18/12/2016 Sunday Politics


18/12/2016

Andrew discusses Brexit with former Conservative health secretary Stephen Dorrell and Australian high commissioner Alexander Downer, and looks at the issue of air pollution.


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Transcript


LineFromTo

Morning, folks, and welcome to the Sunday Politics.

:00:41.:00:42.

Hard line remainers strike back at Brexit.

:00:43.:00:44.

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

:00:45.:00:47.

by forcing a second vote before we leave?

:00:48.:00:50.

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

:00:51.:00:53.

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

:00:54.:00:57.

Could leaving the EU free Britain to do more business

:00:58.:01:00.

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

:01:01.:01:06.

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

:01:07.:01:09.

In London rough sleeping has doubled over the last six years.

:01:10.:01:16.

We join the outreach workers and the MP looking for answers.

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

:01:30.:01:32.

and Prancer of political punditry Iain Martin,

:01:33.:01:35.

They'll be delivering tweets throughout the programme.

:01:36.:01:44.

First this morning, some say they will fight

:01:45.:01:50.

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

:01:51.:01:53.

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

:01:54.:01:56.

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

:01:57.:01:59.

The Labour MEP Richard Corbett is revealed this morning to have

:02:00.:02:03.

tried to amend European Parliament resolutions.

:02:04.:02:05.

The original resolution called on the European Parliament

:02:06.:02:07.

to "respect the will of the majority of the citizens

:02:08.:02:11.

of the United Kingdom to leave the EU".

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He also proposed removing the wording "stress that this wish

:02:27.:02:31.

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

:02:32.:02:34.

The amendments were proposed in October,

:02:35.:02:46.

but were rejected by a vote in the Brussels

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Constitutional Affairs Committee earlier this month.

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

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

:02:55.:02:56.

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

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

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

:03:12.:03:15.

ago are suddenly used paper headlines in three very different

:03:16.:03:21.

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

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

:03:27.:03:32.

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

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

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

:03:43.:03:47.

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

:03:48.:03:53.

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

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

:03:58.:04:00.

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

:04:01.:04:05.

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

:04:06.:04:09.

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

:04:10.:04:14.

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

:04:15.:04:16.

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

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

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

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

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

:04:43.:04:44.

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

:04:45.:04:48.

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

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

:04:55.:05:01.

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

:05:02.:05:03.

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

:05:04.:05:10.

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

:05:11.:05:14.

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

:05:15.:05:22.

report about future treaty amendments down the road for years

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

:05:29.:05:36.

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

:05:37.:05:42.

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

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

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

:05:58.:06:00.

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

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

:06:08.:06:12.

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

:06:13.:06:19.

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

:06:20.:06:24.

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

:06:25.:06:27.

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

:06:28.:06:32.

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

:06:33.:06:37.

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

:06:38.:06:43.

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

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

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

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

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

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

:07:07.:07:12.

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

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

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

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

:07:29.:07:36.

that has to take account of the future framework of relationships

:07:37.:07:40.

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

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

:07:44.:07:48.

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

:07:49.:07:51.

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

:07:52.:07:57.

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

:07:58.:08:00.

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

:08:01.:08:04.

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

:08:05.:08:09.

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

:08:10.:08:12.

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

:08:13.:08:16.

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

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

:08:21.:08:24.

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

:08:25.:08:29.

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

:08:30.:08:34.

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

:08:35.:08:37.

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

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

:08:44.:08:47.

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

:08:48.:08:52.

leave it there but thank you for joining us.

:08:53.:08:57.

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

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

:09:04.:09:08.

illustrates very well the most damaging impact of the approach

:09:09.:09:13.

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

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

:09:20.:09:21.

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

:09:22.:09:25.

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

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

:09:31.:09:35.

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

:09:36.:09:41.

opinion, moderate leaders, moderate Remainers should be working together

:09:42.:09:47.

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

:09:48.:09:54.

moderate Remainers seriously if this is the approach taken at every

:09:55.:09:59.

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

:10:00.:10:08.

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

:10:09.:10:13.

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

:10:14.:10:19.

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

:10:20.:10:22.

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

:10:23.:10:27.

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

:10:28.:10:31.

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

:10:32.:10:34.

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

:10:35.:10:40.

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

:10:41.:10:45.

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

:10:46.:10:52.

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

:10:53.:10:55.

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

:10:56.:10:59.

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

:11:00.:11:04.

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

:11:05.:11:09.

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

:11:10.:11:13.

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

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

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

:11:23.:11:30.

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

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

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

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

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

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

:12:07.:12:10.

would stay in the customs union after Brexit.

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

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

:12:20.:12:25.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:13:03.:13:07.

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

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

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

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Cabinet. When David Liddington struggled against Emily Thornbury

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

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

:13:33.:13:39.

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

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

:13:46.:13:50.

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

:13:51.:13:55.

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

:13:56.:14:03.

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

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

:14:08.:14:11.

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

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

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Liam Fox suggested during that interview that he was prepared to

:14:20.:14:24.

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

:14:25.:14:29.

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

:14:30.:14:37.

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

:14:38.:14:41.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:15:17.:15:18.

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

:15:19.:15:22.

that it could take ten years to do a trade deal

:15:23.:15:25.

with the EU after Brexit. But could opportunities to expand

:15:26.:15:27.

trade lie elsewhere? Australia was one of the first

:15:28.:15:29.

countries to indicate its willingness to do a deal

:15:30.:15:32.

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

:15:33.:15:34.

us that life outside the EU He made this exclusive film

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for the Sunday Politics. My father was the Australian High

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Commissioner in the early 70s when the UK joined

:15:54.:15:55.

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

:15:56.:15:58.

the UK is leaving. Australia supported

:15:59.:16:06.

Britain remaining a member of the European Union,

:16:07.:16:08.

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

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we hope that Britain will get on with the process

:16:12.:16:17.

of negotiating their exit from the European Union and make

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the most of the opportunities that Following the referendum decision,

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Australia approached the British Government

:16:25.:16:31.

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

:16:32.:16:33.

to negotiate a free trade agreement. The British and Australian

:16:34.:16:36.

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

:16:37.:16:42.

ambitious trade agreement once A free trade agreement will provide

:16:43.:16:45.

great opportunities for consumers Australian consumers could purchase

:16:46.:16:57.

British-made cars for less We would give British

:16:58.:17:02.

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

:17:03.:17:08.

so Australia could provide British households with fresh produce

:17:09.:17:14.

when the equivalent British or Australian households would have

:17:15.:17:18.

access to British products Free-trade agreements

:17:19.:17:25.

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

:17:26.:17:37.

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

:17:38.:17:42.

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

:17:43.:17:48.

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

:17:49.:17:51.

agreements are not just about trade and investment,

:17:52.:17:56.

they are also about geopolitics. Countries with good trade relations

:17:57.:18:00.

often work more closely together in other fields including security,

:18:01.:18:04.

the spread of democracy We may have preferred

:18:05.:18:07.

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

:18:08.:18:21.

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

:18:22.:18:24.

be pretty good. We have negotiated eight free-trade

:18:25.:18:26.

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

:18:27.:18:29.

with the United States This is one of the reasons why

:18:30.:18:31.

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

:18:32.:18:43.

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

:18:44.:18:46.

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

:18:47.:18:56.

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

:18:57.:19:25.

Australian government says it wants to negotiate an important trade deal

:19:26.:19:29.

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

:19:30.:19:35.

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

:19:36.:19:40.

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

:19:41.:19:46.

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

:19:47.:19:51.

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

:19:52.:19:56.

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

:19:57.:20:02.

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

:20:03.:20:05.

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

:20:06.:20:08.

questions will arise in any negotiation. But we cannot have

:20:09.:20:15.

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

:20:16.:20:21.

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

:20:22.:20:24.

and tortuous story. Give me the headline. Basically Australian

:20:25.:20:31.

agriculture is either banned or hugely restricted in terms of its

:20:32.:20:37.

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

:20:38.:20:41.

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

:20:42.:20:47.

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

:20:48.:20:50.

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

:20:51.:20:55.

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

:20:56.:21:01.

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

:21:02.:21:06.

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

:21:07.:21:10.

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

:21:11.:21:15.

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

:21:16.:21:21.

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

:21:22.:21:27.

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

:21:28.:21:29.

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

:21:30.:21:35.

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

:21:36.:21:38.

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

:21:39.:21:44.

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

:21:45.:21:47.

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

:21:48.:21:52.

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

:21:53.:21:58.

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

:21:59.:22:03.

case there was one sector the Americans insisted on protecting and

:22:04.:22:08.

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

:22:09.:22:12.

negotiation two relatively free trading countries have fixed up

:22:13.:22:17.

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

:22:18.:22:21.

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

:22:22.:22:27.

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

:22:28.:22:31.

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

:22:32.:22:34.

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

:22:35.:22:40.

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

:22:41.:22:45.

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

:22:46.:22:49.

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

:22:50.:22:55.

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

:22:56.:23:00.

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

:23:01.:23:05.

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

:23:06.:23:09.

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

:23:10.:23:14.

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

:23:15.:23:17.

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

:23:18.:23:25.

will look at multilateral trade arrangements and even if the

:23:26.:23:29.

transpacific partnership is not ratified by the Americans, we have

:23:30.:23:32.

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

:23:33.:23:38.

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

:23:39.:23:43.

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

:23:44.:23:47.

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

:23:48.:23:53.

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

:23:54.:23:58.

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

:23:59.:24:03.

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

:24:04.:24:11.

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

:24:12.:24:15.

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

:24:16.:24:21.

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

:24:22.:24:25.

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

:24:26.:24:31.

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

:24:32.:24:35.

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

:24:36.:24:40.

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

:24:41.:24:46.

system disrupted by the direction of tariff barriers between the United

:24:47.:24:50.

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

:24:51.:24:56.

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

:24:57.:25:01.

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

:25:02.:25:05.

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

:25:06.:25:10.

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

:25:11.:25:14.

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

:25:15.:25:20.

present non-discriminatory system. Australia does not discriminate

:25:21.:25:24.

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

:25:25.:25:29.

discriminate against non-Europeans. Probably not.

:25:30.:25:33.

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

:25:34.:25:36.

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

:25:37.:25:39.

more expensive to drive in our towns and cities.

:25:40.:25:41.

Air pollution has been called the "public health crisis

:25:42.:25:43.

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

:25:44.:25:45.

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

:25:46.:25:59.

Almost 10,000 Londoners each year die prematurely.

:26:00.:26:06.

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

:26:07.:26:12.

about air pollution, that this is a public health

:26:13.:26:14.

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

:26:15.:26:18.

But how bad is air quality in Britain really?

:26:19.:26:26.

Tony Frew is a professor in respiratory medicine and works

:26:27.:26:30.

at Brighton's Royal Sussex County Hospital.

:26:31.:26:32.

He has been looking into the recent claims

:26:33.:26:34.

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

:26:35.:26:40.

But when people start talking about the numbers

:26:41.:26:42.

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

:26:43.:26:45.

There have been tremendous improvements in air quality

:26:46.:26:50.

There is a lot less pollution than there used to be

:26:51.:26:54.

and none of that is coming through in the public

:26:55.:26:58.

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

:26:59.:27:02.

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

:27:03.:27:05.

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

:27:06.:27:08.

on their death certificate, or 40,000 people who

:27:09.:27:10.

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

:27:11.:27:15.

To examine these figures further we travelled to Cambridge to visit

:27:16.:27:21.

I asked him about the data on which these claims

:27:22.:27:26.

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

:27:27.:27:31.

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

:27:32.:27:38.

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

:27:39.:27:44.

I will just talk about this group for a start.

:27:45.:27:52.

These are what are known as attributable deaths.

:27:53.:27:56.

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

:27:57.:28:00.

Quite remarkably it all comes from just one number and this

:28:01.:28:03.

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

:28:04.:28:07.

by monitoring these cities over decades that the cities which had

:28:08.:28:11.

a higher level of pollution had a higher mortality rate.

:28:12.:28:17.

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

:28:18.:28:23.

each year for each small increase in pollution.

:28:24.:28:28.

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

:28:29.:28:31.

it is only a best estimate and the committee that advises

:28:32.:28:34.

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

:28:35.:28:40.

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

:28:41.:28:43.

Yes, through a rather complex statistical model.

:28:44.:28:49.

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

:28:50.:28:54.

How much should we invest in cycling?

:28:55.:29:01.

Should we build a third runway at Heathrow?

:29:02.:29:04.

We need reliable statistics to answer those questions,

:29:05.:29:07.

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

:29:08.:29:12.

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

:29:13.:29:16.

and for air pollution that they don't really

:29:17.:29:18.

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

:29:19.:29:25.

Greenpeace have been running a campaign claiming that breathing

:29:26.:29:27.

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

:29:28.:29:29.

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

:29:30.:29:35.

that will definitely take ten years off your life expectancy.

:29:36.:29:37.

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

:29:38.:29:40.

compared to social class one, that would take seven

:29:41.:29:42.

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

:29:43.:29:47.

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

:29:48.:29:50.

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

:29:51.:29:53.

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

:29:54.:29:56.

pollution which might save you 30 days of your life.

:29:57.:30:01.

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

:30:02.:30:04.

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

:30:05.:30:07.

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

:30:08.:30:10.

And we are joined now by the Executive Director

:30:11.:30:20.

You have called pollution and national crisis and a health

:30:21.:30:39.

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

:30:40.:30:43.

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

:30:44.:30:53.

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

:30:54.:30:59.

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

:31:00.:31:03.

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

:31:04.:31:08.

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

:31:09.:31:11.

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

:31:12.:31:15.

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

:31:16.:31:25.

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

:31:26.:31:32.

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

:31:33.:31:37.

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

:31:38.:31:41.

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

:31:42.:31:48.

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

:31:49.:31:56.

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

:31:57.:32:05.

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

:32:06.:32:10.

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

:32:11.:32:15.

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

:32:16.:32:23.

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

:32:24.:32:29.

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

:32:30.:32:32.

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

:32:33.:32:37.

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

:32:38.:32:41.

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

:32:42.:32:44.

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

:32:45.:32:50.

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

:32:51.:32:53.

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

:32:54.:32:58.

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

:32:59.:33:04.

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

:33:05.:33:08.

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

:33:09.:33:13.

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

:33:14.:33:17.

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

:33:18.:33:21.

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

:33:22.:33:26.

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

:33:27.:33:31.

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

:33:32.:33:38.

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

:33:39.:33:48.

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

:33:49.:33:52.

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

:33:53.:33:57.

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

:33:58.:34:02.

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

:34:03.:34:05.

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

:34:06.:34:09.

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

:34:10.:34:13.

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

:34:14.:34:20.

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

:34:21.:34:26.

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

:34:27.:34:32.

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

:34:33.:34:38.

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

:34:39.:34:43.

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

:34:44.:34:53.

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

:34:54.:34:56.

people whose untimely death is caused entirely by air pollution,

:34:57.:35:00.

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

:35:01.:35:05.

pollution when considered as a contributory factor to many more

:35:06.:35:10.

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

:35:11.:35:20.

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

:35:21.:35:24.

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

:35:25.:35:25.

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

:35:26.:35:34.

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

:35:35.:35:43.

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

:35:44.:35:51.

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

:35:52.:36:01.

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

:36:02.:36:05.

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

:36:06.:36:10.

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

:36:11.:36:14.

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

:36:15.:36:19.

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

:36:20.:36:23.

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

:36:24.:36:28.

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

:36:29.:36:36.

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

:36:37.:36:41.

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

:36:42.:36:47.

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

:36:48.:36:51.

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

:36:52.:36:58.

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

:36:59.:37:01.

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

:37:02.:37:04.

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

:37:05.:37:11.

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

:37:12.:37:16.

throwing things that Greenpeace have claimed. Greenpeace have claimed

:37:17.:37:20.

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

:37:21.:37:25.

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

:37:26.:37:28.

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

:37:29.:37:32.

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

:37:33.:37:37.

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

:37:38.:37:41.

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

:37:42.:37:45.

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

:37:46.:37:50.

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

:37:51.:37:53.

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

:37:54.:37:59.

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

:38:00.:38:03.

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

:38:04.:38:09.

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

:38:10.:38:13.

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

:38:14.:38:18.

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

:38:19.:38:22.

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

:38:23.:38:27.

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

:38:28.:38:32.

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

:38:33.:38:38.

absolutely do not support false claims and if mistakes have been

:38:39.:38:41.

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

:38:42.:38:46.

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

:38:47.:38:50.

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

:38:51.:38:57.

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

:38:58.:39:00.

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

:39:01.:39:02.

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

:39:03.:39:05.

We say goodbye to viewers in Scotland who leave us now

:39:06.:02:08.

Will Article 50 be triggered by the end of March,

:02:09.:02:22.

will President Trump start work on his wall and will

:02:23.:02:25.

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

:02:26.:02:30.

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

:02:31.:02:52.

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

:02:53.:02:56.

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

:02:57.:02:59.

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

:03:00.:03:02.

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

:03:03.:03:08.

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

:03:09.:03:17.

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

:03:18.:03:22.

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

:03:23.:03:28.

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

:03:29.:03:34.

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

:03:35.:03:37.

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

:03:38.:03:40.

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

:03:41.:03:45.

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

:03:46.:03:51.

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

:03:52.:03:56.

constitutional crisis involving the Lords relating to Brexit, it is

:03:57.:04:03.

pretty clear it is difficult to properly begin the negotiations

:04:04.:04:07.

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

:04:08.:04:11.

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

:04:12.:04:14.

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

:04:15.:04:19.

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

:04:20.:04:25.

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

:04:26.:04:30.

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

:04:31.:04:33.

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

:04:34.:04:38.

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

:04:39.:04:43.

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

:04:44.:04:50.

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

:04:51.:04:57.

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

:04:58.:05:02.

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

:05:03.:05:06.

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

:05:07.:05:12.

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

:05:13.:05:18.

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

:05:19.:05:23.

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

:05:24.:05:26.

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

:05:27.:05:31.

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

:05:32.:05:35.

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

:05:36.:05:39.

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

:05:40.:05:44.

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

:05:45.:05:48.

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

:05:49.:05:53.

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

:05:54.:05:57.

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

:05:58.:06:02.

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

:06:03.:06:08.

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

:06:09.:06:12.

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

:06:13.:06:17.

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

:06:18.:06:23.

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

:06:24.:06:26.

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

:06:27.:06:34.

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

:06:35.:06:39.

beyond the Western European security, that is about Nato and

:06:40.:06:43.

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

:06:44.:06:50.

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

:06:51.:06:54.

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

:06:55.:06:59.

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

:07:00.:07:02.

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

:07:03.:07:07.

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

:07:08.:07:12.

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

:07:13.:07:20.

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

:07:21.:07:24.

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

:07:25.:07:29.

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

:07:30.:07:32.

Will Donald Trump win the Republican nomination next year.

:07:33.:07:34.

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

:07:35.:07:47.

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

:07:48.:07:52.

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

:07:53.:07:57.

now because clearly we are pointless! There is enough

:07:58.:08:02.

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

:08:03.:08:07.

territory with Donald Trump as president. It is incredibly

:08:08.:08:11.

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

:08:12.:08:18.

Trump is a Keynesian. He wants massive infrastructure spending and

:08:19.:08:25.

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

:08:26.:08:30.

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

:08:31.:08:36.

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

:08:37.:08:42.

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

:08:43.:08:45.

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

:08:46.:08:51.

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

:08:52.:08:55.

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

:08:56.:08:59.

The transparency around who gets those will be extremely difficult.

:09:00.:09:04.

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

:09:05.:09:09.

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

:09:10.:09:16.

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

:09:17.:09:21.

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

:09:22.:09:25.

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

:09:26.:09:30.

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

:09:31.:09:35.

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

:09:36.:09:38.

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

:09:39.:09:45.

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

:09:46.:09:50.

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

:09:51.:09:56.

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

:09:57.:10:02.

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

:10:03.:10:07.

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

:10:08.:10:11.

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

:10:12.:10:14.

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

:10:15.:10:21.

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

:10:22.:10:26.

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

:10:27.:10:31.

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

:10:32.:10:35.

Our biggest market for foreign direct investment is the United

:10:36.:10:39.

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

:10:40.:10:43.

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

:10:44.:10:47.

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

:10:48.:10:53.

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

:10:54.:10:58.

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

:10:59.:11:03.

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

:11:04.:11:06.

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

:11:07.:11:11.

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

:11:12.:11:17.

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

:11:18.:11:27.

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

:11:28.:11:31.

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

:11:32.:11:35.

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

:11:36.:11:40.

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

:11:41.:11:46.

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

:11:47.:11:49.

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

:11:50.:11:56.

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

:11:57.:12:04.

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

:12:05.:12:09.

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

:12:10.:12:17.

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

:12:18.:12:25.

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

:12:26.:12:28.

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

:12:29.:12:38.

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

:12:39.:12:49.

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

:12:50.:12:53.

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

:12:54.:12:59.

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

:13:00.:13:07.

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

:13:08.:13:13.

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

:13:14.:13:21.

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

:13:22.:13:24.

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

:13:25.:13:26.

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

:13:27.:13:29.

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

:13:30.:13:31.

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

:13:32.:13:34.

The most a writer can hope from a reader

:13:35.:14:16.

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