02/04/2017 Sunday Politics Northern Ireland


02/04/2017

Mark Carruthers with the latest political news, interviews and debate.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 02/04/2017. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

It's Sunday Morning and this is the Sunday Politics.

:00:38.:00:41.

The Government has insisted that Gibraltar will not be bargained

:00:42.:00:44.

But the territory's chief minister says the EU's proposal

:00:45.:00:49.

After a momentous week, Britain's journey out

:00:50.:00:54.

Can the Prime Minister satisfy her critics at home

:00:55.:00:58.

We speak to the former Conservative leader, Michael Howard.

:00:59.:01:04.

And we have the lowdown on next month's local elections -

:01:05.:01:06.

Coming up here... who's going up and who's going down?

:01:07.:01:11.

The talks process at Stormont is to be ramped up this

:01:12.:01:13.

week with the promise of round-table discussions.

:01:14.:01:15.

So what will the three former Executive parties want out of it?

:01:16.:01:18.

Join me in half an hour. changing their minds. MPs from

:01:19.:01:22.

opposing sides give the view from there constituencies.

:01:23.:01:30.

And with me, as always, the best and the brightest political

:01:31.:01:32.

panel in the business - Steve Richards, Isabel Oakeshott

:01:33.:01:34.

and Tom Newton Dunn who'll be tweeting throughout the programme.

:01:35.:01:40.

For the people of Gibraltar, Clause 22 of the EU's draft negotiating

:01:41.:01:43.

guidelines came as something of a shock.

:01:44.:01:45.

The guidelines propose that the Government in Spain be

:01:46.:01:50.

given a veto over any future trade deal as it applies to

:01:51.:01:53.

The UK Government has reacted strongly, saying Gibraltar

:01:54.:01:59.

will not be bargained away in the Brexit talks.

:02:00.:02:01.

Here's the Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, speaking

:02:02.:02:07.

We are going to look after Gibraltar.

:02:08.:02:13.

Gibraltar's going to be protected all the way, all the way,

:02:14.:02:17.

because the sovereignty of Gibraltar cannot be changed without

:02:18.:02:19.

the agreement of the people of Gibraltar and they have made it

:02:20.:02:22.

very clear they do not want to live under Spanish rule

:02:23.:02:25.

and it is interesting, I think, in the draft guidelines from the EU

:02:26.:02:28.

that Spain is not saying that the whole thing is subject

:02:29.:02:31.

Michael Fallon earlier. Steve, is this a Spanish power grab or much

:02:32.:02:43.

ado about nothing? It could be both. Clearly what is happening about this

:02:44.:02:46.

negotiation and will happen again and again is that at different

:02:47.:02:51.

points individual countries can start playing bargaining cards. They

:02:52.:02:58.

will say, if you want a deal, you have to deliver this, UK. Spain is

:02:59.:03:03.

doing it early. It might turn out to be nothing at all. It is an early

:03:04.:03:10.

example of how to delete recruit after Article 50 is triggered, the

:03:11.:03:17.

dynamic -- how after Article 50 is triggered, the dynamic changes. At

:03:18.:03:22.

certain points, any country can veto it. It gives them much more power

:03:23.:03:27.

than we have clocked so far. Donald Tusk, the head of the European

:03:28.:03:31.

Council, he went out of his way to say Britain mustn't deal by

:03:32.:03:36.

laterally, with individual countries, it has to deal with the

:03:37.:03:41.

EU as a block. Was it mischiefmaking to add this bit in about Spain?

:03:42.:03:48.

Those two things do not tally. I think on our part, when I say we, I

:03:49.:03:55.

mean the Foreign Office and Number 10, we dropped the ball. By

:03:56.:04:00.

excluding Gibraltar from the letter of Article 50, they gave an

:04:01.:04:04.

opportunity to the Spanish to steal the narrative. Why this is

:04:05.:04:10.

important, presentation, things looked like they were going quite

:04:11.:04:14.

well for Theresa May when she handed over the letter, for a few hours,

:04:15.:04:19.

and suddenly, you have this incredible symbolism of Gibraltar.

:04:20.:04:25.

For Brexiteers, the idea that there could be some kind of diminishment

:04:26.:04:29.

or failure in relation to Gibraltar, it would be a very symbolic

:04:30.:04:34.

illustration of things not going entirely to plan. Forget the detail,

:04:35.:04:38.

it does not look great. Gibraltar got mentions in the white paper.

:04:39.:04:44.

They did not get a mention in the Article 50 notification. Do you

:04:45.:04:49.

think the British Government did not see this coming? To be honest, I do

:04:50.:04:53.

not think it would make a bit of difference. Theresa May could have

:04:54.:04:58.

an entire chapter in her letter to Donald Tusk and the Spanish and the

:04:59.:05:00.

EU would have still tried this on. For me, it was as much a point of

:05:01.:05:08.

symbolism than it was for any power grab. It was a good point to make.

:05:09.:05:12.

You need to know, Britain, you are not in our club, we will not have

:05:13.:05:17.

your interests at heart. Officials after the press conference, they

:05:18.:05:21.

went on to talk about it saying it is a territorial dispute. It is not!

:05:22.:05:30.

Gibraltar is British. It is very much a shot across the bow is.

:05:31.:05:34.

Whether it comes to pass, it is still yet to be seen. I feel we will

:05:35.:05:39.

be chasing hares like this for the next few years. There will be many

:05:40.:05:46.

other examples. They are greatly empowered by the whole process.

:05:47.:05:51.

Britain has not really got... It has got to wait and hear what their

:05:52.:05:55.

interpretation of Brexit is. They will negotiate, we will negotiate

:05:56.:06:00.

accordingly. I have some sympathy about the letter, the Article 50

:06:01.:06:05.

letter. They agonised over it, so much to get right in terms of

:06:06.:06:10.

balance and tone. It would have been absurd to start mentioning Skegness

:06:11.:06:15.

and everything else. Why not! Skegness, what did they do? It is a

:06:16.:06:23.

real example of how the dynamic now changes. The Spanish royals are

:06:24.:06:29.

going to come here in a couple of months, that could be interesting.

:06:30.:06:36.

It will be good feelings breaking up, I am sure. -- breaking out.

:06:37.:06:45.

So, after a historic week, the UK is now very much

:06:46.:06:47.

But will it be a smooth journey to the exit door?

:06:48.:06:51.

Or can we expect a bit of turbulence?

:06:52.:06:53.

Are you taking back control, Prime Minister?

:06:54.:06:56.

Big days in politics usually involve people shouting

:06:57.:06:58.

and the Prime Minister getting in a car.

:06:59.:07:00.

It is only a few hundred metres from Downing Street to Parliament.

:07:01.:07:03.

But the short journey is the start of a much longer one

:07:04.:07:05.

and we do not know exactly where we will all end up.

:07:06.:07:10.

This is a historic moment from which there can

:07:11.:07:13.

Moments earlier, this Dear John, sorry, Dear Don letter,

:07:14.:07:22.

was delivered by Britain's ambassador in Brussels to the EU

:07:23.:07:25.

He seemed genuinely upset to have been jilted.

:07:26.:07:28.

Back in Westminster, hacks from around the world

:07:29.:07:33.

were trying to work out what it all meant for the

:07:34.:07:36.

So, here it is, a copy of the six-page letter

:07:37.:07:42.

The letter reaffirms the PM's proposal to have talks on the exit

:07:43.:07:49.

deal and a future trade deal at the same time.

:07:50.:07:52.

It also mentioned the word "security" 11 times and stated

:07:53.:07:54.

a failure to reach agreement would mean cooperation

:07:55.:07:56.

in the fight against crime and terrorism would be weakened.

:07:57.:08:00.

Later, our very own Andrew got to ask her what would happen

:08:01.:08:04.

if Britain left the European policing agency, Europol.

:08:05.:08:10.

We would not be able to access information in the same way

:08:11.:08:14.

as we would as a member, so it is important, I think,

:08:15.:08:17.

we are able to negotiate a continuing relationship that

:08:18.:08:19.

enables us to work together in the way that we have.

:08:20.:08:21.

That night, the Brexiteers were happy.

:08:22.:08:23.

We did not have a Mad Hatter, but now we do.

:08:24.:08:30.

Down the street, even the Remainers, having a Mad Hatters' tea party,

:08:31.:08:33.

I am not sure that is actually Boris, though.

:08:34.:08:42.

The next morning, the papers suggested Theresa May would use

:08:43.:08:57.

security as a bargaining tool and threaten to withdraw the UK's

:08:58.:08:57.

cooperation in this area if no deal was struck.

:08:58.:08:58.

Downing Street denied it, as did the Brexit Secretary.

:08:59.:08:58.

We can both cope, but we will both be worse off.

:08:59.:09:01.

That seems to be a statement of fact, it is not a threat,

:09:02.:09:04.

David Davis had other business that morning,

:09:05.:09:07.

introducing the Great Repeal Bill, outling his plans to transfer

:09:08.:09:09.

all EU law into British law to change later,

:09:10.:09:12.

It is not without its critics but the Brexit Secretary said,

:09:13.:09:17.

among other benefits, it would make trade talks easier

:09:18.:09:19.

As we exit the EU and seek a new deep and special partnership

:09:20.:09:26.

with the European Union, we are doing so from a position

:09:27.:09:28.

where we have the same standards and rules.

:09:29.:09:30.

It will also ensure we deliver on our promise to end the supremacy

:09:31.:09:36.

of European Union law in the UK as we exit.

:09:37.:09:39.

There was, though, a small issue with the name.

:09:40.:09:46.

The Government hit an early hurdle with the Great Repeal Bill.

:09:47.:09:49.

Parliamentary draughtsmen said they were not allowed

:09:50.:09:51.

Great(!) so it is just the Repeal Bill.

:09:52.:09:59.

So far, it had been a tale of two cities.

:10:00.:10:01.

By Friday, there was another, Valletta in Malta, where EU leaders

:10:02.:10:05.

were having a meeting and President Tusk, yes, him again,

:10:06.:10:07.

set out draft guidelines for the EU Brexit strategy.

:10:08.:10:14.

Once, and only once, we have achieved sufficient progress

:10:15.:10:17.

on the withdrawal can we discuss the framework for our

:10:18.:10:19.

Starting parallel talks on all issues at the same time,

:10:20.:10:23.

as suggested by some in the UK, will not happen.

:10:24.:10:32.

The EU 27 does not and will not pursue a punitive approach.

:10:33.:10:36.

Brexit in itself is already punitive enough.

:10:37.:10:43.

The pressure on Theresa May to get the Brexit process going has now

:10:44.:10:46.

gone and the stage is being set elsewhere for the showdown

:10:47.:10:48.

But face-to-face discussions are not likely to happen

:10:49.:10:59.

Before May or early June. No one is celebrating just yet.

:11:00.:11:05.

We're joined now from Kent by the former Conservative

:11:06.:11:07.

The EU says it will not talk about a future relationship with the UK

:11:08.:11:15.

until there has been sufficient progress on agreeing the divorce

:11:16.:11:18.

bill. Should the UK agree to this phased approach? Well, I think you

:11:19.:11:27.

can make too much about the sequence and timing of the negotiations. I

:11:28.:11:33.

assume that it will be a case of nothing is agreed until everything

:11:34.:11:37.

is agreed and so any agreements that might be reached on things talked

:11:38.:11:40.

about early on will be very provisional, so I think you can make

:11:41.:11:47.

a big deal about the timing and the sequence when I do not think it

:11:48.:11:52.

really matters as much as all that. Don't people have a right in this

:11:53.:11:55.

country to be surprised of the talk of a massive multi-billion pound

:11:56.:12:00.

divorce settlement? I do not remember either side making much of

:12:01.:12:07.

this in the referendum, do you? No. A select committee of the House of

:12:08.:12:11.

Lords recently reported and said that there was no legal basis for

:12:12.:12:16.

any exit fee. We will have to see how the negotiations go. I think

:12:17.:12:24.

some of the figures cited so far are wildly out of kilter and wildly

:12:25.:12:26.

unrealistic. We will have to see what happens in the negotiations. As

:12:27.:12:32.

one of your panel commented earlier, there will be lots of hares to

:12:33.:12:37.

pursue over the next couple of years and we should not get too excited

:12:38.:12:41.

about any of them. Would you accept that we make... It may not be

:12:42.:12:47.

anything like the figures Brussels is kicking around of 50, 60 billion

:12:48.:12:51.

euros, do you think we will have to make a one-off settlement? If we get

:12:52.:13:00.

everything else we want, if we get a really good trade deal and access

:13:01.:13:06.

for the City of London and so on, speaking for myself, I would be

:13:07.:13:10.

prepared to make a modest payment. But it all depends on the deal we

:13:11.:13:19.

get. What would modest be? Oh, I cannot give you a figure. We are

:13:20.:13:23.

right at the start of the negotiations. I do not think that

:13:24.:13:27.

would be agreed until near the end. The EU says that if there is a

:13:28.:13:33.

transition period of several years after the negotiations, and there is

:13:34.:13:37.

more talk of that, the UK must remain subject to the free movement

:13:38.:13:42.

of peoples and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, would

:13:43.:13:47.

that be acceptable to you? It depends on the nature of the

:13:48.:13:51.

transitional agreement. We are getting well ahead of ourselves

:13:52.:13:57.

here. You cannot, I think, for any judgment as to whether there should

:13:58.:14:01.

be a transitional stage until you know what the final deal is. If

:14:02.:14:04.

there is to be a final deal. And then you know how long it might take

:14:05.:14:10.

to implement that deal. That is something I think that it is really

:14:11.:14:17.

rather futile to talk about at this stage. It may become relevant,

:14:18.:14:20.

depending on the nature of the deal, and that is the proper time to talk

:14:21.:14:25.

about it and decide what the answer to the questions you pose might be.

:14:26.:14:30.

Except the EU has laid this out in its negotiation mandate and it is

:14:31.:14:36.

reasonable to ask people like yourself, should we accept that? It

:14:37.:14:41.

is reasonable for me to say, they will raise all sorts of things in

:14:42.:14:45.

their negotiating mandate and we do not need to form a view of all of

:14:46.:14:49.

them at this stage. Let me try another one. The EU says if they do

:14:50.:14:53.

agree what you have called a comprehensive free trade deal, we

:14:54.:14:57.

would have to accept EU constraints on state aid and taxes like VAT and

:14:58.:15:01.

corporation tax. Would you accept that? Again, I am not sure quite

:15:02.:15:10.

what they have in mind on that. We will be an independent country when

:15:11.:15:14.

we leave and we will make our own decisions about those matters. Not

:15:15.:15:22.

according to know that -- to the negotiating mandate. As I have said,

:15:23.:15:28.

they can put all sorts of things in the negotiating guidelines, it does

:15:29.:15:31.

not mean we have to agree with them. No doubt that is something we can

:15:32.:15:37.

discuss in the context of a free trade agreement. If we get a free

:15:38.:15:41.

trade agreement, that is very important for them as well as for

:15:42.:15:44.

us, and we can talk about some of the things you have just mentioned.

:15:45.:15:52.

Can you please leave a 20 without having repatriated full control of

:15:53.:16:00.

migration, taxis and the law? I think we will have repatriated all

:16:01.:16:04.

three of those things by the time of the next general election. How high

:16:05.:16:11.

would you rate the chances of no deal, and does that prospect worry

:16:12.:16:17.

you? I think the chances are we will get the deal, and I think the

:16:18.:16:21.

chances are we will get a good deal, because that is in the interests of

:16:22.:16:26.

both sides of this negotiation. But it is not the end of the world if we

:16:27.:16:33.

do not get a deal. Most trade in the world is carried out under World

:16:34.:16:37.

Trade Organisation rules. We would be perfectly OK if we traded with

:16:38.:16:42.

the European Union, as with everybody else, under World Trade

:16:43.:16:46.

Organisation rules. It is better to get the deal, and I think we will

:16:47.:16:51.

get the deal, because it is in the interests of both. Let me ask you

:16:52.:16:55.

about Gibraltar. You have campaigned in Gibraltar when the sovereignty

:16:56.:16:59.

issue came up under the Tony Blair government. The EU says that Spain

:17:00.:17:05.

should have a veto on whether any free-trade deal should apply to the

:17:06.:17:09.

Rock. How should the British government replied to that? As it

:17:10.:17:14.

has responded, by making it absolutely clear that we will stand

:17:15.:17:21.

by Gibraltar. 35 years ago this week, Andrew, another woman Prime

:17:22.:17:25.

Minister Centre task force is halfway across the world to protect

:17:26.:17:29.

another small group of British people against another

:17:30.:17:34.

Spanish-speaking country. I am absolutely clear that our current

:17:35.:17:38.

woman Prime Minister will show the same resolve in relation to

:17:39.:17:50.

Gibraltar as her predecessor did. This is not about Spain invading

:17:51.:17:52.

Gibraltar, it is not even about sovereignty, it is about Spain

:17:53.:17:54.

having a veto over whether any free-trade deal that the UK makes

:17:55.:17:57.

with the EU should also apply to Gibraltar. On that issue, how should

:17:58.:18:04.

the British government respond? The British government should show

:18:05.:18:07.

resolve. It is not in the interests of Spain, really, to interfere with

:18:08.:18:12.

free trade to Gibraltar. 10,000 people who live in Spain working

:18:13.:18:17.

Gibraltar. That is a very important Spanish interest, so I am very

:18:18.:18:22.

confident that in the end, we will be able to look after all the

:18:23.:18:27.

interests of Gibraltar, including free trade. Michael Howard, thank

:18:28.:18:30.

you for joining us from Kent this morning.

:18:31.:18:33.

Although sometimes it seems like everyone has forgotten,

:18:34.:18:35.

there are things happening other than Brexit.

:18:36.:18:37.

In less than five weeks' time, there will be a round of important

:18:38.:18:40.

domestic elections and there's a lot up for grabs.

:18:41.:18:43.

Local elections take place on the 4th of May in England,

:18:44.:18:46.

In England, there are elections in 34 councils, with 2,370

:18:47.:18:51.

The majority are county councils, usually areas of strength

:18:52.:18:57.

Large cities where Labour usually fares better are not

:18:58.:19:04.

Six regions of England will also hold elections for newly created

:19:05.:19:08.

combined authority mayors, and there will be contests

:19:09.:19:11.

for directly elected mayors, with voters in Manchester,

:19:12.:19:17.

Liverpool and the West Midlands among those going to the polls.

:19:18.:19:20.

In Scotland, every seat in all 32 councils are being contested,

:19:21.:19:23.

many of them affected by boundary changes.

:19:24.:19:25.

Since these seats were last contested, Labour lost all but one

:19:26.:19:28.

Meanwhile, every seat in each of Wales' 22 councils

:19:29.:19:33.

All but one was last elected in 2012 in what was a very

:19:34.:19:40.

strong year for Labour, though independent

:19:41.:19:41.

candidates currently hold a quarter of council seats.

:19:42.:19:44.

According to the latest calculations by Plymouth

:19:45.:19:45.

University Election Centre, the Tories are predicted

:19:46.:19:51.

to increase their tally by 50 seats, despite being in government,

:19:52.:19:54.

But the dramatic story in England looks to be with the other parties,

:19:55.:20:00.

with the Lib-Dems possibly winning 100 seats, while Ukip

:20:01.:20:02.

could be seeing a fall, predicted to lose 100 seats.

:20:03.:20:08.

Though the proportional system usually makes big changes

:20:09.:20:10.

less likely in Scotland, the SNP is predicted to increase

:20:11.:20:13.

both the number of seats they hold, and the number

:20:14.:20:15.

In Wales, Labour is defending a high water mark in support.

:20:16.:20:24.

Last year's Welsh Assembly elections suggest the only way is down,

:20:25.:20:27.

with all the parties making modest gains at Labour's expense.

:20:28.:20:29.

Joining me now is the BBC's very own elections guru,

:20:30.:20:32.

Professor John Curtice of the University of Strathclyde.

:20:33.:20:35.

Good to see you again. Let's start with England. How bad are the

:20:36.:20:42.

selection is going to be for Labour? Labourer not defending a great deal

:20:43.:20:47.

because this is for the most part rural England. The only control

:20:48.:20:50.

three of the council they are defending and they are only

:20:51.:20:54.

defending around 500 seats, I nearly a quarter are in one county, Durham.

:20:55.:20:59.

Labour's position in the opinion polls is weakened over the last 12

:21:00.:21:02.

months and if you compare the position in the opinion polls now

:21:03.:21:15.

with where they were in the spring of 2013 when these seats in England

:21:16.:21:18.

were last fought, we are talking about a 12 point swing from Labour

:21:19.:21:20.

to conservative. The estimate of 50 losses may be somewhat optimistic

:21:21.:21:23.

for Labour. Of the three council areas they control, two of them,

:21:24.:21:27.

Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, could be lost, leaving labourer with

:21:28.:21:31.

virtually a duck as far as council control is concerned in these

:21:32.:21:35.

elections in England. In England, what would a Liberal Democrat

:21:36.:21:39.

reserve urgently great? That is the big question. We have had this

:21:40.:21:43.

picture since the EU referendum of the Liberal Democrats doing

:21:44.:21:47.

extraordinarily well in some local by-elections, gaining seats that

:21:48.:21:55.

they had not even fought before, and in other areas, doing no more than

:21:56.:21:58.

treading water. We are expecting a Liberal Democrat skin because the

:21:59.:22:00.

lost the lot -- the lost lots of ground when they were in coalition

:22:01.:22:04.

with the Conservatives. It is uncertain. A patchy performance may

:22:05.:22:08.

well be to their advantage. If they do well in some places and gain

:22:09.:22:12.

seats, and elsewhere do not do terribly well and do not waste

:22:13.:22:15.

votes, they may end up doing relatively well in seats, even if

:22:16.:22:20.

the overall gaining votes is likely to be modest. The elections for

:22:21.:22:23.

mayors, they are taking place in the Labour will that be a hefty

:22:24.:22:56.

consolation prize for the Labour Party? It ought to be, on Teesside,

:22:57.:22:58.

Merseyside, Greater Manchester. We are looking at one content very

:22:59.:23:01.

closely, that is the contest for the mayor of the West Midlands. If you

:23:02.:23:03.

look at what happened in the general election in 2015, labourer work nine

:23:04.:23:06.

points ahead of the Conservatives in the West Midlands. If you look at

:23:07.:23:08.

the swing since the general election, if you add that swing to

:23:09.:23:11.

where we were two years ago, the West Midlands now looks like a draw.

:23:12.:23:14.

Labour have to worry about a headline grabbing loss, and the West

:23:15.:23:16.

Midlands contest. If they were to lose, that wooden crate -- that

:23:17.:23:18.

would increase the pressure for their own Jeremy Corbyn to convince

:23:19.:23:22.

people that they can turn his party's fortunes around, and in

:23:23.:23:26.

truth at the moment, they are pretty dire. The West Midlands has

:23:27.:23:30.

Birmingham as its heart. Chock-a-block with marginal seats.

:23:31.:23:36.

It always has been. I always remember election night and marginal

:23:37.:23:40.

seats in the West Midlands. Scotland, the SNP is assaulting

:23:41.:23:48.

Labour's last remaining power base. The biggest prizes Glasgow. Will it

:23:49.:23:53.

take it, the SNP? Whether the SNP will gain control of Glasgow is

:23:54.:23:58.

uncertain. If you look at what is happening in local government

:23:59.:24:02.

by-elections let alone the opinion polls, in 2012, when these seats

:24:03.:24:07.

were last fought, Labour did relatively well, only one percentage

:24:08.:24:11.

point behind the SNP who were rather disappointed with the result

:24:12.:24:15.

compared to other elections. No sign of that happening this time alone --

:24:16.:24:24.

this time around. Polls put the SNP ahead. By-elections have found the

:24:25.:24:26.

SNP advancing and Labour dropping by double digits. Labour are going to

:24:27.:24:29.

lose everything they currently control in Scotland, the SNP will

:24:30.:24:33.

become the dominant party, the question is how well they do. In

:24:34.:24:38.

Scotland there is a Conservative revival going on. The Conservatives

:24:39.:24:42.

did well in recent local government by-elections. At the moment, Labour

:24:43.:24:46.

are expected to come third north of the border in the local elections,

:24:47.:24:54.

repeating the third they suffered in the Holyrood elections last year. In

:24:55.:24:56.

Wales, Labour is expecting to lose control of a number of councils.

:24:57.:25:02.

They are the main party in 12 of 22 local authorities. How bad could it

:25:03.:25:06.

be? We're expecting Labour to lose ground. In the opinion polls when

:25:07.:25:10.

these seats were last fought, labourer in the high 40s. Now they

:25:11.:25:16.

are not much above 30%. Cardiff could well join Glasgow was no

:25:17.:25:21.

longer being a Labour stronghold. Look out for Newport. Some of the

:25:22.:25:26.

South Wales councils that Labour control, Labour is

:25:27.:25:40.

probably too but occasionally, Plaid Cymru surprises in this area. They

:25:41.:25:43.

managed to win the Rhondda seat in the assembly elections. Jeremy

:25:44.:25:45.

Corbyn has said he wants to be judged on proper elections, council

:25:46.:25:47.

elections as opposed to opinion polls, but even if he does as badly

:25:48.:25:50.

as John has been suggesting, does it affect his leadership? I think it

:25:51.:25:57.

does on two counts. It will affect his own confidence. Anyone who is a

:25:58.:26:00.

human being will be affected by this. He might go into his office

:26:01.:26:04.

and be told by John McDonnell and others, stand firm, it is all right,

:26:05.:26:09.

but it will affect his confidence and inevitably it contributes to a

:26:10.:26:16.

sense that this is moving to some kind of denoument, at some point. In

:26:17.:26:20.

other words, while I understand the argument that he has won twice in a

:26:21.:26:27.

leadership contest, well, within 12 months, I wonder whether this can

:26:28.:26:32.

carry on in a fixed term parliament, up until 2020, if it were to do so.

:26:33.:26:38.

On two France, it will have some impact. I am not seeing it will lead

:26:39.:26:43.

to his immediate departure, it will mark, but if these things are as

:26:44.:26:47.

devastating as John suggests, it will have an impact. Tom, I'll be

:26:48.:26:55.

looking at a Lib Dem fightback? That is the $64,000 question. It would

:26:56.:26:59.

seem that we should be. One massive reason we're not having a general

:27:00.:27:04.

election a time soon, apart from the fact that Theresa May does not

:27:05.:27:07.

believe in these things, she believes in pressing on, it is

:27:08.:27:13.

because Tory MPs in the South West who took the Lib Dem seats, they

:27:14.:27:15.

were telling Number 10 they were worried they were going to lose

:27:16.:27:19.

their seats back to the Lib Dems. The Lib Dems never went away and

:27:20.:27:23.

local government. They have got other campaigners and activists. It

:27:24.:27:27.

looks credible that they will be the success story of the whole thing.

:27:28.:27:32.

Ukip leader, Paul Nuttall, he says this will be the most difficult

:27:33.:27:37.

local elections his party will face before 2020. A bit of management of

:27:38.:27:43.

expectations. It is unlikely to be a good time for Ukip. They are right

:27:44.:27:49.

to manage expectations. The results will be horrible for Ukip. I agree

:27:50.:27:51.

with Tom about the Lib Dem threat to the Tories. Talking to

:27:52.:28:14.

some senior figures within the Tory party earlier this week, I was

:28:15.:28:16.

picking up that they are worried about 30-40 general election seeds

:28:17.:28:18.

being vulnerable to the Lib Dems because of the Labour collapse. I

:28:19.:28:21.

would normally agree with Steve about the resilience of politicians,

:28:22.:28:22.

the capability of withstanding repeated blows, but Jeremy Corbyn is

:28:23.:28:25.

not in the normal category. I think he is, in the sense that although he

:28:26.:28:28.

get solace from winning leadership contest, anyone who leads a party

:28:29.:28:31.

into the kind of, it is not going to be that vivid, because they are not

:28:32.:28:36.

defending the key seats. If they were to win Birmingham, say, and get

:28:37.:28:43.

slaughtered by the SNP in Scotland, it will undermine what is already a

:28:44.:28:46.

fairly ambiguous sense of self-confidence. We need to leave it

:28:47.:28:49.

there. Thank you, John Curtice. Well, with those elections

:28:50.:28:51.

on the horizon, is Labour where it Former leader Ed Miliband

:28:52.:28:54.

was on the Andrew Marr Show earlier and he explained

:28:55.:28:57.

the challenge Labour faces It is easier for other parties,

:28:58.:28:59.

if you are the Greens or the Liberal Democrats you're essentially

:29:00.:29:04.

fishing in the 48% pool. If you are Ukip, you are

:29:05.:29:06.

fishing in the 52% pool. Labour is trying to do

:29:07.:29:10.

something much harder, which is to try and speak

:29:11.:29:12.

for the whole country, and by the way, that is another part

:29:13.:29:14.

of Our attack on Theresa May,

:29:15.:29:17.

part of it is she's Ignoring the verdict

:29:18.:29:21.

going into this, saying, let's overturn it, looks

:29:22.:29:27.

like ignoring the 52%. By the way, there is more

:29:28.:29:29.

that unites Remainers and Leavers than might first appear,

:29:30.:29:35.

because they share common concerns about the way

:29:36.:29:37.

the country is run. Joining me now is the Shadow Health

:29:38.:29:42.

Secretary, Jon Ashworth. Welcome to the programme. Alastair

:29:43.:29:50.

Campbell told me on the BBC on Thursday that he is fighting to

:29:51.:29:55.

reverse the referendum result. Ed Miliband says that Remain needs to

:29:56.:29:59.

accept the result, come to terms with it. Who is right? We have to

:30:00.:30:05.

accept the referendum result. I campaigned passionately to remain in

:30:06.:30:10.

the European Union. The city I represent, Leicester, voted narrowly

:30:11.:30:14.

to remain in the European Union. Sadly the country did not. We cannot

:30:15.:30:18.

overturn that and be like kinky nude, trying to demand the tide go

:30:19.:30:24.

back out. We have to accept this democratic process. We all voted to

:30:25.:30:28.

have a referendum when the relevant legislation came to Parliament. How

:30:29.:30:35.

bad will the local elections before Labour? Let us see where we get to

:30:36.:30:46.

on election night when I am sure I will be invited on to one of these

:30:47.:30:51.

types of programmes... The election date, the following day. But it does

:30:52.:30:59.

look like you will lose seats across the board in England, Scotland and

:31:00.:31:03.

Wales. What did you make of what Steve Richards said about the impact

:31:04.:31:09.

on Jeremy Corbyn's leadership? We have to win seats, we cannot fall

:31:10.:31:13.

back on the scales suggested. No, your package was right, it tends to

:31:14.:31:21.

be Tory areas, but generally, we have to be winning in

:31:22.:31:26.

Nottinghamshire, Lancashire, those types of places because they contain

:31:27.:31:30.

a lot of the marginal constituencies that decide general elections. The

:31:31.:31:34.

important places in the elections are towns like Beeston, towns you

:31:35.:31:40.

have not heard of, but they are marginal towns in marginal swing

:31:41.:31:46.

constituencies. We have to do well in them. We will see where we are on

:31:47.:31:51.

election night but my pretty is to campaign hard in these areas over

:31:52.:31:57.

the next few weeks. Even people who voted Labour in 2015, they prefer

:31:58.:32:02.

Theresa May to Mr Corbyn as Prime Minister, a recent poll said. Isn't

:32:03.:32:07.

that extraordinary? I have not seen that. I will look it up. It was you

:32:08.:32:17.

Government. -- YouGov. It is important we win the trust of

:32:18.:32:21.

people. You are not winning the trust of people who voted for you in

:32:22.:32:26.

2015. We have to hold onto people who voted for us in 2015 and we have

:32:27.:32:31.

to persuade people who voted for other parties to come to us. One of

:32:32.:32:35.

the criticisms I have of the debate that goes on in the wider Labour

:32:36.:32:41.

Party, do not misunderstand me, I am not making a criticism about an

:32:42.:32:44.

individual, but the debate you see online suggests that if you want to

:32:45.:32:49.

get people who voted Conservative to switch to Labour it is somehow a

:32:50.:32:54.

betrayal of our principles, it was not. Justin Trudeau said

:32:55.:33:01.

Conservative voters are our neighbours, our relatives. We have

:33:02.:33:07.

to persuade people to switch from voting Conservative to voting Labour

:33:08.:33:13.

as well as increasing our vote among nonvoters and Greens. It seems like

:33:14.:33:18.

you have a mountain to climb and the mountain is Everest. Another poll, I

:33:19.:33:22.

am not sure if you have seen this, in London, the Bastian of Labour,

:33:23.:33:32.

the Bastian of Remain, Mr Corbyn is less popular than even Ukip's Paul

:33:33.:33:37.

Nuttall. That is beyond extraordinary! I do not know about

:33:38.:33:44.

that. The most recent set of elections in London was the mayoral

:33:45.:33:50.

election where the Labour candidate city: won handsomely. He took the

:33:51.:33:55.

seat of a conservative. We took that of a conservative. It was a year

:33:56.:34:05.

ago. We did well then. You had an anti-Jeremy Corbyn candidate. I

:34:06.:34:11.

think he nominated Jeremy Corbyn, from memory. We have not got

:34:12.:34:16.

elections in London but our elections are in the county areas

:34:17.:34:24.

and the various mayoral elections... What about the West Midlands? In any

:34:25.:34:30.

normal year, mid-term, as the opposition, Labour should win the

:34:31.:34:35.

West Midlands. John Curtis says it is nip and tuck. It has always been

:34:36.:34:41.

a swing region but we want to do well, of course. We want to turn out

:34:42.:34:44.

a strong Labour vote in Dudley, Northampton, those sorts of places.

:34:45.:34:50.

They are key constituencies in the general election. Does Labour look

:34:51.:34:57.

like a government in waiting to you? What I would say is contrast where

:34:58.:35:02.

we are to what the conservative garment is doing. I asked you about

:35:03.:35:08.

Labour, you do not get to tell me about the Conservatives. Does it

:35:09.:35:11.

look like a government in waiting to you? Today we are exposing the

:35:12.:35:15.

Conservatives... Reminding people the Conservatives are breaking the

:35:16.:35:21.

pledge on waiting times of 18 weeks so lots of elderly people waiting

:35:22.:35:25.

longer in pain for hip replacements and cataract replacements. Yesterday

:35:26.:35:31.

the Housing spokesperson John Healey was exposing the shortcomings in the

:35:32.:35:36.

Help to Buy scheme. The education spokesperson has been campaigning

:35:37.:35:40.

hard against the cuts to schools. Tom Watson has been campaigning hard

:35:41.:35:43.

against some of the changes the Government want to introduce in

:35:44.:35:48.

culture. The Shadow Cabinet are working hard to hold the

:35:49.:35:52.

Government's feet to the fire. Does it look like a government in

:35:53.:35:57.

waiting? Yes. It took you three times! There is a social care

:35:58.:36:03.

crisis, schools funding issue, a huge issue for lots of areas, the

:36:04.:36:08.

NHS has just got through the winter and is abandoning many of its

:36:09.:36:14.

targets. You are 18 points behind in the polls. We have to work harder.

:36:15.:36:21.

What can you do? The opinion polls are challenging but we are a great

:36:22.:36:25.

Social Democratic Party of government. On Twitter today, lots

:36:26.:36:31.

of Labour activists celebrating that the national minimum wage has been

:36:32.:36:35.

in place for something like 16 years because we were in government. Look

:36:36.:36:39.

of the sweeping progressive changes this country has benefited from, the

:36:40.:36:44.

NHS, sure start centres, an assault on child poverty, the Labour Party

:36:45.:36:48.

got itself in contention for government. I entirely accept the

:36:49.:36:54.

polls do not make thrilling reading for Labour politicians on Sunday

:36:55.:36:58.

morning, but it means people like me have to work harder because we are

:36:59.:37:02.

part of something bigger than an individual, we are in the business

:37:03.:37:05.

of changing things for the British people and if we do not do that, if

:37:06.:37:09.

we do not focus on that, we are letting people down. Is Labour

:37:10.:37:13.

preparing for an early election question Billy burqa? Reports in the

:37:14.:37:21.

press of a war chest as macro for an early election? The general election

:37:22.:37:26.

coordinator called for a general election when Theresa May became

:37:27.:37:30.

Prime Minister. We are investing in staff and the organisational

:37:31.:37:35.

capability we need. By the way, the Labour Party staff do brilliant

:37:36.:37:39.

work. A bit of nonsense on Twitter having a go at them. They do

:37:40.:37:44.

tremendous work. Whenever the election comes, they will be ready.

:37:45.:37:44.

Jon Ashworth, thank you. Hello and welcome to Sunday Politics

:37:45.:37:53.

in Northern Ireland. After a string of criticism,

:37:54.:38:06.

the Secretary of State is intensifying the political

:38:07.:38:08.

talks this week. I'll be asking the SDLP,

:38:09.:38:12.

Ulster Unionists and Alliance what their expectations

:38:13.:38:15.

are for the discussions. And with their thoughts on it all,

:38:16.:38:19.

my guests of the day So, James Brokenshire,

:38:20.:38:21.

the Secretary of State, is to intensify talks at Stormont

:38:22.:38:32.

between the five main parties. It follows some stinging

:38:33.:38:36.

criticism of his approach to the discussions so far,

:38:37.:38:38.

but on Friday, he issued an invitation saying both

:38:39.:38:41.

governments want an agreed agenda So what do the SDLP,

:38:42.:38:44.

Ulster Unionists and Alliance want With me now are Colin McGrath

:38:45.:38:48.

from the SDLP, the Ulster Unionist Party's Doug Beattie

:38:49.:38:53.

and Stephen Farry from Welcome. Thank you for joining us.

:38:54.:39:04.

Colin McGrath, is the fact that round table talks are now happening

:39:05.:39:07.

a sign of actual process Almac progress? It is a move forward. We

:39:08.:39:17.

did not have them in the past. The bilaterals and trilaterals

:39:18.:39:20.

unimportant. Until you get round the table and understand what page

:39:21.:39:22.

everyone is on, you can't make progress. We have asked for this for

:39:23.:39:27.

about 2-3 weeks. We're glad to see them. They had an opportunity but it

:39:28.:39:33.

will not resolve issues. Although it will help us work out where we are

:39:34.:39:37.

and try to map the way forward. For round table discussions to be

:39:38.:39:46.

meaningful, there need to be discussions and something to get

:39:47.:39:52.

your teeth into. Is there any sign that will happen? You are right. I

:39:53.:39:57.

was new to these intensive talks last few weeks and they were

:39:58.:40:01.

absolute shambolic but no structure. Hopefully we will get structure. It

:40:02.:40:04.

is incredibly important people put their own positions on the table and

:40:05.:40:07.

give us a mechanism to talk about it. There are deals being done

:40:08.:40:13.

behind closed doors and no-one knows where anyone stands. We need time

:40:14.:40:21.

and space. So that political parties can manoeuvre and change positions.

:40:22.:40:24.

At this moment in time, the trenches are being dug deeper. We won't go

:40:25.:40:28.

anywhere unless thing radical comes up or some parties are willing to

:40:29.:40:34.

change their stance. You're no stranger to this kind of intense

:40:35.:40:37.

political process. You have been rendered what quite a few times

:40:38.:40:40.

before. Do you get the sense that we are about to be where we maybe

:40:41.:40:43.

should have been several months ago, frankly? In terms of a process, it

:40:44.:40:48.

is a better structure. In terms of the prospects of the agreement, I am

:40:49.:40:53.

not sure we're much further along on that after last few weeks. I have

:40:54.:41:00.

questions and the bun fights -- bona fides. There could be other things

:41:01.:41:13.

down the line well other parties gain an advantage. Is that an

:41:14.:41:16.

admission on your part, that the three of you today represent the

:41:17.:41:22.

smaller the five main parties, and your frankly a bit of a sideshow? We

:41:23.:41:26.

collectively represent many hundreds of thousands of voters. That is a

:41:27.:41:29.

sizeable section of Northern Ireland. Amongst the DUP and Sinn

:41:30.:41:34.

Fein, there has to be a hunger for demolition being restored. What was

:41:35.:41:40.

seen in the last week itself should be a massive wake-up call for the

:41:41.:41:43.

parties. -- for devolution being restored. That means the ship could

:41:44.:41:52.

seal strategic sources in the next 12 months. And in terms of Brexit,

:41:53.:41:59.

from what the European Commission says, the toxin and the border in

:42:00.:42:02.

Ireland will take place in the latter have of this year. We need to

:42:03.:42:09.

have an Executive in place to make headway in that regard. Massive

:42:10.:42:12.

amount of work to be done in a short period of time. Do you accept that

:42:13.:42:17.

for the deal to be done, it has be done by the DUP and Sinn Fein? It

:42:18.:42:22.

doesn't matter what you think your representatives think, what the

:42:23.:42:24.

British and Northern Ireland governments think. It matters in the

:42:25.:42:27.

end of the day that Sinn Fein and DUP agree. If they are not bought

:42:28.:42:34.

into the process, there will be no deal. If they do not make a deal,

:42:35.:42:39.

they will not be ideal. If so, they would have failed the people of

:42:40.:42:41.

Northern Ireland. That does not make us a relevant in any way. We can

:42:42.:42:45.

bring forward things can help them move position. If they want to be

:42:46.:42:51.

moved. Absolutely. If they don't, they will not be moved. That is a

:42:52.:42:56.

failing on their behalf. There was the issue of the flags, identity and

:42:57.:43:04.

culture commission to give us time and space to discuss the issue of

:43:05.:43:08.

the Irish language. There is a report coming out this month and a

:43:09.:43:10.

full report at the end of the year. It gives people the chance to park

:43:11.:43:14.

that issue of the Irish language for nine months until the commission

:43:15.:43:19.

gives its point of view and then we can sit down and discuss those

:43:20.:43:24.

findings. That is reasonable. But the difficulty is of course that

:43:25.:43:27.

both Sinn Fein and the DUP now have read lines on the issue of the Irish

:43:28.:43:30.

language. That does not help. It doesn't. That never helps. If you

:43:31.:43:39.

keep digging the trench deeper, it doesn't help. That is where we are

:43:40.:43:42.

now. That is why you need a reasonable stance. A reasonable

:43:43.:43:46.

stands was to let the commission do its body of work. It is important.

:43:47.:43:50.

Martin McGuinness is one of these people who set up the Fresh Start

:43:51.:43:54.

Agreement. It is part of his legacy. You think it is a good or bad idea

:43:55.:43:59.

that the DUP have introduced in that debate the issue of the military

:44:00.:44:04.

covenant? Is a former soldier, I want to see Phil implementation of

:44:05.:44:07.

the military college in Northern Ireland. It is here in Northern

:44:08.:44:12.

Ireland. In the same way Sinn Fein have not gone into detail to tell us

:44:13.:44:16.

what they want from an Irish language act, it is as if they are

:44:17.:44:20.

using them as flags to fly and big trenches deeper. Colin McGrath, is

:44:21.:44:29.

this a difficulty for the SDLP? You're pretty close to Sinn Fein

:44:30.:44:32.

Bosman position on this. There needs to be a stand-alone Irish language

:44:33.:44:36.

act, not a culture act or minority wine which act, which would embrace

:44:37.:44:41.

Ulster Scots as well. Do you have a deadline on this as well? Sinn Fein

:44:42.:44:47.

are closer to our opinion on this because we had the Private Members'

:44:48.:44:50.

Bill that was in the Assembly to deliver the Irish language act. And

:44:51.:44:54.

whenever the Programme for Government was introduced four

:44:55.:44:56.

months ago, there was no mention of an Irish language act. We think it

:44:57.:45:01.

is important. But what has happened with the Irish language act is it

:45:02.:45:09.

has moved on. Language is important and having access to learning the

:45:10.:45:13.

language is important, but it is about identity and expressing Irish

:45:14.:45:16.

culture. We have had a fundamental dish respect shown to that in the

:45:17.:45:20.

past number of months and years from the DUP. We want to address that.

:45:21.:45:24.

Not to be up about it. We want them to share that journey and express

:45:25.:45:34.

their culture. It should be implemented. You presumably, would

:45:35.:45:40.

want, which are not, an Irish language act that encourages

:45:41.:45:44.

Unionists, Protestants towards the Irish language and does not push

:45:45.:45:47.

them away from it. That is what is happening at the moment. I would

:45:48.:45:50.

like to see an Irish language where you don't have to have the

:45:51.:45:55.

definition of unionist... That is not where we had at the moment. That

:45:56.:46:00.

is where we want to move towards. If we had the Irish language act open

:46:01.:46:04.

to everyone in the community to one, that would be much better. I would

:46:05.:46:09.

not expect it would be a rush of Unionists wanting to learn the Irish

:46:10.:46:13.

language, but if they wanted, it is the. It is a shared. This is one

:46:14.:46:23.

island. Your party leader has said James Brokenshire is not an honest

:46:24.:46:27.

broker in this process and is to be an external toxin so what it. What

:46:28.:46:29.

is the chances of that happening between now and tomorrow? --

:46:30.:46:40.

external Tok -- facilitator for talks.

:46:41.:46:44.

It is a short window of opportunity. James Brokenshire said the whole

:46:45.:46:49.

process is a short window. We have to look at the elements to do with

:46:50.:46:54.

legacy. Is the Secretary of State from the British Cabinet the best

:46:55.:46:58.

person to cheer these -- to be the chairperson of these? The British

:46:59.:47:04.

Government has to step up and take bold decisions and a leap forward.

:47:05.:47:08.

If you have a Secretary of State entrenched in being directed by the

:47:09.:47:12.

Cabinet, is he the best person to arbitrate at the table? You're

:47:13.:47:17.

shaking your head, Peter. I can see what the SDLP stances. But

:47:18.:47:23.

he has been nominated by the Government of the UK. It doesn't

:47:24.:47:29.

mean he is any good. But he has a job to do a day should be allowed to

:47:30.:47:33.

do it. I do like the Gerry Adams as part of the bid discussions. But he

:47:34.:47:36.

is the leader of Sinn Fein 's I have to get on with it and allow him to

:47:37.:47:39.

be. Other parties need to do the same. We have a body of work to be

:47:40.:47:43.

done. If we concern ourselves in the next few weeks with who will be the

:47:44.:47:46.

chairperson of these talks, we will get nowhere. He has a job to do,

:47:47.:47:51.

let's get on and let him do it. What people who are critical of James

:47:52.:47:55.

Brokenshire would say is that Gerry Adams, Sinn Fein, has a mandate to

:47:56.:47:59.

be represented at those talks. James Brokenshire has now mandate. -- has

:48:00.:48:07.

no mandate. He is part of the Government elected into the UK. So

:48:08.:48:10.

he does have a mandate. He is elected as the Secretary of State

:48:11.:48:15.

Gerry Adams is a TD in the Irish Republic. Should he be involved in

:48:16.:48:22.

Strand when talks? There is a number of different ways to look at this.

:48:23.:48:28.

These people have a place to play. The issue is it is about the

:48:29.:48:32.

independence of the chairperson. If you are the main person on one side

:48:33.:48:37.

of the other, can independently be the chairperson? There is another

:48:38.:48:46.

member who is as not independent as a Secretary of State, if you use

:48:47.:48:50.

that yardstick. Your market is about the independence and can you make

:48:51.:48:56.

decisions from the chair? Briefly, I want to talk about the deadline and

:48:57.:48:59.

what it is. Do you think James Brokenshire can do the job that

:49:00.:49:04.

needs to be done? He can, but he needs to address and reflect on some

:49:05.:49:07.

of the issues, particularly in the last couple of months where people

:49:08.:49:12.

have called into question the impartiality of the UK Government

:49:13.:49:15.

and owned legacy issues. Can you understand where people are coming

:49:16.:49:23.

from when they raise that issue? I understand some of the implications

:49:24.:49:26.

and in some of the things said, particularly about the legacy of the

:49:27.:49:31.

past and how that could be perceived with the role. But the important

:49:32.:49:35.

thing is we need to get on with the talks because as you say, we have a

:49:36.:49:38.

looming of some description in this month of April. Time is not on our

:49:39.:49:43.

side in this regard. There is ready built consequences in terms of

:49:44.:49:46.

finances in particular and that has resulted in people losing jobs. It

:49:47.:49:50.

is critical and health services in crisis. There are major problems

:49:51.:49:56.

reported last week. These things affect people's lives. So we hear

:49:57.:50:04.

that it has been reported that the Secretary of State is trying to

:50:05.:50:08.

reshape the process beginning tomorrow, where there will be added

:50:09.:50:12.

structure and urgency to the process described as shambolic in recent

:50:13.:50:16.

weeks. What you think the timescale is now? What is the new deadline,

:50:17.:50:21.

since we failed to meet last Monday's deadline? In effect, he

:50:22.:50:26.

wants to put legislation in parliament in the latter half of

:50:27.:50:30.

April after Easter recess. Coming back on April 18? Tok 's could

:50:31.:50:35.

happen in parallel with that legislative process. We have to bear

:50:36.:50:46.

in mind, it is very technical, but we could lose close to ?1 billion in

:50:47.:50:50.

terms of spending if we lose about two collect rates. It is a very

:50:51.:50:55.

practical deadline in terms of financial situation. Not having our

:50:56.:51:00.

Government as a luxury we cannot afford. Does the timescale make

:51:01.:51:05.

sense as far as the Ulster Unionists are concerned? It does. We see the

:51:06.:51:09.

next ten days as ten days of structured talks. And we hope for an

:51:10.:51:15.

agreement we can buy into. We are looking for a reason to go into the

:51:16.:51:18.

Executive. We're not looking for a reason to stay out. That is the

:51:19.:51:22.

Ulster Unionist position, but the you believe the bona fides of the

:51:23.:51:26.

other parties? Do you believe Gerry Adams wants devil is -- devolution

:51:27.:51:32.

restored in Northern Ireland? If I am honest, I think he does not. He

:51:33.:51:38.

puts his red line and because he thinks it will not be crossed by

:51:39.:51:41.

other parties. Some of the things put into garish language, we could

:51:42.:51:46.

never buy into it and he knows that. The DUP have thrown out the Armed

:51:47.:51:49.

Forces Covenant and he knows that Sinn Fein cannot buy into that. I am

:51:50.:51:52.

as they do not believe Sinn Fein do what that agreement. -- honestly do

:51:53.:51:59.

not believe. The party is not yet a speaker itself, but when you spoke

:52:00.:52:03.

to representatives of Sinn Fein, they are clear that they want to see

:52:04.:52:09.

devolution. Colin McGrath. As well as political parties wanting

:52:10.:52:11.

devolution restored, the most important people are the people in

:52:12.:52:16.

communities on the ground. They came out in huge numbers to support

:52:17.:52:19.

parties that said they wanted to form an Executive and come back in.

:52:20.:52:23.

When people give you that mandate, you have an obligation to respond

:52:24.:52:26.

and deliver what people have asked you to do. All the petty squabbling

:52:27.:52:33.

that you can have up the hill and Stormont will not resonate with

:52:34.:52:35.

people who have had health centres closed down and there is crisis

:52:36.:52:39.

after crisis in the public sector. We look to them to sort it out in

:52:40.:52:43.

the next ten days. In the meantime, you will know that there is a great

:52:44.:52:47.

amount of public disquiet because MLAs are still being paid. You all

:52:48.:52:51.

got a ?500 pay increase yesterday, which happened to be April Fools'

:52:52.:52:54.

Day. People wonder, what in heaven 's name is going on? Can you

:52:55.:53:00.

understand that? I absolutely can't. In many ways, I am ashamed that we

:53:01.:53:04.

are not producing... You are ashamed? I am. Personally, as a

:53:05.:53:09.

politician, I am ashamed that they are not producing what we need to be

:53:10.:53:14.

bought Northern Ireland. But I went on a six-week interview to be an MLA

:53:15.:53:18.

and then I was tested and elected. I worked from that moment onwards for

:53:19.:53:21.

ten days without pay. And I am working hard as an MLA. Now, if they

:53:22.:53:27.

turn round and say, stop might be, I have to go elsewhere. But my

:53:28.:53:32.

constituency officers to say. Are you ashamed of what is going on?

:53:33.:53:39.

Something has to give in that regard, particularly getting a pay

:53:40.:53:44.

rise when people are losing jobs because of the budget.

:53:45.:53:47.

Thank you very much indeed for that. We will have to leave it for now.

:53:48.:53:51.

Let's hear what Lesley Carroll and Brian Feeney make of that.

:53:52.:53:55.

Brian, what are your thoughts about the talks, kick-started tomorrow by

:53:56.:54:02.

James Brokenshire, of who it is feared as a young -- it is fair to

:54:03.:54:09.

say you're no great fan, what will happen with the process?

:54:10.:54:16.

I don't think it will happen before Easter. The smaller parties want

:54:17.:54:20.

round table talks. But as you said at the outset, there has to be

:54:21.:54:23.

something at the table for people to discuss. So far, the papers

:54:24.:54:27.

presented, particularly the one from James Brokenshire on legacy, was

:54:28.:54:33.

just waffle and no use at all. The real business will be done behind

:54:34.:54:36.

closed doors. Obviously, the smaller parties won't rent table tops to

:54:37.:54:41.

hear what is going on and what the DUP and Sinn Fein are saying. --

:54:42.:54:49.

smaller parties want round table talks. Sinn Fein's priority is not

:54:50.:54:57.

establishing an Executive. It will not happen until the shopping list

:54:58.:55:01.

has been addressed. Are you optimistic?

:55:02.:55:07.

I am not overly optimistic. I would say that, from looking will.i.am,

:55:08.:55:13.

the talks are shambolic. That is not because of James Brokenshire but

:55:14.:55:15.

because we have had a shambolic Government for years. -- from

:55:16.:55:29.

looking where I am. We have a set of Executive relationships were smaller

:55:30.:55:32.

parties with maybe one or two ministers have not had the voice

:55:33.:55:35.

that they thought they should have had at Executive level. There has

:55:36.:55:40.

not been a relationship of respect and understanding of each other and

:55:41.:55:44.

collaboration that makes Government within system work. In my view, the

:55:45.:55:51.

talks are not shambolic because of James Brokenshire of the specific

:55:52.:55:55.

issues of these talks because ball-mac but because the have built

:55:56.:55:59.

a number of years in Government. You have been an observer of nationalism

:56:00.:56:03.

and Republicanism for many years. Do you believe Sinn Fein can only once

:56:04.:56:07.

Stormont to be restored? -- currently wants. They wanted

:56:08.:56:13.

restored in a different way. They have said repeatedly there will not

:56:14.:56:17.

be a return to the status quo or business as usual. They want

:56:18.:56:21.

changes. These Sinn Fein red lines are for real? They are. But don't

:56:22.:56:28.

forget, the eyes are fixed on Dublin and the fact there is a non-stable

:56:29.:56:32.

Government there and it could be a general election in May or

:56:33.:56:36.

September. They would like a position to be in Government... Not

:56:37.:56:42.

with Gerry Adams as leader. Adams could well move in the next year.

:56:43.:56:49.

There is lot of stuff happening. They don't want to be part of a

:56:50.:56:52.

Northern Ireland team on Brexit. They want to do the negotiations of

:56:53.:56:58.

Brexit through the Irish Government, not Stormont. Will talk more about

:56:59.:57:03.

Brexit hopefully towards the end. Briefly, public disenchantment, we

:57:04.:57:07.

had Doug Beattie say that his ashamed politicians are receiving

:57:08.:57:11.

money and progress that 's to be made is not being made. People are

:57:12.:57:15.

not happy with what they are seeing. -- that should be made. People are

:57:16.:57:21.

not happy. The business community will not get corporation tax changes

:57:22.:57:26.

they had hoped for by April, the Lord Chief Justice doctor about the

:57:27.:57:30.

criminal just as system, changes the needed and not happening. And

:57:31.:57:34.

Stephen referred to the committee voluntary sector. It is a disaster.

:57:35.:57:35.

Thank you very much. Let's just pause for a moment

:57:36.:57:38.

to take a look back at the political week in 60 seconds

:57:39.:57:42.

with Gareth Gordon. With the stroke of a pen,

:57:43.:57:45.

the United Kingdom took its first The Article 50 process is now under

:57:46.:57:57.

way. In accordance with the wishes of the British people, the United

:57:58.:57:59.

Kingdom is leaving the European Union.

:58:00.:58:01.

But not everyone here is happy with the direction of travel.

:58:02.:58:04.

This will be the biggest economic catastrophe in years. Our job is to

:58:05.:58:11.

protect citizens and committees and businesses here. It will be

:58:12.:58:15.

detrimental to the people of Ireland. We need to have parties

:58:16.:58:21.

working together in the national interest and special staters for the

:58:22.:58:24.

island of Ireland. still has confidence

:58:25.:58:25.

in the Stormont talks process. The intensity of discussions are

:58:26.:58:32.

stepped up with renewed intensity and for Chris. -- focus.

:58:33.:58:37.

I would encourage James Brokenshire to be more assertive in top.

:58:38.:58:43.

Perhaps the former Scottish First Minister is the man for the job.

:58:44.:58:46.

If there is anything I could do to help the process, I would be very

:58:47.:58:52.

willing to do so. Let's stick with Brexit.

:58:53.:59:04.

We have mentioned that they are being the biggest economic

:59:05.:59:05.

catastrophe since partition. It was a big week as far

:59:06.:59:06.

as Brexit's concerned. Where does Northern Ireland stand in

:59:07.:59:15.

the wider debate? There is no wider debate because there is not an

:59:16.:59:19.

agreed was issued. And it will not be an agreed position because Sinn

:59:20.:59:23.

Fein and the DUP will not agree with being part of a British delegation.

:59:24.:59:27.

James Brokenshire is not even on the Cabinet committee supposed to be

:59:28.:59:30.

dealing with Brexit. He does not have a seat on it. Northern Ireland

:59:31.:59:35.

just does not figure in the UK's grander scheme. The British

:59:36.:59:37.

Government brought this referendum in with no idea, no concern about

:59:38.:59:43.

the consequences on the island of Ireland. They do not care.

:59:44.:59:48.

Theresa May repeatedly refers to strengthening the union. That is her

:59:49.:59:52.

mantra. Alex Salmond, we saw an extract of him there, said, if you

:59:53.:59:58.

add a man from farmer, you should be worried about the direction of the

:59:59.:00:06.

UK's travel on this direction. -- if you are a farmer from Antrim. Do you

:00:07.:00:14.

agree? I do agree. There was a reference to

:00:15.:00:19.

follow the Berlin Wall in comparison. It sounded dramatic at

:00:20.:00:25.

the time, but perhaps he is not wrong. The implications for elation

:00:26.:00:29.

ships here and across Europe and on these islands are significant enough

:00:30.:00:31.

to be thinking in these terms. Theresa May wrote to Brussels and

:00:32.:00:38.

David Davies Road to Stormont... There has been a lot of ink used in

:00:39.:00:43.

last week. Not always with good results. You would think they would

:00:44.:00:48.

have a great deal of care about what was in these letters. Theresa May

:00:49.:00:51.

has been criticised for linking intelligence with negotiations and

:00:52.:00:57.

also Gibraltar. Gibraltar as a whole other

:00:58.:01:06.

So, what will be the effect of new tax and benefit changes

:01:07.:01:08.

Will the Government's grand trade tour reap benefits?

:01:09.:01:12.

And are the Lib Dems really going to replace Labour,

:01:13.:01:14.

To answer that last question, I'm joined by from Salford

:01:15.:01:26.

by the Lib Dem MP, Alistair Carmichael.

:01:27.:01:31.

Michael Fallon sirs the Lib Dems will replace Labour. How long will

:01:32.:01:40.

it take? We will have to wait and see. Anyone who thinks you can

:01:41.:01:46.

predict the future is engaged in a dodgy game. I have been campaigning

:01:47.:01:51.

with the Liberal Democrats in Manchester... You must not

:01:52.:01:56.

mention... You know the by-election rules. It is only an illustration.

:01:57.:02:03.

Across false ways of the country, the Liberal Democrats are back in

:02:04.:02:13.

business -- across whole swathes of the country. Part of the reason why

:02:14.:02:17.

we are getting a good response is because the Labour Party under

:02:18.:02:22.

Jeremy Corbyn has taken such a self-destructive path. Even if you

:02:23.:02:27.

do pretty well in the local elections, it you have to make up

:02:28.:02:31.

lost ground from the time you did very well in previous times, you

:02:32.:02:38.

used to have 4700 councillors. It will take you a long while to get

:02:39.:02:42.

back to that. You will get no argument from me that we have a

:02:43.:02:46.

mountain to climb. What I'm telling you is, and if this is not just in

:02:47.:02:51.

this round of elections, it is in the other by-elections in places

:02:52.:02:56.

like Richmond, and in by-elections write the length and breadth of the

:02:57.:03:01.

country since last June, the Liberal Democrats are taking seats from the

:03:02.:03:05.

Labour Party under Conservative Party, and not just in Brexit phobic

:03:06.:03:13.

areas. Not just in Remain areas. But in places like Sunderland as well

:03:14.:03:17.

which voted very heavily for Brexit. In fact, that vote was in large part

:03:18.:03:23.

as well a protest against the way in which the Labour Party really has

:03:24.:03:27.

taken these areas for granted over the years. That is why the ground is

:03:28.:03:32.

fertile for us. In the local elections which is what we are

:03:33.:03:38.

discussing today, why would anybody vote for the Liberal Democrats if

:03:39.:03:42.

they believed in Brexit? Mr Farren has said he wants to reverse works.

:03:43.:03:51.

If you are Brexit supporter and you are considering how to cast your

:03:52.:03:55.

vote, first of all, I think you will be looking at the quality of

:03:56.:03:59.

representation you can get for your local area and you are right, we

:04:00.:04:02.

have a lot of ground to recoup from previous elections, we lost 124

:04:03.:04:11.

seats, communities have now had a few years to reflect on the quality

:04:12.:04:16.

of service they have been able to get and they have missed the very

:04:17.:04:19.

effective liberal Democrat councillors they have had. This is

:04:20.:04:25.

not just about whether you are a believer or remainer, ultimately,

:04:26.:04:30.

that is an issue we are going to have to settle and we will settle it

:04:31.:04:36.

not in the way the Government is having by dictating the terms of the

:04:37.:04:40.

debate, but by bringing the whole country together. I think that is

:04:41.:04:45.

something you can only do if, as we have suggested, you give the people

:04:46.:04:49.

the opportunity to have a say on the deal when Theresa May eventually

:04:50.:04:52.

produces it. The only way you could really replace Labour in the

:04:53.:04:58.

foreseeable future would be if a big chunk of the centre and right of the

:04:59.:05:03.

Labour Party came over and join due in some kind of new social

:05:04.:05:08.

democratic alliance. -- joined you. There is no sign that will happen? I

:05:09.:05:13.

do not see whether common purpose is anymore holding the Labour Party

:05:14.:05:17.

together. That is for people in the Labour Party to make their own

:05:18.:05:22.

decisions. Use what happened to the Labour Party in Scotland. -- you

:05:23.:05:30.

saw. Politics moved on and left them behind and they were decimated as a

:05:31.:05:34.

consequence of that. So was your party. It is possible the same thing

:05:35.:05:38.

could happen to the Labour Party and the rest of the UK. Politics is

:05:39.:05:44.

moving on and they are coming up with 1970s solutions to problems in

:05:45.:05:50.

2017. Alistair Carmichael, thanks for joining us. Let us have a look

:05:51.:05:56.

at some of the tax and benefit changes coming up this week. The tax

:05:57.:06:02.

changes first of all. The personal allowance is going to rise to

:06:03.:06:06.

?11,500, the level at which you start to pay tax. The higher rate

:06:07.:06:11.

threshold, where you start to play at 40%, that will rise from

:06:12.:06:17.

currently ?43,400, rising up to 40 5000. -- pay. Benefit changes,

:06:18.:06:26.

freeze on working age benefits, removal of the family element of tax

:06:27.:06:33.

credits and universal credit, that is a technical change but quite an

:06:34.:06:37.

impact. The child element of tax credit is going to be limited to two

:06:38.:06:44.

children on any new claims. The Resolution Foundation has crunched

:06:45.:06:51.

the numbers and they discovered that when you take the tax and benefit

:06:52.:06:57.

changes together, 80% go to better off households and the poorest third

:06:58.:07:05.

or worse. What help -- what happened to help the just about managing? The

:07:06.:07:10.

Resolution Foundation exists to find the worst possible statistics... It

:07:11.:07:14.

is not clear the figures are wrong? They are fairly recent figures and I

:07:15.:07:21.

have not seen analysis by other organisations. The Adam Smith

:07:22.:07:24.

Institute will probably have some question marks over it. Nobody

:07:25.:07:29.

should be surprised a Tory government is trying to make the

:07:30.:07:32.

state smaller... And the poor poorer. The system is propped up by

:07:33.:07:39.

better off people and so it will be those people who will be slightly

:07:40.:07:42.

less heavily taxed as you make the state smaller. Theresa May will have

:07:43.:07:50.

to stop just talking about the just about managing. And some of her

:07:51.:07:54.

other language and the role of the government and the state when she

:07:55.:07:59.

sounded quite positive... She sounded like a big government

:08:00.:08:03.

conservative not small government. In every set piece occasion, she

:08:04.:08:08.

says, it is time to look at the good the government can do. That is not

:08:09.:08:16.

what you heard from Mrs Thatcher. Tony Blair and Gordon Brown would

:08:17.:08:19.

not have dared to say it either even if they believed it. It raises a

:08:20.:08:24.

much bigger question which is, as well as whether this is a set of

:08:25.:08:31.

progressive measures, the Resolution Foundation constantly argued when

:08:32.:08:35.

George Osborne announced his budget measures as progressive when they

:08:36.:08:38.

were regressive when they checked out the figures, but also how this

:08:39.:08:42.

government was going to meet the demand for public services when it

:08:43.:08:47.

has ruled out virtually any tax rises that you would normally do

:08:48.:08:52.

now, including National Insurance. There are a whole range of nightmare

:08:53.:08:57.

issues on Philip Hammond's in-tray in relation to tax. The Resolution

:08:58.:09:01.

Foundation figures do not include the rise in the minimum wage which

:09:02.:09:06.

has just gone under way. They do not include the tax free childcare from

:09:07.:09:10.

the end of April, the extra 15 hours of free childcare from September.

:09:11.:09:15.

Even when you include these, it does not look like it would offset the

:09:16.:09:19.

losses of the poorest households. Doesn't that have to be a problem

:09:20.:09:25.

for Theresa May? It really is a problem especially when her

:09:26.:09:28.

narrative and indeed entire purpose in government is for that just about

:09:29.:09:33.

managing. What Mrs May still has which is exactly a problem they have

:09:34.:09:38.

at the budget and the Autumn Statement is that they are still

:09:39.:09:41.

saddled with George Osborne's massive ring fences on tax cuts and

:09:42.:09:48.

spending. They have to go through with the tax cut for the middle

:09:49.:09:52.

classes by pushing up the higher rate threshold which is absolutely

:09:53.:09:55.

going to do nothing for the just about managing. When they try to

:09:56.:09:59.

mitigate that, for example, in the Autumn Statement, Philip Hammond was

:10:00.:10:02.

told to come up with more money to ease the cuts in tax credits, came

:10:03.:10:07.

up with 350 million, an absolute... It is billions and billions

:10:08.:10:13.

involved. Marginal adjustment. A huge problem with the actual tax and

:10:14.:10:17.

benefit changes going on with what Mrs May as saying. The only way to

:10:18.:10:21.

fix it is coming up with more money to alleviate that. Where will you

:10:22.:10:25.

find it? Philip Hammond tried in the Budget with the National Insurance

:10:26.:10:30.

rises but it lasted six and a half days. I was told that it was one of

:10:31.:10:35.

the reasons why the Chancellor looked kindly on the idea of an

:10:36.:10:40.

early election because he wanted to get rid of what he regards as an

:10:41.:10:46.

albatross around his neck, the Tory manifesto 2015, no increase in

:10:47.:10:50.

income tax, no increase in VAT, no increase in National Insurance, fuel

:10:51.:10:55.

duty was not cut when fuel prices were falling so it is hardly going

:10:56.:10:59.

to rise now when they are rising again. This is why, I suggest, they

:11:00.:11:05.

end up in these incredibly complicated what we used to call

:11:06.:11:09.

stealth taxes as ways of trying to raise money and invariably a blow up

:11:10.:11:14.

in your face. Stealth taxes never end up being stealthy. It is part of

:11:15.:11:19.

the narrative that budget begins to fall apart within hours. You have to

:11:20.:11:26.

have sympathy, as Tom says, with Philip Hammond. No wonder he would

:11:27.:11:29.

like to be liberated. The early election will not happen. The best

:11:30.:11:33.

argument I have heard for an early election. The tax and spend about at

:11:34.:11:37.

the last election was a disaster partly because the Conservatives

:11:38.:11:43.

feared they would lose. Maybe they could be a bit more candid about the

:11:44.:11:47.

need to put up some taxes to pay for public services and it is very

:11:48.:11:54.

interesting what you picked up on Philip Hammond because he is

:11:55.:11:57.

trapped. So constrained about... You can also reopen the Ring fencing and

:11:58.:12:04.

spending and the obvious place to go is the triple lock, OAP spending.

:12:05.:12:10.

Another case for an election. He cannot undo the promise to that

:12:11.:12:16.

demographic. We will not get to 2020 without something breaking. The

:12:17.:12:20.

Prime Minister, the trade secretary and Mr Hammond, they are off to

:12:21.:12:27.

India, the Far East, talking up trade with these countries, I do not

:12:28.:12:33.

know if any of you are going? Sadly not. Will it produce dividends? The

:12:34.:12:38.

prime Minster is going somewhere too. No, it will not, the honest

:12:39.:12:45.

answer. No one will do a trade deal with us because we cannot do one

:12:46.:12:48.

because we are still in the EU and they need to know what our terms

:12:49.:12:51.

will be with the EU first before they can work out how they want to

:12:52.:12:56.

trade with us. This is vital preparatory work. Ministers always

:12:57.:13:00.

go somewhere in recess, it is what they do. We will not see anything in

:13:01.:13:04.

a hurry, we will not see anything for two years. They have to do it.

:13:05.:13:10.

Whatever side of the joint you are on, Brexit, remain, we need to get

:13:11.:13:16.

out there. -- the argument. We should have been doing this the day

:13:17.:13:19.

after the referendum result. It is now several months down the line and

:13:20.:13:23.

they need to step it up, not the opposite. You can make some informal

:13:24.:13:29.

talks, I guess. You can say, Britain is open for business. There is a

:13:30.:13:33.

symbolism to it. What a lot of energy sucked up into this.

:13:34.:13:39.

Parliament is not sitting so they might as well start talking. We have

:13:40.:13:45.

run out of energy and time. That is it for today. We are off for the

:13:46.:13:49.

Easter recess, back in two weeks' time. If it is Sunday, it is the

:13:50.:13:54.

Sunday Politics. Unless it is that used to recess! -- Easter recess.

:13:55.:14:21.

Marine Le Pen has her eyes on the French presidency.

:14:22.:14:24.

As she tries to distance herself from her party's controversial past,

:14:25.:14:29.

Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS