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Coming up and today's programme,
having knocked cabinet heads
together Theresa May lays out her
plan for Brexit, but can she keep a
low party onside? We will be
speaking to a former Tory leader.
Waiting in the wings is this man but
can Jeremy Corbyn unite opposing
forces in his own party, and
convince the electorate he would do
a better job Brexit?
Forthcoming local elections in
England should give a clue about
outcomes of the two parties.
And on Sunday Politics Scotland,
I'll be asking the Scottish Higher
Education Minister whether strikes
by university lecturers over
pensions are symptomatic
of a bigger funding problem.
All that coming up in the programme.
And as usual, we've got three
Westminster insiders who will take
us behind the headlines and tell us
what's really going on.
Today I'm joined by Iain Dale,
Kate McCann and Steve Richards.
Next month, Theresa May
will begin formal negotiations
with her European counterparts
on what the future EU-UK
relationship should look like.
This week, she will lay
out her vision of life after Brexit
and she'll declare that our "best
days really do lie ahead of us".
EU leaders beg to differ though,
and have already taken
some pre-emptive swipes.
But, while the talk is likely
to get tough in Brussels,
the key battles could be
played out closer to home.
It's known as the Brexit war
committee, but the smiles suggested
an outbreak of peace among
the Cabinet's big beasts.
For now, at least.
They'd arrived at Chequers,
the Prime Minister's country
retreat, on Thursday afternoon,
to try and agree a common position
for the next round of Brexit talks.
Eight hours later, ministers
were apparently still smiling,
having agreed on something called
ambitious managed divergences
and future trade with the EU.
One of those present
said the Prime Minister
had played a blinder,
but will it be enough to hold
the whole party together?
Earlier in the week,
a letter from the pro-Brexit
European reform group found its way
into the newspapers,
politely reminding the Prime
Minister that when we leave,
nothing but full regulatory autonomy
will be good enough.
But it's Remain-minded Tories
who could throw a real
spanner in the works.
Conservative MP Anna Soubry
announced on Thursday she had...
"Tabled a new amendment to the trade
bill to force the government to form
a customs union with the EU".
27 other EU countries also
need to be won over.
Brexit Secretary David Davis
was in Vienna on Tuesday,
colourfully describing what Brexit
will not look like.
They fear that Brexit will lead
to an Anglo-Saxon race
to the bottom, with Britain plunged
into a Mad Max style world borrowed
from dystopian fiction.
These fears about a race
to the bottom are based on nothing.
But the EU are not convinced.
European Council President Donald
Tusk arguing that the UK
was still trying to
cherry pick its future
relationship with the EU.
I'm afraid that the UK position
today is based on pure illusion.
Until now, Jeremy Corbyn
has played his Brexit
cards close to his chest.
He may begin to reveal his hand
in a major speech tomorrow and this
week he unusually raised Brexit
at Prime Minister's Questions.
This government isn't on the road
to Brexit, Mr Speaker,
it's on the road to nowhere.
Can I congratulate the right
because normally he stands up
every week and asks me
to sign a blank cheque.
And I know he likes cheques, but,
really, that is terribly...
That was a reference to reports
that the Labour leader had held
meetings with the former
Czechoslovakian spy in the 1980s.
Mr Corbyn hit back at those reports
with a social media video,
in which he said rather cryptically,
"Change is coming to
the newspaper industry".
Publishing these ridiculous smears
that have been refuted by Czech
officials shows just how worried
the media bosses are at the prospect
of a Labour government.
They are right to be.
Tory MP Ben Bradley had to apologise
to Mr Corbyn over a tweet
about the allegations, saying...
But it wasn't all Brexit
and brush passes.
The Prime Minister began
the week announcing a review
into higher education.
We now have one of the most
expensive systems of university
tuition in the world.
Theresa May wants to demonstrate
her government isn't
simply defined by Brexit,
but navigating the complications
of leaving the EU is
an all consuming task.
If she can avoid it
consuming her career, that
could be her greatest achievement.
Steve, Kate and Iain
were watching that with me.
Let's chew over what has been
happening this week. People saying
that meeting at Chequers, the Prime
Minister played a blinder and got
the Cabinet to agree. Outside the
Cabinet, it looks like she is
assaulted on all sides by
pro-Brexit, pro had Brexit Tory MPs,
the EU, it's not as easy as all
It is never going to be easy
for a Prime Minister who hasn't got
a Parliamentary majority. She is
very resilient. Whenever she's
knocked down, she bounces back
again. I think she has had quite a
reasonable week this week, starting
off on the front foot and tuition
fees and ending the week with the
meeting at Chequers. I think a lot
of commentators thought it was going
to be a disaster, that they would
agree on the way board. The proof in
the pudding will be on what she says
in the speech on Friday. We have
Jeremy Corbyn mandates and
effectively she has to up with
probably quite a lot more detail
than she has done in the past. I
think they have the basis for that
Kate, we've talked a lot on
this programme about the arguments
within the Cabinet but now it looks
like the focus is now on the wider
Conservative Party. You have
probably remain MPs like Anna Soubry
saying they want to stay in the
customs union, a letter from pro
except MPs like Jacob Rees-Mogg
saying they want full regulatory
divergence. Which group is likely to
win the day?
I think what is most
interesting this week will be Jeremy
Corbyn's speech on Monday. That
comes before Theresa May's speech on
Friday. That will help tip those two
sites, as it were, and we will see
what will happen with the customs
union. Jeremy Corbyn is likely to
say he would like to stay in a
customs union that is likely to make
the Tory MPs on the Tories I'd like
Anna Soubry and Nicky Morgan, who
want to back and push for a customs
union feel like they have more
control over that. Whether it is
likely not promote we are yet to
see. If Labour is shifting its
customs union position that much,
that gives Tory MPs a lot more
strength in the House of Commons
because the government has already
pushed back a vote on the customs
union because they are worried about
what is going happen.
remain Tories on the Labour Party
believe they have the Parliamentary
arithmetic to force a defeat on the
government over the customs union,
are they right about that?
in theory they are right. There are
enough Conservative MPs and if the
opposition vote for this, the
government faces a defeat with
profound consequences. We will not
know probably until the moment when
the vote takes place. It will be a
moment of one of these great
Parliamentary dramas, where there
will be huge pressure on Tory MPs
not to go along with this and say,
you are in alliance with Jeremy
Corbyn and so on. We won't know
until the vote but in theory they
have the numbers. It would be a game
changer if this amendment was
This is fascinating. It
means the power has gone to the
house of parliament and has left
number ten and the Cabinet, Hilary
Benn described this as a backbencher
's parliament because the government
doesn't have a majority. Is that
where the authority lies now?
some ideas. I'm not sure if I agree
about the Parliamentary arithmetic
because some will die with the
Conservatives, and we will hear from
one later, Frank Field. There are a
group of them. I wonder about the
numbers on the Tory benches, there
is a hard-core group of about ten or
a dozen that you think might well
support Anna Soubry's amendment but
I don't really see it going much
beyond that. But you are right, it
will be on a bit of a knife edge. If
it came to the government were
defeated on this, then we are in
uncharted waters, because the
government could actually make it a
vote of confidence. It would be very
unusual to do one on an amendment to
a bill but it is possible, or they
could call a vote of confidence that
would put Anna Soubry and all the
others in a bit a tricky position.
If they did vote against the
government on a vote of confidence,
they would have to be deselected.
will talk about that throughout the
Listening to all that is the former
and leading Brexit campaigner,
Iain Duncan Smith.
Welcome to the programme. Do you
accept there is a significant chance
the government could be defeated on
a customs union in the House of
Commons question when you don't have
a majority there is a chance to be
defeated on anything.
I love the way
the media looks at this cost would
take a pace back, it's a government
that won the election and didn't get
an overall majority so it means
almost anything anyone is upset
about could cause a problem for the
government, fact of life. Brexit is
just one, it's a very big issue but
one of those, there has been other
issues and there will be on the
issue is following through.
matters to you whether we are in a
customs union with the EU?
things deeply matter to me, beyond
Brexit. But yes. I think the key
thing is not what I believe but the
Prime Minister has been pretty clear
about this from the word go, way
before the election, during the
election importantly and even
subsequently she has made it very
clear we are taking back control,
leaving the customs union, single
market, and at the same time making
sure we get outside of the remit of
the court of justice. She has been
clear about this.
Let's pick a bit of that. In her
Lancaster House speech she said she
wanted us to have a customs
agreement with the EU, not a customs
union but customs agreement. This
controversial amendment Anna Soubry
another Superdome says they want an
agreement that enables the UK to be
able to participate in a customs
union with the EU, is there space
It depends what the detail
is. The government set it out quite
rightly on having a proper free
trade arrang ement. You can describe
a free-trade arrangement in all
different ways but a free-trade
arrangement is about us having a
clear ability to sell-out goods into
the European Union them to sell us
without artificial trade barriers
that will require arrangements that
out customs arrangements. The big
them to sell us without artificial
trade barriers and that will require
arrangements that out customs
arrangements. The behind having a
customs union and being outside a
free-trade arrangement is we are 90%
of the graces in the global economy
in the next two years, we will be
free to do that. If we are in a
customs union, you to make trade
arrangements with America,
Australia, India, where ever we want
to, where 90% of the growth is in
the global economy in the next two
years, we will be free to do that.
If we are in a customs union, you
agree do that and therefore we would
have to what the European Union to
what the European certainly be
outvoted endlessly. This is about
where does the power light and we
would almost certainly be outvoted
endlessly. This is about where does
the with the rest of the world in a
moment but exactly what you
describe, the free-trade arrangement
with no tariffs with the EU
freedom to make those deals, that is
what the EU called cherry picking?
What they really called cherry
picking is this arrangement we are
talking about now, a customs union.
They have been pretty clear about
this. They said it is not
acceptable. Let's look at it from
the European Union to make those
I want to get into the
detail on free-trade deals with the
rest of the world in a moment but
exactly what you describe, the
free-trade arrangement with no
tariffs with the EU and the freedom
to make those deals, that is what
the EU called cherry picking?
they really called cherry picking is
this arrangement we are talking
about now, a customs union. They
have been pretty clear about this.
They said it is not acceptable.
Let's look at it from the European
Union's standpoint. We constantly
look at what the UK once. You use is
certainly not going to agree going
into a customs union where we will
then have over any future agreement,
so we will outvote all 27 because we
that would depend on the agreement.
That would depend on the
agreement. The EU wants would have
enormous power against them, they an
agreement, we would have enormous
power against them, they won't agree
because it is not in their interests
to do I think what is more in
arrangement. There are lots of
countries that are already breaking
ranks with the commission about
this, Italy, Sweden, Holland said we
have to have a free-trade
They are not on that
yet, they are still on the
implementation phase. When it comes
to free trade, I am very, very
certain that they will want to make
an arrangement with us because it is
in their interests, arguably more
than us. , they want a free-trade
arrangement. There are lots of
countries that are already breaking
ranks with the commission about
this, Italy, Sweden, Holland said we
have to have a free-trade
arrangement. They are not on that
yet, they are still on the
implementation phase. When it comes
to free-trade, I am very, very
certain that they will want to make
an arrangement with us because it is
in their interests, arguably more
than us let's move on to trade with
the rest of the world. Why do so
absolutely convinced that the
ability to do with Australia, China,
the ones the EU has at the,
different from the ones the EU has
at increasing our trade with these
countries from inside the EU? Their
are so terribly important?
Why can't we be increasing our trade
with these countries from inside the
Their biggest free-trade we are
naturally, the UK, more than any
other country in the European
country, arguably more than most in
the world, a free-trade for free
trade the WTO has a ready said they
love the idea of us coming back as a
full voting member because we will
argue for free trade. By, global
free trade and services, which stop
because the European Union has not
wanted to push the site at all.
so much more trade with China than
us from within the EU?
That is to do
with what Germany says they want to
do and go and do it Germany do so
much more trade with China than us
from within the EU? That is to do
with what Germany says they want to
do and go and do it.
Being a member
of the EU has being a member of the
EU be outside the that so why do we
have to be outside you get rid of
that is not
parallel argument. By getting trade
arrangements you get rid of
artificial and delays at the borders
that allows you to increase your
trade. We want from where we are.
But at the same time, incoming stuff
is just as important. The people who
will benefit most from a free-trade
arrangement of the poorest in
society because the cost of food,
footwear and clothing will almost
certainly our trade from where we
are. But at the same time, incoming
stuff is just as important.
You might as much larger and more
important market. The skill is not
that important. The key thing is, do
you value a marketplace, is it worth
doing business with? Financial
services is an important are great
-- an important area you want to
strike agreements with. The UK's
dominant in financial services and
you cannot get a free-trade
agreement within the single market
at the moment. You cannot sell
insurance in Germany without having
a company in Germany to sell it.
They have never wanted to do
financial service is free trade. We
will be in a much better state
globally. You have seen the increase
in New Zealand's trade when they
went for free-trade and got rid of
their trade barriers.
increase in no global position. The
tragedy led to this and they reckon
a free-trade deal with America we
did 0.02% to the UK's GDP.
I have a
bone to pick with the BBC. There has
been a brilliant economic report are
independent, which has been given
very little coverage which is taken
apart the model that the Treasury
and the government put together. For
example, dealing with this. The
reason why you arrive at this, it
depends on what you assume to be the
actual savings on the border. The
government has only assumed a 4%
saving on getting rid of tariff
barriers. Almost every economist in
the world agrees it is nearer to 20%
This study has been covered
on the BBC it was on the Daily
Politics on Friday. It assumes zero
tariffs on absolutely everything. It
is an extremely optimistic forecast.
It assumes a 10% tariff at the end
of the day, it assumes tariffs
falling to an average of 10%, not
zero. If they went to zero it would
improve it even more. I have read
this report backwards.
One of the
officers says that while there will
be benefits from free-trade deals,
over time it would be likely we
would mostly eliminate manufacturing
in UK by the things that would be
worth it and it should not us.
was one of the original suggestions,
But he was one of the
authors of this report.
He was but
he has accepted this is not going to
be the case within this report.
They're assuming that the border
changes will mean less of a tariff
on the borders at average. That is
what happens in most other
free-trade arrangements. The point
I'm making is it has a massive
benefit to the UK for us to do this.
That is why going for a free-trade
agreement with the European Union is
the right way to go. We forget what
Europe itself once.
Labour is in a
complete mess about this. We will
talk to this about -- we will talk
to them about that.
They were in
favour of leaving the customs union
and the single market and Barry
Gardner said it was making a vassal
state if you stayed in the customs
union. We will ask Labour themselves
about that. Theresa May has made it
clear where out of the single market
and Customs union and I say to my
colleagues who want to change some
of this, just be very careful on
this one, because being invited into
a Labour Party tactical game which
will end up in real damage the
Iain Duncan Smith,
thank you very much for talking to
So much for the Conservatives,
but what about Labour?
In 24 hours' time,
Jeremy Corbyn will give
a keynote speech on Brexit.
All the signs are that he will back
the UK staying permanently
in a customs union with the EU.
But over 80 senior Labour figures
have today urged Mr Corbyn to go
further and support staying
in the single market as well.
But how would that go down
with the millions of Labour
voters who backed Brexit?
Here's what the Shadow Brexit
Secretary, Keir Starmer,
said this morning.
Well, we have long championed
being in a customs union with the EU
and the benefits of that.
Obviously, it is the only way,
realistically, to get
tariff free access.
It is really important
for our manufacturing base
and nobody can answer the question
how you keep your commitment to no
hard border in Northern Ireland
without a customs union.
We have always said
that the benefits of the single
market must be there in the final
agreement and that is a really
because in the end, however
you arrive at that, in whatever
the instrument or agreement it is,
the benefits have got to be there.
Labour is agreed on that end state.
There is obviously an argument
about how we get there.
To discuss this I'm joined by two
Labour MPs who fall on opposing
sides of the Brexit argument.
Frank Field campaigned to leave
the EU and Stella Creasy
is a supporter of the pro-European
group Open Britain.
Thank you both for coming on the
programme. Stella Creasy, you have
signed this letter to Jeremy Corbyn
to be asking not only to stay in the
customs union but also the single
market. If you're in both of them, I
really delivering on the referendum
There are lots of
different combinations that still
see is leaving the European Union
but do what Labour people across
this country, and that is why there
is support across the country and
the party for this letter, which is
to protect the jobs and incomes. We
know that Brexit, any of the models,
I am horrified to your Iain Duncan
Smith dismissing the idea that
manufacturing may be at stake or the
numbers don't matter. It is a
massive hit on our economy. It is a
massive hit took peace in Northern
Ireland if we leave the customs
union. These are called labour
values and that is what we are
standing up for.
You're asking to
stay in the single market. The
problem with that is you thought an
election last year under a manifesto
which said that free movement will
You cannot do both. I am in the
migration committee on the Council
of Europe. Lots of people are
willing to talk about how we make
freedom of movement work. They
recognise politicians have not got
it right across the continent. If we
are not fighting to stay in the
single market we cannot have that
conversation about what the reformed
freedom of movement might look like.
I think freedom of movement is an
important right for people in this
country. I do not want to have to
see the kids in Walthamstow
Birkenhead that their ability to
work for a company that has a base
outside the UK will be hampered by
decisions we've made. That puts them
in an austerity Britain and I do not
want to do that.
Frank Field, does
this sound like a Brexit you could
sell to any leave photo?
No, and you
know perfectly well we cannot sell
it. I am looking forward to what
Jeremy Corbyn says tomorrow because
you have hyped it up. On every vote
we have had Onuora before he came --
before he became leader, Jeremy
Corbyn and I were deeply suspicious
of this organisation which is
corrupt, it has never got its
accounts audited, it is bankrupt.
Whatever he says tomorrow he will
not be arguing to stay in the EU, he
will be arguing for the customs
Please, let me finish. It is
deeply corrupt. It is bankrupt. It
has destabilised Europe with all
this pretence about it has brought
peace. Look what we have done to the
area around Russia. Given there are
number of states within Europe who
depend on our contribution, we
should be voting for a clear
decorate -- a clear declaration, we
want a free-trade area, and we have
money. What are you going to choose.
I think we should take the gloves
off in these negotiations and look
at the real power structure. They
need our money, and for reasons
which Stella Creasy has put forward,
we need access to a free-market
What is your problem
with Jeremy Corbyn saying that the
Labour policy will be too clearly
stay in a customs union?
One, it goes against what we said at
the election. It goes against all
the scare tactics during the
campaign, all the major figures were
saying, you know, if you vote here,
you're leaving the customs union,
you're leaving the free market.
There was no question about what the
referendum was deciding. And the
politics of this is, are we going to
be run by a London agenda? I know
Stella Creasy has got other issues
that she reaches out across the
country, but this is essentially a
London agenda against Labour voters,
particularly in the North.
THEY ALL SPEAK AT ONCE
You have got the mayor of Liverpool
who signed this letter, the leader
of Newcastle Council.
You and I
would in the lobby fighting together
against this government's welfare
£12 billion cuts.
nothing to do with this. It
absolutely is. Even the bare minimal
model we are talking about would be
ahead on our economy and the
communities we represent. How can we
vote Forestieri the? How can you do
that to the voters, the People who
work in the Vauxhall plants in the
Wirral who are frightened they are
about to lose their jobs. How can
you do that to the People in
Let me answer you,
please. We have been through the
courts. There is no problem about
the Good Friday Agreement being
challenged by this at all. We have
got time, I am happy to discuss it.
I think there are problems with the
Good Friday Agreement and a customs
No, it will remain. If we
have time, I would love to discuss
that with you. About austerity, can
I answer that? We are net
contributor. We will have money to
be brought back. While some people
have signed the order leaders even
there, when you look at the
parliamentary arithmetic, Mrs May
almost hollowed out our vote in the
seats were only kept by a handful of
votes. These are seats which voted
very clearly to leave. That is the
act of faith. I know there are
problems about how do you give the
electorate the sovereignty to decide
an issue and then bring it back into
a representative parliamentary
system, but the vote was cleared to
leave. The bill is about leaving and
whether we support that or not and
if we do not support that, I think
Labour voters will draw their own
messages in the North.
Please do not
drive Boris's bars for the People of
those communities. You're saying
that somehow we will get money back.
All the evidence shows is that any
money you get back will be dwarfed
by what we will lose. You're talking
about £1 billion coming back.
THEY ALL SPEAK AT ONCE
You can talk across me all you like,
the numbers are there in the
government's on analysis. That is
what we have to front up to the
communities we represent.
going to write on the People's
decision to leave?
You're coming out
with all these things, we will stay
in a customs union, we will stay in
a single market, the decision was
quite clear to leave. In the north,
Labour voters voted very, very
clearly. You going to rat on them or
not? Never mind about buses and all
the rest of it.
It does matter. Let her answer. It
is about the evidence that we now
have. Democracy did not stop the day
after the referendum.
People have a
right to see the detail.
they do. Do you accept that the
government figures show clearly that
if we stay in the European economic
arrangement, which is out of the EU,
we are still going to take a 16 pelt
-- a £16 billion hit on our economy?
That worse anything you get back.
This letter is not just signed from
people across the country but people
across the trade union movement
because they because they know the
hard Brexit the government is
pushing for and why it matters
Jeremy Corbyn is fighting for the
customs union and single market
It means jobs and wages.
What we should be fighting forest
sector agreements with the European
Union. We want a free-trade area.
They have always opposed the
activities of the city. There is no
need to worry about the city. There
is a need to worry about
manufacturing and we will make
special arrangements with them. The
issue is clear, do we disguise the
fact by pretending we're going to
have a customs union or some other
arrangement which counters what the
clear declaration of northern Labour
voters actually said?
changed their side. A third of
Labour voters did vote for leave.
You risk them abandoning the party.
This is not about rerunning the
referendum. It is about what kind of
deal do we get and is it in the best
interests of Britain. I believe
voters across this country have the
right to know what is likely to
THEY ALL SPEAK AT ONCE
Of course they have a right.
to every bit of information going.
The key thing, we have had a
referendum and we rarely use
referendums for this reason, they
are difficult to implement. The
referendum decision was clear and
particularly clear in the North from
Labour voters. I want to keep faith
with them. I voted to come out. I
know it is harder for people who
voted to stay in. Are we going to
dress up a retreat, Agassi?
there is a complicated decision for
you to make. We've been talking
about the amendment put forward by
Anna Soubry and others, an amendment
to the trade bill that will be voted
on in a few time. There is a
potential to defeat the government
is Jeremy Corbyn comes out in favour
of a customs union and whips his MPs
to vote that way. If you had the
opportunity to win a vote against
the government and bring down
Theresa May, would you vote with her
to keep her in office or against?
That is not the choice and you know
that. That will be the choice on the
day. We will have a decision, do we
continue to implement the referendum
decision. I shall be voting for
Even if that is voting to prop
up the government?
It is not about
propping up the government it is
about implementing a decision of the
People. The government has a
majority on this. The idea that Anna
Soubry is going to lead all these
people into the labour lobbies is
just fairy tales. But we will see on
the night. The government will win
comfortably and double figures on
Frank Field, Stella
Creasy, we will have to leave it
there. Thank you very much.
The local elections in May will see
many seats in the big metropolitan
councils in England up for grabs,
and the Conservatives may need
to brace for a difficult night.
A YouGov poll predicts
Labour could seize several
Conservative councils in London,
including one the Tories
have never lost before.
Emma Vardy looks ahead.
Not since the swinging '60s has
anyone done better in local
elections than Labour
could be about to.
A recent YouGov poll is predicting
Labour will sweep London
with the best results for any
party since 1968.
One of the most enduring Tory
strongholds is here.
To this day, Westminster,
with its largely affluent
population of voters,
has never had a Labour-run
authority, but if the poll is to be
believed, that could now change.
This council has been
since the borough was created
in the 1960s.
But if the swing was big enough
to turn this council red,
that would top off a very good
night for Labour.
The Conservatives are at position
where they could potentially
be left with just one,
maybe two councils in all of London.
I think that would be a bad night
for the Conservatives,
but it is possible.
They are having to fight to hang
on almost everywhere
they still have representation.
But away from London,
it could be a different story.
Birmingham City Council has been
controlled by Labour since 2012.
They hold around two-thirds
of the seats here, but there
is anger over a bin dispute that
lasted for months and left tons
of rubbish on the streets
uncollected, and resentment over
budget cuts that are
affecting local services.
It does not matter who is in because
there is nothing between them,
that is the problem,
because Birmingham is basically
screwed by central government,
who have reduced all of our grants.
There has been a lot of problems
with the bin collections.
Yes, there have.
The Labour run council
got the blame for that?
Yes, I would say so.
The more it dragged
on, certainly, yes.
This will be the first all-out
election for Birmingham City Council
since boundary changes,
so there are 101 seats
here all up for grabs.
It is a place Labour should do well,
but could the party be
punished over those bins?
Back in the summer, of course,
we had the bin strike.
It was not the city's
greatest moment in time.
When I became leader of the council,
I pledged we would resolve that
dispute, which we have now done.
We, the Labour Party
here in Birmingham, are committed
to maintaining weekly bin
collections going forward
for the next four years,
a commitment I've yet to hear
from either of the
other two parties.
Here in Birmingham, the council tax
has gone up over 20% in seven years,
but services have gone down,
and people are seeing rubbish
left on their streets,
and they feel it is time
for a change.
There are plenty of other
places who survive
on fortnightly bin collections.
With council budgets
being constrained, is that
not a sensible option?
In Birmingham, we are absolutely
clear that weekly bin
collections need to remain.
Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats
and the Greens remain much
stronger in local government
than they are in Parliament,
and in May, they will be
fighting to increase
their local authority presence.
While Ukip are likely to continue
to struggle to reverse
the party's decline.
But if the story of the night
is the biggest Labour
success since the '60s,
any high-profile defeats in Tory
strongholds could start to make some
Conservative MPs worry
about their constituencies ahead
of the next general election.
Steve, Kate and Iain
are still with me.
Let's pick up on the local
elections. Kate, should Theresa May
be deeply worried about this, what
she expected a bad night and what
might the consequences be?
she will be worried but my favourite
thing is Everything is underlined by
the fact people care more about
things than other things that is
what politics comes down to, at the
end of the day. I think Theresa May
will be worried. -- it comes down
bins. It is a battle ground for
those parties. Places like Haringey,
if you see what has happened to
Labour in those areas, and how
powerful momentum and the left have
become in local politics, you see
how much it matters to Labour. I
think the Tories will be worried,
particularly about London. As the BT
said, Labour expect to do quite well
and that is not going to look very
good. Brandon Lewis, the new
chairman of the party, said last
week we expect big losses in London.
He is setting that already. I think
the Tory party is worried. In areas
like Birmingham and other areas
around the country, Brexit is likely
to be important and I think that's
why it comes back to labour being
modelled on Brexit. People vote with
their feet. If the Tories can win
back some seats like burning in
other places, it might not be a
massive all-out loss lost them on
already being Manoj
already being Manoj -- being
managed. Actual voters telling us
what they think. Did they have
consequences that Parliamentary
They could do this time.
It reminds me, Steve will remember
this, 1990 when the Tories did
disastrously in local elections.
Kenneth Baker went out on the
streets and exempted we kept once
loved. I don't think that will
happen this time. Kate is right,
Brandon Lewis, the Tory party
chairman has already started to
manage expectations. He generally
believe they are in for a drubbing,
particularly in London. These will
last up for grabs in 2014 when Ukip
are doing well. In the last year,
Ukip's vote has virtually
disappeared. So all three other
parties, their votes have gone up in
by-elections. It depends where that
vote goes, Wilbur Liberal Democrats
be able to hold onto the seats they
won in that year? -- Wilbur Liberal
Democrats be able to hold onto the
six? I think it will be a drumming
but I think it will be patchy. Andy
Street has been reasonably popular
in the West Midlands. If they do
that they will have a 1990 situation
and that is all they will talk
Even if they lose
will be confirmed. Theresa May has
been in a fragile position since the
general election and that will be
confirmed. But by that point Brexit
will be reaching or coming close to
one of its several climactic son I
think that will shape the national
picture. The local elections will be
really important for local
government, who inherit the
nightmarish budget. It won't change
the national picture very much.
said Ukip's vote has been falling
and they have had their troubles
recently as well. Important to see
where their vote goes and confirms
we are moving back to two party
I think it does
nationally but locally it's a
different picture because the Ukip
vote tends to go on all kinds of
directions. It doesn't necessarily
go where you think it will. So the
Liberal Democrats and the Greens do
quite well at local elections,
whereas nationally they don't do
very well at all. I think sometimes
you do see people who would vote for
any other party going for any other
party and not necessarily the Tories
and Labour. I think it comes down to
how much this comes down to Brexit.
Do people care more about Brexit or
bins question mark in areas like
London, I think Brexit and bigger
national issues will have a bearing.
Brexit one way or another will help
with your bins?
London has become a
Labour city. Huge capital city with
millions and millions has become a
Labour stronghold. That is
significant for all kinds of
reasons. It has also become as
strong as it used to be in Scotland.
Even in 2010 in the general
election, London voted Labour by a
wide margin. That is quite a
We need to
leave it there just now, coming back
to you later in the programme.
It's coming up to 11.40,
you're watching the Sunday Politics.
Still to come...
Good morning and welcome
to Sunday Politics Scotland.
Coming up on the programme...
University lecturers strike over
threats to their pensions.
As more walk-outs loom,
I'll be speaking to Scotland's
Higher Education Minister.
A Chief Constable says
Police Scotland prevented
him from carrying out
a full-scale investigation.
I think there was a lack of openness
in certain parts of the organisation
and remains so.
and remain so.
And Scotland's role in Brexit -
after another round of talks is it
time the PM and the FM got involved?
University lecturers have begun
a 14-day walk-out in a row
over their pensions.
It's another illustration
of the financial pressures
on higher education,
coming in the same week
the Prime Minister launched
a year-long review of tuition fees
and university funding in England.
Here in Scotland, of course,
opposition to tuition fees
has become something
of an article of faith.
The reality, however,
with critics suggesting the current
policy has failed to substantially
increase the number of students
from disadvantaged backgrounds.
In a moment I'll be speaking
to the minister responsible
for higher education,
but first here's Graham Stewart.
This is an official UCU picket line.
We are asking people not to cross.
They came out to protect their
pensions, not just for themselves,
they insist, but to ensure the
profession continues to attract the
best talent and students get the
highest quality education.
employers are pushing through really
Draconian changes to the pension
scheme, which take guaranteed
pension benefits in retirement away
from them, and leave their pension
and retirement to the whims of the
market. It could mean a lecturer
could lose up to £10,000 a year once
they have retired.
which represents the employers call
the action disappointing. They say
the pension scheme has a deficit of
£6 billion, and change is essential.
The union says this 14 day walk-out
will affect 145,000 students. There
is plenty of support among the
lecturers, but what do the students
The University of Glasgow is
one of Scotland's throw-mac ancient
I am a first-year
veterinary student. It is their
well-being, their pension fund, from
what I understand, and if they feel
they are being wronged I support
them in that.
I am studying teaching
at the University of Glasgow. It is
quite irritating but we understand
that they need to be paid well and
I studied biomedical
engineering. I don't really agree
with it, to be honest. I've liked
everyone should be affected by the
recession and the austerity that is
happening. People at uni should not
be excluded from that.
counterparts in England Scottish
students will not be looking for
refunds on their tuition fees in
this dispute, because students here
haven't paid them since the Labour
and Lib Dem coalition scrap them in
2002, replacing the system with the
graduate endowment. Then, in 2008,
the SNP finally abolished the
graduate endowment essentially
making tuition free. The former
First Minister even had his
opposition to these immortalised in
storm, though Herriot Watt
University seems strangely bashful
about it, refusing us permission to
film this weekend. They are not the
only ones to find the issue of
student debt can prove
How different is the
debate in Scotland?
different because what he is coming
up against is the reality that
students are leaving university in
England with a massive debt burden,
facing huge house prices and
stagnant wages under the Tories. In
Scotland we don't have university
tuition fees so students are not
facing a challenge. Students leave
university with their degree without
a huge debt...
Scottish students leave without huge
debts, was judged by the journalism
website the Ferret to be mostly
false. On the basis that students
will for still have to mostly cover
their own living expenses. She says
the article claimed she was a liar
and was therefore defamatory. The
average at a debt owed by graduates
from the class of 2017 is £11,740,
significantly lower than other parts
of the UK, but even that is not
necessarily the full picture.
repayment system is matter as well
so we know a lot of the debt in
England will never be repaid. In
Scotland, because it is law to start
with, and because we collect debt in
a different way, so we get more out
of people's earnings were quickly,
it is much more likely if you have a
£25,000 debt in Scotland you will
pay off the whole thing, that if you
have a £50,000 debt in England.
debt could be more likely to the
shoulders of shoulders of some of
the poorest students.
What the SNP
have done is to slash the amount
available for grants and bursaries
by about 35% and that money
previously went to students from
low-income backgrounds. Now as a
consequence of that decision and
others made by the Scottish
Government these students now we've
university significantly more
in-depth than their more affluent
A recent report for
the Scottish Government recommended
all students receive an income of
just over £8,000 per year. The
Government is still to it's
Goodbye for me.
Well, with me now is
the Scottish Government's
Higher Education Minister,
We will talk about universities in a
moment, but first, Brexit. There is
an article by David Lidington, in
effect Theresa May's deputy, in the
Telegraph today. Basically he
accuses the Scottish Government of
putting Britain in a situation where
it "Could be struggling to make its
way in a new world outside the EU
because of its insistence on having
everything from Europe devolved." As
a representative of the Scottish
Government, what is your response?
The Scottish Government is not
against common agreement in
principle but they do have to be in
Scotland's interests, so this is an
issue about power is being
repatriated from Europe back to the
Scottish Parliament, coming to the
Scottish Parliament and not getting
stuck in Westminster. Surely, it
should be the right thing to do to
bring those powers to the Scottish
Parliament, to let the Parliament
decide what is right for Scotland
His argument is if you
bring back powers to Scotland on
things like, all the things I have
mentioned, regulations on bleach and
paints, or on standards, that when
Britain is negotiating trade
agreements with third-party
countries, unless there is a single
UK market, unless it is known to
those third parties, it could stop
these trade agreements going ahead.
That is the point he is making.
Scottish Government and Scottish
Parliament will not stand in the way
of a common-sense approach. As I
said right at the beginning we are
not against common agreement in
principle, but by any other
standards this is about a power grab
from Westminster. We are asking for
the powers being repaid created from
Europe to come to the Scottish
Parliament, and this is not an issue
for one party but it is an issue for
the parliament and there has been
cross-party agreement that they
should be looked at very carefully
-- the powers being repatriated from
Is it your view that if
these common frameworks are put into
place they should be approved by the
Scottish Parliament? They shouldn't
just be negotiated between
Government ministers? They should
act to be approved by the Scottish
We are looking at a
number of powers coming back from
Europe, they should come back to the
Scottish Parliament for the Scottish
Parliament to decide what is right
for Scotland. I don't think that is
too much to ask.
Sure, but the
crucial point is if this argument on
common frameworks, you would like
them to be approved by the Scottish
Parliament rather than just either
unilaterally decided by Westminster
or just dawned with backroom
I don't think we want
to see backroom negotiations or
anything decided simply by
Westminster. There are many powers
that will be coming back to
Scotland, that should be coming back
to Scotland. The important thing is
the Scottish Parliament has an
understanding about what powers the
going to get back. We hear lots of
kind words, you know, from
Westminster sometimes. They have
obviously now decided to play a
heavy hand but we are not seeing any
detail about how this will impact on
the powers that should be coming
back to Scotland and until we see
that it is a game of smoke and
mirrors, unfortunately, from
Westminster. It back to university
strike. Graham said in the film that
Scottish tunes won't be demanding
compensation because they don't pay
tuition fees but there are
international students in
international students in Scotland
-- brake-mac onto the university
straight. There are international
students who want to be compensated.
People outside the EU are paying
£60,000 a year plus two study in
Scotland, and they see the lecturers
are to be on strike -- paying
£16,000 per year plus to study. They
say that money is helping fund the
no tuition fees policies, so is
there a case for their compensation?
Delight it is very disappointing to
see we have got to the point where
you see you have come out on strike
yes, it is very disappointing to
see that we have got to the point.
Where the UCU have come out on
strike. This is not in the best
interests of our universities are
the lecturers, and most particularly
the students, so I would want to see
them getting back round the table
for meaningful negotiations next
What about the issue of
compensation? To the students have a
This is something very
different in Scotland, as you have
said. Our student stored page
version fees. We have our two days
of strikes, both sides look to go
round the table next week although
it is with some preconditions,
unfortunately, from the University
side. Let's see what comes from
OK, but even if something
comes from that some of the students
will say, hang on, there have
already been strikes and we should
I appreciate some
students will be frustrated from
that but we are seeing talks next
The talks will not be on
compensation but on the substance of
the issues in the dispute. The
students are saying, hang on, quite
apart from the nature of the dispute
which is essentially about pensions,
good luck to them, but we have
already lost time, and we have paid
for the time we have lost, and we
should be compensated.
There is some
debate about whether there will be
on the substantive issue of the
pensions next week and that is why I
am calling for meaningful or but
certainly I will be asking to speak
to the principles and to the
University Scotland next week. The
breakdown further because we do need
to discuss very seriously the impact
it has had on students.
So you might
I will speak
to the rest is next week to raise my
concern about what has been
happening with students. We have a
different situation in Scotland,
only affecting of course
only affecting of course some of
universities, not all.
you say to an international student
who says, hang on a minute, you and
your Government encouraged me to
come here, and now you won't even
say who will discuss the issue of
compensation? -- you would even say
that you will. It
I don't think it
is helpful for Government ministers
to come on at the weekend before the
talks and to raise the stakes still
further. I have met with the unions,
I will meet with the principles, if
required, if. Next week breakdown,
and let's try to do this in an
meaningful fashion to encourage them
to get the resolution.
Do you back the strikers? There are
concerns from the UC you the trade
union about what is happening to
their pensions. It is for the
universities to go through in
detail. I think it is concerning
that the trade union saying that
there isn't a pension deficit. The
universities are saying there is a
deficit. If we have a disagreement
about the figures on a UK level, we
need to... Is there an actual
pension deficit there. If there is
no pension deficit then it is very
hard for universities to say it
changes need to be made.
If you cut
their wages and conditions, it
undermines the abilities. That has
been echoed by Jeremy Corbyn. They
are backing the strike but you are
I met with the unions last week
and they described a very
constructive meeting. We have very
good relationships with the main
trade union in Scotland. We have
said that the discussions with
myself and the government have been
constructive and we will encourage
that to continue.
You have said that
students from European Union
countries who start their
countries who start their courses in
2019 will not pay fees. Is that just
for that year will continue.
will continue for the duration of
What if a student
We will take that
decision at a future date. We have
taken the decision around the
students for the year 2019 earlier
than anywhere else in the UK in an
attempt to give them some assurance.
That is in time for the
But you don't know
about after that?
We don't know a
lot about what is happening in
Brexit, to be frank. We don't know
if the students will actually have
the right to remain in an
immigration status. We're trying to
encourage EU students to come. It is
very difficult to continue to make
A lot of people in
Scotland would say this is unfair.
We are leaving the European Union.
Why should EU students be able to
come here and have no tuition fees?
Students from England start on 9000
a year. We charge students from
third-party countries something like
16,000 a year. You could almost
have... You could invest that money
in Scottish universities.
looking -- working with
universities. I will tell you why it
is the right decision to make for
the university students that will
hopefully come in a couple of years'
time. One of the aspects of Scottish
education that makes it the best in
the world is a diverse campus that
we have. We want to encourage people
to come from Europe and further
afield to work, study and live after
But not from England China
It is a very important
part to our commitment to the EU. It
is required by DUP legislation.
Which is why there is a difference.
There will be a transition period in
2019. It is very difficult to make
policies on Brexit because of the
uncertainty that is coming from the
UK. We will be in a transition
period for two years. If that
transition requires us to have some
of the same in areas that we want to
see, around Freeman City freedom of
movement. We want to do this because
it is the right thing to do to
encourage students to come here.
you very much indeed. Two weeks ago
we were examining the resignation of
Phil Bromley as Chief Constable of
A few days ago, the force
was in the spotlight again
following a series of stinging
remarks about its "culture
of secrecy" and "ineptitude"
by the chief Constable of Durham,
He'd been called in after several
officers investigating leaked
information about the Emma Caldwell
murder inquiry were found
to have obtained data
without judicial permission.
But he told Holyrood's
justice sub-committee that
what he understood to be a full
investigation was downgraded
to an inquiry meaning he had only
restricted access to documents
and was unable to interview
people under caution.
Michael Barton joins me now.
Good morning. You clearly thought
there was a culture of secrecy in
and around the Scotland. Did you
mean by that?
Please remember that I
was asked by Phil Gormley to come in
and do an independent investigation
and that is what they'll and I
thought was the deal. When I
actually got into the bones of this
and started working with the legal
department and the professional
standards department in police
Scotland, they took a slightly
different view. Firstly, they
thought that I should just be doing
an inquiry and in police Scotland
that means I can interview the
officers concerned. Which of course
is severely hampers my dealings with
those people, because if they are in
jeopardy I wouldn't want to speak to
them. The second thing is that in
the legal department, they took a
bizarre interpretation of the rules
in my view. They described some
conversations between senior
officers as legally privileged, when
there wasn't even a legal
professional in the room. Thirdly,
professional standards didn't want
to give me the address of retired
police officers because they said it
was vetted by the Data Protection
Act. I was a title that amused about
how I was going to go and see them.
You think it was an attitude? --
I am not accusing the
Scotland of ineptitude. They do
fantastic work. 99.9% of the people
in the Scotland should be patted on
the back and applauded by their
local communities. What I talked
about in terms of ineptitude... This
is the other issue will stop I
talked about putting people in a
sack and shaking them up. I meant
that professional standards for
legal people in police Scotland need
to get their act together. Equally,
everybody else who is involved in
the way that investigations are
conducted north of the border league
to get together. Because the
regulations themselves are really
straightforward. For me, I had to be
a higher rank, with the right
experience and impartial and then I
could do an investigation. Police
Scotland interpreted that, as soon
as I started asking questions in the
inquiry phase, I could no longer be
impartial in the investigation
phase, which is preposterous. I do
understand why police Scotland
professional standards are a little
bit risk averse here because I think
they are facing six judicial reviews
from the Federation, so what
Northumberland police found was that
whenever it please officer is being
investigated north of the border,
there is a good chance they will
counter... What has happened is a
culture of people being like this.
What we should be doing is looking
at these things impartially, finding
out what lessons need to be learned,
if somebody needs a sack on the
wrist, sock them on the rest. At the
moment the public are utterly
I am curious. You said
you were bought in the late Mark
brought in by Phil Gormley. He has
now left. There were various
allegations against him. None of
them have been proven. The way the
rules work is that those
investigations will never come to a
conclusion. There have been two
chief constables who have left.
chief constables who have left. Wind
you look at the state of the
Scotland and the fact that these
people have had to go, as a senior
police officer in England, would it
make you hesitate about applying for
a job here?
I am not going to be
applying for a job.
But in general
terms, do you think that is a risk
that police officers in England
think it will be a bit of a mess?
think that is a legitimate concern,
but that is not my main concern. My
main concern is that, because people
are taking an overly legal approach
to these things, these matters take
years. The matter I was looking at
started as a very simple situation
Your item meant is that
it could have been sorted out
That was my evidence to
Parliament. I would have attempted
to resolve it in June 2015. With a
fair wind, I would have resolved
this by the middle of July. For
people in jeopardy would have been
brought in, I would have personally
apologised and offered recompense
and we would have moved on.
the inquiry. Your general
impressions? It is obviously very
controversial. The equivalent for
you is that you had to merge with
Northumbria and Manchester, every
police force in the North of
England. Would you be comfortable
with that do you think it is
better...? Durham is a reasonably
We are the 32nd biggest
force in England. The experience we
have of creating a national police
force is unique in the UK and I just
think that it has been really tough
for people in Scotland. I'm in touch
with police officers and there is no
doubt that front line cops from the
eight constituent forces and is
happy about working properly
Scotland. I actually understand the
argument for economies of scale. My
personal opinion is that policing is
very local. I think it should be a
partnership with locals and local
people should be really confident
that they understand who they
achieved Constable is and they have
got that relationship. If I were
Chief Constable of the North of
England, it would be jolly difficult
for me to do my job.
Thank you very
much for joining us. There is still
no agreement over Brexit.
There's still no agreement over
Brexit between the UK
and Scottish governments,
but both came out of the latest
round of talks saying
progress had been made.
While Scotland's Brexit Minister
Michael Russell underlined the need
to give parliament here authority
over powers that'll eventually be
returned from Brussels,
Scottish Secretary David Mundell
said he was hopeful
a deal could be reached.
I'm joined now by SNP MSP
Ash Denham and Scottish
Conservative MSP Miles Briggs.
Ash Denham, I am dubious as to what
you made of what David Lidington had
Clearly some progress has
been made last week at the... My
personal view about where we are at
the moment is that the UK Government
still seems to be sleepwalking
towards a constitutional crisis and
not enough progress has been made.
They need to come out this morning.
I have seen some reports saying that
the SNP will potentially damage some
trade deals going forward. First of
all, that is completely wrong and
second of all, that is the signs of
a weak government that are trying to
blow up is smoke screen because they
are unable to come to the table with
serious proposals to satisfy the
Scottish Government. It is unanimous
across Parliament. We have a
Scottish committee, unanimous across
all the parties, saying that the
BLEEP in must be resolved. They need
to show some leadership. They need
to engage constructively and try to
solve this impasse.
specific proposals. Cost of living
would be change. Everything will
come back to Scotland but the
British woman would ask the Scottish
Government not to change rules in
certain areas until there were
negotiations. Is that your
Yes. This is where we
are working to find a compromise. It
is important that we have this
conversation and are able to seek
and move forward a complex issue. In
terms of David Lidington's comments,
the UK single market is worth four
times that of the EU one. It is
vital for Scottish businesses that
we don't have a differentiation
across the single market.
actually happening? Presumably, the
argument against what you are
proposing is that it kicks it one
stage back because the question is,
who decides on which areas the
Scottish Government would then agree
not to change the rules and who then
decides on the common framework?
Should it be negotiations or should
the Scottish Parliament have the
right to vote on what areas are
Clause 11 will provide that
opportunity. We would like to see
those powers come back to Holyrood
to strengthening the Scottish
Parliament. There are cross-border
issues which we don't have agreement
on yet. Both governments are looking
towards where these powers are going
to have a common-sense approach. It
is something we should all be
working towards. Governments and
ministers are working towards that.
We can move both countries forward.
This idea that the Scottish
Government will get back powers but
not use them to change things, is
that unreasonable? The point about
David Linton is that if we start
changing trade standards on certain
products and Britain is negotiating
a trade deal, the British government
needs to know that those stab and --
standards are common.
Government have been clear about
this right from the start. Whether
businesses seek to have it common
framework it is agreed with the
Scottish Parliament. It has to be
agreed. We are saying that at the
moment the level of involvement on
the Scottish Parliament hasn't been
enough. If you look at examples...
Miles Briggs said no, they have
agreed to change clause 11.
not what they are saying. That is
not what they said last week. At the
moment the proposals that have been
put forward fall far short of that.
It is still undercutting devolution.
It is still a position where there
would be vetoes or imposition on top
of another layer above the Scottish
Parliament. It is undermining
devolution. Things that are
currently devolved was the
controlled by the Scottish
We seem to have a
disagreement on the facts. Miles
Briggs, is what Ash Denham has said,
is that what your understanding is?
No. The language... We are trying to
work this out to make sure it that
as the EQ leaves the European union,
we will have an advantage as an
Thank you both very much.
We will have to leave it there.
It's time to look back
on what's happened this week
and what's coming up.
I'm joined now by Hamish McDonald
and Shona Craven. There is a
disagreement, is in there? Well, I'm
not sure there's a disagreement, but
clearly some deal has been proposed,
or done. It's just the details. They
seem to be disagreeing about what
should happen but also on what the
details actually are?
is what the UK Government has put on
the table is that all the powers
will go back to Hollywood but that
Westminster retains a veto on up to
25 of them -- they will go back to
Holyrood. And they retained a veto
until that is good place. -- until
that is put in place. If this works
for England, Ireland, the whole lot,
it has to be done originating in
London because London is the only
place that can see properly or the
needs of the UK. The Scottish
Government has a fair point, in
saying, firstly, this is going over
devolution because of the
devolutionary powers, but also where
does that leave the Scottish
Government and the Scottish
Parliament when it comes to things
like trade deals?
It is a matter of
Yes, and I think there is
definitely an argument to be made.
If you see we are giving the powers
are shifting them to Holyrood but we
will tell you how to use them, I'm
not quite sure that amounts to
having a power if you are then
One version was that the
powers would go to Scotland, but
there would be an agreement that
they should not be altered, let's
say, an trading standards, until
what was going to be part of a
common framework was sorted out.
Yes, that is how it seems to
Would it be an agreement? The
point Ash Denham was making.
Something agreed or something
decided by Westminster, then the
Scottish Government are told, you
have to agree with this.
on, doesn't mean the Scottish
Parliament has to agree on the
common framework? Does the British
Parliament have to? How is this
My feeling is that both
sides are not terribly far apart.
They have actually come quite a long
way, and that last little inch is
proving difficult. As you say, it is
a question of trust. I don't think
the UK Government is going out of
its way through, you know, say to
the Scottish Government, no, we will
turn you over on this or that, but
it appears to be the way the
Scottish Government views it. They
think London will turn them over and
it is not the case.
But can't you
see why? Given the way they framed
clause 11 in the first place, which
arguably seemed to ride roughshod
over the Scottish Government?
course there is a lack of trust but
I would also look cynically on the
Sunday Telegraph's headline, Brexit,
trade deals could be ruined by the
SNP. Wouldn't that be convenient, if
the reason they were there and was
because of the SNP and not because
the whole Brexit thing is
unworkable, because of Northern
Ireland etc? Wouldn't it be
convenient if Scotland was the
The other big Brexit
move is Starmer was talking to
Andrew Marr this morning. There have
been hits, actual on this programme
a few weeks ago, Richard Leonard
said he would favour a customs union
and that now seems to be Labour
In Scotland, what is
happening is Richard Leonard is
being pushed by elements within the
Scottish Labour Party to take a
softer approach to Brexit. I think
Richard Leonard is instinctively
more hostile to a soft Brexit...
the significance of what Keir
Starmer is saying is that the, I
mean, in Westminster, if Labour say
they want to stay a customs union,
they may well be able to force that
They may well be
one of the reasons they are doing
this I think is that they are fed by
not embracing a more Remain approach
they are losing a lot of those young
voters that they were so pleased to
get at the last election, who are
desperate to have as closer
relationship with Europe as they
But it does change the
arithmetic, doesn't it, Ash? If
Labour comes round to staying in the
single market -- doesn't it, Shona?
SNP would back him, the Lib Dems,
certainly, they could well... It
could well be enough to actually
stop Theresa May in her tracks?
could be, a shimmering Theresa May
actually wants... We still don't
really know what she actually wants.
She has said we will leave the
customs union, she has been clear
about that right from the start.
not necessarily sure I trust
anything she has said. This is all a
game of strategy and looking like
you're trying to do what the voters
what even if that might not happen.
We will have to leave it there.
Thank you both very much.
That's all from the us this week.
I'll be back at the
same time next week.