20/02/2017 The Papers


20/02/2017

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Hello and welcome to our look ahead to what the the papers will be

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With me are Broadcaster Dame Joan Bakewell and Lucy Fisher,

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Senior Political Correspondent at The Times.

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Tomorrow's front pages, starting with:

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Joan, you were in the House of Lords for the debate on the Brexit bill.

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Let's look at the times, I think. They have got it on their front page

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and a picture of Theresa May. Unusual for a Prime Minister to go

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into the Lords and listen to a debate. Very exceptional for the

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people from the Commons to come in at all. She cannot go into the body

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of the chamber, if you notice she is sitting with her back to the throne.

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Not on the throne? Not quite. I was about ten yards from her. There was

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a flurry, whispering, it is Theresa May. Why do you think she wanted to

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come in? I was also at the debate and taking part in the debate on the

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higher education Bill. Joe Johnson came in and stood below the bar,

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they are interested in what is going on in the Lords. It is a very

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thoughtful place, less partisan than the Commons and some really

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well-informed people, whose opinions are worth hearing. I am sure she

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wanted to see how the Brexit debate was falling either way. She stayed

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for the two opening speeches and then she went. She wanted to

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register that she was keeping an eye on us. It was packed today, the

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Lords. Will you vote for some of the amendments peen put to the Brexit

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bill? I will be voting for about four of the amendments when they

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come. The amendments are matters I care about, about the people who are

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resident here, foreigners who are resident here, they should be given

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the right to stay. There were very good speeches about the anxiety

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surrounding the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland prop.

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Those speeches were very moving, very well informed, not hysterical,

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but made a point of how serious it was. So I will be voting for that

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amendment. Lucy, the bill went through the Commons unaltered and

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not amended. You are trying to block it in some way and trying to change

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it in the Lords? Government sources we heard from two weeks ago, warned

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that he is not to play God. David Davis has tried to play down some of

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the rhetoric. But if there is going to be this prolonged ping-pong with

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the Lord sending legislation back to the Commons, back to the Lords and

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back to the Commons again, the upper chamber will call down on its head,

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big debate about its existence. Bring it on. The role of the Lords

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is to revise and improve legislation that comes through. We accept the

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legislation as having been voted through but all legislation can be

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improved. But this is unique in that it was voted in a referendum, 17.4

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million people voted to leave and end of story. No, 16 million people

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didn't vote for it so there are cases being made. In a democracy,

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the 16 million should also have a voice and that voice is finding its

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place in the agenda. It is well intentioned that those who say let's

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get on with it, and of course we had the referendum and the voice of the

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people have spoken, but they listened discreetly to those who say

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no in a democracy and those who lose, the 16 million deserve a voice

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and their point of view to be heard. In some way representing, but not

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overruling the so-called will of the people, but adding to the richness

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of the approval that finally goes through. What do you think Theresa

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May was therefore, was it in any sense to perhaps warned the Lords,

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don't mess around with this Bill? Absolutely, I thought she looked a

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spectacle of a menacing intent as she sat there and eyeballed. I felt

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quite sorry for Natalie Evans, the Conservative leader of the house. It

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is like having the headmistress come into the back of the class and watch

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your work. I felt the chill going through the chamber. The Guardian

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have an analysis of the burden that Britain would be left with if there

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wasn't any kind of trade deal on leaving the EU. ?6 billion a year

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the Guardian saying, it would cost British exporters. We will get into

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some of the mechanics of what the various options are. If we do leave

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the EU without any settle Brexit deal and crash are, as many people

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describe it, on the World Trade Organisation rules, we will face

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higher tariffs. It is interesting, so much complexity and uncertainty

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around various options. Do we have the expertise in Whitehall? We know

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there has been a struggle to hire the right negotiators. The Guardian

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with the 6 billion figure and quote arriving from the former ambassador

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for the UK to the EU, thought it might take up to ten years to

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negotiate a deal. If you multiply that by ten years, it is 60 billion.

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This whole matter of the trade deal is crucial. Theresa May, for some

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reason, has plumped instantly for very hard Brexit. The Guardian has

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gone to work on how to cost that. Nigel Lawson spoke about, don't

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bother with soft Brexit, don't bother about access to the single

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market, go straight to the WTO. The WTO deal will be really hard for us

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to sustain. Very punitive. Why are plumbing, choosing to go so directly

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so hard? Is it a negotiating ploy? I don't understand, it is punitive.

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Let's talk about the business rate increase the government is talking

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about, Lucy. Some indications the Chancellor, he was meeting Tory

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backbenches tonight might be rowing back a little bit? Yes, he has made

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clear he is in listening mode, alive to some of the complaints MPs have.

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Half a million small firms in the UK that are set to see rate hikes of up

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to 300% in some cases. Could be crippling for independent retailers

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for the high street, in competition with Amazon and the like, these

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online retailers who are set to see their rates drop. Some of the

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details, Sajid Javid, the community secretary has been on holiday in

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Dubai. This issue has been on our front pages day after day and Philip

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Hammond coming to talk to his backbenchers, I wonder if there is a

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split emerging in the Cabinet. It is a full-scale row because the

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Treasury are very cross he seems to have messed up on this arrangement.

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This is at the heart of Tory policy. This is where their voters and

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supporters of small businesses and big businesses is. To have this row

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going on and keep on running, it is in the papers day after day, this is

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damaging, someone has to step in and sort it out or are they waiting for

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the budget? I think there could be possibly something in the budget on

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this. There is an interesting line, Sajid Javid has been accused by his

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backbenchers of dodgy figures. He wrote to MPs at the end of last

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week, Conservative MPs and has been accused of doctoring those figures

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between five and 7% to make it look like areas have rates that are over

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all falling, one that is not the case. Speaking of dodgy figures, the

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Daily Mirror have got a story, the Lasse Kjus Dame Joan to talk about,

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because there is criticism of the Lords are still leaching. They have

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evidence from a BBC programme where a pier was spotting knitting in to

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claim his ?300 allowance while he or she kept a taxi waiting outside. It

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is outrageous. I don't know anyone who does it, because the people I

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associate with stay all day and do a good job. I am not aware of it

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happening. Is there any excess in the Lords? A lot of hard working

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people doing boring stuff most of the time that don't make the

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headlines. They attend in large numbers. If a couple keep the taxi

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waiting comet they shouldn't and it is a scandal but not enough to bring

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down the Lords. Because it looks like we will be bringing ourselves

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down anyway. Lucy, what is your experience of the Lords, is it

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represented criticism or one-off, a peer keeping a taxi waiting? It is

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very fashionable to bash an elected chambers. My experiences, it is a

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high level of debate, people are experts. While everyone is

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opinionated, when I watch debates I can only see people speaking up when

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they have relevant expertise. Overall, I am impressed from what I

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have seen. The Lords was absolutely packed today. Absolutely crowded.

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They were sitting on the stairs, very keen. And tomorrow, it goes on

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from 11 in the morning to midnight. It is one of the turning point in

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history, this bill. It is taken very seriously by everyone who is there

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and nearly 200 people are going to speak about it. A good atmosphere in

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there? You get to hear what everybody says, even those who

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disagree with them. The Daily Mail, story about universities told to

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throw the book at SA cheats. Lucy, I am sure you weren't a cheat at

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university? No, I can safely say. But I was aware of it and friends of

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mine made a bit of extra cash on the side by writing some of essays for

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less scrupulous students and handed them in as their own. I think part

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of the problem is, when you can sign up online and pay money to write it,

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it is at the spoke service, I can have a B+, I think it is going to be

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difficult to crack down. I was told by someone who marks papers that it

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is possible to identify. A phrase that keeps cropping up, you only

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have two Google that phrase and it takes you to the source material and

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you can identify it. But if it has been written by Airbus spoke essay

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for you, it won't have been written on line. But they are used by source

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material, you can put the phrases in and see what the source material

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was. Once you have got the Internet and loads of information, it is

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going to be hard to track. You probably could, but it will be a lot

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of effort, will it be worth it? They will not get degrees and they will

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not get good jobs. I favour an exam -based system and maybe get rid of

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the coursework which bogs you down and doesn't let you get to grips

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with material. Let's finish off with something neither of us are guilty

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of which is mumbling on the television. In the Telegraph, Joan

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they have a story about the latest drama, SSGB, complaints about the

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mumbling. There were a few bits of dialogue I had to rewind and I still

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didn't understand. At my age, I do have to have the subtitles with a

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drama and lots of music. Lotsa people said they needed the

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subtitles on this programme. Also, I turn the subtitles of Billy McClure

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of when I watch the news because the people who do the news speak very

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clearly. I do find when you are in a wine bar or a restaurant, the

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background music can be loud. I am shouting at my partner, dining

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partner from across the table which makes me feel a bit uncomfortable.

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That is a sign of getting old when you think the music in bars and

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restaurants is getting to live. Thank you so much for being with us,

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both of you. Don't forget you can see the front

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pages of the papers online It's all there for you -

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seven days a week. And if you miss the programme any

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evening you can watch it No mumbling, we promise you. Good

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night. Hello, many parts of the UK got an

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early dose of spring, certainly encouraging the spring bulbs out

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across parts of the UK. Temperatures 18 Celsius

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No need to wait until tomorrow morning to see what's in the papers - tune in for a lively and informed conversation about the next day's headlines.


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