Mark Carruthers with the latest political news, interviews and debate.
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Morning everyone and welcome
to the Sunday Politics.
I'm Sarah Smith and I'll be bringing
you your essential briefing
on all the top political
stories this week.
She's done the easy bit,
now comes the hard part.
As we move on to trade
and transition talks with the EU,
just what sort of deal
is the Prime Minister aiming for?
The issue of trade across the Irish
border is likely to dominate
those talks, we'll speak
to the Northern Ireland
Secretary James Brokenshire
about what he thinks a solution
to the problem could look like.
Momentum, the group set up
to support Jeremy Corbyn,
is facing allegations it's trying
to take over the Labour
And here - Sammy Wilson of the DUP
and John O'Dowd of Sinn Fein discuss
the Brexit border deal.
We'll also have the UUP,
SDLP and Alliance and expert
analysis in an extended programme -
in half an hour.
Is the government doing enough?
in half an hour.
All that coming up in the programme.
And with me today to try to make
sense of is all, three journalists
who are in full alignment with this
week's political developments.
Tim Shipman, Helen
Lewis and Toby Young.
The cliche that a week is a long
time in politics has
never been more apt.
As Theresa May first appeared to be
the brink of collapse,
and then claimed victory with a deal
to allow Brexit talks to move
on to the next phase.
Deal or no deal?
The question that took
Theresa May to Brussels not
once but twice this week.
On Monday it seemed
it was all sorted.
Time to move onto talks about trade.
Then in stepped Arlene Foster.
Northern Ireland must
leave the European
Union on the same terms as the rest
of the United Kingdom.
So lunch was left to go
cold in Brussels as the
PM rushed home to try
and save the deal.
The problem ran along
the Irish border.
Did promises of regulatory
alignment mean Northern
Ireland would operate differently
from the rest of the UK?
Unionist alarm bells
could be heard in
Westminster where Theresa May
relies on their support.
While others saw their
chance to tell their own
bespoke Brexit deal.
So back to the drawing
board and a chance for
Labour to stick the boot in.
What an embarrassment.
The last 24 hours have
given a new meaning to
the phrase coalition of chaos.
There was a tricky
moment for the Brexit
secretary as he was quizzed over his
economic impact studies that don't
So there isn't one,
for example, on the automotive
On the automotive sector.
Is there one on aerospace?
One on financial services?
I think the answer is
going to be no to all of
By the Chancellor admitted
the Cabinet has not yet
debated future European
The Cabinet has had general
discussions about how Brexit
negotiations but we haven't had
a specific, er, mandate of the
At Prime Minister's Questions
Brexiteers reminded the PM
they too had lines
they wouldn't cross.
Will she apply a new coat of paint
to her red lines because I
fear on Monday they were beginning
to look a little bit pink.
Talks through the night
on Thursday and
finally, white smoke.
Tweeted by Jean-Claude
Juncker's chief of staff
to signal a deal had been done.
The red eye back to Brussels,
the Brexit Secretary's
face told the story of a long night.
A tweak of the words
and a deal agreed.
Sufficient progress has now
been made on the strict
terms of the divorce.
Not everyone was happy.
There are still matters
there that we would have liked
to have seen clarified.
The whole thing is a humiliation.
In a letter yesterday
Environment Secretary Michael Gove
said voters could change the deal
if they don't like it.
At the next general election.
Let's unpack a week of remarkable
political developments with our
Tim, the papers are claiming a
marvellous victory for Theresa May,
but this is a problem of her own
making she managed to dig herself
The government announced
immediately they had got a deal and
it took them two and a half weeks to
nail it down. It is worth
remembering that when she went off
to Brussels to Jean-Claude Juncker
who said, don't come here unless you
are ready to go. Theresa May kicked
him out of his office for an hour
while she begged Arlene Foster to
get in line and initially, it wasn't
happening because they hadn't nailed
it down. People say, why weren't all
these civil servants and people who
know about how to deal with these
guys, engaged in this process? The
separation between the Northern
Ireland Office and Downing Street,
the whip office was negligent and
they should have been holding hands
with the DUP and Tilly was taken
over the line. Disaster was only
narrowly averted. They were saying
earlier in the week, this is a
catastrophe and Theresa May needs to
But she pulled it out in the
end. We were talking about takeover
plots, Theresa May might lose her
job and now it is a victory.
you are talking about this, you have
to divorce the theatre around it and
the last-minute concessions, which
will not end. The question is what
happens when the Forge recedes.
Everyone has something out of this
deal because there is no clarity.
Arlene Foster said they wanted
clarity. Both sides when they get
the clarity will be unhappy, but the
question is what they will do about
Toby, both people on both sides
of the Brexit debate in the Tory
party, who are claiming they are
very, very happy. They can't all be
I am not surprised the
Brexiteers our content. There are
various things the remain as
predicted couldn't be achieved. They
thought they would be a backbench
rebellion. Now that looks like the
divorce bill will sail through. A
lot of Remainers thought the state
is of EU nationals would remain
uncertain for long time. This makes
no Deal Brexit less likely that was
always the Remainers best of
reversing the result of the
Now we're left with the
question, what does full alignment
mean. David Davis asked that that
It means outcomes.
If I arrived in two
cars, they are next
to each other.
Well, Northern Ireland is next
to the Republic of Ireland.
Yes, and it will have next
to regulations, it will be very
There will be some similarities.
Again, the Prime Minister
laid this out in her
She said there are areas
where we will want similar
outcomes and we'll have similar
methods to achieve them.
There will be areas
where we have similar
outcomes where there will be
different methods to achieve them.
That's going to be true of a lot
of product areas, a lot of
There will be areas where we want
different outcomes and
we will use different methods.
That was clear as mud, Toby, what do
you think full alignment means?
don't think we should spend as much
time as you seem to want to,
discussing it. As Michael Gove
clarified, it doesn't have any legal
force. It doesn't have any binding,
legal force. It hasn't got to the
stage of the treaty. It might be
difficult to unwind because it is
the basis of an agreement. But
nonetheless, it is not binding and a
lot is left to play for.
It is what
got the DUP on-board, finding a form
of words which could be what you
wanted them to.
immigration cut without the economy
taking a hit. The same thing with
the DUP, they want to stay aligned
to prison, but they don't want their
agriculture, Northern Ireland is one
of the biggest industries, to take a
massive hit from a hard border. So
you are trying to reconcile two
contradictory impulses. That Philip
Hammond clip is extraordinary saying
the Cabinet have a discuss where
they think this ends up in the end.
That is where the row will be.
Number Ten is specifically briefing
full alignment, so we haven't solved
It is a verb, he converge,
I don't do converge, we have full
alignment. The Conservative Party
managed to get through a general
election where they had half of
their supporters hardline. This may
help them keep the show on the road.
We will be talking to all three of
you throughout the programme.
So it was the arrangements
to avoid a hard border
between Northern Ireland
and the Republic that
threatened to scupper progress
in the Brexit talks.
And there remains confusion
over exactly what it
is that's been agreed.
Hopefully we can clarify some
of that with the Secretary of State
for Northern Ireland
Thanks for coming in. Can we go back
to the beginning of the week and the
discussions with the DUP. Where you
involved in that?
It is worth
stressing this is a fast-moving
situation. When the Prime Minister
was in Brussels at the start of the
week, the text hadn't been agreed.
That is why we've got the conclusion
with the text effectively now being
able to go on to the second phase.
Where you part of the back and
forward between Number Ten and the
I don't want to get into the
details, but I have been involved,
supporting the Prime Minister and
making sure we have got sufficient
progress and why we have the benefit
of moving into phase two, which is
worth we can solve the issues with
relation to Northern Ireland.
a significant failure at the
beginning of the week to flight to
Brussels without the DUP agreeing on
It was a fast-moving
Why go for lunch with
Jean-Claude Juncker if there wasn't
It was to continue the
The Prime Minister
didn't think she had a deal on
Monday, she went to Brussels knowing
there wasn't an agreement with the
The text wasn't agreed, as I
have underlined on a few occasions
already in this interview. It is how
we have secured what we needed to
do. We needed to give that assurance
in relation to Northern Ireland's
constitutional status in ensuring
trade between Northern Ireland and
Great Britain could remain
unfettered. That is important and we
can now solve this on phase two.
agreement said there would be full
alignment with the EU in the event
of no deal. It doesn't say anything
how you will avoid a hard border if
there is a trade deal with the EU.
You are looking at paragraph 49 of
the agreement. First and foremost,
this is about securing a free trade
agreement. Secondly, if that isn't
sufficient you move onto specific
solutions to deal with the unique
circumstances of Northern Ireland.
Only through an agreed outcome, do
you move on to the issue of
alignment, which I'm sure we will
option is to have the free trade.
Nothing has been solved
on how you avoid a hard border
between Northern Ireland and the
republic if you have a free-trade
We were never going to solve
this in the first phase how this
agreement, we want to secure is
firmly in Ireland's interest, given
the nature of trade between Ireland
and the whole of the United Kingdom.
That is why we go into this second
phase with confidence we can secure
the positive outcome, which is the
best way to solve this.
Taoiseach says it is clear in which
way it is going. He says we believe
the UK and Northern Ireland will
remain in alignment with the EU. Is
that your understanding?
I think he
underlines we could come to
different arrangements. It wasn't
about the same, somehow we would
stay within the customs union, the
single market. We are not. The text
says clearly, we are leaving and
Northern Ireland will be part of
that. Having shared outcomes may
mean we may achieve that to the same
or substantially the same way, or
It cannot be too
different if you have to maintain
this idea you don't have a hard
border between Northern Ireland and
the republic. How does this allow
you to strike free trade deals with
the United States for instance, if
you have got to maintain either
alignment or come to some of the
United States for instance, if you
have got to maintain either
alignment or come to some other
Let's take a couple
of examples. In relation to data
daylight, have your prescription
service nor those -- north or south
of the border. How that can converge
between Ireland and the UK. Things
Let's talk about
agriculture. If we were to strike a
free trade deal with the US, they
have made it clear we will have to
diverged from EU rules on some
agricultural standards, like
chlorine washed chicken, how can we
do the kind of deal the US will
insist on and still maintain these
We are yet to
get into those discussions.
have been to London and they have
said, if we stay too closely aligned
with the EU we will be able to get a
deal with the US.
We're not going to
somehow compromise our food safety
standards to have a race to the
bottom. That is why knowing the
integrated nature of the food sector
on island, is why we said we are
proud to look at alignment with
your hands. Why does the former
Brexit minister himself say it will
handicap our ability to enter into
difference across the United Kingdom
over some of these devolved issues.
It doesn't create barriers within
the UK market. We are compliant with
the same rules as the EU and it is
positive decisions we might take.
When it comes down to this issue,
there won't be this race to the
bottom in relation to standards.
is important to understand. You are
tying the government's hands in its
ability to strike the free trade
deals that was supposed to create
the optimistic post Brexit future
proclaimed by the government.
why we want to yes, secure the
positive free-trade agreement, Abbas
Bogue agreement with our EU
partners, but equally, which we
don't have, the flexibility to
negotiate trade deals around the
world so have the benefit of having
to do that.
The answer to this free trade deals
is how you manage the border between
the Republic of Ireland and Northern
Ireland, that has not been answered.
We've set up the framework, we've
not been able to have these
discussions yet. That's why it was
so important, where it was a really
positive achievement that Theresa
May secured by moving into phase two
where we can do just that. To look
at all these different elements we
been working hard on with the EU
that need to be solved whether
through the free trade agreement,
whether through specific
circumstances to meet these issues,
and protecting the ability from
people to move from Northern
Ireland's, into the Republic, really
importantly underlining the
significance of the Good Friday
The Prime Minister
significantly said no deal was
better than a bad deal. What this
means in Brussels as if there is no
do we have to stay in full alignment
with the rules and regulations, is
that the possible?
Is the document
states, nothing is agreed until
everything is agreed.
situation of no deal, nothing would
be agreed and that is the
circumstance in which this deal
This document doesn't
commit in that way. We are not
contemplating a notable situation.
The Prime Minister has frequently
contemplated that, saying no deal is
better than a bad deal.
I think it
says this in a good way, to secure
this positive outcome that agreement
with our EU partners. We will only
do that if it is acceptable. Under
the no deal statements that the
Prime Minister has made.
agreement says, in the event of no
deal, we will maintain full
alignment, you say this doesn't mean
This document doesn't deal
with no deal. That's what I'm
saying. Paragraph five...
So in the
absence of agreed solutions the UK
will maintain full alignment with
the rules of the customs union?
Paragraph five scissors and
agreement being reached...
need an agreement before you have
absence of agreed solutions.
about the three tiered approach will
take, free-trade agreements, dealing
with unique circumstances and then
moving onto the alignment issues. It
is this three tiered approach that
will inform the negotiations. This
is why I say this provides us with a
positive backdrop to go into phase
two, to get positive outcomes in
ensuring there is no barrier between
the Republic of Ireland and Northern
Ireland. I take the positive
viewpoint, around getting agreement,
securing that bright positive future
for Northern Ireland and the UK as a
whole which is what that does.
Brokenshire, thank you. Tim, are you
a clearer? On what has been agreed?
Much less clear. What is the scope
of this alignment issue? If you
listen to government ministers, and
David Davis earlier and James has
said nothing that contradicts that,
you are talking about big areas like
agriculture and energy. David Davis
said it would cover four areas, is
put to someone in the Irish
government has said and covered 142
areas, there's quite a big gap
between them and we haven't yet
bridged that intellectually, it
And not much clearer on what
if there is no deal.
We would crash
out which would be definitely worse
than a bad deal. An appalling
outcome. I think the whole issue of
these agricultural standards is
fascinating because it reveals the
difference between the average Leave
voter and the average person on the
right, the free trader who is not
worried about safety standards and
is fine with chlorine tipped chicken
but we no one that free-trade Dale
got bounced out of contention one
thing that revolted people with the
idea of lower animal safety
standards, food covered in bacteria
then washed in chlorine. So you have
one wing of the Tory party who are
OK with that and people who voted
Leave who are not.
Is it still on
the table, this idea of no deal?
has to be, until we've concluded a
deal, because otherwise our
negotiating position is weaker. In
some ways the way that we've managed
to agree on what the status of EU
National 's would-be and what the
role of the ECJ would be for eight
years after we leave, suggest that
even in the absence of a trade deal
or even a transition deal being
successfully negotiated we could
nonetheless put a minimal deal in
place which could guarantee the
rights of UK National is here and
British nationals in Europe. So in
that way it makes no deal a little
less unpalatable but I think we will
still get a deal.
Thanks for that.
Well, discussions of
what the government wants its final
deal to look like also brings
into focus what Labour's
plans would be.
Speaking this morning Labour's
Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer
argued that Britain should remain
as close to the EU as possible.
How we negotiate that agreement
with the EU is a matter for
It doesn't mean it's cut
and paste, but we do have a
choice, do we want to stay aligned
so we can trade successfully or do
we want to tear apart?
And I say we should stay aligned.
We are talking about
what sort of Britain we are
going to be and what the next 40
or 50 years might look like.
I don't think anybody
voted to make it
harder to trade with Europe.
Emily Thornberry, Labour's shadow
foreign affairs spokesperson, is
with me now. Thank you for coming
in. That was Keir Starmer this
morning. I don't want to put words
into his mouth or yours but I
interpret that as saying, we are not
staying in the single market, that
is not the Labour position but we
want to maintain many of the
arrangements we have with the single
market. Is that right?
said we have to accept the results
of the referendum, we have some
tests to be abided by to get a good
deal so we need to be able to get
the full advantage of access to the
single market and the customs union.
To achieve that what Keir Starmer
seemed to be saying was that was a
closely aligned to the rules and
regulations of the EU, possibly even
pay for access to the free market
and while free movement of people
wouldn't he said they should be easy
movement of people from the UK to
the EU and vice versa. Is that
really respecting the referendum
We have to leave the
European Union that there's no
reason why we don't need go a long
way. It would not be respecting the
referendum and the sentiment that
has expressed during the referendum
if we did not move, after leaving
the European Union, to a system
where we had fair rules and managed
migration, so people could easily
travel across Europe and those that
we need to have an ox economy - this
we need an our economy can stay and
that will help us.
If we are staying
closely aligned to the rules and
regulations of the EU why we have no
say in the formation of those rules
how is that taking back control?
We're going to leave and it seems to
us that people wanted to leave, they
wanted some form of control over
migration and fair rules and managed
migration is what we want but they
did not vote to lose their jobs
offer their neighbours to lose their
jobs. We need to prioritise the
economy and trade when it came to
negotiations and people should be in
no doubt that our biggest trading
partner is the European Union. It
would be economically ridiculous for
us to march off into the Atlantic
and say, we are turning our backs on
the European Union. To go into deals
with them we'd need the same rules
when it came to our exporting of
carrots or anything else. If you
want to export vacuum cleaners to
Europe they need to have the same
safety standards as the rest of
Do you think people who
voted to leave will be happy that we
would follow and mirror the rules
and regulations of EU when we have
no say in their creation now, we
become will takers and not makers?
What we've said is that we need an
interim period when we negotiate
properly and have a long-standing
relationship with EU. When it comes
to exporting goods clearly we need
the same standards and don't want to
undercut European standards, nobody
wants and implement controls, we
need all these things to be less in
Britain than in the rest of Europe,
well, some Tories do but we don't
and we are clear about that.
would constrain our ability to sign
free trade deals with other
countries. The more closely aligned
we stay with EU the less movement we
will have to sign a new deal with
the USA for example.
What we need is
a custom-built arrangement between
Britain and the rest of Europe. We'd
need to be in a form of the customs
union and closely aligned to the
single market and that might give us
room to make the that is something
we need to be involved in
That is clearly of
secondary importance to you, the
ability to strike new deals with
We've always been
pragmatic, most of our trade has
been with EU. We're just stating a
fact and we shouldn't put the kibosh
Are you happy with the
agreement Theresa May struck this
Really don't understand it.
I've looked at it, I don't
understand. I think probably what
she is doing is she's rubbed at some
of her red lines, and that's good
because you shouldn't go into
negotiations with hard red lines
like she has. I don't understand how
on one hand she is saying she's
going to align and on the other hand
will be out of the single market on
the customs union. It doesn't really
make any sense to me.
I thought that
was the position you said Labour
win, leaving the single market on
the customs union but wanting to
stay aligned to Europe and is
They say they've
swept any form of customs union of
the table. That's what I understand.
She is swept away any suggestion
that the European Court of Justice
would have anything to do with any
rules. She seems to be busily
putting them back on the table
again. That's probably a good thing.
What a waste of time. Because
wouldn't it have been good to have
began on a pragmatic, realistic
basis and we might have got further
than we have now. We are running out
What is Labour's answer to
the question of the border between
the northern Ireland and the
Republic of Ireland, how do you
The further we go
from the EU, the harder it is to
have a soft border. What we have
said without that a form of customs
union is a viable option. Melbourne
has come up with any other
This idea, it says in
the agreement that was struck with
EU in the absence of any other
agreement, this idea that we would
maintain the full alignment with the
rules and regulations come you are
satisfied that it works well for the
UK and EU and solves the border
Of course there has to be
a form of alignment, of course the
European Court of Justice need staff
an ongoing relationship with British
justice in the way we put forward
rules when we are working with the
rest of the EU. Why have we denied
at all this time, it is self-evident
and continues to be so.
proposed that an amendment be put
forward that would give MPs a
meaningful vote on this while there
is still time for more negotiation
rather than at the end of
negotiations, will Labour support
We have always said this. From
the outset we have said, why should
parliaments across the rest of
Europe have a vote on this, and the
European Parliament have a vote, the
people of Walloons will have a lot
in it, why not the British people?
That has to be a meaningful vote. --
one at the British Parliament. They
will have to factor in what the
British Parliament thinks. And many
people in the British Parliament
will not accept no deal, for
example. If they think they are
going to come to the British
Parliament with no deal is an option
they have another think coming.
There's another amendment to the Lib
Dems want, to put forward the option
of remaining in the single market.
Vince Cable has said it is
specifically designed to flush out
the Labour Party by asking straight
out will you support this amendment
or not with the option of staying in
the single market. How would Labour
vote on that?
We are leaving the EU,
we need a custom made deal with the
EU. We need to be able to respect
the views of the British people as
expressed in the referendum and one
debate was about ensuring that we
have more control of migration.
We've been told that the four
freedoms mean we can't stay in the
single market as it currently is so
we need a different deal. Those
other things we should have focused
on rack from the outset.
Thornberry, thank you very much for
coming in this morning.
There have been a number of reports
in the press recently accusing
the Labour pressure group Momentum
of forcing serving Labour
councillors off the ballot paper
for re-election in favour
of their own candidates.
Sources close to Momentum argue
they are simply helping to reflect
the new make-up of the Labour Party.
So is there any truth
in the allegations?
Elizabeth Glinka has been
to Brighton to find out.
They say to keep your
friends close and your
enemies closer, and in
Labour Party in Brighton they are
very close indeed. Here, as in many
other parts of the country,
there are suggestions that Momentum
is attempting to seize control and
ultimately replace sitting
councillors with candidates of their
Two weeks ago Momentum won
all nine positions on the
committee which will organise
the selection of candidates
for the next City Council
elections in 2019.
Local activists have spoken
about installing the first Socialist
council in the city, the implication
being that the current Labour
council is not quite
If you talk to people from Momentum,
they will say to you, we
have brought in all these
new members, they're
full of enthusiasm,
why shouldn't we have our people
moving in to take over the party,
we are the future of the party.
Is there bullying
going on in Brighton?
I think there has been.
And I think that has
predominantly been from people
outside the Labour Party
and it is not acceptable.
Wouldn't be accurate to say that
Momentum members and
some of the new Labour Party members
are mobilising against the existing
I think there has been some chatter
about that and a lot of
that has been from those who are not
in the party at the present time.
Once people are not members
of the Labour Party,
they can't share our values
and therefore they should be
excluded from Momentum.
And that would be a way
to unify the party in
Brighton and Hove and
around the country.
As a former minister in the Blair
government you might expect of
a captain to take that view.
I spoke to a number of Labour Party
members who said they had
experienced intimidation and that
Momentum was authoritarian
and brutal to existing councillors.
None would agree
to appear on camera.
While I was in Brighton a Momentum
activist posted this video and
The faces of three Labour
councillors including the
council leader had
Something I put to a local
Momentum organiser Greg
Hadfield, who is currently suspended
from the Labour Party.
I haven't seen it so I'm not
going to comment on it.
And you think that is?
I'm happy to get
back to you and have
considered view but
I haven't seen it.
I have spoken to a number of people
across the party in Brighton
and Hove, some of them tell me that
Momentum are using bullying tactics,
that the party is very divided
and they feel not able to speak up
and air their views.
They are saying that on the record?
Because I think that's
What we have seen in
Brighton and Hove in the
last 18 months is a massive upsurge
in democratic, decent democratic
engagement with party members.
Anyone who says that,
first of all they are lying,
but also they don't have the best
interests of the party.
Would you like to get
rid of the current
cohort of councillors
in Brighton and Hove,
the Labour councillors.
I would love it for
members to elect the best
representatives of this
Labour Party that they can.
If that is bullying,
if that is not democratic, if that
is deselecting, then people
saying that have a very
strange view of democracy.
Overnight Labour suspended
the member who posted the video.
He denied was anti-Semitic
and issued an apology.
Away from Brighton
the deselection of Labour
councillors in Haringey
and in other London boroughs has
made the national press.
There have been deselection
is in other places as
well including Hastings
and by just aware the
former mayor is among
I think we need a cultural
message from the top.
Momentum clearly have a place
in the Labour movement now
although they are not affiliated
with the party
formally they have brought energy
and ideas to the party.
That is no bad thing.
But Jeremy Corbyn is not just
the party leader but the
figurehead of momentum,
he has to send a message
to all his troops,
if you like around the country,
saying perhaps, not in my name.
Having spoken to people
from across the
Labour Party in Brighton,
there are those that
will tell you that the party is more
united than ever before
and they are incredibly positive
about the future.
But on the other
side even people who
describe themselves as being
on the left say they feel despondent
and that the atmosphere can only be
described as toxic.
Well we asked Momentum if someone
could come on to discuss the issues
raised in that film but no
one was available.
Never mind, we have our panel of
experts. Helen, is it perfectly
legitimate for momentum to get their
own candidate selected. They are in
the ascendancy now, so why shouldn't
they have more candidates?
a legitimate position and they are
entitled to push it forward. But it
is controlled by two Private limited
companies and the data is in the
hands of one man. They talk about
progress and the Fabians, it is
around Jeremy Corbyn as a person.
The third thing, they are very
successful in terms of making viral
videos and they are an effective,
organising force and that is why
people are so worried.
show the way politics is going, they
are fantastic at mobilising people,
reaching their supporters and doing
it in different ways, are centrists
in the Labour Party frightened by
Definitely and that
is why they haven't been able to put
up a better fight. To claim this is
an undemocratic, because votes have
been taken before Momentum takes
control like the Brighton & Hove
Albion are to, is absurd. It isn't
democratic because a small neo-Nazis
calls will be holding the Labour
Party to ransom. It doesn't matter
whether they can sit out at these
meetings until 2am until moderates
have to go home. It doesn't make it
a takeover, it is definitely not
democratic as it would be if Britain
First took over the Labour Party.
The problem is calling it
tiny. It isn't tiny any more. The
last lot of people campaigning on
the streets for Labour were involved
in Momentum. If you look at their
social media, 60% of voters saw a
Momentum video on their Facebook
feeds during the general election
and Momentum spent £2000 on it.
Everything else spread virally.
There is a popularity and yes they
are a bunch of old leftie Marxists,
but on the other side there is
people cheering the Jeremy Corbyn,
they have come together and it is a
powerful force and no wonder the
Blairites and motorists are worried.
It is a form of bullying?
these optimistic people who want to
change the world, tied up with a
group of people who are effective
organisers and behave in a
substandard way a lot of the time.
To compare them with Britain First
is over the top. To compare it with
an organisation whose explicit
purpose is to
Hello and welcome
to Sunday Politics.
So as the debate goes on over
who's come out on top
after the government's last-minute
deal with the EU,
we'll hear from the DUP
and Sinn Fein on what it means
for Northern Ireland,
and its place in the UK and Europe.
We'll also hear from the UUP,
SDLP and Alliance and throughout
this extended programme,
we'll have analysis from Professors
Pete Shirlow and Cathal McCall.
So, work is now under way
to establish what precisely our
trading and political relationships
will look like - both
north-south and east-west -
in future, and where Stormont should
fit in to it all.
And no-one expects it to be plan
sailing from here on,
despite Friday's dramatic deal.
Joining me now are the DUP's Sammy
Wilson and Sinn Fein's John O'Dowd.
SAMMY -In the run-up to Friday's
deal a DUP source was quoted
In the run-up to the deal, a DUP
source was quoted as saying, this is
about who brings first and we have
cut at out our eyelids. A
climb-down? Not a climb-down, we set
out at the beginning of the week to
say our objectives. We'll face with
a green document which the prime
ministers shared with us. We told
her forcefully that we could not
support if she moved forward with
that document. Over the week,
through protracted negotiations with
the government, we succeeded in
getting a document which now first
makes it clear that the United
Kingdom is leaving the single market
and the customs union and Northern
Ireland will be included in that.
Secondly, that there will be no
barriers put on trade between
Northern Ireland and the rest of the
UK now or in the future. Thirdly,
the government will support the free
and unfettered access for Northern
Ireland businesses to the GB market,
which is the appalled market for us.
And in future negotiations where
there are specific interests will
Northern Ireland, there will be deep
involvement by Northern Ireland and
the DUP and Northern Ireland
But the reality was
there were no -- two special
demands, that there should be no
special status and to achieve demand
two, number one has been sacrificed.
No, for Northern Ireland, there will
be no regulations put in place that
will treat Northern Ireland
differently from the rest of the UK.
If there is to be any regulatory
alignment because a free-trade deal
is not struck, the regulations will
affect the whole of the United
Kingdom, not just Northern Ireland.
So the UK
stay in the single market customs
union, it has just been forced to
act as if it has. How better as Mac
but even that term regulatory
alignment is elastic.
secretary of state said in the House
of Commons this week, regulatory
alignment, if it is required, and it
is only in that narrow area of
areas, 142 subsections.
If you look
at the analysis done, over half of
those areas do not require
regulations which mirror the
regulations in the rest of the EU.
So that bit was over eggs.
not talking about some Northern
We are not.
pull the plug on Monday, why not on
negotiations you have a main goal.
Our main goal was that a document
which gave little or no recognition
to Northern Ireland's position in
the UK and staying in line with the
rest of the UK when we left the EU,
that was changed. We succeeded in
You avoided a hard
border so the whole of the UK to --
have to align to allow Northern
Ireland its special status. The
holiday UK is now affected, so how
is that a better deal?
Let's look at
that particular paragraph. The first
option is that we get a free-trade
arrangement with the rest of the EU.
That is what the government will be
aiming for and what we will be
aiming for. And if it get a proper
free-trade arrangement, there is no
need to worry about regulations
being aligned. The second one is
that if that is not possible, there
will be special arrangements put in
place as the government put in its
August paper to the EU, to ensure
that there is the trade -- free
trade across but the bottom line is,
if you can't improve on this... And
the last backstop is that if a
free-trade arrangement is not agreed
or is the special arrangements
cannot be put in place, then we will
look at what alignment on a UK wide
basis is required. And that's
alignment, the Secretary of State
made it clear in the House of
Commons, could be recognition of
standards, could be equivalence...
It is not special status for
Is it special
Will already have special
status because we are treated
differently. So it is what happens
next. The DUP have found out that
they are a big fish in the small
pond. They don't want to be small
fish in a large pond with sharks.
Because this is moving into trade
talks. The trade talks will
concentrate, unfortunately, because
this is a difficulty of the EU, the
trade talks will concentrate on the
needs of big business rather than
people. That is why the DUP will
find out that the interest of the
banks in England, of multinationals
in England, will overwrite any
interest or influence they think
they have with Theresa May. One of
the reasons why Theresa May stepped
on the plane in the early hours of
Friday morning and started
negotiating with the DUP at that
stage is that she has now realised
that this has moved on to a bigger
At least we are in the pond,
you are not in the pond! And it is
significant that on Monday, the
prime ministers shared with us the
document, certainly, when we showed
we were interested, she stopped the
meetings in Brussels. Leo Varadkar
did not do this with you. You are
not in the pond!
Leo Varadkar and
Simon Coveney have been very busy
and some people say that they played
their difficult and very well.
have given a cautious welcome to the
document. The principles of
protecting northern Ireland remain
on the principle of no Brexit border
and protecting people's rights
remains. It will await the formal
implementation of an agreement to
assure that those principles become
legally binding requirements.
Everybody except that's what we have
had from Friday is a communique from
the UK Government to the EU. The
principles are good.
Do you regard
this as special status for Northern
Ireland? That is a yes or a no.
is a difficult question to answer
because until we see the enforcement
of the deal of the legislation and
guidance and all those things which
enforce a deal, it is difficult.
is difficult for you because you
don't want to say that, because the
SDLP said you didn't want special
status and you opposed it and now
that means you are taking an SDLP
policy. You have outmanoeuvred
No, this is where you need
to know the background.
Let me give you the
background. At that time, the Irish
government were lobbying Sinn Fein
to back down on our position which
was much beyond and in advance of
So what you want? I have a
quote here and I can read it if you
want to. In October 2016, you are
I suspect that, in there somewhere,
the Irish Government and the SDLP
are moving away from the position
that "Remain" must mean "Remain".
you're given this cautious welcome.
We need to see how this is going to
You are trying to
remedy Fox and hunt with the hound.
There is no other way of achieving
regulatory alignment with the
customs union unless you are in the
But the document
makes it clear that the UK will be
leaving the customs union and the
single market and that Northern
Ireland will be going with the UK
when that happens. So there is no
question of the special status which
are asking for. That is one of the
things that we were very keen to get
included in the document and have
You base your policy
on opposition to what Sinn Fein
We base our policy on what
we fought for in the referendum,
namely that the United Kingdom
should leave the EU and leaving the
EU necessarily meant to...
an interesting point. Let me ask
you, in this deal that you did not
oppose and did not pull the plug on,
the protection afforded to Northern
Let's make it clear, we
You didn't choose anything.
We chose not to pull the plug
because we thought that the main
objection off-macro so why did you
pull the plug on Monday, but not
Friday? Does anybody come out of
negotiations getting everything that
they want? The main thing we wanted
to secure... And we would have liked
to see more, but the main thing we
aimed to secure was that Northern
Ireland would not be treated
differently than the rest of the
United Kingdom. And that is peppered
throughout this agreement so we
But the part of the
deal with the Tories is that you
would give support under your
confidence and supplied motion on
And to date, we have
Today, but in future?
The negotiations will go on...
is under question now? You won't
honour the deal?
Any confidence and
supply arrangement is under the
assumption that people will...
you would walk away from 1 million
-- £1 billion?
Some of it has been
delivered. A lot of that money is
Theresa May has said
you had your day in the sun on
Monday, but you're not going to get
Please give me the
option to answer. The money is
dependent on their being plans for
broadband roll-out. There are no
plans for that at present. It is
dependent on the plans for reform of
the health service. Those plans are
not in place at present. It depends
on infrastructure projects which are
not -- which do not all have
planning permission. You should at
least listen to the answer. You
should at least listen to the
A final question to you and
then to John. The protection
afforded to Northern Ireland to
ensure it is not isolated from the
UK means that the UK as a whole as
to stay close to the EU integer. You
wanted the former, not the latter.
What kind of Brexit deal is that?
That is not the case. The document
makes it clear that regulatory
alignment and whatever necessary
regulatory alignment there is on
those narrow areas of North-South
co-operation will be done on a UK
wide basis but in the context of the
UK's leaving the single market and
Is that how you see
They told us they would
not pay the divorce bill, they are
paying it. They told us they would
not ensure the rights of a European
citizens, they have. They tell as
they are leaving the customs union
and single market, that is yet to be
decided. In the trade talks, we will
see what comes out of the alt of
that. The best Euro involves being
in the customs union and single
Thank you for that.
Thanks to both.
Listening to that,
Professor Pete Shirlow
of the University of Liverpool
and Professor Cathal McCall
from Queen's University.
What do you make of the deal and
what we have heard from the main
parties so far today? Certainly the
deal would suggest that we are
heading in the UK for a suspect it
rather than a hard Brexit.
Johnson and Fox would prefer the
latter. Although there seems to be
some form of attack on this document
from certainly gof and the Telegraph
A bit fightback and
certainly. Hardline rector tears
don't see that that way. --
brigadiers. -- brexiteers.
to me about narrow regulatory
alignment between north and south
cooperation. It suggests to me that
you would need border inspection to
decipher what is not aligned and not
aligned in terms of goods coming
across the border. There is also the
question of the whole island economy
that has developed since 1998, the
agricultural foods sector here is
massively integrated by in large
throughout the island. In terms of
milk production for example. The
fine detail of that will emerge as
we go through these trade
Can I bring Pete in.
What is your initial thoughts on
where we might be, at this stage in
I think John has picked
it up exactly. What has happened it
was what was always going to happen
all, a re-trade arrangement. A soft
trade arrangement. Global capital of
Europe, in London, you can't have
that outside of the economy of
Europe. The captains of industry and
of the financial systems obviously
want this as soft as possible and
with the UK gone you don't have the
same time of ferocious and is on
this debate. -- with Ukip gone there
was no process this. At the end of
the day those who are in charge know
that you need to have a soft landing
but one thing important that Sammy
said is that if you look at
devolution, border for example isn't
a devolved issue, this is a UK
Ireland border. It happens to be
Northern Ireland and the Republic
but it is an international border.
It's not a devolved matter, it is a
matter that relates to two Southern
countries and I think it's not a
special status argument it is that
that border can be accommodated as
is currently will be done
Do you except we are
now heading to a soft Brexit, and
are relaxed about these such?
these terms soft and hard Brexit.
You either leave or you don't. I am
still convinced the government
because of the commitments it has
made and indeed because of the
commitments to other parties made to
their supporters, that we will not
be in the custody union and the
single market, you can call out
whatever you want...
You still have
to act in the way that you are.
you are trading with any country you
have you give acknowledgements to
some of the regulations which exist
in those countries. When we sell
aircraft parts to the United States
we have 2p cognisant of the
regulations in the States and
ignoring those we couldn't sell.
There is was going to be an element
of that in any trade.
Sammy says he
is relaxed about the concept of this
soft and hard Brexit. You see this
is different and except more of a
We are going towards
what is known as a soft Brexit but
there was lots of negotiation to be
done over the next number of months
and perhaps years. This is not a
done deal and tell as at the end of
this like the end of this what's the
legal binding document says with a
direction of tribal moving forward.
Thanks for now.
We'll be hearing from the SDLP,
Alliance and Ulster Unionists
in just a moment -
but first, a look back at the week
gone past in slightly
more than 60 seconds.
We have been very clear, Northern
Ireland must leave the European
Union on the same terms as the rest
of the United Kingdom. This is a
start of the very last stage.
will reconvene before the end of the
week and I am also confident that we
will conclude this positively.
are surprised and disappointed they
haven't been able to follow through
today and on that agreement but
there is still time.
We have said
from the beginning that the pact
between the DUP and the Tories in
landing would end in tears and so it
When we looked at the wording
and have seen the import of all that
we knew we couldn't sign up to
anything that was in that text that
would allow a border to develop in
the Irish Sea.
Can you guarantee the
government won't accept any deal
ensuring the north doesn't remain in
the customs union and the single
Someone forgot to share the
details with the DUP. Surely there
are 1.5 billion reasons why the run
is there really shouldn't have
forgotten to share with the DUP?
will ensure there is no hard border
between the north and the south of
Ireland. We will do that while we
respect the constitutional integrity
of the United Kingdom.
Do you feel
you are making any progress
I'm not making any
comment at this stage. Thank you
There will be no hard border and we
will uphold the Belfast agreement.
am satisfied that sufficient
progress has now been made on the
Irish issues. The parameters have
been set and they are good.
the very clear confirmation that the
entirety of the United Kingdom is
leaving the European Union leaving
the single market and the customs
Joining me now are Claire Hanna
of the SDLP, the Ulster Unionist
MEP Jim Nicholson,
and the Alliance Party's deputy
leader, Stephen Farry.
Claire, first of all, a good deal so
far or... Not so much? I think we
are very glad of a breakthrough for
a start because tensions were high
and that is never a good thing for
anybody and I think in terms of what
has been agreed we think it is yes
broadly positive. You concerned it
could slip away? Of course it
occurred. Hardline Brexit is --
brexiteers are already making their
pitch. In terms of the future deal
we should be watched, if the prime
ministers says the deal is not
binding... I think it is positive
that in the bottom line if the
magical solution that the brexiteers
don't actually materialise,
essentially single market actors
seem to be back on the table and I
believe that over time there are
many people who will grab that with
open arms. We are glad that there is
a move on through this particular
gate that the potential for a
catastrophic no deal is essentially
off the table but there is a long
way to run and it is important to
say that Northern Ireland should not
sit here like babies as it goes on
over our head and we have agency and
this and we should do whatever we
Jim Nicholson you have a voice
in Brussels and can influence the
discussions. Bats in a way that
others can't because you are an MEP.
Is it so far so good, eight good
start, something to be built on?
There is something to be built on. I
have always maintained that you
couldn't have solved the problem of
the border which becomes a border
when the UK leaves Europe, a border
between the European Union and the
United Kingdom, that is what for me
a lots of people didn't understand
and I think for me now this could
have been better but there is no
point dwelling upon that because we
want to go to the next phase and you
bet your bottom dollar as we sit
here today in Brussels they are
drawing up who is going to be in
charge of the next agenda, next ago
sitting position and Hugh will be
looking at the last one while Mr
Davies said on every occasion he
lost the argument to Michel Barnier,
and the last negotiations were
conducted on a total EU agenda. If
the UK doesn't get some reality back
into the situation on the next
negotiations if they continue to
allow looking at the situation Boris
Johnson saying as far as Europe was
concerned they could go whistle for
their money, it is 40 billion,
that's a big whistle.
one. Briefly on this, some people
are now making the case that there
is a need perhaps in future for
Northern Ireland MEPs do continue to
have a voice in Brussels because if
we are looking at alignment and
there are changes in future who
would speak up for Northern Ireland
in that situation? The only person
could do it with out the UK being
there would be Leo Varadkar or the
Taoiseach, would you still like to
be in Brussels making that case?
That's an interesting point. It
relates to some of these things
indeed because for me as we go
forward we had to see what full
alignment means, how it will be
implemented, how it would be
implemented and I understand this
morning there have been calls of
that into question and yes you are
right, that once the UK leaves as
far as we would be concerned there
would be nobody at the Council for
That is a yes? Go on, spit it
I am not going to accept
that Dublin will be sitting at the
table representing on this issue.
there a case for the keeping of the
MEPs of Northern Ireland?
a case for a lot of things an the
road. We are only at the starting
line as far as these negotiations
are concerned. This has taken 18
months and if we don't go along the
next one the next one will take a
long time, I don't think it is a
given us for as Europe is concerned
talking to Europeans, not my own
personal view but as far as
Europeans concerned they won't let
us have our cake and eat it.
Farry I think the deal on Friday has
been given a welcome by your party.
How consonant are you that the way
things turn as they often do in high
politics that the whole thing could
be unfixable for it is dry?
there is a lack of realism as Italy
with the DUP and the UK Government
as to what they are signed up in
practice. Sammy Wilson was pretty
relaxed this morning. But if they
are relaxed I am prepared to be a
lot more generous, and protecting
the Northern Ireland economy that is
a good thing. What has been agreed
here it is first of all the
protection of the Good Friday
Agreement and secondly avoidance of
a hard border, those are innocent of
the two fixed points in this
Is it possible to
It is possible but
that is the point I'm trying to
stress. It is useful to talk this in
terms of the three red lines of the
UK Government. The mini customs
union and single market, ruling out
special measures for Northern
Ireland, and they want avoiding a
hard border. Only two of those can
be true at anyone time. They have
now said firmly there will be no
border sites unless they give on
either one of those issues, the EU
don't want regulatory alignment and
they have to recognise this will be
fairly broad. Unless you have
something that is very comprehensive
then you will see a border returning
in some shape or form. And that
means potentially in essence full
participation in the single market
which we are calling for. This is a
not a case of voluntary alignment of
the UK as a whole, trying to meet
the single market and it is a
two-way process so there has to be
recognition. Investors coming into
Northern Ireland in future need to
know what type of legal governments
then the regime will be invested in.
Claire Hanna when you look at some
of the things in the papers over the
weekend lots of people have been
saying, people involved in the
negotiations and commenting upon
them with a lot of experience of the
process up to now have been saying
this deal is a political deal as you
have said yourself rather than a
legal deal. But it tries to be all
things to all men and women. And it
is not actually possible at the end
of the day. We aren't sure how it
will be shaped and summary will be
Yes if you look at the
history of the last few months I
think it is clear who will end up
disappointed because as was
articulated before, the London
government had a number of red
lines, all of which they have had to
accept circles can't be squared.
Part of the problem for London is
that they don't have an opening
position, if the trade talks are
ready to talk in the New Year, they
have never worked out what will be
want to add the other side of them,
they have only gone so far as sound
bites. This negotiation provides
bottom lines, and some fundamentals
that we don't think can be breached
and yes you are right, the flesh has
to be put on these bones that have
come out this week but I still think
they won't have been able to sell
that anyway. I think single market
would be best, we don't want any
border north-south we don't want any
border East-West either. Well it is
a soft or hard Brexit lots of people
will wonder why you pay the divorce
bill and cohabit will stop why would
you go to this process and end up
with something that is Brexit light,
all of the pain that will be
involved with the coming years with
the £40 billion that Claire has
referred to, something where you are
following the regulations in the
single market and the customs union
That's a question would have to go
back... No point trying to refight
the recommend am. With the benefit
of hindsight, if we look at it now,
both sides in the referendum did not
do themselves an awful lot of
justice with the money coming back
from the health service etc. But we
are where we are today. The people
of the UK spoke and made it very
clear. I made my position clear at
the time and as Sammy Wilson said
earlier on, in life you don't always
get everything you want. We are in a
situation where we are going to have
to go forward and what will be the
end result, remains to be seen.
it worth going to refight that
battle again and was the customs
union -- was worth leaving in the
My hunch on this is
that we will end up with a little
Brexit to satisfy the first
referendum and in that is important
to separate the politics from the
economic. Northern Ireland will be
exiting in a political and
constitutional way. But the key
thing is to separate the economics
in Northern Ireland. It has to
recognise east-west and north-south
access. We need to have both in
unison to survive and to really
succeed as a society. Alone -- a lot
of the talk has been about defending
things. We have to recognise that
our economy is still underperforming
with infrastructure we --
weaknesses. We need spending to help
us develop things. Turning our backs
on the world will not help.
to go back to the document which has
been referred to, there are
contradictions in it. Is it possible
for everything contained in it to be
delivered? Or will one phrase, one
element of its knockout another?
There is a lack of clarity in the
document. It is purposely vague...
Full of constructive ambiguity.
know all about this with the Good
Friday Agreement and have the types
of agreements work. Or at least
necessarily a bad thing?
No, but as
we have seen with the previous
speakers, there is already a
difference of opinion certainly on
the EU and British side with regard
to what this term, full alignment,
means. Does it mean very limited
areas of? Six areas, orders are
applied to 146 areas of plus the all
Ireland economy that has developed
since the 1998 agreement? All that
will be fleshed out. This document
is almost aspirational. The
Taoiseach use the Tama bullet-proof.
I have heard future proof mentioned,
and I don't agree because the
opening caveat is that nothing is
agreed until everything is agreed.
And significantly and not
surprisingly, we have heard
Unionists saying that that is the
key phrase. All of this is
hypothetical but at the end of the
day it has to be agreed for it to
Of course it has too,
for unionism because Unionism has to
have the best representation for
Northern Ireland in the UK. But
Brexit is going to be largely
apolitical process. That is the
divorce. The trade issue will often
be the soft side of things. The soft
side of Brexit will be how we put
together the trade arrangement. This
has been a good week for Theresa May
and for the DUP in the sense that
they have had things that were
already there but they have acted be
able to say that to their
supporters. And a good week for Leo
Varadkar. Fine Gael have risen to
40% in the polls. Interesting that
the politics around this is creating
winners and losers and very clearly,
when we heard Jim Allister on Friday
night and the Nigel Farage, this
Brexit is not what those who voted
for it are naturally going to get.
It will not be that. A quick word on
the return to Stormont. Does it put
pressure on the parties in Stormont
to shape the debate?
Most of us
would say this is above our pay
grade but it does put pressure on
them. Brexit is not about trade
alone, it is about interdependence,
relationships, taking those
questions as to whether you look
East - West and North- South.
on that, doesn't put pressure on
Stormont coming back sooner rather
Beyond doubt. If you
have to have full alignment, you
need a parliament to enact it. No
matter what it is.
publish our own paper -- when we
published our own paper we said that
this agreement was devolution max.
Ensuring we work to find that we can
do things differently when needed to
get the best both worlds.
That is a
huge challenge. Then we get into the
transition talks and then the trade
talks. Thank you all very much
That's it for now -
we've got a special edition
of The View coming up this Thursday.
We'll be live from Brussels as EU
leaders meet, we presume,
to ratify the deal and move
discussions on towards the all
important trade talks.
Do join me for that
at 10:40 on BBC One.
For now, though, goodbye.