Jo Coburn is joined by financial analyst Louise Cooper to discuss Theresa May's visit to the United States, the Brexit Bill and the state of the economy.
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The Prime Minister is on her way to America
She'll say the UK and the US can lead the world again.
But Mr Trump may lead her into controversy, as he reaffirms
The government is about to publish legislation asking parliament
to approve triggering Article 50 and the formal process
of leaving the EU. We'll bring you all the latest.
Official figures show the British economy is beating forecasts again,
The Chancellor says there are still uncertainties ahead.
We'll look at how the UK has fared since the vote to leave the EU.
And they're all over Westminster - we'll tell you all you need to know,
and more, about the division bells that keep an MP's day
And with us for the whole of the programme today,
it's the financial analyst and commentator, Louise Cooper.
She used to work in the City, but decided to leave the Square
Mile, presumably to find a more rewarding career.
Unfortunately, she ended up being a journalist.
Welcome back to the show anyway, Louise.
So, Theresa May arrives in America later today -
it's something of a diplomatic coup for the Prime Minister,
as she will be the first world leader to meet new US President
She's expected to say that Britain and America can
"rediscover our confidence" and "lead together again".
No doubt Mr Trump will agree with that.
Meanwhile, Mr Trump has been busy, moving to deliver on many of his
campaign pledges, including advancing his plans for a wall
with Mexico, killing off a major multilateral trade deal,
and reducing funding for abortions, among other things.
Not necessarily policies the UK would want to be associated with.
Overnight he's also repeated his position on waterboarding -
that's an interrogation technique considered by many
Here is the President talking to ABC News.
When they're chopping off the heads of people because they happen to be
Christian in the Middle East, when Isis is doing things not heard of
since medieval times, would I feel strongly about water boarding? We
have to fight fire macro with tyre. No. I am going with General Mattis.
I am going with my secretary. I am going to go with what they say. But
I have spoken as recently as 24 hours ago with people at the highest
level of intelligence, and I asked them the question.
And the answer was, "Yes, absolutely."
That was the president of the United States in a long interview that went
out on the ABC network last night in America. Ten o'clock East Coast
time. The water boarding remarks have got the headlines.
We're joined now by the commentator and Republican, Charlie Wolf.
Welcome back. Would you describe or might consider water boarding as a
form of torture? Not as it was done at once Mowbray, going by a legal
definition established by the attorney general, it did not meet
the standards of torture. What the Japanese did in the Second World
War, yes, that would be torture. Do you accept it is now illegal in the
United States? I know that President Obama did not use it. And I
understand it is not being used at present. It is illegal, according to
Senator McCain. Do you except it is illegal as things stand? As things
stand, probably. I haven't researched that but I will take his
word. It is an important too loud side of the tool box. President
Trump said he would bring back water boarding and a hell of a lot worse
than water boarding. Can we agree that a hell of a lot worse than
water boarding would amount to torture? I think it wouldn't be a
legal standard, would it? But you also have to remember with Donald
Trump, he speaks as a New York businessman. He does not speak as a
politician. New York businessmen into torturing? No. He speaks in a
way that is not precise. He says he would bring back water boarding and
he would bring back a hell of a lot worse. We can sit here and quantify.
To him it is probably more, I will go out and do whatever it takes. But
he said he would rely on his secretary of defence, General
Mattis, and the new head of the CIA. And also, let's not forget, three
people were water boarded at Guantanamo Bay and it did actually
work. You are aware, will Mr Trump be aware of what the British Foreign
Secretary has described as the objection to torture which remains
unchanged? That's fine. I don't see water boarding as it was done at
Guantanamo Bay. That is your opinion. Many others do. I think
that is why there were moves to make it illegal. Mr Obama didn't do it.
Here is the question though. Why raise this at all? Given that he
said he's not going to do it, why raise it at all? You're smarter than
me. Is it -- isn't it interesting that Donald Trump has a way of
soaking the oxygen out of a room and getting people to talk about
everything else but whatever they want to talk about. For instance, we
had that march on Saturday, millions across the world. That one went down
the news agenda very quickly when he brought up, I can't even remember
what it was, but everybody started talking about what he said. I think
it was a complaint about the numbers at the inauguration. He has this
ability to move on the news agenda and most people bite. When you do
look at this, and I watched the whole interview, and I've read the
transcript, he gets it both ways. He says he is up for water boarding or
even worse, he said that during the campaign. That plays to his base.
But even says he is not going to do it because he is listening to mad
dogmatics. He is a tough guy, he doesn't think it should be done. And
the new head of the CIA doesn't think it should be done. So he heads
the base but he doesn't do it. Smart. What I find disease beaks to
his experts and they say it works. And yet the Guardian... He didn't
say it works. He said it wasn't illegal in Guantanamo Bay. The
Chapter, forgive me, his name escapes me, the guy who designed the
programme has been on several interviews and he can tell you how
it is working. General Mattis has said it didn't work. He would rather
go into an interrogation with a cigarette and a beer. In most cases
that probably works. But if you have talent Sheikh Mohammed sitting down,
he is not going to say anything to you unless you give him permission.
It's interesting you say that. There is also the potential backlash from
violent extremism if America goes down this route under Trump. There
was a piece in the Guardian by a former air force colonel who said
this threatens the National Security of America if we do this. So there
are questions about whether it works, whether it is illegal. On top
of that, it could provoke a far worse situation than we have
already. It may or may not. If you are in a war that everything is at
cost, you are fighting for your life, democracy, then I'm not going
to worry too much about the PR aspects. I feel you have to do what
you have to do. Now listen, one of the things that we lost out in that
war was PR. We are still seeing pictures of people in orange
jumpsuits. That was day one when they were coming off the tarmac so
they didn't get hit by other planes. Propaganda. It violent extremist
backlash is not PR. It threatens the national security of America. They
will use propaganda whatever you do. Do you bent to them or do what you
need to do? General Mattis, the new defence secretary, he says he has
never found it useful referring to water boarding and torture. The new
head of the CIA says he would -- he would not comply with a presidential
order to do water boarding. The Senate congressional -- and
congressional investigations into water boarding found almost no
examples of it working and found that the negative images created of
America, supposedly a civilised land of liberal, culture and values, far
outweighed any intelligence. I would discard the congressional report. I
would leave it to the commanders. It was used three times. People think
everybody got their orange jumpsuit and got water border. You cant leave
whether a country tortures or not to its commanders? The protocols were
in place. It was done to a very exacting standard. Let's not forget,
this was after 9/11 when we had no idea what was coming around the
bend. They had to do whatever was necessary to protect the United
States of America. Can we agree that despite the interview last night, it
is highly unlikely to happen? Exactly, but were still talking
about it. You know why. Thank you very much.
Theresa May will give President Donald Trump
a gift tomorrow, to remind him of his links to Scotland.
Is it tickets to see Trainspotting 2 at the Maidenhead
A bound collection of Robert Burns poems?
Or a quaich - a Scottish friendship cup?
At the end of the show, Louise will give us the correct answer.
We've had the latest figures growth figures for the UK
economy this morning, and they're once again more positive
than forecasters had predicted, showing this was the fastest-growing
economy in the G7 group of advanced nations last year.
And although the indicators are far from all positive, the Confederation
of British Industry says that UK manufacturing is "firing
So let's have a look under the bonnet of the British economy,
with a snapshot of some of the most important figures.
for National Statistics, GDP grew by 0.6% in the last three
This is an early estimate. They tend to be revised.
That means growth of a solid 2% for the whole of 2016.
The employment rate is currently 74.5% -
that's the joint highest it's been since records began in this
And the unemployment rate is also historically very low at 4.8%.
And figures out yesterday showed that 1.72 million cars were built
We haven't built that many cars in this country since 1999.
But it's not all good news for the automotive sector -
investment in the industry dropped by about a third
to ?1.66 billion in 2016. It was ?2.5 billion in 2015.
We don't know if that is just the investment cycle or people holding
back because of uncertainty. It reached a 31-year-low last
October, but has rebounded It has rebranded a bit since then.
Still well below where it started. -- rebounded.
it's currently at 1.6%, according to the CPI index.
That's the highest it's been since July last year.
So those are some of the economic indicators, although of course,
Let's have a listen to the Chancellor Philip Hammond
as he responded to this morning's growth figures.
The figures today, which are very good, show the resilience of the UK
economy. And points to the bright future we have as we go into this
period of negotiation with the European Union based on the very
clear agenda that the Prime Minister set out last week.
We're joined now by two economists, that noble profession which was said
to have suffered its Michael Fish moment after the financial
It's Danny Blanchflower and Liam Halligan.
So the economy growing by around about 2% is not great but it is
better than anybody else in the G7. It is not what the Remain campaign,
the Chancellor, the OECD bank said. Well, the Bank of England acted.
Don't smile, the Bank of England acted. And the indicators were bad
in August, so they cut rates. Absolutely. They cut rates, they did
QE, which raised confidence. And from here, the indicators are not
great. Investors in tensions and employment intentions are very weak.
It takes time for things to have an effect. Fortunately, the market
reacts. It was interesting that you offered a model at the time that
presumed no policy change but it was predictable the bank would have
reacted. To that extent, the models were misleading. Do you accept that
the cut of 25 basis points... It was a PR driven cut. Danny says the
economy turned on a sixpence because we cut interest rates. But here we
are, the Treasury said we would have an immediate and profound economic
shock. You know that was silly. It was repeatedly described as fact by
the Chancellor of the day and yet here we are with manufacturing PMI
above 56%, services growth above 56%. Buoyant GDP numbers. I agree
that the longer Brexit goes on, the more uncertainty there is about
Brexit, the more that will affect investment going forward but for now
at least, the UK economy remains resilient. Why did you smile?
Because cutting rates from 0.5% to 0.25%, I cannot understand how that
would have any effect on the economy. QE might have helped but
you cannot go any further. What more can they do to stimulate the
economy, that is the fundamental problem. The bank, what the Bank of
England did had very little effect. I agree with some of it and disagree
with some of it. Essentially, what they are showing is that the bank is
on the case and that had an impact. But you are right, the bank does not
really have very far to go. The reality is that the bond market, we
are buying the bonds of American companies so there is a limit to
what the Bank of England can do. The reality is that the recession is
coming and they come every eight or ten years. We are eight years in. If
you are eight or ten years on, that is what the cycle is. And you are
quite right to say that the bank is scared and it has nowhere to go. So
we have a recession, with or without Brexit? We would be. I would just
say, I think the time it Brexit was really bad because of a section was
coming soon. -- I think the timing of Brexit was really bad because a
recession was coming soon. The danger that we face is the potential
expulsion of the Eurozone as it goes through political turmoil, not that
I wish it to happen, but the euro has so many internal
inconsistencies. The even greater danger is the unwinding of this
absurd QE policy which Danny and other central bank policymakers have
commented. When I look at the models that got the predictions wrong, the
reason they got it wrong was very little to do with whether there was
more QE or a minuscule cut in interest rates, it was because they
assumed that the British consumer would be as frightened of Brexit as
they work. -- as they were and the savings ratio would rise in consumer
spending would fall. That did not happen, indeed the savings ratio
fell. They got it wrong for that reason. Can you not accept, coming
on to the future which is always more uncertain, although sometimes
the past is uncertain for economists... You do not know where
you are, where you are going or where you have been. That sums up
economics. Let me ask, before we move onto this year, can you not
accept that you and these forecasters, you got it wrong and
the economy has performed better than even the Brexiteers thought it
was going to. I think that is true. I agree with that. It is certainly
performed better than I would've thought. But... The result was a
butt. But I think the consumers have behaved in a way that I had not
expected. It is entirely unsustainable. -- there is always a
but. The survey is very weak. We have wage growth falling, if you
take the RBI, that is at 2.5%. Very soon, there we are, 2.5... You are
warning us about inflation now, that is ironic. But you know I am right.
You know I am right. Danny, we all know that depending on what
statistics you pick, you can say anything. The US has 1 million
different sets of economic data and economists still cannot tell us what
is going to happen. Pick out one piece of economic data, Liam can
pick out another, you can say it is bearish or you can say it is
bullish. You have to look at a whole load of them. With all respects, the
GDP number is pretty hard to spin in an advanced economy. However much
the Treasury tries. I will give you a spent, 1.4% of GDP per capita plus
the data we have out today, you will not like this. This is now proven to
be the slowest recovery in 300 years. But we knew that already. And
that is not the UK, that is the US and Europe and everywhere. But hang
on... Hold on a minute. Most economies have had a pretty slow
recovery. We are now 9% higher in GDP terms than before we went into
the crash. The Eurozone this year only got back to that level. There
is nothing unusual about it. Everybody has been slow to recover.
And some, like Italy, and chunks of Europe, have not recovered at all.
Andrew, I am the last person in the world is to say that you should have
been in the euro area, without your own central bank and currency. It
was crucial to have that, to have people like me able to cut rates and
do the QE that he hated, because the fiscal authorities had no idea what
they were doing. The reason the last seven years or so has been the time
of the central bank is because of the utter incompetence of the fiscal
authorities. Moving onto this year and possibly next year, just because
of the forecasters getting last year's wrong and it is irrefutable
that they did, Danny has admitted that, does that mean they will get
this year wrong? What do you say to the city, concerned that growth is
going to fall below 1.5% this year? Are they going to be proved right or
wrong again? I am actually pretty bearish for this year because the
longer that the political classes string out this slow motion Brexit
madness, the more incentive to invest will be prevented. For the
most part, practical business people, whatever they were saying on
the airwaves, they realised that once Brexit had happened, we should
just get on with it and it was not going to affect us that much. If
they see the political class is making a car crash out of this,
spreading uncertainty over the next five or ten years, getting the UK
into a never-ending referendum, that will hit our credit rating. It is
the first time I have ever agreed with anything he has said. I will do
my best to change that. It is quite a lively debate and you are doing a
good job, Andrew! What do you think is the prognosis for this year? Do
you think we could do better than the city? It is really interesting
that there is this consensus and it is all about consumer spending and
inflation going up. That is basically what everybody is saying.
It must be wrong. That is kind of what I think. Because so often the
consensus is wrong, I think we might have a booming year in the context
that 2% is good and the US only grew at 1.6%. In the context of really
slow growth, I think the UK could do all right. Let me give you some
reasons why it might be better. One, there is going to be massive
Keynesian trouble in our biggest national export market, the United
States. Secondly, our biggest export market in terms of the regional
bloc, the Eurozone, is still going to grow about 1.5% this year. It has
not grown much recently, since the great financial crash. Sterling has
had an amazing competitive devaluation which will help, and
average earnings could still stay ahead of inflation. If that was to
happen, wouldn't the city consensus be wrong? I think inflation will
rise and I think wage growth will fall. But I live in America and I
think the chances of a large fiscal stimulus taking place in June 20
17th is almost zero. -- taking place in 2017. Because you need people in
place to comment at. -- to implement it. He needs 4000 people in place to
implement it and he has only employed 30. You do not need people
in place to cut taxes. But we have a position where the people in
Congress are going to do this and when you listen to the nominations,
just to start with, if you abolish... Trump says I will not
abolish Obamacare or touch Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security, and the
nominees in those positions say exactly the opposite, we have a
budget rector in places as the main thing we need to do is to reduce the
budget. -- budget director in place. The likelihood of it having an
impact in 27 is zero. Congress will take the tax cuts but they will not
allow the spending rises. I think it will end up as a debt ceiling
crisis, as was imposed on President Obama. A lot of the Republicans are
hawkish and that means tax cuts. And rates may well rise, because the Fed
may well raise rates. There is no doubt about that. But we have to
bring this to an end. I'm going to park it there and get it measured.
The two of you are now saying they will not be a Trump injection this
year. Maybe because of other reasons. You have made your bed and
you will now lie on it and you will be held to account. If you are both
wrong, yet again. It might be less than I thought, actually. I am very
disappointed, I am not having you two back again! Who thought that
economic Scooby so much fun? I didn't. -- who thought that
economics could be so much fun. Now do you know your single market
from your Customs Union? Well, of course you do,
because you watch And you've just watched
that discussion. But just in case there's a hint
of doubt in your mind about some terms being used as we discuss
the economy and Britain's exit from the EU, here's Adam to bring
a much needed sense of direction. Bamboozled by Brexit jargon? Let me
give you some directions. The single market is a set of policies designed
to reduce the barriers to the trade of goods and services between member
states within the EU. It is a combination of laws, common
standards, recognising others regulations, and rulings by the
European court of justice. EU countries are members and others
have varying degrees of access. Next... Customs union, which means
that the EU has a common external border for goods. Member states
apply the same import taxes on products from outside the EU with no
customs duties on products traded inside. It also means that trade
deals are done by the EU, not individual countries. The World
Trade Organisation. The World Trade Organisation overseas the global
export rules for countries that do not have free Tate deals between
each other. -- free trade. The EU will fall back on terms brokered by
the WTO until they make their own arrangements. There is a big debate
as to whether that will be a good or bad option for Britain. Here in the
city, the jargon gets technical because we're talking about
passports and equivalence. A passport means that a firm
registered with regulators in one EU company can -- EU country can
operate in all 27 other countries. Its cousin is equivalence, which
means that the EU recognises the regimes of countries outside the EU
in terms of regulation and although it is less and seven passports, it
means that those firms can do fewer things. And now you can speak on
Brexit and the economy. I think we have a reasonably good
idea of the single market and how the government doesn't feel it wants
to negotiate a free-trade deal with the single market. It is more
equivocal on the Customs Union, with sets the external tariffs on the EU.
Can you be half in and have either the Customs Union? I can't see how
we can be in it. If you are going around the world doing trade deals,
selling goods to the rest of the world, how can you stay within a
custom union that forces external tariffs -- Customs union. We can't
have the EU telling us what those tariffs can be. We can't stay. I
think that is the position of Liam Fox. Perhaps David Davis, to. But
not necessarily yet the Prime Minister, who has said the Customs
Union is not a binary choice. If she comes away from the Oval Office with
a sense that America really is up for a major trade deal, and are even
prepared to start work, none of it can be implemented until if and when
we leave. But to get down to what the shape of it would be, is there
not a high chance that she ditches the Customs Union? Look, Trump is
elected. He is what he is, whether you agree with his policies or not.
He is the man we have to negotiate with. Theresa May said hold her nose
and do a deal. That is what she is there to do. I think it is
irrelevant what the EU thing. I cannot see how the EU political
class can be anything other than extremely hard on us. We, of the
country, have opened up the possibility of the country leaving
the EU. The political class of Europe do not want anybody else
contemplating that. I almost think we have no option but to leave the
EU completely and do as many trade deals out there with as many people.
We should go hell for leather with -- for that deal with the US.
Everything from outside the Customs Union comes in at the same tariff
rate, so there is no arbitrageurs between one country and another.
Anything that comes into Britain can go to France as part of the free
terms of the single market. If we are either the Customs Union, that
will not be the same any more. Will there not be complicated rules of
origin problems as we bring stuff in, say the parts of a car? We
import them from outside the U, they go into the car, we exported to
Germany, and the Germans say, hang on, a lot of this stuff has come
from outside the EU? This is the complexity of it. We do not have
enough trade experts that understand this in great detail. I have got
your calf, Andrew! This is one of the problems we have country. We do
not have the nitty-gritty detail. We do not have enough experts. We have
hyped it off to the EU for the last four decades. Does that mean then
that it is unrealistic to think in the two years when Brexit is
triggered, two things have to happen. One is we have to agree the
terms of the divorce. But secondly, and this is the free trade
arrangement the Prime Minister once, we have to agree our relationship
going forward after 2019? Can be -- can that be done in two years? I'm
not a politician. I would expect it will be difficult. The other thing
everybody is terrified of is the default option to the WTO. Clearly
for some industries that would be problematic. But I don't know why we
are so terrified of defaulting to WTO rules. Wouldn't that mean
tariffs? The average tariff on goods is something like 3%. There are
certain areas where the tariffs are higher or lower. If you look at what
sterling has depreciated, although again, be a bit careful saying
sterling has collapsed. The dollar is strong for other reasons. If you
look at the sterling euro rate, we have been at this level many, many
times over the last ten years. But it is still good news for trade.
Probably better and more important than any defaults to the PTO. If you
want more of our Brexit definitions, have a look at our Twitter account.
Now there's been a significant moment in the Commons this morning,
as Britain makes its way out of the European Union.
If you've been paying attention, you'll recall that on Tuesday,
judges at the Supreme Court ruled that the government must seek
the approval of Parliament before triggering Article 50,
the formal process of leaving the EU.
Well, ministers have accepted the ruling, and this morning
they responded by bringing a bill to the House of Commons.
It's only 133 words long. So it could be tweeted out quite quickly.
And it's not quite the shortest built on record but it is pretty
close. It contains only two clauses. The Prime Minister may notify under
Article 50 the United Kingdom's intention to withdraw from the EU.
And this section has effect despite any provision made by or under the
European Communities Act of 1972 or any other enactment. 1972 being the
year we passed legislation to join the U. -- like the EU. A few minutes
ago the bill received its first reading in the House of Commons to
the delight of many MPs. Presentation of Bill.
Mr secretary David Davis. Notification of withdrawal bill.
Second reading, what they? Tomorrow! Tomorrow.
Order. For an historic moment it wasn't exactly a packed house. Maybe
some didn't know it was coming. To make sense of this,
we're joined by the constitutional Give me your overview of this? What
do you make of it? We hear a lot about the sovereignty of Parliament
at the rim problem for Parliament as the people. Parliament has been
required to do something which is unprecedented in its history. They
need to votes for something that most MPs arrogance, namely Brexit.
About 75% of MPs are for Remain. Are they to vote on this bill according
to their views of what is best for Britain? Or are they to vote on the
result of the referendum? The government says it accepts the
result of the referendum. MPs now have to make up their minds. That
makes it different from, say the 1975 referendum to stay in the
common market because a majority of the Commons wanted to stay in. It
makes it different from the referendum in Scotland and evolution
because the majority of Parliament wanted to stay in. It -- this is
unprecedented in the sense that the people have voted a different way
from the consensus view of Parliament itself? Absolutely. There
are only two parties that favour Brexit. The DUP, the Democratic
Unionist of Northern Ireland, with nine MPs, and Ukip with one MP. That
is not representative of the country. Can this be amended, this
short build? This is the difficulty. The government have deliberately
framed the bill very tightly, hoping that amendments will be ruled out of
order. The bill will go to the committee of the whole house, which
is chaired by the Deputy Speaker, whom I think you are interviewing
later. We have all the superstars on this programme. It is entirely at
his discretion what counts as a regal amendment, one that is within
the scope of the bill. Would it be reasonable to say, we will trickle
Article 50 provided you stay in the single market? Of the Scottish
Nationalists could ask for a veto for the Scottish parliament. Your
guess is as good as mine. The Deputy Speaker decides. It is in his
discretion. There is no appeal from his decision. When the SNP
threatened 50 amendments, to big a round number, they don't necessarily
get most of the... They could all be called, are none of them could be
called? That's right. The government could timetable the bill so it gets
through in a limited amount of time. The key question is whether certain
amendments can be discussed. The one I mentioned about only being able to
trigger Article 50 if the Scottish parliament is being given a veto.
The Deputy Speaker will have to decide if that amendment is to be
discussed. That amendment would not get through, would it? No, they
won't get through but they would be discussed and give the SNP a further
scope for grievance. Five days, we are told MPs will have. Yes,
presumably the timetable motion will be accepted. That doesn't
necessarily follow. In 2012, House of Lords reform was scuppered when
Conservative MPs refused a timetabling motion. What about the
House of Lords, where the consensus against Brexited even stronger? The
House of Lords is more of a problem for the government. It does not have
a majority. Even more important, it has no control over the timetable or
scope of amendments. The Lords has no power to rule any amendments out
of order. The only constraint is itself of -- sense of self
restraint. Should a pit itself against not only the government and
the House of Commons, but the people? I think it would be unwise
for them to do that. Self restraint or self-preservation? Absolutely
right. Or the Prime Minister could call a general election if the House
of Lords appears to thwart the will of the government and the people.
Would that be an election not just about Brexit but about the future of
the House of Lords? That may be the case. The Liberals, the strongest
these days on the powers of the Lords, it could be they curtail the
powers of the Lords after their budget in 99 was thrown out by the
Lords. I think it would also probably result in a landslide
Conservative victory in the general election, with liberal -- which
Liberal Democrat peers would presumably not want. Lots to take
into account. Thank you for joining us.
Now, is the government planning to weaken workers' rights
It's something we discussed on the show earlier in the week,
and it's become a central claim made by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
He argues that Theresa May is planning a "bargain-basement
Brexit", a reference to the Prime Minister's
threat that if the EU tries to punish Britain
in negotiations, then the government would change our economic model
Let's have a listen to the exchanges at Prime Minister's
What's the PM -- what the Prime Minister is doing is petulantly
aiming a threat at our mock -- add our public services with her threat
of a bargain basement Britain. Is priority our struggling NHS, those
denied social care, children having their school funding cut? Or is it
once again further cuts in big business taxation to make the rich
even better off? One of the objectives I set out in my plan for
negotiation was to protect workers' rights. He talks about threats to
public services. I'll telling what the threat to public services would
be. A Labour government borrowing 500 million extra pounds. That would
destroy our macroeconomy and mean no funding for our public services.
That was yesterday. I'm joined now by the Conservative
MP Nadhim Zahawi and Welcome. Bargain basement Britain,
Ben Bradshaw, is a good line. A good sound bite. It doesn't sound a
future for Britain in the 21st century. But the Prime Minister and
the Chancellor have never used these words? Those are Jeremy's words.
Some people quite like a bargain, don't they?! But I know what he
means. The issue for me is that Philip Hammond was clearly using
this as a threat but one he didn't want to fulfil, because he made it
clear he wanted us to stick with our social market economy, European
mature democratic economy. So are not quite sure that using a thread
that you don't actually want to carry through is particularly
effective. -- threat. If it goes pear shaped, that was the situation,
it's impossible to do a kind of deal without an agreement. We moved to an
alternative economic model. What would be the headline features of
that? First of all, the Prime Minister has been very clear on
this. I am going to come to workers' rights in a minute. That was not my
question. What would an alternative economic model looked like? Just
give me a couple of things that would be different.
The objective is to bring in more taxes and therefore encourage more
investment. To protect people's work, to protect the economy. If you
look at WTO, for example, which is where we could enter up, the average
mean tariff is 4.9%. I think the advantage on foreign exchange and
what we were doing in aggressively pursuing trade deals with America,
Australia... We have never applied a beggar thy neighbour. WTO rules are
something you take if you go out without a deal. It's not an
alternative economic model. How would we run our economy differently
if this scenario plays out? What you would do is create a strongly tax
advantageous economy for investment. That's what you would look at.
Because what we've never done is what was done in Luxembourg, a
beggar thy neighbour kind of policy. We have never followed that. That is
a tax haven. The difference here, this is hypothetical, we inject ?60
billion into the EU 27 every year in demand. They don't want to lose that
demand and have us without a deal. So this idea that we won't get a
good deal is for the birds. The Spanish foreign minister said today
he wants to start negotiations on a trade deal today.
, because I am not, to what the alternative economic model will be?
-- are you any wiser, because I am not. No, but the geography is
smaller than that Fischer, with a large small workforce that does not
enjoy the employment rights Theresa May says she wants to preserve in
this country. Well, let me as steel, do you believe that workers' rights
are at risk, given the government has said quite clearly that it
believes, it claims, it promises that they will not be? Yes, and the
reason for that is that I cannot see us getting a better deal than we
have at the moment. When you talk about WTO rules, for sheep farmers
in Devon, that is a 51% tariffs if we fall back on that. Something has
to be done to keep us competitive and the only thing I can think of
this law or regulation on food quality, the environment, and worse
workers' rights. The mayor tell you what will kick in is the law of
comparative advantage. For national leaders, they will look at the
economy, where we are strong, like financial services, and it will be
no good for the EU to weaken ourselves in that area because they
will weaken themselves. I cannot see us going to a place where we will
not have a good deal. The Spanish Foreign Minister yesterday said,
let's not wait, let's start negotiating for a deal with the UK
because they think we are an important trading partner. All of
this Armageddon scenario is just not true. What do you make of the
mayoral London's remarks that he has been in discussion with the
government, because busy Brexit has a huge location for the City of
London, that he does not see any threat to workers' rights? I am sure
he has been given those assurances and that is what the ministers are
saying publicly but the logic of this Armageddon scenario was falling
back on WTO rules or not getting a better deal than we have at the
moment. If I was city calm, I would be saying what he is saying because
he wants to hold the government and ministers to what they have said in
public. -- if I was Sadiq Khan. That is the problem with your party, you
are flip-flopping. You either agree that there will be protection for
workers' rights and we move on or the same thing you are doing over
triggering Article 50, because you are worried about your northern
seats which voted overwhelmingly for Brexit. Therefore you are
oscillating between positions. We are going over some well trodden
ground. What is your reaction to the Brexit bill? I think the
restructuring to the debate is the most -- I think the restriction to
the detail is the most important thing and will impact on what is to
come. We have weeks on the Maastricht Treaty and days on the
legislation but I hope that all the opposition parties, including the
Labour Party, will vigorously oppose any programme aimed at enforcing
this straitjacket on Parliament. Is your party going to enforce a three
line whip to vote for this bill? I don't know but every single Labour
backbencher who spoke at the business statement just now in
response to that announcement was outraged and made it very clear that
three days on such a huge issue was completely unacceptable, so... The
Guardian has just reported that the Shadow Cabinet has decided on a
three line whip. To oppose the programme motion? To support Article
50. Well I think that is a great pity. I do not know why we're doing
that because we are supposed to be in opposition. The opposition's job
is to oppose. But it is in the national interest. The government
has denied the ability to negotiate. This is not a piece of legislation
from Europe. We are not talking about negotiation, we're talking
about the only chance MPs will have to voice their view about hard
Brexit. Do you expect that there will be a major rebellion on
backbenchers? If it comes to a vote, I imagine that there will be a
considerable number of Labour MPs and one would hope any MP who cares
about the sovereignty of Parliament, who would not support a programmed
motion of that type. And do you expect that could be a rebellion in
line with the three line whip, perhaps within the Shadow Cabinet? I
cannot speak for my Shadow Cabinet colleagues. You will have to ask
them. When I get the chance, I will but I am grateful to you both.
BELL RINGS. No, it's not the bell that tells us it's lunchtime at the
BBC or even the fire alarm. It's the division bell,
which sounds throughout the parliamentary estate
and beyond, to let MPs and peers know that a vote,
or division, as it is known, Ellie, who's always
very a-ppealing... Do you see what I did there, has
more. It is what happens when the speaker needs MPs to vote on
something. A division. The doors would normally be shot but the
speaker will shout, division, and there is usually someone else on the
door who will shout, and it is up to the doorkeeper to do something about
it. Once division has been shouted, I will lift up the road here and
press the button, for the division bells to go off. You have to do it
as quickly as possible? As soon as the vision is shouted, I will shout
division and press the button. The bells go off for two minutes around
the palace itself, the outbuildings, and some of central London. Then the
members have eight minutes to get to the lobbies to vote. And if they do
not get back in time, tough, the doors are locked. So here is what
happens. Division, clear the lobby. The bells, the bells, are all run
the Parliamentary estate but it is not just in here. -- are all around
the Parliamentary estate. There are 384 bells around the area, and they
are meant to be within an eight minute radius of the Commons so MPs
can lead it back to vote. So let's put it to the test. This is the red
Lion pub on Whitehall and this is its division bell. Not that one,
this one. It doesn't look like much but apparently it doesn't work that
well, but in theory MPs can go for a quiet drink and still be back in
Parliament in time if they are suddenly needed for a aye or a no.
Or they could be here, one of many restaurants with a bell of its own.
This one is better to look at, but that slap up meal may be cut short.
There are hotels and conference centre is fitted with division
bells. But for some of them, getting back to the Commons is a bit of a
challenge. Especially if you're walking. I am not sure what the
rules are. Taxi! And who better to tell us more
about this than the man who is often called upon to trigger a division
in the Commons? It's the Principal Deputy
Speaker, Lindsey Hoyle. Welcome to the programme. You of the
moment. You have been referenced several times but not to do with
bells. How do you know that they can get there in eight minutes? Do you
have teams of clerks doing time trials? They were extended. We had a
member who suffered a heart attack trying to make the division and they
were very generous and expended it by a minute. -- and extended it.
Eight minutes as the norm and hopefully people are warned in
advance so they are ready to leave and on their way. But I would say
that if you were on the top floor in one of the outer buildings, get in
the left quickly, get to the ground floor because you do not want to
fall the whips for missing the vote. What is the furthest away you can be
and hear the bell? I think you have covered quite a few of the outlying
areas, including public houses. That restaurant is a fair wok. I know
that you would probably have to be Linford Christie to have a good
chance at making it in eight minutes. If you know that division
is coming, you will have a taxi waiting. Some of the MPs who can
afford of -- can afford to live in this part of Westminster, would they
have had bells in their home? At one point they did. The wealthier
members, like Michael is time, he may well have done, but I was not
going into individual names. Michael Portillo? You have to be called
Michael to have a bell on. It seems to be a trend. Or a good bank
account. -- have a bell at home. Do you think he has bells on his trains
these days? What happens if the bell does not work? You will be warned
but if you are outside the estate, we get a message to say that the
bell is not working and that we had no time. We give extra time we know
there is an issue or the left has failed. You have that ability to
say, let's take a sensible view about this, we know it is not their
fault that the bell did not ring. It is that ability to extend it. A bell
is very quaint, but I like the sound of a bell. But it is 2017. Shouldn't
they be messaged on Whatsapp? The one thing that will come, not only
will the bell starts swinging on your television or in the office, it
will also say division. There are other methods and you will still
have people going around shouting, division. So we have different kinds
of ways of getting the message out but at least people respond to the
bell. It is amazing. I'm sure my colleagues thought there was a vote
when they left a minute ago. Is it like padlocks dog? They hear the
sound and they start running. -- Pavlov's dog. Over in the house,
when the bill goes, they usually say, look after my drink. I always
say, what are you going to vote on and nine times out of ten, they have
no idea. There is always a good whip to advise you, don't worry. You're
the man of the moment, chairing two of the parliamentary events. The
great repeal Bill and the Article 50 bill. You have to decide what
amendments are taken? I will be looking into that when it comes,
yes. Are you looking forward to this? Like everything, it goes with
the job. I am very lucky to have such a good job and with the job
comes responsibility. This is one of those responsibilities. Decisions
have to be taken and you can take advice as well. The bottom line,
when it comes, I will ensure to do the job as best I can. And it will
be great training to be the next speaker. But we have a good speaker.
He is going next year, he says. I have had the privilege of working
with the speaker, and we are all on the team together. In fairness, he
is going nowhere. There is no vacancy. I am amazed. It seems that
Ladbrokes are running this to make some money. How very cynical. I
think there is evidence in his denial. He is the next speaker.
There's just time before we go to find out the answer to our quiz.
The question was, what gift will Theresa May give Donald Trump
tomorrow to remind him of his links to Scotland?
Was it tickets to see Trainspotting 2 at the Maidenhead
A bound collection of Robert Burns poems?
Or a quaich - a Scottish friendship cup?
So Louise, what's the correct answer?
It's a quaich - a Scottish friendship cup.
Although bizarrely, Mr Trump does not drink. Try to pronounce it. You
keep on saying lock, like Loch Lomond. It's loch. I have to do
everything on this programme. But you do raise a good point, what is
the point of giving a quaich to a man who doesn't drink? It is not
appropriate for diet Coke. We all know it must be iron brew. I did
Scottish drink. -- a good Scottish drink. Maybe we should bring a
bottle of diet Irn Bru over. The One O'Clock News is starting
over on BBC One now. I will be back next week with the
Jo Coburn is joined by financial analyst Louise Cooper to discuss Theresa May's visit to the United States, the Brexit Bill and the state of the economy.
Plus an interview with deputy speaker Lindsay Hoyle about the hundreds of division bells across the Palace of Westminster.