18/12/2016 Sunday Politics South West


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Morning, folks, and welcome to the Sunday Politics.


Hard line remainers strike back at Brexit.


Are they trying to overturn the result of June's referendum


by forcing a second vote before we leave?


Australia's man in London tells us that life outside the EU "can be


pretty good" and that Brexit will "not be as hard as people say".


Could leaving the EU free Britain to do more business


It's been called "disgusting, dangerous and deadly"


but how polluted is our air, how bad for our health,


Are we blowing too hot and cold on wind power?


And not just for Christmas - what should happen to churches


And with me in the Sunday Politics grotto, the Dasher, Dancer


and Prancer of political punditry Iain Martin,


They'll be delivering tweets throughout the programme.


First this morning, some say they will fight


for what they call a "soft Brexit", but now there's an attempt by those


who campaigned for Britain to remain in the EU to allow the British


people to change their minds - possibly with a second referendum -


The Labour MEP Richard Corbett is revealed this morning to have


tried to amend European Parliament resolutions.


The original resolution called on the European Parliament


to "respect the will of the majority of the citizens


of the United Kingdom to leave the EU".


He also proposed removing the wording "stress that this wish


must be respected" and adding "while taking account of the 48.1%


The amendments were proposed in October,


but were rejected by a vote in the Brussels


Constitutional Affairs Committee earlier this month.


The report will be voted on by all MEPs in February.


Well, joining me now from Leeds is the Labour MEP who proposed


Good morning. Thanks for joining us at short notice. Is your aim to try


and reverse what happened on June 23? My aim with those amendments was


simply factual. It is rather odd that these amendments of two months


ago are suddenly used paper headlines in three very different


newspapers on the same day. It smacks of a sort of concerted effort


to try and slapped down any notion that Britain might perhaps want to


rethink its position on Brexit as the cost of Brexit emerges. You


would like us to rethink the position even before the cost urges?


I get lots of letters from people saying how one, this was an advisory


referendum won by a narrow majority on the basis of a pack of lies and a


questionable mandate. But if there is a mandate from this referendum,


it is surely to secure a Brexit that works for Britain without sinking


the economy. And if it transpires as we move forward, that this will be a


very costly exercise, then there will be people who voted leave who


said Hang on, this is not what I was told. I was told this would save


money, we could put it in the NHS, but if it is going to cost us and


our Monday leg, I would the right to reconsider. But


your aim is not get a Brexit that would work for Britain, your aim is


to stop it? If we got a Brexit that would work for Britain, that would


respect the mandate. But if we cannot get that, if it is going to


be a disaster, if it is going to cost people jobs and cost Britain


money, it is something we might want to pause and rethink. The government


said it is going to come forward with a plan. That is good. We need


to know what options to go for as a country. Do we want to stay in the


single market, the customs union, the various agencies? And options


should be costed so we can all see how much they cost of Brexit will


be. If you were simply going to try and make the resolution is more


illegal, why did the constitutional committee vote them down? This is a


report about future treaty amendments down the road for years


to come. This was not the main focus of the report, it was a side


reference, in which was put the idea for Association partnerships. Will


you push for the idea before the full parliament? I must see what the


text is. You said there is a widespread view in labour that if


the Brexit view is bad we should not exclude everything, I take it you


mean another referendum. When you were named down these amendments,


was this just acting on your own initiative, or acting on behalf of


the Labour Party? I am just be humble lame-duck MEP in the European


Parliament. It makes sense from any point of view that if the course of


action you have embarked on turns out to be much more costly and


disastrous than you had anticipated, that you might want the chance to


think again. You might come to the same conclusion, of course, but you


might think, wait a minute, let's have a look at this. But let's be


clear, even though you are deputy leader of Labour in the European


Parliament, you're acting alone and not as Labour Party policy? I am


acting in the constitutional affairs committee. All I am doing is stating


things which are common sense. If as we move forward then this turns out


to be a disaster, we need to look very carefully at where we are


going. But if a deal is done under Article 50, and we get to see the


shape of that deal by the end of 2019 under the two-year timetable,


in your words, we won't know if it is a disaster or not until it is


implemented. We won't be able to tell until we see the results about


whether it is good or bad, surely? We might well be able to, because


that has to take account of the future framework of relationships


with the European Union, to quote the article of the treaty. That


means we should have some idea about what that will be like. Will we be


outside the customs union, for instance, which will be very


damaging for our economy? Or will we have to stay inside and follow the


rules without having a say on them. We won't know until we leave the


customs union. You think it will be damaging, others think it will give


us the opportunity to do massive trade deals. My case this morning is


not what is right or wrong, we will not know until we have seen the


results. We will know a heck of a lot more than we do now when we see


that Article 50 divorce agreement. We will know the terms of the


divorce, we will know how much we still have to pay into the EU budget


for legacy costs. We will know whether we will be in the single


market customs union or not. We will know about the agencies. We will


know a lot of things. If the deal on the table looks as if it will be


damaging to Britain, then Parliament will be in its rights to say, wait a


minute, not this deal. And then you either renegotiate or you reconsider


the whole issue of Brexit or you find another solution. We need to


leave it there but thank you for joining us.


Iain Martin, how serious is the attempt to in effect an wind what


happened on June 23? I think it is pretty serious and that interview


illustrates very well the most damaging impact of the approach


taken by a lot of Remainers, which is essentially to say with one


breath, we of course accept the result, but with every action


subsequent to that to try and undermine the result or try and are


sure that the deal is as bad as possible. I think what needed to


happen and hasn't happened after June 23 is you have the extremists


on both sides and you have in the middle probably 70% of public


opinion, moderate leaders, moderate Remainers should be working together


to try and get British bespoke deal. But moderate Leavers will not take


moderate Remainers seriously if this is the approach taken at every


single turn to try and rerun the referendum. He did not say whether


it was Labour policy? That was a question which was ducked. I do not


think it is Labour Party policy. I think most people are in a morass in


the middle. I think the screaming that happens when anybody dares to


question or suggest that you might ever want to think again about these


things, I disagree with him about having another referendum but if he


wants to campaign for that it is his democratic right to do so. If you


can convince enough people it is a good idea then he has succeeded. But


the idea that we would do a deal and then realise this is a really bad


deal, let's not proceed, we will not really know that until the deal is


implemented. What our access is to the single market, whether or not we


are in or out of the customs union which we will talk about in a


minute, what immigration policy we will have, whether these are going


to be good things bad things, surely you have got to wait for four, five,


six years to see if it has worked or not? Yes, and by which stage


Parliament will have voted on it and there will be no going back from it,


or maybe there will. We are talking now about the first three months of


2019. That is absolutely the moment when Parliament agrees with Theresa


May or not. One arch remain I spoke to, and arch Remainiac, he said that


Theresa May will bring this to Parliament in 2019 and could say I


recommend that we reject it. What is he on or she? Some strong chemical


drugs! The point is that all manner of things could happen. I don't


think any of us take it seriously for now but the future is a very


long way away. Earlier, the trade Secretary Liam Fox was asked if we


would stay in the customs union after Brexit.


There would be limitations on what we would do in terms of tariff


setting which could limit the deals we would do, but we want to look at


all the different deals. There is hard Brexit and soft Brexit as if it


is a boiled egg we are talking about. Turkey is in part of the


customs union but not other parts. What we need to do is look at the


cost. This is what I picked up. The government knows it cannot remain a


member of the single market in these negotiations, because that would


make us subject to free movement and the European Court. The customs


union and the Prime Minister 's office doesn't seem to be quite as


binary, that you can be a little bit in and a little bit out, but I would


suggest that overall Liam Fox knows to do all the trade deals we want to


do we basically have to be out. But what he also seems to know is that


is a minority view in Cabinet. He said he was not going to give his


opinion publicly. There is still an argument going on about it in


Cabinet. When David Liddington struggled against Emily Thornbury


PMQs, he did not know about the customs union. What is apparent is


Theresa May has not told him what to think about that. If we stay in the


customs union we cannot do our own free trade deals. We are behind the


customs union, the tariff barriers set by Europe? Not quite. Turkey is


proof of the pudding. There are limited exemptions but they can do


free trade with their neighbours. Not on goods. They are doing a trade


deal with Pakistan at the moment, it relies on foreign trade investment


but Europe negotiates on turkey's behalf on the major free-trade


deals. This is absolutely why the customs union will be the fault line


for the deal we are trying to achieve. Interestingly, I thought


Liam Fox suggested during that interview that he was prepared to


suck up whatever it was. I think he was saying there is still an


argument and he intends to win it. He wants to leave it because he


wants to do these free-trade deals. There is an argument in the cabinet


about precisely that. The other thing to consider is in this country


we have tended to focus too much on the British angle in negotiations,


but I think the negotiations are going to be very difficult. You look


at the state of the EU at the moment, you look at what is


happening in Italy, France, Germany, look at the 27. It is possible I


think that Britain could design a bespoke sensible deal but then it


becomes very difficult to agree which is why I ultimately think we


are heading for a harder Brexit. It will be about developing in this


country. So, we've had a warning this week


that it could take ten years to do a trade deal


with the EU after Brexit. But could opportunities to expand


trade lie elsewhere? Australia was one of the first


countries to indicate its willingness to do a deal


with the UK and now its High Commissioner in London has told


us that life outside the EU He made this exclusive film


for the Sunday Politics. My father was the Australian High


Commissioner in the early 70s when the UK joined


the European Union, Now I'm in the job,


the UK is leaving. Australia supported


Britain remaining a member of the European Union,


but we respect the decision that Now that the decision has been made,


we hope that Britain will get on with the process


of negotiating their exit from the European Union and make


the most of the opportunities that Following the referendum decision,


Australia approached the British Government


with a proposal. We offered, when the time was right,


to negotiate a free trade agreement. The British and Australian


governments have already established a working group to explore a future,


ambitious trade agreement once A free trade agreement will provide


great opportunities for consumers Australian consumers could purchase


British-made cars for less We would give British


households access to cheaper, Our summer is during your winter,


so Australia could provide British households with fresh produce


when the equivalent British or Australian households would have


access to British products Free-trade agreements


are also about investment. The UK is the second-largest source


of foreign investment in Australia. By the way, Australia also invests


over ?200 billion in the UK, so a free trade agreement


would stimulate investment, But, by the way, free-trade


agreements are not just about trade and investment,


they are also about geopolitics. Countries with good trade relations


often work more closely together in other fields including security,


the spread of democracy We may have preferred


the UKto remain in the EU, We may have preferred the UK


to remain in the EU, but life outside as we know can


be pretty good. We have negotiated eight free-trade


agreements over the last 12 years, including a free-trade agreement


with the United States This is one of the reasons why


the Australian economy has continued to grow over the last 25 years


and we, of course, are not Australia welcomes Theresa May's


vision for the UK to become a global We are willing to help


in any way we can. Welcome to the programme. The


Australian government says it wants to negotiate an important trade deal


with the UK as efficiently and promptly as possible when Brexit is


complete. How prompt is prompt? There are legal issues obviously.


The UK, for as long as it remains in the EU, cannot negotiate individual


trade deals. Once it leaves it can. We will negotiate a agreement with


the UK when the time is right, by which we mean we can do preliminary


examination. Are you talking now about the parameters? We are talking


already, we have set up a joint working group with the British


Government and we are scoping the issue to try to understand what


questions will arise in any negotiation. But we cannot have


formally a negotiation. Until the country is out. Why is there no


free-trade deal between Australia and the European Union? It is a long


and tortuous story. Give me the headline. Basically Australian


agriculture is either banned or hugely restricted in terms of its


access to the European Union. So we see the European Union, Australia's,


is a pretty protectionist sort of organisation. Now we are doing a


scoping study on a free-trade agreement with the European Union


and we hope that next year we can enter into negotiations with them.


But we have no illusions this would be a very difficult negotiation, but


one we are giving priority to. Is there not a danger that when Britain


leaves the EU the EU will become more protectionist? This country has


always been the most powerful voice for free trade. I hope that does not


happen, but the reason why we wanted Britain to remain in the European


Union is because it brought to the table the whole free-trade mentality


which has been an historic part of Britain's approach to international


relations. Without the UK in the European Union you will lose that.


It is a very loud voice in the European Union and you will lose


that voice and that will be a disadvantage. The figure that jumped


out of me in the film is it to you only 15 months to negotiate a


free-trade deal with the United States. Yes, the thing is it is


about political will. A free-trade agreement will be no problem unless


you want to protect particular sectors of your economy. In that


case there was one sector the Americans insisted on protecting and


that was their sugar industry. In the end after 15 months of


negotiation two relatively free trading countries have fixed up


nearly everything. But we had to ask would be go ahead with this


free-trade agreement without sugar west we decided to do that. Other


than that it was relatively easy to negotiate because we are both


free-trade countries. With the UK you cannot be sure, but I do not


think a free-trade agreement would take very long to negotiate with the


UK because the UK would not want to put a lot of obstacles in the way to


Australia. Not to give away our hand, we would not want to put a lot


of obstacles in the way of British exports. The trend in recent years


is to do big, regional trade deals, but President-elect Donald Trump has


made clear the Pacific trade deal is dead. The transatlantic trade deal


is almost dead as well. The American election put a nail in the coffin


and the French elections could put another nail in the coffin. Are we


returning to a world of lateral trade deals, country with country


rather than regional blocs? Not necessarily. In the Asia Pacific we


will look at multilateral trade arrangements and even if the


transpacific partnership is not ratified by the Americans, we have


other options are there. However, our approach has been the ultimate


would be free-trade throughout the world which is proving hard to


achieve. Secondly, if we can get a lot of countries engaged in a


free-trade negotiation, that is pretty good if possible. But it is


more difficult. But we do bilateral trade agreements. We have one with


China, Japan, the United States, Singapore, and the list goes on, and


they have been hugely beneficial to Australia. You have been dealing


with the EU free deal, what lessons are there? How quickly do you think


Britain could do a free-trade deal with the EU if we leave? Well, there


is a completely different concept involved in the case of Britain and


the EU and that is at the moment there are no restrictions on trade.


So you and the EU would be talking about whether you will direct


barriers to trade. We are outsiders and we do not get too much involved


in this debate except to say we do not want to see the global trade


system disrupted by the direction of tariff barriers between the United


Kingdom, the fifth biggest economy in the world, and the European


Union. Our expectation is not just the British but the Europeans will


try to make the transition to Brexit as smooth as possible particularly


commercially. Say yes or no if you can. If Britain and Australia make a


free-trade agreement, would that include free movement of the


Australian and the British people? We will probably stick with our


present non-discriminatory system. Australia does not discriminate


against any country. The European Union's free movement means you


discriminate against non-Europeans. Probably not.


It could lead to a ban on diesel cars, prevent the building


of a third runway at Heathrow, and will certainly make it


more expensive to drive in our towns and cities.


Air pollution has been called the "public health crisis


of a generation" - but just how serious is the problem?


40,000 early deaths result from air pollution every year in the UK.


Almost 10,000 Londoners each year die prematurely.


It seems at times we can get caught up in alarming assertions


about air pollution, that this is a public health


emergency, that it is a silent killer, coming from politicians,


But how bad is air quality in Britain really?


Tony Frew is a professor in respiratory medicine and works


at Brighton's Royal Sussex County Hospital.


He has been looking into the recent claims


It's a problem and it affects people's health.


But when people start talking about the numbers


of deaths here, I think they are misusing the statistics.


There have been tremendous improvements in air quality


There is a lot less pollution than there used to be


and none of that is coming through in the public


So what does Professor Frew make of the claim that alarming levels


of toxicity in the air in the UK causes 40,000 deaths each year?


It is not 40,000 people who should have air pollution


on their death certificate, or 40,000 people who


It's a lot of people who had a little bit of life shortening


To examine these figures further we travelled to Cambridge to visit


I asked him about the data on which these claims


They come from a study on how mortality rates in US cities


First of all, it is important to realise that that 40,000 figure


29,000, which are due to fine particles, and another 11,000


I will just talk about this group for a start.


These are what are known as attributable deaths.


Known as virtual deaths, they come from a complex statistical model.


Quite remarkably it all comes from just one number and this


was based on a study of US cities and they found out that


by monitoring these cities over decades that the cities which had


a higher level of pollution had a higher mortality rate.


They estimated that there was a 6% increased risk of dying


each year for each small increase in pollution.


So this is quite a big figure, but it is important to realise


it is only a best estimate and the committee that advises


the government says that this figure could be between 1% and 12%.


So this 6% figure is used to work out the 29,000


Yes, through a rather complex statistical model.


And a similar analysis gives rise to the 11,000 attributable deaths


How much should we invest in cycling?


Should we build a third runway at Heathrow?


We need reliable statistics to answer those questions,


but can we trust the way data is being used by campaigners?


I think there are people who have such a passion for the environment


and for air pollution that they don't really


see it as a problem if they are deceiving the public.


Greenpeace have been running a campaign claiming that breathing


London's air is the equivalent of smoking 15 cigarettes a day.


If you smoke 15 cigarettes a day through your adult life,


that will definitely take ten years off your life expectancy.


If you are poor and you are in social class five,


compared to social class one, that would take seven


If you are poor and you smoke, that will take 17 years off your life.


Now, we are talking about possibly, if we could get rid of all


of the cars in London and all of the road transport,


we could make a difference of two micrograms per metre squared in air


pollution which might save you 30 days of your life.


There is no doubt that air pollution is bad for you,


but if we exaggerate the scale of the problem and the impact


on our health, are we at risk of undermining the case for making


And we are joined now by the Executive Director


You have called pollution and national crisis and a health


emergency. Around the UK are levels increasing or falling? They are


remaining fairly static in London. Nationally? If you look at the


studies on where air pollution is measured, in 42 cities around the


UK, 38 cities were found to be breaking the legal limit on air


pollution so basically all of the cities were breaking the limit so if


you think eight out of ten people live in cities, obviously, this is


impacting a lot of people around the UK. We have looked at in missions of


solvent dioxide, they have fallen and since 1970, nitrogen dioxide is


down 69%. Let me show you a chart. There are the nitrogen oxides which


we have all been worried about. That chart shows a substantial fall from


the 1970s, and then a really steep fall from the 1980s. That is


something which is getting better. You have to look at it in the round.


If you look at particulates, and if you look at today's understanding of


the health impact. Let's look at particulates. We have been really


worried about what they have been doing to our abilities to breathe


good air, again, you see substantial improvement. Indeed, we are not far


from the Gothenberg level which is a very high standard. What you see is


it is pretty flat. I see it coming down quite substantially. Over the


last decade it is pretty flat. If you look at the World Health


Organisation guidelines, actually, these are at serious levels and they


need to come down. We know the impact, particularly on children, if


you look at what is happening to children and children's lungs, if


you look at the impact of asthma and other impacts on children in cities


and in schools next to main roads where pollution levels are very


high, the impact of very serious. You have many doctors, professors


and many studies by London University showing this to be true.


The thing is, we do not want pollution. If we can get rid of


pollution, let's do it. And also we also have to get rid of CO2 which is


causing climate change. We are talking air pollution at the moment.


The point is there is not still more to do, it is clear there is and


there is no question about that, my question is you seem to deny that we


have made any kind of progress and that you also say that air pollution


causes 40,000 deaths a year in the UK, that is not true. The figure is


40,000 premature deaths is what has been talked about by medical staff.


Your website said courses. It causes premature deaths. What we are


talking about here is can we solve the problem of air pollution? If air


pollution is mainly being caused by diesel vehicles then we need to


phase out diesel vehicles. If there are alternatives and clean Turner


tips which will give better quality of air, better quality of life and


clean up our cities, then why don't we take the chance to do it? You had


the Australian High Commissioner on this programme earlier. He said to


me earlier, why is your government supporting diesel? That is the most


polluting form of transport. That may well be right but I am looking


at Greenpeace's claims. You claim it causes 40,000 deaths, it is a figure


which regularly appears. Let me quote the committee on the medical


effects of air pollutants, it says this calculation, 40,000 which is


everywhere in Greenpeace literature, is not an estimate of the number of


people whose untimely death is caused entirely by air pollution,


but a way of representing the effect across the whole population of air


pollution when considered as a contributory factor to many more


individual deaths. It is 40,000 premature deaths. It could be


premature by a couple of days. It could me by a year. -- it could be


by a year. It could also be giving children asthma and breathing


difficulties. We are talking about deaths. It could also cause stroke


and heart diseases. Medical experts say we need to deal with this. Do


you believe air pollution causes 40,000 deaths a year. I have defined


that. You accept it does not? It leads to 40,000 premature deaths.


But 40,000 people are not killed. You say air pollution causes 40,000


deaths each year on your website. I have just explained what I mean by


that in terms of premature deaths. The question is, are we going to do


something about that? Air pollution is a serious problem. It is mainly


caused by diesel. If we phased diesel out it will solve the problem


of air pollution and deal with the wider problem of climate change. I


am not talking about climate change this morning. Let's link to another


claim... Do you want to live in a clean city? Do you want to breathe


clean air? Yes, don't generalise. Let's stick to your claims. You have


also said living in London on your life is equivalent to smoking 50


cigarettes a day. That is not true either. What I would say is if you


look at passive smoking, it is the equivalent of I don't know what the


actual figure is, I can't remember offhand, but it is the equivalent


effect of about ten cigarettes being smoked passively. The question is in


terms of, you are just throwing me out all of these things... I am


throwing things that Greenpeace have claimed. Greenpeace have claimed


that living in London is equivalent of smoking 15 cigarettes a day and


that takes ten years off your life. Professor Froome made it clear to us


that living in London your whole life with levels of pollution does


take time off your life but it takes nine months of your life. Nine


months is still too much, I understand that, but it is not ten


years and that is what you claim. I would suggest you realise that is a


piece of propaganda because you claim on the website, you have taken


it down. I agree it has been corrected and I agree with what the


professor said that maybe it takes up to a year off your life, but the


thing is, there are much more wider issues as well, in terms of the


impact on air pollution, and in terms of the impact on young


children. We can argue about the facts... But these are your claims,


this is why I am hitting it to you. It does not get away from the


underlying issue that air pollution is a serious problem. We are not


arguing for a moment that it is not. Do you think the way you exaggerate


things, put false claims, in the end, for of course we all agree


with, getting the best air we can, you undermine your credibility? I


absolutely do not support false claims and if mistakes have been


made then mistakes have been made and they will be corrected. I think


the key issue is how we are going to deal with air pollution. Clearly,


diesel is the biggest problem and we need to work out a way how we can


get away from diesel as quickly and fast as possible. Comeback and see


us in the New Year and we will discuss diesel. Thank you.


It's just gone 11.35, you're watching the Sunday Politics.


We say goodbye to viewers in Scotland who leave us now


Coming up on the Sunday Politics here in the South West...


As 2016 draws its final breath - how fair blows the wind for renewables?


And when O Come All Ye Faithful turns into Silent Night,


what should happen to churches which are no longer


And for the next 20 minutes, I'm joined by Exeter's Labour MP


Ben Bradshaw and the Conservative East Devon MP Hugo Swire.


At a time of year when many of us are contemplating driving


home for Christmas, Devon County Councillors have


approved a controversial new route for one of the region's key roads,


Nearly 1,000 people locally signed a petition against the scheme


which will go through an area of outstanding natural beauty.


The local MP Neil Parish has also withdrawn his support and speaking


to the BBC earlier this week, didn't take kindly to his fellow


MP, and our guest today, Hugo Swire giving his view.


I think in fairness, I don't think I would comment


on what is happening in Hugo Swire's constituency.


I therefore feel that it is my constituency and I have


to deal with everybody, not only those that want the road,


but those who will be affected by the routes and the orange route


still affects a lots of people and I have to have a balance


between getting the environment right and getting the road right.


So, Hugo, you vocally backed this scheme.


What do you think about Mr Parish saying you shouldn't


Well, we have this discussion regularly.


The fact is that my constituents have to go on the A30 to get


But Neil has the constraint of having to deal with


the Blackdown Hills, the lobby group and so forth.


But he is right, there has to be a balance between the environment


But I think with modern technology and landscaping, we can do that.


And I'm fed up with this discussion going round and round in


Ever since I have been an MP, over 16 years now, we have had


I think the time has come to get on and do it.


Ben, it is notoriously difficult to get funding for infrastructure,


should Neil Parish be opposed to it at all?


Shouldn't we make sure this road is coming


Well, if he thinks there is a less environmentally damaging route,


then he should speak up for his constituents.


We are not talking about a dualling, after all.


Passages of three lanes. Yes, I think necessarily dangerous.


There is a question as to whether this will ever happen


because once once you dual the A358, from Ilminster to Taunton,


you will take away a lot of the pressure


for that Blackdown Hills route which is very


So you would agree with Neil Parish not to do this?


I'm not an expert on one route against another,


I have always been a sceptic as to whether driving a new road


through the Blackdown Hills would ever happen because of


the environmental challenges and because of the fact


that the A358 is going to be dualled.


So disagreement already. We must move on.


Wind farms were pioneered here in the South West 25 years ago.


Yet tighter planning regulations and cuts in subsidies have seen


Now new research published this week suggests that wind could play a much


bigger role in cutting greenhouse emissions than previously thought.


Scott Bingham has been assessing whether it's time to stop


blowing hot and cold on this natural resource.


Love them or loathe them, they are part of the landscapes


across much of the South West and especially so here in Cornwall.


And it is celebrating its 25th anniversary this month.


And these four large turbines generate twice the power


of the ten original turbines they replaced in 2011.


The wind industry has come a long way in those 25 years.


We are in a situation now where last year wind alone generated about 12%


Renewables as a whole, around one quarter of our electricity demand.


Figures show large wind deployment in England reached a peak of 451


But that fell to 183 megawatts last year with the dropping down


to a worsening planning environment and falling subsidies.


Onshore wind is the lowest cost form of new electricity


It is low carbon, it generates jobs, it generates investment.


So it really is a win for the environment,


And, it seems, wind could be even greener than first thought.


Researchers at Edinburgh University have published a study


which they say shows carbon savings from wind turbines were vastly


underestimated, by more than three million tonnes


In real terms, it's the equivalent of taking 220,000 cars off


It is really significant in that it shows that wind power has been


It therefore means that when farms are viable,


an even more viable option and was grievously accepted.


On top of that, renewables bring jobs.


At a recent meeting in Plymouth, the Greens say the sector


could support much more than the 13,000 already


This Conservative government has decided to undermine the renewables


industry by removing subsidies, particularly the feed in tariff.


And we are arguing very strongly that that should be


replaced and we should be supporting our renewables


infrastructure and our renewable industry because we have got


fantastic opportunities for that here in the South.


But the government maintains it has increased certainty for businesses


That's why we have got actually such a big deployment already


of renewable energy technology and we want to see that continue.


In fact it's because the deployment has been so extensive and so rapid


that it has been possible to bring the subsidies down over time.


Now, Good Energy is looking to go one step further.


It wants to build the first community owned wind farm to operate


without government subsidy on this site near Bude.


Could that turn the wind in a favourable direction once more?


Ben, many of the target set for the UK for renewable


Post Brexit, it's not clear what will happen to these targets.


Well, they didn't come from Europe, we negotiated...


A lot of them have been negotiated negotiated with Europe.


Well, Europe has a position, but there are international positions.


Paris, recently is an international agreement and it takes in America,


China, the whole world. So it's nothing to do with Europe.


Europe has been at the forefront arguing for stronger


renewable energy, and I think that is a good thing.


It's nice to see a positive report about wind power,


So you don't think that anything post Brexit


Unlike Molly Scott Cato, who seems to be thinking


I think this government is going in the wrong direction,


but is nothing to do with the fact that we might be


I think the withdrawal of support for not just wind,


This stop-go approach towards renewables.


But the good news is that renewables, as your report said,


They are a fantastic resource and they soon won't need


And that's why, in my view, whatever happened in the United States


I was going to say, you talk about internationally,


Trump coming in makes a difference as well.


Well, we'll see. Let's see.


He has appointed a lot of climate change deniers, which is a worry.


But America has ratified the Paris Agreement.


And any sensible person looking at the evidence,


looking in the future, is going to realise


If you don't get on the bus to that new technology,


you will lose out in terms of jobs and investment in the future.


Hugo, are we getting on the bus enough?


Because the Green MEP Molly Scott Cato said


That the Tory government has cut subsidies and is taking us


She is behind the curve on this. She's talking about subsidies.


Ben has set himself, we are at the point now that a loss


subsidy at all because the take-up has been so good and the price


of a lot of solar has dropped. They can stand alone.


Hence you are talking about having a community initiative near Bude.


That couldn't have happened ten or 15 years ago.


What about Theresa May having change the name for the Department


of Energy and Climate Change to a new Department of Business,


Energy and Industrial Strategy? Is that the Tories going backwards?


No, I don't think so. Ben is absolutely right.


I would make a distinction between Trump on Twitter


and Trump as a president with an administration.


He wants to create jobs in the United States and he would be


completely crazy to ignore the renewable energy sector market.


Battery research, you have seen what is happening with Telstra


As far as the impact on the South West of all of that,


would you like to see more wind farms?


No, I wouldn't like to see any more onshore wind farms...


Because there have been a lot of Tory MPs down here who been very


outspoken about not wanting to see any more wind farms


Well, I like offshore wind farms and I like how energy,


wave energy and other forms of renewable.


There is a balance between trying to create something great


for the environment, which is reducing carbon,


but destroying the landscape by putting wind farms


I don't think they destroy the landscape.


And when I realise that they are delivering carbon-free energy,


So I wish the Tories would stop this opposition to wind farms


because they are the future and it is where we are going to get


But they don't have to be onshore. They don't have to be onshore?


No, but they are much cheaper onshore so they are much better


value for the taxpayer and better returns for these communities.


Carols, candlelight, Christingles and Christmas trees -


for many people the season wouldn't be complete without a trip


Some parishes have thriving congregations, while others


are dwindling, with a number of church buildings in the South


Janine Jansen has been looking at what the future holds for some


# Rocking around the Christmas tree...#


in South Molton looks sparkling at this time of year.


It's popular Christmas Tree Festival attracts people like a magnet.


Many people used to go to church every Sunday.


The Methodist Church here in Ashburton closed last year.


A dwindling congregation and ongoing repair costs didn't help.


But it has just been designated a community asset and this man


wants it to be an art centre for the town.


It's a lovely space, it's really fabulous


People come into buildings and you get an instant feel


for whether it's a friendly and pleasant place to be.


It has obviously been loved for many, many decades and it


would be a tragedy if it were lost to the community.


There is a sadness. We are working through that.


It is a bereavement process that you work through.


But people are also very positive about worshipping where we do now,


Clearly, there is a sadness about leaving a part of your history.


The building will be sold to the highest bidder next year.


Fundraising is already underway to try to keep the grade two listed


Across the border into Cornwall, and St Pinnock's church


is another house of God with an uncertain future.


Discussions about closing it started around 25 years ago


but the congregation fought to keep the Church alive.


The parishioners can now worship in nearby Liskeard and a decision


about the future of the building has yet to be made.


One thing is clear, its grade one listed which means


it can't be demolished or converted into housing.


Well, St Paul's church here in Truro has been closed


Not due to a dwindling congregation, but due to health and safety


A report says it will cost ?3.7 million to restore it.


It's sad for historical and conservation reasons


but it is even sadder is an image of the church.


The Church of England in Cornwallis vibrant and lively,


we want to be preoccupied with sharing the love of God,


especially at Christmas time and this is the picture


And that is why we are working as hard as we can with as many


partners as we can to find the right long-term solution to how this


The Cornish buildings group has launched a petition to save St Paul.


They say the tower doesn't need demolishing.


But in eight years, no one has come forward yet


One thing is for sure, it won't be enjoying much


Joining us now from Exeter Cathedral we have the right


Reverend Robert Atwell. Welcome to the programme.


Churches, many of them empty at the moment,


should there be government funding that props these churches up?


Well, here in Devon, we have got 609 churches scattered


across the county and occasionally we have to close one of two


but that is because populations change and shift around and that has


The thing is to adapt to a changing situation


But also, we find ourselves opening new churches.


Here in Exeter, as Ben Bradshaw knows well, we have opened


a new church in Cranbrook and another one in Newport and down


of Plymouth where that whole new village complex is going up,


we are planting a new church in the next couple of years.


For us, one of the biggest challenges is the rural church


because we've got lots of them, some wonderful medieval churches


But the situation for us in Devon is that the rural population


has shrunk considerably from what it was 150 years ago


and that has really threatened the whole infrastructure


So in the last ten to 20 years, it has seen the village school has


gone, pubs have gone I mean, four pubs are closing


Is that a reason to try and save these church buildings?


Always what you are saying that the new ones opening elsewhere,


Well, what I would say is that often many parts of the county and I'm


sure our situation in Devon is replicated elsewhere


in the country, the Parish Church is the only community building


we have got there in the village and we need to invest in that.


Because it is about the health of our communities.


A lot of our medieval churches, the nave was for the people.


And I just want people to reclaim their naves and do


Some of the things we are doing in Devon like St Peter's Ugborough,


where the local post office closed some time ago and that has come


into the church so it is being used for worship on Sundays but also


on Tuesday, when the post office is open, the local church is running


a coffee place there for lonely and isolated people to come to.


And innovative ideas like that are going across Devon.


With ideas like that coming in, you use the church was something


else, for a community purpose, does that mean that more government


funding, because there is already some available to churches,


Are these important enough to prop them up?


It depends on the church and the location and


But I would say the government does need to intervene.


This is part of our heritage, our built heritage and


I am all for using, if there is no alternative,


and adapting the usage of a church if there is not a big enough


congregation to worship there, I would rather it was used


as a place of worship, but then I would rather it


still existed and was supported by the community.


I do regret sometimes when the pews are stripped out,


never to be used as a church again, but we have to live in modern


times when congregations are smaller as the bishop said,


a lot of rural communities are a lot smaller as well and they have used


But at the end of the day, I fundamentally believe that we owe


it to future generations to preserve these magnificent buildings.


Also public funding be more for things like the NHS,


the growing problems with social care?


These buildings, and people are not using them as churches,


I'm the son of the rural vicar and I love our historical churches,


and I'm also a practising Christian so there is a real dilemma


for us in the church as to whether we spend our money


and resources and time and energy on preserving old buildings


or preaching the Christian gospel and because the message


And I think the Bishop got it right, where you have got a church


that you can integrate into a community hub or something


like that and that does attract more support,


is not government money, it's Lottery money for the main,


so it's not taxpayers money that would otherwise go into the health


service, that is absolutely the right thing to do.


But in some cases, we are going to have to just


abandon the very isolated, very rural churches for which no


If we come back to you, Right Reverend Robert Atwell,


on that point, is it better sometimes to leave these churches?


The Victorians had an idea that you could have a beautiful


Could we not see sometimes these old churches in villages


or on the edge of villages, become a beautiful rolling?


Well, occasionally that has happened.


It is always sad when it does happen.


But these things are not incompatible.


There are also the ways that we can do things


which are imaginative and innovative which secure their use


I think that is one of the thing that is really important.


For example, here in the diocese of Exeter, starting next year,


we are launching a whole project called growing the rural church


and we are putting money and people to actually help some of our belief


that rural communities to think in imaginative ways how these


ancient landmarks can be preserved for future generations...


I'm going to have to stop you there, but thank you very


Now our regular round-up of the political week


Now council tax could go up by 6% to pay for care.


I really don't feel that we are going far enough in this


House to address the scale of the increase in demand


if we are going to allow people to be careful with dignity


What will Brexit mean for Brixham's fishermen?


We still want to fish sustainably, some things will change and it


The funding formula for schools is changing.


Some here are winners, others worse off.


Campaigning side-by-side, the Health Secretary and the Cornish


She reaches people that politicians can never reach.


And Ben Bradshaw hence Russia could be behind


I don't think we have even begun to wake up to what Russia is doing


You have caused a bit of a storm on social media this week by saying


that Russia may have had some kind of influence in the


I was talking about propaganda and this sort of Twitter


storms and fake news sites that the Kremlin funds.


But if you look at what is happening now in America when there is clear


evidence of actual attacks in America and our own header


cyber security at GCHQ since my comments in the Commons,


also warning about the possibility here and what's happening


in Germany, evidence already, we need to wake up to


It's not just cyber, it's also the propaganda war


And I'm afraid if we don't do something about it very soon,


the indications for democracy could be quite serious.


In terms of the referendum, what kind of influence


If you look at what they have been doing, and this has been well


documented in the states about having these twitter storms


and very close tie up they have a far right parties


across the world, not just with America and France,


but also here as well, the fake news sites...


And the e-mail hacking. Yes, well...


Not sure that's... The CIA is talking about that.


The CIA is not only talking about it, they are investigating it


and Barack Obama has said there is clear evidence that Putin


I think cyber warfare is an increasing threat from not


It's the first time I have heard any suggestion that the Russians may


have been involved in the E referendum in the UK.


But I think what the head of GCHQ was warning about was that we should


be alert to the possibilities of being interfered


I don't think he was saying we have been.


And I think there is no distinction there.


But clearly, in the United States, something serious has happened.


So you don't think Ben Pozner comments have been out there?


Ben can speak for himself. He speaks up very...


I don't think anybody should be surprised that


That's the Sunday Politics in the South West.


Now back to Andrew with the Week Ahead.


Have a happy Christmas and we'll see you in the new year.


Will Article 50 be triggered by the end of March,


will President Trump start work on his wall and will


Front National's Marine Le Pen provide the next electoral shock?


2016, the Brexit for Britain and Trump for the rest of the world.


Let's look back and see what one of you said about Brexit.


If Mr Cameron loses the referendum and it is this year,


will he be Prime Minister at the end of the year?


I don't think he will lose the referendum, so I'm feeling


It was clear if he did lose the referendum he would be out. I would


like to say in retrospect I saw that coming on a long and I was just


saying it to make good television! It is Christmas so I will be benign


towards my panel! It is possible, Iain, that not much happens to


Brexit in 2017, because we have a host of elections coming up in


Europe, the French won in the spring and the German one in the autumn


will be the most important. And until we know who the next French


president is and what condition Mrs Merkel will be in, not much will


happen? I think that is the likeliest outcome. Short of some


constitutional crisis involving the Lords relating to Brexit, it is


pretty clear it is difficult to properly begin the negotiations


until it becomes clear who Britain is negotiating with. It will come


down to the result of the German election. Germany is the biggest


contributor and if they keep power in what is left of the European


Union, will drive the negotiation and we will have to see if it will


be Merkel. So this vacuum that has been seen and has been filled by


people less than friendly to the government, even when we know


Article 50 has been triggered and even if there is some sort of white


paper to give us a better idea of the broad strategic outlines of what


they mean by Brexit, the phoney war could continue? Iain is right. 2017


is going to be a remarkably dull year for Brexit as opposed to 2016.


We will have the article and a plan. The plan will say I would like the


moon on a stick please. The EU will say you can have a tiny bit of moon


and a tiny bit of stick and there will be an impasse. That will go on


until one minute to midnight 2018 which is when the EU will act. There


is one thing in the Foreign Office which is more important, as David


Davis Department told me, they know there is nothing they can do until


the French and Germans have their elections and they know the lie of


the land, but the people who will be more helpful to us are in Eastern


Europe and in Scandinavia, the Nordic countries. We can do quite a


lot of schmoozing to try and get them broadly on side this year? It


is very difficult because one of the things they care most about in


Eastern Europe is the ability for Eastern European stew come and work


in the UK. That is key to the economic prospects. But what they


care most about is that those already here should not be under any


pressure to leave. There is no guarantee of that. That is what Mrs


May wants. There are a lot of things Mrs May wants and the story of 2017


will be about what she gets. How much have we got to give people? It


is not what we want, but what we are willing to give. The interesting


thing is you can divide this out into two. There is a question of the


European Union and our relationship with it but there is also the trick


the polls did to London -- there is also the polls. There is question


beyond the Western European security, that is about Nato and


intelligence and security, and the rising Russian threat. That does not


mean the Polish people will persuade everyone else to give us a lovely


deal on the EU, but the dynamic is bigger than just a chat about


Brexit. You cannot threaten a punishment beating for us if we are


putting our soldiers on the line on the eastern borders of Europe. I


think that's where Donald Trump changes the calculation because his


attitude towards Russia is very different to Barack Obama's. It is


indeed. Mentioning Russia, Brexit was a global story but nothing can


match and American election and even one which gives Donald Trump as


well. Let's have a look at what this panel was saying about Donald Trump.


Will Donald Trump win the Republican nomination next year.


So, not only did you think he would not be president, you did not think


he would win the Republican nomination. We were not alone in


that. And they're right put forward a motion to abolish punditry here


now because clearly we are pointless! There is enough


unemployment in the world already! We are moving into huge and charted


territory with Donald Trump as president. It is incredibly


unpredictable. But what has not been noticed enough is the Keynesian won.


Trump is a Keynesian. He wants massive infrastructure spending and


massive tax cuts. The big story next year will be the massive reflation


of the American economy and indeed the US Federal reserve has already


reacted to that by putting up interest rates. That is why he has a


big fight with the rest of the Republican Party. He is nominally a


Republican but they are not Keynesian. They are when it comes to


tax cuts. They are when it hits the rich to benefit the poor. The big


thing is whether the infrastructure projects land him in crony trouble.


The transparency around who gets those will be extremely difficult.


Most of the infrastructure spending he thinks can be done by the private


sector and not the federal government. His tax cuts overlap the


Republican house tax cuts speaker Ryan to give not all, but a fair


chunk of what he wants. If the American economy is going to reflate


next year, interest rates will rise in America, that will strengthen the


dollar and it will mean that Europe will be, it will find it more


difficult to finance its sovereign debt because you will get more money


by investing in American sovereign debt. That is a good point because


the dynamics will shift. If that happens, Trump will be pretty


popular in the US. To begin with. To begin with. It is energy


self-sufficient and if you can pull off the biggest trick in American


politics which is somehow to via corporation tax cuts to allow the


reassuring of wealth, because it is too expensive for American business


to take back into the US and reinvest, if you combine all of


those things together, you will end up with a boom on a scale you have


not seen. It will be Reagan on steroids? What could possibly go


wrong? In the short term for Britain, it is probably not bad


news. Our biggest market for exports as a country is the United States.


Our biggest market for foreign direct investment is the United


States and the same is true vice versa for America in Britain. Given


the pound is now competitive and likely the dollar will get stronger,


it could well give a boost to the British economy? Could do bit you


have to be slightly cautious about the warm language we are getting


which is great news out of President Trump's future cabinet on doing a


trade deal early, we are net exporters to the US. We benefit far


more from trading with US than they do with us. I think we have to come


up with something to offer the US for them to jump into bed with us. I


think it is called two new aircraft carriers and modernising the fleet.


Bring it on. I will raise caution, people in declining industries in


some places in America, the rust belt who have faced big profound


structural challenges and those are much harder to reverse. They face


real problems now because the dollar is so strong. Their ability to


export has taken a huge hit out of Ohio, Michigan and Illinois. And the


Mexican imports into America is now dirt cheap so that is a major


problem. Next year we have elections in Austria, France, the Netherlands,


Germany, probably Italy. Which outcome will be the most dramatic


for Brexit? If Merkel lost it would be a huge surprise. That is


unlikely. And if it was not Filon in France that would be unlikely. The


consensus it it will be Francois Filon against Marine Le Pen and it


will be uniting around the far right candidate. In 2002, that is what


happened. Filon is a Thatcherite. Marine Le Pen's politics --


economics are hard left. Francois Filon is as much a cert to win as


Hillary Clinton was this time last year. If he is competing against


concerns about rising globalisation and his pitch is Thatcherite, it is


a bold, brave strategy in the context so we will see. It will keep


us busy next year, Tom? Almost as busy as this year but not quite.


This year was a record year. I am up in my hours!


That's all for today, thanks to all my guests.


The Daily Politics will be back on BBC Two at noon tomorrow.


I'll be back here on the 15th January.


Remember, if it's Sunday, it's the Sunday Politics.


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The dance was woven into the storyline,


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