23/02/2018 Daily Politics


23/02/2018

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LineFromTo

Hello and welcome to

the Daily Politics.

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All sides claim victory

in the aftermath of last

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night's Cabinet away day,

and praise is heaped on Theresa May

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- but could there be trouble ahead

for the Prime Minister

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as the so-called Mutineers

rock the boat again?

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Another bus with a big number on it.

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This time, it's Remainers on board.

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Can they really persuade

the British people to change

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their mind about Brexit?

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Gay people can get married

in England, Wales and Scotland -

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but not in Northern Ireland.

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With the Stormont Assembly suspended

should the UK parliament

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legislate to legalise it?

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And Lib Dem leader Vince Cable

chooses Roy Jenkins

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as his political hero.

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I think he would be a very,

very sad, heartbroken man if he saw

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what had happened today.

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All that in the next hour,

and with me for the duration,

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the Guardian's Heather Stewart

and the Telegraph's Tim Stanley.

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Welcome to the programme.

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So, Theresa May's Brexit cabinet

enjoyed a lavish dinner last night

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of cream of sweetcorn soup

with a ham hock croquette

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followed by Guinness short rib

of Dexter Beef with onions

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and parsnip mash, but now

the Chequers party is over

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and the clean-up has begun.

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We've been told the Prime Minister

"played a blinder" and that

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there was an outbreak

of unity...for now.

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But just what has been agreed?

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Some have briefed that

"divergence has won",

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meaning Britain won't be tied to EU

regulations but instead try to trade

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with Europe using a system

of mutually agreed rules.

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Others have said there

was an increasing realisation

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that there needed to be a pragmatic

Brexit with an acknowledgement

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that the UK should stick closely

to Brussels in some areas.

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So what now?

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Theresa May will have

to get her whole cabinet to sign off

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on the deal next Tuesday before

the Prime Minister makes her keynote

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speech outlining the government's

position next Friday.

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The fun really starts when they put

the proposals to the EU.

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Michel Barnier has always warned

that any deal must be "less

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favourable" than the current

arrangement and that

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the government's plans would not be

compatible with the EU's principles.

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There are a few coming late

to the party, Tory backbench MP

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Anna Soubry has put down

a new amendment to the government's

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trade bill calling for a customs

union with the EU once we leave.

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This could potentially be very

dangerous for Mrs May as it

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could get support from Labour

who are also poised to commit

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themselves to membership

of "a customs union" with a speech

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from Jeremy Corbyn

expected on Monday.

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Let's have a listen to

what Michael Gove and Amber Rudd had

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to say about last night's meeting.

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A very positive meeting and we got

behind the Prime Minister and agreed

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the basis for her speech for next

weekend and are looking forward to

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it going ahead.

The Prime Minister

will be making a speech shortly but

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there was a very good atmosphere and

we agreed on a way forward.

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And we're joined now from

Central Lobby by Dominic Grieve.

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Dominic, your colleague, Anna Sue

Brie, put down a new amendment to

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the trade bill calling for a customs

arrangement with the EU once we

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leave -- Soubry. Theresa May said

you would be leaving the customs

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union with the EU so why have you

signed up for it?

The Prime Minister

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is right that we will leave the

customs union on the EU because the

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on -- one is dependent on the other.

The question arises is what is in

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the national interest for the future

to avoid tariffs and inspection

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regimes and enable free trade and

allow an open border between

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ourselves and the EU and the North

and South of Northern Ireland. These

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are important considerations. My

view has been that the national

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interest lies in maintaining those.

If that means being in a form of

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customs union and I don't think that

is something we ought to rule out.

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Of course, the prime Minister

indicated she would like to try and

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achieve this ability to have a free

flow of trade of goods by some other

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means and I don't object to Latin

anyway, -- object to that in any

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way, but I do have strong views

about eliminating the possibility of

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a customs union because, at the end

of the day, the likely benefit to

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the United Kingdom was third-party

agreements with other countries,

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which would be much less than a

disadvantage of using -- losing the

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free flow of trade which I think

will have an adverse impact on our

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GDP.

You differ with the Prime

Minister as to how this future

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relationship can be achieved. What

difference will the tabled amendment

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actually make?

Just be correct. I

don't differ with her about how it

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might be achieved. If she can

achieve it by the means she is

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seeking, all well and good but we

should not rule out the possibility

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of a customs union, and in order to

make sure that issue remains on the

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that is why the amendment has been

tabled and it will mean when we come

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to the report stage of the bill it

can be given proper consideration in

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the light of whether the

negotiations have got some point at

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that stage.

Do you accept following

what has been reported from those

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who attended them Chequers meeting,

the eight-hour meeting, that it was

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relatively harmonious and by

supporting this amendment you are

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making life difficult for your Prime

Minister?

That I think is a

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misunderstanding of the tabling of

amendments. As parliamentarians we

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can table amendments during the

passage of a bill to make sure

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issues are considered that we think

are of importance. What decision is

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taken about the amendment must be

dependent on what stage and the

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information we have asked the

progress of negotiations when it

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comes back. The point is, you should

not exclude the possibility of

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remaining a customs union. And that

is what we have got to make sure,

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that we keep that issue available

for us.

But you want to have Labour

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MPs support the amendment and, in

fact, you want the Labour leadership

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to MPs to back the amendment about

remaining in the customs union which

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could result in defeat for your

government.

I have absolutely no

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idea whether the Labour leadership,

which actually is led by someone who

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broadly speaking has supported

Brexit, will wish to support the

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amendment. I have little doubt the

amendment will command support

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across the house and it might

command support across a broad

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swathe of the Conservative party in

parliament. But at the moment we

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haven't come to that point. At the

moment the amendment has been tabled

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and I think it is essential we could

keep the issue available and could

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consider it.

I have looked to the

people who signed up to the

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amendment and there are a large

number of Labour MPs and, if you

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listen to anything coming out the

Labour leadership's mounds in the

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last few weeks, it looks as though

they are to confirming the position

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which is like yours, keeping the

issue of a customs union on the

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table. So if the government was

defeated, what would happen then?

If

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the government was defeated

eventually I would assume the

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government would be required to seek

to negotiate keeping us in the

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customs union, if that can be

obtained from our EU partners.

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Excuse me. Those are things that one

has to keep in mind, of course. But

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I don't think it would be the end of

the government at all. There's no

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reason why it should be.

If you

clear your throat for a moment,

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Heather Stewart, let's ask about

Labour, because Jeremy Corbyn will

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make this speech on Monday. Do you

think it will be the point at which

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Jeremy Corbyn says we will back the

idea of Britain remaining in a

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customs union with the European

Union.

There has certainly been a

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shift in Labour policy and I

coordinated one as we saw different

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members from wings of the party,

Owen Smith, Emily Thornberry and

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others saying the policy was

evolving. John McDonnell had

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interesting words as well. It's

always dangerous to predict what

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Jeremy Corbyn will say in his

speeches. I remember a speech in the

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referendum campaign which did not

turn out as expected. But there has

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clearly been a shift and busily the

Labour leadership is extremely keen

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on inflicting defeat in the House of

Commons to the government if it can.

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So how dangerous is it for Theresa

May? Dominic grieve says it will

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mean we just have to keep the idea

of a customs union on the table but

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it will mean more than that for

Theresa May?

Listening then he

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seemed to leave the door open of a

Canada plus model free-trade model

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which delivers the benefits of a

customs union without being in one

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and I'm sure he will want to respond

to that and I don't want to put

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words in his mouth but I see that as

the compromise that might happen. We

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essentially have three separate

positions. That of the government,

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which hasn't really changed, where

they say they want divergences where

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they will copy what the EU does but

not be in the EU. You have the Tory

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rebel and Labour position which

hasn't really changed of saying we

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should be in a customs union. One

position that might have changed is

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that some members of the EU 27 are

in favour of a Canada plus plus plus

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style deal and don't want to see

things dragged out by the

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negotiators of the commission. So in

many ways things have not changed

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but I don't see this disagreement

between the rebels on the government

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is completely shutting the door on

some sort of agreement.

What would

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happen if the government was

defeated on the amendment?

It would

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be very embarrassing and undermine

the government's efforts are

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providing a unified front and might

embolden those in the Cabinet such

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as Philip Hammond who take a more

remain point of view which I suspect

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is what on the rebels minds. But I

expect they are reasonable and some

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accommodation can be made.

But you

to inflict an embarrassing defeat on

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your own government?

I never want to

defeat my own government and I

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always seek to try and avoid doing

that and after all, I don't have are

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serial rebel reputation even though

I voted once against the government

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on a national issue.

You said it was

in the national interest to keep it

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on the table so will you put your

principles ahead of the party?

We

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are in danger of running ahead of

ourselves on this. I've explained

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what it is that the amendment is

designed to achieve and the point

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was very well made that it might be

that some sort of Canada plus plus

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plus arrangement can be arrived at

but I am interested in the reality

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of free trade without tariffs and

inspection regimes. That is what I

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want to see and I'm perfectly

prepared to consider different

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options but I'm not prepared to

exclude options in order to achieve

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that.

What do you say to Jacob Rees

Mogg who said remaining in a customs

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union with the EU means we would be

common to internal tariff meaning

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higher prices for clothing and

footwear and it would be more

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expensive for the British public?

Does the amendment risk lowering the

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standard of living for people in

this country?

I completely disagree

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with Jacob's analysis. The evidence

is overwhelming that if we come out

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of a customs union we have no

satisfactory arrangements and have a

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tariff and inspection regime meaning

the cost of living will rise and it

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is the poorest and most vulnerable

who will suffer the most.

Tim

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Stanley, what you say to that?

You

could argue that the Brexiteers are

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breeding trouble for the government

by saying that stopping the

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migration of people during the

transition. Everyone is bargaining

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now. That is all I can really say.

It's up to the Prime Minister to

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navigate this. One reason she

appears so tight-lipped and

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difficult to read is because she is

juggling so many balls. You could

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argue it's her fault because she did

not get the majority she wanted to

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make it possible that this week I

feel more sympathetic because we are

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starting to see the demands of other

people in the parliament and she has

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to keep them all happy whilst also

maintaining a clear path for the

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government.

Dominic Grieve, thank

you.

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Now the leaders of the other 27 EU

countries are gathering

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today to amongst other things firm

up their position on Brexit.

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Our Brussels reporter,

Adam Fleming is there.

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Add, tell me what they are

discussing.

The way I've been

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putting it this morning is that

Brexit is not the theme tune for the

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summit but it is the background

music so they will talk about the

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future composition of the European

Parliament after 2019 because there

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will no longer be 73 British MEPs

and they will talk about the

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successor to the process by which

Jean-Claude Juncker was made prime

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minister of the EU Commission and

his term of office is up there. Then

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they have the really thorny issue of

the MSF left, the multi-financial

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framework, which is the seven-year

budget cycle which starts in 2021

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and will have a Brexit sized hole in

it of potentially 15 billion euros

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per year. Lots of difficult

conversations between net

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contributors who pay in and don't

necessarily want to paying more, and

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their recipients who don't

necessarily want to receive less,

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while there is increasing demands on

the budget when it comes to security

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and migration. That discussion will

go on for months and months. In

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terms Brexit, the only bit formerly

on the agenda today is Donald Tusk

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will update the 27 leaders on the

process he will go through to write

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their next set of guidelines for the

next phase of talks about trade and

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the future relationship, which the

27 will sign off in this building

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when they next meet on the 23rd of

March.

The EU seems to have rejected

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a key British proposal for the

future relationship after Brexit,

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the so-called baskets where you can

have a variance in relation post

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Brexit. This is according to

documents published by the European

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commission. In your opinion, are the

EU 27 still singing from the same

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hymn sheet? Is there any sign of

divergences?

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Yeah, that's the word they all use

all the time.

Very fashionable.

That

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document yesterday which emerged was

a presentation that was given by the

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European Commission Brexit

negotiators to diplomats from the

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27, a couple of weeks ago, which

talked about these three Baskett

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approach the Prime Minister has as a

basis for the discussion about the

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future relationship and they said it

was incompatible with the European

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Council's guidelines for Brexit and

they pointed out that it meant that

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the UK was cherry picking, taking

what bits of the single market it

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liked which threatened the integrity

of the single market, it threatened

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the autonomy of the EU's

decision-making because it would

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mean the UK on the outside would be

too involved on decision is

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happening on the inside, there would

have to be a role for the European

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Court of Justice in the UK were

still going to rely on concepts in

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EU law, and also said what about

Norway, because they are in the

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European economic Eire, might get

annoyed by the UK getting the sort

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of deal? They were very firm. That's

against the guidelines drawn up by

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the 27 in April last year. But I'm

detecting subtle little hints where

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things are changing force of this is

going to sound incredibly geeky so

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bear with me. The Swedish board of

trade, which is the trade agency

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which advises the Swedish

Government, has just written 260

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pages of Brexit reports about the

economy, it's all in Swedish but

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they've released a four page summary

in English which says a one size

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fits all model for the UK and Sweden

is not appropriate for the Swedish

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economy and they say for some

sectors of the Swedish economy it

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would be best of the UK remained in

EU. For some sectors of the Swedish

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economy it would be better if there

was a deep and special trade

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relationship like the one the EU has

with Ukraine, but some part of the

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switch economy it would be like

Switzerland where they have loads of

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bilateral deals in different sectors

and they say a plane free trade

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agreement like the EU has with

Canada and Japan, would not

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eliminate barriers to trade

effectively and would not be good

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enough. To my ears, does that mean

they are criticising Michel

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Barnier's Canada is the best you are

going to get approach or criticising

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the UK's guidelines saying we have

to delete some of those red lines in

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those areas or is it both or neither

and is that what we're going to be

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looking at, more clues about what

member states think about this

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future relationship?

Adam, thank

goodness there was that translation

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from the Swedish board of trade

because it would have left you in a

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pickle.

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We're joined now from

Rome by the Italian

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MEP Roberto Gualtieri,

who is on the European Parliament's

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Brexit steering group.

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Welcome to the programme. I don't

know how much of the last discussion

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you just heard, but we are already

hearing that Brussels is rejecting

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Theresa May's approach of managed

divergences also why?

Actually this

0:17:470:17:53

is not true. We are respectfully

waiting for understanding of what

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exactly is the UK proposal. We

understand there will be a speech

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from the Prime Minister next week.

And then we will define our

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guidelines. We have only said that

we want a relationship with the

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United Kingdom which is as close as

possible, but, of course, any kind

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of relationship has its own balance

and rights of obligation, single

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market has other rules, custom

union, other rules, and if there are

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red lines which prevent those

solutions, then we enter into a

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category of a free-trade agreement

which of course have to be

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negotiated.

You say you don't know

what Britain once and therefore

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nothing has been rejected, but

that's not the case, is it, Roberto,

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because the Prime Minister has put

forward a proposal of three baskets

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where you would have some mutual

recognition in some areas, some

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close alignment and some divergences

and we know now from the commission

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that they rejected that, so I say

again, why has that been rejected

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out of hand?

Honestly, I don't

understand what we're talking about.

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We have not received a formal

position. We haven't heard the

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speech. Nothing hinting of these

baskets, which is not a totally

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clear concept. We know in a

free-trade agreement, if the UK is

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not in the customs union, if it's

not in a single market, of course we

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cannot have a totally free market,

we have to have an agreement and the

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level of market access will depend

on a number of factors. We can have

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a very good level of market taxes

for goods and services, the more

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difficult, of course, as the Swedish

document just quoted saying, in a

0:19:380:19:43

free-trade agreement, if it's

impossible, if you want frictionless

0:19:430:19:48

trade, you need to stay in the

single market. These other basics.

0:19:480:19:53

Of course we have to enter into

negotiations and we need a clear

0:19:530:19:58

position from the UK and of course

we will our guidelines to Parliament

0:19:580:20:02

in March.

You do accept there's a

number of countries in fact that do

0:20:020:20:08

have special deals with the European

Union, it's not strictly a case of

0:20:080:20:13

remaining in the single market to

get that frictionless trade or

0:20:130:20:17

remaining in the customs union, so

there is the complete alignment with

0:20:170:20:23

regulations. For example, Turkey, it

isn't bound by freedom of movement

0:20:230:20:27

and has a customs union with the EU

but only on goods and not services.

0:20:270:20:31

That's a bespoke deal so why can't

Britain have a bespoke deal?

This is

0:20:310:20:35

exactly a good example. Turkey is a

member of a different union, which

0:20:350:20:43

has advantages, in terms of tariff.

Of course Turkey is bound to have

0:20:430:20:48

the same tariff outside so this

means there's some equalisation of

0:20:480:20:55

the policy. With less friction in

the trade of goods, of course, there

0:20:550:21:01

are still some checks to be done

because they are not in the single

0:21:010:21:05

market.

Yes but button plaited

broadly with the approach of three

0:21:050:21:11

baskets? Norway also has a special

deal, it's part of the single

0:21:110:21:15

market, but not the customs union.

It a separate rules. For industries

0:21:150:21:19

like farm produce and fish. Britain

could have a similar approach,

0:21:190:21:25

mixing perhaps the two?

That's

exactly the reason why we need to

0:21:250:21:30

wait for what would be the proposal

because something similar to Turkey

0:21:300:21:35

is different from a free-trade

agreement because it implies some

0:21:350:21:42

limitation in the external tariff

which Canada does not have. So far

0:21:420:21:47

we have heard that the UK was

excluding this option. If they move

0:21:470:21:53

in this direction it would be a

positive thing of course, but it has

0:21:530:21:55

not been said.

Yes, but we keep

hearing from the EU, Michel Barnier,

0:21:550:22:01

Britain won't be allowed to cherry

pick but examples of Norway, Turkey

0:22:010:22:05

and Switzerland, their bilateral

agreements with the EU to some

0:22:050:22:11

extent that is cherry picking. This

has been rejected out of hand for

0:22:110:22:15

Britain. Why?

I insist I agree with

your description of how we reject,

0:22:150:22:26

but it's not true.

That they have

rejected it.

We have some

0:22:260:22:31

obligations with the UK if they

choose to be banned by a customs

0:22:310:22:36

union, and it's a positive fact we

not rejecting it all. Switzerland is

0:22:360:22:41

a bit different, but I would like to

remind you, Switzerland has the

0:22:410:22:45

freedom of movement. I understand

the UK does not want this.

Is the EU

0:22:450:22:52

27 still unified?

Absolutely. We

have been unified and we will be

0:22:520:23:01

united because we have a very

reasonable position. We want a

0:23:010:23:07

relationship as close as possible

with the United Kingdom. Of course

0:23:070:23:10

each kind of relationship has

balances, rights and obligations

0:23:100:23:15

under accept this principle, so we

are open to engaging in a decision

0:23:150:23:21

as far as the UK, we have a clear

proposal, and we will discuss it. It

0:23:210:23:27

would also be very useful of course

to move forward the discussion on

0:23:270:23:33

transition because that an element

of uncertainty. We are close, not

0:23:330:23:36

yet there, but I hope a number of

problems will be positively solved

0:23:360:23:42

and a very reasonable proposal of

the union with some limitation of

0:23:420:23:47

course, would be the basis of an

agreement so we can move into the

0:23:470:23:51

last phase which is crucial of

course.

Roberto, stay with us why

0:23:510:23:55

bring in my other guest to the

discussion. What do you make of what

0:23:550:24:01

Roberto is saying? Despite some

other language that has come from

0:24:010:24:04

the European Union, about not

wanting Britain to cherry pick, does

0:24:040:24:07

he have a point it is still not

clear exactly what Britain is after?

0:24:070:24:12

That is very true but it's all so

from what he said, not entirely

0:24:120:24:16

clear, what Europe will eventually

agree to. I'm loving the discussion

0:24:160:24:19

this morning because we're seeing

some light at the end of the tunnel.

0:24:190:24:23

At the beginning of the negotiation

process everything tended to feel

0:24:230:24:25

like it was on the side of the EU

because they were trying to get as

0:24:250:24:29

much money out of us, that was their

focus and they got it. With is gone,

0:24:290:24:36

they are down 9 billion, but now

we're moving on, while the

0:24:360:24:38

commission may well be saying one

thing, Michel Barnier could be

0:24:380:24:42

saying it's not possible, you can't

cherry pick, which technically

0:24:420:24:46

speaking is true from the EU's point

of view, it's interesting to hear

0:24:460:24:50

the individual representatives of

different countries are thinking,

0:24:500:24:53

hang on, we sell to Britain's

markets, why can't we do a deal

0:24:530:24:58

because it's in everyone's benefit?

What do you think about the idea of

0:24:580:25:02

Britain's managed divergences which

I'm sure can mean something to

0:25:020:25:06

everyone, in terms of sort of

semantics and linguistic gymnastics,

0:25:060:25:10

do you think Britain will find much

more difficult when is presented to

0:25:100:25:15

the EU?

I do, and I think it's a

better way of dealing with the

0:25:150:25:19

divergences within the Cabinet

itself, rather than thinking about

0:25:190:25:22

the negotiations although it seems

to me they're there was a chink of

0:25:220:25:25

light in the sense of when you

raised Turkey the answer was, yes,

0:25:250:25:29

we have a customs union in

particular areas so that does seem

0:25:290:25:34

up the idea of different

arrangements in different sectors,

0:25:340:25:38

which Theresa May many months ago

used to say repeatedly the customs

0:25:380:25:40

union is not a binary question to

which the commission used to say

0:25:400:25:46

absolutely yes, it is. Perhaps it is

a bit more complex than that and

0:25:460:25:50

that is why David Davis and his

ministers are shuttling around like

0:25:500:25:54

mad visiting several European

capitals every week because they

0:25:540:25:57

very much hope to open up ultimate

of a chink between Brussels and the

0:25:570:26:02

EU 27.

On the implementation period,

Roberto mentioned, do you think it

0:26:020:26:08

is now becoming clear Theresa May

will have to give away on her

0:26:080:26:11

proposal to change the rights for EU

citizens coming during the two-year

0:26:110:26:15

period?

It is implicit in the

transition deal, it doesn't feel it

0:26:150:26:23

has been nailed down a. And the

Times of course was reporting today

0:26:230:26:26

that exactly what would happen. I

think what Britain wants to maintain

0:26:260:26:29

at this stage is as much Flex it is

possible because it has got to get

0:26:290:26:34

its House in order but also doesn't

want to put a time negotiations when

0:26:340:26:39

it comes to negotiating a future

traders have regardless of what the

0:26:390:26:42

Government may publicly say about

rights, Ireland, any of this stuff,

0:26:420:26:47

my suspicion is the transition will

be a movable feast.

Thank you very

0:26:470:26:51

much for joining us today.

0:26:510:26:54

Now it's time for our daily quiz.

0:26:540:26:56

Earlier this week, David Davis

was at pains to tell people

0:26:560:26:58

post-Brexit Britain wouldn't be

a "Mad Max-style dystopian fantasy".

0:26:580:27:06

Disappointing a view!

0:27:060:27:07

Disappointing a view!

0:27:070:27:08

Well, yesterday, his

cabinet colleague Andrea

0:27:080:27:10

Leadsom backed him up,

0:27:100:27:11

and said life outside the EU

would be much more

0:27:110:27:13

like another film.

0:27:130:27:14

But which one?

0:27:140:27:15

Was it a) 28 Days Later?

0:27:150:27:17

b) Love Actually?

0:27:170:27:18

c) Four Weddings and a Funeral?

0:27:180:27:19

or d) The Wicker Man?

0:27:190:27:21

The mind boggles!

0:27:210:27:22

The mind boggles!

0:27:220:27:23

At the end of the show,

Tim and Heather will give

0:27:230:27:26

us the correct answer.

0:27:260:27:27

Slightly surreal question.

0:27:270:27:28

Slightly surreal question.

0:27:280:27:29

Now, remember that Leave Campaign

bus which carried the claim

0:27:290:27:32

that we send £350 million a week

to the EU?

0:27:320:27:33

Money which could be

spent on the NHS?

0:27:330:27:37

Well, Remainers now have their own

bus touring the country with a big

0:27:370:27:40

number on the side of it.

0:27:400:27:43

It's in Liverpool today and onboard

is campaigner Phil Richmond.

0:27:430:27:51

Haven't we had enough of buses with

big figures on the side of them?

I

0:27:510:28:00

don't know. I mean, we had a bus

which said 350 William pounds was

0:28:000:28:03

going to be saved by leaving the EU,

and then the government's own

0:28:030:28:09

figures showed in fact we are going

to be 2000 million pounds a week

0:28:090:28:13

poorer and we understand why they

try to give it under wraps and why

0:28:130:28:17

MPs are only allowed to go and look

at these numbers in a special room

0:28:170:28:22

with an invigilator if they leave

their mobile phones at the door.

0:28:220:28:27

Behind you we have three Jacob Rees

Moggs behind you which could be

0:28:270:28:30

worrying from your point of view.

They are obviously not very keen on

0:28:300:28:35

your bus but we will leave them

there in the background. Just to

0:28:350:28:38

remind viewers of his position.

Isn't this all a bit late, two years

0:28:380:28:45

too late in fact? Shouldn't you have

done this during the referendum

0:28:450:28:48

campaign?

No, absolutely not. It

couldn't be a better time. We have

0:28:480:28:55

had a phoney war for 18 months and

finally the Government is having to

0:28:550:29:01

admit there are hard trade-offs in

Brexit and it's going to come at a

0:29:010:29:04

price. And it's not going to make is

better off, we are going to be

0:29:040:29:11

poorer, and we know how much poorer

we are going to be. We are at a

0:29:110:29:14

point when people are asking is it

worth it? We now concede what the

0:29:140:29:18

price of Brexit is going to be and

what our campaign is doing is saying

0:29:180:29:21

is it worth it? And more and more

people are asking is it worth it?

0:29:210:29:26

Why and how have you calculate that

figure on the bus which is being

0:29:260:29:30

scored slightly by the trio of Jacob

Rees Moggs?

OK, it's a pity you

0:29:300:29:38

can't see the figure, because it's

very simple. If you have 5% loss of

0:29:380:29:45

GDP growth, and you have a current

GDP of macro-2,000,000,000,000, 5%

0:29:450:29:51

of that is 100 billion, and that is

2000 million. It's as simple as

0:29:510:29:58

that. There's no calculations

needed.

Aren't you reigniting

0:29:580:30:05

project fear?

0:30:050:30:10

project fear?

No. Project fear is

about frightening people with things

0:30:100:30:18

that might happen. This is simply

telling people what the Government's

0:30:180:30:22

thinking is. This is what the best

experts the Government has are

0:30:220:30:26

telling them is going to happen with

Brexit.

0:30:260:30:32

Apart from the three behind you, how

have is the turnout been to see the

0:30:330:30:38

bus?

The turnout is well and we've

been well-received everywhere. You

0:30:380:30:43

can't see, they are on the other

side of the bus. But because of the

0:30:430:30:47

noise of those I'm finding hard to

hear you.

Thanks for joining us and

0:30:470:30:52

maybe you should have a conversation

with the three guys behind you

0:30:520:30:55

wearing the Jacob Rees Mogg masks.

As soon as I am of their I am going

0:30:550:31:00

to ask them do you really think it

is worth it? But thanks for having

0:31:000:31:05

me on.

0:31:050:31:06

Well, earlier this week a pro-Brexit

group of economists came up

0:31:060:31:09

with their own assessement

of the economic impact

0:31:090:31:11

of leaving the EU.

0:31:110:31:12

Julian Jessop contributed

to that report.

0:31:120:31:13

Vicky Pryce is a former

government economist.

0:31:130:31:20

We were all glued to the Jacob Rees

Mogg people in the last film. Your

0:31:200:31:27

model assumes mass elimination of

tariffs. As any government minister

0:31:270:31:32

or political party indicated they

would unilaterally eliminate

0:31:320:31:35

tariffs?

Not as such but that's a

reasonable approximation of where

0:31:350:31:39

the government wants to end up, a

situation where we have a

0:31:390:31:42

comprehensive free-trade deal with

the rest of the European Union

0:31:420:31:45

covering both goods and services and

significantly lower trade barriers

0:31:450:31:49

with the rest of the world. It's

true the government is not hoping to

0:31:490:31:53

completely eliminate the barriers

and to make those assumptions we

0:31:530:31:58

have another assumption where we

only make roughly half of them and

0:31:580:32:00

that still delivers a positive

number but whichever way you look at

0:32:000:32:03

it you end up in positive numbers

rather than negatives. But you don't

0:32:030:32:09

think anyone has put the scenario

forward?

Has any other country

0:32:090:32:13

indicated they would be interested

in removing tariffs and nontariff

0:32:130:32:17

barriers to the extent you'd like to

see?

We have the model what the

0:32:170:32:21

government is aiming to achieve. You

can have a separate argument about

0:32:210:32:24

whether this scenario is likely to

be accepted by the rest of the

0:32:240:32:28

European Union or world, but the

problem with the Treasury analysis

0:32:280:32:33

is that it models three scenarios,

none of which are government policy

0:32:330:32:36

and particular the one that features

on the bus is the one thing that the

0:32:360:32:40

government has ruled out. So there

has to be a range of scenarios

0:32:400:32:44

rather than prejudging before the

negotiations have started?

What do

0:32:440:32:47

you say to that?

It interesting

they've come up with a positive

0:32:470:32:52

figure in the medium to long term.

What is the medium to long term?

0:32:520:32:58

2030, that is the period you are

looking at. But it could take longer

0:32:580:33:03

for any positives to come through.

The interesting thing is they are

0:33:030:33:07

not saying much about the

short-term, which is likely to be

0:33:070:33:11

disruptive for those who put it

together.

0:33:110:33:21

together. That will be difficult.

Any trade agreement we have with

0:33:210:33:26

anyone else is unlikely to cover

services and quite a lot of

0:33:260:33:30

countries that would like to talk to

us about this, like India, would

0:33:300:33:32

like and return to be to be able to

come and work here and that is

0:33:320:33:36

something the UK is not going to

allow.

Do you sign up broadly to the

0:33:360:33:40

Treasury analysis that they used to

say that growth would grow less

0:33:400:33:47

quickly in the future?

What I have

signed up to is that if we move with

0:33:470:33:53

restraint to our major trading

partner because 45% of our services

0:33:530:33:57

of business to them, if you make

that less frictionless and you

0:33:570:34:02

reduce the ability to sell to those

countries the way we did before it

0:34:020:34:06

will increase costs and reduce

growth, and that in itself is a good

0:34:060:34:11

starting point. Anything you do to

reduce the impact you may have,

0:34:110:34:16

anything that allows you to stay as

close as you are to where you are at

0:34:160:34:20

present will, of course mean, you

are not doing as badly as you did

0:34:200:34:24

otherwise.

Do you agree you are

talking about the medium to long

0:34:240:34:28

term, and if we are talking about 15

years of slower growth or a smaller

0:34:280:34:32

economy that that is something that

is going to impact negatively on the

0:34:320:34:35

British public?

As far as the

short-term the Treasury made a

0:34:350:34:39

report two years ago that suggested

a vote to leave would prompt an

0:34:390:34:43

immediate recession so prompt --

predicting on short-term is pretty

0:34:430:34:48

good.

What is it the short-term this

time?

It depends on a couple of

0:34:480:34:55

things, such as transitional

arrangements and what sort of

0:34:550:34:58

adjustment mechanisms are put in

place. To protect agriculture, if we

0:34:580:35:01

remove those subsidies or

manufacturing sectors. And looking

0:35:010:35:08

at the longer term we can expect a

big positive.

What about the cost to

0:35:080:35:15

consumers Brexit, there has always

been the two different positions

0:35:150:35:21

with Jacob Rees Mogg saying if we do

not have a clean or pragmatic

0:35:210:35:24

Brexit, the cost of -- for consumers

will go up.

One of the benefits of

0:35:240:35:31

being in this huge regional

free-trade area is that prices are

0:35:310:35:34

kept low and now we have inflation

reappearing because of overall we

0:35:340:35:41

had a period of low inflation we

have no tariffs and trade barriers

0:35:410:35:47

are practically nonexistent which

means there are no costs to industry

0:35:470:35:52

and the benefit is that it is forced

firms to take advantage of economies

0:35:520:35:58

of scale to take advantage of the

fact that you can move things easily

0:35:580:36:01

from one country to another and take

advantage of the open skies and

0:36:010:36:06

airline costs coming down. The

consumer has been the main

0:36:060:36:09

beneficiary of being there. On the

other side, and that was the point

0:36:090:36:14

you are making...

The common

external tariff has meant in the

0:36:140:36:16

mind of Jacob Rees Mogg that closing

and some food is more expensive.

It

0:36:160:36:22

is absolutely true there are tariffs

against various countries for those

0:36:220:36:25

products that keep some price is

high but that is compensated by the

0:36:250:36:29

low prices we pay for other things

and there is no expectation we will

0:36:290:36:34

be reducing those tariffs to zero or

considerably good as that would

0:36:340:36:39

eliminate our agriculture sector and

eliminate the manufacturing sector,

0:36:390:36:43

so the consumer would suffer because

of lower growth and higher

0:36:430:36:47

unemployment.

Do you accept the

compensation outweighs the model

0:36:470:36:50

that has been outlined by Jacob Rees

Mogg or do you agree with him

0:36:500:36:53

completely?

On this matter I am with

Jacob. The key point is that the

0:36:530:36:59

things being modelled are in the

hands of the government so when you

0:36:590:37:02

get a big negative it's because you

assume in the absence of a deal the

0:37:020:37:07

British government would impose

tariffs on imports from the European

0:37:070:37:10

Union. In practice it could maintain

a level playing field under the

0:37:100:37:15

rules of the World Trade

Organisation by lowering tariffs on

0:37:150:37:17

trade, which would be a clear policy

-- positive. The winners outweigh

0:37:170:37:22

the losers and it's possible to

compensate the losers and be better

0:37:220:37:26

off.

Let's have a look at the idea

of compensation. If we go back to

0:37:260:37:30

the Treasury analysis, for a

free-trade deal with America to make

0:37:300:37:33

up for lost trade with the EU, those

civil service estimates and

0:37:330:37:38

economists will not just be wrong,

they will have to be wrong by a

0:37:380:37:42

factor of 40. For the estimated 0.2%

growth from the US trade deal to

0:37:420:37:48

make up for the lost 8% in trade

from the EU.

Do you accept that?

0:37:480:37:53

Both those numbers fail the

common-sense test. Exports to the EU

0:37:530:37:57

are only 12% of GDP and somehow the

hit would be 8% even with a small

0:37:570:38:03

increase...

But we are talking about

wrong by a factor of 40. Due

0:38:030:38:08

accepted to large measure to be

wrong by?

If you look at the past

0:38:080:38:14

record of forecasting by the

Treasury, it's possible to get that

0:38:140:38:17

wrong.

Treasury forecasting has not

got a good track record and it is

0:38:170:38:22

true that economic Armageddon was

predicted in the immediate aftermath

0:38:220:38:25

of that referendum vote and it has

not been realised.

Firstly, Treasury

0:38:250:38:30

forecasting are exactly not been

bad. Many times they've been

0:38:300:38:34

considerably better than the

independent forecasters and we have

0:38:340:38:37

not left the EU yet, Brexit has not

happened and there was a huge

0:38:370:38:43

increase of liquidity into the

system by the Bank of England and

0:38:430:38:46

low interest rates and special help

for loans and enterprises for

0:38:460:38:51

consumers. They've all benefited

from that and that is white there is

0:38:510:38:54

the fall in the pound. What is going

on right now is where is the rest of

0:38:540:38:59

the world is growing fast, we are

lowing -- growing at the lowest rate

0:38:590:39:04

of the G-7.

You claim that border

costs would be zero. Is there any

0:39:040:39:10

border in the cost -- in the world

where the costs zero except the

0:39:100:39:15

borders between the countries of

single market?

That is a modelling

0:39:150:39:19

assumption.

Belied the Treasury one.

It is an assumption. It is more

0:39:190:39:25

reasonable than the Treasury

assumption because over time border

0:39:250:39:29

costs are falling through

technological progress and its

0:39:290:39:31

increasingly easy to move goods

across borders without having to

0:39:310:39:35

face large costs and we see that not

just in the UK, but worldwide. In

0:39:350:39:40

contrast the Treasury forecast a big

increase in border costs and a

0:39:400:39:45

knock-on on the amount of trade we

do. As it happens, if you add a

0:39:450:39:49

small back into the modelling for

border costs you would still produce

0:39:490:39:53

higher costs, but I think our

analysis is more accurate than the

0:39:530:39:59

Treasury's.

In terms of the effect

on voters, the economy was not the

0:39:590:40:03

main issue for many people who voted

to leave. These discussions,,

0:40:030:40:09

important as they are, will they

have an impact, including the amount

0:40:090:40:12

of money being printed on this bus

saying it will cost 2000 million,

0:40:120:40:17

actually affect what people think?

I

doubt they will in the short-term.

0:40:170:40:20

The problem with the arguments made

by the Treasury at the time of the

0:40:200:40:24

referendum campaign was that people

did not believe the numbers. I sat

0:40:240:40:27

in on a focus group, £4300 a year to

be worse off than they did not

0:40:270:40:34

believe it and did not understand

how it related to their real life.

0:40:340:40:39

Unlike 350 million going to the NHS.

That seems simpler because we know

0:40:390:40:43

we make a direct financial

contribution. I think people will be

0:40:430:40:48

sceptical about the economist

forecast and the fact we didn't drop

0:40:480:40:52

into recession of the voted to leave

will emphasise the general voter

0:40:520:40:55

suspicions about whether they can

trust the numbers, which seems to be

0:40:550:41:01

spuriously precise always.

One of

the problems is that neither side,

0:41:010:41:04

certainly on the extremes, seems to

be keen to give away in any sense to

0:41:040:41:08

the other argument. Is there really

a view that there will be no

0:41:080:41:14

economic downside to Brexit?

I've

not encountered anyone, privately or

0:41:140:41:19

publicly, who has said that, in the

short term. The Brexit argument, the

0:41:190:41:24

pro-Brexit argument is the first of

all the forecasts have been called

0:41:240:41:27

into question by the lack of

severity of the impact of the result

0:41:270:41:32

because we thought it would be much

worse than it has been and Britain

0:41:320:41:35

has fared fairly well. The second

argument is that if you leave the EU

0:41:350:41:40

and positively embrace global trade,

and this leave you to sit on the

0:41:400:41:45

margins of Europe and begged to be

allowed back in, that won't do much

0:41:450:41:48

for growth but if you positively

leave and trade more with East Asia,

0:41:480:41:52

America, that is actually going to

create a growth which can make up

0:41:520:41:57

for the loss with Europe. The other

thing mentioned is technological

0:41:570:42:00

change and why it is difficult to

make medium and long-term forecast

0:42:000:42:04

is you cannot predict things like

the Internet or artificial

0:42:040:42:09

intelligence which will dramatically

change the kinds of markets we

0:42:090:42:12

operate in in ten or 20 years.

We

have to end it there, but thank you

0:42:120:42:15

very much.

0:42:150:42:17

Now, deep divisions

in the Labour Party.

0:42:170:42:19

A national debate about

Britain's place in Europe.

0:42:190:42:21

Sounds familiar?

0:42:210:42:22

Well, they are the same issues that

shaped the political career of a big

0:42:220:42:25

figure of a previous political era,

Roy Jenkins.

0:42:250:42:27

And he's the man Liberal Democrat

Leader, Vince Cable,

0:42:270:42:29

has chosen as his political Hero.

0:42:290:42:31

Here's Elizabeth Glinka.

0:42:310:42:39

Vince Cable, who is

your political hero?

0:42:420:42:46

Well I've chosen Roy Jenkins,

who was one of the great figures

0:42:460:42:49

in the Liberal and Social Democratic

tradition in British politics.

0:42:490:42:55

A great reforming Home Secretary.

0:42:550:42:56

A much-admired Chancellor,

a great European.

0:42:560:43:04

And somebody whose values and life,

in many ways, I have followed.

0:43:050:43:07

Roy Jenkins was born

in 1920 in the mining

0:43:070:43:10

valleys of South Wales.

0:43:100:43:12

A grammar school boy

who went on to Oxford,

0:43:120:43:15

he was immersed in politics

from an early age, following in his

0:43:150:43:21

father's footsteps and becoming

a Labour MP in 1948.

0:43:210:43:24

He was a hugely reforming

Home Secretary of the 1960s

0:43:240:43:27

at a point when you were a young

man, a student, just

0:43:270:43:30

beginning your working life.

0:43:300:43:31

What did that mean to you?

0:43:310:43:32

This was the era of Mary Whitehouse

who had this attempt to restore

0:43:320:43:35

old-fashioned values.

0:43:350:43:38

It was the dirtiest programme that

I have seen for a very long time.

0:43:380:43:41

There was this enormous mood,

particularly amongst young people,

0:43:410:43:46

to sweep away all the rather

old-fashioned values that seemed

0:43:460:43:48

to exist at that time.

0:43:480:43:54

There was censorship

on books and the theatre,

0:43:540:43:57

divorce laws, abortion laws,

rules governing homosexuality.

0:43:570:44:00

They all seemed rooted

in a bygone era.

0:44:000:44:03

And he, more than anybody else,

lifted the barriers.

0:44:030:44:06

It changed the face of the country.

0:44:060:44:09

It modernised it in a way

that we would now regard

0:44:090:44:12

as perfectly normal today.

0:44:120:44:16

Always of the centre,

his experiences as an intelligence

0:44:160:44:18

officer during World War II made him

a passionate European.

0:44:180:44:23

He would defy his party and campaign

for membership in 1975.

0:44:230:44:26

Leaving UK politics to become

president of the European

0:44:260:44:28

Commission two years later.

0:44:280:44:31

People of his generation were people

who'd fought in the war,

0:44:320:44:35

who saw the rebuilding of Europe

as something that was a political

0:44:350:44:41

objective to end conflict in Europe,

I think he would be a very,

0:44:410:44:45

very sad, heartbroken man if he saw

what had happened today.

0:44:450:44:49

One of the things that comes

across when you're reading

0:44:490:44:52

about him, looking at his speeches,

is sort of how urbane he was.

0:44:520:44:56

Is that something

that appealed to you?

0:44:560:44:59

Well, no, our lifestyle

is a little bit different.

0:44:590:45:03

I'm a little bit more

puritanical, more frugal.

0:45:030:45:06

He liked the big long lunch,

which became rather celebrated,

0:45:060:45:10

a great lover of high-class wines.

0:45:100:45:13

I've never really got into that.

0:45:130:45:16

He didn't come across

as particularly tribal.

0:45:160:45:18

And I think perhaps

that is the way people might

0:45:180:45:21

think about you as well.

0:45:210:45:23

Yes, and I did respect that in him.

0:45:230:45:26

He had good relationships right

across the spectrum.

0:45:260:45:30

I think those were the days when MPs

used to write each other private

0:45:300:45:33

letters of congratulation

and condolence and there was a kind

0:45:330:45:37

of civilised environment.

0:45:370:45:40

But returning from Europe,

those relationships could not

0:45:400:45:43

prevent the growing alienation

he felt as the Labour Party

0:45:430:45:45

swung to the left.

0:45:450:45:47

In 1981, he and others

from the right of the party,

0:45:470:45:50

known as the Gang of four,

would leave to set up the SDP.

0:45:500:45:54

We offer, not only a new party,

although it is that,

0:45:540:45:59

but a new approach to politics.

0:45:590:46:02

A certain Vince Cable

was amongst the converts.

0:46:020:46:05

I'm just coming around

the area meeting everybody.

0:46:050:46:07

They would later merge

with the Liberals.

0:46:070:46:09

What was most difficult I think

for him and also for any of us

0:46:090:46:14

was the break with many of the other

so-called moderates

0:46:140:46:17

in the Labour Party.

0:46:170:46:20

One of his closest associates

was Anthony Crossland,

0:46:200:46:22

who had actually been his lover

when they were at

0:46:220:46:25

university together.

0:46:250:46:29

And Roy Hattersley and

people of that kind.

0:46:290:46:31

He's still reviled by some

people in the Labour Party

0:46:310:46:34

for splitting away with the SDP.

0:46:340:46:37

Did he make mistakes?

0:46:370:46:40

Well, historians will argue

for many, many years as to

0:46:400:46:42

whether the breakaway was justified.

0:46:420:46:47

I think actually the Labour Party

modernisation which started under

0:46:470:46:51

Neil Kinnock, through John Smith

to Tony Blair, probably wouldn't

0:46:510:46:56

have happened if it hadn't been

for the SDP breakaway and I think

0:46:560:47:01

British politics is much the better

for having had the Lib Dems,

0:47:010:47:05

of which he was one of the parents.

0:47:050:47:08

Of course you would say that.

0:47:080:47:11

In fact, in his later years,

sitting as a life peer,

0:47:110:47:14

he would advise Tony Blair

as the new Labour project took form.

0:47:140:47:18

As Chancellor of Oxford

he would continue to write

0:47:180:47:21

the acclaimed biographies

which he produced

0:47:210:47:22

throughout his life.

0:47:220:47:25

Married to wife Jennifer

for nearly 58 years,

0:47:250:47:27

he died in 2003 at the age of 82.

0:47:270:47:32

If you were going to pay tribute

to Roy Jenkins, what would you say?

0:47:320:47:36

I think he was one

of the great statesman

0:47:360:47:39

of the post-war era in Britain.

0:47:390:47:42

You can read his

legacy in his books.

0:47:420:47:44

I think he fell short of what he

ultimately wanted to achieve.

0:47:440:47:47

He never became Prime Minister.

0:47:470:47:49

His vision of the SDP

Liberal Alliance never lead

0:47:490:47:53

to Government as he'd hoped.

0:47:530:47:55

But he was a genuinely great figure

in post-war British politics.

0:47:550:48:03

Vince Cable talking about his

political hero, Roy Jenkins there.

0:48:070:48:09

And you can see the other films

in our Political Hero

0:48:090:48:12

series on our website.

0:48:120:48:18

Do you agree he was one of the great

statesmen of British politics even

0:48:180:48:23

though he didn't become Prime

Minister?

Yes, she was and is

0:48:230:48:28

amended for those social reforms he

helped to champion. It's fascinating

0:48:280:48:31

to look at that and think about

someone really agonising about

0:48:310:48:36

whether they should remain in their

party, but their party before their

0:48:360:48:41

country, which they could see to be

deeply important, and I think there

0:48:410:48:45

are MPs in both parties actually who

fear that they may have to make that

0:48:450:48:50

decision at some point over the next

couple of years. Perhaps we can all

0:48:500:48:54

muddle through it but it's

fascinating to remember what goes

0:48:540:48:57

around comes around.

In that sense,

it is amazing to look back at the

0:48:570:49:03

error of Roy Jenkins on the fact

Europe was at the heart of

0:49:030:49:05

everything that he believed in.

That's what led him to break away

0:49:050:49:10

and help set up the SDP. Lessons

learned for today?

In that case,

0:49:100:49:16

they won but then society was rather

different, more deferential and when

0:49:160:49:22

the establishment backed staying in

the EEC, which was the issue, the

0:49:220:49:26

public listened. People said reddish

liberalism died in the 1920s but it

0:49:260:49:31

didn't, and Roy Jenkins is probably

the most significant Labour Liberal

0:49:310:49:35

of the 20th century and his reforms

in the 60s changed society. In the

0:49:350:49:40

1980s the experiment with the SDP

didn't quite transform politics but

0:49:400:49:44

many Labour Party people would say

cut Margaret Thatcher in power. Here

0:49:440:49:50

is proof that where there is why,

there was a way.

How cruel.

0:49:500:49:57

Same-sex marriage has been

a legal reality in England,

0:49:570:49:59

Wales and Scotland since 2014.

0:49:590:50:01

And gay marriage is already a right

in the Isle of Man and is legal

0:50:010:50:04

or being legalised in Channel

Islands.

0:50:040:50:07

But there is one part of the UK

where you still cannot marry

0:50:070:50:10

a same-sex partner -

Northern Ireland.

0:50:100:50:14

It also means that couples who wed

in Great Britain will not

0:50:140:50:16

have their marriage recognised

in Northern Ireland.

0:50:160:50:20

Any legislation to enable same-sex

marriage is a matter

0:50:200:50:22

for the Assembly at Stormont

where the Democratic Unionist

0:50:220:50:24

Party have blocked it.

0:50:240:50:29

But with the collapse

of talks to get the devolved

0:50:290:50:31

administration up and running,

there are now calls

0:50:310:50:33

for Westminster to legislate.

0:50:330:50:38

In a written reply to the Labour MP,

Conor McGinn, Northern Ireland

0:50:380:50:41

Secretary Karen Bradley said

the issue, "Should be addressed

0:50:410:50:43

in the NI Assembly, but the power

of the Westminster Parliament

0:50:430:50:46

to legislate remains unaffected.

0:50:460:50:47

If this issue were to be

raised in Westminster,

0:50:470:50:49

the Government's policy is to allow

a free vote on matters of conscience

0:50:490:50:52

such as equal marriage."

0:50:520:50:55

And her shadow, Labour's

Owen Smith stated -

0:50:550:50:58

"In the absence of a Stormont Bill,

would she consider legislating

0:50:580:51:00

similarly to extend equal marriage

rights to Northern Ireland?

0:51:000:51:02

We believe that she should,

and we will support

0:51:020:51:05

her if she does so."

0:51:050:51:12

Conor McGinn is in our self and

newsroom and joins us now. You've

0:51:130:51:19

had confirmation from the Northern

Ireland Secretary that Westminster

0:51:190:51:21

could legislate and the Tories

wouldn't win the vote. Tell their

0:51:210:51:25

MPs what to do, but that doesn't

mean same-sex marriage Northern

0:51:250:51:29

Ireland will happen any time soon,

does it?

And taking forward a bill

0:51:290:51:33

at the end of March which can

decisively test the mood of the

0:51:330:51:37

House of Commons if anyone objects

to extending equal marriage Northern

0:51:370:51:42

Ireland, they can oppose it and put

it to a vote. I'm very confident we

0:51:420:51:46

would win any vote and it's then for

the Government to legislate but let

0:51:460:51:49

me be very clear, my preference

would be for a fully functioning

0:51:490:51:52

power-sharing executive and assembly

to do this but people can't wait for

0:51:520:51:55

their basic rights any longer than

that's why I've taken the decision,

0:51:550:51:59

along with my colleagues in the

Labour Party and others, to put this

0:51:590:52:03

to Westminster.

What do you think

about that? If there isn't a

0:52:030:52:09

power-sharing devolved

administration functioning people

0:52:090:52:10

shouldn't be forced to wait to find

out if they can practice same-sex

0:52:100:52:13

marriage?

There is a contradiction

in argument for that but of course

0:52:130:52:19

in the assembly there is something

called a petition of concern, a

0:52:190:52:23

device created to ensure one idea,

even if supported by the majority of

0:52:230:52:30

the assembly can't be imposed upon

another community. Last time was a

0:52:300:52:34

vote on same-sex marriage the

assembly voted to introduce it but

0:52:340:52:39

because of this petition concern,

because it wasn't a supermajority,

0:52:390:52:44

it couldn't be imposed and if you

look the breakdown of the voting,

0:52:440:52:47

essentially the Unionist community,

the elected representatives, are

0:52:470:52:52

opposed to this. So imagine what it

could do to the Northern Ireland

0:52:520:52:57

settlement if in Westminster someone

impose a something which is of

0:52:570:53:01

enormous sectarian controversy upon

Northern Ireland.

Conor McGinn, you

0:53:010:53:05

are shaking your head.

That is not

about people being Unionist, being

0:53:050:53:11

gay, married, but people being

equal. If my constituents at the

0:53:110:53:14

same sex and love their partner can

get married in Saint Helens, if they

0:53:140:53:19

can in Cardiff and Edinburgh and

Dublin, they should be able to do so

0:53:190:53:22

in Belfast as well.

That there are

other issues to consider.

One could

0:53:220:53:28

say the teaching of the Irish line

which in Northern Ireland is an

0:53:280:53:31

equality issue and why shouldn't it

be taught in state schools but you

0:53:310:53:35

wouldn't want Westminster imposing

that. It's very obvious that would

0:53:350:53:38

undermine the settlement in Northern

Ireland. Why therefore do it with

0:53:380:53:41

same-sex marriage? The whole thing

was stitched together in order to

0:53:410:53:46

prevent exactly this kind of thing

and I fear that there bill, I

0:53:460:53:50

understand that attention behind it,

it could be a provocative act --

0:53:500:53:55

intention.

I think there's a

majority for equal marriage in the

0:53:550:53:59

Northern Ireland assembly. Every

opinion poll taken has shown the

0:53:590:54:02

public is in favour of equal

marriage and I think this is the

0:54:020:54:04

right thing to do. The people of

Northern Ireland should not be

0:54:040:54:08

discriminated against. It's 50 years

on from the Northern Ireland Civil

0:54:080:54:12

Rights Association taking to the

streets to demand equal rights and

0:54:120:54:15

we talked about Roy Jenkins earlier

in this programme, it's 50th on from

0:54:150:54:19

homosexuality being to come alive,

if not all right for people in

0:54:190:54:23

Northern Ireland, gay people, to be

discriminate against.

What do you

0:54:230:54:26

say about the concern raised by Tim

Stanley it could antagonise

0:54:260:54:30

sectarian relations if the polls

suggested the Unionist community

0:54:300:54:35

wasn't as in favour of same-sex

marriage in Northern Ireland and it

0:54:350:54:41

would be imposed upon them from

Westminster?

I don't think that's

0:54:410:54:44

wholly accurate but the DUP can't

have it both ways. They've called

0:54:440:54:48

for direct rule, they want Northern

Ireland to remain part of the United

0:54:480:54:53

Kingdom for that they believe

Westminster has an important role to

0:54:530:54:55

play and so they therefore can't

fully complain if Westminster acts

0:54:550:54:59

decisively on this issue of equal

marriage and they have the

0:54:590:55:02

opportunity to oppose it when my

bill comes forward at the end of

0:55:020:55:07

March. Political House of Commons

and at the House of Commons decided

0:55:070:55:09

in favour like the Northern Ireland

assembly has already decided, the

0:55:090:55:12

Government has a duty to act and

they should bring forward

0:55:120:55:16

legislation.

Right, forgave me for

being cynical, Conor McGinn, but

0:55:160:55:20

this is not just about the principle

about politics.

0:55:200:55:27

about politics. The Prime Minister

is dependent on the DUP for her

0:55:270:55:31

Parliamentary majority and that

party is opposed to same-sex

0:55:310:55:37

marriage, so obviously this could

make it very difficult for the

0:55:370:55:40

relationship between the Government

and the DUP.

That's a matter for

0:55:400:55:44

Theresa May. The concern is that

whether it in terms of negotiations

0:55:440:55:49

at Stormont around the overall

settlement in future of Northern

0:55:490:55:53

Ireland and re-establishing the

institutions or equal marriage, she

0:55:530:55:56

and her Government are compromised

either relationship with the DUP and

0:55:560:56:02

their reliance on them. But the

Secretary of State for Northern

0:56:020:56:04

Ireland has made clear that will be

a free vote and I'm very confident

0:56:040:56:07

there will be an overwhelming

majority in the House of Commons

0:56:070:56:10

that support equal marriage, so in

that sense, it's up to every MP to

0:56:100:56:14

make his or her own mind up about

whether to support this or not.

What

0:56:140:56:17

is your opinion on the idea that

being imposed on Northern Ireland

0:56:170:56:21

because there's not a devolved

December that the moment?

It

0:56:210:56:24

underlines the fact that a year-long

suspension in the assembly is

0:56:240:56:30

incredibly problematic in the way

the Government has failed to get a

0:56:300:56:33

grip on it. It's alarming. Although

I share some of his concerns about

0:56:330:56:40

unravelling a very delicate mess, I

do think it's an anomaly and it's

0:56:400:56:43

about rights and about people mag

boss lives and we saw one the

0:56:430:56:47

legislation changed in the rest of

the UK, what a huge difference it

0:56:470:56:52

made to couples had been living

together for many years and could

0:56:520:56:55

formalise their relationships and

we're talking about people's

0:56:550:56:58

ablation ships and lives who could

formalise their relationships --

0:56:580:57:04

relationships and lives. It's a

right issue.

How problematic would

0:57:040:57:09

be for Theresa May in her

relationship with the DUP?

It's

0:57:090:57:12

embarrassing, isn't it? She relies

on their votes in the Commons, and

0:57:120:57:19

some of the Liberals in her own

party, Ruth Davidson made a fuss

0:57:190:57:23

when the deal was struck about the

fact this is a party who has some

0:57:230:57:28

rather old-fashioned views, let's

say, as we would see it, so it would

0:57:280:57:34

be embarrassing for Theresa May and

she is already in a position where

0:57:340:57:38

it's hard for her to appear as

neutral broker in those talks in

0:57:380:57:44

Northern Ireland, even with issues

like this blowing up.

Conor McGinn,

0:57:440:57:50

thank you very much.

0:57:500:57:51

And we did ask to speak

to a minister from the Northern

0:57:510:57:54

Ireland Office but no

one was available.

0:57:540:57:56

The Democratic Unionist Party

also turned down our

0:57:560:57:57

request for an interview.

0:57:570:57:58

Oh well, we are Billy no mates.

0:57:580:58:00

There's just time before we go

to find out the answer to our quiz.

0:58:000:58:03

The question was which film did

Andrea Leadsom say post-Brexit

0:58:030:58:06

Britain would be more like

than Mad Max?

0:58:060:58:08

Was it: A) 28 Days Later?

0:58:080:58:09

B) Love Actually?

0:58:090:58:10

C) Four Weddings and a Funeral?

0:58:100:58:11

Or D) The Wicker Man?

0:58:110:58:13

So, Tim and Heather,

what's the correct answer?

0:58:130:58:15

And the answer was Love Actually.

0:58:150:58:16

I have to say it's a film which

makes me feeling credibly nauseous.

0:58:160:58:19

It is the correct answer. We won't

show it now because we run out of

0:58:190:58:23

time.

0:58:230:58:27

That's all for today.

0:58:270:58:28

Thanks to my guests.

0:58:280:58:30

Bye bye.

0:58:300:58:37

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.


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