Mark Carruthers with the latest political news, interviews and debate.
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Morning everyone and welcome
to the Sunday Politics.
I'm Sarah Smith.
And this is your essential briefing
on everything that's
happening this Sunday morning
in the world of politics.
Ireland says it will "continue
to play tough until the end"
over the Irish border.
As Dublin threatens
to derail Brexit trade
of the European Parliament Mairead
McGuiness tells us why she thinks
a hard border would cause havoc.
Leading Brexiteer and former
Northern Ireland Secretary Owen
Paterson will debate with her live.
It was billed as a make or break
moment for the Chancellor -
Phillip Hammond appears to have
avoided an omni or even
We'll get Budget reaction
from the man who last month tried
to topple Theresa May -
former Tory Chairman, Grant Shapps.
And what did the Chancellor
do for the North?
And in Northern Ireland: A rousing
reception for Arlene Foster
at her party conference
as she attacks Sinn Fein,
rules out a border in the Irish Sea
and says time is running out
to restore devolution.
All that coming up in the programme.
So, no omni-shambles Budget.
But don't worry, if you're a fan
of the shambolic you'll
love our political panel,
Sam Coates, Zoe Williams
and Iain Martin.
Welcome to the programme.
It has been the Budget that's
dominated the political week.
There was no pasty tax
or national insurance U-turn -
but there were sharp downgrades
for growth and productivity,
offset by enough optimism
to cheer the Tory benches.
This week's Budget was billed as
a make or break for Philip Hammond.
His last effort in March contained
a manifesto-mangling national
insurance rise which lasted
barely a week.
Humiliated today, Chancellor?
Will you resign?
This time, his cheery demeanour
was perhaps designed
to confound his critics
who think his outlook on Brexit
is, well, miserable.
What he's doing is very
close to sabotage.
Regrettably, our productivity
performance continues to disappoint.
But the downbeat tone
wasn't down to Hammond,
it was the independent Office
for Budget Responsibility,
the lower productivity projections
lead to growth forecasts
of less than 2%.
Here's the new realistic forecast,
average growth of just 1.4% a year.
A slowdown that won't go away.
The Chancellor may not have
been able to drive up
productivity and growth,
but he has a cunning plan to remove
the need to drive at all.
David Cameron's old mate
Jeremy Clarkson is reported to be
less than impressed.
Jeremy Clarkson doesn't like them.
But there are many other good
reasons to pursue this technology.
So today we step up
our support for it.
Sorry, Jeremy, but definitely not
the first time you've been
snubbed by Hammond and May.
More money for the English health
service, a Brexit fund
and abolishing stamp duty
for first-time buyers
lifted the mood.
I commend this
statement to the house.
But senior figures in the NHS said
the new money was not enough
and less, in this Budget at least,
than the amount pledged for Brexit,
giving some Remainers
plenty of fun on Twitter.
It turned out the stamp duty
changes would mainly help
people selling a house,
not buying them.
Tweaks to the Universal Credit
system soothed Tory concerns,
but they didn't calm
the Labour leader.
The uncaring, uncooth attitude
of certain members opposite!
And his Shadow Chancellor had
some number trouble.
How much do we now spend on paying
the interest of our national debt.
Well, I'll give you the figure.
I'll send you a note on the figure.
You don't know?
I know the figure...
I'll send it.
Well, you tell me now.
The forecast may be sticky,
but at least the Daily Mail
had a positive outlook.
Phil was no longer
a miserable donkey.
And by the end of the week,
the Chancellor could still smile.
He might even stay in Number 11
long enough to deliver
next year's Budget.
We're joined now by the former
Chairman, Grant Shapps.
Thank you very much for coming in.
No banana skin in the Budget for
Philip Hammond, but really dismal
growth prospects. What is the
government back to doing wrong?
Well, first of all, he cheered up
the backbenches by giving quite an
upbeat assessment. The economy is
still growing, the jobs factory of
Europe. Not words we are used to
hearing from Philip Hammond.
overall, growth prospects are really
bad, they have been significantly
Of course, the really
big story is the Office for Budget
Responsibility say we are going to
grow at 1.5%, not 2%. That is a real
problem. I thought Philip's
presentation of the issue was
interesting. He said this is of the
outside of our control, it is the
office of Budget response ability.
It is to do with productivity, who
knows what that is made up of? That
sort of excuses get mug from having
to do anything. There are things we
can do to attract business to this
country. You have the tax base, the
attitude towards business. We spent
quite a while looking like we were
not interested in business, business
being thought of as bad. I am
pleased to see that is changing.
think the few has a pro-business
attitude that wasn't there a year
We have them locked out of
Downing Street for a while, sector
leaders could not express their
concerns. Some conference speeches
that business as the bad guys rather
than job creators. That seems to
have gone and I welcome it.
Because it is not realistic to
believe that business is evil and
bad. Business people that create the
jobs for this country, the well for
But why do you think
the government but robust change the
message on that?
It is hard to know
what created that. Since the
election we have a change in
emphasis. Business leaders are now
welcomed to come and talk to the
Prime Minister and the Chancellor
about what is going on. One thing we
could do now, we are leaving Europe,
we had all of those red tape
challenges in the Coalition
Government but we always got stuck
when it got to the EU. We had to
say, we can't do anything about that
red tape. We can now go back on
that. I would like the cupboard to
go further and not just accept
figures from the Office for Budget
Responsibility. I'm actually
doubtful about that and I think that
Philip Hammond is as well. Growth of
productivity is a difficult thing to
measure. This country trades more
online than any other country in the
world. We are top of that league
table. That has to be a more
efficient way to do business. Yet it
does not seem to be reflected in
They are forecasts,
the productivity figures. But the
middle, things could be worse, the
OBR say. The... Seems to say these
are the projections, we hope it
isn't that. Is it the Buttler's job
to do something about productivity?
The government EU has a role to
play. I started a printing business
which still exists to this day.
Uncertainty over Brexit could lead a
business like that to delay
purchasing a new press. One that is
likely to be faster, less setup
time, print stuff faster.
Uncertainty in the economy slows
that down. Of course the Government
has a role. It cannot act the way it
treats taxation, investment, it can
encourage businesses. Actually, I
suspect what the Office for Budget
Responsibility has done is said, oh,
all of this uncertainty has lead to
slower productivity and therefore we
will continue projecting forward,
almost ad infinitum. The projections
went up five years. If we can get
the Brexit uncertainty out of the
That is what I was about to
say. The great uncertainty is under
Brexit. We are not entering a period
where things will be more certain
people can confidently make
investment decisions, nobody knows
what the future trading relationship
I think Government can help
with that. If you have a Government
that, at its heart, fundamentally,
is singing from the same hymn sheet,
you saw Number 10 and Number 11,
finally, a bit of banter between the
two of them, the Chancellor and the
Prime Minister, they went out on
Thursday and did a visit together.
You have a Cabinet meeting reported
from Tuesday where they are agreeing
how to go forward collectively on
Europe. If you can have the central
government working in unison, it
gives business of evidence, it gives
the economy confidence that maybe
you can get to faster growth by
having better productivity and more
Six weeks ago you
were calling for the Prime Minister
to stand down. You were outed as
leading a coup against her. Have you
changed your mind?
I saw your
lead-in, calling colleagues that
want to go and speak to the Prime
Minister about a perfectly sensible
subject that she herself has asked
for colleagues' opinions on, how
long should I be in this role, to
call it a plot is tabloid. The
reality is, of course colleagues
should be able to have that
conversation. We do not live in
North Korea. We shouldn't be not
allowed to express views, nor do
they disappear if you don't express
You said your colleagues have
buried their heads in the sand,
hoping things would get better. It
never got better for Gordon Brown or
John Major, it will not get that for
Theresa May. Have you changed your
I think that colleagues should
be allowed to have views and express
them. My views have not changed.
However, I also accept the reality
of the situation, that we are in a
very sensitive period with Brexit
negotiations. Six weeks ago is six
weeks ago. Time moves on and Brexit
negotiations wait 101. What we have
to do have is a Government that is
capable of singing from the same
hymn sheet, going to Brussels. If
you have Number 10 and Number 11 at
each other's throats, when you have
people been briefed against the
centre, whips that are more
interested in... We have mutineers
on the front of the Telegraph, 50
people that wanted not to have the
date for Brexit in the bill. I don't
happen to agree with those people.
But to have colleagues accused of
being mutineers because they have a
slightly diverted the view is
ridiculous. -- diverted view. I am
pleased what we are seeing now is an
attitude from the centre saying
let's work together, let's not
briefed against others, let's get on
and stop the country from the even
bigger danger than Brexit, a Jeremy
Stay there for a
moment. I am going to bring in the
panel. You were listening to that
interview. A change in mood towards
the Prime Minister?
Haven't seems to
have cheered up a lot. He seemed to
me like a man giving his own leaving
speech. There was a devil may care
attitude aspect, not really backed
up by what you're saying. They
wanted always. There would be OBR
figures to be nothing to do with a
Government. Unfortunately they have
revised down, there is nothing we
can really do. At the same time,
they wanted to show Conservative
policies are capable of driving
growth. They want to say,
unfortunately it is not a generous
Budget because growth figures are
revised downwards, while at the same
time saying that the OBR is often
wrong, who knows if it will be
correct. I don't think you get any
clear analysis from this.
The significance is not
really economic, it is political. If
you go back a week, it seemed
possible, likely even, that the
Chancellor was going to be replaced
in a reshuffle expected between now
and Christmas. He has saved his job.
His critics in other parties will
say, well, his job should be about
more than his own personal survival.
But it alters the dynamics. It means
that the government but was not
quite Chancellor, it means a
reshuffle could be less substantial
than might have been the case. It
seems the Tories have had a shocking
run over the last few months. They
were rather buoyed up by it. Not
that it was a massive success as a
Budget, it was just OK. That counts
for quite a lot at the moment.
Listening to what Grant Shapps was
telling us, it sounds like Theresa
May's job is safe as well?
if she is sitting in Downing Street
wearing a badge saying Philip
Hammond saved my job? The point is,
just to pull out the camera, the
fundamentals have not changed. The
Conservatives did not win an overall
majority at the election, they still
have to deliver Brexit in an
incredibly complicated process, that
looks intractable with negotiation
difficulties, particularly with
Ireland, but also bringing the
Cabinet together over some of these
incredibly thorny issues about where
Brexit is going to end up. Although
Grant is putting a positive gloss on
it now, the conference after which
he was adjusted people might
consider her going -- after which he
suggested people might consider her
going, things have not really
changed. He says his view has not
really changed, and I think that
many of the people that Grant talks
to, they have not changed their
fundamental view about the talents
and otherwise of Theresa May. I
wonder how many people think what
Grant thinks at the moment?
come back to you and ask you that.
How many people agree with you? Do
you still have the same view about
the Prime Minister?
I have said
exactly what I think. You don't have
to second-guess what I think about
all of this. Nor do I think it is
worth day by day giving a running
commentary on that. I was heartened
to see Number 10 and number 11
working together. We can make some
progress. I think that is a very
good thing. The lesson to be
learned, just because people have
diverse views, it has not been there
should be vilified. I think we were
in danger of doing that through the
whips or Number 10, or what have
you. I'm pleased to see we have a
more mature attitude coming from
You once said you thought you would
make a good Prime Minister yourself,
do you still think that?
question was do you have the
required ability to make these
decisions and the rest of it. To
answer that question would be as if
to say I don't think she should be
doing it but that's not what I think
at all. I think this country
requires leadership which unites
particularly those involved in the
Government and I'm pleased that's
what we are now starting to get.
Grant Shapps, thanks for coming to
talk to us today.
Now, the Northern Powerhouse
was a phrase coined
by Philip Hammond's predecessor,
But Theresa May has insisted
that she wouldn't be
pulling the plug on it.
So how did it fare in
this month's Budget?
Joining us now from
Salford is the Mayor
of Greater Manchester,
Thanks for coming in. I assume you
must be very pleased with the Budget
and the amount of money delivered
for the Northern Powerhouse?
came into this job I was clear I
would never play politics for the
sake of it. There was good news in
this Budget for Manchester, money
which we need very much, money to
help us tackle rough sleeping.
Again, a big priority for me. But
overall I have to say it is pretty
thin pickings for the north of
England. The headline measure on
stamp duty massively benefits the
South over the north and people here
who are suffering every day on the
rail system, our clapped-out rail
system, they didn't get any good
news in terms of electrification or
improvement of services. All we got
was an -- promise of improvement of
The Government is
giving new £12 million to help cover
the cost relating to the Manchester
Arena attack. You must be welcoming
of that too.
This is difficult
because I'm conscious whenever this
issue comes up, I'm conscious of the
families. We put our bid in some
time ago. The cost we have incurred
so far is 17 million and we have a
further 11 million we will incur
through the inquest process. We have
been raising that privately and I
haven't gone public on this issue
until the Prime Minister said last
week we would have the answer, and
we got that on Friday. It falls some
way short. I cannot see why the
Government is not meeting our cost
in full. As I said at the beginning,
I would never make politics out of
this issue but when we got our
answer and it wasn't good enough I
had to make our position clear. I
will be replying to the Prime
Minister saying let's sort this out
properly. I just hope we can now get
a full agreement for all of our
costs from the Government.
accused the Government before of
being London centric and ignoring
other parts of the UK. Given that
you have welcomed of the spending
measures, do you feel that problem
has been addressed?
The country is London centric. The
way transport investment is assessed
by the Treasury favours the areas
where there is already greater
economic growth. The system is
biased against the north and that
needs to change. In the Budget we
got a half-hearted commitment to the
rail system of the future for the
north of England but Crossrail 2,
the project in London, got more of a
thumbs up. I'm speaking for people
here who feel this has been very
unfair over decades. We have a
transport system here that is
creaking now and it is completely
congested, it isn't working for
people. The Government needs to grip
that problem much more directly. The
problem I guess with this Budget was
there's an elephant in the room and
that is the Brexit Divorce Bill.
There was a feeling for me they were
not committing money our
infrastructure cause of this thing
looming behind. To have no mention
of social care, no mention of police
funding, these were two gaping holes
at the heart of this Budget.
you think they should be making a
generous offer for the Brexit
divorce settlement? You are not
advocating that we walk away without
paying our dues?
No, my point was a
different one. It looks like the
Government is holding back on the
investment the north of England
needs until they have settled this
question, but the challenges facing
our public services and the
productivity challenge facing the
north is urgent and it is critical
we get that investment so we can
rise to the challenge of exit. I saw
this as a Budget where the
Chancellor was holding back. This
year of all years, to have no
mention of police security
counterterrorism in the Budget
seemed a monumental mistake. The
police service here has not got much
left to give. It is down to the bare
minimum and we need to see the
Chancellor bringing forward new
funding for the police in the
December settlement that it's about
to get. To have no mention of it
just seemed to me to be a major
What did you make of Jeremy
Corbyn's response to the Budget?
thought it was passionate. I don't
think they will deal with the issue
of Universal Credit.
passionate but was it effective?
think so. People want to see people
speaking with that level of
commitment, genuine concern. The
dangers are still there with
Universal Credit. Tinkering with the
waiting times I don't think will
take away the problem that it could
put more people on our streets,
huddled in doorways. The Government
needs to give a clear commitment
that we won't see people spiralling
into debt and then at the risk of
being homeless as a result of
Universal Credit roll out.
after the Budget John McDonnell got
in a muddle over his figures on debt
repayment. He must -- you must have
been cringing as you watched some of
You always get
these interviews after the Budget. I
have sat in those positions and I
think it is partly what turns people
off politics. I'm not here
necessarily to speak for the front
bench, I thought they mounted a good
critique of the Budget. What I want
is a more wholehearted embrace of
devolution from both political
parties. The challenge the country
is facing right now is that we are
to London centric, Brexit is
looming, we need investment in the
regions and I don't think we can
bring this power back from Brussels
and then keep it all in Westminster.
We are already in overcentralised
country and its crucial the power is
passed down to places like Greater
Manchester and I want to see both
parties embracing that is part of
the response to the referendum.
not asking you to speak for the
Labour front bench, but how did it
look to you when they were
responding to it, you will know
Labour are trailing in the polls on
economic competence - did they do
enough this week to adjust people's
view as to whether or not Labour
should be put in charge of the
That is the challenge that
the Labour Party has to convince the
country it can run a stronger
economy. The Shadow Chancellor has
put investment in infrastructure
front and centre of what he's saying
and I think he's absolutely right to
do that. The country is crying out
for that transport system,
particularly here in the north that
will allow us to improve
productivity and they are not
getting that from the current
Chancellor. Looming questions about
the Divorce Bill, so therefore he
won't commit to the investment now.
What you got from the Shadow
Chancellor was a clearer analysis of
what the country needs, and I think
that's what people want to hear.
Andy Burnham, thank you for coming
in to talk to us.
Last week we had a film from Leave
campaigner Gisela Stuart on why
business will continue to prosper
across Europe after Brexit.
This week, London and Dublin have
clashed over what will
happen to the border
between Northern Ireland
and the Irish Republic -
something the EU says needs to be
resolved if Brexit negotiations
are to move onto trade next month.
So today, Irish MEP and vice
president of the European
Parliament, Mairead McGuiness,
takes us to the border to explain
why she thinks Brexit
could cause business -
and the people on the
island of Ireland -
This is Dundalk in County Louth,
a town close to the border
with Northern Ireland,
and close to where I grew up myself.
Today, I represent the constituency
along that 310 mile border.
With the Brexit negotiations
ongoing, people along the border
are troubled by the uncertainty.
From Dundalk, you can take
a straight road to Northern Ireland
and there's no stopping.
At the last count, there are over
300 different road crossings
between the Republic of Ireland
and Northern Ireland.
The big question is,
what will change post-Brexit?
And what do we have to do to keep
the situation as it is today?
For me, there is only one way,
that the United Kingdom stays
in the customs union.
But I know the UK are
determined not to do that.
I think the negotiations
Not too far from the border
crossing, just south,
I caught up with beef farmer Jim
That's the actual border
itself, just ahead.
The actual border is about
half a mile past that.
Today it is frictionless
and seamless, and invisible.
Do think it's going to stay
that way after Brexit?
Well, I hope it will stay like that,
because were used to this.
Well, I hope it will stay like that,
because we're used to this.
I come from a time when I remember
that you couldn't actually go down
that road to access,
to do some business
in the north, because the road
was actually blocked.
Have you been reassured by any
of the political statements around
the border in particular,
basically saying that things
will stay as they are?
I haven't, really, because seamless
and frictionless borders, you know,
to me it is an oxymoron.
Because it's still a border.
I also visited George McArdle.
He's been running a haulage
company for the last 50
years with experience
of crossing the border.
What are you worried about?
We're worried about
customs and delays.
We'd be delayed a couple of hours.
Would there be costs
involved for you?
We'd be paying drivers,
the trucks lying idle.
People say that, while we have
peace, it is fragile.
It's very fragile.
Any little thing could upset
the whole thing again,
and we wouldn't like to see Brexit
be the cause of it.
We are moving from the Republic
of Ireland, just across the border,
and I'm now in Northern Ireland.
It was very smooth,
seamless and frictionless.
I suppose that's what we want to see
continue in a post-Brexit era.
Just across the border
into Northern Ireland, I caught
up with Des Fraser,
who gave me his view
about why the United Kingdom
decided to leave Europe.
First of all it was the cost.
I also felt, particularly the likes
of the slurry ban, for agriculture,
I don't think there should be
somebody in Brussels
telling us when we can
or can't spread our slurry.
What effect do you think Brexit
would have on the border?
Do you think we're going to be able
to avoid a hard border?
Getting a solution is
the difficulty, there's no doubt.
There's a harmonious
relationship, you know,
with Europe and Switzerland,
Europe and Norway, without a hard
border in existence.
It's very clear that people on both
sides of the border want the special
circumstances on the island
of Ireland to be taken into account
in the Brexit negotiations.
But can it be and will it be done
in time for the December council?
Will we resolve the conundrum
and square the circle
of an invisible border on the island
of Ireland post-Brexit?
And Mairead McGuiness
joins us now from Dublin.
The former Northern Ireland
Secretary and leading Brexiteer,
Owen Paterson, is in Shropshire.
Thank you both for joining us. Owen
Paterson, Mariad laid out her case,
does the Government have an answer
Yes, there's already an
existing border. I've been going
there since ten years ago. There's a
currency board, now a euro sterling
border, a VAT border, a corporation
tax border, and in all the time I've
been going to Northern Ireland and
the public, not a single person ever
said this presents a problem.
referendum campaign, we made it
clear there are electronic measures
and techniques, existing techniques
such as authorised economic
operators and this can all be made
to work if there is a will on the
border. It has a small amount of
trade. Northern Ireland has 80% of
its trade to the rest of the UK,
only 5% goes over the border. It
would be very easy to license
tankers that take milk over the
border as authorising economic
operators that go over every day,
they would be recognised on a
regular basis, all invoices done
electronically. It is a very small
problem if there is a will.
bring in Mairead McGuiness. Owen
Paterson sounds like he's saying
you're exaggerating the problem is
I've listened to it several times
and not heard anything new. He is
right that where there is a will
there is a way. This is a serious
matter for my constituency, for the
island of Ireland and Europe. We
have not found the way. To bring up
separate currencies, OK, it is part
of the situation, but we don't have
a border in the visible sense. When
the United Kingdom remains
determined to leave the customs
union and single market, the milk
that he refers to produced in
Northern Ireland and processed in
the Republic of Ireland comes from a
country that is a third country, no
longer a member of the European
Union. There are many issues about
that. I know the fathers in Northern
Ireland are deeply concerned about
the consequences for them as daily
farmers. -- dairy farmers. They are
troubled by his insistence that he
wants to scrap many of the rules
around the food industry and
agriculture. He wants to scrap
support for agriculture. Even
farmers that voted Leave, they are
now quite perplexed about what they
are hearing from the UK side, not
just around the issue of the border,
but on the wider issues of trade.
That is where this problem really
lies, and where we will have great
difficulty. I am more troubled this
morning, because I read a quote from
Arlene Fox the trade Secretary,
saying that the border issue and the
Irish issue will not be solved until
the final stage, until we reach a
decision on trade. I hope the United
Kingdom is not holding the situation
to ransom in these negotiations. It
is far too serious and too critical.
Let's go to Owen Paterson.
finish this point?
We now have a
situation on the island of Ireland
and Northern Ireland where we have
built piece and we are hoping to
maintain that. I believe that we
will and we can. Unfortunately,
there is no assembly, there are
divisions between the communities
but they are now becoming deeper. We
have to work really hard to avoid
that. Part of that is to make sure,
as Theresa May said on Friday, she
wants the situation to remain the
same as it is today, post-Brexit.
The only way to achieve that is to
stay in the customs union and single
market. That is the solution.
for you to pick up on. Let's start
with the idea that it might be
possible to come up with a final
solution to the Irish border
question after we have seen the
shape of a trade deal. EU made it
clear we cannot talk about trade
until the Irish border has been
Saw those comments were
completely ridiculous and they have
been repeated when we have done
interviews before. -- some of those
comments. The idea that Northern
Ireland will be taken out of the UK
is absurd. 78 million people voted
to leave the European Union, they
voted to leave the customs union and
the single market, and the
jurisdiction of the ECJ. The idea
that politicians in Dublin can
somehow start to force Northern
Ireland to stay, against the will of
a significant number of citizens,
within an arrangement that will not
serve the economic and you're
politically, it is really very
dangerous. Let's talk about the
peace process, I can't think of
anything more destabilising... This
is a really important point. I want
to make this point. It is really
very irresponsible politicians to
make a statement like that, saying
they are going to force and
blackmail the UK into getting a
special status for Northern Ireland
outside the rest of the UK. That is
a really dangerous thing to do and
they should stop doing it. There are
perfectly sensible, technical
solutions to the problem of the
border. We currently have complete
conformity of standards. Products
going over the border go on a very
regular basis. It is a tiny part of
trade between the Republic of
Ireland and the UK. It is a really
tiny part of trade between Northern
Ireland and the Republic of Ireland
and it is solvable by modern
methods. The idea we will go back to
old customs, with customs officials
in bridges, sticking a ladle into a
couple trickle, it is out of date.
Less than 2% of goods are inspected
physically. This is completely out
of date. -- sticking a ladle into a
tub of back-to-back.
I am disturbed
by some of those comments, to
describe that view as ridiculous is
not helpful. To suggest it is
blackmailing is appalling. The UK,
the Irish at the European Union know
we have had a difficult history. We
have worked hard politically and
financially to make sure we move
forward and we have. If the United
Kingdom does trade agreements with
other partners and goods are flowing
into Northern Ireland, we have to
watch and know where they are coming
from. That will affect businesses in
Northern Ireland, as it will affect
businesses in the European Union. I
dislike this notion, and it is
happening and happened again in this
studio this morning, that the United
Kingdom and Owen Paterson would say
if borders go up, it is our fault.
Let's be frank, because we should
be, we are neighbours and good
friends. The European Union, 28
today, we respect the democratic
decision of the United Kingdom to
leave, but I would ask you to
reflect on the reality of Northern
Ireland, where people voted to stay
because they knew the consequences
for them. Regrettably, where the
referendum was taking place, there
was no talk about the consequences
referendum was taking place, there
was no talk about the consequences
for Northern Ireland or the island
of Ireland. We are left in a
situation where, retrospectively, we
are trying to find solutions. If it
upsets your guest at the studio, I
repeated anyway, we have to be frank
with one another. The way to stay
the same on the island of Ireland,
as it is today, post-Brexit, is for
at least the United Kingdom to take
the red off the table, to stay the
customs union and single market
gives us what we have today, and
invisible border, seamless trade,
and also building at helping to keep
those relationships. The good
relationship was helped in no small
part because Ireland, the United
Kingdom and 26 other countries can
sit around a table. They sit in the
European Parliament, in the council,
and we do business because we got to
know each other. We have formal and
informal talks and relationships. We
should really strive to continue
that. It is in the interests of the
people we spoke to on the border,
those that wanted the United Kingdom
to stay, and those that might have
had a different view.
can you see that this can be
resolved before we know the shape of
a final trade deal? The idea that
the Irish question needs to be
settled before we move on to talking
about future trading or relations?
Is that possible?
As somebody who
spent time a shadow and Secretary of
State, going very regularly to
Dublin, getting the main political
parties in on that, I appreciate the
good level of relations between the
UK and the Republic of Ireland, the
enormous benefits to so many people.
Therefore, I am absolutely dismayed
at the talk this morning, which is
completely unrealistic, expecting
Northern Ireland to be given a
separate status, outside,
effectively, the United Kingdom. 87%
of sales, purely on economics, are
within the UK. Henri
-- on economic grounds, it is crazy.
It is very dangerous. There was a
referendum at the time of the
Belfast agreement. There was
overwhelming support for it to stay
in the UK. All of the polls show
that Northern Ireland will stay very
firmly within the UK.
then, one last point?
I hate to say,
but Owen may not be listening to
what I said. I said the United
Kingdom would stay in the customs
union and single market, I did not
say Northern Ireland should separate
and stay in, although that is a
potential solution, it is not the
one I said this morning. Please
respond to what I have said.
don't have time to respond to any of
that. It is an issue we will return
to. Thank you very much.
Hello and welcome to Sunday Politics
in Northern Ireland.
A standing ovation for
Arlene Foster at the party
conference after a roller-coaster
year for the DUP and its leader.
But what did outside
observers make of it?
With me are the journalist
Amanda Ferguson and Professors Pete
Shirlow and Rick Wilford.
The DUP leader, Arlene Foster,
has warned that time is running out
to do a deal to restore
power-sharing before direct rule
ministers are brought in.
She also told the DUP conference
that Unionists have nothing to fear
from the Irish language and that
Republicans need to start
respecting British culture.
We'll hear more from the DUP
leader in a moment -
but first our Political
Correspondent, Enda McClafferty,
has this report.
Whatever the outfit
Arlene Foster has become
a master of transformation.
She managed to turn the DUP's worst
year into their best.
And she's now got one billion
reasons to celebrate and a deputy
singing her praises.
Those who thought you could be
browbeaten or high-rise total
politics did not reckon on the will
and resolve of a strong Unionist
woman from County Fermanagh.
She is for the DUP a keeper
in more ways than one.
One or two Micro of my colleagues,
date might have a little trouble,
but I am content with my.
She is the
goalkeeper. She is keeping the goal.
But the picture at Stormont
is very different.
Last year Arlene Foster never once
mentioned Sinn Fein in her speech.
But she found space this year.
It is time that Sinn Fein started to
respect our British culture. For too
on behalf of all nothing but disdain
and disrespect for the National
flag, the Royal Family, the Armed
Forces, but just symbols, the
constitutional reality, and the very
name of this country. We are up for
And that struck a chord
with this Irish language speaking
DUP member from Dublin.
Does he think his party
needs to support a stand
alone Irish Language
The DUP is happy to accommodate
Irish because in Northern Ireland
and further afield. It is very sad
that one political party is using my
first language as the weapon to
destroy progress in politics of
In your opinion is
the DUP a warm House for Irish
Eight very warm
House for me, warmer than any other
And outside we found another one.
Are they not asking you questions?
Try something in Irish. I
would not know what to say.
She wasn't the only
conference first timer.
The Tory party's
Chief Whip was there,
and yes we did ask about getting
the rest of our promised £1 billion.
With or without
The deal has been done. That
Agreement is transparent, in the
public domain, the Conservative
Party and the DUP are happy with how
that is going. We will deliver
conservative values of the
Conservative Government will deliver
on that Agreement.
Will money still
come if there is no power-sharing
That is implicit in my
answer, we have done a deal, we will
deliver on it.
It is clear Arlene
Foster and the DUP are relishing
their role as power brokers at
Westminster. But while they may have
some friends in high places now, she
is still a leader without a
parliament. And there is no sign but
is going to change any time soon.
Enda McClafferty with that report
from the DUP conference.
Well I spoke to Arlene Foster just
after she delivered that address
and I asked her what she would say
was the big idea in her speech.
What I wanted to concentrate on was
the fact that we see ourselves as
the People's party, the party that
represents people, but we want to
get things done, get more jobs,
better infrastructure, our health
service, have a better education
seven. I was talking about the fact
that they want to be the party for
Northern Ireland, and the People's
party. That was the theme. I touched
on other issues. I touched on
Brexit. And of course the year that
we have had. We covered quite a lot
of ground but that was really the
But you accept there are a
lot people who would have watched
that speech and watching this
interview who do not share your
definition of Northern Irish nest.
They would see they have more in
common with the Republic of Ireland
than people and their rest of the
UK. They do not see people through
the same lens that you see them.
There is a diverse range of opinions
in Northern Ireland. Perhaps you are
interested in the union for
political reasons, some people are
interested for cultural or social
reasons, and there are those who
want to be in the union for economic
reasons. Whatever your reasons for
wanting to stay within the UK, it is
very clear, look at all the service,
people want to remain with them the
UK. There are those who have an
aspiration to be in a united
Ireland, but it is
legitimate, but for the union, and
to see two people, your future is
best within the UK. The sixth
largest economy in the world. We are
going to look forward after Brexit
to the opportunities available to
us. And we could be a very different
place in the future if we put our
minds to it.
That majority of people
in Northern Ireland who do not see
Brexit about me, they do not see it
as an opportunity, BC it as a
serious obstacle, something that
when it comes into effect the year
after next May impact negatively on
them and their families.
are entitled to hold that view. From
my point of view, I think it is a
tremendous opportunity. There will
be short-term challenges but you can
either meet a challenge looking at
it in a negative way or meet it in a
positive way to look for
opportunities in the future. Any
business people I have spoken to
over this past member of months have
all been saying we may not have
faltered in relation to this but we
accepted that is going to happen,
therefore we need to make
sure the best deal for Northern
Ireland, in that context it is very
important that we do not have any
barriers to trade with the rest of
the UK. We talked about that in the
speech, 72% of the trade out of
Belfast is to Great Britain. We need
to make sure there are no barriers
in the future to allow that to
You are in a relationship
with the Conservative Party at the
moment, your ten MPs are keeping
Theresa May in ten Downing St, a
number of high-profile Tories
attended the conference, but then we
had Kenneth Clarke last week saying
he does not see how the Tories can
deliver what they say they will
deliver in terms of a frictionless
border for Northern Ireland and the
Republic of Ireland, unless Northern
Ireland remains in the customs union
and the single market. He said,
speaking as a conservative and
Unionist, the border should be in
the middle of the Irish Sea. It is
not just nationalists, people in the
Republic of Ireland that do not
shoot your rose tinted view, they
might say, of the Brexit challenge.
I know the media find that the
vehicle to for positivity in
relation to Brexit but I also
understand Peter Lilley was on your
programme and he is a conservative
and he was positive about the
relationship with the DUP. Democracy
is a wonderful thing, people have
different views, from my point of
view, it is important that we have a
vision for unionism and that we
drive forward the positivity in the
Where do you stand in your
relationship at the moment with Leo
Varadkar? Do you think that the
arrival of Leo Varadkar in the
office of Taoiseach has made the
relationship between UK negotiators
and Republic of Ireland
administration more difficult? Your
relationship as leader of DUP, has
become more difficult since Leo
Varadkar has taken up that job?
religion ship has not become more
difficult, I was delighted that he
came down to Eniskillen for
Remembrance Day. I appreciate that
he did that. He has a different view
in relation to Brexit, he is there
to represent his own country. I am
here to represent Northern Ireland.
We will have those to Scotians. I am
disappointed by some of their
commentary and some of the
projecting of aspirations for a
united Ireland on to what should be
European Union exits negotiations,
but that is a matter for them, I am
trying to move to the next phase of
the negotiations so that we can get
into the detail of what the border
will look like because until we
moved to those trade negotiations we
will not have the detail, and it
will become cart before the horse.
Do you regret saying that Leo
Varadkar was reckless in some
comments about Brexit? And that
playing with the future of Northern
Ireland in the way he has handled
this talks which was that clumsy on
Absolutely not. It has
been shown to be the case over the
last week, their rhetoric has been
stepped up as the week has gone on.
I understand, Brexit has been a huge
shock to people in the Republic of
Ireland, I accept that. But they
should be trying to work with us in
Northern Ireland and the entire UK
to try and find a solution because
it is happening. I do recall very
well one of my first meetings with
Leo Varadkar, it was about he did
not want Brexit to happen, we had to
disabuse him of that position. Their
next meeting was about staying in
the customs union, we had to say, we
are leaving the customs union, the
single market, otherwise Brexit will
not be put in place. There is a
sense of shock in the Republic of
Ireland and I can understand that
but instead of megaphone diplomacy
and being reckless with Northern
Ireland we should be engaging and
finding a way forward that will mean
for the Republic of Ireland,
Northern Ireland, the rest of the UK
that we can move into the future in
a positive way.
You are wanting him
to roll over and see everything
through D UPI 's?
That would be
lovely, if you could arrange that,
that would be wonderful.
to people in the Republic of
Ireland, Brexit potentially is a
huge problem for people in the
south. He is not happy about it, he
does not think there is anything
good about it and he will state his
case. He will keep saying this is
not good for us, not good for the
European Union, he does not think it
is good for the people in Northern
Ireland, he will keep saying it
however many times it takes for
people to start listening.
will keep seeing what I had to say.
Two can play at that game. It is
that simple? No compromise from your
point of view? A special arrangement
for Northern Ireland?
No, we are in
union with the UK, we hear a lot
about the Belfast Agreement, people
trying to cherry pick bits of that
to justify their stance, the
fundamental issue is the principle
of consent which says that until the
people of Northern Ireland 's decide
otherwise we are an integral part of
the United Kingdom. Politics,
Society, cultural reasons, and
importantly, for economic reasons.
Every business that I visit has said
to me very clearly they do not want
a border down the Irish Sea, which
is something that bizarrely the
Republic of Ireland has been talking
about. That is self harm for the
protection, they should want to keep
up on the trading relationship with
Great Britain because that is their
biggest market. They should want to
keep that relationship open as much
People in the Republic
of Ireland do not accept that, they
do not accept your figures. A figure
of 60% export has been quartered for
Republic of Ireland exports to UK,
leading economists in the UK say it
is less than 60%, something in the
region of 15%.
The Republic of
Ireland saying that Great Britain is
not an important market?
necessarily the biggest market.
not need to poetry anything for the
Republic of Ireland, I am simply
saying they should not try to cut
off one of the biggest markets, I am
not going to cherry pick around
that, I do not have a horse in the
race, I am concerned about the fact
that our biggest market, this is a
fact, talk to anybody in business in
Northern Ireland, our biggest market
is Great Britain, it would be
absolute madness and a complete
dereliction of my duty as a publicly
presented to have if I did not try
to stop the border in the Irish Sea.
Let us talk about Stormont and the
situation there. Are we heading
towards Di recruit in the short
term? Is that inevitable.
I hope it
is not. I talked a lot about
devolution and why I think
devolution is best for Northern
Ireland. We have issues going on
around the issue of a possible
general election if a general
election is called. And forcibly I
believe that Sinn Fein will then
focus on the Dublin and Republic of
Ireland elections and they will not
be focused on Stormont. We will meet
the Secretary of State on Monday
again as he has asked. You will
recall that Sinn Fein met the talks
after he brought in the budget for
Northern Ireland. I hope that they
will re-engage and try and bring
devolution back again to Northern
Are you optimistic that you
will be back as First Minister in
months rather than years?
to be an optimist in Northern
Ireland politics and politics is all
about the possibility of making
things work and I want to seek
Stormont working again.
Arlene Foster speaking
to me straight after
yesterday's conference speech.
Let's hear what my guests of the day
make of what she had to say.
Amanda Ferguson, you were at the
conference, you spoke to some of the
delegates, how do you sum up the
mood of the occasion?
It was quite
subdued and team. DUP was conscious
of the eyes of Great Britain being
on the conference this year because
of their arrangement with the
Tories. It was very much efforts
made to make sure that more
colourful characters had a lower
profile this year. Arlene Foster has
written to the head of the EU 27 to
outline her position. She really
beside the point that DUP will not
accept any internal borders. What I
found interesting in the speech of
Nigel Dodds was it was very much to
emphasise support for a Arlene
Foster, a lot of warmth and
positivity around Brexit from the
delicates. -- delegates. He spoke of
issues about demographics that
Unionists have to be conscious of.
The DUP are starting to do what they
should have been doing for a long
time, focusing on the benefits of
the union, just as Republicans are
catching up with the idea of selling
what a united Ireland means.
surprises? Not at all. On one level
her speech was quite conciliatory.
It was not just a gimmick about the
Irish language. The collapse of the
Assembly and the talks are making
them realise that political
dominance, each had to define what
was unionism. It is economic,
logical, cultural. It is interesting
that they are attempting a modern
idea of what unionism is. They can
hint at issues, respect for
everybody, tolerance, well-being,
but can they go into equality
Several parts of the speech
when Arlene Foster trained her fire
on Sinn Fein but at the same time
she made it clear she wants back
into a devolved executive with Sinn
Fein as soon as possible, is that a
She can take a swipe
at front of the party faithful, at
the same time expressing a
preference for devolution. Some
aspects of the speech, and the
speech of Nigel Dodds, implied they
are softening their base for the
possibility of direct rule. She
needed to demonstrate to her base
that she was still tough and
prepared to stand up to Sinn Fein
but one of the important themes is
that unionism, because that is
confronted now with Sinn Fein in the
north, bristling with enthusiasm and
confidence, unionism needs to start
thinking proactively about what
offer they can make. If she is going
to see that DUP is the party of the
people we have got to come up with a
formula of unionism that can appeal
more than it currently does.
secure is she in her leadership
position as the emphasis shifts
DUP needs that more than Sinn Fein.
Nigel Dodds made clear the strength
of her character, but she will be
leading the party for a long time.
quick word on her security?
she is incredibly secure. She is
very much respected within her
party. She is seen as a victim, and
in the sectarian politics that we
have, nothing better than being seen
as a victim.
for a moment and take
a look back at the political
week in 60 seconds -
with Gareth Gordon.
Gerry Adams and I said that he was
stepping down prompted strong words.
I could not forgive him for that.
Theresa May met DUP and Sinn Fein
and told them to get back to talks.
We are not underestimating the
challenges that a way forward can be
The Chancellor's budget
brought more money for Northern
Ireland but with most of it
earmarked for big projects
department still find themselves
squeezed for a cash. Suggestions of
an amnesty for former security force
personnel proved divisive.
opposed to amnesty.
That is a
statute of flirtations.
peer was accused of racism after
labelling Leo Varadkar as the Indian
in a treat.
A political row.
Gareth Gordon - and let's have
a final word with my studio guests.
Interesting contribution from the
Irish EU emission in The Observer,
Upping the ante?
Reinforcing what Leo Varadkar has
already said. A guarantee there will
be no hard border. The Commissioner
reaffirming the position. People are
trying to dance around this issue of
the border but it is not placated
and the idea there is an electronic
fix, I think is pie in the sky.
Fox, speaking this morning, he says
we need to get this matter sorted
out otherwise we cannot move other
issues. He says December the 14th
deal will run for months, not weeks.
None of the political actors are
calling for a hard border, the
idling is over how the soft border
is worked. What is interesting about
the intervention by Taoiseach is the
presence of Sinn Fein in the
Republic is making him take this
issue very seriously because they
cannot be seen as the party that
stood by and allowed a hard border
which is not going to happen anyway.
One of the things you need in a
discussion is a problem, and to have
Arlene Foster and Taoiseach arguing
points out that there is a hard
border there is a problem, there is
stage managing to make this an
We are looking into
the possibility of an election in
the south. This could be crucial.
Realistically, even if there was an
Now, they play big in Westminster -
but does the rest of the country
notice big set-piece political
moments like this week's Budget?
Ellie took our not-so-scientific
barometer of public opinion,
the Moodbox, to Yorkshire.
Two things happened this week
to make us think about spending
and feel like we've got more pounds
in our pockets.
But which was more important?
That's a question we're asking
shoppers here in Leeds today.
What matters more?
Is it Black Friday or the Budget?
Black Friday, because
you're out there, you're
going to get a bargain.
It's a nice build-up
towards Christmas and the Budget,
they take away from you.
This is a more fun day than watching
Philip Hammond doing the Budget?
Is not going to spoil our day today.
# Cos we are living
in a material world
# And I am a material girl...
The Budget matters for first-time
buyers, with the stamp duty.
My daughter is buying.
Do you think Black Friday
would put more money
than the Chancellor?
I suppose it affects everyone,
it's more important.
And Black Friday is just
I suppose I'm here shopping!
The Budget is more important, think.
If they get the Budget wrong,
Black Friday doesn't mean anything.
Did they get the Budget wrong?
I think they get it
wrong every year!
What matters more to you,
the Budget or Black Friday?
Because it's cheaper,
and I got my coat.
Did you look at what
was in the Budget?
# Only boys that save their pennies
# Make my rainy day
# Cos we are living
in a material world...
I just think Black
Friday is a big con.
Yes, I do.
Do you think the Budget
was a big con?
Not for me, but for some people.
# And I am a material girl
# Living in a material world...
What puts more money in your pocket,
the Budget or Black Friday?
Probably Black Friday.
Yeah, a lot of deals
on Black Friday.
More money in your pocket but,
actually, overall, the Budget.
What's more important,
the Budget or Black Friday?
What's the Budget?
Well, it was...
The Chancellor talking about money
and stuff on Wednesday?
Jesus, I'm really rubbish.
Definitely the Budget.
Because I'm not a big shopper.
Did you pay any attention to any
of the bargains being offered
by the Chancellor on Wednesday?
I saw stamp duty got rid of.
But that doesn't apply
to us right now.
And so Black Friday's better?
# A material, a material world...
Well, Black Friday is in
full swing in Leeds.
But shoppers here have
discounted that and say
it is Wednesday's Budget that
matters more to them.
# Living in a material world...
So that's the view from Leeds
on a Budget that self-consciously
tried to target younger voters
with the abolition of stamp duty
for some first time buyers
and extending the young person's
railcard to rail travellers
up to the age of 30.
In June's election,
as subsequent polling revealed,
the Conservatives trailed Labour
by some margin amongst the young.
I use the word "young",
but even those in their 40s
were more likely to vote Labour
Will the Budget have addressed any
of those problems? Time to turn to
the panel. Zoe, giveaways to the
under 30s, does it make a difference
to the Tories?
The Railcard is
actually quite a bad other, it has a
lot of restrictions. The
shortcomings of the Railcard were
the least bad thing about the idea.
It is so trivial, such a failure to
address what young people are saying
about politics. You know, huge debt
burden is at the end of university,
the impossibility of joining the
housing market. They are talking
about massive, structural changes to
the economy that make different to
our lives. The Conservatives come
back with a Railcard? It is almost
like they are sabotaging themselves.
It wasn't just stamp duty, also
stimulating the market to make more
houses available. Would that have
been noticed by younger voters that
have not been turning to the
The housing market is
still massively broken, it is not
entirely clear that the
Chancellor's, what he called a £44
billion package, experts said 15
billion or less, if that will fix
the problems and started to bring
down the price of houses, it is not
clear that the housing package will
result in a large number of extra
homes being built. Ultimately, in
the big picture, this was a
forgettable Budget. That is just how
Theresa May and Philip Hammond
pretty much wanted it. They did not
want it to be a Budget that went
down in flames because it was
defeated in the Commons or because
there was a Tory rebellion about
some nefarious tax raising measure.
What it did, worryingly for the
Conservatives, is that it accepted
some of Labour's arguments. It said,
we know that the NHS is a bit
underfunded, so we will give it some
money. We know there is a problem in
the housing market, we will put some
money to that. It accepted some of
Labour's solutions. Because tax
rising it's too hard, we are going
to borrow to get out of the
political problems, make do and mend
the political problem is that there
are. Having gone some way towards
acknowledging the problems and
solutions that Labour offer, they
have a hell of a job trying to
convince people that going whole hog
that Labour suggests is the wrong
answer. That is one of the big
problems they face.
I don't think
the Tories really stand a chance on
this question with younger voters
until they have a change of
leadership, maybe even a couple of
leaders before then. They are only
really going to connect to people
below the age of 45 when those
voters see somebody that does not
look like the identikit concept of a
Tory. There is a trust deficit. The
Tories are regarded by younger
voters as the nasty party.
we heard from Mairead McGuinness and
Owen Paterson on the issue of the
Irish border, as the war of words
continues to ramp up.
I am troubled
this morning because I have read a
quote from Arlene Fox, the trade
Secretary, saying that the border
issue will not be solved until the
final stage, until we reach a
decision on trade. I hope that the
United Kingdom is not holding the
Irish situation to ransom. It is far
too serious and far too critical.
is very irresponsible politicians to
make a statement like that, saying
they are going to force and
blackmailed the UK into having a
special status for Northern Ireland
outside the rest of the UK. That is
a really dangerous thing to do and
they should stop doing it. There are
perfectly sensible technical
solutions to the problem of the
Let's pick up some of that
with the panel. It was quite
bad-tempered, I have to say, for two
people that are supposed to be the
best of our lives, the UK and Irish
government. The row is heating up?
Yes, feelings are running very high.
There is quite a lot of hype about
this and I don't think it is likely
that the EU will put Ireland in a
position where Ireland has to Beto
moving forward on the trade talks.
-- veto. The solution probably lies
in phase two. What could be
happening, and this is why I think
December is so critical, if there is
not a breakthrough in December, I
think the atmosphere changes and
Britain effectively needs to start
preparing for there being no deal.
It is possible that Emmanuel Macron,
France, being quite difficult with
the British, could use the Irish
argument to say that the 27 is not
satisfied with the progress. I think
at that point, it would be pushing
the British Government too far.
basically agree with Ian. I don't
think we need to put on the table a
fully fledged plan for how to deal
with the Irish border. I think what
is going on is a certain amount of
choreography for the Irish in
Brussels and London, so that the
British make clear we are taking
this incredibly seriously. There
needs to be warm words, in the sense
of progress. As Ian says, you can't
have a plan until we know what the
end state relationship with the
European Union is going to be. It
does look like there will be a lot
of talk. I am not sure it will
result in a catastrophic failure in
three weeks' time. However, this
remains possibly the most pivotal
moment in the talks. Theresa May has
to have satisfied the European Union
politically. We will knowing about
two weeks whether she is going to
achieve that or not. If she doesn't,
I think we're going to be right back
into government in crisis territory.
She has made wanted to get progress
towards a a fundamental aim of her
premiership, and I don't think that
if that looks like it is going to
collapse you will be in a strong
Is that right, absolutely
crucial that the EU we want to trade
It is still unclear whether
the end of the customs union and
single market are a done deal within
the Conservative Party. Owen
Paterson is talking as though that
is what people voted for, of course
It is what he believes.
don't know that is
It is what he believes.
don't know that is the Conservative
position. The idea this is somehow
Europe or Island's fault for not
moving forward, how can we negotiate
on something when we don't know what
we want? I get no sense that we know
what we want.
There is a lot of
blame to go round. The point is that
the crunch is coming sooner than
people anticipate. If there is an
progress in December, effectively
there will be no progress until we
get too -- until we get to March.
Psychologically, it will be a very
important moment and Britain will
have to be getting ready one way or
It would increase the
possibility of no deal?
there would be a huge amount of
opposition to the idea of going into
a no deal scenario just because the
Conservative Party, which drove
this, couldn't make its mind up.
of the frustrating things about the
whole debate is that Theresa May
does not take a lead. She is one of
the most frustrating people to
watch, because she always reacts to
Thank you very much.
That's all for today.
Thanks to all my guests.
Join me again next Sunday
at 11am here on BBC One.
Until then, bye-bye.