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Morning, folks, and welcome to the Sunday Politics.
Hard line remainers strike back at Brexit.
Are they trying to overturn the result of June's referendum
by forcing a second vote before we leave?
Australia's man in London tells us that life outside the EU "can be
pretty good" and that Brexit will "not be as hard as people say".
Could leaving the EU free Britain to do more business
It's been called "disgusting, dangerous and deadly"
but how polluted is our air, how bad for our health,
We have come to the Christmas market in Milton
And with me in the Sunday Politics grotto, the Dasher, Dancer
and Prancer of political punditry Iain Martin,
They'll be delivering tweets throughout the programme.
First this morning, some say they will fight
for what they call a "soft Brexit", but now there's an attempt by those
who campaigned for Britain to remain in the EU to allow the British
people to change their minds - possibly with a second referendum -
The Labour MEP Richard Corbett is revealed this morning to have
tried to amend European Parliament resolutions.
The original resolution called on the European Parliament
to "respect the will of the majority of the citizens
of the United Kingdom to leave the EU".
He also proposed removing the wording "stress that this wish
must be respected" and adding "while taking account of the 48.1%
The amendments were proposed in October,
but were rejected by a vote in the Brussels
Constitutional Affairs Committee earlier this month.
The report will be voted on by all MEPs in February.
Well, joining me now from Leeds is the Labour MEP who proposed
Good morning. Thanks for joining us at short notice. Is your aim to try
and reverse what happened on June 23? My aim with those amendments was
simply factual. It is rather odd that these amendments of two months
ago are suddenly used paper headlines in three very different
newspapers on the same day. It smacks of a sort of concerted effort
to try and slapped down any notion that Britain might perhaps want to
rethink its position on Brexit as the cost of Brexit emerges. You
would like us to rethink the position even before the cost urges?
I get lots of letters from people saying how one, this was an advisory
referendum won by a narrow majority on the basis of a pack of lies and a
questionable mandate. But if there is a mandate from this referendum,
it is surely to secure a Brexit that works for Britain without sinking
the economy. And if it transpires as we move forward, that this will be a
very costly exercise, then there will be people who voted leave who
said Hang on, this is not what I was told. I was told this would save
money, we could put it in the NHS, but if it is going to cost us and
our Monday leg, I would the right to reconsider. But
your aim is not get a Brexit that would work for Britain, your aim is
to stop it? If we got a Brexit that would work for Britain, that would
respect the mandate. But if we cannot get that, if it is going to
be a disaster, if it is going to cost people jobs and cost Britain
money, it is something we might want to pause and rethink. The government
said it is going to come forward with a plan. That is good. We need
to know what options to go for as a country. Do we want to stay in the
single market, the customs union, the various agencies? And options
should be costed so we can all see how much they cost of Brexit will
be. If you were simply going to try and make the resolution is more
illegal, why did the constitutional committee vote them down? This is a
report about future treaty amendments down the road for years
to come. This was not the main focus of the report, it was a side
reference, in which was put the idea for Association partnerships. Will
you push for the idea before the full parliament? I must see what the
text is. You said there is a widespread view in labour that if
the Brexit view is bad we should not exclude everything, I take it you
mean another referendum. When you were named down these amendments,
was this just acting on your own initiative, or acting on behalf of
the Labour Party? I am just be humble lame-duck MEP in the European
Parliament. It makes sense from any point of view that if the course of
action you have embarked on turns out to be much more costly and
disastrous than you had anticipated, that you might want the chance to
think again. You might come to the same conclusion, of course, but you
might think, wait a minute, let's have a look at this. But let's be
clear, even though you are deputy leader of Labour in the European
Parliament, you're acting alone and not as Labour Party policy? I am
acting in the constitutional affairs committee. All I am doing is stating
things which are common sense. If as we move forward then this turns out
to be a disaster, we need to look very carefully at where we are
going. But if a deal is done under Article 50, and we get to see the
shape of that deal by the end of 2019 under the two-year timetable,
in your words, we won't know if it is a disaster or not until it is
implemented. We won't be able to tell until we see the results about
whether it is good or bad, surely? We might well be able to, because
that has to take account of the future framework of relationships
with the European Union, to quote the article of the treaty. That
means we should have some idea about what that will be like. Will we be
outside the customs union, for instance, which will be very
damaging for our economy? Or will we have to stay inside and follow the
rules without having a say on them. We won't know until we leave the
customs union. You think it will be damaging, others think it will give
us the opportunity to do massive trade deals. My case this morning is
not what is right or wrong, we will not know until we have seen the
results. We will know a heck of a lot more than we do now when we see
that Article 50 divorce agreement. We will know the terms of the
divorce, we will know how much we still have to pay into the EU budget
for legacy costs. We will know whether we will be in the single
market customs union or not. We will know about the agencies. We will
know a lot of things. If the deal on the table looks as if it will be
damaging to Britain, then Parliament will be in its rights to say, wait a
minute, not this deal. And then you either renegotiate or you reconsider
the whole issue of Brexit or you find another solution. We need to
leave it there but thank you for joining us.
Iain Martin, how serious is the attempt to in effect an wind what
happened on June 23? I think it is pretty serious and that interview
illustrates very well the most damaging impact of the approach
taken by a lot of Remainers, which is essentially to say with one
breath, we of course accept the result, but with every action
subsequent to that to try and undermine the result or try and are
sure that the deal is as bad as possible. I think what needed to
happen and hasn't happened after June 23 is you have the extremists
on both sides and you have in the middle probably 70% of public
opinion, moderate leaders, moderate Remainers should be working together
to try and get British bespoke deal. But moderate Leavers will not take
moderate Remainers seriously if this is the approach taken at every
single turn to try and rerun the referendum. He did not say whether
it was Labour policy? That was a question which was ducked. I do not
think it is Labour Party policy. I think most people are in a morass in
the middle. I think the screaming that happens when anybody dares to
question or suggest that you might ever want to think again about these
things, I disagree with him about having another referendum but if he
wants to campaign for that it is his democratic right to do so. If you
can convince enough people it is a good idea then he has succeeded. But
the idea that we would do a deal and then realise this is a really bad
deal, let's not proceed, we will not really know that until the deal is
implemented. What our access is to the single market, whether or not we
are in or out of the customs union which we will talk about in a
minute, what immigration policy we will have, whether these are going
to be good things bad things, surely you have got to wait for four, five,
six years to see if it has worked or not? Yes, and by which stage
Parliament will have voted on it and there will be no going back from it,
or maybe there will. We are talking now about the first three months of
2019. That is absolutely the moment when Parliament agrees with Theresa
May or not. One arch remain I spoke to, and arch Remainiac, he said that
Theresa May will bring this to Parliament in 2019 and could say I
recommend that we reject it. What is he on or she? Some strong chemical
drugs! The point is that all manner of things could happen. I don't
think any of us take it seriously for now but the future is a very
long way away. Earlier, the trade Secretary Liam Fox was asked if we
would stay in the customs union after Brexit.
There would be limitations on what we would do in terms of tariff
setting which could limit the deals we would do, but we want to look at
all the different deals. There is hard Brexit and soft Brexit as if it
is a boiled egg we are talking about. Turkey is in part of the
customs union but not other parts. What we need to do is look at the
cost. This is what I picked up. The government knows it cannot remain a
member of the single market in these negotiations, because that would
make us subject to free movement and the European Court. The customs
union and the Prime Minister 's office doesn't seem to be quite as
binary, that you can be a little bit in and a little bit out, but I would
suggest that overall Liam Fox knows to do all the trade deals we want to
do we basically have to be out. But what he also seems to know is that
is a minority view in Cabinet. He said he was not going to give his
opinion publicly. There is still an argument going on about it in
Cabinet. When David Liddington struggled against Emily Thornbury
PMQs, he did not know about the customs union. What is apparent is
Theresa May has not told him what to think about that. If we stay in the
customs union we cannot do our own free trade deals. We are behind the
customs union, the tariff barriers set by Europe? Not quite. Turkey is
proof of the pudding. There are limited exemptions but they can do
free trade with their neighbours. Not on goods. They are doing a trade
deal with Pakistan at the moment, it relies on foreign trade investment
but Europe negotiates on turkey's behalf on the major free-trade
deals. This is absolutely why the customs union will be the fault line
for the deal we are trying to achieve. Interestingly, I thought
Liam Fox suggested during that interview that he was prepared to
suck up whatever it was. I think he was saying there is still an
argument and he intends to win it. He wants to leave it because he
wants to do these free-trade deals. There is an argument in the cabinet
about precisely that. The other thing to consider is in this country
we have tended to focus too much on the British angle in negotiations,
but I think the negotiations are going to be very difficult. You look
at the state of the EU at the moment, you look at what is
happening in Italy, France, Germany, look at the 27. It is possible I
think that Britain could design a bespoke sensible deal but then it
becomes very difficult to agree which is why I ultimately think we
are heading for a harder Brexit. It will be about developing in this
country. So, we've had a warning this week
that it could take ten years to do a trade deal
with the EU after Brexit. But could opportunities to expand
trade lie elsewhere? Australia was one of the first
countries to indicate its willingness to do a deal
with the UK and now its High Commissioner in London has told
us that life outside the EU He made this exclusive film
for the Sunday Politics. My father was the Australian High
Commissioner in the early 70s when the UK joined
the European Union, Now I'm in the job,
the UK is leaving. Australia supported
Britain remaining a member of the European Union,
but we respect the decision that Now that the decision has been made,
we hope that Britain will get on with the process
of negotiating their exit from the European Union and make
the most of the opportunities that Following the referendum decision,
Australia approached the British Government
with a proposal. We offered, when the time was right,
to negotiate a free trade agreement. The British and Australian
governments have already established a working group to explore a future,
ambitious trade agreement once A free trade agreement will provide
great opportunities for consumers Australian consumers could purchase
British-made cars for less We would give British
households access to cheaper, Our summer is during your winter,
so Australia could provide British households with fresh produce
when the equivalent British or Australian households would have
access to British products Free-trade agreements
are also about investment. The UK is the second-largest source
of foreign investment in Australia. By the way, Australia also invests
over ?200 billion in the UK, so a free trade agreement
would stimulate investment, But, by the way, free-trade
agreements are not just about trade and investment,
they are also about geopolitics. Countries with good trade relations
often work more closely together in other fields including security,
the spread of democracy We may have preferred
the UKto remain in the EU, We may have preferred the UK
to remain in the EU, but life outside as we know can
be pretty good. We have negotiated eight free-trade
agreements over the last 12 years, including a free-trade agreement
with the United States This is one of the reasons why
the Australian economy has continued to grow over the last 25 years
and we, of course, are not Australia welcomes Theresa May's
vision for the UK to become a global We are willing to help
in any way we can. Welcome to the programme. The
Australian government says it wants to negotiate an important trade deal
with the UK as efficiently and promptly as possible when Brexit is
complete. How prompt is prompt? There are legal issues obviously.
The UK, for as long as it remains in the EU, cannot negotiate individual
trade deals. Once it leaves it can. We will negotiate a agreement with
the UK when the time is right, by which we mean we can do preliminary
examination. Are you talking now about the parameters? We are talking
already, we have set up a joint working group with the British
Government and we are scoping the issue to try to understand what
questions will arise in any negotiation. But we cannot have
formally a negotiation. Until the country is out. Why is there no
free-trade deal between Australia and the European Union? It is a long
and tortuous story. Give me the headline. Basically Australian
agriculture is either banned or hugely restricted in terms of its
access to the European Union. So we see the European Union, Australia's,
is a pretty protectionist sort of organisation. Now we are doing a
scoping study on a free-trade agreement with the European Union
and we hope that next year we can enter into negotiations with them.
But we have no illusions this would be a very difficult negotiation, but
one we are giving priority to. Is there not a danger that when Britain
leaves the EU the EU will become more protectionist? This country has
always been the most powerful voice for free trade. I hope that does not
happen, but the reason why we wanted Britain to remain in the European
Union is because it brought to the table the whole free-trade mentality
which has been an historic part of Britain's approach to international
relations. Without the UK in the European Union you will lose that.
It is a very loud voice in the European Union and you will lose
that voice and that will be a disadvantage. The figure that jumped
out of me in the film is it to you only 15 months to negotiate a
free-trade deal with the United States. Yes, the thing is it is
about political will. A free-trade agreement will be no problem unless
you want to protect particular sectors of your economy. In that
case there was one sector the Americans insisted on protecting and
that was their sugar industry. In the end after 15 months of
negotiation two relatively free trading countries have fixed up
nearly everything. But we had to ask would be go ahead with this
free-trade agreement without sugar west we decided to do that. Other
than that it was relatively easy to negotiate because we are both
free-trade countries. With the UK you cannot be sure, but I do not
think a free-trade agreement would take very long to negotiate with the
UK because the UK would not want to put a lot of obstacles in the way to
Australia. Not to give away our hand, we would not want to put a lot
of obstacles in the way of British exports. The trend in recent years
is to do big, regional trade deals, but President-elect Donald Trump has
made clear the Pacific trade deal is dead. The transatlantic trade deal
is almost dead as well. The American election put a nail in the coffin
and the French elections could put another nail in the coffin. Are we
returning to a world of lateral trade deals, country with country
rather than regional blocs? Not necessarily. In the Asia Pacific we
will look at multilateral trade arrangements and even if the
transpacific partnership is not ratified by the Americans, we have
other options are there. However, our approach has been the ultimate
would be free-trade throughout the world which is proving hard to
achieve. Secondly, if we can get a lot of countries engaged in a
free-trade negotiation, that is pretty good if possible. But it is
more difficult. But we do bilateral trade agreements. We have one with
China, Japan, the United States, Singapore, and the list goes on, and
they have been hugely beneficial to Australia. You have been dealing
with the EU free deal, what lessons are there? How quickly do you think
Britain could do a free-trade deal with the EU if we leave? Well, there
is a completely different concept involved in the case of Britain and
the EU and that is at the moment there are no restrictions on trade.
So you and the EU would be talking about whether you will direct
barriers to trade. We are outsiders and we do not get too much involved
in this debate except to say we do not want to see the global trade
system disrupted by the direction of tariff barriers between the United
Kingdom, the fifth biggest economy in the world, and the European
Union. Our expectation is not just the British but the Europeans will
try to make the transition to Brexit as smooth as possible particularly
commercially. Say yes or no if you can. If Britain and Australia make a
free-trade agreement, would that include free movement of the
Australian and the British people? We will probably stick with our
present non-discriminatory system. Australia does not discriminate
against any country. The European Union's free movement means you
discriminate against non-Europeans. Probably not.
It could lead to a ban on diesel cars, prevent the building
of a third runway at Heathrow, and will certainly make it
more expensive to drive in our towns and cities.
Air pollution has been called the "public health crisis
of a generation" - but just how serious is the problem?
40,000 early deaths result from air pollution every year in the UK.
Almost 10,000 Londoners each year die prematurely.
It seems at times we can get caught up in alarming assertions
about air pollution, that this is a public health
emergency, that it is a silent killer, coming from politicians,
But how bad is air quality in Britain really?
Tony Frew is a professor in respiratory medicine and works
at Brighton's Royal Sussex County Hospital.
He has been looking into the recent claims
It's a problem and it affects people's health.
But when people start talking about the numbers
of deaths here, I think they are misusing the statistics.
There have been tremendous improvements in air quality
There is a lot less pollution than there used to be
and none of that is coming through in the public
So what does Professor Frew make of the claim that alarming levels
of toxicity in the air in the UK causes 40,000 deaths each year?
It is not 40,000 people who should have air pollution
on their death certificate, or 40,000 people who
It's a lot of people who had a little bit of life shortening
To examine these figures further we travelled to Cambridge to visit
I asked him about the data on which these claims
They come from a study on how mortality rates in US cities
First of all, it is important to realise that that 40,000 figure
29,000, which are due to fine particles, and another 11,000
I will just talk about this group for a start.
These are what are known as attributable deaths.
Known as virtual deaths, they come from a complex statistical model.
Quite remarkably it all comes from just one number and this
was based on a study of US cities and they found out that
by monitoring these cities over decades that the cities which had
a higher level of pollution had a higher mortality rate.
They estimated that there was a 6% increased risk of dying
each year for each small increase in pollution.
So this is quite a big figure, but it is important to realise
it is only a best estimate and the committee that advises
the government says that this figure could be between 1% and 12%.
So this 6% figure is used to work out the 29,000
Yes, through a rather complex statistical model.
And a similar analysis gives rise to the 11,000 attributable deaths
How much should we invest in cycling?
Should we build a third runway at Heathrow?
We need reliable statistics to answer those questions,
but can we trust the way data is being used by campaigners?
I think there are people who have such a passion for the environment
and for air pollution that they don't really
see it as a problem if they are deceiving the public.
Greenpeace have been running a campaign claiming that breathing
London's air is the equivalent of smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
If you smoke 15 cigarettes a day through your adult life,
that will definitely take ten years off your life expectancy.
If you are poor and you are in social class five,
compared to social class one, that would take seven
If you are poor and you smoke, that will take 17 years off your life.
Now, we are talking about possibly, if we could get rid of all
of the cars in London and all of the road transport,
we could make a difference of two micrograms per metre squared in air
pollution which might save you 30 days of your life.
There is no doubt that air pollution is bad for you,
but if we exaggerate the scale of the problem and the impact
on our health, are we at risk of undermining the case for making
And we are joined now by the Executive Director
You have called pollution and national crisis and a health
emergency. Around the UK are levels increasing or falling? They are
remaining fairly static in London. Nationally? If you look at the
studies on where air pollution is measured, in 42 cities around the
UK, 38 cities were found to be breaking the legal limit on air
pollution so basically all of the cities were breaking the limit so if
you think eight out of ten people live in cities, obviously, this is
impacting a lot of people around the UK. We have looked at in missions of
solvent dioxide, they have fallen and since 1970, nitrogen dioxide is
down 69%. Let me show you a chart. There are the nitrogen oxides which
we have all been worried about. That chart shows a substantial fall from
the 1970s, and then a really steep fall from the 1980s. That is
something which is getting better. You have to look at it in the round.
If you look at particulates, and if you look at today's understanding of
the health impact. Let's look at particulates. We have been really
worried about what they have been doing to our abilities to breathe
good air, again, you see substantial improvement. Indeed, we are not far
from the Gothenberg level which is a very high standard. What you see is
it is pretty flat. I see it coming down quite substantially. Over the
last decade it is pretty flat. If you look at the World Health
Organisation guidelines, actually, these are at serious levels and they
need to come down. We know the impact, particularly on children, if
you look at what is happening to children and children's lungs, if
you look at the impact of asthma and other impacts on children in cities
and in schools next to main roads where pollution levels are very
high, the impact of very serious. You have many doctors, professors
and many studies by London University showing this to be true.
The thing is, we do not want pollution. If we can get rid of
pollution, let's do it. And also we also have to get rid of CO2 which is
causing climate change. We are talking air pollution at the moment.
The point is there is not still more to do, it is clear there is and
there is no question about that, my question is you seem to deny that we
have made any kind of progress and that you also say that air pollution
causes 40,000 deaths a year in the UK, that is not true. The figure is
40,000 premature deaths is what has been talked about by medical staff.
Your website said courses. It causes premature deaths. What we are
talking about here is can we solve the problem of air pollution? If air
pollution is mainly being caused by diesel vehicles then we need to
phase out diesel vehicles. If there are alternatives and clean Turner
tips which will give better quality of air, better quality of life and
clean up our cities, then why don't we take the chance to do it? You had
the Australian High Commissioner on this programme earlier. He said to
me earlier, why is your government supporting diesel? That is the most
polluting form of transport. That may well be right but I am looking
at Greenpeace's claims. You claim it causes 40,000 deaths, it is a figure
which regularly appears. Let me quote the committee on the medical
effects of air pollutants, it says this calculation, 40,000 which is
everywhere in Greenpeace literature, is not an estimate of the number of
people whose untimely death is caused entirely by air pollution,
but a way of representing the effect across the whole population of air
pollution when considered as a contributory factor to many more
individual deaths. It is 40,000 premature deaths. It could be
premature by a couple of days. It could me by a year. -- it could be
by a year. It could also be giving children asthma and breathing
difficulties. We are talking about deaths. It could also cause stroke
and heart diseases. Medical experts say we need to deal with this. Do
you believe air pollution causes 40,000 deaths a year. I have defined
that. You accept it does not? It leads to 40,000 premature deaths.
But 40,000 people are not killed. You say air pollution causes 40,000
deaths each year on your website. I have just explained what I mean by
that in terms of premature deaths. The question is, are we going to do
something about that? Air pollution is a serious problem. It is mainly
caused by diesel. If we phased diesel out it will solve the problem
of air pollution and deal with the wider problem of climate change. I
am not talking about climate change this morning. Let's link to another
claim... Do you want to live in a clean city? Do you want to breathe
clean air? Yes, don't generalise. Let's stick to your claims. You have
also said living in London on your life is equivalent to smoking 50
cigarettes a day. That is not true either. What I would say is if you
look at passive smoking, it is the equivalent of I don't know what the
actual figure is, I can't remember offhand, but it is the equivalent
effect of about ten cigarettes being smoked passively. The question is in
terms of, you are just throwing me out all of these things... I am
throwing things that Greenpeace have claimed. Greenpeace have claimed
that living in London is equivalent of smoking 15 cigarettes a day and
that takes ten years off your life. Professor Froome made it clear to us
that living in London your whole life with levels of pollution does
take time off your life but it takes nine months of your life. Nine
months is still too much, I understand that, but it is not ten
years and that is what you claim. I would suggest you realise that is a
piece of propaganda because you claim on the website, you have taken
it down. I agree it has been corrected and I agree with what the
professor said that maybe it takes up to a year off your life, but the
thing is, there are much more wider issues as well, in terms of the
impact on air pollution, and in terms of the impact on young
children. We can argue about the facts... But these are your claims,
this is why I am hitting it to you. It does not get away from the
underlying issue that air pollution is a serious problem. We are not
arguing for a moment that it is not. Do you think the way you exaggerate
things, put false claims, in the end, for of course we all agree
with, getting the best air we can, you undermine your credibility? I
absolutely do not support false claims and if mistakes have been
made then mistakes have been made and they will be corrected. I think
the key issue is how we are going to deal with air pollution. Clearly,
diesel is the biggest problem and we need to work out a way how we can
get away from diesel as quickly and fast as possible. Comeback and see
us in the New Year and we will discuss diesel. Thank you.
It's just gone 11.35, you're watching the Sunday Politics.
We say goodbye to viewers in Scotland who leave us now
Hello and welcome to Sunday Politics East.
I'm Stuart White and we're at the Christmas
Christmas markets originated in Germany where they just
Next year, Milton Keynes is 50 years old and over those 50 years,
they've developed a very good relationship with foreign companies,
There are about 3000 people or more working for German
So what effect will Brexit have next year?
Milton Keynes, a market, of course, for the big German brands.
Global names, but here, you also find German
An international conglomerate into metals, chemicals, construction.
mining, in Milton Keynes, it produces parts for
There are aerospace companies around the world.
They are involved in distributing product through the aerospace.
We are based here in Milton Keynes but we have
A German company that believes written outside
We need to be able to trade tariff free.
We need to be able to move our people.
We have people in this business that are working in Germany,
We can't have a situation where they'll need visas.
They aren't citizens of those countries, they are citizens
in the UK who are able to travel and work and be employed
with freedoms and benefits all around Europe and we need
to have access to the single market free of tariffs.
Making more than 1.2 billion in sales in 2015.
This site alone generated ?38 million in global sales
Companies like this one will be wanting to know what a post-Brexit
trade deal will look like and will be wondering,
can they stay here or will they have to the continent?
From huge conglomerates to huge heating companies.
Jeff Wyatt imports German-made electric radiators to Milton Keynes.
Sold and fitted all over Britain, his business is built on German
The only noticeable difference that I've seen since June 24
is the exchange rate strengthening which has caused a little bit
It has cost me a little bit of money but we are only
The Germans want to trade with is precious.
The single market isn't the be all and end all.
The trading will take its natural level once things all settle down.
Mercedes-Benz has its UK HQ in Milton Keynes and is home
German rail companies have been invested here.
Food and drink, logistics, technology, much more.
German companies employ 500,000 people in the UK.
Half a million British nationals are employed by German
British companies employ 250,000 people in Germany.
So the economies of both companies are hugely linked and yes
the statistic everybody reels out is the BMW's and Volkswagens.
It is chemicals, Airbus, industrial goods and it's
manufactured products that go into a vast range from health care,
In Milton Keynes, everything from German owned steelworks
Two country's economies solidly linked.
The question is what will Brexit trade talks bring and what will that
mean for MK business in Germany and the EU?
Let's speak to Chairman and Chief Executive
They are an organisation which supports business
How important is this country to German business?
It is our location worldwide after the United States.
It is also our third most important market worldwide
It is absolutely vital, the UK, for us.
Here in Milton Keynes, we've got Mercedes-Benz,
Do you think that companies in Germany will continue to invest
This is such an important market and such an important location.
We will continue to trade with the UK and will
When we hear that negotiations will start in March, what do
and we have a number of requirements and we have a number of requirements
or things we would like the British government to negotiate. Obviously a
continued tariff free access to the UK. Most of our companies and we
have 2500 companies in the UK, most of them are trading. We are
concerned about possibly new rules and regulations which might come
once the UK has left. We hope to continue as before. Another idea of
hours is we would like access for our employees and apprentices which
now come freely into the UK and go back to Germany. We would like to
have continued access for these employees of hours. At least cut the
red tape. Are you confident that it will all work out or not? I am
always optimistic as we are in business and have to be positive. We
hope it will be a good outcome and it'll be a deal in the end. Thank
you very much for being with us. Let us put some of those points to our
guests, Mark Lancaster and Peter Marland,. It is very important for
Milton Keynes that these ties with Europe and Germany are maintained.
Germany is our biggest trading partner and the companies in Milton
Keynes are hugely important to our economy. It is not just the European
companies. We have companies from outside the UK that rely on our
relationship with the EU to trade. It is vital for our jobs and
prosperity. The idea is we develop these trading partners outside of
the EU. You are saying you have paved the way for that? The
relationship is with the view -- is with the EU and we are having to
make sure those terms are favourable to those companies and making sure
whatever the negotiations take us, we listen to those companies and
understand what they need. You both remain as before the vote. Are you
less confident or more confident less confident or more confident
than you were after the vote was taken? Last week I voted in the
Commons to trigger article 50 by the end of March. I am increasingly
confident and believe, especially when you come to Milton Keynes and
you see the way we are open for business, we have a -- attracted
business after the vote. The Kooij is positive. Brexit is a negotiation
and we have seen the opening rounds. The more we stand up and demand what
we want, the more confident I am that the future firm thumb -- for
Milton Keynes and the UK is excellent. The opening position is
going to be the best possible position that you want to get. After
a while, they should be a win, win deal. When you listen to German
businesses about what they want when it comes to trading with the UK, it
is what we want with them. Whatever the politicians may say on either
side of the divide, I am convinced we will end up with an agreement
that is positive for both sides and will enable our trade to continue.
here and asked them whether they are here and asked them whether they are
confident or not? Hours at a business meeting last night.
Businesses technical logical Businesses technical logical
companies and the open University are worried. They are worried about
their trade terms, worried about attracting the right people and I
think when we go into negotiations, we have to do so with our eyes open.
There is a positive. We are in a free market Wales. We are in
competition with Poland, China. -- we are in a free-market world. Are
we going to be able to give them the favourable terms to enable them to
stay here. Let us have a look at what triggering article 50 and
Brexit might mean that people living in Germany. This is an Weisman who
specialises in European law at the open University. As far as Germany
is concerned and your knowledge of Germany, do you think they are as
aware of Brexit as we think they are? I do think they are. I don't
see newspapers covering the issue on a daily basis. There is nowhere near
as much discussion about the impact on Germany. That is understandable
because the Germany, nothing much will change. It is the UK that needs
to redefine its relationship with the EU. Not many people worry just
yet. They don't know what Brexit is. The general public isn't as engaged
in the debate. We have seen the in the debate. We have seen the
changes in the way people vote. The disenfranchised getting a vote. Will
it affect Angela Merkel? Not that the Brexit issue but for the issue
of the intake of refugees and the general movement of people. That is
a bigger threat to her and her re-election than the UK's
relationship to the EU. We have heard how people in business want
those links between Germany and here to stay. Politically, do you think
people deep down what those links to stay? I'm sure they will. Many have
some sort of business or personal links to this country and Angela
Merkel has always said how she considers the UK as a partner in the
business but also for cultural reasons. I don't think it is a
question of the two countries not come together and finding some sort
of arrangement. I think they were liked for the discussion not to be
necessary. Do you think she will be in power after elections in 2017? It
is difficult to say because we don't know the candidate for the SPD
partner -- party yet. It will be a very difficult assumption to make at
this point. If she isn't in power, will that be good for the UK or bad?
I don't think it will matter. Whoever is in power in October next
year, and it might take some time for them to figure out, because
usually we have a coalition government and that can take up to
Christmas. We might not know who will be in the government until this
time next year. Does that tell you with hope or despair? We will have
to wait and see. I am the wrong person to ask who will win the
German election because I didn't think Trump would be voted and I
voted Remain. Only time will tell. Across Europe, there seems to be a
vote for change. Is that good for somewhere like middle -- like Milton
Keynes? That is an interesting question. It depends on what type of
change. The vote that we have seen change. The vote that we have seen
in the world this year, not just America or Brexit, we have seen a
huge fall right voting Australian have the French elections. It is a
vote of desperation on behalf of many people. When people work 60
hour weeks in companies on zero hours contracts, that is not fair
and they see other people doing really well that possibly don't put
in as much effort in. They think the world is not treating them right and
they are not getting out what they put in. It is a real cry for help
from many people. In the past, they might have voted Labour and now you
are saying they are drifting to the right. It is simplistic to say they
voted Labour. The Labour vote has always been more complex as has the
Conservative vote. Also the Ukip and Green vote. Is there a Ukip in
Germany? They sit on the same right-wing side. Angela Merkel has
faced struggles on that end. They so faced struggles on that end. They so
far haven't gained much room on the federal level but in each of the
federal states, we had a couple of elections and they have been quite
successful. We have seen voting -- people voting who normally don't
bow. They have felt the need to vote and that is what is causing these
unknown factors and uncertainties. Getting people engaged in policies
is a good thing. Thank you very much for being with us today. Now we will
look back at the political week in 60 seconds.
The first meeting has been held at the shadow combined authority which
will bring devolution to Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. It
will receive some powers in February before the mayoral elections in May.
We will have a smooth running organisation for the mayor to arrive
in May. Whoever they may be. The government has announced formula
will see an increase of between one will see an increase of between one
and 2% but Luton will see a fall in funding per pupil. The crisis in
adult social care has prompted the government to let councils add an
extra 3% of bills that the next two years. It will help authorities who
are struggling to cope with the growing cost of looking after
elderly and vulnerable people. That extra 1% announced today, you know,
it still leaves us with 32.5 million that we have to take out of adult
social care. Peterboro broke the rules in the Commons by donning a
crazy hat the charity which wasn't appreciated by the Speaker. I have
indulged the speaker but I am glad he has taken his hat off. I hope you
won't take it on again. There we are. Social care. That is a big
issue. As far as you are concerned, should the NHS and social care be
linked? I think integration is key and it is something we do well here
in Milton Keynes. We are a model in Milton Keynes. We are a model
that others could follow because it would be wrong to separate the
component parts out. Through good communication on a daily basis, it
is one of the best ways we can ensure what assets we have, beds,
for example, are used to their best capacity. It is not just about
money. At the moment in Milton Keynes, social care is OK
financially but looking ahead, you will have some problems. There are
huge pressures as our population gets older and a lot of people that
moved here in the 1970s and 80s are reaching an age at the same time. We
are in a financial balance and it is a huge strain on the council. The
are allowed to put this extra money are allowed to put this extra money
onto the council tax bill, will that make any difference? It'll help but
it is nowhere near the amount we need to fund the level of social
care we are facing. Even while social care for adults goes up, the
children social care bill is going up and the Housing bill is going up.
Just in terms of our general demand, the level of council tax we can
raise nowhere near meets the demand we are facing. It sounds a lot of
money but it is a few million pounds and it will not solve the problem.
It is 900 million across the country. This extra money is to
solve the problem we face at the moment but it is not a long-term
fix. The argument about whether it is local councils or central
government as to who should pay, it is a false argument. The taxpayer is
going to have to pay. How can you get the long-term fix? We need to
come and accept we have a problem and come up with some solutions. It
is not just about money. We have talked about integration and it is
about making best use of the facilities we have. We want to have
a look at some of the highlights from 2016 and it has been a very
eventful yet. MUSIC PLAYS.. This is a really massive decision for our
country. It is a huge decision for you as young people. We are talking
about open markets, free market and being in charge once again. The EU
brings us huge opportunities in terms of being able to work
overseas. We will have to agree to overseas. We will have to agree to
disagree. I am not anti immigrant. It is people versus the
establishment battle. There is a establishment battle. There is a
fundamental difference between significant parts of the electorate
and me. I am one of the group of people who really believe in the
opportunity that the referendum throws up for the UK. That is a
British passport. There should never have been a leadership contest. It
was at the height of folly. If any of the sport politics was going to
get boring after a coalition, we were wrong. That is our review of
the year. Highlights of the year and what you expect from next year. Mine
was Jeremy Corbyn visiting Milton Keynes twice. During the local
elections and during his re-election campaign. Whatever you think of
number of people in politics. The number of people in politics. The
more we can engage people in politics, the better. Your
highlight? The way the Conservative Party came together after the EU
referendum and facilitated the smooth transition. You are both
being very political and stop I could say Jeremy Corbyn coming to
Milton Keynes. A look at the 20 17th. I hope for a good result in
France and the French elections because a victory for the far right
would be disastrous. What is good for the UK is good for the EU and we
get a smooth transition. Thank you very much for being with us today.
That is it from all of us. Happy Christmas and a
Will Article 50 be triggered by the end of March,
will President Trump start work on his wall and will
Front National's Marine Le Pen provide the next electoral shock?
2016, the Brexit for Britain and Trump for the rest of the world.
Let's look back and see what one of you said about Brexit.
If Mr Cameron loses the referendum and it is this year,
will he be Prime Minister at the end of the year?
I don't think he will lose the referendum, so I'm feeling
It was clear if he did lose the referendum he would be out. I would
like to say in retrospect I saw that coming on a long and I was just
saying it to make good television! It is Christmas so I will be benign
towards my panel! It is possible, Iain, that not much happens to
Brexit in 2017, because we have a host of elections coming up in
Europe, the French won in the spring and the German one in the autumn
will be the most important. And until we know who the next French
president is and what condition Mrs Merkel will be in, not much will
happen? I think that is the likeliest outcome. Short of some
constitutional crisis involving the Lords relating to Brexit, it is
pretty clear it is difficult to properly begin the negotiations
until it becomes clear who Britain is negotiating with. It will come
down to the result of the German election. Germany is the biggest
contributor and if they keep power in what is left of the European
Union, will drive the negotiation and we will have to see if it will
be Merkel. So this vacuum that has been seen and has been filled by
people less than friendly to the government, even when we know
Article 50 has been triggered and even if there is some sort of white
paper to give us a better idea of the broad strategic outlines of what
they mean by Brexit, the phoney war could continue? Iain is right. 2017
is going to be a remarkably dull year for Brexit as opposed to 2016.
We will have the article and a plan. The plan will say I would like the
moon on a stick please. The EU will say you can have a tiny bit of moon
and a tiny bit of stick and there will be an impasse. That will go on
until one minute to midnight 2018 which is when the EU will act. There
is one thing in the Foreign Office which is more important, as David
Davis Department told me, they know there is nothing they can do until
the French and Germans have their elections and they know the lie of
the land, but the people who will be more helpful to us are in Eastern
Europe and in Scandinavia, the Nordic countries. We can do quite a
lot of schmoozing to try and get them broadly on side this year? It
is very difficult because one of the things they care most about in
Eastern Europe is the ability for Eastern European stew come and work
in the UK. That is key to the economic prospects. But what they
care most about is that those already here should not be under any
pressure to leave. There is no guarantee of that. That is what Mrs
May wants. There are a lot of things Mrs May wants and the story of 2017
will be about what she gets. How much have we got to give people? It
is not what we want, but what we are willing to give. The interesting
thing is you can divide this out into two. There is a question of the
European Union and our relationship with it but there is also the trick
the polls did to London -- there is also the polls. There is question
beyond the Western European security, that is about Nato and
intelligence and security, and the rising Russian threat. That does not
mean the Polish people will persuade everyone else to give us a lovely
deal on the EU, but the dynamic is bigger than just a chat about
Brexit. You cannot threaten a punishment beating for us if we are
putting our soldiers on the line on the eastern borders of Europe. I
think that's where Donald Trump changes the calculation because his
attitude towards Russia is very different to Barack Obama's. It is
indeed. Mentioning Russia, Brexit was a global story but nothing can
match and American election and even one which gives Donald Trump as
well. Let's have a look at what this panel was saying about Donald Trump.
Will Donald Trump win the Republican nomination next year.
So, not only did you think he would not be president, you did not think
he would win the Republican nomination. We were not alone in
that. And they're right put forward a motion to abolish punditry here
now because clearly we are pointless! There is enough
unemployment in the world already! We are moving into huge and charted
territory with Donald Trump as president. It is incredibly
unpredictable. But what has not been noticed enough is the Keynesian won.
Trump is a Keynesian. He wants massive infrastructure spending and
massive tax cuts. The big story next year will be the massive reflation
of the American economy and indeed the US Federal reserve has already
reacted to that by putting up interest rates. That is why he has a
big fight with the rest of the Republican Party. He is nominally a
Republican but they are not Keynesian. They are when it comes to
tax cuts. They are when it hits the rich to benefit the poor. The big
thing is whether the infrastructure projects land him in crony trouble.
The transparency around who gets those will be extremely difficult.
Most of the infrastructure spending he thinks can be done by the private
sector and not the federal government. His tax cuts overlap the
Republican house tax cuts speaker Ryan to give not all, but a fair
chunk of what he wants. If the American economy is going to reflate
next year, interest rates will rise in America, that will strengthen the
dollar and it will mean that Europe will be, it will find it more
difficult to finance its sovereign debt because you will get more money
by investing in American sovereign debt. That is a good point because
the dynamics will shift. If that happens, Trump will be pretty
popular in the US. To begin with. To begin with. It is energy
self-sufficient and if you can pull off the biggest trick in American
politics which is somehow to via corporation tax cuts to allow the
reassuring of wealth, because it is too expensive for American business
to take back into the US and reinvest, if you combine all of
those things together, you will end up with a boom on a scale you have
not seen. It will be Reagan on steroids? What could possibly go
wrong? In the short term for Britain, it is probably not bad
news. Our biggest market for exports as a country is the United States.
Our biggest market for foreign direct investment is the United
States and the same is true vice versa for America in Britain. Given
the pound is now competitive and likely the dollar will get stronger,
it could well give a boost to the British economy? Could do bit you
have to be slightly cautious about the warm language we are getting
which is great news out of President Trump's future cabinet on doing a
trade deal early, we are net exporters to the US. We benefit far
more from trading with US than they do with us. I think we have to come
up with something to offer the US for them to jump into bed with us. I
think it is called two new aircraft carriers and modernising the fleet.
Bring it on. I will raise caution, people in declining industries in
some places in America, the rust belt who have faced big profound
structural challenges and those are much harder to reverse. They face
real problems now because the dollar is so strong. Their ability to
export has taken a huge hit out of Ohio, Michigan and Illinois. And the
Mexican imports into America is now dirt cheap so that is a major
problem. Next year we have elections in Austria, France, the Netherlands,
Germany, probably Italy. Which outcome will be the most dramatic
for Brexit? If Merkel lost it would be a huge surprise. That is
unlikely. And if it was not Filon in France that would be unlikely. The
consensus it it will be Francois Filon against Marine Le Pen and it
will be uniting around the far right candidate. In 2002, that is what
happened. Filon is a Thatcherite. Marine Le Pen's politics --
economics are hard left. Francois Filon is as much a cert to win as
Hillary Clinton was this time last year. If he is competing against
concerns about rising globalisation and his pitch is Thatcherite, it is
a bold, brave strategy in the context so we will see. It will keep
us busy next year, Tom? Almost as busy as this year but not quite.
This year was a record year. I am up in my hours!
That's all for today, thanks to all my guests.
The Daily Politics will be back on BBC Two at noon tomorrow.
I'll be back here on the 15th January.
Remember, if it's Sunday, it's the Sunday Politics.
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The dance was woven into the storyline,