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It's Sunday morning, and this is the Sunday Politics.
Theresa May pledged to help people who are "just about managing",
and this week her government will announce new measures to boost
the number of affordable homes and improve conditions for renters.
After a US court suspends Donald Trump's travel ban and rules
it could be unconstitutional, one of the President's inner circle
tells me there is no "chaos", and that Donald Trump's White House
is making good on his campaign promises.
As the Government gets into gear for two years
of Brexit negotiations, we report on the haggling to come
over the UK's Brexit bill for leaving the European Union -
and the costs and savings once we've left.
And with me, as always, a trio of top political
journalists - Helen Lewis, Tom Newton Dunn
They'll be tweeting throughout the programme,
So, more anguish to come this week for the Labour party as the House
of Commons continues to debate the bill which paves the way
Last week, Labour split over the Article 50 bill,
with a fifth of Labour MPs defying Jeremy Corbyn to vote against.
Five shadow ministers resigned, and it's expected Mr Corbyn
will have to sack more frontbenchers once the bill is voted
Add to that the fact that the Labour Leader's close ally
Diane Abbot failed to turn up for the initial vote -
blaming illness - and things don't look too rosy
The Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry was asked
about the situation earlier on the Andrew Marr show.
The Labour Party is a national party and we represent the nation,
and the nation is divided on this, and it is very difficult.
Many MPs representing majority Remain constituencies have this very
difficult balancing act between - do I represent my constituency,
Labour, as a national party, have a clear view.
We fought to stay in Europe, but the public have spoken,
But the important thing now is not to give Theresa May a blank check,
we have to make sure we get the right deal for the country.
That was Emily Thornberry. Helen, is this like a form of Chinese water
torture for the Labour Party? And for journalists, to! We are in a
situation where no one really thinks it's working. A lot of authority has
drained away from Jeremy Corbyn but no one can do anything about it.
What we saw from the leadership contest is on the idea of a Blairite
plot to get rid of him. You are essentially stuck in stasis. The
only person that can remove Jeremy Corbyn is God or Jeremy Corbyn.
Authority may have moved from Mr Corbyn but it's not going anywhere
else, there's not an alternative centre of authority? Not quite, but
Clive Lewis is name emerging, the Shadow Business Secretary. A lot of
the Labour left, people like Paul Mason, really like him and would
like to see him in Corbyn. I think that's why Jeremy Corbyn do
something extraordinary next week and abstain from Article 50, the
main bill itself, to keep his Shadow Cabinet together. That clip on
Andrew Marr, point blank refusing to say if Labour will vote for Article
50. The only way Jeremy Corbyn can hold this mess together now is to
abstain, which would be catastrophic across Brexit constituencies in the
North. The problem with abstention is everyone will say on the issue of
our time, the official opposition hasn't got coherent or considered
policy? I love the way Emily Thornberry said the country is
divided and we represent the country, in other words we are
divided at the party as well. The other thing that was a crucial
moment this week is the debate over whether there should be a so-called
meaningful vote by MPs on the deal that Theresa May gets. That is a
point of real danger for Brexit supporters. It may well be there is
a coalition of Labour and SNP and Remain MPs, Tory MPs, who vote for
that so-called meaningful vote that could undermine Theresa May's
negotiation. So Theresa May could have had troubles as well, not plain
sailing for her? There is no point, apart from lonely Ken Clarke voting
against Article 50, no point in Tory remainders rebelling. It would have
been a token gesture with no support. But there might be
meaningful amendments. One might be on the status of EU nationals... The
government could lose that. There might be a majority for some of
those amendments. The ins and outs of the Labour Party, it fascinates
the Labour Party and journalists. I suspect the country has just moved
on and doesn't care. You are probably quite right. To be honest I
struggled to get Labour split stories in my paper any more, the
bar is so high to make it news. Where it does matter is now not
everyone will pay huge amounts to the -- of attention to the vote on
Wednesday. But come the general election in 2020, maybe a little
earlier, every Tory leaflet and every labour constituency will say
this guy, this goal, they refuse to vote for Brexit, do you want them in
power? That is going to be really hard for them. The story next week
may be Tory splits rather than just Labour ones, we will see.
Theresa May has made a big deal out of her commitment to help people
on middle incomes who are "just about managing", and early this week
we should get a good sense of what that means in practice -
when plans to bring down the cost of housing and protect renters
are published in the Government's new white paper.
Theresa May has promised she'll kick off Brexit negotiations with the EU
by the end of March, and after months of shadow-boxing
Ellie Price reports on the battle to come over the UK's Brexit bill,
and the likely costs and savings once we've left.
It was the figure that defined the EU referendum campaign.
It was also a figure that was fiercely disputed, but the promise -
vote leave and Britain won't have to pay into the EU are any more.
So, is that what's going to happen now?
The trouble with buses is you tend to have to wait for them
and when Theresa May triggers Article 50, the clock starts
She needs something quicker, something more sporty.
According to the most recent Treasury figures,
Britain's gross contribution to the EU, after the rebate
is taken into account, is about ?14 billion a year.
There are some complicating factors that means it can go up
or down year on year, but that's roughly how much the UK
will no longer sending to Brussels post-Brexit.
But, there are other payments that Britain will have to shell out for.
First and foremost, the so-called divorce settlement.
It is being said, and openly by Commissioner Barnier
and others in the Commission, that the total financial liability
as they see it might be in the order of 40-60 billion
The BBC understands the figure EU negotiators are likely
to settle on is far lower, around 34 billion euros,
but what does the money they are going to argue
Well, that's how much Britain owes for stuff in the EU budget that's
already signed up for until 2020, one year after we are
Historically, Britain pays 12% in contributions,
so the cost to the UK is likely to be between ten
Then they will look at the 200-250 billion euros of underfunded
spending commitments, the so-called RAL.
Britain could also be liable for around 5-7 billion euros
for its share in the pensions bill for EU staff, that's again
12% of an overall bill of 50-60 billion.
Finally there's a share of our assets held by the EU.
They include things like this building, the European Commission
Britain could argue it deserves a share back of around 18 billion
euros from a portfolio that's said to be worth 153 billion euros.
So, lots for the two sides to discuss in two years of talks.
They have a great opportunity with the Article 50 talks
because actually they can hold us to ransom.
They can say, "You figure out money, we will talk about your trade.
But until you've figured out the money, we won't," so I think
a lot of European states think they are in a very strong
negotiating position at the moment and they intend to make
The principle is clear, the days of Britain making vast
contributions to the European Union every year will end.
Theresa May has already indicated that she would want to sign back up
to a number of EU agencies on a program-by-program basis.
The Europol for example, that's the European crime
agency, or Erasmus Plus, which wants student exchanges.
If everything stays the same as it is now, it would cost the UK
675 million euros a year, based on analysis by
But there are likely to be agencies we don't choose to participate in.
If we only opted back to those dealing with security,
trade, universities and, say, climate change,
it could come with a price tag of 370 million euros per year.
Of course that's if our European neighbours allow us.
I wonder if they're going to let me in!
There will also be a cost to creating a new system to resolve
trade disputes with other nations once we are no longer part
Take the EFTA Court which rules on disputes
between the EU and Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein.
That costs 4 million euros to run each year,
though in the Brexit White Paper published this week,
the Government said it will not be constrained by precedent
Finally, would the EU get behind the idea of Britain making some
contribution for some preferential access to its market?
The sort of thing that Theresa May seems to be hinting
at are sectoral arrangements, some kind of partial membership
Switzerland, which has a far less wide-ranging deal than Norway,
pays about 320 million a year for what it gets into the EU budget,
but it's not exactly the Swiss deal that we're after.
The EU institutions hate the Swiss deal because it is codified
in a huge number of treaties that are messy, complicated
and cumbersome, and they really don't want to replicate
Theresa May has been at pains to insist she's in the driving seat
when it comes to these negotiations, and that she's
But with so much money up for discussion, it may not be such
Sadly she didn't get to keep the car!
And I've been joined to discuss the Brexit balance sheet
by the director of the Centre for European Reform, Charles Grant,
and by Henry Newman who runs the think tank Open Europe.
Henry Newman, these figures that are being thrown about in Brussels at
the moment, and exit bill of 40-60,000,000,000. What do you make
of them? I think it is an opening gambit from the institutions and we
should take them seriously. We listened to Mr Rogers, the former
ambassador to Brussels in the House of Commons last week, speaking about
the sort of positions the EU is likely to take in the negotiation. I
personally think the Prime Minister should be more concerned about
getting the right sort of trade arrangements, subsequent to our
departure, than worrying about the exact detail of the divorce
settlement and the Bill. They might not let them go on to trade until
they resolve this matter. Where does the Brexit bill, the cost of exit,
if there is to be one, in terms of a sum of money, where does that come
in the negotiations, upfront or at the end? The European Commission has
a firm line on this. You have to talk about the Brexit bill and the
divorce settlement before you talk about the future relationship.
Therefore they are saying if you don't sign up for 60 billion or
thereabouts, we won't talk about the future. Other member states take a
softer line than that and think you probably have to talk about the
divorce settlement and Brexit bill as the same -- at the same time as
the economic situation. If you can do both at the same time, the
atmosphere may be better natured. You have spoken to people in
Brussels and are part of a think tank, how Revista gives the figure
or is it an opening gambit? Most member states and EU institutions
believe they think it is the true figure but when the negotiations
start adding the number will come down. As long as the British are
prepared to sign up to the principle of we owe you a bit of money, as the
cheque, then people will compromise. What is the ballpark? You had a
figure of 34 billion, that is news to me, nobody knows because
negotiations haven't started but I think something lower than 60. Even
60 would be politically toxic for a British government? I think Theresa
May is in a strong position, she has united the Conservative Party. You
could expect coming into this year all the Conservative divisions would
be laid bare by Gina Miller. But she is leading a united party. Labour
Party are divided... Coogee get away with paying 30 billion? We should
give her the benefit of the doubt going into these negotiations, let
her keep her cards close to her chest. The speech he gave a few
weeks ago at Lancaster House, our judgment was she laid out as much
detail as we could have expected at that point. I don't think it's
helpful for us now to say, we shouldn't be introducing further red
line. I want you to be helpful and find things out. I would suggest if
there is a bill, let's say it's 30 billion, let's make it half of what
the current claims coming out of Brussels. And of course it won't
have to be paid in one year, I assume it's not one cheque but
spread over. But we will wait a long time for that 350 million a week or
what ever it was that was meant to come from Brussels to spend on the
NHS. That's not going to happen for the next five, six or seven years.
Everyone has been clear there will be a phased exit programme. The
question of whether something is political possible for her in terms
of the divorce settlement will depend on what she gets from the
European Union in those negotiations. If she ends up
settling for a bill of about 30 billion which I think would be
politically... No matter how popular she is, politically very difficult
for her, it does kill any idea there is a Brexit dividend for Britain.
Some of the senior officials in London and Brussels are worried this
issue could crash the talks because it may be possible for Theresa May
to accept a Brexit bill of 30 billion and if there is no deal and
will leave EU without a settlement, there is massive legal uncertainty.
What contract law applies? Can our planes take off from Heathrow?
Nobody knows what legal rights there are for an EU citizen living here
and vice versa. If there is no deal at the end of two years, it is quite
bad for the European economy, therefore they think they have all
the cards to play and they think if it is mishandled domestically in
Britain than we have a crash. But there will be competing interests in
Europe, the Baltic states, Eastern Europe, maybe quite similar of the
Nordic states, that in turn different from the French, Germans
or Italians. How will Europe come to a common view on these things? At
the moment they are quite united backing a strong line, except for
the polls and Hungarians who are the bad boys of Europe and the Irish who
will do anything to keep us happy. We should remember their priority is
not economics, they are not thinking how can they maximise trade with the
UK, they are under threat. The combination of Trump and Brexit
scares them. They want to keep the institutions strong. They also want
to keep Britain. That is the one strong card we have, contributing to
security. We know we won't be members of the single market, that
was in the White Paper. The situation of the customs union is
more complicated I would suggest. Does that have cost? If we can be a
little bit pregnant in the customs union, does that come with a price
ticket? We have got some clarity on the customs union, the Prime
Minister said we would not be part of the... We would be able to do our
own trade deals outside the EU customs union, and also not be part
of the common external tariff. She said she is willing to look at other
options and we don't know what that will be so as a think tank we are
looking at this over the next few weeks and coming up with
recommendations for the Government and looking at how existing
boundaries between the EU customs union and other states work in
practice. For example between Switzerland and the EU border,
Norway and Switzerland, and the UK and Canada. We will want is a
country the freedom to do our own free trade deals, that seems to be
quite high up there, and to change our external tariffs to the rest of
the world. If that's the case, we do seem to be wanting our cake and
eating it in the customs union. Talking to some people in London, it
is quite clear we are leaving the essentials of the customs union, the
tariff, so even if we can minimise controls at the border by having
mutual recognition agreements, so we recognise each other's standards,
but there will still have to be checks for things like rules of
origin and tariffs if tariffs apply, which is a problem for the Irish
because nobody has worked out how you can avoid having some sort of
customs control on the border between Northern Ireland and the
South once we are out of the customs union. I think it's important we
don't look at this too much as one side has to win and one side has to
lose scenario. We can find ways. My Broadview is what we get out of the
negotiation will depend on politics more than economic reality. Economic
reality is strong, there's a good case for a trade deal on the
solution on the customs deal, but Britain will need to come up with a
positive case for our relationship and keep making that case. If it
turns out the Government thinks the bill is too high, that we can't
really get the free trade deal done in time and it's left hanging in the
wind, what are the chances, how I as things stand now that we end up
crashing out? I'd say there's a 30% chance that we don't get the free
trade agreement at the end of it that Mrs May is aiming for. The very
hard crash is you don't even do an Article 50 divorce settlement from
you go straight to World Trade Organisation rules. The less hard
crash is doing the divorce settlement and transitional
arrangements would require European Court of Justice arrangements. We
will leave it there. Thank you, both.
Donald Trump's flagship policy of extreme vetting of immigrants
and a temporary travel ban for citizens of seven mainly-muslim
countries was stopped in its tracks this weekend.
On Friday a judge ruled the ban should be lifted and that it
That prompted President Trump to fire off a series of tweets
criticising what he says was a terrible decision
by a so-called judge, as he ordered the State Department
Now the federal appeals court has rejected his request to reinstate
the ban until it hears the case in full.
Well yesterday I spoke to Sebastian Gorka, Deputy Assistant
I asked him if the confusion over the travel ban
was a sign that the President's two-week-old administration
There is no chaos, you really shouldn't believe the spin, the
facts speak for themselves. 109 people on Saturday were mildly
inconvenienced by having their entry into the United States delayed out
of 325,000. So let's not get carried away with the left-wing media bias
and spin. Hold on, 60,000 - 90,000 people with visas, their visas are
no longer valid. That's another issue. You need to listen to what
I'm saying. The people who entered on the day of the executive order
being implemented worth 109 people out of 325. Whether people won't
travelling to America were affected is another matter, so there is no
chaos to comment on. Following Iran's latest missile tests,
National Security adviser Flint said the US was "Putting Iran on notice",
what does that mean? It means we have a new president and we are not
going to facilitate the rise of one of the most dangerous nations in the
world. We are jettisoning this naive and dangerous policy of the Obama
Administration to try and make the Shi'ite dictatorial democracy some
kind of counter balance to extremist Sunni groups in the region and that
they cannot continue to behave in the way they have behaved for the
last 30 years. It is a very simple message. So are there any
multilateral alliances that Mr Trump would like to strengthen?
Absolutely. If we are looking at the region, if you listen to what
President Trump has said and specifically to also the speeches of
general Flint, his national security adviser, we are incredibly vested in
seeing our Sunni allies in the region come together in a real
coalition. The so-called vaunted 66 nation coalition that was created
under the Obama administration... There was no coalition. But we want
to help our Sunni allies, especially the Egyptians, the Jordanians, come
together in a real partnership to take the fight to ISIS and groups
like Al-Qaeda. But there is not a formal multilateral alliance with
these countries. Which of the existing, formal multilateral
alliances does Mr Trump wants to strengthen? If you are specifically
talking about Nato, it is clear that we are committed to Nato but we wish
to see a more equitable burden sharing among the nations that are
simply not spending enough on their own defence so the gentleman 's
agreement of 2% of GDP has to be stuck to, unlike the, I think it's
only Six Nations that reach the standard today out of almost 30. So
he does want to strengthen Nato then? Absolutely, he believes Nato
is the most successful military alliances. You mustn't believe the
spin and hype. EU leaders now see the Trump administration as a threat
up there with Russia, China, terrorism. What's your response to
that? I have to laugh. The idea that the nation that came to the
salvation of Europe twice in the 20th century hummer in World War I
and World War II, was central to the defeat of the totalitarian... It is
not even worth commenting on. Would it matter to the Trump
administration if the European Union broke up? The United States is very
interested in the best relations possible with all the nations of the
EU am a whether the European union wishes to stay together or not is up
to the nations of the European Union. I understand that but I was
wondering what the US view would be. Until Mr Trump, EU foreign policy
was quite consistent in wanting to see the EU survive, prosper and even
become more integrated. Now that doesn't seem to be the case, so
would it matter to the Trump administration if the EU broke up? I
will say yet again, it is in the interests of the United States to
have the best relations possible with our European allies, and
whether that is in the formation of the EU or if the EU by itself
suffers some kind of internal issues, that's up to the European
nations and not something we will comment on. Listening to that
answer, it would seem as if this particular president's preference is
to deal with individual nation states rather than multilateral
institutions. Is that fair? I don't think so. There's never been an
unequivocal statement by that effect by the statement. Does he share the
opinion of Stephen Bannon that the 21st century should see a return to
nation states rather than growing existing multilateral ways? I think
it is fair to say that we have problems with political elites that
don't take the interests of the populations they represent into
account. That's why Brexit happened. I think that's why Mr Trump became
President Trump. This is the connected phenomena. You are
obsessing about institutions, it is not about institutions, it's about
the health of democracy and whether political elites do what is in the
interests of the people they represent. Given the
unpredictability of the new president, you never really know
what he's going to do next, would it be wise for the British Prime
Minister to hitch her wagon to his star? This is really churlish
questioning. Come on, you don't know what he's going to do next, listen
to what he says because he does what he's going to say. I know this may
be shocking to some reporters, but look at his campaign promises, and
the fact that in the last 15 days we have executed every single one that
we could in the time permissible so there is nothing unpredictable about
Donald Trump as president. OK then, if we do know what he's going to do
next, what is he going to do next? Continue to make good on his
election promises, to make America great again, to make the economy are
flourishing economy, and most important of all from your
perspective in the UK, to be the best friend possible to our friends
and the worst enemy to our enemies. It is an old Marine Corps phrase and
we tend to live by it. Thank you for your time, we will leave it there.
Doctor Gorka, making it clear this administration won't spend political
capital on trying to keep the European Union together, a watershed
change in American foreign policy. Theresa May has made a big deal out
of her commitment to help people on middle incomes who are "just
about managing", and early this week we should get a good sense
of what that means in practice - when plans to bring down the cost
of housing and protect renters are published in the Government's
new white paper. The paper is expected to introduce
new rules on building Communities Secretary Sajid Javid
has previously said politicians should not stand in the way
of development, provided all options Also rumoured are new measures
to speed up building the 1 million new homes the Government promised
to build by 2020, including imposing five-year quotas
on reluctant councils. Reports suggest there will be
relaxation of building height restrictions,
allowing home owners and developers to build to the height
of the tallest building on the block without needing to seek
planning permission. Other elements trialled include
new measures to stop developers sitting on parcels of land
without building homes, land banking, and moving railway
station car parks Underground, The Government today said it
will amend planning rules so more homes can be built specifically
to be rented out through longer term tenancies, to provide more stability
for young families, alongside its proposed ban
on letting agent fees. And the Housing Minister,
Gavin Barwell, joins me now. Welcome to the programme. Home
ownership is now beyond the reach of most young people. You are now
emphasising affordable homes for rent. Why have you given up on the
Tory dream of a property owning democracy? We haven't given up on
that. The decline on home ownership in this country started in 2004. So
far we have stopped that decline, we haven't reversed it but we
absolutely want to make sure that people who want to own and can do
so. The Prime Minister was very clear a country that works for
everyone. That means we have to have say something to say to those who
want to rent as well as on. Home ownership of young people is 35%,
used to be 60%. Are you telling me during the lifetime of this
government that is going to rise? We want to reverse the decline. We have
stabilised it. The decline started in 2004 under Labour. They weren't
bothered about it. We have taken action and that has stop the
decline... What about the rise? We have to make sure people work hard
the right thing have the chance to own their home on home. We have
helped people through help to buy, shared ownership, that is part of
it, but we have to have something to say to those who want to rent. You
say you want more rented homes so why did you introduce a 3%
additional stamp duty levied to pay those investing in build to rent
properties? That was basically to try and stop a lot of the
speculation in the buy to let market. The Bank of England raised
concerns about that. When you see the white paper, you will see there
is a package of measures for Bill to rent, trying to get institutional
investment for that, different to people going and buying a home on
the private market and renting out. You are trying to get institutional
money to comment, just as this government and subsequent ones
before said it would get pension fund money to invest in
infrastructure and it never happened. Why should this happen? Is
already starting to happen. If you go around the country you can see
some of these builder rent scheme is happening. There are changes in the
White Paper... How much money from institutions is going into bill to
rent modular hundreds of millions. I was at the stock exchange the other
day celebrating the launch of one of our bombs designed to get this money
on. There are schemes being... There is huge potential to expand it. We
need more homes and we are too dependent on a small number of large
developers. -- to launch one of our bonds. You talk about affordable
renting, what is affordable? Defined as something that is at least 20%
below the market price. It will vary around the country. Let me put it
another way. The average couple renting now have to spend 50% of
their income on rent. Is that affordable? That is exactly what
we're trying to do something about. Whether you're trying to buy or
rent, housing in this country has become less and less affordable
because the 30-40 years governments haven't built in times. This white
Paper is trying to do something about that. You have been in power
six, almost seven years. That's right. Why are ownership of new
homes to 24 year low? It was a low figure because it's a new five-year
programme. That is not a great excuse. It's not an excuse at all.
The way these things work, you have a five-year programme and in the
last year you have a record number of delivery and when you start a new
programme, a lower level. If you look at the average over six years,
this government has built more affordable housing than the previous
one. Stiletto 24 year loss, that is an embarrassment. Yes. We have the
figures, last year was 32,000, the year before 60 6000. You get this
cliff edge effect. It is embarrassing and we want to stop it
happening in the future. You want to give tenants more secure and longer
leases which rent rises are predictable in advance. Ed Miliband
promoted three-year tenancies in the 2015 general election campaign and
George Osborne said it was totally economically illiterate. What's
changed? You are merging control of the rents people in charge, which
we're not imposing. We want longer term tenancies. Most people have
six-month tenancies... Within that there would be a control on how much
the rent could go up? Right? It would be set for the period of the
tenancies. That's what I just said, that's what Ed Miliband proposed. Ed
Miliband proposed regulating it for the whole sector. One of the reasons
institutional investment is so attractive, if you had a spare home
and you want to rent out, you might need it any year, so you give it a
short tenancy. If you have a block, they are interested in a long-term
return and give families more security. You have set a target,
your government, to build in the life of this parliament 1 million
new homes in England by 2020. You're not going to make that? I think we
are. If you look at 2015-16 we had 190,000 additional homes of this
country. Just below the level we need to achieve. Over five...
2015-16. You were probably looking at the new homes built. Talking
about completions in England. That is not the best measure, with
respect. You said you will complete 1 million homes by 2020 so what is
wrong with it? We use a national statistic which looks at new homes
built and conversions and changes of use minus demolitions. The total
change of the housing stock over that year. On that basis I have the
figures here. I have the figures. You looking I just completed. 1
million new homes, the average rate of those built in the last three
quarters was 30 6000. You have 14 more quarters to get to the 1
million. You have to raise that to 50 6000. I put it to you, you won't
do it. You're not looking at the full picture of new housing in this
country. You're looking at brand-new homes and not including conversions
or changes of use are not taking off, which we should, demolitions.
If you look at the National statistic net additions, in 2015-16,
100 and 90,000 new homes. We are behind schedule. -- 190,000. I am
confident with the measures in the White Paper we can achieve that. It
is not just about the national total, we need to build these homes
are the right places. Will the green belt remain sacrosanct after the
white paper? Not proposing to change the existing protections that there
for green belts. What planning policy says is councils can remove
land from green belts but only in exceptional circumstances and should
look at at all the circumstances before doing that. No change? No. We
have a manifesto commitment. You still think you will get 1 million
homes? The green belt is only 15%. This idea we can only fix our broken
housing market by taking huge swathes of land out of the green
belt is not true. We will leave it there, thank you for joining us,
Gavin Barwell. It is coming up to 11.40.
We say goodbye to viewers in Scotland, who leave us now
Coming up here in 20 minutes, the Week Ahead...
Hello, welcome to Sunday politics East.
Later in the programme, are councils struggling to keep up
with the soaring number of people sleeping on the streets?
Prevention work is important, but we are effective
Perhaps we're a little bit overpowered by the numbers.
Joining us this week are Alistair Burt, a former
minister and Conservative MP for North East Bedfordshire,
and Labour's Kelvin Hopkins, veteran Brexiteer and MP.
And of course this week has seen the historic vote
which will enable us to leave the EU.
That has been a source of great joy to people like Kelvin Hopkins,
who has campaigned to leave the EU all his life.
Not so for remainers like Alistair Burt.
We'll hear from both of them in a moment.
Tonight, there will be a historic vote in this place.
A vote that I never thought I would see in my political lifetime.
This will be the most significant decision that Parliament has taken
probably during my time as a Member of Parliament.
In the referendum we all stood up and we spoke passionately
for our respective sides, but now is the time for us to do
the other courageous thing and listen to the will
I don't feel comfortable about voting to block Article 50
proceeding because I think that would conflict with the outcome
We voted to have the referendum and I think we have
The discipline that Brexit imposes upon us is to listen very carefully
to people in Britain who clearly feel they have not been listened
I think if we're honest, we need to say that it will be
difficult for the European Union to reach a deal.
They are a complex organisation with multiple levels of interest
and many other issues that affect their agenda even though
we here would like to see our point at the top of their agenda.
The degree of detail to be covered is staggering,
both for us and our partners and new consequences
It is way more complicated than some of our colleagues
Three quarters of people in Cambridge voted to remain.
I came into Parliament to represent their views and they've
put their trust in me and I will not betray that.
I enjoy being on the Shadow Cabinet, but this is a bigger issue than that
and I'm prepared to walk if that's what I have to do.
But I have to represent what my heart tells me
and what my conscience tells me, and also what my constituents think.
If it comes to it, that's what I'll do.
Kelvin Hopkins, should Jeremy Corbyn sack Clive Lewis
It's for Jeremy to make, but I wouldn't do it personally.
I remember back in 1975 Harold Wilson and some
of the minority of the Labour Party then wanted to stay in the common
market and they allowed people to vote both ways.
The great majority of the Labour Members
of Parliament voted to leave, but Harold Wilson and a few
I don't want to see Clive resign, personally.
I think you have to accept that we're going to leave
the European Union now and we've got to get on and try to build
democratic socialism, which is what I'm about.
Alistair Burt, do you have any sympathy for Clive Lewis?
You had to vote for something this week that you don't believe
in at all and that you think would be detrimental.
I've voted for something I did believe in, which is the democratic
But as I said in my speech, I'm reconciled to the concept
of Brexit, I'm not convinced about the wisdom of it.
So yes, sometimes you have to do things because...
It's difficult for you, a lot of soul-searching went on this week.
We're going to do it and we're going to do it
as well as we possibly can, but I've not changed my mind
on whether or not I think we should have stayed in the EU.
I do entirely sympathise with colleagues who on this issue,
which has governed us for 30 to 40 years in British politics.
I've had colleagues tossing and turning, it's very difficult,
I sympathise with all colleagues who had difficult decisions to make.
Did you stay in the house to hear the result?
I went through the lobby, I knew what the result was going to be.
I've had the cheers of some of my colleagues ringing in my ears
for some time and there were some colleagues I didn't
particularly want to sit near to during that period.
Kelvin Hopkins, this may not be hard for you,
When we voted to stay in the common market in 1975,
which I remember well, there was a large number of Labour
A minority, but still a large number.
You've always had different views on these things.
I want to persuade my colleagues that the EU is essentially
anti-democratic and anti-socialist, which I've said all the time.
I've not heard a convincing argument to the counter of that.
Our objective is to make a better working life for people and I think
The great thing about all this is that Kelvin is a dedicated
socialist who believes the EU has been a capitalist construct.
My colleagues, like Iain Duncan Smith and John Redwood,
However, the debate is done, the arguments are had.
I've not been able to convince people so now we've got to create
a new and better relationship with Europe with us outside.
I think we're both dedicated to this.
In the first place, I think the period of negotiation will be
When you think about it, 27 different nations,
the European Parliament, the Commission, have all got
to agree at the end of the process to the negotiation deal
It's not all about us, it's all about them.
To imagine we'll get people into that place easily seems to me
We're going to have to work on this very hard.
I still believe getting a deal is better than walking
away and a WTO solution, but I'm concerned that I think
I have some colleagues that believe it's better to do that rather
than get negotiation and a new relationship.
It's going to be difficult, it's going to be complicated,
But I think the idea that the European Union
could actually overturn the decision made by the British
If at the end of the day the European Union tries to be
difficult, we'll just have to say we're going anyway.
Interestingly, I think they've got a great deal of interest in securing
a good relationship with us because we have a gigantic
We buy much more from them than they buy from us.
The cohesion of Europe, keeping Europe together,
governs their thinking more than any individual trade deal.
They don't want people to peel off and do the same.
Keeping the European Union together is absolutely fundamental to that.
I don't think we've fully grasped that.
Let's move on to the growing problem of homelessness.
According to the latest figures, the number of people sleeping rough
rough in this region has more than doubled.
Luton, King's Lynn, Norwich and Cambridge have seen some
Numbers here have been climbing since 2010 when there were 212
There was then a steep rise to 460 in 2015.
And it was up again last year as well, with 650 rough sleepers.
Sleeping on the street is only part of the picture.
The numbers in temporary accommodation have also soared.
We have two reports on homelessness now.
Sam Read looks at the problems in Northampton, but first, Sean Peel
It's barely daylight, this city is still in slumberland,
but outreach workers Kendal and Tim are walking the streets,
We go out at 6am to see who's out and about,
what rough sleepers are out, engage with them, make sure
they are OK, see if there are any new faces that we need to engage
with and let them know how we can help.
Cuts to services, mental health services being one, is a factor.
People being evicted because of Universal Credit being introduced.
One of the main reasons people sleep rough is
Some rough sleepers might get a place at homeless
It's nearly always full so next week they are opening some new rooms.
We had seen an increase in rough sleepers over
the last couple of years, it is steadily growing.
We put this plan together and we couldn't get to it fast
enough because the numbers have gone up since then.
We know that nationally there is a 16% rise in rough
sleeping across the country so we're not alone.
The number of people sleeping rough in our region has rocketed
in the last year alone, double in some cases.
In Bedfordshire, in Luton, it was 76.
Cambridge had 40 and according to the last count,
In Bedford, where the numbers of rough sleepers is in the top ten
nationally, TV presenter Max McMurdo, who is from the town,
He's taken his parents's old caravan and turned it into a soup kitchen
with the help of his chef friend Luke and a homeless
Bring this to the boil, keep it nice and hot and we'll
We all experience it, we walk down the street and see
someone sitting there, but we don't really know what to do.
Do you give them money, do you give them hand-outs?
People often just walk away rather than doing anything.
I don't have loads of money, I don't own a charity,
but I thought, let's turn it into a portable soup kitchen.
This week was Soupervan's maiden voyage as night falls
and the temperature drops, people are already waiting.
People like David, who's been sleeping rough
You get people coming out of the pubs that are drunk and kick
If it weren't for them, half of us would be dead
because they come out and feed us every day of the week.
A couple of guys have got on board and had bowls of soup.
I'm sure that over time it will be a slow burner,
but we've got about 20 people here tonight and knowing
there are about 60 rough sleepers, that's a third already.
Hopefully word will spread and we will get increased numbers
A Northampton day centre, offering a warm meal for people
who know all too well what it's like not to have a home.
I think you still need to make the best out of the worst situation.
Local authorities are being asked to do more.
Northampton Borough Council this week opened a new night shelter
But the Homelessness Reduction Bill, going through Parliament now,
would ask local authorities to do more prevention work,
with single people, and not just families.
The government has announced ?48 million to help local authorities
meet the new requirements for support under the new bill.
But some are questioning whether that's enough.
We do as much prevention work as we can and the money will come
in handy because maybe we'll be able to engage more staff
But yes, prevention work is important, but we are effective
Perhaps we're little bit overpowered by the numbers.
Back in the day centre, people can take a break.
But staff here know homelessness is rising
It's to do with policy, it's to do with housing crisis,
it's to do with stagnation of wages and it's to do with
Sometimes they think I can kick this person out
But landlords say margins are small and the upcoming removal of some tax
relief for landlords will put on more pressure.
It just so happens it's houses, but everybody else has to have
some sort of capital, whether it's the shop
that they are paying rent on, staff that are paid to make cups
Many people don't see it, we just do it slightly differently.
Ours is mainly capital because we are buying a house.
But we still have to do all the repairs.
This problem has been growing for several years.
It has huge social costs, personal costs, but also financial
costs when you consider that the impact of preventing
homelessness for 40,000 people will be a ?370 million
Stephen Woods knows all about the personal cost.
The so-called bedroom tax, or spare room subsidy,
and other benefit changes meant he faced eviction twice from his
The Northampton Community Law Service helped keep him in his home.
If I don't live here, I'm not going to get
anywhere else to live, I'll be living on the streets.
For me, I don't think I'd survive very long out there.
No one would object to everyone having their own place
The question is whether this new bill will help get us any
I'm joined now by Cambridge's councillor for housing, Kevin Price.
Cambridge has seen one of the highest increases.
Why are you failing to keep pace with the problem?
I don't see it that we are failing to keep pace with the problem.
As you've seen, this is a national problem.
The increase in homelessness is not just confined
But other places are doing better than you with the problem.
We already spend a lot of money on homelessness prevention
and our single homelessness service has prevented some 350
In 2010, there were something like 144 homeless applications
It's not a question of us not keeping pace, it is a question
of so many national changes taking effect in a place where the cost
of living, like Cambridge, which is very, very high.
We heard the councillor in that report describe feeling
Is this a problem that's difficult to cope with?
I wouldn't say I'm overwhelmed by it, we're disappointed
But we are aware that more and more people now are losing private rented
sector tenancies and as such have nowhere else to turn.
Councils like ours, we are a stockholding
authority, we just don't have the numbers of homes.
We heard the representative from Crisis make that case.
By preventing this, it's a very financially good decision.
We put as much money as we've got that we can put in.
I hear that the Homelessness Prevention Bill will provide some
more money and of course all extra income will be welcome.
I'm not sure the amount they are talking about will do.
Not enough money coming from central government, that's
There's something like a ?500 million programme on homelessness
The government reckons it saved maybe a million people
There's been an increase from the time that your report
was compiled, it's now ?61 million that the government
It's a bill that's been compiled with all-party support
and with the charities involved as well.
?61 million shared between all the councils everywhere.
That is new money going on top of what councils already are doing.
This bill was put together as a private member's motion,
it gathered the support of a number of charities, including
some of those you've had on the programme,
to try and help find an answer to doing something earlier.
People feel it's a very positive move to try to deal
Bedford has got one of the highest numbers of rough sleepers.
Something is going very wrong on your doorstep.
Homelessness is complex and rough sleeping is complex.
It is caused by a whole series of factors, including some that
They've often been through some difficult times, a crisis,
sometimes they've been in institutions, sometimes
The link with mental health is also incredibly important.
And the fact it's predominantly male is also something that needs
Kelvin Hopkins, we're talking about numbers in different places.
Do you know what the official count of rough sleepers is in Luton?
I forget now, but it's 79 or something like that.
I think rough sleeping is only the tip of an iceberg.
In Luton, we have 12,000 people on the waiting list.
When I was a councillor in the 1970s, we built
thousands of houses, we bought hundreds more
houses, and we housed the complete waiting list.
Not enough social housing, that's what it's all about?
I think as people know the government is very
There's a housing white paper coming out very soon.
Everybody around our region has seen a lot of housing being built,
Social housing was a problem for the last Labour government
More money is being put in, more affordable homes need to be there,
but it is a significant issue and everyone is aware of that.
Together with the changes in the nature in the way people
live, more people live single, more families are separated,
competing pressures all round, it's a big issue and councils
and government are doing the very best they can.
Kevin Price, you must walk through the streets of Cambridge
on a daily basis and you see these people that are vulnerable,
Can you do anything to promise them that things will
What we've recently set up in Cambridge is a charity called
We are encouraging local people to donate money that they might
otherwise give to people on the street.
By all means, if somebody is hungry or thirsty,
help them with that, but we feel that by directing money
through this charity, homeless people can then apply
More from both of you in just a moment.
It's time now for our 60-second round up of the week.
Demonstrations were held around the region to protest
against President Trump and his new immigration policy.
If you just lie down and pretend it's not happening,
there's nothing to stop it growing and being extended both
The Police and Crime Commissioners for Norfolk, Suffolk
and Northamptonshire want to increase their share
of council tax by 2% because the demands
Modern crime is quite complex, whether it's cyber crime,
We need to make sure we resource all of those accordingly.
The Colchester MP's appealed for the mainline to London
to be the first to get new digital signalling.
The MP for Waveney wants all fuel receipts to tell us how
Surely it is right that the nation's 37 million drivers should see
the magnitude of the tax that they pay every time
The little baby is welcome to come in.
Norwich MP Chloe Smith brings her four-month-old son
to Parliament to help her vote for Article 50.
Let me just ask you about the idea of fuel receipts showing how much
tax we are paying. Kelvin Hopkins, good idea? I like Peter very much
but this isn't sensible. We have to pay tax on some things to get enough
money to support the NHS, forces and everything else. If you show people
how much tax they are paying, they will want to pay less. It's not
sensible. Or they choose to get on their bikes! Motorists have long
complained. When the price of petrol is discussed, nobody talks about
tax. It helps people to know how much tax they are paying. People
talk about hype of the cake to taxes, telling people how much of
their tax bill goes to health or pensions. The more transparency the
better, but I'm not sure I see this as a workable idea. We started with
Article 50, there's going to be lots more discussion in Parliament. How
messy is it going to get? Legislatively, I think it will be
clear. The government will get Article 50 through. It will face a
lot of pressure on amendments in the next few weeks from the lords and
the Commons. The government has to be clear about its end result. I
don't think it will be difficult. A lot of hot air and passion. We'll
get very passionate. In the end it will be much more straightforward
than people think. Thank you. That's all from us. You can keep
programme at another time an airport expansion, but thank you to both of
you for being here. Back to you, Andrew.
Will the Government's plan to boost house-building
Could a handful of Conservative MPs cause problems for
And what is President Trump going to do next?
You have been following the genesis of this housing white paper. What do
you make of it? I think it will be quite spectacular, pretty radical
stuff. We heard bits about beating up on developers. I understand it
will be a whack, walk, covering every single problem with housing
supply and trying to solve it. Which means bad news if you are a huge fan
of the green belt, because they will go round that the other way by
forcing large quotas on councils are making it down to councils where
they build. If you fill up your brown space in towns they will have
to trigger the exceptional circumstances bit of the bill to
beat on green belts. Beating up developers, opening up the market
for renters across the board. And Theresa May, one of the most
defining thing she could do on the domestic agenda. I am not as excited
as Tom about this. I look back to 2004, do you remember the Kate
Barker report? Successive governments, successive prime
ministers have been promising to address the housing shortage. In
2004 Kate Barker recommended hundreds of thousands new homes.
Gordon Brown talked about 3 million new homes by 2020 in 2007. It never
happens. The reason is at the end of the day this is local politics,
local councillors need to keep their seats and they won't keep their
seats if there are hugely controversial developments locally
that they support. Yes, the government can and are proposing to
overrule councils that don't back local developments, but they may
find themselves completely inundated with those cases. I think that is
the whole point of it, to take on those NIMBY often Tory councils and
force them to build. I can't think of a better defining issue for
Theresa May than sticking one in the eye of some quite well off half Tory
countryside councils. The government gives councils a quota of homes they
have to fill, if they don't have to fill that all run out overland to
fill the quota, the government then comes in and tells them they have to
built on the green belt? How is that going to work? At the moment the
green belt is absolutely sacrosanct in British politics. They'll have to
do some work on educating people on what green belts means. Potato
farms, golf courses... At the moment the idea people have of the green
belt being verdant fields needs to be dismantled. You are right. I
agree with Tom, 11 million people in the private rental sector in the UK.
In the last election more voted Labour than conservative. This is an
area where Theresa May would look to expand her vote. The problem has
always been, the same problem we have with pension policy and why
pensioners have done better than working families in recent years.
They are older and they vote more and anything to the detriment of
older people. I wonder how they will get private money to come in on
anything like this go they would need to have a huge expansion? There
is a huge amount of speculation and one of the thing that locks up the
system as you have people buying land, taking out a stake of land in
the hope that one point it may at some point free up. At the end of
the day, unless you have councils far more willing to quickly fast
track these applications, which they won't for the reason I said before,
it's a very long-term investment. Ed Miliband proposed three-year leases
in which the rent could only go up by an agreed formula, probably the
three years to give the young families a certain stability over
that period. He had a use it or lose it rules for planning development,
if you don't use it you lose the planning rights. Somebody else gets
it. The Tories disparaged that at the time. This is at the centre of
their policy now. This is probably item number four of
Ed Miliband's policy book Theresa May has wholesale pinched in the
last six months or so. Why not? I think if you look at the change in
mood across housing and planning over the last 5-6 years, it used to
be an issue very much of green belt versus London planners. Now you have
grandparents living in houses in the countryside, knowing their
grandchildren can't get on the housing ladder any longer. Maybe a
bit more intervention in the market, tougher on renting conditions, maybe
that is exactly what the country needs. Will they meet the 1 million
target? It would be a defiance of every political thing that has
happened in the last ten years. I think Tom is right, if there is only
one difference between Theresa May and David Cameron it's the
willingness of the state to intervene. When Ed Miliband said
that he was seen as communism, but Theresa May can get away with it.
How serious is this talk of a couple of dozen Tories who were very loyal
over voting for the principle of Article 50 but may now be tempted to
vote for some amendments to Article 50 legislation that they would find
quite attractive? I think that threat has certainly been taken
seriously by levers. I spoke to the campaign group Leaves Means Leave
last night. The figure they mentioned was up to 20 remaining
Tories. That sounds a lot to me but that is what they are concerned
about and those Tories would come together with Labour and the SNP to
vote for that amendment. Although that amendment sounds rather nice
and democratic, actually in the eyes of many levers that is a wrecking
amendment. Because what you are doing is giving Parliament a sort of
veto over whatever deal Theresa May brings back. What they want is the
vote to be before that deal is finalised. It isn't necessarily the
case that if Parliament decided they didn't like that deal we would just
go to WTO, we would fall out of the European Union. There are mixed
views as to whether we might remain in and things could be extended. My
understanding is the people making the amendments, they won any deal
that is done to be brought to Parliament in time, so that if
Parliament fancies it it's done, but if it does and it doesn't just mean
go to WTO rules. There will be time to go back, renegotiate or think
again? The question is where it puts Britain's negotiating hand. Nine of
the options... Once we trigger Article 50 the two negotiation
begins on the power switches to Europe. They can run out the clock
and it will be worse for us than them. I don't think either option is
particularly appealing. I think what seems like a rather Serena week for
Article 50 this week isn't going to be reflective of what will happen
next. The way the government's position is at the moment, if at the
end the only choice Parliament has is to vote for the deal or crash out
on WTO rules, then even the remainder is going to vote for the
deal even if they don't like it, because they would regard crashing
out as the worst of all possible results. Possibly. It will be a
great game of bluff if Theresa May fights off any of these amendments
on Wednesday and gets a straightforward deal or no Deal
vote. I have a funny feeling this amendment, if it's chosen, we must
remember because we don't know if they will choose this amendment, if
it does go to a vote on Wednesday it will be very tight indeed. Remember,
one final thing Theresa May can do if she gets Parliament voting
against, as Isabel would have it, she could try to get a new
parliament and go for a general election. And probably get a huge
majority to do so. The Lords, it goes there after the February
recess. They are very pro-Europe, but does their instinct for
self-preservation override that? I think that is it. A Tory Lord said
this morning I will vote to block it on a conscience measure, but you
have the likes of Bill Cash, veteran Eurosceptics, suddenly converted to
the Lords reform saying is an outrage. I doubt they will vote for
their own demise, to hasten their own demise by blocking it. What did
you make of Doctor Gorka smart fascinating. Cut from the same cloth
as his boss. I thought it was extraordinary listening to him,
saying everything is going dutifully to plan. But at the end of the day,
what they are doing is what people in America voted for Trump to do. If
you look at Lord Ashcroft's polling on why America voted for Trump, they
went into this with their eyes wide open. One of the top fears among
American voters, particularly Republican leading ones was
America's immigration policy is or could be letting in terror arrests.
As far as he is concerned, he is doing what he was elected to do.
This whole year is turning into a wonderful year long lecture series
on how democracy works at a fundamental level. I'm not sure
anyone wanted it but it's what we've got. This same in the way we've been
talking about direct democracy and Parliamentary democracy. The same is
happening in America between executive and judicial branches. We
are seeing the limits of presidential power. Regardless of
the fact that people voted for Trump they voted for senators. The judge
who blocks this was appointed by George W Bush. So-called Judge
Eckert Mac so-called George W Bush! It's fascinating we're having all
these conversations now that I never bought five years ago we would be
having at such a fundamental level. Has the media yet worked out how to
cover the Trump administration or has he got us behaving like headless
chickens? He says something incendiary and we all run over to do
that and when you pick it off it turns out not to be as incendiary as
we thought? And then back doing something and we all rush over
there. Is he making fools of us? Is exactly what he did in the election
campaign. So many quick and fast outrageous comments frontrunner on a
daily basis, no one single one of them had full news cycle time to be
pored over and examined. I think there is a problem with this.
Although he keeps the upper hand, keeps the agenda and keeps on the
populist ground, the problem is it easy to campaign like that. If you
are governing in a state of semi-hysteria, I wonder how long the
American public will be comfortable with that. They don't really want
their government to be swirling chaos all the time, as fascinating
as it might be on TV. They will be exhausted by it, I already am. I
have been interviewing White House administration official since 1976
and that is the first time someone hasn't given me a straight answer on
America supporting the EU. That is a different world.
Jo Coburn will be on BBC Two tomorrow at midday with
the Daily Politics - and I'll be back here
Remember, if it's Sunday - it's the Sunday Politics.
TV: He's not your father. WOMAN GASPS
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