07/03/2017 Daily Politics


07/03/2017

Jo Coburn is joined by Lib Dem leader Tim Farron to discuss the amendments to the Brexit Bill in the House of Lords and whether the repairs to Big Ben will change its tone.


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Transcript


LineFromTo

Hello and welcome to the Daily Politics.

:00:37.:00:39.

Peers have started their last day of debate on the Brexit Bill.

:00:40.:00:42.

Will they inflict another defeat on the Government, giving Parliament

:00:43.:00:45.

a veto over the UK's final deal with the EU?

:00:46.:00:54.

He's known by some as Box Office Phil.

:00:55.:00:56.

So, can we expect a blockbuster, or a flop, from Chancellor Phillip

:00:57.:00:59.

In Stormont, the parties are meeting to try to resolve their differences

:01:00.:01:03.

and restore power-sharing in Northern Ireland.

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We'll talk about the stumbling blocks with the DUP.

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And why does the world's most famous bell have such an a-pealing sound?

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We'll talk to the experts who've been trying to find out.

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All that in the next hour, and I'm joined for all of it

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by Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron.

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His predecessor used to share power with the Conservatives,

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but today he's just sharing the studio with me - sorry Tim.

:01:34.:01:40.

That is probably better. I am sure it is.

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William Hague has used his Telegraph column this morning to urge

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Theresa May to call a snap election to try to boost the slender

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Conservative majority in the Commons.

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And a bigger majority would certainly be handy for the PM

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because today the House of Lords could inflict a second defeat

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on the Government over the Article 50 Bill that will trigger Brexit.

:02:09.:02:11.

The amendment, which is designed to force Mrs May back

:02:12.:02:14.

to the negotiating table if Parliament doesn't

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like her eventual deal with the EU, would then have to be accepted

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or rejected in the Commons next week.

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Well, peers have begun debating in the last hour

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And they started by discussing a liberal Democrat proposal. We are

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discussing this for the second time, rather better crafted thanks to the

:02:30.:02:35.

intervention of the noble lord. The Liberal Democrats do not like the

:02:36.:02:38.

result of the referendum that took place last June. I don't dismiss the

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patronising advice he gave to the Liberal Democrats, or to those

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supporting this amendment. But, I do believe that the public needs to see

:02:52.:02:56.

what is on offer. We have heard ger in the course of the bill, whatever

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they voted for on 23rd of June last year, it was not to get poorer. I

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cannot see that the Government in the end will be presented with a

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deal which does not mean they will get poorer.

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So that was the Lords a short while ago, and later today they'll

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be voting on whether to give Parliament a veto on the

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If the amendment is passed then it will be up to MPs to decide

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whether to accept or reject it next week.

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We're joined now by a Conservative MP who rebelled

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on this issue when the Bill was first before the Commons -

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Welcome to the Daily Politics. The Brexit bill will come back to the

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Commons in a week. Will you support it then? We will need to see come

:03:43.:03:48.

back -- what comes back and what the response from the Government will

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be. There are to macro issues for me. The rights of the citizens and

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whether we get a final deal. If many of us do not hear satisfactory

:03:58.:04:00.

reassurances from the Government, I probably would be minded to back

:04:01.:04:05.

them. Why think more of your colleagues will join you this time

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around? On Euro citizens, definitely. It depends on how it is

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packages and what assurances we get. I do not believe any of the most

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die-hard remainers believes it is appropriate to thwart the referendum

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result. Tampon -- Brexit will happen. Many of us are sympathetic

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to that argument. Many of you believe there will be a meaningful

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vote. What is your problem? The vote that came through the Has a few

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weeks ago, we were promised it would be meaningful. As the debate

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unfolded it appeared it would be almost a token gesture of a debate

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and a final deal would already have been put to the EU. We need to see

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it before it gets there and that will be the sticking point. Do you

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think you were misled by the Government? I do not know about

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being think it is a moving feast. It is about how strongly some of the

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parliamentarians feel in our role. At the 11th hour, a few of us did

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vote against it. I am hopeful they will understand that Parliament

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should have a greater say. You say you represent a Remain constituency.

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My constituency and I represent South Cambridgeshire, which is home

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to some of the greatest scientific and academic brains and business

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minds in the country. They have enjoyed their success because of

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collaboration with the EU. They are worried about this, as am I. It is

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important that we have confidence that the deal we have will not

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damage those economies because we contribute to the UK economy. It is

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not just about South Cambridgeshire, it is the role we play for the wider

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UK economy. Is that indication that you have had that the Government

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will give ground? Personally, to me, not at this stage. I have not heard

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anything. Let's talk about another Parliamentary Bill, the children and

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social work bill. You have an amendment down on that as well for

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that this is following the decision made by government to close what has

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been known as the Lord dubs child refugee scheme. What are you wanting

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the Government to do? I want the Government to recognise their offers

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of capacity. Some areas have significant fostering challenges.

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Some areas like Kent and Croydon have taken the body and that have

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come across from the continent. There are still local authorities

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with their hands up saying they can take more. I want the Government to

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promised to consult on a regular basis to those authorities would it

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is a moving feast. This picture will change when offers of help, we

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should do our best to match those with vulnerable children,

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particularly and Europe, where they are struggling to cope. I think we

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should offer those places. They said they were full and did not have the

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capacity. Do you think the Government was misled? I think it

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was poor admin. I do not think the consultation was done thoroughly

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enough. When the Government consulted on the 20,000 refugees

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from the Syrian region they use the communication lines of the LGA. They

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did not do it this time. It was rushed. Some opportunities have been

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missed. There will be some cross-party support. What about

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Conservative MPs? Do you think up to 30 Conservative MPs would back you

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on that amendment? There are ten who have physically put our names on the

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amendment. When you add in those who voted Dubs and joined in a letter

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for the Prime Minister recently or joined the backbench motion my name

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was on a few weeks ago, we have remained strong about this. Local

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authorities have said they could do more. Why should we, as a nation,

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say no to them? About schools, there has been an announcement at ?320

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million will be made available for new schools. We know the Prime

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Minister is in favour of new grammar schools you have called this policy

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is toxic. Do you still hold to that? If it is that on its own, I do not

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think it works. Free schools have been known to work. We also need to

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look at technical education. All the great pupils and teachers have been

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pulled into the best schools and risk leaving anyone else behind

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four. We need a balanced policy. Personally, Cambridge has been one

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of the lowest funded authorities in the country for years. I think we

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are at the bottom five now. It should be for the benefit of all

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pupils rather than in selected areas? Without being cheeky, what do

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you agree with your government on? I plate with the Government about 98%

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of the time. It is just that all of these issues have come together at

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once. Six of your Tory colleagues voted with you to defy the whip. The

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thing that could go up to 20, as has been reported? I think it is

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possible. I will be honest with you, I have been focusing on the Dubs

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Amendment. I think that debate will pick up towards the end of the week

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but I think it is possible. I'm joined now by the former

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Secretary of State for work What do you say to Heidi Allen and

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their six colleagues who have defied the whip again? -- her six

:10:04.:10:08.

colleagues? The Government has made already a very big concession over

:10:09.:10:13.

this. They explained at the time of the last debates they were prepared,

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quite happily, to have this debate before. They had finalised it. On

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the meaningful vote? It is whether you agree with it or do not agree

:10:24.:10:28.

with it. I think this is the point about the mess with the particular

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are going through now, it is the open-ended nature on whether or not

:10:33.:10:36.

Parliament can go back and continue to find an agreement. Nothing will

:10:37.:10:40.

give the European negotiators greater hope than actually they

:10:41.:10:44.

would end up with a total chaotic end to this. It is not a meaningful

:10:45.:10:49.

vote? If you do not agree with that, there is no point in the Government

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trying to sign a particular agreement. That is the point. The

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point is, for the most part, those that at this and the giveaway is the

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debate going on right now, they do not see this as an end. In other

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words: they would rather see a referendum of something else that

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says we don't want to leave the European Union, let's have that

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vote. He is talking about you, Tim Farron. What about the idea of

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talking about the substantive, meaningful vote? It will allow

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European leaders to say they know Parliament will reject a deal if it

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is bad enough. We'll Theresa May a very bad deal. The vote at the end

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of the process is important. If the vote is going it is a bad deal or a

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no deal. It is playing Russian roulette with five chambers filled.

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It is a nonsense. What is your talented? It is about the meaningful

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vote in the end. Whilst I support their being a meaningful vote, and I

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support that, if it is passed, then we as Liberal Democrats will support

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that. The problem is, at the end of all of this there will be a deal of

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one kind or another and none of us know what it looks like. In the end,

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it will either be decided by politicians or decided by the

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people. We think there is no arguing for it to be decided and stitched up

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by the producers when it could be put to the people. What do you say

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to that? To be fair to Tim, he wants a referendum. He has been open about

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that. We can debate that. There has been an honest debate in the House

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of Lords about the second referendum. I do not agree with it.

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I do not think the majority will agree with it. The problem with this

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amendment which is likely to be passed, the messy, what does

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meaningful mean? It is hiding behind the reality. Ideally do not agree

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with it and you want to test public opinion again, I do not agree with

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air and I think they have voted. It is a kind of referendum by the back

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door. Is that motivation by your Tory colleagues? I was particular

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struck over the previous referendum last week and one of my conservative

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colleagues tried to like in the position of the EU nationals to

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Ugandan refugees. I thought was a bit insulting to Ugandan refugees

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who are suffering tyranny and about to be executed and murdered, many of

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them, that they would somehow, EU nationals, difficult as the subject

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may be, actually associated with that, I thought it was ridiculous

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and an amendment was nonsense. It is not an analogy I would have drawn. I

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think it is a real issue for our standing across Europe that we have

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not allowed those EU citizens who have raised their families, pay

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taxes, worked in our NHS, the right to remain. We are not saying, do not

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do so now. It is inhumane to have people who are our neighbours,

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friends and fellow citizens in many ways, to keep them hanging on like

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this. They are a bargaining chip. Otherwise people would say they

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should be deported. I was in favour of giving EU nationals are right to

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remain and setting a date for it. The difference and what has changed

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is we are within weeks of triggering Article 50. Theresa May went over to

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Europe that to months ago and said, why don't we kill this stone dead?

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If you agree that for UK nationals and EU nationals can set a date and

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that is that. Within weeks of Article 50, this amendment passed

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last week only talks about a report coming back. The key thing is, get

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Article 50 triggered. Theresa May has made it very clear that her

:14:35.:14:38.

first priority is to settle citizens in the UK and citizens in the EU in

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their respective locations with guaranteed rights. I think that can

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be done in five minutes. Are you just being sore losers? It is

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inhuman to treat European citizens in this way. That is something that

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is in the hands of the European Union member states. They will make

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those decisions. What we can effect is what we should be focusing on. If

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you know my patch, it is not a terribly diverse part of the world.

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I can tell you the Catholic primary School in Windermere, the heart of

:15:11.:15:13.

the Lake District, the majority of young children, primary school age,

:15:14.:15:17.

are from European and non-UK backgrounds. We have seen several

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families leave already. It affects children as well as their parents

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and our FAQs that as well. It is not just inhuman we are doing this to

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other human beings that it is counter-productive to an economy

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like ours in the Lake District. Are you being human? Families could be

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left hanging. It could take a few years.

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It's not the Government's intention in any shape or form to start

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kicking people out, that's not going to happen. She has said, which is

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logical and I have had plenty of British citizens living abroad

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saying please don't abandon us, because the reality is, as we leave

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we have to protect their rights and I don't think that this close to

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Article 50 being triggered that we gain anything by a tokenistic

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gesture that says we somehow place EU citizens above UK citizens when

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it comes to negotiations. This can be settled immediately, if the

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European Union really behaved rather better they would have been able to

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settle this by now, it's a stroke of a pen, yes, here ale the date,

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everybody can stay where they are. It's equally symbolic we choose not

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to give EU citizens... We don't choose to do that. We choose to

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look... Let Tim talk. You say it's tokenistic, you can say the same in

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reverse. What you do symbolises who you are and what country you are.

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It's dangerous if we are sending out a message to the countries in which

:16:44.:16:47.

British people make their home, those UK citizens, that somehow the

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reverse, those people from the EU in the UK, can be treated in this

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appalling way. What does it say about our British citizens, we don't

:16:56.:16:58.

really care much about you? You have a second rate value compared to EU

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citizens? The point I am making is the UK citizens in the European

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Union are more likely to be poorly treated because of the way we are

:17:06.:17:09.

treating EU citizens in the UK. On this issue, on EU nationals and the

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meaningful vote, do you see a standoff with the two Houses? No,

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Labour has made it abundantly clear that should these be reversed,

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they've been said they will whip the other way, in other words, their

:17:24.:17:26.

view is we had a go, we didn't succeed, it will go through. I don't

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think the Liberals will but they don't make up the majority. You

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don't stand a chance of getting anywhere with this When he was

:17:36.:17:38.

leader of the opposition the Conservatives tended to try and be

:17:39.:17:40.

an opponent to the Labour Government. I think the real problem

:17:41.:17:45.

you have, whether you voted for or against Brexit, you have a Labour

:17:46.:17:48.

Party and a Conservative Party holding hands together off the hard

:17:49.:17:52.

Brexit cliff-edge, there needs to be a decent moderate alternative to the

:17:53.:17:55.

Tories t will have to be us. Is it right to use the unelected Lords

:17:56.:17:59.

where you have many Lib Dem pierce to frustrate this You use the system

:18:00.:18:04.

in front of you. We support a democratically elected House of

:18:05.:18:07.

Lords and we are the only party who voted to do that in the last party,

:18:08.:18:10.

we were frustrated by the Labour and Conservatives. You use the system

:18:11.:18:12.

that you have got. It might be easier if you had a bigger majority

:18:13.:18:15.

and the way to get a bigger majority, potentially, is if there

:18:16.:18:19.

were an election as was suggested by William Hague, what do you think of

:18:20.:18:23.

his proposal? I don't agree with William on this, I think that I

:18:24.:18:27.

agree with Theresa May, I think that the British public would have a dim

:18:28.:18:31.

view of us if, because there seems to be a short-term advantage, we

:18:32.:18:35.

simply said, I tell you what, let's make the most of this that before we

:18:36.:18:39.

would start. You see it as a short-term advantage? I think the

:18:40.:18:43.

point is we were elected to govern. We have had this referendum. The

:18:44.:18:46.

British people have a right to expect that we govern to get that

:18:47.:18:50.

sorted, to break that in the middle and say let's have a hiatus for

:18:51.:18:55.

weeks while we go to the polls, leave all of that hanging, I think

:18:56.:19:00.

would be wrong. My sense is the temptation is there, but I think

:19:01.:19:04.

this shows real leadership when you resist a temptation for short-term

:19:05.:19:07.

advantage and say the interests of the country are that we govern

:19:08.:19:11.

stably over the next years to get this sorted and then we go to the

:19:12.:19:15.

polls to say we have done it, what's your view? You say it's a temptation

:19:16.:19:19.

and the polls are good for the Conservatives at the moment, the

:19:20.:19:25.

timing could be good. If things get tough other the great repeal bill

:19:26.:19:29.

will you be thinking we should have called the election? There are

:19:30.:19:35.

different things, if you hit a brick wall during the course of the great

:19:36.:19:39.

reform act, the repeal bill, which is to repeal the 1972 European

:19:40.:19:45.

communities act, and the Lords was intranche yent over that, that's a

:19:46.:19:48.

different set of examples, then if you get to the point you are trueing

:19:49.:19:51.

to get something through legitimately that's when you have

:19:52.:19:55.

the right to say we can't continue to govern, it's time for a mandate.

:19:56.:19:59.

Until that arrives our job is to govern, I think. A bigger majority

:20:00.:20:03.

if the official opposition supports you in everything. Let's leave it

:20:04.:20:04.

there. The question for today

:20:05.:20:07.

is about a plan by shadow chancellor John McDonnell to foster

:20:08.:20:12.

Labour Party unity. According to his team he's planning

:20:13.:20:13.

to launch an 'offensive' to win over colleagues -

:20:14.:20:16.

but what type of offensive is it? Is it a) A charm offensive

:20:17.:20:19.

b) A tea offensive c) A military offensive

:20:20.:20:21.

or d) An offensive smell At the end of the show Tim will give

:20:22.:20:24.

us the correct answer. Now, tomorrow sees the first Budget

:20:25.:20:31.

since Theresa May entered Number 10, it will also be the first Budget

:20:32.:20:34.

for Chancellor Philip Hammond. His colleagues call him

:20:35.:20:42.

Box Office Phil, somewhat But tomorrow at least

:20:43.:20:44.

he'll get star billing. So, as the house lights go down

:20:45.:20:46.

and the opening music starts up, can we expect a mega-budget blockbuster?

:20:47.:20:50.

There will be new cash Controversially, these

:20:51.:20:53.

schools could be grammars, and there will also be more money

:20:54.:20:57.

to rebuild and refurbish Over a billion will be pledged

:20:58.:21:00.

to ease the pressure on social care and there will be an announcement

:21:01.:21:09.

of a review into its funding. Businesses could get more help

:21:10.:21:12.

with up to ?300 million extra to help them deal with revalued

:21:13.:21:15.

business rates and the Chancellor will also pledge half a billion

:21:16.:21:17.

to shake up vocational training, including the introduction

:21:18.:21:22.

of a new T-level qualification. There could also be a few

:21:23.:21:28.

scary scenes for some - the national insurance rate

:21:29.:21:31.

for self-employed workers is expected to rise from 9% to 12% -

:21:32.:21:36.

bringing it into line with the rate employees pay and we could also see

:21:37.:21:41.

an increase in alcohol duties. Both Labour and the Lib Dems seem

:21:42.:21:45.

to think there should have Labour are demanding between eight

:21:46.:21:51.

and 12 billion extra to help fund the NHS and social care

:21:52.:21:55.

and the Liberal Democrats have called for an extra four billion

:21:56.:21:58.

to fund health and social care. Speaking last night,

:21:59.:22:01.

the Prime Minister said the new schools money was aimed

:22:02.:22:06.

at increasing the opportunity Crucially, what we're announcing

:22:07.:22:08.

as half a billion pounds of investment in schools,

:22:09.:22:14.

320 million of which That will create around

:22:15.:22:16.

70,000 new school places. What this is about is ensuring that

:22:17.:22:22.

people can know that their child will have a good school place

:22:23.:22:25.

and all the opportunities that We're joined now by the Conservative

:22:26.:22:28.

MP Suella Fernandes. Welcome to the Daily Politics. ?320

:22:29.:22:43.

million for 140 new schools as a one-off payment. Is that right? I

:22:44.:22:48.

think this is great news. Is it a one-off payment? I think that this

:22:49.:22:51.

is an investment into new school places... It's not every year,

:22:52.:22:55.

that's what I am trying to establish, it's a one-off payment

:22:56.:22:59.

for 140 new schools? We heard the Prime Minister say it will create

:23:00.:23:01.

thousands more new school places which are needed as the population

:23:02.:23:07.

increases. What's important is that many of those will be free school

:23:08.:23:10.

places. We have seen how the free school project has been a success. I

:23:11.:23:14.

founded a free school myself. With a team of teachers, local volunteers,

:23:15.:23:18.

I still chair the board of governors. What's fantastic about

:23:19.:23:22.

this is it is locally led, community-driven. And really a

:23:23.:23:24.

response to the needs of an area. How many of them will be grammar

:23:25.:23:29.

selective schools? I hope that many groups will seek to open new grammar

:23:30.:23:34.

schools. You don't know? No, that's what it's about, it's about choice

:23:35.:23:38.

and freedom. This is not about some prescription which is coming from

:23:39.:23:41.

Whitehall and being imposed down on every town in Britain. Except it was

:23:42.:23:46.

Theresa May who wanted a new generation of grammar schools. She

:23:47.:23:53.

wanted a more metiocrattic society. So 140 schools with a pot of money

:23:54.:23:56.

that isn't going to be very much when you divide it up is hardly the

:23:57.:24:00.

grammar school revolution she talked about. I don't know about that. I

:24:01.:24:06.

think that the ban which was imposed in 1997 on grammar schools will

:24:07.:24:09.

hopefully be lifted, that's what is proposed. That will allow the choice

:24:10.:24:16.

to groups to see whether a grammar school is right for that area. And

:24:17.:24:19.

there is lots of other options which are attached to opening grammar

:24:20.:24:23.

schools. We want to see universities open and the independent sector open

:24:24.:24:26.

them. We want to have grammar schools have a feeder school from a

:24:27.:24:29.

primary school from an area of disadvantage. This is a really

:24:30.:24:32.

exciting opportunity for our children in the next generation.

:24:33.:24:36.

Right. At that point you may be looking at only ten, 20 grammar

:24:37.:24:39.

schools, so it's hardly anything for the Lib Dems to get too sup jet

:24:40.:24:44.

about? It seems to me -- upset about It seems a crazy educational

:24:45.:24:48.

experiment which takes away money when times are tight for Philip

:24:49.:24:50.

Hammond from what's really important. We know over the next

:24:51.:24:55.

three years, ?3 billion taken out of schools budgets in real terms, in my

:24:56.:25:04.

patch that's 625 fewer teachers in Cumbria and some Department for

:25:05.:25:08.

Education has a bright idea to spend something to add little value.

:25:09.:25:11.

That's the point, it's the finances and where they should go. The

:25:12.:25:16.

National Audit Office warned of 8% real terms funding gap for schools

:25:17.:25:20.

up to 2020. In cash terms, yes, the pot may be getting bigger, but there

:25:21.:25:25.

is an 8% real terms cut. How can that be the way to fund schools of

:25:26.:25:29.

the future? Well, actually what we have seen is a protective budget for

:25:30.:25:33.

schools sips the Conservatives were elected. That's very important

:25:34.:25:38.

because despite conditions of austerity and difficult economic

:25:39.:25:40.

conditions per pupil funding has remained the same. That's important

:25:41.:25:44.

to allow the creation of new school places, we will need new school

:25:45.:25:48.

places and that's what this announcement is about. If there is

:25:49.:25:52.

an 8% real terms funding cut to schools funding, even if as I said

:25:53.:25:56.

there was an increase in cash terms, you are not taking into account the

:25:57.:26:00.

increase in the number of pupils or at the moment rising inflation. I

:26:01.:26:04.

say again how can schools be asked to provide the same level of

:26:05.:26:07.

education with more pupils and less money in real terms? As I have said,

:26:08.:26:12.

the schools budget has been protected. What we are seeing is by

:26:13.:26:17.

allowing more freedom to schools to determine their spending choices as

:26:18.:26:22.

we have seen in the free school I chair we have more cost-effective

:26:23.:26:26.

decisions made on how you recruit, how you set your salaries. That's

:26:27.:26:30.

how schools can save on efficiencies and save money and actually be more

:26:31.:26:34.

cost-effective in the long run. How much more money would you like to

:26:35.:26:39.

see going into the budget? First of all, you have a ?60 billion budget

:26:40.:26:44.

Brexit war chest that Philip Hammond... That's difficult to say!

:26:45.:26:48.

Although we don't know exactly where that's coming from. But it would...

:26:49.:26:52.

A good question. The point is as an official part of this budget, to be

:26:53.:26:56.

fair to Philip Hammond, we often talk about black holes in budgets,

:26:57.:27:00.

it's not a black hole, it's going to put it in the budget, it's an amount

:27:01.:27:06.

of money, ?60 billion which is about the Brexit war chest, where does the

:27:07.:27:09.

money come from? The Government has chosen and... You borrow the money

:27:10.:27:15.

The Government has chosen to set aside ?60 billion to pay for the

:27:16.:27:18.

cost of a hard Brexit. Outside the single market. It set that up, it's

:27:19.:27:24.

been very honest. They're borrowing less, aren't they, borrowing less,

:27:25.:27:28.

about ?12 billion to start with that is used for this Brexit war chest.

:27:29.:27:32.

In terms of your funding for schools, you would be borrowing that

:27:33.:27:35.

extra money? No, the money we are talking about when it comes to

:27:36.:27:41.

Brexit, you can't have good quality schools or indeed a - it's obvious,

:27:42.:27:46.

even Philip Hammond is stating this, by having this ?60 billion Brexit

:27:47.:27:50.

war chest, that is there to pay for the cost, even this Government

:27:51.:27:54.

admits, will happen as a consequence of a hard Brexit. That is not the

:27:55.:27:57.

result of the referendum. That's a result of a Government choice to

:27:58.:28:01.

take us out of the single market. We are looking at what the Liberal

:28:02.:28:04.

Democrats would do in terms of... You wouldn't need the ?60 billion.

:28:05.:28:08.

You would be spending that money on schools and hospitals? Absolutely.

:28:09.:28:14.

The borrowing for that would go up? To be clearings, there is ?60

:28:15.:28:18.

billion put into the budget to pay for a hard Brexit that nobody voted

:28:19.:28:20.

for because it wasn't on the ballot paper. We would be in the single

:28:21.:28:25.

market. We would not need the ?60 billion shgsz you could spend that

:28:26.:28:28.

on health and education. Why is that ?60 billion coming for the war chest

:28:29.:28:32.

for Brexit? I think that we are laying the foundations for a strong

:28:33.:28:36.

economy. We are seeing Government spending, sorry, the deficit has

:28:37.:28:41.

been reduced by two thirds and tax receipts come up. Recently. But

:28:42.:28:45.

where is the ?60 billion coming from? We have seen the economy grow

:28:46.:28:50.

over all the quarters by 0. 6% in the last quarter. You don't know

:28:51.:28:54.

where it's coming from? A strong economy is providing the foundations

:28:55.:28:56.

for greater public spending like this. On the ?60 billion because

:28:57.:29:01.

it's a lot of money and if the Lib Dems are going to make claims that's

:29:02.:29:06.

how they would pay for spending commitments, where is that money

:29:07.:29:10.

coming from? There are lots of, as I say, we have been, the economy is in

:29:11.:29:13.

a strong position. That doesn't answer the question. Lots of people

:29:14.:29:17.

will say it's not completely in a strong position when you are looking

:29:18.:29:22.

to take out ?60 billion. Well, as I say, we have reduced the deficit, we

:29:23.:29:30.

have cut public spending borrowing, there are receipts increase, tax

:29:31.:29:34.

receipt increases from say the cutting corporation tax which

:29:35.:29:37.

brought through ?43 billion last year alone. There are lots of great

:29:38.:29:43.

examples of how the Government is balancing the books, providing the

:29:44.:29:46.

firm foundation for a strong economy so that vital investment can be made

:29:47.:29:49.

into our public services such as schools and social care and the NHS.

:29:50.:29:54.

You have talked about fair taxation, what does that mean? That's a good

:29:55.:29:58.

question, it's about making sure people pay what they can afford. So

:29:59.:30:03.

tax rises on whom We take the view if you are looking at tax rises you

:30:04.:30:07.

have to make sure they are loaded towards those people who have most

:30:08.:30:12.

wealth and most income. We are talking assets We don't want tax

:30:13.:30:16.

rises, one of the worries I have at the moment is that the... You have

:30:17.:30:19.

just said you do want to put rises on people who can afford it. If you

:30:20.:30:22.

are going to increase taxes that's what you would do. We have made it

:30:23.:30:25.

clear it looks like the area where there is a legitimate strong case

:30:26.:30:29.

for there to be a form of tax increase and indeed a new form of

:30:30.:30:33.

taxation, is one ringfenced for health and social care. Politicians

:30:34.:30:39.

will all agree that our NHS is of immense importance, social care is

:30:40.:30:43.

important and is in crisis, yet no one will come up with more than a

:30:44.:30:45.

sticking plaster solution to get through this. We took the view that

:30:46.:30:51.

William Beforage wrote that report in the 40s... What are your

:30:52.:30:53.

proposals today to fund that You would put that on tax rises? Not

:30:54.:31:12.

in this year. We take that from the 60 billion the Gutman does not

:31:13.:31:17.

need... Let's talk about who you are going to put the tax rises on? What

:31:18.:31:22.

level of wealth are you talking about? We have an expert panel that

:31:23.:31:30.

has been set up. It includes people like David Nicholson and leading

:31:31.:31:33.

experts in health and social care. They are attempting to if I can

:31:34.:31:39.

state it so grandly, do a beverage for the 21st century. Put together a

:31:40.:31:44.

plan and offer it to people as a new deal, a new contract. Among the

:31:45.:31:48.

things coming from those proposals, it would be likely to be a hype of

:31:49.:31:53.

the Kate, ring fenced tax. I do not want to make it up by fighting on

:31:54.:32:06.

the back of a fag packet. We need to ask -- if we need to ask people to

:32:07.:32:11.

pay a little more, we should be straightforward and honest enough to

:32:12.:32:17.

ask people to so do. It has lost a tenth of its budget since 2010 and

:32:18.:32:21.

5000 care beds have been lost in the past 18 months. There are more

:32:22.:32:24.

people growing older who will live an awful lot longer. Do you agree

:32:25.:32:31.

the system is on the verge of collapse? On the budget, we have

:32:32.:32:36.

ring fenced NHS spending when we got elected in 2015 foot up that means

:32:37.:32:46.

?4 billion investment this year and ?10 billion by 2020. That is only

:32:47.:32:47.

possible because we have been prudent with our fiscal arrangements

:32:48.:32:50.

in this country. That allows us to show what we have achieved. We have

:32:51.:32:56.

achieved 10,000 more doctors and 6000 more nurses. It does not say

:32:57.:33:00.

why social care has lost a tenth of its budget. There are pressures on

:33:01.:33:05.

social careful that there are 1 million more people over 65 than

:33:06.:33:09.

there were in 2010. Last year alone there were 23 million and admission

:33:10.:33:14.

is more to A This is an increase on 2010. There are precious and I'm

:33:15.:33:22.

sure the chance will take this into account when he gives his

:33:23.:33:23.

announcement tomorrow. Talks continue at Stormont this

:33:24.:33:27.

morning aimed at restoring the Northern Ireland Executive

:33:28.:33:29.

following last week's The parties have just three weeks

:33:30.:33:30.

to resolve their differences or the Northern Ireland Secretary

:33:31.:33:34.

could call fresh elections or seek The elections ended the unionist

:33:35.:33:37.

majority at Stormont, with Sinn Fein now one seat behind

:33:38.:33:39.

the largest party, the DUP. Crucial to the discussion will be

:33:40.:33:43.

the role of DUP leader, Arlene Foster, with Sinn Fein

:33:44.:33:46.

insisting they will not go back into government with

:33:47.:33:49.

Mrs Foster as First Minister. Let's take a look at

:33:50.:33:52.

what the leaders of the DUP We want to see the negotiations

:33:53.:33:55.

working for the people of Northern Ireland,

:33:56.:34:04.

that's our focus. That's the mandate

:34:05.:34:05.

that's been given to us. We actually increased our

:34:06.:34:07.

mandate in the election Our vote was up in every

:34:08.:34:09.

single constituency Therefore, we very clearly

:34:10.:34:14.

speak for unionism now. They want respect

:34:15.:34:19.

in the institutions. I think that we have a job of work

:34:20.:34:27.

to do in the time ahead. We're joined now by

:34:28.:34:36.

the DUP MP Sammy Wilson. Welcome to the Daily Politics.

:34:37.:34:46.

Arlene Foster is meeting her MLAs this morning. What has she been

:34:47.:34:51.

saying to them? First of all she will be commiserating with those who

:34:52.:34:56.

have lost their seats. Ten of them have lost their seats, haven't they?

:34:57.:35:00.

Six of those seats would have gone anyhow because this was an election

:35:01.:35:04.

to an assembly where there were a reduced number of MLAs. We have lost

:35:05.:35:09.

about six seats anyway. The other seats were lost because of the

:35:10.:35:12.

change in voting patterns. The second thing she will say is that we

:35:13.:35:17.

are still the largest unionist party and our boat did go up in this

:35:18.:35:22.

election. The third thing she will be saying, which is very important

:35:23.:35:26.

to make clear, just because Sinn Fein has seen an increase in the

:35:27.:35:29.

vote it does not mean they can dictate who chairs the talks. They

:35:30.:35:37.

not only won her rolled out, they want the Secretary of State ruled

:35:38.:35:41.

out. They cannot dictate who we put forward as our leader and First

:35:42.:35:44.

Minister. There is a report saying that the third of the DUP MLAs feel

:35:45.:35:50.

angry and let down by Arlene Foster, no doubt over the ill-fated heating

:35:51.:35:56.

scheme. Does that sound plausible to you? No, it does not. I am fairly

:35:57.:36:01.

close to party members. I rang a lot of them over the weekend to talk to

:36:02.:36:05.

them about the election results. That is not the response I am

:36:06.:36:09.

getting. The response I'm getting from them is, we are a party in our

:36:10.:36:15.

own right. We cannot and should not enter negotiations allowing another

:36:16.:36:18.

party to dictate who our leaders should be. If it is deadlocked... It

:36:19.:36:25.

should not happen in politics here and is unreasonable for it to happen

:36:26.:36:29.

in Northern Ireland. If you're going to keep getting the same situation

:36:30.:36:33.

election after election where you have the two biggest parties and the

:36:34.:36:37.

issue still Arlene Foster, does she not have to go? The issue of Arlene

:36:38.:36:42.

Foster is a problem for Sinn Fein and not for us. Except you might

:36:43.:36:46.

have to hand over to direct rule and not have power sharing. We entered

:36:47.:36:50.

into government with people who had been accused of murder, accused of

:36:51.:36:57.

acts of terrorism, who at midday to running terrorist organisations. We

:36:58.:37:00.

did not lay down preconditions as to who they should choose for the

:37:01.:37:04.

Deputy First Minister or ministerial team. They are not going to allow

:37:05.:37:08.

them to do that. I accept that. What about the feeling amongst your own

:37:09.:37:12.

site, your own team for that is power beginning to seep away from

:37:13.:37:17.

that? On the record, your fellow DUP member in the House of Commons has

:37:18.:37:25.

told the DUP he is not ruling out the possibility of Arlene Foster

:37:26.:37:30.

stepping down. That suggests that that could be an option. It is not

:37:31.:37:37.

an option for us. I would say that the party is behind Arlene Foster. I

:37:38.:37:45.

think Governor Robinson Bosma remarks have been misinterpreted and

:37:46.:37:52.

he has clarified that after the interpretation did become public. I

:37:53.:37:57.

also say to our opponents in Sinn Fein, yes, we want to see devolution

:37:58.:38:02.

restored and we will work towards that. We have not drawn any red

:38:03.:38:06.

lines to see devolution restored. If there is a price to be paid for

:38:07.:38:10.

devolution, and don't forget there are a lot of other red lines but

:38:11.:38:14.

down by Sinn Fein, including getting army personnel and police personnel

:38:15.:38:23.

dragged through this. Sinn Fein on a daily basis is almost bringing the

:38:24.:38:27.

red lines. The next one will be we want policemen and army men dragged

:38:28.:38:31.

through the courts. If that is the price to be paid for devolution, we

:38:32.:38:35.

will not pay and that perhaps means we will have a period of direct

:38:36.:38:40.

rule. We did ask someone from Sinn Fein to come onto the programme but

:38:41.:38:43.

they were not available. Can you really see a situation where DUP

:38:44.:38:48.

accepts the automation that Arlene Foster have to go as the price for

:38:49.:38:52.

power-sharing to be restored? That is not what they are prepared to

:38:53.:39:01.

stake publicly. -- state. They have tried to achieve this. It means give

:39:02.:39:09.

and take. There has been an election, an early election, and

:39:10.:39:13.

people can agree or disagree as to why that came about. The two largest

:39:14.:39:17.

parties remain the two largest parties. It is incumbent on them to

:39:18.:39:22.

work together. I should say that in our sister party, the Alliance

:39:23.:39:26.

party, led by Naomi Long, which did incredibly well in the elections, it

:39:27.:39:30.

is a sign of any people from either side of the divide who want there to

:39:31.:39:37.

be a moderate, consensual way forward in all of this, the message

:39:38.:39:40.

I really hear from the elections is that the politicians get on with

:39:41.:39:42.

governing Northern Ireland well and do not undo this good work. If you

:39:43.:39:46.

were in a position to form a coalition with the Labour Party or

:39:47.:39:49.

the Conservative Party and they insisted you change your leader or

:39:50.:39:54.

that they would veto who you could have in a ministerial post, you

:39:55.:39:58.

would not accept those conditions either? That is a fair point. I say

:39:59.:40:02.

that Sinn Fein and DUP needs to behave in a grown-up way, as all

:40:03.:40:07.

members. That is what I am talking about was that we're not going to

:40:08.:40:11.

get to conclusion here. People putting aside their differences as

:40:12.:40:14.

they have done so well over the last ten, 20 years, and do so again and

:40:15.:40:19.

solve this behind closed doors. Thank you very much.

:40:20.:40:22.

Our guest of the day Tim Farron has in the past compared

:40:23.:40:25.

the Liberal Democrats to cockroaches, because of their

:40:26.:40:27.

ability to survive electoral disaster in the same way cockroaches

:40:28.:40:30.

But even with some local and national by-election

:40:31.:40:33.

wins under their belt, how will a party that is ovowedly

:40:34.:40:35.

pro-EU win back Brexit-supporting voters in their former heartlands?

:40:36.:40:37.

The march is on. The Lib Dems say their fightback is well under way.

:40:38.:40:57.

It will be an uphill struggle. In electoral terms they have a mountain

:40:58.:41:02.

to climb. Lib Dems round here love a good hike. Paddy Ashdown even wrote

:41:03.:41:10.

about it. Why? Because of the view. They conquered this place more than

:41:11.:41:14.

30 years ago, by the early 2000 is boasting you could stand on the spot

:41:15.:41:19.

and see only territory controlled by the Lib Dems in Sun level of

:41:20.:41:23.

government. That is not the pitching. David Moyle 's lost his

:41:24.:41:29.

seat. The moment the party lost 49 of its 57 MPs and its in Tyre

:41:30.:41:33.

heartland in the south-west. How is it going? Great. Last year, pretty

:41:34.:41:40.

much the whole area voted to leave the EU which makes winning back the

:41:41.:41:44.

seat, located challenge for an explicitly pro-EU party. It is not

:41:45.:41:48.

the number one issue of people in terms of their daily lives. I think

:41:49.:41:53.

also there is a huge respect for Liberal Democrats and what we have

:41:54.:41:56.

delivered in coalition and that people think, we know where we stand

:41:57.:41:59.

with the Liberal Democrats. We don't know where we stand with Labour.

:42:00.:42:04.

They are not visible here. The Conservatives and Ukip seem very

:42:05.:42:07.

similar. When it comes to a general election or they will consider what

:42:08.:42:10.

you think about Europe and all only be one of a range of issues. That

:42:11.:42:17.

was not I got outside the office in Yeovil. The Lib Dems do not really

:42:18.:42:20.

like Brexit. Would you support them even know they do not really like

:42:21.:42:24.

Brexit? The Lib Dems were very pro-EU. Would that affect whether

:42:25.:42:31.

you support them or not? In what way? I don't know. Probably not.

:42:32.:42:36.

Everything is blown out of proportion at the moment that if

:42:37.:42:39.

they did not talk about it, I would probably vote for them. The Lib Dems

:42:40.:42:42.

say their strategy for regaining seats will be the same as it was

:42:43.:42:48.

decades ago, the lashes before people talked about Brexit and

:42:49.:42:55.

coalition. Since last May, the council has won 30 by-election

:42:56.:42:58.

seeds, a third of all the seats up for grabs. In recent weeks and

:42:59.:43:02.

months, the Lib Dems have made spectacular gains at local council

:43:03.:43:05.

by-elections will start in the last few years as they went into

:43:06.:43:10.

governance part of the coalition, they have lost thousands of seats.

:43:11.:43:13.

They are not starting from a strong position. They need to make a lot of

:43:14.:43:20.

games just to get back to where they were before. The next big test for

:43:21.:43:24.

the Lib Dems will be the local elections in May that they know that

:43:25.:43:27.

will give a much clearer view about whether or not Parliamentary success

:43:28.:43:28.

is on the horizon. Tim, you were out campaigning for

:43:29.:43:39.

local elections in Cornwall and that was during the Supreme Court vote.

:43:40.:43:45.

What hope does your party have of winning local elections in part of

:43:46.:43:50.

the country that went for Brexit? It is very interesting. On the issue of

:43:51.:43:54.

Brexit as a whole, what is most dangerous it seems to me politically

:43:55.:43:59.

is to be neither fish nor fowl. That is where Labour finds itself of that

:44:00.:44:04.

they're not on either side. They are suspected on both sides. We

:44:05.:44:09.

absolutely accept the legitimacy of the referendum. We're not trying to

:44:10.:44:14.

block Brexit. We are trying to save British people have the final say

:44:15.:44:18.

and the ability to reconsider if they so wish. With the by-elections

:44:19.:44:24.

we have had in recent months, we have gained seats of labour in

:44:25.:44:30.

heavily lever voting Rotherham. Does that tell you that Dubs voters are

:44:31.:44:40.

changing their minds? No. It tells you that people who voted Dubs and

:44:41.:44:48.

Remain the party that is resurgent. We will test that idea. The box pops

:44:49.:44:54.

are anecdotal. None of them will vote Liberal Democrat because of

:44:55.:44:58.

your stance on Brexit. Whilst you're wanting to be clear where you stand

:44:59.:45:02.

on that issue, how can you rebuild in those parts of the country where

:45:03.:45:06.

they rejected Brexit even though Cornwall, for example, had a lot of

:45:07.:45:10.

EU money? They are not interested in and you're making it front and

:45:11.:45:15.

centre. That is not the case. If you look at the elections which have

:45:16.:45:19.

taken place in Cornwall alone, four by-elections and four Lib Dem gains.

:45:20.:45:25.

We had 31 more councillors than we had at the time of Brexit. Just shy

:45:26.:45:33.

of 2000, I think. 1810 or 1820. How much did you have in 2010? Probably

:45:34.:45:40.

about 4000. You say it is a resurgent party but it is not, is it

:45:41.:45:45.

that are not wanted me to deprive you of those winds but you are

:45:46.:45:48.

clawing back a few seats here and there. It is not a big breakthrough.

:45:49.:45:54.

All of that is correct. I cannot affect elections which have gone by

:45:55.:45:59.

and if you look at the by-elections since the referendum, it actually is

:46:00.:46:03.

astonishing. 31 games, I think. Labour, Tories and Ukip all losing

:46:04.:46:08.

seats. It is not as if we have somebody just behind us. The success

:46:09.:46:13.

we have been having in places like Windermere and the West Country,

:46:14.:46:16.

Sunderland, Rotherham, there is no pattern except the Liberal Democrats

:46:17.:46:21.

gaining seats everywhere. Either you called your party's said in Richmond

:46:22.:46:26.

a historic victory. Do you think you have any chance of victory in

:46:27.:46:29.

constituents that were not always Lib Dem beforehand?

:46:30.:46:34.

Five parliamentary by-elections I think since the referendum, three in

:46:35.:46:40.

places that voted Leave, two in which voted Remain. The minimum we

:46:41.:46:42.

have done is doubled our vote, that's the worst we have done in any

:46:43.:46:46.

of those by-elections since the referendum. I think we are moving to

:46:47.:46:50.

a place now where, yes, Brexit is hugely important, particularly a

:46:51.:46:52.

hard Brexit that nobody voted for because it wasn't on the ballot

:46:53.:46:57.

paper, but there is a bigger issue now, because Britain is bigger than

:46:58.:47:01.

Brexit. It is about whether or not we have a proper, decent moderate

:47:02.:47:05.

economically responsible, socialist just opposition that can replace the

:47:06.:47:09.

Tory. It isn't Labour. It can be, it must be us. Is your focus too

:47:10.:47:15.

single-minded on Brexit, do you talk too much about the idea of the

:47:16.:47:18.

European Union, that it obscures every other one of your policies?

:47:19.:47:23.

It's an interesting point. I listen to that case, we talked earlier

:47:24.:47:27.

about the budget, though, all these harsh decisions the Government are

:47:28.:47:32.

taking to underfund social care, and the NHS, to underfund our schools,

:47:33.:47:35.

they're a consequence of them choosing a hard Brexit. Choosing to

:47:36.:47:39.

focus on Brexit and choosing to focus on the European Union, does it

:47:40.:47:43.

in the end just make you blind to the realities of everything else?

:47:44.:47:50.

Well, the people who are saying that the Everyone perror has no clothes

:47:51.:47:57.

Back On Top our ice -- the George Osborne himself observed in his

:47:58.:48:01.

speech in the Commons about a month ago, that the Conservative

:48:02.:48:03.

Government put the economy second. They have put the economy second.

:48:04.:48:06.

They would obviously argue differently. George Osborne argued

:48:07.:48:10.

that. Who is to say... He is not in the Government now, is he? No, he is

:48:11.:48:15.

a moderate, this is how terrible things have gone. He was on the

:48:16.:48:20.

losing side. We started off with Heidi Allen earlier, I think she is

:48:21.:48:24.

a wonderful parliamentarian. She agrees with you on a key issue. On

:48:25.:48:29.

refugees, on the economy, on schools and the health service, she's saying

:48:30.:48:34.

things about our country that were mainstream and moderate in the

:48:35.:48:37.

Conservative Party five or ten years ago. Now she looks like an extremist

:48:38.:48:43.

pause the Tory Party has been taken over in the same way Labour have.

:48:44.:48:47.

Except, of course, in polling the Conservatives are doing extremely

:48:48.:48:50.

well against Labour and against yourselves. It's damaging to the

:48:51.:48:54.

country. You could say they're more in connection with the voters than

:48:55.:48:57.

you or the Labour Party. Recent polling has shown an increase in the

:48:58.:49:01.

number of Remain voters who have now accepted Brexit and want the

:49:02.:49:05.

Government to get on with it. If Remain opinion is shifting that way,

:49:06.:49:09.

that they are to some extent accepting that this is the way

:49:10.:49:12.

forward, your plea and this talk of hard Brexit and harsh decisions is

:49:13.:49:16.

actually just not going to resonate. I think what the polls show is

:49:17.:49:20.

things are changing in different directions, they fundamentally show

:49:21.:49:24.

that a third of people want, to quote, Tony Blair, Brexit at any

:49:25.:49:28.

cost, I accept that, a third of people are utterly unwilling to

:49:29.:49:32.

accept, if you like, the outcome of the referendum and a third of people

:49:33.:49:35.

think however they voted in the referendum, you know what, it all

:49:36.:49:38.

depends on the deal. That's all we are saying. We are saying the

:49:39.:49:41.

British people should have the final say t shouldn't be a politicians'

:49:42.:49:44.

stitch-up. Now, Big Ben, which as all

:49:45.:49:47.

Daily Politics viewers know is the name of the famous bell

:49:48.:49:49.

at Westminster, not the tower, will soon fall silent for several

:49:50.:49:52.

months to allow repairs But before the clock is stopped

:49:53.:49:55.

researchers have been using lasers to measure the bell in detail

:49:56.:49:58.

and find out more about exactly how Let's have a look at

:49:59.:50:01.

a BBC Four documentary That was a clip from Sound Waves:

:50:02.:50:06.

The Symphony of physics, which you can watch in full

:50:07.:50:41.

on the BBC iPlayer. And we're joined now by one

:50:42.:50:43.

of the people behind the project, Amy Stubbs,

:50:44.:50:46.

from Leicester University, Welcome to the Daily Politics. What

:50:47.:51:00.

was it that the team were measuring? We were measuring the wave that the

:51:01.:51:10.

bell was vibrating, we used a technique called laser, it tells us

:51:11.:51:13.

how fast the surface is moving. How long does it take to set that sort

:51:14.:51:21.

of thing up? Typically, if we were working in our laboratory it's a

:51:22.:51:25.

simple operation. To take our equipment up the tower to the top of

:51:26.:51:31.

Elizabeth To youer to Big Ben makes a more of a logistical challenge.

:51:32.:51:38.

Tell us about it. Well, we have got for a measurement like that we have

:51:39.:51:42.

about 200 kilogrammes worth of equipment that we use. Like a good

:51:43.:51:49.

outside broadcast and we had to split that down into manageable

:51:50.:51:53.

carries for six people carrying about 30 kilogrammes each to go up

:51:54.:51:58.

the 334 steps up to the top of the to you ir. A logistical challenge.

:51:59.:52:04.

Does it explain why it makes a pleasant sound? It helps us by

:52:05.:52:10.

measuring Big Ben like that, by looking at it in a level of detail

:52:11.:52:14.

that nobody's done before. It allows us to see what those frequencies are

:52:15.:52:18.

and you saw the animations just then in the clip that you played. Each

:52:19.:52:26.

one of those frequencies makes up the chord that together becomes that

:52:27.:52:31.

iconic sound that is Big Ben. In the papers they're reporting the

:52:32.:52:36.

repairs might change the sound. Do you think it will go from a ping to

:52:37.:52:43.

a bong? The thing with the bell is that it is the sound it makes is

:52:44.:52:49.

governed by its size and shape and the material that it's in it. When

:52:50.:52:53.

you have a bell the size of Big Ben you have 13. 5 tonnes of metal

:52:54.:53:00.

that's reasonant and it wants to vibrate. Anything that they do, as

:53:01.:53:06.

part of the renovations, is going to be focussed on preserving Big Ben

:53:07.:53:10.

for the nation, for the years to come. If they clean it, if they take

:53:11.:53:17.

some soot off it it's going to be impersetible compared with the

:53:18.:53:20.

overall weight and size and shape of the bell itself. Overall, with a

:53:21.:53:24.

good engineering judgment it's not going to make any noticeable

:53:25.:53:27.

difference for the generations to come. I think you would be hard

:53:28.:53:31.

pushed to tell there is a difference in the sound. You are not concerned

:53:32.:53:35.

are you? Maybe the Government should be allowing about an expert on to

:53:36.:53:38.

the grounds of the Houses of parliament. You can't get away from

:53:39.:53:42.

Brexit! Did you know the bell had a crack in it since 1859? I did not

:53:43.:53:46.

and feel bad about that. Wasn't my fault! Thank you very much.

:53:47.:53:50.

Now, where is the next big Brexit battleground?

:53:51.:53:52.

Could it be the Commons or the Lords, again?

:53:53.:53:54.

Or could it be a battle of the mind and body

:53:55.:53:59.

as one Ukip MEP takes on a Liberal Democrat

:54:00.:54:03.

You might not have heard of chessboxing, I certainly hadn't,

:54:04.:54:10.

but it's a sport that sees competitors fighting

:54:11.:54:12.

alternate rounds in the ring and then on the chessboard.

:54:13.:54:16.

Next month sees the Ukip MEP Jonathan Arnott take on a Lib Dem

:54:17.:54:19.

activist in what's being billed as something of a

:54:20.:54:22.

It could be a much quicker way of sorting out differences over

:54:23.:54:26.

Brexit than an all-night debate in the House of Lords.

:54:27.:54:32.

We're joined now by Jonathan Arnott, who, as you can see,

:54:33.:54:36.

isn't prepared to take even a moment away from his training.

:54:37.:54:42.

He is giving it his all there. I like the duck there. I will have to

:54:43.:54:49.

break into your focus and concentration. Take a seat. Thank

:54:50.:54:52.

you for demonstrating the boxing bit of the chess. I presume you have to

:54:53.:54:56.

take those off to do the chess bit? I do, yes, otherwise the pieces go

:54:57.:54:59.

all over the place. I won't be boxes in a suit. You won't be, thank you

:55:00.:55:05.

for wear ago suit. Tell us what is chessboxing, tell us more about it?

:55:06.:55:09.

It's what it sounds like, you play speed chess for three minutes. A

:55:10.:55:13.

bell rings, you put gloves on. You box for two minutes. Rounds of chess

:55:14.:55:19.

and boxing and then you win the game either by checkmate or knockout. Now

:55:20.:55:22.

your Lib Dem activist opponent, we asked him to come on but I don't

:55:23.:55:25.

think he was available. Of course we have gone one better because we have

:55:26.:55:29.

the Lib Dem leader. We are not going to do the boxing bit, you will be

:55:30.:55:36.

pleased to know. Are you a good boxer? No, T... Do you think you can

:55:37.:55:44.

do the chess and answer the questions? Not well. No one's going

:55:45.:55:48.

to judge you on that. How good are you at chess, Jonathan? Reasonably

:55:49.:55:53.

good. Be honest. I was Yorkshire captain for a couple of years. I

:55:54.:55:57.

played in some international competitions. Fairly decent. You

:55:58.:56:01.

are. Better than your boxing, you think? Can't be much worse, can it?

:56:02.:56:08.

What has instructed you in politics, chess or boxing? I think politics is

:56:09.:56:13.

always a little bit of both. You are doing quite quickly. When was the

:56:14.:56:19.

last time you played chess, Tim? Years ago. That is checkmate. Is

:56:20.:56:26.

this about Brexit? Look at that. You are checkmate. Right, you have to

:56:27.:56:32.

start again. How quickly did you do that? To demonstrate that I have a

:56:33.:56:37.

done for, there you go. I am good at pop quizzes. Boxing and chess

:56:38.:56:41.

reminds me of Alan Partridge, monkey tennis. I thought it was about the

:56:42.:56:45.

mind and body. Tell us why you are doing it. I am doing it to raise

:56:46.:56:54.

money for charity, a wonderful charity Act for SMA, a colleague

:56:55.:57:00.

lost their baby daughter in October, and the charity that helped them was

:57:01.:57:04.

absolutely fantastic so I am trying to raise money for charity and I

:57:05.:57:08.

thought I could do all sorts to raise money but doing this is not

:57:09.:57:14.

something that anyone would ever expect for a politician, it's not

:57:15.:57:19.

something anyone would expect of me. Hopefully people donate a little bit

:57:20.:57:22.

more because of it. What about the fact that it is all about Brexit,

:57:23.:57:26.

which will please Tim Farron no doubt since he loves to talk about

:57:27.:57:32.

it, is it a Brexit grudge match? I am up against a Liberal Democrat,

:57:33.:57:35.

far be it from me to say it would be nice to have the opportunity to

:57:36.:57:39.

punch a Lib Dem in the face, I would never... Ukip got into problems with

:57:40.:57:45.

some of those things in the past! We are keeping this in the boxing ring.

:57:46.:57:49.

What about you, would you like to see differences over Brexit and

:57:50.:57:52.

leaving the European Union fought out in the boxing ring? I prefer

:57:53.:57:58.

monkey tennis. What does it say about your prowess at chess? Not

:57:59.:58:03.

very good. Was I beaten in four moves? It was not many. This is well

:58:04.:58:07.

set up for the match. I wasn't paying attention. I hope your Lib

:58:08.:58:12.

Dem colleague is better at it. Time to find out the answer to the quiz.

:58:13.:58:16.

The question was about a plan by Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell

:58:17.:58:19.

He's said to be planning to launch an offensive to win over colleagues

:58:20.:58:23.

Apart from Labour being genuinely offensive at the moment, it's a tea

:58:24.:58:41.

offensive isn't it. Sounds more gentle than boxing in the ring. I

:58:42.:58:46.

have never been to a PPL meeting but I am told it's nothing compared to a

:58:47.:58:48.

boxing match. The news is starting

:58:49.:58:51.

over on BBC One now.

:58:52.:58:58.

Jo Coburn is joined by Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron to discuss the amendments to the Brexit Bill in the House of Lords, a look ahead to the chancellor's first budget and whether the repairs to Big Ben will change its tone.


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