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],
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