02/02/2017 The View


02/02/2017

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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Transcript


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Theresa May insists she wants a seamless border,

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

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

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veterans if we're any clearer about the European frontier

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After two days of discussion and a very comfortable majority

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endorsing Theresa May's plans to trigger Article 50,

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

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

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

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And we'll hear too from Baroness Helena Kennedy,

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who recently completed a report on the potential effect of Brexit

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Also tonight, with no Executive and no budget,

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how long before the money gets tight and public services

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With some hip-hop political analysis...

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

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Corner, Professor Deirdre Heenan and Newton Emerson.

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

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a little clearer now, but what of the border

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

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

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

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

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

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joined by the Labour peer, Baroness Kennedy.

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You are all very welcome to the programme.

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Sammy Wilson, your party's obviously pleased with

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

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

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customs expert, Michael Lux, who said yesterday those

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

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There will be increased costs to businesses, he says.

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

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

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

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

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goods which passed between the European Union and the United

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

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

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

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

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

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would be to the advantage of European companies because they have

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

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

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

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

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telling you what currently happens between Gibraltar and Spain,

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

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

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

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with electronic exchange of paperwork, with number recognition,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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consequences of this are really serious and when we took evidence

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

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

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incredibly complex and not the simple story that Sammy is telling

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Westminster not enough consideration was given to the consequences of

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

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this coloured by their political attitude towards whether or not we

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sammy has already said that people are coloured by their political

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

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

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

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

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that people should be careful with exaggerating the border

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

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

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

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wait you uncomfortable about George Osborne saying there would have to

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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need to keep all our trading arrangements the same all customs

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

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

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

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

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Good Friday Agreement structures. What about some kind of special

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Ireland they would have a greater problem of Scotland and secondly

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

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which would like the same arrangement for themselves, Spain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Especially seen as we have pre-existing structures recognised

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and supported by Baroness Kennedy, you took evidence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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strongly. Sammy can talk his forelock to Conservative Government,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:20:13.:20:16.

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

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

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

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

:20:30.:20:35.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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nonsense statements, these platitudes, offered as though they

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

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

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

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

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

:21:31.:21:33.

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

:21:34.:21:36.

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

:21:37.:21:41.

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

:21:42.:21:45.

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

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

:21:52.:21:54.

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

:21:55.:21:55.

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

:21:56.:22:02.

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

:22:03.:22:04.

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

:22:05.:22:07.

John Campbell has been Our public services spend around ?30

:22:08.:22:25.

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

:22:26.:22:28.

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

:22:29.:22:36.

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

:22:37.:22:42.

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

:22:43.:22:46.

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

:22:47.:22:50.

unless there is unexpectedly rapid progress after the election, that

:22:51.:22:55.

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

:22:56.:23:00.

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

:23:01.:23:07.

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

:23:08.:23:12.

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

:23:13.:23:17.

keep services operating while waiting for a political deal. We

:23:18.:23:21.

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

:23:22.:23:28.

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

:23:29.:23:35.

business continuity prevails, and that departments have the cash

:23:36.:23:41.

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

:23:42.:23:47.

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

:23:48.:23:50.

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

:23:51.:23:57.

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

:23:58.:24:01.

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

:24:02.:24:09.

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

:24:10.:24:13.

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

:24:14.:24:17.

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

:24:18.:24:27.

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

:24:28.:24:29.

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

:24:30.:24:34.

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

:24:35.:24:39.

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

:24:40.:24:42.

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

:24:43.:24:47.

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

:24:48.:24:53.

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

:24:54.:24:57.

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

:24:58.:25:04.

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

:25:05.:25:08.

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

:25:09.:25:13.

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

:25:14.:25:16.

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

:25:17.:25:25.

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

:25:26.:25:29.

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

:25:30.:25:36.

have acknowledged the Department of Health faces real difficulties in

:25:37.:25:40.

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

:25:41.:25:45.

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

:25:46.:25:50.

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

:25:51.:25:56.

around that. Why is this budgetary uncertainty such a pronounced

:25:57.:26:00.

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

:26:01.:26:04.

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

:26:05.:26:07.

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

:26:08.:26:14.

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

:26:15.:26:17.

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

:26:18.:26:23.

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

:26:24.:26:28.

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

:26:29.:26:34.

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

:26:35.:26:43.

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

:26:44.:26:53.

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

:26:54.:26:58.

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

:26:59.:26:59.

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

:27:00.:27:01.

You've underscored the need for functional

:27:02.:27:04.

government and stability - how difficult is all this

:27:05.:27:06.

uncertainty around the budget for the organisations you work with?

:27:07.:27:09.

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

:27:10.:27:19.

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

:27:20.:27:25.

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

:27:26.:27:27.

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

:27:28.:27:32.

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

:27:33.:27:40.

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

:27:41.:27:42.

organisations find themselves running out of money a lot quicker I

:27:43.:27:46.

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

:27:47.:27:48.

situation. You've spoken to the Department

:27:49.:27:57.

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

:27:58.:27:59.

unnecessary job losses. Were you reassured by what you heard

:28:00.:28:02.

back from officials? I spoke to the permanent secretary,

:28:03.:28:06.

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

:28:07.:28:11.

he understands how his colleagues across all departments, all cautious

:28:12.:28:14.

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

:28:15.:28:18.

he says is they will encourage departments to meet their

:28:19.:28:20.

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

:28:21.:28:25.

relationship, but many of those relationships are probably coming to

:28:26.:28:28.

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

:28:29.:28:32.

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

:28:33.:28:37.

Are organisations now preparing to make people redundant?

:28:38.:28:40.

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

:28:41.:28:47.

organisations are generally these companies are covered by charity law

:28:48.:28:53.

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

:28:54.:28:58.

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

:28:59.:29:01.

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

:29:02.:29:02.

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

:29:03.:29:12.

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

:29:13.:29:16.

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

:29:17.:29:23.

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

:29:24.:29:26.

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

:29:27.:29:31.

departments, permanent secretaries as those with them, will actually

:29:32.:29:34.

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

:29:35.:29:40.

Are we speaking about hundreds or potentially thousands of jobs?

:29:41.:29:44.

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

:29:45.:29:50.

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

:29:51.:29:53.

of departments cut their funding to voluntary organisations because it

:29:54.:29:56.

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

:29:57.:30:05.

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

:30:06.:30:16.

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

:30:17.:30:23.

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

:30:24.:30:31.

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

:30:32.:30:35.

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

:30:36.:30:40.

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

:30:41.:30:45.

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

:30:46.:30:48.

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

:30:49.:30:52.

that alongside business as usual. There was momentum and clinicians

:30:53.:30:59.

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

:31:00.:31:02.

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

:31:03.:31:07.

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

:31:08.:31:11.

your final sentence to senior civil servants who might be watching

:31:12.:31:14.

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

:31:15.:31:17.

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

:31:18.:31:21.

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

:31:22.:31:26.

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

:31:27.:31:30.

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

:31:31.:31:34.

His handling of whether or not there is too much focus

:31:35.:31:38.

Well, the DPP and now the police have given him

:31:39.:31:41.

How did he get himself into this situation?

:31:42.:31:45.

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

:31:46.:31:51.

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

:31:52.:31:56.

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

:31:57.:31:59.

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

:32:00.:32:08.

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

:32:09.:32:11.

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

:32:12.:32:15.

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

:32:16.:32:22.

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

:32:23.:32:29.

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

:32:30.:32:33.

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

:32:34.:32:38.

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

:32:39.:32:41.

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

:32:42.:32:45.

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

:32:46.:32:49.

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

:32:50.:32:52.

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

:32:53.:33:00.

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

:33:01.:33:03.

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

:33:04.:33:06.

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

:33:07.:33:10.

now in office doing things many people are uncomfortable with and

:33:11.:33:13.

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

:33:14.:33:17.

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

:33:18.:33:20.

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

:33:21.:33:23.

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

:33:24.:33:28.

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

:33:29.:33:31.

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

:33:32.:33:36.

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

:33:37.:33:40.

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

:33:41.:33:43.

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

:33:44.:33:46.

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

:33:47.:33:52.

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

:33:53.:33:55.

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

:33:56.:33:58.

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

:33:59.:34:02.

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

:34:03.:34:06.

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

:34:07.:34:09.

for this week. Join me for Sunday Politics

:34:10.:34:11.

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

:34:12.:34:14.

leader, Naomi Long. And with the race to run

:34:15.:34:16.

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

:34:17.:34:19.

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

:34:20.:34:21.

your bamboo sticks? If you just paint

:34:22.:35:17.

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

:35:18.:35:22.

my painting washes away.

:35:23.:35:26.

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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