Britain after Brexit Question Time

Britain after Brexit

David Dimbleby presents a special edition from Birmingham. On the panel are David Davis, Sir Keir Starmer, Nick Clegg, Alex Salmond, Suzanne Evans and Melanie Phillips.

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Well, at 20 minutes to five, we can now say the decision taken in 1975


by this country to join the Common market has been reversed by this


referendum, to leave the EU. The British people have spoken and the


answer is, we're out. On Wednesday, we give formal notice


to the EU that we're leaving ? with two years


to negotiate the terms. Our panel is divided between those


who wanted to Leave or Remain. The Secretary of State for Exiting


the EU, the man leading the negotiations on behalf


of the Government, David Davis. Labour's Shadow Secretary of State


for Brexit, Keir Starmer. The former Deputy Prime Minister


in the Coalition, when he was Leader of the Liberal Democrats,


Nick Clegg. The Deputy Chair of Ukip


who was part of the official Vote Leave campaign,


Suzanne Evans. The Times columnist


Melanie Phillips. And the former First Minister


of Scotland, the SNP's International Affairs spokesman


at Westminster, Alex Salmond. Our audience here in Birmingham


is divided pretty much like the country itself


was in June, 48-52. If you want to join the debate


from home, we're on Facebook, And if you push the red button, you


will see what people are texting. The first question to get started


from Rachel Harbour. Should we expect to pay a large


Brexit payment to the EU A figure of 50 billion has been put


on it. David Davis, should we expect to pay a large Brexit payment, first


question, before you negotiate? I don't know about 50 billion, I've


seen 40, 50, 60 and no explanation for any of them. The Prime Minister


said we are coming to the end of the time when we are paying enormous


sums to the European Union. Of course we will meet our


international obligations but we also expect our rights to be


respected. I don't think we are going to be seen that kind of money


change hands. Not that sort of money but some sort of money? Look, we


have said before that we will meet our international obligations,


whatever that turns out to be but that is nothing like what we are


talking about. Indeed, the House of Lords committee on this subject


reckoned that was zero a few weeks ago. So you are thinking you might


pay zero? We will wait and see. I'm not going to do the negotiation on


this programme, David, attractive as that might be and it might even hold


the ratings up but the simple truth is, we are yet to engage in


negotiation and when I go in a few weeks' time, no doubt I will hear


what they think. The lead negotiator says this has to be sorted before


other talks can start and do you agree with that? We also take the


view that Article 50, the law, in the treaty, says that we resolve the


departure arrangements taking into account the ongoing relationship.


That means the ongoing relationship as do exist. Alex Salmond? I'm glad


David is calling the negotiator Michel which is the only positive


thing I can see in the negotiations to date. Should we expect to have a


bill like that? The answer is yes and the reason is all the


negotiating cards are in the hands of the European Union. We are going


into a time-limited Brexit of two years and if there is no deal, then


you go out on World Trade Organisation terms which despite


what the Prime Minister says, would be totally disastrous, if you go


into negotiations where the cards are in the other person's and,


whatever you call them, you end up paying the bill. One thing I would


say, we should expect to see the 50 billion paid into the EU long before


we ever see the 350 million for the National Health Service that was


promised by the Brexit camp. Melanie Phillips? We should


definitely meet our international obligations but it's a question of


what they are. Lawyers cannot agree about this as far as I can see. It


is interesting that he is making this kind of pre-requisite for the


negotiations to start from it is almost like we are getting into a


situation where we have to negotiate about the negotiations before we can


start the negotiations. Do you think he means you have to agree that bit


of money before we talk about anything else because there is the


old thing they always say, nothing is agreed until everything is agreed


finally? Indeed, the negotiation has not started yet, Michel Barnier has


made a very aggressive pitch and I see it as the opening negotiating


pitch and it is up to us to wear him down. David Davis mentioned the


House of Lords report. It was quite interesting, although as I say,


lawyers do disagree but that said, if there is no deal, then bearing


turbot eight of the relevant statutes, relevant treaty law is


that if there is no deal, then we don't have to pay anything at all.


Maybe that is why Michel Barnier is so keen to get this sorted


straightaway. So we could have no deal and walk out and say... Go


away? Lawyers disagree... Do you agree? I've no idea if it is the


case or not but it seems to me, as in so many of these things in


relation to Brexit, we actually have a strong card to play. Anyone who


seems so overanxious, as Michel Barnier does, to get this done and


dusted so quickly, is obviously quite nervous about his position.


Rachel, what do you think? Are you worried about a big bill? I have


some reservations because of the economy especially, that is the one


thing I'm concerned about and I would like to see it go forward.


Both members of my family work in the car industry and I'm concerned


about the future of the industry. And the person in purple up there


and then I will come to you, what is your view? I don't want to see our


country get bullied into paying some money to the EU. I don't think it is


fair. It is just the playground bully taking our lunch money and I


don't think we should do it. APPLAUSE


Nick Clegg, are we being bullied at the opening stage of this affair? Of


course we are going to have to pay money, if he ran up a tab behind the


bar for years and years and you haven't paid when you want to leave,


you settle up. The EU has been very clear, they are not going to ask the


UK for a single penny after we have left. They are simply going to ask


us to settle the tab before we leave. It would be really odd for


us, and I have to say to David Davis and the government am extremely


unwise of the government on top of all the other unrealistic


expectations they have already raised about this negotiation, that


it's all going to be done and dusted in two years, it won't be, that


there will be a cornucopia, a paradise of new trade deals with the


rest of the world in 18 months, they won't. That we will have the same


benefits of the single market even as we leave it. This week is when


things change, when we stop talking to ourselves, lots of wishful


thinking and reality bites. We are going to have to negotiate with 27


other governments and parliaments and when you quit a club of which we


have been a member for over 40 years, of course you settle up


before you leave. It is what we do in the rest of our lives and we


should do it now and we shouldn't pretend otherwise because all we


will do by doing that if it will make you feel angry and disappointed


when it doesn't happen. But do you anticipate as the president of the


EU commission, Jean-Claude Juncker said, that the Bill will be, to put


it a bit crudely, very hefty? Are you expecting 50 billion? I don't


know the numbers but my prediction is this summer, David Davis and his


friend Michel will agree not to put a number on it but they will agree a


series of principles on how to decide the final bill and the final


number probably won't be decided until the very end. That is what I


think will happen but please let's not delude ourselves. You can't


leave a club without paying... The commitment you have made other


member. If I may, this is not a club... APPLAUSE


It is often, when you are looking at a negotiating bid, it is often


insightful to spin it around and look at it from the other side.


Imagine if instead of being huge donor, a sizeable donor to the


European Union, we were a beneficiary, instead of putting in


10 billion per year, we received let's say 3 billion per year back


and then we left, do you think you would insist on paying us for the


next five years? We are a donor. APPLAUSE


It is not a golf club. David, you can't pretend we are something we


are not, we are a major economy in the European Union and we've paid


money into it and made a number of commitment and pledges and promises


in the European Union and all they are asking, if I understand it, is


to say that we settle up before we leave and they won't ask for a penny


more. We shouldn't fight this battle if we won't win. The man there,


please, sir. I think we should meet our international obligations but I


think the country is facing huge debt, public services are suffering


and 50 billion is too much to pay. Do you agree with him, Suzanne


Evans? Absolutely, we should not be paying them a penny. APPLAUSE


I don't know what kind of weird clubs you are a member of, Nick, but


you only have to settle the bill for a club if you are in debt to that


club and we are not in debt. We should be in credit. Since we joined


the European Union, we have given them over ?500 billion of our money.


They have used that money to invest in all kinds of swanky new buildings


which have no doubt gone up in value. I think they probably owe us.


I think this country has got about ?9 billion invested in the European


investment bank. I think that would more than adequately settle any


bills, we should be getting that money back and Rachel, if I can come


back to you as you ask the original question, you are understandably


worried about your family and the car industry but let me tell you,


since the Brexit vote, we know that car production in this country is at


a 17 year high and that has got a lot to do with how manufacturing at


exporting is booming since the Brexit vote. The future is very


bright, very positive and if anything, the EU will be looking to


us and wanting us to bail them out, not the other way around. APPLAUSE


And let's just stick for a moment with the payment which is the 50


billion or whatever it is we have to pay supposedly before we start


negotiating, Keir Starmer, what is the latest view, Labour has spelt


out its position to some extent. Whichever way you voted in the room,


we need these negotiations to succeed, we all need them to succeed


because it is about the future of our country. And the worst possible


thing that could happen is that we have a big row about a big sum of


money at the start before we get to the real nitty-gritty of the


negotiations. I say that we shouldn't be bandying figures


around. We should agree that there will be principles which will decide


how much it is once they are agreed, of course we must honour our


obligations and anyone who says otherwise just needs to think about


the future. We want a comprehensive free trade agreement with the EU,


and whether we are going to get that if we are breaching the rules as we


leave... That is what Michel Barnier saying he wants. The government


wants free trade agreements with other countries across the world. If


we are going to be taken seriously in future negotiations, for the


future of our country, we cannot do that in breach of obligations that


we have already got. I'm not committing to a figure. I think


there's a lot to be said for reducing the figure. Obviously, we


should keep it as low as possible but once we have agreed the


principal, of course we are a country that honours our obligations


because if we don't do that, no country in the future is going to


want to deal with us, the worst outcome for all of us. APPLAUSE


Let's go on to the negotiations themselves. Matthew Martin, can we


have your question? Is Theresa May right to say that no


deal is better than a bad deal ahead Is Theresa May right to say that no


deal is better than a bad deal before things start, Nick Clegg? I


actually think no deal is about the worst possible deal you could


imagine. And no one should sort of soft soap this. If you had no deal,


the day after no deal, we would fall into a very peculiar economic and


legal limbo. You wouldn't be able to transport nuclear fuel to the UK.


You would have huge queues at Dover. We would have major questions about


how our financial system works because of the legal vacuum into


which we would topple. I think the way in which people are trying to


almost make it sound like a sort of cuddly alternative, and dare I say,


I think there are lots of people on the right-wing of the Conservative


Party and obviously Ukip you actively want this which is why they


want a great big spat on money in the early stages of the negotiation


because that is the perfect alibi to blow the whole thing... Do you not


think a bad deal would be one that would have to be accepted rather


than having no deal and just leaving? What I'm saying is that one


should think a no deal option is a satisfactory one for an economy the


size of ours. It is a very bad thing to fall off a cliff edge into


complete legal unknown, given the complexity of the economy. Rachel


next to you earlier said she was worried about the car industry. The


car industry will grind to a halt Intel's exports to the rest of the


European Union if we did not have a deal. -- in terms of export. Alex


Salmond, what did you make of what Theresa May said?


It's non-sensical. World Trade Organisation terms, which would mean


a 30% tariff of Scottish beef and Scotch salmon going into the single


market, for example, lesser tariffs on manufacturing goods, but a severe


economic shock. The Treasury estimated it at 50 billion a year as


a drop in taxation revenues across the UK. We've been arguing of a


one-off payment of ?60 billion to the EU, that's a big sum, but it's


nothing like 50 billion a year tax loss, which was the Treasury


estimate seen by the Cabinet, but not by the rest of us and reported


in Melanie Phillips' newspaper several months ago. Make no mistake,


no deal, WTO terms is the worst deal of all. That's exactly why the


European Union has the upper hand in negotiations. Because whatever David


tells you, he'll be desperate to avoid that circumstance. In avoiding


that circumstance, the UK Government will make concessions not only in


the bills to be paid, but on immigration, and on other matters to


avoid that going off the cliff edge, as the Prime Minister once described


it. Her view of a bad deal is better than no deal is simply non-sensical


and nobody across this continent believe it's. OK. You've had your


card marked David Davis. Yes, well, firstly before I answer the


question, let's say this: No deal is not what we're playing for. I know


that. That's why you'll make concessions. Be fair to the


questioner, the quotation is "no deal is better than a bad deal". The


point I want to make very plainly is what we're after is a good deal. The


response on no deal is better than a bad deal was after if you remember,


a number of people, in the immediate aftermath, the emotional aftermath


of the referendum, punishment deals and punishing the United Kingdom, of


course, no deal is better than that. In terms of what no deal is, I too


listen to Michel Barnier's comments and Nick repeated them on nuclear


fuel, I'm afraid that's not right. Overall authority on nuclear fuel is


international energy authority. What he said was we couldn't import or


export Newham leer fuel, it won't be -- nuclear fuel, it won't be true.


The other issues on queues at Dover, we have a huge contingency


plannerised across -- plan exercised across all these issues. No deal is


not as easy as some would have you believe, but it's a lot better than


Nick and Alec would tell you, I'm afraid. How do you know? Because


we've done work on exactly that. You said to Parliament a week ago you


haven't worked out how much it's going to be. We have spent nine


months putting together contingency plans - For queues in Dover? Not


because we don't expect it to happen but because a Government plans for


every possible outcome. Can you describe for us - That's what we've


done. Can you describe what no deal would mean then, since you've kept


it from us up till now. Nobody's kept anything from anybody. It's not


what we want, our aim is a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement.


That's what we're after. That is better than anything else. But no


deal is not as harmful as you say. Let's hear from one or two members


of the audience on this point. The woman there in red, yes. You've


talked about the effects of trade in the event of a no deal, what about


the reciprocal rights of EU citizens here and British set Zens who live


in the EU under a no deal? I did say we'd try to get through some of


these and we'll come to that later. You in the back. I think a no deal


is disaster for anyone. Not only the anxieties of the Remainers confirmed


and the expectations of those who want to leave will be denied. No


deal is not an option. APPLAUSE


Melanie Phillips, do you think no deal is not an option? I think no


deal is not a good option, definitely not a good option. But a


bad deal is worse. I should say that I don't think there's not going to


be a deal. I don't think there's going to be a no deal. If you look


at the remarks by Michel Barnier a few days ago, he went out of his way


to say he wanted a good deal to be negotiated between the EU and


Britain and he also said no deal would be a disaster not just for the


United Kingdom, but for the European Union. They know how bad for them no


deal would be and that is our strongest point. It's very important


in a negotiation to show that you are determined, that you are not


frightened, that you are not a supply kant, that you are on the


front foot not the back foot. It's vital that this country says we are


prepared to walk away and to mean it, because otherwise, the other


side will have the upper hand. If we were to walk away, in the last, in


the worst case scenario, if that should happen, I don't think it's


going to happen, if that should happen, I don't think it would be


the end of the world. It would not be good for all the reasons that


have been said. But there are many countries, talking about WTO rules,


the imposition of tariffs, many countries in the world have deals,


trade deals with the EU under WTO rules and they seem to do rather


well out of it. Melanie is right and Alec is wrong


because every single Foreign Secretary I've talked to in the last


several months wants a constructive outcome. They want the deal because


they know it's harmful to them. They have 290 billion of exports to us,


which they want to protect. We'll have a good deal.


No deal is the worst possible outcome and we shouldn't allow it to


be talked up. It's not just the economics and David Davis was asked


about the economics by Hilary Benn how much is the cost difference


between no deal and a bad deal and didn't have a clue. We have a


mantra, no deal is better than a bad deal. You look behind the guard and


there's nothing there. There's something more important, there are


two versions of the future of the je. Generation out there. One is a


crash out without a deal, severing relation was the EU all together.


The other is to accept we're leaving, not members, but in


partnership with the EU so we can use collaboration and cooperation to


meet challenges and to take opportunities. Now the second of


those opportunities, the second of those version ises the version of


history that I want to fight for. I think it's a version whichever way


people voted we should fight for. Crashing out, severing our relations


with the EU would be a terrible thing to do and one last thing on


the wider issue, because it's not just economics, I was five years as


Director of Public Prosecutions. We were involved in serious criminal


investigations across Europe, be it terrorism, sexual exploitation etc,


that's happening all of the time. Criminal justice tools are used all


the time. If we crash out without a deal, midnight on day whichever, we


lose all that. Rubbish. We will lose that because we won't be in an


agreement Before the referendum we had project fear and that's a


trnction of project fear, all that high Welsh Cuply about cliff edges,


crashing out, severing our relationships with the European


Union. In case you haven't noticed, there are only 27 members of the


European Union. And other countries seem to have very good relationships


with the European Union even though they're not tied into a political


union. Joint prosecutions we are using - Let's be serious here. Are


you saying as a former Director of Public Prosecutions a responsible


position that you held - We used them all the time. Are you saying


because we leave the European Union we are not going to - we are going


to stop sharing information about cross-border crime, about terrorism,


that is utter nonsense. APPLAUSE


Suzanne Evans, where do you stand on what's going to happen on Wednesday?


Article 50? What Melanie said is right. We want to have a deal. I


think we will get a deal. If ultimately if push comes to shove,


if that deal doesn't involve what the British people voted for, which


is to take back full control of our legal system from the European


courts, to have full border control when it comes to immigration, to get


our fishing waters back, then if that deal doesn't actually grant us


all those things, and others that are prioritised and Theresa May and


David have spelled out those priorities, which align with what


Ukip wants to some extent, if we don't get those things, no deal


would be beneficial. I want to hear from members of the audience, who've


had their hands up patiently. The man there, yes, Sir, who've been


waving since the beginning of the programme. I want to take issue with


the belief that the EU have the upper hand in this. Bearing in mind


that we are a huge export market for most of the EU countries,


particularly Germany, France and Spain where there are a lot of


expats. Big businesses in their countries will be putting pressure


on their governments to make sure that they do a satisfactory deal


with us to stop us going to India, Australia, the USA. Their big


businesses will want to keep the business they do with us.


APPLAUSE Brief answer, Nick. Unlike everybody


on the panel, I used to work in trade negotiations. Self-confidence


and talking tough everybody does that at the beginning. You need to


be realistic. This petulant foot stamping and saying we can do you


harm if we stalk off isn't impressing anyone elsewhere in


Europe. The facts, I'm afraid, suggest that it isn't as


straightforward as Melanie and David have suggested. 44% of exports go to


the EU. Only 8% of their exports come this way. 13% of our GDP is


down to exports to the EU. Only 3% of their GDP. What would you do? You


know how the British people voted. What would you do if you were Prime


Minister, or even - I would have not, I would have sought to try and


bridge the differences between what is a very, very evenly divided


population on this issue in the United Kingdom and particularly huge


differences of attitude between the old and the young. I would have


tried to do that by yes, leaving the European Union, because that's what


the British people said, but not in a hard Brexit way, quitting the sing


the market and the customs unit. -- union.


APPLAUSE The man behind you. Yeah you. Keir


accuses David of not doing his home work with regards to numbers. So


obviously you have, so you know how bad it's going to be and you've done


the numbers. There have been a number of reports that have set out


what the economic cost is. But as a say, it's not just the economic


cost. What is the economic cost? Precisely how many of the economic


forecasts about Brexit have been right so far? How many? None.


APPLAUSE You make your point. What's your


point? My point is that it's project fear again. It's just anti-news.


There is nothing coming from your side that says this is the cost.


What is the cost? We are going into - What is the cost? We are going


into the most important negotiations since the Second World War. Every


time a reasonable question is asked it's dismissed as unreasonable


denial. Every time a challenge is made it's branded frustrating the


progress. It's not healthy in a democracy if we want the right


outcome for our cub tri. There has to be challenge.


APPLAUSE As Gordon Brown once said, I agree


with Nick. I never thought I'd say it. I'm saying it now because we


know what the Treasury forecast was before Brexit. Over a 15-year


period, not the Apocalypse now that George Osborne said in project fear,


but over a period of time. If you're out of the single market, it was 9.


5% loss of GDP and about two million jobs, if that was the situation. The


same economists are in the same treasury, they haven't sacked any of


them. You've got to distinguish between the presentation of George


Osborne who wanted to scare everybody to bejesus like he did in


Scotland in 2014, and the reality behind it, which is what happens if


you go out a major trading block. Right Suzanne, there are 170


countries in this world who are not part of the European Union, but just


about every single one of them is part of a trading block. So we'll be


like Singapore. Singapore is a small country in a large trading block


called ASIAN. If you have a hard Brexit, you go out of your trading


block before you're back into any other. That's where the loss comes


in. I don't think there'll be no deal. David will have to make so


many concessions that the people looking for Brexit are going to be


really, really disappointed. The woman there, yes, you.


Throughout the campaign as Suzanne Evans just said, apparently a big


portion of the referendum was about taking back ownership of our


Parliamentary democracy. What did the panel made of Suzanne Evans'


calls for High Court judges to be sacked when the judgment was handed


down? It was disgraceful and the reaction, you did say that judges


ought to be more controlled. Democratic scrutiny. The whole point


of judges is that they independently decide cases and the backlash


against the judges when they made the judgment in the Article 50 case


should have been consent to everybody across the country, again,


char way we voted. We have some of the best judges in the world making


decisions independently. We should Cherish that. Let's stick with trade


at the moment. You Sir In the grey there. All this talk about deal


making, I would like to ask what's happened to diplomacy.


I think there is a moral side to what's going on, whatever the deal


is, I think that the guiding principle for both sides, that both


sides are going to do the right thing.


I agree with that and I think that is a very good point, sir. Nick was


right, if you read all of's speech, not just the headlines picked out by


the newspaper, a lot of it was incredible constructive. We want to


see a deal on both sides and the same thing is being said around


Europe. That is why in a way, this fear of this no deal is misplaced


because there will be a deal because everybody wants a deal and that is


where diplomacy comes in, finding the bridge. People often think


negotiation is about some kind of Matt Jones stand-off. It is not, it


is about finding the best outcome for everyone and the best outcome


for everybody is one that preserves their market here is one of our


market there. Where you have got your work cut out is that in almost


all trade negotiations I have ever been part of, the starting point is


that the parties on either side of the table want more trade as a


conclusion of the negotiation than they had before. This is the first


major trade negotiation I've ever encountered where the outcome will,


for sure, we don't know how much, be less trade because the UK is pulling


out of the customs union. You cannot bowl... Let me explain why. The


single market... Let me explain, the single market created by Margaret


Thatcher has very little to do with tariffs and levies, it is a


marketplace of rules. You can't, it is logically impossible to do what


David and Theresa May and the rest of the government are saying, that


they want frictionless access to the single market and in the same


breath, that they won't abide by the rulings of the market. It is


impossible. Come on, Nick you know is. You want to comment on that? We


have a worldwide market which is queueing up to do deals with us.


Absolutely, yes. What you said regarding our exports to Europe will


not quantify our exports and our imports with the rest of the world.


Australia, New Zealand, Canada are on our side. If we pick up China and


India, we don't really need Europe. They need us! OK, David Davis, you


said interestingly that whatever you get, comprehensive free trade, you


want to deliver the exact same benefits as we have now, is that


your view, that it is a zero-sum game? No, no. On contrary, one of


the problems that happens when democracies negotiate is that the


politicians are afraid of raising expectations. Keir Starmer and Nick


were talking about this, raising expectations. The truth is, we are


negotiating for the future of the country and therefore, we want to


raise the expectations as much as we possibly can. We want to aim as high


as we possibly can. I make no apology for being ambitious about


what we achieved. We are aiming to get the best possible deal with


Europe and the best possible deal with the rest of the world. That is


what this country needs. APPLAUSE You, sir, over there, with


spectacles. We hear a lot of talk about team fear but all we are


hearing from the Leaves side is cloud cuckoo land. You expect us to


walk away from the EU, pay no money but get unrestricted access to the


single market. If that is going to be the case, why is anyone else in


the EU? Surely they will walk away then have unrestricted access. What


do you think David Davis you do? Own up and say that is going to hurt us


and Europe, no one is going to come out a winner, Europe will hurt


because we are not part of it and we are going to hurt because we are not


in Europe. I personally work in the car industry. I'm worried that if we


walk out with no deal, suddenly, 10% tariffs slapped on every car coming


out of this country. What is to stop the manufacturers moving production


abroad? We already have to fight for every model we build in this


country. We are just going to give that business away if we have no


deal. If you take that out of the West Midlands, you will finish this


economy. APPLAUSE What do you say to that? Google,


Facebook, WhatsApp, Toyota, LTC, all of those companies, GSK, are putting


more money into Britain this year. 16 billion since Brexit. Huge sums


of money. The head of Peugeot, in your industry, says whatever


happens, Britain will be a good place to invest whether it is with


transnational supply networks or bringing supply networks into


Britain, creating more jobs and investment. I'm afraid you are not


right to be so pessimistic. The options are there. The rest of the


world is there. 60% of our trade almost is now with the rest of the


world. We have huge... Admit to the audience that you can't make up


through negotiations with far-flung countries the much larger trade


relationships we have with our neighbours. There's a reason why


geography still matters in trade. We trade more with Ireland than we do


with China, twice as much with Belgium than India, three times as


much with Sweden than Brazil. There's a reason because they are


nearby. This illusion that somehow we can make up for what we lose on


our own doorstep by having new trade deals in far-flung places...


APPLAUSE Keir Starmer. David rattles off a


list of companies that have invested and that is a good thing, that is a


good thing. And they pay their taxes. But we cannot be complacent


about the risks to other companies. I've been going around the UK,


talking to hundreds of businesses and they are really concerned about


tariffs, about customs duties. So you think the man in the motor


industry out there is right? Yes, the motor industry in particular and


that is why the exact same benefits of the single market is one of the


tests the Labour Party have set out for the deal, and it's really


important. David Davis said the packaging hopes to negotiate will


deliver the exact same benefits. We need to hold into that because this


is not about a discussion tonight, this is about people's jobs, their


future, the businesses they are working in. It is really serious


stuff, exact same benefits, hold the government to account on this


because it really matters to businesses and people who work in


those businesses across our country. As a matter of interest, how can


Glade hold the government to account seeing as the Tories have a majority


and Labour seems divided on these issues? APPLAUSE


One of the things... I'm glad you have raised that because what we


have been doing in the last three months... Is trying out a number of


different positions? LAUGHTER Three things, getting a white paper


out of the government which they did not want to publish, no running


commentary was the starting position, getting them to report


back regularly so we know the direction of travel, and now they


have committed to that, and having a vote in two years' time on the deal


before designed by the European Parliament. Actually, Labour has


achieved all of those things that matters because otherwise we have no


grip and that is why went David Davis says he's going to get the


exact same benefits, we will judge that at the end of the exercise. It


might be a bit boring and process data more what I've been up to a


nasty months on behalf of the Labour Party and others in opposition but


actually, it really matters and the government did not want to give it,


no running commentary, can't possibly have a vote on the final


deal because it will undermine everything but now they have


conceded all that, we've got it and that should please everybody because


Parliament needs to be involved in this process. APPLAUSE


We will talk about that a bit more later. Let's go on to another key


topic. Will there be a cap on the number


of EU nationals allowed in the UK, once the Brexit negotiations


have been concluded? A cap on the number of EU National


is allowed into the UK once the negotiations have been concluded.


Suzanne Evans, what would you like to see what do you think will


happen? I think everybody, well, not everybody but the vast majority of


people in this country, whatever they voted on every single poll ever


done shows around 70% in this country regularly think immigration


is too high. I suspect we could have a long debate about how high it


should be, or how low it should be. I think we need to have a level of


immigration to this country which is sustainable, so we can plan for


population growth accordingly, so we can make sure there are school


places available, we can make sure the NHS isn't overstretched, we can


cope with new migrants coming to the country. At the moment, we have a


situation where the number of EU migrants coming to Britain is


approximately the size of Newcastle, a city of that size, every year


which is clearly not sustainable. I would be very interested to hear


what sort of immigration policy the government decide... Do you want to


see a cap, is the question, and actual cap on the number from the


EU? A cap is tricky, isn't it? Why? It allows for no flexibility and at


the moment, a lot of companies struggle in the country because they


have a cap on the number of people they can bring in from outside the


European Union. Do you want to see? What I want to see is a sensible


immigration system which actually treats everybody around the world


equally and one of the reasons I don't like the current immigration


policy that we have is because it gives priority to EU nationals and I


think that is grossly unfair. I think we should be taking people who


can benefit this country and be self-supporting, which I think is


very important as well, personally I think people should have a job to


come to when they come here. They should not be allowed to come if


they don't have a job to come to or they can't support themselves and


their families. But, you know, nobody in the Leave campaign ever


said we wanted to stop immigration so let me put those lights out.


LAUGHTER Of course, the reason Ukip were


telling people they wanted to control immigration from the EU was


to have more people from outside the EU, if we listen to what we are


hearing tonight. We did say that, Alex! This is so unfair. This was a


secret plot by Ukip to get more people immigrating to this country


from outside the European Union. APPLAUSE


Of course, that is the fallacy behind all of this. The 165,000


people from outwith the European Union who came into this country,


Theresa May was Home Secretary for all of these years, a hardline Home


Secretary and she didn't stop that. That is right. There was no


systematic attempt to stop that all the attempt failed. David asked a


few minutes ago, what should we do now? You know the first thing we


should do to try to improve the tenor of these negotiations? We said


the 3 million of our fellow citizens from the European Union work among


last, do valuable things across our public services, pay their taxes,


that they are welcome, should not be used as bargaining chips. We should


take a unilateral move to try to improve the tenor of negotiations


and say to these people, as they are entitled to hear, that they are


welcome in this country and we appreciate everything they have done


for us. CHEERING AND APPLAUSE What I would say... David Davis,


sorry, no. No, that was in our... Will you wait your turn? Alexander's


just accused me so I would like to reply. We can't share it around six


people. It wasn't in the SNP manifesto but it was in hours. David


Davis, the question is, will there be a cap on the number of EU


nationals? I agree with Alex about one thing and that is European Union


citizens in the UK, doing a good job, supporting the NHS, social


welfare, all sorts of industries, are very important should be made to


feel welcome, should not be made to feel unwelcome, the other side of


that, which is unfortunate. So what about what Alec suggests, the first


thing should be to say they can stay? I will come to that in a


second, well, let me deal with it now. There are about 4 million, I


think, Michel Barnier referred to it, about 4 million people we have


to worry about in this context and we have to be generous to and we


have to make sure that their rights are entrenched. 3 million of them


are European citizens here and about 1 million are British citizens


abroad. We don't want to make any of them bargaining chips and by


treating them together, no one is treated as a bargaining chip. Again


in terms of talking to the diplomacy, in terms of talking to


the Foreign secretaries and prime ministers in the rest of Europe,


almost every single one of them raised it as the first issue, they


agreed the approach we are taking was right, they agreed that we


should try and resolve this as fast as possible and I should say that


Theresa May did try to get it resolved in December but could not


do so but we will resolve it pretty quickly, certainly, the first thing


on the batting order of the negotiation when it starts stop the


man in the blue shirt, there. How on earth can use it therein say that


when the Conservative Party voted down the right to remain? This was


an amendment to the Article 50 Bill we laid which was to say to the


government unilaterally, give protection to those that are in this


country, EU nationals, who are not just contributing to our society but


they are our society and the government voted that down and then


they voted down the amendment when they came back from the House of


Lords. I accept there are, of course, UK nationals across Europe


and we need to be concerned about them as well. We have a legal


responsibility for them. I completely accept that, of course


but they are being used as bargaining chips because what David


is saying is, we will hold this group of people, those that are


here, so we can secure a better deal for someone else. That is to bargain


with groups of people, whether you like it or not. I accept the Prime


Minister tried to get this sorted. She did not succeed but she should


have acted unilaterally. I think had she done so, she would have set a


very good tone for the beginning of the negotiations and got us off to a


good start. Coming back to the question, will there be a cap on the


number of EU nationals? The first issue is to bring this


back under the control of the UK Government and Parliament, to bring


migration under control. I don't think most people oppose migration.


I think most people are in favour of migration, so long as it's managed.


The point is it will need to be managed. My job is to bring the job


back and it's for the Home Secretary to decide the policy. I cannot


imagine that the policy will be anything other than that which is in


the national interest, which means that from time to time, we'll need


more and from time to time we'll need less migrants. That will be in


everybody's interest, the migrants and the citizens of the United


Kingdom. Sorry, just before we move on, sometimes it will be more and


sometimes less, more than now? Do you mean any number? What it will be


is whatever the Government judges to be sustainable. The tens of


thousands that the Tory Party has gone on about for a long time no


long applies? I think we will get there. We have to manage this


properly. You have industries dependent on migrants, social


welfare, the National Health Service. Let's take the National


Health Service, the registrations from Europe have dropped 75% since


Brexit. In a full year that will mean there will be 7,000 less


qualified nurses from elsewhere in the European Union working in our


National Health Service. I had a look at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital


A figures today - What do you attribute this to? They've dropped


by 75% because in the post-Brexit atmosphere people cannot be secure


about their position in this country. When they're heard what


David Davis has just said they will be. David is the acceptable face of


the Cabinet. He's not the one, it was Liam Fox who said people were to


be cards to be played, I quote him exactly. David wouldn't argue that.


But the reality is that our fellow citizens feel uncertain and the


reality is that nurse registrations have dropped by 75%. I do feel some


of the these 7,000 missing European Union nurses would come in very


handy in the Accident Emergency ward at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in


Birmingham right now. I'll come to you in a moment, Nick. Melanie


Phillips. Well, perhaps it's a bit of a diversion to talk specifically


about the Health Service, but since it's been raised, there is clearly a


major crisis of nursing in the, nurse numbers in the Health Service.


That crisis has been caused by the very short sighted policies, boom


and bust policies of the way the NHS is run. Some years ago, when it got


into difficulties, it cut nurse training. It cut nurse training for


British nurses. Then there was a panic because they didn't have


enough nurses. So they went abroad. That's why so many foreign-born


nurses were brought in, many of them paid less than British nurses. The


problem with the nursing situation is what's happening here, not the


problem - it's not specifically - the foundation of the problem does


not lie in Europe. As far as a cap is concerned, I can't see any reason


why European Union nationals should be capped specifically. We have a


problem of mass immigration in this country. We have too many people for


the public services to sustain that number of people. 50% to 60% of


those people are coming from the European Union. We have to deal with


the problem of immigration. We can only do that if we have control over


our immigration policy. That is the most crucial thing of all. Given


that, once we have control of our immigration policy we should bring


in people for the needs of the country in the public, skilled


workers from the EU certainly, we should be deciding that and


hopefully we will. Let me hear from one or two other people. The man


there. Then the person who was waving vaguely in the middle there.


Sorry the man in the red tie behind you. I work in the NHS, across the


NHS about 5% of all clinical posts are currently unfilled. 5% of all


NHS nurses are from the EU and about 10% of doctors. Rather than talk


about a cap on immigration, why don't we actually talk about how we


can entice these people to stay? Why can't the Government do the decent


people and tell those people who are worried about their future and their


security and tell them they have a right to stay? You have enough to


worry in your negotiations, this is a simple thing you could do up front


before your negotiation, why can't you just do the decent thing and do




This issue will be resolved as the first issue in the negotiation.


Let's be clear, the other heads of government, the Foreign Secretary,


who I've spoken to in the last few months, none have said we shouldn't


worry and indeed treat the status of British citizens the same. Indeed


the Polish Prime Minister said in public in Britain that they are the


same issue, not separate. We is said over and over again and I've said


so, in Parliament, over and over again in responses to questions from


Keir and many others and Alec and others that we view this as a moral


responsibility. I view this as a moral responsibility. People should


not worry about this. Well, they do. They should not. If I'm asked to


make a response to the public, that's what I'm doing. They should


not worry about this. Their position will be underwritten, will be - not


just their residency position, welfare, pensions, all of that is


what we're aiming to solve and that's what we're going to solve. Do


you feel reassured by what David Davis has said? I think there's a


lot of people who've been only here a few years and they're in a


different position to myself. I work in a department where about 20% of


our nurses are from the EU. I think the area that you are dreaming about


in the future that you have a global trade market with also different


countries is a reality in health care. In health care is a biassed


market, people will go where their skills are needed. If people feel


they are insecure here they will go elsewhere. I don't think you have


much time to sort this issue out. You don't feel more secure because


of what David Davis has said? No. Are you from the EU? Yes, I am.


Where are you from? Germany. Thank you.


The man up there. How long have you been here, by the way, I should have


said? This May, it will be 20 years. Oh, well you have residency rights


and indeed you can be a citizen if you want. I could be, but the


question of citizens isn't just decided in the head, it's also in


the heart. Immigration is just one side of the coin. We all, as a


country, agree that immigration is good. That's what we're hearing


continuously. But what the Government needs to do is think


about what is the underlying problem. The underlying problem is


the services, the pressure that uncontrolled immigration brings.


What I would like to hear from the Government is what they're doing as


well as getting control of immigration and the borders, what


they're doing to improve the services, like hospitals, other


public services, infrastructure. Nick Clegg. I struggle to be wholly


objective about this because I'm married to a Spanish lady and my mum


is Dutch. She's lived here for over half a century. She's now in her


80s. She used to be a teacher. She's raised four children here and paid


taxes. I think as her son, it's scandalous that an elderly lady in


her 80s is made to feel so unsure about her own status in a country


which she loves and has been loyal to for decades and had no say, at


all, about what happened to the future of her country and that of


her kids. Perhaps I can't be objective. But the thing I really


abhor is the dishonesty of this debate. Remember what Nigel Farage


did during the referendum, willfully confusing the refugee crisis in the


Mediterranean with Brexit, when the two are separate. Look at the wilful


distortion of statistics including students, when clearly they


shouldn't count much the worst this is this, for the last 40 yoorz more


people have come into this country from outside the European Union than


from the European Union. So somehow blaming it all on German workers in


the NHS or my mum or my wife is ridiculous. In fact, since 2000, in


terms of the total net migration into this country, only a quarter is


accounted for the European Union. So it is fundamentally dishonest to


claim that this problem and clearly many people do regard it as a


problem, can be solved by clamping down on French lawyers, German


engineers and Spanish nurses. I just think it's time we have a more


honest debate. APPLAUSE


Yes. Brief comment from you. I would, if you like, to say that I


feel the fact is we live in a liberal market economy that prop


gait a hire and fire culture. Leaving the EU and ridding ourselves


of protected citizens that have human rights to bring in cheap


labour from countries that do not have protected human rights is


really what is the discussion here. All right, we've heard a number of


voices like that. I'd like to hear from somebody who approves of


restrictions on immigration. You do, ma'am. Yes? The panel all seem to


think that what they call the EU nationals all come to say


professionals mainly, you forget that those coming in during the


summer, those EU people to come and being admitted in hospitals and they


don't pay a bill for their treatment. They go back. This is why


the National Health Service went down. The bill is enormous. You Sir,


behind. The question I get is the Government has been trying to get an


agreement for a while, we never see the European Union or the commission


trying to come forward and do this. It seems to be us trying to get athe


agreement, but the other countries seem to not want to comply. Why do


you think that is? It's politically difficult then for our parties, the


longer they leave it. They could easily come forward tomorrow and say


we agree, we'll sign On Tour both sides. It seems to be us that's


trying and not them. You think there's ill will towards Britain?


Absolutely. At this stage about the negotiations? Yeah. Anybody else


feel strongly about that issue of the way that immigration is being


handled? I go to you, yes. The man here in the second row. I think it's


difficult because if we're going to have a cap, we almost need the help


of the EU to run with that. For example, the French, they're making


it pretty easy for people to come over here. We almost need the help


of those guys. On a separate matter, I actually run an international


business and the problem that we've got is a lot of these companies are


quite scared about a cap because we have a massive skills shortage in


the UK and getting the people over here is what these companies need.


If big companies can't attract talent from abroad, they'll end up


leaving. It's a really difficult issue because there's two sides to


it. Can I come in on that point? It's


really important. When I did the Shadow immigration role, I went


round the country talking to communities and to businesses about


immigration. Wherever I talked to businesses, I say to them - what's


the thing that's going to inhibit your success over the next three to


five years? Wherever I went in the you country, including here,


whatever the size of the business, and whatever the type of the


business, they all said skills and a lot of the recruitment they were


doing that has an effect on the numbers was because they couldn't


get the skills here. I started a discussion about immigration, ended


with a discussion about skills. That is a huge political failure that we


in this country don't have a way of making sure that the skills we need


are available in the UK. I don't want to stop companies recruiting


from other countries for the skills they need, of course. But they


shouldn't be required to do so because of the political veilure to


have a skills agenda in this country. You Sir In red. I agree


with Nick, it should be an honest debate, but not a scaremongering


debate. None of us know it would have carried on for years and years,


what the numbers would have been. Services, you know, all it is, all


we're saying is just control on who can come in and who can't. Not you


can't come in. You can't come in. It's just a debate and a control.


Not just, you know, there's lots of scaremongering. People saying people


can't come in and Alex is saying we are going to send off people. What


would you do if 300,000 come into Scotland every year, would you still


be greed? One of the reasons that Scotland voted so heavily for Remain


is that there isn't the same anxiety about immigration and people coming


from other countries. I think there's two reasons for that. One is


there's not a family in the whole of Scotland who doesn't have somebody


who emigrated to Australia or Canada, the United States or


whatever. It's not easy to sell a message like Ukip were trying to do.


That somehow he's immigrants were a burden, since every family has an


immigrant who has made a great success elsewhere. The second reason


is equally important. Parts of Scotland have suffered not from


immigration, but from emigration. If you've seen depopulation and what


the lack of people and the lack of services and the lack of schools and


empty Glenns and empty villages and towns, if you see what that does to


a community, then you'll never fear immigration again, because


emigration and depopulation is much, much worse. Why are they leaving


Alex, are you not doing a very good job? Alex mentions Scotland and


today there was what seemed to be a rather cool discussion between


Theresa May and Nicola Sturgeon about this whole issue of how the


Brexit negotiations are conducted. Let's have that question now.


Women Brexit unite or spell the end of the union? I don't think it will


spell the end of the union. I very much hope it won't. I think the


union is bigger than its constituent parts. The UK is stronger through


having its constituent nations belonging to it. Would it be a worry


to you if it did mean the end of the UK? Yes, it would worry me. On the


other hand, I think that democratic self-government cannot be held


hostage by the feelings of people in one part of this country. I have


great respect for Scotland. I have great sympathy with the aspirations


of a number of Scots for independence, but the question is


whether it will lead to the break up of the union. Personally, I don't


think it will, because I think that the Scots are extremely level headed


and sensible individuals and that when they look, as I think they


already are, at the hard facts of what would happen to Scotland, if it


were to gain independence from Britain, in the event of Britain


leaving the European Union, I think just on economic terms alone it is


to Scotland's disadvantage. They can see that the European Union is not


going to be overly enthusiastic about encouraging a similar


secessionary -- cessationy movement in Europe. It's jumping the gun. If


Scotland wants independence that's one issue. The issue is whether or


not it should be allowed to conduct a second referendum before the


Brexit negotiations are concluded. And the argument as I understand it


from Nicola Sturgeon is that it was always understood if there was a


material change in the circumstance of Scotland inside the United


Kingdom, then all bets would be off and another referendum would be


called. But no material change will have happened until the final deal


is done. The Scots will have no idea what they are voting for. Let's


leave aside the timing of a referendum. The question is whether


the deal done by Davis David is one that could satisfy opinion in


Scotland. You, sir, in the middle, yes? With


the glasses on. No, to the right. Yes. I'm just worried that the


Scottish referendum question has moved from being an issue about the


union, to being an issue of subtle political blackmail. I believe the


union of 300 years... APPLAUSE David Davis is being blackmailed by


Scotland? Yes, it has become used in every major UK Government decision


and if there is a second referendum, if they visit, there will be a third


and a fourth as soon as there are any major decisions. APPLAUSE


Alex Salmond? For the information of melanin, in the SNP manifesto last


year, Nicola Sturgeon, on page 23, put in the commitment that if there


were a material change in circumstances, such as Scotland


being taken out of the European Union against the will of the


Scottish people, then the Scottish parliament should have the right to


hold another referendum. That was a manifesto commitment. The last few


weeks around the budget and small business, we have seen what happens


to government to try to ditch their manifesto commitment. That was in


the manifesto and she was re-elected resoundingly with 47% of the vote


and the Scottish Parliament has every right to implement that


manifesto. We have heard a lot about that but what about what David Davis


will negotiate? Is there an outcome of those negotiations which could


satisfy Scotland so the issue of another referendum would not arise?


Maccabeus, there is and in answer to the gentleman, before Christmas,


Nicola Sturgeon put forward the position paper... Plateau gait


Scotland's place in Europe which led the way to resolve the


differences... And there is no way to do it just now, Ireland is in


stalemate, the Welsh Aileen aided, Scotland will have another


referendum and England is still split 50-50. -- the Welsh are in


limbo. Nicola Sturgeon said the way that the UK could do it was stay


within the single market place even if they left the EU and if that were


not possible, then for Northern Ireland or Scotland in particular,


in our document, for Scotland to have a special deal within the


single market place even if the UK were to leave. That was the position


paper and many other things, like protecting the rights of European


citizens in Scotland, workers' rights, really important issues in


this debate. That was the position paper. The government has had it for


more than three months and Nicola Sturgeon has not had an answer. She


was not even consulted about the Article 50 letter. The meetings of


the joint ministerial committee that were going to take place did not


take place, the Welsh delegation described them as being conducted


like a parish council meeting. The attitude towards not just Scotland


but the other devolved administrations has been


contemptuous from the Westminster government. She had every right to


go to the Scottish Parliament and increment the mandate. David Davis,


what do you say to this, there has been no serious negotiations


although we know there were promised at the beginning and can you deliver


a deal that will satisfy Scottish opinion? There has been to meetings


of the Council chaired by the Prime Minister, more there -- more than


there has been in most years of the last decade, there have been four


joint ministerial committee meetings on this subject alone, attended by


the Scottish Government, the gentleman I saw today, attended by


the Welsh government and the Northern Irish executive while it


existed. And what are you told by them? Quite a lot, take for example


that White Paper which was discussed and debated at the joint ministerial


committee, some aspects of it, protection of employees rights,


absolutely taken on board and made a major part of our policy. What about


being in the single market? That is a crucial one. The single market


issue, now, what is single market membership about? It is about


maintaining jobs and access to the single market, being able to sell


products and services into the single market. What are we trying to


get? A comprehensive free trade arrangement which does just that,


which allows us to sell into the single market so the distinction


becomes one of how you do it and the Scottish proposal is that they, now,


alone, should be a member of the single market while the rest of the


UK is not. That means they have got to sign up to free movement of


people, so you can have free movement of people to Edinburgh but


not London, they have to sign up to the European Court of Human Rights


and all of the elements, in other words, they want to break the


country in two. What a surprise! APPLAUSE


Yes? Can I just... Can we take a deep breath and acknowledge


something? In a general election or a by-election, people by and large


go by party lines, they may be swayed by the arguments of the time


but they go with the party they usually vote for. In the referendum,


it was completely different. Families voted differently,


immunities. I know from reading Craig Oliver's excellent book that


there were many surprises on both sides, all the way throughout.


Coming here tonight, watching in the audience for the first time,


watching at home, it is very hard for people to really decide what the


truth is because arguments seem to be made, still, on party lines by


people sat up there. I think it is very hard for people sat at home to


really decide and understand what is going on here, like for the


referendum, there was Project Fear, the Nigel Farage posters and people


heard the arguments made but it is still hard because everyone seems to


have diametrically opposed opinion. That is all well and good when there


is an election but the decision has already been made and we are sad


that I'm thinking we're pretty much powerless, and I personally don't


have a great deal of faith the people in power to exercise a


decision when you can't even agree on what is going to happen and the


decision is already out of our hands, it is up to you. Keir


Starmer? APPLAUSE I'm very grateful for you making


that point because we were split down the middle. It was a narrow


decision, 52-48, almost halfway down the country. Obviously, I campaigned


passionately to stay in the EU but I did it on the basis the outcome


would be binding which is why I and the Labour Party have accepted the


result but what we now need to do, it is harder than it seems, is to go


forward in a way that unifies the country and works both for those


that voted to leave and for those that voted to remain. One of the


concerns about the government 's approach is that those that voted to


remain feel they have been written out of their own future but we have


to have an agreement that actually works for both sides of the country,


as it were, and we have stood atop talking in the way that perpetuates


the division which is why I set out six tests today which are based on


the idea that if we can't be members of the EU because that was the


referendum question, how can we be close partners with EU countries and


colleagues and have something that works for future generations because


we are talking about generational change, here. That is why so


important to build consensus. David and the government set out months


ago saying they would try to build a consensus across the nations and


nations and regions and I'm afraid they have failed to do that, and


today is further evidence of that and they need to work harder. I


think the Prime Minister is taking quite an isolationist approach, not


wanting to be open with accountability and scrutiny. We


wanted to have Parliament more involved and at every twist and


turn, the Prime Minister said no but a collegiate approach is better. We


will talk about that in a moment but one or two more people on this


point. Yes? ... Access to the single market for them is a foregone


conclusion. You have no idea what is going to happen if you left the UK.


You have no idea what access to Europe you will get. I feel like it


is a foolish stunt, bringing the Scottish referendum earlier when


originally, it was only going to be if we couldn't get access to the


single market so it appears like you are moving the goalposts and aiming


towards a referendum regardless of the circumstances. APPLAUSE


Not everyone on the panel has spoken to this yet but since it is directed


at you, Alex, can you answer that? In 18 months, two years' time, we


will know the shape of the Brexit deal and the House of Commons and


every other Parliament across the EU will be given a choice, take it or


leave it, and it is not a real choice incidentally because leave


it, as we have already discussed, leaving the single market will be a


bad choice, so why shouldn't the people of Scotland have the same


ability to choose between a Brexiteer of David Davis or


independents from Europe? By that time, the proposition will go


forward to the Scottish people which will involve continuous membership


of the single market because the choice is not now a choice in 18


months' time. One last thing, the Prime Minister, which you came to


Scotland the week after she was elected, she gave a commitment that


she would not sign Article 50 until there was an agreed UK position


backed by Scotland. These were her words. There has been no such


agreement but she is intent on going ahead on Wednesday and invoking


Article 50. It is a clear breach of faith and breach of her word and


Nicola Sturgeon is quite entitled to go to the Scottish parliament and


ask for support. Do you agree with that? It is a breach of faith?


Before you do, answer that point if you can, if you can take the two,


the point there has been a breach of faith with Scotland. I think a


plague on both your houses, I don't think Scottish nationalism is


another... On the whole of the UK? In the UK, for those of us who are


not Scottish Nationalists or members of the Conservative Party or Ukip,


we are squeezed between a resurgent English nationalism between the


Conservative Party and Ukip nationalism in Westminster and


sluggish nationalism north of the border, I don't think nationalism is


a solution to the world's problems, north or south of the border. I


think it has been very unhelpful the SNP have jumped opportunistically to


trigger another independence referendum as it was, by the way,


totally predictable that by pursuing this cell farming hard Brexit and


yanking us out of the single market, yanking us out of the customs union,


choices we did not need to make as a country and choices that David Davis


before he went into government would argue against, by doing that of


course you provoke tensions within the family of nations. Quickly to


the gentleman earlier who said it is so difficult for the public to work


out what happens next, those who I feel... My heart goes out most two


is the youngsters who voted in very large numbers, 18-24 -year-olds,


over 60% of them voted on the 23rd of June last year and 70% of them


said they don't want this future. As a country, for better or worse, I


think for worse, we have taken a huge decision about our future


against the exquisite, stated wishes of those who have to inhabit that


future, in other words, the young. They have to live with the


consequences of this decision and that is what I think, when we


finally know what the deal is, of course it is right that the decision


about what whether we adopt the deal should not be left to David Davis,


Theresa May or the politicians, it should be given back to the people.


We will come to that. APPLAUSE We will come to that but Suzanne


Evans, on this point about the union? I think, you know, Alex, you


talk about Scotland and you talk about the people of Scotland but


what you mean is, you talk about the SNP. In the SNP does not


represent... APPLAUSE Just a couple of points, a third of


SNP voters voted for Brexit. And also, you know, what Melanie said


right at the beginning of the discussion is spot on, Scottish


people are very sensible. They know that Scotland economically is four


times as reliant on the UK as it is of the European Union. And it is


absolutely... So you believe in free trade? Not just for emotional


reasons, but for the country and the future as a united country and I


very much hope Scotland stays part of the UK but you know, it is a good


thing for Scotland to stay in because it is in their best


interests and at the end of the day, after Brexit, at least I know what


currency I'm going to have in my pocket. The SNP, you leave the UK,


you won't have a clue what currency will have. Wait a minute, wait a


minute, we will have a lot more in Scotland. Alex, if you could bring


yourself to be very brief. Briefly, Nicola Sturgeon can't get an SNP


majority for the referendum in the Scottish parliament, she has to get


a majority across the Parliament, she needs another political party to


agree to get the majority and she is not just speaking for the SNP, she's


trying to articulate the view of the nation and whatever the votes for


the SNP which incidentally, are 20 times the votes for Ukip, whatever


the for the SNP... APPLAUSE The vast, overwhelming majority of


people in Scotland want a say in the single market. -- want to stay. I


want David Davis to answer the point you made earlier that Scotland have


been betrayed in these discussions are ready by the Prime Minister,


promising she would do one thing and then not and then I want to go the


question you raised about what now because that is probably the last


area we are going to, how this proceeds and what control the


British public as a whole has over it. David?


When Alex said this in the House of Commons, he quote today from a


newspaper, rather than the original fact. Which one. He's answered


himself. The simple truth is what the Prime Minister said is that she


would seek consensus. She can't demand it. Frankly the Scottish


National Party doesn't want consensus. It wants to have it's all


so-called compromise solution, which is single market membership for is


of. Nick lectured us all on honesty earlier, and he started off by


saying, he started off by saying that I had made this argument


before, untrue. The argument he was now making. And he said we want to


have membership of the single market. He's ignoring something


important. To have that you have to accept free movement. You have to


accept the rule of the our peen court of justice, not human rights,


as I said earlier. The 6th April, 2014, you wrote, first we should


retain access to the EU single market. Access. Membership and


access are different things. That's the point. If the liberal party


can't realise that... APPLAUSE


No, no, no. That's wrong. Retain access. Jo it's a meaningless thing


to say. You've got to be honest about the facts you're talking to


now. And the last point about it is of course that being in the sing the


market, it's virtually impossible to be outside the European Union and be


in the single market, unless you're going to behave and accept all the


rules handed down from somebody else. So I'm afraid that simply does


not stand up. The British people voted to leave the European Union,


not stay half in, half out. APPLAUSE


Just to be clear, access to the sing the market and paying for access to


the single market is something you would go along with? I didn't say


that. Any contribution for access to the single market, of course, woed'


consider it? Considering. If you consider it, you're not ruling it


out. As the Prime Minister corrected me that day, yes, we'd consider it,


didn't mean we'd do it. I don't think he'd be at all pleased or


convinced. That's what I'm talking about. You don't understand it.


Doesn't make sense. I'm not the Prime Minister luckily. I'm going to


take another question. Should the British people


have a vote on the final Let's take this now, should the


British people have a vote on the final Brexit deal agreed, what


happens, David Davis, when you come back with your deal. It's said it's


going to be put to Parliament as a yes or No vote. That's where it


stands at the moment? Is that it? That's the end TV? Because the


decision taken by -- that's the end of it? Because the decision taken by


the British people on June 23 was the point of no return. We gave the


British people a referendum on this subject. It was said at the dispatch


box by the minister presenting the act of Parliament that this will be


a decision for the British people, not advice, decision. So yes, that's


the stance. Now you ask about a referendum. This is the liberal


party policy, a second referendum. If you want to encourage the


European negotiator in this to give us the worst possible deal, that's


the way to do it. Why so? Just explain it. I will. Because what


they want is to keep us in. They want to keep us in. If you had


another referendum, another run at the referendum, they would give us


the worst deal, in the hope that we would vote to stay in. For our


money, for our involvement, for the contribution we make to the European


Union, in all sorts of ways, that's what they would do. Come on, David.


APPLAUSE Keir Starmer. I think it's really


important that Parliament has a say in this. That's why we've been


arguing for what I termed a meaningful vote in Parliament, which


is the ability of MPs to vote on the deal that comes back in two years'


time. You've been offered that. Absolutely. We intend - and that's


why I said out tests today, we intend to use that because if the


Prime Minister comes back with a deal, which doesn't have the


confidence of Parliament, then that is not a good deal for our country.


That's a really important vote in Parliament. Now that, hopefully,


will be in the Autumn of 2018. If it's not good enough, the


instruction will be to the Prime Minister to go and negotiate some


more. This idea that it's a take it or leave it vote is a political


choice on the half of the Prime Minister. That's a very, very


important point of grip. As for a second referendum, I'm afraid that


lots of people make the argument for a second referendum are not being


honest about whether it's achievable. Because all that will


happen in two years' time, if this goes in the direction I hope it will


go in, is that we'll have a transitional arrangement in March


2019. Can't have a referendum on a transitional arrangement. The final


deal will be perhaps two or three after a transitional period, by


which time, we will have formally left the EU. In other words, what's


being put forward is the false promise, if you like, of a


referendum that isn't going to happen. Politically this is


important because either we stand up and face - I didn't want to leave


the EU, I passionately campaigned to stay in, now the decision is made,


we need to stand up and confront the challenges in front of us or we


spend the whole time looking behind us trying to rub out the decision


that was made. I don't think we're going to succeed if we do the


second. What happens if you have the vote and the Government comes back


and presents it, perhaps unlikely, but in view of the House of Commons,


but there is a vote against it, what happens then? Are you going to send


him back again to have another go - that's like the referendum. If they


think that's going to happen, they will take his referendum argument.


Is there any chance of it happening? This vote in the House of Commons is


artificial. It will come in two years' time - October 2018. Well,


October 2018, let's say it is, then it will be accepted or rejected.


Why? Because the Prime Minister says so? Because there's a two-year time


limit on these negotiations. I have put an amendment to make sure if it


was rejected we'd stay in, I can't remember if the Labour Party decided


to support that. It's an artificial chase, take or leave it. On the


question of the referendum, you'd have to have a general election, in


which people argued in the general election to hold another refer dumb


and got a mandate for doing. It unfortunately the past was sold on


the referendum, where the majority of the people, including the Labour


Party and the Liberal Democrats voted for this referendum two years


ago in the House of Commons. I think they were wrong to do so, but the


surpass was sold in that. The only way for another referendum is with a


general election to give a pert a mandate to reconsider the whole


referendum. Personally I'm not sure whether another referendum is the


right way to go, frankly, there are a lot of people in this country who


think how the hell can we trust a Government to have our best


interests at heart and get the best deal for us, when they haven't had


our best interests before. They say oh, Theresa May comes out and say


more funding for mental health, a week later, mental health is being


cut. How can we - There was a referendum. How can retrust someone


- There was a referendum. How can retrust someone who's deported


50,000 students. We leave right, we've got that, how can we trust


them to get the best deal for us when they haven't done it


beforehand. I see. I have great sympathy with that. We have been to


be quick now. It's a widespread problem. There's lack of trust in


Government. We are in a Parliamentary democracy. We had a


refer ditch on the constitutional -- referendum on the constitutional


issue. We voted out. Our system means we entrust the Government to


negotiate and Parliament rightly will have a say on the final


negotiation. So much of this argument is a coveted way of


Remainers trying to overturn the will of the British people.


APPLAUSE It sounds very seductive, let's


bridge the gap between Remainers and Brexiteers. If I hear these terms,


hard Brexit and soft Brexit, I shall throw up. There is no hard Brexit


and soft Brexit. There is simply Brexit.


APPLAUSE Keir Starmer is saying this is


rubbish. What is meant by soft Brexit is keeping us within the EU


rules, which means effectively half in, half out. It is an attempt by


Remainersto pretend to -- remainers to pretend to obey the will of


British people while in the detail trying to overturn it. We only have


a couple of minutes left. Very quickly. David Davis, this is


beneath you. We've known each other for many years. You cannot claim it


would be impossible for a democracy to be able to negotiate successfully


international agreement. By your logic, when David Davis said that


having another referendum on the final deal it would be an incentive


to give the United Kingdom a bad deal. By that reckoning, the only


governments that could successfully negotiate good international


agreements with each other are dictatorships, where you never allow


the people to have a say. Secondly, you used to make this argument. You


used to advocate a double referendum strategy. We also commit the country


to a decision referendum to be held when the EU negotiation is concluded


and then you said something rather wise, if a democracy cannot change


its mind, it ceases to be a democracy. And the question is, as


ever, who decides. Let's say we have a deal. Would decides? Is it Theresa


May on her own in Number Ten? Is it a bunch of politicians in


Westminster? Or is it you? I believe it should be you.


Suzanne Evans. APPLAUSE


You have to be very brief I'm afraid. We only have a minute or so


left. We had a referendum in 1975. We changed our mind, we've had


another one. We're leaving. APPLAUSE


Ukip is very much in favour. We can't carry on having referendums on


referendums on referendums. The vote leave campaign made it clear what we


want from Brexit. David, the country is looking to you to deliver. It


OK. -- to deliver it. Keir Starmer. I accept the result. I think I now


and many other people should have a role in shaping the future. There is


a role of difference between crashing out without a deal,


severing our ties with Europe and on the other hand having a partnership,


a collaborative, Co-operative future with Europe. I've got children and


the next generation require us and want us to shape the future for


them. Simply saying there's no choice, they are very different


futures. We've got it fight for the future that we want for the next


generation. I've got to stop because we have to make way for today's news


and the rest of it. I want to say to all of you here who had your hands


up and didn't get a chance, I'm sorry. I don't apologise to the


panel, because they've all had a good shout. We have the Article 50


on Wednesday. And the letter from the Prime Minister to Donald Tusk,


the president of the European Council, from Theresa May, and a


response apparently in 48 hours. Plenty more to talk about, Thursday,


the so-called great repeal bill will get the details of that and the


legislation moving here. My thanks to our panel, to all of you who came


here to Birmingham to take part, Question Time will be back on


Thursday at its usual time of 10. 45pm, here on BBC One. For now, from


Birmingham, good night.


David Dimbleby presents a special edition of Question Time from Birmingham - Britain after Brexit. On the panel are secretary of state for exiting the EU David Davis, shadow secretary of state for exiting the EU Sir Keir Starmer, former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, former first minister of Scotland Alex Salmond, deputy chair of Ukip Suzanne Evans and Times columnist Melanie Phillips.

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