In-depth analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines. Newsnight looks at the leadership of the Conservative Party, Ukip and BHS, and a divorce lawyer tackles Brexit.
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I think there is a touch of the Thatcher about her and she is a very
human person as well. There are so many different aspects to her. She's
not just a politician. Is the Andrea Leadsom
bus gathering speed? We'll be debating the future
direction of the party And leadership or lack
thereof, part three, Dominic Chappelle, the man bought it
for ?1, before the place went bust. Did I take a lot of money out? Yes,
I did. Did the business fail because of the money I took out? No, it
didn't. This was a dripping ocean compared to the money that was
needed to turn around BHS. You say you took a big risk. It failed.
Where's the comeback against you? The future of the country
and its post-Brexit The selection of our
new Prime Minister is under way. It's rather like a general election,
in fact, except we We are spectators,
except at the hustings, Our political editor,
Nick Watt, has been For a quarter of a century,
Conservatives have dreamt of a return to the golden era of Margaret
Thatcher. Now, some are hoping they've stumbled on a modern version
of the iron laidiment -- Iron Lady. In a packed and sweaty room in the
heart of Westminster, Andrea Leadsom stormed into the leadership contest,
immediately raising the prospect of a run-off between two women. Theresa
May is currently the front runner, but she'll be alarmed by a
Conservative home poll of its readers which suggest that Andrea
Leadsom has just edged ahead of her. Together they have three quarters of
the vote with others lagging behind. If Leadsom is to make the final
round, she has to win the Brexit crown from two senior rivals. Do you
think that the other Brexit candidates in this race, Michael
Gove and Liam Fox, should stand aside? I don't think we should have
any sort of coronation. I personally believe the person who takes forward
our country needs to be someone who believes in the opportunities
outside the EU. The electorate of Conservative MPs was once described
as the most duplicitous in history. By tomorrow night we will know the
lie of the land, when the results of the first ballot amongst MPs is
announced. Tonight, Conservative MPs were in their element scheming in
the corridors of the Palace of Westminster ahead of tomorrow's
first ballot in the Tory leadership contest. Will Liam Fox, who's
currently in last place, do what he did last time and out perform
expectations? Will Stephen crab come from, well, nowhere to put his mark
on the map? Will Michael Gove overcome perceptions that he's
something a political assassin who finished off David Cameron and Boris
Johnson? Or will history be made as the Conservative Party that
delivered this country its first woman Prime Minister make history
again with the first run-off in the country between two women Andrea
Leadsom and treesa May? Ahead of tomorrow's ballot the five
candidates had to appear before Tory MPs at a hustings tonight. As MPs we
all are used to pitching to other people to vote for us. Less used to
being pitched To vote for someone else. That's the situation in which
we've found ourselves today. Theresa did incredibly well. She passed the
blink test. When you look at someone when you're presenting, do they have
the air of a Prime Minister? In this particular case, yes, she did.
Andrea Leadsom is still something of a newcomer. She only entered
Parliament in 2010. Critics say her inexperience was exposed at
tonight's meeting where she failed to connect with MPs across the
party. But one of her oldest friends in politics believes she has great
potential. I think there is a touch of the Thatcher about her. So
wanting to see it through, batting for Britain, having the balls in a
man's world, those are things you could attribute to Mrs T that our
girl's got this time. Tonight Andrea Leadsom received a fip ill when
Boris Johnson endorsed his comrade. This former banker, who's not even a
member of the Cabinet still has her work cut out to show her friends on
the Thatcherite right that she has what it takes to step into the Iron
Lady's shoes. And Nick is here now with the latest
on the leadership contest. Where do you think they all stand
tonight? There's a lot of scheming ahead of the first ballot tomorrow.
Theresa May is the front runner. There's an interesting contest
amongst the runners for the Brexit crown. Andrea Leadsom had a less
than brilliant performance at the 1922 Committee this evening, which
is giving great hope to Michael Gove's camp who believe he really
has a big bat toll overcome the assumption that he's a bit of a
political assassin. They're hoping there's a boost for him. They're
going to Theresa May's supporters going, she's in the bag, lend me
your votes. One person, there's a conspicuous absence from all the
endorsements we've heard, one George Osborne. What is he doing? I spoke
it a very good friend of George Osborne today who said he should do
a William Hague, take a back seat for five years, then there will be a
clamour for him to return. The message from the George Osborne camp
is that there -- he is here to serve. He would like to serve under
the next Prime Minister under Chancellor but no deals are being
struck. Well, let's talk to two senior
Conservatives who are representing Backing Michael Gove,
is Ed Vaizey, Culture Minister. And supporting Theresa May
is Sir Eric Pickles, the former Communities
and Local Government Secretary. Good evening both. Ed, you were the
most enthusiastic of Remainers, correct, and you've chosen the most
enthusiastic of Brexiteers. Yes, Michael Gove probably has the most
broad support among Remainers and Leavers. Roughly split 50/50.
Theresa has a lot of Remainers and Andrea a lot of Leavers. Eric, what
is Theresa May's Brexit policy? What is the minimum she will accept on
free movement? What price is she willing to pay for that in leaving
the single market? We're clear that Theresa and just about every other
candidate has said no to free movement. I think given the nature
of the referendum it would be a very foolish politician that suggested
that free movement would be possible. What Theresa's managed to
put together is a winning team - You're not answering the question.
Emergency brake? Would that be enough? This is the debate over the
future of our country. It's not unreasonable to ask, is an emergency
brake enough? I think it's pretty clear that there will be no
movement, no free movement. We won't have anything that would allow
automatic movement. The Norway option entirely out, it cannot
happen, no Norway, full membership of the single market, you've given
up on that? It would seem that is the case. I'm not a spokesman for
Theresa. I understand, but you're accepting that effectively. I went
to the hustings. I went to both sets of hustings this evening in order to
keep you informed. It's pretty clear all of them were saying no movement.
And you, Ed, are happy, you're culture minister, one of our big
service exporting industries, the culture industry is in absolutely no
doubt where it would like us to be, which is in the single market, if
not in the EU itself. You're happy supporting a candidate who is
basically thinks we should be right out of the single market and be at
arm's length. I'm glad you spotted the astonishing figures for the
creative industries showing that they're growing three times faster.
They are our most successful industries. That's one of the
reasons I was Remain. We are all Brexiters now. They've been
flourishing in the single market. The people have spoken. The
referendum has been done. We need to do the best deal for our economy and
successful industries. Will they flourish as much outside? I think
there are great opportunities. I'm a great optimist. I'm looking to the
trade deals we can do around the world. It would be ridiculous to
have a referendum where more people have voted than any other time and
now say, thanks very much, but we're going to do exactly the opposite. I
would just say quickly, when I talk to businesses in the sectors I
represent, they are all saying that there are a lot of huge strengths in
the UK economy. We still want to invest. We work in markets which
aren't single markets and we do all right. What is the evidence that
ending free movement at the cost of leaving the single market is the
most popular option with the electorate? I think it's pretty
clear, immigration dominated the campaign. I had a completely
different view. I would personally have liked a Norway kind of option.
I would have preferred to stay in. But you've got to accept the will of
the people. When we polled last week, we actually found Norway was
ahead of other options. Why? Because they were 48% of the option were
Re-mainers. You only need a few Remainers to say they quite happeny
with Norway. You only need a few Brexiteers to say they're happy with
Norway. I'm surprised you've given up on it so quickly. We've got to
get a Prime Minister in place. That Prime Minister will determine our
strategy in terms of negotiation. We're not in a tearing hurry to
invoke article 50. We now know all the candidates are of the same mind
this evening. We no longer have a candidate who wants to do it
straight away. Once we've got a Prime Minister in place, then we'll
at that time have a strategy. Then we can come on your wonderful
programme and debate Norway, Switzerland, anything you want.
Would it be reasonable for people looking in on the debate and we're
not allowed in the hustings, so we haven't been party to that, to say
actually, wouldn't it be nice if the country had some say in this. You've
made assertions about what the country thinks. We don't know. We've
had a poll, we don't know. Wouldn't it be right that the public should
have some say, you're going to make irreversible decisions about the
future of our country on the basis of - I mean the choice of Brexit
option has not been put to an electoral test. No the clear message
is that we want stability. Gove calls himself the change candidate.
We had an election last year. He says he's a change candidate not
continuity. You have to come in and help me. You're backing the change
candidate and saying we don't need to put that to an election because
we had an election last year for a different set of policies. We had an
election last year. I think people want stability. We've been through
the trauma of the referendum. We will have to negotiate a new
relationship with the European Union. We don't need an election
now. What we need is a good leader. If we want stability - We are making
that case to MPs now. That will be put to the membership. Nick is at
the door, listening to the hustings. The public are present. Forgive me,
we fight an election to give this referendum and we would abide by the
result. We're doing exactly what we said we'd do. We're not in a
position in which the political situation is the one that was in the
Tory manifesto. Can I just ask you, Sir Eric, Theresa May is the
continuity candidate, for stability. I think you've made that point in
her defence. She is the candidate who is basically saying, we might
conceivably deport three million people. I went to the second
hustings. I heard her say that she expected and hoped that EU migrants
would remain and that there would be no desire to remove them. I don't
seriously think that was ever on the possibility. What my concern has
always been - Why didn't she clarify that. She raised it. She has
clarified it. When did she do that. I saw her on Peston, she said this
is all part of negotiation. She clarified it in private to the Tory
party, you mean? Where did she clarify it? She clarified it at the
first hustings. She clarified it at a private hustings? I don't see why
you should be so shocked about that. I never thought - it's never been a
serious possibility. She raised it. Is there any chance I could speak?
Go ahead. I would like a clear statement from the Government. Not
because I think there's any possibility of removing them. My
concern is more complicated than that. It's a worry that all these
top surgeons, top consultants, all these top engineers who could earn
their living anywhere in the world might be concerned and might leave
the country. Can you tell us what the clarification was, is it
possible, conceivable that say, Polish people who arrived here three
years ago will be sent home? I don't think that's even vaguely possible.
I don't think you think that's vaguely possible. And that's her or
you speaking on that point? She said that she hoped and was sure that EU
residents will be able to stay within the United Kingdom. I think
that is absolutely right. Different to what she said. No, it's not
different. Thank you both very much. Nick is still here. Tory party,
interesting debates going on there, obviously. Labour, meeting of the
Parliamentary Labour party this evening a few doors down from the
Tory hustings Yes an emotional meeting. Tom Watson said I saw
Jeremy Corbyn this morning and I said you've lost the confidence of
plp, you should go. He said he's going to meet trade union leaders
tomorrow to try and secure a negotiated settlement. If there is
no way out, then he's been clear there will probably be within days,
a challenge, possibly from Angela eagle or Owen Smith.
In the trade unions, we will have to see what they say. But the biggest,
most charged moment came from Neil Kinnock, where he said to Jeremy
Corbyn, you are not from the tradition of the labour movement.
Which is about parliamentary democracy, getting elected to
Parliament, forming a government and improving the lives of the working
people. You appear to be committed to the extraparliamentary route
because you have lost the confidence of Parliament and you are going onto
the streets which is not the tradition, says Neil Kinnock.
Just when you thought you didn't have enough of leadership contests,
along comes another one with Nigel Farage
Ignore the suggestion that he is gunning for job
He wanted his life back, he said, having seen the main goal
Here are three things the party needs to decide.
Just one you, there is some flash photography in this. -- just to warn
you. Decision one, what kind of party is Ukip when it comes to
issues other than the EU? Most parties are messy coalitions of
different factions and that is as true of Ukip as it is for there
established rivals. One wing is more conservative than the Conservatives.
Tough on welfare and crime, it believes in a small state, lower
taxes and less borrowing. By cutting taxes by ?18 billion, I think there
is a strong argument that says that will lead to dynamic growth within
the economy. We saw examples of this. The natural goal of
Conservative Ukip is the taking of Tory seats. But that may be harder
with the Tory Party taking Britain out of the EU. But there is another
Ukip as well, the blue-collar champion, sometimes called red Ukip,
the party that wants to take seats from Labour. It puts more emphasis
on beating up the rich and getting companies to pay their share of
taxes. It wants to preserve the welfare state. It is the Ukip of
Patrick Coughlin, the former economic spokesman. The big
multinationals are excessively taking advantage of aggressive tax
avoidance schemes. Some are and some are not. I do not want this to be
purely a left-wing point. Decision two for Ukip, what kind of tone
should adopt? The party is united on Google scepticism, Patrick is and a
desire to control immigration but not united in the way it talks about
immigration in particular. Will a new leader try to ramp up the
rhetoric or try to appear more conciliatory? There are those who
are basically four Rice, who would continue the basic message that it
has at the moment, which is make sure that the government continues
in the way it has been going, performing Westminster and ensuring
that Brexit is delivered 100%. But there are others who, irrespective
of what happens in terms of Britain's relationship with Europe,
would want to push Ukip Darren in more strident line of social and
cultural issues, campaigning more exclusively against Islam and
immigration. And a third decision, how to make Ukip a more professional
operation. More members, more backing, more seats, doing all of
that with a Nigel Farage sized hole in the middle. There is a remarkable
contradiction during the referendum campaign. On the one hand, Ukip
delivers its lifelong goal of Brexit, but on the other hand,
throughout that campaign the party probably only attracted around 1000
new members. On the surface, but behind the sound bites, behind the
national discussion and debates, I think something with in the Ukip is
not quite clicked. Matthew Goodwin who spent several years studying
Ukip as an academic. I'm joined now in the studio
by Peter Whittle, London Assembly member and Ukip's candidate
for London mayor earlier this year, and Raheem Kassam, chief
advisor to Nigel Farage We're also joined from
the Strasbourg parliament by Margot Parker, Ukip MEP
for the East Midlands. Thank you very much indeed. A quick
question, are any of you thinking of standing? Argue a candidate? Maybe.
We will see. We are all thinking about it. The events of the day are
sinking in. There is a lot of talent in Ukip now and I think there is a
lot of opportunity. And Margo, who are you supporting if you are not a
candidate? We are all candidates and we are supporting all of the talent
that Ukip has two offer. And we have a lot of talent. Let's ask the
question of tone. Rahim, do you think the tone should reach out to a
broader swathe of the population? Review a supporter of the breaking
point poster? I think the breaking point poster looked clumsy but I
think how it was executed was very bad. But actually the message was
fine. That was a real picture from southern Europe from 2015. Nobody
complained when it was on the front page of the Independent. The message
was mixed up. It did not make clear what it was talking about and that
was the failure of the European Union to manage migration. What
coming onto in terms of tone is execution and professionalism,
something I spoke about last year when I left my position. Margo, you
have undoubtedly seen that poster. Yes. I reiterate what Rahim has
said, it had been there and perhaps it was a little clumsily executed,
but the message was there. And you did not think there was too much
hate in it? You did not think, a lot of people have been very critical,
haven't they? They have. I would not use the word hate. A lot of people
do but it is not really appropriate. It was not right. People said that
they were refugees but of course you could not possibly know whether they
were or they were not. It is just a picture that was out in the media.
It was selected and the message, as Rahim has said, perhaps it did not
get across sensitively enough. Peter, were you happy with the
poster? Is the party behind that Tony? I did not have a problem with
it. I think when you went outside the Westminster bubble, and a lot of
people knew what the poster was saying, I don't think that it was as
badly taken as has been discussed. But I think the main point is that
tone or no tone, a lot of people, particularly in the Westminster
bubble, think that talking about immigration at all is the wrong
tone. And that is something we should never stop doing. What about
Nigel Farage's performance and the new European Parliament last week.
Magnificent. You have to have context of buying this. If you have
been inside the chamber and watched proceedings, you know that they are
always giving it to each other. There are all these robust exchanges
and it is actually pretty funny. And they go out smoking Andrew King with
each other after it. And Nigel Farage does the same? They all love
him? They get along. Have you ever had a real job? I have worked in
three different retail jobs, I have worked in a buyer. These are casual
jobs. Yes, but I was working in them full-time. I worked in a call
centre. I know what a real job is. Is this a leadership bid? Let's talk
about the left and right. Peter Whittle, if you were running the
party, would you try to take it more towards appealing to Labour voters,
of whom there are very many, or would you say, look, it is former
Tories who want a bit more Tory? All the elections I have stood in,
whether it was for the Will.i.am or the election, anecdotally the people
who are coming across to Ukip in the greatest numbers were Labour,
without question. I think that this is the great opportunity for Ukip
going forward. No question about it. We all know the referendum campaign.
It was basically in the north that the referendum was won. People were
largely forgotten, and I say that as a Londoner, by people down here. And
that is where our support and the growth in our support lies. Those
people are people who are patriotic, and they believe also in the NHS and
they have a great sense of social justice. Marco do you agree with
that? That is where you have to look for votes and if that means giving
up some of the more Tory talk about smaller governments and big tax
cuts, so be it? -- Margot. I think Peter is absolutely right. When we
toured in the battle bus, we really went to the North of England and we
had a tremendous reception there. We worked cross-party, but we had a
great response from Labour voters. They did seriously connect with us.
This has been going on for years, it is not a new thing. We listened to
them and we knew that they were being neglected because they told us
about their problems. We actually listened. Of course we have a more
sensitive manifesto and we want to do things that actually help people.
It is not just words, we actually believe it and we think there is a
big opening here to be able to move forward and genuinely help people
because if we do not, the country needs this help. But does the party
needs to change its message in order to hone in on those voters, to
refine its appeal? Well, we are moving on. The party has expanded
and we certainly need to put structure there are so that we can
cope with the membership that we have got. Of course loads of people
are calling us all sorts of times of the day. My office is constantly
being called, with people asking what I can do. We are being called
in, even as MEPs, would you believe, to help with some of the things
going on in the United Kingdom. And being a member of the EU, that does
not necessarily involve the practical issues. Can I add to what
Marco is saying, that the people who are active in Ukip, it is often hard
to tell whether they are former Labour or former Tory. -- Margot it
has purely come from the idea that this is something with the shires. I
think if we were having this conversation in 2010, maybe. But not
any more. We need to leave it there. Events of recent days have
overshadowed some of the other stories that had been
dominating the news. You might remember that
before the referendum, capitalism was in crisis,
with cases like the collapse of BHS bringing the whole
system into disrepute. You won't be surprised to hear
that the problem of the BHS pension The investigations into what went
wrong at BHS are not complete. One character at the centre of
the collapse is Dominic Chappelle, who bought BHS for ?1,
was accused not only of being clueless in running
the company but also of taking money BBC business correspondent,
Adam Parsons went to What do you think of being described
as bankrupt? What did you learn from those two processors. You learn a
lot. It wipes you out financially and morally, and it is a very bitter
pill to swallow. As an entrepreneur, you take financial risks sometimes.
Sometimes it works and sometimes it does not. You need to look at people
like Donald Trump, who have put a number of companies through
bankruptcy. There are mechanisms that make people bankrupt very
quickly and in other countries, there are ways through that. Ways
where you can avoid the stigma that is attached to it. But here, if you
owe money and people call it in, you are wiped out. I am one of many
thousands in this country who have been made bankrupt. And that is a
fact of life. I have not done anything wrong apart from owing
money. I have not stole the money from the company or misused the
company administration for my own games, it is purely that when things
go wrong, they go wrong and if you cannot get out of it, you cannot get
out of it. How have you made money? A number of ways. My family and I
have always dealt heavily in the Middle East, we have always had big
parts in Libya. We have had an office over there since the 70s.
During that time, working in Libya, did you meet the Gaddafis? I did, on
a number of occasions. And what was that like? It was difficult. I met
him once and I met one of his sons once. And how would you compare with
dealing with the Gaddafi family and dealing with Sir Philip Green? It
was a difficult comparison, but Gaddafi was seemingly nuts. He was
completely insane in his latter years and negotiating with him was
slightly easier than it was with Philip. This germ of an idea that is
in your head about buying BHS, what did you know about PHS at that time?
What drew you to it? Was at the fact that it was a well-known retailer or
was this an investment opportunity? I actually knew nothing at all about
PHS apart from the High Street retail store. You had never been
into a PHS? A Parliamentary enquiry into PHS has seen Mr Chappelle
derided by his one-time management colleagues. A Premier League liar, a
Sunday pub league retailer. He called to a Premier League liar and
a Sunday pub league retailer. I am not a retailer and I have never said
I was. I have always said that I know nothing about retail. You guys,
the people we are backing, the people we are putting money behind,
you tell us that you can turn this business around, with retail alone,
you have let us down on that side. The bit about me being a liar, where
does he get that from? He said because we did not deliver the money
we promise to deliver. We delivered the money every time they needed it.
But when the dam starts bursting and they ask you for more and more
money, faster and faster, to keep up with losses, it becomes very
difficult. I was particularly annoyed with
Darren. Once again, he had countermanneded another board
decision. This was in very dire times. I had a very, very strong and
Frank conversation with Darren who was running the company for the
shareholders of the company. I am the shareholder with my two
co-shareholders. I did not use the word "kill". I said I would come and
sort him out. I was going to sack him. You know Sir Philip green
maintains that if he had subordinated his game, all it would
have done is put off an inevitable death. No the inevitable death of
that company was Philip not sorting out the pension and Arcadia. Lessons
learned? A lot of lessons learned. I have the devil on my back of 11,000
people out of work, which plays on me deeply. I unreservedly apologise
for what happened. There are 11,000 people who should not have been
unemployed now. We tried our hardest to save that business, even to the
11th hour when it was looking very bad. When Philip forced the
administration on us. We tried to do a deal with Mike Ashley. Do you
regret the fact that people think you are a chancer? Chancer, yeah we
took a chance with BHS. We were the only people to give it a go. We were
the only people out of all the people that know Philip, out of all
the retailers prepared to work hard to do that. If I'm a chancer for
that, yes, I am. And the final thought, which is you are an
entrepreneur, a capitalist, wouldn't it have sent out all the right
signals for you to have said look, I own this business, want to build the
value of my stake, but I don't need to take this vast salary out of it.
You earned more in your stewardship that some people have earned in a
lifetime of working with BHS? Yes, but it is a risk-reward. We live in
a risk society. That's the way companies are built and fail. Did I
take a lot of money out? Yes, I did. But did the business fail because of
the money I took out? No, it didn't. This was a drip in the ocean
compared to the money needed to turn around BHS. You say you took a big
risk - it failed. Where's the comeback against you? You seem to
have walked away a lot wealthier than you started it. Some will say
risk-reward, you haven't had any risk. No, look. Here we are now with
the failure of the company two months ago. I still have
responsibilities as director to the company. We are going through a
number of investigations, Parliamentary investigation, the
pension investigation etc. These cost tens of thousands of pounds
worth of legal bills again, the lawyers are making huge amounts of
money out of this pre, in the middle and post BHS. Where's the come back
against you? You seem to have walked away wealthier than you start today.
Some will say, risk-reward, you haven't had any risk. Here we are
now with the failure of the company two months ago. I have
responsibilities as director to the company. We going through a number
of investigations, Parliamentary investigation, the pension
investigation, etc. These cost tens of thousands of pounds worth of
legal bills again, the lawyers are making huge amounts of money out of
it. Now, what is business
thinking about Brexit? There is clear uncertainty
about the place of this country Our business editor,
Helen Thomas, is with me. Helen, latest being nomic
indicators, what are they telling us? We have figures that suggest
that business confidence has really cratered since the referendum. Now
this is just a first guide to business' reaction, if they're less
confident, they're less likely to invest and hire and so on. YouGov
and the centre for economics and business research spoke to companies
the week before the referendum. They spoke to them again last week. We
have a first look at their data. You can see here, the share of
businesses saying they were optimistic about the UK economy over
the next year dropped very slightly. But what they saw was a big jump in
the share of companies saying that they were pessimistic about the
outlook. It went from 25% to 49%. Which is a huge move for this type
of indicator. I spoke to one of the economists about how he interpreted
that jump. Businesses are clearly spooked bit referendum result.
They're reined in their intentions for capital spending. They've reined
in their expectations for export and domestic sales growth. Business
confidence is a leading indicator for where the economy is heading.
What it suggests is that the economy is in for a significant slowdown
over the next three to six months. Not great. Are there any other
worrying signs? There is one. There was late news that falls into the
camp of worrying. Standard Life has suspended redemptions on one of its
big real estate funds, that fund invests in commercial property. What
that means is that so many investors have basically asked to take their
money out since the Brexit vote that Standard Life is concerned about
having the funds on hand to meet those requests. Why is that
important? The first thing is that this rush of investors wanting their
money out reflects concerns about falling property values and why
might values fall? They fall when demand falls. For example, Central
London offices there may be less demand for space if big companies
move people abroad. The second reason this captures the attention
is that this is an echo of 2008. In the midst of the financial crisis,
this fund and funds like this were forced to halt redemptions. It's the
kind of financial dislocation that makes investors very, very uneasy.
People don't like not being able to get their money back when they want
it. We'll keep an eye on that, thank you very much.
One international industry that has flourished in England in recent
The courts in London have provided a divorce jurisdiction of choice
to wealthy spouses the world over, if they have some connection here.
So if divorce is our thing, what should Britain expect over
the coming years of tortuous negotiation?
We asked one of the top divorce lawyers, Ayesha Vardag,
she's the one labelled by the tabloids as the diva
of divorce, to offer her advice on how things tend to play out.
# You'll take away the biggest part of me #
Britain will be leaving the European Union.
Europe is ready to start the divorce process even today.
Do come in, have a seat, please don't be concerned.
This is a familiar story for anyone working in family law.
As the years go by, a troubled relationship becomes
One party feels controlled by the other.
It may be too many rules about who you can and can't see.
Maybe it's regulations about the size and shape of your banana.
Maybe they're fobbed off with, "We can talk about this tomorrow."
Maybe they're increasingly embarrassed by their partner.
# I'll be a fool for your loving no more.#
One side may try and save the union by asking for marriage counselling.
Agreements are thrashed out on emergency breaks
and special statuses, all to prove that
But then comes the point when nothing is enough,
the marriage is doomed and ultimatuma and tantrums
TRANSLATION: I will not accept we have to be endlessly blackmailed
They cannot mess around with all of Europe for months on end.
And so it comes, the crisis, something snaps.
Maybe it's a text messages from an adultress lover.
Maybe it's an economic collapse which threatens to
In a fit of decisiveness, one party packs their bags
and leaves straight into the arms of their lawyer,
The reason you're so upset, the reason you're so angry has been
perfectly clear from all the angry exchanges this morning -
you, as a political project, are in denial.
And then begins the lengthy legal process.
No prenup here, just a simple divorce clause, article 50,
Instead of directing your energy into all those new exciting
hobbies you dreamed of, you're consumed with your case.
Will you still have access to the children?
You worry that you'll end up paying vast amounts of alimony.
TRANSLATION: Anyone who wants to leave this family can't expect
to lose their responsibilities whilst keeping all their privileges.
That you'll be stuck on the outside, like an EEA member, paying out huge
amounts to someone who no longer cares about you and still does
TRANSLATION: They made their choice and now we see the consequences.
The anxieties Britain faces now will be recognised by any divorcee.
Suddenly your financial security evaporates.
The person you shared your life with suddenly becomes a devious
and steely negotiator who wants to take you to the cleaners.
And what about all those new relationships and supportive
Suddenly, they're nowhere to be found.
Some of them are even flirting with your ex.
Please, I beg you, do not let Scotland down now.
When it comes to party invitations, you may find yourself
A 40-year relationship cloven in two.
The burst of confidence that spurred you to make your decision may feel
like a bit of a wobble when the air clears.
You fought for Brexit, aren't you responsible for implementing it?
The world outside a relationship can feel like a very scary place.
But as a divorce lawyer, I see the positive outcomes.
TRANSLATION: We are sad about the way the vote turned out,
but that's no reason to be especially nasty in negotiations.
They find exotic new partners across the globe.
They come out leaner and more confident, ready to take
If there's a lesson from divorce, it's that anything is possible,
it usually comes down to money and the lawyers always win.
A couple of the papers. The Times leading on Boris backs Leadsom in
race for Tory leadership. Number Ten hopeful faces questions over tax
affairs. That's Leadsom not Boris. And the Sun is going on the
resignation of Chris Evans from Top Gear. The end for flop Chris, gone
after ratings plunge to record low. But if the last ten days have
been hard, if you've quit or lost your job,
if you've seen your colleagues turn on you, been publicly humiliated,
seen your hopes turn to dust, well, then this one is just
for you - Bill Pulman's legendary We can't be consumed by our petty
differences any more. We ill be united in our common interests,
perhaps it's fate that today is the fourth of July and you will once
again be fighter for our freedom -- fighting for our freedom. Not from
tyranny, oppression or persecution, but from annihilation. We're
fighting for our right to live, to exist. And should we win the day,
the 4th of July will no longer be known as an American holiday. But as
the day when the world declared in one voice - "We will not go quietly
into the night. We will not vanish without a fight. We're going to live
on. We're going to survive. Today we celebrate our Independence Day.
CHEERING Hello there. The heavy rain across
southern Scotland and northern England tonight will be nothing more
than patchy rain across eastern England into the morning. Quite a
breeze that. Clears away
In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines, with Evan Davis. Newsnight looks at the leadership of the Conservative Party, Ukip and BHS, and a divorce lawyer tackles Brexit.