Andrew discusses Brexit with former Conservative health secretary Stephen Dorrell and Australian high commissioner Alexander Downer, and looks at the issue of air pollution.
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Morning, folks, and welcome to the Sunday Politics.
Hard line remainers strike back at Brexit.
Are they trying to overturn the result of June's referendum
by forcing a second vote before we leave?
Australia's man in London tells us that life outside the EU "can be
pretty good" and that Brexit will "not be as hard as people say".
Could leaving the EU free Britain to do more business
It's been called "disgusting, dangerous and deadly"
but how polluted is our air, how bad for our health,
Here: What does a North East and Cumbria Brexit deal look like?
People living here say their community is being destroyed
And with me in the Sunday Politics grotto, the Dasher, Dancer
and Prancer of political punditry Iain Martin,
They'll be delivering tweets throughout the programme.
First this morning, some say they will fight
for what they call a "soft Brexit", but now there's an attempt by those
who campaigned for Britain to remain in the EU to allow the British
people to change their minds - possibly with a second referendum -
The Labour MEP Richard Corbett is revealed this morning to have
tried to amend European Parliament resolutions.
The original resolution called on the European Parliament
to "respect the will of the majority of the citizens
of the United Kingdom to leave the EU".
He also proposed removing the wording "stress that this wish
must be respected" and adding "while taking account of the 48.1%
The amendments were proposed in October,
but were rejected by a vote in the Brussels
Constitutional Affairs Committee earlier this month.
The report will be voted on by all MEPs in February.
Well, joining me now from Leeds is the Labour MEP who proposed
Good morning. Thanks for joining us at short notice. Is your aim to try
and reverse what happened on June 23? My aim with those amendments was
simply factual. It is rather odd that these amendments of two months
ago are suddenly used paper headlines in three very different
newspapers on the same day. It smacks of a sort of concerted effort
to try and slapped down any notion that Britain might perhaps want to
rethink its position on Brexit as the cost of Brexit emerges. You
would like us to rethink the position even before the cost urges?
I get lots of letters from people saying how one, this was an advisory
referendum won by a narrow majority on the basis of a pack of lies and a
questionable mandate. But if there is a mandate from this referendum,
it is surely to secure a Brexit that works for Britain without sinking
the economy. And if it transpires as we move forward, that this will be a
very costly exercise, then there will be people who voted leave who
said Hang on, this is not what I was told. I was told this would save
money, we could put it in the NHS, but if it is going to cost us and
our Monday leg, I would the right to reconsider. But
your aim is not get a Brexit that would work for Britain, your aim is
to stop it? If we got a Brexit that would work for Britain, that would
respect the mandate. But if we cannot get that, if it is going to
be a disaster, if it is going to cost people jobs and cost Britain
money, it is something we might want to pause and rethink. The government
said it is going to come forward with a plan. That is good. We need
to know what options to go for as a country. Do we want to stay in the
single market, the customs union, the various agencies? And options
should be costed so we can all see how much they cost of Brexit will
be. If you were simply going to try and make the resolution is more
illegal, why did the constitutional committee vote them down? This is a
report about future treaty amendments down the road for years
to come. This was not the main focus of the report, it was a side
reference, in which was put the idea for Association partnerships. Will
you push for the idea before the full parliament? I must see what the
text is. You said there is a widespread view in labour that if
the Brexit view is bad we should not exclude everything, I take it you
mean another referendum. When you were named down these amendments,
was this just acting on your own initiative, or acting on behalf of
the Labour Party? I am just be humble lame-duck MEP in the European
Parliament. It makes sense from any point of view that if the course of
action you have embarked on turns out to be much more costly and
disastrous than you had anticipated, that you might want the chance to
think again. You might come to the same conclusion, of course, but you
might think, wait a minute, let's have a look at this. But let's be
clear, even though you are deputy leader of Labour in the European
Parliament, you're acting alone and not as Labour Party policy? I am
acting in the constitutional affairs committee. All I am doing is stating
things which are common sense. If as we move forward then this turns out
to be a disaster, we need to look very carefully at where we are
going. But if a deal is done under Article 50, and we get to see the
shape of that deal by the end of 2019 under the two-year timetable,
in your words, we won't know if it is a disaster or not until it is
implemented. We won't be able to tell until we see the results about
whether it is good or bad, surely? We might well be able to, because
that has to take account of the future framework of relationships
with the European Union, to quote the article of the treaty. That
means we should have some idea about what that will be like. Will we be
outside the customs union, for instance, which will be very
damaging for our economy? Or will we have to stay inside and follow the
rules without having a say on them. We won't know until we leave the
customs union. You think it will be damaging, others think it will give
us the opportunity to do massive trade deals. My case this morning is
not what is right or wrong, we will not know until we have seen the
results. We will know a heck of a lot more than we do now when we see
that Article 50 divorce agreement. We will know the terms of the
divorce, we will know how much we still have to pay into the EU budget
for legacy costs. We will know whether we will be in the single
market customs union or not. We will know about the agencies. We will
know a lot of things. If the deal on the table looks as if it will be
damaging to Britain, then Parliament will be in its rights to say, wait a
minute, not this deal. And then you either renegotiate or you reconsider
the whole issue of Brexit or you find another solution. We need to
leave it there but thank you for joining us.
Iain Martin, how serious is the attempt to in effect an wind what
happened on June 23? I think it is pretty serious and that interview
illustrates very well the most damaging impact of the approach
taken by a lot of Remainers, which is essentially to say with one
breath, we of course accept the result, but with every action
subsequent to that to try and undermine the result or try and are
sure that the deal is as bad as possible. I think what needed to
happen and hasn't happened after June 23 is you have the extremists
on both sides and you have in the middle probably 70% of public
opinion, moderate leaders, moderate Remainers should be working together
to try and get British bespoke deal. But moderate Leavers will not take
moderate Remainers seriously if this is the approach taken at every
single turn to try and rerun the referendum. He did not say whether
it was Labour policy? That was a question which was ducked. I do not
think it is Labour Party policy. I think most people are in a morass in
the middle. I think the screaming that happens when anybody dares to
question or suggest that you might ever want to think again about these
things, I disagree with him about having another referendum but if he
wants to campaign for that it is his democratic right to do so. If you
can convince enough people it is a good idea then he has succeeded. But
the idea that we would do a deal and then realise this is a really bad
deal, let's not proceed, we will not really know that until the deal is
implemented. What our access is to the single market, whether or not we
are in or out of the customs union which we will talk about in a
minute, what immigration policy we will have, whether these are going
to be good things bad things, surely you have got to wait for four, five,
six years to see if it has worked or not? Yes, and by which stage
Parliament will have voted on it and there will be no going back from it,
or maybe there will. We are talking now about the first three months of
2019. That is absolutely the moment when Parliament agrees with Theresa
May or not. One arch remain I spoke to, and arch Remainiac, he said that
Theresa May will bring this to Parliament in 2019 and could say I
recommend that we reject it. What is he on or she? Some strong chemical
drugs! The point is that all manner of things could happen. I don't
think any of us take it seriously for now but the future is a very
long way away. Earlier, the trade Secretary Liam Fox was asked if we
would stay in the customs union after Brexit.
There would be limitations on what we would do in terms of tariff
setting which could limit the deals we would do, but we want to look at
all the different deals. There is hard Brexit and soft Brexit as if it
is a boiled egg we are talking about. Turkey is in part of the
customs union but not other parts. What we need to do is look at the
cost. This is what I picked up. The government knows it cannot remain a
member of the single market in these negotiations, because that would
make us subject to free movement and the European Court. The customs
union and the Prime Minister 's office doesn't seem to be quite as
binary, that you can be a little bit in and a little bit out, but I would
suggest that overall Liam Fox knows to do all the trade deals we want to
do we basically have to be out. But what he also seems to know is that
is a minority view in Cabinet. He said he was not going to give his
opinion publicly. There is still an argument going on about it in
Cabinet. When David Liddington struggled against Emily Thornbury
PMQs, he did not know about the customs union. What is apparent is
Theresa May has not told him what to think about that. If we stay in the
customs union we cannot do our own free trade deals. We are behind the
customs union, the tariff barriers set by Europe? Not quite. Turkey is
proof of the pudding. There are limited exemptions but they can do
free trade with their neighbours. Not on goods. They are doing a trade
deal with Pakistan at the moment, it relies on foreign trade investment
but Europe negotiates on turkey's behalf on the major free-trade
deals. This is absolutely why the customs union will be the fault line
for the deal we are trying to achieve. Interestingly, I thought
Liam Fox suggested during that interview that he was prepared to
suck up whatever it was. I think he was saying there is still an
argument and he intends to win it. He wants to leave it because he
wants to do these free-trade deals. There is an argument in the cabinet
about precisely that. The other thing to consider is in this country
we have tended to focus too much on the British angle in negotiations,
but I think the negotiations are going to be very difficult. You look
at the state of the EU at the moment, you look at what is
happening in Italy, France, Germany, look at the 27. It is possible I
think that Britain could design a bespoke sensible deal but then it
becomes very difficult to agree which is why I ultimately think we
are heading for a harder Brexit. It will be about developing in this
country. So, we've had a warning this week
that it could take ten years to do a trade deal
with the EU after Brexit. But could opportunities to expand
trade lie elsewhere? Australia was one of the first
countries to indicate its willingness to do a deal
with the UK and now its High Commissioner in London has told
us that life outside the EU He made this exclusive film
for the Sunday Politics. My father was the Australian High
Commissioner in the early 70s when the UK joined
the European Union, Now I'm in the job,
the UK is leaving. Australia supported
Britain remaining a member of the European Union,
but we respect the decision that Now that the decision has been made,
we hope that Britain will get on with the process
of negotiating their exit from the European Union and make
the most of the opportunities that Following the referendum decision,
Australia approached the British Government
with a proposal. We offered, when the time was right,
to negotiate a free trade agreement. The British and Australian
governments have already established a working group to explore a future,
ambitious trade agreement once A free trade agreement will provide
great opportunities for consumers Australian consumers could purchase
British-made cars for less We would give British
households access to cheaper, Our summer is during your winter,
so Australia could provide British households with fresh produce
when the equivalent British or Australian households would have
access to British products Free-trade agreements
are also about investment. The UK is the second-largest source
of foreign investment in Australia. By the way, Australia also invests
over ?200 billion in the UK, so a free trade agreement
would stimulate investment, But, by the way, free-trade
agreements are not just about trade and investment,
they are also about geopolitics. Countries with good trade relations
often work more closely together in other fields including security,
the spread of democracy We may have preferred
the UKto remain in the EU, We may have preferred the UK
to remain in the EU, but life outside as we know can
be pretty good. We have negotiated eight free-trade
agreements over the last 12 years, including a free-trade agreement
with the United States This is one of the reasons why
the Australian economy has continued to grow over the last 25 years
and we, of course, are not Australia welcomes Theresa May's
vision for the UK to become a global We are willing to help
in any way we can. Welcome to the programme. The
Australian government says it wants to negotiate an important trade deal
with the UK as efficiently and promptly as possible when Brexit is
complete. How prompt is prompt? There are legal issues obviously.
The UK, for as long as it remains in the EU, cannot negotiate individual
trade deals. Once it leaves it can. We will negotiate a agreement with
the UK when the time is right, by which we mean we can do preliminary
examination. Are you talking now about the parameters? We are talking
already, we have set up a joint working group with the British
Government and we are scoping the issue to try to understand what
questions will arise in any negotiation. But we cannot have
formally a negotiation. Until the country is out. Why is there no
free-trade deal between Australia and the European Union? It is a long
and tortuous story. Give me the headline. Basically Australian
agriculture is either banned or hugely restricted in terms of its
access to the European Union. So we see the European Union, Australia's,
is a pretty protectionist sort of organisation. Now we are doing a
scoping study on a free-trade agreement with the European Union
and we hope that next year we can enter into negotiations with them.
But we have no illusions this would be a very difficult negotiation, but
one we are giving priority to. Is there not a danger that when Britain
leaves the EU the EU will become more protectionist? This country has
always been the most powerful voice for free trade. I hope that does not
happen, but the reason why we wanted Britain to remain in the European
Union is because it brought to the table the whole free-trade mentality
which has been an historic part of Britain's approach to international
relations. Without the UK in the European Union you will lose that.
It is a very loud voice in the European Union and you will lose
that voice and that will be a disadvantage. The figure that jumped
out of me in the film is it to you only 15 months to negotiate a
free-trade deal with the United States. Yes, the thing is it is
about political will. A free-trade agreement will be no problem unless
you want to protect particular sectors of your economy. In that
case there was one sector the Americans insisted on protecting and
that was their sugar industry. In the end after 15 months of
negotiation two relatively free trading countries have fixed up
nearly everything. But we had to ask would be go ahead with this
free-trade agreement without sugar west we decided to do that. Other
than that it was relatively easy to negotiate because we are both
free-trade countries. With the UK you cannot be sure, but I do not
think a free-trade agreement would take very long to negotiate with the
UK because the UK would not want to put a lot of obstacles in the way to
Australia. Not to give away our hand, we would not want to put a lot
of obstacles in the way of British exports. The trend in recent years
is to do big, regional trade deals, but President-elect Donald Trump has
made clear the Pacific trade deal is dead. The transatlantic trade deal
is almost dead as well. The American election put a nail in the coffin
and the French elections could put another nail in the coffin. Are we
returning to a world of lateral trade deals, country with country
rather than regional blocs? Not necessarily. In the Asia Pacific we
will look at multilateral trade arrangements and even if the
transpacific partnership is not ratified by the Americans, we have
other options are there. However, our approach has been the ultimate
would be free-trade throughout the world which is proving hard to
achieve. Secondly, if we can get a lot of countries engaged in a
free-trade negotiation, that is pretty good if possible. But it is
more difficult. But we do bilateral trade agreements. We have one with
China, Japan, the United States, Singapore, and the list goes on, and
they have been hugely beneficial to Australia. You have been dealing
with the EU free deal, what lessons are there? How quickly do you think
Britain could do a free-trade deal with the EU if we leave? Well, there
is a completely different concept involved in the case of Britain and
the EU and that is at the moment there are no restrictions on trade.
So you and the EU would be talking about whether you will direct
barriers to trade. We are outsiders and we do not get too much involved
in this debate except to say we do not want to see the global trade
system disrupted by the direction of tariff barriers between the United
Kingdom, the fifth biggest economy in the world, and the European
Union. Our expectation is not just the British but the Europeans will
try to make the transition to Brexit as smooth as possible particularly
commercially. Say yes or no if you can. If Britain and Australia make a
free-trade agreement, would that include free movement of the
Australian and the British people? We will probably stick with our
present non-discriminatory system. Australia does not discriminate
against any country. The European Union's free movement means you
discriminate against non-Europeans. Probably not.
It could lead to a ban on diesel cars, prevent the building
of a third runway at Heathrow, and will certainly make it
more expensive to drive in our towns and cities.
Air pollution has been called the "public health crisis
of a generation" - but just how serious is the problem?
40,000 early deaths result from air pollution every year in the UK.
Almost 10,000 Londoners each year die prematurely.
It seems at times we can get caught up in alarming assertions
about air pollution, that this is a public health
emergency, that it is a silent killer, coming from politicians,
But how bad is air quality in Britain really?
Tony Frew is a professor in respiratory medicine and works
at Brighton's Royal Sussex County Hospital.
He has been looking into the recent claims
It's a problem and it affects people's health.
But when people start talking about the numbers
of deaths here, I think they are misusing the statistics.
There have been tremendous improvements in air quality
There is a lot less pollution than there used to be
and none of that is coming through in the public
So what does Professor Frew make of the claim that alarming levels
of toxicity in the air in the UK causes 40,000 deaths each year?
It is not 40,000 people who should have air pollution
on their death certificate, or 40,000 people who
It's a lot of people who had a little bit of life shortening
To examine these figures further we travelled to Cambridge to visit
I asked him about the data on which these claims
They come from a study on how mortality rates in US cities
First of all, it is important to realise that that 40,000 figure
29,000, which are due to fine particles, and another 11,000
I will just talk about this group for a start.
These are what are known as attributable deaths.
Known as virtual deaths, they come from a complex statistical model.
Quite remarkably it all comes from just one number and this
was based on a study of US cities and they found out that
by monitoring these cities over decades that the cities which had
a higher level of pollution had a higher mortality rate.
They estimated that there was a 6% increased risk of dying
each year for each small increase in pollution.
So this is quite a big figure, but it is important to realise
it is only a best estimate and the committee that advises
the government says that this figure could be between 1% and 12%.
So this 6% figure is used to work out the 29,000
Yes, through a rather complex statistical model.
And a similar analysis gives rise to the 11,000 attributable deaths
How much should we invest in cycling?
Should we build a third runway at Heathrow?
We need reliable statistics to answer those questions,
but can we trust the way data is being used by campaigners?
I think there are people who have such a passion for the environment
and for air pollution that they don't really
see it as a problem if they are deceiving the public.
Greenpeace have been running a campaign claiming that breathing
London's air is the equivalent of smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
If you smoke 15 cigarettes a day through your adult life,
that will definitely take ten years off your life expectancy.
If you are poor and you are in social class five,
compared to social class one, that would take seven
If you are poor and you smoke, that will take 17 years off your life.
Now, we are talking about possibly, if we could get rid of all
of the cars in London and all of the road transport,
we could make a difference of two micrograms per metre squared in air
pollution which might save you 30 days of your life.
There is no doubt that air pollution is bad for you,
but if we exaggerate the scale of the problem and the impact
on our health, are we at risk of undermining the case for making
And we are joined now by the Executive Director
You have called pollution and national crisis and a health
emergency. Around the UK are levels increasing or falling? They are
remaining fairly static in London. Nationally? If you look at the
studies on where air pollution is measured, in 42 cities around the
UK, 38 cities were found to be breaking the legal limit on air
pollution so basically all of the cities were breaking the limit so if
you think eight out of ten people live in cities, obviously, this is
impacting a lot of people around the UK. We have looked at in missions of
solvent dioxide, they have fallen and since 1970, nitrogen dioxide is
down 69%. Let me show you a chart. There are the nitrogen oxides which
we have all been worried about. That chart shows a substantial fall from
the 1970s, and then a really steep fall from the 1980s. That is
something which is getting better. You have to look at it in the round.
If you look at particulates, and if you look at today's understanding of
the health impact. Let's look at particulates. We have been really
worried about what they have been doing to our abilities to breathe
good air, again, you see substantial improvement. Indeed, we are not far
from the Gothenberg level which is a very high standard. What you see is
it is pretty flat. I see it coming down quite substantially. Over the
last decade it is pretty flat. If you look at the World Health
Organisation guidelines, actually, these are at serious levels and they
need to come down. We know the impact, particularly on children, if
you look at what is happening to children and children's lungs, if
you look at the impact of asthma and other impacts on children in cities
and in schools next to main roads where pollution levels are very
high, the impact of very serious. You have many doctors, professors
and many studies by London University showing this to be true.
The thing is, we do not want pollution. If we can get rid of
pollution, let's do it. And also we also have to get rid of CO2 which is
causing climate change. We are talking air pollution at the moment.
The point is there is not still more to do, it is clear there is and
there is no question about that, my question is you seem to deny that we
have made any kind of progress and that you also say that air pollution
causes 40,000 deaths a year in the UK, that is not true. The figure is
40,000 premature deaths is what has been talked about by medical staff.
Your website said courses. It causes premature deaths. What we are
talking about here is can we solve the problem of air pollution? If air
pollution is mainly being caused by diesel vehicles then we need to
phase out diesel vehicles. If there are alternatives and clean Turner
tips which will give better quality of air, better quality of life and
clean up our cities, then why don't we take the chance to do it? You had
the Australian High Commissioner on this programme earlier. He said to
me earlier, why is your government supporting diesel? That is the most
polluting form of transport. That may well be right but I am looking
at Greenpeace's claims. You claim it causes 40,000 deaths, it is a figure
which regularly appears. Let me quote the committee on the medical
effects of air pollutants, it says this calculation, 40,000 which is
everywhere in Greenpeace literature, is not an estimate of the number of
people whose untimely death is caused entirely by air pollution,
but a way of representing the effect across the whole population of air
pollution when considered as a contributory factor to many more
individual deaths. It is 40,000 premature deaths. It could be
premature by a couple of days. It could me by a year. -- it could be
by a year. It could also be giving children asthma and breathing
difficulties. We are talking about deaths. It could also cause stroke
and heart diseases. Medical experts say we need to deal with this. Do
you believe air pollution causes 40,000 deaths a year. I have defined
that. You accept it does not? It leads to 40,000 premature deaths.
But 40,000 people are not killed. You say air pollution causes 40,000
deaths each year on your website. I have just explained what I mean by
that in terms of premature deaths. The question is, are we going to do
something about that? Air pollution is a serious problem. It is mainly
caused by diesel. If we phased diesel out it will solve the problem
of air pollution and deal with the wider problem of climate change. I
am not talking about climate change this morning. Let's link to another
claim... Do you want to live in a clean city? Do you want to breathe
clean air? Yes, don't generalise. Let's stick to your claims. You have
also said living in London on your life is equivalent to smoking 50
cigarettes a day. That is not true either. What I would say is if you
look at passive smoking, it is the equivalent of I don't know what the
actual figure is, I can't remember offhand, but it is the equivalent
effect of about ten cigarettes being smoked passively. The question is in
terms of, you are just throwing me out all of these things... I am
throwing things that Greenpeace have claimed. Greenpeace have claimed
that living in London is equivalent of smoking 15 cigarettes a day and
that takes ten years off your life. Professor Froome made it clear to us
that living in London your whole life with levels of pollution does
take time off your life but it takes nine months of your life. Nine
months is still too much, I understand that, but it is not ten
years and that is what you claim. I would suggest you realise that is a
piece of propaganda because you claim on the website, you have taken
it down. I agree it has been corrected and I agree with what the
professor said that maybe it takes up to a year off your life, but the
thing is, there are much more wider issues as well, in terms of the
impact on air pollution, and in terms of the impact on young
children. We can argue about the facts... But these are your claims,
this is why I am hitting it to you. It does not get away from the
underlying issue that air pollution is a serious problem. We are not
arguing for a moment that it is not. Do you think the way you exaggerate
things, put false claims, in the end, for of course we all agree
with, getting the best air we can, you undermine your credibility? I
absolutely do not support false claims and if mistakes have been
made then mistakes have been made and they will be corrected. I think
the key issue is how we are going to deal with air pollution. Clearly,
diesel is the biggest problem and we need to work out a way how we can
get away from diesel as quickly and fast as possible. Comeback and see
us in the New Year and we will discuss diesel. Thank you.
It's just gone 11.35, you're watching the Sunday Politics.
We say goodbye to viewers in Scotland who leave us now
Hello, and a warm and festive welcome to your local
On the weekend before Christmas what better than to settle down
with a sherry and a mince pie and delve into the winter wonderland
My guests joining me around my imaginary log fire
are the Scarborough and Whitby MP Robert Goodwill who is also
Immigration Minister, the Labour MP for Sedgefield Phil Wilson,
and the chair of Ukip in Cumbria, Fiona Mills.
Coming up today: People living in this Northumberland
town say it's being destroyed by the pressure of new
So if not here, just where should we be building the new homes that
But let's start with social care - an issue which is rapidly turning
This week the Government came up with what it hopes will be
a short term solution - allowing local authorities to raise
council tax by up to 6% over the next two years.
But the plan was dismissed by Newcastle council's leader
Nick Forbes as a "sticking plaster on a gaping wound".
The Government seems to have finally accepted there
is a problem here but council tax is that the right solution?
Let us not forget we are investing 19.7 billion
in social care this year but of this additional funding, each 1% will
This is a substantial amount of money that
will be able to be raised by local authorities for this.
The demographic time bomb has been ticking for some time.
Over 13 years of the Labour Government nothing was done.
We are addressing the issue in terms of
You know that money was taken out of councils for social
care and the problem, here is a clear
example, Sunderland, 3% on
council tax would raise one third as much as it does in the
North Yorkshire is half as much as the wealthiest parts of London.
It does not work, the need is here but the money is
It is more expensive to establish care homes.
As was made at Prime Minister's Questions, how
effectively that money is being spent?
In some cases it is not being spent as effectively as it could be.
Phil Wilson, this is a council service, why not raise extra
More integration is needed between what
councils are doing and the NHS, bed blocking within the NHS.
Budgets are being cut by ?4.5 billion.
That was not mentioned by the Chancellor in
the Autumn Statement a few weeks ago.
What the Government is actually doing is putting the burden back
People in leafy suburbs in London are able to raise more through their
council tax than in places like Durham.
Even if we went for the full 6% it is not going to fill the
It will mean on average council tax payers in Durham will be paying
between ?60 and ?70 per year more because of doing this when in actual
fact the money is being taken out of the system centrally.
Durham is going to be losing ?30 million, 30%
Government is finding an extra ?240 million as well which they may
choose to compensate some of these councils.
They might do that but 240 million when you cut the budget by
Fiona Mills, does Ukip believe council tax
We need to look at what they are actually spending at the
moment and are we getting best value for money.
Phil mentioned we need integration between the NHS and the
public and social care to get best value for money.
I work in the NHS and I can see that.
The second reason I would say we should not
raise it through council tax is the Government's spending
We are currently spending ?12 billion per year on foreign aid and
I believe that is going to increase to 16 billion by the end of the
For the poorest people in the world...
No, we are funding the rich people in poor
We need to get our own house in order before we look to
It does not all go to the third World.
We gave a donation to Clinton foundation.
Probably needs a bit of help at the moment.
The people I saw last month at refugee camps in
Jordan are not the richest people in the world,
they were very poor people in great need.
I am proud we are putting money in that way.
But we must not forget under the last
We have given carers more money to keep
This is the legacy of trying to keep council tax bills down because money
is not there now to support social care.
Even with increases in council tax bills would be more than when we
You have to come up with a long-term solution.
Yes and Phil is right about integration across
That is something that we have not got
Are you going to have to get together with other political
Labour ducked this issue but so has your Government.
It's all about bed blocking, addressing that, which
is why I'm delighted that we are looking at this again.
There will be a White Paper in the New Year
It has got to be said the last Government,
I was Private Secretary to Andy Burnham at the time, we did
other political parties in parliament to see
cross-party agreement on this because it's such a massive issue.
?350 million of course that we were going to get
from the EU, is that going to solve the problem?
That was Boris and everybody else on the Vote Leave bus.
Yes, as soon as we do leave the EU, and I mean leave the EU, there will
Now to another big political problem that
proving tough to solve - the shortage of new homes.
The Government says it wants a million of them to be built
before the next election - although it's nowhere
But exactly where should they all go?
Developers of course want sites that are easy to build on and will prove
popular with house buyers - and that often means large
green spaces on the edge of existing communities.
But critics say that's leading to over-development in places
In the middle of Morpeth signs of Christmas make this historic
But on its outskirts a different sort of sign
The attractions of this leafy market town to
house buyers are obvious but campaigners say that character is
A short distance away more green space that's made way for
And here in another corner of the town these grounds of
a former hospital have been earmarked for a
This is where people are walking their dogs...
Showing me a field where building is planned, a resident
They want to take this green field here, that
green field there, to the north, to the south,
left to enjoy an amenity for walking dogs, playing football.
It is a great town but we are struggling.
There are traffic queues over the bridge, it takes ages to get in.
Campaigners say around 12 developments recently completed
or planned in Morpeth will
add around 3,000 to its previous stock of 6,500 homes.
Across Northumberland as a whole there is a
target for 24,000 homes over 20 years.
The council says the aim is cheaper housing and a stronger
What do you say to people in, I suppose, the honeypot towns
who say we seem to be getting more than are justified?
From my point of view housing is an economic
We have got an affordable housing crisis in places like
Young people particularly can't get on the housing ladder.
Among shoppers the affordability of the new houses are
They should be building more single person flats.
Access in and out of Morpeth is already congested in the
Environmentalists say derelict urban sites like this part of Newcastle's
West End is a positive alternative to green field construction.
But experts admit there are commercial
It comes back to supply and demand and perceived
Does a developer feel that this site is going to sell, that
they're not going to be left with part of the site unsold?
That did happen in the recession in 2007-2008.
Homes are being built here but there are
House-builders deny they are ignoring them.
Some local authorities in the north-east have policies
where to release any green field land there has to be an equivalent
Rather like Christmas presents reaction to
Everyone agrees we need more homes but is the best way to do it to
affect the quality of life in existing
towns, concentrating in
The first point is about a third third of our country
is protected in some way in National Parks.
13% of the country is in green belt which is protected and
we've seen very little, a minuscule amount built on the green belt.
But there is tremendous pressure particularly in market towns and
some of our bigger cities for development.
That's why it is important that decisions are made locally not
That could be more of a problem, if local
communities get a say because a lot of them don't want more homes?
We've got the new homes bonus in place
which means that local communities do gain through them, getting
council tax that they can use to invest in infrastructure, in
schools, and other pressures that are put on towns.
The Government has put more money in in the Autumn
Statement so they can get more money into that
for the infrastructure we
need to release land particularly looking
at brown field sites with it
Phil Wilson you have raised concerns about housing developments in your
We do need housing and I think talking to
local communities, Sedgefield is a very
rural area, what people are
concerned about, is the infrastructure in the villagers.
Where the housing is fine as long as it is affordable,
It should be built on brown field land but a lot of the
time it is not because the grants aren't there.
We need some kind of public incentive to do so.
People want to live in nice semirural
Of course they do but we've got to look at the existing
communities and what they are talking about is, do we have
Even in the situation Sedgefield village is sewage works network,
doesn't have the capacity to sustain more building?
What we have had in Sedgefield, 300 more houses, and I
can understand the local community now thinking,
There has got to be that investment not just in new housing
Fiona Mills, your party has been against a green
We need homes, we need different people
We will provide the grants. There are lots of sites and cities where
it is derelict or wasteland and if that is developed in the right way
that solves transport problems because people can walk into town
and what to their GP. and what to their GP.
People will prefer to have development on Brownfield sites
within the city. They will vote against any near
them. They possibly will do but should not people have their say? It
sounds like a recipe for never getting any houses built. Robert
Goodwill, there is pressure on the green belt, we should not be
jeopardising that? As we heard from the report the priority is on
building Brownfield sites and in some cases money is needed to clean
up these sites but people do need to buy homes and we need to build these
homes. Many people in my constituency want to stay in the
communities where they have been born and if that is not some
be able to do that. Northumberland, be able to do that. Northumberland,
developments because they are developments because they are
competing to get as many homes because it means more council tax.
It has got to be sustainable. Every time you go through their ships to
be a new housing development. I can understand that community feeling
they are inundated. Of people were part of the process then you will
get people who are prepared to accept more housing in the area. Two
councils need to stop competing? They do not need to stop competing
each other. There needs to be a process to take into account
considerations and concerns of local people.
Now we like to give you a Christmas treat here on Sunday Politics -
and what better than the week's political news lovingly wrapped?
Well Bob's been busy with the brown paper and string -
Business and education leaders have in 60 seconds.
Business and education leaders have called on Theresa May to support a
north and time devolution deal arguing it would bring growth to the
region after a wider north East deal fell through. Devolution is
happening in the Tees Valley. Tim council has been named as
Conservative candidate for mayor. Labour and Ukip well and I'd
candidates in the New Year. The Business Secretary was grilled about
what assurances were offered to Nissan Re: building and Sunderland.
I understand, we understand, the importance as part of our
negotiation to look to secure and continue that Tallis free access to
the single market. Unemployment in our region fall by 14%.
Now, this Friday it'll be six months since we voted in the EU referendum.
Well since then of course the issue has dominated political life.
But what does Brexit mean for the north?
And do voters here believe the Government is on the right
Here's some views from Cleator Moor in West Cumbria.
The people has faltered. That is what democracy is all about. You
vote and that is the result. People will not change their mind. People
in the countryside have been ignored for too long. It is time they had a
voice. They have spoken. Let it be Brexit. There does not seem to be a
clear and concise plan as to what they want to do. Realistically more
time and planning should have been put into it before we did the
referendum. Then we could see a clear plan as too, this is what is
going to happen when article 50 does gets triggered. Too much
interference with Angela Merkel. As Theresa May determined to permit
what the public want? Yes, because she does listen to everything that
people say. What the public say. You have got confidence in the Prime
Minister? I would not say that much confidence. Fiona Mills, you
campaign to leave the European Union, have they got a clear idea
what Brexit would mean for our region? It is the same for any
region, leave the European Union. The sooner we get on with it the
better. You do not worry about access to the single market? We need
access to 160 countries in the world. We do not need to be a member
of it, we do not need to pay a fee. It was crystal clear when we were
campaigning and everybody was campaigning, the Prime Minister said
everyone leaving the EU that means we read the single market. Does that
mean you do not think about the implications? We have thought about
the implications. On the league side we have done planning, there was no
planning on the Government side. They need to get on with that. Phil
Wilson, the Government has secured investment in Nissan and they have
been talking to another farm, so the dire warnings are not coming true,
there is another big drop in an apartment in the region? We have not
actually left yet. What's business wants is certainty and as far as the
the moon it is going ahead but what the moon it is going ahead but what
does it mean? Is at the same deal they will give to train building,
pharmaceuticals? It is securing cheap without tariffs? Is it? What
if we cannot get that? What if we cannot get that negotiated with the
EU? What if we do how to bring in the World Trade Organisation? In
your constituency, what's to be want Mr Mac Hitachi wanted access to the
single market to build locomotives for the European market -- Hitachi
wanted access. People voted to leave wanted access. People voted to leave
but what makes or do they want to go through? What does happen? It looks
more rosy than many people forecast. Good news we have had from The Sun.
There is as much. Jobs are coming to the region but he needs to ensure
the best possible deal that we can secure. Theresa May is the best
person to secure that deal. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
are getting our seat at the table, are getting our seat at the table,
they are being consulted on what they need, what about regions like
this one that voted strongly for this one that voted strongly for
Brexit and are amongst the most vulnerable economically? We are
representing this region. We are going to put the case strongly for
what we need in the north-east. We need to ensure that our business can
have the best possible opportunities to do business in Europe and in the
wider world but also we need to wider world but also we need to
control the numbers are come into our country from the rest of Europe
which we have not been able to do before. How do you balance that? I
sat to a Brexit committee the other week. Business was clear they did
not want to see restrictions on immigration because they need
skilled workers. How do you balance that with the desire of many voters
to curb immigration? People coming to work in this country make a big
contribution not least to the NHS but they put pressure on local
services that is why in some cases... They do not this region.
I'd be able to control numbers coming here we can manage that enemy
we have never done before next year if we do need those skills to come
then they can come in. Tighter controls on the site might be a
problem for the north. You might need the lead controls. We are
committed to providing 3 million apprenticeships. We need people
skilled in this country to do those jobs. Often it has been too easy for
employers to recruit elsewhere rather than our own people. Where
does labour stand on immigration? One sees restrict that, the other
says do not. We have got to look again at three movement. We should
look at the basic principle which is the free movement of labour. The
people who should be coming to this country from the rest of Europe
should have a job to go to. That is fundamentally what three movement...
It is three movement as far as Labour is concerned. We need to look
at it again. We cannot just say that anybody who wants to come here can
come here. There is an issue for business. It is that we need the
skills. But where the skills are not available amongst the existing
workforce that should not be allowed to go on if we cannot get people
from elsewhere. We cannot cut off our nose to spite our face because
of big or too hard on immigration of big or too hard on immigration
businesses in this region will suffer. I agree. That is why we need
a points-based system so what we need certain skills people can come
to this country, that is what you get policy is. Phil seems to be at
odds with his leader on immigration policy because Jeremy Corbyn is
seeing three movement should continue, and Diane Abbott. What do
you make of the Labour position on Brexit, is that clear? What we can
say about it is that it is an ongoing debate. It is not clear. You
can see that Kia Starmer is being clear to see that there must be a
compromise on some kind of free movement and perhaps that is a
rechargeable -- a regional way we can do this.
And that's about it from us for this week -
We're off to deck the halls with some more holly -
Will Article 50 be triggered by the end of March,
will President Trump start work on his wall and will
Front National's Marine Le Pen provide the next electoral shock?
2016, the Brexit for Britain and Trump for the rest of the world.
Let's look back and see what one of you said about Brexit.
If Mr Cameron loses the referendum and it is this year,
will he be Prime Minister at the end of the year?
I don't think he will lose the referendum, so I'm feeling
It was clear if he did lose the referendum he would be out. I would
like to say in retrospect I saw that coming on a long and I was just
saying it to make good television! It is Christmas so I will be benign
towards my panel! It is possible, Iain, that not much happens to
Brexit in 2017, because we have a host of elections coming up in
Europe, the French won in the spring and the German one in the autumn
will be the most important. And until we know who the next French
president is and what condition Mrs Merkel will be in, not much will
happen? I think that is the likeliest outcome. Short of some
constitutional crisis involving the Lords relating to Brexit, it is
pretty clear it is difficult to properly begin the negotiations
until it becomes clear who Britain is negotiating with. It will come
down to the result of the German election. Germany is the biggest
contributor and if they keep power in what is left of the European
Union, will drive the negotiation and we will have to see if it will
be Merkel. So this vacuum that has been seen and has been filled by
people less than friendly to the government, even when we know
Article 50 has been triggered and even if there is some sort of white
paper to give us a better idea of the broad strategic outlines of what
they mean by Brexit, the phoney war could continue? Iain is right. 2017
is going to be a remarkably dull year for Brexit as opposed to 2016.
We will have the article and a plan. The plan will say I would like the
moon on a stick please. The EU will say you can have a tiny bit of moon
and a tiny bit of stick and there will be an impasse. That will go on
until one minute to midnight 2018 which is when the EU will act. There
is one thing in the Foreign Office which is more important, as David
Davis Department told me, they know there is nothing they can do until
the French and Germans have their elections and they know the lie of
the land, but the people who will be more helpful to us are in Eastern
Europe and in Scandinavia, the Nordic countries. We can do quite a
lot of schmoozing to try and get them broadly on side this year? It
is very difficult because one of the things they care most about in
Eastern Europe is the ability for Eastern European stew come and work
in the UK. That is key to the economic prospects. But what they
care most about is that those already here should not be under any
pressure to leave. There is no guarantee of that. That is what Mrs
May wants. There are a lot of things Mrs May wants and the story of 2017
will be about what she gets. How much have we got to give people? It
is not what we want, but what we are willing to give. The interesting
thing is you can divide this out into two. There is a question of the
European Union and our relationship with it but there is also the trick
the polls did to London -- there is also the polls. There is question
beyond the Western European security, that is about Nato and
intelligence and security, and the rising Russian threat. That does not
mean the Polish people will persuade everyone else to give us a lovely
deal on the EU, but the dynamic is bigger than just a chat about
Brexit. You cannot threaten a punishment beating for us if we are
putting our soldiers on the line on the eastern borders of Europe. I
think that's where Donald Trump changes the calculation because his
attitude towards Russia is very different to Barack Obama's. It is
indeed. Mentioning Russia, Brexit was a global story but nothing can
match and American election and even one which gives Donald Trump as
well. Let's have a look at what this panel was saying about Donald Trump.
Will Donald Trump win the Republican nomination next year.
So, not only did you think he would not be president, you did not think
he would win the Republican nomination. We were not alone in
that. And they're right put forward a motion to abolish punditry here
now because clearly we are pointless! There is enough
unemployment in the world already! We are moving into huge and charted
territory with Donald Trump as president. It is incredibly
unpredictable. But what has not been noticed enough is the Keynesian won.
Trump is a Keynesian. He wants massive infrastructure spending and
massive tax cuts. The big story next year will be the massive reflation
of the American economy and indeed the US Federal reserve has already
reacted to that by putting up interest rates. That is why he has a
big fight with the rest of the Republican Party. He is nominally a
Republican but they are not Keynesian. They are when it comes to
tax cuts. They are when it hits the rich to benefit the poor. The big
thing is whether the infrastructure projects land him in crony trouble.
The transparency around who gets those will be extremely difficult.
Most of the infrastructure spending he thinks can be done by the private
sector and not the federal government. His tax cuts overlap the
Republican house tax cuts speaker Ryan to give not all, but a fair
chunk of what he wants. If the American economy is going to reflate
next year, interest rates will rise in America, that will strengthen the
dollar and it will mean that Europe will be, it will find it more
difficult to finance its sovereign debt because you will get more money
by investing in American sovereign debt. That is a good point because
the dynamics will shift. If that happens, Trump will be pretty
popular in the US. To begin with. To begin with. It is energy
self-sufficient and if you can pull off the biggest trick in American
politics which is somehow to via corporation tax cuts to allow the
reassuring of wealth, because it is too expensive for American business
to take back into the US and reinvest, if you combine all of
those things together, you will end up with a boom on a scale you have
not seen. It will be Reagan on steroids? What could possibly go
wrong? In the short term for Britain, it is probably not bad
news. Our biggest market for exports as a country is the United States.
Our biggest market for foreign direct investment is the United
States and the same is true vice versa for America in Britain. Given
the pound is now competitive and likely the dollar will get stronger,
it could well give a boost to the British economy? Could do bit you
have to be slightly cautious about the warm language we are getting
which is great news out of President Trump's future cabinet on doing a
trade deal early, we are net exporters to the US. We benefit far
more from trading with US than they do with us. I think we have to come
up with something to offer the US for them to jump into bed with us. I
think it is called two new aircraft carriers and modernising the fleet.
Bring it on. I will raise caution, people in declining industries in
some places in America, the rust belt who have faced big profound
structural challenges and those are much harder to reverse. They face
real problems now because the dollar is so strong. Their ability to
export has taken a huge hit out of Ohio, Michigan and Illinois. And the
Mexican imports into America is now dirt cheap so that is a major
problem. Next year we have elections in Austria, France, the Netherlands,
Germany, probably Italy. Which outcome will be the most dramatic
for Brexit? If Merkel lost it would be a huge surprise. That is
unlikely. And if it was not Filon in France that would be unlikely. The
consensus it it will be Francois Filon against Marine Le Pen and it
will be uniting around the far right candidate. In 2002, that is what
happened. Filon is a Thatcherite. Marine Le Pen's politics --
economics are hard left. Francois Filon is as much a cert to win as
Hillary Clinton was this time last year. If he is competing against
concerns about rising globalisation and his pitch is Thatcherite, it is
a bold, brave strategy in the context so we will see. It will keep
us busy next year, Tom? Almost as busy as this year but not quite.
This year was a record year. I am up in my hours!
That's all for today, thanks to all my guests.
The Daily Politics will be back on BBC Two at noon tomorrow.
I'll be back here on the 15th January.
Remember, if it's Sunday, it's the Sunday Politics.
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Andrew Neil is joined by Alexander Downer, Australian high commissioner to the United Kingdom, Stephen Dorrell, chair of the NHS Confederation, and John Sauven, executive director at Greenpeace. Richard Moss's guest is Robert Goodwill.
Helen Lewis of the New Statesman, Iain Martin of Reaction and Tom Newton Dunn of the Sun review the papers.