05/02/2018 Daily Politics


05/02/2018

Jo Coburn is joined by Luciana Berger MP and Robert Halfon MP to discuss Brexit ahead of talks this week. Plus discussion around the future of the NHS and a look at the week ahead.


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Transcript


LineFromTo

Hello, and welcome

to The Daily Politics.

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The EU's chief negotiator arrives

in London later today at the start

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of a big week for the Brexit process

- so will we get any more clarity

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on the shape of our future

relationship with the EU?

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What will happen at the Borders

after Brexit? Downing Street rules

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out any form of customs union with

the EU so what will our arrangements

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look like?

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A panel of health experts recommends

scrapping National Insurance

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in favour of a new ring-fenced tax

to fund the NHS and social care.

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So is this the answer to

the problems in the health service?

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After Jacob Rees-Mogg is caught up

in a scuffle at a speaking event,

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the Conservative Party launches

a petition to protect free speech

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and says it will bring forward

new laws against intimidation

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of political candidates.

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Does history A-Level

have a pro-Tory bias?

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One Labour MP thinks so and has

taken to her soapbox.

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The Conservatives are quite

literally rewriting history.

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All that in the next hour,

and with us for the whole

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of the programme today the Labour MP

Luciana Berger and Conservative

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MP Robert Halfon -

welcome to you both.

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First today, after protesters

disrupted a speech by Conservative

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MP Jacob Rees-Mogg at a student

event in Bristol over the weekend,

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ways to combat the intimidation

and abuse of MPs is back

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on the agenda.

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On yesterday's Sunday Politics

Conservative Chairman Brandon Lewis

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spoke to Sarah Smith about what more

could be done to protect our

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elected representatives.

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We are going to change the law

to make it against the law

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for people to intimidate people.

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Part of that is allowing local

election candidates to not have

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to put their home address.

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As we saw in the last elections,

people having abuse in their homes.

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But also, from the Conservative

Party point of view,

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internally we are going to have,

as I launched a few weeks ago,

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a respect pledge that

all our candidates will sign up to.

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If they breach that code

we will suspend them,

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and we will investigate it.

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I'm disappointed that,

some four weeks in, the Labour

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leadership still have not stepped up

to the plate to do

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the right thing on this.

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Luciana, why won't Jeremy Corbyn and

the Labour Party sign up to this new

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code of conduct?

The Conservatives

are bringing forward their own code

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of conduct. If the Labour Party

brings one forward I would welcome

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it. It would be a very positive step

forward. The proposals being put

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forward today to ensure that council

candidates don't have to put their

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addresses on the ballot paper is

very important, and also ensuring we

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have measures in place to protect

all candidates. At the moment laws

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protect voters which is important to

make sure they aren't intimidated

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but as we've seen in recent

elections, intimidation takes place

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and we should be doing everything to

mitigate against it.

But we do have

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extensive laws that exist already to

protect people from abuse and

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intimidation. Why do we need more

legislation is?

The laws aren't

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working and the climate has got

incredibly bad. I've fought five

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elections, I've been a candidate

since 1999. It's dramatically

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different now. In my constituency

we've had people painting on walls

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if volunteers put up posters,

painting on the house, not just

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wrecking the poster.

Wouldn't that

come under the Public order act?

It

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doesn't seem to be working. People

can write whatever they want on

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social media, quite libellous stuff.

This isn't just about candidates or

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electoral representatives, it's also

about the activities against

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volunteers or members of parties

being intimidated.

Intimidation is

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what exactly? Who would judge the

intimidating behaviour? Would it be

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the recipient or people passing by?

Common sense. If someone is being

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harassed, if someone paints

something on someone's house, if

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someone threatens to have their

friends burnt down because they are

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displaying a Conservative poster and

it is then burned down -- fence is

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burnt down. Social media is

important too.

Luciana, you had an

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online troll and he directed vicious

anti-Semitic threats against you

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continually, and he was jailed. Did

the legislation not work in that

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instance?

I've had three people that

have been jailed for online abuse,

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sadly. The challenge with those

cases is that they took a really

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long time to get to court. We are

talking about in one case, close to

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two years. The challenge at election

time is what can be done to ensure

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we protect all candidates and

everything in the election process

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which happens in a much shorter time

than current legislation exists for.

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If you are in a newspaper or book

and you publish something

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defamatory, you can see the

publisher. Whereas with Facebook and

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Twitter, they can have stuff on it

that can be trolling and bullying

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and is very difficult to do

something about.

You would like the

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publisher to be responsible?

And the

perpetrator.

Lets take the example

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of Jacob Rees-Mogg. You will have

seen the pictures of the scuffle

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that broke out protesting against

his presence and his speech. Would

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you have regarded that as

intimidating behaviour that would be

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prosecuted under a new law?

Jacob

has said himself it was a tough

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protest but protest should be

allowed.

How did you view it before

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he said anything?

People who turn up

in masks and stop any kind of debate

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and discourse, and looks like it's

going to become violent, you have to

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judge things on common sense. I

believe in protest and

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demonstration, but it has to be

fair. You have to make sure all the

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arguments are heard. These people

wanted to stop Jacob Rees-Mogg from

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speaking out. What do you think

there is a danger that bringing in

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new legislation is actually going to

stifle that sort of debate and

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protest? There's intimidation but

there is also trying to drown

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somebody out. If they were trying to

stop in speaking at all, I think

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these things can be judged on a

case-by-case basis and I think

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common sense can be applied. It's

pretty easy to see what has happened

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on this occasion, but the law needs

to be tougher for the reasons we

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talked about.

I want to ensure that

anyone who's interested in taking

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part in public life is able to do

so. I think people seeing some of

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what has happened, particularly in

the wake of the referendum on

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Brexit, but we do everything

possible to create environments

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where people from every walk of life

feel able to put forward. When

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speaking to a younger audience

recently, I can understand why they

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might not want to and we should be

doing ever been possible to

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encourage people to put themselves

forward.

What about at atmosphere

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within your own party, how should

that be handled when Barack claims

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made about sexist and anti-Semitic

behaviour -- how should that be

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handled when claims are made?

There

is a number of serious high-profile

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cases waiting to be heard and I

don't think that administration

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should be impediment to taking

action.

The problem is Jeremy Corbyn

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and John McDonald gives the

appearance of turning a blind eye.

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They never come out out rightly and

condemn political intimidation.

They

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say they do, of course.

John

McDonald has called for zero

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tolerance on anti-Semitism, and I

want to see that put into action and

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the NEC addressing what is a serious

backlog of cases.

We'll leave it

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there.

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Now it's time for our daily quiz.

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The question for today

is what is the Labour Party planning

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to launch this summer?

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Was it...

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A - Their manifesto

for the next general election.

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B - A policy paper

on manhole covers.

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C - A Blairite rival

to campaign group Momentum.

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D - Jeremy Corbyn music festival.

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At the end of the show Luciana

and Robert will give

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us the correct answer.

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The government has categorically

ruled out staying in any form

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of customs union with the EU.

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This comes as Michel Barnier,

the EU's chief Brexit negotiator,

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is expected to arrive

in Downing Street within the hour

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for talks with the Brexit Secretary

David Davis and Theresa May.

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Later this week, there

will be two meetings

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of the so-called Brexit War Cabinet,

where senior ministers

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will try to come to an agreement

on what our future relationship

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with the EU should look like.

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Last night, a Downing Street source

said: "We are categorically

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leaving the customs union."

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The EU's customs union

is an arrangement where goods can

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move freely inside the union

but tariffs are applied on products

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coming in from outside countries.

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The Downing Street source further

clarified the government's position

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by saying: "It is not our policy

to stay in a customs union."

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But the Home Secretary Amber Rudd

told the BBC yesterday

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that the government has an "open

mind" about entering "a customs

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arrangement or a customs

partnership" with the EU.

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And back in January last year,

Theresa May used her Lancaster House

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speech to say: "I do want us

to have a customs

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agreement with the EU."

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But the government's

latest announcement

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on the customs union comes

after pressure from Brexiteers.

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Yesterday, the Conservative MP

Bernard Jenkin said that ministers

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are "vague" and "divided" over

Brexit.

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He also accused the Chancellor

Philip Hammond of failing

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to advocate the government's policy

on the customs union.

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And this morning, The Times

is reporting that the government

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is considering "a time-limited

extension to elements

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of the existing customs union".

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Joining me now from Reading is

the Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan.

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Welcome to The Daily Politics. The

government have ruled out staying in

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the customs union or a customs

union, but they might want to be in

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a customs partnership or a customs

agreement with the EU. It's about as

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clear as mud, isn't it?

I think it's

clearer than mud. The reason we are

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leaving the customs union is because

if we are in the customs union, we

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give Brussels 100% control of our

trade policy without having any

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input into it. That would leave us

worse off than staying where we are

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as members. 90% of the growth of

this century is coming from outside

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the EU. Britain needs to be where

those markets are. All along it was

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clear, in the Lancaster House

speech, in the policy papers, and in

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this new Department of International

trade, that we were doing our rain

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trade policy. What does a customs

arrangement mean? That means

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procedures that facilitate the

smooth and frictionless flow of

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goods across borders. For example,

there is something little remarked

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upon but critical called the common

Customs Convention, which covers all

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EU countries as well as a lot of

Balkan countries and Turkey which

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provides the goods to be transported

without having to show paperwork at

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borders within the EU. That's the

kind of thing Britain should stay in

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because we want to have a deal that

makes it as easy as possible to move

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goods around.

This doesn't exist,

this deal, this customs arrangement

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that you have described. This would

be a special arrangement that the EU

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would have to agree to an British

terms, but as you say would allow

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them still to strike their own free

trade deals. But, have frictionless

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trade with perhaps certain goods in

certain sectors. At the moment this

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doesn't exist.

Be common customs

convention is in fourth now. It

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covers relationships between the EU

and Switzerland. Over a million

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people cross the Swiss border every

day. Because it's on a major haulage

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route...

Switzerland participates in

the single market and signed up to

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roars of freedom of movement.

Yes,

but it's clearly outside the customs

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union. The single market is a

different question. Switzerland and

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the Norway- Sweden border are

examples of how you can have fairly

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frictionless borders even now. But

yes, we could go further. To be

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frank, I think the residual 50 dual

physical checks you get even on

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about 50% of...

Which doesn't exist

in Ireland at the moment.

The reason

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those things are there is because

they were already there. You've got

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a unionised customs workforce.

Starting from modern technology,

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with what we have now, both our HMRC

and the Irish equivalent, both heads

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of those organisations have made

very clear that an under any

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situation there can be a customs

declaration.

Is it really sensible

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to leave the customs union right now

anyway?

Absolutely critical.

At the

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moment the EU makes up nearly half

of our trade. What solid evidence is

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there that any trade we lose with

the EU can be made up quickly by

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trade deals with countries like

America and China?

This is begging

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the question, the EU accounts for

44% of our trade because we are in a

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customs union at artificially

redirected our trade away from

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global markets.

What evidence do you

have that it will make up our volume

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of trade that we currently have?

Where is the evidence to say that

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those free-trade deals will match or

exceed what we currently have?

What

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we want is to have continued

frictionless movement of goods and

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services with the EU, but greater

opportunity to sign our trade deals

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with the world's biggest economy the

US, the second-biggest economy

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China, which the EU doesn't at the

moment.

George Osborne says the

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figures

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figures don't add up. The analysis

that was leaked last week, the row

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over the papers about how much

growth would decrease by under any

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of these scenarios. On the one they

were talking about leaving the

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customs union and going on to WTO

terms would increase growth by 8%

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over 15 years. A trade deal would

only increase by 0.2%. That is a

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huge difference.

The same officials

said that after a leave vote our GDP

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would shrink, it has actually grown.

They said there would be more

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unemployed people and there has been

a fall of half a million. For give

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me if I'm a little sceptical about

the same people who blatantly have a

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preferred outcome having an analysis

that supports their preference.

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Britain is a global country. A world

trade. We have been artificially

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penalised, more than any other

country by the customs union because

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we are usually the only country in

the EU that trade more outside the

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EU ban within it. When we have the

freedom to do that again, people

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will see the price of goods fall,

and we are better off because we

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have more money to spend to

stimulate the economy in other

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areas.

When you talk about people

putting out the analysis, do you

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agree with Jacob Rees-Mogg that

there is an in-built bias, that they

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are fiddling the figures?

All humans

have a tendency to read figures in a

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particular way. All of ours are

subject to confirmation bias and

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these ascendancy is. That doesn't

stop being true because you work for

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the Treasury. The trick in politics

I've learned is direct nice that in

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yourself and correct it. I don't

think that has been going on in this

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case?

So you believe there is

in-built bias and they are fiddling

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the figures and it is not a true

picture of what is going on?

They

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have been totally wrong so far in

what has happened over the last two

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years. An impartial assessment might

be let's go back and look at some of

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the underlying assumptions made. The

fact that the British economy has

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grown in defiance of what they have

said might lead them to challenge

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prejudices. They haven't done that

and have come out with the same

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flawed analysis but they did during

the referendum. I'm not saying this

0:17:200:17:25

is deliberately from fiddling the

figures. If you judge to get away

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from predictions and look at fact,

if you judge what they have said

0:17:330:17:36

against what has happened it is very

difficult to take this new analysis

0:17:360:17:40

seriously.

Robert Halfon, Amber Rudd

said that the government hasn't been

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intimidated by Brexiteers, but they

have within hours of the weekend's

0:17:460:17:54

briefings capitulated on the customs

union. Are they running scared?

I

0:17:540:18:01

voted remain because I thought it

was right to be part of an alliance

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of democracies. We didn't vote to be

in parts of it, we voted to leave

0:18:060:18:10

the EU.

My question was are they

running scared of the Brexiteers and

0:18:100:18:14

putting pressure on Theresa May?

In

the Lancaster house speech, she said

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that she was going to leave the

customs union. She said this before.

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I don't believe it is some dramatic

change in position.

So why does

0:18:250:18:30

Jacob Rees-Mogg feel the need to

brief in a particular direction?

He

0:18:300:18:35

was talking about the forecasts not

just about the customs union.

Is

0:18:350:18:39

there a need for him to brief in the

way he has against either the

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Treasury or the civil service?

People have their own view about the

0:18:440:18:49

Treasury predictions, some of them

have been wrong in the past, no one

0:18:490:18:52

actually knows what is going to

happen once we leave the European

0:18:520:18:55

Union but we have to get on with it.

What the government needs to do, the

0:18:550:19:00

Prime Minister needs to do, is to

set out the policies, everybody

0:19:000:19:04

should speak with the same hymn

sheet and go out there and sell it

0:19:040:19:07

to the public who voted to leave.

Luciano, do you believe it is time

0:19:070:19:13

for Labour Party to take a firmer

line on the customs union? Vince

0:19:130:19:19

Cable said you are colluding with

Brexit by allowing this to happen?

I

0:19:190:19:26

have been to a front bench awayday

to discuss these issues, faced with

0:19:260:19:30

the prospect of ten years of

posterity as the leaked reports

0:19:300:19:34

indicate, I would anticipate that

our front bench will come out very

0:19:340:19:38

strongly in favour of a customs

union because anything else, as a

0:19:380:19:44

constituency MP, I think it is going

to be disastrous in terms of job and

0:19:440:19:48

our economy.

Would you support that

line? Do you think they should be

0:19:480:19:53

doing it now?

Imminently, there is

going to be this awayday when they

0:19:530:19:58

go to look at the evidence. Keir

Starmer has said that he wants to

0:19:580:20:05

look closely at the evidence, it is

a result of a Labour motion that we

0:20:050:20:09

will be able to access and to see

that information and those reports.

0:20:090:20:13

That's critical to arrive at doing

what will be the very best for our

0:20:130:20:17

country.

One of the risks of coming

out of any sort of customs union

0:20:170:20:23

with the EU is this hard border. The

issue of the hard border with

0:20:230:20:28

Ireland. Dan Hanlan said that there

should be ways to get around this

0:20:280:20:32

but do you accept that there

wouldn't be a majority of MPs that

0:20:320:20:35

would vote for a deal in that

meaningful vote of coming out of the

0:20:350:20:40

customs union?

I don't know how

people are going to vote on the day.

0:20:400:20:43

We had a majority to leave the EU.

We had a majority to trigger Article

0:20:430:20:50

50. I passionately believe because

the country voted for it and even

0:20:500:20:54

though I voted against it, we should

get on with it and leave the EU.

0:20:540:20:59

Whether the consequences are good or

not. We have to have a clear message

0:20:590:21:03

to sell to the public?

Has Theresa

May set out clearly what she has

0:21:030:21:08

meant?

I thought she has in terms of

the speeches made at forums and

0:21:080:21:14

Lancaster house and I believe there

is going to be another speech in the

0:21:140:21:17

near future. We need tablets of

stone from Mount Sinai and every

0:21:170:21:22

single Cabinet minister needs to

read from those tablets of stone.

0:21:220:21:27

The leaving the EU Commandments and

how we are going to do it so we all

0:21:270:21:31

speak in the same way and sell to

the public how exactly we are

0:21:310:21:34

leaving.

The problem is getting an

agreement on what those tablets of

0:21:340:21:38

stone should be.

Amber Rudd says

there is much more unity than is

0:21:380:21:43

reported in the depressed.

I can't

be Brexit at any cost. The road we

0:21:430:21:48

are going down at the moment is that

the consequences will be absolutely

0:21:480:21:53

fatal.

You have no evidence for

that.

0:21:530:22:03

that.

People are reducing production

because of Brexit.

Daniel Hannan,

0:22:030:22:12

people have a priori deigned

position in their mind regarding

0:22:120:22:15

Brexit. So Donnell has said that

Brexiteers are snake all salesman.

0:22:150:22:24

It proves the point about whether

people have a set point in their

0:22:240:22:27

mind.

Does it undermine the position

of the civil service?

It made clear

0:22:270:22:33

where he is coming from. I don't

think it is fair to most civil

0:22:330:22:37

servants. I don't think anyone would

deny that the majority of our

0:22:370:22:41

officials voted remain but most of

them are patriotic he doing their

0:22:410:22:45

best...

Is he a snake oil salesman?

I don't think it's fair that we say

0:22:450:22:54

that. I think it is important that

we recognise it was a big narrow

0:22:540:23:01

vote and that has consequences of

replicating aspects of the single

0:23:010:23:05

market, an transition, on migration.

There is no argument whatever, none,

0:23:050:23:11

for allowing Brussels to control our

trade policy when we have no say

0:23:110:23:14

over what that should be. Even

worse, when Brussels controls our

0:23:140:23:21

trade policy, this is what a customs

union with Turkey means, the result

0:23:210:23:26

is Brussels can make you make

concessions without any obligations

0:23:260:23:30

on the other country to reciprocate.

It is the worst of all possible

0:23:300:23:36

worlds. It is incredible that people

are recommending it.

If the EU

0:23:360:23:41

rejects your scenario, what is more

important, being part of a customs

0:23:410:23:45

union to continue frictionless trade

or the freedom to strike free trade

0:23:450:23:49

agreements with other countries?

No

question, total freedom to strike

0:23:490:23:55

FTAs. Almost all the growth in the

world is coming outside of Europe.

0:23:550:24:00

There is no risk of a hard border.

All the people saying listen to the

0:24:000:24:05

experts are not listening to the

experts on why we don't need a hard

0:24:050:24:08

border.

0:24:080:24:18

And for more reporting

and analysis of Brexit,

0:24:210:24:23

check out the BBC News

website, that's bbc.co.uk/brexit.

0:24:230:24:24

Would you be willing to pay

a separate ring-fenced tax that

0:24:240:24:27

would only be spent on the NHS

and social care?

0:24:270:24:29

That's one of the main suggestions

put forward by a panel

0:24:290:24:32

of experts commissioned

by the Liberal Democrats to look

0:24:320:24:34

into the future of health care.

0:24:340:24:36

They've just published their report

and some of the other

0:24:360:24:38

recommendations include:

A real-terms funding increase

0:24:380:24:40

of £4 billion in 2018-19.

0:24:400:24:41

The creation of a new Office

for Budget Responsibility

0:24:410:24:43

for Health, and the introduction

of incentives to encourage people

0:24:430:24:45

to save towards social care.

0:24:450:24:47

With me now is one of the report

authors Clare Gerada -

0:24:470:24:49

she who used to be Chair

of the Royal College of GPs.

0:24:490:24:52

She is also now a Liberal

Democrat supporter.

0:24:520:24:55

Welcome back to the daily politics.

Is this just a way to deceive

0:24:550:25:07

voters?

That was said a number of

years ago. As a layperson in this,

0:25:070:25:16

in terms of fiscal policy, I was

invited onto the committee to have a

0:25:160:25:21

look at all the options available to

have some more sustainable secure

0:25:210:25:24

and really even fund for the NHS.

Having looked at the reports from

0:25:240:25:32

various think tanks, one of the best

solutions that myself and the group

0:25:320:25:37

came to after deliberating for about

18 months was that a ring fenced tax

0:25:370:25:41

made up from general taxation, made

up from increase in national

0:25:410:25:46

insurance pay for those over 65 or

60 that are still working, seem to

0:25:460:25:51

be the fairest and best way of

having sustainable funding for the

0:25:510:25:55

NHS.

One of the writ is as is from

the IFF and Paul Johnson is when we

0:25:550:26:01

are in good times there is increased

funding into the NHS. When we have a

0:26:010:26:11

financial crash, those receipts will

go down and so will funding for the

0:26:110:26:14

NHS.

Yes. I've now worked for the

NHS for 40 years, we go from feast

0:26:140:26:21

or famine and every political cycle.

It's an impossible place to work.

0:26:210:26:27

It's an impossible situation to

working. There are advantages and

0:26:270:26:36

disadvantages from a bifurcated tax

but the BBC is funded from a

0:26:360:26:42

hypothecated tax. I can see whether

spending is going. I can take part

0:26:420:26:45

in the good and discussion.

Has it

got your support?

I wrote about this

0:26:450:26:52

with Nick Boles and Nick Soames in

the sun. I think it's important that

0:26:520:26:58

it should be accompanied by a

10-year plan so that people know

0:26:580:27:01

what the money is going to be spent

on. I think every ten years,

0:27:010:27:06

perhaps, we should look at ideas in

consultation with the British people

0:27:060:27:10

online or by a referendum, but with

a guarantee of a real terms increase

0:27:100:27:16

what ever happens, feast or famine.

The debate would be how much above

0:27:160:27:20

that real terms increase it would

be. I think it is something all

0:27:200:27:25

parties should support.

Will the

Treasury back it?

Jeremy Hunt has

0:27:250:27:31

talked about a 10-year plan for the

NHS. He's not the Chancellor. It's

0:27:310:27:35

been supported by many conservatives

and people in Parliament. We have to

0:27:350:27:41

have regular real terms annual

increases in the NHS, 10-year plan,

0:27:410:27:46

and a hypothecated tax that deals

with social care.

Are you convinced

0:27:460:27:51

by a hyper the gated tax?

We're

having this because we haven't had

0:27:510:27:56

the investment since the coalition

government of 2010. We have a crisis

0:27:560:28:01

in the NHS which says only today we

are having to cancel urgent

0:28:010:28:09

operations even if they are on the

list. We haven't seen a 4% increase

0:28:090:28:13

that we saw under Labour go into the

NHS, of course the NHS should be put

0:28:130:28:18

on a sustainable footing.

The

government has announced a further

0:28:180:28:22

£10 billion funding. Even your own

hospital in Liverpool, doctors have

0:28:220:28:27

gone up.

My mental health service

has been cut by 43%.

While we are

0:28:270:28:36

trading statistics, do you support

the idea of it being had by the

0:28:360:28:40

gated? That seems that everybody

seems that it is supporting an

0:28:400:28:49

increase.

I don't support a

hypothecated tax. I didn't trust

0:28:490:28:57

them to top it up.

Of course you

would say that as a Labour MP but

0:28:570:29:04

even those in the Conservatives,

Gavin Barwell, close adviser to

0:29:040:29:08

Theresa May said we have lost the

issue of the NHS.

He's completely

0:29:080:29:14

wrong about that. I've said that

publicly. What I want is a 10-year

0:29:140:29:18

plan for the NHS, a hypothecated tax

and consultation with the British

0:29:180:29:24

people and an annual real term

increase. What you have done is

0:29:240:29:28

incredibly important. What we should

do is unite with all political

0:29:280:29:32

parties to find a common solution

for the NHS problem.

How much would

0:29:320:29:37

you spend if you don't trust the

hypothecated tax being run by the

0:29:370:29:42

Conservatives? How much of our GDP

as a percentage should be spent on

0:29:420:29:47

health?

The one proposal I support

is having an independent body to

0:29:470:29:51

independently assess and appraise

how much our NHS needs in the same

0:29:510:29:55

way as we have the budget

responsibility board. I think that's

0:29:550:29:59

really important to make sure that

the NHS and social care together

0:29:590:30:03

have enough funding on a sustainable

footing. That's what we don't have

0:30:030:30:07

at the moment. We've seen cuts to

our health services and our

0:30:070:30:12

communities as well which sees more

people present with community and

0:30:120:30:14

health care needs.

0:30:140:30:20

Do you accept radical reform has to

go hand-in-hand with any increase in

0:30:200:30:24

funding, because otherwise there

won't ever be enough money.

We had

0:30:240:30:28

radical reform in 2012 and it's

created many of the problems we see

0:30:280:30:33

today. I think we need reform of the

1911 insurance act because in 1911

0:30:330:30:41

-year-old at 50. Now you're all that

85. At 60 I will pay to reduce

0:30:410:30:46

contributions for National Insurance

and that 605I will pay none, despite

0:30:460:30:50

the fact I'm working, is ridiculous

and an insult to those of my

0:30:500:30:55

children's age.

Would you support

that?

It would be something we could

0:30:550:31:00

look at. These are things which we

need all get together to work out

0:31:000:31:04

different solutions to. I don't

think we can give an answer today in

0:31:040:31:08

terms of how we reform the NHS. It's

incredibly complex. What we don't

0:31:080:31:14

want is organisational restructure

is. What about Sarah Wollaston, who

0:31:140:31:18

chairs the health select committee

and suggested people over 40

0:31:180:31:21

earnings that incomes should pay

more.

0:31:210:31:27

When we work out how that

hypothecated tax works, we have to

0:31:270:31:31

answer all these questions. I want

to make sure it's fair. Young people

0:31:310:31:35

also need the help service.

We

should be paying a social care tax

0:31:350:31:40

and I think is that kicks in at

around the age of 40. We also need

0:31:400:31:44

to be looking at how we glean ideas

for what the NHS should fund. At the

0:31:440:31:49

moment it goes from feast to famine.

I agree with Luciana, I think we

0:31:490:31:56

need an independent body, clearly

made up of politicians because you

0:31:560:32:00

are our elected representatives, but

with others. This idea that the NHS

0:32:000:32:07

as a GP gets kicked around as a

political football, it must stop.

If

0:32:070:32:13

we are going to have a hypothecated

tax, we also need to consult with

0:32:130:32:17

the British people.

They will have

to pay for their health care in some

0:32:170:32:21

way so we might as well pay for it

through taxation which is the

0:32:210:32:25

fairest way to pay.

We only have to

look at the people who took to the

0:32:250:32:29

streets this weekend to the NHS is

in crisis. This is an important

0:32:290:32:35

conversation about the medium and

long-term health of the NHS. We are

0:32:350:32:38

in a crisis and we urgently need the

government to address it, and they

0:32:380:32:42

aren't doing that.

Thank you.

0:32:420:32:45

Now, as I said, it's a busy week

in Westminster with Brexit likely

0:32:450:32:48

to be the main focus.

0:32:480:32:49

Here's a rundown of the main stories

over the next few days.

0:32:490:32:52

Tomorrow morning the work

and pensions select committee

0:32:520:32:54

will give the former bosses

at the construction giant

0:32:540:32:56

Carillion a grilling.

0:32:560:32:57

The company, which holds a large

number of government contracts,

0:32:570:33:00

went into liquidation last month.

0:33:000:33:03

Wednesday sees Theresa May

and Jeremy Corbyn have their weekly

0:33:030:33:06

dual at PMQs, and also as we've been

hearing the Brexit Cabinet sub

0:33:060:33:09

committee, set up to decide

the government's negotiation

0:33:090:33:11

strategy, meets to try

to thrash out what they want

0:33:110:33:13

the final deal to look like.

0:33:130:33:20

It's such an important

issue the committee meets

0:33:200:33:22

again on the Thursday

where the Prime Minister will hope

0:33:220:33:25

an agreement can finally be reached

and then on Friday MPs get

0:33:250:33:28

a well-earned half-term break

with the House rising for recess.

0:33:280:33:36

We're joined now by Anushka Asthana

of The Guardian and Sam

0:33:360:33:38

Coates of The Times.

0:33:380:33:42

You are braving the freezing cold

weather. First of all, Anushka, what

0:33:420:33:48

do you make of the reports saying

that Brexiteers are close to

0:33:480:33:54

challenging Theresa May for the

leadership?

I think they are trying

0:33:540:33:57

to remind the Prime Minister that

while there may not be a

0:33:570:34:01

Parliamentary majority for the type

of Brexit they are seeking, there

0:34:010:34:04

are clearly enough Brexiteers on her

backbenchers to topple her. You only

0:34:040:34:08

need 48 to send letters to start a

Tory leadership election. They don't

0:34:080:34:12

want to do that but they are quite

annoyed at the moment. If you things

0:34:120:34:17

have got them really annoyed, one is

Philip Hammond talking about modest

0:34:170:34:21

changes after Brexit. The other is

government legislation going through

0:34:210:34:26

at the moment that they think leaves

open the idea we could stay in a

0:34:260:34:30

customs union. That is why they are

starting to create a lot of noise,

0:34:300:34:35

ahead of those two big war cabinets

later in the week.

Will this

0:34:350:34:39

announcement from Number 10 or a

source, say that the UK will

0:34:390:34:47

categorically be outside a customs

union, will that cause Brexiteers to

0:34:470:34:52

take stock?

I'm not sure it's a

massive advance on what we thought

0:34:520:34:55

was happening anyway. I think you

can see the outline of some kind of

0:34:550:34:59

compromise on customs that could be

agreed as early as this week. You've

0:34:590:35:04

got a concession from the Remainers.

Philip Hammond would say I accept

0:35:040:35:08

the need for Britain to strike

free-trade deals in the future and

0:35:080:35:11

to be enough out of the customs

union to do that. But we ask the

0:35:110:35:16

Brexiteers and the war Cabinet has

an thing too. We want them to make

0:35:160:35:20

sure we don't do things

precipitously that might cause an

0:35:200:35:23

economic shock in the meantime. He

wants to make sure we don't pull out

0:35:230:35:27

of the customs union arrangements to

seem. I think you are seeing the

0:35:270:35:30

outline of a compromise that will

see us staying in some of the

0:35:300:35:35

structures of the customs union for

a little while longer and then

0:35:350:35:39

Philip Hammond conceding in the end

we have to come out of them but not

0:35:390:35:42

for quite a while. The debate you

saw last night is a bit of a

0:35:420:35:47

sideshow. Everyone thought they

understood it but it's what lies

0:35:470:35:51

beneath that is important. Both

sides will be focused on that.

0:35:510:35:57

Anushka, Amber Rudd said yesterday

the government won't be intimidated

0:35:570:36:00

by the likes of Jacob Rees-Mogg and

other Brexiteers. In the end she

0:36:000:36:04

could find a path through the

warring sides and hold onto being

0:36:040:36:09

Prime Minister.

I think if you look

back to what she said in her

0:36:090:36:14

Lancaster House speech which was

quite significant, as Sam said, it

0:36:140:36:17

wasn't quite black or white. She

talked about the possibility of some

0:36:170:36:23

sort of associate membership of

parts of the customs union. The key,

0:36:230:36:27

and this really is key and is what

the Brexiteers want to hold onto, is

0:36:270:36:35

that the Prime Minister said there

won't be any external tariff that we

0:36:350:36:38

accept. We went to be part of the

common commercial policy which means

0:36:380:36:40

we will be able to strike trade

deals with other countries. The

0:36:400:36:46

government's public position on that

hasn't actually changed but there's

0:36:460:36:49

a lot of scepticism around whether

Treasury officials want to go

0:36:490:36:52

further than that. If she sticks to

what she said in the Lancaster House

0:36:520:36:57

speech, perhaps they could get

towards the sort of compromise plan

0:36:570:37:00

is talking about.

It's all about

getting the Cabinet on board. Where

0:37:000:37:04

is the biggest dividing line in

terms of personalities within the

0:37:040:37:07

Cabinet on bringing them together to

have this public statement on where

0:37:070:37:12

the UK's position should be?

The

division within the War Cabinet is

0:37:120:37:17

where it's always been. Michael

Gove, Boris Johnson on one side,

0:37:170:37:21

Philip Hammond and Amber Rudd on the

other. Michael Gove is thought by

0:37:210:37:28

some in Downing Street to be a bit

more emollient than Boris Johnson.

0:37:280:37:32

Can I dispute the main point of the

question. I'm not sure that where

0:37:320:37:37

the Cabinet is is actually the

biggest question we face. The

0:37:370:37:41

Cabinet could come up with an

agreement. We could hear cheering

0:37:410:37:45

from all around us and then Europe

says no. The problem with a fudge is

0:37:450:37:49

I'm not sure it passes muster in

Brussels. Whatever agreement they

0:37:490:37:55

come to this week must then hit the

cold hard reality of the

0:37:550:37:59

negotiation. If you get rejected,

that's where things get difficult.

0:37:590:38:03

Are you expecting an announcement

from Labour to clearly state that

0:38:030:38:06

they would like the country to stay

in a customs union with the EU to

0:38:060:38:12

continue frictionless trade and

avoid a hard border in Ireland?

It's

0:38:120:38:17

very clear that Labour needs to get

their position on this set in stone

0:38:170:38:21

as well. There are some

disagreements. They have an away day

0:38:210:38:24

planned that which some of these

issues will be discussed. People

0:38:240:38:28

around the leadership insist there's

not going to be an absolute hard and

0:38:280:38:32

fast decision coming out of that.

Others in that other Cabinet say

0:38:320:38:35

this is an issue they will need to

get right. Part of the reason they

0:38:350:38:39

need to get it right is a lot of

legislation going through Parliament

0:38:390:38:44

in which parties will have to put

forward what is their position on

0:38:440:38:48

exactly this issue. Although I do

think the idea of a customs union or

0:38:480:38:55

the customs union is a bit too

simplistic from where the country

0:38:550:38:59

will be eventually negotiating.

Where Theresa May gets away with it

0:38:590:39:02

so far is some might argue that she

is saying she wants this close as

0:39:020:39:07

possible arrangement but she also

says we aren't going to meet the

0:39:070:39:10

obligations the EU might demand in

order to get that arrangement. As

0:39:100:39:14

some have put it, a cake and eating

it scenario. The question is, what

0:39:140:39:18

happens if you had to come down one

way or the other?

I will let you

0:39:180:39:24

both get warm.

0:39:240:39:26

Let's pick up on some of those

points with my guests.

0:39:260:39:29

Luciana, it's clear where you stand

on the issue of Brexit and you would

0:39:290:39:33

like the Labour Party to pronounce a

clear policy of staying in the

0:39:330:39:37

customs union, or a customs union.

If they don't, what will you and

0:39:370:39:41

your colleagues do?

I understand the

awayday that Anushka referred to is

0:39:410:39:47

coming up soon.

If they don't, and

there's no evidence they will

0:39:470:39:50

necessarily up with a clear policy,

what will you do with Chuka Umunna,

0:39:500:39:55

Heidi Alexander?

I want everyone to

look closely at the evidence. In the

0:39:550:40:00

wake of the vote we had in

Parliament last week that means

0:40:000:40:08

evidence is presented to the select

committee, Keir Starmer wants to

0:40:080:40:12

look at that evidence. I would

anticipate looking at that evidence,

0:40:120:40:17

that faced with what I expect to be

ten years of austerity, that we will

0:40:170:40:23

see some decisions made from the

front bench. There are different

0:40:230:40:26

views. Amongst the front bench

they've got to come to a decision.

0:40:260:40:30

It is for them to arrive at that

decision. I think faced with the

0:40:300:40:35

evidence Sir Keir Starmer wanted to

see, that that's the decision they

0:40:350:40:38

will arrive that.

When it comes to

the meaningful vote later this year,

0:40:380:40:43

Labour MPs like yourself vote down a

deal that includes Britain remaining

0:40:430:40:47

in the customs union, what happens

then? If the vote is lost by the

0:40:470:40:52

government, what do you think

happens?

We've got obviously a

0:40:520:40:58

number of months to go before that

fateful take place. There's a number

0:40:580:41:02

of different steps to go through.

There's the committee stage which

0:41:020:41:05

will be an opportunity for many MPs

to contribute to. That is a long way

0:41:050:41:10

off. There's an opportunity as both

the opposition and the government to

0:41:100:41:14

ensure we are doing the best for the

country. That's what I'll be looking

0:41:140:41:18

forward to.

Would you expect Labour

to be pulling ahead in the polls by

0:41:180:41:22

now?

We know that politics is very

fluid. We only have to look at the

0:41:220:41:27

polls at the last general

election...

They've been on level

0:41:270:41:29

pegging for quite a long time.

If we

look at the polls for the 2017

0:41:290:41:34

general election, the result that

came out of that was different to

0:41:340:41:38

what the polls told us. I don't

believe anything I read in the

0:41:380:41:40

polls.

Do you still feel that issues

that are important to voters, the

0:41:400:41:48

NHS, housing, education, are being

stifled by Brexit?

I think Brexit

0:41:480:41:52

takes over everything and our small

majority doesn't help, but I think

0:41:520:41:57

it's vital we get onto those issues

of the NHS, skills, to social

0:41:570:42:03

justice, the cost of living and of

course housing and social housing.

0:42:030:42:07

The government confirmed a few weeks

ago that funding for 16-18

0:42:070:42:11

-year-olds in colleges and sixth

forms won't increase, which is a

0:42:110:42:15

growing concern amongst Conservative

MPs like yourself. Is it another

0:42:150:42:18

time for the party, for the

government, to be bowled on policy

0:42:180:42:22

areas or is it too much of a risk?

We need to be dramatic, radical,

0:42:220:42:27

incredibly bold. We need to have a

brand-new skills policy.

0:42:270:42:35

brand-new skills policy. One.

Automation means roughly 30% of jobs

0:42:350:42:37

currently done by 16-24 -year-olds

are under threat. We face the march

0:42:370:42:41

of the robots. It's good the

government have given an extra £500

0:42:410:42:45

million for technical skills but we

need to completely reform the

0:42:450:42:48

offering and our higher education

offering as well.

Is there any

0:42:480:42:52

evidence Theresa May is going to

meet those challenges?

She said so

0:42:520:42:55

on the steps of Downing Street.

That

was a long time ago.

It was, and I

0:42:550:43:00

was inspired by what she said. Many

people were. She needs to get back

0:43:000:43:04

to that. There has

0:43:040:43:10

to that. There has been a

distraction of the majority in

0:43:110:43:12

parliament and Brexit. We have to

get back to the NHS skills, housing,

0:43:120:43:15

the cost of living.

How detrimental

will it be if she doesn't?

It will

0:43:150:43:19

be significantly damaging. On some

things the government are doing very

0:43:190:43:23

well, particularly on cutting

unemployment. We now have over 2.5

0:43:230:43:27

million apprentices. There are some

very good things going on but we

0:43:270:43:35

need to show the electorate that we

have a vision, that we have a

0:43:350:43:38

narrative about what the

Conservative Party is for, and that

0:43:380:43:42

we are there offer this ladder of

opportunity.

How optimistic are you

0:43:420:43:47

she can change her leadership style

to be bold, radical and dramatic and

0:43:470:43:51

do the things you've set out?

I

don't want her to change. I want her

0:43:510:43:56

to go back to the Theresa May on the

steps of Downing Street.

They were

0:43:560:44:00

just words.

She set out a serious

agenda and I wanted to implement

0:44:000:44:04

that. Use that speech as a road map

for Britain and come out with some

0:44:040:44:08

radical solutions. It doesn't matter

if we lose votes in parliament. This

0:44:080:44:12

is always the fear. If the public

see we are doing the right thing on

0:44:120:44:17

social housing for example, and

don't win a vote, it doesn't matter.

0:44:170:44:24

We can then put those things in the

manifesto at an election.

You

0:44:260:44:29

compared her policy-making style to

that of a tort is, has anything

0:44:290:44:31

changed?

That was only a week ago.

-- tort tortoise.

I wanted to do

0:44:310:44:39

things that are counterintuitive, to

transform our Conservative Party and

0:44:390:44:43

focus on those issues I mentioned.

The speech where the Prime Minister

0:44:430:44:47

spoke about those burning injustices

she wanted to address, the gaps have

0:44:470:44:51

only got wider since then. There's

been so little action on those

0:44:510:44:56

policy areas.

Which Robert Halfon

has conceded. Could a leadership

0:44:560:45:00

contest clear this up?

I'm utterly

against opposing a sitting Prime

0:45:000:45:05

Minister. I've also described her as

like Zebedee from the Magic

0:45:050:45:10

roundabout because she's incredibly

resilient. I admire that and I think

0:45:100:45:14

the public admire that.

0:45:140:45:20

the public admire that. I think she

deserves loyalty and support but I

0:45:200:45:25

would urge her to be more radical.

0:45:250:45:31

In 2013, when Michael Gove

the then-Education Secretary drafted

0:45:360:45:38

the new history A-Level,

it was intended to provide a more

0:45:380:45:41

rounded world view of the subject.

0:45:410:45:42

But not everyone is convinced.

0:45:420:45:45

In today's Soapbox, Rupa Huq,

MP for Ealing and Central Acton,

0:45:450:45:48

explains why she thinks history

is being rewritten.

0:45:480:45:53

GUITAR MUSIC.

0:45:530:46:00

Although my schooldays

long ended back in 1990,

0:46:000:46:04

I have been back to school since.

0:46:040:46:06

First as a parent, and now as an MP.

0:46:060:46:10

I frequently do assemblies

in my constituency.

0:46:100:46:13

It was at one of these

last week, that I discovered

0:46:130:46:17

that the Conservatives are

quite literally rewriting history.

0:46:170:46:21

I discovered that, alarmingly,

the current A-level modern British

0:46:210:46:25

history curriculum is blatantly

biased, bending over

0:46:250:46:28

backwards to paint

the Conservatives in a good light.

0:46:280:46:34

No mention is made of

the Blair Brown governments,

0:46:340:46:37

starting with the 1997 landslide,

which bequeathed us the minimum wage

0:46:370:46:41

and ended child poverty and youth

unemployment for a generation.

0:46:410:46:47

But even if excluding that period

can be explained away as being too

0:46:470:46:50

recent to be history,

there's the inexcusable,

0:46:500:46:54

glaring blind spot of the great 1945

Labour government under

0:46:540:46:57

which the welfare state

and the NHS were both born.

0:46:570:47:03

To understand our present

and future, one must

0:47:030:47:07

understand our past,

and that includes the 1944

0:47:070:47:11

Butler Education Act,

the advent of the NHS in 1948,

0:47:110:47:15

and even the expansion

of John Major's PFI under

0:47:150:47:17

New Labour, which all resonate

with current debates

0:47:170:47:20

on the school funding formula,

the NHS winter crisis,

0:47:200:47:23

and the collapse of Carillion.

0:47:230:47:31

This is not about unduly bigging up

labour, but surely credit should

0:47:310:47:34

be given where credit is due,

and it is dangerous to deny

0:47:340:47:37

that these things ever happened.

0:47:370:47:38

All major historical

tides should be included,

0:47:380:47:42

rather than selectively

and going through cherry picked bits

0:47:420:47:45

to present a partial picture,

which will only result

0:47:450:47:48

in brainwashing our kids.

0:47:480:47:51

And Rupa Huq joins me

now from Cardiff.

0:47:510:47:55

Do you regard this as censure ship

by the Conservative government?

It

0:47:550:48:02

seems that there are lots of bits

missing from this new timeline

0:48:020:48:06

that's been put in place since 2014,

suspiciously. I've had loads of

0:48:060:48:12

teachers e-mailing me since I ask

that question a week ago. They said

0:48:120:48:17

there is no mention of the miners

strike, Orgreave is not there, the

0:48:170:48:22

poll tax which brought down Thatcher

merits only a small paragraph in the

0:48:220:48:26

main textbook. Nothing about women,

LGBT rights, apparently did number

0:48:260:48:34

of women compared to men in the

syllabus is one to 100.

To challenge

0:48:340:48:39

your claim, the Department has said

that the curriculum requires

0:48:390:48:44

students to build on their

understanding of the past and build

0:48:440:48:48

a broad and balanced course of study

which means opposing views are

0:48:480:48:54

considered which couldn't be

achieved by ignoring a specific

0:48:540:48:57

party from that period.

Surely

that's true. History is so broad

0:48:570:49:02

that you have to be selective in any

curriculum that they have done a

0:49:020:49:06

syllabus which is 1930-51 and there

is 51-97. It is all through the

0:49:060:49:17

prism of Churchill. This

hagiography. If you latch onto

0:49:170:49:24

characters it can make it more

interesting but this hagiography, in

0:49:240:49:27

the words of a leading public school

teacher from the south-west, is very

0:49:270:49:32

disturbing.

It cannot be the case

that if the Conservatives were

0:49:320:49:39

trying to rewrite history, wouldn't

they be doing it all across the exam

0:49:390:49:42

boards.

There are now only three

boards. Not like when you and I were

0:49:420:49:47

at school. There is age you ate,

Pearson, and OCR, OCR has the lion's

0:49:470:49:55

share of the market. The Pearson has

a general strike module, that one of

0:49:550:50:03

the teachers wrote to me, teachers

are saying they are going to down

0:50:030:50:08

tools, they are so disillusioned.

We

have the chair of the education

0:50:080:50:14

select committee. You must be

horrified if there is a conspiracy

0:50:140:50:18

that is fed into A-level history

dates 1951-97 where the

0:50:180:50:25

Conservatives dominate, is actually

going to be the subject of...

When I

0:50:250:50:30

was at school I learned about the

NHS.

We are talking about now.

I

0:50:300:50:37

think this is a bit of an

exaggeration. Some of the greatest

0:50:370:50:41

events of the century were shaped by

Conservatives, Winston Churchill,

0:50:410:50:46

Margaret Thatcher, the first woman

Prime Minister. You learned about

0:50:460:50:51

why Churchill lost the election and

was re-elected afterwards. We can't

0:50:510:50:56

help it if some of the greatest

events in the 20th century were

0:50:560:51:00

shaped by Conservatives.

If there is

the wealth of evidence that Rupa

0:51:000:51:05

Hook has set out, should your

committee be looking into this?

I'm

0:51:050:51:11

always happy to look at things but I

think there are bigger priority to

0:51:110:51:16

worry about in terms of difficulties

in school, in terms of education, in

0:51:160:51:21

terms of alternative provision.

Do

you accept that? There are bigger

0:51:210:51:26

issues.

I think it's not mutually

exclusive, a binary either raw. The

0:51:260:51:34

1945 election is given as an example

of Churchill's wartime leadership.

I

0:51:340:51:40

had to write essays about why

Churchill lost that election and

0:51:400:51:44

about the Labour government and the

introduction of the welfare state. I

0:51:440:51:47

remember it very well.

Is this a

serious allegation? Do you have

0:51:470:51:54

confidence in the syllabus of

A-level history if it is being

0:51:540:51:58

written in a biased way to look at

the Conservatives over Labour

0:51:580:52:01

achievements?

I don't think the

periods of history where we had a

0:52:010:52:06

Labour government should be omitted.

I was there when Rupa asked her

0:52:060:52:11

question. I listened very closely to

Nick Gibbon's response. He made no

0:52:110:52:17

apology and that knowledge that

essentially the curriculum is where

0:52:170:52:21

it is and said it was a result of a

consultation. Many consultations

0:52:210:52:26

take place in government where

people don't listen to all the

0:52:260:52:31

contributors and therefore perhaps

this is something that should be

0:52:310:52:33

looked at again.

Rupert, you have

said that when they looked at the

0:52:330:52:39

1945 at league Labour government

they skewed it to look at the

0:52:390:52:43

achievements of Churchill as a war

leader. Individual courses are

0:52:430:52:48

decided by exam boards, are they

complicit in this?

The direction is

0:52:480:52:53

set from the top. Candidates are as

to identify Conservative strength

0:52:530:52:59

and Labour weaknesses, that looks so

lopsided.

I'd like to see this but

0:52:590:53:03

it's a bit of a mountain out of a

molehill.

You might say that from

0:53:030:53:08

your perspective.

The greatest

events in the 20th century were

0:53:080:53:14

shaped by conservative bright

ministers, the first Prime Minister

0:53:140:53:17

as a woman, Churchill, the wartime

leader, there's a fantastic film at

0:53:170:53:21

the moment. It's inevitable that

these things will have problems.

So

0:53:210:53:29

you seem to be conceding that there

is going to be a predominance of

0:53:290:53:32

focus in an academic subject like

modern British history on the

0:53:320:53:37

Conservative achievements of the

century.

I was saying that

0:53:370:53:43

conservatives had such air impact on

public life that it's inevitable

0:53:430:53:46

that people are going to study them

in a big way for stuff I do not

0:53:460:53:51

accept that.

Labour leaders and

governments made a massive

0:53:510:53:54

contribution and should be included.

Are you going to look at asking

0:53:540:54:03

Robert Halfon's committee to look at

this?

He's a nice chap. I think we

0:54:030:54:07

should do.

And we will look at it. I

will look at it. I can't have formal

0:54:070:54:15

enquiry but I will look at it

seriously.

They laugh. Have a look

0:54:150:54:19

and see what you find out.

0:54:190:54:22

There's just time before we go

to find out the answer to our quiz.

0:54:220:54:25

The question for today

was what is the Labour Party

0:54:250:54:28

planning to launch this summer?

0:54:280:54:32

Was it Their manifesto for the next

general election

0:54:320:54:34

A policy paper

on manhole covers

0:54:340:54:39

A Blairite rival

to campaign group Momentum

0:54:390:54:44

or Jeremy Corbyn music festival

So Luciana and Robert.

0:54:440:54:46

What's

the correct answer?

0:54:460:54:50

Is it the festival.

Yes.

0:54:500:54:55

Who can forget the chants of "Oh,

Jeremy Corbyn" ringing out

0:54:550:54:57

across Glastonbury last year.

0:54:570:54:59

As the Labour leader took

to the Pyramid stage and addressed

0:54:590:55:01

thousands of muddy festival goers?

0:55:010:55:02

Well as the festival isn't on this

year, Labour Party bosses are set

0:55:020:55:06

to stage their own "JezFest"

or "Corbynbury"

0:55:060:55:07

in North London in June.

0:55:070:55:10

They're expecting 10,000 people

to attend the "Labour Live" event.

0:55:100:55:14

But what use are festivals

to politicians or

0:55:140:55:16

politicians to festivals?

0:55:160:55:19

To help me answer that

question is the Labour

0:55:190:55:21

activist Crispin Flintoff,

founder of Stand Up for Labour,

0:55:210:55:25

which has organised a series

of comedy gigs across the country

0:55:250:55:27

to campaign for Labour.

0:55:270:55:30

Welcome to the Daily Politics. What

is the aim of this festival?

I don't

0:55:300:55:39

know anything about this festival.

Are you the right person?

It's one

0:55:390:55:46

of those BBC blunders.

You're not

the taxi driver from outside that

0:55:460:55:50

has come in?

I put on comedy events

for the Labour Party. It's important

0:55:500:55:56

that we engage people in politics

because there are so few people

0:55:560:56:01

getting involved.

There are a lot of

people getting involved in Labour

0:56:010:56:05

Party politics.

I still don't think

there are not enough. We should have

0:56:050:56:13

a million members. We should have as

many Tories as they are happy with.

0:56:130:56:19

How many Tories would you be happy

with? Generally, in terms of

0:56:190:56:25

membership.

We need a lot more of

those.

0:56:250:56:29

membership.

We need a lot more of

those.

To these

0:56:290:56:32

membership.

We need a lot more of

those.

To these events translate

0:56:320:56:33

into votes for Jeremy Corbyn at a

general election?

People get

0:56:330:56:38

motivated. People coming together is

a very good way to get spirits up

0:56:380:56:44

and people start thinking about they

can stand for election, for office,

0:56:440:56:49

that mushrooms out to their family

and friends and communities.

Is it a

0:56:490:56:54

case of just preaching to the

converted? Don't the people who come

0:56:540:56:59

along to anything that is geared

towards a political party just echo

0:56:590:57:03

what you already feel and believe

in?

It's about raising their spirits

0:57:030:57:08

and making them strong enough to

talk to people who are not so sure

0:57:080:57:13

about politics. You have to find

events that people want to get

0:57:130:57:17

involved with. The

0:57:170:57:22

involved with. The had political

system is very dry for people who

0:57:220:57:25

are not involved in politics

already. You have to put on

0:57:250:57:29

alternatives. There are a lot of

people out there who are despairing

0:57:290:57:33

at what is happening with the

country and don't feel there is any

0:57:330:57:37

hope. If they got into politics,

they might feel there is a way out

0:57:370:57:42

of it.

Are the Conservatives

catching up in this sort of way of

0:57:420:57:47

becoming accessible to young voters?

George Freeman was talking about his

0:57:470:57:51

big tent ideas festival but it

doesn't seem to be nearly as

0:57:510:57:55

successful as Jeremy Corbyn events.

We need to do a lot more things like

0:57:550:57:59

this. Most people will be looking at

Love Island when Jezfest is on. I

0:57:590:58:13

think it is OK as long as it doesn't

become cult worship of Jeremy

0:58:130:58:18

Corbyn. We need to reach out to our

younger voters.

Do you think you are

0:58:180:58:24

going to get new voters by doing the

sort of things or are they

0:58:240:58:29

reinforcing members already?

We have

had members and nonmembers coming

0:58:290:58:38

together because of shared Labour

values. We don't know the exact

0:58:380:58:42

details of what this festival might

be but if it is going to be a thing,

0:58:420:58:48

I think it should get across the

country and not just north London.

0:58:480:58:52

Thanks much for coming on the

programme.

0:58:520:58:54

That's all for today.

0:58:540:58:55

I'll be here again at noon

tomorrow with all the big

0:58:560:58:59

political stories of the day.

0:58:590:59:00

Do join me then.

0:59:000:59:01

Bye-bye.

0:59:010:59:03

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