

:27:37.:27:39.

out canvassing here in Ruskington, says a vote for her will ensure

:27:40.:27:42.

When we talk about Brexit what we say to people is, you know,

:27:43.:27:46.

Theresa May has been very clear, the country voted to leave

:27:47.:27:49.

We're going to leave the European Union.

:27:50.:27:52.

The best way to ensure that, if that is important to you,

:27:53.:27:58.

is to vote for a Conservative member of parliament so that Theresa May,

:27:59.:28:01.

the Prime Minister, has the strongest majority

:28:02.:28:03.

With just a few days left, voters will soon decide

:28:04.:28:09.

whether to return a Tory to Westminster, or,

:28:10.:28:11.

like in Richmond, whether Brexit may affect a different outcome.

:28:12.:28:16.

And on your screens now is a full list of all the candidates

:28:17.:28:20.

running in the Sleaford and North Hykeham by-election.

:28:21.:28:24.

Joining us now from Edinburgh is the polling expert

:28:25.:28:26.

You have been kept busy recently. Defending a majority of 24,000 would

:28:27.:28:37.

normally seem a safe bet. But following the Lib Dems win in

:28:38.:28:40.

Richmond is anything possible? I think the truth is there is a big

:28:41.:28:45.

difference between Richmond and Sleaford. Zac Goldsmith might have

:28:46.:28:48.

been defend ago big majority from the last general election but this

:28:49.:28:53.

was a constituency that elected a Liberal Democrat MP from 1997 to

:28:54.:28:58.

2010. In contrast, Sleaford has done nothing other than ever vote for a

:28:59.:29:02.

Conservative MP and to that extent at least a Conservative defeat here

:29:03.:29:06.

would, I think, be a spectacular result in the way that the wasn't

:29:07.:29:10.

quite in Richmond. That said, by-elections are never easy for

:29:11.:29:13.

governments. The Conservatives had 56% of the vote last time. We

:29:14.:29:18.

shouldn't be surprised if it's only just hanging on to about 40%, but

:29:19.:29:22.

40% of the vote should be enough to win this constituency. Right. Is

:29:23.:29:28.

there any evidence Ukip claim that they are gaining ground in the

:29:29.:29:31.

constituency because people are impatient with the pace of Brexit,

:29:32.:29:34.

they would say that, wouldn't they, but is there evidence of that? They

:29:35.:29:38.

would say that, but we don't know because we have not had opinion

:29:39.:29:41.

polls in this constituency but certainly the interesting question

:29:42.:29:45.

that is being carried forward from Richmond is whether or not indeed

:29:46.:29:49.

the question of Brexit is going to begin to reshape British politics.

:29:50.:29:52.

Ukip on the one hand are going to try to appeal to the majority of

:29:53.:29:56.

voters in this constituency who voted to Leave and say you need to

:29:57.:30:01.

hold Theresa May's nose to the fire. In contrast, the Liberal Democrats,

:30:02.:30:05.

OK, it's only a 38% Leave vote but they'll be looking to try to

:30:06.:30:09.

persuade those voters who are unhappy about the vote to leave to

:30:10.:30:15.

come across to them. Certainly given how badly they did in 2010 - 2015 in

:30:16.:30:21.

this constituency only just saving their deposit, if there is evidence

:30:22.:30:23.

of a Liberal Democrats revival in the wake of the Richmond result, the

:30:24.:30:28.

party should be getting itself at minimum back into double figures so

:30:29.:30:30.

far as percentage share of the vote is concerned.

:30:31.:30:35.

Do you think Brexit will start to shape British politics at every

:30:36.:30:42.

opportunity, for example in by-elections? It depends how well it

:30:43.:30:46.

goes. The Liberal Democrats did well in Richmond Park last week but that

:30:47.:30:49.

was where, as John said, it was a strong constituency. In the West

:30:50.:30:59.

Country they need to win seats but the West Country was a probe leave

:31:00.:31:04.

area and the strong stands Tim Farren is taking in the by-elections

:31:05.:31:10.

might bring short turns a short-term dividends, but it might be a barrier

:31:11.:31:13.

in the south-west through a Liberal Democrat combat. It's a mixed

:31:14.:31:18.

message for all parties. For Ukip, holding the government's speak to

:31:19.:31:22.

the fire in areas where there is a strong feeling for the league

:31:23.:31:28.

campaign, will that be winning seats in councils, will that bring people

:31:29.:31:34.

over to them -- leave. This is to you, John. I do apologise. I'm

:31:35.:31:38.

looking at you, but you can't see me. Could you say it again? Could

:31:39.:31:45.

Ukip make gains by holding the government's feet to the fire over

:31:46.:31:50.

the place of Brexit? In constituencies like this the

:31:51.:31:52.

Conservative vote is so large it will be difficult for Ukip to win

:31:53.:31:56.

the seat. In a marginal, it might be possible. There is another prize

:31:57.:32:02.

Ukip could look to, which is managing to come second and

:32:03.:32:05.

defeating the Labour Party and there is another important question. The

:32:06.:32:10.

Labour Party developing -- defending a poor percentage of the vote

:32:11.:32:15.

doesn't make progress and they should do so in by-elections, but

:32:16.:32:18.

the record in Richmond and Whitney and the two by-elections since June

:32:19.:32:23.

20 -- disappointing that the party. The crucial battle is that if Ukip,

:32:24.:32:29.

second they will claim they are back on the road having had a rocky six

:32:30.:32:35.

months. If Ukip come second they might have to rethink their

:32:36.:32:39.

strategy. They say they want to replace neighbour in the North.

:32:40.:32:44.

Obviously Theresa May cannot afford to lose the seat because she has a

:32:45.:32:47.

slim majority already and has lost one in Richmond. This is a must win

:32:48.:32:53.

for the Conservatives. I think John identifies exactly the right thing

:32:54.:32:55.

the Conservatives will be looking for. If Labour looked like they are

:32:56.:33:00.

making no progress at all, that will give Downing Street a lot of

:33:01.:33:05.

comfort. That is what the Tory hopes are predicated on, that the Labour

:33:06.:33:08.

vote is so soft that come the general election the Tories will

:33:09.:33:13.

make gains compared to the last David Cameron election victory.

:33:14.:33:15.

With over 800 peers it's got more legislators

:33:16.:33:19.

And that's prompted some members of the Lords to argue it should

:33:20.:33:31.

Yesterday, peers debated the issue and here are some highlights.

:33:32.:33:38.

The time for reform has come and it is for us to take the initiative and

:33:39.:33:48.

work with government, not for us to wait for government to decide and

:33:49.:33:53.

then to impose. Significantly, when the public are asked to express a

:33:54.:33:58.

preference there is a much bigger group now demanding total abolition

:33:59.:34:06.

rather than supporting the present unsatisfactory appointment system or

:34:07.:34:09.

any other proposed modifications of it. So that those in this house who

:34:10.:34:16.

continue to obstruct real democratic reform risk and increasing public

:34:17.:34:21.

demand for a unified parliament, which me and my colleagues do not

:34:22.:34:29.

support. This would diminish the range of expertise and using

:34:30.:34:31.

election results to determine the numbers of this house would

:34:32.:34:36.

encourage us to be even more political. The result, my lord, is

:34:37.:34:41.

that it would be hard to tell apart from the House of Commons. We would

:34:42.:34:49.

have all devices without -- all the vices without the virtues. Whereas,

:34:50.:34:57.

if we reach consensus on what this House of Lords exists for, and unite

:34:58.:35:01.

in promoting that purpose, I truly believe we would become more

:35:02.:35:07.

effective. To me, it is an affront when APS says he thought his peerage

:35:08.:35:12.

was a reward for his success as a composer and he did not expect to

:35:13.:35:17.

attend the debate and vote on policy issues. Likewise, one adviser sent

:35:18.:35:24.

here as lobby fodder who cannot speak, they do as I believe a

:35:25.:35:28.

disservice. The mother of Parliaments is not mute. I believe

:35:29.:35:33.

this house is an excellent job. It needs to be reduced in size. I agree

:35:34.:35:37.

with many of the ideas that have been put forward by my friend Lord

:35:38.:35:42.

Tebbit and Lord Cormack in his excellent address. This is not a

:35:43.:35:44.

place to work out how. We've been joined by Tina Stowell,

:35:45.:35:47.

a Conservative peer and former And also by Alan Beith,

:35:48.:35:50.

a Lib Dem peer. The motion was agreed last night,

:35:51.:36:03.

and some might say calling for a reduction in PAs is like turkeys

:36:04.:36:08.

voting for Christmas. Is it? There is a general it is too big and once

:36:09.:36:13.

you get to specific proposals will be a section of a house against all

:36:14.:36:16.

the proposals but we are starting from the wrong end. Although the

:36:17.:36:19.

House of Lords is too big most people don't realise that. The idea

:36:20.:36:24.

in the public is that the House of Lords being too big is an issue is

:36:25.:36:29.

wrong. We want to work out a way of having democracy in the House of

:36:30.:36:32.

Lords while retaining some of its character in doing its job of making

:36:33.:36:35.

the Commons think again when it needs to. Isn't it a start? Some

:36:36.:36:39.

would say there's not even enough room for the if they did actually

:36:40.:36:44.

attend all the time. -- the peers. That would be a good place to begin

:36:45.:36:49.

reform. Everywhere is a bad place to start. Simply chopping the numbers.

:36:50.:36:54.

Although I agree it's too large, it eggs the question, what does the

:36:55.:36:58.

House of Lords do, how should people be elected to it -- begs -- and what

:36:59.:37:04.

should the total size B? We had a perfectly good scheme that was

:37:05.:37:09.

brought forward with support of all parties but the Labour Party would

:37:10.:37:11.

not support the measures necessary to get it through. The wrong place

:37:12.:37:16.

to start? I do think it's the wrong place to start but where we are

:37:17.:37:21.

united is that there are some passengers we need to deal with is

:37:22.:37:28.

the term that Lord Fowler used. And what we need to focus on is on

:37:29.:37:32.

behaviours. Like Alan was saying about what people talk about in the

:37:33.:37:36.

pub, they don't talk about numbers, they talk about behaviours. Do they

:37:37.:37:40.

talk about the House of Lords at all? Probably not. And that's one of

:37:41.:37:45.

the things that we, as an institution, have to bear in mind.

:37:46.:37:49.

If it's not the subject of conversation they are doing their

:37:50.:37:56.

job well. What I mean is, if you think about what the House of Lords

:37:57.:38:03.

exists for, and I describe it as a house that exists to consummate the

:38:04.:38:06.

House of Commons in giving people confidence in the laws that cover --

:38:07.:38:11.

Parliament makes, and I always emphasise giving people confidence.

:38:12.:38:15.

Because if you know, when you become a Lord, that is why you go into the

:38:16.:38:19.

building and you going to scrutinise and revise, but why are you doing

:38:20.:38:25.

it? That would drive your decisions on when to go, how to conduct

:38:26.:38:29.

yourself when you are there, and also when to retire. But who is not

:38:30.:38:36.

following those general broad rules you have outlined? You talked about

:38:37.:38:39.

fellow passengers that need to go and people who are behaving

:38:40.:38:46.

properly. Who are they? The reason why I think that starting with the

:38:47.:38:51.

absolute size of the house is the wrong place to start Mrs the proper

:38:52.:38:59.

measure that is most relevant. There are too many Lib Dems, for instance?

:39:00.:39:06.

You can't possibly think that. I'm sure you love them one and all, but

:39:07.:39:10.

there are a lot of Liberal Democrat peers in a house that you yourself

:39:11.:39:15.

would like to abolish and that seems to be a great irony. As Tina herself

:39:16.:39:21.

rightly said, and she spoke in the debate, it's not an exact copy of

:39:22.:39:28.

the House of Commons like the last election because it would not have

:39:29.:39:31.

the independence to make the house think again. When people talk about

:39:32.:39:35.

the House of Lords is when we make the life of the government more

:39:36.:39:40.

difficult, so when they voted against the tax credit cuts

:39:41.:39:43.

everybody was talking about the Lords, and that is when we are at

:39:44.:39:47.

our most popular. Yes, but who should make the decision about what

:39:48.:39:49.

happens to the House of Lords? Should be the or you? I think the

:39:50.:39:55.

House of Lords should be the place where decisions are made about its

:39:56.:40:01.

changes and reforms -- should it be the government or you? And I believe

:40:02.:40:06.

the House of Lords has got all the power it needs to make change

:40:07.:40:10.

happen. It doesn't need legislation or the government. What the peers

:40:11.:40:15.

need to do is unite in agreeing about why we exist. If there is

:40:16.:40:19.

unity in that, the kind of behaviour is that sometimes attract criticism

:40:20.:40:24.

would be dealt with. I think most peers who are not currently

:40:25.:40:28.

government ministers agree on what the House of Lords is therefore, to

:40:29.:40:31.

make the government think again, to review legislation and to make sure

:40:32.:40:36.

we get the law right. And sometimes to bite as well as Bach, otherwise

:40:37.:40:40.

you don't have the power to change the legislation. -- as well as Bach.

:40:41.:40:46.

As a former member of the Cabinet and the person responsible for

:40:47.:40:51.

getting legislation through the House of Lords, I would never

:40:52.:40:55.

disagree that that house should not sometimes obstruct government

:40:56.:40:58.

legislation. But not too often. Well, clearly it shouldn't be doing

:40:59.:41:03.

it in a way that calls into question the legitimacy of it as an unelected

:41:04.:41:09.

house alongside the elected House of Commons. The elected house should

:41:10.:41:13.

always have the final say. The problem is that Prime Minister 's

:41:14.:41:19.

have been stuffing the House of Lords with their charms for a very

:41:20.:41:23.

long time, and that has caused it to become bloated and out of control. I

:41:24.:41:28.

think that is the danger. From my work, I have to do read debates in

:41:29.:41:33.

the House of Commons and House of Lords, and again and again, the

:41:34.:41:36.

quality of the debate in the Lords is superior to the House of Commons.

:41:37.:41:39.

You have largely a group of people with more experience and expertise.

:41:40.:41:44.

That must be protected at all costs. The danger is that some of the

:41:45.:41:49.

recent resignations and other lists from David Cameron and previous

:41:50.:41:55.

prime ministers have been to like cronyism. It is people who are loyal

:41:56.:42:00.

to the party rather than a cause or discipline and that will ruin the

:42:01.:42:03.

House of Lords, I'm afraid. But at the moment I think the quality of

:42:04.:42:06.

debate still stands good examination. On that basis, because

:42:07.:42:10.

people will say you are over represented as a party in the House

:42:11.:42:14.

of Lords wrap -- bearing in mind the number of MPs in the House of

:42:15.:42:17.

Commons, are you going to vote against the triggering of Article

:42:18.:42:22.

50? The house is unlikely to have a vote on the issue. You will

:42:23.:42:27.

certainly want the government to set out what it's trying to achieve in

:42:28.:42:33.

negotiations, hard Brexit, soft Brexit, customs union or no customs

:42:34.:42:37.

union. Nobody enters into negotiations without making it

:42:38.:42:40.

public what the objectives are. The bottom line is we would challenge

:42:41.:42:44.

the government to do that, but the real decision on that will be taken

:42:45.:42:48.

in the House of Commons. But if it comes to the Lords, which it would

:42:49.:42:52.

do if there was legislation following on from what the Supreme

:42:53.:42:55.

Court rules, even a short Bill, that would be going to be scrutinised by

:42:56.:43:01.

you, and if it wasn't clear if we were going to stay in or out of the

:43:02.:43:05.

single market or the customs union, would you add an amendment or try to

:43:06.:43:09.

delay the bill? I think we would try to amend the bill. But we cannot

:43:10.:43:13.

have a situation in which the House of Commons decides to go ahead and

:43:14.:43:17.

the House of Lords says no you can't. I don't think anybody would

:43:18.:43:20.

want that to happen. But that would be fair enough, wouldn't it? I think

:43:21.:43:25.

everybody in a privileged position of power, whether you sit in the

:43:26.:43:29.

Commons or the Lords, your own business, or in the media, everybody

:43:30.:43:35.

needs to recognise that it is about behaviours and giving people some

:43:36.:43:41.

reassurance that the motive behind whatever it is that people are

:43:42.:43:46.

trying to do in order to get the best future for our country outside

:43:47.:43:51.

the European referendum is inspired by that, but not by some political

:43:52.:43:59.

or self-interest. What I would argue with the Lib Dems or anyone else in

:44:00.:44:02.

the House of Lords over is that making sure that any action, when it

:44:03.:44:12.

comes to Brexit, Article 50 or anything else, is properly and

:44:13.:44:15.

clearly motivated that it is in the public interest. They would argue it

:44:16.:44:21.

is in the public interest. There is no bigger public interest question

:44:22.:44:24.

than Britain securing a good future after the negotiations. I think we

:44:25.:44:30.

just need to recognise that people who have voted out, and I was in the

:44:31.:44:38.

Remain campaign, but the people who voted out and are now supportive of

:44:39.:44:42.

the change associated with Brexit, whether they voted in or out, they

:44:43.:44:47.

are looking for those of us in great positions of power to reflect on the

:44:48.:44:50.

way we behave and why we take the decisions we do. That sounds like a

:44:51.:44:54.

gentle warning. It's an encouragement to do what I will do

:44:55.:44:59.

throughout, which is to try to serve the best British interest and make

:45:00.:45:02.

sure we get out of a process we would not have started, with an

:45:03.:45:05.

outcome where people's jobs and livelihoods and the peace of Europe

:45:06.:45:09.

is safely guaranteed. Thank you very much.

:45:10.:45:14.

Nato's foreign ministers are meeting in Brussels to discuss how

:45:15.:45:16.

the alliance can maintain peace and stability at a time

:45:17.:45:20.

On the agenda will be not only Russian involvement in Ukraine,

:45:21.:45:24.

but also the build-up of missiles and troops along

:45:25.:45:27.

Ahead of today's session, Nato's Secretary General,

:45:28.:45:32.

suggested if both sides toned down their rhetoric,

:45:33.:45:35.

it might take some of the heat out of the situation.

:45:36.:45:38.

I welcome any toning down of the rhetoric because I think

:45:39.:45:42.

words matter and less aggressive rhetoric can be a first step

:45:43.:45:48.

At the same time, words matter, but of course

:45:49.:46:02.

Therefore, the important thing is what we see,

:46:03.:46:10.

what kind of actions we see from the Russian side.

:46:11.:46:14.

And we're joined now by the Conservative MP

:46:15.:46:16.

Daniel Kawczynski, who sits on the Foreign Affairs Committee.

:46:17.:46:23.

Welcome. First of all, Tim Montgomerie, there is evidently

:46:24.:46:31.

concern amongst the Baltic states, understandably because of where they

:46:32.:46:35.

are, about the Russian threat. Is any talk of a new cold war an

:46:36.:46:39.

exageration? I don't think so. If you look at some of rush why's

:46:40.:46:44.

tactics they're deploying in the region, how they used undercover

:46:45.:46:50.

troops to invade eastern Ukraine. How they are involved in

:46:51.:46:55.

destabilising democracies around the world. Their interference confirmed

:46:56.:47:00.

by intelligence agencies in America, in the US election, involved in the

:47:01.:47:07.

WikiLeaks controversy over Hillary Clinton's emails, on a range of

:47:08.:47:10.

fronts Russia is reverting to the behaviour that comes naturally to

:47:11.:47:15.

Vladimir Putin. Vladimir Putin was trained as a KGB agent and I am

:47:16.:47:20.

afraid you can't always teach an old dog new tricks. He is still behaving

:47:21.:47:23.

as he did in the past. How do you deal with a power that behaves in

:47:24.:47:29.

that way? There is no evidence to back up that Vladimir Putin is

:47:30.:47:34.

moving towards some sort of cordial relationship with Europe, for

:47:35.:47:41.

example? Well, I think the clip that you played is extremely important.

:47:42.:47:47.

We met with him at the European Parliament recently and I asked how

:47:48.:47:50.

are you going to, as Secretary General of Nato, how are you going

:47:51.:47:54.

to lower tensions with Russia? And he talked about his experience when

:47:55.:47:57.

he was Prime Minister of Norway and a Nato country that borders Russia.

:47:58.:48:02.

He had in that position as Prime Minister of Norway a very pragmatic

:48:03.:48:09.

and effective policy of dealing with Russia on the bilateral basis and I

:48:10.:48:12.

very much hope he will use that experience to try to lower tensions

:48:13.:48:17.

with Russia, he himself has said it's vitally important that despite

:48:18.:48:20.

the differences we have with them, we want to ease some of the tensions

:48:21.:48:24.

that's building up. Isn't it more than just differences and a

:48:25.:48:28.

bilateral with authorway is one thing but dealings with Russia on a

:48:29.:48:36.

range of issues when it's moving missiles closer, launching cyber

:48:37.:48:39.

attacks, seeking to influence elections, makes it more difficult?

:48:40.:48:45.

I went this summer to the Polish-Russian border and that is

:48:46.:48:50.

already becoming the most highly militaryised part of Europe. If the

:48:51.:48:54.

tit-for-tat deployment of missiles continues at the pace it has been,

:48:55.:48:59.

that area of Europe will become akin to the north and south Korean

:49:00.:49:04.

border, a no-man's-land and it will just take a spark to cause a

:49:05.:49:08.

confrontation between the two sides. Yes, be strong and tough with them,

:49:09.:49:12.

yes, spend more on defence but we need to engage with them to try to

:49:13.:49:16.

build up some sort of mutual trust and respect. Otherwise we are

:49:17.:49:18.

heading towards some sort of confrontation. Painting Russia as

:49:19.:49:23.

the bogeyman all the time and talking about the Cold War won't

:49:24.:49:28.

that escalate tensions? Would a different tone really, in your mind,

:49:29.:49:34.

change the balance of relations? I think Daniel officially I think

:49:35.:49:37.

represents Shrewsbury in parliament but has more of a record I am afraid

:49:38.:49:43.

for representing Riyadh in Saudi Arabia and Moscow in Russia, he

:49:44.:49:55.

Russia - he has been an apologist. If you remember the defence shield

:49:56.:50:00.

America promised for the Czech republic and Poland, Hillary Clinton

:50:01.:50:03.

then reset relations with Russia. The message to Russia was exactly as

:50:04.:50:09.

Daniel has recommended, we sort of accommodate ourselves to Putin he is

:50:10.:50:14.

aggressiveness. Since then Putin saw that as a green light, he saw

:50:15.:50:20.

weakness and invaded Ukraine and bombs Aleppo. I am afraid the kind

:50:21.:50:25.

of recipe that Daniel always wants us to follow in the West, to be

:50:26.:50:30.

kinder and more indulgent to dictatorships is exactly the sort of

:50:31.:50:35.

thing that inflames aggression and endangers peace, rather than the

:50:36.:50:39.

reverse. You are an apologist for a dictator? Well, this is what the

:50:40.:50:45.

likes of MrMontgomerie and others, I was called last week by a right-wing

:50:46.:50:51.

think tank in America a trojan horse for the Kremlin. If Members of

:50:52.:50:56.

Parliament don't dovetail into this very popular narrative which is

:50:57.:51:00.

peddled by MrMontgomerie and others, which is these regimes are bad, they

:51:01.:51:06.

have to be kept away, they are going to cause problems, if anybody dares

:51:07.:51:10.

challenge that very popular and fashionable concept, as to whether

:51:11.:51:15.

or not it is in our country's national strategic interest to

:51:16.:51:17.

completely ostracise these countries and not have dialogue... No one's

:51:18.:51:24.

talking about - you shouldn't misrepresent the views of your

:51:25.:51:27.

critics. I will come back to you. His views are highly dangerous. We

:51:28.:51:33.

need to engage with Russia. Are your views highly dangerous, what is your

:51:34.:51:36.

alternative solution to dealing with Russia, is it containment? Well, I

:51:37.:51:42.

think what we certainly have to be doing now is, the alternative to not

:51:43.:51:45.

the kind of military identificationation on borders that

:51:46.:51:49.

Daniel describes, is allowing Russia to bring in their people in green

:51:50.:51:55.

berets and hidden essentially Russian troops to destabilise

:51:56.:51:59.

countries like Estonia. If we do not make it clear to Russia there will

:52:00.:52:03.

be enormous consequences for them destabilising other parts of the

:52:04.:52:07.

world, what we will get from Putin is more of the kind of

:52:08.:52:11.

indiscriminate bombing of civilian populations we have seen in Aleppo.

:52:12.:52:15.

Aleppo wasn't the first time, of course, that Putin bombed civilian

:52:16.:52:19.

populations. Before he came to power as Russian President in Chechnya,

:52:20.:52:24.

that is how he behaved. He is a very nasty piece of work. When we have an

:52:25.:52:30.

apologist like Daniel for him, then we are inviting further aggression.

:52:31.:52:33.

You have dialogue. You do not have indulgence. I won't take any

:52:34.:52:38.

lectures from Mr Montgomerie on this issue. . I am the only only British

:52:39.:52:43.

member of parliament to have been born in Poland. I spent my childhood

:52:44.:52:48.

listening to my grandfather about the catastrophic destruction of

:52:49.:52:58.

Poland during the Second World War, Warsaw razeg -- razed to the ground.

:52:59.:53:03.

All I am interested in is making sure that those frontline states

:53:04.:53:07.

that we are Allianced to, countries like Poland are not destroyed and

:53:08.:53:10.

devastated in another world war. What is, as I said, what is

:53:11.:53:18.

happening with the pole border is frightening and anybody who doesn't

:53:19.:53:21.

understand the concerns of that trajectory of conflict is wrong. May

:53:22.:53:25.

I just say lastly, a lot of people actually, if you talk to people on

:53:26.:53:29.

the ground, whether it's in Shrewsbury or anywhere else, they

:53:30.:53:33.

expect politicians to go the extra mile to engage and to do whatever

:53:34.:53:38.

they can through diplomacy. What evidence is there that has worked?

:53:39.:53:42.

Sanctions haven't worked. There have been attempts at dialogue and

:53:43.:53:46.

they've been rejected in many people's minds by Vladimir Putin

:53:47.:53:49.

himself. He is only worried about his sphere of influence and he feels

:53:50.:53:55.

under threat from the EU and that that's why he annexed Crimea and got

:53:56.:53:59.

involved in military incursion in Ukraine. There is no evidence to

:54:00.:54:02.

show that Vladimir Putin is interested in anything else than

:54:03.:54:06.

increasing his sphere of influps, hence getting involved in Syria --

:54:07.:54:10.

influence. On the basis of getting rid of Islamic State. That's the

:54:11.:54:17.

pivotal question and we are doing a report currently on Anglo-Russian

:54:18.:54:19.

relations. We have been doing this for the last year. The report will

:54:20.:54:22.

be published in... What's the evidence he would respond to

:54:23.:54:27.

dialogue? The evidence is this, our policy seems to amount to

:54:28.:54:31.

confrontation and sanctions. The sanctions aren't working.

:54:32.:54:36.

Interestingly, Russian trade with America, China, Brazil, and India is

:54:37.:54:39.

at record levels. So whilst we are imposing sanctions on Russia and by

:54:40.:54:42.

the way British companies have lost ten billion a year as a result of

:54:43.:54:47.

these sanctions, our international competitors, the Americans, the

:54:48.:54:49.

Chinese and Brazilians, are continuing to trade. Sanctions will

:54:50.:54:54.

only work if their implemented by all the countries, not just western

:54:55.:54:57.

Europe. Are you going to be out of step with your views now when we

:54:58.:55:03.

look at President Donald Trump who, of course, has signalled friendlier

:55:04.:55:08.

relations with Russia and Vladimir Putin. And in the end this is a new

:55:09.:55:15.

chapter in terms of Russian relations with the rest of the

:55:16.:55:18.

world? The article I wrote for The Times that I think you were wroting,

:55:19.:55:23.

I am worried about the fact that Daniel's views are becoming more

:55:24.:55:26.

popular amongst certain right-wing groups. We might be cuddling up to

:55:27.:55:31.

Russia at exactly the wrong moment, in a sense if you look at the

:55:32.:55:35.

Russian economy, it's a basket case. The reason why Putin is amounting

:55:36.:55:40.

these overseas aggressions, is because he's not able to meet the

:55:41.:55:44.

economic needs of his own people. Half the tax revenues of the Russian

:55:45.:55:48.

state come from oil and gas. Therefore, the oil price of recent

:55:49.:55:51.

times has meant it's been difficult for the Russian state to be stable.

:55:52.:55:57.

So, until Russia has domestic reform it will be an unr unstable partner

:55:58.:56:01.

for us and will continue to be aggressive overseas. Actually, the

:56:02.:56:06.

economic isolation is more important that we continue that, because if we

:56:07.:56:10.

don't then Russia will be able to expand its military actions. From a

:56:11.:56:16.

moral standpoint, is there really justification of pursuing an

:56:17.:56:19.

Anglo-Russian relationship when there are accusations of war crimes

:56:20.:56:26.

in Aleppo, and Russians have been accused of protecting terrorists? Is

:56:27.:56:30.

there anything to salvage from that, even if there could be improved

:56:31.:56:34.

trade, for example, between Russia and the UK? In the deepest depths of

:56:35.:56:42.

the Cold War, 1984, we were still, the general Secretary of the

:56:43.:56:47.

Communist Party, we were still engaging with Russia, they were in

:56:48.:56:51.

Afghanistan, they had occupied half of Europe, had downed a Korean

:56:52.:56:56.

airliner the previous year, we were at heightened tensions, but at that

:56:57.:57:01.

time Reagan invited them for talks in Washington. Thatcher invited the

:57:02.:57:07.

next generation to discussions at Chequers. Those politicians at that

:57:08.:57:13.

time realised the importance of no matter how difficult tensions they

:57:14.:57:16.

needed to continue to engage... What we don't want is people like you

:57:17.:57:19.

excusing the war crimes that are taking place in Aleppo, the human

:57:20.:57:24.

rights abuses that are taking place in Ukraine and it's having someone

:57:25.:57:27.

in the British parliament who seems to represent the Kremlin, more than

:57:28.:57:31.

the British people. That's a disgrace. It's typically, because

:57:32.:57:36.

you are losing the arcment, you try to cast people like me in a maligned

:57:37.:57:40.

way, it's bad for democracy. We need this debate. We need this debate,

:57:41.:57:44.

can I just say there are growing numbers now of Conservative MPs who

:57:45.:57:48.

are joining this thought process about the importance of engaging

:57:49.:57:52.

with Russia. No one is disputing dialogue. You are shooting at a

:57:53.:57:54.

false target. On that, thank you very much.

:57:55.:58:00.

There's just time before we go to find out the answer to our quiz.

:58:01.:58:04.

The question was what's the latest British asset the Chinese have

:58:05.:58:06.

Tim, what is it? Have they bought some pub chain? I think that's the

:58:07.:58:30.

answer. You are correct. It was a good guess. What do you think about

:58:31.:58:34.

the Chinese buying up British assets? A post-Brexit world, it's

:58:35.:58:38.

vital we are open for overseas investment. I worry about

:58:39.:58:42.

investments in strategic interests, but pub chains I think we can put up

:58:43.:58:43.

with that. I'll be back at 11.30am tomorrow

:58:44.:58:46.

with Andrew for live coverage

:58:47.:58:53.

Jo Coburn is joined by journalist and ConservativeHome founder Tim Montgomerie to examine the government's plans to change the way some rail services are run, plus the latest from this week's by-election from John Curtice.

There's a discssion on a debate in the Lords to reduce the chamber's size, and Conservative MP Daniel Kawczynski gives his view on how Britain should deal with Putin's Russia.


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