19/03/2018 Daily Politics


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19/03/2018

Jo Courn is joined by Neil O'Brien and Helen Goodman, as EU leaders finalise details of the Brexit transition period in Brussels. Plus should shock collars for pets be banned?


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LineFromTo

Hello and welcome to

the Daily Politics.

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David Davis is in Brussels

where an agreement between Britain

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and the EU over the transition

period after Brexit looks

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close to being struck.

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We'll bring you all the latest.

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The EU has offered "unqualified

solidarity" with the UK

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as the investigation

into the poisoning of

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ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal

and his daughter goes on.

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Is the Government serving up

cuts to free school meal

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entitlement for some

children, or is Labour

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over-egging the pudding?

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We'll try to find out.

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Should shock collars for dogs

in England like Bella

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and Abbie be banned?

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We'll be debating this

charged political issue.

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I think if I didn't have it two

years ago I wouldn't be here right

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now. You can't put a price on it.

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And MPs debate whether people

with cystic fibrosis should

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receive a life-changing,

but very expensive, drug on the NHS.

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All that in the next hour

and with us for the whole

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of the programme today,

it's the shadow foreign office

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minister Helen Goodman and

the Conservative MP Neil O'Brien.

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Welcome to the show both of you.

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First today - a deal

between Britain and the EU

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on the transition deal,

that's the period of two

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years after Brexit -

looks to have been reached.

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David Davis is in Brussels

where he's been meeting

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with the EU's negotiator

Michel Barnier, we'll hear that

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in a moment, it's potentially a big

moment in the Brexit process.

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It means there's an agreed set

of rules to smoothe the way

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from our current relationship

to our new relationship with the EU.

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The EU wants this period,

which the British government calls

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the implementation period,

to last until the end of December

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2020, so we're all looking forward

to finding out where each side

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has given way.

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Here's Michel Barnier.

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TRANSLATION:

And what we are

presenting to you today with David

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is a legal texts, a joint legal

text, which constitutes in my mind a

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decisive step because we were able

this morning to agree that after all

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those days and nights of hard work

on a large part of what will make up

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an international agreement for the

ordered withdrawal of the United

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Kingdom.

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And we're also joined by Bernard

Jenkin, the Conservative MP. I want

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to ask my two guests hear what do

you say to the announcement by

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Michel Barnier that there has been a

legal text agreed on the withdrawal

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agreement and there sounds like some

sort of agreement has been made on

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the transition?

It is ready great

news because it is another milestone

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on the way to delivering Brexit in a

smooth, orderly way, which is a big

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prize because it means we'll get

back control of our laws, borders

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and money so this is a big

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and money so this is a big step

forward it is what most of this

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country now want.

People voted for

Brexit, we need to get on with it

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and do it in a sensible and orderly

way and this is another milestone.

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Bernard Jenkin, as we understand it

the agreement has been done but

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everything stays the same during the

transition period, that two-year

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period, but we will not have a seat

at the table. In other words, we

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will be a rule take and not a rule

giver. I happy with that?

It'll be

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in the small print which we haven't

had a look at yet. Michel Barnier

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has presented the pages of text on a

massive slide behind him saying that

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all the bits coloured in yellow are

the bits where the drafting is

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subject to alteration so we don't

have a finished text and there are

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some bits that are in green which

seem to be on my television

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indecipherable from the bits in

yellow.

But can you accept the fact

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that Britain won't have a seat at

the table when decisions are being

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made during the transition period?

There is going to have to be some

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pretty significant safeguards that

no country would submit itself is

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completely to a foreign

jurisdiction, which is what the EU

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becomes after we have left, and just

accept new laws and court rulings.

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There will have to be some mediation

arrangement, even if by our own

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parliament because when you are no

longer represented on the court,

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when you are not sitting at the

table to make the new laws, how can

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we possibly make ourselves a

prisoner of this arrangement? That

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would not be acceptable. There are

other issues, like we are going to

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be bound by the doctrine of sincere

integration, but we want to

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negotiate our own trade deals.

Do

you see this as success? A moment at

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which the government can claim that

it has got agreement on this

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implementation period?

I hope so

because we were calling for a

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transitional agreement with access

to the single market and the customs

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union a year ago and the government

made some demands which couldn't be

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met and now they've had to accept

that wasn't negotiable, and we

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really do need this smooth

transition because the amount of

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uncertainty and chaos which has been

caused for industry and business has

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ready been terrible. We don't want

to see a repeat of this pattern

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where the government requests things

it cannot achieve. We need a better

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approach.

Right, I'm going to talk

to if political correspondent for TV

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island but first of all will you be

happy to support a deal when it

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comes to parliament later this year

if the issue of Ireland and Northern

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Ireland hasn't been completely

resolved or if there is some

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infrastructure at the border?

We

think getting the Northern Ireland

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border sorted on the basis of a soft

border is absolutely essential to a

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satisfactory deal.

We've just heard

from Michel Barnier on the border

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issue that both sides, the UK and

the EU, are committed to all part of

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what was agreed in December.

Briefly, to summarise, what was

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agreed in that draft text was either

there was going to be a full free

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trade agreement that would take in

the issue of the board or that's

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technology would provide the

solution, which is what the

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government has been suggesting, but

has been rejected so far by certain

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parties on EU side, or the third

backstop issue which is that

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Northern Ireland would remain

aligned to the EU, which is the

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least favoured option for most

sides, certainly in the UK. Gavin

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Reilly, do you think this is a

problem that the issue of the border

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hasn't yet been resolved, even

though this implementation period

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has been agreed?

It is a point of

anxiety that the Irish government is

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still waiting to find a very

workable solution about how exactly

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such technological solutions might

work. The Irish government has been

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transparent and upfront and says its

best possible solution is a very

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all-encompassing free-trade

agreement between EU and the UK

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which would render the border? Is at

it because they would be part of the

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same trading block. If that isn't

going to be any prospect of the UK

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coming forward with technological

solutions, at least island considers

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it feasible. The real question for

the Irish government is whether the

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UK government is prepared to honour

the backstop agreement you

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mentioned, where Northern Ireland

would remain part of the European

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single trading area, even if it

means it become segmented from the

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rest of the UK. The Irish government

says it doesn't want to do it and

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the Taoiseach has been at pains to

article at this point because it is

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perceived this is some sort of an

agenda to create a united Ireland by

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stealth, to fragment the UK and have

Northern Ireland broken away from

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the rest of mainland Britain. The

Irish government says it isn't its

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intention at all but it wants to see

some commitment that it is prepared

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to put its money where its mouth is,

the UK government. And that is

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something the UK is prepared to

honour. It is interesting in the

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agreement Michel Barnier posted at

text is highlighted yellow which

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means that although the final legal

technicalities are not agreed, they

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are agreed in principle. Two weeks

ago Theresa May suggested that

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agreement was something no British

Prime Minister could stand over.

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Bernard Jenkins, we've heard from

Michel Barnier on the UK island

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border, we have agreed the backstop

solution must form part of the legal

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text of the withdrawal agreement. It

will apply unless and until another

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solution is found. Is that

acceptable to you the UK government

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has signed up to the idea that

unless another solution is found

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Northern Ireland will remain aligned

to EU rules?

I'd want to look at the

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small print.

Well, this is what

Barnier has said.

They've just

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published a very long document

annual quoting a very small part of

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it. Until I've read it...

I'm asking

for your reaction to what is pretty

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clear they've agreed the backstop

solution. Are you happy with that?

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There will be no infrastructure at

the border on nest that you put it

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there. If the EU is stupid enough

and wants to breach the terms of the

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Northern Ireland peace agreement,

the Belfast Agreement, wants to put

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up obstacles and be obstructive,

then they are going to go ahead and

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do that but actually I think they

will not.

What do you say to that?

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There is a political will lacking on

the side of the EU?

It is no good

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saying just because someone else is

in the driving seat it doesn't

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matter if we drive over the cliff

edge. What we really need is a clear

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way to ensure that there is a soft

border, and, so far, the government

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hasn't produced it.

Is there a lack

of will on the side of the EU? If

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they wanted to find a solution, one

would be found.

I think it is a

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tricky, technical thing to do

because of the red lines which

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Theresa May has put forward, which I

think make it very difficult.

Why

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should the EU break its rules for

the UK, in terms of the Irish

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border, and other UK to come out of

the customs union and the single

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market and yet keep a completely

open and frictionless border? As

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they say, they will never agree to

us cherry picking when it comes to

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the rules and integrity of the

single market and customs union?

The

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reason we are agreeing on this is

because both sides want it, neither

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side wants a hard border... On the

other hand we can't see a hard

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border between one bit of the UK and

another bid. It won't be an easy

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issue to solve, and it'll be one of

the last issues to solve but with

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goodwill on all sides, it is

soluble. I feel sympathetic to

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Bernard. To me, the text you read

out, which we have had no time to

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respond to...

He has had time to

respond to it, he hasn't seen the

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full document.

One last point on

this, it is saying something that is

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obvious, it's always the case then

needs to be a real that deals with

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the problem of the border between

Northern Ireland and the republic.

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Obviously, that needs to be solved.

Are you happy with the fact the

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agreement today during transition is

going to give EU citizens who come

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during the two-year period exactly

the same rights as their

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predecessors who were here before

March 2019?

If what you say is

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correct, no, I am not happy because

we are going to leave the EU in

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March 2019 and I suspect you'll find

in the small print that isn't what

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the agreement says.

What differences

would you like to see?

We need to be

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able to verify and register people

coming into the country.

We can do

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that now.

To check they are EU

citizens.

We can do that now in the

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single market. We don't do it but we

could do it.

The government could do

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it. Under EU law that could be

described as discrimination that we

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are registering some EU citizens and

not others so let's be accurate

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about this. Also the enforcement

mechanisms. We can't have the United

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Kingdom Parliament around Loch,

stock and barrel by the European

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Court of Justice as it is now when

we are no longer represented on the

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European Court of Justice. Why are

we passing an act of Parliament that

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abolishes the European Communities

Act? It is going to be technically

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difficult exactly replicate this. I

think there will be technical legal

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details that will end up with us

having a subtly different

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jurisdiction, where we perhaps have

regard to what is happening in the

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EU and we oblige our courts to do

this, to have regard, but we cannot

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actually be bound as we are now. We

are leaving! It doesn't respect the

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referendum result!

Let's imagine

that is the case and that is what we

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understand from the agreement today.

What are you going to do about it?

I

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think it'll be difficult to get the

agreement through the House of

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Commons because how can you... Most

constituencies in the House of

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Commons voted leave, they voted to

be free of the European Court of

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Justice and the lawmaking capacity

of the EU, that is what the

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referendum was about...

And you are

not in agreement with that?

To end

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up at the same case but without

sitting at the table, without being

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a member, this becomes a

constitutional outrage and I am

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quite certain the government won't

agree to it.

Will it be the same on

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fishing? Would you feel the same

about fishing quotas?

Fish is a big

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problem because how can we allow the

EU to set fishing quotas for British

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boats, particularly as big changes

are coming through, when we have no

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chance of taking part in the

initiation?

What is the government

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going to do if there are people like

Jacob Rees Mogg and Bernard Jenkins

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who can't sign up to this transition

deal?

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The on fish, it looks from the

rumours on twitter like we are

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actually getting a good deal today

on fish. I looked at what Jacob

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Rees-Mogg said and it seemed like

something everyone would agree to.

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Obviously we won't be able to

implement new trade deals until

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we've left the EU, that's a matter

of logic. But if we can negotiate

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them and get to the point of signing

them during the transition I think

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everyone will be happy with that.

David Davis has said that the UK

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will be able to step up, put and

sign new trade deals across the

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globe that will come into force once

the implementation period is over. I

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think we can hear him say it.

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The United Kingdom will be able to

step out, sign and ratify new trade

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deals with old friends and new

allies around the globe for the

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first time in more than 40 years.

These will come into force when the

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implementation period is over.

Providing new opportunities for

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businesses across the UK and seizing

one of Brexit's greatest

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opportunities.

Your reaction to

that?

I'm delighted. There is one

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important caveat. We must be able to

conduct those negotiations in

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private. We shouldn't be obliged to

have the EU sitting at the table.

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They have said they would like to be

part of what's going on.

We can't be

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conducting negotiations with the EU

alongside every negotiation we are

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conducting in the World Trade

Organisation.

It is a diplomatic

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triumph. A lot of people in Brussels

didn't want to agree that...

But if

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they are overseeing it then actually

we don't have our own control, we

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haven't taken back control over this

important part of our foreign

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policy.

We have because we'll be

able to set our own trade deals.

0:17:150:17:20

That is something a lot of people in

Brussels didn't want to agree to and

0:17:200:17:24

now we've achieved it. That's a big

result.

Thank you very much for

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coming in. Gavin Reilly, I haven't

quite dispensed with you before

0:17:290:17:36

you're allowed to go. In terms of

the Irish government, is there now a

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more positive outlook from the Irish

government in terms of engaging with

0:17:410:17:48

the UK over finding a solution that

could involve technology?

There will

0:17:480:17:53

probably be a lot of good faith

about it. The fact they bid Davis

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has been willing to stake his claim

and that the UK appears to be in

0:17:580:18:03

principle willing to implement the

backstop, that will help. There will

0:18:030:18:08

be some frustration on the Irish

side about how long that has taken.

0:18:080:18:13

What we got out of the UK last

December was an agreement that if no

0:18:130:18:17

other solution could be found then

Northern Ireland would enough

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European rules in order to avoid a

border in the first place. It seems

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after Theresa May seemed to

backtrack from that, that David

0:18:260:18:29

Davis has been prepared to commit to

bat again. All we've got is a

0:18:290:18:33

reassertion of a principle to which

the UK signed up three months ago

0:18:330:18:37

anyway. There probably be some

anxiety about how long it's taken

0:18:370:18:44

given that Brexit is now only a year

and a week away. There might be some

0:18:440:18:47

more earnest intention on the Irish

government's part to talk about

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technological solutions, in part

because time is of the essence. If

0:18:510:18:55

we are going to have to start

looking at some kind of

0:18:550:18:58

infrastructure even if it is only

technological, surveillance and the

0:18:580:19:02

like, it is something Ireland will

no doubt be willing to pursue. It

0:19:020:19:05

was something that at the start of

the negotiations they had ruled out

0:19:050:19:09

in theory. Now it seems they are

open to it. The question is when the

0:19:090:19:13

UK will come up with the solutions.

The implementation period will end

0:19:130:19:21

in December 2020 which is what David

Davis had asked for.

0:19:210:19:26

And for more reporting

and analysis of Brexit,

0:19:260:19:28

check out the BBC News website:

0:19:280:19:32

Lynn Davidson is here and Sam Coates

for reaction. Something to cheer

0:19:320:19:38

about?

I think it depends what side

you are on. If you're a Scottish

0:19:380:19:44

Conservative MP at the moment you

may not be necessarily very happy

0:19:440:19:48

with what's been said about fishing.

John Lambert said he would be

0:19:480:19:53

willing to break down a final Brexit

deal if there were not guarantees

0:19:530:19:57

over fishing quotas and vessels.

What we are not entirely clear about

0:19:570:20:03

is the timing on that.

How much has

the government had to compromise on

0:20:030:20:10

getting this transition agreement

and this legal text of the

0:20:100:20:13

Withdrawal Agreement that was

broadly signed up to in December?

0:20:130:20:18

Quite a lot. You call it a

transition, Theresa May calls it an

0:20:180:20:24

implementation. Frankly it's a

standstill. Our relationship with

0:20:240:20:27

the EU will stay the same without us

having a seat in the decision-making

0:20:270:20:32

bodies. Just to get that 21 month

extension we've had to abandon plans

0:20:320:20:44

to stop EU citizens who come here

during the transition period from

0:20:440:20:47

staying, we've had to abandon the

desire to bring back control of

0:20:470:20:51

fishing, we even wanted the

transition to go on longer. Brussels

0:20:510:20:54

said no. On those things we've had

to eventually climbed down to insure

0:20:540:21:01

a relationship stays the same.

Briefly, how much trouble are the

0:21:010:21:05

likes of Bernard Jenkin saying he

wouldn't be happy to sign up to a

0:21:050:21:10

deal that gave exactly the same

rights to EU citizens who arrive

0:21:100:21:14

during that transition period and

colleagues like Jacob Rees-Mogg are

0:21:140:21:17

going to cause the Prime Minister?

I

think they are deciding right now as

0:21:170:21:25

it's all rolling out. Someone might

Bernard Jenkin is being loyal to

0:21:250:21:29

Theresa May and has been quite

outspoken about backing her. This

0:21:290:21:33

puts them in an awkward position.

Quotas are being decided and we

0:21:330:21:39

aren't even in the rim.

It will be

the vassal state Jacob Rees-Mogg

0:21:390:21:42

talked about.

0:21:420:21:45

Adam Fleming is there. We talked

about lots of colour coding going

0:21:450:21:50

on. There it is! If it has clear as

mud?

It's quite difficult to read.

0:21:500:21:58

Try reading that with the green

highlighter on it. My first

0:21:580:22:02

impressions are both sides are

obviously over the moon because

0:22:020:22:06

they've been negotiating all through

the weekend and all through the

0:22:060:22:08

night to get as much of this

document as green as possible, which

0:22:080:22:13

is obviously a big achievement. Two

weeks ago this was the EU's text,

0:22:130:22:19

the UK hadn't really contributed or

given their say. Now they've managed

0:22:190:22:22

to wrap up lots of it in quite a

short period of time and they've

0:22:220:22:28

managed to close some key chapters.

Most of the citizens' rights stuff

0:22:280:22:32

is agreed, most of the financial

settlement staff is agreed, most of

0:22:320:22:36

the transition period is agreed.

They are pretty happy about that.

0:22:360:22:41

There's still some big caveats. It

looks like the 25% that hasn't been

0:22:410:22:46

agreed is governance. How do you

enforce disputes and make sure the

0:22:460:22:50

agreement is adhered to by both

sides after Brexit day and what does

0:22:500:22:54

the European Court of Justice have

to do with it? The other bit,

0:22:540:23:02

Northern Ireland and Ireland which

isn't agreed. Those two things are

0:23:020:23:04

quite big things to still agree.

They've been kicked down the road.

0:23:040:23:06

I'm surprised there's been no

decision about the European Court of

0:23:060:23:10

Justice and whether it would still

arbitrate over any disputes or new

0:23:100:23:15

laws that are brought in during that

two-year implementation period by

0:23:150:23:18

the EU.

So, what they've done is

they've have agreed a governance

0:23:180:23:24

mechanism for the citizens' rights

part of this. That was agreed in

0:23:240:23:28

December, the whole thing of the UK

courts will make voluntary

0:23:280:23:31

references to the

0:23:310:23:37

references to the EC -- the ECJ. Now

the British idea of a joint

0:23:370:23:42

committee to handle disputes that

arise during the fermentation or

0:23:420:23:46

transition period has been agreed to

and we'll have to go through the

0:23:460:23:50

document and see the details. It's

what comes after that which is still

0:23:500:23:54

to be agreed and is there a role for

the European Court of Justice. That

0:23:540:23:59

seems like quite a big sticking

point, still.

What about signing up

0:23:590:24:02

to free trade deals? David Davis

said the UK will be allowed to do

0:24:020:24:07

that but Bernard Jenkin said yes

that's great but not if we have two

0:24:070:24:13

deferred to the EU during that

two-year implementation period while

0:24:130:24:18

we are setting up these free trade

deals. Do you know what the decision

0:24:180:24:21

is there?

I'm trying to find that in

the document... Hang on! Article

0:24:210:24:30

124, paragraph four... It still has

the language saying they've got to

0:24:300:24:36

be authorised by the European Union.

The UK will have the power to

0:24:360:24:42

negotiate and sign and ratify free

trade deals, but they cannot be

0:24:420:24:46

implemented unless they've got

permission from the EU. That has

0:24:460:24:49

pretty much stayed the same. It's

always been a bit bizarre because

0:24:490:24:54

all along Michel Barnier has said

it's OK for the UK to go out into

0:24:540:24:57

the world and talk to third

countries and talk about trade

0:24:570:25:01

deals, it's just getting it written

down that the Brits want it.

When

0:25:010:25:07

the giddiness has died down in

Brussels, what happens next?

Michel

0:25:070:25:11

Barnier is going to take this

document to the meeting of EU

0:25:110:25:15

affairs ministers for the 27 to get

it signed off by ministerial level

0:25:150:25:19

tomorrow. Then he'll go to the

Wednesday meeting of the European

0:25:190:25:22

Commission with Jean-Claude Juncker

whether commissioners will sign it

0:25:220:25:27

off. Then he'll take it to the

European Council, the meeting of

0:25:270:25:30

leaders on Friday where they will

sign it off and they will also sign

0:25:300:25:35

of their guidelines for phase two

which is the 6-page document setting

0:25:350:25:38

out their blueprint for how the

talks about the future relationship

0:25:380:25:42

are going to work. That will be

another symbolic moment. We know

0:25:420:25:47

roughly what they will say. Then it

will be a case of how quickly can

0:25:470:25:51

they get down to talking about that

future relationship. Will be

0:25:510:25:55

straight after the meeting of the

European Council and the meeting of

0:25:550:25:58

the leaders, or will there be

another bureaucratic process where

0:25:580:26:02

Michel Barnier takes those

guidelines awake and clarifies them

0:26:020:26:05

into an even detailed document? Or

can he get down to it straightaway?

0:26:050:26:12

Worth remembering what the EU says

is the best case scenario for the

0:26:120:26:17

outcome from those negotiations. It

is a political agreement about the

0:26:170:26:21

shape of the future relationship.

The EU saying it will not be the

0:26:210:26:24

fully fledged free trade deal that

the British government talks about,

0:26:240:26:29

so that's what the next few months

is going to be about, how detailed

0:26:290:26:33

is that political declaration and

how much does look like a free trade

0:26:330:26:37

agreement.

Thank you, Adam.

0:26:370:26:41

Vladimir Putin has been elected

Russian President for another six

0:26:410:26:43

years in a victory that was assured

after the country's most popular

0:26:430:26:46

opposition politician

was excluded from standing.

0:26:460:26:50

There were reports of ballot

rigging, and turnout was up,

0:26:500:26:52

something Putin's campaign claimed

was due to the confrontation

0:26:520:26:54

with Britain over the poisoning

of Sergei Skripal.

0:26:540:26:56

International experts are arriving

in the UK today to assess the type

0:26:560:26:59

of nerve agent used to poison

the former double agent

0:26:590:27:03

and his daughter in Salisbury.

0:27:030:27:04

Tom Burridge is there.

0:27:040:27:10

Can you bring us up to speed with

what's going on in Salisbury?

In

0:27:100:27:16

terms of police activity over the

weekend, a pretty minimal amount of

0:27:160:27:22

visible activity. One focus of the

investigation is Sergei Skripal's

0:27:220:27:26

car. Parked in the city centre of

the afternoon that they fell

0:27:260:27:32

critically ill. The police want to

hear from anyone in Salisbury on

0:27:320:27:37

Sunday the 4th of March who might

have seen the car earlier in the

0:27:370:27:40

morning. The other main development

is officials from the Organisation

0:27:400:27:45

for the Prohibition of Chemical

Weapons, a delegation of ten

0:27:450:27:48

individuals are in Wiltshire now.

They'll be here for a week or so is

0:27:480:27:52

spending most of their time at the

MoD's scientific research facility.

0:27:520:27:57

The idea is that samples of the

nerve agent used to attack so Gail

0:27:570:28:06

and Yulia Skripal will be sent to as

many as 20 laboratories and 16

0:28:060:28:11

countries. These are independent

laboratories signed off by the OPCW

0:28:110:28:16

for testing. The idea is in about

three weeks' time at least the OPCW

0:28:160:28:23

will make its own conclusions about

the nerve agent used in the attack.

0:28:230:28:26

Thank you.

0:28:260:28:32

Helen Goodman, what is Labour's line

in terms of its confrontation with

0:28:330:28:37

the government over this issue?

We

supported everything that the

0:28:370:28:42

government has done in the wake of

Salisbury and we agree with the

0:28:420:28:46

Prime Minister's assessment that the

overwhelming probability is that

0:28:460:28:49

it's either deliberate on the part

of the Russians or they lost

0:28:490:28:53

control. On either bases they are

wholly culpable. What the Leader of

0:28:530:28:58

the Opposition was asking was for

the involvement of the Organisation

0:28:580:29:03

for the Prohibition of Chemical

Weapons. We've got that now and it's

0:29:030:29:05

extremely helpful. We also pressed

the

0:29:050:29:13

the government on Magnitsky and

they've done a U-turn as well.

On

0:29:130:29:16

Magnitsky, what do you say about the

governments and the party 's

0:29:160:29:21

opposition to something that would

strengthen what the row could be

0:29:210:29:23

used against Russian oligarchs or

money laundering in Britain?

It's

0:29:230:29:29

not a U-turn. We are in favour of a

Magnitsky style act...

It is a

0:29:290:29:36

U-turn, you voted against it a

fortnight ago stopped with that was

0:29:360:29:39

because of technical problems. This

is too important to play party

0:29:390:29:44

politics. We all agree on a

Magnitsky act. We all agree on

0:29:440:29:49

people who have been involved in

corruption in Russia. We cannot let

0:29:490:29:53

the people who run Russia try and

divide us and make us play party

0:29:530:29:58

politics against each other. One of

the things I've been most disgusted

0:29:580:30:03

by is the way the Russians have

mocked us over this issue.

0:30:030:30:10

This is a situation where a brave

police officer and a man are nearly

0:30:100:30:16

dead because of a brush and

state-sponsored assassination

0:30:160:30:19

attempt on our streets and we must

not let them do what they always do,

0:30:190:30:23

when they shot down the passenger

jet over Ukraine, they blamed

0:30:230:30:28

Ukraine and they said the dues to

did. We've got to be canny about it

0:30:280:30:33

and not let the Kremlin divide us.

Do you think you've had support from

0:30:330:30:37

the Labour Party cuisine and I was

initially disappointed by Jeremy

0:30:370:30:42

Corbyn's responds.

It was a lot of

backbenchers who are disappointed in

0:30:420:30:48

his response but let's move on from

that now. We are getting together a

0:30:480:30:53

strong coalition about partners. The

Prime Minister is leading the

0:30:530:30:57

country strongly on this. We've got

people in from the Organisation for

0:30:570:31:03

the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

and the live the Russians are trying

0:31:030:31:06

to tell, firstly they are saying

they didn't make it at all, then

0:31:060:31:09

they are saying we made it but we

got rid of it. Then they are saying

0:31:090:31:13

maybe some got out of the country.

They are always using their

0:31:130:31:19

propaganda television stations to

muddy the water, to wrap you up in

0:31:190:31:23

process.

Do you think it should be

stopped in this country?

I don't

0:31:230:31:27

think any serious MP should be going

on it. Alex Salmond shouldn't be

0:31:270:31:32

going on it.

Should Ofcom stop

broadcasting it?

We have the rule of

0:31:320:31:39

law here and Ofcom will make a

decision on the basis of the fact. I

0:31:390:31:45

don't think it was right for Jeremy

Corbyn to go on that or to promote

0:31:450:31:49

it as a serious news outlet and I

hope the Labour MPs will not go on

0:31:490:31:53

there anymore.

Let's hear what the

shadow chancellor did say in terms

0:31:530:31:57

of Labour's response to what the

government had proposed in Theresa

0:31:570:32:03

May's Commons statement.

I agree

with the Prime Minister completely.

0:32:030:32:06

What she said is that Russia is

culpable either by direct

0:32:060:32:10

commission, Putin has ordered this,

or they've lost control of their

0:32:100:32:15

supply.

To be clear, she has backed

away from the pieces they've lost

0:32:150:32:20

control. She is holding him

personally responsible. You not

0:32:200:32:26

agreeing with that?

I do agree with

that. She has repeated that

0:32:260:32:30

statement three times. He is

responsible whichever way you look

0:32:300:32:33

at it. All the evidence points to

him.

John McDonnell was very clear

0:32:330:32:39

is today, Helen Goodman but Jeremy

Corbyn said that he still believes

0:32:390:32:42

the Prime Minister's initial line

there are two civilities for who

0:32:420:32:45

carried out the attack, so which one

is the official line? Did Putin do

0:32:450:32:51

it or do we need to pursue both

lines of inquiry that it could have

0:32:510:32:55

been someone else?

Vladimir Putin is

responsible because the nerve agent

0:32:550:33:01

was made in Russia. And, therefore,

whatever the root, Vladimir Putin

0:33:010:33:10

must be the person held responsible.

I think it is more important we now

0:33:100:33:13

think about what we need to do, and

I think the government is very weak

0:33:130:33:20

on the money-laundering because

we've got billions coming into

0:33:200:33:24

London. The National Crime Agency

estimates £90 billion of money is

0:33:240:33:29

laundered through London every year.

We have been putting down amendments

0:33:290:33:33

to this bill.

And we've talked about

the Magnitsky. We will come onto the

0:33:330:33:39

money-laundering in a moment. Let's

talk about Jeremy Corbyn and John

0:33:390:33:41

McDonnell. Where does the party

stand?

The Labour Party... It is an

0:33:410:33:49

uneasy compromise. John McDonnell

said yesterday the phrase the Prime

0:33:490:33:53

Minister is right to blame Russia.

That is quite uncomfortable when set

0:33:530:33:58

against what Jeremy Corbyn did last

week. I think John McDonnell has his

0:33:580:34:03

eye on the internal Labour politics

which have been very messy. I think

0:34:030:34:07

he is trying to put behind the row

brewing at the back end of last week

0:34:070:34:13

and smooth over some of the

difficulties. Whilst they are not

0:34:130:34:18

saying President Putin was

responsible, they are saying he is

0:34:180:34:21

to blame, which seems to be a line

Labour can more or less unite

0:34:210:34:25

around.

Except there has been a

divide. Last week there were a

0:34:250:34:29

number of Labour MPs that felt

Jeremy Corbyn was equivocating. In

0:34:290:34:33

his article, he said we shouldn't

resign ourselves to McCarthy like

0:34:330:34:37

intolerance of dissent. What did

that mean to you?

I was as

0:34:370:34:42

flabbergasted at as many Labour

backbenchers. You only had to see

0:34:420:34:47

Yvette Cooper's reaction when she

shot up immediately after Jeremy

0:34:470:34:52

Corbyn to make her position clear

and later John Woodcock's early day

0:34:520:34:57

motion. Some might say that John

McDonnell now is almost isolated

0:34:570:35:03

Jeremy Corbyn in his position but

any journalist who stood in the

0:35:030:35:07

huddle last Wednesday after PMQs

when Jeremy Corbyn spokesman's

0:35:070:35:11

brought up the weapons of mass

destruction dossier would be no

0:35:110:35:17

doubt.

Was that irresponsible of the

director of communication to set had

0:35:170:35:23

been failures in intelligence in the

past and we should be cautious over

0:35:230:35:26

this?

Mary Griffiths pointed out to

the BBC, the shadow defence

0:35:260:35:33

spokesman, that these situations are

rather different, and I think she's

0:35:330:35:37

right, they are.

So the spokesman

should have spoken out of turn?

He

0:35:370:35:41

has to say what he thinks is best in

the moment when he says it but I

0:35:410:35:46

think once we have reflected, it is

clear this is quite different from

0:35:460:35:51

the Iraq situation.

Do you think we

have to hear the Labour leader say

0:35:510:35:55

that in the same way we've heard

John McDonnell, who is very clear

0:35:550:35:59

that Putin is responsible whichever

way you look at it, and all the

0:35:590:36:02

evidence points to him?

I think that

it is really important that we all

0:36:020:36:08

support the action the government

has taken which Jeremy has done,

0:36:080:36:12

that we condemn the attack which

Jeremy has done...

He said this

0:36:120:36:20

serves neither justice nor our

national security. Is he right?

The

0:36:200:36:25

role of the oppositionist was

questions and he asks questions. He

0:36:250:36:29

is not denying the Russians are

responsible. He is saying the

0:36:290:36:33

Russians are responsible.

He hasn't

said Putin is responsible. Should he

0:36:330:36:38

quiz low I haven't got the text in

front of me and you have but what he

0:36:380:36:42

has said is we have two

possibilities.

Either they did it

0:36:420:36:48

pop deliberately or they've lost

control and on either bases the

0:36:480:36:52

Russians are responsible.

But

actually it is clear in terms of

0:36:520:36:55

what John McDonald is saying, that

Putin did it. I mean, there are no

0:36:550:37:00

two ways, he is saying. He isn't

saying let's have a look at the

0:37:000:37:04

evidence. Who is right? The Labour

leader or shadow chancellor?

We are

0:37:040:37:10

having a look at the evidence now

and your correspondent has pointed

0:37:100:37:14

out that it is being sent round to

20 different laboratories around the

0:37:140:37:18

world.

Should we wait for that

evidence?

I think it would be

0:37:180:37:22

helpful to wait for what comes out

of that evidence. My own view is

0:37:220:37:27

that Putin is responsible and I've

made that clear.

Should we be

0:37:270:37:31

waiting? Did Theresa May rush to

judgment? If we have people going in

0:37:310:37:35

to decide exactly what the nerve

agent was and how it was used,

0:37:350:37:41

should we have waited before

pointing the finger of blame firmly

0:37:410:37:44

at Putin?

I agree with Helen. The

Prime Minister was right to give the

0:37:440:37:50

Russians one last opportunity to

explain how this nerve agent which

0:37:500:37:53

only they make had come to be on the

streets of Wiltshire. They haven't

0:37:530:37:57

been able to do that. They've mocked

us. Putin in a triumphalist way has

0:37:570:38:02

gloated about this. And it is

absolutely clear he did this. From

0:38:020:38:06

the conversation, the winner of this

discussion is that a mere Putin

0:38:060:38:11

because we've spent a long time

talking about party politics.

Our

0:38:110:38:16

party politics not important?

Not

enough time thinking about what we

0:38:160:38:20

will to about the problem. This is a

Richey MEDLINE, hacking into the

0:38:200:38:26

defence Defence Ministry, they've

attacked the Bundestag in Germany,

0:38:260:38:30

they've destabilise the Baltics and

now we must come together and take

0:38:300:38:35

firm action to stop this

state-sponsored murder on our

0:38:350:38:37

streets.

Thank you both for coming

in.

0:38:370:38:39

If you live in England you can

still, at the moment,

0:38:390:38:42

use a shock collar to train your dog

or your cat.

0:38:420:38:44

But not for much longer, it seems,

after Environment Secretary Michael

0:38:440:38:47

Gove launched a consultation

with a view to banning

0:38:470:38:49

what he called "punitive devices."

0:38:490:38:53

Well, they're due to be banned

in Scotland and were

0:38:530:38:56

banned in Wales in 2010.

0:38:560:38:58

Here's how the BBC

covered it at the time.

0:38:580:39:04

This is Lady.

0:39:040:39:05

She's being trained as a guard dog,

but there's a problem -

0:39:050:39:08

she likes chasing sheep.

0:39:080:39:11

She's been fitted with

a so-called "shock collar".

0:39:110:39:15

When her trainer presses a button

on a remotely-controlled handset,

0:39:150:39:18

it emits a pulse of electricity...

0:39:180:39:23

LADY BARKS.

0:39:230:39:25

..And Lady leaves the sheep alone.

0:39:250:39:30

We're joined now by Nathalie Ingham

a canine behaviourist

0:39:300:39:32

from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.

0:39:320:39:33

She's brought along Bella

a staffordshire terrier

0:39:330:39:35

and Abbie a chihuahua.

0:39:350:39:41

Journalist Quentin Letts also joins

me in the studio and Deidre Brock

0:39:410:39:43

from the Scottish National Party

is in Edinburgh.

0:39:430:39:49

First of all tell us what these

shock collars two.

Shock collars

0:39:490:39:54

administer an electric shock to the

animals so normally they are worn

0:39:540:39:59

around the collar. They should in

theory give off a sound to

0:39:590:40:04

pre-warned the animal that a shocker

is coming but not all of them do.

0:40:040:40:07

And the idea is that people utilise

them in thinking they are going to

0:40:070:40:13

stop an unwanted behaviour but the

realities are very different.

What

0:40:130:40:17

methods do you recommend the

training?

We recommend people use

0:40:170:40:20

positive reward -based method so it

is important owners of dogs create a

0:40:200:40:26

solid bond with their dogs so learn

how to play with their dogs, so they

0:40:260:40:31

have a connection with the animals.

By doing that, animals will want to

0:40:310:40:36

seek that attention from the owner

and will be able to respond them

0:40:360:40:39

more. So they'd look to the owner in

a situation rather than making their

0:40:390:40:43

own choices all the time. So

definitely using play, food as

0:40:430:40:49

rewards, anything that will

strengthen the bond and reward good

0:40:490:40:53

behaviour is.

While they're sitting

quietly and not disturbed by you,

0:40:530:40:57

are you a fan of them?

I'm not a fan

of those ones you press the button

0:40:570:41:02

and the dog gets shocked. We have

badly behaved terriers.

Is that a

0:41:020:41:07

failure of the owners training?

I'm

not sure it is because one of them

0:41:070:41:11

as a rescue dog and it goes around

the perimeter of our garden, and it

0:41:110:41:16

means when the dog goes near the

wire, it gets a sound and if it goes

0:41:160:41:21

a bit further, it doesn't get a

shock but a vibrating. And these

0:41:210:41:24

devices which are terrific, and are

very good for animal welfare...

So

0:41:240:41:29

you wouldn't want to see them

banned?

Michael Gove wants to put

0:41:290:41:34

these out of business because he is

a politician, he's playing games,

0:41:340:41:40

triangulating or whatever these

ghastly politicians do, trying to

0:41:400:41:42

show the Tories are very good on

animal welfare. I'm not going to

0:41:420:41:47

cost judgment on that but what is

going to do is make life worse for

0:41:470:41:52

cats and dogs that use these

containment devices which stops them

0:41:520:41:56

going out on roads and getting run

over.

So, it'll make it worse for

0:41:560:42:00

dogs and cats.

I'd have to disagree

with that. In fact the vibrating

0:42:000:42:05

collars are still permissible in

Scotland but I'm proud of the fact

0:42:050:42:08

the Scottish government have banned

these collars. What we'd like to see

0:42:080:42:13

is this go further and the actual

sale is banned throughout the UK,

0:42:130:42:18

that is something under the quirks

of the devolution settlement that

0:42:180:42:22

the UK government has the power to

do at the moment so we are calling

0:42:220:42:26

on the UK government, and not us

alone. This is a cross-party

0:42:260:42:31

situation. The ban of these collars

is cross-party and we've done a lot

0:42:310:42:35

of work with colleagues in different

parties on this issue.

Do you think

0:42:350:42:39

they are cruel?

I had a Brave

colleague who volunteered to be

0:42:390:42:44

zapped by one of these collars on

his hand and it was only at 30% of

0:42:440:42:49

its strength but he was shocked at

how painful it was, and this was

0:42:490:42:55

very recently at an event I hosted

with other MPs and the parliament

0:42:550:42:59

which featured dogs trust UK, kennel

club and others, raising the profile

0:42:590:43:07

of this particular issue, and he was

accusingly later telling me that

0:43:070:43:11

some half an hour later his hand was

still numb afterwards.

That's cruel,

0:43:110:43:17

isn't it?

We've tried these things

to. You know those things you get

0:43:170:43:23

that joke shops when you shake

someone's hand and they put a

0:43:230:43:27

vibrating thing on? That is what it

feels like. The dog gets it once or

0:43:270:43:32

twice in its life and it learns.

Once or twice in their life they

0:43:320:43:41

might get a vibration, then that

means they can roam free, have a

0:43:410:43:45

terrific life and not get run over

and not chase horses all walkers.

Is

0:43:450:43:50

it better than King run over?

My

concern is there doesn't seem to be

0:43:500:43:56

any upper limit on the voltage of

electric shock collars. Most many

0:43:560:44:01

factors are a member of an

association which means their

0:44:010:44:05

products meet latest technical

requirements but some of these

0:44:050:44:08

collars can shock up to 6,000 volts.

They are painful. Just suggesting

0:44:080:44:14

they might only be used once or

twice and that will solve the issue

0:44:140:44:17

is I think... I am glad his dogs are

so well-behaved...

No, they're not,

0:44:170:44:23

that's the thing! People say why

don't you put a fence up? Peep

0:44:230:44:33

don't you put a fence up? Peep --

they'd dig under these fences.

0:44:340:44:36

Michael Gove of all people who

believes in small government, why do

0:44:360:44:40

they want to wreck life for dogs and

cats? They will make life so much

0:44:400:44:44

worse for them and ruined the

freedom these animals have. I find

0:44:440:44:47

it baffling. I can't understand why

anyone would want to cause an animal

0:44:470:44:54

pain or distress, particularly in

the UK a group of nations renowned

0:44:540:44:56

the world over for its love of

animals.

To still be containing...

0:44:560:45:03

Our last dog did not have one of

these and she was run over and spent

0:45:030:45:07

two years... She was in such pain we

had to put her down. That is what I

0:45:070:45:12

am trying to stop. And I get so

furious about this. It is a classic

0:45:120:45:18

example of politicians making life

worse for people.

Maybe Michael Gove

0:45:180:45:22

doesn't think he is going to make

life worse for people. What will you

0:45:220:45:27

do if you ban is it?

We will have to

obey the law but I'd trip to think

0:45:270:45:32

what will happen to our dogs. Will

we give them away or risk them

0:45:320:45:37

getting run over. I will put one of

their dead bodies on his desk.

Most

0:45:370:45:46

organisations think positive

reinforcement training is far more

0:45:460:45:49

effective than the collars. Doesn't

seem to be any particular

0:45:490:45:55

restriction on the of these items.

Anyone who wishes to, you can go

0:45:550:46:01

online and see a huge range of these

collars on offer, you can purchase

0:46:010:46:05

them online or you can purchase them

from countries that haven't banned

0:46:050:46:10

their sale or use.

I don't think

you're talking about containment

0:46:100:46:15

fences. These are the things that

will be caught by this rotten and

0:46:150:46:20

life ruining and life... Law.

I

would argue animal welfare policies

0:46:200:46:28

have come on so much, why would you

want to endorse any sort of...

We

0:46:280:46:34

will have to leave it there.

0:46:340:46:40

Ultimately I think there are better

ways of training dogs and cats. When

0:46:400:46:44

you look at the behaviour, you need

to look at motivation behind those.

0:46:440:46:50

Shock collars can be sold to

anybody. Anybody could put one on

0:46:500:46:53

tiny little bell here. Research

shows the shocks administered were

0:46:530:47:00

inconsistent with the manufacturing

guidelines, so it can cause a lot of

0:47:000:47:04

distress.

We have

0:47:040:47:12

distress.

We have noted the

difference between shock collars and

0:47:120:47:15

containment fences. We're going to

say goodbye now. Thank you.

0:47:150:47:23

This afternoon, MPs will debate

a petition calling for people

0:47:230:47:26

with cystic fibrosis to be given

a life-changing, but

0:47:260:47:28

very expensive, drug.

0:47:280:47:29

Elizabeth Glinka has been to meet

a young woman who's had access

0:47:290:47:32

to the treatment as part

of a medical trial and believes

0:47:320:47:34

strongly it should be

available on the NHS.

0:47:340:47:36

Cystic fibrosis is an inherited

genetic disorder, which you get

0:47:360:47:39

from your mum and your dad

being carriers, and then

0:47:390:47:43

you have a one in four chance

of getting cystic fibrosis.

0:47:430:47:48

Two years ago, 21-year-old

Chantelle Millward was

0:47:480:47:50

running out of options.

0:47:500:47:52

Her condition, which affects

breathing and digestion,

0:47:520:47:54

had become so severe a lung

transplant was the only treatment.

0:47:540:47:59

I didn't really have a life.

0:47:590:48:01

I was in and out of

hospital every 4-6 weeks.

0:48:010:48:06

When you get referred

for a lung transplant,

0:48:060:48:08

your life expectancy is two

years or less.

0:48:080:48:14

So, that's literally

the last option.

0:48:140:48:15

So, it's either a lung

transplant or die.

0:48:150:48:17

But it was then Chantelle

was offered a place

0:48:170:48:19

on the Orkambi drugs trial.

0:48:190:48:25

It's a treatment which slows

the decline of lung function

0:48:250:48:27

in around a third of patients.

0:48:270:48:28

But at £100,000 a year,

in 2016 the drugs advisory body Nice

0:48:280:48:31

concluded it wasn't cost effective

for the NHS.

0:48:310:48:33

Since then, patients

and their families have

0:48:330:48:35

been campaigning for

a change in guidelines.

0:48:350:48:39

So, what difference has

Orkambi made to your life?

0:48:390:48:41

I feel like I can plan

for my future, whereas two years ago

0:48:410:48:44

I couldn't even plan the day let

alone my future.

0:48:440:48:49

Chantelle's daily routine

involves taking more than 50

0:48:490:48:51

drugs and supplements,

but that's actually better

0:48:510:48:52

than it used to be.

0:48:520:48:56

So, where's the drug that's made

such a difference, then?

0:48:560:49:02

I keep this one in the box,

because it's the treasured one.

0:49:020:49:04

So, I have a morning

and evening dose...

0:49:040:49:06

But while Chantelle's quality

of life has improved on Orkambi,

0:49:060:49:09

she's acutely aware that's not

the case for everyone.

0:49:090:49:13

The past two years, I've lost four

very, very close friends.

0:49:130:49:17

I've lost a lot over

the years, but these four

0:49:170:49:19

were very, very close.

0:49:190:49:20

We speak every day.

0:49:200:49:23

One I recently lost

just before Christmas,

0:49:230:49:26

on the same ward, and, yeah...

0:49:260:49:30

It's very, very hard.

0:49:300:49:32

How old was your friend who died?

0:49:320:49:34

She was 20.

0:49:340:49:35

Didn't even reach her 21st birthday.

0:49:350:49:40

Vertex, the drugs company,

can withdraw it at any point,

0:49:400:49:42

and that's the bit that worries me

the most, because if that happened

0:49:420:49:47

and that drug gets taken from me,

I'm going to be back in the same

0:49:470:49:50

position as I was two years ago,

which I really don't want to be in.

0:49:500:49:54

And so if people were to say

to you this drug is too expensive,

0:49:540:49:57

we can't afford it,

what would you say?

0:49:570:49:59

Over a year, in the long

run it would actually

0:49:590:50:03

save them a lot of money,

because I already know it's reduced

0:50:030:50:06

my admissions, which obviously

is reducing the costs.

0:50:060:50:10

Three antibiotics have stopped

because I don't need them anymore,

0:50:100:50:12

and with my IV, antibiotics

and things, I don't have to go

0:50:120:50:15

in as often as I did.

0:50:150:50:19

And you're at work, as well.

0:50:190:50:20

Exactly!

0:50:200:50:21

It's brought me

together as a person.

0:50:210:50:29

It's built me up, and I just think

if I didn't have this drug two years

0:50:300:50:34

ago I would not be in this place

right now, so...

0:50:340:50:37

You can't put a price on it.

0:50:370:50:39

The life expectancy for people

with cystic fibrosis has increased

0:50:390:50:41

to 47 in recent decades,

but the condition is still

0:50:410:50:44

life-threatening, even in the young.

0:50:440:50:46

For sufferers, the price of a drug

like Orkambi is one worth paying.

0:50:460:50:54

So, as I said, this is being debated

at Westminster later today,

0:50:540:50:57

the drug Orkambi hasn't been

approved for routine use in the UK.

0:50:570:51:02

The National Institute for Health

and Care Excellence, known as NICE,

0:51:020:51:04

which advises the NHS in England

and Wales on which drugs to buy

0:51:040:51:08

and use, said NICE issued guidance

in July 2016 which did not recommend

0:51:080:51:11

Orkambi to treat cystic fibrosis.

0:51:110:51:18

We were talking about the deal on

the Brexit transition that's been

0:51:320:51:35

reached between the EU and Britain.

Let's have a listen to David Davis

0:51:350:51:41

speaking at that press Conference.

0:51:410:51:45

In Munich and at Mansion House, the

Prime Minister set out a powerful

0:51:450:51:50

deal, one which will ensure with

economic and security cooperation

0:51:500:51:54

reflects our unique starting point

and shared history. My job and that

0:51:540:51:59

of my team is to deliver on that

vision, and in doing so we must

0:51:590:52:05

seize the moment and carry forward

the moment of the past few weeks.

0:52:050:52:10

The deal was struck today on top of

that agreed in December which should

0:52:100:52:14

give us confidence that a good deal

for the UK and EU is closer than

0:52:140:52:20

ever before.

Do you agree with that

analysis, that a good deal for

0:52:200:52:24

Britain is closer than ever before?

I don't know about that. I'm a bit

0:52:240:52:29

sceptical about these new trade

deals he's parading, because what I

0:52:290:52:33

hear from the other side of the

fence from the other countries is

0:52:330:52:37

that the British government just

wants to roll over the existing EU

0:52:370:52:40

trade deals because it takes so long

to negotiate any improvement. If you

0:52:400:52:45

look at China, for example, the

Germans are selling twice as much,

0:52:450:52:51

no, five times as much to China as

we are and they are still in the

0:52:510:52:56

customs union and single market.

Obviously David Davis is relieved

0:52:560:53:01

that this stage is over but I'm not

convinced it's that great.

What

0:53:010:53:05

evidence is there that the free

trade deals that can be done with

0:53:050:53:09

third countries by Britain will

compensate for any loss of trade

0:53:090:53:11

done with the EU?

You're assuming

there will be a loss of trade with

0:53:110:53:17

the EU...

You don't think there will

be any?

I think the purpose of what

0:53:170:53:21

the government is trying to do is to

minimise friction...

Theresa May

0:53:210:53:25

said in her most recent speech that

there would be some loss, we won't

0:53:250:53:30

get the same benefits. Let's take

her word...

We've made another major

0:53:300:53:36

step towards delivering Brexit which

means we'll get out of the situation

0:53:360:53:40

we are in now where we are paying

£16 billion a year into the EU,

0:53:400:53:44

where we are not able to control the

free movement of people between the

0:53:440:53:48

EU and the UK and we are not in

control of our own laws. These three

0:53:480:53:54

match the profound changes in this

country that Brexit will deliver,

0:53:540:53:56

this is another step towards

delivering that. We will also be

0:53:560:54:01

able to do our trade deals with

third countries and that is another

0:54:010:54:04

benefit. People always want to pick

at every micro-detail but...

Someone

0:54:040:54:10

might debate about whether it is

micro-detail...

Towards getting a

0:54:100:54:15

better situation for this country.

0:54:150:54:20

If you follow politics on social

media, you might be confused

0:54:200:54:22

about what is happening

with free school meals.

0:54:220:54:24

Have a look at this.

0:54:240:54:25

PIANO MUSIC THROUGHOUT.

0:54:250:54:28

James Cleverly for the Conservative

Party disputing claims made by the

0:55:120:55:16

opposition.

0:55:160:55:19

Yes, the Labour Party seems certain

that the Conservatives are pressing

0:55:190:55:21

ahead with a plan that could stop

more than a million children

0:55:210:55:24

receiving a free school meal.

0:55:240:55:25

The Conservatives say that's

"scaremongering and misinformation",

0:55:250:55:27

and actually the reverse is true -

an extra 50,000

0:55:270:55:29

children could benefit.

0:55:290:55:31

Well, to hopefully shed a bit

of light on what's happening

0:55:310:55:33

here I'm joined by the BBC's head

of statistics, Robert Cuffe.

0:55:330:55:36

No pressure to clear up this. Our 1

million children going to lose the

0:55:360:55:40

right way school meal?

It depends on

how you ask the question. No one is

0:55:400:55:45

really arguing with the arithmetic

but each party is choosing a

0:55:450:55:48

different comparison. If you go back

to before Universal Credit was

0:55:480:55:54

started, back then free school meals

were means tested. When Universal

0:55:540:55:58

Credit was rolled out the government

promised as an interim measure only

0:55:580:56:01

to give free school meals to

everyone receiving Universal Credit

0:56:010:56:04

and have now decided it wasn't going

to be forever and they are going to

0:56:040:56:10

stop means testing again. It is true

to say that the current means

0:56:100:56:14

testing is more generous than the

old version was. That's how you get

0:56:140:56:18

the extra 50,000 kids receiving free

school meals. But of course means

0:56:180:56:22

tested meals are less generous than

meals for everybody so it is also

0:56:220:56:26

technically true to say that had

they gone on providing this for

0:56:260:56:28

ever, which they never said they

would do, their 1 million Jordan

0:56:280:56:33

would be receiving this.

Is this

about a hypothetical situation being

0:56:330:56:38

created in the future? Are any

children receiving free school meals

0:56:380:56:43

now going to lose it?

Nobody is

going to go into a school ready to

0:56:430:56:49

grab a tray from underneath a child.

The government made clear that

0:56:490:56:55

anyone receiving it under current

provisions will continue to receive

0:56:550:56:58

it. But children in the future will

not be getting them and they might

0:56:580:57:02

have been entitled, at the

government decided to continue this

0:57:020:57:05

benefit.

Are you happy you've been

responsible for at least confusing

0:57:050:57:09

the issue in terms of statistics?

The way has been described as good.

0:57:090:57:13

1 million children who would have

had it under the current regime

0:57:130:57:17

won't get it. Actually all wrong

because people sometimes go on to

0:57:170:57:21

Universal Credit and off it and on

it again. You can be an UC now,

0:57:210:57:27

getting free school meals, go off

it, make a new claim and then not

0:57:270:57:30

get it. Perhaps that is an extremely

complicated approach.

Do you accept

0:57:300:57:35

they aren't having their meals taken

away?

I thought the government has

0:57:350:57:39

said 100,000 children were losing...

Not true at all.

And I thought it

0:57:390:57:46

was the government saying only

100,000 were losing and the

0:57:460:57:51

Children's Society were saying 1

million...

Should you have put out

0:57:510:57:54

that sort of information if you

weren't sure?

This is why post-truth

0:57:540:57:59

politics. We've just heard from the

BBC's independent fact checker that

0:57:590:58:03

not one single child getting free

school meals will lose it and 50,000

0:58:030:58:07

more schoolchildren will be

eligible.

Tell us why that is truly.

0:58:070:58:11

We've made the system more generous.

The Labour Party Palm Springs and to

0:58:110:58:15

social media hoping to get things to

people before the fact checkers

0:58:150:58:21

catch up -- the Labour Party pumps

things into social media. We've

0:58:210:58:27

inherited a situation where...

We

haven't got time, I must let Helen

0:58:270:58:31

responds.

Some children will lose...

It's simply not true. Not one child

0:58:310:58:39

will lose...

It's been cut to £7,400

which is below...

Higher than the

0:58:390:58:46

threshold.

Who knew statistics could

be so fiercely argued over! LAUGHTER

0:58:460:58:51

That's all for today.

0:58:510:58:53

Thanks to our guests.

0:58:530:58:56

Bye bye.

0:58:560:58:59

Jo Coburn is joined by Conservative MP Neil O'Brien and Labour's Shadow Foreign Minister Helen Goodman, as EU leaders finalise details of the Brexit transition period in Brussels.

Also includes discussion on whether shock collars for pets should be banned.