Mark Carruthers with the latest political news, interviews and debate.
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Good morning, everyone.
I'm Sarah Smith.
Welcome to the Sunday Politics -
your essential guide to the biggest
political stories of the week.
Coming up on today's show...
Ahead of a crucial EU summit,
is Theresa May on the brink
of a breakthrough on Brexit?
Or, after a slightly torrid week,
is she in danger of being
overtaken by events?
The ex-Labour minister
Alan Milburn quits as chairman
of the Social Mobility Commission,
saying he has "little hope"
the current government can make
the "necessary" progress.
What does this mean
for a Prime Minister who vowed
to fight against the "burning
injustice" of inequality?
And, we speak to the academic who's
carrying out economic "wargaming"
scenarios for the Labour party,
in the event it wins power.
People are going to trust us
with their jobs and their pensions
and their livelihoods.
We've got to show we
know what we're doing.
And coming up here -
the UK is to make its final offer
on Brexit tomorrow -
but has enough work been done
on dealing with the Irish border?
I'll be talking live to Sinn Fein's
Martina Anderson and a Tory MP.
Yes, all that coming
up in the programme.
And to help guide me
through all the week's
twists and turns, I'm
joined by Tom Newton Dunn,
and Steve Richards.
Now, the breaking news this morning
is the resignation of Alan Milburn -
the ex-Labour minister who,
for the last five years, has chaired
the Social Mobility Commission.
He says the Government is too
preoccupied with Brexit
to focus on social justice.
We'll be assessing the significance
of that in a moment.
But first, if that relationship has
turned sour for the Prime Minister,
it wasn't the only one this week.
Like all relationships, our liaison
with our European neighbours
has had its ups and downs.
Theresa May wants a deep and special
partnership after Brexit.
Thus far, money has been
the main obstacle to
an amicable divorce.
This week, a possible breakthrough.
He once said "the EU
could go whistle if they
asked for too much," now he's
practically dancing with joy.
It's a fantastic opportunity
now to get going.
Others are always harder to please.
It is not worth nearly
50 billion sterling.
No deal is better than a bad deal
and this is a very bad deal indeed.
Brussels may be on board
with the divorce bill but
there's trouble over
the Irish border.
If the UK offer is unacceptable
for Ireland, it will
also be unacceptable for the EU.
Reports suggest Stormont could be
given more power to agree bespoke
with the Republic but that, in turn,
enraged Theresa May's
partners in Parliament.
The DUP could walk out
of their marriage of convenience
with the Tories if the Government
allows Northern Ireland to diverge
from the rest of the UK.
If there is any hint that in order
to placate Dublin and the EU,
they are prepared to have
Northern Ireland treated differently
than the rest of the United Kingdom,
then they can't rely on our vote.
But it was the "special
relationship" that came
under most strain.
As Donald Trump re-tweeted
posted by the far right
group, Britain First.
Denounced by Downing Street,
the President took to Twitter again,
telling Theresa May directly,
"Don't focus on me,
we are doing just fine."
The Prime Minister on a surprise
trip to the Middle East was plunged
into a very public row.
I'm very clear that
re-tweeting from Britain
First was the wrong thing to do.
The May-Trump mini break
in the UK might be off.
I certainly don't think he should be
should be coming next year.
Next year is supposed to be a happy
event for the Royal family.
We certainly don't want Trump
turning up in the middle
of all of that.
Meanwhile, Labour leader and GQ
magazine cover model declared
himself to be an enemy
of greedy bankers.
So, when they say, we're
a threat, they're right.
We are a threat to
a damaging and failed
system that's rigged for the few.
The Prime Minister's
friend stood in for her
at the dispatch box on Wednesday
while she was abroad but fresh
questions emerged later
in the week about
whether he'd used a Parliamentary
computer to view pornography
some nine years ago.
Theresa May will meet be EU
Jean-Claude Juncker tomorrow.
They will discuss the revised
offer on the divorce
bill and whether talks
can now move on to trade
It has not been an easy
relationship with leaks from
previous meetings finding their way
into the German press.
Hopefully, they can put
all of that behind them.
So, we will talk through one of the
top stories for the week with our
panel in the studio. We are going to
be looking ahead to what is
happening in Brussels. The Prime
Minister is going over for a working
lunch with Jean-Claude Juncker
tomorrow. We are always saying we
have reached a critical stage in the
Is it a critical
point? It is. It is endgame of
chapter one. There are two chapters,
divorce and then trade. This is the
end of the first half, at the 43rd
minute. It is probably 0-0. We need
to get over the line and into
half-time and into the second half.
Wyatt is so critical is the Prime
Minister, in the next few days, she
cannot wait till the 14th or 15th of
December, have to choose to govern
is to choose. One side is saying
this is what we will act set to move
on to the second phase and the
Eurosceptics will say, we will not
access to any of that. She has to
get off the fence. One is what they
will do about easy JN the other
about the Irish border. To divert or
This is only the end
of the first half of the process. If
the EU agrees we can move onto the
second half. That is not guaranteed,
Tom's analogy, I will not go
too far with it because I'm not a
football expert. Brexiteers feel it
is more like 1-0 to the EU. There is
a circulation today, leave means
leave, which is signed by eminent
business people and academics. Only
a few MPs, about five of them on
now. We were discussing this earlier
and Tom made the point it is quite a
hostile thing for a Tory MP to sign
a letter like this. Many more agree
with the contents of the letter,
which sets out the set of conditions
the PM must not agree to, in their
view, must not capitulate to as the
negotiation goes forward. It is
about when free movement of people
ends and we retain the power to go
to WTO if all else fails.
discussing this further with our
guests and find out what the EU had
think about it. The other big news
of the morning is that Alan Milburn
resigned from the social mobility
commission. He told and remarked
earlier why. -- Andrew Marr.
In various social mobility roles,
I've served a Labour Prime Minister,
a coalition Prime Minister,
and now, a Conservative one.
I've done so because I care deeply
about the issue and I believe
that it matters profoundly
to the country.
I've reached the conclusion, sadly,
that with the current government,
there is little if any hope
of progress being made
towards the fairer Britain
that the Prime Minister
has talked about.
The Government, probably
for understandable reasons,
is focused on Brexit,
and seems to lack the bandwidth
to be able to translate the rhetoric
of healing social division
and promoting social justice
into a reality.
That is a pretty damning statement,
the Government does not have the
bandwidth to do with anything other
It is true. Brexit is
sucking up all political energy much
practical energy in Whitehall.
Beyond that, the significance of
this is not huge. I think these
commissions float uneasily in
government. If you make policy on
social justice, you can do that
within a government department if
you are serious about it. I think it
was set up partly with good
intentions in the coalition period,
partly to break off the Blairites
from Labour and get them involved
with these so called modernising
Conservative project, and the fact
that it is ending, I don't think in
itself is significant. But he is
absolutely... By the way they were
never entirely clear on policy
terms. The fact he said I am not a
status quo nor am I with Theresa
May, what are going to be the
mediating agencies? There are some
huge issues to address. Whether this
was the appropriate way to do it in
the first place, I have doubts about
Thank you for that.
Well, to pick up on all of that,
I'm joined by the former
Conservative leader, Michael Howard.
Thank you for coming in. Let's start
with the claim by Alan Milburn that
the Government does not have the
time or capacity to do anything
other than Brexit. That must be a
concern to you as well.
I think he
is wrong. I share his concern about
social mobility. When I was the
leader of the Conservative Party
used to make speeches about the
British dream and the importance of
social mobility. There is always
more to be done but we have actually
made a lot of progress. Can I give
you some examples? We would all
agree that education is key to
social mobility. We have 1.9 million
children now, 1.9 million children
more than in 2010 in good or
was not that nothing has been done
since 2010 but nothing can be done
It is still happening. Income
inequality is at its lowest level
for 30 years. More taxes being paid
than under the Labour years. One of
the worst things that can happen to
a child is to live in a workless
household. The number of workless
households has been shrinking. And
implement is at its lowest level
-- unemployment. Theresa
May, when she became Prime Minister
last year, said this is a country of
It is. There is
always more to be done. You say it
is in the past. This morning we have
had an announcement that a
considerable amount of extra money
will be devoted in helping children
facing mental health challenges in
our schools. That is important as
well in relation to social mobility.
Of course there is more to be done.
I think quite a lot of progress has
been made on social mobility and
should not forget that.
on to wrecks it. You will have read
reports that she will offer a
divorce bill somewhere between 40
billion and 50 billion euros, maybe
slightly more. You said back in
April that you would be astonished
if the bill was anything like 50
billion euros for the you must be
We all started off
with aspirations. -- you must be
pretty surprised. I do not know what
the sum will be. Whatever it is it
will be a fraction of the amount we
have paid into the European Union
over the last 40 years and would pay
into the European Union for the next
You are now fairly relaxed about
something around this mark?
confidence in the Prime Minister and
David Davis. I want to let them
decide what is the best deal. I'm
confident we'll get a good deal. I'm
confident in the Prime Minister and
You know the more
money we spend on the divorce the
more bashes nevertheless many we
have to spend on other things. Our
guest last week felt it had to be
delivered to keep faith in the
In the budget a few days
ago the Government promised more
than an extra £350 million for the
health service, running into almost
They did not promise
that in the budget?
Over time, more
money will be available when we are
out. These payments, I don't know
what the sum would be, are going to
be spread out over many years. The
annual bill will not be anything
like that. In the end there will be
more money to spend on the health
service and other desirable things
because we will not have to make
this very large, annual contribution
we were making.
You have always been
a committed Eurosceptic. Do not
worry that the European Union seem
to be having it their way? They
wanted to discuss divorce before the
trade deals. We agreed to that. The
divorce bill seems to have gone up
substantially since Theresa May was
speaking in her Florence speech.
They are getting what they want as
we are going through the process and
we seem to be capitulating.
I do not
think that is fair. There is a huge
amount of posturing, which always
goes on in negotiations. The
approach of the European Union is in
breach of Article 50. Article 50
says the arrangements for the
departure of a member state have to
take into account the future
relationship of that state with the
European Union. You cannot take
something into account if you are
not prepared to talk about it. They
are in breach of Article 50. That is
the approach they have chosen. I am
confident. I think we will move
forward to the next phase, to pursue
Tom's analogy, I hope they will not
be injury time at the end of the
first half and I hope we will get an
agreement this month and then we can
start talking turkey.
Do you agree
with the leave means leave letter in
the paper today without demanding
the UK be free to sign employment
trade deals and note end to
restriction is by the European Court
I share the aspirations
contained in the letter.
You did not
Did they ask you to?
No. I am not inclined to make
demands at this stage. I think they
should be allowed to get on with the
negotiations. I have confidence in
their ability to do so. I'm
confident that in the end will get a
good deal in the interests of the UK
and of the European Union because
there is a great commonality of
interest between the two of us to
have a good relationship, a deep and
special relationship the Prime
Minister has spoken of.
trying not to be a back-seat driver.
As a former leader of the Tory Party
you probably understand how annoying
that will be that you are an
interested party entitled to your
view on this. Iain Duncan Smith is
in the papers saying how important
it is to end the authority of the
European Court of Justice. Is that a
red line for you?
I have every confidence in the Prime
Minister and in David Davis and I
think they will end up with a good
They're just going to pick up
with our panel here. Listening to
Michael Howard there, very carefully
trying not to step on the Prime
Minister's toes, but clearly he
shares some sympathy with people who
do want to put some red lines on
I know Michael Howard is a
forensic follower of politics, so
I'm surprised he is completely
confident about Theresa May
delivering this, given that when she
returned from the last summit, when
she made her House of Commons
statement, she was clear, to my
surprise, actually, that during the
transition, I am not surprised in
how it turned out but I am surprised
she was so clear, that the European
court would hold some sway. It has
two, because if the transition is to
be effective, it means one way or
another we will still sort of be in
the single market and Customs union
for a time and therefore the
European court will hold some sway.
And she said it. I saw Jacob
Rees-Mogg's response of horror. But
she did say it. And so that is
already I think part of the
equation. So the response of her
Brexiteers on this will be pivotal.
Iain Duncan Smith is not alone in
being absolutely resolute that the
ECJ will have nothing to do with
Absolutely, and I think
that the concern amongst the harder
line Brexiteers is that this
transitional arrangement is a
continuation of the status quo, and
that it might even slip. Now, the
Prime Minister has try to be
reassuring on that, and there have
been indications it might slip a few
weeks but definitely not longer. But
I think that Brexit MPs want more
assurances that this will not end up
just being kicked into the long
Will those assurances be
I don't think they will be.
She is going to have to compromise.
The other choice is to walk away. A
perfectly admirable choice but it is
a choice she needs to make. The
interesting question is, what do
these people plan to do about it?
What does Michael Howard plan to do
if the £45 billion bill, which he is
now accepting, it would appear, the
four MPs and some other quite senior
party figures, what do they plan to
do if the Prime Minister
compromises? Will they vote against
it, will they put their considerable
legislative weight, which Michael
Howard could do in the House of
Lords, against it?
you're being very diplomatic today,
is there a point at which you would
speak out if something you saw as
fundamentally unacceptable occurred?
That is a very hypothetical
The idea that you
might find something out of Brussels
being unacceptable is hypothetical?
Lets wait and see. I have said and I
am in danger of repeating myself, I
have every confidence in the Prime
Minister and in David Davis. I think
we will end up with a good deal. You
would in expect in negotiations like
this an awful lot of posturing.
me into you because I need to ask
you about one other thing before we
go. Damian Green, you will know
there have been more stories
reported this week around the
accusation that he viewed
pornography on a Parliamentary
computer, something he absolutely
resolutely denies. If it is
discovered that he wasn't telling
the truth when he told the Prime
Minister he hadn't done this, would
it be a resigning matter?
know, that is another hypothetical
question. Damian was my
Parliamentary neighbour for many
years, he has denied it and I
believe him and I agree with those
very senior figures yesterday who
condemned the leaking of information
by these retired police officers. I
think that's a very serious matter
indeed. Policing in this country is
based on trust between the police
and the public. And if we have...
Michael Howard, thank you very much
for talking to us.
The EU has warned Theresa May
that she must satisfy Irish demands,
if the Brexit negotiations
are to move forward this week.
But ahead of a crucial
meeting between Theresa May
and Jean-Claude Juncker tomorrow,
it seems there is still work to do.
Here's the Irish Foreign
Minister, Simon Coveney,
speaking this morning.
There is no desire in Ireland to
delay this process. But at the same
time we have irresponsibility as a
government to represent the
interests on the island of Ireland,
north and south. Let's not forget
that next year will be the 20th
anniversary of the Good Friday
Agreement, which is the basis for
the peace process, and relations
between Britain and Ireland on the
island of Ireland. And we believe
that as an island, Ireland is
uniquely vulnerable and exposed to a
potential bad outcome from Brexit.
With me now is the Shadow
Secretary, Barry Gardiner.
Obviously, it is absolutely crucial
that a resolution is found to this
problem - what is Labour's position?
I think you have to proceed here on
the basis of principles. The first
principle is, do nothing that
damages the peace process. The
second principle is, do nothing that
averages the economy. And by that I
mean both the economy and Northern
Ireland, in Ireland as a whole and
in the UK and Ireland as a whole.
Now, that means that we have to...
But that's the impossible conundrum,
how to do all of those things at
It can't be impossible,
because we've got to do it. Of
course it is being made much more
difficult by the government's red
lines on this. And the government
has stated very publicly and clearly
that it wants to come out of the
customs union and the single market.
And of course, what actually creates
checks at the border is when you
have regulator we variants and when
you have product standards that are
different. So, that means that you
have to check what's coming in and
out for any tariffs that you wish to
impose. Now, that's why it has been,
I think and my party thinks, foolish
to have removed the structural
possibilities which lie in the
customs union or the single market,
from what the government's
negotiating position is.
interesting, because I can see
clearly, and so can the Irish
government, exactly how staying in
the customs union and the single
market would help resolve the
question for the island of Ireland,
but also it raises questions for the
United Kingdom. It is also
interesting because if we have a
look at what you say back in July,
who didn't sound quite as pleased
about the single market, when you
said we would in effect become a
vassal state, obliged to pay into
the EU budget and having even less
sovereignty than we do now - you
weren't so keen on the single market
I am not so keen on the single
market membership as opposed to
being a member of the EU. Single
market membership without being a
member of the EU means that you do
not have a say in the rules which
you have to abide by.
leaving the EU, let's take that as a
Let's talk about where we are
going forward. I was setting out
very clearly, and I don't think you
would disagree with what I said, I
was setting out very clearly the
applications of leaving the EU in
the way that the government had set
out. And those implications are
clear. I believe I set them out
correctly. Where we are now is, we
have to find a solution to this
problem. Simon Coveney was actually
earlier very clear in saying that
you don't have to have a full
solution in phase one, but there has
to be the real expectation that
we're going to be able to resolve it
in phase two. The first thing that
both sides need to say here is that
we will look at the Common Travel
Area, which has existed since 1922,
and that should be part and parcel
of the deal going forward. The
second element that I think is
really important here is to
understand precisely what the peace
settlement was, when in the Good
Friday Agreement in 1998 we set out
that there should be no security
checks at the border. That was
critically important. But of course,
security checks in those days were
in place because of the situation,
the military, paramilitary
situation. But when those security
checks were taken away, because we
were members of the single market
and because we were members of the
customs union, there were no
additional customs checks. Now, to
say that you order the Good Friday
Agreement and have no security
checks, with all the military
paraphernalia that goes with that,
does not mean that you cannot have
typified customs checks. But those
customs checks will only be put in
place if the government wants to
deregulate. My party doesn't. My
party doesn't want to deregulate, we
don't want to impose these
terrorists. The government is in a
bind here, because most of the key
players around of Brexit want to
deregulate, and that means there
have to be tariffs, and that means
they have to be imposed at a border.
Jeremy Corbyn yesterday refused to
rule out the possibility of a second
referendum on our EU membership - is
it now the Labour Party's policy
that we might vote again on this?
No, it's not.
Why did he say we have
not made any decision on a second
That precisely says that
it is not, because policy because we
have not made a decision on it!
could make a decision Ameobi not to
have a second referendum?
absolutely upfront about this. The
idea that you would have a second
referendum, I think you would say
you were going to have a second
referendum. Like the Liberal
Democrats have done. That would be
to encourage the EU to give you the
worst possible deal that there was,
so that when you're then voted on
it, everybody would say, we can't
possibly go there. The key thing, in
my view, is that it was always
foolish, always foolish, to have a
50% class one referendum. Because if
you are trying to...
That's what we
had, we are now looking at the
future. I'm talking about the
future. It sounds like Jeremy Corbyn
is saying it is a possibility that
Labour might call for one?
trying to answer your question. I am
not trying to avoid it. When we go
forward, if we were to have another
referendum on the same lines as we
have had, and it were to be 52-48
the other way, what would that
achieve hammered absolutely nothing.
It would then be game on for a third
or fourth referendum. The only way
in which in my view you could
possibly contemplate a second
referendum would be if you had a
threshold which I believe should
have been there in the first place
of a two thirds majority. But that I
stress is not Labour Party policy,
it is not something that we've
decided, and Jeremy Corbyn
articulated that yesterday.
spoken to Diane Abbott, who has
written to two constituents in the
past month saying she would make the
case for a second referendum?
has already said that letter was
poorly worded Pozzo, as she called
it. I will not make any further
comment on it.
The Shadow Chancellor,
John McDonnell, came in for a bit
of flak recently when he admitted
that Labour was preparing
for possible negative scenarios,
such as a run on the pound,
if it wins power.
Speaking on the fringes
of his party's conference, he said
he was carrying out "war game-type
scenario planning" in the event
of an election victory.
John McDonnell, the man
helping Mr McDonald.
Well, the man helping
Mr McDonnell do that is
the academic Richard Barbrook.
He's also the man behind
'Games for the Many' -
the political gaming studio
that produced CorbynRun.
Ellie Price went along to meet him.
You may have seen some of these
during the election.
In May Bot, the gamer helps the PM
shoot, run and slide
her way to dystopia.
And then downloaded 150,000 times
in the first week of
the campaign alone, Corbyn Run,
which sees Jeremy Corbyn shaking
down bankers to pay
for policy pledges.
And it's one of the things
the Labour leadership think can win
them the next election.
It put an idea out there
that you can actually
engage in politics in a way
which is both a good laugh,
enjoy the game.
But actually it is quite
stimulating as well.
What happened was, that
prompted ideas about a
fair taxation system
and the policies that
were being launched.
It's new creative way into ideas.
Are you worried that
the Tories will catch on?
They most probably will catch on.
But it's not just about the medium,
it is about the message as well.
Richard, what is happening here?
It's a games jam.
People are coming together
to make app games,
laptop games, board games, getting
ready for the local elections in May
to propagate Labour's message.
And is it really working?
You have 50-odd people here, that's
hardly going to change the world.
I'm from the punk generation.
I'm from the punk generation.
The first time I saw
the Sex Pistols, there were 40 or 50
people in the room.
Then, in the late-80s,
I went to the very early raves
and again there were very
small groups of people.
Yet, in both cases, these
cultures, you start off
with small groups of people
and they can suddenly
become a mass phenomenom.
And, I'm reliably informed,
it isn't just for computer geeks.
Yes, we've got people
here who are activists and have
never coded in their lives
and they're using tools,
with which you can make games
with no coding skills.
I'm not sure I believe
you but here is a challenge.
Can you make me a game?
Yes, I can.
The challenge begins.
That took less than half an hour.
Can I see it?
Yeah, of course.
You go up to John and he says,
"We're making games to change the
face of politics."
Then you go up to Jeremy
and he says, "for the many,
not the few."
OK, so it's not exactly Super Mario
but Labour are looking
at another kind of gaming,
Something John McDonnell
talked about at the last
What if there is a run
on the pound, what happens if
there is this concept
of capital flight?
I don't think there
will but you never know
so we've got a scenario
planned for that.
Richard is also part
of the Shadow Treasury
war-gaming team, who are expected
to meet again in the next few weeks.
If people are going to trust us
with their jobs and their pensions
and their livelihoods,
we've got to show
we know what we are doing.
This seems like common sense to me.
From games jams like these,
Labour hoped to create a campaign
tool that will take them to the next
level - Downing Street.
If politics is a game,
there are novel ways to play.
And Richard Barbrook joins me now.
Thanks for coming in. John McDonnell
said the conference he was working
with you are looking at different
scenarios I possibly around on the
pound. It caused huge amount of
controversy. Can you understand why?
I was actually. Surprised that
people are surprised that political
parties are not doing this. The
military, the civil service,
Corporation Banks, they all do this.
The surprise was one would imagine
that a Labour government neither
hoped nor predicted there would be a
run on the pound and capital flight.
Given the fanaticism of the present
government, probably when we get
elected, the pound would likely go
up. You need to think about these
problems beforehand. There are
potential difficulties to foresee.
You can scenario plan for those. You
can read about problems coming up
ahead and you can talk about them
but actually to experience in a game
like atmosphere, the pressures of
making decisions... You can identify
problems and think about solutions,
try out ideas. If it does not work
you can reiterate again and again
When the Treasury does
something like this, with very
complex statistical models and huge
amounts of data, can you feed it
into a scenario?
You can on that
basis. What you can do more is test
the team coming together and seeing
how it responds under pressure. A
good example, if you think about the
National Health Service. If it were
a flu pandemic they would have to
think about how to reallocate
resources. There would be sickness
amongst staff, more people going to
hospitals and you get together a
group of people responsible for
running the NHS. You put them
together and put them through a
three-hour simulation of it and that
is the same sort of thing we are
doing. We are looking at what
happens when Labour gets in, the
first 100 days in power, for the
first budget, what would you do?
Whether it is a run on the pound or
something, you create pressures and
problems for them to create the idea
of how they have to operate as a
Does that give you the
opportunity to stress test some of
the more radical policies that
Labour came up with in the last
manifesto like nationalising the
water companies or electricity firms
or something like that?
It is only
maybe in this media bubble in
Britain that we think neoliberalism
is the only alternative.
to mainstream for you to bother
I said the initial simulation
as any of the first 100 days we are
looking at how we would put together
a budget. That is not really what
the focus is. It is making it
happen, the decision-making process.
That is what you are trying to train
people for. The military does this,
the civil service does this put up
if you do not do this you are in a
very bad position. The election, the
Liberal Democrats did no contingency
planning as to what would happen if
there were a hung parliament but the
civil service did. They ripped
people into becoming a junior
appendage of the Tory Party with the
disastrous results that came from
Is this the kind of
discussions that a Shadow Cabinet
would be having in the run-up to the
general election anyway? That is
that fundamental job of an
This is a fundamental
method of doing it. You are just
surprised that a political parties
doing this. If you are the military
or the civil service you use this
tool. You are just surprised... I am
surprised that you are surprised.
The other thing you are doing
separate from the war game scenario,
the apps and the games go further --
which you say can further political
engagement, are they really
spreading a message?
A good example
is the Jeremy Corbyn ran.
played that. It is about mugging
bankers in the streets.
Why we have
austerities is about the tax cuts.
You reverse that and you campaign
fuel social programme. In doing so,
it shows that you are more
successful in raising revenue can
unlock certain pledges and people
join your campaign.
Stay there if
you will. I will come to the panel.
Do you think this sounds like a
useful, political tool, to sit there
in a game like atmosphere and work
hard to intimate radical programme
Yes. It sounds
sensible and not the only thing they
are doing. I can see them Maya city
of John McDonnell was to speak aloud
in any context about a potential run
on the pound. -- naivete. To prepare
for eventualities, prepare for the
first 100 days by using all kinds of
devices, is highly sensible.
it has been publicised to working
with games developers.
going on about military, war-gaming
exercises. I am co-authoring a book
on defence at the moment. In one of
the most important recent war-gaming
exercises we did with the Americans,
we were wiped out within a day
because our targeting policy was so
outdated. I think the fear in the
city is exactly that would happen
policy is so outdated.
I will let
you respond to that and ask you
another question as well.
just the Tory Troll.
I'm not a
member of the Tory Party. No reason
to be impolite to people. If Morgan
Stanley came here and said we want
to game out what a Labour government
would mean for business, would you
I would not do it but I
would be very surprised if they are
not already doing that.
for coming in to talk to us.
It's coming up to 11:40am.
the Sunday Politics.
Coming up on the programme...
We sent the Sunday Politics moodbox
- our unscientific poll
featuring plastic balls -
to South West London.
After polling suggested
the Conservative Party
aren't seen as "caring",
we asked people in
Putney what they value
more in politicians -
competence or compassion?
I think that anybody
who is in parliament
should be confident,
otherwise they shouldn't be an MP in
the first place,
whatever party they are.
Do they have enough compassion?
Hello and welcome
to Sunday Politics.
Irish politicians been
involved in plenty
of negotiation deadlines
over the years -
but nothing quite like this.
This is why the key to the UK future
lies in Dublin in some ways.
least as far as negotiations were
wrecked it go. A shrug for Brexit
As we enter into a crucial phase
in the future relationships
between these islands and Europe.
I'll be speaking
to the Sinn Fein MEP,
Martina Anderson, and
Conservative MP, Nigel Mills.
my studio guests are Newton Emerson
and Patricia MacBride.
As the talks between
the British government
and the European Union enter what's
been described as a critical phase
ahead of Thesea May's meeting
with European Commission President
Jean-Claude Junker tomorrow -
are we any closer to getting
a deal on the border?
The European Council President,
Donald Tusk, stood side-by-side
with the Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar,
in Dublin on Friday and made it
clear that if the UK offer
is unacceptable for Ireland it
will be unacceptable
for the European Union too.
So can negotiators come up
with a form of words
that IS acceptable to both sides?
I'm joined from our Foyle Studioby
the Sinn Fein MEP, Martina Anderson,
and from Nottingham
by the Conservative MP,
What is your reaction to
Donald Tusk's statement? Does it put
pressure on Theresa May?
heightening the rhetoric. Not sure
it was constructive or a positive
way forward, we accept the Irish
government don't want Brexit and
they are entitled to act in their
own national interest but it is
clear to all that the way we get the
best possible border on the island
of Ireland is to have the most
combines a free trade deal that we
can. If we can't move on to those
talks it looks like the UK
Government will have to say well, if
there is no progress if the aren't
serious about the trading coalition
then we will have to work for no
Just because you don't like
what Mr Tusk has disabled doesn't
mean it is rhetoric of course.
think it is a strong use of words to
try and say there hasn't been enough
progress, the UK Government has
pretty clearly said we don't want a
border, we won't put one on the
island of Ireland, and we want free
trading arrangement and the EU have
made no alternative suggestions but
keep asking for more forms of words.
Suggestions are supposed to come
from the UK Government because it is
the UK that are leaving the EU, that
is the point. You can't have a
negotiation where once I put up
ideas and just says no the other
We have come up with creative
ideas, with creative solutions do no
terrace and we are beds to enforce
them, and in business premises away
from the border, and prepared to
exempt all small regional businesses
about 80% of more of businesses. We
have come up with creative ideas
that we think could be done and it
has always been met with known, say
something else. We can't progress
unless the other side says something
It's not just the EU, it's not
just Leo Varadkar Alan Donald does
cut are saying this. The House of
Commons committee on the exit is not
happy either. It says it is
That was a
split report where half of the team
That was the rule of the
The EU have said we want
creative and flexible negotiations
because this hasn't done before so
by definition we have to come up
with is ideas that haven't been
tested. This seems a unique
situation do have a member state
leaving the EU rather than joining
it so it makes sense we have a
different solution. I think what the
EU wanted was something more
radical, and unless we do that there
is criticism it hasn't been tested.
Let me bring in Martina Anderson. It
is time for the Irish government or
the EU to come up with some
proposals of their own. The UK
Government has done all it can do at
this stage in the process. Well, if
that is the measure of what the
British Government has done then it
is little wonder that we are the way
that we are today.
potentially heading towards a mess.
Many of us want to move into the
next phase of negotiations but
Europe has been very clear and
particularly the European Parliament
as has the council that the Good
Friday Agreement needs to be
protected in all of its parts. And
what the British Government has
proposed or so far proposed to put
on the table has been contradictory
impositions. One hand it has said it
wants to pursue the Good Friday
Agreement but then goes onto say
that it pulling the north out of the
customs union and the single market.
Sinn Fein has presented a reasonable
and rational case that can be
delivered and that is for the north
to remain within the EU.
very well that Unionists do not want
to consider anything that would lead
to in their eyes the demolition of
the constitutional position of
Northern Ireland. You have a problem
with the proposals that you up on
the table because that is piously
what they do.
-- precisely. It is
political union is that is the
It's the British
No, an opinion poll
recently stated quite clearly that
the majority of the unionist people
would accept a border in the Irish
Sea. We already have a border in the
Irish Sea of trade that takes place
between the north and Britain. There
is already in practice in place, a
system in place whether it is for
plants and plant produce or animals
or animal produce, whatever it is
there our borders controls already.
At Belfast Harbour and Belfast City
Airport. So therefore there is a
solution to this problem that
ensures that the north stays in the
single market and the customs union
and the majority of the unionist
people and the nationalist People's
support that as the way forward. Let
me put that to Nigel them. It is a
reasonable and deliverable case.
Nigel, how do you respond to that?
There is nothing different at all in
the proposals coming from the Irish
side as far as solving this issue
concerns, that are anyway different
in what is in practice. That is a
stretch, isn't it.
The UK is
committed as a whole to the union
and its is what will happen. I don't
think there is any precedent for any
country to be an other parts of a
That is wrong. There
are 25 overseas territories in the
EU and each of them have a different
relationship with Europe. Greenland
for example, Ford Denmark for
example, what, for instance the
legal advice has shown that could
have Denmark refreshed. What I'm
concerned about is the ignorance
from people like yourself that you
don't know that Europe is quite
willing to have a flexible and
imaginative solution which results
in special status. Or whatever one
wants to call it. That would be
afforded to the people of Northern
Ireland in this context.
wrong, Nigel Mills was the bespoke
solution for Northern Ireland that
actually advantages people who live
here rather than disadvantages them?
This hasn't been done to have two
parts of the same country in two
different customs unions. In actual
fact the Northern Ireland should
come economy dart come on, Martina,
Denmark is a different country.
Northern Ireland has an extremely
large and important trading link. If
you create a customs border between
them that is a serious advantage to
the Norwich Irish -- Northern Irish
economy. I don't think splitting a
country economically is a realistic
solution and would be bad for the
economy was it will be impossible
That is what you are
trying to do with the island of
Ireland. What we have proposed is a
We don't need a border.
Let's live in the real world. Let's
talk about the free trade
arrangements, the EU has made clear
that if you want to leave the EU you
cannot expect to have its cake and
eat it, at can't go and retain all
of the benefits of membership. What
part of that is difficult to
We aren't asking to
retain membership but asking for the
best free-trade deal in the interest
of all members, in the same way that
they have done with many other
countries. The EU has a trade
surplus with the UK. We aren't
asking for anything particularly
difficult but to carry on trading as
previously. Everyone is agreed that
there will be no border on the
island of Ireland, no passport
controls or anything, that won't
happen, but it is the trading
relationship that needs to work in
the best way. I don't see how we
can't work that out if we can't even
talk about trade nearly nine months
of the way through this period we
can't start talking about what the
trading deal will look like, or how
to make it work.
Have you read the
Good Friday Agreement? Do you
understand strand two?
How do you
understand of what Nigel has said
that, the way it will be sorted out
is to move on to substantive trade
talks, phase two of the negotiations
and then we will see the colour of
people's money and then we can start
to find solutions. To continue stuck
on this seemingly intractable point
doesn't take anyone anywhere? Surely
there is a logic to what he is
Of course we need to move on
to but sufficient no leg progress
needs to be made on Northern
Ireland. The Good Friday Agreement,
strand two, the all Ireland Ireland
part of the agreement, 142 areas of
cooperation. What a Brexit border
would do would be to damage for
instance we have a situation where
in now Gavin Hospital in Derry
because of critical mass, and the
island of Ireland in the north-west
we have a radiotherapy unit
servicing the island. We also have a
children's heart surgery carried out
in Dublin but there are all Ireland
electricity markets and 142 areas of
cooperation of which 100 of them all
more are dependent on EU law and the
European Court of Justice. We have
to have, it is a no-brainer, to
preserve and protect the Good Friday
Agreement of the British Government
is a co-guarantor. We have to have a
special relationship with the EU in
order for us to do no more than
How do you respond to
that, Nigel. The relationship that
Martina has just raised, 150 Dillie
Malherbe hundred and 42 -- 142
specific bespoke arrangements. How
do you deal with that their hard
Let's look at the
Londonderry hospital referred to.
That is the main hospital is parts
of the Republic of Ireland. That is
based on an actual deal is not
reliant on any EU treaties so all
those things can be worked through
but strand one of the Good Friday
Agreement gives the UK gives the lap
sole competence on these affairs.
What we are trying to do is find the
best possible solution. If we can't
talk about the very issues we need
to resolve, we can't find a
Sammy Wilson of the DUP
said last week that any attempt
duplicates Dublin and the EU could
be a withdrawal of DUP, the supply
and confidence motion could be
withdrawal. Is he bluffing? I am in
no doubt he is entitled to his view.
The DUP might be angry if the
Northern Irish territories became a
separate part of the United Kingdom
and the EU. It is not practical
however, so on issues like farming
we could perhaps devolve powers to
the Northern Irish assembly and they
could have harmony and consistency
with the European Union, that seems
like a sensible way of going forward
on those issues. It won't work with
the fundamental constitutional laws
and the problem is Martina knows is
Sinn Fein have crashed the Northern
Ireland assembly so there is no
assembly to devolve powers to. It
doesn't make it any easier?
very clear. Why we are where we are
today is because of allegations of
corruption and difficulties that we
have had in the assembly and on many
many issues, and what we need is a
good and practical city of
governments that will deliver for
all people. Sinn Fein will go into a
rights -based assembly in the
morning and what we have in partners
in government are Brexit is who
aren't even listening to their own
people. Their own people who will
accept a border, a deepening of the
relationship that is already there,
in practice that is there so that we
don't have a ball border on the
island. That is who the DUP needs to
listen to as well as all of the
people and represent all of the
people of the north who voted
overwhelmingly to remain.
final question, this summit on the
14th and 15th of December, that is
where the big decisions have to be
taken. Apparently. We need real
movements tomorrow if we are to hit
that target state in the middle of
the month. What do you expect to be
on the table by Theresa May in her
meeting with Jean-Claude Junker
I think we reiterate the
fact that we have no plans to have a
hard border and we think that the
best way of thinking that is to move
to those trade talks. There has
apparently been progress on the
divorce Bill for example, and there
is a commitment to no hard border,
that is what we need to say and what
we have done is responding to those
offers and explain why they are
Thank you both.
Let's hear what our studio
guests think of that.
Newton Emerson and Patricia
MacBride are with me.
Newton, can you square the circle
after that? There was a lot of
confused issues there.
for example those won't all Ireland
policies. They are devolved powers,
and restrictions will be left up to
And there is a political point
The practical issue is
trade however. Both were confused by
the idea of a sea border meaning is
staying in the customs union, but
these are not either or situations.
Port and border systems would allow
us to leave the customs union but
keep the land border open. That is
the point, we're not talking about
customs checks at the port Belfast
but rather extra electronic
paperwork that allows us foods to
flows freely with minimal
Patricia, do you think
bureaucrats who are quietly working
away on proposals on both sides in
this process of negotiation will
come up with some kind of solution
as Newton seems to suggest? Or
duplicitous and is -- do politicians
just not want to talk about it?
think there are three scenarios that
are apparently not to be accepted.
Not staying in the customs union,
except a hard border on the island
of Ireland or in the sea. One of
those has given that is the reality
of it. Newton talks about additional
paperwork at the ports when goods
are moved around. That may be the
case in terms of checking the bona
fides goods or whatever it is that's
being moved but it doesn't address
the issue of tariffs. I am certain
that there is a lot of work going on
in the background in terms of civil
servants in Ireland and I would hope
that the difference and the
difficulty is that in terms of Irish
diplomats they know the party line,
they have a clear steer from the
Irish government and the civil
servants aren't sure what the
ministers want and even today we
hear confusing messages from people
like Jacob Rees Mogg who doesn't
really understand what's happening
in Irish politics and is trying to
throw a spanner into the works based
on something that was settled five
days ago regarding a no-confidence
motion in the government.
Are you an
optimist in this? Are you saying
that mutually exclusive positions
are being set up, strawmen are being
built but ultimately things will be
Looking at Donald Tusk's
statement in the Republic last week
everyone focused on his support
unity and strength for the Republic
but also in that speech he conceded
the UK to's main point is that trade
talks can begin only with out a
detailed answer on the board. That
makes the sea border the big idea
within which all the details can be
hammered out and that will take a
long time. Mostly what we need at
this stage is a different term to
see border, point of eight Unionist
antagonism right now. It doesn't
need to be is described that way.
That's pause for
Let's pause for a moment
That's pause for a moment.
and take a look back
at the political week in 60 Seconds
with Enda McClafferty...
It appears there is no life left in
the docks as Stormont goes into cold
We don't have a basis to
enter into talks process.
Dail it is all change on the front
bench. Double jobbing Simon Coveney.
Don't detect any changes to Dublin's
stance on the border.
No one can
pretend Northern Ireland is
indifferent. We need an incredible
set of parameters within which we
can solve the border issues.
DUP is adamant.
There won't be any
special arrangement for Northern
Ireland keeping us in the rules of a
customs union or the single market.
As politicians debate is just how
special we are, did we get the first
crack in the DUP Conservative pact?
If there is any hint that an order
to placate Dublin and the EU, they
are prepared Northern Ireland trade
differently than the rest of the
United Kingdom than they can't rely
on our vote.
Let's go back to our guests
for some final thoughts.
That's talk about the DUP and their
influence over the Conservatives at
the moment, and it's stated position
that it does not want to negotiate
or resile from its public position
on this critical issue for it as a
comment there is very telling. He
sees that any negotiation or any
issue around the border and
concessions as he eased -- sees them
would be to placate Dublin but the
reality is it should be about
protecting living here. That is
where they need to focus. Something
has to give therefrom my
perspective. As the DUP said, the
idea of rebranding some sort of
control over the people and moving
in the Irish Sea, that is perhaps
the only solution. The DUP might
have to come round to thinking them.
If it involves a sweetener to move
them, to say it is going to happen
but it will be managed in such a way
where it will be still in control,
the idea of evolving regulatory
powers to Stormont will not fly in
my view because there is no workable
assembly and that will effect a good
change on the DUP.
Do you agree,
some kind of deal could be
forthcoming, a financial package for
Northern Ireland, and a way of
explaining yet that doesn't look
like a devolution of the union? That
is critical clearly.
practical objections, the cost of
people's paperwork, hundreds of
pounds, and ways of funding extra
facilities at the border. One-off
payments or ongoing payments to
cover that... I disagree with
Patricia that this may ignore
Stormont's absence. It puts pressure
on both party to come in and manage
their situation. In terms of the DUP
you need to listen to the range of
opinions coming from them. Sammy
won't believe there was and is
trying to bring down the government
but Nigel Dodds dodges the subject.
He says he won't leave the customs
union. Those things are not
opposites and when you look at the
range of opinions and see how the
DUP leadership in particular are
sounding I think they are getting
ready for a fudge as well.
you think, Patricia, we will see in
the meeting between Theresa May and
I don't think we
can parallel this to the
negotiations, where deadlines keep
getting shifted. I think the British
will have deep pits down a clear
marker as to the heads of agreement
on the key issues around the border
and around the divorce Bill as it
were so that is what we have CC
tomorrow in order to get to the
Interesting to see what
Now back to Sarah in London....
Tom, Isabel and Steve
are still with me.
Let's talk about a couple of the
interviews we heard earlier in the
programme. Let's start with Michael
Howard. He was putting up a very
strong defence of Damian Green and
harsh criticism of the police who
had been speaking out saying they
had reservations about what Damian
Green had been doing with his
Parliamentary computer. We surprised
at that, is about?
Not at all. There
is much support for Damian Green,
including Labour MPs. It is in
relation to how the police have
behaved over this. There is
discomfort among MPs about how the
police were involved in this. Most
people will have forgotten the
various dramas around that some
years ago when police were invited
into the Commons over a leak
investigation. MPs feel that was no
place for officers to be and they
are uncomfortable about the leaking
of this confidential information. I
think the question now is whether
Damian Green has lied about what he
did although she is ago. To me,
personally, and too many Tory MPs,
whether or not he viewed pawn ten
years ago or however long it was
ago, it was clearly inappropriate
behaviour on an office computer.
Perhaps if he had acknowledged it
and said he was going through a hard
time, he might get away with it. If
it is proven he lied and he is
finished, whether or not there are a
lot of sympathetic MPs over the way
he is being treated here.
interesting how many MPs are
sympathetic. David Davis has
threatened to resign from the
Cabinet is Damian Green went.
goes back ten, 15 years of Tory
Party history. David Davis, Damian
Green and Theresa May or worked very
closely together. They were
horrified about the immigration
papers leaks. It was proven to be a
pretty bad thing that was done and
the police apologise. Moving on to
where we are now, it strikes me that
Theresa May is downed if she does
find Damian Green for being a
cover-up rather than the crime
himself, he has made a series of
statements about pornography on his
computer, it is not the possession
but how he tried to disguise it was
there. If she fires him, then she
will have terrible troubles with the
likes of David Davis and people
furious in the party, Andrew
Mitchell furious that the police are
calling the shots. If she does not
fire him, as some ministers in
government, some Tory MPs, who think
it is impossible for him to stay on
with the mess as it currently is and
his inconsistencies. She has made
this worse for herself by sitting
on, if not the full report but the
substance of it for some time now.
You think surely has the report that
has not looked at it yet.
not seen the full report but has
been kept up to date with where it
is going and what the findings are.
She has been forced to take a very
tough decision, like Angela Merkel
always has and survived in politics
very well, by simply not taking that
decision, sometimes it works
brilliantly and events work-out but
sometimes it gets deeper.
Gardner was talking about Labour's
EU policies was that he would not
rule out a second referendum. He
made it clear it was not party
policy at the moment. I was asking
about Jeremy Corbyn saying he would
not rule out a second referendum.
Saying it was a possibility if there
was a two thirds threshold on it,
which is a new idea.
The position of
the Labour Party, and the smart one
for the time being, is to do what
Harold Wilson used to call keep all
options open. If there are big cries
for another referendum, opinion
polls from some of them who voted
Brexit when they see a deal, the
Labour leadership will come around
and say they will support a
referendum. They are being wholly
pragmatic about this, as most
opposition parties are when dealing
with Europe. Before 97, Tony Blair
was in favour of the single currency
but loving the pound. This ambiguity
is a feature of politics in Europe.
They are in a broadly smart position
Ambiguity, some might call
I call it cynicism
Can it work for them?
extraordinary cynical. I have seen
some lame polls of small samples
which purport to show there is a
contingency of people who want
another referendum. It comes down to
how you phrase the question. This
was the biggest democratic mandate
for a decision to be taken that we
have had in history. Most people
just want Brexit to get gone. I
think there is an extraordinary 50
quid Brexit at the moment, even
amongst the people who wanted to
happen. People wanted over with nets
get on with building the new feature
for the country. -- and let's get
Now, you know how the old cliche
goes: if you're not a Liberal
when you're young then
you've no heart.
And if you're not
a Conservative when you're old,
then you've no brain.
Well, it seems the Conservative
Party might be getting a bit
worried it's true.
According to a report
in The Guardian this week,
party chiefs were concerned
after surveys of public opinion
showed that while Conservatives
are seen as more credible
on their policies, Labour are well
ahead amongst voters when it
comes to compassion.
But can that be right,
and which matters more
to the British public ?
We sent reporter Emma Vardy out
into the cold with our rather
Tories have been told that polling
suggests that people think
Conservatives are competent when it
comes to their policies but not
caring enough when it
comes to their values.
So, we're in the Tory marginal
of Putney to ask people
what's more important,
competence or compassion?
Why is that?
Because it affects all of us.
I think they forget
that it is real people they are
governing, it is not
just about the budget.
It is about the budget, obviously,
balancing the books, but
I think you need to think about
the little people, like these two.
Because if they are not,
then we're going to
need even more compassion because
there will be even more people
Thank you so much.
There are a lot of competent people
who can take care of a job
but a lot of these competent people
don't really have compassion.
It has to be competence.
It has to be.
At the end of the day,
obviously compassion is
extremely important but due
to the state our finances are in,
competence has to be the way
to go, unfortunately.
Competence, I think.
Well, because they seem to be paid
very well and don't have a lot
of competence and fail this country
People need to have a heart.
If they're competent and don't
have a heart, it's worthless.
You can't have fools
running the country.
Well, I think that anybody
who is in parliament
should be conpetent.
Otherwise you shouldn't
be an MP in the first
place, whatever party they are.
Do they have enough compassion?
But then who does have enough
compassion these days?
Hardly anybody, my dear.
Should politicians do it
from the heart, do you think?
And I think they should
do it from the heart.
I think they just swerve everything.
I am a heart on my sleeve man
and I love that honesty,
that genuine feel, enthusiasm.
I can tell you are.
I'm feeling the warmth.
Thank you very much.
Seems like it could be time
for the Tory Party to
enter the season of goodwill.
Here in Putney, it
was a narrow victory
over competence for compassion.
Emma in Putney. Let's bring the
discussion into the studio. Are the
Tories right? M BBC and is competent
and not compassionate? Does it
The bigger worry is that
they are not being seen as competent
and that is fatal for a government.
The two are connected full study
cannot be compassionate because that
involves public spending if you are
not competent. With respect to the
brilliant film, it is a slight
juxtaposition. Many Tory MPs return
from the last election saying we are
seen again as the mean party. I was
getting endless complaints about
school cuts, health cuts and so on.
But competence is the key. If you
lose that, you're doomed as the
Time for Theresa May to
start hugging huskies?
That so well.
I broadly agree with Steve,
obviously you have to be competent.
This is a huge problem for the Tory
Party, particularly among young
voters thought it was high time the
Tory Party stopped letting labour
monopolise the moral high ground on
everything. Apart from the fact I'm
sure he believes it in his heart
when you are seeing figures like
Michael Gove really embracing
so-called softer causes like
environmentalism and animal welfare.
The Tories must do that to win over
They have did do that.
Can they do it?
competence is the age of problem the
Tory Party have had for years and it
is the same with the Labour Party.
Tony Blair pulled that trick
brilliantly in 1997. The Tories can
do that. But it will not shift the
barometer too much. To make inroads
on compassion, the Tories will have
to reorganise whether money is in
Britain and help out younger people,
the socially immobile. That is where
the problem is. They have no money
and no majority. If you cannot get
stuffed through the House of Commons
you cannot change the country. That
is where they will be stuck until
the next election.
Thank you all for
being with us this afternoon.
That's all for today -
thanks to all my guests
and my three amigos here.
Join me again next Sunday
at 11 here on BBC One
for more Sunday Politics.
Until then, bye-bye.