Jo Coburn is joined by former Conservative cabinet minister Andrew Mitchell and shadow equalities minister Dawn Butler to discuss the future direction of the Brexit negotiations.
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Hello and welcome to
the Daily Politics.
Theresa May is due to address MPs
this afternoon and hail a new sense
of optimism in the Brexit talks.
She'll also say she's not pushing
for either a hard or a soft Brexit.
But what will the UK's position
outside the EU eventually look like?
Labour is considering moving large
parts of the Bank of England
to Birmingham as part of plans
to create an economic policy hub
in Britain's second city.
We speak to the economist
pushing the idea.
In the latest in our
'Westminster Village' series we look
at the people who really wield power
behind the scenes in
Jeremy Corbyn's Labour party.
And as Conservative-supporting
Georgia Toffolo wins I'm
a Celebrity, we ask if there's hope
yet for Tory attempts to win
over the youth vote.
All that in the next hour and,
speaking of winning over the youth
vote, I'm joined by two
chickens: the Shadow Minister
for Women and Equalities,
Dawn Butler, and the Conservative
MP and former Cabinet
Minister Andrew Mitchell.
Welcome to you both.
Now, over the weekend,
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson
was in Iran, where he met
with Iranian president
A spokesman called the talks
"forthright" but "worthwhile".
Mr Johnson was due to press
for the release of Iranian-British
national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe,
who is currently jailed in Iran.
While no announcement
was made on her release,
a fresh hearing which was expected
to extend her sentence
was postponed, something
Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe said brought
"some light at the end
of the tunnel".
Andrew Mitchell, what chance do you
think there is that Nazanin
Zaghari-Ratcliffe will be released
I fervently hope she will be,
that she will be home in time for
Christmas. I am one of those who has
campaigned for her release, I think
on humanitarian grounds alone. She
is not very well, hasn't seen her
daughter for so long, and she should
be reunited with her family. The
family have humanitarian concerns
will trump politics and she will be
Has the criticism of Boris
Johnson been fair?
I don't think it
is helpful to go back over that.
Years at the core this.
He has gone
to terror on to make it clear that
Britain wants to see her released as
soon as possible and deserves credit
In terms of being across
the detail, when you know how
sensitively a country like Iran
needs to be handled in these sorts
of cases, do you think he was across
It's clear that he
misspoke in that committee, and it
was a great pity that that happened.
You know, these things happen in
politics. The critical thing is to
focus on the humanitarian dimension
of this and that this poor lady is
released as soon as possible.
Butler, the court has welcomed the
talks that have gone on between
President Rabbani and Boris Johnson.
Do you support it?
Rohani. I appreciate that he is
trying to make up for it. I hope
that Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is
released before Christmas and
reunited with her husband and
daughters. I think it is extremely
important, and I think on
humanitarian grounds, but it is an
issue that at some point we have to
tackle sensitive issues, take a
sensitive approach and ministers to
In a way, it has
highlighted this case, and Boris
Johnson as Foreign Secretary has
been to some extent forced to go out
there. Do you think in the end that
will have helped the high -- will
have helped her?
If the outcome is
that she is released and back home,
then I will welcome that.
does this visit show that Iran has
changed, in your mind, Andrew
I think we urgently need
to improve relations between Britain
and Iran, and we have the
opportunity because we are not in
the same place as President Trump
over the nuclear deal. We are strong
supporters of it. And we're not in
support of the Americans over the
moving of the embassy to Jerusalem.
There is an interest between Iran
and Britain that we need to build
on. Iran is an important player in
the Middle East, where Britain has
enormously important interests, and
we need to bring Iran into the
committee of nations.
happened in the last week has been
worrying, and Trump's approach has
been excruciatingly painful in terms
of peace negotiations and a two
state solution. On the whole, I
In terms of the relationship
between Britain and Iran, how much
more can be done from our position?
On the specific case of the release?
No, broadly on improving oration --
relations with Iran?
I am hoping
there will be a delegation from
Britain to Iran early next year.
There is nothing in Britain's
interest for maintaining what in the
past has been a big blockage with
Iran. We need to get things moving.
We are trading, and we need to do
that more. We need a better
understanding. I think contact
between the two countries should now
be intensified, and it is very
Lets leave it there.
Now it's time for our daily quiz.
Over the weekend Theresa May
decorated a Christmas tree
in her church in her constituency.
So, the question for today
is, what did she put
on the top of the tree?
Was it a) A gold star,
b) An angel,
c) A silver shoe,
or d) A bauble
with Jean-Claude Juncker's
face on it?
At the end of the show Andrew
and Dawn will give us
the correct answer.
The Prime Minister will address
the House of Commons later this
afternoon and hail a new "sense
of optimism" in the Brexit talks.
It follows that deal on Friday
which allows negotiations to move
forward to discuss the future
Britain and the EU.
But the nature of that future
relationship is likely to become
the focus of fierce domestic debate
in the coming weeks and months.
The Cabinet will begin
its discussions later this month.
And further across the political
spectrum, there is a wide range
David Davis said yesterday
the UK Government wants
to secure a 'Canada plus plus plus'
free trade deal after the UK
leaves the EU.
Canada's deal with the EU
eliminates 98% of the tariffs
between the EU and Canada,
without the country saying
for access to the Single Market.
But unlike the Canada deal,
Davis wants financial services,
between the EU and Canada,
--without the country paying
But unlike the Canada deal,
Davis wants financial services,
which account for a substantial part
of Britain's economic output, to be
included in the tariff-free area.
Some Brexiteers have expressed
concerns that the 'full alignment'
outlined in Friday's agreement
will undermine the UK's ability
to strike free trade deals
with third party countries.
Labour's Brexit spokesman,
Keir Starmer, says the UK should
"stay aligned" to the EU
after Brexit, and could negotiate
payments to access the single
market, as Norway does now.
Asked if that would include allowing
free movement of people,
Labour have indicated
they would support an "easy"
movement of people.
The Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily
Thornberry raised the possibility
yesterday that the UK could stay
in a form of customs union
to allow trade to continue
between the EU and UK.
But the SNP have called on Labour
to "get behind" the SNP
in committing to stay in the single
market and customs union.
Chris Mason joins me now. Sufficient
progress was made on Friday but
there is a lot to get through before
it is rubber-stamped this Friday.
Yeah, their race. This morning, the
first thing was a cabinet meeting.
There is only one more after today
before the end of the year, and
there is that big discussion to come
about the end state, in terms of
what the Cabinet wants the flavour
Brexit to be once we have left at
the end of March of the year after
next. This afternoon, that
appointment the Prime Minister has
in front of that though it meant the
House of Commons. She was hoping to
do it last week before that aborted
lunch with Jean-Claude Juncker. Then
the dash back to Brussels in the
early hours of Friday morning. A
pretty triumphant tone, I suspect,
from the Prime Minister this
afternoon, and from some around her,
because it could have been very
different. We could have been
talking about how the whole thing
had unravelled and how it was a
nightmare for the Prime Minister,
and all the talk of what that might
mean for the future, or there could
be days to go until a summit and a
deal still hadn't been done.
Instead, the Prime Minister will say
it is not about hard or soft Brexit.
Our old friend, nothing is agreed
until everything is agreed, but, she
says, a new sense of optimism about
talks in the New Year as talk about
the future relationship becomes the
focus in 2018.
How is she going to
keep everybody on board when
everybody has a different view and
opinion of what that end state in
terms of the future trade
relationship should actually look
like? And tell us about the EU
withdrawal bill, which is back in
That is the challenge
of keeping everyone on board. The
flip side is, if you are in Downing
Street, you can marvel at them
managing to come up with a document
that Brussels, Dublin, Belfast and
the various wings of the
Conservative Party were willing to
sign off on. Once we start getting
into that discussion about the
future relationship, and ultimately
boils down to how close or otherwise
the UK in the future will be to the
EU on the other side of Brexit, then
there will be a range of views and
arguments, no doubt. As far as the
withdrawal bill is concerned, that
continues. It is trundling through
the House of Commons. Huge amounts
of detail to go through in terms of
all that. The Government will hope
that the prospect of any defeat
there has been limited by something
that falls into the category, I was
told last week by one MP, being
important but boring. This is the
whole business of the procedure
committee and the proposed sifting
committee. Bear with me! The idea is
that there can be more scrutiny of
statutory instruments, some of the
tools being used to push through a
heck of a lot of detail in that
I'm glad you are a crush --
across it all.
I'm joined now by the Westminster
leader of the SNP, Ian Blackford,
and from central lobby
by the Conservative
MP Bernard Jenkin -
who was on the board of the official
Leave campaign group, Vote Leave.
Dawn Butler and Andrew Mitchell
are also still with me.
Ian Blackford, first of all, you
have made a pitch to Labour to join
you in committing the UK to
remaining in the customs union and
single market - why?
It is about
protecting jobs and investment in
the UK. If we are out with those, it
will cost hundreds of thousands of
jobs throughout the UK.
Why have you
made this pitch to Labour now?
is a growing concern as to where we
may end up in phase two. I am asking
Labour and other opposition parties
and Conservative MPs to join with
us. Nobody voted to be poorer, and
what I would say to dawn and others
is that we need to make sure we
protect the interests of our
constituencies. That is why
remaining in is so important. Mike
do you accept that overture from the
I think position the Labour
Party has taken from the very
beginning is right, and has been
proven to be right.
What is it?
transitional arrangement and deal,
and having a bespoke deal when it
comes to the customs union. I think
sometimes we forget, because it was
well over a year ago, that Labour's
position at the very beginning has
been proven to be right.
is, do you accept the SNP invitation
to stay in the customs union and the
single market and campaign with an?
I understand what Ian is saying, but
the thing is, that would mean that
we would be ignoring the referendum,
and the Labour Party has no
intention of ignoring the
referendum. We have said that we
need a transitional arrangement and
a way to maintain the benefits of
the customs union and single market.
But what's the difference between
your position and the SNP's? As you
said, Kia Starmer, he said we want
to retain the same benefits as if we
were in the single market and
customs union. Essentially, what is
Basically how we
talk about it, in essence. We might
not be able to say we are still in,
but if we maintain the benefits,
then, you know...
You will call it
something different but essentially
it's the same?
It is that once you
leave, you can no longer be a member
of the single market as it is.
you see any difference between your
There is, and we have
to be clear about the threat to jobs
and prosperity. The point is, what
the Tories have talked about before
is coming out of the single market
and customs union. Labour have
accepted that we need a transition
deal. The harsh reality is, through
the transition deal, we will be in
the single market and customs union.
The cliff edge remains, but I am
trying to remove the threat to jobs
in our constituencies up and down
the country. Nobody has voted to be
You just said the government should
expect to remain in the customs
union and Single Market during the
implementation period. Bernard
Jenkin, do you agree with that and
is that your understanding?
listening with amazement because the
Labour Party stood on a platform at
the last election that they
respected the referendum result
which meant leaving the European
Union, leaving the customs union and
Single Market, and they had some
words in the manifesto about trying
to have the benefits of being in the
Single Market and Customs union
without actually being in it.
will happen in the implementation
period as far as the government is
Now we're hearing the
Labour Party has moved a position
that we don't leave the European
Union and the fact Kier Starmer
committed the Labour Party to a
second referendum can only mean one
thing, they are open to change the
result, hoping to reverse the
referendum decision, so the
Conservative Party now is the only
party apart from the DUP, these two
parties in parliament, that actually
want to honour the referendum result
and deliver the freedom to control
our own law decide on our own
borders and stop contributing money
to the European Union.
are you committed, or can you rule
out that Labour would ever support
the idea of a second referendum?
I just say that the problem with
what was just said is that David
Davis admitted he doesn't have to be
very bright to do his job and beat
Brexit Secretary and I think that is
fundamentally what the problem is.
He did and that is
fundamentally the problem because
you have to be across the detail and
that's the problem with the
I am asking a question
about the second referendum, is
Labour going to support a second
It is not something we
are considering at the moment.
As Keir Starmer said
nothing is off the table and it's a
sensible approach to negotiations
and this is the problem we have had
with this government, terms of
having red lines, and after a year
and a half having to then row back
because they hadn't considered the
detail. That's the problem.
Jenkin, how do you envisage
Britain's future relationship beyond
Brexit in terms of trade?
idea that the Cabinet has never
discussed any of this, the position
was set out in the manifesto that we
are leaving the EU, leaving the
customs union and the Single Market
and we are going to be in a position
to do meaningful trade deals with
non-EU countries and that means we
need to have regulatory autonomy.
Most trade deals are not about
negotiating about tariffs, is the
icing on the cake to get rid of the
tariffs. Most trade deals are about
dismantling the nontariff barriers.
So you do want to see regulate your
are you about the idea that if a
deal is and then they will be full
alignment of the UK being tied
closely to the EU standards and
customs in order to maintain that
open border with Ireland?
clearly made a commitment to Ireland
and to the EU that we want
alignment. But every trade deal
starts out with discussion about,
you got to align with us and we have
got to align with you post stop the
advantage of this discussion about
our trade deal with the EU is we
already have complete alignment. The
alignment in Northern Ireland is
confined purely to the matters that
pertain to the North-South
co-operation in support of the
agreement. In any case, this text
will form part of a much bigger text
of the withdrawal agreement and it
is the withdrawal agreement as a
whole that will have legally binding
effect. This text on its own has no
legal binding effect.
This is a
statement of intent as David Davis
said, which upset the Irish
The Irish hosted the
Jolly Roger and had to pull it down
Are you saying this agreement
is not what the paper it is written
I did not say that.
You said it
is not binding in any way.
It is an
agreement for the movement to the
main stage of negotiations which is
long overdue and the fact the EU
almost begs Theresa May to make an
agreement shows what a strong
position in the United Kingdom is in
and that we should stick to our
guns. We should not finish up where
Labour and the Liberal Democrats and
SNP now want this country to be
outside the European Union, unable
to influence the decisions made,
unable to influence the court, but
subject to the court and all the
rules and all the costs, and unable
to do trade deals with the other
countries outside the EU. That's the
worst of all possible worlds.
it that Richard Tice from leave
means leave says this is a total
capitulation this deal, that the UK
is paying far more that they are not
legally bound to do in order to move
on to Phase 2, that they have signed
up to an arrangement where the UK
could be tied for a generation to
the EU in terms of customs and in
terms of standards. There will not
be the diversions you have talked
about, -- divergences. The European
Court of Justice will have
jurisdiction over the rights of EU
citizens during the implementation
period and possibly beyond. Do you
regard that as a success?
not the Government's position,
perhaps he's listening too much to
the European Union, the Remainers
and Remainers and SNP and Labour
I thought you supported Leave
I am a supporter of
Leave Means Leave but I don't agree
with Richard on this point.
If I could get a word in
Go on, finish.
point is that this is merely moving
us to the next phase of negotiations
and we are moving towards the trade
negotiations with the EU. Both sides
are setting out their positions on
each side. There will have to be
compromise, as there was comprised
between Canada and the EU. To finish
up the Canada plus plus plus and
able to do trade deals with the
United States, or even be able to
participate in the Trans-Pacific
Partnership which has been abandoned
by the United States, which would
welcome British participation. We
have huge opportunities and must not
throw these opportunities away by
still being a prisoner of the EU.
you think Britain is going to be a
prisoner of the EU in the way
Bernard Jenkin has outlined? Would
you like to see the UK closely
aligned to the Single Market and
Let's be clear where
we are. First of all we have reached
first base successfully, we had a
difficult week last week but it
ended with triumph for the Prime
Minister and we can now advance
towards the second phase. My dispute
with all my colleagues who have
spoken on this programme so far is
that I think they are slightly
jumping the gun. The key is to get
into the negotiations, Canada plus
plus plus sounds to me like a very
good starting point for the British
negotiations. And at the end of the
day, of course we are going to have
to have a transition period,
Within the Single
Market and customs union?
transition period. We have to have
it otherwise businesses will not be
to plan and make the necessary
changes required. The key thing to
me is to let the negotiator who is
doing an extremely good job get on
with negotiating the best position
Is that David Davis?
Dawn Butler said he is not very
I would beg to differ.
his own words.
He has a brain like a
steel trap, he is extremely bright,
let the negotiator get on with
negotiating the best deal for
Britain. That is not either a hard
or a soft Brexit, it's the best deal
for Britain, the whole of Britain,
that's what I want to see us advance
Do you see movement to
Phase 2 is a statement of intent and
not binding in any way?
principle outlined is binding
You disagree with
Bernard Jenkin that it's all up for
Bernard is quite rightly
giving a technical appreciation but
what I'm saying is that when the
British government put up that point
which secured agreement across the
piece, that principle is certainly
Do you see the UK's future
relationship as one that will be
closely mirroring the European Union
in terms of rules and regulations?
see the primacy and absolute
importance of a free-trade deal as
overruling all of that. That by
definition means alignment to some
extent. At a free-trade deal is an
sooty essential for both of us.
in your mind, Dawn Butler, does easy
movement of people mean?
that some people say you have signed
up to no movement, we're not signing
up to no movement, there has to be
The end to freedom of
movement is what the Labour
manifesto said. So what does Keir
Starmer mean when he says easy
Well, that is something
that he will then develop in terms
So he hasn't thought
through what this is?
he was answering was, are we saying
there was no movement? Keir Starmer
said there done that it's impossible
to say there is no movement because
we need movement of people in order
for our economy, we will need
movement of people but it won't look
exactly as it looks now. So, there
would be more stringent regimes
around it in terms of how people are
monitored in a doubt.
What about the
numbers, for example?
We do not talk
about caps and numbers. -- in and
out. To be honest it's a part of the
negotiation details if we were
around the negotiating table that we
could come back with more detail on.
That's the kind of question you
should be asking David Davis and the
government in terms of what their
Do you see in the coming
months, Ian Blackford, that Labour
will move its position to saying we
should remain in this angle market
and customs union, and then the two
of you can forge a closer
relationship on Brexit?
has got to happen because it has to
be about protecting the interests of
Are you talking to
Labour at the moment?
I wrote to
Jeremy Corbyn yesterday and I'm
waiting for a reply and I said we
should meet. The fundamentals of
this is if we are in a situation
that everybody accepts there is
going to be alignment with the rules
of the EU, the situation we are in
today is they will be no border
between Northern Ireland and the
Republic. We know on the basis of
the intervention of the DUP there
will be no border between the island
of Ireland and the rest of the
United Kingdom. The only way you can
square this is by staying in this on
the market and customs union.
Die-hard Brexiteers have taken the
country up a blind alley and it
hasn't worked. They have to accept
that staying in the Single Market
and customs union is the only
logical way of resolving this.
Bernard Jenkin, final word. Will you
and do you store think Britain
should pay for its obligations that
it said it should honour even if you
do get the trade deal you like?
have no obligations. We would like
to offer the EU some money as a
goodwill gesture for leaving the
European Union midway during a
budget period and that is reasonable
enough. Two very quick points. There
was never going to be a hard border
between Northern Ireland and the
That's not what the Irish
If they wanted
to have one that would be up to them
but we would never have one. If they
wanted to put infrastructure there
that would be up to them and
actually it would never happen. It
was all a bluff and a nonsense. You
don't need to police the border at
the border in order to police the
border with technology these days.
The second thing about alignment.
Alignment is a yes no question.
Andrew is completely right. In any
free-trade deal there are degrees of
alignment. The point is under the
new arrangements when we leave the
EU, we will control what we choose
to align with the EU instead of
being dictated on what our
regulatory regime should be.
that but at the moment it doesn't
sound like that.
That is your
That's the opinion
expressed by many people, the term
You are obviously on their
You said you agree
I said the view was
expressed. Bernard Jenkin, thank
I should also say thank you to you,
Now, Should the Bank of England be
moved from London to Birmingham?
The Shadow Chancellor John
McDonnell, seen here protesting
outside the Bank in London
earlier this year, has today
launched a report into what Labour
are calling Financing Investment.
The report recommends,
among other things,
that the the Old Lady
of Threadneedle Street,
as it's known, should
be moved from the City
to England's second city.
It claims the move would spread
investment across the country.
Mr McDonnell said the report drums
home the message that our financial
system isn't delivering enough
the whole country.
We're joined now by Graham Turner
from GFC Economics who has
authored today's report.
Welcome to the programme. Would this
be anything more than a symbolic
move? Moving functions to
I do not see it as
tokenism, not a nod to devolution,
it's a very necessary move to
counter the big problems we have in
this country around economic policy,
huge regional imbalances, financial
system geared far too much towards
speculative lending, manufacturing
lending has gone down dramatically
in recent years and we have got to
have a complete rethink about how
economic policy is structured in
That maybe so but how
does moving certain functions at the
Bank of England deliver that?
have said clearly it's not just
about moving that, it's about the
mandate, the two side by side.
with the mandate the?
We have not
said what the mandate would be, this
report is over 200 pages long and
this will be in our next report. On
the question of real -- relocation,
we are looking at global hubs,
London is one of them and it has a
detrimental impact on other cities
in the country. We can see it in the
West and other countries. That's
because technology is gravitating
towards finance. You have to move
some functions of finance in order
for technology to be disbursed more
How would that deliver
regional equality in terms of
We need faster growing
hubs in sectors that pay better --
jobs. It's not just fine as that
pays welcome information,
communication, professional and
scientific technology services. If
you move the control of finance away
from the City of London you will not
damage the City of London's outward
look to the rest of the world. I
think it would strengthen it. You
would say to the Bank of England,
you've got to look at rebalancing
this country because it is damaging
the whole of this country that we
have one city where it is or
becoming too expensive to do
In terms of relocation,
what specific functions are you
We have not said the
specific functions, and again we
hope this could be in the follow-up
report. What we have said this
morning is that one has got to
imagine we would be looking in the
realm of some domestic banking
functions. Can I just say that when
we look at the Monetary Policy
Committee, an important part of the
Bank of England, ask yourself the
question, how many of these fine
individuals who have been on the MPC
in the last few years have come from
institutions outside of the Golden
Triangle? Nobody from Scotland,
Wales, I'm talking of the
institution, nobody from Northern
Ireland, so you get a bias towards
Do you agree, this is part
of the world that isn't so far from
you, there was a relocation?
represent the town of royal Sutton
Coldfield up against the walls of
Birmingham and I'm always pleased to
see the investment coming to
Birmingham. I thought the Bank of
England did have a specific office
in Birmingham. It certainly did a
few years ago.
But would you support
more functions being moved on the
basis of what Graham is saying, that
it would somehow tilt the
institution bias away from London?
He hasn't put any flesh on the bones
of what this would mean, but in
terms of regional policy, I think
what he says goes with the grain of
a lot of what the Government is
doing. We now have for the first
time a really effective and very
strong Mayor in the West Midlands,
Mayor, it is a new structure. He is
galvanising the region's economic
future. In terms of getting
policy-making out of London, that is
something the Government is doing,
and it seems to me that this isn't a
million miles away.
It is quite
different. I am not against
devolution, but control of economic
policy, having lending and interest
rate decisions based around the
needs of the whole country, that's
what I'm talking about.
I'm not sure
that being in Birmingham does that.
It does make a difference, and that
is why London does well. If you put
an institution in one place
physically,... Clusters become self
feeding, which is what all the
research says. We need to break that
tendency towards ever more
concentration of economic power in
In the growth of the Nando's
services in Britain's second city,
and HSBC have their UK headquarters
in Birmingham, so in terms of a
power shift, moving jobs and
services throughout the country,
burning is already ahead on that.
decisions like interest rates, are
you saying that relocating functions
to Birmingham might influence or
change the way the Bank of England
We are saying it
needs to change the way it looks at
decisions around the whole economy.
Which decisions would be different
if they were in Birmingham?
an incredible focus on speculative
lending. Financial stability ports
are all about capitalising the bank.
There is very little about the fact
that we run this huge deficit in
manufacturing, what it means in
terms of wages, consumer credit, so
we need a wider discussion about
financial stability. It is not just
about the banks having enough
capital. The Bank of England is
still fighting the battle of ten
years ago. They didn't see what was
coming with the financial crisis, so
it is busy trying to repair the
mistakes of ten years ago. We are
seeing an impact of technology on
wages, on automation. We need to
support manufacturing and high-value
Argue worried about
No, but I am worried
about whether UK is. There are
countries that are ahead of us,
including the US. We are falling
Does Labour accept this
recommendation from Graham Turner?
In the round, yes. It means
investing in a new generation, in
productive industries. I completely
understand it. You are building an
environment where more people want
to feed into it, so more people will
go to university or learn the
financial industry. When you move
something somewhere else, you will
build a movement around that so I
completely understand that.
Northern Power has delivered what
the Government set out?
We said in
our report that just building train
lines, great, but the danger is that
you just create long-distance
commuters. That does not create
clusters. We want knowledge
I think that is how we
will improve our standing in the
rest of the world.
Have you been
disappointed with the lack of proper
funding behind the Northern
No, I think the Northern
Powerhouse, which was dreamt up by
the Coalition Government, has made a
big contribution. We're making good
progress in the Midlands in the way
that I described, through having
this outstandingly good Mayor.
you for joining us.
Now, Christmas might be approaching,
but that doesn't mean MPs
are taking their foot off
the gas just yet.
And it's another busy week
in Westminster and beyond.
Tomorrow, the Prime Minister will be
in Paris attending climate change
talks with around 50 world leaders.
The One Plant Summit aims to boost
political and economic support
for meeting the goals set out
in the Paris agreement
two years ago.
Meanwhile, MPs will once
again be focussing
on the European Union Withdrawal
MPs will debate an amendment tabled
by former Attorney General Dominic
Grieve which says the promise
of a "meaningful vote"
for Parliament on any Brexit deal
should be enshrined in law.
On Wednesday, Theresa May
and Jeremy Corbyn will face each
other in the House of Commons
at Prime Minister's Questions and )
On Thursday it's the start of the EU
leaders' Summit which will decide
whether sufficient progress has been
made in the negotiations
has been achieved.
Theresa May will be informed
whether or not trade
and transition talks can begin.
For more on this, I'm joined
by the Telegraph's Kate McCann
and Politico's Jack Blanchard.
Welcome to both of you. Kate McCann,
first, it is a busy week, and there
has been some expectation that it
will be difficult to keep everyone
on board before the deal is
rubber-stamped on Friday. Where do
you think the areas of concern would
be for the Government?
I think we
will see where those areas of
concern are over the course of
today, because Theresa May is
chairing her cabinet meeting this
morning. There have been
conversations over the weekend about
concern, particularly David Davies
yesterday about the Northern Ireland
aspect of the agreement made last
week, and then we will see her face
MPs in the House of Commons later. I
would be surprised if there weren't
some interventions from her own
backbenchers on what the deal struck
with the EU means, on Northern
Ireland and other issues. And then
we will come to the trade talks.
That is what the Government is
hoping for. And that will open a new
can of worms about exactly what type
of trade deal the EU wants -- the UK
wants with the EU, and trade deals
around the world.
There has been
talk of not wanting to stay closely
tied to the EU but keeping
regulatory alignment - what do you
It sounds incredibly
boring, but it's actually really
important, this stuff.
have these terms that we are getting
to grips with. It is about what sort
of country Britain is going to be in
the future, how much it is aligned
with rules and regulations from
Europe and how much we go our own
way. It is a huge debate raging in
Government, and it has been for a
few weeks. It is about to explode
onto the surface in the Cabinet,
which is very divided on this. It is
long-term future of the nation
stuff, so people like Bernard Jenkin
are very much trying to push Theresa
May in a certain direction where
Britain will get a clean break go
off into the world and have its own
rules and leg relations about all of
things. -- rules and regulations. It
is a hugely important issue, but no
one has really started to debate or
they are only just starting now, and
I think they will hear a lot about
these long boring terms about
regulatory alignment over the next
few months. We had better get used
them. In terms of the statement of
intent, David Davies himself seemed
to cast doubt on how binding the
agreement actually was, this idea
that nothing is agreed until
everything is agreed. Does that make
it more difficult to keep everyone
together until Friday?
I think we
will see the Prime Minister that
again today, and there is a reason
for that. It is exactly as you say,
that they want to be able to give
themselves enough leeway because
they know the divisions on these
issues, as Jack just said, are so
huge that it is impossible to tie
them down. What we saw with the DUP
last week I think they will see
again. The issue was pushed and
pushed until the last minute, when
people really kicked off about it,
but in quite a short space of time,
because there is a deadline for
agreement, it is not then the Prime
Minister's interest to open it up
and talk about it early, because
that exposes these huge chasms of
opinion earlier. It will be
difficult to bridge those. You will
see Theresa May try to keep it as
open as she can, and that is what
David Davies was doing over the
weekend, though it looks like he
went too far, because as soon as you
say it is really open, the Irish
Government says, that is not what we
want to hear and is problematic.
They are trying a balancing act of
keeping everyone in the boat without
too tipping -- tipping too far one
way because they will have to pull
people back over the site.
Davis this morning very much
backtracking on how far he went on
the Andrew Marr Show yesterday. This
still hasn't been signed off. The
European Commission have agreed it
but Theresa May has this summit on
Thursday when the other 27 countries
have to sign it. For her to say that
it is not worth the paper it is
written on is not really a smart
Damian Green and his future
- why haven't we heard anything more
about that since the investigation
has been ongoing and the report has
been added to Theresa May?
we get towards Christmas, the
question will get bigger. As you
say, we know she has been given an
update on the progress, and we know
that most people who were involved
in the investigation have so far
given their evidence, and therefore,
we should see a conclusion of that
investigation soon, if not already.
Over the course of this week,
Theresa May will want her Government
to focus on Brexit and probably
won't want to have to talk about
It is taking such a
long time. It is supposed to be
independent, not up to the Prime
Minister when it comes back. There
is another enquiry into a Mark
Garnier. Questions will mount.
Andrew Mitchell, a couple of points
- Damian Green - do you think there
needs to be a decision made before
I am sure there will be a
decision. I think he is doing a very
good job as effectively the Deputy
Prime Minister and I hope he will
He has had an
investigation into him. Theresa May
said there must be zero tolerance of
sexual harassment in Parliament, and
Michael Fallon resigned because he
said his behaviour was below the
expected standards, so what should
happen in terms of Damian Green?
have seen no evidence at all of
harassment by Damian Green, but
there has been an investigation. I
can't second-guess that. As I say, I
think he's a very good minister and
I'm sure he will survive.
to the withdrawal bill. Dominic
grieve's Amendment, your collar,
which would force a truly meaningful
vote on the final EU deal, meaning
that MPs like yourselves would have
the chance to send Theresa May back
to Brussels, would you support it?
We will see what happens in the
debate, but I am certain the
Government will want to agree to a
meaningful vote. I think we will
have to see how the amendment goes.
I will be surprised if the
Government resisted that amendment.
You think they will give way?
think it is a sensible amendment,
and Dominic grieve has already
improved the bill quite
significantly. I think the
Government will listen to what
Dominic has to say.
You would be
prepared to vote for it that the
Government doesn't come from ice?
Lets see where we get to, but I
think it is a sensible amendment.
had an opposition day debate where
we put that question on the floor of
the House, and it went through.
is different from putting it on the
face of the bill.
But the will of
the House has been made clear.
think it is sensible that the House
should have a meaningful vote, and I
don't think the Government will want
to resist that.
A couple of weeks ago,
we took a look at the people in key
positions behind the scenes
in Downing Street.
But what about that other SW1 power
base, Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party?
Here's Emma Vardy with the latest
instalment of our occasional series
Jeremy Corbyn spent years
as a backbencher looking
at Parliamentary offices not much
bigger than a
But now he and his top team
have a whole floor to
It's even got a nice balcony.
The executive director
of the leader's office is Karie
She used to work for
the deputy leader Tom Watson.
And we thought we'd
dig this out of the
archives one more time.
Her reaction to our mood box testing
opinion on the Shadow Cabinet.
This is a stunt by
ill informed people.
Nice to meet you too.
And meet a man known
as Jeremy Corbyn's brain.
We don't talk about economic rights
and I think people
need economic rights.
Andrew Fisher used to take
to the stage himself, like at this
trade union event.
But he's now more of
a behind-the-scenes guy working
as Corbyn's head of policy.
Didn't Thatcher promise us this?
Seamus Milne is a top spin
doctor and rumoured to be
the man who got JC to
smarten up his image.
He's a former Guardian journalist
and now trusted close
The MPs are incredibly
out of touch, I think.
That's why we've seen
these shocks in politics.
Seen here on the day
of the EU referendum
result, James Schneider looks
after strategy in the comms team.
He's an ex-Lib Dem and
Greens supporter and
was previously on our screens
representing the pro-Corbyn
grassroots organisation Momentum.
Politics has changed.
We are in this sort
of national crisis period.
Corbyn's inner circle also
includes Amy Jackson,
former MP Katy Clark,
who is looking into
potentially big changes
will give Labour Party
members more power.
And after his recent shoot with GQ
magazine, the editor later
said Corbyn's entourage pushed him
about like a grandad.
The actual shoot itself
was quite torturous.
It was as difficult as shooting any
It's not all fun and celebrity
appearances, you know?
This is where the party
machine operates from.
Labour HQ in the heart
Iain McNicol is the General
Secretary of the Labour
Party, its organisational chief.
The other key figures
in the Corbyn camp
are his family.
As we learned in this
documentary, he married his Mexican
wife Laura Alvarez in 2013, after
they had a long-distance
relationship when she was working in
banking back home.
And here's Seb Corbyn,
Jeremy's second son.
After working on his dad's election
campaign in 2015, Seb was appointed
Shadow Chancellor John
McDonnell's Chief of Staff.
And these days, behind-the-scenes,
I can also reveal
that Corbyn has a personal dresser,
his own Bentley driver, a private
Not really, this was his spoof
appearance on The Last Leg
comedy programme, of course.
You're more likely
to see him like this.
Nice to see you all,
thank you so much for coming.
Jeremy Corbyn back in normal attire
and back on his bike.
I'm now joined by Kevin
Maguire, associate editor
of the Daily Mirror.
Welcome to The Daily Politics. How
has the operation changed at Labour
since the general election?
it has continued since the general
election, they are fine tuning it,
but the big changes were when he
first became leader and people came
in and he wasn't quite sure where he
wanted to go, there was a lot of
discord. Then he seemed to sort it
out after that attempt to topple him
and he went into the election and
did far better than even he thought,
now he can just feel some authority
and competence around that team. The
crucial player is Karie Murphy, the
chief of staff, who is kind of a
good friend bad enemy but she gets
things done and that's really
So who else does Jeremy
Corbyn really listen to? Karie
Murphy and Seamus Milne.
controller, he was at the Guardian.
He's hugely intellectual and knows
what he is coming from politically
and ideologically and he is
physically capable of shouting --
incapable of shouting. Is very calm.
But is the big political influence
behind Jeremy Corbyn?
There are many
political influences, there are
people like Dawn, Diane Abbott, John
McDonnell, they have a lot of
influence. Len McCluskey from the
trade unions. But in the office
Seamus Milne is more than a spin
doctor. He does have a role on
strategy and that's not to say there
are not disagreements within the
team. But they seem relatively
harmonious, and more so than I
believe Ed Miliband's team, a really
bright team, but there seems to be
too much competition in turn of the.
So there is a sort of sense of
purpose, unity in terms of sense of
purpose. Will it strike people as
odd that quite a few of his advisers
are public school educated and even
from the same school, Winchester?
is clearly a very popular school in
the Jeremy Corbyn office. James
Schneider is a Bollinger Bolshevik,
Seamus Milne himself... It is a bit
odd. I agree. I suspect the working
class, the cloth cap, the whippet on
a bit of string comes in the Labour
Party chair who is a former coal
miner. It is a bit strange but
left-wing politics, like right-wing
politics, are often dominated at the
top by people from private schools.
The Conservative Party has never
been short of them itself, has it?
No, indeed. Turn into the grassroots
organisation Momentum which backed
Jeremy Corbyn. How important is it
in terms of the day-to-day running
of his office?
Day-to-day running of
his office, not that important, but
in terms of organising around the
conference, there will be selections
of councillors, candidates and
parliamentary elections, although I
think it's massively overstated in
terms of deselection. It is then
very important. The one thing Jeremy
Corbyn has that Ed Miliband didn't
is a social movement, he has people
joining who will do a lot of the
heavy lifting, the leaflet
delivering, going along to meetings
In fact, the
founder of that organisation, Jon
Lansman, what's the relationship
between -- what is the relationship
between him and Jeremy Corbyn.
close, that's not to say there is
not friction between Corbyn's office
and Jeremy Landsman who has one foot
in a one foot out.
have conflated them. Jon Lansman in
the 80s was a very sectarian figure.
I believe listening and watching and
talking to people around him now he
is a lot less sectarian and he will
now reach out. There is a lot of MPs
who don't like him, they dislike him
because their parties have a lot of
new people coming in, they don't
know who they are, they are being
challenged in ways they were not
used to. But Momentum is on the
He said it is worse.
nonsense. I remember the 80s, I've
got grey hair, I remember them at
the time. Momentum is very
different. Most people in Momentum
seem to be quite young and
What about the impact on
voters? There isn't anything sort of
materially different for the public
in terms of the changes at the top,
except if we take your word that
actually there is more unity. That,
of course, the public might notice.
They might also notice the
manifesto, for instance, which
Andrew Bishop, featured there, who
some MPs wanted kicked out of the
party over sin tweets he said before
the 2015 election which would the
rocketry about some -- which were
derogatory about some Labour MPs. --
some tweets. They spend months, and
years developing the manifesto.
Those mass rallies that get a lot of
publicity, they don't happen on
their own, some he has to organise
it, somebody has to think about it,
Summer Rae has to get in there.
much influence do you have on
day-to-day running at how close are
you to Jeremy Corbyn?
because there are lots of things I
have to do in my role. But the times
that I'm there in Jeremy's office
and working with the team, they are
phenomenal as a group of people.
Occasionally, if I
have something to contribute of
course they will listen. That's the
thing about the teams, everybody
listens, even if there is
disagreement, you listen and talk it
through and come out at the end of
it all in agreement. The reason why
Andrew was able to produce such
fantastic manifesto in three weeks
was because it was the Court of the
Labour Party's believes what's
amazing -- it was the core of the
Does Jeremy Corbyn
agree wholeheartedly with Kier
Starmer on the direction in terms of
Britain's relationship to the EU?
course. Kier Starmer, as I said, he
is a guy of detail and has gone
through every detail. Jack was right
it becomes laborious and boring
talking about all of this and you
need somebody who will go through
the detail and embrace the detail
and say this is where we need to be
in our negotiating positions.
is why I asked if they are on the
I don't think they are.
Keir Starmer has been trying to pull
the Labour leadership towards a more
pro-EU position for sometime around
the Single Market and customs union.
It is a work in progress albeit
there are divisions quite clearly.
What about the divisions in Cabinet?
How will that happen with the future
There is a form to
these things, there is a Cabinet
discussion pending on what stage two
of the important negotiations looks
like. That's about more than just
the EU, it's about global Britain,
what is global Britain mean. There
is not a lot of flesh on the bones
at the moment. The way these things
happen is the Cabinet will discuss
it and the Prime Minister will make
a decision and in collective
responsibility binds everyone in. I
am certain the Conservative Party,
the government, will require a
collective responsibility to be
exerted when that moment comes.
don't expect any more briefings?
think they will decide to let the
negotiated to get on with doing the
negotiations and will back him.
Kevin Maguire, thank you.
Last night saw an unusual thing
happening, a conservative winning
the vote of the youth.
The new Queen
of the Jungle.
Georgia Toffolo of
made in Chelsea fame was crowned the
new Queen of the jungle in a tense
but dumber final of ITV's I'm a
Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!. But
she was not the only conservative
leaning public figure to win a vote
recently. New Conservative MP Ben
Bradlee snatched victory in the
coveted beard of the year contest,
dethroning Jeremy Corbyn for the
first time in years and becoming the
first ever Conservative MP to win
the competition in the process. Here
he is talking about his historic
I've heard the big
news that apparently
I have been successful
my campaign to be
Parliamentary Beard of The Year.
Now, obviously this
is pretty exciting.
I am flushed with emotion.
And I need to immediately
who has supported and voted for me.
It was like general election
night all over again.
He is genuinely thrilled. Is the
tide turning for Conservatives and
the youth vote?
You can perhaps sense my tongue is
ever so slightly in my cheek here.
But to discuss this I'm joined
by Joe Twyman of YouGov.
What do you think? Has the tide
It's easy to over interpret
some of the things we see on TV.
Toff did when and she was a
conservative but the important thing
is she is a reality TV star. If you
look at the results of I'm a celeb
to me out of here the winners have
been reality TV stars, essentially
people used to playing the role of a
normal person on TV. When you
compare her to the actual
politicians, Kezia Dugdale and
Stanley Johnson, you see that they
really don't do very well at all.
Neither of them made it into the
final five. And also, do we know
that the people voting for her were
necessarily young people? I don't
know much about the voting for it
but I would imagine that the more
accurate data we have around two
thirds of new entrants into the
electorate, for instance, voting
Labour suggests the Conservatives
still have some way to go.
politics is really incidental?
would say when it comes to reality
TV, politics is one thing and the
ability to eat an animal's genitals
is perhaps far more important. I'm
not suggesting that if Theresa May
or Jeremy Corbyn were to eat animal
genitals they necessarily would
increase their popularity, even if
it was televised. But we really
Thank you for that focus
just before lunchtime on that issue,
it turned my stomach somewhat. Are
there any other areas in which young
Conservatives, if that is the way
they are voting, are either
supporting or performing better in
these sorts of competitions?
think is really interesting, talking
seriously now, is the fact we are
seeing celebrities. My senses we are
seeing celebrities more open about
their political allegiances, indeed
either side. If you look back to the
EU referendum it was difficult to
find a younger celebrity, 70 under
the age of 30, who would be drawn on
whether they were Remain or Leave.
Generally speaking most were keeping
quiet. -- certainly under the age of
30. We have seen more people engaged
in the political process and that is
reflected in celebrities.
There's just time before we go
to find out the answer to our quiz.
Do you remember the question you
Over the weekend Theresa May
decorate a Christmas tree
in her church in her constituency.
So, the question for today
was, what did she put
on the top of the tree?
Was it a) A gold star b) An angel c)
A silver shoe or d) A bauble
with of Jean-Claude
Juncker face on it.
I reckon she has thrown a few shoes
in this negotiation process.
we are agreed. I think that the
It was not the bauble.
would have looked very good but I
think it was the shoe which wins it.
You are right, it was heels all
around at the top of the tree, well
done. You can have the bauble with
Jean-Claude Juncker's face on it
instead. Thank you to our guests
Dawn and Andrew and I will be back
tomorrow at noon. Goodbye.
Jo Coburn is joined by former Conservative cabinet minister Andrew Mitchell and shadow equalities minister Dawn Butler to discuss the future direction of the Brexit negotiations and Labour's report on financial services.