Andrew Neil and Marie Ashby are joined by shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth MP, former Conservative Party leader Lord Michael Howard and John Curtice.
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It's Sunday Morning and this is the Sunday Politics.
The Government has insisted that Gibraltar will not be bargained
But the territory's chief minister says the EU's proposal
After a momentous week, Britain's journey out
Can the Prime Minister satisfy her critics at home
We speak to the former Conservative leader, Michael Howard.
And we have the lowdown on next month's local elections -
what exactly is up for grabs, who's going up and who's going down?
And in the East Midlands: Ready for liftoff -
Leicester plans to become a leader in the space industry,
creating hundreds of highly paid jobs.
And who will win next month's council elections?
changing their minds. MPs from opposing sides give the view from
there constituencies. And with me, as always,
the best and the brightest political panel in the business -
Steve Richards, Isabel Oakeshott and Tom Newton Dunn who'll be
tweeting throughout the programme. For the people of Gibraltar, Clause
22 of the EU's draft negotiating guidelines came as something
of a shock. The guidelines propose
that the Government in Spain be given a veto over any future trade
deal as it applies to The UK Government has reacted
strongly, saying Gibraltar will not be bargained away
in the Brexit talks. Here's the Defence Secretary,
Michael Fallon, speaking We are going to look
after Gibraltar. Gibraltar's going to be protected
all the way, all the way, because the sovereignty of Gibraltar
cannot be changed without the agreement of the people
of Gibraltar and they have made it very clear they do not
want to live under Spanish rule and it is interesting, I think,
in the draft guidelines from the EU that Spain is not saying
that the whole thing is subject Michael Fallon earlier. Steve, is
this a Spanish power grab or much ado about nothing? It could be both.
Clearly what is happening about this negotiation and will happen again
and again is that at different points individual countries can
start playing bargaining cards. They will say, if you want a deal, you
have to deliver this, UK. Spain is doing it early. It might turn out to
be nothing at all. It is an early example of how to delete recruit
after Article 50 is triggered, the dynamic -- how after Article 50 is
triggered, the dynamic changes. At certain points, any country can veto
it. It gives them much more power than we have clocked so far. Donald
Tusk, the head of the European Council, he went out of his way to
say Britain mustn't deal by laterally, with individual
countries, it has to deal with the EU as a block. Was it mischiefmaking
to add this bit in about Spain? Those two things do not tally. I
think on our part, when I say we, I mean the Foreign Office and Number
10, we dropped the ball. By excluding Gibraltar from the letter
of Article 50, they gave an opportunity to the Spanish to steal
the narrative. Why this is important, presentation, things
looked like they were going quite well for Theresa May when she handed
over the letter, for a few hours, and suddenly, you have this
incredible symbolism of Gibraltar. For Brexiteers, the idea that there
could be some kind of diminishment or failure in relation to Gibraltar,
it would be a very symbolic illustration of things not going
entirely to plan. Forget the detail, it does not look great. Gibraltar
got mentions in the white paper. They did not get a mention in the
Article 50 notification. Do you think the British Government did not
see this coming? To be honest, I do not think it would make a bit of
difference. Theresa May could have an entire chapter in her letter to
Donald Tusk and the Spanish and the EU would have still tried this on.
For me, it was as much a point of symbolism than it was for any power
grab. It was a good point to make. You need to know, Britain, you are
not in our club, we will not have your interests at heart. Officials
after the press conference, they went on to talk about it saying it
is a territorial dispute. It is not! Gibraltar is British. It is very
much a shot across the bow is. Whether it comes to pass, it is
still yet to be seen. I feel we will be chasing hares like this for the
next few years. There will be many other examples. They are greatly
empowered by the whole process. Britain has not really got... It has
got to wait and hear what their interpretation of Brexit is. They
will negotiate, we will negotiate accordingly. I have some sympathy
about the letter, the Article 50 letter. They agonised over it, so
much to get right in terms of balance and tone. It would have been
absurd to start mentioning Skegness and everything else. Why not!
Skegness, what did they do? It is a real example of how the dynamic now
changes. The Spanish royals are going to come here in a couple of
months, that could be interesting. It will be good feelings breaking
up, I am sure. -- breaking out. So, after a historic week,
the UK is now very much But will it be a smooth
journey to the exit door? Or can we expect
a bit of turbulence? Are you taking back
control, Prime Minister? Big days in politics usually
involve people shouting and the Prime Minister getting
in a car. It is only a few hundred metres
from Downing Street to Parliament. But the short journey is the start
of a much longer one and we do not know exactly
where we will all end up. This is a historic moment
from which there can Moments earlier, this Dear John,
sorry, Dear Don letter, was delivered by Britain's
ambassador in Brussels to the EU He seemed genuinely upset
to have been jilted. Back in Westminster,
hacks from around the world were trying to work out what it
all meant for the So, here it is, a copy
of the six-page letter The letter reaffirms the PM's
proposal to have talks on the exit deal and a future trade deal
at the same time. It also mentioned the word
"security" 11 times and stated a failure to reach agreement
would mean cooperation in the fight against crime
and terrorism would be weakened. Later, our very own Andrew got
to ask her what would happen if Britain left the European
policing agency, Europol. We would not be able to access
information in the same way as we would as a member,
so it is important, I think, we are able to negotiate
a continuing relationship that enables us to work together
in the way that we have. That night, the
Brexiteers were happy. We did not have a Mad
Hatter, but now we do. Down the street, even the Remainers,
having a Mad Hatters' tea party, I am not sure that is
actually Boris, though. The next morning, the papers
suggested Theresa May would use security as a bargaining tool
and threaten to withdraw the UK's cooperation in this area
if no deal was struck. Downing Street denied it,
as did the Brexit Secretary. We can both cope, but we
will both be worse off. That seems to be a statement
of fact, it is not a threat, David Davis had other
business that morning, introducing the Great Repeal Bill,
outling his plans to transfer all EU law into British
law to change later, It is not without its critics
but the Brexit Secretary said, among other benefits,
it would make trade talks easier As we exit the EU and seek
a new deep and special partnership with the European Union,
we are doing so from a position where we have the same
standards and rules. It will also ensure we deliver
on our promise to end the supremacy of European Union law
in the UK as we exit. There was, though, a small
issue with the name. The Government hit an early hurdle
with the Great Repeal Bill. Parliamentary draughtsmen said
they were not allowed Great(!)
so it is just the Repeal Bill. So far, it had been
a tale of two cities. By Friday, there was another,
Valletta in Malta, where EU leaders were having a meeting
and President Tusk, yes, him again, set out draft guidelines
for the EU Brexit strategy. Once, and only once,
we have achieved sufficient progress on the withdrawal can we discuss
the framework for our Starting parallel talks
on all issues at the same time, as suggested by some in the UK,
will not happen. The EU 27 does not and will not
pursue a punitive approach. Brexit in itself is
already punitive enough. The pressure on Theresa May to get
the Brexit process going has now gone and the stage is being set
elsewhere for the showdown But face-to-face discussions
are not likely to happen Before May or early June. No one is
celebrating just yet. We're joined now from Kent
by the former Conservative The EU says it will not talk about a
future relationship with the UK until there has been sufficient
progress on agreeing the divorce bill. Should the UK agree to this
phased approach? Well, I think you can make too much about the sequence
and timing of the negotiations. I assume that it will be a case of
nothing is agreed until everything is agreed and so any agreements that
might be reached on things talked about early on will be very
provisional, so I think you can make a big deal about the timing and the
sequence when I do not think it really matters as much as all that.
Don't people have a right in this country to be surprised of the talk
of a massive multi-billion pound divorce settlement? I do not
remember either side making much of this in the referendum, do you? No.
A select committee of the House of Lords recently reported and said
that there was no legal basis for any exit fee. We will have to see
how the negotiations go. I think some of the figures cited so far are
wildly out of kilter and wildly unrealistic. We will have to see
what happens in the negotiations. As one of your panel commented earlier,
there will be lots of hares to pursue over the next couple of years
and we should not get too excited about any of them. Would you accept
that we make... It may not be anything like the figures Brussels
is kicking around of 50, 60 billion euros, do you think we will have to
make a one-off settlement? If we get everything else we want, if we get a
really good trade deal and access for the City of London and so on,
speaking for myself, I would be prepared to make a modest payment.
But it all depends on the deal we get. What would modest be? Oh, I
cannot give you a figure. We are right at the start of the
negotiations. I do not think that would be agreed until near the end.
The EU says that if there is a transition period of several years
after the negotiations, and there is more talk of that, the UK must
remain subject to the free movement of peoples and the jurisdiction of
the European Court of Justice, would that be acceptable to you? It
depends on the nature of the transitional agreement. We are
getting well ahead of ourselves here. You cannot, I think, for any
judgment as to whether there should be a transitional stage until you
know what the final deal is. If there is to be a final deal. And
then you know how long it might take to implement that deal. That is
something I think that it is really rather futile to talk about at this
stage. It may become relevant, depending on the nature of the deal,
and that is the proper time to talk about it and decide what the answer
to the questions you pose might be. Except the EU has laid this out in
its negotiation mandate and it is reasonable to ask people like
yourself, should we accept that? It is reasonable for me to say, they
will raise all sorts of things in their negotiating mandate and we do
not need to form a view of all of them at this stage. Let me try
another one. The EU says if they do agree what you have called a
comprehensive free trade deal, we would have to accept EU constraints
on state aid and taxes like VAT and corporation tax. Would you accept
that? Again, I am not sure quite what they have in mind on that. We
will be an independent country when we leave and we will make our own
decisions about those matters. Not according to know that -- to the
negotiating mandate. As I have said, they can put all sorts of things in
the negotiating guidelines, it does not mean we have to agree with them.
No doubt that is something we can discuss in the context of a free
trade agreement. If we get a free trade agreement, that is very
important for them as well as for us, and we can talk about some of
the things you have just mentioned. Can you please leave a 20 without
having repatriated full control of migration, taxis and the law? I
think we will have repatriated all three of those things by the time of
the next general election. How high would you rate the chances of no
deal, and does that prospect worry you? I think the chances are we will
get the deal, and I think the chances are we will get a good deal,
because that is in the interests of both sides of this negotiation. But
it is not the end of the world if we do not get a deal. Most trade in the
world is carried out under World Trade Organisation rules. We would
be perfectly OK if we traded with the European Union, as with
everybody else, under World Trade Organisation rules. It is better to
get the deal, and I think we will get the deal, because it is in the
interests of both. Let me ask you about Gibraltar. You have campaigned
in Gibraltar when the sovereignty issue came up under the Tony Blair
government. The EU says that Spain should have a veto on whether any
free-trade deal should apply to the Rock. How should the British
government replied to that? As it has responded, by making it
absolutely clear that we will stand by Gibraltar. 35 years ago this
week, Andrew, another woman Prime Minister Centre task force is
halfway across the world to protect another small group of British
people against another Spanish-speaking country. I am
absolutely clear that our current woman Prime Minister will show the
same resolve in relation to Gibraltar as her predecessor did.
This is not about Spain invading Gibraltar, it is not even about
sovereignty, it is about Spain having a veto over whether any
free-trade deal that the UK makes with the EU should also apply to
Gibraltar. On that issue, how should the British government respond? The
British government should show resolve. It is not in the interests
of Spain, really, to interfere with free trade to Gibraltar. 10,000
people who live in Spain working Gibraltar. That is a very important
Spanish interest, so I am very confident that in the end, we will
be able to look after all the interests of Gibraltar, including
free trade. Michael Howard, thank you for joining us from Kent this
morning. Although sometimes it seems
like everyone has forgotten, there are things happening
other than Brexit. In less than five weeks' time,
there will be a round of important domestic elections and there's a lot
up for grabs. Local elections take place
on the 4th of May in England, In England, there are elections
in 34 councils, with 2,370 The majority are county councils,
usually areas of strength Large cities where Labour usually
fares better are not Six regions of England will also
hold elections for newly created combined authority mayors,
and there will be contests for directly elected mayors,
with voters in Manchester, Liverpool and the West Midlands
among those going to the polls. In Scotland, every seat in all 32
councils are being contested, many of them affected
by boundary changes. Since these seats were last
contested, Labour lost all but one Meanwhile, every seat in each
of Wales' 22 councils All but one was last elected
in 2012 in what was a very strong year for Labour,
though independent candidates currently hold
a quarter of council seats. According to the latest
calculations by Plymouth University Election Centre,
the Tories are predicted to increase their tally by 50 seats,
despite being in government, But the dramatic story in England
looks to be with the other parties, with the Lib-Dems possibly winning
100 seats, while Ukip could be seeing a fall,
predicted to lose 100 seats. Though the proportional system
usually makes big changes less likely in Scotland,
the SNP is predicted to increase both the number of seats
they hold, and the number In Wales, Labour is defending a high
water mark in support. Last year's Welsh Assembly elections
suggest the only way is down, with all the parties making modest
gains at Labour's expense. Joining me now is the BBC's
very own elections guru, Professor John Curtice
of the University of Strathclyde. Good to see you again. Let's start
with England. How bad are the selection is going to be for Labour?
Labourer not defending a great deal because this is for the most part
rural England. The only control three of the council they are
defending and they are only defending around 500 seats, I nearly
a quarter are in one county, Durham. Labour's position in the opinion
polls is weakened over the last 12 months and if you compare the
position in the opinion polls now with where they were in the spring
of 2013 when these seats in England were last fought, we are talking
about a 12 point swing from Labour to conservative. The estimate of 50
losses may be somewhat optimistic for Labour. Of the three council
areas they control, two of them, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire,
could be lost, leaving labourer with virtually a duck as far as council
control is concerned in these elections in England. In England,
what would a Liberal Democrat reserve urgently great? That is the
big question. We have had this picture since the EU referendum of
the Liberal Democrats doing extraordinarily well in some local
by-elections, gaining seats that they had not even fought before, and
in other areas, doing no more than treading water. We are expecting a
Liberal Democrat skin because the lost the lot -- the lost lots of
ground when they were in coalition with the Conservatives. It is
uncertain. A patchy performance may well be to their advantage. If they
do well in some places and gain seats, and elsewhere do not do
terribly well and do not waste votes, they may end up doing
relatively well in seats, even if the overall gaining votes is likely
to be modest. The elections for mayors, they are taking place in
the Labour will that be a hefty consolation prize for the Labour
Party? It ought to be, on Teesside, Merseyside, Greater Manchester. We
are looking at one content very closely, that is the contest for the
mayor of the West Midlands. If you look at what happened in the general
election in 2015, labourer work nine points ahead of the Conservatives in
the West Midlands. If you look at the swing since the general
election, if you add that swing to where we were two years ago, the
West Midlands now looks like a draw. Labour have to worry about a
headline grabbing loss, and the West Midlands contest. If they were to
lose, that wooden crate -- that would increase the pressure for
their own Jeremy Corbyn to convince people that they can turn his
party's fortunes around, and in truth at the moment, they are pretty
dire. The West Midlands has Birmingham as its heart.
Chock-a-block with marginal seats. It always has been. I always
remember election night and marginal seats in the West Midlands.
Scotland, the SNP is assaulting Labour's last remaining power base.
The biggest prizes Glasgow. Will it take it, the SNP? Whether the SNP
will gain control of Glasgow is uncertain. If you look at what is
happening in local government by-elections let alone the opinion
polls, in 2012, when these seats were last fought, Labour did
relatively well, only one percentage point behind the SNP who were rather
disappointed with the result compared to other elections. No sign
of that happening this time alone -- this time around. Polls put the SNP
ahead. By-elections have found the SNP advancing and Labour dropping by
double digits. Labour are going to lose everything they currently
control in Scotland, the SNP will become the dominant party, the
question is how well they do. In Scotland there is a Conservative
revival going on. The Conservatives did well in recent local government
by-elections. At the moment, Labour are expected to come third north of
the border in the local elections, repeating the third they suffered in
the Holyrood elections last year. In Wales, Labour is expecting to lose
control of a number of councils. They are the main party in 12 of 22
local authorities. How bad could it be? We're expecting Labour to lose
ground. In the opinion polls when these seats were last fought,
labourer in the high 40s. Now they are not much above 30%. Cardiff
could well join Glasgow was no longer being a Labour stronghold.
Look out for Newport. Some of the South Wales councils that Labour
control, Labour is probably too but occasionally, Plaid
Cymru surprises in this area. They managed to win the Rhondda seat in
the assembly elections. Jeremy Corbyn has said he wants to be
judged on proper elections, council elections as opposed to opinion
polls, but even if he does as badly as John has been suggesting, does it
affect his leadership? I think it does on two counts. It will affect
his own confidence. Anyone who is a human being will be affected by
this. He might go into his office and be told by John McDonnell and
others, stand firm, it is all right, but it will affect his confidence
and inevitably it contributes to a sense that this is moving to some
kind of denoument, at some point. In other words, while I understand the
argument that he has won twice in a leadership contest, well, within 12
months, I wonder whether this can carry on in a fixed term parliament,
up until 2020, if it were to do so. On two France, it will have some
impact. I am not seeing it will lead to his immediate departure, it will
mark, but if these things are as devastating as John suggests, it
will have an impact. Tom, I'll be looking at a Lib Dem fightback? That
is the $64,000 question. It would seem that we should be. One massive
reason we're not having a general election a time soon, apart from the
fact that Theresa May does not believe in these things, she
believes in pressing on, it is because Tory MPs in the South West
who took the Lib Dem seats, they were telling Number 10 they were
worried they were going to lose their seats back to the Lib Dems.
The Lib Dems never went away and local government. They have got
other campaigners and activists. It looks credible that they will be the
success story of the whole thing. Ukip leader, Paul Nuttall, he says
this will be the most difficult local elections his party will face
before 2020. A bit of management of expectations. It is unlikely to be a
good time for Ukip. They are right to manage expectations. The results
will be horrible for Ukip. I agree with Tom about the Lib Dem
threat to the Tories. Talking to some senior figures within the Tory
party earlier this week, I was picking up that they are worried
about 30-40 general election seeds being vulnerable to the Lib Dems
because of the Labour collapse. I would normally agree with Steve
about the resilience of politicians, the capability of withstanding
repeated blows, but Jeremy Corbyn is not in the normal category. I think
he is, in the sense that although he get solace from winning leadership
contest, anyone who leads a party into the kind of, it is not going to
be that vivid, because they are not defending the key seats. If they
were to win Birmingham, say, and get slaughtered by the SNP in Scotland,
it will undermine what is already a fairly ambiguous sense of
self-confidence. We need to leave it there. Thank you, John Curtice.
Well, with those elections on the horizon, is Labour where it
Former leader Ed Miliband was on the Andrew
Marr Show earlier and he explained the challenge Labour faces
It is easier for other parties, if you are the Greens or the
Liberal Democrats you're essentially fishing in the 48% pool.
If you are Ukip, you are fishing in the 52% pool.
Labour is trying to do something much harder,
which is to try and speak for the whole country,
and by the way, that is another part of
Our attack on Theresa May, part of it is she's
Ignoring the verdict going into this, saying,
let's overturn it, looks like ignoring the 52%.
By the way, there is more that unites Remainers
and Leavers than might first appear, because they share common
concerns about the way the country is run.
Joining me now is the Shadow Health Secretary, Jon Ashworth.
Welcome to the programme. Alastair Campbell told me on the BBC on
Thursday that he is fighting to reverse the referendum result. Ed
Miliband says that Remain needs to accept the result, come to terms
with it. Who is right? We have to accept the referendum result. I
campaigned passionately to remain in the European Union. The city I
represent, Leicester, voted narrowly to remain in the European Union.
Sadly the country did not. We cannot overturn that and be like kinky
nude, trying to demand the tide go back out. We have to accept this
democratic process. We all voted to have a referendum when the relevant
legislation came to Parliament. How bad will the local elections before
Labour? Let us see where we get to on election night when I am sure I
will be invited on to one of these types of programmes... The election
date, the following day. But it does look like you will lose seats across
the board in England, Scotland and Wales. What did you make of what
Steve Richards said about the impact on Jeremy Corbyn's leadership? We
have to win seats, we cannot fall back on the scales suggested. No,
your package was right, it tends to be Tory areas, but generally, we
have to be winning in Nottinghamshire, Lancashire, those
types of places because they contain a lot of the marginal constituencies
that decide general elections. The important places in the elections
are towns like Beeston, towns you have not heard of, but they are
marginal towns in marginal swing constituencies. We have to do well
in them. We will see where we are on election night but my pretty is to
campaign hard in these areas over the next few weeks. Even people who
voted Labour in 2015, they prefer Theresa May to Mr Corbyn as Prime
Minister, a recent poll said. Isn't that extraordinary? I have not seen
that. I will look it up. It was you Government. -- YouGov. It is
important we win the trust of people. You are not winning the
trust of people who voted for you in 2015. We have to hold onto people
who voted for us in 2015 and we have to persuade people who voted for
other parties to come to us. One of the criticisms I have of the debate
that goes on in the wider Labour Party, do not misunderstand me, I am
not making a criticism about an individual, but the debate you see
online suggests that if you want to get people who voted Conservative to
switch to Labour it is somehow a betrayal of our principles, it was
not. Justin Trudeau said Conservative voters are our
neighbours, our relatives. We have to persuade people to switch from
voting Conservative to voting Labour as well as increasing our vote among
nonvoters and Greens. It seems like you have a mountain to climb and the
mountain is Everest. Another poll, I am not sure if you have seen this,
in London, the Bastian of Labour, the Bastian of Remain, Mr Corbyn is
less popular than even Ukip's Paul Nuttall. That is beyond
extraordinary! I do not know about that. The most recent set of
elections in London was the mayoral election where the Labour candidate
city: won handsomely. He took the seat of a conservative. We took that
of a conservative. It was a year ago. We did well then. You had an
anti-Jeremy Corbyn candidate. I think he nominated Jeremy Corbyn,
from memory. We have not got elections in London but our
elections are in the county areas and the various mayoral elections...
What about the West Midlands? In any normal year, mid-term, as the
opposition, Labour should win the West Midlands. John Curtis says it
is nip and tuck. It has always been a swing region but we want to do
well, of course. We want to turn out a strong Labour vote in Dudley,
Northampton, those sorts of places. They are key constituencies in the
general election. Does Labour look like a government in waiting to you?
What I would say is contrast where we are to what the conservative
garment is doing. I asked you about Labour, you do not get to tell me
about the Conservatives. Does it look like a government in waiting to
you? Today we are exposing the Conservatives... Reminding people
the Conservatives are breaking the pledge on waiting times of 18 weeks
so lots of elderly people waiting longer in pain for hip replacements
and cataract replacements. Yesterday the Housing spokesperson John Healey
was exposing the shortcomings in the Help to Buy scheme. The education
spokesperson has been campaigning hard against the cuts to schools.
Tom Watson has been campaigning hard against some of the changes the
Government want to introduce in culture. The Shadow Cabinet are
working hard to hold the Government's feet to the fire. Does
it look like a government in waiting? Yes. It took you three
times! There is a social care crisis, schools funding issue, a
huge issue for lots of areas, the NHS has just got through the winter
and is abandoning many of its targets. You are 18 points behind in
the polls. We have to work harder. What can you do? The opinion polls
are challenging but we are a great Social Democratic Party of
government. On Twitter today, lots of Labour activists celebrating that
the national minimum wage has been in place for something like 16 years
because we were in government. Look of the sweeping progressive changes
this country has benefited from, the NHS, sure start centres, an assault
on child poverty, the Labour Party got itself in contention for
government. I entirely accept the polls do not make thrilling reading
for Labour politicians on Sunday morning, but it means people like me
have to work harder because we are part of something bigger than an
individual, we are in the business of changing things for the British
people and if we do not do that, if we do not focus on that, we are
letting people down. Is Labour preparing for an early election
question Billy burqa? Reports in the press of a war chest as macro for an
early election? The general election coordinator called for a general
election when Theresa May became Prime Minister. We are investing in
staff and the organisational capability we need. By the way, the
Labour Party staff do brilliant work. A bit of nonsense on Twitter
having a go at them. They do tremendous work. Whenever the
election comes, they will be ready. Jon Ashworth, thank you.
In the East Midlands: elections on the way to choose
But finding new ways of raising cash will be the first
By 2020, the vast majority of the money for council services
will come from the businesses of Derbyshire and the people
of Derbyshire in the form of business rates and council tax.
And the final frontier for the East Midlands economy -
what will Leicester's new space park mean for jobs and investment?
When we think of space, we think astronauts,
It is making Leicester space city in the future.
Hello, I am Marie Ashby, back down to work, with my guests
this week, Mark Spencer, Conservative MP for Sherwood,
and Graham Chapman, deputy leader of Nottingham City Council.
But first, let's get an East Midlands perspective
And, of course, that is the signing of article 50, formally
Mark, you campaigned for Remain, do you know think that Brexit
will benefit us here in the East Midlands?
Yes, I think it is all about the deal now.
We have fired the firing pistol to start us on the negotiations,
it is now about the next two years and how the Prime Minister
and her team can deliver the best deal that delivers the benefit
to the East Midlands and to Nottinghamshire.
But you think that it will benefit us here?
I think it will, if we can get it right.
There are two years of hard negotiation to make sure that deal
benefits us here in the UK, but also keeps our relationship
with our colleagues in Europe so that we can work with them over
security and over defence and those sorts of issues
that we want to cooperate with them on.
Graham, the Local Government Association this week called
for a bigger role for councils over what EU laws we would keep or scrap.
Are there any laws in particular that are concerning you right now?
The biggest concern is the amount of money that the EU puts
into the East Midlands, and it is quite substantial.
And people will say, we are paying already, aren't we,
so we will just get our money back, but actually we get
a disproportionate amount, because the EU, believe it or not,
spends its money quite well, and in quite a targeted way.
So there is going to be a lot of losses in research
and development, in support for training and jobs, and that
And that ?350 million, which is promised to the health
service, which has been promised to farmers, which has been promised
to universities and everybody else, is going to spread
Can you guarantee, Mark Spencer, that your government
I think it is about getting the deal right, for a start,
making sure the economy continues to expand and grow, and that
will give us the resources to invest in those things that really matter
We can enter into this in a negative way or in a positive way.
We talk about the EU laws, we're going to transfer all of those
EU laws into UK laws, so that there is no, they are.
And then we can start, as a UK Government, to decide
what laws we want to keep, what we don't...
But you can hear Graham Chapman saying that councils
are concerned that that funding is going to be lost.
I think there is always going to be change, but I think it is for local
authorities to manage that, the government to manage and work
with those local authorities and to get those decisions right
in future, that's so different to what it's like today.
You're going to have to just manage it?
Well, there is a wider picture in this, it is not just the deal.
We're going to start expanding and take a positive line,
because that is what people have voted for, then we need to do
We are one of the regions with the lowest productivity,
and that is going to need a great deal of investment
Toyota have already announced it's investing absolutely millions
and millions in its plant in Derbyshire, Rolls-Royce have
got contracts coming, they are looking for new staff.
So there is quite a positive future there if we get this right.
Funding for local government is always a big issue.
It's about to take centre stage again.
Voters head to the polls for next month's council elections.
All of the seats are up for grabs in four of our county councils,
and some of them could see nail-biting finishes, the closest
fight is expected to be in Nottinghamshire.
Labour are in charge there but there is no overall
control - they have 32 seats, two short of the number
In Derbyshire, Labour have an overall majority of ten seats.
In Leicestershire, the Conservatives have a majority of three.
In Lincolnshire, there is no overall control,
but the Conservatives are the largest party, with 36 seats.
But as we have been hearing, elections come against a backdrop
of severe cuts to local government funding, and the pressure
is on for our local councils to find new ways of raising cash.
In Derbyshire, there is a hill to climb if you want to get
to County Hall, but it is not just hard on your legs, it is hard
For years, councils have survived on the Revenue Support Grant,
that's millions of pounds of central government money to pay
for essential local government services.
But that stream of money is about to come to an end.
Last year, all councils in England were told that the Revenue Support
It will be cut over the next three years and eventually
But what do you do when the money runs out?
By 2020, the vast majority of the money for council services
will come from the businesses of Derbyshire and the people
of Derbyshire, in the form of business rates and council tax.
A letter to all councils in England, telling them that
eventually they will have to become self-sufficient.
But there's a problem with the idea of self-sufficiency.
Ask businesses to pay too much in business rates,
Ask the people to pay too much in council tax,
Cut council services to cut costs - well, you've guessed it,
So councils are having to find new ways of making money.
This former council depot in Duffield is being turned over
to a development company set up by the council.
The idea is the development company will build houses on here,
they'll sell them on the open market and any profits will go back
For you, the voters, it boils down to who you think
The Conservatives say Derbyshire has ?230 million of reserves
We will be investing ?30 million into care homes
in Derbyshire and pulling in, we hope, an additional at least 100
100 million pounds worth of investment from
We will be looking to provide an extra ?10 million
We are going to reinstate the cuts that have been made
These are lifelines, particularly in our rural communities.
But the ruling Labour group hopes its record in power
We have put a lot of emphasis on social care services.
We have been able to keep people coming out of hospital
because we have got beds in our care homes that they can go to
We have managed to retain all of our branch libraries,
we have not closed any, we still stack them
We are trying to be innovative and creative and find different,
independent sources of funding, so that we are not so
The Liberal Democrats are concerned the most vulnerable
They say they will find new ways of working and raising income
to make sure they look after the needs
of residents across the county.
Ukip says local government is facing a catastrophic cut in services,
with the ?6 billion black hole in local government funding.
It would plug the gap by cutting ?10 billion
On 5th May, we will find out whose plan to pay for it all his won out,
and who gets to walk up these steps and take control of County Hall.
And voters in Derbyshire can find out more about their candidates
Graham Chapman, we heard there that council are having to do an awful
Can you tell us what sort of things Nottingham City Council are doing?
Well, just to give a very spectacular example,
our ice stadium is doing the merchandising for the O2 Arena,
and for the Glasgow arena and for Liverpool.
But we are also buying a lot of property at the moment
because we can borrow quite cheaply and it gives you a decent return.
We are doing work for the councils. What kind of property?
Well, shops, offices - you need a good mix.
Some will be retail, some industrial.
And a lot of councils are getting into that.
We are doing work for other councils.
We are putting on IT courses for Rolls-Royce, believe it or not.
We are one of the most successful councils in making
Having said that, we're making another ?17 million on top
of what we normally would - the cuts have been 120 million.
So let's not pretend, nobody should pretend, that you make
You can do a lot with municipal enterprise, you have got to do it,
but it will not make up for what is happening
to the adult social care budget, which is massive.
A massive drain on resources, and that needs fixing.
It is hard work, he says that. To keep raising that kind of money.
Politics has always been hard work, and getting these things right has
always been hard work, that does not mean to say
I think there is still some way to go for local
government and we can drive some more efficiency.
I think people casting their vote in May should think long and hard
about who they want to run the councils and how efficient
they are going to be at getting the best value
I'm quite excited about the future and how local government can really
shape those communities and the people that they
It is good that you are excited, but of course there is a lot
of criticism that your government has simply outsourced austerity
and has left it to local councils to make these cuts.
Let's be clear, there is no money tree, this is taxpayers's money
and you have to use it in the most efficient way in which you can.
What the government is doing is saying to local authorities,
there is this challenge, and you can invest in your own
communities, in your own businesses, you can make the infrastructure
right so that those businesses can flourish, and you will benefit
as a local authority from that investment.
That's the right way to drive that efficiency and make sure that local
authorities are accountable for our own actions.
First, you have been pumping loads and loads of money into Tory
I have got a map which shows where the money has gone,
and it is blue and it is in the south.
The red bits are in the North where the money has not gone.
The last distribution gave a big chunk of money to Surrey
and nothing to Nottingham, nothing to Derby,
nothing to Leicester. So there is that.
Let's look at that money to Surrey, because, to be fair,
historically you have done better than some areas in the past.
In the budget top-up for adult social care,
which you were talking about, you got ?7.2 million as an authority.
But that is for the whole county of Surrey.
Fine. I think you will probably find...
I think I would look at those statistics again, I am not
What Graham is saying is that Nottinghamshire
was here and Surrey was here, and because Surrey has gone up more
than Nottinghamshire then that is unfair.
What has actually happened is that they are trying
to equate some of that local authority spending.
All right. Look, I will give
The number of children in care per 10,000 is far
Rutland is now getting more per household than Nottingham is.
We have got more elderly as well, not just children in care, we have
Not in places like Bournemouth, you can't tell me there is more
elderly in Nottingham and there is in Bournemouth.
Let's get back to the East Midlands and how this is playing at year,
because there is a national audit report which is out this
week that also says that implementing your plans to let
councils keep all of their business rates by 2020 is full
Is it going to happen and how was it going to work?
I think that's a perfect example of where the local
are in complete control of its own destiny.
If it invests in those businesses, creates those economic conditions
for those businesses to survive, then the tax revenues will go up.
And it really does challenge local authorities to think about how
they are going to benefit their own communities and not just go
and shake the money tree and hope things will be better.
Would you describe it as a challenge, and do you think
it is going to work, Graham Chapman?
What you've got a look at, let's just take Westminster council.
It's got years and years of benefit, the tax take in Westminster,
under the City of London, is equal to all the big cities.
You're not telling me that Westminster Council has been
responsible for its position, that it happens to be in London
and the City of London happens to be the City of London.
You will be paving the streets of gold in the City of London
and Westminster, and you are then saying that someone like Mansfield,
which is a place that is likely to suffer, it is all its own fault
because it has had a mining industry which disappeared.
You cannot argue that, and actually the whole
You will not end up with a system where councils are keeping
their own business rates, because places like
But in brief, it means that you do not agree
More details have been emerging of the ambitious plans to build
a space park in Leicester, putting the region at the forefront
of the emerging satellite and space industry.
It will see a ?13 million investment and create hundreds of highly
Our political editor donned his space suit to find out more.
# There's a starman waiting in the sky.
# But he thinks he'd blow our minds #.
Millions of pounds of investment, 500 jobs -
it's going to be a real boost to the Leicester economy.
There is ?12.87 million to be precise,
to help the development of what they are calling
This is more than just astronauts and space travel.
It is about making Leicester space city in the future.
The plan is 100 businesses on land near the existing
National Space Centre, already a great education asset.
Well, the University of Leicester has a proud
history of space research, stretching back to the 1960s.
We've been putting vehicles into space, putting instruments
into satellites, instruments on things that are going to Mars
So we have a huge expertise in the space industry and one
We want to grow this, so that it is not just
all about world-class research, which we are of course very proud
about, but we want to turn it into a real innovation Hub.
Every year since 1967, there has been a Leicester-based
The benefits of space research affect us all,
things we now take for granted like that satnavs, but also
It's not just going to be about building things to go into space,
one of the big growth areas at the moment
We have fleets of satellites in orbit around the Earth
at the moment looking down at the Earth.
And they are able to tell us about things like crops,
forest fires, disaster-monitoring, and getting that data,
assessing it and turning it into useful things
The money to help with the investment is part
of the Midlands Engine Project, announced the day after the budget.
It is a partnership with local businesses and politicians to give
There is also ?1 million to help expand the space centre.
The jobs the projects bring will also help retain the scientific
The time that I finished my PhD will be about the time
the facility is built, so for people like me
I am planning to do a masters, maybe a PhD, and then hopefully
Leicester has been at the forefront of space for the last 50 years,
and it is a great opportunity that we are actually
Of course the government has made it clear that they want the space
industry to become a major part of our economy.
I think in 2014 it was about ?10 billion, ?11 billion
They want to up it to ?40 billion by 2030.
So the countdown is on for Leicester space city,
the UK's hub for space research, which they hope will have a big
impact on the city and the whole of the East Midlands.
He's still wearing that suit - we cannot get it off him.
Mark Spencer, space-related industries could be worth
worth ?40 billion - is it realistic to expect
that we will get a slice of that here in the East Midlands?
I think it is a really good example of where a local authority,
government and the University are cooperating, to drag
in investment, and that really kicks on to local industries,
local businesses, to education establishments.
I think it is a really good news story and it demonstrates that
if we all work together, actually we can have a really
positive impact and do something really exciting.
The thinking behind this plan is to get into a sector
where there are highly paid and highly skilled jobs.
It's got to be a good idea, basically.
Remember we're doing the same for the biotechnology in Nottingham.
On Monday we will be opening the biotechnology building
and it is the council that has built it and it is the council eventually
And it is creating jobs, putting Nottingham on the map
Councils can do a great deal if we have got the ability
and the resources, because a lot of it is going into adult
care at the moment, we can do a great deal.
One of their weaknesses in our economy, identified
by the Midlands Engine, is the lack of jobs here to keep
We need to be doing more of things like this,
don't we, to keep them here? Absolutely.
I actually met with Unite this week, who were worried that the immense
amount of jobs being created by Rolls-Royce were not going to be
filled, we have not got enough skilled engineers.
I would say to young people doing their A-levels now,
look at those STEM subjects, look at engineering and science,
because there is going to be lots of jobs in the East Midlands
available in the future, and great opportunities to build
a career here in the East Midlands. Let's hope so.
Graham, the report this week said only a third of graduates
in Nottingham stay in the city. That is some brain drain.
It is, and what we have to look at is what will
Every graduate that comes thinks Nottingham is a great
place, so in some cases it is obviously job opportunities.
What makes me optimistic, I think London is overheating.
If I had a statistic, I think you need 17 times the amount of...
It costs you something like 17 times the amount of your annual
In Nottingham it is about four times.
So what we have got to do is promote the benefits of being in Nottingham
to them far more effectively than we have been doing.
Do you think the space park, which is one of the Midlands Engine
initiatives is doing enough to boost our economy, across
You cannot do it through just one space park,
If you really want to make growth, it is smaller businesses
They create jobs far faster than bigger industries,
and what we need to be doing is make it easier for them to borrow
They need places to locate and places to move on,
and this is what we are trying to work on as a City Council.
Mark, I know that you have been campaigning to extend the Robin Hood
line from Nottingham to Worksop so that it reaches
If that part of the Midlands Engine agenda, and is your
Clearly there needs to be more investment, particularly
I am pushing like mad, not only on the Robin Hood line
but I think improvements to Ollerton Roundabout would really
We are seeing investment in terms of the tourism industry
with the new Robin Hood Centre, but I think D2N2 need to bang
the drum a bit louder as well and we need to support them in doing
that to try to drag a bit more cash up here.
Graham is getting investment for the Broadmarsh Centre.
It is not just graduates, it is the NVQ4.
A lot of energy has got to go in there.
If we're going to compete internationally now,
it is the skills in the technical trades.
Can I just clear up those figures that we were talking
We talked about ?7.5 million that Surrey received,
that was from their website, Graham, we have checked that.
Well, they did get an additional 11 through a transitional grant.
They may have got that additional ?11 million since,
but that 7.5 million I mentioned earlier was from their website, so
Time for a round-up of some of the other political stories
The government has rejected calls for an enquiry into HS2 after the
company pulled out over allegations of conflict-of-interest. The
Transport Secretary said it was an error and not a misdemeanour.
Margaret Beckett has become the country's longest serving member of
Parliament. She was one of just six female MPs when she was first
elected. Today is being billed as an historic day at Ilkeston. It is 50
years since they last had a link to the RealNetworks and now it is open
again. Proving that children interrupting
appearance on television is nothing new, this clip is a social media
hit. It has not damaged her career. She is now deputy speaker in the
House of Commons. Fantastic stuff. You can see more of
that clip on social media. That is the Sunday Politics here in the East
Midlands. My thanks to our guests. Time to hand you back.
So, what will be the effect of new tax and benefit changes
Will the Government's grand trade tour reap benefits?
And are the Lib Dems really going to replace Labour,
To answer that last question, I'm joined by from Salford
by the Lib Dem MP, Alistair Carmichael.
Michael Fallon sirs the Lib Dems will replace Labour. How long will
it take? We will have to wait and see. Anyone who thinks you can
predict the future is engaged in a dodgy game. I have been campaigning
with the Liberal Democrats in Manchester... You must not
mention... You know the by-election rules. It is only an illustration.
Across false ways of the country, the Liberal Democrats are back in
business -- across whole swathes of the country. Part of the reason why
we are getting a good response is because the Labour Party under
Jeremy Corbyn has taken such a self-destructive path. Even if you
do pretty well in the local elections, it you have to make up
lost ground from the time you did very well in previous times, you
used to have 4700 councillors. It will take you a long while to get
back to that. You will get no argument from me that we have a
mountain to climb. What I'm telling you is, and if this is not just in
this round of elections, it is in the other by-elections in places
like Richmond, and in by-elections write the length and breadth of the
country since last June, the Liberal Democrats are taking seats from the
Labour Party under Conservative Party, and not just in Brexit phobic
areas. Not just in Remain areas. But in places like Sunderland as well
which voted very heavily for Brexit. In fact, that vote was in large part
as well a protest against the way in which the Labour Party really has
taken these areas for granted over the years. That is why the ground is
fertile for us. In the local elections which is what we are
discussing today, why would anybody vote for the Liberal Democrats if
they believed in Brexit? Mr Farren has said he wants to reverse works.
If you are Brexit supporter and you are considering how to cast your
vote, first of all, I think you will be looking at the quality of
representation you can get for your local area and you are right, we
have a lot of ground to recoup from previous elections, we lost 124
seats, communities have now had a few years to reflect on the quality
of service they have been able to get and they have missed the very
effective liberal Democrat councillors they have had. This is
not just about whether you are a believer or remainer, ultimately,
that is an issue we are going to have to settle and we will settle it
not in the way the Government is having by dictating the terms of the
debate, but by bringing the whole country together. I think that is
something you can only do if, as we have suggested, you give the people
the opportunity to have a say on the deal when Theresa May eventually
produces it. The only way you could really replace Labour in the
foreseeable future would be if a big chunk of the centre and right of the
Labour Party came over and join due in some kind of new social
democratic alliance. -- joined you. There is no sign that will happen? I
do not see whether common purpose is anymore holding the Labour Party
together. That is for people in the Labour Party to make their own
decisions. Use what happened to the Labour Party in Scotland. -- you
saw. Politics moved on and left them behind and they were decimated as a
consequence of that. So was your party. It is possible the same thing
could happen to the Labour Party and the rest of the UK. Politics is
moving on and they are coming up with 1970s solutions to problems in
2017. Alistair Carmichael, thanks for joining us. Let us have a look
at some of the tax and benefit changes coming up this week. The tax
changes first of all. The personal allowance is going to rise to
?11,500, the level at which you start to pay tax. The higher rate
threshold, where you start to play at 40%, that will rise from
currently ?43,400, rising up to 40 5000. -- pay. Benefit changes,
freeze on working age benefits, removal of the family element of tax
credits and universal credit, that is a technical change but quite an
impact. The child element of tax credit is going to be limited to two
children on any new claims. The Resolution Foundation has crunched
the numbers and they discovered that when you take the tax and benefit
changes together, 80% go to better off households and the poorest third
or worse. What help -- what happened to help the just about managing? The
Resolution Foundation exists to find the worst possible statistics... It
is not clear the figures are wrong? They are fairly recent figures and I
have not seen analysis by other organisations. The Adam Smith
Institute will probably have some question marks over it. Nobody
should be surprised a Tory government is trying to make the
state smaller... And the poor poorer. The system is propped up by
better off people and so it will be those people who will be slightly
less heavily taxed as you make the state smaller. Theresa May will have
to stop just talking about the just about managing. And some of her
other language and the role of the government and the state when she
sounded quite positive... She sounded like a big government
conservative not small government. In every set piece occasion, she
says, it is time to look at the good the government can do. That is not
what you heard from Mrs Thatcher. Tony Blair and Gordon Brown would
not have dared to say it either even if they believed it. It raises a
much bigger question which is, as well as whether this is a set of
progressive measures, the Resolution Foundation constantly argued when
George Osborne announced his budget measures as progressive when they
were regressive when they checked out the figures, but also how this
government was going to meet the demand for public services when it
has ruled out virtually any tax rises that you would normally do
now, including National Insurance. There are a whole range of nightmare
issues on Philip Hammond's in-tray in relation to tax. The Resolution
Foundation figures do not include the rise in the minimum wage which
has just gone under way. They do not include the tax free childcare from
the end of April, the extra 15 hours of free childcare from September.
Even when you include these, it does not look like it would offset the
losses of the poorest households. Doesn't that have to be a problem
for Theresa May? It really is a problem especially when her
narrative and indeed entire purpose in government is for that just about
managing. What Mrs May still has which is exactly a problem they have
at the budget and the Autumn Statement is that they are still
saddled with George Osborne's massive ring fences on tax cuts and
spending. They have to go through with the tax cut for the middle
classes by pushing up the higher rate threshold which is absolutely
going to do nothing for the just about managing. When they try to
mitigate that, for example, in the Autumn Statement, Philip Hammond was
told to come up with more money to ease the cuts in tax credits, came
up with 350 million, an absolute... It is billions and billions
involved. Marginal adjustment. A huge problem with the actual tax and
benefit changes going on with what Mrs May as saying. The only way to
fix it is coming up with more money to alleviate that. Where will you
find it? Philip Hammond tried in the Budget with the National Insurance
rises but it lasted six and a half days. I was told that it was one of
the reasons why the Chancellor looked kindly on the idea of an
early election because he wanted to get rid of what he regards as an
albatross around his neck, the Tory manifesto 2015, no increase in
income tax, no increase in VAT, no increase in National Insurance, fuel
duty was not cut when fuel prices were falling so it is hardly going
to rise now when they are rising again. This is why, I suggest, they
end up in these incredibly complicated what we used to call
stealth taxes as ways of trying to raise money and invariably a blow up
in your face. Stealth taxes never end up being stealthy. It is part of
the narrative that budget begins to fall apart within hours. You have to
have sympathy, as Tom says, with Philip Hammond. No wonder he would
like to be liberated. The early election will not happen. The best
argument I have heard for an early election. The tax and spend about at
the last election was a disaster partly because the Conservatives
feared they would lose. Maybe they could be a bit more candid about the
need to put up some taxes to pay for public services and it is very
interesting what you picked up on Philip Hammond because he is
trapped. So constrained about... You can also reopen the Ring fencing and
spending and the obvious place to go is the triple lock, OAP spending.
Another case for an election. He cannot undo the promise to that
demographic. We will not get to 2020 without something breaking. The
Prime Minister, the trade secretary and Mr Hammond, they are off to
India, the Far East, talking up trade with these countries, I do not
know if any of you are going? Sadly not. Will it produce dividends? The
prime Minster is going somewhere too. No, it will not, the honest
answer. No one will do a trade deal with us because we cannot do one
because we are still in the EU and they need to know what our terms
will be with the EU first before they can work out how they want to
trade with us. This is vital preparatory work. Ministers always
go somewhere in recess, it is what they do. We will not see anything in
a hurry, we will not see anything for two years. They have to do it.
Whatever side of the joint you are on, Brexit, remain, we need to get
out there. -- the argument. We should have been doing this the day
after the referendum result. It is now several months down the line and
they need to step it up, not the opposite. You can make some informal
talks, I guess. You can say, Britain is open for business. There is a
symbolism to it. What a lot of energy sucked up into this.
Parliament is not sitting so they might as well start talking. We have
run out of energy and time. That is it for today. We are off for the
Easter recess, back in two weeks' time. If it is Sunday, it is the
Sunday Politics. Unless it is that used to recess! -- Easter recess.
Marine Le Pen has her eyes on the French presidency.
As she tries to distance herself from her party's controversial past,
we follow the money and ask, "Who's funding her campaign?"
Andrew Neil and Marie Ashby are joined by shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth MP, former Conservative Party leader Lord Michael Howard and John Curtice. The Political Panel consists of Tom Newton Dunn of the Sun, Isabel Oakeshott and Steve Richards.