25/06/2017 Sunday Politics Northern Ireland


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

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It's Sunday morning and this is the Sunday Politics.


After the Grenfell Tower disaster, 34 tower blocks in 17 council areas


in England have failed emergency fire safety tests, but not


every building that fails will be evacuated.


The government promises Britain will be a strong global


trading power after Brexit, as negotiations get under way,


we'll ask the international trade minister how.


As Jeremy Corbyn celebrates his new rock-star status


with a trip to Glastonbury, will the Labour leader


We're approaching deadline day, not for one deal, but two.


of terror attacks - what can be done to restore


I'll be speaking to three of the parties hoping to get


And with me throughout, our own supergroup of political


pundits who'll be wowing the crowds throughout the programme,


Helen Lewis, Tim Shipman and Isabel Oakeshott.


They'll also be tweeting using the hashtag bbcsp.


First, though, the government has confirmed that over 30 tower blocks


across England have now failed an emergency fire safety test,


following the Grenfall Tower disaster in which 79 people


According to the government the cladding from 34 tower blocks


has been tested and all of them have failed the combustibility test.


The government plans to examine up to


600 blocks and claim they can test 100 a day.


The areas affected so far include Manchester, Plymouth and Portsmouth


as well as the London boroughs of Barnet, Brent, Camden


and Hounslow; all the relevant landlords and fire services


Camden has already evacuated residents from


650 flats whilst other councils have introduced interim measures such


as 24-hour fire warden patrols to mitigate the risk before


When you look at the national scale of this, this goes beyond austerity


and finger-pointing at individual councils, this is a clear national


system failure for the country. I'm surprised the response has been as


muted as it has been, and initially there was a huge response. It is


striking how every single building they test seems to fail these


regulations, so people are slightly confused about whether this is the


regulations at fault or the cladding that is at fault and I think what is


most alarming to people, the insecurity. Some people have been


told to evacuate and that is what happened in Camden and they were


told until late at night. It is difficult for people to take pets


outcome and other people have been told to stay in the commendation


that may or may not be flammable. They have put fire wardens in


instead. There is a problem that people feel this is a problem about


social housing but not all of these are about social housing, but about


the neglect to people that several successive governments have shown.


People will wonder why the building regulations allow or the building


regulations were flouted in a way that allowed so much inflammable


material to clad our buildings. If you look in other countries,


America, Germany, some of this is banned, and some people said some of


the stuff has been put up in this country has also been banned and


this shows what a disaster housing policy has been in this country for


a generation. Neither party has been able to get a grip on it. There are


several failures of the Tory council but Labour was in charge of putting


this stuff into housing associations, where the controls


have not been very good over long period, and what we need to do is


build more homes and every government announces they are going


to build more homes. Hopefully using the right material. Yes, but none of


these governors have been able to build enough homes and we have a


crisis of stock where people are put into houses like battery hens,


frankly, in places where most people would not want to take a second


look. Looking at Grenfell Tower, if that had not been clad, if they had


kept the old concrete facade committee would not have gone up in


fire. This has been a failure of government with a small G, national


and local, Labour and Conservatives. Absolutely. It is not just about


residential accommodation, hospitals might have this material, I'm


hearing, and schools. Politically the challenge for the government,


there is a huge logistical and humanitarian challenge but also the


politics of it, as you rightly say, that this isn't just something which


is linked directly to Tory austerity. The government now, the


initial shock has worn off, and the challenge for the government is to


make it clear that this is not just their direct responsibility and the


result of the Tory cuts agenda and there are plenty of Labour councils


who also have responsibility. Given the national crisis and the national


failure, the government needs to be seen to get a grip on this.


Absolutely. Most MPs would say they... Their response has been


slightly more convincing than it was early on, but there are still huge


potential for this to snowball especially if we have other


buildings, not just residential, affected. There has been a change in


the national mood, you see this in the Conservative Party. The word


austerity was barely mentioned. Philip Hammond has relaxed his


targets. Local councils bore the brunt of the cuts and they won't


take any more, there is that sense, the people are tired of that.


Indeed. OK. The Government says it will deliver


a Brexit deal which will allow the UK to become a powerful global


trading nation with the EU This morning the Brexit Secretary,


David Davis, told the BBC he was certain he'd be able to get


a good trade deal with Brussels, in part because of pressure


from businesses within the EU. I mean it's not just


the German car industry, it's Bavarian farmers,


French farmers, Italian white goods manufacturers,


you name it. The balance of trade basically


is 230 billion from us to them, They have a very strong interest


in getting a good deal, at the end of the day,


on all sides on trade. And I've been joined


by the Trade Minister Mark Price. Welcome to the programme. There are


five main national business organisations in Britain and all of


them want minimal custom checks after Brexit between the UK and the


EU, how can you do that if we are leaving the customs union? There's a


difference between the customs union and the customs arrangements. It is


not that binary, you are not either in or out, you can work which with


ever party you want, you have customs arrangements, which work to


the benefit of business. That would need to cover all of the EU? You


can't do that in bilateral business with members of the EU, it needs to


be all of them? The negotiations will be with the commission and they


will work on behalf of all EU members. I attend the trade


ministers meeting and I've been four times since Brexit, and the mood is


very positive about the relationship they want with the UK going forward.


We have frictionless trade by being in the customs union at the moment,


you can import into this country, and then they go seamlessly to the


rest of the EU because everything coming into the EU comes in on the


same terms, but if we are not in the customs union any more, how can you


have that frictionless trade? You look at Harris first of all, and at


the moment we are tariff free, but if you look at the arrangement like


the Canadian trade Guild, it is 98% tariff free, -- the trade deal. The


Canadian deal is not a customs deal. What I'm asking you is about the


stuff coming into Britain which at the moment can then go seamlessly to


the rest of the EU, and will not be able to do so if we are not in the


customs union. I'm trying to explain the preconditions for having a


customs arrangements, the first is, can tariff the parable of the -- the


first is tariff, and then at the moment we take 56% of our goods from


outside the EU. We have electronic passing of documentation and I'm


told that 96% will go through within six seconds, and so we are not a


novice to this and we all be do this with countries all over the world.


We trade with 163 countries around the world, we are not building from


no experience and no base. We have a place that we are working from. To


do it sector by sector could take a long wire which is maybe why the


Chancellor is now talking about a transitional period for single


market access may be membership, and the customs union, how long a


transition period are we looking at? Who knows. We will see how we get


on. One year, two years? Who knows. From the European and UK perspective


we want a smooth transition and this is what trade ministers are saying


across Europe, this is not just a British desire. I have heard


interviews with several European parliamentarians who say they want


to move to a smooth transition and they would like a period of time to


do that if we can't do that inside the initial period. Will we be able


to make free trade deals with countries outside the EU in this


transition period? We have a host of arrangements at the moment, but it


is not that simple. With the EU we are party to about 40 trade deals by


the time we go, and we will work with those countries to transition


them. But in the transition period, can we make a free-trade deal with


America or China? Can we do that? We have set up nine working groups at


the moment with 15 different countries and what we are working


through is how do we make sure when we leave the EU that the current


arrangements that we have are carried forward, Liam Fox last week


was in America and there are 20 agreements with America. We can talk


about the current trading relationship, how do we make things


better for our businesses in those countries in the way that customs


work and the way their businesses are handled and then we can start


thinking about how do we shape a future deal. In a transition period,


can we strike a free-trade deal with a third party? No, we can't. We


can't sign or negotiate. During the transition period? This is during


the two-year period, but in the transition period that depends what


we agree with the EU. Businesses want tariff free trade to continue


between the EU and the UK. What indications have you had that the EU


will agree to this? Businesses who want tariff free trade to continue.


Between the UK and the EU. In all the discussion that I've had with


trade ministers, and I've spoken to them all over the last year, there


is a great appetite to impose tariffs where none exist today and


as I've mentioned, the Canadian deal is 98% tariff free but also today,


what we have said, we will make sure that for the least developed


country, 48 of them, we give them preferential access to the UK, no


tariffs or rotors, and there's another group of countries that we


give reduced access to as well. What about tariff free trade between the


EU and the UK? I think they will be keen to give us that. But no yes,


despite all these meetings. We have got to sit down and negotiate, but


the spirit is a good one. People in Europe want to get into a good place


with us, why? Because the trade surplus with the UK is... I know all


the reasons. Euro France only runs a surplus with four countries and we


are one of them. So the indications are good? Yes, around the world,


since Brexit, I visited 31 countries and I've met with 70 ministers and I


have seen this. Let me come onto immigration. Businesses have also


called for a flexible system of skills and Labour, so what system do


you imagine? You have heard from the government that we don't want to


harm our economy, and in Europe we have heard very loud and clear that


people want to be able to source the right people for their businesses.


What will the system be? Tomorrow the Prime Minister is going to make


an announcement. That is about EU citizens already here, but what will


the broad principles be under which people from the EU can come here to


work? That will be in the paper that will be set up, we have the


immigration bill coming forward, but we don't want to harm the UK


economy. What is the priority? In your manifesto you had a policy of


reducing net migration to the tens of thousands, so what is the


priority, hitting Matt Targett or a system that meets the flexible needs


of the economy? -- that target. It is a difficult call. I would say


meeting the needs of the economy are hugely important. What is more


important? The part of the jigsaw that is missing is what happens to


the shape of the Labour force in the UK as we move into the digital


error. The British consortium have said they will need 900,000 fewer


workers in retail in ten years' time in every industry is being reshaped,


and to take a point in time and say this is right... I'm asking for a


general principle, what is more important, hitting the target or


keeping immigration that is flexible to the economy? If you asked me as a


businessman, for 30 years, I would say it is through the success of


business and the success of our economy that we can afford the


social services that we want. As a government minister we need to work


through over the course of the next 2-3 years, but Bill through


Parliament and decide where we get to, we have said there is a target


of tens of thousands, and my personal view, given the digital


changes, that is a perfectly reasonable target for us.


Business says what they really need is clarity. One year after we voted


to leave, what clarity have you brought to these issues this


morning? That is a very good question. I think we have set out


the principles. You cannot tell me the principles of immigration, the


principles on which the customs union will operate, or the economy


or hitting a target will be more important for immigration. The Prime


Minister has set out what we intend to achieve. Through the Queen's


speech will bring a different bills that address these issues. They will


be there for Parliament to discuss, there will be consultation papers


and business can be involved with that. We will be consulting and


there will be a vote. That is process. I'm afraid we have run out


of time, but that is processed. What you want us to do is to be able to


say this is definitively what we will be able to get, but there are


two site. If I was buying a business in Waitrose, I couldn't tell you


what the outcome would be. I was simply asking what the Government's


aim was. That has clearly been set out by the Prime Minister. Thank


you. Jeremy Corbyn confounded his critics


in the general election, increasing Labour's share


of the vote and securing So will the Corbynistas use


the result to strengthen Our reporter Emma Vardy


has been finding out. Enjoying superstar


status at Glastonbury. Since when did being


a politician become this cool? Do you know, politics is actually


about everyday life. It's about all of us


and what we dream and what we want and what we achieve and what we want


for everybody else. # Staying out for the summer,


playing games in the rain It's looking like the summer


of love for Jeremy Corbyn. As he basks in his post-election


glow, well, as much as you can bask So, is all that bitter infighting


in the party a distant memory Jeremy will stay the Labour leader


now as long as he wants to do so. He's come back from the dead


in terms of the predictions and so he will remain Labour leader


for as long as he wants. Let's recognise that another world


is possible if we come together. Former Corbyn critics like John Mann


MP have been eating humble pie. The big issue for Jeremy now is,


is he going to hold his people in and stop any factional battling


in the Labour Party, and there are people on both


sides of the old divide in the Labour Party who love nothing


better than internal wrangling. Or is he going to consolidate his


position and bring the Labour Party together and be a potential


Prime Minister in waiting? The centrist Labour group Progress


which had been associated with some of Corbyn's harshest critics says


now the party is more In the general election,


the Labour Party worked together, Labour MPs put their strongest foot


forward in getting re-elected in their seats the national campaign


pulled through and party staff We have shown that when we pull


together we are a strong force. # Staying out for the summer,


staying up for the summer #. Before the election,


a number of party rule changes had been up for debate as pro and


anti-Corbyn factions looked for ways So has all that now being kicked


into the long grass? Any attempts to try and undermine


Tom Watson as deputy leader, appoint a second deputy leader,


attack the party staff, change the party rules,


will show the public out there that the Labour Party is more


interested in itself rather But will also put at risk that


unity, that is fragile and quite frankly now,


is led from the top. The way in which internal


hostilities would recommend The way in which internal


hostilities would recommence would be if there was a return


to some of the sectarianism that we So if there were attempts


to deselect MPs and councillors, those MPs and councillors


are going to fight If there are attempts to cross


a limited number of policy red lines on things like Trident renewal,


again that would cause And if there are attempts to change


the rule book of the party in a way that just gives blatant partisan


advantage, then again it would cause divisions to re-emerge,


but there's no need for them to do On policy and personnel, the ball


is in Jeremy Corbyn's court. There will be a debate


at conference, though, on what some are calling


the McDonnell Amendment. A rule change that would lower


the number of nominations needed Those on the left of the party have


been accused of plotting to make it easier for a left-wing candidate


to stand for leadership to succeed I think that opinion at conference


is finely balanced on that. Because the elections


for constituency delegates seem to be on a knife edge


between the left and the right. We will know the outcome of those


around the 9th of July And then it all depends


on the attitude taken by a couple of the big unions like


the GMB and Unison, about this proposal than Unite


and the more left-wing unions are. Meanwhile, here at the Jeremy Corbyn


supporting Momentum HQ, they believe there could be another


general election within six months and are remaining


in full campaign mode. We're going to be targeting


new marginals and we're going to be training thousands of activists


in those marginal constituencies and we going to be developing


new technological platforms to make it easy for people to get


involved in the election. Safe to say, they're


feeling rather vindicated. Many of those who were bitterly


opposed to Jeremy Corbyn have eaten their words


and have apologised. Look, in the general election


campaign, we campaigned for all Labour candidates


in our target seats and marginal seats, irrespective of where they


stood in the past on Jeremy Corbyn. We helped win seats for candidates


who supported Progress, just as hard as we helped win seats


for those who had always supported Jeremy and that's the way


we are going to carry on. Well, I think that will last


till the next election because we all want to


win the next election. # Staying out for the summer,


staying out for the summer #. For now, he's the man of the moment,


but is this performance the peak of his popularity, or the precursor


to Labour winning power? Before the general election


was called, a proxy-battle for the future of the Labour party


was played out in the election of the general secretary


of Unite, the union, The incumbent, Len McClusky,


who had put his weight behind Jeremy Corbyn,


faced a challenge from Gerard Coyne, who was seen to be the Labour


moderates' choice. Gerard Coyne narrowly lost,


and this week he was sacked from his Unite position


as a regional secretary. Good morning. You say you have been


the victim of a kangaroo court and a short trial, what do you mean by


that? After 29 years' service with the union I found myself dismissed


for a trumped up charge that related to the election but was about


nothing that relates directly to my role as a regional secretary so it


showed to me that defence now cannot be tolerated inside Unite and that's


a very concerning situation. The union says you were sacked for


misuse of data during the leadership election campaign. You say it's


because you have the audacity to challenge Len McCluskey. What's the


evidence to support your side? The independent body appointed by the


union to oversee the election this week produced a report that said in


relation to the data issue there was no evidence I breached any rules and


no evidence I breached the election guidance so actually the union's own


independent body has exonerated me this week. You said "It's beyond


parody that I is a 30 year member of the Labour Party should be accused


of harming Unite Labour relations by Len McCluskey's chief of staff..."


What do you mean by that? The investigation and the decision


reached actually shows a much more concerning element about the


involvement in the campaign and election that reflects badly in


terms of his position as a member of the Communist Party and the sort of


quite frankly Stalinist approach to the treatment I have received. So


actually it was a show trial I endured recently and I don't believe


I have received a fair process at all. And in this, in your words show


trial, did this Unite leadership regard you as an enemy of the


proletariat? The truth is they were very keen to see the descent and the


different vision I have got for Unite which was focused on our


members and protecting them in a difficult set of circumstances. They


wanted to stamp out that voice which was one which was articulated in a


different way for the union to go in the future. But you had lost. Yes


but on a very small majority, and there were thousands of Unite voters


that didn't have a chance to vote, which is why I'm now mounting a


legal challenge to the election results and we are going to make


sure it is rerun and given the opportunity to those members. So you


think you have a claim in law? To put a ten point claim into the


certification Officer, that has already gone in challenging the


result on ten individual counts as to how it was not properly run in


the first place. Do you have confidence in the certification


Officer in that process or do you think you might end up in the High


Court? If the certification Officer doesn't rule in favour of what I


think is a strong case coming have to ask the question what is this


certification Officer for, in that case I will be considering the High


Court. If you are right about the way you were treated, what does it


say about British trade unionism in the 21st-century that you can be


sacked by your union for standing up to the boss? I expect to have a


robust debate in a democratic election and not to be punished for


it. I did engage in what was quite an interesting debate through the


election campaign, but I've also served the union the 29 years and


for most employees if they have had that length of service, some


consideration would have been given to that. But Len McCluskey has been


re-elected leader, Jeremy Corbyn now rules the Labour Party unchallenged.


Andrew Murray, who you say mounted the show trial against you, was a


key part of Jeremy Corbyn's election campaign. It does look like you've


lost on all fronts. Jeremy did exceptionally well in the general


election campaign, he got young people involved, and it's not about


a left or right issue in terms of the party, it's about where the


party goes. My fear is that the way I've treated will start to give an


influence in the Labour movement or generally in the Labour Party that


starts to look like purges are acceptable. If Labour does that, the


electorate will never forgive them for an internal battle rather than


being the effective opposition they need to be. Are you saying that what


you believe happened to you could happen to other people now in the


Labour Party itself? I think there is a real danger of that. The


reality is the very people involved at the top of Unite, involved in the


disciplinary process with myself, they are influential figures in


Labour and part of my campaign is that Unite is too intrinsically


linked with the top of the Labour Party and ready to be focusing on a


much stronger industrial agenda for the future. If you have been a


member of the Labour Party for 30 years. We have now been dismissed


from your job is regional secretary I think in the West Midlands area?


That's right. Have you heard from the Labour leadership on this issue?


I haven't, and in terms of the leadership it would be nice to hear


from them because we lost seats in the West Midlands, we should have


felt onto, where working-class vote did not stay with Labour and it's


important we reach out to and engage with those communities and make sure


they support Labour in the future. Gerard Coyne, thank you for being


with us. I've been joined now from Leeds


by Labour's Jon Trickett, Welcome to the programme. Jeremy


Corbyn says he wants to unite the party behind him, so why didn't he


use the Shadow Cabinet reshuffle to do just that? First of all, why


would he change a winning team? We did a very good election campaign,


if we did not -- even if we did not quite get over the line. The Shadow


Cabinet worked very hard to get their result, but there are


vacancies and they were used to reach out and we have brought in the


man who stood against Jeremy not that long ago in a tough battle for


the leadership. I think that shows a leader who is reaching out, but also


wanting to make sure that he keeps a winning team. That is a reasonable


decision for him to make. What do you say to Gerard Coyne, Labour


member 30 years, who believes he has been purged from the Unite union and


that could be about to happen to Labour moderates in the party? There


will be no purge. We want everyone together, what is remarkable is,


when the so-called coup happened last year, when the PLP turned


against Jeremy, our poll rating collapsed and as soon as the party


reunited for the election the poll rating began to increase and that is


a lesson for everyone. The lesson has been learned by all of us and we


will work together as United party moving forward, but what should be


clear to everyone, we cannot go back to the Labour Party as it was


previously. He had got to move forward with Jeremy in the direction


in which he has laid out for the party and the country. What do you


say to Paul Mason, former journalists. -- former journalist.


He said to Blair writes that if you want a centrist party, this is not


going to be it for the next ten years -- Blairites. He said you have


got to form your own party. He did look a bit excitable when I saw a


piece by him on the internet, but the centre of gravity, it has


changed in politics, and what was the centre is no longer the centre.


The idea that a country should be run for a few at the expense of the


many is one which I think has been largely destroyed in this election


campaign. The centre has moved and the party has recognised with the


new centre is and we now need to unite and begin to roll out the


changes. There are many which need to be done on Jeremy's agenda. I say


this to the party committee of Jeremy and the leadership the tools


and he will finish the job -- the party, give Jeremy and the


leadership the tours. If they want a more centre-left party, they are not


going to get it? They should follow Paul Mason's advice? If they want


that. We have heard many of them repenting on their sins in the last


couple of days. That is another matter! LAUGHTER


They have recognised there are new ways of campaigning we have got to


listen to young people and see how they organise, but also our politics


has changed as a party and it has resonated with the country. Gerard


Coyne spoke about working class voters. I began writing about the


problem with working class voters in 2005 at the height of the Tony Blair


years and the party has more work to do in those communities and across


the country to win the trust of everybody's so that we can serve


them in government. Working-class voters swung to the Tories in the


last election, middle-class voters went your way. There has been a


problem with manual workers for some time, I don't need to be told about


that, I'd been writing about it for ten years. I was a building worker


for a while and we have got more work to do to regain the trust of


these people, but some of the proposals will work for those people


and we have got to bring them back in. Do you back the left wing move


to lower the threshold of MPs needed to stand for the leadership? We will


see where we get to, I'm in favour of democratising the Labour Party.


Are you in favour or not? We will see where we get to. It has been a


long-running debate. Do you think the threshold for anyone who wants


to run for leadership should be cut to 5% of MPs? I'm not going to


express my view at the moment, but when there is a leadership election


it is important that every tendency within the party is represented on


the ballot paper. And the rule that prevents a section of the right or


the left or the centre from being on the ballot paper is a bad rule. That


is an argument for lowering the threshold. We have got to look


carefully at how we conduct leadership elections and that debate


will be had. That far left figure we had in that film there, he said the


Corbyn way of doing things is a successful way, and that is


suggesting that you join the Corbyn bandwagon, you don't try to change


it, that's the way forward the Labour Party? All parties have


different points of view, and so is the Labour Party. You test ideas in


action and what happened in the general election showed the idea


that Jeremy has had and are successful, we have more than


doubled our size. Over 600,000 members. You lost the third election


in a row. We got the highest share of the vote, the largest number of


votes. No, you didn't. The Tories did. I haven't finished my sentence.


Labour has received since 1997. You lost. Of course, and that is why I


have said you we have got to work harder to build confidence in people


especially working people in our politics and the way we are going.


Can I clarify the Labour position on Brexit? Jeremy Corbyn and John


McDonnell has said the Labour position is to leave membership of


the single market, so why have over 50 Labour politicians signed a


letter to the Guardian in favour of membership of the single market?


That is not exactly where we are. We are taking the view that we need to


have access to all of the tariff rearrangements which exist within


the customs union and the single market. What is the policy on


membership? Let me finish. It is important to answer the question. I


will give you a full answer, and the answer is, we are not wedded to any


particular institutional framework, we are pragmatic about it. We will


see how the negotiations go. We do not have to do one thing or another


in terms of institutional relationships but we need a Brexit


which works for jobs and growth and also for the protections which


working people have also how that comes remains to be seen. I was


asking for clarification. Is the Labour policy to remain members of


the single market or not? Alp policy is to secure all of the rights which


exist, tariff free access, within the single market and the customs


union, and we are not saying that a particular institutional form is


something we've always ourselves to at this stage. Are you for or


against remaining members of the single market? It is not a question


of four it is about securing the best possible arrangement for our


economy and working people -- it is not a question of for or against.


The labour MP Clive Lewis said Thatcher economic dogma was to blame


for Grenfell Tower, but we know many tower blocks have been clad in the


same material by Labour councils, was that also the fault of


Thatcherite economic dogma? It is very difficult to say exactly what


happened, and I worked in the building industry for many years and


I know the regulations were very tight. It now looks as though


something happened with the building regulations. And apart from that, we


can't say exactly what lies behind this. By Tory and Labour councils,


that is my point, both parties have questions to answer. Yes, but the


government have sat on the recommendations, like the


recommendation of this printer systems, they have sat on those


documents for years. -- sprinkler systems. Do you think all parties


should stop trying to make political capital out of what is effectively a


national disaster? And tried to get to the bottom of a system explained


the and try to do better regardless of the party? Yes, everyone should


do the same. The sooner we get the results of the inquiry the better,


but if there are decisions which can be made sooner than the public


inquiry they should be made and implemented. Jon Trickett, thanks


for joining us. It's just gone 1140,


you're watching the Sunday Politics. Hello and welcome to Sunday Politics


in Northern Ireland. As the clock ticks


towards Thursday's deadline to get the Stormont institutions


up and running again, Sinn Fein and the SDLP say the DUP's


negotiations with the Conservative Party are distracting


from the process here. There were more talks


at Stormont yesterday - so can the parties make a final push


and do a deal this week? We'll hear the thoughts of the SDLP,


the Ulster Unionist Party And joining me to try and work out


if we're on course for one deal, two deals or no deals at all,


are Felicity Huston So far this year, we've had two


elections, seemingly endless rounds of talks and potential deals


on either side of the Irish Sea. But what can we expect to happen


at Westminster and Stormont? I'm joined by Nichola Mallon


from the SDLP, the Ulster Unionist Party's Steven Aiken


and Kellie Armstrong from Alliance. And perhaps they can share that


knowledge with all of us. Thank you for joining us.


So what hope have we of a deal at Stormont by this week's deadline?


I think if you are listening and taking a sincere message coming from


the political parties, then people are willing and ready to do a deal.


Ultimately, whether a deal or delete my son and up comes down to the DUP


and Sinn Fein. There are no surprises. We are in the final


countdown and people are expecting the parties to Act responsible with


their mandates. You except that it does that turn to Sinn Fein and the


DUP? Of course. The SDLP has been willing and engaged and we would try


to provide solutions and ideas to a number of the issues that are


outstanding. Ultimately it comes down to whether the DUP and Sinn


Fein can reach a deal and deliver Government for the people of


Northern Ireland. Aren't your parties in the ringside


seats, well-positioned to spectate on the action between the players


who really matter? It is down to the DUP and Sinn Fein.


The good news is, they are still talking. They were talking yesterday


and we haven't heard any talks of issues of crisis or anything. They


have been talking for months. I know that. The only people who can solve


those are the DUP and Sinn Fein. We're been working on the sidelines


trying to input into the process to try and get it going. We're been


talking very closely with the two governments. It comes down to or it


is down to the DUP and Sinn Fein. The fact is, they have been talking


on Friday and yesterday. Hopefully we are going to get something, but


it's getting very tight and time is getting pressed. Particularly if


they want to have an all inclusive Government going forward. They are


talking and have been doing so very long time. Do you actually believe


that these two parties actually want to sign up to some kind of deal


sooner rather than later? They say they do, do they actually mean that?


It does come across as being extremely frustrating. It's


frustrating for us. These are the biggest parties with the biggest


mandates. They are the people who will bring us forward into


Government. At this moment in time, I read getting a very clear feeling


from them that they want back into Government? It appears so, but that


is all it is. On Friday we were expecting to do a lot more


clarification on those stocks, and that was delayed. Perhaps on Monday


we might have something more. At this stage, it is down to them. What


I have to say is, if they are committed to a multiparty


Government, they would have to be including these parties. Book-mac I


spoke to a senior figure in the DUP who said that Stormont doesn't


matter so much now. We are basically pulling the strings at Westminster,


unless Sinn Fein agree to our view of things, we will not go back into


Government. Why would we let them back in again when we are in a


strong position? I would say to anybody in the DUP, there is no


point in going to Westminster and come back with nothing. They will


have nothing to shout but there isn't a Stormont Assembly. Their


wins, what they have negotiated for the have nothing to come back to.


Maybe in the short-term. Sinn Fein at this particular individual is


said to me I very much on the back foot and nowhere to turn. A couple


of months ago, Sinn Fein didn't really want back into Stormont,


according to this individual, and the DUP debt. A week is a very


short-term and politics. If he had said a week ago was a DUP and a


Conservative Party deal on the cards? You could have said yes. This


is a deal between the DUP and Theresa May, not the rest of the


Conservative Party. They should have done the deal by now. There are


obviously issues that need to be sorted out. We need to get the point


where we have a delivery mechanism. I would be delighted if the DUP came


back with ?2 billion ?1.5 for infrastructure or health, but unless


you have an Executive and an Assembly up and running to deliver


it, it's pointless. And it will be delivered by director or ministers.


For openness and transparency... Is it the toxic impact? Your party and


Sinn Fein said it is knocking this process of the reels. We would have


seen the colour and detail of it but for now. There are constant


briefings and difference in briefing from the DUP and Conservatives


around this. How can you move forward when you can't see the


detail of that? Looks like you can sign up to a Stormont deal until you


have seen the Westminster deal, is that they? I think anyone who would


countenance doing that is quite foolish. They would be doing that?


We have been very clear that we need to see the diesel around it. We


couldn't possibly sign up to something and mostly obscenely


detail. -- unless we had seen the detail. Seven months ago we wrote


all with the wonderful Billy shisha between the DUP and Sinn Fein in


Government, then we lurched into crisis. The hear all this talk about


respect and integrity. Now we are in a situation where parties are


briefing, but the key issue is that is not about your own interests as a


political party, is about what is in the interest here. That is what is


failing. It is the poster that? Its people when they go to hospital,


children died the Act to get it in schools and they are the most


important people in this. -- children trying to be educated in


schools. At the end of the day


you have no role regarding the Westminster talks -


and the deal at Stormont, if there is one, will be


between the DUP and Sinn Fein... Aren't you really just sitting


waiting for a deal at Stormont and then the DUP and Sinn Fein


to sign off on the return Between them, the DUP


and Sinn Fein have well over half of Assembly seats -


55 out of 90. Between them they have 56%


of the Assembly vote. In Westminster those two parties


have 17 of 18 seats - Root those of us have been talking


to different parties, bringing different papers, trying to get them


over the line. Trying to help them? To help the people of Northern


Ireland. Without it working Northern Irish Government we don't have


anyone to speak to us and the Dems are Brexit, we don't have anybody


fighting for our committee when it comes to hospital waiting lists. Our


priority as I party is for Northern Ireland. Is there a blueprint at the


moment? Is something you're working towards?


We have been working towards that. The DUP and Sinn Fein are bumping


heads together. Either compromising on issues like a Bill Rights,


legacy, Arlene Foster going back into the Executive office as First


Minister or not as Sinn Fein would have it, publicly at least? At this


moment in time, all I can say is that those two parties have close


themselves away behind doors. Do you believe they are compromising and


getting into dotting the Ayes and crossing that he's? I would be


absolutely disgusted as a politician if they are not, because if we are


not committed to Northern Ireland, why did they stand and get those


agreements? We expect to hear if they are committed to a multiparty


Government then they will be opening up about that. That will require


compromise. That will require both parties who have read lines moving


away from those and then then have to sell that to their voters. They


will have to come some things. Our understanding is that they are in


talks. Both sides are moving now. How much they will move, is it going


to be good work, I don't mean any body knows it. I think there is a


willingness to some degree to make it work and we as the parties on the


peripheral are there to help them get that point, but time is very


short. We are in a situation where we are going to have to start making


decisions. On Monday, we are having a Round Table meeting, then was


having a meeting with the Speaker to start getting things organised


moving forward. There is a timetable to achieve Government by 4pm. That


is the deadline? We have now heard from Sinn Fein that the deadline is


to say, because when saying Thursday, the secretary of state and


the DUP are going to vote on the Queen's speech. Is more important to


get things done in the time that they need to be done. On Thursday,


you need to be electing a speaker, a Deputy Speaker, doing the whole


process, first and Deputy First Minister. Wednesday is going to be


very difficult to do things, because it is the Queen's speech. We're


looking at is it. Worry careers this deadline as we have with every other


and we talked next week, next month. We hear that this could be resolved


in 24 hours. I had a pound for every time it politician told me that. I


now get bigger terrible that we don't have a representative from the


and Sinn Fein. To be fair, we wanted to speak to the three of you today


rather than to them. I can tell you that at the SDLP, we're been trying


to get resolution. We're been trying to resolve difficulties around equal


marriage. We have said the need to be a new way of doing business


friendly Executive. We have asked for more childcare places, free


childcare places... That is not a red line for anybody. Those are


important issues for people and they are important for the SDLP. The


important for us. If we want an inclusive Executive, then we need to


have an Executive that resolves bigger political issues, but also


deals with key issues affecting everyday lives.


To the big issues are the Irish language Act and whether or not


Arlene Foster can come back as First Minister. Do you get any sense that


there could be copper mines issues? Whenever I speak to the DUP order


Sinn Fein, they are adamant there will be no resigning from this data


positions. -- could be compromises. You know very well that they


disappear like snow in a ditch. There were very clear strong


utterances about the importance of a Bill of Rights, not returning to be


started school. We're sitting close to the final deadline, are we going


to see those things I will birdie, might as? When you listen to what


they say publicly, there are are moving a bit. We can only speculate,


come Thursday we will see. By the public but isn't it, positive noises


going to be translated into action? As far as opposition versus


Government is concerned, if this deal sticks, you would have a right


to be back in Government within the Ulster Unionist Party, you would


within the SDLP, you might get there, but it wouldn't be as of


right. That is the position at the moment. Would you take up that


Executive position if the cards fell the way you would like them to fall


and we are collecting is bigger and going back to Stormont on Thursday?


We need to see what the likely agreement is going to be. But


feeling? --. Feeling. Being opposition was a disaster. We want


to do what's best for Northern Ireland need to get in a position to


do that. We need to see the agreement, we need to the warrior


being asked to do. We can go into Government of don't solve the issues


of openness and transparency. Your gut feeling must be that you would


like to be in Government if he could be persuaded that that was the right


thing to do. We want to do is best for Northern Ireland in if we can do


that, we will. It makes my queer dissembling. It does. We need to


know what's being in agreement. Everybody wants to be in Government.


I don't think that is what people are saying, but ever the want to be


in Government. Do read the SDLP want to be part of the Executive in the


way it was so dysfunctional before aware there was no respect? It was


multiparty, but only two birdies got all the credit. Absolutely not. If


there is a new way of doing business, then yes. What is your gut


feeling about where the Alliance Party would like to position itself


if devolution gets up and running? We're been clear, there are certain


things that we need to see before we can go back into Government. If


there ares can deliver on those then we will not go back in. You're quite


happy to be on the Opposition benches holding a Sinn Fein and DUP


Coalition to account? Yes. We would prefer that some of the things that


we had asked for, if they had accepted them last time, then we


wouldn't have had a collapsed Assembly.


Well, listening to that, my guests of the day -


Chris, does that conversation fill you with confidence there'll be


I think it's a difficult situation for the three parties at the moment


outside the building, looking in through the windows as the


negotiations are going on between the DUP and the two governments.


These parties have had difficult elections and the range from


disappointing for Alliance to disastrous for the SDLP. A plague on


both your houses clearly isn't working when attacking Sinn Fein and


the DUP. I don't detect any real sense of urgency that there will be


a deal on behalf of the DUP order Sinn Fein this week. You don't think


it is a real deadline on Thursday? So. I Think The Dup Wants To Get


Westminster Sorted Out And Sinn Fein... Those Parties Will Be Wary


Of Any Deal That Comes To Westminster And Will Want To Study


Westminster And Will Want To Study At First.


Felicity, surely there cannot be a deal to restore the Assembly


It's complicated. I think we should be able to settle in Northern


Ireland without having to worry about what's going on. But in the


real world? I suspect not. I think the two main parties will have such


an eye on what's happening in Westminster and who knows whether


the Prime Minister currently will still be the Prime Minister next


week, etc. There is such chaos there that I think it makes it difficult.


My concern is that if the Assembly still isn't organised and sorted out


by the end of the month, I think everybody will just forget about it.


It will be something that clutters up the place, achieves nothing and


is abandoned. You're, broadly speaking,


a Conservative supporter - do you think the Tories


are handling these two processes I think they are not handling very


much in an exemplary manner. If I was doing it, I wouldn't do it like


this. You wouldn't start from here. I think that has been the problem.


Weird all expected and anticipated the deal at Westminster would be


sorted out within a couple of days after the election and for what ever


reason, that hasn't worked. I suspect the Conservatives have come


up against somewhat wily long experience negotiators and haven't


realised. England's problem is Ireland's opportunity and that's


what the DUP are doing. What about these guidelines we have spoken


about this morning. For example the Irish language Act and Arlene Foster


returning. Can the parties, Misal knows without catastrophic loss of


face? I think the likes of the Irish language Act, we couldn't, most on


that. They are made such an issue on it. The DUP have said there will not


be an Irish language Act. Summary will lose out. During the week they


said they had a very positive meeting with the DUP and the DUP


were described as reasonable, the costs that they had predicted of an


Irish language Act. That is one area that Sinn Fein cannot really concede


on at this time. What about Arlene Foster as First Minister, easier to


concede on that? I certainly think so. There is something they would


probably give over on. Let's just pause there


for a moment and after another busy week in politics,


here's Enda McClafferty A slimmed down Queen's speech, but


the DUP said it make sure its influence was felt. I'm delivering


on the Armed Forces across the United Kingdom. The SNP says that


there is a Conservative deal with the DUP, in Scotland should get more


money too. If a Tory DUP deal promised ?1 billion infrastructure,


that has consequential effects for Scotland. A former Conservative


leader says there is no grounds for that argument. This is not on usual


and it doesn't invoke the Barnett. The Shadow another Irish energy


services news to him. The Barnett Formula is advisory. For years and


years, Barnett was in the Treasury and we were told that that is the


basis for funding the provisions of the United Kingdom. It takes a lot


of turn the head of best man. Joanna Lumley will do just that.


Gareth Gordon delighted to be interrupted by his secret crush -


Back to our two commentators, Felicity and Chris.


Chris, the other story making the headlines is,


of course, Brexit - and the Irish Foreign Minister,


Simon Coveney, has made it clear he's arguing for special status


for Northern Ireland after the UK leaves the EU.


Bearish Government is becoming more strident on this and we are


beginning to see what is likely happening behind-the-scenes in terms


of their own discussions. We heard from David Davis that the issue of


the Irish border took up most of the time in terms of the first day of


discussions. That gives an idea of how difficult it's going to be to


resolve. Felicity, the Irish Government


hasn't used language It hasn't gone down


well with unionists, Why is the Minister


toughening up his language? Don't think it has gone down well


with certain European countries, because within the EU, special


status is something that causes pandemonium when they start to look


at the systems of the other countries. Many Eastern European


countries might say why should Northern Ireland get all of this, or


Ireland as a holder of the island, when the estate of us, we are far


more economically underdeveloped. I think we... That is one of the


things. We focus of the time in the British Isles. That friction. We


forget about what is going on in Europe as a result of the followed a


Brexit and the tensions that are turning up. The taking European


agencies away from the UK, they want them to be brought back to mainland


Europe. Other countries are getting a look in on those.


Will it damage him as he tries to help negotiate a deal at Stormont?


He is also involved in helping to note go shake that deal. What's


particularly intriguing about this is that the issue of the special


status for the night is important to the Irish Government because it is


in the strategic interests of the independent Irish state. You have to


remember the south has just come through the bailout period, they


don't want another destabilising factor like this which is going to


be a detrimental effect on the economy. I don't think that the


stridency we are seeing from the Irish Government is necessarily over


concerned over the north, it's more about the size and its priorities.


Gerry Adams has called for nationalists and republicans


to adopt a new approach to, "Unlock unionist opposition


This that persuade you are not? The best of luck to him. I don't think


it will work. He has tried before in the reality is different. Think it's


more to do with the combination as opposed to persuasion. The public


have to find a way to accommodate Unionists.


We will be responding further in the to Andrew in London.


We will be responding further in the weeks and months to come.


And with that it's back to you, Andrew.


What deal will Theresa May strike with the DUP to give


Will the Prime Minister get her programme for government,


the Queen's Speech, over the first hurdle in a House


And who's in pole position to take over from Mrs May if she's


A number of stories in the papers this morning about Philip Hammond


becoming a caretaker Tory leader with the support of David Davis.


What did you make of them? I was dismayed to hear that Tim was coming


on the story because I was prepared to rubbish his story. I will go for


it. This is great sport, and if I was in Tim's position I would also


be cooking up stories, but Tim will say it is based on several very good


sources, but my sense from the Tory backbenchers, they are in no way


manoeuvring to get someone else installed in number ten, and I'm not


saying that Theresa May is secure long-term but I don't sense that


there is any immediate threat to her at the moment. I agree partly, but


there is a shadow leadership battle. If you look at the fact that


ministers have been out on the airwaves, people who I thought might


have gone to a retirement home have popped up after the election


campaign and are doing media again. People are jockeying, but the


feeling of instability is such that they know it looks incredibly


self-indulgent focus internally. We have started the Brexit clock by


triggering Article 50 Mbits a hard time limit on that. We are in a


world where it changes week by week, is it not incredible that there is a


plan, to put Phil Hammond in as a caretaker for two years, then he


will step down, and then I forget who will take over? Possibly Amber


Rudd. The younger generation. This will all be done with David Davis's


support, that is rather incredible. I thought it was incredible, as


well, but the more calls I put in, there was a lot of chatter about


this. What persuaded me that it was interesting, there were Brexit


supporting MPs who felt they could stand Philip Hammond in charge. But


everyone is taking the view that Theresa May is not going to lead


them into the next election, so at what point do they installed the new


leader? The sensible time would be in the late summer to get something


in place by the party conference. With David Davis and Philip Hammond,


pretty well everyone agrees they are the two grown-ups in the Cabinet and


if they can come to arrangement with one of them at the top, that might


be the way to have a smooth transition. Some of the stories have


David Davis to be the caretaker and Phil Hammond to be the number two.


David Davis was on the BBC this morning and he reacted to this.


Let me be absolutely plain about this.


Number one, I happen to think we've got a very good Prime Minister.


I know she's coming under a lot of pressure at the moment,


I've seen a number of prime ministers in


Going right back to Margaret Thatcher.


She makes good decisions, she's bold.


There's no crisis about this government.


It's very very clear that she's a good Prime Minister.


Point number two, I want a stable backdrop to this Brexit negotiation.


What is your message to those Tories who are already ruffling around


in the rhododendrons muttering about leadership


Don't be so self-indulgent is my message to those.


Of course, he would say that, to an extent. I thought that was quite


sincere. I've observed him long enough to know that he is always on


manoeuvres of some sort but if he is on manoeuvres now, they involve not


being manoeuvres for the time being. If there was credibility to this, if


they were really thinking they would have a caretaker and then replace


the caretaker with someone else, and then we may do something different,


what with the voters make, at a time of national crisis, of huge


difficulty, that the Tory party is just playing musical chairs? That is


why you have MPs like Ken Clarke who say that this looks very


self-indulgent. If anything we have learned from the last 20 years, it


is that if you try to have a cooked up thing where everyone knows they


are going to be the front man and you are the real brains of the


operation, that is a recipe for huge falling out, and people need to know


who they are voting for. You didn't say the bit when David Davis was


asked if he would go for the leadership, and he said I'm not


getting into that. -- you didn't show the bit. Let's move on. He is


on quantum manoeuvres. To the more immediate. Tim, where are we with


this attempt with the Conservatives to get a deal with the DUP? It is in


a mess, but effectively done. People say the confidence side of it was


sorted a few weeks ago, but then the fire happened and they weren't keen


to do a big announcement and they are still arguing over, not so much


the amount of money, but the mechanisms and how it works. I've


spoken to DUP sources who say there is no circumstance in which they


would vote down this Queen's Speech and the other thing that is


happening, the time is meant to be running out on the next stage of the


Stormont arrangements and the threat that is coming from the Tory Chief


Whip Gavin Williamson to the DUP and one they take very seriously, if you


don't vote for the Queen's Speech on Thursday you could effectively have


Jeremy Corbyn taking direct rule of Northern Ireland with his old pals


from Sinn Fein. That is the threat the Tories hang over the DUP, but


the DUP are tough negotiators and if they haven't agreed to an


arrangement by the Queen's Speech and they simply abstain, the


government will probably still get it through, but the margin will be


slight. It's a strange situation. Whether government has greater


priorities than forming a government, than forming a majority


government, I think they feel fairly confident that they can get over the


hurdle next week. And it might be rather marginal, but as long as they


can get through it. Simply wresting back on the assurance that there are


no circumstances in which the DUP will bring them crashing down. That


is enough for now. The long-term situation for Northern Ireland


politics is very interesting. This will come under pressure if there is


a vote in which the Sinn Fein votes would have made a difference, that


is how they squeezed the SDLP and at the same time there is a pressure


for them to come back to the Stormont talks, because there will


be money flowing into Northern Ireland and they will be acute focus


on the areas to which that is going. Labour will put down the memory


which will highlight a number of things in the Labour manifesto and


-- will put down the manifesto. They may well lose, probably, but at the


moment Labour really thinks, if they could cause another election, they


think they could win. So there will be all sorts of pressure, lots of


votes which will go down to the wire. It is very important, Labour


think they can win and fable but votes that can go down to the wire


and we will see what the next couple of years will look like -- they will


put votes. This is not a world that the Tory MPs like the look of, they


have been told they can't take time off, they will be kept late at the


House of Commons and that will put stress on the Tory party. The poor


dears. The important thing, that they accept the view that the Labour


Party has, because Tory MPs also believe Labour will win the election


if it will -- if it were to happen any time soon. And so anyone who


shares the Labour view on the customs union and things like that.


If the government loses a crucial vote, this doesn't trigger an


election, but it means the Queen would ask Jeremy Corbyn to form a


government. He would say, yes. He might well. What remains to be seen,


how effective Labour are now as a machine, Parliamentary machine,


because what we saw from the election, Jeremy Corbyn exceeded any


expectations in his talents as a campaigner but the fundamentals, if


you talk to labour MPs who have been sceptical about him, haven't changed


in terms of his ability to manage the Parliamentary party. Nothing


that has happened so far in terms of the rhetoric coming out from Labour


on Brexit gives any cause for confidence that there is a strategy


or even a tone that has been set that is coherent. You heard the


Unite union man Gerard Coyne who believes he has been purged from the


organisation and he believed that could happen in the party, as well.


But if you have achieved what Jeremy Corbyn has achieved, and he is now


ahead in the polls, even if they don't matter much will stop he has


better ratings than Theresa May now. Why would you not say, this is a


winning formula and I will rebuild the party in my image? It is a


legitimate thing to do, but Europe is crucial. That is why Labour was


like another election sooner rather than later before any crucial votes


on things like the customs union and freedom of movement because they


held together a much bigger coalition than anybody thought but


they did that on the back of angry Remainers. This could factor again


for them. When we talk about remaking the Labour Party in the


image of Jeremy Corbyn, the question is, is that someone who is sceptical


about Europe, and you will see some Labour MPs rebelling on Europe


because they know that's the thing the members agree with them on, and


not with Mr Corbyn. A week really is a long time in politics, as Harold


Wilson said. Jo Coburn will be on BBC Two at noon


tomorrow with the Daily Politics, and I'll be back here on BBC One


next Sunday at 11am with Remember - if it's Sunday,


it's the Sunday Politics. BBC Northern Ireland's biggest


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