06/12/2016 Daily Politics


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Hello and welcome to the Daily Politics.


The Transport Secretary announces a shake-up of the railways


and promises passengers will see big improvements.


Theresa May jets in to Bahrain and promises closer


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


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


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


Commissioner Michel Barnier, says there'll only be time


for 18 months of talks once Article 50 is triggered


to ensure enough time for the deal to be approved.


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


than my successor as Foreign Secretary has been a retrieving


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


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


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


columnist Tim Montgomerie, who briefly resigned


from the Conservative Party earlier this year, before rejoining


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


of the European Union's Brexit negotiations,


Michel Barnier, has been giving his first press


conference in Brussels. He said Brexit must be


an orderly process, and that negotiations must be


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


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


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


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


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


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


Europe Correspondent in Brussels and was at


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


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


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


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


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


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


as the chief negotiator for the European Commission. By all


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


and he already repeated his phrase no to a negotiation before


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


basic fundamental freedoms and obligations of the single market as


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Tory MPs who might back the amendment. Dangerous territory for


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


it is perfectly legitimate for Britain to hesitate in revealing


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


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


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


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


Supreme Court is still sitting this week of course.


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


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


Is it a) The Angel of the North?


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


Now, today sees the government announce new policy on integrating


It's full steam ahead for a new overhaul


of the railways being launched by Transport Secretary


He wants each new rail franchise to be run


by joint-management teams, including representatives


from both the train operating company and Network Rail.


The first franchises on track for the changes


are East Midlands Trains and South Eastern, which runs


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


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


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


A further shake-up will see a national


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


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


Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne said he "welcomed"


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


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


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


This morning Chris Grayling explained why


he thinks Network Rail needs to change.


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


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


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


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


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


passenger -- passengers and community. Network Rail has not


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


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


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


operators. We did ask the Department


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


in the Houses of Parliament by the Shadow Transport


Secretary Andy McDonald. Welcome back to the Daily Politics.


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


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


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


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


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


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


airwaves criticising the announcement today, but if the plans


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


together the network and train operators into companies that


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


It works in Germany where they operate the infrastructure and


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


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


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


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


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


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


network and train operators being brought together into companies, so


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


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


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


transactional costs and the intermission of those costs and the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


the station by travelling to, Waterloo, before privatisation about


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


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


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


the operating companies and Network Rail for the provision of


infrastructure and now they are bringing the two together which will


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


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


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


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


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


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


being proposed by Chris Grayling, because then the issue was


subcontracting to private companies and his proposal is about involving


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


same. Who's going to take responsibility


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


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


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


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


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


adding complexity if you are bringing them together to joint


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


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


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


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


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


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


people expressing sadness about bereavements on our railways, we do


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


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


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


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


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


train operating companies will come back under public ownership as those


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


think that more privatisation or private money or private funding


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


with what would be a disruptive and complicated renationalisation


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


to reaffirm our partnership with the GCC countries


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


to keep British citizens safe at home and abroad.


And, to ensure the stability necessary for global


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


global mission and your role in our commitment to


security in the Gulf could not be more important


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


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


editor John Pienaar, who's in Bahrain reporting


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Secretary I think has schooled her into thinking that questions of


practical security outweigh liberal sensitivities and she answers those


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


don't intend to reveal our negotiating position ahead of


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


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


The sudden resignation of Conservative MP Stephen Phillips


over disagreements with the Government about Brexit means


This time in rural Lincolnshire in the constituency


Voters returned a large Conservative majority


in 2015 but that was before the EU referendum.


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


At this family-run food supplier in Lincolnshire are some


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


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


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


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


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


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


But that was before the EU referendum.


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


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


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


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


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


Get out so we can get our borders back.


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


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


in this pro-Leave constituency the UK Independence Party hopes


to capitalise and is pledging to stop the Government


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


because they'll be terrified of losing other seats,


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


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


But the Liberal Democrat candidate, who voted for Remain,


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


academy, thinks he can offer voters an alternative.


You do have the chance to change your mind, this


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


We have met many people on the doorstep who regret voting


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


Its candidate decries six years of austerity and says his party


would best protect workers' rights and the NHS.


It's the Tories running the country, supported


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


We had nothing in the Autumn Statement about extra


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


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


Defending the seat for the Conservatives its candidate,


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


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


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


We're going to leave the European Union.


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


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


the Prime Minister, has the strongest majority


With just a few days left, voters will soon decide


whether to return a Tory to Westminster, or,


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


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


running in the Sleaford and North Hykeham by-election.


Joining us now from Edinburgh is the polling expert


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


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


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


difference between Richmond and Sleaford. Zac Goldsmith might have


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


constituency because people are impatient with the pace of Brexit,


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


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


polls in this constituency but certainly the interesting question


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


far as percentage share of the vote is concerned.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


the place of Brexit? In constituencies like this the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


make gains compared to the last David Cameron election victory.


With over 800 peers it's got more legislators


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


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


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


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


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


preference there is a much bigger group now demanding total abolition


rather than supporting the present unsatisfactory appointment system or


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


continue to obstruct real democratic reform risk and increasing public


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


support. This would diminish the range of expertise and using


election results to determine the numbers of this house would


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


a Conservative peer and former And also by Alan Beith,


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Parliament makes, and I always emphasise giving people confidence.


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


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


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


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


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


fellow passengers that need to go and people who are behaving


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


difficult, so when they voted against the tax credit cuts


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


getting legislation through the House of Lords, I would never


disagree that that house should not sometimes obstruct government


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


recent resignations and other lists from David Cameron and previous


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


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


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


debate still stands good examination. On that basis, because


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


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


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


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


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


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


union. Nobody enters into negotiations without making it


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


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


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


do if there was legislation following on from what the Supreme


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


reassurance that the motive behind whatever it is that people are


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


is safely guaranteed. Thank you very much.


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


the alliance can maintain peace and stability at a time


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


but also the build-up of missiles and troops along


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


suggested if both sides toned down their rhetoric,


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


I welcome any toning down of the rhetoric because I think


words matter and less aggressive rhetoric can be a first step


At the same time, words matter, but of course


Therefore, the important thing is what we see,


what kind of actions we see from the Russian side.


And we're joined now by the Conservative MP


Daniel Kawczynski, who sits on the Foreign Affairs Committee.


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


concern amongst the Baltic states, understandably because of where they


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


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


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


troops to invade eastern Ukraine. How they are involved in


destabilising democracies around the world. Their interference confirmed


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


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


fronts Russia is reverting to the behaviour that comes naturally to


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


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


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


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


moving towards some sort of cordial relationship with Europe, for


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


heading towards some sort of confrontation. Painting Russia as


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


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


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


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


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


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


America promised for the Czech republic and Poland, Hillary Clinton


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


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


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


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


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


kinder and more indulgent to dictatorships is exactly the sort of


thing that inflames aggression and endangers peace, rather than the


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


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


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


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


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


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


challenge that very popular and fashionable concept, as to whether


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


the kind of military identificationation on borders that


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


berets and hidden essentially Russian troops to destabilise


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


be enormous consequences for them destabilising other parts of the


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


indiscriminate bombing of civilian populations we have seen in Aleppo.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


listening to my grandfather about the catastrophic destruction of


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


show that Vladimir Putin is interested in anything else than


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


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


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


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


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


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


confrontation and sanctions. The sanctions aren't working.


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


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


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


these sanctions, our international competitors, the Americans, the


Chinese and Brazilians, are continuing to trade. Sanctions will


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


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


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


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


chapter in terms of Russian relations with the rest of the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


moral standpoint, is there really justification of pursuing an


Anglo-Russian relationship when there are accusations of war crimes


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


next generation to discussions at Chequers. Those politicians at that


time realised the importance of no matter how difficult tensions they


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


are joining this thought process about the importance of engaging


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


false target. On that, thank you very much.


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


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


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


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


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


vital we are open for overseas investment. I worry about


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


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


with Andrew for live coverage


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