13/03/2017 The Papers


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


With me are Matthew Syed, columnist at the Times,


and Kevin Schofield, editor of PoliticsHome.


Tomorrow's front pages: The Times, unsurprisingly leads


on the Scotland First Minister's demand for a second referendum


on Scottish independence, calling it an ambush,


and reporting that Theresa May is preparing to reject


A witty play on words from the Metro.


Scots throw a sporran in the works, reporting that the First Minister's


announcement has thrown Downing Street's Brexit


And the Guardian continues the theme, headlining


that the Prime Minister's plans have been upstaged by Scotland's First


The Daily Telegraph calls the face-off between the two leaders


the new battle for Britain, and the paper includes quotes


from Theresa May accusing Nicola Sturgeon of tunnel vision.


Finally, the Daily Express switches focus to this evening's events


in Westminster, saying that, following the votes in Parliament


pushing through the Government's Article 50 bill, the Queen


could sign Brexit into law as early as tomorrow morning.


Well, let's have a look at some of those at least in detail over the


next few minutes. We start with the Telegraph. A new battle for Britain.


Picture of Nicola Sturgeon at her press conference early this morning.


That is the way this is being portrayed by a number of the papers


going into the morning. Yes, and I sort of agree with it. I think this


is blatant opportunism for Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish


Nationalists. It was supposed to be a once in a generation referendum


the last campaign, and 900 and something days later they are


calling for another one. Has been material change since. That is what


she claims. She does indeed, and she campaigned on that during the


elections, but I don't remember during the election campaigns, even


though David Cameron had promised them and in out referendum and those


who voted for remaining in the United Kingdom must have understood


and those who campaigned against the jury that referendum must have


understood that if that was the democratic will of the Scottish


people that they would have to respect the opinion of the UK as a


whole. I also think this is a dangerous gamble, because there is


quite an interesting detail here towards the end of the Telegraph


piece, saying that there is a BMG poll, showing that 43% oppose,


equally significantly, 49% say they should be no referendum before


Brexit, which is precisely what Theresa May as saying. Nicola


Sturgeon would seem to want to have one before then, of course. You can


see why, it is a moment of maximum chaos as far as Great Britain is


concerned, so I suppose at that point in time the thought of being


able to have an escape hatch, if you like, becomes very, very attractive.


But I just don't see why it Theresa May would agree to have... To allow


the Scottish Parliament the power to vote in the referendum at the same


time she is trying to extricate Britain from the European Union. We


are going to be. I mean, the last are going to be. I mean, the last


independence referendum was all-encompassing, certainly in the


final weeks of the campaign. The government effectively shut down


here. They cancelled Prime Minister's Questions, when that


famous poll put the yes campaign in front. David Cameron's sole focus


was on keeping the country together. So the idea that the Prime Minister


could do that while also holding these discussions with 27 other EU


member states is just fanciful. I wonder how this will be seen in


terms of the two prominent women involved at the top of this dispute


in the coming weeks and months, looking at what Theresa May decides


to do. Last time it was David Cameron and Alex Salmond, this time


it is Theresa May and Nicola Sturgeon, it will be interesting how


that is covered. I think so, and I think as well that Theresa May's


approach will be very different from David Cameron's. A bit more of a


gambler, he was a bit more arrogant, I think he thought he was a lucky


general. He had won the election in 2010, squeak at it, really, in


coalition and in 2015 it was a surprise victory but he was a guy


who thought he would come out on top -- squeaked it. So he didn't drive a


hard bargain when it came to give giving Alex Salmond a referendum and


this time around Theresa May will drive a harder bargain, put down


some more red lines and conditions on this, so it won't be quite a


straightforward for Nicola Sturgeon as it was for Alex Salmond. In the


Daily Mail very much a tie in with Brexit, as far as they are


concerned, as a result of what Nicola Sturgeon has decided to do.


Two yes, quite. I think it is noteworthy that there is a lot of


uncertainty both in the United Kingdom but also in Scotland. For


businesses in England, for example, they don't know precisely what the


terms of Brexit are going to be. That is going to be very complex,


thorough negotiation over the following two years. They are


probably going to take the view that they will not be the single market,


and probably won't be in the customs union. For Scottish businesses, the


time of uncertainty is endemic, because they don't know either of


those two things, but they don't even know what the currency is going


to be. When it comes to inward investment, forward planning, all


these strategic investments that businesses and others are making,


this will be an extraordinarily difficult time. The Guardian's take


on it is more about the way Nicola Sturgeon has played it politically


in the last 12 hours or so, her timing, which took a lot of people,


apparently including the prime apparently including the prime


minister, by surprise. I think it certainly did. There was not much of


a prior indication, I think it was on the front of the Telegraph this


morning, they have the late last night that Nicola Sturgeon was going


to have this event in Edinburgh. So Number Ten did not see this coming.


It is incredibly canny, astute politics late Nicola Sturgeon,


because she will appreciate that the Article 50 bill would probably pass


today. At that time all the briefing coming from Number Ten was that


Article 50 will actually be triggered tomorrow. All that went as


soon as Nicola Sturgeon got up and said this is what I want, I want a


referendum in 2019. These are my red lines. Everything changed as far as


Downing Street was concerned. All of a sudden Article 50 was not going to


the month has always been the plan. the month has always been the plan.


You are fairly convinced that is all connected? I think it is definitely


connected and I think she has thrown Number Ten, Theresa May,


off-balance. If you see this as the first shots in the second referendum


battle than she has certainly won this particular leg. There may well


be a couple of things that suit Theresa May, but there is definitely


fatigue. Even though there were was an enthusiastic campaign last time,


there is a huge amount of enthusiasm for another referendum -- isn't a


huge amount of enthusiasm. The economic argument in favour of


independence is more robust now that it was last time. Over those things


that well for Theresa May. The two personalities involved in this one


at the top of the Scottish and UK governments are very different to


last time around, and I think that the psychology of the electorate


will be influenced by the credibility and power of those two


campaigns. I think they are quite canny politicians. Yes, Alex Salmond


was more of a divisive figure, I think it is safe to say. He was more


of a Marmite figure and Nicola Sturgeon is not in that vein of


politics. I think he could be a little bit limited, because I don't


think he is a vote winner. A quick nod to the Scottish Daily Mail,


where it is fairly clear where it is pointing. Very clear about their


editorial line. On any other day, the vote in the British Parliament


going through the House of Lords, Brexit Bill likely to get Royal


assent tomorrow would have been the dominant story. And yet it has been


completely scuppered. It just shows how monumental that upcoming period


is going to be in our politics, is entangling the UK and the European


Union. The constitutional crisis between Scotland and the rest of the


UK. Who knows what other things are going to be coming down the track?


What it seems to me is the level of political uncertainty is at a level


unprecedented in our lifetimes, and I think it is really difficult to


envision what else might come along. envision what else might come along.


Will there be other nations looking for independence? I think it is


unlikely, but I do think that there will be eventualities that we


haven't yet foreseen. Sinn Fein have said there should be a referendum on


a united Ireland. The Plaid Cymru leader has suggested something


similar. Those political assumptions we have lived with all our lives. We


thought the Thatcher watershed in 1979 was a big change in the


post-war consensus. What we have now is of a completely different scope.


As you are saying about Brexit and the competition is there, they are


writ large on the front of the Times. And the Times have a list of


legislation prepared by Whitehall to cover the various areas that have to


be dealt with as we leave the European Union. So we have this


great repeal bill coming, and that would tie up all the loose ends, in


one fell swoop, as it were. And that was going to be compensated enough


because it you imagine how much legislation that has been


accumulated over the last 40 or so years... According to this leaked


list of legislation being prepared, it is covering immigration, tax,


agriculture, trade and customs regimes, fishing, data protection,


sanctions, a bill for each one. A bill for each one, and amendments


reach one, and... The sheer complexity is mind blowing, really.


The idea that they are going to be able to get through all of this


within two years while also holding discussions with the other 27


leaders and trying to gain free trade deals, because the official


position at the moment is that Downing Street can do all of that


within two years, two years is nothing. It is the blink of an iron.


It is quite a to-do list. Imagine them waking up in the with post-it


notes all over David Davis's bathroom. I was very strongly in


favour of remain, but I think it is right that this is going to be


triggered and Brexit must happen. Whether they get a good deal or a


bad Deal or no Deal, I think it is vital that the democratic judgement


of the British people is carried through. And I just got the


impression last week, that backbench Conservative MPs and Lords were


using what looked like on the face of it democratic arguments, you


know, Parliamentary sovereignty, when they were really looking to


overturn Brexit itself. I think that would be wrong. Interestingly, in


today's voting or this evening's voting, one or two conservatives


were expected to vote against. There were some abstentions, but not many.


No, it completely collapsed. The talk of 20 Tory MPs voting against


it just didn't happen. The amendments were overturned pretty


comfortably. Let's finish with the Express, the Queen glowing on the


Commonwealth Games, they say. And further coverage on, with regards to


the Commonwealth, the start-up of the run-up to the Commonwealth


Games. On the 2020 to Commonwealth Games in Durban will not take place


there are any more. And there are other cities which are therefore now


in the running and I think Liverpool and Birmingham have made initial


soundings and they may be interest in hosting at. A second opportunity


to see it. Having played in the Commonwealth Games in 2000 in


Manchester, in table tennis, and having won a gold medal in the team


event, I know that you want to talk to me about that very much. Victory


over India in the finals. Some wonderful backhand slices on in


there. It is a wonderful festival of sport, very different from the


Olympic Games. People often say the Commonwealth Games is an anachronism


because there is no British Empire, but it is terrific fun. It is a


great privilege to play in it. I know you want to talk about your


swimming bronze medal. I actually made that up. You were panicking,


because you have nothing to contribute. I won a couple of golf


trophies, I wasn't as good as my friends. In the last Commonwealth


great success. A huge success, and great success. A huge success, and


it is an opportunity for the nations within the United Kingdom,


independently. I remember in 2014 Commonwealth Games there was a


feeling that that would be another boost of Scotland did well, they


would vote for independence. It didn't quite work out that way. On


that note, no more medal talk.


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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