23/04/2017 Sunday Politics Northern Ireland


23/04/2017

Mark Carruthers with the latest political news, interviews and debate.


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It's Sunday afternoon - this is the Sunday Politics.

:00:36.:00:38.

Jeremy Corbyn wants to give everyone in Britain four

:00:39.:00:41.

extra bank holidays - but is the Labour leader up

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to being Prime Minister if he wins the election in just

:00:45.:00:46.

Theresa May says she wants a stronger hand to deliver Brexit -

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how will the Conservatives go about getting the bigger

:00:53.:00:54.

I'll be asking Party Chairman, Patrick McLoughlin.

:00:55.:01:01.

And I've been in Paris where voters are going to the polls in first

:01:02.:01:05.

And in Northern Ireland: election - what could be the impact

:01:06.:01:12.

We talk pacts and polls with the political parties here,

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as they prepare for the third election in just over a year.

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And how does that affect the negotiations at Stormont?

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Will the Remain majority punish the Tories for the decision?

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Or feel they may not like it but the Tories

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And with me has always ready for the marathon task of covering a snap

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general election, even working on bank holidays, the best and

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brightest political panel in the business. David Wooding, Polly

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Toynbee and Toby Young. So Labour's big announcement this

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morning was a crowd pleaser. Four more rainy bank

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holidays to enjoy - one for each of the patron saints

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of England, Scotland, But Mr Corbyn probably won't be

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getting the time off work if he wins And on The Andrew Marr Show this

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morning he was asked what he would do as Prime Minister

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if the security services asked him to authorise a drone strike

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on the leader of Islamic State. What I'd tell them is,

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give me the information you've got, tell me how accurate that is,

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tell me what you I'm asking you about decisions you

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would take as Prime Minister. Can I take you back

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to the whole point? Is the objective

:02:27.:02:28.

to start more strikes that may kill many innocent

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people, as has happened? Do you think killing

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the leader of Isis would be I think the leader of Isis not

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being around would be helpful, and I'm no supporter or defender

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in any way of Isis. But I would also argue that

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the bombing campaign has killed a of whom were virtually prisoners of

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Isis. So you've got to think

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about these things. Mr Corbyn earlier. David, is his

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reply refreshing damaging? It is damaging. He has clearly been

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freaked to the fire already in the first week, there will be lots of

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questions on his suitability as a leader and the damage it could cause

:03:11.:03:13.

to our national security over the weeks ahead and Andrew Marr has cut

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straight to the chase here. The other thing, of course, is the

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letters of last resort, one of the first duties of a Prime Minister

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when he walks into No 10 is to sign these letters on his own, on or --

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or on her own in a room, a very lonely moment, to decide whether he

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should press the nuclear button and that goes in the Vanguard submarines

:03:34.:03:37.

and is opened in the event of a strike and he has dodged a question

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so many times. One must wonder what he would do that. He has to make

:03:42.:03:45.

these decisions as Prime Minister. On the Isis point, refreshing or

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damaging? It sure is his base, the people who support him, that's the

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sort of thing they support info and maybe his tactic is that's all he's

:03:56.:03:58.

going to get, that is what the polls seem to suggest, in which case they

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will be pleased, and say yes, the man is a man for these who doesn't

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press buttons and shoot people down. But if you want to win you have to

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deal with your own weaknesses and reach out to other people. I think

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most people would say that's not somebody who could defend the

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country. I wonder if he was being totally honest in saying he would

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consider it he would ask for more information. He has previously been

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on the record as being against drone strikes in principle, he's

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campaigned against them, he wants to abolish drones. I think Andrew Marr

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let him off saying it was a drone strike rather than a Navy SEAL or

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SAS operation and he had the fact that they could be collateral

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damage. We that's not his position because he condemned the

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assassination of Osama Bin Laden even though there was no collateral

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damage. David is right on the Trident point, he fetched the

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question. We heard Niall Griffiths on this very show saying Trident,

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the renewal of Trident, would be in the next Labour Party manifesto. It

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turns out now we don't know and when he was asked he said that remains to

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be seen, his re-opened a can of worms. What he has said about

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Trident which was extraordinary was, we will rebuild the submarines but

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not have any nukes on them which is expensive and useless. And of course

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the Labour Party were forced soon after that interview to put out a

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statement saying it is Labour Party policy to renew Trident. So where

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are we? Do we know what the party's policy is? It is to renew Trident

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but he has started this review which involves looking at it all again. We

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know he is a unilateralist to start with but whether he can force this

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through is dubious. Does it matter, though, if the party policy is in

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favour of Trident, if the leader is not? The potential Prime Minister is

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not? They split three ways when they went to vote on it in the Commons.

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The party agreed they were pro-Trident and when it came to the

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vote they split three ways. I think it's difficult for them, it's always

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been a really difficult issue for Labour. The question is whether you

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want to seal off your negatives, whether you really want to try and

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reach out to people. There are an awful lot of people who will like

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what he said, there are an awful lot of people that think we have been

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involved in terrible wars, we have wasted a lot of money and blood and

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let's just get back from the whole thing, let's retreat from the world

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and not try punching above our weight. There is something to be

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said for that and it is a reasonable argument. He's been true to himself

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on this. I think he is and Polly is right, lots of people will agree

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with him, not enough to win a general election, the latest ComRes

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poll shows Tories on 50% and Labour on 25 and as my colleague James

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Forsyth in the Spectator said if this was a boxing match it would

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have been stopped by now by the revelry. We are not stopping, we are

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going on. So the political parties have had

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to move into election mode Stand by for battle buses,

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mail shots and your social media timeline being bombarded

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by political propoganda. But none of this comes cheap -

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Adam's been doing his sums. Democracy is priceless but those

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planes, trains and automobiles used in the last election cost money

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and we know exactly how much, thanks to the Electoral

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Commission database. The Conservatives flew David Cameron

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to every part of the UK in one day on a private plane costing ?29,000,

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in-flight meals extra. They shelled out ?1.2 million

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for adverts on Facebook. The most expensive item was their

:07:31.:07:35.

election guru Lynton Crosby. They bought ?2.4 million worth

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of advice and research from his firm Labour's biggest expenditure

:07:41.:07:43.

was on good old-fashioned leaflets, costing ?7.4 million

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to print and deliver. Hope they didn't go straight

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into the recycling. Cheap for all the

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enjoyment it gave us. To turn a normal minibus

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into Harriet Harman's pink bus Nick Clegg toured the country doing

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all manner of stunts transported although the party got a grand's

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discount when it broke down. Ukip's then leader Nigel Farage

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was accompanied by bodyguards Nicola Sturgeon's chopper

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cost the SNP ?35,450. Plaid Cymru spent just over

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?1,000 on media training And the Greens spent ?6,912

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promoting their tweets. It adds up to a grand total

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for all the parties of ?37,560,039. Jabbing at my calculator that works

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out at less than ?1 per voter. Adam Fleming there -

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and joining me now is the man responsible for the Conservative

:09:08.:09:12.

election campaigns - for the locals next month

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and the general election in June - Welcome to the programme. The Crown

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Prosecution Service is reviewing evidence from 14 police forces that

:09:25.:09:27.

your party breached election spending rules on multiple occasions

:09:28.:09:32.

in the last election. What are you going to do differently this time?

:09:33.:09:38.

Well, the battle buses are part of the National campaign spend. You saw

:09:39.:09:44.

them just on the shot that you did, all three parties had those battle

:09:45.:09:47.

buses so that's why we believe they were part of the national spend and

:09:48.:09:51.

it was declared that way. At least 30 people in your party, MPs and

:09:52.:09:54.

agents, being investigated because they may not have been right to

:09:55.:09:58.

include it in the national spend. Are you saying you are going to do

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nothing differently this time? You asked me about last time and the way

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the position is... Was. I asked you about this time. We will take a

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careful count and make sure that everything that we do is within the

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law. But as I say, the last election, all three parties had

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battle buses. It is your party that above all has been investigated by

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14 police forces. You must surely be taking stock of that and working out

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how to do some things differently. You are being investigated because

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you put stuff on the National Ledger which should have been on the local

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constituency ledger. Are you looking at that again? All of the parties

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had battle buses and they all put them on their national spend. I

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don't think any of the parties put them on the local spend. The other

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battle buses were not full of their party activists. Your party stuffed

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these battle buses with activists and took them to constituencies.

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That's the difference. And I ask again, what is different this time?

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Are you going to run the risk of being investigated yet again? We

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believe that we fully compliant with the electoral law as it was. What

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will happen if one of these, or two or three or four or five of these 30

:11:16.:11:19.

people, Tory MPs, or agents running campaigns are charged during the

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campaign? As I say I believe we properly declared our election

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expenses. What happens if they are charged? You asking me a

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hypothetical question, the importance of this election is about

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who is in Downing Street in seven weeks' time. Let me clarify this,

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you maintain that in 2015 you did nothing wrong with how you allocated

:11:42.:11:44.

the cost and the activities of the battle buses and you would do

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exactly the same this time round? What we did at the last election we

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believe fully complied with the law. So the battle buses this time,

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stocked full of activists, will still be charged to the national

:11:58.:12:00.

campaign even when they go to local constituencies? Will they? We will

:12:01.:12:08.

be looking at the way we do it, there is new guidance from the

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Electoral Commission out and we will look at that guidance. It is not the

:12:14.:12:17.

guidance, it is the lawful stop the Electoral Commission said that, if

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you look at the report they did on us, they said there was one area

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where we had over claimed, over declared, and another area we had

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and declared. We haven't worked out what to do

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yet, have you? We will get on with the campaign and

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start the campaign and I'm looking forward to the campaign.

:12:36.:12:37.

I'm trying to work out of the campaign is going to be legal or not

:12:38.:12:40.

because last time it seems it could have been illegal.

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I am sure the campaign will be legal.

:12:45.:12:46.

You started the campaign warning about the prospect of, the coalition

:12:47.:12:51.

of chaos. Mr Corbyn has ruled out a post-election coalition with the SNP

:12:52.:12:59.

and so have the Lib Dems so who is going to be in this coalition?

:13:00.:13:01.

Vince Cable said he was looking towards a possible coalition trying

:13:02.:13:03.

to stop a Conservative government. Is not the leader of the Lib Dems.

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He's an important voice in the Lib Dems. Who will be in it? Let's see

:13:07.:13:13.

because of the Conservative Party is not re-elected with a strong

:13:14.:13:16.

majority, what will happen? There will be a coalition stopping us

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doing the things we need to do. Who will be in it? It will be a

:13:20.:13:23.

coalition of the Labour Party, the SNP and the Liberal party. They have

:13:24.:13:27.

ruled it out. I think they would not rule it out if that was the

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situation. Like Theresa May not ruling out an election and then

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changing her mind? The things the Prime Minister said were very clear,

:13:36.:13:39.

once she had served Article 50 there was an opportunity, as we know

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today, there is going to be the start of a new government formed in

:13:44.:13:47.

France and in September we have the German elections. So it was quite

:13:48.:13:50.

right that we didn't get ourselves boxed into a timetable. That is why

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the Prime Minister took the view that they should be a general

:13:57.:13:59.

election to give her full strength of an electoral mandate when it

:14:00.:14:03.

comes to those negotiations. What about Mr Corbyn's plan for four new

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bank holidays, good idea? I'm not... If we get Corbyn in No 10 Downing St

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we will have a permanent bank holiday of the United Kingdom. We

:14:14.:14:18.

will have fewer bank holidays of most other major nations, most about

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major wealthy nations. What about at least one more? Well, look, he's

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talked about four bank holidays. Today would be a bank holiday and

:14:29.:14:33.

next Monday would be a bank holiday and the other week was a bank

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holiday too. I don't think it's very well thought out. It sounded more to

:14:38.:14:41.

me something like you get in school mock elections rather than proper

:14:42.:14:45.

elections. Your party is the self-styled party of the workers and

:14:46.:14:48.

you have no plans to give the workers even one extra bank holiday?

:14:49.:14:52.

What we want to do is ensure Britain is a strong economy and building on

:14:53.:14:57.

the jobs that we have created since 2010. We were told that by reducing

:14:58.:15:01.

public expenditure unemployment in this country would go up,

:15:02.:15:06.

unemployment has gone down and the number of jobs have gone up

:15:07.:15:10.

substantially. But no more bank holidays? Well, we will make our

:15:11.:15:14.

manifesto in due course but I don't think four bank holidays held in

:15:15.:15:18.

April, March and November are very attractive to people. When Ed

:15:19.:15:24.

Miliband as leader of the Labour Party suggested the government

:15:25.:15:33.

should control energy prices by capping them, the Conservatives

:15:34.:15:37.

described that as almost Communist and central planning. Do still take

:15:38.:15:40.

that view? You'll see what we have to say on energy prices. I didn't

:15:41.:15:45.

you about that, I asked you if you take the view... The Prime Minister

:15:46.:15:49.

made a speech at the Conservative Spring conference in which she

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outlined her dissatisfaction about people who are kept locked on a

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standard tariff and those are the issues we will address in the next

:15:56.:15:57.

few weeks when the manifesto was published.

:15:58.:16:03.

Would that be an act of communism? You will need to see what we say

:16:04.:16:09.

when we set out the policies. It could be. You could put a Communist

:16:10.:16:15.

act into your manifesto? I don't think you'll find a Communist

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manifesto in a Conservative manifesto which will be launched...

:16:21.:16:24.

You are planning to control prices? We will address what we think is

:16:25.:16:28.

unfairness in the energy market. Mr Jeremy Corbyn was reluctant this

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morning to sanction a drone strike. You heard us talking about it

:16:33.:16:38.

earlier against the leader of Islamic State if our intelligence

:16:39.:16:41.

services identified him. What would it achieve? When the Prime Minister

:16:42.:16:46.

gets certain advice in the national interests, she has to act been that.

:16:47.:16:51.

We've seen with Theresa May in her time as Home Secretary and Prime

:16:52.:16:54.

Minister, she's not afraid to take those very difficult decisions. What

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we say this morning from Jeremy Corbyn was a his tans, a reluctance.

:16:59.:17:02.

I don't think that serves the country well. What would it achieve

:17:03.:17:09.

if we take out the head of Islamic State he's replaced by somebody

:17:10.:17:13.

else. It brings their organisation into difficulties. It undermines

:17:14.:17:19.

their organisation. It shows we'll take every measure to undo an

:17:20.:17:23.

organisation which has organised terrorism in different parts of

:17:24.:17:26.

Europe, the UK. I think it is absolutely right the Prime Minister

:17:27.:17:29.

is prepared to take those kind of measures. Jeremy Corbyn said he

:17:30.:17:34.

wasn't prepared to take that. Because he wasn't sure what it would

:17:35.:17:39.

achieve. The Obama administration launched hundreds of drone strikes

:17:40.:17:44.

in various war zones and we in the west are still under attack on a

:17:45.:17:50.

regular basis. Mr Corbyn's basis was what would it achieve? It would

:17:51.:17:56.

achieve a safer position for the UK overall. The war on terrorists. But

:17:57.:18:00.

the Westminster attack, Paris has just been attacked again? There's

:18:01.:18:05.

been attacks which have been stopped by the intelligence services. We

:18:06.:18:09.

must do all we can to support them. The question was about drone

:18:10.:18:13.

strikes. Whether it is drone strikes or other action, we have to be

:18:14.:18:18.

prepared to act. Let's move on to Brexit. It is the major reason the

:18:19.:18:22.

Prime Minister's called the election? Not the only within but

:18:23.:18:26.

the main reason? It is one of the reasons. Now we start the two-year

:18:27.:18:30.

negotiations and then a year afterwards. Also the way in which

:18:31.:18:35.

certain people said they would try to use in the House of Lords or

:18:36.:18:38.

House of Commons to prevent us making progress. I think you'll put

:18:39.:18:45.

in your manifesto, it is the Government's policy, the Brexit

:18:46.:18:51.

negotiating position will be no more freedom of movement. Leave the

:18:52.:18:58.

single market and no longer under the jurisdiction Europe. You expect

:18:59.:19:01.

every Tory MP to fight on that manifesto. What will you do with Ken

:19:02.:19:07.

Clarke and Anna? They will have fought on their manifesto. They will

:19:08.:19:11.

understand the Prime Minister has the authority of the ballot box

:19:12.:19:14.

behind them. Will they fight the election on these positions? I'm

:19:15.:19:20.

sure they'll fight the election supporting the election of a

:19:21.:19:25.

Conservative Government and it's manifesto will quite clearly set

:19:26.:19:28.

out... You know they're against these positions. Ken Clarke has a

:19:29.:19:33.

prod tradition of expressing a certain view. Overall, the party's

:19:34.:19:37.

manifesto, it is not just individuals like Ken Clarke, it is

:19:38.:19:41.

what happens as far as the House of Lords are concerned, people said

:19:42.:19:45.

they'd use the House of Lords to prevent certain measures. You're the

:19:46.:19:50.

party chairman, will it be possible for people like Ken Clarke to fight

:19:51.:19:54.

this election under the Conservative ticket without sub describing to all

:19:55.:20:00.

-- subscribing to all of these Brexit conditions? Ken Clarke will

:20:01.:20:06.

fight as Conservative candidates. That wasn't my question. I know

:20:07.:20:10.

that. Will they be allowed to fight it on their own ticket and not

:20:11.:20:14.

subscribe to what is in your manifesto? The manifesto will be

:20:15.:20:18.

what the Conservative Party fights the General Election on. There will

:20:19.:20:22.

always be cases where people have had different views on different

:20:23.:20:28.

parts of the manifesto. That will be the guiding principles for the

:20:29.:20:34.

party. Philip Hammond says your election promises in 2015, in your

:20:35.:20:39.

manifesto not to raise taxes tied his hands when it came to managing

:20:40.:20:43.

the economy. Do you agree with him? No. The simple fact is we have to do

:20:44.:20:48.

the best things for the economy. We'll set out in our manifesto in a

:20:49.:20:52.

few weeks' time, what the policies will be for the next Parliament. Can

:20:53.:20:57.

I clarify, you don't agree with your Chancellor? What Philip was saying

:20:58.:21:03.

was some of the areas we wants to address as Chancellor, what the

:21:04.:21:08.

party will do, it will set out all the issues we're fighting on. It

:21:09.:21:11.

will set out clearly the choice we have in this country. That's the

:21:12.:21:15.

important thing. Let me put the question to you again. Philip

:21:16.:21:19.

Hammond said this week your election promise in 2015 not to raise taxes

:21:20.:21:23.

had tied his hands when it came to managing the economy. I ask you, do

:21:24.:21:29.

you agree with him? You said no. Philip expressed his view as to what

:21:30.:21:34.

he would like. What I'm saying is in a few weeks' time we'll set the

:21:35.:21:39.

manifesto which will set the policies, agreed with the the

:21:40.:21:43.

Cabinet. He's Chancellor. Doesn't he determine what the economic part of

:21:44.:21:47.

the manifesto is? We'll talk about that in due course. Will you have a

:21:48.:21:52.

lock on the taxes that you locked in 2015 on income tax, VAT, national

:21:53.:21:57.

insurance? That will be decided. You'll see that when we publish the

:21:58.:22:04.

manifesto in a few weeks' time. Will you rule out the possibility taxes

:22:05.:22:08.

may have to rise under a future Conservative Party? Conservative

:22:09.:22:13.

Government. We've taken four million people out of tax. Now, on average,

:22:14.:22:19.

people are paying ?1200 less tax than they were on the same salaries

:22:20.:22:25.

in 2010. I'm very provide of that. I can assure you, the Conservative

:22:26.:22:27.

Party will want to see taxes reduced. It is the Labour Party

:22:28.:22:31.

which will put up taxes. We have the evidence where this he did so.

:22:32.:22:37.

Council tax went up by over 100%. You haven't reduced the tax burden

:22:38.:22:43.

as a percentage of the GDP is now going to reach its highest level

:22:44.:22:49.

since the mid-180s which was when Conservatives were in power. The tax

:22:50.:22:54.

burden in this country under your Government is rising? We've more

:22:55.:22:57.

people paying taxes which is something, because we've a growing

:22:58.:23:00.

economy and more people... What about the tax band? You said you

:23:01.:23:05.

reduced the tax burden on your own Government's figures is rising? We

:23:06.:23:11.

have reduced the tax burden. The threshold at which people start

:23:12.:23:15.

paying. These are tax rates not the tax burden. It is rising. The tax

:23:16.:23:21.

rates have been reduced. You said tax burden. Perhaps I misspoke. Tax

:23:22.:23:26.

rates have been reduced. We'll leave it there. No doubt we'll speak again

:23:27.:23:34.

between now and June Is France now about to make it

:23:35.:23:36.

a hat-trick of shocks The prospect terrifies

:23:37.:23:40.

the governing elite in Paris. But they're no less scared

:23:41.:23:43.

in Brussels and Berlin, given what it could mean

:23:44.:23:45.

for the whole EU project, never mind the huge potential impact

:23:46.:23:48.

on our own Brexit negotiations. 11 candidates are contesting

:23:49.:24:07.

the first round of the presidential Only the top two will go forward

:24:08.:24:10.

to the run-off on May 7th. For the first time since General De

:24:11.:24:16.

Gaulle created the fifth Republic in 1958, it's perfectly possible that

:24:17.:24:21.

no candidate from the ruling parties of the centre-left or the

:24:22.:24:25.

centre-right will even make it The election has been dominated by

:24:26.:24:28.

the hard right in the shape of the who's never been elected

:24:29.:24:35.

to anything and only started his own party

:24:36.:24:42.

a few months ago. And the far left in the form

:24:43.:24:44.

of Jean-Luc Melenchon, a former Trotskyite who has surged

:24:45.:24:47.

in the final weeks of the campaign. The only candidate left from the

:24:48.:24:51.

traditional governing parties is the centre-right's

:24:52.:24:54.

Francois Fillon and he's been struggling to stay in

:24:55.:24:57.

the race ever since it was revealed that his Welsh wife was being paid

:24:58.:25:00.

at generous public expense for a job I've just come across

:25:01.:25:05.

this magazine cover and it kind of sums up the mood

:25:06.:25:20.

of the French people. It's got the five main candidates

:25:21.:25:23.

for President here but it calls them the biggest liar, the biggest cheat,

:25:24.:25:27.

the biggest traitor, the most paranoid, the biggest demagogue,

:25:28.:25:30.

and it says they are the winners The four leading candidates,

:25:31.:25:32.

Le Pen, Melenchon, Macron and Fillon, or in with a chance

:25:33.:25:43.

of making it to the second round. Only a couple of points separates

:25:44.:25:46.

them in the polls, Frankly, no one has a clue what's

:25:47.:25:48.

going to happen. Of the four, there is a feeling that

:25:49.:25:54.

two of them may be President But the two of them may not find

:25:55.:26:00.

themselves in the second round. Somebody said to me that the man or

:26:01.:26:13.

woman on the Paris Metro has as much a chance of knowing

:26:14.:26:27.

who will win as the greatest experts Because the more expert you are

:26:28.:26:30.

the more you may be wrong. The country has largely

:26:31.:26:37.

stagnated for over a decade. One in ten are unemployed,

:26:38.:26:42.

one in four if you are unlucky Like Britain in the '70s there is

:26:43.:26:45.

the pervasive stench There are three keywords that come

:26:46.:26:49.

to mind. Anger, anger at the elite, and in

:26:50.:26:56.

particular the political elite. And an element of

:26:57.:27:03.

nostalgia for the past. These three words were decisive

:27:04.:27:09.

in the Brexit referendum. They are decisive in

:27:10.:27:13.

the French election. Identity and security has been

:27:14.:27:24.

as important in this election France is a proud nation, it worries

:27:25.:27:28.

about its future in Europe It seems bereft of ideas about how

:27:29.:27:35.

to deal with its largely Muslim migrant population, huge chunks of

:27:36.:27:40.

which are increasingly divorced It is quite simply exhausted by

:27:41.:27:43.

the never-ending Islamist terrorist attacks, the latest only days before

:27:44.:27:54.

voting in the iconic heart of this If Fillon or Macron emerge

:27:55.:27:57.

victorious then there will be continuity of sorts, though Fillon

:27:58.:28:08.

will struggle to implement his Thatcherite agenda and Macron will

:28:09.:28:12.

not be able to count on the support of the French parliament, the

:28:13.:28:16.

National Assembly, for his reforms. But if it's Le Pen or Jean-Luc

:28:17.:28:19.

Melenchon then all bets are off. Both are hardline French

:28:20.:28:25.

nationalists, anti the euro, anti the European Union, anti-fiscal

:28:26.:28:28.

discipline, anti the market, Either in the Elysee Palace

:28:29.:28:31.

would represent an existential Brexit would simply become

:28:32.:28:40.

a sideshow, the negotiations could just peter out as Brussels

:28:41.:28:49.

and Berlin had bigger fish to fry. We're joined now from

:28:50.:28:54.

Paris by the journalist 8th Welcome to the programme.

:28:55.:29:05.

Overshadowing the voting today was yet another appalling terrorist

:29:06.:29:09.

attack in Paris on Thursday night. Do we have any indications of how

:29:10.:29:16.

that's playing into the election? That initially people thought this

:29:17.:29:19.

has been almost foiled in that the police were there as a ramp up. One

:29:20.:29:25.

policeman was killed. But the terrorist did not spray the crowd

:29:26.:29:29.

with bullets. It was seen as not having much of an effect on the

:29:30.:29:34.

election. This has changed. We now know the policeman who was killed, a

:29:35.:29:41.

young man about to the promoted, he was at the Bataclan the night of the

:29:42.:29:46.

terror attack. He was a fighter for LGBT rights. The fact he was

:29:47.:29:53.

promoted, happy within his job, he has this fresh face. Sudden, he's

:29:54.:29:59.

one of us. It took perhaps 48 hours for the French to process this. But

:30:00.:30:05.

now they're angry and this may actually change the game, at least

:30:06.:30:11.

at the margins. To whose advantage? I would say the two who might

:30:12.:30:18.

benefit from this are Marine Le Pen, she's been absolutely

:30:19.:30:22.

anti-immigration, anti-anything. And made no bones about it as she

:30:23.:30:27.

immediately made rather strange announcement in which she'd said if

:30:28.:30:30.

she'd been president none of the terror attacks which happened in

:30:31.:30:34.

France would have happened. Francois Fillon has written a book two years

:30:35.:30:42.

ago called Combating Islamic Terrorism he's has an organised plan

:30:43.:30:46.

in his manifesto. Unlike Emmanuel Macron who stumbled when he was

:30:47.:30:50.

asked the evening this happened what he thought, he said, I can't dream

:30:51.:30:55.

up an anti-terror programme overnight. The question, of course,

:30:56.:30:58.

that arrows was this is not the sort of thing that's just happened

:30:59.:31:02.

overnight. It's been unfortunately the fate of France for many years.

:31:03.:31:08.

Let me ask you this finally, what ever the outcome on May 7th in the

:31:09.:31:13.

second round, who ever wins, would it be fair to say French politics

:31:14.:31:19.

will never be the same again? Yes. Absolutely it's a very strange

:31:20.:31:22.

thing. People have no become really excited about this. You cannot go

:31:23.:31:27.

anywhere without people discussing heatedly this election. The anger

:31:28.:31:31.

that was described is very accurate. Very true. There was this feeling as

:31:32.:31:38.

for the Brexit voters and the Trump voters, vast parts of the people

:31:39.:31:42.

were being talked down to by people who despised them. This has to

:31:43.:31:48.

change. If it doesn't change, we cannot predict what the future will

:31:49.:31:53.

be. We'll know the results or at least the ex-the Poll London time

:31:54.:31:59.

tonight at 8.00pm. Thank for joining us from the glorious heart of your

:32:00.:32:00.

city. Now, the Green Party currently has

:32:01.:32:04.

one MP and they'll be contesting many more seats in June

:32:05.:32:07.

as well as hoping to increase their presence on councils in

:32:08.:32:10.

the local elections on 4th May. Launching their campaign

:32:11.:32:13.

on Thursday, co-leader Caroline Lucas made

:32:14.:32:14.

a pitch to younger voters. When it comes to young

:32:15.:32:16.

people they've been But one crucial way they've been

:32:17.:32:18.

betrayed is by what this generation and this government and the previous

:32:19.:32:23.

ones have been doing when it comes We know we had the hottest year

:32:24.:32:26.

on record last year, you know, you almost think what else does

:32:27.:32:31.

the environment need to be doing All the signs are there

:32:32.:32:34.

and it is young people who are going to be bearing

:32:35.:32:37.

the brunt of a wrecked environment and that's why it's so important

:32:38.:32:40.

that when we come to making that pitch to, yes, the country at large

:32:41.:32:44.

but to young people in particular, I think climate change,

:32:45.:32:47.

the environment, looking after our precious resources,

:32:48.:32:48.

has to be up there. And I'm joined now by the Green

:32:49.:32:53.

MEP, Molly Scott Cato. Welcome back to the programme.

:32:54.:33:08.

Promised to scrap university tuition fees, increase NHS funding, rollback

:33:09.:33:11.

cuts to local councils spending, how much would that cost and how would

:33:12.:33:15.

you pay for it? Like the other parties we haven't got a costed

:33:16.:33:18.

manifesto yet, it's only a few days since the election was announced so

:33:19.:33:21.

I will come back and explain the figures. You don't know? Like every

:33:22.:33:25.

party we have not produced accosted manifesto yet, we produced one last

:33:26.:33:31.

time but public spending figures have changed so we're not in a

:33:32.:33:34.

position to do that but we will be in a week or so. What taxes would

:33:35.:33:39.

you like to consider raising? We would consider having higher taxes

:33:40.:33:43.

for the better off in society. I think we need to increase the amount

:33:44.:33:45.

of tax wealthier people pay. think we need to increase the amount

:33:46.:33:49.

of tax wealthier people pay. How do you define better off? I'm not

:33:50.:33:52.

entirely clear what the precise number would be but I think 100,000

:33:53.:33:58.

people would pay a bit more, 150,000 quite considerably more but the real

:33:59.:34:01.

focus needs to be on companies avoiding paying taxes. I work on

:34:02.:34:05.

that a lot in my role in the European Parliament, we see an

:34:06.:34:08.

enormous amount of tax avoidance by companies moving profits from

:34:09.:34:11.

country to country and we need European corporation to make that

:34:12.:34:14.

successful. It has not made much difference yet. We have made lots of

:34:15.:34:21.

changes. Google turned over $1 billion and only paid 25 million in

:34:22.:34:24.

taxes last year. There was a significant fine introduced by the

:34:25.:34:29.

competition commission on Apple and in the case of Google we must change

:34:30.:34:33.

the laws so that people cannot move profits from country to country.

:34:34.:34:38.

Everybody wants to do it. But you couldn't face a big spending

:34:39.:34:42.

programme on the ability to do that. You'd have to increase other taxes.

:34:43.:34:46.

If you look at the cost of free student tuition, tuition fees and

:34:47.:34:48.

also maintenance grants to students, that would come in at about 10

:34:49.:34:52.

billion a year. One way of paying for that would be to remove the

:34:53.:34:56.

upper threshold on National Insurance, bringing in 20 billion a

:34:57.:34:59.

year, that's the order of magnitude we are talking about. It is not

:35:00.:35:03.

vast, and some of the proposals we have... That would be an increase on

:35:04.:35:08.

the better of tax? National Insurance on people earning...

:35:09.:35:14.

People earning above 42,000. You would have another 10% tax above

:35:15.:35:19.

42,000? I can't remember exactly how much the National Insurance rate

:35:20.:35:24.

changes by. But in government figures it would be 28 billion

:35:25.:35:28.

raised. I think it is up to 45, a bit more you pay a marginal rate of

:35:29.:35:32.

40%, you would have them pay a marginal rate of over 50%? We would

:35:33.:35:37.

put the National Insurance rate on higher incomes the same as it is on

:35:38.:35:41.

lower incomes. If you are a school head of an English department on 50,

:35:42.:35:45.

60,000 a year you would face a marginal rate under U of over 50%?

:35:46.:35:50.

It is not useful to do this as a mental maths exercise but if you

:35:51.:35:55.

look at other proposals would could have a landlord licensing system,

:35:56.:35:59.

longer term leases on properties, so young people particularly, but also

:36:00.:36:02.

older people who rent, could have more security which needn't cost

:36:03.:36:06.

anything. We could insist on landlords paying for that. The

:36:07.:36:10.

mental arithmetic seems clear but we will come back to that. How is the

:36:11.:36:14.

Progressive Alliance coming? It is going well, I have heard of a lot of

:36:15.:36:18.

interest at local level. Winterset this in contest, context, lots of

:36:19.:36:24.

progressives are concerned about the crisis in public services, prisons,

:36:25.:36:28.

social care system, and also about the Tories' hard extreme Brexit they

:36:29.:36:32.

are threatening. You want the left to come together? Theresa May has

:36:33.:36:36.

given us opportunity, she has taken a risk because she has problems with

:36:37.:36:39.

backbenchers, she doesn't think she can get through Brexit with a small

:36:40.:36:43.

majority so there is an opportunity and we are saying progressives must

:36:44.:36:47.

come together to corporate, Conservatives are effective at using

:36:48.:36:49.

the first-past-the-post system and we have to become effective as well.

:36:50.:36:54.

Do you accept this Progressive Alliance cannot become the

:36:55.:36:57.

government and Mr Corbyn is the Prime Minister? How could it happen

:36:58.:37:02.

otherwise? I think that is a secondary question. For me the

:37:03.:37:05.

primary question is who do people choose to vote for? Aluminium

:37:06.:37:09.

government afterwards comes after the election. In most countries that

:37:10.:37:13.

is the case. I understand that but we have the system we have and you

:37:14.:37:16.

accept this Progressive Alliance cannot be in power and thus mystical

:37:17.:37:19.

Burmese Prime Minister? Personally I think Mr Corbyn is less of a threat

:37:20.:37:23.

to the country than Theresa May, she has shown herself to be an

:37:24.:37:26.

authoritarian leader and she has said she doesn't want to have

:37:27.:37:32.

dissidents, which I would say is reasonable opposition, and what we

:37:33.:37:34.

are suggesting at the moment is there is a way of avoiding that very

:37:35.:37:37.

hard Brexit and damage to public services. You'd be happy to pay the

:37:38.:37:40.

price of having Mr Corbyn as Prime Minister? I do not see that as a

:37:41.:37:44.

price. People have the choice of Jeremy Corbyn or Theresa May as

:37:45.:37:48.

Prime Minister, that's the system that works. You would prefer Mr

:37:49.:37:52.

Corbyn? I would but votes are translated into seats and the

:37:53.:37:55.

Progressive Alliance is a step towards that.

:37:56.:38:06.

Hello and welcome to Sunday Politics in Northern Ireland.

:38:07.:38:08.

And here we go again with our second trip to the polls this year,

:38:09.:38:12.

And throw in a new talks deadline set for the end of that month,

:38:13.:38:18.

and we could be looking at yet another Assembly vote before

:38:19.:38:20.

I'll be asking the five main parties how Theresa May's decision to call

:38:21.:38:25.

a snap general election is affecting the negotiations here.

:38:26.:38:29.

And we'll be talking pacts, party policies and Brexit.

:38:30.:38:38.

With another snap election coming, a new talks deadline looming

:38:39.:38:43.

and Brexit overshadowing everything, the world of politics

:38:44.:38:44.

The Assembly election posters are no sooner down than they're about to be

:38:45.:38:51.

replaced by the next wave of smiling faces and party colours.

:38:52.:38:54.

But while some parties here have welcomed the forthcoming

:38:55.:38:56.

vote, others have been much less enthusiastic.

:38:57.:38:59.

In a moment, I'll be asking representatives of the five main

:39:00.:39:01.

parties to set out their stalls in the first television debate

:39:02.:39:04.

But first, a reminder of how we got to where we are.

:39:05.:39:14.

I have just chaired a meeting of the Cabinet where we agreed that the

:39:15.:39:19.

Government should call a general election to be held on June 8th. I

:39:20.:39:26.

think it is almost arguing there is too much democracy. This is the

:39:27.:39:29.

democratic process. We need people to come out and cast their vote and

:39:30.:39:33.

not to complain about the results afterwards. So my appeal to everyone

:39:34.:39:38.

is, make sure you are registered and usual vote wisely. And we are as

:39:39.:39:41.

keen people to vote for the Unionist Party you can trust and the party of

:39:42.:39:46.

strength in this Parliament. This is now the centre of British and Irish

:39:47.:39:50.

politics and we must make sure that we take this place by storm. It is

:39:51.:39:55.

disappointing that an election is taking place, but the SDLP is up for

:39:56.:40:01.

the election and we will be fighting that election not on the premise

:40:02.:40:08.

that Mrs May wants to fight this election on the premise of a hard

:40:09.:40:12.

Brexit, we have always been a strong pro-European party and we have

:40:13.:40:16.

fought on that stance. There will be discussions over where we can come

:40:17.:40:20.

to the best agreements around some constituencies, that should not be a

:40:21.:40:25.

shock. We want to make sure that we have representation in Westminster

:40:26.:40:27.

for the people of Northern Ireland and there is no point electing

:40:28.:40:31.

people that will not take their seats in Westminster and give the

:40:32.:40:34.

people a voice. Sinn Fein will fight the election on an anti-Brexit

:40:35.:40:40.

ticket and we will vote with the public who voted in the majority to

:40:41.:40:45.

stay within the union. We will ask them to vote and anti-austerity Tory

:40:46.:40:48.

policy and we will fight the election campaign on that basis in

:40:49.:40:51.

the next six weeks. We're not interested in doing pacts with

:40:52.:40:57.

anyone and it will reduce the selection into yet another sectarian

:40:58.:41:00.

headcount. If people want a Progressive Alliance, they will get

:41:01.:41:04.

it by voting for the Alliance Party, we are the progressive Alliance in

:41:05.:41:07.

Northern Ireland, we do not need to form a pact with anyone else to do

:41:08.:41:09.

that. Joining me now from our Foyle studio

:41:10.:41:11.

is the SDLP MP Mark Durkan. And with me in studio

:41:12.:41:14.

are the East Belfast MP Gavin Robinson, from the DUP,

:41:15.:41:17.

Sinn Fein's Chris Hazzard. The UUP's MP for Fermanagh

:41:18.:41:19.

and South Tyrone, Tom Elliott. And the Alliance Party's deputy

:41:20.:41:21.

leader, Stephen Farry. Tom Elliott, you've been confirmed

:41:22.:41:26.

as your party's candidate Are you confident you'll be

:41:27.:41:28.

an agreed unionist candidate again, That is a matter of discussions over

:41:29.:41:41.

the next number of days, but I don't see why not, I would hope so, but

:41:42.:41:45.

that is a matter for the party leaders to discuss within the

:41:46.:41:48.

Unionist parties. Clearly, it was successful the last time and we had

:41:49.:41:54.

arrangements in other areas as well that were also successful. For other

:41:55.:41:58.

parties. Yes, I don't see why not and the key is to give more

:41:59.:42:01.

representation of Westminster than we actually can. What is confusing

:42:02.:42:04.

for some people is that... Robin Swann is meeting Arlene Foster

:42:05.:42:06.

this week to discuss the election, but your party has already stepped

:42:07.:42:09.

aside in three constituencies - Why have you given away some

:42:10.:42:11.

of your key bargaining chips before you've even

:42:12.:42:15.

entered into negotiations? We have been proactive, Robbyn Swan

:42:16.:42:24.

has been proactive to this -- and we have taken the decision to do that

:42:25.:42:29.

so why would we not? Why would you give up bargaining chips before you

:42:30.:42:32.

begin the negotiations? What we have said is we would put the Dutch

:42:33.:42:38.

prefer to see representatives going to Westminster and for those seats

:42:39.:42:41.

under pressure from those parties who may not go to Westminster and

:42:42.:42:44.

represent their constituents. But also people in what -- Northern

:42:45.:42:50.

Ireland, that is key and we want people to go to Westminster and

:42:51.:42:55.

represent their constituencies. Why give up a place like North Belfast

:42:56.:42:59.

without trying to secure something in return? Because we have taken a

:43:00.:43:04.

proactive decision of the party. You have given something away without

:43:05.:43:07.

getting anything in return, that is not normally a good bargaining

:43:08.:43:11.

tactic. What we have been as very strategic and proactive. I don't see

:43:12.:43:15.

how people in the wider community could blame us for being proactive

:43:16.:43:20.

in that way. Do you understand why the Ulster Unionist Party done what

:43:21.:43:24.

they have done? They did not give any rationale is today for doing it.

:43:25.:43:28.

Has Tom Elliott explained it to your satisfaction now? The Ulster

:43:29.:43:34.

Unionists would likely lose a deposit if they stood in a

:43:35.:43:38.

Westminster election, but it is strange when you consider the gambit

:43:39.:43:42.

of Northern Ireland seats available. For example, in Foyle, you're Steve

:43:43.:43:47.

Unionist are giving the SDLP a step up and for many years, Mark Durkan

:43:48.:43:54.

has relied on votes for unionists in that constituency. And the same

:43:55.:43:59.

SDLP, six weeks ago, they said the vote for Ulster Unionists and get

:44:00.:44:04.

SDLP and himself in Belfast, it is about getting the SDLP out. And the

:44:05.:44:08.

SDLP appeared to be getting into discussions that will go after Tom

:44:09.:44:16.

in Fermanagh and South Tyrone, so I don't understand it. Would you agree

:44:17.:44:25.

to be a candidate in East Belfast? Quite relaxed about the political

:44:26.:44:29.

landscape. There has been analysis to suggest it would not be much

:44:30.:44:34.

different than 2015. Most notably by Bill White, a well-respected

:44:35.:44:39.

electoral analysis in Northern Ireland. Since 2010, there have been

:44:40.:44:45.

eight elections in Northern Ireland and in East Belfast, the DUP have

:44:46.:44:50.

become the largest party in each of those elections and only one of

:44:51.:44:55.

which was that a pact. If there is a Brexit fight, and quite relaxed. So

:44:56.:44:59.

you fancy your chances perfectly well if there is an Ulster Unionist

:45:00.:45:04.

candidate in East Belfast against Naomi Long? I'm quite relaxed, the

:45:05.:45:08.

party which it will have a discussion this week with the Ulster

:45:09.:45:11.

Unionist Party and we will see what happens. Do you accept Tom Elliott

:45:12.:45:16.

realistically only has a chance of voting Fermanagh and South Tyrone,

:45:17.:45:24.

and there is a lot of pressure on the DUP to meet him halfway? I work

:45:25.:45:29.

with Tom every week and he is doing a first-class job for his

:45:30.:45:36.

constituents and his victory was Unionist Corporation and that is

:45:37.:45:38.

something unionists across Northern Ireland have been asking for two

:45:39.:45:43.

years. I would rather have Tom Elliott as the returned Member of

:45:44.:45:47.

Parliament for Fermanagh and South Tyrone rather than an abstention is

:45:48.:45:52.

the Sinn Fein MP who might howl in the wind about what goes on in

:45:53.:45:54.

Westminster, but will never take their seat and have their voice and

:45:55.:45:58.

never speak up for their people in Westminster. What you make of that?

:45:59.:46:04.

If Tom Elliott is the agreed Unionist candidate, that is not good

:46:05.:46:07.

news for whoever the Sinn Fein candidate is in Fermanagh and South

:46:08.:46:10.

Tyrone, and presumably there is every possibility that it could be

:46:11.:46:15.

Michelle Gilder? Could you shed any light? No doubt like plenty of

:46:16.:46:21.

constituents across the North of the discussion will continue to take

:46:22.:46:25.

place ahead of selection. One thing is clear, if March's election was

:46:26.:46:30.

about the RHI scandal and the arrogance of the DUP, this is going

:46:31.:46:34.

to be very much about the Brexit and let's live in the real world. There

:46:35.:46:38.

can be plenty of howling at Westminster benches but the centre

:46:39.:46:42.

of gravity is Brussels, and looking for special designated status, it is

:46:43.:46:46.

stubborn. A key factor is lost in this, the British Governor Taft two

:46:47.:46:49.

years to agree a Brexit deal and they only need a majority of states,

:46:50.:46:55.

27 states. If it takes longer, which will likely happen, they need

:46:56.:46:59.

agreement of every single one of the other 27 states which means Dublin

:47:00.:47:03.

will play a key role. It is the biggest party in Ireland and Sinn

:47:04.:47:08.

Fein stands ready to be the main opposition to Brexit. Would you like

:47:09.:47:11.

a coalition of remain as in somewhere like Fermanagh and South

:47:12.:47:14.

Tyrone to get rid of Tom Elliott because he is at happy and

:47:15.:47:18.

enthusiastic about Brexit? I think this election presents an

:47:19.:47:24.

opportunity for a nonsectarian Progressive Alliance which has been

:47:25.:47:27.

talked about in Britain and here, especially in opposition to what I

:47:28.:47:31.

view as a regressive prosperity and probe recs it Alliance of the DUP

:47:32.:47:39.

and the UUP and the Tories. I think there is a desire in the community

:47:40.:47:42.

and of that plays another constituencies as it may well do, I

:47:43.:47:48.

have every faith in Sinn Fein. Would you like to see something like that

:47:49.:47:53.

happening in a place like East Belfast, Gavin Robinson? Without

:47:54.:47:56.

getting into specifics, I think there is an appetite for it across

:47:57.:48:00.

the board. Some constituencies will go for it and some will not. I think

:48:01.:48:06.

we now have an historic opportunity for a nonsectarian, cross community,

:48:07.:48:10.

Progressive Alliance. If we were to protect the democratic wishes of the

:48:11.:48:16.

56% in the North, it is a chance for progressives to stand up. There is

:48:17.:48:20.

speculation in at least one newspaper today that your party

:48:21.:48:24.

would be keen to see no SDLP Commission fine or a Green candidate

:48:25.:48:28.

in East Belfast to give the Alliance Party and Naomi Long the best chance

:48:29.:48:33.

of taking that seat, is that correct, Mark Durkan? No, people

:48:34.:48:37.

will do all sorts of speculation to reflect the conversations that I

:48:38.:48:41.

have not been party to. But Colum Eastwood has set out early on as

:48:42.:48:45.

soon as the reason I called the election that there was a case for

:48:46.:48:48.

saying when she was calling the election about giving her a stronger

:48:49.:48:54.

hand in terms of Brexit, but it is also a free hand in welfare cuts

:48:55.:48:59.

that affect working families as well as lining up behind Donald Trump on

:49:00.:49:04.

various military misadventures. In those circumstances, Colum Eastwood

:49:05.:49:08.

said we have a duty to maximise that pro-remain vote that those people

:49:09.:49:11.

who want to mitigate the impact of Brexit in terms of the economy here

:49:12.:49:17.

and also to safeguard the institutions of the Good Friday

:49:18.:49:20.

Agreement, that is what we are trying to do. But that would have to

:49:21.:49:24.

be done clearly on a nonsectarian basis and across the parties and

:49:25.:49:28.

that could take forward nonparty voices as well. But your party

:49:29.:49:32.

leader is quoted in the Sunday Times today as saying you will give Naomi

:49:33.:49:36.

Long the time and space to reconsider her opposition to the

:49:37.:49:41.

idea of an anti-Brexit packed and she wants no part of any pact. I

:49:42.:49:47.

would regret the fact that Naomi has described the move in the term she

:49:48.:49:52.

has. The fact is the Alliance Party in the past have seen fit to step

:49:53.:49:57.

aside in different constituencies as people needed to be selective about

:49:58.:50:01.

where we stood in elections when the wider issues at stake. Only a couple

:50:02.:50:06.

of days ago, Naomi said if the talks at Stormont do not succeed, we could

:50:07.:50:10.

be in danger of direct rule for years. The idea of a heart Brexit

:50:11.:50:14.

and possible direct rule if we are to believe what Naomi said about the

:50:15.:50:18.

risk of direct rule, in those circumstances, people would need to

:50:19.:50:23.

think about how we use the opportunity in what is the

:50:24.:50:25.

difficulty of a first past the post election of giving people a more

:50:26.:50:30.

feasible choice. Because in a first past the post election, people are

:50:31.:50:34.

just reduce the tactical voting and all sorts of considerations. Very

:50:35.:50:39.

candid people a higher and better choice, let's try. I do not believe

:50:40.:50:43.

it will be easy to do so and it may not prove feasible, but we should

:50:44.:50:46.

give that consideration to it and reflect on what we have done in the

:50:47.:50:50.

past because we have not all run in every constituency in the past.

:50:51.:50:55.

Let's put that is now to Stephen Ferry, does that not make sense for

:50:56.:51:01.

your party not to be facing opposition from the SDLP, Sinn Fein

:51:02.:51:05.

and the Green Party in East Belfast on June 8th? If they macro is

:51:06.:51:09.

serious about taking that seat from Gavin Robinson, she needs a tight

:51:10.:51:14.

field to do so -- of Naomi Long is serious. Elections are about choice

:51:15.:51:18.

and people were what it out for themselves. Is it about choice or

:51:19.:51:22.

winning seats, it is not the same thing? The choices will be framed

:51:23.:51:28.

between Naomi and the Alliance Party and Gavin and the DUP and voters

:51:29.:51:31.

will respond in kind, but parties have a duty to put their manifestos

:51:32.:51:35.

before the electorate in every constituency. Pacts do not work,

:51:36.:51:41.

they are anti-democratic about restricting choice rather than

:51:42.:51:44.

facilitating a different type of choice. And there is a very big

:51:45.:51:48.

mistake, if we are trying to conflate what is happening around

:51:49.:51:52.

Brexit with what is essentially a cross Nationalist pact to combat

:51:53.:51:56.

across Unionist pact, reducing Northern Ireland back to the

:51:57.:51:59.

politics of the sectarian headcount which is contrary to where we are

:52:00.:52:03.

trying to get the society, it would stand in contrast with a large vote

:52:04.:52:08.

we received back in the March Assembly elections. Brexit is

:52:09.:52:11.

something that affects people across the community, unionists and

:52:12.:52:15.

Nationalists alike. We make a fundamental mistake if we conflate

:52:16.:52:21.

opposing Brexit without a portion of nationalism. There is a perception

:52:22.:52:24.

that some people are using the danger of a heart Brexit is a cause

:52:25.:52:29.

to destabilise Northern Ireland and pursue wider political objectives

:52:30.:52:31.

and we do not want to be part of that agenda. You do presumably want

:52:32.:52:39.

to win East Belfast? The track 2015 combined vote of Sinn Fein and the

:52:40.:52:43.

Green candidates was 2008, that is a lot of votes and could make all the

:52:44.:52:48.

difference with a tight race with Gavin Robinson. People will draw the

:52:49.:52:52.

conclusions from that if they vote for other parties but that is the

:52:53.:52:56.

choice they have to make. People that vote for those parties will

:52:57.:52:59.

vote irrespective of who else is on the ticket and we make an error if

:53:00.:53:03.

we assume people are there to respond to the cues from party

:53:04.:53:05.

leaders and shift their vote when they are told to do so, that is not

:53:06.:53:10.

how people vote in most democracies, they think for themselves and draw

:53:11.:53:14.

their own conclusions. Some people may reckon this is a two horse race

:53:15.:53:19.

and others do not. Tony, what about the speculation that Mike Nesbitt

:53:20.:53:23.

may be a candidate in South Belfast for the Ulster Unionist Party, can

:53:24.:53:29.

you confirm that? It took me by surprise yesterday in the Telegraph.

:53:30.:53:34.

Does it make sense? It is an option some people are considering but I do

:53:35.:53:38.

not know where it came from and if the association had mooted at

:53:39.:53:43.

themselves in South Belfast. He was an agreed candidate in South

:53:44.:53:46.

Belfast, in these discussions between Robin Swann and Arlene

:53:47.:53:49.

Foster, if you could persuade the DUP not to run in South Belfast, he

:53:50.:53:54.

might have a good shout. He may well do and the parties will have a

:53:55.:53:56.

discussion about that over the coming week. Would you like to see

:53:57.:54:00.

that happening and would you throw your weight behind that suggestion?

:54:01.:54:04.

I am throwing my weight behind them having discussions and if that is an

:54:05.:54:08.

issue that comes out of it, so be it. Just touching Brexit, I know

:54:09.:54:12.

that Chris and Mark have talked about Brexit and their opposition to

:54:13.:54:18.

it and at least mocks somewhat is more realistic about it when he says

:54:19.:54:21.

to mitigate about the difficulties it may pose, and Chris is saying his

:54:22.:54:27.

outright opposition to Brexit. May I remind people of the vote is taken

:54:28.:54:33.

place by the UK and we will have Brexit and we need to have the best

:54:34.:54:37.

deal possible in Westminster and that is relevant in my constituency

:54:38.:54:41.

in Fermanagh and South Tyrone. You have confirmed there will be

:54:42.:54:44.

conversations between Robin Swann and Arlene Foster to maximise the

:54:45.:54:49.

unionist representation and those discussions will take place this

:54:50.:54:54.

week. But two months ago, you're third-party leader Mike Nesbitt

:54:55.:55:00.

stood up and said, vote Mike and get Colum Eastwood, has that been

:55:01.:55:04.

replaced by vote Robin, get Arlene? No, I am not sure where that comes

:55:05.:55:08.

from. Vote Robin and get Arlene is not the way of it. That is what the

:55:09.:55:12.

discussions will be about this week. The reality is if we can maximise

:55:13.:55:17.

the number of representatives in Westminster, so much the better.

:55:18.:55:22.

That would be very important. I know even prior to this, Stephen himself

:55:23.:55:29.

stood down in 2001 to facilitate another candidate. So agreements

:55:30.:55:33.

have been ongoing for years and I can still remember the Bobby Sands

:55:34.:55:37.

election when Sinn Fein and the SDLP agreed they would not run and

:55:38.:55:43.

support Bobby Sands. So this has been going on for years and is still

:55:44.:55:48.

going on. Chris has not been written off as the possibility of a packed

:55:49.:55:51.

between his party and a number of others.

:55:52.:55:57.

I'd word is that Stav Danaos Westminster election? Is your

:55:58.:56:01.

relationship with the Ulster Unionists has changed dramatically.

:56:02.:56:09.

This is the difficulty of the first past the post system. We were

:56:10.:56:12.

negotiating the Good Friday Agreement we tried to get the first

:56:13.:56:17.

past the post system on the table. Unfortunately, Tony Blair would not

:56:18.:56:20.

move even though he clearly have the majority of us in the position where

:56:21.:56:25.

he could have done it, because he said that the kind of sectarian

:56:26.:56:29.

impulses that are thrown up by that system would confound the sort of

:56:30.:56:34.

ethic they were trying to create with the power-sharing agenda. That

:56:35.:56:39.

will not change. We have to accept that. I recognise, what is going on

:56:40.:56:45.

and the fact is that we are seeing a two party packed in terms of certain

:56:46.:56:49.

constituencies coming forward in relation to unionism and I do not

:56:50.:56:55.

believe the answer to that is a two party national is packed. It was

:56:56.:56:58.

quite clear at the terms that Colum Eastwood set out the agenda for it

:56:59.:57:03.

the access to try and reflect the broad will of the people here to

:57:04.:57:08.

remain and that is to avoid a hard Brexit and that is to use the

:57:09.:57:12.

institutions of the Good Friday Agreement to answer a lot of the

:57:13.:57:14.

challenges that brags that would throw up. That is a legitimate

:57:15.:57:19.

offer, but we don't have a lot of time to spend on it and let's

:57:20.:57:24.

consider that and if it is not going to happen, then move on and fight

:57:25.:57:29.

the campaign on the issues, not just Brexit but also welfare reform, that

:57:30.:57:32.

we will see even more of now, because the Tories were only

:57:33.:57:37.

committed to not doing you welfare cuts in the current Parliament.

:57:38.:57:39.

There will be free to come forward with cuts of the future and that is

:57:40.:57:43.

why the people need a strong representation and a voice in

:57:44.:57:47.

Westminster at least to speak up. We will not be able to stop Tory cuts

:57:48.:57:52.

that they have a swingeing majority, but we will say it does not matter.

:57:53.:57:58.

Gavin Robinson, are you fundamentally in the selection,

:57:59.:58:02.

which is only six and a half weeks away, taking on that progress of

:58:03.:58:06.

access that several of our contributors have already referred

:58:07.:58:09.

to in our discussion today? Is that what this election is about as far

:58:10.:58:14.

as the DUP is concerned? We have set out our stall. Is that with the

:58:15.:58:19.

election will be about? That is the way it has been framed. It is an

:58:20.:58:24.

anti-unionist Alliance, we can see that clearly and I think Alliance

:58:25.:58:30.

are almost scared. How is it that when there are a Unionist candidates

:58:31.:58:36.

are pro-remain-macro? Danny Kinahan is in support. Danny Kinahan is

:58:37.:58:43.

backing Brexit. He voted for Article 50 and understands the will of the

:58:44.:58:47.

United Kingdom people and is getting on with the process. Where he has

:58:48.:58:53.

come from is a different place from where you and Tom Elliott have come

:58:54.:58:58.

from? He is progressing Brexit. I would imagine he would be a target

:58:59.:59:04.

for an anti-Brexit access. There is hard and soft Brexit and probably

:59:05.:59:09.

something in between. It is called clean Brexit. Chris said that the

:59:10.:59:12.

only people who would be talking for Ireland would -- for Northern

:59:13.:59:20.

Ireland would be Ireland. They do not take their seats, they will not

:59:21.:59:24.

have a say in Westminster. They can have a say in Northern Ireland

:59:25.:59:27.

Executive, which we would love to see restored. We would love to see

:59:28.:59:30.

local devolved government and we would like to see an agreed position

:59:31.:59:34.

on the needs of Northern Ireland. Sinn Fein says that is their

:59:35.:59:39.

position as well. They pulled it down! For selfish reasons. For

:59:40.:59:47.

selfish party political reasons, they have pulled the Northern

:59:48.:59:50.

Ireland government down, they have not allow the restoration of the

:59:51.:59:54.

institutions and we do not have a budget, we have public services in

:59:55.:59:58.

chaos and if they want to have a voice on Brexit, we need to restore

:59:59.:00:02.

our Assembly. Martin McGuiness spelt out clearly why he was resigning.

:00:03.:00:06.

The electric came out in numbers not seen since the days of the Good

:00:07.:00:11.

Friday Agreement to support Martin McGuiness and support the Sinn Fein

:00:12.:00:18.

stance -- the electorate came out. Sinn Fein is the biggest political

:00:19.:00:23.

party on this island, we have more in EP 's than any other party so

:00:24.:00:28.

when the European Council's guidelines are published,... When

:00:29.:00:40.

they supported our position of special designated starters, it was

:00:41.:00:44.

because we brought to bear. Mark Durkan just said that you cannot

:00:45.:00:48.

stop anything in Westminster, but you can speak up about it. Sinn Fein

:00:49.:00:52.

are about more than speaking up about things, we want to stop

:00:53.:00:57.

Brexit. You cannot speak about it in Westminster, you do not take your

:00:58.:01:05.

seats. This is an historic opportunity to stand up. There is a

:01:06.:01:11.

great opportunity and get special designated staters is on the agenda

:01:12.:01:16.

because Sinn Fein put it there, about people coming out... Let me

:01:17.:01:21.

bring in Mark Durkan. Just on the question of special status, Cynthia

:01:22.:01:26.

and jeered at that whenever Colum Eastwood and the SDLP talked about

:01:27.:01:30.

it after the referendum campaign -- Sinn Fein. Let us be clear, I am

:01:31.:01:38.

being honest with people, I do not pretend that we can stop things.

:01:39.:01:43.

Sinn Fein fought the last election telling people to stop the Tory

:01:44.:01:47.

welfare cuts and then they handed power so that the Tories would

:01:48.:01:51.

introduce them. They put in a legislated consent motion which

:01:52.:01:54.

meant that Westminster put in welfare cuts which came into place

:01:55.:02:00.

last week. That is in terms of employment and work related

:02:01.:02:04.

activity. The recent cuts that have come in because of that motion that

:02:05.:02:08.

you were part of last year, there is no mitigation on those that is

:02:09.:02:11.

particular to Northern Ireland whatsoever and there will not be

:02:12.:02:15.

until we get our own institutions up and running again. I want to bring

:02:16.:02:19.

in Stephen Farry. There is a real danger of us missing the boat around

:02:20.:02:24.

the special deal. The parties are talking about but we have heard from

:02:25.:02:31.

the European Commission in terms of their negotiating timescale. I want

:02:32.:02:35.

to address -- they want to address the Irish issues. For all the talk

:02:36.:02:40.

about Westminster and Dail, unless there is an Executive and we have a

:02:41.:02:45.

commitment to a special deal and an agreed negotiating position, we will

:02:46.:02:49.

not be able to do anything for Northern Ireland and we will see a

:02:50.:02:53.

hard Brexit on our local situation. There is a real danger fund -- off a

:02:54.:03:00.

tragedy until we get an Executive in place. Time is running out and we

:03:01.:03:04.

need the civil service to work with us. A lot of people are saying that

:03:05.:03:09.

this general election is an timely and is a sideshow. Where does that

:03:10.:03:15.

leave the devolution project? The talks are in cold storage. In

:03:16.:03:21.

theory, the talks are proceeding but there is no momentum. They may well

:03:22.:03:28.

peter out before the election. We will then have three weeks after the

:03:29.:03:33.

Westminster election until this new deadline comes to pass. Already we

:03:34.:03:38.

have no budget or plan for Brexit and we are in danger of governance

:03:39.:03:44.

falling apart, our health service is in crisis and issues are stacking

:03:45.:03:49.

up. This becomes a further distraction with the election. We

:03:50.:03:53.

have a timescale around Brexit that needs to be addressed. If we do not

:03:54.:03:58.

get this right, we are facing a real tragedy. Where are we on the wider

:03:59.:04:02.

devolution project? You were the chief spokesperson for your

:04:03.:04:20.

party during the stocks. Have we forgotten completely about Stormont

:04:21.:04:22.

until we deal with this issue. It appears to be that it is in cold

:04:23.:04:24.

storage. There has been little momentum from the elections. Sinn

:04:25.:04:27.

Fein have been putting red lines down saying we will not cross that

:04:28.:04:29.

unless this is agreed. All the other parties have been saying we are here

:04:30.:04:34.

to negotiate and try and get A.D. And try and manage the process and

:04:35.:04:39.

get devolution back up and running. -- try and get a deal. The DUP have

:04:40.:04:49.

put down red line as well, no Irish language act. At least they are

:04:50.:04:55.

discussing it. They are discussing Irish language but as far as I know

:04:56.:05:00.

they had not accepted an Irish language act. That is a red line.

:05:01.:05:07.

The issue with Sinn Fein, they have said they are not going to restore

:05:08.:05:14.

the Executive over and -- and Arda Turan which act. Is that still a red

:05:15.:05:23.

line? -- and Irish language act. Are we seriously suggesting... The

:05:24.:05:30.

vacuum last night that saw upon being placed outside a primary

:05:31.:05:35.

school to kill police officers, that is continuing because of the Sinn

:05:36.:05:38.

Fein desire for an Irish language act. They said this was about

:05:39.:05:44.

honouring previous agreements, they never had an agreement with us.

:05:45.:05:48.

Restore devolution, get the Executive back up and running. It is

:05:49.:05:54.

not about negotiating a new deal, all these things have been agreed,

:05:55.:05:59.

it is about implementing what was agreed previously. The demand for an

:06:00.:06:03.

Irish language act, it is not the demand from Sinn Fein, we are asking

:06:04.:06:07.

for it, but there is an Irish language community who have said

:06:08.:06:11.

that enough is enough. Is that enough to hold up the restoration of

:06:12.:06:16.

devolution in Northern Ireland? Whim we are in this pickle? That is a

:06:17.:06:24.

question for the DUP and the British Government to ponder. I don't think

:06:25.:06:27.

it is, I think we need to implement this right away. In the meantime,

:06:28.:06:30.

you're determined that you are not moving and that remains a red line.

:06:31.:06:35.

This has already been agreed and I welcome some of the movement. I want

:06:36.:06:40.

to bring in Mark Durcan. Can you square the circle? -- Mark Durkan.

:06:41.:06:49.

It is important to make sure our institutions are up and running if

:06:50.:06:53.

we are going to address the issues. The best answer to the Brexit

:06:54.:06:58.

challenge is to use the Strand which allows us to work on a north and

:06:59.:07:02.

South basis in many sectors with areas of co-operation which Europe

:07:03.:07:08.

would want to support. We cannot have strand to as the answer to the

:07:09.:07:11.

Brexit challenge unless we have strand one working as well. Thank

:07:12.:07:13.

you. Now, with a look at a particularly

:07:14.:07:15.

busy week in the political world, here's Stephen Walker with

:07:16.:07:19.

Sixty Seconds. Only one place to start, as Theresa

:07:20.:07:32.

May caught everyone out. There should be unity here in Westminster,

:07:33.:07:38.

but instead, there is division. The country is coming together, but

:07:39.:07:42.

Westminster is not. Not everyone was happy with the impact on Northern

:07:43.:07:46.

Ireland. The British Government do not want a power-sharing Executive

:07:47.:07:49.

to work here because they do not want an Executive that will take a

:07:50.:07:54.

firm stand against Brexit. This leaves Northern Ireland in the lurch

:07:55.:07:58.

particularly with respect to the ongoing talks process. There was

:07:59.:08:10.

talk about voting packs. There are discussions that are important

:08:11.:08:12.

because there is a request from unionism to have greater

:08:13.:08:14.

collaboration. We will not do a packed with one party to keep out

:08:15.:08:16.

other parties from other communities. There was annoyance

:08:17.:08:18.

over one talks deadline passing. I am disappointed that deadlines that

:08:19.:08:21.

were placed for the 2nd of May are now unlikely to be met. Another one

:08:22.:08:25.

came along soon enough, June the 29th.

:08:26.:08:34.

And let's hear now from my Guests of the Day -

:08:35.:08:40.

Allison Morris, of the Irish News, and the columnist Newton Emerson.

:08:41.:08:43.

I asked Mark Durkan, any optimism he could give people watching the

:08:44.:08:49.

programme who perhaps had not taken anything terribly optimistic out of

:08:50.:08:52.

the conversation. Are there are reasons to be positive about the

:08:53.:08:57.

campaign. Going on that discussion, very little reason. Regardless of

:08:58.:09:02.

what has been said, it is clear this is another referendum on Brexit and

:09:03.:09:06.

you can see that from what the politicians are saying. We are

:09:07.:09:13.

dividing into two camps. I think this will be the election or you may

:09:14.:09:17.

see some floating voters changing and going towards other pro-or

:09:18.:09:22.

anti-Brexit parties. There will be interesting, for the likes of Tom

:09:23.:09:26.

Elliott in the border constituencies, it will be

:09:27.:09:28.

interesting to see which way the soft unionist vote goes because

:09:29.:09:34.

there were no real answers given to what the definitive role, especially

:09:35.:09:36.

the Ulster Unionist Party, if they do not manage to retain their seats,

:09:37.:09:40.

they are more or less finished. We know in the run-up to the last

:09:41.:09:51.

Assembly election, we said their message was confused and the voters

:09:52.:09:54.

did not react well, and it still seems confused. When we get into

:09:55.:09:57.

this, do you think we will still be talking about Brexit will we be

:09:58.:09:59.

talking about those issues that we always talk about in Northern

:10:00.:10:01.

Ireland elections? I think there will be a determined effort to keep

:10:02.:10:04.

the focus on Brexit, that is what is different about this election and

:10:05.:10:10.

that is the for nationalism. DUP and Sinn Fein are now drawing level and

:10:11.:10:16.

that has been seen coming for decades but it was always assumed

:10:17.:10:19.

that the group in the middle, Alliance and the Green Party would

:10:20.:10:22.

be the meat in that Sam Wood and they would moderate between them.

:10:23.:10:28.

Brexit enables Nationalists to make a bid for going into the middle

:10:29.:10:32.

territory and that is wide Naomi Long is so determined, I believe, to

:10:33.:10:36.

keep clear of that, because if she ends up on what will be seen by

:10:37.:10:39.

unionist as the nationalist side, the centre ground is gone. I wanted

:10:40.:10:45.

to ask you about the unilateral move by Robin Swann and the Ulster

:10:46.:10:49.

Unionists to not stand in three constituencies. Gavin Robinson said

:10:50.:10:53.

he is still a bit bewildering as to why that has happened outside the

:10:54.:10:56.

negotiations that will happen this week.

:10:57.:11:20.

It is because both parties are still very much competing with each other

:11:21.:11:24.

and unionism's great gift or cursed, it seems to be able to organise to

:11:25.:11:26.

pact without organising a pact between the two parties. They seem

:11:27.:11:29.

to be able to slot themselves into a de facto pact without being on

:11:30.:11:31.

speaking terms. What about a closer working relationship between the

:11:32.:11:34.

SDLP and Sinn Fein? It would be more beneficial to Sinn Fein and the SDLP

:11:35.:11:37.

and the SDLP know that. That is why they are talking about pacts with

:11:38.:11:39.

pro-opposition parties, rather than going into a pact with Sinn Fein,

:11:40.:11:42.

because if you look at the marginal seats in places where the SDLP are

:11:43.:11:44.

in trouble, I do not think that packs with Sinn Fein would do them

:11:45.:11:47.

much good at this stage, it would generally benefit Sinn Fein in

:11:48.:11:51.

places like north Belfast. There was still a bit of animosity between

:11:52.:11:56.

Chris Hazard and Mark Durkan. It is very tetchy. We came from an

:11:57.:12:01.

election that was quite savage and Sinn Fein did well. At this point in

:12:02.:12:04.

time they do not really need the help of the SDLP whereas clearly the

:12:05.:12:08.

SDLP would clearly need the help of Sinn Fein. I am still intrigued,

:12:09.:12:17.

vote Mike, get Colum, has that been replaced by get -- vote Robin, get

:12:18.:12:24.

Arlene. It is not necessarily confusing, because Mike Nesbitt are

:12:25.:12:28.

organised the last unionist pact and he made a clear distinction between

:12:29.:12:32.

Westminster and Stormont elections. It took him six months to do that

:12:33.:12:37.

and it still was not completely satisfactory. The reason they might

:12:38.:12:41.

be some confusion over what the UUP is up to because Mike Nesbitt like

:12:42.:12:45.

to be a unionist pact builder in Westminster elections and then

:12:46.:12:52.

portray himself as a moderate. I don't think that Robin Swann will be

:12:53.:12:58.

as squeamish as that. How do you see this developing over the next few

:12:59.:13:03.

weeks and the talks which are meant to still be happening in parallel,

:13:04.:13:06.

but everyone seems to agree, frankly nothing will happen on that front?

:13:07.:13:11.

If those talks were not going anywhere, whether the result of an

:13:12.:13:15.

election or not. There was little momentum in them before there was an

:13:16.:13:19.

extension given and I realise that they are more structured but they

:13:20.:13:23.

are not talks that have achieved anything in regards to those red

:13:24.:13:27.

lives. Those are the big ticket things, the legacy issues, things to

:13:28.:13:31.

do with the Irish language act and other issues that are an result they

:13:32.:13:34.

will not be resolved before this election or the next talks deadline

:13:35.:13:40.

and not resolved as we go into the marching season. James Brokenshire

:13:41.:13:45.

becomes a candidate more than anything else. We have to leave it

:13:46.:13:46.

there. That's it from Sunday

:13:47.:13:47.

Politics for today. Join me on Thursday, when I'll be

:13:48.:13:49.

back with The View on BBC1 at 10:40. Until then, from all

:13:50.:13:53.

the team, bye-bye. There'll be a couple of hours of

:13:54.:14:28.

just fantastic music, really, all the Ella classics, as well as

:14:29.:14:31.

some very special guests,

:14:32.:14:34.

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