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It's Sunday morning, and this is the Sunday Politics.
Theresa May will be the first foreign leader to visit US
President Donald Trump this week - she's promised to hold "very
frank" conversations with the new and controversial
Speaking of the 45th President of America,
we'll be looking at what the Trump presidency could hold
in store for Britain and the rest of the world.
And with the Supreme Court expected to say that Parliament should
have a vote before the Brexit process begins, we'll ask
Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott what Labour will do next.
In the capital, a ?2 billion regeneration scheme in north London.
Is a public-private partnership the best way,
And to talk about all of that and more, I'm joined by three
journalists who, in an era of so-called fake news, can be
relied upon for their accuracy, their impartiality -
and their willingness to come to the studio
It's Steve Richards, Julia Hartley-Brewer
and Tom Newton Dunn, and during the programme they'll be
tweeting as often as the 45th President of the USA in the middle
So - the Prime Minister has been appearing on the BBC this morning.
She was mostly talking about Donald Trump and Brexit,
but she was also asked about a story on the front of this
It's reported that an unarmed Trident missile test fired
from the submarine HMS Vengeance near the Florida coast in June
The paper says the incident took place weeks before a crucial Commons
Well, let's have listen to Theresa May talking
The issue that we were talking about in the House of Commons
It was about whether or not we should renew Trident,
whether we should look to the future and have a replacement Trident.
That's what we were talking about in the House of Commons.
That's what the House of Commons voted for.
He doesn't want to defend our country with an independent
There are tests that take place all the time, regularly,
What we were talking about in that debate that took place...
I'm not going to get an answer to this.
Tom, it was clear this was going to come up this morning. It is on the
front page of the Sunday Times. It would seem to me the Prime Minister
wasn't properly briefed on how to reply. I think she probably was, but
the Prime Minister we now have doesn't necessarily answer all
questions in the straightest way. She didn't answer that one and all.
Unlike previous ones? She made it quite clear she was briefed. You
read between the Theresa May lines. By simply not answering Andrew Marr
four times, it is obvious she knew, and that she knew before she went
into the House of Commons and urged everyone to renew the ?40 billion
replacement programme. Of course it is an embarrassment, but does it
have political legs? I don't think so. She didn't mislead the Commons.
If she wanted to close it down, the answer should have been, these are
matters of national security. There's nothing more important in
that than our nuclear deterrent. I'm not prepared to talk about testing.
End of. But she didn't. Maybe you should be briefing her. That's a
good answer. She is an interesting interviewee. She shows it when she
is nervous. She was transparently uneasy answering those questions,
and the fact she didn't answer it definitively suggests she did know
and didn't want to say it, and she answered awkwardly. But how wider
point, that the House of Commons voted for the renewal of Trident,
suggests to me that in the broader sweep of things, this will not run,
because if there was another vote, I would suggest she'd win it again.
But it is an embarrassment and she handled it with a transparent
awkwardness. She said that the tests go on all the time, but not of the
missiles. Does it not show that when the Prime Minister leaves her
comfort zone of Home Office affairs or related matters, she often
struggles. We've seen it under questioning from Mr Corbyn even, and
we saw it again today. Absolutely. Tests of various aspects of the
missiles go on all the time, but there's only been five since 2000.
What you described wouldn't have worked, because in previous tests
they have always been very public about it. Look how well our missiles
work! She may not have misled Parliament, but she may not have
known about it. If she didn't know, does Michael Fallon still have a job
on Monday? Should Parliament know about a test that doesn't work? Some
would say absolutely not. Our deterrent is there to deter people
from attacking us. If they know that we are hitting the United States by
mistake rather than the Atlantic Ocean, then... There is such a thing
as national security, and telling all the bad guys about where we are
going wrong may not be a good idea. It was her first statement as Prime
Minister to put her case for renewal, to have the vote on
Trident, and in that context, it is significant not to say anything. If
anyone knows where the missile landed, give us a call!
So Donald Trump's inauguration day closed with him dancing
to Frank Sinatra's My Way, and whatever your view on the 45th
President of the United States he certainly did do it his way.
Not for him the idealistic call for national unity -
instead he used Friday's inaugural address to launch a blistering
attack on the dark state of the nation and the political
class, and to promise to take his uncompromising approach
from the campaign trail to the White House.
Here's Adam Fleming, with a reminder of how
First, dropping by for a cup of tea and a slightly awkward exchange
Then, friends, foes and predecessors watched
I, Donald John Trump, do solemnly swear...
The crowds seemed smaller than previous inaugurations,
the speech tougher then any previous incoming president.
From this day forth, it's going to be only America first.
In the meantime, there were sporadic protests in Washington, DC.
Opponents made their voices heard around the world too.
The President, who'd criticised the work of
the intelligence agencies, fitted in a visit to the CIA.
There is nobody that feels stronger about the intelligence community
And, back at the office, in the dark, a signature signalled
the end of the Obama era and the dawn of Trump.
So, as you heard there, President Trump used his
inauguration to repeat his campaign promise to put "America first"
in all his decisions, and offered some hints of what to expect
He talked of in America in carnage, to be rebuilt by American hands and
American Labour. President Trump has already started to dismantle key
parts of the Obama Legacy, including the unwinding of the affordable care
act, and the siding of the climate action plan to tackle global
warning. Little to say about foreign policy, but promised to eradicate
Islamic terrorism from the face of the Earth, insisting he would
restore the US military to unquestioning dominance. He also
said the US would develop a state missile defence system to deal with
threats he sees from Iran and North Korea. In a statement that painted a
bleak picture of the country he now runs, he said his would be a law and
order Administration, and he would keep the innocents safe by building
the border war with Mexico. One thing he didn't mention, for the
first time ever, there is a Eurosceptic in the oval office, who
is also an enthusiast for Brexit. We're joined now by Ted Malloch -
he's a Trump supporter who's been tipped as the president's
choice for US ambassador to the EU, and he's
just flown back from Washington. And by James Rubin -
he's a democrat who served Let's start with that last point I
made in the voice over there. We now have a Eurosceptic in the oval
office. He is pro-Brexit and not keen on further European Union
integration. What are the implications of that? First of all,
a renewal of the US- UK special relationship. You see the Prime
Minister already going to build and rebuild this relationship. Already,
the bust of Winston Churchill is back in the oval office.
Interestingly, Martin Luther King's bust is also there, so there is an
act of unity in that first movement of dusts. Donald Trump will be
oriented between bilateral relationships and not multilateral
or supernatural. Supranational full. What are the implications of someone
in the White House now not believing in it? I think we are present in the
unravelling of America's leadership of the West. There is now a thing
called the west that America has led since the end of World War II,
creating supranational - we just heard supernatural! These
institutions were created. With American leadership, the world was
at peace in Europe, and the world grew increasingly democratic and
prosperous. Wars were averted that could be extremely costly. When
something works in diplomacy, you don't really understand what the
consequences could have been. I think we've got complacent. The new
president is taking advantage of that. It is a terrible tragedy that
so many in the West take for granted the successful leadership and
institutions we have built. You could argue, as James Rubin has
argued in some articles, that... Will Mr Trump's America be more
involved in the world than the Obama won? Or will it continue the process
with running shoes on that began with Mr Obama? President Obama
stepped back from American leadership. He withdrew from the
world. He had a horrendous eight years in office, and American powers
have diminished everywhere in the world, not just in Europe. That
power will reassert. The focus will be on America first, but there are
foreign interests around the world... How does it reassert itself
around the world? I think the institutions will be recreated. Some
may be taken down. There could be some new ones. I think Nato itself,
and certainly the Defence Secretary will have discussions with Donald
Trump about how Nato can be reshaped, and maybe there will be
more burden sharing. That is an important thing for him. You are
tipped to be the US ambassador to Brussels, to the EU, and we are
still waiting to hear if that will happen. Is it true to say that Mr
Trump does not believe in EU integration? I think you made that
clear in the speech. He talked about supranational. He does not believe
in those kinds of organisations. He is investing himself in bilateral
relationships, the first of which will be with the UK. So we have a
president who does not believe in EU integration and has been highly
critical of Nato. Do the people he has appointed to defend, Secretary
of State, national security, do you think that will temper this
anti-NATO wretched? Will he come round to a more pro-NATO situation?
I think those of us who care about America's situation in the world
will come in to miss President Obama a lot. I think the Secretary of
State and the faculty of defence will limit the damage and will urge
him not to take formal steps to unravel this most powerful and most
successful alliance in history, the Nato alliance. But the damage is
already being done. When you are the leader of the West, leadership means
you are persuading, encouraging, bolstering your leadership and these
institutions by the way you speak. Millions, if not hundreds of
millions of people, have now heard the US say that what they care about
is within their borders. What do you say to that? It is such
an overstatement. The point is that Donald Trump is in a Jacksonian
tradition of national populism. He is appealing to the people first.
The other day, I was sitting below this page during the address, and he
said, everyone sitting behind me as part of the problem. Everyone in
front of me, the crowd and the crowd on television, is part of the
solution, so we are giving the Government back to the people. That
emphasis is going to change American life, including American
International relations. It doesn't moving the leak back -- it doesn't
mean we are moving out of Nato, it simply means we will put our
national interests first. There were echoes of Andrew Jackson's
inauguration address of 1820. That night, the Jacksonians trashed the
White House, but Mr Trump's people didn't do that, so there is a
difference there. He also said something else in the address - that
protectionism would lead to prosperity. I would suggest there is
no evidence for that in the post-war world. He talked about protecting
the American worker, American jobs, the American economy. I actually
think that Donald Trump will not turn out to be a protectionist. If
you read the heart of the deal... This is referring to two Republican
senators who introduce massive tariffs in the Hoover
administration. Exactly. If you read The Art Of The Deal, you will see
how Donald Trump deals with individuals and countries. There is
a lot of bluster, positioning, and I think you already see this in
bringing jobs by the United States. Things are going to change. Let's
also deal with this proposition. China is the biggest loser of this
election result. Let me say this: The first time in American history
and American president has set forth his view of the world, and it is a
mercantile view of the world, who makes more money, who gets more
trade, it doesn't look at the shared values, leadership and defends the
world needs. The art of the deal has no application to America's
leadership of the world, that's what we're learning. You can be a great
businessman and make great real estate deals - whether he did not is
debatable - but it has nothing to do with inspiring shared values from
the West. You saying China may lose, because he may pressure them to
reduce their trade deficit with the US. They may or may not. We may both
lose. Right now, his Secretary of State has said, and I think he will
walk this back when he is brief, that they will prevent the Chinese
from entering these islands in the South China Sea. If they were to do
that, it would be a blockade, and there would be a shooting war
between the United States and China, so US - China relations are the most
important bilateral relationship of the United States, and they don't
lend themselves to the bluff and bluster that may have worked when
you are trying to get a big building on second Ave in Manhattan. Is China
the biggest loser? I think the Chinese have a lot to lose. Gigi and
Ping was in Davos this week -- Xi Jin Ping was in Davos.
Is Germany the second biggest loser in the sense that I understand he
hasn't agreed time to see Angela Merkel yet, also that those close to
him believe that Germany is guilty of currency manipulation by adopting
a weak your row instead of the strong Deutschmark, and that that is
why they are running a huge balance of payments surplus with the United
States. American - German relations may not be great. There is a point
of view throughout Europe. You only have to talk to the southern
Europeans about this question. It seems like the euro has been aligned
to benefit Germany. Joe Stiglitz, the famous left of centre Democrat
economist, made the same case in a recent book. In this case, I think
Germany will be put under the spotlight. Angela Merkel has shown
herself to be the most respected and the most successful leader in
Europe. We who care about the West, who care about the shared values of
the West, should pray and hope that she is re-elected. This isn't about
dollars and cents. We're living in a time whether Russian leader has
another country in Europe and for some inexplicable reason, the
American president, who can use his insult diplomacy on everyone,
including Mrs Merkel, the only person he can't seem to find
anything to criticise about is Mr Putin. There are things more
important than the actual details of your currency. There are things like
preventing another war in Europe, preventing a war between the Chinese
and the US. You talk about the Trident missile all morning, nuclear
deterrence is extremely important. It doesn't lend itself to the bluff
and bluster of a real estate deal. I understand all that, but the fact we
are even talking about these things shows the new world we are moving
into. I'd like to get you both to react to this. This is a man that
ended the Bush Dynasty, a man that beat the Clinton machine. In his
inauguration, not only did he not reach out to the Democrats, he
didn't even mention the Republicans. These are changed days for us. They
are, and change can be good or disastrous. I'm worried that it's
easy in the world of diplomacy and in them -- for the leadership of the
United States to break relationships and ruin alliances. These are things
that were carefully nurtured. George Schultz, the American Secretary of
State under Reagan talked about gardening, the slow, careful
creation of a place with bilateral relationships that were blossoming
and flowering multilateral relationships that take decades to
create, and he will throw them away in a matter of days. The final
word... I work for George Schultz. He was a Marine who stood up
America, defended America, who would be in favour of many of the things
that Donald Trump and the tramp Administration... Give him a call.
His top aide macs that I've spoken to are appalled by Mr Trump's
abdication of leadership. He is going to our radically -- he's going
to eradicate extremist Islam from the face of the year. Is that
realistic? I know people in the national security realm have worked
on a plan. They say they will have such a plan in some detail within 90
days. Lets hope they succeed. We have run out of time. As a issues.
Thank you, both. -- fascinating issues.
So Theresa May promised a big speech on Brexit, and this week -
perhaps against expectation - she delivered, trying to answer
claims that the government didn't have a plan with an explicit
wish-list of what she hopes to achieve in negotiations with the EU.
To her allies it was ambitious, bold, optimistic -
to her opponents it was full of contradictions
Here's Adam again, with a reminder of the speech and how
There are speeches, and there are speeches.
Like Theresa May's 12 principles for a Brexit deal leading
to the UK fully out of the EU but still friendly in terms
This agreement should allow for the freest possible trade
in goods and services between Britain and the EU's member states.
It should give British companies the maximum
operate within European markets and let European businesses do
She also said no deal would be better than the wrong deal,
We want to test what people think about what she's just said.
Do we have any of our future negotiating
As the European Parliament voted for its new
president, its chief negotiator sounded off.
Saying, OK, if our European counterparts don't accept
it, we're going to make from Britain a sort
of free zone or tax haven, I
The Prime Minister of Malta, the country that's assumed the EU's
rotating presidency, spoke in sorrow and a bit of anger.
We want a fair deal for the United Kingdom, but
that deal necessarily needs to be inferior to membership.
Next, let's hear from some enthusiastic
leavers, like, I don't know, the Daily Mail?
The paper lapped it up with this adoring front page.
For Brexiteers, it was all manna from heaven.
I think today means we are a big step closer to becoming
an independent country again, with control of our own laws,
I was chuckling at some of it, to be honest, because
There were various phrases there which I've used myself again and
Do we have any of those so-called Remoaners?
There will, at the end of this deal process,
so politicians get to vote on the stitch-up, but
We take the view as Liberal Democrats that
if this process started with democracy last June,
We trusted the people with departure, we must trust them
Do we have anyone from Labour, or are you all
watching it in a small room somewhere?
Throughout the speech, there seemed to be an implied threat that
somewhere along the line, if all her optimism of a deal
with the European Union didn't work, we would move
into a low-tax, corporate taxation, bargain-basement economy on the
I think she needs to be a bit clearer about what
The Labour leader suggested he'd tell
his MPs to vote in favour of starting a Brexit process if
Parliament was given the choice, sparking a mini pre-revolt among
Finally, do we have anyone from big business here?
Of course, your all in Davos at the World Economic
Clarity, first of all, really codified what many of us have been
anticipating since the referendum result,
particularly around the
I think what we've also seen today is the Government's
willingness to put a bit of edge into the negotiating dynamic, and I
Trade negotiations are negotiations, and you have to lay out, and you
have to be pretty tough to get what you want.
Although some business people on the slopes speculated
about moving some of their operations out of Brexit Britain.
We saw there the instant reaction of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn,
but how will the party respond to the challenge posed by Brexit
Well, I'm joined now by the Shadow Home Secretary, Diane Abbott.
People know that Ukip and the Tories are for Brexit. The Lib Dems are
four remain. What is Labour for? For respecting the result of the
referendum. It was a 72% turnout, very high for an election of that
nature, and we believe you have to respect that result. You couldn't
have a situation where people like Tim Farron are saying to people,
millions of people, sorry, you got it wrong, we in London no better.
However, how the Tories go forward from here has to be subject to
parliamentary scrutiny. Is it Shadow Cabinet policy to vote for the
triggering of Article 50? Our policy is not to block Article 50. That is
what the leader was saying this morning. So are you for it? Our
policy is not to block it. You are talking about voting for it. We
don't know what the Supreme Court is going to say, and we don't know what
legislation Government will bring forward, and we don't know what
amendment we will move, but we're clear that we will not vote to block
it. OK, so you won't bow to stop it, but you could abstain? No, what we
will do... Either you vote for or against all you abstain. There are
too many unanswered questions. For instance, the position of EU
migrants working and living in this country. You may not get the answer
to that before Article 50 comes before the Commons, so what would
you do then? We are giving to amend it. We can only tell you exactly how
we will amend it when we understand what sort of legislation the
Government is putting forward, and in the course of moving those
amendments, we will ask the questions that the people of Britain
whether they voted to leave remain want answered.
When you come to a collective view, will there be a three line whip? I
can't tell you, because we have not seen the government 's legislation.
But when you see it, you will come to a collective view. Many regard
this as extremely important. Will there be a three line whip on
Labour's collective view? Because it is important, we shouldn't get ahead
of ourselves. When we see what the Supreme Court says, and crucially,
when we see what the government position is, you will hear what the
whipping is. Will shadow ministers be able to defy any three line whip
on this? That is not normally the case. But they did on an early vote
that the government introduced on Article 50. Those who voted against
it are still there. In the Blair years, you certainly couldn't defy a
three line whip. We will see what happens going forward. I remember
when the Tories were hopelessly divided over the EU. All these
Maastricht votes and an list arguments. Now it is Labour. Just
another symptom of Mr Corbyn's poor leadership. Not at all. Two thirds
voted to leave, a third to remain. We are seeking to bring the country
and the party together. We will do that by pointing out how disastrous
a Tory Brexit would be. Meanwhile, around 80 Labour MPs will defy a
three line whip. It's too early to say that. Will you publish what you
believe the negotiating goal should be? We are clear on it. We think
that the economy, jobs and living standards should be the priority.
What Theresa May is saying is that holding her party together is her
priority. She is putting party above country. Does Labour think we should
remain members of the single market? Ideally, in terms of jobs and the
economy, of course. Ritt -ish business thinks that as well. Is
Labour policy that we should remain a member of the single market?
Labour leaves that jobs and the economy comes first, and if they
come first, you would want to remain part of the single market. But to
remain a member? Jobs and the economy comes first, and to do that,
ideally, guess. So with that, comes free movement of people, the
jurisdiction of the European, and a multi-million never shipped thief.
Is Labour prepared to pay that? Money is neither here nor there.
Because the Tories will be asked to pay a lot of money... The EU has
made it clear that you cannot have... I am asking for Labour's
position. Our position is rooted in the reality, and the reality is that
you cannot have the benefits of the member of the European Union,
including being a member of the single market, without
responsibility, including free movement of people. Free movement,
is remaining under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. Is
that the Labour position? You've said that Labour wants to remain a
member of the single market. That is the price tag that comes with it.
Does Labour agree with paying that price tag? We are not pre-empting
negotiation. Our goals are protect jobs and the British economy. Is it
Labour's position that we remain a member of the customs union? Well,
if we don't, I don't see how Theresa May can keep our promises and has
unfettered access... You said Labour's position was clear. It is!
It is clear that Theresa May... I am not asking about Theresa May. Is it
Labour's position to remain a member of the customs union? It is Labour's
position to do what is right for British industry. Depending on how
the negotiations go, it may prove that coming out of the customs
union, as Theresa May has indicated she wants to do, could prove
catastrophic, and could actually destroy some of her promises. You do
accept that if we are member of the customs union, we cannot do our own
free trade deals? What free trade deals are you talking about? The
ones that Labour might want to do in the future. First, we have to
protect British jobs and British industries. If you are talking about
free trade deals with Donald Trump, the danger is that Theresa May will
get drawn into a free-trade deal with America that will open up the
NHS to American corporate... The cards are in Theresa May's hands. If
she takes us out of the single market, if she takes us out of the
customs union, we will have to deal with that. How big a crisis for
Jeremy Corbyn will be if Labour loses both by-elections in February.
I don't believe we will lose both. But if he did? I am not anticipating
that. Is Labour lost two seats in a midterm of a Tory government, would
that be business as usual? I'm not prepared to see us lose those seats,
so I will not talk about something that will not happen. Thank you.
You're watching the Sunday Politics.
We say goodbye to viewers in Scotland, who leave us now
Coming up here in 20 minutes, The Week Ahead,
when we'll be talking to Business Minister Margot James
about the government's new industrial strategy and that
crucial Supreme Court ruling on Brexit.
First, though, the Sunday Politics where you are.
have to do this. Thank you to you both.
What exactly is the government's industrial strategy?
Will ministers lose their supreme court battle over Brexit, and,
Well, tomorrow Theresa May is launching the government's
industrial strategy - and to talk about that we're joined
by the Business Minister, Margot James - welcome to the show.
When you look at what has already been released in advance of the
Prime Minister's statement, it was embargoed for last night, it's not
really an industrial strategy, it's just another skills strategy, of
which we have had about six since the war, and our skills training is
among the worst in Western Europe? There will be plenty more to be
announced tomorrow in what is really a discussion document in the
preparation of an industrial strategy which we intend to launch
properly later in the year. Let's look at skills. You are allocating
117 of funding to establish institutes of technology. How many?
The exact number is to be agreed, but the spend is there, and it will
be on top of what we are doing to the university, technical
colleges... How many were lit bio create? We don't know exactly, but
we want to put them in areas where young people are performing under
the national average. But if you don't know how many, what is the
basis of 170 million? That is the amount the Treasury have released.
The something that is very important, we are agreed we need to
devote more resources to vocational training and get it on a par with
academic qualifications. I looked on the website of my old university,
the University of Glasgow, the Russell group universities. Its
spending budget every year is over 600 million. That's one University.
And yet you have a mere 170 million foreign unspecified number of
institutes of technology. It hasn't got equality with the academics? You
have to remember that just as you have quoted figures from Glasgow
University there are further education colleges all over the
country. The government is already spending on 16 to 19-year-olds. But
also, we are going to be adding... This is new money that is all to the
good, because we are already spending a lot. We have already
created 2 million more apprentices since 2010. That many are not in
what we would call the stem skills, and a lot come nowhere near what the
Dutch, Germans and Austrians would have. I'm not clear how another 170
million would do. You said it is more than skills. In what way is
this industrial strategy different from what Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne
did before? It's different because it is involving every single
government department, and bringing together everything that government
does in a bid to make Britain more competitive as it disengages from
the European Union. That is what the last Labour government did. They
will much more targeted interventions. Under the Labour
government, the auto industry got some benefit. A few more sectors
were broached under the coalition government. This is all about
communities all over the country, some of whom have fallen behind in
terms of wage growth and good jobs. The Prime Minister has already
announced 2 billion as a research and development priority in specific
technologies, robotics, artificial intelligence, medical technology,
satellites... So you are doing what has been done before. There is
nothing new about this. Wait until tomorrow, because there will be some
new strands emerging. It is the beginning of the dialogue with
industry and with workers, and the responses will be invited up until
April. That will inform a wider strategy that goes beyond skills. I
have moved on to beyond them. I'm slightly puzzled as to how the
government knows where to invest in robotics, when it can't even provide
the NHS with a decent IT system. Discuss. I have to say I find it
bizarre that the government is making an announcement about an
amount of money and don't know where it's going. This is typical of all
governments over all political shoes, which is total disregard for
technical education, so different from Germany, who actually invest in
the technological side. Germany has a long history. We want to emulate
some of the best of what German companies do. Siemens sponsor
primary schools, for example. We want to get a dialogue on with
business. We don't want to decide where this money is going. By the
way, it was 4.7 billion that the government has agreed to invest in
science and research, which is the most significant increase in
decades. Can you remind us what happened in Northern Ireland, when
the government invested money in state-of-the-art technology for
energy? No one needs to be reminded of that, and that is not what we are
doing. We are inviting business and industry to advise where that money
is best spent. That's very different from government deciding that a
particular technology is for the future. The government's chief
scientific adviser has determined that we will invest a huge amount in
battery technology, which should benefit the electric car industry,
and... This is taxpayers' money. Who gets it? Ultimately, business will
get it, but often only when there is a considerable amount of private
sector finance also drawn in. But who is held to account? Various
government departments at local authorities will hold this list to
account. A lot of it is about releasing private capital as well.
Thank you very much. This week, the Supreme Court, I think we know the
ruling is coming on Tuesday. And the expectation is that the judges will
say Parliament will have to vote to trigger. Is this all much ado about
nothing? Parliament will vote to trigger, and the government will win
in the Lords and the Commons by substantial majorities, and it will
be triggered? Completely. We've known that. Parliament is voted.
Everyone is pretty confident that the Supreme Court will uphold the
High Court's decision and say it has to go to MPs. There will be a bit of
toing and froing among MPs on amendments. You heard Diane Abbott's
slightly car crash interview there. The Lib Dems may throw something in,
but we will trigger Article 50 by the end of March. If it also says
that the roll of Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast should be picked up,
that could complicate matters. Absolutely. That could delay the
planned triggering of Article 50 before the end of March. Not what
they say about the Westminster Parliament, because it is clear that
it was. I never understood the furore about that original judgment,
because every MP made it clear they wouldn't block it. Even though Diane
Abbott was evasive on several fronts, she said they wouldn't block
it. You are right, if they give a vote, or give some authorisation for
the Scottish Parliament and other devolved assemblies, that might
delay the whole sequence. That is the only significant thing to watch
out for. Watch out on Tuesday. Mrs May goes to Washington. It will be
another movie in the making! I would suggest that she has a tricky line
to follow. She has got to be seen to be taking advantage of the fact that
there is a very pro-British, pro-Brexit president in the Oval
Office, who I am told is prepared to expend political capital on this.
But on the other hand, to make sure that she is not what we used to call
Mr Blair, George Bush's poodle. It is very difficult, and who would not
want to be a fly on the wall in that meeting! I can't think of anyone in
the world who would despise Mr Trump more than Mrs May, and for him, he
dislikes any woman who does not look like a supermodel, no disrespected
Mrs May. Most of it is actually anti-EU, and I think we should
capitalise it. Let's get the Queen to earn her money, roll out the red
carpet, invite him to dinner, spend the night, what ever we need...
Trump at Balmoral! Here is the issue, because the agenda is, as we
heard from Ted Malloch earlier, that this is not an administration that
has much time for the EU, EU integration or Germany. I think
Germany will be the second biggest loser to begin with. They will not
even give a date for Angela Merkel to meet the president. This is an
opportunity for Mrs May... It is a huge. It could sideline talks of the
punishment beating from Germany. The Trump presidency has completely
changed the field on Brexit. Along came Donald Trump, and Theresa May
has this incredible opportunity here. Not of her making, but she has
played her cards well. To an officially be the EU emissary to
Washington, to get some sort of broker going. That gives us huge
extra leveraged in the Brexit negotiations. People around the
world think Germany as a currency manipulator, that it is benefiting
from an underpriced euro, hence the huge surplus it runs of America, and
they think it is disgraceful that a country that runs a massive budget
surplus spends only 1.2% of its GDP on defence, and America runs a
massive deficit and needs to spend a lot more. He's going for Germany.
And what a massive shift. I think Obama was quite open, in a farewell
interview, that he felt closer to Merkel than any other European
leader. And Jamie kind of reflected that in our discussion. Yes, that's
very interesting discussion. I think she was the last person he spoke to
in the White House, Obama. And now you are getting the onslaught from
Trump. This Thatcher- Reagan imagery is dangerous, though. Blair was
hypnotised by it and was too scared to criticise Bush, because he wanted
to be seen in that light, and we know where that led. Cameron
similarly with Obama, which presented him with problems, as
Obama didn't regard him as his number one pin up in Europe. I would
put a note of caution in there about the Thatcher - Reagan parallel.
Everything Trump is doing now is different from before, so Mrs May
should not have any of these previous relationships in her mind.
That is not entirely true. Donald Trump aches to be the new Ronald
Reagan. He may be impeached first! He sees her as the new Margaret
Thatcher, and that may her leveraged with him. Thank you.
We'll be back here at the same time next week, and you can catch up
on all the latest political news on the Daily Politics,
In the meantime, remember - if it's Sunday,
Andrew Neil and guests including shadow home secretary Diane Abbott look at Theresa May's Brexit speech and the inauguration of US president Donald Trump. On the political panel are Julia Hartley-Brewer of talkRadio, Tom Newton Dunn of the Sun and broadcaster and journalist Steve Richards (see regional variations for details).