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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Hello and welcome to
the Daily Politics.
David Davis is in Brussels
where an agreement between Britain
and the EU over the transition
period after Brexit looks
close to being struck.
We'll bring you all the latest.
The EU has offered "unqualified
solidarity" with the UK
as the investigation
into the poisoning of
ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal
and his daughter goes on.
Is the Government serving up
cuts to free school meal
entitlement for some
children, or is Labour
over-egging the pudding?
We'll try to find out.
Should shock collars for dogs
in England like Bella
and Abbie be banned?
We'll be debating this
charged political issue.
I think if I didn't have it two
years ago I wouldn't be here right
now. You can't put a price on it.
And MPs debate whether people
with cystic fibrosis should
receive a life-changing,
but very expensive, drug on the NHS.
All that in the next hour
and with us for the whole
of the programme today,
it's the shadow foreign office
minister Helen Goodman and
the Conservative MP Neil O'Brien.
Welcome to the show both of you.
First today - a deal
between Britain and the EU
on the transition deal,
that's the period of two
years after Brexit -
looks to have been reached.
David Davis is in Brussels
where he's been meeting
with the EU's negotiator
Michel Barnier, we'll hear that
in a moment, it's potentially a big
moment in the Brexit process.
It means there's an agreed set
of rules to smoothe the way
from our current relationship
to our new relationship with the EU.
The EU wants this period,
which the British government calls
the implementation period,
to last until the end of December
2020, so we're all looking forward
to finding out where each side
has given way.
Here's Michel Barnier.
And what we are
presenting to you today with David
is a legal texts, a joint legal
text, which constitutes in my mind a
decisive step because we were able
this morning to agree that after all
those days and nights of hard work
on a large part of what will make up
an international agreement for the
ordered withdrawal of the United
And we're also joined by Bernard
Jenkin, the Conservative MP. I want
to ask my two guests hear what do
you say to the announcement by
Michel Barnier that there has been a
legal text agreed on the withdrawal
agreement and there sounds like some
sort of agreement has been made on
It is ready great
news because it is another milestone
on the way to delivering Brexit in a
smooth, orderly way, which is a big
prize because it means we'll get
back control of our laws, borders
and money so this is a big
and money so this is a big step
forward it is what most of this
country now want.
People voted for
Brexit, we need to get on with it
and do it in a sensible and orderly
way and this is another milestone.
Bernard Jenkin, as we understand it
the agreement has been done but
everything stays the same during the
transition period, that two-year
period, but we will not have a seat
at the table. In other words, we
will be a rule take and not a rule
giver. I happy with that?
in the small print which we haven't
had a look at yet. Michel Barnier
has presented the pages of text on a
massive slide behind him saying that
all the bits coloured in yellow are
the bits where the drafting is
subject to alteration so we don't
have a finished text and there are
some bits that are in green which
seem to be on my television
indecipherable from the bits in
But can you accept the fact
that Britain won't have a seat at
the table when decisions are being
made during the transition period?
There is going to have to be some
pretty significant safeguards that
no country would submit itself is
completely to a foreign
jurisdiction, which is what the EU
becomes after we have left, and just
accept new laws and court rulings.
There will have to be some mediation
arrangement, even if by our own
parliament because when you are no
longer represented on the court,
when you are not sitting at the
table to make the new laws, how can
we possibly make ourselves a
prisoner of this arrangement? That
would not be acceptable. There are
other issues, like we are going to
be bound by the doctrine of sincere
integration, but we want to
negotiate our own trade deals.
you see this as success? A moment at
which the government can claim that
it has got agreement on this
I hope so
because we were calling for a
transitional agreement with access
to the single market and the customs
union a year ago and the government
made some demands which couldn't be
met and now they've had to accept
that wasn't negotiable, and we
really do need this smooth
transition because the amount of
uncertainty and chaos which has been
caused for industry and business has
ready been terrible. We don't want
to see a repeat of this pattern
where the government requests things
it cannot achieve. We need a better
Right, I'm going to talk
to if political correspondent for TV
island but first of all will you be
happy to support a deal when it
comes to parliament later this year
if the issue of Ireland and Northern
Ireland hasn't been completely
resolved or if there is some
infrastructure at the border?
think getting the Northern Ireland
border sorted on the basis of a soft
border is absolutely essential to a
We've just heard
from Michel Barnier on the border
issue that both sides, the UK and
the EU, are committed to all part of
what was agreed in December.
Briefly, to summarise, what was
agreed in that draft text was either
there was going to be a full free
trade agreement that would take in
the issue of the board or that's
technology would provide the
solution, which is what the
government has been suggesting, but
has been rejected so far by certain
parties on EU side, or the third
backstop issue which is that
Northern Ireland would remain
aligned to the EU, which is the
least favoured option for most
sides, certainly in the UK. Gavin
Reilly, do you think this is a
problem that the issue of the border
hasn't yet been resolved, even
though this implementation period
has been agreed?
It is a point of
anxiety that the Irish government is
still waiting to find a very
workable solution about how exactly
such technological solutions might
work. The Irish government has been
transparent and upfront and says its
best possible solution is a very
agreement between EU and the UK
which would render the border? Is at
it because they would be part of the
same trading block. If that isn't
going to be any prospect of the UK
coming forward with technological
solutions, at least island considers
it feasible. The real question for
the Irish government is whether the
UK government is prepared to honour
the backstop agreement you
mentioned, where Northern Ireland
would remain part of the European
single trading area, even if it
means it become segmented from the
rest of the UK. The Irish government
says it doesn't want to do it and
the Taoiseach has been at pains to
article at this point because it is
perceived this is some sort of an
agenda to create a united Ireland by
stealth, to fragment the UK and have
Northern Ireland broken away from
the rest of mainland Britain. The
Irish government says it isn't its
intention at all but it wants to see
some commitment that it is prepared
to put its money where its mouth is,
the UK government. And that is
something the UK is prepared to
honour. It is interesting in the
agreement Michel Barnier posted at
text is highlighted yellow which
means that although the final legal
technicalities are not agreed, they
are agreed in principle. Two weeks
ago Theresa May suggested that
agreement was something no British
Prime Minister could stand over.
Bernard Jenkins, we've heard from
Michel Barnier on the UK island
border, we have agreed the backstop
solution must form part of the legal
text of the withdrawal agreement. It
will apply unless and until another
solution is found. Is that
acceptable to you the UK government
has signed up to the idea that
unless another solution is found
Northern Ireland will remain aligned
to EU rules?
I'd want to look at the
Well, this is what
Barnier has said.
published a very long document
annual quoting a very small part of
it. Until I've read it...
for your reaction to what is pretty
clear they've agreed the backstop
solution. Are you happy with that?
There will be no infrastructure at
the border on nest that you put it
there. If the EU is stupid enough
and wants to breach the terms of the
Northern Ireland peace agreement,
the Belfast Agreement, wants to put
up obstacles and be obstructive,
then they are going to go ahead and
do that but actually I think they
What do you say to that?
There is a political will lacking on
the side of the EU?
It is no good
saying just because someone else is
in the driving seat it doesn't
matter if we drive over the cliff
edge. What we really need is a clear
way to ensure that there is a soft
border, and, so far, the government
hasn't produced it.
Is there a lack
of will on the side of the EU? If
they wanted to find a solution, one
would be found.
I think it is a
tricky, technical thing to do
because of the red lines which
Theresa May has put forward, which I
think make it very difficult.
should the EU break its rules for
the UK, in terms of the Irish
border, and other UK to come out of
the customs union and the single
market and yet keep a completely
open and frictionless border? As
they say, they will never agree to
us cherry picking when it comes to
the rules and integrity of the
single market and customs union?
reason we are agreeing on this is
because both sides want it, neither
side wants a hard border... On the
other hand we can't see a hard
border between one bit of the UK and
another bid. It won't be an easy
issue to solve, and it'll be one of
the last issues to solve but with
goodwill on all sides, it is
soluble. I feel sympathetic to
Bernard. To me, the text you read
out, which we have had no time to
He has had time to
respond to it, he hasn't seen the
One last point on
this, it is saying something that is
obvious, it's always the case then
needs to be a real that deals with
the problem of the border between
Northern Ireland and the republic.
Obviously, that needs to be solved.
Are you happy with the fact the
agreement today during transition is
going to give EU citizens who come
during the two-year period exactly
the same rights as their
predecessors who were here before
If what you say is
correct, no, I am not happy because
we are going to leave the EU in
March 2019 and I suspect you'll find
in the small print that isn't what
the agreement says.
would you like to see?
We need to be
able to verify and register people
coming into the country.
We can do
To check they are EU
We can do that now in the
single market. We don't do it but we
could do it.
The government could do
it. Under EU law that could be
described as discrimination that we
are registering some EU citizens and
not others so let's be accurate
about this. Also the enforcement
mechanisms. We can't have the United
Kingdom Parliament around Loch,
stock and barrel by the European
Court of Justice as it is now when
we are no longer represented on the
European Court of Justice. Why are
we passing an act of Parliament that
abolishes the European Communities
Act? It is going to be technically
difficult exactly replicate this. I
think there will be technical legal
details that will end up with us
having a subtly different
jurisdiction, where we perhaps have
regard to what is happening in the
EU and we oblige our courts to do
this, to have regard, but we cannot
actually be bound as we are now. We
are leaving! It doesn't respect the
that is the case and that is what we
understand from the agreement today.
What are you going to do about it?
think it'll be difficult to get the
agreement through the House of
Commons because how can you... Most
constituencies in the House of
Commons voted leave, they voted to
be free of the European Court of
Justice and the lawmaking capacity
of the EU, that is what the
referendum was about...
And you are
not in agreement with that?
up at the same case but without
sitting at the table, without being
a member, this becomes a
constitutional outrage and I am
quite certain the government won't
agree to it.
Will it be the same on
fishing? Would you feel the same
about fishing quotas?
Fish is a big
problem because how can we allow the
EU to set fishing quotas for British
boats, particularly as big changes
are coming through, when we have no
chance of taking part in the
What is the government
going to do if there are people like
Jacob Rees Mogg and Bernard Jenkins
who can't sign up to this transition
The on fish, it looks from the
rumours on twitter like we are
actually getting a good deal today
on fish. I looked at what Jacob
Rees-Mogg said and it seemed like
something everyone would agree to.
Obviously we won't be able to
implement new trade deals until
we've left the EU, that's a matter
of logic. But if we can negotiate
them and get to the point of signing
them during the transition I think
everyone will be happy with that.
David Davis has said that the UK
will be able to step up, put and
sign new trade deals across the
globe that will come into force once
the implementation period is over. I
think we can hear him say it.
The United Kingdom will be able to
step out, sign and ratify new trade
deals with old friends and new
allies around the globe for the
first time in more than 40 years.
These will come into force when the
implementation period is over.
Providing new opportunities for
businesses across the UK and seizing
one of Brexit's greatest
Your reaction to
I'm delighted. There is one
important caveat. We must be able to
conduct those negotiations in
private. We shouldn't be obliged to
have the EU sitting at the table.
They have said they would like to be
part of what's going on.
We can't be
conducting negotiations with the EU
alongside every negotiation we are
conducting in the World Trade
It is a diplomatic
triumph. A lot of people in Brussels
didn't want to agree that...
they are overseeing it then actually
we don't have our own control, we
haven't taken back control over this
important part of our foreign
We have because we'll be
able to set our own trade deals.
That is something a lot of people in
Brussels didn't want to agree to and
now we've achieved it. That's a big
Thank you very much for
coming in. Gavin Reilly, I haven't
quite dispensed with you before
you're allowed to go. In terms of
the Irish government, is there now a
more positive outlook from the Irish
government in terms of engaging with
the UK over finding a solution that
could involve technology?
probably be a lot of good faith
about it. The fact they bid Davis
has been willing to stake his claim
and that the UK appears to be in
principle willing to implement the
backstop, that will help. There will
be some frustration on the Irish
side about how long that has taken.
What we got out of the UK last
December was an agreement that if no
other solution could be found then
Northern Ireland would enough
European rules in order to avoid a
border in the first place. It seems
after Theresa May seemed to
backtrack from that, that David
Davis has been prepared to commit to
bat again. All we've got is a
reassertion of a principle to which
the UK signed up three months ago
anyway. There probably be some
anxiety about how long it's taken
given that Brexit is now only a year
and a week away. There might be some
more earnest intention on the Irish
government's part to talk about
technological solutions, in part
because time is of the essence. If
we are going to have to start
looking at some kind of
infrastructure even if it is only
technological, surveillance and the
like, it is something Ireland will
no doubt be willing to pursue. It
was something that at the start of
the negotiations they had ruled out
in theory. Now it seems they are
open to it. The question is when the
UK will come up with the solutions.
The implementation period will end
in December 2020 which is what David
Davis had asked for.
And for more reporting
and analysis of Brexit,
check out the BBC News website:
Lynn Davidson is here and Sam Coates
for reaction. Something to cheer
I think it depends what side
you are on. If you're a Scottish
Conservative MP at the moment you
may not be necessarily very happy
with what's been said about fishing.
John Lambert said he would be
willing to break down a final Brexit
deal if there were not guarantees
over fishing quotas and vessels.
What we are not entirely clear about
is the timing on that.
How much has
the government had to compromise on
getting this transition agreement
and this legal text of the
Withdrawal Agreement that was
broadly signed up to in December?
Quite a lot. You call it a
transition, Theresa May calls it an
implementation. Frankly it's a
standstill. Our relationship with
the EU will stay the same without us
having a seat in the decision-making
bodies. Just to get that 21 month
extension we've had to abandon plans
to stop EU citizens who come here
during the transition period from
staying, we've had to abandon the
desire to bring back control of
fishing, we even wanted the
transition to go on longer. Brussels
said no. On those things we've had
to eventually climbed down to insure
a relationship stays the same.
Briefly, how much trouble are the
likes of Bernard Jenkin saying he
wouldn't be happy to sign up to a
deal that gave exactly the same
rights to EU citizens who arrive
during that transition period and
colleagues like Jacob Rees-Mogg are
going to cause the Prime Minister?
think they are deciding right now as
it's all rolling out. Someone might
Bernard Jenkin is being loyal to
Theresa May and has been quite
outspoken about backing her. This
puts them in an awkward position.
Quotas are being decided and we
aren't even in the rim.
It will be
the vassal state Jacob Rees-Mogg
Adam Fleming is there. We talked
about lots of colour coding going
on. There it is! If it has clear as
It's quite difficult to read.
Try reading that with the green
highlighter on it. My first
impressions are both sides are
obviously over the moon because
they've been negotiating all through
the weekend and all through the
night to get as much of this
document as green as possible, which
is obviously a big achievement. Two
weeks ago this was the EU's text,
the UK hadn't really contributed or
given their say. Now they've managed
to wrap up lots of it in quite a
short period of time and they've
managed to close some key chapters.
Most of the citizens' rights stuff
is agreed, most of the financial
settlement staff is agreed, most of
the transition period is agreed.
They are pretty happy about that.
There's still some big caveats. It
looks like the 25% that hasn't been
agreed is governance. How do you
enforce disputes and make sure the
agreement is adhered to by both
sides after Brexit day and what does
the European Court of Justice have
to do with it? The other bit,
Northern Ireland and Ireland which
isn't agreed. Those two things are
quite big things to still agree.
They've been kicked down the road.
I'm surprised there's been no
decision about the European Court of
Justice and whether it would still
arbitrate over any disputes or new
laws that are brought in during that
two-year implementation period by
So, what they've done is
they've have agreed a governance
mechanism for the citizens' rights
part of this. That was agreed in
December, the whole thing of the UK
courts will make voluntary
references to the
references to the EC -- the ECJ. Now
the British idea of a joint
committee to handle disputes that
arise during the fermentation or
transition period has been agreed to
and we'll have to go through the
document and see the details. It's
what comes after that which is still
to be agreed and is there a role for
the European Court of Justice. That
seems like quite a big sticking
What about signing up
to free trade deals? David Davis
said the UK will be allowed to do
that but Bernard Jenkin said yes
that's great but not if we have two
deferred to the EU during that
two-year implementation period while
we are setting up these free trade
deals. Do you know what the decision
I'm trying to find that in
the document... Hang on! Article
124, paragraph four... It still has
the language saying they've got to
be authorised by the European Union.
The UK will have the power to
negotiate and sign and ratify free
trade deals, but they cannot be
implemented unless they've got
permission from the EU. That has
pretty much stayed the same. It's
always been a bit bizarre because
all along Michel Barnier has said
it's OK for the UK to go out into
the world and talk to third
countries and talk about trade
deals, it's just getting it written
down that the Brits want it.
the giddiness has died down in
Brussels, what happens next?
Barnier is going to take this
document to the meeting of EU
affairs ministers for the 27 to get
it signed off by ministerial level
tomorrow. Then he'll go to the
Wednesday meeting of the European
Commission with Jean-Claude Juncker
whether commissioners will sign it
off. Then he'll take it to the
European Council, the meeting of
leaders on Friday where they will
sign it off and they will also sign
of their guidelines for phase two
which is the 6-page document setting
out their blueprint for how the
talks about the future relationship
are going to work. That will be
another symbolic moment. We know
roughly what they will say. Then it
will be a case of how quickly can
they get down to talking about that
future relationship. Will be
straight after the meeting of the
European Council and the meeting of
the leaders, or will there be
another bureaucratic process where
Michel Barnier takes those
guidelines awake and clarifies them
into an even detailed document? Or
can he get down to it straightaway?
Worth remembering what the EU says
is the best case scenario for the
outcome from those negotiations. It
is a political agreement about the
shape of the future relationship.
The EU saying it will not be the
fully fledged free trade deal that
the British government talks about,
so that's what the next few months
is going to be about, how detailed
is that political declaration and
how much does look like a free trade
Thank you, Adam.
Vladimir Putin has been elected
Russian President for another six
years in a victory that was assured
after the country's most popular
was excluded from standing.
There were reports of ballot
rigging, and turnout was up,
something Putin's campaign claimed
was due to the confrontation
with Britain over the poisoning
of Sergei Skripal.
International experts are arriving
in the UK today to assess the type
of nerve agent used to poison
the former double agent
and his daughter in Salisbury.
Tom Burridge is there.
Can you bring us up to speed with
what's going on in Salisbury?
terms of police activity over the
weekend, a pretty minimal amount of
visible activity. One focus of the
investigation is Sergei Skripal's
car. Parked in the city centre of
the afternoon that they fell
critically ill. The police want to
hear from anyone in Salisbury on
Sunday the 4th of March who might
have seen the car earlier in the
morning. The other main development
is officials from the Organisation
for the Prohibition of Chemical
Weapons, a delegation of ten
individuals are in Wiltshire now.
They'll be here for a week or so is
spending most of their time at the
MoD's scientific research facility.
The idea is that samples of the
nerve agent used to attack so Gail
and Yulia Skripal will be sent to as
many as 20 laboratories and 16
countries. These are independent
laboratories signed off by the OPCW
for testing. The idea is in about
three weeks' time at least the OPCW
will make its own conclusions about
the nerve agent used in the attack.
Helen Goodman, what is Labour's line
in terms of its confrontation with
the government over this issue?
supported everything that the
government has done in the wake of
Salisbury and we agree with the
Prime Minister's assessment that the
overwhelming probability is that
it's either deliberate on the part
of the Russians or they lost
control. On either bases they are
wholly culpable. What the Leader of
the Opposition was asking was for
the involvement of the Organisation
for the Prohibition of Chemical
Weapons. We've got that now and it's
extremely helpful. We also pressed
the government on Magnitsky and
they've done a U-turn as well.
Magnitsky, what do you say about the
governments and the party 's
opposition to something that would
strengthen what the row could be
used against Russian oligarchs or
money laundering in Britain?
not a U-turn. We are in favour of a
Magnitsky style act...
It is a
U-turn, you voted against it a
fortnight ago stopped with that was
because of technical problems. This
is too important to play party
politics. We all agree on a
Magnitsky act. We all agree on
people who have been involved in
corruption in Russia. We cannot let
the people who run Russia try and
divide us and make us play party
politics against each other. One of
the things I've been most disgusted
by is the way the Russians have
mocked us over this issue.
This is a situation where a brave
police officer and a man are nearly
dead because of a brush and
attempt on our streets and we must
not let them do what they always do,
when they shot down the passenger
jet over Ukraine, they blamed
Ukraine and they said the dues to
did. We've got to be canny about it
and not let the Kremlin divide us.
Do you think you've had support from
the Labour Party cuisine and I was
initially disappointed by Jeremy
It was a lot of
backbenchers who are disappointed in
his response but let's move on from
that now. We are getting together a
strong coalition about partners. The
Prime Minister is leading the
country strongly on this. We've got
people in from the Organisation for
the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
and the live the Russians are trying
to tell, firstly they are saying
they didn't make it at all, then
they are saying we made it but we
got rid of it. Then they are saying
maybe some got out of the country.
They are always using their
propaganda television stations to
muddy the water, to wrap you up in
Do you think it should be
stopped in this country?
think any serious MP should be going
on it. Alex Salmond shouldn't be
going on it.
Should Ofcom stop
We have the rule of
law here and Ofcom will make a
decision on the basis of the fact. I
don't think it was right for Jeremy
Corbyn to go on that or to promote
it as a serious news outlet and I
hope the Labour MPs will not go on
Let's hear what the
shadow chancellor did say in terms
of Labour's response to what the
government had proposed in Theresa
May's Commons statement.
with the Prime Minister completely.
What she said is that Russia is
culpable either by direct
commission, Putin has ordered this,
or they've lost control of their
To be clear, she has backed
away from the pieces they've lost
control. She is holding him
personally responsible. You not
agreeing with that?
I do agree with
that. She has repeated that
statement three times. He is
responsible whichever way you look
at it. All the evidence points to
John McDonnell was very clear
is today, Helen Goodman but Jeremy
Corbyn said that he still believes
the Prime Minister's initial line
there are two civilities for who
carried out the attack, so which one
is the official line? Did Putin do
it or do we need to pursue both
lines of inquiry that it could have
been someone else?
Vladimir Putin is
responsible because the nerve agent
was made in Russia. And, therefore,
whatever the root, Vladimir Putin
must be the person held responsible.
I think it is more important we now
think about what we need to do, and
I think the government is very weak
on the money-laundering because
we've got billions coming into
London. The National Crime Agency
estimates £90 billion of money is
laundered through London every year.
We have been putting down amendments
to this bill.
And we've talked about
the Magnitsky. We will come onto the
money-laundering in a moment. Let's
talk about Jeremy Corbyn and John
McDonnell. Where does the party
The Labour Party... It is an
uneasy compromise. John McDonnell
said yesterday the phrase the Prime
Minister is right to blame Russia.
That is quite uncomfortable when set
against what Jeremy Corbyn did last
week. I think John McDonnell has his
eye on the internal Labour politics
which have been very messy. I think
he is trying to put behind the row
brewing at the back end of last week
and smooth over some of the
difficulties. Whilst they are not
saying President Putin was
responsible, they are saying he is
to blame, which seems to be a line
Labour can more or less unite
Except there has been a
divide. Last week there were a
number of Labour MPs that felt
Jeremy Corbyn was equivocating. In
his article, he said we shouldn't
resign ourselves to McCarthy like
intolerance of dissent. What did
that mean to you?
I was as
flabbergasted at as many Labour
backbenchers. You only had to see
Yvette Cooper's reaction when she
shot up immediately after Jeremy
Corbyn to make her position clear
and later John Woodcock's early day
motion. Some might say that John
McDonnell now is almost isolated
Jeremy Corbyn in his position but
any journalist who stood in the
huddle last Wednesday after PMQs
when Jeremy Corbyn spokesman's
brought up the weapons of mass
destruction dossier would be no
Was that irresponsible of the
director of communication to set had
been failures in intelligence in the
past and we should be cautious over
Mary Griffiths pointed out to
the BBC, the shadow defence
spokesman, that these situations are
rather different, and I think she's
right, they are.
So the spokesman
should have spoken out of turn?
has to say what he thinks is best in
the moment when he says it but I
think once we have reflected, it is
clear this is quite different from
the Iraq situation.
Do you think we
have to hear the Labour leader say
that in the same way we've heard
John McDonnell, who is very clear
that Putin is responsible whichever
way you look at it, and all the
evidence points to him?
I think that
it is really important that we all
support the action the government
has taken which Jeremy has done,
that we condemn the attack which
Jeremy has done...
He said this
serves neither justice nor our
national security. Is he right?
role of the oppositionist was
questions and he asks questions. He
is not denying the Russians are
responsible. He is saying the
Russians are responsible.
said Putin is responsible. Should he
quiz low I haven't got the text in
front of me and you have but what he
has said is we have two
Either they did it
pop deliberately or they've lost
control and on either bases the
Russians are responsible.
actually it is clear in terms of
what John McDonald is saying, that
Putin did it. I mean, there are no
two ways, he is saying. He isn't
saying let's have a look at the
evidence. Who is right? The Labour
leader or shadow chancellor?
having a look at the evidence now
and your correspondent has pointed
out that it is being sent round to
20 different laboratories around the
Should we wait for that
I think it would be
helpful to wait for what comes out
of that evidence. My own view is
that Putin is responsible and I've
made that clear.
Should we be
waiting? Did Theresa May rush to
judgment? If we have people going in
to decide exactly what the nerve
agent was and how it was used,
should we have waited before
pointing the finger of blame firmly
I agree with Helen. The
Prime Minister was right to give the
Russians one last opportunity to
explain how this nerve agent which
only they make had come to be on the
streets of Wiltshire. They haven't
been able to do that. They've mocked
us. Putin in a triumphalist way has
gloated about this. And it is
absolutely clear he did this. From
the conversation, the winner of this
discussion is that a mere Putin
because we've spent a long time
talking about party politics.
party politics not important?
enough time thinking about what we
will to about the problem. This is a
Richey MEDLINE, hacking into the
defence Defence Ministry, they've
attacked the Bundestag in Germany,
they've destabilise the Baltics and
now we must come together and take
firm action to stop this
state-sponsored murder on our
Thank you both for coming
If you live in England you can
still, at the moment,
use a shock collar to train your dog
or your cat.
But not for much longer, it seems,
after Environment Secretary Michael
Gove launched a consultation
with a view to banning
what he called "punitive devices."
Well, they're due to be banned
in Scotland and were
banned in Wales in 2010.
Here's how the BBC
covered it at the time.
This is Lady.
She's being trained as a guard dog,
but there's a problem -
she likes chasing sheep.
She's been fitted with
a so-called "shock collar".
When her trainer presses a button
on a remotely-controlled handset,
it emits a pulse of electricity...
..And Lady leaves the sheep alone.
We're joined now by Nathalie Ingham
a canine behaviourist
from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.
She's brought along Bella
a staffordshire terrier
and Abbie a chihuahua.
Journalist Quentin Letts also joins
me in the studio and Deidre Brock
from the Scottish National Party
is in Edinburgh.
First of all tell us what these
shock collars two.
administer an electric shock to the
animals so normally they are worn
around the collar. They should in
theory give off a sound to
pre-warned the animal that a shocker
is coming but not all of them do.
And the idea is that people utilise
them in thinking they are going to
stop an unwanted behaviour but the
realities are very different.
methods do you recommend the
We recommend people use
positive reward -based method so it
is important owners of dogs create a
solid bond with their dogs so learn
how to play with their dogs, so they
have a connection with the animals.
By doing that, animals will want to
seek that attention from the owner
and will be able to respond them
more. So they'd look to the owner in
a situation rather than making their
own choices all the time. So
definitely using play, food as
rewards, anything that will
strengthen the bond and reward good
While they're sitting
quietly and not disturbed by you,
are you a fan of them?
I'm not a fan
of those ones you press the button
and the dog gets shocked. We have
badly behaved terriers.
Is that a
failure of the owners training?
not sure it is because one of them
as a rescue dog and it goes around
the perimeter of our garden, and it
means when the dog goes near the
wire, it gets a sound and if it goes
a bit further, it doesn't get a
shock but a vibrating. And these
devices which are terrific, and are
very good for animal welfare...
you wouldn't want to see them
Michael Gove wants to put
these out of business because he is
a politician, he's playing games,
triangulating or whatever these
ghastly politicians do, trying to
show the Tories are very good on
animal welfare. I'm not going to
cost judgment on that but what is
going to do is make life worse for
cats and dogs that use these
containment devices which stops them
going out on roads and getting run
So, it'll make it worse for
dogs and cats.
I'd have to disagree
with that. In fact the vibrating
collars are still permissible in
Scotland but I'm proud of the fact
the Scottish government have banned
these collars. What we'd like to see
is this go further and the actual
sale is banned throughout the UK,
that is something under the quirks
of the devolution settlement that
the UK government has the power to
do at the moment so we are calling
on the UK government, and not us
alone. This is a cross-party
situation. The ban of these collars
is cross-party and we've done a lot
of work with colleagues in different
parties on this issue.
Do you think
they are cruel?
I had a Brave
colleague who volunteered to be
zapped by one of these collars on
his hand and it was only at 30% of
its strength but he was shocked at
how painful it was, and this was
very recently at an event I hosted
with other MPs and the parliament
which featured dogs trust UK, kennel
club and others, raising the profile
of this particular issue, and he was
accusingly later telling me that
some half an hour later his hand was
still numb afterwards.
We've tried these things
to. You know those things you get
that joke shops when you shake
someone's hand and they put a
vibrating thing on? That is what it
feels like. The dog gets it once or
twice in its life and it learns.
Once or twice in their life they
might get a vibration, then that
means they can roam free, have a
terrific life and not get run over
and not chase horses all walkers.
it better than King run over?
concern is there doesn't seem to be
any upper limit on the voltage of
electric shock collars. Most many
factors are a member of an
association which means their
products meet latest technical
requirements but some of these
collars can shock up to 6,000 volts.
They are painful. Just suggesting
they might only be used once or
twice and that will solve the issue
is I think... I am glad his dogs are
No, they're not,
that's the thing! People say why
don't you put a fence up? Peep
don't you put a fence up? Peep --
they'd dig under these fences.
Michael Gove of all people who
believes in small government, why do
they want to wreck life for dogs and
cats? They will make life so much
worse for them and ruined the
freedom these animals have. I find
it baffling. I can't understand why
anyone would want to cause an animal
pain or distress, particularly in
the UK a group of nations renowned
the world over for its love of
To still be containing...
Our last dog did not have one of
these and she was run over and spent
two years... She was in such pain we
had to put her down. That is what I
am trying to stop. And I get so
furious about this. It is a classic
example of politicians making life
worse for people.
Maybe Michael Gove
doesn't think he is going to make
life worse for people. What will you
do if you ban is it?
We will have to
obey the law but I'd trip to think
what will happen to our dogs. Will
we give them away or risk them
getting run over. I will put one of
their dead bodies on his desk.
organisations think positive
reinforcement training is far more
effective than the collars. Doesn't
seem to be any particular
restriction on the of these items.
Anyone who wishes to, you can go
online and see a huge range of these
collars on offer, you can purchase
them online or you can purchase them
from countries that haven't banned
their sale or use.
I don't think
you're talking about containment
fences. These are the things that
will be caught by this rotten and
life ruining and life... Law.
would argue animal welfare policies
have come on so much, why would you
want to endorse any sort of...
will have to leave it there.
Ultimately I think there are better
ways of training dogs and cats. When
you look at the behaviour, you need
to look at motivation behind those.
Shock collars can be sold to
anybody. Anybody could put one on
tiny little bell here. Research
shows the shocks administered were
inconsistent with the manufacturing
guidelines, so it can cause a lot of
We have noted the
difference between shock collars and
containment fences. We're going to
say goodbye now. Thank you.
This afternoon, MPs will debate
a petition calling for people
with cystic fibrosis to be given
a life-changing, but
very expensive, drug.
Elizabeth Glinka has been to meet
a young woman who's had access
to the treatment as part
of a medical trial and believes
strongly it should be
available on the NHS.
Cystic fibrosis is an inherited
genetic disorder, which you get
from your mum and your dad
being carriers, and then
you have a one in four chance
of getting cystic fibrosis.
Two years ago, 21-year-old
Chantelle Millward was
running out of options.
Her condition, which affects
breathing and digestion,
had become so severe a lung
transplant was the only treatment.
I didn't really have a life.
I was in and out of
hospital every 4-6 weeks.
When you get referred
for a lung transplant,
your life expectancy is two
years or less.
So, that's literally
the last option.
So, it's either a lung
transplant or die.
But it was then Chantelle
was offered a place
on the Orkambi drugs trial.
It's a treatment which slows
the decline of lung function
in around a third of patients.
But at £100,000 a year,
in 2016 the drugs advisory body Nice
concluded it wasn't cost effective
for the NHS.
Since then, patients
and their families have
been campaigning for
a change in guidelines.
So, what difference has
Orkambi made to your life?
I feel like I can plan
for my future, whereas two years ago
I couldn't even plan the day let
alone my future.
Chantelle's daily routine
involves taking more than 50
drugs and supplements,
but that's actually better
than it used to be.
So, where's the drug that's made
such a difference, then?
I keep this one in the box,
because it's the treasured one.
So, I have a morning
and evening dose...
But while Chantelle's quality
of life has improved on Orkambi,
she's acutely aware that's not
the case for everyone.
The past two years, I've lost four
very, very close friends.
I've lost a lot over
the years, but these four
were very, very close.
We speak every day.
One I recently lost
just before Christmas,
on the same ward, and, yeah...
It's very, very hard.
How old was your friend who died?
She was 20.
Didn't even reach her 21st birthday.
Vertex, the drugs company,
can withdraw it at any point,
and that's the bit that worries me
the most, because if that happened
and that drug gets taken from me,
I'm going to be back in the same
position as I was two years ago,
which I really don't want to be in.
And so if people were to say
to you this drug is too expensive,
we can't afford it,
what would you say?
Over a year, in the long
run it would actually
save them a lot of money,
because I already know it's reduced
my admissions, which obviously
is reducing the costs.
Three antibiotics have stopped
because I don't need them anymore,
and with my IV, antibiotics
and things, I don't have to go
in as often as I did.
And you're at work, as well.
It's brought me
together as a person.
It's built me up, and I just think
if I didn't have this drug two years
ago I would not be in this place
right now, so...
You can't put a price on it.
The life expectancy for people
with cystic fibrosis has increased
to 47 in recent decades,
but the condition is still
life-threatening, even in the young.
For sufferers, the price of a drug
like Orkambi is one worth paying.
So, as I said, this is being debated
at Westminster later today,
the drug Orkambi hasn't been
approved for routine use in the UK.
The National Institute for Health
and Care Excellence, known as NICE,
which advises the NHS in England
and Wales on which drugs to buy
and use, said NICE issued guidance
in July 2016 which did not recommend
Orkambi to treat cystic fibrosis.
We were talking about the deal on
the Brexit transition that's been
reached between the EU and Britain.
Let's have a listen to David Davis
speaking at that press Conference.
In Munich and at Mansion House, the
Prime Minister set out a powerful
deal, one which will ensure with
economic and security cooperation
reflects our unique starting point
and shared history. My job and that
of my team is to deliver on that
vision, and in doing so we must
seize the moment and carry forward
the moment of the past few weeks.
The deal was struck today on top of
that agreed in December which should
give us confidence that a good deal
for the UK and EU is closer than
Do you agree with that
analysis, that a good deal for
Britain is closer than ever before?
I don't know about that. I'm a bit
sceptical about these new trade
deals he's parading, because what I
hear from the other side of the
fence from the other countries is
that the British government just
wants to roll over the existing EU
trade deals because it takes so long
to negotiate any improvement. If you
look at China, for example, the
Germans are selling twice as much,
no, five times as much to China as
we are and they are still in the
customs union and single market.
Obviously David Davis is relieved
that this stage is over but I'm not
convinced it's that great.
evidence is there that the free
trade deals that can be done with
third countries by Britain will
compensate for any loss of trade
done with the EU?
there will be a loss of trade with
You don't think there will
I think the purpose of what
the government is trying to do is to
said in her most recent speech that
there would be some loss, we won't
get the same benefits. Let's take
We've made another major
step towards delivering Brexit which
means we'll get out of the situation
we are in now where we are paying
£16 billion a year into the EU,
where we are not able to control the
free movement of people between the
EU and the UK and we are not in
control of our own laws. These three
match the profound changes in this
country that Brexit will deliver,
this is another step towards
delivering that. We will also be
able to do our trade deals with
third countries and that is another
benefit. People always want to pick
at every micro-detail but...
might debate about whether it is
Towards getting a
better situation for this country.
If you follow politics on social
media, you might be confused
about what is happening
with free school meals.
Have a look at this.
PIANO MUSIC THROUGHOUT.
James Cleverly for the Conservative
Party disputing claims made by the
Yes, the Labour Party seems certain
that the Conservatives are pressing
ahead with a plan that could stop
more than a million children
receiving a free school meal.
The Conservatives say that's
"scaremongering and misinformation",
and actually the reverse is true -
an extra 50,000
children could benefit.
Well, to hopefully shed a bit
of light on what's happening
here I'm joined by the BBC's head
of statistics, Robert Cuffe.
No pressure to clear up this. Our 1
million children going to lose the
right way school meal?
It depends on
how you ask the question. No one is
really arguing with the arithmetic
but each party is choosing a
different comparison. If you go back
to before Universal Credit was
started, back then free school meals
were means tested. When Universal
Credit was rolled out the government
promised as an interim measure only
to give free school meals to
everyone receiving Universal Credit
and have now decided it wasn't going
to be forever and they are going to
stop means testing again. It is true
to say that the current means
testing is more generous than the
old version was. That's how you get
the extra 50,000 kids receiving free
school meals. But of course means
tested meals are less generous than
meals for everybody so it is also
technically true to say that had
they gone on providing this for
ever, which they never said they
would do, their 1 million Jordan
would be receiving this.
about a hypothetical situation being
created in the future? Are any
children receiving free school meals
now going to lose it?
going to go into a school ready to
grab a tray from underneath a child.
The government made clear that
anyone receiving it under current
provisions will continue to receive
it. But children in the future will
not be getting them and they might
have been entitled, at the
government decided to continue this
Are you happy you've been
responsible for at least confusing
the issue in terms of statistics?
The way has been described as good.
1 million children who would have
had it under the current regime
won't get it. Actually all wrong
because people sometimes go on to
Universal Credit and off it and on
it again. You can be an UC now,
getting free school meals, go off
it, make a new claim and then not
get it. Perhaps that is an extremely
Do you accept
they aren't having their meals taken
I thought the government has
said 100,000 children were losing...
Not true at all.
And I thought it
was the government saying only
100,000 were losing and the
Children's Society were saying 1
Should you have put out
that sort of information if you
This is why post-truth
politics. We've just heard from the
BBC's independent fact checker that
not one single child getting free
school meals will lose it and 50,000
more schoolchildren will be
Tell us why that is truly.
We've made the system more generous.
The Labour Party Palm Springs and to
social media hoping to get things to
people before the fact checkers
catch up -- the Labour Party pumps
things into social media. We've
inherited a situation where...
haven't got time, I must let Helen
Some children will lose...
It's simply not true. Not one child
It's been cut to £7,400
which is below...
Higher than the
Who knew statistics could
be so fiercely argued over! LAUGHTER
That's all for today.
Thanks to our guests.
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.