22/02/2017 The Wales Report


22/02/2017

Arwyn Jones presents a special programme from Westminster, where the Brexit journey continues. Plus a look at fake news; what is it, and how do we avoid falling for it?


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Transcript


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Tonight on The Wales Report, I'm here in Westminster

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In the week that Brexit has dominated proceedings here,

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we'll be looking at what the latest twists and turns mean for Wales.

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Stay with us for a special The Wales Report.

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And fake news, who and what can you believe?

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Good evening and welcome to The Wales Report.

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We're here in Westminster, where this week the Brexit process

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has taken another step forward, passing its first hurdle

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Remember, you can join in the discussion tonight -

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So, the government's timetable for leaving

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the EU appears on course, but what impact is Brexit having

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The most optimistic production is the deal will take at least two

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years and for the pessimists, it will take a lot longer than that.

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I'll be speaking to the chair of the Welsh Affairs Select

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But first, Welsh businesses are keeping a close eye on the progress

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Wales exports more to the EU than the UK average,

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with two thirds of goods that leave the country making

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Wales is very reliant on trade with the EU.

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We see a new ports around 56% of all exports go to the continent

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and in Swansea and Cardiff, it's 60 and 61% respectfully.

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So in terms of the number of goods and services that these

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cities are sending abroad, actually the EU is a really,

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It's about 20% of what we do as a company.

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Historically, we've been moving goods backwards

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and forwards to Europe over the last 30, 40 years.

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Some businesses are telling us that they are finding

:01:57.:02:06.

that their European customers are already starting to look

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That is going to have a small effect now, but if that

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continues after Brexit, then we potentially

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Initially, we were surprised and nervous about the result

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of the referendum and battened down the hatches, awaiting

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what we consider to be economic gloom in front of us.

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However, we have since employed more people, purchased more vehicles

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to deal with the growing demands of our customers, following

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It appears there is an improved export market in the UK

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and our customers' order books appear to be full.

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I don't think anyone is expecting the first day after Brexit

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for everything to suddenly change, but it's going to be a gradual thing

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where businesses won't be growing because they will choose not

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to export because they don't have an easy way to doing it.

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It depends what deal comes out of it with Brexit as to what happens

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with the borders and what trade is available after that time.

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Those goods will still need to move, exports from the UK will,

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It means our vehicles will sit on borders perhaps

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longer going into Europe, but I don't see that

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If we don't get a good trade deal with the EU,

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that does raise a lot of questions that has implications for jobs that

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are available in those places and also the amount of money

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that is available in people's pockets in terms

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David Davies, the chair of the Welsh Affairs Select Committee,

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we've heard in that little tape, there's a little bit

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Is that how you would characterize where Brexit is going at the moment?

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I wouldn't characterize Brexit as uncertainty at all.

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I'm absolutely certain we are going to be leaving,

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we're going to be triggering Article 50 at the end of March,

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going to be out about two years' later and I'm also pretty certain

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we're going to have a deal with the European Union.

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But even if we don't, I'm absolutely certain we're

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going to be carrying on trading with them, just as we did before

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the single market came in place in the early 90s.

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It was great to see that hauler there.

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I was driving lorries and vans into Europe

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before the single market came in and I remember we had a bit

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Getting stuck in customs on the way into France and having to check

:04:36.:04:41.

all your goods and bits on the way in?

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No, bit of paperwork on the way in, that's all it was.

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But I don't even think we'll be back to that.

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What I can absolutely say is that we were trading before

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we had the single market with the European countries,

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we were doing in the 90s, I was driving vans and lorries

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from the early 1990s to the mid-1990s,

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before and after the single market came in.

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I don't think anybody doubts that we'll still be trading with Europe,

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it's just the terms under which we'll be trading.

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I guess it's how much worse it will be than it will be now.

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I heard someone on your video they're saying, 60% of exports

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will go into the EU, 40% will go to places

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with whom we don't have any kind of trade deal,

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And yet 40% is a pretty high proportion.

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The point is, of course we're going to carry on trading.

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People were saying before the referendum, it'll be a disaster,

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the economy will grind to a halt just with the vote.

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That certainly hasn't happened and it's not going to happen.

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Just as we currently trade with countries outside of the EU,

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in fact our biggest trading partner is the United States,

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we trade more with them more than with any country

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But at a Wales level, as I'm sure you know,

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it's actually Germany is our largest export partner, followed by France,

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So actually, for Wales, we do turn towards Europe.

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And we also import the huge amount from Germany, particularly cars,

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but all sorts of other goods as well.

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The Germans, I've been over to Germany since Brexit,

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met with members of Parliament and met with business represented it

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and they are desperate to ensure that there is a trade deal as well.

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So it's in everyone's interest to come up with some sort of a deal.

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What you think of what Theresa May has said, that if we can't reach

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an agreement with the rest of the EU about it, then we'll just walk away,

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leave you to your rules, and then what we do is we change our economy,

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be more competitive, lower tax and attract business.

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First of all, I agree entirely with what she's saying.

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I hope we'll be looking to change our economy any ways.

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I mean, we want to become competitive, we want

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Well, yes, I'm in favour of lower taxes provided

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we can balance the books, that's definitely a good thing.

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If that's what we need to do to bring the boat in,

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we've already been cutting taxes, we're already a much lower tax

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economy than many other countries in Europe.

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And I'm sure that's going to continue.

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But what Theresa May is also saying is really,

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We can't go into a negotiation saying, if we don't get X, Y and Z,

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That's no way to conduct a negotiation.

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What we have here, under those circumstances, is Theresa May,

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an unelected Prime Minister, nobody elected her as Prime

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Minister, fundamentally changing the economy of the United Kingdom

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without any mandate to do so, all under the guise

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First of all, Theresa May was elected, she was elected

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as a member of Parliament, she's been chosen by a majority

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If we want a presidential system, we can have one.

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We can have a presidential system if people want

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We have a parliamentary system and it's served us very well

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But what's her mandate to cut taxes across the board?

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She's clearly got a mandate to pull us out of Europe and hopefully

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the Lords are going to recognise that and asked to do it at some

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point and actually come on board with that and play a role in shaping

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We're going to get the best agreement possible if everyone,

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and that means Peter Hain and the House of Lords

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and all the rest of them, if for absolutely clear

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that they recognise that people voted for Brexit

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and that we are coming out of the European Union.

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The European Union and the other nations in Europe need to understand

:07:58.:08:01.

that if we don't get a deal, if they don't want to come

:08:02.:08:06.

out with a trade deal, we're still going.

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Once they realise that, the impetus will be on them

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to give us a good deal, a deal that works for all sides.

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We don't want to cut ourselves off from Europe, we need

:08:14.:08:19.

We want to carry on trade, have a good relationship

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We want to continue to welcome people who are contributing to our

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We've got to stop this ludicrous scare story,

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that's never been put out by anyone in Brexit, that we're going to throw

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out European Union citizens, because obviously we are not.

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We've got to get people who were campaigning to remain

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in the European Union to realise that the people have spoken,

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just as I had to accept the Welsh Assembly 20 years ago,

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people are going to have to accept leaving the European union.

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We know in the House of Lords, what's your view

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about what the Lords ought to be doing here now?

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We know they'll be challenging on a lot of what the Government

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My view is fundamentally they shouldn't do that.

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They should understand that this goes...

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Yes, this is a very short bill that gives the Government,

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led by the Prime Minister, the power to negotiate the best

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We don't want to go into negotiations with the European Union

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thinking, if we deny them this or that, then they have

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to change their minds and come back in with us.

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They have to understand that we are coming out

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Of course, we want to work with them.

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The Lords need to come on board and recognise

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Does it call into question the validity of the second chamber

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I am your classic traditional Conservative.

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I absolutely support the monarchy, I think the Queen is wonderful.

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I'm a true blue Conservative and I've never really

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But I am starting to think to myself, I looked around

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the rest the United Kingdom, there's no second chamber

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in Scotland, there's no second chamber in Wales...

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I think the Lords can play a useful role in revising difficult

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and complicated legislation, but this is very simple.

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We are giving the Prime Minister the power to pull out

:10:02.:10:03.

of the European Union, which is what the people want.

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If the Lords want to start messing around with that,

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I think it's not just going to be the far left that questions

:10:12.:10:15.

questions their existence, it's going to be people

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David Davis, thank you very much for your time.

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The peers discussion of the Brexit bill this week has brought the role

:10:23.:10:25.

of the House of Lords and the accountability of its

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As the second chamber in the UK Parliament,

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it helps make and shape new laws, scrutinises the work of Government

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There are about 800 members, although not all of these regularly

:10:37.:10:40.

Most are life peers put forward by the Prime Minister.

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So, does their scrutiny of the Government over Brexit show

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the need for calm heads to pour over legislation without the pressures

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of elections, or does it highlight the democratic deficit

:10:51.:10:52.

that the will of the people can be challenged by unelected

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I'm joined now by the Plaid Cymru peer, Lord Dafydd Wigley,

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the Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Jenny Randerson and

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Thanks to all three of you for coming in.

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Jenny Randerson - I guess, over the last week, what we've seen

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is a different nature in the debate over Brexit in the Lords,

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Is that because it's an unelected chamber?

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I think it's because the power of the party is much less strong

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People are much more likely to be expressing their honest and full

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opinions, and also because, of course, peers don't have

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to follow the local vote on this issue, or feel any obligation

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to follow the local vote on this issue.

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They feel an obligation to do what is our role.

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Our role is to challenge the government and to ask them

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to think again when we believe, and to challenge the Commons and ask

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them to think again, when we believe they've

:11:55.:11:56.

But we are in the situation we are in, and we're going to work

:11:57.:12:09.

Dafydd Wigley, you've been campaigning almost

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all of your political life to abolish an unelected House

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of Lords, but here you are making a virtue of the fact that,

:12:15.:12:17.

because you are not accountable to the voters, you can

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The point is, if I was elected, if we were all elected,

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we would have a much stronger stance in order to stand up on the issues

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At the moment, many colleagues are feeling slightly blunted

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I want to see a totally elected second chamber.

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I believe in, a London context, there is a need for a second

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chamber, but on an issue such as this, where we have very

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strongly-held convictions, I think it's also right

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that we don't sell out on what we believe, and what we've

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But you would be saying, as an MP, about Brexit

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Absolutely, and a few of my colleagues in the House of Commons,

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Plaid Cymru MPs, voted against this bill.

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That was because this is a very hard Brexit indeed.

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If it had been a compromise, allowing a single market access,

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then quite possibly we would have said,

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But this is going to do so much damage to Wales.

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Lord Peter Hain, you've said in the past that you will be voting

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quite often against Brexit because you will be voting

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with your conscience rather than reflecting the views

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Isn't that the merit of having a second chamber, unelected,

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where you don't have to worry about the will of the

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Well, I have also always believed in an elected second chamber.

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I'd settle for 80% elected and 20% crossbenchers

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When Ed Miliband, my party leader, asked me to come to the Lords,

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I said, "I don't believe in the place as it is.

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He said, "That's why I want you to go there."

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But on why I'm doing what I'm doing, two thirds of Labour

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voters voted to remain, and of the many constituencies,

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Labour-held constituencies, like my old one in Neath that voted

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to leave, a majority of Labour voters,

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Though they are the best evidence we've got.

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In the end, for me, if you say, what is my mandate,

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if you want to have a mandate of any kind, I feel I'm reflecting

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the Labour Party's values of justice, equality

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and internationalism, and that is a matter of conscience.

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In an elected House of Lords, which you want to see,

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you wouldn't be able to be free to vote according

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You'd be far more closely tied in with the will of the people.

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You say you want to represent the whole of Wales.

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Yes, I understand that, but this is such a historic decision.

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This, for me, is one of the biggest decisions

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I've taken as a politician, about the whole future

:14:54.:14:57.

This is a dangerous world at the moment, without getting

:14:58.:15:01.

into all the arguments and re-arguing about the referendum,

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this is such a seismic issue for me as a politician.

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It goes to my very core of what I believe in.

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And I'm not going to vote against something...

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I'm not going to vote a way that I don't believe in.

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When I was elected in 1974, I stood against my party's

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When the vote came in 1975 in the referendum,

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Yes, I told my collectors at home where I stood,

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I had people coming to me and saying, "We can't vote

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for you if you don't vote for capital punishment."

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I said, "Then vote for somebody else."

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The fact is, you have to stand on your party programme, yes,

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All three of you are devolutionists, who believe in devolving

:15:45.:15:49.

Yet what we have in the UK at the moment is an elected

:15:50.:15:55.

assembly in Cardiff Bay, in Edinburgh and in Belfast,

:15:56.:16:04.

with really no powers in terms of deciding how Brexit goes

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from here on, and an unelected chamber here in Parliament

:16:08.:16:09.

That doesn't seem to be right, does it?

:16:10.:16:12.

Well, that tension isn't entirely right, of course,

:16:13.:16:16.

but you don't put it right by saying, oh, the House of Commons

:16:17.:16:19.

should just have a blank cheque to do what they want.

:16:20.:16:22.

What we should be doing is ensuring - and I'm sure this will be a matter

:16:23.:16:26.

for debate in the committee stage of the bill next week -

:16:27.:16:29.

we want the Welsh government, the Welsh Assembly,

:16:30.:16:32.

I, personally, would want the Welsh government to have proper channels

:16:33.:16:41.

of communication with the UK Government, and it's essential

:16:42.:16:46.

that the UK Government listens to what the Welsh Assembly says.

:16:47.:16:50.

They really cannot afford to ignore what the elected representatives

:16:51.:16:54.

of the people of Wales are saying on this issue.

:16:55.:16:59.

One of the points you were making about the fact that you vote

:17:00.:17:02.

Is there a danger, by doing that, you are a Labour peer,

:17:03.:17:09.

are you undermining the efforts of your party trying to stand up

:17:10.:17:13.

as a party who are not standing in the way of Brexit,

:17:14.:17:16.

not ignoring the will of the British people, there is a danger that

:17:17.:17:20.

you could be undermining those efforts, isn't there?

:17:21.:17:23.

Well, I'm undermining the efforts of my party leader,

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because I flatly disagree with him on Europe.

:17:27.:17:28.

I think the majority of Labour voters and the majority of party

:17:29.:17:32.

There's a lot of support in the Lords Labour group...

:17:33.:17:38.

Those Labour MPs - voters may be one thing,

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but they represent constituencies which did vote to leave.

:17:44.:17:45.

There is an issue of a democratic accountability.

:17:46.:17:49.

And that's why, in the end, the Commons will triumph over the Lords.

:17:50.:17:55.

But I think we will win some important amendments,

:17:56.:17:58.

We'll win the border issue, an open border

:17:59.:18:06.

Why is the Tory government making such a fuss about this?

:18:07.:18:11.

Why are they having a go at the House of Lords?

:18:12.:18:14.

It's the first time in the history of Parliament,

:18:15.:18:16.

that a Tory government has not had an automatic majority,

:18:17.:18:19.

because Tony Blair abolished They are in the same

:18:20.:18:20.

position now as all Labour governments have always been,

:18:21.:18:24.

and that's why they're getting... Over the next couple of weeks,

:18:25.:18:28.

what are you trying to achieve? What would you like to see

:18:29.:18:33.

at the end of this Brexit At the end of the day,

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I have to reluctantly accept that we are likely to leave

:18:37.:18:39.

the European Union, but we have to make sure that for the Welsh

:18:40.:18:42.

manufacturing industry, for the farmers and for everyone

:18:43.:18:46.

else, that there is a total free That is at the core

:18:47.:18:49.

of the Welsh White Paper, which Carwyn Jones, Leanne Wood

:18:50.:18:57.

and with Liberal Democrat support That will be a good blueprint

:18:58.:19:00.

for the UK Government, Well, I shall, along

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with my colleagues, Lib Dem peers, we will be voting in order to ensure

:19:04.:19:09.

that we stay in the single market if possible, and we will also,

:19:10.:19:12.

above all, the voting not to ignore the referendum result,

:19:13.:19:18.

but to ensure that, at the end of the negotiations,

:19:19.:19:21.

the people have a voice. Because this started

:19:22.:19:26.

with a vote by the people, and it must end with a vote

:19:27.:19:28.

by the people. People voted to leave

:19:29.:19:31.

the European Union, but they didn't vote for anything else,

:19:32.:19:36.

because they were never At the end of this process,

:19:37.:19:38.

when it's clear what the alternative is, I think there should

:19:39.:19:42.

be a referendum. The people should

:19:43.:19:44.

have the final say. Thank you all very much

:19:45.:19:46.

for coming in this evening. Now, in politics, separating

:19:47.:19:54.

fact from fiction has always been something

:19:55.:19:56.

of a challenge. But with the growing

:19:57.:19:59.

phenomenon of "fake news" ? that's false information

:20:00.:20:01.

published under the guise of being authentic news -

:20:02.:20:03.

there are fears that democracy itself could be

:20:04.:20:05.

undermined, as well as Last month, the Culture,

:20:06.:20:08.

Media and Sport Committee here in

:20:09.:20:12.

Westminster said it would investigate concerns

:20:13.:20:14.

about the public being swayed So, is our increasing use

:20:15.:20:16.

of social media as a news source leaving us

:20:17.:20:22.

vulnerable to hoaxers? Joining me to discuss

:20:23.:20:26.

this are Kevin Maguire, associate editor of the Mirror,

:20:27.:20:28.

and Elena Cresci, who works But first, here's Elena's handy

:20:29.:20:31.

guide on how to spot fake news. It's an accusation that being banded

:20:32.:20:38.

about a lot these days. And I think it's exciting

:20:39.:20:43.

for all sorts of reasons. But we also have to recognise

:20:44.:21:01.

that it has its drawbacks as our news feeds tend

:21:02.:21:04.

to reflect our own views back at us and stories from reputable sources

:21:05.:21:07.

are throwing together with... So, how can we find a foothold

:21:08.:21:09.

in this new world of fake news, Here's my five step guide on how

:21:10.:21:14.

to sort the facts from falsehoods, clarity from click bait and polemics

:21:15.:21:18.

from otter poppycock. If you're unsure whether an online

:21:19.:21:26.

story is fake or real, there are a couple of things

:21:27.:21:29.

you can do. If you're willing to get

:21:30.:21:32.

a little bit technical. When a new story pops up

:21:33.:21:34.

on your feed, check the name If it looks a bit strange,

:21:35.:21:37.

try googling the story and if it doesn't show up anywhere else,

:21:38.:21:41.

that's when you got a problem. Also, be aware that some fake

:21:42.:21:45.

news sites have names similar to real ones,

:21:46.:21:47.

or even have a similar logo. First, is the story so outrageous

:21:48.:21:58.

that you can't believe it? Second, is a story so outrageous

:21:59.:22:02.

that you desperately Because of pesky human psychology,

:22:03.:22:09.

prone to wanting our So if a story matches perfectly

:22:10.:22:20.

with your already held opinions, you should probably take a moment

:22:21.:22:24.

to check it's actually true. Always expect a new source to be

:22:25.:22:34.

open with you about where There are perfectly valid reasons

:22:35.:22:37.

for protecting a source's anonymity, but if a new site is cagey about

:22:38.:22:47.

who or where they are coming from, Does the story to announce

:22:48.:22:50.

the elite, the left, the right, Opinion pieces aside,

:22:51.:23:00.

good reporting should be specific. Who was making a claim

:23:01.:23:05.

about what and why? If it's asking you to make vague

:23:06.:23:08.

assumptions about a group of people just because,

:23:09.:23:11.

it's probably not worth your time. This is probably the most

:23:12.:23:24.

important step in my guide. Make a point of checking

:23:25.:23:28.

in with news sites that do not If you make a conscious effort

:23:29.:23:31.

to seek out views you disagree with, you will be much better equipped

:23:32.:23:35.

to spot when a fake news story is trying to play up

:23:36.:23:38.

to your existing biases. The Internet and social media has

:23:39.:23:41.

given us more access to news It's an amazing and

:23:42.:23:43.

revolutionary tool that define But, like any tool, it can be used

:23:44.:23:47.

for both good and bad things. And, as consumers and producers

:23:48.:23:53.

of news, we can learn to use it We've heard your piece there,

:23:54.:23:56.

looking at fake news, How worried should we be

:23:57.:24:06.

about its existence? Well, there's been fake stuff

:24:07.:24:09.

on the Internet for as long as there has been an Internet,

:24:10.:24:14.

so I don't know, at this point, but it is concerning,

:24:15.:24:19.

looking at what's happened in the States, where it seems

:24:20.:24:21.

like fake news may have played But for me, even the term fake

:24:22.:24:23.

news is just not a great I've been doing verification

:24:24.:24:32.

for years now, which is why And when we saw a hoax,

:24:33.:24:40.

we'd call it a hoax. When we saw someone had lied,

:24:41.:24:45.

we'd say they lied, or they embellished,

:24:46.:24:48.

or something like this. I worry, by having named it fake

:24:49.:24:49.

news now, we have sort You see Donald Trump using it now,

:24:50.:24:54.

"CNN, you're fake news. And I do worry a bit about that

:24:55.:24:59.

section of it, I think. Is it, as a red top hack, something

:25:00.:25:06.

which is an Internet phenomenon, or did it exist always,

:25:07.:25:10.

it's just that now we've got the Internet, it sort

:25:11.:25:13.

of exacerbates the problem? No, I think getting things wrong,

:25:14.:25:16.

fake news, call it lies, They've been around for ever,

:25:17.:25:20.

but it just spread so quickly now on the Internet,

:25:21.:25:25.

and what people might have matted down a pub they can now

:25:26.:25:29.

broadcast to the world. I thought your tips

:25:30.:25:32.

were very sensible. We can fight it with accuracy,

:25:33.:25:36.

with fact checking, calling it out, but in the mainstream media,

:25:37.:25:49.

whether you're TV, radio or newspapers, I think there's

:25:50.:25:51.

a greater onus on us now But isn't it a danger that everyone

:25:52.:25:54.

can be a journalist on social media? An article you write

:25:55.:25:59.

for the Mirror has almost the same level of accuracy,

:26:00.:26:01.

for somebody watching or reading at home, as an article written

:26:02.:26:04.

by somebody in their living room? People can publish and communicate

:26:05.:26:08.

on the net now, and I think I think people have embraced forms

:26:09.:26:15.

of communication we couldn't have However, the deliberate

:26:16.:26:20.

attempts of hoaxers, whether it's doctoring photographs

:26:21.:26:26.

or whether it is publishing lies, We saw it on both sides

:26:27.:26:29.

in the Brexit campaign in Britain. Calling out fake news

:26:30.:26:33.

and using that sort of element. Of course, we've always had this

:26:34.:26:41.

trouble in journalism You've got to be truthful

:26:42.:26:43.

all the time, and attempt to get to the truth,

:26:44.:26:47.

but the fact is you can't always get the truth,

:26:48.:26:49.

because you're not sure what it is. People aren't always

:26:50.:26:52.

straight with you. They won't talk to you,

:26:53.:26:53.

but you can be truthful. And if we can establish

:26:54.:26:56.

that we are truthful, we can begin to see off

:26:57.:26:58.

the fake news organisations. You will see studies that suggest

:26:59.:27:02.

only 5% of people in Wales read Is fake news worse than no news,

:27:03.:27:08.

when people aren't even aware I'm not sure, to be honest,

:27:09.:27:13.

because, here's the thing. When it comes to the Internet,

:27:14.:27:20.

the reason that fake news flourishes in the way that it does

:27:21.:27:24.

is because it's attractive to read. Unfortunately, with the way that

:27:25.:27:27.

some stories from Wales are framed, they are not framed

:27:28.:27:29.

in a particularly I think Wales is hilarious

:27:30.:27:31.

and very interesting. But I would rather people be able

:27:32.:27:42.

to trust what they are seeing in the newspapers and on TV,

:27:43.:27:47.

and that's why I agree with Kevin. The onus is on us as journalists

:27:48.:27:52.

to be doing this right. People are not going to want to read

:27:53.:27:58.

the news is they think that it's fake, and that's the real issue

:27:59.:28:01.

here with this. It sounds kind of ridiculous to say

:28:02.:28:04.

that, that the Internet can threaten press freedom,

:28:05.:28:11.

but when you have politicians who can just turn around at a story

:28:12.:28:13.

that may well be true and just dismiss it as fake news,

:28:14.:28:17.

and the public doesn't know what to believe,

:28:18.:28:19.

that's the real issue here. What about this issue

:28:20.:28:26.

of the news cycle now? With 24-hour news channels,

:28:27.:28:28.

it goes at 1 million miles an hour, so you can't have time to actually

:28:29.:28:35.

develop a story and go How much of a concern would that

:28:36.:28:37.

be, and how much does Rumours can be spread

:28:38.:28:42.

as fact when they're not. And the pressure is intense,

:28:43.:28:48.

because people want their news It's every minute of

:28:49.:28:50.

every hour in the day. And you've got to resist

:28:51.:28:57.

cutting the corners. Do not assert and say this is true

:28:58.:28:59.

when you don't know. Thank you both very much for your

:29:00.:29:03.

fake news input this evening. If you'd like to get in touch

:29:04.:29:07.

with us about what's been discussed tonight or anything

:29:08.:29:14.

else, email us at [email protected],

:29:15.:29:15.

or follow us on social media ? where the

:29:16.:29:17.

discussion continues.

:29:18.:29:19.

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