Andrew Neil and Richard Moss with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Andrew is joined by head of NHS Providers Chris Hopson, Nick Clegg MP and Andrew Gwynne MP.
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It's Sunday morning and this is the Sunday Politics.
She faces huge political fights over Brexit, Scottish independence,
After a tumultuous political week, we'll analyse the PM's prospects.
With chatter increasing about a possible early General Election,
Jeremy Corbyn's campaign chief joins me live.
NHS bosses warn health services in England are facing "mission
impossible" and waiting times for operations will rocket,
unless hospitals are given more cash this year.
The chief executive of NHS Providers joins me live.
Here, border reaction from Berwick to the possibility of
And what is the future for the tens of thousands of
Europeans living and working in the Northeast?
All that to come before 12:15pm, and I'll also be talking
to the former leader of the Liberal Democrats Nick Clegg
from his party's spring conference in York.
With me here in the studio, throughout the programme,
three of the country's top political commentators:
Tom Newton Dunn, Isabel Oakeshott and Steve Richards.
They'll be tweeting their thoughts using #bbcsp.
So, the political challenges facing Theresa May are stacking up.
As well as negotiating Britain's exit from the EU,
the PM must now deal with SNP demands for a second referendum
on Scottish independence, backbenchers agitating against cuts
to school budgets, and a humiliated Chancellor forced to u-turn on a key
budget measure just one week after announcing it.
Here's Adam Fleming on aturbulent political week
Monday, 11:30am, TV crews gather in the residence of the First
Minister of Scotland, who's got a surprise.
She wants a vote on whether Scotland should leave the UK
By taking the steps I have set out today I am ensuring that Scotland's
future will be decided, not just by me, the
Scottish Government, or the
SNP, it will be decided by the people of Scotland.
Westminster, 6:25pm the same day, MPs reject
amendments to the legislation authorising the Prime Minister to
The Bill ceremonially heads to the Lords where peers abandoned
attempts to change it and it becomes law.
But Downing Street doesn't trigger Article 50 as many had expected.
Some say they were spooked by Nicola Sturgeon.
We get an e-mail from the Treasury can the
We get an e-mail from the Treasury cancelling
the planned rise in National Insurance for
the self-employed announced the budget.
It's just minutes before Prime Minister's Questions at noon.
The trend towards greater self-employment does create a
We will bring forward further proposals
but we will not bring forward increases to NICs later in this
It seems to me like a government in a bit of chaos here.
By making this change today we are listening to our colleagues
fulfil both the letter and the spirit of our manifesto tax
Thursday, 7am, Conservative campaign HQ and the
Electoral Commission fines the party ?70,000 for misreporting spending
But that's not what the Prime Minister
Because at 12:19pm she gives her verdict on a
We should be working together, not pulling apart.
We should be working together to get that
right deal for Scotland, that
So, as I say, that's my job as Prime Minister and
so for that reason I say to the SNP now is not the time.
Friday and time for the faithful to gather.
SNP activists at their spring conference
Conservatives in Cardiff to hear the Prime Minister
promote her plan for a more meritocratic Brexit Britain.
At 11:10am comes some news about a newspaper that's frankly
I'm thrilled and excited to be the new editor of The
Evening Standard and, you know, with so many
big issues in our world what
good analysis, great news journalism.
It's a really important time for good journalism that The
Evening Standard is going to provide.
There was no let-up yesterday as Gordon Brown launched proposals
Under my proposals we keep the Barnett
Formula, we keep the fiscal transfers, but we also bring the
and fisheries back to the Scottish Parliament.
And just think, all this and we're still counting down to the
What a week in politics. It has been a torrid week for the government,
Isabel Oakeshott, but does Theresa May shake it off, or is this a sign
of worse to come? We may all be feeling a bit breathless after the
events of last week and we are in for a a long war of attrition with
the SNP, Nicola Sturgeon's strategy will be to foster over lengthy
periods of time as much resentment and anger as she can in Scotland and
try to create the impression that independence is somehow inevitable.
Is Scotland the biggest challenge for Theresa May in the next year or
so? I think it probably is because if you look at how relatively easily
the Brexit bill went through on an issue where people could hardly feel
more passionate in the Commons, and actually despite all the potential
drama it has gone through quite smoothly. To go back to your
original question, she just carries on. Don't underestimate the basic
quiet and will towards Theresa May amongst the majority of Tory
backbenchers. Yes, there are difficult little issues over school
funding, sorry, it's not a little issue, it is a big one but she will
get over that and treat each thing as it comes and keep pressing on.
Has she not called Nicola Sturgeon's Bluff in that the First Minister
said I want a referendum, here is roughly when I wanted, the Prime
Minister says you're not having one. What happens next? She has done
quite well and impact the progress Theresa May made this week in
frustrating Nicola Sturgeon was evident when Nicola Sturgeon said,
OK, maybe we can talk about the timing after. Nicola Sturgeon has
already been the first one to blink. I would slightly disagree with
Isabel Oakeshott, I don't agree Scotland will be the biggest hurdle
for her. What this week showed as is Theresa May... It was a reality
bites week. Theresa May is juggling four mammoth crises at the same
time, Brexit obviously which I still think will be the biggest challenge
to get a good deal, Trump left field who popped up at GCHQ on Friday and
Scotland and the fiscal challenge, this enormous great problem, and it
reinforced the point this is not an easy time in politics. The budget is
over four years. That was one small problem, the immediate problem is
how to fill the social care crisis and the ageing demographic. This is
not normal times in British politics and Theresa May does not have a
normal workload on her plate, hence why I think we will see more
mistakes made as time goes on and as she has this almost impossible
workload to juggle. How tempted do you think the Prime Minister is to
call an early election? There is more chatter about it now. Is she
tempted and if there is will she succumb? I will answer that in a
second as Harold Wilson used to say. I want to agree, disagree with the
rest of the panel about how she has out manipulated Nicola Sturgeon this
week. I think Nicola Sturgeon expected Theresa May to say no to
her expected timetable. It would be amazing if she had said yes. She
expected her to say no but Sturgeon catalyst that will fuel support for
her cause. There is no sign of that. The latest poll this morning shows
66-44 against independence and only 13% think they would be better off
with an independent Scotland and a clear majority do not want a second
referendum. But the calculation of resistance from Westminster combined
with Brexit which hasn't started yet, I think this is her
calculation, she didn't expect Theresa May to say, sure, go ahead,
I'm sure she expected Theresa May to say no, you can't have it at your
desired timetable. On the wider point, I think Theresa May is in a
fascinating position, she is both strong because she faces weak
opposition and is ahead in the opinion polls. But faces the most
daunting agenda of any Prime Minister for 40 or 50 years, I
think. So it's a weird combination. I don't think she wants to call an
election. I don't think she has thought about how you would
manipulate it, what the trigger would be, and whether she's got the
energy and space to prepare for and then mount a campaign was beginning
the Brexit negotiation. Now, you could see the cause would be the
small majorities that will make her life hellish, which it will do.
Whether a landslide would help is another question, they can be
difficult too. But I think the problems outweigh the advantages of
going early. Do you think she would go for an early election? I don't
and I think you have to look at the rhetoric coming out of No 10 which
is so firm on this question, it is a delicious prospect for us as
commentators to think there might be an election around the corner but
they are so firm on this I can't see it happening. I agree, we are in
unanimous agreement on this one. It is superficially attractive because
she would love the big majority and she would get a lot more through
Parliament especially with Brexit. The nitty-gritty of it makes an
early General Election this year almost impossible. How do you write
a manifesto on high Brexit versus soft Brexit, it opens up a Pandora's
box of uncertainties. And there is enough with the European elections.
The EU will say are we negotiating with you or the person who may
replace you? How do you keep the Tory party united going to an
election? How do you call one, with a vote of no confidence in yourself
you may end up losing. Easy on paper but difficult in practice. We shall
see. So if Theresa May did go
for an early election this spring, The party's campaigns
and elections chief Andrew Gwynne Andrew Gwynne, the government, as we
have just been talking about, executed one of the most
embarrassing U-turns in recent history this week. It has been a
torrid time for the Theresa May government. Why are the Tories still
so chipper? The Labour Party has been on an
early election footing since before Christmas and we are preparing
ourselves for that eventuality in case that does come. That means that
we've got to get ourselves into a position whereby we can not only
challenge the government but we can also offer a valuable alternative
for the British people to choose from should that election arise. So,
would you welcome an early General Election? Well, of course, I don't
want this government to be in power so of course if there is an
opportunity to put a case to the British people as to why there is a
better way, and I believe the Labour way is the better way than of course
we would want to put that case to the country. So, would Labour vote
in the Commons for an early election? Well, of course as an
opposition, not wanting to be in opposition, wanting to be in
government should the government put forward a measure in accordance with
the Fixed-term Parliaments Act then that's something we would very
seriously have to consider. I know you would have to consider it but
would you vote for an early election or not? Well, of course we want to
be the government so if the current government puts forward measures to
bring forward a General Election we would want to put our case to the
British public and that's one of the jobs that I've been given, together
Labour Party organisation early into a position where we can fight a
General Election -- organisationally. For the avoidance
of doubt, if the Government work to issue a motion in the Commons for an
early election, the Labour Party would vote for an early election?
It would be very difficult not, Andrew. If the Government wants to
dissolve parliament, wants a General Election, we don't want the Tories
in government, we want to be in government and we want to have that
opportunity to put that case to the British people.
Are you ready for an early election? You say you have been on a war all
but since the Labour conference last autumn, but are you ready for one?
How big is the election fighting fund? We have substantial amounts of
money in our fighting fund, that is true, because not only has the
Labour Party managed to eliminate its own financial deficit that it
inherited from previous election campaigns, we have also managed to
build up a substantial fund in the off chance we have an election. We
have also expanded massively operations at Labour HQ, we are
taking on additional staff, and one of the jobs that myself and Ian
Lavery who I job share with are currently doing is to go around the
Parliamentary Labour Party to make sure that Labour colleagues have the
support and the resources that they need, should they have to face the
electorate in their constituencies. So you are on a war footing, ready
for the fight, you say you would vote for the fight, so have you got
your tax and spend policies ready to roll out? That is something the
shadow Treasury team will be discussing. One of the things is, if
there is an early General Election, the normal timetable for these
things gets fast-track because our policy decision-making body, its
annual conference, we have the national policy forum that creates
policies suggestions. You have been on a war footing since the last
Labour conference, that is what Mr Corbyn told us. So you must have a
fair idea of what policies you would fight an early election on. How much
extra per year would you spend on the NHS? Well, look, I'm not going
to set out the Labour manifesto for an election that hasn't been called.
I'm just asking you about the NHS. You must have a policy for that. We
have a policy for the NHS. So how much extra? I will not set out
Labour's tax-and-spend policies here on The Sunday Politics when there
hasn't even been election called. You said you had been on a war
footing and you are prepared to vote for one, so if you can't Tommy that,
can you tell me what the corporation rate tax on company profits be under
a Labour government -- tell me that. You will have to be patient. I have.
And wait for Mrs May to trigger an early election. If there is an
election on the 4th of May the rich would have to be issued on the 27th
of March, so that's not long to wait. If that date passes we aren't
having an election on the 4th of May and the normal timetable for policy
development will continue. All right. You lost Copeland, I think
you were in charge of a by-election for Labour, your national poll
ratings are still dire, even after week of terrible times for the
Tories. Sometimes you even lose local government by-elections in
safe seats, including in the place you are now, in Salford. How long
does Mr Corbyn have to turn this around? Well, look, the issue of the
Labour leadership was settled last year. The last thing the Labour
Party now needs is another period of introspection with the Labour Party
merely talks to the Labour Party. We are now on an election footing in
case Mrs May does trigger an early General Election. We need to be
talking to the British people are not to ourselves. So any speculation
about the Labour leadership might excite you in the media but actually
for us in the Labour Party it's about re-engaging and reconnecting
with the voters. Rather than being excited, I feel quite daunted at the
prospect of an early election. So I wouldn't get that right. Normally,
given the number of mistakes this government has made, and its
mid-term, you would expect any self-respecting opposition to be
about ten points ahead. On the latest polls this morning you are 17
behind. There is a 27-30 point gap from where you should normally be as
an opposition. Are you telling me that if that doesn't change, you
still fight the General Election with Mr Corbyn?
These are matters for the future. I believe the leadership issue was
settled last year. We have had two leadership contest in two years.
Would you seriously contemplate going into the next election, if it
is early I perfectly understand Jeremy Corbyn is your man, but if it
is not until 2020, and you are still 17 points behind in the polls, will
you go into the next election like that? There is a lot of future
looking and speculation there, I don't know what the future holds,
where the Labour Party will be in 12 months let alone by 2020 summit
cross those bridges when we come to it. My main challenge is to make
sure the Labour Party is in the best possible place organisationally to
fight an election, that's my challenge and I'm up for that to
make sure we are in the best possible place to make sure Labour
returns as many Labour MPs as possible. Thank you for joining us.
And we're joined now from the Liberal Democrats' spring
conference in York by the former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.
Good morning. In his conference speech today, Tim Farron lumps
Theresa May with Vladimir Putin, Marine Le Pen and Donald Trump. In
what way is Mrs May similar to Marine Le Pen? Of course he is not
saying Theresa May is identical to Marine Le Pen, I think what Tim
Wilby spelling out shortly in his speech is that we need to be aware
what's going on in the world, the International settlement that was
arrived at after the First World -- Second World War, that bound
supranational organisations is under attack from characters as diverse as
Vladimir Putin, Marine Le Pen and Donald Trump, and that by side in so
ostentatiously with Donald Trump and pursuing this very hard Brexit,
Theresa May appears to be giving succour to that much more
isolationist chauvinist view of the world than the multilateral approach
that Britain has subscribed to for a long time. The exact words he plans
to use are welcome to the New World order, Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump,
Marine Le Pen, Theresa May, aggressive and teenage to, anti-EU,
nationalistic. In what way is Mrs May fitting into any of that? In
what way is she similar to Vladimir Putin? I'm not aware she has
interfered with other people's elections. The clue is in the quote
you just read out, which is the world order. The world order over
the last half century or more, by the way a lesson I'm afraid we have
to learn in Europe because of the terrible bloodshed of two world was
in the space of a few decades, was based on the idea might is not
right. Strong arm leaders cannot throw their weight around. What we
have now with Putin, the populism across parts of Europe and Donald
Trump who thinks the EU will unravel is a shift to a radically different
view of the world. Mrs May doesn't think any of that. She is not
antenatal, not anti-EU, she says she wants the EU to succeed. She's not
aggressive as far as I'm aware so I'm not sure why you would lump the
British Prime Minister in with these other characters. Let me explain, by
choosing this uncompromising approach to Brexit, clearly in doing
so she, in my view, maybe not yours or others, is pursuing a self
harming approach to the United Kingdom but also pulling up the
threads that bind the rest of the European Union together, in so
ostentatiously siding with Donald Trump, somehow declaring in my view
speciously that we can make up with the trade we will lose, she's not
challenging the shift to a more chauvinist approach to world affairs
that is happening in many places. You are at your party's Spring
conference, I think we can agree any Lib Dem come back will take a long
time. Would Tory dominance be more effectively challenged by a
realignment of the centre and the centre-left? Are you working towards
that? I missed half the question but I think you are talking about a
realignment. As a cook a way to get over Tory dominance, would you want
that to happen? Are you working towards that? My view is the
recovery of the Lib Dems will be quicker than you suggest. People
often forget that even the low point of our fortunes in the last election
we still got a million more votes than the SNP, it's only because we
have got this crazy electoral system... But the SNP fight in
Scotland, you fight in the whole country! But I'm saying the way
seats are allocated overlooks the fact that 2.5 million still voted
for us. But my own view is of course there are people feeling
increasingly homeless in the liberal wing of the Conservative Party
because they are now in a party which is in effect indistinguishable
from Ukip on some of the biggest issues of the day, and homeless folk
on the rational, reasonable wing of the Labour Party. I would invite
them to join the Liberal Democrats and I would invite everyone across
parties to talk about the idea is that bind us because the Westminster
village can invest a lot of energy building new castles in the sky,
inventing new names for parties when actually what you want is for people
on the progressive centre ground of British politics to talk about the
ideas that unite them, from the dilemmas of artificial intelligence
to climate change. Do you think in your own view, can Brexit still be
thwarted or is it now a matter of getting the best terms? I think we
are in an interlude, almost a calm between two storms, the storm of the
referendum itself and the collision between the Government's stated
ambitions for Brexit and the reality of having to negotiate something
unworkable with 27 other governments. The one thing I can
guarantee you is that what the Government has promised to the
British people cannot happen. Over a slower period of time we will work
out our new relationship with the European Union. Theresa May said she
will settle divorce arrangements, and pensions, so one, negotiate new
trade agreements, new climate change policies and so on, and have all of
that ratified within two years, that will not happen so I think there
will be a lot of turbulence in the next couple of years. Will you use
this turbulence to try to thwart Brexit, to find a way of rolling
back the decision? It's not about repeating the debates of the past or
thwarting the will of the people but it is comparing what people were
promised from the ?350 million for the NHS every week through to this
glittering array of new trade agreements we will sign across the
world, with the reality that will transpire in the next couple of
years and at that point, yes it is my belief people should be able to
take a second look at if that is what they really want. A couple of
quick questions, would you welcome an early general election? I always
welcome them, we couldn't do worse than we did last time. That is
certainly true. You have a column in the Evening Standard, have you
spoken to the new editor about whether he will keep your column or
spike it? No, I wait in nervous anticipation. Can you be a newspaper
editor in the morning and an MP in the afternoon? Do I think that's
feasible? Sorry, I missed a bit. There is no prohibition, no law
against MPs being editors. They have been in the past and no doubt will
again in the future. He is taking a lot on, he is an editor, also
wanting to be an MP, a jetsetting academic in the States, working in
the city, I suspect something will give. It seems to me even by his
self-confidence standards in his own abilities I suspect he is taking on
a little bit too much. Very diplomatic, Mr Clegg, I'm sure you
will get to keep the column. Thanks for joining us.
Now, for the last six months England's NHS bosses have been
warning the health service needs more money to help it meet
But in his first Budget, the Chancellor offered
no immediate relief, and today the head of
the organisation representing England's NHS trusts says hundreds
of thousands of patients will have to wait longer for both emergency
care and planned operations, unless the Government
Warnings over funding are not exactly new.
Back in 2014 the head of the NHS in England, Simon Stevens,
published his plan for the future of the health service.
In his five-year forward view, Stevens said the NHS in England
would face a funding shortfall of up to ?30 billion by 2020.
To bridge that gap he said the NHS would need more money
from the Government, at least ?8 billion extra,
and that the health service could account for the rest by making
The Government says it's given the health service more than what it
asked for, and that NHS in England will have received
That number is disputed by NHS managers and the chair
of Parliament's health committee, who say the figure is more
like ?4.5 billion, while other parts of the health and social care budget
have been cut, putting pressure on the front line.
Last year, two thirds of NHS trusts in England finished
the year in the red, and despite emergency bailouts
from the Government, the NHS is likely to record
Meanwhile national targets on waiting times for A
departments, diagnostic tests, and operations are being
This month's Budget provided ?2 billion for social care
but there was no new cash for the NHS, leading trusts to warn
that patient care is beginning to suffer, and what is being asked
And I'm joined now by the Chief Executive of NHS
Providers in England, Chris Hopson.
Welcome to the programme. Morning, Andrew. I will come onto the extra
money you need to do your job properly in a minute but first, part
of the deal was you had to make 22 billion in efficiency savings, not a
bank that money but spend it on patient care, the front line, and so
on. How is that going? So, last parliament we realised around 18
billion of productivity and efficiency savings, we are realising
more this year so we are on course to realise 3 billion this year, that
is a quarter of a billion more than last year but all of us in the NHS
knew the 22 billion would be a very stretching target and we are
somewhat inevitably falling short. So it is 22 billion by 2,020.
Roughly. That was the time. We are now into 2017. So how much of the 22
billion have you achieved? We realised around 3 billion last year
and we will realise 3 billion this year, Court of billion more, 3.25
billion this year, so we are on course for 18-19,000,000,000. By the
2021 period? You are not that far away. The problem is the degree to
which demand is going up. We have record demand over the winter period
and that actually meant we have seen more people than we have ever seen
before but performance is still under real pressure. Let me come
onto that. When you agreed on the 22 billion efficiency savings plus some
extra money from the government, I know there is a bit of an argument
about how much that is actually worth, had you not factored in this
extra demand that you saw coming over the next three or four years?
Let's be very clear committee referred to Simon Stevens's forward
view and we signed up to it but the 22 billion was a process run at the
centre of government by the Department of Health with its arms
length bodies, NHS England and others and is not something that was
consulted on with the NHS. But you signed up to it. We always said that
the day that that Spending Review was announced, the idea that the NHS
where customer demand goes up something like four or 5% every
year, the idea that in the middle years of Parliament we would be able
to provide the same level of service when we were only getting funding
increases of 1.3%, 0.4% and 0.7%, and I can show you the press release
we issued, we always said there was going to be a gap and that we would
not be able to deliver what was required. The full 22 billion in
other words? What we said to Simon Stevens at the Public Accounts
Committee a few months ago, the NHS didn't get what it was asked for.
Today the NHS, cope with the resources it has according to you.
How much more does it need? Are reported is about 2017-18 and we
estimate that what we are being asked to do, and again, Andrew, you
clearly set it out in the package, we are a long way off the four-hour
A target and a long way off the 92%. The waiting times and
operations. How much more do you need? And we are making up a ?900
million deficit. If you take all of those into account we estimate you
would need an extra ?3.5 billion next year in order to deliver all of
those targets and eliminate the deficit. That would be 3.5 billion
on top of what is already planned next year and that would be 3.5
billion repeated in the years to come too? Yes, Andrew it is
important we should make an important distinction about the NHS
versus other public services. When the last government, the last Labour
government put extra money into the NHS it clearly said that in return
for that it would establish some standards in the NHS Constitution,
the 95% A target we have talked about and the 92% elective surgery
we have talked about. The trust we represent are very clear, they would
want to realise those standards, but you can only do it if you pay for
it. The problem is at the moment is we are in the longest and deepest
financial squeeze in NHS history. As we have said, funding is only going
up by 1% per year but every year just to stand still cost and demand
go up by more than 4%. There is clearly a demand for more money. I
think people watching this programme will think probably the NHS is going
to have to get more money to meet the goals you have been given. I
think they would also like to be sure that your Mac running the NHS
as efficiently as it could be. We read this morning that trusts have
got ?100 million of empty properties that cost 10 million to maintain, 36
office blocks are not being used, you have surplus land equivalent to
1800 football pitches. Yes, there are a number of things that we know
in the NHS we need to do better but let me remind you, Andrew, in the
last Parliament we realised ?18 billion worth of cost improvement
gains. We are going to realise another 3 billion this year, 0.25
billion more than last year so these things are being targeted. But
having that surplus land, it is almost certainly in areas where
there is a demand for housing. Absolutely. So why not release it
for housing? You get the money, the people get their houses and its
contribution and a signal that you are running NHS assets as
efficiently as you can? Tell me if I'm going to too much detail for
you. One of the reasons as to why our trusts are reluctant to realise
those land sales is because there is an assumption that the money would
go back to the Treasury and wouldn't benefit NHS trusts. You could make a
deal, couldn't you? That's part of the conversation going on at the
moment. The issue is that we would want to ensure that if we do release
land, quite rightly the benefit, particularly in foundation trusts
which are, as you will remember, deliberately autonomous
organisations, that they should keep the benefit of those land sales.
Have you raised that with the government?
Yes we have. What did they say? They are in discussions of it. We heard
somebody who moved from one job and then to another job and given a big
salary and then almost ?200,000 as a payoff. There is a national mood for
the NHS to get more money. But before you give anybody any more
money you want to be sure that the money you have got already is being
properly spent, which for us, is the patient at the end of the day. And
yet there seem to be these enormous salaries and payoffs. I've worked in
a FTSE 100 on the board of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs and I
have worked in large organisations. I can look you completely straight
in the eye and tell you that the jobs that our hospital, community,
mental health and ambulance chief Executives do are amongst the most
complicated leadership roles I have ever seen. It doesn't seem to me to
be unreasonable that in order to get the right quality of people we
should pay an appropriate salary. The reality is the salaries are paid
are not excessive when talking about managing budgets of over ?1 billion
a year and talking about managing tens of thousands of staff. There
was a doctor working as a locum that earned an extra ?375,000. One of the
problems in the NHS is a mismatch between the number of staff we need
and the number of staff coming through the pipeline. What is having
to happen is if you want to keep a service going you have to use Mackem
and agency staff. Even at that cost? You would not want to pay those
amounts. But you are. The chief Executives's choice in those areas
is giving the service open or employing a locum. I'm sure you
could find a locum prepared to work for less than that. What indication,
what hopes do you have of getting the extra ?3 billion? The government
has been very clear, for the moment it wants to stick to the existing
funding settlement it has agreed. So there was nothing in the budget. Can
I finish by making one important point. Please, finish. This is the
first time the NHS has said before the year has even started that we
can't deliver on those standards. We believe, as do most people who work
in the NHS, that the NHS is on a gradual slow decline. This is a very
important inflection point to Mark, this is the first time before the
financial year starts that we say we cannot meet the targets we are being
asked to deliver and are in the NHS Constitution. We have run out of
time. Chris Hopson, thank you for being with me.
It's just gone 11:35am, you're watching the Sunday Politics.
We say goodbye to viewers in Scotland who leave us now
Hello and an extremely warm welcome to your local part of the show.
Just, of course, for the north-east and Cumbria.
On the programme this week, as the Brexit bill is passed
by Parliament, what does the future hold for Europeans
We meet migrants from Poland and Romania who
And in the studio talking about that and the rest
of the news this week, the
Labour MP for Washington and Sunderland West, Sharon Hodgson,
and the businessman and mayoral candidate
Let's start with Scotland and the chances of a
Sharon Hodgson, the Prime Minister says no to a referendum, certainly
at this point, is that position sustainable?
Well, I think so, and she said no, not until we are the
other side of Brexit and I think that is fair.
It was only two and a half years ago when the Scottish
people made their choice and the choice was
to remain as part of the
And that was what the referendum for the EU looming, and so the
people did know the referendum for the EU was coming up, nobody knew
how that would go and they made the choice that nevertheless
they wanted to be part of a United Kingdom.
You know, the people in Scotland have
got enough going on with being like the rest of us and having to deal
with the Brexit and it is divisive and not necessary.
Jeremy Middleton, the problem is, isn't this what the
They raised the prospects for a referendum and it looked like
it has been frustrated by a Conservative Government.
I think that is why they raised it, to try
We voted as one country, the decision has been taken
and I do not think you can take one individual part and say, we do not
If you look across the north-east, sure,
Newcastle voted to remain as well, Is it going to open up
Why not let them have their say and find out?
I think they will have a chance to have their say
but they need to make a real choice and that will be after Brexit has
become clear and the implications are and they will have to decide if
I hope they stay but at least they will be
making it on the basis of a
clear understanding of what options are open to them.
Well, how events unfold will be closely
watched, of course,in border communities across Cumbria and the
As I've been to Berwick to see what people there make the
After all, it was less than three years ago.
Apparently it once in a generation vote, except now, there is a push
That means people in Berwick are again considering
the potential impact of living on an international border.
There is already division on the high street
about the justification for another referendum.
Where we are at, it is not a pretty good idea.
I think it will cost far too much and I think
I think it probably will happen, don't you?
The latest survey is saying the Scottish people do not
Nicola is just angling for more power.
And then we'll be Tories for the rest of our life.
But of course a new vote would churn up
cross-border issues many thought were settled.
Given another referendum, some of the arguments from 2014 will be
The potential disruption to people's lives of
having a border here, the possible economic competition
But there would be another distinctive factor.
The potential that this side of the border could have a very
There is a chance Scotland's may end up either in the EU or the
European free trade agreement, whereas you end up with the north of
England out after Brexit and that poses real difficulties for
policymakers in the North with free trade and things to do with tariffs,
all of these kind of issues to do with immigration and workforces.
But there is now a political battle over
whether or when a referendum could take place.
The PM has blocked it for now, quite right, say Conservatives
I think it's only three years since the last
It was a decisive decision by the Scottish people.
I think that decision should be respected.
We actually find the SNP have been on the losing side of two
referendums and they just don't seem to be willing to accept the result.
But the Carlisle MP's Scottish neighbour says
Northern England has nothing to fear from Scottish independence.
Our relationship is based on social ties, family ties, cultural ties,
economic ties, we like football, we like a pint.
We get on with each other. All of those things will be exactly
But what the politicians in this place will try
and kid us on about is our ties rely on their ties, which they have
Of course this hasn't always been a peaceful
border and now looks like
tensions over its status could be growing again.
Jeremy Middleton, let's deal with perhaps the potential
impact on us of any referendum on independence.
There is no independence would be bad for
Instead the Scots will have to stand on their own
moment many would argue they are much more
powerful than the north of
Well, it depends what sort of deal happens in the event
The Scots have been subsidised by the rest of
You have more than ?1000 per head of public expenditure
spent on everybody in Scotland than is spent on the north-east of
This has basically been bribery to encourage them to the
I do not think it is fair now and it ought to be addressed anyway.
In the event of independence then it will
become absolutely essential the north-east and rest
a fair deal, so we are dealt with on a regular and equal and fair
Lots of Scots disagree that they get a great deal
Definitely in terms of public expenditure
From that point of view would have nothing to fear
We have other things to worry about because then it is a question
about how they spend the money they have.
At the moment they use the economic power often to bribe and attract
We know they will change the taxation plan.
As an independent country they will be entitled to do
that but we will see the potential they will use
passengers away from the north of England.
It will not affect things Heathrow and Manchester but
It will have all sorts of potentially negative implications,
The only people who will really enjoy it will
be the media who will sell a lot of newspapers
and the politicians will
Sharon Hodgson, there is a lot of Labour supporters
who might be sympathetic with one of our contributors in Berwick who
might want to escape perpetual Conservative Government.
Why is Labour so adamant it would be bad for Scotland
Because we believe in the United Kingdom.
I think Nicola Sturgeon, personally, should get on with
She is First Minister, terrible cuts in
As we said, it will not be bad news for
A lot of people in the north-east will say let the
Scots have their way, let them go and we can concentrate
on developing our economy without them on the
border with all these extra powers they have got.
We have lots of Labour politicians in the
north-east across councils and in Parliament and we do get on with
running the north-east and taking the north-east's voice to London.
Some might say Edinburgh is closer to the north-east than Scotland.
big distraction to us in the north-east for what we need to do
Will the Government not have a problem here?
Because if we come together referendum, the
argument about the Brexit that you do not need a hard border
in Ireland and you can carry on free trade beyond
borders, those are exactly the arguments for allowing Scottish
Well, if they choose independence there will
But I think and hope the Scots will realise it
Would there need to be a hard border?
I think there is a slight danger of a hard
border because if you have different policies, for example, on
immigration then how will you enforce those
It is difficult enough in Northern Ireland but it is much
harder in Scotland and certainly will have
a bigger impact on us in the
Sharon Hodgson, we heard the point about how we are represented, rather
than tether the Scots to us, wouldn't it be nice to hear from
Labour are some ideas about how we empower the North a lot more?
We have heard virtually nothing so far.
Other than opposition, and a scrapping of the mayor in the
north-east that might have been a counterpoint.
With regard to devolution, I mean, I think we have
Obviously, Teesside are going to wait and get
a mayor, we have to wait and see what happens in Manchester and the
Wait and see, wait and see, and then we
are falling further and further behind.
The deal that was on the table, and I wasn't around the table
but I understand it wasn't very good, I think that was the big
sticking point and I think Manchester seems to be getting a
If they make a great success of that then perhaps
because I know he is obviously very interested.
I think Manchester has shown the way.
The most important thing is to start.
There was an offer of money, power, it was a starting
The real problem is lots of parts of the
country are moving ahead and we are not.
Now, Parliament this week gave Brexit the
A big moment for the whole country and particularly for
the tens of thousands of Europeans who came to the north-east and
Cumbria to work and have now settled here.
Labour says the Government should immediately guarantee their
rights to remain in the UK but that does seem unlikely at this stage.
So how are they dealing with the uncertainty?
He grew up in Poznan, he lives in Darlington
And despite the uncertainty EU nationals
face at the moment this is not a somewhat extreme preparation
in case he suddenly forced to return to
I am training to achieve our, I can say target?
We will row from my home town in Poland to London which takes
for us approximately between 25 and 28 days.
Despite the Government's refusal to guarantee EU citizens the right
to stay in the UK, Christoph sees his 1600 mile adventure from Poland
to England as a strictly one-way trip.
When I reached London I felt somewhat like I have come back home.
I do not feel any pressure at the moment, nobody has told me
It will probably come as no surprise that Poland is the dominant
EU nationality in our region, with an estimated 3000 Poles living
Durham and Newcastle have got the greatest variety of EU
communities and there are also a large number of
Romanians living in the region in places
like Sunderland, Stockton and
And many of those Romanians on Teesside are deeply
The anxiety and stress is quite a lot.
The children, they can have questions
Especially to those who were born here in the UK.
This shop owner and his wife are expecting
He says people in the community are already saving
Now is the problem for me and my family
because I am putting money in
I come to live here to stay here and
Pay the council, pay my tax, pay everything.
And the people now are a little bit stressed and
In Middlesbrough's Polish cafe the economic impact of Brexit
is already causing concern, perhaps more so
than any long-term worries about whether they will be allowed to stay
Prices have really increased sense of this
People feel, not only immigrants but also British people,
also feel unsure and less comfortable because of money.
It has been claimed the Government is using
Margaret says she understands why the Government hasn't guaranteed
It's just a little bit a part of the game, of
They are trying to use people as a playing
card, so if you give me something I give you something else.
Christoph's house is in Darlington but the
rowing machines at the Dolphin Centre may well feel like home for
But he hopes the ideals of friendship and the
qualities he is promoting through his epic adventure will be
understood by politicians on both sides of the channel.
Even if England will not be part of EU any
It doesn't make any difference for us,
we are still people, we are built the same,
two legs, two hands, one head, body, still the same.
Jeremy Middleton, you were a long-time
How do you feel about the Government so far
giving no guarantees that
migrants, like we have seen there, about their future status in the UK?
The Government has made it perfectly clear and quite rightly all EU
citizens currently here are welcome to stay and they want them to stay.
There is no doubt that is the Government's position.
But the Government also has to bear in mind
there are 1 million British citizens in the EU and that also needs to be
The Government has made an offer that if we
guarantee of the EU citizens stay, will they please guarantee of
the British citizens can stay there and that offer has so far been
rejected from the EU because negotiations have not opened.
It is just incredible to think we would
ever try and take migrants out of the country.
I do not think for one second we will.
We might as well just guarantee them now.
Because we equally want to make sure the
British citizens who are in Europe have a similar guarantee.
That will be agreed, it should be agreed at that
That will be agreed, it should be agreed and it
I do not think we should encourage people who are EU
citizens to really worry they will be ejected,
Sharon Hodgson, as Margaret in the cafe understands,
You do not just throw in your hand all
at once, you've got to go through a process
to secure the position of UK nationals in Europe.
And I understand the point Jeremy is making, exactly that.
There is 1.2 million British citizens in Europe
and I think there is about 3.2 million European citizens here.
But it does feel like they are a bargaining
chip and that is why were so disappointed we did not get
the amendment on to the Article 50 bill because that would have been,
we say this is our red line, we are going to guarantee
on the face of the bill you will be
protected and can stay. Whether that would have undermined
the bargaining that went on, As we have seen in
that film people have settled here for ten years and had
children and their children have For them to feel that
uncertainty must A lot of your supporters might
wonder why Labour is making such a priority in the process
of Brexit on this particular issue, ahead of, perhaps, they might
suggest, free trade and jobs. Again, these are
people's lives and we equally have our 1.2
million citizens in Europe What are we going to do
with all these pensioners? How would bring them
all home if they Jeremy, you're the
businessman, have the Conservatives got it right,
apparently prioritising immigration The impression is Theresa May would
rather control immigration and be out the single market
and Customs Uunion than be My understanding is
the Government undoubtedly want to have control over immigration
and that will have to be agreed one way or another and we
will be in a position to do that
when we're no longer the EU. Then we have to drive
through the logic, which is both us and the EU's interests to have
as much free trade as possible. When you bear in mind
the effort the EU has gone to to form free trade
agreements with lots of countries around the world, most recently
Canada, it must be a logical point that we reach at some stage
that we have a similar agreement with a big
country like the... Even if we won't except their
citizens coming freely? We undoubtedly will accept
their citizens who are living here currently, and our citizens will be
able to remain in Europe, as we've They will be some controls over
immigration but they will be the same controls
that will be applied to members of the EU
as Sharon Hodgson, Labour
still has not told us what it is going to do
about immigration, and yet the voters
in places like Sunderland were quite clear during the referendum
they wanted controls. And I have had a huge
listening exercise across my constituency, 500
questionnaires back and two public meetings
and in each one of those and the
questionnaires it is clear people do want to see reform of immigration
and some controls, no matter how they voted, and that was very
interesting and we have heard that We will see what develops
in terms of policy. There has been plenty going on this
week, including a new blueprint for jobs,
investment in Middlesbrough. Here is David with that
and the rest of this week's Blyth Valley MP Ronnie Campbell will
lead a Commons debate next week on the closure of the cosmetics
and perfume factory. 400 staff are being told
their jobs will go. The Government is to
examine plans for a retail Park, 200 houses and a school
on the County Hall site in Morpeth. Northumberland County Council cannot
proceed with the plans until Middlesbrough Council has unveiled
its plans for ?600 million of Mayor Dave Budd says housing
and regeneration plans will see the Our own capital expenditure
is just over ?70 million. We expect that to bring
in well over ?600 million Of private
investment and so will you add those to give
this Finally, pregnant women
are being discriminated against in the workplace and suffering
unfair and unlawful treatment,
according to How big a problem is
it and what examples have you got of how
it is You would not think so in this
day and age, 100 years after women get the vote,
but 54000 women last year alone lost their jobs through feeling
they were forced out That is one in nine
women in the workforce. If that was in Parliament
that would be And as I said, 21 of my fellow women
MPs being forced out, we would be on the floor
of the house raising merry hell. If it is not good
enough in our workplace it is not good enough then
anybody's workplace. You know, the equality select
committee did a very good report, far and wide, select
committee all-party report, not political, presented
it to the Government you know, gave some warm words
out in January saying they would look at it,
but they haven't actually came up with any
action to do anything about it. I am in a dodgy position
here because I am a man and I I would never defend
discrimination in any way or putting stress
on pregnant women but can you have
an iota of sympathy for a small employer who has to deal with people
going on maternity leave etc and also requests for flexible
working when it is very hard on With small employers,
with all employers, but these things can be planned
for and you do have time while the employee is pregnant and also this
is why we have to have a huge cultural change because it always
falls on the woman and in society when we get more parental leave
and sharing of responsibility is the whole culture of women
being pregnant will take on a whole different slant and that will not be
seen, this person... It will not just be
about the negatives, it will be about the quality that woman has
as an employee that you have already The cost to employers
and business is I just want to ask
Jeremy Middleton, does this happen in your
experience in business? It certainly happens that you have
to deal with people who become pregnant and,
yes, it is a disruption, It would be a waste,
as Sharon pointed out, if The Government has said,
my understanding is, there should be zero tolerance of discrimination
against people was pregnant and I agree, even though it
can cause disruption. We'll have to leave it
there for this week. For now, back to Andrew
for the rest of the show. you both. Say goodbye. Goodbye. Back
to you. So, can George Osborne stay
on as a member of Parliament Will Conservative backbenchers force
a Government re-think And is Theresa May about to cap gas
and electricity prices? Whose idea was that first of all?
They are all questions for the Week Ahead to.
Let's start with the story that is too much fun to miss, on Friday it
was announced the former Chancellor would be the new editor of London's
Evening Standard newspaper, a position he will take up in mid-May
on a salary of ?200,000 for four days a week.
But Mr Osborne has said he will not be stepping down as MP
for Tatton in Cheshire, a job he's held since 2001,
Alongside these duties, he's also chairman of
While being committed to one day a week at Black Rock,
an American asset management firm - a part-time role that earns him
Then he's polishing his academic credentials, as a fellow
at the McCain Institute, an American thinktank,
And finally as a member of the Washington Speaker's Bureau,
he also earns his keep as an after-dinner speaker, banking
around ?750,000 since last summer.
So there you go. Nice little earners if you can get them. The problem,
though, is he has put second jobs on the agenda and lots of his fellow
MPs are not happy because they have got second jobs but not making that
kind of money. No, and a lot of MPs on both sides actually are unhappy
about it exactly for those reasons. I find it a very interesting
appointment. We have got these people on the centre and centre
right of politics who have been used to power since 1997, they have been
on the airwaves today, Tony Blair, Nick Clegg, George Osborne, and they
are all seeking other platforms now because power has moved elsewhere.
So Tony Blair is setting up this new foundation, Nick Clegg refused to
condemn George Osborne, Tony Blair praised the appointment. They are
all searching for new platforms. They might have overestimated the
degree to which this will be a huge influential platform. The standard
was very pro-Tory at the 2015 election but London voted Labour, it
was pro-Zac Goldsmith but they elected Sadiq Khan. It might be
overestimating the degree to which this is a hugely influential paper.
But I can see why it attracts him as a platform when all these platforms
have disappeared, eg power and government. All of these people who
used to be in power are quietly getting together again, Mr Blair on
television this morning, George Osborne not only filling his bank
account but now in charge of London's most important newspaper,
Nick Clegg out today not saying Brexit was a done deal, waiting to
see what happens, even John Major was wheeled out again today in the
Mail on Sunday. They are all playing for position. I half expect David
Cameron to turn up as features editor on The Evening Standard.
Brexit and breakfast! With Mr Clegg, did he not? I do not think this is
sustainable for George Osborne, I worked at The Evening Standard and I
was there for three years, I know what the hours are like for a humble
journalist, never mind the editor. If he thinks he can get at 4am
everyday to be in the offices at 5am to oversee the splash, manage
everything in the way and edited should he is in cloud cuckoo land.
What this says to people is there is a kind of feel of soft corruption
about public life here, where you see what you can get away with. He
thinks he can brazen this out and maybe he can but what kind of
message does that send to people about how seriously people take the
role of being an MP? He must have known. He applied for the job. The
Russian owner didn't approach him, he approached Lebedev, the
proprietor, for it. He must have calculated there would be some
kickback. I wonder if he realised there would be quite the kickback
there has been. I think that's probably right. This hasn't finished
yet, by the way, this will go on and on. How on earth does George Osborne
cover the budget in the autumn? Big budget, lots of physical changes and
tax rises to deal with the messages out of this week. You can see
already, Theresa May budget crashes. It could be worse. She's useless!
Or, worse than that, me, brilliant budget, terrible newspaper, I've
never buying it again. He has hoisted his own petard. He has not
bought it properly through. It's a something interesting about his own
future calculations, if he wants to stay on as an MP in 2020 and be
Prime Minister as he has or was wanted to be he has got to find a
new seat. How do you go into an association and say I should be an
MP, I can do it for at least four hours Purdy after editing The
Evening Standard, making a big speech and telling Black Rock how to
make a big profit. The feature pages have to be approved for the next day
and feature pages are aware the editor gets to make their mark. The
news is the news. The feature is what concerns you, what he is in
your bonnet. That defines the newspaper, doesn't it? It is not
over yet. Too much 101 on newspapers. And Haatheq at.
School funding, the consultation period ends, it has been a tricky
one for the government, some areas losing. I guess we are seeing this
through the prism of the National Insurance contributions now, it is a
small majority, if Tory MPs are unhappy she may not get her way.
Talking to backbench MPs who are unhappy the feeling is it is not
going to go ahead in the proposed form that the consultation has been
on. No 10 will definitely have to move on this. It is unclear whether
they will scrap it completely, or will they bring in something
possibly like a base level, floor level pupil funding below which you
can't go? You would then still need to find some extra money. So there
are no easy solutions on this but what is clear it is not going to go
ahead in its current form. Parents have been getting letters across the
country in England about what this will mean for teachers and so on in
certain schools. It's not just a matter of the education Department,
the schools, or the teachers and Tory backbenchers. Parents are being
mobilised on this. The point of the new funding formula is to allocate
more money to the more disadvantaged. That means schools in
the more prosperous suburbs are going to lose money. Budget cuts on
schools which are already struggling. It comes down again to
be huge problem, the ever smaller fiscal pool, ever greater demands,
NHS, social care, education as well, adding to Theresa May and Phillip
Hammond's enormous problems. Here is an interesting issue, Steve. There
was a labour Leader of the Opposition that once suggested
perhaps given these huge energy companies which seemed to be good at
passing on energy rises but not so good at cutting energy prices when
it falls, that perhaps we should put a cap on them until at least we
study how the market goes. This was obviously ludicrous Marxism and
quite rightly knocked down by the Conservatives, except that Mrs May
is now talking about putting a cap on energy prices. Yes, I think if it
wasn't for Brexit we would focus much more on Theresa May's Ed
Miliband streak. Whether this translates into policies, let us
see. That bit we don't know. That bit we don't know but in terms of
argument her speech to the Conservative conference on Friday
was about the third or fourth time where she said as part of the
speech, let's focus on the good that government can do, including in
intervening in markets, exactly in the way that he used to argue. As
you say, we await the policy consequences of that. She seems more
cautious in terms of policy in fermentation. But in terms of the
industrial strategy, in terms of implying intervention in certain
markets, there is a kind of Milibandesque streak. And there
comes a time when she has to walk the walk as well as talk the talk.
They talk a lot about the just about managing, just about managing face
rising food bills because of the lower pound and face rising fuel
bills because of the rise in oil and in other commodities. One of the two
things you could do to help the just about managing is to cut their food
bills and the second would be to cut their fuel bills. At some stage she
has to do something for them. We don't know what is going to happen
to food bills under Brexit, that could become a really serious issue.
They could abolish tariffs. There has been a lot of talking the talk
and big announcements put out and not following through so I agree
with you on that but lots of Tory MPs will have a big problem on
this and the principle of continually talking about
interfering in markets, whether it's on executive pay, whether it is on
energy, at a time when Britain needs to send out this message to the
world in their view, in the view of Brexit supporting MPs, that we are
open for business and the government is not about poking around and doing
this kind of thing. Of course, you could argue there is not a problem
in the market for energy, it is a malfunctioning market that doesn't
operate like a free market should, so that provides even Adam Smith,
the inventor of market economics would have said on that basis you
should intervene. I was in Cardiff to listen to Theresa May's latest
explanation for doing this. By the way, we've been waiting nine months,
this was one of her big ideas. You are right, let's see a bit of the
meat, please. My newspaper has been calling for some pretty hefty
government action on this for quite some time. For the just about
managings? Yes and specifically to sort out an energy market dominated
by the big six, which is manifestly ripping people off left, right and
centre. Theresa May's argument in Cardiff on Friday morning which, by
the way, went down like a proverbial windbreak at the proverbial funeral
because Tories... You know what I mean Andrew, the big hand coming
into from the state telling businesses what to do. They went
very quiet indeed. They were having saving the union and Nato but there
was no clapping for that. The point being, this is what she needs to do
to prove her assault, to prove those first words on the steps of Downing
Street. We await to see the actions taken.
On that unusual agreement we will leave it there. The Daily Politics
will be back on BBC Two tomorrow at noon and everyday during the week.
And I'll be here on BBC One next Sunday at 11am.
Remember, if it's Sunday, it's the Sunday Politics.
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