18/12/2016 Sunday Politics Scotland


Andrew discusses Brexit with former Conservative health secretary Stephen Dorrell and Australian high commissioner Alexander Downer, and looks at the issue of air pollution.

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Morning, folks, and welcome to the Sunday Politics.


Hard line remainers strike back at Brexit.


Are they trying to overturn the result of June's referendum


by forcing a second vote before we leave?


Australia's man in London tells us that life outside the EU "can be


pretty good" and that Brexit will "not be as hard as people say".


Could leaving the EU free Britain to do more business


It's been called "disgusting, dangerous and deadly"


but how polluted is our air, how bad for our health,


Also coming up: Alex Salmond tells of the things the


Scottish Government could call a second independence referendum and


win it. And with me in the Sunday Politics


grotto, the Dasher, Dancer and Prancer of political


punditry Iain Martin, They'll be delivering tweets


throughout the programme. First this morning,


some say they will fight for what they call a "soft Brexit",


but now there's an attempt by those who campaigned for Britain to remain


in the EU to allow the British people to change their minds -


possibly with a second referendum - The Labour MEP Richard Corbett


is revealed this morning to have tried to amend European


Parliament resolutions. The original resolution called


on the European Parliament to "respect the will


of the majority of the citizens of the United Kingdom


to leave the EU". He also proposed removing


the wording "stress that this wish must be respected" and adding


"while taking account of the 48.1% The amendments were


proposed in October, but were rejected by a vote


in the Brussels Constitutional Affairs Committee


earlier this month. The report will be voted


on by all MEPs in February. Well, joining me now from Leeds


is the Labour MEP who proposed Good morning. Thanks for joining us


at short notice. Is your aim to try and reverse what happened on June


23? My aim with those amendments was simply factual. It is rather odd


that these amendments of two months ago are suddenly used paper


headlines in three very different newspapers on the same day. It


smacks of a sort of concerted effort to try and slapped down any notion


that Britain might perhaps want to rethink its position on Brexit as


the cost of Brexit emerges. You would like us to rethink the


position even before the cost urges? I get lots of letters from people


saying how one, this was an advisory referendum won by a narrow majority


on the basis of a pack of lies and a questionable mandate. But if there


is a mandate from this referendum, it is surely to secure a Brexit that


works for Britain without sinking the economy. And if it transpires as


we move forward, that this will be a very costly exercise, then there


will be people who voted leave who said Hang on, this is not what I was


told. I was told this would save money, we could put it in the NHS,


but if it is going to cost us and our Monday leg, I


would the right to reconsider. But your aim is not get a Brexit that


would work for Britain, your aim is to stop it? If we got a Brexit that


would work for Britain, that would respect the mandate. But if we


cannot get that, if it is going to be a disaster, if it is going to


cost people jobs and cost Britain money, it is something we might want


to pause and rethink. The government said it is going to come forward


with a plan. That is good. We need to know what options to go for as a


country. Do we want to stay in the single market, the customs union,


the various agencies? And options should be costed so we can all see


how much they cost of Brexit will be. If you were simply going to try


and make the resolution is more illegal, why did the constitutional


committee vote them down? This is a report about future treaty


amendments down the road for years to come. This was not the main focus


of the report, it was a side reference, in which was put the idea


for Association partnerships. Will you push for the idea before the


full parliament? I must see what the text is. You said there is a


widespread view in labour that if the Brexit view is bad we should not


exclude everything, I take it you mean another referendum. When you


were named down these amendments, was this just acting on your own


initiative, or acting on behalf of the Labour Party? I am just be


humble lame-duck MEP in the European Parliament. It makes sense from any


point of view that if the course of action you have embarked on turns


out to be much more costly and disastrous than you had anticipated,


that you might want the chance to think again. You might come to the


same conclusion, of course, but you might think, wait a minute, let's


have a look at this. But let's be clear, even though you are deputy


leader of Labour in the European Parliament, you're acting alone and


not as Labour Party policy? I am acting in the constitutional affairs


committee. All I am doing is stating things which are common sense. If as


we move forward then this turns out to be a disaster, we need to look


very carefully at where we are going. But if a deal is done under


Article 50, and we get to see the shape of that deal by the end of


2019 under the two-year timetable, in your words, we won't know if it


is a disaster or not until it is implemented. We won't be able to


tell until we see the results about whether it is good or bad, surely?


We might well be able to, because that has to take account of the


future framework of relationships with the European Union, to quote


the article of the treaty. That means we should have some idea about


what that will be like. Will we be outside the customs union, for


instance, which will be very damaging for our economy? Or will we


have to stay inside and follow the rules without having a say on them.


We won't know until we leave the customs union. You think it will be


damaging, others think it will give us the opportunity to do massive


trade deals. My case this morning is not what is right or wrong, we will


not know until we have seen the results. We will know a heck of a


lot more than we do now when we see that Article 50 divorce agreement.


We will know the terms of the divorce, we will know how much we


still have to pay into the EU budget for legacy costs. We will know


whether we will be in the single market customs union or not. We will


know about the agencies. We will know a lot of things. If the deal on


the table looks as if it will be damaging to Britain, then Parliament


will be in its rights to say, wait a minute, not this deal. And then you


either renegotiate or you reconsider the whole issue of Brexit or you


find another solution. We need to leave it there but thank you for


joining us. Iain Martin, how serious is the


attempt to in effect an wind what happened on June 23? I think it is


pretty serious and that interview illustrates very well the most


damaging impact of the approach taken by a lot of Remainers, which


is essentially to say with one breath, we of course accept the


result, but with every action subsequent to that to try and


undermine the result or try and are sure that the deal is as bad as


possible. I think what needed to happen and hasn't happened after


June 23 is you have the extremists on both sides and you have in the


middle probably 70% of public opinion, moderate leaders, moderate


Remainers should be working together to try and get British bespoke deal.


But moderate Leavers will not take moderate Remainers seriously if this


is the approach taken at every single turn to try and rerun the


referendum. He did not say whether it was Labour policy? That was a


question which was ducked. I do not think it is Labour Party policy. I


think most people are in a morass in the middle. I think the screaming


that happens when anybody dares to question or suggest that you might


ever want to think again about these things, I disagree with him about


having another referendum but if he wants to campaign for that it is his


democratic right to do so. If you can convince enough people it is a


good idea then he has succeeded. But the idea that we would do a deal and


then realise this is a really bad deal, let's not proceed, we will not


really know that until the deal is implemented. What our access is to


the single market, whether or not we are in or out of the customs union


which we will talk about in a minute, what immigration policy we


will have, whether these are going to be good things bad things, surely


you have got to wait for four, five, to be good things bad things, surely


six years to see if it has worked or not? Yes, and by which stage


Parliament will have voted on it and there will be no going back from it,


or maybe there will. We are talking now about the first three months of


2019. That is absolutely the moment when Parliament agrees with Theresa


May or not. One arch remain I spoke to, and arch Remainiac, he said that


Theresa May will bring this to Parliament in 2019 and could say I


recommend that we reject it. What is he on or she? Some strong chemical


drugs! The point is that all manner of things could happen. I don't


think any of us take it seriously for now but the future is a very


long way away. Earlier, the trade Secretary Liam Fox was asked if we


would stay in the customs union after Brexit.


There would be limitations on what we would do in terms of tariff


setting which could limit the deals we would do, but we want to look at


all the different deals. There is hard Brexit and soft Brexit as if it


is a boiled egg we are talking about. Turkey is in part of the


customs union but not other parts. What we need to do is look at the


cost. This is what I picked up. The government knows it cannot remain a


member of the single market in these negotiations, because that would


make us subject to free movement and the European Court. The customs


union and the Prime Minister 's office doesn't seem to be quite as


binary, that you can be a little bit in and a little bit out, but I would


suggest that overall Liam Fox knows to do all the trade deals we want to


do we basically have to be out. But what he also seems to know is that


is a minority view in Cabinet. He said he was not going to give his


opinion publicly. There is still an argument going on about it in


Cabinet. When David Liddington struggled against Emily Thornbury


PMQs, he did not know about the customs union. What is apparent is


Theresa May has not told him what to think about that. If we stay in the


customs union we cannot do our own free trade deals. We are behind the


customs union, the tariff barriers set by Europe? Not quite. Turkey is


proof of the pudding. There are limited exemptions but they can do


free trade with their neighbours. Not on goods. They are doing a trade


deal with Pakistan at the moment, it relies on foreign trade investment


but Europe negotiates on turkey's behalf on the major free-trade


deals. This is absolutely why the customs union will be the fault line


for the deal we are trying to achieve. Interestingly, I thought


Liam Fox suggested during that interview that he was prepared to


suck up whatever it was. I think he was saying there is still an


argument and he intends to win it. He wants to leave it because he


wants to do these free-trade deals. There is an argument in the cabinet


about precisely that. The other thing to consider is in this country


we have tended to focus too much on the British angle in negotiations,


but I think the negotiations are going to be very difficult. You look


at the state of the EU at the moment, you look at what is


happening in Italy, France, Germany, look at the 27. It is possible I


think that Britain could design a bespoke sensible deal but then it


becomes very difficult to agree which is why I ultimately think we


are heading for a harder Brexit. It will be about developing in this


country. So, we've had a warning this week


that it could take ten years to do a trade deal


with the EU after Brexit. But could opportunities to expand


trade lie elsewhere? Australia was one of the first


countries to indicate its willingness to do a deal


with the UK and now its High Commissioner in London has told


us that life outside the EU He made this exclusive film


for the Sunday Politics. My father was the Australian High


Commissioner in the early 70s when the UK joined


the European Union, Now I'm in the job,


the UK is leaving. Australia supported


Britain remaining a member of the European Union,


but we respect the decision that Now that the decision has been made,


we hope that Britain will get on with the process


of negotiating their exit from the European Union and make


the most of the opportunities that Following the referendum decision,


Australia approached the British Government


with a proposal. We offered, when the time was right,


to negotiate a free trade agreement. The British and Australian


governments have already established a working group to explore a future,


ambitious trade agreement once A free trade agreement will provide


great opportunities for consumers Australian consumers could purchase


British-made cars for less We would give British


households access to cheaper, Our summer is during your winter,


so Australia could provide British households with fresh produce


when the equivalent British or Australian households would have


access to British products Free-trade agreements


are also about investment. The UK is the second-largest source


of foreign investment in Australia. By the way, Australia also invests


over ?200 billion in the UK, so a free trade agreement


would stimulate investment, But, by the way, free-trade


agreements are not just about trade and investment,


they are also about geopolitics. Countries with good trade relations


often work more closely together in other fields including security,


the spread of democracy We may have preferred


the UKto remain in the EU, We may have preferred the UK


to remain in the EU, but life outside as we know can


be pretty good. We have negotiated eight free-trade


agreements over the last 12 years, including a free-trade agreement


with the United States This is one of the reasons why


the Australian economy has continued to grow over the last 25 years


and we, of course, are not Australia welcomes Theresa May's


vision for the UK to become a global We are willing to help


in any way we can. Welcome to the programme. The


Australian government says it wants to negotiate an important trade deal


with the UK as efficiently and promptly as possible when Brexit is


complete. How prompt is prompt? There are legal issues obviously.


The UK, for as long as it remains in the EU, cannot negotiate individual


trade deals. Once it leaves it can. We will negotiate a agreement with


the UK when the time is right, by which we mean we can do preliminary


examination. Are you talking now about the parameters? We are talking


already, we have set up a joint working group with the British


Government and we are scoping the issue to try to understand what


questions will arise in any negotiation. But we cannot have


formally a negotiation. Until the country is out. Why is there no


free-trade deal between Australia and the European Union? It is a long


and tortuous story. Give me the headline. Basically Australian


agriculture is either banned or hugely restricted in terms of its


access to the European Union. So we see the European Union, Australia's,


is a pretty protectionist sort of organisation. Now we are doing a


scoping study on a free-trade agreement with the European Union


and we hope that next year we can enter into negotiations with them.


But we have no illusions this would be a very difficult negotiation, but


one we are giving priority to. Is there not a danger that when Britain


leaves the EU the EU will become more protectionist? This country has


always been the most powerful voice for free trade. I hope that does not


happen, but the reason why we wanted Britain to remain in the European


Union is because it brought to the table the whole free-trade mentality


which has been an historic part of Britain's approach to international


relations. Without the UK in the European Union you will lose that.


It is a very loud voice in the European Union and you will lose


that voice and that will be a disadvantage. The figure that jumped


out of me in the film is it to you only 15 months to negotiate a


free-trade deal with the United States. Yes, the thing is it is


about political will. A free-trade agreement will be no problem unless


you want to protect particular sectors of your economy. In that


case there was one sector the Americans insisted on protecting and


that was their sugar industry. In the end after 15 months of


negotiation two relatively free trading countries have fixed up


nearly everything. But we had to ask would be go ahead with this


free-trade agreement without sugar west we decided to do that. Other


than that it was relatively easy to negotiate because we are both


free-trade countries. With the UK you cannot be sure, but I do not


think a free-trade agreement would take very long to negotiate with the


UK because the UK would not want to put a lot of obstacles in the way to


Australia. Not to give away our hand, we would not want to put a lot


of obstacles in the way of British exports. The trend in recent years


is to do big, regional trade deals, but President-elect Donald Trump has


made clear the Pacific trade deal is dead. The transatlantic trade deal


is almost dead as well. The American election put a nail in the coffin


and the French elections could put another nail in the coffin. Are we


returning to a world of lateral trade deals, country with country


rather than regional blocs? Not necessarily. In the Asia Pacific we


will look at multilateral trade arrangements and even if the


transpacific partnership is not ratified by the Americans, we have


other options are there. However, our approach has been the ultimate


would be free-trade throughout the world which is proving hard to


achieve. Secondly, if we can get a lot of countries engaged in a


free-trade negotiation, that is pretty good if possible. But it is


more difficult. But we do bilateral trade agreements. We have one with


China, Japan, the United States, Singapore, and the list goes on, and


they have been hugely beneficial to Australia. You have been dealing


with the EU free deal, what lessons are there? How quickly do you think


Britain could do a free-trade deal with the EU if we leave? Well, there


is a completely different concept involved in the case of Britain and


the EU and that is at the moment there are no restrictions on trade.


So you and the EU would be talking about whether you will direct


barriers to trade. We are outsiders and we do not get too much involved


in this debate except to say we do not want to see the global trade


system disrupted by the direction of tariff barriers between the United


Kingdom, the fifth biggest economy in the world, and the European


Union. Our expectation is not just the British but the Europeans will


try to make the transition to Brexit as smooth as possible particularly


commercially. Say yes or no if you can. If Britain and Australia make a


free-trade agreement, would that include free movement of the


Australian and the British people? We will probably stick with our


present non-discriminatory system. Australia does not discriminate


against any country. The European Union's free movement means you


discriminate against non-Europeans. Probably not.


It could lead to a ban on diesel cars, prevent the building


of a third runway at Heathrow, and will certainly make it


more expensive to drive in our towns and cities.


Air pollution has been called the "public health crisis


of a generation" - but just how serious is the problem?


40,000 early deaths result from air pollution every year in the UK.


Almost 10,000 Londoners each year die prematurely.


It seems at times we can get caught up in alarming assertions


about air pollution, that this is a public health


emergency, that it is a silent killer, coming from politicians,


But how bad is air quality in Britain really?


Tony Frew is a professor in respiratory medicine and works


at Brighton's Royal Sussex County Hospital.


He has been looking into the recent claims


It's a problem and it affects people's health.


But when people start talking about the numbers


of deaths here, I think they are misusing the statistics.


There have been tremendous improvements in air quality


There is a lot less pollution than there used to be


and none of that is coming through in the public


So what does Professor Frew make of the claim that alarming levels


of toxicity in the air in the UK causes 40,000 deaths each year?


It is not 40,000 people who should have air pollution


on their death certificate, or 40,000 people who


It's a lot of people who had a little bit of life shortening


To examine these figures further we travelled to Cambridge to visit


I asked him about the data on which these claims


They come from a study on how mortality rates in US cities


First of all, it is important to realise that that 40,000 figure


29,000, which are due to fine particles, and another 11,000


I will just talk about this group for a start.


These are what are known as attributable deaths.


Known as virtual deaths, they come from a complex statistical model.


Quite remarkably it all comes from just one number and this


was based on a study of US cities and they found out that


by monitoring these cities over decades that the cities which had


a higher level of pollution had a higher mortality rate.


They estimated that there was a 6% increased risk of dying


each year for each small increase in pollution.


So this is quite a big figure, but it is important to realise


it is only a best estimate and the committee that advises


the government says that this figure could be between 1% and 12%.


So this 6% figure is used to work out the 29,000


Yes, through a rather complex statistical model.


And a similar analysis gives rise to the 11,000 attributable deaths


How much should we invest in cycling?


Should we build a third runway at Heathrow?


We need reliable statistics to answer those questions,


but can we trust the way data is being used by campaigners?


I think there are people who have such a passion for the environment


and for air pollution that they don't really


see it as a problem if they are deceiving the public.


Greenpeace have been running a campaign claiming that breathing


London's air is the equivalent of smoking 15 cigarettes a day.


If you smoke 15 cigarettes a day through your adult life,


that will definitely take ten years off your life expectancy.


If you are poor and you are in social class five,


compared to social class one, that would take seven


If you are poor and you smoke, that will take 17 years off your life.


Now, we are talking about possibly, if we could get rid of all


of the cars in London and all of the road transport,


we could make a difference of two micrograms per metre squared in air


pollution which might save you 30 days of your life.


There is no doubt that air pollution is bad for you,


but if we exaggerate the scale of the problem and the impact


on our health, are we at risk of undermining the case for making


And we are joined now by the Executive Director


You have called pollution and national crisis and a health


emergency. Around the UK are levels increasing or falling? They are


remaining fairly static in London. Nationally? If you look at the


studies on where air pollution is measured, in 42 cities around the


UK, 38 cities were found to be breaking the legal limit on air


pollution so basically all of the cities were breaking the limit so if


you think eight out of ten people live in cities, obviously, this is


impacting a lot of people around the UK. We have looked at in missions of


solvent dioxide, they have fallen and since 1970, nitrogen dioxide is


down 69%. Let me show you a chart. There are the nitrogen oxides which


we have all been worried about. That chart shows a substantial fall from


the 1970s, and then a really steep fall from the 1980s. That is


something which is getting better. You have to look at it in the round.


If you look at particulates, and if you look at today's understanding of


the health impact. Let's look at particulates. We have been really


worried about what they have been doing to our abilities to breathe


good air, again, you see substantial improvement. Indeed, we are not far


from the Gothenberg level which is a very high standard. What you see is


it is pretty flat. I see it coming down quite substantially. Over the


last decade it is pretty flat. If you look at the World Health


Organisation guidelines, actually, these are at serious levels and they


need to come down. We know the impact, particularly on children, if


you look at what is happening to children and children's lungs, if


you look at the impact of asthma and other impacts on children in cities


and in schools next to main roads where pollution levels are very


high, the impact of very serious. You have many doctors, professors


and many studies by London University showing this to be true.


The thing is, we do not want pollution. If we can get rid of


pollution, let's do it. And also we also have to get rid of CO2 which is


causing climate change. We are talking air pollution at the moment.


The point is there is not still more to do, it is clear there is and


there is no question about that, my question is you seem to deny that we


have made any kind of progress and that you also say that air pollution


causes 40,000 deaths a year in the UK, that is not true. The figure is


40,000 premature deaths is what has been talked about by medical staff.


Your website said courses. It causes premature deaths. What we are


talking about here is can we solve the problem of air pollution? If air


pollution is mainly being caused by diesel vehicles then we need to


phase out diesel vehicles. If there are alternatives and clean Turner


tips which will give better quality of air, better quality of life and


clean up our cities, then why don't we take the chance to do it? You had


the Australian High Commissioner on this programme earlier. He said to


me earlier, why is your government supporting diesel? That is the most


polluting form of transport. That may well be right but I am looking


at Greenpeace's claims. You claim it causes 40,000 deaths, it is a figure


which regularly appears. Let me quote the committee on the medical


effects of air pollutants, it says this calculation, 40,000 which is


everywhere in Greenpeace literature, is not an estimate of the number of


people whose untimely death is caused entirely by air pollution,


but a way of representing the effect across the whole population of air


pollution when considered as a contributory factor to many more


individual deaths. It is 40,000 premature deaths. It could be


premature by a couple of days. It could me by a year. -- it could be


by a year. It could also be giving children asthma and breathing


difficulties. We are talking about deaths. It could also cause stroke


and heart diseases. Medical experts say we need to deal with this. Do


you believe air pollution causes 40,000 deaths a year. I have defined


that. You accept it does not? It leads to 40,000 premature deaths.


But 40,000 people are not killed. You say air pollution causes 40,000


deaths each year on your website. I have just explained what I mean by


that in terms of premature deaths. The question is, are we going to do


something about that? Air pollution is a serious problem. It is mainly


caused by diesel. If we phased diesel out it will solve the problem


of air pollution and deal with the wider problem of climate change. I


am not talking about climate change this morning. Let's link to another


claim... Do you want to live in a clean city? Do you want to breathe


clean air? Yes, don't generalise. Let's stick to your claims. You have


also said living in London on your life is equivalent to smoking 50


cigarettes a day. That is not true either. What I would say is if you


look at passive smoking, it is the equivalent of I don't know what the


actual figure is, I can't remember offhand, but it is the equivalent


effect of about ten cigarettes being smoked passively. The question is in


terms of, you are just throwing me out all of these things... I am


throwing things that Greenpeace have claimed. Greenpeace have claimed


that living in London is equivalent of smoking 15 cigarettes a day and


that takes ten years off your life. Professor Froome made it clear to us


that living in London your whole life with levels of pollution does


take time off your life but it takes nine months of your life. Nine


months is still too much, I understand that, but it is not ten


years and that is what you claim. I would suggest you realise that is a


piece of propaganda because you claim on the website, you have taken


it down. I agree it has been corrected and I agree with what the


professor said that maybe it takes up to a year off your life, but the


thing is, there are much more wider issues as well, in terms of the


impact on air pollution, and in terms of the impact on young


children. We can argue about the facts... But these are your claims,


this is why I am hitting it to you. It does not get away from the


underlying issue that air pollution is a serious problem. We are not


arguing for a moment that it is not. Do you think the way you exaggerate


things, put false claims, in the end, for of course we all agree


with, getting the best air we can, you undermine your credibility? I


absolutely do not support false claims and if mistakes have been


made then mistakes have been made and they will be corrected. I think


the key issue is how we are going to deal with air pollution. Clearly,


diesel is the biggest problem and we need to work out a way how we can


get away from diesel as quickly and fast as possible. Comeback and see


us in the New Year and we will discuss diesel. Thank you.


It's just gone 11.35, you're watching the Sunday Politics.


Good morning, and welcome to Sunday Politics Scotland.


The Scottish Government prepares to reveal its Brexit plans.


Alex Salmond tells us they could call and win another


And 2016 - a historic year in Scottish Politics, from A to Z.


Nearly six months on from the vote to leave the European Union,


the Scottish Government is about to reveal its Brexit plans.


On Tuesday, it's widely reported that the proposals will be based


on the so-called Norway Model - where Scotland would remain


in the European Free Trade area and a member of the single market.


But how realistic is that, and where does it fit with the UK


And it can be lonely at the top. Theresa May was in Brussels for a


European summit this week, the EU's 27 of these leaders met to discuss


Brexit without the PM. Downing said Brexit without the PM. Downing said


-- Downing Street said it reinforced the view that Brexit means Brexit.


Mrs May was joined by Ivan Rogers. He had to slip out of the car while


she created eyed devotion, after it was reported he thought a post


Brexit trade deal would take ten years. And many are awaiting the


First Minister of Scotland's Brexit plan to keep Scotland in a single


market. But Nicola Sturgeon's opponents say it is a nonstarter


because it would trap the nation in a deal over which it would have no


influence. So what does all that mean? Continued uncertainty over the


future of the UK. Just before we came


on air I spoke to the SNP Foreign Affairs Spokesperson,


Alex Salmond. First of all, there is much talk of


people in the SNP, you and Nicola Sturgeon, about how the British


catchment is obliged to consider your proposals that you are about to


publish. What does that mean? Are you saying they have two keep either


Britain or Scotland in the single market all that is a breach of their


operation? That is certainly the First Minister's view, and her


proposal. And things looked like they are turning in that direction.


The opinion poll this morning for the first time showed people across


the UK giving priority to the single market. In Scotland it is 2-1 to


that. So there is a position to try to force that on the Government. So


whatever happens in terms of the UK, the First Minister wants to be clear


how Scotland cameras aim remain within the single market. I'm


curious about all the talk of another referendum on independence.


If the Scottish Government doesn't get some sort of deal, that is. Is


that the red Line for you? That Scotland would one way or another


have to be in the single market all they would be another referendum?


What matters is what Nicola Sturgeon's red lines are. And she


has enunciated a simple one, two, three. One, keep Scotland within the


second -- single market. And if the UK is unwilling to listen to our


representations, it is likely that there will be a referendum within


the next two-year is. I'm curious as to whether you see that as the red


line. There could other deals. Repatriated and of powers from the


European Union to the Scottish Parliament for example. Whether


Britain was a segment can say we have given you lots. Are you saying


it is the single market that has been the Red Line? Nicola Sturgeon


has put forward her priorities. That is staying in the single market,


equal treatment for other Europeans, and the rights of Scottish workers.


I'm sure in the strategy document that is to be published this week,


she will be outlining a range of other things that Scotland requires,


particularly the powers that we will need to secure Scotland's position.


There are certain powers, as you are aware, fishing, agriculture, some


control of immigration, that would be required within the single market


place for Scotland to operate within it, as well as the full powers of


Scottish independence. Again, I don't understand. Are you saying


Scotland having control of for example a fisheries policy, would do


as a compromise was to mark that seems to be the opposite of staying


in the single market. Scotland could get all sorts of powers by breaking


away, but are you saying staying in this market is the main thing? It


isn't the opposite. We just need to glance across the Northsea, to see a


country called Norway which is within the single marketplace but


has powers over its fishing industry. As we saw this week,


fishing is very interesting, because it is probably the sole real


fishing is very interesting, because industry in the rest recent European


referendum which was in favour of exiting the European Union. As we


saw from the House of Lords report, fishing depends on access to the


single marketplace in order to sell our products. It would be great to


get 20% more quarter -- quota but if there is 20% more tax any benefit


will be dissipated. The single market is important to every aspect


of the Scottish economy. Do you think you could win an independence


referendum at the moment? Yes. Why? Last time, when I was First Minister


and embarked on this process, support for independence was 28%. In


2012 we ended up at 45%. I don't think Nicola Sturgeon would have any


compunction about calling a referendum. What it depends on is


the arguments. And in a situation where the UK Government is


determined despite every opportunity to sever Scotland's links to the EU,


I think many people who were previously sceptical about


independence would come to the Yes side. And you think you would win?


Yes. I take your point that at the beginning of the last campaign


support was lower. But surely because of the last campaign people


have made up their minds. There aren't a 20% who haven't made up


have made up their minds. There their minds. Therefore wouldn't it


be more difficult to get you over the line? I think there are a lot of


people with an open mind about Scottish independence. I think there


are people who are passionately in favour, and strongly against. But


there are still lots of folk in Scotland who would regard Scotland's


best rarity and securing their position, the rights of workers, the


treatment of fellow Europeans, access to the marketplace, as


priorities which if they could only be claimed by independence, could be


persuaded to vote in that direction. With careful argument and all Nicola


Sturgeon's powers of argument. The only problem the SNP might have is


not a reader polls show that the majority of people want to stay in


the UK, they also show the majority of people have no appetite for


another referendum. And they also show, as I mentioned, that more than


2000 -- two thirds of Scots want to maintain their position in the


single marketplace and want jobs Empress parity over control of


immigration. We are saying that it is a strong position to debate the


independence issue. Nicola Sturgeon, correctly, has said we want the UK


to stay in the single marketplace. If that is not possible we are


publishing a strategy that shows how Scotland can do that. And if the UK


Government says they are not interested, if they have a full


Philip Hammond attitude, then it would be a different context and we


would be in a strong position to have the next referendum. If the


British Government turns round to the Scottish Government and says we


are not going to stay in the single market... Nicola Sturgeon has talked


about this. What powers do you want as a result of Brexit? As someone


who reads up on these things, if you wait to see the strategy document 's


Nicola is publishing, the first strategy to emerge from any


political leader in these islands, I think you will find those questions


answered in full in enormous detail, if I know her. The sun is coming up


over your bridge, so we should leave you to it. Happy Christmas from the


north-east of Scotland. Well, listening to


that is Adam Tomkins Was he saying that Scotland has


say in the single market or they will have another referendum? It did


appear that he was saying that, which is quite different what I've


from what I think Nicola Sturgeon would want him to say. And it shows


again that the SNP are all over the place on this. Only two weeks ago at


the Scottish affairs committee said the only way they could stay was by


staying the member states and the UK... Was what he was saying any


different from what Nicola Sturgeon said this morning? We don't know


what she has said. Details are still to come. But what the Scottish


Conservatives want is for Scotland and the whole of the UK to have as


full access to and participation in the single market as is possible,


consistent with the result of the referendum on the 23rd of June.


Which is not necessarily what trees are made's Government wants. Let us


be clear, what the Scottish Conservatives want... It's not up to


you to decide. It is up to the UK to decide, because it is their decision


to leave the EU. A couple of years ago Scotland voted to remain in the


UK. And a few months ago the UK voted to leave the EU. The


difficulty Mr Salmond has is that they are in denial about the


referendum results. They are not random opinion polls put out in the


field, that they can choose to abide by or ignore... If you are a


democratic politician you have to abide by them. You say the Scottish


Conservative position is that we should stay in the single market...


We want as full and access and participation in the single market


as possible. There is no such thing as membership of the single market


unless you are a member state of the EU. And we just voted to leave. Are


you checking that David Mundell is arguing that in Cabinet? We are all


singing from the same hymn sheet. arguing that in Cabinet? We are all


There is no difference of opinion and there is no change in policy. We


want full access and participation as possible. I think that is exactly


what the Theresa May Government is working towards. But part of your


reply to add Alex Salmond would be that single market, or not single


market, Brexit means single market is not as clear a statement as it


might be. Absolutely. That is why a sensible Government like this one is


going slowly in order to figure out what access to the single market...


You were not in or out, you can have varying degrees of access depending


what is in the national interest. Everybody says, it has always been a


European union of bits and pieces. Switzerland's access is different


from Norway's is different from Canada's... Lastly, and briefly, as


a Scottish Conservative, do you think it is more likely that the


British Government will say to the Scottish Government, look, whatever


the single market views you have, here is a deal, you will control


fisheries, some of VAT, agriculture policy... Are you really going to


have another referendum if we offer you all of this? All of this is part


of the negotiation to come. It is plain that the UK Government is not


going to be rewritten Irving any fresh powers to Westminster. Some


powers will go to Westminster some will go to Hollywood. This will --


Holyrood. If the Scottish Government would stop sabre rattling about a


referendum, we need to pull together and not pull apart.


Brexit was one of the defining political events of 2016.


The EU referendum in June followed the Holyrood election.


Here's our A-Z of the last 12 months.


I think the more transparency bike we can have, the better. Before we


go any further we need to have a cold, calm, look at this. If a


company or individual avoids tax they should not be able to benefit


from public contracts. I will do everything I can as Prime


Minister to steady the ship over the coming weeks and months, but I do


not think it would be right for me to try to be the captain that steers


our country to its next destination. This is a truly historic deal. It is


based on the principles I set out in earlier legislation... That will


pave the way for the Scottish Parliament to become one of the most


accountable parliament is in the world. It is based on the same


approach that I have used for setting all devolves taxes.


I will watch you from afar and wish you well for your future and the


There is no greater cause than to serve that of the people of this


country. And so with that it is from goodbye from me for now.


We have concluded that the UK chose to join the invasion of Iraq before


the peaceful options for disarmament had been exhausted.


I don't know the details of plan B, we don't have a plan B, we have a


plan A, we will stay in the European Union as an active member.


What makes you better to run the NHS? I'm not a big fan. Sorry. I


categorically voted in Parliament tonight. I saw the vote registered.


Ken Macdonald Tauscher is elected as Presiding Officer of the Scottish


Parliament. The measures I have announced today


means the total support of the Scottish Government and through


local taxation provides an increase in spending our local government


services, not of 59.6 million, but of 240.6 million three point 3%.


I can confirm today that the independence referendum bill will be


published for consultation next week.


I have never been and over wanted to be a career politician. My aim and


being in politics was to get Britain out of the European Union. The


country needs a strong Ukip now more than ever before, before F Ukip


ceases to be on the electoral law, then there will be no impetus on


Mere. The Scottish Government will


undertake a three-month period where we will take input from practitioner


's as well as parents, charities, as well as young people, those who


support the named person policy, and those who have concerns.


Well, joining me now to discuss the year in politics


is Severin Carrell, Scotland editor for The Guardian, the UK


editor of The Big Issue, Paul McNamee, and Lindsay McIntosh,


Let's start with Alex Salmond, he was bullish about the independence


referendum. Is he right or do you think that is the Scottish


Government's you? I would think that on the face of it the numbers would


be in his favour. The idea that they took the Yes vote from 32 to 33% up


to 45% suggest they should be to get the line up to 50. But I do not


think Nicola Sturgeon is at one with them on the idea that this is a slam


dunk. They have a lot to do, a lot of critical questions from 2014 that


are hanging over them and even more critical questions over Brexit


hanging over them, and time is running out and they have a set of


pressures to manage, their own party, the yes movement and the


political reality that they are now left in. It is far trickier with


those facts. The other issue is that everything could be more ambiguous


now. Alex Salmond suggested that Scotland or Britain did not stay in


the single market could lead to another referendum vote. What does


the SNP see you then. Also, the other thing is the British


government could save here are more powers, over fisheries and


agriculture, even if they do not stay in the single market. Will you


still go through with their referendum even though we're giving


you all those powers? There are all these unanswered questions,


different parts of the deal that need to be worked out between the UK


and the EU and Scotland and the UK. Article 50 will be triggered at the


start of next year, that will be a two-year process. When does Nicola


Sturgeon feel that she will have enough clarity about what Scotland


will get to say to Scots, this is fine, or to go to the polls and


trigger independence too. The line has been over the past year, we will


have an independence referendum if the polls show that we can win it.


He did not seem at all swayed by that. Yes, you could say there is a


margin of error. It is not going up at the moment. It really is a major


gamble to hold a second independence referendum with the numbers as they


are at the moment. What about better exit macro itself poll? -- Brexit.


With each week, with each piece of debate it seems messier and messier.


Part of the problem with the Scottish Government is that if the


pollution a particular way with Brexit, the opposition could argue,


hold on you have got to govern the country before you start to think


about what Brexit is. I think that country before you start to think


is the case for a lot of other regions in Britain as well, whether


it is Northern Ireland or Wales, they have their own particular


issues and problems to deal with. Brexit seems to dominate our


thoughts. The and bolts of government for people is broadly


being left of it. And I think that is the problem. A big issue is two


views, one, the British government has a cunning plan which it is


trying to keep for its negotiating tactics. And the other is they do


not have a clue they are doing. They are altering up on television


studios, like Liam Fox did this morning, to punt their own version.


The Tory party, the referendum was supposed to sort out the Tory


party's internal warfare. What it has done it as it has exposed the


warfare inside the Tory party, like Liam Fox who believe that Britain is


much better as close to the United States is possible and away from


Europe, and those who would rather we did not leave the EU at all.


These unresolved problems are being worked out in public. I suspect they


are working at various strategies in how to work things through. They are


claiming 50 different teams. The problem is nobody knows quite how


all the different actors and Europe will behave because the EU may be


acting collectively in terms of Brussels and Strasbourg, behaving as


a unified force. Germany and Spain... One of the big stories may


not be whatever the British Spain... One of the big stories may


government decides to do, maybe what response they get. There are also


critical European elections taking place. Their own internal forces and


a lot of people think this depends on what Angela Merkel wants to do.


As the Germans think that keeping the UK as close as possible to


Europe is in the EU's interests, that will influence really what will


ends up happening. We have all the complications also to do with


Ireland as well. The other thing that has changed in Scotland, but we


had an election. And the SNP don't have the majority any more and


everyone went on as if nothing had changed. But when the budget was


produced last week, it becomes an issue, because they need to do some


deals? The most important thing on the budget was the U turn on the


council funding. The original plan was that council tax would get


increased, but it would be put into a central pot and distributed. At


the 11th hour he did a U-turn and said that individual councils could


keep their funding. It is significant that it recognises that


we are a minority government once again and the SNP cannot get


everything their own way. It was commendable to make that change. Do


you think they will do a deal? Yes, I think they will. The Greens are


who we should be looking at in this. They need abstentions, not support.


Paul, you mentioned the opposition. Where are they? Labour certainly


have. When we looked at the list, it could have been Jeremy Corbyn. Where


is he? At key points. Kezia Dugdale as well. The key points throughout


this year, the Labour Party have no when they're speaking with any


authority with leadership with clear policy. They have allowed themselves


to become a pressure group rather than a party for government. And


that is a tricky place for all of us than a party for government. And


to be in, when that regulation going on around Brexit. Thank you all very


much for coming in. That's all from us for this


week and this year. Until then, Merry Christmas


and a Happy New Year.


Andrew Neil and Gordon Brewer are joined by Alexander Downer, Australian high commissioner to the United Kingdom, Stephen Dorrell, chair of the NHS Confederation, and John Sauven, executive director at Greenpeace.

Helen Lewis of the New Statesman, Iain Martin of Reaction and Tom Newton Dunn of the Sun review the papers.

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