13/10/2016 Question Time


David Dimbleby presents topical debate from the RAF Museum in London. On the panel are Damian Green MP, Emily Thornberry MP, Alex Salmond MP, Amol Rajan and Isabel Oakeshott.

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This week we are in the shadow of a Second World War Lancaster


Conservative Work and Pensions Secretary, Damian Green.


Labour's Shadow Foreign Secretary, Emily Thornberry.


The former Leader of the SNP and First Minister of


The Daily Mail's political editor at large, Isabel Oakeshott.


And the editor of the Independent, which stopped printing to go online


As ever, you can join the debate on Facebook,


Your can make your comments on what you hear around this table and by


this audience. Our first question from Mr Hambro? Did the British


public give Theresa May a blank cheque to force through which ever


Brexit she likes? Alex Salmond? I don't think that would be would or


should be the case. There's going to be a majority in the House of


Commons to invehicle Article 50, the article to withdraw from the


European Union. I think there's going to be a vote. I suspect, a


very close vote forced on the House of Commonses as to what kind of


Brexit the Prime Minister now has in mind. She told us for some weeks


that Brexit means Brexit, but never told us what Brexit meant. You can


have a variety of withdrawals from the European Union. You could be


like Norway, in the single market, out with the customs union, but not


a member of the European Union. You can be like Turkey, which is


actually not a member of the European Union, not in the single


market, but within a customs union. Which of these has she been offered


by the Brexit vote or lick her finger and hold it up to the air?


She has to tell us and get the Brexiteers to agree with each other.


Then they can come to the House of Commons to say this is the type of


Brexit that we want to see. We will find out if it's a hard Brexit, a


soft Brexit or a dog's breakfast! Damian Green. Donald tusk say the


only alternative to hard Brexit is no Brexit. When people voted on June


23rd they were voting for some form of more control. So the plan the


Government has got is that we should certainly take control of our


borders. That we should have our laws made by our own Parliament


rather than have to go through the European Court of Justies.


Crucially, that we need the best deal for businesses both in goods


and services that trade in Europe. Now, that's a clear plan. What the


details will be will obviously have to be negotiated with the 27 other


European countries. No sensible person has ever gone into a


negotiation saying every last detail is going to be put on the table at


the start. So I think the idea to have all the details out there would


be disked a van tailingious to this country. If there are people who


regret the result and want to use procedures to obstruct it. I was on


the board of the In campaign. No-one campaigned harder than I did to keep


us in. I'm democrat. The British people voted to get out and I think


we should respect that referendum result.


APPLAUSE. Not saying that Parliament shouldn't respect the democratic


result, of course not. Don't you think that There should at least


be... Not reveal your entire hand before negotiation, come to


Parliament, the people's representatives, and be held


accountable? I think it's in the Government's interest and the whole


country to be held accountable rather than getting some kind of


blank cheque? Briefly? Well, briefly, this week in Parliament


alone we've had about seven-and-a-half hours debate on


this. A two hour statement from David Davis. A Labour opposition day


debate yesterday. Yesterday five-and-a-half hours. That will be


repeated week after week. Parliament will have a huge say in this


negotiation. The Government has just set up a new cross-party Select


Committee to investigate this, Chaired by a Labour MP with


representatives of all countries in the United Kingdom on it. Parliament


will obviously have a huge say in this. The woman there. Then Emily


Thornberry. Whatever kind of Brexit Theresa May is going to choose, what


we need really is an end to this uncertainty that is destabilising


the economy at the moment, fluctuating the pound and affecting


businesses, big and small. We have seen fr Unilever down to the small


businesses that I run, a small architecture firm, that my clients


are nervous. They're not wanting to put on the line all of their savings


when you don't know what will happen. Are you saying she should


have made up her mind what kind of solution she is going to go for?


Would that be enough. She has to negotiate with the rest of the EU,


hasn't she? There are a few opportunities we have to put forward


this plan and she's... With Labour's vote this week to spell it out


before she enters into the realm of discussing with the EU. Emily


Thornberry. APPLAUSE. Does Theresa May have a


blank cheque, absolutely not. Absolutely not. The fact of the


matter is, that of course we get our instructions from the British public


and the British public have said they want us to leave the European


Union. But one thing that wasn't clear from that referendum, and the


so-called debate around it, was what our continuing relationship with


Europe was going to be because we arary not going to go sailing off


into the North Sea and having nothing to do with our European


neighbours with whom we export 45% of good and services at the moment.


We need a continuing relationship. They have had many months since the


referendum. Theresa May did not stood on a platform. Didn't have a


manifesto in terms of what kind of leader she was going to be. We go


into Tory party conference. We get different versions. Theresa May


playing to the right-wingers. Liam Fox, lord knows what his version of


Brexit will be. We have the Chancellor of the Exchequer and his


department clearly totally with jitters about it. They are all


saying different things. The Japanese companies who invest a


great deal in our country and are major investors. The Japanese


government, they are so pee lie. They wrote a letter, made it public,


they asked a series of questions, quite right to, what are you going


to do? What is your continuing trade relationship with Europe going to


be? What will be the migration policy? What will you do with


regional funding? There are so many questions... 170 questions. 170


questions. I have them, too. One question a day. You expect them to


answer all these? Of course. If they don't answer our questions now,


right, I can tell you one thing, the 27 partners that we have in Europe,


they will be asking all these questions when they arrive in


Brussels on the 31st March. They will want to know what our position


is. When the Tories say - we have to keep our cards close to our chest,


excuse me, what cards? You can't even agree amongst ourselves what


game you are playing. It's not right and not democratic for them to think


they can go into a locked room, have a bust up amongst themselves and


decide what is best for me, my children and my grandchildren. Thank


you. APPLAUSE. Isabel Oakeshott.


This 170 questions put by Labour is an absolute absurdity. I had the


displeasure of hearing Emily Thornberry on the radio yesterday


unable to answer even one question about her party's immigration


policy. To get back to the issue about hard or soft Brexit. I would


like to get rid of this term "hard Brexit." It is designed to


intimidate. It's a continuation of Project Fear. Let's think about what


"soft Brexit is" it's sell-out Brexit. Hard Brexit is real Brexit.


It's what people voted for which is control over our borders. Oh, no.


APPLAUSE. All right. Amol Rajan, do you remember the question. The


question was, has the British public given Theresa May a blank cheque. I


will come back to this... I haven't enough time to get into that. Let's


not go there. I agree with Isabel Oakeshott that the idea of hard and


soft Brexit is complete and utter nonsense. It's a dangerous type of


language. What we are talking about is a single market. On the single


market the question is - is Britain going to remain part of the single


market We don't know. When Article 50 is triggered you enter a two year


negotiation. In that negotiation, over two years, I can't see why 27


countries each of which has a veto, can't see why any of them have any


incentive to let us remain part of the single market. They would think


- Britain has to pay a price for coming out. Theresa May said it in


her conference speech that Britain's relationship won't be anything like


what it was. I take it to mean we will be leaving the single market.


It's really about respecting the will of the people which is to say,


if people want control of migration you have to leave the single market.


That is the fact. That, as far as I can see, that is the trade off made


on June 23rd. Britain might become poorer but we get control of


immigration. How do you know that? Damian Green said it was about


wanting more control, simply, how do you know? I don't know. I interpret


from general polls. Poll that is have been recorded for years that


people want low migration. I have two questions that a lot of people


would want answered which I don't know the answer to, despite being


someone who follows politics closely. If there was a vote in


Parliament it wouldn't be binding it's not legislation, I can't see


why the Government wouldn't just ignore it? I don't know why that


matters. The other thing is, if you are starting a negotiation which


lasts for two years, how can you ask a Government to lay out all of its


negotiating position and the things on which it's flexible. You can't do


that... Sgls can you ask no questions at all of the Prime


Minister? I don't understand how it would work to say to the Government


come forward... When David Cameron went off to Europe before the


referendum and fixed the problems of Europe, he went entirely as a


representative of the Tory party going into a general election. The


people in Europe saw him coming and thought - he's not speaking on


behalf of the whole of Britain, he is speaking on behalf of Torrancies.


They were wrong. We thought they weren't going to win the election.


They did. In order for them to strengthen their hand what they


should be doing is am coulding to the British parliament. We should be


able to have a debate. We ought to have an exchange of ideas and come


to at least some form - We did that yesterday. I will come to that.


Don't come to that. Five-and-a-half hours we were sitting in parliament.


Did we get anything from the Tories at all in terms of what their plans


were? Absolutely not. I will stop you. Everybody else has to have a


say. Damian Green said there will be lots of discussion but he didn't say


whether there will be a vote. You can talk endlessly and find out


nothing. Is there going to be a vote. There the reason there has to


be a vote. At some stage to withdraw from the European Union there has to


be an Act passed. They should have a note now. If they can't get a


majority for the negotiating terms, how on earth would they get a


majority after they finished the negotiations. That is why they


should bring the terms to parliament now, have a vote and let's see...


The assumption that we are trading our membership of the single market


for ability to control our borders and gaining our sovereignty is a


strange one because I think it's a positive case for leaving the single


market we are leaving a world of regulation and entering a world of


markets which seem to be creating trade deals with far greater


success. All right. APPLAUSE.


The man at the back. Thank you. You say you had a clear plan on


negotiating Brexit. Theresa May said she wants maximum control of the


borders and maximum possible access to the single market. But you can't


have both. I need to know, how is that a plan It's not an unreasonable


position to want it. It's a perfectly sensible opening position


that we accept. I said that in my first answer. You said, Alex, there


will have to be a vote on an Act. Absolutely. That's what the Prime


Minister promised this week. There will be a repeal Act in the next...


Talk about a strategy it has nothing to do with it. It's of the European


Union... No. Let me finish. It's about repealing the existing


legislation. That is precisely what the legislation is. Parliament will


debate that and vote on it. Is that the same thing... Downing Street


said there would be a vote on a final deal. Is that what you are


talking about or something different No. No, that's another vote. It


pullsous out of the European Union Act. The woman there. Damian Green


opened by saying people clearly want more control, but how do they know


what people want? The question on the ballot paper is, do you want to


remain or leave the European Union? They seem to be... The one thing


they seem to be hijacking the voice of the Leave voters for their own


ends. When you voted. I won't ask you how you voted. Did you know what


you were voting for? Yes. Perhaps I will ask how you voted. I voted to


remain. Are you suggesting that the vast pa yort of people who voted to


leave, 17.4 million people didn't know what they were voting for or


why? No, I'm suggesting... Because most YES! Oh, right. That is


fascinating that you think so many people, ordinary voters, are so


stupid. APPLAUSE. What they think is voters


were lied to by the No campaign, that is what they think. You don't


think they were lied to by the Yes campaign. People voted for many


different reasons, I know many Leave voters who did not vote to kerb


immigration they voted for more sovereignty. So a hard Brexit does


not serve their vote. You will get sovereignty. You. I agree with Emily


Thornberry, I'd like to make the point, are we going to allow a woman


exercise an executive power because she's a Prime Minister who doesn't


have a democratic mandate of her own and who is refusing to call a


general election for all of us to test the credibility of her


Premiership? You, in the second row? We almost


need to get back to the point where we are talking about the card on the


table and anyone that negotiates don't put their cards on the table


publicly or even in Parliament, I would say, I would say everyone


needs to come up with a plan and an idea, put that forward and maybe


then a general election or some sort of vote, not a referendum, could be


then given. OK. Any Leave voters? What do you feel about the way that


it's being handled now, the man in the white and grey? It's been


handled in the correct way I think. Correct way? Yes. Do you know what


you voted for? Absolutely. What anoise me is when Mr Salmond and Mrs


Thornberry tell us things, it's almost like project fear again. Stop


belittling us, we know what we voted for. What did you vote for? To take


sovereignty of our laws, to get rid of the single markets regulation and


to take back control of immigration. Now, I know that hasn't been put in


black-and-white and we don't have a definitive plan, but there were


freaky aspects we voted for, so stop telling us we didn't know what we


voted for, because we did. APPLAUSE.


Some people, perhaps not yourself, believe that the National Health


Service was going to get an extra ?350 million a week. We have seen no


sign of it. Anybody else who voted Brexit? You, Sir? There were three


Holy Grails of what leave means, taking back control of immigration,


laws and money. None of that can be achieved in the single markets.


David Cameron, George Osborne, everyone has a consensus, leave


means leave, remain means means remain in. I don't know why the


"bemoaners" believe we should leave by the back door. It's ridiculous.


Do you agree? It's difficult for me to interpret what Leave voters


wanted. But you are in the Government, you have to interpret


it? That's what we are doing. Broadly speaking, that is the


message we get from the Leave vote and, broadly speaking, as I've said


a couple of times, that's what we are looking to. The question of


trying to achieve the maximum control of immigration and also the


maximum advantage for British companies trading in Europe, yes


that's exactly what we are trying to do and it will be a negotiation so


we can't lay out the details now, but it does seem not unreasonable,


as an opening position to say, we'll do what the British people have


wanted and also what is to the maximum economic advantage for the


future prosperity of this country. All right. Emily, you said, we have


to negotiate but then we need to consult the public again on whether


or not the deal is a reflection of what they thought they were voting


for. If you talk to that gentleman there who voted out, there is no


need to consult him again and no need to consult him there, it was


over 17 million who voted out. You are saying they don't believe they


knew what they were voting for. Let me ask it this way, how many people


voted to take their next door neighbour's job away because... That


is ludicrous. That is ludicrous. Because the truth is, is that the


Government ought to have first of all it's primary responsibility, the


safety of its people, and the secondary responsibility is to make


sure we have a decent economy so people keep their jobs. People


who've only just got their heads above water, if this economy goes


south, people who're just making ends meet will be the ones who'll


suffer most. It won't be Liam Fox's family who'll suffer, it will be


ordinary families suffer. So you issued the challenge, how many of


you voted to take your neighbour's jobs away? Hands up. No hands up. I


mean that is ludicrous. I'll tell you what, Emily, the job of the


opposition is not to talk total nonsense. Yeah.


APPLAUSE. You, Sir? Would Emily Thornberry


please provide the terms that Labour would agree to and would you provide


the answers to the 170 questions that you'd like to receive?


I think that if we were able... We haven't got time for the 170. Try


one? I would be quite happy to be the Foreign Secretary and for us to


be in Government and for us to have What you would like to do... We'd


like to have Whitehall at our disposal but we do not. We are the


opposition, it's our obligation at a time like this, at a time of grave


constitutional, economic and political crisis for us to be asking


questions and for the Government to be doing its utmost to answer them.


Uncertainty has to end. For the sake of all of us. It isn't just the sake


of us, the CBI, the Japanese, the chair of the Treasury Select


Committee. You have said that, yes. Well, you know. Can I put things a


different way from Emily. I spent two referendums, the Scottish one


and the European one deprecating project fear. During the referendum


campaign I was arguing for Corp remain but on this programme I


attacked George Osborne for the way he was presenting the Remain


argument because I didn't think people were going to be bullied out


of the vote, nor should they have been. But the fact is, if it is a


hard Brexit, if we go out with the single market with no provisions in


place for the trade, then we will lose jobs. The Prime Minister is the


first Lord of the Treasury, the Treasury forecast says that. Now


either she should sack the civil servants who're forecasting and get


other ones or perhaps she should sack the Chancellor or both,


whatever, she can't have her cake and eat it in that sense. However,


the Scottish Parliament had a forecast produced that out with the


single market, there would be 80,000 jobs lost in Scotland. Now, that's


people not in the Treasury. That can be changed if there are other


arrangements made. But unless we know what the arrangements are, then


we face the hard Brexit possibility and the job losses. That is the


outcome. The man in the checked shirt. You, please? We were offered


a bindery choice, to Leave or Remain, we weren't offered to stay


in the single market but remain like Norway. To do that would respect the


referendum because we weren't offered that choice. It would


maintain the best things about the European Union and deal with many


people's concerns, avoid the economic catastrophe about the hard


Brexit. Extraordinary that the Government has ruled that out of the


question. You, Sir, in the front? Moving on


from the nitty-gritty, either hard or soft Brexit, the result that was


quite close has showed that Britain is very divided in terms of opinion


on either side and also, I think that in the Daily Mail and the Daily


Express this week, the headlines and the kind of Daily Mail or Daily


Express comment damning Ramoaners as you put it, I mean I disagree with


that by the way, but the very fact that you have put that in vitriolic


language to 48% of Britain does not help reverse the divisions in


British society. Isabel, let me ask you a question. If you were Prime


Minister and you're faced with 48% saying Remain, what account of them


would you take if you were Theresa May? Well, that is obviously a very


legitimate question but I need to come back to... What is the


legitimate answer? In this country we have a Parliamentary democracy


that goes by a first-past-the-post system so in the referendum the


majority of the people voted out, that has to be respected. To come


back to you on your issue with the Daily Mail editorial. When we talked


about Ramoaners, it's not ordinary people voting to remain, it's the


politicians, Anna Soubry, Nicky Morgan, the politicians, by the way


the majority of whose own constituents voted out. Ed Miliband


the same, the majority of his voted out and yet they are telling us it's


doom, it's going to be Amageddon and we are not respecting the will of


the people and are trying to argue for another referendum dumb because


they didn't like the answer. What do you make of your colleagues who've


been named by the Daily Mail as the moaners? Democratic politicians are


have the right and duty to say what they think and newspapers shouldn't


complain about that. The point about it was 52-48 is a good one and the


answer to what is the job of the Government is, precisely to bring


the country together by producing the best deal possible and Emily was


right. Let me rescue emmy. He was right to talk about the... I don't


think she needs rescuing. The economic issue is very, very


important. We have got a tremendously strong economy. We have


been the fastest growing big economy for years, we've got more jobs than


we've had for ten years, more women in work than ever before and


preserving that by keeping Britain as a prosperous outward looking


global trading nation both with Europe and the rest of the world is


absolutely at the heart of what the Government is trying to do and that


will preserve our prosperity for the future. The second lady that spoke


was a small business owner. I've got to tell you two things that


everybody here needs to understand. We have got two and a bit years for


this. This is going on for a long time. You are shaking your head


because you want certainty. We are not going to have anything like


certainty for a long time. 27 other countries have a veto. Even if you


think you have certainty, in the final minute, someone can pull a


rabbit out of the hat so get used to it, basically. Sorry, we'd better


move on because we are half way through the programme on that one


topic. Do you want very briefly to speak? You have had your hand up a


long time? I take issue with people saying that people that voted out


were stupid because we are not. I've done informed research and based my


decision on that. Absolutely.


APPLAUSE. And what did you vote for when you


voted? I voted to leave. For what though? To leave the single market


because there is a bigger world out there that we can trade with. There


is so much more opportunities than in Europe and there is no growth in


Europe. And did you vote to take your neighbour's job away? Come on,


ridiculous question. I vote to take Emily's job away.


APPLAUSE. We're in Hartlepool next week


and Gloucester the following week. Come and speak your mind,


I'll give the details at the end. Next question from Daniel Chambers,


please? Have the latest Donald Trump revelations made him unfit to be


President? I don't think we needed the latest revelations to know that


he was unfit. He's a psychopath. He is narcissistic. He can't relate to


people. If you watch him wandering around that debate, it's an


amazingly weird psychological experience but actually I almost


began to feel pity for the man. He's an extreme loner, he doesn't have


any friends, he's lived a sad, lonely life and he's got a ludicrous


bunch. Of policies which means he probably won't get elected. There's


still a bit of time before he could get elected. Imagine Vladimir Putin


is planning an October surprise, he'd like him to get in, so I


wouldn't be surprised if he hijacks the election in some way. There is a


huge phenomenon which we neglect in the US. There is a lot of people who


say that they don't know are actually going to vote for Trump.


The two big questions are, if Trump is such a psychopath and lying,


racist, sexist bully, why isn't Hillary way ahead and I'm not saying


that because I think she's a terrible candidate, I think it


speaks to the fact that America is very divided. If Trump loses, you've


still got a massive problem, 60 million people who expressed a vote


for him and feel that they are being completely neglected. The way to


understand Trump, it's like King Leah, on the heath going completely


mad and says, we should do such things, of which I know not yet.


Like the Dylan Thomas he roar, he's raging.


-- hero, he's raging. Isabelle Oakeshott? I found his


comments on women absolutely repel lieutenant and I think they probably


do disqualify him for the presidency -- repellant. What worries me is


that, why has he got as far as he has? The reason is that people who


back Trump in America are not looking for a messiah, they are not


looking to vote for the Pope, they are looking for a battering ram,


looking for something that crashes the establishment and it's a kind


of, the way I see it, a kind of howl of protest against the sanitisation


of political debate. People like the fact that he is prepared to go into


debates that others wouldn't have. On immigration, he's throwing it all


out there, being dangerous and provocative. It's deeply worrying


but you have to look at what got him there in the first place.


Emily Thornberry. Well, as a British politician, it's... We have to be


very careful about telling American's how to vote - No, you


don't. What we could do perhaps is rely, quote Her Majesty when she


said before the Scottish referendum, "we would hope that they would think


very carefully about it." Let me answer it, instead of answering as a


British politician. Let me answer it as a woman. As a woman I thought his


comments were completely disgusting and totally offensive and of course


he shouldn't be American president. All right. The woman in the second


row. How do you think our relationship with the States will


change if he does become president? I think it's very difficult to know


exactly what he's going to do in terms of his policies. I think he


has thrived on getting as much attention as he can by saying


outrageous things. I think that the difficulty that we have in relation


to his attitude to women is that that is deeply ingrained. The idea


that somebody could be president of America and have the attitude he


does to half the population is completely inappropriate. Alex


Salmond, do you share the view you heard around this table about why he


got the Republican nomination, why he's not, sort of, already left the


scene? He's riding an anti--establishment wave. Thus far


he has been compared to King Lear and Her Majesty, the Queen. And


Dillon Thomas' father as well. The best description I have read about


Trump is an article in the FT which said that only drunks and sociopaths


tweet at 3.00am in the morning. Loner. Trump is a teetotaller.


That's, basically, what he is. I mean, all this stuff about the


Muslims and Mexicans, I mean that was for the campaign. That was to


get the Republican nomination. He's a sociopath, a demagogue. The he's


not fit to be president for all of these reasons. He thinks you are a


has been and totally irrelevant, which is what he said about you? I


say you should judge people by your enemies. I'm proud to call Donald


Trump one of my enemies. The woman there. Seeing as Trump is such a


ridiculous psychopath, why are we letting someone from Britain who has


appeared on a number of official stages and has affected a lot of


people, Nigel Farage, who has led - well, hasn't led, has been a


prominent figure in a campaign to leave the EU, why are we letting him


appear on a stage with Donald Trump and coach Donald Trump? Why is there


like no... We are nota dictatorship. Since Nigel Farage did that, Trump


has been sinking like a stone. Farage might be our secret weapon!


The guy with the jacket and glasses. You are starting to Chair the


programme. He says you are in favour of Trump? I'm fed of politicians


attacking Donald Trump calling him sexist. Hillary Clinton leaked


emails, you calling him unfit is, quite frankly, ridiculous. I like


him, he's nice. He will make America great again. He's the change


candidate. He wants to improve things for


African-Americans in the inner city areas. Hillary Clinton has done


nothing as Secretary of State she's an appalling woman. Quite frankly,


she is not fit. You at the back there. At least Hillary Clinton has


held office, she was quite an effective Secretary of State. What


has Trump done? He's got no political experience at all despite


all the other faults he's got. Damian Green, is he unfit to be


president? It's a seriously bad idea for Government ministers in another


country to try and advise democratic friendly countries... I'm asking


whether you think he is unfit. You are are not advising the American


electorate. You don't need fob pomp pos about it? I will comment on the


words. Partly because I think Isabel Oakeshott and Emily said as a woman


she found those words he sado fencive. Can I say as a man I found


them really offensive as well. APPLAUSE. -- pompous. We will go on


to another question. Gabrielle Baigel. When playing games with my


nieces and nef you nephews we sometimes need to make it the best


of three if they're losing. How many Scottish referendums are we going to


need? I will come to you in a moment, Damian Green? We have had a


referendum in Scotland. The Scottish people very sensibly decided they


were better off inside the United Kingdom. I think that's good for


everyone else in the UK and certainly good for Scotland. All the


leaders of the SNP at the time, including Alex, said this was a once


in a generation, once-in-a-lifetime vote. They now seem to be changing


their mind on that. I have great faith in the common sense of the


Scottish people. They rejected separation when oil was $100 a


barrel. They have twice as much reason to do it now oil is $50 a


barrel. Frankly, you have to ask yourself - why is the SNP doing this


now? This is a piece of Blueser to distract from the fact they are


doing their day job, running the Scottish Government, very badly.


School standards are falling in Scotland, there are fewer deprived


children go to university in Scotland than they do in England and


Wales. People are waiting longer for help from the police because of the


Scottish Government. They are trying to distract the Scottish people from


the recognition that actually as a Government they're very, very poor.


APPLAUSE. What Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister said today was, she


is determined Scotland will have the ability to reconsider the question


of independence. If she comes out saying we want another referendum,


would the Westminster Government, the British Government agree to it?


We haven't got anywhere fear. That's a process point. I'm saying they


shouldn't. I don't think the Scottish people would. You I don't


think there should be another referendum. Damian Green was reading


from his Central Office brief about what he thinks of Scottish education


and health service. Nicola Sturgeon was re-elected First Minister of


Scotland m May this year with 47% of the vote. Now, that is a mandate


that the Conservative Party could only dream about. You have a leader


who has not been elected. Your previous leader got 37% of the vote.


In that manifesto that she was elected on in May of this year,


contained the words "that if there is a significant and material


changing in circumstances, like Scotland being dragged out of the


European Union against the wishes of the Scottish people, then the


Scottish Parliament should have the right to hold another referendum. "


On that manifesto she was re-elected First Minister with 47% of the vote.


Now, that is an unimpeachable man daylight to say what Nicola Sturgeon


said today. Will there be a referendum, in your view? I think


what will happen is as follows. I think Nicola will put forward to the


Prime Minister, Theresa May, representing interests of Scotland.


A plan where by Scotland can retain its European connections in trade. A


plan to defend European citizens in Scotland so they are not treated as


bargaining chips or cards to be played. Their rights are respected.


A plan to defend the social and employments rights of Scottish


workers. That is the plan will go forward to Theresa May. The ball


will be in her court to accommodate that within her Brexit negotiations.


If she says yes to that, I think that will be Nicola discharging her


mandate. If she says no I think there will be another referendum


within two years. Which she will lose again? I don't think Nicola


will be holding it... She wouldn't beholding it... Unless she thought


she was going to win it. I think that's absolutely right. I started


the referendum campaign in 2012 at 27% of the vote. We ended up at 45%.


Now, I don't think Nicola Sturgeon is going to have too many


compunctions starting on 48% of the vote, which is where the latest poll


shows it. You win referendums in terms of the arguments you put


forward and the movement of people. If you put forward a case which


appeals to people's hopes for the future. That addresses the


questions, then you can win a referendum. The woman in the front


there. The argument that Damian put forward, she has no mandate for it,


is absolutely and utterly ridiculous and ignores the results of the


Scottish elections. If you think about the EU referendum, 48% of the


people decided to stay, so in two or three years time if we don't get the


deals or conditions we want there should be another referendum as to


whether we should rejoin the EU There should be a referendum when a


parliament votes for a referendum when it decides to put it to the


people. If the Scottish Parliament, it would have to be the SNP and the


Green Party, combine to have the majority - Is Brexit then no means


no? They can put the matter to the people in the referendum. If a


parliament votes for it, the people have a right to decide. I think we


have the point. I'm amazing you are going on and boosting about this 47%


which is apparently great for you, but when it's 52% for out that's not


good enough. And, by the way... No the referendum... Alex, let her


speak. I'm also amazed that Alex wants another referendum. The


economic case for Scottish independence has been absolutely


shredded. Scotland is more of economic basket case than Greece at


the moment. How would you pay your Welfare Bill without us This lady


was complaining about Project Fear. Project Reality is what we have


here. That's what you need to listen to. OK. If Scotland wasn't a viable


extremely prosperous country with amazing natural human resources the


Treasury and the Conservative Party wouldn't be anxious to hold on to


us, I can tell you that. You asked how many referendums do we need, the


answer is as many as Alex Salmond and the SNP say they want. It seems


that losing that referendum was the best thing that happened to the SNP.


They may have preferred to have won and have an independent Scotland


they have a foothold in Westminster. They have such a deeply entrenched


in Scotland in Scotland that Labour have collapsed in Scotland another


referendum is inevitable. I was surprised that Nicola Sturgeon


announced there would be a referendum today. I thought the


polls shouldn't there hadn't been a great up tick in independence, 38%.


I thought it would take a bit more time. I think eventually you will


win your life-long dream of an independent Scotland and a broken


United Kingdom will be fulfilled. The forces pulling Scotland away,


social, political, demographic from the rest of the country, the rest of


England, are so strong and cannot be tolerated. Whether he gets the


referendum or not, it might be ten years, but eventually Scotland is


leaving, we better get used to it. You sir. Scotland have no plan for


the currency, and no guarantee of being able to reenter the EU. You


need a deficit down to 3% of GDP. You can ask the same question, you


will get the same answer. You in the front. The prospect of the country


being broken up with Scottish potential independence, does the


panel think that referendums should be put to the English, the Welsh and


the northernish Irish as to whether they want the United Kingdom to


disintergrate? Serious implications if Scotland leaves the Union? Emily


Thornberry? I want us to be United Kingdom. I think that we are a great


country when we are united. I don't want us to splinter off. I think we


are who we are because we stick together. And, I would do everything


I can to to keep our country together. All right. I will move on.


We only have 10 minutes left. Rebecca Reece, your question. Is the


current Parliamentary Labour Party an effective opposition to the


Government? Are they an effective opposition? No, it the short answer.


In the last week it's changed. I have respect for Emily, she's in


what she has done with these 170 questions. It's the first time under


Jeremy Corbyn it looked like Labour is doing what it is meant to do.


Labour has so many problems it's ridiculous. Your question may be


motivated by a poll this week. In England where most marginal seats


are, Labour is 25% behind. Over 65s, the most people likely to vote, 48%


behind. No-one to the left of Tony Blair has won an election in Britain


since 1976, right. If at the last election the problem was a left-wing


leader who wasn't trusted with the economy,, having a more left-wing


leader who is less trusted on the economy isn't necessarily going to


get Labour elected. I believe that despite being in parliament since


1983 and Emily has been in parliament 11 years this Labour


movement and momentum don't believe in parliament. John McDonnell was


asked if he achieved social change. He said three ways, on the streets,


trade unions and there is parliament. He said don't expect


change from parliament to come any time soon. If you think about it,


the thing about Labour, what is interesting, they refer to David


Miliband, lost under Ed Miliband and governed by Ralf Miliband. Who you


guys may know. Wrote a back in 1969 calledkm parliamentary Socialism. I


read it so you don't have to. If you want to achieve socialism you do it


true the streets. Part of the reason Jeremy Corbyn is relaxed that 182 of


his MPs say they have no confidence in him is because he doesn't care


about achieving power. That is the main driving reason why they are no


good in opposition right now. The question wasn't, can they become


a Government, the question was, are they an effective opposition?


Emily's provided opposition this week, she's been on Channel 4 and...


I'll come to Emily in a moment. Alex Salmond? Labour haven't been an


effective opposition and that's self-evident from the last year, but


I rather agree. I think the Europeanish eye is going to put


enormous pressure on the Government and we'll find out if Theresa May


leads an effective Government. I'm not so sure about the idea that


Jeremy Corbyn's so left-wing that people wouldn't respond to it. I


mean, I don't think Jeremy's politics have been the problem, it's


been the competence. It's been the lack of ability to lead in


Parliament and if that can be changed I'm not certain that Labour


couldn't provide a much, much better show than they are having. In terms


of balance on politics, the SNP won 56 out of the 59 Westminster seats


in Scotland, the Tory party won one and Labour won one. Now, when I


started out in politics, I didn't think I'd ever see a situation when


the Labour Party won just the wound seat in Scotland but you should


perhaps think about this Damian, that Ukip have one seat in the UK


and we are in a situation in Scotland where the party with one


seat, the Tory party, actually is running the country on major


decisions, so people should think about how they would feel if Ukip


were currently in Government with one seat and then you will


understand where Scotland is going. You in the front? We have all


unanimously agreed that the Labour Party is riddled with divisions,


does the panel think there is a possibility of a split? A split in


the Labour Party? Emily Thornberry? The Labour Party is a coalition on


the left, just like Please don't say... Coalition on the right. We


have huge divisions. Oh. The next time we hear a Labour politician...


Can I get a word in edgeways, please. Tell her to stop talking,


it's nonsense, you have got nothing in common with them. Let her answer.


We have tuitions and the Tories have divisions and unlike the Tories who


fight their battles in closed rooms, we fight in the press. You can see


we fight in the press. With we supposed to be impressed by that? .


It's not impressive and it has to stop because actually you know what


unites us is so much more than what divides us. This's untry. We are a


divided country. It's important we hold this Government to account.


It's outrageous the way in which they have not had regional economic


policies and way they have not been investing in some of the poorer


communities up and down this country and they have essentially turned


their back on them. We are a divided country in terms of those who're


doing badly out of this Government, they're doing much worse. We looked


today at the results in the Health Service and what is happening there


and the way in which on all the stats, the Health Service is in a


much worse place... What has this to do with you being an effective


opposition? APPLAUSE.


OK, so one of the things that one has to do as an opposition is point


these things out, despite the barracking from the Daily Mail or


anywhere else, and we have to be true to what it is we stand up for


and we have to make clear there is an alternative because there is one


and Labour can be that. What, as I say, we have some differences, of


course we do, but I'll tell you what, it's nothing compared to the


differences you are about to see when it comes to Brexit and the


party. No, there are arguments that we have, but what we have to do at


this stage is pull together and remember what it is that we have in


common and we can be and we must be an effective opposition to this


appalling... Enough, enough. The man in charge of Brexit, your Brexit


Shadow secretary, himself said you can't offer effective opposition


without a change of leader, so how can you offer that? Can I just say,


I mean Jeremy has the advantage of being a good and decent man. And he


is a good and decent man. APPLAUSE.


And what we need to do is, the Labour Party is a collective


endeavour, it's not one person, we are in fact the largest political


party in Western Europe. We are now nearly 600,000-strong. We are a very


large and Democratic Party and we need to make sure that the


Parliamentary Labour Party steps up, pulls together and actually puts


forward the arguments because there are a huge number of arguments and


there is an alternative and we need to get on with our job.


APPLAUSE. OK, let's hear from someone about


whether they think Labour is an effective opposition? You? Jeremy


Corbyn talks about loyalty and I'm sorry, but over the 30 years of his


career, he's shown complete disloyalty to Labour because he


voted against the whip 500 times was it, so where is this professionalism


and loyalty that we are meant to show to Corbyn? You? I want all the


parties to care more about what's going to be happening in Europe and


our relationship with Europe whatever the relationship, rather


than this in-fighting between parties because so many more


important issues are at stake. They need to spend time and energy


sorting that problem out than fighting and other referendums.


Rebecca, what do you think? You asked the question? As a member of


the Labour Party, I feel quite let down by the Parliamentary Labour


Party and I think large parts of the public should as well because the


resignations by the Shadow Cabinet after Brexit real hi allowed the


Conservative Party to hide their own internal divisions and they've got


their own huge divisions over Brexit but all that's being shown are


Labour's divisions. APPLAUSE.


Damian Green? I was in opposition when the Tory party was in a bad


place in the early years of this century. Nothing is like the despair


on the Labour benches now. Trust me, Labour's in a much worse place. I


want to pick up one point, part of the sort of Labour Hymnsheet that


the Tories are much more divided than we are. It's demonstrably not


true. People on either side of the referendum are now sitting on


Cabinet. I'm in Cabinet with Liam Fox and David Davis and we are


arguing a future about how we can get the best from the Brexit vote.


You can't agree. We will agree. The point is, we are sitting in Cabinet


together. Your Shadow Cabinet won't have it because they won't serve in


it. Hilary Benn, Yvette Cooper, Chuka Umunna. You have got people


that have been Kimmed out? We've got nobody... Nicky Morgan. Nobody who


was asked to serve who refused. They just kicked them out. How many


people did you sack? Ten? Emily, apart from you, most of the talented


Labour politicians in Britain are refusing to serve in Jeremy


Corbyn's... Boris Johnson was there ready and Michael Gove popped up and


said I'm not backing him any more, he's unfit. Boris is... I'm in the


Cabinet. APPLAUSE.


ALL SPEAK AT ONCE. Michael Gove isn't in the Cabinet.


We have a united Cabinet that represents all views. Most of the


talented Labour politicians won't even serve under Jeremy Corbyn and


unless and until you get talented people on board, I'm afraid you will


continue to be facing the opposition.


You with the spectacles on? Given the influence that momentum appears


to have within the Labour Party, has too much momentum been generated so


that it's now out of control? Isabelle Oakeshott? Emmy goes on


about Jeremy being a good, decent man. My question is, is he


honourable? Is it honourable to remain leader when you can't read


your own Parliamentary party. If you can't head your own party, you


cannot be an effective opposition. The honourable thing would have been


for him to quit a very long time ago.


APPLAUSE. Can you pick up on his point about


Momentum? Just to repeat the question. Given the influence that


Momentum appears to have, is it now that too much momentum has been


generated so that it's now out of control? Absolutely because Momentum


doesn't represent the views of the majority of Labour MPs and the


result is that those Labour MPs are totally out of sync with the party


members and cannot provide an effect I opposition and that is untenable


-- effective opposition. The Labour MPs should be more in tune with the


Labour membership. You are applauding, are you a Momentum


supporter, Sir? Can you explain? Yes. Jeremy's just received his


second landslide victory. Coming back to what Isabelle says, yes, 192


MPs resigned. He's just been voted in by 300,000 people to be leader of


the party. That is a mandate. And coming back to what the lady said a


minute ago about disloyalty and him voting against the whip, he voted


against PFI, he voted against student tuition fees, he voted


against the Iraq war. On every one of those if you go back through


history, the that joort, if not all, he's been on the right side of


history -- the majority. Sorry I interrupted you earlier.


It's just not true to say that what unites you is greater than what


divides you. It's not true. A lot of people who call themselves Labour


moderates came into politics because they want to save the reformed


capital it. . Jeremy Corbyn wants to replace... People have been miscast


in the media. It's completely in a different place politically to the


Parliamentary Labour Party. You have interrupted me, I'm interrupting you


because you are just talking nonsense here. Of course people


stand for Parliament who're a part of the Parliamentary democracy we


believe in a form of capitalism which is ameliorated by having an


economy which is a mixed economy. We believe in the state, we believe in


making sure that we have a strong country but we look after the poor


and the weak and, of course, we are a united country. That is what pulls


us together. The united party you meant, not a united country? We lead


a united country around a party. I have to stop you there. Our hour is


up. We're in Hartlepool next week


with former Greek finance minster Yanis Varoufakis,


the man who once owned the Daily Telegraph Conrad Black


and Ken Clarke for the Tories. The following week


we'll be in Gloucester. Come and join us, Hartlepool


or Gloucester, go to our website, If you are listening tonight


on Radio 5Live, the debate goes My thanks to all our panel here and


to all of you who came to this superb museum at the Royal Air Force


in Hendon. Until next week on Question Time, good night.


David Dimbleby presents topical debate from the RAF Museum in London. On the panel are Conservative work and pensions secretary Damian Green MP, Labour's shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry MP, former SNP leader Alex Salmond MP, editor-at-large of the Independent Amol Rajan and the Daily Mail's political-editor-at-large Isabel Oakeshott.

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