02/10/2016 Sunday Politics


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This programme contains some flashing images.


We're live from sunny Birmingham on day one of


the Conservative Party Conference, where, three months after Britain


voted to leave the European Union, the Prime Minister has given


us her first inkling of how she plans to do it.


Morning, folks - welcome to the Sunday Politics.


Theresa May says she will trigger Article 50, starting the two year


process of negotiations that will culminate in Britain


leaving the EU, before the end of March next year.


So Brexit by Easter 2019 - but what kind of relationship


A Great Repeal Bill will also be voted on next Spring,


but won't be enacted until we leave, at which point EU laws will be


And what do Conservative MPs want to hear from their new leader?


We catch up with a Brexiteer and a Remainer as they pack


In the capital, if London was defined by the conservatism of the


Notting Hill set, what now? We explore the potential rise of Sidcup


Man. So far no Great Repeal Act to get


rid of the Sunday Politics Panel - Steve Richards, Rachel Sylvester


and Tom Newton Dunn. It's 100 days since we voted


to leave the EU and the clamour has grown for the Government to tell us


what Brexit would look like. This morning, as the Tory faithful


gather in Birmingham, we still don't expect to be told


what Brexit means but we do know more about the timetable


and the extrication process. A Bill will go before parliament


this spring to repeal the 1972 European Communities Act,


which legalised our membership But it won't actually come


into force until we leave. Theresa May also told


the Andrew Marr Show that Article 50 would be invoked


by March of next year - starting the two year process


of renegotiation before we leave. I have been saying we would not


trigger it before the end of this year, so that we get confirmation in


place. I will be saying in my speech today that we will trigger before


the end of March next year. The remaining members of the EU have to


decide what the process of negotiation is. I hope, and I will


be saying to them, that now they know what the time is going to be,


it is not an exact date, but they know it will be the first quarter of


next year, that we will be able to have some preparatory work so that


once the trigger comes we have a smoother process of negotiation.


Theresa May, on this channel, just over an hour ago. What do you make


of it? Saggy as you said, we know more about when but we don't know


what Brexit is going to be. We don't know how the relationship will work


out, we don't know what the Prime Minister's negotiation position will


be, we haven't worked out anything about the free market access and


freedom of movement. All of the substance. It is a significant


announcement but we don't actually know anything really big about what


our lives are going to be like in future. Is there a risk from the


Prime Minister? Is there a risk putting this before Parliament to


repeal the 1972 Communities Act? Undoubtedly. Anything you put before


the House of Commons or the House of Lords, where there is no Tory


majority, let alone a Brexit majority, risks getting amended. She


runs the risk. There is also a risk of not saying this, not having the


greater appeal, which is actually a great repeal act, when is being


repealed, but she needed to throw the Tory right red meat, and they


got it this morning. There is always the potential of a constitutional


crisis. If the Lords were to dig in over this, or even digging over


Article 50, demand a vote on that, lawyers are arguing whether you need


it or not, it may not be plain sailing when you have a majority of


12? It definitely isn't going to be with a majority of 12. The scope for


constitutional crisis is many. Clashes with the Lords, clashes with


the Commons, Scotland is still there in the background allows a


significant factor. It will always be there, but perhaps in a different


context. I don't think this will be the trigger for a constitutional


crisis. You have to admire the elegant choreography. I was told


ages ago that she knew she could not keep carry on saying Brexit means


Brexit, there will have to be new lines. This is beautiful. We kind of


knew that Article 50 was going to be triggered early in next year. David


Davis even said that. It was a fair bet it would be before Easter. They


couldn't spend the next two years negotiating Brexit and refocusing


the entire legislative programme to spend the next two years rejigging


the mountain of legislation we are affected with. They have turned a


logistical, unavoidable inevitability into a sense of


momentum this weekend. Very clever presentation. There are going to be


huge crises to come over this. Picking off the 1972 Act, putting it


all into British law and legislation, rather than dependent


on Europe, that is what the Brexiteers wanted. To that extent,


she has thrown them a bit of red meat today? Yes, but we still don't


know what Brexit is going to be. But a bit of red meat keeps you going


for a while. Maybe get them through to lunch time. Today or tomorrow?


Really just today. The tactic is to get some stuff about Brexit out, get


them talking about that and then move onto agenda she wants,


domestic. What do you think? Good luck with that! Are you reading my


script coming up? It was on the autocue, I'm sorry! Clearly, she is


accessed about not making his premiership all about Brexit. It


will be, but she is desperate. She needs to define herself away from


Brexit, who is Theresa May, what did she really believe? We have heard


whispers, but the next few days as a chance to do that. The fringe, Liam


Fox is talking at two fringes. Two opportunities for a story. David


Davis as well. These two men of great talent and potentially great


ego, they will not be able to stop themselves having feelings heard.


And Boris. Boris who? I have not seen him on the fringes. Fringe


meetings have been quite dull at party conferences recently. Because


of this issue, I think people are going to pack them out. That is


where words might be said, explosive words. We live for fringe meetings!


The PM hopes her announcement will deal with Brexit on day one


so the conference can get on to talk about other matters.


But as you can see from this not so slim tome - the conference guide-


there are plenty of other issues to talk, maybe even argue about.


Our Ellie caught up with two Tory MPs from different sides


of the party before they set off, to see what they think lies in store


# Just can't wait to get on the road again


# The life I love is making music with my friends


# And I can't wait to get on the road again...#


Do you actually enjoy going to conference?


It's not as much fun as when you're not an MP,


because now people want to talk to you and everybody


But do you make contacts, do you network?


Do think Theresa May gets nervous about conference,


I think if you are performing on a big stage, whoever you are,


you ought to have a few nerves jangling around.


But she's a polished performer, I'm sure she'll know


Theresa May will also know she has several contentious issues she needs


It is perhaps not surprising, then, that day one of


We're pretty well balanced between those of us like myself,


representing constituencies with really high levels


of research, science and agriculture, who will be very


keen, but probably pragmatically understanding that we are not


going to hear everything tomorrow, and the rest


of the party who are just desperate for information.


If they don't think the deal is going in the right way,


they will want to say something about it.


I think the time frame is pretty clear.


We are going to trigger Article 50 at some point relatively


That means we will get the negotiations done a good year


The rest is going to be important meat on the bones.


But, in terms of the core strategy, Theresa May goes into this


So, a unified front, albeit perhaps fragile.


But then there is the question of grammar schools.


Depends whether we hear more about it.


You know, the concept in its one-dimensional sense,


you can't have a problem with that, can you?


Giving parents choice, giving bright children the chance


But, for me, for many of us, it has to be a package


Our teachers are pretty stressed and overworked


I'm not actually sure this is the right time.


I would rather see emphasis being put on fairer funding.


Constituencies like mine have been underfunded for decades.


If you go into politics and government scared


of your own shadow, unprepared to do anything bold or brave,


I think there is no risk-free option.


Of course, people have different views on grammar schools


and it is a totemic political issue as well.


But I think if you read the green paper, the Prime Minister has set


out a very sensible, carefully calibrated approach,


not just to grammar schools but the wider


The new PM also faces big strategic decisions on expensive projects


like airport expansion, an area even her Cabinet


With all these big infrastructure projects, HS2, Heathrow,


issues around fracking, nuclear as well, I think we have got


to take the right decisions for the country, make sure Britain


Each one of those is thorny in its own right.


But what I think is most important is we look at it very carefully,


That is where we all start to see the metal in Theresa,


Whilst on the one hand, having a Prime Minister -


nobody could have been more delighted than me that we managed


to cut the tax credits changes - but having a Prime Minister


that sticks to her guns, I'm not for U-turning,


How confident are you, going to this conference,


that it is all going to be sorted and you are going to be


Well, people predicted an economic nosedive after the referendum.


People said there would be political chaos.


Actually, the economy has proved resilient.


I think there is a sense of resolve on all sides of the party


on all of these different issues to get behind this Prime Minister


Last year, you got into a bit of trouble, being quite vocal


Some suggestion you weren't a proper conservative.


I think I am absolutely a proper conservative.


I think my party needed reminding what conservative was.


Our job is to help people who need a leg up.


Her opening speech in Downing Street told me she absolutely is.


Like all of these things, we will hear more about this week.


# And I can't wait to get on the road again. #


And we're joined now by the Transport Secretary,


who was a leading Leave campaigner, Chris Grayling.


Welcome back to the programme. The great repeal act, what exactly does


it repeal? It repeal the 1972 European Communities Act. It means


the European Court of Justice no longer has sway in the United


Kingdom. It means the European Commission and Parliament no longer


make laws for us. As of today, in our system, European law is supreme


over UK law, and it repeal that. Except what it does is it


consolidates all existing European legislation into British law. It


would be more accurate to call it the great Consolidation act? Is This


is what I argued for during the League campaign. The remaining


campaign said you could not do it, it will take years, it will be a


disaster. My response then is what it is now, the best way to do it is


to consolidate existing legislation, much of which we will want to keep,


the environmental measures, the workers' rights measures, what we


want to do is to make sure we can get certainty before the event and


after the event, for workers, businesses, but what the legal


position will be. Over time, we have the freedom, outside the European


Union, free from the control of the European Court, to change our legal


system in the way that we want. It does mean we would leave the EU with


all of this EU law still part of British law. Now, what would you


wish to change in the aftermath? There is a whole variety of


different things we will be looking at a change. For example, if you


want a practical one, it is unlikely that after we have left the European


Union we will still be paying child benefits to children that have never


even entered the United Kingdom. That is the kind of thing we will be


free to change after we have left. What else? Much of it we will want


to keep, environmental measures, not all that has been done in the


European Union for 40 years has been bad for Britain. How long will it


take to pick all of this after we leave? Will be down to the


Government to decide... Ten years? 20 years? It will take it as long as


we choose. What is right and proper is that on the day after there is a


degree of certainty for businesses. It would not be fair for a company


to be operating under a set of rules, for there to be a cliff edge


where they do not know what is going to happen the day after. Let's make


it an evolution, not a revolution. A lot of the things you have to agree


to enter negotiations mean it will have to remain law even after we


leave? This clearly the case that if a business in this country is


continuing to sell a product in the European Union, it will have to make


the standards of the European Union. Those rules will apply. That is the


same if we're selling to the United States, the rules of the United


States would apply to a business planning to sell a product there.


What happens if you lose the vote? It is inconceivable that Parliament


can look at the view of the British public and ignore it. Parliament


voted overwhelmingly for the referendum to take place in the


first place, the people have given a mandate and I am certain Parliament


will fulfil it. What would happen? You have a


majority of only 12 and there was a majority for remain in the Commons


and there is a large majority in the house of lords. If the parliament


does not seamlessly agree for what you call the great repeal act, what


would happen? Both houses are full of Democrats and they will respect


the will of the people. But we could be faced with a constitutional


crisis? We have taken the decision to leave and parliament voted for


the referendum and it is inconceivable that Parliament would


not allow that process to go forward. If the inconceivable


happen, you'd have to cores and -- call an election. Inconceivable is a


bit of a stretch. Plenty of voices, particularly in the House of Lords,


would use this as a an opportunity to thwart you. And I don't think the


House of Lords will turn around and say we should not fulfil that. There


may be dissenting voices but they will view it as a democratic mandate


that we have to fulfil. Has your party don soundings in the Commons


to make sure you can get this through? I've not been involved in


that discussion but parliament will respond to the will of the people.


That's the way this country works. That's what you hope. We shall see


how it works. We've been told by the Prime Minister this morning that


article 50 will be triggered by the end of March. That means that we are


out by Easter 2019. Can you confirm that those British members of the


European Parliament currently in Strasberg, there will be no more for


them after this. If we have left by the end of the two-year period. It


is technically possible to extend it. After that period, there


wouldn't be EP is after that point in 2019. -- MEPs. For Brexit to mean


Brexit, the famous phrase, which is basically tautology. It would mean


the freedom to have our own trade laws. It would mean the ability to


do that? You are leading me to answer questions about the specific


legal structures. It means our own free-trade deals? Correct. It would


mean we are no longer subject to the rules of the European Court of


Justice. Also correct. And we would have whatever control we desire over


immigration? The Prime Minister has been clear that we need to control


the flow of immigration into the country. Any of these counts as out


from being a member of the single market. So can we agree that there


is no way we can remain a member of the single market? There is no such


thing as a member of the single market. There are a number of


different trading agreements within the EU. We are effectively a member


of the single market now but we can't be after this. The question


you have asked me, do we want to be Norway, Switzerland, Canada when it


comes to trading arrangements? We want to be the United Kingdom. We


are the biggest customer of German car-makers, French farmers... I


don't want to have the referendum fight again. It seems as black as


black or as White is white that if you want all of that we cannot be a


member, we can have access on terms yet to be agreed, we will have a


relationship, but why cannot you say that we won't be a member in the way


that we are currently a member of the single market? We won't be a


member of the European Union but there is no such thing as a member


of the single market. There is no single market in services, for


example. There is but it is not as developed as goods. I believe we


will end up with a trading partnership with the European Union


on terms to be agreed that will work for both of us. Access but not


membership. You cannot be a fully paid-up member of the single market


without the European Court of Justice ruling on it and you don't


want that. I don't understand your problem. Your pre-merging --


prejudging the outcome of negotiations. We want the best


possible trading arrangements with European neighbours and that is what


we will work towards. Where different to the other countries


that have been involved in these negotiations before. We have heard


all that before in the referendum and we wanted some clarity on what


it would mean. Transport, when will you give is the decision on runway


expansion? I'm not going to set a date today. I've spent the summer


looking at the three different options. We have three very well


presented packages. The airport commission has looked at it


carefully and the Prime Minister and I want to understand the options in


detail and understand the strengths and weaknesses of each and we will


reach our decision shortly. I'm not going to set a date on it. Shortly


means in this year, surely. I don't want to wait unnecessarily long to


take the decision but nor do I want to set a date so to to work towards


that. Will there be a free vote? I need to identify the best option for


Britain and take the best possible approach to get the support of


parliament Porritt. Will there be a free vote? Decisions have not been


taken but we will do the best for the interests of the country.


Theresa May has said the options for an expansion to Heathrow are


seriously flawed. Philip Hammond has described the Heathrow option as


dead as a Norwegian parrot. Can you be sure that the Prime Minister and


Anna Chancellor will vote for your proposal? We are looking at three


options that are very new. One of them is Heathrow. Warrant -- they


are very different options to what has been proposed in the past. They


are all very well crafted proposals. They are interesting and have


potential and we need to decide. That is why I am asking you. HS2,


high-speed train, can you state categorically it will go ahead? It's


due to start construction in the spring. The hybrids Bill Haas to


continue its passage through the house of law -- the hybrid Bill Haas


to continue through its passage in the house of lords. Will it be 2026?


Will it be on-time and on budget? The select committee of MPs said it


is unlikely and will certainly be over budget. I expected be


absolutely clear and on -- expected to be absolutely on-time and on


budget. The latest estimate for phase one, the core cast is ?14


billion but there is contingency on top of that. How much? It is set to


Treasury rules. It is always going to be over. If you really believed


in the Northern powerhouse wouldn't this money be better spent instead


of making it quicker to come to and Birmingham from London in under 90


minutes, which you already can, wouldn't it be better to spend the


money on state of the art road links between East and West in the north.


I think we need to do both. We can't get more freight onto rail without


creating more space. By taking fast trains off the West Coast main line


which is already busy and put fast freight trains onto the new route,


you create more capacity for places like Milton Keynes Dons Northampton,


Coventry. It is about making sure we have a transport system that can


cope with the demands of the 21st-century. Thank you very much.


Now, as we speak, voters in Hungary are going to the polls to vote


on whether to accept mandatory EU quotas for relocating migrants.


The country's government has been campaigning for voters to reject


the EU's proposals and has run a highly controversial campaign,


accusing migrants of terrorism and crime - and the Prime Minister


Viktor Orban has said today he'll quit if the country votes


In response to the ongoing migrant crisis, the EU wants to establish


a permanent European resettlement programme, under which,


member states must take their fair share of asylum seekers,


depending on the size of each country's population and economy.


If countries refuse, the European Commission has proposed


that they would incur a financial penalty of 250,000 euros per person,


to cover the cost of another country taking them.


Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said the plan


Last year, Hungary rejected an emergency EU plan that would have


seen tens of thousands of refugees transferred out of the country


in return for accepting a quota of almost 1300 refugees


As an EU border country, Hungary has received 18,500


In 2015, it received the most asylum applications relative


to its population of any EU state - 1800 for every 100,000 local people,


though the majority of those then travelled onwards to other


Although the referendum result will have no affect


on the EU's decision, the Hungarian government hopes


the weight of public opinion will help it resist the plans,


running a very controversial referendum campaign.


For example, this poster saying migrants carried out


We're joined now from Budapest by our Correspondent, Nick Thorpe.


I understand that the polls are pretty clear that the government


will win this referendum but it needs a turnout of at least 50% for


it to matter. What indication of turnout so far? As of 11am, turnout


was just over 16% of the electorate. We have an electrode of 8.3 million,


the government is campaigning strongly for a no vote. The


government have framed the question in such a way that it is hard to


vote, yes, we do want this imposed on us. The issue of turnout is


important because the opposition have campaigned not to vote or to


spoil votes. Even if the government wins on the numbers, if more people


vote against the quotas, is it a symbolic defeat for the government


if that was to happen? Some people will argue it would be a symbolic


defeat if they don't get 50%. We've heard that ministers are backing off


the whole issue of turnout. They are hoping for at least 3 million people


to vote. Even 4 million which would be the 50%, voting no to migrant


quotas. They say that all of those votes will give them a strong moral


hand. In the words of the Prime Minister, it will sharpen the


Hungarian sword in the battles ahead. Thank you very much.


Malin Bjork is Swedish MEP and Vice Chair of


the Confederal Group of the European United Left


Welcome to the programme. The quota system proposed already seem to be


dying if the Hungarians vote the way they are expected to today, that


will kill it, will it not? I think we should have it as a point of


departure whether we have seen that Hungary is a model in any of the


fields that we want hungry -- Europe to be. I don't think Hungary is the


model. I don't think we should give him the kind of weight that he


actually claims. He wants more weight to this referendum. I don't


think we should give it to him. It is not just Hungary, is it? There


are meant to be 100,000 migrants covered by the quota system, fewer


than 5% have been covered by it. It is just not happening, whether


Hungary votes for or against? No, it is totally... But that means it is


not operational, it is simply not working. There are serious


criticisms to have towards implementing partners in this. But I


do think when it comes to the political course, Hungary is playing


a very dangerous, racist and right nationalist game. I don't think we


should adapt to it. If it comes to it, we have to be prepared to be


behind those that do not want to be the Europe that is taking


responsibility globally. Let me clarify what you mean by that. The


Foreign Minister of Luxembourg has already said that Hungary should be


expelled from the European Union. Is that what you are saying as well?


No, no. You know what I think? As a progressive politician on the left


side, I do have a lot of criticisms to the European Union. But there are


planets apart from the kind of models that Viktor Orban is trying


to build, where he does not respect human rights, laws and media


freedoms, and now he attacks refugee rights. Given all of that, let's


accept what you say is true about that, others may dispute it, but


let's accept that as true, why should Hungary remain a member of


the European Union? Well, it is up to each country that has voted to


stay, and voted to become members, voting to stay, I don't think Orban


has any intention of leaving EU. I think he wants more influence in the


EU. I think he wants more influence domestic league through the


referendum and more influence in the EU. The question the rest of the


countries have to ask themselves is if we are going to give it to him or


adapt to his politics in any of these fields he is active in? I


think we should make a stand against it. We should have political forces


in other countries that have exactly the same kind of agendas, which we


don't want to see strengthened. Isn't the problem that may be


Hungary is on the trend, and you are not? We have seem the right, some


may call it the far right even, on the march in Austria, Poland and in


Hungary, even in Germany, with the recent elections in Berlin and


Angela Merkel's backyard, even progressive social Democratic


Sweden, your third biggest party is now the Sweden, Democrats, a hard


right nativist party. Why are forces on the move, and while the forces


used and four on the defensive? The more progressive forces, I think


they are growing in many countries also, such as Spain, Ireland and


other countries. It is not just for the left, it is for the broader


political spectrum to counteract nationalist, right-wing and racist


forces. We know where they lead, a dead end. It is a challenge in the


European countries. Why is Europe going in this direction? In 2016,


why are the forces of the rights so strong? To be honest, I think we


have to be a little bit more humble and say are we failing people in


some way? Yes, austerity policies are not working. Inequalities have


grown for over 20 years in Europe. Of course it is a failure. We are


capable of saving banks, but not refugees. People see this. It is


political failure and I think we have to sit down and create


different pacifists. What is happening now is worrying. I see


some of the political forces in Europe. -- create different


patterns. I see parties in Europe adapting to racism nationalist


voices. I think we have to be the different parties that will not


adapt to nationalist stories. They paint imaginary enemies. A huge


chunk of Hungary's public spending comes from the European Union, net


contributors like Sweden and the United Kingdom. If Hungary votes


this way, should that continue? Should we continue to bankroll it?


The way Europe and the European Union, individual members develop,


of course we should lead discussions about money and heel spending to the


respect for rule of law, the respect for human rights and the respect for


international rights that are being infringed by the Hungarian


government. Of course, we have to have such a discussion and it has to


be frank. It's just gone 11.35,


you're watching the Sunday Politics. We say goodbye to viewers


in Scotland who leave us now I think he is going to do


a much better job than And we're joined now by the former


Work and Pensions Secretary and Leave campaigner,


Iain Duncan Smith. it you said we could be out of the


European Union by 2018? My senses if you keep their process as simple as


possible and don't try to get special pleading and try to be a


member of the single market which they are not going to grant you, if


you go for a clear and simple position on trade and find an


agreement then the more complex issues then disappear. Theresa May


has said that when she brings the act forward to repeal the 1972 act,


at the same time you binding the European Law and you speed the


process up. Keeping it simple, keeping up pace is what we


recommended. It allows you to get the end point quicker.


You talk about member of the single market, Chris Grayling told me there


was no such thing, which slightly puzzled me. You clearly think that


there is. What you want, as I understand it, is a free-trade


agreement with the European Union. That could not be done by 2018? We


want free trade. There are two approaches to getting free trade


with the European Union. The first is that you say, OK, in this


process, if we sympathise and ask ourselves, if we now have a new


relationship, we have left, we want capital goods, we want to access


each other's markets, it benefits you more than us, but we are happy


not to have tariff barriers on your trade, we have an agreement of no


tariff barriers. Financial services are outside, a separate issue, more


of a regulatory issue. That is also approaching a deal on equivalence


that we could accelerate. The point I am saying is if you do not go down


the road trying to nominate individual bits and pieces and say


it is a good agreement for us both, you could reach that by agreement.


If you don't and you can't, you could fall back on the WTO


arrangements and say, well, later on, we will continue that


negotiation discussion to decide whether or not we want a free-trade


position. If you fall back on that, what you say to the boss of Nissan,


who says he will not invest again in this unless the government back row


compensates him, he faces tariffs? The answer to that is that first of


all I did not believe we will end up in a situation where it is, in any


way, a financial benefit for the European Union to want to impose any


kind tariff. Right now you are 12% better off anyway. The level of the


pound has made it 12% more competitive with European partners,


even if you slapped on 10% tariff. It goes up and down, but you asking


him to take investment decisions, multi-billion pound decisions, head


of Jaguar, saying roughly the same thing, at a time of real


uncertainty. Until it is resolved, investment in Britain will slow


down, if not dry up? They invest because this is a darn good place to


sell your businesses. You heard from the head of the publishing sector in


Germany, he said Britain in five years' time will be much more


profitable than anywhere else and will be the boom place. Outside the


European Union it will be more flexible to set out arrangements. I


am with him on this. I was in business before I came into


politics. Nobody knows what the future holds for anything. For car


makers and others that want to build stuff, they are here because they


want a flexible workforce, much lower levels of cost, and a much


better contract law base. 85% of Nissan's output goes to the single


market. That is right, they also sell here. 15%? You are not suddenly


going to meet a massive tariff wall, a closet is not in the interests of


the European Union to set up a massive tariffs. Guess who sells


more to us than we do to them? The European Union. The Germans


themselves are behind-the-scenes talking to us. We had a lot of that


during the referendum. Let me move onto some other things. Damian Green


is now running your old department. He is scrapping repeated tests for


the seriously disabled, people that you know are not going to be able to


improve. Why didn't you do that? We wanted to change this, it was a


programme given to us by the last Labour government, we did quite a


lot to improve it. The big problem, the programme as it exists at the


moment, it does not deal with health conditions, it deals with ability to


work. That is the problem. If you want to scrap it for people with


health conditions, you have to change the criteria by which they


are being assessed. That has always been the issue. For disability


payments, it is a different matter. They are assessed on their


condition. The problem for that... He will stop the assessments of


people that are seriously disabled, why didn't you do that? This is not


seriously disabled, it is people that suffer from sickness


conditions, not necessarily full-time disability. There are two


elements. When I was in Government, we have always set out a process


that said we needed to change the way the sickness benefit system was


assessed. That was so you could rule out conditions, some progressive,


some absolute, on a medical basis, on the approval of the Health


Service, so they would say this is a condition that will change, it will


mean they cannot work now but they might be able to work for a bit. You


put it into a box marked medical conditions. That was already on the


box. He has just done that, to acclaim. Why didn't you do it, if it


is that simple? We needed to get agreement in Government and we have


not reached the Provo ease approval. It is a wider plan. This could have


been incremented on its own? But you have to change the way you do it. I


was in favour of a bigger plan that brought in changes all into one,


because they are competing with each other and do not have the kind of


effect that you want. It is the right thing to do. Until now, there


have not been a huge number of assessments taking place because the


system has not been able to cover it. There is a lot of talk about


trying to reposition the Tory party on the centre ground, even the


centre-left, talking about worker's rights and so on. It is not credible


until she does something. 6 million people earn less than the Living


Wage, after six years of Conservative government. 6 million


people earn less than the Living Wage. That is the reality, not Tory


erect a wreck that we are hearing in the hall. -- that is the Tory


rhetoric. Raising the minimum wage was making sure that you identify


that and raise the blood. There are still 6 million below. The mantra of


this government was to make work pay. 50% of families in poverty have


at least one family member working. They are still in poverty, waiting,


doing difficult and unpleasant jobs, long hours, they are still in


poverty. Many people in this country work and still it is the equivalent


of poverty. That does not pay, work does not pay for them. Huge problems


down the low skill level of work. This is the one area, the level of


skills at that point is arguably some of the lowest in the Western


world. Companies too often do not invest in skills because of the


nature of the tax credit system, you have them in packets of 16 hours, it


is not worth investing. Universal Credit will change all of that quite


dramatically. It allows people to work more of the hours, invest more


in them. The second aspect is back to the migration issue. That has had


a very damaging effect on low workers. There are two elements of


this. It is not just the statutory migration, it is that what happened


is that a lot of people come for under one year. They do part-time


work, they claim full benefits, Migration Watch proved it is over 4


billion per year. That allows them to go and do cash in hand work. It


is a big problem, it has only now become clear how damaging that has


become to British people working at low income level. What does this


party, if it is this self-styled Workers Party, what does it have to


do in a country where 6 million people get less than the Living


Wage, 50% of people in poverty are already in work and poverty levels


among those in work are at record levels. So much for the worker's


party? The answer is it has to do a lot, we have been talking about


Brexit a lot, Theresa May has dropped a lot of hints about what


she wants to do. The announcement yesterday morning about this massive


review, led by a Blairite, Matthew Taylor, to completely re-examine


employment rights. Thereby meaning, for the low paid and the casual


workers, holiday pay for Uber drivers, it opens a massive area of


things, grammar schools... You need high-quality technology schools to


up-skill its? She has all of this on her agenda, possibly more


interesting than even Brexit. I was planning not to mention Brexit in


this segment, but I think I did. There was a lot of flesh to be put


on his bones before it is convincing? Theresa May is playing a


political game of trying to dump the nasty party image, become a more


compassionate conservative. She is changing from the David Cameron era,


instead of being the bottom 10% or 15% of people that he was focusing


on, as well as the wealthier elite, she is looking at the people earning


more than ?16,000, up to ?21,000, those who have children that are not


on free school meals, not the most deprived, she calls them the just


managing classes, they might have one for holiday each year, they


might want to send their kids to piano lessons or the local Football


Club, they are not the poorest people on welfare. That could have


an impact on what you're saying, it could also undermine her reputation


for being compassionate if she is seen to be abandoning the people


that need help most. There is always a political case for doing something


for Middle Britain, where most people are. They call at Middle


America over there and so on. But these are not the in work but in


poverty. Being a worker's party, one that dines out on its support for


work, if it is to do anything, it has to do something about these


people? The key issue is what the economic policies are in this new


government. Nobody on the programme this morning has talked about the


deficit, which George Osborne framed everything around, to the point


where, as they know better than anyone, he struggles to get welfare


reforms affected because of our budget cuts that hit those on low


income in work. Until we know the degree to which the framing of that


deficit strategy has changed, we will not really know the space they


will have to make sure that does not happen over the next few years and


the opposite happens. That applies to all of these issues, actually.


The economy will provide the space, or not, to do these things. The


Treasury is telling the Chancellor that the slowdown in the economy,


not as slow as they thought, but still a slowdown, that, in itself,


will widen the deficit. Therefore, he is not going to have a tonne of


money to throw around on top of that, which would widen the deficit


even further. There is room for manoeuvre which may be quite slight?


Not quite true. He has abandoned George Osborne's fiscal targets.


Having already taken this into account by what they think is the


slowing of the economy. They have been wrong in the past, but that is


why they have done that. There is not a turn of money around to spend


billions on infrastructure, unless, of course, like Mr Corbyn, you want


to borrow it. When you say you are not going to eradicate the deficit


by 2020, that is what you mean. If he needs to cushion the Brexit


impact, if there is one, I don't think we could pay off the deficit


by 2020. Then you'll have all of this money to do what you want with.


Final thought? There is also the attitude about business and the


attitude to the super rich and well. I think Theresa May will concentrate


on that more than David Cameron, alleviating concerns. The Autumn


Statement from the Chancellor will be as big as any of the statements


we hear this week. I am glad to hear it, it will be coming up live on a


Daily Politics special. at the Conservative Party


conference here in Birmingham. Fear not, I'll be back tomorrow


at 11am for a two-hour special as Chancellor Philip Hammond


takes to the stage. We are back on Tuesday and Wednesday


bringing Theresa May's speech on Wednesday just before lunch. We will


be back next Sunday as well. In the meantime, remember -


if it's Sunday, it's


Andrew Neil presents the latest political news, interviews and debate. Andrew is joined by transport secretary Chris Grayling MP, Conservative MP Iain Duncan Smith and Malin Bjork MEP, special rapporteur to the EU Parliament on refugee resettlement. On the political panel are The Sun's Tom Newton Dunn, Steve Richards and Rachel Sylvester from The Guardian (see regional variations for details).

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