11/05/2017 Question Time


David Dimbleby presents topical debate from Edinburgh. On the panel are Emily Thornberry, Ben Wallace, Joanna Cherry, David Hayman and Merryn Somerset Webb.

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Welcome to Question Time, which tonight comes from Edinburgh.


With us on our panel, the Conservative Home Office


The SNP Home Affairs spokesperson, Joanna Cherry.


Labour's Shadow Foreign Secretary, Emily Thornberry.


The Financial Times columnist and editor of MoneyWeek Magazine,


And the actor who campaigned for Scottish independence


And just remember at home, you've got Twitter and


You can follow us by searching for BBC Question Time.


Press the red button to see what others are saying.


Our first question from Eric Holford, please.


Is the leaked Labour manifesto an attempt to drag Britain back


I think that this manifesto is one which is about


It's about the 21st-century, it's not looking backwards.


It's actually looking at what options do we want.


We have a choice now with this general election.


We can be a country where we don't need to have nurses going


to food banks any more, where we have a National Health


Service that has sufficient funds, where elderly women have a visitor


in the morning from social care that will get them up at breakfast


time instead of having to wait until lunchtime.


We will not have young people who will unnecessarily be saddled


with debt because they've been to university.


We will have chances for young people to be able to move out


of their parents' homes and to be able to move into their


We will have a world where if you get a job in the City,


you're not afraid of having to pay all that money that you are having


to pay at the moment to private train companies,


frankly quite often owned by other countries.


And we will have a train service which is owned by Britain instead.


There is a choice, there is another way,


and the question is, in this election, do we want to do


that, or do we want to carry on with the tired old Tory party


that has run out of ideas completely?


I take it from what you say, that it was accurate,


What it was was that it was an earlier draft.


The leak was a couple of earlier drafts.


It had been changed quite a lot before we went to the meeting today.


So there are things that we don't know that are in it?


We are not like Theresa May who will go into a locked room


with some friends and draft the manifesto themselves


I'm just trying to check the veracity of what we've read.


All I'm saying is that we are a democratic party


and in those circumstances, when you consult a lot of people,


you might get somebody who for whatever reason thinks that


it's somehow clever to draft some sort of early, leak some sort


I'm not saying it's 100 miles away from the manifesto


We were costing it today and there's still more work being done


Well, if we put aside the sort of chaotic way that a government


in waiting sort of handle the manifesto launch,


or the non-launch, if we put aside the fact that the leader doesn't


actually agree with some of the issues in it,


such as nuclear Trident, and we put aside the background that


actually the Government and the country is still living


We've brought it down from 157 billion.


And we have to remain on course to start living within our means.


If we put all of those aside and ask ourselves whether this manifesto


is affordable and whether this manifesto would actually deliver


the stability and the economy that this country needs to get


through the next five years, I think the answer is a resounding no.


Some of the commitments in the manifesto will put out


of work the thousands of aerospace workers in my constituency,


and indeed in the west of Scotland, by the clear antipathy


towards aerospace and our manufacturing industry that it is.


Yes, you are, you're going to ban it to Saudi Arabia.


Jeremy Corbyn has a strong, long-held antipathy


towards the aerospace industry and it is absolutely clear that


Emily talks about there's some more work being done.


They are busy out growing the money tree to try and make up the money.


And I think we are in a position where if this manifesto goes ahead


and if Labour won the next election, we would find our economy


would crash, we would go back to the state of the 1970s,


the trade unions would be in the front door.


Emily talks about whether the Prime Minister makes up


the manifesto with a few friends behind closed doors.


The trade union barons have been in, writing the checks and getting


what they want in this manifesto, and it risks enterprise,


risks business and risks aspiration of people in this country


who are trying to make our economy stronger.


When the Labour Party came out last week and announced one of the first


of their initiatives which was let's give everyone four


bank holidays per year, my reaction was,


that is not going to set the heather on fire.


I genuinely welcome this initiative by the Labour Party.


It has put the cat among the pigeons.


I think it's genuinely exciting because it's going to give


the people of the United Kingdom a proper choice.


I get the feeling the questioner is against it.


He said he does not want to go back to the 70s.


Let us not forget that every single one of us in this room,


our parents, our grandparents, our taxes paid for the construction


They paid for the electricity grid, for the gas supplies.


Suddenly, Margaret Thatcher comes along in the 80s and said,


So she sold them all to her friends, who made an absolute fortune


And it's about time we brought it back into our management.


If Holland can do it, and Germany and France and Spain,


if other countries in Europe can run their own systems,


I'm old enough to remember the 70s, just.


I remember when we had trains that were dirty,


smelly and could not run on time at all.


I remember the times when we had unions that would bring


down our government, our democratically


I remember the winter of discontent, the three-day weeks, the power


And I don't want to see us go back into that.


It's a Tory government that brought us out of that and gave


Privatisation, rail fares, I believe, roughly


My daughter is a nurse, she earns 50% over the national average wage.


She is in a perfectly good profession if she well managed.


Yes, she works hard, does a good job, cares for people


but she gets well paid for doing it as well.


She lives in a nice flat with a nice little car, lives a nice life.


And every nurse is the same, are they?


I think it's a real shame the Labour manifesto has been leaked in this


way because it has enabled the media to focus relentlessly


on the Labour manifesto for the whole day, rather


than the real issue in this election which should be


the record of the Tory government at Westminster.


What this election should be about is whether you want a hard


Brexit that Theresa May is going to deliver,


and the effect that will have on jobs and the economy.


And this election should also be about the Tory


record on austerity, the fact that, as people


in the audience have already said, low income families are having


Disabled people are having their mobility cars taken away from them.


And hard-working, low income families now have to cope


Can you address the question, which was whether the Labour


manifesto, specifically, is dragging Britain


There are many things in this manifesto which I welcome


because they reflect SNP policies which are in place in Scotland,


such as no tuition fees, free school meals and votes


And I agree with David, if other countries in Europe can


have their rail systems nationalised and can run efficiently,


as all of us have experienced when we travel on the continent,


But I think the big issue about this leak is that somebody


inside the Labour Party has done this, and it shows how divided


Many of the MPs don't support the policies that


Hang on, what do you think the motive is,


I suspect the motive is by somebody on the right of the Labour Party


But in fact it's drawn attention to it, hasn't it?


The reality is that many of the policies in this


manifesto are not supported by the Parliamentary Labour Party.


Equally, Trident renewal is in the manifesto.


Emily doesn't support Trident renewal, and the Scottish Labour


So what this illustrates is the chaos and division


I just wanted to make the point about the railways,


in terms of my understanding is that railway companies, the private ones,


receive four times as much funding as British Rail did


And these private companies receive that subsidy and then a lot of these


You want the railways renationalised.


Absolutely, and joined up, so when you buy a ticket in one


place, you can get to get right through, not different prices.


Is that the most popular policy in what has come out today, for you?


Well, actually, the main policy about protecting


the most vulnerable people, because the UN has identified


that the welfare policies are an aggressive policy that takes


Well, Emily's vision of the future is absolutely gorgeous


and what I like most about what was said this morning


is more in this manifesto, because this list is so long,


tens and tens and tens of things, all of which are incredibly


expensive, and all of which are things that most people would like.


Everybody would like everybody to be rich, everybody


would like everybody to be happy, everybody would like everybody to go


to university for free, and everybody would like everyone


to have a gorgeous NHS that treated everyone on the most


However, the slight problem is the money.


We still have an enormous national debt, 1.8 trillion.


We are adding to it to the tune of over a billion a week.


We have a deficit that is still running at 4%.


We ran up this debt, and constantly it keeps growing.


We are not anywhere near balancing the books.


What we have here is billions and billions of extra spending


I can't for the life of me imagine how, given that on the way


the country runs at the moment we are running a deficit.


How this could be costed, I can't imagine.


The few bits that have come out so far, we will pay


for free school meals, one of the examples,


which will be paid for by VAT on private school fees.


That may work, but what you don't know is how many people will stop


sending their children to private school when they have to pay VAT.


So these things are very difficult to cost, and looking


round the audience I think we are all old enough


to have seen quite a few political cycles come and go,


and we've seen what happens when politicians cost things.


It never ever works out, the deficit goes up and up.


So at some point, someone has to say, everything on this list has


to be paid for and almost none of it is affordable.


One more thing I will pick up on, the free tuition business.


We do have free university tuition in Scotland for Scottish and EU


students, obviously not English but Scottish and EU.


And we have found here that it doesn't work in the way


It doesn't reduce educational inequality.


So if you come from a wealthy family in Scotland, you are 3.5 times more


likely to apply to university through the UCAS system than


So you are suggesting we reintroduce tuition fees...


I am still talking, Joanna, I am still talking.


I am in the middle of a sentence, David.


She is picking you up on what you are saying.


I haven't finished my sentence, which is that in England it is 2.5


You are 2.5 times more likely to apply if you


are wealthy in the UK, in England, than disadvantaged.


So what we are seeing here is that the policy


of free tuition has not had the desired result.


Even afford the aircraft to go on them. If we scrap Trident, would


that paved for what Emily Thornberry has been describing? Half of it


won't even come close. One of the pledges is to nationalise National


Grid. -- National Grid. The UK proportion of that is valued at ?23


billion. This is the bankruptcy of this manifesto, the longest P 45


issued in history. I can pick up a lot more places I would spend ?23


billion than an ideological crusade to re-nationalise National Grid.


It's not as Tony Blair said, the protests. The priority is getting


Outcomes for the people of the UK, making sure they get access to the


universities if they apply. The SNP had to cover the cost by cutting


157,000 places, by the way, in colleges across Scotland. Not true.


It is. And it's your own statisticic. It's about delivering


for people of this country. This manifesto is about Jeremy Corbyn


indulging in ideaology no matter what the cost. I will come to you in


a moment. Emily Thornberry? I don't really know where to start. You have


the manifesto. Eric's question is, dragging Britain back to the 70s?


There has been lots of wild allegations made. The last general


election, what we said to the Conservatives because they kind of


said the same thing then before they adopted a lot of our policies, they


said it isn't affordable. So they adopted your policies, so they're


pro-Labour are they? Sometimes. If you look at the energy one and


compare it with what Ed Miliband was saying, you would think, what is the


difference here. So you don't have a problem with the Tories? We've gone


further. What we are saying now is that we won't cap it. We'll set up


an alternative energy company in each region, that will make them be


able to challenge the companies. What we said at the last general


election, we said, you are saying that we can't afford it, there is


this organisation called the Office for Budget Responsibility, they are


independent and we want you to give them your manifesto and our


manifesto and they're independent and they can see whose sums add up.


Do you know what, the Tories said no. This time around we have said,


I'll tell you what, we are going to say the same, you know, rid louse


allegations, let us -- liddic rows allegations, let us give your our


manifesto, you give in your manifesto and let the Office for


Budget Responsibility look at them. You are going to carry on saying


these things. We want an independent Booed write to look at your


manifesto, our manifesto and look at the sums. Why are you saying no?


Emily... Well why? APPLAUSE.


Unless I'm wrong, there are other organisations like the Institute for


Fiscal Studies who have looked at your costings and you say for


instance you will raise less revenue by putting corporation tax up in the


long run because people won't invest. People will look at what you


say? The question about corporation tax, the Tory Government want to cut


it. We already have one of the lowest corporation tax rates of the


G 67. We are saying we'll not have that cut and we'll raise it. We


won't be making it any higher than any other countries in the Gp area.


That will raise a large amount of money, we can pay for a national


education service -- G7. They'll have better qualified for more


productive staff as a result. I want to go to our audience. You, there?


There seems to be a myth about national debt and GDP, somehow the


Labour programme is unaffordable. After the Second World War, the


national debt of GDP was over 200%, it's under 100% now. If Atlee could


afford it, Corbyn's Labour Government is can afford to build


the council houses and afford to create the National Bank.


APPLAUSE. The question of the national debt


after the Second World War is an important and interesting one. That


is the last time we had our national debt at a level equivalent to where


we are now. Try to remember how we ran that debt up, by having a vast


war and killing a lot of people. Once you stop killing people, you


can run the debt down. At the moment we have an enormous debt, likely


because you spend a lot of money on keeping people alye. We don't want


to stop doing that, do we? No, but he says if you can run the debt...


8% of our tax revenue at the moment is spent on services our debt.


Anything wrong with that? Well, it's not spent on anything else. But you


get the money from the debt. People are out there working paying taxes


but the large percentage of what they pay goes straight into paying


debt every year. Are you from in favour of the national debt going up


or down? The point the gentleman makes is an interesting one but what


we need to remember is there is this myth drawn up that in some way the


Tories can be drawn on the economy. They've missed their own targets on


the debt, deficit and borrowing and Emily makes a good point when she


says the Tories won't have their figures looked at by the office of


budget responsibility. I can tell you why, their manifesto is going to


revolve around their plans for a hard Brexit and we know that they've


made absolutely no economic assessment whatsoever of the


consequences of a hard Brexit. We know that because David Davis told




OK. The man in the checked shirt on the edge? Is Germany stuck in the


1970s, because this manifesto doesn't seem to be pushing to the


left of Germany, it remains to the right of Germany? So how is Germany


stuck in the '70s? Ben, can you take that point? I think Germany doesn't


carry the weight of debt or deficit that we do and we should all be


concerned that we should continue the direction of living within our


means. And giving it away to billionaires and not collecting


taxes from national corporations. After things like the NHS and


pensions, the fifth biggest expenditure, it's not education,


it's not transport, it's not the police, it's debt interest on the


national debt. It's ?46 billion of money I can't spend or nor can


anybody else spend on all those goodies that some people think are


in the Labour manifesto. We have to live within our means and we have to


continue to do that. I'm afraid to say, you know, that the Government's


record on the economy is strong, the Government's record has created...


LAUGHTER. You might laugh, it's ?2.8 million.


Unless Emily wants us to cut the debt even faster, we have reduced


it. I want you to give up on the politics of austerity. That's what I


want you to do. Well, if you want to live... One at a time, please. All


I'm saying is that I want you to stop the politics of austerity where


ordinary working people have to continue to have their services cut


in order to be able to pay the debt and guess what's happening to the


debt, it continues to go up because we have to borrow to invest in order


to get our economy going. That's the point. We can't just go on like


this, we are flatlining. She wants us to go back to the days when Denis


Haley gets called back from the airport to balance the books because


the relationship with debt is... Nothing to do with Denis Healey.


That is the reality. The woman at the back? We need to raise


corporation taxes and all parties say we'll raise higher taxes for


people who're on ?80,000 or more. That's not going to get anywhere


close. Half of us don't earn ?20,000 odd, never mind ?80,000, we need to


raise taxes for people earning ?35,000, ?40,000, never mind


?80,000. You want more? Yes, as long as it goes back into certain things


like the NHS and things like that. We'd pay more taxes but saying that


we are going to raise taxes of ?80,000 or more...


You, Sir, in the third row? I find it curious, whenever anybody


announces any policies that are remotely competitive, the right


always say, where is the money coming from. But I find it


hypocritical that the money's always found to bail out the banks, it's


always found to start wars and it's...


APPLAUSE. And it's always found to give tax


breaks and start illegal wars abroad. That's when the coffers


spill open but don't let's feed poor children with free school meals.


APPLAUSE. I want to move on. I'll come back to


you, Eric, you asked the question. I'll say one last thing. You talked


about free tuition in university, that's great. Back in the 1970s,


tuition was free and you got a nice healthy grant. We only have 5% of


children going to university. Now our aspiration is for at least ten


times that proportion and in Scotland we find it's limited by the


number of free places that are available and they'll now have to


bring in foreign students and English students who'll pay the fees


in order to keep the universities open. In the meantime, we lose more


places in colleges than we have in total than Scottish students in


university. OK. We have given the Labour


manifesto an airing - the leak of the Labour manifesto. We'll go into


the costings later on. Before we go on to another question. We are in


Norwich next week and the week after that in Belfast. And then I


particularly want to draw attention to two special Question Times. The


first is in York on Friday, not the usual Thursday, Friday 2nd June


where a Question Time audience will put questions to the Prime Minister


and to Jeremy Corbyn, not however at the same time. And then on Sunday


4th June, Nicola Sturgeon of the SNP and Tim Farron for the Liberal


Democrats. That will be here in Edinburgh. So two extra programmes


on the Friday and the Sunday, 2nd and 4th June. The details are on the


screen and I'll give them at the end in more detail. Another question


now, this one from Paul Goodall, please? Will a Conservative advance


across Scotland halt a second independence referendum.


Conservative advance across Scotland which we saw in the local elections,


will it halt a second independence referendum by halting the SNP? David


Hayman, what do you make of the local elections and the effect on


Scotland if it's carried on through into a local election? Last week was


extraordinary. The people in Scotland were laughing themselves


silly. The fact is, SNP increased their vote by something like 108,000


people. They increased their seats by six. They're now the largest


party in four of the largest cities and they won Glasgow. For a


Government that's been in power for ten years, that's an extraordinary


statement coming from the people of Scotland.


APPLAUSE. But, if you read any of the unionist


press, it was like a landslide for the Tories and the nail was firmly


in the coffin of independence. The Conservatives did... The


Conservative... They gained 164 seats didn't they? Yes, but they


took them from Labour. The overall numbers between Labour and the


Tories stayed much the same. The overall numbers for the SNP have


risen, so they've lost them from Labour. Seven seats, the SNP. We


gained six. The SNP gained six? Gained six. There is a dispute about


it apparently. Merryn Somerset Webb. I am still not


sure there will be another independence referendum. It is a


long time before we get to the end of the Brexit debate and it may be


that Scotland decides that it doesn't want to do that, so it is


not a given. But what is interesting about the research is of the Tories


in Scotland is that it is partly about the Tory party, partly about


having a good leader, but partly about the fact that Scottish


politics has become something unpleasant, a division between


people who are unionists and who are not. So we have people voting for


the SNP who are anti-union, and we have people who are now coalescing


around the Tories as the unionist party. This is a terribly sad


situation because you have people not necessarily voting for party


policy but voting on constitutional issues. We see this in the Scottish


parliament where so much time is devoted to constitutional issues and


not enough voted to other things... APPLAUSE


And I think it has become a very sad thing.


I know that Joanna and David very much want independence and I assume


because other SNP politicians say they wanted, they must. But if I was


an SNP leader I would be trying to build a great country, great place,


so that people would want to have the thing that I am offering. I


would build it and wait for them to come, rather than go on about it


relentlessly and try and kick them into coming along with me.


APPLAUSE I think we have come to a sad state


in Scottish politics and I am glad to see a unionist research and


reflected in the Tory party but I wish it did not have to happen this


way. -- I am glad to see a unionist


research is. I think, as David has


already eloquently said, rumours of a huge Tory revival have


been greatly exaggerated. The real story of last week's local


elections was that Scotland was the only place in the UK


where the Tories were firmly beaten But it's clear that the Tories


are replacing Labour But as I go out on the doorsteps


of Edinburgh South West I come across an interesting phenomenon


whereby former Labour voters are saying that they want to lend me


their vote to stop the Tories Because what this election is really


about is about who will stand up Who will be a strong voice


for Scotland at Westminster? And what voters in Scotland


have to decide is, do they want a strong voice,


such as that provided by me and my colleagues


over the last two years, or do they want just another Tory


backbencher who will simply rubber-stamp all of Theresa May's


plans for austerity But to take the independence


question on the chin, this general election is not


about whether there will be a second Of course it's important that people


in Scotland have a choice at the end of the 18-month period


after the triggering of Article 50, a choice between a hard Brexit


and an independent Scotland. And the Scottish Parliament has


already voted that people in Scotland should have that choice,


and polling shows that people in Scotland believe it should be up


to the Scottish Parliament whether or not we have a second


independence referendum. This second independence referendum


hasn't just come out of a void. It's come as a result of Scotland


facing being dragged out of the European Union


against her will. People like Merryn, who were active


in the No campaign during the last general election made a promise


to Scotland that the only way to guarantee our EU citizenship


was to vote to remain part So of course Scots should be given


a choice, when the time is right. But of course, the issue in this


general election is, do you want to give Theresa May


a thumping majority, so she can do whatever she likes


without any scrutiny, or do you want strong voices that


will stand up, and in Scotland those strong voices that will stand up


against Theresa May are the SNP. The woman in


the middle with spectacles. I would just like to disagree


with what Merryn said about politics I think there's a massive thirst


for social justice here. And for the Labour Party manifesto,


I think it's very, very welcome. I would be interested to know


what you think about this Emily. Unfortunately, the Labour Party has


positioned itself in Scotland as a vote for Labour


being a vote against independence. I'd love to vote for Labour


but I really don't know what to do. But you want to vote


for independence? Well, I'm afraid I have


to be straight with you. A vote for Labour is not


a vote for independence. We believe in a United Kingdom


and we don't think that it's in the interests of Scottish people


to become independent. We think that you will end


up with supercharged We think it is to the advantage


of all of us to remain united, and we think that a vote for Labour


is a vote against austerity. You will either get


a Labour government There is no alternative


to those two. And if you want to stand up


to the Tories, if you want to fight And we get some Labour MPs


from Scotland in Parliament, Alternatively, being part


of a Labour government. And the SNP want to place


themselves as the only alternative to the Tories,


but that simply isn't true. And a vote for Labour is a vote


to stopping the divisive politics. Stopping the divisive politics


in Scotland and stopping divisive politics across the whole


of the United Kingdom. I feel like you're missing my point,


which is that I feel like my vote for Labour would be hijacked


as a vote against another It's a vote for Labour,


for the Labour Party manifesto, Why can't you vote for the SNP,


if you want independence? The SNP is not the party


I would like to vote for. I find the Labour Party's manifesto,


from what I've heard of it so far, is more radical,


it gives me more hope. The SNP policy appears to be,


let's have a vote and vote again, and vote again, until we get,


until they get the result What happens if it's a 50%


plus one in a future Do we get a chance to vote


the other way again? The politics of referenda


are just so divisive and it It has divided families,


divided communities, The politicians are elected to take


decisions on our behalf and they hand it back to us,


and we've made a bit We've just divided ourselves


against ourselves. I was elected to the Scottish


Parliament in 1999. You can imagine what it was like


being a Tory in 1999 Scotland. One of the reasons they've changed,


the Scottish Parliament was an exciting, dynamic place,


the Labour Party, the SNP, the Greens, Donald Dewar


was the First Minister, It was full of ideas


for how to run Scotland, how to fix social issues,


make some difference And I think what I'm disappointed


by is that has transitioned away from that under Nicola Sturgeon,


to an obsession about It's about not


doing the day job. It's all about how can we manoeuvre


for another referendum. You know, my father came from Fife,


a Labour stronghold, where it stood for social justice,


for social mobility and education. Education is what Scotland is known


around the world for. Well, I'm afraid under


Nicola Sturgeon we saw the literacy It has been a disaster,


because Nicola Sturgeon can only And whatever your politics are,


Ruth Davidson is providing No one knows what Labour stands


for any more in Scotland, and it's either the SNP,


or it's Ruth Davidson, and she has done a fantastic job


in making sure... You may laugh, but the people


of Scotland are already showing that they agree,


that they want to put people in Parliament


and the Scottish Parliament to deliver policies that make


a difference to their lives every Why was the Tory leaflet put


through my door on last week's local government elections


all about independence or not? It was all about the


constitutional issues. Nothing at all with


local government. And yet the leaflet from the SNP had


a detailed programme of what they wanted to do


in local government. I wasn't out canvassing


in the local governments But I think, you know,


the choice is clear. The SNP, the Scottish Parliament


have had a lot of extra powers They can use them in all sorts


of ways, imaginatively, They could put up the taxes,


as some people would like, if they wanted to, but it's


not about that. I'm afraid it's about independence,


and all of us can go hang. How can the Conservative Party tell


Nicola Sturgeon she's not getting on with the day job


when they themselves aren't getting the day job done,


when they're calling In response to what Emily said,


this lady voiced her concerns about the Labour Party and why


she can't support them. And your answer was, to paraphrase,


we think that it's wrong I'd like to say that that's exactly


the kind of attitude that's got you into the sorry state of affairs


that you are in now in Scotland. I want a question from


Amelia Dole, please. As a young person, why should I find


the UK an attractive place As a student I'm quite worried


about university and how universities are funded,


and also schemes like You are worried about the way


that the vote went. I speak to a lot of students


who are worried about all sorts of things I suspect they shouldn't


be worried about. Because we've got a long time now,


one, two, maybe three, four, five years ahead of us to arrange


how we will be leaving the European Union and make


transition arrangements. I suspect most of the things


you are worried about won't change at all during that period


and probably won't change beyond it. We had arrangements


with universities in Europe long Things like Erasmus,


etc, may well continue. You will still be able to study


abroad in exactly the same way, in the same way that my mother went


to university in France in the 60s, and that was before


the European Union. I don't imagine there will be any


difference in terms of freedom If you are working, there will be


differences that will come under... A young person becomes middle-aged,


becomes an older person, and she will become an older person,


a middle-aged person, I think one of the things that's


attractive, it's going to, I hope, make the UK a much more successful


economy in the long term. It makes us much more


outward looking. It makes us able to make free trade


arrangements around the world. It allows us to take a leadership


role in global free trade, We'll be able to sit on the WTO


and talk about global free trade in a way that we can't inside


the European Union because it's But also something quite interesting


about European politics. Over the last year or so there has


been a sense of relief in Europe because the so-called populists


haven't gained control in any countries, haven't


won any elections. So I quite often hear people saying,


the UK has become a place I don't want to live,


it's anti-immigration, fascist, this, that,


because it's changed I don't think this is true,


and if you look across to Europe you see dynamics that


are maybe more frightening. Can you have imagined 34%


of the UK voting for Ukip? You saw 34% of France


voting for Le Pen. The same in Holland


and in Austria where... So, you know, I think


that in political terms, the UK is just as liberal


and pleasant a place to live And I think that in economic terms


and in global freedom terms, you will find that your life unfolds


in a pretty good way. Emily Thornberry, do you think


the UK will be as attractive a place I think that it all depends


on how we do the deal. I think that there are many,


many choices that we need to make and I don't think that it starts


well if you begin by having just come back from seeing the Queen


and standing on the steps of Number Ten Downing St


and accusing those who you are supposed to be coming


to an agreement with of plotting against Britain and wanting


to bring down the government Once you say those things,


they cannot be unsaid. And what concerns me


is that at the moment we seem to be arguing


about what it is that we are This is ten months


after the referendum. I'm very worried that this


Prime Minister does not seem to understand that the first


priority for any government is the The second priority


must be the economy. Particularly those who are just


starting out in life, have been well educated,


have done their best at school, who are setting out in life


and the world turns around and says, not at the moment, we are going


to Brexit, there aren't any That really frightens me,


and we should be thinking, every Prime Minister until now has


put the economy as a priority and yet our current Prime Minister


seems to be more interested in whether we're leaving


the European Court of Justice or not, and how much she can insult


the people who we are supposed to be negotiating with,


instead of looking after our economy Do you have an answer


to the question Jeremy Corbyn Under Labour, would we


inevitably leave the EU? Listen, we've had a referendum,


and the referendum We went out and we said


to people, look, think The question is, would we, under


Labour, inevitably leave the EU? Given that we had a referendum


and the public have told us that they want to leave,


then we have to leave. And the question then is,


how do we do it and what kind of continuing relationship do


we have, and how close do we remain to the European Union,


in order to make sure that we look The way we are going at the moment,


we will have either no Joanna Cherry. 62% of people in


Scotland voted to remain part of the European Union. It's the United


Kingdom. So what is your answer? My answer to the question is that I


don't think the United Kingdom will be an attractive place for a young


person to live after Brexit. I'll tell you why. Let's start with the


universities. I've got two major universities in my constituency. Her


yet watt has already announced redundancies and cuts citing Brexit


and the effect of the Tory policies. I speak to students at the two


Universities, they tell me they are deeply worried about research


funding, erazz news and students not wanting to come to study in Scotland


and the UK and they are worried about academics turning down job


offers because they are worried about the position of EU nationals.


That is the most important is it? No, it's jobs and the economy. An


institute told us if there is a hard Brexit, Scotland will over the next


decade lose 80,000 jobs and on average our wages will be ?2,000


lower per annum. Again, not attractive for a young person.


Emily, you are absolutely right, there are other pars of the UK that


voted to leave the European Union. The UK as a whole voted to leave the


European Union, that is the point. And we are democrats at the end of


the day and a United Kingdom's made a decision and we should abide by


the instructions. If you let me develop the point. The compromised


proposal would have benefitted the whole of the UK and it was that the


UK should stay in the single market. It wasn't clear around the debate of


the referendum that all leaves wanted to leave the single market.


We advocated the whole of the UK should stay in the single market.


Those proposals, despite having support across-the-board in Europe


and support from leading academics such as the former European Court of


Justice judge, they were binned by the Tories without being considered


at all. Ben Wallace, you were in favour of remain? I'm in favour of


free movement of people and barrier free trade with our partners of


England. That's why I'm a unionist in the United Kingdom. Look,


pre-Brexit and post-Brexit the UK will be a great place to live


because it's a wonderful country. APPLAUSE.


It's full of diverse, different cultures. It's a powerful economy,


whatever way you cut it in the world. We live, all of us in some of


the highest living standards on earth compared to many other people.


We are a civilised, educated, multilingual often nowadays country


and I'm proud to live in it. Joanna Cherry says Scottish people will


lose 80,000 jobs and people will be ?2,000 worse off. We need to see the


outcome of the negotiations. Joanna Cherry forgets that a million people


voted for Brexit in Scotland. There is a large number of people that


voted remain, they were not nationalists, they were unionists


and the number of people that voted Brexit were actually nationalists,


one of her own MSPs voted for Brexit. The reality is the UK has


wonderful opportunities. We'll be able to work I think in many parts


of Europe and the rest of the world. There'll be other opportunities and


will come along if others don't, in other parts of the world, because


we'll be freer in some areas we haven't been in the past. I think we


have a great future and Britain has the power and the people to make a


great future for this country. So I don't think anyone should worry and


I definitely don't think people should talk down this country,


Emily, about whether or not it's going to be a disaster. It's going


to be OK, we are going to get there, and in the long-term... How do you


know? We hear this... I believe in the British people. The man on the


corner there? Yes. I worry that the arrogance coming out of Ben Wallace


and the Conservative Party might actually cost the UK dearly. There's


no guarantee that we will be better off outside the European Union. The


UK may be a prosperous country now, but that may not necessarily


continue to exist. It's worth remembering Glasgow was once the


second city of the empire, now 40% of people live below the poverty


line there. Why do you think the Tories in


Government will be held responsible for that because whoever is in


Government, according to Emily Thornberry, would be negotiating


Brexit, because that's what the referendum decided? Yes, true. But I


think the discourse coming out of the Conservative Party has been


leaning much further to a hard Brexit than what Keir Starmer is


talking about, for example, and there has to be a point at which you


say the cost of leaving the European Union is greater than the potential


- yes, the cost of leaving is not as good as the benefits we have if we


were to stay. David Hayman? I'm really glad that a young person


asked this question. I think my generation have made a mess of this


world. APPLAUSE.


And the future... The future no longer belongs to us, the future is


yours. You have a vision. It's interesting that 76% of retired


people in Scotland voted against independence. The majority of people


who voted for Brexit are elderly people. You voted not to leave


Europe because you are internationalists. We currently have


something like just under four million young people in this country


living below the poverty line. If that's how it is at the moment, it's


going to be a hell of a lot worse after we've left Europe all together


because the conditions will not be to your advantage in any way at all.


Now, I run a humanitarian organisation and I work with


projects in some of the poorest countries like Palestine, Malawi and


Afghanistan. We are feeding people, educating kids and setting up


women's workshops. They say to me, you live in the sixth richest


country in the world, you must see no desperation. I laugh and say, we


have four million people below the poverty line. That means they'll go


to sleep with nothing in their bellies, never get a birthday


present, never get a Christmas present, no-one will ever buy them


an ice-cream, no-one will ever take them to see Star Wars, there is a


poverty of opportunity for young people in this country and because


of Brexit, it's going to get a hell of a lot worse.


APPLAUSE. OK. I'll come to you and then you.


What is the assumption that brex sit bad and should be held up, Scottish


independence is good because it brings lots of benefits. If we voted


for Scottish independence and it was held up by people like some on the


panel here, what would you think of that, Joanna? People saying, well,


we didn't really want independence, if it went 52-48, if they didn't


want independence it should have been scrutinised by the Scottish


Parliament, it should be debated by all parties... Well, this comes


back... I'll come back to what I said earlier. Scottish Government


proposed a compromise which would have united some of the people who


voted to leave with those who voted to remain by proposing staying in


the single market. That's never been seriously looked at. Keir Starmer,


for whom I have a degree of admiration, produced six red lines


which are tantamount the staying in the single market. I'm afraid it was


closing the stable door after the horse bolted because the Labour


Party voted to trigger Article 50. Now, the issues around the


implications of leaving the European Union were not properly debated


during the EU referendum. Many lies were told... You can't have it both


ways, can you? Many lies were told by members of the leave campaign


who're now Cabinet Ministers. This general election is all about


scrutinising. Do you want to rerun the referendum? No, I don't want a


rerun of the referendum. I want the British Government to respect the


fact that people in Scotland voted to remain and, at the very least, to


look at the compromised proposal put forward, rather than treating it


with the derision with which it has been met. You, Sir? I must take


issue with Ben claiming that after Brexit Britain's going to be OK.


When did OK just become enough? There is this assumption that those


people within Europe is automatically going to be better


off. If you are a young Spanish person under 25 facing nearly 50%


unemployment, you may be asking yourself actually whether the


European Union is working for you. If you are a Greek who is finding it


particularly hard to get through life, you may be asking yourself


whether the European Union is all it's up to be for them and there's


this assumption that by leaving, somehow we are automatically going


to be worse off and that it's guaranteed that if you stay in the


European Union everything's going to be fine. There's poverty in the


European Union, there's poverty in nearly every country. It doesn't


disappear if you join the EU. Can you answer the point that Joanna


Cherry made, why is nobody giving serious thought to the idea of


remaining in the single market? Well, I think... I can answer that.


Why should she answer it? Because I'm Shadow Foreign Secretary. We've


looked at this very carefully in the Labour Party and the difficulty is,


is that because we are not Spain, we are not Greece, we have a highly


developed complicated large economy and there's great difficulty in us


remaining in the single market and leaving the European Union because


our economy is so complex. We need to have our own Free Trade


Agreement. Nothing else will work. We have looked into this and it's to


the advantage of Britain therefore to have a Free Trade Agreement but


one that works for our economy first and foremost. Can I just say this.


I'm fed up of Conservatives telling us that because we are worried about


the way in which they're proceeding with these so-called negotiations,


that we are somehow or other not patriotic. How dare they. We are


really worried about this country and we want to make sure we get the


best deal. That means the best deal for our economy so youngsters get a


chance. You, Sir, up there on the gangway? I


wanted to pick up on something that David Hayman was saying. I don't


doubt doubt the sincerity of what you said and I'm 27, I don't know if


that means I'm the lower generation than you. I resent the fact that you


said we are not outward looking. The world isn't just Europe. We are


stagnating. There's austerity being imposed on people far beyond


Westminster, there are parts of the world, Commonwealth, India, New


Zealand, that we abandoned at the creation of the European Union that


we should be engaging with and there are horizons on the edge of Europe


and some of us on the leave side, thank you very much, are


internationalists and outward looking. I can't invite you to


answer because our time is up, I'm afraid. Unless you want to answer.


I'm told you can because we have a bit more time than we thought.


David? It came into my head. A quote from one of my great heroes no


longer with us, a spiritual, moral and political leader, Nelson


Mandela. He said two things. They always ring true with me. He said,


what counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived, but the


difference we make to the lives of others. The second thing he said


was, overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it's an act of


justice. APPLAUSE.


Does that answer your point? That wasn't a direct answer. Fair enough.


That's admirable and I haven't seen anything that disagrees with that.


We have to stop, I'm afraid. Our time is up. Norwich next week for


Question Time, Belfast the week after that. Remember those special


programmes I mentioned earlier. Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn


separately with a Question Time audience in York on Friday 2nd June,


chance to question the Prime Minister and Leader of the


Opposition and then Nicola Sturgeon and Tim Farron, Sunday 4th June here


in Edinburgh. So if you want to quiz the party leaders, details of how to


apply are there on the screen now. You can go to our website or you can


call the number on the screen. If you are listening on Five Live,


the debate goes on on Question Time extra time. My thanks to this panel


and to all of you from Edinburgh who came here to take part. Until then


from Question Time, good night. The race is on to complete


London's most ambitious railway. I don't think we've seen anything


to this scale and complexity before. It gets the nerves going,


the adrenaline pumping. This is one of the busiest


roads in London. We've got to get the track in,


we've got to get the platform, and then we've got to get out of


the way cos the trains are coming.


David Dimbleby presents topical debate from Edinburgh.

On the panel are Labour's shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry, Conservative Home Office minister Ben Wallace, the SNP's Joanna Cherry, actor David Hayman and Financial Times columnist Merryn Somerset Webb.

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