25/04/2017 Newsnight


In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Evan Davis.

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So, with Labour setting out their approach today,


do we finally have clarity on the difference between the two


Not on hypothetical trade deals with other countries,


but on strong trading arrangements with the EU.


What we've seen today from Labour is, I think,


It's yet another nonsensical Jeremy Corbyn plan.


It all seems to come down to the customs union.


But it won't say so quite that clearly.


And could Labour's "fortress Wales" turn blue?


What's her name, Theresa May, don't mind her.


Oh, I don't like him, don't like him, no.


Also tonight, is Ivanka Trump the most powerful woman here?


We ask the Vanity Fair correspondent who has followed her career.


Absolutely, from my reporting, people who are close to Donald Trump


say there's only one person in the White House who is not


# Happy birthday, dear President #


Is South Africa's governing party on the brink of


Well, there are certainly thousands of people out


on the streets of Pretoria calling on President Zuma to stand down


but the question is whether people power alone is enough,


There are processes within the African National Congress


that will decide whether or not President Zuma's days in power...


# And so say all of us #


Hello, Labour have long been critical of Theresa May's plans


for Brexit, but they've not quite spelled out an alternative.


The shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer gave a speech saying


what his pitch to our EU counterparts would be.


Two, there would be a unilateral clarification of the rights


Three, under Labour, Britain would aim to remain in a number


Erasmus, Euratom, the European Medicines


to remain in the single market and the customs union.


Labour's white paper will have a strong emphasis


on retaining the benefits of the single market and customs


union, vital as they are to protecting our economy.


Our paper will make crystal clear that jobs and the economy


Now does what he said really add up to a different approach to Mrs May?


On the single market, barely, as Labour concedes


So single market membership is unlikely to be on offer.


But staying in the customs union is a possibility.


It's one that might solve a pending problem of congestion


at the port of Dover, and reduce pressure


for a border between the north and south in Ireland.


Or is there still an element of fudge?


We'll ask the shadow Brexit minister shortly.


But first, some political background.


Labour's problem is that its supporters are divided on the EU.


Chris Cook's being looking at new data from the


British Election Study, a huge reliable survey


He's found hints of what Brexit means for votes.


Labour's problem with losing supporters who backed Brexit has


But there's a few important bits of arithmetic worth bearing in mind.


Let's start, as most of these discussions do,


It is true that across the North most people voted Leave.


It is also true that this is a place where Labour is the biggest party.


But it doesn't follow that most Labour voters in the North


In fact, for example, in the north-east, where only 42%


of the public at large voted Remain, 61% of 2015 Labour voters did so.


Nationally, two of every three voters who backed Labour


That's not to say Labour doesn't have a problem in the North, though.


Particularly with that minority of its supporters


Let's look at voters who backed Ed Miliband in 2015


Newly-released British Election Study data from the tail end of last


year shows that only 46% of this group were still backing the party.


10% planned to vote for the Tories, 11% said they were heading for Ukip.


Other parties and nonvoting took the rest.


That is very worrisome for Labour because more recent polling moves


have shown Ukip dropping while the Tories rise.


Now, here are the constituencies currently held by Labour.


Of these there are 67 where the Labour lead is smaller


Not all of them are plausible Tory targets, but a Tory squeeze on those


Ukip voters could be gruesome for Labour.


And direct transfers from Labour Brexiters


to the Tories will make that much, much worse.


What then of those voters who backed Ed Miliband and then voted Remain?


At the end of last year, Labour was doing better with them,


Remember, though, that twice as many of Labour's 2015 supporters


So while Labour lost a larger share of its Leave voters,


overall it has lost more Labour Remainers.


So it is worth paying attention to them.


Especially the 10% of Labour Remainers who last year had


deserted Labour for the Liberal Democrats.


The issue here isn't so much that the Lib Dems


This shift would only flip Cambridge.


But that movement would be very significant in other races.


On its own it would be enough to move 13 Labour


Jeremy Corbyn phrases a uniquely difficult challenge, holding his


party together but remember even in the Brexit friendly North, losing


Remainers will hurt all stop Chris Cook with some of the political


angle. With me now is Paul Blomfield,


shadow minister for Brexit. I'm saying I think that what we got


today is clarity that you would like us to be in the customs union. Am I


over interpreting your position? I don't think you are, what Keir set


out was the desire for the best possible settlement and setting up a


deal within the framework of the customs union is a part of that.


Crucially he said he would put a good deal with the EU above


hypothetical deals with the US, India and these other countries


which implies he would be in for customs union membership because you


would not have any tariffs. That is the logic of what he's saying. It


would be because the EU accounts for about 40% of our exports. It's


interesting how the Tories have focused on the United states,


trumpeting that deal whereas the new administration would like to talk to


the EU first. Liam Fox will tell you that even his scouting around and


they are perhaps thinking about trade deals with lots of countries.


You would say, forget that, it's the EU that's most important? The EU


first and foremost is what is most important to our economy. Why was it


not put more clearly? Why didn't Keir Starmer... Healing it with the


Single Market, why didn't he say that the substantive difference


between the Labour and Conservative approaches to this is that Labour


would like to be in the customs union? Why didn't he say that?


Always this sense of fudging it and not spelling it out. I'm sorry you


say that because I think we've been clear all along. We've said,


differently from the Tories, that what comes first is jobs and the


economy and people's livelihoods. In the earliest stages of the debates


we've had in the house we have talked about membership of the


customs union. But it felt like today we got clarity, Keir Starmer


gave the impression that he was giving us something new today and I


think he was, wasn't he? He was, putting our message together in a


way that reaches out more effectively. A lot of people haven't


understood it. Little of the write-up is, Labour is for the


customs union, we're going to be in it if we vote Labour and yet that is


a serious deference to the Conservatives. It is, but I think we


should be focusing on the outputs and not the mechanisms come in a


sense, and that's what we've said: -- what we've said all along,


getting the best deal for the Tories. You may say that the Tories


are saying that also but we think it comes first in the negotiations. If


the way to achieve that is membership of the customs union, as


a prose to the cavalier way in which the Conservatives have brushed it


off the table... -- as opposed to the cavalier way. You have said that


free movement will end, correct? Yes, because... A tiny bit hesitant!


So many of these complex issues are seen in binary terms. When we leave


the European Union, our whole migration policy will have to be


revisited and that means darting afresh, not only in terms of EU


migration but non-EU migration as well because if we don't, the


economy will crash. Do you have an immigration policy in mind with


respect to EU citizens, or is that something to worry about that later


on? That's something for further down the road. The Single Market,


what's the point in saying you would keep the option of the Single Market


open? You know that it won't be on offer if you come back from free


movement, as you said today. We want the best possible relationship with


the Single Market because it's so important to our economy. What


distinguishes our position is that not only come as you said earlier,


it is seeking a more collaborative relationship with the EU, but we


aren't getting into painting ourselves into corners by taking


things off the table, which is what the Tories are doing, a big mistake.


Lastly, the European Court of Justice, one of Theresa May's red


line, she doesn't want anything that leaves us in it, you are happy with


the European Court of Justice, in certain respects ,, having a say?


For instance: membership of Euratom, we would be subject to the European


Court of Justice? What must be understood, and the Tories are being


very dishonest with the British people, there is no international


trade deal you can do with any country in the world that does not


have a dispute resolution system and the nature of those systems in every


treaty is that they will sit above British courts and the British


Parliament. If you want no trade deals with anybody, you have


sovereignty, otherwise you are going to lose and when you have


international agreements. Thank you for joining us.


We're not going to bang on about polls too much in this campaign.


But the YouGov one putting the Tories ten points ahead


of Labour in Wales - if truly reflecting public opinion -


marks quite a shift in Conservative fortunes.


And Theresa May was campaigning in Bridgend and Newport today,


obviously believing Wales is fertile ground.


David Grossman went to the Labour seat of Wrexham today, to find out.


The empty shops of Hope Street in Wrexham tell their own story.


It is, though, a little more than a decade ago


that the Conservatives' stall was bare.


And yet hope now abounds in the hearts of Welsh Conservatives.


Apart from the briefest dalliance with the SDP back in 1981,


Wrexham has been solidly Labour all the way back to 1935.


And before that was never Conservative.


The fact that it is even considered in play now


for Theresa May and her party hints at a political earthquake.


This would once have been unthinkable.


The idea of the Conservatives defeating the Labour Party in Wales.


Labour have been in some long-term decline, but what seems to be


happening particularly is that Theresa May's cold, calculated,


clinical decision to call an election, focused on Brexit,


is having a particularly strong impact in a nation, Wales,


Within hours of the seismic polling being published,


Theresa May was on her way to South Wales.


A photo opportunity at a galvanising plant first,


insert your own Iron Lady related headline here...


The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.


Before it was onto a rally in Bridgend to hammer


Every single vote for me and the local Conservative candidate


will be a vote for a stronger Wales, for a stronger United Kingdom.


And as I say, will strengthen my hand in those important


And in Wrexham at least there are voters who will tell


you they're willing to consider voting Conservative


I have been Labour, yeah, but I don't know.


I don't mind what's her name, Theresa May.


There's a lot of unemployment in the area, there's


And I think hopefully the Conservatives could


You don't feel there's an obvious choice?


I do have a choice, I've always been for Labour.


But now, how do you feel about Labour?


Well, I'm not very happy with Jeremy Corbyn.


On Friday, the Labour First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones,


whose administration was re-elected last year, was introducing


Look, we never take anything for granted.


We knew we had to work hard and listen to people.


Hugely important now that Jeremy and his team produces a manifesto


that is going to appeal to the widest number


of people and presents a programme for government.


That says this is what we would do if we were in government.


That is what we did last year and of course it needs to be


Some of the new stores that have opened in Wrexham hint


at the population change this area has seen.


But at this election Ukip's once strong vote in Wales


They have actually done very well in Wales in recent years,


almost winning the European election a couple of years ago.


They now have seven elected members of the Welsh Assembly.


But a lot of their support now seems to be going


Where now they bowl, men once dug coal.


The club and the old pithead wheel are all that survives


What also remains here, though, is a sense of party loyalty.


What do you think at the moment of how the Labour Party is going?


Well, they're in a shambles, aren't they?


Jeremy Corbyn won the leadership, I blame the top Labour


politicians for not getting behind him wholeheartedly.


My dad was a miner and things happened years ago against


When David Miliband went, that is when I think Labour went down.


It wouldn't be enough to get you to change your vote?


Labour, you know, through and through.


Our political editor Nick Watt joins me now.


The writing of the manifesto, you have some news on that. I'm hearing


the sounds of piece between the warring factions of the Labour


Party. I'm told the so-called senior moderates who do not accept the


leadership of Jeremy Corbyn are saying he should largely have his


way on the Labour manifesto and when Labour holds a meeting to agree the


manifesto on the 11th of May they're saying they will table just one red


line which is the Labour Party needs to stand by its official commitment


to support the renewal of the Trident nuclear deterrent. Beyond


that they are saying there should be some strong Jeremy Corbyn language


on the need for defence diversification, redeploying jobs


away from the nuclear weapons industry if there are successful


disarmament talks. And then they're saying in every other area, Jeremy


Corbyn should be allowed to paint his vision for the UK in primary


colours. These moderates would deny this, this sounds very much to me


that they are jolly keen that Jeremy Corbyn should own the Labour Party


results on Friday the 9th of June. What about the Conservatives?


They're planning to launch the manifesto in the week beginning the


8th of May the week before the Labour Party does so. Their


manifesto is going to be broadbrush, a bit like that of Margaret Thatcher


from 1979. But specific commitments on Brexit so Theresa May can uphold


her mandate if she gets it. But interestingly it is the Labour Party


that has put into its general election planning grid are rumoured


Tory offensive. They believe that in the final phase of the campaign the


Tories under Lynton Crosby will launch an aggressive campaign


reminding the British people of Jeremy Corbyn and his support for


Sinn Fein, crucially before the Northern Ireland piece process


began. It is interesting that some senior Tories are expecting this to


happen but others are saying why bother.


We'll return to domestic politics later in the programme -


but first, South Africa is starting to get fed up with


Hundreds of corruption charges could be reinstated against him,


the constitutional court has censured him for breaking his oath


of office over lavish spending of taxpayers' money on his private


home, and now another vote of no confidence is coming.


He's been accused of many things, but what brought the people out


on the streets was the sacking of his well-respected


finance minister - a decision which pushed


the country's investment grade into junk status.


BBC Africa correspondent Alastair Leithead reports


on whether this could be a turning point for South Africa -


The African National Congress seems neither in tune


Those celebrating Jacob Zuma's 75th birthday in Soweto were at least


One of unwavering loyalty despite discordant times in South Africa.


Thank you, Comrade President, for the dignity you have shown


in the face of many, many years of being insulted for


And what President Zuma stands for is what's in question.


It's either the poor and unemployed masses, or himself


But he's danced it all off before and he may well


dance it all off again, despite what others think.


A different birthday message in Pretoria as his political rivals


took to the streets, unusually united in opposition.


He has somehow formed a scheme to loot from the country.


We are sick and tired of his corruption,


I don't know about the other protesters, but we are tired of him.


The path to mass protest has been paved by scandal.


They are invigorated by the possible reinstatement of more than 780


There is anger over lavish taxpayer funded improvements


And there is frustration at what is known here as state


capture, the undue political influence of the wealthy


But it was the sacking of the much respected finance minister that


brought these crowds out onto the streets.


I think it was an act of economic and political self-destruction


and it has shown that Zuma is intent on taking hold of the country,


taking hold of the Treasury, and using it as his private press.


Well there are certainly thousands of people out


on the streets of Pretoria calling on President Zuma to stand down.


But the question is whether people power alone is enough,


There are processes within the African National Congress


that will decide whether or not President Zuma stays in power.


They appear to be closing ranks and protecting him.


No more so than out in rural KwaZulu-Natal, where you don't hear


complaints about the party, or any demands for its executive


He's from here, built strong patronage networks here,


Those who said he must step down, no.


What about all the corruption scandals, the way the value


of the currency has dropped since he came to government?


This area is a big constituency of the ANC, a stronghold of the ANC.


To us he's an innocent man, he is a champion for economic


President Zuma represents the majority of the people of this


country who remain in poverty, we believe he is our champion


is going to be able to uplift us from property.


You could argue corruption all you want.


But these people know that this government


has given them houses, there are roads, there is water.


Something that the apartheid government did not do for them.


Let's deal with the economy and take it back to the hands of the people.


Let's take back the land and give it back to its rightful owners.


But as it was in Zimbabwe, it is also a populist narrative,


adopted by President Zuma along with blaming white racism.


It is clear that some of our white compatriots regard black people


The reason that Zuma is playing the race card and also talking


about land reform and radical economic transformation


Jonathan Shapiro is South Africa's most famous cartoonist.


He recently portrayed the country about to be raped by one


of the Gupta brothers, who are resented for


Encouraged by Jacob Zuma and his cronies.


The fact that I can sit and do this kind of thing and be this critical,


even if I've got lawsuits from the president, if he can try


and smear me and I can still come through that and do this,


I feel much luckier than a lot of people,


not only in other parts of Africa, but in other parts of the world.


This cartoon shows former president Kgalema Motlanthe giving a voice


from beyond the grave to one of the great anti-apartheid heroes.


It's exactly what happened at Ahmed Kathrada's funeral.


The great and the good were there, but not Jacob Zuma.


That was the last request of the man whose letter calling


on the president to resign was read out.


You will choose the correct way that is gaining momentum


Not everyone was cheering, but many were.


This was the defining moment as the old guard


The gracious thing for him to do right now is to be asked to be


As anti-apartheid hero Walter Sisulu's daughter-in-law,


she is one of the ANC struggle stalwarts.


Is Jacob Zuma corrupt, and/or has he corrupted the country?


Whether it is the authority of the government at national level,


in the provinces, in local government, it has become endemic.


Its senior members again backing President Zuma for the sake


Jacob Zuma will be replaced as ANC leader in December


and as president in 2019, unless another vote


of no-confidence passage through Parliament next month.


So may say all of them, but the voices of support are wavering.


The ANC is losing its share of the vote.


The currency and the economy are suffering.


As are the very people the ANC fought apartheid to try and help.


Ivanka Trump shared a platform in Berlin today with some


It was an empowering women conference, and Ivanka herself


She is Assistant to the President of the United States,


Her husband is also a senior advisor.


Inevitably, at the conference today, she had to talk about her father,


who's not always seen as an empowerer of women.


I've certainly heard the criticism from the media and that's been


perpetuated but I know from personal experience and I think the thousands


of women who have worked with and for my father for decades


when he was in the private sector are testament to his belief


and solid conviction in the potential of women


and their ability to do the job as well as any man.


I think in my personal experience, you're asking me about my role


As a daughter I can also speak on a very personal level,


knowing that he encouraged me and enabled me to thrive.


But how significant a figure is she within the administration -


and what more can we expect from her?


I spoke a little earlier to Vanity Fair journalist


Sarah Ellison in New York - she is one of America's best-known


Ivanka-watchers and has spent the last two years


I started by asking her what she thought of Ivanka's


I think Ivanka is very poised, she always looks great and prevents


herself in a very together way that people find impressive. She carries


herself well in terms of the optics of the stage and the people she was


surrounded with. Does she find it difficult to defend her father?


Wherever she goes, people must say things about her dad. I think she's


very effective at deflecting criticism of her father and changing


the conversation. She did, as she often does, target the media, saying


she had heard those criticisms about her father. She remained calm,


talking about her personal experience with her father, which


she does frequently, she did on the campaign trail and continues to do.


She talks about how her father was good for the women that he worked


with in the private sector and how politics is politics. She didn't


explicitly say it but she said that politics is a difficult game and the


rules are different. She has become hardened to these criticisms of her


father and she has become effective at deflecting them. Tell us about


her role in the White House. A lot of people would like to think of a


picture of her politics being at odds with her father's. She has


flirted with the Democrats in the past. Do you think she is a


tempering influence on him? How is it working? Her father has also


flirted with the Democrats so his politics are not as clear as some


may think. In some quarters in the US people love the idea of Ivanka


getting in his ear because he doesn't have a very well-defined


political ideology so they think of Ivanka, who is identified with many


courses that are close to the Democrats, that she can influence


him. Of course no one knows what goes on behind closed doors. What we


know about Ivanka is that she has been expert at speaking out on the


issues that she says she cares about: women in families, women in


the workplace. She has a lot to say about that. She has nothing to say


on the border wall with Mexico, nothing to say on the more explosive


issues that her father has brought forward. What she's doing I think is


distancing herself silently in that she doesn't want to be embroiled in


these debates. What you're describing, though, her role in the


White House, is how we may think of the first lady, the wife of the


president rather than the daughter. What is the relationship of her with


Melania Trump and do you think she sees herself and Donald Trump sees


her basically as serving the first Lady role? None of them would say


that and in fact Ivanka has been asked that specifically and she's


said there's only one first lady and that she is a daughter. She says


those things. Now, in reality, Melania Trump still lives in York,


we've seen reports that she will move to Washington but that hasn't


happened. Ivanka is more present in Washington at events with her father


than Melania has-been. The relationship is interesting, Melania


is about 13 years older than Ivanka and Ivanka is about 13 years older


than her half sister Tiffany so she occupies this place in the family


where she is the favourite child, even her brothers admit that. In


interviews they've talked about that. She's laughed it off. From my


reporting, people close to Donald Trump say that there's only one


person in the White House who isn't expandable and its Ivanka Trump.


She's been with him all of her professional life so this is a very


natural relationship, they work together well, he trusts her. He


doesn't trust people easily. The challenge is for her to translate


that relationship to the international audience and national


audience in a way that makes sense to the rest of us. Thank you for


joining us. You too, thank you. Time for Viewsnight now -


and in the run up to the election we are going to do things


a little differently. We want to stir the policy pot


a little during the campaign, so the Views in Viewsnight will be


in the form of specific ideas for the political


parties to take or leave. First up is David Cameron's


former policy chief Only last year, she was


working in Downing Street. And she has clearly come to the view


that something needs to be done - even if it is not very instinctively


Conservative. I'm joined to discuss


this by Lord Warner, former Labour health minister


and now an independent peer, and Niall Dickson -


the chief executive of the NHS Do you like the enteric since tax


idea? It's not a bad idea, getting money after death for care, but it


isn't delivering the bacon in terms of funding for social care. 500,000


deaths per year and under 5% of them will pay inheritance tax so


something dramatic would have to be done, way beyond what Camilla is


talking about. 2 billion has been cut, I think. We need 2.5, 3 billion


up to 2020, to plug the gap that's been created. If you look at what


goes on, the demography up until 2035, you need 2.5% new money each


year, all the way for 15 years. Inheritance tax, a death tax, good


idea? We need something to bring the money in and I almost think that


Camilla underestimated what we are facing. At the moment we are talking


about one in eight elderly people in England not getting the services


that they need. These individuals are suffering. We have a health care


system that is under enormous pressure. There has to be something


done in terms of, as Norman says, the immediate but the longer term


issue is that we will see a doubling of the over 85s. Politicians must


face up to this, it is a moment to reflect on something serious that


must be dealt with. But you talk to them, as chief lobbyist for the NHS.


Are they taking it seriously? The next two weeks is the best chance


we've got, Wendy two parties are going to be writing their


manifestos. -- when the two parties. Will there be something in it? We


will wait and see. Fed to say that the Prime Minister has nailed her


colours to the mast by saying she will deal with social care, a


promise that has been made by previous administrations but I'm


told she is deadly serious. It is going to cost money now, and the


government put more money in the budget and it will cost a lot more


going forward. Some can be raised with taxation from individuals but


over a period of time we should be linking it to the GDP level, we


should be putting health and care together because care tends to lag


behind health. Health suffers because care is not properly funded.


Do you like the idea of a hype of the K to tax, a tax that will go to


social care? We look at this on the select committee on NHS


sustainability. It's clear that people don't trust politicians any


more in terms of taxation so I think you're going to have to look at a


stream of revenue for social care, at the least, which is clearly


defined and that's what they've done in Japan and Germany. They haven't


ditched general taxation but they have top it up by having effectively


this kind of tax for long-term care. I think we've got to start thinking


in those terms if we want the stream of revenue to be adequate. What


about nontax solutions? What about the of insurance that would take you


to a cap in state pay? The German and Japanese systems are a real


fund, is different to a tax where the government says it is for a


particular thing. This is building up over time, something we haven't


done. What about private savings, insurance? Could you ask me at age


40 to start putting money into a savings plan? That's what the


Japanese are doing. People may prefer that if they have their name


on it rather than taxing someone. I don't think we should just copy the


Japanese but we should learn from other countries. They started to get


people... They haven't ditched general taxation, they've top it up


and that's where we've got to be more creative. You can't go on using


general taxation, I don't think, because you must raise it to


unacceptable levels. Thank you for joining us.


That's all we have time for - I'll be back in this seat tomorrow.


A lot going on in the election campaign, Boris Johnson giving a


speech on foreign policy in the evening.


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