22/02/2017 The Wales Report


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


In the week that Brexit has dominated proceedings here,


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


Stay with us for a special The Wales Report.


And fake news, who and what can you believe?


Good evening and welcome to The Wales Report.


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


has taken another step forward, passing its first hurdle


Remember, you can join in the discussion tonight -


So, the government's timetable for leaving


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


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


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


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


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


Wales exports more to the EU than the UK average,


with two thirds of goods that leave the country making


Wales is very reliant on trade with the EU.


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


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


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


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


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


Historically, we've been moving goods backwards


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


Some businesses are telling us that they are finding


that their European customers are already starting to look


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


continues after Brexit, then we potentially


Initially, we were surprised and nervous about the result


of the referendum and battened down the hatches, awaiting


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


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


to deal with the growing demands of our customers, following


It appears there is an improved export market in the UK


and our customers' order books appear to be full.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


It means our vehicles will sit on borders perhaps


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


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


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


are available in those places and also the amount of money


that is available in people's pockets in terms


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


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


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


I wouldn't characterize Brexit as uncertainty at all.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


It was great to see that hauler there.


I was driving lorries and vans into Europe


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


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


all your goods and bits on the way in?


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


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


What I can absolutely say is that we were trading before


we had the single market with the European countries,


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


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


before and after the single market came in.


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


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


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


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


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


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


And yet 40% is a pretty high proportion.


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


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


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


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


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


in fact our biggest trading partner is the United States,


we trade more with them more than with any country


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


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


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


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


but all sorts of other goods as well.


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


met with members of Parliament and met with business represented it


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


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


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


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


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


be more competitive, lower tax and attract business.


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


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


I mean, we want to become competitive, we want


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


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


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


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


economy than many other countries in Europe.


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


But what Theresa May is also saying is really,


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


That's no way to conduct a negotiation.


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


an unelected Prime Minister, nobody elected her as Prime


Minister, fundamentally changing the economy of the United Kingdom


without any mandate to do so, all under the guise


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


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


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


We can have a presidential system if people want


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


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


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


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


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


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


and that means Peter Hain and the House of Lords


and all the rest of them, if for absolutely clear


that they recognise that people voted for Brexit


and that we are coming out of the European Union.


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


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


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


Once they realise that, the impetus will be on them


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


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


We want to carry on trade, have a good relationship


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


We've got to stop this ludicrous scare story,


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


out European Union citizens, because obviously we are not.


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


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


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


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


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


about what the Lords ought to be doing here now?


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


My view is fundamentally they shouldn't do that.


They should understand that this goes...


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


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


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


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


to change their minds and come back in with us.


They have to understand that we are coming out


Of course, we want to work with them.


The Lords need to come on board and recognise


Does it call into question the validity of the second chamber


I am your classic traditional Conservative.


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


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


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


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


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


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


and complicated legislation, but this is very simple.


We are giving the Prime Minister the power to pull out


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


If the Lords want to start messing around with that,


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


questions their existence, it's going to be people


David Davis, thank you very much for your time.


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


of the House of Lords and the accountability of its


As the second chamber in the UK Parliament,


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


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


Most are life peers put forward by the Prime Minister.


So, does their scrutiny of the Government over Brexit show


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


of elections, or does it highlight the democratic deficit


that the will of the people can be challenged by unelected


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


the Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Jenny Randerson and


Thanks to all three of you for coming in.


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


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


Is that because it's an unelected chamber?


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


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


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


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


to follow the local vote on this issue.


They feel an obligation to do what is our role.


Our role is to challenge the government and to ask them


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


them to think again, when we believe they've


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


Dafydd Wigley, you've been campaigning almost


all of your political life to abolish an unelected House


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


because you are not accountable to the voters, you can


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


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


At the moment, many colleagues are feeling slightly blunted


I want to see a totally elected second chamber.


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


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


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


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


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


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


Plaid Cymru MPs, voted against this bill.


That was because this is a very hard Brexit indeed.


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


then quite possibly we would have said,


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


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


quite often against Brexit because you will be voting


with your conscience rather than reflecting the views


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


voters voted to remain, and of the many constituencies,


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


to leave, a majority of Labour voters,


Though they are the best evidence we've got.


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


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


the Labour Party's values of justice, equality


and internationalism, and that is a matter of conscience.


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


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


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


You say you want to represent the whole of Wales.


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


This, for me, is one of the biggest decisions


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


This is a dangerous world at the moment, without getting


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


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


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


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


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


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


When the vote came in 1975 in the referendum,


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


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


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


I said, "Then vote for somebody else."


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


All three of you are devolutionists, who believe in devolving


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


assembly in Cardiff Bay, in Edinburgh and in Belfast,


with really no powers in terms of deciding how Brexit goes


from here on, and an unelected chamber here in Parliament


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


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


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


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


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


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


we want the Welsh government, the Welsh Assembly,


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


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


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


They really cannot afford to ignore what the elected representatives


of the people of Wales are saying on this issue.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


because I flatly disagree with him on Europe.


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


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


Those Labour MPs - voters may be one thing,


but they represent constituencies which did vote to leave.


There is an issue of a democratic accountability.


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


But I think we will win some important amendments,


We'll win the border issue, an open border


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


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


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


that a Tory government has not had an automatic majority,


because Tony Blair abolished They are in the same


position now as all Labour governments have always been,


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


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


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


I have to reluctantly accept that we are likely to leave


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


manufacturing industry, for the farmers and for everyone


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


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


and with Liberal Democrat support That will be a good blueprint


for the UK Government, Well, I shall, along


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


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


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


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


the people have a voice. Because this started


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


by the people. People voted to leave


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


because they were never At the end of this process,


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


be a referendum. The people should


have the final say. Thank you all very much


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


fact from fiction has always been something


of a challenge. But with the growing


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


published under the guise of being authentic news -


there are fears that democracy itself could be


undermined, as well as Last month, the Culture,


Media and Sport Committee here in


Westminster said it would investigate concerns


about the public being swayed So, is our increasing use


of social media as a news source leaving us


vulnerable to hoaxers? Joining me to discuss


this are Kevin Maguire, associate editor of the Mirror,


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


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


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


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


that it has its drawbacks as our news feeds tend


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


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


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


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


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


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


you can do. If you're willing to get


a little bit technical. When a new story pops up


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


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


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


news sites have names similar to real ones,


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


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


that you desperately Because of pesky human psychology,


prone to wanting our So if a story matches perfectly


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


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


open with you about where There are perfectly valid reasons


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


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


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


good reporting should be specific. Who was making a claim


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


assumptions about a group of people just because,


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


important step in my guide. Make a point of checking


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


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


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


to your existing biases. The Internet and social media has


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


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


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


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


looking at fake news, How worried should we be


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


we'd say they lied, or they embellished,


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


but it just spread so quickly now on the Internet,


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


broadcast to the world. I thought your tips


were very sensible. We can fight it with accuracy,


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


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


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


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


for the Mirror has almost the same level of accuracy,


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


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


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


of communication we couldn't have However, the deliberate


attempts of hoaxers, whether it's doctoring photographs


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


in the Brexit campaign in Britain. Calling out fake news


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


trouble in journalism You've got to be truthful


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


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


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


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


but you can be truthful. And if we can establish


that we are truthful, we can begin to see off


the fake news organisations. You will see studies that suggest


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


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


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


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


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


some stories from Wales are framed, they are not framed


in a particularly I think Wales is hilarious


and very interesting. But I would rather people be able


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


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


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


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


here with this. It sounds kind of ridiculous to say


that, that the Internet can threaten press freedom,


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


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


and the public doesn't know what to believe,


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


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


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


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


be, and how much does Rumours can be spread


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


because people want their news It's every minute of


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


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


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


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


with us about what's been discussed tonight or anything


else, email us at [email protected],


or follow us on social media ? where the


discussion continues.


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