Jo Coburn is joined by Labour peer Charlie Falconer for the whole show. They look at last Wednesday's BBC election debate.
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Hello and welcome to the Daily Politics.
Her political rivals from the main parties lined up
to criticise her for not taking part in the seven-way debate,
with Amber Rudd speaking for the Conservative Party.
As campaigning for the election enters its final week,
Theresa May is about to give a speech setting out her vision
After last night's debate, it's also Brexit day for Jeremy Corbyn,
as he gives a speech outlining Labour's views later today.
We ask Tony Blair's former flatmate, Lord Falconer, how he feels
And the moodbox continues its travels around the country.
Today, Ellie has wheeled it to the Lincolnshire town of Skegness.
Have you decided who you're going to vote for yet?
Because they are all as bad as one another.
And they make promises and it doesn't come off.
And with us for the whole of the programme today,
is the Labour peer and former Lord Chancellor, Charlie Falconer.
First though, the BBC election debate.
Senior politicians from the seven main political parties took to
Theresa May's rivals accused her of lacking "guts" for not attending,
with Labour's Jeremy Corbyn deciding late on that he would take part.
Here's Adam with the highlights of the debate.
You could be watching Britain's Got Talent on the other side.
But on this stage, it's all about which politician has talent.
The debate's been electrified before it's even started by the last minute
decision by Jeremy Corbyn to come and stand at this podium.
The Conservatives sent the Home Secretary,
who may have felt at times it was six against one.
They are promising a dementia tax, an end to the winter fuel payment
I think those people deserve to know by how much.
Why is Britain the second biggest arms dealer in the world?
Why are we selling to 22 of the 30 countries
on the Government's own human rights watchlist?
Amber Rudd seems so confident this is a country at ease with itself,
Have you seen people sleeping around our stations?
So, Amber Rudd cast herself in the role of the grown-up on stage.
I just have to take on some of the Jeremy Corbyn's
I mean, he has a money tree wishlist in his manifesto.
It's very easy to think about how you spend money.
It is much harder to think about how you raise money.
It's as if he thinks it is some sort of game,
a game of monopoly perhaps, where you ask the banker for the red
money to buy the electrics, the green money to buy the railways
and the yellow money to buy the gasworks.
In the spin room, we watched the inevitable row about who'd
negotiate the best Brexit, which turned into an argument
A city the size of Hull came to this country never.
That will be a Birmingham over a five-year period.
We do it by having an Australian points-based system.
If you've got the skills that this country needs, yes,
Ukip just claimed people voted to leave the European Union and,
in so doing, they also voted to curb immigration.
I don't think we can read that into the result.
Although quite a lot of the time, it just sounded like this...
But, was the real star of the show the woman who wasn't there?
So you've heard the squabbling and discord
You've seen the coalition of chaos in action.
But in the quiet of the polling booth, you have a clear choice.
A vote for anyone other than Theresa May is a vote for
Leadership is about understanding the people you represent.
Is about not being so high and mighty you can't take advice.
It is also about bringing people with you.
It is also about ensuring your responsibilities to protect
the safety and security of everybody in this country and to lead
a Government that cares for everybody in the country.
The Prime Minister is not here tonight.
In fact, Bake Off is on BBC Two next.
You are not worth Theresa May's time.
Err, no time to watch Bake Off when there's post-match
Be honest, would you rather be at home watching Bake Off?
For all the people talking over themselves, and there
was a lot of that tonight, my own view is the moderator should
have had a switch that could switch their mics off.
There's David Davis with his finger in his ear.
Do you think it was all too much for him?
Well, backstage, after 90 minutes of shouting and all their spinning,
But has it changed how anyone will vote?
Joining us in the studio is the Home Office Minister Brandon Lewis.
Welcome to the programme. Why didn't Theresa May take part? I think
actually, what we saw, the clip you showed, highlighted, she made the
right decision. While everyone's shouting over each other she's
getting on with the job. Talking to people across the country. Not
running scared? No. She's been taking questions from the press far
more than Jeremy Corbyn and depates about PMQs every week. She made the
right decision as she was concerned. Not part of this seven- way
squabble? I think she made a cowardly and arrogant decision. To
make a snap election decision and not debate directly with the other
party leaders treats the people with contempt. I saw a film about her
meeting the electorate. She was outside a hang are. Tight in, people
around her. The camera pulled away. There were about 20 people. It was a
completely staged event. Her excuse for not doing the debate is she's
meeting the electorate. But it is in such controlled circumstances. All
politicians meet them in staged managed way. Jeremy Corbyn decided
he was take part and was there defending Labour's policies?
Outlining some of the fantasy stuff. Not able to... What is the fantasy
stuff? With nationalisation, they haven't outlined how much it will
cost, how they'll pay for it. When they talk about security, he has
voted against anti-terror laws for 35 years. The Shadow Home Secretary
wants to disband MI5. They cannot look after the security of our
country coming from that position. In terms of being brave standing in
a debate like this with rivals from other parties, did he at least put
his money where his mouth is? Theresa May was at the debate on
Monday night. She's... That wasn't a debate with with other politicians.
It a discussion with the public. What about discussions with other
party leaders? Why not She faced Jeremy Corbyn in PMQs week in, week
out. The country's watching the Prime Minister. She had the time to
come to the debate at Sky. Why not directly with Jeremy? The chaos we
saw last night highlights why she did the right thing. She has been
debating with Jeremy Corbyn at p. MQs week in, week out. She's
focussed talking to people about what she can do for this country.
Tony Blair never did a debate. This was very much before the pre-debate
times. It is a legitimate point to raise. We're talking about now
though. Let's talk about the magic money tree. Amber Rudd's phrase of
the evening. I heard it several times. Talking about Labour and how
they are going to fund their manifesto promises that amount to
?48 billion. She has a point? We've made a deliberate decision, partly
by borrowing and increasing taxes on the top 5%, we'll spend more money.
What Brandon describes as our fantasy politics, we've made a clear
decision to abandon austerity. The Tories have decided to keep going.
That's the choice for the country. The institute of fiscal did youedies
say they doubt very much the tax receipts will come in to fund that
?48 billion. You will tax more, the 5%. You'll spend more but you
haven't costed it in terms of guaranteeing those tax receipts.
Nobody could guarantee it. The question is what sort of return
would you get from the tax increases and our estimate is the best. But,
there are risks in relace to it. I accept that. In terms of the magic
money tree, did you get a feeling from the debate people watching and
taking part, if you look at the progressive alliance, people are fed
up with us a starity? We have to try to live within our means. We've been
up front about the fact we have to do it. You haven't paid off the
deficit. Debt is still rising. The deficit is still ?52 billion for the
year ending March this year. In a way, austerity hasn't done what it
was supposed to do. If I can finish. That highlights the key point. We
got that deficit Labour left us with. ?151 billion down to ?51
billion. That was seven years ago That's how bad it is. Labour haven't
costed this out. They've not outlined what nationalisation would
cost. How of they're going to use this Corporation Tax change they've
spent 12 times over. Corporation Tax take is going up. They have figures.
You may not like them. Where are your figures? It is easy to get them
wrong if you don't have them on social care and how many pensioners
will lose the winter fuel allowance. We've outlined our commitments. We
are delivering our priorities in the budget and manfess toe. It is using
the money the country's got rather than pretending to do things we
haven't the money for. The The figures are not there. What you are
disguising, Brandon, is what the Tories will do is cut and cut as
they said they would in the March 2017 budget. The problem you had
with the social care thing, it was very indicative of the sorts of cuts
that are coming. Take away people's... It is no different to
what it is now. It is different to what's now. Only in terms of Theresa
May saying she'll race the floor. ? Terms of people paying for social
care they do that now. They didn't have to pay for care in their homes,
now they do. We saw a lot of noisy support for Jeremy Corbyn outside
and from the audience last night. Is that enthusiasm going to transfer to
the quiet of the polling booth? I have no idea what will happen. All I
can tell you is two things. We went into this election on the basis it
was about Brexit. We're coming out of it and it's about what Britain's
going to be like. The British people or some of them, are very, very
concerned we are returning to Thatcher. The crowd which greeted
Jeremy Corbyn in Cambridge, each side of the street was lined with
people. I don't know whether they will vote. A lot are very young, if
that group of people does go the ballot box, I think we're in for
some surprises. How do you explain the change in the polls. The 24
point lead the Tories had which some polls suggest has been now slashed
to just 3 points. There are a whole range ofs poles out there. The only
pole that matters is June 8th. What people will be doing on June 8th. I
hope, what I'm getting when I talk to people on the doorstep, is make a
decision about who they want as Prime Minister. Someone who can
stand up for difficult things, say this is an issue which needs to be
dealt with. We have a plan which lab can't. Someone to get the right deal
for this country as we leave the EU. Something Jeremy didn't want to
touch on. We talked briefly about some of the noisy support for Jeremy
Corbyn outside. This Well, this morning,
the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said he thought there
was a left-wing bias. It was a yammering
cacophony of views. Even by the BBC's own standards,
I think you would agree, that audience was notably
to the left of many And, you had Plaid Cymru and
the SNP and Liberal Democrats Of course, there was a certain sort
of echo chamber for left-wing views. Joining us from our Exeter
studio is Andrew Hawkins from the polling company ComRes,
who selected the audience. Andrew, what do you say to Boris
Johnson's complaints that was a notably left-wing audience? Well, I
mean, if you have seven party representatives and five of those
represent parties to the left and only two to the right, then the
phrase he used, yammering cock off if I, the reality was the audience
was scrupulously put together and selected and verified. I think a
politician's clapometer is probably not the best way to judge how
representative it is of the voting public. It's actually to open the
bonnet, as it were. To understand how that audience was put together.
It's like constructing a giant 3D jigsaw. You have to look at how
representative, making sure it is of the 2015 result. Making sure it is
representative of the current voting intention. Make sure it is
representative of people who voted remain and leave and make sure it is
demographically representative as well. It was. What did you think
when you watched the debate? Did you get any sense despite having gone
through those hoops and hurdles, it felt somehow one-sided or more
towards one side than the other? Yeah. Certainly, there's no question
in my mind that Amber Rudd and, to an extent, Paul Nuttall were up
against a mock vocal crowd. That's for sure. But, actually, when you
watch what the audience were doing, half the audience were clapping at
those moments and half weren't. You don't hear the ones who are not
clapping. Only the ones who do. So, actually, yeah, it's true, it was
noisy. I can understand why it came across like that. But, when you look
at what people or how people are behaving, it wasn't the case. In the
end, I presume whatever looks good on paper, the reality can somehow
appear quite different? You can, of course, get a dynamic where people
on one end of the spectrum are a reluctant to make as much noise as
people on the other end of the spectrum. There may have been a bit
of that last night as well. Thank you.
Polly Toynbee from The Guardian and Seb Payne from the Financial Times.
They're outside enjoying the sunshine.
Seb Payne, the Financial Times has come out in support of Theresa May
in this election albeit rather grudgingly. Why? We looked at the
options on offer and we did not really like any of them. Our view is
pro-market and free trade and capitalism. It really was almost an
ugly baby contest for us to see which one we felt would be the best
thing. We live in a democracy and this election is about choosing who
we want to be the next Prime Minister and we consider Jeremy
Corbyn's programme would be quite dangerous for the country
economically, it would not see growth and prosperity particularly
for our readers in the City of London and therefore, Theresa May is
probably the best person to get us through the Brexit deal. We said she
is the safer bet, not option, it is a bet because we think Brexit is a
bet and we will see how it turns out. Was the Prime Minister wrong to
skip the debate last night Polly Toynbee? Will it have major
consequences or does it not really matter? I'm not sure about major
consequences but the one thing people will take from it is that she
was there and ran away but Jeremy Corbyn was there and that was quite
important, I think. They may take away from it that Amber Rudd did
rather better than she would have done and she came out of it
reasonably well. The shy Tories in the audience did not back her up
very much. They were there but they were awfully shy. She was run out on
her own. But she made a reasonable fist of it. But as ever, what
surprises people when they see Jeremy Corbyn is that he is so much
better than they thought he would be. He has the great advantage of
having started the campaign with very low expectations and he has
well exceeded them. Going back to the issue of Brexit because
certainly both Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn have got speeches on
that today. Seb Payne, do you think it has come a little -- too little
and a little too late? This is part of the reset that the Conservatives
are trying to do now, focusing on Brexit because on any other topics,
they are an slightly shaky ground, like the manifesto, spending more
social care. Labour has been able to score some points there whereas an
Brexit, which is what the election was supposed to be about four
Theresa May, she's focusing on being the best person to get the Brexit
deal and having been around the country, I think voters get the
sense. When you ask do you want sitting opposite Michel Barnier,
Jean-Claude Juncker, Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron, people feel
Theresa May is probably the best person so if they focused on that
message and hammer it again and again, that is the place can
probably the get the best hay from but at this stage, it might be a bit
too late. Will it change any votes now, Polly, on the issue of Brexit?
If you drill down on what both parties are saying in the manifesto
is an Brexit, there is not much to choose between them. It is a rising
Brexit has not played bigger and it has certainly surprise the Lib Dems
who thought they were going to get a big surge on the back of this and I
was surprised and in some ways have been disappointed as well. When
people look at what Theresa May has done so far in her approach is to
Europe, it has been horrendous and aggressive. She has behaved as if
they were the enemy. She talks in kind of military terms. There's no
doubt that all that Labour's team would be infinitely better, more
emollient, treat them as friends and partners and how are we going to get
through this as best we can, both sides together? Whereas Theresa May
and her team, as written on her bus, are going at it like a bull in a
china shop. I think Labour has, Europe has not been particularly
Brett Lee towards us, Angela Merkel said this week we can't rely
Britain's only does not matter how friendly you are towards Europe,
they will be tough with us so they will be tough on both sides. It
depends what you mean by top. What you what is a deal that works well
for Europe, we don't want as Europe fall apart, even Theresa May says
she is very much does not want to do damage to Europe and I don't think
they want to do damage to us. If we get ourselves into a stupid
confrontation with people like Boris and David Davis and Liam Fox, and
now Theresa May herself as well, saying extraordinarily aggressive
things, particularly during the election, which they will regret
what they have to sit around a table with 27 other countries, a lot of
who will be fuming at the muddy being said in the election campaign.
But will they just think it is an election campaign, Seb Payne, that
it's Theresa May facing the electorate even if it hasn't all
been about Brexit up until now? Do you get a sense from other European
leaders about how they view things like the U-turn on social care? Will
they see that as an opportunity for them in negotiations? It will
certainly raise some eyebrows because the whole image that has
come from Theresa May, from the UK and British press, is of a strong
and stable leader and a lot of what we have seen in this campaign, as
people have said, is a bit more weak and wobbly. It will certainly raise
eyebrows about what will happen when they sit down and begin the
negotiations which, don't forget, will happen just two weeks after the
election is over. But ultimately at the end of the day, Europe is not
really bothered who it sits with, it just wants to get on with it and
start the article 15 process and so much of the actual debating will be
done behind closed doors, a lot of bargaining and horse trading, that
we won't actually see. And they do know ultimately, Theresa May needs
to act tough and she is trying to appeal to the 52% that backed Brexit
in the referendum. I don't think it matters too much for the original
outcome. I think you are completely wrong about that, I think the result
of this election is going to very much affect what Europe thinks of
the UK. If Labour won the election, then the profound sense in Europe
would be that the demotic talk of Mrs May, those mad allegations that
European officials and politicians were trying to interfere in the
election, was being repudiated by the British people. The view that
they see Britain as one amorphous mass is completely wrong. Finally
come on the magic money tree, Polly Toynbee, we would all like one of
course but if that line going to be pushed, I presume very hard by the
Conservatives, and that Labour's policies, which the IFS are not
wildly up to mystic about? They had said the same about the Tory
manifesto which has very little costings in it at all. I don't think
that we might Labour has suggested spending any more than the Tories
are going to be spending on tax cuts, corporation tax, inheritance
tax, taxes that benefit business and the better off. Enormously
extravagant tax cuts that the country certainly cannot afford at a
time when our public services are falling apart and I think that is
going to be the tension. Does she really mean austerity? No, she means
giving away money to some people while taking yet more away from
everybody's public services. Polly Toynbee and Seb Payne, thank you.
Now, the Daily Politics moodbox is on tour during the election
campaign, and today Ellie is in the Lincolnshire town of Skegness.
You have got the weather for it! On a beach, I can see.
They say it is bracing in Skegness but actually, it is just lovely and
warm and very nice. It has been well documented that Skegness and Boston
voted decidedly for Brexit in last year's EU referendum, 75% voted to
Leave which is one of the recent Ukip have got their eyes on this
seat at the coming general election. Of course, there is one week to go
before we vote, when people in this town and around the country make
that big decision but have people made the decision? There's a week to
go, is there any point in any of the politicians are still campaigning?
That is what we are asking today. Our people decided or undecided?
Have you decided who you'll vote for in the election?
What, what made you make your decision?
I just decided that it's better to keep what we have at the moment.
Because they're all as bad as one another.
They make promises and it doesn't come off.
He hasn't even decided if he's going to make a decision!
We want to do what's best for the disabled.
We're not sure which party yet is going to do that.
Because of the weak leadership of the Labour Party,
I've decided to vote for Theresa May for the first time ever
which is really a break with family tradition.
Trying to do what's best for the country
and I think Jeremy Corbyn isn't best for this country.
I think Theresa May's just wanting it for herself and what she wants
I don't think she's taken anybody else into consideration.
There's been too much on the news for me to take it in.
Otherwise I would decide, if I could understand it a bit more.
Just listening to the policies of parties.
Forget the fighting between the politicians,
it's politics which is what's important.
Doesn't affect me or my wages or my house or anything.
Do you really not think it does? No.
The good people of Skegness and those on holiday here
The trouble is, I can't decide whether it's the decideds
or undecideds who've won our moodbox today.
The one thing I have decided is I need an ice cream!
It's a tough job, but someone has got to do it, what a glorious day!
Throughout this election, we've been speaking to the smaller parties also
standing for election and today it's the turn of the SDP,
The SDP was founded in March 1981 by four
former Labour members - dubbed the Gang Of Four.
The party say they would actively
campaign for a fair, controlled and harmonious Brexit
process in the best interests of the British people and with due
consideration to our EU friends and neighbours.
They would offer free school breakfast and lunch
Remove all tax from those earning the minimum wage.
Remove all tax from those They would introduce annual
referendums to coincide with May elections to cover issues such
as the death penalty, hunting and euthanasia.
And they would ensure that all train operators provide high quality free
Wi-Fi on routes that exceed 30 minutes.
And we're joined by the SDP's
Thank you for joining us. The party survived, I thought it had gone out
of existence! It's been going for 27 years. It has not stopped. As it
almost faded into nonexistence and come back? I think there's been a
bit of a resurgence over the past few months. Few months? Absolutely,
as the previous... I mean, politics has really changed, hasn't it?
You've got all of the different parties changing their direction,
changing their position, Labour on the far left now and the Tories
going far right and the Lib Dems going far-fetched. There's a big gap
in the middle. Right, except you have also changed your mind because
last year you were the Parliamentary candidate for Ukip in the Sheffield
Brightside by-election and he finished second, so when did you
switch parties? A few months ago, there two parties that are boys
campaign for Brexit, the SDP were campaigning for Brexit... Which is a
complete change from its early days. For over 20 years, they have been
Eurosceptic, they campaign to withdraw and not join the European
single currency, they campaign... Mike Baird I would not associated
with Roy Jenkins, a bit of a shift. A total shift but does that mean you
are closer with Ukip as a result of your scepticism in the SDP? Totally
not, the SDP has always stood for direct democracy and proportional
representation, democracy meaning being ruled by the electorate, not
the EU, all the way through, since the Lisbon Treaty, the Maastricht
Treaty, the SDP has campaigned for withdrawal from the European Union.
But as recently as January, in terms of your party allegiance, you
tweeted Brexit is going to vote in the House of Commons, and if you
want Brexit, vote Ukip to make your voice heard. So why should anyone
believe you have genuinely switched allegiance? All parties have changed
their position and if you are a person of integrity, you don't just
follow the party line. The Labour Party has shifted and a lot of the
politicians have shifted with the party rather than their own beliefs.
The Conservatives, the same. My view has always been all along,
democracy, leave the European Union and now obviously as the Ukip party
line has shifted, mine has not. I'm not just going to follow that party.
What attracted you to the failure that has been the SDP? You can argue
they influenced the Labour Party. Changed their direction. Also
changed the direction the Conservative Party is going in. In
that way, how do you measure success? In power or influence
flewence. The SDP has opportunity to exert influence. If If you've moved
from Ukip to SDP? Who had confidence in Lord Owen? He blue up the SDP. Is
it filled with people like you who are constantly changing our
position. People think you're mad. Maybe this do. If you look at andy
Taylor, a member since 1982, and through to 2017 for the SDP? It has
continued, relentless, quietly in the background trying to work with
vote Leaf and others to achieve its goal. You're standing a good slate
of cand says in Sheffield and that's it? In Glasgow as Ant well. We're
starting slowly but surely. June 9th will be a very different state of
politician. Either Jeremy Corbyn's party will be victorious, unlikely.
What are the Labour moderates going to do? Form their own party? Nobody
knows what will happen next. What the last two years has taught us is
you just expect the unexpected. Can I tell you one thing for certain.
The one thing that will not happen is people will move to the SDP Will
you have Labour moderates going over to the other party? No, we are not.
You can't speak. If you ask Labour both people in the parliamentary
Labour Party and the wider activists, are they united behind a
manifesto that says an end to austerity, retains Trident... Are
they united behind Jeremy Corbyn, that's the problem? There have been
issues about Jeremy Corbyn. Ultimately what happens in the
general election and what our basic policy is will determine... No be
predict what had happen next or the attitudes of politicians. No-one
will predict what party you'll be in next. Thank you for coming in.
So what else has been going on in the campaign?
It was sunny. It might have gone behind a cloud. Tip for viewers. If
you are out on the campaign trail and you happen to spot a celebrity,
well, you need to have your selfie technique nailed. Like this. There
you go. We've got it pretty good, Jo, though you don't look too happy
to be in my selfie. Sorry!
Selfie's take practice. One candidate has been lending a hand
with that today. Another thought for you. Back when I was 16, I got up to
many things. But voting, of course, wasn't one of them. Whether to lower
the legal voting age is a subject that came up for discussion at a BBC
locality radio event. We start today's round-up with a question
from a student in Sheffield. There may have been a few blushes
on the BBC Sheffield election debate panel when the President
of the local college Student Union, So, why can't we just
get votes at 16? At 16 you're old enough
to marry your MP, have sex with your MP and go to war and fight
for your MP and die for your MP, The Labour, the Lib Dems
and the Green Party all support For today only, you can pick up
a copy of the left-wing socialist newspaper,
The Morning Star, for free. Copies of the paper's
Election Special are being given away in shops instead
of at the usual prize of ?1. And, mastering the art
of selfies with Boris Johnson. Now, where's that screen
flip button thing? It's out of focus and you're
barely in frame but post The ghost train at Thorpe Park just
got even more terrifying. These frightening characters will
chase thrillseekers on the ride, Ukip's David Kurten's been outlining
plans for education this morning. We need to challenge the viewpoint
that says academic schools are up here and everything else is down
there and selection is bad. Saying some children should be
released from school age 14 And Jeremy Corbyn's following in
the footsteps of Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Rihanna by gracing
the cover the NME. Now, as we've been speaking,
Theresa May has been setting out her vision of Brexit as a "great
national mission" that offers the promise of
transforming this country. Later today, Jeremy Corbyn will also
deliver a speech on Brexit, giving Labour's view
of the opportunities Negotiations with Brussels are set
to formally begin 11 days after the election,
so where exactly do the parties stand regarding this
country's future relationship The Conservatives intend
to leave the single market And seek a "deep and
special partnership" The free movement of people
from the EU would end. A Great Repeal Bill would
incorporate EU law into UK law. Labour says it would scrap
the current Brexit white paper. And that its negotiations
would emphasise securing a tariff-free relationship
with the single market The party says free movement
will end after Brexit and they'd And would immediately guarantee
the rights of all EU The Liberal Democrats want to stay
members of the single And they want a referendum
on the final deal. The SNP, likewise, want
to protect Scotland's place And they are demanding a place
for the Scottish Government Ukip, meanwhile, want to ensure
a clean break with the single market, the customs union
and the ECJ. And they insist there should be no
Brexit divorce bill, or future contributions
to the EU budget. Let's hear what the Prime
Minister has been saying We had hoped to hear from Theresa
May's speech but she's running a late. Brandon Lewis joins us. What
does the great national exit mean in terms of hard policies? It is
recognising there is an opportunity here. We've made a decision as a
country, which we've been clear we'll deliver on. We want to take
this opportunity to be a more global, outward looking country to
do trade deals around the world and with our European partners. To do
something people on doorsteps yesterday when I was out are clear
about. They want to see the parties very clearly dealing with
immigration. Something the Labour Party isn't doing. How does that
translate into policies. I would argue we don't know much more than
we did several months ago in terms of what the offer is from the
Conservatives or Labour in those terms. What does it mean in hard
policy terms? We do know more. I think first of all, from the Labour
point of view, I was debating with Diane Abbott earlier. ... Labour's
said in their manifesto they want an end to freedom of movement. I will
tackle Charlie Fawke on on what that means. A clear point for us is
immigration should be at sustainable levels. Tens of thousands. We need
to negotiate good trade deals with countries around the world. Attract
the by the and best to come here to continue to grow our economy. I
still don't know how you'll achieve those things through policy. Since
you brought up immigration, the Labour manifesto says it will be an
end to free movement. How many people on a net migration basis
should be coming here year-on-year? I don't think that's possible to
say. The Prime Minister would agree with that. You should stop people
being able to come unless they have a job and the job has got to be
something that somebody in the UK can't do. You'll end all unskilled
labour coming from the EU? In relation to unskilled labour, there
will be significant areas in the British economy where you will need
unskilled labour. The focus in immigration terms, has to be what
promotes the UK economy. When I say what promotes the UK economy, I moo
entwo things. You shouldn't be taking jobs away from the UK where
there are people who want those jobs. Secondly, have you to identify
where there are bits of industry, bits of economic activity, where if
you did take away the immigration, not just from the European Union but
elsewhere, that would damage the economy. What does that mean in
terms of farming and agriculture. Already they're expressing fears
they won't be able to get the seasonal workers they need. Would
you be happy to see unskilled working coming to work in that
industry? I don't know what the numbers are. If you needed unskilled
workers in agriculture and couldn't provide that from our own
population, you would need to allow that to happen. We'd still have
unskilled workers coming from the EU I believe we will in certain areas.
If terms of the numbers of tens of thousands, it hasn't been hit
before. Now you haven't put a timescale on when you will reach
that. Do you need to put a timescale on it? We are clear we want to do
something positive to the economy over the course of the next
Parliament. You have a target. Criticised Labour for not having a
target. You haven't said when you'd deliver it? . We did, over the
course of the next Parliament. By 2020? The draft figures that came
out last week for the last year show the policies taken forward by
Theresa May in part when she was Home Secretary as well as Prime
Minister are working. We've seen an 85,000 fall in the last year alone.
This is building on the work we've done, change how social housing is
allowed and upskilling people here to take on these jobs. How long will
that take. You talk about this upskilling, how long will that take?
The upskilling of the British population when you'll remove EU
immigrants? This is a holistic approach. We are not just
controlling our borders but also having that industrial strategy. We
bring in apprenticeships. How long will it take? The benefit we're
already seeing, more and more people getting into work. Two million
people into the economy... I'm talking about reduction in
immigration. We've seen 8 a,000 fall in the last year alone. The British
people want to see a Government that is clearly looking to deal with this
issue. That's... What is extraordinary is they slay they'll
bring it down to 10,000 within five years. Mrs May's been the Home
Secretary for six years and has failed repeatedly year after year.
Why not do something in relation to non-EU immigration which is well
over 100,000 net at the moment? As you know full well, Charlie, you
were overtalking me earlier on, this is a Home Secretary who's you is
down 900 bogus colleges offer the nine years. Has it brought numbers
down? Yes, it is. If you look at the figures just last week aLen, it is
down 85,000 just last year alone because of the work done over the
last few years that is now flowing through. There is always more to do.
We cant to tackle this challenge. It is not clear in the Labour
manifesto. Developing and implementing fair immigration rules.
No-one can disagree with that. Depends what you mean by clear. Has
Labour got a clear, identifiable stance on immigration? You stop
people coming from the E. Without any proper basis. You said you would
be prepared to have seasonal workers coming in. They are unskilled.
Aagree. That is a basis. What about other sectors? Equal numbers coming
in on retail. Hospitality? Our policy is you identify what the
needs of the economy are in a particular... The needs could be
300,000 and you would be happy with that? You have to try to reduce free
movement of the labour. What's coming at the moment are people
coming for work and people who have no job. I think it will be reduced.
I don't know by how much. You're saying tens of thousands in five
years' time? Over the course of the Parliament. By 2022, that's at
guarantee. EU or non-EU? Mying Gration levels coming down to
sustainable levels, tens of thousands over the next Parliament.
You will be held to account over that issue? That's in our manifesto.
Labour wants tariff-free trade but won't advocate membership of the
customs Euanen. Free movement will end. How is your position any
different to Brandon's? We want a close re-Laoisship with the EU. If
the Government stays in power, how can you expect to have a close
relationship with the EU when Mrs May's language about how she will
deal with the EU is one of hostility and confrontation? She accused... In
policy terms, that's not a difference. Having a close
relationship or less close, these are words. In terms of policies, how
is the Labour position in terms of Brexit negotiations any different to
the Conservatives? We will do everything we can can to get an
greechlt. It is very like lie will be different in result. That's the
key thing that matters. You can get completely tariff-free trade and not
have freedom of the movement? We've said specifically we're not having
freedom of movement. We'll aim for a tariff-free deal. They won't give it
to us? No, we'll have to negotiate it. You've admitted there is no
policy difference between what the Conservatives are trying to get in
these Brexit negotiations and what you're doing. It is difficult to
tell, Jo, the Tories are so vague about how they'll conduct these
negotiations I think there's a big difference.
Compared to what Corbyn and his ministers say and what is in the
shadow manifesto and he has said he does not be with everything in it so
it is whether you can deliver. Theresa May from the beginning has
been clear as Prime Minister that she wanted to do with Europe and I
think we can get a good deal, and optimistically about free trade for
this country. But he said about it is worse than no deal. Labour's plan
for the immigration go up and Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott have said
that themselves but she wants a deal which is good for us and our
partners in Europe, working together to get a good deal because these are
partners we want to trade with as was dreading globally so to suggest
otherwise is misleading. And that we have to call it a day. Thank you for
joining us, Brandon, and Theresa May has just about to begin her speech!
Timing is everything. Now, in the run-up to election day
we've been talking to each of the five largest parties
in Northern Ireland. Today we're joined by
Colum Eastwood, leader of the SDLP, the Social Democratic and Labour
Party. Thank you for joining us. Three of
the largest Northern Irish parties are opposed Brexit, which he painted
as the major issue at this election. Why should people choose your party
over the others? Of course, the SDLP is the most pro-European party in
Ireland, probably on these islands. We always pro-Europe, whereas Sinn
Fein, the other pro-European party now, were not pro-Europe until a
couple of months ago, even just a year ago, before the referendum,
they did not campaign against Brexit as part of the referendum but we are
glad now that they are on our side. We were the party coming up with the
answers around ideas or special status, using the Good Friday
agreement to protect our interests, the customs union and the single
market status for our businesses and people. So the SDLP have a very
strong and proud record on Europe. The other thing is, we will actually
turn up to Westminster and vote and speak and be counted when it comes
to the debates on Brexit as we go through these negotiations. How many
seats do you think you will get? What will be a successful result for
you? Let's see, I don't do predictions, we have three seat at
the minute and we would like to retain those three otherwise our
main opponents in most of those constituencies are either the DUP
who will be cheerleaders for Theresa May or Sinn Fein, who are abstention
is the MPs and will not turn up at all. If Sinn Fein get their way, we
will end up with a situation where there will not be an Irish
nationalist representation in Westminster at all. That would be a
very bad thing. You are calling for a referendum on Irish unity after
Brexit. You say a border poll is no longer solely the project of Irish
nationalism but a pro-European internationalism but isn't that
something you want to be true rather than something with any real
evidence behind it? Well, first what I said is that the border poll is
part of the Good Friday agreement, we wrote it into the Good Friday
agreement and we recognise it should not happen right now. We think what
we have to do right now is first of all get the Northern Ireland
institutions up and running, deal with the issues around Brexit and
then look at the border poll after that has settled. But to allow work
on the Brexit committee and our work with partners in Dublin and Europe,
we have made sure that the European Union and the British government
have now recognised that a united Ireland would automatically mean
entering the European Union, that is unique situation because of the Good
Friday agreement and the principles within. But it's not happening at
the moment, you would accept? No, we know there's an enormous amount of
work to do and we're not saying it should happen right away, we are
saying it should happen in a positive and democratic way, to
ensure that Unionism feels part of the positive, democratic
conversation but we have a significant change in Northern
Ireland which means because of the work of the SDLP, it is now about
re-entering the European Union and I think that changes the debate from
being a very narrow debate to a much broader debate that I think makes a
border poll much more winnable for a nationalist perspective. Let me ask
you about Jeremy Corbyn, your partner is a traditional sister
party to the Labour Party so would you be happy to work with him in
Parliament? Yes, we have already and with other parties. If the polls are
right, we could end up having to work with a number of parties,
including the SNP, Plaid Cymru and the green party and we would be very
open to a progressive alliance to try to make sure we don't have a
Tory government who don't seem to have any interest in protecting the
interests of people in Ireland. They don't seem to have any interest in
trying to avoid a hard Brexit which would mean a hard border for our
people and businesses of this island. Of course, we will work with
a progressive alliance to try to make sure we get a very different
type of outcome from Brexit. Thank you for joining us.
Now our guest of the day, Charlie Falconer, used to be
a member of Jeremy Corbyn's Shadow Cabinet.
Many were surprised he agreed to serve as Shadow Justice Secretary,
considering he and Mr Corbyn come from very different places
Then last June, after a year in post, he resigned -
along with 18 of his cabinet colleagues, warning that Labour
would "be left for dead" if it failed to unite
So how does Tony Blair's former flatmate feel
How do you feel? Have you changed your mind, have you had to review
your thoughts and feelings about Jeremy Corbyn? He the leader of the
Labour Party. I know that. We are committed other party to doing our
best to win this election. But you have not changed your personal view
about Jeremy Corbyn? He's performed incredibly well in the course of
this general election campaign and the difference between him and
Theresa May is marked, he is calm and clear and brave and I think is
connecting particularly with young people and particularly with people
who have not voted before. I mentioned it before on the programme
and it was interesting to see the response he got as he arrived at the
Cambridge debate yesterday. There are still big policy difference
between you and him and his supporters, you supported the war in
Iraq, a war he opposed and has said was illegal. Last week in a speech
days after the Manchester attack, he suggested it contributed to the risk
of terror attacks here in the UK. Do you accept that? I don't think the
attacks in Manchester were caused by either the Iraq
war or anything the British government did. So you disagree with
Jeremy Corbyn? In relation to that, there would be a different emphasis,
yes. Because he said the foreign policy of Tony Blair and other
governments, like the one you are part of God is in some way linked to
being a recruiting Sergeant for people who go on to commit attacks?
He has said that and we would both be, Jeremy and I, completely united
in saying it is an abomination, what happened in Manchester... Everyone
agrees that. And we would also agree to other things, in so the security
services, the police, army and intelligence services, need
additional resources, they should be provided and we also agree that in
relation to anti-terrorist measures in legislation, there should be
appropriate judicial oversight. But you did not vote against the
terrorist legislation, and he did, he voted against every single one
and was the right to do that? I think he was wrong in relation to
particular issues but he has made clear subsequently he is not against
the state having those powers. But he's voted against all the
legislation in the past? He said because he thinks there was
inadequate judicial oversight. But he's voted against lots of
organisations people would generally think are pretty dreadful being
prescribed? Was he right? We disagreed at the time, but the
question now is do I agree, it is not of interest to the electorate
but what is my position in relation to the manifesto? I support it. Was
it appropriate for Jeremy Corbyn to make that political speech so soon
after the Manchester attack? It is right he should express his views in
relation to it. He has got to be straightforward with the British
public and they have to make a judgment about that. I don't think
it is wrong on an issue of such grievous significance to the nation,
namely the abominable attacks in Manchester, that the Leader of the
Opposition in the middle of a campaign, should not set out his
views. He was right to do so. Let's talk about the nuclear deterrent,
Jeremy Corbyn's position is very clear but he has said if he becomes
Prime Minister, his government will conduct a comprehensive defence
review and that would also take into account the renewal of Trident
nuclear deterrent, which of course, Mr Corbyn is very clear he does not
support and therefore, could once again be in doubt. Are you
comfortable with that? My understanding is that the review
will not consider the question of whether or not Trident... That is
not clear at all because it will include everything, that is what
Jeremy Corbyn has said and he is the leader of the party. I am relying on
what Nia Griffiths said. Using the shadow defence spokesman has a
clearer view than the leader of the party? My understanding is it is
accepted by the leader of the party that Trident is accepted by the
Labour Party and that is what the manifesto says. In a recent
interview, Michael Vick Andrew Neil asked on whether the defence review
would include Trident? Jeremy Corbyn said it would look at the role of
nuclear weapons as well as a reading which means it will be included.
Well, we can debate the small print, my position is that I am in favour
of retaining Trident. That is the position of the Labour Party in
terms of policy. I understand Jeremy Corbyn access that so I don't think
there is a difference between us, despite what you are saying. The
public record suggest that during the Troubles, Jeremy Corbyn met
members of the IRA, which I'm sure you know, on several occasions. He
says he was working for peace rather than honouring the armed struggle
but Seamus Mallon, one of the architects of the peace process,
said he never heard anyone mention Corbyn in the peace process and that
he clearly took the side of the IRA which was incompatible with working
for peace. In your mind, because you know Jeremy Corbyn and have known
him for a long time, did he play a role in the peace process? I don't
know in relation to any of that. I'm absolutely sure that Jeremy wanted
peace so I can't comment on the detail. Let's look at some of the
domestic policy commie called the idea of bringing the national grid
into public ownership going too far, saying that it would involve vast
expenditure when there are so many other things we should be spending
money on. You say you are supporting the Labour manifesto so you have
changed your mind? I support the thrust of the manifesto, the precise
detail of whether or not... This is not detail, this is a big policy,
renationalising utilities. And for example, renationalising the
railways, I would be strongly in favour of that. Are you in favour of
public ownership of the national grid? I think it is something for
much later, not necessarily straightaway. All the polling
companies have Labour on a high share of the vote than they scored
at the 2015 general election so despite the warnings from you and
others in the party, it suggests Jeremy Corbyn is more popular with
the public than Ed Miliband, does that surprise you? I think the
public have gone quite a long journey and what they are thinking
at the moment is that it is a choice between the Tories and Labour, and
what life would be like. People remember how bad things have been in
the 1980s under the Tories and this government has been in power
effectively for seven years and they are absolutely fed up with the
continuation of unnecessary austerity. Does it surprise you that
Jeremy Corbyn could poll better in terms of national vote share than Ed
Miliband? No it doesn't because the choice as it emerged in this
election was not ultimately about Brexit because I think people think
we have made our decision as a country about that, the choice is
between Theresa May leading the Tory party and Jeremy Corbyn leading the
Labour Party and I think the public are now making up their mind which
of the two they want and the other interesting thing that has happened
in the election is the smaller parties have been pushed to the
side. It is a big choice. Quickly because we're coming up, tuition
fees, the manifesto commitment, ?11 billion to abolish them and you are
part of the government that introduced it, is it the right
policy to abolish them? You need to to see the effect on the public
finances. That has been done. Looking at the effect on the public
finances, it is a possible policy. I'm not opposed to it as part of the
overall package. Now, as part of the BBC's general
election coverage, our very own Andrew is talking to the main party
leaders in in-depth interviews. Tonight, it's the turn
of the Liberal Democrat leader. with Tim Farron
tonight at 7pm on BBC One. That's all for today.
Thanks to our guests. Particularly to Charlie Falconer for
being the guest of the day. You said there had been an earthquake in the
Labour Party when Mr Corbyn was elected, do you think it marked the
end of the Blairite Iraq? It certainly did! -- Blairite era.
And Andrew will also be back again tonight with This Week on BBC One
As voters prepare to go to the polls
the Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron joins me
Jo Coburn is joined by Labour peer Charlie Falconer for the whole show. They look at last Wednesday's BBC election debate.
Jo also takes a look at what the SDLP has to offer in Northern Ireland, and there is a round-up of all the other campaign news.