29/03/2017 Daily Politics


29/03/2017

Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn present live coverage of Prime Minister's Questions and Theresa May's statement on triggering the formal process for Britain to leave the EU.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 29/03/2017. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

Good morning from Westminster on an historic day.

:00:00.:00:07.

For 44 years, Britain has been a member of the European Union.

:00:08.:00:11.

Today, the process of withdrawal begins and in two years'

:00:12.:00:17.

time that membership will come to an end.

:00:18.:00:19.

The Prime Minister says it will be a "momentous journey" and promises

:00:20.:00:22.

But with complex negotiations, how will the government navigate its way

:00:23.:00:31.

through? And on the domestic front

:00:32.:00:32.

can Theresa May keep Stay tuned for this

:00:33.:00:34.

Daily Politics special. Welcome to this specially extended

:00:35.:01:08.

Daily Politics on the day Theresa May invokes Article 50

:01:09.:01:14.

of the Lisbon Treaty and begins the formal process of taking

:01:15.:01:17.

the UK out of the EU. Underneath a portrait

:01:18.:01:22.

of our first Prime Minister, our current Prime Minister signs

:01:23.:01:26.

the letter that starts that journey. One small stroke of the pen,

:01:27.:01:30.

one giant leap for the country. Our man in Brussels will deliver

:01:31.:01:35.

the letter by hand to the President It will fire the starting gun

:01:36.:01:38.

on a two-year negotiation period. So will we end up with a deal

:01:39.:01:44.

at the end of it all? Later this morning, the Prime

:01:45.:01:48.

Minister will head to the Commons Immediately afterwards,

:01:49.:01:51.

she will make a statement to MPs and say this is the moment

:01:52.:01:55.

for the country Yes, we'll be here till half past

:01:56.:01:57.

one with all the reaction And with us for the duration

:01:58.:02:13.

are the former Northern Ireland And the former Labour

:02:14.:02:17.

minister, Chris Leslie. Now, it's going to be a busy day -

:02:18.:02:20.

highly choreographed - so JoCo what exactly

:02:21.:02:26.

is the timetable for today? At midday, as usual on Wednesday,

:02:27.:02:31.

it's Prime Minister's Questions. During PMQs, at 12.20,

:02:32.:02:36.

the UK's ambassador to the EU, Sir Tim Barrow, will hand deliver

:02:37.:02:40.

Theresa May's letter to the President of

:02:41.:02:43.

the European Council, Straight after Prime Minister's

:02:44.:02:45.

Questions from about 12:30, Theresa May will make a statement

:02:46.:02:51.

to MPs confirming that the UK's Once Theresa May sits

:02:52.:02:55.

down, from about 12:45, the European Council President,

:02:56.:03:03.

Donald Tusk will make a formal statement acknowledging that Article

:03:04.:03:06.

50 has been triggered. At three o'clock, the group leaders

:03:07.:03:09.

in the European Parliament will meet to discuss the letter

:03:10.:03:15.

and afterwards, Parliament President Antonio Tajani and Parliament Brexit

:03:16.:03:20.

negotiator Guy Verhofstadt will hold At around 4:30, it's expected that

:03:21.:03:23.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker will respond

:03:24.:03:28.

formally to the triggering It seems a long time ago. Are you

:03:29.:03:53.

excited? I feel anticipation, I recognise there will be bumps along

:03:54.:03:58.

the way but I feel we will be better off when we leave the European

:03:59.:04:01.

Union, we face a bright future when we leave. The public make their

:04:02.:04:06.

judgment in the referendum and we are seeing the letter, clearly

:04:07.:04:12.

symbolic, and the phoney war, as it were, is finished and we are moving

:04:13.:04:16.

to negotiations. I want to hold those in the Leave campaign to

:04:17.:04:21.

account for the promises they made you are in that campaign. Is it

:04:22.:04:26.

irreversible? I do not think so. By the sounds of it the Justice

:04:27.:04:31.

Secretary Liz Truss said she thought it was not reversible but David

:04:32.:04:34.

Davis said he did not know and there are many others who say there is

:04:35.:04:38.

nothing in the provision of Article 50 that says it cannot be withdrawn.

:04:39.:04:44.

Two years in politics is a very long time but it is important we do not

:04:45.:04:49.

box ourselves into circumstances that could be catastrophic, we

:04:50.:04:53.

should keep options open. Are you sure on this day of days, that it

:04:54.:04:59.

will happen? I am, yes. You hesitated for a minute. Quite often,

:05:00.:05:06.

since it became apparent in the early hours of the 24th of June last

:05:07.:05:11.

year, I felt this sense it was hard to believe it would happen but I am

:05:12.:05:16.

now starting to believe it will happen, we are leaving. We have a

:05:17.:05:18.

lot to talk about. It seems like a lifetime ago since

:05:19.:05:34.

David Cameron announced a date for a referendum on membership of the

:05:35.:05:38.

European Union. A lot has happened since then. Let's take a look. On

:05:39.:05:44.

Monday, I will commence the process set out under our referendum act and

:05:45.:05:49.

go to Parliament and propose the British people decide our future in

:05:50.:05:50.

Europe. The British people have spoken and

:05:51.:06:12.

the answer is we are out. The British people have made a clear

:06:13.:06:31.

decision to take a different path and, as such, I think the country

:06:32.:06:35.

requires fresh leadership to take it in this direction.

:06:36.:06:43.

Brexit means Brexit. Brexit means Brexit. The reason I

:06:44.:06:50.

have been saying Brexit means Brexit is precisely because it does. We

:06:51.:06:54.

want a red, white and blue Brexit. We will make breakfast... Brexit a

:06:55.:07:02.

success! I think it will be Brexit plus, plus, plus, does that make

:07:03.:07:03.

sense? What I am proposing cannot mean

:07:04.:07:26.

membership of the single market. The Supreme Court rules that the

:07:27.:07:30.

government cannot trigger Article 50 without an act of Parliament

:07:31.:07:37.

authorising it to do so. The ayes to the right, 494, the noes

:07:38.:07:41.

to the left, 122. Joining me now former Liberal

:07:42.:08:03.

Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown. Have you come to terms with this yet? Am

:08:04.:08:08.

I disappointed? Of course, have I come to terms with the fact British

:08:09.:08:12.

people have voted to leave, yes I have. Have I come to terms with the

:08:13.:08:18.

fact the government has hijacked the vote for the anti-European

:08:19.:08:21.

prejudices of the Conservative Party and given us a brutal Brexit as far

:08:22.:08:28.

away from the EU as possible, despite a manifesto promise from the

:08:29.:08:31.

Conservatives to stay in the single market, they have removed is. That

:08:32.:08:35.

was a promise within the context of staying in the EU. I don't think it

:08:36.:08:42.

was. If you stay in the EU you have to stay in the single market. It is

:08:43.:08:48.

important you get facts right. They were talking about improving and

:08:49.:08:52.

building on the single market to cover services more, which is why

:08:53.:08:56.

they backed it and within the context of staying. Let's not get

:08:57.:09:01.

into the context. It said bluntly we will stay in the single market. If

:09:02.:09:06.

we stayed in the EU. If we stayed in the EU, you had to stay in the

:09:07.:09:11.

single market. It was not qualified in the way you suggest. Let's put it

:09:12.:09:16.

this way, Mrs May has a mandate to take the country out of the European

:09:17.:09:22.

Union. She has no mandate to take them out of the single market. Many

:09:23.:09:26.

of the Brexiteer is argued we should stay in, such as Daniel Hannan who

:09:27.:09:31.

made a promise along those lines. She had no mandate to take this

:09:32.:09:35.

country to the most extreme form of Brexit as far away from the EU as

:09:36.:09:39.

possible and no mandate to do what she has done which is widened the

:09:40.:09:43.

divisions of a divided country further. Am I coming to terms with

:09:44.:09:48.

the proposition that she has used the vote for exit to put forward

:09:49.:09:54.

which is a proposition as extreme as you can get? No, I haven't and we

:09:55.:09:59.

have to continue to fight that proposition. David Cameron made it

:10:00.:10:02.

clear we would have to lead the single market if we voted to leave

:10:03.:10:07.

and George Osborne made it clear, Michael Gove was explicit, Boris

:10:08.:10:11.

Johnson was explicit we would have to leave. What bit do you not

:10:12.:10:16.

understand? Daniel Hannan and others... Daniel Hannan said it is

:10:17.:10:21.

not what he said and he was talking in the context of a Norwegian

:10:22.:10:28.

arrangement, which you're then leader Nick Clegg, previous leader,

:10:29.:10:37.

described as a fax democracy. If you stay, you are subject to the

:10:38.:10:40.

jurisdiction of the European Court and if you stay in the market you

:10:41.:10:43.

must follow the rules of free movement. If you stay in the customs

:10:44.:10:49.

union, you cannot make your own free trade. What is the difference

:10:50.:10:54.

between that and being in the EU? Ask in Norway, which was an

:10:55.:10:58.

alternative model. It is not part of the customs union. It stays with

:10:59.:11:04.

access to the single market. This is the point. The British people voted.

:11:05.:11:10.

Doubtless some to leave the single market, doubtless some to stop

:11:11.:11:14.

immigration completely and some for many reasons, to send a message to

:11:15.:11:18.

Westminster, some because they got out of bed the wrong way that

:11:19.:11:22.

morning. The government to convert that vote, which I think was about

:11:23.:11:28.

leaving the European Union, but in terms that are beneficial to

:11:29.:11:33.

Britain, into a position where we have to have a brutal Brexit that

:11:34.:11:38.

takes is out of the EU and, by the way, if the government does not get

:11:39.:11:41.

its way, we jumped over the cliff together. That is not what people

:11:42.:11:47.

voted full. When it comes to honouring the sovereign judgment of

:11:48.:11:51.

the British people, it is the government that have hijacked it for

:11:52.:11:55.

the Conservative Party purpose largely to keep their own

:11:56.:12:00.

anti-European people on their backbenchers in line. That is not

:12:01.:12:05.

what the country voted for. Do you want a referendum on the deal? I

:12:06.:12:09.

want a referendum on the deal at the end of the process. What would

:12:10.:12:15.

happen if the country voted against? You would have an election. What

:12:16.:12:19.

would it do to membership of the EU? The new government would have to

:12:20.:12:22.

decide what step is taken next. There is no way this government

:12:23.:12:28.

could have a referendum on the final deal so the British people get to

:12:29.:12:33.

say whether or not that is a deal they find beneficial to them and in

:12:34.:12:36.

the interests of the country. The government loses you get an

:12:37.:12:40.

election. And if the British people voted for the deal, which you give

:12:41.:12:45.

up? You have to go ahead. Mrs May has not chosen a form of Brexit

:12:46.:12:49.

advantageous to Britain or in deed for which she has a mandate. She has

:12:50.:12:54.

chosen the most extreme form and put us in a position where if she does

:12:55.:12:59.

not get her way we jump over the cliff together. Without any voice.

:13:00.:13:04.

You talk about extreme Brexit. I would like to know how you can leave

:13:05.:13:09.

the European Union, which is not the people voted for, and stay in the

:13:10.:13:13.

single market and Customs union. You can stay with access to the single

:13:14.:13:17.

market. You will not have it in the way Norway has it or Sweden has it.

:13:18.:13:24.

We do not know... It is Switzerland. We don't know the nature of the free

:13:25.:13:30.

trade deal. That will give us access. What we will no longer have

:13:31.:13:35.

is membership, because the people voted against the sorts of things

:13:36.:13:39.

that go with membership. Why is that extreme? Because it means we will

:13:40.:13:45.

not have the same kind of access to the single market as enjoyed by

:13:46.:13:50.

Norway or Switzerland or could have been negotiated by the British

:13:51.:13:56.

Government. The trick is this is a deal which I don't believe the

:13:57.:14:01.

British people voted for, for which Mrs May does not have a mandate,

:14:02.:14:06.

which puts us at the edge of the cliff with the most extreme form of

:14:07.:14:10.

Brexit and threatens asked to jump over the cliff, without the British

:14:11.:14:15.

people having a vote at any time. You have made that point, you have

:14:16.:14:21.

made it well and several times. Here is the issue. You criticise the

:14:22.:14:29.

government position for being extreme. In this historically you

:14:30.:14:33.

were extremists and wanted us to join the euro. We can argue as to

:14:34.:14:37.

why I believe that was the right thing at the time. You don't now?

:14:38.:14:43.

That would have been the right thing at the time. That sounds quite

:14:44.:14:47.

extreme to many. I don't think it is extreme. If you want to get into the

:14:48.:14:53.

detail, at that time, Germany had doubled the debt of Britain and was

:14:54.:14:57.

lower in productivity and competitiveness than Britain. At the

:14:58.:15:02.

end of the process because we have the option to devalue, we ended up

:15:03.:15:07.

with doubled the debt of Germany and half the productivity level. Which

:15:08.:15:08.

has That financial crisis was worse for

:15:09.:15:22.

Britain because we were not able to sustain the competitiveness. We are

:15:23.:15:27.

talking about the future, and whether I was right or wrong about

:15:28.:15:31.

monetary union, and I maintain I was right, the question is, what should

:15:32.:15:36.

happen now? I heard Chris say earlier on that the phoney war has

:15:37.:15:39.

ended and we will get down to the details. What we have had up until

:15:40.:15:43.

now is in salt fuelled invective against those who would question the

:15:44.:15:48.

Government in any way, and political statements from ministers with no

:15:49.:15:53.

fact. Can I ask you this, because for about four times, you have

:15:54.:16:00.

criticised the government for saying that we can no longer be members of

:16:01.:16:04.

the single market. Access to the single market. We will always have

:16:05.:16:09.

that, even North Korea has got access. The Prime Minister announced

:16:10.:16:16.

in her Lancaster house speech many weeks ago. Can you name a single

:16:17.:16:20.

European leader who thinks that Britain should stay in the single

:16:21.:16:25.

market? I can name you lots of European leaders, probably all of

:16:26.:16:28.

the without exception, who would wish Britain to retain membership

:16:29.:16:34.

with the single market similar to that of Switzerland and Norway, and

:16:35.:16:37.

it will be beneficial... Can you name in the commission, the Council

:16:38.:16:43.

of the nesters, a leading Prime Minister or president who says

:16:44.:16:47.

Britain should negotiate to stay members of the single market, can

:16:48.:16:51.

you name one? I think every single one of them wants Britain to

:16:52.:16:55.

continue to have substantial access to the single market in the same

:16:56.:16:59.

form as Norway and Switzerland has, but no doubt negotiated on a basis

:17:00.:17:02.

which is useful to Britain. So not one, in other words? Not a single

:17:03.:17:08.

one of them wants us to have a situation in relation to the single

:17:09.:17:12.

market which this Government is now proposing as part of the brutal

:17:13.:17:15.

Brexit deal that will damage the country. That is not true, Michelle

:17:16.:17:21.

Barney says he looks forward to negotiating an extensive

:17:22.:17:25.

arrangement. Let's wait to see whether that can be done. I

:17:26.:17:28.

understand that, but you said nobody wants it, I have just quoted the

:17:29.:17:33.

leader of the EU negotiations saying he wants it. One thing that cannot

:17:34.:17:37.

be done, and every body knows that except some of those managing this

:17:38.:17:40.

for the Government, we cannot have a deal which is better than the one

:17:41.:17:45.

that we had in the European Union. That cannot be done. So it will be a

:17:46.:17:49.

worse deal, and insofar as this is me has deliberately put us on the

:17:50.:17:54.

outer ring, beyond Switzerland, beyond Norway, on the edge of the

:17:55.:17:59.

cliff, it seems to me, that is a position which I think it is

:18:00.:18:03.

impossible for her to negotiate a deal which is to the benefit of our

:18:04.:18:07.

country. Are you one of these rabid Tory backbenchers forcing the Prime

:18:08.:18:10.

Minister into an extreme position? According to Paddy, I think I must

:18:11.:18:18.

be, and I think there are probably a lot of Leave supporters watching

:18:19.:18:22.

this programme who will be quite offended at being described in that

:18:23.:18:26.

way, and I think it is ironic that Paddy in accuses the Government of

:18:27.:18:29.

invective when that is what we have heard from him. It is not an

:18:30.:18:34.

unreasonable, extreme position to want to be a country that governs

:18:35.:18:39.

ourselves, and it is not unreasonable or extreme to say that

:18:40.:18:44.

leaving the EU means just that. We can't remain subject to all the laws

:18:45.:18:49.

of the single market and the European court of justice and

:18:50.:18:51.

implement the result of the referendum. Is there any bit of what

:18:52.:18:54.

Paddy Ashdown was saying that you disagree with? I think I would

:18:55.:18:58.

disagree with the single currency point. As he said, that is in the

:18:59.:19:05.

past. What about now? I think I would go further than Paddy, and I

:19:06.:19:08.

would have said that the real fault of the Prime Minister was ruling out

:19:09.:19:13.

that single market in the Lancaster house speech, because we should have

:19:14.:19:16.

been entering into the negotiations with a view to try and adapt and

:19:17.:19:22.

reform the single market. You can't adapt and reform the single market

:19:23.:19:28.

from the outside. There are lots of other countries who want and have

:19:29.:19:34.

issues with the free movement, for example, and can we retain the

:19:35.:19:37.

single market and adapt that pillar... Mrs Merkel says no. She

:19:38.:19:47.

hasn't been asked. No, she said no. Free movement is not negotiable,

:19:48.:19:53.

said Mrs Merkel. They put down their lines, we put down our lines, we

:19:54.:19:58.

have a negotiation. Very briefly, we are running out of time. What

:19:59.:20:09.

Theresa has done... Which Theresa? This one? Yes, if we dare to

:20:10.:20:14.

criticise the position taken by the Government supported by in the large

:20:15.:20:17.

measure it anti-European backbenchers, probably to keep them

:20:18.:20:21.

on board, then we are somehow insulting the wider collection of

:20:22.:20:24.

people who voted for that. They voted for something completely

:20:25.:20:28.

different. Mrs me has done what Mr Cameron did, it is not about the

:20:29.:20:33.

national interest. We have to stop, you have had a fair innings, I think

:20:34.:20:37.

you will agree. And we didn't mention hats once!

:20:38.:20:42.

So once Article 50 is triggered, what next?

:20:43.:20:43.

According to the Lisbon Treaty, the whole process should be

:20:44.:20:46.

completed within two years - although some are sceptical

:20:47.:20:48.

JoCo, what can we can expect in the coming

:20:49.:20:55.

Donald Tusk, president of the EU Council which represents the leaders

:20:56.:21:00.

of the remaining 27 member states, has said the Council will publish

:21:01.:21:03.

draft negotiation guidelines within 48 hours.

:21:04.:21:08.

Then at an EU summit next month the Council will agree

:21:09.:21:11.

the European Commission's mandate for negotiating with the UK.

:21:12.:21:17.

By mid-May, the Commission will publish a plan for the negotiations

:21:18.:21:19.

This is also when we may hear more about the possibility of a parallel

:21:20.:21:28.

negotiation on a future EU-UK trade deal.

:21:29.:21:33.

But with elections in both France and Germany in the next six months,

:21:34.:21:36.

it will probably be autumn before negotiations

:21:37.:21:37.

Meanwhile Parliament will be busy discussing

:21:38.:21:46.

the Great Repeal Bill, which - as the name suggests -

:21:47.:21:49.

will repeal the 1972 European Communities Act

:21:50.:21:53.

and incorporate areas of EU law into domestic legislation.

:21:54.:21:57.

Michel Barnier, the Commission's chief negotiator, says he thinks

:21:58.:21:59.

the negotiations could be concluded by next October.

:22:00.:22:03.

However, the negotiations could be extended, if all 27 member states

:22:04.:22:06.

If everything goes to plan, both Houses of Parliament will then

:22:07.:22:14.

The European Council and European Parliament

:22:15.:22:17.

If the deal is formally voted through, the UK would then formally

:22:18.:22:25.

withdraw from the EU by the end of March 2019.

:22:26.:22:27.

And we can talk now to the SNP MP Stephen Gethins, who is the party's

:22:28.:22:31.

Welcome back to the daily politics. For you and the SNP, there is a date

:22:32.:22:41.

and an event missing, namely a second independence referendum. Have

:22:42.:22:46.

you accepted that is not going to happen in the next two years? Lets

:22:47.:22:50.

see what happens. The Scottish Parliament voted last night to have

:22:51.:22:53.

another independence referendum, so it used its mandate to ask for

:22:54.:23:01.

another independence referendum, and I think critically, Andrew was

:23:02.:23:03.

talking earlier on when he was speaking to Paddy about Michel

:23:04.:23:07.

Barnier, but Michel Barnier set out the schedule by which we will know

:23:08.:23:11.

what the deal looks like, and that fits in with the referendum

:23:12.:23:14.

timetable that the First Minister set out. In a sense, if that

:23:15.:23:20.

question of when you may hold a second independence referendum is

:23:21.:23:23.

settled, you can get on with the business of government in Scotland.

:23:24.:23:26.

The Scottish Government is already getting on with the business of

:23:27.:23:32.

government in Scotland. When you talk about Theresa May who is being

:23:33.:23:36.

told we have crisis in the NHS where the Red Cross are talking about a

:23:37.:23:39.

humanitarian disaster, I think she has plenty to be getting on with.

:23:40.:23:44.

And on that basis, she has a lot to get on with, as you have said, no

:23:45.:23:47.

one is denying that, and you could argue that there has been posturing

:23:48.:23:50.

on both sides on the referendum question. But is it now in your

:23:51.:23:55.

interests, in Scotland's interest and the interests of the UK

:23:56.:23:58.

Government, for everyone to try to get at their steel for the UK, to

:23:59.:24:03.

park the issue of the timing of the independence referendum? That is why

:24:04.:24:09.

we don't want to have a referendum right now. We want to know what will

:24:10.:24:13.

happen with the deal. This is not a situation that we wanted to find

:24:14.:24:17.

ourselves in. But will you call operate now in terms of getting the

:24:18.:24:23.

best deal? This is a two-way process, and Theresa May has to be

:24:24.:24:26.

seen to want to work with the Scottish Government. She said she

:24:27.:24:30.

wanted to see a UK wide approach to this, and she hasn't taken that.

:24:31.:24:36.

Repatriating powers on things like agriculture and fishing, you could

:24:37.:24:40.

see that as in some ways making an overture on two big issues for the

:24:41.:24:46.

Scottish Government. You could, but when we asked the Secretary of State

:24:47.:24:48.

what new powers Scotland will be getting, we didn't get any answers.

:24:49.:24:55.

We have had nothing on immigration policy. These were among the

:24:56.:24:59.

promises made before the EU referendum, a week before the polls

:25:00.:25:02.

by Michael Gove, and they are not coming through on that. But if you

:25:03.:25:05.

are going to hold Theresa May's feet to the fire on including Scotland

:25:06.:25:10.

and the Scottish Government in those negotiations, and I have been hints

:25:11.:25:13.

that those would be areas where you could get some sort of agreement,

:25:14.:25:17.

would that be where you will concentrate your efforts,

:25:18.:25:23.

repatriating powers on agriculture and fishing, and working towards a

:25:24.:25:27.

separate deal for certain sectors? That is something that the Home

:25:28.:25:30.

Secretary ruled out. The UK Government don't have a great track

:25:31.:25:33.

record. The Scottish Government have a responsibility to those whose jobs

:25:34.:25:41.

will be impacted by this. 80,000 Scottish jobs, in Scotland alone,

:25:42.:25:44.

could go as a direct consequence of a hard Brexit, which is the one we

:25:45.:25:49.

are looking at the moment. What we are trying to do is give people a

:25:50.:25:54.

choice once they know what the deal looks like before it is too late. So

:25:55.:25:57.

you will still fight for the referendum date within the timescale

:25:58.:26:00.

of spring 2019? I think that is imported, but the First Minister has

:26:01.:26:03.

been clear that she is willing to compromise. So it could go beyond

:26:04.:26:07.

that. Theresa Villiers, is that kind of thing that the Government should

:26:08.:26:13.

be offering the Scottish Parliament, executive control on things like

:26:14.:26:16.

agriculture and fishing? The Government has been clear that no

:26:17.:26:20.

powers on those areas would be removed from Scottish Parliament or

:26:21.:26:23.

the Scottish Government, but there is a debate to be have about the

:26:24.:26:28.

powers which are returned to Westminster, as to which stay in

:26:29.:26:31.

Westminster and which go to the devolved authorities. I'm sure there

:26:32.:26:35.

will be extensive powers over fisheries and agriculture that will

:26:36.:26:37.

end up with the Scottish Government, but at this stage we can't be

:26:38.:26:43.

definite about which they will be. If you got fishing back, would you

:26:44.:26:48.

hand it back to Brussels? As you well know, the Treaty of union and

:26:49.:26:52.

the act of union are two very different things. But if you joined

:26:53.:26:56.

Brussels, you would just hand the powers right back, it is ludicrous!

:26:57.:27:01.

It is difficult to see Brussels blocking any referendum in the same

:27:02.:27:06.

way that the UK Government is trying to block the Scottish Government. We

:27:07.:27:13.

will leave it there. It is a historic day for both Britain and

:27:14.:27:14.

the EU. What better

:27:15.:27:16.

way to mark the occasion than with a special edition

:27:17.:27:18.

Daily Politics commemorative mug? We have been painting these

:27:19.:27:21.

all-night! Yes, you can celebrate -

:27:22.:27:24.

or commiserate - the end of 44 years of EU membership,

:27:25.:27:27.

from Ted Heath signing us into the Common Market in 1972

:27:28.:27:29.

to Theresa May signing us out yesterday, by joining us

:27:30.:27:32.

for a Great British brew. All you need to do for this

:27:33.:27:40.

once-in-a-generation chance to win our special mug,

:27:41.:27:42.

is tell us when this happened. # All my life I've

:27:43.:27:53.

been waiting for you # Been living in a fantasy

:27:54.:28:02.

without meaning.# # So now I walk in the midday

:28:03.:28:07.

sun # I never thought

:28:08.:28:49.

that my saviour would come. And to be in with a chance

:28:50.:28:54.

of winning a Daily Politics mug, send your answer to our special quiz

:28:55.:29:19.

email address - Entries must arrive by 12.30 today,

:29:20.:29:21.

and you can see the full terms and conditions for Guess

:29:22.:29:27.

The Year on our website - Just take a look at Big Ben -

:29:28.:29:30.

and that can mean only one thing. Yes, Prime Minister's

:29:31.:29:39.

Questions is on its way. And that's not all -

:29:40.:29:41.

Laura Kuenssberg is here. A difficult one on PMQs, because it

:29:42.:29:52.

is just the start, this time. It is absolutely, and Jeremy Corbyn and

:29:53.:29:57.

Theresa May will be upstaged today by a six or seven page piece of

:29:58.:30:01.

paper arriving in Brussels. That is how long we expect the letter to be,

:30:02.:30:05.

and broadly we are not expecting there to be much new substance. One

:30:06.:30:10.

member of the Cabinet at the meeting this morning where they were briefed

:30:11.:30:12.

by the Prime Minister on the contents of the letter told me there

:30:13.:30:16.

was nothing unexpected in it. Today is all going to be about time. Lets

:30:17.:30:18.

see what the tone is the PMQs. They were Aysha Frade, Kurt Cochran,

:30:19.:30:38.

Leslie Rhodes and, of course, PC Keith Palmer. I am sure the house

:30:39.:30:44.

will join me in extending condolences to the families. The

:30:45.:30:49.

investigation continues and two people have been arrested and are in

:30:50.:30:53.

custody. This morning I had meetings with ministerial colleagues and I

:30:54.:30:56.

will have further such meetings later today. May I echo her

:30:57.:31:03.

sentiments and congratulate her also on all the good work done since last

:31:04.:31:09.

week. May I also congratulate the Prime Minister and government on

:31:10.:31:13.

triggering Article 50 today. I know this is a momentous action to the

:31:14.:31:19.

whole of the United Kingdom and while I like herself campaigned to

:31:20.:31:24.

stay in, we recognise the people have spoken and we offered the

:31:25.:31:30.

Ulster Unionist Party. Port in ensuring negotiations deliver the

:31:31.:31:34.

best for the whole of the UK and particularly for Northern Ireland.

:31:35.:31:39.

But could I ask the Prime Minister to confirm that in the extremely

:31:40.:31:45.

improbable event that a border poll should take place regarding the

:31:46.:31:49.

future of Northern Ireland within the United Kingdom during her

:31:50.:31:52.

premiership, that a government will fully support any official Remain

:31:53.:31:59.

campaign? Just as the government have done both in regard of the EU

:32:00.:32:11.

and indeed Scotland. The honourable gentleman is right. Today we do give

:32:12.:32:16.

effect to the democratic decision of the people of the United Kingdom who

:32:17.:32:20.

voted for us to leave the European Union. It was a call to make the

:32:21.:32:26.

United Kingdom a country that works for everyone not just the privileged

:32:27.:32:32.

few. We are within that fully committed to ensuring the unique

:32:33.:32:36.

interests of Northern Ireland are attracted and advanced as we

:32:37.:32:40.

establish our negotiating position. Our position is we strongly support

:32:41.:32:45.

the Belfast agreement including the principle of consent that Northern

:32:46.:32:49.

Ireland constitutional position is that the people of Northern Ireland

:32:50.:32:54.

to determine. We have a preference that Northern Ireland should remain

:32:55.:32:58.

part of the United Kingdom and we will never be neutral in expressing

:32:59.:33:03.

our support for that. That is because I believe fundamentally in

:33:04.:33:10.

the strength of our union. Pupils and parents deserve good schools and

:33:11.:33:15.

real choice in education including schools focused unashamedly on

:33:16.:33:20.

academic rigour. Can my right honourable friend tell us when the

:33:21.:33:22.

government will open applications for the new wave of free schools and

:33:23.:33:27.

can she confirmed they will be genuinely free to be run as they

:33:28.:33:31.

wish, serving the community and creating scores for everyone? My

:33:32.:33:36.

honourable friend is right. Schools should be free to be run as best

:33:37.:33:41.

suit them. We put autonomy and freedom in the hands of strong

:33:42.:33:45.

leaders and outstanding teachers so they can deliver an excellent

:33:46.:33:51.

education. We want to get out of the way of outstanding education

:33:52.:33:54.

providers to set up the types of schools parents want which is why we

:33:55.:33:59.

have set out plans to remove the ban on new grammar schools and

:34:00.:34:02.

restrictions on new faith schools. We do expect to announce the details

:34:03.:34:08.

of the next wave of free school applications following the

:34:09.:34:13.

publication of the White Paper. I want to begin by paying tribute to

:34:14.:34:17.

the emergency services as the Prime Minister did, across the country,

:34:18.:34:22.

especially those who responded to the Westminster attack and to those

:34:23.:34:26.

who turned out to help the victims of the new ferry explosion on

:34:27.:34:30.

Saturday. Our thoughts remain with the injured and those who have lost

:34:31.:34:35.

loved ones and we thank the police for their investigations. Could the

:34:36.:34:39.

Prime Minister assure Ross police will be given all support and

:34:40.:34:43.

resources to take them through this difficult period -- assure us? I

:34:44.:34:49.

joined the right honourable gentleman in praising the work of

:34:50.:34:54.

the emergency services, who have to deal with a wide range of incidents

:34:55.:35:00.

that take place. Our focus has been most recently on the attack last

:35:01.:35:06.

Wednesday. We should not forget that day in day out emergency services

:35:07.:35:09.

work on our behalf and often put themselves in danger as a result. I

:35:10.:35:16.

have kept in touch as has my right honourable friend the Home Secretary

:35:17.:35:21.

with the security services and Metropolitan Police on the

:35:22.:35:23.

investigation taking place into the attack last week and I am looking

:35:24.:35:28.

forward to security arrangements and I can assure him they have the

:35:29.:35:31.

resources they need to carry out vital work. Of course we all pay

:35:32.:35:37.

tribute to the police for the work they do but there are some problems

:35:38.:35:43.

that between 2015 and 2018 there will be a real terms cut in central

:35:44.:35:49.

government funding to police forces of 330 million. Can the Prime

:35:50.:35:53.

Minister assure the house the police all over the country have the

:35:54.:35:57.

necessary resources to do the job? I would remind him that what we have

:35:58.:36:06.

done is protected that police budget and of course the former Shadow Home

:36:07.:36:11.

Secretary, his colleague, the right honourable member, prior to the...

:36:12.:36:16.

At the Labour Party conference said savings can be found. The police say

:36:17.:36:23.

5-10% is just about doable. We have protected the police budget. I have

:36:24.:36:29.

been speaking to police forces and they are cleared the work they are

:36:30.:36:36.

doing has the resources they need. The Police Federation survey

:36:37.:36:41.

recently undertaken reveals that 55% of serving police officers say

:36:42.:36:47.

morale is low due to the way in which funding has been treated.

:36:48.:36:52.

Front line policing is vital in tackling crime and terrorism. Since

:36:53.:36:58.

2010, there are 20,000 fewer police officers, 12,000 fewer on the front

:36:59.:37:03.

line. I asked the Prime Minister again, will she think again about

:37:04.:37:09.

the cuts and guaranteed policing on the front line will be protected so

:37:10.:37:13.

every community can be assured it has the officers it needs in their

:37:14.:37:21.

community? I said we have protected those police budgets including of

:37:22.:37:24.

course the precepts they raise locally. Let's think about what has

:37:25.:37:30.

happened since 2010. Since 2010 we have seen crime is traditionally

:37:31.:37:37.

measured by the independent crime survey falling by a third to a

:37:38.:37:42.

record low, and that is the work of hard-working officers up and down

:37:43.:37:47.

this country. They have been backed by this government. We have made

:37:48.:37:52.

them more accountable through directly elected Police and Crime

:37:53.:37:55.

Commissioners and there has been reform, including reform of the

:37:56.:37:59.

Police Federation that was necessary, but we have ensured

:38:00.:38:03.

police have resources to do their job and we see crime at a record

:38:04.:38:11.

low. The Royal air forces preparing to fly typhoons from my constituency

:38:12.:38:18.

to Romania, to support Nato allies on the border with Russia. This is

:38:19.:38:25.

as President Putin is locking up political opponents and crushing

:38:26.:38:30.

calls for democracy. Will my right honourable friend confirm that as we

:38:31.:38:35.

leave the EU, the United Kingdom will continue to lead Nato in

:38:36.:38:40.

defending this vital border, and will she paid tribute to the Armed

:38:41.:38:45.

Forces who safeguard our democracy at home and abroad? I am very happy

:38:46.:38:53.

to join my honourable friend in paying tribute to the men and women

:38:54.:38:58.

of our Armed Forces, they are the best in the world and they worked

:38:59.:39:06.

tirelessly to keep us safe and we open every gratitude. Our commitment

:39:07.:39:11.

to collective defence and security through Nato is as strong as ever.

:39:12.:39:17.

We will meet our pledge to spend 2% of GDP wand expense every year of

:39:18.:39:23.

the decade and we plan to spend 178 billion on equipment. She referred

:39:24.:39:27.

to work done by the Royal Air Force in relation to Romania. With Nato we

:39:28.:39:32.

deploy a battalion to Estonia and squadron to Poland and I think that

:39:33.:39:36.

shows our commitment to our collective security and defence. We

:39:37.:39:44.

associate ourselves with the condolences of the Prime Minister

:39:45.:39:47.

and leader of the Labour Party and praise for the emergency and

:39:48.:39:54.

security services. After the appalling terrorist atrocity. Last

:39:55.:39:59.

year, the Prime Minister promised before she would trigger Article 50

:40:00.:40:04.

on leaving the EU, she would secure a UK wide approach and agreement...

:40:05.:40:17.

Last year the Prime Minister did make that promise and promised there

:40:18.:40:21.

would be agreement with the governments of Scotland, Wales and

:40:22.:40:26.

Northern Ireland before triggering Article 50. The Prime Minister has

:40:27.:40:30.

now triggered Article 50 and she has done so without an agreement. There

:40:31.:40:36.

is no agreement. Why has she broken her promise and her word? I have

:40:37.:40:43.

been clear throughout and since the first visit that I made as Prime

:40:44.:40:53.

Minister to Edinburgh last July, which was we would work with the

:40:54.:40:57.

devolved administrations and develop a UK wide approach but in

:40:58.:41:02.

negotiations it would be a UK approach taken into the negotiations

:41:03.:41:06.

and it would be the United Kingdom government that took forward that

:41:07.:41:11.

position and I would remind him that Scotland is part of the United

:41:12.:41:24.

Kingdom. People will note the Prime Minister did not deny she would seek

:41:25.:41:29.

a UK wide approach and agreement with the governments of Scotland,

:41:30.:41:32.

Wales and Northern Ireland and there is no agreement. The Scottish

:41:33.:41:38.

Government was elected with a higher percentage of the vote with a bigger

:41:39.:41:43.

electoral mandate than the UK Government. Yesterday the Scottish

:41:44.:41:49.

Parliament voted by 69 to 59 that people in Scotland should have a

:41:50.:41:56.

choice about their future. After the negotiations with the EU are

:41:57.:41:59.

concluded, there will be a period for democratic approval of the

:42:00.:42:04.

outcome. That choice will be exercised in this Parliament, in the

:42:05.:42:08.

European Parliament, and in 27 member states of the EU. Given that

:42:09.:42:15.

everybody else will have a choice... Will the people of Scotland have a

:42:16.:42:24.

choice... ? I say to the right honourable gentleman that we are

:42:25.:42:31.

taking forward the views of the United Kingdom into the negotiations

:42:32.:42:39.

with the European Union on the United Kingdom exiting the European

:42:40.:42:42.

Union. The Scottish Nationalist party consistently talks... Order!

:42:43.:42:56.

This is unseemly heckling. You are a distinguished QC. You would not

:42:57.:43:00.

behave like that in the Scottish courts. You would be chucked out.

:43:01.:43:07.

Prime Minister. The SNP consistently talks about independence as the only

:43:08.:43:12.

subject they wish to talk about. I said to him and his colleagues that

:43:13.:43:19.

now is not the time to be talking about a second independence

:43:20.:43:26.

referendum. On today of all days, we should be coming together as a

:43:27.:43:31.

United Kingdom to get the best deal for Britain.

:43:32.:43:42.

Improving vocational and technical education is vital to closing our

:43:43.:43:47.

productivity gap so can the Prime Minister assure me vocational

:43:48.:43:50.

education will enjoy equal status with academic education so that as

:43:51.:43:55.

we leave the EU, our young people can be equipped to build the high

:43:56.:44:00.

skilled economy of the future? My honourable friend has raised an

:44:01.:44:05.

important issue. It is essential for young people we give vocational and

:44:06.:44:10.

technical education the right esteem and focus because it is essential in

:44:11.:44:15.

addressing the productivity gap. We want to deliver a world leading

:44:16.:44:20.

technical education system to create genuine options that are equal in

:44:21.:44:25.

esteem, two options for young people in esteem. In the budget, the

:44:26.:44:30.

Chancellor announced a significant package of investment to represent

:44:31.:44:36.

the most ambitious post-16 reform since the introduction of A-levels.

:44:37.:44:41.

We will invest an extra half ?1 billion in Ingham's technical

:44:42.:44:45.

education and introduce maintenance loans or those studying high-level

:44:46.:44:49.

technical qualifications at institutes of technology. The

:44:50.:44:56.

Treasury Select Committee says that having to fill in a tax return every

:44:57.:45:02.

three months means that many smaller companies face disaster. The

:45:03.:45:06.

Federation of small business says the extra cost is likely to be

:45:07.:45:13.

annually ?2700 a year. This is another burden on business from this

:45:14.:45:19.

government. She got it wrong on national Insurance, is she going to

:45:20.:45:23.

backtrack now on tax returns, as well?

:45:24.:45:28.

Perhaps the honourable gentleman should have listened to the

:45:29.:45:32.

announcement the Chancellor made in the budget where he indicated he

:45:33.:45:35.

would be delaying the introduction of this for the smallest businesses

:45:36.:45:40.

below the VAT threshold for a year. But I think it is right that HMRC

:45:41.:45:45.

does try to move to a greater digitisation of the way in which it

:45:46.:45:49.

operates. I think that will enable it to give a better service to those

:45:50.:45:53.

people who are completing their forms, and we should always remember

:45:54.:45:59.

that aspect of what is being proposed. I welcome the additional

:46:00.:46:03.

money the Government has given for adult social care, but it is

:46:04.:46:06.

important we also look at long-term solutions for the. Will the Prime

:46:07.:46:14.

Minister look at issues with how the system works with Northampton county

:46:15.:46:16.

council and Northampton General Hospital? I say to my honourable

:46:17.:46:21.

friend but I'm grateful that he is welcome for the extra money, the ?2

:46:22.:46:28.

billion going to social care and out by the Chancellor. This shows we

:46:29.:46:32.

have recognised the pressures and demands on social care, but it is

:46:33.:46:37.

also important that we ensure best practice is delivered across the

:46:38.:46:40.

whole of the country, it isn't just about money, so we are trying to

:46:41.:46:44.

find a long-term sustainable solution which will help local

:46:45.:46:46.

authorities to learn from each other and raise standards across the

:46:47.:46:50.

system, and we will bring forward proposals in a green paper later

:46:51.:46:54.

this year to put the state funded system on a more sustainable and

:46:55.:46:58.

long-term footing. As Home Secretary, the Prime Minister

:46:59.:47:03.

clearly didn't protect police budgets. Last week she told me four

:47:04.:47:08.

times, we have protected the schools budget. Does she still stand by that

:47:09.:47:16.

statement? We have protected schools budgets, and we are putting record

:47:17.:47:23.

funding into schools. Today, Mr Speaker, the Public Accounts

:47:24.:47:27.

Committee says the Department of Education that it does not seem to

:47:28.:47:31.

understand the pressures that schools are already under. And they

:47:32.:47:36.

went on to say that funding per pupil is reducing in real terms, and

:47:37.:47:41.

goes on to say schools budgets will be cut by ?3 billion, equivalent to

:47:42.:47:50.

8%, by 2020. Is the Public Accounts Committee wrong on this? What we see

:47:51.:48:00.

over the course of this Parliament is ?230 billion going into our

:48:01.:48:03.

schools. But what matters is the quality of education that we see in

:48:04.:48:06.

our schools. 1.8 million more children in good or outstanding

:48:07.:48:12.

schools, and a policy from this Government to ensure that every

:48:13.:48:17.

child gets a good school plays. Mr Speaker, the daily experience of

:48:18.:48:23.

many parents who have children in schools is that they get letters

:48:24.:48:27.

from the schools asking for money. One parent, Elizabeth, wrote to me

:48:28.:48:31.

to say she has received a letter from her daughter's school asking

:48:32.:48:35.

for a monthly donation to top up the reduced funds that her school is

:48:36.:48:42.

receiving. This Government's cuts to schools are betraying a generation

:48:43.:48:45.

of our children. If the Prime Minister is right, then the parents

:48:46.:48:50.

are wrong, the teachers are wrong, the IFF is wrong, the National Audit

:48:51.:48:54.

Office is wrong, the education policy Institute is wrong and now

:48:55.:49:00.

the Public Accounts Committee, which includes eight Conservative members

:49:01.:49:03.

in it, is also wrong. So which organisation does back the Prime

:49:04.:49:06.

Minister's view on education spending in our schools? I would say

:49:07.:49:11.

to the right honourable gentleman that as I have just said to him, we

:49:12.:49:15.

said we would protect school funding, and we have. A real terms

:49:16.:49:19.

protection for the schools budget. We said we would protect the money

:49:20.:49:23.

following children into schools, and we have, it reaches ?42 billion as

:49:24.:49:31.

pupil numbers rise in 19/ 20. But it is also about the quality of

:49:32.:49:36.

education children are receiving. 1.8 million more children in good or

:49:37.:49:40.

outstanding schools than under the Labour government. But I also say

:49:41.:49:44.

this, because time and time again, the gentleman stands up in PMQs and

:49:45.:49:48.

asks questions which would lead to more spending. Let's look at what he

:49:49.:49:53.

has done recently. On the 11th of January, more spending. On the 8th

:49:54.:49:57.

of February, more spending. On the 22nd of February, more spending. On

:49:58.:50:02.

the first and the 8th of March, more spending. On the 15th and 22nd of

:50:03.:50:09.

March, more spending. Barely a PMQs goes by that he doesn't call for

:50:10.:50:14.

more public spending. When it comes to spending money that they haven't

:50:15.:50:17.

got, Labour simply can't help themselves. It's the same old

:50:18.:50:21.

Labour, spend today and give somebody else the Bill tomorrow.

:50:22.:50:25.

Well, we won't do that to the next generation.

:50:26.:50:37.

Thank you, Mr Speaker. I'm sure everyone in the House will want to

:50:38.:50:43.

join me in paying tribute to the thousands who worked in munitions

:50:44.:50:48.

factories in both world wars. Often in very dangerous conditions. And

:50:49.:50:50.

they produced a vital equipment for the Armed Forces that helped us to

:50:51.:50:55.

victory. I'm sure my honourable friend will recognise that for

:50:56.:50:59.

practical reasons it is not possible to pursue individual awards, but I

:51:00.:51:02.

know that the Department for Business would be happy to work with

:51:03.:51:05.

him to look at further ways to recognise the collective effort of

:51:06.:51:10.

former munitions workers. I thank my right honourable friend for that

:51:11.:51:13.

answer. These ladies found that the chemicals in the shells turned their

:51:14.:51:19.

skins yellow, and they were nicknamed canary girls. I know my

:51:20.:51:22.

right honourable friend is exceptionally busy at the moment,

:51:23.:51:24.

but could she find just a few moments in her diary to meet me and

:51:25.:51:27.

some of these canary girls to recognise their service? I would be

:51:28.:51:33.

very happy to do that. I would be very happy to meet some canary

:51:34.:51:37.

girls. As I said, they did work which was vital to the war effort.

:51:38.:51:41.

They did work which in one sense was absolutely routine, but in another

:51:42.:51:46.

sense was extremely dangerous, and I think we should recognise the

:51:47.:51:51.

efforts that they put in. Thank you, Mr Speaker. The Prime Minister will

:51:52.:51:54.

be aware that the Welsh Labour government has established a

:51:55.:52:04.

children's funeral fund. Many leading funeral providers have also

:52:05.:52:06.

indicated that there will be no charges for children and young

:52:07.:52:11.

people's funerals. I know the Prime Minister is a compassionate woman,

:52:12.:52:14.

and I know she understands the importance of a children's funeral

:52:15.:52:18.

fund. Will she agree to work with me to establish this fund to bring some

:52:19.:52:23.

comfort to bereaved parents in their darkest hour? I pay tribute to the

:52:24.:52:28.

honourable lady who has been campaigning tirelessly on this

:52:29.:52:34.

issue, and obviously it is not just a passionate campaign, but she has

:52:35.:52:37.

spoken on many occasions moving in this House about her personal

:52:38.:52:42.

experience which she has brought to bear on this issue. I welcome the

:52:43.:52:46.

decision taken by the co-operative funeral company to waive the fees on

:52:47.:52:50.

this. There is some financial support available, we are looking at

:52:51.:52:54.

this issue on the problems faced by parents, and at what more can be

:52:55.:52:56.

done through a cross government piece of work, and I ask the

:52:57.:53:00.

Minister for the Cabinet office who is meeting on that piece of work to

:53:01.:53:03.

meet with us and talk about the idea. As the Prime Minister will

:53:04.:53:09.

know, the budget gave an extra ?200 million to the Welsh Labour

:53:10.:53:13.

government in order to provide business rate relief. Will the Prime

:53:14.:53:17.

Minister agree with myself and the leader of Monmouthshire council that

:53:18.:53:20.

Welsh Labour must now commit to spending that money on supporting

:53:21.:53:24.

Welsh businesses and giving the same level of support that has been

:53:25.:53:27.

provided in England by this conservative Government? I say to my

:53:28.:53:34.

honourable friend he is absolutely right. As he said at the budget, my

:53:35.:53:37.

right honourable friend the Chancellor announced a ?200 million

:53:38.:53:42.

boost to the Welsh budget. They will be able to use that money to support

:53:43.:53:45.

their own priorities, but the people of Wales can send a clear signal

:53:46.:53:49.

about these priorities by voting for Conservative councillors like Peter

:53:50.:53:53.

Fox on the 4th of May. And I have to say it is the UK Government actions

:53:54.:53:59.

to support working families throughout the country that will

:54:00.:54:04.

make sure Wales benefits. The Foreign Secretary jury be EU

:54:05.:54:07.

referendum campaign urged people to, and I quote, take back control of

:54:08.:54:15.

huge sums of money, ?350 million per week, and spend it on our priorities

:54:16.:54:20.

such as the NHS. The Prime Minister will trigger article 50 today. Can

:54:21.:54:24.

the Prime Minister confirm precisely when she wants to fulfil the promise

:54:25.:54:29.

made by her Cabinet colleagues who is sitting on the front page

:54:30.:54:30.

smirking at the British public? Order, order, Boris is sitting

:54:31.:54:55.

perfectly comfortably, there is an air of repose about the fellow!

:54:56.:55:00.

Prime Minister. I am very happy to tell the

:55:01.:55:08.

honourable lady that when this country leaves the European Union,

:55:09.:55:11.

we will have control of our budget and we will decide how that money is

:55:12.:55:16.

spent. With modification, schools in my constituency welcome the National

:55:17.:55:22.

funding formula, and given the Leader of the Opposition's

:55:23.:55:26.

intervention, I hope my next question doesn't land me on the

:55:27.:55:28.

naughty step, but given that Stockport schools and other schools

:55:29.:55:33.

have been at the bottom of the funding pile for years, and have

:55:34.:55:39.

less scope for efficiencies, would my right honourable friend consider

:55:40.:55:45.

giving immediate support to them? As my honourable friend is saying, what

:55:46.:55:48.

we are doing is aiming to end the postcode lottery of schools funding,

:55:49.:55:52.

and schools funding is at a record high. In relation to the minimum

:55:53.:55:58.

funding level, as I have said before, the DFE have heard

:55:59.:56:03.

representations on the issue on this national funding formula and will be

:56:04.:56:06.

considering those. There have been a lot of responses to that, but it is

:56:07.:56:11.

a historic and complex reform but there has been general agreement for

:56:12.:56:16.

many years that reform is needed, we want to get this right which is why

:56:17.:56:21.

we are carefully considering it. After nine months of this Prime

:56:22.:56:26.

Minister's approach to Brexit, Northern Ireland is deadlocked, the

:56:27.:56:30.

Welsh are alienated, Scotland is going for a referendum, the English

:56:31.:56:37.

are split down the middle and Brexit MPs are walking out of Commons

:56:38.:56:40.

committees because they don't like home truths. Has the Prime Minister

:56:41.:56:47.

considered in terms of invoking Article 50 that now is not the time?

:56:48.:56:54.

What the UK Government is doing in invoking article 50 is putting into

:56:55.:57:07.

practice the Democratic vote of the British people on the 23rd of June

:57:08.:57:12.

last year in a referendum. There was a referendum in 2014 in Scotland

:57:13.:57:15.

when the Scottish people voted to remain part of the United Kingdom. I

:57:16.:57:20.

suggest The right honourable gentleman and his colleagues put

:57:21.:57:26.

that into practice! Mr Speaker, three quarters of my constituent

:57:27.:57:30.

Umag voted to leave the European Union. Does the Prime Minister agree

:57:31.:57:35.

with me that as she triggers article 50, it marks a watershed moment, not

:57:36.:57:40.

only for this country's control of immigration and our sovereignty, but

:57:41.:57:45.

also for listening to the views of people who were forgotten for far

:57:46.:57:51.

too long? I absolutely agree with my honourable friend. Not only are we

:57:52.:58:00.

putting into place the views of the British people as set out in that

:58:01.:58:04.

referendum on the 23rd of June last year, but crucially that was not

:58:05.:58:09.

just a vote about leaving the EU. It was a vote about changing this

:58:10.:58:12.

country for the future, and this Government has a clear plan for

:58:13.:58:16.

Britain that will change this country, that will see us with a

:58:17.:58:20.

more global outlook, a stronger economy, a fairer society and a more

:58:21.:58:29.

united nation. The people expect the Prime Minister to follow her party's

:58:30.:58:34.

manifesto and abide by a majority vote of this Parliament. So why does

:58:35.:58:39.

she say that the First Minister of Scotland should do the opposite?

:58:40.:58:48.

What I say is that at this point in time Dodge at this point in time as

:58:49.:58:57.

we face this historic moment of facing Article 50 and this country's

:58:58.:59:06.

relationship with the European Union, now is the time for us to

:59:07.:59:11.

pull together and not, part. On Friday, thousands of people will be

:59:12.:59:15.

up and down this country raising funds and awareness of brain tumour

:59:16.:59:26.

research. Many of these people will know people someone who have

:59:27.:59:30.

suffered from a brain tumour. It is a bigger cancer killer of children

:59:31.:59:36.

and adults under 40. Will the Prime Minister join me in commending all

:59:37.:59:39.

these people raising awareness and funds and see what more we can do to

:59:40.:59:42.

raise funding for brain tumour research? This is an important area,

:59:43.:59:48.

and I believe in this area the UK does have a good record of research

:59:49.:59:53.

on brain tumours, and that is important, but he is absolutely

:59:54.:59:57.

right. The people who are raising funds for this important cause

:59:58.:00:00.

should be commended, as he says many of them will have had personal

:00:01.:00:04.

experience in one way or another of brain tumours, and I think it is

:00:05.:00:08.

important that we recognise that there are many killers out there

:00:09.:00:11.

which don't often receive the publicity and support of others, and

:00:12.:00:15.

we should recognise their importance, and commend those who

:00:16.:00:16.

are raising funds. Can the Prime Minister said what she

:00:17.:00:28.

is doing to ensure national and local government prioritise the

:00:29.:00:30.

purchasing and buying of British goods and services, although the

:00:31.:00:38.

Home Secretary on police vehicles, does not give us cause for optimism.

:00:39.:00:46.

We have been encouraging the procurement of British goods and

:00:47.:00:50.

services. He asked what we can do for local authorities, if people

:00:51.:00:54.

want local authorities to take their best interests to heart, they should

:00:55.:01:02.

vote Conservative. Can I ask... I congratulate the Prime Minister and

:01:03.:01:09.

invoking Article 50. Does she agree this needs to be the end of the

:01:10.:01:14.

phoney war and posturing and focus now on the detail for every

:01:15.:01:19.

industry, centre and community to get a bespoke deal we can all get

:01:20.:01:25.

behind? I agree with my honourable friend. Now is the time to come

:01:26.:01:30.

together and be united across this House and country to ensure we work

:01:31.:01:34.

for the best deal for the United Kingdom and best future for us all.

:01:35.:01:42.

The Prime Minister has rightly emphasised her determination to

:01:43.:01:46.

deliver for all constituent parts of the United Kingdom on this historic

:01:47.:01:50.

day and while others are content to moan, we want to see that delivery

:01:51.:01:55.

happen and we are confident she will make that happen. In Northern

:01:56.:02:00.

Ireland, where some have walked away from responsibilities in terms of

:02:01.:02:04.

devolution, we want devolution up and running to have a functioning

:02:05.:02:09.

government and we have set no preconditions. If others continue to

:02:10.:02:14.

stay away from devolution and walk away, will she pledged to work more

:02:15.:02:18.

closely with those of us in this House to defend and protect the

:02:19.:02:23.

interests of Northern Ireland? We say that we all want to work

:02:24.:02:27.

together to ensure we can protect the best interests of Northern

:02:28.:02:31.

Ireland. I think that ensuring we have strong devolved government in

:02:32.:02:36.

Northern Ireland is important for the future and so we can build on

:02:37.:02:41.

the significant progress made in recent years for the people of

:02:42.:02:44.

Northern Ireland and I urge all parties to come to the talks with a

:02:45.:02:49.

view to finding a way through so that Northern Ireland once again can

:02:50.:02:55.

be restored to devolved government. With the Prime Minister agree social

:02:56.:02:59.

media companies need to take action to remove extremist and hate

:03:00.:03:03.

material from platforms and to foot the Bill for the police who are

:03:04.:03:08.

currently doing their dirty work at the taxpayers' expense? This

:03:09.:03:14.

question of working with the companies to ensure extremist

:03:15.:03:17.

material is removed as quickly as possible is one that is not new.

:03:18.:03:23.

Through the counterterrorism internet referral unit we have the

:03:24.:03:28.

process to enable the police to take material down. 250,000 pieces of

:03:29.:03:34.

material have been taken down since 2010 and there has been increase in

:03:35.:03:38.

that activity in the last couple of years. I know the Home Secretary

:03:39.:03:42.

will be meeting companies this week to talk to them about this important

:03:43.:03:49.

issue. We do not want extremist material on the internet, what we

:03:50.:03:54.

want to see is companies taking action to remove material

:03:55.:03:59.

encouraging hate and division. Late on Saturday night, a massive

:04:00.:04:05.

explosion devastated new ferry in my constituency. We are thinking of

:04:06.:04:09.

those who were hurt. It is a miracle more people were not injured. The

:04:10.:04:15.

community faces dereliction. All the Prime Minister join with me in

:04:16.:04:19.

thanking all of those who looked after my community over the weekend

:04:20.:04:24.

and recent days, and will she arrange a meeting with the Secretary

:04:25.:04:28.

of State who can discuss how the government can help us to rebuild

:04:29.:04:35.

New Ferry. I am happy to do those things. I commend and thank all of

:04:36.:04:40.

those who worked hard in the emergency services and others to

:04:41.:04:45.

support her community when this devastating explosion took place.

:04:46.:04:49.

That work will continue. There will be support I am sure being given to

:04:50.:04:54.

the community in the future and I am happy to ask the Secretary of State

:04:55.:05:00.

to meet her and discuss how that community can be rebuilt and

:05:01.:05:03.

overcome the impact of this explosion. Order.

:05:04.:05:16.

Statement, the Prime Minister. Thank you, Mr Speaker. Today, the

:05:17.:05:25.

government acts on the democratic will of the British people. It acts

:05:26.:05:31.

on the clear and convincing position of this House. A few minutes ago in

:05:32.:05:38.

Brussels, the United Kingdom's permanent representative to the EU

:05:39.:05:42.

handed a letter to the president of the European Council on my behalf,

:05:43.:05:47.

confirming the government decision to invoke Article 50. The Article 50

:05:48.:05:53.

process is now under way and in accordance with the wishes of the

:05:54.:05:57.

British people the United Kingdom is leaving the European Union. This is

:05:58.:06:04.

an historic moment from which there can be no turning back. Britain is

:06:05.:06:11.

leaving the European Union. We are going to make our own decisions and

:06:12.:06:15.

laws. We are going to take control of things that matter most to us and

:06:16.:06:20.

we are going to take this opportunity to build a stronger,

:06:21.:06:24.

fairer Britain, a country our children and grandchildren are proud

:06:25.:06:29.

to call home. That is our ambition and our opportunity. That is what

:06:30.:06:33.

this government is determined to do. Mr Speaker, at moments like these,

:06:34.:06:41.

great turning points in our national story, the choices we make to find

:06:42.:06:47.

the character of our nation. We can choose to save the task ahead is too

:06:48.:06:51.

great, we can choose to turn our face to the past and believe it

:06:52.:06:56.

cannot be done, or we can look forward with optimism and hope and

:06:57.:06:59.

to believe in the power of the British spirit. I choose to believe

:07:00.:07:06.

in Britain and that our best days lie ahead. I do so because I am

:07:07.:07:14.

confident we have vision and plan to use this moment to build a better

:07:15.:07:21.

Britain. For leaving the EU presents us with a unique opportunity. It is

:07:22.:07:27.

this generation's chance to shape a brighter future, a chance to step

:07:28.:07:31.

back and ask ourselves what kind of country we want to be. My answer is

:07:32.:07:38.

clear. I want the United Kingdom to emerge from this period of change

:07:39.:07:43.

stronger, fairer, more united and more outward looking than ever

:07:44.:07:49.

before. I want us to be a secure, prosperous, tolerant country, a

:07:50.:07:53.

magnet for international talent and are home to the pioneers and

:07:54.:07:56.

innovators who will shape the world ahead. I want us to be a truly

:07:57.:08:03.

global Britain. The best friend and neighbour to our European partners,

:08:04.:08:08.

a country that reaches beyond the borders of Europe. Can I apologise

:08:09.:08:16.

for interrupting. Mr Boswell, calm yourself, you have to learn to

:08:17.:08:27.

behave in a statement -- statesman-like fashion. I want all

:08:28.:08:32.

colleagues the chance to question the Prime Minister. This is an

:08:33.:08:36.

important statement and it is reasonable to expect the Prime

:08:37.:08:44.

Minister gets a courteous hearing. Mr Speaker, I want us to be a truly

:08:45.:08:51.

global Britain, the best friend and neighbour to our European partners

:08:52.:08:54.

that a country that reaches beyond the borders of Europe, a country

:08:55.:08:59.

that goes into the world to build relationships with new friends and

:09:00.:09:03.

allies alike. That is why I have set out a clear and ambitious plan for

:09:04.:09:09.

the negotiations ahead, a plan for a deep and special partnership between

:09:10.:09:13.

Britain and the European Union, of values, a partnership of interests,

:09:14.:09:17.

a partnership based on cooperation in areas such as security and

:09:18.:09:22.

economic affairs, and a partnership that works in the best interests of

:09:23.:09:27.

the United Kingdom, European Union and wider world. Perhaps now more

:09:28.:09:32.

than ever the world needs the liberal democratic values of Europe.

:09:33.:09:38.

Values... Perhaps... Perhaps now more than ever the world

:09:39.:10:08.

needs the liberal democratic values of Europe, values the United Kingdom

:10:09.:10:13.

shares and that is why while we are leaving the institutions of the

:10:14.:10:17.

European Union, we are not leaving Europe, we will remain a close

:10:18.:10:21.

friend and ally, we would be a committed partner and play our part

:10:22.:10:27.

to ensure Europe is able to protect its values and defend itself from

:10:28.:10:31.

security threats and we will do all we can to help the European Union

:10:32.:10:35.

prosper and succeed. In a letter delivered to resident Donald Tusk

:10:36.:10:39.

today, copies of which I have placed in the library, I have been cleared

:10:40.:10:43.

the deep and special partnership we seek is in the best interests of the

:10:44.:10:48.

United Kingdom and European Union. I have been clear we will work

:10:49.:10:52.

constructively in a spirit of sincere cooperation to bring this

:10:53.:10:56.

partnership into being. I have been clear we should seek to agree the

:10:57.:11:01.

terms of this future partnership alongside those of our withdrawal

:11:02.:11:06.

within the next two years. I am ambitious for Britain and the

:11:07.:11:09.

objectives set out for these negotiations remain. We will deliver

:11:10.:11:15.

certainty wherever possible so that business, the public sector and

:11:16.:11:22.

everybody has as much clarity as we can provide. Tomorrow we will

:11:23.:11:25.

publish a White Paper confirming our plans to convert it into British law

:11:26.:11:31.

so that everyone knows where they stand. It is why I have been clear

:11:32.:11:35.

the government will put the final deal agreed to a vote in both houses

:11:36.:11:40.

of parliament before it comes into force. We will take control of our

:11:41.:11:44.

laws and bring an end to the jurisdiction of the European Court

:11:45.:11:49.

of Justice in Britain. Leaving the European Union will mean our laws

:11:50.:11:54.

will be made in Westminster, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast, and

:11:55.:11:58.

those laws will be interpreted by judges not in Luxembourg, but in

:11:59.:12:04.

courts across this country. We will strengthen the union of the four

:12:05.:12:07.

nations that comprise our United Kingdom. We will negotiate as one

:12:08.:12:16.

United Kingdom, taking account of the specific interests of every

:12:17.:12:20.

nation and region of the UK and when it comes to the powers we take back

:12:21.:12:25.

from Europe, we will consult on which powers should reside in

:12:26.:12:29.

Westminster and which should be passed on to the devolved

:12:30.:12:33.

administrations. No decision currently taken by the devolved

:12:34.:12:37.

administrations will be removed from them and it is the expectation of

:12:38.:12:42.

the government the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales

:12:43.:12:45.

and Northern Ireland will see a sick that could increase in

:12:46.:12:48.

decision-making power as a result of this process. We want to maintain

:12:49.:12:54.

the common travel area with the Republic of Ireland, there shall be

:12:55.:12:57.

no return to the borders of the past. We will control immigration so

:12:58.:13:01.

we continue to attract the brightest and best to work and study in

:13:02.:13:07.

Britain, but manage the process so that our immigration system serves

:13:08.:13:12.

the national interest. We seek to guarantee the rights of EU citizens

:13:13.:13:16.

living in Britain and the rights of British nationals in member states

:13:17.:13:21.

as early as we can. That is set out clearly in the letter as an early

:13:22.:13:26.

priority for the talks ahead. We will ensure workers' rights are

:13:27.:13:31.

protected and maintained and under my leadership not only with the

:13:32.:13:34.

government protect the rights of workers, but we will build on them.

:13:35.:13:40.

We will pursue an ambitious free trade agreement with the European

:13:41.:13:43.

Union that allows for the freest trading goods and services between

:13:44.:13:48.

Britain and the EU member states. That gives British companies the

:13:49.:13:52.

maximum freedom to trade with and operate within European markets and

:13:53.:13:57.

let European businesses do the same in Britain, because European leaders

:13:58.:14:01.

have said many times we cannot cherry pick and remain members of

:14:02.:14:06.

the single market without accepting the four freedoms that are

:14:07.:14:10.

indivisible. We respect that position and as accepting those

:14:11.:14:15.

freedoms is incompatible with the expressed will of the British

:14:16.:14:18.

people, we will no longer be members of the single market. We will make

:14:19.:14:24.

sure that we can strike trade agreements with countries from

:14:25.:14:28.

outside the European Union. Because important though trade with the EU

:14:29.:14:34.

is and will remain, it is clear the UK needs to increase significantly

:14:35.:14:37.

its trade with the fastest-growing export markets in the world. We hope

:14:38.:14:43.

to continue to collaborate with European partners in science,

:14:44.:14:47.

education, research and technology, said the UK is one of the best

:14:48.:14:52.

places for science and innovation and we seek cooperation with our

:14:53.:14:57.

European partners in important areas such as crime, terrorism and foreign

:14:58.:15:05.

affairs and it is our aim to deliver a smoother quarterly Brexit,

:15:06.:15:07.

reaching agreement about future partnership by the time the Article

:15:08.:15:11.

50 process has concluded and moving into a process of implementation in

:15:12.:15:16.

which Britain, EU institutions and member states prepare for the new

:15:17.:15:20.

arrangements that will exist between us. We understand that there will be

:15:21.:15:26.

consequences for the UK of leaving the EU. We know we will lose

:15:27.:15:27.

influence... We know that we will lose influence

:15:28.:15:35.

over the rules that affect the European economy. We know that UK

:15:36.:15:39.

companies that trade with the EU will have to align with rules agreed

:15:40.:15:44.

by institutions of which we are no longer part. Just as we do in other

:15:45.:15:47.

overseas markets. And we accept that. However, we approach these

:15:48.:15:54.

talks constructively, respectfully and in a spirit of Cisse

:15:55.:15:57.

Corporation, for it is in the interest of both the UK and the

:15:58.:16:01.

European Union that we use this process to deliver our objectives in

:16:02.:16:06.

a fair and orderly manner. Is it is in the interests of both the United

:16:07.:16:09.

Kingdom and the European Union that there should be as little disruption

:16:10.:16:14.

as possible, and it is in the interests of both the United Kingdom

:16:15.:16:17.

and the European Union that Europe should remain strong, prosperous and

:16:18.:16:20.

capable of projecting its values in the world. At a time when the growth

:16:21.:16:26.

of global trade is slowing and there are signs the protectionist

:16:27.:16:29.

instincts are on the rise in many parts of the world, Europe has a

:16:30.:16:36.

responsibility to stand up for free trade in interest of all our

:16:37.:16:39.

citizens. With Europe's security more fragile today than at any time

:16:40.:16:45.

since the end of the Cold War, weakening our Corporation and

:16:46.:16:48.

failing to stand up for European values would be a costly mistake.

:16:49.:16:54.

Our vote to leave the EU was no rejection of the values we share as

:16:55.:16:58.

fellow Europeans. As a fellow European country, we will continue

:16:59.:17:02.

to play our part in promoting and supporting those values during the

:17:03.:17:07.

negotiations and once they are done. We will continue to be reliable

:17:08.:17:11.

partners, willing allies and close friends. We want to continue to buy

:17:12.:17:15.

goods and services from the EU and sell them hours. We want to trade

:17:16.:17:20.

with them as freely as possible, and work together to make sure we are

:17:21.:17:24.

all safer, more secure and more prosperous through continued

:17:25.:17:28.

friendship. Indeed in an increasingly unstable world, we must

:17:29.:17:32.

continue to forge the closest possible security cooperation to

:17:33.:17:35.

keep our people safe. We face the same global threats from terrorism

:17:36.:17:40.

and extremism. That message was only reinforced by the Borren to tack on

:17:41.:17:43.

Westminster Bridge and this place last week. -- the abhorrent attack.

:17:44.:17:48.

So there is no reason why they should not be a special partnership

:17:49.:17:53.

between the UK and the EU that works for us all. Mr Speaker, I know that

:17:54.:17:58.

this is a day of celebration for some disappointment for others. The

:17:59.:18:03.

referendum last June was divisive at times. Not everyone shared the same

:18:04.:18:07.

point of view or voted the same way. The arguments on both sides were

:18:08.:18:11.

passionate. But Mr Speaker, when I sit around the negotiating table in

:18:12.:18:14.

the months ahead, I will represent every person in the United Kingdom,

:18:15.:18:21.

young and old, rich and poor, city, town, country and all the villages

:18:22.:18:25.

and hamlets in between. And yes, those EU nationals who have made

:18:26.:18:29.

this country their home. And it is my fierce determination to get the

:18:30.:18:32.

right deal for every single person in this country. For as we face the

:18:33.:18:37.

opportunities ahead of us on this momentum journey, our shared values,

:18:38.:18:42.

interests and ambitions can and must bring us together. We all want to

:18:43.:18:46.

see a Britain that is stronger than it is today. We all want a country

:18:47.:18:51.

that is fairer so that everyone has the chance to succeed. We all want a

:18:52.:18:55.

nation that is safe and secure for our children and grandchildren. We

:18:56.:19:00.

all want to live in a truly global Britain that gets out and build

:19:01.:19:03.

relationships with old friends and new allies around the world. These

:19:04.:19:07.

are the ambitions of this Government was my plan for Britain, ambitions

:19:08.:19:12.

that unite us so we are no longer defined by the vote we cast but by

:19:13.:19:16.

our determination to make a success of the result. We are one great

:19:17.:19:21.

union of people and nations with a proud history and a bright future.

:19:22.:19:27.

And now that the decision to leave has been made and the process is

:19:28.:19:30.

under way, it is time to come together. For this great national

:19:31.:19:34.

moment needs a great national effort. An effort to shape a

:19:35.:19:41.

stronger future for Britain. So let us do so together. Let us come

:19:42.:19:46.

together and work together. Let us together choose to believe in

:19:47.:19:51.

Britain with optimism and hope. For if we do, we can make the most of

:19:52.:19:56.

the opportunities ahead. We can together make a success of this

:19:57.:20:00.

moment. And we can together will they stronger, fairer, better

:20:01.:20:05.

Britain, a Britain our children and grandchildren are proud to call

:20:06.:20:08.

home. I commend this statement to the House.

:20:09.:20:15.

Thank you, Mr Speaker. I would like to thank the Prime Minister for an

:20:16.:20:22.

advance copy of her statement. Today we embark on the country's most

:20:23.:20:28.

important negotiations in modern times. The British people made the

:20:29.:20:33.

decision to leave the European Union, and Labour respect that

:20:34.:20:37.

decision. The next steps along this journey are the most crucial. If the

:20:38.:20:42.

Prime Minister is to unite the country as she says she aims to do,

:20:43.:20:47.

the Government needs to listen, consult and represent the whole

:20:48.:20:55.

country, not just the hardline Tory ideologues on our own benches.

:20:56.:21:01.

Britain is going to change as a result of leaving the European

:21:02.:21:06.

Union. The question is, how? There are Conservatives who want to use

:21:07.:21:11.

Brexit to turn this country into a low-wage tax havens.

:21:12.:21:17.

Labour is determined to invest in a high skill, high-tech, high wage

:21:18.:21:27.

future, to rebuild and transform Britain, so that no one and no

:21:28.:21:35.

community is left behind. Mr Speaker, the direction the Prime

:21:36.:21:38.

Minister is threatening to take this country in is both a reckless and

:21:39.:21:41.

damaging. And Labour will not give this Government a free hand to use

:21:42.:21:47.

Brexit to attack rights, protections and cut services, or create a tax

:21:48.:21:55.

dodgers' paradise. So let me be clear, Mr Speaker. The Prime

:21:56.:22:02.

Minister says that no deal is better than a bad deal. But the reality is,

:22:03.:22:10.

no deal is a bad deal. Less than a year ago, the Treasury estimated

:22:11.:22:16.

that leaving the European Union on World Trade Organisation terms would

:22:17.:22:25.

lead to a 7.5% fall in our GDP. And ?45 billion lost in tax receipts.

:22:26.:22:31.

Has the Treasury updated those figures, or do they still stand? If

:22:32.:22:37.

updated, can they be published? If not, what deal could be worse than

:22:38.:22:46.

those consequences of no deal? It would be a national failure of

:22:47.:22:49.

historic proportions if the Prime Minister comes back from Brussels

:22:50.:22:54.

without having secured protection for jobs and living standards. So we

:22:55.:23:00.

will use every Parliamentary opportunity to ensure this

:23:01.:23:04.

Government is held to account at every stage of the negotiations. Mr

:23:05.:23:12.

Speaker, we all have an interest in ensuring the Prime Minister gets the

:23:13.:23:14.

best deal for this country. To safeguard jobs, living standards, we

:23:15.:23:19.

do need full access to the single market. The Secretary of State for

:23:20.:23:24.

exiting the EU seems to agree on this. He stated in this House on the

:23:25.:23:31.

24th of January the Government plan is, and I quote, a comprehensive

:23:32.:23:35.

free trade agreement and a comprehensive customs agreement that

:23:36.:23:40.

will deliver the exact same benefits as we have. So that is what they

:23:41.:23:48.

pledged. So will the Prime Minister confirmed today that she intends to

:23:49.:23:51.

deliver a trade and customs agreement with the exact same

:23:52.:23:56.

benefits? The same goes for protecting workers' right and

:23:57.:24:01.

environmental standards, protecting Britain's nations and regions,

:24:02.:24:06.

protecting Britain's financial sector and services and making sure

:24:07.:24:11.

there is no return to a hard border in Northern Ireland. And when, Mr

:24:12.:24:17.

Speaker, does she expect to be able to guarantee the rights of all those

:24:18.:24:24.

EU nationals who live, work and make such a massive and welcome

:24:25.:24:28.

contribution to this country? And for those British and is who live in

:24:29.:24:35.

all parts of the European Union, including guaranteeing that they

:24:36.:24:39.

were a pensions will not be frozen post-Brexit. Brexit would be a huge

:24:40.:24:51.

task for any Government. But so far they seem utterly complacent about

:24:52.:24:55.

the scale of the task ahead. The Government Ministers cannot make up

:24:56.:24:57.

their minds about the real objective. The Foreign Secretary, he

:24:58.:25:03.

is here today, said in October, our policy is having our cake and eating

:25:04.:25:08.

it. How apposite from the Foreign Secretary. Today, the Chancellor on

:25:09.:25:15.

BBC Radio 4 said, we can't have our cake and eat it. Maybe they should

:25:16.:25:22.

get together and talk about it. These at one level Mr Speaker might

:25:23.:25:25.

seem like a flippant exchanges from Ministers, but they do reflect

:25:26.:25:30.

serious differences about Britain's negotiating aims. The Government

:25:31.:25:34.

must speak with a united voice. However, the Foreign Secretary is

:25:35.:25:39.

the same man who promised our National Health Service ?350 million

:25:40.:25:47.

a week once we left the EU. Now he believes that leaving the EU without

:25:48.:25:54.

a deal would be perfectly OK. It would not be perfectly OK, it would

:25:55.:25:58.

damage our economy and people's living standards. Will the Prime

:25:59.:26:03.

Minister confirmed that she rejects such complacency? Labour set out our

:26:04.:26:10.

tests for this Government 's Brexit negotiations, and we will use all

:26:11.:26:13.

means possible to make sure we hold the Government to this word. An full

:26:14.:26:18.

access to the single market, on protecting Britain from being

:26:19.:26:22.

dragged into a race for the bottom, and ensuring our future relationship

:26:23.:26:25.

with the European Union is strong and cooperative. A relationship

:26:26.:26:30.

where we can work together to bring prosperity and peace to our

:26:31.:26:35.

continent. If the Prime Minister can deliver aid Eildon meets our tests,

:26:36.:26:40.

that will be fine, we will backfire. More than ever, Britain needs a

:26:41.:26:43.

Government that will deliver for the whole country, not just a few, and

:26:44.:26:48.

that is the ultimate test of the Brexit deal, that the Prime Minister

:26:49.:26:55.

must now secure. I'm grateful to the right honourable gentleman.

:26:56.:27:09.

Live coverage is continual BBC Parliament. At this point, we also

:27:10.:27:16.

welcome viewers on the BBC News Channel.

:27:17.:27:21.

We can show you a picture of the actual letter being handed over.

:27:22.:27:28.

There is our man in Brussels. Handing over the letter, five or six

:27:29.:27:36.

pages. Donald Tusk is the chairman of the Council Of Ministers. That Is

:27:37.:27:41.

The Body In The Eu In Which Every Member, Or 28 Members, Including

:27:42.:27:45.

Britain, So Far Set. They Determine The Broad Negotiating Position that

:27:46.:27:52.

the EU 27 will have in these talks. They then asked the commission, the

:27:53.:27:55.

European Commission, to carry out the talks. Michel Barnier is the

:27:56.:28:03.

representative that will be the lead negotiator. The European Parliament

:28:04.:28:08.

then has a say if and when the deal is done. An historic moment, as

:28:09.:28:15.

Britain's triggering of the departure of the European Union is

:28:16.:28:18.

handed over to Donald Tusk in Brussels. The Prime Minister said

:28:19.:28:22.

that there can now be no turning back. She thought it was a great

:28:23.:28:26.

turning point, she thought our best days lie ahead. She wanted to see

:28:27.:28:32.

outside of the EU a stronger, fairer, more united country, a

:28:33.:28:37.

magnet for talent, a global Britain that continued to trade with the

:28:38.:28:41.

European Union, but also traded far beyond the European Union as well.

:28:42.:28:47.

She said, a significant point of process, that she wants to agree the

:28:48.:28:55.

terms of our departure, as well as any sort of divorce bill. She did

:28:56.:29:00.

not use that phrase, divorce bill, but in negotiating any costs that

:29:01.:29:03.

Britain may incur to leave the EU, she wants to negotiate the terms of

:29:04.:29:07.

our relationship with the EU once we leave. That is going to be a nearly

:29:08.:29:12.

stumbling block, because the Europeans want to agree any kind of

:29:13.:29:17.

divorce Bill first, before they talk about new relationships. In the end,

:29:18.:29:23.

she did point out that, in or out, we face the same global threats as

:29:24.:29:28.

the European Union. She wanted a new, deep and special partnership

:29:29.:29:32.

with the European Union, even after we left. I suppose, although there

:29:33.:29:36.

is nothing greatly new in the content of the Prime Minister's

:29:37.:29:40.

statement, nor is there anything greatly new in the letter that we

:29:41.:29:46.

have just had a chance to skim, that you saw Donald Tusk getting, the

:29:47.:29:49.

tone was interesting. It was a highly conciliatory tone. It was an

:29:50.:29:55.

attempt to position Britain as even outside the EU, a big supporter of

:29:56.:30:02.

the EU. There were no threats in the Prime Minister's statement, no

:30:03.:30:07.

statement like no deal is better than a bad deal. I think the Prime

:30:08.:30:10.

Minister is trying to set the tone for the talks as they get under way,

:30:11.:30:17.

tried to create an amicable environment in which they get under

:30:18.:30:21.

way. Whether or not that succeeds or not is another matter. Let's get

:30:22.:30:25.

reaction from Laura Kuenssberg, our political editor, who was listening

:30:26.:30:30.

to that. The key thing about this is exactly as you say, the tone here is

:30:31.:30:35.

a world away from Theresa May Mark 1, as you might say, in her

:30:36.:30:39.

conference speech in October, where she was much more strident. Then the

:30:40.:30:48.

Lancaster House speech, which she made to a room of diplomats. But she

:30:49.:30:52.

have that threat in her speech to walk away if it didn't happen. Then

:30:53.:30:56.

here, some people might say she is being pragmatic because it is time

:30:57.:31:02.

to talk, a very different tone. A lot of warm language about European

:31:03.:31:05.

values. Indeed, that Britain would stay part of those. Donald Tusk, a

:31:06.:31:14.

pivotal figure in the upcoming negotiations, he is now speaking in

:31:15.:31:17.

Brussels. Let's hear what he has to say.

:31:18.:31:24.

well, we would like to hear what he had to say. We could lip-read.

:31:25.:31:41.

Interrupting Laura Kuenssberg, in full flight, to listen to a man that

:31:42.:31:48.

we cannot here is unforgivable! You are talking about the importance of

:31:49.:31:52.

the tone? The bold threat that no deal is better than a bad deal, that

:31:53.:31:58.

is nowhere to be seen in here. What one senior MP was saying late last

:31:59.:32:01.

night, the challenge for Theresa May was to seem resolute, but also

:32:02.:32:06.

constructive, to be the iron fist in a velvet glove. I think this is very

:32:07.:32:14.

much a velvet glove, not iron fist. We might be able to hear Donald

:32:15.:32:25.

Tusk. In essence, this is about damage control. Our goal is clear.

:32:26.:32:36.

To minimise the cost for the EU citizens, businesses and members. We

:32:37.:32:46.

will do everything in our power, to achieve this goal. What we should

:32:47.:32:54.

stress today is that, as for now, nothing has changed. Until the

:32:55.:33:02.

United Kingdom leaves the European Union, EU law will continue to apply

:33:03.:33:10.

to and within the UK. Finally, I would like to say that you have just

:33:11.:33:14.

released an official statement by the European Council, in which the

:33:15.:33:22.

leaders stressed that we will act as one and start negotiations by

:33:23.:33:26.

focusing on key arrangements for an orderly withdrawal. On Friday, I

:33:27.:33:32.

will share a proposal on the negotiating guidelines with the

:33:33.:33:40.

member states, to be adopted by the European Council on the 29th of

:33:41.:33:51.

April. I will refer to this, and I will present our proposals on

:33:52.:33:55.

Friday, during the press conference in Malta. What can I add to this?

:33:56.:34:11.

Thank you and goodbye. Donald Tusk, the President of the Council Of

:34:12.:34:18.

Europe, which contains all 28 members of the EU. They meet as

:34:19.:34:21.

heads of state, heads of government, a sombre, almost sad mood on

:34:22.:34:28.

receiving Britain's Article 50 application to begin the process of

:34:29.:34:32.

withdrawal from the European Union. There was no talk of punishment

:34:33.:34:39.

beatings or being angry because Britain is leaving. Sad, clearly, as

:34:40.:34:43.

you could see, but not anger. He talked of damage control, that he

:34:44.:34:49.

wanted to say that the job of the EU 27 is to control the damage that

:34:50.:34:53.

Britain's withdrawal from the European Union could do to the

:34:54.:34:58.

remaining 27 members. He said the council of Europe will act as one in

:34:59.:35:03.

negotiations. What happens now is that Donald Tusk has drawn up some

:35:04.:35:07.

guidelines for the EU 27's negotiating position. They are

:35:08.:35:10.

becoming public, they will be debated within the 27, and then

:35:11.:35:14.

heads of state and heads of government of the EU 27 will meet

:35:15.:35:19.

towards the end of April, I think it is the 28th 29th of April, and they

:35:20.:35:24.

will endorse the bargaining position of the EU 27 as they begin

:35:25.:35:31.

negotiations, probably sometime, I doubt before the end of may or early

:35:32.:35:34.

June. The negotiations are with Michel Barnier, tasked with carrying

:35:35.:35:40.

out the negotiating positions, and he will meet with David Davis, the

:35:41.:35:47.

Secretary of State for Brexit. Just as the Prime Minister's tone was

:35:48.:35:51.

interesting, so Donald Tusk's tone was interesting in the press

:35:52.:35:54.

conference he just gave in Brussels. Many people in London suggest that

:35:55.:35:59.

he would be something of an ally in these negotiations. He wants to get

:36:00.:36:03.

a deal done. He is Polish, and Eastern Europe, he said all 27 will

:36:04.:36:08.

have to have the same position, but we know that there are differences

:36:09.:36:12.

between the original members of the Treaty of Rome and the Eastern

:36:13.:36:18.

European members that came late to the game. They come in particular,

:36:19.:36:23.

want a deal done for EU nationals living in the United Kingdom.

:36:24.:36:25.

Theresa Villiers, what has been your reaction to the Prime Minister's

:36:26.:36:33.

statement and Donald Tusk? I think both are trying to be very positive

:36:34.:36:36.

and set a constructive tone. I hope that reflects a recognition that,

:36:37.:36:39.

actually, these negotiations could leave both sides better off. It

:36:40.:36:44.

doesn't have to be a 0-sum game. It is in the interests of the

:36:45.:36:47.

continuing EU and UK that we come out of this with a flourishing

:36:48.:36:55.

trading relationship between us. The Prime Minister, a symbolic moment,

:36:56.:37:01.

the pulling of the trigger. In some ways, an anti-climax, because she

:37:02.:37:05.

was repeating the points we knew from the white Paper. This is the

:37:06.:37:08.

irony about taking back control. You get the sense that attention is very

:37:09.:37:13.

much an Donald Tusk as to what the negotiating stance will be. Until

:37:14.:37:19.

now, this has all been about what the UK Government's reaction to the

:37:20.:37:25.

referendum will be. I am very worried, because I think the tone

:37:26.:37:28.

that we heard from Donald Tusk was certainly one of regret. He is

:37:29.:37:31.

obviously very sad. He said he was sorry to lose you. When they say

:37:32.:37:34.

damage control, from my conversations with those in the rest

:37:35.:37:39.

of the European Union, they also recognise, politically, that to glue

:37:40.:37:43.

the rest of the EU together they have to make sure that Britain does

:37:44.:37:50.

not Prospero is well outside the EU as it did within it. Apart from

:37:51.:37:54.

saying they are going to approach the talks constructively, he says

:37:55.:38:00.

that the union will act as one and preserve its interests. That is the

:38:01.:38:03.

self-interest point, as you would expect. What kind of union is it, if

:38:04.:38:08.

somebody wants to leave you have to give them a bad time so nobody else

:38:09.:38:14.

leaves? Oh, no, certainly I want Britain to do the best possible

:38:15.:38:21.

thing. We have negotiations. But if the EU is under strain is as it was

:38:22.:38:26.

recently, they want to glue it together. Let's just stand back. The

:38:27.:38:32.

geopolitics of this does not get coverage. Let's look at Europe's

:38:33.:38:35.

position at the moment. To the east it faces a group of autocrats, come

:38:36.:38:43.

dictators, who are threatening its borders from hard and soft power. To

:38:44.:38:48.

the west, a hostile American administration. For the first time

:38:49.:38:53.

ever, an administration that doesn't seem to care about the EU, whether

:38:54.:38:57.

it lives or dies. To the south, the continued outflow and carnage of the

:38:58.:39:03.

Arab Spring, and the huge refugee problem that has brought. When you

:39:04.:39:07.

look at Europe come on three sides, with real problems on its hands, why

:39:08.:39:12.

would you pick a fight with Britain? You picked the right way of

:39:13.:39:15.

characterising it. I was in Germany last week, talking to politicians.

:39:16.:39:19.

They put Brexit in the same basket, with all of these threats and

:39:20.:39:22.

challenges. For them, it is just one of many. The mood that I picked up

:39:23.:39:28.

is that they are trying to glue each other together. In doing so, that

:39:29.:39:32.

might mean proving that you are better off staying within the

:39:33.:39:36.

European Union. That, I worry about. I think they will have to illustrate

:39:37.:39:41.

that we are losing out. But the European Union may well come to the

:39:42.:39:46.

view that for at least two Matt Rodda three problems it faces it

:39:47.:39:53.

really needs Britain's help. -- the two or three problems. It needs to's

:39:54.:39:58.

help on its eastern border, and it needs their help to get some sense

:39:59.:40:01.

out of the trap administration, as they would see it. Again, why would

:40:02.:40:07.

you want to pick a fight? That is one of the things that Number 10 is

:40:08.:40:12.

banking on. That is why, privately, it is clear that part of the

:40:13.:40:17.

strategy is to divide and rule, for Britain to appeal to countries on an

:40:18.:40:21.

individual basis, particularly confusing Eastern Europe, they need

:40:22.:40:25.

is for security for the reasons you have outlined. They will be looking

:40:26.:40:29.

at the 27 different countries around the table, looking at individual

:40:30.:40:32.

agendas and interests, all of the individual ways where they can be

:40:33.:40:36.

persuaded that they need Britain. That is why we have heard so much

:40:37.:40:40.

out of Brussels about the importance of sticking together. What Britain

:40:41.:40:45.

wants to do is go around. One minister put it like this, I said

:40:46.:40:49.

the further you go from Brussels, the more optimistic I feel about

:40:50.:40:55.

getting a deal that actually works for us. That is one of the tactics

:40:56.:40:58.

they are going to employ. Security get a prominent mention in this

:40:59.:41:02.

letter. I remember the first summit that Theresa May went to as Prime

:41:03.:41:06.

Minister, in the very, very short window she was given to speak at the

:41:07.:41:10.

end of the dinner. She tried, even at that early stage, to nudge the

:41:11.:41:14.

leaders gathered there, to start thinking about security. Most of the

:41:15.:41:18.

focus has been on trade. But Number 10 has been trying to edge them into

:41:19.:41:21.

thinking about security as well, partly because it is so important.

:41:22.:41:26.

Also, just to reflect on, that is the area where Theresa May, as a

:41:27.:41:30.

politician, feels more comfortable, because of her background as Home

:41:31.:41:36.

Secretary. There is also increasing resentment in the Eastern European

:41:37.:41:38.

countries that too much is determined by the original Treaty of

:41:39.:41:42.

Rome countries. They have a different perspective on this. We do

:41:43.:41:47.

know something is already about the European position, the EU position,

:41:48.:41:54.

Michel Barnier will be a seminal article in The Financial Times this

:41:55.:41:59.

week. He also wanted a deal and reciprocal rights for EU citizens in

:42:00.:42:05.

the UK and UK citizens in the EU. He wanted it done quickly. Is that

:42:06.:42:11.

looking likely? I think there is a hope on both sides that it can be

:42:12.:42:15.

done. One of the interesting things that was suggested to me is, had

:42:16.:42:20.

Theresa May broached this early on with the European Council, rather

:42:21.:42:23.

than going straight to Angela Merkel, she might have been able to

:42:24.:42:27.

get a deal and get it off the table. But there was offset in European

:42:28.:42:30.

capitals, rather than going through what they have been determined to

:42:31.:42:34.

see as the proper processes, that it was not possible for Angela Merkel

:42:35.:42:39.

to say yes or no to anything as an individual item. It seems on both

:42:40.:42:42.

sides, genuinely, that there is a desire to get this done and get it

:42:43.:42:47.

off the table. Every politician has come in their own countries, people

:42:48.:42:51.

that are anxious about this. And they need reassured? Exactly, it is

:42:52.:42:55.

hard to see the advantage to anybody in playing this long. That is one of

:42:56.:42:59.

the advantages for the British Government. The other priority that

:43:00.:43:02.

reads through almost every line is there hope to be able to get both

:43:03.:43:10.

aspects done at the same time. To be able to talk about withdrawal, the

:43:11.:43:14.

divorce, if you like, as well as the future trade deals. So, the British

:43:15.:43:21.

Government, reciprocal rights, that might come good. You have just moved

:43:22.:43:27.

on to something that could combat? That could come back, and this is

:43:28.:43:30.

likely to be the first really big fight. It is known as parallelism

:43:31.:43:43.

versus sequential -ism. I mentioned it on other programmes, so I thought

:43:44.:43:50.

it was right to mention that on the daily politics as well. The

:43:51.:43:54.

government is determined that we talk about this stuff, how we leave,

:43:55.:43:58.

and what happens afterwards at the same time. In Brussels, not

:43:59.:44:05.

necessarily every European capital, but in Brussels they wanted tie of

:44:06.:44:08.

the divorce, get it done, settled the cash before talking about the

:44:09.:44:13.

next bit. The two documents that have come out, the 6-page letter

:44:14.:44:17.

from the Prime Minister and the short response from the European

:44:18.:44:21.

Council, they display how much they are at odds. The British hope is to

:44:22.:44:25.

be able to agree the principles of the divorce deal, if not every

:44:26.:44:36.

dotted I and crossed T, they can at least get on with it. That will be

:44:37.:44:39.

the first fight, not least because the Brexit bill is part of that.

:44:40.:44:45.

What about the draft resolution. We do not want to overstate because

:44:46.:44:52.

they will not be critical to the negotiations but it has been leaked

:44:53.:44:55.

and it has a tougher tone that we have heard from Theresa May or

:44:56.:45:00.

Donald Tusk about the timescale, the trade deal and a transitional

:45:01.:45:04.

arrangement. The European Parliament has magically managed to put into

:45:05.:45:08.

the public domain there early response. Not as if they are trying

:45:09.:45:13.

to get into this process and have a more prominent role, they are not in

:45:14.:45:17.

the driving seat, they do have a role. They say we could only have a

:45:18.:45:22.

transitional deal of three years maximum and essentially saying you

:45:23.:45:27.

cannot do this on your timetable, it is not realistic. To overstate it

:45:28.:45:32.

would be a mistake that it is important. There is scepticism about

:45:33.:45:37.

our timetable. There are plenty of people who do want to make it hard,

:45:38.:45:46.

make it tough. They said they have Michel Barnier's mark all over it. A

:45:47.:45:50.

couple of things briefly. Worth picking out from the letter, the

:45:51.:45:55.

difference about tone. A couple of things are significant, it says

:45:56.:46:01.

plainly the government wants early agreement on phased implementation

:46:02.:46:05.

some ministers have been careful not to advocate full transitional

:46:06.:46:10.

agreements, a separate deal, leaving the EU with stabilisers. It is plain

:46:11.:46:14.

from this letter they think there will have to be a soft departure in

:46:15.:46:21.

some parts of the deal. The other thing, in black-and-white, the Prime

:46:22.:46:24.

Minister was at pains to mention, significant powers coming back from

:46:25.:46:29.

Brussels will go to the devolved administrations, she was clear to

:46:30.:46:33.

point that out. There will be suspicion in SNP circles about how

:46:34.:46:36.

much would end up going to Hollywood. -- Holyrood. Chris

:46:37.:46:50.

Leslie, do you think that Britain over a large exit bill, a

:46:51.:46:54.

multi-billion pound exit bill? This will be the big early debate and I

:46:55.:46:59.

doubt very much the European Union side of the negotiation will cede

:47:00.:47:06.

the parallelism. While they want to sort out that bill. There might be

:47:07.:47:09.

liabilities in terms of commitments we have made historically. We might

:47:10.:47:16.

have had the UK say spending on European projects to 2020, but there

:47:17.:47:23.

are also assets. In any divorce... You have to split them up. Do you

:47:24.:47:30.

think it will be 50 billion? It sounds like an opening gambit. The

:47:31.:47:35.

worry I have is that, and we should have been on top of parallelism

:47:36.:47:43.

months ago. I have been banging on about it for months because it

:47:44.:47:46.

should have been a condition of the trigger, to sort out the process

:47:47.:47:50.

before we handed them what they wanted, but I worry about the hard

:47:51.:47:55.

Brexiteers view because any compromise they might say, no deal,

:47:56.:47:59.

let's go to WTO. We are going to Ben Brown in Brussels. Before that,

:48:00.:48:06.

Theresa Villiers, it would be politically difficult if not

:48:07.:48:10.

impossible for the Theresa May government to agree any kind of

:48:11.:48:14.

Brexit bill, any divorce bill, without having a good idea what our

:48:15.:48:19.

future relationship with the EU would be after we leave? You make a

:48:20.:48:25.

good point. It was a question. In most negotiations there is a

:48:26.:48:29.

principle nothing is agreed until everything is agreed and I think if

:48:30.:48:33.

the government is going to compromise on money, they will not

:48:34.:48:38.

want to make the decision at an early stage, divorce from the debate

:48:39.:48:45.

on our future relationship. I think we can expect the initial skirmishes

:48:46.:48:49.

of the negotiations. Whether they are parallel or not. That might be

:48:50.:48:55.

one of the first things David Davis and Michel Barnier have to resolve.

:48:56.:48:59.

We can go to Ben Brown in Brussels. Give us a feeling, what is the mood

:49:00.:49:07.

now that this historic event has taken place?

:49:08.:49:13.

Probably a mood of sadness in Brussels as you might expect. Which

:49:14.:49:20.

was reflected in Donald Tusk's tone, sadness, a bit of sarcasm perhaps in

:49:21.:49:25.

his tweets that after nine months the United Kingdom has triggered

:49:26.:49:29.

Brexit, almost saying, why has it taken so long after the referendum?

:49:30.:49:34.

You have to remember the EU throughout its history has only

:49:35.:49:39.

grown and had countries knocking out its door, saying please let us into

:49:40.:49:46.

your club and suddenly you have got the British permanent representative

:49:47.:49:48.

handing a letter to Donald Tusk saying we want out of your club, so

:49:49.:49:54.

it is a new experience for the EU and their identity, I think.

:49:55.:50:00.

One thing we have not quite cottoned onto enough is the importance of

:50:01.:50:07.

money for the EU 27, that Britain is one of only a handful of net donors

:50:08.:50:17.

to the EU. And that with Britain going it leaves a hole in finances.

:50:18.:50:23.

Net donors do not want to pay more and net recipients are worried they

:50:24.:50:27.

could lose out. I would suggest it is a factor in the EU position.

:50:28.:50:33.

I think it absolutely is, it is a lot of money. The EU will be poor

:50:34.:50:38.

all-round with Britain leaving and that is an issue in the coming

:50:39.:50:42.

negotiations and what you have to remember is there are 27 countries

:50:43.:50:49.

left. The EU has rules and likes to stick by rules because if you have

:50:50.:50:55.

27 members, you have to have rules because all the countries are so

:50:56.:51:00.

different. I think that will be... Their emphasis during negotiations,

:51:01.:51:05.

they have to stick by their rules. They can make compromises here and

:51:06.:51:10.

there but too many and it will be difficult because it will undermine

:51:11.:51:14.

their system of rules and as you suggest, the money they earn from a

:51:15.:51:17.

country like the United Kingdom. What should we make of this leaked a

:51:18.:51:24.

resolution, draft resolution from the European Parliament? It could

:51:25.:51:29.

change before it goes before Parliament. Is this the party at

:51:30.:51:35.

trying to muscle in, get it say in the negotiations? Is it

:51:36.:51:38.

representative of a strong strand of opinion? It certainly represents a

:51:39.:51:44.

strand of opinion but I think we will hear more clearly later what

:51:45.:51:47.

the European Parliament think because we will hear from their

:51:48.:51:53.

negotiator Guy Verhofstadt and their president, Antonio Tajani, this

:51:54.:51:56.

afternoon, from the European Parliament and that might give us

:51:57.:52:00.

more clarity and also, we have only heard a little from Donald Tusk, the

:52:01.:52:05.

president of the European Council. We will hear more from him on Friday

:52:06.:52:10.

when he outlines his response to Theresa May's letter and his broad

:52:11.:52:15.

negotiating position, and possibly the EU red lines. Perhaps we have to

:52:16.:52:20.

wait for Friday for more clarity. Thanks. Theresa Villiers, is the

:52:21.:52:30.

British timetable realistic? We need to negotiate the terms of the

:52:31.:52:37.

divorce and that will involve money. The mat could be debatable. We need

:52:38.:52:43.

to agree a complicated new trade deal to replace the membership of

:52:44.:52:47.

the single market involving 27 countries and put in place new

:52:48.:52:52.

security arrangements, like the Europol arrangement, whether we have

:52:53.:52:57.

a health card as we go around and then it has to be ratified by the

:52:58.:53:01.

European Parliament and 27 members as well as our own government. Given

:53:02.:53:08.

the negotiations are not likely to be under way until October and after

:53:09.:53:12.

the German election, is it realistic it could be done by 2018? I think it

:53:13.:53:21.

can be done but it is going to be a difficult process. Are we looking

:53:22.:53:26.

more that there will have to be some kind of transition period, that it

:53:27.:53:30.

cannot all be resolved in that period of time? The government has

:53:31.:53:34.

talked about phased implementation. That is different. You are right. It

:53:35.:53:39.

depends on what transitional arrangements. Some might be

:53:40.:53:44.

acceptable but anything that leaves us locked into EU rules three years

:53:45.:53:48.

in the future would not be acceptable. Donald Tusk we heard

:53:49.:53:53.

earlier saying how sad he is that Britain has triggered Article 50 and

:53:54.:53:57.

he referred when he was talking to the press about a statement from the

:53:58.:54:03.

EU 27, the other member states. I will read an excerpt. We regret the

:54:04.:54:08.

UK will leave the European Union but we are ready for the process we have

:54:09.:54:13.

to follow and for the European Union the first step will be the adoption

:54:14.:54:18.

of guidelines the negotiations by the European Council. These

:54:19.:54:21.

guidelines will set out the overall positions and principles in light of

:54:22.:54:26.

which the union represented by the European Commission will negotiate

:54:27.:54:32.

with the United Kingdom. Their key negotiator Michel Barnier. In these

:54:33.:54:36.

negotiations the union will act as one and preserve its interests and

:54:37.:54:40.

the first priority will be to minimise the uncertainty caused by

:54:41.:54:44.

the decision by the UK for our citizens and member states and we

:54:45.:54:47.

will focus on key arrangements for an orderly withdrawal. Let's get

:54:48.:54:53.

some reaction to that and the day's events.

:54:54.:54:53.

We're joined now by the former Green Party leader, Natalie Bennett,

:54:54.:54:56.

from Sheffield and the Ukip Deputy leader, Peter Whittle,

:54:57.:54:58.

Welcome. Peter Whittle, what is your reaction on this momentous day and

:54:59.:55:07.

the facts Theresa May has triggered Article 50? This is something we

:55:08.:55:15.

have waited for a long time. It is a hugely historic day and I am very

:55:16.:55:20.

pleased. It is a long time coming. David Cameron said that he would

:55:21.:55:24.

trigger it the day after the referendum, we could have done that,

:55:25.:55:30.

we could have spared ourselves. The ten months of this toing and froing

:55:31.:55:35.

and drip of negativity and indeed billions of taxpayers' money paid

:55:36.:55:39.

into the EU, but it is done now and we are on our way. We have to make

:55:40.:55:44.

sure people get exactly what they voted for at the end of the

:55:45.:55:48.

negotiations. How will you be the guard dogs of Brexit, a term used by

:55:49.:55:55.

someone in Ukip? How will you hold Theresa May's feet to the fire? My

:55:56.:56:02.

party has a unique reputation for managing to put pressure on the

:56:03.:56:06.

political world without even having representation. We got the

:56:07.:56:10.

referendum in the first place. Nobody believes it would have

:56:11.:56:15.

happened without us. By putting pressure on the government to ensure

:56:16.:56:19.

we have complete control of our borders, complete control over

:56:20.:56:26.

legislature in this House, behind me, and that all of these vital

:56:27.:56:31.

parts of Brexit are upheld and there is no backsliding. We have managed

:56:32.:56:38.

to do that already. We will hear from Natalie Bennett. What is your

:56:39.:56:42.

reaction, are used satellite Donald Tusk about what is happened? Very

:56:43.:56:48.

much so and I think we need to reflect on the sadness of millions

:56:49.:56:51.

of Britons, particularly young people whose lives now look a bit

:56:52.:56:58.

smaller. People like a student I met in Sheffield Hallam University who

:56:59.:57:03.

is about to go off on the Rasmus scholarship, an exciting time, but

:57:04.:57:07.

he was thinking of younger people coming behind him who might not have

:57:08.:57:11.

the same opportunity and the risk of the loss of free movement means his

:57:12.:57:15.

life does not have the same freedoms his parents and grandparents enjoy.

:57:16.:57:20.

We need to think of young people and the parents and grandparents and

:57:21.:57:23.

acknowledging we have lost something today. We have lost the risk of

:57:24.:57:30.

losing free movement. We have risks presented now, we had environmental

:57:31.:57:35.

and workers' rights protections and for consumers that came from the EU

:57:36.:57:40.

and they are now at risk. People feel sad and worried. They will be

:57:41.:57:44.

disappointment, the word used by the Prime Minister, what is a party will

:57:45.:57:50.

you do to shake the negotiations? We will present a different vision.

:57:51.:57:54.

Theresa May seem to be in and only and mood. We see different Theresa

:57:55.:57:59.

Mays and get different messages from the government but many are about a

:58:00.:58:07.

hard bordered Britain, that is a tax haven, where workers' rights are not

:58:08.:58:12.

protected and we do not see environmental, consumer protections.

:58:13.:58:14.

Members of the government talk about getting rid of red tape. Those are

:58:15.:58:18.

the protections that keep us safe and help clean-up Britain's beaches,

:58:19.:58:24.

pushing to clean up our air, those things we will fight for as the

:58:25.:58:28.

Green Party and fighting against the idea we can be a tax haven. Having

:58:29.:58:33.

multinational companies being parasites and not paying workers

:58:34.:58:39.

properly. What do you say to what Natalie Bennett and the party will

:58:40.:58:43.

argue against? It is rubbish. The last thing we will be as small, we

:58:44.:58:48.

will be bigger, breaking out of something that is smaller and going

:58:49.:58:52.

into the world, a world developing economically far-away from Europe.

:58:53.:59:00.

Also when she talks about free movement, the fact is people voted

:59:01.:59:06.

in their millions last year to have control of our borders. It is a pure

:59:07.:59:13.

denial, denial on the part of people like Natalie who will not accept the

:59:14.:59:18.

result that that was one of the main concerns of the majority of people

:59:19.:59:24.

and the fact is uncontrolled mass migration as a result of membership

:59:25.:59:31.

of the EU. I would say we have to get the best for Britain but we also

:59:32.:59:36.

have to have complete confidence in what is the most extraordinary

:59:37.:59:41.

opportunity now. Chris Leslie, what do you say to that, that Britain

:59:42.:59:44.

will be bigger and breaking out of something smaller and the government

:59:45.:59:50.

will be able to respond to concerns about immigration as a significant

:59:51.:59:55.

part of that vote in the referendum? The realities of geography actually

:59:56.:59:59.

go against that because we are a European country. Even the Prime

:00:00.:00:03.

Minister said we are a European country. When you look at the trade

:00:04.:00:08.

and economic soffit, we would love to do deals with Australia and the

:00:09.:00:12.

States but half of our trade is with the EU. The other 27 countries. What

:00:13.:00:19.

is worse it is not just tariffs, the slowing down of the customs

:00:20.:00:24.

transactions, with 80% of the economy in the service sector, the

:00:25.:00:30.

risks of being allowed to trade in some sectors, financial services,

:00:31.:00:33.

insurance, there are big questions and if you work in those sectors,

:00:34.:00:40.

you should ask employers what certainties we have got that we will

:00:41.:00:43.

be able to do business in the way we could before today? Do you have

:00:44.:00:48.

concerns about workers' rights? About the claim made by Labour that

:00:49.:00:53.

we will become a tax haven, that to use the phrase of Jeremy Corbyn, it

:00:54.:00:58.

will be bargain basement where regulation is stripped away?

:00:59.:01:02.

Workers' rights will stay as they are or arguably be strengthened

:01:03.:01:07.

after Theresa May the's review and in terms of the environment, I

:01:08.:01:10.

believe the government has a commitment to retain almost all EU

:01:11.:01:16.

law, and we will need to look at how we regulate on environmental

:01:17.:01:21.

matters. We will continue to share the same goals as the EU but in a

:01:22.:01:26.

number of instances we can find a way to achieve these goals in a

:01:27.:01:30.

manner not so costly and over burdensome to the economy. Before we

:01:31.:01:37.

say goodbye, Peter Whittle, can you say what you thought about the tone

:01:38.:01:42.

of Theresa May's statement, the fact she talks in her letter of this

:01:43.:01:46.

special and deep partnership that she wants to retain with the EU? She

:01:47.:01:51.

talks of cooperation and talks in ebullient terms, is that what you

:01:52.:02:01.

would have done -- emollient. We cooperated with Europe before the

:02:02.:02:07.

EU. We have been at it 44 years. Just that amount of time. The fact

:02:08.:02:13.

is in all sorts of areas we would co-operate, security being one of

:02:14.:02:17.

them. The problem is for Theresa May, she has a good way of talking

:02:18.:02:23.

the talk, she talks tough and has done it on migration, Islam, and the

:02:24.:02:30.

EU. We have to make sure she walks the walk. That there is no

:02:31.:02:34.

backsliding between now and two years' time and that is vital. Peter

:02:35.:02:40.

Whittle, thanks. Natalie Bennett, a final thought, looking ahead to the

:02:41.:02:47.

negotiations. It needn't be two sides fighting each other, it could

:02:48.:02:53.

be cordial? Possibly it could be, but when we look at the British

:02:54.:03:04.

Government, the obvious fissures. A Tory party torn apart by different

:03:05.:03:07.

views on what the future looks like, it will be a difficult position for

:03:08.:03:12.

Theresa May. Peter Whittle said in Westminster we have a democratic

:03:13.:03:17.

government, but the Tory party only won the support of 24% of eligible

:03:18.:03:25.

voters in the 2015 election. Take back control, the hashtag, I agree

:03:26.:03:29.

with. We need political reform within Britain, which is where some

:03:30.:03:34.

of the crucial issues lie. All right. Thank you both.

:03:35.:03:40.

Just looking at the figures and money, Germany is the biggest net

:03:41.:03:46.

contributor. 14 billion euros a year and Britain's second with 12, France

:03:47.:03:52.

way down in six because of the Common Agricultural Policy and net

:03:53.:03:55.

contributors, a few others, but everybody else is a net recipient

:03:56.:03:57.

which shows money will be important. There's just time to put you out

:03:58.:03:59.

of your misery and give Chris Leslie, press that in front of

:04:00.:04:12.

you and we will see who won. You triggered Article 50! Trevor

:04:13.:04:23.

Arce, congratulations. You have won these special mug. That is it today

:04:24.:04:31.

and we thank our guests. At 7pm on BBC One I will interview the Prime

:04:32.:04:36.

Minister about plans for Brexit negotiations and at 7:30pm I will be

:04:37.:04:41.

joined by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Lib Dem leader Tim

:04:42.:04:49.

Farron. I hope you can join me 7pm tonight on BBC One. And we will be

:04:50.:04:53.

back tomorrow with the reaction to these historic events today.

:04:54.:04:54.

Goodbye.

:04:55.:04:59.

Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn present live coverage of Prime Minister's Questions and Theresa May's statement on triggering the formal process for Britain to leave the EU, with former Northern Ireland secretary Theresa Villiers and former shadow chancellor Chris Leslie. They are also joined by former Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown and SNP Europe spokesperson Stephen Gethins.


Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS