22/11/2015 Sunday Politics Scotland


Andrew Neil and Gordon Brewer with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Andrew is joined by Lord Nigel Lawson and Caroline Flint MP.

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Could British war planes be in action over the skies of Syria


Later this week, David Cameron sets out his strategy


George Osborne says all Whitehall departments have agreed to cuts


as he gears up for his spending review this week.


We speak to one of his Conservative predecessors.


And it's been a pretty rough week for the Labour Party.


With his MPs in mutinous mood, how can Jeremy Corbyn steady the ship?


Coming up on Sunday Politics Scotland:


As the UN backs a resolution on tackling IS,


will the SNP and Labour support David Cameron's strategy here?


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


They pay me to say it, so I am happy to do so.


Nick Watt, Helen Lewis and Janan Ganesh - who'll be tweeting


Following the terror attacks in Paris, President Hollande has


embarked on putting together a Grand Coalition to defeat Islamic State in


Syria, involving the UN, America, Russia and, naturally, Britain.


The British Government is keen to join but faces the little problem


Later this week, David Cameron will present


his Syrian strategy to Parliament in the hope it will command a majority


Here's what the Chancellor had to say on the Marr Show earlier,


This week, we are going to step up our diplomatic efforts,


our humanitarian efforts, and make the case for a greater


The Prime Minister will seek support across Parliament


for strikes against that terrorist organisation in Syria and frankly


Britain has never been a country which stands on the sidelines


Nick, am I right in thinking that you can see now the makings, the


putting together, of majority for the Prime


putting together, of majority for in Syria? They are being reasonably


cautious that they are pretty in Syria? They are being reasonably


confident that, even now, they have the numbers. Three big things have


happened since three weeks ago when the Prime Minister was indicating he


was unlikely to have a vote. Paris has changed everything. Jeremy


Corbyn has had a challenging week. Thirdly, the Prime Minister has said


he will set out the comprehensive strategy. Labour MPs who said they


would like to support him have said they could not do it unless there


was a comprehensive strategy. It is also turning Tory MPs can lead by


Crispin Blunt, who would have voted against. He is now indicating he


possibly will vote for this. DUP, Nigel Dodds, who has eight MPs


possibly will vote for this. DUP, if the Prime Minister set this


out... It looks like the numbers are there. We did here this morning that


the BBC reported the DUP with back the Prime Minister if what he had to


say was credible. We are told the Tory rebels are about 15 and Labour


rebels thinking of voting with the Government or abstaining could be as


high as 50. What is your intelligence? A huge number, from


very senior people as well. Actually the number of senior people leaving,


exiting the Shadow Cabinet, I think a challenging week would be an


understatement. It is at a whole new level. There is only so much time


you can buy with free votes. Jeremy Corbyn opposes the party policy.


This time he would set his own policy but no 1 would come with him.


How many times can you play that trick before people say this is a


loose conglomeration of individuals and not a party? Do you think he


would go for a free vote? Maria Eagle has just published a paper


which is very hawkish. Hilary Benn has been making noises about this.


Who is there to support, apart from John McDonnell, in this position? He


is very isolated on this. The problem for the Prime Minister is,


in a sense he gets what he wishes for. We begin joining others in


bombing and things do not really changed in Syria. I do not think the


House of Commons is the primary obstacle facing David Cameron. I


think he will get the votes could not see much because of the case he


will make later this week but because what happened in the last


week. They focused on all necessary measures and use combat as a


metaphor, but a deliberate metaphor, I think. The biggest problem is not


the Parliamentary vote for David Cameron, it is the diplomatic


struggle to agree with Russia exactly how we go about this. Russia


are happy to bomb in Syria against Isil but they are not happy to do so


in a way which, in their words, destroys the statehood of Syria


which alludes to their traditional support for the existing Syrian


state and basher al-Assad. The politics is far more challenging


than the technical act of getting the votes together. That is the


problem. What is the endgame? Transition can sometimes take a long


time. A very long transition. On Wednesday, Chancellor Osborne


will announce the Government's Over the next five years, they


will total ?4 trillion. But even to stay within that barely


imaginable sum of money, Mr Osborne will have to continue to cut


departmental and welfare spending. Hence the mantra you will hear this


week of "a country that lives within its means" - in other words more of


a squeeze on many public services. The Chancellor wants government


departments to find a further ?20 billion worth


of savings between now and 2020. So, where could that money come


from? Welcome to our virtual Treasury


courtyard. Now, they don't have one of these


in the real courtyard but it represents everything the


Government is due to spend this year I'm going to start by highlighting


a few of the most significant parts You can see the ?217 billion


which goes on Social Security. That includes everything


from jobseeker's allowance to There is the ?35 billion


the UK is due to spend this year And George Osborne says that's


a figure he is determined to bring Now,


the focus of his statement is the money which goes on administering


and delivering public services. Here it is,


and you can see it's just under half We are going to delve into


the budgets of a few of the most It is the NHS which accounts


for the biggest chunk The Chancellor is not going to find


any of his savings here because he has promised to increase


NHS funding in England by ?10 The Government's also promised


a real terms increase That is part of its commitment to


meeting the Nato target of spending The Government is also committed to


spending 0.7% of GDP on overseas aid - meaning that


budget is also protected. So, the Chancellor is not going to


find any of his ?20 billion of savings he says he needs to make


from either health, defence or aid. So, where could it come from


instead? What about


from the education budget? That is a big part of what the


state spends on public services. Here


the Conservatives have promised a That means savings


from here will be limited. Although the rest of the budget does


not have any guaranteed protection. Here is the money that goes


to English local authorities. This was one of the first


departments to agree to big savings Let's look at the Home Office whose


budget this year is ?10.6 billion. The single biggest thing


Theresa May's department spends money on is the grant it gives to


police forces in England and Wales. Although they also get some of their


money from other sources including And some of the other departments


which are going to have to find big savings over the next four years are


the departments of business, But let's go back to that big part


of government spending I mentioned Because


of course that is where a lot of the focus has been in the weeks


and months before this statement. Again here there is plenty


the Chancellor will not touch. The state pension is


a massive part of the budget. But the Government has


a long-standing promise not to cut it along with various pensioner


benefits. The other areas of big spending


the Government has had to look to are housing benefit, disability


benefits and incapacity benefits. And, you can see that big sum


of money, ?30 billion, which is due to be spent


on personal tax credits this year. So, the Chancellor faces some tricky


trade-offs on Wednesday Paul Johnson from the Institute


of Fiscal Studies has some ideas. Paul, welcome back to the programme.


Let's start with this tricky question of tax credits. What is the


Chancellor, in your view, most likely to do? He has two big


choices. He can decide not to make any cuts, or much in the wake of


cuts, next April. That is what all of the bus has been about, the cuts


that will come in next April. -- the fuss. Most of the savings will come


in the long run full he has also announced the new universal credit


system will be much less generous than he was originally intending. In


five or ten years time, even if he does not put the cut scene he was


planning in April, he will still make much the same level of saving


for them if he does that, his spending in 2016 on welfare benefits


will be ?4 billion or so higher than he was planning and he will bust his


own welfare cap, the cap he has legislated, which assumes he will


make those savings. That is one option. The other option is


make those savings. That is one maybe reduce the cuts to tax credits


that have some savings and maybe reduce the cuts to tax credits


elsewhere in the welfare budget to make up the rest of the savings.


elsewhere in the welfare budget to cost money, certainly in the short


run. His deficit cost money, certainly in the short


the ship is already in some trouble. He faces huge pressures to


spend more on everything from health to Social Security. -- for this year


is already in some trouble. The first thing to


is already in some trouble. The surplus in 2020, there is a


is already in some trouble. The amount of uncertainty about where we


will be. Forecasting these things by view ad is an extreme you tricky and


uncertain business. Ignoring that, assuming the whole world moves as he


expects over the next few years, he will require cuts of about 25% in


those unprotected apartments we have just heard about the Home Office,


local government, and so on, on top of the cuts that happened during the


last parliament will Boyd -- involve really sharp cuts between 2010 and


2020. They are big changes to the way which we will deliver local


Gottman and the way we will be delivering police force, the way we


will be delivering further education and so on. Those areas of government


will change fundamentally over the decade. Let me get these right. When


you add up all the cuts, those made in those about to happen, between


20102020, major departments, the unprotected ones, will face cuts of


up to 40%. -- between 2010-2020. Is it doable? That is a good question.


It may not turn up that badly if the economy does better than expected


all the Chancellor finds some additional savings in Social


Security, or he does not aim for the 10 million surplus and goes for a 1


billion surplus. -- 10 billion. If he does go down that route, it will


be more difficult than it was in the last parliament. If there were easy


cuts to have made, they will have been made already. Do not forget one


of the biggest bits of public spending goes on the pay of people


who work in the public sector, the pay of nurses, teachers and civil


servants and so on. That was quite easy to hold down over the last


parliament. Pay in the private sector was doing so badly. We


expect, almost economists now expect that pay in the private sector will


rise well to be strongly. In that world it will be quite hard to hold


down pay right across the public sector, as he said he would do back


in the July budget. Joining me now Nigel Lawson,


Margaret Thatcher's longest serving Welcome back to the programme. Thank


you, I enjoyed your rant the other day. It was not a rant, it was a


carefully scripted commentary but thank you for your remarks. Let me


take an overall review on the Chancellor 's position. The


borrowing figures for October were pretty bad, looks like he will


overshoot this year 's borrowing. Is the austerity programme in trouble


again? It is difficult, he has a difficult time because of these


ridiculous protected programmes which should not exist. Aid is going


up again and again, the Nobel Prize for economics has been given to an


English economist, he is Scottish in fact, and one of his principal


findings, he is a great expert on global poverty and one of his major


findings is that overseas aid although well-intentioned does more


harm than good. Yet that is going up and up. He has got a tough time but


it can be done. When I was Chancellor I was able to balance the


budget and get it into surplus and he has to do it as well. He has huge


pressure on security, the police, the NHS, we were just talking about


mitigating cuts on the tax credit side, these are all hard to resist


in the current atmosphere. It is going to be very difficult and


although I suspect it will mainly be cuts in savings in public spending I


think he will have to do more on the tax side than he would have liked.


There is some logic in that, for example it looks as if, Paul Johnson


was seeing, or maybe it was you, but he is likely to some extent to defer


the cutting of the tax credits. It's quite right to take a knife to the


tax credits, they have grown far too much and are undesirable in their


present size. But nonetheless what he did propose originally was a bit


too much for some and therefore he has got to delay it a bit. But when


he presented, he presented a package including raising income tax


threshold. He could, as part of the package delay that a little bit and


help on the tax side. The government has always said it will do all the


heavy lifting, the heavy lifting will be done by cuts in spending


rather than increasing taxes. Will he now have to look at increasing


some taxes are hats at a time of low oil prices on fuel duty? I think


that's a good suggestion and it is sensible to do that. But defer a


reduction which he might find less... Yes but might he have to


look at some tax rises? I think you should look at the fuel duty, yes.


President Hollande has said that national security comes before


deficit reduction, he has sidelined the fiscal pact he has with the rest


of Europe. He plans a huge increase in security spending, 17,000 more


police and border guards and other security personnel. Will the British


be looking at George Osborne to do something similar next week?


President Hollande has never been keen on deficit-reduction in the


first place. It's not unconnected with the fact as well that the


French economy, and I live in France, the French economy is in a


bad way. We are doing much better. Security is important but the


government has said very clearly that it is going to be keeping to


the 2% target, 2% of GDP on defence spending, something France is not


doing even though it has considerable defence expenditure.


The leaked letter from one of the most senior police officers to the


Home Secretary says cuts to police budgets could reduce very


significantly the ability to respond to a Paris style attack. The


Chancellor is going to be under pressure to make security more


important than deficit-reduction. pressure to make security more


Certainly for the foreseeable future. Security is essential. It is


vital. But I think the police are complaining a little bit too much.


Look how much the police are spending now on chasing up often


unsubstantiated accusations of historic sex abuse. That has got


nothing to do with security. Those resources should be put where they


need is. I think also what the police need is not just money, and


the security services to, they need intelligence. I think it would make


a lot of sense and what I would like to see the government doing is to


expedite the passage of the investigatory Powers Bill which is


long overdue and badly needed. In this climate you accept that cutting


the top rate of income tax back to the 40% that you originally


introduced, that that is politically impossible for the foreseeable


future? It depends how far you can proceed. I would hope that during


this parliament it can be done. It is politically difficult but there


is no budgetary reason against it. When I cut it it increased revenue


and it would do so again. The cap which George Osborne has already


done in the last parliament from 50, 245 even though the Liberal


Democrats he did it and it raised money and didn't cost anything. To


be cutting police numbers, to be struggling to find money for the


NHS, to be doing something for the working poor on tax credits, making


life a bit more difficult for them but then to be cutting the top rate


of the highest earners? That is why I don't think you can be doing it


now that you were asking about the foreseeable future. You still think


he can do it before the end of this Parliament? Yes I do. On Europe, how


confident are you feeling about winning the referendum to withdraw?


Nobody can call a referendum. It is difficult enough sometimes to call a


general election and referendums are even harder to call. Logically I


don't think he will do it. Logically David Cameron ought to be


campaigning to leave because what he said at the beginning was he was


dissatisfied with the European Union as it is. He wanted a fundamental


reform to be enshrined in treaty change. Then stay in a reformed


European Union. There is not going to be a reformed European Union.


There will not be a treaty change. What the referendum is going to be


about is if you want to stay in or leave and an reform European Union.


So logically he ought to say leave and that is where I am because if it


in it. So even if the primer Mr was in it. So even if the primer Mr was


to get all his renegotiation demands such as we know them it would not


change your mind on coming out? No, if he demanded a lot more and got


it, major reforms which I have written about but I don't have time


to go into no, I think it would be welcomed right across the European


Union. This is not the view of the majority of the people, but we


cannot tell the rest of the countries what to do, all we can say


is what we are going to do. As we get closer to the referendum date,


we don't know when it will be but when we get closer to it being


announced, in terms of who seem to be the major figure who leads your


side of the referendum campaign, if not Nigel Farage, who? Certainly not


Nigel Farage. I think the people who want to stay in have put up a


businessman. Stewart draws. Not a particularly captivating


businessman. Who will be the equivalent? I have no idea, but we


will wait and see but it certainly won't be Nigel Farage. He will be an


important player. Why not? Because Ukip has just one member of


Parliament. We are a parliamentary democracy and the majority party is


the Conservative Party. Nigel Lawson, thank you for being with us.


Thank you. It's been a pretty torrid week


for the Labour Party. Splits on everything


from how to deal with terrorists to Trident, to Ken Livingstone,


culminating in a bizarre row about whether or not the Shadow


Chancellor wants to scrap MI5. John McDonnell insists Britain's


spies are safe in his hands, though he did admit that


his party has had a "rough week". It is the week that Jeremy Corbyn


and his party grappled with issues In the wake of the Paris attacks,


the Labour leader said he was not happy with the idea


of police officers shooting to kill on British streets, which led to


a very stormy party meeting, So, you tweeted, "please tell me it


is not true that Jeremy just said, faced with Kalashnikov-wielding


genocidal fascists, our security I,


along with millions of Labour voters in this country, were very concerned


by the interview that Jeremy gave. Thankfully, Hilary Benn, the Shadow


Foreign Secretary, clarified matters very quickly and restated support


for the use of lethal force and, support of the use of drone strikes,


which Jeremy had also questioned. Jeremy himself, thankfully,


a few hours later, also issued a clarification,


and I'm very pleased he did. A lot of Labour voters will


have been very relieved. Then came a row about the former


Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, being appointed to co-chair


the party's review of Trident, and the emergence of a letter from a


campaign group calling for MI5 to be disbanded that the Shadow


Chancellor, John McDonnell, seems And we found something else


interesting that John This Parliamentary motion he


proposed last October saying taxpayers who do not


like war should be able to opt out The military is where


the next battle may lie. If and


when the Government brings forward plans to extend British air strikes


from Iraq to Syria, some Labour MPs want to vote in favour, while


their leader is a committed One Labour figure is speaking out


for the first time. I think it would be wrong to suggest


there is a settled view on the People will bring


their own prejudices, which are from being instinctively


for intervention, to having long The only thing I would ask of all


of my colleagues is we look at this with an open mind,


examining the facts rather than seeing how it matches our


prejudices, and then reach a decision which is in the national


interest. Do you think Jeremy Corbyn


is able to do that? He has some very strongly held views


that we should not get involved He may have to come to


a point where he says, now that I'm not just a backbencher,


I am actually the Leader of There is an element


of national interest and that is For the young Corbynites at this


event about Labour's economic policy The only reason we look bad to


the general public, the only reason we do not look very strong at the


moment, is that we are not united. If you have criticisms with


the Leader, you should take it up It is not fitting to do these things


in the press, criticising people. Do you think there is a plot


against Jeremy Corbyn? If they are planning


a plot they should probably think about the fact Jeremy was elected


with 59.5% of the vote, I think. And we saw, from the beginning,


he went from the least likely person to get


in to the front runner, to the If people are plotting to get rid


of him, they really should listen The party should be based


around what the party members want. Unfortunately for them there will be


another flash point On Tuesday there will be a vote


in the House of Commons on Trident, Labour MPs have been


instructed not to turn up. We understand a bunch of them,


including some big names, are thinking about defying


their Leader and voting It would be a largely symbolic vote


but another visible symbol of I'm joined now from Doncaster


by the Labour MP Caroline Flint - she was a minister under Tony Blair


and Gordon Brown. Good morning, thank you for coming


back on the programme. Let me begin with a general question, it's been a


pretty terrible week for Labour, what is the mood now on the Labour


backbenches among your colleagues? It's not been a great week for


Labour, that is correct. I think part of the reason for that is we


haven't looked certain and confident on some of the big issues the nation


are worried about. What we have to have from the leadership, not just


Jeremy but those around him, is certainty about what we think about


what is happening in terms of the terrorist acts in Paris. But more


widely about what the certainty we can offer as Labour Party about how


we will support our national security. I think understandably


there have been concerns, I don't think just on the backbenches of the


Labour Party, but also amongst the Shadow Cabinet, that is clear, but


also more widely amongst the party membership as well. The news has


been dominated for a week now by these terrible events in Paris. Has


Jeremy Corbyn mishandled the Labour response to these events? I think


what is really important is that with leadership does come a massive


responsibility to with certainty about a whole number


of issues. But probably more than any other subject area if you like


national security demands that. Because at a time where we are all


reeling from what has happened in Paris, and there is no doubt Jeremy


Corbyn takes very, very seriously what has happened there and its


implication for the security of British people as well and others


allowing our pleas through the legal allowing our pleas through the legal


framework which already exists to take action when they are presented


with a terrorist in front of them but also on some of the other


matters about how we should move forward in a united way with other


matters about how we should move countries to tackle Isil, I think


that certainty has been wanting and not helped, I have to say, when


other members of the Shadow not helped, I have to say, when


cannot speak with one voice about not helped, I have to say, when


what the leader wants to do. I hope out of this week we will see some


what the leader wants to do. I hope clarity and certainty coming forward


and I think we already know, and I have heard more this morning, that


David Cameron will come back to the House of Commons this week. We do


need a plan, it can't just be about military action, it has to be more


than that and I hope we can be in a position to opportunity going


forward to tackle the threat of Isil which is the most major threat to


security around the world that we have at the moment.


If Mr Cameron comes form with that dashes forward with that kind of


If Mr Cameron comes form with that plan, would you back military action


in Syria? I believe there can be a case former literary action in


Syria. We are facing the most profoundly barbaric group of


Syria. We are facing the most terrorists I think I have ever


realised in my lifetime or thought about. -- military action. Also the


most resourced group of terrorists in the world. It is a different


situation to what we faced a few years ago where I voted against


military action when Cameron came back to Parliament to deal with


Assad. We have in this country and this region, a number of dangerous


groups. There are a number of -- there is a hierarchy of dangerous


groups and Isil is the top of that list. If it can be about, yes, what


sort of military action should take place, maybe the air strikes... Like


we are doing in Iraq, within that a wider plan as to how we will deal


with civil war in Syria and what else we need to do going forward.


That is something I feel I could support. You say there is no doubt


that the Labour leadership takes these matters seriously. Can I point


out, just before the election this year, the Shadow Chancellor penned


his name to a document supporting the abolition of MI5 and disarming


the police? Last year he supported people opting out of having their


taxes fund any kind of military activity. I do not think... I


suspect a lot of people will not think that is taking these issues


very seriously. Is Mr McConnell fit to hold the second most important


position within the Shadow Cabinet? One of the aspects of the leadership


campaign over the summer was a sense that Jeremy was authentic and very


clear about his views. And, you know, they may not be shared with


everybody, I may have some different views to Jeremy on that. Part of his


appeal was the authenticity, that it did not have any spin. He said he


did not realise what he do when he held that the letter and seemed to


support it. We had a leadership election. There was a massive surge


in our membership and Jeremy had an overwhelming mandate. Maybe, you


know, Jeremy and John McDonnell, have earned the right within that to


put forward their views. What is clear to me, I am a moderate


politician, but I am also a conviction politician. I do not say


one thing to one group of people and another to another group of people.


If the leadership Is it not a danger that voters will


conclude that the Labour Party is not fit for purpose when it comes to


national security, not just economic security? When it comes to


leadership, as you know, Andrew, you may have your own views but you have


to be open to actually other views as well and that is why we are


having this debate. We are having that within our own party about what


we do next regarding Israel and Syria. Jeremy Corbyn has an


overwhelming mandate but with that comes responsibility of leadership


to show that the ideas that he puts forward and the answers to these


difficult questions whether it is on the economy or national security


reaches out beyond the Parliamentary Labour Party and to that matter, the


Labour Party and the British people and we the stand. -- Isil. Part of


leadership is to win the confidence of the people and that has not just


been the task of Jeremy Corbyn but it is the task of the Labour Party


and he has to show that he can do that. I think he wants to do that


and this morning they have said that they will have the full discussion,


the Shadow Cabinet, there will be discussions with the Parliamentary


Labour Party as well. Leadership requires that wider reaching


responsibility beyond our own party boundaries. I do not surprise that


in so many personal appointments, the Shadow Chancellor, John


McDonnell, Ken Morgenstern now on defence and so on, that Mr Corbyn


seems to have made no effort to reach out to the centre of your


party, much less the right of it. ? -- Ken Livingstone. All party


leaders and I have seen a few, sometimes around themselves not just


with the elected politicians but also the paid staffers that are part


of the group. For any party leader, whoever they are point, they must


show that they are going to work anyway that is not just fashioned by


their own particular background and experience and perhaps the own point


of view, because there is a wider responsibility here. The Labour


Party is not a pressure group, we exist to win elections in order to


put our platform into practice in government and therefore, the people


around Jeremy Corbyn that he has appointed, they must understand the


responsibilities of that and to the wider Labour Party, some people


within it who may not agree with him on everything, but at their heart,


we all want to win the next election. Most importantly, 400,000


people took part in the leadership election, amazing. We have had a


groundswell of people join our party and many of whom want to be active


in a very positive way and I welcome that. All right. But we must


convince millions of people to support us in the next general


election and in all of the general election is up to 2020. The Bidisha


and their team have the responsibility to show that we can


achieve that. Final question, as Mr Jeremy Corbyn continues in this week


that he has begun, will he meet your party into the 2020 election, does


he have any chance of winning? Look, we have had seven or eight weeks


since the leadership election, it has been rocky along the way. I


think we have made a significant impact when it came to the debate


around tax credits for working people. Will he read your party into


the next election? Last week was difficult. What Jeremy must do now


is focus on how he read our party right now, that will determine our


fortunes in the weeks and months, but also in 2020. -- lead our party.


Thank you for joining us, Caroline Flint.


We say goodbye to viewers in Scotland who believe us now for


Sunday Politics Scotland. -- lead us now.


Good morning and welcome to Sunday Politics Scotland.


David Cameron backed a successful UN Security Council resolution to


"redouble" action against Islamic State, but will the SNP and Labour


With the prospect of joining Russia and others in air strikes on Syria,


Holyrood is on course to get new tax powers,


but can the Scottish Government and the UK Treasury agree on the


David Cameron is to set out his strategy for Syria's future


and tackling the Islamic State group in the region before MPs this week.


The cross-party Foreign Affairs Committee said last


month that British military action in Syria could not be extended


MPs voted against UK military action against the Syrian Government


in 2013, but did later approve British participation in air strikes


The SNP has said the UN resolution passed on Friday isn't enough and


The party's Deputy Leader, Stewart Hosie, can they be clear


firstly on what your position is on this? Nicola Sturgeon in an


interview with the BBC this week has said that she was prepared to listen


to whatever David Cameron had to see in justification of British


participation in Syria. Well, the position is extremely clear, the


First Minister has said that she will listen... So, you have made up


your mind? I will finish the first answer! We will listen to any cases


made. We have been clear throughout this that there may potentially be a


place for military action as part of a bigger solution, but we have been


extremely clear indeed. We have to have a chapter seven UN resolution


which actually permits military action so that it is legal. There


has to be confirmation of the effectiveness of the military


action, dropping a few bombs simply might not provide any help


whatsoever, and essentially, there must be a post-conflict plan, so


that we do not simply blunder in and create a bigger vacuum for Isil to


fill. Since that, President Putin and President Obama have been in


discussions. We have had the United outcome from the Vienna conference


last weekend, interesting of which Iran signed up as a major player. We


are sceptical that dropping a few more bombs will help at all. We have


to precisely see what the terms of David Cameron's plan is and then


take it from there once we have seen exactly what is on the table. There


will not be a chapter seven resolution from the United Nations


before David Cameron asks MPs to vote in favour of action in Serbia,


so what are you telling us, unless David Cameron's plan, what he


outlines his ICP can do is... David Cameron will see that Britain will


put in a chapter seven resolution, you will not support it unless that


happens? The position is that you have to have that. To gain from that


it is legal and you have international support. That in


itself is not Mrs Ali enough because we must conform that dropping more


bombs is part of a plan, not just to tackle Isil, you know, this is a


multifaceted Civil War. The point I make to you is that there is a UN


resolution but it is not a chapter seven resolution. As far as I am


aware, there is no plan for a chapter seven resolution, so when


you have said that you are prepared to hear what David Cameron has to


tell us, you are telling us that you will vote against because there will


not be a chapter seven resolution? We do not know, you do not know and


I do not know whether they Wallaby or not. So let us give the Prime


Minister the courtesy of hearing what he has to tell us. As he


confirms that there will be won and the plan is to seek one, that is


important, it is the position to ensure that what happens is legal,


for goodness sake. And in other aspects of what we have been talking


about, to insure the effectiveness of the intervention itself actually


helps and that we have a proper post-conflict plan so that we do not


end up in the position in which we were in and Libya. When we spent


twice on bombing -- twice as much on bombing as we did on rebuilding and


anarchy followed. It did not the SNP support that action in Libya? Yes,


absolutely, in hindsight it was the correct thing to do, but the whole


point is in the absence of a man that you end up in a situation when


frankly you can make matters worse. What would you reply B2 the point


that David Cameron made in the House of Commons this week in response to


Angus Robertson when he said that while he would like the UN


resolution, he was not prepared to let his judgments on the security of


the United Kingdom be hostage to decisions by China and by Russia,


both of whom have been big backers of President Assad, and is that not


the problem? If you have to have a chapter seven resolution, you are


effectively saying that this Chinese Communist Party and President Putin


are the deciding factors in the view of the SNP, not what it David


Cameron or anyone else in Britain decides? I think that was deflection


by the Prime Minister, to be brutally honest, precisely because


there was agreement at the Vienna conference last week, precisely


because there was a more general UN revolution accepted this week, I do


not think... I think that is a good case of the Prime Minister chooses


to go down that route, to seek a proper chapter seven resolution from


the United Nations, I think to suggest that he has been held


hostage by the beetle, that is an excuse for inaction... But your


position that you have outlined in some detail, it amounts to saying


that should China or Russia veto a chapter seven resolution, then you,


the SNP, would say to the British Prime Minister, the fact that they


have done that, deprive you of any reason to take military action in


Syria. I think when we have seen military action taking place in the


past in the absence of this, the illegal war in Iraq for example,


when there was not unanimous international agreement on the


course of action to be taken, that actually created a situation, a


massive vacuum, which was filled by the likes of Isil of this world and


what we are seeing is a civil war, huge destruction, a massive refugee


crisis in Europe as well, without at least the certainty of a legal


mandate from the UN, if we simply got a few more bombs along with all


the countries that are currently bombing, is hard to see how that in


itself helps the situation... But you still have not answered David


Cameron's point that effectively and you have said this several times, is


giving China and Russia a veto over what military action we might take


together with the Americans and the French in Syria. If the Chinese


decide to veto it, and the Russians as backers of President Assad might


agree to it, you are telling us that the SNP will not side with the


British and the Americans and the friends, we would rather go along


with what the Russians and the Chinese have done? That is an odd


argument given that Russia and France are already taking unilateral


action insights. -- France. The idea that we would seek to oppose the


United Nations approving action does strike me as a rather weak argument


is that is the 1 that the Prime Minister chose to deploy. From our


point of view, not just for the SNP, but for the whole of the UK, surely


we have learned the mistakes of Iraq and that the very least we should


not be blundering into another concept


# Conflict dropping yet more bombs into a place that is awash with


violence in the absence of the UN resolution that permits it. Thank


you very much for joining us, Stewart Hosie. Thank you.


Yesterday, in a speech in Bristol, Jeremy Corbyn warned of the dangers


of using force, and that it was too early to say if Labour would back


Joining us now from our Cardiff studio is Shadow Foreign Affairs


Good morning. Stephen Doughty, I do not know if you heard him, but we


have heard Stewart Hosie seeing that without a chapter seven resolution,


that is one that specifically authorises military force, from the


United Nations, the SNP will not back military action in Syria, is


that a position that you agree with? The first thing to say is we


do not have proposals on the table from David Cameron and the UK


Government and the only way to approach such a serious matter is


the deployment of force in Syria is to look at whatever proposals come


forward. There have been significant elements from the UN in recent days


and that is what we have been calling for, the UN resolution,


talks of other members of the Security Council. That is what


Jeremy Corbyn and others have set out. But until there is a proposal


on the Tabor, we are talking about hypotheticals here. -- table. The


SNP have made it clear that unless there is a chapter seven resolution,


they will not support military action, that is not a hypothetical,


that is asking if the Labour Party has the same position. I have


listened to what Stewart Hosie said, it is good this week that the SNP


have a range of views on this. It is only honest and admit that across


Parliament and the Labour Party, there are a range of views on this


complex situation. We are talking about a Civil War in Syria, we are


talking a lot Daesh and Isis controlling last amounts of land. We


are talking about innocent civilians getting caught up and the barbarous


activities of Daesh as well. There are a range of views on that but we


cannot comment until we have a proposal from the Government. The


SNP would say that they have a very consistent view on this and they are


not all over the place on this. Given that you have said there is a


range of views in the Labour Party, will you allow your MPs a free vote


on this? The Labour Party will have to have a discussion and an honest


discussion regards whatever the Hamas government puts on the table.


Hilary Benn has been clear that there are a series of tests that we


would want to consider in terms of a company heads of strategy around any


actions proposed, the legal basis, proportionality in relation to the


actions we are already taking in Iraq and elsewhere and until we have


a proposal on the table from the Government, it is difficult to


protect the position of the front bench and what working arrangements


there will be. I will take this matter extremely seriously as all


MPs do. This is about omitting troops to military action, our


military resources to action. It is what the Government wants to put


forward. We cannot quite tell you what we we will vote yet as a


result. So you are telling me that the Labour Party at the moment does


not have any position on whether or not Britain should get involved


militarily in Syria, and you appear to be digested it does not have any


position on whether or not Labour MPs should be given a free vote or


should be what to vote one way or another? That is not the case. That


is what you have just told me. We have set out a series of tests and


principles that we would want to see exam and after the proposal was put


on the table by the Government. These are very live matters, we have


seen a series of developments in recent days, not least the horrific


attacks on people then Beirut, Ankara and Paris, and the growing


threat in Belgium. This appears to be all surrounding Isil. There has


been a UN resolution passed in the last few hours which calls on member


states to use all necessary means, clearly this is a live debate. Until


the Government comes forward with a clear statement and a legal basis


for action, the nature of any action they are proposing, it is difficult


to hypothesise about what position we would take on that. It is only


right that these matters are concerned and looked at with the


utmost seriousness and openness in light of what has been going on.


Clearly as I am having difficulty understanding the policies and the


procedures of the Labour Party, perhaps you can mighty me on this.


The SNP will put forward this week emotion that- should not be renewed,


am I correct in thinking that it latest great political tactic of the


Labour Party is to tell your MPs not to Tom Pope to the debate in case


they vote for a way that you do not agree with? Let us be clear. The SNP


and other opposition parties often put forward motions which the Labour


Party does not take a condition on where we vote one way or another,


that is a common tactic. I understand the SNP have had


difficulties themselves establishing... But is it true that


you are asking your own members not to turn up? The motion has not been


cleared yet. We understand the SNP do not support the removal of


Trident rather than the renewal, so if they cannot get the workings of


their own emotions correct, we are in a very clear situation where


there are games being played. The SNP have had the attempts to put


down opposition motions in the last calendar year on which they have


used on Trident and one that they have used on the refugees, a serious


matter that must be considered, but they cannot get their own motion


right it is retro them to ask what our position is. Thank you for


talking to us, Stephen Doherty. -- Stephen Doherty.


Well, Syria is one of the threats facing


us, but just how does a government assess its defence and future


security priorities and adjust its policies and forces accordingly?


Tomorrow sees the publication of the Strategic Defence


Ministers will have to overcome a degree of scepticism


as to whether this latest SDSR is genuinely "strategic" or if it


matches Britain's global ambitions with the resources needed.


Malcolm Chalmers is director of UK defence policy at the


Royal United Services Institute and he joins us from our Leeds studio.


Please excuse me for asking before I ask about the SDSR, before the


bombing campaign in Syria has good been a substantial difference made?


I think there has been a difference. The dip Matic political tract has


been more important. There has been a positive impact in protecting the


Syrian Kurds without their support, Syrian Kurd populations in northern


Syria almost certainly would be overrun by Isil with all the


consequences of that sort that has even positive. It has helped ensure


that Isil populations in Iraq with the UK is bombing do not have the


safe haven across the border in Syria from we are to have the week


to resupply their forces. Even if we do get involved in UK military


operations in Syria it can make some positive difference. Ultimately it


is only part of a much wider picture. One of the things that


puzzles me about the bombing campaign in Syria is all the French


and Russians say they have in bombing oil installations because I


guess makes money from huge convoys of tankers taking oil away from


installations it controls. -- IS. This relatively campaign has going


on for months now, why on earth when the oil installations which are


physical things and arguably legitimate military targets, the


first thing that US and its allies to code? Until recently the United


States was a lot and to bomb oil facilities because of the potential


for civilian casualties. The people involved in these facilities in Isil


controlled territory are not themselves militaries are people try


to make a living through this trade. When Americans bombed oil tankers


the drop leaflets in advance to warn civilian drivers to get out of the


week before the bombs were dropped but here are an increase in the


likelihood of civilians being affected. He lives an increase in


the US and other countries being more prepared to take the risk of


civilian casualties. The defence review is becoming ever more


increasingly tied in with what we have just been talking about. It is


supposed to reorient Britain's Armed Forces to be able to deal precisely


with this sort of threat. It is clear there will be an increase in


money on six Unity agencies, he spoofs and the spies. The bit more


money for military equipment. Is it measuring up to what it is supposed


to do from what you are stealing? In many respects it is a steady issue


go review. There are some issues like cyber, the intelligence


agencies which have more money, other areas have less money, the


deadly concern about whether the Foreign Office will be maintained


even its importance in international security. What I think is a big


change compared with expect nations is that only four or five months ago


people were expecting the defence budget to get another they kept as


many defence departments will be getting in on the spending review,


education and social services and so on. The government has made it the


day will get defensive real terms increase of 0.5% each year. The MOD


will be able to avoid the big cuts and capabilities that people were


feeling and make some modest new investments. -- fearing. It takes a


big time to change plans and a lot of what we will have indeed 2024


structure, the Army, navy, air force, will look similar to what we


were predicting in 2010. It was symbolic when the aware reactions to


the attacks in Paris by despatching symbolic when the aware reactions to


an aircraft carrier stuffed with military aircraft in


an aircraft carrier stuffed with of the Gulf. We would not be able to


do that at the moment. We do not have an aircraft carrier and we do


not have any lanes to have an aircraft carrier and we do


aircraft carriers we do not have. have an aircraft carrier and we do


That's right but I think it will change by the early part of next


decade, perhaps 2022, because of the carriers now under construction. We


will have carriers now under construction. We


available at that time. It is important to remember the UK has


been lunching and strikes against Iraq and could potentially do so


against Syria from site was. We do not need an aircraft carrier to


launch strikes in that region because we have a sovereign race


area which no one can deny to us. because we have a sovereign race


is something other allies do not have. Aircraft carriers can make a


difference but make a difference in places like the fault was that you


do not have land leases. One of the things the SNP has been making a


fuss about now is the lack of things the SNP has been making a


reconnaissance and submarine capability in Britain. I right in


thinking that this note pretty much except that across the board and we


will see a change and the introduction of some sort of


maritime reconnaissance whether buying aircraft from America or


something else? This has been one of the most hotly contested issues


within government in this defence review. It is not about the


principle of having a maritime control aircraft capability but what


system to buy. The cost baby and and the capabilities of different art


forms VED. I have not seen the defence that is coming out tomorrow.


-- defence review. My gut feeling is we will end up with the cost


competition that will be flown out to competitive tendering. That


choice and the admits giving everyone the chance to make their


case. The minus side is that it will delay the capability for one or two


macro years longer. Those who wanted us to buy the best or most capable


aircraft will be disappointed. Thank you for joining us this morning.


Earlier this week, a House of Lords committee called for the Scotland


Bill to be put on hold until issues over the funding package that


The bill completed its journey through the House


of Commons earlier this month and is now with the Lords.


But agreement on the fiscal rules has yet to be reached


between the Scottish Government and the UK Treasury, and that framework


includes the adjustment which will have to be made to Scotland's block


Our reporter Andrew Black has been finding out what it means.


Nicola Sturgeon is in an enviable position. As Scottish First Minister


she stands to have at heart disposal one of the world's most powerful


devolved parliaments. Also we are told that is because Holyrood is on


course to gain major new tax and welfare powers but right now that is


being overshadowed by concern about whether it can be done fairly. At


the moment Scotland was much ?30 billion annual budget is funded


totally by the UK Treasury known as the Loch grant. The amount of cash


which goes into the port is worked out by the Barnett formula. Once


Scotland gets its own powers to raise tax money the amount of cash


that comes north of the formula that order will be cut. The fiscal


framework is going to be tricky. The key issue is, how is the grand


adjusted in the second and subsequent years? That is the


essence of the argument about the fiscal framework. The final solution


is not supposed to route Scotland at a disadvantage order an advantage


but some argue that it's a near impossible task. At the moment it


will probably end up depending on the bargaining strength rather than


on the principle of the different methods. So, it is pretty difficult


to predict no and, you know, neither side will be entirely happy. One


will probably be more unhappy than the other that it is not clear which


we it will go and the is none that I would see is demonstrate bleak


superior. -- demonstrate bleak superior for Scotland. Some might be


advantageous and some more so. How could Scotland's block rank the


reworked? Some may be linking it to Scotland performance. If they manage


to grow tax revenues faster than in the rest of the UK it will be able


to expand its budget properly relative to the rest of the UK. If


it's tax revenues do not grow as fast then the likelihood is that the


Scottish budget will contract a bit and then did our arguments about


whether that should be adjusted for population, how it should be


adjusted on a yearly basis and so on. What is likely to happen? A


political compromise, it always is. There will be something in between


and they will give it a name like the Barnett formula. What they will


not do is go back to the drawing board as able have suggested and


work out what the basis for sharing resources should be some say we


should have a resource based upon need, what does Scotland need what


does we'll need ended as an element that reflects need but that has been


backed away from because they will ever find it easy to agree on what


that form should be. We will get a messy fudge, that is for sure. The


price of getting it wrong could be high. Economists and the Glasgow


University rentable this week warned a bad deal could leave Scotland


hundreds of millions of times worse off within a few years and this has


prompted a call from the House of lords which is currently poring over


the bill to deliver a new Holyrood powers body delay until the new


fiscal framework can be agreed. Until we know what the new rules are


we simply do not have a clue about how this will impact the government


of Scotland, the government of the rest of the UK and of course, the


people of the UK. The Scottish Government is not keen on that but


at the same time says it will not with anything that does not deliver


a fair deal. UK ministers say they are committed to exactly that and it


does not seem as though the funding talks will stop going on for a while


yet. Time to have a look back at


the events of this week and preview Scotland correspondent, Libby


Brooks, and by the political editor Libby Brooks, just on Syria and that


position, am I right in saying that Sweetie Colby subordinate clauses


out will the vote against? There did seem to be a lot of subordinate


clauses in the. We had Nicola Sturgeon say earlier we would be


listening to the case that was being made. They have two say that. Nicola


Sturgeon as leader of the third largest party in the UK now, it is a


do shift for them to be seen to listening to and responding to the


public mood. Obviously public mood has changed significantly,


particularly since the Paris attacks. There was public opinion


polling. I am not say it is the public mood at the Daily Telegraph


headline is that obviously the drums are beating as Britain prepares for


war. There was a UN resolution on Friday night but it was not a


chapter seven resolution which allows for conflict so I think they


are looking for that almost inevitably, that would bring in a


Russian veto so I do not see how it can happen. I think the SNP will not


be supporting air strikes on Syria however they are almost certain to


happen now, judging on what is going on elsewhere. Is that likely to be a


popular position for them to take? Obviously being against the Iraq war


did them an immense amount of good. I think public opinion has changed


after the massacre in Paris. That does not mean that the decision over


air strikes has changed, however. There was a clear vote at the SNP


conference a few weeks ago against military action in Syria. Members of


the SNP were against it. Air strikes can only be a useful weapon in a


conflict against IDS if things have changed on the ground. That is a


fair position for the SNP to take FA believe in that. Libby, do you agree


with David that Britain will take part? Yes, it seems inevitable now.


This vote will be incredibly important for David Cameron. He does


not want the same humiliation that he had previously and he does not


want just to win it, but when it significantly. It is interesting are


talking about the mood of the public... When you see


significantly, you mean that not only does he want to win over his


own party members, a few of which seem to be shifting, then an odd


sense, he also needs a whipping process to take place in the Labour


Party? That is correct, talking about party met in the Labour Party,


at the moment, it seems fairly shambolic. -- mood. But let us keep


in mind that the party membership voted overwhelmingly for Jeremy


Corbyn, they were highly supportive of his position against any military


intervention. It struck me, David Clegg, listening to Stephen


Doughty, and also Andrew Neil was speaking to Caroline Flint, I cannot


remember a party being in such a situation where a fairly prominent


people within the party and they all come on and tell you that there are


different views and they have not made up their minds and it is not


reasonable to ask them to make up their minds what they are in favour


of, it seems a bit extraordinary, does it not? Yes, they are all at


sea. There was concern from members of the Labour Party about a Jeremy


Corbyn but their main concern was foreign policy. They were concerned


his foreign policy views were wide of mainstream public opinion and the


fact that only a few weeks after a major firearms there is has erupted


in this way, it is particularly problematic for them and that is why


I think we will see a significant number of Labour MPs voting along


with the David Cameron when this is put on the table. Irrespective of


what the Phillips tell them to do? Yes. -- of what the temp -- of what


the whips tell them to do? Now about police cuts.


Yes, let us not forget that every government department, they are


fighting tooth and nail with each other and against these cuts, so it


is perhaps not that surprising that the police and the security chiefs


are making sure that the exploit what has happened in Paris and


again, there is this public mood that we are talking about. The


problem for George Osborne is because so many areas of public


spending have been protected, the health budget, education, schools in


England, the brunt of the cuts is bothering on a relatively small


number of departments but therefore they are huge cuts for those


departments and it might be difficult to say to the police, the


situation has changed, forget about it, because he has nowhere else to


go. Yes, the problem he has is that the political imperative in the week


of the last few weeks and going forward is that they will have to do


something to make it look as though they are investing in security, that


they are investing in military with the strategic defence review


tomorrow, but they do not have any money they do to do anything.


And he respond to the House of Lords on tax credits. That is correct, he


does not have the money to do these things. Certainly not with any


fiscal framework that he has set out. Libby, he does has a fiscal


framework which is extremely flexible if you want it to be! Yes,


it seems to be! It is an extraordinary model what has


happened with the Scotland Bill at the moment. -- muddle.


I am sorry, we will have to be that they are. That is all for this week.


Until next week, from everyone on the programme, goodbye.


Andrew Neil and Gordon Brewer with the latest political news, interviews and debate.

Andrew has an interview with Labour's former Europe minister Caroline Flint and a preview of the comprehensive spending review with former chancellor Nigel Lawson.

On the political panel are Janan Ganesh from The Financial Times, New Statesman's Helen Lewis and Nick Watt of The Guardian.

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