Andrew Neil and Gordon Brewer are joined by shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth MP, former Conservative Party leader Lord Michael Howard and John Curtice.
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It's Sunday Morning and this is the Sunday Politics.
The Government has insisted that Gibraltar will not be bargained
But the territory's chief minister says the EU's proposal
After a momentous week, Britain's journey out
Can the Prime Minister satisfy her critics at home
We speak to the former Conservative leader, Michael Howard.
And we have the lowdown on next month's local elections -
what exactly is up for grabs, who's going up and who's going down?
And on Sunday Politics Scotland - What a week!
and Spain's Foreign Minister says they wouldn't block
an Independent Scotland's entry to the EU.
Join me, and Holyrood's Brexit Minister, at 11.45.
And with me, as always, the best and the brightest political
panel in the business - Steve Richards, Isabel Oakeshott
and Tom Newton Dunn who'll be tweeting throughout the programme.
For the people of Gibraltar, Clause 22 of the EU's draft negotiating
guidelines came as something of a shock.
The guidelines propose that the Government in Spain be
given a veto over any future trade deal as it applies to
The UK Government has reacted strongly, saying Gibraltar
will not be bargained away in the Brexit talks.
Here's the Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, speaking
We are going to look after Gibraltar.
Gibraltar's going to be protected all the way, all the way,
because the sovereignty of Gibraltar cannot be changed without
the agreement of the people of Gibraltar and they have made it
very clear they do not want to live under Spanish rule
and it is interesting, I think, in the draft guidelines from the EU
that Spain is not saying that the whole thing is subject
Michael Fallon earlier. Steve, is this a Spanish power grab or much
ado about nothing? It could be both. Clearly what is happening about this
negotiation and will happen again and again is that at different
points individual countries can start playing bargaining cards. They
will say, if you want a deal, you have to deliver this, UK. Spain is
doing it early. It might turn out to be nothing at all. It is an early
example of how to delete recruit after Article 50 is triggered, the
dynamic -- how after Article 50 is triggered, the dynamic changes. At
certain points, any country can veto it. It gives them much more power
than we have clocked so far. Donald Tusk, the head of the European
Council, he went out of his way to say Britain mustn't deal by
laterally, with individual countries, it has to deal with the
EU as a block. Was it mischiefmaking to add this bit in about Spain?
Those two things do not tally. I think on our part, when I say we, I
mean the Foreign Office and Number 10, we dropped the ball. By
excluding Gibraltar from the letter of Article 50, they gave an
opportunity to the Spanish to steal the narrative. Why this is
important, presentation, things looked like they were going quite
well for Theresa May when she handed over the letter, for a few hours,
and suddenly, you have this incredible symbolism of Gibraltar.
For Brexiteers, the idea that there could be some kind of diminishment
or failure in relation to Gibraltar, it would be a very symbolic
illustration of things not going entirely to plan. Forget the detail,
it does not look great. Gibraltar got mentions in the white paper.
They did not get a mention in the Article 50 notification. Do you
think the British Government did not see this coming? To be honest, I do
not think it would make a bit of difference. Theresa May could have
an entire chapter in her letter to Donald Tusk and the Spanish and the
EU would have still tried this on. For me, it was as much a point of
symbolism than it was for any power grab. It was a good point to make.
You need to know, Britain, you are not in our club, we will not have
your interests at heart. Officials after the press conference, they
went on to talk about it saying it is a territorial dispute. It is not!
Gibraltar is British. It is very much a shot across the bow is.
Whether it comes to pass, it is still yet to be seen. I feel we will
be chasing hares like this for the next few years. There will be many
other examples. They are greatly empowered by the whole process.
Britain has not really got... It has got to wait and hear what their
interpretation of Brexit is. They will negotiate, we will negotiate
accordingly. I have some sympathy about the letter, the Article 50
letter. They agonised over it, so much to get right in terms of
balance and tone. It would have been absurd to start mentioning Skegness
and everything else. Why not! Skegness, what did they do? It is a
real example of how the dynamic now changes. The Spanish royals are
going to come here in a couple of months, that could be interesting.
It will be good feelings breaking up, I am sure. -- breaking out.
So, after a historic week, the UK is now very much
But will it be a smooth journey to the exit door?
Or can we expect a bit of turbulence?
Are you taking back control, Prime Minister?
Big days in politics usually involve people shouting
and the Prime Minister getting in a car.
It is only a few hundred metres from Downing Street to Parliament.
But the short journey is the start of a much longer one
and we do not know exactly where we will all end up.
This is a historic moment from which there can
Moments earlier, this Dear John, sorry, Dear Don letter,
was delivered by Britain's ambassador in Brussels to the EU
He seemed genuinely upset to have been jilted.
Back in Westminster, hacks from around the world
were trying to work out what it all meant for the
So, here it is, a copy of the six-page letter
The letter reaffirms the PM's proposal to have talks on the exit
deal and a future trade deal at the same time.
It also mentioned the word "security" 11 times and stated
a failure to reach agreement would mean cooperation
in the fight against crime and terrorism would be weakened.
Later, our very own Andrew got to ask her what would happen
if Britain left the European policing agency, Europol.
We would not be able to access information in the same way
as we would as a member, so it is important, I think,
we are able to negotiate a continuing relationship that
enables us to work together in the way that we have.
That night, the Brexiteers were happy.
We did not have a Mad Hatter, but now we do.
Down the street, even the Remainers, having a Mad Hatters' tea party,
I am not sure that is actually Boris, though.
The next morning, the papers suggested Theresa May would use
security as a bargaining tool and threaten to withdraw the UK's
cooperation in this area if no deal was struck.
Downing Street denied it, as did the Brexit Secretary.
We can both cope, but we will both be worse off.
That seems to be a statement of fact, it is not a threat,
David Davis had other business that morning,
introducing the Great Repeal Bill, outling his plans to transfer
all EU law into British law to change later,
It is not without its critics but the Brexit Secretary said,
among other benefits, it would make trade talks easier
As we exit the EU and seek a new deep and special partnership
with the European Union, we are doing so from a position
where we have the same standards and rules.
It will also ensure we deliver on our promise to end the supremacy
of European Union law in the UK as we exit.
There was, though, a small issue with the name.
The Government hit an early hurdle with the Great Repeal Bill.
Parliamentary draughtsmen said they were not allowed
Great(!) so it is just the Repeal Bill.
So far, it had been a tale of two cities.
By Friday, there was another, Valletta in Malta, where EU leaders
were having a meeting and President Tusk, yes, him again,
set out draft guidelines for the EU Brexit strategy.
Once, and only once, we have achieved sufficient progress
on the withdrawal can we discuss the framework for our
Starting parallel talks on all issues at the same time,
as suggested by some in the UK, will not happen.
The EU 27 does not and will not pursue a punitive approach.
Brexit in itself is already punitive enough.
The pressure on Theresa May to get the Brexit process going has now
gone and the stage is being set elsewhere for the showdown
But face-to-face discussions are not likely to happen
Before May or early June. No one is celebrating just yet.
We're joined now from Kent by the former Conservative
The EU says it will not talk about a future relationship with the UK
until there has been sufficient progress on agreeing the divorce
bill. Should the UK agree to this phased approach? Well, I think you
can make too much about the sequence and timing of the negotiations. I
assume that it will be a case of nothing is agreed until everything
is agreed and so any agreements that might be reached on things talked
about early on will be very provisional, so I think you can make
a big deal about the timing and the sequence when I do not think it
really matters as much as all that. Don't people have a right in this
country to be surprised of the talk of a massive multi-billion pound
divorce settlement? I do not remember either side making much of
this in the referendum, do you? No. A select committee of the House of
Lords recently reported and said that there was no legal basis for
any exit fee. We will have to see how the negotiations go. I think
some of the figures cited so far are wildly out of kilter and wildly
unrealistic. We will have to see what happens in the negotiations. As
one of your panel commented earlier, there will be lots of hares to
pursue over the next couple of years and we should not get too excited
about any of them. Would you accept that we make... It may not be
anything like the figures Brussels is kicking around of 50, 60 billion
euros, do you think we will have to make a one-off settlement? If we get
everything else we want, if we get a really good trade deal and access
for the City of London and so on, speaking for myself, I would be
prepared to make a modest payment. But it all depends on the deal we
get. What would modest be? Oh, I cannot give you a figure. We are
right at the start of the negotiations. I do not think that
would be agreed until near the end. The EU says that if there is a
transition period of several years after the negotiations, and there is
more talk of that, the UK must remain subject to the free movement
of peoples and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, would
that be acceptable to you? It depends on the nature of the
transitional agreement. We are getting well ahead of ourselves
here. You cannot, I think, for any judgment as to whether there should
be a transitional stage until you know what the final deal is. If
there is to be a final deal. And then you know how long it might take
to implement that deal. That is something I think that it is really
rather futile to talk about at this stage. It may become relevant,
depending on the nature of the deal, and that is the proper time to talk
about it and decide what the answer to the questions you pose might be.
Except the EU has laid this out in its negotiation mandate and it is
reasonable to ask people like yourself, should we accept that? It
is reasonable for me to say, they will raise all sorts of things in
their negotiating mandate and we do not need to form a view of all of
them at this stage. Let me try another one. The EU says if they do
agree what you have called a comprehensive free trade deal, we
would have to accept EU constraints on state aid and taxes like VAT and
corporation tax. Would you accept that? Again, I am not sure quite
what they have in mind on that. We will be an independent country when
we leave and we will make our own decisions about those matters. Not
according to know that -- to the negotiating mandate. As I have said,
they can put all sorts of things in the negotiating guidelines, it does
not mean we have to agree with them. No doubt that is something we can
discuss in the context of a free trade agreement. If we get a free
trade agreement, that is very important for them as well as for
us, and we can talk about some of the things you have just mentioned.
Can you please leave a 20 without having repatriated full control of
migration, taxis and the law? I think we will have repatriated all
three of those things by the time of the next general election. How high
would you rate the chances of no deal, and does that prospect worry
you? I think the chances are we will get the deal, and I think the
chances are we will get a good deal, because that is in the interests of
both sides of this negotiation. But it is not the end of the world if we
do not get a deal. Most trade in the world is carried out under World
Trade Organisation rules. We would be perfectly OK if we traded with
the European Union, as with everybody else, under World Trade
Organisation rules. It is better to get the deal, and I think we will
get the deal, because it is in the interests of both. Let me ask you
about Gibraltar. You have campaigned in Gibraltar when the sovereignty
issue came up under the Tony Blair government. The EU says that Spain
should have a veto on whether any free-trade deal should apply to the
Rock. How should the British government replied to that? As it
has responded, by making it absolutely clear that we will stand
by Gibraltar. 35 years ago this week, Andrew, another woman Prime
Minister Centre task force is halfway across the world to protect
another small group of British people against another
Spanish-speaking country. I am absolutely clear that our current
woman Prime Minister will show the same resolve in relation to
Gibraltar as her predecessor did. This is not about Spain invading
Gibraltar, it is not even about sovereignty, it is about Spain
having a veto over whether any free-trade deal that the UK makes
with the EU should also apply to Gibraltar. On that issue, how should
the British government respond? The British government should show
resolve. It is not in the interests of Spain, really, to interfere with
free trade to Gibraltar. 10,000 people who live in Spain working
Gibraltar. That is a very important Spanish interest, so I am very
confident that in the end, we will be able to look after all the
interests of Gibraltar, including free trade. Michael Howard, thank
you for joining us from Kent this morning.
Although sometimes it seems like everyone has forgotten,
there are things happening other than Brexit.
In less than five weeks' time, there will be a round of important
domestic elections and there's a lot up for grabs.
Local elections take place on the 4th of May in England,
In England, there are elections in 34 councils, with 2,370
The majority are county councils, usually areas of strength
Large cities where Labour usually fares better are not
Six regions of England will also hold elections for newly created
combined authority mayors, and there will be contests
for directly elected mayors, with voters in Manchester,
Liverpool and the West Midlands among those going to the polls.
In Scotland, every seat in all 32 councils are being contested,
many of them affected by boundary changes.
Since these seats were last contested, Labour lost all but one
Meanwhile, every seat in each of Wales' 22 councils
All but one was last elected in 2012 in what was a very
strong year for Labour, though independent
candidates currently hold a quarter of council seats.
According to the latest calculations by Plymouth
University Election Centre, the Tories are predicted
to increase their tally by 50 seats, despite being in government,
But the dramatic story in England looks to be with the other parties,
with the Lib-Dems possibly winning 100 seats, while Ukip
could be seeing a fall, predicted to lose 100 seats.
Though the proportional system usually makes big changes
less likely in Scotland, the SNP is predicted to increase
both the number of seats they hold, and the number
In Wales, Labour is defending a high water mark in support.
Last year's Welsh Assembly elections suggest the only way is down,
with all the parties making modest gains at Labour's expense.
Joining me now is the BBC's very own elections guru,
Professor John Curtice of the University of Strathclyde.
Good to see you again. Let's start with England. How bad are the
selection is going to be for Labour? Labourer not defending a great deal
because this is for the most part rural England. The only control
three of the council they are defending and they are only
defending around 500 seats, I nearly a quarter are in one county, Durham.
Labour's position in the opinion polls is weakened over the last 12
months and if you compare the position in the opinion polls now
with where they were in the spring of 2013 when these seats in England
were last fought, we are talking about a 12 point swing from Labour
to conservative. The estimate of 50 losses may be somewhat optimistic
for Labour. Of the three council areas they control, two of them,
Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, could be lost, leaving labourer with
virtually a duck as far as council control is concerned in these
elections in England. In England, what would a Liberal Democrat
reserve urgently great? That is the big question. We have had this
picture since the EU referendum of the Liberal Democrats doing
extraordinarily well in some local by-elections, gaining seats that
they had not even fought before, and in other areas, doing no more than
treading water. We are expecting a Liberal Democrat skin because the
lost the lot -- the lost lots of ground when they were in coalition
with the Conservatives. It is uncertain. A patchy performance may
well be to their advantage. If they do well in some places and gain
seats, and elsewhere do not do terribly well and do not waste
votes, they may end up doing relatively well in seats, even if
the overall gaining votes is likely to be modest. The elections for
mayors, they are taking place in the Labour will that be a hefty
consolation prize for the Labour Party? It ought to be, on Teesside,
Merseyside, Greater Manchester. We are looking at one content very
closely, that is the contest for the mayor of the West Midlands. If you
look at what happened in the general election in 2015, labourer work nine
points ahead of the Conservatives in the West Midlands. If you look at
the swing since the general election, if you add that swing to
where we were two years ago, the West Midlands now looks like a draw.
Labour have to worry about a headline grabbing loss, and the West
Midlands contest. If they were to lose, that wooden crate -- that
would increase the pressure for their own Jeremy Corbyn to convince
people that they can turn his party's fortunes around, and in
truth at the moment, they are pretty dire. The West Midlands has
Birmingham as its heart. Chock-a-block with marginal seats.
It always has been. I always remember election night and marginal
seats in the West Midlands. Scotland, the SNP is assaulting
Labour's last remaining power base. The biggest prizes Glasgow. Will it
take it, the SNP? Whether the SNP will gain control of Glasgow is
uncertain. If you look at what is happening in local government
by-elections let alone the opinion polls, in 2012, when these seats
were last fought, Labour did relatively well, only one percentage
point behind the SNP who were rather disappointed with the result
compared to other elections. No sign of that happening this time alone --
this time around. Polls put the SNP ahead. By-elections have found the
SNP advancing and Labour dropping by double digits. Labour are going to
lose everything they currently control in Scotland, the SNP will
become the dominant party, the question is how well they do. In
Scotland there is a Conservative revival going on. The Conservatives
did well in recent local government by-elections. At the moment, Labour
are expected to come third north of the border in the local elections,
are expected to come third north of repeating the third they suffered in
the Holyrood elections last year. In Wales, Labour is expecting to lose
control of a number of councils. They are the main party in 12 of 22
local authorities. How bad could it be? We're expecting Labour to lose
ground. In the opinion polls when these seats were last fought,
labourer in the high 40s. Now they are not much above 30%. Cardiff
could well join Glasgow was no longer being a Labour stronghold.
Look out for Newport. Some of the South Wales councils that Labour
control, Labour is probably too but occasionally, Plaid
Cymru surprises in this area. They managed to win the Rhondda seat in
the assembly elections. Jeremy Corbyn has said he wants to be
judged on proper elections, council elections as opposed to opinion
polls, but even if he does as badly as John has been suggesting, does it
affect his leadership? I think it does on two counts. It will affect
his own confidence. Anyone who is a human being will be affected by
this. He might go into his office and be told by John McDonnell and
others, stand firm, it is all right, but it will affect his confidence
and inevitably it contributes to a sense that this is moving to some
kind of denoument, at some point. In other words, while I understand the
argument that he has won twice in a leadership contest, well, within 12
months, I wonder whether this can carry on in a fixed term parliament,
up until 2020, if it were to do so. On two France, it will have some
impact. I am not seeing it will lead to his immediate departure, it will
mark, but if these things are as devastating as John suggests, it
will have an impact. Tom, I'll be looking at a Lib Dem fightback? That
is the $64,000 question. It would seem that we should be. One massive
reason we're not having a general election a time soon, apart from the
fact that Theresa May does not believe in these things, she
believes in pressing on, it is because Tory MPs in the South West
who took the Lib Dem seats, they were telling Number 10 they were
worried they were going to lose their seats back to the Lib Dems.
The Lib Dems never went away and local government. They have got
other campaigners and activists. It looks credible that they will be the
success story of the whole thing. Ukip leader, Paul Nuttall, he says
this will be the most difficult local elections his party will face
before 2020. A bit of management of expectations. It is unlikely to be a
good time for Ukip. They are right to manage expectations. The results
will be horrible for Ukip. I agree with Tom about the Lib Dem
threat to the Tories. Talking to some senior figures within the Tory
party earlier this week, I was picking up that they are worried
about 30-40 general election seeds being vulnerable to the Lib Dems
because of the Labour collapse. I would normally agree with Steve
about the resilience of politicians, the capability of withstanding
repeated blows, but Jeremy Corbyn is not in the normal category. I think
he is, in the sense that although he get solace from winning leadership
contest, anyone who leads a party into the kind of, it is not going to
be that vivid, because they are not defending the key seats. If they
were to win Birmingham, say, and get slaughtered by the SNP in Scotland,
it will undermine what is already a fairly ambiguous sense of
self-confidence. We need to leave it there. Thank you, John Curtice.
Well, with those elections on the horizon, is Labour where it
Former leader Ed Miliband was on the Andrew
Marr Show earlier and he explained the challenge Labour faces
It is easier for other parties, if you are the Greens or the
Liberal Democrats you're essentially fishing in the 48% pool.
If you are Ukip, you are fishing in the 52% pool.
Labour is trying to do something much harder,
which is to try and speak for the whole country,
and by the way, that is another part of
Our attack on Theresa May, part of it is she's
Ignoring the verdict going into this, saying,
let's overturn it, looks like ignoring the 52%.
By the way, there is more that unites Remainers
and Leavers than might first appear, because they share common
concerns about the way the country is run.
Joining me now is the Shadow Health Secretary, Jon Ashworth.
Welcome to the programme. Alastair Campbell told me on the BBC on
Thursday that he is fighting to reverse the referendum result. Ed
Miliband says that Remain needs to accept the result, come to terms
with it. Who is right? We have to accept the referendum result. I
campaigned passionately to remain in the European Union. The city I
represent, Leicester, voted narrowly to remain in the European Union.
Sadly the country did not. We cannot overturn that and be like kinky
nude, trying to demand the tide go back out. We have to accept this
democratic process. We all voted to have a referendum when the relevant
legislation came to Parliament. How bad will the local elections before
Labour? Let us see where we get to on election night when I am sure I
will be invited on to one of these types of programmes... The election
date, the following day. But it does look like you will lose seats across
the board in England, Scotland and Wales. What did you make of what
Steve Richards said about the impact on Jeremy Corbyn's leadership? We
have to win seats, we cannot fall back on the scales suggested. No,
your package was right, it tends to be Tory areas, but generally, we
have to be winning in Nottinghamshire, Lancashire, those
types of places because they contain a lot of the marginal constituencies
that decide general elections. The important places in the elections
are towns like Beeston, towns you have not heard of, but they are
marginal towns in marginal swing constituencies. We have to do well
in them. We will see where we are on election night but my pretty is to
campaign hard in these areas over the next few weeks. Even people who
voted Labour in 2015, they prefer Theresa May to Mr Corbyn as Prime
Minister, a recent poll said. Isn't that extraordinary? I have not seen
that. I will look it up. It was you Government. -- YouGov. It is
important we win the trust of people. You are not winning the
trust of people who voted for you in 2015. We have to hold onto people
who voted for us in 2015 and we have to persuade people who voted for
other parties to come to us. One of the criticisms I have of the debate
that goes on in the wider Labour Party, do not misunderstand me, I am
not making a criticism about an individual, but the debate you see
online suggests that if you want to get people who voted Conservative to
switch to Labour it is somehow a betrayal of our principles, it was
not. Justin Trudeau said Conservative voters are our
neighbours, our relatives. We have to persuade people to switch from
voting Conservative to voting Labour as well as increasing our vote among
nonvoters and Greens. It seems like you have a mountain to climb and the
mountain is Everest. Another poll, I am not sure if you have seen this,
in London, the Bastian of Labour, the Bastian of Remain, Mr Corbyn is
less popular than even Ukip's Paul Nuttall. That is beyond
extraordinary! I do not know about that. The most recent set of
elections in London was the mayoral election where the Labour candidate
city: won handsomely. He took the seat of a conservative. We took that
of a conservative. It was a year ago. We did well then. You had an
anti-Jeremy Corbyn candidate. I think he nominated Jeremy Corbyn,
from memory. We have not got elections in London but our
elections are in the county areas and the various mayoral elections...
What about the West Midlands? In any normal year, mid-term, as the
opposition, Labour should win the West Midlands. John Curtis says it
is nip and tuck. It has always been a swing region but we want to do
well, of course. We want to turn out a strong Labour vote in Dudley,
Northampton, those sorts of places. They are key constituencies in the
general election. Does Labour look like a government in waiting to you?
What I would say is contrast where we are to what the conservative
garment is doing. I asked you about Labour, you do not get to tell me
about the Conservatives. Does it look like a government in waiting to
you? Today we are exposing the Conservatives... Reminding people
the Conservatives are breaking the pledge on waiting times of 18 weeks
so lots of elderly people waiting longer in pain for hip replacements
and cataract replacements. Yesterday the Housing spokesperson John Healey
was exposing the shortcomings in the Help to Buy scheme. The education
spokesperson has been campaigning hard against the cuts to schools.
Tom Watson has been campaigning hard against some of the changes the
Government want to introduce in culture. The Shadow Cabinet are
working hard to hold the Government's feet to the fire. Does
it look like a government in waiting? Yes. It took you three
times! There is a social care crisis, schools funding issue, a
huge issue for lots of areas, the NHS has just got through the winter
and is abandoning many of its targets. You are 18 points behind in
the polls. We have to work harder. What can you do? The opinion polls
are challenging but we are a great Social Democratic Party of
government. On Twitter today, lots of Labour activists celebrating that
the national minimum wage has been in place for something like 16 years
because we were in government. Look of the sweeping progressive changes
this country has benefited from, the NHS, sure start centres, an assault
on child poverty, the Labour Party got itself in contention for
government. I entirely accept the polls do not make thrilling reading
for Labour politicians on Sunday morning, but it means people like me
have to work harder because we are part of something bigger than an
individual, we are in the business of changing things for the British
people and if we do not do that, if we do not focus on that, we are
people and if we do not do that, if letting people down. Is Labour
preparing for an early election question Billy burqa? Reports in the
press of a war chest as macro for an early election? The general election
coordinator called for a general election when Theresa May became
coordinator called for a general Prime Minister. We are investing in
staff and the organisational capability we need. By the way, the
Labour Party staff do brilliant work. A bit of nonsense on Twitter
having a go at them. They do tremendous work. Whenever the
election comes, they will be ready. Jon Ashworth, thank you.
Good morning and welcome to Sunday Politics Scotland.
It seems emails are just sooo 2016, as this week a retro blast
from the past sees our leaders looking for pen friends.
Theresa May's letter got a swift response.
So far, though, it seems Nicola Sturgeon is still
I'll be asking her Minister for Brexit what happens
Also - as the Great Repeal Bill is launched to repatriate
powers from Brussels, a constitutional expert tells this
programme the Scotland Act will need to be redrawn if the UK is to have
any powers over issues like farming and fishing.
And, Council Elections are looming, but this time round will
constitutional matters trump local issues for voters.
We've been to Glasgow's Govanhill to try and find out.
Now, apart from the row over whether there should be another
independence referendum, another row is brewing over
which powers should be devolved and which should be reserved
to the UK Government when Britain leaves the European Union.
The presumption of the Scotland Act is that powers in areas like farming
and fishing will be fully devolved, but some are arguing it would be
A little earlier I spoke to the constitutional expert
When powers are devolved back from Brussels to either London or
Edinburgh, there seems to be some question about whether the Scotland
act would have to be amended if for example some powers on agriculture
where to rest with Westminster. What is your take on that? It would have
two be because one, the provision of Scottish legislation has to conform
with European legislation has been taken away these powers come back to
Holyrood not reserved to Westminster so either the Scotland act would
have to be changed or some other legislation would have to be put in
formal writing, in the Scotland act. With that apply... There are certain
things that would be an argument are quite reasonable to reserve for
devolving to Scotland and the Palmer devolving to Scotland and the Palmer
-- power of subsidies to farmers, or common standards across the UK for
farms perhaps so that people can sell agricultural produce throughout
the UK, there is a UK single market. For things like that would still had
to be an amendment? There would have to be some kind of framework. It is
also to do with subsidies as well, you would have to have a common
ground across the UK otherwise there would be unfair competition and if
the UK signs the free trade agreement with the EU or anyone
else, that covers agricultural subsidies. Those frameworks could be
delivered in two ways. Either the UK could lay down the law from above or
you could do what the worst government has suggested dues have a
four nation partnership and negotiation about what those common
standards might be. When it comes to subsidies there is an an argument I
suppose that the last thing Scotland should want is full devolution
because we get a disproportionate share of Cameron agricultural policy
funds and if that were just repatriated and then an advised,
presumably Scotland could lose out, by hundreds of millions. Let's get
that straight. The formula says we get what we already get and then
every year thereafter any increase or change in English expenditure is
it tribute it according to population so we get our percent of
the common agricultural policy subsidies at the moment and under
the next appraisal is we still get that present. If it was a per capita
allocation then that would be different but so far the UK
Government says it doesn't know how it will distribute those monies and
in Scotland there is complete freedom in determining how that
money is spent, as it would under the Barnett formula, then support
for farmers would compete with support for the NHS, education,
social services and all the other support for the NHS, education,
problems, and that would be a difficult decision to make for the
Scottish Government. Why do you say that there would have to be a UK
wide regime for subsidies? Surely he could determine subsidies for home
farmers in Scotland independent of the UK? It might lead to imbalances
farmers in Scotland independent of in terms of condition but these
wouldn't be major, would they? They could be if we wanted to subsidise
our lamb, say, and sell it in the UK could be if we wanted to subsidise
market, Welsh lamb farmers would be unhappy, saying that was unfair
competition. European Union deals with this with the competition
policy and we don't have European competition policy, so they would
have to be some kind of competition policy in the UK, not just for
agriculture but also regional development. Of all sorts. We have
to have a UK internal market, if losing the European one. Thank you
very much rejoining us. Well, the Scottish Government's
Brexit minister Mike Russell joins That's a beautiful where you are.
Let me just get your reaction to a piece of neither is coming this
morning was up and not sure if you are aware of it but the Spanish
Foreign Minister has said this morning that Spain would not block
an independent Scotland becoming a member of the European union. He
said that we don't want that Scottish independence to happen but
if it happens legally and constitutionally are they would not
block it. Your reaction? That has been the position of the Spanish
government for some considerable time. Although speculation about
what the Spanish government would or would not do as being wrong, that
has been the position of the Spanish government, it is helpful to have it
restated but that is not actually news. Presumably you welcome it
nonetheless? I very much welcome it because it equates with reality. He
has gone on to talk about the method of accession and that isn't quite as
accurate. This week we heard John Kirby man he wrote Article 50, the
former British representative talking about the ease of entry into
Europe where we to be outside. So there has been a lot of positive to
take, and what this does it de-escalates the situation,
producing some reality in the situation so then we can have an
argument about the merits of the case, not misinformation from range
argument about the merits of the of sources. Now, Michael Keating
from because additional expert, he told us their comments not sure if
you could hear him, his point was the Scotland act is going to have to
be revisited and changed, what is your view on that? I think he is
right, we have said this some considerable time. The way that
devolution has been established essentially everything is devolved
except items which are reserved to Westminster. If Western wants to
reserve new items or parts of things devolved them that will require them
to reopen the Scotland act. We recognise that there has to be
constructive, detailed negotiation about proposals in the great reform
Bill. What there -- it should be about how we manage to work together
in order to install a new regime. That is separate from the issue of a
referendum. There is work to be done because nobody wants to get to the
end of two years and discovered that there is a complete hiatus so we
need those negotiations and the problem we have seen with the Great
Repeal Bill White Paper this week is that it is not detailed enough and
the DJ does have is not helpful, like the repatriation of powers
section, so I have urged David Davis to say to sit down, talk a great
deal about this comment officials working on it so we get it right but
Westminster should have known for a long time. They wanted to be
reserved powers they would have to go back to the original legislation.
In principle you would not be against ending the Scotland Bill
should those discussions take place and have some successful conclusion?
In principle I would be very much against them, that would weaken
devolution and as has been set for some time that is probably the Tory
agenda. We need a decent discussion of how the Great Repeal Bill can
work so Scotland and Wales get back all the powers pertaining to
devolved areas which is important. Michael Keating mention the Welsh
government and we want to go along with them. Assist take the case of
agriculture. There is an argument isn't that on things like farming
standards we need a UK framework so that there is a UK single market so
that Scottish farmers can freely sell into it. That would have to be
run from the UK, and the UK level and I can't quite see why you would
be against that? But that itself might be an amendment to the
Scotland act. Not necessarily do not necessarily. Two things. The first,
there is a valid will continue if the Great Repeal Bill as it operates
is in as intended to, that will continue, standards will be the same
so no urgent changes are needed. How do we negotiate a common framework
we agree strongly with the Welsh and elements of Northern Ireland so you
repatriate those powers and all sit around together and say how can we
make these work together? That replicates what happens in Europe
because it is co-decision-making in Europe, you have the Council of
ministers, decisions are made jointly, and what the UK Government
seems to be talking about is their making the decision and that would
not bring back the powers. What also happens in Europe is once you have
this co-determination there is a single market framework laid down
and everyone in Europe has to play by the rules. The argument is and
you had Michael Keating saying that for farming for example there needs
to be a UK framework which everyone agrees on but obviously that would
have to be managed at a UK level. It would have to be managed by the four
nations of the UK working together. It should not be imposed by the UK
Government and everybody just does as they are told because there are
huge variations. What they would have to be a single framework. The
framework would have to be negotiated. Every person farming the
hills behind me get a different payment from England for example.
There are different payments required for different products and
farming types. That is a local decision but that can be come
together and agree framework but if they are imposed they will not get
the type of frameworks that we need here and awe in Wales. Local
decision making and working together. What the UK Government is
looking at eyes in position and that is unacceptable. They haven't made
that clear to you, have they? They haven't said that to you. If you
read section four four of the Great Repeal Bill Curry you will see the
intention Bill towards common UK framework. We need to discover how
those work. If we are talking about repatriating work... The working the
areas we are talking about, makes sense, doesn't it estimate you have
accepted that. At think it is rather important that the decision making
process is the right one, to make things happen here. We have been
talking about this for months as have the Welsh, and the worst First
Minister indicated today that they have been getting nowhere because
the UK Government has been issuing a version will what is happening now
with Gibraltar, and others, the Prime Minister is not listening and
that is not acceptable. Apart in the Scotland act possible amendments the
other issue coming up this week is whether at various stages similar
motions, legislative consent motions might have to be passed by the
Scottish Government, parliament, rather come in order for Brexit to
go ahead. Have you looked at that and what is your view? The Secretary
of State for Scotland said and David Davies said he did not know. When we
seek the bill, we only have a white Paper now, it will require consent.
Legislative consent is about altering the competencies of the
Parliament or the Government. There is no doubt that is what these do.
That is a discussion we need to have. There will then be a great
deal of secondary legislation. They are talking about thousands of
pieces of legislation. How we get those through and how we deal with
those in the time frame we have is also a big area for discussion. What
we now need is discussion with the UK Government, sitting down with us
and saying, this is our options, this is how we intend to do things.
Until we have that, we cannot make much progress. If you were to block
any of those legislative consent motions, is that something you would
consider doing if you do not get your permission for a referendum?
What the occasions of that? What we are talking about here is trying to
take and enormously complex body of legislation and change at all within
a two-year period. It is in the body's interest to get that wrong.
It has to be got right. We need a type of working relationship that
will get that right. We do not see much sign of it now. The last six
months, we have not had it. The referendum is another issue, which
we also need cooperation. Just briefly, when I interviewed you the
other day, I thought that you ruled out any referendum to be held
outside of section 30 order. But five minutes after you said it,
Willie Rennie, you need of the Liberal Democrats, said he had not
ruled it out. Had you ruled it out or not? If we keep going back to
what really Rennie says we will not make much sense. It is clear we are
going to do this legally and buy the book. I rule out any other way of
doing it. That is clear, I think. Until it is challenged by someone.
Thank you very much indeed for joining me.
Now, there are accusations that the Great Repeal Bill
is nothing more than a Westminster power grab.
With me now from Liverpool is Patrick Harvie who is very
much of that persuasion and here in the studio
Patrick Harvey, you have heard the discussion. There is a sensible
argument, isn't there, that the areas of farming, you do want a UK
single market. Some powers, maybe not powers, but you have to have a
UK single market framework and the bodies that would police that would
have to be UK bodies. There is a question there about where you want
to get to, how much cooperation you want between Scotland, the rest of
the UK and what is currently the European single market. That is a
great deal of trade that is important to farmers and all parts
of Europe. That requires common standards. It is not just where do
we want to get in terms of having that free flow of trade, it is also
how do we get there. What the UK Government is a process of why
passing parliamentary scrutiny. You are saying that and Mike Russell
said that but you have no evidence for that. The British Government
have not said how the intent go about doing this at all. It is
unclear. We have certainly gave a lack of detail in their repeal Bill.
unclear. We have certainly gave a They have made it clear that they
want to give these ancient powers to ministers to be right laws without
proper parliamentary scrutiny. I think it is important that we hold
ministers to account in both parliaments. If ministers and both
governments are going to be given these powers, real parliamentary
scrutiny is necessary. We know that many of the Tories are already
pushing for a bonfire of the regulations and even citing what
Donald Trump is doing, ripping up the regulations and environmental
protections. They want that on social standards, the working
director, renewable energy directive. Is single market is not
just about trade, it is also about the common standards that protect us
all and they want to use the cover of the Henry VIII powers to rip up
these regulations. We need to stand against that effort. Somebody can
tell me in my ear, I am wondering how long can get into this programme
without someone mentioning Henry VIII. We are there. Jackson Carlaw,
as there is the intention of the British Government as far as you
know? Patrick sprays his grievances around and paragraphs, not
sentences. They are layered thick. It is clear from the article 15
letter that the Prime Minister has tabled, she expects the devolved
ministrations to end up with more responsibility. What she has not
done is make clear the sort of things that might Russell wants to
be made clear. Before he layered on grievance, he was taking quite a
constructive tone. This just has to be a discussion between the
different administrations about what is pragmatic and sensible. Would you
accept the Scotland Act would have to be amended? I would accept it as
possible. There will need to be basic frameworks and we do not want
to end up with frameworks that then end up as an obstacle to internal
trade within the United Kingdom, particularly in agriculture. So much
of our export is actually down to England. We do not want different
regimes that make that difficult. There is to be a pragmatic approach
to this. We do not know to be looking to see devious Unionist
under the bed, who have a different agenda. We want what is best and
what is best for Scotland outside the European Union and is part of
the United Kingdom. Patrick Harvey, many people who bought Green will be
watching this and think why is he banging his Scottish nationalist
drum about who does what. Why is he not saying this is a fantastic
chance for Britain to get rid of the ludicrous common agricultural policy
and completely redesign a system of subsidies to farmers and on
environmental grounds? Garden, you know as well as anybody this is not
a contest between one kind of nationalism and another. I am
neither a nationalist of any kind. I do not accuse other people on the
other side of being nationalists. This is about the European Union has
been where we have derived and agreed a huge raft of our social and
environmental protections. The legislation that looks after our
quality of life, health, the quality of our water, huge amount of
environmental regulation comes from Europe and is under direct threat
from the UK Government, including its backbenchers and cheerleaders in
the white right wing press. -- right wing press. You want to rip it up?
Of course there is reform. If we end up outside of Europe, we will
continue to argue for the state of agricultural and industry. Why was
the first thing you said today not, we do not want... We want powers for
Holyrood. Why was it not this ludicrous system that you rip runs
of paying farmers subsidies just for having farms has got to go and be
replaced on subsidies on how people take place of the environment? There
has been improvement but there is more improvement we can have if we
are in it. We will continue to argue for a more sustainable system and
food system as well. Consumers going into the shops and buying food in
the future, under the UK Government isolationist Brexit conditions, will
not know what the standards are of the food that has been produced,
whether it has been produced in Europe, the UK or other countries.
Producers may have to apply high standards to come into Europe.
Jackson Carlaw, you have handled this very... Your Government has
handled this very badly. You could have done much more to make clear to
people like Mike Russell, you could be in meetings with him now
discussing the kind of things he is being stonewalled on. I think the
first and most important process we have to go through is seeking to
discuss with London and the other devolved administrations what the
terms of our exit strategy will be. We have now done that and achieved
some agreement. There are areas where there are division. Both the
Welsh and Scottish Government say they have be ten years on respecting
the devolved parliaments of these countries in the process so far.
Would you like to call on the British Government to change that
attitude and be more sensitive? I would not accept that
characterisation of the depths of the discussions that have taken
place. I would suggest you may be helping your party and the British
Government more if you did go and suggest to them they were not so ten
years as they were. I sit on the European committee in the Scottish
parliament. We have published a report where we have said it would
be useful for the quality of dialogue to improve. We accept that
it can get quite heated. I do not accept that we do not have a
practical idea of how we now proceed. As you have your green tie
on to try and upstage Patrick Harvey,... I heard him saying it has
been something we have all been blessed to be part of. I do not
think that has been the view of anybody in this country. You were on
a different channel if you heard of that. We have to leave it there.
Thank you very much indeed. Given all this talk of Brexit
and possible independence referendums, you'd be forgiven
for overlooking the fact there are local council elections
taking place in a just few weeks. The parties will always tell
you they're fighting And while that may be true,
with the seismic political events taking place at a national
and international level right now, Graham Stewart's been
looking at the battle for Glasgow City Council,
and whether the independence debate might have a bearing
on who takes control. First, they were toppled at
Holyrood. Never again will we see the Labour Party assumed that it has
a divine right to rule Scotland. Then the SNP wiped them out at
Westminster. And in a couple of weeks' time, they could lose control
of Glasgow City Council. Named after one of Labour's most celebrated
post-war ministers, the former regional council headquarters once
post-war ministers, the former stood as an emblem of Libra's grip
over the city of Glasgow. But the party now finds its support is
crumbling. -- Labour's grip. Over the last couple of years, given the
state of the opinion polls, it is very difficult to see how the Labour
Party is going to retain control of Glasgow or north Lanarkshire,
Westonbirt injure and everything else that they are trying to hang
onto. -- West Dunbartonshire. And the SNP do well enough to get
overall control? That may or may not elude them. One former Labour leader
of Glasgow City Council says his party's problems were self
inflicted. Many of our reporters were left confused and then angry
after the independence referendum. The sort Labour teaming up with the
Tories. -- they sought. The icing on the cake when Alistair Darling got a
standing or region at the Conservative Party conference
drawled, on the back of the division of referendum, when Labour found
themselves at odds with most of the voters in Glasgow, it drove them to
the SNP. Have the events of 2014 now determined how people are likely to
vote in all elections, including cancel 1's? In Govanhill, the heart
of the first-Minister's Holyrood constituency, poverty and neglect
have taken their toll. Labour here is keen to contrast its focus on
local issues with what it says is the SNP's obsession with
independence. Despite the millions pounds of cuts, Glasgow City Council
has still delivered for constituents. 60 million has been
cut from the Government budget, which it has impacted in our
constituents. They are not interested in another referendum.
Challenging Labour is one of the first-Minister long time AIDS.
Independence is not mentioned once in her literature. -- horror aid.
People are interested in local issues. People are interested in who
is going to run the council. There have been a lot of elections, to a
certain extent, people may have a little bit of the election fatigue.
I think people are very interested in local issues in Glasgow. A recent
boost in support could see the Scottish Greens play a pivotal role
in some councils. They say they are managing to keep people engaged with
local issues. The last couple of weeks, people have brought up the
independence referendum but it has not been a huge issue on the
doorstep. All of our material is very focused on local issues. The
Green Party will back a yes vote in the next referendum but there is a
lot more that can be done at the local Government level that we are
focused on right now and we need to push for. The constitutional divide
continues to dominate discourse. Local candidates might be shy of
mentioning independence, can the constitution be separated from local
politics? In Govanhill, people are looking for hope and even greater
space. Many people see independence as the means to that end. Labour has
been squeezed out because it is no longer seen as the party that speaks
for Scotland. When you are seen as the party that speaks for Scotland,
in Govanhill or Glasgow, you are the party that speaks for social change.
There is another Scotland that takes a very different view. I have to
tell people that the SNP is not Scotland. In next month 's local
elections are split along constitutional lines, the Tories can
benefit. They lost almost in particular we have seen an increase
in support, so conservatives must fancy their chances and just thought
of making gains but overtaking Labour. They may not be running very
much in Scotland, perhaps they might harm onto south Ayrshire for example
but they could certainly end up with a much stronger position in Scottish
local government than they have enjoyed for a long time. We asked to
speak to the Conservative Dem cabinets in Glasgow but they were
unavailable. Ten candidates are standing in this ward and voting
takes place on the 4th of May. Now it's time to look back
at events and what's coming With me this week are
the Press Association's political editor Katrine Bussey
and the Sunday Herald's investigations editor
Paul Hutcheon. Katrine Bussey, first of all, the
independence referendum. Nicola Sturgeon has written a letter. What
happens next is to mark the next thing is Theresa May replies and we
know what that is what going to be. I'm not going to have a section 30
on this, if you still feel strongly about this will have a chat. Nicola
Sturgeon has options but they are all difficult options at this stage.
His areas like do the SNP resigned in the government and try and force
another election or do they look at if they can force and legislative
consent motion for the Great Repeal Bill and see that as a way of
frustrating Brexit. There are options for the First Minister that
this stage none of them are easy. Options do you think they have,
Paul? Two years of sound and dreary and constitutional process is the
only option they have. As Katrina said I think forcing an election is
just not a runner. They could... The other day I interviewed Michael
Russell he said I'm not going to tell you. We've got great ideas that
I won't tell you them on television. You'd started to look interested
when I mentioned the idea of a legal challenge. That could be
something... You can legally challenge anything, I guess. Going
down the parliamentary routes to thwart and subvert the great repeal
act, the Great Repeal Bill I just think that... From their prison is
if you take an area like agriculture it is not obvious that it falls into
any simple Holyrood versus Westminster scenario. Even Michael
Russell was saying he needs something to be sorted out that the
UK level and he wants to be involved in talks doing that. It is uncharted
territory. The Tories have got an idea -- tin ear for Scotland. I
think that's true. They are so overwhelmed by the Brecht process,
they are flailing and struggling to get a grip on one side of that in
Scotland. We don't have to deal with this, we're short of staff, and
short of people who truly understand what's going on up here. A tin ear?
Do you think so? I'm not sure about a tin ear, but the Great Repeal Bill
will be a phenomenal amount of work. 12,000 pieces of legislation being
converted into UK legislation potentially. Casually into Scottish
legislation and when using the amount of pressure that is going to
put on Whitehall machinery perhaps it is no wonder that they say now is
not the time for a referendum. A lot of it is a European word processor,
replacing British Government with you. Or rather the other way round.
It might be cut and paste but how do you cut and paste Scotland into
there? If you like constitutional process, you will enjoy the next few
there? If you like constitutional years. We have a mark one now which
is over the independence referendum but there is going to be another one
which is what powers come to Scotland. Initially in the Brexit
campaign last year there was an assumption made that anything that
wasn't reserved with automatically just go back to Scotland and that
seems to have been shifted from that start and end the Tories, they now
tour for the need for mature conversations and the idea of UK
wide frameworks on fishing and accurate search so yes there are
discussions to be had there. The Spanish saying that Scotland could
join the EU if it becomes independent. Mike Russell might have
known that nobody else seems to. I don't seem to remember them saying
that so publicly or forthrightly in the run-up to the 2014 votes. I'm
surprised Mike Russell is downplaying this because in the 2014
referendum, there was a good argument to cast doubt on
independent Scotland's ability to join the EU, suggesting that Madrid
would veto that. It seems like the argument there is dead in the water.
It seems like Spain would not veto a independent Scotland. I just wonder
if the Spanish government is feeling under pressure to look reasonable.
We have Gibraltar and now this. It seems like Spain is trying to poke
the UK in both eyes and it seems to be working. If there is a secular
and referendum there will be different arguments than the first
one. One of the big issues in Glasgow seems to be that while
Labour will lose Glasgow the SNP might not win it. I think that is
interesting, that we saw last year in the Holyrood elections these
conservatives do well in Glasgow and whether that could play again? I
think the Tories already have one clients -- counselling Glasgow city
and it might increase, maybe two MSPs on the regional list system,
which I don't know whether the party are necessarily confident about
doing before the vote. If that success, with Tories standing in the
opinion polls, suggesting they could do well, that could be what stops
the SNP from having overall control of Glasgow. What do you think Paul?
In terms of local government, looking at 2012 the SNP got 32%,
Labour 31, and Tories 13. Now the SNP are well over 40%, Tories up to
27, Labour at 14. A different world compares to 2012. We know that the
SNP and Tories will make games and Labour will have heavy losses. If
Labour get thumped do you think Kezia Dugdale will say look, I've
done my bit, but come on, reasonably you can't immediately going? There
is no doubt you would be under severe pressure. To come behind the
Tories in one election is pretty bad but to come behind them into
successive elections looks dreadful. It's not like there a queue of stars
waiting behind her. If not Kezia Dugdale then who else? And Keyser is
trying to provide strong leadership for Labour in Scotland and tries to
make the party more autonomous and as she is removed she could then see
a vacuum in Scottish Labour. Will she stay on? Assuming that rings go
as all the polls are suggesting? I think she would be the best option
for Labour if she stays on. We will have to leave it there. We are off
now for a few weeks. Marine Le Pen has her eyes
on the French presidency. As she tries to distance herself
from her party's controversial past,
Andrew Neil and Gordon Brewer are joined by shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth MP, former Conservative Party leader Lord Michael Howard and John Curtice. The Political Panel consists of Tom Newton Dunn of the Sun, Isabel Oakeshott and Steve Richards.