Andrew Neil and Richard Moss with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Guests include Gavin Barwell MP, Charles Grant and Henry Newman.
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It's Sunday morning, and this is the Sunday Politics.
Theresa May pledged to help people who are "just about managing",
and this week her government will announce new measures to boost
the number of affordable homes and improve conditions for renters.
After a US court suspends Donald Trump's travel ban and rules
it could be unconstitutional, one of the President's inner circle
tells me there is no "chaos", and that Donald Trump's White House
is making good on his campaign promises.
As the Government gets into gear for two years
of Brexit negotiations, we report on the haggling to come
over the UK's Brexit bill for leaving the European Union -
and the costs and savings once we've left.
And with me, as always, a trio of top political
journalists - Helen Lewis, Tom Newton Dunn
They'll be tweeting throughout the programme,
So, more anguish to come this week for the Labour party as the House
of Commons continues to debate the bill which paves the way
Last week, Labour split over the Article 50 bill,
with a fifth of Labour MPs defying Jeremy Corbyn to vote against.
Five shadow ministers resigned, and it's expected Mr Corbyn
will have to sack more frontbenchers once the bill is voted
Add to that the fact that the Labour Leader's close ally
Diane Abbot failed to turn up for the initial vote -
blaming illness - and things don't look too rosy
The Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry was asked
about the situation earlier on the Andrew Marr show.
The Labour Party is a national party and we represent the nation,
and the nation is divided on this, and it is very difficult.
Many MPs representing majority Remain constituencies have this very
difficult balancing act between - do I represent my constituency,
Labour, as a national party, have a clear view.
We fought to stay in Europe, but the public have spoken,
But the important thing now is not to give Theresa May a blank check,
we have to make sure we get the right deal for the country.
That was Emily Thornberry. Helen, is this like a form of Chinese water
torture for the Labour Party? And for journalists, to! We are in a
situation where no one really thinks it's working. A lot of authority has
drained away from Jeremy Corbyn but no one can do anything about it.
What we saw from the leadership contest is on the idea of a Blairite
plot to get rid of him. You are essentially stuck in stasis. The
only person that can remove Jeremy Corbyn is God or Jeremy Corbyn.
Authority may have moved from Mr Corbyn but it's not going anywhere
else, there's not an alternative centre of authority? Not quite, but
Clive Lewis is name emerging, the Shadow Business Secretary. A lot of
the Labour left, people like Paul Mason, really like him and would
like to see him in Corbyn. I think that's why Jeremy Corbyn do
something extraordinary next week and abstain from Article 50, the
main bill itself, to keep his Shadow Cabinet together. That clip on
Andrew Marr, point blank refusing to say if Labour will vote for Article
50. The only way Jeremy Corbyn can hold this mess together now is to
abstain, which would be catastrophic across Brexit constituencies in the
North. The problem with abstention is everyone will say on the issue of
our time, the official opposition hasn't got coherent or considered
policy? I love the way Emily Thornberry said the country is
divided and we represent the country, in other words we are
divided at the party as well. The other thing that was a crucial
moment this week is the debate over whether there should be a so-called
meaningful vote by MPs on the deal that Theresa May gets. That is a
point of real danger for Brexit supporters. It may well be there is
a coalition of Labour and SNP and Remain MPs, Tory MPs, who vote for
that so-called meaningful vote that could undermine Theresa May's
negotiation. So Theresa May could have had troubles as well, not plain
sailing for her? There is no point, apart from lonely Ken Clarke voting
against Article 50, no point in Tory remainders rebelling. It would have
been a token gesture with no support. But there might be
meaningful amendments. One might be on the status of EU nationals... The
government could lose that. There might be a majority for some of
those amendments. The ins and outs of the Labour Party, it fascinates
the Labour Party and journalists. I suspect the country has just moved
on and doesn't care. You are probably quite right. To be honest I
struggled to get Labour split stories in my paper any more, the
bar is so high to make it news. Where it does matter is now not
everyone will pay huge amounts to the -- of attention to the vote on
Wednesday. But come the general election in 2020, maybe a little
earlier, every Tory leaflet and every labour constituency will say
this guy, this goal, they refuse to vote for Brexit, do you want them in
power? That is going to be really hard for them. The story next week
may be Tory splits rather than just Labour ones, we will see.
Theresa May has made a big deal out of her commitment to help people
on middle incomes who are "just about managing", and early this week
we should get a good sense of what that means in practice -
when plans to bring down the cost of housing and protect renters
are published in the Government's new white paper.
Theresa May has promised she'll kick off Brexit negotiations with the EU
by the end of March, and after months of shadow-boxing
Ellie Price reports on the battle to come over the UK's Brexit bill,
and the likely costs and savings once we've left.
It was the figure that defined the EU referendum campaign.
It was also a figure that was fiercely disputed, but the promise -
vote leave and Britain won't have to pay into the EU are any more.
So, is that what's going to happen now?
The trouble with buses is you tend to have to wait for them
and when Theresa May triggers Article 50, the clock starts
She needs something quicker, something more sporty.
According to the most recent Treasury figures,
Britain's gross contribution to the EU, after the rebate
is taken into account, is about ?14 billion a year.
There are some complicating factors that means it can go up
or down year on year, but that's roughly how much the UK
will no longer sending to Brussels post-Brexit.
But, there are other payments that Britain will have to shell out for.
First and foremost, the so-called divorce settlement.
It is being said, and openly by Commissioner Barnier
and others in the Commission, that the total financial liability
as they see it might be in the order of 40-60 billion
The BBC understands the figure EU negotiators are likely
to settle on is far lower, around 34 billion euros,
but what does the money they are going to argue
Well, that's how much Britain owes for stuff in the EU budget that's
already signed up for until 2020, one year after we are
Historically, Britain pays 12% in contributions,
so the cost to the UK is likely to be between ten
Then they will look at the 200-250 billion euros of underfunded
spending commitments, the so-called RAL.
Britain could also be liable for around 5-7 billion euros
for its share in the pensions bill for EU staff, that's again
12% of an overall bill of 50-60 billion.
Finally there's a share of our assets held by the EU.
They include things like this building, the European Commission
Britain could argue it deserves a share back of around 18 billion
euros from a portfolio that's said to be worth 153 billion euros.
So, lots for the two sides to discuss in two years of talks.
They have a great opportunity with the Article 50 talks
because actually they can hold us to ransom.
They can say, "You figure out money, we will talk about your trade.
But until you've figured out the money, we won't," so I think
a lot of European states think they are in a very strong
negotiating position at the moment and they intend to make
The principle is clear, the days of Britain making vast
contributions to the European Union every year will end.
Theresa May has already indicated that she would want to sign back up
to a number of EU agencies on a program-by-program basis.
The Europol for example, that's the European crime
agency, or Erasmus Plus, which wants student exchanges.
If everything stays the same as it is now, it would cost the UK
675 million euros a year, based on analysis by
But there are likely to be agencies we don't choose to participate in.
If we only opted back to those dealing with security,
trade, universities and, say, climate change,
it could come with a price tag of 370 million euros per year.
Of course that's if our European neighbours allow us.
I wonder if they're going to let me in!
There will also be a cost to creating a new system to resolve
trade disputes with other nations once we are no longer part
Take the EFTA Court which rules on disputes
between the EU and Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein.
That costs 4 million euros to run each year,
though in the Brexit White Paper published this week,
the Government said it will not be constrained by precedent
Finally, would the EU get behind the idea of Britain making some
contribution for some preferential access to its market?
The sort of thing that Theresa May seems to be hinting
at are sectoral arrangements, some kind of partial membership
Switzerland, which has a far less wide-ranging deal than Norway,
pays about 320 million a year for what it gets into the EU budget,
but it's not exactly the Swiss deal that we're after.
The EU institutions hate the Swiss deal because it is codified
in a huge number of treaties that are messy, complicated
and cumbersome, and they really don't want to replicate
Theresa May has been at pains to insist she's in the driving seat
when it comes to these negotiations, and that she's
But with so much money up for discussion, it may not be such
Sadly she didn't get to keep the car!
And I've been joined to discuss the Brexit balance sheet
by the director of the Centre for European Reform, Charles Grant,
and by Henry Newman who runs the think tank Open Europe.
Henry Newman, these figures that are being thrown about in Brussels at
the moment, and exit bill of 40-60,000,000,000. What do you make
of them? I think it is an opening gambit from the institutions and we
should take them seriously. We listened to Mr Rogers, the former
ambassador to Brussels in the House of Commons last week, speaking about
the sort of positions the EU is likely to take in the negotiation. I
personally think the Prime Minister should be more concerned about
getting the right sort of trade arrangements, subsequent to our
departure, than worrying about the exact detail of the divorce
settlement and the Bill. They might not let them go on to trade until
they resolve this matter. Where does the Brexit bill, the cost of exit,
if there is to be one, in terms of a sum of money, where does that come
in the negotiations, upfront or at the end? The European Commission has
a firm line on this. You have to talk about the Brexit bill and the
divorce settlement before you talk about the future relationship.
Therefore they are saying if you don't sign up for 60 billion or
thereabouts, we won't talk about the future. Other member states take a
softer line than that and think you probably have to talk about the
divorce settlement and Brexit bill as the same -- at the same time as
the economic situation. If you can do both at the same time, the
atmosphere may be better natured. You have spoken to people in
Brussels and are part of a think tank, how Revista gives the figure
or is it an opening gambit? Most member states and EU institutions
believe they think it is the true figure but when the negotiations
start adding the number will come down. As long as the British are
prepared to sign up to the principle of we owe you a bit of money, as the
cheque, then people will compromise. What is the ballpark? You had a
figure of 34 billion, that is news to me, nobody knows because
negotiations haven't started but I think something lower than 60. Even
60 would be politically toxic for a British government? I think Theresa
May is in a strong position, she has united the Conservative Party. You
could expect coming into this year all the Conservative divisions would
be laid bare by Gina Miller. But she is leading a united party. Labour
Party are divided... Coogee get away with paying 30 billion? We should
give her the benefit of the doubt going into these negotiations, let
her keep her cards close to her chest. The speech he gave a few
weeks ago at Lancaster House, our judgment was she laid out as much
detail as we could have expected at that point. I don't think it's
helpful for us now to say, we shouldn't be introducing further red
line. I want you to be helpful and find things out. I would suggest if
there is a bill, let's say it's 30 billion, let's make it half of what
the current claims coming out of Brussels. And of course it won't
have to be paid in one year, I assume it's not one cheque but
spread over. But we will wait a long time for that 350 million a week or
what ever it was that was meant to come from Brussels to spend on the
NHS. That's not going to happen for the next five, six or seven years.
Everyone has been clear there will be a phased exit programme. The
question of whether something is political possible for her in terms
of the divorce settlement will depend on what she gets from the
European Union in those negotiations. If she ends up
settling for a bill of about 30 billion which I think would be
politically... No matter how popular she is, politically very difficult
for her, it does kill any idea there is a Brexit dividend for Britain.
Some of the senior officials in London and Brussels are worried this
issue could crash the talks because it may be possible for Theresa May
to accept a Brexit bill of 30 billion and if there is no deal and
will leave EU without a settlement, there is massive legal uncertainty.
What contract law applies? Can our planes take off from Heathrow?
Nobody knows what legal rights there are for an EU citizen living here
and vice versa. If there is no deal at the end of two years, it is quite
bad for the European economy, therefore they think they have all
the cards to play and they think if it is mishandled domestically in
Britain than we have a crash. But there will be competing interests in
Europe, the Baltic states, Eastern Europe, maybe quite similar of the
Nordic states, that in turn different from the French, Germans
or Italians. How will Europe come to a common view on these things? At
the moment they are quite united backing a strong line, except for
the polls and Hungarians who are the bad boys of Europe and the Irish who
will do anything to keep us happy. We should remember their priority is
not economics, they are not thinking how can they maximise trade with the
UK, they are under threat. The combination of Trump and Brexit
scares them. They want to keep the institutions strong. They also want
to keep Britain. That is the one strong card we have, contributing to
security. We know we won't be members of the single market, that
was in the White Paper. The situation of the customs union is
more complicated I would suggest. Does that have cost? If we can be a
little bit pregnant in the customs union, does that come with a price
ticket? We have got some clarity on the customs union, the Prime
Minister said we would not be part of the... We would be able to do our
own trade deals outside the EU customs union, and also not be part
of the common external tariff. She said she is willing to look at other
options and we don't know what that will be so as a think tank we are
looking at this over the next few weeks and coming up with
recommendations for the Government and looking at how existing
boundaries between the EU customs union and other states work in
practice. For example between Switzerland and the EU border,
Norway and Switzerland, and the UK and Canada. We will want is a
country the freedom to do our own free trade deals, that seems to be
quite high up there, and to change our external tariffs to the rest of
the world. If that's the case, we do seem to be wanting our cake and
eating it in the customs union. Talking to some people in London, it
is quite clear we are leaving the essentials of the customs union, the
tariff, so even if we can minimise controls at the border by having
mutual recognition agreements, so we recognise each other's standards,
but there will still have to be checks for things like rules of
origin and tariffs if tariffs apply, which is a problem for the Irish
because nobody has worked out how you can avoid having some sort of
customs control on the border between Northern Ireland and the
South once we are out of the customs union. I think it's important we
don't look at this too much as one side has to win and one side has to
lose scenario. We can find ways. My Broadview is what we get out of the
negotiation will depend on politics more than economic reality. Economic
reality is strong, there's a good case for a trade deal on the
solution on the customs deal, but Britain will need to come up with a
positive case for our relationship and keep making that case. If it
turns out the Government thinks the bill is too high, that we can't
really get the free trade deal done in time and it's left hanging in the
wind, what are the chances, how I as things stand now that we end up
crashing out? I'd say there's a 30% chance that we don't get the free
trade agreement at the end of it that Mrs May is aiming for. The very
hard crash is you don't even do an Article 50 divorce settlement from
you go straight to World Trade Organisation rules. The less hard
crash is doing the divorce settlement and transitional
arrangements would require European Court of Justice arrangements. We
will leave it there. Thank you, both.
Donald Trump's flagship policy of extreme vetting of immigrants
and a temporary travel ban for citizens of seven mainly-muslim
countries was stopped in its tracks this weekend.
On Friday a judge ruled the ban should be lifted and that it
That prompted President Trump to fire off a series of tweets
criticising what he says was a terrible decision
by a so-called judge, as he ordered the State Department
Now the federal appeals court has rejected his request to reinstate
the ban until it hears the case in full.
Well yesterday I spoke to Sebastian Gorka, Deputy Assistant
I asked him if the confusion over the travel ban
was a sign that the President's two-week-old administration
There is no chaos, you really shouldn't believe the spin, the
facts speak for themselves. 109 people on Saturday were mildly
inconvenienced by having their entry into the United States delayed out
of 325,000. So let's not get carried away with the left-wing media bias
and spin. Hold on, 60,000 - 90,000 people with visas, their visas are
no longer valid. That's another issue. You need to listen to what
I'm saying. The people who entered on the day of the executive order
being implemented worth 109 people out of 325. Whether people won't
travelling to America were affected is another matter, so there is no
chaos to comment on. Following Iran's latest missile tests,
National Security adviser Flint said the US was "Putting Iran on notice",
what does that mean? It means we have a new president and we are not
going to facilitate the rise of one of the most dangerous nations in the
world. We are jettisoning this naive and dangerous policy of the Obama
Administration to try and make the Shi'ite dictatorial democracy some
kind of counter balance to extremist Sunni groups in the region and that
they cannot continue to behave in the way they have behaved for the
last 30 years. It is a very simple message. So are there any
multilateral alliances that Mr Trump would like to strengthen?
Absolutely. If we are looking at the region, if you listen to what
President Trump has said and specifically to also the speeches of
general Flint, his national security adviser, we are incredibly vested in
seeing our Sunni allies in the region come together in a real
coalition. The so-called vaunted 66 nation coalition that was created
under the Obama administration... There was no coalition. But we want
to help our Sunni allies, especially the Egyptians, the Jordanians, come
together in a real partnership to take the fight to ISIS and groups
like Al-Qaeda. But there is not a formal multilateral alliance with
these countries. Which of the existing, formal multilateral
alliances does Mr Trump wants to strengthen? If you are specifically
talking about Nato, it is clear that we are committed to Nato but we wish
to see a more equitable burden sharing among the nations that are
simply not spending enough on their own defence so the gentleman 's
agreement of 2% of GDP has to be stuck to, unlike the, I think it's
only Six Nations that reach the standard today out of almost 30. So
he does want to strengthen Nato then? Absolutely, he believes Nato
is the most successful military alliances. You mustn't believe the
spin and hype. EU leaders now see the Trump administration as a threat
up there with Russia, China, terrorism. What's your response to
that? I have to laugh. The idea that the nation that came to the
salvation of Europe twice in the 20th century hummer in World War I
and World War II, was central to the defeat of the totalitarian... It is
not even worth commenting on. Would it matter to the Trump
administration if the European Union broke up? The United States is very
interested in the best relations possible with all the nations of the
EU am a whether the European union wishes to stay together or not is up
to the nations of the European Union. I understand that but I was
wondering what the US view would be. Until Mr Trump, EU foreign policy
was quite consistent in wanting to see the EU survive, prosper and even
become more integrated. Now that doesn't seem to be the case, so
would it matter to the Trump administration if the EU broke up? I
will say yet again, it is in the interests of the United States to
have the best relations possible with our European allies, and
whether that is in the formation of the EU or if the EU by itself
suffers some kind of internal issues, that's up to the European
nations and not something we will comment on. Listening to that
answer, it would seem as if this particular president's preference is
to deal with individual nation states rather than multilateral
institutions. Is that fair? I don't think so. There's never been an
unequivocal statement by that effect by the statement. Does he share the
opinion of Stephen Bannon that the 21st century should see a return to
nation states rather than growing existing multilateral ways? I think
it is fair to say that we have problems with political elites that
don't take the interests of the populations they represent into
account. That's why Brexit happened. I think that's why Mr Trump became
President Trump. This is the connected phenomena. You are
obsessing about institutions, it is not about institutions, it's about
the health of democracy and whether political elites do what is in the
interests of the people they represent. Given the
unpredictability of the new president, you never really know
what he's going to do next, would it be wise for the British Prime
Minister to hitch her wagon to his star? This is really churlish
questioning. Come on, you don't know what he's going to do next, listen
to what he says because he does what he's going to say. I know this may
be shocking to some reporters, but look at his campaign promises, and
the fact that in the last 15 days we have executed every single one that
we could in the time permissible so there is nothing unpredictable about
Donald Trump as president. OK then, if we do know what he's going to do
next, what is he going to do next? Continue to make good on his
election promises, to make America great again, to make the economy are
flourishing economy, and most important of all from your
perspective in the UK, to be the best friend possible to our friends
and the worst enemy to our enemies. It is an old Marine Corps phrase and
we tend to live by it. Thank you for your time, we will leave it there.
Doctor Gorka, making it clear this administration won't spend political
capital on trying to keep the European Union together, a watershed
change in American foreign policy. Theresa May has made a big deal out
of her commitment to help people on middle incomes who are "just
about managing", and early this week we should get a good sense
of what that means in practice - when plans to bring down the cost
of housing and protect renters are published in the Government's
new white paper. The paper is expected to introduce
new rules on building Communities Secretary Sajid Javid
has previously said politicians should not stand in the way
of development, provided all options Also rumoured are new measures
to speed up building the 1 million new homes the Government promised
to build by 2020, including imposing five-year quotas
on reluctant councils. Reports suggest there will be
relaxation of building height restrictions,
allowing home owners and developers to build to the height
of the tallest building on the block without needing to seek
planning permission. Other elements trialled include
new measures to stop developers sitting on parcels of land
without building homes, land banking, and moving railway
station car parks Underground, The Government today said it
will amend planning rules so more homes can be built specifically
to be rented out through longer term tenancies, to provide more stability
for young families, alongside its proposed ban
on letting agent fees. And the Housing Minister,
Gavin Barwell, joins me now. Welcome to the programme. Home
ownership is now beyond the reach of most young people. You are now
emphasising affordable homes for rent. Why have you given up on the
Tory dream of a property owning democracy? We haven't given up on
that. The decline on home ownership in this country started in 2004. So
far we have stopped that decline, we haven't reversed it but we
absolutely want to make sure that people who want to own and can do
so. The Prime Minister was very clear a country that works for
everyone. That means we have to have say something to say to those who
want to rent as well as on. Home ownership of young people is 35%,
used to be 60%. Are you telling me during the lifetime of this
government that is going to rise? We want to reverse the decline. We have
stabilised it. The decline started in 2004 under Labour. They weren't
bothered about it. We have taken action and that has stop the
decline... What about the rise? We have to make sure people work hard
the right thing have the chance to own their home on home. We have
helped people through help to buy, shared ownership, that is part of
it, but we have to have something to say to those who want to rent. You
say you want more rented homes so why did you introduce a 3%
additional stamp duty levied to pay those investing in build to rent
properties? That was basically to try and stop a lot of the
speculation in the buy to let market. The Bank of England raised
concerns about that. When you see the white paper, you will see there
is a package of measures for Bill to rent, trying to get institutional
investment for that, different to people going and buying a home on
the private market and renting out. You are trying to get institutional
money to comment, just as this government and subsequent ones
before said it would get pension fund money to invest in
infrastructure and it never happened. Why should this happen? Is
already starting to happen. If you go around the country you can see
some of these builder rent scheme is happening. There are changes in the
White Paper... How much money from institutions is going into bill to
rent modular hundreds of millions. I was at the stock exchange the other
day celebrating the launch of one of our bombs designed to get this money
on. There are schemes being... There is huge potential to expand it. We
need more homes and we are too dependent on a small number of large
developers. -- to launch one of our bonds. You talk about affordable
renting, what is affordable? Defined as something that is at least 20%
below the market price. It will vary around the country. Let me put it
another way. The average couple renting now have to spend 50% of
their income on rent. Is that affordable? That is exactly what
we're trying to do something about. Whether you're trying to buy or
rent, housing in this country has become less and less affordable
because the 30-40 years governments haven't built in times. This white
Paper is trying to do something about that. You have been in power
six, almost seven years. That's right. Why are ownership of new
homes to 24 year low? It was a low figure because it's a new five-year
programme. That is not a great excuse. It's not an excuse at all.
The way these things work, you have a five-year programme and in the
last year you have a record number of delivery and when you start a new
programme, a lower level. If you look at the average over six years,
this government has built more affordable housing than the previous
one. Stiletto 24 year loss, that is an embarrassment. Yes. We have the
figures, last year was 32,000, the year before 60 6000. You get this
cliff edge effect. It is embarrassing and we want to stop it
happening in the future. You want to give tenants more secure and longer
leases which rent rises are predictable in advance. Ed Miliband
promoted three-year tenancies in the 2015 general election campaign and
George Osborne said it was totally economically illiterate. What's
changed? You are merging control of the rents people in charge, which
we're not imposing. We want longer term tenancies. Most people have
six-month tenancies... Within that there would be a control on how much
the rent could go up? Right? It would be set for the period of the
tenancies. That's what I just said, that's what Ed Miliband proposed. Ed
Miliband proposed regulating it for the whole sector. One of the reasons
institutional investment is so attractive, if you had a spare home
and you want to rent out, you might need it any year, so you give it a
short tenancy. If you have a block, they are interested in a long-term
return and give families more security. You have set a target,
your government, to build in the life of this parliament 1 million
new homes in England by 2020. You're not going to make that? I think we
are. If you look at 2015-16 we had 190,000 additional homes of this
country. Just below the level we need to achieve. Over five...
2015-16. You were probably looking at the new homes built. Talking
about completions in England. That is not the best measure, with
respect. You said you will complete 1 million homes by 2020 so what is
wrong with it? We use a national statistic which looks at new homes
built and conversions and changes of use minus demolitions. The total
change of the housing stock over that year. On that basis I have the
figures here. I have the figures. You looking I just completed. 1
million new homes, the average rate of those built in the last three
quarters was 30 6000. You have 14 more quarters to get to the 1
million. You have to raise that to 50 6000. I put it to you, you won't
do it. You're not looking at the full picture of new housing in this
country. You're looking at brand-new homes and not including conversions
or changes of use are not taking off, which we should, demolitions.
If you look at the National statistic net additions, in 2015-16,
100 and 90,000 new homes. We are behind schedule. -- 190,000. I am
confident with the measures in the White Paper we can achieve that. It
is not just about the national total, we need to build these homes
are the right places. Will the green belt remain sacrosanct after the
white paper? Not proposing to change the existing protections that there
for green belts. What planning policy says is councils can remove
land from green belts but only in exceptional circumstances and should
look at at all the circumstances before doing that. No change? No. We
have a manifesto commitment. You still think you will get 1 million
homes? The green belt is only 15%. This idea we can only fix our broken
housing market by taking huge swathes of land out of the green
belt is not true. We will leave it there, thank you for joining us,
Gavin Barwell. It is coming up to 11.40.
We say goodbye to viewers in Scotland, who leave us now
Coming up here in 20 minutes, the Week Ahead...
A Labour and Conservative MP join forces to try
and save their local hospital services - but they don't agree
With me to discuss the NHS, the Copeland by-election and that
Brexit vote in Parliament - are my guests - the Labour MP
for Houghton and Sunderland South, Bridget Phillipson.
And the Conservative MP for Hexham, Guy Opperman.
But let's kick off with Donald Trump.
There's been protests across the North East this week over
And 150 MPs think the President should be barred from addressing
Parliament when he arrives here on his state visit.
Bridget Phillipson, I didn't see your name on that Commons motion
asking for the president to be barred from Parliament.
I find Donald Trump's politics pretty offensive and what he has
done in the last few weeks are borrowed, but we don't always
get to choose who we work with and the American people have
chosen to elect Donald Trump as their president.
So I am sure that should the visit go ahead, that British people
will make their views known in their usual traditions.
That is not a matter for MPs to decide.
I can't say I will be dashing along to listen to him,
but these are matters in the hands of the government and rest
Guy Opperman, is President Trump a man deserving of that honour?
We always invite every US president to come and make
That is their decision whether they wish to do so.
But my point is that it is democracy.
This man was elected by the American people.
We need to work with him and move forward with America who is one
A state visit so soon is pretty unusual, I would say that.
It's one thing for him to come and visit the UK,
You don't need to like him, but you have to work with him.
OK. Some agreement, perhaps.
The battle lines between the parties over the health
Labour says the NHS is in crisis due to underfunding.
The Government say more money is being put into
So it's unusual, to say the least, when a Labour and a Conservative MP
join forces to try and save services which they say are under
It is usually a vicious battleground between Labour
and Conservatives but in our region, the NHS has brought two
And it matters hugely to everybody who lives in Darlington and beyond,
that we keep our hospital the way it is.
We don't want to see a downgrade of our A E,
we don't want to lose our consultant-led maternity unit.
If we were to lose certain services at Darlington Hospital,
some of my constituents would be faced with a 120-mile
round trip to get to the next available hospital.
North Tees and Stockton faces the same threat whilst James Cook
in Middlesbrough would be enhanced, providing round-the-clock
The Tees, County Durham and North Yorkshire NHS area
is projected to be ?281 million over budget by 2021.
The clinicians say the proposals are not about cutting costs.
Even if patients travel past the local hospital to get
to the specialist centre, where there are specialists
from multiple sites, the outcomes are improved.
There is a 30% reduction in mortality with that change
If we change services and provide better outcomes,
we can actually do it with less cost.
This weekend, people from across the region marched
Campaigners feel these plans are not being fully explained.
I don't think they have been clear with people.
It is absolutely disingenuous beyond belief to say that there
Ask anyone who has been to them who is a member of the public.
It is difficult because we have got to try and be open and honest
and describe what the issues are, we have also got to listen
to the public with real concerns that you have already described
and use their feedback to influence and modify
So the clinicians who drew up these hospital plans insist
they are about improving care but a near ?300 million black hole
We know it is underfunded, we know it has been mismanaged.
We know the government wasted ?3 billion reorganising the NHS
in the last Parliament that wasn't needed, hasn't worked,
hasn't given any single benefit whatsoever to patients.
We have seen that there are 10,000 more doctors,
10,000 more nurses in the NHS than there were five years ago.
So this is not just about money, this is about the design
So even when Labour and Conservative MPs can find a common
cause in the NHS locally, cross-party harmony on the issue
Guy Opperman, members of the public we saw there looking at this as NHS
Services they value being potentially lost.
What is your view of the plans and what is driving them?
I think you need to listen to the doctor who you had on your clip.
The doctor was saying this is about a clinical need
and is about making sure that the services work
I owe my life repeatedly as a patient to the NHS.
I have seen the difference it makes when you have local decision-making.
You have local clinicians making local decisions.
And the reason you have got the two MPs involved
is that they are representing their local community.
And that local community is being engaged in a process
which sees the best possible delivery of local food services.
But we have a Conservative MP opposing these plans because it is
Because there are hundreds of millions of pounds trying to be
saved in this process. You are getting it wrong.
What he is doing is that he is quite rightly standing up for his local
As are repeated MPs up and down the country.
That is making the case for how it is...
But if it is about making patients safer, what is he objecting to it?
No, he's merely saying that that particular hospital is the one
that he prefers to have those particular services rather
than any other hospital. Right, OK.
Bridget Philipson, Labour MPs want to make a with this.
-- Labour MPs want to make hay with this.
But it is not a cuts operation, it is about trying to look
at what is best for making sure that patients are safe.
There are savings to be made, that is natural, isn't it?
I think there is always a balance to strike in making sure that
you have services that are accessible to local people
But let's be clear about why these decisions are being taken.
It is because the NHS is facing an unprecedented funding crisis.
The chief executive of the NHS has been very clear that the NHS is not
getting the money it needs and the amount of funding per head
of population will be spent on each person within the NHS
Whatever the NHS say about giving the NHS the money it needs.
They are not. It is set to fall.
I will he bring you back in a second, Guy.
The point is, if you listen to Labour, no service
would ever be altered, no saving would ever be made,
everything would be kept as it is. And that is just not realistic.
Your party wasn't pledging to do that at the last election.
I think it is right that MPs represent the views
of their constituents and as we saw in that piece, local campaigners
in Darlington and other parts of the North East such as Tyneside
have got real concerns about this process and don't feel
But I think we need to be really clear about where the responsibility
It is it is with the Tory government in Westminster,
I think that sums up the labour position.
The whole point about this, this is a local decision, all right?
The reason it it is because the NHS themselves and wrote
the five-year forward view. They created this.
The government has given them more money.
Not as much as they said they wanted.
Then they have been in a position that there was a local consultation.
I just think that you need to compare the situation here.
We are engaging with the best way to provide the best
Would you accept, though, that at the moment,
they are not taking the public, the patients with them on this?
I think they are. Are they?
The whole process, the discussion that we are having, the local MP
Marches on the street, taking patients with them?
But the bottom line is this, there should be vociferous
and robust engagement with this process.
That is what we are doing, that is why beyond your programme,
-- that is why we are on your programme,
Bridget Philipson, they have been events which the public
have been invited to. Plans have been published.
Councils are getting to look at them.
Any individual changes, such as removing A E or maternity
would have to be consulted on the game.
I don't think people feel there has been.
But as I say, this is part of a much bigger picture
I think people will tell you they see it with their own eyes.
They know they are waiting longer and longer in A E.
They can't get appointments to see their GP.
Isn't some of this about tackling that?
Looking sensibly about what services you provide where and what is
It's right that would take action on things like health
inequality in the North East, that we make sure that patients get
We all want to be sure that when our loved ones
This is what this is about, isn't it?
The whole point is, this is what we are trying to do.
..to get the best possible care they need.
But this should not be about cost pressures,
this shouldn't be just about saving money.
The NHS, the Chief Executive and the Public Accounts Committee
of which I'm a member, have been very clear the NHS is not
getting the money it needs and funding per head is set to fall.
The NHS budget is going up, even you accept that?
I don't want to have an argument about figures.
In real terms, from 2018, your Minister...
I want to put one last question to Guy Opperman, which is,
shouldn't you be braver about this and say, putting more and more
money in isn't working, we need to do something different?
No, I think what we are doing is we have put more money in.
You then have to make a decision, local people, which is what this is,
But is never going to be enough and you will have
No, what you have is you have local doctors and local clinicians
making those decisions. Why?
Because the local people know best. All right.
We will see what happens with those plans as they continue.
It started as an embarrassment for the Government -
forced by the courts to hold a vote on Brexit that it didn't
But the week ended with Labour yet again in disarray after more
than 50 of its MPs - including two in our region -
defied a three-line whip imposed by Jeremy Corbyn.
Its historic landmarks are testament to our past.
But after parliament set the clock ticking on Brexit,
public and politicians are looking to the future.
For many of the region's MPs, the decision on Article
Most of them campaigned to remain in the EU but found themselves
But here in the university city of Durham, referendum opinion
The local MP says the constituency chose to stay in,
I really felt it was important for me as a member of Parliament not
to ignore the national vote whilst at the same time trying to recognise
And I felt it was very much being in between a rock and a hard
place and I thought the best face to be was abstaining.
Among local voters, differences about how MPs should respond.
They asked for the referendum, they got the answer,
At the end of the day, it was only a referendum
and it was very close and there is the argument
that it isn't really enough evidence for us to leave.
While a majority of Labour's benches join Conservatives in backing
Article 50 legislation, York's Rachel Maskell left
While a Newcastle MP also defied a leader to oppose the bill.
I voted against triggering Article 50 at this stage it
until the government tell us what their plan is and what they
are going to do to make sure our jobs and our industries
Most of the region's Labour MPs did vote for the bill
52% voted to leave the European Union, but they did not
They did not vote to leave the customs union.
There is a mandate for Britain's exit from the EU, but there is no
mandate for the manner in which we leave.
That is by the government must come to this house to inform Parliament
of its progress throughout the negotiations and we must be
For Teesside's James Wharton, extra reasons for satisfaction.
The Conservative MP introduced a private members bill
It is now very important that the government and the party,
that everyone works together, not just to make this as excess
but to respect the very clear message that the people
But the fight is still being fought in parties as well as Parliament.
This Tyneside Labour member and one-time Jeremy Corbyn
supporter, helped organise an open letter to his leader, demanding
Over 60% or 65% of the party actually voted to remain.
The majority still want us to remain.
So we need to become more clear and less confusing our message.
The UK in the saddle and setting off in a new direction.
But the battle over where that takes us is only just beginning.
Bridget Philipson, you did vote for the bill, to trigger Article 50.
But I suspect there are members of your local party who would have
I think on issues like this, you have to weigh up
what your constituents want, what you feel is in their best
interest, and the national interest but also with your conscience.
And I have been clear since the referendum that the people
of Sunderland and the people of Britain voted to leave
That was not a decision that I wanted.
I campaigned very strongly for remain.
Would you accept that your party is in a bit of a tangle,
with losing Shadow Cabinet members, people forcing the resignation
I do have real sympathy for colleagues, particularly those
strongly for remain that they feel that they want
And their constituents are telling them they don't want Britain
to leave the European Union, they still don't.
Was it a mistake to have the three line whip and force MPs
No, I don't think it's a mistake to have a whip on such an important
issue but I understand why some colleagues, especially
those in areas that took a different view to my own,
felt that they didn't want to support that.
But this is just the start of a process.
That is not to say we will accept everything the government put to us.
There must be robust debate in the Commons about the form
that this will take and we must do everything possible to protect
jobs and to protect industry in the North East.
Guy Opperman, if Labour MPs like Rachel Maskell
and Catherine McKinnell honestly think that this will damage
the prospect of their constituents, did they have every right to say,
You don't get to choose which bit of democracy
You either accept a democratic result, or you don't.
We do that with general elections, we do that with parish
council elections, we do it with referendums.
I think it is naive to then say, well, I didn't like the result,
it is entirely right that we look forward.
The country has given us the direction, we must make the best
of it and we will make a success of it.
Once they pushed into this by the type of Brexit your
government and Theresa May is pursuing, which is prioritising
immigration over the economy and those MPs say, well
if it is going to damage the prospects of my constituents,
The country has decided, we are going to make
They did not necessarily decide on the kind of Brexit
that the government put out an White Paper.
The White Paper has now been published.
I think there is a huge about a detail in there
and you have a position where we need to make a success
of this but I certainly am going to forge a head with this.
Is there anything to be concerned about in terms of jobs
and the economy if the government in the White Paper says it
will pursue the freest trade deal possible,
something which already reassured as a few weeks ago, Nissan.
I think there is still a lot to press the government on.
We haven't had a great deal of detail.
It has taken the government to come kicking and screaming
to publish this White Paper, which doesn't necessarily
tell us a great deal that we didn't know already.
I think it is really important that we remain
with the maximum possible access, tariff-free, to the single market,
that we stay in the customs union and we protect workers' rights
And I will resist anything that puts that at risk and put jobs at risk.
Guy Opperman, briefly, Nissan is going to look at this.
You have no reassurance for businesses that this
is going to be great because you have a wish
list without knowing whether you will achieve it.
Well, clearly, the country has made a decision and we have got
You can see that Nissan has very much endorsed the approach so far
and I genuinely believe that we can sort this out.
We will see what happens, because we will be
Now, nominations have closed for the by-election in Copeland.
And Sunderland's bid to be City of Culture was the talking
Here's those stories - and the rest of the week's
Labour's deputy leader, Tom Watson, was on the campaign
He told nuclear workers the party was committed to the industry,
despite Jeremy Corbyn's personal opposition to nuclear power.
Say it loud, saying it clear, refugees are welcome here!
Thousands of people gathered at Grey's Monument in Newcastle
to protest against US President Donald Trump's
A reception is being held at Westminster to promote
Sunderland's bid to be City of Culture in 2021.
MP Julie Elliott said it was all about harnessing the city's energy.
It's a brilliant place and we have got lots to offer
And also, getting people to meet people, to have
The opportunities we have got, and the things we have already got.
And finally, a 12-bed ward at Rothbury Community Hospital
Northumberland's clinical commissioning group will now carry
Bridget Phillipson, a couple of issues in there.
I'm guessing some of your constituents might think there may
be more important things for Sunderland to concentrate
on than spending time of resources on what some might criticise
I think you might get a few complaints about that
but I would say it will be fantastic for Sunderland to get this.
I think even going through the process of bidding really races
There is a lot happening and this would bring further jobs
and investment and really draw people into the city.
And given that the North East has never had a successful bid,
I think it is something that people across the Northeast can get behind.
And even if you don't win, it is worth doing?
Even though cities that are not successful, and I think Sunderland
has a really strong case, even though that bid for it,
-- even those cities that bid for it,
We have got a lot happening and this will bring further investment.
Guy Opperman, is Sunderland right to go for this?
Of course they are. End of story.
They should go for these things. You support it?
Anything good for the North East, I support.
This is something good for the North East,
we should get behind it, including you, Richard!
Now, Guy Opperman, you spent a lot of time in Copeland...
I have, I have been a times to Copeland.
All the bookies are making you favourites.
Obviously, I never bet on these things, but should
I think people should meet Trudy Harrison,
our wonderful candidate, born in Seascale, lives in Bootle...
We will not will get a chance to do that, so...
Are you going to win? I think we have was a great chance.
We have got a great candidate in Trudy and secondly,
Jeremy Corbyn and his north London antinuclear
I have to say that he has he has said this week that he does support
Suddenly he has had a volte-face and changed his mind.
You and I know he has repeatedly said he wants to decommission
all nuclear power stations including Sellafield.
I'm sure Jeremy Corbyn would not say he is anti-jobs!
Well, he's certainly anti-jobs at Sellafield,
Bridget Phillipson, win or lose, it's not great
when you are opposition and you are having to fight tooth
and nail to hold on to a seat that could be won by the government?
And we all know what happened after that.
By-elections are always tough and we are campaigning really hard.
Whatever Guy says, the Labour Party's position is really clear.
la candidate has made her views clear, we are behind the nuclear
position. -- our candidate. I look forward to joining her. It's not
good about being in a position to lose. By-elections are not always a
good indicator. In 1995, will stay by-election and then in 19 seven, or
we had a Labour government. You are accepting you are going to lose! I'm
making the point that... If Labour loses Copeland and Stowe, were very
questions for Jeremy Corbyn? The important thing in Copeland and
instead give that we are making the case about jobs... If you lose, is
Jeremy Corbyn safe? I will not get into a discussion about what might
or might not happen? This is a referendum about Jeremy Corbyn. I'm
joining this campaign and any speculation about what Orwell will
not happen is pie in the sky. Thank you very much.
Well, seven candidates are standing in the Copeland by-election
There's a full list of them all on the BBC website.
And next Sunday, we've a special programme focusing
For now it's back to Andrew for the rest of the show.
programme at another time an airport expansion, but thank you to both of
you for being here. Back to you, Andrew.
Will the Government's plan to boost house-building
Could a handful of Conservative MPs cause problems for
And what is President Trump going to do next?
You have been following the genesis of this housing white paper. What do
you make of it? I think it will be quite spectacular, pretty radical
stuff. We heard bits about beating up on developers. I understand it
will be a whack, walk, covering every single problem with housing
supply and trying to solve it. Which means bad news if you are a huge fan
of the green belt, because they will go round that the other way by
forcing large quotas on councils are making it down to councils where
they build. If you fill up your brown space in towns they will have
to trigger the exceptional circumstances bit of the bill to
beat on green belts. Beating up developers, opening up the market
for renters across the board. And Theresa May, one of the most
defining thing she could do on the domestic agenda. I am not as excited
as Tom about this. I look back to 2004, do you remember the Kate
Barker report? Successive governments, successive prime
ministers have been promising to address the housing shortage. In
2004 Kate Barker recommended hundreds of thousands new homes.
Gordon Brown talked about 3 million new homes by 2020 in 2007. It never
happens. The reason is at the end of the day this is local politics,
local councillors need to keep their seats and they won't keep their
seats if there are hugely controversial developments locally
that they support. Yes, the government can and are proposing to
overrule councils that don't back local developments, but they may
find themselves completely inundated with those cases. I think that is
the whole point of it, to take on those NIMBY often Tory councils and
force them to build. I can't think of a better defining issue for
Theresa May than sticking one in the eye of some quite well off half Tory
countryside councils. The government gives councils a quota of homes they
have to fill, if they don't have to fill that all run out overland to
fill the quota, the government then comes in and tells them they have to
built on the green belt? How is that going to work? At the moment the
green belt is absolutely sacrosanct in British politics. They'll have to
do some work on educating people on what green belts means. Potato
farms, golf courses... At the moment the idea people have of the green
belt being verdant fields needs to be dismantled. You are right. I
agree with Tom, 11 million people in the private rental sector in the UK.
In the last election more voted Labour than conservative. This is an
area where Theresa May would look to expand her vote. The problem has
always been, the same problem we have with pension policy and why
pensioners have done better than working families in recent years.
They are older and they vote more and anything to the detriment of
older people. I wonder how they will get private money to come in on
anything like this go they would need to have a huge expansion? There
is a huge amount of speculation and one of the thing that locks up the
system as you have people buying land, taking out a stake of land in
the hope that one point it may at some point free up. At the end of
the day, unless you have councils far more willing to quickly fast
track these applications, which they won't for the reason I said before,
it's a very long-term investment. Ed Miliband proposed three-year leases
in which the rent could only go up by an agreed formula, probably the
three years to give the young families a certain stability over
that period. He had a use it or lose it rules for planning development,
if you don't use it you lose the planning rights. Somebody else gets
it. The Tories disparaged that at the time. This is at the centre of
their policy now. This is probably item number four of
Ed Miliband's policy book Theresa May has wholesale pinched in the
last six months or so. Why not? I think if you look at the change in
mood across housing and planning over the last 5-6 years, it used to
be an issue very much of green belt versus London planners. Now you have
grandparents living in houses in the countryside, knowing their
grandchildren can't get on the housing ladder any longer. Maybe a
bit more intervention in the market, tougher on renting conditions, maybe
that is exactly what the country needs. Will they meet the 1 million
target? It would be a defiance of every political thing that has
happened in the last ten years. I think Tom is right, if there is only
one difference between Theresa May and David Cameron it's the
willingness of the state to intervene. When Ed Miliband said
that he was seen as communism, but Theresa May can get away with it.
How serious is this talk of a couple of dozen Tories who were very loyal
over voting for the principle of Article 50 but may now be tempted to
vote for some amendments to Article 50 legislation that they would find
quite attractive? I think that threat has certainly been taken
seriously by levers. I spoke to the campaign group Leaves Means Leave
last night. The figure they mentioned was up to 20 remaining
Tories. That sounds a lot to me but that is what they are concerned
about and those Tories would come together with Labour and the SNP to
vote for that amendment. Although that amendment sounds rather nice
and democratic, actually in the eyes of many levers that is a wrecking
amendment. Because what you are doing is giving Parliament a sort of
veto over whatever deal Theresa May brings back. What they want is the
vote to be before that deal is finalised. It isn't necessarily the
case that if Parliament decided they didn't like that deal we would just
go to WTO, we would fall out of the European Union. There are mixed
views as to whether we might remain in and things could be extended. My
understanding is the people making the amendments, they won any deal
that is done to be brought to Parliament in time, so that if
Parliament fancies it it's done, but if it does and it doesn't just mean
go to WTO rules. There will be time to go back, renegotiate or think
again? The question is where it puts Britain's negotiating hand. Nine of
the options... Once we trigger Article 50 the two negotiation
begins on the power switches to Europe. They can run out the clock
and it will be worse for us than them. I don't think either option is
particularly appealing. I think what seems like a rather Serena week for
Article 50 this week isn't going to be reflective of what will happen
next. The way the government's position is at the moment, if at the
end the only choice Parliament has is to vote for the deal or crash out
on WTO rules, then even the remainder is going to vote for the
deal even if they don't like it, because they would regard crashing
out as the worst of all possible results. Possibly. It will be a
great game of bluff if Theresa May fights off any of these amendments
on Wednesday and gets a straightforward deal or no Deal
vote. I have a funny feeling this amendment, if it's chosen, we must
remember because we don't know if they will choose this amendment, if
it does go to a vote on Wednesday it will be very tight indeed. Remember,
one final thing Theresa May can do if she gets Parliament voting
against, as Isabel would have it, she could try to get a new
parliament and go for a general election. And probably get a huge
majority to do so. The Lords, it goes there after the February
recess. They are very pro-Europe, but does their instinct for
self-preservation override that? I think that is it. A Tory Lord said
this morning I will vote to block it on a conscience measure, but you
have the likes of Bill Cash, veteran Eurosceptics, suddenly converted to
the Lords reform saying is an outrage. I doubt they will vote for
their own demise, to hasten their own demise by blocking it. What did
you make of Doctor Gorka smart fascinating. Cut from the same cloth
as his boss. I thought it was extraordinary listening to him,
saying everything is going dutifully to plan. But at the end of the day,
what they are doing is what people in America voted for Trump to do. If
you look at Lord Ashcroft's polling on why America voted for Trump, they
went into this with their eyes wide open. One of the top fears among
American voters, particularly Republican leading ones was
America's immigration policy is or could be letting in terror arrests.
As far as he is concerned, he is doing what he was elected to do.
This whole year is turning into a wonderful year long lecture series
on how democracy works at a fundamental level. I'm not sure
anyone wanted it but it's what we've got. This same in the way we've been
talking about direct democracy and Parliamentary democracy. The same is
happening in America between executive and judicial branches. We
are seeing the limits of presidential power. Regardless of
the fact that people voted for Trump they voted for senators. The judge
who blocks this was appointed by George W Bush. So-called Judge
Eckert Mac so-called George W Bush! It's fascinating we're having all
these conversations now that I never bought five years ago we would be
having at such a fundamental level. Has the media yet worked out how to
cover the Trump administration or has he got us behaving like headless
chickens? He says something incendiary and we all run over to do
that and when you pick it off it turns out not to be as incendiary as
we thought? And then back doing something and we all rush over
there. Is he making fools of us? Is exactly what he did in the election
campaign. So many quick and fast outrageous comments frontrunner on a
daily basis, no one single one of them had full news cycle time to be
pored over and examined. I think there is a problem with this.
Although he keeps the upper hand, keeps the agenda and keeps on the
populist ground, the problem is it easy to campaign like that. If you
are governing in a state of semi-hysteria, I wonder how long the
American public will be comfortable with that. They don't really want
their government to be swirling chaos all the time, as fascinating
as it might be on TV. They will be exhausted by it, I already am. I
have been interviewing White House administration official since 1976
and that is the first time someone hasn't given me a straight answer on
America supporting the EU. That is a different world.
Jo Coburn will be on BBC Two tomorrow at midday with
the Daily Politics - and I'll be back here
Remember, if it's Sunday - it's the Sunday Politics.
TV: He's not your father. WOMAN GASPS
so why not pay your TV licence in weekly instalments, too?
Andrew Neil and Richard Moss with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Andrew is joined by housing minister Gavin Barwell MP who talks about the government's plan to increase housebuilding in England and protect people who rent their homes. Plus Charles Grant from the Centre for European Reform and Henry Newman from Open Europe. Donald Trump adviser Sebastian Gorka discusses President Trump's first two weeks in the White House and Ellie Price reports on the negotiations to come with the EU over Brexit. On the political panel are The New Statesman's Helen Lewis and journalists Isabel Oakeshott and Steve Richards.