17/03/2017 Daily Politics


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Theresa May and Nicola Sturgeon trade blows over a new independence


referendum for Scotland - which of them will come out on top?


Hold the front page - from high-vis to hack,


George Osborne is the new editor of the London Evening Standard.


And breaking up's not always easy, so what can


Czechoslovakia's Velvet Divorce teach us about Brexit?


All that in the next hour and with us for the first


half of the programme - Channel Four wanted her


for the Great British Bakeoff, but they had to settle for that


So we have journalist and former press secretary to Paddy Ashdown -


who I think still counts herself as a Liberal Democrat -


First this morning, in the last hour the BBC has learned


that former Chancellor, George Osborne, is to be the editor


He is going to combine the job with the reigning as an MP, we are told.


He's got lots of other interests as well.


The man who broke the news is the BBC's media editor,


Why is he doing this? I think he is doing this because it's a clear


indication that he doesn't think that staying within Parliament and


staying part of Theresa May's team is going to be a fruitful few years


of his life. He's still very much in his prime, 45 years old. The way he


was dismissed from cabinet in a rather brutal fashion last summer,


where Theresa May briefed the line out saying if you wanted to lead the


Tory party he needs to better understand it from the backbenches,


I think it left him feeling a bit left out. How on earth he reconciles


this with the other jobs he's got, one being a full-time MP and another


with four days a rock with -- four days a month with Black Rock where


he gets paid ?650,000 a year which most people take a lifetime to


earn... There will also be a boundary change... Hold on, let's


undertake some of this bit by bit. In your view, is he aware of just


how gruelling the job of being a hands-on editor of the Standard is.


You have to be at your desk by six aim to me you've got several edits


and is to get away and by mid-afternoon when you do that


you've then got to get all the feature pages away for the next day.


It is a 12, sometimes 15 hour day. How can you do that and be an MP?


Andrew, you be an MP? Andrew, you been an editor, you were editor of


the Sunday Times and I was editor of the Independent. It is an


extraordinarily ruling job, I sometimes did 100 hours a week. It


is extraordinarily gruelling. I would sometimes be at the office at


five in the morning. The Standard has come down to one edition so he


thinks he might be free by the afternoon but it doesn't work like


that, you've got to go to meetings and shares starve. It's not just


about seeing off the pages, it's about managing a team, dealing with


different politicians and commercial strategy. He is paid a tonne of


money by Black Rock, major financial institution, where does that leave


the city pages of the Evening Standard? They are compromised? It


will be very interesting to see how George Osborne covers Black Rock and


the pages of the Standard as well. His former senior adviser is one of


the people who helped recruit him there. He has huge connections in


the world of asset management and also huge connections in the world


of Conservative politics. What I'm going to be looking closely at how


he covers the Conservative Party. The worst thing that could happen


for the Evening Standard and four George Osborne would be for him to


come across as a Tory lackey. For what it's worth I don't think he


will. I think he thinks that vengeance is a dish best served


through the pages of a very powerful newspaper and I think this is


something of a coup for the Standard. But how does he reconciles


it with his other jobs, we will see. It's a coup for someone who is a


journalist never minded politician! I'm waiting for an application to be


a brain surgeon! You used to work for them, what is in this for the


Ledvedevs, who own the Evening Standard? They get a high profile


and high calibre editor. You don't know he's high calibre: he has never


been an editor! It is an interesting and bold appointment. The Standard


does not have a cover price so it is very reliant on print media


advertising. That is a market that is disappearing to the tune of about


20%. What George Osborne is going to have to do is not just the editorial


bid but also the commercial bid, transforming that business from


being just a journalistic business to one that deals with events,


ticketing, marketing, data, all that kind of stuff that newspaper


companies now have to do and that is what the Ledvedevs will want him to


do. All right. Congratulations on breaking the story. It has surprised


and increased my propensity to be surprised, that is for sure. We are


joined now from his constituency from the Labour MP John Mann. What


is your reaction to his appointment as the editor of the Evening


Standard? Well, I would be saying good luck to him, off you go, just


like my colleague Tristram Hunt going off to be the director of the


Victoria and Albert easy for some reason. But he seems to want to stay


on and collect his parliamentary salary as well! It seems to me he is


taking the Mickey out of the taxpayer and the general public. It


would be unprecedented, we can't find a previous example of this, him


remaining a member of Parliament and of course as we were saying he has


got several interests as well, you don't think he can do that and be a


hands-on editor of the Evening Standard? You don't think he can do


both? He won't be taking anyone's share of work in parliament coming


won't be attending any committees, he won't be attending the sessions


inside parliament. He will turn up to the occasional vote, having not


heard the debate. And I think that is fundamentally wrong. It also


devalues our democracy because his constituents are not getting value


for money out of it. We all know he's going to go at the next


election because he has been booted out by Theresa May ignominiously and


the boundary commission abolishes his seat! He ought to go now, and


good luck to him if he goes. Tristram Hunt did the honourable


thing, he got a new job and he didn't pretend he could do a second


job as well. In George Osborne's case, this is a third job back row


wrecks totally an acceptable for him to still be standing. Why do you


think he's going to go at the next election? He may see himself and


many close to him do, that he is the king of the water and now the king


of the editor's seat in the Standard. If the whole Brexit


business goes wrong, he could see himself placed for a comeback in the


Tory party and the Standard may well provide him with a springboard to do


that. George told us it was all going to be disaster by now and he


was wrong on that. So his economic predictions have never proved to be


very reliable. But what's he going to be doing as an MP? I've just done


three surgeries and I've got another two to do today in my constituency.


People come to me with issues they can only go to an MP on. To give you


an example, the very last person I saw 20 minutes ago is the mother of


a British soldier murdered by the IRA in 1979 and she is angry that


there is no national memorial for those that were killed in Northern


Ireland. The only person she can go to his/her MP. Will she get any joy


out of me raising the issue? I've no idea. I will do so do the best of my


ability. If she's got nowhere else to go, George Osborne is not going


to be doing that kind of work, and it devalues Parliament by allowing


MPs to carry on in this way and Pretend, because that's what he's


doing, that he is being an MP, when he's not. He's doing two other jobs


and he shouldn't be an MP as well. OK, thank you for that.


We are joined in the studio by George, political commentator. Is


this a stepping stone to a new dimension in his political career?


Or is it a stepping stone out of politics and into other things? I


think it's a stepping stone out of politics, Andrew. Because I think


George Osborne didn't stand down at the same time as his friend David


Cameron did because he still thought he might have a route back into the


top of politics. Especially wanting to get his own back on Theresa May


four way that she got rid of him. But I think he has possibly realised


that's not going to happen. This is the sort of job that, if it comes


up, it's very difficult for someone who always wanted to be a


journalist, to refuse. The EU by that? Because all the information I


have suggests that George Osborne has been biding his time? -- do you


buy that? He thinks it will be a disaster, it will end in tears and


he will be vindicated. I think if he does want this to be a way back into


the very top politics, it would be the very top I imagine that he would


be interested in, I think he's making some serious miss calculation


is. For example, a few days a month on an incredibly inflated salary at


a financial institution doesn't go down well with the public and I


think the idea of running a newspaper for the capital city when


you are simultaneously, on the same day it was announced, today, that he


had the job at the Standard, he was one of the most controversial voices


lobbying on this issue of school funding. He cannot do both!


Certainly in terms of the logistics, if he wants to be a hands-on editor


it is very hard is the how he can be an MP, having had first-hand


experience of what is involved in being an editor. But what is in it


for the Ledvedevs? What is in it for the Russian oligarchs that owned


this newspaper? As they said, it is a coup for the Standard, to have


someone that high-calibre as the front man for the newspaper. Is he


going to be Dave facto and editor in chief above the fray where someone


else does all the hard work? That's what we're going to have to seek.


Because there are two ways of doing this, you can either be the front


person, the person who networks for the Evening Standard, presents the


Evening Standard on the grand stage, or you can be someone who gets


involved with the inky staff. He wanted to be a journalist when you


was a young man. He wasn't back, they didn't hire him! Coming in as


editor! Was he born with a silver pen in his mouth? As you possibly


know, he is a very entertaining and engaging person in private.


Absolutely. But the Evening Standard is the paper of Europe's financial


capital. He is being paid, what is it, ?650,000 a year by one of the


major financial institutions. Where does that leave the Standard's city


pages? I think he will have to make a choice. If he enjoys being editor


of the Standard then being an adviser to Black Rock and an MP will


have to go. Good the Ledvedevs afford to match his salary... I


don't think he needs that money, didn't think anyone does. Well, he


has taken it! Yes, but for how long. I don't think he regards Black Rock


is a long-term solution. Maybe he fancied being there of London. The


question of whether you get inky fingers or you are celebrity editor,


I think it is important for the standard to have that kind of


figurehead. The previous editor was very good because she managed to do


both. But she was a proper journalist. She was a proper


journalist and she editorially positioned the Standard very well


but she was also on the party pages making sure the Standard was hosting


all the big debates and you don't have to be a non-journalist to


deliver that for the Standard, I think it is a bit of an insult to


the profession. This is a Labour city. How would you deal with the


Standard? This is it has always had that problem because it is a


slightly conservative leaning newspaper. It had me completely by


surprise but game on! Me to! Thank you.


The war of words between the Prime Minister, Theresa May,


and Scotland's First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, showed


no sign of abating today as both leaders


address their party's conferences this weekend.


The pair started trading blows after Ms Sturgeon called on Monday


for a second referendum on independence for Scotland to be


held between Autumn 2018 and Spring 2019 in light of the Brexit vote.


Ms Sturgeon was first to launch an attack, saying she had


been "met with a brick wall of intransigence" from Westminster.


But Theresa May was quick to retaliate, accusing the SNP


of "tunnel vision" and "playing politics with the future


After suggestions that the Prime Minister could block the referendum


until after the 2021 Holyrood, the First Minister shot back


on twitter, "I was elected as FM on a clear manifesto


The PM is not yet elected by anyone."


That didn't seem to faze Mrs May, who used an interview yesterday


to repeat her view that "now is not the time" for a referendum, saying,


"It would be unfair to Scotland," to hold one before Brexit


But Ms Sturgeon described the Prime Minister's attitude


as a "democratic outrage" and insisted that it will be


We're joined now from the SNP Spring Conference in Aberdeen


by the party's deputy leader, Angus Robertson.


The First Minister wants a referendum before the spring of


2019, when the whole Article 50 process should end, the Prime


Minister says no, not one until at least after the Brexit process is


done and dusted. What happens next? Well I think it is important to


unpick what that means, because the Prime Minister and this is where it


gets confusing, she says there shouldn't be a referendum in


Scotland now. Now, the time is not right. I agree with her and the


Scottish Government is not proposing to hold a referendum now, because


the negotiations are about to start. The Scottish Government has said


that it makes sense for people in Scotland to know the outcome of the


Brexit negotiations. To that extent there is not a disagreement. What


confuses me is the British wants to create the impression that it is OK


for Parliaments, the British and the European Parliaments and other


European governments to agree to deal on Brexit, but people in


Scotland will be denied that choice. What is happening is that the Tories


are trying to suggest that they're intransigent, but not saying they're


ruling o' ought referendum. -- ruling out a referendum. So it is


important to understand the time scales, the UK Government should be


able to proceed with negotiations. There is a mandate in England and


Wales for Brexit. I #3w But it would be unfair to deny the people in


Scotland a choice. There is supposed to be six months lchs s... I haven't


got much time. There has been some stories o' going on in London. I


will ask your reaction. Will I be offered a job editing the daily


politics. Maybe, you should see the crew we have at the moment.


Honestly. I still pay my membership to the national union of


journalists. I don't think George Osborne has ever done that. You


could be right. You or Nicola Sturgeon are assuming we will know


the nature of the Brexit deal by the autumn of 2018, but you know the way


Europe works, this things could go down to the wire and if we don't


know the nature of the Brexit deal until the very last minute, when


would you then have the referendum? That can't happen. It simply can't


happen for the reason there needs to be approval in the UK and in the EU


and among the member states. You're right, often things overrun in a


European context. But there must be a period, whether it is negotiated


within the two years, or whether there is some sort of extension, one


way or the other, there has to be a period for Parliaments to agree the


deal and the European institutions to agree the deal and it is a simple


basic democratic point if there is a period for decision-making, then not


only should Parliaments in Britain and Europe be able to decide on our


future, but voters in Scotland should be able to decide too and we


are democrats and think the First Minister was elected with a mandate,


something the Prime Minister does not have on this, that there should


be a referendum with a change of circumstances like Scotland being


taken out of the EU against our will. That is what should happen.


You are a democrat and you will know that the ability to call a


referendum is a reserved power for Westminster. If Westminster does not


approve that within the time scale you want, would you consider calling


an advisory referendum in Scotland? Well, I think the important thing to


bear in mind is that this is going to be decided on in the Scottish


Parliament next week. I think people need to understand how, I'm not sure


all of your viewers will understand there will be a vote in the Scottish


Parliament next week as to whether there should be an independence


referendum. I think some people don't understand how incendiary it


would be for a UK government to overrule Scotland's democratically


elected Parliament and its Government that has Hamman Tait --


that has a mandate on this and the Prime Minister said now is not the


time for a referendum. We agree. What is the answer to my question,


will you call an advisory referendum? No, that is not my plan,


our plan is to make sure the UK Government lives up to its


responsibility that if we are in a union 245 that is a partnership of


equals, they have to respect Scotland's Parliament and if they


vote for a referendum and the Prime Minister wants to continue by


declaiming the UK is based on respect, she must respect that


decision. If not, the claims are shown to be empty. There was a time


when you and Nicola Sturgeon talked about there has to be the clear will


of Scottish people to have a second referendum. Now you had a second


referendum in your man ifesto on the the conditions you said, there will


probably be a majority in the Scottish Parliament. But there is no


evidence that it is the clear will of the Scottish people to have a


second referendum. Hold on a second. You're just stressing and quite


rightly that the Scottish Government was elected with a manifesto


commitment. I know UK governments think they can break these things,


but in Scotland it matters and our government was elected with more


votes than the Labour Party and the Conservative Party combined in


Scotland and you're suggesting that if Scotland's votes there should be


a referendum, that a UK Government can ignore that. I'm not suggesting


that, I'm asking you a question, I'm asking a question and you're tap


dancing around it. If you would let me finish. I would like you to


answer the question. This is right at the heart of matter, people in


Westminster need to understand if they disregard Scotland's


Parliament, a majority voting in favour of Scotland having a


referendum, and they are then going to go on to say that Scotland not


only cannot have a referendum now, but it must take even more years and


Scotland will have left the EU by then, the consequences for the


United Kingdom is there will not be a United Kingdom. Because the


fiction of respect will have exposed as being empty. Let me try again. I


used to talk to SNP politicians and activists and they used to say,


look, we need clear evidence in the opinion poms that Scotland -- polls


that Scotland wants another referendum. A number of of polls,


50% there there should not be a referendum. There is not a clear


will of the Scottish people as yet to have a second referendum. I'm


terribly sorry, Andrew, you have only read Ute from part of SNP


manifesto and should have. I was reading from John Curtice. If in is


a material change in circumstances and Scotland faces being taken out


of the EU against its will I'm not arguing that. I'm not talking about


opinion polls when the Scottish people had a vote, they voted for an


SNP Government on the basis of that manifesto. Not opinion polls. I'm


not arguing about that. In a democracy, when people are elected


to do that, that is what they should do. That is what the SNP plans to


do. Can you give us evidence that as opinion stands now in Scotland, that


the Scottish people want a second referendum? Where is the evidence


that there is a majority among the Scottish people for a second


referendum? As you well know, there are a range of polls, some of them


showing that people want a referendum now. Not one shows a


majority for that. Some saying they don't want a referendum at al. But


our political system is not based on opinion polls, but on real votes and


in Scotland we had a real vote and the people decided to elect a


Scottish Government led by the SNP with a cast iron manifesto on this


very issue, that is Scotland's Government at the present time. And


Scotland's Government intends to make a proposal a to the Scottish


Parliament and the Parliament is likely to vote for this. This is


much more important than opinion polls. Except your party used to


talk about opinion polls. You used to say, several leading SNP members


said to me, we could haven't a second referendum until there was a


clear 60/40 majority in the polls for having one. That is not me


saying that, maybe not you, but that used to be what you argued. I'm


saying now there is no evidence that is the case so far? No, there is


evidence that people faced with a prospect of Scotland being taken out


of the the European Union against the will of people here and it has


not been mentioned but 62% of voters in Scotland voted to remain in the


EU, in these circumstances and it was in SNP manifesto, the Scottish


government could proceed with people to choose. You say you understand


and then you question it. No, I ask a different matter and you keep


answering a question that I'm not asking. So I think we will both quit


while we are not ahead. We had better leave it there. Thank you


very much. Where is this going to go? At the moment, Theresa May has


managed to rearm the SNP. Who actually have been facing problems


domestically with how they have been administering the government of


Scotland. What is the evidence of that. There is no signs in the poll


Naas Brexit has been a O'O'-- that Brexit has been a game-changer in


Scotland. The demand for a second referendum and how they may vote,


Brexit has not moved the dial on that. You can't deny them their


excuse about it having materially changed. There is no question about


that. That is for if SNP. What I'm saying, there is a lot of focus


group work being done in Scotland and what they are finding that is


the prospect of endless Tory governments in Westminster, that


they don't like. That is a worry. But Brexit, single market, customs,


union, none of that has moved the dial. But this is a fantastic


tactical move for the SNP to distract attention back on to the


whole issue of process about a second referendum. Because they can


portray the London government blocking the will of the Scottish


people and just... That is something that plays very well for them. I


think that the thing about the SNP is they're good at strategy, but


they're better attack ticks. And -- better at tactics. That will help


them in their eventual goal. The Prime Minister has been addressing


the issue in Scotland. This is what she said to the Conservative spring


conference. We have seen that tunnel vision on display again this week.


The SNP argue that we should break up the UK, because we are leaving


the EU. But three years ago, they campaigned for a result that would


have taken Scotland out of the EU altogether. They're happy to see


power rest in Brussels, but if those powers come back to London, they


want them give on the Edinburgh to try and give them back to Brussels.


And the Conservative MSP, Murdo Fraser, joins


The SNP put into Nair manifesto on which they won to form a government,


if there was a material change there should be a second referendum, there


has been a material change, so they're within Nair rights to call a


second referendum? Well of course the SNP don't have a majority in the


Scottish Parliament. They went into the Scottish Parliament election


with a majority and they lost a majority on that manifesto you


mentioned. Of course, we had a vote in 2014, it is not even three years.


There has been a material change. We had a high turn out. Let's remember


in 2014 we knew there was an EU referendum in prospect and that was


happening. It was mentioned in the SNP's White Paper. But if we accept


the material change argument, the SNP do not have a majority in the


Scottish Parliament, they lost their majority based upon their manifesto.


There is a majority in the Scottish Parliament for a second referendum.


You say they don't have a majority, the whole system was designed not to


give anybody a majority, but for a period 2 SNP did. And with the Green


Party there is a majority in the Scottish Parliament, they're a


proindependence party and they talked of a change with Brexit. The


Scottish Parliament is within its right to call for another


referendum. Is it not? The six Green members were not elected on that


basis. Their manifesto said they would have to get a million


signatures on a petition before they could support another referendum.


But there is another point about the Scottish Parliament. I couldn't but


smile listening to your interview with Angus Robertson, who doesn't


sit in the Scottish Parliament, but you think might pay attention as


deputy leader of the SNP, the SNP Government in Edinburgh routinely


ignore and dismiss votes in the the Scottish Parliament when they lose


them. Just last week they lost a vote on education. Two weeks ago


they lost two votes. What happens to the Scottish Government when nay


lose votes in Scottish Parliament in they ignore them and now they have


the arrogance to say that the UK Government has to listen to votes in


the Scottish Parliament when they ignore votes. You couldn't make it


up. Angus Robert Robertson seems to be ignorant. Which part of SNP


manifesto don't you understand, we believe the Scottish Parliament


should have the right to hold another referendum if there is a


material change in the circumstances that prevailed in 2014. Such as


Scotland being taken out of the EU agains our will.


That is exactly what has happened! So why are you complaining... I know


your party has had problems delivering on your manifesto


recently, but they are delivering on what they promised. That is a


manifesto on which they fought an election which they came into with a


parliamentary majority and came out having lost. They got 46.5% of the


vote, Mr Fraser. But they did not get a majority. People in Scotland,


and our votes more than double, our seats more than doubled in the


Scottish Parliament. People in Scotland do not want another


referendum. It is a distraction from the important business that the SNP


need to be getting on with, sorting out the mess they made on the


Scottish economy, education, health service and justice system. That's


what they need to be doing. People will not take kindly to this


distraction. We will see how opinion goes on that stand-off over that. It


will be interesting to see whether the Scottish people Paul Kerr at the


idea of Westminster stubbing it or whether they don't care as much as


Mr Robinson would have us believe. But what is the Tory position? Is it


the timing of a second referendum that you object to or the very


principle of one? What Theresa May made clear yesterday that we're not


saying "No, not ever? -- win at saying" no, not ever" we're just


saying "No, not now". Between now and never, when? What we have to do


is have an informed decision. The people of Scotland must be able to


make an informed choice about their future. That means two things.


That's called a referendum. Understanding what Brexit means and


the consequences of it for Scotland. And also understanding what the


alternative would be. The SNP are claiming they would want a


referendum because they are being taken out of the EU against our


will, and yet in the last few days it has become entirely unclear what


the SNP position on EU membership is. There's suggesting that Scotland


would not necessarily get back into the EU. You're telling me about SNP


policy. I know where it isn't. I'm asking you what your policy is,


would you agree to a referendum once the Brexit deal is done and dusted?


What the Prime Minister said yesterday was that the test would be


that we would see the consequences of Brexit and the impact of that and


we would see what the SNP alternative would be and if there


was a demonstrable demand from the Scottish people for another


referendum, then at that time we would consider it, but we're not


going to do it before those tests. OK, Mr Fraser, thank you very much


for joining us. Coming up in a moment


it's our regular look at what's been For now it's time to say


goodbye to Miranda Green. So for the next half an hour, we're


going to be focussing on Europe. We'll be discussing what's next


for Brexit and the rest of the EU. First though here's our guide


to the latest from Europe - The Dutch Prime Minister Mark Wotte


celebrated victory in his country's election, easily defeating the


anti-immigration right wing party of Geert Wilders. Commission President


Jean-Claude Juncker said he was scandalised. We would never accept


the comparison between the Nazis and the now governments. The European


Court of Human Rights ruled that Hungary unlawfully kept two migrants


in a transit zone. It could... The Spanish Prime Minister says an


independent Scotland would have to join the back of the queue for EU


membership. Spain's membership is worried about the separatist


movement in Catalonia. The EU's highest court has ruled that


companies who ban staff from -- kanban staff who wear specific


religious symbols but it must be based on the company requiring all


employees to dress neutrally. And with us for the next 30


minutes I've been joined by the UKIP MEP Gerard Batten


and the Conservative Let's take a look at


the European Court of Justice's What do you make of it? It seems to


break the ECJ into line with where the UK is, as far as I can work out.


You can't discriminate against one culture or religion, you must be


fair to all. Theresa May made it clear at PMQs that she disapproved


of the ruling, she said women had the right to choose how they dress.


That's not quite what the ECJ is saying. She's saying Barbu but if


there is to be some restriction on the front facing element then all


should be treated equally and fairly. First of all, we shouldn't


be under the restriction of the ECJ... I got that bit! Burst of all


it's about commission today company have a dress code? That's not an


unreasonable thing. This judgment is fraught with difficulties because it


would also mean that people can't wear Jewish skull caps, Christian


crosses... It is not about having a policy on headscarves but a policy


on face coverings so that you have the same rule for everybody whether


in a public building or private. Is it right, do you think, that seeks


would not be able to wear turbans at work? -- that Sikhs would not be


able to wear turbans at work? That's not what it's doing at all. It's


giving companies the chance to treat all its employees fairly. If it said


we wanted their religious symbols at all that any kind, would the Sikhs


then be in trouble with the turban? Because as I understand it, that is


a religious manifestation for Sikhs. It would have to justify why it was


making that statement and if it they couldn't justify it, they would not


be allowed to. Interesting development, we will see what the


national law courts make of it. They were saying that the details needed


to be sorted out at a national and local level.


Now, yesterday the bill enabling Theresa May to trigger Article 50


and start the negotiations which will end with Britian's exit


Downing Street has said that the Prime Minister will trigger


Article 50 at the end of the month - so what will happen next?


European Council president Donald Tusk has said


he would need just 48 hours to respond to the UK with "draft


Tusk has also said an extraordinary meeting of the EU27 -


that's all the EU countries minus the UK -


will take place in April, or possibly May, where European


leaders will decide a guideline for the negotiating mandate.


Only once the mandate is agreed will the official


negotiations begin, probably sometime in June or July,


with citizen's rights and the Brexit divorce bill likely


Both sides need to reach an agreement by October 2018,


leaving enough time for the UK and European Parliaments to sign off


European talks often go way beyond the deadline.


If there's no agreement, there is a chance that the UK


could "crash out of the EU on world trade terms."


Brexit Secretary David Davis said on Wednesday that the UK


Government had not assessed the economic impact of such


Donald Tusk addressed the issue when he addressed


to the European Parliament on Wednesday.


I want to be clear that a no-deal scenario would be bad for everyone.


Because it would leave a number of issues unresolved.


We will not be intimidated by threats and I can


assure you they simply will not work.


Our goal is to have a smooth devolve and a good framework for the


future and it is good to know that Prime Minister Theresa May shares


Our use surprised, or does it matter, that the government, given


that it said this could be an option, that no deal would be better


than a bad deal, has not had a game plan for what no deal would mean? --


are you surprised? Yes, considering we've done it, it's surprisingly


haven't done it. You talked about WTO terms and the big issue here is


about trade. There's no way you're going to unravel the tens of


thousands of EU laws before you leave but on trade they need to made


a simple offer, they need to have continued tariff free trade with


freedoms on services and capital but they cannot have people. We could


offer them that option and then it would be in their interests to do


it, because this would be a decision of the Council, by the way, when


they do this, and Angela Merkel would have to answer for the German


car-makers to say why they are not accepting a deal to do this but


would prefer the external tariffs brought up. It is a deal that could


be done in an afternoon. That is the principal but it doesn't tell us


what the economic consequences would be. Are you surprised the government


has not done this yet all is economic modelling so discredited


after what we said before the referendum vote that it is not worth


the candle? I think we are focused on the positive and constructive


case. Right now we must focus on getting the best deal, it will be a


multitrack approach to these negotiations. Some things are


straightforward. Michelle is going to head up the negotiations on the


EU side and he is saying that we need to agree the divorce build a


four-week talk about the post Brexit relationship between the EU and the


UK. The British government, particularly David Davis, are saying


we need to talk about both at the same time. That could be a


deal-breaker if the Europeans don't agree to that. The whole thing is


fraught with difficulties because there is a report being prepared by


the economic and monetary committee. They want the ECJ to have continued


control of jurisdiction, they want to control their tax policy. The man


in charge of negotiations is Mr Hofstadt, who is the most


enthusiastic integrationist you will find. He's not in charge! He is a


senior observer, is he not? On the half of the parliament. On the heart


of the parliament. He will have no negotiating role whatsoever. The


lines described here, every single one of those committees is doing


that. They want the hardest deal imaginable. The fairest one I've


read is from the Constitutional affairs committee which was actually


quite a fair exposition of what we are and what could happen. For


example, one of the things they say is that we are under no legal


obligation to pay any money into the budget. That was the House of Lords


that said that. Your other committee has said that now? The


constitutional affairs committee of the European Parliament. All right.


Do you think it would be a deal-breaker if the European stick


to the current plan, we need to agree the divorce bill before we


talk about our future relationship? As far as I'm concerned, the first


thing... The bottom line, if it is indeed a deal-breaker, the problem


is for the EU, they need the money from the UK. Money has become a


bigger issue now, hasn't it? The continuing programmes right now,


French farmers will need money, where is it going to come from if


not from the UK in that period? The last thing they need is the UK


walking away from the table. Let me ask you just briefly, do you buy


this rather sanguine approach that we will have, in effect, the shape


of the deal by the autumn of 2018. In all the summits I've covered in


European Union negotiations, they always go down to the wire? I think


we've already got it in a way because Mrs May is not going to


reveal a single EU law or amend one before we leave and she is going to


incorporate the inside body of the EU lock into British law, so what


changes... Do you think it could be done by the autumn of 2018? I'm just


talking about the timetable. Do you think it could all be done? They


certainly can't renegotiate every EU law by then. Do you think it could


be done to give time for the Scottish parliament, the British


Parliament, everyone else to have a say? I believe the divorce could be


done within that period but the other element is the trade deal


itself and that could take longer. I think there's no point pretending


otherwise. The bottom line is the divorce structure and settlement


cover these elements can be mapped out in a two-year period. The main


thing is the issues I've just described. Very well, we will see,


all to play for. What is the future


direction of Europe? Following the shock of Brexit


and the election of the openly hostile Donald Trump,


will the EU come closer together, or is the path forward one


of looser cooperation? MEPs in Strasbourg have been looking


at the five options laid out by the Commission in a White Paper,


as Dan Johnson has been finding out. Rome, 60 years ago when Europe's


future was first mapped out. Many of the original principles still guide


it, but this week's Europe's leaders started discussing a new direction.


The idea of a multispeed Europe will be one option. I understand the


reason for this. Some expect systemic changes that would loosen


ties and strengthen the role of nations. But which way to turn, how


best to get an agreement and are they serious about change? The


Brexit decision has give an push to go into this direction and finally


it has already reached the commission and you know some of the


other political groups in this House that we do need to reconsider some


of the things and some of the ways we have done politics in the past in


the European Union. Five options to be considered. Carrying on. Cutting


back to nothing but the single market. Already effectively ruled


out by the commission. Those who want to do more would allow closer


integration for some while others moved at their own pace. They could


all do less more efficiently. Or they could agree on doing much more


together. The leader of Parliament's second biggest group know what is he


wants. The best scenario is the fifth scenario, the possibility to


go home, to go forward together, for more European integration, the


majority of the people understand that we need a strong, more united


Europe. It happens he was previously a forensic pathologist, so that


begged an of course question. I don't think that Europe is a dead


body! Thank you doctor. There does seem to be an acceptance that Europe


has lost its way. So now there is a pause to look for a new way forward.


But everyone has to agree on the best route. That I hope to do that


by the end of the year. But that could be a tough ask. . Some euro


sceptics don't like either option. They are one option with different


degrees. Let's exclude the first one, that is keep everything like it


is and in fact we are seeing that is not working. The second one is just


focus on the the market. But the commission say we do not want is in.


The other that he are three different degrees of integration.


But the point is integration for what and to do what? Is this the way


to get people to love Europe again? I think there needs to be a bottom


up European movement. I think we as pro-Europeans need to go to streets


and say we want this, because in some many countries there has been a


narrative of the EU being something of the elite, being top down and we


need to show no this is not true. The challenge is to gather new


momentum and get back on track. All aboard then. Even if we don't know


exactly where we are heading! All except the UK of course, Britain


won't be along for the ride. You would have thought that the prospect


of Britain leaving the EU, whip is a huge historic event, whether you're


for or against, would have concentrated to minds to say where


do we go from here without Britain as the EU 27? But it seeps to me --


seems to me they're as divided as ever, is that right? Yes, everyone


is pointing in a different direction and saying is forward. Jean-Claude


Juncker had the trick of multispeed Europe. That seems to be getting


cress dense. Credence. People like that if they're in the fast lane. In


the slow lane is the east European and the Nordics. So those in the


fast track see why it is important, those on the slow track wonder how


they get into the fast track. The elections, we have had the Dutch


election and that has produced a result which I suspect will take a


long while to form a government in Holland. We have the French and the


Germans coming up. A France run by Mr Macron and a Germany run by Mr


Schultes would be done from one run by marine Le Pen. Yes the most


sensible option would be No 2, to concentrate on tariff-free trade.


And then maybe you would have wanted to stay in. We want the trade but


not the rest of it. But they're not going do that. ?" No. Junk.


Jean-Claude Juncker said he would knot say, but we think it is ongs


five. It is option five. Emmanuel Macron is a strong European, Mr


Shultz is a strong European too, in Italy, four out of five of the


biggest parties are against euro. They haven't as yet had an election,


but they might. We don't know. So the east Europeans are a whole


different ball game too. It is quite difficult to see the way forward


with all these differences of opinion? The only thing that seems


to bring Europe together is Brexit. A lot of populist movements may not


win elections, but they're dragging the debate to their part. As they


did in Holland. So the complexion of Europe will change even if nay don't


win. Whatever path they take and it won't be our decision, but whatever


path Europe does take, is it in our interests that give than it is still


our biggest market by a long whey, is it in our interest that it should


succeed? It is in our interest it does not go into economic melt down.


But there is a tremendous disaster waiting which is what happens to the


euro. In the report of Jean-Claude Juncker, it said we have to do


something about the rates of youth unemployment. In the second


paragraph it said we must deepen union. But one of the causes of


problem is the European single currency. He is trying to make it


work with the proper banking union. The difficulty with that given the


Dutch election is that reforming the urp will be more difficult than


ever. -- euro. There is not a common prison, so there is no at common


solution. -- not a common problem. The 2019 European elections could


see more parties like Ukip being elected. You will be leaving space


probably. Divorces can be messy


and if you fall out in a big way - over the money for example -


it can make it very difficult So how can a messy Brexit


breakup be avoided? Well, our Adam's been to the former


Czechoslovakia to look at what can be learned


from the "velvet divorce." Picture the scene,


it is New Year's Eve 1992 and this square


is packed with people celebrating the


end of Czechoslovakia and the birth of an independent Slovak Republic


in a process known as the Velvet Divorce, so-called, because not


a single shot was fired. In Bratislava Castle,


evidence of where it all started - handmade signs


from the protests that But the public weren't


as involved in The main contender here


is the leader is the Slovak Nationalist Vladimir Meciar


was the victor in elections in 1992. Over an intense few weeks,


he negotiated a split with his counterpart in the richer


Czech half of the country. There was no referendum


and the divorce followed a simple There are ten million Czechs,


five million Slovaks, plus or minus, property was divided


two to one, military was divided similar way,


diplomatic service and our embassies were divided, so very peacefully


and we didn't have any border disputes, because we always had


border between Czech and Slovak Republics, so I think


there were no major fights. Since then, Slovakia has joined


the EU and flourished. Iveta Radicova is a member


of the former Prime She says the split was undemocratic,


left her country briefly bankrupt Some things were really solved ten


years later, not immediately. All institutions of


controlling mechanisms. For the the next generation


of politicians like the Economy Minister,


it is all ancient history. I think we are a bit


Czech Republic in best partnership with other


neighbour countries. I'm not the only


visitor from the UK. The Brexit Secretary


David Davies was in Could he have spied any


lessons for the UK's upcoming I don't think ill it


will be over in one or The key is to maintain good


will and maintain good relationship where you are,


not playing game and tricks. It is a triumph of


nationalism and not much else as the two republics


go their separate ways. Watching another famous


correspondent who stood on this spot, the lesson I have learned


is separating seems massive at the time, but living apart lasts


for much, much longer. During the Scottish referendum I did


a documentary about breaking up and looked at the velvet divorce.


Although it involved two small country, there were score o's of


treaties. The lesson is if you made the decision to go, go and sort the


details out. Try and sort out the details before you won't end up


going. But the British government's position, it may not be acceptable


to the British people, before we go, we want to see what it means. There


are some things we can untangle quickly, other involve us building


something afresh. So we have a new relationship and a severing of the


old. We can do that if we both enter the discussion in the right frame of


mind kneeing harming one side -- knowing harming one side harms the


other. Can you do it without there being a victor? The rest can be


sorted it won't be difficult. The immigration is the next biggest


problem. It can be done, but you have to be focussed on the outcome


and that is a good deal for both sides that. What is the people of


Europe want. We shall see. Thanks to Gerard Batten


and Ian Duncan. I hope you join me for the next one.




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