Jo Coburn is joined by Tim Stanley of the Telegraph and the Guardian's Heather Stewart. They discuss the Brexit negotiations and the meeting of the cabinet sub-committee.
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Hello and welcome to
the Daily Politics.
All sides claim victory
in the aftermath of last
night's Cabinet away day,
and praise is heaped on Theresa May
- but could there be trouble ahead
for the Prime Minister
as the so-called Mutineers
rock the boat again?
Another bus with a big number on it.
This time, it's Remainers on board.
Can they really persuade
the British people to change
their mind about Brexit?
Gay people can get married
in England, Wales and Scotland -
but not in Northern Ireland.
With the Stormont Assembly suspended
should the UK parliament
legislate to legalise it?
And Lib Dem leader Vince Cable
chooses Roy Jenkins
as his political hero.
I think he would be a very,
very sad, heartbroken man if he saw
what had happened today.
All that in the next hour,
and with me for the duration,
the Guardian's Heather Stewart
and the Telegraph's Tim Stanley.
Welcome to the programme.
So, Theresa May's Brexit cabinet
enjoyed a lavish dinner last night
of cream of sweetcorn soup
with a ham hock croquette
followed by Guinness short rib
of Dexter Beef with onions
and parsnip mash, but now
the Chequers party is over
and the clean-up has begun.
We've been told the Prime Minister
"played a blinder" and that
there was an outbreak
of unity...for now.
But just what has been agreed?
Some have briefed that
"divergence has won",
meaning Britain won't be tied to EU
regulations but instead try to trade
with Europe using a system
of mutually agreed rules.
Others have said there
was an increasing realisation
that there needed to be a pragmatic
Brexit with an acknowledgement
that the UK should stick closely
to Brussels in some areas.
So what now?
Theresa May will have
to get her whole cabinet to sign off
on the deal next Tuesday before
the Prime Minister makes her keynote
speech outlining the government's
position next Friday.
The fun really starts when they put
the proposals to the EU.
Michel Barnier has always warned
that any deal must be "less
favourable" than the current
arrangement and that
the government's plans would not be
compatible with the EU's principles.
There are a few coming late
to the party, Tory backbench MP
Anna Soubry has put down
a new amendment to the government's
trade bill calling for a customs
union with the EU once we leave.
This could potentially be very
dangerous for Mrs May as it
could get support from Labour
who are also poised to commit
themselves to membership
of "a customs union" with a speech
from Jeremy Corbyn
expected on Monday.
Let's have a listen to
what Michael Gove and Amber Rudd had
to say about last night's meeting.
A very positive meeting and we got
behind the Prime Minister and agreed
the basis for her speech for next
weekend and are looking forward to
it going ahead.
The Prime Minister
will be making a speech shortly but
there was a very good atmosphere and
we agreed on a way forward.
And we're joined now from
Central Lobby by Dominic Grieve.
Dominic, your colleague, Anna Sue
Brie, put down a new amendment to
the trade bill calling for a customs
arrangement with the EU once we
leave -- Soubry. Theresa May said
you would be leaving the customs
union with the EU so why have you
signed up for it?
The Prime Minister
is right that we will leave the
customs union on the EU because the
on -- one is dependent on the other.
The question arises is what is in
the national interest for the future
to avoid tariffs and inspection
regimes and enable free trade and
allow an open border between
ourselves and the EU and the North
and South of Northern Ireland. These
are important considerations. My
view has been that the national
interest lies in maintaining those.
If that means being in a form of
customs union and I don't think that
is something we ought to rule out.
Of course, the prime Minister
indicated she would like to try and
achieve this ability to have a free
flow of trade of goods by some other
means and I don't object to Latin
anyway, -- object to that in any
way, but I do have strong views
about eliminating the possibility of
a customs union because, at the end
of the day, the likely benefit to
the United Kingdom was third-party
agreements with other countries,
which would be much less than a
disadvantage of using -- losing the
free flow of trade which I think
will have an adverse impact on our
You differ with the Prime
Minister as to how this future
relationship can be achieved. What
difference will the tabled amendment
Just be correct. I
don't differ with her about how it
might be achieved. If she can
achieve it by the means she is
seeking, all well and good but we
should not rule out the possibility
of a customs union, and in order to
make sure that issue remains on the
that is why the amendment has been
tabled and it will mean when we come
to the report stage of the bill it
can be given proper consideration in
the light of whether the
negotiations have got some point at
Do you accept following
what has been reported from those
who attended them Chequers meeting,
the eight-hour meeting, that it was
relatively harmonious and by
supporting this amendment you are
making life difficult for your Prime
That I think is a
misunderstanding of the tabling of
amendments. As parliamentarians we
can table amendments during the
passage of a bill to make sure
issues are considered that we think
are of importance. What decision is
taken about the amendment must be
dependent on what stage and the
information we have asked the
progress of negotiations when it
comes back. The point is, you should
not exclude the possibility of
remaining a customs union. And that
is what we have got to make sure,
that we keep that issue available
But you want to have Labour
MPs support the amendment and, in
fact, you want the Labour leadership
to MPs to back the amendment about
remaining in the customs union which
could result in defeat for your
I have absolutely no
idea whether the Labour leadership,
which actually is led by someone who
broadly speaking has supported
Brexit, will wish to support the
amendment. I have little doubt the
amendment will command support
across the house and it might
command support across a broad
swathe of the Conservative party in
parliament. But at the moment we
haven't come to that point. At the
moment the amendment has been tabled
and I think it is essential we could
keep the issue available and could
I have looked to the
people who signed up to the
amendment and there are a large
number of Labour MPs and, if you
listen to anything coming out the
Labour leadership's mounds in the
last few weeks, it looks as though
they are to confirming the position
which is like yours, keeping the
issue of a customs union on the
table. So if the government was
defeated, what would happen then?
the government was defeated
eventually I would assume the
government would be required to seek
to negotiate keeping us in the
customs union, if that can be
obtained from our EU partners.
Excuse me. Those are things that one
has to keep in mind, of course. But
I don't think it would be the end of
the government at all. There's no
reason why it should be.
clear your throat for a moment,
Heather Stewart, let's ask about
Labour, because Jeremy Corbyn will
make this speech on Monday. Do you
think it will be the point at which
Jeremy Corbyn says we will back the
idea of Britain remaining in a
customs union with the European
There has certainly been a
shift in Labour policy and I
coordinated one as we saw different
members from wings of the party,
Owen Smith, Emily Thornberry and
others saying the policy was
evolving. John McDonnell had
interesting words as well. It's
always dangerous to predict what
Jeremy Corbyn will say in his
speeches. I remember a speech in the
referendum campaign which did not
turn out as expected. But there has
clearly been a shift and busily the
Labour leadership is extremely keen
on inflicting defeat in the House of
Commons to the government if it can.
So how dangerous is it for Theresa
May? Dominic grieve says it will
mean we just have to keep the idea
of a customs union on the table but
it will mean more than that for
Listening then he
seemed to leave the door open of a
Canada plus model free-trade model
which delivers the benefits of a
customs union without being in one
and I'm sure he will want to respond
to that and I don't want to put
words in his mouth but I see that as
the compromise that might happen. We
essentially have three separate
positions. That of the government,
which hasn't really changed, where
they say they want divergences where
they will copy what the EU does but
not be in the EU. You have the Tory
rebel and Labour position which
hasn't really changed of saying we
should be in a customs union. One
position that might have changed is
that some members of the EU 27 are
in favour of a Canada plus plus plus
style deal and don't want to see
things dragged out by the
negotiators of the commission. So in
many ways things have not changed
but I don't see this disagreement
between the rebels on the government
is completely shutting the door on
some sort of agreement.
happen if the government was
defeated on the amendment?
be very embarrassing and undermine
the government's efforts are
providing a unified front and might
embolden those in the Cabinet such
as Philip Hammond who take a more
remain point of view which I suspect
is what on the rebels minds. But I
expect they are reasonable and some
accommodation can be made.
to inflict an embarrassing defeat on
your own government?
I never want to
defeat my own government and I
always seek to try and avoid doing
that and after all, I don't have are
serial rebel reputation even though
I voted once against the government
on a national issue.
You said it was
in the national interest to keep it
on the table so will you put your
principles ahead of the party?
are in danger of running ahead of
ourselves on this. I've explained
what it is that the amendment is
designed to achieve and the point
was very well made that it might be
that some sort of Canada plus plus
plus arrangement can be arrived at
but I am interested in the reality
of free trade without tariffs and
inspection regimes. That is what I
want to see and I'm perfectly
prepared to consider different
options but I'm not prepared to
exclude options in order to achieve
What do you say to Jacob Rees
Mogg who said remaining in a customs
union with the EU means we would be
common to internal tariff meaning
higher prices for clothing and
footwear and it would be more
expensive for the British public?
Does the amendment risk lowering the
standard of living for people in
I completely disagree
with Jacob's analysis. The evidence
is overwhelming that if we come out
of a customs union we have no
satisfactory arrangements and have a
tariff and inspection regime meaning
the cost of living will rise and it
is the poorest and most vulnerable
who will suffer the most.
Stanley, what you say to that?
could argue that the Brexiteers are
breeding trouble for the government
by saying that stopping the
migration of people during the
transition. Everyone is bargaining
now. That is all I can really say.
It's up to the Prime Minister to
navigate this. One reason she
appears so tight-lipped and
difficult to read is because she is
juggling so many balls. You could
argue it's her fault because she did
not get the majority she wanted to
make it possible that this week I
feel more sympathetic because we are
starting to see the demands of other
people in the parliament and she has
to keep them all happy whilst also
maintaining a clear path for the
Dominic Grieve, thank
Now the leaders of the other 27 EU
countries are gathering
today to amongst other things firm
up their position on Brexit.
Our Brussels reporter,
Adam Fleming is there.
Add, tell me what they are
The way I've been
putting it this morning is that
Brexit is not the theme tune for the
summit but it is the background
music so they will talk about the
future composition of the European
Parliament after 2019 because there
will no longer be 73 British MEPs
and they will talk about the
successor to the process by which
Jean-Claude Juncker was made prime
minister of the EU Commission and
his term of office is up there. Then
they have the really thorny issue of
the MSF left, the multi-financial
framework, which is the seven-year
budget cycle which starts in 2021
and will have a Brexit sized hole in
it of potentially 15 billion euros
per year. Lots of difficult
conversations between net
contributors who pay in and don't
necessarily want to paying more, and
their recipients who don't
necessarily want to receive less,
while there is increasing demands on
the budget when it comes to security
and migration. That discussion will
go on for months and months. In
terms Brexit, the only bit formerly
on the agenda today is Donald Tusk
will update the 27 leaders on the
process he will go through to write
their next set of guidelines for the
next phase of talks about trade and
the future relationship, which the
27 will sign off in this building
when they next meet on the 23rd of
The EU seems to have rejected
a key British proposal for the
future relationship after Brexit,
the so-called baskets where you can
have a variance in relation post
Brexit. This is according to
documents published by the European
commission. In your opinion, are the
EU 27 still singing from the same
hymn sheet? Is there any sign of
Yeah, that's the word they all use
all the time.
document yesterday which emerged was
a presentation that was given by the
European Commission Brexit
negotiators to diplomats from the
27, a couple of weeks ago, which
talked about these three Baskett
approach the Prime Minister has as a
basis for the discussion about the
future relationship and they said it
was incompatible with the European
Council's guidelines for Brexit and
they pointed out that it meant that
the UK was cherry picking, taking
what bits of the single market it
liked which threatened the integrity
of the single market, it threatened
the autonomy of the EU's
decision-making because it would
mean the UK on the outside would be
too involved on decision is
happening on the inside, there would
have to be a role for the European
Court of Justice in the UK were
still going to rely on concepts in
EU law, and also said what about
Norway, because they are in the
European economic Eire, might get
annoyed by the UK getting the sort
of deal? They were very firm. That's
against the guidelines drawn up by
the 27 in April last year. But I'm
detecting subtle little hints where
things are changing force of this is
going to sound incredibly geeky so
bear with me. The Swedish board of
trade, which is the trade agency
which advises the Swedish
Government, has just written 260
pages of Brexit reports about the
economy, it's all in Swedish but
they've released a four page summary
in English which says a one size
fits all model for the UK and Sweden
is not appropriate for the Swedish
economy and they say for some
sectors of the Swedish economy it
would be best of the UK remained in
EU. For some sectors of the Swedish
economy it would be better if there
was a deep and special trade
relationship like the one the EU has
with Ukraine, but some part of the
switch economy it would be like
Switzerland where they have loads of
bilateral deals in different sectors
and they say a plane free trade
agreement like the EU has with
Canada and Japan, would not
eliminate barriers to trade
effectively and would not be good
enough. To my ears, does that mean
they are criticising Michel
Barnier's Canada is the best you are
going to get approach or criticising
the UK's guidelines saying we have
to delete some of those red lines in
those areas or is it both or neither
and is that what we're going to be
looking at, more clues about what
member states think about this
goodness there was that translation
from the Swedish board of trade
because it would have left you in a
We're joined now from
Rome by the Italian
MEP Roberto Gualtieri,
who is on the European Parliament's
Brexit steering group.
Welcome to the programme. I don't
know how much of the last discussion
you just heard, but we are already
hearing that Brussels is rejecting
Theresa May's approach of managed
divergences also why?
is not true. We are respectfully
waiting for understanding of what
exactly is the UK proposal. We
understand there will be a speech
from the Prime Minister next week.
And then we will define our
guidelines. We have only said that
we want a relationship with the
United Kingdom which is as close as
possible, but, of course, any kind
of relationship has its own balance
and rights of obligation, single
market has other rules, custom
union, other rules, and if there are
red lines which prevent those
solutions, then we enter into a
category of a free-trade agreement
which of course have to be
You say you don't know
what Britain once and therefore
nothing has been rejected, but
that's not the case, is it, Roberto,
because the Prime Minister has put
forward a proposal of three baskets
where you would have some mutual
recognition in some areas, some
close alignment and some divergences
and we know now from the commission
that they rejected that, so I say
again, why has that been rejected
out of hand?
Honestly, I don't
understand what we're talking about.
We have not received a formal
position. We haven't heard the
speech. Nothing hinting of these
baskets, which is not a totally
clear concept. We know in a
free-trade agreement, if the UK is
not in the customs union, if it's
not in a single market, of course we
cannot have a totally free market,
we have to have an agreement and the
level of market access will depend
on a number of factors. We can have
a very good level of market taxes
for goods and services, the more
difficult, of course, as the Swedish
document just quoted saying, in a
free-trade agreement, if it's
impossible, if you want frictionless
trade, you need to stay in the
single market. These other basics.
Of course we have to enter into
negotiations and we need a clear
position from the UK and of course
we will our guidelines to Parliament
You do accept there's a
number of countries in fact that do
have special deals with the European
Union, it's not strictly a case of
remaining in the single market to
get that frictionless trade or
remaining in the customs union, so
there is the complete alignment with
regulations. For example, Turkey, it
isn't bound by freedom of movement
and has a customs union with the EU
but only on goods and not services.
That's a bespoke deal so why can't
Britain have a bespoke deal?
exactly a good example. Turkey is a
member of a different union, which
has advantages, in terms of tariff.
Of course Turkey is bound to have
the same tariff outside so this
means there's some equalisation of
the policy. With less friction in
the trade of goods, of course, there
are still some checks to be done
because they are not in the single
Yes but button plaited
broadly with the approach of three
baskets? Norway also has a special
deal, it's part of the single
market, but not the customs union.
It a separate rules. For industries
like farm produce and fish. Britain
could have a similar approach,
mixing perhaps the two?
exactly the reason why we need to
wait for what would be the proposal
because something similar to Turkey
is different from a free-trade
agreement because it implies some
limitation in the external tariff
which Canada does not have. So far
we have heard that the UK was
excluding this option. If they move
in this direction it would be a
positive thing of course, but it has
not been said.
Yes, but we keep
hearing from the EU, Michel Barnier,
Britain won't be allowed to cherry
pick but examples of Norway, Turkey
and Switzerland, their bilateral
agreements with the EU to some
extent that is cherry picking. This
has been rejected out of hand for
I insist I agree with
your description of how we reject,
but it's not true.
That they have
We have some
obligations with the UK if they
choose to be banned by a customs
union, and it's a positive fact we
not rejecting it all. Switzerland is
a bit different, but I would like to
remind you, Switzerland has the
freedom of movement. I understand
the UK does not want this.
Is the EU
27 still unified?
have been unified and we will be
united because we have a very
reasonable position. We want a
relationship as close as possible
with the United Kingdom. Of course
each kind of relationship has
balances, rights and obligations
under accept this principle, so we
are open to engaging in a decision
as far as the UK, we have a clear
proposal, and we will discuss it. It
would also be very useful of course
to move forward the discussion on
transition because that an element
of uncertainty. We are close, not
yet there, but I hope a number of
problems will be positively solved
and a very reasonable proposal of
the union with some limitation of
course, would be the basis of an
agreement so we can move into the
last phase which is crucial of
Roberto, stay with us why
bring in my other guest to the
discussion. What do you make of what
Roberto is saying? Despite some
other language that has come from
the European Union, about not
wanting Britain to cherry pick, does
he have a point it is still not
clear exactly what Britain is after?
That is very true but it's all so
from what he said, not entirely
clear, what Europe will eventually
agree to. I'm loving the discussion
this morning because we're seeing
some light at the end of the tunnel.
At the beginning of the negotiation
process everything tended to feel
like it was on the side of the EU
because they were trying to get as
much money out of us, that was their
focus and they got it. With is gone,
they are down 9 billion, but now
we're moving on, while the
commission may well be saying one
thing, Michel Barnier could be
saying it's not possible, you can't
cherry pick, which technically
speaking is true from the EU's point
of view, it's interesting to hear
the individual representatives of
different countries are thinking,
hang on, we sell to Britain's
markets, why can't we do a deal
because it's in everyone's benefit?
What do you think about the idea of
Britain's managed divergences which
I'm sure can mean something to
everyone, in terms of sort of
semantics and linguistic gymnastics,
do you think Britain will find much
more difficult when is presented to
I do, and I think it's a
better way of dealing with the
divergences within the Cabinet
itself, rather than thinking about
the negotiations although it seems
to me they're there was a chink of
light in the sense of when you
raised Turkey the answer was, yes,
we have a customs union in
particular areas so that does seem
up the idea of different
arrangements in different sectors,
which Theresa May many months ago
used to say repeatedly the customs
union is not a binary question to
which the commission used to say
absolutely yes, it is. Perhaps it is
a bit more complex than that and
that is why David Davis and his
ministers are shuttling around like
mad visiting several European
capitals every week because they
very much hope to open up ultimate
of a chink between Brussels and the
On the implementation period,
Roberto mentioned, do you think it
is now becoming clear Theresa May
will have to give away on her
proposal to change the rights for EU
citizens coming during the two-year
It is implicit in the
transition deal, it doesn't feel it
has been nailed down a. And the
Times of course was reporting today
that exactly what would happen. I
think what Britain wants to maintain
at this stage is as much Flex it is
possible because it has got to get
its House in order but also doesn't
want to put a time negotiations when
it comes to negotiating a future
traders have regardless of what the
Government may publicly say about
rights, Ireland, any of this stuff,
my suspicion is the transition will
be a movable feast.
Thank you very
much for joining us today.
Now it's time for our daily quiz.
Earlier this week, David Davis
was at pains to tell people
post-Brexit Britain wouldn't be
a "Mad Max-style dystopian fantasy".
Disappointing a view!
Disappointing a view!
Well, yesterday, his
cabinet colleague Andrea
Leadsom backed him up,
and said life outside the EU
would be much more
like another film.
But which one?
Was it a) 28 Days Later?
b) Love Actually?
c) Four Weddings and a Funeral?
or d) The Wicker Man?
The mind boggles!
The mind boggles!
At the end of the show,
Tim and Heather will give
us the correct answer.
Slightly surreal question.
Slightly surreal question.
Now, remember that Leave Campaign
bus which carried the claim
that we send £350 million a week
to the EU?
Money which could be
spent on the NHS?
Well, Remainers now have their own
bus touring the country with a big
number on the side of it.
It's in Liverpool today and onboard
is campaigner Phil Richmond.
Haven't we had enough of buses with
big figures on the side of them?
don't know. I mean, we had a bus
which said 350 William pounds was
going to be saved by leaving the EU,
and then the government's own
figures showed in fact we are going
to be 2000 million pounds a week
poorer and we understand why they
try to give it under wraps and why
MPs are only allowed to go and look
at these numbers in a special room
with an invigilator if they leave
their mobile phones at the door.
Behind you we have three Jacob Rees
Moggs behind you which could be
worrying from your point of view.
They are obviously not very keen on
your bus but we will leave them
there in the background. Just to
remind viewers of his position.
Isn't this all a bit late, two years
too late in fact? Shouldn't you have
done this during the referendum
No, absolutely not. It
couldn't be a better time. We have
had a phoney war for 18 months and
finally the Government is having to
admit there are hard trade-offs in
Brexit and it's going to come at a
price. And it's not going to make is
better off, we are going to be
poorer, and we know how much poorer
we are going to be. We are at a
point when people are asking is it
worth it? We now concede what the
price of Brexit is going to be and
what our campaign is doing is saying
is it worth it? And more and more
people are asking is it worth it?
Why and how have you calculate that
figure on the bus which is being
scored slightly by the trio of Jacob
OK, it's a pity you
can't see the figure, because it's
very simple. If you have 5% loss of
GDP growth, and you have a current
GDP of macro-2,000,000,000,000, 5%
of that is 100 billion, and that is
2000 million. It's as simple as
that. There's no calculations
Aren't you reigniting
No. Project fear is
about frightening people with things
that might happen. This is simply
telling people what the Government's
thinking is. This is what the best
experts the Government has are
telling them is going to happen with
Apart from the three behind you, how
have is the turnout been to see the
The turnout is well and we've
been well-received everywhere. You
can't see, they are on the other
side of the bus. But because of the
noise of those I'm finding hard to
Thanks for joining us and
maybe you should have a conversation
with the three guys behind you
wearing the Jacob Rees Mogg masks.
As soon as I am of their I am going
to ask them do you really think it
is worth it? But thanks for having
Well, earlier this week a pro-Brexit
group of economists came up
with their own assessement
of the economic impact
of leaving the EU.
Julian Jessop contributed
to that report.
Vicky Pryce is a former
We were all glued to the Jacob Rees
Mogg people in the last film. Your
model assumes mass elimination of
tariffs. As any government minister
or political party indicated they
would unilaterally eliminate
Not as such but that's a
reasonable approximation of where
the government wants to end up, a
situation where we have a
comprehensive free-trade deal with
the rest of the European Union
covering both goods and services and
significantly lower trade barriers
with the rest of the world. It's
true the government is not hoping to
completely eliminate the barriers
and to make those assumptions we
have another assumption where we
only make roughly half of them and
that still delivers a positive
number but whichever way you look at
it you end up in positive numbers
rather than negatives. But you don't
think anyone has put the scenario
Has any other country
indicated they would be interested
in removing tariffs and nontariff
barriers to the extent you'd like to
We have the model what the
government is aiming to achieve. You
can have a separate argument about
whether this scenario is likely to
be accepted by the rest of the
European Union or world, but the
problem with the Treasury analysis
is that it models three scenarios,
none of which are government policy
and particular the one that features
on the bus is the one thing that the
government has ruled out. So there
has to be a range of scenarios
rather than prejudging before the
negotiations have started?
you say to that?
they've come up with a positive
figure in the medium to long term.
What is the medium to long term?
2030, that is the period you are
looking at. But it could take longer
for any positives to come through.
The interesting thing is they are
not saying much about the
short-term, which is likely to be
disruptive for those who put it
together. That will be difficult.
Any trade agreement we have with
anyone else is unlikely to cover
services and quite a lot of
countries that would like to talk to
us about this, like India, would
like and return to be to be able to
come and work here and that is
something the UK is not going to
Do you sign up broadly to the
Treasury analysis that they used to
say that growth would grow less
quickly in the future?
What I have
signed up to is that if we move with
restraint to our major trading
partner because 45% of our services
of business to them, if you make
that less frictionless and you
reduce the ability to sell to those
countries the way we did before it
will increase costs and reduce
growth, and that in itself is a good
starting point. Anything you do to
reduce the impact you may have,
anything that allows you to stay as
close as you are to where you are at
present will, of course mean, you
are not doing as badly as you did
Do you agree you are
talking about the medium to long
term, and if we are talking about 15
years of slower growth or a smaller
economy that that is something that
is going to impact negatively on the
As far as the
short-term the Treasury made a
report two years ago that suggested
a vote to leave would prompt an
immediate recession so prompt --
predicting on short-term is pretty
What is it the short-term this
It depends on a couple of
things, such as transitional
arrangements and what sort of
adjustment mechanisms are put in
place. To protect agriculture, if we
remove those subsidies or
manufacturing sectors. And looking
at the longer term we can expect a
What about the cost to
consumers Brexit, there has always
been the two different positions
with Jacob Rees Mogg saying if we do
not have a clean or pragmatic
Brexit, the cost of -- for consumers
will go up.
One of the benefits of
being in this huge regional
free-trade area is that prices are
kept low and now we have inflation
reappearing because of overall we
had a period of low inflation we
have no tariffs and trade barriers
are practically nonexistent which
means there are no costs to industry
and the benefit is that it is forced
firms to take advantage of economies
of scale to take advantage of the
fact that you can move things easily
from one country to another and take
advantage of the open skies and
airline costs coming down. The
consumer has been the main
beneficiary of being there. On the
other side, and that was the point
you are making...
external tariff has meant in the
mind of Jacob Rees Mogg that closing
and some food is more expensive.
is absolutely true there are tariffs
against various countries for those
products that keep some price is
high but that is compensated by the
low prices we pay for other things
and there is no expectation we will
be reducing those tariffs to zero or
considerably good as that would
eliminate our agriculture sector and
eliminate the manufacturing sector,
so the consumer would suffer because
of lower growth and higher
Do you accept the
compensation outweighs the model
that has been outlined by Jacob Rees
Mogg or do you agree with him
On this matter I am with
Jacob. The key point is that the
things being modelled are in the
hands of the government so when you
get a big negative it's because you
assume in the absence of a deal the
British government would impose
tariffs on imports from the European
Union. In practice it could maintain
a level playing field under the
rules of the World Trade
Organisation by lowering tariffs on
trade, which would be a clear policy
-- positive. The winners outweigh
the losers and it's possible to
compensate the losers and be better
Let's have a look at the idea
of compensation. If we go back to
the Treasury analysis, for a
free-trade deal with America to make
up for lost trade with the EU, those
civil service estimates and
economists will not just be wrong,
they will have to be wrong by a
factor of 40. For the estimated 0.2%
growth from the US trade deal to
make up for the lost 8% in trade
from the EU.
Do you accept that?
Both those numbers fail the
common-sense test. Exports to the EU
are only 12% of GDP and somehow the
hit would be 8% even with a small
But we are talking about
wrong by a factor of 40. Due
accepted to large measure to be
If you look at the past
record of forecasting by the
Treasury, it's possible to get that
Treasury forecasting has not
got a good track record and it is
true that economic Armageddon was
predicted in the immediate aftermath
of that referendum vote and it has
not been realised.
forecasting are exactly not been
bad. Many times they've been
considerably better than the
independent forecasters and we have
not left the EU yet, Brexit has not
happened and there was a huge
increase of liquidity into the
system by the Bank of England and
low interest rates and special help
for loans and enterprises for
consumers. They've all benefited
from that and that is white there is
the fall in the pound. What is going
on right now is where is the rest of
the world is growing fast, we are
lowing -- growing at the lowest rate
of the G-7.
You claim that border
costs would be zero. Is there any
border in the cost -- in the world
where the costs zero except the
borders between the countries of
That is a modelling
Belied the Treasury one.
It is an assumption. It is more
reasonable than the Treasury
assumption because over time border
costs are falling through
technological progress and its
increasingly easy to move goods
across borders without having to
face large costs and we see that not
just in the UK, but worldwide. In
contrast the Treasury forecast a big
increase in border costs and a
knock-on on the amount of trade we
do. As it happens, if you add a
small back into the modelling for
border costs you would still produce
higher costs, but I think our
analysis is more accurate than the
In terms of the effect
on voters, the economy was not the
main issue for many people who voted
to leave. These discussions,,
important as they are, will they
have an impact, including the amount
of money being printed on this bus
saying it will cost 2000 million,
actually affect what people think?
doubt they will in the short-term.
The problem with the arguments made
by the Treasury at the time of the
referendum campaign was that people
did not believe the numbers. I sat
in on a focus group, £4300 a year to
be worse off than they did not
believe it and did not understand
how it related to their real life.
Unlike 350 million going to the NHS.
That seems simpler because we know
we make a direct financial
contribution. I think people will be
sceptical about the economist
forecast and the fact we didn't drop
into recession of the voted to leave
will emphasise the general voter
suspicions about whether they can
trust the numbers, which seems to be
spuriously precise always.
the problems is that neither side,
certainly on the extremes, seems to
be keen to give away in any sense to
the other argument. Is there really
a view that there will be no
economic downside to Brexit?
not encountered anyone, privately or
publicly, who has said that, in the
short term. The Brexit argument, the
pro-Brexit argument is the first of
all the forecasts have been called
into question by the lack of
severity of the impact of the result
because we thought it would be much
worse than it has been and Britain
has fared fairly well. The second
argument is that if you leave the EU
and positively embrace global trade,
and this leave you to sit on the
margins of Europe and begged to be
allowed back in, that won't do much
for growth but if you positively
leave and trade more with East Asia,
America, that is actually going to
create a growth which can make up
for the loss with Europe. The other
thing mentioned is technological
change and why it is difficult to
make medium and long-term forecast
is you cannot predict things like
the Internet or artificial
intelligence which will dramatically
change the kinds of markets we
operate in in ten or 20 years.
have to end it there, but thank you
Now, deep divisions
in the Labour Party.
A national debate about
Britain's place in Europe.
Well, they are the same issues that
shaped the political career of a big
figure of a previous political era,
And he's the man Liberal Democrat
Leader, Vince Cable,
has chosen as his political Hero.
Here's Elizabeth Glinka.
Vince Cable, who is
your political hero?
Well I've chosen Roy Jenkins,
who was one of the great figures
in the Liberal and Social Democratic
tradition in British politics.
A great reforming Home Secretary.
A much-admired Chancellor,
a great European.
And somebody whose values and life,
in many ways, I have followed.
Roy Jenkins was born
in 1920 in the mining
valleys of South Wales.
A grammar school boy
who went on to Oxford,
he was immersed in politics
from an early age, following in his
father's footsteps and becoming
a Labour MP in 1948.
He was a hugely reforming
Home Secretary of the 1960s
at a point when you were a young
man, a student, just
beginning your working life.
What did that mean to you?
This was the era of Mary Whitehouse
who had this attempt to restore
It was the dirtiest programme that
I have seen for a very long time.
There was this enormous mood,
particularly amongst young people,
to sweep away all the rather
old-fashioned values that seemed
to exist at that time.
There was censorship
on books and the theatre,
divorce laws, abortion laws,
rules governing homosexuality.
They all seemed rooted
in a bygone era.
And he, more than anybody else,
lifted the barriers.
It changed the face of the country.
It modernised it in a way
that we would now regard
as perfectly normal today.
Always of the centre,
his experiences as an intelligence
officer during World War II made him
a passionate European.
He would defy his party and campaign
for membership in 1975.
Leaving UK politics to become
president of the European
Commission two years later.
People of his generation were people
who'd fought in the war,
who saw the rebuilding of Europe
as something that was a political
objective to end conflict in Europe,
I think he would be a very,
very sad, heartbroken man if he saw
what had happened today.
One of the things that comes
across when you're reading
about him, looking at his speeches,
is sort of how urbane he was.
Is that something
that appealed to you?
Well, no, our lifestyle
is a little bit different.
I'm a little bit more
puritanical, more frugal.
He liked the big long lunch,
which became rather celebrated,
a great lover of high-class wines.
I've never really got into that.
He didn't come across
as particularly tribal.
And I think perhaps
that is the way people might
think about you as well.
Yes, and I did respect that in him.
He had good relationships right
across the spectrum.
I think those were the days when MPs
used to write each other private
letters of congratulation
and condolence and there was a kind
of civilised environment.
But returning from Europe,
those relationships could not
prevent the growing alienation
he felt as the Labour Party
swung to the left.
In 1981, he and others
from the right of the party,
known as the Gang of four,
would leave to set up the SDP.
We offer, not only a new party,
although it is that,
but a new approach to politics.
A certain Vince Cable
was amongst the converts.
I'm just coming around
the area meeting everybody.
They would later merge
with the Liberals.
What was most difficult I think
for him and also for any of us
was the break with many of the other
in the Labour Party.
One of his closest associates
was Anthony Crossland,
who had actually been his lover
when they were at
And Roy Hattersley and
people of that kind.
He's still reviled by some
people in the Labour Party
for splitting away with the SDP.
Did he make mistakes?
Well, historians will argue
for many, many years as to
whether the breakaway was justified.
I think actually the Labour Party
modernisation which started under
Neil Kinnock, through John Smith
to Tony Blair, probably wouldn't
have happened if it hadn't been
for the SDP breakaway and I think
British politics is much the better
for having had the Lib Dems,
of which he was one of the parents.
Of course you would say that.
In fact, in his later years,
sitting as a life peer,
he would advise Tony Blair
as the new Labour project took form.
As Chancellor of Oxford
he would continue to write
the acclaimed biographies
which he produced
throughout his life.
Married to wife Jennifer
for nearly 58 years,
he died in 2003 at the age of 82.
If you were going to pay tribute
to Roy Jenkins, what would you say?
I think he was one
of the great statesman
of the post-war era in Britain.
You can read his
legacy in his books.
I think he fell short of what he
ultimately wanted to achieve.
He never became Prime Minister.
His vision of the SDP
Liberal Alliance never lead
to Government as he'd hoped.
But he was a genuinely great figure
in post-war British politics.
Vince Cable talking about his
political hero, Roy Jenkins there.
And you can see the other films
in our Political Hero
series on our website.
Do you agree he was one of the great
statesmen of British politics even
though he didn't become Prime
Yes, she was and is
amended for those social reforms he
helped to champion. It's fascinating
to look at that and think about
someone really agonising about
whether they should remain in their
party, but their party before their
country, which they could see to be
deeply important, and I think there
are MPs in both parties actually who
fear that they may have to make that
decision at some point over the next
couple of years. Perhaps we can all
muddle through it but it's
fascinating to remember what goes
around comes around.
In that sense,
it is amazing to look back at the
error of Roy Jenkins on the fact
Europe was at the heart of
everything that he believed in.
That's what led him to break away
and help set up the SDP. Lessons
learned for today?
In that case,
they won but then society was rather
different, more deferential and when
the establishment backed staying in
the EEC, which was the issue, the
public listened. People said reddish
liberalism died in the 1920s but it
didn't, and Roy Jenkins is probably
the most significant Labour Liberal
of the 20th century and his reforms
in the 60s changed society. In the
1980s the experiment with the SDP
didn't quite transform politics but
many Labour Party people would say
cut Margaret Thatcher in power. Here
is proof that where there is why,
there was a way.
Same-sex marriage has been
a legal reality in England,
Wales and Scotland since 2014.
And gay marriage is already a right
in the Isle of Man and is legal
or being legalised in Channel
But there is one part of the UK
where you still cannot marry
a same-sex partner -
It also means that couples who wed
in Great Britain will not
have their marriage recognised
in Northern Ireland.
Any legislation to enable same-sex
marriage is a matter
for the Assembly at Stormont
where the Democratic Unionist
Party have blocked it.
But with the collapse
of talks to get the devolved
administration up and running,
there are now calls
for Westminster to legislate.
In a written reply to the Labour MP,
Conor McGinn, Northern Ireland
Secretary Karen Bradley said
the issue, "Should be addressed
in the NI Assembly, but the power
of the Westminster Parliament
to legislate remains unaffected.
If this issue were to be
raised in Westminster,
the Government's policy is to allow
a free vote on matters of conscience
such as equal marriage."
And her shadow, Labour's
Owen Smith stated -
"In the absence of a Stormont Bill,
would she consider legislating
similarly to extend equal marriage
rights to Northern Ireland?
We believe that she should,
and we will support
her if she does so."
Conor McGinn is in our self and
newsroom and joins us now. You've
had confirmation from the Northern
Ireland Secretary that Westminster
could legislate and the Tories
wouldn't win the vote. Tell their
MPs what to do, but that doesn't
mean same-sex marriage Northern
Ireland will happen any time soon,
And taking forward a bill
at the end of March which can
decisively test the mood of the
House of Commons if anyone objects
to extending equal marriage Northern
Ireland, they can oppose it and put
it to a vote. I'm very confident we
would win any vote and it's then for
the Government to legislate but let
me be very clear, my preference
would be for a fully functioning
power-sharing executive and assembly
to do this but people can't wait for
their basic rights any longer than
that's why I've taken the decision,
along with my colleagues in the
Labour Party and others, to put this
What do you think
about that? If there isn't a
administration functioning people
shouldn't be forced to wait to find
out if they can practice same-sex
There is a contradiction
in argument for that but of course
in the assembly there is something
called a petition of concern, a
device created to ensure one idea,
even if supported by the majority of
the assembly can't be imposed upon
another community. Last time was a
vote on same-sex marriage the
assembly voted to introduce it but
because of this petition concern,
because it wasn't a supermajority,
it couldn't be imposed and if you
look the breakdown of the voting,
essentially the Unionist community,
the elected representatives, are
opposed to this. So imagine what it
could do to the Northern Ireland
settlement if in Westminster someone
impose a something which is of
enormous sectarian controversy upon
Conor McGinn, you
are shaking your head.
That is not
about people being Unionist, being
gay, married, but people being
equal. If my constituents at the
same sex and love their partner can
get married in Saint Helens, if they
can in Cardiff and Edinburgh and
Dublin, they should be able to do so
in Belfast as well.
That there are
other issues to consider.
say the teaching of the Irish line
which in Northern Ireland is an
equality issue and why shouldn't it
be taught in state schools but you
wouldn't want Westminster imposing
that. It's very obvious that would
undermine the settlement in Northern
Ireland. Why therefore do it with
same-sex marriage? The whole thing
was stitched together in order to
prevent exactly this kind of thing
and I fear that there bill, I
understand that attention behind it,
it could be a provocative act --
I think there's a
majority for equal marriage in the
Northern Ireland assembly. Every
opinion poll taken has shown the
public is in favour of equal
marriage and I think this is the
right thing to do. The people of
Northern Ireland should not be
discriminated against. It's 50 years
on from the Northern Ireland Civil
Rights Association taking to the
streets to demand equal rights and
we talked about Roy Jenkins earlier
in this programme, it's 50th on from
homosexuality being to come alive,
if not all right for people in
Northern Ireland, gay people, to be
What do you
say about the concern raised by Tim
Stanley it could antagonise
sectarian relations if the polls
suggested the Unionist community
wasn't as in favour of same-sex
marriage in Northern Ireland and it
would be imposed upon them from
I don't think that's
wholly accurate but the DUP can't
have it both ways. They've called
for direct rule, they want Northern
Ireland to remain part of the United
Kingdom for that they believe
Westminster has an important role to
play and so they therefore can't
fully complain if Westminster acts
decisively on this issue of equal
marriage and they have the
opportunity to oppose it when my
bill comes forward at the end of
March. Political House of Commons
and at the House of Commons decided
in favour like the Northern Ireland
assembly has already decided, the
Government has a duty to act and
they should bring forward
Right, forgave me for
being cynical, Conor McGinn, but
this is not just about the principle
about politics. The Prime Minister
is dependent on the DUP for her
Parliamentary majority and that
party is opposed to same-sex
marriage, so obviously this could
make it very difficult for the
relationship between the Government
and the DUP.
That's a matter for
Theresa May. The concern is that
whether it in terms of negotiations
at Stormont around the overall
settlement in future of Northern
Ireland and re-establishing the
institutions or equal marriage, she
and her Government are compromised
either relationship with the DUP and
their reliance on them. But the
Secretary of State for Northern
Ireland has made clear that will be
a free vote and I'm very confident
there will be an overwhelming
majority in the House of Commons
that support equal marriage, so in
that sense, it's up to every MP to
make his or her own mind up about
whether to support this or not.
is your opinion on the idea that
being imposed on Northern Ireland
because there's not a devolved
December that the moment?
underlines the fact that a year-long
suspension in the assembly is
incredibly problematic in the way
the Government has failed to get a
grip on it. It's alarming. Although
I share some of his concerns about
unravelling a very delicate mess, I
do think it's an anomaly and it's
about rights and about people mag
boss lives and we saw one the
legislation changed in the rest of
the UK, what a huge difference it
made to couples had been living
together for many years and could
formalise their relationships and
we're talking about people's
ablation ships and lives who could
formalise their relationships --
relationships and lives. It's a
How problematic would
be for Theresa May in her
relationship with the DUP?
embarrassing, isn't it? She relies
on their votes in the Commons, and
some of the Liberals in her own
party, Ruth Davidson made a fuss
when the deal was struck about the
fact this is a party who has some
rather old-fashioned views, let's
say, as we would see it, so it would
be embarrassing for Theresa May and
she is already in a position where
it's hard for her to appear as
neutral broker in those talks in
Northern Ireland, even with issues
like this blowing up.
thank you very much.
And we did ask to speak
to a minister from the Northern
Ireland Office but no
one was available.
The Democratic Unionist Party
also turned down our
request for an interview.
Oh well, we are Billy no mates.
There's just time before we go
to find out the answer to our quiz.
The question was which film did
Andrea Leadsom say post-Brexit
Britain would be more like
than Mad Max?
Was it: A) 28 Days Later?
B) Love Actually?
C) Four Weddings and a Funeral?
Or D) The Wicker Man?
So, Tim and Heather,
what's the correct answer?
And the answer was Love Actually.
I have to say it's a film which
makes me feeling credibly nauseous.
It is the correct answer. We won't
show it now because we run out of
That's all for today.
Thanks to my guests.
Jo Coburn is joined by Tim Stanley of the Telegraph and the Guardian's Heather Stewart. They discuss the Brexit negotiations and the meeting of the cabinet sub-committee at Chequers.