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It's Sunday morning and this is the Sunday Politics.
Theresa May still has plenty on her plate,
not least a battle over Brexit in the Lords.
But after Thursday's by-election win in Copeland,
the Prime Minister looks stronger than ever.
Jeremy Corbyn's Labour saw off Ukip in this week's other by-election,
but losing to the Tories in a heartland seat leaves the party
The leader of Scottish Labour joins me live.
You look at what's happening last night in Sweden. Sweden!
And Donald Trump may have been mocked for talking about the impact
here in the east, the colour of but after riots in Stockholm this
here in the east, the colour of money. Businesses helped by funding
from the EU. In London, will the rise in council
tax in all but four local authorities be enough to alleviate
the crisis in social care? And joining me for all of that,
three journalists who I'm pleased to say have so far not been banned
from the White House. I've tried banning them
from this show repeatedly, but somehow they just keep getting
past BBC security - it's Sam Coates, We have had two crucial
by-elections, the results last Thursday night. It's now Sunday
morning, where do they believe British politics? I think it leaves
British politics looking as if it may go ahead without Ukip is a
strong and robust force. It is difficult to see from where we are
now how Ukip rebuilds into a credible vote winning operation. I
think it looks unprofessional, the campaign they fought in Stoke was
clearly winnable because the margin with which Labour held onto that
seat was not an impressive one but they put forward arguably the wrong
candidate, it was messy and it's hard to see where they go from here,
particularly with the money problems they have and even Nigel Farage
saying he's fed up of the party. If Isabel is right, if Ukip is no
longer a major factor, you look at the state of Labour and the Lib Dems
coming from a long way behind despite their local government
by-election successes, Tories never more dominant. I think Theresa May
is in a fascinating situation. She's the most powerful Prime Minister of
modern times for now because she faces no confident, formidable
opposition. Unlike Margaret Thatcher who in the 1980s, although she won
landslides in the end, often looked like she was in trouble. She was
inferred quite often in the build-up to the election. David Owen, Roy
Jenkins, Shirley Williams. And quite often she was worried. At the moment
Theresa May faces no formidable UK opposition. However, she is both
strong and fragile because her agenda is Brexit, which I still
think many have not got to grips with in terms of how complex and
training and difficult it will be for her. Thatcher faced no
equivalent to Brexit so she is both strong, formidably strong because of
the wider UK political context, and very fragile. It is just when you
think you have never been more dominant you are actually at the
most dangerous, what can possibly go wrong? I think that the money of her
MPs they haven't begun to think through the practicalities of Brexit
and she does have a working majority of about 17 in the House of Commons
so at any point she could be put under pressure from really
opposition these days is done by the two wins inside the Conservative
Party, either the 15 Europhiles or the bigger group of about 60
Brexiteers who have continued to operate as a united and disciplined
force within the Conservative Party to get their agenda on the table.
Either of those wings could be disappointed at any point in the
next three and a half years and that would put her under pressure. I
wouldn't completely rule out Ukip coming back. The reason Ukip lost in
Stoke I think it's because at the moment Theresa May is delivering
pretty much everything Ukip figures might want to see. We might find the
phrase Brexit means Brexit quite anodyne but I think she is
convincing people she will press ahead with their agenda and deliver
the leave vote that people buy a slim majority voted for. Should that
change, should there be talk of transition periods, shut the
migration settlement not make people happy, then I think Ukip risks
charging back up the centre ground and causing more problems in future.
That could be a two year gap in which Ukip would have to survive. As
I said, Ukip is on our agenda for today.
Thursday was a big night for political obsessives
like us, with not one but two significant by-elections,
Ellie braved the wind and rain to bring you this report.
The clouds had gathered, the winds blew at gale force.
Was a change in the air, or just a weather system called Doris?
Voters in Stoke-on-Trent were about to find out.
It's here, a sports hall on a Thursday night
that the country's media reckon is the true eye of the storm.
Would Labour suffer a lightning strike to its very heart,
or would the Ukip threat proved to be a damp squib?
Everybody seems to think the result in Stoke-on-Trent would be close,
just as they did 150-odd miles away in Copeland, where the Tories
are counting on stealing another Labour heartland seat.
Areas of high pressure in both places, and some strange sights.
We knew this wasn't a normal by-election, and to prove it
there is the rapper, Professor Green.
Chart-toppers aside, winner of Stoke-on-Trent hit parade
was announced first, where everyone was so excited
the candidates didn't even make it onto the stage for the result.
And I do hereby declare that the said Gareth Snell
Nigel Farage has said that victory here in Stoke-on-Trent
But Ukip's newish leader played down the defeat,
insisting his party's time would come.
Are you going to stand again as an MP or has this
No doubt I will stand again, don't worry about that.
The politics of hope beat the politics of fear.
I think Ukip are the ones this weekend who have got
But a few minutes later, it turned out Labour had
Harrison, Trudy Lynn, the Conservative Party
That was more than 2,000 votes ahead of Labour.
What has happened here tonight is a truly historic event.
Labour were disappointed, but determined to be optimistic
At a point when we're 15 to 18 points behind in the polls...
The Conservatives within 2000 votes I think is an incredible
The morning after the night before, the losing parties
were licking their wounds and their lips over breakfast.
For years and years, Ukip was Nigel Farage,
That has now changed, that era has gone.
It's a new era, it is a second age for us.
So that needs to be more fully embedded,
it needs to be more defined, you know, and that will
We have to continue to improve in seats where we have stood.
As we have done here, we've improved on our 2015 result,
that's what important, is that we are taking steps
Can I be the first to come here today to congratulate
you on being elected the new MP for Stoke on Trent Central.
Jeremy Corbyn has just arrived in Stoke to welcome his newest MP.
Not sure he's going to Copeland later though.
Earlier in the day, the Labour leader had made clear he'd
considered and discounted some theories about the party's
Since you found out that you'd lost a seat to a governing
party for the first time since the Falklands War,
have you at any point this morning looked in the mirror and asked
yourself this question - could the problem actually be me?
In the end it was the Conservatives who came out on top.
No governing party has made a gain at a by-election
With the self-styled people's army of Ukip halted in Stoke,
and Labour's wash-out here in Copeland...
There's little chance of rain on Theresa May's parade.
In the wake of that loss in Copeland, the Scottish Labour Party
has been meeting for its spring conference in the
Yesterday, deputy leader Tom Watson warned delegates that unless Labour
took the by-election defeat seriously, the party's devastation
in Scotland could be repeated south of the border.
Well, I'm joined now by the leader of Scottish Labour,
Even after your party had lost Copeland to the Tories and with
Labour now trailing 16 points in the UK polls, you claim to have every
faith that Jeremy Corbyn would absolutely win the general election.
What evidence can you bring to support that? There is no doubt the
result in Copeland was disappointing for the Labour Party and I think
it's a collective feeling for everyone within the Labour Party and
I want to do what I can to turn around the fortunes of our party.
That's what I've committed to do while I have been the Scottish
Labour leader. This two years ago we were down the mines so to speak in
terms of losing the faith of working class communities across the
country, but we listened very hard to the message voters are sending
and responded to it. That's what I'm committed to doing in Scotland and
that's what Jeremy Corbyn is committed to doing UK wide. The
latest polls put Labour at 14% in Scotland, the Tories at ten points
ahead of you in Scotland, even Theresa May is more popular than
Jeremy Corbyn in Scotland. So I will try again - why are you so sure
Jeremy Corbyn could win a general election? What I said when you are
talking about Scotland is that I'm the leader of the Scottish Labour
Party and I take responsibility for our policies here. Voters said very
clearly after the Scottish Parliament election that they didn't
have a clear enough sense of what we stood for so I have been advocating
a very strong anti-austerity platform, coming up with ideas of
how we can oppose the cuts and invest in our future. That is
something Jeremy Corbyn also supports but I've also made it clear
this weekend that we are opposed to a second independence referendum. I
want to bring Scotland back together by focusing on the future and that's
why I have been speaking about the federal solution for the UK. I know
that Jeremy Corbyn shares that ambition because he is backing the
plans for a people's Constitutional Convention. Yes, these are difficult
times for the Scottish Labour Party and UK family, but I have a plan in
place to turn things around. It will take time though. I'm still not sure
why you are so sure the Labour party can win but let me come onto your
plan. You want a UK wide Constitutional Convention and that
lead to a new Federalist settlement. Is it the policy of the Labour
Shadow Cabinet in Westminster to carve England into federal regions?
What we support at a UK wide level is the people's constitutional
convention. I have been careful to prescribe what I think is in the
best interests of Scotland but not to dictate to other parts of the UK
what is good for them, that's the point of the people's constitutional
convention. You heard Tom Watson say there has to be a UK wide
conversation about power, who has it and how it is exercised across
England. England hasn't been part of this devolution story over the last
20 years, it is something that happened between Scotland and London
or Wales and London. No wonder people in England feel
disenfranchised from that. What evidence can you bring to show there
is any appetite in England for an English federal solution to England,
to carve England into federal regions? Have you spoken to John
Prescott about this? He might tell you some of the difficulties.
There's not even a debate about that here, Kezia Dugdale, it is fantasy.
I speak to John Prescott regularly. What there is a debate about is the
idea the world is changing so fast that globalisation is taking jobs
away from communities in the north-east, that many working class
communities feel left behind, that Westminster feels very far away and
the politicians within it feel remote in part of the establishment.
People are fed up with power being exercised somewhere else, that's
where I think federalism comes in because it's about bringing power
closer to people and in many ways it's forced on us because of Brexit.
We know the United Kingdom is leaving the European Union so we
have to talk about the repatriation of those powers from Brussels to
Britain. I want many of those powers to go to the Scottish parliament but
where should they go in the English context? It is not as things
currently stand the policy of the English Labour Party to carve
England into federal regions, correct?
It is absolutely the policy of the UK Labour Party to support the
people's Constitutional convention to examining these questions. I
think it is really important. You're promising the Scottish people a
federal solution, and you have not even squared your own party for a
federal solution in England. That is not true. The UK Labour Party is
united on this. I am going to Cardiff next month to meet with
Carwyn Jones and various leaders. United on a federal solution? You
know as well as I know it is not united on a federal solution. We
will have a conversation about power in this country. It is not united on
that issue? This is the direction of
travel. It is what you heard yesterday from Sadiq Khan, from Tom
Watson, when you hear from people like Nick Forbes who lead Newcastle
City Council and Labour's Local Government Association. There is an
appetite for talking about power. Talking is one thing. We need to
have this conversation across the whole of the United Kingdom, to have
a reformed United Kingdom. It is a conversation you're offering
Scotland, not the policy. Let's come onto the labour made of London. He
was in power for your conference. He wrote in the record yesterday, there
is no difference between Scottish nationalism and racism. Would you
like this opportunity to distance yourself from that absurd claim? I
think that Sadiq Khan was very clear yesterday that he was not accusing
the SNP of racism. What he was saying clearly is that nationalism
by its very nature divides people and communities. That is what I said
in my speech yesterday. I am fed up living in a divided and fractured
country and society. Our politics is forcing is constantly to pick sides,
whether you're a no, leave a remain, it brings out the worst in our
politicians and politics. All the consensus we find in the grey areas
is lost. That is why am standing under a banner that together we are
stronger. We have to come up with ideas and focus on the future. That
is why I agree with Sadiq Khan. He said quite clearly in the Daily
Record yesterday, and that the last minute he adapted his speech to your
conference yesterday, to try and reduce the impact, that there was no
difference between Scottish nationalism and racism. Your
colleague, and Sarwar, said that even after he had tried to introduce
the caveats, all forms of nationalism rely on creating eyes
and them. Let's call it for what it is. So you are implying that the
Scottish Nationalists are racist. Would you care to distance yourself
from that absurd claim? I utterly refute that that is what Sadiq Khan
said. I would never suggest that the SNP are an inherently racist party.
That does is a disservice. He did not see it. What he did say,
however, is that nationalism is divisive. You know that better than
anyone. I see your Twitter account. Regularly your attack for the job
you do as a journalist. Politics in Scotland is divided on. I do not
want to revisit that independence question again for that reason. As
leader of the Labour Party, I want to bring our country back together,
appeal to people who voted yes and no. That banner, together we are
stronger, that is where the answers lie in defaulters can be found. If
in response to the Mayor of London, your colleague says, let's call it
out for what it is, what is he referring to if he is not implying
that national symbol is racist? -- and that nationalism is racist? He
is saying that it leads to divisive politics. The Labour Party has
always advocated that together we are stronger. Saying something is
divisive is very different from saying something is racist. That is
what the Mayor of London said. That is what your colleague was referring
to. He did not. You would really struggle to quote that from the
Mayor of London. He talked about being divided by race. What does
that mean? I think he was very clear that he was talking about divided
politics. There is an appetite the length and breadth of the country to
end that divisive politics. That is what I stand for, focusing on the
future, bringing people back together, concentrating on what the
economy might look like in 20 years' time in coming up with ideas to
tackle it today. Thank you for joining us.
Thursday's win for Labour in Stoke-on-Trent Central
gave some relief to Jeremy Corbyn, but for Ukip leader and defeated
Stoke candidate Paul Nuttall there were no consolation prizes.
I'm joined now by Mr Nuttall's principal political
Welcome to the programme. Good morning. How long will Paul Nuttall
survivors Ukip leader, days, weeks, months? You are in danger of not
seeing the wood for the trees. Ukip was formed in 1993 with the express
purpose, much mocked, of getting Britain out of the European Union.
Under the brilliant leadership of Nigel Farage, we were crucial in
forcing a vacuous Prime Minister to make a referendum promise he did not
want to give. With our friends in Fort leave and other organisations.
Mac we know that. Get to the answer. We helped to win that referendum.
The iteration of Ukip at the moment that we're in, the primary purpose,
we are the guard dog of Brexit. Viewed through that prism, the Stoke
by-election was a brilliant success. A brilliant success? We had the Tory
candidate that had pumped out publicity for Remain, for Cameron
Bradley, preaching the gospel of Brexit. We had a Labour candidate
and we know what he really felt about Brexit, preaching the Gospel
according to Brexit. You lost. Well the by-election was going on, we had
the Labour Party in the House of Commons pass the idea of trickling
Article 50 by a landslide. Are passionate thing, the thing that
35,000 Ukip members care about the most, it is an extraordinary
achievement. I am very proud. What would you have described as victory
as? If we could have got Paul Nuttall into the House of Commons,
that would have been a fantastic cherry on the top. Losing was an
extraordinary achievement? Many Ukip supporters the Stoke was winnable,
but Paul Nuttall's campaign was marred by controversy, Tory voters
refuse to vote tactically for Ukip to beat Labour, his campaign, Mr
Nuttall is to blame for not winning what was a winnable seat? I do not
see that at all. This is counterintuitive, but Jeremy Corbyn
did do one thing that made it more difficult for us to win. Fantasy.
That was to take Labour into a Brexit position formerly. Just over
50 Labour MPs had voted against triggering Article 50. In political
terms, we have intimidated the Labour Party into backing Brexit.
How much good is it doing you? It comes to the heart
of the problem your party faces. You're struggling to win Tory
Eurosceptic voters. For the moment, they seem happy with Theresa May.
Stoke shows you're not winning Labour Brexit voters either. If you
cannot get the solution Tolisso labour, where does your Broad come
from? In terms of the by-election, it came very early for Paul. I'm
talking about the future. We have a future agenda, and ideological
argument with Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party, which is wedded to the notion
of global citizenship and does not recognise the nation state. We know
he spent Christmas sitting around campfires with Mexican Marxist
dreaming of global government. We believe in the nation state. We
believe that the patriotic working class vote will be receptive to
that. Your Broad went down by 9% in Cortland. In Copeland we were
squeezed. In Stoke, we were unable to squeeze the Tories, who are on a
high. Our agenda is that social solidarity is important but we
arrange it in this country by nation and community. We want an
immigration system that is not only reducing... We know what you want. I
do not think people do. You had a whole by-election to tell people and
they did not vote for you and. When Nigel Farage said it was fundamental
that you were winner in Stoke, he was wrong? Nigel chooses his own
words. I would not rewrite them. It would be a massive advantage to Ukip
to have a leader in the House of Commons in time to reply to the
budget, Prime Minister's questions and all of that. But we have taken
the strategic view that we will fight the Labour Party for the
working class vote. It is also true that the Conservatives will make a
pitch for the working class vote might as well. All three parties
have certain advantages and disadvantages. As part of that page,
Nigel Farage said that your leader, Paul Nuttall, should have taken a
clear, by which I assume he meant tough, line on immigration. Do you
agree? He took a tough line on immigration. He developed that idea
at our party conference in the spring. Nigel Farage did not think
so? Nigel Farage made his speech before Paul Nuttall made his speech.
He said this in the aftermath of the result. Once we have freedom to
control and Borders, Paul wants to set up an immigration system that
includes an aptitude test, do you have skills that the British economy
needs, but also, and attitudes test, do you subscribe to core British
values such as gender equality and freedom of expression? We will be
making these arguments. It is certainly true that Paul's campaign
was thrown off course by, particularly something that we knew
the Labour Party had been preparing to run, the smear on the untruths,
the implications about Hillsborough. If you knew you should have
anticipated it. Alan Banks, he helps to bankroll your party, he said that
Mr Nuttall needs to toss out the Tory cabal in Europe, by which he
means Douglas Carswell, Neil Hamilton. Should they be stripped of
their membership? Of course not. As far as I knew, Alan Banks was a
member of the Conservative Party formally. I do not know who this
Tory cabal is supposed to be. He says that your party is more like a
jumble sale than a political party. He says that the party should make
him chairman or they will work. What do you see to that? He has made that
statement several times over many months, including if you do not
throw out your only MP. Douglas Carswell has managed to win twice
under Ukip colours. Should Tibi chairman? I think we have an
excellent young chairman at the moment. He is doing a good job. The
idea that Leave.EU was as smooth running brilliant machine, that does
not sit with the facts as I understand them. Suzanne Evans says
it would be no great loss for Ukip if Mr Banks walked out, severed his
ties and took his money elsewhere. Is she right. I am always happy
people who want to give money and support your party want to stay in
the party. The best donors donate and do not seek to dictate. If they
are experts in certain fields, people should listen to their views
but to have a daughter telling the party leader who should be party
chairman, that is a nonstarter. You have described your existing party
chairman is excellent. He said it could be 20 years before Ukip wins
by-election. Is he being too optimistic? There is a general
election coming up in the years' time. We will be aiming to win seats
in that. Before that, we will be the guard dog for Brexit, to make sure
this extraordinary achievement of a little party... You are guard dog
without a kennel, you cannot get seat? We're keeping the big
establishment parties to do the will of the people. If we achieve nothing
else at all, that will be a magnificent achievement. Thank you
very much. Sweden isn't somewhere
we talk about often should because this
week it was pulled into the global spotlight,
thanks Last weekend, Mr Trump was mocked
for referring to an incident that had occurred last night in Sweden
as a result of the country's open Critics were quick to point out that
no such incident had occurred and Mr Trump later clarified
on Twitter and he was talking about a report he had
watched on Fox News. But as if to prove
he was onto something, next day a riot broke out
in a Stockholm suburb with a large migrant population,
following unrest in such areas So what has been Sweden's
experience of migration? In 2015, a record 162,000 people
claimed asylum there, the second That number dropped to 29,000
in 2016 after the country introduced border restrictions and stopped
offering permanent Tensions have risen,
along with claims of links to crime, although official statistics do not
provide evidence of a refugee driven Nigel Farage defended Mr Trump,
claiming this week that migrants have led to a dramatic rise
in sexual offences. Although the country does
have the highest reported rate of rape in Europe,
Swedish authorities say recent rises were due to changes to how rape
and sex crimes are recorded. Aside from the issue of crime,
Sweden has struggled Levels of inequality between natives
and migrants when it comes Unemployment rates are three times
higher for foreign-born workers We're joined now by Laila Naraghi,
she's a Swedish MP from the governing Social Democratic Party,
and by the author and The Swedish political establishment
was outraged by Mr Trump's remarks, pointing to a riot that hadn't taken
place, then a few nights later serious riots did break out in a
largely migrant suburb of Stockholm so he wasn't far out, was he? I
think he was far out because he is misleading the public with how he
uses these statistics. I think it is important to remember that the
violence has decreased in Sweden for the past 20 years and research shows
there is no evidence that indicate that immigration leads to crime and
so I think it is far out. The social unrest in these different areas is
not because of their ethical backgrounds of these people living
there but more about social economic reasons. OK, no evidence migrants
are responsible for any kind of crime? This story reminds me after
what happened to the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris when also a Fox
News commentator said something that was outlandish about Paris and the
Mayor of Paris threatened to sue Fox News, saying you are making our city
look bad. It's a bit like that because the truth on this lies
between Donald Trump on the Swedish authorities on this. Sweden and
Swedish government is very reluctant to admit any downsides of its own
migration policy and particularly the migration it hard in 2015 but
there are very obvious downsides because Sweden is not a country that
needs a non-skilled labour force which doesn't speak Swedish. What
was raised as the matter of evidence, what is the evidence?
First of all if I can say so the rape statistics in Sweden that have
been cited are familiar with the rape statistics across other
countries that have seen similar forms of migration. Danish
authorities and the Norwegian authorities have recorded a similar
thing. It is not done by ethnicity so we don't know. And this is part
of the problem. It is again a lot of lies and rumours going about. When
it is about for example rape, it is difficult to compare the statistics
because in Sweden for example many crimes that in other countries are
labelled as bodily harm or assault are in Sweden labelled as rape. Also
how it is counted because if a woman goes to the police and reports that
her husband or boyfriend has raped her, and done it every night for one
year, in Sweden that is counted as 365 offences. Something is going
wrong, I look at the recent news from Sweden. Six Afghan child
refugees committed suicide in the last six months, unemployment among
recent migrants now five times higher than among non-migrants. We
have seen gang violence in Malmo where a British child was killed by
a grenade, rioting in Stockholm. Police in Sweden say there are 53
areas of the country where it is now dangerous to patrol. Something has
gone wrong. Let me get back to what I think is the core of this debate
if I may and that is the right for people fleeing war and political
persecution to seek asylum, that is a human right. In Sweden we don't
think we can do everything, but we want to live up to our obligation,
every country has an obligation to receive asylum seekers. But you have
changed your policy on that because having taken 163,001 year alone, you
have then closed your borders, I think very wisely, closed the border
which means 10,000 people per day at one point were walking from Denmark
in to Malmo, you rightly changed that so he realised whatever ones
aspirations in terms of asylum, it sometimes meets reality and Sweden
is meeting the reality of this. Let's respond to that. We are not
naive, we know we cannot do everything but we want to try to do
our share as we think other countries also need to do their
share. But let me say that, if you look at what the World Economic
Forum is saying about our country they show we are in the top of many
rankings, the best country to live in, to age in, to have children in,
to start into -- to start enterprise. Why have you not been so
good at integrating migrants? The unemployment rate is five times
higher among migrants than non-migrants and that's the highest
ratio of any country in the EU and the OECD, why have you not been able
to integrate the people you have brought in for humanitarian reasons?
I'm sure there are things we can do much better of course but if you
look for example at the immigration that came in the 90s from the
Balkans, they are well integrated and contributing to our society.
They are starting enterprises and working in different fields of
society, and they help our country. Why have they not got jobs, the
migrants that have come in? It takes time. In the 90s we managed it and
I'm sure we can do it again. Can I put this into some context, it is
clear Sweden has got problems as a result of the number of migrants
that come in, whether it is as bad as Mr Trump and others make out is
another matter, but perhaps I can put it into context. Malmo, which
has been at the centre of many of these migrant problems, its homicide
rate is three per hundred thousand. Chicago, 28 per 100,000. It may have
problems but they are not huge. No, they are pretty huge and I think
they will grow. The Balkan refugees into Sweden in the 90s did bring a
lot of problems and Sweden did for the first time see serious ethnic
gang rivalries. There was an upsurge in gang-related violence that has
gone on since. The situation in Malmo in particular is exaggerated
by some people, there's no doubt about that, I have been there many
times and it is undoubtedly exaggerated by some, it is also
vastly unpersuaded by the Swedish authorities. -- understated. In
2010, one in ten Jews in Malmo registered some form of attack on
them. It got so bad that in 2010 people offered to escort Jews... You
have had a good say and I have got to be fair here, what do you say to
that, Laila Naraghi? There are people trying to frame our country
in a certain way to push their own agenda. I regret that President
Trump is trying to slander our country. But what about the specific
point on Malmo? If you speak to people in Malmo and also to
different congregations, they say they are working together with the
authorities to improve this. I say again, there are a lot of people
trying to spread rumours and lies. Your situation is very like the
situation we had in Britain when we have these situations in Rotherham
and elsewhere. 1400 girls were raped in Rotherham before police even
admitted it was going on. That happened in Britain in the last
decade, a similar phenomenon. An upsurge in particularly sexual and
other forms of violence and then total denial by an entire political
class is now something that is happening in Sweden. I see it in
Swedish authorities and the denial that comes up and the desire to
laugh and dismiss Trump but he's not answer nothing and that's a painful
thing for any society to want to admit to. There are number of Swedes
who think the establishment is covering up the true statistics,
that you don't break crime down by ethnic crimes, people are suspicious
of the centre-left and centre-right parties now in Sweden. There is no
denial and no cover-up. This is what I'm speaking about when I say people
are trying to frame it in a certain way. The social unrest is not
because of the ethnical background of the people living there but
rather because of different socioeconomics conditions. There is
no research that shows immigration... But you don't do the
research into it. Swedish authorities deliberately ensure you
cannot carry out such research and after the attacks in Cologne in 2015
it was the first time then that the Swedish authorities and press
admitted that similar sexual molestation have been going on for
years in Sweden. Is it right to think, given the problem is maybe
not as bad as many people make out but clearly problems, given these
problems, is the age of mass asylum seeking for Sweden over? You have
cut the numbers by 80% coming in last year compared with 2015, is it
over while you concentrate on getting right the people that you
have there already? We want to do our share, we have done a lot and
now we are concentrating of course on integration and making sure
people get a job, and also on big welfare investments because
it's important to remember that for eight years Sweden were governed by
a government that prioritised big tax cuts instead of investment in
welfare. It may just not work. I am grateful to you both, we have to
leave it there. It's coming up to 11:40am,
you're watching the Sunday Politics. We say goodbye to viewers
in Scotland, who leave us now the Week Ahead, when we'll be asking
if the Government is facing defeat Welcome to Sunday Politics East.
Later in the programme, business rate rises, a threat to our High
Street or a storm in a teacup? The government may be claiming that
business rates are going down, but certainly, that isn't our
experience. With us today, Bernard Jenkin, the
Conservative MP for Harwich and North Essex, and Alex Maier, who
replaced Richard Howitt as the Labour member of the European
We are starting with funding from We are starting with funding from
the EU. Of course, when we leave the EU, we won't be getting any more of
its regional grants and investment, and this week, we have some idea
what that might mean. According to a report for one of our business
organisations, more than ?4 billion in grants has come to this region
over the last ten years. That does not include CAP payments to farmers.
The report warns in the short term, at least, we are unlikely to see
similar levels of funding for business, infrastructure and social
development once we have left the. Here is Andrew Sinclair.
If you want an idea of the difference that EU funding has made,
take a look at this printing firm in Ipswich. It makes colour sampling
cards for paint companies and was struggling to expand, but a ?67,000
grant from the Growing Business Fund meant that last year, it could move
to new premises and take on extra staff.
It was very important, because it enabled us to fit out to a much
higher standard than we would have done and enabled us to move two
units into one at an earlier stage than we would have done.
If you haven't been able to get this grand? We would probably still be
working out of two unit! Across the eastern region, large
towns, rural communities, high-tech research parks, along with roads and
other transport projects have benefited from EU funding. But what
will happen when we leave? This report, commissioned by the New
Anglia Lep, and written by the East of England Brussels office, makes
sobering reading. It finds that in the last decade, just two of our
counties, Norfolk and Suffolk, have received ?1.9 billion of EU
investment, which together with other grants, brought in a total of
?7.3 billion. And figures for other parts of the region are even higher.
And the report warns that it cannot see how a lot of this funding will
be replaced. investment bank, it may be possible
we will continue to be able to borrow from the investment bank. As
for the range of other programmes, University funding, agricultural
funding, local growth funding, how that is to be decided is essentially
a domestic issue, and something we don't know yet.
During the referendum, the Leave campaign argued that because we send
there would be enough money to, yes, there would be enough money to, yes,
help the NHS, but also to help the little people these projects going
after Brexit. But could some of them get the chop? The report says that
it could depend on the whims of future government.
At the moment, funding runs over seven years, which could run over
two parliamentary terms in the UK and European parliaments, so you can
remove some of the politics of agricultural and research funding,
of growth funding. That will become a politicised issue now, I think, in
future UK elections. This is not finished, but it is
nearly there. Here is another beneficiary of EU
funding. On the Norfolk- Suffolk funding. On the Norfolk- Suffolk
border, Hannah has opened a winery. They have planted vineyard. The
fund allowed her and her husband to fund allowed her and her husband to
invest in processing equipment and they will surely' to Mac is centre.
Banks would not fund us because we are a new business. We fit the bill
because we are going to be boosting because we are going to be boosting
tourism in the area, and employing local people here and having a local
supply chain. As long as we are in the EU, we are entitled to apply for
funds for projects like this. But there is another problem. The
current EU funding period ends in early 2021. That is nearly two years
after we have left EU, and so that means that not all the money that
has currently been promised to the east will be given to us. The
Chancellor has agreed to fund all EU projects to the end of very great
term, but after that, he has been noncommittal, and with the head of
the European Commission warning this week that we will pay a heavy price
for leaving the EU, the region's business community is concerned.
We want to work with government and other colleagues to ensure money is
still available to support economic growth in our counties.
You can't be sure that it will be. We can't be sure that it will be,
but it is certainly, we believe, a priority to protect funding in
science and innovation, to protect science and innovation, to protect
funding for farming communities. And also to protect funding.
More than 1000 projects have benefited from EU support in this
region. The business community would like to know what happens next.
Bernard Jenkin, what does happen next?
Well, Lott needs to happen next, and it is a report where two things need
to be borne in mind. Globally, the UK gets twice as much money to the
European Union than what we get back, and once we have left the
European Union, we're not going to be short of money. We have more
money available, and people like me why do we want our fair share for
our region. And the second point is that this money will be under our
control. It will be cheaper to administer because we won't go
through the bureaucracy, and for example, agriculture is exactly the
same. We will need to create, probably, and agriculture bill to
create a UK agricultural policy through which the government will
provide support for agriculture, but these things have not been done and
I can quite understand people are feeling a bit uncertain about it.
And it is the uncertainty, isn't it? Don't we have to put our cards on
the table and say yes, you will get this money?
Yes, I think we do, but regional and structural funds, which is what the
programme is about, these are for the whole nation, and we will need
to agree a framework not just for England but with the Scottish and
Northern Ireland government and with the Welsh government, and I hope it
is going to be a joint cooperative framework. So I think there is an
opportunity to make sure it is anchored in a longer-term
perspective than just one general election to the next Westminster,
that it will have more permanence to it.
Now you are at the EU Parliament, does this get talked about?
Absolutely, and it is talked about right across our region. I am really
concerned about this European funding disappearing.
When you talk to people, what do When you talk to people, what do
they say about this? They recognise the benefits that
European funding brings two regions, and specifically two regions. The
Suffolk, Devonshire Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Devonshire Cambridgeshire,
and that is one of the big concerns people have got, is that yes, there
will be different money available, but will be invested in our region?
And what will happen to the collaborative work that goes on the
moment. I was in Great Yarmouth yesterday, talking to a local arts
company, and one of the things that they really benefit from is not just
the money was also the fact that they can work with other European
partners and share practice. People who collaborate with European
countries are still going to do that, aren't they?
I think you were more difficult, because funding programmes at the
moment really encourage that, and it will be tougher post-Brexit. -- I
think it will be more difficult. I don't quite understand the point
you are making. The fact is that this money, twice as much money,
will now be under our control after we have left, and it is about
collaboration with our European partners, though and will be less
easy for companies here to collaborate two no, it will be just
the same. We collaborate globally across the
world with companies and universities and science, and all
these things are global things. The idea that the only way you can
cooperate in Europe is through the EU, I mean, it is going to change,
it is going to be different, and that is what I think people find, if
they are people who are used to what they have got, it will change, but
there's no reason why there should be just as much collaboration across
frontiers in the European Union. -- in Europe.
And the political perspective on this, what are you hearing from your
perspectives on the European Parliament? -- your colleagues?
They are worried about the European project as a whole, I would say.
Brexit is not what is on everyone's... . If you are German,
you will by German elections, if you are French, about Marine Le Pen. I
don't think Brexit is a top pirated for the politicians in Europe. --
top priority. That will make a really difficult for Britain to get
a good deal, and I see no reason we will get a better deal outside of
Europe than we did when we were in it.
Unless, of course, all those other countries do what we have done?
And leave. Yes. You are absolutely right. I think
the way that Europe has, the way the EU is becoming preoccupied with the
very intractable problems in the Eurozone is very difficult. You
might finish up without any deal at all, and I think we have to be
prepared for that. I agree. Let's move on. MPs from
across the region have been campaigning for the government to
give more help to companies here that are facing a big increase in
their business rates. There are sharp increases in some
places, but that is not the case everywhere.
Across the region, the only places facing an overall increase in North
Norfolk, the Cambridge area, and Forest Heath. In each case, the rise
will be 2%. Everywhere else, there will be at the crease. Up to 12% in
Stevenage and 13% in Bedford. But even in areas where on average,
rates will fall, some businesses will be facing an increase, and some
of those will be big. We were anticipating that they would
approximately double, but in fact, they have gone up by more than three
times. The government may claim that business rates are going down, but
certainly, that isn't our experience, and I very much doubt
that it is the experience of many small businesses.
Others believe they can cope with the changes.
We are currently paying about 2870 in our business rates, and based on
what I have seen on valuation, I think it will go up modestly to
We are quite lucky here is a company We are quite lucky here is a company
that it hasn't been extraordinary. We look at other people, and they
are jumping up and down a bit at this moment.
And there are some hotspots like Southwold in Suffolk, where the
rates and the shop will go up from ?2000 a year to nearly 12,000.
At the moment, I pay myself only the minimum wage. I pay myself ?10,000 a
year. Everything I make goes back into the business, so we are looking
at potentially decisions about people that I employ, decisions
about where money is invested in the business.
Suffolk Coastal, which includes Suffolk Coastal, which includes
Southwold. She was one of the few MPs who went to see the Chancellor
of the Exchequer Philip Hammond this week.
We address the particular issues We address the particular issues
involving towns, and small High Street, which have seen a reduction
in popularity. It is fair to say, I think, the Chancellor recognises
some of the challenges, but also, we exchanged thoughts on what could be
done to try and tackle this particular situation that we are
experiencing in places like Southwold and Aldborough. While I
recognise that councils have the opportunity to offer discounts, I
also understand they -- their resources are somewhat constrained.
Think it is there to say the Chancellor was obviously in
listening mode and I know you took away the figures, and certainly,
when I saw him the following day, he said he was using them in the
Treasury to look at further analysis on this particular issue.
What would you like him to do? I don't want to pre-empt the budget.
I would like him to really consider the role of the mixed High Street. A
lot of these traders have done what we asked for and improved and
enhance the High Street, but I put across very strongly the points that
traders have made to me directly, that this is not just about the
summertime, when these places are bustling and booming, but also, they
may provide a service year-round to residents, and I thing that really
needs reinforcing, which I was happy to do on their behalf.
In your constituency, quite a few places will see a rise, but across
the East, a a lot of businesses will see a reduction in their business
rate. That's right, nationally, three
quarters of businesses will see either a forlorn no change, and I am
really pleased that a lot of businesses will benefit. However,
there are some extremes at one end, and Southwold in particular, where
the average increase on the High Street were rateable values is 177%,
those independent small traders that those independent small traders that
I wanted to really go and make the I wanted to really go and make the
case of the Chancellor to see if there is any way he can provide them
with some help in the forthcoming changes.
Is there a temptation that hard up councils will actually be finding
ways to put up business rates more than they should?
I don't think it is in councils' interest to try and price are
businesses from their area. Far from the case, it is in their interest to
bring in new businesses into the area, and I'm glad that is what has
happened in East Suffolk, where we are seeing new businesses continuing
to be established. How easy do you think it is to do it
with online businesses? Well, I think this is one issue that
retailers are raising regularly. We already have a situation where
online businesses will be taxed on online businesses will be taxed on
corporation tax, and they would argue that they are not, how can I
elements to bring people to their elements to bring people to their
particular business. People access particular business. People access
that through the internet. I don't pretend I have the answers on a
brand-new way to generate the revenue that business rates does
today, but I think the Chancellor is open to ideas on that.
I was speaking to a small independent businessmen today whose
rent has gone up from antiquity and his business rates are going up, and
he is just closing the door. That is going to happen, isn't it, in some
places? -- his rent has gone up exponentially.
That is sad to hear, and some of the work I have been doing with their
MPs to raise the issue with the Chancellor, as well as meeting
previous finance ministers, named due to meet Sergei Javad again next
week, is to raise the potential consequences of this. That said, we
need to make sure that we want to encourage landlords to be
responsible and the rent increases responsible and the rent increases
they put on people, recognising that, as I say, other costs will
follow from that, and we don't want to see empty high streets.
Thank you very much. Bernard Jenkin, don't we have to
find another way of doing this? Well, I wrote a pamphlet is 20 years
ago, when John Major was Prime Minister, and we had a rating
revaluation, and there was a huge row, and the government went into
retreat and fought all over again. Here we are 20 years later going
through exactly the same thing, and it is an outdated tax, one that was
invented before the internet, before cars were invented, before... I
think trains may have been around. But it is such a different world we
live in now, I'm not sure it is a really good basis. Obviously, we
must have some property taxes, or a property tax of some kind, but this
seems to be very perverse, particularly because businesses that
make his excess of their businesses and therefore put up the value of
their premises, they are the ones you get punished.
The online business thing is a difficult area as well, isn't it?
Yes, it is difficult to find a way of taxing those kind of online
companies, but what I think we have seen at the moment is, we have got
winners and losers here, and the issuers, the people who are losing
out at the moment, it is just happening too quickly.
We need some certainty, because businesses can't be expected to just
overnight. They need time to plan overnight. They need time to plan
that, and we need some certainty from the government about what they
plan to do during a transition. And there is a danger that we will
drive out of our high streets and drive out of our high streets and
shops that make them and Justin, the smallest shops?
Yes, and they are the ones that people really like in their High
Street, the different shops, the ones that are different and special,
particularly as our coastal towns, as you showed in your film.
We need a period of transition. There is already one announced, ?3.6
billion committed to the transitional programme, so that some
of the people who are getting rateable values through that have
gone very substantially, they will never, ever get to the point where
they pay that rateable value, because the transition go to slowly.
But what the Prime Minister said the Chancellor has already indicated,
there will be budget announcements there will be budget announcements
which we are not allowed to talk about... Obviously, they are going
to look at the transitional programme, and they are right, we
need to smooth the pain. But the fundamental problem is, we're
talking the High Street. That has been going on for years, and this
accelerates the process. If you put a rateable values, because the chain
is coming, the coffee shops, the restaurant and pub chains, who are
very good at generating much higher turnover, but at the rent and
values, and then the little bakery, your little book shop, your tool
store, these people will get squeezed out. I don't know what the
answer is, but we need to have a new think about this rather than wait
another 20 years and have another row about business rate in 20 years'
time after we have lost a lot more shops.
Let's move on. Time now for our round-up of the political weakens it
to second. -- political week in 60 seconds.
Norfolk became one of the last of our county councils to agree its
budget for the new financial year, and it has gone for the biggest
increase ever, 4.8%. For an average home, that means an extra ?57 a
year. We have been subsidising the
district councils. What we are saying is, hang on, we can no longer
do this for you. The region's farmers say they could
struggle to produce enough food of Brexit leads to a shortage of
migrant workers. They told MPs this week that they need a guarantee that
workers they need will be allowed to come here.
We cannot find enough local labour in order to sustain the business and
continue picking the crop I have got the ground. It sounds sensational,
To raise Acas a steely eye over To raise Acas a steely eye over
proceedings in the House of Lords, as Essex's baronet and Jill Smith
kicked off the debate on leaving the EU. ! Theresa May.
Back in the Commons, Speaker burqa slapped down Southend MP James
Diedrich, whose motion expressing no confidence in him only attracted a
handful of MPs. -- speaker Bercow. As the government
backed banister -- -- as the government minister contacted you?
The answer is no, and is no reason why they should have done.
The low paid workers being is a big thing, isn't it? Yes, it is, and
there are companies, farm workers across our region who are really
concerned that post Brexit, they are not going to be able to get the
workers here in our fields. That will make sure we have food on our
tables. But there was a vote, referendum,
people voted to come out of the EU, and one of the big things was
actually cheap migrant labour coming into this country. That was one of
the things that decided people. What you say to those people?
What I say is that when you go to a supermarket, you're going to want
there to be food there, and we need to make sure there are enough people
available here in the country to make sure that the work is carried
out on British farms, and it is not just about local aid cash --
low-paid migrant micro-working our fields. It is about industries and
East of England, to make sure Britain continues to be seen as an
open and welcoming place where people want to come because it is
important for our economy. David Davis seemed to say this week
that actually, we would be getting migrant workers here still.
Yes, I agree with every word, and I think David Davis probably would as
well. Many of us fought on the Leave side using immigration as an example
of something that we have lost control of, but that doesn't
necessarily mean we think immigration is a bad thing for this
country, and the right kind of immigration is good for this
country. I have got horticultural country. I have got horticultural
farms, fruit farms in my constituency facing this very
problem. I have already had meetings with agriculture ministers and Home
Office ministers. We used to have a scheme called B Seasonal
Agricultural Workers' Scheme, and which should have that back. They
should be trialling it this season should be trialling it this season
in order to encourage people to come and deal with our labour shortages.
Thank you both for being with us. That is all for now. You can keep in
touch on our website. Back to Andrew in the studio.
Welcome back. Article 50, which triggers the beginning of Britain
leaving the European Union and start negotiations, is winding its way
through the Lords in this coming week. Tarzan has made an
intervention, let's just see the headline from the Mail on Sunday.
Lord Heseltine, Michael Heseltine, my fightback starts here, he is
going to defy Theresa May. I divide one Prime Minister over the poll
tax, I'm ready to defy this one in the Lords over Brexit. There we go,
that's going to happen this week. We will see how far he gets. I don't
think he will get very far, I don't think Loyalist Tory MPs and
Brexiteers are quaking in their boots at the prospect of a rebellion
led by Michael Heseltine. I sense that many Tory MPs are already
moving on to the next question about Brexit, and the discussion over how
much it will cost us to come out. The fact they are already debating
that suggests to me they feel things will go fairly smoothly in terms of
the legislation. When I spoke to the Labour leader in the Lords last week
on the daily politics, she said she was going to push hard for the kind
of amendments Lord has all-time is talking about and they would bring
that back to the Commons. But if the Commons pinged it back to the Lords
with the amendments taken out, she made it clear that was the end of
it. Is that right? That's about right. This is probably really a
large destruction. There will be to micro issues that come up in the
Lords, one is on the future of EU nationals, that could be voted on as
soon as this Wednesday, and then the main vote in the Lords on a week on
Tuesday, when there is this question of what sort of vote will MPs and
peers get at the end of the Brexit process and that is what has
all-time is talking about. He wants to make sure there are guarantees in
place. The kind of things peers are looking for are pretty moderate and
the Government have hinted they could deliver on both of them
already. But they are still not prepared... Amber Rudd said they
were not prepared... They may say yes we are going to do that but they
won't allow whatever that is to be enshrined in the legislation. The
question is whether we think this is dancing on the head of a pin. The
Government have already promised something in the House of Commons,
but will they write it down, I don't think that's the biggest problem in
the world. In a sense this is a great magicians trick by Theresa May
because it is not the most important thing. The most important thing in
Brexit is going on in those committees behind closed doors when
they are trying to work out what the next migration system is for Britain
and there are some interesting, indeed toxic proposals, but at the
moment Downing Street are happy to let us talk about the constitutional
propriety of what MPs are doing over the next eight days. It seems to me
the irony is that if we had a second chamber that can claim some kind of
democratic legitimacy, which the one we have cannot, it would be able to
cause the Government more trouble on this, it would be more robust.
Absolutely. I saw the interview we did with the Labour Leader of the
Lords, they are very conscious, of the fact they are not elected and
have limited powers. She was clear to you they would not impede the
timetable for triggering Article 50 so we might get a bit of theatre,
Michael Heseltine might deliver a brilliant speech. It is interesting
that Euroscepticism gun under Margaret Thatcher in the Tory party
but two offer senior ministers Ken Clarke and Michael Heseltine are the
most prominent opponents now but they will change nothing at this
point. She will have the space to trigger Article 50 within her
timetable. Let's move on. Let me show you a picture tweeted by Nigel
Farage. That is Nigel Farage and a small
group of people having dinner, and within that small group of people is
the president of the United States, and it was taken in the last couple
of days. This would suggest that if he can command that amount of the
President's time in a small group of people, then he's actually rather
close to the president. Make no mistake about it, Nigel Farage is
now to and fro Washington more regularly than perhaps he is here.
Hopefully that LBC programme is recorded over in the state. He's not
only close to the president but to a series of people within the
administration. That relationship there is a remarkable one and one to
keep an eye on. Will the main government be tempted to tap into
that relationship at any time or is it just seething with anger? You can
feel a ripple of discontentment over this. We are in the middle of
negotiating the state visit and the sort of pomp and circumstance and
what kind of greeting Britain should give Donald Trump when he comes over
later in the year. There is a great deal of neurotic thought going into
what that should look like, but one of the most interesting things about
our relationship with Donald Trump is that there is a nervousness among
some Cabinet ministers that we are being seen to go too far, too fast
with the prospect of a trade deal. Even amongst some Brexiteer cabinet
ministers, they worry we won't get a very good trade deal with the US and
we are tolerably placing a lot of stalled by it. When we see the kind
of deal they want to pitch with us there might be some pulling back and
that could be an awkward moment in terms of our relationship, and no
doubt Nigel at that term -- at that point will accuse the UK of doing
the dirty on Donald Trump. If there was a deal, would they get it
through the House of Commons? Nigel Farage is having dinner with the
president, not bad as a kind of lifestyle but he's politically
rootless, he won't be an MEP much longer so if you look at where is
his political base to build on this great time he's having, there is
one. Given that there is one I think he's just having a great time and it
isn't much more significant than that. No? There's a lot to be said
for having a great time. You are having a great time. Let's just
look, because of the dominance of the Government we kind of it nor
there are problems piling up, only what, ten days with the Budget to
go, piling up for Mrs May and her government. The business rates which
has alarmed a lot of Tories, this disability cuts which are really a
serious problem for the Government, and the desperate need for more
money for social care. There are other issues, there are problems
there and they involve spending money. Absolutely and some people
argue Theresa May has only one Monday and that is to deliver Brexit
but it is impossible as a Prime Minister to ignore everything else.
And she doesn't want to either. The bubbling issue of social care and
the NHS is the biggest single problem for her in the weeks and
months ahead, she has got to come up with something. And Mr Hammond will
have to loosen his belt a little bit. I think he will in relation to
the NHS, he didn't mention it in the Autumn Statement, which was
remarkable, and he cannot get away with not mentioning it this time. If
he mentions it, it has to be in a positive context in some way or
another and it is one example of many. She is both strong because she
is so far ahead in the opinion polls, but this in tray is one of
the most daunting a Prime Minister has faced in recent times I think.
Here is what will happen on Budget day, money will be more money,
magically found down the back of the Treasury sofa. The projections are
that he has wiggle room of about 12 billion. But look at the bills,
rebels involved in business rates suggest the Chancellor will have to
throw up ?2 billion at that problem. 3.7 billion is the potential cost of
this judgment about disability benefits. The Government will try to
find different ways of satisfying it but who knows. It will not popular.
I'm not sure they will throw money at the NHS, they want an interim
settlement on social care which will alleviate pressure on the NHS but
they feel... That's another couple of billion by the way. They feel in
the Treasury that the NHS has not delivered on what Simon Stevens
promised them. But here is the bigger problem for Philip Hammond,
he has two This year and he thinks the second one in the autumn is more
important because that is when people will feel the cost living
squeeze. The Daily Politics is back at noon
on BBC Two tomorrow. We'll be back here at
the same time next week. Remember - if it's Sunday,
it's the Sunday Politics.