The latest political news, interviews and debate in Scotland.
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Morning everyone and welcome
to the Sunday Politics.
I'm Sarah Smith.
And this is your essential briefing
on everything that's
happening this Sunday morning
in the world of politics.
Ireland says it will "continue
to play tough until the end"
over the Irish border.
As Dublin threatens
to derail Brexit trade
of the European Parliament Mairead
McGuiness tells us why she thinks
a hard border would cause havoc.
Leading Brexiteer and former
Northern Ireland Secretary Owen
Paterson will debate with her live.
It was billed as a make or break
moment for the Chancellor -
Phillip Hammond appears to have
avoided an omni or even
We'll get Budget reaction
from the man who last month tried
to topple Theresa May -
former Tory Chairman, Grant Shapps.
And what did the Chancellor
do for the North?
How affects it was Labour's
And on Sunday Politics Scotland -
special leave and senior officers
being being investigated
for crime and misconduct I'll ask
For more information at 1135.
So, no omni-shambles Budget.
But don't worry, if you're a fan
of the shambolic you'll
love our political panel,
Sam Coates, Zoe Williams
and Iain Martin.
Welcome to the programme.
It has been the Budget that's
dominated the political week.
There was no pasty tax
or national insurance U-turn -
but there were sharp downgrades
for growth and productivity,
offset by enough optimism
to cheer the Tory benches.
This week's Budget was billed as
a make or break for Philip Hammond.
His last effort in March contained
a manifesto-mangling national
insurance rise which lasted
barely a week.
Humiliated today, Chancellor?
Will you resign?
This time, his cheery demeanour
was perhaps designed
to confound his critics
who think his outlook on Brexit
is, well, miserable.
What he's doing is very
close to sabotage.
Regrettably, our productivity
performance continues to disappoint.
But the downbeat tone
wasn't down to Hammond,
it was the independent Office
for Budget Responsibility,
the lower productivity projections
lead to growth forecasts
of less than 2%.
Here's the new realistic forecast,
average growth of just 1.4% a year.
A slowdown that won't go away.
The Chancellor may not have
been able to drive up
productivity and growth,
but he has a cunning plan to remove
the need to drive at all.
David Cameron's old mate
Jeremy Clarkson is reported to be
less than impressed.
Jeremy Clarkson doesn't like them.
But there are many other good
reasons to pursue this technology.
So today we step up
our support for it.
Sorry, Jeremy, but definitely not
the first time you've been
snubbed by Hammond and May.
More money for the English health
service, a Brexit fund
and abolishing stamp duty
for first-time buyers
lifted the mood.
I commend this
statement to the house.
But senior figures in the NHS said
the new money was not enough
and less, in this Budget at least,
than the amount pledged for Brexit,
giving some Remainers
plenty of fun on Twitter.
It turned out the stamp duty
changes would mainly help
people selling a house,
not buying them.
Tweaks to the Universal Credit
system soothed Tory concerns,
but they didn't calm
the Labour leader.
The uncaring, uncooth attitude
of certain members opposite!
And his Shadow Chancellor had
some number trouble.
How much do we now spend on paying
the interest of our national debt.
Well, I'll give you the figure.
I'll send you a note on the figure.
You don't know?
I know the figure...
I'll send it.
Well, you tell me now.
The forecast may be sticky,
but at least the Daily Mail
had a positive outlook.
Phil was no longer
a miserable donkey.
And by the end of the week,
the Chancellor could still smile.
He might even stay in Number 11
long enough to deliver
next year's Budget.
We're joined now by the former
Chairman, Grant Shapps.
Thank you very much for coming in.
No banana skin in the Budget for
Philip Hammond, but really dismal
growth prospects. What is the
government back to doing wrong?
Well, first of all, he cheered up
the backbenches by giving quite an
upbeat assessment. The economy is
still growing, the jobs factory of
Europe. Not words we are used to
hearing from Philip Hammond.
overall, growth prospects are really
bad, they have been significantly
Of course, the really
big story is the Office for Budget
Responsibility say we are going to
grow at 1.5%, not 2%. That is a real
problem. I thought Philip's
presentation of the issue was
interesting. He said this is of the
outside of our control, it is the
office of Budget response ability.
It is to do with productivity, who
knows what that is made up of? That
sort of excuses get mug from having
to do anything. There are things we
can do to attract business to this
country. You have the tax base, the
attitude towards business. We spent
quite a while looking like we were
not interested in business, business
being thought of as bad. I am
pleased to see that is changing.
think the few has a pro-business
attitude that wasn't there a year
We have them locked out of
Downing Street for a while, sector
leaders could not express their
concerns. Some conference speeches
that business as the bad guys rather
than job creators. That seems to
have gone and I welcome it.
Because it is not realistic to
believe that business is evil and
bad. Business people that create the
jobs for this country, the well for
But why do you think
the government but robust change the
message on that?
It is hard to know
what created that. Since the
election we have a change in
emphasis. Business leaders are now
welcomed to come and talk to the
Prime Minister and the Chancellor
about what is going on. One thing we
could do now, we are leaving Europe,
we had all of those red tape
challenges in the Coalition
Government but we always got stuck
when it got to the EU. We had to
say, we can't do anything about that
red tape. We can now go back on
that. I would like the cupboard to
go further and not just accept
figures from the Office for Budget
Responsibility. I'm actually
doubtful about that and I think that
Philip Hammond is as well. Growth of
productivity is a difficult thing to
measure. This country trades more
online than any other country in the
world. We are top of that league
table. That has to be a more
efficient way to do business. Yet it
does not seem to be reflected in
They are forecasts,
the productivity figures. But the
middle, things could be worse, the
OBR say. The... Seems to say these
are the projections, we hope it
isn't that. Is it the Buttler's job
to do something about productivity?
The government EU has a role to
play. I started a printing business
which still exists to this day.
Uncertainty over Brexit could lead a
business like that to delay
purchasing a new press. One that is
likely to be faster, less setup
time, print stuff faster.
Uncertainty in the economy slows
that down. Of course the Government
has a role. It cannot act the way it
treats taxation, investment, it can
encourage businesses. Actually, I
suspect what the Office for Budget
Responsibility has done is said, oh,
all of this uncertainty has lead to
slower productivity and therefore we
will continue projecting forward,
almost ad infinitum. The projections
went up five years. If we can get
the Brexit uncertainty out of the
That is what I was about to
say. The great uncertainty is under
Brexit. We are not entering a period
where things will be more certain
people can confidently make
investment decisions, nobody knows
what the future trading relationship
I think Government can help
with that. If you have a Government
that, at its heart, fundamentally,
is singing from the same hymn sheet,
you saw Number 10 and Number 11,
finally, a bit of banter between the
two of them, the Chancellor and the
Prime Minister, they went out on
Thursday and did a visit together.
You have a Cabinet meeting reported
from Tuesday where they are agreeing
how to go forward collectively on
Europe. If you can have the central
government working in unison, it
gives business of evidence, it gives
the economy confidence that maybe
you can get to faster growth by
having better productivity and more
Six weeks ago you
were calling for the Prime Minister
to stand down. You were outed as
leading a coup against her. Have you
changed your mind?
I saw your
lead-in, calling colleagues that
want to go and speak to the Prime
Minister about a perfectly sensible
subject that she herself has asked
for colleagues' opinions on, how
long should I be in this role, to
call it a plot is tabloid. The
reality is, of course colleagues
should be able to have that
conversation. We do not live in
North Korea. We shouldn't be not
allowed to express views, nor do
they disappear if you don't express
You said your colleagues have
buried their heads in the sand,
hoping things would get better. It
never got better for Gordon Brown or
John Major, it will not get that for
Theresa May. Have you changed your
I think that colleagues should
be allowed to have views and express
them. My views have not changed.
However, I also accept the reality
of the situation, that we are in a
very sensitive period with Brexit
negotiations. Six weeks ago is six
weeks ago. Time moves on and Brexit
negotiations wait 101. What we have
to do have is a Government that is
capable of singing from the same
hymn sheet, going to Brussels. If
you have Number 10 and Number 11 at
each other's throats, when you have
people been briefed against the
centre, whips that are more
interested in... We have mutineers
on the front of the Telegraph, 50
people that wanted not to have the
date for Brexit in the bill. I don't
happen to agree with those people.
But to have colleagues accused of
being mutineers because they have a
slightly diverted the view is
ridiculous. -- diverted view. I am
pleased what we are seeing now is an
attitude from the centre saying
let's work together, let's not
briefed against others, let's get on
and stop the country from the even
bigger danger than Brexit, a Jeremy
Stay there for a
moment. I am going to bring in the
panel. You were listening to that
interview. A change in mood towards
the Prime Minister?
Haven't seems to
have cheered up a lot. He seemed to
me like a man giving his own leaving
speech. There was a devil may care
attitude aspect, not really backed
up by what you're saying. They
wanted always. There would be OBR
figures to be nothing to do with a
Government. Unfortunately they have
revised down, there is nothing we
can really do. At the same time,
they wanted to show Conservative
policies are capable of driving
growth. They want to say,
unfortunately it is not a generous
Budget because growth figures are
revised downwards, while at the same
time saying that the OBR is often
wrong, who knows if it will be
correct. I don't think you get any
clear analysis from this.
The significance is not
really economic, it is political. If
you go back a week, it seemed
possible, likely even, that the
Chancellor was going to be replaced
in a reshuffle expected between now
and Christmas. He has saved his job.
His critics in other parties will
say, well, his job should be about
more than his own personal survival.
But it alters the dynamics. It means
that the government but was not
quite Chancellor, it means a
reshuffle could be less substantial
than might have been the case. It
seems the Tories have had a shocking
run over the last few months. They
were rather buoyed up by it. Not
that it was a massive success as a
Budget, it was just OK. That counts
for quite a lot at the moment.
Listening to what Grant Shapps was
telling us, it sounds like Theresa
May's job is safe as well?
if she is sitting in Downing Street
wearing a badge saying Philip
Hammond saved my job? The point is,
just to pull out the camera, the
fundamentals have not changed. The
Conservatives did not win an overall
majority at the election, they still
have to deliver Brexit in an
incredibly complicated process, that
looks intractable with negotiation
difficulties, particularly with
Ireland, but also bringing the
Cabinet together over some of these
incredibly thorny issues about where
Brexit is going to end up. Although
Grant is putting a positive gloss on
it now, the conference after which
he was adjusted people might
consider her going -- after which he
suggested people might consider her
going, things have not really
changed. He says his view has not
really changed, and I think that
many of the people that Grant talks
to, they have not changed their
fundamental view about the talents
and otherwise of Theresa May. I
wonder how many people think what
Grant thinks at the moment?
come back to you and ask you that.
How many people agree with you? Do
you still have the same view about
the Prime Minister?
I have said
exactly what I think. You don't have
to second-guess what I think about
all of this. Nor do I think it is
worth day by day giving a running
commentary on that. I was heartened
to see Number 10 and number 11
working together. We can make some
progress. I think that is a very
good thing. The lesson to be
learned, just because people have
diverse views, it has not been there
should be vilified. I think we were
in danger of doing that through the
whips or Number 10, or what have
you. I'm pleased to see we have a
more mature attitude coming from
You once said you thought you would
make a good Prime Minister yourself,
do you still think that?
question was do you have the
required ability to make these
decisions and the rest of it. To
answer that question would be as if
to say I don't think she should be
doing it but that's not what I think
at all. I think this country
requires leadership which unites
particularly those involved in the
Government and I'm pleased that's
what we are now starting to get.
Grant Shapps, thanks for coming to
talk to us today.
Now, the Northern Powerhouse
was a phrase coined
by Philip Hammond's predecessor,
But Theresa May has insisted
that she wouldn't be
pulling the plug on it.
So how did it fare in
this month's Budget?
Joining us now from
Salford is the Mayor
of Greater Manchester,
Thanks for coming in. I assume you
must be very pleased with the Budget
and the amount of money delivered
for the Northern Powerhouse?
came into this job I was clear I
would never play politics for the
sake of it. There was good news in
this Budget for Manchester, money
which we need very much, money to
help us tackle rough sleeping.
Again, a big priority for me. But
overall I have to say it is pretty
thin pickings for the north of
England. The headline measure on
stamp duty massively benefits the
South over the north and people here
who are suffering every day on the
rail system, our clapped-out rail
system, they didn't get any good
news in terms of electrification or
improvement of services. All we got
was an -- promise of improvement of
The Government is
giving new £12 million to help cover
the cost relating to the Manchester
Arena attack. You must be welcoming
of that too.
This is difficult
because I'm conscious whenever this
issue comes up, I'm conscious of the
families. We put our bid in some
time ago. The cost we have incurred
so far is 17 million and we have a
further 11 million we will incur
through the inquest process. We have
been raising that privately and I
haven't gone public on this issue
until the Prime Minister said last
week we would have the answer, and
we got that on Friday. It falls some
way short. I cannot see why the
Government is not meeting our cost
in full. As I said at the beginning,
I would never make politics out of
this issue but when we got our
answer and it wasn't good enough I
had to make our position clear. I
will be replying to the Prime
Minister saying let's sort this out
properly. I just hope we can now get
a full agreement for all of our
costs from the Government.
accused the Government before of
being London centric and ignoring
other parts of the UK. Given that
you have welcomed of the spending
measures, do you feel that problem
has been addressed?
The country is London centric. The
way transport investment is assessed
by the Treasury favours the areas
where there is already greater
economic growth. The system is
biased against the north and that
needs to change. In the Budget we
got a half-hearted commitment to the
rail system of the future for the
north of England but Crossrail 2,
the project in London, got more of a
thumbs up. I'm speaking for people
here who feel this has been very
unfair over decades. We have a
transport system here that is
creaking now and it is completely
congested, it isn't working for
people. The Government needs to grip
that problem much more directly. The
problem I guess with this Budget was
there's an elephant in the room and
that is the Brexit Divorce Bill.
There was a feeling for me they were
not committing money our
infrastructure cause of this thing
looming behind. To have no mention
of social care, no mention of police
funding, these were two gaping holes
at the heart of this Budget.
you think they should be making a
generous offer for the Brexit
divorce settlement? You are not
advocating that we walk away without
paying our dues?
No, my point was a
different one. It looks like the
Government is holding back on the
investment the north of England
needs until they have settled this
question, but the challenges facing
our public services and the
productivity challenge facing the
north is urgent and it is critical
we get that investment so we can
rise to the challenge of exit. I saw
this as a Budget where the
Chancellor was holding back. This
year of all years, to have no
mention of police security
counterterrorism in the Budget
seemed a monumental mistake. The
police service here has not got much
left to give. It is down to the bare
minimum and we need to see the
Chancellor bringing forward new
funding for the police in the
December settlement that it's about
to get. To have no mention of it
just seemed to me to be a major
What did you make of Jeremy
Corbyn's response to the Budget?
thought it was passionate. I don't
think they will deal with the issue
of Universal Credit.
passionate but was it effective?
think so. People want to see people
speaking with that level of
commitment, genuine concern. The
dangers are still there with
Universal Credit. Tinkering with the
waiting times I don't think will
take away the problem that it could
put more people on our streets,
huddled in doorways. The Government
put more people on our streets,
needs to give a clear commitment
that we won't see people spiralling
into debt and then at the risk of
being homeless as a result of
Universal Credit roll out.
after the Budget John McDonnell got
in a muddle over his figures on debt
repayment. He must -- you must have
been cringing as you watched some of
You always get
these interviews after the Budget. I
have sat in those positions and I
think it is partly what turns people
off politics. I'm not here
necessarily to speak for the front
bench, I thought they mounted a good
critique of the Budget. What I want
is a more wholehearted embrace of
devolution from both political
parties. The challenge the country
is facing right now is that we are
to London centric, Brexit is
looming, we need investment in the
regions and I don't think we can
bring this power back from Brussels
and then keep it all in Westminster.
We are already in overcentralised
country and its crucial the power is
passed down to places like Greater
Manchester and I want to see both
parties embracing that is part of
the response to the referendum.
not asking you to speak for the
Labour front bench, but how did it
look to you when they were
responding to it, you will know
Labour are trailing in the polls on
economic competence - did they do
enough this week to adjust people's
view as to whether or not Labour
should be put in charge of the
That is the challenge that
the Labour Party has to convince the
country it can run a stronger
economy. The Shadow Chancellor has
put investment in infrastructure
front and centre of what he's saying
and I think he's absolutely right to
do that. The country is crying out
for that transport system,
particularly here in the north that
will allow us to improve
productivity and they are not
getting that from the current
Chancellor. Looming questions about
the Divorce Bill, so therefore he
won't commit to the investment now.
What you got from the Shadow
Chancellor was a clearer analysis of
what the country needs, and I think
that's what people want to hear.
Andy Burnham, thank you for coming
in to talk to us.
Last week we had a film from Leave
campaigner Gisela Stuart on why
business will continue to prosper
across Europe after Brexit.
This week, London and Dublin have
clashed over what will
happen to the border
between Northern Ireland
and the Irish Republic -
something the EU says needs to be
resolved if Brexit negotiations
are to move onto trade next month.
So today, Irish MEP and vice
president of the European
Parliament, Mairead McGuiness,
takes us to the border to explain
why she thinks Brexit
could cause business -
and the people on the
island of Ireland -
This is Dundalk in County Louth,
a town close to the border
with Northern Ireland,
and close to where I grew up myself.
Today, I represent the constituency
along that 310 mile border.
With the Brexit negotiations
ongoing, people along the border
are troubled by the uncertainty.
From Dundalk, you can take
a straight road to Northern Ireland
and there's no stopping.
At the last count, there are over
300 different road crossings
between the Republic of Ireland
and Northern Ireland.
The big question is,
what will change post-Brexit?
And what do we have to do to keep
the situation as it is today?
For me, there is only one way,
that the United Kingdom stays
in the customs union.
But I know the UK are
determined not to do that.
I think the negotiations
Not too far from the border
crossing, just south,
I caught up with beef farmer Jim
That's the actual border
itself, just ahead.
The actual border is about
half a mile past that.
Today it is frictionless
and seamless, and invisible.
Do think it's going to stay
that way after Brexit?
Well, I hope it will stay like that,
because were used to this.
Well, I hope it will stay like that,
because we're used to this.
I come from a time when I remember
that you couldn't actually go down
that road to access,
to do some business
in the north, because the road
was actually blocked.
Have you been reassured by any
of the political statements around
the border in particular,
basically saying that things
will stay as they are?
I haven't, really, because seamless
and frictionless borders, you know,
to me it is an oxymoron.
Because it's still a border.
I also visited George McArdle.
He's been running a haulage
company for the last 50
years with experience
of crossing the border.
What are you worried about?
We're worried about
customs and delays.
We'd be delayed a couple of hours.
Would there be costs
involved for you?
We'd be paying drivers,
the trucks lying idle.
People say that, while we have
peace, it is fragile.
It's very fragile.
Any little thing could upset
the whole thing again,
and we wouldn't like to see Brexit
be the cause of it.
We are moving from the Republic
of Ireland, just across the border,
and I'm now in Northern Ireland.
It was very smooth,
seamless and frictionless.
I suppose that's what we want to see
continue in a post-Brexit era.
Just across the border
into Northern Ireland, I caught
up with Des Fraser,
who gave me his view
about why the United Kingdom
decided to leave Europe.
First of all it was the cost.
I also felt, particularly the likes
of the slurry ban, for agriculture,
I don't think there should be
somebody in Brussels
telling us when we can
or can't spread our slurry.
What effect do you think Brexit
would have on the border?
Do you think we're going to be able
to avoid a hard border?
Getting a solution is
the difficulty, there's no doubt.
There's a harmonious
relationship, you know,
with Europe and Switzerland,
Europe and Norway, without a hard
border in existence.
It's very clear that people on both
sides of the border want the special
circumstances on the island
of Ireland to be taken into account
in the Brexit negotiations.
But can it be and will it be done
in time for the December council?
Will we resolve the conundrum
and square the circle
of an invisible border on the island
of Ireland post-Brexit?
And Mairead McGuiness
joins us now from Dublin.
The former Northern Ireland
Secretary and leading Brexiteer,
Owen Paterson, is in Shropshire.
Thank you both for joining us. Owen
Paterson, Mariad laid out her case,
does the Government have an answer
Yes, there's already an
existing border. I've been going
there since ten years ago. There's a
currency board, now a euro sterling
border, a VAT border, a corporation
tax border, and in all the time I've
been going to Northern Ireland and
the public, not a single person ever
said this presents a problem.
referendum campaign, we made it
clear there are electronic measures
and techniques, existing techniques
such as authorised economic
operators and this can all be made
to work if there is a will on the
border. It has a small amount of
trade. Northern Ireland has 80% of
its trade to the rest of the UK,
only 5% goes over the border. It
would be very easy to license
tankers that take milk over the
border as authorising economic
operators that go over every day,
they would be recognised on a
regular basis, all invoices done
electronically. It is a very small
problem if there is a will.
bring in Mairead McGuiness. Owen
Paterson sounds like he's saying
you're exaggerating the problem is
I've listened to it several times
and not heard anything new. He is
right that where there is a will
there is a way. This is a serious
matter for my constituency, for the
island of Ireland and Europe. We
have not found the way. To bring up
separate currencies, OK, it is part
of the situation, but we don't have
a border in the visible sense. When
the United Kingdom remains
determined to leave the customs
union and single market, the milk
that he refers to produced in
Northern Ireland and processed in
the Republic of Ireland comes from a
country that is a third country, no
longer a member of the European
Union. There are many issues about
that. I know the fathers in Northern
Ireland are deeply concerned about
the consequences for them as daily
farmers. -- dairy farmers. They are
troubled by his insistence that he
wants to scrap many of the rules
around the food industry and
agriculture. He wants to scrap
support for agriculture. Even
farmers that voted Leave, they are
now quite perplexed about what they
are hearing from the UK side, not
just around the issue of the border,
but on the wider issues of trade.
That is where this problem really
lies, and where we will have great
difficulty. I am more troubled this
morning, because I read a quote from
Arlene Fox the trade Secretary,
saying that the border issue and the
Irish issue will not be solved until
the final stage, until we reach a
decision on trade. I hope the United
Kingdom is not holding the situation
to ransom in these negotiations. It
is far too serious and too critical.
Let's go to Owen Paterson.
finish this point?
We now have a
situation on the island of Ireland
and Northern Ireland where we have
built piece and we are hoping to
maintain that. I believe that we
will and we can. Unfortunately,
there is no assembly, there are
divisions between the communities
but they are now becoming deeper. We
have to work really hard to avoid
that. Part of that is to make sure,
as Theresa May said on Friday, she
wants the situation to remain the
same as it is today, post-Brexit.
The only way to achieve that is to
stay in the customs union and single
market. That is the solution.
for you to pick up on. Let's start
with the idea that it might be
possible to come up with a final
solution to the Irish border
question after we have seen the
shape of a trade deal. EU made it
clear we cannot talk about trade
until the Irish border has been
Saw those comments were
completely ridiculous and they have
been repeated when we have done
interviews before. -- some of those
comments. The idea that Northern
Ireland will be taken out of the UK
is absurd. 78 million people voted
to leave the European Union, they
voted to leave the customs union and
the single market, and the
jurisdiction of the ECJ. The idea
that politicians in Dublin can
somehow start to force Northern
Ireland to stay, against the will of
a significant number of citizens,
within an arrangement that will not
serve the economic and you're
politically, it is really very
dangerous. Let's talk about the
peace process, I can't think of
anything more destabilising... This
is a really important point. I want
to make this point. It is really
very irresponsible politicians to
make a statement like that, saying
they are going to force and
blackmail the UK into getting a
special status for Northern Ireland
outside the rest of the UK. That is
a really dangerous thing to do and
they should stop doing it. There are
perfectly sensible, technical
solutions to the problem of the
border. We currently have complete
conformity of standards. Products
going over the border go on a very
regular basis. It is a tiny part of
trade between the Republic of
Ireland and the UK. It is a really
tiny part of trade between Northern
Ireland and the Republic of Ireland
and it is solvable by modern
methods. The idea we will go back to
old customs, with customs officials
in bridges, sticking a ladle into a
couple trickle, it is out of date.
Less than 2% of goods are
Less than 2% of goods are inspected
physically. This is completely out
tub of back-to-back.
tub of back-to-back.
I am disturbed
by some of those comments, to
describe that view as ridiculous is
not helpful. To suggest it is
blackmailing is appalling. The UK,
the Irish at the European Union know
we have had a difficult history. We
have worked hard politically and
financially to make sure we move
forward and we have.
forward and we have. If the United
Kingdom does trade agreements with
other partners and goods are flowing
into Northern Ireland, we have to
watch and know where they are coming
from. That will affect businesses in
Northern Ireland, as it will affect
businesses in the European Union. I
dislike this notion, and it is
happening and happened again in this
studio this morning, that the United
Kingdom and Owen Paterson would say
if borders go up, it is our fault.
Let's be frank, because we should
be, we are neighbours and good
friends. The European Union, 28
today, we respect the democratic
decision of the United Kingdom to
leave, but I would ask you to
reflect on the reality of Northern
Ireland, where people voted to stay
because they knew the consequences
for them. Regrettably, where the
referendum was taking place, there
was no talk about the consequences
for Northern Ireland or the island
of Ireland. We are left in a
situation where, retrospectively, we
are trying to find solutions. If it
upsets your guest at the studio, I
repeated anyway, we have to be frank
with one another. The way to stay
the same on the island of Ireland,
as it is today, post-Brexit, is for
at least the United Kingdom to take
the red off the table, to stay the
customs union and single market
gives us what we have today, and
gives us what we have today, and
invisible border, seamless trade,
and also building at helping to keep
those relationships. The good
relationship was helped in no small
part because Ireland, the United
Kingdom and 26 other countries can
sit around a table. They sit in the
European Parliament, in the council,
and we do business because we got to
know each other. We have formal and
informal talks and relationships. We
should really strive to continue
that. It is in the interests of the
people we spoke to on the border,
those that wanted the United Kingdom
to stay, and those that might have
had a different view.
can you see that this can be
resolved before we know the
resolved before we know the shape of
a final trade deal? The idea that
the Irish question needs to be
settled before we move on to talking
about future trading or relations?
Is that possible?
As somebody who
spent time a shadow and Secretary of
State, going very regularly to
Dublin, getting the
Dublin, getting the main political
Dublin, getting the main political
parties in on that, I appreciate the
good level of relations between the
UK and the Republic of Ireland, the
enormous benefits to so many people.
Therefore, I am absolutely dismayed
at the talk this morning,
at the talk this morning, which is
completely unrealistic, expecting
Northern Ireland to be given a
separate status, outside,
effectively, the United Kingdom. 87%
of sales, purely on economics, are
within the UK. Henri
-- on economic grounds, it is crazy.
It is very dangerous. There was a
referendum at the time of the
Belfast agreement. There was
overwhelming support for it to stay
in the UK. All of the polls show
that Northern Ireland will stay very
firmly within the UK.
firmly within the UK.
then, one last point?
then, one last point?
I hate to
then, one last point?
I hate to say,
but Owen may not be listening to
what I said. I said the United
Kingdom would stay in the customs
union and single market, I did not
say Northern Ireland should separate
and stay in, although that is a
potential solution, it is not the
one I said this morning. Please
respond to what I have said.
don't have time to respond to any of
that. It is an issue we will return
to. Thank you very much.
It's coming up to 11.40,
you're watching the Sunday Politics.
Coming up on the programme, Ellie's
taken the Moodbox to Yorkshire
and welcome to the programme.
Coming up, the Justice Secretary
confirms to this programme
that senior armed officers
in Police Scotland are under
investigation for alleged criminal
behaviour or gross misconduct.
As far as I am aware, there are two
of those that have been received
that are being investigated.
And "Bah, humbug!"
- we'll examine what's been
dubbed the worst budget
since the 19th century.
and welcome to the programme.
In their 10 years in office
one of the most significant changes
implemented by the SNP Government
has been the creation
of a single national police force.
On April 1st 2013 - yes, really -
the existing eight
regional bodies merged in to one.
It was supposed to create a more
efficient organisation better able
to respond to the demands
of a modern country.
Yet from the outset,
Police Scotland has appeared
anything but modern.
The first chief comes to of police
Scotland was Sir Stephen house who
resigned after a catalogue of
controversies including the routine
arming of patrols, centralised call
centres and even breaching the rock
after police intercepted a private
communication with a journalist. His
successor Phil Gormley went on
special leave earlier this year
after multiple allegations of
misconduct. Now I third senior
officer, Bernard Higgins has been
suspended while criminal allegations
against him are investigated.
against him are investigated.
Meanwhile, the organisation charged
with overseeing police Scotland, the
Scottish police authority appears to
be equally shambolic. After serious
criticisms, Jon Flanagan retired and
John Foley retired early.
Today, there was yet more woe
for Police Scotland because
one paper is reporting that,
as well as Assistant Chief
Constable Bernard Higgins,
another two very senior officers
have been suspended.
Well, the man responsible
for Police Scotland
is Justice Secretary Michael
I spoke to him earlier.
First of all, developments over the
last few days. The Sunday mail
newspaper today names to very
serious police officers who have
been suspended along with Bernard
Williams. Is that correct?
die for journey details relating to
that because the matter has been
taken forward by the Scottish police
parity and is being
parity and is being investigated by
PERC directed by the Crown Office.
The two that I know have been
suggested are individuals who were
involved in an investigation.
two named by the Sunday Mail are
As far as I'm
aware they are two of those that are
being investigated by the PERC.
understand it, they are people who
run what is effectively the firearms
They are related to those
involved in the firearms unit in
police Scotland and the training
What are these allegations
I don't want to get drawn
into it too much because it is a
live investigation directed by the
Crown but as far as I'm aware, it
relates to gross misconduct and
misconduct, the precise details of
which are for the Crown to
What sort of
It's a matter for the
Scottish police authority.
clearly a matter of immense public
interest to know what several of the
most senior police officers in
Scotland are being accused of.
any investigation, it could be
criminal in nature and it's
important to recognise due process
and for the individuals with
complaints lodged against them, we
allow that process to take its
course. There is a statutory
process. Scottish police have
considered the matter on the basis
of what has been decided to them by
Police Scotland. The Crown Office
are now directing this investigation
and it's important not to speculate
about the nature of the actual
complaint and the details of it
given that it is a matter that has
been directed by the Crown Office.
am not asking you to pre-empt any
due process but it is obviously a
matter of public interest to know in
general terms what the nature of
allegations against three of the top
police officers in this country.
They are to do with misconduct and
gross misconduct, that's why it's
being investigated at the moment.
That could be anything from theft of
a few pencils to anything more than
The reason I can't give
details is because it is a matter
taken forward by the Scottish police
authority and it is investigated by
the Crown and the details provided
by the Crown and the PERC and the
Police authority have a level of
detail that Scottish ministers have
in these matters.
The trade union
for police officers are unhappy
about this. A spokesman is quoted as
calling the suspension is warranted.
They have their view given that they
represent some of their members.
are they wrong in your view?
would have to explain that
They say, our members
rightly ask what allows some members
to be granted leave, a reference to
this police constable while under
investigation, but for that same
opportunity not to be investigated
The police authority have
considered the details put to them
by the review commission and based
on that the Scottish police
authority who determine disciplinary
matters make a decision on
appropriate action and any decision
to suspend someone is taken by the
deputy chief const are in this
But the point they are
making is that Phil Gormley is on
special leave and we know the nature
of the allegations against him. You
won't tell is the nature of the
collisions against these other
officers and they have not been
given the opportunity to take
special leave and have just been
Sarah differences in
the allegations between firearms
officers and Bernard Higgins. As for
what action is to be taken, for
those below the rank of police
constable it is for the police
authority to determine. It is a
decision that was made by rose
Fitzpatrick the deputy chief
Dunstable -- constable.
A lot of
people will be sitting thinking,
this guy is the Justice Secretary
and is in charge and he is sitting
there saying nothing to do with me.
That's not the case at all. There is
due process to do with these issues.
We put in place a process that would
investigate and deal with these
issues. There is a legal process
because of statutory provision for
these issues and it has been taken
forward. I'm saying that I respect
the due process and will allow the
PERC to take forward the
investigation. I am going to make
sure that the process is allowed to
take its course in order to make
sure that those who have complaint
against them but they are allowed to
process without unnecessary
speculation in relation to the
complaints and with respect to the
fact that they need to allow the
process to be interfered with by
ministers while it's being
What would you say to
members of the public to say, hang
on a minute, it looks like the
entire top leadership of police
Scotland is now under investigation
for various different alleged
offences and you are the Justice
Secretary and are not allowed to say
what these matters are in relation
to. It's not acceptable.
A key part
of this process is to respect the
way in which that is conducted.
Without undue interference in the
process. You are a inviting me to
interfere in the process.
I'm not. I
ask you to tell others about the
nature of the allegations.
I am not
prepared to do that where there is a
process in place to deal with this
There is a basic issue on a
broader level of trust here.
Policing, perhaps more than most
public services relies on trust. You
are asking members of the public to
come forward and inform on drug
gangs or whatever and those members
of the public could feel that they
may be in jeopardy. How are people
supposed to trust police Scotland
when so much of the senior
leadership is now under
investigation by the Crown Office
and police investigators?
this is a challenging time
particularly for the executive team
within police Scotland. There is a
very serious group of individuals
who are dealing with day-to-day
policing matters and the reality is
that even though the charges which
the executive team are facing at the
moment, day-to-day policing will
continue as it is and will continue
to do that going forward. What is
important is to make sure that the
command structure in Scotland has
the necessary support it requires
and that's why debit she chief comes
to a living stone is reviewing the
command structure to see whether he
can add individuals to that to
support the Mac going forward
particularly during a period when
they don't have the chief customer
here and the Deputy Chief Constable
is suspended. He will sink that out
in the coming days.
You say things
will go on as normal. One of the
people involved, if the report is to
be believed, is in charge of
hostages generations should there be
a terrorist attack. How can someone
as senior as that be removed and you
say nothing to see here, go on as
Normal day-to-day policing
will continue as normal. Ian
Livingstone is presently reviewing
his command structure to see whether
he needs to put in any additional
individuals to make sure he has the
support he requires. These are
operational matters for the deputy
chief customer to consider and he's
now looking about to see whether he
needs to bring in any additional
individuals to provide that support
and that's appropriate. What will be
important now is in carrying out
that review of the process that any
changes he has to implement our that
the Scottish police authority give
him the assistance to make sure that
happens as quickly as possible.
inference one could draw from what
is going on given that so many
people are involved at the head of
police Scotland, it is not just a
coincidence and there must be some
basic cultural problem within that
organisation. You think there is? Or
is it just coincidence?
What we do
have now in the process which we
deal with these issues is greater
transparency and accountability in
how these matters are dealt with.
Previous legacy says that they
didn't have the PERC or the Scottish
police authority to lead these type
of issues and take them forward. We
have much greater transparency and
accountability but I understand that
people will be concerned when you
have senior officials under
investigation for various issues.
you think there is a cultural
I'm not sure that is the
case but what I think is important
Wooden July to find out? --
wouldn't you like to find out?
investigations are on a number of
different matters. What is important
is that we have the command
structure that is required and once
the investigations have been carried
out into the officers we will be in
a better place to understand what
the circumstances that related to
those complaints are.
So you will
consider leading some sort of
investigation into the culture of
police Scotland once the due process
Once we have completed this
process, I will ensure that those
actions are taken if it is
We are running out of
time. The Conservatives have said
that you should at least put on hold
the merger of British Transport
Police with police Scotland given
the mess at the top of police
Scotland. Will you do that? It seems
an obvious thing to do.
that has been taken forward around
the integration of transport police
into police Scotland is led by the
integration board that brings a
range of partners together.
not saying that you couldn't
If they raise concerns
with me on that matter I would
You can intervene. It
is a political decision to do this.
I will consider any issues that they
raise. The reason that the
Conservatives are asking is not to
do it is because they opposed the
idea in the first place. What I'm
saying to you is if there are issues
that I think are relating to British
Transport Police that need to be
addressed I will consider that.
me quote to you the chairman of the
British Transport Police Federation,
Nigel good band. He says, we are
shocked by the lack of transparency
and accountability and financial
prudence shown throughout this
In relation to the way
we've taken forward integration?
There was legislation through
Parliament and the majority of MSPs
supported integration into BT P.
he is wrong?
They have guaranteed
pay levels and jobs and we will have
a dedicated railway policing unit
within police Scotland so I
understand their concerns but we
engage with them on a regular basis
and there is a joint programme on
board bringing together a whole
range of expertise. I
range of expertise. I will consider
that but at this point they haven't
raised those concerns.
very much indeed.
This week we had one of the most
pessimistic budgets in generations.
For the past decade there's been
an unprecedented squeeze
on our living standards.
But what's remarkable is that
we've got another five years to go
at least before earnings return
to anything like the levels we saw
before the financial crisis.
In a moment we'll discuss
what it all means -
and whether the Scottish Government
will now put up taxes
in its own forthcoming budget?
First, here's Graham Stewart.
Today they revised down the
projection for GP. Unprecedented,
worst since 19th century.
the loan of £70. You expect me to be
grateful for this feeble triple
Have you no heart mist a
script at the bleak midwinter all
Wages stagnant, living
standards squeezed and no
improvement for decades and at the
very least, happy Christmas bastion
mark --? Not much cheer on the high
Street this Black Friday we can
Scottish retailers reported slow
starts to the Steyl sales on pinch
living standards. If you are
underpaid, nurses are underpaid...
Minimum wages £70 50 will stop -- £7
Pensioners haven't gone up to
compensate with wages and prices.
People are feeling the pinch. That
is why I am here on Black Friday
looking for bargains.
real income to grow 2%, you're a
city grow would be improving all the
time but we have had a decade
basically where that hasn't happened
and it looks like we will have
possibly as much as a another decade
where living standards are fine, so
the key is the lack of growth and
productivity, how much we produce
power has increased. British workers
are at as European counterparts,
it's a key challenge.
For I had to take the pharmacy.
Scrooge has no time for slackers.
Rigid workers are lazy. Predict that
it would be low due to poor advice
on higher education sector but it is
really about what skilled ultraquiet
for the workforce going forward
which is why I have stressed
different skills or levers and
people coming at the University but
also those in more Whiteleys areas
they are adequately trained the
economy and those highly paid jobs
going forward will require higher
skills across the board. Just as
Ebenezer Scrooge flicked to wake
them at the top and has barred more
money and spend. That means an extra
£2 billion for Scotland but slightly
more than half has strings attached.
Projects for which money has to be
paid back. That is helped by bigger
than a quarter for day-to-day
than a quarter for day-to-day
spending but all people the
chocolate bite the impression that
it was somehow a educational, and
breadth of the country. Ruth
Davidson knows that it's far from
The, SNP say that is the
wrong kind of money. Money to tackle
pot with the... Only business that
could be handed to billions at the
like someone had stolen has got her
The invitations for the economy no
one can know. Philip Hammond might
not be the only Mize this Christmas.
not be the only Mize this Christmas.
You old skinflint!
Twopence is tuppence.
I'm joined now by Labour's
in Edinburgh is the Conservative's
John Lamont and in Dundee
is the SNP's Stewart Hosie.
If we are to see no rise in real
wages for at least a second decade
and certainly to be somewhere like
2022 before we even see real living
standards getting back to the levels
before the financial crisis, that's
a disastrous record for government,
I would dispute that
strongly. Current Conservative
governments and the coalition
previously worked very hard to sort
out our country is net you dreadful
legacy that we inherited. The
government has done a lots to reform
the economy and put it on a stronger
footing. It would have otherwise
been on a stronger footing and will
be if Mr Corbyn gets elected.
to be clear there is no combination
of policies that could have stopped
real living standards stagnating
until the mid 20 20s, is that really
what you are saying?
The way to
ensure economic prosperity of our
country and strong growth is to put
our economy on a strong footing and
the reforms which the Conservative
government have put in place to
reduce the deficit and control
borrowing lovers will enjoy being
economy is in a surer bidding than
otherwise would be. Creating an
economy that creates well-paid jobs
is the best way to ensure people's
living standards are improved.
Sweeney, is the whale to deal with
this way to raise taxes? In
Scotland, I'm asking you this
question because what Richard's
position is? Ray Burke were in
favour of -- labour were in favour
of raving taxes.
issue in the UK as a whole is the
evisceration of the public services.
We are seeing the Tory sleight of
hand in the last few years has been
turning a bank crisis into a
spending crisis. The Tories
inherited a growing economy on the
Labour government. That point about
tax, Scotland's register revenue
budget will decline a little bit
because of capital spending is the
challenge for Scottish treatment,
but that gap using the new fiscal
powers they have. That is what we
We want to see this
Our world is putting
taxes up address the underlying
issue, terrible productivity in the
What we need is investment
What we need is investment
-- reinvestment in the economy. We
need to increase public spending an
services, and we can invest more in
the economy as a result. We need
higher growth and that is what we
will see. Cutting at every turn we
will is not see a better picture.
You have officially not decided but
you want to put taxes up as well?
The government Minister for Finance
will be looking at the entire
budget. We will be putting forward a
budget in a few weeks' time. In the
context of the UK Government budget
we have just had, let us remember
which has seen growth cut in every
year of the forecast, we have seen
GDP per head halved almost for the
entire forecast period. Even when
the Chancellor and added some
sensible spending in investment and
innovation that big £7 billion pack.
Until 2022 or 2023, six time. He
should have spent that money now.
Because we need it, and to mitigate
potential damage from Brexit.
Because the bad thing is we have
seen here, they are before the
impact of the Brexit is felt.
thought SNP policy was to basically
balance the budget for current
spending but spend money on capital
projects which could benefit future
generations as well as current
generations. In order to do that,
you will obviously have do have some
cuts to public funding to get things
back in balance. So is it not in
fact the Conservative government
doing exactly what you say you are
If you recall from the election
we may be point that the UK
Government should be spending the
money now. Partly to mitigate Brexit
and partly to grow the economy, and
at the end of this parliament when
we saw the deficit continued to
fall, debt begins to fall as a share
of GDP and at that point, in balance
of a surplus, the money should be
for capital projects but we are at
that point yet is precisely because
we have seen the growth forecasts
mocked down. We have been denuded of
Paul Sweeney, that is a Labour
policy, as well, is it not? To
balance the current budget and then
only on capital spending. I put it
to you that the Conservatives are
doing what you say you want to do
but what impact this you complain
Actually the measure
of success for the Conservatives has
been cutting the deficit when I have
failed at every turn. They are
planning to balance it in 2030. And
his 16 years, a generational
What you are saying is
putting balancing the budget off
even further. What we are saying is
not doing it through a primary
measure of cutting public spending
but balancing the budget by growing
tax revenues and we do that by
investing in the country. The great
use a veggie cycle. The Tories have
cut and slang will be public
services as a result of their fiscal
cuts will stop we need to Ashley
invest in the economy to get that
benefit. Jonathan, throughout the
chancellorship of George Osborne we
were told to balance the budget and
that was the main thing to care
about. And that we had to worry
about. Philip Hammond says it won't
now be balance until 2031. It was
supposed to have been balanced by
2015. It wasn't even mentioned in
the budget, does that not make you
feel bad? That the thing that we
were told that was the most
important thing we had to worry
about, it now seems even the
Conservatives don't care!
important to recognise that our
political opponents have bought two
den nail to stop the very top
decisions that the Conservative
government have had to make to the
reduce both the deficit and...
Apparently that is still not
It is the economic
situation of the country remaining
challenging, still dealing with the
legacy of the last Labour
government. Wow. It is effective to
use a balanced budget.
running out of time. Very quickly
committee would, John Stuart, you
are looking more sceptical by the
I'm extremely sceptical indeed. The
deficit hasn't fallen. The budget
won't be balanced for goodness knows
how many years. The government fail
on every car that they set for
themselves and it is the poorest in
this country and our productivity
that pays the price.
Thank you very
Now it's time for a look back
- as well as forwards -
to the week ahead.
With me this week are
the journalists Rebecca McQuillan
and Paul Hutcheon who work
for The Herald and Sunday Herald.
First, Paul, interesting, isn't it
that the Justice Secretary con
firmed that these two policeman Curt
Coronel and Bob Glass as the people
involved. It's a mess, isn't it?
is a dysfunctional failing
organisation with the Chief
Constable on leave amid allegations
and seven other cops facing
misconduct investigations over a spy
probe and now Assistant Chief
Constable Bernie Higgins and
colleagues in the firearms unit
suspended. It's not good.
think there is any merit. One of the
things that Michael Matheson
suggested, perhaps we have these
people under investigation because
in the olden days they wouldn't have
been investigated. More
investigations may be a product of
In the legacy
forces, there was a culture of
cover-up and secrecy. The one
benefit of the single force is there
is much more scrutiny. I know from
experience that police Scotland is a
very leaky organisation. In pre-2013
days, I don't think people felt they
could come forward. There is a glare
of publicity which is a good thing.
What have you made of this, Rebecca?
I can't remember a time when a
Scottish institution had so many
problems on so many different
fronts. Paul mentioned all those
investigations, which are separate,
they are not linked together.
didn't get around to the fact that
there is a new leader of the
Scottish police Association coming
This is the body that oversees
police Scotland and there is
financial mismanagement, controversy
over stop and search and armed
police and one thing and another. An
awful lot of things going wrong at
once. As you were driving up with
some of your questions, it does make
you ask if there is some underlying
cause for this malaise. Actually, it
doesn't look like there is just one
course. A number of things are going
wrong at once.
I know there have
been some suggestions of what these
allegations are about but I don't
want to repeat them because Michael
Matheson said that we shouldn't. But
will that wash? We do know roughly
what Phil Gormley is being
investigated for but the others, is
it going to wash to say that you are
not allowed to know? There is an
issue of confidence.
that the detail of these complaints
will seep out. I have a degree of
sympathy with Michael Matheson in
that it shows the real problem of
policing where he is expected to
answer questions on disciplinary and
conduct issues with the police. The
organisation set up to oversee this
organisation would do that if it was
doing its job properly. He wouldn't
have to answer those questions.
in effect, it's not a functioning
It is completely
dysfunctional. I don't think anyone
in Scottish policing has any
confidence in the S P a at all.
There was a suggestion that after
due process, he may start some
investigation into what has gone
wrong. Something is going to have to
be done to restore public
like nothing more than to call for a
root and branch review and that has
not happened. You wonder if it is
the right moment to do this because
a number of things have to happen
that are in process at the moment.
One of the first is, the force needs
a Chief Constable. He is on
gardening leave at the moment and
there is an investigation that we
hope will be concluded quickly.
There has been a lot of controversy
about call handling, recommendations
have been made, there are things
going on at the moment, one would
hope, would within six months or a
year all of this would have settled
down. If it hasn't, then, yes, you
are going to need a fairly serious
review of how this organisation is
working just four or five years
after it is set up.
problems. They are very difficult to
Many of the problems that
Police Scotland suffered were there
under the legacy forces, like stop
and search, it is only through
scrutiny that we have actually seen
Strathclyde policies rolled out
nationally and people don't like
them. Many of the things that have
been dominating the news coverage
have been there for years.
going to merge even more, including
the British Transport Police. Might
it be sensible to put that on hold?
I do. Bernard Higgins, currently
suspended, was, as I understand it,
going to oversee this merger. He
said that there would be massive
transitional issues merging the two
forces. It's not the right time to
be doing this.
What do you think,
Many stories have said that
there is no business case for this
and it was done for political
reasons rather than policing
reasons. I would ask whether Police
Scotland has done enough to deserve
That's all from the us this week.
I'll be back at the
same time next week.
Until then, goodbye.