Sarah Smith and Mark Carruthers with the latest political news, interviews and debate. The political panel comprises Camilla Tominey, Steve Richards and Tom Newton-Dunn.
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and welcome to the Sunday Politics.
I'm Sarah Smith.
And for the last time in 2017,
this is your guide to the big
political stories making the news
this Sunday morning.
Theresa May says she's silenced
the doubters by securing a deal
for Britain in the first phase
of the Brexit negotations.
Now attention turns to the much
bigger task of deciding our future
relationship with the EU.
She'll be discussing that
with her cabinet this week,
but with so many huge unresolved
questions about life after Brexit,
can we possibly expect
seasonal goodwill to break out
across the Tory party
and the country?
And I'm here at stunning Warwick
Castle to find out whether people
Hello and welcome to Sunday Politics
in Northern Ireland.
It's been a year dominated
by negotiations -
at Stormont and in Brussels.
But as the Brexit negotiations
move forward, I'll ask
Sinn Feins Michelle O'Neill
what hope she sees
of a Stormont return?
Join me in half an hour.
All that coming up in the programme,
our final show of the year.
Think of it as
our early Christmas present,
one I'm afraid you can't
take back to the shops.
And joining me today,
Fleet Street's answer
to Santa's little helpers,
Tom Newton Dunn,
Camilla Tominey and Steve Richards.
Well, we began the year
talking about Brexit,
and we'll finish talking about...
you've guessed it, Brexit.
And there have been big developments
in just the past week,
which saw Theresa May go from hero
to zero, to somewhere in between.
Seasonal goodwill spread
through the Conservative Party
on Monday, when Theresa May reported
back to Parliament on her deal to
move Brexit talks on to phase two.
When people like me, Brexiteers,
look at the alternative,
namely the Labour government,
a Labour government staying
in the single market forever
and having no control over
immigration, it's amazing
how our minds are concentrated
in support of the Prime Minister.
Across these benches,
in congratulating the Prime Minister
on securing this agreement.
That Christmas cheer
did not last long.
On the eve of the European
summit to ratify the deal,
the EU Withdrawal Bill was
back in the Commons.
The Government avoided defeat
on several amendments,
but then came former
Attorney General Dominic Grieve
and his call for MPs
to have a meaningful vote
on the final Brexit deal.
Brexit Secretary David Davis
tried to head off the rebellion
with a letter to backbenchers.
In the final hour,
there was a last-ditch offer.
It wasn't enough.
It's too late. I'm sorry.
You cannot, you cannot treat
the House in this fashion.
The Prime Minister suffered
her first defeat on government
business of her premiership.
The ayes to the right, 309.
The noes to the left, 305.
Labour were delighted.
The Prime Minister tried a power
grab, tried to push through the EU
Withdrawal Bill without proper
Parliamentary scrutiny and take
powers away from Parliament.
Parliament resisted tonight.
Brexit supporters were enraged.
One rebel, Stephen Hammond,
was promptly sacked
as vice-chairman of the party.
It was an embarrassment
for Theresa May, not a fatal blow.
On Thursday, she arrived
in Brussels sounding upbeat.
I'm disappointed with the amendment,
but actually the, EU Withdrawal Bill
is making good progress
through the House of Commons,
and we're on course
to deliver on Brexit.
She was applauded by leaders
of the 27 EU member states,
rewarded on Friday with a tweet
from EU Council President Donald
Tusk confirming they had agreed
to move on to phase two
of the talks.
Theresa May," he said.
Mrs May can't put her feet up
for holidays just yet.
The Cabinet will meet this week
to discuss what the future
relationship with the EU will
look like for the first time.
No one's expecting them all to be
singing from the same carol sheet.
But on Friday,
a fresh rebellion over the EU
Withdrawal Bill was headed off,
so peace on earth, or at least
within the Conservative
Party, reigns for now.
But how much longer can that harmony
exist within the Cabinet? I will
talk to the panel about next week's
discussion on the future end state
of our relations with the EU,
because it will be discussed in
Cabinet for the first time. Theresa
May writing in the papers today, she
proved the doubters wrong, is she
She did in the sense that
many people thought she wouldn't get
through the first phase. They found
words to bind all parties together.
That's what she did in the first
phase. She is right in that sense.
The second phase of which this
Cabinet meeting this week will be
just an early tiptoeing on the
Touraine, it will be much more
mountainous and difficult. I suspect
the Cabinet meeting will be merely
exploring some of the themes, and
there will be, for sure, no
resolution as to what the
government's final position will be.
We have seen some themes explored
this week, Philip Hammond yesterday
in China talking about staying
within the EU rules and regulations
during the transition. We have Boris
Johnson in the papers today setting
out a vision for by virgin further
from the EU then people like Hammond
would like. Will that be aired in
Are they going to be
singing from the same carol sheet...
Will they sing from the same
spreadsheet in relation to Philip
Hammond's desires? We note Boris
Johnson speaking today in the Sunday
Times, talking about the notion of
eventual self-governance and a
diverging. You have also got Michael
Gove wanting, during the transition
period, for us to be out of the
common agricultural policy, Albert
the Common fisheries policy, that
will be a difficult issue for them
to discuss. We are not even getting
onto the end trade deal, and which
direction do we want to go in? The
Prime Minister has made clear she
wants Canada plus model as opposed
to a Norway style of agreement,
which to be fair to her, she pointed
out in Florence. She said an EEA
agreement was not what was agreed,
and we don't want to be rule takers.
There is a lot to play for. Two
Cabinet meetings, one of the
subcabinet, the war committee, and
the one on Tuesday following the
parliament really address.
papers have gone on the idea that
Boris is setting out a different
vision of Britain after Brexit, but
is it different to Theresa May in
her Florence Beach?
Not really. This
is no different to what Boris has
said, the Sunday before Christmas,
there had to be a row -- Florence
speech. This is well established
positions, we know what they all
think, and we have all been saying
for a year and a half since the
referendum that am at some stage, it
would have to be crossed. There has
to be a big choice between a
diverging or harmonisation, because
so far, the EU has been binary about
it. It won't be solved in Cabinet
this week or next month, my bet is,
yet again, they will come up with a
fudged to present to the EU, or
Cabinet will fall apart and half of
them will have to leave. Eventually,
it will have to be grasped in the
autumn when the EU say, "You either
have to defecate or get off the
potty, because this is what is in
front of you." The third option was
interesting, at the summit on
Friday, something interesting
happened, which was the EU blinked,
they said, "Move on to trade and
transition." But we are not quite
ready to do trade. We are incredibly
United to begin with, now we don't
know what we want. We have three
months before trade starts in March
for everybody, for the British
Governor, to influence the EU 27 in
their thinking, and come up with a
great third Way, which is cake and
And will be considerably
more corrugated than what we have
done already. Stay there, we will
come back to you during the course
of the programme.
Well, we can speak now
to the Conservative MP
She ruffled some feathers this week
when she said that pro-European
Tories who rebelled
on the EU Withdrawal Bill
should be deselected.
Thank you for joining us. Can we
talk first about the transition, or
implementation period, two years
after we leave the EU, a number of
your colleagues have expressed a
number of serious concerns about the
idea we will be following EU rules
and regulations during that period,
how worried are you about that?
think everybody's concerned about
that. The important thing is, we get
this period, this transition period,
through and done as quickly as
possible. Therefore, we have to
reach agreement. The reason why it
needs to be done as quickly as
possible is because it is in
Britain's interests, it is in the
interest of business, who required
stability and security, and
confidence moving forward. We've do
need to get to this position as
quickly as possible. The rebels from
last week are going to have to
explain why, if they don't think we
should leave the Commons fishery
policy, why that would not be in
Britain's interest. There is a lot
up for debate going forward.
Chancellor made it clear that he
would be replicating the status quo
during this transition period. That
doesn't mean leaving the common
fisheries policy or die vaulting in
any way from EU rules. -- by
During his budget speech,
he himself talk about the uniqueness
of Britain. It took about my own
constituency and area, which will
become a tech corridor. So he has
highlighted areas where we can
divert, which is in high-tech. We
can do it in that area, we can do it
in my constituency, like art we do
it in other areas...
The point he
was talking about was, yesterday, he
said, we would be subject to all old
rules and regulations during that
It also depends how long
that period is going to be. Most
reasonable and sensible people can
accept a period of time when we need
to have those discussions, and when
we will abide by those rules. The
problem is, what we don't want to
see is Brexit constantly kicked into
the long grass as we go further and
further forward, and Brexit never
seems to be actually happening.
There has to be an endgame.
Everybody wants to see that. If we
can't see that quickly enough, then
we do have to have these unique and
these individual situations where we
may need to pull out of certain
Talking about the
endgame, that is what the Cabinet
will discuss this week, we know
there will be a debate inside there,
and people like Philip Hammond the
Chancellor will argue that we stay
closely aligned to EU rules and
regulations even after we have
finally left, how worried are you
about those so-called soft
Brexiteers prevailing in Cabinet?
Gosh, do you know... I'm not sure
they will prevail. I trust Theresa
May, I trust David Davies, I trust
Amber Rudd. I trust all of the
people in Cabinet to reach an
agreement. And because what they
will be doing is reaching an
agreement in Britain's interest and
the interest of Parliament, and the
interest of Brexit. All of those
people in Cabinet stood on a
manifesto in 2017 to deliver Brexit,
and they have to do that in a way
which the British people, who
democratically exercised their vote,
would like to see. Otherwise they
will lose the support of the British
You say you trust the
Cabinet to deliver Brexit, do you
trust all of your Tory MP colleagues
to do so?
Well, I hope so. Can I
just say, I know the rebels are
being lauded as he arose from whence
they not, can I tell you who the
real heroes are in all of this, they
are the Conservative MPs, not the
Labour MPs, but the Conservative MPs
who believed in Remain, who
campaigned for Remain, during the EU
referendum, but stood on a manifesto
to deliver Brexit, and they are the
people who are the unsung heroes,
who are backing the government and
backing Theresa May, and doing so
because they know that is their duty
to do so. Some of the rebels could
perhaps learn a lesson from some of
their Remain colleagues, who know
the right thing to do is to deliver
Brexit, because that was voted for a
You are being
quite Conser Liege reef, --
consulate tree, but you did at the
time tweaked that they should be
deselected and never allowed to
stand as Tory MPs again, have you
changed your mind about that?
Gosh... I don't know if I have
changed my mind, but what I meant at
the time was, most of these rebels
voted for the private members' Bill
to have a referendum. They stood on
a manifesto in 2015 to deliver that
referendum. And then they stood
again on a manifesto in 2017 to
implement Brexit. I think, to go
back on those promises, that they
were elected to honour, it is
something for their associations to
discuss and consider...
they gone back on those promises?
They would say they still want to
intimate Brexit, they just want
Parliament to have control over that
rather than the executive.
don't believe they do. I believe
what they have deliberately tried to
do right from the moment of the
referendum result is to frustrate
and delay Brexit, and I believe this
is a very active tactic they are
using. No, I do believe they are
honouring the promise they stood on
in the 20 Zinedine manifesto. They
should put trust in David Davies and
the Prime Minister. Rather than make
life difficult for the Prime
Minister when she is leaving to go
to Brussels for further
negotiations, trust the Prime
Minister and assist the Prime
Minister. That is what they have
been elected to do. There is a
Conservative government that has
been elected on a manifesto to
From the beginning, they have gone
out of their way to delay and
frustrate this, and they need to
stop doing it.
Anna Soubry, one of
the rebels, writing in the Mail on
Sunday, says that calls for rebels
to be deselected mean the Tories now
have their own blue momentum
I do, I am sure he does.
frequently voted with your
conscience, you voted against Tory
primaries does in the past and
rebelled against the whip, why is it
I voted many times
against the government, I am a
self-declared rebel, but I do it at
a time, you have to choose your
rebellions carefully. What I would
say is different now is that we have
a Marxist government knocking on the
door. We have a full mandate from
the British public to deliver
Brexit, they voted for it in the
referendum. These MPs stood on that
promise in 2017, today is very
different. What happened on
Wednesday night was the rebels put a
spring in the step of Labour MPs.
The party in Jeremy Corbyn's office
could be heard in the car park
outside. It has made life difficult
for us to keep that Marxist
government out of power eventually.
They have helped Labour MPs find
their mojo one is again. We don't
want that to happen. We have an
important situation that has not
been seen since wartime. The
response ability was to support the
Nadeem, thank you for
talking to us this morning.
We can speak now to one
of the leading pro-EU
Conservative MPs, Ken Clarke.
He's in Nottingham.
Thank you for joining us this
Glad to be here.
I hope you
could hear Nadine Dorries, she says
rebels, you and others, but voted
against the government on Wednesday,
are trying to reverse Brexit.
have succeeded in getting into all
of this personal stuff, but I do
think she is aiming it at me. I am a
member of the government that led us
into Europe and the single market, I
did not vote in the referendum, and
my constituents have no doubts about
my views. The 20 Zinedine manifesto
was produced after I had been
adopted as a candidate, no one sent
me a copy, and I haven't ever seen a
copy of it. Let's get back to the
big issues, which are how do we
preserve the future prosperity of
this country? How do we preserve a
leading position in world affairs to
look after our interest? What is the
best thing to do for the interests
of our children and our
grandchildren? All of these other
things, the right-wing newspaper
rubbish,, it is trying to get a Tory
equivalent of momentum.
Do you think
that the way to preserve the things
you talk about is to put reverse
I don't think we can do
that. I was in the small minority
when I voted against in -- invoking
Article 50. The party is moving
towards Brexit, the country will see
Brexit. Suddenly turning Brexit into
a proposal, we have big lorry parks,
customs officers, so different
market regulations, you know,
different rules about backing
cleaner noise, that was not what the
referendum was about. More
importantly, it will do great damage
to our economy, it could cost
thousands of jobs and make the
country much mess less attractive.
We have now got to try to reach an
agreement that produces a sensible,
sensible political and economic
future for this country in the real
world, not in the slightly childish
world of knock about politics.
confident are you the Cabinet will
come to that compromise when they
start to discuss things this week?
We keep having public statements,
which are rather alarming, but I am
reasonably confident that they can.
What are you alarmed by in the
public state was?
You are trying to
get me to go on about Boris, out of
line with what apply Mr has done.
But the Chancellor has a duty to
actually look after the British
economy, to make sure business is
not deterred from coming to this
country, to make sure we keep our
markets in Europe, and in the rest
of the world, as intact as we can. I
think the Cabinet will rally around
Theresa May made pretty clear
in her Florence speech that what we
will leave the supermarket, the
customs unit, and there fetch you
ruled out the post Brexit future?
Lancaster House was the first time
anyone had interpreted, anyone in
authority, had interpreted the
referendum result to mean that. It
does give rise to problems. What
they have now got to address is the
problems that arise. It started with
last week, we suddenly faced
Ireland, which nobody had mentioned,
which is an insult to the people of
Northern Ireland and Republic of
Island, really we agreed then, we
must keep the border open with
regulatory convergence on both
sides. It applies to Dover and
Folkestone, and we won't get
planning permission for the lorry
parks we would need if we rush on
abandoning the single market in
March, 2019, we have brought coming.
Let's not into Gibraltar. It would
make the Irish problems looked like
a picnic. You will have a lot of
adage businesses wondering where on
earth Britain is going unless we now
interpret policy of the Florence
speech and move on from the Florence
speech, which was a big move
forward, move on from the fact that
we finally settled these three quite
simple issues that had to be settled
about our withdrawal, which could
have been months ago had it not been
for the troubles.
We need to get onto a sensible
economic future worked out by people
prepared to read the brief and who
know something about trade,
investment and business in the
modern, globalised economy.
vote last week, in which Parliament
now gets a meaningful say on the
Brexit deal, do you interpret that
to mean that parliament could send
the Prime Minister back to Brussels
to renegotiate a different deal if
Parliament doesn't like it, so your
views have to be taken into account
with the final deal?
this country is based on all
governments having to take the views
of Parliament into account. It's
difficult when Parliament is a small
majority where there is confusion,
because the issue cuts across party
lines, that makes it more difficult,
but it was a mistake to invoke the
royal prerogative, a mistake to try
and avoid Parliament revoked. In the
end, this is determining our future
for the next generation or two on
difficult issues that Parliament
will have to approve before
government can get a deal. That
should strengthen Theresa May and
David Davis's hands in the
negotiations because, just like the
other 27 negotiators, they will have
to say that they can't deliver
things which they can't get past
their own parliament.
reported this morning that Heidi
Allen, a Conservative MP who
rebelled against the government last
week, is facing threats of
deselection. You are perfectly safe
in your constituency, are you? What
do you think of the other rebels
I don't think my
constituents have any doubts about
my views, not all of my association
agree with me, but I have never
fallen out with anybody personally
because of political differences. I
think this is all nonsense. It's
caused by the rubbish that keeps
appearing in the right-wing
newspapers, which have completely
lost their heads over the whole
thing. It is totally absurd to say
this is helping Jeremy Corbyn, it is
weakening Theresa May and all the
rest of it. Here we are, three days
after the vote took place, and
Theresa May is no weaker and she was
after that. Jeremy Corbyn is not
marching towards Downing Street.
What we voted for is a Parliamentary
accountability of the government.
Nothing to do with blocking Brexit,
and it is utterly idiotic few of our
association members in various parts
of country start interpreting this
as the start of some sort of purge
of backbench members of conscience.
Eurosceptics have been voting
against the government for the last
30 years, and nobody on my side of
the argument has ever gone round
saying they should be expelled from
the party and sent to darkness. It
is a broad church, it is a
free-market party with a strong
social conscience, and it has been a
pro-European party for the first 50
years of my membership.
for talking to us, and I'll come
back to the panel. He says the Prime
Minister was not weakened by that
vote, and neither was Jeremy Corbyn
emboldened. Is he right?
right. What the vote did was point
out what we all secretly knew. She
wasn't further weakened by it, she
was weakened by the general election
result. She was always going to be
in this predicament without a
majority. That vote reminded
everybody of how weak she is and
will continue to be as this entire
from people like Nadine Dorries is
that this helps Labour and
intentionally offers in a Corbyn
government is any truth in that?
There was a perception of truth
because of how close he got to
number ten, which took us by
surprise on election night, apart
from you, who got it right. But
equally I think there was a sense
with Theresa May's own popularity,
and recent polling is said that the
Conservatives are gaining an Jeremy
Corbyn, which is perhaps explained
by the fact that people are unclear,
despite numerous explanations by
Keir Starmer, shadow Brexit
Secretary, on the Labour opposition.
They appear to have backtracked on
their manifesto and want close
alignment, if not remaining in the
supermarket and customs union, which
is anathema to anybody who voted for
Brexit an Jeremy Corbyn and Labour,
and equally I think it's interesting
that, once we take ourselves out of
Westminster bubble, some of the talk
on the streets about Theresa May's
apparent weakness is misplaced. A
lots of people think she has shown
resilience and they appreciate she
is in a difficult political mess, in
terms of her lack of a larger
majority and the rest of it, but I
think she was pity David after
coughing gate, and I think that has
turned into grudging admiration for
the fact that she has defied the
people who said it would be
impossible and managed to get to the
second phase of negotiations.
think what we got with the vote was
recognition that this is a hung
parliament. In a hung Parliament,
government get defeated. . This is
new to us because we had the
coalition which a majority and the
Labour and Thatcher landslide eras,
but in the 70s, the key moments that
Labour government defeated again and
again, this one will. It's not that
she is inherently weak as a
personality, she is just in a weak
position. There was a majority
forming. It probably could have been
bigger. In favour of that amendment
last week. It will happen again
because the House of Commons is in a
different place on Europe than she
What was fascinating is
that Nadine Dorries and those of her
like said, you weakened her, nobody
will take seriously in Brussels, but
she went and she got love oned. It
had an inverse effect. -- love oned.
Using weakness as a strength.
And you can find more Brexit
analysis and explanation on the BBC
website, at bbc.co.uk/brexit.
Let's turn now to Labour.
As 2017 draws to a close they've got
plenty to feel upbeat about,
although they could have to wait
another four and a half years
for a chance to form a government.
The party says it's ready,
but do the public agree?
Elizabeth Glinka took the entirely
to the constituency of Warwick
and Leamington, a former
Conservative seat snatched
by Labour in June.
This week, Theresa May
faced her first defeat
in the House of Commons -
and, if you speak to Labour
activists, they will tell
you a general election could be just
around the corner, and they are more
than ready to form a government.
So we've come here to
Warwick Castle to ask people,
is Labour ready or not ready?
No, definitely not.
I don't like the Labour leader.
It's the first time I've been asked
about politics here in the castle.
I think they are ready.
Absolutely not ready.
They don't seem to have any strong
policies and every time you hear
them arguing against the Government
they are just negative.
There's not a positive,
I came from a country
which was Communist for a long time.
It terrifies me when I hear
some of their ideas.
Although I don't like
the other guys, too.
Would you say the Labour Party
is ready for government?
I'll take that as a yes.
I remember British Rail
before it was privatised.
It was dreadful.
I would say ready.
I think that the Tory party
are totally focused on Brexit.
They are not looking at any
of the other problems,
the NHS, housing, transport,
everything else that's
going on in the country,
and I think the Labour Party
would look at those other issues.
They're not clear on their policies
and a lot of infighting,
so I just don't think they are ready
to be in charge yet.
Thank you for this.
There is never a knight
around when you need one.
I'd go with ready.
I think, from what we've got
at the moment, I think
give them a chance.
OK, let's go for it then.
Not ready, maybe because I don't
think the Shadow Chancellor
is at all suitable.
They can't do any worse
than what we've already got
at the moment, so I think time
for a change.
Would you say the Labour Party is
ready or not ready for government?
Why is that?
Not ready, because they are still
bickering amongst themselves.
Because I am fed up
with the Conservative government.
I feel we need a change.
OK, so why did you go for not ready?
I just don't think they have
what it takes just yet.
Well, only eight more
sleeps till Christmas,
and I'm afraid Jeremy Corbyn may not
like his present this year.
The visitors here to Warwick Castle
say that Labour is not
ready for government.
Right, better get the rest
of these presents delivered.
Elizabeth Glinka with
the decidedly unscientific
moodbox at Warwick Castle.
Well, I'm joined now
by the shadow justice
secretary Richard Burgon,
he's in Leeds.
Good morning, Sarah.
We were told in the summer that
Jeremy Corbyn reportedly said he
would be Prime Minister by
Christmas. It doesn't look as though
it is likely to happen. Will he be
in Number Ten by next Christmas, do
Who knows, all we can say
is we will be ready for another
general election when it take place
and we are ready to go the full
course is that needs to be the case
In order to be ready for an
election, it will be important to
have a clear position on Brexit, and
in fairness the Labour opposition
there has been some clarity in the
last couple of weeks on bad, and it
appears the wants to stay much
closer to EU rules and regulations
than the Conservative Party.
Labour wants to do is to reach a
position where we have a good
relationship with the EU has Brexit,
because Britain is leaving the
European Union and Labour accepts
and respect the outcome of the
referendum, and we want a post
Brexit Britain where the economy and
jobs is put first, not fixated on
structures. That is the end goal we
want to reach, will return as they
good trading relationship with the
EU and the rest of the world. --
where Britain has a good trading
relationship. And we want to protect
environmental rights and workers as
The Tories would say they are
interested in those things as well
but there has to be a structure
around this when we have an in-state
relationship with the EU. Is it fair
to say you want a closer
relationship than the government is
We have set out the
vision of what we want in terms of
Britain post Brexit. The problem
that Theresa May as with negotiating
is that, at the same time as
negotiating with Brussels, she has
two negotiate with her backbenchers
and the extreme caucus in the
Conservative Party who are
ideological fixated on structures
and the ECJ, and that raised -- that
has really weakened her, as we saw
We will have to have
answers on those questions. If you
say you are ready to form a
government within the next year,
Labour needs clear answers on these
questions about whether or not you
would ever consider a continuing
role for the European Court of
Justice, for instance.
We see it as
common sense that the ECJ should
play a role in the transition
We are open
minded, because every trade deal
these institutions to protect and
oversee that deal. Seems like common
Tom Watson has said that he
wouldn't rule out a second
referendum on Brexit, and Jeremy
Corbyn a few weeks ago in Lisbon
said something similar. Would you be
in favour of a second referendum?
Labour isn't calling for a second
But Tom Watson said he
wouldn't run it out.
It could be the
case that Theresa May caves
wouldn't run it out.
It could be the
case that Theresa May caves in and
starts asking for another
referendum, I doubt that we are not
in government I can say clearly we
are not arguing for a second
referendum, and I think that was
made clear on Andrew Marr earlier
today by Diane Abbott.
end relationship between the UK and
EU, is it important you and to
Labour that we see lower levels of
immigration from the EU?
We want to
put the economy and jobs first and,
if you listen to the public sector
and the NHS, the care sector, they
are clear that the role EU migrants
have played and are playing is
essential to growth, essential to
the private sector, but also
essential to our NHS as well.
sounds like you don't want lower
levels of immigration after we
We want to put jobs and
economy first, we want fair and
reasonably managed migration, but
free movement as it is will end when
Britain leaves the EU and we will
need a new arrangement that is fair
and reasonably managed. We want to
put and the public economy first.
The Conservatives have a bad track
record of making headline grabbing
false promises on immigration but
never meeting those targets.
an enthusiastic supporter of Richard
Leonard, the new leader of the
Scottish Labour Party. You have
called him an inspiring socialist in
the past. Are you hoping the UK
Labour manifesto will copy some of
his rather more radical Labour
It is for the Scottish Labour
Party to decide Scottish policy.
do you want to some of his ideas
We agree on
most things, and Richard Leonard
supported the UK wide manifesto in
2011, he enthusiastically supported
the minimum wage rise, taking
railways back into public ownership.
What about the idea for a one-off
wealth tax, 1% of the total wealth
of the richest 10% being paid?
is a matter for the Scottish Labour
But would you like the same
thing adopted nationwide?
manifesto isn't decided by Shadow
Cabinet members making declarations
on the Sunday Politics.
But you are
allowed a view.
Our manifesto was
reached on a consensus basis, not
only the Shadow Cabinet and
Parliamentary Labour Party but with
members all over the country. We are
now the biggest political party in
Western Europe. It will be for me to
be making policy decisions live on
air. We believe in the politics of
consensus and collectivism and we
will be taking that forward with our
Some viewers may not
know that, as well as being a Labour
MP, you present a heavy metal show
on your local radio station, so we
have a click to listen to.
The new album of Vallenfyre
is called Fear Those Who Fear Him,
and it's so heavy, it feels painful
to listen to, in a good way.
Let's see if you agree.
This song is by Vallenfyre and it's
called An Apathetic Grave.
METAL GUITAR RIFF.
MUSIC: An Apathetic
Grave by Vallentyre.
Clearly, you are a big heavy metal
band. Jeremy Corbyn told the NME you
listen to everything from Mahler to
piped music, but he has never
mentioned heavy metal. Can you
introduce him to some of your
I could do. Jeremy
has been on the front page of
Kerrang, and what was nice was that
he didn't pretend to like heavy
metal. It's good he set that. Far
more refreshing than when David
Cameron used to pretend to like the
It's coming up to 11:40,
you're watching the Sunday Politics.
And, remember this?
We have agreed that the government
should call a general election.
Not another one!
When we come back, we'll be taking
a look back at the year in politics,
and what a year it's been.
Hello and welcome to Sunday Politics
in Northern Ireland.
It's been a year dominated
by negotiations -
at Stormont and in Brussels.
As progress is made in Belgium,
we'll hear from Sinn Fein's northern
leader about the prospect
of progress here.
The Brexit talks finally moved
to the next phase this week -
and in Brussels I asked
the Irish Minister for
European Affairs what happens next?
This is a backstop. This is in the
absence of a free trade agreement or
a new relationship being developed
pain the UK and the EU and that's
obviously going to be the first port
obviously going to be
the first port of call.
And throughout the programme
we'll have analysis
from Professor Deirdre Heenan
and columnist Newton Emerson.
It's been nearly twelve months
since Michelle O'Neill
succeeded Martin McGuinness
as Sinn Fein's northern leader.
And while she's overseen electoral
success for the party,
the Assembly chamber has sat silent
since March and months of seemingly
endless talks between Sinn Fein
and the DUP have borne no fruit.
And as the European Union
slowly works its way
through the Brexit process,
local politicians have had no formal
voice in the process.
So will 2018 bring better fortunes
for the local political scene?
Michelle O'Neill joins me live
from her Mid-Ulster constituency.
Thanks for joining us. If you had
known a year ago how things were
going to turn out over the past
year, would you still have taken the
Absolutely. Good morning. Of course
I would have. I was very honoured to
take on the role from Martin
McGuinness which was a very good
personal start for me to the year,
but that was quickly followed by the
loss of Martin McGuinness, who
suddenly died. That still continues
to hurt us all in terms of being
able to carry on the work that he
was very much committed to. I think
that of course I would have taken on
the role, knowing that politics is
going to be in our pants down
affair, that you need to be able to
roll with other challengers put in
front of you and giving people hope
for the future.
The whole thing has run into the
sand. You said again this week it is
the DUP's fought that power-sharing
has not been restored. Is that in
fact right because the DUP says it
has no red lines. It goes back into
the executive tomorrow, while your
back doing the job you are being
paid to do has run the country. You
won't have that.
Well, I think the way we need to
look at it is the fact that the DUP
are blocking peoples rights. These
are not silly sod and side dishes
that be dealt with in time. These
are fundamental issues. At the heart
of the Good Friday Agreement was
mutual respect and that is a
principle the DUP have not taken on
board. We need to look after all the
systems we are elected to look after
and they have blocked peoples
rights. Whether that be legacy
inquest rights language rights, so
the blockage firmly falls at the
feet of the DUP. We want to be in
institutions. Sinn Fein believe and
have worked the institutions because
we believe they are right for the
people here, that
they serve the people well.
It only if they work for all of the
people. Throughout the course of
this year the electorate have come
out in the biggest number seen since
the Good Friday Agreement because
they endorse that position. The
difficulty is, you have got a set of
issues that you think you cannot
compromise on, and John O'Dowd told
me recently that Sinn Fein would
compromise on previously made
compromises. So all the compromise
has to happen from the DUP. The
difficulty of them are other issues
now that have come onto the stage
the need to be dealt with as well
which are not being dealt with. Like
Brexit, like the health service
crisis, an education service in
crisis, legacy issue is not
resolved, historical abuse not been
dealt with. You're still holding
fast to the issues that are primary
concern to you where the other
issues are not being resolved.
Well, of course, these issues are
not a primary concern. They're not
just Sinn Fein's issues, they are
society's issues. If you look at the
year that has been and the issues at
the heart of the political impasse,
take the Good Friday Agreement, a
quality of esteem, aim mutual
respect, if that does not happen the
Government does not serve people
well. I believe the people
understand exactly what this is all
about, what the current political
impasse is all about. I want to be
backing institutions, want to go in
and tackle the issues of public
austerity which has been a direct
impact of the Government's impact
here. I want to tackle the issues of
historical abuse, I want to be in
the institutions and standing up for
the majority of people here have
voted to remain within the European
But it is your choice to play it in
this particular way. Nobody is
denying for a second that there are
lots of issues that need to be
resolved and need to be worked
through and they are very difficult
issues, clearly. But you need to
stand at the side of the pitch,
holding the ball, you are refusing
to hold the ball. The DUP's position
is bring the ball onto the pitch
with you and let's play the game
together, let's work our way through
it like mature adults. Why don't you
meet them halfway?
We have met them have way many
times. They have to serve all the
people. They have an innate
repeatedly on their agreements both
privately and publicly. They failed
to deliver rights for all citizens.
That is not a good Government. That
is not a Government people have
confidence in. Will only serve the
people of people believe in them and
they think there are politicians
elected to deliver for them. I want
to give hope to people because I do
believe that this can be done. But
it can only be done there is
political will that. If you look at
the year that has from the start of
the year were recorded an end to the
arrogance and disrespect. If you
look at the fact that people are now
alive to politics because of the
political situation here but also
because of Brexit, if you look at
the fact that there is now a
Nationalist revival, I think all of
this and contributed about the
people are now participating in
democracy. They're making sure their
voices heard. That is the kind of
society I want to be part of the
society I want to be a political
The Minister for foreign affairs
says he has spoken at length to the
Secretary of State. Progress has
been made. There is a must take
opportunity to get an executive
back. You've said the current
process is dead and water but you
did speak to the Secretary of State
on Thursday, I understand, can you
tell people that there is the
possibility of talks getting under
way sooner rather than later? And
that our politicians might actually
get back to the job that we are
currently paying them to do?
Sinn Fein for a party of dialogue.
We're always open to conversation
and we're always open wanting to
resolve the current political
impasse. But the definition, and we
keep doing the same way, and
expecting to get a different
outcome. We have had a DUP
disinterested, disengaged, but
perhaps too concerned about the
interests of people in Bristol,
London from across the water, then
they have been about people here. So
I think that if we're going to have
any kind of meaningful process, and
it has to be meaningful because we
can't go back at hamster wheel, and
keep talking the issues out. What we
need is years resolution. The
blockage is firmly at the feet of
the DUP. Sinn Fein will not be able
to re-establish those institutions.
We wholeheartedly believe in them
and I need a Unionist partner in
Government. I want to lead, the
principle of the Good Friday
Agreement is how we come together. I
need a union is partying in
Government who will deliver rights
for all citizens, who is prepared to
deal with issues of sectarianism in
our society and heal the wounds of
We have heard you say that before
and the DUP interprets things in a
different way. I just wonder, on a
wider issue, if you don't feel
completely sidelined by the current
state of affairs, Sinn Fein has been
totally marginalised by not been
able to use as big as platform which
is the Stormont Assembly and a key
position of Deputy First Minister.
While big decisions are being taken
in Belfast, London and stand with
that ball on the side of the pitch
You need to get back onto that pitch
as soon as possible.
I don't agree with you. We are
firmly on the pitch. If you look at
how influential we have been able to
be in terms of holding the Dublin
Government to account and making
sure they stand up to the national
interest and protect the Good Friday
He is getting on and doing it. He is
paying no attention to you.
If you let me finish. We have been
able to hold the Irish Government's
speech to the fire. Our MEPs have
been extremely effective making sure
the other EU 27 member states
actually understand origin
acceptance answers here. I feel very
confident about the position and the
role that we play. I myself have
been out in Europe and have engaged
with EU leaders. I will continue to
do that because I will put the
interests of the people first. I
stand up for cross community
majority that voted to remain within
the European Union.
There is another way of looking at
it, with respect.
Let us look at the numbers. Let's
not overplay Sinn Fein's hand here.
You've got seven Westminster seats
out of them. 23 out of 158. 14%. For
seats out of 751 in Europe. That is
half of 1%. You've got very big
ideas of how influential you are.
When you look at the numbers, not so
I think we have been very
influential. I don't agree with you.
We take our seats and we go out use
the position of people give us, the
mandate that people give us to stand
up for the people here. In terms of
the Brexit debate I think we have
very effective and we will continue
to be very effective. We've seen in
the last couple of weeks and move to
the next age, but that is by no
means a final day. We need to be
very, very birds vigilant. If there
was an incision up and running
tomorrow, ourselves and the DP would
not be on the same page. -- DUP.
There won't be one single collective
voice. But I want that. Despite all
the challenges, because I believe
that is how we best serve the
And sorry for cutting a pushy.
Explain to me why, if Sinn Fein is
so influential and so much at the
centre of this ongoing process, 200
representatives from civic
nationalism he had felt it necessary
to write asking for someone to speak
up. They went over your head to
appeal to him to represent because
Northern politicians are not able to
You must be embarrassed by that. Not
at all. I think is great. I think we
should see a lot more of it. I think
that's participating the democracy.
What is great about that?
Look exactly at what they signed up
to. They want equality and respect
in Government in the north. They
want to act in the national interest
and that is what I've been saying.
So I think it is a great thing. I
want to see more people standing up
and articulating their voice. It is
an awakened Nationalist voice to me
is one of the most significant
things we've seen the share.
Rather than people elected in
Northern Ireland to speak up to
them? Because they are not doing
That is what that letter actually
says when you look at it. I don't
agree with you. If you look at any
of the people who went on any of
your programmes this week, that's
not what they meant. It is not an
either or scenario. It is not one
thing or the other. But they were
saying is we are assertive, we're
standing up for our rights, we will
not tolerate being treated as
second-class citizens and. We want
to act for Irish Nationalists
because they have been disrespected
in the current process.
I think it is a very positive thing
I want to see a lot more of it.
will leave it there.
We will leave it there.
Michelle O'Neill, thank you.
Let's hear the thoughts of
Newton Emerson and Deirdre Heenan.
Well, there is no sign of any
compromise coming from Sinn Fein.
That analysis from Michelle is the
same analysis we heard two months
ago, six months ago, ten months ago.
You are going to get a statement now
because the holidays are coming up
and because a British Irish summit
has been announced in the New Year.
It makes no sense for Sinn Fein to
do anything ahead of that to see
what they can get out of it, or to
see if they can pin the blame on him
for getting nothing out of it. There
was not sense in the DUP giving
hostages to fortune. She repeatedly
referred to Nationalist rising in
confidence and a new Nationalist
mood of assertiveness and
confidence. And I wonder if perhaps
this is how Sinn Fein will approach
this whole idea of returning to
Stormont with a mutual respect
because that is a very difficult
thing to prove, on concrete thing
that you can't put that in law. Apps
would be easier for them to go back
to Stormont and say we have more
She was very positive about that
letter from northern nationalism,
civic nationalism, 200 people saying
this is how we see it, this is what
we want and we want him to speak up
in the national interest.
Do you see it that way? It is
complete nonsense. It is designed to
deflect from the fact that they have
delivered nothing. In the last six
months they have lost momentum. You
may say they were about to bring
down institutions at the time but in
the last number weeks it is quite
clear that they had been sidelined.
They have been evident in the con
crustaceans letter man: around
Europe. They fell in comparison to
him. He stood up for Ireland made it
clear what he wants and has not
resigned from that position. They
have no power in Belfast, an
apparent Dublin, no power in London
and nonexistent in Brussels. The
only way they will achieve power is
by getting those institutions back
up and running. A letter? Is that
the best they can do. They need to
understand that with power comes
responsibility. And they have a
responsibility to the people who
voted for them to ensure that their
How much influence to the two main
parties here having all that? I put
those statistics in terms of
influence to Michelle O'Neill. She
makes the case we are very
influential people, listen to us.
The numbers don't necessarily
suggest that. The DUP was not seven
French Open Thursday night.
They were playing a good media game
in Brussels but the fact is, they
keep overreaching. Sinn Fein
proposed its own complete draft on
board a resolution which the
European Parliament completely
ignored because wanted to do up its
own. They are engaging in stunts in
Brussels. But of course Michelle
O'Neill is correct that historical
back together tomorrow there would
not be a consistent view and
regulatory convergence for example.
That is one reason why perform at
the Assembly should look at
reforming the petition of concern so
that the Assembly could reach a
consensus view. It would not be a
see border versus the land border
We'll pause there for just a second.
We'll pause there for just a second.
Not surprisingly, given the absence
of any politics locally,
it's been a week dominated
by Brexit and the border -
here it is in sixty seconds.
Again, Mr Speaker, there are
conflicting statements. This time
between the Brexit secretary and, of
course, the Brexit secretary. So who
is running the UK?
Is it Arlene Foster or the Right
Honourable member for Maidenhead?
Can I thank the Prime Minister for
her personal devotion?
I am grateful for the contributions
that were made us as they do it
That is the main message. We
Europeans have secured the Irish
interest. I hope that some of the
people who perhaps supported Brexit
and campaign for that would realise
or at least acknowledge that they
are the ones who created this
problem and I am one of the people
trying to resolve it.
The border is back in Irish politics
that opens up its own problems, its
Nothing of the last 24 hours has
gone anyway to solving that. But
what Theresa May been able to do is
push that fight into next year.
push that fight into next year.
Finally, on Friday, after weeks
of political turmoil,
that long-awaited agreement
on the first phase of Brexit
negotiations was ratified at the EU
Council summit in Brussels.
The Prime Minister hailed it
as an 'important step on the road
to delivering a smooth and orderly
But there were warnings that
if phase one was tough -
phase two will be tougher.
I was in Brussels for the summit
where I caught up with
the Irish Minister for EU affairs,
Helen McEntee, and I began
by asking her what happens next?
What we need to do now, looking
forward, is essentially take that
agreement, put it into a legally
binding document or treaty, which
would be essentially dubbed for
treaty. We then need to look at the
transition period and to make it
concrete so that we know exactly
what it will look like and what kind
of timeline will be on it as well.
It also, in that time, we need to
start looking at the kind of
framework, as to how phase two will
actually take place and what that
will look like, so obviously phase
one was very distinct with three
clear strands and three clear
focuses. What would face to look
like? Between now and March that is
the work that will happen and then
from March onwards that is when
we're going to start looking at what
kind of a future there will be
between the UK and the rest of the
EU and obviously island wants to
have wanted that phase as soon as
But those will not be formal trade
talks. That will be discussion about
the framework for those trade talks?
Well, I suppose, essentially, they
will be getting into various
different sectors, various different
areas and starting to look at what
that relationship will be because
we're talking about, I suppose, at
the moment a transition period of
two years. To say you couldn't have
a discussion about the future
relationship between now and then,
you know, I don't think that's
possible. Start to look at various
different sectors, various different
industries and how, I suppose, we
can form this relationship and this
agreement that the UK and the rest
of the EU wants to form so that we
have the closest possible
relationship that we can and
obviously, I think, in the absence
of that happening this is why we
have been so, I suppose, consistent
and wanting our very clear
particularly around the Irish uses,
around the border, since insisting
there is no hard border.
In the joint report, which was the
deal on phase one, the UK is
required as a backstop position to
maintain full alignment with the
single market of the customs union.
He was very clear about that over
the conference that that was very
straightforward. It was very simple,
it is not in anyway complicated. He
said he did not need to spin it in
anyway. The reality is, though,
Unionists don't see of the way she
sees it and a lot of conservatives
don't see it way she sees it.
It is open to interpretation.
think the wedding is very clear. And
we've been very consistent
throughout, with our request that
irrespective of what happens there
cannot be a hard border on the
island of Ireland. The wedding is
very specific in the absence of the
trade deal and negotiations
happening between the UK and the
rest of the European Union, there
would be full alignment in relation
to the single market and the customs
union. Areas that pertained to the
Good Friday Agreement. Areas of
cooperation, North and south. So
that is very clear and it means that
the status quo will remain. What we
have now is additional wording from
the first draft of the document that
was previously, in the week, where
there was additional wording to say
that there would be no barriers of
trade between east and west. There
is alignment north and south than
that alignment will then follow
through east and west. So that is
busy something getting into phase
two that have to see how that
One of the policy areas that might
be affected by the maintenance of
full alignment, if that position is
what ultimately happens, do you see
it as a very small number of policy
areas identified in the Good Friday
Could it a lot more than that some
people are suggesting?
I think, when
you look at it in the context of the
wedding, it is very clear we're
talking about the Good Friday
Agreement, we're talking about areas
of cooperation, north and south, we
should be the 142 and possibly more
that haven't been identified yet,
but also the economy.
So it is big. There is a lot of work
I think and what it is very clear
about is it is not just the present,
any changes that might happen into
the future, linked to the economy
and the Good Friday Agreement. So
you have to take that into account.
There is a huge amount of work on it
but obviously again we're saying
that this is a backstop. This is in
the absence of a free-trade
agreement all a new relationship
being developed between the UK and
the EU, and I think that is busy
going to be the first port of call.
Helen McAntee speaking
to me in Brussels.
Phase one is at an end and phase two
is going to be even more difficult.
A lot more needs to be discussed.
What about this issue of maintaining
It means to different things to the
British and Irish governments? It
can mean two different things to the
governments and they cancelled it
out. If we simply allow them to move
to the second stage. Think it's
constructive ambiguity. They will
have to work out what it means. What
Theresa May, she's going back now
having really extracted no
concessions from the EU. She will
conflict in the Cabinet and conflict
within her own party. Already people
in her own party are saying we want
a transition period and if there is
a transition period we don't want to
be partners within the EU making
brooms. So she's got conflict over
the place and she's got to go with a
united front to try to negotiate
with the EU and that'll be
difficulty, putting on that front
and deciding exactly what the UK
want the relationship to look like.
Constructive ambiguity is fine for a
while and then it as an awful habit
And the agreement became more
ambiguous as last week went on. This
all Ireland economy reference that
she mentioned there, that wasn't
there on Monday. Suddenly it has
appeared. The only effect the DUP
had on the deal was to make it worse
from their perspective.
Thank you very much for today and
for your contribution over the last
That's it for now,
and indeed for 2017.
You'll often hear people on TV shows
like this one in December
reflecting on what a momentous year
it's been in politics.
Well, this time we really mean it...
We sent Ellie Price off for a gentle
stroll through the events
that have shaped 2017.
2017 was shaped by what happened
when Theresa May went for a hike
with her husband in April and came
back with a jolly good idea.
I have just chaired a meeting
of the Cabinet where we agreed
that the Government should call
a general election to be
held on the 8th of June.
Not another one!
The path to victory seemed so clear.
Article 50 had been triggered,
the Tories had won a by-election,
and they made big gains
across the country at
the local elections,
at the expense of Ukip,
whose vote collapsed, and Labour.
Yes, we have to go out
there in the next four weeks
and get our message out.
Labour launched a manifesto that
called for the renationalisation
of the water companies and an end
to tuition fees.
This is a programme of hope.
The Tory campaign, by contrast,
is built on one word, fear.
The Tories, meanwhile,
unveiled a document that included
scrapping free school lunches
for children in England and a
shake-up of the social care system.
Let us all go forward together.
But then the way forward wasn't
so obvious, and Theresa May
was forced into a U-turn
on social care.
Nothing has changed.
Nothing has changed.
Then she refused to take part in any
head-to-head televised debates.
The Prime Minister
is not here tonight.
She can't be bothered,
so why should you?
In fact, Bake Off
is on BBC Two next.
It wasn't Bake Off, but she did go
on the TV and talk about the bins,
and it all seemed a bit cringey.
I get to decide when I take the bins
out, not if I take them out.
But, I mean...
There's boy jobs and
girl jobs, you see.
What, boy jobs...
And then there was that weird time
the Prime Minister was asked
what was the naughtiest thing she'd
ever done as a child.
She said it was to run
through a field of wheat.
Come on, Ed.
Come on, Ed.
# The hills are alive with the sound
Meanwhile, Jeremy Corbyn
was positively frolicking out
on the campaign trail,
greeted like a rock star
at his well-attended rallies.
The other party leaders also
had their challenges.
You won't say whether you think
having gay sex is a sin.
Winning those 56 seats
will be a huge challenge
for Nicola Sturgeon's party.
Ruth Davidson has predicted
that we've hit a peak
and the only way is down.
And what we are saying
is that the Conservatives
are the largest party.
Note they don't have an overall
majority at this stage.
Deal or no deal, Mrs Foster?
The Conservatives lost 12 seats,
creating a hung parliament -
so, 18 days after the election,
Theresa May did a deal
with the Democratic Unionist Party's
ten MPs from Northern Ireland.
Meanwhile, Jeremy Corbyn
was hanging out with his
new mates at Glastonbury.
CROWD: # Oh, Jeremy Corbyn...#
With the election over, Brexit
negotiations dominated the summer,
and keeping control of her own party
was an uphill struggle for the PM.
That's why everyone was focused
on her conference speech,
including a prankster.
Boris, job done there.
An errant frog...
The deficit is back
to pre-crisis levels...
And then the scenery that fell down.
The PM put on a brave face
and was supported by her husband,
and later her Cabinet,
after some whispering
about her leadership.
By the end of October,
the sexual harassment
scandal hit Westminster.
Various MPs were implicated,
and so was a Cabinet
minister, who stood down.
Below the high standards...
A week later, another
This time, Priti Patel,
the International Development
Secretary, fell on her sword over
she'd had with Israeli
officials while on holiday.
Although there are plenty
of 27 moments Theresa May
would probably rather forget,
this handshake just last week
was a crucial breakthrough
in the Brexit negotiations.
The moment the EU accepted
it was time to move on and talk
about the future relationship.
Of course, that doesn't
mean negotiations next
year will be any easier.
But with everything going on this
year, 2018 couldn't possibly be
so frantic, could it?
Plenty to talk about in terms of the
big moments of last year and what's
likely to come in the year ahead
with our panel. I'll ask you first,
what was your favourite moment?
think it must be that exit poll
macro which we just saw again. The
moment that was announced, you felt
British politics changing in
dramatic ways, as it has done, in my
view. It's been the most significant
political year in terms of change
since 1979, even though the same
Prime Minister is in place. In that
second, you realise it was a myth
that a figure to the left of Tony
Blair would doom Labour to electoral
oblivion, you realised that young
people were starting to vote with
profound policy implications, which
we are already starting to see, and
that will continue, and you
recognised in that nanosecond that
she had lost the mandate for Brexit,
and a hung parliament would
transform the politics of Brexit, as
we were discussing earlier. It meant
many other things as well, that exit
poll. It will be a Brexit poll
another time! So it was a huge
moment, and I think some of it will
-- some of us will never forget it.
I can't believe we have crammed all
of that into a year! I think that
seminal week where Boris wrote his
4000 word thesis on Brexit, which
anyone who is a Brexiteer reading it
had Land Of Hope And Glory ringing
in their ears, and how that may or
may not have changed Theresa May's
Florence speech. Downing Street very
much road against the idea that the
substance was changed, but I think
there was an acceptance that his
Union Jack flying tone was
incorporated into that speech, and
it became how she set out in
Britainposition going forward.
tempted to say the incredible walk
that reason may did with Donald
Trump way back in January where they
held hands. What an extra rib
picture that was, for those of us
out there to see what she had just
done full -- an incredible picture.
But I'm going to be cheeky and go
for another one, the conference
speech, Theresa May's. Yet again,
for anybody in that room, it was the
most excruciating 55 minutes of
anyone's political career or
journalistic career, but also a very
powerful metaphor for her
premiership. Things are falling
apart at the seams. It isn't going
at all how she planned. Yet she is
If we've learned
anything, it's that we shouldn't
make political predictions because
we will be proved wrong, but
make political predictions because
we will be proved wrong, but I'm
going to ask you for a couple for
the year ahead. Will we have a trade
deal by October?
We won't, not least
because the EU has said they aren't
going to offer one at any stage,
they are going to offer a political
declaration, those are the words in
the council document on Friday. We
might get that.
Will Theresa May
still be Prime Minister?
Christmas? What good is this time
next year. --
this time next year.
think it depends what happens in
October. She might be Prime Minister
but will she has set out a timetable
for a change in leadership?
And will the Cabinet look
Not entirely but I think
the key players will be in place. I
think it would be too disruptive to
change them, but that is a tentative
prediction. One -- what an
extraordinarily bigger Theresa May
is. She isn't an actor like most of
our Prime ministers but it is like
she is in a James Bond half of the
time. It is a glorious contrast, a
shy, dog-eared figure, and the
theatrics will continue into next
year, and I think she will be there.
-- a shy, dogged figure.
tried to build a campaign about a
presidential style of leadership,
and she was ill suited to that, and
now she is using weakness as a
strength when it comes to
negotiating in Europe. She hasn't
really shown her cards on Brexit,
but it's probably to her advantage
nobody really knows exactly what
makes her tick, what is Willie going
on inside her head. It could be
nothing. Maybe it's entirely empty,
so she can be beautifully pragmatic
and plough her way through the
waves. Inside the bubble, she loses
votes, she does a terrible speech
and we kick her but, in the country,
the more and more people you speak
to, and they say, good on her, she
is getting the EU kicking her, her
side kicking her, but she still
carries on. The fact that she is
Exhausting to say.
It's remarkable, so she is proving
Prime Minister of our times.
Corbyn still be there?
He will be,
but does he want to be? What will
happen in goodness only knows.
Looking back at the rally, it's
interesting how popular and idolised
he was then in that campaigning
mode, which she was far better
suited to spend Theresa May, who
wasn't surrounded by crowds and
seemed to be standing on a podium
somewhere with Tory banners behind
her. I don't know. I think the shine
is coming off Corbyn, and I think
the more that Labour tie themselves
in knots over Brexit, having Richard
Burgon earlier saying, let's have
the ECJ ruling us for ever and not
cut immigration, that isn't going to
play well with Labour Brexit photos.
We will be back to discuss all this
That's all for today,
and that's all for 2017.
Until then, bye-bye.
Sarah Smith and Mark Carruthers with the latest political news, interviews and debate. The political panel comprises Camilla Tominey, Steve Richards and Tom Newton-Dunn. Topics include Brexit and the past year in politics.