03/02/2017 Daily Politics


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Afternoon, folks. Welcome to the Daily Politics.


Can Britain be a bridge of trust between the EU


Theresa May tells fellow European leaders to increase defence


spending, amid doubts about the American President's


But as fellow EU leaders contemplate life without Britain,


The Northern Ireland Secretary says inquiries into killings


during the Troubles are "disproportionately" focused


Southern Rail reaches an agreement with train drivers to try


and bring an end to months of damaging strike action.


And Heineken is planning to take over of one of Britain's


Will it leave a nasty taste or refresh the parts of the industry


You knew, with Heineken, we'd work in that line! I knew it, too.


All that in the next hour, and with me for the duration


are Heather Stewart, political editor of The Guardian,


and Tom Newton Dunn, political editor of The Sun.


Think of them as the Theresa and Donald of daytime


Just don't expect them to hold hands!


Now speaking of Theresa and Donald, the Prime Minister is in Malta


today meeting other EU heads of government.


She is briefing fellow leaders on her meeting with the new American


Earlier this week, another Donald - Donald Tusk, the president


of the European Council - warned that Donald Trump


posed a threat to the EU, alongside Russia, China


Theresa May will urge those EU members which also belong to Nato


to meet pledges to spend a minimum of 2% of GDP on defence.


Let's speak to our correspondent John Pienaar who's in


The Prime Minister, I assume, will be emphasising how she got a 100%


commitment to Nato out of the President but that also saying they


have too spent 2% of GDP as a minimum on defence. How is it going


down? -- have to spend. Well, she will certainly be doing that in the


course of the talks today. It is such a huge part of Theresa May's


mission, to maintain Britain's global clout after Brexit. Here, she


will say Britain in or out of the European Union will do its bit in


helping migrant crisis but also drawing on the visit last week to


the White House, where she was the only in the room in Malta to see


President Trump face-to-face, the first leader anywhere to get into


the Oval Office for a meeting like that and drawing heavily on the fact


that she drew the commitment from Donald Trump of 100% amendment to


Nato and then bringing the message over here, that other Nato members


have to do their bit, like Britain, in meeting defence spending


obligations, 2% of national earnings. Very few European


countries meet the target. Poland, Estonia, Greece, along with Britain


but not to bigger countries. And it is a big ask. In some cases, a


doubling of defence spending as it is at the moment. That won't go down


terribly well. As for the idea of being in some way a bridge between


both sides of the Atlantic, well, the relationship so far between


Donald Trump and so many leaders gathered here in Malta leaves a


great deal to be desired. He treats them with pretty open disdain and


they look at him with something between alarm and horror. This is a


mission Theresa May has to keep on pressing but it is an uphill climb.


Is this an attempt by the British to insert geopolitical matters into the


Brexit negotiations? Or at least, to have this as a background, subtly or


maybe not so subtly, that the British are saying, "We may be


leaving the EU but we are still vital to the military and


intelligence capabilities of Europe, so don't treat us to badly because


you need us"? It is very much a part of the message that Britain carries


on and will continue to be a big strategic and military player, a


prominent part of the Nato alliance. Maybe they can draw some regard and


respect from former EU partners are doing so. Equally, it is not easy to


see how that might work because those military, strategic and


security obligations will carry on as before when we haven't a European


Union so is it possible to play the strategic card to get a better deal


on the economic and trade card? It's hard to see that. One leader today


said trade and security are simply two different things and it's hard


to see how they will overlap or that Britain could draw on its credit as


a strategic power to get better trade deals when the time comes for


those long-lasting negotiations. But it is about showing that Britain is


a big player in the world and will continue to be so. It looks a tough


gig out there in Malta in February! We will let you get on with your


hardship posting. John Pienaar in Malta, there. I


would suggest there's a really good chance that trade and security will


overlap. We already know that the Nordic countries and the Baltic


states have sent a message to Mrs May, saying thank you for getting


that 100% commitment. If they are grateful for that, if there is more


to be done on that score, if British lives are to be laid on the line in


Eastern Europe, you can hardly then turn around and say, by the way, we


are putting 25% Harris on because. I think it absolutely helps Theresa


May for those conversations to be taking place and for the geopolitics


and security and intelligence cooperation that she also stressed


in the Lancaster house speech when she set up the exit plan. The more


we talk about things and the more the conversation goes on, the


harder, she hopes, it becomes for other EU States to play hardball and


just talk about tariffs on products. In a sense, Mrs May needs to be


agile. If it becomes clear that Donald Trump in the end doesn't


really give a monkeys about Europe, then Britain's military and


intelligence capabilities become all the more important because Europe


will have to do a lot more for itself. If it turns out that he is


willing to do some kind of deals with Europe, live up to his 100%


commitment, then Britain is the pivotal part of -- partner between


Europe and the United States. I totally agree and I think Theresa


May has been dealt incredibly unexpected but very lucky hands.


Lucky is the keyword! She is a lucky Prime Minister. Yes, and you need


luck as Prime Minister, frankly, to get through Brexit but there is high


here. She's on a high wire trapeze act at the moment and she needs to


stay on it. She could easily play the role as the EU ambassador and


look at the winds are ready, 100% Nato commitment apparently and also


the Ukraine sanctions, the US ambassador, Trump's ambassador to


the UN confirmed they will carry on. The former southern governor, an


American Republican to watch. Two early successes Mrs May can wave


around with some pride. It is also fair that some EU leaders will have


looked at the pictures of her holding hands touching hands with


Donald Trump and felt considerable distaste and then they saw his


executive order, the refugee ban which has gone down extremely badly


and parts of Europe. It's a balance. Which means that between a rock and


a hard place in a way, they need America but they don't like Mr


drum's America. I think the risk for Mrs May in seeming to be the


Donald's voice in Europe on this is that he goes a step waiting too far


on a particular issue, whether it is new sanctions against Iran, which we


are told are coming today, all he does something else with China, or


whatever, and it is impossible for a British Prime Minister to support


that. She's already felt that when she was pressed quite aggressively


on Saturday in Ankara about whether she supported the refugee ban. She


tried to sidestep the question but you know other blood she did times.


We were there. We both were -- we both were. I never get to leave. I


sleep it! It was not a glamorous trip. That sums up the whole thing,


though, while she has to be the great arbiter between Trump and


Europe, she also has to be your's messenger Judd Trump and if you blow


that line from Europe will give up on her completely. It is pregnant


with possibility and fought with danger, I would suggest. Indeed.


Foreign affairs will be more interesting than ever.


As we've been hearing this week, politicians and the media can


have a difficult relationship, and according to some reports


in today's papers, when Jack Straw was Home Secretary in the 1990s


he tried to get a certain TV programme cancelled.


As you would if you were Home Secretary, obviously.


So our question for today is, which one?


Was it a) The Word? b) Brass Eye?


c) The Midnight Hour with yours truly?


At the end of the show, Tom and Heather


Have you got a rough idea? I was looking at the braces. It was the


early 1990s, still under the influence of Wall Street, the movie.


Which is long gone now! But still watched. Anyway, let's move on.


Last weekend, almost 1,000 veterans of the conflict in Northern Ireland


They want Theresa May to end what they call a "witch hunt"


into killings perpetrated by British security forces during the Troubles.


In December, the sun splashed with news that all of the killings were


being reinvestigated. But the Police Service


of Northern Ireland says there is no bespoke inquiry into deaths caused


by the British Army. In 2006, the Historical


Enquiries Team was set up by the Police Service


of Northern Ireland to review all Troubles-related deaths,


including those attributed But in 2013, an independent report


raised significant concerns about what it called the "different


approach" taken by the Historical Enquiries Team to cases


involving state involvement The report said that


in investigating murder, there was no legal basis


to distinguish between deaths caused by state officials and those


caused by third parties, and that the HET had


failed to realise this. In response, the PSNI replaced


the Historical Enquiries Team with the Legacy Investigation Branch,


and said it would re-examine military cases to make sure due


diligence had been done. The DUP has claimed that the vast


majority of the PSNI's resources are focused on reviewing killings


by state forces, a criticism echoed by the Northern Ireland Secretary,


James Brokenshire. But figures obtained by BBC


Northern Ireland show that approximately 70% of the unit's


resources are directed toward reviewing killings


caused by paramilitaries. Out of more than 1,000 deaths


being re-investigated, 530 are linked to republicans,


271 to loyalists, and 354 Over 2,000 deaths


previously examined are not That is some of the background to


the story. To discuss this, we're joined


from Belfast by Gerry Kelly, Sinn Fein's policing spokesman,


and by Emma Little Let me come to you first, Emma


Little Pengelly. We have seen the figures there. It is not focus


disproportionately on the killings of the security forces. Do you


accept you were factually wrong? Absolutely not, in fact, these


figures confirm there is a disproportionate focus on killings


and deaths by security forces because you have to place this


within the context of the figures of the Troubles and deaths during the


Trouble. 90% of deaths during the Troubles were caused by paramilitary


organisations. Around 10% involve some kind of state involvement. In


many cases, that state involvement was absolutely lawful, so for


example, in the case of Loch gal, where there was an IRA unit, in the


words of the organisation itself, on active duty, and they were killed by


the SAS, that has been deemed to be a lawful killing. Even within that


10%, it is a much smaller percentage of the overall deaths that have


involved any kind of state involvement. If 70% of the PSNI's


resources are being directed to deaths caused by paramilitaries, it


might not be an exact percentage of the breakdowns of who was behind the


deaths, but 70% does not suggest that a disproportionate level of


resources is going to try and get the British Army. I think if you


look specifically at the figures released by the PSNI, 40% of their


resources, looking at the killings by Republicans, 30% in killings by


the state. The actual figures are 60% of the deaths during the


troubles were caused by Republicans and less than 10% by the state. But


I also think there is another important issue to consider. The


PSNI not only look at historical cases through this unit. They also


support the likes of the Coroner's Court and the coroner 's court


cases, and it's been a big issue here in Northern Ireland, because


they have been numerous referrals by the Attorney General to the coroner


's -- to the coroner 's Court and all of those cases have a focus in


relation to the state. The PSNI are also supporting that work and have


told us in Northern Ireland that they are under huge pressure in


terms of the workload, that they today get -- dedicated huge amount


of resource to that. So in addition to these figures released by the


PSNI, I will be asking them in terms of how much more resource they


using. I will stop you there because Gerry Kelly has do his say. What is


your response to what you have just heard?


You give is the facts and you give is the difference to the perception


of DUP under the British politicians. If you like,


propaganda. If people are equal under law, they are equal in the


law, but when James broken china joined in on this there was an


attack on the Director of Public Prosecutions saying they were


biased. He was then forced to put out the statistics, and there have


been seven persecutions of Republican 's, free of loyalists,


and three British soldiers -- three of loyalists. Then they shifted onto


PSNI and blamed them, and they showed the statistics of what the


enquiry teams were doing their and it works out at 30%. Let me also say


that for you audience, the DUP are in the middle of it in terms of


corruption and half ?1 billion. This is what the election was part. Part


of this is clearly moving away the scandal -- part of this. Gerry


Kelly, let's stick to this, because I'm not going into green subsidies


in this interview. I am going back to Emma. I am sorry, Gerry Kelly,


you both want to say too much and I need to go over the issues. Is it


your position that killings by the state forces should not be reviewed


at all? No, we have always said there needs to be a comprehensive


link of dealing with the past, but it has to be proportionate. The


figures you have quoted are not proportionate. Furthermore, it has


to be placed in a context where the Thomas Minns button -- the office


has to investigate this. The coroner courts are looking hundred and


deaths. -- into 150 deaths. For the UK audience, if evidence came to


light that a British soldier had been involved in what was regarded


as an unlawful killing, would you be happy to see that soldier


prosecuted? I think the concern is fundamentally here rest on the case


is being re-examined. It is not a case where there is new evidence and


that is investigated. That has caused a lot of concern. Secondly,


there needs to be justice for all. So the answer is yes or no. What is


it? My colleague indicated that he believes, and our position is, that


there should be a statute of limitations point where the cases


happened many years ago and were people on active duty in terms of


serving their country, doing their duty. This was not premeditated. I


understand that but there isn't a statute of limitations on offer.


Gerry Kelly, would you be happy to see IRA operatives found guilty of


killing brought to justice now for something that happened 40 years


ago? We are very clear about this and I have been in jail myself.


There is something in the region of 100,000 years served in jail. The


law must be for everybody, and if you believe in the justice system,


that is what will happen will stop whoever comes in front of the courts


comes in front of the courts. The difficulty with Emma's answer is


they do not want anybody from the state forces to come in front of the


courts. Can I just make this last point, because she did use the


example where eight people were killed. Not only were they ambushed,


they were shot while still in a van, so is that acceptable behaviour from


state forces? As a former Northern Ireland correspondent myself, I'm


well aware there are all these incidents and I have seen through


various perspectives and we haven't got time to reinvestigate that. Let


me bring in Tom Newton Dunn, because you've been involved in the story.


What you make of what you have heard from the politicians in Belfast? I


found it interesting that Gerry Kelly didn't answer your question


when you asked would you be happy to see former IRA members, like Gerry


Kelly, try to block the Old Bailey, face jail and prosecution -- tried


to blow up the Old Bailey. He can only say yes if he is happy to see


British soldiers in their 70s and 80s being brought through the courts


are something they tried to do while serving their country legally, 40 or


50 years. Gerry Kelly? He is arguing that legal execution is OK. I did


answer your question. I said if you believe in the justice system, and I


do, everyone is equal under the law, so if evidence is brought forward,


those people should go forward. But let's be frank, the idea of a


witchhunt and the idea that James Brokenshire who was supposed to be


neutral in the talks that were going on, that he should settle down with


the DUP, because he's taken the same decision, working on propaganda


instead of fact. Some people, and Tom Newton Dunn brought it up, but


you tried to blow up the Old Bailey, you escaped from prison and were


rearrested in Europe. You are now in government and have been in


government. Many people watching this will think that it is quite


surprising that you are in government but we are going to


arrest British soldiers who were doing their duty in Northern


Ireland. People would find that strange, would they not? I think you


reported on Northern Ireland and you will be aware that there are many


people who looked upon the British Army as terrorists at the time. You


may entirely disagree with that but if you are looking at any conflict,


as a journalist, is there not a duty to look upon it on the basis of the


issues of the conflict? I'm proud of having been a Republican and having


been involved in the conflict, vicious as it was on all sides. But


I'm also proud of the fact that I was involved in the peace


negotiations and we have brought about peace and a new system and an


alternative way forward. And I will fight to support that and I have


fought very the stiffer -- vociferously against those so-called


dissidents. Let me ask you again, what statue of limitations? What


about just saying that these were terrible times -- what about a


statue of limitations? This is a new Northern Ireland, let's draw a line


under it for all concerned. What would you say to that? I think there


needs to be a tailored response and Gerry Kelly mentioned about


everybody being equal under the law but we do have a special provision


here and we did for paramilitary organisations such as the early


release of prisoners. When we look at the issue of soldiers who served


their country and did their duty and now, 30 or 40 years later there is a


witchhunt, they should be a statue of limitations. Would you back one


or not? I would back a statute of limitations. There are already


special provisions for those involved in paramilitary


organisations. Let me finally asked Gerry Kelly. What about a statute of


limitations? A Drawing avail, would you go along with that? Emma was


involved with me in terms of negotiations in terms of the Legacy


structure and we've already agreed to set up the structures that will


involve the parties but we always said there is an investigated


process across the board. She agreed to that. Now she is taking a


different position. It is clear what the DUP one. Instead of making


political points, which both of you have been pretty good at this


morning against each other, a statute of limitations, yes or no?


My answer is no. I did say the answer right at the beginning. I


didn't catch you because you are so keen to getting onto bashing the


DUP. I was under the impression I was giving you some facts. We are


always grateful for facts, but not alternative facts. Heather, you were


listening to that, what do you make it -- make of it? It's a bit


depressing. I was going to use that word. The collapse of the government


over the green subsidy scheme made you feel that normal politics was


being practised in Northern Ireland and we were hearing boring domestic


disputes, but this is a reminder that the shadow of the troubles is


very long and these things are very passionately felt. You did the


splash on this, Tom. Is there fresh evidence that soldiers are being


investigated? What is the situation? Here is the problem, and I'll try


and make this into five seconds, because this has so much precedent.


What has happened is that all the previous investigations got ripped


up in 2013 when it was decided that they had been too lenient. They were


going under an old ruling which allowed soldiers to open fire, and


the rules of engagement said they had to judge everything they did and


the criminal law. So everything got been -- under criminal law. So


everything is being investigated fresh. This is going on incredibly


slowly and it's only just started Army wide because they are so busy


with the bloody Sunday investigation. Is that where the


sense of unfairness comes from? Soldiers we deploy in urban gorilla


situations, and I was involved at the height of the troubles, they are


now being judged by the standards of criminal law -- guerilla.


Absolutely. This is the complaint from the Army, they should be judged


under wartime environment scenario, rather than a peacetime civilian


environment. The other point is, the British Army keep records. Boxes and


boxes of them in warehouses somewhere. They are easy to go back


over and George are fresh from an RA -- armchair perspective. The IRA


didn't. It is harder to go after the IRA bit easier together the soft


target of the British Army. As we've already been discussing,


one of Theresa May's early successes is getting that "100% commitment"


from President Trump Well, another country that is keen


to demonstrate its commitment is Ukraine, which has


signalled its firm intention Ukraine's President Poroshenko


yesterday announced he will hold a referendum


on his country joining Nato. This follows a period of fierce


fighting on Ukraine's eastern border, with both government troops


and pro-Russian rebels Clashes intensified over the weekend


and officials are warning of a humanitarian crisis in the town


of Avdiivka, home to more And we can speak now


to the Ukrainian Ambassador Why the referendum on Nato


membership now? First when the president mentioned the idea of


having a referendum on Nato, he did not say that it would be happening


immediately. I think it was more to have a social opinion and also


showed to the Nato alliances, because before the Russian


aggression the support was about 16%, relatively low, but now after


the Russian aggression when the Ukrainians realise that we did not


have any more security guarantees, support for Nato is like 54%. This


is not about formal membership but we are asking for,. To give you an


example, Georgia had a referendum dedicated to Nato membership before


the Bucharest summit, and the idea was to show to Nato partners, look


what is the social support for the membership. Would you agree that


this is not a time in which Nato is likely to look very kindly on


Ukrainian membership? Again, we don't have any goal to ask for Nato


membership. I would like to confirm that even in the law stipulating


Ukrainian priorities of foreign policy it is a provision that we


will be seeking tighter cooperation with Nato according to Nato


standards. Again, no sentence about formal membership now. Aren't you


just prodding the bear with a big stick by doing this? You mean the


Russian Federation? Correct. I will respond in the way that for 23 years


all previous Ukrainian leaderships were trying to do everything not to


irritate Russians. We were so flexible. But now this policy of


appeasing Russia has already failed. They do believe that the politicians


they elected in order to implement the will of the population, if that


population would like to see sometime in the future Ukraine in


Nato, I think it should be implemented. Given that there are


already some doubts among existing Nato members, particularly in the


Baltic states and some of the East European countries, some doubts


about America's commitment under Mr Trump to enforce Nato obligations,


particularly the famous article five to help someone else who is another


member who is invaded, it's unlikely that a Trump administration is going


to jump to add Ukraine under the nuclear and Nato umbrella?


We're not speaking about formal membership. Is what is the point of


the referendum? As I mentioned, we're not speaking about an


immediate referendum, so not this year or next year, maybe sometime in


the future and again, the idea is more to show support for Nato


membership in the future. This referendum, it will be organised by


the government? It will be an official referendum, not just a big


opinion poll? You can't do that in the east, can you? You could not


have voting in East Ukraine. Of course we can organise voting in the


east of Ukraine and according, like, we can organise because we have a


special law on Ukrainian referendums. I don't see any major


problem. Wouldn't they just blow up the ballot boxes? It is kind of laws


in the east at the moment. Again, it's too premature to speak about


such details. This is a general idea, to have at some point


referendum. So we don't have a timing? Absolutely no timing at all.


What do you make of this? It underlines the anxiety out


thereabout the balance of power in the world and the influence of Trump


and the vulnerabilities of those countries that are in Russiawe all


wait to see how Donald Trump will play this. Indeed, we will. Whatever


the referendum result, you could be guaranteed, I'm sorry to say at the


moment, Nato will not touch Ukraine's desires with the


proverbial stick simply because if they accept Ukraine, you immediately


have a hot war with Russia under article five and Nato will have to


go to war and repel Russia from eastern Ukraine. There is a view and


you will be familiar with it, Ambassador, that has grown in recent


years in Western Europe and even the US that in the aftermath of the


collapse of the Soviet Union, Nato and the European Union word too keen


to push their influence eastwards, too keen to involve the Eastern


European states and the Ukraine and Georgia and so on, and that provoked


the Russians to begin to take stronger action because they regard


this as their near abroad and here was the West, pushing into what they


regarded as their sphere of influence. That is why any


possibility of Nato membership for the foreseeable future, I would


suggest, is unlikely. Yes, but I have just the opposite view. I think


that Ukraine, just on the... It was miscalculated and badly valued by


the EU and Nato, so the idea not to charge the east of Ukraine,


daughter, like the Bucharest summit showed that the West was trying to


do everything also, like not to irritate Russia, not to do some


resolute steps in order to provoke them and now without this


provocation, without any clear commitments to Ukraine, for formal


membership in the EU or Nato, still again we have a war in Ukraine,


provoked by the Russian Federation. And it's getting worse. It is, as


you mentioned, in your introduction, we have a city on the edge of


humanitarian crisis, Avdiivka. -18 people don't have electricity, or


heating. And 2000 children who have already been evacuated. Ambassador,


thank you for coming in today. An issue that's slightly closer


to home for some of us is the long-running dispute


between Southern Railway The issue at hand was Southern's


plans to transfer the power to open and close train doors from the train


guards to the drivers. Yesterday came a breakthrough -


the drivers's union Aslef agreed Yesterday came a breakthrough -


the drivers' union Aslef agreed But the RMT, which represents


the train guards, has yet to make up And today, Southern's


parent company, GTR, has offered to hold more talks


with the RMT in an effort to end the longest-running rail dispute


since privatisation. Here is the boss of Aslef speaking


yesterday. It is about safety and it is about


when people write changes, because we have to remember,


at the heart of this is the government and the DFT,


who wrote changes into the invitation to tender


that the company were then forced to put in place that put us at odds


with the industry. We would hope this sends a message


to everybody, every stakeholder, about what we are willing to do,


how we are willing to engage. We want to engage productively


and proactively but if people treat Let's speak now to our transport


correspondent Richard Westcott I mentioned in an earlier interview,


I had been a Northern Ireland correspondent but after that, I


became an industrial correspondent! I can't remember in my day... There


were strikes every day, it was the 1970s but I can never remember a


dispute where you do a deal and you tell the media there is a deal but


you haven't actually done a deal with the union to which the people


at the centre of the dispute are members. Can you explain it? It is


slightly bizarre but they have always dealt with Aslef and the RMT


separately and as I understand it, Aslef are not particularly opposed


to that idea either. Effectively, they had some talks a few months ago


and the RMT leader turned up and then kind of got turned away at the


door so there was a bit of showboating there as well. Those


were ACAS talks earlier. The company has always said it wants to deal


with the union separately even though they are talking about the


same issue. Critically, of course, they want to get the deal with the


drivers done because it is more important, really, than getting the


RMT conductors deal done because when the drivers go on strike,


everything stops. That is when you get the TV pictures of every single


Southern train stuck in the sidings or at Brighton, not moving, but when


the conductors go on strike, especially with recent changes that


have come in since January, around 30% of services. So it is much less


devastating to actual services. They wanted to get the drivers out of the


way. I suspect they thought they were easier to deal with, because


Aslef is easier to deal with than the RMT. And it takes away some of


the sting from the RMT action. They are being left a bit sidelined and


frozen out by the deal. If the deal is done with Aslef, but not with the


drivers, and not with the current guards who are responsible for the


doors, if they go on strike again because they haven't done deal, will


the drivers still drive the trains? It is a bit of a wait and see, who


will cross the picket line but the suggestion if they will, almost of


the Wilson you are not going to get those devastating strikes like we


got last time. -- or most of them will so you are not. We had an Aslef


strike last month and around 70% of services ran. The changes have


already happened. The guards are not guards any more, they are now called


on board supervises and they are doing the job that Southern wanted,


they have signed new contracts to say they are on-board supervisors


now so they don't have that kind of safety critical role where a train


cannot move unless there are two of them on the train. It has all kind


of happened already and they have signed the contracts but the RMT are


still in dispute because they were not part of the deal. And they are


looking to spread it around the country as well, this is not going


to just be an issue on Southern. Yes, I know it has implications for


other parts of the country. Finally, is there now bad blood between Aslef


and the RMT? It's a good question and they would tell me outright, but


the impression I get purely from talking to people is that perhaps


Aslef don't find it as easy to negotiate with the RMT in the room.


That is just my impression, no one has said it to me but I don't get


the impression that the two leaders particularly get on well all will


work together as a team on this. The two unions signed an accord in


November 2015, I think, together, saying they were opposed to driver


only trains. They were working together for that may have been


openly and outwardly supportive of each other in the media over the


issue. I don't get the impression they particularly enjoy negotiating


in the same room together, just my impression, though. Interesting, we


will keep an on that. Thank you for that.


If the drivers are prepared to drive the trains and they have done the


deal for that, we could be in the very unusual position in which the


RMT is actually going to lose an industrial dispute. I don't remember


that happening in modern times. It looks like a classic management


tactic of splitting the unions, doesn't it? It sounds as though the


RMT's Leverett will be considerably reduced because their strikes cannot


bring the network to a halt. We don't know precisely the details of


the deal that has been done. I was struck by the look of its operation


on the face of Francis O'Grady, the Secretary General of the TUC, and


she stood outside yesterday, having had to bang their heads together of


the various participants in the dispute. But it looks as though the


RMT's bargaining power has been significantly reduced. Quite a turn


of events if it is the case. Add your final question of if they're


bad blood between Aslef and the RMT, I'm not an industrial relations


expert but I think there probably is now. What do you think? If there


wasn't before, I'm pretty sure there is now. We will see what happens and


if the dispute is coming to an end or if it still has some mileage in


it because it will set the template for a lot of other deals up and down


the country involving drivers and -- driverless trains. No, that is the


next one. Driverless trains is about 20 years' time! I got ahead of


myself in the technology. It is coming. I didn't say it wasn't.


There's trouble brewing down the pub as the Dutch brewer Heineken


makes a bid to take over 1900 pubs owned by the UK pub


But some of Punch Taverns' current tenants aren't happy


They say Heineken may force them to sell products that don't


suit their customers, and they're worried it


Malachy Keane runs The Star pub in Harrow, and is one of the tenants


# There's a tear in my beer Cos I'm crying for you, dear...#.


The pub industry is looking at a big change.


The Dutch brewer Heineken is trying to buy Punch Taverns, and a


lot of people are worried about what this means


I lease my pub from Punch Taverns and I'm worried about this deal.


Heineken already own over 1000 pubs in the UK and if this deal goes


They would be the third-largest pub company in the UK.


And they like their pubs to sell their drinks.


In the pubs they already own, up to 85% of what is on


The most successful pubs usually have the freedom


We have seen customers drink more craft beer and cask ale.


How can we compete when we are not allowed to serve


The bottom line is, I could be forced to sell Heineken brands no


matter what my customers want to drink.


It will limit choice for our regulars and I'm worried


We need the government's pub regulator to stop Heineken forcing


# I'm going to keep drinking until I can't move at all...#.


In less than three weeks, Punch Taverns' shareholders


will decide whether or not to take Heineken's offer.


I've seen many landlords walk away in the 15 years that


If tenants like me are forced to sell products that their customers


don't want, this could be the final straw for many of us.


This isn't just about what's on tap.


It's about a deal that could be another nail in the coffin


And Malachy Keane joins us in the studio.


We asked Heineken if they would like to participate


Maybe even bring a few free samples...


But they weren't able to be with us today because of restrictions placed


They did, however, send us a statement acknowledging that some


They added: "As soon as those restrictions are lifted


after completion of the deal, our priority will be to engage


with licensees and build strong relationships".


So, they also said that they want to have the right drinks on offer to


suit the specific needs of each pub. Doesn't that give you some comfort?


Not really. I think there's a lot of licensees like myself, the biggest


thing is we need clarification from the pub code adjudicator, Paul


Newby. This is an issue, fairly binary. A regulatory issue? Yes, and


the new pub code adjudicator has failed to adjudicate, to do his job.


There are other binary issues as well, which we have asked him, and I


myself have a review moving forward on another issue, just to clarify


the issues and he failed to do it. Have Heineken given people like you


any indication of what their modus operandi would be, what their


attitude would be towards the mix of their own products and third-party


products and the freedoms you would have? I think we have to look at the


bars and pubs model as it stands today. 85% stocking requirements of


their own brands. If you were to put that into the Punch model as it


stands, it would mean a lot of other brands, especially craft ale, craft


lagers and cask ale, which would be taken away. It is a customer choice


issue. Just at the moment, you are under the ownership, you have a


lease from Punch Taverns. What products do they have that they


force you to sell? Because they are not a brewer, they are a pub


company, the amount of products you can get from them is very wide. So


it changes when you end up being owned... By a brewery. Wheeze to


call it vertical integration at university, where you have a


supplier who now is the retail outlet. -- we used to call it. In


regulatory law, traditionally, the monopolies commission 's and such


have been hostile to that kind of arrangement. Yes. I presume your


worry is that this deal might be done and it's only afterwards that


you find out what the real terms are because you are getting no


indication at the moment? Yes, it is a binary issue. If Paul Newby has


not stepped up to the mark, we have seen this week Greene King have


approached... Leave the pub regulator, that regulates this? This


is not a new issue. The whole issue of the tied house and the freedom


that the tied house has the products it sells is a long-running issue in


your industry. If we look at it in context of the


new pub code. The market only rent code which came in last July, we


look at it in that context, so we have do effectively within the


framework of law we have now, it should be adjudicated over. I can


understand the apprehension that this could happen and it's only


afterwards that you find out what is really going to go on, but you would


assume that Heineken are rational and they are in for revenue and


profit maximisation and that they would listen to the people that have


the leasing on their advice as to what would produce that are not just


say, you can't sell that, you have do sell this. They RA brewer and


they want to sell the brands they produce. If they want maximisation,


they will be the products they want to sell. But if people don't like


this, and they leave the pub, they won't sell anything. I think the pub


itself will change. The type of operation we run would be changed


incredibly. It's a fascinating issue. What is your view? I was


struck by hearing this tragic state of affairs. This appears to me right


for some Theresa May interventionism. Standing up to the


little guy against the market which appears to be ever more rail


against. To Reza, come on in. I think that is right, people want


their local pub to be distinctive and it is part of the character of


an area and people feel strongly attached. They also feel a lot of


them have become less distinctive. Yes, big corporate brands, it is all


we see. If we look at the individual nature of successful pubs they have


more choice. The individual operator will put his own stamp on it, but if


we make them corporate bodies, exactly the same on every street


corner then pubs will take another hit. You are about to get whacked by


business rates. That business rates review coming up in April. Another


job for blue-collar Theresa May. Is it 3000 pubs in the chain? Yes, if


it goes ahead. And the timing? The integration looks like, and it does


take a while, Punch Taverns will oversee the integration so maybe a


year or a year and a half. And it will be interesting to see if there


is intervention on the monopolies side to see of Heineken will still


go for it. It would just go to show that what they are after is shelf


space and bar space. They wanted the tied house. We shall keep an eye on


that. Thank you for your opinion today.


Now as you know, here on the Daily Politics


we like to think we help you tell the signal from the noise.


But with the government, think tanks and charities


all claiming to have the definitive facts and figures on a particular


issue, it can be difficult to know who to trust.


Take the cost of a big infrastructure project, for example.


On Tuesday's programme, the Conservative MP


Antoinette Sandbach cited a figure on how much HS2 -


train line from London to the north of England -


But Labour peer Andrew Adonis took issue with the number


It's not fair to say that the costs have


What has happened is that big adjustments


So what is the cost, now, do you think,


Well, the Institute of Economic Affairs...


And the Department for Transport themselves estimate it at 55


The IEA is not an unbiased observer, I


And we're joined now by Mark Littlewood, director


of the very same Institute of Economic Affairs.


It is a free market think tank, so we know it is not unbiased. I do


come from a particular angle. Let's not spend too much time on that. Let


me ask you the, what is your estimate or the estimate from the


Institute of the cost of HS2? She was wrong what she said. We had not


gone as high at 100 billion. The best guess is around 80 billion or


slightly higher. It is a forecast and it is based on the typical


overrun of similar infrastructure projects in the past. You assume an


element of overrun? Yes, historically that is what has


happened and it is a prediction. Does that 80 billion, it gets us to


Birmingham, but does it get us to Manchester and also to Leeds? It


should do. What we have seen is a whole range of additional things to


get towns to be ready for HS2. We think there are a lot of off-balance


sheet liabilities on HS2 that the government don't attach to the


figures. The government number has already gone up to 55 billion and


they have accepted the cost was higher than initially. This is part


and parcel for major government infrastructure projects. It's


extremely rare to see one, in time and on budget. HS2 is almost totally


publicly funded as a project. Does that mean that given that you come


from a free-market perspective that you are almost automatically biased


against such projects. I wouldn't say biased, but sceptical. We have


never argued that the state should spend no money, but we would say


prima face, the starting point would be, if the private sector is not


willing to invest in HS2 that has to raise questions. We know the private


sector is willing to invest in airport expansion. You can take all


sorts of views about whether that's necessary and the environmental


impact, but that private money is there. But there still needs to be


state money for infrastructure. In Heathrow there is. That would be a


good test of viability. Is there anywhere where the private sector


has built high-speed trains? Not to my knowledge. Our high-speed trains


a good thing question one of the criticism is that once it comes


online is that it looks like futuristic now, and we could be


driving around in driverless cars, so I don't start from the


presumption that high-speed rail is of itself a good thing. There is


always a mixture in infrastructure spending and in recent years it's


gone more your way and there is more private money that has become


involved in infrastructure spending. But even in the purest of states


that the IEA would approve of, like Singapore, there is big government


infrastructure spending there. Surely the job of government is to


provide an infrastructure that allows the market to operate more


efficiently? One of the things you can look in there at, if you have


the government invested in road schemes, even if it is state and


taxpayer money being spent, how can you market Isaac with things like


tollbooths? We have a lovely congestion charge, so the idea is


that those who use for it pay for it. It's not a pure free-market


system but it introduces the price mechanism. One of the dangers of HS2


and other ground projects is there is another temptation for


politicians to invest in legacy schemes. If you're going to spend


money, maybe spend it on 200 schemes that won't be as headline grabbing


and won't last the generations but will probably do more to actually


ease up congestion and Sellotape the economy. Prime ministers do love the


grand projects. They do, and there is a reason there is research by IEA


and other places that site smaller projects Cutting commuter time in


the North might help the economy more. But on the broader subject of


public money, the reasonable need to be tax payers money if it's


worthwhile doing is that the benefits of doing it might be felt


more broadly than you would get. If it improves the economy on whether


it is Manchester, Birmingham or whatever, that is more broadly felt


from the people who travel on it or build it. Rather than 80 billion on


HS2, I would settle for 8 million on better Wi-Fi on the existing trains.


I can be highly productive on the phone on those. What people have


concentrated far too much on with HS2 is speed and not capacity. We


are in desperate need of another train line and more capacity. They


concentrated on speed because that was the original argument of the


Department for Transport. That was a mistake. They miss sold HS2 from the


get go. They are going to change the name. -- they are not going to.


Where would you spend public money? There is a role for the welfare


state and the safety net. I don't want to live in a society weather


summary through accident or even poor slips to the bottom. -- where


somebody. You mention Singapore, different culture and country and


has a different history, but the state should properly account for


25% of national income, not 45% which is the rate. That would be a


huge change. America doesn't come close to that. Singapore and Hong


Kong would be the standout examples. I'm a patient man, I will wait a


generation, but you are right, it would be a good change. You might


have a long wait on HS2. The news this week has been


dominated by just two stories - Like the week before, the week


before that and next week and the week after.


So much so that journalists like Tom and Heather here can't


wait for the weekend - when they can just zone out.


But before we let them clock off, here's Mark Lobel's look


On Monday, the fallout from Donald Trump's


temporary travel ban led to


With a petition calling for Donald Trump's state


visit to be cancelled, Jeremy Corbyn quizzed


Theresa May on the issue of


at Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday, but got this reply.


He can lead a protest, I'm leading a country.


Later that day, MPs overwhelmingly backed the first stage of the EU


divorce bill that will allow Theresa May to get Brexit


The government published its long-awaited Brexit White Paper on


Plans for exiting the European Union.


And back across the pond, Donald Trump mocks Arnold


Schwarzenegger's ratings as his successor


on The Apprentice, but the


He wants to be Donald Duck? No, that's a different Donnal. You were


the man who got to answer the second question at the White House. What


was it like? Scary. You had a funny feeling that 200 million Americans


might be watching at the same time and it was very nerve wracking but I


was amazed by how brittle the ego of the man is. All I asked was, you are


a bit different, Theresa May is a hard-working vicar's daughter and he


is a brash TV star, and he didn't like that. Did the American press


corps take it that that is how you ask questions? There was a sharp


intake of breath and quite a lot of people standing up. People standing


up as Theresa May came into the room which the British press certainly


don't do. They stand because he is head of State.


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


The question is, according to newspaper reports,


Jack Straw try to take off air in the 1990s?


Was it a) The Word, b) Brass Eye, c) The Midnight Hour with yours truly


Larry King live, he wanted. I think it is probably Eurotrash. Apparently


his kid was watching it and he did not like it. That is the M4 today.


-- the end for today. The one o'clock news


is starting over on BBC1 now. I'll be back on Sunday


with the Sunday Politics. I'm introducing a 20-minute


time limit to antenatal calls.


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