Sarah Smith and Richard Moss with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Guests include Hilary Benn and Theresa Villiers.
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I'm Sarah Smith, and welcome
to The Sunday Politics,
where we always bring you everything
you need to know to understand
what's going on in politics.
Coming up on today's programme...
The Government says
the international trade minister
Mark Garnier will be investigated
following newspaper allegations
of inappropriate behaviour
towards a female staff member.
We'll have the latest.
The Prime Minister says she can
agree a deal with the EU and plenty
of time for Parliament to vote on it
before we leave in 2018. Well
Parliament play ball? New evidence
cast out on the
Warnings of a new health
scandal affecting thousands
of women in our region.
Labour calls for an enquiry.
And should taxpayers' money be used
to buy Teesside airport?
on from the abortion act white MPs
are lobbying the Home Secretary to
stop the alleged harassment of women
attending abortion clinics.
All that coming up in the programme.
And with me today to help make sense
of all the big stories,
Steve Richards and Anne McElvoy.
Some breaking news this morning.
The Government has announced
that it will investigate
whether the International Trade
Minister Mark Garnier broke
the Ministerial Code
of inappropriate behaviour.
It comes after reports in the Mail
on Sunday which has spoken to one
of Mr Garnier's former employees.
News of the investigation
was announced by the Health
Secretary Jeremy Hunt
on the Andrew Marr show earlier.
The stories, if they are true,
are totally unacceptable
and the Cabinet Office will be
conducting an investigation
as to whether there has been
a breach of the ministerial code
in this particular case.
But as you know the
facts are disputed.
This is something that covers
behaviour by MPs of all parties
and that is why the other thing
that is going to happen
is that today Theresa May
is going to write to John Bercow,
the Speaker of the House of Commons,
to ask for his advice as to how
we change that culture.
That was Jeremy Hunt a little
earlier. I want to turn to the panel
to make sense of this news. This is
the government taking these
allegations quite seriously.
has changed in this story is they
used to be a bit of delay while
people work out what they should say
about it, how seriously to take it.
As you see now a senior cabinet
member out there, Jeremy Hunt, with
an instant response. He does have
the worry of whether the facts are
disputed, but what they want to be
seen doing is to do something very
quickly. In the past they would say
it was all part of the rough and
tumble of Westminster.
does not deny these stories, which
is that he asked an employee to buy
sex toys, but he said it was just
high jinks and it was taken out of
context. Is this the sort of thing
that a few years ago in a different
environment would be investigated?
Not necessarily quite the frenzy
that it is nowadays. The combination
of social media, all the Sunday
political programmes were ministers
have to go on armed with a response
means that you get these we have to
be seen to be doing something. That
means there is this Cabinet Office
investigation. You pointed out to us
before the programme that he was not
a minister before this happened. It
does not matter whether he says yes,
know I did this or did not,
something has to be seen to be done.
Clearly ministers today are being
armed with that bit of information
and that Theresa May will ask John
Bercow the speaker to look into the
whole culture of Parliament in this
context. That is the response to
this kind of frenzy.
If we do live
in an environment where something
has to be seen to be done, does that
always mean the right thing gets
Absolutely not. We are in
witch hunt territory. All of us work
in the Commons over many years and
anyone would think it was a scene
out of Benny Hill or a carry on
film. Sadly it is not that much fun
and it is rather dull and dreary.
Yes, there are sex pests, yes, there
is sexual harassment, but the idea
this is going on on a huge scale is
Doesn't matter whether it
is a huge scale or not? Or just a
Any workplace where
you have the mixing of work and
social so intertwined and you throw
a huge amount of alcohol and late
night and people living away from
home you will have this happen.
does not make it OK.
It makes sexual
harassment not OK as it is not
anywhere. This happens to men as
well and if they have an issue into
it there are employment tribunal 's
and they can contact lawyers. I do
not think this should be a matter of
the speaker, it should be someone
completely independent of any party.
People think MPs are employees of
the party or the Commons, they are
Because they are self-employed
to whom do you go if you are a
That has to be
clarified. I agree you need a much
clearer line of reporting. It was a
bit like the situation when we came
into the media many years ago, the
Punic wars in my case! You were not
quite sure who to go to. If you work
worried that it might impede your
career, and you had to talk to
people who work next to you, that is
just one example, but in the Commons
people do not know who they should
go to. Where Theresa May might be
making a mistake, it is the same
mistake when it was decided to
investigate through Levinson the
culture of the media which was like
nailing jelly to a wall. Look at the
culture of anybody's job and the
environment they are in and there is
usually a lot wrong with it. When
you try and make it general, they
are not trying to blame individuals,
or it say they need a better line on
reporting of sexual harassment,
which I support, the Commons is a
funny place and it is a rough old
trade and you are never going to
iron out the human foibles of that.
Diane Abbott was talking about this
When I first went into Parliament so
many of those men had been to all
boys boarding schools and had really
difficult attitudes towards women.
The world has moved on and
middle-aged women are less likely
than middle-aged men to believe that
young research are irresistibly
attracted to them. We have seen the
issues and we have seen one of our
colleagues been suspended for quite
That is a point, Jarrod O'Mara, a
Labour MP who has had the whip
suspended, this goes across all
The idea that there is a
left or right divide over this is
absurd. This is a cultural issue. In
the media and in a lot of other
institutions if this is going to
develop politically, the frenzy will
carry on for a bit and other names
will come out over the next few
days, not just the two we have
mentioned so far in politics. But it
also raises questions about how
candidates are selected for example.
There has been a huge pressure for
the centre to keep out of things. I
bet from now on there will be much
greater scrutiny of all candidates
and tweets will have to be looked at
and all the rest of it.
candidates is interesting. Miriam
Gonzalez, Nick Clegg's wife, says
that during that election they knew
about Jarrod O'Mara and the Lib Dems
knew about it, so it is difficult to
suggest the Labour Party did not as
There is very clear evidence
the Labour Party did know. But we
are in a situation of how perfect
and well-behaved does everyone have
to be? If you look at past American
presidents, JFK and Bill Clinton,
these men were sex pest
extraordinaire, with totally
inappropriate behaviour on a regular
basis. There are things you are not
allowed to say if you are feminists.
Young women are really attracted to
powerful men. I was busted for the
idea that there are young women in
the House of commons who are
throwing themselves at middle-aged,
potbellied, balding, older men. We
need to focus on the right things.
When it is unwanted, harassing,
inappropriate and criminal,
absolutely, you come down like a
tonne of bricks. It is not just
because there are more women in the
Commons, it is because there are
more men married to women like us.
We have to leave it there.
As attention turns in
Westminster to the hundreds
of amendments put down on the EU
Withdrawal Bill, David Davis has
caused a stir this week by saying
it's possible Parliament won't get
a vote on the Brexit deal
until after March 2019 -
when the clock runs out
and we leave the EU.
Let's take a look at how
the controversy played out.
And which point do you envisage
Parliament having a vote?
As soon as possible thereafter.
As soon as possible
possible thereafter, yeah.
As soon as possible thereafter.
So, the vote in Parliament...
The other thing...
Could be after March 2019?
It could be, yeah, it could be.
It depends when it concludes.
Mr Barnier, remember,
has said he'd like...
Sorry, the vote of our Parliament,
the UK Parliament, could be
after March 2019?
Yes, it could be.
The thing to member...
Which would be...
Well, it can't come
before we have the deal.
You said that it is POSSIBLE that
Parliament night not vote
on the deal until AFTER
the end of March 2019.
I'm summarising correctly
what you said...?
Yeah, that's correct.
In the event we don't do
the deal until then, yeah.
Can the Prime Minister please
explain how it's possible
to have a meaningful vote
on something that's
already taken place?
As the honourable gentleman knows,
we're in negotiations
with the European Union, but I am
confident that the timetable under
the Lisbon Treaty does give time
until March 2019
for the negotiations to take place.
But I'm confident, because it is in
the interests of both sides,
it's not just this Parliament that
wants to have a vote on that deal,
but actually there will be
ratification by other parliaments,
that we will be able to achieve that
agreement and that negotiation
in time for this Parliament
to have a vote that we committed to.
We are working to reach
an agreement on the final deal
in good time before we leave
the European Union in March 2019.
Clearly, we cannot say
for certain at this stage
when this will be agreed.
But as Michel Barnier said,
he hopes to get a draft deal
agreed by October 2018,
and that's our aim is well.
agreed by October 2018,
and that's our aim as well.
I'm joined now by the former
Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary
Benn, who is the chair
of the Commons Brexit Committee,
which David Davis was
giving evidence to.
When you think a
parliamentary vote should take place
in order for it to be meaningful?
has to be before we leave the
European Union. Michel Barnier said
at the start of the negotiations
that he wants to wrap them up by
October of next year, so we have
only got 12 months left, the clock
is ticking and there is a huge
amount of ground to cover.
not think there is any point in
having the vote the week before we
leave because you could then not go
That would not be
acceptable. We will not be given a
bit of paper and told to take it or
leave it. But the following day
Steve Baker, also a minister in the
department, told our committee that
the government now accepts that in
order to implement transitional
arrangements that it is seeking, it
will need separate legislation. I
put the question to him if you are
going to need separate legislation
to do that, why don't you have a
separate bill to implement the
withdrawal agreement rather than
seeking to use the powers the
government is proposing to take in
the EU withdrawal bill.
If we stick
to the timing, you have said you do
not think it is possible to
negotiate a trade deal in the next
12 months. You say the only people
who think that is possible British
ministers. If you do not believe we
can get a deal negotiated, how can
we get a vote on it in 12 months'
If things go well, and there
is still a risk of no agreement
which would be disastrous for the
economy and the country, if
things go there will be a deal on
the divorce issues, there will be a
deal on the nature of the
transitional arrangement and the
government is to set out how it
thinks that will work, and then an
agreement between the UK and the 27
member states saying, we will now
negotiate a new trade and market
access arrangement, and new
association agreement between the
two parties, and that will be done
in the transition period. Parliament
will be voting in those
circumstances on a deal which leads
to the door being open.
But we would
be outside the EU at that point, so
how meaningful can vote be where you
take it or leave it if we have
already left the EU? Surely this has
to happen before March 2019 for it
to make a difference?
I do not think
it is possible to negotiate all of
the issues that will need to be
covered in the time available.
it is not possible to have a
meaningful vote on it?
will have to have a look at the deal
presented to it. It is likely to be
a mix agreement so the approval
process in the rest of Europe,
unlike the Article 50 agreement,
which will be a majority vote in the
European Parliament and in the
British Parliament, every single
Parliament will have a vote on it,
so it will be a more complex process
anyway, but I do not think that is
the time to get all of that sorted
between now and October next year.
Whether it is before or after we
have left the EU, the government
have said it is a take it or leave
it option and it is the Noel Edmonds
option, deal or no Deal, you say yes
or no to it. You cannot send them
back to re-negotiate.
If it is a separate piece of
legislation, when Parliament has a
chance to shape the nature of that
But it can't change
what has been negotiated with the
Well, you could say to the
government, we're happy with this
but was not happy about that chukka
here's some fresh instructions, go
back in and...
It seems to me what
they want is the maximum access to
the single market for the lowest
possible tariffs, whilst able to
control migration. If they've got to
get the best deal that they can on
that, how on earth is the Labour
Party, saying we want a bit more,
owing to persuade the other 27?
certainly don't want the lowest
possible tariffs, we want no tariffs
are taught. My personal view is
that, has made a profound mistake in
deciding that it wants to leave the
customs union. If you want to help
deal with the very serious question
of the border between Northern
Ireland and the Republic of Ireland,
the way you do that is to stay in
the customs union and I hope, will
change its mind.
But the Labour
Party is simply saying in the House
of Commons, we want a better deal
than what, has been able to get?
depends how the negotiations unfold.
, has ended up on the transitional
arrangements in the place that Keir
Starmer set out on behalf of the
shadow cabinet in August, when he
said, we will need to stay in the
single market and the customs union
for the duration of the transition,
and I think that is the position,
has now reached. It has not been
helped by differences of view within
the Cabinet, and a lot of time has
passed and there's proved time left
and we have not even got on to the
negotiations. -- there's very little
On phase two, the labour
Party have set out six clear tests,
and two of them are crucial. You say
you want the exact same benefits we
currently have in the customs union
but you also want to be able to
ensure the fair migration to control
immigration, basically, which does
sound a bit like having your cake
and eating it. You say that you will
vote against any deal that doesn't
give you all of that, the exact same
benefits of the single market, and
allowing you to control migration.
But you say no deal would be
catastrophic if so it seems to me
you're unlikely to get the deal that
you could vote for but you don't
want to vote for no deal?
absolutely don't want a no deal.
Businesses have sent a letter to the
Prime Minister saying that a
transition is essential because the
possibility of a no deal and no
transitional would be very damaging
for the economy. We fought the
general election on a policy of
seeking to retain the benefits of
the single market and the customs
union. Keir Starmer said on behalf
of the shadow government that as far
as the longer term arrangements are
concerned, that should leave all
options on the table, because it is
the end that you're trying to
achieve and you then find the means
to support it. So we're setting out
very clearly those tests.
were to vote down an agreement
because it did not meet your tests,
and there was time to send, back to
the EU to get a better deal, then
you would have significantly
weakened their negotiating hand
chukka that doesn't help them?
don't think, has deployed its
negotiating hand very strongly thus
far. Because we had a general
election which meant that we lost
time that we would have used for
negotiating. We still don't know
what kind of long-term trade and
market access deal, wants. The Prime
Minister says, I don't want a deal
like Canada and I don't want a deal
like the European Economic Area. But
we still don't know what kind of
deal they want. With about 12 months
to go, the other thing, needs to do
is to set out very clearly above all
for the benefit of the other 27
European countries, what kind of
deal it wants. When I travel to
Europe and talk to those involved in
the negotiations, you see other
leaders saying, we don't actually
know what Britain wants. With a year
to go it is about time we made that
One related question on the
European Union - you spoke in your
famous speech in Syria about the
international brigades in Spain, and
I wonder if your solidarity with
them leads you to think that the UK
Government should be recognising
Catalonia is an independent state?
No, I don't think so. It is a very
difficult and potentially dangerous
situation in Catalonia at the
moment. Direct rule from Madrid is
not a long-term solution. There
needs to be a negotiation, and
elections will give Catalonia the
chance to take that decision, but I
am not clear what the declaration of
independence actually means. Are
they going to be borders, is they're
going to be an army? There will have
to be some agreement. Catalonia has
already had a high degree of
autonomy. It may like some more, and
it seems to me if you look at the
experience here in the United
Kingdom, that is the way to go, not
a constitutional stand-off. And I
really hope nobody is charged with
rebellion, because actually that
would make matters worse.
Now, the Government has this
week reopened the public
consultation on plans for a third
runway at Heathrow.
While ministers are clear
the £18 billion project
is still the preferred option,
new data raises further questions
about the environmental
impact of expansion,
and offers an improved
economic case for a second
runway at Gatwick instead.
So, with opponents on all sides
of the Commons, does the Government
still have the votes to get
the plans off the ground?
Here's Elizabeth Glinka.
The debate over the expansion
of Heathrow has been
going on for decades.
Plans for a third runway
were first introduced
by the Labour government in 2003.
Then, after spending millions
of pounds, finally, in 2015,
the airport commission recommended
that those plans go ahead,
and the government position
appeared to be fixed.
But, of course, since then,
we've had a general election.
The Government have lost
their Commons majority.
And with opposition on both front
benches, the Parliamentary
arithmetic looks a little bit up
in the air.
A lot has changed since the airport
commission produced its report,
and that don't forget
was the bedrock for the Government's
decision, that's why the government
supposedly made the decision
that it made.
But most of the assumptions
made in that report have
been undermined since,
by data on passenger numbers,
on economic benefits, and more
than anything, on pollution.
There's demand from international
carriers to get into Heathrow.
More and more people want to fly.
And after the referendum,
is going to be absolutely critical
to the UK economy, so if anything,
I think the case is stronger
for expansion at Heathrow.
A vote on expansion had been due
to take place this summer.
But with Westminster somewhat
distracted, that didn't happen.
Now, fresh data means
the Government has had to reopen
the public consultation.
But it maintains the case
for Heathrow is as strong as ever,
delivering benefits of up
to £74 billion to the wider economy.
And in any case, the Government
says, action must be taken,
as all five of London's airports
will be completely
full by the mid-2030s.
Still, the new research does cast
an alternative expansion at Gatwick
in a more favourable economic light,
while showing Heathrow
is now less likely to meet
its environmental targets.
Campaigners like these in Hounslow
sense the wind is shifting.
We're feeling encouraged,
because we see all kinds
of weaknesses in the argument.
Certainly, quite a few MPs,
I think certainly Labour MPs,
are beginning to think perhaps it's
not such a great idea
to have a third runway.
Their MP is convinced colleagues
can now be persuaded
to see things their way.
The Labour Party quite
rightly set four key tests
for a third runway at Heathrow.
And in my view,
Heathrow is not able...
The Heathrow option is not able
to pass any of those.
So, I see a lot of colleagues
in the Labour Party around
the country beginning
to think twice.
And if you look at the cross-party
MPs supportin this anti-Heathrow
And if you look at the cross-party
MPs supporting this anti-Heathrow
protest this week, you will see
some familiar faces.
You know my position -
as the constituency MP,
I'm totally opposed.
I think this is another indication
of just the difficulties
the Government have got off
of implementing this policy.
I don't think it's going to happen,
I just don't think
it's going to happen.
So, if some on the Labour
front bench are, shall
we say, not supportive,
what about the other side?
In a free vote, we could have had up
to 60 Conservative MPs
voting against expansion,
that's the number that is normally
used and I think it's right.
In the circumstances where it
requires an active rebellion,
the numbers would be fewer.
I can't tell you what that
number is, but I can tell
you that there are people right
the way through the party,
from the backbenches
to the heart of the government,
who will vote against
And yet the SNP, whose Commons
votes could prove vital,
are behind the Heathrow plan,
which promises more
And other supporters are convinced
they have the numbers.
There is a majority of members
of Parliament that support Heathrow
expansion, and when that is put
to the test, whenever that will be,
I think that will be
Any vote on this issue
won't come until next summer.
For both sides, yet more time
to argue about weather
the plans should take off
or be permanently grounded.
Elizabeth Glinka there.
And I'm joined now by the former
Cabinet minister Theresa Villiers,
who oversaw aviation policy
as a transport minister
under David Cameron.
Thanks for coming in. You have made
your opposition to a third runway at
Heathrow consistently clear. , have
reopened this consultation but it is
still clearly their preferred
It is but what I have always
asked is, why try to build a new
runway at Heathrow when you can
build one at Gatwick in half the
time, for half the cost and with a
tiny fraction of the environment
will cost average is that true,
though? Private finance is already
to go at Heathrow, because that's
where people want to do it and
that's where the private backers
want to put it. It would take much
longer to get the private finance
for Gatwick? Part of that private
finance is passengers of the future,
but also, the costs of the surface
transport needed to expand Heathrow
is phenomenal. I mean, TfL estimates
vary between £10 billion and £15
billion. And there's no suggestion
that those private backers are going
to meet those costs. So, this is a
hugely expensive project as well as
one which will create very
ultimately where passengers and
airlines want to go to, isn't it?
Every slot is practically full.
Every time a new one comes up, it is
up immediately, it's a very popular
airport. Gatwick is not where they
want to go?
There are many airlines
and passengers who do want to fly
from Gatwick, and all the forecasts
indicate that a new runway there
would be full of planes very
rapidly. But I think the key thing
is that successive elements have
said, technology will deliver a way
to resolve the around noise and air
quality. I don't have any confidence
that science has demonstrated that
technology will deliver those
solutions to these very serious
environmental limbs which have
stopped Heathrow expansion for
Jim Fitzpatrick in the film
was mentioning that people think
there is a need for even more
collectivity in Britain post-Brexit.
We know that business has been
crying out for more routes, they
really think it hurts business
expansion that we don't get on with
this. More consultation is just
going to lead to more delay, isn't
This is a hugely controversial
decision. There is a reason why
people have been talking about
expanding Heathrow for 50 years and
it is never happened, it's because
it's a bad idea. So, inevitably the
legal processes are very complex.
One of my anxieties about, pursuing
this option is that potentially it
means another lost decade for
airport expansion. Because the
problems with Heathrow expansion are
so serious, I believe that's one of
the reasons why I advocated, anyone
who wants a new runway in the
south-east should be backing Gatwick
is a much more deliverable option.
Let me move on to Brexit. We were
talking with Hilary Benn about a
meaningful vote being given to the
House of Commons chukka how
important do you think that is?
course the Commons will vote on
this. The Commons is going to vote
on this many, many times. We have
also had a hugely important vote not
only in the referendum on the 23rd
of June but also on Article 50.
will that vote allow any changes to
it? Hilary Benn seemed to think that
the Commons would be able to shape
the deal with the vote. But actually
is it going to be, saying, take it
or leave it at all what we have
Our Prime Minister
negotiates on our behalf
well-established precedent that
after an agreement is reached
overseas, then it is considered in
the House of Commons.
What if it was
voted down in the House of Commons?
Well, the legal effect of that would
be that we left the European Union
without any kind of deal, because
the key decision was on the voting
of Article 50 as an irreversible
Is it irreversible,
though? We understand, may have had
legal advice saying that Yukon
stopped the clock on Article 50.
Would it not be possible if the
Commons voted against to ask the
European Union for a little bit more
time to try and renegotiate?
is a debate about the reversibility
of Article 50. But the key point is
that we are all working for a good
deal for the United Kingdom and the
I'm concerned that some of the
amendments to the legislation are
not about the nature of the deal at
the end of the process, they're just
about frustrating the process. I
think that would be wrong. I think
we should respect the result of the
Will it be by next
summer, so there is time for
Parliament and for other
I certainly hope that
we get that agreement between the
two sides, and the recent European
summit seemed to indicate a
willingness from the European side
to be constructive. But one point
where I think Hilary Benn has a
point, if we do secure agreement on
a transitional deal, that does
potentially give us more time to
work on the details of a trade
agreement. I hope we get as much as
possible in place before exit day.
But filling out some of that detail
is made easier if we can secure that
two-year transitional deal.
That is interesting because a lot of
Brexiteers what the deal to be done
by the inflammation period, it is
not a time for that.
recognise we need compromise, I am
keen to work with people across my
party in terms of spectrum of
opinion, and with other parties as
well to ensure we get the best
Let me ask you briefly
before you go about the possible
culture of sexual harassment in the
House of commons and Theresa May
will write to the Speaker of the
House of Commons to make sure there
is a better way that people can
report sexual harassment in the
House of commons. Is that necessary?
A better procedure is needed. It is
sad it has taken this controversy to
push this forward. But there is a
problem with MPs who are individual
employers. If you work for an MP and
have a complaint against them,
essentially they are overseeing
their own complaints process. I
think a role for the House of
commons authorities in ensuring that
those complaints are properly dealt
with I think would be very helpful,
so I think the Prime Minister's
letter was a sensible move.
think there is a culture of sexual
harassment in the House of commons?
I have not been subjected to it or
seen evidence of it, but obviously
there is anxiety and allegations
have made their way into the papers
and they should be treated
appropriately and properly
Thank you for talking
Thank you for talking to us.
Next week the Lord Speaker's
committee publishes its final report
into reducing the size
of the House of Lords.
With over 800 members the upper
house is the second largest
legislative chamber in the world
after the National People's
Congress of China.
The report is expected to recommend
that new peerages should be
time-limited to 15 years and that
in the future political peerage
appointments will also be tied
to a party's election performance.
The government has been under
pressure to take action to cut
members of the unelected chamber,
where they are entitled
to claim an attendance
allowance of £300 a day.
And once again these expenses
have been in the news.
The Electoral Reform Society
discovered that 16 peers had claimed
around £400,000 without speaking
in any debates or submitting any
questions for an entire year.
One of the Lords to be
criticised was Digby Jones,
the crossbencher and former trade
minister, he hasn't spoken
in the Lords since April 2016
and has voted only seven times
during 2016 and 2017.
Yet he has claimed around
£15,000 in this period.
When asked what he does
in the House he said,
"I go in and I will invite for lunch
or meet with inward
investors into the country.
I fly the flag for Britain."
Well, we can speak now
to Lord Jones who joins us
from Stratford Upon Avon.
Thank you very much for talking to
us. You provide value for money in
the House of Lords do you think?
Definitely. I am, by the way, very
keen on reform. I want to see that
15 year tide. I would like to see a
time limit, an age limit of 75 or
80. I would like attendants
definitely define so the whole
public understood what people are
paying for and why. The £300, as a
crossbencher I get no support, and
nor do I want any, speech writing,
secretarial assistance, none of
that, and the £300 goes towards
Whilst you are in there
because we will talk about the
reform of the Lords in general, but
in terms of you yourself, you say
you invite people in for lunch, is
it not possible for you to take part
in debates and votes and ask
questions at the same time?
ever listened to a debate in the
laws? Yes, many times.
times. You have to put your name
down in advance and you have to be
there for the whole debate.
to be around when the vote is called
and you do not know when the book is
called, you have no idea when the
boat is going to be called.
part of being a member of the House
of Lords and what it means. If you
are not prepared to wait or take
part in debates, why do you want to
be a member? It is possible to
resign from the House of Lords.
There are many things members of the
Lords do that does not relate to
parrot fashion following somebody
else, which I refuse to do, about
speaking to an empty chamber, or
indeed hanging on sometimes for
hours to vote. There are many other
things that you do. You quote me as
saying I will entertain at lunchtime
or show people around the House,
everything from schoolchildren to
inward investors. I will meet
ministers about big business issues
or educational issues, and at the
same time I will meet other members
of the Lords to get things moving.
None of that relates to going into
the House and getting on your hind
legs, although I do go in and sit
there and learn and listen to
others, which, if more people would
receive and not transmit, we might
get a better informed society. At
the same time many times I will go
after I have listened and I am
leaving and if I have not heard the
debate, I will not vote.
an essential part of being part of a
legislative chamber. This is not
just an executive committee, it is a
legislature, surpassing that law is
essential, is it not?
Do you really
believe that an MP or a member of
the Lords who has not heard a moment
of the debate, who is then listening
to the Bell, walks in and does not
know which lobby, the whips tell
him, they have not heard the debate
and they do not know what they are
voting on and they go and do it?
That is your democracy? Voting seems
to be an essential part of this
chamber, and you have your ideas
about reforming the chamber. It
sounds as though you would reform
yourself out of it. You say people
who are not voting and who are not
taking part in debate should no
longer be members of the House.
did not say that. I said we ought to
redefine what attendance means and
then if you do not attend on the new
criteria, you do not have to come
ever again, we will give you your
wish. I agree attendance might mean
unless you speak, you are going.
Fair enough, if that is what is
agreed, yes. Sometimes I would speak
and sometimes I would not. If I did
not, then off I go. Similarly after
15 years, off you go. If you reach
75 or 80, off you go. Why do we have
92 members who are only there
because of daddy.
You are talking
about hereditary peers. You would
like to reduce the House to what
kind of number?
I would get it down
You would get rid of half
the peers there at the moment? You
think you are active enough to
remain as one of the 400?
No, I said
that might well include me. Let's
get a set of criteria, let's push it
through, because the laws is losing
respect in the whole of the country
because there are too many and all
these things about what people pay
for. I bet most people think the
money you get is paid. It is not, it
is re-funding for all the things you
have to pay for yourself. But I
understand how respect has been lost
in society. Let's change it now.
Let's get it through and then, yes,
if you do not meet the criteria, you
have got to go and that includes me.
Lloyd Jones, thank you for talking
Lloyd Jones, thank
you for talking to us.
It's coming up to 11.40,
you're watching the Sunday Politics.
Coming up on the programme,
we'll be talking to the former
business minister and Conservative
MP Anna Soubry about the Brexit
negotiations and claims of sexual
harassment in Parliament.
Hello, and the warmest of welcomes
to your local part of the show.
Coming up, MPs warn
of a new health scandal
affecting tens of
thousands of women.
I'll be asking Labour's public
health spokeswoman, Wearside MP
Sharon Hodgson, why she believes
an independent enquiry is needed.
And taxpayers' money
was used to buy this
airport in Scotland.
So should the same happen
to Durham Tees Valley
Well, the Tees Valley Mayor
Ben Houchen, thanks so.
He's here with me
in the studio today.
But first, there's
been the first rise
in spending on social care
for the elderly in seven years.
Yet the region's
councils say they are
still struggling to provide personal
help or places in care homes for all
of those who need them.
Unless this problem is sorted
out there are fears
the frail and elderly could get
stuck in hospital beds creating a
winter crisis for the NHS.
Sharon Hodgson, there is more money
available, partly from the
Government, partly it
has to be said from
the council taxpayer
region as well.
Is that going to help
a council like Sunderland in
your area to cope
better this winter?
Well, we're not going to say no
to any extra help but it's a drop
in the ocean to the size
of the cuts for Sunderland.
My local authority, that had cuts
of £15 million since
2010, which is 20% of their social
care budget so any money that comes
in, yes, it is desperately needed
but it really is a drop in the ocean
because it is not enough.
Ben Houchen, the
Prime Minister says,
they are looking for a long-term
solution to this but Sharon Hodgson
said a lot of the councils say that
there's immediate need for even more
money to help councils
across the north east.
What would you say to that?
The Government and the Chancellor
committed £2 billion up
to 2020 of new money to social care
funding and there is an immediate £1
billion package available in 17-18.
So there's immediate
But I think there's a wider issue
here we need to look at.
reforms to social care.
We have a more elderly population.
We have people with
more complex needs.
The consultation that the Government
has currently put out to
look at this is extremely important
on a wider discussion we have to
have on social care.
Presumably not the revival
of that plan that was
the manifesto that would involve
lots of people not keeping their
Not if I have anything
to do with it.
Your counterpart in Manchester
has powers over some
aspect of health and social
care, the mayor there.
Would that help if you had that
power in Teesside, or
would you rather steer
clear of responsibility
for something that is a very
difficult policy area?
It is a very difficult
policy area and we
see in Manchester they are
struggling with the concept of
devolved health and social care
as their responsibility.
I am very much
concentrating on economic
regeneration and job creation which
is the portfolio that I've been
Would it be better if you were
across all authorities?
In the long term that is something
that may come along.
We are talking about
a second devolution deal,
with Government, social
care and health care
care are not in that
Because of the maturity
of the organisation we have.
But central government and local
politicians are very aware of this
as a long-term journey and ideally
we want to get to a point where we
are ready to take on those
responsibilities but I do think it
is some way in the future.
Sharon Hodgson, this
is such a serious problem.
At the moment there is a danger
that Labour just plays
politics, and of course calls
an opposition debate this week,
to try and embarrass the Government.
Politicians do that.
But actually what the public
want is a long-term
solution to this.
They want you and the other
parties to sit down and
come up with a solution
you can all agree on.
Well, yes, that would be great.
And we have got a plan.
We have said in our
manifesto and since
we would put an extra 8 billion
into social care with all the other,
have a real national health
and social care service.
Given the Government's changes why
don't you to sit down with the
the problem is someone
comes up with a plan
it and votes it down.
We would if they had a plan.
Barbara Keeley, my shadow minister
who covers social care and
mental health, has said time
and time again she would be happy
to sit down if there was something
table to discuss.
If there was a real plan.
But when you've even got Ben
saying what was in the
manifesto even he would distance
himself from, they need to come
forward with a plan.
And what we have heard this
week, the care B and B
aspect, whoever came up with that,
thankfully everyone is
distancing themselves from it
but that was just crazy.
We need real proposals on the table.
I'm sure that is an issue
we will come back
Staying with another
health-related issue, and the
Government is currently coming under
pressure to hold an enquiry on what
has been described as an ongoing
public health scandal affecting
thousands of women.
Many have been left
in permanent pain because of
The implants are usually used
to treat organ prolapse
But there have been
reports of serious
to this surgery.
Last week the chair of the Health
Select Committee, Conservative MP
Sarah Wollaston, said, an absence
of data and cavalier practice had
exposed woman to unacceptable risks.
Our reporter has been
speaking to Lorna about what
happened to her when she had a mesh
implant to fix a bowel problem.
Within 12 months I was aware that
I was becoming seriously unwell.
The symptoms included
weight loss, and explosive,
foul smelling diarrhoea.
I was really frightened.
I initially went to the GP
and I said, I feel like I have
got a monster in my body
and it is try to spit it out.
So eventually I saw
a hospital consultant.
There seemed to be
for me long periods of
Eventually by August 2013
I was really frightened.
And I walked into a hospital
department and I said, I begged for
help, somebody help me.
24 hours later I was
undergoing emergency surgery.
I had a perforated
bowel and I was septic.
My marriage collapsed.
So I find myself alone.
My career collapsed.
I had to leave work.
My ill health was clearly
It challenged my
faith at the time as
So emotionally, psychologically,
physically, I felt
harmed at every level.
And what was quite concerning at
that time as well is
that there was very little help
from the welfare state.
I am in constant pain
and I never know from which day
to the next the pain
levels are going to be.
I get constant migraines,
I now have fibromyalgia,
so I get a lot of muscle pain,
joint aches, I am constantly cold.
Self-esteem is low.
Self-confidence is low.
My ability to socialise is affected.
Further use of the mesh
should be suspended
and there should be
Labour has called for
an immediate halt to the use of
Sharon Hodgson is the party's
shadow public health
No-one could listen to Lorna's story
there without having
huge sympathy and horror at
the complications that she has gone
But there is a danger that Labour
could be overreacting to
Because the medical experts say
in the vast majority of cases
these implants provide
great benefits to women.
It's only a minority
where there are problems.
That might be right.
This is why we have called
for a full halt to any
more of these things
being put into women
and a full enquiry into
numbers of women affected and why.
Because it might be the case,
there is arguments, 1-3% of
women affected, or up to 15%,
which the campaign groups
are saying it's more like 15%.
Yes, that could be 85% of women
have no problem and it
transforms their life.
But it ruins the life of the others.
If that was a car or
a washing machine or a
tumble dryer that there was 1-3%
blowing up and causing devastation
anywhere near what we've heard,
it would be recalled.
There would be a huge pause.
We know that happens.
But why when it is
something that has
been put into women's bodies,
and women aren't told
what the negative consequences
could be, it is a quick
20 minute procedure,
the tour that will
transform your life,
your stress incontinence
or your bowel problem.
They are not told that there
could be these awful side-effects
which ruin their lives.
I take that point but
the problem is if you shut
this off, even for a period, there
is a danger here for the women who
have got not life-threatening
problems, but they are embarrassing,
inconvenient, debilitating problems
that these are supposed to tackle.
And the alternatives
have problems too.
So you are going to deny a treatment
that is working for people
to lots of women in the meantime.
We had a debate last
week on this and
there was a number of women
who were able to travel came
to the debate, sat in on the debate,
and after the
debate we had a full meeting in one
of the committee rooms and this was
one of the things raised.
And I spoke to a lot
of the women and I said,
knowing where you were before, your
problem, whatever it was, the reason
you had the sling or the mesh
or the tape as they now call it,
put in, knowing what you know now,
would you have had it done?
How bad was your life
before compared to now?
And every one of them, obviously
these are the women affected, every
one of them said they wouldn't.
Because they said that the problems
before were mild to moderate and now
they are devastating effects.
I also spoke to
the surgeon, a Harley
Street surgeon, she is one of the
best in the country, who spends four
hours a time to remove these,
because they get incorporated into
the women's bodies, bowels,
bladders, vaginas, and she said
that often other procedures,
other methods aren't
tried because this is just seen
as a quick cheap fix.
Other things should be tried.
But you are asking us
to perhaps place our
faith in a minority
medical profession and some
politicians rather than what appears
to be the majority of
the medical profession.
This could cause panic
to women that have
They might think, I want to get
it taken out, which is
and dangerous procedure.
And the procedure to
get it taken out is
awful, devastating, and a huge
operation to have it taken out.
This is why we need the pause.
America has it as a
high risk procedure.
Canada has a pause.
Scotland paused in 2014.
We just need to pause
and look again.
I think woman, knowing of this,
women need to know what could
happen, then it is up to them,
with their doctors,
to decide what they do next.
Whether it is railways
or the water industry,
nationalisation is a policy more
often associated with the Labour
But when it comes to the future
of Durham Tees Valley Airport
it seems to be the Conservatives
making the running.
The airport has seen
its passenger numbers nosedive
from around 900,000 in 2006
to just 130,000 last year.
Tees Valley mayor
wants to bring back
into public ownership
to revive its fortunes.
But how would that work and is it
a good week to spend tax
I have been to Scotland
where something similar has
already been attempted.
Prestwick airport at its peak.
30 miles south of Glasgow
in Ayrshire, a gateway to
Even Elvis stopped here once.
And Prestwick today
is still just about rocking.
But like Durham Tees Valley Airport
has had a turbulent decade.
Passenger numbers have plummeted at
Prestwick, down 75% since 2005, in
2013 the existence of the airport
was in question. Its future under
its then private owner was bleak.
The Scottish Government stepped in,
buying Prestwick for £1. For years
later on it is yet to recapture its
glory days but passenger numbers are
rising again. The local MP says
public ownership is the key to
Knowing that you are not having to
just love from year to year, that
you have got a backer that is stable
and committed to the future of the
airport, means that the team can
knuckle down and work out how to
attract, whether British maintenance
work, cargo, passengers.
this is just one of five arrivals
today this is an airport that is no
ambitious, there are even plans to
become the UK's first spaceport. Is
this a model for a publicly owned
airport in Teesside? Do not get too
carried away. At the last count this
airport was still using £9 million
per year and its survival was only
secured with £40 million of loans
from the Scottish taxpayer. That
debt has led to some serious
questions being asked. The Scottish
Parliament in Edinburgh. It has
emerged it could take 15 more years
for that to be clear. Some are not
convinced taxpayers get a good deal
when politicians by airports.
I am sceptical whether the public
will ever see a return on their
investments, that is public money
that could be used on schools,
hospitals. That is a situation
similar to that in the north-east of
agreement where the regional airport
at Newcastle, Leeds Bradford, and a
smaller airport in the middle, I
wonder how viable batters.
If it was
viable it would not be public
support. Even Ben Houchen's
counterparts at Hollywood have not
been entirely won over to political
At the time it was the right thing
to do to take into ownership to
safeguard those local jobs. That is
very important. But it cannot stay
in public ownership in the long
term. I want to see yet returned as
soon as possible to private
ownership. I want to be successful.
I want the public purse to be
refunded every penny that has been
spent to date.
Perhaps even a short
burst of public ownership could
benefit Durham Tees Valley Airport,
charting a Pattullo Bible, except
that nobody has offered to sell this
airport for £1.
Labour sees the
mayor would be better moving on from
that place. It is pie in the sky. It
is not going to happen. Ben Houchen
has not made an offer to buy it.
Accept it is just for the purpose of
getting elected and move on to
journeyman transport needs of the
area and not pursue these flights of
And the owner says it has a
good plan to secure the future of
Teesside airport. So will following
the Prestwick pattern even be an
Latest octave Ben Houchen, the Tees
Valley mayor about that and other
issues he has been tackling in his
first six months in the job.
This is pie in the sky, the airport
is not for sale, you make the
promise in the heat of an election
campaign, do you want to go back on
Not at all. I am committed to
trying to deliver my election
pledge. Having been brought up in
the area I know the importance of
the airport, not just for flights to
go on holiday, but for economic
importance. We have got a massive
regeneration project which is trying
to attract inward economic
investment, and having an airport
for work passengers is just as
supported as those flights. There is
an economic case that we need a good
local airport. We talk of Newcastle,
the catchment area for Teesside is
larger than Newcastle. There is an
economic arguments that Teesside
airport can thrive.
I want to
deliver on that pledge. Even if you
did manage to buy, you can see from
what has happened at Prestwick, they
have saved it from potential
closure, but at a potential drain on
the public purse. You have got lots
of things you want to spend money
The bill can do more than one
thing at a time. When Andy talks
about other transport priorities we
have already launched our road
infrastructure plan for a bypass
road, improving the a 66 corridor.
You can only spend each £1 once,
every £1 you spend on the airport 's
money you cannot spend on bus
services, roads, railways.
right that I was elected on the
mandate, of buying the airport, the
public have given me a clear mandate
that that is what they want me to
spend their money on. Having been
given that mandate to pursue my
pledge I make sure the economic
pledge Stapp sap, to see to the
public this is the plan. But it is
not for sale. I am in discussion
with the owners. They have not
turned red and said it is not for
sale. I have another meeting in
coming weeks to talk about the
details proposition. It is a
sensitive negotiation at the moment.
Don't you think, as a conservative,
this is bizarre, you probably
believe that private-sector
companies are better at running
these institutions, rather than
politicians? You are saying you
could run it better than this
private company that has a plan for
There are a number of
options on the table. The end goal
of what we do with the airport is
open to debate. We have seen some
public and private partnerships in
Manchester and Newcastle were public
sector has majority ownership but I
good strong private provider. The
mix of what could happen is not as
straightforward as becoming the new
chief executive of the airport.
former Redcar steelworks site, a
Corporation setup, when might we see
jobs move on to that site?
watched public consultation last
week, that last for six weeks,
please get involved and give us your
feedback. We have been very clear
that because of the significant road
infrastructure and broad
rationalisation we should expect to
see construction jobs starting next
year and depending on how
negotiations go with some of the
partners we hope to be able to carve
out some projects at some point next
year. Do you need more money? We
need Government money and I have
been lobbying extremely hard with
the treasury and the budget to get
money into the area to kick-start
that project. The Prime Minister is
behind it and I am trying to make
sure that the rest of the ministers
are behind it because it is
something we need to get this
project off the ground because it
ultimately means regeneration of the
area which means jobs for local
Thank you. Electric cars,
even driverless vehicles, are the
future, and one north-east MPs
revealed that she bought one but not
without some problems. Here is that
story and the rest of the news in 60
Bishop Auckland MP is now the proud
owner of a Nissan Beef electric car
but she told the Commons more
vehicle charging points when needed
and better advice from garages.
men in the garage were not good at
explaining how it worked. Out of the
20 people they employed, only one
really understood it. That sales
force also has to understand how
these things work.
Plans for the
continued overnight closure of an
urgent care centre in North Tyneside
have been condemned by an MP and a
mayor. It comes as a hospital
appears to reopen its 24 hour
service. Councillors in Hartlepool
have a new waterfront masterplan
with a hotel and watersports
And Ukip Euro MP has called victory
in attempt to stop subsidising
bull-fighting in Spain. The
amendment is passed, it is yet to be
One bit of extra news. North East
has been appointed Brexit Minister
for the House of Lords.
I want to talk about electric cars,
have you got one?
Not yet. It was
interesting what Helen said. She
made a very good point. One of the
things that is always put us off
getting one is the distance, how far
you have got to go. We go up and
down the country quite a bit. The
new Nissan Leaf that is manufactured
later this year is going to be 60%
further capacity, it will go 235
miles, nearly enough to get you to
London, but with regard to the sales
pitch, for people who are put off by
the distance, one of the things that
the seals men are supposed to remind
people is that for a holiday or the
odd long journey the amount of money
you are saving, you could have a
hired car that could do that
journey, but 235 miles, and a
charging point at service stations.
As the infrastructure good enough at
the moment? Probably not but
hopefully in time it will be. We
need the super fast ones to be at
service stations and then getting
around the country will not be a
Ben Houchen is there a
mayoral vehicle, as it electric?
is not electric. The north-east has
more than 1000 electric charging
points. I believe it may still be
the most connected for electric
vehicles. On an adjacent point we
are working hard to go a step be on
the electric vehicles, we are
working with governments to see if
we can come up with the pilot for
automated vehicles, as a pilot area,
to test that technology. We have got
a great supply chain in the Tees
Valley. We have got the Nissan being
produced in the north-east and
Sunderland as well, we have a
heritage of car production. Diesel?
I have a diesel car but the
long-term vision of moving to new
technology weather in manufacturing,
industrial, cars, I am always in
Thank you. That is about
it for this week. I form in my
driverless car, that is what my
passengers tell me it feels like
when I am at the real. I will be
back here, same time, simplest, next
Sunday, Liberal Democrat MP Vince
With that, it's back to Sarah.
Now, the much anticipated
EU Withdrawal Bill,
which will transfer EU law into UK
law in preparation for Brexit,
is expected to be debated
by MPs later next month.
Critics have called it a "power
grab" as it introduces so-called
Henry VIII powers for Whitehall
to amend some laws without
and it faces fierce resistance
from opposition parties
as well as many on the government's
own backbenches, with 300 amendments
and 54 new clauses tabled on it.
We're joined now by the Conservative
MP Anna Soubry who has been a strong
critic of the legislation.
Thank you very much for joining us.
Before we talk about the withdrawal
bill, I would like to bring up with
you that the Prime Minister has just
sent a letter to the Commons Speaker
John Bercow asking for an
independent body to be established
to investigate claims of sexual
harassment in Parliament. What are
your thoughts on that?
A very good
idea, sounds like a great deal of
common sense. I had already this
morning sent a request to the
speaker asking for an urgent
statement from the Leader of the
House as to what could now be done
to make sure that any complaints
actually against anybody working in
Parliament, to extend the
protections that workers throughout
the rest of businesses and in other
workplaces have, they should now be
extended into Parliament and asking
for an urgent statement from the
leader. Clearly the PM is well onto
this and it is a good idea. We have
to make sure everybody who works in
Parliament enjoys exactly the same
protections as other workers, so I
This should maybe have
happened a long time ago. We hear
stories of harassment that has been
going on for decades, but until now
it has been difficult to work out
who you could complain to about it.
It is my understanding that my Chief
Whip and the previous deputy Chief
Whip, and Milton, shared that view
and have shared that view for some
time but found it difficult to get
all the agreement necessary. Anyway,
we are where we are and we are
making that progress, but
my Chief Whip and the previous
deputy Chief Whip wanted this done
some time ago.
That is an
interesting point. Let's move on to
the much anticipated EU withdrawal
bill which will finally be debated.
You have put your name to an
amendment which is calling for a
vote on the final agreement in
essence, do you really believe that
that will be a meaningful both
offered to the Commons?
Yes, if you
look at the terms of the amendment,
it would deliver exactly that. It
would give members of Parliament the
opportunity to debated and voted on
it. It would be an effective piece
of legislation and would go through
both houses and should be done. One
of the problems with this process is
that Parliament has been excluded
from the sort of debate and
decisions that would have enabled
the government to move forward in
progress and form a consensus so we
get the very best Brexit deal.
have been excluded, that has been
wrong in my view, but by the end we
should not be excluded. The
government have made it clear that
whilst there may well be a boat if
you win on this amendment, it will
be a take it or leave it vote. This
is a deal you should accept, or
there will be no deal.
If you look
at the amendment we put forward
there will be other alternatives.
This is all hypothetical because we
want a good deal and it is difficult
to see that the government would not
bring a good deal to the House in
any event. But this is hypothetical,
it would mean Parliament would say
to government, go back and seek an
extension as we know it is there in
Article 50. It is perfectly possible
with the agreement of the other
members of the EU to seek an
extension so we continue the
negotiations and we get a deal that
is good for our country. It keeps
all options open and that is the
most important thing.
Conservative MPs really would take
that option in those circumstances?
It is only if you get enough votes
that you would be able to ask the
government to go back and
Have you for that?
For give me, but
you are jumping way down the line. I
am talking about an amendment that
keeps the options open. I am not
speculating as to what would happen,
I am not going there, it is far too
speculative. Let's get this bill in
good shape. The principle of this
bill is right and we need to put
into British domestic law existing
EU laws and regulations into our
substantive law. We all agree that
must happen. It is the means by
which we do it that causes problems
and we have this argument and debate
about what we call the endgame.
sure we will talk about this many
more times before we get to that
vote. I will turn to our panel of
political experts. Listening to the
tone of what the remainders are
trying to achieve with the EU
withdrawal bill, will be achieved?
You can hear that tussled there,
they want the maximum space and room
for Parliament to have a say. But
they have to be careful. The reason
is that clock is ticking and if you
have a situation which may seem to
be more interested in finding
different things to object to and
saying no to, it is not getting a
good deal and it does not look good
for the remainders in this argument
and they will have to come through
with their proposals. I do not mind
Parliament saying it should have a
big say, but what do you do if
Parliament says this is not good
enough? The government must simply
say, I am sorry we have run out of
time. The 27 will say they cannot be
bothered to have another round
either. They have to be strong, but
realistic about what their role in
Do you think the people
putting this amendment who say they
want a binding vote in parliament
are doing it because they think
Parliament should have a say or
because they want to obstruct it?
They do not think people should have
a say in the first place, they think
people got it wrong, so they need
more clever people than the voters
to have final say.
Or they believed
taking back control means Parliament
should have the final say.
Parliament said they would like to
give that decision back to the
people. This is the issue. It seems
to me that people like Anna Soubry
are trying to delay of the
transition period a bit longer.
These negotiations will take as long
as they have got. The EU will take
it to the wire and if we do not get
a decent deal, and one of the
reasons is the level of incompetence
on this government's part I have to
say and the other one will be the
people who want to remain
undermining them. They undermined
the government at every single stage
and they undermine Britain's
It is the timing of all
of this that is crucial and whether
the government can get a deal in
There will be a meaningful
vote, whether it is an shined in
legislation or not, there cannot be
an historic development as big as
this without Parliament having a
meaningful vote. I meaningful,
having the power to either stop it
or endorse it. You cannot have a
government doing something like this
with no vote in the House of
commons. When you say it will go to
the last minute I completely agree,
but last-minute in reality means
next summer. It has got to get
through the European Parliament and
the Westminster Parliament and quite
a few others as well.
with invoking Parliament is if it is
driven solely by remain, I would
love to say what people in the
league side think. I disagree with
Julia, I do not think you could say
people had their say and the terms
with which we leave are left open
and only the government should have
a say in it, Parliament clearly
should have a say in it.
Do we want
a good deal or not?
It does not mean
anything if you do not do it by next
summer I suggest.
Does that leave
Parliament any room for changing the
deal or is it simply take it or
It will have to have that
rule because it cannot simply be
another of these binary votes were
you accept the deal or no Deal.
There has to be some space.
a few MPs in the House of Commons
change a deal that has been agreed
by the member states?
Because of the
sequence, a huge if by the way, if
they vote down the deal that the
government has negotiated, the
government will have to re-negotiate
or there will have to be an
election. This will be a moment of
huge crisis, our government not
getting through its much topped
It is a mini Catalonia.
think it would be as big as
Catalonia, but with the implication
that there would have to be a
practical change in the deal because
if Parliament has not supported
It is a remain fantasy that
this deal can be put off and off
until they get something that is as
close to remaining as they can
possibly get. I am very much for
trying to get the best and avoiding
the worst, but there is an unreality
to that position if you keep trying
to do it again and again, at some
point people will want clarity.
labour putting forward a realistic
I thought Hilary Benn
was very realistic this morning, I
wish he was more in the driving seat
of Labour policy. He made clear
where he disagreed and he made clear
where he thought the negotiations
had gone off track or were bogged
down. I worry a bit about the Labour
position being incoherent, but that
is kept that way by the present
leadership because as far as they
are concerned the government is
suffering enough, why should they
have a position? Hilary Benn said we
needed to have clarity about the
timetable. It is like reading an
insurance contract and finding the
bit where you might get away with
it. That is not a policy.
That is not a policy.
That's all for today.
Join me again next Sunday
at 11 here on BBC One.
Until then, bye bye.
Sarah Smith and Richard Moss with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Guests include chair of the Exiting the EU Select Committee Hilary Benn and former transport minister Theresa Villiers. Steve Richards, Julia Hartley-Brewer and Anne McElvoy are the political panel.