22/09/2016 Question Time


David Dimbleby presents from Sutton Coldfield. On the panel are Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, Liz Kendall MP, Caroline Lucas MP, Norman Lamb MP, and Julia Hartley-Brewer.

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Welcome to this week's Question Time which comes from Sutton Coldfield.


Our panel tonight, Conservative MP and leading campaigner


Labour's Liz Kendall, who ran for the leadership last year


Newly re-elected leader of the Green Party, Caroline Lucas.


Liberal Democrat Health spokesman Norman Lamb.


And broadcaster and columnist Julia Hartley-Brewer.


You can join the debate on Facebook, Twitter, or text 83981.


The first question comes from Tom Leonard. When will the naysayers


stop naying and be positive and forward looking towards a bright


Brexit future. APPLAUSE


Caroline Lucas, if you are a naysayer, when will you stop naying?


I am just looking at the evidence and raising concerns about the fact


that, for example, this government seems to have no idea which


direction it is going. We had the referendum and we should listen to


what people said. I was on the Remain side and I am sorry the


majority went against us but I accept the result. People have had a


clear voice to say they want to leave but we are not clear where we


are going, and the government does not seem to be clear either. We had


three months over the summer with three different ministers giving


different versions of whether or not it would include free movement of


people, whether it would include the single market, whether we could have


the single market without free movement, and so on. There is a lack


of clarity and this really matters. If we don't have access to the


single market, if we are not in it, it has big questions about


environmental and is, workers' rights. I want to stand up for the


freedom of movement, an important principle that we benefit from and


we make the most of when we visit other places, too. I am worried that


it is not clear where this process is going and that is why I think it


is right to have a vote again on the issue... A second referendum? On the


issue of what the final deal looks like. This is not about rerunning...


Listen, the big rallying cry of the Brexit leaders was, give us back our


democracy. Why can't we have a democratic decision on which kind of


Brexit option is on the table? I do not want to rerun the 23rd of June.


I respect the vote, but I think if they lot of the campaign was about


democracy, why can't people be trusted to have a vote on whether


they want a hard Brexit, meaning no environmental protections, no


freedom of movement, no mention of the single market, which would have


a big impact... What aspect of the vote do you respect?


APPLAUSE I respect the fact that we are going


to have to leave the EU. I am deeply sad about it but I respect it. What


I want to have clarity over and I think it is right for the British


people to have a say over is whether it is a soft Brexit, which allows us


to still be members of the single market, and allows us to have


environmental protections, freedom of movement, or whether it is one


that injects us into the wilderness, where we will have businesses having


to pay hugely more to do business, where we do not have environmental


protections, and where people who live here now, who have made their


lives here in good faith from other EU countries still do not know if


they have a right to stay here. That is wrong.


APPLAUSE Tom Leonard, you asked the question,


is she a naysayer in your view? I'm afraid you are. What do you want to


see? We have been given a great opportunity to engage with the rest


of the world. Lots of countries out there that suffered under Soviet


oppression would have yearned for a situation like this, and it is time


to unleash our potential and engage with the rest of the world and


repair damaged relationships, such as the Commonwealth, where all the


growth is happening at the moment APPLAUSE


Are you arrest less at the pace of things developing, or are you happy?


I was not expecting any haste but I think Theresa May is treading


carefully and wants to be precise and clear-headed about it and see


what lies ahead before rushing into anything. Liz Kendall. Like


Caroline, I voted and campaign for Remain, in fact we shared a platform


together. But we lost. And I don't think there should be a second


referendum. I think we should respect what people have voted for.


I want to see Theresa May setting out clearly what Britain is going to


try and get out of these negotiations. And I don't want us to


give up on membership of the single market. It is absolutely vital for


manufacturing, for our financial services, but also for workers'


rights and environmental standards, preventing a race to the bottom. So


I want to see Theresa May making the strong case for British businesses.


Of course, we must also be opening up possibilities with countries and


trade negotiations across the world, but I think it would be a mistake


to... You are not allowed to do that in the single market. We can have


trade with other countries. You do already. I don't want to see us


giving up on the single market. You give up, therefore, on controlling


immigration. I don't believe that is the case. I know from my own


constituency, which voted Leave and from cities across the Midlands


where I campaign, that immigration was a massive concern. We have to


make that part of the conversation in this country and with our


European colleagues. I think some other countries, like Italy, may


well agree that reforms need to be made. They are saying huge problems


in those countries. So let's not give up on an ambitious negotiating


strategy which allows us to stay in the single market and make some


changes to freedom of movement, which is really why most people


voted for Leave. In the fourth row. We are one of the largest export


markets for Europe. Wider you think Europe is going to give up on us if


we have given up on them? -- why do you think Europe is going to give up


on us? All of Germany's cars are sold in the UK, so why would they


give up on us? Two members of the audience are right. Mr Leonard put


the argument better than I can. You are absolutely right, I am going to


reinforce his point. It is such an exciting opportunity, and the


opportunity is through leaving the customs union so we can trade freely


with the rest of the world. That means we have to come out of the


single market, which is the force of regulating us. The problem with the


single market is that means we effectively in the European Union.


Are When Remain supporters say they want to stay in the single market,


that is code for saying they do not like the referendum result. If we


are leaving, we have to be out of the single market. Your point on


trade is spot on. We have a deficit with the European Union of up to


?100 billion a year. We are the major customer for the European


Union of any country in the world. Whilst we are still in the EU, the


biggest customer is the US. Once we are out, it will be us. All of those


German car manufacturing companies, Irish beef is almost all bought in


the UK. Are the French going to stop selling us champagne because they


are cross with us? It is very unlikely. They all have too agreed


together. When you go to these countries itemising why people would


want to have a trade relationship with us, you forget that when it


comes to the EU, all of them have to agree. We have already seen the


Czech Republic and Slovakia and others who are saying they will not


accept anything that does not accept that we need freedom of movement for


them to be here. Your idea that we can pick off these countries does


not work. If they do not allow us to get free movement of people and say


they will not trade for us, a million jobs in Germany that relate


to selling manufacturing products to the UK, that is quite an important


economic factor. If they say that, we fall back on WTO rules, which is


an average 2.4% tariff. The pound has fallen by about 15%, more than


wipes out the tariff. The economic opportunity is huge. As you said, we


need to be looking at the world. The next 100 years will not be about a


sclerotic failing European Union, but about China, India and Brazil.


That is our opportunity. APPLAUSE


Norman, I will come to you in a moment. We have heard from a couple


of members of the audience who voted to leave. Anybody who voted to


remain who feels... Yes, do you feel upset by what is going on and wish


the government would get on with it? I think there needs to be some


decision on what it is going to look like. You say we need to get out of


the single market. There are people who voted to leave who want to stay


in the single market because nobody knew that was what they were voting


for. We need clarity of what this looks like, so we can then decide if


it is what we want, or not. Do you think the Government knows what they


are heading for? The Government does not appear to have a clue what they


are heading for. Norman Lamb. Indeed, we are told the Cabinet is


split on whether to stay in the single market. This is actually


quite important that our economic interests. I voted and campaigned


for Remain, but I accept the result. I thought you wanted another


referendum. Well, we want a referendum, and I think this is as


important for those who voted to leave as those who voted to stay, on


the deal that is done. Because who knows what they will negotiate? We


have no idea where the Government is going on this. They have not said


anything. We do not know whether they will try to stay in the single


market, or leave. These are fundamental issues. We have a load


of people working, for example, in our health service and care


services, who come to work in this country, about 80,000 in care


services from other parts of the European Union. What is their


future? What happens to future people who want to come and work in


care services, in the NHS or any other part of our economy? In all of


this, it is really important not to lose sight of the fact that whilst


there are concerns about immigration, immigration is also


incredibly important for our country, and we should, for a start,


guarantee although is people who are already hear the right to remain. I


think leaving them in the lurch is outrageous.


APPLAUSE Julia Hartley-Brewer, can you


address the idea of a second referendum on the terms negotiated?


Does that sound democratic in the way that Caroline and Norman


suggest? I have some news about the second referendum. That vote on the


23rd of June, that was the second referendum.


APPLAUSE We keep being told that we have no


idea what is going to happen, we haven't got a clue. We didn't have a


clue back in 1975, those who got a vote what was going to happen. We


did not have a clue at all of the times when there were major changes


in our relationship to the EU without anyone bothering to ask the


British people. It is amazing how many people who love the EU did not


think democracy mattered for all those decades, when they were


handing over the democratic powers of our Parliament to another body


oversees. APPLAUSE


So you get loud applause for that, but my question was, if you believe


that much in democracy, why not have a third referendum? If anyone on


this panel had mentioned we would need another referendum to decide


things afterwards before we actually have that, absolutely. But


Parliament voted, MPs voted to have a referendum and the Government set


out leaflets at our expense, 9 million quid, saying that the


Government would enact our decision. Every time there is a vote to do


with the EU, the EU does the same thing. If you don't vote the right


way, we make you do it again. It happened in France, it happened in


Ireland, it happened in Denmark. This is not going to happen here.


You are scared of it, aren't you? If MPs try to stop this happening, I


will be first in the queue with my pitchfork outside the houses of


parliament. APPLAUSE


But it should not, David, be a stitch up by members of the Cabinet.


You cannot leave it to Parliament to go against the wishes of the British


people. It should surely be the British people who decide on the


final deal. Let me just say this. I'm not sure I trust Boris Johnson,


for instance. He stood in front of that campaign bus with ?350 million


to the NHS, and it is not going to come. He lied to the British people.


The woman there in the front? I think anybody who says that we


didn't know what we were getting into, it's not right. As a young


person I was told if we voted leave my future was down the drain. I felt


it was already down the drain with all the previous decisions. I


thought this was a chance for Britain to say we can take


responsibility for ourselves. Politicians say this went wrong


because of Europe previously. APPLAUSE.


Jacob, you haven't answered the point about a third referendum, we


have to call it because we did have one back in the 70s. Is there not an


argument democratically for looking at the package that's negotiated by


the Conservative Government in allowing the audience here and


everybody else in the country on saying whether it's the right


package? If the package were rejected, does that mean we then


remain in the European Union, and is it therefore a reversal of the


referendum we've already had? If it is, it's completely pointless and it


shows contempt for democracy and... I agree. Delighted. Excellent, come


on? On that point, I don't think if you had a hard Brexit let's say that


was on offer in a referendum and voted against it, I don't think the


consequence of that should be the status quo, in other words you


pretend 23rd June didn't happen. You are sending a message to two back to


the Government to get something better. OK, so you have a perpetual


referendum until finally the termsdeparture are agreed. I'm not


frightened of the British election rat, they get things right, as they


did on 23rd June and I think if you voted again you would vote the same


way in larger numbers because you would think it was content to...


More, more, more... What is interesting... More


audience. Thank you. APPLAUSE.


. More audience, please. You, madam?


There are two clear things that can happen now that we have left. The


one way is, we stay in the single market, the other is that we leave.


Both of those involve leaving, but they are two completely different


scenarios and everyone who voted Leave would have thought of both.


Isn't it fair to give the British public a say in this? Absolutely.


The woman in white? So, my question would be, if the British electorate


are responsible enough to decide to leave the European Union Are they


responsible enough to decide how we leave it?


Hear, hear, well said. You in the checked shirt? Has nobody


had a crystal ball when the referendum took place, nobody knows


the long-term impact of Brexit and I think therefore another referendum


will give the British public the same dilemma and they'll just be


voting on the basis of chance rather than fact.


So the three wise men will decide, happy with that? They'll have more


information than the wider general public. . Don't believe that.


Everybody trusts them, do they? The woman in orange? All the talk about


greater clarity over what the Government's planning to do - I


negotiate contracts for a living and if I had to go into negotiations


with the other side knowing what my tactics and baseline positions were,


it would make my job a whole lot more difficult. That seems to be


what we are asking Theresa May to do.


The problem is for many companies, so the Japanese Government says that


Japanese companies who employ 140,000 people in the UK want to


know about what tariffs they may or may not be paying, what the


regulation system will be and whether it will be consistent across


Europe, whether they'll still be able the get workers across Europe


if they need them. That will determine long-term investment


decisions for the future. So companies, manufacturing companies


in our financial services need clarity. You mean the Prime Minister


should say what's happening now? Or should Article 50 be there now? No,


it's more important we get this right and take our time to do it.


You said the Japanese are impatient? No. What they want to know is, what


is the deal that might be coming forward. How can they know? Because


the Government's not having those discussions with people, whether


they are the financial services or the manufacturing companies, they


don't know what is happening and they need to. If you run your own


business, the thing you want above all is certainty for the future and


they are not getting that now. I'm going to move on. Brexit will come


back week on week until the negotiations are complete and then


we'll have Norman Lamb back. We're in Boston, Lincolnshire


next week and Neath, Come and speak your mind,


I'll give the details at the end. Second question from Ted Woodley


please? If Jeremy Corbyn win this is weekend, is it time the MPs who


oppose him either sign up to his programme or move aside?


APPLAUSE. Liz Kendall you are not a supporter


exactly, what do you think? Well, I voted for Owen Smith in this


leadership election and I hope that he wins. But whoever is elected on


Saturday needs to unite our party and take the fight to the Tories.


But I don't think that you get unity by telling people they have to


support you. You get it by showing that you can lead a strong and


effective team, that you can set credible policies that are right for


this century, not the last, and that you can actually convince the public


to support you, not just your members. We have got a mountain to


climb as a Labour Party if we want to get elected in 2020. Over 100


seats that we'd need to win. We can only do that if we really talk to


the public and not just ourselves. It's easy to talk to people who


already agree with you. It's much tougher, as I discovered during the


referendum campaign, to talk to people who disagree. But we have to


do that if we want to get back into Government and put our principles


into practise. Does that mean you would or wouldn't sign up to Jeremy


Corbyn's programme? Well, I disagree with Jeremy on many issues,


particularly around defence and our membership of things like NATO. I


think it's very important that Labour remains a strong party on


defence. Whoever is elected, I don't think that I would put myself


forward to serve in the Shadow Cabinet. We have got some great


people who can take the fight to the Tories, but we also need I think to


do some serious long-term thinking about the future of our party and


what we've got to offer to the country. That's what I'll be


focussing on in the coming years. APPLAUSE.


You asked the question, what is your view? I'm not a member of the Labour


Party but I do support a lot of Jeremy Corbyn's socialist policies.


I find what's happened with the growth in the Labour Party


extraordinary. The growth in the membership? Yes. I just can't see


how it's compatible having politicians, with respect like Liz


Kendall who, in my opinion represent the past, the period of the Labour


Party, one of their worst periods was the Tony Blair time. We won


three general elections. No, you lost over four million votes during


that time. The gap between Richard poor ballooned during New Labour's


time. There is a whole load of young working class people who see Jeremy


Corbyn as, not perfect but offering something different and having a


different view of politicians in general. That has toe be welcomed.


APPLAUSE. And do you think that...


APPLAUSE. Do you think like the leader of


Unite Len McCluskey, he said that people in the Labour Party who tend


to oppose Corbyn should be deselected and not stand for Labour?


Shifted out by their constituencies? I would support the call for


mandatory reselection. I wouldn't necessarily say that you should


target people you don't like, I think you should have a democratic


discussion in a democratic organisation, such as the Labour


Party, and I don't think being an MP should be a job for life.


APPLAUSE. Neither do I, Sir, but, you know, we


already have a process for reselection of MPs. Nobody has a


right to be a Labour candidate or Labour MP, a divine right. All


Labour MPs have been selected by a relatively small number of members


and then a much wider number of members of the public. That is a


serious responsibility on Labour members and to actually tell the


public that they don't have The Right to Choose someone who they


already think is the best person to represent their area, I think would


be a really serious issue, especially if it's for internal


factional issues. If they want to have their say, they can join the


Labour Party and take part, if they don't want to have their say, they


don't have to take part, it's a free country.


Julie Hartley-Brewer? The thing about democracy, you have Her


Majesty's opposition and the reality is the Labour needs to make a


decision whether it wants to be a serious alternative Government in


waiting or a Friday night Marxist Book Club, it can't be both.


APPLAUSE. The reality is that you ask Labour


Party members to vote for socialism, imagine everyone's surprise, they


vote for socialism, but the British people aren't going to vote for a


socialist Government. It's never going to happen. It's absolute


pie-in-the-sky politics to think it will happen. The reality is, Jeremy


Corbyn couldn't lead the Labour Party to victory in an egg and spoon


race right now. APPLAUSE.


Very good hard-working sensible MPs like Liz Kendall who talk about the


real issues affecting real people with proper substantive ideas for


how to actually solve some of the problems that are affecting the


working class voters dream of course a socialist utopian future or you


are falling by the wayside, that's a horrible mistake. I don't know what


the Labour Party should do, they are facing deselection for speaking the


truth or they are going to face losing their seats in 2020. What I


can suggest is, go and get another job, there are vacancies on Bake




Liz, if Jeremy Corbyn wins the election again, you want the party


to unite, then you are saying you won't serve under him in the Shadow


Cabinet in the next breath, which is it? You can serve the Labour Party


in many ways. I think we doe, as a party, need to do some serious


thinking Whant we offer for the future, how we make the economy work


and Public Services fit for the future and what Britain's role is in


the world, especially post-Brexit. You can serve in different ways and


I would say that for many years on the Brexit, overminute held his firm


principles and never gave up on them. That is why everybody likes


him and is getting behind him, exactly for that reason. So do I, I


do not just change my opinion on what I believe in just because


things are tough and I'm sure overmist wouldn't ask me to do


anything any different. Norman Lamb? In direct answer to your question, I


think it's incredibly difficult for those MPs because there are


irreconcilable differences within the Labour Party and what do they do


in terms of their conscience? Do they support a leader who they don't


believe in? Or do they continue to campaign for something else? I used


to be a lawyer, irreconcilable differences seem to me to be grounds


for divorce and I suspect that ultimately that's what will happen


here. But I think the really worrying thing for democracy is that


there is nothing holding the Government to account. That's really


important, whether you are a Conservative, a Labour supporter, a


Liberal Democrat, you need to have accountable Government. If you have


no real challenge, you get arrogance and complacency. If the Tories just


assume that they'll win in 2020, it's disastrous in terms of good


Government. So there is a crying need I think for something new to


emerge. I wonder what it will be. Hold on a second, Tim Farron claims


he gets these texts from Labour MPs who're thinking of coming over, but


we haven't seen any come over. Is it Liberal fantasy this? I don't know,


I haven't seen the texts, but I do think there are lots of discussions


that go on in Parliament. People talk to each other. There is no


sense that people are going to be splitting in the Labour Party, let


me make that clear. What my message is to many Labour members worried


about what is happening is, don't split and we won't quit. David,


surely those who want an alternative to the Tories, surely we have to


focus on how we build a progressive force that in 2020 stands a chance


of winning an election against the Tories. It's a despair to assume the


Tories will be in power for the foreseeable future. You, Sir? If


Jeremy does win, you are going to have a miserable time over the next


few years in the party. Stop smiling!


LAUGHTER. So why not have a break-away party?


Why would I leave my own party? You can't put your message across. A


left-wing Labour Socialist Party is not what we want. I'll always fight


for the Labour Party. You don't go into politics for an easy life. If


you have principles, you stick to them. We need to surely build


something up. Progressive parties who work together. You could work


with the Greens, the SNP. I don't want and believe there would be an


electoral pact with other parties. I've always thought if on particular


issues you agree, so Caroline and I campaigned together on Remain and


I've worked with Norman on getting a decent funding deal for the NHS and


if you agree on particular issues, try and work together, the public is


sick of people shouting at each other. Caroline Lucas, your go?


Thank you. To two back to the question, I think if he wins it's


absolutely crucial for the party to unite behind him for the reasons


Norman said. We have seen the Government getting away with huge


amounts in terms of rolling back the state, privatising the NHS, going


away with the Brexit, ignoring climate change, they are making the


lives of my constituents in Brighton very, very miserable. So you are


saying that... Liz has to sign up to Jeremy Corbyn's programme. That is


the question? I think Labour and Liz Doohan to


sign up for that. There is not much difference between what Owen Smith


is saying on a vast number of policies and what Jeremy Corbyn is


saying. I think, as well as uniting, Labour needs to be bolder. The


chances of Labour winning the next election with an outright majority


are vanishingly small. Therefore, we do need to look at ways of seeing


how we can do better for our constituents by working more closely


together. I want to lay a challenge to Jeremy Corbyn to say that what he


should be doing, if he wants to do politics differently, as he says, is


to embrace electoral form. Let everybody's vote count all year


round and then we might get the kind of politics we need. In the second


row up there on the right. Any leader whose method of uniting the


party is to say that unless you agree with me, you have to leave, is


not fit to be a leader and certainly not fit to be the Prime Minister.


Jacob. Thank you. I agree with Norman Lamb's point, which I think


is spot-on, that good government needs strong opposition. I like it


from a narrow party political point that there is a hopeless opposition.


But I value the constitution even more than I value narrow party


political points. And I have a sneaking admiration for Jeremy


Corbyn. I think he is an amazingly honest and straightforward


politician who says what he thinks. But... But what he thinks is both


dangerous and unelectable. APPLAUSE


It would be dangerous for our national security, it would ruin our


economy. It is a really dangerous programme for the nation. And


sensible people like Liz Kendall cannot, in good conscience, go on


the front bench with that sort of programme. If Labour is to win


elections, it needs to win seats like mind, which was a Labour seat


until 2010 with a marginal boundary changes. I happen to think if Liz


Kendall were leader of the Labour Party, I would face stiff


competition at the next election. If Jeremy Corbyn is leader, my majority


will go up, and that is a bad position for British politics to be


in. We don't want that. We need serious opposition. It is really


good for government. It makes government think about things more


carefully. It is the proper process. But Jeremy Corbyn cannot be that. He


is destroying the Labour Party, in my view, and that is a short-term


political advantage for us. The man spectacles. A lot of working-class


people are on zero-hours contracts. Jeremy Corbyn's ten pledges include


an end to those. Many working-class people are in poor quality, high


rent, privately owned housing. Jeremy Corbyn has said half a


million council houses. What of Jeremy Corbyn's ten pledges can Liz


Kendall possibly object to? APPLAUSE


At the last general election in 2015 we pledged to end the zero-hours


contracts, building more homes, tackling poor quality rented


accommodation. You ask what I disagree with. I said earlier on, in


answering the question at the beginning, that I believe in


multilateral disarmament. I think you can't just hope that other


countries give up their nuclear weapons. Putting peace at the heart


of foreign policy is not withdrawing from Nato, not unilateral


disarmament. I think he does believe... You think, you do not


know. I was on many hustings with him where that is what he said. The


submarines without missiles. Is that... He actually made that a free


vote. We have to keep moving because we have so much to talk about. Do


you mind? If you can do a brief answer. Although Jacob says he is a


nice man and consistent, the atmosphere in the Labour Party, with


the abuse of particularly female members, I find absolutely horrific.


Christopher Webb, to round this off. Your question. Is Theresa May under


any pressure to call a general election in the spring? Jeremy


Corbyn says he is putting the Labour Party, if he wins, on a footing


phrase bring general election. Is May under any pressure to call one?


Jacob Rees-Mogg. I don't think so. I think we would win by such a large


majority if we were to have won that there is not huge pressure coming


from outside. No Leader of the Opposition ever says he doesn't want


a general election because it looks as if you are frightened if you


won't win. However much it would be a disaster if you have one. I don't


think she is under pressure. What about pressure from inside? Go for


it! I think we would look deeply opportunistic if we went for one in


the spring. I do perish the thought because I think the electorate is


pretty high-minded. If they thought we were taking an unfair advantage


by bringing forward an election over our Labour opponents, that would


harm our chances and we would do less well. If the left push for it


and demand and agitate, we would win comfortably so I would not be wholly


opposed to us giving in to that pressure if it came, but I don't


think it will. In the middle. We can't keep having elections and


leadership changes and members of the opposition cabinet resigning. We


need a time of stability where there are no changes, where everybody can


just get on with their jobs. APPLAUSE


I don't ever remember such a nasty and divisive time in politics. I


don't mean what is happening within my party. I mean some of the anger


and division over the EU referendum. And real leadership is actually


about trying to find the things that people have in common, what unites


us, rather than what divides us. That is the leadership we need, not


just in my party but in the country, because things feel fractured and


divisive between those who voted Remain and Lees, pro-and


anti-immigration, young and old. Would an election clear the air? I


think you have to have a reason for a general election, rather than


trying to wipe the opposition out. To be honest, I think the Tories are


all over the shop on Brexit. They are trying to take us back to the


1950s with proposals on grammar schools. They have cut inheritance


and capital gains tax. That is my view and I don't think they have the


leadership the country needs in future and I will always be prepared


to make that case. I don't think that Theresa May has a mandate for a


particular version of Brexit, as I have said, so a general election


could clear the air on that. It is wrong that we have a government


elected on 24% of the eligible vote. The idea that that is democratic is


wrong. I would like a general election but please can we have it


under proportional representation? Just wave a wand. Julia


Hartley-Brewer. I don't think there is any pressure, certainly not from


the Labour Party and none from the Tories, who are sensible. We have a


fixed term Parliament act for a reason, to stop giving Prime


Minister that control and power over when they call elections. This idea


about her needing a mandate, we don't elect prime ministers, we


don't have a presidential system, we elect a Parliament and the leader of


the largest party gets to form a government. Let's stop pretending


that is not our system. I suspect she is under quite a lot of pressure


from some Tory strategists to have an election. The temptation to go


soon, to destroy the Labour Party, must be quite considerable. And


there is a case for it, because of the need for a mandate for the


negotiations, but we have ready discussed that so we will not go


back on that again. But overall, I think it is unlikely we will have


one. If we do have one, it should, as Caroline says, be on a fair


voting system. Because at the moment, the last... We had a


referendum on the EU and you voted against it. Over 25% of people voted


Green Party or the Lib Dems and there are ten MPs, 425%. That is


unacceptable. Chloe Jones, please. Should we pay more in taxes for the


sake of the NHS? The NHS has recorded a record deficit of ?2.5


billion, nearly. Julia Hartley-Brewer. Should we put up


taxes for the NHS? I don't think it is a question of whether we should.


I think we are going to have two. The question is should we. We can


either agree that we stop providing all of the care from cradle to


grave, and we stop funding IVF, that has been in the news today about


couples unable to get the IVF that they are entitled to, we stop


funding new cancer drugs. More treatments, more drugs coming onto


the market every day that cost vast amounts more. We either decide to


spend less on that, or we decide we are going to stop treating people


who bring on their own problems, people who are obese, people who


smoke. We can make those different choices, or we can city say we pay


more tax to pay for what is needed. I think we need a debate about this.


I would like to think we can take this debate out of politics and make


it a sensible debate about the real choices. Here is the debate and you


have a chance to say where you stand. I don't think we have a


choice unless we stop getting older and fatter. You are not saying what


you think. Norman Lamb said a penny on income tax would raise ?45


billion a year. RUSI of that? No, I think it should come out of general


taxation, but yes, we should spend more. We spend a smaller percentage


of GDP than France and Germany, which is why we have the waiting


lists, etc. Whether we need to raise taxes to increase the amount of


money Government and has to spend is a different issue. We could use the


magic money tree, but I am not sure it exists! Norman Lamb. The NHS, and


the care system, care for elderly and disabled people, is on its


knees. We see more and more operations being cancelled. There


was news today that there are tens of thousands more operations


cancelled than the official figures suggest. Endless people delayed


discharge in hospital. I have a nine-year-old who may have autism,


and his parents were told he would have to wait three years for a


diagnosis, at the age of nine. This is a disgrace. And we are spending a


significantly lower proportion of our national income on health than


most other European countries. Where would you divert from to pay for


health? We need to think about extra taxation and I would be prepared to


pay it. The question is, how important is it that we get care for


our elderly mum or dad in their hour of need? How important is it that a


teenage girl with an eating disorder gets treatment when she needs it?


Families all over this country are being let down by the NHS. We were


let down in terms of mental health in my family. So I am prepared to


pay extra if necessary to ensure we have a decent, efficient and


effective NHS and care system. APPLAUSE


Third row from the back. Firstly, shouldn't we use the money that the


Conservatives want to make a seven-day service by using that


money to perfect the five-day service as it stands? Norman Lamb


referred to some problems of being discharged, etc. Abandon the


seven-day favour of going back to the five-day? We need to make sure a


patient is safe whenever they fall ill. We can't have a situation where


if you fall ill on a Saturday or Sunday, or later at night, you are


at more risk. There are real risks sometimes, particularly with


out-of-hours services which in rural areas are often threadbare. But all


of this stuff about the strike being because we needed the seven-day NHS,


let's make sure people know that the junior doctors are already working


seven days a week. APPLAUSE


Jacob Rees-Mogg, you were part of the campaign that said there would


be ?350 million a week more to spend. That is what I read on the


bus. That is what the bus said. It was an opportunity, it did not say


they would. We will let Jacob answer. Should we pay more tax?


Clearly, the impression was given that Brexit would mean more for the


NHS. We should not pay more tax because we are already taxed to the


historic limit of taxation in the economy. If you look at figures


going back to the 1970s, the tax take to GDP varies between 34% and


38%. If you look at the Treasury Redbook, we're heading towards 38%.


It is a question of allocating the expenditure where you think the


priority is, which is why the Government has decided, as requested


by the head of the NHS, to allocate an extra ?10 billion to the NHS,


which as it happens coincides with the net saving from leaving the


European Union, but that is a side issue, and has brought forward 6


billion of that into this financial year. That is very important. The


NHS does need more money and the Government is providing it, but


there is not actually room for increasing the total tax burden on


the United Kingdom. So it is a question of how you spend the money


we are already taking in taxes, and then your priorities. And yes, once


we have left the European Union and are no longer making contributions,


that is money that could be allocated to the NHS. Do I think


that is a good idea? Yes, I do. APPLAUSE


Liz Kendall, do you accept 38% of GDP in tax is the maximum and


therefore there is no room for increasing it? No, I absolutely


believe we need to put more into the NHS and social care, crucially, and


that the fairest and most efficient way to do that would be through more


taxes. I think there are other options too. But look, the truth is,


we are living for longer, we will need care and support. Yet we have a


million people who get no help with the basics of daily living getting


up, washed fed and going to the toilet. One in three family carers


have to give up work or reduce their hours to look after their loved


ones. That makes no economic sense. Everybody knows the problem, what


would you do to solve it? This week I joined with Norman and Dan


Poulter, a former Conservative minister, to say we need immediate


action in the Autumn Statement and then we need a proper independent


cross party commission on the long-term funding for health and


social care. Where would you take the money from, Liz? I think that we


should pay more in our taxes, I think we also need to look at very


difficult questions about whether the wealthiest older people who have


the means may be able to contribute more. I think that Winter Fuel


Payments should be restricted, for example, to the poorer. You can't


ask working age people to pay all of the costs that we are going to need


to put into the health and social care system. What normally happens


is, when any politician raises these questions, they're screaming


headlines and all hell breaks loose. That's why I think we need this


cross party commission to set up something sustainable for the


future. Caroline, I'll come to you in a moment. One or two members of


the audience. You there on the right? I think it's an easy answer.


I think you stop fining hospitals for under-performing on targets that


are impossible, stop telling them they are subject to rigorous cost


improvements because you have got to save money and stop saying to


clinical groups you have got to find resources elsewhere. I worked with


the NHS in 23 years, I left in February and I'm devastated by the


mess it's in. What exactly are you saying you would do? Abandon


targets? No, I don't think you abandon targets, you abandon any


fine that comes by failing that target.


Caroline Lucas? I want to simply say that we are the sixth richest


country in the world and we ought to be able to fund our Health Service


and social care service so that our older people in particular are not


left facing a question of whether or not they can afford a cancer


treatment or a young person affording IVF treatment. We should


be able to have a proper, sustainable health system. That


means putting more money into it because the figures from the King's


Fund are shocking, saying in the last Parliament the annual real


increase was the smallest in real terms since the Second World War in


terms of money going into the NHS. Would you put up taxation? I would


be happy to put that up to pay for that. But do you agree with Jacob


that there's no more money to put taxes up? I would be very worried if


I agreed with Jacob. In the news today the 43p cancer drug is not


available, because it's not clear which part of the NHS will fund it.


That's down to Lansley's hated health and social care Act which has


marketised the NHS so much more, it's fragmented it so much more,


nobody knows about which bit is going to be paying for which


treatment. It's a complete chaotic mess so please can this Commission,


as well as looking at the funding for the NHS, please roll back that


privatisation, that marketisation under Andrew Lansley. It's not


worked and it's not serving people of this country.


APPLAUSE. You, Sir? Green shirt. I think for


me, the answer's quite clear. I mean there's large corporations which


avoid massive amounts of money and all that money could go straight to


the NHS. I don't understand why is Government is not doing anything to


do with the large corporations. There is billions of pounds. You,


there? I have an NHS funded IVF baby and I for one would pay more tax to


make sure that everybody else has that opportunity.


APPLAUSE. You in the white? Can I just say, I


think there is a simple answer, believe it or not, to this. The NHS


chief executives earn huge fantastical salaries and quite


honestly, some of them can't cut the mustard. Absolutely.


APPLAUSE. Hang on, and if they reduced some of


those ridiculous salaries that we'll never even dream of, that money can


well go towards mental health - that is really what's needed here.




And you, I said I would come to you? The woman in yellow, your turn?


Briefly? I've got at the moment a husband on dialysis three times a


week and my feeling towards the NHS at the moment is that two thirds of


the money goes towards salaries, pensions, bonuses and perks and the


rest is on the patients because dialysis patients are having their


time reduced that they need to live because nurses have to go home. It's


happened to my husband and it's happened to a heck of a lot on the


unit. They reduce the time so that the nurse can go home. So who is the


NHS working for? The patient or the staff?


I'm sorry, but that is what is happening.


Just picking up on the lady's point. We've got to ends the rewards for


failure. The Chief Executive of southern health has a remuneration


package close to a quarter of a million, he's been put into a job.


Sidelined into another job. Three weeks ago and she wasn't even


interviewed for it. At the same time, mental health patients lose


out. They are suffering discrimination within our NHS. They


do not have the same right to get treatment on time. Patient first. We


need to end that. Jacob, you say they are giving enough money to the


NHS but we are planning to spend a reducing amount of our national


income on health at a time when demand is rising rapidly. That makes


no sense whenever you are on the political spectrum. Let Jacob answer


that, then one more question before we end. Briefly? The only way to


provide more money for the Mays is to grow the economy. If you just put


taxes up you risk shrinking the economy. It is an absolute wrong


thing to do. This 38% limit was not reached when Harold Wilson was Prime


Minister at 98%. Focus on prevention... Increasing taxation is


absolutely not the answer. All right. We've got You are talking


about the bureaucracy. At the moment we are spending... Well, we have


halved... Let's have some order here. Liz, stop, please, if you


would just for a moment. You have your say? Cut the bureaucracy and


all the layers of bureaucracy that contracts have to go through. If you


get rid of all of that, all the hoops people have to jump through,


then maybe that would free up a lot of money. We've got a couple of


minutes left. A very distinguished panel here. An election coming up in


the United States, debates on Monday, we have a question from


Thomas Swindon burn, two minutes to answer you but let's hear your


question. What impact would a President Trump have on the UK? Very


brief answers. You can't give a short answer really and make sense


but Jacob, you were said to be a supporter of Trump. You were saying


that you would vote Republican. It's not wise for politicians to be rude


about potential foreign leaders. I think... I think he could be


President... It would be a total disaster.


CHEERING AND APPLAUSE. And it is overwhelmingly in the


British national interest to get on with the President of the United


States, whoever that is, in a dangerous world. Our most important


allie is the United States. We are not picking that President, it's


being picked by Americans, according to their own democratic processes. I


have confidence in the American people to choose their own


President. It's not for me to second guess them. But it is for the


British and in the British interest to get on with whoever is the


President of the United States. APPLAUSE.


Julia Hartley-Brewer. Very quickly? I have to say, we have had lots of


health concerns about Hillary Clinton. I would sooner vote for her


in a coma than Donald Trump wide-awake.


APPLAUSE. I think we have to start a new


civilisation somewhere else. Caroline Lucas? It's a devastating


prospect and this idea that we need the get on with the President of the


US whoever they are, we seen what happened when we did that with


George Bush and the outcome wasn't very good so...


APPLAUSE. Liz Kendall? He said he doesn't want


to allow Muslims in the country, he said he's going to build a wall


against the Mexicans, he wants to turn his back on the world. It would


be a disaster for the world For us? And for us, yes, because we stand up


for the values of facialness and we do not have the kind of casual


racism we seed from Donald Trump. Norman Lamb? It's so bad that even


George W Bush is voting for Hillary Clinton, for foodness sake. You Mr


Swingburn? We have always had a special relationship with America


and also the EU and it's time we had a special relationship with the


world. Hear, hear. On that happy note, we end.


We're in Boston, Lincolnshire next week.


Boston had the highest Brexit vote in the UK at 75.6%.


With us we'll have Priti Patel for the Tories, Emily Thornberry


for Labour, Bonnie Greer and Rod Liddle.


We'll be in Neath, South Wales the following week.


Come and join us, Boston or Neath, go to our website,


If you are listening tonight on Radio 5Live, welcome back!


And the debate goes on there in Question Time Extra Time.


From Sutton Coldfield, until next week, Goodnight


50 years ago, they became superstars in astronomy,


They represent the most productive period astronomy has ever had.


And now, they're taking an anniversary trip.


David Dimbleby presents topical debate from Sutton Coldfield. On the panel are Conservative Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, Labour's Liz Kendall MP, Green Party leader Caroline Lucas MP, Liberal Democrat Norman Lamb MP, and broadcaster and columnist Julia Hartley-Brewer.

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