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I'm Sarah Smith and this
is the Sunday Politics -
your inside briefing on all the big
political stories happening
in Westminster and beyond.
Coming up on today's show.
The decision to release serial sex
attacker John Worboys...
Does the Government now "look more
like the country it represents"?
After a tricky reshuffle, we speak
to one of the new faces sitting
around the Cabinet table -
the immigration minister
Does the Government have a clearer
idea about what our future
relationship with the EU
should look like?
And for that matter,
does the Labour Party
And on Sunday Politics Scotland...
I'll be assking what the Scottish
Government wants from Brexit
and asking the Scottish Tories why
they've turned against
the UK Government.
All that coming up in the programme.
And sitting around our top
table today, I'm joined
by some familiar faces.
We tried a reshuffle
of our own but they simply refused
to budge: Tom Newton Dunn,
and Steve Richards.
Now, after a pretty bumpy 2017,
Theresa May actually went
in to the Christmas break
in relatively good political health.
So, what better way to kick off 2018
than by shaking up her top team
and reasserting her authority?
But as she found this week, things
don't always go according to plan.
If you're going to carry out major
surgery on your Government, you need
to be sure the prognosis is good.
It was a picture of health
to begin with, a fresh,
new team at Party HQ,
but before long, complications
Justine Greening, who's had a rocky
time at Education, decided
she'd had enough.
She quit the Government
rather than accept a
While Jeremy Hunt refused
to budge from his job at
He even left his meeting having
added social care to his job
There was a fresher look among
the junior ministerial ranks.
But when the new Cabinet met
on Tuesday morning, it looked...
Well, very much like the old one.
Normally loyal Conservative grandee
Nicholas Soames asked, "Is that it?"
The state of the NHS
then caused more pain.
Dozens of senior doctors wrote to
the Prime Minister saying conditions
in some hospitals were
Patients were dying prematurely.
We have now clearly reached
the point where the NHS
cannot meet the standards
of care that we would,
all of us in the NHS,
ministers included, want to provide.
At Prime Minister's Questions,
the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn
pressed on the bruise.
We know the Prime Minister
recognises there is a
crisis in our NHS,
because she wanted to sack
the Health Secretary last week
but was too weak to do it.
Mr Corbyn announced his own
reshuffle towards the end of the
week, with a surprising
return to the front
bench for Clive Lewis,
has been cleared of sexual
While two other Labour
MPs, Kelvin Hopkins and
Ivan Lewis, have been referred
to an independent disciplinary
panel over allegations
of sexual misconduct.
On Friday, US President Donald Trump
raised the temperature, cancelling
his visit to the UK next month
to open the new American Embassy.
Calling the decision to relocate
the building to an off
location is a bad deal.
His friends on this side
of the pond suspected
Just maybe, Sadiq Khan,
Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour Party
planning mass protests, maybe those
optics he didn't like the look of.
Nigel Farage also set
pulses racing with this:
I'm reaching the point
thinking that we should
have a second referendum because...
On EU membership.
The whole thing?!
Of course, of course.
hope focusing on the
environment will bring
the party back to health.
The Prime Minister teamed up
with her new eco-warrior
Environment Secretary, Michael Gove,
to crack down on the use of
We must reduce the demand
for plastic, reduce the number of
plastics in circulation
and improve our recycling rates.
It all seems strangely
reminiscent of someone who
once said, vote blue, go green.
In another tricky
week that's left the
PM looking a little
green around the gills.
Now, let's pick up on a story
which broke overnight: the new
Justice Secretary David Gauke
is considering a judicial review
of the decision to release
the serial sex attacker
John Worboys on parole.
Earlier this month the Parole Board
announced that he would be released
under strict licence conditions.
He was jailed in 2009 for a minimum
of eight years for drugging
and sexually assaulting 12 women.
However, it's thought he may have
carried out as many as 100 rapes
and sexual assaults on women
in London in the early 2000s.
I will take this to the panel first.
This is obviously a very emotive
case, and people get very worked up
about it, but the politics of the
Justice Secretary, Tom, asking for a
judicial review against the body
which is really under the
supervision of his own department,
this gets a little odd.
Secretary criticises Justice
Department shock. There is a whiff
of panic in the Government over this
now. I think David Gauke's decision
is emblematic of that. For whatever
reason, the Government have found
themselves on the wrong side of
public opinion on this. An appalling
mass serial rapist is about to be
let out of prison this week, having
served less than ten years for
crimes most of which he wasn't even
prosecuted for. They have seven or
eight days to do this judicial
review, and David Gauke has only
done it because he is under pressure
from other Cabinet ministers. The
entire Justice Department and
justice policy has really been
interested for up to seven years
because the Tory Government really
can't make up its mind between a
liberal justice establishment is
based on rehabilitation and less
time in prison and the more
traditional Tory authoritarian lock
them up and throw the key away
system, and the consequence is
today's decision. You have had five
Justice Secretary is, from the king
of soft justice himself, Ken
of soft justice himself, Ken Clarke,
and now David Gauke, so perhaps it's
no huge surprise that the system is
now in a bit of a mess.
If Tom is
right that the Government are
playing catch up on John Worboys
because of the huge public outcry,
is it nonetheless the right thing to
It seems to me the parole board
breached their own rules. The
victims have a right to make
representations. We know that some
of the victims whose cases were
brought, and again, he is not
convicted as a serial rapist because
those cases one brought to court, a
decision made by Kia Starmer, then
the Director of Public Prosecutions.
The other fundamental issue is a lot
of what Tom was saying, that the
Tory Government is out of touch, as
I think all of the establishment and
party leaders are. Is this
ridiculous nonsense that someone is
released halfway through a sentence,
if you are sentenced to ten years or
whatever, you should be serving the
full sentence, and maybe six months
off for good behaviour, or better
still, more years on for bad
behaviour. I think the British
public think the justice system is
an absolute joke, and they think
that because it is.
You raise an
interesting point about what the
public care about versus what is
debated at Westminster. We spent an
enormous amount of last year talking
about Brexit, to the exclusion of
most other things. A few other
issues have raised their heads this
week, Steve. First and foremost, the
NHS has been causing more than a few
political problems for the
If Brexit wasn't
swamping everything, this would be
the overwhelming issue. Voters are
much more concerned about this than
anything else, with good cause. At
some point, there will have to be a
grown discussion about funding of
the NHS and how we pay for it.
Whether that will be possible in the
current climate I doubt. But I don't
think it's entirely impossible
because I think the crisis will
intensify. In a way, that has been
overlooked, that 2017 election
partly accepted miraculously in
British politics that to get
improvements in some services you
have to pay for it. So, maybe there
will be a grown-up debate, but don't
hold your breath. In the meantime,
it will be an issue that Theresa May
will have to keep at least one eye
on, as well as trying to negotiate
the impossible with Brexit.
the Prime Minister said the NHS was
the best prepared it had ever been,
and doctors were saying that
patients were dying prematurely. In
the short-term, political damage
absolutely. The tanks are parked on
Labour territory there. The general
consensus in the country is not that
they trust the Tories on the NHS,
which is a big issue for them. A lot
of the problems are down to the fact
that we're getting older and living
longer, and there are amazing
treatments, operations and drugs
that can keep us alive. We see it as
a problem but it is a wonderful
miracle of modern science and
medicine and we should be grateful
for such problems.
The big news was
that we were going to get a
Government that looked more like the
rest of the country in the
reshuffle. It turned out not to be
quite as dramatic as some of us
expected. Was it a Government fail?
Depends how you define fail. It has
taken a few days for the penny to
drop, though I had my suspicions on
the night when some of the 20 15th
intake got no promotions at all. It
was a tell-tale sign. Was it a
success in that it stored to the top
of the buildings? Not really, she
just rearranged the deckchairs on
the Titanic. Caroline Noakes was
attending Cabinet rather than being
a full cabinet minister, but the
Theresa May managed to fend off the
vultures coming for her by
absolutely wilfully, it now appears,
failing to put key rivals into key
positions, people like Rory Stewart,
Dominic Raj, some of the 2015ers? It
was a public fail but digging in
Well, listening to all that is my
first guest, Caroline Nokes.
She was promoted to immigration
minister in the reshuffle this
week and, in that role,
now attends Cabinet.
Congratulations on the new job. You
are presumably part of the making
the Government look more like the
country. Did the Prime Minister
I think she did. Look
at the whip's offers, where there
are more women than ever before. I
remember coming in in 2010 and
looking at a wet's office that was
Why can't we have 50-50
women in the Cabinet?
We are heading
in the right direction, there are
two more women in the Cabinet.
the Scottish Government has a policy
of 50-50 in the Cabinet - surely
We started from a
very low base of women, even
elected. I think we're doing a
fantastic job of encouraging more
women to come forward, and from more
diverse backgrounds. It is a work in
progress but we are headed in the
right direction. People like Kerry
bad not, who went to the same
university as I did, the University
of Sussex, hardly a breeding ground
for Tory politicians.
Government, there are 3% non-white
people - not very representative?
have done a good job of attracting
more diverse people to come and
stand the rise in the Government.
Our messages, -- our message is,
we're working hard to make sure that
those bright, young women from
diverse backgrounds have a chance.
You know, it's a process, isn't it?
We are all climbing up the ladder. I
think the Cabinet looks better than
it did. I have always advocated more
women in Parliament, and the last
debate I did was about getting more
women to stand in politics, and that
The big news this
morning is the idea that the Justice
Secretary may take a judicial review
against the release of John Worboys.
What is your view on that? Should do
just this minute himself be taking
judicial review is against this kind
We will look at the
victims of Worboys and we want them
to get the support they need and to
see that justice is being done. It
is absolutely right that David Gauke
is looking at a judicial review.
None of us feel happy with the
parole board decision. This is a man
who served less than ten years, and
it's a horrific number of victims.
We can't see the parole board's
decision or the reasoning for it.
The Government could change that at
a stroke and allow them to publish
it. Should they?
Secretary is reviewing the process,
which is important. We want people
to have confidence. Our justice
system is a very old and proud one.
Let's not undermine it. Let's make
sure we get the right decisions in
Lets get onto your own brief,
your new brief on immigration. It
means you inherit the target of
reducing net migration to the tens
of thousands. The last five
ministers have failed, will you do
The last five ministers have seen
the trajectory heading down, the
last figures we saw in the summer
show it dropped significantly.
dropped slightly, 14,000 lower than
when you came to power in 2010,
overall net migration at 240 4000.
We want to make sure this is a
brittle open for business, that the
brightest and best can come here to
work and study. We are listening to
the universities and to business via
the immigration advisory
So if we are open to
business and the brightest and best
come here why have this target of
reducing net migration to less than
100,000? Lots of Cabinet ministers
would like to get rid of it. You
could have lifted and the 2017
manifesto and got rid of quite a
We had a referendum in
2016 which sent a clear message that
people want that target to remain,
they want to see as reducing
immigration to sustainable levels
and we are doing just that. It is in
the manifesto so that is the
direction of travel.
from outside the EU, you claimed
that once we leave everything will
change with freedom of movement, but
net migration from outside the EU
which you have complete control over
now, it's over 100,000 in and of
itself. Why hasn't that been tackled
in the seven years that this has now
been a target?
We are attacking it,
and we are doing this I have a
banking measures you have heard
about this week, working to make
sure that those with bank accounts
and are not here legally have those
Fresnel cursive necessary, that is
important, we have a raft of
measures but the current Home
Secretary and the previous one have
been clear on this, we will get
these numbers down and do it in a
manageable and sustained way.
not what business one. The Tory
mayor Andy Street says the target
should be more like 150,000 so
businesses can attract people with
the skills they need and George
Osborne says this is economic and
made illiterate because we need
higher migration and that --
why we are listening to the
committee which will report in
September which will give a solid
expert economist's view on what
migration levels should be. But it
was in the manifesto, we are
determined to head in that direction
and bring immigration down to a
immigration advisor comes to you and
says somebody like Andy Street is
right we need around 150,000 coming,
will you change it? Because this was
a manifesto promise to get it down
to under 110,000 a year, so what
will that looked like if you have
disabled we didn't get it right.
not going to prejudge.
I and asking
what you will do with their view
because you are stuck with this
promise of reducing immigration to
tens of thousands, there's not much
you can do if they oppose that.
are telling someone who has been in
the job less than a week that she
should make a decision on the hoof
in a TV studio! Not a chance. What I
need to do is listen to the experts
and come up with the direction of
travel that satisfies those who
voted Believe in the referendum,
that satisfies businesses, like the
brilliant Russell group University
and the one in Southampton on the
edge of my constituency can still
attract the best students. This is a
really difficult complicated area.
He mentioned the need to attract the
brightest students. While other
numbers of students coming to
Britain to study included in the net
migration figures? You could help
yourselves quickly by taking them
out of it. Just about every Cabinet
member wants them removed from
official figures, why are they
The O M as determinate
students should be included because
they are here for more than 12
months. We must make sure we have
the public services that support
them. Many of them go home after
their study as they should but it is
important that we work with the
immigration advisory committee to
get the right answers.
You are happy
about students being included in the
And happy we've
got 24% more coming to our
universities than we had in 2010.
I'm happy that we are attracting a
great calibre of student here, I'm
equally happy that our former
feminists are cracked down on bogus
colleges and close them because we
want bright students to come here
and in the -- that our former Prime
Minister cracked down on bogus
colleges and closed them.
back to the panel, Steve Camille
can't envy the new Immigration
Minister being tasked with reducing
immigration to a level that no other
Immigration Minister has been able
I don't envy you, I
don't know your Private view but I
do note that most Cabinet ministers
don't want student numbers to be
part of the total figure and Theresa
May alone is still pressing this.
I've just been doing a series about
a David Cameron. He made a series of
targets which were never met, as you
said in the interview. Good luck
with that. Lots of people I meet now
who were in favour of Brexit, like
farmers, pleading, as you will know,
for cheap Labour from Eastern Europe
to continue. They don't want to fill
in loads more forms to get them. So
there's a lot of talk
there's a lot of talk about Nimby
free movement and you have a tough
Julia, should net immigration
be reduced to tens of thousands, is
it important to the public?
it bizarre they asked to a target
they've never done anything to
reach, certainly the immigration
levels that they were able to
control under the coalition and
David Cameron on his own, the
numbers can't be controlled
completely, they never even came
close, it was more than double,
about 250,000. I find this row about
students strange. If you live in the
country for three or four years you
need somewhere to live, you'll be
getting buses and trains, might need
to go to the hospital, is that the
idea that these people don't exist
because they are not here
permanently? And some of them do
stay. It's ridiculous. We need a
sensible debate. Brexit wasn't about
ending immigration. It was about us.
Like virtually every other country
in the world choosing who gets to
come here. If you are qualified and
have a skill we need we would love
to have you, come on in, the water
is lovely! But if we just want cheap
Labour subsidised by the taxpayer
with a housing benefit, to do jobs
not paid enough, then I don't think
we should. When it comes to farmers
we should pay more for...
given quite a good explanation of
why the target was set up and should
probably stay because if there is no
target, then cheap Labour will
continue to flow in because it's the
easiest thing for business to do. If
you are limited in who you can bring
in new might turn to the indigenous
British population and start hiring
them to do decent jobs they are
perfectly capable of doing.
panel will be staying with us
throughout the programme. Thank you
to Caroline Nokes, the Immigration
Minister, for coming in.
Now with all the other stuff that's
been going on this week,
you might be concerned we'd
forgotten about the small
matter of Brexit.
But don't worry, it's
still very much on the agenda.
Having sealed a deal
on the divorce talks,
the focus is now shifting
to the future relationship.
The EU says we can only
have an 'off-the-shelf' model,
like the deals with Norway
or Canada; but the UK Government
says we can be far more ambitious,
as Elizabeth Glinka reports.
# Do you have the time #
To listen to me whine?#.
In her Florence speech,
Theresa May made it
clear that when it comes
trade negotiations with the EU,
the UK isn't looking for any
off-the-shelf kind of deal.
It wants something
special and bespoke.
I'm optimistic about
what we can achieve
by finding a creative solution
to a new economic relationship that
can support prosperity
for all our peoples.
Before Christmas, the senior
official in charge of Brexit
told the Cabinet that
when it comes to that
should start thinking in terms
of three baskets, what some people
are calling managed divergence.
The Institute for
Government has been
looking at what it means.
Three baskets corresponds
to the three areas
that Theresa May spoke
about in her Florence speech.
We have full alignment,
where we will continue to
meet the same outcomes
in the same way as we do now.
is where we will
continue to meet the same
outcomes as the EU
but might go about it
slightly different way.
And then the final basket
where we will go about things
in a different way and may choose
to take completely different
outcomes at the
end of it.
OK, so if we were to look
at particular industries, say
something like aviation, maybe
workers' rights, we might put them
in this basket because we are saying
not much is going to change.
It would be very difficult to put
whole industries and whole sectors
in specific baskets.
If you take agriculture,
for example, state aid
and how much overall we can
subsidise our farmers may well sit
in full alignment, whereas issues
about agricultural and environmental
we could continue to
meet the same goals
by different means, and they can sit
in the middle basket.
exactly what we subsidise
our farmers for could be completely
up to the UK and sit in the
So it would be very difficult
to put single sectors
in single baskets.
If the UK is looking
for a high degree of access
to the single market,
then the EU will expect
lots of things ending up in the full
whereas the UK will probably want
to try and pull as much as possible
into the regulatory
Of course, the point of all this
is is to remind the EU that
when it comes to these negotiations,
the UK is in a unique position
because currently we
are completely in sync.
It's in the interests of Britain
and the EU to get on
People are thinking that it's
a binary thing, we are either
in the EU or we're out, that it's
night and day, but it isn't.
The point about
managed divergence is
that it does give us
much more flexibility.
We can decide for ourselves
which bits we want to keep
and which bits we want
to amend or get rid of.
And I think...
I think that's a huge opportunity.
Philip Hammond and
David Davies have been
on a charm offensive
in Germany this week,
so just how are those very British
baskets going down in
There is a concern that the UK
will take a shopping basket,
pick off the elements of the major
trade agreements the EU has secured
with third countries,
take all those together.
It gets the UK very close to full
membership of the single
market without any of
the obligations, so I think
they view managed divergence
as another way in
which the UK either hopes to cherry
pick or have its cake and eat it.
All member states will
agree that they can't
set a precedent with
UK that then sets internal
challenges for themselves over the
medium to longer term.
Now, what goes into
these baskets remains a
bit of a mystery, but of course,
there are deadlines because the next
round of talks is due to get under
can find more Brexit analysis
and explanation on the BBC website,
With me now is the Shadow
Secretary, Barry Gardiner.
Welcome to the programme, thank you
for coming back. We were learning
about the different baskets, full
alignment, regulatory alignment.
Labour say you want to give all the
benefits and the single market so
presumably want to stay as much in
alignment as we do already?
we've said is that the government
have said we could have all the
benefits and we will hold them to
To do that, we must keep most
of what we can in the full alignment
We want to make sure we get
as much of the benefits as we
currently have once we have left the
You can't do that and diverged.
Absolutely. That's the point.
Diverges from that, whether through
a trade deal with another country or
whether it is simply because we want
to deregulate our standards in the
UK is going to cause a problem with
maintaining the sort of trade we
have with Europe. It's going to
cause that economic bond. But we
want to make sure we have a Brexit
that is for jobs, for the economy
and that's why we see the benefits
of the single market, the benefits
of the customs union, and swipe we
said we wouldn't rule is off the
table. Whereas the government
precisely said it would. And that is
the red lines that Theresa May put
in place that are now causing her
all these other problems.
caused a few problems in policy for
Labour as well because the closer
you want to stay to single market
rules, if we've loved the single
market because that is government
policy, more alignment would have --
if we've left. That is us accepting
rules we had no say in making, a
state you have described as being a
These other uses we
really have to resolve. Because you
are right, once we leave the EU that
means we are not a member of the
single market. It doesn't mean we
can't trade into the single market,
of course we can. We can do that in
the same way that Norway does. But
our economy is very different from
that of Norway. And what we need to
be sure about is when we are making
our rules in this country we are
doing it as close as possible to
maintain the trade and the economic
benefits we get in the European
There have been reports this
week that Labour is working on a
policy that would involve staying in
the customs union. The Robert Peston
programme on ITV...
That could not
be the case. I'm sorry to correct
you on a technicality. But once you
leave the EU you leave the treaties
and it is the treaties that create
the customs union. So we could not
be a member of the customs union.
You could be remember of a customs
union, which is what Jeremy Corbyn
was talking about on TV this
He was talking about the
transition period immediately after
leaving the EU. That has been our
position for many months. We were
the ones that said, in that
transitional period, we want the
status quo. We want to maintain
things that are... We want to
maintain a customs union and single
market during that transition.
talk about the future after the
transition period. Let's look at
what you said you thought were the
consequences. Do you still agree
I was specifically
referring to, and if you go back on
that quote a little bit, you will
find we were talking about the
turkey situation, which was a
customs union agreement with the EU.
That would be a very bad end point
for us, because it would mean that
the European Union ended up doing
all the negotiations for trade for
the UK. We would have to open our
markets to any other company in --
any other country they made an
agreement with. But that country
would not have to liberalise its
markets and open itself up to our
goods and services.
commercial policy is what governs
all of this and binds us in with
these trade treaties. The UK
Government say they want to leave
that. Is that the Labour position?
We will be...
Would you like to join
something similar once we are no
longer members of the EU?
said, we believe that the benefits
of what we currently have should be
maintained as much as possible, and
that means that whilst we cannot
stay in the customs union, we should
not have a turkey style customs
union agreement, because that would
be an asymmetrical relationship with
any trading partner. What we do see
as a possibility, and it is what we
have not ruled out, which is to have
a new customs union with the
European Union, and that is
something very interesting wave
which in paragraph 31 of the
cross-border trade taxation bill
which came in on Monday from the
Government, and which we debated
them, they have actually put
provision for that, a new customs
union, where we would be an equal
But you cannot possibly
believe that you can have the
benefits of being in a reformed
customs union relationship with the
EU and still have total freedom to
make new trade deals. You have said
you don't want anything which
precludes us from making independent
trade agreements with some of our
Let's be clear
about the nexus of problems we are
trying to solve the run work our way
through. You have, within the
referendum, a clarity that people
were voting for certain political
issues, whether that was in terms of
immigration, regaining sovereignty,
or simply not paying money into
Europe. All of these were things
people thought they were voting for.
If you were to be in a relationship
in which some of those continued to
be the case, where we were rule
takers and not rule setters, as
Norway is at the moment, and they
are told they have no right to
decide what the rules are going to
be, that is a political problem
which many people in this country
would feel, what was the referendum
all about if we don't achieve that?
Just let me... I don't
think it's clear, the problems we
are trying to solve. We want to
maintain a maximum economic benefit,
to get the economic benefit of the
jobs that we currently get from the
trading relationship we have in a
customs union and in a single market
with the European Union. But to do
that respecting the referendum will
of the people for those political
We understand that
Labour has to bring back the
42 purse -- the 52% under 48%.
understand need to move you on to
something else. We have
something else. We have heard the
new Tory chairman Brandon Lewis say
today that if any... He wants new
Tory candidates to sign up to a
respect pledge that they will
conduct themselves on Twitter and in
what they say in a respectful way,
otherwise they will be removed as
Of course, that's right.
Jeremy Corbyn said that Labour
should do it too. It raises
questions about some Labour MPs.
Jarrod O'Mara, for example, who has
had the whip suspended.
investigation is being conducted, as
is appropriate, within all the
procedures of our party. Absolutely
Because of remarks
he made about women and homophobic
comments. Then you look at the
Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell,
against whom no action has been
taken, and he has said a number of
things, but one of them which has
been heavily criticised is that he
been heavily criticised is that he
wanted... Well, he agreed with
people who wanted to see Esther
McVeigh lynched. We have the audio
of this. Let's listen and then we
will ask you about it.
I was up in
Liverpool a fortnight ago...
And obviously, he used a word that
we won't be saying on TV, but is
that respectful language?
It is not
language I would have used. Earlier
language I would have used. Earlier
today, you have been quoting
today, you have been quoting remarks
that were made by the President of
the United States which were deeply
offensive and unacceptable.
But this is about the
And you quoted. The
point I am making is that he was
quoting what someone else was
saying, and I would not have chosen
to do that.
He was clearly quoting
with approval, not reporting it.
underlying issue which the
Conservatives have been trying to
cover up through all the
cover up through all the smear on
John McDonnell, Esther McVeigh, who
was a Department for Work and
Pensions minister, and at a time
when she was in charge of work and
pensions as a minister, her company
had been reported for breach of
health and safety guidelines. She is
one of the ministers,
one of the ministers, and for that
Jeremy Corbyn said we
should stick to policies and use
respectful language. That wasn't
That's what I'm doing now,
and I'm trying to make the
underlying political point about
what's going on here. She was in
charge of a department in which she
was responsible for health and
safety when her own company which
she was a director of, a
construction company, they had been
construction company, they had been
suspended, their work had had to be
suspended twice within three months
for breach of
for breach of those health and
safety guidelines, putting workers
at risk in her own company.
at risk in her own company. She is
We will have to
leave it there. Thank you very much
for that. It is coming up to
Good morning and welcome
to Sunday Politics Scotland.
Coming up on the programme...
Even the Scottish Tories now say
Westminster's Withdrawal Bill isn't
fit for purpose.
I'll be asking the Minister
for Brexit if this legislation
will ever gain consent
from the Scottish Parliament.
And after plans for bans on cotton
buds and plastics are announced,
is it time to consider
banning all waste?
We'll be looking into
the zero-waste economy.
Good morning and welcome
to the programme.
A new year, a new round
of rhetoric on Brexit.
Nicola Sturgeon says the lack
of planning by the British
Government "beggars belief" and has
been talking about everything
from refusing to endorse the Brexit
Bill in the Scottish Parliament
to holding another
And the Scottish Conservatives
are now unhappy
about the Brexit bill too.
But behind the rhetoric,
what do the different sides want?
I'll be talking to the Conservatives
in a moment, but first I'm joined
by the Scottish Government's Brexit
secretary Mike Russell,
who's in Inveraray.
He is still on his tour of the
scenic parts of Scotland. Before we
talk about a Brexit, let me ask you
about Correlli, because I know there
are fears about what might happen if
the company goes down. Is the
Scottish Government taking any
action ahead of this?
We are very engaged in the issue and
Keith Brown is very focused on it.
We are liaising with the UK
Government, but we have some
assurances about the major project,
the Aberdeen peripheral route which
Carillion is one of the few parts of
the consortium. We are concerned
about the workforce, a great number
of people who work for them and in a
number of areas, so this is a
worrying time for them, a worrying
time for everyone involved in the
company. We will work with the UK
Government and work with the company
to try to find a way forward.
On the Aberdeen project, the bypass,
are you saying it will continue
irrespective of what happens to
We understand that is the case.
Which this is a technical issue,
there is a great deal of detail, but
we understand the work is secure and
that is of great importance. And it
is important to the workers on the
project because it is a big project
that has been going on for a long
On Brexit, I am keen to get what the
areas of dissension are. On the
Brexit bill, they seem to be two
areas. There are detailed
discussions about devolution, but
there is an issue of principle which
clause 11 of the Withdrawal Bill
appears to contradict the Scotland
Act and assumes powers should not be
modifiable when they come to Britain
by the Scottish Government unless it
is approved by the British
Government. When Theresa May says as
she is prepared to make amendments,
is she prepared to make amendments
to that principle?
That is the issue, and it is not
just the Scottish Government's
position, it is the Scottish
Parliament's permission, it was
unanimously taken as that view. It
is the view of the Welsh Government
and of a number of organisations in
Scotland and it is the view of the
Scottish Conservatives. The UK
Government have to amend the bill,
amend clause 11 and remove the
difficulties that the clause
contains. There is no other way for
this bill to get legislative
consent. We have been promised that,
David Mundell promised it last year,
Damian Green promised it and it has
not happened. That is the problem.
They have to make sure it happens
because without that there is no
approval. I was speaking at a
conference in Ireland along my Welsh
counterpart and we both made it
crystal clear from the platform,
without the amendments, there is no
legislative consent from Wales or
Scotland, and that crazy situation
with the House of Lords who has to
decide whether they can pass it
without legislative consent.
What I want to get at is you have
been having talks with the British
Government. What is the problem?
Added British Government saying
yeah, we see point?
The point is conceded, but they have
not amended it. The Welsh Government
has produced an amendment, a joint
amendment, the first time we have
ever done about, we put those
forward, the Tories voted it down,
including the Scottish Tory MPs
voted it down and came along with
their own amendment. We said as long
as it has the same effect, and we
can agree it, we will be happy with
that. It has not appeared, we have
not had it.
I want to be clear on this. As you
are understanding, the British
Government has accepted the point of
principle about clause 11 that it
contradicts the Scotland Act opened
is attending to -- intending to
amend that so powers that are not
the adult -- that the British
Government had accepted it.
My understanding is they have
accepted that point but they have to
produce the words that accept it.
For some reason they are not doing
so and are being resistant about it
and they have to do it. I am pleased
that Ruth Davidson has made that
point, we are all making it, but it
has to be taken by the Prime
Minister and get some action. It is
absolutely clear that without that
there is no legislative consent.
You were in Ireland. In a speech
there, you talked about how you and
your Government would like Britain
and Scotland to remain in the
customs union, single market, and
you said that is a minimum fall us.
Is this it is a different issue? You
are not saying you will will pass
this until we can stay in the single
These are not the same issue. In
Ireland, a wide-ranging discussion
with people including Arlene Foster
and the leader of the main
opposition party, we were discussing
the wider issues of Brexit, and this
was also in the area of the paper
that the Government will publish
tomorrow. There is this Canada plus
trade deal, and the point we are
making is it is bad enough to have
to leave. We do not think it is a
good idea, it will be damaging. The
least bad option is continued
membership of the single market and
the customs union. That is, anything
beyond that, it will be problematic.
Even that will have its
difficulties. People have been
watching this programme in the last
20 minutes and heard lots of
nonsense from the Labour Party. It
is possible and it has to happen to
protect Scotland's interests.
This is a separate issue from
whether you would recommend the
Scottish Parliament passed a motion
of legislative consent, that is the
The motion is a process of
negotiation that has been underway
since July and still be Tories have
not done what they need to do. I
can't understand it, though it is
typical of the chaos within the UK
You have complained about the fact
that the amendments were not brought
forward when the bill was before the
House of Commons. Given the failure
to bring forward the amendments and
the Scottish secretary David Mundell
promised to bring them forward, is
his position untenable?
his position untenable?
If they do not come forward in a way
that is... David rang me on
Wednesday to tell me we were in a
situation where he could not bring
the report stage, despite a clear
assurance it would happen. The House
of Lords is not elected and we do
not have representatives there, so
there is considerable difficulties
in the matter. He will have to
continue to steer it forward, but so
far he has not steered it very far.
Have you identified a peer who can
act in your interests in the House
There are a number of peers who are
going to speak on this and I will be
speaking to, briefing members of the
House of Lords over the next
fortnight and there will be peers
who make this point. The legislative
procedures of the House of Commons
and House of Lords are pretty
arcane. It will appear in various
stages in the next couple of months.
We will also be in bridging the
House of Lords to bring forward the
type of amendment that the Welsh and
Scottish governments drew up and put
the House of Commons, which was
actually put by all the other
parties in the House of Commons,
they joined together to propose the
amendments that the two governments
had brought in. It was the Tories
that voted it down. We hope in the
House of Lords there will be a
majority for that.
Nicola Sturgeon said the prospect of
a second referendum on membership of
the EU may become irresistible, but
then she said she was not
campaigning for it. If it is
irresistible, we also know that your
Government had meetings with Willie
Rennie who are campaigning for a
second referendum. He says it did
not get a clear response. Why are
you not campaigning for a second
It is clearly not the time where
that would take place. At the
present moment, there is absolute
confusion about what will take
place. The three options for
leaving, the UK Government has not
preferred what it prefers. The EU 27
I tried to be more specific, but
what was agreed last year before
talks of the trade issues in March
this year. The First Minister is
right to say that the people are
important, the people of Scotland
and the UK will want to say
something about this. Our view is
that we have to address those issues
and we will address them with the
Liberal Democrats, there are
questions to be answered about what
would happen if Scotland voted,
continued to revote to remain and
the rest of the UK voted to leave.
A discussion is underway. It is not
been ruled out.
You say it has not been ruled out.
One of the points that Jim Sellers
has been making is that it was a UK
referendum, it was understood that
the British people would be
accepted, their decision. If you
start the campaign for another
referendum, you could be staring up
all sorts of problems if you have
another independence referendum,
what would you say to him?
I would tell him he had not
understood something. The vote in
Scotland was sold to save as late
against leaving. -- decisively. All
the opinion polls has shown that
this has grown, there is a
democratic swell in Scotland there
does not want to be taken out of the
We will have to leave it there.
You will be glad, although it is
beautiful, it looks as if you are
It is cold.
Listening to that and with me now
is the Scottish Conservative's
constitution spokesperson Adam
Is David Mundell's position tenable?
Of course it is. What has happened
this week is what I have described
as a deeply frustrating and
disappointing delay. There is no
change of direction or policy by the
British government. They will amend
the bill. We had hoped to be able to
do that in the House of Commons. It
has turned out not to be possible to
do that. We will have to do it in
the House of Lords rather than the
House of Commons.
Is Mike Russell
correct, he says the British
government has accepted that this
contentious clause 11, explain to
people, this is the clause that
seems to contradict the Scotland
act. Mike Russell says the British
government has accepted it needs to
be amended to restore, if you like,
the spirit of the originals Scotland
Is that your understanding?
Let's be clear about what we are
talking about, there are 111 powers
exercised the EU level which fall in
the devolved confidence of the
Scottish Government. The question is
what happens to those powers when we
leave the European Union? Do they
come to Scotland or Westminster?
basic issue is that things are
assumed to be devolved in the
Scotland act or the opposite.
is a fundamental principle on which
Scottish devolution rests and has
rested since its creature in 20
years ago, that everything is
devolved unless it is expressly
reserved. That is where the clause
has to be amended to be clear. That
is the position not just of the SNP,
it is the position of everybody in a
Scottish Government. It is the
position of a committee I sit in, it
is relatively easy to be done. The
reason why there is a hold-up is
because it is important that some of
those powers, not all of them, but a
minority of powers are exercised by
Holyrood, subject to UK weight
But that seems to be
accepted by the SNP as well. For
example on farming. They do not seem
The accept. I have always said
a deal can be struck on this issue.
Both governments want consent. Both
the United Kingdom government and
the Scottish Government want to be
in a position whereby Holyrood can
give its consent to this legislation
so we can have a smooth Brexit. And
both governments accept that there
will be a need for what are cold
Common frameworks. Across the whole
of the UK or across Great Britain as
the case may be. That will govern
how some of these powers, not all of
them, but how some of these powers
will be exercised. That is a
principle agreement but the reason
for the delay is because there is
quite a lot of detailed work going
on about what happens in the event
of a breach of those common
frameworks. Let's see there is a
common framework and agriculture.
And Scottish ministers... Your
argument is that the Supreme Court
could have a real in that?
a discussion going on between
governments about what the
appropriate mechanism will be for
reviewing such disagreements and
resolving such disagreements. That
is the kind of level of detail that
we are talking about. We had hoped
that we would resolve all of these
issues in December. We are still
committed to resolving them.
see the Scottish Government refuses
to pass our legislative consent
motion. What are the implications of
I don't think that will
happen. I hope that will not happen.
For all of the reasons I have sought
to explain that we can resolve this
issue without coming to that. We are
talking about hypotheticals. If it
comes to that, and then as the
minister said, the House of Lords
will have to decide whether it wants
to go ahead with this bill are not.
Legislative consent is not a legal
requirement for this legislation to
be enacted by Westminster, but it is
probably a political requirement and
the political price of enacting
legislation without consent might be
quite significant indeed. But I do
not think it will come to this.
Meaning what? If it falls, it will
be difficult to the liver Brexit at
all. I do not think it is...
over. You do not think it is going
to happen. Why would it be duller --
difficult to deliver Brexit?
set day, is that legislation is not
passed, there will not be any
legislation to make sense of the
Let's say the
legislation is passed but with the
There will be a
political argument between the
Scottish Government and the United
I don't want to
put words in their ice, I can
imagine some Conservative MPs seem
from the shires in England saying,
this is not a legal requirement, the
SNP, we know what they are about. It
it does not matter, they can decide
to disagree, it will not matter.
What would you say? It will be
irrelevant. This is going to be
dealt with in the House of Lords not
the House of Commons. We are
getting, we are several steps ahead
of ourselves here, there is no
reason that any of these things will
happen. Both governments are
committed to a resolution to this
issue. There is a relatively easy
solution to find, both governments
are committed to the idea there
should be some common frameworks
using these powers after we have
left the European Union and we are
in the process now of bottoming out
what those common frameworks will
look like, how they will be
negotiated and then hope they will
Just to save time, instead
of you repeating it, I will repeat
on your behalf, you do not think it
will come to this. I am struck by
using that our legislative consent
motion not being passed, somehow
Brexit cannot happen.
What do you
mean by that? If this... Brexit
cannot happen until this legislation
is passed or an equivalent of this
legislation being passed. This is
not an accident, this legislation is
needed to deliver a legally secure
Brexit. That is the bill. Why? It
does not have to happen as a matter
of law. It is a constitutional
principle that the UK Government
will not legislate on matters that
fall within the scope of the
devolved confidence of the Scottish
Government without the Scottish
Government's consent. That is an
important principle. It has always
been adhered to and we would expect
it would be adhered to in the
If that legislative consent
motion is not passed and this bill
comes back to the House of Commons,
with the Scottish Conservative MPs
We are building
hypothetical upon hypothetical. It
is not my job to tell Scottish MPs
how to vote.
Anything that happens
in the future is by any sense
hypothetical stop I do not think any
of these things will happen.
is a vision of the future were none
of these things occur. We are
nowhere near any of these things
occurring at the moment. Let's focus
on what we can manage. We can manage
an agreement between the two
governments about how this
legislation needs to be amended in
order to ensure that MSPs like me
can give our consent to it in due
Do you accept mate Russell
saying, he did not say, that he is
in fact negotiating in good faith?
-- Mike Russell. You do not think
the Scottish Government will come
and say we will add other things
before we agree?
I was elected to
the Scottish Government 1.5 years
ago. It is my job to be suspicious
of the SNP and be a winner of the
tricks they are up to.
tricks they are up to. They are good
cordial working relationships and
there is no reason to suspect anyone
is working in bad faith towards
Adam Tomkins, thank you very
Politics has been coming over
all green this week.
Just as the Prime Minister revealed
the UK Government's new 25-year
the Scottish Government pulled a ban
on plastic cotton buds out
of its eco-friendly bag.
And there's more to come,
with talk of a "latte levy"
and a money-back scheme
for plastic bottles.
Even Donald Trump was trying
to convince us this week that
he's the new Swampy.
But how much of this is simply
the greenwashing of politics,
to borrow a trendy phrase?
Policies which may be
laudable in themselves,
but do nothing to tackle an economic
system based on
over-consumption and waste.
Graham Stewart's been finding out.
Today, in the Atlantic waters of
Europe, as elsewhere, they have to
share the ocean with plastic. The
devastating effects of plastic
waste. Brought home to millions of
viewers. From the Atlantic Ocean to
Gullane sands and East Lothian,
hundreds of plastic sticks from
cotton buds washed up on the beach.
They are not the most common plastic
waste but they can kill marine
animals and the birds that swallow
Oh my goodness, you have found
a lot of them.
alternatives already available, it
is an easy fix for ministers.
are other items that we may want to
look at. This was a relatively
straightforward one that we could do
pretty quickly and we see no reason
to delay it. The thing is every
single item needs to be looked at on
its individual merits because in
some cases it would be a much more
difficult thing to achieve. In some
cases it might be that we would not
have the powers to do it.
measure being considered as a levy
on disposable coffee cups. At this
cafe in Edinburgh, the use coffee
cups which biodegrade along food
waste in less than six months.
more that we are becoming interested
in the environmental impact that
everything has, how sustainable we
want to be, people turning vegan,
people using local businesses,
everyone is becoming interested in
what their impact is, especially on
It is a massive
market. Realising that green
policies could be vote winners, the
First Minister -- Prime Minister
launched a 25 year environmental
It is clean and plentiful
water, plants and animals that are
thriving and dig green and cleaner
country for resolve.
impersonating a tree hugger this
week. After withdrawing America from
the Paris climate agreement last
I had a problem with the
agreement that the side, as usual
they had made a bad deal. We could
go back in. We are strong on the
environment, I feel strongly about
only do so much. Environmentalism
starts in the home. Nearly half of
the rubbish generated and Scottish
homes is being recycled. But as
recycling alone the solution? About
half of all the plastic we recycle
ends up here, in China. The world
was my biggest market for household
waste. But no more. From the 1st of
January China has banned the
importation of all plastic waste
from around the world.
understandably does not want to keep
on taking on more and more volume of
the West's with plastic and plastic
pollution. I think we have a
responsibility to solve this problem
at source because just as China does
not want to deal with this problem
for ever, so our own communities are
not going to accept building more
incinerators as the other short-term
unsustainable way of getting rid of
As far as my remit was
concerned, recycling should be the
last resort. It builds up energy,
generates pollution and ultimately
is not good for the economy.
everyone job we see in the
collection of materials for
recycling, we believe there is
another eight jobs in repurposing of
those materials back into the
economy. That is in a way what this
is all about. We want to design at
an economy here in Scotland and
realise as many jobs as possible. It
is good for the environment but we
need to start looking at the
take low value residues from whiskey
production and turn them into
high-value biofuels, which can be
put into cars. Although the company
has benefited from government grants
it is based on a sound business
Celtic renewables has a
fundamental recycling ethos behind
it in creating value. But that is
the key value -- word, valuable --
value. There is no charity in this.
It is about doing something, it is
the right thing to do but it must be
economically and environmentally
But there is more we
can do to reduce waste. Take the
scourge of plastic bottles, nearly
40 million are used in the UK every
day, with only half making it to
recycling. Tackling that will
require a cultural shift.
they provide water fountains note or
the give you carbonated water to
drink and go. So we can be
innovative around not just the
technologies and finding new types
of plastics that biodegrade, that
can perform better as packaging, but
we also need to be thinking about
reducing the amount of plastic.
Tesco this week became the first
major supermarket to throw its
weight behind the idea of a deposit
and return scheme for plastic
bottles. But for those of us who
remember cashing in ginger bottles
for a sweetie money back in the day,
a lot of this trendy green thinking
seem strangely familiar.
That was Graham Stewart reporting.
Now it's time to take
a look back at events
and forward to the week ahead.
With me this week are Lynsey Bews
from the Press Association
and the columnist Kevin McKenna.
Brexit, I think we have learned
something this morning. We have...
The Scottish Government wants the
clause 11, the nature of devolution
clause amended, the British
Government has accepted that it was
a mistake and it will amended, and
we have learned that the Scottish
Government, the SNP, make the whole
question of the single market and
customs union completely separate
from whether they will pass a
legislative consent in the Scottish
garment. As long as clause 11 as
amended, even if we leave the single
market and customs union, they will
get the Scottish moment to pass it.
That seemed to be what Mike Russell
were saying and he was saying that
the UK Government had conceded the
point the Scottish Government had
made an clause 11 and it had not
produced that amendment yet. If it
is as straightforward as that, it
makes us wonder why it has taken so
long. So we are all wondering where
is this amendment?
This clause is a one sentence, about
And Scottish Tories are trying to
blame it on the complexities
involved and think the officials
should be more aware.
Adams, -- Adam Tomkins...
I think David Mundell has to take
some responsibility for not keeping
to the promise.
If this is all the case, it seems a
terribly small problem to resolve
for which there has been an endless
amount of force.
And it begs the question as what
David Mundell is for. This is not
that he had to deliver. Anybody in
the street watching that sees the
SNP, the Government saying the UK
Government agrees with us an clause
11, however, we are not confident
that they weren't muddy the waters
further. And then you have Adam
Tomkins saying, our position is
exactly the same as the SNP, but I
don't think there will be any
problem whatsoever. As you pointed
out, it is a tiny clause in the
scheme of things and fairly simple
to grasp, which has not often been
the case with anything else with
Brexit, so people say get it sorted,
this is what pay you to do.
The politics maybe not so
straightforward because one view
would be as soon as the Scottish
Government agrees to pass a
legislative consent motion on this,
even though it is on the narrow
issue of the clause, that is their
leveraged gone on anything else like
the single market customs union.
That is their leverage gone, the one
thing they can threaten the UK
There is a debate around whether
that has the ability to throw a
massive spanner into the works and
derail Brexit, and many people have
said that would not be the case.
Adam Tomkins themed to think it
He was talking about the political
side of it not being passed and the
Withdrawal Bill not being passed.
The option would be for the bill to
be passed without the LCM and Brexit
to go ahead anyway. That is where
the leveraged comes from. It is
difficult to play that leverage if
you say we are here to negotiate in
good faith and if you deliver, we
will pass the LCM.
I think Adam has delivered the
splash for tomorrow's front pages,
with the difficulties he sees if
there is no legislative consent
The most of us thought
we will find a way, or the
Government would not allow that to
derail whatever agreement we have,
but here we have a senior member of
the Conservative opposition in
Scotland, one of its smartest
His years will be burning.
There will be a major problem, by
the way. I thought there is the most
significant part of the interview
and I think it will dominate a lot
of exchanges in Holyrood in the next
week or so.
Second referendum? The SNP perhaps
for understandable reasons, they
want to keep saying it might happen,
but they do not want to commit
themselves to campaigning forehead.
I think the idea of a second
referendum, I think it is seen by
many people as distraction from the
other issues surrounding what kind
of deal the UK Government is going
to achieve and I think a second
referendum still looks very
unlikely, though slightly less
unlikely since the general election
last year. It still does not have a
huge amount of momentum behind it.
What do you think of that?
Are we talking about an independence
Know, a second EU referendum. Nicola
Sturgeon was talking of another EU
The SNP can not have their cake and
eat it. How can you say it could
become it was -- irresistible, but
I'm not going to campaign for it?
Come on, we are not stupid, that is
the opening salvo of a campaign.
Problems in the NHS. You want to
insult GPs the length and breadth of
I have much admiration. I would like
them to be fully part of the NHS,
currently they get pensions from the
NHS, they get IT support, but they
are allowed to roam their surgeries
as arrive at enterprises, and
ordinary people are asking these
questions, when you have so much
pressure on the NHS in the winter,
you have GPs surgeries should far
days at Christmas, that would not be
happening if they had NHS contracts.
I am only writing what I am
listening to and hearing.
Should we be talking more about it?
It sounds like David Cameron, but it
was him who kept going on about
24-hour NHS. It is odd we have
surgeries shook down at the time
when people most need them.
That is putting the extra pressure
on the front door of the hospital,
the A&E units, and we have seen
health boards ask GP surgeries to
open on Saturdays to try and ease
the pressure that seems to be one
tactic. That is about getting GPs to
sign up to that. I would like to see
the Health Secretary train take the
BMA over with Kevin's IDE. -- idea.
The idea was they were independent.
He said he was going to have to
stuff the consultants' mouths with
We're out of time. Thank very much
That's all from the us this week.
I'll be back at the
same time next week.
Until then, goodbye.