07/12/2016 Daily Politics


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MPs vote on a Brexit timetable for the first time as Theresa May


But with a small majority, how hard will it be for her


Nicola Sturgeon has said a second referendum on Scottish Independence


Will the Government do a deal with the SNP


The Liberal Democrats have been handed down the maximum fine


for failing to report election spending totalling almost


?200,000 during the 2015 General Election campaign.


Are greater powers needed to enforce electoral law?


And what pleasure can be derived from the spelling


How do you spell howler? Don't ask me tricky questions.


All that in the next 90 minutes and with with us for the duration,


we've played safe with two MPs whose names are easy to spell.


Home Office Minister, Brandon Lewis and Shadow Brexit Minister,


Jenny Chapman - that's Jenny with a "Y".


Now the Government appear to have seen off a rebellion by its own MPs,


who had threatened to vote with Labour on a motion calling


for the Government to publish an outline of the plan for Brexit


before negotiations with the EU begin.


Number 10 now accept the motion, having amended it


to call for Article 50 - which begins those negotiations -


to be triggered by the end of March next year.


So, Theresa May hasn't fallen at the first fence


but there will be more parliamentary tests ahead and the parliamentary


has a majority of just nine and a working majority


of 13 once Sinn Fein MPs, who don't vote, are


The next hurdle is the Supreme Court where the Government's appealing


against a ruling that Parliament should be consulted before


If this is defeated there will be a vote in Parliament,


possibly a tightly worded bill that's difficult to amend.


Labour say they will vote in favour - so it should pass -


but it's likely they and others will attempt to amend it.


And then of course the bill will have to go through the Lords,


where there is a big Remain majority.


Once these hurdles have been jumped it's the Great Repeal Bill,


The idea is it will incorporate all existing EU regulations


into British law and the eventual repeal on the 1972


However, there's plenty for mischief making MPs to get their teeth


into with endless amendments that could slow the Bill's


Then once on the final straight, Mrs May could fall at the final


furlong right at the end of the negotiation process,


where there could be pressure for yet another vote on the final


Brexit deal, and if the Liberal Democrats get their way,


maybe even another referendum on the deal.


Thank you. Brandon Lewis. Can you give us any idea what it is you are


going to publish? Well, the Prime Minister's been very clear and the


motion is clear. We are outline... I don't want to interrupt you right


away. Any time people sit on these chairs and say the Prime Minister or


the Leader of the Opposition has been very clear, it means we are


about to be splattered with mud that we can't see through. No mud just


very simple in that first part next year, when we trigger article #50,


as the motion says today -- Article 50. Will there be a white paper? We


will look at that and the Government will outline that in due course. A


green paper? As I say we'll work through what will be published. I


thought you told me it was very clear. As the motion that Labour put


down today says, we will outline that plan before we trigger Article


50. I'm trying to work out what the format, the vehicle for the plan,


because that will give us an idea of how much substance there will be in


it. So it is very clear but not clear enough that it is a white


paper or a Greene paper or a leaflet or maybe back of a fag packet.


Obviously there is a plan put forward Parliament. But what will be


the formula? What will be put before Parliament? Well we have not


outlined that. We will do that in due course. We are not ready to do


that. We will do that when we get into next year. Clear as mud. It is


what the motion has said. The Government will outline its plans.


We have down in broad terms, the principles for exiting the European


Union. So will you not publish anything that we don't know already?


We have been clear, about our laws, free trade negotiation, and


immigration in place. And we will publish that plan, as we publish...


You will publish what we already know? The Prime Minister has said


and outlined at the party conference speech the broad principles. One of


the key tests will be for Labour and the Liberal Democrats to stand up


and vote for what British people voted for and be clear about that.


We have outlined what the principles are. Today's vote will be a good


chance for Labour to be clear about whether they are for exiting the


European Union or whether they want a second referendum. We had a front


bench person asking that. Jo asked if you will expand on what we know


already. For example, free trade. If you want to be able to do free trade


deals, it requires you to be outside the customs union, but the


Government has not yet told us whether we will or not be outside


the customs union. I'm not asking you to answer that but will whatever


is published clarify matters? Well you are right. Part is we are at the


start of the negotiations, that will come through the negotiations. Not


what we want, we have to get agreement with the 27 countries. But


I ask, will the green, white paper, back of a fag packet paper, clarify


issues like that? We'll outline what we will publish when we publish it


to trigger Article 50. The broad principles we want to go for have


been outlined by the Prime Minister and discussed in Parliament. You


have listened to the minister. He hasn't told us anything we didn't


know already. I'm in the quite sure, what has Labour achieved with this


motion? We have a victory, we are pleased about that. What is the


victory? What we have now is a commitment to publishing a plan and


we would like to see this in good time, to the end of March, so we


want it in January. We would like a white paper. But you haven't got


that commitment. We haven't got a commitment to a white paper.


Honestly we are not hung up on what format it takes. You want some


details. We need more than we have, that's clear. The trouble with the


principles that have been outlined so far, is that ministers have


contradicted one another on them. So, last Thursday, you had David


Davis de-Despatch Box saying - we could be could be contributing to


the EU budget even after we left and Boris at the weekend or Mr Johnson


as we are now supposed to call him, saying that is hae just speculation


and we don't think that's glpg He said they may make contributions but


they would be small. I'm trying to work out what is it... There is no


clarity. Exactly. So what is it you have got the Government to concede


Well, we want a plan. Well, are you happy with what the minister said


there? No, I was not happy. So what have you achieved? If when they


publish something that they call a plan, it is insufficient, then we


are going to have to go through this all again, aren't we? We had to


force the Government to agree what we asked it to do today. They have


had to back down to do this and we will come back and do this again,


should we need to, should they publish something. So were you


trying tie mend a plan? Were you trying to amend the plan We may need


to. We may need to see it first. All right. How do you think the Labour


Lords are going to react to this? We know, by in large, the Labour MPs


are going to trigger Article 50. There will be caveats, complaints


and so on, but in the end they are going to vote for it. What about the


Labour Lords? I think the Labour Lords are quite respectful of the


fact that there has been a referendum. I think they have


concerns, as do many people, about the form of Brexit and Labour


doesn't want to see a hard Brexit. But I think ultimately, the Lords


may use the opportunities to challenge, to amend, to probe, but I


don't see the Lords blocking Article 50. But in the end, just to clarify


this, the Government puts something to Parliament - as yet unspecified -


but it puts something to Parliament about its negotiating strategy, if I


can put it no higher than that. And you may try to amend it or you may


not like t but in the end, even if you fail to amend it, you still vote


for Article 50? We have two opportunities - we will vote for


Article 50. We have been saying that for months, which is why the


Government's amendment today, you know really, we are quite relaxed


about agreeing to that. Not all members are. Well not all of your


members. What is the answer to my question. This is the usual politics


in this. You know, it is a different kind of debate. Because we have got


here by a referendum, it is different. And I accept that. But we


will have to two opportunities. We will have the opportunity once we


see the outline of the strategy to talk more widely across the country


about it, to challenge the Government on it and to illicit


change through that. There's also the Article 50 legislation. Now, I


don't think there is such a thing as a bill which can be put forward


which is unamendable. So, when we see that, bearing in mind what we


have seen in the plan, there is an opportunity to then have further


votes on what form of Brexit... But if there is legislation and you do


fail to amend that, you will still, in the end, go with Article 50? That


has been our commitment. I understand that. Will the Government


- when it is all done and dusted, and we have a deal on the terms on


which we are leaving the European Union. It may even be interim, it


may not cover everything, but it is a clear - this is what we have


agreed with the other 27 members. Will that go before Parliament?


Well, it depends on the format that takes. That is a long way off yet.


That could be a year, as we saw yesterday potentially later than,


two 18. Until we know what the format is, it is too early to answer


the question. Hold on. What would be the case for not putting that to


Parliament? It depends on what goes through Parliament with the great


repeal bill and everything over the next year or so. It is too early to


say. The great repeal bill has nothing to do with our terms of


leaving. That's a mechanism by which you don't have to repeal every piece


of European legislation on day 1. That's a process business there


which gives you more time. What I'm asking is, when we come to the deal


to be done, and the British people look at t the Lib Dems want another


referendum. -- look at it. I take it you don't and Labour don't want


another referendum. I don't see how you can have another referendum, at


what point you can have it and what question you can put, before we have


left But Labour front bedges in the last two weeks have been inferring


to a second referendum. That may be the problems but the problem I'm


grappling with, is what would be the case against Parliament. In essence


this would be a treaty. Leaving the European Union would be an


international treaty with 27 other countries, with the EU as an


institution, to leave and my understanding is that treaties now


have to go through Parliament? Well, this comes to, actually partially


expects the report that Jenny was making around Boris Johnson and


David Davis' comments, they were outlining what happens. This has


never been done, nobody has left the European Union. So to outline what


the process will be at the end of this in a year or two years' time


whenever it comes, so too early to say. I'm not saying it wouldn't be


but it is too early to outline that now, tie the Government to something


now, when it is two years' ago. Surely it has to be approved by


Parliament? If it is a treaty that requires parliamentary approval for


that process that would be the case, we are not at that pointed, we are


still some way away from that. All right. Are you clear about the plan?


No. Now, with the House of Commons


so finely balanced, key players in any potential Brexit votes


will be the 54 MPs from Nicola Sturgeon's party


campaigned strongly to Remain, so what could Theresa May possibly


offer to help get the SNP on side? Might the promise of


a second vote on Scottish That's what The Times


suggests today. They report that ministers


are considering allowing the Scottish Government to hold


a second independence referendum after the UK has


left the European Union. Let's ask the SNP's Europe


spokesman, Stephen Gethins. Before we move on to that, Stephen,


are you happy with the plan the government is now going to publish


and linking it to the triggering of Article 50? We haven't seen any


details yet, we are 167 days from the referendum, another 113 days


until the end of March and we are no closer so I'm not happy because we


haven't seen any more details yet again. What are you going to do in


the debate then? We're not going to accept the government's


Amendment. Frankly I think we are letting them off the hook. This has


a huge impact on jobs, the economy and our livelihoods and we need much


more detail... What will you do? Vote against. What do you think of


Labour's position on this? I'm disappointed, we need to join


together and hold the government's feature the fire on this. We are not


getting the details. We will work with Labour when we can but if we


are in different voting comes today that is just where we have to end


up. Jenny? We have to think about why the government has chosen to


amend the motion in the way it has. For months we have said we will not


accept Article 50 and the government says, yes you will so they have done


this to call our bluff. We will not fall for that, we'll be consistent


and clear and say that we will not block Article 50 and we will vote


accordingly -- we have said that we will not block Article 50. Stephen,


had they been discussions between Westminster and the Scottish


Government on a possible second referendum? I'm not sure if the


Times has been hanging around outside No 10 looking for more


scribbled notes! Maybe they found some? It seems extraordinary when


we have no details of the government 's plans for leaving the EU they


suddenly want to blog about independence. It is deflection from


the problems they are having now. Is that a No, no discussions between


Westminster and the Scottish Government on a second referendum?


Nothing I'm aware of, it sounds like more scribbled notes, more


deflection, we need plans, what their plans are on the single


market, the freedom of movement, the customs union, guys you had six


months, let's not deflect any more, give us something. Let's talk about


something you want to talk about, a second referendum on independence,


where do you want it? We're looking at a range of options. It depends on


what the government comes up with. I think it's sensible to look at a


range of options with the UK Government has to be open to taking


the concerns of all the devolved administrations seriously, something


else not covered today. The SNP and Plaid Cymru have put down an


amendment stating that they must have a say on a final deal. Don't


forget this has a huge impact on the responsibilities... It could be that


all MPs have the final say on the final deal, Brandon says, we don't


know quite what it will be at the end, whether it is a treaty that


parliament votes on. On the issue of timing would you only want a second


independence referendum before Brexit happens? What we want is to


see some more detail. I think it is fair that we see more detail. For


the UK Government to go off, they want to talk about independence


suddenly when they still haven't dealt with the problems... I haven't


had the government myself talking about a referendum. Let me put it


another way. Let me give you one scenario. Let's say the government


confirms leaving the supermarket and customs union. Would you want in


that case a second independence referendum before Brexit happens? It


would be highly likely of the deal was not in the interests of Scotland


and did not respect the will of the Scottish people, that must be


foremost in our minds. Would it be harder for you to win? We are not


there yet. Remember we overturned a 30 point deficit last time. We are


trying to get answers from the government over its Europe strategy.


They are still in a mess and it is having an impact on jobs and


everyone in the UK. This is why we are trying to hold them to account


adequately and that is what I will be doing this afternoon. You say you


are not they get. Is it diversionary tactics by the SNP -- you say you


are not there yet. I cannot pin you down on when you want a second


independence referendum. You certainly want one. Hold on. At a


time when the UK Government is telling us nothing the First


Minister was telling us about the rights of UK national silk or


Scotland home that should be allowed to say, about freedom of movement


and the single market. So we've set out areas that are a priority for us


and time in the UK Government has set up nothing. Is it a red line?


Single market membership is incredibly important especially


given the impact on the food and drink university and don't forget


the university sector, so important... The SNP has national


referendum on Scottish independence which closed last week after


receiving 2 million responses, when will you publish the results? It's a


lot of responses so I'm pleased... When can be see the responses? It


will take time to go through 2 million responses. It's a pretty


good response rate. When will it be? It only takes weeks. Will we have it


before Christmas? Let's get a bit of time, let's try and assess those


responses. 2 million is a lot, Jo, it is good going. It is, thank you


very much, Stephen. Anything in this report about a possible deal? If I


remember correctly the source of that story was a source in the


Scottish Government! We are very clear. We think the SNP should


respect the referendum, not just of this year but also the independence


referendum. We have had one, they should respect that and get on with


governing... Why should they not have one, they will be a change in


circumstances when the UK leaves the EU. A big enough material change, I


suggest, to have a second referendum. The first referendum


should Scotland wanted to stay part of the UK. And Great Britain voted


this year to leave the EU. Our job is to focus on what the British


people want. What they ask for and negotiate in years to come is out of


the SNP. I would suggest they focus on getting things right in Scotland,


education and other matters that are devolved and they are not even using


the powers they have properly. What is the position of Labour because


the deputy leader of Scottish Labour has said that Labour is neither


Unionist non-Russian list and says, I have never considered myself a


unionist. That sounds a big departure. What Kezia Dugdale has


done is interesting in that she says that we need to rethink the way we


organise our country. Let's take one constitutional crisis at a time!


She's putting down markers, things she is important that we need to


think about in the years to come. A perfectly good thing for her to


do... Scottish Labour is moving away from this unionist position? It is


developing its own identity and the leadership of Kezia, after what


happened in the general election last year... Are you in favour of


the union or not? I am. Is Scottish Labour still in favour? It is but


you can't say that we will be the same way we were before June 20 15.


She is asking questions, raising a debate and I think that is the right


approach. An interesting move. It is not like we've never had this debate


before! Goodbye to all my old notes. The good ones are worth keeping.


How would you like your cuppa of English Brexit blend


White, black or perhaps a shade of Earl Grey instead?


Does it matter if Brexit tea is made with water that is soft or hard?


Will a hard Brexit tea leave a bitter aftertaste?


Perhaps it will taste better if you serve it up


in some patriotic china - stamped with Lizzie's mug and draped


Or perhaps you'd prefer your builders' in a crisp white,


politically neutral and altogther more classy Daily Politics' mug.


But Mrs May - if you're watching and you probably are -


there's only one way to have


one of these waiting for you when you get


We've been on the brink of it, I think, once or twice,


during the last week, but we've stepped back from it.


Few boats expected such a ferocious storm and the fleet of over 300 that


set out from Cowes in calm weather took the full force.


The verdict of the jury, after a prolonged and careful


investigation by them, I regard as totally fair,


To be in with a chance of winning a Daily Politics mug,


send your answer to our special quiz e-mail address - that's


Entries must arrive by 12.30 today, and you can see the full terms


and conditions for Guess The Year on our website - that's


It's coming up to midday here - just take a look at Big Ben -


It has gone very dark and there! And somebody put a shilling in the


meter? That's what we used to do as students although that was a long


while ago! And fresh from yet more success -


this time the Press Gazette awards, Journalist of the Year no less,


Laura Kuenssberg is here. Congratulations again! Under


pressure now, every week. When you don't get one we will point it out


every week. But with Theresa May


in the Gulf, David Lidington, who's Leader of the House,


will be deputising for the PM. Facing him will be Shadow Foreign


Secretary, Emily Thornberry. What, I hear you say,


you've never heard of them? Fear not, here's Adam


with the Daily Politics guide. As the longest-serving


Europe Minister ever, David Lidington chomped croissants


with David Cameron as they renegotiated our


membership of the EU. Now, as Leader of the House,


he shepherds government THE SPEAKER: Order,


the Leader of the House is a renowned intellectual,


noted not merely for carrying books around the place, but even


for being seen reading them. "Lidders" has been the MP


for Aylesbury since 1992 and he won Don't mention quizzes


to Shadow Foreign Secretary He is the French Foreign Minister,


do you know his name? For more than a decade she's


represented Islington South, She's been loyal to him, but quit


the Shadow Cabinet under Ed Miliband after tweeting this picture


from a by-election, which was Talking of judges,


she's married to one. So actually it's Lady Emily,


thank you very much. We got there in the end! The editor


kicked the projector! 16 millimetre film, it's very high-tech, you know!


She normally just takes a sledgehammer to it. If it works! Not


exactly the A team, not even the brother Mac team. Some people


suggested they were more the C team. David Lidington is very well


respected in the House of Commons or the little-known outside it, Emily


Thornberry is known for sometimes saying controversial things that


have landed her in trouble so it will be interesting. There's not now


Deputy Prime Minister and Minister. And that is why there isn't an


automatic, I understand that if the Prime Minister is there, by


convention, the Leader of the Opposition does not do it. It used


to be like the number two on both sides. Or who ever was in the role


of first secretary of State. David Cameron and latterly gave that


position to George Osborne so he did it and did it well, and plainly


loved every minute of it. Who knows, he might have been imagining he was


practising! At that point! How the world turns. But Theresa May has


taken a decision not to have a Deputy Prime Minister officially


entitled and not to have anyone in the first Secretary of State role


although we understand that Emily Thornberry was given a shadow first


Secretary of State role just yesterday. Shadowing a position that


is not there! The choices is under way in which Jeremy Corbyn has come


up with titles and managed his top team in the last 18 months have not


always be conventional, shall I put it like that. Am I right in thinking


that what is said by either of them today will not matter at all? I


think most people will focus on what happens afterwards when David Davis


is responding in the debate that I know you have already discussed


about the government's plan or lack of a planned on Brexit. What happens


after PMQs? The debate on the Labour motion... Begins. So Labour has put


a motion, the government is putting this amendment which Labour accepts,


so when, the House will then vote on the amended Labour motion. Indeed.


With the two biggest parties lining up overwhelmingly, maybe not 100%.


Some Labour MPs like David Lambie have said they will not approve this


amendment because they don't think it's worth the paper is to his


written on but it will get through and there may not even be division.


It may go to on the nod because it will be the assembly - SNP and the


Lib Dems combined... Whether the Speaker of the House of Commons


calls the division on this is not clear. Whether this may be


insubstantial part thanks to the Labour position on this, some people


not wondering why we bothering with this rigmarole of the Supreme Court?


Why doesn't the government just put Article 50 before the House? Some


senior Conservatives think that the government should have got on with


it some time ago, put something before the House and a lot of people


I've spoken to in the last couple of weeks think the smart politics would


be on the day of the High Court division, just a short ill with the


phrases that Theresa May has used repeatedly, operate with and trade


within this single market, take back control of our borders, that is just


four lines. It would have been backed overwhelmingly. She's chosen


to dig their heels in and they are pursuing this Supreme Court case.


What is vital, and some Tory rebels believe is implicit in the


government amendment yesterday, the government doesn't agree, is whether


or not there will be a vote. So the government is committed to putting


something in front of the House but absolutely has not committed to


giving MPs vote before Article 50. That is why the Supreme Court still


matters because if it says yes there must be legislation, then there


would have to be a vote and Dem MPs would have the chance to amend...


And I think the important thing about yesterday was that the fight


was deferred but it absolutely has not gone away. There is a sense


around the place. People know this is a huge bust up looming over all


of this. Today will probably not be the day. Lord Pannick, the QC for


the plaintiff, said today that a motion is not an act of Parliament,


it requires an act of Parliament, in his view to trigger that. That is


his view. That is what they are arguing and the vital thing will be


in January. Let's go over to the House and see what happens.


My right honourable friend the Prime Minister is in Bahrain. Mr Speaker,


this morning I had meeting with ministerial colleagues and others


and in addition to my duties in this House, I shall have further such


meetings in this House later today. Yesterday's signing of a memorandum


of understanding with Houston Space Court and the Rise Space Ince staut


brings the reality of a Prestwick Space Court closer. With the huge


boost that could give to the airspace injury, will the UK


Government support the Scottish Government to get this off the


ground? I can certainly assure the honourable lady that the Government


is looking very keenly at the opportunities to Scotland, indeed


the whole of the UK, arising from the future development of commercial


space operations. The Ayrshire operation that she has described I'm


sure will be examined by closely by most both my ministerial colleagues


who are particularly concerned with this area of policy but we want to


see the UK as a pioneer in seizing these new commercial opportunities.


Perhaps thinking of rail passengers trying to get their their jobs, the


secretary has spoke about abandoned workers and the Unite's Ken


McCluskey is doing a Ukip move, resigning and trying to return. Will


my honourable friend tell the RMT that 250 people will guaranteed


employment should not put the lives and safety of southern rail


passengers at risk? Hype' sure my honourable friend will be speaking


on behalf of many thousands of rail passengers in his constituency, and


many others -- I'm sure, in the south of England. It is deeply


disappointing that some unions are threatening to strike over the


Christmas period. The Government is now investing record amounts in


improving our railways, up to ?40 billion over the next five years and


we need everyone in industry, both management and unions to work


together to secure the best deal for passengers. I have to say that the


RMT's action shows co-ordinated contempt for the travelling public.


And it seems designed to do nothing except bring about the maximum


damage to people's lives. Mr Speaker there is heckling from the bedges


opposite. -- benches opposite. This party, Mr Speaker s on the side of


rail passengers. -- is on the side. I hope that the party opposite will


join me in saying to the rail union leaders - sort it out, put the


travelling public first. Stop the squabbling and tell your members to


get back to work. THE SPEAKER: Emily Thornbury.


CHEERS Nchtsds thank you, Mr Speaker. Thank


you Mr Speaker. I'm sure the whole house will want to join with me in


commemorating the 71st anniversary of the Pearl Harbour attack where


thousands of American service personnel and civilians survived.


Winston Churchill summoned Parliament to debate the British


response. When he z he said this "It is indispensable to aer our system


of Government that Parliament should play its full part in all important


acts of the state." These quords are a vital reminder that even at a time


of crisis, in fact especially at a time of national crisis, the role of


Parliament is central A in that same spirit, we welcome the Government's


decision to accept our motion today, that they will show Parliament their


plan for Brexit, before Article 50 is triggered. So, can I ask the


Leader of the House one central question about this plan? Does the


Government want the UK to remain part of the customs union?


Mr Speaker, can I first of all join the honourable lady opposite in


marking the anniversary of Pearl Harbour, in remembering all of those


who lost their lives at that time, but, also, marking with a sense of


some celebration, even, the fact that Prime Minister Abe is joining


President Obama in going to Pearl Harbour, the first Japanese Prime


Minister so to do, and that sign of reconciliation, putting ancient


conflicts behind is a welcome one. The point about Europe. The


Government has made it clear we would seek to give additional


clarity about our position at the earliest opportunity but it has been


the case as my right honourable friend the Prime Minister said many


times, that one of our core objectives is going to be to secure


the maximum freedom for British companies, both to have access to


and operate within the single European market.


I thank the Leader of the House for that answer but I would respectfully


say to him that surely on this issue, the answer should be


straightforward. We all know that it would be a disaster to British


business if we do not remain part of the customs union.


As the Leader of the House himself said in February, "Everything we


take for granted, trade without customs checks or paper work at


National Front years, would all be up in the air, it is massive what is


at risk." On this side of the House we couldn't agree with him more. Can


he put it beyond doubt, right now, today, tell us - does the Government


want the UK to stay in the customs union?


The honourable lady and I - she's right Mr Speaker, the honourable


lady and I both argued passionately for the Remain cause during the


referendum. What separates us now is that I am part of a Conservative


Government, which is working together to respect the democratic


verdict... CHEERS And to secure the best-possible


outcome for the prosperity and security of the entire United


Kingdom, from those into,s. Whereas the honourable lady, even just two


months ago was telling us that she wanted to go back to the British


people in some way. She needs to decide whether she accepts the


democratic verdict or not. Of course we accept the democratic decision of


the British public. Of course we do, but the difference


between our side of the House and that side, is that we want to leave


the European Union on behalf of 100%, on behalf of the whole of this


nation. Now, we really need to have a straightforward answer to a


straightforward question. Because leaving the customs union would mean


having to check every container coming in at Dover. It would mean UK


firms having to prove their origin tests, whenever they export to


Europe T would mean chaos and it would mean grud lock for


cross-border supply chains and as the Leader of the House -- gridlock.


And as the Leader of the House said in lamb and beef exports, they go


Taif-free, they go without any extra checks, you cannot guarantee any of


that if we are outside. Now, again, on this side, we agree with what he


said six months ago. The question is - does he still agree with himself?


I thought it hadn't escaped the honourable lady's attention that


there has been a significant referendum since February and that


changes the context in which we are now having to operate. We face


achallenging, yes, very wide-ranging negotiation and it would be harmful


to the national interest for me or another ministers to engage in the


sort of detailed expedition of our negotiating position that she is now


pressing upon me. None of the other 27 governments is doing that, nor


should we. Dear oh dear, we are not asking for


details. We are asking about a central plank of the negotiation. If


he can not give us an answer on the customs union as a whole... THE


SPEAKER: Order, order. Both the questions and the answers will be


heard. So, if the juvenile behaviour can stop, that would be really


#4e7ful to the scrutiny process. Emily Thornbury -- really helpful.


We don't get an answer on the whole of the customs union. Can I ask him


about one specificp point. Since 1993 there have been no customs


checks between the land border between Northern Ireland and the


Irish Republic. In May when visiting Northern Ireland, the right


honourable gentleman said - if the UK was in the part of the customs


union, then there would have to be custom checks at the border and he


said, for anyone to pretend otherwise would be "flying in the


face of reality" can he confirm that is the position and if he is right,


he must make it clear this is something that the Government is


determined to avoid? The Prime Minister and the Northern Ireland


Secretary have repeatedly made it clear that we, as indeed has the


Irish Government, want to see the very long-standing common travel


arguments and the free trade arrangementings across the Irish


border continue. We are actively engaged in talking both to the


Northern Ireland Executive and to the Government of the Republic of


Ireland, about those matters. There is goodwill on all those sides to


try and reach a solution that works for the people, north and south of


the border. The Leader of the House has made the


familiar argument that he can't give answers, that it is all to be


resolved through a negotiation. Brexit means Brexit, Brexit means


breakfast, but that is not what the Secretary of State for Brexit


himself said when he was asked about the customs union in September,


because he said "We have looked at this matter carefully and that is


exactly the sort of decision that we will resolve before we trigger


Article 50." So, if the Government is going to decide the position on


this issue before March 31st, account Leader of the House confirm


-- can the Leader of the House confirm that the British people and


the British Parliament will be told some answers to my questions before


they tell the rest of Europe? Mr Speaker if the answers sound


familiar t maybe that we need constant repetition before the


honourable lady will understand and appreciate it. The Government is, at


the moment, engaged in a consultation with more than 50


sectors of United Kingdom business, to ascertain precisely which aspects


of European Union membership work well for them, which they see as


harmful, where the opportunities beyond EU membership lie. We will


come to a decision and we will go into negotiations on behalf of the


full 100% of the United Kingdom population and all four nations of


the United Kingdom. The fact is and he knows t we all


know it. He can -- he knows it. He can consult as much as he likes the


answer will come back, we should be part of a customs union. It is


hugely disappointed that on a day when the Government is committing to


its greater transparency on plans for Brexit we get the usual stone


walling. We have a Government promising to tell us the plan, while


refusing to give us the answers to the most basic of questions. We have


a Government promising to give Parliament a spend when they are


spending we don't know how much of tax payers' money across the road in


the Supreme Court trying to stop Parliament having a say on this. In


short, we have a Government that cannot tell us the plan, because


they do not have a plan. They do not have a plan. In February, the Leader


of the House said when he was hearing about the Leave campaign,


was "confusing, contradictory nonsense" my final question is this


- are we hearing anything different from this Government today? Mr


Speaker, we will publish, before Article 50 is triggered, a statement


about our negotiating strategy and objectives, as the Prime Minister


has said yesterday. But the honourable lady seems, again, to be


in a state of utter denial about the consequences that flow from the


referendum decision. No other EU Government is seeking to reverse or


question the legitimacy of that vote in the way that she and a number of


her colleagues are still trying to do but I'm afraid that just


indicates how distant the Labour Party now is from any aspiration to


be back in Government again. We watched them in action - it's like,


quarterlying like Mutiny on the Bounty reshotly the Carry On team.


THE SPEAKER: Order, I want to hear the words flowing.


There is no reason why the chair should be denied these words. They


are rudderless, drifting on Europe as on so many other aspects of


policy. No wonder that decent working people who for generations


have looked to Labour as their champions have given up in despair


and looked to this party as the authentic voice of working families.


Mr Speaker, in 1943, a 16-year-old girl was forcibly taken to


Auschwitz, where she witnessed the horrors of the death camps. On


liberation she came to this country with her mother, where she raised a


family and became a nurse. She dedicated her life to making sure


that the people of this country and beyond know the horrors of the


Holocaust. Last week, that lady turned 90. And Kitty Hart-Moxon is


with us today at Prime Minister's Questions.


APPLAUSE Will my right honourable friend join


with me, and I think the whole house in wishing her a very happy belated


birthday and thanking her for her lifetime of dedication to raising


this important issue and also pay tribute to the Holocaust educational


trust, who do everything possible so that we all remember and witness the


horrors of the worst part of the 20th century? First of all, Mr


Speaker, I am grateful to my right honourable friend for raising this


important issue and I would like to join him in marking the achievements


of Kitty Hart-Moxon and of the Holocaust Educational Trust. I can


never forget the impact of discovering as a schoolboy that two


of the boys in my class had fathers who had survived Auschwitz. It's


only a couple of generations ago that Europe was plunged into this


unspeakable horror and it is important that not just the


educational trust but all of us play our part to ensure that the memory


of the Holocaust lives on and that the wider lessons of this dark


period in our history are learned and I think I would be grateful to


all members right across the House and all political parties for their


support in working together to ensure this vital work continues. Mr


Angus Robertson. Some of the most deprived communities in the country


are in Glasgow and today we learn apparently that the government plans


to close job centres in those very communities, in Parkhead,


Easterhouse, Castlemilk, Anniesland and Maryhill. Is it true that the


government are planning to close these offices and add misery to the


lives of thousands of people in Glasgow who currently use these


centres? Clearly the Department for Work and Pensions like every


government department does like from time to time at the number of


offices it has but the right honourable gentleman makes a


perfectly reasonable point on behalf of people in Glasgow. I will ask my


right honourable friend the Work and Pensions Secretary to contact him


with the details he is seeking. I'm sorry, Mr Speaker, that is not good


enough. Absolutely! Being tackled when dealing with


communities that are deprived does not behove Tory members well in


Scotland. -- being tackled. The leader of the house is correct to


say that the Department of work and pension has plans to cut the state


by 20%. The DWP is planning to cut Glasgow by 50%. Why is this


government planning to disproportionately cut vital job


centres in some of the most deprived communities in our country, why? The


key element in any such decision that a government department has to


make is not the raw number of offices that there should be but


about how accessible the offices and the services that they provide


continued to be to the people who need to use them. And I am


absolutely confident that it is that criterion that is at the heart of my


right honourable friend's thinking. Planning for the future of offices


in Scotland and everywhere else in the UK. Thank you, Mr Speaker.


Passengers of the chaser of mine face chaos and misery in the autumn


and this year it's been worse than ever. Delayed and overcrowded trains


leave passengers stranded at stations and being late for work and


school. Well my right honourable friend outline what measures the


government is taking too penalised poor performing train operators?


First of all can I express my sympathy to my right honourable


friend -- tonight honourable friend and all passengers who have come


across these problems on the Chase Line. It is clearly not acceptable


and it is important that the operator works hard to secure rapid


and sustained improvement, the government has introduced new rules


to make sure that rail passengers will soon be able to claim


compensation if their train is more than 15 minutes late but as the


Transport Secretary said yesterday more needs to be done and we want to


see closer work across the industry so that this problem can be resolved


more swiftly than in the past. Thank you, Mr Speaker, does the leader of


the house agree with the north-east member for Somerset that Brexit


offers an opportunity to remove pesky emissions standards? In the


red, white and blue Brexit will he still commit to tackle this will


tackling global warming just become a of hot air? The government remains


utterly committed to both national and global ambitions and targets


when it comes to climate change. Indeed my right honourable friend,


the current Home Secretary, in her previous job, played a key role in


brokering the Paris agreement last year, the first ever global


agreement on climate change. The honourable lady, I hope, would


welcome the fact that we will now be ahead of our targets and ambitions


in delivering on the proportion of electricity provided by renewables


in this country and in continuing to work to get our carbon emissions


down. Thank you, Mr Speaker. There has been much talk recently about


paying for access to a tariff- free single market. I think that is a


very good idea. Given that the United Kingdom is the fifth biggest


economy in the world, and we have a ?70 billion trade deficit with the


EU, would be excellent acting Prime Minister... Tell the House how much


the European Union should pay for tariff - free access to the UK


single market? I suppose I should say, thank you to my honourable


friend for the upgrade! Although I hope that is limiting the


compliment. He makes a good point in that a settlement at the end of our


negotiation which maintains maximum access to and freedom to operate


within the European market for UK companies elsewhere in Europe and


for European companies here is an our mutual interest about that will


inspire negotiators on both side. Mr Speaker, how does closing miracle


job centre, one of the most deprived parts of the country, help my


constituents find a job? Does he accept that travelling to other


centres will mean higher costs for those on low incomes and increasing


sanctions, why does this government continued to target the poorest and


most vulnerable? If the government has been targeting the poorest it is


in getting them back to work in record numbers. And it has been in


providing a boost to the pay of people on low pay through the


introduction and increase in the national living wage. I wish that


the honourable gentleman was prepared to celebrate this


achievements. Thank you Mr Speaker, as we are about to commence the most


important negotiation for decades does my right honourable friend


agree that the government being forced to disclose its negotiation


strategy at this stage is rather like showing your hand at cards to


your opponent before a game of poker, and can I urge him to take no


advice from the party opposite? They only have one card to play on this


and it is always the Joker! Mr Speaker, we have said we will come


forward with more details about our strategic aims going into the


negotiation but it would harm the national interest if we were to go


into the kind of detailed explanation of our negotiating


position that the opposition urges upon us. That is not how any of the


other 27 governments acting of thinking and we should learn from


bad example. Does the leader of the house agree that tonight's vote on


the Prime Minister's Amendment, which we fully support, is a vote of


the highest significance and great importance because for the first


time honourable and right Honourable members of this House will have the


opportunity to vote on whether they respect the will of the people of


the United Kingdom, and whether they will get on with implementing it,


people will be able to read in Hansard tomorrow who stands by


respecting the will of the people of the UK? And will he also agree...


And I am sure that he will... The more red white and blue he makes it


the better the us and the Unionist benches! The right honourable


gentleman as so often makes a powerful and important point. The


vote tonight will be the first opportunity for members of this


house to decide whether or not they support the government's timetable


of triggering Article 50 by the end of March 20 17. And any Right


Honourable member who votes against that motion will, in my view, be


seeking to thwart the outcome of the referendum in most undemocratic


fashion. Mr Speaker, this country's nuclear deterrent is our ultimate


defence and must be maintained at all costs, yet hundreds of my


constituents who could at the atomic weapons Establishment are currently


on strike or work to rule over pensions. These are people who more


often than not have devoted their working lives to tending our nuclear


defence and to whom promises were made during privatisation. Can I ask


that the leader of the house commits to sit down with the promised and


review the situation to ensure that those promises are being kept? I


will certainly ensure that the Prime Minister is informed about this


matter and my honourable friend is right to raise these concerns on


behalf of his constituents. My understanding is that the proposed


changes to the atomic weapons Establishment pensions scheme are a


matter for the company as the employer but I can assure my right


honourable friend that the Defence Secretary has been in close contact


with AWE throughout the process and has also met the trade unions and is


carefully considering recent developments to see what can be


done. Thank you, Mr Speaker, I know the House will join me in sending


their sympathies to the family of David Brown who aged 18 took his own


life. The inquest into his death has heard that he did so on the day he


was due to sign on at the job centre after saying that he felt belittled


by staff despite actively looking for work and seeking an


apprenticeship. Shortly before taking his own life he told his mum,


the way that the job centre treat people, it's no surprise that people


commit suicide. Will the leader of the house and take a review into


this case and also undertake to take stock of six years of brutal welfare


reform and look at the way that the DWP treats it most vulnerable... Mr


Speaker, can I first also express and reserved sympathy for the family


of David Brown. No parent, no family, should have to go through


that kind of shocking experience. Clearly human beings in any


organisation sometimes take decisions that get things wrong and


I will ask the work and pensions department to look at the case she


has described. But I do have to say that I think the principle remains


right that while staff should always behave with courtesy towards people


seeking to claim benefits, it is also right that we should expect


people who are receiving benefits to be subject to the kind of


disciplines that apply to people in work, even if they are on low pay,


there is a principle of fairness here that lies behind the approach


that DWP takes. Thank you, Mr Speaker. I applaud the Prime


Minister 's vision for a government for all. As chair of the all-party


committee on community engagement, the FTSE 150 has less than 4% of


individuals from an ethnic minority on its board. Will the government


support the vision to help to increase that to 10% by 2021? It is


very clear that boardrooms need to do more to reflect the reality of


modern Britain and the government supports the principle of increasing


the diversity of boards. That is why we should support the initiative


chaired by Sir John Parker and we encourage businesses to act on his


recommendations. Thank you, Mr Speaker. A recent FOI showed that


Pinderfields Hospital placed ambulances and divert to do is


prehospital 61 times in the past 12 months. One hospital scheduled for


downgrade next year. In light of evidence showing that this hospital


currently can't cope will the leader of the house pledge urgent support


from the government to keep Dewsbury A E open? The NHS is certainly


busier than it ever has been in its history, which is why it should be a


matter of thanks and tribute to hard-working NHS staff that 90% of


people going to A E are still being seen within the four our


target. The point about the Confederation of local services in


any part of the country is that these need to be driven by local


clinicians working together with the CCGs who are the people who actually


manage what is needed in each locality. The local authority to its


health committee has the right to call in proposed changes to services


and refer them to the secretary of State if they are uncomfortable with


them. Messi thank you, Mr Speaker. I know my right honourable friend will


share with me the importance of the creative sector and that in


conjunction with the Welsh language makes S4 see in my constituency


hugely important to Welsh and British culture and economy. Will he


confirm this government 's commitment to protect S4C why we


review its future? We fully committed to the future of Welsh


language broadcasting and to S4C. I'm pleased to see the licence fee


settlement we have agreed has given financial certainty protecting its


funding at more than ?74 million a year for the next five years and we


are committed to ensuring that the channel continues to make


first-class programmes and serve Welsh audiences in the constituency


of my honourable friend and right across the UK. Is the leader of the


House aware of reports of children being massacred and thrown into


fires, women being raped and houses razed to the ground and what


representations have this government made to the Burmese authorities or


the militaries in this regard? Yes, those reports are extremely


concerning as the honourable lady knows, there is a long history of


discrimination against these people in Burma, both British ministers and


the British Embassy and officials in London make our concerned very clear


to the Burmese authorities. Following the revelations in the


panorama programme Clinton has in my constituency is closed and three


other care homes run by the same group have been rated inadequate and


is CQC and two others are currently under inspection. Concerns have been


raised about these homes figures and cannot be acceptable that it took


the BBC to provoke the action desperately needed. Does the leader


of the has agreed that it is now time to urgently review the role of


the CQC to ensure that in future concerns raised by residents, family


and staff are properly and promptly addressed? I think that old and


vulnerable people deserve the highest quality care possible, no


excuse for services that fall short of expectations in the way that my


honourable friend has described. This CQC does have extensive powers


in law to ensure that no one in the chain of responsibility is immune


against legal accountability. And I would expect this CQC to exercise


those powers in full, in this case but he's made some criticisms of the


CQC and the government has been looking into ways to improve its


processes and increase its efficiency and my right honourable


friend the Minister for community health and get discussed this issue


with the CQC today. 6% of methane from fracking is leaked from


fugitive emissions. Given that methane is 86 times worse than


carbon dioxide for global warming over 20 years will he support the


Council for Europe's call for banning fracking or at least a


maximum of 0.1% fugitive emissions at the well head? No, Mr Speaker,


the government took its decision to give the go-ahead to fracking after


extensive consideration of both the economic and environmental risks and


opportunities involved. We are confident that it can be carried out


in a way that is saved, that does not harm the environment but which


also provides job opportunities for this country and makes this country


less dependent on imported energy. Mr Speaker, I expect my right


honourable friend will be astonished if not aghast to learn that a


succession of journalists from the BBC have contacted me seeking to


manufacture stories of backbench rebellion! On the issue of the EU. I


want to hear about these activities! Will he agree with me that on this


controversial issues the BBC should stick to its charter obligation for


accuracy and impartiality instead of seeking to create problems with the


government! Mr Speaker, I am sure that my honourable friend is shocked


at the thought that anybody could look to him as a source of


information about rebellion against the government! I hope that he will


be able to find some comfort in the fact that the new Royal Charter


agreement requires the BBC to deliver impartial news, the first


time impartiality has been enshrined in the BBC's mission. Having


received a response from the Prime Minister to my request for a


children's funeral fund I was disturbed to be told that the fund


can provide, and simple respectable funeral, this response totally lacks


any understanding of my request. As the leader of the House any


authority to facilitate a meeting between myself and other bereaved


mothers so we can explain to the Prime Minister exactly what we are


asking for? This request is important to us as parents. Too many


in this house and from my postbag very many people and organisations


throughout this country. Burying a child must be an incredibly painful


experience for any family, and I think all of us would want to pay


our respects to and have enormous sympathy with the honourable member


for Swansea Is. And she speaks on behalf of, she says, thousands of


parents who go through that anguish. As the Prime Minister said, there


are mechanisms in place for financial support from central


government to be available and local authorities are of course free and


many of them to waive funeral fees for child burials. -- many of them


do. I will speak to my ministerial colleagues about the request from


the honourable lady for meeting and I am sure she will receive a


response. Good train links are vital for constituents to get to work so


it's incredible frustrating that cross-country operates 63 services a


day between Birmingham and Bristol yet only three stop at Gloucester.


Would my right honourable friend ensure that ministers, in extending


the franchise of the train operators, do not allow cross


country to go on treating Gloucester like a letter to be avoided at all


cost and oblige them to deliver a service that every city deserves.


Any of us who have been to Gloucester know that it's a place


that you want to be able to visit frequently and easily. The


government is investing record amounts in improving railways and as


regards his case, transport ministers are working with


cross-country and great Western to see how the service can be improved.


Prime Minister's Questions comes to be a end without the Prime Minister


or the Leader of the Opposition. David Lidington and Emily Thornbury,


probably showing her legal background and franing, concentrated


on one specific question, to which she didn't get an answer, even


though she pushed hard at it and held Mr Lidington's feet to the


fire. She wanted to know whether or not we would remain inside the


customs union, if and when we leave the European Union. There was no


disstipt or clear answer came to that. Miss Thornbury generally


thought to have done a pretty good job in that, in bearing down on one


particular area, which the Government finds hard to answer. I


think she'll, on both sides of the aisle get good reviews. As Prime


Minister's Questions come to an end, I understand that Donald J Trump is


about to go live on the Today programme on NBC in the United


States, where sad for Nigel Farage, that Mr Trump has been named the


Time Magazine's Man of the Year. Well, back to the Commons. Like you,


Ian whitly from Altrincham said that it was entertaining, Emily Thornbury


gave Jeremy Corbyn a lesson. And another says "What a diabolical


mess, it is difficult to see any gross regarding questions about the


EU." And Martin says "It is clear from Thornbury's questions about the


custom union that Labour want a soft Brexit and effectively remaining in


the EU, which goes against the 52% that voted to leave." And this from


Terence "It is idiotic pretending there can be anything other than a


hard border between the two Irelands, neither the UKpm or the


Irish premier will decide, the EU will decide." I said that Emily


Thornbury focussed on one issue and going at it again and again but we


should say David Lidington performed well, too. I think they both did


rather W I think Emily Thornbury she probably used legal background,


pressing him on one point she was effective, so was David Lidington.


Not somebody well-known by the audience but somebody who is hugely


experienced and broadly respected. I think we saw Y he appears to be


across all of the issues. He managed to do what is difficult for


Mintosters to do at the moment. Dance around the fact they are not


giving any answers on the European Union, if they can possibly get away


with T the one thing that Emily Thornbury didn't mention, though, is


last week the Chancellor, the Foreign Secretary and indeed the


Brexit secretary, David Davis, did actually give us some answers on


where we might possibly be and some elements of the European


negotiations. And there was an outbreak of applause during Prime


Minister's Questions, for someone in the Public Gallery, which breaks two


conventions of the House of Commons, one that there shouldn't be applause


and secondly, that there should be no reference to anybody in the


Public Gallery. However, since this involved a 90-year-old Holocaust


survivor, a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp, a


90-year-old named Kitty, I don't think anyone will complain about the


conventions being breached. Many will think that that's the poupt of


breaching conventions. Jenny Chapman would would it, in Emily's words be


a disaster if we were to leave the dues Toms union? It would affect


jobs and trade and our businesses so catastrophically T enables us to


trade freely, the big issue that doesn't get debated very much, we


talk about tariffs but it is the certificates of origin, so if you


are trying to export a train made in County Durham to the EU, you would


then have to prove where every single component of that train had


come from T would be a huge burden. Why would it be catastrophic, your


words? Because, the administration of it. They would have to be able to


demonstrate where all the bits have come from T would be too much of a


burden and too -- it would be too much of a burden and too easy for a


big manufacture, like hit Aceh to take their factory somewhere else.


So, if that's true -- Hitachi. If that's twru, why would


Switzerland and nor way, who are not in the customs union, trade


massively with the EU? They are not manufacturers in the way we are?


Switzerland is. They are not assemblers in the way we are.


Switzerland and Norway are saying to us - you don't want that as a deal,


it wouldn't work for you, it works for them. Where have they said that?


Norway has said to us. Where? I can't remember where, but they were


clear, saying it is a good deal for them but actually not the right deal


for us in the UK. But 70%. We need it be trade without these barriers.


Norway is not in the customs union and 7 o 0% of Norway's strayed is


with the European Union. -- 70%. Verses only 44% of our trade with


the European Union. So I don't understand. It is what kind of


trade. You were just making something in the north of England


and you made it and sourced all the components for it locally that would


be one thing. We don't do that. The trains' example I was use, we have a


shell of a train from Japan, the engines are made in Germany, there


are pieces of that structure that come from all over the world. And


that would all need to be evidenced. S. That he true for Swiss watches.


It is a situation that is already... It is very different. It is made of


thousands of parts all of which sourced from all over the world. It


is very difficult. I can understand it would cause problems. I mean the


rules of origins issue causes problems. I'm not arguing that, but


you are using the words disaster and catastrophic and people will look,


for example, Switzerland is a huge exporter of pharmaceutical drugs


into the EU. They are made up of all sorts of components from all over


the world and yet they, their percentage of the GDP export at


least aes much as we do to the EU. Norway exports almost one-third


mother than we do. I don't understand -- more than we do. I


don't understand where the word disaster and catastrophic will come


from? We're clear, we think a hard Brexit will be a disaster for the


UK. The customs union is part of what would differentiate a hard exit


from a soft Brexit. There has been a study done by Open Europe, a


pro-Remain organisation, and it worked out if there was a negative


impact it would be around 0.8% of GDP until the rules of origin issues


were fully handled so 0.8% of GDP is something you would not want to


lose. I would suggest it doesn't fall into the category of disaster


or catastrophic. I'm talking to businesses in the regions, this is


what they are telling us and we take that very, very seriously. If you -


the Government today can't answer the question of whether or not we


would remain in the customs union. But it does follow, as night follow


day, that if we are in the customs union, we can't do our own free


trade deals. Do you accept that? No I don't accept that. Really? This is


one of the - the points around the whole situation we have got. We are


in a unique position, to any other country that has worked out a deal


with Europe in the past. We are the first country to lee. Therefore, we


have an opportunity to do something not trying to focus too much on


trying to copy what somebody else has done but do something that is


bespoke for our country. Can you give me an example Let me just


finish... No I want to ask you this - can you give me an example of a


country that's in the customs union and does it its own comprehensive


free trade deals? No, I can't but there is no other country I can give


you an example of that has been a member of the European Union and


done a deal as it is exiting as a known partner, a knownentity that we


are. As a constituency MP, particularly in the energy industry,


I'm talking to businesses all the time, and I spoke to people who have


voted Remain and campaign. I have spoken to businesses large and small


that they are excited by the potential opportunities to do things


differently. Explain to me, if we do things differently how it would


work? The main purpose of the customs union is to set up external


tariffs for those who are members of it. So if you are in the customs


union, we all pay the same tariffs on goods coming in. If we are inside


the customs union and therefore, subject to these tariffs and do a


free trade deal with Canada, how would it not be be subject to these


tariffs? You can't have both? That's what the negotiations are That's


something the be Government will be going with, with our European


partners. How would you say we would be subject to a 10% tariff as


members fted customs union and do a free trade deal with Canada and say


- you won't be subject of 10% tariffs how would that work? That's


is subject to pre-agreement with our European partners that allows this


country to do the deals. That's what the negotiations are about. Can you


do a free trade deal with Canada or any other country and be inside the


customs union which has external tariffs against Canada? This is the


whole point of negotiations with your European partners about finding


the right deal. You have no idea how to resolve that Both inside the EU


and outside the EU. It is what our businesses want and it is why as


David Lidington said, we are talking about businesses. The truth is you


have no idea. The truth is we are at the start of the negotiations. And


you have no idea. . . We can't predict on where we will end up


getting the best deal for the country. They must have magicians.


Before we let you go, a letter in the Evening Standard by Chris


Grayling, the Transport Secretary at the time. From 2013, written to


Boris Johnson, the then Conservative mayor for London responding to his


request for Transport for London to take on responsibility for a number


of rail services in the London area to which he reply quoeps I wouldn't


be in favour of changing the current arrangement not because I have fears


under the immediate future but because I would like to keep


suburban rail services out of the clutches of any future Labour


mayor." And there has been a foe sieve Russ response from a Tory


colleague This is awkward and embarrassing and gives rise to


immediate allegations that he is not putting the interests of passengers,


the rail industry or London and the south-east first, instead he is


putting partisan, narrow interests of the Conservative Party, rather


than his constituents fist. That's what the letter suggests. We are yet


hear from him but now he is in the job of Transport Secretary,


immediately it would be within the grounds of his responsibility and


there will be a fierce row now between him and the Mayor of London,


Sadiq Khan, this is tricky for him to answer. It is, and there are now


calls from Bob Neil, the Tory MP who has raised this issue and said how


you have explained it, in terms of putting his own partisan views


before the interests of his constituents. Let's hear what he had


to say. (No sound.


)... Of rail Fran can chiess in London to Labour mayor. In other


words he was doing it for a party political reason, despite the fact


that at the last mayoral election, I and other Conservatives campaigned


in favour of rail devolution. He was not honest with us then, and it's


quite clear that when he calm to the House of Commons and said he was


doing so for financial reasons, that was not the truth. I think a


minister who has done that is not fit to hold office. Well, that is a


dramatic indictment there of Chris Grayling. Not honest, he should go.


You know complete conflict here It is quite some escalation from a good


scoop frat Evening Standard finding this letter by lunch time, a


Conservative MP, someone widely respected in this particular area,


actually saying he should go. This is not going to be a good day for


Chris Grayling. I think at the moment it seems unlikely he would


resign over something lick this, but, you know... Who knows. Things


moves fast these days. I'm going to ask you go to but very politely. OK.


Thank you. Now, the Liberal Democrats have been


fined by the Electoral Commission after an investigation


into the party's spending return The ?20,000 penalty is the largest


that can be imposed for a single offence and the Commission is now


repeating its call for an increase to the maximum fine,


so it's more proportionate to the levels of spending


and donations being handled In the case of the ?20,000 fine,


the Commission concluded that the Lib Dems' 2015 election


spending return was not complete The investigation found that


307 payments totalling ?184,676 were missing


from the Liberal Democrats' spending return -


without a reasonable excuse. Some invoices for payments


were also absent. The Commission has now notified


the Metropolitan Police of a possible criminal offence,


after seeing evidence that suggested some people in the party knew


the spending return wasn't complete We asked the Lib Dems


for an interview but were told In a statement a party spokesperson


said: "These mistakes, caused by issues with a small number


of local accounting units, were a result of human error


and failures of process." We can now speak to


the Chief Executive of the Electoral Commission,


Claire Bassett. Do you accept that from the Liberal


Democrats, as an explanation? I think what we have to be clear about


is the law sets out very clearly what is needed, what should be in


the spending returns, which are a really important part of giving


voters confidence in our democratic processes. These laws have been


around for sometime, 15 years, and the Liberal Democrats are an


established party. So they did know what they needed to do. We were


pleased they cooperated with us, during the course of the


investigation and they have offered that explanation, but we are clear


that the spending returns should be complete and should coincide with


the law, setting out all of the spend that should be in them. It is


not just the Liberal Democrats who have seen the maximum fine imposed


on they. Labour were fined ?20,000 for a similar offence in oak. The


Electoral Commission's investigation into the Conservative spend at the


2015 general election are still ongoing, so, do you see a systemic


problem here? What we are seeing is what we have seen in the two


investigations we have concluded, where there were short-comings in


those spending returns, those spending returns are an important


part of being clear about what happens at elections. What we are


calling for today is an increase in our ability to fine people who break


those rules, because we feel that the ?20,000 fine is just


disproportionately small to the amount of spend that we are talking


about at general lings. Indeed t could be seen as a cost of business


and we think it should be higher and bigger, so it acts as a proper


deterrent and ensures people do return those complete... As you say,


people might or the parties might feel it is a price worth paying.


What sort of level of sanction would you suggest as a proper deterrent We


are seeking today to really open the debate to have a look at how much


that should be increased by. If you look at other regulators, the


Information Commissioner, for example, can issue fines in the


hundreds of thousands. So, we loo like Parliament to revisited and


have a look at this and increase it significantly, but we haven't set a


top level for that because we don't feel it is for us to do. Thank you


very much. It sounds like all the parties are at this. The viewers


will think how disgraceful I make thep poupt is the Conservative


Party's position is we have followed the rules. You are being


investigated. The investigation is ongoing but we have to look at this


in the context of not just the report but people have looked at


this issue and the Government will respond. Right, we need to leave it


there, the guests will be happy to hear, floss time for the spelling


item today. Which is a pity. Just time to put you out of your misery


gaven you the answer to Guest the Year. The year was 1979 of the


election and the Winter of Discontent. Press that red button,


please. There we go, very gently. Nothing malign happens.


And Andrew Miller from Lancashire. I can spell that, too. Has won. Well


done, Andrew Miller from Lancashire. You get a daily Politics' mug. The


1.00 news is starting on BBC One. We will be back tomorrow at noon with


another edition of the Daily Politics, here on BBC Two. I hope


you can join us. Until then, goodbye.


I'm starting this new job, I'm taking over a really tough school.


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