Andrew Neil and Marie Ashby with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Andrew discusses the Brexit bill with UKIP's Nigel Farage and Conservative MP Anna Soubry.
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It's Sunday morning and this is the Sunday Politics.
David Davis tells MPs to leave the Brexit bill untouched,
ahead of a week which could see Britain begin the process
We'll talk to a Tory rebel and Ukip's Nigel Farage.
Phillip Hammond's first budget hit the rocks thanks to a tax rise
But how should we tax those who work for themselves?
And remember Donald Trump's claim that Barack Obama had ordered
We'll talk to the former Tory MP who set the whole story rolling.
In the deed to kick-start the East Midlands
And joining me for all of that, three self-employed journalists
who definitely don't deserve a tax break.
It's Steve Richards, Julia Hartley-Brewer
They'll be tweeting throughout the programme with all the carefree
abandon of Katie Hopkins before a libel trial.
BBC lawyers have suddenly got nervous!
So first today, the government is gearing up to trigger Article 50,
perhaps in the next 48 hours, and start negotiating Britain's
Much has been written about the prospect of the Commons
getting a "meaningful vote" on the deal Britain negotiates.
Brexit Secretary David Davis was on the Andrew Marr programme
earlier this morning and he was asked what happens
Well, that is what is called the most favoured nation status deal
There we go out, as it were, on WTO rules.
That is why of course we do the contingency planning, to make
The British people decided on June the 23rd last year
My job, and the job of the government, is to make
the terms on which that happens as beneficial as possible.
There we have it, clearly, either Parliament votes for the deal when
it is done or it out on World Trade Organisation rules. That's what the
government means by a meaningful vote.
I think we get over obsessed about whether there will be a legal right
for Parliament to have a vote. If there is no deal or a bad deal, I
think it would be politically impossible for the government to
reject Parliament's desire for a vote because the atmosphere of
politics will be completely different by then. I take David
Davies seriously. Within Whitehall he has acquired a reputation as
being the most conscientious and details sadly... And well briefed.
Absolutely and well travelled in terms of European capitals of the
three Brexit ministers. It is quite telling he said what he did and it
is quite telling that within cabinet, two weeks ago he was
floating the idea of no deal at all. Being if not the central estimate
than a completely plausible eventuality. It is interesting. I
would suggest the prospect of no deal is moving up the agenda. It is
still less likely than more likely to happen. But it's no longer a kind
of long tail way out there in the distance. Planning for no deal is
the same as having contents insurance or travel insurance, plan
for the worse case scenarios are prepared it happens. Even the worst
case scenario, it's not that bad. Think of the Jeep 20, apart from the
EU, four members of the G20 economies are successful members of
the EU. The rest aren't and don't have trade deals but somehow these
countries are prospering. They are growing at a higher rate. You are
not frightened? Not remotely. We are obsessed with what we get from the
EU and the key thing we get from leaving the EU is not the deal but
the other deals we can finally make with other trading partners. They
have higher growth than virtually every other EU country apart from
Germany. It is sensible as a negotiating position for the
government to say if there is no deal, we will accept there is no
deal. We're not frightened of no deal. It was clear from what David
Davies was saying that there will be a vote in parliament at the end of
the process but there won't be a third option to send the government
back to try to get a better deal. It is either the deal or we leave
without a deal. In reality, that third option will be there. We don't
know yet whether there will be a majority for the deal if they get
one. What we do know now is that there isn't a majority in the
Commons for no deal. Labour MPs are absolutely clear that no deal is
worth then a bad deal. I've heard enough Tory MPs say the same thing.
But they wouldn't get no deal through. When it comes to this vote,
if whatever deal is rejected, there will then be, one way or another,
the third option raised of go back again. But who gets to decide what
is a bad deal? The British people will have a different idea than the
two thirds of the Remain supporting MPs in the Commons. In terms of the
vote, the Commons. Surely, if the Commons, which is what matters here,
if the Commons were to vote against the deal as negotiated by the
government, surely that would trigger a general election? If the
government had recommended the deal, surely the government would then, if
it still felt strongly about the deal, if the other 27 had said,
we're not negotiating, extending it, it would in effect become a second
referendum on the deal. In effect it would be a no-confidence vote in the
government. You've got to assume that unless something massively
changes in the opposition before then, the government would feel
fairly confident about a general election on those terms. Unless the
deal is hideously bad and obviously basso every vote in the country...
The prior minister said if it is that bad she would have rather no
deal. So that eventuality arrives. -- the Prime Minister has said. Not
a second referendum general election in two years' time. Don't put any
holidays for! LAUGHTER -- don't look any.
So the Brexit bill looks likely to clear Parliament this week.
That depends on the number of Conservative MPs who are prepared
to vote against their government on two key issues.
Theresa May could be in negotiations with our European
partners within days, but there may be some
wheeler-dealings she has to do with her own MPs, too.
Cast your mind back to the beginning of month.
The bill to trigger Article 50 passed comfortably
But three Conservatives voted for Labour's amendments to ensure
the rights of EU citizens already in the UK.
Seven Tory MPs voted to force the government to give Parliament
a say on the deal struck with the EU before it's finalised.
But remember those numbers, they're important.
On the issue of a meaningful vote on a deal, I'm told there might have
been more rebels had it not been for this assurance from
I can confirm that the government will bring forward a motion
on the final agreement to be approved by both Houses
And we expect, and intend, that this will happen before
the European Parliament debates and votes on the final agreement.
When the government was criticised for reeling back
from when and what it would offer a vote on.
The bill then moved into the Lords, where peers passed it
And the second, that Parliament be given a meaningful vote on the terms
of the deal or indeed a vote in the event of there
The so-called Brexit bill will return to Commons
Ministers insist that both amendments would weaken
the government's negotiating hand and are seeking to overturn them.
But, as ever, politics is a numbers game.
Theresa May has a working majority of 17.
On Brexit, though, it's probably higher.
At least six Labour MPs generally vote with
Plus, eight DUP MPs, two from the Ulster Unionist party
If all Conservatives vote with the government as well,
Therefore, 26 Conservative rebels are needed for the government to be
So, are there rough waters ahead for Theresa May?
What numbers are we looking at, in terms of a potential rebellion?
I think we're looking at a large number of people who are interested
This building is a really important building.
It's symbolic of a huge amount of history.
And for it not to be involved in this momentous time would,
But he says a clear verbal statement from the government on a meaningful
vote on any deal would be enough to get most Tory MPs onside.
It was already said about David Jones.
It's slightly unravelled a little bit during
I think this is an opportunity to really get that clarity
through so that we can all vote for Article 50 and get
We've have spoken to several Tory MPs who say they are minded to vote
One said the situation was sad and depressing.
The other said that the whips must be worried because they don't
A minister told me Downing Street was looking again at the possibility
of offering a vote in the event of no deal being reached.
But that its position was unlikely to change.
And, anyway, government sources have told the Sunday Politics they're not
That those Tory MPs who didn't back either amendment the first time
round would look silly if they did, this time.
It would have to be a pretty hefty lot of people changing their minds
about things that have already been discussed in quite a lot of detail,
last time it was in the Commons, for things to be reversed this time.
There's no doubt that a number of Tory MPs are very concerned.
Labour are pessimistic about the chances of enough Tory
rebels backing either of the amendments in the Commons.
The important thing, I think, is to focus on the fact
that this is the last chance to have a say on this.
If they're going to vote with us, Monday is the time to do it.
Assuming the bill does pass the Commons unamended,
it will go back to the Lord's on Monday night where Labour peers
have already indicated they won't block it again.
It means that the Brexit bill would become law and Theresa May
would be free to trigger Article 50 within days.
Her own deadline was the end of this month.
But one minister told me there were advantages to doing it early.
We're joined now from Nottingham by the Conservative MP Anna Soubry.
She's previously voted against the government on the question
of whether Parliament should have a final say over the EU deal.
Anna Soubry, I think it was clear this morning from David Davies that
what he means by meaningful vote is not what you mean by a meaningful
vote. He thinks the choice for Parliament would be to either vote
for the deal and if Parliament doesn't, we leave on World Trade
Organisation rules, on a bare-bones structure. In the end, will he
accept that in the Commons tomorrow? No, because my problem and I don't
think it is a problem, but my problem, the government's problem is
that what I want is then to answer this question. What happens in the
event of their not being any deal? David Davies made it very clear that
in the event of there being no deal, Parliament would have no say. It
means through your elected representatives, the people of this
country would have no say on what happens if the government doesn't
get a deal. I think the request that Parliament should have a say on
Parliamentary sovereignty, is perfectly reasonable. That is what I
want David to say. If he says that, I won't be rebelling. If he does...
They have refused to say that. Sorry. If he continues to say what
he said the BBC this morning, which means that the vote will be either
to accept the as negotiated or to leave on WTO rules, will you rebel
on that question but no, no, sorry, if there's a deal, Parliament will
have a say. So that's fine. And we will see what the deal is and we
will look at the options two years down the road. When who knows
what'll happen in our economy and world economy. That is one matter
which I am content on. The Prime Minister, a woman of her word has
said that in the event of a deal, Parliament will vote on any deal. I
don't difficulty. To clarify, I will come onto that. These are important
matters. I want to clarify, not argue with you. You are content that
if there is a deal, we will come under no deal in a second, but if
there is a deal, you are content with the choice of being able to
vote for that deal or leaving on WTO terms? No, you're speculating as to
what might happen in two years' time. What the options might be.
Personally I find it inconceivable that the government will come back
with a rubbish deal. They will either come back with a good deal,
which I won't have a problem with or they will come back with no deal. To
speculate about coming back with a deal, there is a variety of options.
I understand that that is what the Lord amendments are about. They are
about a vote at the end of the process. Do forgive me, the Lords
amendment is not the same that I've voted for in Parliament. What we
call the Chris Leslie amendment, which was talking about whatever the
agreement is, whatever happens at the end of the negotiations,
Parliament will have a vote. Parliament will have a say. The
Lords amendment is a bit more technical. It is the principle of no
deal that is agitating us. Let's clarify on this. They are
complicated matters. What do you want the government to say? What do
you want David Davis to say tomorrow on what should the Parliamentary
process should be if there is no deal? Quite. I want a commitment
from him that in the event of no deal, it will come into Parliament
and Parliament will determine what happens next. It could be that in
the event of no deal, the best thing is for us to jump off the cliff into
WTO tariff is. I find it unlikely but that might be the reality. There
might be other alternatives. Most importantly, including saying to the
government, go back, carry on. The question that everybody has to ask
is, why won't the government give My fear is what this is about is
asked deliberately, not the Prime Minister, but others deliberately
ensuring we have no deal and no deal pretty soon and in that event, we
jumped off the cliff onto WTO tariffs and nobody in this country
and the people of this country do not have a say. My constituents did
not vote for hard Brexit. You do not want the government to
have the ability if there is no deal to automatically fall back on the
WTO rules? Quite. It is as simple as that. We are now speculating about
what will happen in two years. I want to find out what happens
tomorrow. What will you do if you don't get that assurance? I will
either abstain, or I will vote to keep this amendment within the Bill.
I will either vote against my government, which I do not do
likely, I have never voted against my government until the Chris Leslie
clause when the Bill was going through, or I will abstain, which
has pretty much the same effect because it comes into the Commons
with both amendments so you have positively to vote to take the map.
Can you give us an idea of how many like-minded conservative colleagues
there are. I genuinely do not know. You must talk to each other. I do
not talk to every member of my party. You know people who are
like-minded. I do. I am not doing numbers games. I know you want that
but I genuinely do not know the figure. I think this is an
uncomfortable truth. People have to understand what has happened in our
country, two particular newspapers, creating an atmosphere and setting
an agenda and I think many people are rather concerned, some
frightened, to put their head over the parapet. There are many millions
of people who feel totally excluded from this process. Many of them
voted to remain. And they have lost their voice. We have covered the
ground I wanted to. We're joined now by the Ukip MEP
and former leader Nigel Farage. Article 50 triggered, we are leaving
the EU, the single market and the customs union. What is left you to
complain about? All of that will happen and hopefully we will get the
triggered this week which is good news. What worries me a little I'm
not sure the government recognises how strong their handers. At the
summit in Brussels, the word in the corridors is that we are prepared to
give away fishing waters as a bargaining chip and the worry is
what deal we get. Are we leaving, yes I am pleased about that. You are
under relevant voice in the deal because the deal will be voted on in
Parliament and you have one MP. You are missing the point, the real vote
in parliament is not in London but Strasbourg. This is perhaps the
biggest obstacle the British Government faces. Not what happens
in the Commons that the end of the two years, the European Parliament
could veto the deal. What that means is people need to adopt a different
approach. We do not need to be lobbying in the corridors of
Brussels to get a good deal, we need is a country to be out there talking
to the German car workers and Belgian chocolate makers, putting as
much pressure as we can on politicians from across Europe to
come to a sensible arrangement. It is in their interests more than
ours. In what way is the vision of Brexit set out by David Davis any
different from your own? I am delighted there are people now
adopting the position I argued for many years. Good. But now... Like
Douglas Carswell, he said he found David Davis' performers this morning
reassuring. It is. And just as when Theresa May was Home Secretary every
performance she gave was hugely reassuring. She was seen to be a
heroine after her conference speeches and then did not deliver. I
am concerned that even before we start we are making concessions. You
described in the EU's divorce bill demands, 60 billion euros is floated
around. You said it is laughable and I understand that. Do you maintain
that we will not have to pay a penny to leave? It is nine months since we
voted exit and assuming the trigger of Article 50, we would have paid 30
billion in since we had a vote. We are still members. But honestly, I
do not think there is an appetite for us to pay a massive divorce
Bill. There are assets also. Not a penny? There will be some ongoing
commitments, but the numbers talked about our 50, ?60 billion, they are
frankly laughable. I am trying to find out if you are prepared to
accept some kind of exit cost, it may be nowhere near 60 billion. We
have to do a net agreement, the government briefed about our share
of the European Union investment bank. Would you accept a
transitional arrangement, deal, five, ten billion, as part of the
divorce settlement? We are painted net ?30 million every single day at
the moment, ?10 billion plus every year. That is just our contribution.
We are going to make a massive saving on this. What do you make of
what Anna Soubry said, that if there is no deal, and it is being talked
about more. Maybe the government managing expectations. There is an
expectation we will have a deal, but if there is no deal, that the
government cannot just go to WTO rules, but it has to have a vote in
parliament? By the time we get to that there will be a general
election coming down the tracks and I suspect that if at the end of the
two-year process there is no deal and by the way, no deal is a lot
better for the nation than where we currently are, because we freed of
regulations and able to make our own deals in the world. I think what
would happen, and if Parliament said it did not back, at the end of the
negotiation a general election would happen quickly. According to reports
this morning, one of your most senior aides has passed a dossier to
police claiming Tories committed electoral fraud in Thanet South, the
seat contested in the election. What evidence to you have? I read that in
the newspapers as you have. I am not going to comment on it. Will you not
aware of the contents of the dossier? I am not aware of the
dossier. He was your election strategists. I am dubious as to
whether this dossier exists at all. Perhaps the newspapers have got this
wrong. Concerns about the downloading of data the took place
in that constituency, there are. Allegedly, he has refuted it, was it
done by your MP to give information to the Tories, do you have evidence
about? We have evidence Mr Carswell downloaded information, we have no
evidence what he did with it. It is not just your aide who has been
making allegations against the Conservatives in Thanet South and
other seats, if the evidence was to be substantial, and if it was to
result in another by-election being called an Thanet South had to be
fought again, would you be the Ukip candidate? I probably would. You
probably would? Yes. Just probably? Just probably. It would be your
eighth attempt. Winning seats in parliament under first past the post
is not the only way to change politics in Britain and I would like
to think I proved that. Let's go back to Anna Soubry. The implication
of what we were saying on the panel at the start of the show and what
Nigel Farage was saying there would be that if at the end of the process
whatever the vote, if the government were to lose it, it would provoke a
general election properly. I think that would be right. Let's get real.
The government is not going to come to Parliament with anything other
than something it believes is a good deal and if it rejected it, would be
unlikely, there would be a de facto vote of no confidence and it would
be within the fixed term Parliaments act and that be it. The problem is,
more likely, because of the story put up about the 50 billion, 60
billion and you look at the way things are flagged up that both the
Prime Minister and Boris Johnson saying, we should be asking them for
money back, I think the big fear and the fear I have is we will be
crashing out in six months. You think we could leave as quickly as
six months. Explain that. I think they will stoke up the demand from
the EU for 50, 60 billion back and my real concern is that within six
months, where we're not making much progress, maybe nine months, and
people are getting increasingly fed up with the EU because they are told
it wants unreasonable demands, and then the crash. I think what is
happening is the government is putting in place scaffolding at the
bottom of the cliff to break our fall when we come to fall off that
cliff and I think many in government are preparing not for a two-year
process, but six, to nine months, off the cliff, out we go. That is my
fear. That is interesting. I have not heard that express before by
someone in your position. I suspect you have made Nigel Farage's date.
It is a lovely thought. I would say to Anna Soubry she is out of date
with this. 40 years ago there was a good argument for joining the common
market because tariffs around the world was so high. That has changed
with the World Trade Organisation. We are leaving the EU and rejoining
a great big world and it is exciting. She was giving an
interesting perspective on what could happen in nine months rather
than two years. I thank you both. It was Philip Hammond's first
budget on Wednesday - billed as a steady-as-she-goes
affair, but turned out to cause uproar after the Chancellor appeared
to contradict a Tory manifesto commitment with an increase
in national insurance contributions. The aim was to address what some see
as an imbalance in the tax system, where employees pay
more National Insurance The controversy centres
on increasing the so-called class 4 rate for the self-employed who make
a profit of more than ?8,060 a year. It will go up in stages
from 9% to 11% in 2019. The changes mean that over one
and a half million will pay on average ?240 a year
more in contributions. Some Conservative MPs were unhappy,
with even the Wales Minister saying: "I will apologise to every
voter in Wales that read the Conservative manifesto
in the 2015 election." The Sun labelled Philip
Hammond "spite van man". The Daily Mail called the budget
"no laughing matter". By Thursday, Theresa May
said the government One of the first things I did
as Prime Minister was to commission Matthew Taylor to review the rights
and protections that were available to self-employed workers
and whether they should be enhanced. People will be able to look
at the government paper when we produce it, showing
all our changes, and take And, of course, the Chancellor will
be speaking, as will his ministers, to MPs, businesspeople and others
to listen to the concerns. Well, the man you heard mentioned
there, Matthew Taylor, has the job of producing
a report into the future Welcome. The Chancellor has decided
the self-employed should pay almost the same in National Insurance, not
the same but almost, as the employed will stop what is left of your
commission? The commission has a broader frame of reference and we
are interested in the quality of work in the economy at the heart of
what I hope will be proposing is a set of shifts that will improve the
quality of that work so we have an economy where all work is fair and
decent and all jobs give people scope for development and
fulfilment. The issue of taxes a small part. You will cover that? We
will, because the tax system and employment regulation system drive
particular behaviours in our labour market. You approve I think of the
general direction of this policy of raising National Insurance on the
self-employed. Taxing them in return perhaps for more state benefits. Why
are so many others on the left against it from Tim Farron to John
McDonnell? Tax rises are unpopular and it is the role of the opposition
parties to make capital from unpopular tax rises. I think as tax
rises go this is broadly progressive. There are self-employed
people on low incomes and they will be better off. It is economic league
rational because the reason for the difference in National Insurance --
economically. It was to do with state entitlements. The government
is consulting about paid parental leave. A series of governments have
not been good about thinking about medium sustainability of the tax
base. Self-employment is growing. But it is eroding the tax base. It
is important to address those issues. A number of think tanks have
said this is a progressive move. Yet, a number of left-wing
politicians have been against it. And a number of Tories have said
this is a progressive move and not a Tory government move, the balance of
you will pay more tax, but you will get more state benefits is not a
Tory approach to things. That a Tory approach will be you will pay less
tax but entitled to fewer benefits as well.
I preferred in and policies to politics -- I prefer policies. When
people look at the policy and when they look the fact that there is no
real historical basis for that big national insurance differential,
they see it is a sensible policy. I don't have to deal with the
politics. There has been a huge growth in self-employment from the
turn of the millennium. It's been strongest amongst older workers,
women part-timers. Do you have any idea, do you have
the data in your commission that could tell us how many are taking
self-employment because they like the flexibility and they like the
tax advantages that come with it, too, or they are being forced into
it by employers who don't want the extra costs of employment? Do we
know the difference? We do, broadly. Most surveys on self-employment and
flexible forms of employment suggest about two thirds to three quarters
enjoy it, they like the flexibility, they like the autonomy and about a
third to one quarter are less happy. That tends to be because they would
like to have a full-time permanent job. It is not necessary that they
don't enjoy what they are doing, they would like to do other things.
And some of the protections that come with it? Yes. There are some
people who are forced into southern employees by high-risk but also some
people feel like they can't get a proper job as it were. --
self-employment by people who hire them. It is on the narrow matter of
tax revenues but if you are employed on ?32,000 the state will take over
?6,000 in national insurance contributions, that is quite chunky.
If you are self-employed it is ?2300. But the big difference
between those figures isn't what the employee is paying, it's the
employer's contributions up to almost 14%, and cupped for as much
as you are paid. What do you do about employers' contributions for
the self employed? -- it is uncapped for as much. What I recommend is
that we should probably move from taxing employment to taxing labour.
We should probably have a more level playing field so it doesn't really
matter... Explained that I thought it was the same thing. If you are a
self-employed gardener, you are a different tax regime to a gardener
who works for a gardening firm. On the individual side and on the firm
side. As we see new business models, so-called gig working, partly with
technology, we need a more level playing field saying that we're
taxing people's work, not the form in which they deliver that. That is
part of the reason we have seen the growth of particular business
models. They are innovative and creative and partly driven by the
fact that if you can describe yourself as self-employed there are
tax advantages. Coming out in June? Will you come back and talk to us?
Yes. We say goodbye to viewers
in Scotland, who leave us now Coming up here in 20 minutes,
we'll be talking to the former Tory MP who was the root
of Donald Trump's allegation In the East Midlands: There's
a boost for the region Spreadsheet Phil unveils his plans
to kick start the Midlands Engine, with thousands of jobs
and billions invested. I know that the East Midlands is a
powerhouse of small business across these midlands, Nottingham,
Leicester, huge centres of successful entrepreneurial small
businesses and we are backing them all the way.
And an overhaul of qualifications, will the new T levels give
students the work skills to boost our economy?
Last year I went on site and I wasn't confident at all doing what I
was doing but now there is a split and I'm learning and working it has
definitely boosted my confidence. My guests this week,
Heather Wheeler is the Conservative MP for South Derbyshire
and Lilian Greenwood is Labour's MP Welcome. Understandably, the Budget
news. Heather, you cannot be feeling news. Heather, you cannot be feeling
too comfortable at the backlash to your back's party's changes to
self-insurance. There are two fax to that. One is
that it is a separate peace to the budgets of it is not voted on when
we vote on the Budget, it is noted in the autumn and the rhythmic in
between there is a consultation so many fears will be allayed in the
consultation before the autumn. consultation before the autumn.
So it might not happen? It is not popular. Their fears will
be allayed because there has been a lot of nonsense over this. 60% of
people who are stubborn pride will not be any worse off whatsoever. And
it is amazing how that figure has not been brought up by the media.
Ultimately, if the rich pay the rich pay.
It is about fairness. If your figures are about 40% will be worse
off. If you are earning more than
?100,000 you can afford it. Heather is putting a very kind gloss
on what has been an absolute disaster for the Chancellor and the
Government. They promised in their manifesto just 18 months ago, that
they were not going to increase national insurance contributions and
now hard-working self-employed people start ups, people running
small businesses are finding that they are going to see an increase in
the national insurance contributions.
Many would say it seems to make sense to equalise national Insurance
contributions. As I say, people are seeing a broken
promise from this Tory Government. And it comes in... You did not say
any of that eight months ago. Jeremy Corbyn did not say that.
In the last election campaign when reporters from the Tory party saying
that Ed Miliband was going to be dug National Insurance contribution due
promise not to put up national insurance contributions that is
precisely what you have done. USA your party agrees that is the
hardest thing for people to swallow is a broken promise.
This change is coming at a low level there are going to hit people in
changes that they were not expecting pass money has been given away in in
changes to inheritance tax, corporation tax, this is a choice
that this Government are making and you can see how unpopular it is
proving. Clearly I do not agree. Since the
election apart from anything else we've got the referendum and we got
Brexit, things change. But more than that we passed a new act since the
18 months of the election and national insurance contributions
change then, national insurance and change then, national insurance and
abuse and is changing now. So nobody screamed and squealed then.
The Chancellor took time off from the row over National Insurance
to finally kick start the Midlands Engine.
After years of playing second fiddle to the Northern Powerhouse,
Phillip Hammond announced the region would get almost ?400 million
for the project which is aiming to create 300,000 jobs.
And he wasn't the only one handing out the cash -
government ministers flocked to the region to announce big hand
Here's our Political Editor Tony Roe.
The Chancellor is known as spreadsheet fell because of his love
of planning. This wiki unveils some big plans for the Midlands. Top of
his agenda, heated to the stage in Dudley to formally launch the
Midlands engine with the promise of ?392 million.
I'll tell you the good news. I used to live in Nottingham is when I talk
about the Midlands don't just think about the West Midlands grinder that
the East Midlands is a powerhouse of small business. Nottingham,
Leicester, huge centres of successful entrepreneurial small
businesses and we are backing them all the way.
The focus returned to the East Midlands were local Government
minister was at the space centre to announce list of Leicester and
package worth ?26 million including package worth ?26 million including
The space industry SA huge sector The space industry SA huge sector
and one that is growing very quickly. And the Government through
its industrial strategy and enterprise it as an area where we
high-value jobs to the economy and high-value jobs to the economy and
he relaxed they are at the forefront of that sector that is why we are
backing the project that the local enterprise partnership put forward.
A few moments later Andrew Percy was in Sherwood Forest play Robin Hood
and handing out ?63 million to the poor. Well, to the enterprise
partnership to be exact. At the million included for a new visitor
centre here. Daddy the governments pick winners
between different regions of the country is nonsense. Of course we
are investing in these Midlands as we are investing in other areas
because we're genuine when we say one to create an economy that does
work for everybody. Derby will get ?11 million to help
with the regeneration of the city centre and Nottingham will get 10
million towards the ?150 million free vamp of their broad March.
That is not the end of the spending, though. Back there's Loughborough
motorway. It regularly gets motorway. It regularly gets
congested so they are going to spend ?12 million improving the roads
around here. That is going to free up land for 4000 new homes. It is
all part of improving the infrastructure, the Midlands connect
part of the Midlands engine. The Government wants to increase
productivity, part of what is holding the region and the nation
back is other transport system. Clogged roads, slowing us down
costing time and money. It can be tiring at times because of
locations in the local area which locations in the local area which
could do with improvement. So long-term plans to invest in road
and rail is good for business. It will reduce traffic on the road
for us and it will give us greater accuracy in our delivery times for
our customers. We run our trucks 24 hours a
night and day and we have a lot of night and day and we have a lot of
deliveries. Any delays have a knock-on effect on by the end of the
day we end up having bit more vehicles on the road to cover the
jobs we have covered the got. The ultimate prize will be a 34
million published the economy and 300,000 new jobs. For years there
has been talk of the Midlands engine but not much sign of action. For the
chance of this was the wheat from the boxes for boosting this region's
economy began to be ticked. The challenge now will be to make it run
Of course. It is good they are the moment we exist. A lot of this money
is re-spending money that has a ready been announced but certainly
it is welcome. I think there are two issues for me. We're hearing about
millions of pounds now but we know that our local authorities have lost
many many times more over the last few years will stop Nottingham City
Council has lost ?82 million in the last four years and that makes it
difficult to do things like maintaining the roads and naturally
that leads to problems. Of course our number one transport priority
for the region has been the electrification of Midland mainline.
That is ready been delayed by four years and now we know that its
future is in doubt. Yes, it is welcome. Is it in doubt?
Why is the Government holding back from letting us know where you stand
on it? Where is the funding? If you
actually read the Midlands connect brochure it is in their front and
centre. So your Government is fully
Absolutely. Why wouldn't the Absolutely. Why wouldn't the
Minister commit to it being completed by 2023 when I challenged
him at the last transport questions? You know very well but we have a
number of Victorian bridges that are going to need major lift up because
of the extra amount for the electric cables. It is huge.
So it was met at the 2019 and it has been delayed by four years there is
no commitment from rail Minister for it to be completed as promised.
It is in the brochure. Please read it. Let's talk about the
deals on the table this week. Is it enough cash your body Midlands
engine? The northern powerhouse got ?556 million back in January. There
work done in our region. work done in our region.
Is it you not? Of course not apart Is it you not? Of course not apart
from anything else you know that we've got HS2 coming and believe it
or not that means it comes to the Midlands report gets to the not so
there is a huge amount of money being spent. The regeneration, we
have been waiting years to get that apple. That is ?4.4 million that the
Government allocated to that. We've got to buy ?2 million for the Draco
bridge between South Derbyshire and Burton. All these pins point that
are going to be sorted out. There were a lot of bandwidth.
Our infrastructure has been a problem. So we're doing it down. All
you can say is, fantastic new Prime Minister.
What else would I need to say? There are details whichever alludes to
that will make a big difference here in the East Midlands will. Also the
funding to rebuild the assembly rooms in Derby, improving the broad
Marsh area as you know which is long overdue. Even better road junctions
around Loughborough. 20 needed to become it is going to be done out.
As I said, it is welcome that almost seven years later the Government
have remembered that the Midlands exist and have thrown some money at
the problem. It pales into insignificance besides the sort of
cuts that our local authorities, local transport authorities had to
deal with. The matter what Heather says there is no certainty about
electrification. About that, all the talk about making us HS2 ready. If
we cannot run classic compatible services by having an electrified
Midland Bay Mabel will not be able to reap the full benefits. At the
same time as we're trying to prepare for jobs and growth we are facing
all the uncertainty that Brexiters going to mean for our region.
I just think that as usual, we only have negative things from Labour. We
don't have anything about the positives. We're going to talk about
education tribal leader for Ben. But there is so much about the way
businesses have approached Government and said this bit here we
need fixing. This bit here we need fixing and we have listened.
Is this part of the post-Brexit plan? It is because it is about
making us that the global Britain and be looking wider than our
neighbours in Europe because that is what I think people demand a bus.
And that is what we want to do. As this is vital to our incredibly
worried about what the future will hold, particularly manufacturing
businesses who want to be part of the customs union and were worried
about being able to attract and became skilled staff. A huge amount
of uncertainty and I think it is far from clear that the Government has
properly addressed the answers. It hardly even got a mention in the
Budget because the Government know that they are creating huge
difficulties. There is an interesting feature.
growth are India, China, the US, growth are India, China, the US,
Africa, the Middle East. Note you countries. Is this how it is going
to look in the future? It is the way we have to look. Look
at the economy of Europe. It is shrinking so why on earth would you
make companies insist that they grow their marketing Europe won't as a
to look to the countries that are to look to the countries that are
expanding. When you have got to Ghana and places like that with a
GDP going up 6%, of course that's GDP going up 6%, of course that's
where you want your businesses to talk about exporting to. The idea of
us not been prepared to do free trade agreement around the world,
the spoke deals, we are absolutely ready and up for it.
Time to give up on the EU? Those are our nearest neighbours, they are our
major trading partners. It would be crazy to think about giving up on
companies in the east Midlands who companies in the east Midlands who
rely on being able to export from the EU we know we need to get the
closest possible ties, albeit that the Government have already thrown
away without even the negotiations having started, membership of the
having started, membership of the single market.
If we are to boost our economy, improving the skills among
The region has traditionally lagged behind much of the rest
of the country when it comes to a skilled workforce and suffers
Now the government's launching a new qualification.
"T levels " will concentrate on providing more vocational
training for students to try to boost productivity
Here's our political reporter, Wesley Mallin.
Get any group of people together from the technical and engineering
or construction industries and eventually the conversation will
turn to the skills gap. Bridging that gap means starting with the
younger generation and human Derby younger generation and human Derby
the students are getting a hands-on introduction to construction at an
event aimed at getting more women into the industry.
You should do more days like this to encourage girls to get into
construction. People do prefer women going into the house is bonanza I
think it is helpful that I could be a construction worker.
It really encouraged me as a female to go into the construction industry
as it shows that the mouse can do it as much as males can do.
Businesses say we need more people doing more vocational work back
two-way across-the-board. The Government announced it was bringing
in T levels alongside A-levels but with a greater concentration on
teaching skills that lead directly into employment for subjects
including business skills, digital T levels and construction.
The new qualifications, think it puts digital skill sets that all
forefront of educational attainment. forefront of educational attainment.
And certainly other members have very much welcomed and the new fund
that is clearly going to support that.
There will be 15 subjects for students to choose from, replacing
more than 13,000 courses at the moment. The amount of time spent
training will go up by 50%. The technical group relaxed we be
more fit for purpose and will enable young people to either going to work
more ready, because they've had such a large amount of practical
experience all take the pension route.
Katie is an apprentice bricklayer who is enjoying combining studying
with practical work. Last year I went on site and I
wasn't confident at doing what I was doing. But now there is a spit and
I'm learning and working. It is definitely boosting my confidence
and it is good. The new qualifications, ?500 million
of funding from the higher education of funding from the higher education
sector. Critics say it has been hard-hit by cuts and more is needed
to invest in facilities and prevent colleges from closing causes. The
Government insists it is a radical overhaul that will boost
overhaul that will boost the economy.
Is this shake-up wise women know your Government is under attack from
teachers who say they are struggling with a reduced curriculum and
increased class sizes? That is an interesting take on
something that is unbelievably positive and for the future for our
children. We know that we needed to up skill are children. We know that
in the East Midlands, historically, for years we are not done well
enough by four children. Again, businesses have been crying out for
us to do this. This has been done in partnership with local colleges and
businesses in the training is just going to be absolutely excellent for
them. Not just hands-on style but really high-tech, high technology
stuff. We ought to look at what stuff. We ought to look at what
Germany has been doing for years, you have a skill set that has high
esteem in their communities. Why would we not want to do that as
well? We lag behind some of our European
neighbours. There is ?500 million of funding for this. That has got to be
welcomed, hasn't it? It is welcome there is now an
investment coming in technical education. You might ask why to take
on the Government six and a half years to notice that this was
something that needed to be done because actually, 16 - 18 education
has been incredibly hard hit with cuts and whilst the 500 million is
welcome, that might does even start coming through until 2018. But we
have to seize on the wider context wishes our schools under funding,
pressures as never before. Children are being pushed into a very
academic curriculum there has been a terrible failure to get careers
advice to those young people. If we wanted to be able to choose a
technical education and to give that proper standards then we need to
deal with the wider context as well. And that is what you were alluding
to. It all links back to the Midlands engine and the need to
improve skills in our region and the report which came out this week
actually said that in these Midlands only 32% of the workforce have
degrees. The national average is 37%. Education is clearly keen we
are to our productivity. What I find really interesting is
when you go round all of the schools, and we do this all the
enterprise partnerships, how they enterprise partnerships, how they
link in the businesses with education. We've got... I'm really
lucky. I've got to good colleges and they're so good at what they channel
the kids towards. Proper apprenticeships, really good quality
training and then the apprentice ship that go all the way up through
to doing degrees as an apprentice. That is Nirvana.
You have concerns about underfunding and other areas in education. Do you
think that this will help productivity, these are T levels?
The emphasis on vocational training? All the emphasis is on young people
and frankly we want to invest in the next generation but what we are in
danger of missing is the huge skills gap for loss of the existing
workforce. ?40 million to put in to look at how to address lifelong
learning and that is so inadequate. We need to up skill all of our
workforce. If we're going to face the challenges that we are going to
happen as a result of leaving the European Union. So it is just too
little too late. How would you do that with the money
that is available and the bees also that are available?
Some of that is about providing sufficient resources looking at the
skills needs of the whole workforce. And providing opportunities for
everybody to up so that they can meet what employers are demanding
and they will have two. Employers are really worried about how they
are going to recruit the workers of the future if they cannot access
European union workers. I think that is absolutely spurious
and a complete red herring. If you go around companies like Nestle, and
the company in Hatton has grown from 200 pupils nearly 1000 people, they
are taking apprentices at all ages. And that is wonderful that somebody
coming in a 45 balls they, do you know what question of this is what I
want to learn. And Nestle are prepared to invest in them.
And Nestle are prepared to invest in them.
Time now for a round up of some of the other political stories
Commercial vehicles like buses, lorries and taxis with older diesel
engines may be tried for entering Derby city centre. The Government
has said Derby City Council has to cut emissions by 2020. The council
cabinet will discuss plans for a clean air next week. Surgeons
performing children's heart operations at Glenfield Hospital in
Leicester have come up with a solution they hope could keep the
unit open. Doctors want other hospitals to refer its patients to
Glenn Field's congenital heart unit which has the lowest waiting list in
the country. Not a Nottinghamshire could be in for an unexpected boost
from the Budget. The Chancellor announced funding to promote the
400th anniversary of the Pilgrim Fathers arriving in America. Some
came from our region. Lillian Greenwood is spending how weekends
with the region's emergency services. She's going out on the
front line with 999 crews to understand first-hand the they face.
How did you find it? How did you learn? One of the good
things is that it was a relatively quiet couple of shifts which was not
as exciting for me but I guess that was good for people in Nottingham
but I guess I saw our staff are incredibly dedicated, they are well
prepared to deal with the situation and they're dealing with change,
which is doing a lot more preventative work, helping people
with home safety checks, it is really useful.
I would love to go out. Other local fire brigade are amazing, absolutely
amazing. They might take you up on it.
That's the Sunday Politics in the East Midlands,
thanks to Lilian Greenwood and Heather Wheeler.
Next week Amanda Solloway and Willy Bach will be here.
Now the government plans for new grammar schools.
The Education Secretary Justine Greening was
speaking to a conference of headteachers on Friday.
They're normally a pretty polite bunch, but they didn't
Broadcasters weren't allowed into the speech,
but this was captured on a camera phone.
And we have to recognise actually for grammars, in terms of
disadvantaged children, that they have, they really
do help them close the attainment gap.
And at the same time we should recognise that
..That parents also want choice for their children and that
those schools are often very oversubscribed.
I suppose it is a rite of passage for and education secretaries to
have this at a head teachers conference book the head are usually
more polite. Isn't part of the problem, whether one is for or
against the expansion of grammar schools, the government plans are
complicated, you cannot sum them up in a sentence. The proof of that is
they can still get away with denying they are expanding grammar schools.
They will find an alternative formulation because it is not as
simple as a brute creation of what we used to know is grammar schools
with the absolute cut-off of the 11 plus. I am surprised how easy they
found it politically. We saw the clip of Justine Greening being
jeered a little bit but in the grand scheme, compared to another
government trying this idea a decade ago they have got away with it
easily and I think what is happening is a perverse consequence of Brexit
and the media attention on Brexit, the government of the day can just
about get away with slightly more contentious domestic policies on the
correct assumption we will be too busy investing our attention in
Article 50 and two years of negotiations, WTO terms at
everything we have been discussing. I wonder if after grammar schools
there will be examples of contentious domestic policies
Theresa May can slide in stock because Brexit sucks the life out,
takes the attention away. You are a supporter. Broadly. Are you happy
with the government approach? They need to have more gumption and stop
being apologetic. It is a bazaar area of public policy where we judge
the policy on grammar schools based on what it does for children whose
parents are unemployed, living on sink estates in Liverpool. It is
absurd, we don't judge any other policy like that. It is simple, not
contentious, people who are not sure, ask them if they would apply
to send their child there, six out of ten said they would. Parents want
good schools for their children, we should have appropriate education
and they should be straightforward, this is about the future of the
economy and we need bright children to get education at the highest
level, education for academically bright children. It is supposed to
be a signature policy of the Theresa May administration that marks a
government different from David Cameron's government who did not go
down this road. The signature is pretty blurred, it is hard to read.
It is. She is trying to address concerns about those who fail to get
into these selective schools and tried to targeted in poorer areas
and the rest of it. She will probably come across so many
obstacles. It is not clear what form it will take in the end. It is
really an example of a signature policy not fully thought through. I
think it was one of her first announcements. It was. It surprised
everybody. Surprised at the speed and pace at which they were planning
to go. Ever since, there have been qualifications and hesitations en
route with good cause, in my view. I disagree with Juliet that this is...
We all want good schools but if you don't get in there and you end up in
a less good school. They already do that. We have selection based on the
income of parents getting into a good catchment area, based on the
faith of the parents. That becomes very attainable! I might been too
shot run christenings for these. -- I have been.
Now, you may remember this time last week we were talking
about the extraordinary claims by US President Donald Trump,
on Twitter of course, that Barack Obama had ordered
And there was me thinking that wiretaps went out
Is it legal for a sitting President to do so, he asked,
concluding it was a "new low", and later comparing it to Watergate.
Since then, the White House has been pressed to provide evidence for this
It hasn't, but it seems it may have initially come from a report on a US
website by the former Conservative MP Louise Mensch.
She wrote that the FBI had been granted a warrant to intercept
communications between Trump's campaign and Russia.
Well, Louise Mensch joins us now from New York.
Louise, you claimed in early November that the FBI had secured a
court warrants to monitor communications between trump Tower
in New York at two Russian banks. It's now four months later. Isn't it
the case that nobody has proved the existence of this warrant?
First of all, forgive me Andrew, one takes 1's life in one's hand when it
is you but I have to correct your characterisation of my reporting. It
is very important. I did not report that the FBI had a warrant to
intercept anything or that Trump tower was any part of it. What I
reported was that the FBI obtained a warrant is targeted on all
communications between two Russian banks and were, therefore, allowed
to examine US persons in the context of their investigation. What the
Americans call legally incidental collection. I certainly didn't
report that the warrant was able to intercept or that it had location
basis, for example Trump tower. I just didn't report that. The reason
that matters so much is that I now believe based on the President's
reaction, there may well be a wiretap act Trump Tower. If so,
Donald Trump has just tweeted out evidence in an ongoing criminal case
that neither I nor anybody else reported. He is right about
Watergate because he will have committed obstruction of justice
directly from his Twitter account. Let me come back as thank you for
clarifying. Let me come back to the question. -- and thank you. We have
not yet got proof that this warrant exists, do we? No and we are most
unlikely to get it because it would be a heinous crime for Donald Trump
to reveal its existence. In America they call it a Glomar response. I
can neither confirm nor deny. That is what all American officials will
have to say legally. If you are looking for proof, you won't get it
until and unless a court cases brought. But that doesn't mean it
doesn't exist. The BBC validated this two months after me in their
reporting by the journalist Paul Wood. The Guardian, they also
separately from their own sources validated the existence of the
warrant. If you are in America, you would know that CNN and others are
reporting that the investigation in ongoing. Let me come onto the wider
point. You believe the Trump campaign including the president
were complicit with the Russians during the 2016 election campaign to
such an extent that Mr Trump should be impeached. What evidence did you
have? That is an enormous amount of
evidence. You could start with him saying, hey, Russia, if you are
listening, please release all the Hillary Clinton's e-mails. That's
not evidence. I think it rather is, actually. Especially if you look at
some of the evidence that exists on Twitter and elsewhere of people
talking directly to his social media manager, Dan should be no and
telling him to do that before it happened. There is a bit out there.
The BBC itself reported that in April of last year, a six agency
task force, not just the FBI, but the Treasury Department, was looking
at this. I believe there is an enormous amount of evidence. And
then there is the steel dossier which was included in an official
report of the US intelligence committee. You've also ... Just to
be clear, we don't have hard evidence yet whether this warrant
exists. It may or may not. There is doubt about... There are claims
about whether there is evidence about Mr Trump and the Russians.
That is another matter. You claimed that President Putin had Andrew
Breitbart murdered to pave the way for Steve Bannon to play a key role
in the Trump administration. I haven't. You said that Steve Bannon
is behind bomb threats to Jewish community centres. Aren't you in
danger of just peddling wild conspiracy theories? No. Festival, I
haven't. No matter how many times people say this, it's not going to
be true -- first of all. I said in twitter I believe that to be the
case about the murder of Andrew Breitbart. You believe President
Putin murdered him. I didn't! You said I reported it, but I believed
it. You put it on twitter that you believed it but you don't have a
shred of evidence. I do. Indeed, I know made assertions. What is the
evidence that Mr Putin murdered Andrew Breitbart? I said I believe
it. You may believe there are fairies at the bottom of your
garden, it doesn't make it true. I may indeed. And if I say so, that's
my belief. If I say I am reporting, as I did with the Fisa warrant
exists, I have a basis in fact. They believe is just a belief. I know you
are relatively new to journalism. Let me get the rules right. Andrew,
jealousy is not your colour... If it is twitter, we don't believe it but
if it is on your website, we should believe it? If I report something
and I say this happened, then I am making an assertion. If I describe a
belief, I am describing a belief. Subtlety may be a little difficult
for you... No, no. If you want to be a journalist, beliefs have to be
backed up with evidence. Really? Do you have a faith? It's not a matter
of faith, maybe in your case, that President Putin murdered Andrew
Breitbart. A belief and a report at two different things and no matter
how often you say that they are the same, they will never be the same.
You've said in today's Sunday Times here in London that you've turned
into" a temporary superpower" where you "See things really clearly".
Have you become delusional? No. I am describing a biological basis for
ADHD, which I have. As any of your viewers who are doctors will know.
It provides people with unfortunately a lot of scattered
focus, they are very messy and absent-minded but when they are
interested in things and they have ADHD they can have a condition which
is hyper focus. You concentrate very hard on a given subject and you can
see patterns and connections. That is biological. Thank you for
explaining that. And for getting up early in New York. The first time
ever I have interviewed a temporary superpower. Thank you. You are so
lucky! You are so lucky! I don't think it's going to happen again.
Please don't ask us to comment on that interview! I will not ask you,
viewers will make up their own minds. Let's come back to be more
mundane world of Article 50. Stop the killing!
Will it get through at the government wanted it? Without the
Lords amendment falling by the way that? I am sure the Lord will not
try to ping-pong this back and forth. So we are at the end of this
particular legislative phase. The fact that all three Brexit Cabinet
ministers, number ten often don't like one of them going out on a
broadcast interview on a Sunday, they've all been out and about. That
suggests to me they are working on the assumption it will be triggered
this week. This week. The negotiations will begin or at least
the process begins. The negotiation process may be difficult, given all
of the European elections. The Dutch this week. And then the French and
maybe the Italians and certainly the Germans by the end of September,
which is less predictable than it was. Given all that, what did you
make of Anna Soubry's claim, Viacom on her part, that we may just end up
crashing out in six months question -- fear on her part. It was not just
that that we made that deliberately organising. I want us to get on with
the deals. Everyone knows a good deal is the
best option. Who knows what is going to be on the table when we finally
go out? Fascinatingly, the demand for some money back, given the
amount of money... Net gains and net costs in terms of us leaving for the
EU. It is all to play for. That will be a possible early grounds for a
confrontation between the UK and the EU. My understanding is that they
expect to do a deal on reciprocal rights of EU nationals, EU nationals
here, UK citizens there, quite quickly. They want to clear that up
and that will be done. Then they will hit this problem that the EU
will be saying you've got to agree the divorce Bill first before we
talk about the free trade bill. David Davis saying quite clearly,
no, they go together because of the size of the bill. It will be
determined, in our part, by how good the access will be. The mutual
recognition of EU residents' rights is no trouble. A huge amount of fuss
is attracted to that subject but it is the easiest thing to deal with,
as is free movement for tourists. Money is what will make it
incredibly acrimonious. Incredibly quickly. I imagine the dominant
story in the summer will be all about that. This was Anna Soubry's
implication, members of the governors could strongly argue,
things are so poisonous and so unpleasant at the moment, the
dealers are advancing -- members of the government. Why not call it a
day and go out on WTO terms while public opinion is still in that
direction in that Eurosceptic direction? No buyers' remorse about
last year's referendum. The longer they leave it, view more opportunity
there is for some kind of public resistance and change of mind to
take place. The longer believe it, the more people who voted for Brexit
and people who voted Remain and think we didn't get world War three
will start being quite angry with the EU for not agreeing a deal. In
terms of the rights of EU nationals he and Brits abroad, by all
accounts, 26 of the 27 have agreed individually. Angela Merkel is the
only person who has held that up. That will be dealt with in a matter
of days. The chances of a deal being done is likely but in ten seconds...
It would not be a bad bet to protect your on something not happening, you
might get pretty good odds? The odds are going up that a deal doesn't
happen. But, as I said earlier, the House of Commons will not endorse no
deal. We are either in an early election or she has to go back
again. Either way, you will need us! We will be back at noon tomorrow on
BBC Two ahead of what looks like being a big week in politics. We
will be back here same time, same place.
Remember, if it's Sunday, it's the Sunday Politics.
Andrew Neil and Marie Ashby with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Andrew discusses the Brexit bill with UKIP's Nigel Farage and Conservative MP Anna Soubry. Guests include Matthew Taylor of the Independent Review of Employment Practices and journalist Louise Mensch. On the political panel are Janan Ganesh, Julia Hartley-Brewer and Steve Richards.