22/06/2017 Question Time


22/06/2017

David Dimbleby chairs topical debate from Plymouth.


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Tonight, we are in Plymouth, and welcome to Question Time.

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And on our panel here, the new Conservative Justice

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Labour's Shadow Health Secretary, Jonathan Ashworth.

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The newly elected leader of the SNP in the House

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The Daily Mail columnist, Peter Oborne.

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And the businesswoman who took the Government

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to court over Brexit, Gina Miller.

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And from home of course, you have Twitter, Facebook,

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you can use hashtag BBCQT, or you can text us on 83981,

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and if you push the red button you can see what others are saying.

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Our first question tonight from Daniel Winston, please.

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Given that major policies from the Conservative

:01:09.:01:09.

manifesto were missing from the Queen's Speech,

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is it time for Theresa May to finally admit that she does not

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And if you look at the outcome of the general election,

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while we did not get the overall majority that we had hoped for,

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and that clearly has consequences for the legislation that we are able

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to take through Parliament and means that we have to look for ways

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in which to work with other parties on issues where there is common

:01:40.:01:43.

ground, then the Conservative Party remains over 50 seats ahead

:01:44.:01:47.

And if you add Labour, Lib Dem, Nationalist MPs together,

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there are still fewer MPs than there are Conservatives.

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So I think we have a responsibility to get on and govern.

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And in the circumstances the electorate has given us,

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and if you look at the programme, amidst the legislation

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and the non-legislative initiatives that have been announced on sorting

:02:09.:02:11.

out Brexit in a way that protects the interests of all parts of this

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country and gives us a stable statute book the day that we leave,

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if you look at the measures on the economy, boost to technical

:02:23.:02:26.

education, taking forward the biggest infrastructure programme

:02:27.:02:30.

that we've had in more than a century, measures

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But the question is about all the things that dropped out.

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People went to the polls and all the things they may have

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And you can only take legislation through, David,

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We have to live with the cards the electorate has given you.

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I think that after a vanity referendum and a vanity election,

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I think that what we have is a crisis of legitimacy.

:03:00.:03:06.

Yes, I think that's a very good description, and to answer

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Daniel's question directly, yes, we have possibly the thinnest

:03:17.:03:20.

Queen's Speech for over 100 years and the weakest and most unstable

:03:21.:03:26.

And when you look at the big challenges facing the country, yes,

:03:27.:03:32.

we have the challenge of Brexit, where we start those negotiations

:03:33.:03:35.

We have an NHS in crisis, with waiting lists close

:03:36.:03:40.

to four million and parts of it being sold off and privatised.

:03:41.:03:44.

We have a child poverty crisis, with child poverty likely to hit

:03:45.:03:49.

On the economy, we have wages stagnating, we have

:03:50.:03:52.

zero-hours contracts, insecure work and people

:03:53.:03:55.

And as we have seen in recent days, in very tragic circumstances, stark

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And there were no answers in this Queen's Speech to any of those.

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And the driving force of this Government now

:04:10.:04:15.

is their own political survival, not the interests of

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I want her to reverse the austerity cuts to public services.

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I want her to reverse the cuts to the schools.

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I want her to reverse the cuts to the National Health Service.

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And I want her to reverse the cuts to social care.

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By the way, incredibly decent of Mr Ashworth

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and his colleagues to sit on the opposition benches, given

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They actually were hammered in this election.

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They were 2 million votes worse off than the Tories.

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We are in Plymouth where we took a seat off the Tories.

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And Peter, when Theresa May went to the country,

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she thought she was going to get a landslide victory.

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She was putting the party interest first.

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She has not got a majority in Parliament.

:05:16.:05:21.

Even by your own pathetic logic, if the country rejected her,

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How can we trust Theresa May to deliver Brexit when she can

:05:24.:05:37.

You know, the hubris from this Prime Minister is astonishing.

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Really the contempt I think she has had for Parliament

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Saying that she was going into this election expecting a landslide.

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My goodness, she has been given a bloody nose.

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And perhaps she can actually take some lessons from us up in Scotland.

:05:58.:06:00.

We in the SNP, we won the last three Scottish elections and we've

:06:01.:06:03.

actually just won this election in Scotland as well,

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There are two major issues we are facing.

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And I think it's absolutely crystal clear from the election result

:06:11.:06:15.

we had two weeks ago there is no longer a majority for a hard Brexit.

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We have to have humility from the Prime Minister.

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She needs to reach an accommodation with all the people in this country.

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Now, we accept that the United Kingdom voted to leave

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the EU but we also need to have a recognition

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from the Prime Minister that Scotland, Northern Ireland

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And it's important that what we have respect across all the government

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The Prime Minister promised us that we would have the views

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of the Scottish Government and others taken into account.

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There has to be a meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee

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and we need to make sure, as many have argued for,

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that the administrations in Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh

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You think you can hold up the process?

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What we have said is that we are willing to compromise.

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We published a document last December recognising

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the position that the UK is in, but saying quite clearly

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that we cannot be dragged out of the single market

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There are 80,000 jobs in Scotland, many more throughout the UK that

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What do you mean by you are willing to compromise?

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You are not in a position to demand a compromise, are you?

:07:21.:07:23.

You don't have a majority, you can't put a majority

:07:24.:07:25.

We don't have a majority in the House of Commons

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but the point is the Government in London doesn't have a majority,

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and the Government's going to have to listen.

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Even if you look at the Queen's Speech, it talks about this,

:07:35.:07:37.

about building a consensus across the devolved nations.

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So we're willing to do that, but we need to make sure

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that the devolved administrations will be there.

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We now know that the Government is going to have to come

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to the Scottish Parliament, the Scottish Government and get

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So the Government have now got to extend that hand of friendship,

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to allow us to make sure that we can protect the interests

:07:53.:07:55.

of the Scottish people and the Scottish economy,

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and by extension we will do a job for people in the rest

:07:58.:08:00.

But lastly also, it's about austerity.

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There's 9 billion of additional cuts coming in this Parliament,

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and we need to make sure there's an alternative to those cuts,

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I find it extraordinary the arguing and name-calling that goes

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Do you not appreciate where we are, the severity of where we are?

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Brexit has fractured everything we took for granted as our society.

:08:23.:08:26.

And we need to be very, very realistic about where we are,

:08:27.:08:30.

Because what the Queen's Speech showed is that Government

:08:31.:08:36.

It's not looking after, as somebody mentioned, NHS, or education.

:08:37.:08:41.

It is obsessing with Brexit because they have no idea how

:08:42.:08:45.

they are going to do it in the time, how they are going to get

:08:46.:08:48.

To have said there isn't going to be a Queen's speech next year is just

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a travesty of democracy, to say that they are just

:08:54.:08:56.

But when it comes to the question on the DUP, there is something that

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people seem to have missed about this negotiations on DUP.

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If the DUP get this hard-headed negotiation, 2.5 billion,

:09:06.:09:08.

that they are asking for, the Barnett Formula says

:09:09.:09:12.

that the other devolved powers are going to have

:09:13.:09:18.

That's about 3 billion for Wales, about eight

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So we in the UK are suddenly going to have to foot that bill.

:09:24.:09:31.

Let me go to one or two members of the audience and then come back.

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I'd like to follow on from Gina Miller.

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The irony that we are in the United Kingdom

:09:53.:09:55.

Surely we should be looking at a cross-party alliance.

:09:56.:09:59.

Every single person has voted, every single person is affected by Brexit.

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However, I do not believe that Tories should be

:10:03.:10:07.

Isn't it the case that Theresa May would already be long gone

:10:08.:10:21.

if the video of her saying to a police officer,

:10:22.:10:23.

"Stop scaremongering, stop crying wolf", a Manchester

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police officer, warning her, pleading with her to reconsider

:10:26.:10:27.

the massive cuts she made to policing as Home Secretary,

:10:28.:10:29.

The media have failed this country terribly in not

:10:30.:10:33.

showing this to the public before the election.

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Talking about a cross-party alliance to put through Brexit,

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But I think I would say something to the Remainers,

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and to people like Gina, to be honest, and probably to quite

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There was a vote this time last year, 12 months ago,

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where the majority of the British people voted for Brexit.

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We then had a general election where 83% of the country

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I say to the Remainers, yes come on board, let's do

:11:15.:11:23.

a constructive Brexit, don't try and wreck it.

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Actually, I ensured there was a legal Brexit

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because if you'd had your way, what we'd have is an illegal Brexit

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where a Prime Minister was putting herself above what,

:11:38.:11:44.

Parliamentary sovereignty which is the thing you were all

:11:45.:11:46.

You said no objection with Parliamentary sovereignty,

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Theresa May actually got a million more votes than Labour so where's

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the million other voices coming from then?

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In the referendum, EU citizens were affected by it.

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We were not asked and the people who were UK citizens were not asked

:12:15.:12:18.

So the majority was made up of that and lies and still there is no way

:12:19.:12:25.

that people understand what it means to leave.

:12:26.:12:28.

It's an absolute disgrace that a year on from the European

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referendum, and I've had European citizens coming to my surgery

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in tears, because they don't know if their rights

:12:37.:12:38.

This Government could have made a decision to say that those

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European citizens here, our families, our friends,

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our colleagues, they're here, they're staying and their rights

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Well, we did make just that offer last year and while some

:12:51.:12:55.

of our colleagues in Europe were willing to accept

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that and talk about it, the view amongst others was that

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until Article 50 had been triggered, that they could not get involved.

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We should be saying to these people, your future is safe in our country,

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The threat of deportation that many see is absolutely abhorrent.

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Hang on a second, Theresa May's apparently today

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Of course what that guarantee consists of we don't know,

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but has guaranteed the rights of the citizens

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That's not been announced in Parliament.

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If you are going to treat this country with respect,

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that announcement has to be made in Parliament and there should be

:13:49.:13:52.

What she is doing is explaining the offer in the context

:13:53.:13:58.

of the negotiations to her fellow heads of Government at their meeting

:13:59.:14:02.

Why wasn't there an amendment in the Article 50 Bill?

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We made an offer to sort 24 issue out ahead of triggering Article 50.

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The response from your European colleagues was until that

:14:15.:14:18.

treaty process had begun, we couldn't do so.

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Let me respond if I may, because one of the points has been

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I was handing out leaflets campaigning very hard

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I was deeply disappointed by the result but I know had it been

:14:44.:14:47.

52-48 the other way round, I would have been squaring up

:14:48.:14:50.

to those of my colleagues in Parliament who'd campaigned

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to leave and say sorry chaps, I know it's not what you wanted

:14:53.:14:55.

but you have to accept the public verdict and I think

:14:56.:14:58.

if we are somehow setting aside how people had voted...

:14:59.:15:00.

Don't shout out, I'll bring a microphone to

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If you shout out, nobody will hear you.

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If we set aside how people had voted, that will do profound damage

:15:08.:15:11.

to public confidence in the democratic process

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I want to hear this man here because he's been shouting out,

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he might as well say what he's got to say.

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It's somewhat unedifying to see all the politicians and non-politicians

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There's a common consensus here and you're all dodging

:15:25.:15:30.

The millions of people watching television tonight are screaming

:15:31.:15:35.

and shouting probably at their television screens

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because you are all studiously avoiding the question -

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the question was, has Theresa May's Government got

:15:42.:15:44.

any legitimacy after losing their majority.

:15:45.:15:48.

All the pundits, all the academics, commentariats, career politicians

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represented gathering around this panel tonight guaranteed that

:15:51.:15:54.

Theresa May's gamble would pay off, that she would come back

:15:55.:15:58.

with a majority of 100 seats, 120 seats, that Corbyn would be

:15:59.:16:03.

Jeremy Corbyn's proven that anti-austerity policies are popular.

:16:04.:16:11.

The Tories and the Blairites lost that election.

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We were talking about Brexit and we've got a Brexit question

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I would like to take and then we'll go back to maybe Corbyn

:16:24.:16:26.

One year on from the EU referendum, are we any wiser

:16:27.:16:34.

We have all been talking about Brexit.

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It's still the back of an envelope proposition,

:16:39.:16:45.

we still haven't seen any details, that's what worries me.

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All this remain/leave debate, it's got to move on.

:16:48.:16:50.

Everyone has to move on because it's not about going back,

:16:51.:16:53.

We need to see the details, we need to see the direction of travel,

:16:54.:17:05.

what are the options, and there is nothing,

:17:06.:17:07.

there is rhetoric, it is empty and means nothing.

:17:08.:17:10.

Sorry, I'm not clear what you are asking for.

:17:11.:17:12.

Do you have a view of what you think Brexit should be like or are

:17:13.:17:17.

you saying that the Prime Minister should say, or David Davis should

:17:18.:17:20.

It should be quite clearly a cross party delegation committee,

:17:21.:17:27.

however you want to call it, that goes forward for the best

:17:28.:17:30.

If they cannot get the best possible deal which gets us into somewhere

:17:31.:17:35.

which isn't similar economically and socially from the defence point

:17:36.:17:37.

of view, all those sorts of different facets,

:17:38.:17:39.

and it's not achievable in the two years, then to my mind,

:17:40.:17:42.

the first thing that should happen is a transitional period should be

:17:43.:17:46.

talked about because it cannot be done in 12 months.

:17:47.:17:52.

You cannot undo 43 years in 12 months.

:17:53.:17:56.

The reason I say 12 months is because it won't start

:17:57.:17:58.

until after the general elections and it needs, as we know,

:17:59.:18:02.

a ratification period of about six months so it's just impossible.

:18:03.:18:06.

Let's start talking about reality here.

:18:07.:18:08.

Do you go into the board telling everybody what you're going to do

:18:09.:18:19.

No, you keep it close to your chest and you tell it

:18:20.:18:25.

The country don't need to know it all yet,

:18:26.:18:28.

when she knows what she needs, she can let us know.

:18:29.:18:31.

Wendy, when I do a negotiating strategy, I have to prepare a very

:18:32.:18:42.

detailed cost analysis of why I'm going down that strategy

:18:43.:18:45.

When you go into negotiation, you have to have a position,

:18:46.:18:55.

Those that need to know know, why should you need to know?

:18:56.:19:03.

No, no, I'm not talking about me, I'm talking about the country.

:19:04.:19:05.

No, no, you're talking about you as well, you don't need

:19:06.:19:08.

to know, none of us need to know yet exactly what's on the table.

:19:09.:19:12.

You should want to know what is going.

:19:13.:19:14.

No, because we know we want to get out of it and that's

:19:15.:19:17.

She won't tell you until she's gone to the table and put it

:19:18.:19:27.

Let's hear from David Lidington on that particular point.

:19:28.:19:31.

Does the Prime Minister,or does David Davis know what he wants and,

:19:32.:19:34.

would you then tell us if you think he does?

:19:35.:19:37.

We know what we want and we've set out the objectives of

:19:38.:19:40.

Those include sorting out on a reciprocal basis

:19:41.:19:47.

the rights of EU citizens here and our own citizens

:19:48.:19:51.

It includes an ambitious third country trade and cooperation

:19:52.:19:58.

agreement with the EU so that we maintain as free trade

:19:59.:20:02.

as possible in those circumstances, that we have arrangements that allow

:20:03.:20:05.

us to continue cooperating with the 27 who'll remain,

:20:06.:20:09.

you know, very close, friends, neighbours

:20:10.:20:13.

David, you will be worrying her because she doesn't want

:20:14.:20:16.

This is laid out in public as an objective.

:20:17.:20:23.

What we are not going to do is to publish a long,

:20:24.:20:27.

detailed analysis of our negotiating position, what we say

:20:28.:20:32.

if the European Union says this to us we'll respond in that way.

:20:33.:20:36.

Nobody in business, nobody in politics, if they're sane

:20:37.:20:42.

does that and reveals it to the other side.

:20:43.:20:44.

Do you agree that the Government's behaving properly and

:20:45.:20:54.

I'm afraid we are not very clear about what the Government's position

:20:55.:20:58.

is, and to be frank, yes, look, I accept that the country

:20:59.:21:01.

voted for Brexit, I obviously campaigned and voted for remain

:21:02.:21:04.

but the country's made a decision and I accept that and we have

:21:05.:21:07.

to move forward and get the best possible deal that puts jobs

:21:08.:21:10.

and prosperity first here in the United Kingdom.

:21:11.:21:12.

But to be frank, I wouldn't trust Theresa May to negotiate her way

:21:13.:21:15.

She still hasn't negotiated the deal with ten DUP MPs, how on earth

:21:16.:21:24.

is she going to negotiate a deal with 27 other European nations.

:21:25.:21:28.

And David Davis in the general election campaign went on one

:21:29.:21:36.

of your rival TV shows and said we are going to have the summer

:21:37.:21:39.

of all rows with the EU over the timetable.

:21:40.:21:41.

He's just caved in this week on the negotiation table.

:21:42.:21:44.

They are not going to put the British interests first.

:21:45.:21:48.

She's lost her mandate, she's lost all authority,

:21:49.:21:49.

they know that and they cannot negotiate the deal.

:21:50.:21:52.

Even without the DUP, the Conservatives have a three

:21:53.:21:58.

Minority Governments, there is a long history

:21:59.:22:08.

It's unstable, as you know, come off it.

:22:09.:22:12.

I'm saying that Theresa May does not just have legitimacy,

:22:13.:22:22.

she has a constitutional duty to form a Government

:22:23.:22:28.

as the largest minority party, she also has a majority,

:22:29.:22:32.

an effective majority over all other parties put together even

:22:33.:22:39.

without the DUP and we mustn't get too excited about this.

:22:40.:22:42.

This Government I'm afraid, it's a great disappointment

:22:43.:22:43.

to you I know, can easily last a very long time.

:22:44.:22:46.

The question was, what does Brexit mean?

:22:47.:22:51.

We don't know what it's going to look like and of course

:22:52.:22:55.

we need to know, we need to be able to plan our live, businesses,

:22:56.:22:58.

we need to be able to plan future strategies after Brexit

:22:59.:23:02.

The EU published its negotiating guidelines ages ago

:23:03.:23:06.

so we know what their stamp on it is but we don't

:23:07.:23:09.

know what ours is, how is that feasible for people

:23:10.:23:11.

You are absolutely right, in has to be a plan.

:23:12.:23:16.

This is not a Government with a plan, this is a shambles.

:23:17.:23:20.

When we had the Article 50 debate in the last Parliament,

:23:21.:23:23.

one of the things we pushed for in the Scottish National Party

:23:24.:23:26.

was to have a so-called reset clause which would have been fantastic

:23:27.:23:29.

opportunity for the Government because if the Government

:23:30.:23:32.

comes back with no deal, it means we reset the whole process

:23:33.:23:37.

that there's an alternative to crashing out of the EU and coming

:23:38.:23:40.

Unfortunately, the Conservatives and Labour would not vote for that

:23:41.:23:45.

opportunity that would have given some protection for people right

:23:46.:23:49.

People talk about the fact that the UK voted to come out,

:23:50.:23:53.

We were told in our referendum in 2014 in Scotland that if we voted

:23:54.:23:58.

to stay within the UK, that our rights to remain

:23:59.:24:00.

Where is the respect to the people of Scotland and Northern Ireland

:24:01.:24:06.

What the Government has to do is to recognise that it's not that

:24:07.:24:11.

They've got to build compromise across the people and the nations

:24:12.:24:17.

of the United Kingdom that respect the differences that exist and allow

:24:18.:24:20.

us together to put forward a deal that would be one that will be

:24:21.:24:24.

to the advantage of all nations of this country.

:24:25.:24:27.

A lot of hands are up, I'll come to you in a second,

:24:28.:24:31.

but David Lidington, we have had voices in Europe now,

:24:32.:24:35.

Donald Tusk saying today he was keeping the door open

:24:36.:24:38.

And the Dutch Prime Minister saying he hates Brexit from every angle

:24:39.:24:51.

and hopes the UK opts for some form of continued membership.

:24:52.:24:54.

What is the Government's attitude to people in Europe saying, hey,

:24:55.:24:57.

Whatever view those of us in Government took in the referendum

:24:58.:25:01.

and there were people who were partisans on both

:25:02.:25:04.

sides in the referendum, but that decision has been taken.

:25:05.:25:08.

But you must love Donald Tusk and Mark Rutte saying these things?

:25:09.:25:12.

What I would say to Donald and Mark and the others,

:25:13.:25:15.

many of these are people I used to see a lot when I was

:25:16.:25:19.

Europe Minister is, right, we want to maintain a close,

:25:20.:25:24.

friendly partnership, we want to have what the PM's termed

:25:25.:25:27.

a deep and special partnership with the 27 countries

:25:28.:25:29.

of the European Union, because there are many challenges

:25:30.:25:32.

There are many things on which we can cooperate together

:25:33.:25:37.

even with us being outside membership of the European Union.

:25:38.:25:41.

So let's try and build that new partnership of cooperation

:25:42.:25:46.

with those neighbouring countries and approach this in a constructive

:25:47.:25:52.

fashion but respecting the democratic decision

:25:53.:25:55.

that the people of the United Kingdom were entitled to take.

:25:56.:25:57.

I work for a local manufacturer who exports around the world.

:25:58.:26:12.

We do a lot to Europe, some to the rest of the world.

:26:13.:26:15.

The rest of the world is a really really tough place

:26:16.:26:17.

Yes, we do it, but Europe is so much closer, geographically, culturally.

:26:18.:26:23.

If there is something to reassure business,

:26:24.:26:24.

something like, yes, we are going to stay

:26:25.:26:27.

in the single market, something like that...

:26:28.:26:31.

Do you expect to get something like that?

:26:32.:26:32.

Certainly staying in the customs union would be really reassuring

:26:33.:26:35.

David talks about wanting free trade with Europe,

:26:36.:26:41.

But the answer to that is the single market.

:26:42.:26:45.

I think in terms of the need to know about what the Brexit plans are,

:26:46.:26:56.

the general election shows that we do need to know.

:26:57.:26:58.

If you want my vote, if you want my trust,

:26:59.:27:01.

I need to know what I may or may not be voting for.

:27:02.:27:04.

I think in the absence of that knowledge, people didn't vote

:27:05.:27:06.

for the Conservative Party that were frankly full of lies,

:27:07.:27:09.

I think in terms of the referendum, the one thing we know about that is,

:27:10.:27:14.

yes, OK, one side won, but it was marginal.

:27:15.:27:16.

So the only logical conclusion is the most marginal Brexit

:27:17.:27:20.

imaginable, that would do its best to unite both sides under some kind

:27:21.:27:23.

The woman up there in the second row from the back.

:27:24.:27:28.

I will go to you and then the person beside you, if you like.

:27:29.:27:31.

Yes, I think some people are getting a little bit fed up

:27:32.:27:35.

We want to know hard and fast, what does it mean?

:27:36.:27:45.

Some of us, quite frankly, you hear Brexit and you start switching off.

:27:46.:27:50.

Let's then move on and look at society and look at all

:27:51.:27:55.

the things that also need looking at, education, NHS, etc.

:27:56.:27:57.

I'd like to say, if Europe wanted us to stay in,

:27:58.:28:06.

why didn't they give David Cameron a better deal when he went

:28:07.:28:09.

We didn't know what Brexit was going to mean when we voted

:28:10.:28:22.

Lies were printed in papers like the Daily Mail,

:28:23.:28:25.

So don't we have a responsibility to the British

:28:26.:28:35.

people to give them a referendum when we know the facts?

:28:36.:28:40.

What were the lies in the Daily Mail?

:28:41.:28:41.

Hospitals have seen none of that.

:28:42.:28:49.

The Mail is an extremely accurate and fair paper.

:28:50.:28:53.

You may not like it, but it is read by an awful lot of people,

:28:54.:29:02.

Including, I imagine, a lot of you in this audience.

:29:03.:29:07.

It's a great newspaper, it doesn't tell lies.

:29:08.:29:11.

To be fair to the Mail, I think it was Boris Johnson

:29:12.:29:15.

and Michael Gove who promised us 350 million a week to the NHS.

:29:16.:29:18.

And I bet you we won't see a penny piece of that

:29:19.:29:21.

The man in the back row, about eight down.

:29:22.:29:28.

I would just like to say that the answer to the reason why

:29:29.:29:32.

people don't actually know that many details about what's happening

:29:33.:29:35.

with Brexit is because it's completely unprecedented.

:29:36.:29:38.

We literally are going into unprecedented waters.

:29:39.:29:41.

We are not going to know what's going to happen on the other side.

:29:42.:29:44.

And secondly, can all the parties just kind of come to a consensus?

:29:45.:29:47.

Because you all fundamentally want the same things.

:29:48.:29:49.

I'd like to answer the lady in the blue at the top right,

:29:50.:29:59.

who made such an interesting point about Brexit getting

:30:00.:30:01.

What I'd say is this, the reason we voted for independence

:30:02.:30:06.

for Britain is that we wanted a democracy where we make

:30:07.:30:09.

our decisions about how we govern ourselves.

:30:10.:30:13.

We can't govern ourselves until we've got Brexit

:30:14.:30:15.

because democratic decisions can't be made by politicians in Britain

:30:16.:30:18.

At the moment, they are made by commissioners and foreign powers.

:30:19.:30:24.

OK, now look, we began with a question about whether Theresa May

:30:25.:30:27.

has to admit she doesn't have a mandate.

:30:28.:30:32.

So what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, so to speak.

:30:33.:30:36.

And let's take a question, please, from Daniel Bulmer.

:30:37.:30:40.

Why won't Jeremy Corbyn accept that he lost the general election?

:30:41.:30:44.

And citing in evidence John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor

:30:45.:30:55.

saying, "I don't think they have the right to govern,

:30:56.:30:59.

they have junked the manifesto", calling for a million people

:31:00.:31:02.

on the streets of London to ensure another election comes

:31:03.:31:04.

Why can't you accept you were defeated?

:31:05.:31:09.

Well, we do accept the election result.

:31:10.:31:11.

We accept the fact that the Tories thought they were going to get

:31:12.:31:17.

a landslide victory and they are a minority government.

:31:18.:31:19.

I'm afraid, sir, it's not irrelevant.

:31:20.:31:23.

Because we now have a weak minority government.

:31:24.:31:25.

And we were told in that general election campaign

:31:26.:31:29.

that she needed a big mandate, that she needed a substantial

:31:30.:31:32.

majority in order to get the best deal for Brexit.

:31:33.:31:36.

She was sent back to the House of Commons as a failure,

:31:37.:31:39.

as the leader of a minority government.

:31:40.:31:42.

We have a Government who may well be in authority

:31:43.:31:49.

They have had to junk their plans to snatch away

:31:50.:31:55.

They have had to junk their plans for grammar schools.

:31:56.:32:00.

They have had to junk their plans for the dementia tax.

:32:01.:32:02.

Because they know they can't get it through the House of Commons.

:32:03.:32:08.

They've got the right to form the Government.

:32:09.:32:12.

Your Chancellor, senior to you in the Shadow Cabinet, says

:32:13.:32:14.

We are all equals in the Shadow Cabinet.

:32:15.:32:18.

So you can disagree with each other and general chaos

:32:19.:32:28.

The only chaos is on the Tory side, David, not our side.

:32:29.:32:35.

More examples of the name-calling and things.

:32:36.:32:37.

And the realism is that as we are sitting here this evening,

:32:38.:32:40.

the EU 27 are sitting having a dinner at which Mrs May will talk.

:32:41.:32:44.

Then she will leave and then they will carve up

:32:45.:32:46.

They will be debating the European Medical Association.

:32:47.:32:50.

They will be debating who gets the European clearing house, EBA.

:32:51.:32:54.

So this whole idea of what's going on here and what we are

:32:55.:33:02.

going to be negotiating, actually we are negotiating

:33:03.:33:04.

And we've got to be realistic about that.

:33:05.:33:08.

And that's why I think a lot of this, what's been said,

:33:09.:33:11.

We are talking about domestic politics just for a moment.

:33:12.:33:17.

You said about the means testing, mentioned the Winter Fuel Payments.

:33:18.:33:21.

What that means is that rich people should not be able to get

:33:22.:33:25.

That money that is saved from that can then go into social care,

:33:26.:33:30.

because social care needs extra money.

:33:31.:33:32.

And the negativity about Brexit is shocking.

:33:33.:33:34.

It's an opportunity for Britain to succeed in the world.

:33:35.:33:41.

The point is, that policy is not going to happen

:33:42.:33:43.

I'm going to try and get people who haven't spoken.

:33:44.:33:48.

I just think that the whole Brexit thing is a good example of the fact

:33:49.:33:54.

that party politics is failing, and what we need to go back

:33:55.:33:58.

to is what Parliament was built for and intended for,

:33:59.:34:02.

which is people like me, an independent candidate

:34:03.:34:04.

That's what we need, because people are putting

:34:05.:34:10.

their parties first, before people, and

:34:11.:34:11.

I'm not a Daily Mail reader, but I have read Animal Farm

:34:12.:34:21.

and wasn't it George Orwell wrote that "some are more

:34:22.:34:26.

But my main point is that, sadly, I think we could do with a lot more

:34:27.:34:33.

The fact is that, with respect to Ian for the SNP, congratulations

:34:34.:34:38.

on your appointment, but you lost 24 out of 56 seats.

:34:39.:34:41.

And I certainly agree that the Conservative campaign

:34:42.:34:53.

was from the textbook how not to run an election.

:34:54.:34:56.

But nevertheless, Labour did finish 50 seats behind.

:34:57.:35:02.

So to pretend that that is a win is just absolute nonsense.

:35:03.:35:07.

I think we might go on because we are over halfway

:35:08.:35:16.

I'd like an opportunity to answer his question.

:35:17.:35:19.

The question about whether Corbyn lost the election.

:35:20.:35:24.

Because I think the important thing is that this is a Parliament

:35:25.:35:27.

of minorities, but we went into this election with a Conservative

:35:28.:35:29.

Now, I actually think there is an opportunity that

:35:30.:35:34.

will come out of this, because I do not believe

:35:35.:35:36.

that there is support across the United Kingdom for austerity.

:35:37.:35:38.

And I would say to Jonathan and to others, and to some friends,

:35:39.:35:42.

even on the Conservative benches, where there are things

:35:43.:35:44.

which are patently wrong, we have to tackle them.

:35:45.:35:49.

And I think one of the reasons that the Conservatives lost that

:35:50.:35:51.

majority support was the attack on the elderly.

:35:52.:35:54.

And one of the biggest injustices is the one that is faced by many

:35:55.:35:58.

women that were born in the 1950s, that have seen an increase

:35:59.:36:01.

in their pensionable age, which is increasing by six years

:36:02.:36:04.

over a very short period, and some of these women were only

:36:05.:36:08.

That's one thing where I want to see a cross-party consensus,

:36:09.:36:18.

that women born in the 1950s get what is rightfully theirs,

:36:19.:36:21.

Something very frightening is happening.

:36:22.:36:28.

If we had another general election, SNP might well end up

:36:29.:36:31.

They both of them are against what they call austerity.

:36:32.:36:35.

And so they have no idea about economics, how

:36:36.:36:50.

to run a country or how to balance the books.

:36:51.:36:53.

I know the NHS is on its knees and we've got a winter crisis.

:36:54.:36:56.

I know the schools are being cut back.

:36:57.:36:59.

I know child poverty is going to rise to 5 million.

:37:00.:37:01.

I know that disabled people are having their benefits cut.

:37:02.:37:04.

That's what austerity is, and that's why we are opposed to it.

:37:05.:37:07.

We will try and keep to the question that

:37:08.:37:14.

Daniel Bulmer asked, if you don't mind, which was why

:37:15.:37:18.

won't Labour accept the result of the election?

:37:19.:37:22.

Can I start by saying this about Jeremy Corbyn?

:37:23.:37:31.

I probably disagree with him on practically everything

:37:32.:37:36.

and I believe the policies that he champions would bring

:37:37.:37:39.

ruin to the country, but I do think that actually

:37:40.:37:43.

all political parties perhaps need to take note of the fact

:37:44.:37:46.

that his campaign was able to touch a chord with a lot of people

:37:47.:37:49.

who felt alienated from the political process.

:37:50.:37:52.

And I think the gentleman there talked about humility,

:37:53.:37:57.

and I think we do need to approach the result with humility.

:37:58.:38:00.

Certainly we do, and all political parties do.

:38:01.:38:02.

And I think we have to play the cards the electorate has dealt us.

:38:03.:38:10.

That does not take away some of the very big challenges.

:38:11.:38:14.

The gentleman over there talked about social care.

:38:15.:38:16.

We have an ageing society, more people living to a great age.

:38:17.:38:20.

We have to find ways in which to continue to put more

:38:21.:38:23.

resources into social care in a way which...

:38:24.:38:29.

Don't shout out, please, because he has to go

:38:30.:38:35.

So you might as well keep quiet and hear what he has to say.

:38:36.:38:40.

You are one person in an audience of 150.

:38:41.:38:44.

I don't want you taking over this programme.

:38:45.:38:46.

And we have to find a way of getting extra resource

:38:47.:39:01.

into social care which is fair between the generations.

:39:02.:39:04.

Because you cannot simply add to the taxes all the time of younger

:39:05.:39:07.

And the corporation tax yield has gone shooting up

:39:08.:39:18.

since the Government reduced the rates of corporation tax,

:39:19.:39:21.

providing more money for the National Health Service,

:39:22.:39:23.

schools, social care and the other public services,

:39:24.:39:26.

so please show a bit of financial literacy.

:39:27.:39:32.

One of the things I'm very concerned about is this whole idea

:39:33.:39:38.

about balancing the books and Brexit and who pays the price at the end

:39:39.:39:41.

of it, because I can see we are leaving problems,

:39:42.:39:43.

piling it up for the next generations.

:39:44.:39:45.

Because actually, the national debt...

:39:46.:39:46.

The Tories have not balanced the books, because our debt has gone

:39:47.:39:49.

The question was about, and you may have forgotten

:39:50.:39:58.

because it was some time ago, the question was about why

:39:59.:40:01.

Do you think Labour is not accepting the result of the election?

:40:02.:40:06.

I thought we had gone on to the others.

:40:07.:40:08.

Try and get back to the point, if you can.

:40:09.:40:11.

I'm sorry, we live in a democratic process where the Conservatives won.

:40:12.:40:14.

They didn't win by a landslide, so it was a hung parliament.

:40:15.:40:18.

I'm not a Conservative, so I didn't lose anything.

:40:19.:40:21.

There is a hung parliament, which is constitutionally

:40:22.:40:31.

allowed in this country, even if there is no

:40:32.:40:33.

The government can operate, because they won.

:40:34.:40:37.

Do we want more instability in this country?

:40:38.:40:45.

I think you ought to leave, you know, because...

:40:46.:40:48.

that the maths does not work with Labour and all the other

:40:49.:41:19.

I'm not a Conservative voter but I think we need some type of stability

:41:20.:41:30.

in our country. We need to let the Government see if they can carry

:41:31.:41:33.

this forward. We don't know if they can. The first hurdle will be

:41:34.:41:37.

whether they can get the vote on the Queen's Speech next week. If they do

:41:38.:41:44.

not, it will be the first time the Queen's speech has been voted on and

:41:45.:41:48.

not gone through. That's how Farage ill our constitutional landscape is,

:41:49.:41:52.

that's how fragile our political landscape is. We have to be sensible

:41:53.:41:59.

about this, we have to let the Government try.

:42:00.:42:04.

I can see you are keen to speak but we have another question. We are 40

:42:05.:42:09.

minutes through the programme. Before we go to it, we are in

:42:10.:42:14.

Hastings next week. If you didn't feel you had your shout here, you

:42:15.:42:22.

can come there. And we are in Burton upon Trent the week after that, so

:42:23.:42:28.

Hastings then Burton. The details of how to get to be in the audience are

:42:29.:42:31.

on the screen and I'll give them again at the end. This question from

:42:32.:42:37.

Chris Wilcox, please? Is austerity responsible for the

:42:38.:42:46.

deaths of the Grenfell residents? There is a context here in Plymouth

:42:47.:42:51.

because it's been confirmed today that three of the tower blocks in

:42:52.:42:58.

Plymouth are among the seven in the UK that have so far been revealed of

:42:59.:43:03.

having similar cladding to the Grenfell Tower. But the question is,

:43:04.:43:08.

I suppose, springs from Labour's point about this, if you deny local

:43:09.:43:13.

authorities the funding they need, there's a price to be paid, as

:43:14.:43:20.

Jeremy Corbyn said. Ian Blacked for is austerity responsible? It's

:43:21.:43:25.

important firstly that we pay our respects to the people that suffered

:43:26.:43:35.

as we saw the terrible horror of the people and the terror they must have

:43:36.:43:42.

gone through. We are also aware of the tremendous emergency services.

:43:43.:43:50.

APPLAUSE. I am delighted there'll be a public

:43:51.:43:54.

inquiry and it's important that those that lived in the gren fell

:43:55.:43:58.

tower get the answers that they deserve. First and foremost, it

:43:59.:44:02.

should be about the people there. There has to be an absolute

:44:03.:44:08.

determination by all of us that this must never happen again. To what

:44:09.:44:12.

extent do you think from what has come out already that austerity and

:44:13.:44:17.

cuts and the funding of local councils across the country under

:44:18.:44:23.

both Labour and Conservative administrations has led to people

:44:24.:44:30.

cutting corners? We have to look at what we have done with quantitative

:44:31.:44:34.

easing. We have poured ?435 billion into quantitative easing at the time

:44:35.:44:38.

we said we haven't got money for fiscal responsibilities. We have a

:44:39.:44:49.

responsibility to make sure we have a society that has money. We

:44:50.:45:00.

havended up in this situation. We all have to learn lessons. The

:45:01.:45:04.

political culture that has developed, and also the fact that we

:45:05.:45:13.

need to have a balanced housing policy and we need to recognise for

:45:14.:45:18.

for people living in social housing, we deserve to have the best

:45:19.:45:22.

circumstances and building materials as we would have in private estates

:45:23.:45:24.

as well. APPLAUSE.

:45:25.:45:30.

First of all it's very important to say we don't know the answer. It's

:45:31.:45:36.

very important not to... The Government's called rightly, a full

:45:37.:45:40.

inquiry. We mustn't jump to conclusions or make sweeping

:45:41.:45:43.

statements after a day or two, as I think some have. It's of such a

:45:44.:45:50.

serious issue and it's so clearly the case these all be made safe,

:45:51.:45:58.

these tower blocks. Paradoxically, it looks as though spending money

:45:59.:46:02.

made the tower blocks more dangerous because this cladding was added and

:46:03.:46:06.

it's flammable and without the old system whereby each flat was

:46:07.:46:10.

protected from each other one seems to have somehow been broken down.

:46:11.:46:16.

But that said, I do think there is an issue about the kind of society

:46:17.:46:23.

we live in. I think there is a metaphor about Kensington and

:46:24.:46:26.

Chelsea although there is no evidence that it could have happened

:46:27.:46:33.

near a Labour borough as well. Kensington and Chelsea boast about

:46:34.:46:36.

how low their rates are in a borough where so many people are very, very

:46:37.:46:40.

rich, and I do worry that there is something wrong about that.

:46:41.:46:49.

The man there in the white shirt? The building regulations have not

:46:50.:46:54.

been changed for 20 years by successive Governments. Theresa May

:46:55.:47:01.

should order a ban on using any type of cladding until the public inquiry

:47:02.:47:06.

concludes. OK. But the question is... You at the centre, the third

:47:07.:47:12.

row from the back? I would like to correct his facts. Whose facts? Mr

:47:13.:47:19.

Oborne. The cladding that was put on was flammable and it was ?2 less a

:47:20.:47:24.

unit than the fire resistant stuff. The price to put the fire resistant

:47:25.:47:30.

cladding on would have been ?5,000 for the entire building! And you're

:47:31.:47:33.

telling me this is not because of austerity, that we don't know the

:47:34.:47:37.

answer. I'm absolutely flabbergasted, Sir. That wasn't his

:47:38.:47:42.

answer. His answer was the cladding was the

:47:43.:47:47.

flammable cause why the flames jumped from flat-to-flat. That was

:47:48.:47:52.

his... It would have taken ?2 more to put the fire resistant cladding

:47:53.:47:57.

on and that austerity council decided to put the cheaper stuff on.

:47:58.:48:08.

Can I say something... There were no fire extinguishers in

:48:09.:48:12.

the flats, we know that, and no sprinkling system. One thing I'm

:48:13.:48:17.

more concerned about, we are looking at all the other tower blocks. But

:48:18.:48:22.

what about all the other public buildings like schools and places we

:48:23.:48:27.

go to work and everywhere else, does this mean there should actually be a

:48:28.:48:32.

review of all public buildings because if you look at it, some of

:48:33.:48:37.

the new schools don't have sprinkler systems because it's not required.

:48:38.:48:44.

David Lidington is there an issue of austerity? Firstly I want to say, I

:48:45.:48:51.

want to agree with Ian, actually whatever our politics here, I think

:48:52.:48:55.

any words are frankly inadequate to describe what the families have gone

:48:56.:49:02.

through. I think that all parties who've all been in Government at

:49:03.:49:06.

various times in the last 25 years, we all need to do a bit of soul

:49:07.:49:12.

searching about this and Peter did touch on the important point because

:49:13.:49:20.

one of the things that strikes me is that the local community in North

:49:21.:49:28.

Ken clearly feels utterly mistrustful of, and alienated from

:49:29.:49:34.

public authorities and officialdom of all types. That does say to me

:49:35.:49:39.

that, as a country - again I hope this can be sort of cross party

:49:40.:49:45.

views - we have to do something to heal that division. These people are

:49:46.:49:51.

as much part of our country and are entitled to the right

:49:52.:49:54.

responsibilities of citizens of this country as any of us on the panel or

:49:55.:49:59.

any of us here in the audience. APPLAUSE.

:50:00.:50:06.

Now, in terms of attributing blame, I'll say one technical point to then

:50:07.:50:10.

talk more generally about. The technical point is that it's already

:50:11.:50:19.

contrary to existing regulations, to have combustible cladding on any

:50:20.:50:23.

high-rise. I think Camden Council's already said this evening that

:50:24.:50:30.

they're taking legal advice having found that combustible cladding is

:50:31.:50:34.

allegedly on at least one of their tower blocks. There is a Fire

:50:35.:50:43.

Service investigation under way to diagnose precisely the cause of this

:50:44.:50:48.

fire and what the various contributory factors were. There is

:50:49.:50:51.

a criminal investigation going on and I'm going to be very careful in

:50:52.:50:55.

what I say because I don't want to use any language that might, if a

:50:56.:51:00.

person or a company was subsequently charged with a criminal offence,

:51:01.:51:07.

could prejudice a trial in court, which is what might happen. The

:51:08.:51:14.

inquiry will be led by a judge appointed by the Lord Chief Justice

:51:15.:51:23.

with full powers to call for witnesses, for documentary evidence.

:51:24.:51:32.

I think it's the inquiry, the various inquiry investigations I

:51:33.:51:35.

describe that will give us the answers. I've already said

:51:36.:51:40.

combustible cladding in a high-rise is contrary to existing rules, and

:51:41.:51:45.

we need to let the experts examine the evidence and then we should act

:51:46.:51:49.

swiftly on the findings of those investigations. All right. Jonathan

:51:50.:51:54.

Ashworth? Austerity was the question, as the

:51:55.:52:00.

man pointed out? Like all on the panel, thoughts with those who lost

:52:01.:52:08.

their lives and with loved ones and those who need help to rebuild their

:52:09.:52:12.

lives, it will probably take months, years. I want to pay tribute to the

:52:13.:52:16.

extraordinary efforts of the emergency services. Haven't our

:52:17.:52:20.

emergency services been tested so many times in recent weeks and

:52:21.:52:24.

months and haven't they done us proud.

:52:25.:52:24.

APPLAUSE. We need an inquiry, it does appear,

:52:25.:52:34.

according to reports, that the council chose this cheaper cladding,

:52:35.:52:38.

we need to understand what the legalities of it are and we need to

:52:39.:52:42.

know why the local authority came to that decision. On the point about

:52:43.:52:48.

austerity, there is an issue here because many local authorities

:52:49.:52:51.

across the country have not been able to, but are now quite rightly

:52:52.:52:58.

wanting to fit sprinklers, went to change cladding on buildings. One

:52:59.:53:03.

thing I want to say to you David in all sincerity is, please as a

:53:04.:53:05.

Government give local authorities the money to fit the sprinklers now,

:53:06.:53:10.

they need them now. APPLAUSE.

:53:11.:53:14.

We've got three or four minutes left. Terry Portman, your question?

:53:15.:53:24.

If the DUP get an extra ?2 billion for Northern Ireland for their ten

:53:25.:53:28.

MPs to support the Government, can Devon and Cornwall expect ?4 billion

:53:29.:53:32.

for our 20 MPs to support the Government?

:53:33.:53:38.

APPLAUSE. Peter Oborne? I don't think ?2

:53:39.:53:49.

billion is the right sum of money to give to the DUP. You cannot allow

:53:50.:53:58.

yourself to bribe MPs for support. But if they do get it, should Devon

:53:59.:54:03.

and Cornwall get some? Setting out an excellent reason why the Tory

:54:04.:54:06.

party should not do a deal with the DUP because the SNP, they'll be

:54:07.:54:11.

after more money next and so will everybody else. Devon and Cornwall

:54:12.:54:21.

won't. You want to treated as a special case like Northern Ireland.

:54:22.:54:24.

Do you want independence? Maybe we'd get our railway here and your people

:54:25.:54:29.

could arrive on time. You want to be treated like Scotland and Wales and

:54:30.:54:36.

Northern Ireland? All right. David Lidington, you've got a minute. Or

:54:37.:54:41.

less. Right. Devon and corn, particularly Plymouth and Cornwall,

:54:42.:54:45.

too many people fail to realise, they're pretty poor in the material

:54:46.:54:50.

sense, in this part of the country. So we do need to... We know that.

:54:51.:54:56.

Which is why spending has gone up, I could point to the increases that

:54:57.:54:59.

the local Health Service is getting here to the money that's been set

:55:00.:55:06.

aside to try and provide must have-needed improvement to transport

:55:07.:55:09.

links. Nonsense. You will only be able to distribute money if it's

:55:10.:55:13.

been created by a free enterprise economy that thrives in the first

:55:14.:55:16.

place. So how is the DUP going to get the extra money? I don't know

:55:17.:55:19.

what is going to come out of those talks. She thinks the DUP are

:55:20.:55:25.

getting it. I think let us see what comes out of the negotiations. Ian

:55:26.:55:31.

Blacked for, I have to whizz round. One thing we have said is austerity

:55:32.:55:36.

must end. After the next ?118 billion to be invested in this

:55:37.:55:40.

Parliament - by the way, that would balance the books - we have to

:55:41.:55:43.

recognise the fact that wages are lower than inflation. There is a

:55:44.:55:46.

pressure on living standards, we need to investigate in the living

:55:47.:55:50.

standards, Plymouth, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, give some

:55:51.:55:52.

people hope of a better future. OK. Gina Miller?

:55:53.:55:58.

The magic money tree is an interesting one because I have to

:55:59.:56:02.

say, even independent sources have said both manifestos were not costed

:56:03.:56:07.

in any realistic way and all of this promising of money, where is it

:56:08.:56:10.

going to come from at a time when our economy now is... We are now the

:56:11.:56:14.

lowest of all the EU member states when you look at our economy growth

:56:15.:56:16.

this year. APPLAUSE.

:56:17.:56:20.

I mean, you know, we are endangering our country. All the austerity cuts

:56:21.:56:24.

when it comes to our first response services are being damaged at a time

:56:25.:56:32.

when we need to feel safe. The man there? We have only got 60 seconds

:56:33.:56:39.

left. You will have to be quick. Quantitative easing ?70 billion in

:56:40.:56:42.

August, that's a magic money tree, who does it feed? The banks. We can

:56:43.:56:47.

raise money for infrastructure for what's important, we can also tax

:56:48.:56:53.

those who're paying less tax, comparative to support the whole of

:56:54.:57:01.

the community. All right. Tax them. I don't begrudge the people of

:57:02.:57:04.

Northern Ireland getting an extra ?1 billion to invest in the National

:57:05.:57:08.

Health Service, but if they are going to get extra investment, the

:57:09.:57:14.

English NHS needs extra investment and needs not to be cut back like it

:57:15.:57:16.

is at the moment. All right. I'm afraid our time is pretty well

:57:17.:57:26.

up, sorry. Thank you. We only get an hour, you know. Next week we are

:57:27.:57:31.

going to be in Hastings and we know by next week whether the Government

:57:32.:57:35.

has survived the votes on the Queen's speech. The international

:57:36.:57:38.

trade secretary Liam Fox is going to be on the panel. Then in

:57:39.:57:46.

Burton-on-Trent, go to the website, you can come there, or ring us.

:57:47.:57:52.

Hastings or Burton-on-Trent. If you are listening on Radio 5 Live,

:57:53.:57:57.

Question Time extra time follows this television programme. Here, my

:57:58.:58:01.

thanks to the panel, to all of you who came to Plymouth to take part.

:58:02.:58:05.

Until next Thursday, from Question Time, good night.

:58:06.:58:35.

Across the country, 11 million people

:58:36.:58:39.

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