12/03/2017 Sunday Politics


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It's Sunday morning and this is the Sunday Politics.


David Davis tells MPs to leave the Brexit bill untouched,


ahead of a week which could see Britain begin the process


We'll talk to a Tory rebel and Ukip's Nigel Farage.


Phillip Hammond's first budget hit the rocks thanks to a tax rise


But how should we tax those who work for themselves?


And remember Donald Trump's claim that Barack Obama had ordered


We'll talk to the former Tory MP who set the whole story rolling.


In London this week, a rise in anti-Semitic


Universities urged to take a tougher approach.


And joining me for all of that, three self-employed journalists


who definitely don't deserve a tax break.


It's Steve Richards, Julia Hartley-Brewer


They'll be tweeting throughout the programme with all the carefree


abandon of Katie Hopkins before a libel trial.


BBC lawyers have suddenly got nervous!


So first today, the government is gearing up to trigger Article 50,


perhaps in the next 48 hours, and start negotiating Britain's


Much has been written about the prospect of the Commons


getting a "meaningful vote" on the deal Britain negotiates.


Brexit Secretary David Davis was on the Andrew Marr programme


earlier this morning and he was asked what happens


Well, that is what is called the most favoured nation status deal


There we go out, as it were, on WTO rules.


That is why of course we do the contingency planning, to make


The British people decided on June the 23rd last year


My job, and the job of the government, is to make


the terms on which that happens as beneficial as possible.


There we have it, clearly, either Parliament votes for the deal when


it is done or it out on World Trade Organisation rules. That's what the


government means by a meaningful vote.


I think we get over obsessed about whether there will be a legal right


for Parliament to have a vote. If there is no deal or a bad deal, I


think it would be politically impossible for the government to


reject Parliament's desire for a vote because the atmosphere of


politics will be completely different by then. I take David


Davies seriously. Within Whitehall he has acquired a reputation as


being the most conscientious and details sadly... And well briefed.


Absolutely and well travelled in terms of European capitals of the


three Brexit ministers. It is quite telling he said what he did and it


is quite telling that within cabinet, two weeks ago he was


floating the idea of no deal at all. Being if not the central estimate


than a completely plausible eventuality. It is interesting. I


would suggest the prospect of no deal is moving up the agenda. It is


still less likely than more likely to happen. But it's no longer a kind


of long tail way out there in the distance. Planning for no deal is


the same as having contents insurance or travel insurance, plan


for the worse case scenarios are prepared it happens. Even the worst


case scenario, it's not that bad. Think of the Jeep 20, apart from the


EU, four members of the G20 economies are successful members of


the EU. The rest aren't and don't have trade deals but somehow these


countries are prospering. They are growing at a higher rate. You are


not frightened? Not remotely. We are obsessed with what we get from the


EU and the key thing we get from leaving the EU is not the deal but


the other deals we can finally make with other trading partners. They


have higher growth than virtually every other EU country apart from


Germany. It is sensible as a negotiating position for the


government to say if there is no deal, we will accept there is no


deal. We're not frightened of no deal. It was clear from what David


Davies was saying that there will be a vote in parliament at the end of


the process but there won't be a third option to send the government


back to try to get a better deal. It is either the deal or we leave


without a deal. In reality, that third option will be there. We don't


know yet whether there will be a majority for the deal if they get


one. What we do know now is that there isn't a majority in the


Commons for no deal. Labour MPs are absolutely clear that no deal is


worth then a bad deal. I've heard enough Tory MPs say the same thing.


But they wouldn't get no deal through. When it comes to this vote,


if whatever deal is rejected, there will then be, one way or another,


the third option raised of go back again. But who gets to decide what


is a bad deal? The British people will have a different idea than the


two thirds of the Remain supporting MPs in the Commons. In terms of the


vote, the Commons. Surely, if the Commons, which is what matters here,


if the Commons were to vote against the deal as negotiated by the


government, surely that would trigger a general election? If the


government had recommended the deal, surely the government would then, if


it still felt strongly about the deal, if the other 27 had said,


we're not negotiating, extending it, it would in effect become a second


referendum on the deal. In effect it would be a no-confidence vote in the


government. You've got to assume that unless something massively


changes in the opposition before then, the government would feel


fairly confident about a general election on those terms. Unless the


deal is hideously bad and obviously basso every vote in the country...


The prior minister said if it is that bad she would have rather no


deal. So that eventuality arrives. -- the Prime Minister has said. Not


a second referendum general election in two years' time. Don't put any


holidays for! LAUGHTER -- don't look any.


So the Brexit bill looks likely to clear Parliament this week.


That depends on the number of Conservative MPs who are prepared


to vote against their government on two key issues.


Theresa May could be in negotiations with our European


partners within days, but there may be some


wheeler-dealings she has to do with her own MPs, too.


Cast your mind back to the beginning of month.


The bill to trigger Article 50 passed comfortably


But three Conservatives voted for Labour's amendments to ensure


the rights of EU citizens already in the UK.


Seven Tory MPs voted to force the government to give Parliament


a say on the deal struck with the EU before it's finalised.


But remember those numbers, they're important.


On the issue of a meaningful vote on a deal, I'm told there might have


been more rebels had it not been for this assurance from


I can confirm that the government will bring forward a motion


on the final agreement to be approved by both Houses


And we expect, and intend, that this will happen before


the European Parliament debates and votes on the final agreement.


When the government was criticised for reeling back


from when and what it would offer a vote on.


The bill then moved into the Lords, where peers passed it


And the second, that Parliament be given a meaningful vote on the terms


of the deal or indeed a vote in the event of there


The so-called Brexit bill will return to Commons


Ministers insist that both amendments would weaken


the government's negotiating hand and are seeking to overturn them.


But, as ever, politics is a numbers game.


Theresa May has a working majority of 17.


On Brexit, though, it's probably higher.


At least six Labour MPs generally vote with


Plus, eight DUP MPs, two from the Ulster Unionist party


If all Conservatives vote with the government as well,


Therefore, 26 Conservative rebels are needed for the government to be


So, are there rough waters ahead for Theresa May?


What numbers are we looking at, in terms of a potential rebellion?


I think we're looking at a large number of people who are interested


This building is a really important building.


It's symbolic of a huge amount of history.


And for it not to be involved in this momentous time would,


But he says a clear verbal statement from the government on a meaningful


vote on any deal would be enough to get most Tory MPs onside.


It was already said about David Jones.


It's slightly unravelled a little bit during


I think this is an opportunity to really get that clarity


through so that we can all vote for Article 50 and get


We've have spoken to several Tory MPs who say they are minded to vote


One said the situation was sad and depressing.


The other said that the whips must be worried because they don't


A minister told me Downing Street was looking again at the possibility


of offering a vote in the event of no deal being reached.


But that its position was unlikely to change.


And, anyway, government sources have told the Sunday Politics they're not


That those Tory MPs who didn't back either amendment the first time


round would look silly if they did, this time.


It would have to be a pretty hefty lot of people changing their minds


about things that have already been discussed in quite a lot of detail,


last time it was in the Commons, for things to be reversed this time.


There's no doubt that a number of Tory MPs are very concerned.


Labour are pessimistic about the chances of enough Tory


rebels backing either of the amendments in the Commons.


The important thing, I think, is to focus on the fact


that this is the last chance to have a say on this.


If they're going to vote with us, Monday is the time to do it.


Assuming the bill does pass the Commons unamended,


it will go back to the Lord's on Monday night where Labour peers


have already indicated they won't block it again.


It means that the Brexit bill would become law and Theresa May


would be free to trigger Article 50 within days.


Her own deadline was the end of this month.


But one minister told me there were advantages to doing it early.


We're joined now from Nottingham by the Conservative MP Anna Soubry.


She's previously voted against the government on the question


of whether Parliament should have a final say over the EU deal.


Anna Soubry, I think it was clear this morning from David Davies that


what he means by meaningful vote is not what you mean by a meaningful


vote. He thinks the choice for Parliament would be to either vote


for the deal and if Parliament doesn't, we leave on World Trade


Organisation rules, on a bare-bones structure. In the end, will he


accept that in the Commons tomorrow? No, because my problem and I don't


think it is a problem, but my problem, the government's problem is


that what I want is then to answer this question. What happens in the


event of their not being any deal? David Davies made it very clear that


in the event of there being no deal, Parliament would have no say. It


means through your elected representatives, the people of this


country would have no say on what happens if the government doesn't


get a deal. I think the request that Parliament should have a say on


Parliamentary sovereignty, is perfectly reasonable. That is what I


want David to say. If he says that, I won't be rebelling. If he does...


They have refused to say that. Sorry. If he continues to say what


he said the BBC this morning, which means that the vote will be either


to accept the as negotiated or to leave on WTO rules, will you rebel


on that question but no, no, sorry, if there's a deal, Parliament will


have a say. So that's fine. And we will see what the deal is and we


will look at the options two years down the road. When who knows


what'll happen in our economy and world economy. That is one matter


which I am content on. The Prime Minister, a woman of her word has


said that in the event of a deal, Parliament will vote on any deal. I


don't difficulty. To clarify, I will come onto that. These are important


matters. I want to clarify, not argue with you. You are content that


if there is a deal, we will come under no deal in a second, but if


there is a deal, you are content with the choice of being able to


vote for that deal or leaving on WTO terms? No, you're speculating as to


what might happen in two years' time. What the options might be.


Personally I find it inconceivable that the government will come back


with a rubbish deal. They will either come back with a good deal,


which I won't have a problem with or they will come back with no deal. To


speculate about coming back with a deal, there is a variety of options.


I understand that that is what the Lord amendments are about. They are


about a vote at the end of the process. Do forgive me, the Lords


amendment is not the same that I've voted for in Parliament. What we


call the Chris Leslie amendment, which was talking about whatever the


agreement is, whatever happens at the end of the negotiations,


Parliament will have a vote. Parliament will have a say. The


Lords amendment is a bit more technical. It is the principle of no


deal that is agitating us. Let's clarify on this. They are


complicated matters. What do you want the government to say? What do


you want David Davis to say tomorrow on what should the Parliamentary


process should be if there is no deal? Quite. I want a commitment


from him that in the event of no deal, it will come into Parliament


and Parliament will determine what happens next. It could be that in


the event of no deal, the best thing is for us to jump off the cliff into


WTO tariff is. I find it unlikely but that might be the reality. There


might be other alternatives. Most importantly, including saying to the


government, go back, carry on. The question that everybody has to ask


is, why won't the government give My fear is what this is about is


asked deliberately, not the Prime Minister, but others deliberately


ensuring we have no deal and no deal pretty soon and in that event, we


jumped off the cliff onto WTO tariffs and nobody in this country


and the people of this country do not have a say. My constituents did


not vote for hard Brexit. You do not want the government to


have the ability if there is no deal to automatically fall back on the


WTO rules? Quite. It is as simple as that. We are now speculating about


what will happen in two years. I want to find out what happens


tomorrow. What will you do if you don't get that assurance? I will


either abstain, or I will vote to keep this amendment within the Bill.


I will either vote against my government, which I do not do


likely, I have never voted against my government until the Chris Leslie


clause when the Bill was going through, or I will abstain, which


has pretty much the same effect because it comes into the Commons


with both amendments so you have positively to vote to take the map.


Can you give us an idea of how many like-minded conservative colleagues


there are. I genuinely do not know. You must talk to each other. I do


not talk to every member of my party. You know people who are


like-minded. I do. I am not doing numbers games. I know you want that


but I genuinely do not know the figure. I think this is an


uncomfortable truth. People have to understand what has happened in our


country, two particular newspapers, creating an atmosphere and setting


an agenda and I think many people are rather concerned, some


frightened, to put their head over the parapet. There are many millions


of people who feel totally excluded from this process. Many of them


voted to remain. And they have lost their voice. We have covered the


ground I wanted to. We're joined now by the Ukip MEP


and former leader Nigel Farage. Article 50 triggered, we are leaving


the EU, the single market and the customs union. What is left you to


complain about? All of that will happen and hopefully we will get the


triggered this week which is good news. What worries me a little I'm


not sure the government recognises how strong their handers. At the


summit in Brussels, the word in the corridors is that we are prepared to


give away fishing waters as a bargaining chip and the worry is


what deal we get. Are we leaving, yes I am pleased about that. You are


under relevant voice in the deal because the deal will be voted on in


Parliament and you have one MP. You are missing the point, the real vote


in parliament is not in London but Strasbourg. This is perhaps the


biggest obstacle the British Government faces. Not what happens


in the Commons that the end of the two years, the European Parliament


could veto the deal. What that means is people need to adopt a different


approach. We do not need to be lobbying in the corridors of


Brussels to get a good deal, we need is a country to be out there talking


to the German car workers and Belgian chocolate makers, putting as


much pressure as we can on politicians from across Europe to


come to a sensible arrangement. It is in their interests more than


ours. In what way is the vision of Brexit set out by David Davis any


different from your own? I am delighted there are people now


adopting the position I argued for many years. Good. But now... Like


Douglas Carswell, he said he found David Davis' performers this morning


reassuring. It is. And just as when Theresa May was Home Secretary every


performance she gave was hugely reassuring. She was seen to be a


heroine after her conference speeches and then did not deliver. I


am concerned that even before we start we are making concessions. You


described in the EU's divorce bill demands, 60 billion euros is floated


around. You said it is laughable and I understand that. Do you maintain


that we will not have to pay a penny to leave? It is nine months since we


voted exit and assuming the trigger of Article 50, we would have paid 30


billion in since we had a vote. We are still members. But honestly, I


do not think there is an appetite for us to pay a massive divorce


Bill. There are assets also. Not a penny? There will be some ongoing


commitments, but the numbers talked about our 50, ?60 billion, they are


frankly laughable. I am trying to find out if you are prepared to


accept some kind of exit cost, it may be nowhere near 60 billion. We


have to do a net agreement, the government briefed about our share


of the European Union investment bank. Would you accept a


transitional arrangement, deal, five, ten billion, as part of the


divorce settlement? We are painted net ?30 million every single day at


the moment, ?10 billion plus every year. That is just our contribution.


We are going to make a massive saving on this. What do you make of


what Anna Soubry said, that if there is no deal, and it is being talked


about more. Maybe the government managing expectations. There is an


expectation we will have a deal, but if there is no deal, that the


government cannot just go to WTO rules, but it has to have a vote in


parliament? By the time we get to that there will be a general


election coming down the tracks and I suspect that if at the end of the


two-year process there is no deal and by the way, no deal is a lot


better for the nation than where we currently are, because we freed of


regulations and able to make our own deals in the world. I think what


would happen, and if Parliament said it did not back, at the end of the


negotiation a general election would happen quickly. According to reports


this morning, one of your most senior aides has passed a dossier to


police claiming Tories committed electoral fraud in Thanet South, the


seat contested in the election. What evidence to you have? I read that in


the newspapers as you have. I am not going to comment on it. Will you not


aware of the contents of the dossier? I am not aware of the


dossier. He was your election strategists. I am dubious as to


whether this dossier exists at all. Perhaps the newspapers have got this


wrong. Concerns about the downloading of data the took place


in that constituency, there are. Allegedly, he has refuted it, was it


done by your MP to give information to the Tories, do you have evidence


about? We have evidence Mr Carswell downloaded information, we have no


evidence what he did with it. It is not just your aide who has been


making allegations against the Conservatives in Thanet South and


other seats, if the evidence was to be substantial, and if it was to


result in another by-election being called an Thanet South had to be


fought again, would you be the Ukip candidate? I probably would. You


probably would? Yes. Just probably? Just probably. It would be your


eighth attempt. Winning seats in parliament under first past the post


is not the only way to change politics in Britain and I would like


to think I proved that. Let's go back to Anna Soubry. The implication


of what we were saying on the panel at the start of the show and what


Nigel Farage was saying there would be that if at the end of the process


whatever the vote, if the government were to lose it, it would provoke a


general election properly. I think that would be right. Let's get real.


The government is not going to come to Parliament with anything other


than something it believes is a good deal and if it rejected it, would be


unlikely, there would be a de facto vote of no confidence and it would


be within the fixed term Parliaments act and that be it. The problem is,


more likely, because of the story put up about the 50 billion, 60


billion and you look at the way things are flagged up that both the


Prime Minister and Boris Johnson saying, we should be asking them for


money back, I think the big fear and the fear I have is we will be


crashing out in six months. You think we could leave as quickly as


six months. Explain that. I think they will stoke up the demand from


the EU for 50, 60 billion back and my real concern is that within six


months, where we're not making much progress, maybe nine months, and


people are getting increasingly fed up with the EU because they are told


it wants unreasonable demands, and then the crash. I think what is


happening is the government is putting in place scaffolding at the


bottom of the cliff to break our fall when we come to fall off that


cliff and I think many in government are preparing not for a two-year


process, but six, to nine months, off the cliff, out we go. That is my


fear. That is interesting. I have not heard that express before by


someone in your position. I suspect you have made Nigel Farage's date.


It is a lovely thought. I would say to Anna Soubry she is out of date


with this. 40 years ago there was a good argument for joining the common


market because tariffs around the world was so high. That has changed


with the World Trade Organisation. We are leaving the EU and rejoining


a great big world and it is exciting. She was giving an


interesting perspective on what could happen in nine months rather


than two years. I thank you both. It was Philip Hammond's first


budget on Wednesday - billed as a steady-as-she-goes


affair, but turned out to cause uproar after the Chancellor appeared


to contradict a Tory manifesto commitment with an increase


in national insurance contributions. The aim was to address what some see


as an imbalance in the tax system, where employees pay


more National Insurance The controversy centres


on increasing the so-called class 4 rate for the self-employed who make


a profit of more than ?8,060 a year. It will go up in stages


from 9% to 11% in 2019. The changes mean that over one


and a half million will pay on average ?240 a year


more in contributions. Some Conservative MPs were unhappy,


with even the Wales Minister saying: "I will apologise to every


voter in Wales that read the Conservative manifesto


in the 2015 election." The Sun labelled Philip


Hammond "spite van man". The Daily Mail called the budget


"no laughing matter". By Thursday, Theresa May


said the government One of the first things I did


as Prime Minister was to commission Matthew Taylor to review the rights


and protections that were available to self-employed workers


and whether they should be enhanced. People will be able to look


at the government paper when we produce it, showing


all our changes, and take And, of course, the Chancellor will


be speaking, as will his ministers, to MPs, businesspeople and others


to listen to the concerns. Well, the man you heard mentioned


there, Matthew Taylor, has the job of producing


a report into the future Welcome. The Chancellor has decided


the self-employed should pay almost the same in National Insurance, not


the same but almost, as the employed will stop what is left of your


commission? The commission has a broader frame of reference and we


are interested in the quality of work in the economy at the heart of


what I hope will be proposing is a set of shifts that will improve the


quality of that work so we have an economy where all work is fair and


decent and all jobs give people scope for development and


fulfilment. The issue of taxes a small part. You will cover that? We


will, because the tax system and employment regulation system drive


particular behaviours in our labour market. You approve I think of the


general direction of this policy of raising National Insurance on the


self-employed. Taxing them in return perhaps for more state benefits. Why


are so many others on the left against it from Tim Farron to John


McDonnell? Tax rises are unpopular and it is the role of the opposition


parties to make capital from unpopular tax rises. I think as tax


rises go this is broadly progressive. There are self-employed


people on low incomes and they will be better off. It is economic league


rational because the reason for the difference in National Insurance --


economically. It was to do with state entitlements. The government


is consulting about paid parental leave. A series of governments have


not been good about thinking about medium sustainability of the tax


base. Self-employment is growing. But it is eroding the tax base. It


is important to address those issues. A number of think tanks have


said this is a progressive move. Yet, a number of left-wing


politicians have been against it. And a number of Tories have said


this is a progressive move and not a Tory government move, the balance of


you will pay more tax, but you will get more state benefits is not a


Tory approach to things. That a Tory approach will be you will pay less


tax but entitled to fewer benefits as well.


I preferred in and policies to politics -- I prefer policies. When


people look at the policy and when they look the fact that there is no


real historical basis for that big national insurance differential,


they see it is a sensible policy. I don't have to deal with the


politics. There has been a huge growth in self-employment from the


turn of the millennium. It's been strongest amongst older workers,


women part-timers. Do you have any idea, do you have


the data in your commission that could tell us how many are taking


self-employment because they like the flexibility and they like the


tax advantages that come with it, too, or they are being forced into


it by employers who don't want the extra costs of employment? Do we


know the difference? We do, broadly. Most surveys on self-employment and


flexible forms of employment suggest about two thirds to three quarters


enjoy it, they like the flexibility, they like the autonomy and about a


third to one quarter are less happy. That tends to be because they would


like to have a full-time permanent job. It is not necessary that they


don't enjoy what they are doing, they would like to do other things.


And some of the protections that come with it? Yes. There are some


people who are forced into southern employees by high-risk but also some


people feel like they can't get a proper job as it were. --


self-employment by people who hire them. It is on the narrow matter of


tax revenues but if you are employed on ?32,000 the state will take over


?6,000 in national insurance contributions, that is quite chunky.


If you are self-employed it is ?2300. But the big difference


between those figures isn't what the employee is paying, it's the


employer's contributions up to almost 14%, and cupped for as much


as you are paid. What do you do about employers' contributions for


the self employed? -- it is uncapped for as much. What I recommend is


that we should probably move from taxing employment to taxing labour.


We should probably have a more level playing field so it doesn't really


matter... Explained that I thought it was the same thing. If you are a


self-employed gardener, you are a different tax regime to a gardener


who works for a gardening firm. On the individual side and on the firm


side. As we see new business models, so-called gig working, partly with


technology, we need a more level playing field saying that we're


taxing people's work, not the form in which they deliver that. That is


part of the reason we have seen the growth of particular business


models. They are innovative and creative and partly driven by the


fact that if you can describe yourself as self-employed there are


tax advantages. Coming out in June? Will you come back and talk to us?


Yes. We say goodbye to viewers


in Scotland, who leave us now Coming up here in 20 minutes,


we'll be talking to the former Tory MP who was the root


of Donald Trump's allegation that he had been put


under surveillance by First though, the Sunday


Politics where you are. Now the government plans for new


grammar schools. The Education Secretary


Justine Greening was speaking to a conference


of headteachers on Friday. They're normally a pretty polite


bunch, but they didn't Broadcasters weren't


allowed into the speech, but this was captured


on a camera phone. And we have to recognise actually


for grammars, in terms of disadvantaged children,


that they have, they really do help them close


the attainment gap. And at the same time


we should recognise that ..That parents also want choice


for their children and that those schools are often


very oversubscribed. I suppose it is a rite of passage


for and education secretaries to have this at a head teachers


conference book the head are usually more polite. Isn't part of the


problem, whether one is for or against the expansion of grammar


schools, the government plans are complicated, you cannot sum them up


in a sentence. The proof of that is they can still get away with denying


they are expanding grammar schools. They will find an alternative


formulation because it is not as simple as a brute creation of what


we used to know is grammar schools with the absolute cut-off of the 11


plus. I am surprised how easy they found it politically. We saw the


clip of Justine Greening being jeered a little bit but in the grand


scheme, compared to another government trying this idea a decade


ago they have got away with it easily and I think what is happening


is a perverse consequence of Brexit and the media attention on Brexit,


the government of the day can just about get away with slightly more


contentious domestic policies on the correct assumption we will be too


busy investing our attention in Article 50 and two years of


negotiations, WTO terms at everything we have been discussing.


I wonder if after grammar schools there will be examples of


contentious domestic policies Theresa May can slide in stock


because Brexit sucks the life out, takes the attention away. You are a


supporter. Broadly. Are you happy with the government approach? They


need to have more gumption and stop being apologetic. It is a bazaar


area of public policy where we judge the policy on grammar schools based


on what it does for children whose parents are unemployed, living on


sink estates in Liverpool. It is absurd, we don't judge any other


policy like that. It is simple, not contentious, people who are not


sure, ask them if they would apply to send their child there, six out


of ten said they would. Parents want good schools for their children, we


should have appropriate education and they should be straightforward,


this is about the future of the economy and we need bright children


to get education at the highest level, education for academically


bright children. It is supposed to be a signature policy of the Theresa


May administration that marks a government different from David


Cameron's government who did not go down this road. The signature is


pretty blurred, it is hard to read. It is. She is trying to address


concerns about those who fail to get into these selective schools and


tried to targeted in poorer areas and the rest of it. She will


probably come across so many obstacles. It is not clear what form


it will take in the end. It is really an example of a signature


policy not fully thought through. I think it was one of her first


announcements. It was. It surprised everybody. Surprised at the speed


and pace at which they were planning to go. Ever since, there have been


qualifications and hesitations en route with good cause, in my view. I


disagree with Juliet that this is... We all want good schools but if you


don't get in there and you end up in a less good school. They already do


that. We have selection based on the income of parents getting into a


good catchment area, based on the faith of the parents. That becomes


very attainable! I might been too shot run christenings for these. --


I have been. Now, you may remember this time last


week we were talking about the extraordinary claims by US


President Donald Trump, on Twitter of course,


that Barack Obama had ordered And there was me thinking


that wiretaps went out Is it legal for a sitting


President to do so, he asked, concluding it was a "new low",


and later comparing it to Watergate. Since then, the White House has been


pressed to provide evidence for this It hasn't, but it seems it may have


initially come from a report on a US website by the former Conservative


MP Louise Mensch. She wrote that the FBI had been


granted a warrant to intercept communications between Trump's


campaign and Russia. Well, Louise Mensch joins


us now from New York. Louise, you claimed in early


November that the FBI had secured a court warrants to monitor


communications between trump Tower in New York at two Russian banks.


It's now four months later. Isn't it the case that nobody has proved the


existence of this warrant? First of all, forgive me Andrew, one


takes 1's life in one's hand when it is you but I have to correct your


characterisation of my reporting. It is very important. I did not report


that the FBI had a warrant to intercept anything or that Trump


tower was any part of it. What I reported was that the FBI obtained a


warrant is targeted on all communications between two Russian


banks and were, therefore, allowed to examine US persons in the context


of their investigation. What the Americans call legally incidental


collection. I certainly didn't report that the warrant was able to


intercept or that it had location basis, for example Trump tower. I


just didn't report that. The reason that matters so much is that I now


believe based on the President's reaction, there may well be a


wiretap act Trump Tower. If so, Donald Trump has just tweeted out


evidence in an ongoing criminal case that neither I nor anybody else


reported. He is right about Watergate because he will have


committed obstruction of justice directly from his Twitter account.


Let me come back as thank you for clarifying. Let me come back to the


question. -- and thank you. We have not yet got proof that this warrant


exists, do we? No and we are most unlikely to get it because it would


be a heinous crime for Donald Trump to reveal its existence. In America


they call it a Glomar response. I can neither confirm nor deny. That


is what all American officials will have to say legally. If you are


looking for proof, you won't get it until and unless a court cases


brought. But that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. The BBC validated


this two months after me in their reporting by the journalist Paul


Wood. The Guardian, they also separately from their own sources


validated the existence of the warrant. If you are in America, you


would know that CNN and others are reporting that the investigation in


ongoing. Let me come onto the wider point. You believe the Trump


campaign including the president were complicit with the Russians


during the 2016 election campaign to such an extent that Mr Trump should


be impeached. What evidence did you have?


That is an enormous amount of evidence. You could start with him


saying, hey, Russia, if you are listening, please release all the


Hillary Clinton's e-mails. That's not evidence. I think it rather is,


actually. Especially if you look at some of the evidence that exists on


Twitter and elsewhere of people talking directly to his social media


manager, Dan should be no and telling him to do that before it


happened. There is a bit out there. The BBC itself reported that in


April of last year, a six agency task force, not just the FBI, but


the Treasury Department, was looking at this. I believe there is an


enormous amount of evidence. And then there is the steel dossier


which was included in an official report of the US intelligence


committee. You've also ... Just to be clear, we don't have hard


evidence yet whether this warrant exists. It may or may not. There is


doubt about... There are claims about whether there is evidence


about Mr Trump and the Russians. That is another matter. You claimed


that President Putin had Andrew Breitbart murdered to pave the way


for Steve Bannon to play a key role in the Trump administration. I


haven't. You said that Steve Bannon is behind bomb threats to Jewish


community centres. Aren't you in danger of just peddling wild


conspiracy theories? No. Festival, I haven't. No matter how many times


people say this, it's not going to be true -- first of all. I said in


twitter I believe that to be the case about the murder of Andrew


Breitbart. You believe President Putin murdered him. I didn't! You


said I reported it, but I believed it. You put it on twitter that you


believed it but you don't have a shred of evidence. I do. Indeed, I


know made assertions. What is the evidence that Mr Putin murdered


Andrew Breitbart? I said I believe it. You may believe there are


fairies at the bottom of your garden, it doesn't make it true. I


may indeed. And if I say so, that's my belief. If I say I am reporting,


as I did with the Fisa warrant exists, I have a basis in fact. They


believe is just a belief. I know you are relatively new to journalism.


Let me get the rules right. Andrew, jealousy is not your colour... If it


is twitter, we don't believe it but if it is on your website, we should


believe it? If I report something and I say this happened, then I am


making an assertion. If I describe a belief, I am describing a belief.


Subtlety may be a little difficult for you... No, no. If you want to be


a journalist, beliefs have to be backed up with evidence. Really? Do


you have a faith? It's not a matter of faith, maybe in your case, that


President Putin murdered Andrew Breitbart. A belief and a report at


two different things and no matter how often you say that they are the


same, they will never be the same. You've said in today's Sunday Times


here in London that you've turned into" a temporary superpower" where


you "See things really clearly". Have you become delusional? No. I am


describing a biological basis for ADHD, which I have. As any of your


viewers who are doctors will know. It provides people with


unfortunately a lot of scattered focus, they are very messy and


absent-minded but when they are interested in things and they have


ADHD they can have a condition which is hyper focus. You concentrate very


hard on a given subject and you can see patterns and connections. That


is biological. Thank you for explaining that. And for getting up


early in New York. The first time ever I have interviewed a temporary


superpower. Thank you. You are so lucky! You are so lucky! I don't


think it's going to happen again. Please don't ask us to comment on


that interview! I will not ask you, viewers will make up their own


minds. Let's come back to be more mundane world of Article 50. Stop


the killing! Will it get through at the


government wanted it? Without the Lords amendment falling by the way


that? I am sure the Lord will not try to ping-pong this back and


forth. So we are at the end of this particular legislative phase. The


fact that all three Brexit Cabinet ministers, number ten often don't


like one of them going out on a broadcast interview on a Sunday,


they've all been out and about. That suggests to me they are working on


the assumption it will be triggered this week. This week. The


negotiations will begin or at least the process begins. The negotiation


process may be difficult, given all of the European elections. The Dutch


this week. And then the French and maybe the Italians and certainly the


Germans by the end of September, which is less predictable than it


was. Given all that, what did you make of Anna Soubry's claim, Viacom


on her part, that we may just end up crashing out in six months question


-- fear on her part. It was not just that that we made that deliberately


organising. I want us to get on with the deals.


Everyone knows a good deal is the best option. Who knows what is going


to be on the table when we finally go out? Fascinatingly, the demand


for some money back, given the amount of money... Net gains and net


costs in terms of us leaving for the EU. It is all to play for. That will


be a possible early grounds for a confrontation between the UK and the


EU. My understanding is that they expect to do a deal on reciprocal


rights of EU nationals, EU nationals here, UK citizens there, quite


quickly. They want to clear that up and that will be done. Then they


will hit this problem that the EU will be saying you've got to agree


the divorce Bill first before we talk about the free trade bill.


David Davis saying quite clearly, no, they go together because of the


size of the bill. It will be determined, in our part, by how good


the access will be. The mutual recognition of EU residents' rights


is no trouble. A huge amount of fuss is attracted to that subject but it


is the easiest thing to deal with, as is free movement for tourists.


Money is what will make it incredibly acrimonious. Incredibly


quickly. I imagine the dominant story in the summer will be all


about that. This was Anna Soubry's implication, members of the


governors could strongly argue, things are so poisonous and so


unpleasant at the moment, the dealers are advancing -- members of


the government. Why not call it a day and go out on WTO terms while


public opinion is still in that direction in that Eurosceptic


direction? No buyers' remorse about last year's referendum. The longer


they leave it, view more opportunity there is for some kind of public


resistance and change of mind to take place. The longer believe it,


the more people who voted for Brexit and people who voted Remain and


think we didn't get world War three will start being quite angry with


the EU for not agreeing a deal. In terms of the rights of EU nationals


he and Brits abroad, by all accounts, 26 of the 27 have agreed


individually. Angela Merkel is the only person who has held that up.


That will be dealt with in a matter of days. The chances of a deal being


done is likely but in ten seconds... It would not be a bad bet to protect


your on something not happening, you might get pretty good odds? The odds


are going up that a deal doesn't happen. But, as I said earlier, the


House of Commons will not endorse no deal. We are either in an early


election or she has to go back again. Either way, you will need us!


We will be back at noon tomorrow on BBC Two ahead of what looks like


being a big week in politics. We will be back here same time, same


place. Remember, if it's Sunday,


it's the Sunday Politics.


Andrew Neil presents the latest political news, interviews and debate, and discusses the Brexit bill with UKIP's Nigel Farage and Conservative MP Anna Soubry. Guests include Matthew Taylor of the Independent Review of Employment Practices and journalist Louise Mensch. On the political panel are Janan Ganesh, Julia Hartley-Brewer and Steve Richards.

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