Sarah Smith and Gordon Brewer with the latest political news, interviews and debate. The political panel comprises Camilla Tominey, Steve Richards and Tom Newton-Dunn.
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and welcome to the Sunday Politics.
I'm Sarah Smith.
And for the last time in 2017,
this is your guide to the big
political stories making the news
this Sunday morning.
Theresa May says she's silenced
the doubters by securing a deal
for Britain in the first phase
of the Brexit negotations.
Now attention turns to the much
bigger task of deciding our future
relationship with the EU.
She'll be discussing that
with her cabinet this week,
but with so many huge unresolved
questions about life after Brexit,
can we possibly expect
seasonal goodwill to break out
across the Tory party
and the country?
And I'm here at stunning Warwick
Castle to find out whether people
here think that Labour are ready
or not ready for government,
And on Sunday Politics Scotland
at 11.35am, as well as a look back
over the year, we'll be asking
what's going wrong with our economy
and can it be fixed?
All that coming up in the programme,
our final show of the year.
Think of it as
our early Christmas present,
one I'm afraid you can't
take back to the shops.
And joining me today,
Fleet Street's answer
to Santa's little helpers,
Tom Newton Dunn,
Camilla Tominey and Steve Richards.
Well, we began the year
talking about Brexit,
and we'll finish talking about...
you've guessed it, Brexit.
And there have been big developments
in just the past week,
which saw Theresa May go from hero
to zero, to somewhere in between.
Seasonal goodwill spread
through the Conservative Party
on Monday, when Theresa May reported
back to Parliament on her deal to
move Brexit talks on to phase two.
When people like me, Brexiteers,
look at the alternative,
namely the Labour government,
a Labour government staying
in the single market forever
and having no control over
immigration, it's amazing
how our minds are concentrated
in support of the Prime Minister.
Across these benches,
in congratulating the Prime Minister
on securing this agreement.
That Christmas cheer
did not last long.
On the eve of the European
summit to ratify the deal,
the EU Withdrawal Bill was
back in the Commons.
The Government avoided defeat
on several amendments,
but then came former
Attorney General Dominic Grieve
and his call for MPs
to have a meaningful vote
on the final Brexit deal.
Brexit Secretary David Davis
tried to head off the rebellion
with a letter to backbenchers.
In the final hour,
there was a last-ditch offer.
It wasn't enough.
It's too late. I'm sorry.
You cannot, you cannot treat
the House in this fashion.
The Prime Minister suffered
her first defeat on government
business of her premiership.
The ayes to the right, 309.
The noes to the left, 305.
Labour were delighted.
The Prime Minister tried a power
grab, tried to push through the EU
Withdrawal Bill without proper
Parliamentary scrutiny and take
powers away from Parliament.
Parliament resisted tonight.
Brexit supporters were enraged.
One rebel, Stephen Hammond,
was promptly sacked
as vice-chairman of the party.
It was an embarrassment
for Theresa May, not a fatal blow.
On Thursday, she arrived
in Brussels sounding upbeat.
I'm disappointed with the amendment,
but actually the, EU Withdrawal Bill
is making good progress
through the House of Commons,
and we're on course
to deliver on Brexit.
She was applauded by leaders
of the 27 EU member states,
rewarded on Friday with a tweet
from EU Council President Donald
Tusk confirming they had agreed
to move on to phase two
of the talks.
Theresa May," he said.
Mrs May can't put her feet up
for holidays just yet.
The Cabinet will meet this week
to discuss what the future
relationship with the EU will
look like for the first time.
No one's expecting them all to be
singing from the same carol sheet.
But on Friday,
a fresh rebellion over the EU
Withdrawal Bill was headed off,
so peace on earth, or at least
within the Conservative
Party, reigns for now.
But how much longer can that harmony
exist within the Cabinet? I will
talk to the panel about next week's
discussion on the future end state
of our relations with the EU,
because it will be discussed in
Cabinet for the first time. Theresa
May writing in the papers today, she
proved the doubters wrong, is she
She did in the sense that
many people thought she wouldn't get
through the first phase. They found
words to bind all parties together.
That's what she did in the first
phase. She is right in that sense.
The second phase of which this
Cabinet meeting this week will be
just an early tiptoeing on the
Touraine, it will be much more
mountainous and difficult. I suspect
the Cabinet meeting will be merely
exploring some of the themes, and
there will be, for sure, no
resolution as to what the
government's final position will be.
We have seen some themes explored
this week, Philip Hammond yesterday
in China talking about staying
within the EU rules and regulations
during the transition. We have Boris
Johnson in the papers today setting
out a vision for by virgin further
from the EU then people like Hammond
would like. Will that be aired in
Are they going to be
singing from the same carol sheet...
Will they sing from the same
spreadsheet in relation to Philip
Hammond's desires? We note Boris
Johnson speaking today in the Sunday
Times, talking about the notion of
eventual self-governance and a
diverging. You have also got Michael
Gove wanting, during the transition
period, for us to be out of the
common agricultural policy, Albert
the Common fisheries policy, that
will be a difficult issue for them
to discuss. We are not even getting
onto the end trade deal, and which
direction do we want to go in? The
Prime Minister has made clear she
wants Canada plus model as opposed
to a Norway style of agreement,
which to be fair to her, she pointed
out in Florence. She said an EEA
agreement was not what was agreed,
and we don't want to be rule takers.
There is a lot to play for. Two
Cabinet meetings, one of the
subcabinet, the war committee, and
the one on Tuesday following the
parliament really address.
papers have gone on the idea that
Boris is setting out a different
vision of Britain after Brexit, but
is it different to Theresa May in
her Florence Beach?
Not really. This
is no different to what Boris has
said, the Sunday before Christmas,
there had to be a row -- Florence
speech. This is well established
positions, we know what they all
think, and we have all been saying
for a year and a half since the
referendum that am at some stage, it
would have to be crossed. There has
to be a big choice between a
diverging or harmonisation, because
so far, the EU has been binary about
it. It won't be solved in Cabinet
this week or next month, my bet is,
yet again, they will come up with a
fudged to present to the EU, or
Cabinet will fall apart and half of
them will have to leave. Eventually,
it will have to be grasped in the
autumn when the EU say, "You either
have to defecate or get off the
potty, because this is what is in
front of you." The third option was
interesting, at the summit on
Friday, something interesting
happened, which was the EU blinked,
they said, "Move on to trade and
transition." But we are not quite
ready to do trade. We are incredibly
United to begin with, now we don't
know what we want. We have three
months before trade starts in March
for everybody, for the British
Governor, to influence the EU 27 in
their thinking, and come up with a
great third Way, which is cake and
And will be considerably
more corrugated than what we have
done already. Stay there, we will
come back to you during the course
of the programme.
Well, we can speak now
to the Conservative MP
She ruffled some feathers this week
when she said that pro-European
Tories who rebelled
on the EU Withdrawal Bill
should be deselected.
Thank you for joining us. Can we
talk first about the transition, or
implementation period, two years
after we leave the EU, a number of
your colleagues have expressed a
number of serious concerns about the
idea we will be following EU rules
and regulations during that period,
how worried are you about that?
think everybody's concerned about
that. The important thing is, we get
this period, this transition period,
through and done as quickly as
possible. Therefore, we have to
reach agreement. The reason why it
needs to be done as quickly as
possible is because it is in
Britain's interests, it is in the
interest of business, who required
stability and security, and
confidence moving forward. We've do
need to get to this position as
quickly as possible. The rebels from
last week are going to have to
explain why, if they don't think we
should leave the Commons fishery
policy, why that would not be in
Britain's interest. There is a lot
up for debate going forward.
Chancellor made it clear that he
would be replicating the status quo
during this transition period. That
doesn't mean leaving the common
fisheries policy or die vaulting in
any way from EU rules. -- by
During his budget speech,
he himself talk about the uniqueness
of Britain. It took about my own
constituency and area, which will
become a tech corridor. So he has
highlighted areas where we can
divert, which is in high-tech. We
can do it in that area, we can do it
in my constituency, like art we do
it in other areas...
The point he
was talking about was, yesterday, he
said, we would be subject to all old
rules and regulations during that
It also depends how long
that period is going to be. Most
reasonable and sensible people can
accept a period of time when we need
to have those discussions, and when
we will abide by those rules. The
problem is, what we don't want to
see is Brexit constantly kicked into
the long grass as we go further and
further forward, and Brexit never
seems to be actually happening.
There has to be an endgame.
Everybody wants to see that. If we
can't see that quickly enough, then
we do have to have these unique and
these individual situations where we
may need to pull out of certain
Talking about the
endgame, that is what the Cabinet
will discuss this week, we know
there will be a debate inside there,
and people like Philip Hammond the
Chancellor will argue that we stay
closely aligned to EU rules and
regulations even after we have
finally left, how worried are you
about those so-called soft
Brexiteers prevailing in Cabinet?
Gosh, do you know... I'm not sure
they will prevail. I trust Theresa
May, I trust David Davies, I trust
Amber Rudd. I trust all of the
people in Cabinet to reach an
agreement. And because what they
will be doing is reaching an
agreement in Britain's interest and
the interest of Parliament, and the
interest of Brexit. All of those
people in Cabinet stood on a
manifesto in 2017 to deliver Brexit,
and they have to do that in a way
which the British people, who
democratically exercised their vote,
would like to see. Otherwise they
will lose the support of the British
You say you trust the
Cabinet to deliver Brexit, do you
trust all of your Tory MP colleagues
to do so?
Well, I hope so. Can I
just say, I know the rebels are
being lauded as he arose from whence
they not, can I tell you who the
real heroes are in all of this, they
are the Conservative MPs, not the
Labour MPs, but the Conservative MPs
who believed in Remain, who
campaigned for Remain, during the EU
referendum, but stood on a manifesto
to deliver Brexit, and they are the
people who are the unsung heroes,
who are backing the government and
backing Theresa May, and doing so
because they know that is their duty
to do so. Some of the rebels could
perhaps learn a lesson from some of
their Remain colleagues, who know
the right thing to do is to deliver
Brexit, because that was voted for a
You are being
quite Conser Liege reef, --
consulate tree, but you did at the
time tweaked that they should be
deselected and never allowed to
stand as Tory MPs again, have you
changed your mind about that?
Gosh... I don't know if I have
changed my mind, but what I meant at
the time was, most of these rebels
voted for the private members' Bill
to have a referendum. They stood on
a manifesto in 2015 to deliver that
referendum. And then they stood
again on a manifesto in 2017 to
implement Brexit. I think, to go
back on those promises, that they
were elected to honour, it is
something for their associations to
discuss and consider...
they gone back on those promises?
They would say they still want to
intimate Brexit, they just want
Parliament to have control over that
rather than the executive.
don't believe they do. I believe
what they have deliberately tried to
do right from the moment of the
referendum result is to frustrate
and delay Brexit, and I believe this
is a very active tactic they are
using. No, I do believe they are
honouring the promise they stood on
in the 20 Zinedine manifesto. They
should put trust in David Davies and
the Prime Minister. Rather than make
life difficult for the Prime
Minister when she is leaving to go
to Brussels for further
negotiations, trust the Prime
Minister and assist the Prime
Minister. That is what they have
been elected to do. There is a
Conservative government that has
been elected on a manifesto to
From the beginning, they have gone
out of their way to delay and
frustrate this, and they need to
stop doing it.
Anna Soubry, one of
the rebels, writing in the Mail on
Sunday, says that calls for rebels
to be deselected mean the Tories now
have their own blue momentum
I do, I am sure he does.
frequently voted with your
conscience, you voted against Tory
primaries does in the past and
rebelled against the whip, why is it
I voted many times
against the government, I am a
self-declared rebel, but I do it at
a time, you have to choose your
rebellions carefully. What I would
say is different now is that we have
a Marxist government knocking on the
door. We have a full mandate from
the British public to deliver
Brexit, they voted for it in the
referendum. These MPs stood on that
promise in 2017, today is very
different. What happened on
Wednesday night was the rebels put a
spring in the step of Labour MPs.
The party in Jeremy Corbyn's office
could be heard in the car park
outside. It has made life difficult
for us to keep that Marxist
government out of power eventually.
They have helped Labour MPs find
their mojo one is again. We don't
want that to happen. We have an
important situation that has not
been seen since wartime. The
response ability was to support the
Nadeem, thank you for
talking to us this morning.
We can speak now to one
of the leading pro-EU
Conservative MPs, Ken Clarke.
He's in Nottingham.
Thank you for joining us this
Glad to be here.
I hope you
could hear Nadine Dorries, she says
rebels, you and others, but voted
against the government on Wednesday,
are trying to reverse Brexit.
have succeeded in getting into all
of this personal stuff, but I do
think she is aiming it at me. I am a
member of the government that led us
into Europe and the single market, I
did not vote in the referendum, and
my constituents have no doubts about
my views. The 20 Zinedine manifesto
was produced after I had been
adopted as a candidate, no one sent
me a copy, and I haven't ever seen a
copy of it. Let's get back to the
big issues, which are how do we
preserve the future prosperity of
this country? How do we preserve a
leading position in world affairs to
look after our interest? What is the
best thing to do for the interests
of our children and our
grandchildren? All of these other
things, the right-wing newspaper
rubbish,, it is trying to get a Tory
equivalent of momentum.
Do you think
that the way to preserve the things
you talk about is to put reverse
I don't think we can do
that. I was in the small minority
when I voted against in -- invoking
Article 50. The party is moving
towards Brexit, the country will see
Brexit. Suddenly turning Brexit into
a proposal, we have big lorry parks,
customs officers, so different
market regulations, you know,
different rules about backing
cleaner noise, that was not what the
referendum was about. More
importantly, it will do great damage
to our economy, it could cost
thousands of jobs and make the
country much mess less attractive.
We have now got to try to reach an
agreement that produces a sensible,
sensible political and economic
future for this country in the real
world, not in the slightly childish
world of knock about politics.
confident are you the Cabinet will
come to that compromise when they
start to discuss things this week?
We keep having public statements,
which are rather alarming, but I am
reasonably confident that they can.
What are you alarmed by in the
public state was?
You are trying to
get me to go on about Boris, out of
line with what apply Mr has done.
But the Chancellor has a duty to
actually look after the British
economy, to make sure business is
not deterred from coming to this
country, to make sure we keep our
markets in Europe, and in the rest
of the world, as intact as we can. I
think the Cabinet will rally around
Theresa May made pretty clear
in her Florence speech that what we
will leave the supermarket, the
customs unit, and there fetch you
ruled out the post Brexit future?
Lancaster House was the first time
anyone had interpreted, anyone in
authority, had interpreted the
referendum result to mean that. It
does give rise to problems. What
they have now got to address is the
problems that arise. It started with
last week, we suddenly faced
Ireland, which nobody had mentioned,
which is an insult to the people of
Northern Ireland and Republic of
Island, really we agreed then, we
must keep the border open with
regulatory convergence on both
sides. It applies to Dover and
Folkestone, and we won't get
planning permission for the lorry
parks we would need if we rush on
abandoning the single market in
March, 2019, we have brought coming.
Let's not into Gibraltar. It would
make the Irish problems looked like
a picnic. You will have a lot of
adage businesses wondering where on
earth Britain is going unless we now
interpret policy of the Florence
speech and move on from the Florence
speech, which was a big move
forward, move on from the fact that
we finally settled these three quite
simple issues that had to be settled
about our withdrawal, which could
have been months ago had it not been
for the troubles.
We need to get onto a sensible
economic future worked out by people
prepared to read the brief and who
know something about trade,
investment and business in the
modern, globalised economy.
vote last week, in which Parliament
now gets a meaningful say on the
Brexit deal, do you interpret that
to mean that parliament could send
the Prime Minister back to Brussels
to renegotiate a different deal if
Parliament doesn't like it, so your
views have to be taken into account
with the final deal?
this country is based on all
governments having to take the views
of Parliament into account. It's
difficult when Parliament is a small
majority where there is confusion,
because the issue cuts across party
lines, that makes it more difficult,
but it was a mistake to invoke the
royal prerogative, a mistake to try
but it was a mistake to invoke the
and avoid Parliament revoked. In the
end, this is determining our future
for the next generation or two on
difficult issues that Parliament
will have to approve before
government can get a deal. That
should strengthen Theresa May and
David Davis's hands in the
negotiations because, just like the
other 27 negotiators, they will have
to say that they can't deliver
things which they can't get past
their own parliament.
reported this morning that Heidi
Allen, a Conservative MP who
rebelled against the government last
week, is facing threats of
deselection. You are perfectly safe
in your constituency, are you? What
do you think of the other rebels
I don't think my
constituents have any doubts about
my views, not all of my association
agree with me, but I have never
fallen out with anybody personally
because of political differences. I
think this is all nonsense. It's
caused by the rubbish that keeps
appearing in the right-wing
newspapers, which have completely
lost their heads over the whole
thing. It is totally absurd to say
this is helping Jeremy Corbyn, it is
weakening Theresa May and all the
rest of it. Here we are, three days
after the vote took place, and
Theresa May is no weaker and she was
after that. Jeremy Corbyn is not
marching towards Downing Street.
What we voted for is a Parliamentary
accountability of the government.
Nothing to do with blocking Brexit,
and it is utterly idiotic few of our
association members in various parts
of country start interpreting this
as the start of some sort of purge
of backbench members of conscience.
Eurosceptics have been voting
against the government for the last
30 years, and nobody on my side of
the argument has ever gone round
saying they should be expelled from
the party and sent to darkness. It
is a broad church, it is a
free-market party with a strong
social conscience, and it has been a
pro-European party for the first 50
years of my membership.
for talking to us, and I'll come
back to the panel. He says the Prime
Minister was not weakened by that
vote, and neither was Jeremy Corbyn
emboldened. Is he right?
right. What the vote did was point
out what we all secretly knew. She
wasn't further weakened by it, she
was weakened by the general election
result. She was always going to be
in this predicament without a
majority. That vote reminded
everybody of how weak she is and
will continue to be as this entire
from people like Nadine Dorries is
that this helps Labour and
intentionally offers in a Corbyn
government is any truth in that?
There was a perception of truth
because of how close he got to
number ten, which took us by
surprise on election night, apart
from you, who got it right. But
equally I think there was a sense
with Theresa May's own popularity,
and recent polling is said that the
Conservatives are gaining an Jeremy
Corbyn, which is perhaps explained
by the fact that people are unclear,
despite numerous explanations by
Keir Starmer, shadow Brexit
Secretary, on the Labour opposition.
They appear to have backtracked on
their manifesto and want close
alignment, if not remaining in the
supermarket and customs union, which
is anathema to anybody who voted for
Brexit an Jeremy Corbyn and Labour,
and equally I think it's interesting
that, once we take ourselves out of
Westminster bubble, some of the talk
on the streets about Theresa May's
apparent weakness is misplaced. A
lots of people think she has shown
resilience and they appreciate she
is in a difficult political mess, in
terms of her lack of a larger
majority and the rest of it, but I
think she was pity David after
coughing gate, and I think that has
turned into grudging admiration for
the fact that she has defied the
people who said it would be
impossible and managed to get to the
second phase of negotiations.
think what we got with the vote was
recognition that this is a hung
parliament. In a hung Parliament,
government get defeated. . This is
new to us because we had the
coalition which a majority and the
Labour and Thatcher landslide eras,
but in the 70s, the key moments that
Labour government defeated again and
again, this one will. It's not that
she is inherently weak as a
personality, she is just in a weak
position. There was a majority
forming. It probably could have been
bigger. In favour of that amendment
last week. It will happen again
because the House of Commons is in a
different place on Europe than she
What was fascinating is
that Nadine Dorries and those of her
like said, you weakened her, nobody
will take seriously in Brussels, but
she went and she got love oned. It
had an inverse effect. -- love oned.
Using weakness as a strength.
And you can find more Brexit
analysis and explanation on the BBC
website, at bbc.co.uk/brexit.
Let's turn now to Labour.
As 2017 draws to a close they've got
plenty to feel upbeat about,
although they could have to wait
another four and a half years
for a chance to form a government.
The party says it's ready,
but do the public agree?
Elizabeth Glinka took the entirely
to the constituency of Warwick
and Leamington, a former
Conservative seat snatched
by Labour in June.
This week, Theresa May
faced her first defeat
in the House of Commons -
and, if you speak to Labour
activists, they will tell
you a general election could be just
around the corner, and they are more
than ready to form a government.
So we've come here to
Warwick Castle to ask people,
is Labour ready or not ready?
No, definitely not.
I don't like the Labour leader.
It's the first time I've been asked
about politics here in the castle.
I think they are ready.
Absolutely not ready.
They don't seem to have any strong
policies and every time you hear
them arguing against the Government
they are just negative.
There's not a positive,
I came from a country
which was Communist for a long time.
It terrifies me when I hear
some of their ideas.
Although I don't like
the other guys, too.
Would you say the Labour Party
is ready for government?
I'll take that as a yes.
I remember British Rail
before it was privatised.
It was dreadful.
I would say ready.
I think that the Tory party
are totally focused on Brexit.
They are not looking at any
of the other problems,
the NHS, housing, transport,
everything else that's
going on in the country,
and I think the Labour Party
would look at those other issues.
They're not clear on their policies
and a lot of infighting,
so I just don't think they are ready
to be in charge yet.
Thank you for this.
There is never a knight
around when you need one.
I'd go with ready.
I think, from what we've got
at the moment, I think
give them a chance.
OK, let's go for it then.
Not ready, maybe because I don't
think the Shadow Chancellor
is at all suitable.
They can't do any worse
than what we've already got
at the moment, so I think time
for a change.
Would you say the Labour Party is
ready or not ready for government?
Why is that?
Not ready, because they are still
bickering amongst themselves.
Because I am fed up
with the Conservative government.
I feel we need a change.
OK, so why did you go for not ready?
I just don't think they have
what it takes just yet.
Well, only eight more
sleeps till Christmas,
and I'm afraid Jeremy Corbyn may not
like his present this year.
The visitors here to Warwick Castle
say that Labour is not
ready for government.
Right, better get the rest
of these presents delivered.
Elizabeth Glinka with
the decidedly unscientific
moodbox at Warwick Castle.
Well, I'm joined now
by the shadow justice
secretary Richard Burgon,
he's in Leeds.
Good morning, Sarah.
We were told in the summer that
Jeremy Corbyn reportedly said he
would be Prime Minister by
Christmas. It doesn't look as though
it is likely to happen. Will he be
in Number Ten by next Christmas, do
Who knows, all we can say
is we will be ready for another
general election when it take place
and we are ready to go the full
course is that needs to be the case
In order to be ready for an
election, it will be important to
have a clear position on Brexit, and
in fairness the Labour opposition
there has been some clarity in the
last couple of weeks on bad, and it
appears the wants to stay much
closer to EU rules and regulations
than the Conservative Party.
Labour wants to do is to reach a
position where we have a good
relationship with the EU has Brexit,
because Britain is leaving the
European Union and Labour accepts
and respect the outcome of the
referendum, and we want a post
Brexit Britain where the economy and
jobs is put first, not fixated on
structures. That is the end goal we
want to reach, will return as they
good trading relationship with the
EU and the rest of the world. --
where Britain has a good trading
relationship. And we want to protect
environmental rights and workers as
The Tories would say they are
interested in those things as well
but there has to be a structure
around this when we have an in-state
relationship with the EU. Is it fair
to say you want a closer
relationship than the government is
We have set out the
vision of what we want in terms of
Britain post Brexit. The problem
that Theresa May as with negotiating
is that, at the same time as
negotiating with Brussels, she has
two negotiate with her backbenchers
and the extreme caucus in the
Conservative Party who are
ideological fixated on structures
and the ECJ, and that raised -- that
has really weakened her, as we saw
We will have to have
answers on those questions. If you
say you are ready to form a
government within the next year,
Labour needs clear answers on these
questions about whether or not you
would ever consider a continuing
role for the European Court of
Justice, for instance.
We see it as
common sense that the ECJ should
play a role in the transition
We are open
minded, because every trade deal
these institutions to protect and
oversee that deal. Seems like common
Tom Watson has said that he
wouldn't rule out a second
referendum on Brexit, and Jeremy
Corbyn a few weeks ago in Lisbon
said something similar. Would you be
in favour of a second
in favour of a second referendum?
Labour isn't calling for a second
But Tom Watson said he
wouldn't run it out.
It could be the
case that Theresa May caves in and
starts asking for another
referendum, I doubt that we are not
in government I can say clearly we
are not arguing for a second
referendum, and I think that was
made clear on Andrew Marr earlier
today by Diane Abbott.
end relationship between the UK and
EU, is it important you and to
Labour that we see lower
Labour that we see lower levels of
immigration from the EU?
We want to
put the economy and jobs first and,
if you listen to the public sector
and the NHS, the care sector, they
are clear that the role EU migrants
have played and are
have played and are playing is
essential to growth, essential to
the private sector, but also
essential to our NHS as well.
essential to our NHS as well.
sounds like you don't want lower
levels of immigration after we
We want to put jobs and
economy first, we want fair and
reasonably managed migration, but
free movement as it is will end when
Britain leaves the EU and we will
need a new arrangement that is fair
and reasonably managed.
and reasonably managed. We want to
put and the public economy first.
The Conservatives have a bad track
record of making headline grabbing
false promises on immigration but
never meeting those targets.
never meeting those targets.
an enthusiastic supporter of Richard
Leonard, the new leader of the
Scottish Labour Party. You have
called him an inspiring socialist in
the past. Are you hoping the UK
Labour manifesto will copy some of
his rather more radical Labour
It is for the Scottish Labour
Party to decide Scottish policy.
do you want to some of his ideas
We agree on
most things, and Richard
most things, and Richard Leonard
supported the UK wide manifesto in
2011, he enthusiastically supported
the minimum wage rise, taking
railways back into public ownership.
railways back into public ownership.
What about the idea for a one-off
wealth tax, 1% of the total wealth
of the richest 10% being paid?
of the richest 10% being paid?
is a matter for the Scottish Labour
But would you like the same
thing adopted nationwide?
manifesto isn't decided by Shadow
Cabinet members making
Cabinet members making declarations
on the Sunday Politics.
But you are
allowed a view.
allowed a view.
Our manifesto was
reached on a consensus basis, not
only the Shadow Cabinet and
Parliamentary Labour Party but with
members all over the country. We are
now the biggest political party in
Western Europe. It will be for me to
be making policy decisions live on
air. We believe in the politics of
consensus and collectivism and we
will be taking that forward with our
Some viewers may not
know that, as well as being a Labour
MP, you present a heavy metal show
on your local radio station, so we
have a click to listen to.
The new album of Vallenfyre
is called Fear Those Who Fear Him,
and it's so heavy, it feels painful
to listen to, in a good way.
Let's see if you agree.
This song is by Vallenfyre and it's
called An Apathetic Grave.
METAL GUITAR RIFF.
MUSIC: An Apathetic
Grave by Vallentyre.
Clearly, you are a big heavy metal
band. Jeremy Corbyn told the NME you
listen to everything from
listen to everything from Mahler to
piped music, but he has never
mentioned heavy metal. Can you
introduce him to some of your
I could do. Jeremy
has been on the front page of
Kerrang, and what was nice was that
he didn't pretend to like heavy
metal. It's good he set that. Far
more refreshing than when David
Cameron used to pretend to like the
It's coming up to 11:40,
you're watching the Sunday Politics.
And, remember this?
We have agreed that the government
should call a general election.
Good morning and welcome
to Sunday Politics Scotland.
Coming up on the programme...
What's going wrong
with Scotland's economy
and can it be fixed?
And we'll take a look back
on what's been another
helluva year in Politics.
Ruth Davidson has predicted we have
hit peak and the only way is down.
This party... Hello!
Hello and welcome to the programme.
This week, for the first time
since its inception,
the Scottish Government announced
plans to raise taxes.
It's been decades since any
UK administration has
raised income tax, so this
is a big gamble politically.
Then again, there was little choice,
as this is the only tax
raising power Holyrood has.
But something else
happened this week -
we also learnt the diabolical
predictions for economic growth -
0.7% next year, that's half
the predictions for the UK
as a whole, and it doesn't get much
better for five years.
These dreadful figures came
from the independent
Scottish Fiscal Commission,
set up by the Scottish government to
scrutinise their own tax forecasts.
Here's the Chair, Susan Rice.
Bob, six months on, and only 42
households have moved
into permanent new homes.
There are a couple of underlying
factors we think are the main forces
at play. One of them is what's
called productivity, so the value of
what is produced for every hour
worked this in simple terms. We've
had loads relativity in Scotland and
low productivity growth in the UK
and another of other countries for
number of years but in Scotland and
specifically productivity growth has
been flat for well over ten years
and that has a huge impact on the
growth of the economy overall. The
other important factor is the shape
of our population. The population
isn't growing or growing minimally
going forward but growth might come
in age group of 65 and above and we
are seeing a shrieking population in
the 16 to 64-year-old age group.
That has a direct impact on what
There are a lot of factors which
impact on private sector behaviour
and it isn't the figure so much,
it's really what underlies that so
what underlies that is the number of
uncertainties and we have pointed
out in our report, there are
uncertainties around the oil and gas
sector as it continues to adapt to a
lower price for its product and
various other uncertainties. That's
what will impact business and
behaviours and decisions others
That's a really big question, it's
an important question and honestly,
time will tell. I think that the 1p
is a modest increase and the
judgment we made is that a lot of
people will live with that. That
money should go to supporting
services in Scotland. People speak
often about the standard of living
here, how they like living here, so
it's important that money is funded
into services but I think to answer
your question directly, it's ready
hard to say now how this will play
out. We will be watching.
That was Susan Rice, chair
of the Scottish Fiscal Committee,
whose report helped shape
Derek Mackay's budget.
Now, a little earlier I spoke
to the economist David Bell.
I'm not sure what word, David
Powell, we could use other economic
forecast that the Scottish Fiscal
Commission is making, but pretty
awful, would that sound about right
-- Steven Bell.
They are pretty low
forecasts, which suggest the
Scottish economy is not going to
pick up from the pretty low
refectory it's experienced all the
time since the financial crash. Hush
macro low project tree.
mitigating factor is part of the
problem is the population not
growing so what that means is the
difference between growth in the UK
and in Scotland is not as dramatic
as the difference in growth per
Yes, that's true. That's
certainly true in the great per
capita but the issue that Susan Rice
was talking about in terms of the
gradual shrinking of the working age
population hasn't really kicked in
yet. It will kick in in quite a big
way over the next ten years or so
and it will be important for the
Scottish Government to be looking at
policies to try to extend people.
Working lives -- people's working
lives so that the people who work
beyond 65 is increased.
surprisingly I thought in the
document Susan Rice produced ago
with the budget was that Derek
Mackay made much of the budget
being, I'll use his words, "It would
prioritise economic growth." But
halfway through the document she
concludes that the budget measures,
the phrase she uses, will have no
significant aggregate impact on the
Scottish economy. So, prioritising
economic growth will have no effect
whatsoever on economic growth.
That's a bit of a paradox I think.
The short-term levers that
government has to increase economic
growth are limited, so an annual
object that you don't expect
actually to make a huge difference
to overall economic growth. It's the
longer term things that you put in
place for improved infrastructure,
broad brand for example, and
increasing skills, that are probably
the counter policies that are most
likely to lead, albeit in the long
term, the increased economic growth.
Is there any different approach they
could have taken that you think
might have had a better chance of
growing the economy?
Well, they are
putting their foot in the water as
far as changing the structure of
income tax is concerned, so they
have made income tax in Scotland
slightly more progressive than that
in the UK as a whole but not much
and not by all that much. They have
announced a number of measures,
which are more on the back burner
around improving broadband and there
is a big capital programme but the
results for these kind of
investments went the scene probably
within this Parliament.
briefly, David, one of the bigger
ticket issues that Susan Rice argues
is that she argues partly that for
various reasons economic growth has
been lower over the last few years
in Scotland than it appeared to be
but that for partly the same
reasons, the implication seems to be
that even if things got back to
normal, in inverted commas, normal
growth in the Scottish economy will
now be about half what it was for
the half-century before the
I think that's
true. I mean, if you compare the
decade before 2008 and the decade
since, the comparison in terms of
economic performance is stark and
Susan Rice mentioned that many
countries have been affected in the
same way but it seems that Scotland
has been particularly affected and
really we need to find out why
that's the case, why its economic
growth has been at the bottom end of
the set of countries who have been
exposed to globalisation, to huge
changes in technology and so on over
the last decade, why has Scotland,
why is at the bottom end of economic
performance among small developed
Steven Bell, thanks very
I'm joined now by the SNP's
Ivan McKee a member of the Scottish
Parliament's Finance Committee,
and in Edinburgh is the Conservative
Dean Lockhart who is a member
of the Economy Committee.
Well, Ivan McKee, this thing about
economic growth, Derek Mackay said
he would prioritise economic growth
in his budget and the conclusion of
the Scottish Fiscal Commission is
not just that the budget will have
no affect on economic growth at all
this year but it will have no effect
over the five years that they are
You also heard David
talk about the fact these things
take time and it's a longer time to
I get the point it's not an
immediate effect, let me read if to
you, she said the policies announced
in the draft budget are not expected
to have a significant impact on the
economy over the five-year forecast
period. I take your point about some
of these things are long-term
outcome that you know, for a budget
that was prioritising growth to
produce no growth seems a
The biggest issues
you identify if -- the biggest issue
she identifies is Scotland's
population change and The Big Issue
driving that is Brexit and if you
look at the numbers, they have used
an aggressive assumption on
population growth, which is more
constrained than that used than they
are down south so they are talking
about Scotland being impacted more
by the population issue caused by
Brexit in the rest of the UK and
that's an issue causing the problems
But Derek Mackay knew
that before he published his budget
so why did he then say he would
prioritise economic growth when he
must've known for the reasons you
have given us, actually has budget
wouldn't have any effect.
true because unfortunately we don't
have any control over Brexit, it was
up to us we would be in the single
market and driving population growth
through that mechanism but that's
not open to us. If you look at the
quotes from business leaders and the
CBI, they are welcoming what been
done and the steps being taken to
But it won't have
any effect on growth stock yellow --
when you say look in the round...?
The situation would be worse if we
hadn't done this and that's what
Is your argument there may be no
economic growth because of the
What that report talks
about, it talks about the gross you
have spoken about in that statement
and the impact of population.
Population growth or the constraint
on it in Scotland is a huge factor.
My point is Derek Mackay knew that.
Unfortunately we cannot bend Brexit
otherwise we would.
otherwise we would. Broadband, David
Bell highlighted and the huge
investment by the Scottish
What do you make of the
idea that a budget of growth is no
These things take time, the
SNP have had ten years to grow the
Scottish economy, over that time the
Scottish economy has underperformed.
On the budget, what Susan Rae said,
low productivity was one of the key
factors. You increase skills and the
economy. This budget has made
Scotland the highest tax part of
Scotland for a skilled workers.
Every leading business organisation
has advised against it. We will see
the skills gap widening and that
will have a cumulative effect on
If Ivan McKee is
contradicting what Susan Rice said,
then you are. The fiscal commission
came to the conclusion that the
relatively small increases in tax
would not have the deterrent effect
that you have described.
remains to be seen. It is relatively
small when you look at it on an
individual basis. Leading
organisations have said that
Scotland is lower than the rest of
the UK. Higher tax means less money
to spend in the economy and that
will have a negative impact on the
economy. This will result on
business costs in Scotland being
higher than elsewhere in the UK.
right. The other thing a lot of
people, a lot of people will have to
pay this tax will make them think
twice that, that in her document,
Susan Rice forecast that tax
revenues in the 18-19 year, they
will be lower than those forecast by
the old BR before taxes went up.
Which produced less revenues, or
maybe they would have been higher if
you had not put the taxes up.
will be a forecast on UK level. But
they also did one for Scotland. But
they also did... Taxes will be up by
500 million next year, income tax. I
come back to the point, it is
ridiculous to suggest that for the
sake of £2 a week someone will not
move to Scotland where they get free
tuition fees for university
education, free prescriptions.
Looking at skills, we are investing
9% in real terms for further
education colleges in Scotland and a
huge investment in two steps to work
on employability schemes to get
people back into work. The
investment in skills and training
from the Scottish Government is a
significant part to see what we have
done to boost economic growth in
Is it? The SNP are long
and policy, in terms of the economy
and policy, in terms of the economy
-- effects on the economy, the
figures speak for themselves.
clear, I think the point the SSC is
making that tax revenues will be
lower than very expected by the OBR
a month ago, not because the
Scottish Government have put up
taxes, but lower than expected
economic growth. That has more
effect than what you do with the tax
I agree. If over the next five
years, growth in Scotland could
match the UK, then public spending
in Scotland would have an extra £2
billion. This increased by the SNP
has increased 116 million pounds for
the budget. But if you had a
commitment to economic growth, you
are looking at an extra £2 billion
for a Scottish public services in
the next five years.
That is our
absolute priority. Give me a idea of
what they should have done which
would make the economy grow faster
and bring in more tax revenue?
would like to see the Scottish
Government work closely with the UK
Government on their economic
strategy. If the Scottish Government
could really get Scotland to the
front and central of the UK
industrial strategy, we would see a
good improvement in the economy.
are defending the SNP. You are a
former business person. If they had
called you and said, one thing we
could do that we have not thought
of, what would it be?
issues, it would be skills. We have
talking about investment in
broadband and transport. The other
focus is the Manufacturing Institute
which will give a boost to hide --
manufacturing. That is what is
important. The tax situation, a lot
of that is due to what we have had
Even though the have said it
will have nothing to do for economic
growth. -- SFC.
That is not what
Derek Mackay said.
That is what he
Even though there is no
growth? Within the constraints of
Westminster, and Brexit fishing the
population in the right direction.
Given the limited hand he has got to
play with, I think he has done the
best they can.
We will have to leave
it there. Thank you both very much.
In recent times that old adage,
"A week is a long time
in politics" has become
somewhat obsolete -
it's more like a day now.
Nevertheless, given it's close
to the end of the year,
we've put together a taster
of what's happened so far.
Tonight, reporting Scotland live
from Edinburgh. It is game on, the
First Minister announces plans for a
second independence referendum.
efforts of compromise have been met
with a brick wall of intransigence.
The First Minister signs a letter
There were no abstentions, the
motion as amended is therefore
Applause, cheers but a
solemn looking First Minister,
perhaps pondering the challenges
No is not the time. Now is
not the time.
No is not the time.
When is the right time? No is not
the time. I have just chaired a
meeting of the cabinet where we
agreed that the government should
call a general election to be held
on the 8th of June.
election. You are joking? Not
I love elections. I do
not know if you could tell from the
last election, I love myself. I love
the campaign we were running.
was a Freudian slip. It is good to
have a boost on the campaign trail
with you. How are you getting on so
Thank you for everything you
have done for Scottish
It will be a huge
challenge for Nicola Sturgeon's
party. The only way is down. This
It is exactly ten
o'clock. The exit poll for BBC, ITV
and sky suggest the Conservatives
will be the largest party after the
2017 general election. But if it is
correct, Theresa May will be short
of an overall majority and that is
not the result she hoped for when
she called the snap election.
hereby declare that Theresa May has
been duly elected.
simple, I am Theresa May and I think
I am the best person to lead my
constituency. It is a choice between
strong and stable leadership under
the Conservatives. We delivered that
strong and stable leadership. We
delivered the certainty that strong
and stable leadership can give. It
is about strong and stable
leadership in the national interest.
It is just people can listen to this
that kind of thing and think it is
It is... Nothing has
changed. Nothing has changed. When
future generations look back at this
time, they will judge us not only by
the decisions that may make, but by
what we made that decision.
on reporting Scotland from
Westminster, the SNP are under
pressure to rule out a second
independence referendum after losing
more than a third of their seats.
They remain Scotland's biggest
party, but some of the biggest names
You have not seen the
last of my bonnets and me.
reflect on these results. We will
listen to voters and we will
consider very carefully the best way
forward for Scotland.
She ran on the
second referendum and that was a
gift to the Tory party and the
Indyref 2 is dead. We
will not seek to introduce the
legislation foreign independence
referendum immediately. Instead we
will, in good faith, redouble our
efforts on Twitter shoulder to the
wheel in effort to influence the
Brexit talks for Scotland's
Boris, job done there.
Give her the P 45. Labour will
deliver I've written for the many,
not the few. -- the Britain.
coming in that Kezia Dugdale has
resigned as leader of the Scottish
Labour Party with immediate effect.
I did not know Kezia Dugdale was
going to resign until about ten or
15 minutes before she announced
Was there a plot against you?
I do not know. There was a
conversation suggesting there was a
plot. I am not interested in that. I
will do what I was elected to do.
Crickets and cockroaches. Beautiful.
Don't you think you will be
remembered for your time in the
jungle for drinking a milkshake of
ostrich and pig heinous is and
calling -- crawling through fish
You might not like that very
much, it is considered light
# FRom Russia with love.
Hello and welcome to the very first
episode of the Alex Salmond show.
That look back was put
together by Graham Stewart.
Well, after such a jam-packed year,
I've got three people
here with me to discuss it -
the editor of
The Big Issue, Paul McNamee,
and the journalists Pennie Taylor
and Jenni Davidson.
First let's just talk about the
budget, Penny. What did you make of
all the changes to tax?
what's really struck me most is how
many people in Scotland I am
encountering have welcomed the rise
on the basis that it goes on to
improving public services. However,
they will want to see results from
that. With 3.5 years left until the
next Scottish election, it is a
It does break
the mould a little bit?
does. There has been a taboo and
written about raising income tax and
that has been broken?
Scotland, in many areas of Scotland
and many people, have been saying we
need to raise taxes to pay for our
necessarily vote for it.
As the SNP
discovered. Time will tell. It has
been described as a tentative tax
rise. Is it a tool in the water for
more to come?
What did you of it,
It was an astute move. We
knew taxes would have to rise. There
is a hole in the revenue budget in
terms of the block grant the
Scottish Government gets from the UK
Government. They are down 219
million. They will want to make a
lot of cuts which would be
unpopular. They will have to go down
the unpopular rid of raising tax.
They will have a similar hall next
year. Does this go on indefinitely?
year. Does this go on indefinitely?
-- Semler hole.
Indeed. Yeah. I am
not sure. We will have to see some
of this growth, but in terms of
dealing with that in the short-term,
it was quite clear they had to be
something done that they were making
noises towards a tax increase. This
has been very, very clever in terms
of managing to increase taxes but
also be seen to try and the crease
taxes at the same time, 55% of tax
is being paid by Scots, but equally
those who are paying more, for many
people it is a little bit more,
maybe tens of pounds a month. So
getting the balance of being able to
make a change to tax that is broadly
welcome, that has avoided the scare
stories that were being raised and
being put up, from 45p to 55p in the
pound. People leaving Scotland, mass
What needs to be worried about in
the future, you are right, the
fiscal commission has concluded that
the small taxes being raised when
have that effect but the more you
put them up, unless they are put up
in the rest of the UK, the more that
effect kicks in.
And they aren't big
enough to address the shortfall. I
was surprised in the budget there
was no specific reference to social
care in Scotland. Yes, there was
talk about more money for the NHS
but the area that is under severe
pressure here that really matters to
people and their families is social
Paul, what did you make of the
I thought it was very
nuanced, it was canny in that it
played to the idea that the caring
Scott once to show that they can
help those who need help without
clobbering them for a lot of extra
money. I think next if people want
results. They want to see where that
money is going and I also feel that
when it comes to the vote for the
members of the coalition when they
need to put this through Parliament
will say hold on, we want to see
some of it going on particular
The Greens have said they
want £100 million the council.
million excess, which in
governmental terms is nothing, so
then you begin to say...
commission figures are accurate,
they are forecasting slightly lower
tax ironing because he would
hundreds 60 boys extra money raised
by the tax increases but -- they are
forecasting slightly lower tax
because the 164 is extra money
raised by the tax increases.
the rises start coming through, that
will hurt people, so there will be
demands on the key thing --
degreasing incomes so a small tax
rise might not be enough.
make the point, average incomes will
not start to rise until sometime in
the 2020 ball.
Not just in Scotland,
they are stagnating across Britain.
And indeed beyond. Brexit, Theresa
May, she's done a bit better over
the last few weeks.
G seems to have
done but I don't know that I am
alone in thinking this is as clear
as mud. Where does it go from here?
We hear the tricky stuff starts now.
It sounded like the past year or so
was pretty tricky. I think there's a
lot of us sitting here with
everything crossed, wanting to trust
that this process will bring us out
the other end less badly beaten
perhaps than we might be when we
look at the fiscal report and it is
talking about a people of working
age, vast increasing numbers of
people older than working age. We
have got serious issues I find
In defence of this perceived
chaos, it's a negotiation. There
will always be grandstanding,
crises, last-minute meetings but I
suppose Theresa May can say here we
are, exactly where I wanted to be by
now, which is that we have maybe not
in agreement on a transition period
but we have got the first stage
Surprisingly enough, they have
actually made progress because it
seemed for a while nothing would
happen and it was a wall or two
conflicting points that just
couldn't actually be resolved and we
just hit something that couldn't go
any further over Ireland in
particular. Then surprisingly
enough, as Penny says, it's
completely unclear what they've
actually decided and talking about
alignment and in what way alignment
is different from being...
near Christmas, let's not get into
Theresa May got a standing
ovation from European leaders. They
have moved on to talking about
things like trade and security and
future relationships so its progress
and I never expected to see this
Some of the things the fiscal
commission says, as Ivan Mackay was
pointing out, arguably it goes to
the need to go to differential
immigration policy across the UK and
for the Scottish Government to have
powers of its own in that regard. Do
you think that will come a big issue
in the next few is?
I do. You saw
both poles of in your earlier
interview, the Conservatives are
looking for growth in productivity
through retraining and making the
workforce more productive and SMP
are saying we need more people
invited in in order to increase the
volume of people who can do the jobs
and that, when it gets down to it,
that will become the core of Brexit
because in the Brexit supporting
areas, people coming in and taking
jobs, that comes back time and time
again for the reason they voted for
Brexit and if it starts to look as
though that is one of the problems
with our economy because we can't
get them in, you can't say... If you
looked difficult to resolve things
up until now, that really just
begins to look insoluble.
harassment was a big issue later on
in the year in both Westminster and
Holyrood. I was struck today that
there is a piece by Jess Phillips,
Labour MP in the Observer where she
says look, I go round in Westminster
everyday brushing against coming up
against men whom I'm sure have been
accused of serious sexual
harassment. Sometimes I find women
MPs crying on the phone telling me
about what has happened and nothing
is happening, unlike Hollywood,
unlike some of the corporations
where this has become an issue and
some of the TV shows, particularly
in America. She says nothing has
It has got to start
happening. These stories are not
going to go away. I think all of us
know if people perhaps deserved to
have thing is pointed at them that
haven't yet been pointed. We will
wait and see how you and holds --
unfolds but it has be taken, it
cannot go back to business as usual
and things to revert as they have
been because it is absolutely not
acceptable and in this year has
taught us anything, surely it is
You cover Holyrood a lot, is
your impression that the problem is
perhaps less acute than is in
Westminster or are they doing more
or less in Holyrood to combat it?
Holyrood it is less acute, that's
not to say it's not there, it's in
all workplaces I think everywhere
but generally it's not part of the
culture in the way it seems to be at
Westminster where it's really
endemic, accepted, considered the
norm, in fact, from what we can
understand where is in Holyrood,
they are actually also making very
definite attempts to make change.
Can you do it into a crew of three
words, what would you like to see
Social care, attention on
that and something done about the
plight of people in Scotland and not
to ignore social care.
poverty, Universal Credit, lifting
people away from food banks.
mean an increase in Universal Credit
or get rid of it?
Just sort out the
issues and delays.
Right, that sounds like an easy one
I'll be back with Politics Scotland
on Wednesday afternoon.
The Sunday Politics will
be back in January -
until then, have a very Merry
Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Sarah Smith and Gordon Brewer with the latest political news, interviews and debate. The political panel comprises Camilla Tominey, Steve Richards and Tom Newton-Dunn. Topics include Brexit and the past year in politics.