29/10/2017 Sunday Politics Northern Ireland


29/10/2017

Sarah Smith and Mark Carruthers with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Guests include Hilary Benn and Digby Jones.


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Transcript


LineFromTo

Morning, everyone.

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I'm Sarah Smith, and welcome

to The Sunday Politics,

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where we always bring you everything

you need to know to understand

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what's going on in politics.

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Coming up on today's programme...

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The Government says

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the international trade minister

Mark Garnier will be investigated

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following newspaper allegations

of inappropriate behaviour

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towards a female staff member.

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We'll have the latest.

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The Prime Minister says she can

agree a deal with the EU and plenty

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of time for Parliament to vote on it

before we leave in 2018. Well

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Parliament play ball? New evidence

cast out on the

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And in Northern Ireland:

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Deja vu all over again as tomorrow

marks another deadline at Stormont

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with a round of last-minute talks.

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I'll be asking the smaller

parties if anyone really

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believes a deal is possible.

on from the abortion act white MPs

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are lobbying the Home Secretary to

stop the alleged

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stop the alleged harassment of women

attending abortion clinics.

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All that coming up in the programme.

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And with me today to help make sense

of all the big stories,

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Julia Hartley-Brewer,

Steve Richards and Anne McElvoy.

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Some breaking news this morning.

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The Government has announced

that it will investigate

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whether the International Trade

Minister Mark Garnier broke

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the Ministerial Code

following allegations

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of inappropriate behaviour.

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It comes after reports in the Mail

on Sunday which has spoken to one

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of Mr Garnier's former employees.

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News of the investigation

was announced by the Health

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Secretary Jeremy Hunt

on the Andrew Marr show earlier.

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The stories, if they are true,

are totally unacceptable

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and the Cabinet Office will be

conducting an investigation

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as to whether there has been

a breach of the ministerial code

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in this particular case.

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But as you know the

facts are disputed.

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This is something that covers

behaviour by MPs of all parties

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and that is why the other thing

that is going to happen

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is that today Theresa May

is going to write to John Bercow,

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the Speaker of the House of Commons,

to ask for his advice as to how

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we change that culture.

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That was Jeremy Hunt a little

earlier. I want to turn to the panel

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to make sense of this news. This is

the government taking these

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allegations quite seriously.

What

has changed in this story is they

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used to be a bit of delay while

people work out what they should say

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about it, how seriously to take it.

As you see now a senior cabinet

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member out there, Jeremy Hunt, with

an instant response. He does have

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the worry of whether the facts are

disputed, but what they want to be

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seen doing is to do something very

quickly. In the past they would say

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it was all part of the rough and

tumble of Westminster.

Mark Garnier

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does not deny these stories, which

is that he asked an employee to buy

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sex toys, but he said it was just

high jinks and it was taken out of

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context. Is this the sort of thing

that a few years ago in a different

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environment would be investigated?

Not necessarily quite the frenzy

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that it is nowadays. The combination

of social media, all the Sunday

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political programmes were ministers

have to go on armed with a response

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means that you get these we have to

be seen to be doing something. That

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means there is this Cabinet Office

investigation. You pointed out to us

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before the programme that he was not

a minister before this happened. It

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does not matter whether he says yes,

know I did this or did not,

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something has to be seen to be done.

Clearly ministers today are being

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armed with that bit of information

and that Theresa May will ask John

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Bercow the speaker to look into the

whole culture of Parliament in this

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context. That is the response to

this kind of frenzy.

If we do live

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in an environment where something

has to be seen to be done, does that

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always mean the right thing gets

done?

Absolutely not. We are in

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witch hunt territory. All of us work

in the Commons over many years and

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anyone would think it was a scene

out of Benny Hill or a carry on

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film. Sadly it is not that much fun

and it is rather dull and dreary.

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Yes, there are sex pests, yes, there

is sexual harassment, but the idea

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this is going on on a huge scale is

nonsense.

Doesn't matter whether it

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is a huge scale or not? Or just a

few instances?

Any workplace where

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you have the mixing of work and

social so intertwined and you throw

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a huge amount of alcohol and late

night and people living away from

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home you will have this happen.

That

does not make it OK.

It makes sexual

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harassment not OK as it is not

anywhere. This happens to men as

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well and if they have an issue into

it there are employment tribunal 's

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and they can contact lawyers. I do

not think this should be a matter of

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the speaker, it should be someone

completely independent of any party.

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People think MPs are employees of

the party or the Commons, they are

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not.

Because they are self-employed

to whom do you go if you are a

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researcher?

That has to be

clarified. I agree you need a much

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clearer line of reporting. It was a

bit like the situation when we came

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into the media many years ago, the

Punic wars in my case! You were not

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quite sure who to go to. If you work

worried that it might impede your

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career, and you had to talk to

people who work next to you, that is

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just one example, but in the Commons

people do not know who they should

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go to. Where Theresa May might be

making a mistake, it is the same

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mistake when it was decided to

investigate through Levinson the

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culture of the media which was like

nailing jelly to a wall. Look at the

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culture of anybody's job and the

environment they are in and there is

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usually a lot wrong with it. When

you try and make it general, they

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are not trying to blame individuals,

or it say they need a better line on

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reporting of sexual harassment,

which I support, the Commons is a

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funny place and it is a rough old

trade and you are never going to

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iron out the human foibles of that.

Diane Abbott was talking about this

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earlier.

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When I first went into Parliament so

many of those men had been to all

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boys boarding schools and had really

difficult attitudes towards women.

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The world has moved on and

middle-aged women are less likely

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than middle-aged men to believe that

young research are irresistibly

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attracted to them. We have seen the

issues and we have seen one of our

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colleagues been suspended for quite

unacceptable language.

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That is a point, Jarrod O'Mara, a

Labour MP who has had the whip

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suspended, this goes across all

parties.

The idea that there is a

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left or right divide over this is

absurd. This is a cultural issue. In

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the media and in a lot of other

institutions if this is going to

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develop politically, the frenzy will

carry on for a bit and other names

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will come out over the next few

days, not just the two we have

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mentioned so far in politics. But it

also raises questions about how

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candidates are selected for example.

There has been a huge pressure for

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the centre to keep out of things. I

bet from now on there will be much

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greater scrutiny of all candidates

and tweets will have to be looked at

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and all the rest of it.

Selecting

candidates is interesting. Miriam

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Gonzalez, Nick Clegg's wife, says

that during that election they knew

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about Jarrod O'Mara and the Lib Dems

knew about it, so it is difficult to

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suggest the Labour Party did not as

well.

There is very clear evidence

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the Labour Party did know. But we

are in a situation of how perfect

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and well-behaved does everyone have

to be? If you look at past American

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presidents, JFK and Bill Clinton,

these men were sex pest

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extraordinaire, with totally

inappropriate behaviour on a regular

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basis. There are things you are not

allowed to say if you are feminists.

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Young women are really attracted to

powerful men. I was busted for the

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idea that there are young women in

the House of commons who are

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throwing themselves at middle-aged,

potbellied, balding, older men. We

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need to focus on the right things.

When it is unwanted, harassing,

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inappropriate and criminal,

absolutely, you come down like a

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tonne of bricks. It is not just

because there are more women in the

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Commons, it is because there are

more men married to women like us.

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We have to leave it there.

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As attention turns in

Westminster to the hundreds

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of amendments put down on the EU

Withdrawal Bill, David Davis has

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caused a stir this week by saying

it's possible Parliament won't get

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a vote on the Brexit deal

until after March 2019 -

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when the clock runs out

and we leave the EU.

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Let's take a look at how

the controversy played out.

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And which point do you envisage

Parliament having a vote?

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As soon as possible thereafter.

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This Parliament?

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As soon as possible

possible thereafter, yeah.

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As soon as possible thereafter.

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So, the vote in Parliament...

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The other thing...

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Could be after March 2019?

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It could be, yeah, it could be.

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The...

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It depends when it concludes.

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Mr Barnier, remember,

has said he'd like...

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Sorry, the vote of our Parliament,

the UK Parliament, could be

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after March 2019?

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Yes, it could be.

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Could be.

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The thing to member...

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Which would be...

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Well, it can't come

before we have the deal.

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You said that it is POSSIBLE that

Parliament night not vote

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on the deal until AFTER

the end of March 2019.

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I'm summarising correctly

what you said...?

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Yeah, that's correct.

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In the event we don't do

the deal until then, yeah.

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Can the Prime Minister please

explain how it's possible

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to have a meaningful vote

on something that's

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already taken place?

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As the honourable gentleman knows,

we're in negotiations

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with the European Union, but I am

confident that the timetable under

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the Lisbon Treaty does give time

until March 2019

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for the negotiations to take place.

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But I'm confident, because it is in

the interests of both sides,

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it's not just this Parliament that

wants to have a vote on that deal,

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but actually there will be

ratification by other parliaments,

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that we will be able to achieve that

agreement and that negotiation

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in time for this Parliament

to have a vote that we committed to.

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We are working to reach

an agreement on the final deal

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in good time before we leave

the European Union in March 2019.

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Clearly, we cannot say

for certain at this stage

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when this will be agreed.

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But as Michel Barnier said,

he hopes to get a draft deal

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agreed by October 2018,

and that's our aim is well.

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agreed by October 2018,

and that's our aim as well.

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I'm joined now by the former

Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary

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Benn, who is the chair

of the Commons Brexit Committee,

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which David Davis was

giving evidence to.

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Good morning.

When you think a

parliamentary vote should take place

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in order for it to be meaningful?

It

has to be before we leave the

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European Union. Michel Barnier said

at the start of the negotiations

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that he wants to wrap them up by

October of next year, so we have

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only got 12 months left, the clock

is ticking and there is a huge

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amount of ground to cover.

You do

not think there is any point in

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having the vote the week before we

leave because you could then not go

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and re-negotiate?

That would not be

acceptable. We will not be given a

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bit of paper and told to take it or

leave it. But the following day

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Steve Baker, also a minister in the

department, told our committee that

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the government now accepts that in

order to implement transitional

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arrangements that it is seeking, it

will need separate legislation. I

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put the question to him if you are

going to need separate legislation

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to do that, why don't you have a

separate bill to implement the

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withdrawal agreement rather than

seeking to use the powers the

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government is proposing to take in

the EU withdrawal bill.

If we stick

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to the timing, you have said you do

not think it is possible to

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negotiate a trade deal in the next

12 months. You say the only people

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who think that is possible British

ministers. If you do not believe we

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can get a deal negotiated, how can

we get a vote on it in 12 months'

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time?

If things go well, and there

is still a risk of no agreement

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which would be disastrous for the

economy and the country, if

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things go there will be a deal on

the divorce issues, there will be a

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deal on the nature of the

transitional arrangement and the

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government is to set out how it

thinks that will work, and then an

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agreement between the UK and the 27

member states saying, we will now

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negotiate a new trade and market

access arrangement, and new

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association agreement between the

two parties, and that will be done

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in the transition period. Parliament

will be voting in those

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circumstances on a deal which leads

to the door being open.

But we would

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be outside the EU at that point, so

how meaningful can vote be where you

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take it or leave it if we have

already left the EU? Surely this has

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to happen before March 2019 for it

to make a difference?

I do not think

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it is possible to negotiate all of

the issues that will need to be

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covered in the time available.

Then

it is not possible to have a

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meaningful vote on it?

Parliament

will have to have a look at the deal

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presented to it. It is likely to be

a mix agreement so the approval

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process in the rest of Europe,

unlike the Article 50 agreement,

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which will be a majority vote in the

European Parliament and in the

0:14:560:14:59

British Parliament, every single

Parliament will have a vote on it,

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so it will be a more complex process

anyway, but I do not think that is

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the time to get all of that sorted

between now and October next year.

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Whether it is before or after we

have left the EU, the government

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have said it is a take it or leave

it option and it is the Noel Edmonds

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option, deal or no Deal, you say yes

or no to it. You cannot send them

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back to re-negotiate.

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If it is a separate piece of

legislation, when Parliament has a

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chance to shape the nature of that

legislation.

But it can't change

0:15:380:15:44

what has been negotiated with the

EU?

Well, you could say to the

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government, we're happy with this

but was not happy about that chukka

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here's some fresh instructions, go

back in and...

It seems to me what

0:15:530:15:58

they want is the maximum access to

the single market for the lowest

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possible tariffs, whilst able to

control migration. If they've got to

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get the best deal that they can on

that, how on earth is the Labour

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Party, saying we want a bit more,

owing to persuade the other 27?

We

0:16:110:16:15

certainly don't want the lowest

possible tariffs, we want no tariffs

0:16:150:16:19

are taught. My personal view is

that, has made a profound mistake in

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deciding that it wants to leave the

customs union. If you want to help

0:16:230:16:28

deal with the very serious question

of the border between Northern

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Ireland and the Republic of Ireland,

the way you do that is to stay in

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the customs union and I hope, will

change its mind.

But the Labour

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Party is simply saying in the House

of Commons, we want a better deal

0:16:420:16:45

than what, has been able to get?

It

depends how the negotiations unfold.

0:16:450:16:53

, has ended up on the transitional

arrangements in the place that Keir

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Starmer set out on behalf of the

shadow cabinet in August, when he

0:16:580:17:04

said, we will need to stay in the

single market and the customs union

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for the duration of the transition,

and I think that is the position,

0:17:070:17:10

has now reached. It has not been

helped by differences of view within

0:17:100:17:15

the Cabinet, and a lot of time has

passed and there's proved time left

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and we have not even got on to the

negotiations. -- there's very little

0:17:190:17:24

time left.

On phase two, the labour

Party have set out six clear tests,

0:17:240:17:30

and two of them are crucial. You say

you want the exact same benefits we

0:17:300:17:35

currently have in the customs union

but you also want to be able to

0:17:350:17:39

ensure the fair migration to control

immigration, basically, which does

0:17:390:17:43

sound a bit like having your cake

and eating it. You say that you will

0:17:430:17:46

vote against any deal that doesn't

give you all of that, the exact same

0:17:460:17:50

benefits of the single market, and

allowing you to control migration.

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But you say no deal would be

catastrophic if so it seems to me

0:17:540:17:58

you're unlikely to get the deal that

you could vote for but you don't

0:17:580:18:01

want to vote for no deal?

We

absolutely don't want a no deal.

0:18:010:18:06

Businesses have sent a letter to the

Prime Minister saying that a

0:18:060:18:12

transition is essential because the

possibility of a no deal and no

0:18:120:18:14

transitional would be very damaging

for the economy. We fought the

0:18:140:18:18

general election on a policy of

seeking to retain the benefits of

0:18:180:18:20

the single market and the customs

union. Keir Starmer said on behalf

0:18:200:18:25

of the shadow government that as far

as the longer term arrangements are

0:18:250:18:30

concerned, that should leave all

options on the table, because it is

0:18:300:18:33

the end that you're trying to

achieve and you then find the means

0:18:330:18:36

to support it. So we're setting out

very clearly those tests.

If you

0:18:360:18:42

were to vote down an agreement

because it did not meet your tests,

0:18:420:18:45

and there was time to send, back to

the EU to get a better deal, then

0:18:450:18:51

you would have significantly

weakened their negotiating hand

0:18:510:18:53

chukka that doesn't help them?

I

don't think, has deployed its

0:18:530:18:57

negotiating hand very strongly thus

far. Because we had a general

0:18:570:19:02

election which meant that we lost

time that we would have used for

0:19:020:19:04

negotiating. We still don't know

what kind of long-term trade and

0:19:040:19:09

market access deal, wants. The Prime

Minister says, I don't want a deal

0:19:090:19:16

like Canada and I don't want a deal

like the European Economic Area. But

0:19:160:19:19

we still don't know what kind of

deal they want. With about 12 months

0:19:190:19:24

to go, the other thing, needs to do

is to set out very clearly above all

0:19:240:19:28

for the benefit of the other 27

European countries, what kind of

0:19:280:19:33

deal it wants. When I travel to

Europe and talk to those involved in

0:19:330:19:36

the negotiations, you see other

leaders saying, we don't actually

0:19:360:19:41

know what Britain wants. With a year

to go it is about time we made that

0:19:410:19:45

clear.

One related question on the

European Union - you spoke in your

0:19:450:19:51

famous speech in Syria about the

international brigades in Spain, and

0:19:510:19:54

I wonder if your solidarity with

them leads you to think that the UK

0:19:540:19:59

Government should be recognising

Catalonia is an independent state?

0:19:590:20:02

No, I don't think so. It is a very

difficult and potentially dangerous

0:20:020:20:07

situation in Catalonia at the

moment. Direct rule from Madrid is

0:20:070:20:12

not a long-term solution. There

needs to be a negotiation, and

0:20:120:20:17

elections will give Catalonia the

chance to take that decision, but I

0:20:170:20:21

am not clear what the declaration of

independence actually means. Are

0:20:210:20:27

they going to be borders, is they're

going to be an army? There will have

0:20:270:20:31

to be some agreement. Catalonia has

already had a high degree of

0:20:310:20:35

autonomy. It may like some more, and

it seems to me if you look at the

0:20:350:20:40

experience here in the United

Kingdom, that is the way to go, not

0:20:400:20:45

a constitutional stand-off. And I

really hope nobody is charged with

0:20:450:20:48

rebellion, because actually that

would make matters worse.

0:20:480:20:52

Now, the Government has this

week reopened the public

0:20:520:20:56

consultation on plans for a third

runway at Heathrow.

0:20:560:20:58

While ministers are clear

the £18 billion project

0:20:580:21:00

is still the preferred option,

new data raises further questions

0:21:000:21:03

about the environmental

impact of expansion,

0:21:030:21:04

and offers an improved

economic case for a second

0:21:040:21:06

runway at Gatwick instead.

0:21:060:21:08

So, with opponents on all sides

of the Commons, does the Government

0:21:080:21:10

still have the votes to get

the plans off the ground?

0:21:100:21:13

Here's Elizabeth Glinka.

0:21:130:21:22

The debate over the expansion

of Heathrow has been

0:21:260:21:28

going on for decades.

0:21:280:21:30

Plans for a third runway

were first introduced

0:21:300:21:32

by the Labour government in 2003.

0:21:320:21:34

Then, after spending millions

of pounds, finally, in 2015,

0:21:340:21:37

the airport commission recommended

that those plans go ahead,

0:21:370:21:43

and the government position

appeared to be fixed.

0:21:430:21:46

But, of course, since then,

we've had a general election.

0:21:460:21:49

The Government have lost

their Commons majority.

0:21:490:21:53

And with opposition on both front

benches, the Parliamentary

0:21:530:21:55

arithmetic looks a little bit up

in the air.

0:21:550:22:00

A lot has changed since the airport

commission produced its report,

0:22:000:22:03

and that don't forget

was the bedrock for the Government's

0:22:030:22:06

decision, that's why the government

supposedly made the decision

0:22:060:22:08

that it made.

0:22:080:22:09

But most of the assumptions

made in that report have

0:22:090:22:12

been undermined since,

by data on passenger numbers,

0:22:120:22:14

on economic benefits, and more

than anything, on pollution.

0:22:140:22:17

There's demand from international

carriers to get into Heathrow.

0:22:170:22:20

More and more people want to fly.

0:22:200:22:22

And after the referendum,

connectivity post-Brexit

0:22:220:22:26

is going to be absolutely critical

to the UK economy, so if anything,

0:22:260:22:29

I think the case is stronger

for expansion at Heathrow.

0:22:290:22:35

A vote on expansion had been due

to take place this summer.

0:22:350:22:38

But with Westminster somewhat

distracted, that didn't happen.

0:22:380:22:40

Now, fresh data means

the Government has had to reopen

0:22:400:22:43

the public consultation.

0:22:430:22:49

But it maintains the case

for Heathrow is as strong as ever,

0:22:490:22:52

delivering benefits of up

to £74 billion to the wider economy.

0:22:520:22:57

And in any case, the Government

says, action must be taken,

0:22:570:23:00

as all five of London's airports

will be completely

0:23:000:23:04

full by the mid-2030s.

0:23:040:23:09

Still, the new research does cast

an alternative expansion at Gatwick

0:23:090:23:11

in a more favourable economic light,

while showing Heathrow

0:23:110:23:15

is now less likely to meet

its environmental targets.

0:23:150:23:23

Campaigners like these in Hounslow

sense the wind is shifting.

0:23:230:23:27

We're feeling encouraged,

because we see all kinds

0:23:270:23:30

of weaknesses in the argument.

0:23:300:23:32

Certainly, quite a few MPs,

I think certainly Labour MPs,

0:23:320:23:35

are beginning to think perhaps it's

not such a great idea

0:23:350:23:38

to have a third runway.

0:23:380:23:40

Their MP is convinced colleagues

can now be persuaded

0:23:400:23:42

to see things their way.

0:23:420:23:45

The Labour Party quite

rightly set four key tests

0:23:450:23:47

for a third runway at Heathrow.

0:23:470:23:50

And in my view,

Heathrow is not able...

0:23:500:23:53

The Heathrow option is not able

to pass any of those.

0:23:530:23:57

So, I see a lot of colleagues

in the Labour Party around

0:23:570:24:00

the country beginning

to think twice.

0:24:000:24:02

And if you look at the cross-party

MPs supportin this anti-Heathrow

0:24:020:24:08

And if you look at the cross-party

MPs supporting this anti-Heathrow

0:24:080:24:11

protest this week, you will see

some familiar faces.

0:24:110:24:13

You know my position -

as the constituency MP,

0:24:130:24:15

I'm totally opposed.

0:24:150:24:17

I think this is another indication

of just the difficulties

0:24:170:24:20

the Government have got off

of implementing this policy.

0:24:200:24:22

I don't think it's going to happen,

I just don't think

0:24:220:24:24

it's going to happen.

0:24:240:24:25

So, if some on the Labour

front bench are, shall

0:24:250:24:28

we say, not supportive,

what about the other side?

0:24:280:24:31

In a free vote, we could have had up

to 60 Conservative MPs

0:24:310:24:34

voting against expansion,

that's the number that is normally

0:24:340:24:36

used and I think it's right.

0:24:360:24:37

In the circumstances where it

requires an active rebellion,

0:24:370:24:39

the numbers would be fewer.

0:24:390:24:41

I can't tell you what that

number is, but I can tell

0:24:410:24:44

you that there are people right

the way through the party,

0:24:440:24:46

from the backbenches

to the heart of the government,

0:24:460:24:49

who will vote against

Heathrow expansion.

0:24:490:24:50

And yet the SNP, whose Commons

votes could prove vital,

0:24:500:24:54

are behind the Heathrow plan,

which promises more

0:24:540:24:56

connecting flights.

0:24:560:24:56

And other supporters are convinced

they have the numbers.

0:24:560:25:01

There is a majority of members

of Parliament that support Heathrow

0:25:010:25:04

expansion, and when that is put

to the test, whenever that will be,

0:25:040:25:07

I think that will be

clearly demonstrated.

0:25:070:25:09

Any vote on this issue

won't come until next summer.

0:25:090:25:11

For both sides, yet more time

to argue about weather

0:25:110:25:14

the plans should take off

or be permanently grounded.

0:25:140:25:21

Elizabeth Glinka there.

0:25:240:25:26

And I'm joined now by the former

Cabinet minister Theresa Villiers,

0:25:260:25:29

who oversaw aviation policy

as a transport minister

0:25:290:25:31

under David Cameron.

0:25:310:25:37

Thanks for coming in. You have made

your opposition to a third runway at

0:25:370:25:43

Heathrow consistently clear. , have

reopened this consultation but it is

0:25:430:25:46

still clearly their preferred

option?

It is but what I have always

0:25:460:25:50

asked is, why try to build a new

runway at Heathrow when you can

0:25:500:25:54

build one at Gatwick in half the

time, for half the cost and with a

0:25:540:25:57

tiny fraction of the environment

will cost average is that true,

0:25:570:26:01

though? Private finance is already

to go at Heathrow, because that's

0:26:010:26:05

where people want to do it and

that's where the private backers

0:26:050:26:08

want to put it. It would take much

longer to get the private finance

0:26:080:26:12

for Gatwick? Part of that private

finance is passengers of the future,

0:26:120:26:17

but also, the costs of the surface

transport needed to expand Heathrow

0:26:170:26:21

is phenomenal. I mean, TfL estimates

vary between £10 billion and £15

0:26:210:26:30

billion. And there's no suggestion

that those private backers are going

0:26:300:26:33

to meet those costs. So, this is a

hugely expensive project as well as

0:26:330:26:38

one which will create very

significant damage.

Heathrow is

0:26:380:26:42

ultimately where passengers and

airlines want to go to, isn't it?

0:26:420:26:45

Every slot is practically full.

Every time a new one comes up, it is

0:26:450:26:49

up immediately, it's a very popular

airport. Gatwick is not where they

0:26:490:26:55

want to go?

There are many airlines

and passengers who do want to fly

0:26:550:26:58

from Gatwick, and all the forecasts

indicate that a new runway there

0:26:580:27:03

would be full of planes very

rapidly. But I think the key thing

0:27:030:27:07

is that successive elements have

said, technology will deliver a way

0:27:070:27:12

to resolve the around noise and air

quality. I don't have any confidence

0:27:120:27:18

that science has demonstrated that

technology will deliver those

0:27:180:27:22

solutions to these very serious

environmental limbs which have

0:27:220:27:27

stopped Heathrow expansion for

decades.

Jim Fitzpatrick in the film

0:27:270:27:29

was mentioning that people think

there is a need for even more

0:27:290:27:34

collectivity in Britain post-Brexit.

We know that business has been

0:27:340:27:37

crying out for more routes, they

really think it hurts business

0:27:370:27:40

expansion that we don't get on with

this. More consultation is just

0:27:400:27:45

going to lead to more delay, isn't

it?

This is a hugely controversial

0:27:450:27:49

decision. There is a reason why

people have been talking about

0:27:490:27:52

expanding Heathrow for 50 years and

it is never happened, it's because

0:27:520:27:55

it's a bad idea. So, inevitably the

legal processes are very complex.

0:27:550:28:00

One of my anxieties about, pursuing

this option is that potentially it

0:28:000:28:05

means another lost decade for

airport expansion. Because the

0:28:050:28:08

problems with Heathrow expansion are

so serious, I believe that's one of

0:28:080:28:14

the reasons why I advocated, anyone

who wants a new runway in the

0:28:140:28:17

south-east should be backing Gatwick

is a much more deliverable option.

0:28:170:28:21

Let me move on to Brexit. We were

talking with Hilary Benn about a

0:28:210:28:27

meaningful vote being given to the

House of Commons chukka how

0:28:270:28:30

important do you think that is?

Of

course the Commons will vote on

0:28:300:28:33

this. The Commons is going to vote

on this many, many times. We have

0:28:330:28:39

also had a hugely important vote not

only in the referendum on the 23rd

0:28:390:28:42

of June but also on Article 50.

But

will that vote allow any changes to

0:28:420:28:46

it? Hilary Benn seemed to think that

the Commons would be able to shape

0:28:460:28:52

the deal with the vote. But actually

is it going to be, saying, take it

0:28:520:28:56

or leave it at all what we have

negotiated?

Our Prime Minister

0:28:560:29:01

negotiates on our behalf

internationally. It's

0:29:010:29:06

well-established precedent that

after an agreement is reached

0:29:060:29:08

overseas, then it is considered in

the House of Commons.

What if it was

0:29:080:29:14

voted down in the House of Commons?

Well, the legal effect of that would

0:29:140:29:18

be that we left the European Union

without any kind of deal, because

0:29:180:29:21

the key decision was on the voting

of Article 50 as an irreversible

0:29:210:29:26

decision.

Is it irreversible,

though? We understand, may have had

0:29:260:29:31

legal advice saying that Yukon

stopped the clock on Article 50.

0:29:310:29:35

Would it not be possible if the

Commons voted against to ask the

0:29:350:29:38

European Union for a little bit more

time to try and renegotiate?

There

0:29:380:29:42

is a debate about the reversibility

of Article 50. But the key point is

0:29:420:29:50

that we are all working for a good

deal for the United Kingdom and the

0:29:500:29:56

I'm concerned that some of the

amendments to the legislation are

0:29:560:30:00

not about the nature of the deal at

the end of the process, they're just

0:30:000:30:03

about frustrating the process. I

think that would be wrong. I think

0:30:030:30:10

we should respect the result of the

referendum.

Will it be by next

0:30:100:30:13

summer, so there is time for

Parliament and for other

0:30:130:30:16

parliaments?

I certainly hope that

we get that agreement between the

0:30:160:30:18

two sides, and the recent European

summit seemed to indicate a

0:30:180:30:24

willingness from the European side

to be constructive. But one point

0:30:240:30:28

where I think Hilary Benn has a

point, if we do secure agreement on

0:30:280:30:32

a transitional deal, that does

potentially give us more time to

0:30:320:30:35

work on the details of a trade

agreement. I hope we get as much as

0:30:350:30:40

possible in place before exit day.

But filling out some of that detail

0:30:400:30:44

is made easier if we can secure that

two-year transitional deal.

0:30:440:30:52

That is interesting because a lot of

Brexiteers what the deal to be done

0:30:520:30:59

by the inflammation period, it is

not a time for that.

I fully

0:30:590:31:06

recognise we need compromise, I am

keen to work with people across my

0:31:060:31:11

party in terms of spectrum of

opinion, and with other parties as

0:31:110:31:15

well to ensure we get the best

outcome.

Let me ask you briefly

0:31:150:31:20

before you go about the possible

culture of sexual harassment in the

0:31:200:31:24

House of commons and Theresa May

will write to the Speaker of the

0:31:240:31:29

House of Commons to make sure there

is a better way that people can

0:31:290:31:33

report sexual harassment in the

House of commons. Is that necessary?

0:31:330:31:37

A better procedure is needed. It is

sad it has taken this controversy to

0:31:370:31:43

push this forward. But there is a

problem with MPs who are individual

0:31:430:31:48

employers. If you work for an MP and

have a complaint against them,

0:31:480:31:53

essentially they are overseeing

their own complaints process. I

0:31:530:31:56

think a role for the House of

commons authorities in ensuring that

0:31:560:32:01

those complaints are properly dealt

with I think would be very helpful,

0:32:010:32:04

so I think the Prime Minister's

letter was a sensible move.

So you

0:32:040:32:09

think there is a culture of sexual

harassment in the House of commons?

0:32:090:32:13

I have not been subjected to it or

seen evidence of it, but obviously

0:32:130:32:19

there is anxiety and allegations

have made their way into the papers

0:32:190:32:23

and they should be treated

appropriately and properly

0:32:230:32:27

investigated.

Thank you for talking

to us.

0:32:270:32:28

Thank you for talking to us.

0:32:280:32:31

Next week the Lord Speaker's

committee publishes its final report

0:32:310:32:33

into reducing the size

of the House of Lords.

0:32:330:32:35

With over 800 members the upper

house is the second largest

0:32:350:32:38

legislative chamber in the world

after the National People's

0:32:380:32:40

Congress of China.

0:32:400:32:41

The report is expected to recommend

that new peerages should be

0:32:410:32:44

time-limited to 15 years and that

in the future political peerage

0:32:440:32:46

appointments will also be tied

to a party's election performance.

0:32:460:32:51

The government has been under

pressure to take action to cut

0:32:510:32:53

members of the unelected chamber,

where they are entitled

0:32:530:32:57

to claim an attendance

allowance of £300 a day.

0:32:570:33:00

And once again these expenses

have been in the news.

0:33:000:33:04

The Electoral Reform Society

discovered that 16 peers had claimed

0:33:040:33:06

around £400,000 without speaking

in any debates or submitting any

0:33:060:33:09

questions for an entire year.

0:33:090:33:13

One of the Lords to be

criticised was Digby Jones,

0:33:130:33:15

the crossbencher and former trade

minister, he hasn't spoken

0:33:150:33:19

in the Lords since April 2016

and has voted only seven times

0:33:190:33:22

during 2016 and 2017.

0:33:220:33:25

Yet he has claimed around

£15,000 in this period.

0:33:250:33:29

When asked what he does

in the House he said,

0:33:290:33:32

"I go in and I will invite for lunch

or meet with inward

0:33:320:33:34

investors into the country.

0:33:340:33:36

I fly the flag for Britain."

0:33:360:33:39

Well, we can speak now

to Lord Jones who joins us

0:33:390:33:42

from Stratford Upon Avon.

0:33:420:33:46

Thank you very much for talking to

us. You provide value for money in

0:33:460:33:51

the House of Lords do you think?

Definitely. I am, by the way, very

0:33:510:33:58

keen on reform. I want to see that

15 year tide. I would like to see a

0:33:580:34:02

time limit, an age limit of 75 or

80. I would like attendants

0:34:020:34:08

definitely define so the whole

public understood what people are

0:34:080:34:12

paying for and why. The £300, as a

crossbencher I get no support, and

0:34:120:34:19

nor do I want any, speech writing,

secretarial assistance, none of

0:34:190:34:27

that, and the £300 goes towards

that.

Whilst you are in there

0:34:270:34:31

because we will talk about the

reform of the Lords in general, but

0:34:310:34:36

in terms of you yourself, you say

you invite people in for lunch, is

0:34:360:34:39

it not possible for you to take part

in debates and votes and ask

0:34:390:34:43

questions at the same time?

Have you

ever listened to a debate in the

0:34:430:34:48

laws? Yes, many times.

Yes, many

times. You have to put your name

0:34:480:35:01

down in advance and you have to be

there for the whole debate.

You have

0:35:010:35:09

to be around when the vote is called

and you do not know when the book is

0:35:090:35:12

called, you have no idea when the

boat is going to be called.

This is

0:35:120:35:16

part of being a member of the House

of Lords and what it means. If you

0:35:160:35:22

are not prepared to wait or take

part in debates, why do you want to

0:35:220:35:26

be a member? It is possible to

resign from the House of Lords.

0:35:260:35:31

There are many things members of the

Lords do that does not relate to

0:35:310:35:35

parrot fashion following somebody

else, which I refuse to do, about

0:35:350:35:40

speaking to an empty chamber, or

indeed hanging on sometimes for

0:35:400:35:45

hours to vote. There are many other

things that you do. You quote me as

0:35:450:35:50

saying I will entertain at lunchtime

or show people around the House,

0:35:500:35:54

everything from schoolchildren to

inward investors. I will meet

0:35:540:35:58

ministers about big business issues

or educational issues, and at the

0:35:580:36:01

same time I will meet other members

of the Lords to get things moving.

0:36:010:36:06

None of that relates to going into

the House and getting on your hind

0:36:060:36:10

legs, although I do go in and sit

there and learn and listen to

0:36:100:36:14

others, which, if more people would

receive and not transmit, we might

0:36:140:36:20

get a better informed society. At

the same time many times I will go

0:36:200:36:24

after I have listened and I am

leaving and if I have not heard the

0:36:240:36:29

debate, I will not vote.

Voting is

an essential part of being part of a

0:36:290:36:35

legislative chamber. This is not

just an executive committee, it is a

0:36:350:36:40

legislature, surpassing that law is

essential, is it not?

Do you really

0:36:400:36:45

believe that an MP or a member of

the Lords who has not heard a moment

0:36:450:36:49

of the debate, who is then listening

to the Bell, walks in and does not

0:36:490:36:56

know which lobby, the whips tell

him, they have not heard the debate

0:36:560:37:00

and they do not know what they are

voting on and they go and do it?

0:37:000:37:05

That is your democracy? Voting seems

to be an essential part of this

0:37:050:37:11

chamber, and you have your ideas

about reforming the chamber. It

0:37:110:37:16

sounds as though you would reform

yourself out of it. You say people

0:37:160:37:19

who are not voting and who are not

taking part in debate should no

0:37:190:37:23

longer be members of the House.

I

did not say that. I said we ought to

0:37:230:37:30

redefine what attendance means and

then if you do not attend on the new

0:37:300:37:34

criteria, you do not have to come

ever again, we will give you your

0:37:340:37:38

wish. I agree attendance might mean

unless you speak, you are going.

0:37:380:37:44

Fair enough, if that is what is

agreed, yes. Sometimes I would speak

0:37:440:37:49

and sometimes I would not. If I did

not, then off I go. Similarly after

0:37:490:37:54

15 years, off you go. If you reach

75 or 80, off you go. Why do we have

0:37:540:38:01

92 members who are only there

because of daddy.

You are talking

0:38:010:38:06

about hereditary peers. You would

like to reduce the House to what

0:38:060:38:09

kind of number?

I would get it down

to 400.

You would get rid of half

0:38:090:38:16

the peers there at the moment? You

think you are active enough to

0:38:160:38:20

remain as one of the 400?

No, I said

that might well include me. Let's

0:38:200:38:27

get a set of criteria, let's push it

through, because the laws is losing

0:38:270:38:32

respect in the whole of the country

because there are too many and all

0:38:320:38:36

these things about what people pay

for. I bet most people think the

0:38:360:38:40

money you get is paid. It is not, it

is re-funding for all the things you

0:38:400:38:45

have to pay for yourself. But I

understand how respect has been lost

0:38:450:38:51

in society. Let's change it now.

Let's get it through and then, yes,

0:38:510:38:56

if you do not meet the criteria, you

have got to go and that includes me.

0:38:560:39:01

Lloyd Jones, thank you for talking

to us.

0:39:010:39:03

Lloyd Jones, thank

you for talking to us.

0:39:030:39:05

It's coming up to 11.40,

you're watching the Sunday Politics.

0:39:050:39:08

Coming up on the programme,

we'll be talking to the former

0:39:080:39:10

business minister and Conservative

MP Anna Soubry about the Brexit

0:39:100:39:13

negotiations and claims of sexual

harassment in Parliament.

0:39:130:39:15

Hello and welcome to Sunday Politics

in Northern Ireland.

0:39:230:39:26

So the two main parties don't look

like they're about to meet

0:39:260:39:28

tomorrow's latest Stormont deadline.

0:39:280:39:32

They're not here, but the three

smaller parties are and I'll be

0:39:320:39:34

asking them what they think the next

move will be.

0:39:340:39:40

Do they have any say

in what's going on?

0:39:400:39:43

And what do they make of a budget

being drawn up at Westminster?

0:39:430:39:46

And residents say they want them

to come down - but not yet.

0:39:460:39:49

I'll be looking at the dilemma

of the peace walls.

0:39:490:39:51

And with me throughout

with their thoughts -

0:39:510:39:53

Chris Donnelly and Felicity Huston.

0:39:530:39:55

The Secretary of State

was at Stormont on Friday night

0:39:580:40:00

for more talks with the DUP

and Sinn Fein and with no deal

0:40:000:40:03

in place at this late stage,

it looks like James Brokenshire's

0:40:030:40:06

"glide path to greater

Westminster intervention"

0:40:060:40:08

is about to become a reality.

0:40:080:40:12

If that does prove to be the case,

he's expected to begin

0:40:120:40:14

the process of legislating

for a budget next week.

0:40:140:40:17

I'm joined by the UUP's Steve Aiken,

the SDLP's Colin McGrath

0:40:170:40:19

and Stephen Farry from the Alliance

Party.

0:40:190:40:27

We did invite the DUP and Sinn Fein

to join us as well...

0:40:270:40:30

Stephen, what do you expect

to happen tomorrow?

0:40:300:40:35

We're not sure. The Secretary of

State has said he wants some written

0:40:350:40:39

confirmation from the two parties

that a deal is born but at this

0:40:390:40:44

stage it seems unlikely that will

happen. He will then move to put

0:40:440:40:47

through a budget at Westminster

starting the 6th of November. It is

0:40:470:40:53

not welcomed but we have to ensure

this is essential to ensure that we

0:40:530:40:58

get our public resources sorted.

There is a governance gap and we

0:40:580:41:02

have to have ministers in place of

some description who are capable of

0:41:020:41:06

taking decisions to spend that money

efficiently and effectively if we

0:41:060:41:13

are to make a difference and reform

and make our public services

0:41:130:41:15

self-sufficient.

I was speaking to Ian Paisley on

0:41:150:41:17

Thursday night and it has to if at

this late stage it at a rabbit could

0:41:170:41:22

be pulled out of a hat and he did

not even think there was a hat!

The

0:41:220:41:26

problem we have is that nobody knows

what is happening in these

0:41:260:41:29

negotiations. Number of the smaller

parties do not know what is

0:41:290:41:32

happening, the media and the people

do not know. That is a smoke screen

0:41:320:41:36

and not being able to tell people

what is happening in the

0:41:360:41:40

negotiations. The negotiations have

been happening for seven months,

0:41:400:41:42

there must be some give and take so

what and what has been taken? Two

0:41:420:41:55

weeks ago we were told a deal could

be imminent. But without any detail.

0:41:550:41:57

It works in the favour of the two

main parties to know whether the

0:41:570:42:00

residue or a no deal. They do not

want to sing together the detail.

0:42:000:42:03

The question must be asked by the

public and the parties, what are

0:42:030:42:06

they afraid of?

What do you think

will happen tomorrow? Steve Aiken,

0:42:060:42:09

do you think something can be

produced at the last minute?

I do

0:42:090:42:13

not think they will be any talk of a

deal until after the party

0:42:130:42:16

conferences. I do not see our Ben

Foster and they do not see Michelle

0:42:160:42:21

O'Neill and Gerry Adams going around

and saying they have reached a deal

0:42:210:42:25

before their respective party

conferences all over in the next

0:42:250:42:28

week or two. All of us had

trepidation when we heard on Friday

0:42:280:42:34

that the talks were continuing but

Gerry Adams had arrived and every

0:42:340:42:39

time he arrives in the process it

seems that gone backwards. One of

0:42:390:42:42

the biggest concern is that we have

as a party as we do not know what is

0:42:420:42:46

being discussed and in the

rank-and-file of the DUP, they do

0:42:460:42:51

not know what is being discussed. It

would be very useful if we actually

0:42:510:42:55

knew where we got to because I

think, looking at the history of

0:42:550:42:58

these things, I regret to say it,

you will have to do the pantomime of

0:42:580:43:03

going away for one week to have

in-depth crisis talks to get to the

0:43:030:43:06

next stage before Gerry Adams puts

the kibosh on it again.

People keep

0:43:060:43:11

on saying this and every time it has

been said that Gerry Adams is not

0:43:110:43:15

making a positive contribution, Sinn

Fein has said that is not the case.

0:43:150:43:19

It is a mischaracterisation.

The

point is that you do not know. Let

0:43:190:43:25

us look at the evidence, every time

he comes along, things go backwards.

0:43:250:43:30

You have said backwards but Stephen,

this is exactly what people voted

0:43:300:43:34

for. We keep having these

conversations and saying this is not

0:43:340:43:39

what people wanted or 44 but this is

precisely what people voted for,

0:43:390:43:44

they voted for Sinn Fein to hold the

line in great numbers and for the

0:43:440:43:47

DUP to do likewise.

We have seen

people thought out of fear creating

0:43:470:43:54

a polarising situation. People voted

against the perceptions of what the

0:43:540:43:57

other party was about. In practice

we have two parties that are only

0:43:570:44:03

appealing to the core constituents.

That is the job.

Everyone of us is

0:44:030:44:08

there to represent the entire

Northern Irish community, investing

0:44:080:44:12

in health, education and our

economy. The fact we have a deadlock

0:44:120:44:16

is not just around the content of

how we deal with Bangladesh is but

0:44:160:44:19

the presentation of that shows that

people are putting that one issue on

0:44:190:44:22

a pedestal above acting responsibly

in the interests of the entire

0:44:220:44:26

community and we have lost all sense

of proportionality.

There is no

0:44:260:44:34

groundswell of pressure coming on

health cuts, an education cuts from

0:44:340:44:36

ordinary men and women in the state

telling you do must get back to

0:44:360:44:39

devolution around the Executive

table and sort it out. In fact,

0:44:390:44:44

there is silence. People on the

areas and writing newspaper reports

0:44:440:44:46

have said this is not good, we are

all suffering but that is about as

0:44:460:44:51

far as it goes.

I did not accept

that in the sense that anyone it

0:44:510:44:56

Speed two tells me that we should be

back in there, doing our jobs,

0:44:560:44:59

earning our beaches and legislating

and I do not think that is the

0:44:590:45:03

preserve of the three smaller

parties, I think that message has

0:45:030:45:06

been said but I do accept that

people are not feeling it in the

0:45:060:45:09

pocket, it has not got to the crunch

point. But as you start to see

0:45:090:45:13

longer waiting lists and the

cutbacks and the schools taking

0:45:130:45:16

effect whenever you have to start

increasing class sizes, looking at

0:45:160:45:21

merging schools, Windows problems

get through, people will look at...

0:45:210:45:26

Those issues are already happening.

But they have not got to the

0:45:260:45:30

crescendo where we are making a

massive impact and people are

0:45:300:45:33

saying, we are at crisis point only

see things changing.

People

0:45:330:45:41

supporting the DUP will say that

they will not concede on the Irish

0:45:410:45:44

Language Act and Sinn Fein will not

settle for anything less.

There has

0:45:440:45:47

been progress in the negotiations on

that over the last seven months. But

0:45:470:45:52

we are not told what that progress

so we cannot comment on it. If there

0:45:520:45:56

has been progress, it must be put on

the table because aside from the

0:45:560:46:00

media and the smaller political

parties, the public are not finding

0:46:000:46:02

out what is happening in the name

and all parties in the election in

0:46:020:46:07

March were voted in on a mandate to

deliver devolution and that is what

0:46:070:46:15

the people of asked for and we must

deliver on that.

Steve Aiken I know

0:46:150:46:18

you don't like the references of

James Brokenshire but he has talked

0:46:180:46:20

about this glide path to greater

Westminster intervention, is that a

0:46:200:46:25

lighter version of direct rule or is

that proper direct rule? Will be

0:46:250:46:31

limp along into the talks continue?

We are already heading towards

0:46:310:46:37

direct rule, that is clear, whether

it is light, heart, whatever, we are

0:46:370:46:42

steadily moving in that direction

and once the budget has been passed

0:46:420:46:45

and we see with the DUP money is

going to be allocated and what it

0:46:450:46:49

goes into, the next thing we will

see is where his ministers from the

0:46:490:46:52

Northern Irish others being given

rules to be able to move that on and

0:46:520:46:58

we will see that we are heading down

that direction, we are very much in

0:46:580:47:01

the final stages, I believe.

You

think that is the end of Stormont,

0:47:010:47:04

you will be told thank you for your

contribution, we do not need you as

0:47:040:47:07

an MLA any more? Presumably that

cannot continue indefinitely.

I

0:47:070:47:13

cannot see that, we are in our final

stages. Here is the reality. In

0:47:130:47:18

Northern Ireland, a quarter of the

electorate voted for Sinn Fein, a

0:47:180:47:21

quarter voted for the DUP, a quarter

did not fool and a quarter voted for

0:47:210:47:25

the other parties.

We have one

quarter of the electorate and

0:47:250:47:39

controlling where we are going to

and what we're doing, that cannot be

0:47:390:47:42

right.

I do not think Sinn Fein

would accept that reality. Maybe if

0:47:420:47:44

they were present and the DUP were

president -- present we could ask

0:47:440:47:47

them, but they are not here once

again.

There are ways that we can

0:47:470:47:51

avoid the direct rule situation.

Either the DUP and Sinn Fein

0:47:510:47:56

approach this with greater

transparency and stop blocking

0:47:560:48:01

progress or going to fool on direct

rule. We can reform the structures

0:48:010:48:06

of the institutions are musk and we

must come together and talk about

0:48:060:48:14

that. All the issues that are

holding things up whether that be

0:48:140:48:21

language, equal marriage, issues

around abortion, human rights and

0:48:210:48:23

equality issues should be debated on

the Assembly floor.

If it is as

0:48:230:48:27

simple as that by two Sinn Fein and

the DUP not agree on that and move

0:48:270:48:30

on? The point is, it is not that

simple.

They want to control things

0:48:300:48:36

themselves. Then an authority

anyway. Let us address this and

0:48:360:48:43

afflict the democratic wishes of the

people of Northern Ireland.

At like

0:48:430:48:48

to ask you about tomorrow. Are you

sending a party delegation tomorrow

0:48:480:48:53

to meet Colin McGrath?

Our party has

been ready at every stage, we are at

0:48:530:48:58

Stormont most Mondays and Tuesdays.

We will be there tomorrow.

Do you

0:48:580:49:02

think you will have a meeting with

the Secretary of State tomorrow?

We

0:49:020:49:06

have not been asked but if so, we

will be the present to speak to him.

0:49:060:49:11

We had a meeting with him on

Thursday. What did he say? Not an

0:49:110:49:17

awful lot, typical of this process.

You get much talk and headlines but

0:49:170:49:21

no details.

Did he ask for your

ideas?

We provided some ideas and

0:49:210:49:27

had a conversation but we do not

know the content of the negotiations

0:49:270:49:30

and if you do not know the content

you cannot comment on that.

Do you

0:49:300:49:34

expect to meet the Secretary of

State to say this process?

I will be

0:49:340:49:38

at Stormont tomorrow but we might

get a phone call at 3:30pm telling

0:49:380:49:42

us can we see him at four o'clock

and we will talk about analogies and

0:49:420:49:46

all sorts of things and gripe at...

We picked up the phone all the time.

0:49:460:49:52

Tomorrow is the deadline! Mark, we

have been talking all the time for

0:49:520:49:57

the last nine months and said we

must move on. Let us look at

0:49:570:50:02

something different, let us look at

the voluntary coalition, let us move

0:50:020:50:06

on from where we are. You think that

is the answer? Cannot be any worse

0:50:060:50:10

than this!

I do not see the DUP Sinn

Fein giving in to a voluntary

0:50:100:50:19

coalition.

Surely that flies in the

face of everything you have stood

0:50:190:50:22

for at the time of the Good Friday

Agreement?

I want to see all of the

0:50:220:50:26

eligible party sitting around a

table, taking the seat and

0:50:260:50:29

delivering for the people of

Northern Ireland, as elected, that

0:50:290:50:33

is what we want.

Stephen Farry, if

there is no solution tomorrow or

0:50:330:50:37

immediately thereafter, and it looks

like direct rule has been imposed

0:50:370:50:42

once more, that is the end of

Stormont, is it? Will you still

0:50:420:50:46

remain an MLA?

I do not know and

those decisions that will have to be

0:50:460:50:52

taken but I am clear that before we

get to direct rule we have other

0:50:520:50:55

options. We have been talking to the

secretary of state for the past he

0:50:550:50:59

beat as have other parties. We are

trying to open this process up and

0:50:590:51:05

look at other options before we lose

sight of devolution.

Thank you very

0:51:050:51:09

much, gentlemen. We will watch with

interest.

0:51:090:51:13

Let's hear what my guests

of the day - Chris Donnelly

0:51:130:51:16

and Felicity Huston -

make of that.

0:51:160:51:18

Felicity, are people being let down

by the inability of the two main

0:51:180:51:21

parties to reach a deal?

0:51:210:51:22

I think people have given up

expecting any agreement. I think we

0:51:220:51:24

have entered a state of this

tournament, everyone has abandoned

0:51:240:51:28

all hope. I do not know how many

times I have been seeing this on

0:51:280:51:33

here, we getting nowhere and

everyone has given up.

We are told

0:51:330:51:36

tomorrow is the absolute deadline,

do you believe that?

The Secretary

0:51:360:51:41

of State is always on the verge of

taking a stand but he goes on and

0:51:410:51:45

on.

Will it get past tomorrow?

I

would confidently expects all, that

0:51:450:51:50

has happened time and again so far.

I do not think that he wants to put

0:51:500:52:01

things in place, like the old

fashion secretary Northern Ireland.

0:52:010:52:05

Some people have said they will have

been let down by the politicians,

0:52:050:52:10

others have said this is exactly

what was voted for. This is

0:52:100:52:12

democracy.

What we heard earlier

prior to Felicity talking and the

0:52:120:52:20

three representatives, we heard the

frustration of the three minority

0:52:200:52:23

parties, we have never been as

politically marginalised as they are

0:52:230:52:26

at the moment, they are outside the

process and this is about the Irish

0:52:260:52:32

government, the British government

and DUP and Sinn Fein. I know that

0:52:320:52:38

Steve Aiken was focusing on Gerry

Adams but I think this is a red

0:52:380:52:41

herring, sources I have heard inside

Sinn Fein have all said the same

0:52:410:52:45

thing, it is about implementation,

prior agreements about the Irish

0:52:450:52:47

Language Act, that was referenced in

the St Andrews Agreement, and I

0:52:470:52:53

cannot see any movement until there

is changes in that process. The

0:52:530:52:59

legislative process will have to put

into place on direct rule so that

0:52:590:53:02

the budget can be brought forward

but the talks, they will have to be

0:53:020:53:06

another round that focuses more

specifically on those crunch issues.

0:53:060:53:10

You know that there were reports in

the public domain one week ago that

0:53:100:53:13

a deal had been done and the senior

Sinn Fein figures have found

0:53:130:53:18

something they could sign up to but

that Gerry Adams had pulled the rug

0:53:180:53:21

from under their feet. You either

believe that or not, but do you give

0:53:210:53:24

any credence?

I do not, although

sources I have spoken to within Sinn

0:53:240:53:30

Fein, whether in the north or the

South have said the same thing. We

0:53:300:53:35

saw this previously with Martin

McGuinness and Gerry Adams, the talk

0:53:350:53:39

suggested that the big bad Wolf,

Gerry Adams, comes from Dublin. He

0:53:390:53:43

does not have to arrive in the

building to change things, so I do

0:53:430:53:46

not give much credence to that. I

think that Sinn Fein has been with

0:53:460:53:50

one voice on this and know that

electro and they have a mandate to

0:53:500:53:55

do that.

Felicity, finally, what do

you think that politicians should

0:53:550:53:58

say to James Brokenshire if they get

a phone call to meet him tomorrow?

0:53:580:54:02

Yes, please, but let us be sensible,

put everyone in the room, openly

0:54:020:54:06

discuss what has been agreed and as

the gentlemen of the have said, the

0:54:060:54:10

public has a right to know, we pay

the salaries, we ought to know what

0:54:100:54:17

they are talking about.

OK, thank

you both for the moment.

0:54:170:54:20

Time now for a look back

at the political week in 60 Seconds,

0:54:200:54:23

with Gareth Gordon.

0:54:230:54:27

Sinn Fein was fighting on two

microns in Dublin as a Gerry Adams

0:54:270:54:31

took on the Taoiseach.

This stubborn

elements are being humoured by the

0:54:310:54:35

British government and denying

citizens their rights. And you are

0:54:350:54:38

tolerating that.

This does not sound

to me like the language of someone

0:54:380:54:42

who is trying to read the party into

an agreement.

In Belfast that seems

0:54:420:54:47

we were witnessing the endgame of

the Stormont talks.

I think there

0:54:470:54:50

has been progress but that clearly

has not been sufficient progress or

0:54:500:54:53

else we would be back in the

Executive.

No deal, you do not think

0:54:530:54:58

your rabbit can be pulled out of a

hat?

The Miz to be had from which to

0:54:580:55:02

take the rabbit from.

Abortion

legislation... There was a row over

0:55:020:55:09

the use of ministerial cars by civil

servants.

These are official

0:55:090:55:13

government vehicles and it is

important that they make good use of

0:55:130:55:18

those.

At Westminster the search was

on to find the top dog of politics

0:55:180:55:23

but closer to home, one which showed

its owner who was boss.

Would you

0:55:230:55:28

like a biscuit?

She is impossible to live with!

0:55:280:55:36

Gareth Gordon reporting.

0:55:360:55:37

Politicians here must invest

in areas around the peace walls

0:55:370:55:39

if they are ever to come down -

that's one of the key findings

0:55:390:55:42

of a survey carried out among people

living in their shadow.

0:55:420:55:45

The Peace Walls Programme found that

fear remains a key issue

0:55:450:55:48

for residents but that many

want to see the walls

0:55:480:55:51

removed in the long term.

0:55:510:55:52

The survey was published

by the International Fund

0:55:520:55:54

for Ireland and its chairman,

Dr Adrian Johnston, is with me now.

0:55:540:55:57

Thank you very much indeed for

coming to join us today. A

0:55:570:56:00

significant piece of work and we

only have a short time to look at

0:56:000:56:03

some of the issues. Given the wider

political challenges that we face at

0:56:030:56:07

the moment and we have just

discussed this in detail, how Big

0:56:070:56:10

the challenges it for you to get our

politicians to focus on this

0:56:100:56:18

important issue?

I think it has been

a challenge over the past two years,

0:56:180:56:21

getting people to speak about this

issue and we have seen from the

0:56:210:56:23

survey results that many of

respondents within it have mentioned

0:56:230:56:25

that there was a lack or minimal

political engagement at the

0:56:250:56:29

grassroots level with the piece was

activity which did not reflect what

0:56:290:56:32

we expected from the programme of

government commitments. We must

0:56:320:56:36

ensure that going forward that there

is a focus brought very much to the

0:56:360:56:42

fore around this piece while. The

legacy of what has occurred about

0:56:420:56:45

the peace Wall is not about safety

concerns, it is about economic

0:56:450:56:49

Council to regeneration within those

areas and we can see from the super

0:56:490:56:53

output area is that we looked at

Varadkar survey that there are huge

0:56:530:56:58

economic obligations with respect to

jobs, employment, mental and

0:56:580:57:01

physical health within those areas

and those legacy issues have not

0:57:010:57:03

been dealt with in those areas.

You

have said that the key to getting

0:57:030:57:09

things sorted is in those key areas,

that is less likely in the case of a

0:57:090:57:15

devolved government and it does not

look like devolution will be

0:57:150:57:17

restored in the short-term, how do

you square that circle?

As we move

0:57:170:57:21

forward there will be ministers and

departments responsible for economic

0:57:210:57:24

regeneration of those areas for the

issues we have talked about and

0:57:240:57:27

going forward we would ask that

anyone, whoever is responsible,

0:57:270:57:31

we're not too -- we're not sure who

is currently responsible and who

0:57:310:57:36

will be responsible in the future,

but they must look at that and we

0:57:360:57:39

would hope that the peace walls

would be removed. The communities

0:57:390:57:42

have not been engaged, their voices

have not been heard, those living

0:57:420:57:46

around that area are unsure of what

the future will hold for them and we

0:57:460:57:49

must ensure they are part of that

process. That ring fenced divorces

0:57:490:57:53

will also be put in place. -- ring

fenced resources.

We had that

0:57:530:58:00

Bunting devolved government in the

past but we have not had Stormont

0:58:000:58:03

for over one year now. Is that

target becoming much more difficult

0:58:030:58:06

to achieve in your view?

It is more

difficult but it is difficult to

0:58:060:58:10

achieve even when it was announced

because there was no road map put in

0:58:100:58:14

place at that would be achieved.

Engaging with communities and

0:58:140:58:18

understanding their needs, whether

it is safety, education, employment,

0:58:180:58:22

none of those aspects are taken into

consideration when that time and was

0:58:220:58:25

put in place, there is no strategic

plan. Four years into that

0:58:250:58:29

communities deserve a plan and to be

engaged in this process to see what

0:58:290:58:33

the future will hold for them.

Whenever you speak to people on the

0:58:330:58:36

ground and living in the shadow of

the peace walls, they have said that

0:58:360:58:43

ultimately, if not now, perhaps in

their children or grandchildren'

0:58:430:58:45

time, they would like the balls to

be removed, that is passed 2023, why

0:58:450:58:48

are there more than 100 piece was in

place 20 years after the signing of

0:58:480:58:53

the Good Friday Agreement?

One out

of the tomb of respondents believe

0:58:530:59:00

that it is about securing safety and

80% of those surveyed have said they

0:59:000:59:05

feel safer than the environment. It

is about security and ensuring the

0:59:050:59:08

security fears are eradicated and we

have to...

Is it a substantial

0:59:080:59:15

issue? Is providing security or is

it a comfort blanket that people are

0:59:150:59:18

unhappy about letting go of?

We have

seen some success in our piece was

0:59:180:59:24

programme and they should rhetoric

that that programme was about having

0:59:240:59:27

conversations, allowing communities

that have conversations about the

0:59:270:59:35

future and the area of the peace

walls, not necessarily about the

0:59:350:59:37

removal. Discussions have moved on

to not just the removal but the

0:59:370:59:40

reimaging and reduction of the peace

wall and we have looked at physical

0:59:400:59:43

transformation is happening in those

areas. There's the possibility and

0:59:430:59:46

as we went through those some areas

that decide and in fact, the war was

0:59:460:59:51

not there for security reasons, the

will was there as a safety blanket.

0:59:510:59:56

Then they had the problem of what we

they do have the wall was removed

0:59:561:00:01

and what is the incentive to do

that? That comes down to economic

1:00:011:00:06

regeneration, shared spaces,

opportunities for young people,

1:00:061:00:08

better outcomes, that is what this

conversations are about and that is

1:00:081:00:12

why it is imperative that we put

resources around this, ring fencing

1:00:121:00:16

long-term resources and political

support to ensure that the road map

1:00:161:00:21

can be put in place.

We are not

where you would like to be at the

1:00:211:00:24

moment but are you optimistic that

we can get to the promised land?

1:00:241:00:28

Very much so. As we look at the

survey results, there was big

1:00:281:00:32

conversations, we want to see how

those conversations have been

1:00:321:00:34

evolving and over 50% of

participants in our survey have had

1:00:341:00:40

crossed uniquely good relations and

good communications with people from

1:00:401:00:44

different communities. 66% of those

respondents believe that not doing

1:00:441:00:51

anything with the wall will be

detrimental to committee

1:00:511:00:57

communications and others have said

that any engagement they have had

1:00:571:00:59

has been positive. That is good for

us to hear that we can get to

1:00:591:01:03

discussions about the removal of the

walls.

Very interesting, thank you

1:01:031:01:06

for joining us.

1:01:061:01:08

And let's have a final word

with Chris and Felicity.

1:01:081:01:10

What's the key to moving

this issue forward?

1:01:101:01:13

The piece was simply are the most

visible manifestation of the

1:01:131:01:18

dividing lines in our society. What

you heard from Doctor Adrian

1:01:181:01:24

Johnston was that people do feel an

element of security with those, so

1:01:241:01:27

as they are removed, there must be

an ambitious programme that is the

1:01:271:01:32

regulation and enforcement, akin to

the Parades Commission, so that the

1:01:321:01:35

neutral spaces that are put in place

of the walls can be effectively

1:01:351:01:38

policed and that those people feel

secure, not just from physical

1:01:381:01:42

attack, but we know when you look at

the other mixed residential

1:01:421:01:49

communities, when others arrive and

try to claim territory by putting up

1:01:491:01:52

flags, that can add a poison

dimension to the hopes of people who

1:01:521:01:55

want to live in mixed communities.

Felicity, a brief thought from you?

1:01:551:01:58

It is very sad that after 20 years

we are still present. More have been

1:01:581:02:04

put up since the Good Friday

Agreement and people become used to

1:02:041:02:06

them, they become part of the

College of how you live and probably

1:02:061:02:09

if you live there you do not think

about them, that is what is present

1:02:091:02:13

and that the real problem.

OK, thank

you

1:02:131:02:16

Ellie Reeves and Bob Blackman.

1:02:161:02:17

With that, it's back to Sarah.

1:02:171:02:26

Now, the much anticipated

EU Withdrawal Bill,

1:02:261:02:29

which will transfer EU law into UK

law in preparation for Brexit,

1:02:291:02:32

is expected to be debated

by MPs later next month.

1:02:321:02:37

Critics have called it a "power

grab" as it introduces so-called

1:02:371:02:40

Henry VIII powers for Whitehall

to amend some laws without

1:02:401:02:42

consulting parliament,

and it faces fierce resistance

1:02:421:02:46

from opposition parties

as well as many on the government's

1:02:461:02:50

own backbenches, with 300 amendments

and 54 new clauses tabled on it.

1:02:501:02:55

We're joined now by the Conservative

MP Anna Soubry who has been a strong

1:02:551:02:58

critic of the legislation.

1:02:581:03:02

Thank you very much for joining us.

Before we talk about the withdrawal

1:03:021:03:07

bill, I would like to bring up with

you that the Prime Minister has just

1:03:071:03:12

sent a letter to the Commons Speaker

John Bercow asking for an

1:03:121:03:16

independent body to be established

to investigate claims of sexual

1:03:161:03:20

harassment in Parliament. What are

your thoughts on that?

A very good

1:03:201:03:25

idea, sounds like a great deal of

common sense. I had already this

1:03:251:03:29

morning sent a request to the

speaker asking for an urgent

1:03:291:03:32

statement from the Leader of the

House as to what could now be done

1:03:321:03:36

to make sure that any complaints

actually against anybody working in

1:03:361:03:42

Parliament, to extend the

protections that workers throughout

1:03:421:03:45

the rest of businesses and in other

workplaces have, they should now be

1:03:451:03:50

extended into Parliament and asking

for an urgent statement from the

1:03:501:03:53

leader. Clearly the PM is well onto

this and it is a good idea. We have

1:03:531:04:01

to make sure everybody who works in

Parliament enjoys exactly the same

1:04:011:04:02

protections as

1:04:021:04:02

protections as other workers, so I

welcome this.

This should maybe have

1:04:031:04:07

happened a long time ago. We hear

stories of harassment that has been

1:04:071:04:12

going on for decades, but until now

it has been difficult to work out

1:04:121:04:15

who you could complain to about it.

It is my understanding that my Chief

1:04:151:04:21

Whip and the previous deputy Chief

Whip, and Milton, shared that view

1:04:211:04:25

and have shared that view for some

time but found it difficult to get

1:04:251:04:30

all the agreement necessary. Anyway,

we are where we are and we are

1:04:301:04:34

making that progress, but

1:04:341:04:46

my Chief Whip and the previous

deputy Chief Whip wanted this done

1:04:471:04:49

some time ago.

That is an

interesting point. Let's move on to

1:04:491:04:52

the much anticipated EU withdrawal

bill which will finally be debated.

1:04:521:04:54

You have put your name to an

amendment which is calling for a

1:04:541:04:56

vote on the final agreement in

essence, do you really believe that

1:04:561:04:59

that will be a meaningful both

offered to the Commons?

Yes, if you

1:04:591:05:03

look at the terms of the amendment,

it would deliver exactly that. It

1:05:031:05:08

would give members of Parliament the

opportunity to debated and voted on

1:05:081:05:13

it. It would be an effective piece

of legislation and would go through

1:05:131:05:17

both houses and should be done. One

of the problems with this process is

1:05:171:05:22

that Parliament has been excluded

from the sort of debate and

1:05:221:05:26

decisions that would have enabled

the government to move forward in

1:05:261:05:31

progress and form a consensus so we

get the very best Brexit deal.

We

1:05:311:05:41

have been excluded, that has been

wrong in my view, but by the end we

1:05:411:05:44

should not be excluded. The

government have made it clear that

1:05:441:05:47

whilst there may well be a boat if

you win on this amendment, it will

1:05:471:05:50

be a take it or leave it vote. This

is a deal you should accept, or

1:05:501:05:54

there will be no deal.

If you look

at the amendment we put forward

1:05:541:06:01

there will be other alternatives.

This is all hypothetical because we

1:06:011:06:05

want a good deal and it is difficult

to see that the government would not

1:06:051:06:08

bring a good deal to the House in

any event. But this is hypothetical,

1:06:081:06:14

it would mean Parliament would say

to government, go back and seek an

1:06:141:06:19

extension as we know it is there in

Article 50. It is perfectly possible

1:06:191:06:25

with the agreement of the other

members of the EU to seek an

1:06:251:06:29

extension so we continue the

negotiations and we get a deal that

1:06:291:06:33

is good for our country. It keeps

all options open and that is the

1:06:331:06:37

most important thing.

How many

Conservative MPs really would take

1:06:371:06:42

that option in those circumstances?

It is only if you get enough votes

1:06:421:06:47

that you would be able to ask the

government to go back and

1:06:471:06:50

re-negotiate.

1:06:501:07:00

Have you for that?

For give me, but

you are jumping way down the line. I

1:07:041:07:07

am talking about an amendment that

keeps the options open. I am not

1:07:071:07:09

speculating as to what would happen,

I am not going there, it is far too

1:07:091:07:12

speculative. Let's get this bill in

good shape. The principle of this

1:07:121:07:16

bill is right and we need to put

into British domestic law existing

1:07:161:07:22

EU laws and regulations into our

substantive law. We all agree that

1:07:221:07:27

must happen. It is the means by

which we do it that causes problems

1:07:271:07:32

and we have this argument and debate

about what we call the endgame.

I am

1:07:321:07:38

sure we will talk about this many

more times before we get to that

1:07:381:07:42

vote. I will turn to our panel of

political experts. Listening to the

1:07:421:07:47

tone of what the remainders are

trying to achieve with the EU

1:07:471:07:53

withdrawal bill, will be achieved?

You can hear that tussled there,

1:07:531:07:58

they want the maximum space and room

for Parliament to have a say. But

1:07:581:08:03

they have to be careful. The reason

is that clock is ticking and if you

1:08:031:08:09

have a situation which may seem to

be more interested in finding

1:08:091:08:15

different things to object to and

saying no to, it is not getting a

1:08:151:08:19

good deal and it does not look good

for the remainders in this argument

1:08:191:08:23

and they will have to come through

with their proposals. I do not mind

1:08:231:08:28

Parliament saying it should have a

big say, but what do you do if

1:08:281:08:32

Parliament says this is not good

enough? The government must simply

1:08:321:08:38

say, I am sorry we have run out of

time. The 27 will say they cannot be

1:08:381:08:43

bothered to have another round

either. They have to be strong, but

1:08:431:08:48

realistic about what their role in

this is.

Do you think the people

1:08:481:08:52

putting this amendment who say they

want a binding vote in parliament

1:08:521:08:57

are doing it because they think

Parliament should have a say or

1:08:571:09:00

because they want to obstruct it?

They do not think people should have

1:09:001:09:05

a say in the first place, they think

people got it wrong, so they need

1:09:051:09:10

more clever people than the voters

to have final say.

Or they believed

1:09:101:09:17

taking back control means Parliament

should have the final say.

1:09:171:09:20

Parliament said they would like to

give that decision back to the

1:09:201:09:23

people. This is the issue. It seems

to me that people like Anna Soubry

1:09:231:09:29

are trying to delay of the

transition period a bit longer.

1:09:291:09:33

These negotiations will take as long

as they have got. The EU will take

1:09:331:09:38

it to the wire and if we do not get

a decent deal, and one of the

1:09:381:09:46

reasons is the level of incompetence

on this government's part I have to

1:09:461:09:49

say and the other one will be the

people who want to remain

1:09:491:09:54

undermining them. They undermined

the government at every single stage

1:09:541:10:00

and they undermine Britain's

interests.

It is the timing of all

1:10:001:10:04

of this that is crucial and whether

the government can get a deal in

1:10:041:10:07

time.

There will be a meaningful

vote, whether it is an shined in

1:10:071:10:13

legislation or not, there cannot be

an historic development as big as

1:10:131:10:19

this without Parliament having a

meaningful vote. I meaningful,

1:10:191:10:24

having the power to either stop it

or endorse it. You cannot have a

1:10:241:10:28

government doing something like this

with no vote in the House of

1:10:281:10:31

commons. When you say it will go to

the last minute I completely agree,

1:10:311:10:38

but last-minute in reality means

next summer. It has got to get

1:10:381:10:43

through the European Parliament and

the Westminster Parliament and quite

1:10:431:10:46

a few others as well.

The trouble

with invoking Parliament is if it is

1:10:461:10:53

driven solely by remain, I would

love to say what people in the

1:10:531:10:58

league side think. I disagree with

Julia, I do not think you could say

1:10:581:11:05

people had their say and the terms

with which we leave are left open

1:11:051:11:10

and only the government should have

a say in it, Parliament clearly

1:11:101:11:13

should have a say in it.

Do we want

a good deal or not?

It does not mean

1:11:131:11:22

anything if you do not do it by next

summer I suggest.

Does that leave

1:11:221:11:27

Parliament any room for changing the

deal or is it simply take it or

1:11:271:11:31

leave it?

It will have to have that

rule because it cannot simply be

1:11:311:11:36

another of these binary votes were

you accept the deal or no Deal.

1:11:361:11:40

There has to be some space.

How can

a few MPs in the House of Commons

1:11:401:11:46

change a deal that has been agreed

by the member states?

Because of the

1:11:461:11:51

sequence, a huge if by the way, if

they vote down the deal that the

1:11:511:11:57

government has negotiated, the

government will have to re-negotiate

1:11:571:12:00

or there will have to be an

election. This will be a moment of

1:12:001:12:04

huge crisis, our government not

getting through its much topped

1:12:041:12:07

about...

It is a mini Catalonia.

I

think it would be as big as

1:12:071:12:16

Catalonia, but with the implication

that there would have to be a

1:12:161:12:19

practical change in the deal because

if Parliament has not supported

1:12:191:12:22

it...

It is a remain fantasy that

this deal can be put off and off

1:12:221:12:28

until they get something that is as

close to remaining as they can

1:12:281:12:33

possibly get. I am very much for

trying to get the best and avoiding

1:12:331:12:38

the worst, but there is an unreality

to that position if you keep trying

1:12:381:12:44

to do it again and again, at some

point people will want clarity.

I

1:12:441:12:50

labour putting forward a realistic

proposition?

I thought Hilary Benn

1:12:501:12:56

was very realistic this morning, I

wish he was more in the driving seat

1:12:561:13:00

of Labour policy. He made clear

where he disagreed and he made clear

1:13:001:13:05

where he thought the negotiations

had gone off track or were bogged

1:13:051:13:08

down. I worry a bit about the Labour

position being incoherent, but that

1:13:081:13:17

is kept that way by the present

leadership because as far as they

1:13:171:13:20

are concerned the government is

suffering enough, why should they

1:13:201:13:24

have a position? Hilary Benn said we

needed to have clarity about the

1:13:241:13:30

timetable. It is like reading an

insurance contract and finding the

1:13:301:13:33

bit where you might get away with

it. That is not a policy.

1:13:331:13:36

That is not a policy.

1:13:361:13:39

That's all for today.

1:13:391:13:40

Join me again next Sunday

at 11 here on BBC One.

1:13:401:13:43

Until then, bye bye.

1:13:431:13:47

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

Guests include chair of the Exiting the EU Select Committee Hilary Benn and former transport minister Theresa Villiers. Steve Richards, Julia Hartley-Brewer and Anne McElvoy are the political panel.


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