19/02/2018 Daily Politics


19/02/2018

Rehman Chishti MP and Louise Haigh MP keep Jo Coburn company throughout the programme. They examine plans to reform higher education and the proposed boundary review.


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Transcript


LineFromTo

Hello, and welcome to

the Daily Politics.

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Theresa May says students in England

deserve better value

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for their university degrees

as she launches a comprehensive

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review of post-18 education.

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But is the Government just kicking

the problem in to the long grass?

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The European Parliament's chief

Brexit spokesman

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says Britain is unlikely to get

the bespoke deal it wants.

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He's meeting MPs on the UK

Parliament's Brexit committee today.

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We speak to one of them

live from Brussels.

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And, apart from the annual

political pancake day race

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it's been a little quiet

in Westminster over the last week

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as Parliament has been

on half-term recess.

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But as MPs head back to big smoke

we've got all the details of what's

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in store over the next seven days.

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And, after Formula One decides

to drop its "grid girls",

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we speak to an academic who argues

that it is in fact

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a

retrograde

step for women.

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Women should be able

to earn their living

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doing whatever they want,

including modelling, stripping,

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lap dancing, Page 3 photoshoots,

burlesque shows.

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Yes, all that coming

up in the next hour.

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Parliament is in fact

still in recess today,

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but we've managed to find two

dedicated public servants

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willing to cut short

their half-term break by a day!

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Labour's Louise Haigh

and Conservative Rehman Chishti -

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welcome to you both.

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Now MPs from the Brexit Select

committee are in Brussels today

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to have meetings with various high

profile figuers including

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the EU's chief Brexit

negotiator Michel Barnier

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and the European Parliament's chief

Brexit spokesman, Guy Verhofstadt.

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Mr Verhofstadt popped up

on the Andrew Marr show yesterday

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and made some comments that

won't have gone down all that well

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with some people on this

side of the Channel,

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with Andrew Marr asking

whether the government's negotiating

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strategy will be successful.

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It's fairly clear, it's not

completely clear yet,

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what Theresa May is going

to ask for.

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David Davis described it to me

as "Canada plus plus plus".

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And what he meant by that was,

a free-trade deal, no tariffs,

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no nontariff barriers for goods,

cars and so forth.

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But special agreements on things

like financial services.

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That's what they are

going to ask for.

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Again, is that not reasonable,

to do that kind of special

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bespoke arrangement?

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Yeah, but that will not be

the outcome of this negotiation.

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It cannot be the outcome.

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Why not?

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The outcome will be, again,

it will not be a type of saying,

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this is interesting,

that we like.

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This is not interesting for us,

we dislike and we don't want it.

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Craig Mackinlay is a Conservative MP

on the Brexit Select Committee

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and is among the delegation of MPs

meeting Mr Verhofstadt

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in Brussels today.

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We are hoping to speak with him

shortly, but first, my guests here,

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no bespoke deal, is a pretty

influential person, Guy Verhofstadt,

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how disappointed are you?

That kind

of talk has led to British people

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making a decision to determine their

own destiny about laws, money,

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borders, telling us what we can and

cannot do is not the right way

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forward. The British people have

voted to come out of the single

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market, the customs union, the

European Union. We must find a

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special relationship, we will leave

the European Union but still be a

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part of Europe, we want a good

relationship, we want trade with

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European partners, we have the

commitment to find that special

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deal. We will get that. This kind of

talk reinstates wider British public

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voted to determine their own destiny

rather than being told by the

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Europeans.

He is still saying no,

the deal you are asking for one not

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beyond the table.

We are working

very hard to get the best boat

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deal...

He just said no, no bespoke

deal, there will be no Canada plus

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bus plus.

-- the best bespoke deal.

There will be nothing like that.

We

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had a similar kind of issue pushed

to us before when we were trying to

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get the first stage, we made an

agreement on the financial deal, we

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made sure we dealt with the

situation with the Northern Ireland.

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How have you dealt with that? The

situation with Ireland?

The Common

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travel area will be there, we made

it very clear that we will not have

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a hard border, we made it very clear

the Good Friday Agreement will stay

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in place.

How do you do that if

Britain is outside the customs

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union?

Those are the core principles

from which we will not move, those

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negotiations will take place in

relation to detail but our

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principle, having a non-hard border

with Northern Ireland is to the

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heart of it.

Everyone is committed

to it, how do you achieve it if you

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are not part of the customs union

when there will have to be checks on

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goods and goods of origin?

We

achieve it with a brilliant

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Secretary of State for Brexit, with

a great Prime Minister, that is how

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we do it's not what what you think

this being said, that kind of

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language, that kind of telling

Britain what it can and cannot have,

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that led semi-British voters, 17.4

and Ian people to vote to leave.

It

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is that kind of attitude that I'm

afraid to say that has led to the

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position of the European Commission

and the European Union, such a

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hardline approach to gauche Asians.

You think it is a hard line?

It is

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quite a hardline because every other

country has some kind of a spoke

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deal with the European Union, Turkey

has its own customs union with the

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European Union, Norway is in the

single market but not the customs

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union.

They are in the single

market, Britain does not want to be.

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Jersey is in the customs union but

in the single market in relation to

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goods and not services, every other

partner has some kind of the spoke

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deal, I think it is unlikely that

Britain will not get a bespoke deal

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you do not have a fantastic

Secretary of State negotiating

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"Brexit" 's, I must disagree.

We got

through the first stage.

Ireland and

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the European Union, are interpreting

that as member ship of the customs

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union and the single market. Quite

frankly, it is very difficult to

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envisage how we will guarantee no

hard border without membership of

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the customs union or a customs

union.

Is that what the Labour

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policy should be?

The Labour policy

has been, never remove the customs

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union from negotiating party, it is

the ideological approach of the

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Tories of Brexit negotiation that

has slowed a progress and let to

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this difficult negotiating stance on

both sides.

Just to be clear, do you

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want Jeremy Corbyn to state

categorically that Labour supports a

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position of Britain remaining in the

customs union with the EU?

I think

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the position should remain as it is,

we are not taking it off the

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negotiating table, that we are happy

to remain members, we would be happy

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to negotiate a separate customs

union but nothing should be off the

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negotiating table.

INAUDIBLE

...

Single market, outside the

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jurisdiction of the EU.

INAUDIBLE

You are saying, on the customs

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union, in your manifesto, coming

out.

We have always said it should

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not be off the negotiating table.

INAUDIBLE

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I welcome back to this in just a

moment but Craig is now there are,

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you may or may not have heard Guy

Verhofstadt, we played a piece from

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his interview with Andrew Marr where

he said there will be no bespoke

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deal, no Canada plus plus plus, what

do you say to that?

Well, we seem to

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be getting mixed messages, sorry to

be a little late, I have been in a

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meeting with Michel Barnier, seems

that there are offers on the table

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but we seem to have this rather

rigid view that there has to be one

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model or another it cannot be the

spoke, has to be like Canada, Canada

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was mentioned rather a lot, with

some extra bits on security, very

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much outlined in the Prime

Minister's Munich speech. Honestly

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feel that the EU needs to be more

flexible to accommodate Britain

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because what we are forgetting is

that we had a referendum, that

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referendum was to regain control of

the borders and money and laws and

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that has to be respected. The EU

needs to realise that we have a huge

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trade deficit with the EU. It is in

their interest to get a very good

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deal for their own citizens and

their own country.

You say the EU

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needs to do this, how will you

persuade Guy Verhofstadt, you have

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met Michel Barnier, chief

negotiating officer.

I am eating him

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in an hour or so.

What will you say

to him when he says the UK will not

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have a final deal which will see

different arrangements for different

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sectors of the economy, there will

not be special dispensation for

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financial services, he says it is

impossible, how will you persuade

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him to move significantly on this

position?

We ended up not really

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knowing who the controlling mind is

here, we seem to have Guy

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Verhofstadt saying different things

from Michel Barnier, and who knows

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what the EU 27 are thinking. I got

the impression today with Michel

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Barnier that he is worried that the

27 countries will not be moving

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together as one, that is very much a

fear because Germany has a huge

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trade surplus with the UK, 2 million

German jobs reliant on the UK

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market, and I think that ought to be

in their mind, rather more clearly,

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that a deal is not, not just good

for one, it will be good for both,

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positive sum deal, if that requires

a bespoke arrangement acceptable to

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Britain's redlines, they will have

to be soft on redlines as well.

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There is a deal to be done but it

needs flexibility.

What did Michel

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Barnier say to you clearly when he

said that he gave a little bit more,

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he seems to be more flexible than

Guy Verhofstadt, what did he promise

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on Canada type deal?

Canada was

mentioned a lot as a potential

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formulaic.

And obviously, David

Davis has said the same, Canada plus

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plus plus.

Financial services, that

seems to be a very major issue.

And

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that was outlined very clearly,

because of the security of the

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European financial markets, take the

roles or don't say the rules. And

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that is the problem, but this is

where we need some new thinking, new

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thinking of mutual recognition,

looking back at the financial crisis

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2008/9, Australia and Canada had no

bailout of the bank, they have a

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financial system of easily robust.

We need a global view. Certain

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countries are advanced, civilised,

they have usual norms we are all

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familiar with, there should be

mutual acceptance between advanced

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countries that this is the new way

forward for global trade and I think

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Britain can be in the driving seat

for that.

You have made your

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position clear, would it help if

Theresa May was clear on exactly

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what she wants in terms of that

future relationship with the EU?

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Well, that has come out a bit today

as well, with discussions, Michel

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Barnier saying, we would like to

know exactly what the UK Government

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really wants, but from other bits

and pieces on security, I think

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there is a lot of clarity on where

Britain is going on this. That does

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seem to be a message coming forward,

that we do need the UK Government to

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state very clearly what it is after.

I think that will become clear

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before the end of March meeting, of

the ministers. So I think the next

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six weeks are going to be very

important and I am sure there will

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be clarity coming forward from the

UK Government but it is needed, I

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will accept that.

Guy Verhofstadt

has said it is not acceptable to all

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to freedom of movement rules during

transition into and Asian period, do

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you agree with that?

Well I do not,

we are leaving the institution of

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the European Union on the 29th of

March of next year.

-- during

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transitional implementation period.

It seems ridiculous, it has been

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mentioned before, the vassal state

situation we could find ourselves

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in, roll takers, new rules coming

forward, applying them, freedom of

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movement exactly as there is today,

that will not be fulfilling the

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referendum so things must change

after Brexit. The PM is quite right

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with redlines she has put forward.

Thank you very much.

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And for more reporting

and analysis of Brexit,

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check out the BBC News website,

that's bbc.co.uk/brexit.

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Now it's time for our daily quiz.

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It seems that bigmouth strikes

again, the former Smiths singer

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Morrissey has had a go at a senior

politician

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during one of his concerts.

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So our question for today is, who?

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Was it: a) Nicola Sturgeon,

0:13:290:13:31

b) David Cameron,

c) Theresa May,

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or d) Jeremy Corbyn?

0:13:330:13:34

At the end of the show Rehman

and Louise will give

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us the correct answer.

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Later today, Theresa May

will announce an independent review

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of students fees and finance,

because, she'll say,

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students in England currently face

"one of the most expensive systems

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of university tuition in the world".

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The Prime Minister believes

there are "serious concerns" among

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students, parents and grandparents

about the system of student finance,

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concerns that have Labour promising

to abolish fees entirely.

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So what's the situation in the

higher education system currently?

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Almost all courses in England charge

the maximum fee of just

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over £9,000 a year.

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But of course, students don't begin

to pay that money back

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until after graduation

and until they earn £25,000 a year.

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Interest rates fees now

stand at up to 6.1% -

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a figure that has been roundly

denounced by a number

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of senior Tories.

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With some students

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now leaving university with debts

of more than £50,000

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after a three-year course.

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Last year the government

froze fees at £9,250,

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and raised the repayment threshold

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but it clearly thinks

there's more to be done.

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Today, Theresa May will say

an expected competitive market

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in fees hasn't materialised

since the coalition government

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raised the fee cap in 2012.

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The new independent review will look

at setting fees based

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on the cost of a course,

the benefit to the student, and

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the benefit to society as a whole.

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It will also consider

the reintroduction of maintenance

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grants for poorer students,

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which were phased out

in favour of loans in 2016.

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But the government's already

come under fire

0:15:100:15:13

from one senior backbencher,

0:15:130:15:17

former Education Secretary Justine

Greening

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says the fee system shouldn't be

"a political football",

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that looked like it was being

"kicked into the long grass".

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Well, earlier this morning

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Theresa May spoke to ITV's

This Morning programme

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about the planned review.

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Let's see what she had to say.

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Let's see what she had to say.

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What we need to do now is say,

we have a system of fees

0:15:440:15:48

in education, but some

issues have arisen.

0:15:480:15:49

A concern not just for students

themselves, but families, parents,

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grandparents have about the level

of debt that they build up.

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And also a concern that, basically,

universities charge the same,

0:15:540:15:57

whatever course you are doing,

they will charge the same.

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So there are some questions

for universities.

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Theresa May speaking earlier.

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Well, to discuss this we're joined

by David Willetts, he's the chair

0:16:020:16:05

of the Resolution Foundation

think-tank and was the

0:16:050:16:07

Universities Minister

during the coalition government.

0:16:070:16:11

You with the architect who designed

the current system. What do you make

0:16:110:16:15

of the Prime Minister saying there

is something wrong with the current

0:16:150:16:18

student finance system and she

understands peoples concerns?

I

0:16:180:16:22

think there are some concerns and

you covered them in your

0:16:220:16:25

introduction. Interest rates is an

issue. Pressure for students on

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their budgets when they are at

university, so bringing back

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maintenance grants would be a good

thing. But overall, I think a system

0:16:320:16:37

where graduates pay back only when

they are in a well-paid job, is a

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fair and sensible way of funding

higher education.

The Prime Minister

0:16:420:16:46

isn't criticising the core principle

you have just outlined, but she has

0:16:460:16:50

said the competitive market between

universities, the system of variable

0:16:500:16:55

tuition fees envisaged, it has

simply not emerged. That is true,

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and it is a major flaw.

I originally

thought we would see price

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competition, and we haven't seen

that. I think we understand why.

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First of all, students do not pay up

front, which is a good thing, but

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because of that, a graduate

repayment system, saying one course

0:17:110:17:16

is 7000 and another is 8000, isn't

relevant to them. And secondly, when

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you try to work out how you

differentiate these in different

0:17:210:17:25

courses, you rapidly find out there

is no settled view on how to do it.

0:17:250:17:28

It would be very hard. Lots of

people come to me and say we should

0:17:280:17:33

have differential fees, and I ask on

what basis, and they all have

0:17:330:17:36

different models. Trying to say we

should have subjects, or salaries of

0:17:360:17:41

graduates come you soon find you are

in an incredibly complicated system.

0:17:410:17:44

I think this being a contribution

everybody makes to higher education

0:17:440:17:48

that you pay back when you graduate

is a workable model.

You haven't

0:17:480:17:55

addressed the basic criticism from

the Prime Minister that the market

0:17:550:17:58

does not exist to stop almost all

universities charge the maximum.

0:17:580:18:02

That was a core part of the system

you devised and it has failed.

There

0:18:020:18:06

is a market, but it works in a

different way. In the old days when

0:18:060:18:10

it was public spending, the

government allocated a fixed number

0:18:100:18:12

of places to eat university. Now

universities are not financed out of

0:18:120:18:18

public spending, but instead through

the graduate contribution scheme, we

0:18:180:18:23

have lower number controls so more

universities get their first choice.

0:18:230:18:29

Popular universities expand and less

popular universities are shrinking.

0:18:290:18:34

That's not the competition you

expected when you set up the scheme.

0:18:340:18:41

The competition is absolutely one of

the crucial features of the new

0:18:410:18:44

model. Is that we wouldn't have the

government fixing the number of

0:18:440:18:47

places. And universities, more

universities, are able to take more

0:18:470:18:52

students getting their first choice

university because the popular

0:18:520:18:56

universities can expand. Looking at

the adverts on the tube, looked at

0:18:560:19:00

the websites, you will find

universities are absolutely

0:19:000:19:03

competing with each other for

students.

So why is the government

0:19:030:19:07

deciding there needs to be a review,

if there are serious concerns and it

0:19:070:19:11

is working so brilliantly?

I

understand the interest rate

0:19:110:19:15

pressures and pressures on students.

The other issue is parents are

0:19:150:19:19

worried...

That could be dealt with.

A review implies that there is

0:19:190:19:22

something wrong at the heart of the

system. I take your point about the

0:19:220:19:27

way you see the market working. But

the Prime Minister is very specific.

0:19:270:19:32

The level of fees charged do not

relate to the cost or quality of the

0:19:320:19:35

course. Do you think it costs as

much for an arts course, let's take

0:19:350:19:40

a history degree, as it is to study

engineering?

It costs more to

0:19:400:19:46

deliver an engineering course, which

is why there was already in the

0:19:460:19:50

system an extra item of public

spending to help universities with a

0:19:500:19:54

higher cost of engineering, and it

would be a good result from the

0:19:540:19:56

review if they said extra public

resource for high cost subject

0:19:560:20:00

should be increased.

But you

wouldn't want to see courses being

0:20:000:20:03

charged at different levels?

This is

the day after the Baftas. Are we

0:20:030:20:09

supposed to say that doing an arts

subject is less valuable than a

0:20:090:20:13

science subject? We don't know how

the British economy is going to

0:20:130:20:17

develop. I am a free marketeer and I

don't think governments can predict

0:20:170:20:21

the value of individual degrees or

should interfere in individual

0:20:210:20:27

student choices.

Is it fair that a

course that costs 4500 to deliver

0:20:270:20:33

costs more than £9,000 question mark

we don't know of any courses that

0:20:330:20:39

cost 4500 to deliver. You just said

engineering courses cost more.

0:20:390:20:45

Either university needs to charge

less, all that money is still

0:20:450:20:50

available to go into the resources

of the University that can help pay

0:20:500:20:55

for shared university facilities

that all students use.

Isn't it

0:20:550:20:58

damning that the Conservative

government is now effectively saying

0:20:580:21:01

and admitting that its own policy in

higher education hasn't worked?

Not

0:21:010:21:06

at all. What the Conservative Party

is saying that with regards to the

0:21:060:21:11

reforms David Boote Ford, he was a

brilliant minister and I was a

0:21:110:21:14

pleasure to work with him on that,

-- what David puts forward.

So why

0:21:140:21:20

is there a review and the Prime

Minister says there are serious

0:21:200:21:25

concerns from students, parents and

grandparents about the system, the

0:21:250:21:28

whole system, and she shares them.

Let me put it this way. When we came

0:21:280:21:32

into government we made it clear we

want every child to get the best

0:21:320:21:36

education in life. I was the first

in my family to go to university, to

0:21:360:21:39

go on to become a lawyer, barrister

and into bond. My parents didn't

0:21:390:21:42

have a lot of money. I paid my way

to being a young barrister. I want

0:21:420:21:46

every child on merits to get there.

I accept the education and costing

0:21:460:21:51

at the moment which is raised with

me by constituents is very

0:21:510:21:55

expensive.

So would you bring down

these?

We need to look at everything

0:21:550:21:59

will stop this review would look at

ensuring we get the right amount of

0:21:590:22:03

resources for courses. We look at

the issue of interest. Make sure the

0:22:030:22:10

point for students and affordability

is a tad. The point you raise about

0:22:100:22:13

the cost of running those courses,

and also the benefit as to the

0:22:130:22:16

economy as a whole.

You would

interfere in a market in the way

0:22:160:22:23

David Willetts has said the

government should not do?

We need to

0:22:230:22:27

look at the whole aspect. To make

sure we get the right system in

0:22:270:22:32

place and address the issue of cost.

We have one of the most expensive...

0:22:320:22:36

You were responsible, you were in

the coalition government that raised

0:22:360:22:39

the fees.

I wanted to make sure more

people from disadvantaged

0:22:390:22:44

backgrounds were able to go to

higher education, and I am proud

0:22:440:22:47

that.

All the warnings that

children, students from

0:22:470:22:52

disadvantaged families would not and

would stop going to university, that

0:22:520:22:55

has not materialised.

I think that

is right, but over the last year we

0:22:550:23:00

have seen numbers start to drop, the

ratio of numbers between

0:23:000:23:03

disadvantaged students compare to

the most advantaged, is getting

0:23:030:23:07

higher in terms of accessing higher

education. Disadvantaged students

0:23:070:23:12

finish university with much greater

depth than advantaged students,

0:23:120:23:15

57,000 instead of 40 3000. That's

because of the maintenance grant and

0:23:150:23:19

loan is being taken away, and a

system of student fees. They also

0:23:190:23:23

less likely to earn the same amount

as more advantaged students.

Your

0:23:230:23:29

concern is about students from less

well-off families, students who

0:23:290:23:32

struggle to meet some of the cost as

well as having some of the debts

0:23:320:23:36

despite the job they might get at

the end. Do you accept abolishing

0:23:360:23:40

tuition fees would help the very

richest students as well?

It would

0:23:400:23:43

help every student.

Is that the

right way to devise a system?

Is not

0:23:430:23:49

just about the ratio, it's the

culture of debt it creates. Students

0:23:490:23:52

leaving with an average of £50,000

after three years in university is

0:23:520:23:56

not good for the society or the

country. The last financial crash

0:23:560:23:59

started as a result partly as a

consequence of the culture of debt

0:23:590:24:06

in society.

Is it the same student

debt people take out credit cards?

0:24:060:24:11

It is treated differently. Just to

pick on something they have touched

0:24:110:24:16

on here, the variable fees. The

proposals we have seen from the

0:24:160:24:20

secretary of State in the last

couple of days have suggested

0:24:200:24:23

science stem courses should be

charged at a higher rate than arts

0:24:230:24:25

courses. Companies looking at that

thinking, we have a huge skills gap

0:24:250:24:30

in Stem subjects will think, why on

earth would we deter students even

0:24:300:24:34

more than we do currently. It

doesn't look that access to those

0:24:340:24:38

courses at all.

We don't but

students who want to do Stem

0:24:380:24:44

subjects. Listening to the Secretary

of State, he said it's something the

0:24:440:24:48

government will ensure, extra

resources are put in place to

0:24:480:24:51

support Stem subjects. The review

will take into account all aspects

0:24:510:24:55

of supporting students with regards

to Stem subjects to ensure that

0:24:550:24:58

those who can contribute more to the

economy given the support they need.

0:24:580:25:02

This government has been ever eight

years, why does it want another

0:25:020:25:05

review? It's a government that's out

of ideas.

You say it's a

0:25:050:25:10

straightforward scenario where you

would wipe student debt and abolish

0:25:100:25:13

tuition fees, which would cost about

12 billion. And use the same

0:25:130:25:17

money... 11.2 billion, and you would

use corporation tax to pay for that

0:25:170:25:21

and the social health care service

and policing, so the same money goes

0:25:210:25:25

over and over again. Your figures...

Labour has promised to abolish

0:25:250:25:31

tuition fees. Politically, that is

difficult for the Conservative Party

0:25:310:25:34

to ever match.

I don't think we

should match it. The trouble is, if

0:25:340:25:40

I had £11 billion to spend on

education, which would be a

0:25:400:25:45

fantastic opportunity, helping

affluent graduates would not be a

0:25:450:25:49

high priority. It should go to

nurseries and schools and

0:25:490:25:51

universities. Given, as you

established, the crucial politics of

0:25:510:25:57

all this is that it is not like

conventional debt. It is not an

0:25:570:26:01

overdraft or mortgage. I think

parents fear it somehow makes it

0:26:010:26:05

harder for their kids to get started

on the housing ladder, because it is

0:26:050:26:08

a debt, but it does not get in the

way of accessing conventional

0:26:080:26:13

borrowing to help their lives as

adults.

0:26:130:26:18

Our most dedicated fans will have

noticed that the Daily Politics

0:26:180:26:21

was off air last week

as Parliament wasn't sitting.

0:26:210:26:23

But that doesn't mean

politics grinds to a halt.

0:26:230:26:25

So what did we miss last week?

0:26:250:26:27

On Wednesday, Boris Johnson,

gave his Valentine's address -

0:26:270:26:29

billed as message of love

for liberal Remainers,

0:26:290:26:31

saying that Brexit was not "not some

reactionary Faragist concept",

0:26:310:26:33

but that it would be "a disastrous

mistake" to try to stop it.

0:26:330:26:40

On Saturday, Theresa May landed

in Munich with a message

0:26:400:26:45

of reassurance to European partners

over security - with a continuing

0:26:450:26:50

commitment to Europol

and the European Arrest Warrant -

0:26:500:26:54

even if that meant some ongoing role

for the European Court of Justice.

0:26:540:26:59

And then there were tabloid stories

alluding to meetings

0:26:590:27:03

between a former Czechoslovakian spy

and Jeremy Corbyn in the 1980s.

0:27:030:27:05

Labour says the stories

are "scurrilous".

0:27:050:27:09

And finally, Ukip will need to find

yet another leader as leader

0:27:090:27:12

Henry Bolton was ousted

in an extraordinary general

0:27:120:27:14

meeting of the party

in Birmingham on Saturday.

0:27:140:27:17

Well, to pick on some of those

stories and also to talk us

0:27:170:27:20

through the week ahead,

I'm joined now by Lucy Fisher of

0:27:200:27:23

The Times and Henry Mance of the FT.

0:27:230:27:27

Welcome to both of you. Henry,

journalists were not allowed into

0:27:270:27:31

the extraordinary meeting, but you

somehow managed to smuggle yourself

0:27:310:27:35

into the room.

I got lucky. I'm

amazed I wasn't spotted because I

0:27:350:27:39

was half the age of everyone there.

Don't boast!

I hitched on somebody

0:27:390:27:45

who had a copy of the Financial

Times at the event and sat quietly

0:27:450:27:50

with a flyer saying, back Henry

Bolton. I didn't use my phone, there

0:27:500:27:53

was a strict ban, and it was an

amazing sight seeing people get up

0:27:530:27:57

to make speeches in 1500 people

there, to the credit of Ukip.

The

0:27:570:28:02

atmosphere around Henry Bolton?

A

pretty muted reception, you could

0:28:020:28:05

tell straightaway he was going. The

reason they didn't allow journalists

0:28:050:28:09

in was they were terrified of other

political opponents getting videos

0:28:090:28:14

of leading party members going at

each other, which they did. There

0:28:140:28:19

were threats of legal action, people

were late. It was a political

0:28:190:28:23

circus.

It underlines everything you

ever believe. Gerard Batten is the

0:28:230:28:28

interim leader. Who will be the next

leader and will the party survive?

0:28:280:28:32

It could be Gerard Batten. He wants

it going in the direction of being

0:28:320:28:37

an anti-Islam party. In the last

leadership election that Henry

0:28:370:28:40

Bolton windbag, there is a large

portion of the party who want to go

0:28:400:28:44

that direction. There was a female

candidate running on that ticket.

0:28:440:28:48

There is some suggestion Suzanne

Evans, former Tory councillor and

0:28:480:28:51

long-time Ukip figure, could run.

I'm not sure it has a future. One

0:28:510:28:54

problem is the finances will stop

once we leave the European Union

0:28:540:28:58

they will no longer have any peas

and on top of that they have a

0:28:580:29:01

£200,000 bill for a libel case due.

I think it's unclear how they will

0:29:010:29:07

struggle on.

Are their votes up for

grabs?

There are not that many of

0:29:070:29:11

them left. Two, three and 4% in the

opinion polls, not standing in most

0:29:110:29:16

seats last time, so we are getting

close to the bottom already.

Louise

0:29:160:29:20

Haigh, the story about the Labour

leader meeting a former

0:29:200:29:26

Czechoslovakian spy. Some saying

that he paid Jeremy Corbyn to pass

0:29:260:29:32

on information to Prague and Moscow,

a charge the Labour leader denies.

0:29:320:29:38

It has been reiterated there is

nothing in the archive to suggest

0:29:380:29:42

Jeremy Corbyn was an informer, but

he was a person, according to our

0:29:420:29:46

source, of interest to the Secret

Service. Are you comfortable with

0:29:460:29:51

the fact the Labour leader was a

person of interest to the

0:29:510:29:55

Czechoslovakian Secret Service when

they were enemies in the Cold War?

I

0:29:550:29:59

have seen conflicting reports. You

said that Jeremy Corbyn was paid

0:29:590:30:03

money, I have seen of the reports

were under no circumstances did he

0:30:030:30:06

give Jeremy Corbyn money. Reports

are very thin.

He admitted he met a

0:30:060:30:11

Czechoslovakian diplomat, but are

you comfortable with the fact that

0:30:110:30:14

there was contact between the Labour

leader, he says a Czechoslovakian

0:30:140:30:18

diplomat, and others have said he

was a former agent. Are you

0:30:180:30:21

comfortable with the fact those

contacts were made in the Cold War?

0:30:210:30:26

Jeremy has been interested in

foreign policy issues his entire

0:30:260:30:28

career. I don't know if he was sat

on the foreign policy select

0:30:280:30:32

committee at the time but he has sat

on it in the past. You meet people

0:30:320:30:35

from other countries and other

governments in all walks of life in

0:30:350:30:41

this job. I don't think there is any

issue with him eating this

0:30:410:30:43

individual, if he claims to be a

diplomat at the times. And as MPs we

0:30:430:30:46

do not have the ability to vet

people when they come in, we can't

0:30:460:30:50

double-check if they say who they

are. You have to take people at face

0:30:500:30:53

value when they come to see you.

You

say you don't have the ability to

0:30:530:30:57

vet people, but it is important to

know the details of any contact.

0:30:570:31:02

Jeremy Corbyn was a backbench MP

then, but is now leader of the

0:31:020:31:05

Labour Party, any contact he may

have had with people in the Eastern

0:31:050:31:11

Bloc when the Cold War was going on.

That should absolutely be put on the

0:31:110:31:15

table. But Jeremy and John McDonnell

and Ken Livingstone have all denied

0:31:150:31:20

absolutely that they were informants

or agents or anything of this

0:31:200:31:23

nature. I believe this former spy

also claims the Czechoslovakians

0:31:230:31:27

were behind live aid as well. It

seems he not a particularly reliable

0:31:270:31:31

source.

0:31:310:31:34

around Jeremy Corbyn's antipathy

towards what he sees as western

0:31:370:31:41

imperialism and his past sympathies

for some... The Soviet bloc. It has

0:31:410:31:47

put those back front and centre of

the discourse. Whether this will

0:31:470:31:52

bent support for him, I am not

convinced, people knew about these

0:31:520:31:56

contacts, these sentiments that he

had, before the general election and

0:31:560:32:01

it did not hurt him then.

Surprised?

As recently as 2013, Jeremy Corbyn

0:32:010:32:08

said Hugo Chavez had made a massive

contribution to the world, people

0:32:080:32:11

know that these on one extreme, if

he were Prime Minister, we would see

0:32:110:32:15

a change to foreign policy, we

should be aware that there is a big

0:32:150:32:19

change on the table.

Let's talk

about Boris Johnson's speech from

0:32:190:32:22

last week. Did not land in quite the

way that the Foreign Secretary may

0:32:220:32:29

have anticipated.

He is seen as a

toxic figure among Remainers, even

0:32:290:32:33

before stepping out on stage, Chuka

Umunna, he said he was completely

0:32:330:32:37

unqualified to preach, as they put

it. To me, his speech was

0:32:370:32:42

interesting only, -- interesting

tonally coming he was talking about

0:32:420:32:49

a deal, it was a speech aimed at

Theresa May and the rest of the

0:32:490:32:53

cabinet colleagues, urging them to

try to make more of a positive tone

0:32:530:32:58

around Brexit, there has been a

vacuum on that side of the debate.

0:32:580:33:01

Apart from time, what was the most

important thing that Boris Johnson

0:33:010:33:05

said?

He made it very clear, where

people are doubting ability to go

0:33:050:33:09

out there and make a great success

of Brexit, he put it clearly, for us

0:33:090:33:13

as a country, this is a great

opportunity to go out there, forge

0:33:130:33:17

relationships around the world, and

make sure we can benefit as much as

0:33:170:33:21

we can from the new relationship we

are going to have with... What was

0:33:210:33:25

said about the new relationship?

What he said very clearly, we are

0:33:250:33:30

leaving the European Union but not

leaving Europe, so therefore...

But

0:33:300:33:34

that is but that is rhetoric, that

is rhetoric. INAUDIBLE

0:33:340:33:38

As Lucy Fisher was saying, that was

about time, optimistic note, what

0:33:380:33:44

did he say of any importance in

terms of the negotiations?

What he

0:33:440:33:48

said was, look, our relationship

with Europe, we want an enhanced

0:33:480:33:53

relationship at every level, whether

with defence, security, whether it

0:33:530:33:57

is with trade. We are not leaving

European partners, leaving the

0:33:570:34:01

European Union, we want to bring the

deal with us. It is in their

0:34:010:34:05

interest and our interest and we

have the commitment to make that

0:34:050:34:08

happen.

When the trade bill comes

back to the Commons, there will be

0:34:080:34:12

an amendment calling for Britain to

remain in the customs union, would

0:34:120:34:15

you both have that amendment?

I

don't know who is putting it forward

0:34:150:34:19

so I cannot commit.

Would you vote

for an amendment that Britain should

0:34:190:34:26

stay in the customs union?

Personally I would, I don't think it

0:34:260:34:30

should be cut off the table and I

don't see how we can resolve the

0:34:300:34:34

hard border issue without a customs

union or the customs union.

Would

0:34:340:34:37

you like to see Jeremy Corbyn

whipped Labour MPs into voting for a

0:34:370:34:42

motion that would say that Britain

stays in the customs union.

0:34:420:34:44

Depending upon the text, I would

support that.

You would like to see

0:34:440:34:48

the Labour leadership vote. --

0:34:480:34:53

what if Theresa May were defeated,

she has categorically said that we

0:34:540:34:57

will leave. We have made it very

clear.

Labour whips. Labour have

0:34:570:35:01

already tried to frustrate the

process, 243 Labour MPs had not vote

0:35:010:35:06

for the European withdrawal bill

which would end the supremacy of the

0:35:060:35:10

European laws, we have made it

clear, we want to make this a

0:35:100:35:13

success, they can frustrate its.

It

is called accountability, not

0:35:130:35:17

frustration.

Rest of the Leslie,

result of the referendum will not

0:35:170:35:21

even be accepted, amendment after

amendment...

INAUDIBLE

0:35:210:35:24

...

Before we get into too much more

bickering, thank you very much with

0:35:240:35:30

joining us.

0:35:300:35:34

The Government is facing calls

for an early Commons vote

0:35:350:35:36

on whether to press ahead with plans

to cut the number of

0:35:360:35:39

MPs from 650 to 600.

0:35:390:35:41

Parliament is due to vote

in the autumn on new parliamentary

0:35:410:35:43

boundaries, based on rule changes

introduced by the coalition in 2011.

0:35:430:35:46

However, the Public Administration

and Constitutional Affairs Committee

0:35:460:35:48

is warning today that the measure

is unlikely to pass and,

0:35:480:35:50

unless Parliament decides

to have a new boundary review,

0:35:500:35:53

the next election will be fought

on the existing boundaries based

0:35:530:35:55

on population data more than 20

years out of date.

0:35:550:35:58

Tony Bellringer

is

the Deputy Secretary

0:36:000:36:02

to the Boundary Commission

for England, he joins me now.

0:36:020:36:10

If there were to be a new boundary

review, would your heart sink if you

0:36:100:36:14

had to do it again?

Thank you, good

afternoon, would be a little

0:36:140:36:20

frustrating as staff, I have to

admit, given that we did start a

0:36:200:36:24

review in 2011 after new legislation

was passed, and that failed to get

0:36:240:36:31

to the end for various reasons. To

have it happen again would be

0:36:310:36:34

dispiriting.

Dispiriting, but

possible?

Would just about be

0:36:340:36:41

possible, gave evidence to the

committee around the turn of the

0:36:410:36:47

year, the current arrangements ask

us to complete a review, in short

0:36:470:36:51

three years, end to end, the

legislation requires us through

0:36:510:36:55

various stages of consultation, we

have some 35,000 responses, in the

0:36:550:37:01

review so far, takes a long time to

look through those.

As Nelly, what

0:37:010:37:05

would you think of the idea of a new

boundary review, keeping the same

0:37:050:37:10

number of MPs, 650?

Agnostic!

LAUGHTER

0:37:100:37:14

Fair enough.

The number is just the

number for us at the end of the day.

0:37:140:37:21

It is the number we must work with,

how we must distribute it across the

0:37:210:37:25

country, according to a formula. It

is what it is. The number. We do not

0:37:250:37:30

have a view, certainly not publicly

on what the number should be, that

0:37:300:37:35

is a matter for politicians and

Parliament.

Thank you very much.

0:37:350:37:39

Would you like to see a new review,

as is being suggested by the Commons

0:37:390:37:45

public administration Constitutional

affairs committee and Bernard Jenkin

0:37:450:37:46

your colleague to keep the number of

MPs at 650?

I had a manifesto

0:37:460:37:51

commitment to reduce it down to 200,

-- reduce it from 650 down to 600, I

0:37:510:38:00

want that to go ahead because it is

important to have a similar level of

0:38:000:38:03

representation in parliament but the

points made by Bernard of course we

0:38:030:38:06

have to look at the data that was

used was prior to 2015, some say the

0:38:060:38:11

data is slightly outdated, and...

20

years.

The data they used this was

0:38:110:38:19

2015... For the current boundaries,

the previous one, 20 years, yes you

0:38:190:38:24

are absolutely right.

Is it

important to actually be in a

0:38:240:38:28

situation if the Prime Minister

says, she is going to go ahead with

0:38:280:38:30

cutting the number, if it does not

have the support of MPs, if it is

0:38:300:38:34

not going to get through.

Bernard is

a brilliant college, working very

0:38:340:38:39

hard on the committee, but there is

a manifesto commitment from us the

0:38:390:38:43

Conservatives to reduce the cost of

politics to ensure that members of

0:38:430:38:46

Parliament have equal constituents,

who I think it is fair that I have

0:38:460:38:51

72000 and others may have 45,000, I

think that is unfair.

Will it get

0:38:510:38:55

through?

It is a manifesto

commitment and I would like to

0:38:550:38:59

honour that.

Do you support it?

No,

the idea that this is cutting the

0:38:590:39:04

cost of politics, when the Tories

have packed the House of Lords with

0:39:040:39:07

Lords that...

Tony Blair did it.

INAUDIBLE

0:39:070:39:12

You have...

This is about cutting

the number of Labour seats, because

0:39:120:39:17

the number of people not in the

electoral register in Labour areas

0:39:170:39:21

is going to be higher than...

But

you... The point to reduce the

0:39:210:39:25

number of constituencies and make

them a more equal size in terms of

0:39:250:39:28

the number of people and

constituencies, that is fair.

Yes,

0:39:280:39:32

absolutely, I support the principle

but as Raymond has said, the

0:39:320:39:35

electoral data they are using, that

they use the 2015, it is already

0:39:350:39:40

well out of date, more than a

million extra people registered to

0:39:400:39:44

vote ahead of the European

referendum, tens of thousands of

0:39:440:39:47

additional students, are we saying

their votes do not count and will

0:39:470:39:50

not count in the boundary review?

Will you support a new review? Yes,

0:39:500:39:54

I will.

You will back the proposal

by Bernard Jenkins. Will it get

0:39:540:39:59

through if there is not a new

review?

I think the wafer thin

0:39:590:40:02

majority for the Tories at the

moment, they will struggle to vote

0:40:020:40:05

to reduce the number of MPs to 600.

I'm sorry to say this to you, you

0:40:050:40:10

may be conducting a new review,

dispiriting as it sounds(!) thank

0:40:100:40:15

you.

0:40:150:40:16

There seems to have been a seismic

shift in sexual politics in the last

0:40:220:40:26

six months with the "Me Too"

campaign, the debate

0:40:260:40:28

about the gender pay gap

0:40:280:40:29

and the ending of "grid girls"

in Formula One racing.

0:40:290:40:31

But is it

wrong

for women

to exploit their beauty?

0:40:310:40:34

Sociologist Catherine Hakim thinks

women should use their "erotic

0:40:340:40:36

capital" to get ahead.

0:40:360:40:37

Here's her soapbox.

0:40:370:40:40

MUSIC: Flashing Lights

by Kanye West ft Dwele.

0:40:450:40:47

# Flashing lights

0:40:470:40:50

The BBC, Tesco and other employers

have started analyses of the reasons

0:40:500:40:55

for the differences between men

and women and their earnings.

0:40:550:40:59

However, some feminist campaigners

have started to destroy women's

0:40:590:41:02

ability to exploit their good looks

and charm, or what I would call,

0:41:020:41:05

their "erotic capital."

0:41:050:41:08

Women have a clear advantage

0:41:080:41:10

in exploiting their

good looks over men.

0:41:100:41:15

# As I recall, I know you love

to show off

0:41:150:41:17

# But I never thought that

you would take it this far

0:41:170:41:21

# What do I know?

0:41:210:41:27

Any activity, any enterprise,

any sport,

0:41:270:41:32

is raised to a higher level

0:41:320:41:33

if those involved

are attractive, beautiful,

0:41:330:41:35

handsome people.

0:41:350:41:36

Airlines know this,

restaurants and bars know it.

0:41:360:41:38

Beautiful women sell more goods

and services than beautiful men.

0:41:380:41:41

So that's why we have Formula 1 grid

girls, darts showgirls,

0:41:410:41:44

and in the United States

0:41:440:41:46

there are beautiful young

cheerleaders at half-time

0:41:460:41:48

in major sporting events.

0:41:480:41:52

No one objects to David Beckham

earning millions from posing

0:41:520:41:54

in underwear, almost naked,

0:41:540:41:56

on huge billboards in public places.

0:41:560:41:59

So why do we object to women doing

exactly the same thing?

0:41:590:42:04

Objections come from

deeply-rooted patriarchal values

0:42:040:42:07

that are still embedded

in modern sexual politics.

0:42:070:42:14

And

that

feminist ideology

0:42:140:42:21

has unwittingly

reinforced

instead of eliminating.

0:42:210:42:24

Modern objections, modern

feminist objections,

0:42:240:42:25

are now against women

exploiting their good looks

0:42:250:42:27

instead of encouraging them

to negotiate for higher pay.

0:42:270:42:34

The returns to attractiveness

and beauty

0:42:340:42:36

equal the returns to

educational qualifications.

0:42:360:42:40

Those who have erotic capital

have a huge advantage.

0:42:400:42:45

Men and women with a good

appearance,

0:42:450:42:48

good looks and a pleasant manner,

0:42:480:42:50

can earn on average between 10%

and 20% more than other people.

0:42:500:42:53

Exceptionally attractive

people earn lots more.

0:42:530:42:58

Rihanna has exploited her good looks

0:42:580:43:01

and has been photographed in public

wearing semi-nude dresses.

0:43:010:43:06

Why do we treat lesser-earning

women differently?

0:43:060:43:09

Just like men, women should be able

to earn their living

0:43:090:43:13

doing whatever they want,

0:43:130:43:15

including modelling,

stripping, lap dancing,

0:43:150:43:19

Page 3 photoshoots, burlesque shows.

0:43:190:43:21

Women should be allowed

to exploit their erotic capital

0:43:210:43:24

in exactly the same way

men already do.

0:43:240:43:32

STUDIO: And Catherine

Hakim joins me now.

0:43:370:43:41

Last night, at the BAFTA awards, all

the female stars turned out in

0:43:410:43:45

black, to show solidarity with the

movement against sexual harassment.

0:43:450:43:50

Are you on the wrong side of the

argument here, especially with the

0:43:500:43:54

metoo campaign?

It is fashionable to

join this campaign, this #metoo

0:43:540:44:02

campaign, it is fashionable to wear

black to show solidarity but

0:44:020:44:06

actually, it is a backlash towards

patriarchal and puritanical

0:44:060:44:10

attitudes towards erotic sexuality,

towards...

Isn't it a backlash

0:44:100:44:17

against men having dominated in

semi-spheres of life and women

0:44:170:44:22

feeling ill treated, in gender pay

or sexual harassment?

I won't go

0:44:220:44:27

into the pay gap, that is being

dealt with by legislation in Britain

0:44:270:44:32

and North America, but...

You said

it was against women exploiting good

0:44:320:44:36

looks, I say it is a backlash

against the way they have been

0:44:360:44:40

treated in various spheres, whether

it is at work or outside in the

0:44:400:44:43

domestic sphere.

People have changed

their attitudes towards the way they

0:44:430:44:49

treat women in public life, there is

no question there has been a huge

0:44:490:44:53

change there. An awful lot of the

complaints today are about

0:44:530:44:57

historical things, about things that

happened ten fifth, ten, 20 years

0:44:570:45:01

ago.

You don't think it is right to

address those?

It is not the time

0:45:010:45:07

banned worth the time and effort

that is being spent on it, what we

0:45:070:45:11

should look at is the way forward in

the 21st-century, erotic capital

0:45:110:45:15

still has value, in fact, in my

book, I show that it has more value

0:45:150:45:21

in the 21st-century than it did in

the past, so we will have an

0:45:210:45:25

increasing problem of what is called

sexual harassment which is a lot of

0:45:250:45:28

the time men paying attention to

women because they are attracted to

0:45:280:45:32

women.

What do you say to that, it

is not worth the time being spent,

0:45:320:45:37

to look at and investigate historic

cases of sexual harassment or where

0:45:370:45:42

women have been exploited and

actually, because of some of the

0:45:420:45:45

campaigns running now, it will lead

to a further backlash of sexual

0:45:450:45:48

harassment.

I think what the #metoo

campaign has its boast is that

0:45:480:45:53

sexual harassment and abuse of women

is still going on in every industry,

0:45:530:45:58

in every sector of our society

today, it was worse 40, 50 years ago

0:45:580:46:04

but it is still going on in

Westminster, in journalism, in all

0:46:040:46:09

sectors, and I believe that the need

to campaign is a backlash to the

0:46:090:46:13

object of vocation of women, to the

perception of women as passive

0:46:130:46:17

creatures on the sidelines of men's.

What about Rhianna, what about...

0:46:170:46:23

She goes on to the stage half naked.

Nothing against sexual empowerment,

0:46:230:46:30

the problem I have with the Grid

girls, with the darts, women are

0:46:300:46:36

seen as passive creatures, the men

are daredevil races and sportsmen.

0:46:360:46:40

Little boys and girls watching that

teaches them something terrible

0:46:400:46:45

about the society.

-- #metoo

campaign.

0:46:450:46:52

Is there a difference between women

being able to capitalise their

0:46:530:46:57

erotic capital, as you call it.

Questions about whether Grid girls

0:46:570:47:02

and darts walk on girls should be

banned. Why shouldn't they be?

0:47:020:47:07

Beauty has always had an erotic

element. The reason David Beckham

0:47:070:47:11

earns millions from posing naked is

because there is an erotic element

0:47:110:47:15

there. It's a very puritanical

reaction to say women shouldn't earn

0:47:150:47:19

money by being beautiful and

attractive, decorating and being

0:47:190:47:26

involved in public events, sports

events and other events.

Except, how

0:47:260:47:31

many public events are that way you

see men and boys being decorative in

0:47:310:47:34

the same way. We don't have Grid

boys or walk on boys in darts.

0:47:340:47:40

Perhaps we should have them. George

Clooney has no compunction at all

0:47:400:47:44

about earning millions from the fact

that he decorates adverts for copy

0:47:440:47:49

machines. We -- coffee machines. We

allow men to do it.

Do you accept

0:47:490:47:59

that hasn't been a tradition in the

past of allowing boys and men to be

0:47:590:48:02

exposed in the same way as women and

girls?

We see more and more of it

0:48:020:48:06

today.

And you think it's a good

thing?

I think it's equalising.

I

0:48:060:48:12

think we do treat George Clooney

differently when advertising

0:48:120:48:15

products than we do with other

Hollywood stars. In Caitlin Moran's

0:48:150:48:21

book, how to make a woman, she says

the basic tenet of whether sexism is

0:48:210:48:26

happening is whether the men are

having to do it. Our men walking on

0:48:260:48:31

female sports stars, do they wave

flight smack as women drive past in

0:48:310:48:37

Formula 1 cars? They are not,

because men are not systematically

0:48:370:48:41

and routinely objectified in

society.

Why should women be

0:48:410:48:44

prevented from using their good

looks to earn decent money in

0:48:440:48:48

Formula 1 and darts competitions?

I

believe in a free society and that

0:48:480:48:53

it's up to each individual on how

they want to dress, how they don't

0:48:530:48:56

want to dress and what they want to

do within the parameters of the law,

0:48:560:49:00

there should always be respected and

civility towards one another. When I

0:49:000:49:05

go to sports events, I want to see

brilliant sportswomen...

Should be

0:49:050:49:13

glamour girls be dropped?

I think

it's up to each organisation to

0:49:130:49:16

determine what is right for them.

It's not up to me as a politician to

0:49:160:49:20

regulate what sporting organisations

should do. There should always be

0:49:200:49:23

respected and civility but it's up

to each sporting organisation to

0:49:230:49:27

determine how they run themselves.

Would you accept there is a

0:49:270:49:30

difference between George Clooney,

David Beckham and Rihanna, who do

0:49:300:49:34

what they do from a position of

power and high levels of income, and

0:49:340:49:39

it's not the same as men and women

who are earning far less and doing

0:49:390:49:43

it to survive?

No, I don't think

there is a difference. Everybody who

0:49:430:49:49

works is working for an income,

whether it's high or low. I don't

0:49:490:49:53

think we should treat people who are

less famous than David Beckham and

0:49:530:49:58

George Clooney as being inferior

people who are unable to make their

0:49:580:50:01

own choices about how they want to

earn their living and what they want

0:50:010:50:04

to do with their lives. We are

infantilising women at the moment. I

0:50:040:50:09

am writing a book on sexual

politics, and one of the key themes

0:50:090:50:12

that seems to come up again and

again is women are being

0:50:120:50:16

infantilised as if they are unable

to make decisions about their lives,

0:50:160:50:20

choose their occupations and make a

calculation as to whether they want

0:50:200:50:23

to be a stripper or not, whether

they want to earn a lot of money in

0:50:230:50:27

just one night, which the they might

spend a whole month earning as a

0:50:270:50:34

shelf filler. That's a choice women

have to make. And they might have a

0:50:340:50:38

huge advantage if they have good

looks and they can exploit that. On

0:50:380:50:42

average women are a lot more

attractive than men, and that's a

0:50:420:50:45

permanent factor, seems to me.

Rehman Chishti, what do you say to

0:50:450:50:49

that?!

I thought my youthful looks

were going pretty well!

0:50:490:50:55

It's been well over 18

months since Britain took

0:50:550:50:57

the momentous decision to leave

the European Union.

0:50:570:50:59

But judging by the number

of new groups being set up arguing

0:50:590:51:02

the pros and cons of leaving the EU

you'd be forgiven for thinking

0:51:020:51:05

that the decision hasn't necessarily

been settled for good.

0:51:050:51:08

Today sees the launch

of a new anti-Brexit party called

0:51:080:51:10

Renew which has reportedly been

getting advice from MPs in

0:51:100:51:14

Emmanuel Macron's En Marche party.

0:51:140:51:22

As well as Renew, who we saw there,

a group of pro-Brexit academics has

0:51:260:51:29

also been launched to provide expert

analysis in favour of leaving

0:51:290:51:32

the European Union.

0:51:320:51:33

So, joining me now,

is Dr Graham Gudgin,

0:51:330:51:35

a Cambridge University economist

and the editor of

0:51:350:51:37

Briefings for Brexit.

0:51:370:51:38

Aand we also have James Torrance,

a co-founder of Renew -

0:51:380:51:40

he's in central London

where the party is being officially

0:51:400:51:43

launched right now.

0:51:430:51:44

James Torrance, why do we need an

anti-Brexit party, when we already

0:51:440:51:46

have the Liberal Democrats and the

Green Party?

The SNP are not

0:51:460:51:49

national and the Liberal Democrats

have been widely discredited. The

0:51:490:51:51

Green Party are very focused on a

particular range of issues as well

0:51:510:51:53

as Brexit. We need a party to

provide an anti-Brexit message that

0:51:530:51:58

is rooted in pragmatic and centrist

policies that fix the problems in

0:51:580:52:02

society rather than create new ones.

I have to apologise because the

0:52:020:52:06

quality of the lying to you is not

very good. We will try again. -- the

0:52:060:52:11

quality of the line to you. This is

a little that the video of Renew

0:52:110:52:19

that you have released.

0:52:190:52:23

Hello, my name is James,

I'm an accountant from London.

0:52:230:52:26

Hi, I'm Yuki, I'm a junior

doctor here in London.

0:52:260:52:28

I'm Oliver.

0:52:280:52:29

I'm a small-business owner.

0:52:290:52:30

I have a consultancy

based in London.

0:52:300:52:32

I'm Nicky Blair, and I live

and work in south London.

0:52:320:52:34

I'm really excited about Renew,

partly because of its attitude

0:52:340:52:37

towards Brexit and the belief it

should be reversed.

0:52:370:52:39

I thought you had to be involved

in traditional politics,

0:52:390:52:41

that somehow you needed some

connection to do that.

0:52:410:52:44

I'm really fed up with the way

that I feel this country

0:52:440:52:46

is being represented

by our MPs in Parliament.

0:52:460:52:48

Where I have felt disillusioned

with politics and really didn't know

0:52:480:52:51

where to base my vote at the last

general election, it's heartening

0:52:510:52:54

to me to feel that people

are passionate enough to step

0:52:540:52:56

forward and actually start again.

0:52:560:53:04

That's the video on the home page of

your website, James Torrance. Why is

0:53:100:53:15

everybody featured from London?

I

think they were filmed right at the

0:53:150:53:18

beginning of our escapade, and we

started in London. The reality is

0:53:180:53:23

today we have more than 200

candidates from all over the UK,

0:53:230:53:28

from northern Scotland is to the

south-west. We have a good cluster

0:53:280:53:32

of candidates in the north-east. I

think today we are a national party

0:53:320:53:36

with rapid sensation all of the UK.

People might ask why you didn't

0:53:360:53:41

include people from all around the

UK later. -- with representation all

0:53:410:53:48

over the UK. Graham, why do we need

pro Brexit academics?

As many of the

0:53:480:53:55

arguments haven't been made in the

press. We want to count the

0:53:550:54:02

accusations that Brexit supporters

are ill educated, misinformed,

0:54:020:54:06

misled, or Lord help us, even

sometimes racist.

Isn't that an

0:54:060:54:12

admission at the bounds of expert

opinion in academia and elsewhere is

0:54:120:54:16

very worried about Brexit and the

likely economic consequences?

I

0:54:160:54:22

think what you say is true. The

evidence suggests up to 90% of

0:54:220:54:28

university academics support remain.

The problem is, they get all the

0:54:280:54:31

airtime and the arguments. And there

are plenty of very senior academics

0:54:310:54:36

and very experienced people in other

areas of life who support Brexit,

0:54:360:54:41

and their arguments have not got out

very much. What we are trying to do

0:54:410:54:45

is give a platform for those people

and for those arguments.

I take your

0:54:450:54:50

point is that you feel they haven't

had the air time, although we

0:54:500:54:54

certainly do have people like you on

on a regular basis talking about

0:54:540:54:59

Brexit and its advantages, but you

do accept it's a minority of your

0:54:590:55:02

colleagues to support your views.

Yes, but if you want to count heads,

0:55:020:55:08

we have the referendum and we know

the result. We are now in a part of

0:55:080:55:13

the national debate in which we are

trying to debate what is the best

0:55:130:55:17

way forward. Now it's the quality of

argument is that really count and we

0:55:170:55:21

are trying to put forward

high-quality arguments.

You will

0:55:210:55:25

have heard that experts at the civil

service are saying Brexit will hit

0:55:250:55:29

growth by up to 8% over the next 15

years and a free-trade deal would

0:55:290:55:34

only add 0.2% to growth over the

same period. Do you think that's the

0:55:340:55:40

reason so many experts and academics

believe the sums on Brexit don't add

0:55:400:55:44

up.

It's an important reason why

people voted to remain. I think the

0:55:440:55:49

polling shows that on the remains

side at least, the economic

0:55:490:55:51

consequences were the biggest

factor. But myself and colleagues at

0:55:510:55:57

Cambridge and Ulster University in

Northern Ireland have been looking

0:55:570:56:00

at it very carefully and we are the

only people in the UK who fully

0:56:000:56:05

represented the analysis of the

Treasury and OECD, and we find them

0:56:050:56:10

deeply flawed, greatly exaggerated

on the negative side, and we are in

0:56:100:56:13

a situation where we had the leaked

report last week that again gave

0:56:130:56:17

negative figures, but we're not told

who produced the figures, or how the

0:56:170:56:20

analysis was done. It was

essentially a secret report,

0:56:200:56:24

completely unsatisfactorily.

Presumably it was commissioned by

0:56:240:56:29

the government aren't done by the

civil service. Back to James

0:56:290:56:33

Torrance, how do you respond to the

assertion that there are many

0:56:330:56:36

Remainers Mac and remain sporting

groups who treat leave voters like

0:56:360:56:43

they are stupid.

I don't believe

that at all. It's mainly leave

0:56:430:56:48

voters who generally repeat that. We

take the concerns of leave voters

0:56:480:56:52

very seriously, which is one of the

reasons we believe a new party is

0:56:520:56:56

the right answer. There are many

problems that exist in this country

0:56:560:56:58

that need to be resolved, but we

think Brexit is a poor way of

0:56:580:57:02

addressing it and will ultimately

make it worse.

There are reports in

0:57:020:57:05

the press saying one of your leaders

walked out in the press conference.

0:57:050:57:09

Is that true, what happened?

That

was me, actually! I came out of the

0:57:090:57:15

press conference to give this

interview!

LAUGHTER

0:57:150:57:18

That's hilarious. That clears that

one up. Just before we go, you said

0:57:180:57:26

the purpose of your website is to

fight the propaganda that dismisses

0:57:260:57:29

leave voters. Do you have people

like the Renew party and anti-Brexit

0:57:290:57:37

parties in mind when you say that?

I

think we have the media in general

0:57:370:57:41

and politics in general.

I am

pleased to hear what James has just

0:57:410:57:46

said, but that's clearly not the

norm on the media. We have had

0:57:460:57:51

hundreds and hundreds of responses

since we set up this website 24

0:57:510:57:55

hours ago, largely from people who

say they feel they have been

0:57:550:58:00

ignored, marginalised, and maligned,

and how glad they are to see there

0:58:000:58:04

are prominent academics who take the

same view as they do.

Very briefly,

0:58:040:58:09

for a free trade with America to

make up for lost trade with the EU,

0:58:090:58:13

it would have to be an enormously in

terms of what people think is

0:58:130:58:19

actually achievable. Is it credible?

There are two things in that

0:58:190:58:23

question.

You will have to be very

brief because we are running out of

0:58:230:58:26

time.

We don't believe the gap is

very big, and it will take time,

0:58:260:58:30

there will be some gap, and we

believe it will be relatively

0:58:300:58:33

moderate and take some time to fill.

Thank you for doing that briefly.

0:58:330:58:37

Thank you to both of you. The answer

to our quiz now, which politician

0:58:370:58:43

did Morrissey criticise, Nicola

Sturgeon, David Cameron, Theresa May

0:58:430:58:46

or Jeremy Corbyn?

It was Nicola

Sturgeon, well done.

We will be back

0:58:460:58:54

tomorrow at noon. Goodbye.

0:58:540:59:01

Conservative MP Rehman Chishti and Labour's Louise Haigh keep Jo Coburn company throughout the programme. They examine plans to reform higher education and the proposed boundary review, and look at the political week ahead with the journalists Lucy Fisher and Henry Mance.


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