Sarah Smith and Marie Ashby with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Guests include Hilary Benn and Theresa Villiers.
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I'm Sarah Smith, and welcome
to The Sunday Politics,
where we always bring you everything
you need to know to understand
what's going on in politics.
Coming up on today's programme...
The Government says
the international trade minister
Mark Garnier will be investigated
following newspaper allegations
of inappropriate behaviour
towards a female staff member.
We'll have the latest.
The Prime Minister says she can
agree a deal with the EU and plenty
of time for Parliament to vote on it
before we leave in 2018. Well
Parliament play ball? New evidence
cast out on the
In the East Midlands: a call
to our MPs to fight for more
Government spending in the region,
as new figures show we're
bottom of the pile.
And the tourism boom bringing
in billions of pounds.
on from the abortion act white MPs
are lobbying the Home Secretary to
stop the alleged harassment of women
attending abortion clinics.
All that coming up in the programme.
And with me today to help make sense
of all the big stories,
Steve Richards and Anne McElvoy.
Some breaking news this morning.
The Government has announced
that it will investigate
whether the International Trade
Minister Mark Garnier broke
the Ministerial Code
of inappropriate behaviour.
It comes after reports in the Mail
on Sunday which has spoken to one
of Mr Garnier's former employees.
News of the investigation
was announced by the Health
Secretary Jeremy Hunt
on the Andrew Marr show earlier.
The stories, if they are true,
are totally unacceptable
and the Cabinet Office will be
conducting an investigation
as to whether there has been
a breach of the ministerial code
in this particular case.
But as you know the
facts are disputed.
This is something that covers
behaviour by MPs of all parties
and that is why the other thing
that is going to happen
is that today Theresa May
is going to write to John Bercow,
the Speaker of the House of Commons,
to ask for his advice as to how
we change that culture.
That was Jeremy Hunt a little
earlier. I want to turn to the panel
to make sense of this news. This is
the government taking these
allegations quite seriously.
has changed in this story is they
used to be a bit of delay while
people work out what they should say
about it, how seriously to take it.
As you see now a senior cabinet
member out there, Jeremy Hunt, with
an instant response. He does have
the worry of whether the facts are
disputed, but what they want to be
seen doing is to do something very
quickly. In the past they would say
it was all part of the rough and
tumble of Westminster.
does not deny these stories, which
is that he asked an employee to buy
sex toys, but he said it was just
high jinks and it was taken out of
context. Is this the sort of thing
that a few years ago in a different
environment would be investigated?
Not necessarily quite the frenzy
that it is nowadays. The combination
of social media, all the Sunday
political programmes were ministers
have to go on armed with a response
means that you get these we have to
be seen to be doing something. That
means there is this Cabinet Office
investigation. You pointed out to us
before the programme that he was not
a minister before this happened. It
does not matter whether he says yes,
know I did this or did not,
something has to be seen to be done.
Clearly ministers today are being
armed with that bit of information
and that Theresa May will ask John
Bercow the speaker to look into the
whole culture of Parliament in this
context. That is the response to
this kind of frenzy.
If we do live
in an environment where something
has to be seen to be done, does that
always mean the right thing gets
Absolutely not. We are in
witch hunt territory. All of us work
in the Commons over many years and
anyone would think it was a scene
out of Benny Hill or a carry on
film. Sadly it is not that much fun
and it is rather dull and dreary.
Yes, there are sex pests, yes, there
is sexual harassment, but the idea
this is going on on a huge scale is
Doesn't matter whether it
is a huge scale or not? Or just a
Any workplace where
you have the mixing of work and
social so intertwined and you throw
a huge amount of alcohol and late
night and people living away from
home you will have this happen.
does not make it OK.
It makes sexual
harassment not OK as it is not
anywhere. This happens to men as
well and if they have an issue into
it there are employment tribunal 's
and they can contact lawyers. I do
not think this should be a matter of
the speaker, it should be someone
completely independent of any party.
People think MPs are employees of
the party or the Commons, they are
Because they are self-employed
to whom do you go if you are a
That has to be
clarified. I agree you need a much
clearer line of reporting. It was a
bit like the situation when we came
into the media many years ago, the
Punic wars in my case! You were not
quite sure who to go to. If you work
worried that it might impede your
career, and you had to talk to
people who work next to you, that is
just one example, but in the Commons
people do not know who they should
go to. Where Theresa May might be
making a mistake, it is the same
mistake when it was decided to
investigate through Levinson the
culture of the media which was like
nailing jelly to a wall. Look at the
culture of anybody's job and the
environment they are in and there is
usually a lot wrong with it. When
you try and make it general, they
are not trying to blame individuals,
or it say they need a better line on
reporting of sexual harassment,
which I support, the Commons is a
funny place and it is a rough old
trade and you are never going to
iron out the human foibles of that.
Diane Abbott was talking about this
When I first went into Parliament so
many of those men had been to all
boys boarding schools and had really
difficult attitudes towards women.
The world has moved on and
middle-aged women are less likely
than middle-aged men to believe that
young research are irresistibly
attracted to them. We have seen the
issues and we have seen one of our
colleagues been suspended for quite
That is a point, Jarrod O'Mara, a
Labour MP who has had the whip
suspended, this goes across all
The idea that there is a
left or right divide over this is
absurd. This is a cultural issue. In
the media and in a lot of other
institutions if this is going to
develop politically, the frenzy will
carry on for a bit and other names
will come out over the next few
days, not just the two we have
mentioned so far in politics. But it
also raises questions about how
candidates are selected for example.
There has been a huge pressure for
the centre to keep out of things. I
bet from now on there will be much
greater scrutiny of all candidates
and tweets will have to be looked at
and all the rest of it.
candidates is interesting. Miriam
Gonzalez, Nick Clegg's wife, says
that during that election they knew
about Jarrod O'Mara and the Lib Dems
knew about it, so it is difficult to
suggest the Labour Party did not as
There is very clear evidence
the Labour Party did know. But we
are in a situation of how perfect
and well-behaved does everyone have
to be? If you look at past American
presidents, JFK and Bill Clinton,
these men were sex pest
extraordinaire, with totally
inappropriate behaviour on a regular
basis. There are things you are not
allowed to say if you are feminists.
Young women are really attracted to
powerful men. I was busted for the
idea that there are young women in
the House of commons who are
throwing themselves at middle-aged,
potbellied, balding, older men. We
need to focus on the right things.
When it is unwanted, harassing,
inappropriate and criminal,
absolutely, you come down like a
tonne of bricks. It is not just
because there are more women in the
Commons, it is because there are
more men married to women like us.
We have to leave it there.
As attention turns in
Westminster to the hundreds
of amendments put down on the EU
Withdrawal Bill, David Davis has
caused a stir this week by saying
it's possible Parliament won't get
a vote on the Brexit deal
until after March 2019 -
when the clock runs out
and we leave the EU.
Let's take a look at how
the controversy played out.
And which point do you envisage
Parliament having a vote?
As soon as possible thereafter.
As soon as possible
possible thereafter, yeah.
As soon as possible thereafter.
So, the vote in Parliament...
The other thing...
Could be after March 2019?
It could be, yeah, it could be.
It depends when it concludes.
Mr Barnier, remember,
has said he'd like...
Sorry, the vote of our Parliament,
the UK Parliament, could be
after March 2019?
Yes, it could be.
The thing to member...
Which would be...
Well, it can't come
before we have the deal.
You said that it is POSSIBLE that
Parliament night not vote
on the deal until AFTER
the end of March 2019.
I'm summarising correctly
what you said...?
Yeah, that's correct.
In the event we don't do
the deal until then, yeah.
Can the Prime Minister please
explain how it's possible
to have a meaningful vote
on something that's
already taken place?
As the honourable gentleman knows,
we're in negotiations
with the European Union, but I am
confident that the timetable under
the Lisbon Treaty does give time
until March 2019
for the negotiations to take place.
But I'm confident, because it is in
the interests of both sides,
it's not just this Parliament that
wants to have a vote on that deal,
but actually there will be
ratification by other parliaments,
that we will be able to achieve that
agreement and that negotiation
in time for this Parliament
to have a vote that we committed to.
We are working to reach
an agreement on the final deal
in good time before we leave
the European Union in March 2019.
Clearly, we cannot say
for certain at this stage
when this will be agreed.
But as Michel Barnier said,
he hopes to get a draft deal
agreed by October 2018,
and that's our aim is well.
agreed by October 2018,
and that's our aim as well.
I'm joined now by the former
Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary
Benn, who is the chair
of the Commons Brexit Committee,
which David Davis was
giving evidence to.
When you think a
parliamentary vote should take place
in order for it to be meaningful?
has to be before we leave the
European Union. Michel Barnier said
at the start of the negotiations
that he wants to wrap them up by
October of next year, so we have
only got 12 months left, the clock
is ticking and there is a huge
amount of ground to cover.
not think there is any point in
having the vote the week before we
leave because you could then not go
That would not be
acceptable. We will not be given a
bit of paper and told to take it or
leave it. But the following day
Steve Baker, also a minister in the
department, told our committee that
the government now accepts that in
order to implement transitional
arrangements that it is seeking, it
will need separate legislation. I
put the question to him if you are
going to need separate legislation
to do that, why don't you have a
separate bill to implement the
withdrawal agreement rather than
seeking to use the powers the
government is proposing to take in
the EU withdrawal bill.
If we stick
to the timing, you have said you do
not think it is possible to
negotiate a trade deal in the next
12 months. You say the only people
who think that is possible British
ministers. If you do not believe we
can get a deal negotiated, how can
we get a vote on it in 12 months'
If things go well, and there
is still a risk of no agreement
which would be disastrous for the
economy and the country, if
things go there will be a deal on
the divorce issues, there will be a
deal on the nature of the
transitional arrangement and the
government is to set out how it
thinks that will work, and then an
agreement between the UK and the 27
member states saying, we will now
negotiate a new trade and market
access arrangement, and new
association agreement between the
two parties, and that will be done
in the transition period. Parliament
will be voting in those
circumstances on a deal which leads
to the door being open.
But we would
be outside the EU at that point, so
how meaningful can vote be where you
take it or leave it if we have
already left the EU? Surely this has
to happen before March 2019 for it
to make a difference?
I do not think
it is possible to negotiate all of
the issues that will need to be
covered in the time available.
it is not possible to have a
meaningful vote on it?
will have to have a look at the deal
presented to it. It is likely to be
a mix agreement so the approval
process in the rest of Europe,
unlike the Article 50 agreement,
which will be a majority vote in the
European Parliament and in the
British Parliament, every single
Parliament will have a vote on it,
so it will be a more complex process
anyway, but I do not think that is
the time to get all of that sorted
between now and October next year.
Whether it is before or after we
have left the EU, the government
have said it is a take it or leave
it option and it is the Noel Edmonds
option, deal or no Deal, you say yes
or no to it. You cannot send them
back to re-negotiate.
If it is a separate piece of
legislation, when Parliament has a
chance to shape the nature of that
But it can't change
what has been negotiated with the
Well, you could say to the
government, we're happy with this
but was not happy about that chukka
here's some fresh instructions, go
back in and...
It seems to me what
they want is the maximum access to
the single market for the lowest
possible tariffs, whilst able to
control migration. If they've got to
get the best deal that they can on
that, how on earth is the Labour
Party, saying we want a bit more,
owing to persuade the other 27?
certainly don't want the lowest
possible tariffs, we want no tariffs
are taught. My personal view is
that, has made a profound mistake in
deciding that it wants to leave the
customs union. If you want to help
deal with the very serious question
of the border between Northern
Ireland and the Republic of Ireland,
the way you do that is to stay in
the customs union and I hope, will
change its mind.
But the Labour
Party is simply saying in the House
of Commons, we want a better deal
than what, has been able to get?
depends how the negotiations unfold.
, has ended up on the transitional
arrangements in the place that Keir
Starmer set out on behalf of the
shadow cabinet in August, when he
said, we will need to stay in the
single market and the customs union
for the duration of the transition,
and I think that is the position,
has now reached. It has not been
helped by differences of view within
the Cabinet, and a lot of time has
passed and there's proved time left
and we have not even got on to the
negotiations. -- there's very little
On phase two, the labour
Party have set out six clear tests,
and two of them are crucial. You say
you want the exact same benefits we
currently have in the customs union
but you also want to be able to
ensure the fair migration to control
immigration, basically, which does
sound a bit like having your cake
and eating it. You say that you will
vote against any deal that doesn't
give you all of that, the exact same
benefits of the single market, and
allowing you to control migration.
But you say no deal would be
catastrophic if so it seems to me
you're unlikely to get the deal that
you could vote for but you don't
want to vote for no deal?
absolutely don't want a no deal.
Businesses have sent a letter to the
Prime Minister saying that a
transition is essential because the
possibility of a no deal and no
transitional would be very damaging
for the economy. We fought the
general election on a policy of
seeking to retain the benefits of
the single market and the customs
union. Keir Starmer said on behalf
of the shadow government that as far
as the longer term arrangements are
concerned, that should leave all
options on the table, because it is
the end that you're trying to
achieve and you then find the means
to support it. So we're setting out
very clearly those tests.
were to vote down an agreement
because it did not meet your tests,
and there was time to send, back to
the EU to get a better deal, then
you would have significantly
weakened their negotiating hand
chukka that doesn't help them?
don't think, has deployed its
negotiating hand very strongly thus
far. Because we had a general
election which meant that we lost
time that we would have used for
negotiating. We still don't know
what kind of long-term trade and
market access deal, wants. The Prime
Minister says, I don't want a deal
like Canada and I don't want a deal
like the European Economic Area. But
we still don't know what kind of
deal they want. With about 12 months
to go, the other thing, needs to do
is to set out very clearly above all
for the benefit of the other 27
European countries, what kind of
deal it wants. When I travel to
Europe and talk to those involved in
the negotiations, you see other
leaders saying, we don't actually
know what Britain wants. With a year
to go it is about time we made that
One related question on the
European Union - you spoke in your
famous speech in Syria about the
international brigades in Spain, and
I wonder if your solidarity with
them leads you to think that the UK
Government should be recognising
Catalonia is an independent state?
No, I don't think so. It is a very
difficult and potentially dangerous
situation in Catalonia at the
moment. Direct rule from Madrid is
not a long-term solution. There
needs to be a negotiation, and
elections will give Catalonia the
chance to take that decision, but I
am not clear what the declaration of
independence actually means. Are
they going to be borders, is they're
going to be an army? There will have
to be some agreement. Catalonia has
already had a high degree of
autonomy. It may like some more, and
it seems to me if you look at the
experience here in the United
Kingdom, that is the way to go, not
a constitutional stand-off. And I
really hope nobody is charged with
rebellion, because actually that
would make matters worse.
Now, the Government has this
week reopened the public
consultation on plans for a third
runway at Heathrow.
While ministers are clear
the £18 billion project
is still the preferred option,
new data raises further questions
about the environmental
impact of expansion,
and offers an improved
economic case for a second
runway at Gatwick instead.
So, with opponents on all sides
of the Commons, does the Government
still have the votes to get
the plans off the ground?
Here's Elizabeth Glinka.
The debate over the expansion
of Heathrow has been
going on for decades.
Plans for a third runway
were first introduced
by the Labour government in 2003.
Then, after spending millions
of pounds, finally, in 2015,
the airport commission recommended
that those plans go ahead,
and the government position
appeared to be fixed.
But, of course, since then,
we've had a general election.
The Government have lost
their Commons majority.
And with opposition on both front
benches, the Parliamentary
arithmetic looks a little bit up
in the air.
A lot has changed since the airport
commission produced its report,
and that don't forget
was the bedrock for the Government's
decision, that's why the government
supposedly made the decision
that it made.
But most of the assumptions
made in that report have
been undermined since,
by data on passenger numbers,
on economic benefits, and more
than anything, on pollution.
There's demand from international
carriers to get into Heathrow.
More and more people want to fly.
And after the referendum,
is going to be absolutely critical
to the UK economy, so if anything,
I think the case is stronger
for expansion at Heathrow.
A vote on expansion had been due
to take place this summer.
But with Westminster somewhat
distracted, that didn't happen.
Now, fresh data means
the Government has had to reopen
the public consultation.
But it maintains the case
for Heathrow is as strong as ever,
delivering benefits of up
to £74 billion to the wider economy.
And in any case, the Government
says, action must be taken,
as all five of London's airports
will be completely
full by the mid-2030s.
Still, the new research does cast
an alternative expansion at Gatwick
in a more favourable economic light,
while showing Heathrow
is now less likely to meet
its environmental targets.
Campaigners like these in Hounslow
sense the wind is shifting.
We're feeling encouraged,
because we see all kinds
of weaknesses in the argument.
Certainly, quite a few MPs,
I think certainly Labour MPs,
are beginning to think perhaps it's
not such a great idea
to have a third runway.
Their MP is convinced colleagues
can now be persuaded
to see things their way.
The Labour Party quite
rightly set four key tests
for a third runway at Heathrow.
And in my view,
Heathrow is not able...
The Heathrow option is not able
to pass any of those.
So, I see a lot of colleagues
in the Labour Party around
the country beginning
to think twice.
And if you look at the cross-party
MPs supportin this anti-Heathrow
And if you look at the cross-party
MPs supporting this anti-Heathrow
protest this week, you will see
some familiar faces.
You know my position -
as the constituency MP,
I'm totally opposed.
I think this is another indication
of just the difficulties
the Government have got off
of implementing this policy.
I don't think it's going to happen,
I just don't think
it's going to happen.
So, if some on the Labour
front bench are, shall
we say, not supportive,
what about the other side?
In a free vote, we could have had up
to 60 Conservative MPs
voting against expansion,
that's the number that is normally
used and I think it's right.
In the circumstances where it
requires an active rebellion,
the numbers would be fewer.
I can't tell you what that
number is, but I can tell
you that there are people right
the way through the party,
from the backbenches
to the heart of the government,
who will vote against
And yet the SNP, whose Commons
votes could prove vital,
are behind the Heathrow plan,
which promises more
And other supporters are convinced
they have the numbers.
There is a majority of members
of Parliament that support Heathrow
expansion, and when that is put
to the test, whenever that will be,
I think that will be
Any vote on this issue
won't come until next summer.
For both sides, yet more time
to argue about weather
the plans should take off
or be permanently grounded.
Elizabeth Glinka there.
And I'm joined now by the former
Cabinet minister Theresa Villiers,
who oversaw aviation policy
as a transport minister
under David Cameron.
Thanks for coming in. You have made
your opposition to a third runway at
Heathrow consistently clear. , have
reopened this consultation but it is
still clearly their preferred
It is but what I have always
asked is, why try to build a new
runway at Heathrow when you can
build one at Gatwick in half the
time, for half the cost and with a
tiny fraction of the environment
will cost average is that true,
though? Private finance is already
to go at Heathrow, because that's
where people want to do it and
that's where the private backers
want to put it. It would take much
longer to get the private finance
for Gatwick? Part of that private
finance is passengers of the future,
but also, the costs of the surface
transport needed to expand Heathrow
is phenomenal. I mean, TfL estimates
vary between £10 billion and £15
billion. And there's no suggestion
that those private backers are going
to meet those costs. So, this is a
hugely expensive project as well as
one which will create very
ultimately where passengers and
airlines want to go to, isn't it?
Every slot is practically full.
Every time a new one comes up, it is
up immediately, it's a very popular
airport. Gatwick is not where they
want to go?
There are many airlines
and passengers who do want to fly
from Gatwick, and all the forecasts
indicate that a new runway there
would be full of planes very
rapidly. But I think the key thing
is that successive elements have
said, technology will deliver a way
to resolve the around noise and air
quality. I don't have any confidence
that science has demonstrated that
technology will deliver those
solutions to these very serious
environmental limbs which have
stopped Heathrow expansion for
Jim Fitzpatrick in the film
was mentioning that people think
there is a need for even more
collectivity in Britain post-Brexit.
We know that business has been
crying out for more routes, they
really think it hurts business
expansion that we don't get on with
this. More consultation is just
going to lead to more delay, isn't
This is a hugely controversial
decision. There is a reason why
people have been talking about
expanding Heathrow for 50 years and
it is never happened, it's because
it's a bad idea. So, inevitably the
legal processes are very complex.
One of my anxieties about, pursuing
this option is that potentially it
means another lost decade for
airport expansion. Because the
problems with Heathrow expansion are
so serious, I believe that's one of
the reasons why I advocated, anyone
who wants a new runway in the
south-east should be backing Gatwick
is a much more deliverable option.
Let me move on to Brexit. We were
talking with Hilary Benn about a
meaningful vote being given to the
House of Commons chukka how
important do you think that is?
course the Commons will vote on
this. The Commons is going to vote
on this many, many times. We have
also had a hugely important vote not
only in the referendum on the 23rd
of June but also on Article 50.
will that vote allow any changes to
it? Hilary Benn seemed to think that
the Commons would be able to shape
the deal with the vote. But actually
is it going to be, saying, take it
or leave it at all what we have
Our Prime Minister
negotiates on our behalf
well-established precedent that
after an agreement is reached
overseas, then it is considered in
the House of Commons.
What if it was
voted down in the House of Commons?
Well, the legal effect of that would
be that we left the European Union
without any kind of deal, because
the key decision was on the voting
of Article 50 as an irreversible
Is it irreversible,
though? We understand, may have had
legal advice saying that Yukon
stopped the clock on Article 50.
Would it not be possible if the
Commons voted against to ask the
European Union for a little bit more
time to try and renegotiate?
is a debate about the reversibility
of Article 50. But the key point is
that we are all working for a good
deal for the United Kingdom and the
I'm concerned that some of the
amendments to the legislation are
not about the nature of the deal at
the end of the process, they're just
about frustrating the process. I
think that would be wrong. I think
we should respect the result of the
Will it be by next
summer, so there is time for
Parliament and for other
I certainly hope that
we get that agreement between the
two sides, and the recent European
summit seemed to indicate a
willingness from the European side
to be constructive. But one point
where I think Hilary Benn has a
point, if we do secure agreement on
a transitional deal, that does
potentially give us more time to
work on the details of a trade
agreement. I hope we get as much as
possible in place before exit day.
But filling out some of that detail
is made easier if we can secure that
two-year transitional deal.
That is interesting because a lot of
Brexiteers what the deal to be done
by the inflammation period, it is
not a time for that.
recognise we need compromise, I am
keen to work with people across my
party in terms of spectrum of
opinion, and with other parties as
well to ensure we get the best
Let me ask you briefly
before you go about the possible
culture of sexual harassment in the
House of commons and Theresa May
will write to the Speaker of the
House of Commons to make sure there
is a better way that people can
report sexual harassment in the
House of commons. Is that necessary?
A better procedure is needed. It is
sad it has taken this controversy to
push this forward. But there is a
problem with MPs who are individual
employers. If you work for an MP and
have a complaint against them,
essentially they are overseeing
their own complaints process. I
think a role for the House of
commons authorities in ensuring that
those complaints are properly dealt
with I think would be very helpful,
so I think the Prime Minister's
letter was a sensible move.
think there is a culture of sexual
harassment in the House of commons?
I have not been subjected to it or
seen evidence of it, but obviously
there is anxiety and allegations
have made their way into the papers
and they should be treated
appropriately and properly
Thank you for talking
Thank you for talking to us.
Next week the Lord Speaker's
committee publishes its final report
into reducing the size
of the House of Lords.
With over 800 members the upper
house is the second largest
legislative chamber in the world
after the National People's
Congress of China.
The report is expected to recommend
that new peerages should be
time-limited to 15 years and that
in the future political peerage
appointments will also be tied
to a party's election performance.
The government has been under
pressure to take action to cut
members of the unelected chamber,
where they are entitled
to claim an attendance
allowance of £300 a day.
And once again these expenses
have been in the news.
The Electoral Reform Society
discovered that 16 peers had claimed
around £400,000 without speaking
in any debates or submitting any
questions for an entire year.
One of the Lords to be
criticised was Digby Jones,
the crossbencher and former trade
minister, he hasn't spoken
in the Lords since April 2016
and has voted only seven times
during 2016 and 2017.
Yet he has claimed around
£15,000 in this period.
When asked what he does
in the House he said,
"I go in and I will invite for lunch
or meet with inward
investors into the country.
I fly the flag for Britain."
Well, we can speak now
to Lord Jones who joins us
from Stratford Upon Avon.
Thank you very much for talking to
us. You provide value for money in
the House of Lords do you think?
Definitely. I am, by the way, very
keen on reform. I want to see that
15 year tide. I would like to see a
time limit, an age limit of 75 or
80. I would like attendants
definitely define so the whole
public understood what people are
paying for and why. The £300, as a
crossbencher I get no support, and
nor do I want any, speech writing,
secretarial assistance, none of
that, and the £300 goes towards
Whilst you are in there
because we will talk about the
reform of the Lords in general, but
in terms of you yourself, you say
you invite people in for lunch, is
it not possible for you to take part
in debates and votes and ask
questions at the same time?
ever listened to a debate in the
laws? Yes, many times.
times. You have to put your name
down in advance and you have to be
there for the whole debate.
to be around when the vote is called
and you do not know when the book is
called, you have no idea when the
boat is going to be called.
part of being a member of the House
of Lords and what it means. If you
are not prepared to wait or take
part in debates, why do you want to
be a member? It is possible to
resign from the House of Lords.
There are many things members of the
Lords do that does not relate to
parrot fashion following somebody
else, which I refuse to do, about
speaking to an empty chamber, or
indeed hanging on sometimes for
hours to vote. There are many other
things that you do. You quote me as
saying I will entertain at lunchtime
or show people around the House,
everything from schoolchildren to
inward investors. I will meet
ministers about big business issues
or educational issues, and at the
same time I will meet other members
of the Lords to get things moving.
None of that relates to going into
the House and getting on your hind
legs, although I do go in and sit
there and learn and listen to
others, which, if more people would
receive and not transmit, we might
get a better informed society. At
the same time many times I will go
after I have listened and I am
leaving and if I have not heard the
debate, I will not vote.
an essential part of being part of a
legislative chamber. This is not
just an executive committee, it is a
legislature, surpassing that law is
essential, is it not?
Do you really
believe that an MP or a member of
the Lords who has not heard a moment
of the debate, who is then listening
to the Bell, walks in and does not
know which lobby, the whips tell
him, they have not heard the debate
and they do not know what they are
voting on and they go and do it?
That is your democracy? Voting seems
to be an essential part of this
chamber, and you have your ideas
about reforming the chamber. It
sounds as though you would reform
yourself out of it. You say people
who are not voting and who are not
taking part in debate should no
longer be members of the House.
did not say that. I said we ought to
redefine what attendance means and
then if you do not attend on the new
criteria, you do not have to come
ever again, we will give you your
wish. I agree attendance might mean
unless you speak, you are going.
Fair enough, if that is what is
agreed, yes. Sometimes I would speak
and sometimes I would not. If I did
not, then off I go. Similarly after
15 years, off you go. If you reach
75 or 80, off you go. Why do we have
92 members who are only there
because of daddy.
You are talking
about hereditary peers. You would
like to reduce the House to what
kind of number?
I would get it down
You would get rid of half
the peers there at the moment? You
think you are active enough to
remain as one of the 400?
No, I said
that might well include me. Let's
get a set of criteria, let's push it
through, because the laws is losing
respect in the whole of the country
because there are too many and all
these things about what people pay
for. I bet most people think the
money you get is paid. It is not, it
is re-funding for all the things you
have to pay for yourself. But I
understand how respect has been lost
in society. Let's change it now.
Let's get it through and then, yes,
if you do not meet the criteria, you
have got to go and that includes me.
Lloyd Jones, thank you for talking
Lloyd Jones, thank
you for talking to us.
It's coming up to 11.40,
you're watching the Sunday Politics.
Coming up on the programme,
we'll be talking to the former
business minister and Conservative
MP Anna Soubry about the Brexit
negotiations and claims of sexual
harassment in Parliament.
In the East Midlands:
The sweet smell of success -
the region's sugar beet industry
is booming and looking forward
to life after Brexit.
We'll be finding out why Brexit
gives opportunity to send what comes
from fields in the East
Midlands around the world.
And it's a five billion pound
industry and growing,
but could the East Midlands make
even more from tourism?
It's been wonderful.
A great day out.
We visited two museums
and here at the King Richard Museum.
I think it's great.
It is actually my second day
being here because you get a
I just want to sweep
around this again.
Hello, I'm Marie Ashby my guests
this week - Maggie Throup
is the Conservative MP for Erewash
and Liz Kendall is
Labour's Leicester West MP.
First an issue you're
both passionate about -
Social care and how we pay for it.
In fact in the House
of Commons this week,
you followed each other in a debate
called by Labour on the subject.
And Maggie Throup, you talked
about your 94 year old father
who's in a care home.
So I've seen just what is needed
and what are the future and the
demands that will be around.
demands that will be around.
You praised the NHS
but were critical of successive
administrations for failing
to prepare our social care system
for an ageing population
with complex illnesses.
That's right. Today, people are
living through conditions they would
never have lived through before.
Heart attacks, strokes, cancer. And
their needs are changing so the NHS
has been a double-edged sword. And
we need to look at how we support
people through social care and we
really need to do something quite
dramatic to make those changes.
You want cross-party consensus on
Yes. We saw what happened at the
last election with a conservative
proposals dubbed the dementia tax.
Labour's appraisals were called a
death tax and I can go on. It will
be older and disabled people who
suffer. If you want lasting change
we have to get cross-party
agreement. I am working with others
to call on the Prime Minister to set
up back party convention.
What is your Government planning to
do? We have people coming up shortly
and I'm pushing to bring health and
care together under one roof. They
are so intrinsically linked I don't
think we can separate it any longer.
We need to be bold and brave. We
need cross-party support. For too
many years and too many successive
governments people have failed to
make a decision and it is about time
that politicians did actually make a
decision for the future of our
elderly and the most vulnerable in
We also need, clearly, an immediate
injection of cash in the Budget for
the NHS and social care. The
pressures are huge. Older people are
suffering and disabled people and
their family carers. We need that
immediate injection of cash and a
longer term cross arty approach.
It is not just cash but how to carry
out that Budget.
Money doesn't solve the problems.
But it is hugely needed. I am a
strong champion of reform. I agree,
one Budget, one commissioning body
for help and social care will better
meet people's needs.
In the last Budget the chance that
put £2 billion more into the pot. We
go on and on and on, we need reform
From funding social care to imagine
the quest for all of our MPs to work
together to get more money for the
whole region. East Midlands councils
which represent our local
authorities are looking at how much
money comes from central Government
and it seems that we're getting
something of a raw deal. If report
says that the East Midlands get that
lowest level of funding per head of
economic development, public
transport and on rail. The region is
the third levels for spending on
health, education, and overall
public spending. In fact, the
average public spending per head in
the East Midlands is £8,237. That is
more than £500 less than our
neighbours in the West Midlands. And
almost £1000 less than people living
in northern powerhouse areas. We
obviously have highlighted this
issue many, many times on this
programme. But looking at the stake
as it is pretty shocking.
The lowest funding per head of
economic development and public
transport just a start. It is a
problem. And I think sometimes
everybody blames each other. And I
think the East Midlands council
really need to communicate more. And
together with people like myself and
Liz so we can lobby the Government
fully. DHS to growth strategy that
was produced a couple of weeks ago,
I don't know about it until after it
was launched. Yet HS2 really affects
my constituency. If the council are
concerned about the funding want to
bring initially talking to people
They've written to you asking for
your help, Berliners's help, have
you reply to them on that?
I have not reply directly
butterfingers two-way underling to
look at themselves as well what they
are doing to communicate with us.
To share what their vision is as
well so we can lobby on their
behalf. What do you say?
Will they get the help they are
asking for? I hope that they do. But
I'm not holding my breath. The
problem is not that they are not
communicate with us, the problem is
the Government does not have a
strategy to rebalance the economy
across the regions. Only London and
the south-east have seen their
economies go back to the crisis
We have a very geographically
unbalanced economy and very unequal
So what is the answer, then?
Firstly, we need investment in
infrastructure, and wrote, in
Braille. We need more investment in
skills, those things are crucial to
boosting productivity, which is
essential if the economy as a whole
is going to grow.
And if we're going to see some of
that growth come back into people's
Theresa May says this is a
priority for her to rebalance the
But nothing has been done. Nothing
has been done since the financial
crash. My real concern is that we
are still too reliant on London and
the south-east and financial
services. We're not seeing that
growth and productivity coming back
up in the regions like these.
But sometimes we don't actually sing
and shout about what we got another
You're supposed to be doing that. I
did that in Parliament all the time.
What Rolls-Royce, we've got Toyota,
we've got the research that comes
out of the universities in our area.
It will either softly to health
Minister with responsibility life
We are committed to light sign
strategy as well. This is something
that affects all of us in every
aspect of our lives, the way we get
around, how we work, the kind of
jobs that we will have the future.
There has been so much talk over the
years of MPs working together on
this but nothing really seems to
Actually we have been working
together on the electrification of
the Midland mainline, which the
Government started stopped, started
and stopped again. That is something
that is good to go and make a big
difference. We need greater
conductivity with East Midland
airport and we really need to
address this issue of funding in
skills as well. Our people are our
best assets. With huge leaders,
universities, businesses. But they
need support from Government, too.
And the problem is, unless the
Chancellor and the Prime Minister
understand how to rebalance the
economy, and what steps are needed,
we will not see that action.
Championing greatness alone is not
going to deliver.
We've got to work together. We
should not be talking down the East
Midlands, which were talking up the
However you dress this up it does
seem we're getting a really raw deal
heel. £500 per head less than
neighbours in the West Midlands.
How can that be justified?
be. What will it restrict me is we
have the Midlands in June and it is
all talking about the West Midlands.
Let's talk about the East Midlands.
Let's shout and go and fight for
that money. Shafting alone isn't
going to work. -- shouting alone is
not going to work. I do not believe
the Government has a strategy for
rebalancing the economy and dealing
with the biggest problem that we've
got, which is wage stagnation. The
British economy is not delivering
rising earnings for the majority of
the population. Until we grasp that
we will never see the economy
Make the investment in the roads and
railways. We are having investment
as well. Just look at my
constituency. We've got a new
railway station. There is continuing
lobbying from my predecessor and I
continued that. The County Council
would have let it die but I was
determined to get that.
The score by the East Midlands
councils is a real court action for
urgent action, will they see that
We need to get together. We need to
see what we can each do to work
together to find out what needs to
be working. When reports put in
front of us that actually they're
not taking the local knowledge of
what would work best to provide
instruction about HS2, that is
You will be talking to the smooth
and councils? No reason why not.
And now another plea
for the region to work together -
this time on Tourism.
The East Midlands has
just had a record year.
The weak pound is helping boost
visitor numbers and Derbyshire has
become the first county
in the region to earn more
than two billion pounds
a year from tourists.
But are we making the most of our
world famous venues and history?
Alex Hamilton has been finding out.
There's no shortage of tourists in
the East Midlands. Visitors are
pouring in to Hardwick Hall. History
is a big attraction here in the
shape of the best of Hardwick, the
16th century serial widow who built
a hawk from a fortune amassed from a
series of marriages. And tourism is
big business in the East Midlands.
It is worth more than £2 billion to
Derbyshire alone. As Leicestershire
and Nottinghamshire are not too far
behind. And it's not just here.
Councils across the region reckon we
have seen 100 million visitors this
So where are the coming from? People
are coming from all postcodes across
the country but also, hard look as
good an international collection and
so we see quite a lot of
international visitors from all
areas across the world coming to see
us to discover more about our story
here. We have Christmas opening
coming up soon.
We'll see a lot more local audience.
Derbyshire may top the table locally
in terms of the value of tourism to
its local economy. But it is
Leicester and Leicestershire that is
the rest of the last year, figures
are up 5%, perhaps some of the other
cities will start looking for a king
under their car park.
What we have seen as investors with
a lot more confidence in the city
and county. Particularly in new
hotels, for example. We will get new
hotels, 500 bed spaces in the next
That is unprecedented for Leicester
and a sign of confidence in the
future. It is clear there is a lot
to draw tourists to the East
Whether they are local, national or
international visitors. We come from
Hong Kong to visit our son in
Nottingham University. He is
studying today and then we come over
here to a nearby city to have a look
It been wonderful. A great day out.
We visited two museums and here at
the King Richard Museum.
I figured as great. It is actually
my second day being here because you
get a return ticket. I just want to
sleep around this again. It's really
The ones who come here may be happy
but our local council is missing a
trick. Could Robin Hood helped
Leicester's famous King Richard hit
new targets? And could the National
space Centre propel the stately
homes to new heights? The leader of
Derbyshire County Council reckons
working together to could boost
numbers still further.
We can do so much more by working
with the East Midlands Airport. They
arrived for international tourists
to tourists to come to this region
and it is about how we disperse
those tourists across the region.
And working together to make sure
that we are targeting places like
London, for example. The vast
majority of tourists coming. How do
we disperse those out of London and
into the East Midlands. When we got
to work together quite closely
around that to make sure that
Whatever the outcome of Brexit come
off the sun visitors now are on the
A positive outlook there but could
we be doing more to attract more
I think we could. I think
Derbyshire, particularly, that of
the area I know really well. We have
something plastic countryside but
also some other places. A lot of
museums, celebrating the standing
ironworks and quite a lot of our
history. We have a fantastic theatre
in Nuneaton and we attracted over
15,000 visitors to the National
waterways Festival. It was one of
the hot weekend in August and people
couldn't really see Derbyshire and
It was beautiful, as you say. Can
you really say, as Barry Lewis was
saying there from the County
Council, that people will come up
from London to go to some of the
places you have been talking about?
London tourists go there for very
specific reasons, don't they? Is it
a capital in all its attractions.
She really targeting London
tourists? Absolutely we should be.
Offer to the third we've also got a
great comedy festival in Leicester,
we need to be able to promote our
work. I am concerned that some cuts
the local council has Howard will
reduce the amount we will spend on
marketing, the fantastic tourist
attractions we have here. And we go
back to the previous discussion
about making sure we have the road
and rail infrastructure to link us
up. But I think that is absolutely
right. To provide a package to
attract Londoners to our region to
see what fantastic things we've got,
and it's really important.
Do you think that could happen? I
don't see why not. We have the
mechanisms now. We can use the
Internet as I know a lot of people
go from London's to Stratford, at
York. And through Derbyshire to do
Let's make sure they can stop here
as well. Leicester is really reaping
the rewards, isn't it?
It has been fantastic. I think
there's more that we can do in
future and I hope campaigners around
the world, that's our ambition.
Next: As Brexit continues
to dominate the national agenda,
many businesses are wondering
what life outside the
European Union will look like.
Well one East Midlands industry
is getting a glimpse -
sugar beet producers have no quotas,
and no fixed prices to contend
with after they were scrapped
by the EU at the beginning
of this month.
So how will they cope and what does
it tell us about the future
for other sectors after we leave?
Here's our Political
Editor Tony Roe.
From soil in the East Midlands to
sugar bag, six out of ten adults are
oblivious to the fact that we
produce sugar in Britain. Six of
these, and they are quite heavy,
produce one bag of sugar. 60% of the
sugar we use comes from home grown
For our farmers, it is a lifeline.
Sugar beet for us is an important
crop because we're careful how we
grow the sugar, and the sugar beet,
we actually make some decent money.
It is usually one of our better
paying crops on the farm. This field
is 11 miles from the British sugar
plant. The average distance from the
old factory is 28 miles. For almost
50 years, the EU quota system has
limited what farmers can grow. That
has ended. It is news for British
Sugar, which processes 10,000 times
a day here.
When we had the quota system up to
October of this year we were
restricted in terms of how much we
could produce and sell.
And we were restricted from selling
on to the world market. And after
Brexit they believe they will be
able to be competitive on those
world markets as farmers yield per
acre is on the up, too.
We see it as an opportunity to grow
as a business. We are a really
efficient business and we see the
industry growing by up to 50%
compared with last year. We have
already grown by 30% this year, and
we could go beyond that, working
closely with our progress.
I can see us cutting down on the
acreage and growing more sugar beet
because the soil type we have suits
it. We grow good crops of sugar beet
and we lifted early and are able to
get a good week in after that.
These remain uncertain times for
farmers. There is a real fear that a
vote in Brussels this year failing
to approve the use a widely used
chemical will be damaging for the
Sign should dictate whether we can
use these products are not. And at
the moment, with this issue, it is
politics that is dictating it.
Playing with people's livelihoods,
displaying with genuine safe food
production and politics should not
have that amount of influence.
Then there is the Government push to
wean us off sugar treats. Does it
worry the industry? Not as much as
you would expect. Demand not
dropping, it is used in far more
than fizzy drinks.
than fizzy drinks.
It sounds confident of us live
outside the EU perhaps there is a
message therefore other businesses?
I think they are a highly efficient
and productive company. They will be
looking to export across the world
and they need all the support that
they can get in doing that but I do
know many other farmers are worried
about what will happen when we leave
the EU, what will happen to tariffs
on their goods. If we end up with no
deal, that is a 5% tariff on beef,
6% on dairy. Our food and doing
manufacturers are also concerned
about that. So it is an excellent
success story but there's nothing
stopping from exporting before we
even leave the EU. But there are
real worries, if we are out of the
single market and the customs union,
the NFU says it will be an absolute
disaster. And if you look at the
wider industries, across the East
Midlands, car manufacturing, acute
concern that there is no deal. We
had Toyota this week urging the
Government to lift the fog of
uncertainty. So what businesses want
a certainty. They wanted transition
deal and I think the Government
should be committing to one that is
keeping us in the single market and
the customs union and the very least
for the transition.
There is uncertainty out there.
There is. We will not do well in
negotiations in public. That is not
the way we conduct business at all.
What we've seen here with the sugar
beet industry is really good news
and it shows that there is life
outside of the EU. What I think we
do need to look at is the domestic
agricultural policy. So we can get
everything in place over the next
couple of years and the transition
period as well. The Prime Minister
has committed to a transition
You mentioned the industry as well,
it is looking at it set by sector.
We have the strategy and it will be
on a sector by sector basis.
Not knowing what radio we're going
to get us a real problem. On Monday,
the Prime Minister told MPs there
will not be a transition deal until
the future trade deal has been
agreed which means there will be a
complete and utter cliff edge.
Businesses cannot wait. They need to
make decisions by the end of this
year or early next year. It is... A
complete shambles on Brexit this
week from the Prime Minister. A
complete lack of clarity on the
transition deal and whether
Parliament will have the final say
and it is not good enough.
It is quite clear.
The majority of people voted for
Brexit. No one is denying that.
That's not even...
That is not even in question. What
about the transition deal? Obviously
we know that the 29th of March 2019
of the day we will leave the EU. But
what the Prime Minister has been
quite clear about in her speech is
there will be a transition period
after that. Businesses can adapt to
The whole point about the transition
deal is they know now. Businesses
need to take decisions now about
whether they can best, where they
can be based, what will happen to
their staff. They cannot wait. The
divisions within the Tory party have
absolutely... Listen, the Tory party
is completely split.
Let's not talk about it. Why not? We
need to talk about it. This is
because of delays.
The future of our country is about
getting a good deal from the EU so
we can move and we can export, we
Waiting to find out what that deal
We will not start those talks are
we? Until December. Thank you both.
Thank you both.
Time now to catch up with some
of the other political
stories of the week -
here's Tony, with 60 seconds.
The plight of an elite skater
from Nottingham who can't
use his sport towards a GCSE
is to be raised in Parliament.
He is a speed skater,
but his sport is not on
His MP is to hold a debate
calling for all Olympic
sports to be included.
People studying to teach
modern languages or
sciences in Derby will get
their student loans repaid.
People studying to teach
modern languages or
sciences in Derby will get
their student loans repaid.
The Education Secretary
said it was to boost
recruitment to teachers.
Derby is one of ten
opportunity zones across
the country where money is to be
spent improving social mobility.
Plans to transform the site of one
of the region's last deep pit coal
mines have been unveiled.
The colliery in north
closed last year.
Developers want to build 800
houses as well as school,
and a country park.
Rough justice for Nottingham North
MP Alex Norris in the
parliamentary dog of
the year competition.
His two border colleagues won
the popular vote, but
were pipped to the post by Rocky,
belonging to Labour colleague Tracy
That's the Sunday Politics
in the East Midlands,
thanks to Liz Kendall
and Maggie Throup for
being this week's guests.
Time now to hand you
back to Sarah Smith.
Ellie Reeves and Bob Blackman.
With that, it's back to Sarah.
Now, the much anticipated
EU Withdrawal Bill,
which will transfer EU law into UK
law in preparation for Brexit,
is expected to be debated
by MPs later next month.
Critics have called it a "power
grab" as it introduces so-called
Henry VIII powers for Whitehall
to amend some laws without
and it faces fierce resistance
from opposition parties
as well as many on the government's
own backbenches, with 300 amendments
and 54 new clauses tabled on it.
We're joined now by the Conservative
MP Anna Soubry who has been a strong
critic of the legislation.
Thank you very much for joining us.
Before we talk about the withdrawal
bill, I would like to bring up with
you that the Prime Minister has just
sent a letter to the Commons Speaker
John Bercow asking for an
independent body to be established
to investigate claims of sexual
harassment in Parliament. What are
your thoughts on that?
A very good
idea, sounds like a great deal of
common sense. I had already this
morning sent a request to the
speaker asking for an urgent
statement from the Leader of the
House as to what could now be done
to make sure that any complaints
actually against anybody working in
Parliament, to extend the
protections that workers throughout
the rest of businesses and in other
workplaces have, they should now be
extended into Parliament and asking
for an urgent statement from the
leader. Clearly the PM is well onto
this and it is a good idea. We have
to make sure everybody who works in
Parliament enjoys exactly the same
protections as other workers, so I
This should maybe have
happened a long time ago. We hear
stories of harassment that has been
going on for decades, but until now
it has been difficult to work out
who you could complain to about it.
It is my understanding that my Chief
Whip and the previous deputy Chief
Whip, and Milton, shared that view
and have shared that view for some
time but found it difficult to get
all the agreement necessary. Anyway,
we are where we are and we are
making that progress, but
my Chief Whip and the previous
deputy Chief Whip wanted this done
some time ago.
That is an
interesting point. Let's move on to
the much anticipated EU withdrawal
bill which will finally be debated.
You have put your name to an
amendment which is calling for a
vote on the final agreement in
essence, do you really believe that
that will be a meaningful both
offered to the Commons?
Yes, if you
look at the terms of the amendment,
it would deliver exactly that. It
would give members of Parliament the
opportunity to debated and voted on
it. It would be an effective piece
of legislation and would go through
both houses and should be done. One
of the problems with this process is
that Parliament has been excluded
from the sort of debate and
decisions that would have enabled
the government to move forward in
progress and form a consensus so we
get the very best Brexit deal.
have been excluded, that has been
wrong in my view, but by the end we
should not be excluded. The
government have made it clear that
whilst there may well be a boat if
you win on this amendment, it will
be a take it or leave it vote. This
is a deal you should accept, or
there will be no deal.
If you look
at the amendment we put forward
there will be other alternatives.
This is all hypothetical because we
want a good deal and it is difficult
to see that the government would not
bring a good deal to the House in
any event. But this is hypothetical,
it would mean Parliament would say
to government, go back and seek an
extension as we know it is there in
Article 50. It is perfectly possible
with the agreement of the other
members of the EU to seek an
extension so we continue the
negotiations and we get a deal that
is good for our country. It keeps
all options open and that is the
most important thing.
Conservative MPs really would take
that option in those circumstances?
It is only if you get enough votes
that you would be able to ask the
government to go back and
Have you for that?
For give me, but
you are jumping way down the line. I
am talking about an amendment that
keeps the options open. I am not
speculating as to what would happen,
I am not going there, it is far too
speculative. Let's get this bill in
good shape. The principle of this
bill is right and we need to put
into British domestic law existing
EU laws and regulations into our
substantive law. We all agree that
must happen. It is the means by
which we do it that causes problems
and we have this argument and debate
about what we call the endgame.
sure we will talk about this many
more times before we get to that
vote. I will turn to our panel of
political experts. Listening to the
tone of what the remainders are
trying to achieve with the EU
withdrawal bill, will be achieved?
You can hear that tussled there,
they want the maximum space and room
for Parliament to have a say. But
they have to be careful. The reason
is that clock is ticking and if you
have a situation which may seem to
be more interested in finding
different things to object to and
saying no to, it is not getting a
good deal and it does not look good
for the remainders in this argument
and they will have to come through
with their proposals. I do not mind
Parliament saying it should have a
big say, but what do you do if
Parliament says this is not good
enough? The government must simply
say, I am sorry we have run out of
time. The 27 will say they cannot be
bothered to have another round
either. They have to be strong, but
realistic about what their role in
Do you think the people
putting this amendment who say they
want a binding vote in parliament
are doing it because they think
Parliament should have a say or
because they want to obstruct it?
They do not think people should have
a say in the first place, they think
people got it wrong, so they need
more clever people than the voters
to have final say.
Or they believed
taking back control means Parliament
should have the final say.
Parliament said they would like to
give that decision back to the
people. This is the issue. It seems
to me that people like Anna Soubry
are trying to delay of the
transition period a bit longer.
These negotiations will take as long
as they have got. The EU will take
it to the wire and if we do not get
a decent deal, and one of the
reasons is the level of incompetence
on this government's part I have to
say and the other one will be the
people who want to remain
undermining them. They undermined
the government at every single stage
and they undermine Britain's
It is the timing of all
of this that is crucial and whether
the government can get a deal in
There will be a meaningful
vote, whether it is an shined in
legislation or not, there cannot be
an historic development as big as
this without Parliament having a
meaningful vote. I meaningful,
having the power to either stop it
or endorse it. You cannot have a
government doing something like this
with no vote in the House of
commons. When you say it will go to
the last minute I completely agree,
but last-minute in reality means
next summer. It has got to get
through the European Parliament and
the Westminster Parliament and quite
a few others as well.
with invoking Parliament is if it is
driven solely by remain, I would
love to say what people in the
league side think. I disagree with
Julia, I do not think you could say
people had their say and the terms
with which we leave are left open
and only the government should have
a say in it, Parliament clearly
should have a say in it.
Do we want
a good deal or not?
It does not mean
anything if you do not do it by next
summer I suggest.
Does that leave
Parliament any room for changing the
deal or is it simply take it or
It will have to have that
rule because it cannot simply be
another of these binary votes were
you accept the deal or no Deal.
There has to be some space.
a few MPs in the House of Commons
change a deal that has been agreed
by the member states?
Because of the
sequence, a huge if by the way, if
they vote down the deal that the
government has negotiated, the
government will have to re-negotiate
or there will have to be an
election. This will be a moment of
huge crisis, our government not
getting through its much topped
It is a mini Catalonia.
think it would be as big as
Catalonia, but with the implication
that there would have to be a
practical change in the deal because
if Parliament has not supported
It is a remain fantasy that
this deal can be put off and off
until they get something that is as
close to remaining as they can
possibly get. I am very much for
trying to get the best and avoiding
the worst, but there is an unreality
to that position if you keep trying
to do it again and again, at some
point people will want clarity.
labour putting forward a realistic
I thought Hilary Benn
was very realistic this morning, I
wish he was more in the driving seat
of Labour policy. He made clear
where he disagreed and he made clear
where he thought the negotiations
had gone off track or were bogged
down. I worry a bit about the Labour
position being incoherent, but that
is kept that way by the present
leadership because as far as they
are concerned the government is
suffering enough, why should they
have a position? Hilary Benn said we
needed to have clarity about the
timetable. It is like reading an
insurance contract and finding the
bit where you might get away with
it. That is not a policy.
That is not a policy.
That's all for today.
Join me again next Sunday
at 11 here on BBC One.
Until then, bye bye.
Sarah Smith and Marie Ashby with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Guests include chair of the Exiting the EU Select Committee Hilary Benn and former transport minister Theresa Villiers. Steve Richards, Julia Hartley-Brewer and Anne McElvoy are the political panel.