12/02/2017 Sunday Politics Yorkshire and Lincolnshire

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Andrew Neil and Tim Iredale are joined by Baroness Smith and Oliver Letwin. The political panellists are Janan Ganesh, Julia Hartley-Brewer and Steve Richards.

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Commons Speaker John Bercow is accused of compromising his


impartiality by revealing he voted Remain in last year's EU referendum.


The EU Withdrawal Bill clears its first Parliamentary hurdle.


But will the House of Lords be quite so accommodating?


Labour's Leader in the Lords joins us live.


And we report from Stoke-on-Trent ahead of a crucial by-election


later this month, where Ukip is looking to give


In the Sunday Politics in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire,


"Move over, great crested newts," the government says,


"our housing needs are more important."


Will removing some habitat protection speed up house building?


And with me a political panel who frequently like to compromise


Steve Richards, Julia Hartley-Brewer and Janan Ganesh.


I'll be trying to keep them in order during the course of the programme.


So, Commons Speaker John Bercow has insisted his ability


to act impartially is not damaged by reports that he voted to Remain


The Sunday Telegraph reveals that Speaker Bercow revealed his views


in front of an audience of students at Reading University


This may not be popular with some people in this audience -


I thought it was better to stay in the European Union than not,


partly for economic reason, being part of a big trade bloc,


and partly because I think we're in a world of power blocs,


and I think for all the weaknesses and deficiencies


of the European Union, it is better to be part of that big


Speaker Bercow speaking at Reading University earlier this month. Does


he not care is this I get that impression, he knows perfectly well,


it states he has to be particularly -- Parliamentary neural. Whether


there are going to be enough votes to force him out, the question, the


last speaker wept out with the 20 vote against him. You yes to have


the command of the support across the House. There is a Deputy


Speaker, waiting, who would be superb. I think even the people who


pretend to support Macis have had enough -- Speaker Bercow have had


enough of his ways. The reason I ask whether he care, he didn't just tell


the students that he voted to Remain, he then gave them a running


commentary on all the issues that will be part of the Brexit


negotiations, workers' rights, immigration, trade policy, everyone


maternity leave got a hat tip from him. He would be a very well


prepared Brexit minister if attendance needs a colleague --


David Davis needs a colleague. I don't think this story makes his


position untenable, what does is the wired pattern of behaviour of


excessive candour on his political views, going back years, this is a


guy who when the Queen visited Parliament described her as theical


lied scope Queen. He had a running argument with David Cameron. We know


his views on Brexit, we know his views on Donald Trump. . He has


given interviews, none of the views are illegitimate but the candour


which they are expressed with is scrupulous. Given Lyndsay Hoyle is a


class accuse. He is the Deputy Speaker. And a fairly ready


replacement, whether there is more of a movement to say, maybe not


force Bercow out but acknowledge he has had a few years in the job and


the question of successor ship comes into play. Has he concluded he is


untouchable? What I can definitely say, is that he is determined to


fight this one out, and not go of his own volition, so if he goes he


will have to be forced out. He wants to stay. Which will be tough. It


will be tough. Likely as things stand. I would say this, I speak to


someone who likes the way he has brought the House of Commons to


life, held ministers to account, forced them into explain thing,


whenever there is a topical issue you know it will be in the House of


Commons. He has changed that. He has. Time has been courageous, Ied a


mire the way he has been a speaker. I would say this, during the


referendum campaign, he asked me Nick Clegg, and Peter Hitchens to


debate Brexit if his constituency. It was a packed out meeting. He


chaired it. I said don't you want to join in? He didn't. He showed no


desire to join in, he was impartial. He goes out to universities and kind


of demyth GCSEs Parliament by speaking to them in a way, he


doesn't gets credit for it and stays on after and drinks with them.


Sometimes he, you know, it is clearly a mistake to have gone into


his views retrospectively on that referendum campaign, I don't think


that, did he try and stop Article 50 from being triggered in the House of


Commons? That would be a scandal. Even that would be beyond him.


Briefly, yes or no, could you imagine Betty Boothroyd behaving


like that? Not at all. None of the recent speakers I could imagine


doing that. It is good he is different.


The bill that will allow the government to trigger Article 50


and begin Brexit negotiations was voted through


Many MPs were in a difficult position - unsure whether to vote


with their conscience, their constituency,


Europe, once such a divisive issue for the Conservatives,


is now causing major divisions inside the Labour Party.


So, let's have a look what happened in a bit more detail:


Thanks to academic research carried out since the referendum,


we now have estimates of how each individual constituency voted.


It's thought that 410 constituencies voted Leave.


On Wednesday night, the EU Notification of Withdrawal Bill


was voted through by the House of Commons.


The bill left the Labour Party divided.


Jeremy Corbyn told his MPs to respect the result


of the referendum and vote for the government's bill -


But 52 Labour MPs defied Mr Corbyn's thee-line whip


That's about a fifth of the Parliamentary Labour Party.


Of those 52 Labour MPs who voted against the bill,


the majority, 45 of them, represent seats that voted Remain.


However, seven Labour MPs voted against the Article 50 Bill,


even though their constituents voted Leave in the referendum.


The Conservative Party were much more united.


The vast majority of Tory MPs, 320 of them, voted for the bill.


Just one Conservative MP, Ken Clarke, voted against it.


His constituency, Rushcliffe in Nottinghamshire, voted Remain.


The bill will now go to the House of Lords -


peers will start debating it on Monday the 20th of February.


Joining me now is Matthew Goodwin, politics professor at


He's got a book out next month called


Brexit: Why Britain Voted To Leave The European Union.


Welcome to the programme. Has Brexit, how you voted in the


referendum and your continuing attitudes toward it, is that now


becoming the new dividing line in British politics? I think it


certainly is contributing to a new dividing line, in western politics


more generally, we know over the last ten years, that the old left


and right division has been making way for a new division, between


essentially social liberals and Conservative, and Brexit was a, an


incident a moment that really reflected that new dividing line, so


it wasn't just the case that Brexit has cut across Labour's base, it is


that dividing line, that deeper division is cutting across social


democracies more generally. Is there a possibility, no higher than that,


that it will reShane our party politics? I think it is too early to


know whether this is a fundamental long-term realignment. If we look at


what is happening in local by-election, what is happening at


by-elections, pictures a bit mixed but if you look at how some of the


Labour vote is responding, I think that potentially reflects the


possibility of a terminal decline for the Labour Party, it is going to


be incredibly difficult for Labour to win these voters back, these are


traditional working class, socially Conservative voters who are leaving


the party, don't forget, since the 1997 general election. It is not


just because of the referendum. If that was the case, Labour would


become more a party of the Metropolitan areas, and less of a


party outside of these area, is that what you are saying? What we are S


seeing across the west can social democracy that retrenchment into the


cosmopolitan, Metropolitan city area, university towns, you can


seeing in many European states populist right parties filling the


traditional socialist area, why are they doing that? Because they are


offering two message, economic and cultural protectionism. Social


Democrats are clinging to that economic protectionism but not


saying much about migration and multiculturalism and that sort of


stuff. Are there deeper forces at work than Jeremy Corbyn? He often


gets the blame for what is happening to the Labour Party now, but if you


look the way the Greek socialist party has been wiped out. The German


Social Democrats are in trouble. The Italian socialist party has lost a


referendum. The French socialist are coming close to being wiped out on


April 23rd, Labour's problems, are part of a much wider problem of


social democracy S Jeremy Corbyn is a surface problem, what I mean by


that is you could replace him tosh with another leader, they would


still have this fundamental tension within the electorate. They are


trying to appeal to two differenter reconcilable groups of voters who


think differently about the key issues of the day. It is very


difficult for any centre left party now to assemble the kinds of


coalitionses we saw in the '90s with Clinton and Blair and Schroeder.


Those days are gone. Does that explain why it is now Labour, rather


than the Conservatives, historically the party divided over the European


Union, does all of that help to explain why its Labour that now


seems, disunited over the EU? I think so, I think also that the


issue of Brexit, and the EU, is so immatly wrapped up with that issue


of immigration, if you look at who has been abandoned Labour since 2015


or the late 90s, the one thing those voters share is a rejection of the


so-called liberal consensus on EU membership and mass immigration. It


is difficult for any Labour lead eer co-bin or Clive Lewis on Dan Jarvis,


to bring those voters back unless they are going to move on that


cultural terrain. If they are not, they may not go to Ukip, they might


go to somewhere more difficult for Labour which is political apathy.


Thank you for that. Attention now shifts to the House


of Lords where peers will begin scrutinising the EU Withdrawal Bill


in just over a week. Brexit Secretary David Davis urged


the Lords "to do its patriotic duty" and resist the urge to tinker


with the legislation. Former minister Oliver Letwin


went one further - mooting the possibility


of the abolition of the Lords if it sought to frustrate


the bill in any way. Here he is posing the question


in the Commons on Thursday. Would he find time, in government


time for a debate, should the other place seek to delay beyond the end


of March the passage of our accession to Article 50, for this


House to discuss the possibility of either the abolition or full-scale


reform of the other place? And Oliver Letwin joins


me now from Dorset. Welcome back to the programme Mr Let


win. Before we come on to the Lord's, can I get your thoughts on a


matter that has been making the news this morning and John Bercow's


remarks about being a remain voter an giving something of a running


commentary on various Brexit issues, has he sqloefr stepped the mark as


speaker? -- overstepped the mark. I think this is slightly a fuss about


nothing. Every person who thinks about politics will have had some


opinion about great matters like Brexit, and I really don't see any


particular reason why his opinion shouldn't be known after the fact.


I, I was there throughout the five days of the Brexit debate, and I


have to say, I thought he was pretty scrupulously fair in the way he


handled the House, so, I, I don't really share the view that there is


some terrible thing that has been revealed this weekend. Let me come


on to what we are here to talk about, which is the Lords. Why have


you raised the threat of the abolition of the Lord for doing its


job of scrutinising what is coming out the Commons? Well, you know,


Andrew, this question of the job of the House of Lords and scrutiny, has


to be looked at carefully. There are all sorts of bills that come out the


House of Commons which are detailed things that relate to, finance, and


expenditure, and the criminal law, and all that sort of thing, and all


of that, I admire the work that the House of Lords does, as you say


scrutinising and we shouldn't use that word loosely, it means looking


carefully at the detail, line by line of complicated legislation,


hundreds of Paps in some cases, and spotting, using the considerable


expertise many, not all be many of the peers have, in any given field,


to identify things where the Commons has got it wrong in the sense that


the legislation wouldn't achieve what the Government of the day is


seeking to make it achieve. That is a serious proper role for an Upper


House and the House of Lords performs it pretty


Now this is a very different case. This is a two clause bill. The first


clause which is the operative clause says the Prime Minister should go


ahead and sign... I understand all that. We haven't got that much time,


this is becoming a monologue. There is nothing to scrutinise, Andrew.


There were plenty of amendments put before the Commons, none of them got


through, it is true. There are eight Labour amendments in the Lords, are


you resigned to this bill coming back to the Commons with amendments?


No, it should not come back with amendments. There were hundreds of


amendments literally put down in the House of Commons, they were all


drunk. They were all trying one way or another to derail the process.


This is a binary issue, should Theresa May sign the withdrawal or


not? What should the Commons do? The Commons has now voted in favour of


it. Node do should tolerate and unelected chamber forcing the


British people... The people voted in a referendum and the Commons


voted. The matter is now signed and sealed and should not be derailed by


the House of Lords. On Labour amendment wants confirmation that


when it is done, the potential Brexit agreement will be put before


parliament before any vote in the European Parliament, that has been


an agreed principle, what is wrong with that amendments? The government


has already agreed there will be a vote, but actually, what the


amendments were seeking was to give the Commons a further vote on


whether we actually leave or not. That is already decided. Neither the


House of Lords nor anybody else has a right in my view, despite the fact


I was a remain, to what the will of the British people. Nobody should


think an unelected chamber should now try to change the course of


British history by asserting amendments in a very effective on


clause bill which says go ahead and trigger Article 50. Are you


concerned that amendments by the Lords which would then have to go


back to the Commons for consideration, are you concerned


that could derail or delay the Prime Minister's timetable for Article 50?


Yes, exactly. That would be the result of a prolonged bout of


ping-pong between the two houses, or much worse, if the House of Lords


failed to give way and the Parliament act had to be used. It


would really be intolerable. It is not good for our country. Those of


us who voted remain would prefer for that not to happen. The whole


country -- it is important for the whole country that this happens in a


rapid way and allowing the government free rein to negotiate,


that is surely in all our advantages? Deed think any efforts


to abolish the House of Lords, an issue you have raised, does that


make it easier because your friend David Cameron stuffed the upper


chamber with donors, lapdogs and lingerie designers? I was among


those who advocated for many years wholesale reform of the House of


Lords, to turn it into a serious elected second chamber. I think we


should have an upper house which commands legitimacy. This is a


second issue. Here we have not got such a House and it seems to be very


clear that it should not seek to derail on delay the action which has


been mandated by the referendum, agreed by the House of Commons, and


what we want to see now is a smooth orderly effect for this bill, so it


becomes law and Theresa May can go ahead and negotiate on our behalf.


One more question on the process, if the Lords to amend the bill and it


goes back to the Commons and the Commons sends these amendments back


again, take them out, how long could this ping-pong between the two


chambers go on in your experience? It is a very, very interesting and


complicated question with the clerks of the two ends of the Palace of


Westminster not always agreeing about this. But through certain


machinations of slightly changing amendments as they go, in my


experience this could carry on for an awful long time if clever people,


and there are plenty of clever people in the House of Lords, want


to do that and that is precisely why I think we should not tolerate it.


Oliver Letwin, thank you for joining us from Dorset.


Joining me now is Labour's Leader in the House of Lords, Angela Smith.


The Commons passed this bill without any amendments... There were


changes, the government did concede a couple of points. But the


amendments did not go through. Does that put pressure on the Lords to do


the same? I think the Lords always feels under pressure to do the right


thing. When I heard Oliver Letwin, I did not know whether to laugh or


cry. We will not frustrate, we will not wreck, we will not sabotage. We


will do what David Davis said was our patriotic duty. We will


scrutinise the bill. We have at amendments from the Labour Party. We


will look at those. It depends on the government response if we vote


on those. There could be amendments asking the Commons to look again.


That is normally what we do. It is not the wrong thing to do. But if


you do this and make amendments, it then goes back to the Commons. If


the Commons rejects the Lords' amendments, what do you think will


happen? I do not see any extended ping-pong at all. It is perfectly


legitimate. We are not talking about the outcome of negotiations, we are


talking about the process. The process of engaging with Parliament


and reporting to Parliament. It would be totally responsible for


Parliament to say, off you go, Theresa May, have two years of


negotiation and come back and talk to us at the end. The has to be a


process where the government can use the expertise of parliament to get


this right. But if you do put in some amendments, it has to go back


to the Commons, they may well say they don't want those amendments and


it may go back to the Lords, could that at the very least delay the


Prime Minister's Brexit timetable? I don't think so. She said the end of


March. Time has been built in for all the normal processes. I think


Oliver Letwin and others are getting a bit overexcited. This is the


normal process. Unless the government get things right the


first time every time, the has to be this kind of process. These are


reasonable amendments. This is a Labour amendment we are talking


about here, you want a vote in the UK Parliament before any


vote in the European Parliament if and when the Brexit deal is done,


the Commons and the Lords get to vote on it first. But the government


I think have already agreed to that so what is the point? It needs to be


on the face of the bill. It is over well if the government have agreed


it. Lord dubs had an agreement about child and look what happened to


that. Does not sound as if you would go to the wire on that? It is


important it is not just about the vote at the end, you have the


ongoing engagement. If it is going to be a bad deal, we need to know


long before we get to that stage? Is it something you would hold out for?


I don't know yet. It is about how the House of Lords votes, Labour do


not have a majority, we never had a majority in the House of Lords when


we were in government. It is wrong to suggest that we cannot debate


these issues... I don't think anyone is suggesting that. They are. It is


not unfair to ask the government to ask the House of Commons to look


again to look at those issues if that is what the House of Lords


decides. Bit of the House of Commons says we looked, we are sticking with


what we voted for, we rejected every amendment by at least 30 votes on


all occasions, the Lords then have to buckle, is that what you are


saying? Some point I think it is clear the House of Commons have to


have its say. I think it is inconceivable that having had a


referendum, which was not overwhelming, but it was a clear


result, the House of Lords has no intention of sabotaging that but


there are things which are not good about the process that we think


could be improved. We have not just have the result of the referendum


which voted to leave, but we have had the will of the Commons that


passed this legislation by a majority of 372. And I am not


contesting that for a second! Could you cite a precedent for the upper


house amending a bill which passed by 372 votes in the Commons? Quite


other things will come to the House of Lords with big majorities from


the Commons and quite often the amendments we get, with that then


forward and the government sees it could do better. Though not


necessarily saying the government has got things wrong, but they could


do things better. That happens time and time again and it is not


unusual. If you were seen to thwart the referendum result and the vote


in the Commons, the elected chamber of parliament, is the threat of


abolition hanging over you? I think that is really ridiculous and


absolute nonsense. We are not tying to what the decision of the House of


Commons, we are trying to do better. It is a bit rich of the government


and Oliver Letwin to complain about getting things through in time when


the House of Commons spent -- the government spent three months trying


to debate this issue. There have been some strong questions put to


the government from the House of Lords on all sides. I don't know if


the amendments have been passed or not. I think we have a good case for


the government to get debate the point. If a traditional MP like


Oliver Letwin is calling for the abolition of the hereditary and


appointed chamber, and the Labour person like yourself was trying to


defend that, that would not be a sustainable position, I would


suggest! We saw this with the Strathclyde report as well, this is


a government like no other. It is the first Conservative government in


history not to have an automatic majority. They do not like challenge


or scrutiny. But you get my point, Labour cannot go to the wire in


defending and an elected second chamber, can it? Actually, Labour


can go to the wire in saying the government does not get it right


every time. House of Lords is going to normal processes and people like


Oliver Letwin are really getting a little bit over excited, and people


who have been anonymously briefing. Who has been anonymously briefing? I


don't know, they are anonymous! I understand people want to make


amendments, that is the role of the House of Lords, but can I just for


the avoidance of doubt, is it still your case that whatever amendments


to make, whatever may go back and forward, it is not your intention to


stop Article 50 being triggered by the end of March? I have been saying


that, exactly that for months and months and months. It is


inconceivable that an unelected House will thwart the will of the


House of Commons and a referendum on this issue. But that does not mean


we will be bullied by Oliver Letwin and others. But the triggering will


happen by the end of March? I very much suspect so unless Theresa May


has second thoughts, I suspect that will happen. Thank you.


Now, just because it's parliamentary recess next week


There are two by-elections round the corner -


one in Copeland, and another in Stoke-on-Trent Central


where the former Shadow Education Secretary,


Tristram Hunt, vacated his seat to take up a role


as Director of the Victoria Albert Museum in London.


But Labour are facing a fight to hold onto the constituency


Seconds away, Ukip's new leader has stepped into the ring


as their candidate in a by-election bout to see


At the last election Ukip came second to Labour here


But now they are confident they can land a knockout blow,


because this place is packed with people that voted to leave the EU.


70% of people voted to leave the European Union.


I'm the only candidate standing in this election


who is a true Brexiteer, who has always campaigned to leave


the EU and therefore I believe I would be the best person


But he has had to fight off allegations


he wasn't living in the constituency when he entered the contest.


Explain to me what is going on with this issue about your house?


Well, we took up the lease the day before nominations.


Everything we've done is perfectly legal and within the law.


The Labour Party are trying to get off the real issues in this election


and focus on something which is banal nonsense.


And there's been trouble as well for the Labour contender.


He's been labelled a Remoaner after he sent a series


of anti-Brexit tweets, filled with words


I can't believe I'm about to ask this question in a nursery


on a Sunday morning TV programme, but did you really tweet that


I tweeted many things about Brexit, that's tweet is out there.


It was done quite after the referendum result and it


was my way of showing my frustration at the fact that months


after the result we hadn't had anything from the government.


Theresa May had failed to produce any plan,


she had failed to give any meaningful statement


about what Brexit meant other than bland statements


about Brexit is Brexit, and it's a hard Brexit, or a soft Brexit.


The context of it was it was out of frustration.


So you didn't mean to insult the 70% of the people who live here


I never mean to insult anybody and you know,


I've made it quite clear, if I'm elected as the member


of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent Central, I will absolutely respect


the wishes of the people of Stoke Central.


I will make sure my vote in parliament is to trigger Article 50.


While the Tories' man has done little bit of rebranding too.


I voted Remain and I've been open about that, but my top priority


is about the economy and to ensure we still have an


Theresa May has set out clear proposal to ensure we develop


a trade relationship with Europe and make that a success.


It means the Lib Dems and the Greens are the ones battling Brexit.


Well, when the Lib Dem candidate is actually here.


The candidate is a consultant cardiologist.


He is actually at work today doing very important heart surgery.


He will be back tomorrow, back on the campaign trail working hard.


30% of people voted to Remain and nobody else


is representing them, so, you know, it is still a live issue.


It is still something people care about.


We are only at the start of the Article 50 process


We are very a clear that we are standing up for those


who want to remain in the single market, who want to protect jobs


Labour have taken people for granted in this area for a great many years.


Ukip, I'm afraid, all Ukip can offer to politics is division.


I've covered a lot of by-elections where Ukip have come second.


We'll find out if they really got Labour on the ropes this


And here is a full list of all the candidates standing


in the Stoke-on-Trent Central by-election.


They do atract lots of candidates. You can get that on the BBC website


as well. I was trying to think back, here we have the main opposition


party defending two seats in by-elections in the midterm of a


government. All the speculation is where the


opposition party can hold on, that is unprecedented. I can't give of an


equivalent. You wouldn't just expect them to win seats they have held


traditionally, you would expect hem to make inroads into seats held by


the other party, I wonder if they fail to hold on to just one of


these, whether it accelerates the momentum and criticism of the


leadership of the moment. I think they are interesting constituencies.


Matthew good win was talking about the left win coalition over the


years, almost being too broad for its own good, including places like


Primrose Hill and Hackney. Big university towns in Manchester,


Bristol. Diverse ethnically and included places like Stoke which are


more Conservative. With a small c. Less economically well-off, more


diverse, can the left hang on to both bits of country. Recent


evidence suggests it cannot and the opportunity for Ukip is to pick up


the second of those two types of community, the Stokes and the cope


lands. That what makes the by-elections interest I would


suggest. It is not just about Mr Corbyn's future about which we hear


too much, it is about this traditional Labour coalition, can it


still survive, particularly in places like Stoke? Europe clearly is


a test. I think it's a myth by the way that Labour are only split now,


over Europe and it has always been a Tory problem, last time I was on I


mentioned it. That is why we had a referendum in 75. That is why they


had a round then. But they were in chaos behind the scenes over what


they thought about the euro, skillful leadership can paper over


the cracks, and to address the wider issue of whether we are now in an


era where left right issues have disappeared, and there is more of a


regional divide, if you take Europe out of the equation which you can't,


but if you were able to, issues about health, transport housing do


split more left-right than a regional divide, so I think there is


still fundamental left-right issues, but Europe isn't one of them and


Europe has to be managed by a Labour leader skill fully and evidently


that hasn't happened now. How would you see the by-elections in the


current political context? Labour should be walking them, it should be


a sign of the March of the Labour Party taking on the current


Conservative Government. I don't think they raise any questions about


Corbyn's leadership because the people who put him in don't think


that winning elections matter, you have to remember this will be the


mainstream media, it will be our fault why any of those Labour


candidates don't win, the thing that is interesting is whether there is


is a role for Ukip. The argument after the referendum was Ukip has


done its job, it got the referendum, nothing to see here, I remember


speaking to put a Nuttall before he was Ukip leader, on the day after


the battle and he said this is Year Zero, where Ukip starts now, and


this, and this is the interesting thing, does, do we see this one


particular party having a role in the future? And I think it is all to


play for, they could not not have stood in this seat. They have to win


it to be an electoral force. The Labour candidate in Copeland has


made the NHS the issue for her in this, that goes into the left-right,


are we spending enough, are we not? That will be a test of what you were


saying to see if traditional left-right issue, which at the


moment would play Labour's way I would suggest, are big enough to


overcome all the things you have been talking about and Matthew has


been talking about. Maybe at this particular junction they are not,


but I don't think any of those issues will go away, and that is why


I question whether we are see the end of a historic left-right divide.


At the moment with Europe so prominent, clearly these


by-elections are unusual. And they will be a test of leadership for


Theresa May in the coming months if not at the moment, as they have been


in a way that he hasn't risen to, for the Labour leader.


We will be leave on BBC One on the night, February 23rd off back of


this week, we will bring you the result of both these crucial


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 here in 20 minutes, the Week Ahead.


Yes, hello, you're watching the Sunday Politics


for Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. Coming up today...


Could Brexit mean a return to the working practices of old?


Some claim workers' rights won't be protected.


There's huge swathes of employment protection law that is greater


And "Move over, great crested newts," the government says,


Will removing some habitat protections help clear the way


Yes, another busy world in the world of politics,


and we are joined today by Melanie Onn, Labour


MP for Great Grimsby, and Nigel Adams, Conservative


MP for Selby and Ainsty. Hello to you both.


So, what's been your political highlight of the week, Melanie Onn?


Oh, I think Diane Abbott telling David Davis where to go this week


has certainly cheered me up. I'm glad you said "where to go".


Has David Davis ever offered to kiss you?


Er, no, and I think he'd get exactly the same response as he got


What have you been up to this week, Nigel Adams?


Well, David Davis hasn't tried to kiss me, as far as I'm aware!


Well, as you can imagine, it's been quite a momentous week


and the Commons has passed the Article 50 bill,


so I think that has to be the highlight of the week.


OK, we shall chat about that a little bit later,


But first, we're asking, will workers' rights be


That's been the subject of a fierce debate recently.


And Melanie's launched her own bill in Parliament aimed at ringfencing


the EU laws designed to protect workers.


Many of our ancestors worked long hours in dangerous conditions.


Health and safety legislation was virtually nonexistent


Nowadays, numerous laws exist to protect workers from exploitation.


But some claim workers' rights may not be guaranteed after Brexit.


Whatever intentions Theresa May and all the rest of them have,


in enshrining the current rights, we can't be sure what's


going to happen in the future and, before, I think there was a little


more certainty around how the EU operates in other European-wide


regulations and therefore more difficult to get rid of.


Parliament, with a big majority, could easily get rid


of workers' rights, and that's what I'm scared of.


Among the many EU laws designed to protect workers include working


time regulations that mean employees can't be forced to work more


Staff must also be given regular time off and rest breaks,


at least 11 hours between jobs, and agency workers are given


the same basic rights as permanent staff after they've been in


When it comes to the family friendly policies, already,


our maternity leave and pay is higher than in Europe, holiday


leave is larger than in Europe, so there's huge swathes


of employment protection law that is greater


Some businesses argue the government shouldn't automatically adopt


I think the big focus is on trying to reduce bureaucracy.


I mean, a lot of these directives are well-intentioned and we know


we're competing for workers with big companies, with attractive packages,


so it's not like we're trying to diminish workers' rights,


what we're trying to do is make it easier to employ people.


You really want to reduce the barriers to taking on new people.


-- We really want to reduce the barriers


The greatest workers' rights, if you want to call it that,


was equality of pay for men and women, which was brought


by the women of Dagenham at the Ford factory,


the semiskilled ladies there, who fought very bravely for that


and were backed by Barbara Castle, of course a Labour Minister,


So to suggest we need Brussels for that kind of thing


is disingenuous at best and I think some of these younger


Labour MPs want to just look in their own history a little bit,


So expect a fierce debate over the coming months about which EU


laws should be kept after we leave the European Union in 2019.


Melanie Onn, Theresa May has said that workers' rights


will be fully protected and maintained after Brexit.


Well, because she hasn't given any indication of how she can guarantee


that and the reason that I put my bill forward was


to make sure that the rights that we currently have are enshrined


into primary legislation, which means that they can't be left


languishing in secondary legislation, where they can be


amended through Statutory Instrument, which is acting up


-- amended through Statutory Instrument, which is a kind of


behind-the-scenes way of roles that can actually be undermined


and not come to the floor of the House of Commons.


And I wasn't asking for anything more than what we have at the moment


but it was asking that what we have now is fully protected and will not


be undermined and cannot be undermined going forward,


unless it is brought in front of the whole house, and I think


And I haven't had a lot of objections from either side


Right, Nigel Adams, so why not have a bill that enshrines UK law


all the protections we currently have in European law?


That's exactly what we're going to get, Theresa May's maybe the clear.


-- That's exactly what we're going to get, Theresa May's made it clear.


She's also actually made it clear that this will be part


of the Great Repeal Bill, so I understand why Melanie might be


concerned about that, but the assurances


the Prime Minister has given, that all the existing workers' rights


that are here, because of EU law, will be enshrined into UK law,


and that will be made part of the Great Repeal Bill as well.


You are saying that's not good enough for you?


Well, because it won't be, it won't be about primary


legislation, it's going to be going through Statutory Instrument.


We know that we're going to be looking at these areas


We're going to have anything from 300 to 1500 pieces


of Statutory Instrument, which is secondary legislation


going through every single year, and that is not going to be


good enough, I don't think, to protect those rights,


and there are some really serious things when it


comes to workers' rights, whether it's if you


or if you're being moved to a different company,


or are an agency worker, if you're a carer, you know,


the rights that people have fought for and won rights


from the European Court need to be protected,


and I think it's really important, so it's been disappointing.


I mean, I had amendments to the Article 50 bill,


but unfortunately were deemed to be out of scope, but I'll bring them


back ahead of the Repeal Bill in a couple of years' time and try


and get them in and try and make sure that we do have workers' rights


front and centre of the renegotiated deal out of Europe.


Nigel Adams, when some business people talk about cutting red tape,


often what they are talking about is cutting protection


for workers, isn't it? Well, they shouldn't be.


Any responsible employer doesn't want to see workers' rights denied.


Theresa May, as I say, has made it perfectly clear that


all existing protections through EU law will be adopted into UK law.


And I think what we should do is analyse very closely


Obviously, that's where the detail's going to be contained,


I understand why, you have a perfectly good reason


I'll tell you why I don't have a great deal of confidence in it.


It's because, since the Tories came to power, we've had


the introduction of tribunal fees, so it's made it much


more hard for people to access their rights


You don't have any workplace rights until you've been


employed for two years - that was a decision that


We've seen an attack on trade unions in ability for people to participate


in action to protect their rights at work under a Tory government.


And that's why, when the Prime Minister says that she wants


to protect workers' rights, I just don't have the same


confidence that Nigel has in her, I'm afraid.


But when you look at are laws computed European laws,


-- But when you look at our laws compared with European laws,


maternity leave, for example, our laws guarantee 52


weeks' maternity leave, European law it's 14 weeks.


Now, we've a proud tradition of protecting workers in this country.


Surely we should trust our Parliament, not Brussels?


Well, I think that it's absolutely fair that, in some areas,


this country does outstrip the protections, the minimums,


that are in Europe and it's about saying the European roles


are a minimum standard and that shouldn't stop any country


wanting to go beyond that, and we should always


want to go beyond that, but making sure we don't slip below


You're from a business background, Nigel Adams.


Are there any particular EU working laws you would get rid of?


There's nothing that springs to mind that affects


the background I was in, the sort of technology businesses.


I think we are fortunate to have some of the best protections


in Europe and indeed the world for our workforce.


We should be very proud of where we are in that regard.


We shall follow this debate with interest as it progresses.


Now, we're not building enough houses.


In fact, across Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, we're developing


Now, some would say this is nothing new.


But this week we saw the latest White Paper on housing,


published after months of delay, with a raft of proposals to speed up


Will it be worth the paper it's written on?


The government says it wants to fix the broken housing market.


They say England needs 250,000 new homes a year and we aren't


So how many do we need in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire?


According to the Office of National Statistics,


there will be 93,000 more households in the region by 2020


But can the rate of new homes match that?


At the moment, Yorkshire eand Lincolnshire is building on average


To reach the 93,000 target, we'll need to build 18,600 a year,


more than 1.5 times the current amount.


So how will the government kick-start


First of all, it requires all local authorities to be a lot more


realistic about local need, to assess that


properly and honestly. Secondly, it diversifies the market.


We need a lot more smaller, independent builders.


We also need new methods of construction.


We also need to make sure that, where local authorities do give


planning permission, that that planning permission


Sajid Javid also says he'll keep protections on green belt land,


except where there is no other option for house building.


Here in Sheffield, there's no local plan for how land can be used.


It means developers can apply, like on this land, on the outskirts


The green belt in Sheffield is up for review, as part


of the local plan process, and we don't yet know which areas,


which sites, will actually be proposed to be taken out


Our issue really here is that Sheffield should


really only grow outwards, if it's making the most use


The East Riding of Yorkshire is the only place in the region


It helps to have a local plan in place and to have an adopted


plan, because that allows developers and landowners greater certainty


over what they are doing and it also gives the communities


and the settlements who are accepting this development


greater certainty of what they can expect to see


But it doesn't in itself deliver housing.


This small development firm in Beverley have just 50 employees.


We've had massive issues with skill shortages recently.


The hardest thing I find is getting young guys that are interested


in coming into the industry and wanting to work for it.


One of the things that could be improved is the kids at school level


could be shown what they can earn in the industry.


I mean, we've got guys working here that started work at 16


and they're earning doctors' wages at the age of 25.


The government wants to knock heads together to stop blockages


They are trying everything, from fast tracking schemes


for prefab housing, to introducing fees for planning appeals and


changing protections for species, like great crested newts.


Labour says the government promised a White Paper,


but has offered a white flag to fix the housing crisis.


So is this the start of a revolution or a sign of surrender?


So, Melanie, the government says we should be building 1.5 times more


the number of homes in our region across


Yorkshire and Lincolnshire that we are building now -


I think that there are a lot of challenges, both for local


authorities or housing associations, and private builders.


I don't think that there are enough builders out there to meet


the demand and certainly not to meet the criteria set.


There's a massive skill shortage in this area,


problems with financing and, as has just been indicated there,


there are problems around the planning process and speeding


that up for people, but there's also the other side,


that people at the moment, I don't think, feel


that the planning process really works for them


It feels too remote and it feels like decisions are overriding


So I think there's a lot of different challenges to meet


the housing need that the whole country is going to face


When you look at the number of houses that needs to be built,


Nigel Adams, isn't it inevitable we are going to have to start


building on the green belt in some areas?


And it means that some Tory MPs, who largely represent these areas,


are not going to be very happy, because people have angry


Yes, but the housing paper does make it perfectly clear that priority


will be given to brownfield sites and assistance to councils that we


I think, you know, green belt is there for a reason.


Now, I've spoken to my council leader this week


about the housing White Paper. He was very encouraged by it.


We have a particular problem in my patch in that there are 5,000


planning permissions out there that are not being built,


So we've got to get around that issue.


We've built 1,500 homes over the last five years


or so in the Selby district, of which about a third of those


have been affordable, so we've got to make sure that those


planning permissions that are granted are built,


so I think my council leader is very encouraged by some of the measures


We need to cajole and occasionally bully developers and landowners


into making sure that the permission they've got do happen.


Is it right that some of the barriers to house-building


I mean, things like, if great crested newts are found,


then construction grinds to a halt - should we see an end to that?


If I could just say first, I'm a bit confused.


We've had this housing White Paper this week,


It was only last year that we had a Housing Act passed,


so I'm a bit confused why we needed another housing White Paper that


apparently hasn't dealt with everything that should have


We've got homelessness, which has doubled in the country


over the last seven years, which is absolutely shocking,


and when we're then getting to this point about great crested newts,


we've got people sleeping in our streets, rough sleepers,


you know, it seems to me that there has been a critical


problem that has been known about for a very long time and


But when you look at the official figures, Nigel Adams,


according to the latest figures, in the Yorkshire and Humber region,


there were more than 77,000 empty homes at the last count.


Why aren't we using utilising those instead of building new ones?


Well, we should be,... So why aren't we?


I think what powers to local authorities, more legal powers,


that allow them to make sure that those empty homes


We've got a particular problem in one of my towns with empty homes,


and with planning permissions that are never likely to get built,


because a particular landowner wants to make sure those houses are not


built, so more powers to local authorities through the courts


So absolutely, empty homes, as well as the new homes,


and let's also remember these homes need to be built


Not a lot said about social housing in the White Paper either.


I think we've actually got a reasonably good record


on delivering social housing over the last few years.


Well, David Cameron promised 200,000 new starter homes by 2020.


That's been ditched by the government.


So what does that say about the government's


Well, it's something like a third of a million of new homes built


in the last two or three years have been new starter homes,


Look what we've done with the Help to Buy schemes.


I visit lots of developments across my own patch and the vast


majority of the houses that are being bought are being bought


with government-backed schemes, so to say we're doing nothing


But lots of people aren't in that position and,


when it comes to social housing, the requirement for housing


associations or councils to build one for everyone that they sell


isn't happening and they will not be able to afford to do it.


We will come back to social housing another time,


I promise, but for now, let's get the latest of the week's


political news and Cathy Booth has our round-up in 60 Seconds.


Grantham and Stanford MP, Nick Boles, tweeted this picture


of him leaving hospital to take part in the Brexit vote.


He's currently undergoing chemotherapy for a brain tumour.


Ukip's Jane Collins says she will appeal against her ?350,000


bill for damages and legal costs after libelling three Rotherham MPs.


The Yorkshire and Humber MEP said Sir Kevin Barron,


Sarah Champion and John Healey knew about child


The government says it will investigate contraceptives


for seagulls, because of the menace being faced from the birds at some


In Bridlington, locals said all that was needed was common sense.


It's not rocket science. No.


You know, put signs up and make it a fineable offence


for people that's doing it. Yeah.


And Hull East MP, Karl Turner, caused a social media whirl


when he took his baby daughter into the Commons


Stella-Mae was pictured by Harriet Harman.


Is Parliament are more family friendly place


to work, would you say? Definitely, yeah.


I mean, it's still a working environment, and I think we have


to consider that always, but definitely, the stigma that


probably existed before I entered Parliament,


perhaps before Nigel entered Parliament too,


I don't think exists in the same way.


It's certainly not as stuffy as it was.


I know I take my son down in the October half term,


as do many parliamentarians, because the recesses don't


coincide, so you often see parliamentarians wandering around


Are Parliament's traditions, the dress codes and the language


that is used, do you think it has to change?


Does that put people off politics? I'm not sure it does.


I get lots of people come and visit Parliament from my constituency


They love seeing the guys roaming around with tights and wigs.


Do you ever roam around in tights yourself?


I mean, not generally during the working week, Tim.


LAUGHTER. That's a matter for me.


We've just had a ruling this week, where the clerks will not,


It's been deemed we are not in a court of law and so that dress,


the old-fashioned view of the clerks in front of the Speaker,


I don't buy the notion that it puts people off politics,


the fact that people are wearing wigs or tights.


The comments I get is that people love to see it.


A number of Tory MPs have signed this motion now criticising


Speaker John Bercow for the comments he made about Donald Trump,


saying he shouldn't be allowed to address Parliament,


We won't go into all that now, but have you signed that motion?


Will you be signing it? I haven't seen the motion yet.


I thought what the Speaker said this week was ridiculous.


The idea that we don't have the President


of the United States, our biggest ally, addressing


Parliament is, in my view, nonsensical, whatever you think


You know, I don't agree with what he has to say,


but I think it's a huge slur on the American people.


The Speaker was quite happy to have the Amir of Kuwait,


This is the bloke who locks up gay people!


Where were the people out on the streets when that happened?


So you say you no longer have confidence in John Bercow?


Well, I am incredibly disappointed with his comments


about the President of the United States.


I'm no fan of his, but I think that he should be afforded


And anyway, it's no business of John Bercow.


It's a matter for the Queen who she invites to her Palace.


Did he overstep the mark, do you believe?


No, I think he was just speaking from the heart,


and I think echoing an awful lot of very sensible views


You know, it was kind of a comment against misogyny and sexism,


which are basic tenets of where we are


And what I would say is, to address both houses


is something that new presidents are not usually afforded.


It didn't happen immediately for Obama, it didn't.


And it was within a couple of days that Theresa May sort of ran off,


held hands with Donald Trump and returned with a nice offer


of addressing both houses that I think put the Queen in a very


difficult position, according to Buckingham Palace.


I just don't like the rank hypocrisy of this whole thing.


Whatever you think of Donald Trump, to have the Amir of Kuwait,


the President of China, a country with numerous


human rights abuses, and not to afford that same welcome


to our closest ally I think is hypocritical.


You won't be inviting the Amir of Kuwait to Selby, then?


You know, I've had plenty of foreign visitors to Selby,


All right, we must leave it, we've run out of time.


Thank you both for your thoughts today.


After the excitement and late nights in the Commons last week,


MPs are having a little break this week as we head into


But there's still plenty in the diary in the near future -


let's just remind ourselves of some key upcoming dates.


There they are. We have the two by-elections on February 23rd. The


budget is 8th March. That will be the last spring budget under this


Government because it moves to the autumn.


That round of French elections narrows the candidates, probably


about eight or nine, down to two, the two who come first and second,


then go into a play off round on May 7th. That will determine the next


President. Steve, listening to Oliver Letwin and to the Labour


leader in the House of Lords, is there any way you think that end of


March deadline for Mrs May could be in jeopardy? No, I don't. Andrew


Smith couldn't have been clearer with you they would do nothing to


block not just Article 50 but that timetable, so I would be surprised


if they don't make it. Given her, Theresa May's explicit determination


to do so, not to do so would have become a problem for her, I think


one way or another... No before this vote last week there was a vote nor


the deadline, to agree the deadline by all sides. Plain sailing do you


think? There is no serious Parliamentary resistance and it


would be a personal embarrassment, I think for the Prime Minister to name


the the end of March as the deadline and to miss it, unless she has a


good excuse. I I reckon it will change the atmosphere of politics


for the next two years, as soon as the negotiations begin, people in


our profession will hunt for any detail and inside information we can


find, thing also be leaked, I think from the European side from time to


time, it will dominate the headlines for a solid two years and change


politics. Let me just raise a possible, a dark cloud. No bigger


than man's hand, that can complicate the timetable, because the Royal


Assent on the current timetable has to come round the 13th. I would


suggest that the Prime Minister can't trigger that until she does


get the Royal Assent. If there is a bit of ping-pong that could delay


that by receive day, the last thing the Europeans would want, they have


another big meeting at the end of March which is the 60th anniversary


of the Treaty of Rome. They don't want Article 50 to land on the


table... It would infuriate everybody. My guess is she will have


done it by then, this is between the Commons and the Lords, I mean Andrew


Smith couldn't have been clearer, that they might send something back


but they didn't expect a kind of a long play over this, so. The Liberal


Democrats, they are almost an irrelevance in the Commons but not


the Lords, they feel differently. Now, we don't know yet what the


European Union negotiating position is going to be, we don't know


because there are several crucial elections taking place, the Dutch


taking place in March and then the one we put up, the French, and, at


the moment, the French one is, it seems like it is coming down, to a


play-off in the second round between Madame Le Pen who could come first


in the first round and this Blairite figure, independent, centre-leftish


Mr Macron, he may well get through and that, and the outcome of that


will be an important determine napt on our negotiations. -- determinant.


You o couldn't have two more different candidate, you have a


national a front candidate and on the other hand the closest thing


France could have you to a liberal President. With a small l. A


reformist liberal President. It would be the most French thing in


the world to elect someone who while the rest of the world is elected


elitist, to elect someone who is the son of a teacher, who has liberal


views, is a member of the French elite. It would be a thing for them


to elect a man like that which I why I see them doing it. If it is Le


Pen, Brexit becomes a minor sideshow, if it is Le Pen, the


future of the European Union is? Danger, regardless of whether we are


were in or out. I suggest if it is Mr Macron that presents some


problems. He doesn't have his own party. He won't have a majority in


the French assembly, he is untried and untested. He wants to do a


number of things that will be unpopular which is why a number of


people close to Mrs Le Pen tell me that she has her eye on 2022. She


thinks lit go to hell in a hand basket under Mr Macron. He hasn't


got the experience. What I find fascinating. It is not just all to


play for in France, it is the fact what happens in France and Germany,


not so much Holland I think but Germany later on in the year, how


much it impacts what we are going to get. How much which ex #i78 panting


on them. And at the time we are trying to, withdrawing ourself from


European politics it is fascinating how much it will affect us. You see


what Matthew was talking about earlier in the show, that what we do


know, almost for sure, is that the socialist candidate will not get


through to the second round. He could come firth but the


centre-right candidate. If we were discussing that monthing a we would


say it between teen the centre-right and the national fronts. We are to


saying that. Matthew good win who spent a time in France isn't sure Le


Pen will get into the second round, which is interesting. It is, I mean,


it is going to be as important for the future of the European Union, as


in retrospect the British 2015 general election was, if Labour had


got in there would have been no referendum. That referendum has


transformed the European Union because we are leaving and the


French election is significant. We will be live from Paris on April


23rd on the day France goings to the first round of polls. Tom Watson, he


was on The Andrew Marr Show earlier today, was asked about Mr Corbyn,


this is what he had to say. We had a damaging second leadership


election, so we've got The polls aren't great for us,


but I'm determined now we've got the leadership settled for this


parliament, that we can focus on developing a very positive clear


message to the British people So Julia, I don't know who are you


are giggling. I find it untenable that, he is a very good media


performer and he comes on and he is sitting there so well, you know,


things are bad but don't worry we are looking at what we can do to win


2020. The idea that Tony Blair and Gordon Brown were sitting in their


offices or on TV screens at this time in the electoral cycle thinking


well I wonder if we can come up with a policy the British people might


like. It is a nonsense, this is Tuesday night book zlufb. I am going


to ask you the question I was going to before. I would suggest that he


the right. The deputy Labour leader Tom Watson is violent the leadership


is settled, with one caveat, unless the Corbynistas themselves to decide


to move on Mr Corbyn, if the left of the Labour Party decides then it is


not settled. Settled. If that doesn't happen that is That would be


the worst situation if you are a Labour moderate. The Corbynistas


would be saying the problem is no Corbynism, it is Corbyn himself, if


we a younger person leading the process we can win the next general


election, which means you have another itration of this, another


five year experiment. And that is worst of all. If you are a Labour


moderate, what you want is Jeremy Corbyn contest the next general


election, possibly loses badly and then a Labour not moderate runs for


the leadership saying we have tried your way, the worst would be Corbyn


going, and a younger seven version of him trying and the experiment


being extended. I see no easy way out of this. That is why he radiated


the enthusiasm of someone in a hostage video in that interview.


Maybe he has the Stockholm Syndrome now. The Labour moderates have had


their day in the sun, two days in the sun and they lost. I suggest


they are not going to try for the hat-trick again. Is there any


indication that on the more Corbyn wing of the Labour Party, there is


now doubts about their man. Yes, just to translate Tom Watson, what


he meant was I Tom Watson am not going to get involved in another


attempted coup. I tried it and it was a catastrophe. That is question


enhe says it is set selled. It is because there is speculation on a


daily basis. I disagree, Julia said I think this lot don't care about


winning, I think they do. If the current position continue, one of


two things will happen. Either Jeremy Corbyn will decide himself


will decide he doesn't want to carry on. He half enjoys I it and half


hates it. Finds it a strain. If that doesn't happen there will be some


people round him who will say, look, this isn't working. There is another


three-and-a-half years. There is a long way to go. I can't see it


lasting in this way with politics in a state of flux, Tories will be


under pressure in the coming two years, to have opinion polls at this


level, I think is unsustainable. Final thought from you.? Yes, the


idea it St another three-and-a-half years is just madness, but the


people we are putting up at replacement for Jeremy Corbyn, and


they have been focus grouping them. Most members wouldn't know who most


of people were let alone most of the public.


Angela rain? They are not overwhelmed with leadership


potential at the moment. Very diplomatically put. Neither are the


Tories, but they happened to have one at the moment. All right. That


is it. Now, there's no Daily


or Sunday Politics for the next week But the Daily Politics will be back


on Monday 20th February and I'll be back here with the Sunday Politics


on the 26th. Remember if it's Sunday,


it's the Sunday Politics... Just back from


a very long shift at work... The staff are losing -


they're just giving in. Panorama goes undercover


to reveal the real cost OK, everyone, have you got


your bamboo sticks? If you just paint


what you want to paint, I've turned around,


my painting washes away. ..and take on


The Big Painting Challenge. Remember, you're not painting


a pond.


Andrew Neil and Tim Iredale present the latest political news, interviews and debate and are joined by shadow leader of the House of Lords Baroness Smith and Conservative Oliver Letwin. The political panellists are Janan Ganesh from the Financial Times, Julia Hartley-Brewer from talkRADIO and journalist Steve Richards.