13/07/2017 Daily Politics


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Morning, folks. Welcome to the Daily Politics.


The first of eight bills paving the way for Brexit is published but


Labour are already saying they'll vote against it.


Is this the start of a long legislative battle


Theresa May describes her reaction to the general election result,


will displaying emotion help dispel her robotic image?


Jeremy Corbyn's in Brussels for a date with the EU's chief


Would the Labour leader strike a better deal


And Teutonic delight over Brexit, yes, why the Germans are looking


forward to calling their jam "marmalade".


Don't say that we don't cover the big stories here on the Daily


Politics! All that in the next hour


and with us for the duration today, the man who helped Ed Miliband lose


the 2015 General Election, when he also lost his


own seat as an MP. But as losing the is


the new winning I suppose Douglas Alexander,


welcome to the programme. First this morning,


the government is publishing the first of eight bills that


will pave the way for Britain's departure from the European Union,


that's less than 21 months a way now and there's lots of legislative


work to do before then. The European Union Bill,


known as the Repeal Bill, is a key part of the government's


Brexit strategy. It will repeal the 1972


European Communities Act which took Britain into the EU and remove


the supremacy of Brussels law. Brexit Secretary David Davis said


the Bill "is one of the most that has ever passed


through Parliament". He has asked MPs across the house


to work together to deliver it. The Labour party say they'll vote


against the legislation unless there The bill is not expected to be


debated in the Commons or the Lords until the autumn. Labour's Shadow


Brexit Secretary, Keir Starmer, says in its current form, the Bill gives


ministers "sweeping delegated powers" which would allow the


government to alter legislation with "minimal parliamentary scrutiny."


The bill is not expected to be debated until the autumn, but will


need to be passed by the time the UK leaves the EU - scheduled for March


2019. And I'm joined now by David Jones - who was until recently a


minister in the Department for Exiting the EU. Douglas Alexander,


an essential part of this process is the so-called repeal Bill, and they


are now threatening to vote against it having said they would vote for


it. They accept the principle that Britain will leave the European


Union but they are not convinced by David Davis's reckoning that this is


one of the most important pieces of legislation to come before the


parliament in decades. They are doing their job to make sure they


scrutinise this bill, make sure it is the best possible bill given the


circumstances. Not trying to frustrate the Brexit process, they


may not have the numbers, but if I voted this build them, what would


happen? It is ultimately in the hands of the government, the Labour


Party leadership has taken quite a lot of heat in recent months for not


seeking to circumvent or to deny the vote that was cast on the 23rd of


June last year, at the same time as saying, there are significant


changes which can and should be made to the bill, the Henry VIII powers,


the way that devolution is treated, there is significant principles


embedded in this legislation which deserve to be scrutinised by


Parliament. Makes it a lot more difficult, if you face war from the


Labour Party, given it is a hung parliament. It does, the point is


that the Labour Party supported the notification of withdrawal bill, the


legislation that led to triggering Article 50, having done that, I


think they have a duty to act positively towards this bill. Their


job... Their job is to scrutinise it, they don't need to accept...


They may accept the principle. The Labour spokesman this morning said


they do, it is then their job, the bits they don't like, they are


entitled to vote against it. I'm not sure if Keir Starmer sounds like he


is accepting the principal at the moment but moving beyond that, yes,


we accepted must be scrutinised, one of the most positive things recently


was the House of Lords Constitution committee report which suggested a


way forward in terms of scrutiny. I think that is a really good basis


for going forward, having joined committees on both houses scrutinise


in the legislation before its cause is put forward. I think that is a


really good basis for discussion. The shadow Brexit Minister has put


the government on notice, that's a quote, leader of the Liberal


Democrats says the repeal Bill will " be hell", you must be pleased you


are not in the department any longer. There are complications not


being in the Department, I think the Commons of -- comments of Tim Farron


are ridiculous, to suggest the process will be held. Politicians on


all sides will have to do scrutinise this, Conservative colleagues will


want to do that as well, but to talk in terms of these effectively


wrecking it, that is irresponsible. Should Labour vote against the


second reading, I can see why in committee, separate committee, down


on the floor of the house, lots of amendment is... But should they vote


against the second reading? I think that largely depends upon what kind


of commitment is the minister is given in the course of the second


reading debate, I think it is regrettable that it was not


published in draft so there could be pre-legislative scrutiny, a lot of


these issues could have been resolved if there was a


pre-legislative draft produced, that will have to happen now in the


course of the passage of the bill. The government is ready to listen on


Brexit, David Davis says MPs must work together, the Prime Minister


keeps on asking the Labour Party for ideas and so on(!) but where are as


the government given concessions on this? -- where has the government.


We have not seen it published yet. They could have given concessions


incorporated in the bill and we have no indication that is the case. So


far it has not been published, clearly, the government have made


clear that they are happy and anxious to discuss the way forward


with other parties, the Prime Minister could not have been


clearer. This issue of the Henry VIII powers, which means that you


can alter legislation, by a statutory instrument, other than


legislation, you can see why people will be wary of that. On the other


hand, we have only until March 2019 to get all of this stuff onto the


British legal framework. Surely, there is no other way of doing this,


it is massive. My sense is that there is difficulty in incorporating


many thousands of statutory instruments onto the statute book,


so that we move beyond March 29, has the government in this bill given


adequate assurance that there will not be a continuing capability for a


very significant piece of legislation to be amended by


statutory instruments. -- March 2019. Thereby enabling, if you like,


not taking back control by Parliament but a loss of


parliamentary scrutiny. Because these editor, rather than... Yes,


indeed. What you say -- because being executive. -- because the


executive. They cannot be exercised in definitely, I return to the


questions on the House of Lords Constitution committee,


pre-legislative scrutiny, power should be exercised only on certain


terms. I'm glad you brought that up, for the second time, the Lords


report, on this, because they said the repeal Bill will involve massive


transfer of legislative competence from parliaments to government. It


could potentially... They have said that it will. That is why the


scrutiny process is so important. The suggestion by the House of Lords


committee has said there should be joint scrutiny, before it came


through, and they suggested constraining the powers, by applying


it only to the extent necessary to correct the British statute book and


also to ensure that any thing which was agreed during negotiation


process could also be incorporated. I think the government would be


willing to listen to those proposals. The head of the National


Audit Office, impartial, highly respected civil servant, has said


that the Brexit strategy is in danger of falling apart like a


chocolate orange. I would have thought a chocolate orange was a


particularly well engineered confectionery item. He was comparing


it to a cricket bat! Rather more sturdy than a chocolate orange.


Having been in the Department, I can confirm that the Department for


exiting the European Union is right across Whitehall on this. I did not


recognise criticisms remade, it did not reflect any thing I was aware of


when I was there. Douglas Alexander, the Labour Party says it wants to


now incorporate the European Charter of fundamental rights is. Into UK


law. -- European Charter of fundamental rights. Not Straw 's


book, but the European Charter, yet this was the charter which Labour


said in power would have no more significance than reading the Beano


comic, and would not involve Britain, and now we are writing it


into UK law. -- Strasbourg. Why is that? That has been included as a


request from the Labour Party, because first of all, it has taken


on greatest trick forehand significance, in terms of implement


rights, there may have been -- that may have been exhibited, but the


policy concern is to make sure we do not see a degradation of employment


and is and human rights as a consequence of it being written in.


Surely if Parliament say that this government were eroding workers'


rights, then Labour, they would say it is an outrage, we will reverse


that, and get elected on that basis, why do you need... Why do you


need... MPs were elected to this Parliament on a mandate not have a


Great Repeal Bill but a bill that would guarantee all of those human,


social and employment rights... Why do we need a European Charter to do


that? Are we not capable... We already have the jurisdiction of the


European Court of Human Rights, based in Strasbourg, and we remained


under their jurisdiction. It has been said that will not change, the


Tories have said that, Parliament becomes sovereign in these matters,


we collect Parliament, why do we need a European Charter? You have


had Philip Hammond, increasingly influential Chancellor of the


Exchequer, threatening the spectre of a north Atlantic Singapore,


implement rights would be reduced. That would be a matter... If the


country voted to go that way, fine, in the unlikely event, I would


suggest, if it doesn't, you can stop that. But the country has voted for


Labour MPs to go that way. Why give all of this power to lawyers, do you


trust politicians? Parliament is the forum in which these matters will be


decided. The Charter of fundamental rights is in effect a signposting


measure, referring to underlying rights which will not be affected in


any way, they will remain. There have been repeated assurances that


there will be no degradation of workers' rights. You think it would


be wrong to include this? It is unnecessary for the reasons given.


We will see, we will see whether or not it is a red line. Don't go away,


we are sticking with Europe, for a change(!)


Now, it wasn't a prominent feature of the Brexit debate in the run


up to the referendum, and most of us had probably never


Yet Britain's membership of Euratom, the EU-wide agency that governs


the transportation of radioactive materials needed in nuclear energy,


research and medicine, has become one of the first major


tests for the government's plans for EU withdrawal amongst MPs.


Let's talk to our Assistant Political Editor, Norman Smith.


what's it all about, Norman? One of Theresa May's key red lines, namely,


getting out of the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice


because this European regulator, comes under the jurisprudence of the


European Court of Justice. As we know, Theresa May has said clearly,


part of Brexit is insuring it is British courts that decide, and for


that reason, she believes we have to leave Euratom and set up our own


agency which would come under the authority of which is courts, why


this matters is because one, there are all sorts of potential,


practical implications in terms of the nuclear industry in Britain, in


terms of retaining jobs here, but above all, concerns about what the


impact might be on the import of medical isotopes, used for scans and


treatments and cancer medicine. The fear is that if we leave, that could


be compromised. to do the question is how far will


she risk this in order to stick by her red line of ending the authority


of the European Court of Justice? Does she faced a potential rebellion


on her own backbenchers on this issue? She absolutely does. There


was a Westminster debate yesterday and I was struck by the range and


number of Tory MPs who have deep worries about what this is going to


mean and, interestingly, even some Eurosceptics said we are going to


have to find a solution to this because this is a problem that will


crop up again and again and again. Take, for example, the issue of EU


nationals. Who was going to enforce their rights? The European Court or


British courts? That conflict will come up repeatedly. His suggestion


is you should come up with a tribunal system where you had a


British judges sitting alongside European judges but this sort of


tension, trying to resolve which court has authority, is going to be


central to the whole Brexit process and we are now seeing the sharp end


of it with the debate over Euratom. It's quite a good example of


something which has never been high profile but is incredibly


complicated to resolve whichever way we go and incredibly complicated


within the time table because the Article 50 deal, although it doesn't


get implemented if it's done until March 2019, will have to be done


around November 2018 for ratification. They must be thinking


in Whitehall, to get all this done by then will be hard. That's spot


on. What is interesting if we cut the government's positional paper on


a Euratom and they are proposing a transitional phase. It seems to me


Brexit is now moving into transition time because all of these


difficulties are piling up and as Michel Barnier said yesterday, the


clock is ticking because he basically once this sorted by next


autumn. We have this hulking repeal bill about to be published, all


sorts of problems and difficulties ahead on that if it can be passed at


all and then behind that, seven other bits of Brexit legislation


and, frankly, no one believes it's going to be possible to do it in


that time frame, so the only by the Government can do it is to buy


themselves some time. Use. Talking about a transitional period. The


difficulty of that is its like sort of throwing a match into the Tory


backbenchers, because Tory backbenchers, talking transition,


you're basically trying to scupper Brexit by talking further off, like


the CBI talking about this unending process of transition, but that


seems to be what the Government will have to do if it's to get any of


this through. Thank you for that, fashion wishing -- fascinating


stuff. David Jones is still with us,


and we are also joined The Royal College of radiologists is


warning today that leaving Euratom would impact on the impact of


radioisotopes, the chief executive of the industry Association said the


transportation of medicalised isotopes could be affected. Are they


right? It certainly does. Of course, what we have to do is put our own


arrangements in place to replace that, but what we are overlooking is


the fact we have no option but to leave the Euratom treaty because it


was so closely bound up with EU treaties, legally, that giving


notice under Article 50 to leave the EU treaties have the effect of


leaving Euratom so what we are now doing is putting in place a bill,


coming through in this session of Parliament, and... Can you do that


in this Parliament? I believe we have no option but to do so. What do


you say to transition, transition, transition? I think there will be a


transition period. Implement says you have agreed it but cannot do it


in the time. Transition implies that there will remain things that have


to be resolved over a period of time after March 2019. That's a different


thing. That is a fair comment but we will seek to come to the agreement


with the EU negotiations which are going on at the moment and put in


place the fermentation period. OK, Ed Vaizey, at PMQs, Damian Green


accused even Jock colleagues of scaremongering, because you said


Euratom would be a risk to the treaties. Are you scaremongering?


No, I didn't know the lady who heads the Royal College of radiologists


and I was on a programme of her this morning, the first time I had met


are. I was rung up by a newspaper asking for a quote about this and I


said absolutely not. I said I'm not going to give you a quote about


isotopes because don't know about this issue. I have the joint


European tourists, nuclear research facility, that's where I come from,


but when I met this lady this morning she showed me the treaty


which said medicalised isotopes are covered and it's a tariff issue, I


gather, and she is concerned so she has raised these concerns and wants


answers from the Government. I come at it from the European research


angle where Britain is that the way and received hundreds of millions of


pounds worth of investment and created thousands of jobs on the


back of it. The Prime Minister included the UK's intention to leave


Euratom in a letter back in March. It seems a long time ago now fulfil


nothing much has happened since then, nothing I could think of, but


it was back in March. Didn't they see this isn't it too late? Yes, I


raised it during the Article 50 debate, but the clear message from


the Government and I supported them on this, was you couldn't exercise


Article 50 without coming out of the Euratom, it had to be a clean


Article 50 if you like. If they had tried it, they would be subject to


legal action and because it ended up in the European Court of Justice for


months on end. Having said that, none of us have seen the legal


advice or have a precis of it. The Iraq plenty of people who say the


opposite but we are where we are and we defined a way forward. What is


coming out in your discussion with David is, please let's not be so


ideological about Brexit that anything with a word European is


bad. If it means we sustain trade in aviation for example, the European


Court of Justice has a role, please don't say we can't have it because


it's got the word European. This point about transition, and it was


raised in the debate yesterday by David, don't be frightened of


transition don't think transition is a Trojan horse to stop a Brexit.


Think of it as making sure we get a Brexit which does not cost jobs and


investment in this country. I think that's a very fair. As you


mentioned, Bill Cash yesterday came up with a suggestion which I think


were very sensible. Example, you could have a joint panel of British


and EU judges and in fact there are precedents for this. The Canadian EU


free trade treaty which was concluded recently, made fraught


panel of three, one from each side and an independent. You will need a


lot of judges and properly another panel on people's rights. The legal


profession is going to be the fastest-growing profession in


Britain at this rate. Speaking as a lawyer, that's not a bad thing.


LAUGHTER I knew you had a vested interest!


You see this as a dripping roast, don't you? Even the boat leave


campaign directly, they treated the Tory party keeps making huge


misjudgements over what the referendum was about and claims the


role of the European Court is not a significant problem -- though to


leave. -- vote leave. What we need to do now


is make sure we have arrangements and implementation and transitional


arrangements, coupled with the dispute resolution system which is


acceptable. It's not beyond the wit of man. It's quite complicated,


isn't it? Our negotiating strategy is a mess. Secondly, the prior


decision by Theresa May that the European Court of Justice would have


no further relevance after Article 50 was concluded has a whole series


of consequences which were not anticipated at the time. Take David


Davis' word for it. He was surprised a red line was drawn on it. I would


echo the point that frankly, whether it's the European arrest warrant, or


Euratom, there are common-sense solutions which could emerge that


our intention with a dim dogmatic approach which said the ECJ is a red


line, one of the consequences is if it gives way to a growth industry of


new regulatory bodies and judicial oversight, there will be fastly more


bureaucracy for lawyers in Britain, hardly the deregulatory initiative


the Brexiteers were hoping for. The suggestion is the Prime Minister was


being dogmatic but the cases Article 50 provides, as soon as the two


years have expired, we cease to be subject to the European treaties.


Part of that is being subject to the jurisdiction of the European Court


of Justice. What we have to do now is put in new arrangements for


resolving disputes. Do you believe this can be done by March 2019? I


don't know but in any case, there will be a period after that where


these matters are talked about. I agree with you but there is a purely


British conceit of this conversation as we get to decide whether we are


in the Euratom or not. I agree with that. We have 27 other governments


which will decide what the deal will be. The realpolitik of this is a


prime ministers not in a strong position. She's in a week position


with her own party, and she could well have to give way on this. Isn't


that the case? I think a lot of this stems from the rhetoric which happen


before the election, no deed is better than a bad deal. And we are


going to trade of the world. I would love Britain to trade with the world


because this idea we are going to spring fully formed after leaving


the European Union and everything is going to be fine is clearly not the


case. It's going to be hard pounding in difficult. What a year and four


from the payment minister before the election and I hope she does it now,


to reach out to people who are very nervous about leaving the EU, access


to be voted for Brexit, but there are complex issues. You can't simply


pretend it's all going to be sorted by March 2019, they won't be some


mess and fuzziness around the edges and you've got to dial down the


rhetoric so that's where I think the new position should change the way


the primaries to approach as it. That may be watching us to do. Stay


with us. We are going to talk a bit more about the Prime Minister.


Now stay with us because Theresa May has given an interview


She became Prime Minister a year ago today.


Here's what she had to say to Emma Barnett.


I felt I suppose devastated really because, as I say,


I knew the campaign wasn't going perfectly but still


the messages I was getting from people I was speaking to,


but also the comments we were getting back from a lot


of people that were being passed on to me, were that we were going


And then you obviously have to just brush yourself down?


You've been through that experience, but I was there as leader


of the party and Prime Minister and I had a responsibility then to,


as we went through the night, to determine what we were going


And we're also joined now by Tom Newton Dunn,


who interviewed Theresa May in today's Sun.


That rhymes. He interviewed her yesterday. He joins us now. Eddie


Daisy, is this an attempt to project a more human Theresa May -- Eddie


Daisy? I think she is human. I was listening to the interview this


morning and I think she is, one of the reasons... Did you just say you


think she is human? She is human. Quick recovery. I felt, listening to


the radio this morning, she walked on water before the selection. One


of the reasons people liked was she is understated and gets on with the


job. I think it is perhaps a frustration for her that the modern


political scene requires to put it bluntly a lot of demoting in public


and she is uncomfortable with that. In private, she is not. I think that


I'm giving her my full support. I have said that consistency. I will


support her for as long as she wants to remain Prime Minister but, as I


said earlier, on an issue like Europe, I would like to see her


reach out more and understand the dilemmas and difficulties that the


people who don't support the hard Brexit want, but in her manifesto in


the election, there was a lot of policies in the driven by her about


helping people who don't get a great deal out of life. There was a lot of


comment about that, the actual policies were quite hard to


understand that some stage. Would not be true to say the people


thought they liked, but that's because they didn't know her. The


moment they got to know her during the election campaign they decided


they didn't really like her. It's hard to analyse. One thing is very


clear, it wasn't the best campaign and frankly the manifesto itself was


very disappointing. She was the campaign and she was the manifesto.


I think to personalise it to that extent is unfair. She did that. All


the election proposal at the start of a campaign, the word Conservative


was in 6-point type. It was May, she was missing in action, the


Chancellor. Other Cabinet ministers were nowhere to be seen. She


personalised it. I concede it was not the best of


campaigns but the manifesto was what caused us the biggest problems, and


I think that anybody campaigning during that election would be able


to say that the day after the manifesto was published, things


changed. You interviewed the Prime Minister for your paper, did you go


to Downing Street? In her study at number ten, yes. How did you find


her, was she different, is she trying to be different? She was,


your initial analysis is absolutely rights, although you might not


necessarily believe it, you read all those tightly constructive words


from her, she was straining at the bit to be different. Not answer the


same question with the same phraseology 15 times in a row, a


favourite trick. Talk in a human language. And also admit humility,


but blatantly, where she went wrong in the campaign, whether it was over


the manifesto, slightly more accurate description of what went


wrong, having a manifesto she completely failed to sell, did not


add up to this hard Brexit campaign that she had done. There was an


essential untrue with the campaign. You saw with the interview,


admitting that she cried, I did not feel brave enough to put that to


her, six foot tall, hairy bottomed male political editor, saying, did


you weep, Prime Minister, that was beyond me, I slightly kick myself!


She is trying desperately hard to be different. It comes incredible


difficulty with her because she is so shy. Did she not also, at least


implicitly, maybe even more than that, to you, admit that she is


unlikely, she will not be leading the Conservative Party into the next


election? That came across strongly, repeatedly I asked her, leaving ten


to fight another general election as party leader? EU intends to be here


in two years' time? One you time? She refused to put any date on it,


she made it clear she would not be around in 2022, kept on coming up


with the phrase, I want to do the job for a few years, there is a job


to do the Fry few more years, a few more years, throughout the


transcript. She wants to see Brexit through, it is the mess that she has


got us into and she wants to get us out of it but after then she will


move off. That is the mood of the backbenches, they don't want her to


go now, there is no consensus on who would replace her, but they don't


think she should fight another election. Maybe if she survives that


long, completing the Article 50 talks would be a natural time to go,


that is the mood I picked up, is that accurate? I said that I was a


supporter of her as long as she wants to be prime Minster, sounds a


bit pompous for me to keep saying that but received wisdom... It does,


actually! LAUGHTER. All nodding sagely at that. No


disagreement here! Hairy bottomed pomposity. I don't think we need to


revisit that! LAUGHTER The truth is, in Westminster, she


would see two years seen through Brexit and then depart, that is the


mood in the team as well. Good or bad news for Labour that Theresa May


stays? I cannot see how she could fight another general election, no


slight on his journalism, but the dogs in the street knows you will


not, there will be an alternative leader of the Conservative Party who


fights the next general election. One more reason she will stay for a


couple of years, which Conservative MPs will not tell you, they are


terrified of what would happen... She has managed to put this plaster


over two wings of the party, badly represented by David and Ed here, if


she goes, they are terrified of what they may do to each other, club each


other to pieces! Paving the way for another snap election. Which they


fear they would lose. Open civil war to the country, presented to the


country -- presenting this open civil war to the country would be so


detrimental, they would lose. Tough job, she brought it on herself, what


in a sense she is being asked to do a form of penance, to deliver Brexit


as best she can, to the satisfaction of the majority in the house, but


will get none of the benefits of it because when she has done that, she


is expected to go. That is quite tough, in the tough world of


politics. I disagree, if you are somebody as ambitious as she is, to


become Prime Minister, she knows if she goes now, her legacy... She


could secure an Article 50 conclusion which would give her a


different place. I think that her legacy of taking Britain out of the


European Union on successful terms would be great. And then I think


that is the time she would consider it, going after that. Can I just


say... Very briefly, before we move on. I am a number one member of the


David Davis Fanclub, the argument that we would ever... Davy Jones fan


club. The notion that we would ever fight between each other. We have


this sick inducing unanimity breaking out... Quite distasteful(!)


LAUGHTER We are not continuing! LAUGHTER


We are not here to help you get along! LAUGHTER


But we do. Very nice(!) Now, Jeremy Corbyn is in Brussels


today, along with Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon,


remember her, and Welsh First


Minister Carwyn Jones. They've all been meeting


with the European Commission's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier


for private talks ahead of the second round of formal


negotiations in Brussels next week. Jeremy Corbyn has said Labour would


avoid the "megaphone diplomacy" this is what he had to say when he


arrived. We're representing 13 million people


that voted Labour in the general election and these are crucial


negotiations for our country and we are here to ensure


that we defend jobs and living standards and try and discover


exactly what the views of the European Union are today


on the whole process. Let's speak now to our


old friend Adam Fleming, Formerly of this parish, now living


the high life, hope for us all, indeed! Do we have a clear idea of


what his message will be, do we have any idea what the response will be


from Michel Barnier? Jeremy Corbyn is here on a twofold mission, number


one, he wants to sell Michel Barnier a briefing on his labour flavoured


version of Brexit, which Labour say would put far more emphasis on


protecting jobs, on the economy, they say they would make unilateral


offers EU citizens living in the UK to protect their rights from Day 1,


with no negotiations and no quibbles about it at all. I imagine that


would be quite popular with Michel Barnier from the European side, that


is just the sort of thing the year once the UK to offer European


citizens living in the UK. The second part Jeremy Corbyn's mission,


revealed in the Labour press release issued to go alongside this visit,


they talk about labour being the government in waiting, so this is as


much about getting Intel about the "Brexit" negotiations as making


Jeremy Corbyn look Prime Minister Arial. Somebody who can strike the


world stage, or at least the stage here in Brussels. In terms of what


Michel Barnier will think of all of this, EU officials have made it


clear, when asked about this, they are happy to welcome Jeremy Corbyn


here for a meeting but it was Jeremy Corbyn's invitation, he was the one


that asked for the meeting, not the other way around. The next sentence


is always, the EU Commission will negotiate with the British


government. There will be no Brexit negotiations over lunch in that


building between Michel Barnier and Jeremy Corbyn today. I assumed that


will be Michel Barnier's message to the Scottish First Minister, and the


Welsh First Minister. Yes, Nicola Sturgeon flew in first thing this


morning, in the building for less than an hour and then flew back out


again, very short meeting. She tweeted to say she had a good


conversation with Michel Barnier, I understand she was doing her


Scottish flavoured version of Brexit which involves keeping Scotland with


excellent access to the single market, the stuff she has been


talking about all through the Brexit process, I don't know whether they


had much time to discuss the details, does not look likely. Her


big contribution today will be when she arrives back in Glasgow airport


shortly, she will give her verdict on the Great Repeal Bill, published


in London a short while ago. The fact is, Michel Barnier's door is


always open, he has made a big thing about speaking to people from all


sectors of the economy, all sorts of different places to find out what


they think about Brexit but he is very clear again that the only Prime


Ministers and presidents and leaders that he takes instruction from our


leaders of the 27 EU countries. It will be interesting, given that he


is seeing Jeremy Corbyn, Nicola Sturgeon, Carwyn Jones...


is seeing Jeremy Corbyn, Nicola Sturgeon, Carwyn I have forgotten


his name... Carwyn Jones... I should have known it was Jones, Neil is the


Welsh First Minister. Can he avoid the temptation to play politics,


because they are more cordial than the government. -- he is the Welsh


First Minister. Jeremy Corbyn has tried to up the cordiality for his


meeting with Michel Barnier by giving him an Arsenal shirt! Jeremy


Corbyn represents where Arsenal has their stadium, in Islington, north


London, we think it is because Michel Barnier is French and the


manager of Arsenal is French, you and I totally across all the details


of football, as you know. What's Arsenal(!) a well-known football


team. Very well. It may well be they have similar viewpoint in private,


in terms of how Brexit is going forward, Michel Barnier is not going


to do any public statements about how these meetings have gone. You


probably will not reveal anything about whether he feels that Jeremy


Corbyn or Nicola Sturgeon are easier to deal with than David Davis, did a


press conference yesterday setting out all the things he wants to deal


with looking forward to the next round of talks, darting with David


Davis on Monday. I suspect the reason Michel Barnier does not want


to make a big song and dance out of the meeting, the simple diplomatic


reason that he is Intel cut is David Davis from Britain. -- --


interlocutor. I will be over to join you in Brussels soon, to test your


expenses account to the very limit(!) LAUGHTER


It seems right that they should go to see Michel Barnier, nothing wrong


with that. There is nothing wrong with it but it is equally right


there is a understanding on the part of Michel Barnier that the British


interlocutor is David Davis. Particularly with Jeremy Corbyn, if


there was a snap election, Jeremy Corbyn could be the next Prime


Minister and Labour would have to do the negotiation. It is in that


spirit that he has gone, from the point of view of Michel Barnier,


implicit acknowledgement that Parliament will have a more


significant role in shaping Brexit negotiations and the Brexit


negotiating brief Ben may have been the case if as many people


anticipated, the Conservatives have come back with a big majority. With


a big majority. The war in Syria has been


going on for over six years, and the advance of so-called


Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, has had major


implications for us in the UK. But now that IS is being driven out,


we've been asking two With many other factions


still fighting, it seems defeating VOICEOVER: Two key cities once under


Islamic State control. Now Mosul in Iraq has been liberated


and Raqqa in Syria is also We've reached a significant


step in the dismantling of the so-called IS caliphate,


but what comes next? The Syrian conflict is an alphabet


soup of different groups Just because one element might start


to be resolved that doesn't mean we're anywhere


near fixing this mess. There are so many things going


on and they're all interlinked. It's been six-and-a-half


years of war. There are multiple external


influences and actors and powers getting involved carving off bits


of territory, There are different rules


in different sets of governments been put in place of the regime


of Bashar al-Assad. They're not going to go


anywhere any time soon. Broadly speaking, the parts of Syria


shown here in red are under the control of the government forces


of President Assad. In green are areas dominated


by a number of different anti-government rebel factions


who oppose the Assad regime. And in the North, a large area


known as Rojava in yellow is under the control


of the Kurdish-led Syrian who have been leading the fight


to push back IS along with supportive airstrikes


from the US-led coalition. There is not one side


aligned to another. It's shifting alliances,


so there's a lot to play for still and where the United States


is particularly involved is in this rollback of Islamic State territory


and the key there is two-fold. One is, of course, to try to defeat


extremist Sunni actors, but the second one is to stop


the regime of Bashar al-Assad IS out in the east is in retreat


and has now lost more than half But some warn, although IS may be


defeated militarily, in terms of its control of certain


areas, the group could continue In my opinion we're not even


seeing the fall of Isis. We're seeing the pushback of one


aspect of what Isis is. But in the way we are diminishing


its statehood presence, its claims to statehood,


we're not doing anything to resolve the fact that it


remains an insurgency, it remains a terrorist


movement and in fact, all of the underlying structural


problems of Syrian society and of Iraqi society that allowed


and led to the creation of all of this mess in the first


place all still remain. Elsewhere, other fault lines


are becoming more prominent. In the North, the Kurds


are under attack at the hands of their long-standing enemy Turkey


and this is where it America is arming the Syrian Kurds


to help them fight IS, even though Turkey is America's main


NATO ally in the region. You've got the counter Isis


coalition going this way and the interests of Turkey


going that way and of course And what you've had of course


is this sort of piecemeal arrangement whereby Turkey has taken


a little is of territory arrangement whereby Turkey has taken


a little bit of territory in the north of the country


to prevent the creation of a continuous Kurdish bloc,


but they are also very frustrated about the fact the Kurds


are becoming one of the biggest They're being empowered in a way


which will give them some kind of political strength


after the conflict is gone. So far, British MPs have voted not


to put boots on the ground in Syria, but for the UK to be part


of the coalition, which carries out So what of the UK's


role going forward? I think where you will see more UK


activity is at a time when people sit down and go,


"It's time to talk. "Let's try to work out a track


whereby we can have the regime, "we can the Kurds, we can


have the opposition in their various "different stripes actually having


a realistic discussion The United Kingdom can have


some influence there. The message really has to be


this is a war of decades and will probably live with us


in some form for the A major concern will be


whether areas of Syria and Iraq will remain a breeding ground


for potential terrorists even after the fall


of so-called Islamic State. Back in 2013 MPs voted against


committing ground troops to Syria - a result secured after Labour


decided to oppose military action - our guest of the day


Douglas Alexander was Shadow Foreign Secretary


at the time. The Conservative MP,


Nadhim Zahawi voted in favour of military action and joins


as now. If the House had voted the other way


in 2013 to sanction it, do you think it would've much difference? I think


the vote at the time was essentially if you remember, Barack Obama the


Red Line would be if President Assad used chemical weapons and he did and


his action had consequences because he then used it again and only when


President Trump decided to take action with a cruise missile attack


and a warning two weeks ago, if you recall, the State Department


delivered to Russia and other allies to say we got intelligence they are


going to use chemical weapons are going if they do we were lacked a


game, with the support of the UK and others, which has made resident


Assad stop and think about stopping using chemical weapons so his


actions have consequences. I don't know what would have happened if we


had acted then. We stop the Americans. A la vote. Precisely. --


our vote. I remember that weekend in Washington was fascinating. Barack


Obama didn't have support in Congress because of our vote and on


the Saturday in the Rose Garden he said we are not proceeding with


this. Looking back now, do you regret that 2013 vote? Let's start


with the facts force your introduction was not accurate. It


wasn't troops on the ground. I felt when I saw that, that was wrong and


you are quite right, it was air strikes. Truthfully, at the


conclusion that evening in the House of Commons, David Cameron in his


summation said I've got the message, Britain will not be taking part in


military action, so the consequence was precluding ground truth but that


was never on the order paper. There was a range of different options we


said the evidence should precede the decision, there should be a vote at


the UN Security Council, but we would not be mandated by the


decision of the Security Council. It would surface the opposition of the


Russians and, as it turned out, it was defeated as was the Conservative


motion that night, and we are now in the realm of counterfactual history.


I would say none of us on any side of the House of Commons can feel any


pride in what happened over the last seven and a half years and the human


suffering, but in not dissimilar circumstances there was a vote in


favour of air strikes in Libya in 2011 where Labour support of the


Government and a few of us look back on that vote with any pride either.


So I think exactly had has been said, we have learned over the


decades that military intervention has consequences. A lack of military


intervention has consequences as well. Labour had an amendment


calling for impelling evidence President Assad was responsible for


the chemical attacks. There's no doubt he did, is there? Not now but


there was at the time. Previously, people said weapons inspectors were


not given sufficient time, we were keen to ensure the evidence informed


decision. The truth is the vote took place in the long shadow of the vote


of Iraq and its to David Cameron 's discredit that when he received


phone call from Barack Obama saying I'm going to take military action


next weekend, will you join me? David Cameron didn't have the


presence of mind to say, listen, there are pros as I need to go


through in Parliament. If you need to go next weekend you have my


diplomatic support, I need longer time to be able to persuade people.


This was pre-the vote. Immediately before it. We saw Barack Obama's


timetable, I need to strike within one week, against David Cameron's


timetable for legitimacy, I need to take this to House of Commons. What


was wrong with that? If he had said we need to take this to the UN, get


the weapons inspectors report, if we had had that, I believe there would


have been a majority House of Commons for air strikes being taken


forward. His point on Libya intervention, and the Foreign


Affairs Committee did a comprehensive report and it isn't


about understanding the consequences of intervention, and not simply knee


jerking and intervening and not knowing what to do afterwards. If


you look at Iraq for example, 1982, when John Major persuaded George


Bush senior to take action to but in a no-fly zone, he brought in the


Royal Marines and I had a Civil War. If you had a snapshot of


intervention, you would have thought of the failing intervention because


the two Kurdish parties went at each other but that took about a year


until they realised it's no good and they should come together, they


formed a parliament, coalition Government and now they are onto


their 24th Government. Embryonic democracy with all the values that


we try and go out and talk about and asking countries to buy into, has


developed so intervention does work. You have got to go in with very


clear ideas about what the eventual outcome would be. John Major said we


will not be nation-building, put troops on the ground but just


protect them so he can't use helicopter... No, no. He did put


troops on the ground and created a safe haven. He put in the Royal


Marines. One of the weaknesses of the ceasefire, I was out there at


the time in the first Gulf War, was that the Americans with British


support, allowed helicopters to fly and they went in and took out the


Marsh Arabs who Saddam Hussein had hated and built a huge canal so they


no longer had water. It's about intervention. We intervened and


occupied Iraq. It was a mess. We intervened but did not occupy Libya


and it was a mess. We have not intervened to any great extent or


occupied Syria, it's a mess. What policy conclusion can you draw? The


policy conclusion I draw is that we need to because shares in saying the


vote in 2013, if it had gone the other way, would have resulted in


Syria turning into Scandinavia because we had 100,000 international


troops on the ground for a decade in Iraq and it was engulfed in


sectarian conflict and for every independent region of physics done,


you've had problems. It seems the public tolerance and a waste, for a


significant number of ground troops in Middle Eastern countries has gone


but, on the other hand, the reality of the conflict leads to huge human


suffering and potential security threats for us and that's why we


will have to find alternatives to the kinds of invasions we saw in


2003. Thank you for that. It's a really important subject to be


discussing. We have to move on to an even more important subject.


Now - have we Brits been dictating what fruit spread should be


Well, one German MEP thinks so and hopes Brexit will be


an opportunity to reclaim the Teutonic tradition when it


Jackob von Weizsacker joins us now from Brussels.


Welcome to the programme. I'm going to put up on the screen, a little


marmalade, and on this toast, I have got what we call marmalade in the


UK, made with oranges but on the other piece of toast we have


strawberry jam, which is not made with oranges. The clue is in the


name. Are you saying, Germany, after Brexit, both could be caught


marmalade? Well it turns out that the pure linguistic exercise.


Week one of marmalade on and the other is marmalade. It's a problem


when you start writing them because they look the same and so it was


agreed a long time ago and it was a victory for Britain at the time that


what we call Orange marmaladen would be called marmalade and the rest of


it would have to be called confiture. I did ask a


tongue-in-cheek question is whether Germans would be allowed to call


their jam marmaladen again after Brexit, to sweeten the bitter


aftertaste of Britain's leading EU? Now, clearly, it is a


tongue-in-cheek question so to my great surprise, the Daily Telegraph


and the Daily Mail made a story out of it than angry German asking for


his marmalade back and in fact it was just a bit of a joke. It was an


odd experience with the British press. I think you have learned the


hard way, when it comes to European things, you can't joke with the


Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph on that. You said allowing marmalade


to be called marmaladen again could help sweeten the bitter aftertaste


Brexit for many EU citizens. That's quite an important policy you come


across there, isn't it? Quite, quite. Does it take the EU to do


this? After all, on champagne, only sparkling wine from the Champagne


region can because champagne and that is secured by the Treaty of


Versailles. In 1919. Country have another international treaty to


protect marmalade? -- couldn't we have? I'm not certain whether we


should go back to having to deserve the science that things. -- having


treaties of Versailles and such things. More importantly, discussing


Brexit, is whether in fact Britain is going to leave both the single


market and the customs union which would have a major disadvantage for


Britain and major disadvantages for the EU 27 remaining or whether we


can think of a better way of a divorce settlement and that of


course a serious matter which is currently under discussion and


unfortunately, it turns out in order to have such an arrangement, like


the single market, we need to reach compromises. And I need to stop you


because we have run out of time but I hope you'll come back and speak to


us on other issues, also. A pleasure to talk to you. I will be back after


question Time. Very late.


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