26/03/2017 Sunday Politics Northern Ireland


Andrew Neil and Mark Carruthers discuss the Westminster attack with Commons leader David Lidington and head of Europol Rob Wainwright. Plus Ukip leader Paul Nuttall.

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


The police believe the Westminster attacker Khalid Masood acted alone,


but do the security services have the resources and


We'll ask the leader of the House of Commons.


As Theresa May prepares to trigger Brexit, details of


Will a so-called Henry VIII clause give the Government too much power


Ukip's only MP, Douglas Carswell, quits the party saying it's "job


done" - we'll speak to him and the party's


And coming up here - as the deadline for a Stormont deal


looms large, we talk to an upbeat Alliance leader about her party's


election performance and a possible place at the Executive table.


And with me - as always - the best and the brightest political


panel in the business - Toby Young, Polly Toynbee


and Janan Ganesh, who'll be tweeting throughout the programme.


First, it was the most deadly terrorist attack


The attacker was shot dead trying to storm Parliament,


but not before he'd murdered four people and injured 50 -


one of those is still in a critical condition in hospital.


His target was the very heart of our democracy,


the Palace of Westminster, and he came within metres


of the Prime Minister and senior Cabinet ministers.


Without the quick actions of the Defence Secretary's


close protection detail, fortuitously in the vicinity


at the time, the outcome could have been even worse.


Janan Ganesh it is four days now, getting on. What thoughts should we


be having this weekend? First of all, Theresa May's Parliamentary


response was exemplary. In many ways, the moment she arrived as


prime minister and her six years as Home Secretary showed a positive


way. No other serving politician is as steeped in counterterror and


national security experience as she is and I think it showed. As to


whether politics is going now, it looks like the Government will put


more pressure on companies like Google and Facebook to monitor


sensor radical content that flows through their channels, and I wonder


whether beyond that the Government, not just our Government but around


the world, will start to open this question of, during a terror attack,


as it is unfolding, should there be restrictions on what can appear on


social media? I was on Twitter at the time last week, during the


attack, and people were posting things which may have been useful to


the perpetrators, not on that occasion but future occasions.


Should there be restrictions on what and how much people can post while


an attack is unfolding? I think we have learned that this is like the


weather, it is going to happen, it is going to happen all over the


world and in every country and we deal with it well, we deal with it


stoically, perhaps we are more used to it than some. We had the IRA for


years, we know how to make personal risk assessments, how to know the


chances of being in the wrong place at the wrong time are infinitesimal,


so people in London didn't say, I'm not going to go to the centre of


London today, everything carried on just the same. Because we know that


the odds of it, being unlucky, are very small. Life is dangerous, this


is another very small risk and it is the danger of being alive. I think


from an Isis Islamist propaganda point of view, it showed just what a


poor target London and the House of Commons is, and it is hard to


imagine the emergency services and local people, international


visitors, reacting much better than they did. And the fact that our


Muslim mayor was able to make an appearance so quickly afterwards


shows, I think, that we are not city riddled with anti-Islamic prejudice.


It couldn't really have been a better advertisement for the values


that is attacking. OK, thank you for that.


So, four days after the attack, what more do we know


The police have made 11 arrests, but only one remains


Here's Adam with the latest on the investigation.


According to a police timeline, that's how long it took


Khalid Masood to drive through a crowd on Westminster


to crash his car into Parliament's perimeter...


to fatally stab PC Keith Palmer, before being shot by a bodyguard


The public are leaving tributes to the dead at Westminster.


The family of PC Palmer released a statement saying:


"We would like to express our gratitude to the people


who were with Keith in his last moments and who were


There was nothing more you could have done,


you did your best and we are just grateful he was not alone."


Investigators say Masood's motive may have gone to the grave with him.


Officers think he acted alone, despite reports he spent a WhatsApp


The Home Secretary now has such encrypted messaging


There should be no place for terrorists to hide.


We need to make sure that organisations like WhatsApp,


and there are plenty of others like that, don't provide a secret


place for terrorists to communicate with each other.


It used to be that people would steam open envelopes or just


listen in on phones when they wanted to find out what people were doing,


legally, through warrantry, but in this situation


we need to make sure that our intelligence services


have the ability to get into situations like encrypted


She will ask the tech industry to suggest solutions


at a meeting this week, although she didn't rule out


But for those caught up in the attack, perhaps it will be


..not the policy implications that will echo the loudest.


We're joined now from the Hague by the Director of Europol,


the European Police Agency, Rob Wainwright.


What role has Europol played in the aftermath of Wednesday's attacks? I


can tell you we are actively supporting the investigation,


because it is a live case I cannot of course go into the details, but


to give you some context, Andrew, this is one of about 80


counterterrorist cases we have been supporting across Europe this year,


using a platform to shed thousands of intelligence messages between the


very large counterterrorist community in Europe, and also


tracking flows of terrorist finance, illegal firearms, and monitoring


this terrible propaganda online as well. All of that is being made


available now to the Metropolitan Police in London for this case. Do


we know if there is any European link to those who may have inspired


or directed Khalid Massoud? That is an active part of the inquiry being


led by Metropolitan Police and it is not for me to comment or speculate


on that. There are links of course in terms of the profile of the


attacker and the way in which he launched these terrible events in


Westminster, and those that we've seen, for example, in the Berlin


Christmas market last year and the attack in Nice in the summer of last


year, clear similarities between the fact that the attackers involved


have criminal background, somewhat dislocated from society, each of


them using a hired or stolen vehicle to deliberately aim at pedestrians


in a crowded place and using a secondary weapon, whether it is a


gun or a knife. So we are seeing a trend, I think, of the kind of


attacks across Europe in the last couple of years and some of that at


least was played out unfortunately in Westminster this week as well.


Mass and was known to the emergency services, so were many of those


involved in the Brussels, Paris and Berlin attacks, so something is


going wrong here, we are not completely across this, are we?


Actually most attacks are being stopped. This was I think at least


the 14th terrorist plot or attempted attack in Britain since 2013 and the


only one that has got through, and that fits a picture of what we see


in France last year, 17 attempted attacks that were stopped, for


example. Unfortunately some of them get through. But people on the


security services' Radar getting through, in Westminster, Brussels,


Paris and Berlin. There is clearly something we are not doing that


could stop that. Again, if you look at what happened in Berlin and at


least the first indications from what police are saying in London,


these are people that haven't really appeared on Baha'i target list of


the authorities, they are on the edge at best of radicalised


community -- on the high target list. When you are dealing with a


dispersed community of thousands of radicalised, Senate radicalised


individuals, it is very difficult to monitor them 24/7, very difficult


when these people, almost out of the blue and carry out the attacks that


they did. I think you have to find a sense of perspective here around the


work and the pressures of the work and the difficult target choices


that police and security authorities have to make around Europe. The Home


Secretary here in London said this morning it is time to tackle apps


like WhatsApp, which we believe Massoud was using, because they


encrypt from end to end and it is difficult for the security services


to know what is happening there. What do you say, are you up for


that? Across the hundreds of cases we have supported in recent years


there is no doubt that encryption, encrypted communications are


becoming more and more prominent in the way terrorists communicate, more


and more of a problem, therefore, a real challenge for investigators,


and that the heart of this is a stark inconsistency between the


ability of the police to lawfully intercept telephone calls, but not


when those messages are exchanged via a social media messaging board,


for example, and that is an inconsistency in society and we have


to find a solution through appropriate legislation perhaps of


these technologies and law enforcement agencies working in a


more constructive way. So you back that? I agree that there is


certainly a problem, absolutely. We know there was a problem, I'm trying


to find out if you agree with the Home Secretary's solution? I agree


certainly with her calls for changes to be made. What the legislative


solution for that is of course for her and other lawmakers to decide


but from my point of view, yes, I would agree something has to be done


to make sure we can apply more consistent interception of


communication in all parts of the way in which terrorists invade our


lives. Rob Wainwright of Europol, thank you very much.


Here with me in the studio now is the Leader of the House


What did last week's attack tell us about the security of the Palace of


Westminster? It told us that we are looked after by some very


courageous, very professional police officers. There is clearly going to


be a lessons learned with you, as you would expect after any incident


of this kind. That will look very carefully at what worked well but


also whether there are changes that need to be made, that is already


under way. And that is being run by professionals, by the police and


security director at Parliament... Palace authorities, we will get


reports from the professionals, particularly our own Parliamentary


security director, and just as security matters in parliament are


kept under constant review, if there are changes that need to be made as


a result, then they will need to be made. Let's look at some of the


issues it has thrown up, as we get some distance from these appalling


events when our first reaction was always the people who lose their


lives and suffer, and then we start to become a bit more analytical. Is


it true that the authorities removed armed guards from Cowbridge gate,


where the attacker made his entry, because they looked to threatening


for tourists? -- carriage gate. No, the idea that a protest from MPs led


to operational changes simply not the case. What happened in the last


couple of years is that the security arrangements in new Palace Yard have


actually been strengthened, but I don't think your view was would


expect me to go into a detailed commentary upon operational security


matters. Why were the armed guards removed? There are armed guards at


all times in the Palace of Westminster, it is a matter for the


security authorities and in particular for the police and direct


command of those officers to decide how they are best deployed. Is it


because, as some from Scotland Yard sources have reported to the papers


this morning, was it done because of staffing shortages? I'm in no


position to comment on the details of the operation but my


understanding is that the number of people available is what the police


and the security authorities working together have decided to deploy and


that they think was commensurate with the threat that we faced. Is it


not of concern that as the incident unfolded the gates were left


unguarded by armed and unarmed, they were just unguarded, so much so


that, as it was going on, a career with a parcel on a moped at was able


to drive through? -- up career. I think we will need to examine that


case as part of looking into any lessons learned, but what I don't


yet know, because the police are still interviewing everybody


involved, witnesses and police officers involved, was exactly who


was standing where in the vicinity of the murder at a particular time.


We have seen pictures, the gates were unguarded as people were


concentrating on what was happening to the police man and to the


attacker, but the delivery man was able to come through the gates with


a parcel?! You have seen a particular camera angle, I think it


is important before we rush to judgment, and we shouldn't be


pointing fingers, we need... We are trying to get to the bottom of it.


To get to the bottom of it means we have to look at what all the


witnesses and all the police officers involved say about what


happened, and then there needs to be a decision taken about what if any


changes need to be made in light of that.


We know the attacker was stopped in his tracks by the Defence


Secretary's bodyguard, where was the armed roving unit that had replaced


the armed guard at the gate? I cannot comment on operation details


but my understanding is there were other armed officers who would have


been able to prevent the attacker from getting to the chamber, as has


been alleged it would be possible for him to do. Were you aware that a


so-called table top simulation, carried out by Scotland Yard and the


Parliamentary authorities, ended with four terrorists in this


simulation able to storm parliament and killed dozens of MPs? No, that


is the first time that has been mentioned to me. You are the leader


of the house. These matters are dealt with by security professionals


who are involved, they are advised by a security committee, chaired by


the Deputy Speaker, but we do not debate operational details in


public. I'm not asking for a debate, I raise this because it's been


reported because it's quite clear that after this simulation, it


raised serious questions about the security of the palace. Actions


should have followed. What I've said to you is that these matters are


kept under constant review and that there are always changes made both


in the deployment of individual officers and security guards of the


palace staff and other plans to strengthen the hard security of the


perimeter. If you look back at Hansard December last year, they was


a plan already been brought forward to strengthen the security at


carriage Gates, looking at questions of access. Will there be armed


guards now? You need to look not just at armed guards, you need to


look at the entirety of the security engagements including fencing.


There's lots about the security we don't need to know and shouldn't


know, but whether or not there are armed guards is something we will


find out quite soon and I'm asking you if you think there should be. If


you think the judgment is by our security experts that there need to


be more armed guards in certain places, then they will be deployed


accordingly, but I think before we rush to make conclusions about


lessons to be learned from Wednesday's appalling attack, it is


important the police are allowed to get on with completing the interview


of witnesses and their own officers, and then that there is considered


view taken about what changes might need to be made and then they will


be implemented. Let me come onto the triggering of Article 50 that begins


our negotiations to exit the European Union. It will happen on


Wednesday. John Claude Juncker told Germany's most popular newspaper


that he wants to make an example of the UK to make everyone realise it's


not worth leaving the EU. What do you make of that? I think all sorts


of things are said in advance of negotiations beginning. Clearly the


commission will want to ensure the EU 27 holds together. As the Prime


Minister has said, that is a British national interest as well. She has


been very clear... What do you make of President Juncker's remark? It


doesn't surprise me ahead of negotiations but I think if rational


mutual interest is to the fore that it's perfectly possible for an


agreement to be negotiated between the UK and our 27 friends and allies


that addresses all of the issues from trade to security, police


cooperation, foreign policy co-operation, works for all


countries. The EU wants to agree a substantial divorce bill before it


will even discuss any future UK EU relations, what do you make of that?


Article 50 says the terms of exit need to be negotiated in the context


of the kind of future relationship that's going to exist between the


departing country and the remaining member states. It seems it is simply


not possible to separate those two. Clearly there will need to be a


discussion about joint assets and join liabilities but I think if we


all keep to the fore the fact we will continue to be neighbours, we


will continue to be essential allies and trading partners, then it is


possible to come to a deal that works for all size. The


question is do you agree the divorce bill first and then look at the


subsequent relations we will have or do you do them both in parallel?


Article 50 itself says they have to run together. Do you think they have


to be done together or sequentially? I think it is impossible to separate


the two but we will get into negotiations very soon and then once


David Davis is sitting down with Michel Barnier and others and the


national governments become involved too, then I hope we can make steady


progress. An early deal about each other's citizens would be a good


piece of low hanging fruit. Is the Government willing to pay a


substantial divorce bill? The Prime Minister has said we don't rule out


some kind of continuing payments, for example there may be EU


programmes in the future in which we want to continue to participate. 50


billion? We don't envisage long-term payments of vast sums of money. So


50 billion isn't even the Government ballpark? You are tempting me to get


into the detail of negotiation, that is something that will be starting


very soon and let's leave it to the negotiations. During the referendum


there was no talk from the Leave side about any question of


separation bill, now the talk is of 50 billion and I'm trying to find


out if the British government thinks that of amount is on your radar. The


Government is addressing the situation in which we now are, which


is that we have a democratic obligation to implement the decision


of the people in the referendum last year, and that we need to do that in


a way that maximises the opportunity, the future prosperity


and security of everybody in the UK. Let me try one more thing on the


Great Repeal Bill, the white Paper will be published I think on


Thursday, is that right? We haven't announced an exact date but you will


see the white Paper very soon. Let's say it is Thursday, it will enshrine


thousands of EU laws into UK law, it will use what's called Henry VIII


powers, who of course was a dictator. Is this an attempt to


avoid proper Parliamentary scrutiny? No, we are repealing the Communities


Act 1972, then put existing EU legal obligations on the UK statutory


footing, so business know where they stand. Then, because a lot of those


EU regulations will for example refer to the commission or another


regulator, you need to substitute a UK authority in place so we need to


have a power under secondary legislation to tweak the European


regulators so it is coherent. This is weather Henry VIII powers come


in. It is secondary legislation and the scope, the definition of those


powers and when they can be used in what circumstances is something the


parliament will have to approve in voting through the bill itself. And


if it is as innocuous as you say, will you accept the proposal of the


Lords for an enhanced scrutiny process on the secondary


legislation? Neither the relevant committee of the House of Lords, the


constitution committee, nor anyone else has seen the text of the bill


and I think when it comes out, I hope that those members of the House


of Lords will find that reassuring, but as I say the definition of those


powers are something the parliament itself will take the final decision.


David Lidington, thank you for being with us.


So, Ukip has lost its only MP - Douglas Carswell.


He defected to Ukip from the Conservative Party


almost three years ago, but yesterday announced


that he was quitting to sit as an independent.


His surprise defection came in August 2014 saying,


"Only Ukip can shake up that cosy little clique called Westminster".


But his bromance with Nigel Farage turned sour when Mr Carswell


criticised the so-called "shock and awful" strategy as


Then, during the EU referendum campaign last year, Nigel Farage


was part of the unofficial Leave.EU campaign, whereas Douglas Carswell


opted to support the official Vote Leave campaign.


Just last month, former Ukip leader Nigel Farage


accused Douglas Carswell of thwarting his chances


of being awarded a knighthood, writing that,


Announcing his resignation on his website yesterday,


Mr Carswell said, "I desperately wanted us to leave the EU.


Now we can be certain that that is going to happen, I have


decided that I will be leaving Ukip."


When Mr Carswell left the Conservative Party in 2014


he resigned as an MP, triggering a by-election.


"I must seek permission from my boss," he said referring


This time, though, Mr Carswell has said there will be no by-election.


We're joined now from Salford by Ukip leader, Paul Nuttall.


Welcome back to the programme. Are you happy to see the back of your


only MP? Well, do you know, I'm always sad when people leave Ukip at


a grass roots level or Parliamentary level, but I'm sad but I'm not


surprised by this. There has been adrift by Douglas and Ukip over the


past couple of years, his relationship with Nigel Farage


certainly hasn't helped, and it is a hangover from the former regime


which I inherited. I try to bring the party together, I thought I had


done that for a few months but it seems now as if I was only papering


over the cracks. Douglas has gone and I think we will move on and be a


more unified party as a result. Did Douglas Carswell jump because he


expected to be pushed out your national executive committee


tomorrow? He came before the National executive committee to


answer questions regarding issues that have come to the fore over the


last couple of months. There was the knighthood issue, the issue


surrounding the Thanet election and his comments in a book which came


out regarding Brexit. So was he under suspicion? He was coming to


answer these questions and they would have been difficult. So he did


jump in your view? No, I'm not saying he would have been pushed out


of the party but he would have faced difficult questions. What is clear


is that a fissure had developed and I'm not surprised by him leaving the


party. You have also lost Diane James, Stephen Wolf, Arron Banks,


you failed to win the Stoke by election, Mr Carswell is now a


pundit on US television, Ukip now stands for the UK irrelevance party,


doesn't it? Paul's hard us yesterday on 12%, membership continues to


rise. -- the polls had us on 12%. 4 million people voted for Ukip. Over


the summer exciting things will be happening in the party, we will


rewrite the constitution, restructure the party, it will have


a new feel to it and we will be launching pretty much the post


Brexit Ukip. Arron Banks, who used to pay quite a lot of your bills, he


said the current leadership, that would be you, couldn't knock the


skin off a rice pudding, another way of saying you are relevant, isn't


it? I don't think that's fair. I've only been in the job since November


the 28th, we have taken steps to restructure the party already, the


party is on a sound financial footing, we won't have a problem


money wise going forward. It is a party which can really unified, look


forward to the post Brexit Iraq, tomorrow we are launching our Brexit


test for the Prime Minister. If it wasn't for Ukip there wouldn't have


been a referendum and we wouldn't have Brexit. Every time you say you


will unified, someone else leaves. Is Arron Banks still a member? No,


not at this moment in time. He has been a generous donor in the past,


he's done a great job of ensuring we get Brexit and I'm thankful for that


but he isn't a member. He has just submitted an invoice of ?2000 for


the use of call centres, will you pay that? No. That should be


interesting to watch. In the aftermath of the Westminster


attack, Nigel Farage told Fox News that it vindicates Donald Trump's


extreme vetting of migrants. Since the attacker was born in Kent, like


Nigel Farage, can you explain the relevance of the remark? I


personally haven't supported Donald Trump's position on this, but what I


will say, this is what Nigel has said as well, we have a problem


within the Muslim community, it is a small number of people who hate the


way we live... Can you explain the relevance of Mr Farage's remark? Mr


Farage also made the point about multiculturalism being the


problem as well and he is correct on that because we cannot have separate


communities living separate lives and never integrating. How would


extreme vetting of migrants help you track down a man who was born in


Kent? In this case it wouldn't. Maybe in other cases it would. But,


as I say, I'm not a supporter of Donald Trump's position on extreme


vetting, never have been, so I'm the wrong person to ask the question


too, Andrew. That has probably become clear in my efforts to get


you to answer it. Let me as too, should there be a by-election in


Clacton now? Douglas has called by-elections in the past when he has


left a political party, I know certain people in Ukip are keen to


go down this line, Douglas is always keen on recall and if 20% of people


in his constituency want a by-election then maybe we should


have won. Ukip will be opening nominations for Clacton very soon.


Hold on with us, Mr Nuttall, I have Douglas Carswell here in the studio.


Why not call a by-election? I'm not switching parties. You are, you are


becoming independent. There is a difference, I've not submitted


myself to the whip up a new party, if I was, I would be obliged to


trigger a by-election. If every time an MP in the House of Commons


resigned the whip or lost the whip, far from actually strengthening the


democracy against the party bosses, that would give those who ran


parties and enormous power, so I'm being absolutely consistent here,


I'm not joining a party. It is a change of status and Nigel Farage


has just said he will write to every constituent in Clacton and he wants


to try and get 20% of constituents to older by-election. We are going


to testing, he says, write to every house in Clacton, find out if his


constituents want a by-election, if 20% do we will find out if Mr


Carswell is honourable. I'm sure they will be delighted to hear from


Nigel. There have been several by-elections when Nigel has had the


opportunity to contact the electorate we did -- which did not


always go to plan. If you got 20%, would you? Yesterday I sent an


e-mail to 20,000 constituents, I have had a lot of responses back,


overwhelmingly supported. Recently you said you were 100% Ukip, now you


are 0%. What happened? I saw Theresa May triggering article 50, we won,


are 0%. What happened? I saw Theresa Andrew. You knew a few months ago


she was going to do that. On June the 24th I had serious thought about


making the move but I wanted to be absolutely certain that Article 50


would be triggered and I think it is right. This is why ultimately Ukip


exists, to get us out of the European Union. We should be


cheerful instead of attacking one another, this is our moment, we made


it happen. Did you try to sideline the former Ukip leader during the


referendum campaign? Not at all, I have been open about this, the idea


I have been involved in subterfuge. You try to sideline him openly


rather than by subterfuge? I made the point we needed to be open,


broad and progressive to win. I made it clear in my acceptance speech in


Clacton and when I said that Vote Leave should get designation that


the only way Euroscepticism would win was by being more than just


angry natives. What do you make of that? I am over the moon that we


have achieved Brexit, unlike Douglas I rarely have that much confidence


in Theresa May because history proves that she is good at talking


the talk but in walking the walk often fails, and I'm disappointed


because I wanted Douglas to be part of the post Brexit Ukip where we


move forward with a raft of domestic policies and go on to take seat at


Westminster. Do you think you try to sideline Mr Farage during the


referendum campaign? Vote Leave certainly didn't want Nigel Farage


front of house, we know that. They freely admit that, they admitted it


on media over the past year. Nigel still was front of house because he


is Nigel Farage and if it wasn't for Nigel, as I said earlier, we


wouldn't have at the referendum and we wouldn't have achieved Brexit


because Nigel Farage appeals, like Ukip to a certain section of the


population. If our primary motive is to get us out of the European Union,


why are we having this row, why can't we just celebrate what is


happening on Wednesday? We can, but you are far more confident that


Theresa May will deliver on this than I am. Ukip may have been a


single issue pressure group ten years ago, it wasn't a single issue


pressure group that you joined in 2014, it wasn't a single issue


pressure group that you stood for in 2015 at the general election, and


I'm disappointed that you have left us when we are moving onto an


exciting era. What specifically gives you a lack of confidence in


Mrs May's ability deliver? Her record as Home Secretary, she said


she would deal with radical Islam, nothing happened, she said she would


get immigration down to the tens of thousands, last year in her last


year as Home Secretary as city the size of Newcastle came to this


country, that is not tens of thousands. I think we need to take


yes for an answer eventually. The problem with some Eurosceptics is


they never accept they have won the argument. We have one, Theresa May


is going to do what we have wanted her to do, let's be happy, let's


celebrate that. But let's wait until she starts bartering things away,


until she betrays our fishermen, just as other Conservative prime


ministers have done in the past. Let's wait until we end up still


paying some sort of membership fee into the European Union or a large


divorce bill. That is not what people voted for on June the 23rd


and if you want to align yourself with that, you are clearly not a


Ukipper in my opinion. So for Ukip to have relevance, it has to go


wrong? I'm confident politics will come back to our terms but -- our


turf but there will be a post Brexit Ukip that will stand for veterans,


book slashing the foreign aid bill and becoming the party of law and


order. Finally, to you, Douglas Carswell, you say you have


confidence in Mrs May to deliver in the way that Paul Nuttall doesn't.


You backed her, you were Conservative, you believe that


Brexit will be delivered under a Conservative Government. Why would


you not bite the 2020 election as a Conservative? I feel comfortable


being independent. If you join a party you have to agree to a bunch


of stuff I would not want to agree with. I am comfortable being


independent. So you will go into 2020 as an independent? If you look


at the raising of funds, what Vote Leave did as a pop-up party... We


only have five seconds, will you fight as an independent in the next


general election? Let's wait and see. Very well! Thank you both very


much. Hello and welcome to Sunday Politics


in Northern Ireland. In the week that one of the biggest


figures in Irish politics was laid to rest, the talks to restore


devolution at Stormont continued. But with only hours left before


the deadline expires, We put that to Naomi


Long, the leader of Alliance, the only party to both


hold its seats and increase its share of the vote in


the recent election. And we will ask, if there was indeed


an 11th hour agreement, what role might Alliance take up


in the new devolved arrangements? And guiding us through the past week


and a critical next few days, Professor Deirdre Heenan


and columnist Newton Emerson. The Alliance Party had


its best election in years, Yesterday in her first


conference speech as leader, Naomi Long said it's now time to get


a functioning Executive in place and claimed another


Assembly Election This report from our political


correspondent Gareth Gordon. This man knows how to take a small


team to big success. Lars Lagerback managed Iceland to the quarterfinals


of the European Championships. Now he is in charge of Norway. Staying


at the same hotel, the Alliance Party chose to stage its annual


conference. An omen? This woman will certainly hope so. Naomi Long now


performs the manager's role for Alliance and the early signs are


good. So good, this former elected representative has decided to come


back after leaving the party many years ago. I think we can see from


the election results, we can see new membership that the party has got,


the revitalisation, the increased number of Emma Lanes over the number


of years, the fact that the party is getting votes in places like South


down and in others across Northern Ireland, reconnecting outside


Belfast. This is Patrick Brown, who came close to delivering the party's


first ever assembly seat in South down. So what is the secret? Knock


some more doors, when in some or elections, talk to as many people as


possible. The alliance does register, South down is an alliance


constituency waiting to happen and there are others like it across


Northern Ireland, like Wester run. North Belfast, had a fantastic


result. So many places, places you never expected Alliance to do well,


the vote increasing dramatically, like Upper Bann. Michael and


Christine Barker as councillors after their home in Bangor was


attacked two years ago during the flight protests. Has it been worth


all of the tough times? Definitely. We are still members, as well. We


feel very strongly that the Alliance Party has a position here and there


is a lot of work to be done. It is a very diverse country. If there is a


deal to restore the Stormont institutions, should Alliance go


back into the executive? If it is back to the same on Sinn Fein and


DUP doing a deal and not giving the other parties in executive respect


then I don't think the party be there, but our electorate, the


broader nonsectarian electorate needs to be treated properly. It


cannot be a game between the hardline nationalists and hardline


unionist parties. Alliance has had its best election result in decades.


But political negotiations going on not far from here will determine


soon if it was all in vain. You're the new captain of the ship,


and so far, so good. But the Alliance Party is a small


vessel in heavy seas. If you know where you are headed and


you have a strong vessel and strong direction you will still get to


where you are going. That is better than being a rudderless ship without


the captain. We know what we are about, what we stand for and what we


want to achieve. And we are very determined. I think the future is


very bright for Alliance and through the work that we are doing, trying


to create a better future for Northern Ireland, because ultimately


politics is not about the parties but the people they represent. If


there is another election in a few weeks, you could find the rug pulled


from under your feet. There is no room for complacency. There is no


complacency at Alliance. Elections are about getting out there went


knocking on doors. I was clear to tell people yesterday that whether


there was an election or not there will be won in two years' time and


that there's two years we need to spend out talking to people and


getting the message across. There is no room for laziness or complacency


in politics. Whether there is an election in a number of weeks or in


two years' time, Alliance will still be on the doorsteps. You kept your


vote share up as was your first preference total, but there is a


sense that the middle ground is under serious pressure at the moment


and the parties at opposite ends of the spectrum are digging in. They


are certainly digging in but we don't feel under pressure. Talking


to people, the fact that we are offering a positive alternative to


that digging in his resonating with the public. The other parties that


occupy the centre ground are feeling and under pressure and that might


because there are offering is less contrasted and clear with those who


are digging in. That is something they need to address, but in terms


of Alliance, people see us as an alternative to that and our position


is in some way strengthened when people harden their line. I don't


want to see people digging in. We have a role as a party in creating


space for people to come out of those entrenched positions. That is


what we have been doing in talks and that is what we will continue to do


over the next 24 hours. Is your mandate to be in opposition or in


government, holding the government to account? It is to make sure that


the good services and good relations, good prospects and that


we showed good leadership. That is our mandate. That is what we go to


the public with and that is what we want to do. Is that for others to do


all for you to be part of delivering it? We will be part of delivering it


anyway. If there is agreement, much of that agreement will have our


fingerprints on it. If there is an agreement, we have contributed to it


and we will continue to do so over the next 24 hours. Whether we end up


in government or opposition, we still want to facilitate government,


we want it to happen. If we end up in opposition will take the same


approach we did last time round. We will be constructive on government


delivering, we will support them on that, and we were clear about that


yesterday on health, we believe that political posturing around health is


detrimental. When they are failing, we will hold them to account. And if


we are in government it will be to raise the standards of that


government and to ensure that we deliver for the people. We have a


mandate to do either. What we now need to see is whether we have the


opportunity and quality of government and that we are part of


that. Would you like to be part of government if the situation arises


that the devolution project gets back up and running again? The


Alliance Party isn't entitled as of right to a position in the


executive. You could be part of the official opposition but you could,


because of the twists and turns of the system, you could be offered


Justice. Would you take it this time round? You've asked two questions.


You asked who would like to be in government, and the answer is yes.


If any party doesn't want to be in government there is something wrong


with their ambitions. The other is a different question. If there is a


government formed on Monday and I think that is a receding prospect,


will it be the kind of government that we can be part of? That is a


separate conversation. We are not willing to go into any government, a


government that is a patch up and repair and when it hits a bump in


the road in some months, the wheels will come off and we are back in


another crisis. We will not go into a government that is a carve up


between two communities, not recognising the diversity of


Northern Ireland. We have been clear about that. If other parties want is


to join them in government, we know that we are willing to be in there


making a difference and if they want us to be in there, there are issues


to address and we will facilitate that. We are not sitting back and


resting on our laurels, regardless. Talks will continue and we are being


constructive in that process. You have a 5-point plan and it was not


met last time round which is why did not take the Justice ministry. Will


you hold fast to that this time? Critics would say that's a case of


the tail-wagging the dog. You cannot dictate to the other parties on


legacy paramilitary issues, you can have an opinion but they do not have


to take on board your opinion. But we don't have to go into government


with them, if they don't. I'll you're setting the bar too high for


yourselves. If anyone thinks we are setting the bar high by saying that


paramilitaries has two end and government must be transparent, we


have to deal with division in society, people see that as a high


bar... And where did they end up eight months later? Do you think


they have learned that lesson? I am not sure that people learn lessons


and politics in Northern Ireland, because we seem to keep repeating


the same mistakes. The reality is that if that is a high bar, then the


executive will not work for Northern Ireland. What we asked for was


respect from other parties in government, we ask that they would


deliver around are more tourism and legacy. We are 18 years past the


Good Friday agreement, still talking about active paramilitaries in our


communities. I can't understand why people would not want to deal with


that. If people are willing to work on these issues we are willing to


work with them. These are not demands, these are necessities for


government to function well. What about that or studying party led by


Robin Swann? He might be seen as morally traditional Unionist than


the outgoing leader, Mike Nesbitt? I am not going to prejudge the


leadership of Robin Swann but I will say this, the problem with the


Ulster Unionist Party is not who reads it, it is that it is


increasingly seen as unliveable. And the party, is under some challenge


event terms of trying to find some coherence. They should find some


coherence around direction. They seem to be an extremely loose


coalition of people. Would you like to see that party broken with the


hardliners going to the DUP, and the soft underbelly moving to Alliance?


Is that what you're saying? I would not like Alliance to be seen as the


soft underbelly of anything. One minute we are told we're being too


ambitious, the next minute, we are soft, and he cannot be both. We are


ambitious to see reform in Northern Ireland. There are people among the


Ulster Unionist Party who might find a more comfortable home for them


would be a more liberal, progressive vehicle. We have seen many people


who were in the Ulster Unionist Party move to Alliance and we have


seen people who were in the STL PA and became disillusioned moving to


Alliance because what they wanted to see was a more progressive and


stronger leadership and direction. Let me ask you about the funeral of


Martin McGuinness on Thursday. You were there, representing your party.


We know about the reception that Arlene Foster got when she entered


the church and when Bill Clinton mentioned her in his speech. Did you


feel comfortable there are? I would have felt uncomfortable not being


there. I grew up in the 70s and 80s. I have no illusions about what the


IRA campaign did in our community. And I have no illusions about the


broken society that he was born into. It doesn't justify it but I


understand it. But I have to look at the man I knew who was in the


assembly, who held the line with what you could not describe as


pushover unionism and made the SMB work for ten years. I was glad I was


able to attend and pay my respects to the family. What is more


important now is that we listen to what Bill Clinton said. He was very


clear when he said finish the work, and that is what we need to do,


beginning this weekend. Let's now turn to our guests


for their thoughts. Deirdre, what is your reaction to


what Naomi Long had to say about the position of the Alliance Party and


whether or not it would wish to go back into the executive? What is


clear from what she has said is that we know little about what is going


on in terms of the talks, we don't know whether they are going to be in


government or opposition. I don't think she is playing her chest. It


is a position of no-man's-land where we don't know what is going on in


terms of the talks. That does not appear to be any momentum around the


talks, any real push towards getting the government up and running again.


Although that might be wrong. I think the issue for Naomi Long is


that she's in the middle ground and it is beginning to be cluttered, and


she has to work out what her particular ideology is and how she


can things different. It is possible that they could take -- overtake the


Ulster Unionists in terms of size and proportion, and that is good


news, but they have to set out what their underlying political


ideologies. It has all been an issue for the Alliance Party to move out


beyond the leafy suburbs of Belfast and make themselves relevant, West


of the Bann. If they are to be a political force it has to be outside


of the greater Belfast area. In terms of the Alliance Party setting


out its stall and Naomi Long redefining what the party stands for


and where it is going, so far, is it fair to say job well done? Yes, in


terms of positioning but that is not going to work with Sinn Fein and the


DUP this time around. It was quite surprising after last year was my


collection, we assumed that they would be offered the Justice role,


they seem suitable for it,... Did they overplay their hand? They were


almost laughed out of court by the DUP and Sinn Fein and that was quite


surprising, especially as Sinn Fein and the DUP were committed and keen


to work together to form these could ever that point. This time around


Sinn Fein seems quite ambivalent about it. There is very little


leveraged therefore Alliance to use. I think they garnered some respect


by not taking the Justice ministry. It would be the easy option to take


it, but you said we are not taking it, we're not happy with what is


being proposed. That is exactly what happened. We actually turned it


down. I have to correct that. We walked out of the talks and said


that we would not be returning unless they were willing to do the


deal. It was our decision, not theirs. I agree with what you said.


They probably did overplay their hand and they didn't have the


mandate to ask for the things they asked for, but they were right in


saying, we will turn this down. There has to be a point at which you


say, no, I did want to be part of this. I want to move on and talk


about Robin Swann. Looks like he's about to be crowned the new leader


of the Ulster Unionist Party, the only candidate ahead of April the


8th when that decision will be taken. Can you turn around the


Ulster Unionist? It is a huge challenge for him. It probably is


good news for the Alliance. He is more of a traditionalist. He would


not be a progressive. He says it's about promoting positive unionism,


he once a nonthreatening unionism that can move forward and be


progressive. Going back to my earlier point, that middle ground is


now a crowded space. Why would you vote for one and not the other? He


has a difficult job to put together the Ulster Unionist Party. The


Ulster Unionist Party needs to pick a direction and go down it. As the


deadline to do a deal at Stormont approaches, the negotiators at


Stormont Castle now have some words of encouragement to mull over. The


former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern had a message for them, as did Bill


Clinton. I managed to get a few moments with both men at Mark


McGuinness' funeral on Thursday. This is what they had to say. Why


was it important to be here today? We spent a lot of time together when


I was president. And I wanted to honour him for what he did. The


changes from war to peace. And to emphasise that it is one thing to


make peace, another to it work. You have to nurture it all the time and


care for it. And I think, always, people who justifiably respect the


fact that he changed from war to peace need to recommit themselves to


finish the work that needs to be done. Are you optimistic that


outstanding issues can be resolved? I am, actually. I'm not directly


involved, but I do understand these issues inside out. To be frank,


there are not many issues to be resolved. I think what is necessary


is to resolve is that everyone is committed wholeheartedly, 100%


committed to the implementation of all those points. There are maybe


one or two issues around current issues, but in the scale of things,


these are not insurmountable. So I am positive. What are the


alternatives? Direct rule? Another election?


The next thing is, do it. Bill Clinton and Bertie Ahern talking to


me on Thursday. We heard Bertie Ahern saying, just do it. Can they?


If they could have an agreement to disagree or schedule for agreement


at Sinn Fein says it is not prepared to do business like that any more so


the type of deal laid one certainly isn't possible by tomorrow. It means


to be by lunchtime tomorrow to allow everything else to happen by four


o'clock. The chances are possibly rather than probably. I would say,


slim. What she said in her speech is important. It is not just about


getting institutions up and running and going back to devolution. Most


people say, we need devolution that works, we cannot have this stop -


start. That means addressing the issues, like the issue of legacy.


What has become clear this week if it was not clear before is that many


victims and survivors are living with pain on a daily basis. It is


not historic for them. We have a duty to try and address it in some


way. Different people have different ideas about what truth looks like.


We have to have some agreement about how to address the past. You get the


sense that while Sinn Fein might have the whip hand over the DUP at


the moment, there is always a danger of that hand being applied? I don't


see how Sinn Fein can get everything at once. It is a very strong


negotiating position but to ask for the delivery of every loose end and


for that all to be tied up immediately just seems like an


impossible task. The detailed work could not be done in time available


so there was going to have to be some give. Sinn Fein has put itself


in a position of such absolutism in delivery that it is going to look


like a climb-down, whatever it does. We would discussing on Thursday


night whether the appearance of Arlene Foster at the funeral was a


game changer, or maybe more of a mood changer. The reaction to Arlene


Foster was incredible. And it should change the mood. You would hope


after that, and the handshake, that both woman would be able to get into


the room and have a discussion about what the future looks like. All the


DUP seem to be asking for is for devolution to be back up and running


whereas Sinn Fein have this list that they have put forward and said


that these things have to happen. It is hugely unlikely that all of those


ends could be tied up. But I think we could get some form of agreement,


that they need more room to talk and we could have a period of talks, and


then go back and do those deals. That is possible because James


Brokenshire has theoretically set on the tracks for another election if


we don't hit the deadline 4pm on Monday. He has to call an election


within a reasonable time period. That could be anything between four


and eight weeks. It can take a reasonable length of time to the


call. That is what the case now requires. So he does have


flexibility but it is a legal requirement. Sinn Fein has said no


wriggling on it is acceptable. And we must add the point of Conor


Murphy after the funeral. Direction to Arlene Foster's attenders, it was


perfectly reasonable to expect someone who worked with Mark


McGuinness for ten years to pay her respects, it might have changed the


mood in the church but maybe not the talks because it is a far bigger


deal than that. Thank you very much indeed for joining us today.


you both for coming in, Andrew, back to you.


So yesterday the European Union celebrated its 60th birthday


at a party in Rome, the city where the founding document


Leaders of 27 EU countries were there to mark the occasion -


overshadowing it, though, the continued terrorist threat,


And on Wednesday Theresa May, who wasn't in Rome yesterday,


will trigger Article 50, formally starting


The President of the European Council, Donald Tusk,


made an appeal for unity at the gathering.


Today in Rome, we are renewing the unique alliance of free nations


that was initiated 60 years ago by our great predecessors.


At that time, they did not discuss multiple speeds,


they did not devise exits, but despite all the tragic


circumstances of the recent history they placed all their faith


Mr Tusk, he is Polish, the man that has the Council of ministers, and on


that council where every member of the EU sits he is an important


figure in what is now about to happen. We have got to negotiate our


divorce terms, we've got to agree a new free trade deal, new


crime-fighting arrangements, we've got to repatriate 50 international


trade agreements, and all of that has to be ratified within two years,


by 27 other countries. Can that really happen?! I don't think it is


inconceivable because it is in the interests of those 27 EU member


states to try and negotiate a deal that we can all live with, because


that would be preferable to Britain crashing out within two years. But I


think this is why Labour's position is becoming increasingly incoherent.


Keir Starmer has briefed today that he will be making a speech tomorrow


setting out six conditions which he wants the deal to meet, otherwise


Labour won't vote for it, but if Labour doesn't vote for it that


doesn't mean we will be able to negotiate an extension, that would


be incredibly difficult and require the consent of each of the 27 member


states, so if Labour votes against it we will just crash out, it is


effectively Labour saying no deal is better than a poor deal, which is


not supposed to be their position. Labour's position may be incoherent


but I was not asking about their position, I was asking about the


Government's position. The man heading the Badila said he wants it


ready by October next year so that it can go through the ratification


process, people looking at this would think it is Mission:


Impossible. It seems impossible to me to be done in that time. The fact


that it is 27 countries, the whole of the European Parliament as well,


there will be too many people throbbing spanners in the works and


quite rightly. We have embarked on something that is truly terrible and


disastrous, and the imagery we can have of those 27 countries


celebrating together 60 years of the most extraordinary successful


movement for peace, for shared European values, and others not


there... We were not there at the start either, and we are not there


now! And we have been bad partners while we were inside, but now that


we are leaving... They did not look like it was a birthday party to me!


I think it was, there was a sense of renewal, Europe exists as a place


envied in the world for its values, for its peacefulness, that is why


people flocked to its borders, that is why they come here. Can you look


at the agenda that faces the UK Government and EU 27, is it not


possible, in fact even likely, that as the process comes to an end they


will have to agree on a number of areas of transitional arrangements?


I think they will and they will have to agree that soon, I would not be


surprised if sometime soon there is an understanding is not a formal


decision that this is a process that will extend over something closer to


buy or seven than two years. On Wednesday article 50 will be filed


and there will be lots of excitement and hubbub but nothing concrete can


happen for a while. Elections in France in May, elections in Germany


which could really result in a change of Government... That is the


big change, Mrs Merkel might not be there by October. And who foresaw


that a few months ago? So you might be into 28 Dean before you are into


the substantive discussions about how much market access or regulatory


observance. I cannot see it being completed in two years. I could see,


if negotiations are not too acrimonious, that transitional


agreement taking place. Let's look at the timetable again. The council


doesn't meet until the end of April, it meets in the middle of the French


elections, the first round will have taken place, they will need a second


round so not much can happen. President Hollande will be


representing France, then the new French government, if it is Marine


le Pen all bets are off, but even if it is Mr Mac run, he does not have a


party, he will not have a majority, the French will take a long while to


sort out themselves. Then it is summer, we are off to the Cote


d'Azur, particularly the Bolivian elite, then we come back from that


and the Germans are in an election, it may be very messy, Mrs Merkel no


longer a shoo-in, it could be Mr Schultz, he may have to try to form


a difficult green red coalition, that would take a while. Before you


know it, it is Guy Fawkes' Day and no substance has taken place, yet we


are then less than a year before this has to be decided. It is a big


task and I'm sure Jana is right that there will be transitional


arrangements and not everything will be concluded in that two year


timetable, but in some respects what you have described helps those of us


on the Eurosceptic site because it means they cannot really be a


meaningful parliamentary vote on the terms of the deal because nothing is


going to be agreed quickly enough for them to be able to go back and


agree something else if Parliament rejects it, so when the Government


eventually have something ready to bring before Parliament it will be a


take it or leave it boat. How extraordinary that people who have


campaigned. Indeed give us our country back and say, isn't it


wonderful, we won't have a meaningful boat for our


parliamentarians of the most important... We don't know what the


negotiation, the package is, day by day we see more and more complicated


areas nobody ever thought about, nobody mentioned during the


campaign, all of which has to be resolved and the European Council


and the negotiators say nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.


You lead us into a catastrophe. There will be plenty of opportunity


for Parliament to have its say following the introduction of the


Great Repeal Bill, it is not as if there will be no Parliamentary time


devoted. The final package is what counts. We have two years to blog


about this! There was a big Proview -- pro-EU


march yesterday... I was there! Polly Toynbee was there, down to


Parliament Square, lots of people there marching in favour of the


European Union. We can see the EU flags there on flags, lots of


national flags as well, the British one. Polly, is it the aim of people


like you still to stop Brexit, or to soften Brexit? I think the aim is


for the best you can possibly do to limit the damage. Of course, if it


happens that once people have had a chance to see how much they were


lied to during the campaign and how dreadful the deal is likely to be,


if it happens that enough people in the population have changed their


minds, then maybe... There is no sign up yet. But we have not even


begun, people have not begun to confront what it is going to mean.


Wait and see. I think it is just being as close as we can. Is that


credible, do you think, to stop it or to ameliorate it in terms of the


Remainers? I think it is far more credible to try and stop it but even


then the scope is limited. It is fairly apparent Theresa May's


interpretation of the referendum is the country wants an end to free


movement, there is probably no way of doing that inside the single


market. She also wants external trade deals, no way of doing that


outside the customs unit, said the only night you can depend if you are


pro-European is, let's not leave without any trade pact, at least


let's meet Canada and have a formalised trade agreement. The idea


of ace -- of a very soft exit is gone now because the public really


did want an end to free movement and the Government really does want


external trade deals. It depends what changes in Europe. I think the


momentum behind the Remoaning movement will move away. One of the


banners I saw being held up yesterday by a young boy on the news


was, don't put my daddy on a boat. It gets a lot of its moral force


from the uncertainty surrounding the fate of EU nationals here and our


resident in the remainder of the EU and I think David Lidington is right


that it will be concluded quite quickly once negotiations start and


that will take a lot of the heat and momentum out of the remaining


movement. Why didn't Theresa May allow that amendment that said, we


will do that, as an act of generosity, we will say, of course


those European citizens here are welcome to stay? It would have been


such a good opening move in the negotiations, instead of which she


blocked it. It does not augur well. I have interviewed many Tories about


this and put that point to them but they often say the Prime minister's


job is to look after UK citizen in the EU... Bargaining chips, I think


you have to be generous and you have to wish you people in Spain and


everywhere else where there are British citizens would have


responded. The British Government did try and raise that with their EU


counterparts and were told, we cannot begin to talk about that


until article 50 has been triggered. Next week we will be able to talk


about it. How generous it would have been, we would have started on a


better note. Didn't happen, we will see what happens next with EU


citizens. That is it for today, the Daily Politics will be back tomorrow


at midday and every day next week on BBC Two as always.


And there's also a Question Time special live tomorrow


night from Birmingham - with guests including


the Brexit Secretary David Davis, Labour's Keir Starmer,


former Ukip leader Nigel Farage and the SNP's Alex Salmond -


I'll be back next week at 11am here on BBC One.


Until then, remember - if it's Sunday, it's


Andrew Neil and Mark Carruthers discuss the Westminster attack with Commons leader David Lidington and head of Europol Rob Wainwright. Plus Ukip leader Paul Nuttall talks about Douglas Carswell about quitting the party. Panellists include Janan Ganesh from the Financial Times, Polly Toynbee from The Guardian and Toby Young from The Spectator.

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