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I'm Sarah Smith, and welcome
to The Sunday Politics,
where we always bring you everything
you need to know to understand
what's going on in politics.
Coming up on today's programme...
The Government says
the international trade minister
Mark Garnier will be investigated
following newspaper allegations
of inappropriate behaviour
towards a female staff member.
We'll have the latest.
The Prime Minister says she can
agree a deal with the EU and plenty
of time for Parliament to vote on it
before we leave in 2018. Well
Parliament play ball? New evidence
cast out on the economic and
In the south-west, MPs aske
Defence Secretary about reports
Devonport's amphibious ships have
offered for sale to navies
in Brazil and Chile.
on from the abortion act white MPs
are lobbying the Home Secretary to
stop the alleged harassment of women
attending abortion clinics.
All that coming up in the programme.
And with me today to help make sense
of all the big stories,
Steve Richards and Anne McElvoy.
Some breaking news this morning.
The Government has announced
that it will investigate
whether the International Trade
Minister Mark Garnier broke
the Ministerial Code
of inappropriate behaviour.
It comes after reports in the Mail
on Sunday which has spoken to one
of Mr Garnier's former employees.
News of the investigation
was announced by the Health
Secretary Jeremy Hunt
on the Andrew Marr show earlier.
The stories, if they are true,
are totally unacceptable
and the Cabinet Office will be
conducting an investigation
as to whether there has been
a breach of the ministerial code
in this particular case.
But as you know the
facts are disputed.
This is something that covers
behaviour by MPs of all parties
and that is why the other thing
that is going to happen
is that today Theresa May
is going to write to John Bercow,
the Speaker of the House of Commons,
to ask for his advice as to how
we change that culture.
That was Jeremy Hunt a little
earlier. I want to turn to the panel
to make sense of this news. This is
the government taking these
allegations quite seriously.
has changed in this story is they
used to be a bit of delay while
people work out what they should say
about it, how seriously to take it.
As you see now a senior cabinet
member out there, Jeremy Hunt, with
an instant response. He does have
the worry of whether the facts are
disputed, but what they want to be
seen doing is to do something very
quickly. In the past they would say
it was all part of the rough and
tumble of Westminster.
does not deny these stories, which
is that he asked an employee to buy
sex toys, but he said it was just
high jinks and it was taken out of
context. Is this the sort of thing
that a few years ago in a different
environment would be investigated?
Not necessarily quite the frenzy
that it is nowadays. The combination
of social media, all the Sunday
political programmes were ministers
have to go on armed with a response
means that you get these we have to
be seen to be doing something. That
means there is this Cabinet Office
investigation. You pointed out to us
before the programme that he was not
a minister before this happened. It
does not matter whether he says yes,
know I did this or did not,
something has to be seen to be done.
Clearly ministers today are being
armed with that bit of information
and that Theresa May will ask John
Bercow the speaker to look into the
whole culture of Parliament in this
context. That is the response to
this kind of frenzy.
If we do live
in an environment where something
has to be seen to be done, does that
always mean the right thing gets
Absolutely not. We are in
witch hunt territory. All of us work
in the Commons over many years and
anyone would think it was a scene
out of Benny Hill or a carry on
film. Sadly it is not that much fun
and it is rather dull and dreary.
Yes, there are sex pests, yes, there
is sexual harassment, but the idea
this is going on on a huge scale is
Doesn't matter whether it
is a huge scale or not? Or just a
Any workplace where
you have the mixing of work and
social so intertwined and you throw
a huge amount of alcohol and late
night and people living away from
home you will have this happen.
does not make it OK.
It makes sexual
harassment not OK as it is not
anywhere. This happens to men as
well and if they have an issue into
it there are employment tribunal 's
and they can contact lawyers. I do
not think this should be a matter of
the speaker, it should be someone
completely independent of any party.
People think MPs are employees of
the party or the Commons, they are
Because they are self-employed
to whom do you go if you are a
That has to be
clarified. I agree you need a much
clearer line of reporting. It was a
bit like the situation when we came
into the media many years ago, the
Punic wars in my case! You were not
quite sure who to go to. If you work
worried that it might impede your
career, and you had to talk to
people who work next to you, that is
just one example, but in the Commons
people do not know who they should
go to. Where Theresa May might be
making a mistake, it is the same
mistake when it was decided to
investigate through Levinson the
culture of the media which was like
nailing jelly to a wall. Look at the
culture of anybody's job and the
environment they are in and there is
usually a lot wrong with it. When
you try and make it general, they
are not trying to blame individuals,
or it say they need a better line on
reporting of sexual harassment,
which I support, the Commons is a
funny place and it is a rough old
trade and you are never going to
iron out the human foibles of that.
Diane Abbott was talking about this
When I first went into Parliament so
many of those men had been to all
boys boarding schools and had really
difficult attitudes towards women.
The world has moved on and
middle-aged women are less likely
than middle-aged men to believe that
young research are irresistibly
attracted to them. We have seen the
issues and we have seen one of our
colleagues been suspended for quite
That is a point, Jarrod O'Mara, a
Labour MP who has had the whip
suspended, this goes across all
The idea that there is a
left or right divide over this is
absurd. This is a cultural issue. In
the media and in a lot of other
institutions if this is going to
develop politically, the frenzy will
carry on for a bit and other names
will come out over the next few
days, not just the two we have
mentioned so far in politics. But it
also raises questions about how
candidates are selected for example.
There has been a huge pressure for
the centre to keep out of things. I
bet from now on there will be much
greater scrutiny of all candidates
and tweets will have to be looked at
and all the rest of it.
candidates is interesting. Miriam
Gonzalez, Nick Clegg's wife, says
that during that election they knew
about Jarrod O'Mara and the Lib Dems
knew about it, so it is difficult to
suggest the Labour Party did not as
There is very clear evidence
the Labour Party did know. But we
are in a situation of how perfect
and well-behaved does everyone have
to be? If you look at past American
presidents, JFK and Bill Clinton,
these men were sex pest
extraordinaire, with totally
inappropriate behaviour on a regular
basis. There are things you are not
allowed to say if you are feminists.
Young women are really attracted to
powerful men. I was busted for the
idea that there are young women in
the House of commons who are
throwing themselves at middle-aged,
potbellied, balding, older men. We
need to focus on the right things.
When it is unwanted, harassing,
inappropriate and criminal,
absolutely, you come down like a
tonne of bricks. It is not just
because there are more women in the
Commons, it is because there are
more men married to women like us.
We have to leave it there.
As attention turns in
Westminster to the hundreds
of amendments put down on the EU
Withdrawal Bill, David Davis has
caused a stir this week by saying
it's possible Parliament won't get
a vote on the Brexit deal
until after March 2019 -
when the clock runs out
and we leave the EU.
Let's take a look at how
the controversy played out.
And which point do you envisage
Parliament having a vote?
As soon as possible thereafter.
As soon as possible
possible thereafter, yeah.
As soon as possible thereafter.
So, the vote in Parliament...
The other thing...
Could be after March 2019?
It could be, yeah, it could be.
It depends when it concludes.
Mr Barnier, remember,
has said he'd like...
Sorry, the vote of our Parliament,
the UK Parliament, could be
after March 2019?
Yes, it could be.
The thing to member...
Which would be...
Well, it can't come
before we have the deal.
You said that it is POSSIBLE that
Parliament night not vote
on the deal until AFTER
the end of March 2019.
I'm summarising correctly
what you said...?
Yeah, that's correct.
In the event we don't do
the deal until then, yeah.
Can the Prime Minister please
explain how it's possible
to have a meaningful vote
on something that's
already taken place?
As the honourable gentleman knows,
we're in negotiations
with the European Union, but I am
confident that the timetable under
the Lisbon Treaty does give time
until March 2019
for the negotiations to take place.
But I'm confident, because it is in
the interests of both sides,
it's not just this Parliament that
wants to have a vote on that deal,
but actually there will be
ratification by other parliaments,
that we will be able to achieve that
agreement and that negotiation
in time for this Parliament
to have a vote that we committed to.
We are working to reach
an agreement on the final deal
in good time before we leave
the European Union in March 2019.
Clearly, we cannot say
for certain at this stage
when this will be agreed.
But as Michel Barnier said,
he hopes to get a draft deal
agreed by October 2018,
and that's our aim is well.
agreed by October 2018,
and that's our aim as well.
I'm joined now by the former
Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary
Benn, who is the chair
of the Commons Brexit Committee,
which David Davis was
giving evidence to.
When you think a
parliamentary vote should take place
in order for it to be meaningful?
has to be before we leave the
European Union. Michel Barnier said
at the start of the negotiations
that he wants to wrap them up by
October of next year, so we have
only got 12 months left, the clock
is ticking and there is a huge
amount of ground to cover.
not think there is any point in
having the vote the week before we
leave because you could then not go
That would not be
acceptable. We will not be given a
bit of paper and told to take it or
leave it. But the following day
Steve Baker, also a minister in the
department, told our committee that
the government now accepts that in
order to implement transitional
arrangements that it is seeking, it
will need separate legislation. I
put the question to him if you are
going to need separate legislation
to do that, why don't you have a
separate bill to implement the
withdrawal agreement rather than
seeking to use the powers the
government is proposing to take in
the EU withdrawal bill.
If we stick
to the timing, you have said you do
not think it is possible to
negotiate a trade deal in the next
12 months. You say the only people
who think that is possible British
ministers. If you do not believe we
can get a deal negotiated, how can
we get a vote on it in 12 months'
If things go well, and there
is still a risk of no agreement
which would be disastrous for the
economy and the country, if
things go there will be a deal on
the divorce issues, there will be a
deal on the nature of the
transitional arrangement and the
government is to set out how it
thinks that will work, and then an
agreement between the UK and the 27
member states saying, we will now
negotiate a new trade and market
access arrangement, and new
association agreement between the
two parties, and that will be done
in the transition period. Parliament
will be voting in those
circumstances on a deal which leads
to the door being open.
But we would
be outside the EU at that point, so
how meaningful can vote be where you
take it or leave it if we have
already left the EU? Surely this has
to happen before March 2019 for it
to make a difference?
I do not think
it is possible to negotiate all of
the issues that will need to be
covered in the time available.
it is not possible to have a
meaningful vote on it?
will have to have a look at the deal
presented to it. It is likely to be
a mix agreement so the approval
process in the rest of Europe,
unlike the Article 50 agreement,
which will be a majority vote in the
European Parliament and in the
British Parliament, every single
Parliament will have a vote on it,
so it will be a more complex process
anyway, but I do not think that is
the time to get all of that sorted
between now and October next year.
Whether it is before or after we
have left the EU, the government
have said it is a take it or leave
it option and it is the Noel Edmonds
option, deal or no Deal, you say yes
or no to it. You cannot send them
back to re-negotiate.
If it is a separate piece of
legislation, when Parliament has a
chance to shape the nature of that
But it can't change
what has been negotiated with the
Well, you could say to the
government, we're happy with this
but was not happy about that chukka
here's some fresh instructions, go
back in and...
It seems to me what
they want is the maximum access to
the single market for the lowest
possible tariffs, whilst able to
control migration. If they've got to
get the best deal that they can on
that, how on earth is the Labour
Party, saying we want a bit more,
owing to persuade the other 27?
certainly don't want the lowest
possible tariffs, we want no tariffs
are taught. My personal view is
that, has made a profound mistake in
deciding that it wants to leave the
customs union. If you want to help
deal with the very serious question
of the border between Northern
Ireland and the Republic of Ireland,
the way you do that is to stay in
the customs union and I hope, will
change its mind.
But the Labour
Party is simply saying in the House
of Commons, we want a better deal
than what, has been able to get?
depends how the negotiations unfold.
, has ended up on the transitional
arrangements in the place that Keir
Starmer set out on behalf of the
shadow cabinet in August, when he
said, we will need to stay in the
single market and the customs union
for the duration of the transition,
and I think that is the position,
has now reached. It has not been
helped by differences of view within
the Cabinet, and a lot of time has
passed and there's proved time left
and we have not even got on to the
negotiations. -- there's very little
On phase two, the labour
Party have set out six clear tests,
and two of them are crucial. You say
you want the exact same benefits we
currently have in the customs union
but you also want to be able to
ensure the fair migration to control
immigration, basically, which does
sound a bit like having your cake
and eating it. You say that you will
vote against any deal that doesn't
give you all of that, the exact same
benefits of the single market, and
allowing you to control migration.
But you say no deal would be
catastrophic if so it seems to me
you're unlikely to get the deal that
you could vote for but you don't
want to vote for no deal?
absolutely don't want a no deal.
Businesses have sent a letter to the
Prime Minister saying that a
transition is essential because the
possibility of a no deal and no
transitional would be very damaging
for the economy. We fought the
general election on a policy of
seeking to retain the benefits of
the single market and the customs
union. Keir Starmer said on behalf
of the shadow government that as far
as the longer term arrangements are
concerned, that should leave all
options on the table, because it is
the end that you're trying to
achieve and you then find the means
to support it. So we're setting out
very clearly those tests.
were to vote down an agreement
because it did not meet your tests,
and there was time to send, back to
the EU to get a better deal, then
you would have significantly
weakened their negotiating hand
chukka that doesn't help them?
don't think, has deployed its
negotiating hand very strongly thus
far. Because we had a general
election which meant that we lost
time that we would have used for
negotiating. We still don't know
what kind of long-term trade and
market access deal, wants. The Prime
Minister says, I don't want a deal
like Canada and I don't want a deal
like the European Economic Area. But
we still don't know what kind of
deal they want. With about 12 months
to go, the other thing, needs to do
is to set out very clearly above all
for the benefit of the other 27
European countries, what kind of
deal it wants. When I travel to
Europe and talk to those involved in
the negotiations, you see other
leaders saying, we don't actually
know what Britain wants. With a year
to go it is about time we made that
One related question on the
European Union - you spoke in your
famous speech in Syria about the
international brigades in Spain, and
I wonder if your solidarity with
them leads you to think that the UK
Government should be recognising
Catalonia is an independent state?
No, I don't think so. It is a very
difficult and potentially dangerous
situation in Catalonia at the
moment. Direct rule from Madrid is
not a long-term solution. There
needs to be a negotiation, and
elections will give Catalonia the
chance to take that decision, but I
am not clear what the declaration of
independence actually means. Are
they going to be borders, is they're
going to be an army? There will have
to be some agreement. Catalonia has
already had a high degree of
autonomy. It may like some more, and
it seems to me if you look at the
experience here in the United
Kingdom, that is the way to go, not
a constitutional stand-off. And I
really hope nobody is charged with
rebellion, because actually that
would make matters worse.
Now, the Government has this
week reopened the public
consultation on plans for a third
runway at Heathrow.
While ministers are clear
the £18 billion project
is still the preferred option,
new data raises further questions
about the environmental
impact of expansion,
and offers an improved
economic case for a second
runway at Gatwick instead.
So, with opponents on all sides
of the Commons, does the Government
still have the votes to get
the plans off the ground?
Here's Elizabeth Glinka.
The debate over the expansion
of Heathrow has been
going on for decades.
Plans for a third runway
were first introduced
by the Labour government in 2003.
Then, after spending millions
of pounds, finally, in 2015,
the airport commission recommended
that those plans go ahead,
and the government position
appeared to be fixed.
But, of course, since then,
we've had a general election.
The Government have lost
their Commons majority.
And with opposition on both front
benches, the Parliamentary
arithmetic looks a little bit up
in the air.
A lot has changed since the airport
commission produced its report,
and that don't forget
was the bedrock for the Government's
decision, that's why the government
supposedly made the decision
that it made.
But most of the assumptions
made in that report have
been undermined since,
by data on passenger numbers,
on economic benefits, and more
than anything, on pollution.
There's demand from international
carriers to get into Heathrow.
More and more people want to fly.
And after the referendum,
is going to be absolutely critical
to the UK economy, so if anything,
I think the case is stronger
for expansion at Heathrow.
A vote on expansion had been due
to take place this summer.
But with Westminster somewhat
distracted, that didn't happen.
Now, fresh data means
the Government has had to reopen
the public consultation.
But it maintains the case
for Heathrow is as strong as ever,
delivering benefits of up
to £74 billion to the wider economy.
And in any case, the Government
says, action must be taken,
as all five of London's airports
will be completely
full by the mid-2030s.
Still, the new research does cast
an alternative expansion at Gatwick
in a more favourable economic light,
while showing Heathrow
is now less likely to meet
its environmental targets.
Campaigners like these in Hounslow
sense the wind is shifting.
We're feeling encouraged,
because we see all kinds
of weaknesses in the argument.
Certainly, quite a few MPs,
I think certainly Labour MPs,
are beginning to think perhaps it's
not such a great idea
to have a third runway.
Their MP is convinced colleagues
can now be persuaded
to see things their way.
The Labour Party quite
rightly set four key tests
for a third runway at Heathrow.
And in my view,
Heathrow is not able...
The Heathrow option is not able
to pass any of those.
So, I see a lot of colleagues
in the Labour Party around
the country beginning
to think twice.
And if you look at the cross-party
MPs supportin this anti-Heathrow
And if you look at the cross-party
MPs supporting this anti-Heathrow
protest this week, you will see
some familiar faces.
You know my position -
as the constituency MP,
I'm totally opposed.
I think this is another indication
of just the difficulties
the Government have got off
of implementing this policy.
I don't think it's going to happen,
I just don't think
it's going to happen.
So, if some on the Labour
front bench are, shall
we say, not supportive,
what about the other side?
In a free vote, we could have had up
to 60 Conservative MPs
voting against expansion,
that's the number that is normally
used and I think it's right.
In the circumstances where it
requires an active rebellion,
the numbers would be fewer.
I can't tell you what that
number is, but I can tell
you that there are people right
the way through the party,
from the backbenches
to the heart of the government,
who will vote against
And yet the SNP, whose Commons
votes could prove vital,
are behind the Heathrow plan,
which promises more
And other supporters are convinced
they have the numbers.
There is a majority of members
of Parliament that support Heathrow
expansion, and when that is put
to the test, whenever that will be,
I think that will be
Any vote on this issue
won't come until next summer.
For both sides, yet more time
to argue about weather
the plans should take off
or be permanently grounded.
Elizabeth Glinka there.
And I'm joined now by the former
Cabinet minister Theresa Villiers,
who oversaw aviation policy
as a transport minister
under David Cameron.
Thanks for coming in. You have made
your opposition to a third runway at
Heathrow consistently clear. , have
reopened this consultation but it is
still clearly their preferred
It is but what I have always
asked is, why try to build a new
runway at Heathrow when you can
build one at Gatwick in half the
time, for half the cost and with a
tiny fraction of the environment
will cost average is that true,
though? Private finance is already
to go at Heathrow, because that's
where people want to do it and
that's where the private backers
want to put it. It would take much
longer to get the private finance
for Gatwick? Part of that private
finance is passengers of the future,
but also, the costs of the surface
transport needed to expand Heathrow
is phenomenal. I mean, TfL estimates
vary between £10 billion and £15
billion. And there's no suggestion
that those private backers are going
to meet those costs. So, this is a
hugely expensive project as well as
one which will create very
ultimately where passengers and
airlines want to go to, isn't it?
Every slot is practically full.
Every time a new one comes up, it is
up immediately, it's a very popular
airport. Gatwick is not where they
want to go?
There are many airlines
and passengers who do want to fly
from Gatwick, and all the forecasts
indicate that a new runway there
would be full of planes very
rapidly. But I think the key thing
is that successive elements have
said, technology will deliver a way
to resolve the around noise and air
quality. I don't have any confidence
that science has demonstrated that
technology will deliver those
solutions to these very serious
environmental limbs which have
stopped Heathrow expansion for
Jim Fitzpatrick in the film
was mentioning that people think
there is a need for even more
collectivity in Britain post-Brexit.
We know that business has been
crying out for more routes, they
really think it hurts business
expansion that we don't get on with
this. More consultation is just
going to lead to more delay, isn't
This is a hugely controversial
decision. There is a reason why
people have been talking about
expanding Heathrow for 50 years and
it is never happened, it's because
it's a bad idea. So, inevitably the
legal processes are very complex.
One of my anxieties about, pursuing
this option is that potentially it
means another lost decade for
airport expansion. Because the
problems with Heathrow expansion are
so serious, I believe that's one of
the reasons why I advocated, anyone
who wants a new runway in the
south-east should be backing Gatwick
is a much more deliverable option.
Let me move on to Brexit. We were
talking with Hilary Benn about a
meaningful vote being given to the
House of Commons chukka how
important do you think that is?
course the Commons will vote on
this. The Commons is going to vote
on this many, many times. We have
also had a hugely important vote not
only in the referendum on the 23rd
of June but also on Article 50.
will that vote allow any changes to
it? Hilary Benn seemed to think that
the Commons would be able to shape
the deal with the vote. But actually
is it going to be, saying, take it
or leave it at all what we have
Our Prime Minister
negotiates on our behalf
well-established precedent that
after an agreement is reached
overseas, then it is considered in
the House of Commons.
What if it was
voted down in the House of Commons?
Well, the legal effect of that would
be that we left the European Union
without any kind of deal, because
the key decision was on the voting
of Article 50 as an irreversible
Is it irreversible,
though? We understand, may have had
legal advice saying that Yukon
stopped the clock on Article 50.
Would it not be possible if the
Commons voted against to ask the
European Union for a little bit more
time to try and renegotiate?
is a debate about the reversibility
of Article 50. But the key point is
that we are all working for a good
deal for the United Kingdom and the
I'm concerned that some of the
amendments to the legislation are
not about the nature of the deal at
the end of the process, they're just
about frustrating the process. I
think that would be wrong. I think
we should respect the result of the
Will it be by next
summer, so there is time for
Parliament and for other
I certainly hope that
we get that agreement between the
two sides, and the recent European
summit seemed to indicate a
willingness from the European side
to be constructive. But one point
where I think Hilary Benn has a
point, if we do secure agreement on
a transitional deal, that does
potentially give us more time to
work on the details of a trade
agreement. I hope we get as much as
possible in place before exit day.
But filling out some of that detail
is made easier if we can secure that
two-year transitional deal.
That is interesting because a lot of
Brexiteers what the deal to be done
by the inflammation period, it is
not a time for that.
recognise we need compromise, I am
keen to work with people across my
party in terms of spectrum of
opinion, and with other parties as
well to ensure we get the best
Let me ask you briefly
before you go about the possible
culture of sexual harassment in the
House of commons and Theresa May
will write to the Speaker of the
House of Commons to make sure there
is a better way that people can
report sexual harassment in the
House of commons. Is that necessary?
A better procedure is needed. It is
sad it has taken this controversy to
push this forward. But there is a
problem with MPs who are individual
employers. If you work for an MP and
have a complaint against them,
essentially they are overseeing
their own complaints process. I
think a role for the House of
commons authorities in ensuring that
those complaints are properly dealt
with I think would be very helpful,
so I think the Prime Minister's
letter was a sensible move.
think there is a culture of sexual
harassment in the House of commons?
I have not been subjected to it or
seen evidence of it, but obviously
there is anxiety and allegations
have made their way into the papers
and they should be treated
appropriately and properly
Thank you for talking
Thank you for talking to us.
Next week the Lord Speaker's
committee publishes its final report
into reducing the size
of the House of Lords.
With over 800 members the upper
house is the second largest
legislative chamber in the world
after the National People's
Congress of China.
The report is expected to recommend
that new peerages should be
time-limited to 15 years and that
in the future political peerage
appointments will also be tied
to a party's election performance.
The government has been under
pressure to take action to cut
members of the unelected chamber,
where they are entitled
to claim an attendance
allowance of £300 a day.
And once again these expenses
have been in the news.
The Electoral Reform Society
discovered that 16 peers had claimed
around £400,000 without speaking
in any debates or submitting any
questions for an entire year.
One of the Lords to be
criticised was Digby Jones,
the crossbencher and former trade
minister, he hasn't spoken
in the Lords since April 2016
and has voted only seven times
during 2016 and 2017.
Yet he has claimed around
£15,000 in this period.
When asked what he does
in the House he said,
"I go in and I will invite for lunch
or meet with inward
investors into the country.
I fly the flag for Britain."
Well, we can speak now
to Lord Jones who joins us
from Stratford Upon Avon.
Thank you very much for talking to
us. You provide value for money in
the House of Lords do you think?
Definitely. I am, by the way, very
keen on reform. I want to see that
15 year tide. I would like to see a
time limit, an age limit of 75 or
80. I would like attendants
definitely define so the whole
public understood what people are
paying for and why. The £300, as a
crossbencher I get no support, and
nor do I want any, speech writing,
secretarial assistance, none of
that, and the £300 goes towards
Whilst you are in there
because we will talk about the
reform of the Lords in general, but
in terms of you yourself, you say
you invite people in for lunch, is
it not possible for you to take part
in debates and votes and ask
questions at the same time?
ever listened to a debate in the
laws? Yes, many times.
times. You have to put your name
down in advance and you have to be
there for the whole debate.
to be around when the vote is called
and you do not know when the book is
called, you have no idea when the
boat is going to be called.
part of being a member of the House
of Lords and what it means. If you
are not prepared to wait or take
part in debates, why do you want to
be a member? It is possible to
resign from the House of Lords.
There are many things members of the
Lords do that does not relate to
parrot fashion following somebody
else, which I refuse to do, about
speaking to an empty chamber, or
indeed hanging on sometimes for
hours to vote. There are many other
things that you do. You quote me as
saying I will entertain at lunchtime
or show people around the House,
everything from schoolchildren to
inward investors. I will meet
ministers about big business issues
or educational issues, and at the
same time I will meet other members
of the Lords to get things moving.
None of that relates to going into
the House and getting on your hind
legs, although I do go in and sit
there and learn and listen to
others, which, if more people would
receive and not transmit, we might
get a better informed society. At
the same time many times I will go
after I have listened and I am
leaving and if I have not heard the
debate, I will not vote.
an essential part of being part of a
legislative chamber. This is not
just an executive committee, it is a
legislature, surpassing that law is
essential, is it not?
Do you really
believe that an MP or a member of
the Lords who has not heard a moment
of the debate, who is then listening
to the Bell, walks in and does not
know which lobby, the whips tell
him, they have not heard the debate
and they do not know what they are
voting on and they go and do it?
That is your democracy? Voting seems
to be an essential part of this
chamber, and you have your ideas
about reforming the chamber. It
sounds as though you would reform
yourself out of it. You say people
who are not voting and who are not
taking part in debate should no
longer be members of the House.
did not say that. I said we ought to
redefine what attendance means and
then if you do not attend on the new
criteria, you do not have to come
ever again, we will give you your
wish. I agree attendance might mean
unless you speak, you are going.
Fair enough, if that is what is
agreed, yes. Sometimes I would speak
and sometimes I would not. If I did
not, then off I go. Similarly after
15 years, off you go. If you reach
75 or 80, off you go. Why do we have
92 members who are only there
because of daddy.
You are talking
about hereditary peers. You would
like to reduce the House to what
kind of number?
I would get it down
You would get rid of half
the peers there at the moment? You
think you are active enough to
remain as one of the 400?
No, I said
that might well include me. Let's
get a set of criteria, let's push it
through, because the laws is losing
respect in the whole of the country
because there are too many and all
these things about what people pay
for. I bet most people think the
money you get is paid. It is not, it
is re-funding for all the things you
have to pay for yourself. But I
understand how respect has been lost
in society. Let's change it now.
Let's get it through and then, yes,
if you do not meet the criteria, you
have got to go and that includes me.
Lloyd Jones, thank you for talking
Lloyd Jones, thank
you for talking to us.
It's coming up to 11.40,
you're watching the Sunday Politics.
Coming up on the programme,
we'll be talking to the former
business minister and Conservative
MP Anna Soubry about the Brexit
negotiations and claims of sexual
harassment in Parliament.
Hello, I'm Lucy Fisher.
harassment in Parliament.
Coming up on the
Sunday Politics here
in the southwest...
You don't mess with Plymouth.
You don't mess with these ships.
You don't mess with the Navy.
We are here for the country.
The fight to secure
the future of the
nation's amphibious assault ships
based in Plymouth continues.
And for the next 20
minutes and join by
Conservative MP for North Cornwall,
Scott Mann, as the leader of the
Lib Dem group on Dorset
Council, Ros Kayes.
Welcome both of you
to the programme.
Let's start with another running
story which has been
developing this week -
the row over fishing safety.
Last week we discussed
a petition that is calling
for the coastguard to launch
lifeboats as soon as a fishing
vessel fails to return home on time.
It was started after the capsizing
of Plymouth trawler Solstice last
month, in which a fisherman died.
A third fatal incident in two years,
in which campaigners say there was a
delay launching lifeboats.
On Wednesday the MP
for South East Cornwall,
Cheryl Murray, told
Prime Minister she had
concerns about the petition.
I believe this is
irresponsible and puts our
valiant lifeboat crews in peril.
If they don't know
where they are going.
We know this in Cornwall.
Would the Prime Minister look
at making safety grants available so
that all fishing boats can
have an AIS locator beacon on board.
This would cost well
under £4 million.
Following that, the woman
who launched a petition said she was
staggered and disappointed
by Mrs Murray's intervention.
Lifeboatmen are very brave.
They go in to face the danger
to save us and others
That is what they do.
The petition is
by lifeboat men.
By fishermen, by fishermen's
families and industry
Scott, whose side do
you come down on?
Do you believe the petition
is irresponsible or Cheryl
Murray's response to it?
Can I first of all just
so what happened on the
Solstice is very tragic
and I think there does need
to be a review.
My minister, John Hayes,
because I sit in the
Department for Transport,
has said he will leave
no stone unturned
terms of looking at what
happened in Plymouth.
Because there was a delay
in launching the lifeboat, which is
why this petition has been started.
You have got the north Cornish
coast in your patch.
Do you believe this idea
they should have a beacon on
the boat instead
is the way forwards?
There should be grants to get those?
Yeah, I think that is a solution.
With GPS technology as it currently
is at the moment, and the
way it is moving forward
as rapidly as it is,
I think it's important all boats
that are on the water have beacons
to know where they are.
I had a meeting last week
with the Pew Trust, and we were
talking about ocean safety and one
of their suggestions was that it
would obviously be good for safety
but it would also be good for
illegal fishing and to look
at people smuggling.
To know where the boats
are at all times.
Ros, we did have cuts
to the coastguard only two
Do you think that has
had any impact on this?
I do think so, and I think
it's an example of an
ill thought through process.
I can understand,
although I didn't agree
with, the cuts to the coastguard,
but I think it needed to be backed
up with funding so individual boats
can afford to buy this
If we cannot monitor them
and we have not got proper oversight
then incidents like this are only
going to occur more frequently.
And they are tragic
and I think it is up to
the Government to try to find
a solution to prevent that.
Scott, do you accept
that there might be a
link between coastguard cuts
and the lifeboat delays?
I think there is two
There is a process
issue regarding how the
coastguard and the RNLI join up
together, but also an issue around
technology and how we use
technology going forward.
I would say I think this
review is welcome and I am
hoping the Minister will be able
to get the people around the table
needs to to find out exactly
in Plymouth and see if we can
improve on the services provided.
And get the lifeboat out
a bit quicker in future.
OK, now, with economists
predicting an interest
rate rise on Thursday,
mortgages could be about to get more
expensive, and even
further from the reach
of the thousands struggling
get on the housing ladder
here in the South West.
This week, MPs debated
a petition started by a
Plymouth man who thinks lenders
should be made to consider someone's
rent payment track
record when deciding
whether to give them
Jamie Kumar has more.
If you are looking to rent a two bed
property in Plymouth you will end up
paying on average of 700
to £800 a month for it.
All were a number of years
that adds up to a lot of
But should the fact
you have been paying
rent regularly over
period of time be enough proof
you can afford mortgage repayments?
Well, it seems a lot
of people think it should be.
147,307, to be precise.
They signed a petition started
by Plymouth dad Jamie Pogson.
If the law does change
then a lot of people
will be able to obtain
mortgages much easier.
Because I know people that
pay their rent on time all the
time but they cannot get
accepted for mortgages.
Liz backs Jamie's idea,
after eight years of paying
rent, she is about to
buy her first property.
But she could only afford to do that
because her family has
helped with the deposit.
The mortgage payments will be
considerably less than rental.
It has taken a while
to be approved for
the mortgage, to evidence I can make
the repayments, even though I have
been paying rent for
years at a higher rate.
This week, what started off
as Jamie's angry rant on the
way to work, was making politicians
and Westminster sit up and listen.
I would like to think
that someone getting
out of bed one day
and wanting to change
the world could produce
situation where thousands of people
who are currently renting at the
moment might be able to buy a house
because of Jamie Pogson getting out,
tabling that petition.
It really showed the
value of this house
listening to those people
who are signing petitions.
Why aren't rental payments enough
proof you can afford
UK Finance, the body representing
some lenders, says they
can take that into account, but that
on its own is not enough evidence
you can take on a large
debt and pay it back.
So they have to look at other
factors, like your credit
score, how steady your job is
and how much you can put down as a
But there are some schemes
which allow a tenant's rental record
to contribute to their credit score.
During the debate, the minister
hinted lenders should look more
favourably on people
who pay their rent on time.
It is clear many people
still struggle to make the
first step on the housing ladder.
Credit reference agencies being able
to access data related to
history of paying rent,
will benefit both
borrower but it will also
benefit the lender.
Perhaps bulkier, Jimmy wanted,
but the start, maybe, of an
That might one day
move lenders in the
direction he wants.
Jamie Kumar reporting.
Ros, should lenders look more
favourably on people who have
paid their rent on time
and can prove it?
In a short answer, yes.
Although I think we must
remember the reason why
people who are renting are finding
it hard to get mortgagess because
of a bottleneck in the housing
market and extremely high places,
especially in the south-west.
Which has got to do
with a failure to
affordable rented homes.
People who rent, and I have been
in both markets, have actually
a much harder credit process to go
through in order to even be allowed
to rent a house.
And often renting is more
expensive than a mortgage
Renting is more expensive
and so if people can prove they have
a record, and I can understand
if you are taking up a bigger
mortgage but might be over a number
but if they can prove they have got
that record, yes, absolutely,
well done for the petitioner
is an absolute necessity.
And it is also very
unfair people who are
renting are treated
as second-class citizens.
Not just in terms of getting
mortgages but in terms of
getting any kind of loan.
You are always asked
to tick that box,
"Do you own or do rent?"
So you do not think it would be
encouraging irresponsible lending,
to look at that?
I do not think so because I think
anybody who has been
in the rental market
for a long time and has
been a good tenant,
responsible if not more
so than any mortgage holder.
Scott, do you think this
is something the Government
should be pushing for?
I think it's an excellent idea.
I think it's an excellent idea.
There is a scheme at the moment
called Rent Plus, and they have been
lobbying me quite hard to get
the definition of
affordable housing change
so people can pay rent...
So that it's actually affordable.
And then upgrade to
purchasing the home of
the back of the rent they pay.
And when you have got
people putting all
of their income into private rented
accommodation and are not able to
build that the deposit when you
could effectively get a mortgage for
half what they are paying.
Because deposits are a real problem.
There was the survey
by Halifax that said
most people are more
worried about the deposit
than about getting
mortgage because you cannot get
one without the other.
You actually have said
about the help to buy scheme,
party's own, it is like sticking
a sticking plaster on a
Do you still stand by that?
I believe we have got
fundamental problems in the
Many people in Cornwall have
to stretch to 13 or 14 times
their income to be able
to purchase their first home.
I think there is much
more we can do.
Some of the most
fundamental problems around
housing are the land values.
I think we need to
think more radically
about how we deal with some of that.
Like the Communities
Secretary Sajid Javid,
because there is
something going on here.
Sajid Javid wants to build
is several hundred thousand
new homes and just at the Tory party
conference Theresa May announced £2
billion for 25,000 new homes.
There is a real
discrepancy going on there
within the Government itself.
I think we need to do more
in the planning system.
I think the Government
can do so much but I
think we need to find ways
of creating new garden villages.
So we built settlements outside
of existing development boundaries.
But is that a dream?
No, I don't think it is.
I think it is genuinely achievable.
It shouldn't be right someone
has to find 50% of the
cost of their house in land value.
We should be able to bring that down
substantially and bring down the
cost to be affordable.
Ros, is that achievable?
I think it is more than just doing
stuff with the planning
I think it is about allowing
councils that still have cash left
to release that money in order
to build council homes.
That has been mentioned
at the conference.
Whether it actually
transpires into reality,
let's hope it is
pushed along quickly.
I also think the idea
of using the private sector, there
are institutional investors
like Legal And General
that have some fantastic
affordable housing schemes
which they can make pay
which do not actually
need public investment
They might need public
and the right thing to get them
We have hopefully got one happening
in my own patch which
will be funded by
the private sector.
There are imaginative things we can
look at but what I do not
want to see is governments
of all persuasions,
because they have done it over
the last 15, 20 years, kick
this issue into the long grass.
They have made noises about it
and haven't actually have not done
anything about it.
Can I just come in on that?
So I asked the Chancellor
this week, this
Government has introduced
a second home stamp
duty levy which places
additional 3% on stamp duty
for homes that are not for main
Which we have got
a lot of down here.
We have managed to
secure a £20 million
for the south-west,
of which 5.11 is going into...
20 million is such a drop
in the ocean when you are
looking at the cost of housing.
It is 1000 new homes
in Cornwall that would not
have been built before
I am very pleased we have managed
to secure that and that is just one
The campaign to save
Devonport's amphibious ships
from the axe has been
ramping up this week.
A petition against the leaked
proposals gained 10,000
The Conservative led
Plymouth City Council voted
unanimously to fight the plans.
Meanwhile, at Westminster,
the Defence Secretary was asked
about reports Bulwark and Albion
been quietly offered
for sale to foreign navies.
Chloe Axford reports.
From the social enterprise coffee
shop to the cafe outside the
People here say the Navy is part
of Plymouth's DNA, and
losing ships like HMS Albion
and Bulwark, and their Marines,
would be unthinkable.
It does not just impact
the dockyard, it impacts the
residents, businesses around here.
So I think it would worry a lot
of people if it happened.
Arguably, much of Devonport
or Plymouth, even,
would not exist if it
wasn't for the Royal Navy.
If change is going to happen it is
probably beyond what is in our gift.
Then my plea would be we manage
that, invest in that and support
people through that.
The battle lines are now
being drawn between
those who want answers
about the ships' future
and those who dismiss reports
they are going to be scrapped
as simply speculation
Is it a case of attack
being the best form of
In the Commons, Plymouth MP
Johnny Mercer seem to think so.
As members of this
house we all have a
responsibility when it
comes to speculation.
We can essentially speculate
about anything at all.
But these are people's lives,
their jobs, and we should
base our debate around facts and not
Others on both sides of the house
bombarded defence ministers
with questions about the future
of Devonport ships.
Can I ask the Minister
to speed up this review
because there are lots of people
that are very concerned about their
jobs and the local economy Albion,
Bulwark and the Royal Marines are to
But each time, the frontbenchers
took evasive action.
Once again, he seems to be
unnecessarily adding fuel to the
Indeed perhaps even
scaremongering to his
own constituents, which I don't
think is particularly valuable.
At Wednesday's Defence
Johnny Mercer was back
the offensive against any possible
cuts, leading to some careful
manoeuvring by the Defence Secretary
to deflect attention away from
Albion and Bulwark.
The threats have intensified.
We have to spend money dealing
with the threat from cyber as
well as finding resources
to storm beaches.
It is for the Chiefs to weigh these
priorities up and give
me the right military advice
when the decision comes.
is a strong one.
This was local children
at the half term
This week, Plymouth's Conservative
and Labour councillors
voted unanimously to defend
Devonport and the rest of the city
against any cuts.
Calling it a fight Plymouth
cannot afford to lose.
Navy contracts account for 8.5%
of Plymouth's employment and 12% of
You do not mess with Plymouth.
You don't mess with the ships,
you don't mess
with the Navy.
We are here for the country and now
it is time for you to be
here for us.
The outcome of the Government's
capability review is
expected by Christmas.
But there are already reports
the Chilean and Brazilian
navies are considering purchasing
some of the UK's amphibious ships
and frigates, leaving the outlook
for the British Navy and those who
rely on it here in Plymouth,
Chloe Axford reporting.
Scott, how difficult is it to get
the right position on
We've heard Johnny Mercer on Monday
saying in the Commons this
was just speculation and by
Wednesday he is in a committee room
firing very hard questions
at the Defence Secretary.
What position should
we take in what position do
you take on this?
Is it just speculation?
Can we still say that?
I am pleased Johnny is firing
questions at the Defence Secretary
My understanding is it is
speculation at this point.
Why don't they just dismiss it then?
If it is not true?
This is the second part
of a Strategic Defence Review.
We have had one review
is the second.
I don't know why we're having
a second one so quickly.
I think the military capability
and threat we face has not changed
significantly from the last review.
Too much money on the aircraft
carrier in Portsmouth?
I would argue the threat
we face is changing and
as an island nation we need to have
I would also make the point
if the issue is about
financing, I would suggest the
Defence Secretary should speak to
the Chancellor and make the case
we should be spending some of aid
budget, currently set 0.7%,
on defence, security and social
care, which I think
should be our priorities.
Ros, is that something
you would agree with?
I'm not sure I agree
with the aid budget, but I
think what we need to look at is
what moving the Navy did to Weymouth
which is in my own backyard, and I
think, looking at the employment
stats and economic contribution that
Devonport makes to Plymouth, I think
it would be really
scary for the people
of Plymouth if there
be a mass disinvestment.
Reading between the
lines, what is your
judgment of it?
Do you think we can
dismiss it as speculation?
No, I don't agree with that at all.
I think that there needs to be
transparency about this and where
there is not transparency it is
because something is going on in the
background and there will be some
perhaps deals or discussions taking
place about moving funding
from one place to another.
You say that, Defence Weekly,
a highly respected
magazine in the industry suggested
there was talk in Chile and
Argentina are possibly
buying these ships.
What is your response to that?
I would say that they must be good
ships and we should keep a
hold of them.
It is important we have
all capabilities open to
As we enter this world
that is changing drastically.
I would pick the case
we are an island
nation and we need to keep our
I should qualify myself
there, it is Chile
and Brazil that perhaps are looking
at buying our ships.
You made two points,
one was the threat,
you said, is changing.
But, two, we are an island
nation so we need to keep
our amphibious ships.
Again, those are two
opposing points of view.
If the threat is changing
and we are going to cyber warfare
you probably wouldn't need to keep
and we would not be able
to need to land on beaches.
And in which case it
would not be very good use of
We already have a significant
amount of money that
goes into our cyber security threats
and the challenges we face with
The way the army and Navy and air.
It is changing.
We should keep
the options open to us
to deal with threats we face.
That might well change
in the future but
that is my view.
I think the amount we spend
on defence, 2% of GDP,
could be increased, it could be
increased post-Brexit but could
also be increased by looking
again at the aid budget.
This has been closely
followed on Twitter and we
have had quite a lot of tweets.
David Rogers tweeted
to say, "Did anybody
question the cost impact
Trident on conventional forces?"
So, Ros, if we scrapped the Trident
programme maybe we could save our
amphibious landing ships.
And I think also we had to say
although the nature of
warfare is changing, we are not
getting traditional big theatre
wars, what we are getting
is conflict where we have to enter
quite quickly and have the resource
at our fingertips in order to go in
and either rescue or
support or intervene
in a conflict management role.
So we still need those resources
to perform that role and
Briefly, Scott, should
we scrap Trident?
I firmly believe we need
a nuclear deterrent and we
should maintain it.
You want to have your cake
and eat it, then, Scott.
What do you mean?
Well, if you're talking
about taking money out of
the aid budget and supporting these
kind of conventional pieces of
equipment and supporting Trident,
what if there is not enough money to
Well, the aid budget is pretty
substantial, 0.7% of GDP,
and I think we should utilise that
to protect people in this country.
By preventing conflicts abroad that
prevent us from leading to
--needig to intervene.
And I also believe some of that aid
budget could potentially
be used for social care,
one of the most fundamental
and pressing issues we face.
I have to stop you there
because it is time for our regular
round-up of the political
week in just 60 seconds.
New figures showed 12,000 people
in the region are on
waiting lists for housing
because their current properties
are not fit to live in.
There is no wonder why
this place gets mouldy.
There is so much water in the air.
MPs lined up to demand speedier
action on rail improvements
for the region.
No more excuses was the message.
You have to look at the wind
forecast and weather forecast
and the shipping forecast to see
if they are actually going to be
The MP suspended for using
the N-word makes an appearance on
the Tory benches and refers to
Conservative MPs as her honourable
When I have spoken to my honourable
friend, the secretary of
state on this issue...
Faster than the speed
of sound, the Bloodhound's
test run in Cornwall
was brought to the attention
of the Prime Minister.
I am very happy to join him in
wishing the Bloodhound team well and
indeed I have met some
of them in the past.
Scott, Anne Marie Morris, the
Conservative MP for Newton Abbot,
does that mean she has been
given the whip back?
Not as far as I am aware.
That is obviously a decision
above my pay grade.
But she was in the rail
debate and it was a very
Luke Pollard made a very
good point about getting
Wi-Fi on trains and I think people
are fascinated with electrification
but from my point of view...
And that has moved
us neatly away from
I will bring in Ros.
Should she be giving the work back?
She used the N-word.
Is this something we should
forget and move on?
She used a colloquial
I think that is very
different from the kind of
disciplinary that is being exercised
in respect of Sheffield Hallam at
the moment, which I think is an
issue where discipline really needs
to be exercised.
I would not expect the whip to be
withdrawn from her for
her much longer.
That is the Sunday Politics
in the south-west.
Thanks to my guests,
Scott Mann and Ros Keyes
With that, it's back to Sarah.
Now, the much anticipated
EU Withdrawal Bill,
which will transfer EU law into UK
law in preparation for Brexit,
is expected to be debated
by MPs later next month.
Critics have called it a "power
grab" as it introduces so-called
Henry VIII powers for Whitehall
to amend some laws without
and it faces fierce resistance
from opposition parties
as well as many on the government's
own backbenches, with 300 amendments
and 54 new clauses tabled on it.
We're joined now by the Conservative
MP Anna Soubry who has been a strong
critic of the legislation.
Thank you very much for joining us.
Before we talk about the withdrawal
bill, I would like to bring up with
you that the Prime Minister has just
sent a letter to the Commons Speaker
John Bercow asking for an
independent body to be established
to investigate claims of sexual
harassment in Parliament. What are
your thoughts on that?
A very good
idea, sounds like a great deal of
common sense. I had already this
morning sent a request to the
speaker asking for an urgent
statement from the Leader of the
House as to what could now be done
to make sure that any complaints
actually against anybody working in
Parliament, to extend the
protections that workers throughout
the rest of businesses and in other
workplaces have, they should now be
extended into Parliament and asking
for an urgent statement from the
leader. Clearly the PM is well onto
this and it is a good idea. We have
to make sure everybody who works in
Parliament enjoys exactly the same
protections as other workers, so I
This should maybe have
happened a long time ago. We hear
stories of harassment that has been
going on for decades, but until now
it has been difficult to work out
who you could complain to about it.
It is my understanding that my Chief
Whip and the previous deputy Chief
Whip, and Milton, shared that view
and have shared that view for some
time but found it difficult to get
all the agreement necessary. Anyway,
we are where we are and we are
making that progress, but
my Chief Whip and the previous
deputy Chief Whip wanted this done
some time ago.
That is an
interesting point. Let's move on to
the much anticipated EU withdrawal
bill which will finally be debated.
You have put your name to an
amendment which is calling for a
vote on the final agreement in
essence, do you really believe that
that will be a meaningful both
offered to the Commons?
Yes, if you
look at the terms of the amendment,
it would deliver exactly that. It
would give members of Parliament the
opportunity to debated and voted on
it. It would be an effective piece
of legislation and would go through
both houses and should be done. One
of the problems with this process is
that Parliament has been excluded
from the sort of debate and
decisions that would have enabled
the government to move forward in
progress and form a consensus so we
get the very best Brexit deal.
have been excluded, that has been
wrong in my view, but by the end we
should not be excluded. The
government have made it clear that
whilst there may well be a boat if
you win on this amendment, it will
be a take it or leave it vote. This
is a deal you should accept, or
there will be no deal.
If you look
at the amendment we put forward
there will be other alternatives.
This is all hypothetical because we
want a good deal and it is difficult
to see that the government would not
bring a good deal to the House in
any event. But this is hypothetical,
it would mean Parliament would say
to government, go back and seek an
extension as we know it is there in
Article 50. It is perfectly possible
with the agreement of the other
members of the EU to seek an
extension so we continue the
negotiations and we get a deal that
is good for our country. It keeps
all options open and that is the
most important thing.
Conservative MPs really would take
that option in those circumstances?
It is only if you get enough votes
that you would be able to ask the
government to go back and
Have you for that?
For give me, but
you are jumping way down the line. I
am talking about an amendment that
keeps the options open. I am not
speculating as to what would happen,
I am not going there, it is far too
speculative. Let's get this bill in
good shape. The principle of this
bill is right and we need to put
into British domestic law existing
EU laws and regulations into our
substantive law. We all agree that
must happen. It is the means by
which we do it that causes problems
and we have this argument and debate
about what we call the endgame.
sure we will talk about this many
more times before we get to that
vote. I will turn to our panel of
political experts. Listening to the
tone of what the remainders are
trying to achieve with the EU
withdrawal bill, will be achieved?
You can hear that tussled there,
they want the maximum space and room
for Parliament to have a say. But
they have to be careful. The reason
is that clock is ticking and if you
have a situation which may seem to
be more interested in finding
different things to object to and
saying no to, it is not getting a
good deal and it does not look good
for the remainders in this argument
and they will have to come through
with their proposals. I do not mind
Parliament saying it should have a
big say, but what do you do if
Parliament says this is not good
enough? The government must simply
say, I am sorry we have run out of
time. The 27 will say they cannot be
bothered to have another round
either. They have to be strong, but
realistic about what their role in
Do you think the people
putting this amendment who say they
want a binding vote in parliament
are doing it because they think
Parliament should have a say or
because they want to obstruct it?
They do not think people should have
a say in the first place, they think
people got it wrong, so they need
more clever people than the voters
to have final say.
Or they believed
taking back control means Parliament
should have the final say.
Parliament said they would like to
give that decision back to the
people. This is the issue. It seems
to me that people like Anna Soubry
are trying to delay of the
transition period a bit longer.
These negotiations will take as long
as they have got. The EU will take
it to the wire and if we do not get
a decent deal, and one of the
reasons is the level of incompetence
on this government's part I have to
say and the other one will be the
people who want to remain
undermining them. They undermined
the government at every single stage
and they undermine Britain's
It is the timing of all
of this that is crucial and whether
the government can get a deal in
There will be a meaningful
vote, whether it is an shined in
legislation or not, there cannot be
an historic development as big as
this without Parliament having a
meaningful vote. I meaningful,
having the power to either stop it
or endorse it. You cannot have a
government doing something like this
with no vote in the House of
commons. When you say it will go to
the last minute I completely agree,
but last-minute in reality means
next summer. It has got to get
through the European Parliament and
the Westminster Parliament and quite
a few others as well.
with invoking Parliament is if it is
driven solely by remain, I would
love to say what people in the
league side think. I disagree with
Julia, I do not think you could say
people had their say and the terms
with which we leave are left open
and only the government should have
a say in it, Parliament clearly
should have a say in it.
Do we want
a good deal or not?
It does not mean
anything if you do not do it by next
summer I suggest.
Does that leave
Parliament any room for changing the
deal or is it simply take it or
It will have to have that
rule because it cannot simply be
another of these binary votes were
you accept the deal or no Deal.
There has to be some space.
a few MPs in the House of Commons
change a deal that has been agreed
by the member states?
Because of the
sequence, a huge if by the way, if
they vote down the deal that the
government has negotiated, the
government will have to re-negotiate
or there will have to be an
election. This will be a moment of
huge crisis, our government not
getting through its much topped
It is a mini Catalonia.
think it would be as big as
Catalonia, but with the implication
that there would have to be a
practical change in the deal because
if Parliament has not supported
It is a remain fantasy that
this deal can be put off and off
until they get something that is as
close to remaining as they can
possibly get. I am very much for
trying to get the best and avoiding
the worst, but there is an unreality
to that position if you keep trying
to do it again and again, at some
point people will want clarity.
labour putting forward a realistic
I thought Hilary Benn
was very realistic this morning, I
wish he was more in the driving seat
of Labour policy. He made clear
where he disagreed and he made clear
where he thought the negotiations
had gone off track or were bogged
down. I worry a bit about the Labour
position being incoherent, but that
is kept that way by the present
leadership because as far as they
are concerned the government is
suffering enough, why should they
have a position? Hilary Benn said we
needed to have clarity about the
timetable. It is like reading an
insurance contract and finding the
bit where you might get away with
it. That is not a policy.
That is not a policy.
That's all for today.
Join me again next Sunday
at 11 here on BBC One.
Until then, bye bye.
Sarah Smith and Lucie Fisher with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Guests include chair of the Exiting the EU Select Committee Hilary Benn and former transport minister Theresa Villiers. Steve Richards, Julia Hartley-Brewer and Anne McElvoy are the political panel.