Jo Coburn is joined by broadcaster Richard Madeley to discuss the reaction to the agreement on the first stage of the Brexit negotiations with Oliver Letwin.
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Hello and welcome to
the Daily Politics.
Inflation reaches a six year high
as it continues
to run well ahead of wages.
How much worse off
will it make us feel?
World political and business leaders
gather in Paris to discuss progress
in tackling climate change,
but how much can be achieved
when the President of the world's
second biggest polluter -
Donald Trump - is not taking part?
The government wants to make
it easier for people
to change their gender.
But could any change to the law be
detrimental to the feminist cause?
And the Royal Mail released a stamp
to mark our accession
to the EU in 1973.
So why aren't they producing
one to mark Brexit?
All that in the next hour,
and with us for the whole
of the programme today is that
darling of daytime TV,
I've thought that was me!
It is you!
First today - inflation
has risen again.
The headline Consumer Prices Index
stood at 3.1% in November -
that's well ahead of wages
which grew at just 2.2%.
It means that the governor
of the Bank of England, Mark Carney,
must write to the Chancellor
to explain why inflation is running
so far ahead of the 2% target
the government has set.
Let's talk to our economics
editor, Kamal Ahmed.
So, a pre-Christmas crunch for
consumers, with inflation at 3.1%,
have it peaked there?
Well, that is
the big question. The Bank of
England certainly believes the
present under this autumn would be
the high point for inflation. The
main reason for that is because when
you have a currency shock which is a
lot of the reason for this
inflation, so obviously, Sterling
dropped heavily after the
referendum, and when you have a
currency shock like that, that tends
to feed through the system
quickly and then feed out of the
system because inflation is a
comparative number one on the next.
Once you are a year on from the
referendum, it tends to lessen. The
Bank of England put a lot of store
by that. They thought 3.2% would be
the peak and then it would fall next
year. I have brought my sheet of
numbers with me. If you look at the
numbers which affect what people
buy, looking at clothing, food, and
alcohol, the numbers are 4.1%
inflation in food, 4.5% inflation in
alcohol and 3% inflation in
So that is quite painfully
For the things that people
buy, and that is not including
transport, that is up 4.5%. That is
few and tickets. The things that
people buy means 3.1% is not what
people are experiencing when they go
to the shops. So actually, that
squeezes very sharp, but the Bank of
England leaves and most economists
believe we are at about the high
point of it.
Does that mean there
will be a sharp fall or will we take
proper bit and then stick around
The banks as they have to get
back to the 2% target over a
three-year period. The idea is that
next year inflation would fall and
most are predicting between two and
2.5%. Now, because of the sterling
shock feeding through, there does
seem to be a lot of evidence that
that will happen. We must not forget
that things happen which are not
forecast. Several example, the
closure of the big oil pipeline in
Scotland has meant there is some
upward pressure on the oil price.
The oil prices going up anyway. It
could go up faster. People are using
more fuel because it is very cold
and that means inflation is
affected. Inflation is difficult to
forecast because things happen and
that can produce inflation
Mark Carney had to write
to the Chancellor to explain why
there has been this rapid rise in
inflation and you wonder, fine, he
writes a letter, but apart from it
being a bureaucratic procedure, what
does it actually do?
We are drowning
in protocols. I know we will come
onto Brexit but that is a classic
example currently. Can I ask about
the numbers, if what we are
experiencing is 4.5%, what is
dragging it down to 3.1%?
currency. It is called washing out
of the system. Input prices that
producers are seeing in terms of
what they are buying from abroad,
because the reason inflation comes
because they Sterling change,
because it is more expensive to buy
from abroad. That figure is starting
to fall off because the sterling
effect is washing three. That is
tapering in its effects. But other
things like the oil price are
starting to push inflation in the
other direction. Also what is called
the push through. So for a while
retailers soak up the input price
inflation they are suffering because
they are buying food from abroad,
but after a bit it starts to be
pushed through to the consumer and
that is what is happening now. That
bubble has moved from the retailers,
the cost of importing food has been
pushed onto the consumer, so they
are starting to experience that
What about the
action that can be taken by the Bank
of England? Does he have suggestions
how to bring it down?
So they have
raised interest rates slightly or
doubled them from not .2% -- 0.25%
to not .5%. Raising interest rates
tends to take money out of the
system. They have done that and also
they take predictions on things like
the sterling effect, on things like
commodity prices, but of course,
when you have quite strong global
growth as you do, that has
inflationary effects. It tends to
push up inflation. So it is a
delicate balancing act. We will not
see the letter until next year. By
then, we will have other inflation
figures in December, which could be
a little lower. The letter writing,
as you said which is quite a
bureaucratic protocol, we will not
see what the letter looks like until
You're too young to
remember the inflation we had in the
70s. It would make this conversation
But we have had such low
inflation for so long and that is
the difficulty, particularly before.
So, it looks like the EU will sign
off on moving on to phase two
of Brexit talks when Theresa May
meets her fellow EU leaders
at the end of the week.
But could there be trouble
for the Prime Minister
back here in Westminster?
Some of her own MPs are insisting
on a "meaningful vote" at the end
of the Brexit negotiations -
and they want that promise written
into the EU Withdrawal Bill that's
currently going through parliament.
The Prime Minister faced MPs
in the Commons yesterday
as she briefed them on the deal
she did last week in Brussels.
The progress so far has required
give and take for the UK and the EU,
to move forward together, and that
is what we have done. Of course,
nothing is agreed until everything
But, there is, I believe, a new
sense of optimism in the talks. And
I fully hope... And I fully hope and
expect that we will confirm the
arrangements that I have said that
today in the European Council led to
18 months on from the
referendum result, the Prime
Minister scrapes through phase one
of the negotiations. Scrapes through
after a team months. Two month later
than planned, with many of the key
aspects of phase one still not
clear. This weekend Cabinet members
have managed to contradict each
other. Indeed, some have managed to
go even further and contradict
Would she confirmed that
nothing is agreed and 11 thing is
agreed is a well-known phrase
meaning details can be revisited
once you have sorted out what the
ultimate test the nation is, but it
doesn't mean that you're going to
tear everything up and start all
over again, while EU citizens are
paying money and regulatory
convergence, if something goes wrong
Last week we had the
human dating scene of the Prime
Minister being forced out of the
original deal by the DUP, rushing
back to London, the government had
to rewrite the agreement so as to
reach the DUP's approval. We really
have to wonder, who is running the
UK? Is it Arlene Foster or the right
honourable member for Maidenhead?
The Prime Minister said there had
been given take in the negotiations
and she is absolutely right. We are
giving the EU tens of billions of
pounds and they are taking them. As
the Prime Minister has said, that
the money will not be paid unless
there is a final agreement, by
definition, that must mean that we
are not legally obliged to make
these payments, otherwise that would
not be available to us. Can the
Prime Minister explain why she is
paying tens of billions of pounds
which are not legally due to the
European Union, when she is
continuing with a policy of
austerity at home that many of my
constituents simply do not
understand where all this extra
money seems to come from.
And I'm joined now by Oliver Letwin,
who worked at the heart
of both the coalition and David
Conservative government as a policy
minister and party strategist.
Welcome to the programme. That step
up on Philip Davis there, the
Conservative MP at the end of the
film. He is disgruntled about the
money, up to £39 billion. We have
agreed to pay the EU. He is not the
only Conservative backbencher who
has raised these concerns, saying
they need help selling this steel to
their constituents. How does the
government explain to the voting
public that we have agreed to make
these payments over the coming
decades, without so far anything to
show for it?
I don't think that is
very difficult. In the first place,
this money is money we are paying
for the first and large instalments
of it and then we go on paying it
for a couple of years and then we
stopped that, which is good news.
The rest of the money we pay over
20, 30, 40 years as pensions
crystallise and so on, and so the
net effect is after a couple of
years our contribution is hugely
reduced which is good news.
Theresa May said yesterday the offer
is on the table in the context of us
agreeing the next stage and the
partnership for the future. So let's
be absolutely clear, the UK could
walk away without paying a penny if
the EU does not offer us the
prospect of the trade deal in phase
There has been quite a lot of
confusion about this. As far as I
can make out, the position is there
is some unknown quantity that if one
went to court about it, would turn
out to be a legal obligation and
that the UK would always pay. I
don't know and that hasn't been a
legal case to decide, but the next
question is, that part of it,
whatever it is, that we are not
legally obliged to pay, and which is
part of this agreement, and that is
clearly contingent on getting the
deal. How those would sort
themselves out, you would only know
See you would agree with
Philip Hammond the Chancellor, that
we would still need on our
obligations, even if we could not
agree on a trade deal?
whether I agree, the fact is that
the UK always honours its
international law obligations. The
government is clear about that. That
is not a controversial point in our
But when you listen to some
of the Conservative backbenchers,
they seem to be implying we would
not pay any of the amount...
did not hear the same as you. I
think the listeners would have heard
Philip Davies saying clearer later
this money we were not legally
obliged to pay. -- he said clearly
that legally we were not obliged to
pay. I think anything we are legally
obliged to pay we would pay anyway,
but we would only pay above what we
are legally obliged to pay if we get
We may need to see that
documentation because people keep
calling for some sort of sheet.
don't think you will ever see that
unless it was contested in court. I
suspect it is a very come to
question legally speaking, what we
obliged to pay?
What is the EU went
to make an offer on the money that
we have put down, legally binding
before we leave in March 2019?
think the Prime Minister is
completely clear. She is not going
to agree to any amount beyond our
legal obligations, including the
amount she has agreed here, and
finally we get a final deal that is
accepted by Parliament and that
becomes the basis of our future will
relationship. That is clear.
is a feeling in some inner party
that the Prime Minister has
capitulated with this deal? The
former Chancellor Lord Lawson, and
we know his views generally when it
comes to Brexit, he thinks the Prime
Minister has lost her nerve and it
is time to get up off our knees.
There may be many voters who agree
with him. What would you say to
others who espouse that sentiment?
don't agree with that. I think if
you're going to have a negotiation
this, the idea of agreeing something
and making it contingent on a final
agreement is a perfectly proper and
will weigh to negotiate. Clearly, we
have a tough negotiation on the free
trade deal ahead of us. I think we
need to make it perfectly clear that
we are prepared to leave without one
if one is offered to us which is not
acceptable, I think that means all
the preparations the government is
making that Philip Hammond provided
money to make in his budget, for
leaving without an agreement if we
cannot get an acceptable one.
Therefore, I think we have a
sensible negotiation ahead of us.
Was it wise for David Davis to talk
about the deal and statement of
intent only, which seems to have
upset some in Brussels and in
Ireland, because the invitation
there is that phase two could
un-pick everything that has been
agreed in phase one?
I think you
have two propositions. The
government has clearly reached an
agreement about how it would proceed
in relation to withdraw, if it gets
a trade deal that is acceptable. It
is contingent on that but it does
not mean the government will go back
and renegotiate or the terms of this
text as part of getting a free trade
deal. We get a free trade deal and
will it buy this text, or we don't
and the text is off the table. That
seems to me perfectly clear a
sensible answer session. You can
never have a perfect position in
negotiating as I often found in the
collision! But I think you can get a
Many felt she wouldn't even make it
to this point as Prime Minister and
trying to bring round the DUP and do
you see that as an achievement?
A small one, these are relative
She has had a horrible few months.
Yesterday she introduced a note of
triumphalism which is understandable
There is so much more to go. It was
over the top yesterday.
Michael Deacon in the Telegraph
newspaper bikers had to a 400 metres
hurdler who jumps over the first at
last and then stops to make a
speech. There is so much language
around this debate. Thank you for
talking in plain English. David
Davis had to issue a clarification
yesterday. I needed clarification of
the whole interview, I have never
heard such jargon.
The whole debate, God knows how you
kept your sanity...
I am not sure I have.
The entire debate is strangled by
What did McDonnell say yesterday, it
was ridiculous, Labour doesn't want
to be in the single market or the
customs union, but a single market.
It is Monty Python. Explaining this
to the voters who have tried to talk
about how they will respond, you can
understand why it said the public
will go bananas because they haven't
been prepared for this.
Let us talk about transition, the
next part of the negotiation. The
promised has implied she wants the
UK to remain in the single market
and Customs union during that
period, is that what you understand?
Yes. Will that be the status quo in
terms of still taking laws and rules
from the European Court of Justice?
It is clear from what she said
yesterday that one of the things
which will happen in the next phase,
I agree, it is early days, is that
the terms of that transitional
period will be settled. Questions
like the ones you are all skiing
will be answered in that period --
you are asking.
If there is new legislation in the
midst of that period, does not apply
There are tricky issues. The basic
proposition as understand it, is
that for another two years we'd be
governed broadly by the same set of
rules as at the moment. During that
period, we would implement all the
changes agreed and whatever deal
there is and the new deal would...
I will come onto what would be
implemented. There has been
confusion around this transition
period. Will your party sign up to
her vision and your vision of
another two years of EU membership
in all but name.
People will be very happy if they
knew there was a free trade deal on
the table that was acceptable, which
there is at the moment, and we'd
only have this transition with a
free trade deal, and if they knew it
would take two years to fill in the
details, then we would be happy to
see current situation maintain.
So the payments continue, freedom of
movement, the ECJ continues.
In order to get to a point where the
free trade deal clocks in and our
businesses have only one change.
You don't have a double cliff edge.
Come the 29th of March 2019, the day
of our departure, we won't have
signed a trade deal by then?
You say that, that is not the
intention. It is important not to
I am looking at what is put on the
Her intention is between the first
step which this is, and the next
step, she will try to negotiate two
sets of things, the finalisation of
this deal, including the
finalisation of the transitional
period, and a free trade deal.
I want to read paragraph six. These
are the guidelines for the second
phase, an agreement on a future
mission ship can only be considered
once the UK has become a third
country, the union will engage in
preliminary and preparatory
discussions to... In other words,
they will only look at the very
start of this trade Ott those are
That is not what they mean, it means
in international law, you cannot
sign a free trade deal between UK
and EU until the UK has left the EU
because the UK is not a separate
country but of the EU. These words,
We won't be implementing... If we
get to an agreement before 2019
March 29, then we leave at 11pm UK
time on March 29, on the 30th, the
UK is an independent country, even
if governed by the transnational
period -- Transitional. So you can
sign an agreement. Once it is
approved by Parliament and the EU,
then it is signed. The second we
leave, then it is implemented in the
next two years. Whether that can be
achieved is another question.
It is a sensible process. Except
what looks likely to happen if you
take everything in the round is
there won't be a Brexit dividend
which has been promised, money
coming back or the ability to sign
free trade deals with other
countries outside the EU, until past
The dividend is on hold. My
question, as an expense to the Jo
Shuter that you are, we talk about
this first hurdle, do you said
Brussels did link?
I don't think it is a question of
Bling King. I think there was
uncompromising language from
Brussels which looks like it gave
way to a sensible negotiating
position. In the negotiations, you
are dealing inside the room with a
sensible set of propositions, then
you have an audience out there you
have two shown you are being strong
too. These overblown statements you
refer to, they get made, we
shouldn't pay too much attention.
The question is, at the end, do you
get a sensible agreement.
Dominic grieve said so far that it
has been intransigent and he is
planning to put his amendment on the
final deal tomorrow which could mean
a defeat for the Government, should
the Government compromise?
You should distinguish between
proposition one, MPs should have a
vote on whether the final deal put
before Parliament is acceptable to
Should there be time to send it back
to Theresa May?
Should we have the vote on whether
it is acceptable? Yes. That is why
the Government will make that deal
be something that is brought in, in
a separate act. The next question,
should we have the capacity in
Parliament to thwart the will of the
British people by rejecting not only
the deal but the whole process of
Brexit. My answer is definitely not.
We must leave, so do we leave with a
deal or not.
Is that what Dominic Grieve is
trying to do, thwart the will of the
His amendment provides for us to
vote on whether the deal is
acceptable and if it is all it does
then the Government will bring
I have worked with Dominic, I don't
read that in that way.
Why is it necessary for the dates of
our departure to be written into
I don't think it is necessary but it
is not a problem. If you write in a
date and it turns out it is useful
to have another 48 hours or
whatever, you can have emergency
legislation passed to change it.
The advantage of having the date on
the face of it is to allay any
suspicion that Parliament is intent
on doing anything other than leaving
on the 29th of March at 11pm, that
is important for the British people
because they voted for that. I know
this is a question where it is
important but secondary to other
things. Secondary to whether we
maintain a democracy in this
In December 2015, 196 countries
reached a consensus known
as the Paris Climate Agreement -
the deal unites all the world's
nations in a single agreement
on tackling climate change.
That ministers from 196 countries
reached a consensus on a set
of targets was hailed
as "historic" in itself.
The key elements of the agreement
are: To keep global temperatures
"well below" 2.0 Celsius,
above pre-industrial times
and "endeavour to limit" them even
more, to 1.5 Celsius.
To limit the amount of greenhouse
gases emitted by human activity
to the same levels that trees,
soil and oceans can absorb
naturally, beginning at some point
between 2050 and 2100.
To review each country's
contribution to cutting emissions
every five years so they scale up
to the challenge.
For rich countries to help poorer
nations by providing "climate
finance" to adapt to climate change
and switch to renewable energy.
But during the 2016
United States Presidential campaign,
then-candidate Donald Trump promised
to withdraw the US -
which contributes about 15%
of the global emissions of carbon -
from the agreement, saying the move
would help the country's
oil and coal industries.
In June, President Trump confirmed
that the US would withdraw
from the Paris climate accord
during a speech in the Rose Garden
at the White House.
He said that he was doing
so to protect American jobs
and the economy in the US.
Today, French President,
Emmanuel Macron, hosts a meeting
in Paris of around 50 world leaders
from Mexican President
Enrique Pena Nieto to Prime Minister
for the One Planet Summit.
President Trump was
reportedly not invited.
Actor and former Governor
of California Arnold Schwarzenegger
downplayed the US withdrawal
from the climate accord yesterday,
saying the rest of the America
would "pick up the slack".
It doesn't matter that Donald Trump
backed out of the Paris agreement
because the private sector didn't
drop out, the public sector didn't
sector didn't drop out,
scientists, the engineers,
no one dropped out.
Donald Trump pulled Donald Trump out
of the Paris Agreement,
so don't worry about that.
We at a subnational level will pick
up the slack and continue on.
We're joined now from the Paris
climate change talks
by the Climate Change Minister,
thank you for joining us from Paris.
Arnold Schwarzenegger saying it does
not matter that Donald Trump is not
there. Is his absence overshadowing
the conference bearing in mind he is
the world Blixt second most
The answer is not at all. What has
happened is the trump headline
withdrawal has reinvigorated other
countries and big businesses and the
big NGOs to say, we get that, we
think it is very disappointing but
it means we will go faster and do
more. The promised is coming here
today to make an announcement about
the Cole Alliance, we hoped to get
50 members by next year, we are over
50 already. She will focus on the
first global electric vehicle
summits in the UK. It is a shame but
Arnie is right, the people creating
the emissions are getting on with
the job of cutting them because
everyone sees it is good business
for the planet as well, and good for
the economy. We have half a million
people in Britain working in this
low carbon sector. It is about jobs
and growth, something the US
president cares about. I hope he can
come back to the party.
But we will get on.
If it's all
about the money? If it is about
richer countries helping poorer
polluting countries to adjust their
economies to move to renewables, the
World Bank said it will take $3
trillion a year for 30 years to
contain the rising global
Should Britain commit more funds?
are one of the largest donors of
climate and that -- Finance. If you
look at the cost of renewable
technology it is being delivered
subsidy free. I opened the first
subsidy freak solar farm if you
weeks ago. So the world is moving
very rapidly to a place where
renewables are not a cost trade. We
have got to work together. As we
have been saying is we cannot solve
this problem alone, there are huge
benefits in collaborating and we
need to make sure that is
accelerated. President Macron had a
dinner last night where he made the
point, I don't want to say to my
children in 50 years when we have
lost 3G and the Marshall Islands, we
knew it would happen and we didn't
act. There is a sense of commitment
and optimism and hard work to do.
Britain is leading the pack. We have
cut our emissions more and growing
our economy any -- so we know how to
But how committed is the British
government, because the commitment
to climate change was questioned
when Theresa May abolished the
Department for Energy and Climate
Change shortly after taking office
last year, so it has sort of been
Not at all. I have to
disagree. We are one of the first
countries in the world which has a
binding Climate Change Act. Next day
is the tenth anniversary. If you
want politicians to do the right
thing over a period of time, having
that legislation is a good idea. And
by putting the Department for Energy
and Climate Change into the business
department, we have done something
which is incredibly important which
is to say, as we want our economy to
grow and prosper, we know this clean
grey thing has to be at the heart of
it. We working far more closely with
British businesses and the financial
sector to say, how are we making
this change happen? I don't think it
is a demotion, I think it is a
promotion. People are coming up to
saying Britain has led the world,
you have cut your emissions fast,
you are employing hundreds of
thousands of people, let's do it
together. We should be proud of what
we have done.
Let's have a look at
some of the domestic policies. The
Chancellor has said field duty will
be frozen again, why will the
planned rise be scrapped? Doesn't
that undermine Philip Hammond's view
on clean air commitments?
It is not
just bad air, it is about the
quality and water quality. What he
also did was put in a new tax level
for the most polluting vehicles,
diesel engines, which people were
encouraged to buy under previous
governments, and he also rolled up
plans for a electric vehicle
charging networks. You have to do it
in a structured way. You have to
invest in technologies that cut
emissions, you have to make sure
you're not putting costs up and you
have to create technology. It was a
very measured budget and Britain now
is making one in five of the
electric vehicles which are being
sold in Europe. We have a really
fast take-up of electric vehicles
and the PM
will be announcing this global
summit because we want to be both
driving them and making them in the
But it is not just about the
rhetoric. The High Court has found
the government's previous attempts
to cut air pollution were so poor as
to be illegal. The government has
said it will not introduce more
clean air zones for charging
electric vehicles, why not?
if you read what the budget said, it
said this new diesel levy will go
directly into clean air funding. It
is about action. We will not be
burning any coal to produce power by
2025. The proportion of energy
coming from renewables is about 25%.
We are actually delivering on our
promises and we have lots more to
do. It has to be done in a way which
does not put up costs. The new
technology we are bringing on is the
same cost as some of the fossil fuel
technologies. There is always more
to do. It is great you are covering
this. I think this is one of the
first live broadcast done from a
climate change Summit!
this is not a win lose trade-off, we
can save the planet and we can boost
British businesses at the same time.
And work with hundreds of other
countries who are here, many of them
are represented by heads of state
today who want to work collectively.
It is a big challenge. It will not
be easy but it is great to see
Britain's leadership here.
Enjoy the summit. Richard Madeley,
do you feel there is enough ongoing
commitment by this government to
actually meet some of the
challenges? Despite what Claire
Perry says about meeting some of the
targets, and future targets do not
look to be online.
This is not my
specialist subject but the pressure
I have is quite positive. I thought
Claire gave a good performance
there. I think she explained quite
genuinely the commitment which is
coming from the government.
the fact they don't have a cabinet
minister any more?
she dealt with that well. I am
comfortable with Britain's stance on
global warming. I think we are ahead
of the pack in many ways. I think
countries look up to us. We are
ahead of America which are not a bad
place to be after what Trump said. I
am not pessimistic. It is patchy,
obviously, but our hearts are in the
right place and our intentions are
Let's leave it there.
The UK-wide 2004 Gender
Recognition Act was originally
seen as ground-breaking.
It allowed transgender people
to apply for legal recognition
of the gender in which they lived
without undergoing either
gender reassignment surgery
or other medical treatment.
But those who've gone
through the process have argued
that the requirements placed
on applicants are still intrusive
and distressing, because it requires
a diagnosis of gender dysphoria,
a condition where a person's
biological sex and identity
does not match.
Now, the Government is considering
making that process easier,
as Ellie explains.
That is all we have got time for
this week. Make sure you tune in
again next week. Follow me on social
media. All the rest of it. Two
players out this week, we have the
Sophie Cook began
transitioning decades ago, but she
only stopped being Steve in 2015.
She now hosts a radio show in
Brighton, a few miles down the road
from Shoreham where she stood as a
Labour candidate in the general
At the point where I
transitioned, I had a point where I
either ended my life or changed it.
I had struggled with this pain since
I was seven years old, feeling
emotionally detached from who I was
and not feeling like I was the
person I was meant to be. One of the
problems is, in the past it has been
left down to doctors and judges to
rule on people's identity. No one
can actually presume to know more
about from an's identity than they
The glitzy Pink
category News awards in October,
where the Al GDT website awarded
Justine Greening politician of the
year, for her plans to reform the
Gender Recognition Act, something
her boss said she was committed to.
We have set up plans to reform the
Gender Recognition Act, streamlining
and the medical lives in the process
for changing gender. The entrance is
not an illness and it should not be
treated as such. -- being trans is
not an illness.
What people need is
a medical diagnosis of gender
dysphoria and then they need to
prove they have been in transitioned
the two years. When it is launched,
the government's consultation will
look at taking away that need for
medical diagnosis, and freed up for
the individual to self diagnose
their gender. For some there are
practical and philosophical problems
for making gender a personal choice.
Should somebody identified
themselves as a woman, they could
claim the right to be housed in a
refuge service with vulnerable women
who would find it extremely
distressing and potentially
intimidating to be housed with that
person. There is also the
possibility that people will do that
specifically to gain access, and I
don't think anything has been built
into the discussions so far that has
really taken into account the
potential for malicious use.
difficult to quantify how many
people have or are planning to
change gender. Around 300 gender
recognition certificates are granted
each year. The government said it
would launch its consultation this
autumn, but it has not yet.
We're joined now by the feminist
author Julie Bindel and Jane Fae
a campaigner on sexual liberty.
Why should it be made easier to
Because it is a dog's
breakfast at the moment and it takes
us back to where we were 40 years
ago, because 40 years ago we had a
self identification system and these
guided not moving and there were no
do you have, Julie?
First of all the
use of the word gender when we are
talking about sex. I believe that
gender is a social construct. It is
something which is imposed upon
girls at birth. It benefits boys. It
means we are supposed to behave in
particular ways that quite frankly
disadvantage us as girls and
advantage boys. When I was growing
up I had two brothers and I wanted
the freedom that they had earned the
privilege that they were given
because of the sexes and patriarch
Lee, and quite frankly, had I been
taken to a gender reassignment
clinic back in the 1970s, I would
have happily become a boy and there
was no such thing as dysphoria for
me, the dysphoria came not from a
medical condition which meant I was
born in the wrong body, but as a
girl I saw I had less freedom and
less privileges than boys and I was
treated very unfairly by the outside
Taking those points, what do
you say? Bag I'm confused. First and
foremost you are suggesting that you
know what would have happened.
a friend he was very definitely
lesbian who went to a gender
specialist and the gender specialist
sent them away. Secondly, what we
are talking about today is the
Gender Recognition Act and that has
nothing to do with what might have
happened to you back then.
due respect I have interviewed
several people who have been through
medical transition, social
transition who deeply regret it, who
were diagnosed in 20 minutes by a
psychiatrist who has been struck
off, because of several people who
went through the surgery and
hormones, and said if they had been
allowed to live in their own skin
without being bullied for being a
real boy, they would be happy. Why
are we medicalising what is clearly
a problem which is imposed by the
Let's talk about
medicalisation. Is that an issue for
you? Is there a danger in people
thinking when they are young that
they are in the wrong body and
undertaking something which is
difficult to reverse?
There are many
things in life that are difficult to
reverse and there are many things
with a far higher prevalence. There
is medicalisation, if you are aware
of transgender history, you will be
aware of attempts in the past two
oppose transition. The transgender
community does not want to recruit.
Many people with an ideology in this
are people like Julie. We need a
service which says if you're a
lesbian, your listing, if you're
trans, you are trans.
nothing to do with sexual identity.
It is to do with the issue we have
been asked to speak about, the
Gender Recognition Act which has
been the cheapest and easiest thing
that could be designed by the
government to supposedly support
trans people and in fact, completely
ignore the problem is that that
might mean for female born women.
What it would mean a self
identification, and we have to take
this to its natural conclusion,
because I have seen this happening
in other countries, when you have a
man with a beard who does not even
bother putting a bit of lipstick on
and goes along to top shop changing
rooms and says I am a woman, I self
identify as a woman, let me in now.
If I can say...
Did that really
Yes. There was a 15-year-old
girl in top shop changing rooms and
Topshop is definitely in
contradiction with the equalities
Do you accept that that could
happen, that there is a risk that if
there are men self identifying as
women, but they have not undergone
any sort of medical change, that
they could then impose themselves,
like the woman in the film said in a
woman's refuge or a changing room?
Absolutely no. If you split the law
out, the Gender Recognition Act has
zero to do with those things, that
is the equality act. If you have a
problem with that, go and reform the
equality act. The Gender Recognition
Act was constructed because of the
way the law involved. To putt people
were left stateless and in 2004 were
given gender back. It covers your
birth certificate, it covers your
ability to marry, insurance and
pensions. All of which have now been
So this is about legal
rights. What do you take away from
that discussion. Do you sympathise
with what Julie has set out and what
one of the contributors in the film
set out that it could be the logical
conclusion or is it just about
defining legal rights of people.
a 61-year-old journalist, you seem
to be saying that mostly men would
self reassign based on sexual
politics. You said as a woman you
would have re-signed because of
sexual politics because he wanted to
be a boy because you saw boys were
getting a better deal.
Or you think they will self
reassign because they want to curve
on women in top shop. Although that
may happen, the chances of that
happening are incredibly small and I
think it is I diversion.
I was in top shop a few weeks
They have had quite a big
This lovely woman in
the changing room Soltby an outfit
ii properly should have had and the
male changing room assessment said
something against selling it. The
key outtake is there are male
Let us bring it
back to the issue. You have made
that point. In terms of legal
rights, if they are improved by what
the Government is doing, would you
Everyone's should have
their legal rights protected. Women
are a protected category, Sextus
commission is a valid thing which is
why we have segregated spaces
because the law recognises sexual
violence is endemic towards women
and the main perpetrators are men.
It does not mean we are Victorian
ladies wanting smelling salts in
case we see a man near the changing
room. This is about self
identification into a protected
category. So a man can declare he is
a woman, any single bit of
legislation that protects women will
disappear for us. It will be renamed
as gender which has nothing to do
The medical construct is
problematic, it does not change
trans rights. It changes the
administration. It does not make it
any more or less likely that a man
will go into a changing room. It
takes away a panel where to get
through that panel you need £500.
You need letters from GPs, the
total cost is 450. The other thing
is to get there you need a Murtagh
years of living accounts, to do
that, you need your passport changed
to female, your driving licence
changed. By the time you have got
there, you have done all the things
you should have done. I did get my
gender surgery a year after I trial
-- I started transition. But I still
had to wait a year after in case I
change my mind.
It is about the
Is it too intrusive the process?
It has to be discussed. We have to
talk about it. Programmes like this
are important. You have raised
issues that have never occurred to
On that line about discussing it, we
couldn't even say Jane was coming on
the programme because several
transgender people will bully people
like Jane although Jane will not
giving, from discussing this.
Feminists have wanted to debate
Why do they want to shut you down?
That is relevant to this.
Why has the debate been so
People suggest it brings in place,
this is about changing the
administrative process. If I want to
put down my money in front of a
Why is it unpleasant?
It is... I really don't know. Beyond
that I think there has been an
onslaught by the media, the press
have a lot to answer for. This does
not change legal rights at all.
It changes it for women.
The press have put it out there that
it makes changes but it does not.
In a decision that has angered Leave
campaigners, the Royal Mail
has said it won't be producing
a stamp to mark the UK's departure
from the European Union.
Not least because a stamp
was produced back in 1973
to mark our accession to the
European Economic Community.
Here it is.
You would need 19 of those
for second-class post these days.
Well, should Brexit
be marked by a stamp?
Let's go to Ellie who's
on College Green.
I bet you have written your cards
but you could have been reflecting
on a busy year. And sending them off
with a Brexit stamp. Let us discuss
this. Peter, this isn't going to
happen, because the Royal Mail don't
usually commemorate political
This is a massive historical event.
In 1953, they made a bigger about,
rating going into the EU even
without a vote. This might seem
trivial. It is symbolic which is
very important. It is outrageous
they have already made this
Eloise, it did happen once before in
1973. This is a momentous event
whether you like it or not.
The reason we shouldn't waste
taxpayers's money is the process
isn't over. There are other steps in
this democratic process. We won't
leave until Parliament votes.
Otherwise we are leaving that
decision to parliaments across
Europe and I don't want to see that.
We should be using issuing stamps
that celebrate things that bring us
together like the royal wedding.
This is ridiculous. The
establishment wanted us to go in in
1973 so they commemorated it. The
establishment doesn't like the fact
we are going out which is why there
is no stamp.
Eloise makes the point it hasn't
actually happened and there are
bigger things to worry about.
She mentions taxpayers, we will be
spending billions on the EU while
we're waiting for this deal.
This is no argument. This is a
simple thing, and historic thing,
going forward into a new era, there
should be some commemoration.
If I may, this is about what people
want. They wanted Parliament to
control and what we have right now,
and I am not in denial, we have seen
what kind of Brexit this Government
wants, they haven't decided.
You don't want a Brexit.
If we can bring it to the narrow
issue of stamps.
People voted for it!
Imagine the unimaginable, we have
mocked up a few options for what the
stamp could look out if it did
It would be better that way, at
least the union Jack should be on
the top. I don't want to see the EU
in stamps that will commemorate,
even if we have them, we should not
have the stars of the EU. It is a
New and exciting.
What do you think?
In the interests of balance, we need
three examples of stamps we might
have if the British people don't
want to Brexit and if the Parliament
But they do want to Brexit.
We have a balloon floating away from
Theresa May's balloon does not have
a knot in it, it is fizzling out.
I don't want to see the stars, we
have had 14 years of that.
That is a decent compromise.
That could work.
Ripped out. Totally negative. This
is like nothing and this is still a
lie. You have to accept democracy,
Parliamentary sovereignty and
democracy and if we don't have that
vote on the final deal, we are
leaving it to other countries to
No, we are not, we voted to come
What would you like to see?
Let us wait and see until the end of
the process. This isn't done until
it is done and people don't want to
note it is yet a done deal.
We should have a big union Jack,
things to celebrate, all the things
open to us in the future and not
I will have to stop you there. A bit
like everything over Brexit, a long
process which people will talk about
over a couple of years and whether
it may or may not happen.
I am told the royal bell go through
the process of talking through
things and it takes a few years for
experts to decide what happens in
Peter is looking at me!
Brexit causing such debates!
Christmas is just the around
the corner, and there's no Christmas
tradition more cherished
than pulling a cracker
to reveal a tacky knick-knack,
flimsy paper hat and,
of course, a rubbish joke.
UK TV Gold have held a competition
to identify the best Christmas
cracker joke, with quite a few
political jokes amongst them.
Comedy critic Bruce Dessau
judged the competition.
And is ready to pull some crackers
with me and Richard now.
We have got three. You are excited?
Let us pull the cracker. Ready, go.
There goes the knick-knack, get the
joke out. I lost both.
This one came about three in the
chart, question, why did Donald
Trump continuously decorate the
Christmas tree? Answer, because
people kept saying more-on.
Why did Jeremy Corbyn asked people
not to eat sprouts on Christmas Day.
Because he wants to give peas...
And the Christmas hats?
But there is no food or alcohol.
You haven't got one?
Richard, don't pretend. You can
between each other pull the last
one. Bruce, it is you again. Shall I
get the joke out. And put the hat
Read that last joke. This actually
It came first.
Make what you will. I didn't choose
The great British public chose. Why
was Theresa May sat as Nativity
She couldn't run a stable
Strong and stable.
And which was your favourite?
I liked the Donald Trump joke.
I liked the Donald Trump joke. Are
you surprised by the high number of
political jokes and the fact they
I want if Donald Trump cent per
month in himself? It is a reflection
of what people are thinking about.
Maybe we have become a nation of
satirists. We're not a nation
Andrew Neil always used to say they
are not talking about these subjects
in the pub. But now they are. Do you
like the tradition of pulling the
Christmas crackers and the jokes
I do but I have never received a
present better than the little patch
of screwdrivers -- pack of
I have drawers full of them.
Thank you for coming in, I feel like
Christmas has started.
That's all for today.
Thanks to our guests.
The One O'Clock News is starting
over on BBC One now.
Jo Coburn is joined by broadcaster Richard Madeley to discuss the reaction to the agreement on the first stage of the Brexit negotiations with former Cabinet Office minister Oliver Letwin. Plus the climate summit in Paris and whether there should be a commemorative stamp for when the UK leaves the EU.