18/12/2016 Sunday Politics Northern Ireland


Andrew discusses Brexit with former Conservative health secretary Stephen Dorrell and Australian high commissioner Alexander Downer, and looks at the issue of air pollution.

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Morning, folks, and welcome to the Sunday Politics.


Hard line remainers strike back at Brexit.


Are they trying to overturn the result of June's referendum


by forcing a second vote before we leave?


Australia's man in London tells us that life outside the EU "can be


pretty good" and that Brexit will "not be as hard as people say".


Could leaving the EU free Britain to do more business


It's been called "disgusting, dangerous and deadly"


And coming up here: how bad for our health,


Jonathan Bell is suspended by the DUP,


and Arlene Foster rebuffs Martin McGuinness's suggestion


that she stand aside to allow an inquiry


And with me in the Sunday Politics grotto, the Dasher, Dancer


and Prancer of political punditry Iain Martin,


They'll be delivering tweets throughout the programme.


First this morning, some say they will fight


for what they call a "soft Brexit", but now there's an attempt by those


who campaigned for Britain to remain in the EU to allow the British


people to change their minds - possibly with a second referendum -


The Labour MEP Richard Corbett is revealed this morning to have


tried to amend European Parliament resolutions.


The original resolution called on the European Parliament


to "respect the will of the majority of the citizens


of the United Kingdom to leave the EU".


He also proposed removing the wording "stress that this wish


must be respected" and adding "while taking account of the 48.1%


The amendments were proposed in October,


but were rejected by a vote in the Brussels


Constitutional Affairs Committee earlier this month.


The report will be voted on by all MEPs in February.


Well, joining me now from Leeds is the Labour MEP who proposed


Good morning. Thanks for joining us at short notice. Is your aim to try


and reverse what happened on June 23? My aim with those amendments was


simply factual. It is rather odd that these amendments of two months


ago are suddenly used paper headlines in three very different


newspapers on the same day. It smacks of a sort of concerted effort


to try and slapped down any notion that Britain might perhaps want to


rethink its position on Brexit as the cost of Brexit emerges. You


would like us to rethink the position even before the cost urges?


I get lots of letters from people saying how one, this was an advisory


referendum won by a narrow majority on the basis of a pack of lies and a


questionable mandate. But if there is a mandate from this referendum,


it is surely to secure a Brexit that works for Britain without sinking


the economy. And if it transpires as we move forward, that this will be a


very costly exercise, then there will be people who voted leave who


said Hang on, this is not what I was told. I was told this would save


money, we could put it in the NHS, but if it is going to cost us and


our Monday leg, I would the right to reconsider. But


your aim is not get a Brexit that would work for Britain, your aim is


to stop it? If we got a Brexit that would work for Britain, that would


respect the mandate. But if we cannot get that, if it is going to


be a disaster, if it is going to cost people jobs and cost Britain


money, it is something we might want to pause and rethink. The government


said it is going to come forward with a plan. That is good. We need


to know what options to go for as a country. Do we want to stay in the


single market, the customs union, the various agencies? And options


should be costed so we can all see how much they cost of Brexit will


be. If you were simply going to try and make the resolution is more


illegal, why did the constitutional committee vote them down? This is a


report about future treaty amendments down the road for years


to come. This was not the main focus of the report, it was a side


reference, in which was put the idea for Association partnerships. Will


you push for the idea before the full parliament? I must see what the


text is. You said there is a widespread view in labour that if


the Brexit view is bad we should not exclude everything, I take it you


mean another referendum. When you were named down these amendments,


was this just acting on your own initiative, or acting on behalf of


the Labour Party? I am just be humble lame-duck MEP in the European


Parliament. It makes sense from any point of view that if the course of


action you have embarked on turns out to be much more costly and


disastrous than you had anticipated, that you might want the chance to


think again. You might come to the same conclusion, of course, but you


might think, wait a minute, let's have a look at this. But let's be


clear, even though you are deputy leader of Labour in the European


Parliament, you're acting alone and not as Labour Party policy? I am


acting in the constitutional affairs committee. All I am doing is stating


things which are common sense. If as we move forward then this turns out


to be a disaster, we need to look very carefully at where we are


going. But if a deal is done under Article 50, and we get to see the


shape of that deal by the end of 2019 under the two-year timetable,


in your words, we won't know if it is a disaster or not until it is


implemented. We won't be able to tell until we see the results about


whether it is good or bad, surely? We might well be able to, because


that has to take account of the future framework of relationships


with the European Union, to quote the article of the treaty. That


means we should have some idea about what that will be like. Will we be


outside the customs union, for instance, which will be very


damaging for our economy? Or will we have to stay inside and follow the


rules without having a say on them. We won't know until we leave the


customs union. You think it will be damaging, others think it will give


us the opportunity to do massive trade deals. My case this morning is


not what is right or wrong, we will not know until we have seen the


results. We will know a heck of a lot more than we do now when we see


that Article 50 divorce agreement. We will know the terms of the


divorce, we will know how much we still have to pay into the EU budget


for legacy costs. We will know whether we will be in the single


market customs union or not. We will know about the agencies. We will


know a lot of things. If the deal on the table looks as if it will be


damaging to Britain, then Parliament will be in its rights to say, wait a


minute, not this deal. And then you either renegotiate or you reconsider


the whole issue of Brexit or you find another solution. We need to


leave it there but thank you for joining us.


Iain Martin, how serious is the attempt to in effect an wind what


happened on June 23? I think it is pretty serious and that interview


illustrates very well the most damaging impact of the approach


taken by a lot of Remainers, which is essentially to say with one


breath, we of course accept the result, but with every action


subsequent to that to try and undermine the result or try and are


sure that the deal is as bad as possible. I think what needed to


happen and hasn't happened after June 23 is you have the extremists


on both sides and you have in the middle probably 70% of public


opinion, moderate leaders, moderate Remainers should be working together


to try and get British bespoke deal. But moderate Leavers will not take


moderate Remainers seriously if this is the approach taken at every


single turn to try and rerun the referendum. He did not say whether


it was Labour policy? That was a question which was ducked. I do not


think it is Labour Party policy. I think most people are in a morass in


the middle. I think the screaming that happens when anybody dares to


question or suggest that you might ever want to think again about these


things, I disagree with him about having another referendum but if he


wants to campaign for that it is his democratic right to do so. If you


can convince enough people it is a good idea then he has succeeded. But


the idea that we would do a deal and then realise this is a really bad


deal, let's not proceed, we will not really know that until the deal is


implemented. What our access is to the single market, whether or not we


are in or out of the customs union which we will talk about in a


minute, what immigration policy we will have, whether these are going


to be good things bad things, surely you have got to wait for four, five,


six years to see if it has worked or not? Yes, and by which stage


Parliament will have voted on it and there will be no going back from it,


or maybe there will. We are talking now about the first three months of


2019. That is absolutely the moment when Parliament agrees with Theresa


May or not. One arch remain I spoke to, and arch Remainiac, he said that


Theresa May will bring this to Parliament in 2019 and could say I


recommend that we reject it. What is he on or she? Some strong chemical


drugs! The point is that all manner of things could happen. I don't


think any of us take it seriously for now but the future is a very


long way away. Earlier, the trade Secretary Liam Fox was asked if we


would stay in the customs union after Brexit.


There would be limitations on what we would do in terms of tariff


setting which could limit the deals we would do, but we want to look at


all the different deals. There is hard Brexit and soft Brexit as if it


is a boiled egg we are talking about. Turkey is in part of the


customs union but not other parts. What we need to do is look at the


cost. This is what I picked up. The government knows it cannot remain a


member of the single market in these negotiations, because that would


make us subject to free movement and the European Court. The customs


union and the Prime Minister 's office doesn't seem to be quite as


binary, that you can be a little bit in and a little bit out, but I would


suggest that overall Liam Fox knows to do all the trade deals we want to


do we basically have to be out. But what he also seems to know is that


is a minority view in Cabinet. He said he was not going to give his


opinion publicly. There is still an argument going on about it in


Cabinet. When David Liddington struggled against Emily Thornbury


PMQs, he did not know about the customs union. What is apparent is


Theresa May has not told him what to think about that. If we stay in the


customs union we cannot do our own free trade deals. We are behind the


customs union, the tariff barriers set by Europe? Not quite. Turkey is


proof of the pudding. There are limited exemptions but they can do


free trade with their neighbours. Not on goods. They are doing a trade


deal with Pakistan at the moment, it relies on foreign trade investment


but Europe negotiates on turkey's behalf on the major free-trade


deals. This is absolutely why the customs union will be the fault line


for the deal we are trying to achieve. Interestingly, I thought


Liam Fox suggested during that interview that he was prepared to


suck up whatever it was. I think he was saying there is still an


argument and he intends to win it. He wants to leave it because he


wants to do these free-trade deals. There is an argument in the cabinet


about precisely that. The other thing to consider is in this country


we have tended to focus too much on the British angle in negotiations,


but I think the negotiations are going to be very difficult. You look


at the state of the EU at the moment, you look at what is


happening in Italy, France, Germany, look at the 27. It is possible I


think that Britain could design a bespoke sensible deal but then it


becomes very difficult to agree which is why I ultimately think we


are heading for a harder Brexit. It will be about developing in this


country. So, we've had a warning this week


that it could take ten years to do a trade deal


with the EU after Brexit. But could opportunities to expand


trade lie elsewhere? Australia was one of the first


countries to indicate its willingness to do a deal


with the UK and now its High Commissioner in London has told


us that life outside the EU He made this exclusive film


for the Sunday Politics. My father was the Australian High


Commissioner in the early 70s when the UK joined


the European Union, Now I'm in the job,


the UK is leaving. Australia supported


Britain remaining a member of the European Union,


but we respect the decision that Now that the decision has been made,


we hope that Britain will get on with the process


of negotiating their exit from the European Union and make


the most of the opportunities that Following the referendum decision,


Australia approached the British Government


with a proposal. We offered, when the time was right,


to negotiate a free trade agreement. The British and Australian


governments have already established a working group to explore a future,


ambitious trade agreement once A free trade agreement will provide


great opportunities for consumers Australian consumers could purchase


British-made cars for less We would give British


households access to cheaper, Our summer is during your winter,


so Australia could provide British households with fresh produce


when the equivalent British or Australian households would have


access to British products Free-trade agreements


are also about investment. The UK is the second-largest source


of foreign investment in Australia. By the way, Australia also invests


over ?200 billion in the UK, so a free trade agreement


would stimulate investment, But, by the way, free-trade


agreements are not just about trade and investment,


they are also about geopolitics. Countries with good trade relations


often work more closely together in other fields including security,


the spread of democracy We may have preferred


the UKto remain in the EU, We may have preferred the UK


to remain in the EU, but life outside as we know can


be pretty good. We have negotiated eight free-trade


agreements over the last 12 years, including a free-trade agreement


with the United States This is one of the reasons why


the Australian economy has continued to grow over the last 25 years


and we, of course, are not Australia welcomes Theresa May's


vision for the UK to become a global We are willing to help


in any way we can. Welcome to the programme. The


Australian government says it wants to negotiate an important trade deal


with the UK as efficiently and promptly as possible when Brexit is


complete. How prompt is prompt? There are legal issues obviously.


The UK, for as long as it remains in the EU, cannot negotiate individual


trade deals. Once it leaves it can. We will negotiate a agreement with


the UK when the time is right, by which we mean we can do preliminary


examination. Are you talking now about the parameters? We are talking


already, we have set up a joint working group with the British


Government and we are scoping the issue to try to understand what


questions will arise in any negotiation. But we cannot have


formally a negotiation. Until the country is out. Why is there no


free-trade deal between Australia and the European Union? It is a long


and tortuous story. Give me the headline. Basically Australian


agriculture is either banned or hugely restricted in terms of its


access to the European Union. So we see the European Union, Australia's,


is a pretty protectionist sort of organisation. Now we are doing a


scoping study on a free-trade agreement with the European Union


and we hope that next year we can enter into negotiations with them.


But we have no illusions this would be a very difficult negotiation, but


one we are giving priority to. Is there not a danger that when Britain


leaves the EU the EU will become more protectionist? This country has


always been the most powerful voice for free trade. I hope that does not


happen, but the reason why we wanted Britain to remain in the European


Union is because it brought to the table the whole free-trade mentality


which has been an historic part of Britain's approach to international


relations. Without the UK in the European Union you will lose that.


It is a very loud voice in the European Union and you will lose


that voice and that will be a disadvantage. The figure that jumped


out of me in the film is it to you only 15 months to negotiate a


free-trade deal with the United States. Yes, the thing is it is


about political will. A free-trade agreement will be no problem unless


you want to protect particular sectors of your economy. In that


case there was one sector the Americans insisted on protecting and


that was their sugar industry. In the end after 15 months of


negotiation two relatively free trading countries have fixed up


nearly everything. But we had to ask would be go ahead with this


free-trade agreement without sugar west we decided to do that. Other


than that it was relatively easy to negotiate because we are both


free-trade countries. With the UK you cannot be sure, but I do not


think a free-trade agreement would take very long to negotiate with the


UK because the UK would not want to put a lot of obstacles in the way to


Australia. Not to give away our hand, we would not want to put a lot


of obstacles in the way of British exports. The trend in recent years


is to do big, regional trade deals, but President-elect Donald Trump has


made clear the Pacific trade deal is dead. The transatlantic trade deal


is almost dead as well. The American election put a nail in the coffin


and the French elections could put another nail in the coffin. Are we


returning to a world of lateral trade deals, country with country


rather than regional blocs? Not necessarily. In the Asia Pacific we


will look at multilateral trade arrangements and even if the


transpacific partnership is not ratified by the Americans, we have


other options are there. However, our approach has been the ultimate


would be free-trade throughout the world which is proving hard to


achieve. Secondly, if we can get a lot of countries engaged in a


free-trade negotiation, that is pretty good if possible. But it is


more difficult. But we do bilateral trade agreements. We have one with


China, Japan, the United States, Singapore, and the list goes on, and


they have been hugely beneficial to Australia. You have been dealing


with the EU free deal, what lessons are there? How quickly do you think


Britain could do a free-trade deal with the EU if we leave? Well, there


is a completely different concept involved in the case of Britain and


the EU and that is at the moment there are no restrictions on trade.


So you and the EU would be talking about whether you will direct


barriers to trade. We are outsiders and we do not get too much involved


in this debate except to say we do not want to see the global trade


system disrupted by the direction of tariff barriers between the United


Kingdom, the fifth biggest economy in the world, and the European


Union. Our expectation is not just the British but the Europeans will


try to make the transition to Brexit as smooth as possible particularly


commercially. Say yes or no if you can. If Britain and Australia make a


free-trade agreement, would that include free movement of the


Australian and the British people? We will probably stick with our


present non-discriminatory system. Australia does not discriminate


against any country. The European Union's free movement means you


discriminate against non-Europeans. Probably not.


It could lead to a ban on diesel cars, prevent the building


of a third runway at Heathrow, and will certainly make it


more expensive to drive in our towns and cities.


Air pollution has been called the "public health crisis


of a generation" - but just how serious is the problem?


40,000 early deaths result from air pollution every year in the UK.


Almost 10,000 Londoners each year die prematurely.


It seems at times we can get caught up in alarming assertions


about air pollution, that this is a public health


emergency, that it is a silent killer, coming from politicians,


But how bad is air quality in Britain really?


Tony Frew is a professor in respiratory medicine and works


at Brighton's Royal Sussex County Hospital.


He has been looking into the recent claims


It's a problem and it affects people's health.


But when people start talking about the numbers


of deaths here, I think they are misusing the statistics.


There have been tremendous improvements in air quality


There is a lot less pollution than there used to be


and none of that is coming through in the public


So what does Professor Frew make of the claim that alarming levels


of toxicity in the air in the UK causes 40,000 deaths each year?


It is not 40,000 people who should have air pollution


on their death certificate, or 40,000 people who


It's a lot of people who had a little bit of life shortening


To examine these figures further we travelled to Cambridge to visit


I asked him about the data on which these claims


They come from a study on how mortality rates in US cities


First of all, it is important to realise that that 40,000 figure


29,000, which are due to fine particles, and another 11,000


I will just talk about this group for a start.


These are what are known as attributable deaths.


Known as virtual deaths, they come from a complex statistical model.


Quite remarkably it all comes from just one number and this


was based on a study of US cities and they found out that


by monitoring these cities over decades that the cities which had


a higher level of pollution had a higher mortality rate.


They estimated that there was a 6% increased risk of dying


each year for each small increase in pollution.


So this is quite a big figure, but it is important to realise


it is only a best estimate and the committee that advises


the government says that this figure could be between 1% and 12%.


So this 6% figure is used to work out the 29,000


Yes, through a rather complex statistical model.


And a similar analysis gives rise to the 11,000 attributable deaths


How much should we invest in cycling?


Should we build a third runway at Heathrow?


We need reliable statistics to answer those questions,


but can we trust the way data is being used by campaigners?


I think there are people who have such a passion for the environment


and for air pollution that they don't really


see it as a problem if they are deceiving the public.


Greenpeace have been running a campaign claiming that breathing


London's air is the equivalent of smoking 15 cigarettes a day.


If you smoke 15 cigarettes a day through your adult life,


that will definitely take ten years off your life expectancy.


If you are poor and you are in social class five,


compared to social class one, that would take seven


If you are poor and you smoke, that will take 17 years off your life.


Now, we are talking about possibly, if we could get rid of all


of the cars in London and all of the road transport,


we could make a difference of two micrograms per metre squared in air


pollution which might save you 30 days of your life.


There is no doubt that air pollution is bad for you,


but if we exaggerate the scale of the problem and the impact


on our health, are we at risk of undermining the case for making


And we are joined now by the Executive Director


You have called pollution and national crisis and a health


emergency. Around the UK are levels increasing or falling? They are


remaining fairly static in London. Nationally? If you look at the


studies on where air pollution is measured, in 42 cities around the


UK, 38 cities were found to be breaking the legal limit on air


pollution so basically all of the cities were breaking the limit so if


you think eight out of ten people live in cities, obviously, this is


impacting a lot of people around the UK. We have looked at in missions of


solvent dioxide, they have fallen and since 1970, nitrogen dioxide is


down 69%. Let me show you a chart. There are the nitrogen oxides which


we have all been worried about. That chart shows a substantial fall from


the 1970s, and then a really steep fall from the 1980s. That is


something which is getting better. You have to look at it in the round.


If you look at particulates, and if you look at today's understanding of


the health impact. Let's look at particulates. We have been really


worried about what they have been doing to our abilities to breathe


good air, again, you see substantial improvement. Indeed, we are not far


from the Gothenberg level which is a very high standard. What you see is


it is pretty flat. I see it coming down quite substantially. Over the


last decade it is pretty flat. If you look at the World Health


Organisation guidelines, actually, these are at serious levels and they


need to come down. We know the impact, particularly on children, if


you look at what is happening to children and children's lungs, if


you look at the impact of asthma and other impacts on children in cities


and in schools next to main roads where pollution levels are very


high, the impact of very serious. You have many doctors, professors


and many studies by London University showing this to be true.


The thing is, we do not want pollution. If we can get rid of


pollution, let's do it. And also we also have to get rid of CO2 which is


causing climate change. We are talking air pollution at the moment.


The point is there is not still more to do, it is clear there is and


there is no question about that, my question is you seem to deny that we


have made any kind of progress and that you also say that air pollution


causes 40,000 deaths a year in the UK, that is not true. The figure is


40,000 premature deaths is what has been talked about by medical staff.


Your website said courses. It causes premature deaths. What we are


talking about here is can we solve the problem of air pollution? If air


pollution is mainly being caused by diesel vehicles then we need to


phase out diesel vehicles. If there are alternatives and clean Turner


tips which will give better quality of air, better quality of life and


clean up our cities, then why don't we take the chance to do it? You had


the Australian High Commissioner on this programme earlier. He said to


me earlier, why is your government supporting diesel? That is the most


polluting form of transport. That may well be right but I am looking


at Greenpeace's claims. You claim it causes 40,000 deaths, it is a figure


which regularly appears. Let me quote the committee on the medical


effects of air pollutants, it says this calculation, 40,000 which is


everywhere in Greenpeace literature, is not an estimate of the number of


people whose untimely death is caused entirely by air pollution,


but a way of representing the effect across the whole population of air


pollution when considered as a contributory factor to many more


individual deaths. It is 40,000 premature deaths. It could be


premature by a couple of days. It could me by a year. -- it could be


by a year. It could also be giving children asthma and breathing


difficulties. We are talking about deaths. It could also cause stroke


and heart diseases. Medical experts say we need to deal with this. Do


you believe air pollution causes 40,000 deaths a year. I have defined


that. You accept it does not? It leads to 40,000 premature deaths.


But 40,000 people are not killed. You say air pollution causes 40,000


deaths each year on your website. I have just explained what I mean by


that in terms of premature deaths. The question is, are we going to do


something about that? Air pollution is a serious problem. It is mainly


caused by diesel. If we phased diesel out it will solve the problem


of air pollution and deal with the wider problem of climate change. I


am not talking about climate change this morning. Let's link to another


claim... Do you want to live in a clean city? Do you want to breathe


clean air? Yes, don't generalise. Let's stick to your claims. You have


also said living in London on your life is equivalent to smoking 50


cigarettes a day. That is not true either. What I would say is if you


look at passive smoking, it is the equivalent of I don't know what the


actual figure is, I can't remember offhand, but it is the equivalent


effect of about ten cigarettes being smoked passively. The question is in


terms of, you are just throwing me out all of these things... I am


throwing things that Greenpeace have claimed. Greenpeace have claimed


that living in London is equivalent of smoking 15 cigarettes a day and


that takes ten years off your life. Professor Froome made it clear to us


that living in London your whole life with levels of pollution does


take time off your life but it takes nine months of your life. Nine


months is still too much, I understand that, but it is not ten


years and that is what you claim. I would suggest you realise that is a


piece of propaganda because you claim on the website, you have taken


it down. I agree it has been corrected and I agree with what the


professor said that maybe it takes up to a year off your life, but the


thing is, there are much more wider issues as well, in terms of the


impact on air pollution, and in terms of the impact on young


children. We can argue about the facts... But these are your claims,


this is why I am hitting it to you. It does not get away from the


underlying issue that air pollution is a serious problem. We are not


arguing for a moment that it is not. Do you think the way you exaggerate


things, put false claims, in the end, for of course we all agree


with, getting the best air we can, you undermine your credibility? I


absolutely do not support false claims and if mistakes have been


made then mistakes have been made and they will be corrected. I think


the key issue is how we are going to deal with air pollution. Clearly,


diesel is the biggest problem and we need to work out a way how we can


get away from diesel as quickly and fast as possible. Comeback and see


us in the New Year and we will discuss diesel. Thank you.


It's just gone 11.35, you're watching the Sunday Politics.


We say goodbye to viewers in Scotland who leave us now


Hello and welcome to Sunday Politics in Northern Ireland.


So, Jonathan Bell has been suspended by the DUP and relations


between the Executive parties are tense after Martin McGuinness


called on Arlene Foster to step aside as First Minister.


I'll be asking the MP Jeffrey Donaldson


And I'll be asking Sinn Fein how it plans to tackle the issue.


And with me throughout with their thoughts


Tomorrow the First Minister will make a statement


to the Assembly on the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme.


It comes after a nightmare week for the DUP after the former


Minister, Jonathan Bell, made allegations against party


colleagues which was countered by Arlene Foster making her own


And on Friday, the Deputy First Minister called on Mrs Foster


to stand aside to allow an investigation into


the heating scheme to take place - a suggestion she promptly rejected.


With me now is the DUP's Sir Jeffrey Donaldson.


Sir Jeffrey, to be clear, before we go any further,


Mr Bell has now been suspended by the party, is that right?


Yes, I understand that the party officers met over the weekend and


they have taken the decision, which is in accordance with the rules,


that Jonathan Bede is suspended, there will be a full investigation


and Jonathan will be afforded the opportunity to put his side on all


of this before any final decision is made. At this point Mr Bell did not


have an opportunity to participate in that process, is that correct?


This is the first stage of the investigation, under our


disciplinary rules, and in matters and cases like this suspension is


the normal first step. He has been suspended without prejudice?


Absolutely, yes. He has been suspended without prejudice


following an investigation, but Mrs Foster hasn't been required to step


aside, why the unequal treatment? They are two very different issues.


They are. There is no evidence that Arlene Foster has broken any rules,


there is no evidence against Arlene Foster... There are allegations from


Jonathan Bell. Yes, but no prima facie case has been presented.


Jonathan has clearly broken the rules and they are very clear if you


look at the DUP rules, Jonathan did not seek permission for the


interview that he did, he did not tell the party in advance what he


was doing, and, you know, that is not the way that most political


parties operate. Jonathan knew that he actually said in his interview,


he knew that what he was doing was putting himself outside of the party


discipline. He said it himself. So serious his allegations where that


that was what he had to do. He said it was a difficult day for him, he


sat down in a TV studio to say what he had estate and he knew what the


risks well but was prepared to do it because he believes it is the truth.


And for that he is thrown out of the temporary billy macro party,


temporarily. It is temporary. He will be given the opportunity to put


his side forward in the party procedures. Surely the problem for


the DUP is it looks like party officers have prejudged the case in


the favour of the party leader against Jonathan Bell. That's what


it looks like. I don't except that at all. This is not about policy


issues, this is not about the RHI scheme, this is about party


discipline. This was an act of disloyalty, was it? It was a breach


of party rules, a potential breach. I'm not going to prejudge the


outcome, the party officers that officers will meet again and


consider all of these things in the round. Was he not disloyal? He broke


the rules, and even he said that publicly. In his interview he


recognised that in doing the interview he was stepping outside of


the party to do so. That was his choice. Who break the rules in


criticising Arlene Foster? Rewrote the rules giving the interview in


the first place without going through the party processes, without


going through the press office. You haven't done that, the DUP has never


done that before? Well if they had they would be held to account. With


a? Yes. It is a bit that are a bit rich from you, though, because 13


years ago on this very day you had Arlene Foster did something arguably


far worse walking out of the Ulster Unionist Party and subsequently


joining the DUP. That was disloyal, that was treacherous outside the


party rules. Yet you did it, you justified it in exactly the same way


that Jonathan Bell has justified himself. Bsorry, but we left the


body, we recognised because the party was bringing disciplinary


procedures against us and we recognised that the fault lines in


the Ulster Unionist Party were so deep, and the best interest of


everyone involved we resigned. Before you did that come me openly


criticised David Trimble before finally leaving the party. And we


were subjected to disciplinary proceedings, and we did what we


believed was the honourable thing. So did Jonathan. How can wait was


right for you and wrong for him? There are two different approaches.


They look very similar from here. I resigned from the party and they did


so on the basis that I felt that the gulf in the party was an


unbridgeable, and there was no point in going forward on that basis. Why


should Arlene Foster not stand aside now without prejudice pending an


investigation in to her rule, as other party leaders have said and as


indeed her partner in government Martin McGuinness has said. There


was no doubt that opposition parties are out to get Arlene Foster. That


is their job. If you let me complete one sentence in this interview, I


will get to that. From day one, they have called for Arlene to resign,


from day one Mike Nesbitt said Arlene had been given information by


a whistle-blower and should have acted upon it and therefore she


should resign. Now, it so happens that that very person who was the


whistle-blower said in her own words, I wasn't a whistle-blower.


Her words, not mine. And the information she gave to Arlene


Foster was not about whistle-blowing, her words. Do you


want to talk about that? You couldn't -- she couldn't remember


the information or correspondence she used. In a macro Mark, this was


three years later. Does every minister remember the content of


every e-mail? Ministers it thousands of e-mails. She relented a lots of


the conversation but forgot the correspondence with the


whistle-blower. How? She didn't forget what she did, she referred


the matter to officials, that is what she said she did, and that is


exact... The point I am making in this, Mark, is that from day one the


opposition parties have called for Arlene to resign. That is what they


have been doing. Big surprise, that's what they are expected to do.


My point is this is that anyone is surprised that the DUP was monster


that is that we haven't seen the evidence that says Arlene has done


wrong, and therefore we do not believe that she should retire. So,


have an independent enquiry. Why would you not? If Arlene Foster and


other senior figures in the DUP have nothing to fear, then make a clean


breast of it, put all of the relevant correspondence in the


public domain, and allow truth to come out. All of the information


will be in the public domain, the DUP has nothing to hide on this,


neither has Arlene, she has said so. The Public Accounts Committee is


already conducting an enquiry. Who are the members of the DUP on the


PAC? Jelinek we are entitled to those members. This committee was


crowned -- created for this purpose. What I don't understand is why do


the opposition parties lack confidence in their own MLAs to do


the job they were elected to do to hold the Executive to account? What


is the point of an opposition party if they are unprepared to criticise


the institution for this purpose, and allow MLAs to seek the truth?


Their point is but that is is a bigger issue than any so far, and


goes beyond politicians investigation themselves. With four


DUP members on the PAC, that might not help the committee gets to the


absolute stew. Why? Because for members of the DUP may not see it in


their best interests to get into the absolute truth. They may not be


investigating in the same vein as a independent enquiry. The committee


can operate fairly with the DUP members there. It isn't to speak for


opposition leaders. Yellow mac I speak for the DUP and answer your


question clearly. Why should the DUP not have a say? Why should not be


parties of Stormont that has been elected, why should we be


disenfranchised in how this matter is dealt with? Why would that be


disenfranchised in? You would be taking away the responsibility from


people elected to do this job on the Public Accounts Committee. People


talk about curbing the cost. And yet don't hesitate for one moment to


take this outside of the elected body and put it into a public


enquiry which is going to add to the cost. It would add to the 400


million that has been wasted by the failure of politicians at the end of


the day. The cost issue some people will seriously wonder about when you


read that. Let me ask about Martin McGuinness. He reportedly asked


Arlene Foster to take the Christmas break to reconsider standing aside.


He said she should she said she didn't take instructions from Sinn


Fein. He suggested that she might have a ginger part with the benefit


of mature reflection over Christmas. Is that not the sensible thing to


do? Any dummy the last time a Sinn Fein members that aside when there


were serious allegations made against Sinn Fein? Haven't stopped


the DUP calling for it to happen. Yes, it is politics, and as Arlene


Foster said she has a job to do. Let me be clear. Arlene has a job to do,


she is not a quitter and went run away from responsibilities as some


would want her to do. She is up for the challenge, has nothing to hide,


has made it absolutely clear that she will give full disclosure of


every single document paper or record relevant, and crucially,


Mark, and this is the important thing, when Stephen Nolan ended his


interviews on Wednesday evening, he said what the public really wants to


do is what is going to happen to stop this expenditure? Arlene will


come to the assembly tomorrow will make herself accountable to the


assembly, and will outline her position, and she wants to continue


the job of not only addressing what has happened but also ensuring that


this expenditure is curbed. The 400 million has not been wasted, Mark,


and potentially over a 20 year period it could be polar but we


still have the opportunity to do something to stop that and Arlene


Foster says she has a responsibility to take that on. Do you think that


the public have trust in Arlene Foster being the person to do that


given they may have serious reservations about the role she


played in this process up to now? They may believe, if they listen to


Jonathan Bell, that she was not sure-footed in the decision-making


process. Why would they now suddenly believe she is sure-footed enough to


take it out of the hole that it is in? Because when this game went


wrong Jonathan Bell was the minister. Who set it up, Arlene


Foster. During the time that Arlene was the enterprise minister, there


was an underspend on the scheme and that no stage did anyone, say there


is a problem. There were no submissions made for her. There were


-- when she said the scheme up she took advice from officials. There


was an underspend, yes. She made the decision to move away from the GB


scheme into a non-tiered generalised tariff incentive and did not after


doing that keep a close eye on what happens next. That is the point. She


made a big decision to do things differently and didn't follow it up.


In any department that employs thousands of civil servants, the


Minister cannot be dealing with everything. She can't be dealing


with everything. But she wasn't dealing with everything. -- she


wasn't dealing with anything. During her time, she had thousands of jobs


brought to Northern Ireland. I don't accept that she wasn't doing


anything. She said that she was, she handed it to officials and they


dropped the ball. She was in keeping an eye out on it. Is she now


qualified to keep an eye on it? I am sure members of the public take a


different view but I am saying to you that I have met many members of


the public who want Arlene to continue in her role. That is very


clear. Thank you very much for joining us today.


Let's hear from Alex Kane and Allison Morris.


That is an issue for members of the public and Jeffrey Donaldson is


quite right, there are those who believe that Arlene is the person to


fix it but clearly there are people who will believe that it is not the


person to be in charge to dig us out of the hole. That is understandable.


Two weeks ago, this story started about two ministers and a department


and inefficiencies and ineptitude and incompetence then suddenly


exploded into this personal political psychological power


struggle, almost pantomime. Nobody knows what do believe, and the other


thing about it is it is has become a water cooler story, people in bars


and restaurants and petrol stations were asking what is going on? This


they are genuinely interested and the DUP have throughout this have no


idea of the scale of the interest in this story and the scale of the


discontent from the public not just for them but for the whole system.


How big a deal is it, Alison, do you believe that the Deputy First


Minister has called upon the First Minister to stand aside even


temporarily? It is very significant because at the beginning of the week


Sinn Fein went been drawn on whether or not they still had confidence in


Arlene full stop we ended with the week with calls her to stand aside.


She will feel that pressure whether or not she says she feels it was the


she has to be feeling the pressure, now, despite standing her ground.


The public are furious, absolutely furious. The DUP didn't grasp at the


beginning the scale of that anger and what has happened and they need


to attempt to claw back some of this money because there is no confidence


in the institution. Elected representatives and the PAC is the


place to sort this out. It is their job to keep an on public covers and


this is what they are doing. But this has gone beyond the assembly


and politicians and is now an issue of public confidence and this is not


clear that the public trust the public institutions but want


something bigger than that Stewart was in their interest S. Even the


opposition parties are un-trusted. This story was generated by the


media not by the opposition. I'll be talking to Sinn


Fein in just a moment, but the opposition parties have


called for a public inquiry into the whole renewable heating


affair, while the SDLP and Alliance are also demanding that


Arlene Foster stand aside. First, though,


here's the Ulster Unionist Arlene Foster needs to understand


that openness and transparency is of the essence and every scrap of paper


should now be put into the public domain, including the bit of paper


Jonathan Bell referred to last night from I think September 20 15th where


she said he was allowed to read but not copy. I think we are in a


situation where the only way that the public can have confidence in


our institutions do have the full truth told and the only way for that


to be told is for all papers, all e-mails, all of that do remain open


and transparent and available to a public enquiry, so we can find out


what is at the bottom of this. We won't be able to do that with Arlene


Foster still residing in the First Minister 's office. We need to get


this resolved and quickly and I think in order to make that happen


we need independent in that enquiry, away from any allegations of party


bullying or party priorities, independently, and also need the


First Minister to step aside without prejudice in order to allow the


investigation to take place. The alliance leader Naomi Long.


Well, Sinn Fein members met in Derry yesterday to decide their plan


for tomorrow's sitting of the Assembly.


MLAs and party officials gathered in the Bogside area


He pointed out that the party still has significant differences


with the DUP on issues such as the Irish language and legacy,


and he repeated Martin McGuinness's call


for Arlene Foster to stand aside.


With me now is the Sinn Fein MLA Conor Murphy.


Mr Murphy, thank you very much indeed for joining us today.


So, will you support the no confidence motion tomorrow?


Sinn Fein will decide the my desperate tomorrow. We have not


decided just yet. What about in Derry? We were discussing that. We


will meet on the Monday morning and decide what to do. In relation to


the motion it doesn't address the issues of Jonathan Bell, nor the


issues of the special advisers in their relation in all of this nor


the issues of getting the funds back as best we can. It only deals with


the issue of Arlene Foster. That motion of no-confidence in Arlene


Foster. It's a motion... The Deputy First Minister clearly has no


confidence. It is a motion to exclude Arlene Foster for six


months, out of any position in the assembly. It doesn't address the


issues at the thought this would be public need to see address which is


an investigation, full transparent investigation into this matter and


the role of the two ministers involved, Arlene Foster and Jonathan


Bell, to any role of Jonathan allegations about the special


advisers. Why did Sinn Fein not table a motion? If you are led by


the leader in the north calling upon Arlene Foster to step aside until


there is a full investigation why didn't Sinn Fein table the motion of


no-confidence? Firstly, the call has been reasonable. I hope she will


reconsider her answer. Others have stepped aside when there were


investigations into their it's liberties. Why not follow it up


tomorrow? The request has been made to the DUP to consider this issue.


We will also request for a full public inquest. We are in the


Executive, and recognise very clearly there is a Ute dent in


public confidence and the functioning of the Executive. All


this asks you to do is to agree that the assembly no longer has the


confidence in the First Minister. If you have called for an independent


investigation, and if you have called first had to step down how


could you possibly argue that she has your confidence? You have two,


the logic is that you had to support this motion tomorrow. I'm not


arguing that she has are confident at all. The motion is to exclude her


full six months, and that is all it addresses. That might be wonderful


or knee jerk and the public theatre will run around, but we have a


responsibility in the Executive to get to the heart of these


these very serious allegations about the operation of government by


Jonathan Bell, and puts together a plan which the finance minister will


now eventually have an option from the Minister,... You might ask her


to step aside but like her in the chamber tomorrow? That is presumably


a possibility if you haven't made your mind up. I'm not indicating


anything in this programme. Do you accept it would look odd to members


of the public for Sinn Fein to call for the First Minister to step


aside, to say there needs to be a full independent investigation but


not to back the opposition parties in expressing their lack of


confidence in the chamber tomorrow. And that would look odd. I don't


agree. Because Martin McGuinness has asked her to step aside until at


least... Amend the motion! It is now difficult to amend that


administration because it is rooted in the 1988 act. He has asked her to


step aside which is a reasonable request... Why is it reasonable,


when no Sinn Fein minister has ever stepped aside why was it OK for you


to remain in post but for the DUP not to? There hasn't been


allegations against survey in other like that Jeffrey Donaldson has been


talking about. Earlier this year when there was a an issue to deal


with one of our members come out we dealt with quickly. He got it wrong?


He did. What Martin McGuinness has asked Arlene Foster to do is to step


aside as long as I'm enquiry can put together a Bruno Nehru report. Had


come Jeffrey Donaldson suggests the place is to resolve these issues,


despite the validity of all of the above, the place to do that is he


says in the PAC. Is that not the case? They have work to do, I think,


and they need to continue. Particularly in the advent of the


programme where you have a First Minister and a former senior


colleague making allegations against each other, making allegations


relating to senior DUP members of government, special advisers in


government, that takes it beyond what the Public Accounts Committee


seeking gets to them and there is a need for an independent enquiry to


get to the heart of these matters with these serious allegations and I


don't believe that the DUP our anger immune. They cannot fail to


recognise that there is anger in this matter from everyone to all


parties. For that reason the DUP needs to do the right thing, have


the ministers that aside, agree to the Independent enquiry and get to


the core of these matters and decide... Is there is indifference


in the working of government. Corrupt purposes. That is a very


serious allegation. You make an eloquent case for Sinn Fein backing


the opposition motion of no-confidence in the chamber


tomorrow but aren't prepared to say that what is what you're going to


do. Let me ask the question. I don't want to go back because you've not


answer the question before so I won't travel about it any more.


People will wonder if this is in fact about Sinn Fein positioning


itself to have a better negotiating hand with the DUP on issues like


legacy, Brexit and Irish language. Don't this the DUP at the moment


because you might get a better deal is a few months down the The issue


we just talked about in the enquiry is no part of the motion, no logic


is to say that we won't vote for that, or anything else. It is only


emotion about excluding. We want institutions work. There were cries


of confidence in the Executive and centres round the DUP who are


partners in the Executive. That needs to be sorted out and we want


to see it sorted in a public and transparent way and satisfying


public opinion and allow the Executive to get on. I will think


people will find this impossible to understand. Martin McGuinness says


she should stand aside, the motion tomorrow says she should be excluded


for six months, but you don't back it which decides exactly what Martin


McGuinness said should happen. We have argued or rather Martin


McGuinness has argued and asked to consider to step aside... She said


no. The fact that Martin McGuinness has now boxed into a corner says she


had to come out fighting saying she doesn't take instruction from Sinn


Fein. The one thing that won't happen after being asked to step


aside is that you want step aside. The DUP are not immune from the


sense of anger related to the scheme. Party colleagues tearing


strips of each other, fighting over special advisers... If the DUP are


immune to all of that then they are walking themselves into serious


difficulties and we call upon them to do the right thing here. When the


Deputy First Minister says she should think about it over Christmas


and reconsider her position in the New Year, is that some kind of


ultimatum, for her? No, it's not in public advice to her. He said that


if he was in her position that is what he would do, it's his advised


to make a reasonable quest and has precedent, and it is a


recommendation given that this has gone bananas -- beyond ineptitude


about setting up a very unappeasable scheme. It is confidence in the


leadership of institution. If she doesn't take his advice, just to be


clear, and stays in post, how damaged is the relationship between


Martin McGuinness and Arlene Foster? How damaged if the relationship


running this country between Sinn Fein and the DUP? The relationship


is damaged because of the nature of the DUP anyway and we need to do


recommend you take that to two experts. That is what they are being


asked to do. We look forward to seeing what it position is tomorrow.


By the way, if you want to watch Arlene Foster's statement


to the Assembly and the no confidence debate that follows,


you can see it live on the BBC Parliament channel


What do you make of the position that Sinn Fein is adopting, albeit


the day before the crunch vote in the chamber tomorrow? It will be


interesting to see what happens tomorrow. Conor isn't being drawn on


what Sinn Fein are plans to do. I really have to protect the


coalition, and the institutions and we know that and they can't go hard


on the coalition partners but at the same time Sinn Fein just like


everyone else are busy feeling pressure from the public and the


anger, and they have two be seen to be acting in some way and I think an


independent enquiry at these state deeds lease the public should accept


them regardless. The PAC aren't fit for purpose and Conor Murphy is


right, the PAC won't the other get to the bottom of this scandal and


that the release needs to be do. It is unlikely, I would have thought,


that Sinn Fein will vote against the motion tomorrow. The question is


whether Sinn Fein vote in favour of the motion or at Spain 's. What do


you think is likely to happen and what are the risks with the various


options? They have given themselves a little bit of wiggle room when


Martin McGuinness said reflect over Christmas. It doesn't much make


sense to say reflect and then vote tomorrow... It doesn't sound like an


ultimatum? It doesn't. I think more will emerge, and at this stage, I


would be genuinely surprised if Sinn Fein back to the SDLP motion of no


confidence because it makes a mockery of their position of let her


reflect. What about the notion that perhaps honestly this is about the


Sinn Fein trying to position themselves in terms of negotiating a


better deal on legacy, Irish language, Brexit, for example? That


has been raised by a number of commentators in the last few days


and doesn't ring true? That has precedent in the past because in


previous times, and better deals have been used in devolution and on


the police, for example. That's an accurate assessment.


Now let's take a look back at the week in just 60 Seconds,


In a week when we learned that two former soldiers are to be prosecuted


in relation to the fatal shooting of an IRA men, can a minister see that


ex-servicemen are being treated differently to the most exclusive


focus on the actions of the state is disproportionately and must be


challenged and redressed. Conclusion continues over who is responsible


for delays to legacy inquests. The British Government are the main


lackeys to this. I think Sinn Fein needs to recognise the need for


compromise. I hold my duties very clearly in relation to national


security, I'm protecting the public. The House of Lords EU committee said


that local farmers could be hit hard by Brett said. I don't think there


can be any confidence at all that they will continue to get the same


amount of money with the common agricultural policy from the British


Government. And the Justice Minister presents a prediction claiming 300


sounds -- signatures consists of multiple petitions in fact instead


of just the one. Gareth Gordon, there,


looking back at the political week. Now, looking ahead, and tomorrow


sees the return of the Assembly Alex and Allison, what


does she need to say? Alex, a danger to the institutions


themselves. And highly do you rate that that the stage? The Sinn Fein


and the DUP needs to work this out. There is nowhere else to go from


this, if they walk away from if they bring it down, there are no other


parties involved. For the past few months there have been in aggression


pacts. A few weeks ago a big article in a joint articles, note innings no


grants, we will make it work. They can't turn around and say it will be


collapsed three weeks later. What does Arlene Foster needs to say


tomorrow to restore public confidence? She is in a very bad


position and a weak position to restore public confidence and has to


come up with some sort of plan to reassess those contracts and call


back some of the money that has been wasted, and at this point in time I


don't think she will stand out and say it, and she won't stick her feet


in -- she will do you feed him, and unless something connect her


directly with leaving the scheme open and allowing the issue to


continue, I don't think her position as leader is in jeopardy, Jonathan


Bell will actually take the fort for that. That waterfall for that. I


think Arlene Foster has been damaged by this. She replaced Peter Robinson


on the basis she wasn't him, but also a safe pair of hands. Her


handling of this has been dreadful and watching used to do tomorrow is


restore public confidence, needs to get off that high horse and say I


can understand why you are angry, I can understand why this looks like


appalling government, but this, over its not to do with me... A touch of


humility? Thai touch of humility and humanity and the ability to say no,


folks, I got it wrong. This an apology would be nice. No, it was my


advisors fault, is all we have heard to date. Of course, once she does


apologise, this opens a whole can of worms, potentially. We will watch it


and see what happens tomorrow. I'm likely to disappoint!


That's it from Sunday Politics for 2016.


There will be a special Stormont Today


on BBC Two at 11 o'clock tomorrow evening


featuring that statement by Arlene Foster


and the debate on the no confidence motion.


But from all of us on the team, bye-bye,


The most a writer can hope from a reader


Andrew Neil and Mark Carruthers are joined by Alexander Downer, Australian high commissioner to the United Kingdom, Stephen Dorrell, chair of the NHS Confederation, and John Sauven, executive director at Greenpeace.

Helen Lewis of the New Statesman, Iain Martin of Reaction and Tom Newton Dunn of the Sun review the papers.

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