02/07/2017 Sunday Politics Northern Ireland


02/07/2017

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


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Transcript


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

:00:38.:00:43.

Her position may be safe for the time-being.

:00:44.:00:44.

But what about Theresa May's policies?

:00:45.:00:48.

As ministers drops hints about easing the public sector pay

:00:49.:00:51.

cap, is the Conservative Party undergoing a rebrand?

:00:52.:00:55.

Jeremy Corbyn takes to the streets to call for an end to austerity.

:00:56.:00:58.

But with his party's divisions on Brexit thrust into the open

:00:59.:01:01.

is his post-election honeymoon coming to an end?

:01:02.:01:06.

And, with Brexit talks under way, we know there's plenty at stake

:01:07.:01:11.

for Britain, as it negotiates a new relationship.

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But what's at stake for the remaining EU countries?

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We speak to a leading European politician.

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And coming up here, the DUP's Simon Hamilton

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and Sinn Fein's John O'Dowd will be here in the studio,

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as talks at Stormont look like they could be fizzling out.

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And, on the eve of Wimbledon, I'm joined by the three top seats

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of political commentary, Tom Newton Dunn, Isabel Oakeshott

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They'll be serving up aces throughout the programme.

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Is the Government going to change its policy on public sector pay?

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The Conservative manifesto stated that the 1% cap on annual pay rises

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for public sector workers would remain in place

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until 2020, saving up to ?5 billion a year by then.

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Earlier this week there were rumblings that the policy

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would be reviewed, before the Treasury weighed in to suggest

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The new Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, was asked about it

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on the Andrew Marr show earlier today.

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I was Education Secretary and I know the schoolteachers pay review body

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Not a poodle but they work underneath the overall strategy

:02:22.:02:30.

set by the Chancellor, set by the government.

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They take account of that, but they also take account

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of other questions as well, including the number of people

:02:35.:02:37.

who are entering the profession, whether we need to have an increase

:02:38.:02:40.

in pay in order to ensure we get the best people in the profession.

:02:41.:02:43.

These pay review bodies have been set up in order to ensure we can

:02:44.:02:46.

have authoritative advice on what is required in order

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to ensure the public services on which we rely are effectively

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staffed and the people within them are effectively supported.

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I think we should respect the integrity of that process.

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I'm not an individual, I am a member of the government,

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Michael Gove. Two U-turns in one day, maybe going for the hat-trick

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this week. It sounds they are thinking of ways of loosening up the

:03:14.:03:17.

pay freeze but Mr Hammond doesn't want it to come out until the autumn

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budget. That is absolutely right. My understanding is the deal is already

:03:22.:03:24.

done. We've reported this week that 20 quite senior Tory MPs went to see

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the new chief of staff on Wednesday, to make it very clear indeed they

:03:30.:03:34.

would be voting for a budget that allowed the public sector pay freeze

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to continue. Fine, we're going to do this, we're going to give fresh

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advice to the pay review bodies that there remit has been expanded but we

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cannot do it today because it's a victory for comrades Jeremy Corbyn

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if we do. There we see, in a sense, the weakness of ten Downing St. They

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can't direct this policy themselves. They are overruled by Mr Hammond

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from Mr 11, and it only takes about 20 Tory MPs to say, hey, this is

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what we want and at the very least the government has to listen to them

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very seriously. They have to listen to the man they have to act, because

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that is the fragility of the new House of Commons. We saw it last

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week on another issue. If you have 20 people saying hey has got to rise

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in the public sector, beyond the cap, pay will rise in the public

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sector beyond the cap, because they won't be up to get it through the

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House of Commons. I think there are other issues involved beyond the

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numerical situation in the Commons. Lots of MPs came back after that

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election, including Gavin Barrell who is in number ten, who lost his

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seat, saying teachers and others were saying we can't carry on with

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the pay restraint up until 2020. I think it is going to happen for a

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combination of reasons. What happens to deficit reduction? The deficit is

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going to rise this year. There were a few Tory MPs but not many who feel

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it is wrong for the party to capitulate, having made such a point

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of principle about posterity, that it looks very, very week just to be

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caving in. I think Steve is right. This isn't just about the maths and

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the -- in the House of Commons, Tory MPs are frightened in a way I have

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never known them frightened before, at the momentum behind Jeremy Corbyn

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at the moment. There is a real feeling about the Tory brand being

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really in a very, very difficult place at the moment, where Tories

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look nasty, there isn't nearly enough sympathy and it feels

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politically impossible to stick with the pay limits as they are. That may

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be one reason that will keep Tory MPs in line, because the last thing

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they want at the moment is an election. When they say the country

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doesn't need on another election it means the Tory party doesn't mean

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another election, isn't that right? That's right and I think the view is

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settled. Notwithstanding frenzied speculation in Sunday newspapers,

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the daily newspapers are a lot more responsible! LAUGHTER

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But every Tory MP says to Reza until the end of Brexit, we don't want to

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open Pandora's box. -- Theresa May until the end of Brexit. The problem

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still remains, she does have a lot less authority, which is why you get

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bigwigs left, right and Centre for Michael Gove to Damian Green and

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Justine Greening rattling that instant more money. You have to keep

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the balance by leaving by consensus and a general for all, which we are

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in danger of looking like this morning. OK, we will see.

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So it's not exactly what you might call "strong and stable",

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but after a turbulent couple of weeks, it appears

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the Prime Minister has brought less instability,

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The Government's legislative programme is in place and Brexit

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So has Theresa May done enough to steady the ship

:07:02.:07:04.

It's been an action-packed story of suspense, drama and intrigue.

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The latest instalment, hotly anticipated.

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"I got us into this mess", she told her MPs after the election,

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This week, Theresa May tried to do just that.

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To get the Democratic Unionist Party's ten MPs to back

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the minority government, the PM pledged ?1 billion

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Opposition parties branded it a bung and as the week went on,

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some have their own MPs who are less than enthusiastic.

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Mr Speaker, I can barely put into words my anger at the deal

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But having signed that piece of paper, the Tories now had a tight

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working majority of 13 to pass key Commons votes.

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It was, at the very least, breathing space.

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So, a deep breath and, midweek, and Labour proposal that the cap

:08:01.:08:04.

on public sector pay rises should be lifted.

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Some Tory MPs, including ministers, agreed, in principle.

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Labour's challenge failed, but the Government had

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We will listen to what people in this house have said before

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The public sector pay cap, by the way, was designed

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to save ?5 billion for the public purse by 2020.

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But the policy looks like it could be on its last legs.

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Thursday was the big moment, the Queen's Speech, which passed,

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Tory support for a Labour amendment led to a government pledge to front

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abortions in England for women from Northern Ireland.

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The ayes have it, the ayes have it, unlock.

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The last-minute compromises in this Queen's Speech suggests

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the Prime Minister is acutely aware of the arithmetic in Parliament.

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She will have to listen more to her own MPs and they know that.

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One former Cabinet minister told me every time seven of us get together,

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And yet, after this week, the Prime Minister may not be such

:09:03.:09:08.

I think the ship is certainly steadier.

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I think there is a degree of what I call a rolling probation

:09:14.:09:17.

for the Prime Minister at the moment.

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And I think the Prime Minister's performances in the chamber,

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Prime Minister's Questions, we had the first one back this

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week, where she reasserted a deal of her authority.

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And I think there is a great deal of relief and respect for that.

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Others say the party should reflect on more

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It doesn't matter if we have Alexander the great or the Ark

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Angel Gabriel as leader, unless we have fundamental reform.

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At the moment, often we have these policies but it's like a whole load

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of clothes pegs without a washing line, bringing them together.

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So we need to explain what we are about.

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The Conservative Party is there to help working

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The Conservative Party is there because we are the party

:10:00.:10:02.

of the ladder of opportunity to get people up that ladder.

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We have a moral purpose, too, just as the Labour Party do.

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Several MPs told me the debate within the party is still when,

:10:09.:10:13.

Anybody who says it will definitely be Theresa May as the leader

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of the Conservative Party going into the next general election

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It might be, I have to say at the moment it's

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But conversely, there is absolutely no appetite whatsoever,

:10:29.:10:36.

thre are no manoeuvres going on, no operations going on to instigate

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a leadership challenge to have a new leader

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of the Conservative Party in the immediate future.

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One theory is that Theresa May stays on as PM to negotiate

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To be something of a scapegoat for what will be,

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at best controversial, at worst, deeply unpopular.

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And then, to move aside to make way for a less tarnished leader, who can

:11:00.:11:03.

take the Conservatives into the next general election.

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It's the immediate future Theresa May will be focused on.

:11:07.:11:14.

This week, a G20 meeting in Hamburg with other world leader chums.

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Back home, she can't take her friends for granted

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and told her own MPs, she'd serve as long

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Joining me now is the Minister for International Trade Greg Hands.

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Welcome to the programme. Good morning, Andrew. Do you agree with

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your old Treasury boss, George Osborne, who said easing up on

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austerity would risk the mistakes of the past which led Britain to the

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point where there was no money left? There is no change in government

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policy. We must live within our means. That is the right thing to

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do. We have reduced the deficit by three quarters since 2010. That is

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work that is still ongoing. It's very important that we keep budget

:11:58.:12:01.

discipline, because it's impossible to pay for our public services

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without having a growing economy, the taxes coming into pay for all

:12:06.:12:09.

the services people want and expect. How can you continue to cut the

:12:10.:12:12.

deficit, it's actually rising this year compared to last year, how do

:12:13.:12:16.

you continue to cut the deficit? ?1 billion to find for the DUP, you

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have to find the money you could in debt because you couldn't change

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national insurance, and if you loosen up on the public sector pay

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freeze, you have to find money for that as well, how do you do both?

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It's important to have a prudent policy, a prudent fiscal budget

:12:32.:12:36.

policy. The Chancellor will be laying out his budget in the

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autumn... How do you square the circle and me all these demands?

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Your own ministers are talking about them and yet continue with deficit

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reduction? It's very important to consider what we have done on public

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sector pay. Actually by having that cap in place we have saved around

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200,000 public sector jobs. We have done a lot for the lower paid public

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sector workers by raising the personal allowance... I'm not asking

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about that, I'm asking how do you meet the demand for extra public

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spending and continue with deficit reduction? I think over the last

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seven years the government has had a very good record on this, Andrew. In

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terms of being able to reduce the deficit... While still putting in

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place increases in public funding. For example, in the Conservative

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manifesto we pledged 4 billion extra on schools and 8 billion extra on

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health. We can do the two together, but it does require that budget

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discipline overall, making sure that something is to get out of control.

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You were a number two in the Treasury during George Osborne's

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tenure. You protected pensioners with triple lock, free bus passes,

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the Winter fuel allowance but trebled tuition fees on young folk

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made it impossible for many of them to get a foot on the property

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ladder. Is it any wonder young people to vote for you? I think

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that's an important question for us and an important question as we look

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at the election. That's why I asked the question, what is the answer? We

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have to improve our offer and young people and provide more housing. I

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think we need to look at more money into schools, improving our schools

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as we go forward and making sure that cities like mine in London are

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made more liveable and more cost-effective for young people. Why

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haven't you done that in the past seven years? Instead you have

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secured the pensioners and you have knocked young folk may have turned

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against you. Why should young people believe in capitalism if they have

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no chance of accruing any capital? I think what we have done over the

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last seven years has actually been to build more homes. We just need to

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build the more quickly. Your record of building homes is even worse than

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the last Labour government and you know that. 62% of 18-24 -year-olds

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voted Labour. 62%. 56 of 25-35 -year-olds. You didn't build enough

:14:54.:14:56.

houses for these people. That is one of the reasons why we are addressing

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that. Why haven't you addressed it? 1.5 million new homes over the

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course of this Parliament and what we have done that with things like

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starter homes, shared ownership, it's much more flexible forms of

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tenure to make sure homes are more attractive to younger people,

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particularly younger people starting off in life. Ministers have bent

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telling me this for seven years and you never do it. -- been telling me.

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That is what the programme is designed to do. We have been

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building more homes. We need to accelerate that. We'll phone need an

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open conversation about how we improve elsewhere for young people

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in schools and universities and so on that. OK, Brexit. You are the

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International Trade Minister. Will the UK leave the customs union in

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March 2019, and if it doesn't make its own trade deals? Our position on

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exit and the customs union is unchanged. What is it? To leave the

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single market and Customs union. But other components of free trade

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agreement with the European Union and customs arrangements, so we have

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frictionless free trade with the European Union. Will that happen by

:16:08.:16:11.

March 2019? That is the negotiation that has just started. I am not

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putting an end state on that. What I'm saying is the objective in this

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is to make sure that we frictionless trade with the EU and come to a

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future customs arrangements to buy it's not clear we will be able to

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start making our own trade deals after March 2019? Once we leave the

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European Union, yes, I am clear we will be able to make our own trade

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deals. March 2019? When we leave the single union and the customs union

:16:39.:16:41.

we come to an arrangement with the European Union. We will be able to

:16:42.:16:44.

make free trade deals but at the moment we can't because we are in

:16:45.:16:52.

the EU. Will you be able to make them if there is a transition

:16:53.:16:55.

period? That remains to be seen. You might not. We have only just started

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the negotiation. You had a year to think about it. To think about a

:16:59.:17:00.

transition period and when it might start and then... What we are clear

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about is there should be no cliff edge for businesses in the UK and

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the European Union and to make sure the trade continues as frictionless

:17:09.:17:11.

as possible. We don't yet know if we will be able to make our free trade

:17:12.:17:14.

deals during the transitional period? It could be postponed until

:17:15.:17:22.

2021 or 22? We don't yet know if we're going to have a transition

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period, to be fair. The objection in all of this is to have frictionless

:17:27.:17:30.

free trade with the European Union and come to a customs arrangement.

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That is the objective. You are minister for London so let's

:17:32.:17:47.

turn to the Grenfell Tower disaster. Kensington and Chelsea Council is in

:17:48.:17:52.

chaos. The leader resigned on Friday and the chief executive has gone as

:17:53.:17:59.

well. That is what I mean, it is in chaos. We're waiting for a new

:18:00.:18:04.

leader for the council because it is important for local democracy to

:18:05.:18:08.

have its say. It is quite a big thing for government to to go in and

:18:09.:18:16.

put a Council on special measures. It is in a state, you have lost the

:18:17.:18:23.

chief executive, you've lost the council leader, it is lacking in

:18:24.:18:27.

experience and surely if there is ever a time to send in the

:18:28.:18:31.

Commissioners to get a grip of this crisis, it is now? We are waiting

:18:32.:18:38.

for a new leader. There is an interim chief executive coming over

:18:39.:18:43.

from Lewisham Council. Clearly, there will be lessons to be learned

:18:44.:18:46.

and that is a matter for the public enquiry. There will be an election

:18:47.:18:54.

within the Conservative group on the council. There are very capable

:18:55.:18:58.

councillors in Kensington and Chelsea. We haven't seen much sign

:18:59.:19:06.

of that, did you have any involvement in the resignation of

:19:07.:19:14.

the council leader? I spoke to him, like all council leaders do. I spoke

:19:15.:19:19.

to him, I spoke to the previous leader and the leader of might of

:19:20.:19:24.

the council. It is natural that MPs speak to their council leaders on an

:19:25.:19:28.

ongoing basis. We know the Council opted for cheaper cladding because

:19:29.:19:36.

they want good costs. So that cheese pairing is inevitable in town halls

:19:37.:19:39.

when central government, has yours has done, cut their budget by 40%? I

:19:40.:19:48.

don't accept the premise to that because a lot of financing has been

:19:49.:19:53.

devolved back to local government. But you have cut local government

:19:54.:19:59.

financing by 40%. There is 200 billion available over the rest of

:20:00.:20:02.

this Parliament to the local councils and we believe that is

:20:03.:20:09.

fair. Kensington and Chelsea Council spent ?8.6 million on this

:20:10.:20:12.

refurbishment. It is not necessarily a shortage of funds. Indeed, they

:20:13.:20:19.

have 274 million in reserves and they put people at risk to save

:20:20.:20:25.

?300,000. If that is not a case of putting in the Commissioners, what

:20:26.:20:30.

is? That is a matter for the ongoing enquiry and the lessons to be

:20:31.:20:34.

learned from that and how it happened is a matter for the

:20:35.:20:37.

different enquiries, including the public enquiries. Thank you.

:20:38.:20:40.

Theresa May's stated aim in calling the election last month was to get

:20:41.:20:43.

a stronger hand in the Brexit negotiations - in the end, the

:20:44.:20:46.

But it's worth remembering that there's a lot at stake for both

:20:47.:20:50.

After all, the UK is a major net contributor to the EU budget

:20:51.:20:54.

and a big trading partner for the 27 countries remaining in the EU.

:20:55.:20:58.

When Mr Davis and Mr Barnier kicked off the talk a couple of weeks ago,

:20:59.:21:10.

the tone was businesslike and broadly constructive.

:21:11.:21:11.

The two men agreed that the first age of the negotiation

:21:12.:21:14.

The rights of EU citizens living here and British

:21:15.:21:18.

The financial settlement that the UK will pay the EU,

:21:19.:21:23.

On citizens rights, the EU published their proposals three weeks ago,

:21:24.:21:27.

and the UK Government came forward with their plan last Monday.

:21:28.:21:30.

The UK offer, however, was greeted with scepticism.

:21:31.:21:34.

The Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said...

:21:35.:21:51.

But elsewhere, some EU figures have begun to worry about the financial

:21:52.:21:53.

implications of Brexit for the remaining 27 countries.

:21:54.:21:55.

Gunther Oettinger, the EU's budget Commissioner, said this week that

:21:56.:21:58.

Brexit would leave a hole in the EU's finances of at least

:21:59.:22:01.

That's because the UK is a net contributor to the budget.

:22:02.:22:06.

The UK also runs a large trade deficit with the EU.

:22:07.:22:09.

Last year we bought ?312 billion worth of goods

:22:10.:22:12.

That is 71 billion more than we sold to the

:22:13.:22:21.

So the introduction of trade tariffs would be costly for both sides.

:22:22.:22:30.

The Brexit negotiations will continue every month.

:22:31.:22:31.

Mr Davis and Mr Barnier will have their next face-to-face

:22:32.:22:34.

meeting in Brussels on Monday the 17th of July.

:22:35.:22:36.

Joining me now from Rome is Roberto Gualtieri.

:22:37.:22:38.

He's a Socialist MEP, and part of the European

:22:39.:22:40.

Welcome to the programme. The British government has published a

:22:41.:22:51.

detailed plan to protect the rights of EU citizens living in the UK. The

:22:52.:22:59.

EU response was highly critical, will that be the EU's response to

:23:00.:23:06.

everything Britain proposes? First, we welcome the intention to protect

:23:07.:23:14.

EU citizens. But, our reading of the plan is that it falls short of its

:23:15.:23:19.

own ambitions, so there are a number of issues to be clarified. I think

:23:20.:23:26.

also to be corrected. For instance, while our proposal is based on a new

:23:27.:23:36.

low, this is based on a UK low and there are no guarantees that might

:23:37.:23:41.

be changed in the future. Then there is the famous issue of enforcement,

:23:42.:23:45.

which is based on UK courts. And third, there are a number of rights

:23:46.:23:51.

which seem to be missing. For instance, a family member will have

:23:52.:23:56.

to make his own request for settled status and we consider that an

:23:57.:24:03.

conceivable there might be two different answers. My own child, for

:24:04.:24:13.

instance. You are right, there are things to discuss. This wasn't a

:24:14.:24:18.

take it or leave it offer by the British government, it was the

:24:19.:24:23.

beginning of a negotiation. But Michel Barnier said it lacked

:24:24.:24:27.

clarity and vision. Someone else said it was worrisome and the Dutch

:24:28.:24:30.

Prime Minister said there were thousands of questions left

:24:31.:24:34.

unanswered. These are not helpful responses? It is not an issue of

:24:35.:24:40.

tones, it is an issue of the start of the negotiation, indeed. We are

:24:41.:24:45.

commentating the paper, identifying what is good, and the rights

:24:46.:24:52.

similar, there are a number of loopholes and there are some more

:24:53.:24:56.

from the issues relating to the legal status... It just sounds very

:24:57.:25:01.

constructive. Instead of saying, this is a good start, but there is

:25:02.:25:08.

much more to do. But you just sound negative. No, I don't think so. My

:25:09.:25:16.

first sentence was, I welcome the intention to protect the rights of

:25:17.:25:21.

EU citizens. That is a very constructive sentence. Then one has

:25:22.:25:26.

to be consistent and to find a mechanism which fully guarantees the

:25:27.:25:30.

right and the negotiation, and they are exactly for this purpose.

:25:31.:25:34.

Brussels is now worrying about how to fill the huge financial hole that

:25:35.:25:38.

Britain's departure will create in EU revenues. There is a number of

:25:39.:25:46.

ideas being floated at the moment, introduce an EU VAT supplement or

:25:47.:25:49.

take an axe to the common agricultural policy which is about

:25:50.:25:54.

40% of the budget. Does that appeal to you? There are two different

:25:55.:26:02.

problems. The first is to define the settlement, which has to be an

:26:03.:26:08.

integral part of the withdrawal agreement. We are not looking for

:26:09.:26:12.

fines, we are looking for only commitment to be paid. Then there is

:26:13.:26:19.

the issue for the future, were of course the union will have to

:26:20.:26:24.

reassess and redefine and improve its mechanism in its own resources

:26:25.:26:30.

so it can have an efficient finances in the future. So what do you want,

:26:31.:26:38.

and EU VAT or cutting money to Italy? I think the union deserves a

:26:39.:26:45.

better system of resources. This is for the future and we are working on

:26:46.:26:50.

that. Do you agree with the bustle's commission every member of the EU

:26:51.:26:55.

should adopt the euro by 2025? Yes, of course it is possible. Like it

:26:56.:27:05.

was for the United Kingdom, for Denmark, but in principle, the

:27:06.:27:10.

members of the union members of the union. So we think it would be good

:27:11.:27:21.

to a allowed the euro. There is the political will of the country to be

:27:22.:27:25.

taken into account but I think the euro has proven to be a successful

:27:26.:27:31.

currency, protecting citizens. I expect the membership will be

:27:32.:27:36.

broadened in the future. Why is it's GDP below what it was 15 years ago

:27:37.:27:42.

and the industrial output is below them what it was in 1984 so the euro

:27:43.:27:50.

hasn't been successful to you. You now run a massive deficit with

:27:51.:27:56.

Germany, where is the success? It should not be confused, the currency

:27:57.:28:02.

with the economic crisis we had. The also mistake in the conductor of the

:28:03.:28:10.

economic policy. We are changing austerity politics for more growth

:28:11.:28:15.

policies. Your country hasn't grown since you join the euro. The

:28:16.:28:20.

economic policy is another thing, so we need to change the economic

:28:21.:28:25.

policy. The common currencies is a strong protection for all of us.

:28:26.:28:29.

Your country hasn't grown since you joined the euro. I don't think your

:28:30.:28:40.

assessment is correct. Yes it is. By the way now, Italy is growing and

:28:41.:28:47.

that is good. Europe is growing. In 2017 it is growing more than the US

:28:48.:28:52.

and the UK. Do you accept if Britain had stayed in and been forced to

:28:53.:29:00.

join the euro in 2025, there is no public opinion support for joining

:29:01.:29:07.

the euro here? This is a joke. Whenever they say, if the UK had

:29:08.:29:12.

stayed in the union, the UK would be forced to join the euro. This is not

:29:13.:29:20.

true. That is what the Brussels delegation said. The Brussels

:29:21.:29:26.

commission said it thinks everybody in the EU should adopt the euro by

:29:27.:29:35.

2025. As I said, no. If you want to make a political statement, you are

:29:36.:29:40.

free to do so. But the fact is, the member of the delegation to the euro

:29:41.:29:45.

are supposed to join. Members who have decided to stay out of the

:29:46.:29:48.

euro, are free to stay out of the euro whilst they are in the EU. That

:29:49.:29:54.

is perfectly possible. Thank you for speaking to us from Rome today.

:29:55.:29:57.

Jeremy Corbyn has had a bit of a spring in his step

:29:58.:30:00.

since the election, after doing much better than pretty much

:30:01.:30:02.

Indeed, despite the party's internal splits, Labour

:30:03.:30:05.

But earlier this week, Labour's divisions on Brexit

:30:06.:30:09.

were thrust into the open as 50 Labour MPs defied the party line

:30:10.:30:12.

to vote in favour of a backbench amendment calling for the UK

:30:13.:30:15.

to remain members of the EU single market and customs union.

:30:16.:30:18.

One of those rebels was Labour MP Stella Creasy who had this to say

:30:19.:30:21.

What a lot of us are saying is we want, in these negotiations,

:30:22.:30:28.

To have a government that has forced through a hard Brexit,

:30:29.:30:34.

especially in the light of the general election result,

:30:35.:30:37.

with the public very clearly rejecting Theresa May's approach,

:30:38.:30:39.

And across the house, again, there are MPs saying,

:30:40.:30:44.

We don't know what is possible to achieve, but what we do know

:30:45.:30:48.

is if you walk in the room and you throw away something

:30:49.:30:51.

like single market membership, which 650,000 jobs in London alone

:30:52.:30:54.

are part of that, it's irresponsible.

:30:55.:30:56.

I'm joined now by the Shadow Justice Secretary Richard Burgon.

:30:57.:31:01.

Welcome to the programme. Thank you. On Thursday 49 MPs, almost a fifth

:31:02.:31:11.

of the Parliamentary party, rebelled against the leadership over Brexit,

:31:12.:31:16.

including three shadow ministers, were subsequently sacked by Jeremy

:31:17.:31:19.

Corbyn. Labour is now more divided on Brexit than the Tories? I don't

:31:20.:31:25.

think so. I think the amendment was regrettable and premature, and I

:31:26.:31:28.

agree with the Labour deputy leader Tom Watson, when he said he was

:31:29.:31:32.

disappointed about that. Actually, the difference in the Labour Party,

:31:33.:31:35.

the difference of nuance on the single market between those who

:31:36.:31:39.

definitely want to be a member of the single market, including some

:31:40.:31:44.

people who backed that amendment, and those who want tariff free

:31:45.:31:50.

access to the single market. The reality is, not just on Brexit, but

:31:51.:31:54.

a whole host of issue, it's the Conservative government that is

:31:55.:31:57.

completely divided and that odds with itself. If it is just nuance

:31:58.:32:02.

and you are not divided, Mark our card. The Chancellor said single

:32:03.:32:09.

access market mentorship is not on the table, the Brexit secretary said

:32:10.:32:14.

it should be and another shadow ministers speaks about seeking

:32:15.:32:16.

reformed membership of the European market and the customs union. Which

:32:17.:32:23.

one is Labour policy? Brexit is a settled issue, in that Labour

:32:24.:32:26.

accents Britain is leaving the European Union but we believe

:32:27.:32:31.

Britain has to have a relationship with the institutions. Which one is

:32:32.:32:34.

Labour policy of these three statements? Labour believes that we

:32:35.:32:41.

should be having a job 's first Brexit. A Brexit that puts the

:32:42.:32:45.

economy first. As our manifesto says, Britain's leaving the European

:32:46.:32:49.

Union, for example that also means the freedom of movement of labour,

:32:50.:32:56.

and the UK's part of that, will end when Britain leads the EU. Do you

:32:57.:33:00.

want freedom of movement to end? What we do want to end is the

:33:01.:33:05.

practice of unscrupulous employers, only recruiting workers from abroad

:33:06.:33:11.

and also an scrupulous employers trying to use the free you movement

:33:12.:33:17.

of labour to breakdown -- drag down terms and conditions. You can do

:33:18.:33:20.

that if we are in or out of the single market. Do you want freedom

:33:21.:33:26.

of movement to end? It is inevitable the freedom of movement will end. Do

:33:27.:33:30.

you want it to do is a question that that is the difference. Your

:33:31.:33:33.

manifesto said what you just said, I asked you if you want it to end?

:33:34.:33:39.

What Labour wants is Brexit that puts jobs on the economy that is.

:33:40.:33:45.

What Labour doesn't want is to put immigration and fall 's immigration

:33:46.:33:48.

targets as the Conservatives did on the table. What is the answer? It's

:33:49.:33:53.

quite simple, the free movement of labour will end in terms of when the

:33:54.:33:57.

UK leads the European Union. Labour's priority is not any other

:33:58.:34:02.

issue than jobs on the economy being put first and that is really

:34:03.:34:05.

important. Putting jobs on the economy does, should we leave or

:34:06.:34:09.

stay in the customs union? I think we need to leave all the options

:34:10.:34:14.

open on that. We need to negotiate without putting options off the

:34:15.:34:21.

table. You can't negotiate unless you know what your aim is, is it to

:34:22.:34:25.

leave or stay in the customs union? British manufacturers gain a lot,

:34:26.:34:31.

and their workers, in jobs, in terms of the current arrangement with a

:34:32.:34:37.

customs union. What we want is an equivalent benefit. We want the

:34:38.:34:40.

benefits of being in the customs union, even if when we leave the

:34:41.:34:44.

European Union we can't be in the customs union. These are the kind of

:34:45.:34:48.

demands that Theresa May should be making, and her ability to do so,

:34:49.:34:52.

I'm afraid, has been severely weakened by the fact you can't even

:34:53.:34:56.

command a majority now after she asked for a majority to do so. You

:34:57.:35:00.

have criticised the government for saying no deal is better than a bad

:35:01.:35:04.

deal, which I understand. But does that mean Labour's position is that

:35:05.:35:08.

any deal is better than no Deal? Any deal better than no Deal? No, no. It

:35:09.:35:13.

would be strange to say any deal is better than no Deal. We want a good

:35:14.:35:17.

deal for Britain. But if you can't get that? We are confident a Labour

:35:18.:35:25.

government could get that, we want a job 's first Brexit that puts jobs

:35:26.:35:29.

first and puts living standards first and doesn't use, as the

:35:30.:35:32.

Conservative government has tried to do, Brexit as a smoke screen to try

:35:33.:35:36.

and create some kind of low regulated tax haven... You could be

:35:37.:35:44.

in government for very shortly and the in these negotiations. If the EU

:35:45.:35:48.

does not budge on demanding 1 billion euros divorce Bill, would

:35:49.:35:53.

you just sack that for the sake of any deal or say no? -- suck it up?

:35:54.:36:01.

Labour won't be sucking up to anyone, the EU or anyone else. A

:36:02.:36:06.

Labour government would negotiate hard for Britain. What if they

:36:07.:36:10.

wouldn't budge? On the demand for 100 billion euros? What would you

:36:11.:36:15.

do? These are hypothetical scenarios, and these negotiations

:36:16.:36:21.

are nuanced and compensated. Labour would campaign, in opposition, hold

:36:22.:36:25.

the government to account for and in government deliver jobs first

:36:26.:36:29.

Brexit, that puts the economy does. The kind of post-Brexit Britain we

:36:30.:36:34.

want to see is one in which there is investment in industry, assistance

:36:35.:36:37.

from the government in industry and are more equal society with high

:36:38.:36:41.

wage jobs. Ian Wright Fricke, your new party says Labour is currently

:36:42.:36:46.

too broad a church. Do you agree with him? I think the Labour Party

:36:47.:36:53.

has always been a broad church. He says too broad? It has always been a

:36:54.:36:58.

broad church, socialists and trade unionists and long may it be so. You

:36:59.:37:03.

don't agree? The Labour Party is a broad church and it should be. Do

:37:04.:37:06.

you support lowering the threshold of MPs needed, that you need to get

:37:07.:37:11.

to stand for the Labour leadership? It is going to be debated at your

:37:12.:37:15.

autumn conference? This question isn't seen as dead about the

:37:16.:37:22.

leadership election many people predicted would occur after the

:37:23.:37:25.

general election won't be occurring. Do you support? Tom Watson says

:37:26.:37:29.

Jeremy Corbyn is secure for many years. I do believe all parties,

:37:30.:37:33.

including the Labour Party, need to be made more democratic. We have a

:37:34.:37:37.

membership of well over half a million and I would like the members

:37:38.:37:42.

to have more say in our party's policies and in the way the party is

:37:43.:37:47.

run. Jeremy Corbyn spoke at a left-wing rally in London yesterday.

:37:48.:37:53.

Among the crowd there were placards calling Theresa May a murderer,

:37:54.:37:59.

pictures of Mrs May's head on communist flags and Trotskyite

:38:00.:38:02.

banners. Are these the kind of people Mr Corbyn should be

:38:03.:38:05.

associating himself with, if he is a Prime Minister in waiting? The

:38:06.:38:09.

reality is when you speak at an outdoor meeting, you have no control

:38:10.:38:13.

who turns up or who is walking past. You have no control over the kind of

:38:14.:38:17.

banners people make. I understand the hundred and 50,000 members of

:38:18.:38:21.

the public at that event. No, there won't, 15,000. I spoke the night

:38:22.:38:28.

before the general election, in an event in Leeds city centre. For all

:38:29.:38:32.

I know, there could have been all sorts of people walking past,

:38:33.:38:36.

watching. The key thing is to judge Jeremy by his words, Judge Labour by

:38:37.:38:40.

our words on what we've done. We do believe in a new kind of politics.

:38:41.:38:45.

Also politics committed to changing our society for the better. OK,

:38:46.:38:50.

Richard Burgen, thank you for joining us today.

:38:51.:38:58.

Hello and welcome to Sunday Politics in Northern Ireland.

:38:59.:39:01.

Any chance of a deal at Stormont diminished

:39:02.:39:03.

further over the weekend when the Sinn Fein President,

:39:04.:39:05.

Gerry Adams, said he doesn't think there will be any

:39:06.:39:08.

The DUP are showing no urgency, or no real inclination to deal with the

:39:09.:39:24.

rights that are the crux, at the heart.

:39:25.:39:26.

The party's John O'Dowd and Simon Hamilton of the DUP

:39:27.:39:28.

My mother is gay and she is married to a woman in England. She cannot be

:39:29.:39:39.

here because her marriage is not recognised in Northern Ireland.

:39:40.:39:41.

Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK

:39:42.:39:43.

and Ireland where same sex marriage is still banned and pretty much

:39:44.:39:46.

Thousands protested in Belfast yesterday to change that.

:39:47.:39:49.

We'll be discussing that with an MLA who supports change and a campaigner

:39:50.:39:52.

for the promotion of traditional marriage and religion who says same

:39:53.:39:55.

sex marriage will weaken the natural ties between men,

:39:56.:39:57.

our commentators Allison Morris and Professor Rick Wilford

:39:58.:40:01.

The Sinn Fein President, Gerry Adams, pretty much confirmed

:40:02.:40:11.

what very many people were thinking when he said a Stormont deal

:40:12.:40:14.

There had been a flurry of activity over the weekend when Theresa May

:40:15.:40:19.

had separate phone calls with Arlene Foster

:40:20.:40:20.

and Michelle O'Neill, but it looks like the parties

:40:21.:40:23.

will keep their distance on Monday and see what the Secretary of State,

:40:24.:40:26.

Sinn Fein's John O'Dowd and Simon Hamilton of the DUP

:40:27.:40:29.

So what 'profound and serious consequences' were outlined

:40:30.:40:36.

by the SoS when the deadline on Friday was missed?

:40:37.:40:46.

Let's begin by dispelling this nonsense that the DUP is not serious

:40:47.:40:54.

about a deal. You will know that we have not drawn any red lines, we

:40:55.:40:59.

have not set any preconditions. We want to see an executive and

:41:00.:41:03.

assembly up and running as soon as possible. Do you believe Sinn Fein

:41:04.:41:08.

wants a deal? I would hope that Sinn Fein want a deal to get devolution

:41:09.:41:12.

up and running again so we can deal with pressing issues on matters of

:41:13.:41:17.

health, education, they need to attract jobs and investment. Civil

:41:18.:41:20.

servants are running the budget. There is a 5% cut to what

:41:21.:41:25.

departments can spend. We need to get back in there, grapple those

:41:26.:41:29.

issues, deal with those ages, deliver for people on the issues

:41:30.:41:35.

that matter for them. That is being denied at this minute. We have not

:41:36.:41:41.

set any preconditions, we are not going any red lines. We want to deal

:41:42.:41:44.

with all of the issues that are important. You don't want any of

:41:45.:41:51.

those cuts presumably to be commended in Northern Ireland. Does

:41:52.:41:57.

your party want a deal? Devolution and the executive and the all

:41:58.:42:01.

Ireland bodies that go with it are the only show in town but they have

:42:02.:42:06.

to represent everybody. We have to have a government that represent all

:42:07.:42:10.

people. People marched through the centre of Belfast yesterday. In

:42:11.:42:13.

previous weeks we had 15,000 people marching through Belfast. These are

:42:14.:42:19.

citizens who expect to have Wright, who should have rights, and they

:42:20.:42:22.

should be protected by law and they should be protected by the executive

:42:23.:42:26.

that is there to serve all the people. It is quite simple and

:42:27.:42:29.

reasonable from many people's point of view. We want an executive built

:42:30.:42:34.

on a rights basis which serves all the citizens of our society on an

:42:35.:42:40.

equal and fair basis. But the way to sort those issues out is to get back

:42:41.:42:43.

into the assembly, back into an executive and sort them out at

:42:44.:42:49.

Stormont. We tried that over many years. Martin McGuinness tried that

:42:50.:42:56.

as well. And with great patience and fortitude, Martin McGuinness worked

:42:57.:43:00.

with the DUP to bring them over the line on the basis of equality

:43:01.:43:04.

issues. The executive failed because of failure of a rights -based

:43:05.:43:10.

society. It failed because of allegations of corruption at the

:43:11.:43:14.

heart of government. We don't need to revisit all of that. We know all

:43:15.:43:21.

of that. We need to know where we are starting from. Part of what Sinn

:43:22.:43:27.

Fein wants is to elevate the Irish language over everything else. You

:43:28.:43:29.

want some kind of cultural supremacy. No, we want equality for

:43:30.:43:35.

everybody and when you have a rights -based Society for everybody,

:43:36.:43:38.

People's rights, whether you are from the Orange tradition or any

:43:39.:43:43.

other tradition, is protected from law -- in law. What is wrong with

:43:44.:43:51.

that? It doesn't work like that. It doesn't operate like that. We want

:43:52.:43:56.

to move forward. If a deal is required to get devolution up and

:43:57.:44:02.

running, then we want a deal that is fair, that is sensible and that

:44:03.:44:08.

doesn't reflect, elevate sorry, one side of the community or one

:44:09.:44:14.

culture, above any other. As far as John O'Dowd and the people he

:44:15.:44:19.

represents are concerned, they may feel that your party has been

:44:20.:44:21.

distinctly lacking in its respect for those that are big supporters of

:44:22.:44:28.

the Irish language? We want a deal that can be supported on all sides

:44:29.:44:32.

of our community, not one that is seeing a culture or a language

:44:33.:44:36.

elevated above any other. We do not wish to deny anybody who wants to

:44:37.:44:39.

live their life or part of their life through the Irish language, we

:44:40.:44:45.

don't want to denigrate... That is a shift in your position. We want to

:44:46.:44:50.

be respectful of Irish language and Irish culture. Some of your members

:44:51.:44:57.

have a track record. All of us want to see language and cultural issues

:44:58.:45:01.

not being the political football that they have. We want to see them

:45:02.:45:04.

dealt with properly. We want to see them dealt with respectfully. That

:45:05.:45:10.

is what we are trying to do. Arlene Foster has been engaging with the

:45:11.:45:13.

Irish language sector and has learnt a lot from that. We want to see that

:45:14.:45:20.

continue. We want to see Ulster Scots for example recognised and

:45:21.:45:26.

given... Compromise is not a dirty word, is that what you are saying?

:45:27.:45:31.

We will look at a cultural Acrobat is not elevate any one culture or

:45:32.:45:34.

language in our community about any others. It needs to be respectful of

:45:35.:45:46.

all cultures. Does that help? It was said last week that an important

:45:47.:45:52.

meeting, the associated costs with an Irish language act were

:45:53.:45:57.

reasonable. Someone in the DUP suggesting that is progress, isn't

:45:58.:46:01.

it? This idea that the Irish land which is to be elevated above all

:46:02.:46:09.

others, -- language, we are going to go through a fortnight of oranges.

:46:10.:46:17.

What I am saying is the Orange culture is well embedded in this

:46:18.:46:23.

state. What the Good Friday Agreement was about was ensuring

:46:24.:46:28.

there is equality of recognition. We have a deal. It is the Good Friday

:46:29.:46:33.

Agreement. These negotiations are about implementation of outstanding

:46:34.:46:37.

agreements which do not detract from the rights of anyone, but enshrine

:46:38.:46:44.

in law the protection in rights for citizens whether they be from the

:46:45.:46:47.

Irish land which tradition, whether they be from the LGBT tradition, --

:46:48.:47:00.

language. How do you respond to that? It is very simple, it is about

:47:01.:47:04.

respecting the rights of everybody. I am happy to go through previous

:47:05.:47:10.

agreements and point out why what Sinn Fein is demanding now is not

:47:11.:47:18.

part of previous agreements. That was not promised by the DUP, and you

:47:19.:47:21.

know that well. It has not been delivered. We want to see respect

:47:22.:47:27.

for all cultures in Northern Ireland. We done upon to see the

:47:28.:47:29.

Irish language elevated above other languages.

:47:30.:47:39.

You might have two spruce up on your Irish language of Sinn Fein got

:47:40.:47:46.

their way. That is not the sort of robust muscular... There is

:47:47.:47:51.

obviously not a huge amount of common ground at this stage. There

:47:52.:47:56.

are other issues that we need to catch on. What about the role of

:47:57.:48:02.

James Brokenshire and all of this? Do you think that he can sort this

:48:03.:48:08.

issue out, that he is in a position to help you to reach agreement

:48:09.:48:11.

sooner rather than later? We are expecting a big announcement from

:48:12.:48:18.

him later. We are not relying on James Brokenshire to sort anything

:48:19.:48:26.

out. It needs to set aside its relationship with the DUP and

:48:27.:48:32.

Theresa May needs to act as a co-guarantor, along with the

:48:33.:48:38.

Taoiseach. It looks like he has three options tomorrow. Direct rule,

:48:39.:48:46.

or another election. He does not have an option for direct rule

:48:47.:48:49.

because then he would be in breach of another agreement. There is no

:48:50.:48:54.

option of direct rule. What we want to see over the next of days is an

:48:55.:48:58.

agreement which sees... Continue talking? We want to see agreement.

:48:59.:49:04.

We want to see a step change in the negotiations. We want to see all the

:49:05.:49:11.

local political parties reaching an intimidation ordeal. --

:49:12.:49:23.

implementation. We make no apology for the deal we did with the

:49:24.:49:27.

Conservative Party. It has brought ?1 billion to Northern Ireland. It

:49:28.:49:34.

has altered the relationship between the DUP and the Conservatives. What

:49:35.:49:43.

we can't have is ongoing stasis, we cannot have those important reforms

:49:44.:49:48.

required health and education, we need to attract more jobs and

:49:49.:49:53.

investment and whilst not we don't Odyssey is a return to direct rule,

:49:54.:49:56.

we cannot have a situation where we have more stasis and more delay and

:49:57.:50:01.

those important decisions that matter to people's lives every

:50:02.:50:09.

single day delayed any further. Do you want to see direct rule or

:50:10.:50:13.

another election? We are prepared to work and roll up our sleeves, any

:50:14.:50:20.

metaphor that you want, to build on the progress we have been making.

:50:21.:50:27.

Could you be involved in a deal that required serious compromise by the

:50:28.:50:31.

DUP on the eve of the 12? Calendar dates don't matter. Of course they

:50:32.:50:37.

matter. If you have a good deal that is there to be done, at this moment

:50:38.:50:43.

in time, that requires Sinn Fein to change its attitude and its approach

:50:44.:50:48.

to these talks and not demand what it is looking for. Instead, work

:50:49.:50:53.

with us together and build on the progress we have been making over

:50:54.:50:56.

the talks to get a fair and sensible and balanced deal that can be

:50:57.:51:02.

supported by all sides. Are you quite happy to see the DUP under

:51:03.:51:06.

pressure in Westminster, as it was this week, Army issue of abortion?

:51:07.:51:16.

Is that a comfortable issue? The pressure is off as far as doing a

:51:17.:51:22.

deal at Stormont is concerned? No, I agree with Ian Paisley when he said

:51:23.:51:27.

we are better governing ourselves. But it has to be on the basis of the

:51:28.:51:34.

outstanding agreements. It is absolutely ridiculous. The Good

:51:35.:51:36.

Friday Agreement and the St Andrews agreement were massive compromises

:51:37.:51:42.

for unionism and republicanism. They came about because there were

:51:43.:51:45.

understandings of change in the society. That change has to take

:51:46.:51:49.

place for those agreements to deliver the social economic changes

:51:50.:51:54.

that Simon talks about, the stable government Simon talks about. It is

:51:55.:52:01.

the first I have had to talk with sound from the DUP. Was it is bigger

:52:02.:52:11.

surprise as you were for the rest of us Chris Wilder you get a heads up

:52:12.:52:15.

it was coming? It is a matter for the government at Westminster. It is

:52:16.:52:23.

not what you wanted. At the same time, we had a court judgment which

:52:24.:52:26.

ruled in a way which I thought was proper. That said this was an issue

:52:27.:52:31.

for Northern Ireland on the Northern Ireland assembly to deal with and no

:52:32.:52:34.

one wants to see... It is a matter for NHS England. It is a matter for

:52:35.:52:39.

the Westminster government. It is positive that the positioning

:52:40.:52:44.

Northern Ireland has been affected by the court case. No party wants to

:52:45.:52:51.

see an extension of the 1967 act to Northern Ireland. You are not

:52:52.:52:57.

uncomfortable about it? We would rather not... There will be a range

:52:58.:53:10.

of issues... We will deal with that on a case-by-case basis. That does

:53:11.:53:12.

not take away from the positivity we have had in securing... Will we know

:53:13.:53:21.

about the meetings that take place? I think it is good that Northern

:53:22.:53:24.

Ireland has an influence in Westminster at what is a crucial

:53:25.:53:32.

time for our country. I know you think that, not everyone else

:53:33.:53:37.

agrees. You will seem from the financial measures, we have

:53:38.:53:42.

sought... It will benefit everyone in Northern Ireland. Another

:53:43.:53:50.

interesting development, James Brokenshire is going to make an

:53:51.:53:54.

announcement about transparency and critical donations. I am not sure

:53:55.:53:57.

that is something the DUP are happy about. What do you make of it? Let's

:53:58.:54:03.

see what James Brokenshire says. He should open that up. The public

:54:04.:54:09.

should be aware of who is donating two critical parties. We have said

:54:10.:54:15.

that over a member of years -- two political parties. We would be

:54:16.:54:21.

comfortable with that. How uncomfortable or relax would you

:54:22.:54:26.

about it but Iraq is not at all uncomfortable with it. We would be

:54:27.:54:34.

relaxed with it. On the same footing as across the United Kingdom, we

:54:35.:54:41.

want to see that. You're at critics have said you have been anything but

:54:42.:54:48.

transparent. You can look at previous manifestos. We want to see

:54:49.:54:52.

transparency in Northern Ireland, in keeping with the rest of the United

:54:53.:54:56.

Kingdom and all of the rules in respect of political donations in

:54:57.:54:58.

line with the rest of the United Kingdom. I don't know what he will

:54:59.:55:04.

say. Have your colleagues had a conversation? We will look forward

:55:05.:55:08.

to see what the Secretary of State brings forward. Thanks very much for

:55:09.:55:11.

joining us. Let's hear what our

:55:12.:55:13.

commentators make of that. Professor Rick Wilford

:55:14.:55:15.

and Allison Morris of Glass half full, glass half empty? I

:55:16.:55:29.

am naturally pessimistic. I am going to say the glass is half empty. But

:55:30.:55:34.

I am a hot the sort of pessimists. Partly because I think we are

:55:35.:55:42.

accustomed to this impasse which is now prevailing -- happy sort of

:55:43.:55:50.

pessimistic. What is important is if we can... We can try to detect the

:55:51.:55:53.

toll of the exchanges between the two major parties. It has been

:55:54.:56:00.

worse. It has been much worse in the past. In that respect maybe there is

:56:01.:56:06.

a glimmer of hope. It is not terrible bouts of finger wagging.

:56:07.:56:10.

And people being particularly rude to each other. The mood is far more

:56:11.:56:13.

tempered than we might have anticipated. I am a simple-minded

:56:14.:56:19.

person. On this issue of the Irish language, what the assembly should

:56:20.:56:25.

have done years ago was preceded with a single equality at. You could

:56:26.:56:27.

have bundled into that single equality and they whole raft of

:56:28.:56:31.

issues including language. That seems to have gone by the by. Sinn

:56:32.:56:36.

Fein are determined to get a freestanding language act and I

:56:37.:56:38.

don't think that is pitifully helpful. Are you optimistic after

:56:39.:56:46.

what we have heard? -- particularly helpful. There's not going to be a

:56:47.:56:54.

deal by tomorrow. We are all aware of that. The language has softened.

:56:55.:57:01.

I think with regards to the DUP and their views on the Irish language,

:57:02.:57:05.

remember the crocodile, it was only in January of this year, and there

:57:06.:57:08.

has been an amazing change in language since then. There is a

:57:09.:57:13.

change to the DUP 's language in relation to a lot of things. You

:57:14.:57:19.

wonder how much of an influence their new employers in the Tory

:57:20.:57:27.

party have had on that. I think that in that respect we will see a

:57:28.:57:33.

massive change in the DUP 's language. Do you think Sinn Fein and

:57:34.:57:40.

the DUP want a deal? I think all the parties are committed to the

:57:41.:57:45.

principle of devolution, it is a matter of finding a means to that

:57:46.:57:49.

end. There are variants of direct rule. There is going to be have --

:57:50.:58:02.

there is good have to be some sort of direct rule because we no budget.

:58:03.:58:07.

The politicians are all going on holiday now. It is good to have to

:58:08.:58:11.

come from Westminster. Whatever you want to call out, that is direct

:58:12.:58:12.

rule. Now, I've been saying this

:58:13.:58:15.

for quite a few months now, Here's a look back at the week in 60

:58:16.:58:18.

seconds, with Gareth Gordon. The DUP signed up to support the

:58:19.:58:30.

Conservatives and were delighted with what they got in return.

:58:31.:58:33.

Spending power of almost ?1.5 billion will be available to address

:58:34.:58:38.

the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland. Welsh and Scottish

:58:39.:58:44.

neighbours did not see it that way. This is cash for votes. If there is

:58:45.:58:49.

investment coming to Northern Ireland, Scotland should be getting

:58:50.:58:54.

its fair share. Another deadline slipped away. Much progress has been

:58:55.:58:59.

made but a number of issues remain outstanding. The government

:59:00.:59:04.

announced that women from Northern Ireland could have abortions in

:59:05.:59:07.

England on the NHS. Pro-life campaigners weren't happy. It is

:59:08.:59:12.

anti-democratic really. If you look at the mainstream parties in

:59:13.:59:14.

Northern Ireland, none of them wanted the abortion act. The judges

:59:15.:59:22.

gathered to decide who will be crowned politicians of the year. It

:59:23.:59:26.

has to be Arlene Foster, for very bad reasons.

:59:27.:59:29.

Now, if campaigners for same sex marriage got the law changed,

:59:30.:59:33.

they probably wouldn't care whether it was done

:59:34.:59:35.

Their focus is on bringing Northern Ireland into line

:59:36.:59:38.

A big protest rally held in Belfast yesterday comes at a time, however,

:59:39.:59:43.

when they say there is majority support now among MLAs for change.

:59:44.:59:46.

We'll be discussing the case for same sex marraige

:59:47.:59:48.

here with one of those MLAs, and a campaigner against the idea.

:59:49.:59:51.

First, here's Catherine Morrison's report from the rally.

:59:52.:00:04.

They came in their thousands, braving the rain to make their

:00:05.:00:13.

voices heard. Campaigners want to change in the law to bring Northern

:00:14.:00:16.

Ireland into line with elsewhere. This is the only part of the UK and

:00:17.:00:20.

Ireland where same-sex marriage remains outlawed. We have kept the

:00:21.:00:27.

tone of this campaign positive. It is about love and equality and

:00:28.:00:30.

making sure this is about civil marriage equality. It is nothing to

:00:31.:00:34.

do with what happens in churches. They are free to make their own

:00:35.:00:38.

rules. The state should provide equally for all members of its

:00:39.:00:43.

society. Today's march takes place against a backdrop of continuing

:00:44.:00:47.

political disagreement over same-sex marriage equality. The DUP remain

:00:48.:00:53.

opposed to any change in the law and the issue has become one of the

:00:54.:00:56.

stumbling blocks in the current negotiations to restore part area.

:00:57.:01:06.

Our politicians need to get with -- get with the 21st-century. It is

:01:07.:01:10.

like dealing with dinosaurs. It is time to get to the streets. We don't

:01:11.:01:13.

want to be left behind on this issue. The rest of the world is

:01:14.:01:19.

moving on. The march made its way to the City Hall. It was led by amongst

:01:20.:01:28.

others the... It is a personal issue for me. Her marriage -- my mother 's

:01:29.:01:35.

marriage is not recognised in Northern Ireland. She chooses to

:01:36.:01:38.

live in England. Supporters of marriage equality will be following

:01:39.:01:43.

events at Stormont closely. If a deal is not struck, direct rule

:01:44.:01:49.

could be imposed and a decision could be handed to the government in

:01:50.:01:50.

Westminster. Catherine Morrison reporting there,

:01:51.:01:51.

and I'm joined now by one of the many MLAs who was on that

:01:52.:01:54.

march, Kellie Armstrong of Alliance and by Tracy Harkin

:01:55.:01:57.

from the Iona Institute, an organisation formed to promote

:01:58.:01:59.

the place of marriage To date, MLAs have voted five

:02:00.:02:01.

times on whether or not I think yesterday's protest march

:02:02.:02:16.

helped to solidify our cause that we are looking for same-sex marriage in

:02:17.:02:19.

Northern Ireland. It is time and is also a call for a protection in

:02:20.:02:26.

concerned. If we reform the petition concerned last time, made 2016, we

:02:27.:02:33.

could have had to same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland by now. That did

:02:34.:02:38.

not happen. I was absolutely determined with the crew delighted

:02:39.:02:41.

to hear those calls for reform saw minority groups can take that

:02:42.:02:48.

forward. Mike Nesbitt talked about people who oppose same-sex marriage

:02:49.:02:51.

being on the wrong side of history. Do you get the sense that you are

:02:52.:02:55.

now on the wrong side of history on this one? Not at all. It is

:02:56.:03:01.

important to remember we all love rainbows and equality. I think that

:03:02.:03:04.

the problem with this whole debate is we have not really talked about

:03:05.:03:10.

the issues and the opposition is often nothing to do with the quality

:03:11.:03:13.

or whether you like or don't like gay people. That is besides the

:03:14.:03:20.

point. The heart of this to point -- this point, when you redefine

:03:21.:03:28.

marriage, you redefine the rights of children. Two men and two women

:03:29.:03:32.

cannot make a child. That is basic biology. When you redefine marriage,

:03:33.:03:37.

you give them the same rights in law to have a child and there is a huge

:03:38.:03:41.

problem with that. The rights and the equal rights of the child to

:03:42.:03:48.

know and to be raised by design and circumstance... My mother died of

:03:49.:03:54.

cancer when I was quite young and I was raised by a single father. There

:03:55.:03:57.

is nothing wrong with a father raising his child. If you listen to

:03:58.:04:03.

me, I am actually not saying that at all. There are lots of variations.

:04:04.:04:14.

Absolutely. But throughout Ireland, north and south, children are being

:04:15.:04:19.

raised in all sorts of circumstances and we all do the best we can. That

:04:20.:04:26.

undermines your argument entirely. No, when you legalise same-sex

:04:27.:04:29.

marriage, you were doing it by design so it is no longer

:04:30.:04:34.

circumstance, it is by design. In Ireland we are very family

:04:35.:04:44.

orientated. We all love programmes like the BBC One where people go off

:04:45.:04:50.

to great lengths and were raised, they find out who... We only have to

:04:51.:04:57.

look at organisations like sperm donors anonymous and to listen to

:04:58.:05:02.

the children of gay couples... Let's just deal with the facts. Same-sex

:05:03.:05:08.

marriage was introduced and the sky did not fall down. There is no

:05:09.:05:12.

evidence that if that change came here, society would change

:05:13.:05:18.

dramatically. And in a bad way. There is only 22 countries that have

:05:19.:05:23.

legalised same-sex marriage. And how many countries are there in the

:05:24.:05:26.

world? It is still quite new. What we do know is that once you redefine

:05:27.:05:31.

marriage, the redefinitions have no end. For example, in Colombia, we

:05:32.:05:36.

just had a three-man couple relationship... Nobody is talking

:05:37.:05:42.

about that. This is the thin end of the wedge. That is the argument. I

:05:43.:05:48.

have to say that we have already redefined marriage. If you go back

:05:49.:05:52.

to the Bible, then are plenty of situations where there are men with

:05:53.:05:59.

multiple wives. It did not work out too well. What is the problem with

:06:00.:06:05.

men and women being married? My husband is not going to take off and

:06:06.:06:08.

get married to a man if same-sex marriage comes in tomorrow. There

:06:09.:06:12.

are certain people who believe they can control society and society is

:06:13.:06:17.

moving on beyond that. As a legislator, I have to take account

:06:18.:06:22.

of people who are not Christian and to have different lifestyles. I

:06:23.:06:24.

cannot impose my religious views or anybody else's on that. I have to

:06:25.:06:28.

say, to turn round and say that same-sex marriage is a problem with

:06:29.:06:35.

children, what are we going to say next? This is the problem with this

:06:36.:06:45.

whole debate... Let's think about where marriage came from. The state

:06:46.:06:54.

only intervenes... A man and a woman make a baby. I had infertility

:06:55.:07:00.

problems for seven years and I was delighted to finally have my

:07:01.:07:03.

daughter. Did that mean for seven years my marriage was worthless? So

:07:04.:07:07.

why do you keep bringing it back to children? Because when you

:07:08.:07:12.

legislate, you give the same rights to two men and two women. That's the

:07:13.:07:20.

point about the legislation. I would rather have a child that is being

:07:21.:07:24.

loved by two parents... Do you think that a man and a woman, a mother and

:07:25.:07:35.

a father don't matter? Just to be clear, what the suggestion seems to

:07:36.:07:39.

be is that by allowing same-sex marriage, you somehow diminish

:07:40.:07:44.

heterosexual marriage? Where is the evidence for that? Explain what you

:07:45.:07:56.

mean by a natural tie. My father was a fantastic father. Why are you

:07:57.:07:59.

saying that two men cannot be good fathers? They can. We are

:08:00.:08:05.

creating... We are giving state blessing where children are by

:08:06.:08:09.

design not just circumstance will actually be deprived of the love of

:08:10.:08:17.

a mother. Do you think that a family that is brought up that is not the

:08:18.:08:20.

normal family as you would describe it is in some way diminished?

:08:21.:08:33.

To be brought up without a mother or a father is a huge loss. I was

:08:34.:08:42.

brought up by a single father. Did you miss your mother? Would you have

:08:43.:08:48.

like that to have been deliberately inflicted on you by design? But I

:08:49.:09:00.

don't diminish my father 's role. Whether or not I had a mother is not

:09:01.:09:03.

in my gift but I wouldn't diminish my family as being less because it

:09:04.:09:09.

was not... Let me ask you, whether you like it or whether you don't

:09:10.:09:14.

like it, there will be people who agree wholeheartedly, and Angela

:09:15.:09:21.

Merkel voted against same-sex marriage in Germany just within the

:09:22.:09:25.

past week, so how do you start to try to persuade people like Tracy

:09:26.:09:28.

that they have got it wrong and they need to look at it in a different

:09:29.:09:32.

way? We have carefully considered this and we'll are taking forward

:09:33.:09:40.

proposals. We consulted with people. We talked to churches. And what we

:09:41.:09:46.

have is to say that we won protections for churches so that no

:09:47.:09:49.

church will be forced to perform a ceremony of that is not within the

:09:50.:09:57.

Church or that religious groupings. Does that reassure you at all? Other

:09:58.:10:05.

relationships, they should be allowed to live, everybody should be

:10:06.:10:09.

allowed to live every way they want big because of the nature of

:10:10.:10:15.

marriage, it is all to do with the natural ties. Children will lose out

:10:16.:10:20.

and we only have two Google... You have made that point. We need to

:10:21.:10:27.

leave out there. What do you want to hear from the Secretary of State

:10:28.:10:31.

tomorrow? Confirming that devolution will be back on track again. It may

:10:32.:10:36.

well require more talks but I don't want to see as mood into direct

:10:37.:10:42.

rule. And good news if he moves on political donations? Absolutely.

:10:43.:10:46.

That'll a fantastic world. Let's hear more from Rick Wilford

:10:47.:10:49.

and Allison Morris. This is an issue which clearly

:10:50.:11:03.

divides people. Are our legislators likely to be able to resolve this

:11:04.:11:09.

issue? What we saw in the last assembly when it was functioning was

:11:10.:11:14.

that there would have been same-sex marriage, had the DUP not use the...

:11:15.:11:18.

It is lovely to be able to persuade people to move over to the other

:11:19.:11:22.

side and accept equality but if they cannot BX -- persuaded, they will

:11:23.:11:26.

have to accept Democratic rule. We have seen that in the south. The sky

:11:27.:11:37.

does not falling. The fact that we don't have same-sex marriages

:11:38.:11:41.

terrible. I agree. I think marriage is such a plastic concept and it

:11:42.:11:49.

evolves over time. There is no one fixed view of marriage. I take a

:11:50.:11:56.

much more pleural view. It is a social construction. And certainly

:11:57.:11:58.

public opinion in Northern Ireland seems to move in the direction of

:11:59.:12:03.

adding this to the repertoire of the kinds of marriages there can be. I

:12:04.:12:05.

certainly don't think that children's rights are in any way

:12:06.:12:13.

impaired. A quick word about the political donations and the

:12:14.:12:20.

Secretary of State? It'll be incredibly positive. We would love

:12:21.:12:23.

to see where all this money has been coming from all these years. It is

:12:24.:12:31.

about time. I think the Brexit fold highlighted that it needs to be open

:12:32.:12:35.

and transparent. The parties could have done it voluntarily. The fact

:12:36.:12:39.

it is taking legislation to get them to think about it is rather

:12:40.:12:45.

disappointing. They could have just said, these are the papers, these

:12:46.:12:50.

are the donors. What do you expect to hear from the Secretary of State?

:12:51.:12:57.

None of us have managed to understand what those serious and

:12:58.:13:02.

dire consequences are. I think they will change the legislation for an

:13:03.:13:08.

extended period. Yes, September, probably. We will see.

:13:09.:13:13.

That's it from Sunday Politics for this week.

:13:14.:13:15.

Keep across all the political developments on TV, radio

:13:16.:13:17.

and digital as they unfold in the coming days and I'll be back

:13:18.:13:20.

For now, though, from everyone in the team - goodbye.

:13:21.:13:55.

The Irish Open is coming back to the north coast.

:13:56.:13:59.

For the first time, Portstewart Golf Club plays host,

:14:00.:14:04.

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