Dominic Raab MP - Brexit Select Committee, UK HARDtalk


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Dominic Raab MP - Brexit Select Committee, UK

Stephen Sackur speaks to the influential advocate of Brexit, Conservative MP Dominic Raab, to discuss the place that post-Brexit Britain will occupy on the world stage.


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The UK Parliament is about to vote on the Government's plan to trigger

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Article 50, the formal process which will end in Britain

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There's little doubt MPs will give prime minister Theresa May

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a green light, but much has changed since last June's Brexit referendum.

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The government has clarified its vision of what Brexit means,

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while President Donald Trump is shaking up global politics.

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What place will post-Brexit Britain occupy on the world stage?

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My guess is that today is conservative MP Domin Raab.

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Domin Raab, welcome to HARDtalk. You are a Westminster MP who took the

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somewhat difficult to understand position of having the right to give

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a green light to Article 50 taking the view that that was wrong and it

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should not be allowed. I took the view it as did all the MPs who

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passed the referendum legislation by 61. We gave this decision to the

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English people and by the way all parties agreed to this and having

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done that we need to respect it. The committee is scrutinising every

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negotiation at their son have any guises for holding up and

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frustrating at the verdict by the British people. There will be a

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verdict in the coming days in Westminster. There will be a debate.

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We know various opposition LPs, Labour 's all Scottish Nationalists,

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have various amendments to put forward. It will be a lively debate.

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Terrific. The 17th and debates we have had on the Mac. Every Democrat

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in the House of Commons and in the House of Lords will have their cards

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called. Are we talking about scrutiny all our people frustrating

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the wheel of the British people trying to scrap Brexit altogether?

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Everybody will be accountable including yourself. One of the

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reasons the row so many Remainers deeply bitter is they feel you in

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the leave camp never came clean during the referendum campaign about

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the kind of Brexit you wanted. Some of the most prominent leaders wanted

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an exit which allowed Britain to remain inside the single market and

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now that seems to be taken off the table. I think that is almost wholly

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wrong. Every time I was asked that question, all of us said... Let me

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finish the answer before you can scorn it. We all said and we will be

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leaving the EU, wanting to take back control of our borders and when

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asked the critical question about the single market we said we would

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be looking at the best access but no one said we would remain in the

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formal single market. Your version is a very different. Daniel and an,

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a senior MEP... Absolutely nobody is talking about threatening our place

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in the single market. Paterson MP, only a madman would actually leave

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the single market. One more for luck, Aaron Banks, the biggest

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financier of the Leave campaign quote increasingly the Norway option

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looks the best for the UK, having access to the single market. It

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precisely demonstrates my point... I have given you free quote that run

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counter to what you told me. No one is the single member of the single

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market. Only a madman... We're not going to leave the single market in

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terms of a trading relationship at in terms of being a full member. If

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you look at the detailed comments made, not picking a few quote out of

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context, time and time again I remember discussing on the campaign,

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we all said it is clear you could not leave the EU and by the back

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door coming give up control of your immigration policy, and not have

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trade negotiations outside of the EU. We said we wanted the strongest

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possible access to the single market but we would not anticipate being

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formal members. What we now have is that the cliff edge scenario,

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something people said Britain should try very desperately not to do.

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Explain to me why there is not the grave danger that after the

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triggering of Article 50 Britain will be staring over a cliff edge

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because there will be no negotiated trade deals and we will go to

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default, and to everybody concerned that represent a dangerous cliff

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edge. The pessimistic gloomy BBC portrayal saying that we would have

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an immediate shock after a Brexit vote, they did not happen. We are

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the fastest growing economy for 2016. From Google, the Apple, to

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Dyson. Just this week Weetabix extra investment. All valid points but

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nothing to do with my question. I waited to address this... But you

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shifted the goal posts of chairman. I just conducting an interview. You

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cannot include every discussion you have heard over the last year. I am

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asking a straightforward question. The forecasts have been demonstrably

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proven to be false. There will be a slowdown at the high level of growth

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we have at the moment, the fastest-growing industrialised

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economy in the world but it will not be nearly as bad as forecasters

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predict that. Let's take this seriously, someone like Christian

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Forbes at the Bank of England says all the uncertainty that had

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the indicators are flawed and from the indicators are flawed and from

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the Bank of England to the IMF INAUDIBLE. I have decided you did

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not answer my question. The Maltese Prime Minister got to the heart of

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this when he said the UK's deal Post Brexit must be worth than the terms

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of its membership. We can see no situation where whatever is

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negotiated end up being better than the current situation be UK has. You

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quoted the Maltese Prime Minister and I will quote... I can quote you

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Francois Hollande who has said we will pay. Francois Hollande will not

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be Prime Minister when we do the negotiations. There is a range of

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different views. From the Spanish Foreign Minister to the chief

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negotiator who said on the vexed issue of UK financial services he

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has pointed out that given that Britain puts ?1 trillion worth of

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Finance into European companies, if we turn around and have a rational

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being the differential approach to these negotiations... (INAUDIBLE).

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We need to stop talking about detection is an start looking for

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the win-win. Angela Merkel, and others, there is a shifting mood in

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Brussels and there is scope for a win-win scope. Neither you nor I

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know where the negotiations will go. Your vision of what a post Brexit

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economy should look like whether or not you get this complicated trade

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deal. Wasn't it very interesting when the British Chancellor said you

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know what we may well do over the next few years as a result of

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Brexit? We make completely transform our economy. Low tax, low public

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expenditure, a completely different economy. Is that what you want? I

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not sure those were the words of Philip Hammond. I am paraphrasing

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but not unfairly. Between the referendum and the negotiations is

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to stabilise the economy. That is done. Set out the details of our

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plan. The Prime Minister did that with a positive vision of a post

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Brexit self-governing democracy, a strong neighbour including on trade

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and security, a global leader in free trade and the third thing that

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needed to happen was developed unity of purpose amongst the country at

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large. Following the Lancaster house speech, the British pub lick 3-1,

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backed Theresa May's vision. You talk about public opinion, I just

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wonder whether you believe those Brexit voters, let's talk about a

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particular place in the North Midlands of the UK, where there will

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be a by-election. 70% voted Brexit but do you think most of those 70%

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wanted to see a deregulated INAUDIBLE. I think the point is that

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Win Win is the speech. Of course, if we do not get a deal, even if the

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EU... You think that is what the British people voted for? Let me

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finish. Even if we apply external tariffs, we would have to take some

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measures to make sure that Brexit the economy can continue to thrive

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in one is a question of tax and to retain our competitiveness. You

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would have to slash public spending much more than we have seen thus

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far. We want Britain to be competitive, that is what attracts

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investment and create jobs but these silly caricatures of Britain

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becoming the Singapore of the North Sea, I do not recognise that at all.

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We need to be brave and go into the negotiations hoping for the best and

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bracing for the worst. If you look at that YouGov poll, to the extent

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the EU can trust polls, it strong as public support that if the

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government did not get a good deal it should not sign up to any terms

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that we are offered from rustles and in that sense the British public,

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despite the frenzied polarised media debate, is getting the high-end the

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Prime Minister. You are taking us dangerously back to the cliff edge.

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Let's... I want to specific answers and then to look at the

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International picture. What happens to the 3 million also EU nationals

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living and working in the UK today? Am very confused by the mixed

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signals? I meekly in the referendum campaign

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anyone legally in the UK should have their rights protected. They can

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stay indefinitely? Those people already here will be able to stay

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indefinitely? I think as a moral position but also showing good faith

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in these negotiations. It is absolutely the right thing to do.

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What do you think of Theresa May's position in moral terms when she

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refuses to give that guarantee and says, well, our stance will depend

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on how our nationals are treated in mainland Europe. I think we should

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fight very hard for our expats and I understand why Theresa May said I

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would like those issues dealt with. Or she tried to do, what the

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government did, is go to Brussels and say, why not have an early

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agreement and push out of their anguish and anxiety European

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national space in the UK and the EU and remember it was the EU who said

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we cannot get agreement amongst the other 27 for this. It was them who

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said it will have to wait until March. We tried to do the right

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thing. Do you think some Brexit backers, voters in towns like Boston

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and Lincolnshire, who have consistently according to the polls

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and anecdotal evidence that their town feels as though they have lost

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their culture and identity because so many east European farm workers

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are living in that town, do you think they will feel disappointed,

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let down, if you are saying to them, actually the status quo as it exists

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in Boston and Lincolnshire will have to remain? Certainly not with me or

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any of the people in the Vote Leave campaign because we all said that we

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didn't think it was right as a basic point of moral ethics to start

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deporting en masse people who have been here for a long period of time,

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have played by the rules and worked hard. I think it was clear in terms

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of what we said during the referendum. It is quite right to try

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to secure those rights for expats abroad too. Another specific point

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about hard borders. It seems, the Scottish Nationalists are

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disappointed with the government stands, that the government isn't

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interested in discussing with them the idea that Scotland could remain

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somehow in the single market and in the European customs union. But

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there is a question of whether in Ireland and possibly Scotland too if

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they get their way, there would be a hard border between those nations of

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the United Kingdom and England. Will there be a hard border? Look, in

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terms of Scotland, it will be icing wrong as a matter of principle and

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impossible to enforce. In terms of Ireland there is the Common travel

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area and those arrangements existed before we were members of the EEC as

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it then was and of course there will be strong bilateral relations to

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make sure we don't undermine taking back control of our immigration

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policy but without putting up a hard border between the two. Forgive me

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but I am not clear, if Ireland is in the single market and customs union

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and the UK is not, how can there not be a hard border? We will have

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sensible mutual arrangements which respect both sides of the debate. We

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had that before we entered the EU so I don't think it is beyond the wit

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or man -- of man or woman but we won't have a hard border and we said

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that in the referendum campaign and the government says it now. Equally

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some of the stuff coming from the SNP is not credible and it is not

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just the UK government saying that. The EU has said some of the ideas

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about staying in the single market... We have the referendum as

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one country and when you do that then you negotiate your

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international relations as one country. Let's now look at the

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international context in which it is all taken place. June 23 the British

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people voted. At the time Barack Obama was president of the Ita

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states. Of course today Donald Trump is in the White House and noises

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from the White House are very different. You think it makes sense

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for Britain to be cutting its bonds and ties with the European Union at

:17:05.:17:10.

a time when the United States is being led by a man who is avowedly

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and proudly nationalist in his economics and his politics? Well,

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look, first of all we are not leaving Europe, we are leaving the

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EU and we want to remain a good European Neymar and from Theresa

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May's visit to Washington you can see even now have that influence can

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play out and the opportunity for our European friends, Britain exercising

:17:32.:17:40.

leverage, and you heard her say not being naive about Putin, and

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standing with Britain behind our Nato commitments, that is a good

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example, but Britain wants an independent foreign policy and that

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means... And to be an independent, self-governing democracy, that means

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independent from the EU but we will have a strong relationship with

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America, but... Will be? We had a really, really special relationship

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with Donald Trump's America? She said to Trump, you renew your nation

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just as we renew ours, the opportunity to renew the special

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relationship for this age is here, a chance, she said for post-EU Britain

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and Trump's election to make America to this, this is a quote, lead

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America again. Do you think that with Britain at this moment in

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global politics and especially US politics, is in a position and wants

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to have that special bond with Donald Trump's America? The special

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relationship endures is bigger than with the White House and with Number

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Ten, we have trade on values, security, the intelligence

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relationship and Nato so it is absolutely right we don't throw toys

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at the pan because of a controversial president. We will

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double up on engaging. Do you think the public like the fact that when

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Donald Trump issued this executive order banning incomers from seven

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mostly Muslim countries, Angela Merkel was on the phone within hours

:19:09.:19:12.

suggesting to the President that this was a big problem and he should

:19:13.:19:15.

remember what international law says. Theresa May, she was asked

:19:16.:19:20.

about it, she obfuscated, she didn't address it directly, she didn't want

:19:21.:19:25.

to condemn the Americans. Do you think the public like where she

:19:26.:19:30.

stands today? If you look at the two days of Theresa May in Washington,

:19:31.:19:34.

yes, we want to grasp the opportunities around free trade and

:19:35.:19:37.

it is great to have a president who want a free trade deal. This is a

:19:38.:19:41.

president who is avowedly protectionist and says everything he

:19:42.:19:44.

does will be about America first. What makes you think Britain can cut

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a deal when Donald Trump is fanatically in favour of pursuing

:19:49.:19:52.

only America's interest? All the more the coup it was to be in first

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and get the commitment from him. Sorry, what commitment? The

:19:58.:20:01.

commitment to expedite and have proper working arrangements... On

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whose terms? Well, it will be... On his terms! Stephen, come on. Have

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you read the art of the deal? It is all about... I am happy to answer

:20:12.:20:15.

the questions but you have to wait for the answers. It is a good thing.

:20:16.:20:18.

When it comes to delivering difficult measures, Theresa May did

:20:19.:20:23.

it in public on Nato and Russia and when she got home yes there was this

:20:24.:20:27.

furore around the executive order. I think it was divisive and wrong but

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because she had been for two days in Washington, because we are engaging,

:20:32.:20:36.

Boris Johnson got on the phone and it was clear not just for Britain at

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40 other countries that dual nationals coming from Britain would

:20:40.:20:43.

be barred from coming to the US and that is serious statesmanship, not

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throwing up their hands in despair, not flouncing off, the Labour Party

:20:47.:20:50.

position Jeremy Corbyn that we should work or snub Donald Trump but

:20:51.:20:56.

to engage, take advantage of the opportunities and deliver the candid

:20:57.:20:59.

advice of a friend and that is what Theresa May did. In the art of the

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deal Donald Trump says whether you win or lose in any deal is all about

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the leverage you have. When you talk about Britain in a post- Brexit

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future dealing with Donald Trump's America all with Xi Jinping's China

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or with Narendra Modi's India, all nationalist leaders out to protect

:21:18.:21:20.

their nation's interest, where do you think you leverage is and how

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much has Britain got? Stephen, he goes again, classic BBC, doing down

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Britain. LAUGHTER.

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I am simply asking the question. Sixth biggest military in the world,

:21:31.:21:35.

the common language of business, the birthplace of Shakespeare, Newton,

:21:36.:21:40.

we've got huge things going for us. The network of Commonwealth links

:21:41.:21:44.

we've got. And you are right that we have to go into these negotiations

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whether with China, Brazil, America, doing what normal countries do, to

:21:50.:21:53.

look after the British national interest but often it will be

:21:54.:21:57.

looking for a win-win. Sorry but I asked how much leverage Britain has

:21:58.:22:00.

and your answer included Shakespeare. I mean, is it... You

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are asking about Britain as a nation and I wanted to show why we are not

:22:05.:22:09.

down on our luck as you imply and we have huge economic power, military

:22:10.:22:12.

high power and soft power and that is why Shakespeare and language and

:22:13.:22:16.

culture and values comes into it. At the end of the day you are right, we

:22:17.:22:20.

are the fifth biggest economy, not the biggest but free trade is

:22:21.:22:23.

win-win, good for Britain, jobs, cheaper prices and also good for

:22:24.:22:27.

America for the same reasons. And by the way it isn't just about the big

:22:28.:22:31.

countries. What about the global economy, the poorest countries in

:22:32.:22:35.

sub-Saharan Africa? Free trade would give them a lifeline opportunity to

:22:36.:22:39.

gather and gain real genuine independence. It is a great mission

:22:40.:22:45.

for post- Brexit Britain in the 21st century. For all those saying they

:22:46.:22:49.

have to review their plans for the present in the UK... Since Brexit,

:22:50.:22:55.

since the Brexit vote from Dyson to JCB to Apple, Facebook, we've had a

:22:56.:23:01.

whole string of major international companies who have pledged fresh

:23:02.:23:05.

investment into the UK. We had Weet-Bix only this week, I am a big

:23:06.:23:09.

fan of Weet-Bix... It is a really interesting company. They say their

:23:10.:23:13.

prices have come up because of the post- Brexit economic situation and

:23:14.:23:17.

the consumer will have to pay and that is something you are going to

:23:18.:23:20.

have to explain. I will be accountable to my voters in the

:23:21.:23:24.

normal way. Huge opportunities as Mervyn King said to export more for

:23:25.:23:28.

Britain. You are right to say there will be inflationary pressure and we

:23:29.:23:32.

need to look at that and the Bank of England has the tools to keep it

:23:33.:23:35.

under control. Let's be realistic. Inflation is 1.6%. It is well below

:23:36.:23:39.

the Bank of England target rate. I don't think it gives you objective

:23:40.:23:48.

brownies for the pessimism you are expressing. We have to end it there,

:23:49.:23:52.

but Dominic Saab, thank you very much for coming on HARDtalk.

:23:53.:24:07.

HARDtalk's Stephen Sackur speaks to the influential advocate of Brexit, Conservative MP Dominic Raab. The UK Parliament is about to vote on the Government's plan to trigger Article 50, the formal process which will end in Britain leaving the EU. There's little doubt MPs will give prime minister Theresa May a green light, but much has changed since last June's Brexit referendum. The government has clarified its vision of what Brexit means, while President Donald Trump is shaking up global politics. What place will post-Brexit Britain occupy on the world stage?