02/02/2017 The View


Mark Carruthers and guests review the week's political events from Stormont and Westminster and follow the highs and lows of the political week.

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Theresa May insists she wants a seamless border,


but at the same time dog-walkers are warned they might need papers


Tonight on The View, I'll be asking three Westminster


veterans if we're any clearer about the European frontier


After two days of discussion and a very comfortable majority


endorsing Theresa May's plans to trigger Article 50,


we're still no clearer as to how a post-Brexit border might look.


I'll be asking MPs Sammy Wilson and Mark Durkan if they can shed


some light on the subject, after the heat of debate.


And we'll hear too from Baroness Helena Kennedy,


who recently completed a report on the potential effect of Brexit


Also tonight, with no Executive and no budget,


how long before the money gets tight and public services


With some hip-hop political analysis...


And with their own kind of street-cred, in Commentators'


Corner, Professor Deirdre Heenan and Newton Emerson.


So the roadmap to the UK's departure from the EU may be


a little clearer now, but what of the border


Is the notion of a seamless frontier just "nice words",


as one EU trade expert put it yesterday, or a statement


of intent by the UK to look after it's Irish neighbours?


Joining me now in the studio is the DUP's Sammy


is the SDLP's Mark Durkan and from our Oxford studio I'm


joined by the Labour peer, Baroness Kennedy.


You are all very welcome to the programme.


Sammy Wilson, your party's obviously pleased with


the government's line on a seamless, frictionless border in future -


but equally you'll be aware of the former European Commission's


customs expert, Michael Lux, who said yesterday those


remarks were "nice words", but things cannot and will not


There will be increased costs to businesses, he says.


He has obviously made an assumption about the outcome of negotiations.


First, the easiest way to have a seamless border is four in the trade


agreement which the Prime Minister's wishes to have with the European


Union to simply continue as we are at present. We don't have taxes on


goods which passed between the European Union and the United


Kingdom or vice versa at the moment, we have 40 years where we have


harmonised regulations anyway, many of the goods that will be selling...


What about the customs union? The movement of goods? Will come to that


in the moment. But as for the goods that we sell at the moment, the


outcome of any trade agreement would be to continue at present. That


would be to the advantage of European companies because they have


a trade surplus with ourselves. When it comes to a customs union we have


plenty examples of three Ma'afu in Europe where countries outside the


union still trade effortlessly will stop. -- plenty of examples of


countries outside. You are making big assumptions. I'm not, I'm


telling you what currently happens between Gibraltar and Spain,


Switzerland and France and Germany. They are outside the customs union


yet there is seamless movement across the borders there. There are


lots of ways that we took evidence at the Brexit committee about this,


with electronic exchange of paperwork, with number recognition,


with spot checks, all of this could be done fairly effortlessly. Let us


hear from Baroness Kennedy, thank you be joining us. You sat on the


committee and looked at it in great detail you persuaded by Sammy


Wilson's confidence that things need not go badly and there are plenty of


examples out there of how things can be done positively? I am amused to


hear such a cockeyed optimist holding forth on what he thinks is


going to happen at the end of this. I really do think that the economic


consequences of this are really serious and when we took evidence


and we did so across the piece and a contingent came over here to the


north and took evidence from people here and it really is going to be


incredibly complex and not the simple story that Sammy is telling


you. This business of a seamless border, of course the idea of


returning to a proper border would be terrible, but I do not see how


this is all going to be done. If you ask to reason de Villiers she says


it will be done with technology, but this is only useful if you make


checks and people will find that there will be checks being made and


they will pick people in the line who they will check and you will


have to have your papers in order. This creates suspicion, lack of


trust and other problems. We will see a return to something we didn't


want to see in these islands. I want to emphasise that one of the things


in this one up to the referendum, the consequences of this were never


fully understood by people in other parts of the UK and certainly in


Westminster not enough consideration was given to the consequences of


this but the people of Northern Ireland will stop. People come to


this coloured by their political attitude towards whether or not we


should remain us day. Did you come to it with that as well? Of course I


do, but I also have experience of countries outside the customs union


and the single market and yet effortlessly on a day-to-day basis


trade takes place across the borders. When we took evidence from


the Chief Minister of Gibraltar dart that is the one example you have


quoted a lot. He said the attitude is of officials from the Spanish


side when they got out of bed in the morning... Let hate have a quick


word. We have been taken evidence about the whole business of


Gibraltar which is in a state of despondency about the business of


leaving the European Union. It gets a huge amount of support from the


European Union and many people come from Spain into Gibraltar every day


to work. The economy of Gibraltar would not survive without them. They


are anxious about the kind of support and subsidies they get. The


economic well-being of Gibraltar will be put at risk. So, don't kid


yourself. -- don't give yourself this easy talk about how it works


perfectly well, it doesn't. Let's bring Mark Durkin in at this point.


Sammy has already said that people are coloured by their political


commitments, you were at the cis is Remainer. -- you wear a keen remain


a campaigner. What is to say that any of the predictions about what


happened in the future would be any truer than they were six months ago?


I didn't make those predictions, I had a measured argument. And said


that people should be careful with exaggerating the border


implications. We gave a clear and measured argument. We were strong in


terms of our case, but we didn't join any of the scare stories and


weak distance ourselves from some of what was coming from some people. So


wait you uncomfortable about George Osborne saying there would have to


be a emergency budget, tax spending, cuts, none of that really happened.


Yes, and I told George Osborne that directly and when Tony Blair and


others wet coming to Strabane. Leave Derry. Perhaps it is not as negative


as some people are suggesting. Could I say something, let's be very clear


Sammy and those who campaigned to Leave said everything would change,


but now since they have said that nothing has to change and that


harmonisation is a good thing and therefore needs to change. The


common regulation standards of good and it had to change or whatever. We


have this odd situation of Brexit as this mind altering substance that


has changed the Leave people. And people like Theresa May has also


changed her mind because she said that things that happen happen and


could only happen now low longer have to happen. What is the answer,


Mark Durkan? Some kind of special status that those in powerful


positions need to argue for this point? Well, if we are going to talk


about things that need to stay the same we need to have as much as the


same experience of things on the island of Ireland as we have. We


need to keep all our trading arrangements the same all customs


operations and the lack of them the same and that means a special


guarantee in respect of Northern Ireland. And the rest of Ireland.


That can be achieved and it should mean continuing access to EU


funding, and a number of the programme is not least using the


Good Friday Agreement structures. What about some kind of special


status, Sammy, if that is in the best interest of everyone in


Northern Ireland, you wouldn't argue about that would you? That has been


ruled out by the government because you can't have part of the United


Kingdom half in... It hasn't been ruled out before the negotiations


take place. It will not be the few's decision, the people who aren't


negotiating on behalf of the UK Government, they have made it clear


that there will not be part of the UK that stay in the Uber you don't


know. -- that stay in the EU. If they wear to grant that to Northern


Ireland they would have a greater problem of Scotland and secondly


there are already other countries in EE you who are looking at regions


which would like the same arrangement for themselves, Spain


for example have said they would oppose any such agreement. -- other


countries in the European Union. The government negotiating on our behalf


has said they were not consider it. Let us bring in Baroness Kennedy. I


think you agreed with one point there, did you? I feel we have to


make clear that you always have to think when you are involved in a


negotiation, as a lawyer I have been involved in many, you have to think


of the other folk will be thinking. There are many other European


countries that will watch this with great care and you can be sure in


the negotiations. I will give you an analogy, if you are a subscriber to


sky television and you thought you didn't want to pay any money any


more but you still wanted to watch the programmes, they are not going


to allow people to have everything exactly the same that it was that


you are nonmember. There is going to be something different about all of


this and I think that this notion that we'll get everything we used to


have but still somehow not be in the European Union, is not on. That is


not going to be agreeable. Let's be clear about these negotiations, it


will be very difficult to get what Sammy is talking about. I think that


it is pie in the sky to imagine that it is all good to be just as it was


and there will be a cost attached to it. The awful thing is that it will


be auditory ordinary folk who will pay that. Of course the great


disaster didn't happen the the day after the referendum. We have seen


the value of the pound go down and we're likely to see, I think there


is a real risk of inflation and a very slow business in acquiring the


trading relationships that are supposed to replace... Did everyone


on your committee agree with that? Where they all Remainers who were


concerned about Brexit? They were varied, some people said it has been


done let's move on make the best of it. Most people are recognising that


we have to see our way through all of this. At the moment I'm saying to


you Sammy beat you are really living in cloud cuckoo land if you think it


will be the same as it was but without being in the EU. You are


living in cloud cuckoo land if think that in capitals across Europe at


present countries that have a trade surplus with the United Kingdom,


that jobs will I upon goods being sold into the United Kingdom, that


those countries are not thinking, what kind of trade deal can we do


that ensures the same flow of goods and services as what occurs at


present the cars it is to our advantage. That is the leveraged


that the government has. For that reason I feel at least when it comes


to the trade deal, that should be the easiest thing to negotiate.


Let's bring Mark Durkan back. You raise the issue of special status,


Sammy Wilson said it has been taken away and ruled out, but that is


before negotiations have been done. I Usain Bolt that is not necessarily


where we will end up. -- are you saying that is not necessarily. What


we want here in the North is what is best but was in the North, and if


Sammy is saying that a lot of what we have been benefiting from is good


then we should... Had he persuaded Sammy of that? I am not sure how,


whenever we both sit on the Brexit committee and he gives a different


version of what the Chief minister in Gibraltar says then I would give,


the fact is the chief minister in Gibraltar told is clearly that there


are significant delays at their customs. He also pointed out... I


did not interrupt you, Sammy. He told us about the significant delays


and that they are wary. He told us about the fears that he had that


there could end up being more punitive arrangements while we're


outside of the U. -- of the EU. He also said that they were happy with


the standards that they have of being outside of the customs union


because it allowed them to do certain things, things that don't


apply here that we couldn't do anyway. If Sammy thinks that


Gibraltar is such a good situation, it is in a differential position


anyway all along. It can be less British as it says it is and been a


differential position from the UK as far as relationships with the EU is


concerned, there is no reason why Northern Ireland can't do the same.


Especially seen as we have pre-existing structures recognised


and supported by Baroness Kennedy, you took evidence


from others who seemed to suggest to your committee, having spoken to


people in the UK, a lot of people did not seem to get Ireland, did not


seem to get their implications, as he saw it, for Brexit and the border


and cross-border trade in future. Do you think he got that right, did he


call it right? Did people simply not understand? He said they were too


busy looking at the implications for Scotland. I agreed with him


entirely. I have set around tables, seminars, sat around the House of


Lords listening to debates, and it is clear to me that the hard work,


the hours going into the peace process, and the way in which the


European union played a role, a good and ameliorative role in getting all


of what is currently in place in place, hard work went into that, and


it was never felt in a real and visceral way in large parts of the


United Kingdom, in the way that it is by people in Ireland, north and


south. So I really think he was absolutely right, he is just not


understood, and that is why your voices have to be heard loudly and


strongly. Sammy can talk his forelock to Conservative Government,


but the reality is there are serious issues here we have to keep this


government on its toes negotiating on the half of all us and Ireland's


voice has to be heard very strongly. A final question to you, Sammy. What


we are looking for is a special deal for island of -- island of Ireland


which preserves the institutions we have created and the goods services.


Who said that? Your colleague Jeffrey Donaldson in the DUP.


Completely at odds to what you have told us tonight. It is not... It is,


because you have said you do not want a special deal. When it comes


to the freedom of movement across borders, that will be part of the


negotiations and that Prime Minister has made it quite clear that it


will, and of course we have to persuade the negotiators on the EU


side that that is a good thing... But when I ask you if you wanted a


special deal you ruled it out and said no. That is not a special deal


but part of this movement of goods and services across borders. We have


too convinced the negotiators on the EU side that there is an advantage


in keeping in place the arrangements we have at present when it comes to


trade. I do not think that is... In fact the Irish government are the


ones pushing us because they are the ones who would lose most if we do


not have that movement. Mark Durkan, a final sentence to you. Now that


Sammy is relying on the goodwill of the Irish government, not wanting to


speak about the traditions of Brexit with them, but on this issue of the


frictions border, who has been advocating that? We get these


nonsense statements, these platitudes, offered as though they


are solid negotiating positions, as though they are any sort of


guarantee of outcomes. The fact is we are on a Brexit course and there


is no compass, map or sat mouth, and people are coming merry tunes to


themselves... There have been EU commissioner such as Jean-Claude


Juncker who said he will punish Britain and the Prime Minister said


if it comes down to that we can punish the rest of the European


Union is much more and that is why it is in everyone's interest to come


to an agreement where we have this movement of goods that we have at


present... Without tariffs or barriers. To try to keep things the


same. We are out of time, folks. Interesting stuff, and we will have


a lot more of it in the next couple of years. Thank you all for joining


us tonight. Now we know it's a dangerous game


to make predictions in politics, but it's odds-on that we won't


have an Executive or a budget agreed Our business and economics editor


John Campbell has been Our public services spend around ?30


million every single day. That goes on everything from sticking plasters


to bridges, and the salaries of tens of thousands of workers. The legal


authority to spend that money comes from the Budget Act. The political


crisis means the Assembly has not passed an act for the new financial


year. The deadline to get one on the books is the 29th of March and


unless there is unexpectedly rapid progress after the election, that


deadline will be missed. At which point, it is over to this man, David


Stirling, the permanent secretary at the Department of Finance. Section


59 of the Northern Ireland Act means he immediately gets control of a sum


of money equivalent to 75% of this year's budget. That allows him to


keep services operating while waiting for a political deal. We


have taken legal advice on this and, you know, it is very clear that this


provision is an interim measure, purely a stopgap to ensure that


business continuity prevails, and that departments have the cash


necessary for them to run their services until such time as a budget


act is put in place. But there are other competitions. Without a


budget, Stormont also lacks the power to issue rates bills. You will


get one at some point, but it is not clear when. Councils which rely on


rates revenue will instead get their money directly from Mr Sterling's


pot, but that cannot go on indefinitely. The sinner from our


perspective normal services resume, that is fine, and if not we very


quickly need a devolution bill going beyond Stormont -- the sooner, from


our perspective. They want to plan our local economies, assemble land,


work with all the government departments. If there is no budget


or there is on learning uncertainty, give the councils the power to do


the job -- there is looming uncertainty. The rules also mean


European farm subsidies cannot be paid out in the normal way. Farmers


will still get their money but, again, that will have to come out of


his part until such time as a budget is past. You can see how resources


will to become squeezed the longer this goes on. If we get as far as


July and there is still no budget act, things become extremely


serious. At that stage he will have the right to spend an amount


equivalent to 95% of this year's budget right across the financial


year. In effect, that will mean cuts of at least 5% across the entire


public service. Even if it does not come to that it is clear budgetary


uncertainty will cause problems for the biggest part of that service. I


have acknowledged the Department of Health faces real difficulties in


this scenario, because the quality of service provided will depend on


the pattern of spend which the department is allowed to incur from


the beginning of April, so some big decisions would be to be taken


around that. Why is this budgetary uncertainty such a pronounced


problem for the health service. It may be partly because in the current


year health has had extra funds, as one off, and has to start the New


Year without those, or it may be because they have expenditure coming


in the first month. It is a domestic problem is not anticipated by


keeping the machine running as it was. At some point, the situation


will become critical, and a direct minister will have to step into pass


a budget, but Mr Sterling would not be drawn on when that might be. All


I can see is the earlier we can have an executive in place and decisions


taken on a budget for next year, the better -- all I can say.


Realistically that will emerge in July and somebody will have to pass


a budget, but will it be the Secretary of State?


John Campbell there, and with me now is Seamus McAleavey,


You've underscored the need for functional


government and stability - how difficult is all this


uncertainty around the budget for the organisations you work with?


It is a really bad situation, Mark. John Campbell spoke about 5%. That


comes to about ?600 million, 5%, in the Northern Ireland budget.


Voluntary organisations deliver about for ?9 of services, across a


broad range, children's services, mental health, a broad range of


services that touch every department -- about ?4 million. When they start


holding back, our worry is all those things get squeezed and our


organisations find themselves running out of money a lot quicker I


think than organisations in the public sector, so I really difficult


situation. You've spoken to the Department


of Finance and asked for uncertainty to be kept to a minimum to prevent


unnecessary job losses. Were you reassured by what you heard


back from officials? I spoke to the permanent secretary,


David Sterling, mentioned in the report. He recognises the position,


he understands how his colleagues across all departments, all cautious


people, how they perform. Certainly on his side he understands, and what


he says is they will encourage departments to meet their


commitments to organisations that are in an ongoing in two-year


relationship, but many of those relationships are probably coming to


an end and the danger is a large number of them literally will not


get renewed, or will not have any notion about when that will happen.


Are organisations now preparing to make people redundant?


Is that your fear? Absolutely, because what happens is voluntary


organisations are generally these companies are covered by charity law


and cannot incur liability they do not have the wherewithal to meet so


their boards have to make decisions. Without cash reserves to keep them


going, they have to make decisions not to incur liabilities.


We do not want to engage in scaremongering, but obviously this


is a very serious situation, as you pointed out. Over 30,000 people are


employed by voluntary organisations in Northern Ireland. I cannot put a


number on it. It would be wrong, I think, to scaremonger as well,


because what we are hoping for is as much mitigation that people in the


departments, permanent secretaries as those with them, will actually


spend that money. Because I do not think the crisis can last that long.


Are we speaking about hundreds or potentially thousands of jobs?


Thousands of jobs. We had some difficulty in 2015-16 with the


budget. It was cut generally across departments by 10%. Instantly a lot


of departments cut their funding to voluntary organisations because it


was the easy thing for them to do and that was hundreds and hundreds


of jobs under threat. Stay with us, Seamus because I want to bring you


and Deirdre in at this stage. You dealt with this issue before,


Newton, and did not paint a particularly rosy picture? Yes, they


will be under pressure to do so. Deirdre, you were involved in this,


drawing .com and you know about health and social care. What are the


budgetary imprecations of we are on that sector -- in drawing this up.


Yes, we agreed a programme of reform, transformation, and the


health service is like fixing a jumbo jet in flight. We need to do


that alongside business as usual. There was momentum and clinicians


were ready to go and now we seem to be on hold indefinitely and that


cannot exist in Northern Ireland because we are wasting money on a


daily basis in health care. A final sentence from you, Seamus. What is


your final sentence to senior civil servants who might be watching


tonight? I think they have to take the decisions that keep everything


going. I think the politicians have to realise this cannot be left a


long time, it has to be fixed very quickly. Civil servants cannot be


left in charge of a budget alone. Thank you very much indeed.


Deirdre and Newton, let's move onto a couple of other big stories -


His handling of whether or not there is too much focus


Well, the DPP and now the police have given him


How did he get himself into this situation?


Very difficult to say. He became the subject of criticism because he did


not intervene in Northern Ireland when we were watching a slow car


crash before Christmas. In Scotland and Wales the dead, the devolved


ministrations, but he did not. Then that bizarre thing, he said we did


not want to rewrite... Yes, in the Telegraph, saying there is no


evidence for it. How can he present himself as an honest broker in


negotiations? I think he has lost credibility. It is easy to explain


how you -- why he is behaving as he has. Soldiers in Iraq and


Afghanistan, it has caused this intrusion of an English issue into


our peace process. Can he be an honest broker on the side of the


election? No, he has damaged his credibility. Whilst it explains what


he is doing it does not excuse it. It would have been so easy to find a


form of words to dot-macro and the Daily Mail giving out figures saying


1000 figures will be prosecuted. He could have challenged that, the


evidence was there, very bizarre move on his part and I do not think


you can recover. I want to ask you about the Trump invitation, Newton.


We know Arlene Foster and Martin invited him back in November. They


are of course no longer in office and things are very different. He is


now in office doing things many people are uncomfortable with and


the invitations used to be no longer on the table? Yes, and they were


about to head off to meet the number three in the Chinese Communist


Party, 73 million people dead in their own country in the past


half-century, so you think you would have to be realistic about the


limits of political office besides. Should he be invited in Northern


Ireland if we get the new executive up and running again? The criticism


Theresa May has attracted because of her unseemly haste in rushing over


to America, inviting him for a state visit, and people saying things they


never thought they would say, feeling sorry for the Queen,


thinking Prince Charles should meet him and speak to him about global


warming, or should he be held at Heathrow, and told he cannot as his


country has terrorists in it, people are making a joke of it because they


cannot believe what is unfolding before their very eyes. Would you


shake his hand if he can to Belfast? I am not a Trump fan I think they


had to invite him. That's it from The View


for this week. Join me for Sunday Politics


at 11.35 here on BBC1, when I'll be talking to the Alliance


leader, Naomi Long. And with the race to run


Stormont well and truly on, we leave you with one long shot


who fancies his chances. OK, everyone, have you got


your bamboo sticks? If you just paint


what you want to paint, I've turned around,


my painting washes away.


Join Mark Carruthers and guests on Thursdays for The View - the week's political news, comments and expert analysis. The View reports events at Stormont and Westminster and how they are affecting issues such as health and the economy. It follows the ups and downs of the political parties and debates the highs and lows of the political week. It also has an alternative view on the week's political headlines.

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