Andrew Neil and Stewart White with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Andrew discusses the Brexit bill with UKIP's Nigel Farage and Conservative MP Anna Soubry.
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It's Sunday morning and this is the Sunday Politics.
David Davis tells MPs to leave the Brexit bill untouched,
ahead of a week which could see Britain begin the process
We'll talk to a Tory rebel and Ukip's Nigel Farage.
Phillip Hammond's first budget hit the rocks thanks to a tax rise
But how should we tax those who work for themselves?
And remember Donald Trump's claim that Barack Obama had ordered
We'll talk to the former Tory MP who set the whole story rolling.
How will the first elected mayor for Cambridgeshire shape up
against the powers of this mayor in Germany?
And the row over the betrayal of white van man.
And joining me for all of that, three self-employed journalists
who definitely don't deserve a tax break.
It's Steve Richards, Julia Hartley-Brewer
They'll be tweeting throughout the programme with all the carefree
abandon of Katie Hopkins before a libel trial.
BBC lawyers have suddenly got nervous!
So first today, the government is gearing up to trigger Article 50,
perhaps in the next 48 hours, and start negotiating Britain's
Much has been written about the prospect of the Commons
getting a "meaningful vote" on the deal Britain negotiates.
Brexit Secretary David Davis was on the Andrew Marr programme
earlier this morning and he was asked what happens
Well, that is what is called the most favoured nation status deal
There we go out, as it were, on WTO rules.
That is why of course we do the contingency planning, to make
The British people decided on June the 23rd last year
My job, and the job of the government, is to make
the terms on which that happens as beneficial as possible.
There we have it, clearly, either Parliament votes for the deal when
it is done or it out on World Trade Organisation rules. That's what the
government means by a meaningful vote.
I think we get over obsessed about whether there will be a legal right
for Parliament to have a vote. If there is no deal or a bad deal, I
think it would be politically impossible for the government to
reject Parliament's desire for a vote because the atmosphere of
politics will be completely different by then. I take David
Davies seriously. Within Whitehall he has acquired a reputation as
being the most conscientious and details sadly... And well briefed.
Absolutely and well travelled in terms of European capitals of the
three Brexit ministers. It is quite telling he said what he did and it
is quite telling that within cabinet, two weeks ago he was
floating the idea of no deal at all. Being if not the central estimate
than a completely plausible eventuality. It is interesting. I
would suggest the prospect of no deal is moving up the agenda. It is
still less likely than more likely to happen. But it's no longer a kind
of long tail way out there in the distance. Planning for no deal is
the same as having contents insurance or travel insurance, plan
for the worse case scenarios are prepared it happens. Even the worst
case scenario, it's not that bad. Think of the Jeep 20, apart from the
EU, four members of the G20 economies are successful members of
the EU. The rest aren't and don't have trade deals but somehow these
countries are prospering. They are growing at a higher rate. You are
not frightened? Not remotely. We are obsessed with what we get from the
EU and the key thing we get from leaving the EU is not the deal but
the other deals we can finally make with other trading partners. They
have higher growth than virtually every other EU country apart from
Germany. It is sensible as a negotiating position for the
government to say if there is no deal, we will accept there is no
deal. We're not frightened of no deal. It was clear from what David
Davies was saying that there will be a vote in parliament at the end of
the process but there won't be a third option to send the government
back to try to get a better deal. It is either the deal or we leave
without a deal. In reality, that third option will be there. We don't
know yet whether there will be a majority for the deal if they get
one. What we do know now is that there isn't a majority in the
Commons for no deal. Labour MPs are absolutely clear that no deal is
worth then a bad deal. I've heard enough Tory MPs say the same thing.
But they wouldn't get no deal through. When it comes to this vote,
if whatever deal is rejected, there will then be, one way or another,
the third option raised of go back again. But who gets to decide what
is a bad deal? The British people will have a different idea than the
two thirds of the Remain supporting MPs in the Commons. In terms of the
vote, the Commons. Surely, if the Commons, which is what matters here,
if the Commons were to vote against the deal as negotiated by the
government, surely that would trigger a general election? If the
government had recommended the deal, surely the government would then, if
it still felt strongly about the deal, if the other 27 had said,
we're not negotiating, extending it, it would in effect become a second
referendum on the deal. In effect it would be a no-confidence vote in the
government. You've got to assume that unless something massively
changes in the opposition before then, the government would feel
fairly confident about a general election on those terms. Unless the
deal is hideously bad and obviously basso every vote in the country...
The prior minister said if it is that bad she would have rather no
deal. So that eventuality arrives. -- the Prime Minister has said. Not
a second referendum general election in two years' time. Don't put any
holidays for! LAUGHTER -- don't look any.
So the Brexit bill looks likely to clear Parliament this week.
That depends on the number of Conservative MPs who are prepared
to vote against their government on two key issues.
Theresa May could be in negotiations with our European
partners within days, but there may be some
wheeler-dealings she has to do with her own MPs, too.
Cast your mind back to the beginning of month.
The bill to trigger Article 50 passed comfortably
But three Conservatives voted for Labour's amendments to ensure
the rights of EU citizens already in the UK.
Seven Tory MPs voted to force the government to give Parliament
a say on the deal struck with the EU before it's finalised.
But remember those numbers, they're important.
On the issue of a meaningful vote on a deal, I'm told there might have
been more rebels had it not been for this assurance from
I can confirm that the government will bring forward a motion
on the final agreement to be approved by both Houses
And we expect, and intend, that this will happen before
the European Parliament debates and votes on the final agreement.
When the government was criticised for reeling back
from when and what it would offer a vote on.
The bill then moved into the Lords, where peers passed it
And the second, that Parliament be given a meaningful vote on the terms
of the deal or indeed a vote in the event of there
The so-called Brexit bill will return to Commons
Ministers insist that both amendments would weaken
the government's negotiating hand and are seeking to overturn them.
But, as ever, politics is a numbers game.
Theresa May has a working majority of 17.
On Brexit, though, it's probably higher.
At least six Labour MPs generally vote with
Plus, eight DUP MPs, two from the Ulster Unionist party
If all Conservatives vote with the government as well,
Therefore, 26 Conservative rebels are needed for the government to be
So, are there rough waters ahead for Theresa May?
What numbers are we looking at, in terms of a potential rebellion?
I think we're looking at a large number of people who are interested
This building is a really important building.
It's symbolic of a huge amount of history.
And for it not to be involved in this momentous time would,
But he says a clear verbal statement from the government on a meaningful
vote on any deal would be enough to get most Tory MPs onside.
It was already said about David Jones.
It's slightly unravelled a little bit during
I think this is an opportunity to really get that clarity
through so that we can all vote for Article 50 and get
We've have spoken to several Tory MPs who say they are minded to vote
One said the situation was sad and depressing.
The other said that the whips must be worried because they don't
A minister told me Downing Street was looking again at the possibility
of offering a vote in the event of no deal being reached.
But that its position was unlikely to change.
And, anyway, government sources have told the Sunday Politics they're not
That those Tory MPs who didn't back either amendment the first time
round would look silly if they did, this time.
It would have to be a pretty hefty lot of people changing their minds
about things that have already been discussed in quite a lot of detail,
last time it was in the Commons, for things to be reversed this time.
There's no doubt that a number of Tory MPs are very concerned.
Labour are pessimistic about the chances of enough Tory
rebels backing either of the amendments in the Commons.
The important thing, I think, is to focus on the fact
that this is the last chance to have a say on this.
If they're going to vote with us, Monday is the time to do it.
Assuming the bill does pass the Commons unamended,
it will go back to the Lord's on Monday night where Labour peers
have already indicated they won't block it again.
It means that the Brexit bill would become law and Theresa May
would be free to trigger Article 50 within days.
Her own deadline was the end of this month.
But one minister told me there were advantages to doing it early.
We're joined now from Nottingham by the Conservative MP Anna Soubry.
She's previously voted against the government on the question
of whether Parliament should have a final say over the EU deal.
Anna Soubry, I think it was clear this morning from David Davies that
what he means by meaningful vote is not what you mean by a meaningful
vote. He thinks the choice for Parliament would be to either vote
for the deal and if Parliament doesn't, we leave on World Trade
Organisation rules, on a bare-bones structure. In the end, will he
accept that in the Commons tomorrow? No, because my problem and I don't
think it is a problem, but my problem, the government's problem is
that what I want is then to answer this question. What happens in the
event of their not being any deal? David Davies made it very clear that
in the event of there being no deal, Parliament would have no say. It
means through your elected representatives, the people of this
country would have no say on what happens if the government doesn't
get a deal. I think the request that Parliament should have a say on
Parliamentary sovereignty, is perfectly reasonable. That is what I
want David to say. If he says that, I won't be rebelling. If he does...
They have refused to say that. Sorry. If he continues to say what
he said the BBC this morning, which means that the vote will be either
to accept the as negotiated or to leave on WTO rules, will you rebel
on that question but no, no, sorry, if there's a deal, Parliament will
have a say. So that's fine. And we will see what the deal is and we
will look at the options two years down the road. When who knows
what'll happen in our economy and world economy. That is one matter
which I am content on. The Prime Minister, a woman of her word has
said that in the event of a deal, Parliament will vote on any deal. I
don't difficulty. To clarify, I will come onto that. These are important
matters. I want to clarify, not argue with you. You are content that
if there is a deal, we will come under no deal in a second, but if
there is a deal, you are content with the choice of being able to
vote for that deal or leaving on WTO terms? No, you're speculating as to
what might happen in two years' time. What the options might be.
Personally I find it inconceivable that the government will come back
with a rubbish deal. They will either come back with a good deal,
which I won't have a problem with or they will come back with no deal. To
speculate about coming back with a deal, there is a variety of options.
I understand that that is what the Lord amendments are about. They are
about a vote at the end of the process. Do forgive me, the Lords
amendment is not the same that I've voted for in Parliament. What we
call the Chris Leslie amendment, which was talking about whatever the
agreement is, whatever happens at the end of the negotiations,
Parliament will have a vote. Parliament will have a say. The
Lords amendment is a bit more technical. It is the principle of no
deal that is agitating us. Let's clarify on this. They are
complicated matters. What do you want the government to say? What do
you want David Davis to say tomorrow on what should the Parliamentary
process should be if there is no deal? Quite. I want a commitment
from him that in the event of no deal, it will come into Parliament
and Parliament will determine what happens next. It could be that in
the event of no deal, the best thing is for us to jump off the cliff into
WTO tariff is. I find it unlikely but that might be the reality. There
might be other alternatives. Most importantly, including saying to the
government, go back, carry on. The question that everybody has to ask
is, why won't the government give My fear is what this is about is
asked deliberately, not the Prime Minister, but others deliberately
ensuring we have no deal and no deal pretty soon and in that event, we
jumped off the cliff onto WTO tariffs and nobody in this country
and the people of this country do not have a say. My constituents did
not vote for hard Brexit. You do not want the government to
have the ability if there is no deal to automatically fall back on the
WTO rules? Quite. It is as simple as that. We are now speculating about
what will happen in two years. I want to find out what happens
tomorrow. What will you do if you don't get that assurance? I will
either abstain, or I will vote to keep this amendment within the Bill.
I will either vote against my government, which I do not do
likely, I have never voted against my government until the Chris Leslie
clause when the Bill was going through, or I will abstain, which
has pretty much the same effect because it comes into the Commons
with both amendments so you have positively to vote to take the map.
Can you give us an idea of how many like-minded conservative colleagues
there are. I genuinely do not know. You must talk to each other. I do
not talk to every member of my party. You know people who are
like-minded. I do. I am not doing numbers games. I know you want that
but I genuinely do not know the figure. I think this is an
uncomfortable truth. People have to understand what has happened in our
country, two particular newspapers, creating an atmosphere and setting
an agenda and I think many people are rather concerned, some
frightened, to put their head over the parapet. There are many millions
of people who feel totally excluded from this process. Many of them
voted to remain. And they have lost their voice. We have covered the
ground I wanted to. We're joined now by the Ukip MEP
and former leader Nigel Farage. Article 50 triggered, we are leaving
the EU, the single market and the customs union. What is left you to
complain about? All of that will happen and hopefully we will get the
triggered this week which is good news. What worries me a little I'm
not sure the government recognises how strong their handers. At the
summit in Brussels, the word in the corridors is that we are prepared to
give away fishing waters as a bargaining chip and the worry is
what deal we get. Are we leaving, yes I am pleased about that. You are
under relevant voice in the deal because the deal will be voted on in
Parliament and you have one MP. You are missing the point, the real vote
in parliament is not in London but Strasbourg. This is perhaps the
biggest obstacle the British Government faces. Not what happens
in the Commons that the end of the two years, the European Parliament
could veto the deal. What that means is people need to adopt a different
approach. We do not need to be lobbying in the corridors of
Brussels to get a good deal, we need is a country to be out there talking
to the German car workers and Belgian chocolate makers, putting as
much pressure as we can on politicians from across Europe to
come to a sensible arrangement. It is in their interests more than
ours. In what way is the vision of Brexit set out by David Davis any
different from your own? I am delighted there are people now
adopting the position I argued for many years. Good. But now... Like
Douglas Carswell, he said he found David Davis' performers this morning
reassuring. It is. And just as when Theresa May was Home Secretary every
performance she gave was hugely reassuring. She was seen to be a
heroine after her conference speeches and then did not deliver. I
am concerned that even before we start we are making concessions. You
described in the EU's divorce bill demands, 60 billion euros is floated
around. You said it is laughable and I understand that. Do you maintain
that we will not have to pay a penny to leave? It is nine months since we
voted exit and assuming the trigger of Article 50, we would have paid 30
billion in since we had a vote. We are still members. But honestly, I
do not think there is an appetite for us to pay a massive divorce
Bill. There are assets also. Not a penny? There will be some ongoing
commitments, but the numbers talked about our 50, ?60 billion, they are
frankly laughable. I am trying to find out if you are prepared to
accept some kind of exit cost, it may be nowhere near 60 billion. We
have to do a net agreement, the government briefed about our share
of the European Union investment bank. Would you accept a
transitional arrangement, deal, five, ten billion, as part of the
divorce settlement? We are painted net ?30 million every single day at
the moment, ?10 billion plus every year. That is just our contribution.
We are going to make a massive saving on this. What do you make of
what Anna Soubry said, that if there is no deal, and it is being talked
about more. Maybe the government managing expectations. There is an
expectation we will have a deal, but if there is no deal, that the
government cannot just go to WTO rules, but it has to have a vote in
parliament? By the time we get to that there will be a general
election coming down the tracks and I suspect that if at the end of the
two-year process there is no deal and by the way, no deal is a lot
better for the nation than where we currently are, because we freed of
regulations and able to make our own deals in the world. I think what
would happen, and if Parliament said it did not back, at the end of the
negotiation a general election would happen quickly. According to reports
this morning, one of your most senior aides has passed a dossier to
police claiming Tories committed electoral fraud in Thanet South, the
seat contested in the election. What evidence to you have? I read that in
the newspapers as you have. I am not going to comment on it. Will you not
aware of the contents of the dossier? I am not aware of the
dossier. He was your election strategists. I am dubious as to
whether this dossier exists at all. Perhaps the newspapers have got this
wrong. Concerns about the downloading of data the took place
in that constituency, there are. Allegedly, he has refuted it, was it
done by your MP to give information to the Tories, do you have evidence
about? We have evidence Mr Carswell downloaded information, we have no
evidence what he did with it. It is not just your aide who has been
making allegations against the Conservatives in Thanet South and
other seats, if the evidence was to be substantial, and if it was to
result in another by-election being called an Thanet South had to be
fought again, would you be the Ukip candidate? I probably would. You
probably would? Yes. Just probably? Just probably. It would be your
eighth attempt. Winning seats in parliament under first past the post
is not the only way to change politics in Britain and I would like
to think I proved that. Let's go back to Anna Soubry. The implication
of what we were saying on the panel at the start of the show and what
Nigel Farage was saying there would be that if at the end of the process
whatever the vote, if the government were to lose it, it would provoke a
general election properly. I think that would be right. Let's get real.
The government is not going to come to Parliament with anything other
than something it believes is a good deal and if it rejected it, would be
unlikely, there would be a de facto vote of no confidence and it would
be within the fixed term Parliaments act and that be it. The problem is,
more likely, because of the story put up about the 50 billion, 60
billion and you look at the way things are flagged up that both the
Prime Minister and Boris Johnson saying, we should be asking them for
money back, I think the big fear and the fear I have is we will be
crashing out in six months. You think we could leave as quickly as
six months. Explain that. I think they will stoke up the demand from
the EU for 50, 60 billion back and my real concern is that within six
months, where we're not making much progress, maybe nine months, and
people are getting increasingly fed up with the EU because they are told
it wants unreasonable demands, and then the crash. I think what is
happening is the government is putting in place scaffolding at the
bottom of the cliff to break our fall when we come to fall off that
cliff and I think many in government are preparing not for a two-year
process, but six, to nine months, off the cliff, out we go. That is my
fear. That is interesting. I have not heard that express before by
someone in your position. I suspect you have made Nigel Farage's date.
It is a lovely thought. I would say to Anna Soubry she is out of date
with this. 40 years ago there was a good argument for joining the common
market because tariffs around the world was so high. That has changed
with the World Trade Organisation. We are leaving the EU and rejoining
a great big world and it is exciting. She was giving an
interesting perspective on what could happen in nine months rather
than two years. I thank you both. It was Philip Hammond's first
budget on Wednesday - billed as a steady-as-she-goes
affair, but turned out to cause uproar after the Chancellor appeared
to contradict a Tory manifesto commitment with an increase
in national insurance contributions. The aim was to address what some see
as an imbalance in the tax system, where employees pay
more National Insurance The controversy centres
on increasing the so-called class 4 rate for the self-employed who make
a profit of more than ?8,060 a year. It will go up in stages
from 9% to 11% in 2019. The changes mean that over one
and a half million will pay on average ?240 a year
more in contributions. Some Conservative MPs were unhappy,
with even the Wales Minister saying: "I will apologise to every
voter in Wales that read the Conservative manifesto
in the 2015 election." The Sun labelled Philip
Hammond "spite van man". The Daily Mail called the budget
"no laughing matter". By Thursday, Theresa May
said the government One of the first things I did
as Prime Minister was to commission Matthew Taylor to review the rights
and protections that were available to self-employed workers
and whether they should be enhanced. People will be able to look
at the government paper when we produce it, showing
all our changes, and take And, of course, the Chancellor will
be speaking, as will his ministers, to MPs, businesspeople and others
to listen to the concerns. Well, the man you heard mentioned
there, Matthew Taylor, has the job of producing
a report into the future Welcome. The Chancellor has decided
the self-employed should pay almost the same in National Insurance, not
the same but almost, as the employed will stop what is left of your
commission? The commission has a broader frame of reference and we
are interested in the quality of work in the economy at the heart of
what I hope will be proposing is a set of shifts that will improve the
quality of that work so we have an economy where all work is fair and
decent and all jobs give people scope for development and
fulfilment. The issue of taxes a small part. You will cover that? We
will, because the tax system and employment regulation system drive
particular behaviours in our labour market. You approve I think of the
general direction of this policy of raising National Insurance on the
self-employed. Taxing them in return perhaps for more state benefits. Why
are so many others on the left against it from Tim Farron to John
McDonnell? Tax rises are unpopular and it is the role of the opposition
parties to make capital from unpopular tax rises. I think as tax
rises go this is broadly progressive. There are self-employed
people on low incomes and they will be better off. It is economic league
rational because the reason for the difference in National Insurance --
economically. It was to do with state entitlements. The government
is consulting about paid parental leave. A series of governments have
not been good about thinking about medium sustainability of the tax
base. Self-employment is growing. But it is eroding the tax base. It
is important to address those issues. A number of think tanks have
said this is a progressive move. Yet, a number of left-wing
politicians have been against it. And a number of Tories have said
this is a progressive move and not a Tory government move, the balance of
you will pay more tax, but you will get more state benefits is not a
Tory approach to things. That a Tory approach will be you will pay less
tax but entitled to fewer benefits as well.
I preferred in and policies to politics -- I prefer policies. When
people look at the policy and when they look the fact that there is no
real historical basis for that big national insurance differential,
they see it is a sensible policy. I don't have to deal with the
politics. There has been a huge growth in self-employment from the
turn of the millennium. It's been strongest amongst older workers,
women part-timers. Do you have any idea, do you have
the data in your commission that could tell us how many are taking
self-employment because they like the flexibility and they like the
tax advantages that come with it, too, or they are being forced into
it by employers who don't want the extra costs of employment? Do we
know the difference? We do, broadly. Most surveys on self-employment and
flexible forms of employment suggest about two thirds to three quarters
enjoy it, they like the flexibility, they like the autonomy and about a
third to one quarter are less happy. That tends to be because they would
like to have a full-time permanent job. It is not necessary that they
don't enjoy what they are doing, they would like to do other things.
And some of the protections that come with it? Yes. There are some
people who are forced into southern employees by high-risk but also some
people feel like they can't get a proper job as it were. --
self-employment by people who hire them. It is on the narrow matter of
tax revenues but if you are employed on ?32,000 the state will take over
?6,000 in national insurance contributions, that is quite chunky.
If you are self-employed it is ?2300. But the big difference
between those figures isn't what the employee is paying, it's the
employer's contributions up to almost 14%, and cupped for as much
as you are paid. What do you do about employers' contributions for
the self employed? -- it is uncapped for as much. What I recommend is
that we should probably move from taxing employment to taxing labour.
We should probably have a more level playing field so it doesn't really
matter... Explained that I thought it was the same thing. If you are a
self-employed gardener, you are a different tax regime to a gardener
who works for a gardening firm. On the individual side and on the firm
side. As we see new business models, so-called gig working, partly with
technology, we need a more level playing field saying that we're
taxing people's work, not the form in which they deliver that. That is
part of the reason we have seen the growth of particular business
models. They are innovative and creative and partly driven by the
fact that if you can describe yourself as self-employed there are
tax advantages. Coming out in June? Will you come back and talk to us?
Yes. We say goodbye to viewers
in Scotland, who leave us now Coming up here in 20 minutes,
we'll be talking to the former Tory MP who was the root
of Donald Trump's allegation Hello, welcome to Sunday Politics
East, I'm Stuart White. Later in the programme,
how they do it in Germany where they have had elected
mayors since the 1950s. If you're not competing
on this international Well, in the studio this week,
Norman Lamb, the Lib Dem MP for North Norfolk and Richard Bacon,
the Conservative MP But let's start with the budget
and some new investment We have been told to expect
a share of the ?270 million announced for science and research
and the ?300 million set aside to encourage the brightest and best
to study at our universities. But the big news was
?59 million in new money for our part of
the Midlands engine. A number of projects
in Northamptonshire get some of the money,
including a new driving emissions There's also money for several
long-awaited road schemes and for developing
the cultural quarter in Luton. If you look around the whole
area there, we have recently done all the
station up and we have come down and done all
area around the cultural quarter, done up, we launched it last year
and the plan is to do up that entire area and make it a cultural
This comes on top of ?206 million, investment through previous
growth deals into the south east Midlands and Northamptonshire area.
A further 59 million will enable us to deliver the infrastructure that
There will also be a ?300 million fund to help companies with
the increase in business rates, ?100 million
the pressures in A and ?2 billion to help councils with social care.
1 billion now, the rest over the next three years.
And controversially, he is paying for
some of that by increasing national insurance contributions by the
It's not acceptable, this change affects those ordinary
working families who have taken the risk of setting up a small
business and who many of which employ apprentices
and are the backbone of our
economy and it just makes them feel that we have broken our promise.
It's not acceptable, it cannot be allowed to proceed.
The reason the Chancellor has given the increase is
self-employed people overall pay less tax than those who are
And this was a budget about fairness and the overall point
that he made was that it is not fair the self-employed people are paying
less than employed people for the same money that they own.
Of all the figures that the Chancellor
announced today, one of the most striking
was the sheer number of
additional elderly people in the country who require social care.
And the demographics of the country, that
number is just going to go up and up.
So I think it was right to give an increase in funding for the next
three years to meet the immediate pressures.
A small amount of money for social care, ?1 billion when ?5
billion has been taken out over the last four
Anything is welcome but this is a sticking plaster for a much,
much more serious problem and I think
many of us were hoping that this was the opportunity,
given that he said nothing about it back in November,
to really, really do something substantial to make real change.
This isn't going to solve the problem, which is just going to go
So, Norman Lamb, a sticking plaster, not
Yeah, we lurch from one crisis to another.
I mean, if the truth be known, no political party
has got a solution for the NHS and the care system.
It is not sustainable in the way we are
But you would know that from having been a
I don't think it's really acceptable that we
have now over a million older people across our country who have care
And, of course, the consequences of that is
that they end up in hospital unnecessarily which is disastrous
for them and it creates an extra burden on the NHS.
So, it is for that reason that I have brought together
ten Conservative MPs, ten Labour MPs, slightly less Lib Dem MPs,
and together we called on the Prime Minister to set up
what we are calling an NHS and care convention
to engage with the public in a serious, mature debate
about how we fund a modern and effective health
The increase in the National Minimum Wage will cost 900 million
this year so that leaves a million, 100 million.
It is completely inadequate and you'll
-- it'll actually, because the health foundation,
organisation says the gap is about ?2 billion,
the net effect of this will actually be that there will be
more older people in the coming year without care needs met who will end
It's a disaster and the government needs to
step up to the plate and do something about it.
But they don't have the money, do they?
The Chancellor has announced an extra ?2 billion.
Now, people can argue about the amount of
And the first billion comes in in the first year.
But the point is this, at the end of the
day, Norman is right that we have a big problem that no
political party has solved about care and the health service.
Every night in the Norfolk and Norwich, there are between 50
and 80 patients who shouldn't be there costing ?303 each.
That's just one Acute Hospital in one part of our county, that's
probably six to ?8 billion a year, the same is true elsewhere in the
But they are turning up there because they can't get help
I accept that completely and that is why we have got to have a
much more integrated and holistic system.
Everybody agrees with that but nobody does it though, do they?
If they look at the way they do it in Northumbria, NHS adult
services, adult social services run by NHS Northumbria and they have
zero delayed discharge because they manage and plan it better.
Some of it is about money but it isn't all
about money, it is about running it much, much better and much, much
It's both extra money and better organisation.
Let's talk about this breaking the manifesto
pledge over national insurance as well.
That is the other one that people seem to be getting very hot about.
Well, this is the newspapers, one of my colleagues...
I mean, we didn't make a manifesto pledge to put ?2 billion
extra into social care but we have done it and the money has to be
I'm not in the slightest bit worried about this.
Circumstances change and you have to change things.
The fact is that the public are very good at demanding
what they have to recognise, and I applaud the
Chancellor for this, is if you're going to have to have extra
spending, it needs to be paid for and it has
and this Chancellor has refused to do that
Don't we say when we get a pledge, a pledge is a pledge and
actually you should have planned for all of those other things
Well, we knew exactly what was going to happen in health
Norman, Norman, one day I'm going to have a chance to
I know, normally in the House of Commons you
don't let me do that but on this occasion, you are going to.
You can't prepare for everything, you
Things change, circumstances change, people's demands change and in a
democracy you have to respond to that.
The fact is, when you have people setting up businesses clearly
for tax purposes, except that not everybody does that, but that has
been an increasing trend, particularly among the higher paid,
it is right if you're doing the same work at the same page, you should be
Well, look, my party suffered as a result of making a pledge which
we didn't keep and we have learned the lesson from that.
People expect when you say in an election...
They are different, the pledges, though,
If you say in an election campaign, there
will be no increase in tax, in national
insurance or in VAT, people
understand that that is what you mean.
We made a mistake and we have learned the lesson from that.
But the Conservatives have failed again.
That's the real lesson. from somewhere.
We can't spend money unless we get it in.
We totally agree with that you knew what was
Two months from now, we will know the
name of the first ever elected mayor but Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
Whoever wins will have powers over housing,
But it still feels like small beer when you see how they do
Tom Barton has been to Heidelberg in Germany, the twin city
with Cambridge, to see how their mayor shapes up.
Home to an ancient university visited by millions of
tourists each year, one of Europe's scientific centres.
It's easy to see why Heidelberg and Cambridge are
For now though, there is one big difference.
Key local decisions effecting the city and its
surrounding area are taken by a directly elected mayor.
It's a very powerful position and by having such a position, you
really can change the city in this or this direction.
Just like Cambridge, science and technology
are major employers here, accounting for as many as six
Key among those employers is the German Cancer Research
Institute, two Noble Prizes have been awarded for work here and
attracting that level of talent means ensuring Heidelberg is a good
There are many issues we need to discuss with local
government, including housing, being an attractive city for our
scientists which come from all over the world and if we want to the best
brains, and therefore the best city to have one elected mayor is very
important for us because he needs to understand our needs because he
If you want an idea of the sort of thing an
elected mayor can achieve, just look at this.
It's a brand-new district of new homes and high-tech office
space that is being built on derelict railway line.
Building here has been pushed through by
Heidelberg's elected mayor and when it is finished, it should
bring more than 7000 high-value jobs to the city.
But there are also limits to what Heidelberg's mayor
The current mayor wanted to build an extension to this
historic theatre but local people objected, held a referendum and
This local journalist says that shows how
important it is to have checks and balances on the mayor's power.
I think it is very important because the position of the mayor
He is the head of the city administration that is 2000
something people so that is a powerful complex and he's the only
one in Heidelberg who can move things on his own, like one person.
Heidelberg is home to Germany's oldest university, founded in 1386.
Professor Michael Haus runs the politics department
there and is an expert in local government.
And he warns that mayoral systems can put
too much power in the hands of one person.
A directly elected mayor concentrates attention, of course he
will try to put up his own agenda and push it through and so on.
This, of course, can be perceived as a
concentration of power at the expense of parties and party
So what of the man who holds that power?
At Heidelberg City Hall, I met up with the current mayor.
Eckart Wurzner has held the office since 2006 and he is very
clear that the city benefits from having a powerful mayor.
You need the power, the thing about a position like my position,
Otherwise you have a lot of political debate and very
And today, you have to react faster than in the past.
The thing about the digital New World,
if you are not competing on
Well, the idea of an elected mayor may be
new to Cambridgeshire, it is
a common form of local government elsewhere in Europe.
And that means whoever wins May's election,
there is lots to be learned from the experience of places like
So, here in the studio, the ceremonial mayor
So what does Wisbech want out of this?
Well, basically, we want more money and more of a say in how that money
And how confident are you that you will get that, then?
Well, it is early days at the moment.
We haven't actually got the elected mayor
yet and the combined authority has just been set up.
But I'm fairly confident that we will get what we
And if you had more money, what would you spend it on?
Well, the key things that Wisbech would
really like to see is some major upgrades to the A47 and also a
And they want to make you a garden town?
Yes, that's building an extra 10,000 homes in Wisbech, with the
So, if you don't get this, what will you do?
I think it is a little early days to be asking that question at
We don't even have the mayor in place just yet.
But the people of Wisbech and of Fenland
won't take it sitting down and we'll make sure our voice is heard.
Do you think devolution is a good idea?
I do, I mean, we are talking about an
extra ?20 million per year for the next 30 years and I just
want to make sure that Wisbech and Fenland
Are we missing out in other parts of the
region because we are not devolving, I'm thinking Norfolk and Suffolk
I mean, I strongly favour devolving power, giving us in a sense control
over our destiny and I think it is got to happen at some point
and my worry is that we will be slightly left behind.
This is happening all over the country and we are seeing
now places like Greater Manchester taking greater control, getting a
bit more control over the resource and more resource and making things
happen and using the money more effectively.
Richard Bacon, if you talk to anybody, they always say,
yeah, I am in favour of devolution but not this devolution because it
Yeah, I supported it, it wasn't perfect and
I think the answer is not to support something only when it is perfect,
it is to support something because in principle
it is right and then tweek it until we get it better.
We have in the county of Norfolk 414 councillors and that is just
district and county, that excludes people
It feels a little top-heavy and I think we need
something that is leaner and faster and more responsive and can make
decisions better and can be more responsive to people on the ground.
I think if government is offering extra money, if the county is
prepared to go down that route, then we have got to look at it seriously.
I actually think it's going to come, I'm less pessimistic than Norman.
We are missing out at the moment but I
think it will come and I think there is an increasing recognition among
my local government colleagues in the councils that
in some shape or form, it will come.
Everybody objects to the idea of the mayor.
I don't think I would use the word mayor, it's a
I know James Cartlidge, my colleague in South
Suffolk, talks about the County Commissioner.
The Isle of Wight had a governor until relatively recently.
But the idea of a strong, elected, visible and sackable person who can
get things done, I think is a very compelling...
In the film, they say you need somebody like that to lead
Yeah, and there's a real accountability.
Everyone knows who is in charge and who is making
And, you know, having, as Richard says, eight councils in
Norfolk running local services is way over the top and massively
And the public are paying for this through their tax, they have a right
to expect better and I have been in meetings
at the roadside when we are
trying to get the speed limit change and two
or three years later, there
I yearn for a directly elected person who
can say get this done, next Tuesday, I want the road man out there.
Now that could happen, it does happen in
other parts of the world and I think we deserve that here.
Is this people defending their own little fiefdom
or is it party politics or is it just that it is right?
Well, there are definitely fiefdoms across
Norfolk who don't want to give up on their little bit of power.
There's also the sense that we are the
most centralised of any western European country.
Most of the money is raised nationally and that is where the
power so that we have the power to raise as well.
We are very different from Heidelberg, aren't we?
Because that is virtually just around one big centre.
Whereas we are spreading it across counties.
We need a solution that's right for us
and I actually think that the counties
and the local areas, if you
had powerful county committees and you had local councillors
with local autonomy, they could actually see a
benefit to them personally as elected local politicians with more
ability to make real decisions that mattered.
Often it is combined, it's in a small clique at the centre.
I think this could actually work for the villages and the market
towns and the parishes better than what
And people identify with our county of Norfolk.
It has a very strong identity there and I think
unitary council which did everything in a locality with strong devolved
power to local committees across Norfolk, then it
We could use the available public money for running
services rather than the bureaucracy.
Gary, does that fill you with hope or concern?
It fills me with hope, I think, yeah.
I think this is going to turn out to be a
good thing and I think that those councils who decided that they
didn't want to be involved are properly going to end up
And Norman of course is likely to be a candidate for Mayor of
Cambridgeshire because as his majority goes down and down in North
Norfolk, he's starting to look elsewhere.
They have said it every election and it never works.
Right, now for our round-up of the political week
in 60 seconds with Deborah McGurran.
Fears for the future of Vauxhall workers in Luton after the French
car giant PSA announced it was to buy the company.
But one of the town's MPs is relatively relaxed
The reality is that Peugeot, Citroen have a big market in
Britain, they wouldn't want to upset that market and having a
manufacturing footprint here I think is a very important part of having
Head teachers in Essex have written to their MPs criticising the
Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond for his stance on school
One of his sharpest critics is the current head
You too can start at Shenfield High School
and perhaps become Chancellor of the Exchequer but sadly
Philip Hammond hasn't remembered that schools need
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling extremely
proud of the new investment announced in the budget, traffic
This will smooth the flow of traffic through it,
it will help the overall flow of traffic up the A11.
It is one part of a programme of smaller
big investment we are making on roads like the A47.
And MEP Alex Mayer cooks up a storm as part of
Richard Bacon, all the schools say they need the money.
It is not right, is it, to put all the money into free schools?
I think, I think it is true that there is a
I've met with some of our own local headteachers, not just in my
area but the association that represents them across Norfolk and
I'm hoping to have meetings with ministers to discuss this in more
detail, to draw their attention to the concerns of head teachers
because it is not balanced at the moment and we need an adjustment.
If you had those meetings, do they really listen?
It depends who is in government at any
So, in this case, I am hoping that they will, yes.
There's extra money for a small cohort of
Everyone else will lose out and it will be 8% less funding
in real terms by 2020 per student and that will have real consequences
approach, this return to grammar schools as well.
I failed the 11 plus and I was condemned as a
I think it is wholly inappropriate to make those
judgments and we know that it has a disproportionate
impact on children from lower income backgrounds.
There is no evidence to support this at all.
But, at the moment, people getting into schools because their
parents move into houses near a good school...
But, of course, what happens with grammar schools is that every
child who have parents who can afford it,
cram those children with the private tuition to get them
I am, I went to a direct grant school and I think the problem
with grammar schools, actually, you had a clip earlier on
In Germany, they don't have this argument largely.
They have a very stratified system with gymnasium.
The famous grammar schools. They are all well resourced with good
teaching that is appropriate for the students and the flexibility to move
between the layers depending upon the aptitude and the talents of the
child. That is what we need. Some people would say that you are an
example of the fact that even if you do not pass the 11 plus, you can
still do very well. I happen to be lucky enough to go to a new
comprehensive that had arrived in the town. If I had been on the other
side of the river, I would've gone to a secondary moderns. I would not
have had the academics child and I do not want to to that. There is no
evidence for this at all. We need a system that works there everyone.
That deals with the intelligence and aptitude in run. Good. We get on
quite well really. We really have to quite well really. We really have to
end it there. Thank you very much indeed. That is all from us. You can
watch the programme online through Now the government plans for new
grammar schools. The Education Secretary
Justine Greening was speaking to a conference
of headteachers on Friday. They're normally a pretty polite
bunch, but they didn't Broadcasters weren't
allowed into the speech, but this was captured
on a camera phone. And we have to recognise actually
for grammars, in terms of disadvantaged children,
that they have, they really do help them close
the attainment gap. And at the same time
we should recognise that ..That parents also want choice
for their children and that those schools are often
very oversubscribed. I suppose it is a rite of passage
for and education secretaries to have this at a head teachers
conference book the head are usually more polite. Isn't part of the
problem, whether one is for or against the expansion of grammar
schools, the government plans are complicated, you cannot sum them up
in a sentence. The proof of that is they can still get away with denying
they are expanding grammar schools. They will find an alternative
formulation because it is not as simple as a brute creation of what
we used to know is grammar schools with the absolute cut-off of the 11
plus. I am surprised how easy they found it politically. We saw the
clip of Justine Greening being jeered a little bit but in the grand
scheme, compared to another government trying this idea a decade
ago they have got away with it easily and I think what is happening
is a perverse consequence of Brexit and the media attention on Brexit,
the government of the day can just about get away with slightly more
contentious domestic policies on the correct assumption we will be too
busy investing our attention in Article 50 and two years of
negotiations, WTO terms at everything we have been discussing.
I wonder if after grammar schools there will be examples of
contentious domestic policies Theresa May can slide in stock
because Brexit sucks the life out, takes the attention away. You are a
supporter. Broadly. Are you happy with the government approach? They
need to have more gumption and stop being apologetic. It is a bazaar
area of public policy where we judge the policy on grammar schools based
on what it does for children whose parents are unemployed, living on
sink estates in Liverpool. It is absurd, we don't judge any other
policy like that. It is simple, not contentious, people who are not
sure, ask them if they would apply to send their child there, six out
of ten said they would. Parents want good schools for their children, we
should have appropriate education and they should be straightforward,
this is about the future of the economy and we need bright children
to get education at the highest level, education for academically
bright children. It is supposed to be a signature policy of the Theresa
May administration that marks a government different from David
Cameron's government who did not go down this road. The signature is
pretty blurred, it is hard to read. It is. She is trying to address
concerns about those who fail to get into these selective schools and
tried to targeted in poorer areas and the rest of it. She will
probably come across so many obstacles. It is not clear what form
it will take in the end. It is really an example of a signature
policy not fully thought through. I think it was one of her first
announcements. It was. It surprised everybody. Surprised at the speed
and pace at which they were planning to go. Ever since, there have been
qualifications and hesitations en route with good cause, in my view. I
disagree with Juliet that this is... We all want good schools but if you
don't get in there and you end up in a less good school. They already do
that. We have selection based on the income of parents getting into a
good catchment area, based on the faith of the parents. That becomes
very attainable! I might been too shot run christenings for these. --
I have been. Now, you may remember this time last
week we were talking about the extraordinary claims by US
President Donald Trump, on Twitter of course,
that Barack Obama had ordered And there was me thinking
that wiretaps went out Is it legal for a sitting
President to do so, he asked, concluding it was a "new low",
and later comparing it to Watergate. Since then, the White House has been
pressed to provide evidence for this It hasn't, but it seems it may have
initially come from a report on a US website by the former Conservative
MP Louise Mensch. She wrote that the FBI had been
granted a warrant to intercept communications between Trump's
campaign and Russia. Well, Louise Mensch joins
us now from New York. Louise, you claimed in early
November that the FBI had secured a court warrants to monitor
communications between trump Tower in New York at two Russian banks.
It's now four months later. Isn't it the case that nobody has proved the
existence of this warrant? First of all, forgive me Andrew, one
takes 1's life in one's hand when it is you but I have to correct your
characterisation of my reporting. It is very important. I did not report
that the FBI had a warrant to intercept anything or that Trump
tower was any part of it. What I reported was that the FBI obtained a
warrant is targeted on all communications between two Russian
banks and were, therefore, allowed to examine US persons in the context
of their investigation. What the Americans call legally incidental
collection. I certainly didn't report that the warrant was able to
intercept or that it had location basis, for example Trump tower. I
just didn't report that. The reason that matters so much is that I now
believe based on the President's reaction, there may well be a
wiretap act Trump Tower. If so, Donald Trump has just tweeted out
evidence in an ongoing criminal case that neither I nor anybody else
reported. He is right about Watergate because he will have
committed obstruction of justice directly from his Twitter account.
Let me come back as thank you for clarifying. Let me come back to the
question. -- and thank you. We have not yet got proof that this warrant
exists, do we? No and we are most unlikely to get it because it would
be a heinous crime for Donald Trump to reveal its existence. In America
they call it a Glomar response. I can neither confirm nor deny. That
is what all American officials will have to say legally. If you are
looking for proof, you won't get it until and unless a court cases
brought. But that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. The BBC validated
this two months after me in their reporting by the journalist Paul
Wood. The Guardian, they also separately from their own sources
validated the existence of the warrant. If you are in America, you
would know that CNN and others are reporting that the investigation in
ongoing. Let me come onto the wider point. You believe the Trump
campaign including the president were complicit with the Russians
during the 2016 election campaign to such an extent that Mr Trump should
be impeached. What evidence did you have?
That is an enormous amount of evidence. You could start with him
saying, hey, Russia, if you are listening, please release all the
Hillary Clinton's e-mails. That's not evidence. I think it rather is,
actually. Especially if you look at some of the evidence that exists on
Twitter and elsewhere of people talking directly to his social media
manager, Dan should be no and telling him to do that before it
happened. There is a bit out there. The BBC itself reported that in
April of last year, a six agency task force, not just the FBI, but
the Treasury Department, was looking at this. I believe there is an
enormous amount of evidence. And then there is the steel dossier
which was included in an official report of the US intelligence
committee. You've also ... Just to be clear, we don't have hard
evidence yet whether this warrant exists. It may or may not. There is
doubt about... There are claims about whether there is evidence
about Mr Trump and the Russians. That is another matter. You claimed
that President Putin had Andrew Breitbart murdered to pave the way
for Steve Bannon to play a key role in the Trump administration. I
haven't. You said that Steve Bannon is behind bomb threats to Jewish
community centres. Aren't you in danger of just peddling wild
conspiracy theories? No. Festival, I haven't. No matter how many times
people say this, it's not going to be true -- first of all. I said in
twitter I believe that to be the case about the murder of Andrew
Breitbart. You believe President Putin murdered him. I didn't! You
said I reported it, but I believed it. You put it on twitter that you
believed it but you don't have a shred of evidence. I do. Indeed, I
know made assertions. What is the evidence that Mr Putin murdered
Andrew Breitbart? I said I believe it. You may believe there are
fairies at the bottom of your garden, it doesn't make it true. I
may indeed. And if I say so, that's my belief. If I say I am reporting,
as I did with the Fisa warrant exists, I have a basis in fact. They
believe is just a belief. I know you are relatively new to journalism.
Let me get the rules right. Andrew, jealousy is not your colour... If it
is twitter, we don't believe it but if it is on your website, we should
believe it? If I report something and I say this happened, then I am
making an assertion. If I describe a belief, I am describing a belief.
Subtlety may be a little difficult for you... No, no. If you want to be
a journalist, beliefs have to be backed up with evidence. Really? Do
you have a faith? It's not a matter of faith, maybe in your case, that
President Putin murdered Andrew Breitbart. A belief and a report at
two different things and no matter how often you say that they are the
same, they will never be the same. You've said in today's Sunday Times
here in London that you've turned into" a temporary superpower" where
you "See things really clearly". Have you become delusional? No. I am
describing a biological basis for ADHD, which I have. As any of your
viewers who are doctors will know. It provides people with
unfortunately a lot of scattered focus, they are very messy and
absent-minded but when they are interested in things and they have
ADHD they can have a condition which is hyper focus. You concentrate very
hard on a given subject and you can see patterns and connections. That
is biological. Thank you for explaining that. And for getting up
early in New York. The first time ever I have interviewed a temporary
superpower. Thank you. You are so lucky! You are so lucky! I don't
think it's going to happen again. Please don't ask us to comment on
that interview! I will not ask you, viewers will make up their own
minds. Let's come back to be more mundane world of Article 50. Stop
the killing! Will it get through at the
government wanted it? Without the Lords amendment falling by the way
that? I am sure the Lord will not try to ping-pong this back and
forth. So we are at the end of this particular legislative phase. The
fact that all three Brexit Cabinet ministers, number ten often don't
like one of them going out on a broadcast interview on a Sunday,
they've all been out and about. That suggests to me they are working on
the assumption it will be triggered this week. This week. The
negotiations will begin or at least the process begins. The negotiation
process may be difficult, given all of the European elections. The Dutch
this week. And then the French and maybe the Italians and certainly the
Germans by the end of September, which is less predictable than it
was. Given all that, what did you make of Anna Soubry's claim, Viacom
on her part, that we may just end up crashing out in six months question
-- fear on her part. It was not just that that we made that deliberately
organising. I want us to get on with the deals.
Everyone knows a good deal is the best option. Who knows what is going
to be on the table when we finally go out? Fascinatingly, the demand
for some money back, given the amount of money... Net gains and net
costs in terms of us leaving for the EU. It is all to play for. That will
be a possible early grounds for a confrontation between the UK and the
EU. My understanding is that they expect to do a deal on reciprocal
rights of EU nationals, EU nationals here, UK citizens there, quite
quickly. They want to clear that up and that will be done. Then they
will hit this problem that the EU will be saying you've got to agree
the divorce Bill first before we talk about the free trade bill.
David Davis saying quite clearly, no, they go together because of the
size of the bill. It will be determined, in our part, by how good
the access will be. The mutual recognition of EU residents' rights
is no trouble. A huge amount of fuss is attracted to that subject but it
is the easiest thing to deal with, as is free movement for tourists.
Money is what will make it incredibly acrimonious. Incredibly
quickly. I imagine the dominant story in the summer will be all
about that. This was Anna Soubry's implication, members of the
governors could strongly argue, things are so poisonous and so
unpleasant at the moment, the dealers are advancing -- members of
the government. Why not call it a day and go out on WTO terms while
public opinion is still in that direction in that Eurosceptic
direction? No buyers' remorse about last year's referendum. The longer
they leave it, view more opportunity there is for some kind of public
resistance and change of mind to take place. The longer believe it,
the more people who voted for Brexit and people who voted Remain and
think we didn't get world War three will start being quite angry with
the EU for not agreeing a deal. In terms of the rights of EU nationals
he and Brits abroad, by all accounts, 26 of the 27 have agreed
individually. Angela Merkel is the only person who has held that up.
That will be dealt with in a matter of days. The chances of a deal being
done is likely but in ten seconds... It would not be a bad bet to protect
your on something not happening, you might get pretty good odds? The odds
are going up that a deal doesn't happen. But, as I said earlier, the
House of Commons will not endorse no deal. We are either in an early
election or she has to go back again. Either way, you will need us!
We will be back at noon tomorrow on BBC Two ahead of what looks like
being a big week in politics. We will be back here same time, same
place. Remember, if it's Sunday,
it's the Sunday Politics.
Andrew Neil and Stewart White with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Andrew discusses the Brexit bill with UKIP's Nigel Farage and Conservative MP Anna Soubry. Guests include Matthew Taylor of the Independent Review of Employment Practices, journalist Louise Mensch and Norman Lamb MP. On the political panel are Janan Ganesh, Julia Hartley-Brewer and Steve Richards.