Jo Coburn presents the latest political news with guests Lisa Nandy and Chris Skidmore, as Jeremy Corbyn lays out Labour's Brexit position in a speech in Coventry.
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Hello and welcome to
the Daily Politics.
Jeremy Corbyn kicks off a big week
for Brexit with his speech
on life after we leave -
he's backing a permanent
customs union with the EU and he's
inviting Conservative rebels to join
him in defeating the government.
With temperatures falling
across the UK, the government claims
it will protect 11 million customers
from "rip off" energy bills.
We'll look at the details.
Sheep - plain and simple, these days
- have become industrialised.
They've become mere commodities, no
longer treated as sentient beings -
animals that can feel pain.
As MPs prepare to debate ending
live animal exports,
the broadcaster Selina Scott says
it's time to act.
And there's a big campaign to cut
the national voting age to 16 -
we'll be looking at the tongue
in cheek call for it
to go as low as 12.
All that in the next hour
and with us for the whole
of the programme today are two MPs
sheltering from the snow
and the wind in our studio
here at Westminster where we've got
the heating turned up.
It's Labour's Lisa Nandy and for
the Conservatives, Chris Skidmore.
Welcome to both of you.
So it's going to be a huge week
for Brexit, beginning
with Jeremy Corbyn's speech this
morning and ending with a speech
by the Prime Minister.
Plenty more of that in the show
today, but first...
The government should get ten out
of ten for timing at least.
Because just as the UK gets a blast
of Siberian weather a new bill
to limit the cost of some energy
bills is being introduced
It's been calculated that domestic
customers using the big six energy
companies pay £1.4 billion more
on average than they would
in a truly competitive market.
The difference between cheapest
available tariff and the average
Standard Variable Tariff
is estimated to be around £300.
So the new law would mean Ofgem,
the energy regulatior,
would set a cap on standard default
tariffs and this would come
into effect by next winter
and would last until 2020.
It could then be extended
every year until 2023.
As you can imagine not
everyone is happy.
Energy UK, which represents
the energy providers,
warned "it's vital the cap doesn't
halt the growth of competition".
Let's have a listen to the energy
minister Claire Perry talking
about the plan earlier today.
What you're doing is saying, as
we've seen in other industries about
banking, all those great deals that
are out there for other customers,
come and switch to us, save on
average £300 a year, those sorts of
deals should be available to the
most loyal customers. Those who
can't switch or won't switch.
Switching is a great thing. We now
have about 20% of households out
there looking for the best deals.
I've switched twice, it does save
money. We know many people still
don't know about switching and lots
of steps are being taken to make
sure that improves, but equally some
people never want to switch and why
should those customers be paying
these unfair tariffs? Those are the
people who will benefit most from
Centrica, which owns British Gas,
announced they will lose 4000 jobs
by 2020, partly down to your
proposed price cap. These plans
could damage the industry, couldn't
I think having Ofgem set the
level of the cap is very important
here. This is a state control.
Having a regulator responsibly
taking decisions that will provide
You've asked them to
do that to distance herself from
making decisions. Gallup the
business and energy select committee
has looked at it and said, if
too long the big six have argued
there will be consequences. We need
to be on the side of the consumer.
The Conservative Party as the party
of the little man and we need to
make sure we have the best value for
You want to look after the
consumer, but the
consumer, but the company uSwitch
has said it is fraught with
unintended consequences and that the
cap could undermine the very
competition you want to see and push
up prices in the longer term and
harm the consumer. The bill has gone
through pre-legislative scrutiny. We
bought it through as a draft Bill to
see how we can make improvements.
will put it out to consultation. We
will see it pass through Parliament
as a bill and it shows the
government does have a domestic
policy programme in place and we
need to make sure we take the bill
through that there are concerns that
we welcome. This is about value for
money. B. On the standard variable
tariff, many people are locked in
and it could save them several
hundred pounds per year.
support it? This was the suggestion
that Ed Miliband, the former Labour
leader, proposed. It will help
people on that standard variable
It was quite nice seeing how
far the Tory party has gone since
they told us we were dangerous
communists. To be honest, I think
it's a bit sad that you can't say,
we have a situation in this country
where people are being absolutely
ripped off and we think that the
state ought to do something about it
and be proud of that. This is an
important temporary fixed to the
energy market and I very much
supported. It doesn't deal with the
bigger problems in the energy
market. One of the biggest problems
as you almost highlighted is that
you have a handful of companies who
want just selling energy to
consumers, they're generating and
selling energy to themselves and
that's where the big profit margins
come. Centrica and British Gas are a
good example. British Gas five a lot
of gas from its parent company,
Centrica, which is where the big
profit margins come. That is a sort
of thing the government needs to
take action on.
balance. We don't want to criticise
companies. There are thousands of
people who work in his company is,
we are not anti-big business.
consumers being ripped off or not
with yellow --?
Some consumers don't
have the time to switch so we need a
portfolio of options for consumers.
Penalised for loyalty. We shouldn't
allow a market to persist in which
customers are penalised for being
Do you accept one of the
problems with the freeze is that the
price of wholesale energy, when it
came down, people would be paint
over and above the odds at the time
if Ed Miliband had pushed it
That was a
mischaracterisation of the Labour
policy and it was always intended to
be a cap that bloated with the price
of wholesale rather than being
static. I agree that that would have
been a valid criticism if that were
policy. This is a temporary measure
which has had to come about because
of a very long period of time the
energy companies have been warned,
not just by political parties, but
by the independent watchdog, CMA,
that they are ripping off customers
and they haven't done anything about
You're trying to limit
competition which isn't very
It's the balance
between ensuring we have the best
value and what we are against in the
Conservative Party is corporatism.
We leave in ensuring competition but
corporatism is not competition.
Unlike the Labour position where it
was a freeze, people would be able
to bid under this and it's being
able to create that dynamic where
people have the best value.
meantime, we'll turn the heating up
for this week!
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been
making his big speech
on Brexit this morning,
and he was keen to try to set out
some clear red water
between his position and that
of the government.
While the Prime Minister has
insisted the UK will leave
the customs union, allowing it
to negotiate its own post-Brexit
trade deals, Mr Corbyn has confirmed
that Labour will in fact back
a customs union with the EU.
The Labour leader also
said his party would,
if it had the opportunity,
"negotiate a new and
with the single market" too.
Some Brexit-backing Labour MPs have
warned that the party risks
betraying those who voted to take
back control of immigration
and laws, although the speech may
have pleased the many more Labour
MPs who support a closer
relationship with the EU.
Let's have a listen
to Mr Corbyn speaking earlier.
We've long argued that
a customs union is a viable
option for the final deal,
so Labour would seek to negotiate
a new, comprehensive UK/EU customs
union to ensure there are no tariffs
with Europe and to help avoid any
need whatsoever for a hard border
in Northern Ireland.
Labour would not countenance a deal
that left Britain a passive
recipient of rules decided elsewhere
by others that would mean ending up
as a mere rule taker.
The European Union is not the root
of all our problems and leaving it
will not solve all our problems.
Likewise, the EU is not the source
of all enlightenment and leaving it
does not inevitably spell doom.
There'll be some who'll tell
you Brexit is a disaster for this
country and some will tell you that
Brexit will create a land
of milk and honey.
The truth is more down to earth
and it's in our hands.
Brexit is what we make
of it, together.
The priorities and choices
we make in negotiations.
That was Jeremy Corbyn
speaking a little earlier,
and joining us now from Coventry
is the Shadow Business Secretary
Welcome to Daily Politics. Labour
says Britain will need a bespoke
relationship of its own that you
seek to negotiate protections,
clarifications or exemptions were
necessary. In order to deliver on
your ambitious economic programme.
So to sum up, you want all the good
bit of the single market and none of
the allegedly bad bits, which I
think the EU calls cherry picking
and they have rejected.
are certain provisions we know
undermine our workers' rights. The
posted workers directives, it is not
in the interest of workers here in
Britain and we would want to seek
that exception. A number of EU
countries are currently pressing for
it to be removed. If it isn't, we
will be pushing ahead with it.
Ultimately the message that Jeremy
put forward is that we have domestic
economic problems, deep structural
problems within our economy that
need to be addressed. We've had
significant underinvestment in
particular regions over the last
seven years and people are
increasingly making their voice
heard that they're not happy with
this economic model. We can put in
place domestic interventions and we
said we will do that. We are
undertaking the most radical and
robust industrial programme that's
been seen in a generation in terms
of investing in our research and
development, skills, infrastructure.
That will only work if we have a
solid relationship with the EU that
supports and complements our
industrial strategy on our economic
programme going forward.
evidence do you have that the EU
would agree to all of that? This
really is having your cake and
eating it. We want to maintain the
benefits we have within the customs
union. We want to have our cake and
eat it, as do most parties in
Westminster. Where is the evidence
the EU would agree to that whole
long list of the domestic policies
you want to enact while still
retaining all the benefits of the
customs union and single market?
We've been clear from the start that
people didn't vote to leave the
European Union in order to have
worse terms and conditions, to have
lower rates of pay. We were always
good buy for Brexit that puts our
economy, jobs and businesses best
and we set out to do that. We know
we're in a strong negotiating
position with the EU. We are one of
their strongest bodies, with a sixth
richest economy in the world. Why
would they not want to negotiate a
bespoke deal with us in the same way
they did with countries around
Do you think the government
has an equally strong hand went
negotiating its position on the
basis that you just outlined?
government doesn't have a strong
position at all, they can't decide
what they're doing from one week to
the next. In terms of the transition
period, they can't agree whether
we'll have existing terms or if
we're going to negotiate a
transition period. We'd been quite
clear today. In relation to the
transition period we'll observe the
current terms and conditions of the
customs union and the single market
so we are not pushing businesses and
workers off a cliff edge and not
having to undertake a new set of
rules and regulations to then do it
again once the final deal is
reached. We want to provide
certainty and we know that is not
what this government is doing at the
You still haven't been able
to tell us...
You haven't been able to
tell us why your position would be
any stronger than that of the
government. There was a plant that
came out of the meeting that then
Donald Tusk from the European Union
Council rejected as cherry picking.
You're saying that by remaining part
of a cousin union, our trade policy
will be dictated by the EU 27.
Sorry, I didn't hear that.
accept our trade policy will be
dictated by the EU 27 if the UK is
part of a customs union?
been very clear on that today. What
we're seeking to achieve is to
become part of a customs union with
the EU. That will be dependent on
there being a clear forum in which
Britain has a very strong position
in agreeing to, or amending, any
trade deals itself.
What is your
evidence the EU would sign up? There
is no evidence the EU would sign up
to those exemptions, clarifications
and protections you talk about.
Where in a very strong position for
the reasons as we set out earlier.
We are one of the biggest economies
in the world. The EU wants a
positive relationship with us and we
want one with them. We know we're
only going to work as an economy and
the European economy as a whole if
we forge that strong relationship
But you've just said that
the British government hasn't got a
clear direction, although its stated
what it wants to do in terms of
leaving the customs union.
But they said they
want to leave the customs union and
the single market, which is pretty
clear. And even some of the things
they would like to see done in a
bespoke deal have been rejected by
the EU. I say again, you say you are
in a strong position but there's no
evidence for that. Why do you think
you can have the same relationship
as Britain currently has now but
somehow give the UK a voice that is
more influential than each of the EU
27? That we'd be able to influence
EU trade policy more than them?
We're taking a reasonable and
pragmatic view of our future
relationship with the EU. The
government has not been reasonable
and pragmatic. They say they want to
have frictionless trade. They say
they don't want a hard border in
Northern Ireland and yet they
reduce... Refused to accept we must
have some form of customs union with
the European Union. We realise we
can't have that frictionless trade
without some form of customs union
and that's what we're taking to the
negotiating table. We also want to
be perfectly clear that were not
going to beat a passive recipient in
that arrangement. We want there to
be a forum, a clear forum where
Britain has the opportunity to argue
and fight for its future trade deals
on appropriate terms that are in the
benefit of our own economic
Isn't this just the first
step of you ratting? Ratting on all
those Labour leaders. They voted to
take back control of the money,
borders and laws. You'd sell them
down the river to get Jeremy Corbyn
into Downing Street.
No. This is
about taking back control and
ensuring we have full economic
control. To do that is...
live you're part of a customs union.
No, we have to make sure we have a
positive relationship with the EU in
order to do that. We can't sell out
our industrial base. We can't make
people worse off than they are now
on leaving the European Union and we
have defined a relationship that
satisfies our guys I do leave the EU
but also make sure we can maintain
those positive trading relationships
and other relationships within the
European Union. That's what we've
set out today.
Will you back and a
Subaru's amendment to enable the UK
to stay in the customs union and
potentially defeat the government?
We will take that decision
throughout the course of the week.
It will be interesting to see what
interventions they make today. They
are at war over the customs union
and I would not be surprised to see
some movement on that.
immigration Jeremy Corbyn said
Labour would design a policy around
the need of the economy based on
their rules and reasonable
management of migration and make no
apologies for putting those aims
before voters on targets. Are you
committed to ending freedom of
It will end, that is a
fact, when we leave the European
Union. We have to have a fair and
reasonable system in place. It has
to address our economic needs and
fill a skills gap and shortages. CBI
and the British Chambers of commerce
are calling for a clear guidelines
to make sure we can make sure that
industry gets the skills we need. We
have to address an underlying issue
we have in Britain, which is chronic
underinvestment in our own
home-grown skills and talent. 1.15
billion was pulled from the budget
in recent years. We have to make
sure the scaling of people living in
Britain is still
Britain is still addressing the
issue so we still have a pool of
talent in our industry.
talent in our industry.
We're joined now by the UKIP MEP
and of course prominent Brexit
campaigner Nigel Farage.
Is Jeremy Corbyn's speech a game
Governments do not
negotiate trade deals. The European
Commission negotiates trade deal. If
you are part of a customs union, you
will not be involved in that. They
are giving up on that. They are
saying, thank you very much, that is
great, we are happy with this. You
now need to go further on the single
market. The next speech down the
road will be that we are linked to a
single market but not the single
market. The biggest clue of the lot
was yesterday on the BBC when Keir
Starmer said we would have to have a
new treaty. We get rid of the
current treaty, we have another
treaty, and Labour voters were asked
are we really leaving?
like to see Labour commits to
remaining a member of the single
Broadly speaking we are in
the right place in the country.
is the answer to that question?
is the answer. The position Jeromy
set out an hour ago was building on
the commitment that Keir Starmer
made, access to the single market
rather than membership of the single
We can all have access.
gives you flexibility to be able to
negotiate specific terms. For me the
importance of all of this that is
being lost in the bluster and hot
air is that Labour does now have a
very clear position, which is that
we see our future as being a high
wage, high standard economy that
links as very closely to those
standards that operate across the
Britain would be a
rule taker and that is where you
would be selling levers down the
No, that is part of the
negotiation. The difficulty for
Britain is there is not agreement in
the Tory party, even within the
government. This is a choice, do we
want to peg ourselves closely to
countries like the US and China and
trade on those terms which will push
down wages in constituencies like
It will not push wages down,
it will open the door to
I welcome to
immigration in a moment. What do you
say to that? Are you confident you
will still be able to get Parliament
to endorse leaving the single market
and the customs union?
First of all,
this is about taking back control.
People voted in June 2016 to have
control over their money, their laws
and their borders. Two thirds of
Labour constituents voted to leave.
They will be outraged if they feel
our future training policy is set by
the EU. The whole point of a customs
union means it will exclude the
ability for Britain to sign
independently to other trade
nations. When people realise the
customs union will lead to this,
there will be serious consequences
to the Labour Party.
Your party got
just under 600,000 votes in the last
election, against 17.4 million
people who voted to leave, as well
as others who voted to remain. Why
do you still get to defy what a
proper Brexit looks like?
got fewer votes because the public
believed parties like Labour, the
Brexit they voted for, was going to
happen. Now we are seeing a
different picture. There were four
million-plus Labour voters who voted
for Jeremy Corbyn who genuinely want
immigration reduced significantly
and want us to leave the single
market, the customs union and to be
an independent country. So this is a
sell-out by any measure.
said Jeremy Corbyn was a Brexiteer.
Why wouldn't people trust him to
deliver the sort of Brexit that
would protect jobs and the economy
as he has dated?
If you continue
with free movement... He wants to be
a citizen of the world. He said we
would not scapegoat anybody. There
were so many references there. He
also said Labour's priority will be
business commitments, not arbitrary
migration numbers. We will continue
with the low paid jobs and that is
what Labour has produced.
absolute nonsense. If it was as true
as you say that you somehow
magically know exactly why every
single leave voter in this country
voted to leave and the specific
legal mechanisms that they want to
see in place afterwards, why did
your vote collapse in constituencies
like mine in 2017? We stood on a
very clear manifesto...
We did not, we stood
on a very clear commitment that said
that we wanted to retain the
benefits of the single market. We
wanted access to the single market.
We wanted to avoid a hard border
with Northern Ireland.
onto the hard border. Let's talk
about immigration. What do you
understand by Rebecca Long Bailey
and what was said in the Labour
manifesto that there will be an end
to freedom of movement which is then
followed by a fairer system of
managed by Gration according to
I am not part of the
What does it
mean to you?
What I imagine it is
leading to, whether it is Tories
negotiating it or Labour, is
probably a system that looks like
work permits and looking at the
requirements to bring in non-skilled
labour and skilled labour. Would the
numbers go down? That is a red
herring because if you start saying
we will set an arbitrary target for
numbers, then you are not looking at
the interests of the economy.
terms of knowing what people wanted
about leaving the European Union,
are you saying there will be tens of
thousands of disappointed Labour
voters who will be disappointed if
we're not leaving the customs union?
Millions. They will be very
disappointed. If Theresa May was
able right now to grab the
immigration agenda, I think she
could do massive damage to Labour in
the north. I am not sure she will do
it, but everybody was clear we were
voting to leave the institutions of
the European Union and run our own
lives. Nobody voted lower wages.
They will get higher wages if we
control immigration. If we go global
we could be a richer country. What
you have done today is you have
stopped us going global by staying
part of a customs union.
You say it
will be a negotiation but it does
mean on paper that Britain would
remain a rule taker if we are part
of a customs union. There would not
be the ability to negotiate
free-trade agreements in the way
people envisaged. That is going back
on what was promised in the
There would be
restrictions on the way in which we
could negotiate. But it would not
prevent us from negotiation.
basis of being friendly it is not
evidence saying that the EU would
give you what you want.
would entail, what Keir Starmer was
honest about yesterday, is we would
have to work closely with other
European countries in order to
negotiate free-trade agreement.
Sorry, Nigel you have had a lot to
say about this.
Let her finish.
Nigel. You are not telling the
The European Commission
You have had a lot to
say. Not one word is true. The truth
is that this is a choice in the end
about what sort of country we want
to be. We cannot be simultaneously a
high wage, high regulation economy
and a low-wage, low regulation
economy. We have to choose if we
want a close trading relationship
with Europe or not. That is why
neither of these parties are honest
with the public.
One other issue is
state aid, an important cornerstone
of what Jeremy Corbyn was to do in
terms of economic policy. Labour
wants to undermine the principle of
no state aid, which is a principle
that is crucial to the internal EU
Why and how? I disagree with
that and I slightly disagree with
Rebecca in the way it was
characterised in that interview. If
you look at countries like France,
it is not true to say that remaining
within the European Union is a
barrier to state aid. I think it is
a genuine fear but one that is not
fully borne out by the fact. I think
it is possible to remain within the
European Union, not that we are, we
are leaving, but it is possible to
do that and intervene in markets. I
do not think that is a consideration
that should determine any political
You were stating earlier that
it is the commission that is
negotiating, but it is also true to
say that other countries have had
bespoke deal. Look at Turkey with
regard to the customs union and
Switzerland with regard to
We were talking in the
context of doing trade deals with
the rest of the world and it is the
European Commission that does that.
Even as members, we did not have
that much say. You cannot be in a
customs union and exert influence on
outside trade policy. That is a
fact. However, what is interesting
is one thing is for certain, food
will stay expensive. It is the other
thing the customs union does, it
determines the tariffs on imports
from the rest of the world on items
like shoes, food, brass, the things
that the poorest families spend the
biggest part of their incomes on.
Those things will stay expensive if
we stay in a customs union and that
is something that Labour voters need
What do you say to
that? There was a line from
that? There was a line from Jacob
Rees Mogg about that.
constituencies like mine relatively
speaking prices are higher than
anywhere else. The idea that you
could be the champion of the poor.
Food produced for those on lower
incomes in an average family would
That is the difference
between the customs union and a
customs union because a customs
union enables you to negotiate.
No-bid does not. You are either part
of a legal entity or you are not.
That is also part of the argument
around the single market.
Starmer implied it would be the
No, a customs union.
I see what you mean. We are looking
to mirror those terms so we can have
frictionless trade and help to move
us forward to solving the problems
in Northern Ireland. That seems to
be a good thing.
That seems to be a good thing.
Jeremy Corbyn's shift in direction
on Brexit has stoked speculation
that the government could be
defeated if Labour MPs
and Conservative rebels join forces
to inflict a defeat in the Commons
over the issue of the customs union.
Well, the international development
secretary Liam Fox yesterday urged
potential rebels to keep
an open mind.
I say to my colleague,
Theresa May has kept a broad range
of views on the European issue
in her Cabinet for a reason.
We sat down with those different
views, we looked at the issues,
we looked at the options and we came
to an agreement that
we are all happy with.
And I think that when the rest
of the Parliamentary party hears,
on Friday, as the Prime Minister
sets it out, what we...
She's going to win over
Anna Soubry, do you think?
Well, I hope they will have an open
mind and listen to what the Prime
Minister says because I think
what the Prime Minister
will set out will deal
with a lot of the reservations
that they've had.
Well, one of those potential
rebels is the Conservative
MP Stephen Hammond.
He's put his name to a cross-party
amendment calling for the country
to remain within a customs union
with the EU after Brexit.
He joins us now.
Welcome to Daily Politics. You just
heard Liam Fox saying your fears
will be addressed by the Prime
Minister in her speech on Friday.
What does she have to say to keep
you add other Tory MPs on-board?
think what I hope she's going to say
and specify... We were talking a lot
about a war the customs union. I
want to hear her talk about how
we'll get over nontariff barriers.
What would arrangements allow us to
do in terms of a customs union. I
want to hear her talk about all
these sectors of the UK economy and
I want to understand that we will
look at the real economic and
protect what businesses and jobs the
Will you accept anything
less than the UK being part of a war
the customs union?
the customs union?
I -- a or the
customs union? I brought the quote
of the Prime Minister made in her
Lancaster house speech in our party
manifesto. In our party manifesto we
are committed to a combo hence if
free trade and customs agreement.
Customs agreement could be a customs
union. I am prepared to be
Should the Prime
Minister say that on Friday in her
I think Brexit is a process,
not just an event and as part of
that process we have the
negotiations which will be taking
place later this month as next
month. As part of the speech, we're
talking semantics when it comes to a
or the customs union. A customs
union in itself binds us to a
collective decision-making browsers
when it comes to free trade deals
which is obviously what were not
going to do.
The key distinction
between a or the is a allows us to
do our own deals and the will allow
those deals which you and Liam and
others want us to do alongside a
jury our relationship.
evidence the EU will allow that.
Would you accept a customs union?
No. We are looking for a partnership
which is separate from the union. We
are collectively binding ourselves
to the EU 27 when it comes to
setting tablets that would impose
higher prices on those goods coming
in from outside the EU. We also want
to ensure we have those deals with
the US, with China, the big global
It doesn't like to get
what you want terms of a customs
union or partnership. If you don't,
will you press ahead voting with
Labour MPs to force the government
to make sure the UK stays within a
customs union with screen to be
technically correct, they'd be
voting with us. Your voting with
I bring Chris back. We
are very close to an agreement here.
I think that with a customs union
it'll be perfectly possible to agree
and secure a frictionless trade and
the tariff and I hope that nontariff
barriers. It will also allow us to
do outside deals. I'll be looking to
see what the difference between a
customs union and a customs
partnership actually is.
But are you
prepared to go through the lobby
with Labour colleagues?
This is a
process. Where a long way from that.
As Liam has said rightly, I will
listen to what the primaries says on
Friday. Until I have that, I
wouldn't give a view on something
that may or may not happen.
you make of it being turned into a
vote of confidence in the Prime
I'm sure that won't
But if it were to be
discussed, would that put pressure
on you to change your mind to vote
for an amendment to defeat the
You heard Mr Corbyn's
speech today which was vacuous. He
had nothing more to say. He restated
his position he's had all the way
along. He had nothing to say about
the biggest sector of the economy,
nontariff barriers. He talked about
the regulatory race to the bottom
which David Davis has already ruled
out. The answer, if Jeremy Corbyn is
the answer, the question is how do
you destroy UK jobs? I want to do
anything to support that.
respond to that character Asian --
Voting on an issue
that potentially put him at
loggerheads with the Prime Minister.
The truth of this is that there is
very strong cross-party agreement
that a customs union could
potentially solve a lot of the
problems that we have and it seems
to me that we ought to be working
together in a constructive way to
achieve it. I don't think the
electorate Wood Group ward -- we
would any particular party that is
seeking to make capital out of this.
Our primary concern should be how do
we advance the situation in which we
are leaving the European Union and
we do so on the best terms for
British jobs and for Britain?
the things Lisa raises in terms of a
solution is to the Northern Irish
issue, to the border. Being part of
a customs union would deal with that
in a way that hasn't been, even at
the end of that first phase of
It is obviously to me
else making speech. David Lidington
will be making a speech on how we
want the Brexit process to work for
all areas of the UK in terms of
Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales
and how we create the internal
market. The Prime Minister has
committed at the end of phase one of
negotiations to dealing with the
It doesn't have a solution.
We committed to making sure the Good
Friday Agreement remains in place.
But being committed is not the same
as having an answer to how we deal
with it. If outside the customs
union there would have to be a
border somewhere. Whether it's down
the sea, which would break up the
integrity of the UK as the
Democratic Unionists see it, or
whether there would be border checks
between the UK and Ireland which
would threaten the Good Friday
This will be looked at
Friday the draft text is published.
With a draft comes the ability to
extend negotiating positions and you
know it's right we listened to
Ireland's concern, Northern
solution quiz the yellow -- what's
That is taking the
situation... When you look at the
Northern Ireland situation with the
border there we have the opportunity
to look at how we can preserve the
union in Northern Ireland but also
making sure goods and services can
I understand the aim
but not the solution if you're
outside a customs union.
we have the opportunity at looking
There isn't one.
passes, electronic opportunities and
looking at how we can create that
order. It's not a hard border. The
Prime Minister has been very clear
and I believe her when she says we
won't go back to hide border. We
need to allow her the space to
negotiate and come up with a decent
How concerned are you
about your colleagues like Stephen
Hammond who will vote against the
government if there isn't some
indication of a customs union?
a minister taking through the EU
withdrawal bill last year when we
were looking at devolution in the
Avent office. We have 60 amendments
and one defeat. This is a legal
process by which we have to listen
and that's why the government
delayed the legislation in order to
have the opportunity to react.
back and tell us what you think of
the speech on Friday. At some stage.
I'd be delighted.
Any viewers who
have a strong allergic reaction to
more news about Brexit should look
Because it's shaping up to be
another busy week in politics,
and the "B" word is going
to figure throughout.
Tomorrow, International Trade
Secretary Liam Fox will give
the latest "road to Brexit" speech.
He is under pressure
to justify his claim
that the benefits of being outside
the customs union outweigh
the potential losses.
Tomorrow will also see Theresa May
update the full cabinet
on the Brexit Meeting at Chequers.
On Wednesday the European
commissioners will publish its full
legal text of Britain's exit treaty.
That's the deal that was struck
at the end of the first
round of negotiations in December.
Theresa May will meet EU
President Donald Tusk
in Downing Street on Thursday.
And then on Friday, Theresa May
will give her fourth
major Brexit speech.
Look at this scene!
We're joined now by two journalists
who can tell their managed
divergence from their customs union.
It's Jessica Elgot of the Guardian
and Jack Blanchard of Politico.
We've kindly given them a reason
to take a break from their nice warm
offices on College Green outside
You'll never agreed to do this
again, will you, if the weather is
like this. No need to brush the snow
of your coat! Your reaction to
Jeremy Corbyn's speech. Does it
change the terms of crit trade
between the two parties?
There is now really sort of clear
water in between the Conservatives
and Labour. Not perhaps if you dig
really deep into the detail of
Corbyn's speech. He says we want a
special partnership with the EU and
even echoed the phrase the premises
to use is quite often that we are
leaving the EU was not Europe.
There's still a lot of striking
similarity apart from on this one
key issue which is that they would
seek a customs union with the EU
which would mean there is some limit
on the amount of trade deals Britain
How much pressure does it
but on the Prime Minister?
mind. We have the vote looming on
the customs union. We thought it
would be in the next week but the
Tories have put it back now until
date unknown in the next few weeks
because the truth is there not sure
they've got the numbers to win it.
If enough Tory rebels joined with
Labour to defeat the Prime Minister
I really don't know what happens
then. It's a huge problem for her
and I guess the crunch comes, can
those Tory rebels be peeled off once
they realise the potential
consequences of them doing that
would be bringing down the whole
Is that how you see it
too, Jessica, that is talked about
turning any vote on the trade built
around this amendment to stay in a
customs union that's actually been
proposed by Anna Soubry could be a
vote of confidence on the Prime
That's the argument Tory
whips will be making to their
quivering colleagues on that. It's
not quite the same as voting on an
amendment. The withdrawal bill which
is about parliamentary democracy and
getting a vote on the final deal.
This is about really keen tenant of
what the Prime Minister's
negotiating strategy is. I don't see
how it's anything other than a
confidence vote on the Prime
Minister. There is another key
problem to getting this vote
through, that is Labour
Eurosceptics. Labour Eurosceptics
voted on the amendment to defeat the
government last hurrah. This is a
different ask them and it will be up
to Labour whips to make sure they
can keep them in mind, as well.
does it do, Jack, to the 80 Labour
MPs or so who would like Jeremy
Corbyn to go further than just
saying the UK would remain in a
customs union under Labour's policy,
but actually that Labour should
confirm it would remain in the
single market with eye and it step
in the right direction as far as
they're concerned. They want Corbyn
to go much further than that and I
don't think he's going to do that.
The Labour leaders have been very --
Labour leaders have been clear that
staying in the single market would
maintain free movement and no that
would alienate a fusion of their own
voters. It would put them over to
the charge that there are defying
the will of the people.
think you will go that far. Those 80
MPs I think would be reasonably
happy that they helped to ship later
into a position to stay closer to
Europe than they might otherwise
Let talk about Ken
Livingstone, the former Labour Mayor
of London. His suspension from the
party is due to end at the end of
April. What is actually happening in
terms of him being readmitted to the
party winner hasn't yet been an
enquiry into what he said in terms
of Hitler supporting Zionism?
Technically what would happen is if
somebody is suspended as a member
then once the suspension ends they
continue to be a member. The problem
that Labour MPs, some of whom are
incredibly opposed to Ken
Livingstone being readmitted, is
that the control of the NEC, which
is Labour's governing body, which
decides on a lot of these matters,
they decide on whether to have an
enquiry into this, is now very much
controlled by supporters of Jeremy
Corbyn. That is thoroughly mean
supporters of Ken Livingstone, but
those who want to push Ken's
suspension have a task.
I was told
by someone in Labour HQ some weeks
ago that they have no doubts Ken
Livingstone was coming back into the
Thank you very much. Quickly
run back inside! Are
you in favour of Ken Livingstone
I think he should
have been expelled in the first
Do you think that the
decisions the NEC should make?
have to follow due process but my
feeling is the NEC will discuss this
at some point before the suspension
ends and Obee
at some point before the suspension
ends and Obee, people urging them
that people who express views like
that should not be in the Labour
Later today MPs will be debating
another aspect of life after Brexit
when they respond to a petition
calling for an end to the export
of live animals for slaughter.
It's been an emotive issue
for years, with campaigners
blockading ports to stop
what they see as a cruel trade
which can mean animals
travelling long distances
to abattoirs in Europe.
The broadcaster Selina Scott says
that once free of EU rules,
the UK should ban it altogether.
Here's her soapbox.
I have a farm in this beautiful
corner of North Yorkshire.
My life these days
is tied to the seasons
and the farming calendar.
Soon, it will be spring,
and in these fields all around
here there'll be newborn lambs
frolicking in the fresh
air with their mothers.
The life of a lamb,
unfortunately, is a short one.
Once they're a year,
old and after fattening,
Once they're a year
old and after fattening,
they're taken to the local market
and sold for slaughter.
It was the monks of great Cistercian
abbeys, like Rievaulx here,
who brought huge flocks of sheep
to the area and made immense amounts
of money out of the sale of wool -
riches that Henry VIII seized along
with their land.
600 years later, and the sale of one
lamb at auction can fetch
between £80 and £100 -
not nearly enough to pay
for the full-time shepherding skills
needed to care for sheep.
Skills that are now a dying art.
Sheep - plain and simple, these days
- have become industrialised.
They've become mere commodities, no
longer treated as sentient beings -
animals that can feel pain.
And we as a nation of animal lovers
- and to our everlasting shame -
have turned a blind eye
to the cruelty inflicted
on our sheep and lambs once
they're sold at auction.
The condoning of the trade in live
lambs across the European Union
is absolutely abhorrent.
In the UK, thousands of lambs
and sheep are herded
into overcrowded trucks
from counties like Cumbria
and Yorkshire, and driven hundreds
of miles, without food or fresh
water, to be shipped from Ramsgate
in Kent to revolting abattoirs
somewhere in southern or Eastern
Instead of a humane killing
in a local abattoir,
sold on as a carcass,
these poor creatures have
to suffocate in transit,
suffer with broken bones and damaged
bodies, until they reach
their destination, where they meet
an unspeakable death.
For years, the EU has been the prime
enabler of this cruelty.
And successive UK governments have
Well, we're at a turning point,
and now there is no excuse.
We're leaving the EU.
We no longer have to follow EU rules
on live transportation of animals
across the continent.
We must finish off this
trade once and for all
and with immediate effect.
And Selina Scott joins us now.
Welcome to the Daily Politics. What
do you say to those within the
farming industry itself who say that
leaving the EU will put their
industry at risk?
First of all, we
are not talking about dealers, but a
lot of farmers do not like this
business and do not want this
business of animals going off like
this. They send them to market and
they sell them. There is nothing
they can do about it after that. The
other point is this is still a very
marginal trade. One in 300 sheep is
sent to Europe and to far-flung
places further on from Europe. But
even so it is a filthy business. I
talked about sheep. Calves are being
sent, I'm weaned calves from
Northern Ireland spent six days in
trucks all the way to Spain. As a
nation do we care about the animals
that we put into these situations?
Do we care that they suffer? That is
basically the question. Farmers are
on the whole behind it, but it is
now down to politicians to do
something about it.
Do you accept
that there are some journeys, going
to France and Belgium for example,
might be shorter than going to other
parts of the UK?
No, the fact is we
are talking about welfare. If you
send any animal over a long distance
over water, you do not know where
they are going to end up. Yes, a
farmer consent his or her animals to
an abattoir in France. It can then
be re-exported to Turkey for
example. The other day a Brazilian
court stopped the live
transportation of animals from
Brazil to abattoirs in Turkey
because of the grotesque conditions
that Turkish abattoirs put their
animals through. This has been
happening for 40 years.
What is the
government doing about it? They have
said once they have left the EU,
there will be the ability to
consider further this area. It is
Once Brexit happens we will
have the opportunity to create our
own separate, new, public body that
will look at environmental standards
and public welfare.
environment be a major issue?
is already legislation to bring in
CCTV in abattoirs in this country,
but there is a balance about the
standards not being abroad. We have
higher standards in the UK and it is
right that we need to look at this
going forward. It could be an
So you are warm to
And you, Lisa? Very warm.
It is not true to say there is
nothing we can do at the moment
because although it is right to say
the single market potentially
prevents us from banning live
exports of animals, it does not
prevent us from putting stricter
standards in place into the court
system at the moment. I would like
to see something done now rather
than wrangle about what we do in the
future with a view to ending this
Do you agree, more could
be done right now before leaving the
What is stopping us? In an
agricultural bill stop it now,
finish it. It has been going on for
40 years. This is a country that
thinks of itself as a nation of
animal lovers. People like me, lots
and lots of people feel marginalised
by this behaviour and we should stop
If it could be done now
without or even before leaving the
EU, how much pressure can you put on
the government, the current
government to take you up on this?
There is a petition and if anyone is
listening and wants to sign it,
there is a petition called petition
200, go to the Parliament website.
Put your name to it because it is
the power of the people that will
change this. If it is left to the
politicians, we will argue about the
rights and wrongs and whether the
farmers wanted and the dealers
wanted, allowing unscrupulous people
to take advantage of this transition
period we are supposed to be going
through and that is not good enough.
Except the Scottish Government is
not keen on what you are proposing
and they want to stay in the EU.
They say it would damage the
livestock industry there so you will
not have their support.
I don't know
how the spokesman for the Scottish
parliament can live with himself
when he sees I'm weaned calves taken
off their mothers and put into
trucks and spending six days
travelling. How can a man like that
get up in the morning and say he is
doing his best?
He will say, and I
am not a spokesman for the Scottish
Government, but he will say it will
damage the livestock industry.
damage the livestock industry.
English system of subsidies which
are given to farmers for acreage.
They do not have to raise animals to
get the subsidy. In Scotland it is
per head of sheep or cattle. It is
different. Eventually this all has
to be brought into line. It is up to
the politicians to work out how
Scotland comes into line with
England and help England comes into
line with Scotland. The most
important thing is the welfare of
Selina Scott, thank you.
Selina Scott, thank you.
Now, you may be aware
of the campaign to give 16-year-olds
across the UK the right to vote -
it's been endorsed by
the Labour Party, among others,
although it's opposed
by the government which argues
the voting age should remain at 18.
But one campaigner says he wants
it to go even lower,
although we suspect he may just be
trying to make a point.
At age 12 you can have your ears
pierced, but you are not allowed to
The man you saw there
launching his campaign,
which we assume is satirical,
is Tom Harwood.
He joins us now, as does
Liam Preston from the YMCA
which is campaigning -
entirely sincerely I think -
for the voting age
to be lowered to 16.
Is it a joke?
It raises an important
point. That is a lot of the
arguments about votes at 16 can be
applied to 12-year-olds will stop
you might say that 12-year-olds are
not allowed to buy alcohol, buy
cigarettes, drive, fight for the
country, marry without permission,
but that is true of 16-year-olds as
well. When you look at the issue of
lowering the franchise, we need to
rest it on what we consider to be an
adult in this country. Lowering it
to 16 races of difficult questions
about responsibilities and rights of
What do you say? It
has raised the awareness of the
issue of votes at 16. Young people
at 16 and 17 are mature enough to
vote, they are well educated enough
to vote. They are already engaged in
the type of issues debated at
elections. When they are given the
opportunity, like in the Scottish
referendum, they will come out and
vote and I cannot see why we are not
lowering it to that franchise for a
more equal society.
It is a question
of what age you become a citizen. 16
is the suggestion. People can
register to vote at 16, but they
cannot vote. In Scotland they can
register at 14. Soon we will be
registering at ten. You have to ask
what is the space people can have to
grow up without being bombarded by
messages from politicians. Look at
Nicaraguan, Ecuador, Argentina,
Brazil, most of these countries are
It is quite clever stunt. We
mature at different ages, you do not
become an adult overnight. You can
be criminally responsible for your
actions at ten. It seems to me that
what we are arguing about is a
question of where you strike the
right balance. For me the question
has always been when we have
extended the franchise it has always
been a good thing. The question
should be not why do it? But it
should be why not. In the case of
16-year-olds at the moment I cannot
see any reasons for not to.
say the arguments about 12-year-olds
could be applied to 16-year-olds.
16-year-olds have the right
political knowledge and education
and that is true, but I do not think
we should be basing the franchise on
knowledge and education.
same arguments be applied to
12-year-olds are 16-year-olds?
you are 12, you are in a very
different place in life than when
you are 16 and 17. 16 and
17-year-olds know how mature they
are and they want to engage in
society and they want to shake
democracy. One of the issues is that
politicians do not engage enough
with young people and this will give
an opportunity for parties to look
at themselves, what can they do for
I have a undermining
the campaign being run?
undermines the campaign it is people
who campaign for votes at
16-year-olds comparing themselves to
suffragettes. You might not have
done, but many campaigners have them
and that is what I am trying to
satirise. There is not the same
systematic discrimination against
the marginalised groups in the past
and against 16-year-old and
But they are more
affected by the decisions we make.
Climate change is a good example. If
we do not deal with it, that
generation will be more affected.
And 12-year-olds even more affected.
Generally speaking we do not accept
12-year-olds operate independently.
They have someone at home looking
after them, they do not go out very
much by themselves. 16 is different.
The age of majority, the age in
which someone comes into charge of
their own actions and block liable
for someone else, that is 18.
because they do not have a say?
Arguing that this is a transactional
approach and if we do not give
16-year-olds vote, politicians will
ignore issues, misses the point.
When it comes to looking at youth
services, when we look at what we
want to provide in the future, and
one of the key arguments for
reducing the deficit was making sure
that we did not saddle the next
generation with it.
We have to do a
whole programme on this.
We have to do a whole
programme on this.
That's all for today.
Thanks to our guests.
The one o'clock news is starting
over on BBC One now.
Jo Coburn presents the latest political news with guests Lisa Nandy and Chris Skidmore, as Jeremy Corbyn lays out Labour's Brexit position in a speech in Coventry.