12/02/2017 Sunday Politics Scotland


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

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 12/02/2017. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



Commons Speaker John Bercow is accused of compromising his


impartiality by revealing he voted Remain in last year's EU referendum.


The EU Withdrawal Bill clears its first Parliamentary hurdle.


But will the House of Lords be quite so accommodating?


Labour's Leader in the Lords joins us live.


And we report from Stoke-on-Trent ahead of a crucial by-election


later this month, where Ukip is looking to give


And on Sunday Politics Scotland, Alex Salmond joins me live -


we may mention the word 'referendum'.


And, we speak to two farmers on either side of the Brexit divided


about their hopes and fears for the future.


And with me a political panel who frequently like to compromise


Steve Richards, Julia Hartley-Brewer and Janan Ganesh.


I'll be trying to keep them in order during the course of the programme.


So, Commons Speaker John Bercow has insisted his ability


to act impartially is not damaged by reports that he voted to Remain


The Sunday Telegraph reveals that Speaker Bercow revealed his views


in front of an audience of students at Reading University


This may not be popular with some people in this audience -


I thought it was better to stay in the European Union than not,


partly for economic reason, being part of a big trade bloc,


and partly because I think we're in a world of power blocs,


and I think for all the weaknesses and deficiencies


of the European Union, it is better to be part of that big


Speaker Bercow speaking at Reading University earlier this month. Does


he not care is this I get that impression, he knows perfectly well,


it states he has to be particularly -- Parliamentary neural. Whether


there are going to be enough votes to force him out, the question, the


last speaker wept out with the 20 vote against him. You yes to have


the command of the support across the House. There is a Deputy


Speaker, waiting, who would be superb. I think even the people who


pretend to support Macis have had enough -- Speaker Bercow have had


enough of his ways. The reason I ask whether he care, he didn't just tell


the students that he voted to Remain, he then gave them a running


commentary on all the issues that will be part of the Brexit


commentary on all the issues that negotiations, workers' rights,


immigration, trade policy, everyone maternity leave got a hat tip from


him. He would be a very well prepared Brexit minister if


attendance needs a colleague -- David Davis needs a colleague. I


don't think this story makes his position untenable, what does is the


wired pattern of behaviour of excessive candour on his political


views, going back years, this is a guy who when the Queen visited


Parliament described her as theical lied scope Queen. He had a running


argument with David Cameron. We know his views on Brexit, we know his


views on Donald Trump. . He has given interviews, none of the views


are illegitimate but the candour which they are expressed with is


scrupulous. Given Lyndsay Hoyle is a class accuse. He is the Deputy


Speaker. And a fairly ready replacement, whether there is more


of a movement to say, maybe not force Bercow out but acknowledge he


has had a few years in the job and the question of successor ship comes


into play. Has he concluded he is untouchable? What I can definitely


say, is that he is determined to fight this one out, and not go of


his own volition, so if he goes he will have to be forced out. He wants


to stay. Which will be tough. It will be tough. Likely as things


stand. I would say this, I speak to someone who likes the way he has


brought the House of Commons to life, held ministers to account,


forced them into explain thing, whenever there is a topical issue


you know it will be in the House of Commons. He has changed that. He


has. Time has been courageous, Ied a mire the way he has been a speaker.


I would say this, during the referendum campaign, he asked me


Nick Clegg, and Peter Hitchens to debate Brexit if his constituency.


It was a packed out meeting. He chaired it. I said don't you want to


join in? He didn't. He showed no desire to join in, he was impartial.


He goes out to universities and kind of demyth GCSEs Parliament by


speaking to them in a way, he doesn't gets credit for it and stays


on after and drinks with them. Sometimes he, you know, it is


clearly a mistake to have gone into his views retrospectively on that


referendum campaign, I don't think that, did he try and stop Article 50


from being triggered in the House of Commons? That would be a scandal.


Even that would be beyond him. Briefly, yes or no, could you


imagine Betty Boothroyd behaving like that? Not at all. None of the


recent speakers I could imagine doing that. It is good he is


The bill that will allow the government to trigger Article 50


and begin Brexit negotiations was voted through


Many MPs were in a difficult position - unsure whether to vote


with their conscience, their constituency,


Europe, once such a divisive issue for the Conservatives,


is now causing major divisions inside the Labour Party.


So, let's have a look what happened in a bit more detail:


Thanks to academic research carried out since the referendum,


we now have estimates of how each individual constituency voted.


It's thought that 410 constituencies voted Leave.


On Wednesday night, the EU Notification of Withdrawal Bill


was voted through by the House of Commons.


The bill left the Labour Party divided.


Jeremy Corbyn told his MPs to respect the result


of the referendum and vote for the government's bill -


But 52 Labour MPs defied Mr Corbyn's thee-line whip


That's about a fifth of the Parliamentary Labour Party.


Of those 52 Labour MPs who voted against the bill,


the majority, 45 of them, represent seats that voted Remain.


However, seven Labour MPs voted against the Article 50 Bill,


even though their constituents voted Leave in the referendum.


The Conservative Party were much more united.


The vast majority of Tory MPs, 320 of them, voted for the bill.


Just one Conservative MP, Ken Clarke, voted against it.


His constituency, Rushcliffe in Nottinghamshire, voted Remain.


The bill will now go to the House of Lords -


peers will start debating it on Monday the 20th of February.


Joining me now is Matthew Goodwin, politics professor at


He's got a book out next month called


Brexit: Why Britain Voted To Leave The European Union.


Welcome to the programme. Has Brexit, how you voted in the


referendum and your continuing attitudes toward it, is that now


becoming the new dividing line in British politics? I think it


certainly is contributing to a new dividing line, in western politics


more generally, we know over the last ten years, that the old left


and right division has been making way for a new division, between


essentially social liberals and Conservative, and Brexit was a, an


incident a moment that really reflected that new dividing line, so


it wasn't just the case that Brexit has cut across Labour's base, it is


that dividing line, that deeper division is cutting across social


democracies more generally. Is there a possibility, no higher than that,


that it will reShane our party politics? I think it is too early to


know whether this is a fundamental long-term realignment. If we look at


what is happening in local by-election, what is happening at


by-elections, pictures a bit mixed but if you look at how some of the


Labour vote is responding, I think that potentially reflects the


possibility of a terminal decline for the Labour Party, it is going to


be incredibly difficult for Labour to win these voters back, these are


traditional working class, socially Conservative voters who are leaving


the party, don't forget, since the 1997 general election. It is not


just because of the referendum. If that was the case, Labour would


become more a party of the Metropolitan areas, and less of a


party outside of these area, is that what you are saying? What we are S


seeing across the west can social democracy that retrenchment into the


cosmopolitan, Metropolitan city area, university towns, you can


seeing in many European states populist right parties filling the


traditional socialist area, why are they doing that? Because they are


offering two message, economic and cultural protectionism. Social


Democrats are clinging to that economic protectionism but not


saying much about migration and multiculturalism and that sort of


stuff. Are there deeper forces at work than Jeremy Corbyn? He often


gets the blame for what is happening to the Labour Party now, but if you


look the way the Greek socialist party has been wiped out. The German


Social Democrats are in trouble. The Italian socialist party has lost a


referendum. The French socialist are coming close to being wiped out on


April 23rd, Labour's problems, are part of a much wider problem of


social democracy S Jeremy Corbyn is a surface problem, what I mean by


that is you could replace him tosh with another leader, they would


still have this fundamental tension within the electorate. They are


trying to appeal to two differenter reconcilable groups of voters who


think differently about the key issues of the day. It is very


difficult for any centre left party now to assemble the kinds of


coalitionses we saw in the '90s with Clinton and Blair and Schroeder.


Those days are gone. Does that explain why it is now Labour, rather


than the Conservatives, historically the party divided over the European


Union, does all of that help to explain why its Labour that now


seems, disunited over the EU? I think so, I think also that the


issue of Brexit, and the EU, is so immatly wrapped up with that issue


of immigration, if you look at who has been abandoned Labour since 2015


or the late 90s, the one thing those voters share is a rejection of the


so-called liberal consensus on EU membership and mass immigration. It


is difficult for any Labour lead eer co-bin or Clive Lewis on Dan Jarvis,


to bring those voters back unless they are going to move on that


cultural terrain. If they are not, they may not go to Ukip, they might


go to somewhere more difficult for Labour which is political apathy.


Thank you for that. Attention now shifts to the House


of Lords where peers will begin scrutinising the EU Withdrawal Bill


in just over a week. Brexit Secretary David Davis urged


the Lords "to do its patriotic duty" and resist the urge to tinker


with the legislation. Former minister Oliver Letwin


went one further - mooting the possibility


of the abolition of the Lords if it sought to frustrate


the bill in any way. Here he is posing the question


in the Commons on Thursday. Would he find time, in government


time for a debate, should the other place seek to delay beyond the end


of March the passage of our accession to Article 50, for this


House to discuss the possibility of either the abolition or full-scale


reform of the other place? And Oliver Letwin joins


me now from Dorset. Welcome back to the programme Mr Let


win. Before we come on to the Lord's, can I get your thoughts on a


matter that has been making the news this morning and John Bercow's


remarks about being a remain voter an giving something of a running


commentary on various Brexit issues, has he sqloefr stepped the mark as


speaker? -- overstepped the mark. I think this is slightly a fuss about


nothing. Every person who thinks about politics will have had some


opinion about great matters like Brexit, and I really don't see any


particular reason why his opinion shouldn't be known after the fact.


I, I was there throughout the five days of the Brexit debate, and I


have to say, I thought he was pretty scrupulously fair in the way he


handled the House, so, I, I don't really share the view that there is


some terrible thing that has been revealed this weekend. Let me come


on to what we are here to talk about, which is the Lords. Why have


you raised the threat of the abolition of the Lord for doing its


job of scrutinising what is coming out the Commons? Well, you know,


Andrew, this question of the job of the House of Lords and scrutiny, has


to be looked at carefully. There are all sorts of bills that come out the


House of Commons which are detailed things that relate to, finance, and


expenditure, and the criminal law, and all that sort of thing, and all


of that, I admire the work that the House of Lords does, as you say


scrutinising and we shouldn't use that word loosely, it means looking


carefully at the detail, line by line of complicated legislation,


hundreds of Paps in some cases, and spotting, using the considerable


expertise many, not all be many of the peers have, in any given field,


to identify things where the Commons has got it wrong in the sense that


the legislation wouldn't achieve what the Government of the day is


seeking to make it achieve. That is a serious proper role for an Upper


House and the House of Lords performs it pretty


Now this is a very different case. This is a two clause bill. The first


clause which is the operative clause says the Prime Minister should go


ahead and sign... I understand all that. We haven't got that much time,


this is becoming a monologue. There is nothing to scrutinise, Andrew.


There were plenty of amendments put before the Commons, none of them got


through, it is true. There are eight Labour amendments in the Lords, are


you resigned to this bill coming back to the Commons with amendments?


No, it should not come back with amendments. There were hundreds of


amendments literally put down in the House of Commons, they were all


drunk. They were all trying one way or another to derail the process.


This is a binary issue, should Theresa May sign the withdrawal or


not? What should the Commons do? The Commons has now voted in favour of


it. Node do should tolerate and unelected chamber forcing the


British people... The people voted in a referendum and the Commons


voted. The matter is now signed and sealed and should not be derailed by


the House of Lords. On Labour amendment wants confirmation that


when it is done, the potential Brexit agreement will be put before


parliament before any vote in the European Parliament, that has been


an agreed principle, what is wrong with that amendments? The government


has already agreed there will be a vote, but actually, what the


amendments were seeking was to give the Commons a further vote on


whether we actually leave or not. That is already decided. Neither the


House of Lords nor anybody else has a right in my view, despite the fact


I was a remain, to what the will of the British people. Nobody should


think an unelected chamber should now try to change the course of


British history by asserting amendments in a very effective on


clause bill which says go ahead and trigger Article 50. Are you


concerned that amendments by the Lords which would then have to go


back to the Commons for consideration, are you concerned


that could derail or delay the Prime Minister's timetable for Article 50?


Yes, exactly. That would be the result of a prolonged bout of


ping-pong between the two houses, or much worse, if the House of Lords


failed to give way and the Parliament act had to be used. It


would really be intolerable. It is not good for our country. Those of


us who voted remain would prefer for that not to happen. The whole


country -- it is important for the whole country that this happens in a


rapid way and allowing the government free rein to negotiate,


that is surely in all our advantages? Deed think any efforts


to abolish the House of Lords, an issue you have raised, does that


make it easier because your friend David Cameron stuffed the upper


chamber with donors, lapdogs and lingerie designers? I was among


those who advocated for many years wholesale reform of the House of


Lords, to turn it into a serious elected second chamber. I think we


should have an upper house which commands legitimacy. This is a


second issue. Here we have not got such a House and it seems to be very


clear that it should not seek to derail on delay the action which has


been mandated by the referendum, agreed by the House of Commons, and


what we want to see now is a smooth orderly effect for this bill, so it


becomes law and Theresa May can go ahead and negotiate on our behalf.


One more question on the process, if the Lords to amend the bill and it


goes back to the Commons and the Commons sends these amendments back


again, take them out, how long could this ping-pong between the two


chambers go on in your experience? It is a very, very interesting and


complicated question with the clerks of the two ends of the Palace of


Westminster not always agreeing about this. But through certain


machinations of slightly changing amendments as they go, in my


experience this could carry on for an awful long time if clever people,


and there are plenty of clever people in the House of Lords, want


to do that and that is precisely why I think we should not tolerate it.


Oliver Letwin, thank you for joining us from Dorset.


Joining me now is Labour's Leader in the House of Lords, Angela Smith.


The Commons passed this bill without any amendments... There were


changes, the government did concede a couple of points. But the


amendments did not go through. Does that put pressure on the Lords to do


the same? I think the Lords always feels under pressure to do the right


thing. When I heard Oliver Letwin, I did not know whether to laugh or


cry. We will not frustrate, we will not wreck, we will not sabotage. We


will do what David Davis said was our patriotic duty. We will


scrutinise the bill. We have at amendments from the Labour Party. We


will look at those. It depends on the government response if we vote


on those. There could be amendments asking the Commons to look again.


That is normally what we do. It is not the wrong thing to do. But if


you do this and make amendments, it then goes back to the Commons. If


the Commons rejects the Lords' amendments, what do you think will


happen? I do not see any extended ping-pong at all. It is perfectly


legitimate. We are not talking about the outcome of negotiations, we are


talking about the process. The process of engaging with Parliament


and reporting to Parliament. It would be totally responsible for


Parliament to say, off you go, Theresa May, have two years of


negotiation and come back and talk to us at the end. The has to be a


process where the government can use the expertise of parliament to get


this right. But if you do put in some amendments, it has to go back


to the Commons, they may well say they don't want those amendments and


it may go back to the Lords, could that at the very least delay the


Prime Minister's Brexit timetable? I don't think so. She said the end of


March. Time has been built in for all the normal processes. I think


Oliver Letwin and others are getting a bit overexcited. This is the


normal process. Unless the government get things right the


first time every time, the has to be this kind of process. These are


reasonable amendments. This is a Labour amendment we are talking


about here, you want a vote in the UK Parliament before any


vote in the European Parliament if and when the Brexit deal is done,


the Commons and the Lords get to vote on it first. But the government


I think have already agreed to that so what is the point? It needs to be


on the face of the bill. It is over well if the government have agreed


it. Lord dubs had an agreement about child and look what happened to


that. Does not sound as if you would go to the wire on that? It is


important it is not just about the vote at the end, you have the


ongoing engagement. If it is going to be a bad deal, we need to know


long before we get to that stage? Is it something you would hold out for?


I don't know yet. It is about how the House of Lords votes, Labour do


not have a majority, we never had a majority in the House of Lords when


we were in government. It is wrong to suggest that we cannot debate


these issues... I don't think anyone is suggesting that. They are. It is


not unfair to ask the government to ask the House of Commons to look


again to look at those issues if again to look at those issues if


that is what the House of Lords decides. Bit of the House of Commons


says we looked, we are sticking with what we voted for, we rejected every


amendment by at least 30 votes on all occasions, the Lords then have


to buckle, is that what you are saying? Some point I think it is


clear the House of Commons have to have its say. I think it is


inconceivable that having had a referendum, which was not


overwhelming, but it was a clear result, the House of Lords has no


intention of sabotaging that but there are things which are not good


about the process that we think could be improved. We have not just


have the result of the referendum which voted to leave, but we have


had the will of the Commons that passed this legislation by a


majority of 372. And I am not contesting that for a second! Could


you cite a precedent for the upper house amending a bill which passed


by 372 votes in the Commons? Quite other things will come to the House


of Lords with big majorities from the Commons and quite often the


amendments we get, with that then forward and the government sees it


could do better. Though not necessarily saying the government


has got things wrong, but they could do things better. That happens time


and time again and it is not unusual. If you were seen to thwart


the referendum result and the vote in the Commons, the elected chamber


of parliament, is the threat of abolition hanging over you? I think


that is really ridiculous and absolute nonsense. We are not tying


to what the decision of the House of Commons, we are trying to do better.


It is a bit rich of the government and Oliver Letwin to complain about


getting things through in time when the House of Commons spent -- the


government spent three months trying to debate this issue. There have


been some strong questions put to the government from the House of


Lords on all sides. I don't know if the amendments have been passed or


not. I think we have a good case for the government to get debate the


point. If a traditional MP like Oliver Letwin is calling for the


abolition of the hereditary and appointed chamber, and the Labour


person like yourself was trying to defend that, that would not be a


sustainable position, I would suggest! We saw this with the


Strathclyde report as well, this is a government like no other. It is


the first Conservative government in history not to have an automatic


majority. They do not like challenge or scrutiny. But you get my point,


Labour cannot go to the wire in defending and an elected second


chamber, can it? Actually, Labour can go to the wire in saying the


government does not get it right every time. House of Lords is going


to normal processes and people like Oliver Letwin are really getting a


little bit over excited, and people who have been anonymously briefing.


Who has been anonymously briefing? I don't know, they are anonymous! I


understand people want to make amendments, that is the role of the


House of Lords, but can I just for the avoidance of doubt, is it still


your case that whatever amendments to make, whatever may go back and


forward, it is not your intention to stop Article 50 being triggered by


the end of March? I have been saying that, exactly that for months and


months and months. It is inconceivable that an unelected


House will thwart the will of the House of Commons and a referendum on


this issue. But that does not mean we will be bullied by Oliver Letwin


and others. But the triggering will happen by the end of March? I very


much suspect so unless Theresa May has second thoughts, I suspect that


will happen. Thank you. Now, just because it's


parliamentary recess next week There are two by-elections


round the corner - one in Copeland, and another


in Stoke-on-Trent Central where the former Shadow


Education Secretary, Tristram Hunt, vacated his


seat to take up a role as Director of the Victoria


Albert Museum in London. But Labour are facing a fight


to hold onto the constituency Seconds away, Ukip's new leader has


stepped into the ring as their candidate in


a by-election bout to see At the last election Ukip


came second to Labour here But now they are confident they can


land a knockout blow, because this place is packed with


people that voted to leave the EU. 70% of people voted to leave


the European Union. I'm the only candidate


standing in this election who is a true Brexiteer,


who has always campaigned to leave the EU and therefore I believe


I would be the best person But he has had to fight off


allegations he wasn't living in the constituency


when he entered the contest. Explain to me what is going


on with this issue about your house? Well, we took up the lease


the day before nominations. Everything we've done is perfectly


legal and within the law. The Labour Party are trying to get


off the real issues in this election and focus on something


which is banal nonsense. And there's been trouble as well


for the Labour contender. He's been labelled a Remoaner


after he sent a series of anti-Brexit tweets,


filled with words I can't believe I'm about to ask


this question in a nursery on a Sunday morning TV programme,


but did you really tweet that I tweeted many things about Brexit,


that's tweet is out there. It was done quite after


the referendum result and it was my way of showing my frustration


at the fact that months after the result we hadn't had


anything from the government. Theresa May had failed


to produce any plan, she had failed to give


any meaningful statement about what Brexit meant other


than bland statements about Brexit is Brexit, and it's


a hard Brexit, or a soft Brexit. The context of it was it


was out of frustration. So you didn't mean to insult the 70%


of the people who live here I never mean to insult


anybody and you know, I've made it quite clear,


if I'm elected as the member of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent


Central, I will absolutely respect the wishes of the people


of Stoke Central. I will make sure my vote in


parliament is to trigger Article 50. While the Tories' man has done


little bit of rebranding too. I voted Remain and I've been open


about that, but my top priority is about the economy and to ensure


we still have an Theresa May has set out clear


proposal to ensure we develop a trade relationship with Europe


and make that a success. It means the Lib Dems and the Greens


are the ones battling Brexit. Well, when the Lib Dem


candidate is actually here. The candidate is a


consultant cardiologist. He is actually at work today doing


very important heart surgery. He will be back tomorrow, back


on the campaign trail working hard. 30% of people voted


to Remain and nobody else is representing them, so, you know,


it is still a live issue. It is still something


people care about. We are only at the start


of the Article 50 process We are very a clear


that we are standing up for those who want to remain in the single


market, who want to protect jobs Labour have taken people for granted


in this area for a great many years. Ukip, I'm afraid, all Ukip can offer


to politics is division. I've covered a lot of by-elections


where Ukip have come second. We'll find out if they really got


Labour on the ropes this And here is a full list


of all the candidates standing in the Stoke-on-Trent Central


by-election. They do atract lots of candidates.


You can get that on the BBC website as well. I was trying to think back,


here we have the main opposition party defending two seats in


by-elections in the midterm of a government.


All the speculation is where the opposition party can hold on, that


is unprecedented. I can't give of an equivalent. You wouldn't just expect


them to win seats they have held traditionally, you would expect hem


to make inroads into seats held by the other party, I wonder if they


fail to hold on to just one of these, whether it accelerates the


momentum and criticism of the leadership of the moment. I think


they are interesting constituencies. Matthew good win was talking about


the left win coalition over the years, almost being too broad for


its own good, including places like Primrose Hill and Hackney. Big


university towns in Manchester, Bristol. Diverse ethnically and


included places like Stoke which are more Conservative. With a small c.


Less economically well-off, more diverse, can the left hang on to


both bits of country. Recent evidence suggests it cannot and the


opportunity for Ukip is to pick up the second of those two types of


community, the Stokes and the cope lands. That what makes the


by-elections interest I would suggest. It is not just about Mr


Corbyn's future about which we hear too much, it is about this


traditional Labour coalition, can it still survive, particularly in


places like Stoke? Europe clearly is a test. I think it's a myth by the


way that Labour are only split now, over Europe and it has always been a


Tory problem, last time I was on I mentioned it. That is why we had a


referendum in 75. That is why they had a round then. But they were in


chaos behind the scenes over what they thought about the euro,


skillful leadership can paper over the cracks, and to address the wider


issue of whether we are now in an era where left right issues have


disappeared, and there is more of a era where left right issues have


regional divide, if you take Europe out of the equation which you can't,


but if you were able to, issues about health, transport housing do


split more left-right than a regional divide, so I think there is


still fundamental left-right issues, but Europe isn't one of them and


Europe has to be managed by a Labour leader skill fully and evidently


that hasn't happened now. How would you see the by-elections in the


current political context? Labour should be walking them, it should be


a sign of the March of the Labour Party taking on the current


Conservative Government. I don't think they raise any questions about


Corbyn's leadership because the people who put him in don't think


that winning elections matter, you have to remember this will be the


mainstream media, it will be our fault why any of those Labour


candidates don't win, the thing that is interesting is whether there is


is a role for Ukip. The argument after the referendum was Ukip has


done its job, it got the referendum, nothing to see here, I remember


speaking to put a Nuttall before he was Ukip leader, on the day after


the battle and he said this is Year Zero, where Ukip starts now, and


this, and this is the interesting thing, does, do we see this one


particular party having a role in the future? And I think it is all to


play for, they could not not have stood in this seat. They have to win


it to be an electoral force. The Labour candidate in Copeland has


made the NHS the issue for her in this, that goes into the left-right,


are we spending enough, are we That will be a test of what you were


saying to see if traditional left-right issue, which at the


moment would play Labour's way I would suggest, are big enough to


overcome all the things you have been talking about and Matthew has


been talking about. Maybe at this particular junction they are not,


but I don't think any of those issues will go away, and that is why


I question whether we are see the end of a historic left-right divide.


At the moment with Europe so prominent, clearly these


by-elections are unusual. And they will be a test of leadership for


Theresa May in the coming months if not at the moment, as they have been


in a way that he hasn't risen to, for the Labour leader.


We will be leave on BBC One on the night, February 23rd off back of


this week, we will bring you the result of both these crucial


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


We say goodbye to viewers in Scotland who leave us now


Good morning and welcome to Sunday Politics Scotland.


The former First Minister Alex Salmond will be


We hear from farmers about their hopes and fears for Brexit.


For every reason to stay I could find another to leave.


In the NFL, what is affecting me, right now?


says it'll mean opportunities for his members


Well, just about everyone now seems to think there will be another


We were going to speak to Alex Salmond, but we have a few technical


problems will stop and talk about farming.


We'll talk to Andrew McCorninck in a few minutes.


But first Huw Williams has been to meet a hipster who sells his milk


direct to his customers, and a hill farmer who breeds prize


They both work hard and love the ground. They are both found a niche


market and made the most of it. But there are big differences between


them. That is in German is. Does he live up to his name? Heated over the


family farm on his father died just over two years ago, the


third-generation to farm the land in Ayrshire. But he walked into a


perfect storm. The sickly I was so sickened by the fact I was attracted


to the family legacy going, the milk price collapsed so badly to


generations' work, I said to myself, there is no way I will let anyone


dictate the price to me again. I wanted a sustainable future for the


farm. I wanted people drinking the milk to know where it came from,


basically reinvent the food chain. Reinvent your people and their food


comes from and re-engage with farming. That said, good girls. She


is first generation farmer working on a rented hill farm in the


Galloway hills. With her husband she has built up a prize-winning herd of


heritage cattle. These are belted Galloway. They are native here,


there are tremendous for hill farming. They are good for


conservation land as well. They are also a tourist attraction although


this area does not have so many tourists yet. We are a hidden


corner. But tremendous meat. In the referendum, Brice voted to leave the


European Union, although it was not an easy decision. Every reason I


could find to stay I could find another to leave. I took it upon


myself to think, what is affecting me now? At the time I was only


getting 9.7 p per litre for milk, were losing money and just could not


stay farming. I looked at why that was happening. Basically worldwide


there was too much milk. In the UK we actually don't produce enough


milk in the UK to supply the UK. And I found out that the larger dairy


items are sold in supermarkets are not British anymore. But, for


example. -- batter for example. Jane voted to remain in the EU. Although


there are a lot of rules, we know where we are. My biggest worry is


that hill farmers with Brexit will be forgotten about, and there are


not many ways you can diversified. We cannot change any more than what


we already have. We have to work with what we have got and I'm


frightened we will be forgotten about. What about the future? Rice


thinks we may have to re-engineer the whole structure of agriculture.


In Scotland we are unique. We have crafts, small herds and agriculture


systems. Whether we have to change the way subsidies are paid or change


the way we farm to become more profitable, and not speaking for


every farmer, but I'm pretty sure a large proportion of them would


rather have a profitable business that did not depend on subsidies


rather than having to rely on it. The latest figure was something like


45 present of all European farmers' income a subsidy. I'm sure farmers


would rather have a profitable and sustainable business that works with


the community and customers rather than depending on hand-outs to keep


the business alive. Jane is worried and wants politicians to take


farming seriously. Nothing seems to be thought out. Most people were


leaving because of immigration, and that took over. For me there was not


enough plans put in place to assure us that it was worth leaving, but as


it happens we are. I would say they need to listen to the agriculture,


because food is a main thing in this country, and if we don't look after


it, then we don't know what our market is for buying him. And the


strength of the pound and everything. I think we need to


seriously realise that agriculture is a big thing for Britain. Whatever


we do, we need to get this right. 65,000 jobs, and ?615 million in the


Scottish economy depend on agriculture.


Shortly before we came on air I spoke to the new President of NFU


I'm sure many would agree with the sentiment expressed their that it


would be nice to have a farming industry that did not rely on


subsidies, but realistically for lots of hill farmers, crofters in


the Highlands and Islands, there will have to be subsidies are simply


would not be possible to keep them going. The support payment will have


to be a big part of it. They are the sectors most endangered with Brexit.


This is our issue, we have to be out there and fight for that corner and


ensure this does not happen. It is not only the sentiment, there are


whole communities that rely on agricultural and crofting activity


in these areas. Are you satisfied that you have guarantees are hard


commitments from either the British are Scottish Government that an


equivalent level of subsidy will stay in place when we are outside


the Common Agricultural Policy? This is why these two years, when article


50 is triggered, we have to ensure our case is carried forward. And we


have a very, very strong case to take forward. We employ 63,000


people directly in farming and crofting, but there are 60,000 jobs


down the line depending on us. We have to get a strong message. One in


eight people in the UK are depending on the food and farming and drinks


industry. We have a good message to take, and we will deliver that. But


as of now, I want to be clear, you do not know what kind of regime will


be in place after Brexit? Nothing definitive. We have been given


guarantees of what they call the pillar to payments, one of the five


years... Explain what they are. Pillar to other payments you apply


for the likes of environmental programmes. They will continue after


Brexit? Anyone that are signed up on a long-term agreement will continue


payment, but that is only a small part of him, comes to farmers to


support payments. On the more positive side, there are


opportunities for Scottish farmers positive side, there are


in particular, because we don't tend to have the kind of dog crop


production -- the bulk production that you have done in England. What


are the opportunities? If you look at the Scottish brand, this is


something we can sell all over the world. I think we can promote and


even more. We are recognised for the quality beef and Lamb. The whole of


the sector depends on high-quality cereal industry. You think you could


market Scottish beef and make it a niche thing, and Scottish lamb, and


the fish farms could market Scottish salmon. Whisky, I'm not so sure.


Because whisky production was up does not necessarily mean that helps


farmers. It does. Is it mainly coming from Scotland, the Bali? This


is one of the opportunities we have to take forward. -- the Bali.


Preferably what you would like would be some commitment from the whisky


industry to advertise their product as not just Koch whisky but Scotch


whisky made from Scottish barley. It would be nice to see... We don't


want to hamper or destroy the Scottish whisky industry and anyway,


but we certainly believe it should be Scottish product first. If those


are opportunities, there are risks. Presumably you would worry about


cheap beef imports from countries like the United States. Again, this


Scottish brand, we are producing at a far higher standard. Andrea


Leadsom did say at this Conservative Party conference that we should not


be allowed to be undermined and cheap imports that are not near our


standard. This is an opportunity. That's fine, so you sit down with


Donald Trump and try to negotiate a trade agreement, and he says, sorry,


of course we will sell our beef in Britain. That's one of the


challenges we have going forward. If we are selling a product as a far


higher standard and quality, reducing it to the standard. But


sticking with the issue of beef, and America has hormone treatments for


cattle which are not allowed by the European Union, but that is not to


say they would not be used by' -- would not be allowed in post-Brexit


Britain. I believe we will be doing the majority of trade beyond this


with Europe. And part the agreement with Europe will be the vital


sanitary controls were talking about, if production is coming in at


those standards and is not acceptable in our market. Your beef


Bridger and they will have to be not genetically modified or treated if


you want to sell it in Europe, but that is not mean that American beef


coming in here could not be. I think it should be. We have to make sure


we're bringing in an equivalent standard of what we are producing. I


would not accept any of my membership to want the competition


to come from, that would be an unfair trading practice, and should


be things in place to prevent that. We should point out to viewers, they


should look very closely, and they can notice that your tyres covered


in tractors. Thank you! Well, just about everyone now seems


to think there will be another independence referendum,


possibly next year, but what exactly would independence


campaigners argue for this time? Alex Salmond, the former


First Minister, tweeted "Game on" last week when a poll suggested


support for independence We will talk about independence in


the moment, but first there is another row about John Bercow


because of remarks he has made about Brexit. Do you think his position is


tenable? Yes, I do. John Bercow has always


had a handful of people gunning for him, not just because of remarks he


made about Brexit. It is about his modernisation agenda, the fact he


lets women and babies into the House of Commons and is taking weeks out.


John Bercow, I think, is this significant in the most access in


terms of a speaker in history. Certainly the most opportunity the


backbenchers. That might be embarrassing for the government but


it gives them a commanding support across all parties in the House of


Commons. I am right behind John Bercow. I presume from your


treating, game on, you would like another referendum. -- tweeting.


What would be the most advantageous time to have it? I was in


conversation with a Tory minister who asked me who the... There has


been less comfortable assumption amongst the government despite the


fact that there were 16 out of 17 opinion polls since Brexit which


have shown support for independence higher than it was in September 20


14th. There was this assumption that the support was under decline. When


they saw the poll in the Herald early this week, it had a dramatic


effect on matte government minister I was speaking to. He thought


everything was in the bag and under control. When do you think there


everything was in the bag and under should be one? It is significant


because the government is still to respond to Nicola Sturgeon's


compromised proposal. That will come over the next few weeks. Once that


is done, if they reject it, then we will know there is no interest in


the voice of Scotland. Nicola Sturgeon has said there would be


another independence referendum very likely. If there is, the likely


timescale will be the automatic next year. What would you say to people


and there seems to be quite a lot of them, who set even if we are


sympathetic to independence, we would rather wait and see what the


British government comes up with as a result of the Brexit negotiations.


We know what it is we are voting to leave, should we vote, yes. I am


guessing there is quite a few people like that where you are speaking to


us from now, who were sympathetic to independence but Vote Leave. That is


not compatible with what I have been trying to say. There polls that say


do you want a referendum right now? Or do you want one after the Brexit


negotiations? Some unscrupulous newspapers and on the second


percentage. If you are talking about a referendum in 18 months' time, the


negotiations will then be crystallised. You will be able to


tell what the deal or no Deal will be and certainly that is after the


timescale the government was talking about with bringing the deal back to


the House of Commons for a vote. I don't see that as incompatible


whatsoever. Nicola Sturgeon has been correct in putting forward a


compromised proposal and we have to see if the UK Government will pay


attention to the interests of Scotland and whether Theresa May


will on her commitment of the 15th of July last year. She said she was


looking for an agreed UK position back by Scotland on the other


devolved administrations. If there is another referendum, what should


the SNP argue for? There is some discussion with the party about


whether to go for Scotland in Europe or whether to argue for what Nicola


Sturgeon is arguing should happen even if we stay in the UK, an


independent Scotland should not immediately join the European Union


but should be part of the European free trade area. It would be in the


single market but not be part of the customs union. You could say there


is no question of the border between Scotland and England. Do you think


that is what the SNP should argue or should you stick to the leaving the


UK and immediately tried to join the European Union? The SNP will


continue to argue that Scotland is a member of the European Union. Why


shouldn't we? The mainstream media have made fools of themselves by


deliberately missing ten -- misinterpreting the European


Commission's representative of the UK. As we know from an interview


yesterday, it was the opposite of what the mainstream media Andrew


Neill was claiming. That will be a strong position that the SNP will


argue. In terms of timescale, the key matter, as was enunciated in a


compromised proposal, in terms of protecting the Scottish economy and


saving Scottish jobs and saving investment, it is for uninterrupted


member show of -- membership of the economic area. That can be secured


by membership of the European Union but there are other ways to secure


it. The SNP's position would be to be a member of the European Union.


In the key negotiating, it is the staying within the economic area.


That suggests that the key battle ground in terms of economics or any


future independence referendum is not going to be as it was the last


time like the currency but there will be trade and access to trade


and access to markets. That is what the UK Government is jeopardising


and what an independent Scotland should secure. To answer a question


that you asked at the beginning of that and set, the answer to why


perhaps change the position in Europe. We know a lot of yes voters


voted to leave the European Union. It is a difficult sell for you to


say that you won the Brexit vote even though you were sympathetic to


independence. We want you to vote to break up the UK and join the


European Union you've just voted to leave. Independent membership of the


European Union and Scotland has was been the most popular of the range


of constitutional options available to the country. I don't think it is


a difficult sell at all. Nicola Sturgeon emphasised as a priority,


continuing membership of the European economic area. I saw one of


your programmes a few weeks ago when Kevin Pringle made them -- made a


point in terms of company of independent Scotland and people who


independent -- believe in independence, believe that the


highest priority. Therefore should be much more amenable to being


galvanised for an independence campaign and people who bought other


priorities first. I would be confident that the progress we are


seeing in support of independents can continue if the campaign is


pitched in the right way. Should there be another yes campaign nor


should it run itself? There should be another campaign. There should be


cross-party and open to people of no party. There will be some lessons to


learn from a first campaign. I don't share the view and you will


understand why. We didn't win the vote that we put on 15% that the yes


vote Gerry McCann pain. If we put on another 15%, the result will be


overwhelming. I don't think we should beat ourselves up about the


structure of the campaign. There are some key lessons to learn and no


doubt let Nicola Sturgeon will learn them and deploy them if we get into


the situation of the second independence referendum. One lesson


is you will not argue that keeping the pound no matter how the British


government says you are not going to.


If you call the second debate, the BBC debate with Alistair Darling,


the position I outlined in that was rather more successful than the


earlier position. Nicola Sturgeon knows her own mind and should be


able to outline the range of currency options open to Scotland.


The key argument I see coming in this referendum, in terms of


economics, will be what secures Scotland's trains -- trade, our


access to markets. Independence has a winning argument, framework. I


expect to see it deployed by Nicola a winning argument, framework. I


Sturgeon. It looks like you have cut the grass already but maybe do some


streaming at the back there. Scottish Labour found itself at odds


with the national party this week. In Westminster, in defiance


of Jeremy Corbyn's three line whip, the party's only Scottish MP


Ian Murray voted against In a symbolic vote at Holyrood


the party's MSPs did likewise. Well, I'm joined now


by former Labour special Labour's problems. Where do you


start? Used with Jeremy Corbyn who was biggest problem. -- you start.


Showing the difficulty, you want to be in touch with what public opinion


is that you don't need to follow it. They look quite cowardly in what


they have done. There should have been more amendments and they should


have pushed for a second vote if not a second referendum. They didn't do


that. That is a big problem for people like Ian Murray. Jeremy


Corbyn causes them huge problems. Do you think Ian Murray is justified in


staying outside Jeremy Corbyn's team? If you want to get Labour to


get his act together, the fact that they can't have the Secretary of


State for Scotland or a shadow Secretary of State was a Scottish


MP, looks ridiculous. It would be difficult for it Ian Murray to stick


to his principles and join Jeremy Corbyn. It would be a ridiculous


position. Jeremy Corbyn is a disaster for the Labour Party. You


look at whether polls are. The difficulty you have... A lot of


people who support Corbyn would say it is all very well sitting there


saying the polls are disastrous for Corbyn but the reason they are


disastrous is his own Labour MPs take every opportunity they can to


appear in television studios and on the radio saying how rubbish years.


Because they are telling the truth. Members voted that Owen Smith and


not Jeremy Corbyn to be the leader. He doesn't have any purchase with


the Scottish Labour Party membership. It was suggested in this


mythical world in which we live in where Scotland is a left-wing


country and people respond to Jeremy Corbyn and vote for him. In the last


poll I saw in Scotland, we were down to 12%. There is a point where we


have to ask the question, is the Labour Party passed the point of no


return? On mat, there was a professor of politics talking to


Andrew Neil earlier and he was making the point that there is a


real problem for the Labour Party now. There is two different


constituencies. They are socially conservative and is economic li


conservative. It has a metropolitan constituency and university towns.


London is quite heavily Labour. Those two constituencies which used


to coexist quite happily and vote Labour are now at odds with each


other. His point was getting rid of Jeremy Corbyn isn't going to solve


the fundamental problem. It won't. There needs to be thinking about how


you build that coalition. Every political party if it winds is a


coalition. If you look at the SNP, they have a coalition of people. The


SNP coalition has a fractured in the way that Labour has. How you don't


respond to that is by doing what Jeremy Corbyn has done and pander to


one side, the people who voted leave. The difficulty that the


Labour Party has come I found this during the referendum, like wind --


I find this astonishing that there were Labour voters in traditional


Labour heartlands who didn't know where Scotland, where the Labour


Party stored on the question of Scottish independence. I think the


difficulty is what the Labour Party doesn't do, either in the UK in


Scotland, is argue its position. For too long just accepted the support


without actually making an argument about why they believed in things


like being in the European Union. Will get there. Thank you very much


indeed. Scottish education used


to be regarded as one Well, it came to terms with no


longer being in the top tier some years ago, but is it now


going to have to come to terms This week, at First Minister's


Questions, opposition parties seized on the latest nail in the Scottish


education quality coffin, The Sutton Report -


accusing the Scottish Government And Scottish and being left behind


in the race for qualifications in future jobs. Scotland used to lead


the world in education. Why under this Government are we always


playing catch-up? Time and time again I have come here and argued


that the SNP are leaving behind the poorest children. This report shows


they are also holding back the brightest children. In our education


system today we have record high exam passes. We have record numbers


of young people going into positive destinations after they leave


school, and we also do see signs of positive destinations, for example


as is, or access to university, signs of the narrowing attainment


gap. I'm joined now by three members


of Holyrood's Education Committee. They include, here with me,


its convenor the SNP's James Dornan. And in Edinburgh the


Conservative's Elizabeth Smith Liz Smith, this Sutton Report was


just the latest in a series of statistics reports saying that


Scotland is sliding down international tables and is not


doing well compared to schools in England. Everyone always says, it is


nothing to do with the Curriculum for Excellence. Is that wearing a


bit thin? Yes, I think it is wearing very thin. All of us in the


education committee have listened carefully to a lot of evidence that


has been presented to us in recent years the' -- weeks and months, and


I think there is problem with the delivery of the curriculum, but


let's be in no doubt, this is a decline that is taking place over a


10-year period, and I have to say that the SNP is responsible for some


of the problems within that 10-year period, not least of which is


turning a blind eye to some of the very strong criticism that has been


made by teachers and parents in the system. It is something we have


listened to at the education committee, and to be fair to James


Dornan, he has been blunt in a way that some of his colleagues in the


SNP have not. Are you been blunt? I'm being honest. We are trying to


get to the bottom of any issues we have and how we can move forward.


The Cabinet Secretary has already said, we have accepted that things


have to change. We have taken evidence from teachers. You have


been in power for ten years and we have been going backwards. You focus


on the attainment gap, but of the whole system is going down about


other countries, that is not good. You had the First Minister talking


about her results have improved over the last couple of years, but the


important thing is we look back and decide we want to criticise


everything or say, at least we now know the Government is taking this


seriously and is moving forward with this review and will change things.


But after ten things, can you point to one thing your Government plans


to do that will make any difference? We have just seen that results have


improved. We have serious action being taken on the attainment gap.


We are devolving education down to the point where it should be, and


that is in the schools, so that headteachers can make sure... Very


few people would disagree with the idea of giving money to


headteachers, maybe some would disagree, giving money to


headteachers and saying, but it is not clear how giving them more money


and not telling them what to do with it actually helps. By the time that


money gets to the teachers there will be a framework within which it


can be spent to help to improve attainment. By doing what? There are


lots of things that are not just classroom learning can help


children, but if it means you can bring in a classroom assistant if


you think it is required, or whatever else the school requires,


the beauty of it is Igls to the school, and the school then decides


for their needs if that works. I see the beauty of that, the problem is


that Nicola Sturgeon has staked her first ministership on dosing the


attainment gap. While this might be a good idea, there is not


necessarily any correlation between handing headteachers money and


lowering the attainment gap. It might work, but equally it might


not. That is the point of the review. We look to see what is


working, we are looking to get feedback on the idea of clusters and


making sure schools can work together and share best practice


over a small geographic area. Daniel Johnson, what is your answer to this


problem? Handing money to headteachers, Mayor may not be a


good thing, but does not in itself mean that will reduce the attainment


gap. No, and I think James is dancing around the elephant in the


room. That is a new one! Years. It is funding. This Sutton Report is


interesting, because it shows a clear change in performance around


2006, exactly the point where the SNP started cutting funding to local


authorities. Let's just take as read that things are not great but I want


to focus on what can be done. Labour don't seem to have any proposals of


doing anything different. You just keep saying give more money to


schools or teachers or local authorities. It is clear that money


is not the problem. We spend much more per capita on screwing the


media in England, and England have caught up with us and are


overtaking. I disagree with you. The reality is we have seen 4000


teachers fewer teachers, 1000 fewer support staff, and these are


critical resources that make all the difference to attainment and


providing good education. We do spend much more than they do in


England. I'm not saying what you are mentioning is not the problem, but


what is England doing that means their education system appears on


all the statistics to be overtaking hours with less money? The key thing


is the direction of travel, and when you have declined and stuff like


that it is pretty clear that will make it harder and harder for


schools to deliver what they need to. But also the education committee


has seen some pretty serious and worrying evidence that in terms of


the introduction of a number of changes in terms of curriculum and


qualifications, there has not been clear decision-making. There has not


been an analysis and assessment of impact, and that is worrying. We


have a combination of lack of resources and institutional failure.


James Dornan was far too polite to point out that Curriculum for


Excellence was an invention of the Labour Party. Liz Smith, would it be


sensible to scrap the whole thing with that cause yet more disruption?


I don't think anybody believes there is anything that is a problem with


the principles of the Curriculum for Excellence. The argument is about


the delivery, and that has been an utter mess. That is the strong


message we have been getting from numerous presentations that have


been made to us in the Holyrood committee. It is also a lot of the


information that is coming through submissions to the governance


review. And I think education agencies in Scotland obviously


responsible for the implementation of the curriculum, there is


something really wrong with the way this delivery has taken place. The


very fact that John Swinney has had to scrap 20,000 pages of guidance,


and the very people, may I finish this point? The very people who


initiated these were the education agencies. There is something wrong


if that system is going to break down. Is that right, James Dornan?


There is a problem with the way... There is clearly something wrong


when we have had to remove all the paperwork, remove all these


different rules, because what seems to have happened is that things have


improved on top of existing things instead of an ongoing process to


make sure regulation was not needed any more. Can I go back briefly to


appoint. Daniel said it is local authorities that are responsible for


hiring or firing teachers. We have to leave it there.


We're taking a break next Sunday because Parliament's in recess


so I'll be back in two Sundays' time.


Download Subtitles