12/01/2017 Question Time


David Dimbleby chairs topical debate from Solihull. On the panel are David Lidington, Gisela Stuart, Arron Banks, Paul Mason and space scientist Monica Grady.

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Welcome to this first Question Time of 2017.


Conservative Leader of the House of Commons, David Lidington.


The Labour MP who chaired the Vote Leave campaign, Gisela Stuart.


Guardian columnist and broadcaster, Paul Mason.


Professor of Planetary and Space Sciences


at the Open University, Monica Grady.


And the businessman and Brexit campaigner


who was a major Ukip donor, Arron Banks.


As ever, you can join the debate on Facebook,


Our first question from Inderveer Kang. Is Donald Trump fit to be


leader of the free world? Arron Banks? I think he absolutely is. He


won the election fair and square. A lot of people question his methods,


maybe. But our experience of dealing with him, we had quite a lot of


interaction between the Brexit campaign and Trump. I think he is


pretty rational, actually. Certainly, in our meetings with him


he was very calm and reflective and he is quite different off-camera.


There is certainly an element of showmanship about what he does and


time will tell whether the sorts of things he is going to do will be


radically better or not. But he has appointed a cabinet of businessmen,


very rich ones, at that. So we will see how it pans out. We saw you with


Nigel Farage in the Golden lift at Trump Tower. What were you talking


about? That wasn't the lift, that was his front door. What did you


talk about? With Nigel, he wanted to talk about the campaign. He was


tired, it had been a bruising campaign, and they shared that


camaraderie. But we talked, interestingly, about how he wants to


redistribute wealth from the rich to the poor in America. I think even


Paul would have been at home there. It was interesting. I would not have


used the showers! That's very naughty. Paul Mason. If any of the


substantive allegations in the security dossier that's being


published now and handed to the American authorities are true, he


can't be the President. If they are true, and they are allegations, then


he is a security risk. Not a security risk to America, but a


security risk to the 800 British troops who will be sent to Estonia


this year to stand on the front line with Russia. There is no proof in


that dossier that he has done any of these things. It looks like raw


intelligence. I have seen secret intelligence. It doesn't look like


that. This looks like the input that intelligence people use to make


decisions. The person who wrote it clearly has no interception


facilities, no data surveillance facilities. But you know, Trump


himself, during the campaign, actually called on Russia to hack


Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton is not just a candidate but the former


first Lady of the United States. This means, if any of these things


are true, and they are two things, one is conspiracy with the Kremlin


over years, and misbehaviour in a hotel. The CIA will know about it.


The CIA and FBI -- FBI will know the details. They have the technology.


They know what shade of gold the shower was. So Obama knows. Obama


will know. And I think he has the duty, as do the CIA chiefs, for us,


not just the American people, to level with people in the West what


they think is true. If it is not true, let's move on. Other than


that, of course he has the right. He is the elected President. Look, he


has been elected and will be inaugurated. I think we ought to


have a debate about the people he appoints around him now. We should


have a very serious look at whether the American constitution will be


stress tested, because Congress will have its say as to what the


President can do. I would not have voted for him but nobody asked me. I


don't think we should equate Brexit with Trump. These were two


completely different things. He has been elected leader of the free


world and we have a responsibility to work with him as best as we can,


and the jury is out. The question is, is he fit to be leader? You have


watched his campaign and heard the way he conducted himself. What


politicians are fit to be elected, if you put it that way? He probably


got elected because he wasn't a politician. If you talk about


fitness, we know one thing about the American system. It is enormously


robust and has means to deal with people who are not fit for the


system, and it will be up to the Americans to exercise their


democratic procedures. What we have seen with Donald Trump in the past


is that he is an entrepreneur, has made a fortune and lost one. He has


done all sorts of things which may or may not be dodgy. He has


certainly expressed some extremely unpalatable opinions and shown


himself to be, you know, well, I'm not going to say dodgy, but he has


shown himself to be a strange person. But he has not been


confined. He was the leader of his empire. He was in charge of his own


destiny. As he becomes leader of the free world, the democratically, we


assume, elected leader of the free world. He is going to be hedged


around by advisers. OK, yes, the ones he has appointed but also


others. He will not be able, I sincerely trust, be able to push


that nuclear button, give every home in the USA two guns, as he has said.


He will not be able to do this. He will be constricted. He has to be.


Then he will be a massive disappointment to the people who


voted for him. Maybe. Maybe so. Look at his first policy, he wants to


take on the pharmaceutical industry in America. That is a wonderful


aspiration as his first policy. I think he aims to do what he says.


When he said, I am going to build a big, beautiful wall and the Mexicans


are going to pay for it, he will do it. Whether you agree with it or


not, that is what he will do. But the joke was, and the Mexicans have


agreed to pay for it and no damn American is going to come across it.


Me go back to the question. What do you think? I don't think he is fit


to be leader of the free world. He does not have the right temperament,


he is too aggressive, continually isolating communities and his


relationship with Russia is frankly troubling. In the second row from


the back. It is ridiculous to say he is fit to be President, because when


you compare Obama's leaving message in his message of hope, aspiration


and equality and you compare it to the Trump campaign built on


scapegoating minorities, racism and allegations of misogyny, I really


think his character which he has shown isn't fit to be President at




It is very well for us to sit here and say he is not fit to be


President. On the 20th of January, he is going


to be the 45th President. We will have to deal with it. And to Paul


Mason, you know, these allegations, they are just that. There is no


evidence being put forward at all. He has denied the allegations. How


do you suggest he proves they are not true. How can you prove they are


not true? It is not for him to prove. These allegations have not


just been made by BuzzFeed. They have gone into the American


intelligence system and they are being assessed by the American


intelligence system. It is for Obama, and the boss of the CIA, to


tell everyone what they think of them. It is not like someone just


sat there and made an allegation. The man who wrote it is an


ex-British intelligence officer. We do not employ idiots in MI6. We


might have done in the past! But this guy sounds like he knows what


he is talking about. Bidden excellent job with the 45 minute


dossier, didn't they? -- they did an excellent job with it. That


pretended to be a worked through judgment and it wasn't. He doesn't


have much time, does he, a couple of days? David Lidington, it is


difficult for you because being in the government you have too cosy up


to him. The react -- the reality is, as the gentleman said, that Donald


Trump, whatever any of us think about him, and he would admit


himself in the US that he is something of a Marmite politician.


He has huge numbers of fervent supporters and numbers who flocked


to the polls to vote for Hillary Clinton to try to defeat him. But he


has been elected, fairly, under the democratic constitutional system the


United States has. They have, as others have said, other


institutions, a Supreme Court, a Congress that has a constitutional


role of its own, and that is a matter for the citizens of the


United States. Our job in the United Kingdom is, yes, David, to work


closely with whoever, Democrat or Republican, is elected by the


American people. Because US power and policy matter to us, to our


security, it matters to things like counterterrorist policy and


cooperation. It matters to the world economy and to trading opportunities


around the world. So we need to work to forge a good working relationship


with Mr Trump and his administration. It doesn't mean we


will agree on everything. There have been numerous occasions when


Conservative and Labour Prime Minister is alike have disagreed


with a particular American administration. But there has been a


constant acceptance of the reality that our national interests involve


working closely with whoever is democratically elected Indian


knighted States. And do you think we are at the front of the queue or the


back, as President Obama has said, in terms of trade agreements? The


initial words from Mr Trump are encouraging. And I know from earlier


roles of mine in government that the United States is a tough negotiator


when it comes to their own economic interests. But let's look for the


opportunities. Let's hear from the audience. The woman in the back row.


The question was, is he fit, and we don't know if he is fit or not. But


a concern is the people he is pointing to advise him. Are they


fit? What experience do they have of politics, of running a huge country


like the USA? Are you uneasy? Very uneasy. What about you, sir? Whilst


I understand he won the election fair and square, he led a campaign


in which he said some of the most deplorable things I have heard from


a politician. It is ironic that he has gone back on so many promises,


watering them down, which shows he is not fit, if he has to go back on


his promises. What did you particularly object to? The Muslim


ban, and I don't think we should be building walls. We should be


building bridges, not walls. APPLAUSE


Arron Banks? I think you have to see in the context of the election. The


whole US media were against him. Yes, there were times where I think


he overstepped the mark, clearly. Where, for you? The Muslim ban. I


think that is demonstrably wrong and I would condemn it. And saying it


doesn't make him unfit? Don't think it does make him unfit. We have seen


some ropey US president, George Bush at the top. OK, maybe he is a bit


unfiltered, that might be the description, but often politicians


are thinking these things and saying it behind closed doors, and he just


comes out and says it. Anybody else? How refreshing it is to have a


non-career politician and how refreshing it is to have strong


leadership in the west. If he had been our leader, he'd have signed


Article 50 before the courts got involved. OK. It might come to a bit


of that. Let's go on, because he will be president, well, not quite


next week, but almost. Anyway, we will be in Peterborough next week.


We will be in London the week after. On the screen is how to apply, if


you want to come to Peter Brock or London a fortnight away, and I will


give the details at the end. Our second question comes from Natalie


Stanley. Is Theresa May wrong to reject the claims made by the


British Red Cross at NHS hospitals are facing a humanitarian crisis?


The British Red Cross this week saying there is a humanitarian


crisis in the NHS and the Prime Minister rejected it. Gisela Stuart.


I think humanitarian crisis probably was a phrase we might expect to see


in other contexts. What do you mean by that? I associate it with war


zones and something more unpredictable. So they were wrong? I


would choose that phrase. Last year this time, we had the junior doctors


strike. The Tory government has stripped money out of social care.


We know that, if you want decent public services, the health sector


will be affected by any cutbacks in social care and its knock-on effect,


and I would really advise Theresa May to listen very carefully to


Simon Stevens. I've worked with him. He understands the health service


and politics and how it connects. He knows that just more money isn't the


answer and what he asked for was greater coordination, bringing


forward the money, and Theresa May would be well advised to listen to


his advice. APPLAUSE


Of course, when you were running the Vote Leave campaign, you said there


would be ?18 billion more for the NHS if you voted out. You stood in


front of that bus saying ?350 million a week, double what is being


spent. We said we had lost control and, as Vote Leave, we said we would


give ?100 million of that to the health service. I still think we


should do that. The phrase was, a communitarian crisis is one


hospitals in Aleppo are being bombed, but what we are seeing now


is hospitals under pressure. -- a humanitarian crisis. It is a mark of


the professionalism and hard work of NHS staff that, despite those


pressures, we are seeing record numbers of people treated at A and


in other parts of the health service, including record numbers


being treated today despite those pressures within the four hour time


limit, but we made to make sure they take action about this. We continue


to direct more money at the NHS. That is what the government is doing


and continues to do. We have to make sure that we also are making certain


that the best practice that we find in the NHS is replicated and


mainstreamed in every trust around the country because, when you look


at the pattern at different trusts, you find they often have a very


varied record in terms of the quality of service they provide. I


think, if we look to the medium-term... No, it's not the ...


It's the hospitals' fault? No, the reason people are treated in record


numbers is due to the response of listen in professionalism and


dedication of NHS staff but, in an organisation as vast as the NHS, NHS


professionals themselves say that they can find ways in certain


hospitals and they are delivering better quality than other trusts. We


had missed Staffordshire -- mid Staffordshire. That will always be


true, but what about Simon Stevens, it is stretching it to save the NHS


is more than he asked for? Uses a lot of words but one of them wasn't


sorry and I think the government should be saying, we are sorry to


the people dying on trolleys, because that is where it's at. I


don't care whether it is a humanitarian crisis, it's a


political crisis and it's a disgrace for a developed country.


APPLAUSE 20 hospitals yesterday declared a


black alert, the worst thing you can declare. The four hour wait target


has not been met since July 20 15. 4 million people waiting for referral


for treatment, getting from the appointment to being treated, and


ambulance targets haven't been on time for 20 months. A doctor is


writing in the Evening Standard tonight that people going having


their bed filled and not being able to get back into the bed after a


serious operation. We should not reduce it to a single cause, because


there are lots of problems in the NHS, ageing, social care, doesn't


work, hasn't got enough money, not enough space and time to innovate,


and the ageing thing is going to carry on hitting us, but the


fundamental thing that lies behind all of this is the lack of money. I


don't want to go kind of ping-pong of political points. I've made my


political point. I would plead with you to get on the phone to Theresa


May and get her and Philip Hammond to simply ring to departments, the


health department and the local councils, the DC LGB and they just


have say one thing, run a deficit. Please, spend what you need now and


you will not be penalised at the end of the year for overspending. That


would solve the crisis now. APPLAUSE


The woman in pink. What Theresa May and Simon Stevens are bickering,


there are people dying with incurable breast cancer, they can't


get the support they need, drugs are being blocked, life-saving drugs for


cancer, and it seems to me that the government is in denial about the


funding needs. I agree to some extent with what Paul is saying


about needing more money. That is indubitably true. But just throwing


money at the problem will not solve it. The NHS is a monolithic


organisation. One size doesn't fit all. It is no good saying, yes,


learn best practice from this trust and go to that trust, but you have


different populations with different requirements, different needs, and


so to try and force the same pattern of behaviour on hospital trusts


isn't going to work. You need more trust lower down, trust with the


doctors and nurses, who are on the coal face, but, you know, they are


not, they are on the ward, but the doctors and nurses and social


workers who are with the communities, looking at community


hospitals which are closing, where people have to travel greater


distances to come to bigger hospitals. Yes, those hospitals have


the fancy equipment which is necessary... Are they closing


because of funding or another reason? Various reasons, different


in different areas. A lot of it is you are saying, it is better that we


have this specialised maternity care it, so we are going to close these


two cottage hospitals there, but if we could have them both, have it


all, you know, Utopia. Let's hear from the woman there. I think a way


to get money back to the NHS is to start charging people for not


turning up to appointments. I got a text message the other day to say,


this is the reminder of my appointment and it costs the NHS


?100 for people who don't turn up. Every time I for an appointment,


there are always signs to say how many people and turned up but I


think it is a disgrace and that is one way for the NHS to get their


money back. OK. You, sir, in a blue shirt. Is this a result of five to


six years of austerity and tax cuts, the fact we are talking about this


now? Shouldn't we, instead of... APPLAUSE


Instead of talking about cutting corporation tax, shouldn't we be


talking about adding 1p or 2p in the pound to my tax bill that would help


to fund the NHS, social care, schools and everything in the public


sector? Don't you think, Mr and Mrs politician from whichever party, we


have it the public sector to hard over the last six years? Arron


Banks. Well, let's start with the principle that most hospitals I have


been to, I think are pretty efficiently run, and I don't think


it is the people working in the hospitals. There is some top-down


management but clearly it is in crisis on funding. There is a lack


of money in the NHS and that sits at the heart of the problem for


government. It goes to the wider principle of the government should


do less and it should do what is really important well. I would agree


that there is a humanitarian crisis of whether it is that is a question,


but it is definitely a crisis. Unless we put the necessary cash


into it, I think it will get worse and worse. Is there any chance you


may relent on this business of saying the NHS has got any money --


enough money now, we set aside enough? We did put in an extra 400


million for particular winter pressures that come up every winter


season. But they are clearly not enough. If you look at the sums of


money overall you have had in... The raw figures for 2015-16, the NHS


budget was 98.1 billion. 2020-21, it will be 119.1 billion. It is going


up, and it is continuing we only do that, in response to the gentleman


who just spoke, because the economy is continuing to grow and generating


the funds that we can distribute to public services, and corporation tax


revenue has gone up. There was a request from Simon Stevens for more


money in the next two to three years. He asked for it in a


Parliamentary committee. You're not giving it, so there is a clay


difference between what the expert says and what the politician says.


Simon Stevens is independent. The Government made the boss of the NHS


an independent body separate from ministers precisely so he could act


as an independent advocate. He did. He also Paul, which you didn't say


is that when the Government made its announcement about NHS spending, he


welcomed that warmly, said that his concerns had been listened to, had


asked for the extra spending to be front loaded which is exactly what


we have done. If I can just - Monica made an important point about


different patterns needed in different parts of the country.


Rural and urban, it's going to Sarah vicious it's why the reform plans


that are being taken forward within the NHS are being locally driven


rather than being imposed top-down. But you know that the NHS and social


care work hand in hand. You cannot keep cutting billions of social care


in Local Government and then think extra funding in the NHS is


sufficient. You cannot cut down training places and then say we


haven't got enough nurses and doctors to recruit in there. Actions


have consequences. You are quite right, you started to move towards


funding the NHS, but, as you're cutting the rest, you are creating a


crisis and a long-term position which will just get worse. What are


the cuts you are talking about in care in the community, council care,


what scale are you talking about? Oh I think it's significant, ?19


billion since 2010 taken out and you have cut the training places for


staff. The two just will make the situation worse. Also David, you


talked about the ?400 million which in the scheme of the NHS is a drop


in the ocean. It's a week's worth. Just under a week's worth. The man


in orange in the centre, let us hear from you and then woman next to you


This crisis isn't new, it comes around like Christmas, ofry year.


This Government and successive past Governments have continually failed


the British public. APPLAUSE.


Action is required. OK. What would you have? More spending? Higher


taxes? It's like pouring money at the top of the funnel, are you sure


it's going to come out at the bottom and reach where it's needed? The


woman next to you? I agree with the woman up there. You can tell me


there is a crisis, but actually do something about it. I also think


it's not a case of let's throw money at it because that's just quantity


of money, where's the quality going, so I also agree with Monica, don't


just throw money at the NHS because how long is that going to last until


the next crisis? Can I just take you back. I was a Health Minister under


Blair. When Blair said we are going to increase the GDP percentage


spending, we increased the places, created NHS Direct and changed the


model and you had a period of probably about ten years when the


NHS was not the topic of Prime Minister's Question Time and it has


returned to that topic because it's deteriorating again.


APPLAUSE. I can remember news headlines when


you were with Tony Blair as a Health Minister visiting a big hospital


with crowds of angry patients outside. There have been crises,


pressures under Governments of all parties, but it's got to be a


combination of the increased spending that does depend on the


productivity and growth of the economy at the end, but also a


flexible, locally driven approach to local reforms and it will need some


reconfiguration of services in some areas. My area, we used to have


cardiac and stroke unit treatments at both the local hospitals. Now


they've been closed, they have been centralised at one of the hospitals.


My constituency hospital lost out and I was quite miffed about that,


to put it mildly. Actually, the outcomes for patients from having


specialist stroke and cardiac units... David, if you start... More


people are living and making complete recoveries from strokes so


we shouldn't decry... So all these complaints are without any basis?


No, they are not. There is a ground for complaint?


Where there are pressures they have to be addressed.


And where there are cases of bad treatment, which in an NHS treating


millions every day, there are bound to be some, then those need to be


investigated. Bad treatment has not been in the headlines this week. It


is absence of treatment, because of absence of money. What is it about


the evidence that you refuse to confront?


APPLAUSE That money is needed to train more


people. We need more radiographers, more


midwives, more nurses, we need more assistant nurses, what used to be


state enrolled nurses. We need more people actually there, and then you


could keep the smaller units going. Yes, have a really skilled people at


the big, fancy, flashy places, but you need the filtration. This


business about, we have a responsibility, Jeremy Hunt was


saying, you know, you should not just trail to A if your perch your


finger, but we need there to be more people there who are trained to say,


right, you are really badly hurt. Are you shocked by the way things


are at the moment? I am shocked. You think there is a genuine public


worry? Arron Banks. I am a successful businessman. If you


starve a business of working capital and cash, you end up making bad


decisions for the wrong reasons. I think we are in danger where it is


being starved for cash. You have enough money to park ?2 billion in


the World Bank pending the fact that we can't spend enough money quickly


enough on the aid budget, but we are starving the NHS of cash. We have to


start working out our priorities. Is it a priority to spend 12 billion


that is misappropriated by foreign governments, or spend money on the


NHS for people in this country? APPLAUSE


Natalie, who asked the question, what do you make of the answers?


I think everybody did not answer the question. My question was is she


wrong to reject the claims, and she is, in my opinion. We can all get


hung up on the semantics and the wording, is it a humanitarian


crisis, but it is a crisis, whatever you put before that word. I would


argue that yes, Syria and Aleppo is a humanitarian crisis, but are those


people suffering any greater than the person lying on a bed in a


hospital corridor, dying, without the treatment they require? Is there


suffering any less? There is no hierarchy of suffering. The fact is,


it needs to be sorted. I have children and a grandparent who rely


on the NHS, and the fact that they do not receive the care they need in


a timely manner angers me, to be fair.


APPLAUSE I work with people who rely heavily


on health and social and there is a crisis.


Those sort of people don't have a luxury of time to sit in A waiting


to be seen. I think we should be moving on to work together. This is


a clarion call for everyone to work together to try and transform the


services. The government has a five-year plan. Frankly, we don't


have time for that. Something needs to be downright now for these


people. A last word to you, David. I describe both how the money is


going, but also in response to the lady in the front row and to Monica,


look at the figures. There are now nearly 11,500 more doctors than in


2010, nearly 5000 more nurses and midwives, and those NHS staff are


treating more people, year-on-year, for different conditions than they


used to. That is a tribute to them, and they are doing it because the


money is being put in. I agree about the need to provide a means at A


for differentiating between those who do need the Accident Emergency


service and those who need some other kind of treatment or advice.


There are some NHS areas that are doing that effectively. I do think


there are some parts of the country that can learn from success


elsewhere. The NHS itself is saying they think perhaps 30% of people who


go to A would be better going through some of -- some other path.


That seems true from international evidence of other industrialised


countries. I can't quite get a handle on whether you are saying


that the complaints here and the things Jeremy Corbyn said in the


House of Commons are justified, or whether it is making politics


against your government? I think it is perfectly accurate to say that


the NHS at the moment is experiencing some severe pressures.


Those are partly the short-term ones of winter, which is always worse,


but this winter is turning out to be particularly bad with some


persistent viruses that are taking more people to hospitals. But also,


there is what Arron and Monica talked about, the fact that we have


an ageing population and therefore there will be an increase in demand.


It's great, people are surviving, living for longer, living


independently for longer, just as it is great that medical science is


producing more drugs and treatment. The way we keep up with it is to


continue to spend more, which this government is committed to do, but


which depends absolutely on the health and vigour of our economy. It


is to secure reforms that make sure the best, most successful practices


are followed, and it is to integrate social care and health care. You


keep saying the economy is going very well, so the man who said he


would pay an extra 2p on his income tax... The economy is continuing to


grow, but this is a world in which there are many economic risks. It is


a world in which we are still to pay off the whole of the deficit we


inherited. We are about two thirds of the way on that task as it is. So


you can never be complacent. That deficit continues to grow. You have


got the deficit down by destroying the NHS. Thank you!


APPLAUSE No, we got the deficit down while we


have increased spending on the NHS year-on-year.


Who are you shaking your head at? The Jeremy Corbyn lookalike on the.


I hope Jeremy Corbyn is not watching. I would not want him to be


insulted that he looks like me. I just think that what we really need


to look at... I'm a Conservative, but I believe we need to look at


huge reforms within the NHS to make it sustainable. Because to say each


year we will give an extra 10 billion, all of this extra money,


don't we actually need to start having a proper debate about


structural reforms towards health in this country? I'm sorry to those


with your hands up, but we have to go on because we have 20 minutes


left, and a question from that Peters. Is restricted access to the


single market a price worth paying for drastically reducing


immigration? I would come to you, David, but you have been speaking a


lot. Paul Mason. I want us to have the maximum possible access to the


single market because although I thought a lot of what the Treasury


and the Bank of England said was politically manipulated during the


Brexit debate, I voted reluctant Remain. I wanted nothing to do with


the way George Osborne manipulated those reports. But what the Bank of


England said is that we would have a hard Brexit in a chaotic Brexit,


which is what the former ambassador to Europe feared when he resigned.


If we have a chaotic Brexit, we will be wiping out all of the growth we


have made in the last ten years. It will be a disaster. So I want the


maximum continuity. I think we have to accept the Brexit vote. We are


leaving Europe. Get over the denial, find some positivity in it, even if


you didn't like it. That is true. We start with the economy and then we


say to people who voted Brexit because they don't like migration,


we will do as much as we can to address the problem is that you are


bothered about. But if you think Britain is suddenly going to become


Trump style closed to foreigners, it can't be. That also would be very


bad for our economy. I want to get away with the minimum amount of


change to free movement that we need really to be able to win back


consent among the British people for an open and high migration and


highly tolerant economy, such as the one I think all of us really want.


APPLAUSE What did Jeremy Corbyn, who you


support and admire, mean when he said this week that the Labour Party


is not wedded to freedom of movement as a point of principle, but nor do


we rule it out? I can't make head or tail of that.


It's simple. Simple! Many in our party and who support us are wedded


to it as aprons are poor. It is a principle of the European Union.


Once you are outside the European Union, the have to decide if you're


going to fight for it forever. Corbyn and the people around him are


saying, once we go to negotiations, we will not be saying that our red


line is freedom of movement. It is not a principle of socialism, it is


part of a treaty we signed. However, because of Corbyn's position, and my


position, the economy comes first. I am willing to layout a series of


things we would try and do on migration, maybe free movement above


a certain salary, maybe for public sector only. I want a debate about


this because many people voted against it. A lot of people who


supported Arron's party. I want to talk to them. They have a duty to be


listened to. But when we go to negotiations, we have to start from


the economy, get what we can to satisfy the British people and


reassure them on migration. And that means, to be honest, on the day we


leave, free movement as we know it will cease. During the whole


campaign there were two things which both sides absolutely agreed on, and


that was, if we vote leave, we will leave the single market. No, they


didn't. I didn't agree with it and I was on a side, so how can you say


that? People voted on what the official side said. No, they didn't.


What I'm saying is that you are deluding the audience deliberately.


Let the audience decide whether they are being deluded. Both sides said a


vote to leave, whether you want on the Remain scythe or believes macro


side, the campaign said that would mean leaving the single market. The


single market is a trading arrangement of 31 countries which


say you have to comply with the same set of laws, you have free movement


of people, money, capital and services, and you also won't have


control over your borders. So the official vote Leave campaign said we


want to take control of our borders, our trade policy and our laws. If we


now say that Brexit means Brexit, you cannot remain a member of the


single market and not have control over your borders, have control over


your laws and control over your trade. You can. Isolating ourselves


from the single market might not matter. Over half of immigration


into this country comes from outside the EU, so Brexit, no Brexit, single


market, no single market, these people will still come in. No one


from the Leave side, not even Nigel Farage and Arron Banks have said


they will stop migration altogether. We will still have migration from


the EU, even if it is vetted. But we risk isolating ourselves from our


biggest trading block. For me, for relatively little gain. Even if you


do one less migration, more will still come from outside. For me,


Britain is on the verge of cutting off its nose to spite its face. For


me, we are playing a very dicey game. You are shaking your head. I


was an ardent Remainer and I led one of the teams here in Solihull. I


realise now that we are out, OK. The point is, I think there is a fiction


being created between membership and access. The United States, China


have access to the single market yet are not wedded to the free movement


principles. We can still have access and yet have control of our borders.


This fiction that is being created by the EU is going to cause problems


when we get to the negotiating table in March. David Lidington, when you


were working with David Cameron in the run-up, you said these trade


agreements were going to take six, seven, eight years and counting. It


is massive, what is at risk. Do you still take that view?


I'm with the gentleman in the blue jumper. I campaigned very hard for a


remain vote. I was hugely disappointed by the result. But if


you call yourself a democrat, you have to accept that result. What we


now have to do as a Government, as a country, is to negotiate hard for


the best possible deal for people of Britain but also part of our


argument saying we want there to continue to be a really close


working partnership between the UK and what will continue to be our


closest neighbours amongst the European countries. Now, part of


that should, in my view, involve as much, not just access to, but


freedom to operate within the European market for British


companies and, for that to happen on a resick Rick Al basis for European


countries here as well, I think it was also clear from the referendum


that very many people who voted to leave did so thinking in terms of


the immigration debate and trying to re-establish national immigration


control. That's what I found on the doorstep when talking to leave


voters again and again. I think it's clear from the result that freedom


of movement as it currently exists cannot continue as before. But


again, we need to find a way that also respects the rights of the


European citizens who've come here, lived here lawfully, worked, lived


and paid taxes and doing a job their employers value, and the rights of


British people living in the other countries as well.


Aaron Banks? Of course every country in the world


has access to the single market. It's a kind of fallacy. In terms of


the actual single market, I think you mentioned the control of


immigration, the fact that the Government's utterly failed to


control non-EU immigration is not a reason not to do it. I mean, you


have rules, you have regulations. I mean, the idea that Theresa May, by


the way, is going to do a deal with Europe, is laughable. David Cameron


went to do a deal, came back with absolutely nothing, I mean


absolutely nothing! And pushed us into a referendum.


Yes, well I'm sorry you are against democratic votes, but that's the way


it goes. But the fact of the matter is, you've got Marine Le Pen being


elected, Gert Vealeders and the EU hasn't budged an inch. This idea


there is going to be negotiations, it's laughable. So, you know, you


are saying we are going to get a wonderful deal, we'll do the best,


there is no doing the best, it is what it is, we have to leave the


single market and trade with the rest of the world.


APPLAUSE. You? Brexit means Brexit and I think


I agree with Gisela that there are two parties in this negotiation and


Aaron's just picked up on the point that if the EU's position would be


if we want to trade with them, we have to apply with, or comply with


their rules and regulations and they are probably not going to budge. Is


the rather than have this ongoing debate about hard Brexit, it's not


our choice. Ultimately, it will be the EU, whether we have a hard


Brexit or soft Brexit because of their rules and regulations. Now we


voted on immigration, to get our laws back into our country and, on


that basis, if that is going to happen, by definition, we are going


to be outside of the rules and regulations and therefore we need


the trade agreements to be in place when we do leave.


Monica? Coming back to the question of restricted access, is it a price


worth do paying to reduce immigration. I think that we should


not be looking to reduce immigration. From the perspective of


the sector in which I work, which is the university sector, research,


innovation, we need people coming to us from Europe, from America, from


China, from the whole world, because we don't have enough skilled people


in this country to fill the jobs that we need. There are not enough


engineers being trained in the whole of Europe to actually fill the


engineering jobs that are required. There simply aren't enough. And so


if we restrict people coming into this country, we are going to


restrict the people who're working and paying taxes and helping to


build our economy, helping to innovate and helping to design. We


are also going to restrict our own people who want to travel abroad,


travel to America, travel to other countries within the EU and beyond,


we are preventing them from having the opportunity to do that, learn


new skills and then bring them back to this country. Very briefly, are


you reconciled? APPLAUSE.


Are you reconciled to the Brexit vote? I am not reconciled. I'm a


good democrat but I'm completely unreconciled, I've felt sick every


day since I woke up on June 24th. APPLAUSE.


It's funny because I've had a sense of liberation every day since the


vote so there we go. APPLAUSE.


All right. You want another referendum? Sorry? Do you want


another referendum. Have another go. I would like one, yes, because I


don't believe that we were given if correct information at the time --


the correct information at the time. APPLAUSE.


I don't want to be accused of being, you know, a Remaining moaner or


whatever, but I feel that at the time we were not given... Sounded


like one! I'm not moaning, I'm making a statement. We have five


minutes left. I would like to take one more question which came up this


week and I think we have just got five minutes to talk about it, a


question from Claire Rex? Should there be a maximum wage cap? Should


there be a cap on wage salaries as was being talked about by Labour?


Paul Mason? Yes, there should be but it won't solve the problem on its


own of what we are trying to do here. We've got a situation in the


world, not just in Britain, where the rich get richer because they're


able to use their assets which rise in value in a way that ordinary


people's assets which is a house you ways basically don't own and a car


you basically don't own just can't. Now, taxation as has to change. Big


official bodies like the OECD think-tank based in pairs well


resourced are coming around to the idea that we have to do something,


otherwise we'll end up with Downton Abbey-style levels of inequality and


it's not just about how much money you have in the bank, it's about the


life chances of your children. If you can't afford private school or


private medicine when the state system is falling apart because the


rich are not paying their taxes, there becomes a social apartheid. So


yes I would like to see a 20 times cap from the lowest to the highest.


But the average rich person knows how to get around that. You know,


David Cameron's dad had all these off shore accounts and all of that,


they know how to get around it so we need to close down the tax havens.


All right. Aaron Banks? In a system where 1% of the population owns 50%


of the the wealth of the country is not capitalism, it's been replaced


by something more sinister. I find myself agreeing with Paul but I


don't agree the cap is the right way of dealing with it. Some sort of


aggressive tax system that basically penalises what I would call unearned


wealth that hasn't been earned through the merit of what you are


doing seems to be to me wholly sensible. It's worse in the States


although they have learnt how to give money more effectively than in


this country. I don't agree with the wage cap but I do think there has to


be some fundamental rethinking of capitalism, how it works and this


kind of corporatism that's kind of replaced it that's insidious and


very dangerous. David Lidington? The answer to the questioner was no, we


have tried in the '70s in particular to put caps and regulations on


wages. It didn't work. But I do think there is a genuine issue


behind that question. For once, and I did agree with partly with what


Paul said, because I think there is a need for action on tax havens.


Let's not kid ourselves that that can be done in one country, that


needs global agreement when money can be moved around on the click of


a mouse. I think that we do need to have greater transparency from


companies about what they're paying the top people and I do think that


shareholders, particularly corporate shareholders, need to hold the high


paid to account. What narks a lot of people is, when you see a company


doing really badly, yet the money paid out to the bosses of that


company seem Toscary on going up year on year. Did you support David


Cameron's idea of a 10-1 ratio from top-to-bottom, were you behind that?


It wasn't my idea, but I agreed with it, yes. So why didn't it hatch?


Because we were not saying that that would be something imposed by law,


but it should be imposed by way of policies. He's in charge of the


Public Services. Public Services have a lot of autonomy. The other


thing that I want to say in response to what Paul and Monica said is


that, if you actually look pat what's happening in the UK at the


moment, the richest 1% are paying 27% of income tax at the moment, the


highest share that there's ever been paid by that top 1%. That's


irrelevant. And we need to maintain a tax regime that ensures people do


pay their fair whack in terms of tax and don't try and squirrel it away.


I agree about progressive taxation. I don't think a wage cap is


workable. I think what narks people is when they see great big


corporations like Amazon and Google getting away with paying no tax in


this country or hardly any tax... APPLAUSE.


Unfor Natalie, if you are wealthy, you can employ a train of


accountants and tax people who'll explain how you can get around the


tax laws. I think we really have to go for fair taxation, fair pay, fair


taxation and make sure it's implemented. Jeremy Corbyn says he'd


like a high earnings cap and some say it doesn't make sense. Which


side are you on? The last Labour Government introduced the minimum


wage which they said always better off in work than out. We have not


kept up-to-date with increasing that minimum wage to not reduce the gap


and you have a progressive tax system on top of that. That is the


answer to reduce the inequality rather than just having the top


down... We have raised that before. We have got to stop, our time is up.


We only have an hour. Apologies to those who had their hands up.


We're in Peterborough next week with broadcaster Piers Morgan


and the American novelist, Lionel Shriver among our panellists.


To come and take part in our audience in Peterborough


or London, go to our website, or call 0330 123 99 88.


If you are listening tonight on Radio 5 live, the debate goes


For us here, it's my pleasure to thank you all very much for coming


on to the panel, to thank you for coming here to Solihull to take


part. Until next Thursday from Question Time, good night.


That I will faithfully execute the Office...


And will to the best of my ability...


The Constitution of the United States...


David Dimbleby chairs topical debate from Solihull.

On the panel are David Lidington, Conservative leader of the House of Commons; Labour MP and chair of the Vote Leave campaign Gisela Stuart; businessman, Brexit campaigner and Ukip donor Arron Banks; journalist and broadcaster Paul Mason; professor of planetary space science at the Open University Monica Grady.

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