23/04/2017 Sunday Politics Scotland


23/04/2017

Andrew Neil and Gordon Brewer are joined by Patrick McLoughlin and Molly Scott Cato to discuss the forthcoming local and general elections.


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Transcript


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It's Sunday afternoon - this is the Sunday Politics.

:00:35.:00:37.

Jeremy Corbyn wants to give everyone in Britain four

:00:38.:00:40.

extra bank holidays - but is the Labour leader up

:00:41.:00:43.

to being Prime Minister if he wins the election in just

:00:44.:00:45.

Theresa May says she wants a stronger hand to deliver Brexit -

:00:46.:00:51.

how will the Conservatives go about getting the bigger

:00:52.:00:53.

I'll be asking Party Chairman, Patrick McLoughlin.

:00:54.:01:00.

And I've been in Paris where voters are going to the polls in first

:01:01.:01:04.

round of the French Presidential election - what could be the impact

:01:05.:01:08.

on the EU and Brexit of this most unpredictable of contests?

:01:09.:01:11.

Coming up on Sunday Politics Scotland -

:01:12.:01:12.

As the campaign hots up already, we'll talk to the SNP's leader

:01:13.:01:15.

at Westminster and three of the opposition parties.

:01:16.:01:32.

And with me has always ready for the marathon task of covering a snap

:01:33.:01:39.

general election, even working on bank holidays, the best and

:01:40.:01:43.

brightest political panel in the business. David Wooding, Polly

:01:44.:01:43.

Toynbee and Toby Young. So Labour's big announcement this

:01:44.:01:47.

morning was a crowd pleaser. Four more rainy bank

:01:48.:01:49.

holidays to enjoy - one for each of the patron saints

:01:50.:01:51.

of England, Scotland, But Mr Corbyn probably won't be

:01:52.:01:54.

getting the time off work if he wins And on The Andrew Marr Show this

:01:55.:02:00.

morning he was asked what he would do as Prime Minister

:02:01.:02:05.

if the security services asked him to authorise a drone strike

:02:06.:02:07.

on the leader of Islamic State. What I'd tell them is,

:02:08.:02:10.

give me the information you've got, tell me how accurate that is,

:02:11.:02:14.

tell me what you I'm asking you about decisions you

:02:15.:02:16.

would take as Prime Minister. Can I take you back

:02:17.:02:26.

to the whole point? Is the objective

:02:27.:02:28.

to start more strikes that may kill many innocent

:02:29.:02:32.

people, as has happened? Do you think killing

:02:33.:02:34.

the leader of Isis would be I think the leader of Isis not

:02:35.:02:36.

being around would be helpful, and I'm no supporter or defender

:02:37.:02:45.

in any way of Isis. But I would also argue that

:02:46.:02:47.

the bombing campaign has killed a of whom were virtually prisoners of

:02:48.:02:51.

Isis. So you've got to think

:02:52.:02:55.

about these things. Mr Corbyn earlier. David, is his

:02:56.:03:01.

reply refreshing damaging? It is damaging. He has clearly been

:03:02.:03:06.

freaked to the fire already in the first week, there will be lots of

:03:07.:03:10.

questions on his suitability as a leader and the damage it could cause

:03:11.:03:13.

to our national security over the weeks ahead and Andrew Marr has cut

:03:14.:03:18.

straight to the chase here. The other thing, of course, is the

:03:19.:03:21.

letters of last resort, one of the first duties of a Prime Minister

:03:22.:03:24.

when he walks into No 10 is to sign these letters on his own, on or --

:03:25.:03:30.

or on her own in a room, a very lonely moment, to decide whether he

:03:31.:03:33.

should press the nuclear button and that goes in the Vanguard submarines

:03:34.:03:37.

and is opened in the event of a strike and he has dodged a question

:03:38.:03:41.

so many times. One must wonder what he would do that. He has to make

:03:42.:03:45.

these decisions as Prime Minister. On the Isis point, refreshing or

:03:46.:03:50.

damaging? It sure is his base, the people who support him, that's the

:03:51.:03:55.

sort of thing they support info and maybe his tactic is that's all he's

:03:56.:03:58.

going to get, that is what the polls seem to suggest, in which case they

:03:59.:04:02.

will be pleased, and say yes, the man is a man for these who doesn't

:04:03.:04:05.

press buttons and shoot people down. But if you want to win you have to

:04:06.:04:12.

deal with your own weaknesses and reach out to other people. I think

:04:13.:04:15.

most people would say that's not somebody who could defend the

:04:16.:04:21.

country. I wonder if he was being totally honest in saying he would

:04:22.:04:25.

consider it he would ask for more information. He has previously been

:04:26.:04:30.

on the record as being against drone strikes in principle, he's

:04:31.:04:32.

campaigned against them, he wants to abolish drones. I think Andrew Marr

:04:33.:04:36.

let him off saying it was a drone strike rather than a Navy SEAL or

:04:37.:04:40.

SAS operation and he had the fact that they could be collateral

:04:41.:04:43.

damage. We that's not his position because he condemned the

:04:44.:04:49.

assassination of Osama Bin Laden even though there was no collateral

:04:50.:04:53.

damage. David is right on the Trident point, he fetched the

:04:54.:04:56.

question. We heard Niall Griffiths on this very show saying Trident,

:04:57.:05:02.

the renewal of Trident, would be in the next Labour Party manifesto. It

:05:03.:05:05.

turns out now we don't know and when he was asked he said that remains to

:05:06.:05:08.

be seen, his re-opened a can of worms. What he has said about

:05:09.:05:12.

Trident which was extraordinary was, we will rebuild the submarines but

:05:13.:05:17.

not have any nukes on them which is expensive and useless. And of course

:05:18.:05:18.

not have any nukes on them which is the Labour Party were forced soon

:05:19.:05:22.

after that interview to put out a statement saying it is Labour Party

:05:23.:05:27.

policy to renew Trident. So where are we? Do we know what the party's

:05:28.:05:31.

policy is? It is to renew Trident but he has started this review which

:05:32.:05:37.

involves looking at it all again. We know he is a unilateralist to start

:05:38.:05:41.

with but whether he can force this through is dubious. Does it matter,

:05:42.:05:45.

though, if the party policy is in favour of Trident, if the leader is

:05:46.:05:50.

not? The potential Prime Minister is not? They split three ways when they

:05:51.:05:54.

went to vote on it in the Commons. The party agreed they were

:05:55.:05:57.

pro-Trident and when it came to the vote they split three ways. I think

:05:58.:06:02.

it's difficult for them, it's always been a really difficult issue for

:06:03.:06:07.

Labour. The question is whether you want to seal off your negatives,

:06:08.:06:11.

whether you really want to try and reach out to people. There are an

:06:12.:06:14.

awful lot of people who will like what he said, there are an awful lot

:06:15.:06:19.

of people that think we have been involved in terrible wars, we have

:06:20.:06:22.

wasted a lot of money and blood and let's just get back from the whole

:06:23.:06:27.

thing, let's retreat from the world and not try punching above our

:06:28.:06:30.

weight. There is something to be said for that and it is a reasonable

:06:31.:06:33.

argument. He's been true to himself on this. I think he is and Polly is

:06:34.:06:38.

right, lots of people will agree with him, not enough to win a

:06:39.:06:41.

general election, the latest ComRes poll shows Tories on 50% and Labour

:06:42.:06:46.

on 25 and as my colleague James Forsyth in the Spectator said if

:06:47.:06:49.

this was a boxing match it would have been stopped by now by the

:06:50.:06:52.

revelry. We are not stopping, we are going on.

:06:53.:06:54.

So the political parties have had to move into election mode

:06:55.:06:56.

Stand by for battle buses, mail shots and your social media

:06:57.:07:00.

timeline being bombarded by political propoganda.

:07:01.:07:01.

But none of this comes cheap - Adam's been doing his sums.

:07:02.:07:07.

Democracy is priceless but those planes, trains and automobiles used

:07:08.:07:12.

in the last election cost money and we know exactly how much,

:07:13.:07:14.

thanks to the Electoral Commission database.

:07:15.:07:20.

The Conservatives flew David Cameron to every part of the UK in one day

:07:21.:07:24.

on a private plane costing ?29,000, in-flight meals extra.

:07:25.:07:30.

They shelled out ?1.2 million for adverts on Facebook.

:07:31.:07:36.

The most expensive item was their election guru Lynton Crosby.

:07:37.:07:40.

They bought ?2.4 million worth of advice and research from his firm

:07:41.:07:43.

Labour's biggest expenditure was on good old-fashioned leaflets,

:07:44.:07:50.

costing ?7.4 million to print and deliver.

:07:51.:07:52.

Hope they didn't go straight into the recycling.

:07:53.:07:58.

Cheap for all the enjoyment it gave us.

:07:59.:08:06.

To turn a normal minibus into Harriet Harman's pink bus

:08:07.:08:09.

Nick Clegg toured the country doing all manner of stunts transported

:08:10.:08:15.

although the party got a grand's discount when it broke down.

:08:16.:08:28.

Ukip's then leader Nigel Farage was accompanied by bodyguards

:08:29.:08:30.

Nicola Sturgeon's chopper cost the SNP ?35,450.

:08:31.:08:39.

Plaid Cymru spent just over ?1,000 on media training

:08:40.:08:43.

And the Greens spent ?6,912 promoting their tweets.

:08:44.:08:57.

It adds up to a grand total for all the parties of ?37,560,039.

:08:58.:09:01.

Jabbing at my calculator that works out at less than ?1 per voter.

:09:02.:09:07.

Adam Fleming there - and joining me now is the man

:09:08.:09:12.

responsible for the Conservative election campaigns -

:09:13.:09:16.

for the locals next month and the general election in June -

:09:17.:09:19.

Welcome to the programme. The Crown Prosecution Service is reviewing

:09:20.:09:26.

evidence from 14 police forces that your party breached election

:09:27.:09:29.

spending rules on multiple occasions in the last election. What are you

:09:30.:09:35.

going to do differently this time? Well, the battle buses are part of

:09:36.:09:39.

the National campaign spend. You saw them just on the shot that you did,

:09:40.:09:45.

all three parties had those battle buses so that's why we believe they

:09:46.:09:48.

were part of the national spend and it was declared that way. At least

:09:49.:09:53.

30 people in your party, MPs and agents, being investigated because

:09:54.:09:57.

they may not have been right to include it in the national spend.

:09:58.:10:00.

Are you saying you are going to do nothing differently this time? You

:10:01.:10:04.

asked me about last time and the way the position is... Was. I asked you

:10:05.:10:11.

about this time. We will take a careful count and make sure that

:10:12.:10:15.

everything that we do is within the law. But as I say, the last

:10:16.:10:21.

election, all three parties had battle buses. It is your party that

:10:22.:10:25.

above all has been investigated by 14 police forces. You must surely be

:10:26.:10:31.

taking stock of that and working out how to do some things differently.

:10:32.:10:34.

You are being investigated because you put stuff on the National Ledger

:10:35.:10:39.

which should have been on the local constituency ledger. Are you looking

:10:40.:10:42.

at that again? All of the parties had battle buses and they all put

:10:43.:10:46.

them on their national spend. I don't think any of the parties put

:10:47.:10:49.

them on the local spend. The other battle buses were not full of their

:10:50.:10:55.

party activists. Your party stuffed these battle buses with activists

:10:56.:10:58.

and took them to constituencies. That's the difference. And I ask

:10:59.:11:04.

again, what is different this time? Are you going to run the risk of

:11:05.:11:09.

being investigated yet again? We believe that we fully compliant with

:11:10.:11:12.

the electoral law as it was. What will happen if one of these, or two

:11:13.:11:18.

or three or four or five of these 30 people, Tory MPs, or agents running

:11:19.:11:21.

campaigns are charged during the campaign? As I say I believe we

:11:22.:11:27.

properly declared our election expenses. What happens if they are

:11:28.:11:32.

charged? You asking me a hypothetical question, the

:11:33.:11:34.

importance of this election is about who is in Downing Street in seven

:11:35.:11:38.

weeks' time. Let me clarify this, you maintain that in 2015 you did

:11:39.:11:42.

nothing wrong with how you allocated the cost and the activities of the

:11:43.:11:46.

battle buses and you would do exactly the same this time round?

:11:47.:11:50.

What we did at the last election we believe fully complied with the law.

:11:51.:11:56.

So the battle buses this time, stocked full of activists, will

:11:57.:11:59.

still be charged to the national campaign even when they go to local

:12:00.:12:04.

constituencies? Will they? We will be looking at the way we do it,

:12:05.:12:10.

there is new guidance from the Electoral Commission out and we will

:12:11.:12:16.

look at that guidance. It is not the guidance, it is the lawful stop the

:12:17.:12:19.

Electoral Commission said that, if you look at the report they did on

:12:20.:12:23.

us, they said there was one area where we had over claimed, over

:12:24.:12:26.

declared, and another area we had and declared.

:12:27.:12:30.

We haven't worked out what to do yet, have you?

:12:31.:12:33.

We will get on with the campaign and start the campaign and I'm looking

:12:34.:12:36.

forward to the campaign. I'm trying to work out of the

:12:37.:12:39.

campaign is going to be legal or not because last time it seems it could

:12:40.:12:41.

have been illegal. I am sure the campaign will be

:12:42.:12:45.

legal. You started the campaign warning

:12:46.:12:48.

about the prospect of, the coalition of chaos. Mr Corbyn has ruled out a

:12:49.:12:52.

post-election coalition with the SNP and so have the Lib Dems so who is

:12:53.:13:00.

going to be in this coalition? Vince Cable said he was looking

:13:01.:13:02.

towards a possible coalition trying to stop a Conservative government.

:13:03.:13:05.

Is not the leader of the Lib Dems. He's an important voice in the Lib

:13:06.:13:11.

Dems. Who will be in it? Let's see because of the Conservative Party is

:13:12.:13:14.

not re-elected with a strong majority, what will happen? There

:13:15.:13:17.

will be a coalition stopping us doing the things we need to do. Who

:13:18.:13:21.

will be in it? It will be a coalition of the Labour Party, the

:13:22.:13:26.

SNP and the Liberal party. They have ruled it out. I think they would not

:13:27.:13:30.

rule it out if that was the situation. Like Theresa May not

:13:31.:13:32.

ruling out an election and then changing her mind? The things the

:13:33.:13:37.

Prime Minister said were very clear, once she had served Article 50 there

:13:38.:13:40.

was an opportunity, as we know today, there is going to be the

:13:41.:13:45.

start of a new government formed in France and in September we have the

:13:46.:13:48.

German elections. So it was quite right that we didn't get ourselves

:13:49.:13:51.

boxed into a timetable. That is why the Prime Minister took the view

:13:52.:13:57.

that they should be a general election to give her full strength

:13:58.:14:02.

of an electoral mandate when it comes to those negotiations. What

:14:03.:14:06.

about Mr Corbyn's plan for four new bank holidays, good idea? I'm not...

:14:07.:14:12.

If we get Corbyn in No 10 Downing St we will have a permanent bank

:14:13.:14:16.

holiday of the United Kingdom. We will have fewer bank holidays of

:14:17.:14:21.

most other major nations, most about major wealthy nations. What about at

:14:22.:14:26.

least one more? Well, look, he's talked about four bank holidays.

:14:27.:14:31.

Today would be a bank holiday and next Monday would be a bank holiday

:14:32.:14:35.

and the other week was a bank holiday too. I don't think it's very

:14:36.:14:39.

well thought out. It sounded more to me something like you get in school

:14:40.:14:43.

mock elections rather than proper elections. Your party is the

:14:44.:14:46.

self-styled party of the workers and you have no plans to give the

:14:47.:14:50.

workers even one extra bank holiday? What we want to do is ensure Britain

:14:51.:14:55.

is a strong economy and building on the jobs that we have created since

:14:56.:14:59.

2010. We were told that by reducing public expenditure unemployment in

:15:00.:15:05.

this country would go up, unemployment has gone down and the

:15:06.:15:08.

number of jobs have gone up substantially. But no more bank

:15:09.:15:12.

holidays? Well, we will make our manifesto in due course but I don't

:15:13.:15:16.

think four bank holidays held in April, March and November are very

:15:17.:15:22.

attractive to people. When Ed Miliband as leader of the Labour

:15:23.:15:25.

Party suggested the government should control energy prices by

:15:26.:15:35.

capping them, the Conservatives described that as almost Communist

:15:36.:15:39.

and central planning. Do still take that view? You'll see what we have

:15:40.:15:42.

to say on energy prices. I didn't you about that, I asked you if you

:15:43.:15:48.

take the view... The Prime Minister made a speech at the Conservative

:15:49.:15:51.

Spring conference in which she outlined her dissatisfaction about

:15:52.:15:54.

people who are kept locked on a standard tariff and those are the

:15:55.:15:56.

issues we will address in the next few weeks when the manifesto was

:15:57.:15:58.

published. Would that be an act of communism?

:15:59.:16:08.

You will need to see what we say when we set out the policies. It

:16:09.:16:13.

could be. You could put a Communist act into your manifesto? I don't

:16:14.:16:19.

think you'll find a Communist manifesto in a Conservative

:16:20.:16:22.

manifesto which will be launched... You are planning to control prices?

:16:23.:16:26.

We will address what we think is unfairness in the energy market. Mr

:16:27.:16:30.

Jeremy Corbyn was reluctant this morning to sanction a drone strike.

:16:31.:16:34.

You heard us talking about it earlier against the leader of

:16:35.:16:40.

Islamic State if our intelligence services identified him. What would

:16:41.:16:44.

it achieve? When the Prime Minister gets certain advice in the national

:16:45.:16:49.

interests, she has to act been that. We've seen with Theresa May in her

:16:50.:16:53.

time as Home Secretary and Prime Minister, she's not afraid to take

:16:54.:16:56.

those very difficult decisions. What we say this morning from Jeremy

:16:57.:17:01.

Corbyn was a his tans, a reluctance. I don't think that serves the

:17:02.:17:05.

country well. What would it achieve if we take out the head of Islamic

:17:06.:17:10.

State he's replaced by somebody else. It brings their organisation

:17:11.:17:16.

into difficulties. It undermines their organisation. It shows we'll

:17:17.:17:21.

take every measure to undo an organisation which has organised

:17:22.:17:24.

terrorism in different parts of Europe, the UK. I think it is

:17:25.:17:28.

absolutely right the Prime Minister is prepared to take those kind of

:17:29.:17:31.

measures. Jeremy Corbyn said he wasn't prepared to take that.

:17:32.:17:36.

Because he wasn't sure what it would achieve. The Obama administration

:17:37.:17:42.

launched hundreds of drone strikes in various war zones and we in the

:17:43.:17:46.

west are still under attack on a regular basis. Mr Corbyn's basis was

:17:47.:17:54.

what would it achieve? It would achieve a safer position for the UK

:17:55.:17:59.

overall. The war on terrorists. But the Westminster attack, Paris has

:18:00.:18:02.

just been attacked again? There's been attacks which have been stopped

:18:03.:18:07.

by the intelligence services. We must do all we can to support them.

:18:08.:18:11.

The question was about drone strikes. Whether it is drone strikes

:18:12.:18:15.

or other action, we have to be prepared to act. Let's move on to

:18:16.:18:21.

Brexit. It is the major reason the Prime Minister's called the

:18:22.:18:25.

election? Not the only within but the main reason? It is one of the

:18:26.:18:29.

reasons. Now we start the two-year negotiations and then a year

:18:30.:18:33.

afterwards. Also the way in which certain people said they would try

:18:34.:18:37.

to use in the House of Lords or House of Commons to prevent us

:18:38.:18:42.

making progress. I think you'll put in your manifesto, it is the

:18:43.:18:47.

Government's policy, the Brexit negotiating position will be no more

:18:48.:18:53.

freedom of movement. Leave the single market and no longer under

:18:54.:19:00.

the jurisdiction Europe. You expect every Tory MP to fight on that

:19:01.:19:05.

manifesto. What will you do with Ken Clarke and Anna? They will have

:19:06.:19:10.

fought on their manifesto. They will understand the Prime Minister has

:19:11.:19:13.

the authority of the ballot box behind them. Will they fight the

:19:14.:19:17.

election on these positions? I'm sure they'll fight the election

:19:18.:19:23.

supporting the election of a Conservative Government and it's

:19:24.:19:26.

manifesto will quite clearly set out... You know they're against

:19:27.:19:32.

these positions. Ken Clarke has a prod tradition of expressing a

:19:33.:19:36.

certain view. Overall, the party's manifesto, it is not just

:19:37.:19:39.

individuals like Ken Clarke, it is what happens as far as the House of

:19:40.:19:43.

Lords are concerned, people said they'd use the House of Lords to

:19:44.:19:48.

prevent certain measures. You're the party chairman, will it be possible

:19:49.:19:51.

for people like Ken Clarke to fight this election under the Conservative

:19:52.:19:57.

ticket without sub describing to all -- subscribing to all of these

:19:58.:20:04.

Brexit conditions? Ken Clarke will fight as Conservative candidates.

:20:05.:20:07.

That wasn't my question. I know that. Will they be allowed to fight

:20:08.:20:12.

it on their own ticket and not subscribe to what is in your

:20:13.:20:17.

manifesto? The manifesto will be what the Conservative Party fights

:20:18.:20:21.

the General Election on. There will always be cases where people have

:20:22.:20:24.

had different views on different parts of the manifesto. That will be

:20:25.:20:29.

the guiding principles for the party. Philip Hammond says your

:20:30.:20:36.

election promises in 2015, in your manifesto not to raise taxes tied

:20:37.:20:41.

his hands when it came to managing the economy. Do you agree with him?

:20:42.:20:46.

No. The simple fact is we have to do the best things for the economy.

:20:47.:20:51.

We'll set out in our manifesto in a few weeks' time, what the policies

:20:52.:20:56.

will be for the next Parliament. Can I clarify, you don't agree with your

:20:57.:21:00.

Chancellor? What Philip was saying was some of the areas we wants to

:21:01.:21:04.

address as Chancellor, what the party will do, it will set out all

:21:05.:21:09.

the issues we're fighting on. It will set out clearly the choice we

:21:10.:21:13.

have in this country. That's the important thing. Let me put the

:21:14.:21:17.

question to you again. Philip Hammond said this week your election

:21:18.:21:22.

promise in 2015 not to raise taxes had tied his hands when it came to

:21:23.:21:26.

managing the economy. I ask you, do you agree with him? You said no.

:21:27.:21:31.

Philip expressed his view as to what he would like. What I'm saying is in

:21:32.:21:36.

a few weeks' time we'll set the manifesto which will set the

:21:37.:21:40.

policies, agreed with the the Cabinet. He's Chancellor. Doesn't he

:21:41.:21:45.

determine what the economic part of the manifesto is? We'll talk about

:21:46.:21:49.

that in due course. Will you have a lock on the taxes that you locked in

:21:50.:21:54.

2015 on income tax, VAT, national insurance? That will be decided.

:21:55.:22:02.

You'll see that when we publish the manifesto in a few weeks' time. Will

:22:03.:22:06.

you rule out the possibility taxes may have to rise under a future

:22:07.:22:10.

Conservative Party? Conservative Government. We've taken four million

:22:11.:22:18.

people out of tax. Now, on average, people are paying ?1200 less tax

:22:19.:22:19.

than they were on the same salaries than they were on the same salaries

:22:20.:22:25.

in 2010. I'm very provide of that. I can assure you, the Conservative

:22:26.:22:28.

Party will want to see taxes reduced. It is the Labour Party

:22:29.:22:31.

which will put up taxes. We have the evidence where this he did so.

:22:32.:22:37.

Council tax went up by over 100%. You haven't reduced the tax burden

:22:38.:22:43.

as a percentage of the GDP is now going to reach its highest level

:22:44.:22:49.

since the mid-180s which was when Conservatives were in power. The tax

:22:50.:22:54.

burden in this country under your Government is rising? We've more

:22:55.:22:57.

people paying taxes which is something, because we've a growing

:22:58.:23:00.

economy and more people... What about the tax band? You said you

:23:01.:23:05.

reduced the tax burden on your own Government's figures is rising? We

:23:06.:23:11.

have reduced the tax burden. The threshold at which people start

:23:12.:23:15.

paying. These are tax rates not the tax burden. It is rising. The tax

:23:16.:23:21.

rates have been reduced. You said tax burden. Perhaps I misspoke. Tax

:23:22.:23:26.

rates have been reduced. We'll leave it there. No doubt we'll speak again

:23:27.:23:34.

between now and June Is France now about to make it

:23:35.:23:36.

a hat-trick of shocks The prospect terrifies

:23:37.:23:40.

the governing elite in Paris. But they're no less scared

:23:41.:23:43.

in Brussels and Berlin, given what it could mean

:23:44.:23:46.

for the whole EU project, never mind the huge potential impact

:23:47.:23:48.

on our own Brexit negotiations. 11 candidates are contesting

:23:49.:24:08.

the first round of the presidential Only the top two will go forward

:24:09.:24:10.

to the run-off on May 7th. For the first time since General De

:24:11.:24:16.

Gaulle created the fifth Republic in 1958, it's perfectly possible that

:24:17.:24:21.

no candidate from the ruling parties of the centre-left or the

:24:22.:24:25.

centre-right will even make it The election has been dominated by

:24:26.:24:28.

the hard right in the shape of the who's never been elected

:24:29.:24:35.

to anything and only started his own party

:24:36.:24:42.

a few months ago. And the far left in the form

:24:43.:24:45.

of Jean-Luc Melenchon, a former Trotskyite who has surged

:24:46.:24:47.

in the final weeks of the campaign. The only candidate left from the

:24:48.:24:51.

traditional governing parties is the centre-right's

:24:52.:24:54.

Francois Fillon and he's been struggling to stay in

:24:55.:24:57.

the race ever since it was revealed that his Welsh wife was being paid

:24:58.:25:00.

at generous public expense for a job I've just come across

:25:01.:25:06.

this magazine cover and it kind of sums up the mood

:25:07.:25:20.

of the French people. It's got the five main candidates

:25:21.:25:23.

for President here but it calls them the biggest liar, the biggest cheat,

:25:24.:25:27.

the biggest traitor, the most paranoid, the biggest demagogue,

:25:28.:25:30.

and it says they are the winners The four leading candidates,

:25:31.:25:33.

Le Pen, Melenchon, Macron and Fillon, or in with a chance

:25:34.:25:43.

of making it to the second round. Only a couple of points separates

:25:44.:25:46.

them in the polls, Frankly, no one has a clue what's

:25:47.:25:49.

going to happen. Of the four, there is a feeling that

:25:50.:25:55.

two of them may be President But the two of them may not find

:25:56.:26:00.

themselves in the second round. Somebody said to me that the man or

:26:01.:26:13.

woman on the Paris Metro has as much a chance of knowing

:26:14.:26:27.

who will win as the greatest experts Because the more expert you are

:26:28.:26:30.

the more you may be wrong. The country has largely

:26:31.:26:37.

stagnated for over a decade. One in ten are unemployed,

:26:38.:26:42.

one in four if you are unlucky Like Britain in the '70s there is

:26:43.:26:45.

the pervasive stench There are three keywords that come

:26:46.:26:49.

to mind. Anger, anger at the elite, and in

:26:50.:26:57.

particular the political elite. And an element of

:26:58.:27:03.

nostalgia for the past. These three words were decisive

:27:04.:27:09.

in the Brexit referendum. They are decisive in

:27:10.:27:13.

the French election. Identity and security has been

:27:14.:27:25.

as important in this election France is a proud nation, it worries

:27:26.:27:28.

about its future in Europe It seems bereft of ideas about how

:27:29.:27:35.

to deal with its largely Muslim migrant population, huge chunks of

:27:36.:27:40.

which are increasingly divorced It is quite simply exhausted by

:27:41.:27:43.

the never-ending Islamist terrorist attacks, the latest only days before

:27:44.:27:54.

voting in the iconic heart of this If Fillon or Macron emerge

:27:55.:27:57.

victorious then there will be continuity of sorts, though Fillon

:27:58.:28:08.

will struggle to implement his Thatcherite agenda and Macron will

:28:09.:28:12.

not be able to count on the support of the French parliament, the

:28:13.:28:16.

National Assembly, for his reforms. But if it's Le Pen or Jean-Luc

:28:17.:28:19.

Melenchon then all bets are off. Both are hardline French

:28:20.:28:25.

nationalists, anti the euro, anti the European Union, anti-fiscal

:28:26.:28:28.

discipline, anti the market, Either in the Elysee Palace

:28:29.:28:31.

would represent an existential Brexit would simply become

:28:32.:28:40.

a sideshow, the negotiations could just peter out as Brussels

:28:41.:28:49.

and Berlin had bigger fish to fry. We're joined now from

:28:50.:28:54.

Paris by the journalist 8th Welcome to the programme.

:28:55.:29:05.

Overshadowing the voting today was yet another appalling terrorist

:29:06.:29:09.

attack in Paris on Thursday night. Do we have any indications of how

:29:10.:29:16.

that's playing into the election? That initially people thought this

:29:17.:29:20.

has been almost foiled in that the police were there as a ramp up. One

:29:21.:29:25.

policeman was killed. But the terrorist did not spray the crowd

:29:26.:29:29.

with bullets. It was seen as not having much of an effect on the

:29:30.:29:35.

election. This has changed. We now know the policeman who was killed, a

:29:36.:29:41.

young man about to the promoted, he was at the Bataclan the night of the

:29:42.:29:46.

terror attack. He was a fighter for LGBT rights. The fact he was

:29:47.:29:53.

promoted, happy within his job, he has this fresh face. Sudden, he's

:29:54.:30:00.

one of us. It took perhaps 48 hours for the French to process this. But

:30:01.:30:05.

now they're angry and this may actually change the game, at least

:30:06.:30:11.

at the margins. To whose advantage? I would say the two who might

:30:12.:30:18.

benefit from this are Marine Le Pen, she's been absolutely

:30:19.:30:22.

anti-immigration, anti-anything. And made no bones about it as she

:30:23.:30:27.

immediately made rather strange announcement in which she'd said if

:30:28.:30:30.

she'd been president none of the terror attacks which happened in

:30:31.:30:34.

France would have happened. Francois Fillon has written a book two years

:30:35.:30:42.

ago called Combating Islamic Terrorism he's has an organised plan

:30:43.:30:46.

in his manifesto. Unlike Emmanuel Macron who stumbled when he was

:30:47.:30:50.

asked the evening this happened what he thought, he said, I can't dream

:30:51.:30:55.

up an anti-terror programme overnight. The question, of course,

:30:56.:30:59.

that arrows was this is not the sort of thing that's just happened

:31:00.:31:02.

overnight. It's been unfortunately the fate of France for many years.

:31:03.:31:08.

Let me ask you this finally, what ever the outcome on May 7th in the

:31:09.:31:13.

second round, who ever wins, would it be fair to say French politics

:31:14.:31:19.

will never be the same again? Yes. Absolutely it's a very strange

:31:20.:31:22.

thing. People have no become really excited about this. You cannot go

:31:23.:31:27.

anywhere without people discussing heatedly this election. The anger

:31:28.:31:31.

that was described is very accurate. Very true. There was this feeling as

:31:32.:31:38.

for the Brexit voters and the Trump voters, vast parts of the people

:31:39.:31:42.

were being talked down to by people who despised them. This has to

:31:43.:31:48.

change. If it doesn't change, we cannot predict what the future will

:31:49.:31:54.

be. We'll know the results or at least the ex-the Poll London time

:31:55.:31:59.

tonight at 8.00pm. Thank for joining us from the glorious heart of your

:32:00.:32:00.

city. Now, the Green Party currently has

:32:01.:32:04.

one MP and they'll be contesting many more seats in June

:32:05.:32:07.

as well as hoping to increase their presence on councils in

:32:08.:32:10.

the local elections on 4th May. Launching their campaign

:32:11.:32:12.

on Thursday, co-leader Caroline Lucas made

:32:13.:32:14.

a pitch to younger voters. When it comes to young

:32:15.:32:16.

people they've been But one crucial way they've been

:32:17.:32:18.

betrayed is by what this generation and this government and the previous

:32:19.:32:23.

ones have been doing when it comes We know we had the hottest year

:32:24.:32:27.

on record last year, you know, you almost think what else does

:32:28.:32:31.

the environment need to be doing All the signs are there

:32:32.:32:34.

and it is young people who are going to be bearing

:32:35.:32:37.

the brunt of a wrecked environment and that's why it's so important

:32:38.:32:40.

that when we come to making that pitch to, yes, the country at large

:32:41.:32:44.

but to young people in particular, I think climate change,

:32:45.:32:47.

the environment, looking after our precious resources,

:32:48.:32:49.

has to be up there. And I'm joined now by the Green

:32:50.:32:53.

MEP, Molly Scott Cato. Welcome back to the programme.

:32:54.:33:08.

Promised to scrap university tuition fees, increase NHS funding, rollback

:33:09.:33:11.

cuts to local councils spending, how much would that cost and how would

:33:12.:33:15.

you pay for it? Like the other parties we haven't got a costed

:33:16.:33:18.

manifesto yet, it's only a few days since the election was announced so

:33:19.:33:21.

I will come back and explain the figures. You don't know? Like every

:33:22.:33:25.

party we have not produced accosted manifesto yet, we produced one last

:33:26.:33:31.

time but public spending figures have changed so we're not in a

:33:32.:33:34.

position to do that but we will be in a week or so. What taxes would

:33:35.:33:39.

you like to consider raising? We would consider having higher taxes

:33:40.:33:43.

for the better off in society. I think we need to increase the amount

:33:44.:33:48.

of tax wealthier people pay. How do you define better off? I'm not

:33:49.:33:51.

entirely clear what the precise number would be but I think 100,000

:33:52.:33:58.

people would pay a bit more, 150,000 quite considerably more but the real

:33:59.:34:01.

focus needs to be on companies avoiding paying taxes. I work on

:34:02.:34:04.

that a lot in my role in the European Parliament, we see an

:34:05.:34:07.

enormous amount of tax avoidance by companies moving profits from

:34:08.:34:11.

country to country and we need European corporation to make that

:34:12.:34:14.

successful. It has not made much difference yet. We have made lots of

:34:15.:34:20.

changes. Google turned over $1 billion and only paid 25 million in

:34:21.:34:24.

taxes last year. There was a significant fine introduced by the

:34:25.:34:28.

competition commission on Apple and in the case of Google we must change

:34:29.:34:32.

the laws so that people cannot move profits from country to country.

:34:33.:34:38.

Everybody wants to do it. But you couldn't face a big spending

:34:39.:34:41.

programme on the ability to do that. You'd have to increase other taxes.

:34:42.:34:45.

If you look at the cost of free student tuition, tuition fees and

:34:46.:34:48.

also maintenance grants to students, that would come in at about 10

:34:49.:34:52.

billion a year. One way of paying for that would be to remove the

:34:53.:34:55.

upper threshold on National Insurance, bringing in 20 billion a

:34:56.:34:59.

year, that's the order of magnitude we are talking about. It is not

:35:00.:35:03.

vast, and some of the proposals we have... That would be an increase on

:35:04.:35:07.

the better of tax? National Insurance on people earning...

:35:08.:35:14.

People earning above 42,000. You would have another 10% tax above

:35:15.:35:18.

42,000? I can't remember exactly how much the National Insurance rate

:35:19.:35:24.

changes by. But in government figures it would be 28 billion

:35:25.:35:28.

raised. I think it is up to 45, a bit more you pay a marginal rate of

:35:29.:35:32.

40%, you would have them pay a marginal rate of over 50%? We would

:35:33.:35:36.

put the National Insurance rate on higher incomes the same as it is on

:35:37.:35:40.

lower incomes. If you are a school head of an English department on 50,

:35:41.:35:44.

60,000 a year you would face a marginal rate under U of over 50%?

:35:45.:35:50.

It is not useful to do this as a mental maths exercise but if you

:35:51.:35:55.

look at other proposals would could have a landlord licensing system,

:35:56.:35:58.

longer term leases on properties, so young people particularly, but also

:35:59.:36:01.

older people who rent, could have more security which needn't cost

:36:02.:36:05.

anything. We could insist on landlords paying for that. The

:36:06.:36:09.

mental arithmetic seems clear but we will come back to that. How is the

:36:10.:36:12.

mental arithmetic seems clear but we Progressive Alliance coming? It is

:36:13.:36:13.

going well, I have heard of a lot of Progressive Alliance coming? It is

:36:14.:36:17.

interest at local level. Winterset this in contest, context, lots of

:36:18.:36:23.

progressives are concerned about the crisis in public services, prisons,

:36:24.:36:27.

social care system, and also about the Tories' hard extreme Brexit they

:36:28.:36:31.

are threatening. You want the left to come together? Theresa May has

:36:32.:36:36.

given us opportunity, she has taken a risk because she has problems with

:36:37.:36:39.

backbenchers, she doesn't think she can get through Brexit with a small

:36:40.:36:42.

majority so there is an opportunity and we are saying progressives must

:36:43.:36:46.

come together to corporate, Conservatives are effective at using

:36:47.:36:48.

the first-past-the-post system and we have to become effective as well.

:36:49.:36:54.

Do you accept this Progressive Alliance cannot become the

:36:55.:36:56.

government and Mr Corbyn is the Prime Minister? How could it happen

:36:57.:37:01.

otherwise? I think that is a secondary question. For me the

:37:02.:37:04.

primary question is who do people choose to vote for? Aluminium

:37:05.:37:08.

government afterwards comes after the election. In most countries that

:37:09.:37:12.

is the case. I understand that but we have the system we have and you

:37:13.:37:15.

accept this Progressive Alliance cannot be in power and thus mystical

:37:16.:37:18.

Burmese Prime Minister? Personally I think Mr Corbyn is less of a threat

:37:19.:37:20.

Burmese Prime Minister? Personally I to the country than Theresa May, she

:37:21.:37:23.

has shown herself to be an authoritarian leader and she has

:37:24.:37:30.

said she doesn't want to have dissidents, which I would say is

:37:31.:37:32.

reasonable opposition, and what we are suggesting at the moment is

:37:33.:37:35.

there is a way of avoiding that very hard Brexit and damage to public

:37:36.:37:38.

services. You'd be happy to pay the price of having Mr Corbyn as Prime

:37:39.:37:42.

Minister? I do not see that as a price. People have the choice of

:37:43.:37:45.

Jeremy Corbyn or Theresa May as Prime Minister, that's the system

:37:46.:37:48.

that works. You would prefer Mr Corbyn? I would but votes are

:37:49.:37:54.

translated into seats and the Progressive Alliance is a step

:37:55.:37:54.

towards It's just gone 3:50pm,

:37:55.:37:56.

you're watching the Sunday Politics. Good afternoon and welcome

:37:57.:38:06.

to Sunday Politics Scotland. Just months after Theresa

:38:07.:38:08.

May ruled it out - It led to

:38:09.:38:11.

heated exchanges at this week's I'll be talking to the SNP's

:38:12.:38:18.

leader at Westminster - and to three of the parties

:38:19.:38:22.

which hope to make a dent It's not even a week

:38:23.:38:25.

since Theresa May announced she wanted a snap general

:38:26.:38:33.

election in June. But already the parties

:38:34.:38:35.

are in full election mode, with candidates being selected

:38:36.:38:37.

and campaigning underway. And there are some interesting

:38:38.:38:39.

polls this weekend. In the studio with me is the polling

:38:40.:38:42.

expert and professor of Politics at the University of

:38:43.:38:45.

Strathclyde, John Curtice. Restored to the Scottish schools.

:38:46.:38:58.

Two today, they would seem to indicate that the Tory surge is more

:38:59.:39:06.

than just imaginary. Evidence since last year's Holyrood elections

:39:07.:39:10.

suggest the Conservatives are advancing in Scotland. We can point

:39:11.:39:15.

to a poll for the Sunday Times which has the Tories at 33%, the highest

:39:16.:39:23.

for years. The same Paul last month had them at 28. It is quite a while

:39:24.:39:33.

since they last pulled so certainly a Conservative revival in Scotland,

:39:34.:39:36.

it looks like it has strengthened further. The SNP, that said are

:39:37.:39:44.

still dominant in the polls but are running at 43%. That is six points

:39:45.:39:56.

below the high level of 2015. It will be difficult for the SNP to

:39:57.:40:02.

hang onto as many as 50 62nd time around, they are inevitably on the

:40:03.:40:08.

defensive and these polls show a marginal drop in support. What does

:40:09.:40:13.

this rising support for the Tories mean in terms of seats? If you take

:40:14.:40:19.

the average today, it suggests the Conservatives will pick up eight

:40:20.:40:25.

seats of the SNP so we are still not talking about the Conservatives

:40:26.:40:28.

having a large representation in Scotland. Any gain in seats north of

:40:29.:40:37.

the border potentially adds to Theresa May's objective which is to

:40:38.:40:39.

get as big a majority inside the Theresa May's objective which is to

:40:40.:40:44.

House of Commons as possible. For so long Scotland as dominated by the

:40:45.:40:48.

SNP, that agenda is more difficult. There has been talk about today is

:40:49.:40:54.

only getting a 100 seat majority, is that the gays? If the Tories pick up

:40:55.:41:03.

seats from Labour? -- is that the case? Could it not cancel out if the

:41:04.:41:14.

Liberal Democrats make inroads? That would be an optimistic scenario for

:41:15.:41:20.

opposition parties. The truth is Labour are 20 points behind. That

:41:21.:41:25.

means you are looking at a majority of around 120 up to 140. There has

:41:26.:41:36.

been seen a rise in Conservative support by squeezing Ukip. Even

:41:37.:41:38.

been seen a rise in Conservative then, it becomes more difficult for

:41:39.:41:43.

any party, including the Liberal Democrats to take seats of the

:41:44.:41:48.

Conservatives. There clearly are some seats, one can point to seats

:41:49.:41:55.

in London where the Liberal Democrats won until 2015 and still

:41:56.:42:01.

have a substantial base. At the moment, if the Liberal Democrats

:42:02.:42:04.

were to do as much as double their representation, they will be doing

:42:05.:42:07.

were to do as much as double their well and nine extra seats is not

:42:08.:42:12.

going to make a major dent in to Theresa May's position. Can leave a

:42:13.:42:20.

turn around and defy the polls? The cute but even if they defy the

:42:21.:42:25.

polls, they will still end up losing because they are just so far behind

:42:26.:42:33.

in the polls. The polls, although inaccurate sometimes, have never

:42:34.:42:37.

been so inaccurate to suggest that a 20 point lead is some kind of myth.

:42:38.:42:44.

This means that Labour Party is facing a series defeat, perhaps more

:42:45.:42:49.

seriously than back in 1993 when Michael foot led the party and also

:42:50.:42:56.

the party is at risk of ending up with nothing in Scotland, they have

:42:57.:43:00.

Edinburgh South. Both the Conservatives and Labour are eyeing

:43:01.:43:04.

that seat. Thank you very much indeed.

:43:05.:43:07.

So what does that mean for the politicians?

:43:08.:43:08.

Joining me now from Moray is the deputy leader of the SNP

:43:09.:43:11.

and the party's Westminster leader Angus Robertson.

:43:12.:43:18.

This progressive alliance that Nicola Sturgeon was talking about,

:43:19.:43:24.

given the attitude of labour and the Liberal Democrats, has that no gone?

:43:25.:43:35.

I think all the indications are that there are no circumstances that

:43:36.:43:39.

suggest there might be an opportunity to work across parties

:43:40.:43:44.

to thwart this ever more extreme right-wing Tory government. Whilst

:43:45.:43:47.

always stressing that we are prepared to work with other parties,

:43:48.:43:51.

it is totally dependent on the numbers and looks like Labour are

:43:52.:43:57.

heading for a bad -- I defeat in England so I think the question is

:43:58.:44:02.

academic at this stage. I should apologise to people watching because

:44:03.:44:06.

that is a long delay on this satellite link. Brexit, what are you

:44:07.:44:13.

going to see? There are areas, especially in the north-east, your

:44:14.:44:16.

constituency in fact, where people were glad to get out of the European

:44:17.:44:21.

union, are you going to be is telling them to vote SNP so we can

:44:22.:44:27.

have an independence referendum and go straight back in again? I think

:44:28.:44:34.

the key point, even for leave voters throughout Scotland and this part of

:44:35.:44:38.

the world, if they were not voting for the hard Brexit the UK

:44:39.:44:42.

Government is voting. Membership of the single market really matters, in

:44:43.:44:48.

this part of the world for example for the fish processors or she is in

:44:49.:44:52.

Speyside where we are known as the centre of the food and drink

:44:53.:44:57.

industry for Scotland. -- or here in Speyside. A lot of people who voted

:44:58.:45:03.

leave in the referendum are very concerned about the prospect of hard

:45:04.:45:07.

Brexit that Theresa May is proceeding which is why a vote for

:45:08.:45:11.

the SNP will be a vote for protecting our place in Europe and

:45:12.:45:16.

ourselves against the dangers and excesses of the Brexit position

:45:17.:45:22.

being pursued by the government in Westminster. It is SNP policy to

:45:23.:45:23.

become a full member of the European Westminster. It is SNP policy to

:45:24.:45:28.

union, so you're in the -- message to fishermen for example, you might

:45:29.:45:33.

be glad to get out of the Common fisheries policy but our policy as

:45:34.:45:37.

the SNP is to have an independent Scotland which will go straight back

:45:38.:45:44.

into the Common fisheries? The first thing to understand is that the UK

:45:45.:45:49.

Government has listed fishing is a low priority in its Brexit

:45:50.:45:53.

negotiations so fishermen in this part of the world have long memories

:45:54.:45:57.

and remembered it was the Tories who sold out the fishing industry and

:45:58.:46:02.

caused devastation to jobs right around the Scottish coast. We're not

:46:03.:46:05.

going to take lessons and protecting the fishing industry from the

:46:06.:46:10.

Tories. It will be important to the next parliament that strong voices

:46:11.:46:14.

will be standing up for fishing communities which is what we will do

:46:15.:46:19.

and that is why membership of the single market really matters. It is

:46:20.:46:24.

not just the offshore sector, it is the onshore sector, like food

:46:25.:46:30.

processing which matter so much to our economy. The SNP will be

:46:31.:46:34.

protecting coastal communities well the Tories suggest they are low

:46:35.:46:39.

priority. This new model approach is not what I stood SNP policy to be. I

:46:40.:46:46.

priority. This new model approach is thought the policy was another

:46:47.:46:48.

independence referendum, you want to win it and become a full member of

:46:49.:46:52.

the European union which would involve joining the Common Fisheries

:46:53.:47:01.

Policy? The first thing on this election campaign is that it is

:47:02.:47:07.

about electing a parliament at Westminster and a UK government. On

:47:08.:47:10.

the question of the independence referendum, the SNP already has a

:47:11.:47:17.

mandate to hold such a referendum, the Scottish Parliament has already

:47:18.:47:23.

voted for it. Specifically on the fishing industry, I would repeat the

:47:24.:47:28.

point that the UK Government says fishing is a low priority. I would

:47:29.:47:33.

have real concerns, given that we know the Tories have not committed

:47:34.:47:38.

to repatriating all powers of the fisheries, notwithstanding the fact

:47:39.:47:40.

to repatriating all powers of the that it is devolved. Having sold out

:47:41.:47:45.

the fishing industry once, I think people in coastal communities should

:47:46.:47:49.

be cautious about the Tories suggesting they are friends of the

:47:50.:47:55.

fishing industry when they are not. I was not asking what you will see

:47:56.:47:58.

to the Tories but what you will see to your own elected it. I have asked

:47:59.:48:03.

you three times to state that it is the SNP policy to have an

:48:04.:48:06.

independence referendum and become a full member of the European union

:48:07.:48:11.

and therefore the Common Fisheries Policy but you still have not said

:48:12.:48:18.

yes, that is the SNP policy? Yes, it is the SNP policy, we are in favour

:48:19.:48:23.

of Scotland being a member state member of the European union and a

:48:24.:48:26.

member of the Common Fisheries Policy but I am seeing this election

:48:27.:48:32.

is about Brexit negotiations and the UK Government approach to fishing.

:48:33.:48:38.

We have ascertained that the UK Government regards fishing and

:48:39.:48:41.

fishing communities as a low priority and they are not prepared

:48:42.:48:45.

to ensure that all of the powers that should be exercised over

:48:46.:48:49.

fishing in Scotland are exercised in Scotland. So if people are going to

:48:50.:48:59.

stand up for Scotland in the next general election, it will be the SNP

:49:00.:49:02.

that do it, not the Tories. On this issue about limiting tax credit to

:49:03.:49:06.

two children, will it be your policy to stop that happening in Scotland

:49:07.:49:14.

by effectively keeping the existing situation on tax credits or not? You

:49:15.:49:25.

are talking about what is more generally understood as the Reaper

:49:26.:49:30.

clause which unfortunately, the Tories in Scotland have been running

:49:31.:49:33.

away from ever since it was passed. away from ever since it was passed.

:49:34.:49:41.

-- rape clause. We voted for its repeal at Westminster. If ever we

:49:42.:49:47.

wanted a timely memory that the Tories are the nasty party, an

:49:48.:49:52.

epithet that was coined by Theresa May, it is this rape clause. Every

:49:53.:49:57.

SNP parliamentarian and I would say the opportunity to thank my

:49:58.:50:03.

colleague who has been spearheading the campaign against rape clause,

:50:04.:50:09.

the more SNP MPs that are at Westminster, the louder the voice

:50:10.:50:11.

against the rape clause. Anyone voting against will be contributing

:50:12.:50:16.

to the idea this is an inappropriate policy and it is not. Thank you very

:50:17.:50:19.

much. In the studio now -

:50:20.:50:20.

we have the deputy leader of Scottish Labour, Alex Rowley,

:50:21.:50:22.

the deputy leader of the Scottish Conservatives, Jackson Carlaw -

:50:23.:50:25.

and in our Edinburgh studio is the Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP

:50:26.:50:27.

Alex Cole Hamilton. And so-called rape clause, the

:50:28.:50:37.

Scottish Tories have themselves in a right mess over this, and how will

:50:38.:50:42.

you get out of it? Any form of welfare reform is difficult, it

:50:43.:50:46.

touches on sensitive issues. In 2015 beware committed to welfare reform

:50:47.:50:50.

and one of the reforms was that would be -- there would be a tax

:50:51.:50:54.

credit for the first two children in each family had we felt was that

:50:55.:51:03.

they would be provisos. This includes children that were born as

:51:04.:51:06.

a result of nonconsensual sex. We think it is right the benefit is

:51:07.:51:10.

attached but I send that it is an awkward policy. And should be gotten

:51:11.:51:16.

rid of? I don't think so, because we agree that the reform is

:51:17.:51:21.

necessary... If you are in a room thinking about this you wonder how

:51:22.:51:24.

on earth did someone actually think this was a good idea? When we put

:51:25.:51:29.

this before Parliament that child tax credits should be for the first

:51:30.:51:33.

two children in a family we spoke to other parties to establish what

:51:34.:51:37.

exemptions should exist in those circumstances and this was one of

:51:38.:51:41.

the exemptions. Harriet Harman in principle supported that this should

:51:42.:51:46.

be one of the exemptions pursued. It isn't appropriate that additional

:51:47.:51:51.

benefits goes to the families. Alec, what ambitions do you have? You are

:51:52.:51:56.

20 points behind in the pool. We have just had angered Robertson be

:51:57.:52:00.

very clear that his party the SNP want to take Scotland out all our

:52:01.:52:03.

largest single market which is the want to take Scotland out all our

:52:04.:52:08.

UK, in order to get us into the European single market by remaining

:52:09.:52:13.

part of the European Union and in terms of the Tories, this next six

:52:14.:52:17.

or seven weeks we need to examine not just the hard Brexit but the

:52:18.:52:22.

record, we need to examine the record... Have you any confidence

:52:23.:52:26.

that Jeremy Corbyn the Labour Party can overturn a 20 point deficit in

:52:27.:52:31.

the polls in seven days -- seven weeks? I support Jeremy Corbyn and

:52:32.:52:34.

he can offer a different kind of politics. People in this country

:52:35.:52:37.

want change and that is what's Jeremy Corbyn offers. The permit to

:52:38.:52:42.

be able to ask what kind of society to be one? One of the same with the

:52:43.:52:46.

Tories or do we want ripped out of the largest single market... You

:52:47.:52:50.

have been single for two years and it has made no difference. What do

:52:51.:52:52.

have been single for two years and you do to change it? In these next

:52:53.:52:57.

six and seven weeks there are important issues in terms of Brexit

:52:58.:53:00.

and the SNP want to dig is out of our largest in the market but let's

:53:01.:53:04.

look at our record with the Tories in the table Scotland that we want.

:53:05.:53:08.

I am confident that if we can do that and we can narrow those polls

:53:09.:53:12.

and Labour can win seats in Scotland as well as across the United

:53:13.:53:18.

Kingdom. Alex Cole Hamilton, I'm curious about your position on

:53:19.:53:20.

another referendum on the European Union. You're seeing now that there

:53:21.:53:26.

should only be one when there is -- when the negotiations have come to a

:53:27.:53:32.

final deal, is that correct? That is correct, we are offering a

:53:33.:53:35.

referendum on the exit deal with remain being an option on that

:53:36.:53:40.

ballot paper, we believe that when the league campaign took the case to

:53:41.:53:42.

the British people on the 23rd of June that it was based on a

:53:43.:53:44.

prospectus which has been found out June that it was based on a

:53:45.:53:47.

to be profoundly flawed and indeed June that it was based on a

:53:48.:53:51.

in some cases concluded depositors, everyone members... Just to be

:53:52.:53:55.

clear, the British government to negotiate a deal and the Liberal

:53:56.:53:59.

Democrats seem to accept that the British government will not be a

:54:00.:54:01.

Liberal Democrat one-handed then has to have a referendum but to be clear

:54:02.:54:06.

Liberal Democrat one-handed then has you're seeing if the deal was

:54:07.:54:11.

rejected we do what? Stay in the EU? Absolutely and I think that is a

:54:12.:54:16.

message that is really resonating with 40s across the country. We have

:54:17.:54:19.

seen Liberal Democrat membership search by 15,000 across the country.

:54:20.:54:25.

We have taken in ?1.6 million in donations in that time goes this is

:54:26.:54:28.

a message that makes it unique among the other parties. We want to have

:54:29.:54:33.

Scotland remain at the heart of the United Kingdom and the United

:54:34.:54:35.

Kingdom remain in the heart of Europe. We will put that to the

:54:36.:54:40.

people in a very compelling perspective for us to remain.

:54:41.:54:46.

Jackson Karl, by calling of a general election, since Theresa May

:54:47.:54:49.

completely undermine the position that you can have another

:54:50.:54:51.

independence referendum in Scotland? If you can have another general

:54:52.:54:55.

election when we don't have the faintest idea where the Brexit

:54:56.:54:59.

negotiations will lead them why not have another independence

:55:00.:55:02.

referendum? And independence referendum is something that would

:55:03.:55:05.

take one year or two years or longer and I think would paralyse Scotland

:55:06.:55:07.

through the process. The general and I think would paralyse Scotland

:55:08.:55:10.

election will be resolved by June eight. That is not the argument

:55:11.:55:15.

Theresa May, she said you can't have another independence referendum

:55:16.:55:17.

because we don't know what the final Brexit deal is and it would not be

:55:18.:55:21.

fair to the people of Scotland to ask them to me the choice but the

:55:22.:55:24.

people of Britain are being asked to make a choice. The people and were

:55:25.:55:30.

asked to make a choice last year... She wants a mandate for her former

:55:31.:55:33.

Brexit that we haven't the faintest idea what it is. She wants a mandate

:55:34.:55:38.

to make sure that it is she, Theresa May, negotiating on behalf of the UK

:55:39.:55:42.

through the whole process. Why does she need a mandate for that? That is

:55:43.:55:47.

the situation we are in. Many people have come to realise that the

:55:48.:55:50.

negotiations would be coming to a conclusion at the point where

:55:51.:55:53.

another general election might be about to take place are we not to

:55:54.:55:57.

seek a fresh mandate. Following up on Alex Cole Hamilton's point in the

:55:58.:56:00.

pond Theresa May is making, if what you're doing is advertising in

:56:01.:56:04.

advance that you are going to have another referendum, which of course

:56:05.:56:07.

we would encourage not to negotiate seriously or to negotiate a bad

:56:08.:56:10.

deal, or if you are at the point where there is another election and

:56:11.:56:15.

maybe in the of those not to try and negotiate seriously to get the deal

:56:16.:56:19.

we need then I think that would be a problem. The Prime Minister is

:56:20.:56:21.

seeking to get a clear mandate for five years, which would take us

:56:22.:56:25.

through the whole Brexit negotiation process and the clear decision for

:56:26.:56:28.

people on the 8th of June is whether or not they want to read the Jeremy

:56:29.:56:36.

Corbyn conducting the station. What do you make of Alex Cole Hamilton's

:56:37.:56:40.

idea of another referendum? We have got to accept the outcome of the

:56:41.:56:45.

referendum, I campaigned to remain within Europe but we just can't have

:56:46.:56:48.

a time we have a referendum and don't like the result that have

:56:49.:56:53.

another one. I think the Tories... Labour position is that there should

:56:54.:56:56.

be a meaningful vote on the final deal. Yes. What does that mean? We

:56:57.:57:04.

need to get the best deal possible and that is about access to the

:57:05.:57:08.

single market. Let's say that doesn't happen in the House of

:57:09.:57:14.

Commons rises up under a, Labour vote against the final deal, at

:57:15.:57:16.

least what Alex Cole Hamilton are vote against the final deal, at

:57:17.:57:19.

seeing is clear, we would stay in the EU. I am not clear what labours

:57:20.:57:26.

idea is. We are seeing if you want a Brexit deal that isn't the best of

:57:27.:57:30.

Scotland and the UK and then vote Labour. The Tories want to spend

:57:31.:57:35.

this whole election talking about Brexit or independence, because they

:57:36.:57:38.

don't want to talk about the record, they don't want to talk about the

:57:39.:57:42.

big issues facing people in Scotland every day. So we need to have a

:57:43.:57:45.

discussion around Brexit, we certainly need to roll out another

:57:46.:57:48.

independence referendum in the lifetime of this Parliament -- rule

:57:49.:57:55.

out another referendum in the lifetime of this Parliament. Before

:57:56.:57:59.

Jackson Carl or Alex Cole Hamilton both set, the criticism of Labour on

:58:00.:58:06.

Brexit is that you don't have a clear line with the Lib Dems and

:58:07.:58:12.

Tories do. We accept the outcome of the referendum, and in that

:58:13.:58:14.

referendum it was never put forward that if you come out of Europe then

:58:15.:58:20.

you could not have access to the European free market. And we need to

:58:21.:58:23.

get the best deal possible that gives us access into Europe for

:58:24.:58:27.

trade and while at the same time retaining access to our largest

:58:28.:58:30.

single market which is the rest of the United Kingdom. Alex Cole

:58:31.:58:36.

Hamilton, as I am sure Alec rally will say there will be a research

:58:37.:58:41.

and support for Jeremy Corbyn and Labour will do quite well but not

:58:42.:58:44.

quite well enough. There are no circumstances whatsoever in which

:58:45.:58:50.

you would go into coalition? Not at all and Tim Farren made that

:58:51.:58:53.

clear. That is because everybody knows the Jeremy Corbyn is going to

:58:54.:58:57.

lose this election very badly but also... If you thought he would win

:58:58.:59:02.

then you might want to coalition? Because of the real vacillation in

:59:03.:59:07.

the Labour Party, we have just headed there, they don't believe

:59:08.:59:13.

that the process begun by a vote by the British people should "By the

:59:14.:59:16.

British people and that should be left Parliament, if Labour not get

:59:17.:59:20.

what they want the left out of this process and as such they will be as

:59:21.:59:23.

opposed Jeremy Corbyn as leadership opposed Jeremy Corbyn as leadership

:59:24.:59:28.

-- in his leadership, you'll be carping from the sidelines. We want

:59:29.:59:33.

to be the new opposition to the Tory government at Westminster. Alec, I

:59:34.:59:40.

can see already the pollsters, you know, of Jeremy Corbyn and Nicola

:59:41.:59:47.

Sturgeon's pocket appear in England. How will you convince voters in

:59:48.:59:49.

Sturgeon's pocket appear in England. England that should Jeremy Corbyn

:59:50.:59:51.

Sturgeon's pocket appear in England. reasonably well and have a chance of

:59:52.:59:54.

forming a government that he will not immediately having been rejected

:59:55.:59:59.

by Alex Cole Hamilton joined up with the SNP? That is why the need to

:00:00.:00:05.

campaign for every vote in Scotland that that the party that will stand

:00:06.:00:09.

up for Scotland in Westminster, the party that will... Would you roll

:00:10.:00:14.

out coalition with the SNP under any circumstances? Absolutely. We are

:00:15.:00:18.

the party that will stand up for Scotland and Westminster and will go

:00:19.:00:21.

to Westminster and fight for Scotland, so we are asking people in

:00:22.:00:25.

Scotland to vote Labour and said Labour MPs to Westminster to stand

:00:26.:00:31.

up for Scotland. The Mac will you be on the phone to Central office

:00:32.:00:37.

saying old printing those posters of Jeremy Corbyn and Nicola Sturgeon

:00:38.:00:42.

because we want to see in this campaign, not fake news that would

:00:43.:00:49.

be fake news. Produces Jeremy Corbyn will be in Scotland's pocket, he was

:00:50.:00:53.

not huge and the referendum in 2014, he said he's too busy and he said he

:00:54.:00:57.

is personally relaxed about having a second independent referendum.

:00:58.:01:03.

People in Scotland are not want a second independent referendum and

:01:04.:01:04.

already Scottish Conservatives have been consistent about this. That is

:01:05.:01:09.

interesting but it has nothing to do with the question I asked. That is

:01:10.:01:15.

the truth of the position. It damages the case for the union when

:01:16.:01:18.

PC pro UK parties like the Conservatives doing down the very

:01:19.:01:22.

hard efforts of our party Liberal Democrats would have been

:01:23.:01:30.

consistent. 12 months ago you said was not a condition of the

:01:31.:01:36.

letters... I won my election, I won my election in Edinburgh West on an

:01:37.:01:41.

absolute resolute commitment to oppose a second referendum. Alec

:01:42.:01:45.

appeared to interject and say... The oppose a second referendum. Alec

:01:46.:01:49.

Tories are the greatest threat to the union. The Tories want to

:01:50.:01:54.

continue, ... Labours policies that the Tories are a great asset to the

:01:55.:02:02.

UK? The Tories want to make the issue of the second referendum in

:02:03.:02:04.

UK? The Tories want to make the Scotland. I think you will find in

:02:05.:02:06.

UK? The Tories want to make the Parliament and elsewhere the Tories

:02:07.:02:08.

talk about independence more than any other party. The reason for that

:02:09.:02:13.

if the do not want to talk about the record. Talking about the rape

:02:14.:02:19.

clause, you said that it was like and member the word to use,

:02:20.:02:22.

unfortunate? It is an awkward policy but it is the right one. If it is

:02:23.:02:28.

not good policy then surely it should be repealed. We must support

:02:29.:02:30.

as I said earlier families where should be repealed. We must support

:02:31.:02:33.

there are multiple births, children are adopted from care and also

:02:34.:02:37.

children in those circumstances. It would be bad policy not to support

:02:38.:02:41.

them. Easy it is not good policies we have to change it. I am sorry,

:02:42.:02:47.

there will be many more opportunities, we have seven weeks

:02:48.:02:48.

of this. Now it's time to take look

:02:49.:02:50.

back over the last seven it's certainly been

:02:51.:02:52.

a tumultuous week. One minute we were all girding our

:02:53.:03:03.

loins for the local council elections, the next,

:03:04.:03:06.

Mrs May shook us out of our post-bank holiday complacency

:03:07.:03:08.

with a bombshell announcement. John McManus looks back

:03:09.:03:10.

at a momentous seven days. Delicious. Maybe you can have too

:03:11.:03:24.

much chocolate. But when we all came back from the Easter bank holiday on

:03:25.:03:28.

Tuesday we thought the only thing we had to look forward to was this.

:03:29.:03:32.

Scottish council elections. Hardly a sugar rush. Then... I have just

:03:33.:03:38.

chaired a meeting of the Cabinet sugar rush. Then... I have just

:03:39.:03:40.

where we agreed that the government sugar rush. Then... I have just

:03:41.:03:43.

should call a general election. To be held on the 8th of June. Brad

:03:44.:03:50.

Haddin she said... I am not going to be calling a snap election, I have

:03:51.:03:54.

been clear that I think we need the period of time and stability to be

:03:55.:03:57.

able to deal with the issues that the country is facing and have that

:03:58.:04:04.

election in 2020. That post holiday U-turn took everyone by surprise.

:04:05.:04:06.

And suddenly poetical journalists were burning of those Easter

:04:07.:04:12.

calories in a frenzy of comments. On Wednesday MPs gathered in the

:04:13.:04:15.

Commons to vote through the planned for June 's election with just 13

:04:16.:04:21.

opposed. The SNP abstained. The Prime Minister made clear that this

:04:22.:04:26.

was all about Brexit. I will ask the British people for the mandate to

:04:27.:04:30.

complete Brexit and make a success of it. Once they picked themselves

:04:31.:04:34.

up from the four political opponents of Mrs May in Scotland moved quickly

:04:35.:04:36.

to frame the coming election in the of Mrs May in Scotland moved quickly

:04:37.:04:42.

Thames. The key issue at this election is who is going to stand up

:04:43.:04:47.

for Scotland against an increasingly hardline Tory government? Ruth

:04:48.:04:53.

Davidson was not going to take that lying down. The fact is presiding

:04:54.:04:58.

officer that the way the SNP is readying itself to poor negativity

:04:59.:05:02.

on this country at this election is shameful. She might not like it, but

:05:03.:05:07.

on this country at this election is Scotland is part of this United

:05:08.:05:10.

Kingdom. And Kizzire Dugdale wanted to know why the SNP have abstained

:05:11.:05:15.

in the Commons vote. The First Minister has said that she wants an

:05:16.:05:21.

honest debate. So let's have it. It sits the SNP for the Tories to stay

:05:22.:05:29.

in power. And staying with Brexit, received uncertainty over whether

:05:30.:05:32.

SNP stand on membership of the EU has become a weapon for their

:05:33.:05:33.

opponents. The First Minister has a chance to

:05:34.:05:46.

influence this, does she want full membership of the European union in

:05:47.:05:51.

the SNP manifesto? Our policy is clear, we want Scotland to remain

:05:52.:05:55.

members of the European union. Nobody could have missed that. In

:05:56.:06:02.

2015 leave heard accusations it would be puppet of the SNP that

:06:03.:06:06.

2015 leave heard accusations it formed a minority government. At his

:06:07.:06:10.

campaign launch, Jeremy Corbyn quashed that idea and insisted the

:06:11.:06:15.

underdog could be top dog. They think there are rules and politics,

:06:16.:06:22.

which if you don't fall by doffing your cap to the powerful people, is

:06:23.:06:27.

accepting that things can change, then you cannot when but of course

:06:28.:06:33.

they do not want us to win because when we win it is the people, not

:06:34.:06:40.

the powerful who wins. Away from the election, the row over their rape

:06:41.:06:45.

clause was growing with Ruth Davidson repeatedly condemned for

:06:46.:06:49.

supporting it. Do you support the rape clause in principle or do you

:06:50.:06:53.

like we think it is utterly abhorrent, and so the question? --

:06:54.:07:04.

answer. I will answer the question the same way I answered it in the

:07:05.:07:08.

press, if the First Minister does not like the two child tax policy,

:07:09.:07:14.

she can change it. So the election is coming up, the starter in May and

:07:15.:07:18.

the main courses in June. All parties will try to say they are

:07:19.:07:22.

offering something fresh and distinctive. They are hoping the

:07:23.:07:27.

voters will not turn their noses up at them.

:07:28.:07:28.

My guests this week Moray MacDonald - the former director

:07:29.:07:32.

of Scottish Conservatives turned PR executive and Isobel Lindsay,

:07:33.:07:34.

who's the co-vice chair of Scottish CND.

:07:35.:07:42.

Stand back from this little bit, I can see why a lot of people

:07:43.:07:49.

including myself feel confused about the selection because people are

:07:50.:07:54.

saying it is an election about Brexit, it is not entirely clear it

:07:55.:08:00.

is. Another people see it an election about another in did --

:08:01.:08:04.

independence referendum but it is not clear on that either? It is an

:08:05.:08:10.

election because the Tories know there is a lot of nasty stuff coming

:08:11.:08:14.

down the line and decided on balance it would be better to try and have

:08:15.:08:19.

five straight years than face the electorate in three years from no so

:08:20.:08:23.

it is really about opportunism on the part of Theresa May's

:08:24.:08:28.

government. How it is framed by the other parties is another question.

:08:29.:08:33.

The Tories were already trying to run the local elections on the basis

:08:34.:08:41.

of anti-dot-mac no with a general election it is anti-referendum. I

:08:42.:08:48.

think the SNP has quite a good opportunity because they can both

:08:49.:08:53.

combine the case for independence implicitly by focusing on the damage

:08:54.:08:59.

that five years of a very right-wing Tory government can do to Scotland's

:09:00.:09:04.

and looking at past records. They can frame it that way. Sending out

:09:05.:09:08.

the message that the only way to get can frame it that way. Sending out

:09:09.:09:13.

out of this is independence but at the same time, can't talk about the

:09:14.:09:21.

issues. Should the SNP failed to win 56 seats, the opposition parties

:09:22.:09:26.

will laugh and say that Peak nationalism is over? Of course they

:09:27.:09:30.

will try and do that even if they lost three seats. The answer is the

:09:31.:09:36.

previous result was so outstanding... As you are a public

:09:37.:09:45.

relations man, what advice would you give Jackson Carlaw who was

:09:46.:09:50.

uncomfortable talking about the rape clause and said it was awkward, then

:09:51.:09:53.

he said it was the correct thing to do? It is awkward for the Tories.

:09:54.:10:00.

You can see why they have the policy because they are restricting

:10:01.:10:03.

benefits to make sure it is only for up to two children. To some people

:10:04.:10:13.

they look on what they perceive as a benefit culture, people who are

:10:14.:10:17.

producing children just to get benefits. I think it is a tiny

:10:18.:10:21.

percentage of the population that would apply to. I would argue we

:10:22.:10:26.

ought to be encouraging growth in the population, it is a slightly odd

:10:27.:10:33.

thing to come up with. Particularly in Scotland, we will have an issue

:10:34.:10:38.

in terms of the employment market, our population is declining so it is

:10:39.:10:40.

more difficult up year. our population is declining so it is

:10:41.:10:46.

realistically what could Jackson Carlaw do? Should the Tories in

:10:47.:10:48.

realistically what could Jackson Scotland say we disagree with

:10:49.:10:52.

Theresa May on this? If you say you are against the rape clause but in

:10:53.:10:57.

favour of the policy, the next question is so what? Women who are

:10:58.:11:02.

raped should not get tax credits for their children? It is a nightmare

:11:03.:11:09.

scenario. It is one of these issues, in the Scottish context, is

:11:10.:11:13.

impossible for the Scottish Tories to deal with, it a reserved matter.

:11:14.:11:19.

What you do is fix the problem in terms of PR, you fix the policy.

:11:20.:11:23.

This then you use will never get you out of that so they have to find a

:11:24.:11:29.

way of getting the cuts they want out of benefits without having

:11:30.:11:33.

this... What do you make about Isabel's talking about the way the

:11:34.:11:39.

SNP frames this implicitly? Building a talk by warning people about the

:11:40.:11:46.

dangers of a Tory Government? -- building it up. I think that is the

:11:47.:11:50.

right thing to do, in Scotland looks like a battle between the Tories

:11:51.:11:57.

against the SNP... Hang on, 28 up to 33 in the polls. In the battle

:11:58.:12:05.

between the SNP and Tories, according to the polls, labour and

:12:06.:12:09.

the Lib Dems remain apart to that so the more the SNP can label the

:12:10.:12:15.

Tories as a party that are hard on people, the less likely they are to

:12:16.:12:26.

get elected. The result was the sense that as a result of their own

:12:27.:12:30.

success last time, there is not a lot in this for the SNP? I think

:12:31.:12:38.

that is a strong case, if Labour had decided to oppose having another

:12:39.:12:51.

election, but given where we are? -- given where we are, it gives an

:12:52.:12:53.

opportunity for campaigning. A given where we are, it gives an

:12:54.:13:00.

of supporters, wider than the SNP, are looking for something to do. We

:13:01.:13:06.

want to be good up for another independence... So we have a general

:13:07.:13:12.

election? It was not the choice, they know have a focus and a

:13:13.:13:17.

purpose. There is that in it for them but also they can get this

:13:18.:13:23.

message home that the purchase of independence is not just an abstract

:13:24.:13:29.

one, but it is to determine socio- economic policies. Thank you both

:13:30.:13:31.

very much. Just before we go -

:13:32.:13:32.

lets take a look at one of funniest Winning was 56 seats will be a huge

:13:33.:13:43.

challenge for Nicola Sturgeon's party. They have suggested we have

:13:44.:13:49.

reached the peak for the SNP and the only way is down... There is a

:13:50.:13:57.

lesson there somewhere but I am not sure what it is. Keep an eye out for

:13:58.:14:04.

say hands up to Nicola Sturgeon but say hands up to Nicola Sturgeon but

:14:05.:14:08.

-- because I do say hands up to Nicola Sturgeon but

:14:09.:14:12.

politicians would do. They would have stepped back a bit but she

:14:13.:14:17.

handled very well. We look forward to tearful pieces to camera from

:14:18.:14:22.

there on. -- to tearful pieces.

:14:23.:14:30.

Andrew Neil and Gordon Brewer with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Andrew is joined by Conservative Party chairman Patrick McLoughlin and Green Party MEP Molly Scott Cato to discuss the forthcoming local and general elections. Plus the latest from the French presidential race. On the political panel are the Financial Times' Janan Ganesh, The Guardian's Polly Toynbee and Toby Young from The Spectator.


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