Sarah Smith and Mark Carruthers with the latest political news, interviews and debate.
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Morning everyone, and welcome
to the Sunday Politics.
I'm Sarah Smith.
And this is your guide
to all the big stories that
are shaping politics this weekend,
and a few of the smaller ones too.
Philip Hammond is getting ready
to deliver his latest Budget
on Wednesday and he's not short
of advice - to spend more,
show restraint, even
to stop being an Eyore -
but can he change the direction
of the country and his government?
Conservative Party darling
Jacob Rees-Mogg has
some advice of his own.
He thinks the Chancellor
is being far too gloomy about Brexit
- he joins me live to explain why.
The former Leave campaign leader,
Gisela Stuart, will be here debating
with pro-EU campaigner
Alastair Campbell, after taking
a trip to her native Germany
to speak to businesses
And, as we wait to find out what's
on the menu for this week's budget,
we're in a diner off
the A1 in Peterborough,
finding out who people most trust
with the economy -
Philip Hammond or John McDonnell?
And coming up here:
As Gerry Adams signals his
intention to stand down
as Sinn Fein President,
I'll be talking live
to Michelle O'Neill about his
legacy and who she thinks
should succeed him.
Join me in half an hour.
All that coming up in the programme.
And with me for for all of it,
three journalists who've promised
not to show off like Michael Gove
by using any long economicky words -
although I'm not sure they really
know that many anyway -
it's Tom Newton Dunn,
Gaby Hinsliff and Iain Martin.
Let's take a look at the big
political stories making the news
this Sunday morning,
and as you might expect there's
plenty of speculation
about what might or not might be
in Philip Hammond's Budget.
The Chancellor is promising a big
investment in new technology,
including driverless cars -
which could be on the road by 2021.
He's been interviewed
in the Sunday Times,
where he talks about plans to reach
the target of building
300,000 homes every year,
or the equivalent of a city
the size of Leeds.
That paper speculates that he's
attempting to turn from "fiscal
Phil" into "hopeful Hammond"
as he tries to set out
a vision for the country,
not just a list of numbers.
The Sunday Telegraph thinks that
Mr Hammond is planning to offer
a pay rise to nurses as part
of a bid to take on Labour.
But that hasn't impressed
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell.
He's spoken to a number of papers
and is calling for an emergency
budget to invest in public services
and help struggling households.
So that's a taste of what you might
hear on Wednesday and Mr Hammond
and Mr McDonnell have both been
appearing this morning
on the Andrew Marr Show.
I think Britain has a very
bright future ahead of it,
and we have to embrace
the opportunities that
a post-Brexit world will offer.
They will be opportunities that
are based on huge change,
huge technological evolution.
It's not always going to be easy,
but the British people have shown
time and time again that we're up
for these challenges.
For many people out there,
this is a depression.
We've had people whose wages
have been cut by 10%.
Nurses, for example.
We've had people who are now...
1.25 million food parcels handed out
in the sixth richest
country in the world.
That's what I call a recession
for large numbers of people.
We will be talking about Labour and
their economic policies in a moment,
but let's start with what we might
expect from the budget. We will talk
to our panel of political observers.
Philip Hammond is under pressure to
set out a bold vision and reset the
government's programme. Can we
No, we can't. We have
heard enough from the Chancellor
across various broadcast and his
article in the Sunday Times. I think
we will not be getting a bold
budget. His precise words short... A
short time ago were a balanced
budget. Some Tory hearts will think.
They desperately want something to
go out and shout about, something to
capture people's imagination, and do
big and bold things, like how on
earth are they going to build those
new 300,000 houses a year? There are
good reasons why he has chosen what
appears to be a pretty staid,
Conservative budget, and that is
that they are probably unable to get
anything bold through Parliament.
His capital is so low among Tory
MPs. If you have a minority
government, it is tricky.
seen ministers on programmes like
this in the last few weeks putting
in the bids for what they would like
spending on, whether it be payment
for nurses or parliament. Would he
struggled to get something radical
through the Commons?
Big ideas cost
money. That's the problem. Bold
ideas are controversial. In some
ways, Tory MPs are asking their
Chancellor to do the impossible.
Government is already doing
something big and bold, which is
Brexit. That has implications for
how much money is available, how
many risks you want to take with
everything else. What is crucial is
that he demonstrates a reputation
for competence. The reputation that
the Conservative government has for
economic competence, that many
people prefer them to Labour on the
issue of economic competence. The
worst thing he could do is come up
with a big, bold idea that
unravelled quickly. What they
absolutely don't want is to come up
with an exciting idea that falls
apart three days after the budget.
He is under pressure from
Brexiteers, who are suspicious of
him. Does he have to offer them
Part of his problem is he
has to offer so many different
people different things. This is
Philip Hammond trying to be and
It is hard to tell
At least in theoretical
terms. His longer-term difficulty is
that, if you look at the economic
cycle, we are getting to a point
where we are probably overdue, if
you put Brexit to one side, overdue
some kind of correction or downturn,
if you look what has happened to
asset prices globally. What will be
worrying for the Treasury is, just
as everyone is saying we should turn
on the taps and build this or that,
we might be at the top of a cycle,
and the Treasury will want to lose
something in the armoury in terms of
probably growing the deficit if
there are economic difficulties in
the next two years, and then there
is Brexit as well.
I think so. Talking to
his friends and colleagues over the
last few days, he had to make a
call, which was precisely how much
can I get away with, with my
political capital being as low as it
is, with the mixed problems he had
at the last budget, and a lot of the
party disliking his approach to
Brexit. He is damned if he is,
damned if he doesn't. Universal
Credit, we are expecting a reduction
in the time it takes to wait,
business rates, affected by high
inflation... I think we will see a
problem fixing budget which will
probably do quite a lot of important
spadework in many areas.
pick up on some of this later in the
Let's speak now to the Conservative
MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, this week
he helpfully launched an alternative
"budget for Brexit" and advised
the Chancellor to be less gloomy
about the consequences
of leaving the EU.
Thank you for joining us. Your
alternative budget is pretty
radical. Almost half corporation
tax, Cap Stamp duty to help the
London market. It seems you are
advocating the opposite from what we
will hear from your Chancellor on
There are two parts to
the proposals I suggested. One is
that we should show that after we
have left the European Union, the UK
is open to the rest of the world. It
is about opening up to the rest of
the world. Secondly, looking at the
modelling that has been done by the
Treasury and some other forecasters,
which has been so comprehensively
wrong. The forecasts made about what
would happen after Brexit have
turned out to be hopelessly false.
The team at Cardiff University have
done some modelling based on the
classical economic principles and
what happens if you move to free
trade that would be very positive
for the economy.
You are predicting
a Brexit dividend of £135 billion,
which sounds fantastic. Why are you
right, and everybody else, including
the Bank of England and the
Institute for Fiscal Studies, why
are they all wrong?
It depends on
the type of modelling. The modelling
that have been done by the Treasury
have been based on gravity models,
which work on the basis of the
nearness of the market and the size
of the economy you are trading with.
These have been wrong in the past.
They predicted that if we joined the
euro, trade would grow by 300%. That
was then revised down to 200%, but
it is fantasyland. The model I am
working on, by Sir Patrick Minford,
who has a record of getting these
things right. He was right about the
exchange rate mechanism, right about
Being right in the past
doesn't mean you are right about the
future. Why do you think the
Treasury will not pick up the same
numbers, if this is so obvious to
I think the Treasury was
humiliated by the errors in its
forecast prior to Brexit, and is
trying to defend its position. The
short-term economic consequences of
a vote to leave was one of the most
dishonest documents to come out of
the Treasury, purely a piece of
political propaganda. They are
wounded by that and sticking to the
same script, rather than looking at
other forecasts and other experts.
You think the governor of the Bank
of England is an enemy of Brexit,
and it sounds like you think the
Treasury is opposed to it. As the
Chancellor fallen under their spell
as well, and been persuaded to be an
enemy of Brexit?
I have admiration
the Chancellor, but George Osborne,
his predecessor, was the architect
of Project Fear. He was too close to
the Bank of England and lost his
independence. That is what needs to
change. It is an opportunity in the
budget for Philip Hammond to show he
is putting aside the Treasury's
mistakes in the past. It is very
encouraging what he is saying this
morning, about a more positive
approach to Brexit.
Lord Lawson has
accused Philip Hammond of being very
close to sabotage on Brexit. He says
we need a can-do man at the Treasury
and not a prophet of doom.
that Philip Hammond is an
exceptionally intelligent man, a
very thoughtful man. It is not a bad
thing to have a Chancellor who is
serious minded and steady, rather
than one who is a showman and uses
the Exchequer to interfere in
I have a lot
of confidence in the Chancellor.
When you launched your budget for
Brexit, you said the government has
to deliver the £350 million for the
NHS that was delivered during the
referendum, even though you didn't
think that promise should have been
made. Is that something they now
need to deliver wrong?
It is. This
only happens once we have left.
Politicians have to recognise that
voters don't look at the small print
of electoral policies. If you put
£350 million on the side of a bus
and say it may be available for the
NHS, it is reasonable for people to
think that is a promise. Brexit was
won by the Leave campaign, so it it
is important that they deliver on
that promise. Politicians must keep
faith with voters and deliver on
implied promises, as well as ones
that are set out in detail.
Cabinet will move on to talk about
the Brexit bill this week, and we
understand they may need to come up
with more money to satisfy EU
demands. The more money spent on
that is less money available for
things like spending on the NHS. Are
you worried about the size of the
You have your finger on
the important point. The government
will have to choose whether to give
lots of money to the European Union,
or whether to spend money on UK
public services, and that will be
part of the negotiation. On all
these issues, it comes down to
choice is the government makes. I
would encourage the government to
choose our own domestic public
services rather than expensive
schemes in continent or Europe.
are you advocating that the
government should spend up to £2.5
billion on a no deal scenario?
It is important that we are ready to
leave in the event of no deal. If we
left with no deal we would on
current figures still be saving the
remains of 18 billion so we would be
saving 15 and a half billion against
paying for the financial framework.
To show we're ready on day one would
be money well spent and most would
be needed any way. We need to have
new customs arrangements in place
even if it is not for a no deal
There are suggestions
that the Government might back down
on the idea of putting the time and
date of leaving the EU on the face
of the bill. Would you be Exxon
certained if that was -- concerned
if that was remove prd the bill?
is in Article 50, unless Article 50
is extended by the Council of Europe
we leave on 20th March 2019 and it
makes accepts that should be the
same in -- sense that should be in
same in domestic law. But that is a
secondary concern from my point of
view. It is important that we leave
on that date.
Stay there if you
We're joined in the studio
by the former minister
He's no relation to the Chancellor,
but he is a member
of the Treasury Select Committee
and he's one of the Tory MPs named
as "Brexit mutineers"
by the Daily Telegraph
this week - lucky him.
I'm assured you're no relation to
the Chancellor. Let's just pick up
on what Jacob Rees Mogg was saying.
How important is it to you as a
rebel that the Government does put
the date on.
I agree with Jacob it
is in the Article 50 process, the
key reason it is important is the
negotiations look like they're going
to be tricky and longer than we
expected and it may well be that we
are still negotiating up until March
2019. We could have a short couple
of weeks period of extension. Why do
harm to the economy by falling out
on a precise time? If those
negotiations need to be extended.
They won't go on for more than a
couple of weeks, because there will
be elections in Europe in June 2019
and there is no chance of a new
commission or Parliament dealing
with this. Giving it flexibility and
with this flexibility the government
said it wants flexibility in
negotiations, why give all the
advantage to the other side? Part of
that was evidenced yesterday by
somebody suggesting they will ask
for the Margaret Thatcher rebate to
be suspended. That is as a result of
putting the date on the bill.
did not agree with the Brexit
committee and think it is important
that we set the date and time?
think it is perfectly reasonable to
set the date and time and I think
these negotiations fill the time
available. The United States and
Australia agreed a free trade deal
between April 2003 and February
2004. These things don't need to be
interm Knabl if both sides want to
agree. I think the British
electorate would be very concerned
if nearly three years after the vote
to leave, we still hadn't left. I
think most people expected that we
would have left by now. The
negotiations realistically to get
through the approval of the European
Parliament and so on need to be
completed by at the end of next
year, going up to the last minute I
don't think is real is tick.
on to talk about a trade deal and
getting that done, the EU need to
agree to move on and we need to
settle the divorce, cabinet are
going to be talking about the amount
that needs to be spent on that,
Stephen what manned, are you happy
for the Government to offer more?
hope that the Government will stick
to the Florence speech in terms of
ensuring that we fulfil our
liabilities and obligations. I'm not
clear exactly whether that is 20
billion or 40 billion and I'm not
sure the government is. If part of
the divorce bill is then some
settlement for getting the trade
deal, we will need to examine that
Jacob Rees Mogg, is this
that might spark another war in the
party if the cabinet suggest they're
prepared to pay more?
I think we
need to go back to what you said,
that the - the EU said they want us
to settle the money first. The
Government doesn't need to follow
that. They need our money. If we
don't pay any money for the final 21
months of the framework, the EU has
about 20 billion pounds gap in its
finances and it has no legal
requirement to borrow. So it
insolvents or the Germans and the
others pay more. So our position on
money is very strong and we
shouldn't fall into the trap of
thinking just because Mr Barnier
said it it is as if he has received
tablets of stone like Moses, he has
There is a sense that the
Government feels a mo generous offer
would set a good tone, the kind of
approach that Jacob Rees Mogg
suggests would not make for smooth
It probably wouldn't. But
we have to be clear what we are
paying for and what we are getting.
No one is suggesting we should hand
over money without proper scrutiny.
It may be appropriate to put money
to facilitate international trade to
secure jobs. We have to be careful
about the analysis about what the
scale and size of Brexit dividend is
and the size of payments will be.
You mustn't confuse gross and net
and there is disagreement about some
of the numbers.
On that, Jacob Rees
Mogg in his budget for Brexit
suggests in five years time we would
have a 135 billion Brexit bonus. Do
you think it is real is tick.
using some analysis that has some
flaws. It is predicting a price drop
in the United Kingdom of 10%. Tariff
drops will only be 3 or 4%. It is
predicting huge productivity gains,
the likes of which we have not seen
in 20 years. Thirdly, despite his
view on modellers there is evidence
that they weren't and if you go into
the detail of the analysis, some of
the data is 14 years out of date.
Jacob Rees Mogg, you're being
I don't think
that right. I think the fall in
prices comes because you make the
economy more competitive and you
take away tariffs which reduces the
price of food by 20%. That is a big
reduction. Bear in mind that the
biggest tariffs hit food, clothing
and foot wear that, harm the poorest
in society the most. The gains from
productivity come from is in
additional tariffs. Leading to other
saving and further investment I
think the modelling done by the
professor is as good as modelling
can be. That doesn't mean it is
infallible. The failure of gravity
model is well known.
was accused of auditioning for the
job of Chancellor by using long
words. Do you know any good long
I don't think that
we want to get into this type of
business actually. I think all
Conservatives and Steven and I very
much agree on this, want to show as
united a front as we can manage.
There are differences on some
aspects of policy, but in terms of
individuals we want to stand
together and support the best
interests of the government.
Brexit Secretary David Davis
was in Berlin this week trying
to win the support of business
leaders there for a comprehensive
free trade deal with the EU.
He warned them against putting
'politics above prosperity'
and reportedly got a bit
of a frosty reception.
Well, the former Labour MP
Gisela Stuart was one of the leaders
of the Vote Leave referendum
We travelled with Gisela to Germany
to meet the business leaders
she says will help secure a good
trade deal for the UK.
Here's her film.
I was born and brought up
in this part of Germany,
and although I've lived in the UK
for the past 40 years,
and represented the constituency
of Birmingham and Edgbaston for 20
years, my family still live here,
and I've kept many links.
I was chair of Vote Leave,
and together with only a handful
of other Labour MPs,
we campaigned to leave
the European Union because we
thought the country would be
better off outside.
It's hard to remember now, but back
in the 1970s, when we joined
the European Economic Community,
people thought that by joining
the club we would see the kind
of economic miracle Germany
experienced in the '70s back home.
The "Deutsche Wirtschaftswunder"
would come to Britain.
But, of course, it didn't.
Within a few short years
of the devastation of World War II,
Germany had emerged as
the largest economy in Europe.
success is down to
the pragmatism of its business.
German Mittelstand is family
long-term thinking, reliability,
are very important values.
Changing moods on a political
landscape and changing frameworks
are toxic for our way of doing
business, and we want
that to go away.
German business is not given
to making big political statements
out of step with government policy,
but talk to those in decision-making
positions, and it is clear
that they want to secure a good deal
with the United Kingdom.
BMW employs almost 90,000
people here in Germany,
and exports just under
1 million cars annually.
The UK is a vital market.
What we are really seeking right now
is more clarity, more certainty,
because in our cycle of investment,
cycle of development,
it's about a seven-year or so period
that we look at,
but we are now, of course, starting
to think about what comes next,
and what we need to see now
is what is going to be
the trading relationship,
how are the logistics going to look,
what is going to be
the requirements for people
moving across the continent?
Because all of these things
are important to us today.
And, by the way, they will be just
as important tomorrow.
Berlin is well aware that
if the European Commission
is allowed to put up trade barriers
against Britain, it will be
German business, German consumers
and German employees
who will suffer.
I think it's very
important that we complete
the first phase successfully.
The first phase of the negotiations,
which looks at the financial
consequences of Great Britain
leaving the EU.
And then it's not a question
of punishment payments.
It's about when you are part
of a multilayer, contractual
obligation and you want to leave
that, then of course it takes
a whole lot of obligations
which you have to deal with,
so both sides are satisfied and can
live with the consequences.
It isn't everyone's interests
for the UK to part on good terms.
Of course there was going to be
upset when the UK voted to leave,
but creating uncertainty over
the terms of UK's exit will simply
have a disruptive effect
on exports to UK markets.
Far better to have a sensible,
amicable negotiation that results
both sides being able to trade
together and work
Markus Krall is managing
director of Goetzpartners,
and heads the Financial
Institution Industry Group.
Is it true to say that,
if we negotiate Brexit well,
then a good Brexit can actually
strengthen the United Kingdom,
the European Union and Germany?
It's absolutely true.
I think that this
is about two things.
One, about proving that
free trade is possible
between a European Union that is
smaller and a former member country.
If you don't prove that free
trade is possible there,
then the question becomes,
what is Europe standing for?
Number two is, I also
believe the free trade,
free market and democratic and less
bureaucratic approach that Britain
has chosen as the path
into the future is a role
model for Europe.
The time has come both
for the United Kingdom
and for the EU to be more clear
about what kind of
deal we can achieve.
Both sides need to be bold.
As long as we remain open to free
trade and sensible co-operation,
we can arrive at something that
will benefit both sides.
But one thing's obvious -
if we are an open and free trading
economy, we've got one big
cheerleader on our side,
and that is German business.
That was Gisela Stuart
setting out her case
and we'll be hearing
from the opposite side
of the argument in the coming weeks.
Gisela Stuart joins us in the studio
now, as does Alastair Campbell.
He used to work for Tony Blair
in Number 10, set up
the New European Newspaper
to campaign against Brexit,
and is so pro-European that at this
year's Labour conference
he was heard playing Ode
to Joy on the bagpipes.
Welcome both of you.
We will start with your point in the
film, that you think the German
business once the EU to offer the UK
a generous deal because it is in
their interests, yet the president
of the German equivalent of the CBI
said that defending the single
market must be the priority for the
EU, and another says that the
cohesion of the remaining member
states remains the highest priority.
The president of the CBI just after
the referendum said that it would be
in nobody 's interest to introduce
tariffs and trade barriers. On the
UK side, I don't think there's a
full understanding that economic
interests are incredibly important,
that they are trying to cover
economic interests on the cohesion
of the 27. I think different
economic interests will raise the
head of different countries. The
German auto industry is as important
as the financial sector is here. The
banking crisis is far from over, but
the big riffs which were going on is
that the E U is losing its second
biggest net contributor. Countries
like Germany want a deal with the UK
that is a free open market. There
are other tensions in the EU that
wants to become more protectionist,
and that is a bad thing.
the film there with the Jacob
Rees-Mogg interview. No matter what
side of leave you are, it is
delusional and all driven by wishful
thinking. You could find a
businessman who says Brexit will be
good for Germany. The vast bulk of
British businesses think this is a
disaster, as do the vast bulk of
European businesses. One of the
delusions on which they ran their
campaign is the idea that they need
us more than we need them. That is
Be you self about £80
billion more in goods and services
into the UK than we do to them, and
Germany has one of the biggest
deficits. It is in their interest.
Of course it is, but it is a myth
that they need us more than we need
them. The damage that will be done
to us, even with a good deal. Let's
be frank, where these negotiations
are, Theresa May is either going to
end up with a bad deal and dumber or
no Deal. A bad deal is bad, and a no
deal is a catastrophe.
setting up ideas that which were not
there to begin with and knocking
them down. Delusional.
the Brexit bonus.
If we had a
referendum, it was a democratic
decision. I know you don't like it
and that a lot of business would
have preferred to stay with the
status quo. We have had the
referendum. Undermining political
institutions is in no one's
interests. It is functioning
democracies which lead to economic
Theresa May fought an
election Inc on a hard Brexit that
As we heard from BMW,
there is uncertainty for business.
There will be elections, European
elections, in 2019. There will be a
change of the Commission and the
parliament. We have a narrow window
to implement the mandate for the
referendum which Parliament voted
for. So rather than you undermining
this country, why don't you work
together to get the best deal?
Because we totally disagree.
don't want a good deal?
favour of a good deal, and I could
give them some advice as to how they
get a good deal. First, you have a
cabinet that has an agreed strategy.
18 months in, they don't have that.
I am not undermining a deal. I am
continuing to pose questions about
what they are trying to do and how
they are trying to do it. This is
democracy. Democracy is the ability
for Parliament, which is not doing
its job properly, and the public, to
keep scrutinising, and if they want
to change their mind, having the
right to do that.
You were trying to
encourage the Taoiseach yesterday to
play hardball with the UK.
I am on
the side of the UK, and I am worried
that if we go down the path that we
are being taken down, and Theresa
May and Boris Johnson and the rest
of them, this shambolic path, we are
going to do fundamental, lasting
damage to the country we love. I
don't care about the Civil Aviation
Authority. I care about Britain. --
I don't care about the European
Union. If every lorry going into the
UK today was stopped for just two
minutes, we would create an instant
17 mile traffic jam. These people
just don't care...
I am not these
people! Let us not conflate... You
either decide that you are
implementing a democratic decision
of a referendum that was
of a referendum that was called and
over 17 million voted.
You will not
stop me debating it. Just as Nigel
Stop talking about Nigel
Farrell Raj. Vote Leave was not
Nigel Farage. There is no desire in
Germany to punish the United
They are behaving
There is a battle of
protectionism and free market going
on. If we implement this properly,
give businesses the kind of
incentives they want, we can get a
good deal. So you want a bad deal?
You are driven by wishful thinking.
Gisela Stuart, you are saying that
business will intervene to prevent
things like tariffs being put in
place? They are leaving it a bit
late to put pressure on.
find that business is laying out the
kind of things they need to get
those deals. I can find as much
fault with the speed of the
progress, but what I really do
resent is that you are actually
encouraging other countries to
Know I am not! I spoke
out in support of the Irish
Taoiseach because I spent a lot of
time with Tony Blair and his team on
the Good Friday Agreement. The
people who are driving this hard
Brexit without thinking it through,
still no answer on how you do Brexit
in our island without a hard border.
I think the Irish Taoiseach is right
to call out the government on the
incompetence and the fact they have
not thought it through.
the result of the referendum and the
fact that we will be leaving the EU?
I accept the result of the
referendum, but I do not accept that
the country will definitely leave,
because the country is entitled to
change its mind. As the chaos and
costs mount, the public is entitled
to change its mind and will change
There is no evidence at
Come out with me!
me to finish the sentence. There is
a changing of mind happening, a
crystallisation. Unlike you, I have
fought five elections and I have won
five elections. I have probably
spoken to more people like you.
may do, I'm just saying, come out on
the road with me...
40% of the
population in the middle just want
us to get on with it. What that film
showed is that if you want to make
it a self-fulfilling prophecy that
it's a disaster, which I don't. I
want to implement a deal that is
good for British jobs. The rest of
the world is changing in terms of
technology. Currently, Germany
hasn't even got a government, and
nobody is laughing about that.
they are stable without a
Let's leave it
Hello and welcome
to Sunday Politics.
It's official - Sinn Fein is to get
a new leader after Gerry Adams
announced his plan to step
down, at this weekend's
Ard Fheis in Dublin.
I'll be asking Michelle O'Neill
what lies ahead for the party given
the current political challenges.
And we've upgraded our usual
duet of guests to a trio
to share their thoughts with us.
So it's a warm welcome
to commentators Chris Donnelly
and Allison Morris and to
Professor Rick Wilford
from Queen's University.
Sinn Fein will soon
have a new leader, after Gerry Adams
announced he's standing down
after 34 years in the post.
At a time when major political
announcements are nearly
always leaked beforehand,
our Dublin correspondent,
Shane Harrison, now reports on how
the news was kept under wraps.
It is around eight o'clock on Friday
night and Sinn Fein's deputy leader
Mary Lou McDonald takes to the stage
Welcome one and all to
this very historic Sinn Fein Ard
Historic? It is not a
significant anniversary, the party
is 112 years old and has been here
before. So what could she possibly
mean? Might it have anything to do
with what Gerry Adams might say in
his presidential address about his
Gerry Adams has
given a few clues as to what he is
going to say, he has given me some
clues, but told me not to share it
with Shane Harrison and the BBC. It
will be significant, as every Ard
It is momentous for a very
special reason, but we cannot say
So let's call it the Jerry
Jeeps. Those who say would tell
until Gerry reveals all. The
National Executive has just passed
an unnoticed motion on the party's
Constitution, rules and regulations.
It allows for an extraordinary Ard
Fheis to be summoned, no more than
three months after a vacancy occurs
in the office of the president.
Could this be a clue to query the
Gerry Ts is going? We will come back
to the Adams big reveal. On Friday
night, Sinn Fein party motion Allen
and the party to go into coalition
size of the border as a junior
partner, as it pushes for a united
Ireland and fights against a hard
Brexit. Yes, there would have to be
a special Ard Fheis and an agreed
policy programme, and for the sake
of the argument, we are going to
have to forget about... They would
have nothing to do with Sinn Fein in
What I want an election
night is for the question to be
changed on its head, not who is Sinn
Fein going into Government with, but
who will Sinn Fein take into
Government with us? That is the
fundamental question we want to
picture the Irish people between now
and the next election.
We want to be
in Government and implement our
policies, driving towards a united
Ireland. We very much want to fight
to prevent a hard Brexit and he
reimposed border. We are determined
by whatever we can to prevent bad.
At this weekend's Ard Fheis, Sinn
Fein remembered the late Martin
McGuinness, with a photo exhibition,
a musical tribute and an emotional
appearance on the stage by his
widow. No longer... The question
remains, how much longer can they
be? The Sinn Fein leader was 20
minutes into his speech when he
answered that question.
This is the
This is my last Ard Fheis as the
president. I will be asking the
incoming president to agree a date
in 2000 and eating very special Ard
Fheis to enact our next president.
-- to enact.
Gerry Adams has just
finished speaking, it is not going
to be a case of a long goodbye. Sinn
Fein wants a new leader at a time of
Brexit, at a time of political
instability North and south of the
Shane Harrison reporting
from the Sinn Fein Ard Fheis.
And joining me live now
from our Dublin studio
is the party's Stormont leader,
Thank you for joining us on the
Gerry Adams said last night:
"Leadership means knowing
when it is time for change."
Why is it time for change?
Why is now the time
for Gerry Adams to stand down?
Good morning, Mark. We have
certainly had a very exciting, and
emotional Ard Fheis over the course
of the last two days. We have had
all the topics discussed, or the
social issues and the issue of
united Ireland and the position of
Jerry's leadership when he told the
delegates first it is time for him
to stand down. It is about
reflecting on a Gerry's leadership
and how he has grown the party over
the last 34 years. Since 1983 when a
Gerry took over in the aftermath of
the hunger strikes, at that time we
were in the middle of conflict, when
you look at his leadership
throughout that time in all those 34
years, he is an immense man, a man
of amazing leadership skill, he has
nurtured the party and grown it, he
has been so supportive. For us, this
has certainly been an historic Ard
Fheis, but for me it has been an
emotional. It was our first
conference without Martin
McGuinness, there was a beautiful
tribute to him yesterday evening.
am not surprised you would want to
be a warm tribute to Gerry Adams and
Martin McGuinness. He has been a
successful leader in your view for
34 years. He pointed out the
strength of the party at the moment.
He pointed out the current
of the party last night -
23 TDs, four MEPs, 27 MLAs,
seven MPs and over 250 councillors.
There are big challenges, the Brexit
debate, the challenge of getting
into Government in the Republic. He
is standing down out of the blue, is
that an admission he is not the
He is more than
fit for it. What he set himself last
night, one of the things in
leadership, you should know when it
is time to stand down. Why is it
time to stand down? He has decided
now is the time for him to stand
down because he knows he has
nurtured a collective leadership,
and leadership funerals will now
encourage and refresh the party, it
will make sure the party has
longevity. He thinks there is the
time personally for him to stand
down. He knows across our leadership
there are people that can step into
that role, that can take the party
forward. That code is testimony to
the leadership skills he has.
still going to be in the background
pulling the strings?
Noel, Gerry has
decided to stand down, he will
support the new leader who comes in.
We will all throw our weight behind
any new leader. It is emotional and
exciting. If you look at all the
debate yesterday which we have had
towards a united Ireland, we have
supported over 500,000 people across
the Island. I have confidence in our
collective leadership. I will put
confidence in our new president.
Could I be talking to Sinn Fein's
I think I have enough
to do in terms of leading the party
in the North. We will see who puts
their name forward and I will make
my decision in terms of who I
support at that time.
Are you ruling
out putting your own name forward?
am indeed. I have enough to do in
terms of dealing with the problems
we have in the North, trying to get
the institutions up and running a
game, building confidence people
need to see in the Stormont
You have ruled yourself
out. Will there be a contest for
this position in the New Year or
will it be the anointing of Mary Lou
McDonald, the current vice
What's going to happen it
is the new president, elected
yesterday, will come forward in the
next couple of weeks, they will meet
and decide the process for the start
of next year when we were elected
new leader. That process is yet to
be declared. We will have a special
Ard Fheis at the start of the year,
a very healthy process, we will
elect our new leader. You didn't
have to go through an open contest.
There was no contest. Why should the
Sinn Fein president have to go
through the inconvenience of a
was the same as any other party
leaders, in terms of selecting who
is the front bench. The president of
the party will be elected at a
special Ard Fheis. Will it be a
contest? That is to be seen, it
depends who wants to put a name
Would you like it to be a
Wouldn't a proper leadership
election contest make more sense?
A real opportunity for a party that
talks a lot about its democratic
principles to have an open debate
and give members a real choice?
They will have to get support across
the party to put their name forward.
If there is a contest, so be it. We
will go to the floor, delegates will
vote and will put our weight behind
whatever the outcome is.
decision to allow the party to go
into Government as a junior partner
in the Republic is interesting.
has there been a U-turn on that? We
have always said we are ready for
Government and determined to go into
Government. If you look the housing
crisis, the crisis in the health
crisis. The people are tired of the
start of school, they want change.
What we said in this Ard Fheis is we
are prepared to go into Government
and we will do so on the basis of
negotiating a strong programme for
Government, one that deals with
public services and one that has an
agenda to uniting Ireland and a
policy for a referendum.
There was a
serious dose of reality at the
weekend because your position up to
yesterday was that you would only go
into Government in the Republic as
the senior partner. You have
realised that is not practical in
the short term, if you're going to
get into Government in Leinster
House you will have to do it as the
I think you're
making an assumption. It will be up
to the people to decide who is going
into Government. We will put
ourselves before the Government to
league-mac public. Whenever you
listen to who they are going to be
in Government with, that is
arrogant. The people will decide who
goes into Government. We will set
ODB says. We will put ourselves
before the electorate, a Government
that ends corruption, stands up
public services, the people decide
It is a clear expression of
interest in wanting to be in
Government in Dublin, your critics
here in Northern Ireland remain
unconvinced you are genuine about
wanting to see the Executive back.
Tell me whether willingness is to
compromise on the part of Sinn Fein
in the Stormont talks?
I think the
public are very aware about what is
at the heart of the current
political impasse in the North. Sinn
Fein want to be in the Executive. I
want to pick our departments and
deal with all the issues at hand,
tackle Greg says, deal with Tory
austerities. We know what needs to
happen. There are issues that need
to be delivered on, previous
agreements need to be delivered on.
If we fix those things, we can get
an Executive up and running. We want
to be in the Executive and we will
do so on the basis of all those
things been resolved.
told me in a recent conversation
that Sinn Fein cannot compromise on
a compromise, you could point to any
flexibility on Sinn Fein's position.
All of the flexibility at Pali has
to come from the DUP and other
parties. Is that your position? You
are not negotiating or compromising
on any of those core principles?
politics you always have to
compromise. John was pointing out
that we have compromised in the
past, we have made agreements with
the DUP and they have failed to
deliver. That is the problem. We
need to see the delivery of previous
agreements, people being given the
same rights as they can get you in
Dublin, you can get married and have
your language rights, in the North
you cannot. Once you get those
things results, we will establish an
Executive. Any incoming Executive is
going to have big challenges, if you
look at Brexit, Tory austerities.
Unless we resolve those issues, the
Executive is not sustainable. We are
committed to being in the
institutions in the North. We want
to be in the institutions right
across the islands. We need to deal
with the issues at the heart of the
political impasse if we are going to
get it up and running again.
the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar last week
and a delegation from the party is
to meet the Prime Minister Theresa
May on Tuesday. What do you hope to
get out of that meeting?
We met the
Taoiseach on Thursday or Friday and
we are meeting Theresa May on
Tuesday. We are saying the DUP have
failed to deliver on the rights
-based issue, they have failed to
deliver on previous agreements, we
are calling on both governments to
play their role in the Good Friday
Agreement, to deliver on the
agreements, to establish the
intergovernmental conference. That
allows for joint partnership working
between both governments. When I
need May on Tuesday, I will make
that point to her. One of the
problems we have is the fact the DUP
have a political pact with the
Tories, they haven't stood by, they
haven't encouraged them to go on to
the ground of delivering on previous
Intergovernmental Conference is an
interesting demand from your point
of view. Some people would interpret
that as an admission that the
Stormont talks are going nowhere
fast. We are away with the stocks at
the moment? By the active or not?
Gregory Campbell told me the DUP is
still talking to Sinn Fein. A Sinn
Fein representative couldn't say
whether the talks were ongoing or
not. What is the current status of
the devolution talks?
The talks are
not ongoing. What I said over the
course of the last several weeks is
endless talks without an outcome are
not good enough. We need to bring an
end to the phase of talks. We will
come back to a talks process of some
description. We cannot keep going
round the hamster wheel. The issues
are clear. Everybody knows what
needs to be resolved in order to
establish the Executive. We will
always talk to all the other
partners in Government. We need to
get an outcome and it needs to be
the delivery on his previous
agreements. It has to be the
delivery of people's writes. We need
an Executive that is sustainable,
people have confidence in and it is
something with integrity.
got to deal with the fact we are
heading towards direct rule,
We do not want direct
rule, it won't work, it has failed
in the past and will fail again.
They will only enjoy the confidence
and the support of the public if
they serve all the people which they
are intended to serve. That means
delivering all people their rights,
making sure we have equality in
Government, mutual respect. That the
Government people can have
in Dublin, thank you.
Let's hear from my guests of the day
- commentator Chris Donnelly,
Allison Morris from the Irish News,
and Professor Rick Wilford.
Chris Donnelly, let's talk about
Gerry Adams's decision. Possibly no
great surprise. The speed with which
he has apparently stood down as
Yes, it is undoubtedly
the case Gerry Adams and the Sinn
Fein leadership are now looking
towards removing the party into a
position where it can get into
Government in the south. They are
looking at the fact there is an
acceptance that Gerry Adams is
coming to the end of his leadership
tenure and that Mary Lou McDonald
might position it Sinn Fein is
better to be able to sit alongside a
Government. That would be a key
development for Sinn Fein to finally
make that breakthrough, and
potentially be in Government in
North and south of the same time.
Gerry Adams says leadership is about
knowing it is time for change. Why
is it time for him to stand down now
If you look at the
motion which changed... Sinn Fein,
that Ard Fheis, it was about social
issues in the south, it was about
getting into Government in the side.
There was very little of it when you
listen to it about the North and the
political crisis up here. Gerry
Adams is standing down at this
political pound, making room for an
Mary Lou McDonald, a more suitable
partner in Government. It is all
ruled herself out. She is not
interested, she has got enough to be
getting on with she says. Is it
going to be the anointing of Mary
Probably. There is no
way that Gerry Adams's successor
could come from Northern Ireland, it
has to be somebody from the side.
Chris is right, Mary Lou McDonald is
ideally placed. It will be another
coronation, just like we have for
the party leaders appear. -- up
here. The intellectual heft of Sinn
Fein is increasingly moving
southwards. You cannot think Sinn
Fein representatives in Northern
Ireland there is anybody who
probably can have the potential
appeal of Mary Lou McDonald as a
candidate at the next general
Chris, in terms of how it
the party shifts and changes, moves
in a new direction, North and south,
how do you see that unfolding in the
months and years ahead without Gerry
Adams at the helm?
Gerry Adams came
to be the personification of
modern-day Sinn Fein, he is leaving
a legacy in terms of how he has
developed the southern wing of the
party. Now they are on the verge of
being a partner in Government,
albeit they had to move him out to
make it be the case that the party
is in a stronger position. His
greatest concern is to ensure that
the party North and south stays
together. There is a concern that
the asymmetrical development of the
party, the site is more ideological,
the North still has those hang-up
issues from the conflict. -- the
south. The job for Michelle O'Neill
is going to be crucial, and her team
it is important.
Under any risks for
Sinn Fein in this?
Gerry Adams is
such a massive figure, he
border. -- Ken Clarke. When you talk
to people who support Brexit in
Northern Ireland, they say it is
very simple and straightforward, it
can be done.
No, they don't. It is
important Leo Varadkar says this as
the pointy can we are maximum
influence. It is surprising some
people said he was caught off-guard.
It was always going to be the case
the Irish Government knew they had
to get this right at this moment. It
suggests they haven't properly
thought this through. I cannot see
Leo Varadkar moving at this time.
This could be potentially
catastrophic for the Irish economy.
That's it, back to Sarah in London.
Philip Hammond will deliver his
Budget on Wednesday -
he's moved it to the Autumn
if you remember - and he'll be
hoping it can help re-define
the Government in the eyes
of the public.
But when it comes to
the economy, do people trust
the Conservatives, or Labour?
Here's Ellie Price
with the moodbox.
MUSIC: The Road to Nowhere
by Talking Heads.
All eyes will be on the Chancellor
this week as we find out
what he has been cooking
up in his Budget.
So we have pulled off the A1
near Peterborough to ask people here
who they trust with the economy -
is it the Chancellor,
Philip Hammond, or is it
Labour's John McDonnell?
Which one's Tory?
I voted Conservative
for the last two
elections, don't feel very confident
now, so I'm going to swap.
If I said to you which
of these characters
would you trust with the economy,
what would you say?
The one who's currently
running it, because they
seem to be bringing
the deficit down.
Because I'm an NHS worker.
For me, it's just about
spending, public spending.
Labour always overspend.
John McDonnell, I think
capitalism as we know it is tanked
and I think we need
a radical re-think.
Broken his egg, who do you trust
more on the economy?
Because they never come up trumps
with anything that they
reckon they're going to do.
If I had to make you
choose one of them?
The man that's there, Hammond.
I wouldn't trust
Philip Hammond with a
bag of marbles or a plastic ball!
Who do you trust
more on the economy?
Oh, the Conservatives.
I just think they're better
for the small businessman.
We need a Maggie or
a Winston Churchill,
somebody in there with
balls to say, right,
that's the direction
going in, that's what
we are going to do.
I've got balls!
What are you doing?
Putting balls in holes
by the look of it!
I suppose the lesser of the two
evils is anything but Tory,
but I say that without a great
deal of conviction.
Having grown up in the '70s
with all the rubbish on the
streets, the strikes, the unions.
Re-nationalisation and they're
going to spend a lot of money
and increase taxes and it will pull
the country down.
I've seen an awful loft of all-day
breakfasts today, but it
is clearing up time here
at the diner and time
to reveal the Moodbox.
Take it away, Tim.
As you can say it was
a close-run thing, but
like any fiscally responsible
Chancellor, I've done my maths and
counted and Philip Hammond got six
more votes than John McDonnell.
Oh, chip, thank you very much!
That was Ellie and the entirely
at the Stibbington diner near
But for a slightly more scientific
understanding of how the public view
the parties on this and other
issues, let's have a look
at some recent polling.
Here's where the Conservatives
and Labour stood on the economy back
when the Prime Minister called
the snap election in April,
when the Conservatives had a big
lead, as they did in many
The most recent poll by the same
company reckoned Labour had narrowed
the gap significantly,
as they have in other areas,
although they're still 10 points
behind the Tories on this issue.
And there was another survey much
discussed at Westminster this week,
showing that while the gap
between Theresa May
and Jeremy Corbyn has narrowed
drastically since that pre-election
period, Mrs May is,
despite her many problems,
still pretty much level-pegging
in polling terms or
even slightly ahead.
And when it comes to how
people intend to vote
while the Tories are behind,
there's no sign of a
big Labour lead yet.
Tony Blair thinks that,
given the current "mess"
inside the Government,
Jeremy Corbyn's party should be
10 or 15 points ahead.
Well, many in Labour will find it
easy to dismiss both Tony Blair
and the opinion polls, as they both
called the last election entirely
wrong, so what if anything do
these polls tell us?
Let's turn to our expert panel.
Labour are now eight points on the
economy, according to a poll. Why is
there a gap between Labour and the
There seems to be a
deep-seated reservation in the minds
of many voters. They look at Jeremy
Corbyn and John McDonnell and
imagine them in charge of the
country, the finances, national
security, and think... It is
unfashionable to point out in many
circles that Labour did not win the
last election, and it didn't win it
for that kind of reason. Jeremy
Corbyn is very good at attracting
and inspiring young people and
people who had not voted before. We
underestimated his capacity to do
that. But he wasn't great at turning
Tories to Labour, or sealing off
those final reservations. The
government have had a shambolic few
weeks. We are tripping over
resigning a cabinet ministers. They
are fighting like ferrets. A lot of
people are having a really tough
time and looking at the government
to help them, and are unimpressed
with what they see. But there seems
to be a final fence that Corbyn does
not seem to be able to get over.
Isn't Tony Blair right, that Labour
should be 15 or 20 points ahead?
think he's completely wrong, and is
revealing he is out of date. I think
Labour are in a really good
position. If you look at what they
have achieved in the last year,
going into Christmas 2016, Corbyn
had just managed to avoid, had to
re-fight Labour leadership contest.
They were 20 points behind. Theresa
May was at the top of her game.
Through the general election and
beyond it, they have continued to
build their movement. They are very
effective on social media. I think
they are in a strong position, and
they need about 60 seats to win the
next general election. They will
probably start with 25 of those. The
fact that they are closing the gap
on the economy suggests that a lot
of voters are now giving them a
chance or a hearing, which they
certainly were not getting a year
ago. I think they have done very
Can they be confident with a
slim lead against the government?
am slightly more with Tony Blair
than with Iain. This goes back to
that very general election result. A
huge turnout for Labour for Jeremy
Corbyn. If you asked that same 40%
of people today, do you want Jeremy
Corbyn to be Prime Minister? Where
you really voting for Jeremy Corbyn
to lead the British governmentanswer
is no, because Theresa May still,
despite the fact she is presiding
over a shambolic cabinet, she has
the most support for Prime Minister.
The last general election may have
just been a giant by-election,
because everyone was so short that
Theresa May would get in.
Chancellor Philip Hammond gave
Labour a bit of a gift, when he
said, there were not any unemployed
people in Britain. A slip of the
tongue. Was that damaging?
to look at the context he was saying
it in, which will not be the context
of the Facebook meme you will get
shortly. He was asked about future
unemployment, and he was saying that
when technological advances came,
unemployment didn't materialise.
They would not be able to use that
against him so easily if it didn't
have something that people think
about the Conservative government,
which is that they are out of touch,
they have no idea about some people,
that they refuse to see what they
have done. People have that idea
about the Conservatives, so to drop
a bit of a clanger in that regard...
The budget is on Wednesday, and also
this week, the Brexit committee will
be meeting. What will they be
talking about and why does it
What Stephen Hammond said to
you a few moments ago was
fascinating. Tomorrow is going to be
the big meeting. It is the
negotiations committee. Nine or so
ministers have recently been
included in that, like Michael Gove.
They are going to be talking about
the money, precisely how much they
offer in two weeks' time to meet
this deadline in the December
council for phase two. Michael Gove
and Boris Johnson want to add in
conditions. They want to say, we
will give you this as long as we get
that. What was fascinating with
Stephen Hammond just now was that he
revealed that it wasn't just the
Brexiteers in Cabinet who want a
more precise definition of what we
are going for, it is the remainers
In the heart of the
government, David Davis is trying to
keep the bill as low as possible,
possibly around 30%. The divorce
Bill and future liabilities. Some in
the civil service have suggested
that it has to be 40 or above. What
it reveals to me is really, it's
another function of Britain not
really having a proper Prime
Minister. In normal circumstances,
of course the Cabinet is divided. A
strong leader would say, right, this
is what is happening. This is where
we are going. We will call it 35 or
40 billion. We will save to the
European Union, there is the check,
but it will not have a signature on
it until we are satisfied with the
stage. The government is hampered by
the lack of a strong personality who
could do that, make a political play
with other European leaders that
might break the deadlock.
that is why the full Cabinet have
not discussed what the future Brexit
deal will be.
That is the
astonishing thing. There has been no
sort of vision of what Britain is
going to look like after Brexit. We
have got down in what the
negotiation position for tomorrow
will be. What does it look like in
terms of immigration, trade with the
rest of the world, what life will
look like for ordinarily... Ordinary
There are visions for this,
but they will not agree on one. Is
there such a thing as a Tory Cabinet
Minister who could have one single
vision without them all ripping each
other's heads off? Probably not.
That's all for today.
Join me again next Sunday
at 11.00 here on BBC One.
Until then, bye bye.