In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines, with James O'Brien. Is Clinton the candidate? Might civil servants delay Brexit reforms?
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But wasn't it supposed to be immigration?
Does a shift in course for the Leave campaign suggest the wind
And what they called their counter attack on the economy.
The economy was supposed to be their Achilles heel
but the latest round of campaigning suggests some Leavers believe it
And we've learned that even if the Leavers do prevail,
Whitehall mandarins are considering plans that
would kick any curbs on immigration into the long grass We'll ask this
minister if post-Brexit Britain will bear much resemblance
Also tonight: I believe the Republican nominee should never get
near the White House. Hillary Clinton edges ever closer to
history. neither an unemployment benefit nor
a Dire Straits song? When it's part of a universal
basic income, of course. And apparently it's
on the agenda for Labour. It's internecine, intra-party
and increasingly international. But if there's one thing
upon which most participants in the Referendum campaigns can
agree, it is that you can't There might be a new one
popping up every day but, in the shadow of last year's epic
failure to predict anything close they are to be taken with a cellar
full of salt. And yet there is a sense abroad that
Leave campaigners today turned their attention back
to the economy, arguably their weakest card,
because they feel they've more or less sewn up immigration,
inarguably their strongest. And while this may not be
prompting conniptions on the Remain side just yet,
it seems to be causing concern. Newsnight's Political Editor Nick
Watt joins me now to run a rule over all
things Referendum. Just how much concern? The mood in
Remain is nervous. I was speaking to a senior figure. He said it is time
to quote Sir Alex Ferguson, it is squeaky bum time. He said that the
Remain side had had a good run. But this morning there was a poll that
said Leave one redhead had were driving immigration as a concern
among voters. -- were ahead and worse. One minister said, while we
not hearing from the PM talking about his great deal on Europe where
he imposed a four year ban on EU migrants claiming in work benefits.
Another minister said, the PM must talk about immigration but he can't
because it would mean talking about his proposal target to bring net
migration and out of the tens of thousands and this minister said
that, of course, is unworkable. Will we see a shift in tone or tactic?
The message is clear from the Central command of the Remain camp,
they say the economy is their trump card and they will stick with that.
It will only make Brexit more angry. The issue on which you can swing
voters is the economy. That is why in increasingly buoyant and
confident vote leave campaign were not just talking about the economy,
they were delivering what one source described to me as a counterpunch.
Let's come in and make the case that staying in the EE was the greater
risk on the economy, talking about how the UK might be liable for
future Eurozone bailouts. -- EU. Disputed by the PM. But vote leave
say it will not be plain sailing. More issues to come ahead. There
will be a mansion house speech from David Cameron as a statement from
Christine Lagarde, head of the IMF. Thanks. Andrea Leadsom, part of the
vote leave campaign, joins me now. The day the referendum was
announced, the day Boris Johnson gave a mighty boost to your site by
announcing he would support it, and the day the polls seem to be turning
in your favour, the pound fell on all three occasions, do you know
why? -- your side. It has dipped, that's true. It is a floating
currency. It goes up and down every day. If you look at whether Pounders
versus the Duro, it is roughly about where it was when the PM came back
with his renegotiation. -- pound is versus the euro. Every time it drops
a cent against the euro or the dollar, everybody goes on about
it... That wasn't my question. It is not every time the pound drops that
they are claiming every link -- a link. There must be a unifying theme
is to buy the markets respond so pessimistically. Every time the sun
shines on the leave campaign the pound drops. By a small amount.
There is a saying in the city, by on the rumour, sell on the fact. It
means it is a bit of jargon which means, what happens is volatility in
advance of a big event, where traders position themselves to try
and make money. That is their job. When the event happens, they hope to
take their profits and to carry on with the new reality. That is why it
was so disturbing that the governor of the Bank of England should make
an intervention in this debate and start claiming unprovable
assertions. Because his job is, in fact, financial stability. The
talking down of the economy by people on the Remain side is
increasing volatility. You will find on June the 23rd, if we vote to
leave, those things will settle down. You mentioned the city and the
euro. Your former employer in the city has focused on the euro and
warned that sterling may reach parity with the euro from its
current level of 1.25 if it is a vote to leave. That is your former
employer. Economic forecasting is an honourable profession, but it is
only as good as the assumptions you put into it. We have seen a raft of
economic assumptions, including from the Treasury, that effectively say
that if we leave we wait the geisha at any trade other than a basic
free-trade -- that effectively say that if we
leave we will only negotiate trade, other than a basic free-trade
agreement... You mentioned Treasury forecasts being unreliable, whether
unreliable when you were in the Treasury? No. Economic forecasting
is an honourable profession. But it is only as good as the assumptions
you put in. To answer that question, the person I worked with there for
many years, one of the great investors in the UK, who invest
daily in day out in our pensions and so on, his company says, actually,
there will not be a huge impact from Brexit. People like Roger Bootle.
Highly regarded in the city. Saying there may be some short-term
volatility but long-term it will be better off. It is only as good as
the assumptions you put into it. It is difficult to find somebody to
trust. The voters are finding it difficult to find people to trust.
That isn't the issue. I am a vote and it is the issue. It isn't. You
cannot predict what you are going to have for dinner next week. -- voter.
I accept the middle ground. Can we find somebody, like Martin Lewis,
the journalist, from the money saving expert website. Here's a man
most trusted by the British public to provide guidance on this issue
and he did today. He described himself as a risk averse, which is
why he is in of Remain. People who prefer to gamble are in favour of
Leave, for example, he said. Can we trust him? This isn't an issue of
trust. The issue is it is not possible to see with a crystal ball
into the future. Economic forecasting relies on assumptions
going into the model. Martin Lewis is saying he is risk averse. His
assessment, his personal opinion, is that it is riskier to leave that
remain. My assessment after 25-year is in finance is that it is far
riskier to stay. Leaving means we can negotiate trade with the world,
the 80% of the world not in the EU. And then to stay in the EU risks our
economy being incredibly damaged by the stagnation of the European
economies. And by the fact our budgetary contributions are under
control of the EU, not under control of the UK. Can we trust the man who
has been roundly told by the IMF he has used the figures wrong? Michael
Gove, of course. -- wrongly. It is not possible to predict with
precision every prediction relies on your assumptions. If you assume
negative inputs, you will get negative outputs. It isn't a matter
of trust, it is a matter of those are the facts. Many thanks.
Given that they pretty much run the gamut from apocalyptic nightmare
to a land of milk and honey, you could be forgiven for thinking
that all predictions of what the UK might look like in the event
of a vote to leave had been exhaustively explored.
There is a new option gathering momentum in Whitehall that would see
civil servants working furiously to hold on to as much commercial
union as possible in the event of a political schism.
It's even got a neologism of its own: Flexit.
Whichever way we vote in this referendum, Britain will go
The destinations on offer are not too clear.
Especially as campaigners fighting on each side cannot promise
Newsnight has learned that civil servants are seriously
considering a route to Brexit which is not the same
The question on the referendum ballot sheet is extremely simple,
should we remain members of the European Union,
But on both sides there are uncertainties.
For Remain, we don't know how the future political and economic
circumstances of the EU will change it.
For Leave, the principal set of unknowns are about our future
trading relationships with our big partners.
Particularly the European Union itself.
The official Vote Leave campaign wants us at some
They argue that would let us trade more with faster growing parts
of the world, cut EU red tape, and cut net immigration.
If Britain does vote to go it alone and leave the European Union,
an important principle to consider is this, the more Britain
uses its new liberties to vary its rules from those
uses its new liberties to vary its rules from those applying
from across the European Union, be they about veterinary care,
or immigration, the more likely it is that Britain will find
itself facing barriers to trade in with the EU.
Be they tariffs, or be it simple administrative tariffs,
Vote Leave's principal argument is that any losses we might suffer
on access to the EU's internal market will be more than made up
for by trading elsewhere in the world, and by the loss
To its fans, the appeal of Vote Leave's plan,
which envisages a lot of difference from now, is precisely that it
It is important to remember that even if Vote Leave win
on the 23rd of June, Vote Leave won't be
And they won't be deciding what our future relationship
with the EU will be, that will be up to the officials,
I have been speaking to a lot of civil servants who are likely
to be involved in any renegotiation with our relationship with Europe
And one thing is quite striking, their vision for what Britain's life
will be like outside the EU is quite different to the one being put
A number of very similar plans are being considered in Whitehall
on the potential road ahead from a Brexit vote.
These route maps by pro-Brexit thinkers are known by names
like Flexit, Europe 2.0, or, in Roland Smith's case,
How would you go about leaving the EU?
We have to, initially, protect the economics.
That means getting into an EEA position rather
That means retaining lots of EU rules and regulations?
At that point it means retaining a lot of stuff to do
So yes, we do jettison a lot of other things to do
with political union, and we jettison some big policies
like the common agricultural policy and common fisheries policy.
Lots of civil servants like a Norway style European Economic Area
membership as the first leg of any Brexit journey to minimise
We could then disentangle further at a slower speed
Some even think this strategy could prove a model
You would have a Europe which is a small, incredibly
integrated space where you have one single currency.
Where those countries really pull sovereignty and in effect become
And you have everyone else in Europe who is part of a free-trade space
in close partnership with Eurozone Europe,
but it's not done as intensely, regulated, and is sort
It would allow those who want maximum integration to have it.
It would allow everyone else to do it at their own pace.
But these schemes have a big political weak spot.
Why is it you think Vote Leave haven't gone for your road map?
I think perhaps because they have chosen immigration
Immigration is a big issue in this country.
As we all know. As I accept, as well.
My issue with it is that the economy is a bigger issue, and that keeps
coming up in polls time after time, and therefore, for me,
that is what we actually need to focus on in the first instance.
The Remain campaign has plenty of criticism of this model, as well.
The Leave campaign have said if we leave the EU,
they want us to leave the single market, leave the EU entirely,
If we were to follow the Norwegian EEA model,
that wouldn't have a mandate,
and it wouldn't achieve the things the Leave campaign say
We wouldn't be able to stop free movement of people.
We would still have to accept most EU rules with no say over
And we would still have to pay into the EU budget.
So it is far worse than the deal we have now.
Today, BBC News revealed that lots of Pro-Remain MPs
They will have Whitehall allies, too.
But if Vote Leave win this campaign
ministers may feel they will have to cut immigration,
especially as the Prime Minister might well soon be from Vote Leave.
This is what happens when you post simple referendum questions
STUDIO: Still with me is Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom,
and joining her is former head of the World Trade
The European project feel slightly threatened by the prospect of Brexit
but that report notwithstanding, in the event of a vote to leave, the
union will bend over backwards to keep Britain as close to the centre
of business as possible, surely? That is speculation and the reality
is quite different, the reason the UK joined the European Union 40
years ago was free trade. If the UK leaves, it leaves the union, and it
leaves this free trade zone and the single market. It will import more,
because of the zero tariff which the Brexit campaign says will occur
after having left, so less exports, because of tariffs in the European
Union, 50% of UK export, plus the 50 other countries with which the EU
has preferential trade agreements. More imports, less exports, less
production, less jobs. That is the equation. That is also speculation,
of course. I have been in trade negotiations for 20 years, they are
not about love, they are about hard numbers, they are about clout, they
are about bargaining capacity. Standing alone, the UK loses the
bargaining capacity that it has with other countries because it belonged
to the European Union and because the European Union is 500 million
consumers. That is the reason the US, Canada and Mexico have a
free-trade agreement. Trade is a world of elephants. 500 million.
China, India, more than 1 billion! That is what trade is about, that is
what trade negotiations are about. Look at the UK, outside in the cold?
More imports, less exports. That is roughly what I call shooting oneself
in the foot! We will not be an elephant anymore, I'm not sure what
we will be but it will not be anywhere near as big. The EU has
Nick Dougherty negotiated free-trade agreements with economies of the
size of about 7 trillion US dollars, that is the EU elephant,
Switzerland, population of less than 30 million, has negotiated
free-trade around the world with the economic size of about 27 trillion.
-- the EU has negotiated free-trade agreements. The fleetness of it is
vital, the EU's own numbers themselves showed that because of
their failure to negotiate free-trade agreements with some of
the biggest economies in the world, the UK's jobs have been impacted
negatively to the tune of nearly 300,000 jobs. Had we negotiated
free-trade with big economies, that could have been what the UK
achieved. If we leave the EU, we will be able to negotiate those
free-trade agreements on our own. I'm sorry to say but free trade is
about negotiations. What will you negotiate? What will you offer to
the people you negotiate with? Your policy is zero tariff on the UK
market. What will you offer to the others? If they have free access to
your market, they will not give you anything, if they have free access,
it does not make sense. What is a trade negotiation, it is a deal, I
give you something, you give me something. If you have given me free
access to the market, which is what is being said, then there is not any
more reason to have a deal! The campaign is not saying that the UK
will have zero tariffs. Of course it is, I have read very carefully what
you're colleague Patrick Milford has said, and he said, zero tariffs.
He's not speaking for the vote Leave campaign, he has his individual
views... I'm sorry to say, then, you are going to close the economy?
Let's hear from her. We will undergo shed free-trade, you will be aware
that the average time taken is 28 months, on average, as I have said,
the likes of Switzerland and Iceland and Singapore, they have negotiated
free-trade agreements with all of the world's biggest economies. The
UK will plan to do the same. They have negotiated an agreement because
they have a protected economy, which they have open. I know Switzerland,
and Switzerland is a very protected economy. These countries have a
protected economy, and what they do in a negotiation, they love the
protection for the price of market access everywhere. That is why
Switzerland negotiated a free-trade agreement with China, except... And
the European Union has not. Except in that case, the deal is fairly
unbalanced because China is a huge market and Switzerland is a small
market. The UK is the world's biggest economy. Unbalanced trade
deal, if that is what you want...? It is not a good reason, you may
have other reasons, and I am not entering into that because this is
my area of expertise. I sense this conversation has barely begun, but
unfortunately, for the purpose of this evening, at least, it must come
to an end. Thank you very much for joining us.
Hilary Clinton is tonight within touching distance
of becoming the first female Presidential nominee
Barring a surprise of Biblical proportions,
tomorrow's primaries in five US states
will see her secure enough support to see off Senator Bernie Sanders,
her remaining rival for the Democratic Party's candidacy.
But it has been an angry and occasionally vicious battle,
except, I suppose, by the standards of the Republican Party this year,
that she will need to heal some serious wounds in her own party
Newsnight's Diplomatic Editor Mark Urban reports.
VOICEOVER: Running for president is not for shrinking violets, shake
that many hands, down another drinks, should enough hoops, you may
soon not know when it is time to quit. That at least is how many
Democrats feel about Bernie Sanders, the last primaries are looming, all
of the polling insists it will be a trump Clinton battle. Over the last
month, where the maths has not been there for him anymore, and he has
stayed in the race, there has been an increasing impatience from the
supporters of Hillary Clinton for him to get out but it is appropriate
for him to stay in until tomorrow. There are primaries in six states
tomorrow, California alone has 546 delegates up for grabs. Hillary
Clinton is just 23 short of getting the 2383 delegates that she needs to
secure the nomination. It is almost impossible for Bernie Sanders to win
now, but he may have shown his party a path to a different type of
politics. What the party establishment is learning from this
experience in 2016 is that the party is going through a transition, the
real energy in the Democratic party here is in the progressive wing, and
it foreshadows a lot of fights to come within the Democratic party as
it evolves into something considerably more progressive than
it is right now. Everyone now expects this election to be Clinton
against Trump, and his supporters have been stepping up attacks at
that way on public distrust of the Clinton plan. I never told anybody
it is a lie... These allegations are full. She, too, is turning her
campaign towards the main event. -- these allegations are false. In the
last few weeks he has criticised places allies, has praised
dictators, like in North Korea, has advocated pulling out of Nato, our
strongest military alliance...! Has said, in very cavalier ways, and he
doesn't really mind if other countries get nuclear weapons,
including Saudi Arabia. As for that apparently unstoppable Trump
bandwagon... The Clinton campaign now seems confident that a little
humour and light character assassination will work just fine.
There is a way to talk about his statements, there is a way to paint
a picture, if you will, for the general electorate, the voters who
will vote in the fall, about what a Donald Trump presidency might look
like. Her strategy between now and election day is to make that
unacceptable to a large percentage of people who will vote in the fall.
The success of the Sanders and Trump campaigns ought to have taught
Hillary Clinton's people that the rejection of politics as usual is
now deep in America, Donald Trump has emerged largely unscathed for
months of negative campaigning. Enormous concern on the Democratic
side, there is a Teflon aspect to Donald Trump's candidacy, how do you
run against a candidate like that? Unfamiliar to rain, no candidate has
ever run against a candidate like Donald Trump, with the bombast and
the ability to chew through new cycle after new cycle, it is
something the Democrats are sitting in conference rooms and about what
will stick, nothing has stuck so far. With voting immanent in
California and five other states, Hillary Clinton must now convince
her party and the wider country that she really can be the unifier.
STUDIO: Joining me now is Democratic strategist and Bernie Sanders
And Democratic pollster and Hillary Clinton
Harlan, will your man bow out gracefully, if the numbers stack up
as expected? I don't expect that at all, he has very clearly
communicated that he has the money and resources and backing to stay
through up until the convention, regardless of the results, he has a
very good chance, he has the most momentum going into tomorrow, he
will stay through the convention. Unity be damp? Well, I think he is
putting the middle class, the American worker, before party
politics, a lot of people respect him for that, myself included. -- be
damned. Do you think that Bernie Sanders is motivating Democratic
supporters or damaging the position of your candidate? Bernie Sanders
has played a very important role in the campaign so far, articulated in
economic agenda that is very powerful, spoken to the need for
change, mobilise voters, and I see no reason why he cannot continue to
the convention doing the same thing. What I hope is that we are united in
turning focus on Donald Trump, and I think Bernie Sanders this weekend
gave a very powerful speech, talking about Donald Trump, nothing could be
more of an anathema to Bernie Sanders, then a billionaire who has
profited at the expense of ordinary people who will not unionise his
workers, who has brought in immigrant workforce, because he can
pay them less, who has cheated people out of their college
educations and is a racist and a misogynist to boot!... I would say
that is very unifying the Democrats, I hope Hillary Clinton and Bernie
Sanders speaks eloquently do that. Numbers suggest a significant number
of Bernie Sanders supporters are more likely to support Trump than
Hillary ...? I think those numbers are deceptive.
As Bernie Sanders speaks to Donald Trump and draws the contrast, I
don't think that's true. I think it is a momentary expression of
frustration. The Bernie Sanders voters have no thing in common with
Donald Trump. No issue positions in common with Donald Trump. Do you
recognise that description? Absolutely not. There is commonality
between a candidate like Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. Both
antiestablishment candidates. Both taking issue with trade. Hillary
Clinton is on the wrong side of trade. Her husband was the architect
of this. She negotiated the GP in the State Department. Between the
two, it will lead to lots of jobs being taken overseas. -- negotiated
the TTP. They are doing cold, hard calculations, saying I don't really
like Donald Trump but Hillary Clinton is on the wrong side of
trade. She has supported every war since Vietnam. She voted for every
invasion of Iraq. She is on the wrong side. She is a
multimillionaire in her own right. These dispersions that she is...
That Donald Trump is hard to relate to because he is extraordinarily
wealthy, I think they also stick to Hillary Clinton. You are a
democratic strategist, who would you vote for? Clinton versus Trump, who
would you vote for? Right now I am taking a hard look at Trump. I can't
believe I'm saying it. I think Hillary Clinton has a 30 year track
record of lies, deceit, and fraud. I don't trust her. The e-mail thing
was the straw that broke the camel 's back for me. She put her on
political expediency ahead of national security. She destroyed
evidence as part of the investigation. I have real issues
with her, I don't trust her. This is the real deal, not opinion polls,
this is a Democratic strategist who is thinking about voting for Trump,
this is a problem. He has a problem. But I don't imagine you will vote
for someone who called a Mexican judge, my black voter. And the way
he has treated women. Who wants to expand nuclear weapons. I can
appreciate you are frustrated, but I cannot imagine that any Democrat
would vote for Donald Trump. And the data shows it is less than seven to
9% of voters. I think our bigger issue is turnout. That percentage is
quite meaningful, particularly where it happens. You know better than
anyone. Probably one of the top pollsters in the Democratic party.
In certain states, amongst certain constituencies, that swing vote
could be very meaningful. I am sure Bernie Sanders will endorse Hillary
Clinton. And I am positive he will do everything he can in his power
because of what he stands for and what he believes in and the kind of
person he has worked his whole life to be. To reassure people that
Hillary Clinton is the better vote over Donald Trump. We saw the same
fight in 2008. There was all of this discussion about would Hillary
supporters really vote for Barack Obama, Hillary voted for him and all
of her supporters did, as well. Many thanks.
He has a catchy slogan, "new economics",
but shadow chancellor John McDonnel has thus far
failed to offer much by way of policies to fit the description.
It's particularly interesting, then, that he chose tonight to attend
the Westminster launch of a report proposing the abolition
of means-tested benefits in favour of a flat rate payment for everyone,
the so-called "universal basic income."
It is, he said earlier, an idea that Labour will be looking
Joining me now to work out what it might look like is.
Andy Stern's book is getting attention in the US and beyond. And
the cheaper to call commentate at the Independent also joins me. --
and chief political commentator as the independent also joins me.
If you believe a lot of reputable research by Oxford University,
McKinsey, Deloitte, the world economic, or most recent, the noble
laureate who said that a storm of destruction to the job market is on
the way because of the acceleration of technology, we would be really
foolish not to prepare for that storm. -- Nobel laureate. We need to
prepare for the disruptions of the job market. Because people will not
be paid to do a job, the solution is to pay them not to do a job? We are
talking about setting a floor for people. We are not saying people
won't work or earning come, but we are saying that the ability to earn
a full-time job like I was able to do in my lifetime is going to be
become more difficult. Technology isn't just affecting blue-collar
workers, it is in other industries and other areas of finance. We have
to understand that we would arrive at a time when there is not enough
work for people to do that. We want economic stability in our economy.
We don't want all of these means tested programmes. We want to give
people a floor so they have some security. An attractive proposition
at first glance. It is a lovely idea. Imagine there is no heaven.
Everybody who has ever looked at it has thought, wouldn't it be nice if.
Problem is, you cannot actually make it work. It involves spending so
much money on people who wouldn't otherwise need it. You would have to
put tax rate up to... One model I have seen offers a basic income of
8000 per year but it involves putting up the basic rate of tax up
to 48p in the pound. I don't think it is politically possible. That
scheme doesn't even deal with housing benefit or council tax
credit. It is too complicated. It is going to cost too much, B-2 -- it be
complicated, but you are selling lots of books. We have something
very simple in our country, it is called Social Security. It is
universal. It is paid for by contributions from individuals. $1.7
trillion. The current system is worth about 8 billion. Our country
doesn't have VAT. There are lots of things we can in this country. A lot
of the money that is paid to wealthier people would be clawed
back by the tax system. We have to first decide, is this a good idea,
and I think it is one. Then we have to think about how to pay for it.
Charles Murray, a conservative, and Andy Stern both agree on the
concept. We are three Nobel laureates agreeing on the concept.
We should do the maths, I think it would work. Why did Swiss voters
reject it yesterday? It is premature in Switzerland. The poll around it
said 70% of Swiss voters say in the next 25 years they think it is
inevitable. Switzerland is a successful country, doesn't have
much property, technology isn't really affecting it, but I think
they did an enormous contribution. They have sparked a global debate.
It is now in the UK, Justin Trudeau, according to the US, the UN,
everybody is talking about it. Maybe there is a better way to end
poverty, provide benefits, so we can deal with the upcoming change and
destruction in the job market. That's the crucial point, the
upcoming change, do you know they're rather robots who can do journalism?
We will all be out of a job. -- there are even robots. It is as old
and idea as the basic income. The idea that technology will put
everybody out of work, and change the nature of work. Let's wait and
see what actually happens. The problem with the basic income is
that you cannot... Driverless trucks, soon, which is a big part of
the American economy. The British economy has continued to create jobs
at an unprecedented rate, too. The job market will change. It won't
mean people won't have any work to do. That is the old utopian idea of
Thomas Moore, he proposed this and proposed that people wouldn't have
to do more than a couple of hours work each day. Cannot see any
mileage in it at all? I think it is a lovely idea. Andy says do the
maths, anybody who has finds it doesn't work. So let's concentrate
on making the welfare system we have worked better rather than some
utopian scheme which involves tearing it all up and starting
again. Many thanks to you berries. That is all we have time for
In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines, with James O'Brien. Is the Brexit campaign resurgent? Might civil servants delay Brexit reforms? Is Clinton the candidate? And is Labour flirting with universal income?