David Dimbleby presents topical debate from Swansea. The panel includes the leader of the Welsh Labour Party Carwyn Jones and presenter Richard Bacon.
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Tonight, we're in Swansea, and welcome to Question Time.
And with us here this evening,
the Conservative MP and an ardent campaigner for Britain
to leave the EU, Bernard Jenkin.
The Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland,
who challenged Jeremy Corbyn for the Labour leadership, Owen Smith.
English-born but fully committed to Wales,
the leader of Plaid Cymru at Westminster, Liz Saville Roberts.
Kate Andrew, journalist, commentator,
who says Brexit will work if it gives us free trade.
And the former Blue Peter and Top Of The Pops presenter,
proud to admit he's obsessed with politics, Richard Bacon.
Thank you very much indeed.
And as always, of course, you can take issue with what's said here,
either by the audience or by the panel, by using our hashtag #BBCQT
on Twitter, on Facebook.
You can text 83981,
and the red button will tell you what others are saying.
I should say, the panel, of course,
as always, don't know the questions in advance,
and they don't know this one, which comes from Kelvin Harles, please.
Would Brexit make an ideal theme for a modern Christmas pantomime?
Oh, yes, it would!
Oh, yes, it would! Owen Smith?
Well, yes is the short answer.
I'm not sure which would be the end of the horse -
the Tories or the DUP -
but the last week has been an extraordinary pantomime.
It's a very good word to describe it.
We all thought it was a deal done.
We all thought there was going to be resolution
of the Irish border question.
We thought it because the Tories were telling us the deal was done.
They were briefing straightaway on Monday that they'd sorted it out,
and it was all in the bag.
The Irish thought it was all sorted out,
and then, of course, Arlene Foster rang up at the last minute,
the leader of the DUP, and pulled the plug.
And it's been, unfortunately, symbolic,
that pantomime performance, of the entire way in which
the Tories have been running the Brexit negotiations
from start to finish.
You know, I'm deeply worried that we're not going to get a deal.
I hope we're going to get something in the next couple of days
that will allow us on to the next stage,
because we need to get to the next stage of the talks,
but the reality is, if they continue like this, then it is all
going to end, not in the laughter of a pantomime, but in tears.
I wonder who Widow Twankey is.
I think it will probably...
-It'll be far too long for a pantomime.
I think people would get far too bored with it.
I'm afraid it's going to go on
for at least another sort of 18 months or so,
so I think we need to stay calm.
European negotiations are always very last-minute.
The important thing is, Owen,
that we do actually deliver the referendum result.
We don't try and reverse it.
And you're part of a team in the Labour Party that are trying
to pull Jeremy Corbyn back from his manifesto commitments
-to honour the Leave vote.
-I don't know what you mean!
You want another referendum.
You didn't vote for Article 50.
You didn't even want to respect the referendum result to start with.
And we are going to fulfil our manifesto commitments.
We're going to take back control over our laws, our borders,
our money, and our right to create new trading relationships
with the growing part of the world,
the 90% of the economic part of the world
that is growing much faster than the EU,
because that's where our long-term prosperity lies.
Kelvin, let me just ask you,
do you think it's turning into a pantomime?
It is a farce.
There doesn't seem to be...
..any direction from any source at the moment.
I think what we need is a Prince Charming to come along
and save the country.
-Did you vote for it?
Perhaps marry an American celebrity,
and thereby secure a good trade deal with America, perhaps.
OK. Richard Bacon.
Did you vote for Brexit?
I think... I suppose, with a pantomime,
when you go to see a pantomime,
at least you more or less know what it is you're going to get,
and now I look at Brexit, and there were
lots of good reasons to vote for Brexit -
I'm sure people in this audience sincerely voted for Brexit
for sensible reasons.
It was not something I voted for.
But I actually now think that whichever side you voted on,
it turns out that no-one really knew anything about it,
and that it's turned out to be so much more...
..so much more complicated than anyone thought.
And it's astonishing, when you look at the Irish border question
that we're talking about this week,
that no-one seems to have thought about these consequences.
And I was looking, Bernard - I know you're part of Vote Leave -
and I was looking at some literature that you put your name to
earlier today... It was during the campaign, I should say.
Because I don't remember any reference to the Irish border
during the campaign.
Do you remember that? During the campaign for Brexit.
I looked at a letter you wrote, and it was all about
the NHS getting money, and scientific research getting money,
and we're going to take back powers and have less red tape,
and I couldn't see the Irish border in there anywhere,
and I think it's one of the many things, many intractable problems,
that have come up from Brexit that no-one thought about beforehand.
Did you think about it, Bernard?
Let him answer him.
Is he right - it wasn't in your stuff?
It was never an issue, and it shouldn't be an issue,
because there's not going to be a hard border in Northern Ireland.
Who says it shouldn't be an issue?
For example, the Permanent Secretary who actually runs the HMRC
that would collect the customs revenue at the border
between Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland, he has said,
his consistent advice to ministers,
he's told a select committee quite recently,
consistent advice to ministers, whatever circumstances,
whatever the arrangements, there is no need for a hard border.
-The former Prime Minister of the...
-What would a hard border mean?
There's no need for new infrastructure at the border,
no need to stop lorries at the border,
-no need to put up a checkpoint at the border.
-How do you stop...?
And the former Prime Minister of the Republic of Ireland,
Bertie Ahern, he agrees.
He says you don't need to have a hard border.
This is a manufactured row.
-By the DUP?
-No, by the...
The people who are keeping you in power.
By the Government of Ireland and by the EU,
who are trying to leverage more money and more concessions
-out of the British Government.
-What about the DUP?
Well, the DUP is actually supporting the British Government,
and the British Government is supporting the DUP.
There is agreement between them.
Liz Saville Roberts.
The DUP has this Government dancing to the tune of a Lambeg drum.
But I'm sure, Bernard, you know as well as I that the customs union
requires a solid barrier if we are beyond the customs union.
No, it does not.
It does in the sense of goods being moved across it.
No, it doesn't.
Now, my party is the only one here
that has been consistent in its argument
that the best deal for Wales, and to be perfectly honest,
the best deal for the whole of the United Kingdom,
is to remain in the single market and the customs union.
And no-one voted to leave that.
Nobody voted to leave that.
Many people were sold a tissue of lies.
And in all honesty, we need certainty now.
Kate. Let's get Kate Andrews in.
There are pros and cons to any vote, especially one of this magnitude,
and the British people have voted to leave the European Union.
If you decide to stay in the single market and customs union,
you're basically cutting yourself off
from one of the biggest pros of Brexit,
which is that you get to create free trade deals around the world.
So, I think that would be a very negative thing to do
if you want to actually capitalise on the positive sides of Brexit.
I appreciate that there are going to be some hurdles along the way.
To Kelvin's point,
you're absolutely right that this has become a pantomime.
I mean, the politics of it and the personalities of it
are getting in the way of good negotiating.
The Labour Party is not much better, frankly.
That's like a traditional slapstick British comedy.
One person walks in, says, "We're staying in the single market,"
leaves, and someone else walks in and says,
"Oh, no, we're definitely leaving."
And politicians aren't being very honest with people right now.
These are crucial moments of decision-making,
and if we're going to capitalise on the benefits of Brexit
now that that decision has been taken, we need serious discussions
about the trade deal we're going to get.
OK. Let me hear from...
Let's hear from one or two members of our audience.
You in the front, in the middle there.
Then I'll come to you up there. Yes.
It seemed like a pantomime yesterday,
with David Davis with his speech in front of the committee.
-He seemed as if he'd lost his script,
because the things he was coming out with in terms of,
he's not assessed the risk of us leaving Brexit,
it just seems a total embarrassment, and what are the Government doing?
Perhaps Bernard could answer that, because he said
he was going to do 58, 51 or 58, depending on your view...
-He said he'd done it.
-He said he'd done it.
He's never actually referred to impact assessments.
These were a fiction of the media and the Labour Party.
-What was he doing?
-Then you put them into a motion
without working out what you really meant.
What was he doing with those 58... What were they?
There's tonnes, I mean,
there are 58 sectors that have been subject to some sectoral analysis.
And you can go and read it if you want.
It's now in a pile of 800 papers
in a room that we don't want to spread around too much
because it might give our opposition some...
There's nothing in it worth reading, Bernard.
-I've looked at them.
-There you are.
-You've been to see it already, have you?
The reality is that David Davis and Theresa May
said on nine separate occasions in the House of Commons
that they'd done or were doing 58 -
sometimes he said 57, sometimes 60, but around 58 -
sectoral analyses that were absolutely meant to show
what the impact of Brexit would be on those different sectors,
and he now says that there aren't any.
-But, Owen, you're going back...
That's misleading Parliament and it's misleading you, the public.
And he needs to be held to account for that.
Sorry, can I ask a very simple question -
what is a sector analysis if it's not saying,
"This is what will happen to aerospace, this is..."
-What is it?
-We are going back to the politics of it.
On what scenario are you going to base your assumptions?
What do you mean, what scenario? He was the one who was doing it.
"We've got 50, nearly 60, sectoral analyses already done," he said.
On the basis of what you want, Bernard - Brexit.
Surely that's what we should be analysing.
What is what you want going to do?
Surely the Government has a responsibility
to be modelling what the likely outcomes are.
On the basis of what assumptions?
-And not just analysing...
-On the basis...
And these analyses should be published next week.
OK, one at a time. Why did he do it, then?
Why did he say he was doing it? He must know the assumptions.
Because there is lots of work being done in lots of departments
about different sectors of the economy,
and what we need to negotiate
in order to further the interests of those sectors in the economy.
That's not to say there's a definitive forecast
for each sector of the economy on the day we leave,
because we don't even know what kind of deal there is going be.
Back to Kelvin's point - this whole conversation now
has gone back to political point-scoring and politics.
-It's about the truth, Kate.
-Let her speak.
We want to be talking about what those impact assessments
would even look like if we were able to do them,
and the truth is of the matter, you get a lot of nonsensical statistics.
I work for an economic think tank.
Economists are really good at analysing the past.
They're really, really bad at predicting the future.
What we need our politicians to be doing
is negotiating the best trade deal possible.
Let's stop talking about the politics and get to the policy.
So, Kate, when you heard that David Davis was saying
he'd got these sector analyses nearly done in June,
what did you read into that?
That he was just talking blather
or that he was doing something you didn't approve of, or what?
No, I mean, like everybody else, I believed him and was disappointed
to hear that he was so sloppy with his language.
-Perhaps he needs a much bigger slap...
Yes, I don't disagree with you on that.
He probably needs a bigger slap on the wrist than he's been given,
but qualitative assessments,
looking at what different sectors are going to need post-Brexit,
is a lot more important than coming up with sloppy numbers.
What happened during the referendum
when the Government came out with its figures?
"£4,000 worse off if you vote for Brexit."
You know, "The economy is going to grow 6% less than it would have
"if you vote for Brexit." Was that true? No.
So, what are these numbers going to do now?
-"£350 million for the NHS."
-Yeah, disappointment on both sides.
-Where did that come from?
Exactly, disappointment on both sides.
-Can I tell you exactly where that came from?
That came from a table of statistics that is produced by the Government,
and I am chairman of the committee...
I'm chairman of the committee
that looks at the Statistics Authority, and I said to them,
18 months before the referendum,
"You should change this table, because it's misleading."
-You put your name to that.
-And they changed the table.
They changed the table now. You can't derive that figure...
Let's not go back over that.
-But it was still on a bus!
-I never used that figure personally.
Don't go fighting that battle...
-..because it was a year and a half away.
The man up there at the top right. I mean, it's a good battle to fight,
but we've got to move on. Up there, the top right.
You, sir. Yes.
Speak? Yes, speak.
Kate made the point of the dishonesty of both sides.
-Surely if there has been so much dishonesty from both sides,
which I think most people in the audience would agree with,
then that must be the best reason that we should sit down together
and be given the opportunity again, as a nation, to say,
"Now that we've got the truth, we would like another referendum."
-I agree with that.
I'll take a point from the woman there, in the fifth row. Yes. You.
It's very hard not to be party political about this
when you see the committee...
Was it yesterday? It seems like a lifetime already.
..voting along party lines.
It's the incompetence that I think really gets everybody.
Either these sectoral analyses,
either they have been done and they're being hidden,
-or they are incredibly incompetent, and just not doing their job.
It's got to be one or the other. You know, they should have had...
They don't even know where they're going.
Owen is saying yes.
But you're saying all parties are in a muddle about this?
No, no, because actually, there is a party that is in government.
And there were ten Tory members on the committee,
the Brexit committee, and they all voted to support,
basically, support David Davis.
It separated along party lines.
You could make the other argument, that all the opposition parties,
they voted also on party lines. It's a bit six of one...
-But if you have...
-But I'm afraid you're right,
it's turned into a party-political spat
that really doesn't add much heat... much light to the situation.
If he lied to the committee that these were available
when they were not, there is a question whether that is contempt.
Right, and now I'm going to leave that point.
That's a very strong statement to make.
Let's stick with...
This is a serious issue, and it's got to be determined
over the next whatever it is.
Jonathan Jennings, let's have your question,
and go to the heart of the matter.
Might a no-deal Brexit actually be the best result for Britain?
A no-deal Brexit be the best result, in other words,
free trade, in effect. What do you think, Kate?
No, I don't think it would be the best result, and I don't think
that any party negotiating right now wants that to be the case.
There's too much to lose.
There's too much money, there's too much prosperity at stake.
That being said, I don't think that a bare-bones Brexit, perhaps,
would be the end of the world.
If we were to crash out
with a structure of a deal that wasn't filled in yet,
we're not starting from scratch, right?
The UK and the EU would already recognise each other's standards
to a very large degree.
The UK already works with countries that aren't in the EU
on very important things
like nuclear technology and intelligence.
You wouldn't be starting from nothing, and it would be
possible to make it work - I don't think it is the disaster scenario
if you had a very loose structure in place.
But let's not aim for no deal.
We can do this. We're better than this.
Again, go back to the optimism, look at the positive sides
of voting for Brexit, and let's try to get the best trade deal possible.
Liz, you said...
You said in your view, we should stay both in the single market
and the customs union.
So anything other than that, you think, would be a disaster?
Forgive me for stating the obvious, and I believe this to be true
for all the nations of the United Kingdom,
but I am from Plaid Cymru,
and I have a particular interest in the interests of Wales,
and a particular interest in the interests of Dwyfor Meirionnydd,
which is an upland rural area.
Wales exports to the EU 90% of its agricultural produce.
It exports a third of its lamb produce.
If we go out without a deal,
the good cuts of lamb, which are those which will be exported,
will have 40% tariffs on them.
Now, I am not going to sign up,
as a representative of Dwyfor Meirionnydd,
to what would effectively be an upland clearance.
Bernard Jenkin, what about you on a no-deal Brexit?
Well, obviously, a good deal is better than no deal,
and that's what we must try to achieve.
I agree with Kate that if we got a bare-bones deal,
which is dealing with all the housekeeping, if you like,
we then move into a deal that's already set up for us
by the World Trade Organisation
that's known as most favoured nation status.
And if we went straight to most favoured nation status,
there would be some advantages.
We wouldn't have to pay a huge exit bill.
We're only going to pay a big exit bill if we get a good trade deal.
We would immediately have control over our tariffs, our regulation.
We'd be able to cut tariffs on some of the foods that you pay taxes on.
When you're buying your tangerines in the shops this Christmas,
you've got a tariff on the tangerines.
We don't grow tangerines in this country.
Why are we protecting, trying to protect our tangerine industry,
when we haven't got one?
I am interested in protecting Welsh agriculture.
Well, of course. And if we went to a bare-bones deal and WTO,
the Government would immediately have a lot more money
to be able to spend on protecting upland farming.
And we've always protected upland farming.
The man up there in the white T-shirt. You.
If we don't get a no deal, we're going to save £50 billion,
and that £50 billion could be used
to pay for the tidal lagoon in Swansea,
and the electrification of the train line to Swansea as well.
So your view is, no deal and no money on exiting, just leave.
Yeah, because I don't see...
Why do we have to pay 50 billion to the EU
to leave in the first place?
Well, look, I think it's impossible to sit here in Swansea,
and say anything other than leaving on World Trade terms,
as Bernard has just advocated,
and some of his, I think, hard-line Brexiteers want...
No, I don't think it's the best deal. We want a trade deal.
Well, I think some of your colleagues want it.
I think some of those people who were angling for a hard Brexit
absolutely see that because they see us able to
sort of buccaneer across the world. I think that's fantasy.
We're here in Swansea. We've already heard about the lamb.
We've got a car plant just down the road from us here.
We'd have 10-20% tariffs on the cars being exported.
Not 20% - complete rubbish.
We'd have import taxes, of course, both ways,
that would affect the steelworks that is just down the road,
both on the things we were importing in order to create the steel
-and on the steel we export.
-No, you're wrong about that, too.
-Hang on, you said 10 or 20.
-It's 12% on cars.
Does anyone want to pay an extra 10% for car exports?
-Can I just tell you something?
Can I just explain something to you?
This is far too serious, cos here in Swansea we've got a car plant.
I want to make a serious point to you, actually.
-We've got a car plant just down the road...
..where those engines - the Bridgend plant -
could also be made in Spain,
and I'm deeply worried about the future of that plant,
because we already know there are grave concerns about its future,
and we know that Ford are worried about the uncertainty...
Let Bernard Jenkin reply to that, then I'll come to you.
Ford has already announced investment into motor
and manufacturing in this country since the vote,
so they've got more confidence in this country than you have.
And said they're worried about that plant after 2021.
And you're wrong about the tariffs.
What's imported and processed and then exported,
gets what's called inward processing relief. You don't pay the tax twice.
It's quite a clever tax, and in any case,
the pound has already fallen very substantially since we had the vote.
Why was that? Why did it fall?
Well, actually, the IMF said it was overvalued -
it triggered a devaluation.
The pound has already fallen more than the cost of the tariff.
If we had tariffs on motors... We import far more cars than we export.
We'd collect a lot of money on the cars we import,
and we'd have more money to spend on the electrification of the railways.
There were so many unforeseen consequences to Brexit, and I think
the devaluation of the pound... The Defence Secretary this
week has been talking about the need to buy more military equipment.
Britain wants to buy, I think, 138 F35 fighters from America.
We have devalued so much against the dollar
that we can no longer really afford them.
And that's one of the many consequences.
But I think to your point about the 50 billion, I mean,
A - that was a figure that we were told we were never
going to have to pay, and I think if we had no deal Brexit...
You can't have a no deal Brexit.
You've got to have some sort of deal over the Irish border, for example.
I don't think it's at all possible,
and I think that those people in government
talking about a no deal Brexit
are saying that from an emotional place, rather than a rational place.
And every independent economic body thinks it would be terrible
for the economy, and the 50 million that we save
would be more than lost by the hit to the economy.
The person in blue there. With spectacles on.
You're saying about how, like, trade has been affected,
and how it's costing 4 billion,
but that's all that's in the social media.
Because we're out now, that's all the social media is focusing on
is all the bad stuff about Brexit.
We need to start focusing on the good stuff about Brexit,
and why we're leaving, and why the British public chose to leave.
And how do you think it's going so far?
Going back to the original question.
Right now, it's always showing the bad stuff,
it's not showing any of the good stuff,
how it's going to save us money in years to come.
That's completely true. When you're doing any reform,
the people who are against the reform
are much noisier than the people who are quietly in favour of the reform.
Surely the Brexit impact assessment should have been able
to tell us that, and they would have been...
So you want the government to publish more political propaganda?
I thought that was one of the mistakes
the government made during the referendum.
What's extremely distressing at present is apparently,
the best minds of the civil service are all engaged with Brexit,
and all the other departments are suffering from the loss.
And it's going to be the best decision we've made for 50 years.
And all we can see is the greatest incompetency,
which doesn't raise people's confidence in the future.
Bernard, just before we move on to another question,
the cabinet seems divided all the time about the way to go,
between those who want a softer and a harder route.
Well, this is a very, very big historical change.
You expect the cabinet to be divided?
And the establishment of this country,
which was almost obsessed with driving us
on and on into integration in Europe,
has been rebuffed by a vote of the British people,
and there is a shock.
This is a political shock.
And I think a lot of my colleagues are finding it very difficult
to adapt to what they were brought up to believe -
that somehow being in the European Union was absolutely essential
to this country, but you know what?
Most countries aren't in the European Union,
and they're absolutely fine, they do very well.
We're going to do very well outside the European Union.
We'll have our democracy back, we'll be in control of our immigration,
we'll be able to do those trade deals with other countries,
which is what the future of this country is really about.
But sitting at that... APPLAUSE
Sitting at Cabinet and hearing
Philip Hammond on the one hand say...
And Boris Johnson on the other, what does Theresa May
make of it, in your opinion?
I think she's finding it very difficult,
but she's a very, very strong-minded,
decent and principled person,
who is absolutely devoted to her duty as a public servant,
and I think the British people can see that.
But where does she her duty lying as between these conflicting views?
I think she sees her job, as chairman of the cabinet,
to try and bring the voices together and instil a sense of direction,
but let's face it -
both the major political parties are very divided about this.
This is why we had to have a referendum,
because there was a kind of cosy consensus of the elite politicians,
and in both political parties, there was dissent
about the direction in which we were going,
and the British people have distilled a decision.
That's a real eye-opener.
Sorry, but that shows that this is more about the parties,
the two major Westminster parties sorting out their own problems,
rather than putting the interests of the United Kingdom first.
It was about giving a choice to the British people.
OK, we'll just hear a couple more points.
A lot has been said about the impact assessment.
How could they sensibly be conducted when no-one knows at the moment
whether we'd be part of a single market, a customs union,
hard Brexit, a Canadian model, a Norwegian model, an EFTA model...?
Or something else!
It is weird, isn't it?
Frankly, it is weird that we haven't done
a proper assessment of the impact.
Along the lines he's suggesting?
But the entire British establishment
was expecting the country to vote Remain.
We've got 15 months to go before we're out, as things stand.
The woman up there on the left, please. There.
The EU has produced impact assessments covering every area.
They've done it for 27 countries.
The Dutch government has produced impact assessments.
PricewaterhouseCoopers has produced impact assessments.
There's eight, nine, ten other organisations to have done so.
So if they can all do it, why can't our government?
-I suspect they have.
-They've done it for all scenarios.
Well, we shall see what happens with that question.
Do you think the country, just to finish,
is going to be richer or poorer, are individual people going to be richer
or poorer when this whole thing is complete?
Richard Bacon, what's your view?
Er...I think in the end, poorer.
I know Kate thinks that economists aren't very good at forecasting
the future, but they were pretty clear that all independent
economic bodies said it would be net negative for the economy,
and I think if it's net negative for the economy,
it's net negative for more or less everyone, so poorer.
Sorry, the numbers that were released during the referendum
suggested that people sitting in this audience were going to be
£4,300, I believe it was, worse off, when they voted to leave.
They suggested that the economy was going to shrink by 6%.
Now, growth figures aren't fantastic,
and there are a lot of reasons for this.
Let's not forget that so many of our domestic policy issues,
productivity, all of this, has nothing to do with the EU,
and everything to do with policies set in Westminster by Westminster...
Do you think we're going to be richer or poorer as a nation?
I think you're going to be richer if you use the process of Brexit
to be optimistic and try to pursue the best deals possible.
But don't put statistics out into the air that,
as the gentleman pointed out, you can't rely on,
because there are just an indefinite number of variables.
OK. Let's move on. APPLAUSE
Just before we move on, there's a lot more to say about all that,
and there will be as Question Time goes on through the year to come.
But next Thursday, we're going to be in Barnsley,
if you'd like to come to the Question Time edition there.
Barnsley. Then there's a break until January, and we'll be in...
My goodness, we're going to be in Islington!
In London. LAUGHTER
The politicians' home territory!
-Some of them.
-There's many other people as well... Anyway.
If you want to come either to Barnsley or Islington,
on the screen now is how to apply, and we'll give those details
at the end with the telephone numbers again.
Let's have a question, please, from Tony Clark.
Can we have your question? Tony.
Is Donald Trump right to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel?
Yesterday's news. Kate Andrews.
-So, my default position...
-The only American on this panel.
Yes, I am. My default position when it comes to the President
is if he's said or done anything, I disagree with it.
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
But now I'm going to get myself into a bit of trouble,
because a broken clock is right twice a day,
and I think the President is right
to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
-This has been...
-GRUMBLES AND SCATTERED APPLAUSE
I'll tell you why.
This has been American policy since 1995 -
it was the Jerusalem Embassy Act, passed in 1995,
from both parties, pretty unanimous.
And every six months, the US President, Republican or Democrat,
has been signing waivers to put off implementing this legislation,
mostly for political reasons.
It was as recently as June this year,
during the Trump administration,
that the Senate voted 90 to 0 - 90 to nil,
Republicans and Democrats together,
to prod the President to introduce this policy.
Now he's done it, he has implemented what is across-the-board
American policy, and I think it is the right decision,
because we are living in a dream world if we think
the two-state solution is going to result in a divided Jerusalem.
It is almost certainly not going to do that,
and I hope that this can actually help move a peace process,
which is not active at the moment in any way, forward.
The last thing I would say is that the hatred of Qatar
or the threats of Hamas should not be part
of determining foreign policy in the UK or the US or anywhere else.
Richard Bacon. You live in the US now. What's your view?
Yeah. I do, and...
I think a couple of things. First of all, um...
Theresa May has said this will make peace harder,
President Abbas has said this marks the end of the peace process,
Hamas has said they'll unleash hell, and the Pope said it was a mistake.
And Donald Trump listened to none of those...
-Why would you listen to...
-Let him answer.
You listen to different voices...
I was just telling you different views have been expressed today.
But do you think, when you look at Donald Trump's pattern
of behaviour, even if you think this is the right thing, do you think
that he is a great statesman who carefully weighed up the evidence...
-..listened to different voices and reached a rational decision?
-Of course not!
-Of course not! He listened to his son-in-law,
another property developer from New York, who made this decision.
Here's what I would say, living in Trump's America right now, is...
Just in the last ten days, when he re-tweeted the anti-Muslim videos,
he's claimed that the Access Hollywood tape is fake,
he's pushed through a tax bill in the Senate
along with Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, which nobody had read,
and will take 13 million people out of health care,
and it's given me a real appreciation
of the United Kingdom and of our politicians here,
and whatever you think of them,
if you take Theresa May or Ed Miliband or Gordon Brown
or even David Cameron - are they, whether you like them or not,
are they hard-working, well-meaning people,
trying hard to do the right thing?
You've picked three who aren't around any more!
I just mean by referencing party leaders,
but I would say generally, with politicians
and those around this table, that in the end it's given me
an appreciation of this country, and I think that...
we're better than them.
Liz Saville Roberts.
Was he right to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel?
It appears to be only interpretable
as a deliberately incendiary act that is aimed principally
at a home audience, without due consideration that he has now...
There is violence on the occupied West Bank,
probably as we speak, certainly today.
There is violence increased because of this action in the Middle East.
That then increases the risk here of terrorism activity in Europe.
It will increase the risk of terrorism activity in the USA,
and any president who acts in such a way as to endanger his own people,
as well as other people in the world,
is frankly not fit for public office.
You, sir, in the middle there. Yes.
I totally agree that it's going to cause further problems
in the Middle East and the wider region.
It also legitimises...
you know, the illegal occupation of the West Bank, as well.
-So you see no merit...
-I see no merit in it whatsoever.
Bernard Jenkin, do you?
I'm afraid I'm more in agreement with Liz than Kate in this.
I mean, if there was evidence
that President Trump did very subtle, strategic thinking,
..then one could perhaps believe
that this is part of a beginning of some kind of new process
that's meant to jump-start some talks or something.
I can't see that. I think this is not a solution,
it is provocation, and we do want process, and not provocation.
The really dangerous...
The really dangerous thing is that this feeds the narrative
that is a recruiting sergeant for Isis, terrorism...
..for Muslim fundamentalism,
because the narrative around the West supporting Israel is,
I'm afraid, part of the narrative that we are somehow
interfering in their world, we are taking over their lands,
interfering in their countries,
and I'm afraid I think this is going to...
I mean, we've already seen the violence on the television...
Can I quickly jump in and say that Trump did not make this decision
because of his son-in-law.
The Senate instructed him to do this as recently as June.
That is an American institution,
so before we just go around saying that Trump is speaking
to his cronies, let's remember,
when you are pushing back on this decision,
you're pushing back on American institutions, which is fine, but...
The US Presidents have pushed back on it since 1995.
Yes, my bigger point is I'm very uncomfortable with this idea
that the violence that is coming up around the world is...
I know you're not saying it's justified, but the assumption here
is that if the West didn't do X, then people would be less violent,
and I'm very concerned about that kind of rhetoric.
All right, hold on, everybody.
Thank you. Owen Smith.
I think it's terrifying,
and it pains me to say it, but the leader of one of our greatest,
most long-standing allies, is, I'm afraid to say, a bully
and a bigot, and someone who has made,
I think an extraordinarily crass intervention
in a part of the world that we know is incredibly difficult
and delicately balanced.
We've got violence on the screens of our televisions tonight
as a direct consequence of this intervention
by the President of the US.
Kate says he's been instructed to do it.
-This vote was taken initially in 1995...
-And as recently as June.
And successive US presidents,
mindful of the fact that America has a massively important role
to play as a neutral broker in the Middle East,
have chosen not to take this step
And Donald Trump, like a bull in a china shop,
like the way he approaches everything,
has charged in in order to feed his base and make good
on one of the other crass promises he made
during his leadership contest.
And he has, unfortunately, I think, destroyed America's ability
to engage under his presidency, and do what we need them to do,
which is to help bring about peace in the Middle East.
The woman up there, third row. The woman in the middle. Yes.
-Let's hear from you.
-I just wanted to actually lead on from that.
If American presidents haven't been kind of declaring
their support for Jerusalem being Israel's,
why is it that Trump's done that now, as in,
if... Like you said, why now?
There's just... It doesn't...
I don't understand personally, and I hope you can explain this more.
Why would he do this?
Why would he potentially cause further violence,
why would he potentially cause a further divide -
a divide that is just not necessary in such a divided world?
Is it possible that he's partly
-distracting from the Robert Mueller investigation?
I think it's because it's one of the foolish things
he promised during the election,
and he seems determined to make good on all of those crazy things.
He'll be genuinely building a wall next.
I think Owen is right, that this is basically an election promise.
I have... As I said, a broken clock is right twice a day -
I happen to think that in this case, he is moving forward with
-what American institutions have been calling for for decades.
None of this changes the fact that he is an incredibly dangerous
and bigoted man, but in terms of this particular topic,
I think we have to see the wood for the trees.
The man up there, then we'll go on to another question. Yes.
I think it's crazy somehow of Kate Andrews to suggest
that because she can't see a two-state solution in Palestine,
that we should just hand over the land...
-No, I can. No, sorry - I can.
-Let him make his point.
..when Jews, Christians and Muslims
have been living in Jerusalem for centuries together,
that somehow, we should legitimise the state of Israel,
and delegitimise the state of Palestine,
when Muslims have lived in Jerusalem for centuries,
peacefully and harmoniously with Israelis...
It's just crazy how the US can continue to support Israel,
when it's been stealing land from the Palestinians for decades,
stolen land from other countries, and now it's stealing Jerusalem.
-No, it's all right, Kate.
We must move on to another question.
Morgan Davies Walker, let's have your question. Morgan.
After the mass resignation of all members
of the Social Mobility Committee,
does the panel think that social class is still relevant today?
The mass resignation, on Sunday, I think it was,
of the Social Mobility Committee
that was in protest against
"Little evidence of meaningful action on social mobility,"
and they all resigned, both parties,
led by Alan Milburn of Labour - they all resigned together.
The question is, does the panel think social class
is still relevant, given what they've asserted. Richard Bacon.
Yes, it definitely is still relevant.
Social class has I think as big a...
Is as big a determinant now of where you end up
and how rich you end up as it has ever been.
I don't want to make the entire thing about Brexit,
but as a side note, Alan Milburn said that when they resigned,
he resigned from this committee, it was partly a sense
that it's not that the Government doesn't believe in this -
of course they do, and of course they want to do something about it -
but so much energy has gone towards Brexit
that there's not been enough energy put in towards this.
But when you look at the top of almost all major professions,
and you look at universities like Oxford,
that are taking in more kids from state schools,
but I think it's still around 40% that are from private school,
and only 7% of the population go to private school.
I think social class remains as big an issue
in the United Kingdom as it's ever been.
Well, of course, social mobility is very important.
But I just hazard a guess - how many people in this room
had ever heard of the Social Mobility Commission?
-But that's not...
-OK, A few.
-A few, but, I mean, a tiny handful.
The fact is, what really matters,
what really creates social mobility, is economic success.
It's having the highest rates of employment in this country
that we've ever had, the lowest rate of unemployment for 40 years.
87% of children in England, I am afraid to say - not in Wales -
are now attending good or outstanding schools.
There's just been some announcements about literacy in schools,
the introduction of phonics in schools has had a dramatic effect
on the reading ability of seven-year-olds.
-You mentioned universities.
There are more people from deprived backgrounds
going into universities than ever before.
This is real social mobility.
The introduction of the National Living Wage has raised...
So why did all these people resign, saying that the Government
is doing nothing about it, including Tories, not just Labour?
I think it's the fashion of having these commissions
and these tsars - they're a bit of a talking shop.
-They don't actually do anything - they just discuss things.
And I think governments getting on with stuff is much more important.
Too many experts, Owen?
Yeah, a little bit too much, too many experts,
let's just get on with the job.
Brexiteers have never been keen on the experts, as we know.
Well, the experts are so often wrong, that's why.
Well, in this case, one of the experts
was one of your former colleagues, Gillian Shephard,
who was a Tory Education Secretary for many, many years,
and she resigned as part of this mass resignation,
putting her name to...
You make it sound like some kind of political earthquake.
I'm afraid it really doesn't matter very much.
-Well, it matters to the questioner. Bring in Morgan.
-Can I just finish?
-No, let Morgan...
-Does it matter to you, Morgan?
-Where is he?
Um...I think that acknowledging social class
could be an important way to address the fact that some people
start from a position of privilege, and some people don't.
-I wish we'd just stop talking about class.
-Class isn't important.
That's because you haven't faced the oppression...
It doesn't matter where you've come from -
we should provide a country with opportunities.
Morgan, you tell him...
It's easy for you to say that we shouldn't talk about social class,
because you haven't had to experience the oppression
and the hardship that people
that are in the lower social classes have faced.
What I'm in politics for...
-What I'm in politics for...
-..is to give more people more opportunities.
Not to hold grudges about class.
Owen, I interrupted you.
I can't remember whether Bernard owns a castle or not, but...
-Oh, come on!
-I think it's quite big.
-I think class jibes are cheap.
Well, I think the reality, Bernard,
is the reason this is such a big story
is your Prime Minister, Theresa May, stood on the steps of Downing Street
upon assuming the Prime Minister job in this country,
and said that she thought social mobility
and solving the problems we've got socially...
And look - she's achieving it.
..was the biggest challenge she faced,
and the biggest thing she was determined to fix,
and to have her appointees -
the people who sit on the very commission that's designed to
measure whether she's achieving that objective - resign because
they think she's failing on every objective measure, is, I think,
a really damning indictment of your government.
I think this is a storm in a Westminster teacup.
400,000 more children are in absolute poverty in this country
under the Tories.
Oh, come on. I'm going to call you out on those figures.
They are missing every single target. It's a disaster, Bernard,
-and the reason people...
It's a disaster!
We cannot be on Question Time here this evening in Swansea, in Wales...
Swansea has not had any announcement on the tidal lagoon,
there is not an inch...
An inch of of electrification on the railways in Wales...
Of the devolved nations,
Wales receives the poorest level of funding.
We are seeing a situation where the south-east is overheating,
and yet HS2 is designed to draw more people into the south-east.
-And London is funded more than Wales per head...
Hang on, we're talking about social class, can you come to that?
I'm talking about regional equality.
But the question was about social class.
And regional equality and social class will be intimately entwined,
and I would remind, though,
that in Wales, it is Labour who have been responsible for education,
and if that is our route out, we need to develop it.
I agree with Richard and Morgan
that social class needs to be discussed more.
We often talk about gender discrimination,
and the ways that women in particular struggle
to move up the ladder, but I think that social class
is really just as strong of an argument.
But let's talk about what we can actually DO about this.
I mean, housing costs, particularly in England,
but across the board, are incredibly restrictive
in terms of who can access getting on the housing ladder.
Let's liberalise the planning system,
and bring the cost of housing down.
in England and Wales, over the past two decades, have risen by 50%
because of onerous regulation.
We can tackle that.
Childcare costs are some of the highest in the OECD here in the UK.
We can tackle that, we can make policy changes to put it forward,
but Richard was right - we do have this issue of a Brexit black hole,
where these issues that can be decided now in Westminster
get pushed to the back burner
because we can only talk about Brexit.
We need to be having this conversation,
and that will help tackle the issue of social class.
The woman in the second row there, yes.
Can I go back to what Bernard said?
You gave a percentage, 80+% for England.
It concerns me that you haven't got a percentage for Wales,
and even on the news yesterday,
there was a lot about education in Wales...
What was the percentage about?
87, was it? 87%, you gave?
87% for England, I'm afraid...
-Percentage of what?
You've lost it in your paperwork.
..children are now attending good or outstanding schools.
I'm afraid that's a much better percentage than in Wales.
So what is it for Wales?
And why is it not more concern and money being put into Wales?
I'm afraid the Labour Party run education in Wales,
and they've not been making the reforms we have in England.
We've just increased spending on education in Wales,
whereas you've cut capital spending in education at the Budget.
It hasn't... It hasn't increased, has it?
It's gone down.
£300 per pupil, it's gone down.
The woman in the third row.
Let's hear from you.
I was interested to find out what your plan is
to replace all of the funding that we used to get in South Wales
for our most deprived areas through the European Social Fund.
You missed the...
The European Social Fund were the last three words.
From the European Social Fund
and the European Regional and Structural funds,
there will be a UK Prosperity Fund.
Because once we've left the EU and are free of the payments to the EU,
we will actually have more money to spend in this country
than we had before.
We will no longer be making a net contribution to the European Union.
And there is no tradition of addressing inequality in the UK.
You must speak one at a time,
otherwise nobody can hear what either says.
-..the Budget gave an extra 1.2 billion to Wales.
Thank you very much.
I'm going to move on, because we've only got ten minutes or so left.
Martin Hennes, is it? Yes. Martin, please.
Should we allow anybody who has fought with Isis
back into the country?
Isis was mentioned when we were talking about Jerusalem,
and of course we had the new Defence Secretary saying,
"A dead terrorist can't cause any harm to Britain -
"we must continue to hunt them down."
Owen Smith. Should we allow anybody who's fought for Isis back here?
Well, I think Gavin Williams, the new Defence Secretary -
I don't know whether he was trying to just get a good headline
in the Daily Mail, but I did think it was a very immature
and slightly silly thing for him to say,
to suggest that we are effectively going to hunt down
and kill, or apparently kill people, if they come back to this country...
-No, he didn't say that - come on.
-I think that was the implication.
-No, it wasn't.
-What he actually said was....
-You're being a twit.
LAUGHTER AND BOOING
I think Gavin was being a twit when he said what he said.
I don't think he said he'd kill them in this country.
I think the implication of it was that they were going to be killed
wherever they were in the world, I think that's precisely what...
And that was precisely the policy
of your government when you were in office before 2010.
Sorry, what was precisely...?
It was precisely the policy.
You were using drones to kill terrorists,
even if they were British.
If they had sworn allegiance to another state,
or to something like Isis, they were going to get...
And I have nothing to object to there.
I think the reality is that if people are joining Isis,
and targeting British interests or British citizens,
they are legitimate targets, and they are, you know,
in danger, wherever they are, to be killed.
Should they be allowed back into this country, was the question.
Well, crucially, you can't deny people statehood,
can you, so if you are for example someone who's gone to fight
-in Syria and then...
Because legally, it's incredibly difficult to tell someone
that they are suddenly stateless.
-That of course implies that...
-Wait a second, wait a second...
..they need to stay in another country, or go somewhere else.
So it's a glib sound bite, which is why it was a very silly thing
for someone in a very serious position to say.
We aren't going to assassinate people upon coming back
to this country.
Are we going to assassinate people if they go to Turkey,
or other places where some of the people
who've fought in Syria have gone?
I don't think we are.
And equally, if people have laid down their arms,
and want to come back to this country,
we should arrest them,
they should go through due process, and we should rely on the law
to make sure that it that it looks after people, not assassination.
-Martin, what was in the back of your mind?
-Well, on my mind...
If I can protect my family, or anybody else's family,
I would do anything.
I would not lose a moment's sleep over any of them taken out anywhere.
APPLAUSE But hang on...
What about when they come back? To Britain?
-Don't allow them back through the borders.
-And do what with them?
Just... They can go wherever they like,
but they're not coming back into this country to make more trouble.
We have enough trouble with the ones we've got here.
Those who have voluntarily gone to another country,
they don't come back.
-Well, Martin, I do lose sleep over it,
but I think the problem is that, particularly the English,
the British people that go out to support Isis,
they actually do renounce their allegiance to this country.
They deny their citizenship of this country,
and if they have renounced their citizenship,
there comes a point when we're no longer responsible for them,
and if somebody wants to come back, and says,
"I have really turned", I mean, there is a difficult problem for us.
But I'm afraid, while they're out there, the danger is,
thousands have come back from these war zones intending to do us harm,
and it's all very well applying ultra-human rights and civil justice
to these people as though they were just ordinary criminals.
They're not - we are at war with these terrorists.
Sorry, no, hang on a second.
They should be arrested and incarcerated and processed.
What are you saying should happen?
Because you're obviously taking a different view from Owen.
In the end, we are still developing the law of conflict,
international conflict, where we are dealing with non-state actors.
Sorry, take as an example somebody who goes from a town in Britain -
we won't name one - has been out, fought in Syria,
and then comes back and arrives at the airport.
What would you do then?
-You're saying they don't have statehood?
-Clearly, they are a risk.
But you're saying they've relinquished their statehood?
And they have... If they've been fighting for Isis,
they have effectively relinquished their statehood.
And what would you do with them, then - send them where?
-Guantanamo Bay? What do you do?
-It's a big problem.
Well, you don't want to finish up with a legal black hole
-like Guantanamo Bay...
We put control orders on them, or whatever they're called now...
That's what I've just argued.
We track them, we incarcerate them sometimes...
But you ARE allowing them back.
You started saying you wouldn't allow them back,
and now you say you would.
We try not to let them in in the first place,
try and stop them coming back in the first place.
If you go to fight,
if you leave the town you referred to there and go to fight in Syria,
you know what you're doing, and you have rejected British values.
-There is no question about that.
-That's exactly right.
I think that alone is evidence of terrorism.
And I don't support killing British citizens abroad with drones,
which is what was proposed.
I don't understand how our government,
passionately against the death penalty,
can be in favour of using drones.
I think when you come back to the country, you've been to Syria,
that's evidence of terrorism.
-It's not a death penalty, it is a conflict.
-What, the drones aren't?
-They are in a conflict.
-Let me finish the point.
It's not a death penalty.
But I think you charge them, and attempt to put them in prison,
and I think this point about "a dead terrorist can't cause us any harm" -
actually, dead terrorists inspire martyrs,
and I think dead terrorists can cause more harm
than a living terrorist in prison.
Why do we think that meeting barbarism with barbarism
will result in civilising?
Let's go back to the Second World War.
The Nuremberg trials realised that to bring peace,
you must bring justice.
We will have blood feuds forever in the Middle East
unless we bring peace.
We will have martyrs back here,
it will be an incentive for people back here,
and let us remember that in 2007, Safer Neighbourhood teams of police
had six officers working in London.
Now, in Manchester, the murderer in Manchester was on the police radar.
We need to enforce our community policing
to make sure that we keep ourselves safe...
And would you allow anybody who's fought back into this country,
which was the question that was asked? Just briefly.
I have done work with the Yazidi community,
and they need to have justice done, for those women who were raped,
who saw their brothers and sons and husbands murdered,
we, as an international community,
with the International Criminal Court,
have a duty of justice for those people.
-Liz is completely right.
What separates everyone sitting in this room today
from the people who go off and fight for Isis,
who target children and rape women,
is that we respect human rights, and we respect the rule of law.
And if they don't make it back to Britain,
we're not going to shed a tear for them, but if they do,
they should be brought in, they should be tried,
they should have due process, they should feel the full weight
of their decisions on their shoulders,
-and they should be locked up for life.
Right, last... Um,
Last quick question, Joshua.
Does the panel envisage another general election
within the next six months?
That's back to the pantomime we began with!
All right, quickly round the table, start on the right.
I think it's unlikely.
I think there's no appetite for it, but I think the way things are going
for Theresa May, it's sort of...60/40, I'd put it at.
OK, we have to be quick, because we're running out...
All I've learnt in my short time in politics is six months from now,
-it will be completely different to what's happening now.
Thank you. Owen?
Tories are adept at hanging onto power,
they will hang on to the very last minute, I fear.
What, so you wouldn't try and unseat them at this stage?
We're definitely going to try and unseat them, but my point is,
they're very, very good, and very assiduous
when it comes to holding on.
You were going to have it for Christmas!
-Well, I'd like to say it, Bernard, but...
No, but I do think that Mrs May
may end up handing post-Brexit Britain to Jeremy Corbyn.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Round of applause!
I wasn't advocating for that - I just think that might happen.
They like that!
-I wasn't advocating for it, but it might happen.
-..your last shout, what do you think?
I think she's finding it difficult now to govern
without a parliamentary majority - she did always warn us
about a coalition of chaos, she just never said it would be with her!
Right, well, our hour is up, thank you very much.
Next Thursday, now,
questions are going to come from Barnsley in Yorkshire.
We've got on the panel, I think the former Education Secretary,
Nicky Morgan, who's now a key Remainer on the backbenches.
You sit apart on the backbench of the Tory party,
you saying one thing, and she saying another.
-I get on very well with Nicky.
-I'm sure you do,
but you disagree absolutely about almost every aspect of Brexit.
-Not every aspect - one or two things.
-One or two important things.
Anyway, Labour's Shadow Business Secretary
is going to be with us, too, Rebecca Long-Bailey,
and Professor Robert Winston, the scientist and broadcaster.
That is next Thursday, then there's a gap for Christmas,
then we'll be in Islington in London on January 11.
Now, if you can come to either of those programmes,
you'd be obviously extremely welcome to engage with our panel.
The number to call:
Or you can apply to the website - the address is on there,
and follow the instructions.
If you're listening to this, as many people do, in the bath,
on Radio 5Live, you know
Question Time Extra Time follows us,
with more discussion of all points we've been making,
but my thanks to our panel here, and to all of you who came to Swansea.
Until Thursday next, from Question Time, good night.
David Dimbleby presents topical debate from Swansea. The panel includes Conservative MP and member of the Vote Leave campaign Bernard Jenkin, the shadow secretary of state for Northern Ireland, Labour's Owen Smith MP, the leader of Plaid Cymru at Westminster, Liz Saville-Roberts MP, TV and radio presenter Richard Bacon and Kate Andrews of the Institute of Economic Affairs.