21/06/2017 The Wales Report


On the day of the Queen's Speech, Bethan Rhys Roberts is in Westminster to discuss what the government's plans for the next year will mean for Wales.

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Tonight on The Wales Report - we're at Westminster where today the Queen


delivered her speech outlining the Government's plans


Forget strong and stable, the new buzzwords are smooth and orderly.


So what's in it and what does it mean for Wales?


Good evening - and welcome to The Wales Report in Westminster.


The Queen has been coming here to deliver the annual programme


for government for the best part of 70 years, but it was all a bit


different this time - a car rather than a carriage,


no horses and day dress rather than robes.


The content too was different laying out plans for the next two years


rather than just the coming year, so that the government can


It wasn't quite the speech the government was hoping to deliver


governments without a majority have to compromise.


So what's in it and how will it affect us in Wales?


You can join in the discussion tonight online - the hashtag


In a moment we'll hear from the Secretary of State


for Wales but first let's take a closer look at today's events.


I've spent the afternoon outside Parliament gathering opinions after


speech. These are the strangest of times.


One of the hottest June on record, a very unusual Queen's speech and the


government still seeking a deal to govern. And hanging over everything,


Brexit. My government's priority is to secure the best possible deal as


the country leaves the European Union. My ministers are committed to


working with Parliament, the devolved administrations, business


and others, to build the widest possible consensus on the country's


future outside the European Union. But if negotiations with Brussels


will be tough, then for Theresa May, keeping her own party on board could


be even more challenging. As a former party insider knows all too


well. We have seen a fundamental change in tone, a year of telling


everyone that this people had spoken, now we talk about consensus,


uniting the United Kingdom, we see people who are pro-Remainers, in


pole position in cabinet and receive parliamentary arithmetic that is


incredibly tight. I think we are revisiting this issue in a very


interesting and big way. The Conservative Party was the most


successful election winning machine in the world for much of the 20th


century and it ruined that when it got ideological. It did that over


Europe for the first time. People believe the purity of your stance


over Europe is more important than being in power. Deals will have to


be struck abroad and at home but in all that deal-making, how strong


will Wales' voice be? The Wales voice will depend on the skill and


determination of those making their voices heard. That is your party? It


is. It will be my party. Will she listen? I hope so, she has always


listen to me so far. I think she is in listening mode. As the talking


continues between Downing Street and the Democratic Unionists, does this


hung Parliament offer new opportunities for Wales? It is now


or never in terms of getting things from Theresa May. The Treasury knows


if she gives something to Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland will


also want something and I've no doubt the England regions, which is


one of the reasons they are saying, we can't give all of our cash to


that country because the other countries will want it as well.


Theresa May is desperate for those votes so she will probably have to


take the risk. So just how difficult will it be for the government to get


any of its legislation through this place? What is the forecast for


Theresa May and have plans to govern? Survival of the government


is a big challenge. Survival for the reason May-ism one also. There is


also Brexit. An historic, nation changing challenge. The government


has to get through two years Parliament with Brexit on the


agenda. That's just the beginning of the battle. Britain has two fight at


the table, on the other side, European negotiators know that


Britain's position is much weaker since the election. Anybody here


will tell you political forecasting is a very dangerous game. These


days, it is probably safer to quote weather forecasters, who are


predicting huge thunderstorms in Westminster and throughout the UK.


Maybe they are right. Earlier, I spoke to the Secretary of


State for Wales, Alun Cairns and I predicting that it wouldn't be easy


to get any of of this legislation through Parliament. 27 bills were


laid out today, 24 relate wholly or in part in relation to Wales. I


think with this job of work to do, we forgot to leave the European


Union, lots of technical bills. -- we have got to leave the European


Union. All of these are really positive bills that will give the


right outcome in order to make the best of leaving. We will come on the


Brexit but on the logistics of getting this through Parliament, and


prospects for your government, you haven't got a deal with the DUP yet.


Let's see what comes out of that. Take Brexit for example,


specifically. Looking at the Labour Party manifesto and the Conservative


Party manifesto, they both talk about leaving the single market so


therefore, on that basis, we will work on the basis of what we believe


is the right thing to do for the UK and Welsh economy and that is part


of our speech today. Before Brexit, though, let's look at a potential


deal with the DUP. Many people are seeing opportunities for Wales


because a a government gives something to the DUP and Northern


Ireland, you dare not give something to Wales, Scotland and the English


regions? Let's see what the deal is to begin with. In principle, though?


Andrew Davies in Cardiff is saying, we can give to the DUP and not get


something for Wales. Surely you would want that? I am always


fighting for Wales as you would expect. Look at my record, you will


remember for many decades, the Labour Party complained about a fair


funding settlement for Wales. I signed that deal just before


Christmas. They had complained about it for decades despite being in


power. Wales gets ?120 for every ?100 spent in England. We have


introduced the funding flow. Those issues don't exist in Northern


Ireland as they are. A devolution settlement and responsibilities are


very different as well. It is far too easy to try to make a simplistic


comparison when it is more complicated. Are you telling Theresa


May around the cabinet table, it would be unwise, Prime Minister, to


give something to Northern Ireland without the other nations getting


something as well? You could face a backlash. You say no? What takes


place in the cabinet remained private. But look at my record, the


new funding deal is in place but we also have city deals in Cardiff,


Swansea, we have a commitment for a north Wales growth deal, this is


money in addition to the new funding deal I negotiated and also the UK


share prosperity fund was central to our manifesto which commits to


bringing what is currently European money, that level of funding to all


parts of the UK. As the voice of Wales around the cabinet table,


would you be disappointed if Northern Ireland gets something


Wales doesn't? Wales already gets something Northern Ireland doesn't


get, one is this funding. The scale of ?120 compared to ?100. The city


deal also. As well as the north Wales growth deal. Let's look at


Brexit. Eight of the bills are big on Brexit. There is talk about power


is coming back from Brussels and Wales won't lose out. What exactly


are you saying. There currently are powers that exist in the European


Union and those powers will come back to the UK. It is a question of


where they sit. Our instinct is to devolve as much as we can. We also


need to provide certainty to business and we also need UK


frameworks because for example, unless we act, there is nothing to


stop anyone government, Wales or Scotland, hugely subsidising one


particular sector to undermine the sector that might exist elsewhere in


the UK. Therefore, we need to protect against that. The current


rules that exist in the European Union, we need a UK version of that


and of course, in delivering that, we will work closely with the Welsh


government, as I always do. Looking at agriculture, which is devolved,


you would presume everything goes straight to Cardiff, straight to


Edinburgh. The detail of the Queen's speech talks that national policies.


I presume you're talking UK wide here? Agriculture is rightly


devolved and that's where we stand. That operate in a framework the


European Union has set up so we need a framework we agree across all


parts of the UK so it prevents any one administration from hugely


subsidising one sector. Give us an example of what you mean could be


held at a UK level on agriculture. We have talked about replicating the


European powers at a UK level. Then, when we have got agreement for the


structure, we would anticipate devolving as much as we possibly can


out of what we call a holding pattern. This is what we talked


about in the white paper and credit to Mark Dry could, he said provided


it has been replicated, he is happy to work on that. Nothing Wales is


expecting to get back from Brussels will be held, stopgap, in


Westminster? Not until we have got the framework and everything agreed.


The most important thing for me is farmers and industry have certainty


in terms of how the laws work. We need to provide that certainty. The


European Union provides it as it stands but when we leave, we need to


protect the single market across the UK so that farmers in Wales can


trade and sell their goods in England and vice versa, but also, we


need international trade deals whereby exporters or manufacturers


in Wales can take those new opportunities leaving European Union


brings and that would take a trade agreement for which we will need at


framework across the UK. After the election and the result


you did not want will it be a softer Brexit? I do not accept soft or


hard, we want the right deal, the Labour Party manifesto and our


manifesto board said we will leave the membership, we will not be


members of the single market. Your party leader in Scotland, Ruth


Davidson, she wants membership of the single market back on the


agenda, is she right, will you join her in pushing for that? The Labour


Party manifesto and the Conservative manifesto both talk about not being


members of the single market but we want access... So is Ruth Davis


wrong? Let's focus on the outcomes, I want someone who makes any sort of


gadget in Wales to have the right and the opportunity to sell it in


Europe in a similar way to the do now. What does access to it mean? Do


you want to be in the single market? That is what lots of conservatives


are pushing for now. We want to be able to sell and trade freely across


the single market. The most frictionless way possible as we can


with the European Union and the Welsh government collet unfettered.


These are one and the same thing, it shows there are a a lot of common


ground across the Labour Party and Conservative Party, the two largest


parties in parliament and I believe that basis through constructive


joint working, looking for the right outcomes for businesses and on that


basis we will do the right thing for the Wales and the UK economy. The


Queen said the priority will be building a more united country, what


does that mean? It goes back to a country that works for everyone. We


remember when the Prime Minister stood on the steps of Downing Street


a year ago, she spoke about the bond between Wales, England, Scotland and


Northern Ireland and she understands the importance of the union. It's


really important to Wales, the skills of public money we receive,


all the advantages we get from being part of the fifth largest economy in


the world, and on that basis we want to ensure the most deprived parts,


West Wales and the ballet as it is currently classified by the EU, gets


the right level of support and that's why in our manifesto we


brought forward the UK Shared Prosperity Fund so that name means


the UK Government... So it's about redistributing wealth? Two it's much


more accommodated than that but it's about a country that is at ease with


itself... What does that mean? These are not the words obviously, but


what you mean about a more united country and talking specifically


about the geography? Are you rolling back on devolution? You are thinking


about process, we are thinking about culture, opportunities, it's about


bringing the country, there are quite obviously divisions we have


seen with these terrorist attacks of late, we want to ensure the country


is at ease with itself. But the Prime Minister Pittsburgh union of


the UK at the top of her agenda. She said it on her first day in Downing


Street and it's a common theme in our manifesto and it recognises that


four countries coming together are much greater as one unit than we are


when we are all acting and working in different directions with


different priorities. How long will Theresa May be Prime Minister do you


think? Well she absolutely has my support and the full support of the


parliamentary party. Last week when she spoke to all the Conservative


MPs I have never seen such support behind one Prime Minister as was


demonstrated... She is on fire, top up again, leading the country? The


support paramount, the disbursement of many journalists who were


expecting something different. There is important work to do, a plan in


the Queen 's speech... You had to ditch loads of things, this was not


the plan was it? Strong and stable, you are scrambling for a coalition


of chaos with the DUP, it's blown up in your face hasn't it? It's about


doing right thing for the country and doing the right thing to get the


right outcome. We continue to have a growing economy, when we have that


we can continue to grow the spending on public services on the public


sector in general, on reducing taxes, controlling immigration and


taking those new opportunities that leaving the... So she will lead you


into the next election? She has said she will lead us for as long as she


has the support of the MPs and the party members and at the moment she


has that support and I don't see that changing. Alun Cairns, thank


you very much. The Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns talking to me earlier.


Owen Smith is Labour's newly appointed Shadow Secretary of State


for Northern Ireland, the leader of Plaid


Cymru's Westminster group - Liz Saville-Roberts


and the Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Jenny Randerson.


I will start with you Owen Smith, what will be the Labour strategy,


will you just oppose everything for the sake of it? We never do that. If


the government put things on the table we think are worthwhile or


there are bills as some of today that we think are necessary we will


do our job which is to be loyal opposition scrutinising what the


government is doing and trying to keep them honest but we will remind


people of what they could have had. We will remind them what they could


have won. Queen 's speech today which is incredibly thin. There is


barely enough legislation you could argue other than the Brexit stuff to


them going. Do we need a bill for smart meters? For the space


industry? They were padding. We will point out the things which could


have been in there. All the things Labour would have done. This is a


government which has listened, ditched a lot of its manifesto after


the election, it has lessened, the triple lock on pensions is gone, the


means testing on winter fuel, it has listened. It has not lessened, it


has given into the political arithmetic. There is really no sign


that this government even now is achieving the humility it needs to


have in the face of that election debacle. They have given in to the


political arithmetic, the truth of the situation is they will not get


anything, even slightly controversial, through Parliament.


And also they are going to have to devote so much of the political time


in Westminster to the Brexit negotiations. We will come onto


those, but Liz Sabo Roberts what will be strategy of Plaid Cymru be?


Do you see this hand Parliament offering opportunities for Wales?


There have been opportunities in the past and I hope Plaid Cymru can play


a role again in the future to bring particular benefits for Wales.


Interesting Owen Smith now these Shadow Secretary of State for Health


Ireland, and what if we see the DUP asking for particular deals, how


does that play back to Wales and our block grant? But what we have seen


is a hollowed out shell of a government and what has remained of


the manifesto they dared to put in front of the public and that's one


of the most challenging times we face not only in terms of Brexit and


I would expect a far greater role to be played by the devolved


governments, we need to have more than the details. We need to play a


part for our devolved governments in the process and in the final


decisions. We have had some of the most terrible events in terms of


tragedies and terrorist attacks that our generation has experienced and


in all honesty there is nothing to deal with that. I would have


expected more to support the police and fundamental questions about


austerity. Let's look at Brexit, Owen you presumably you are pretty


close on the type of Brexit you would advocate, do you see this as


an opportunity to ditch party allegiances and form some sort of


consensus across the opposition parties to work together and push


for a softer Brexit? Yes I think it's an opportunity for all of us in


the House of Commons including those on the Tory side and in Northern


Ireland who want to see a Brexit that will not damage our economy.


Who want to make sure we stay as close to being in the single market


as we possibly can, that we have got a customs union we can deal with.


Can I press you on that, you say as close as possible to the single


market, more than 30 MPs from your own party are pushing a letter today


for a commitment from Jeremy Corbyn to push to remain in the single


market. I share that view, I think the outcome which would be best


would effectively be for us to be in the single market. Is he listening


to you, you're on the front bench now. I will come back, I have been


in Northern Ireland this week but I will tell him at the moment I do not


see a solution which will be politically acceptable and


acceptable in terms of maintaining the peace process in Northern


Ireland that does not leave us with a soft border between North and


South or a border between Great Britain and Northern Ireland that is


going to be pretty much as it is right now. Do you think the Labour


position is strong enough on Brexit and clear enough? You are on the


front bench now, you can tell him. We


I think the real missed opportunity of this in respect of Brexit is to


lay out more detail... This is a real cause of concern, we have Owen


Smith talking about being the opposition but there is no


consistent from the Labour Party as to what their approach to Brexit


would be. If we can come back to Wales, we have been advocating


membership of the single market, the customs union but this isn't just


us, business voices are saying mess, agriculture are seeing less, we need


to have this consistent voice for Wales because Wales will suffer


otherwise. The people of Wales and the UK said a very clear no to your


position on Brexit, they do not want a second referendum, you have lost


the battle and are out of touch as a party. We are certainly not in a


position having lost the battle on Brexit. We are just starting on the


process of negotiation. There are a lot of skirmishes to come and I can


tell you that the Liberal Democrats will be working every day to make


sure that Britain remains within the single market and that we have the


sort of Brexit that is acceptable to the people of Britain and will not


make Wales border. What do you say to the people of Wales who want a


hard Brexit? Those who voted out do not want a soft Brexit so what do


you say to them? Of course there are people who want a hard Brexit but


40% of people one year ago did not want Brexit at all, wanted to


remain. Where the government has gone badly wrong I think is not


recognising that the 52% who voted to leave did not have one single


clear idea, there was no recipe on the ballot paper for what sort of


Brexit we would have. In the recent election what was clear from the


public view is more and more people are saying I did not realise it was


going to be so complicated. You ain't seen nothing yet. One of our


roles will be to work with other parties in order to get the very


best deal for Wales and the UK. Livestock about the potential deal


with the DUP. You have been over there today Owen, what could be the


potential impact of a deal like that, not on UK politics but on


politics in Northern Ireland and also the knock-on effect as


suggested for Wales? It's not just in Wales we need is strong and


stable government, are Westminster, we need one in Northern Ireland and


the worst of all deal with the one which led to in any way inhibiting


the peace process in Northern Ireland. That cannot be allowed to


happen. Do you think a deal with the DUP in Westminster scuppers the


rebirth of the assembly in Belfast? I do not think that, I think it's


possible deal can be done between the DUP and the Tories in


Westminster and the Stormont assembly and executive could be


restored in Northern Ireland. But there is a danger that it is


perceived as damaging the impartiality of the government, that


it inhibits talks between the parties and it is perceived to be an


fair. Is also a danger that any deal needs to be extended to other parts


of the UK including Wales and I would agree about that, we need to


be careful to scrutinise the government. If there was a deal for


?2 billion extra for Northern Ireland as is being discussed you


would expect parity for Wales but anything less is not good enough? I


think we should look at how the nations are financed as it stands


but of course parity with Northern Island and the other big


infrastructure we have seen in England we have not seen in Wales.


We should make Wales position as strong as possible with some aspects


of the bills mentioned today, agriculture and fisheries, are these


taking back powers from our devolved governments and what are the


implications going to be? One of the really important things picking up


on that last point is we make sure the repatriations of powers from the


EU is not a central government power grab. We need to be devolving powers


to Wales, we need to use the Brexit process as a way of getting more


power for the Welsh government and the Welsh assembly. You all say you


are disappointed with this Queen 's speech, do you really want to bring


this government down, do you really want another general election? Yes,


I want a Labour government. Jeremy Corbyn, you have kissed and made up?


Chemmy definitely. I want to see on Northern Ireland, we have to be


conscious of the fact that the politics of Westminster cannot


inhibit the peace process. Talking about parity between the treatment


Northern Ireland gets in other parts of the UK is not what we have done


in the past and we need to be careful that Northern Ireland is a


special case. Back to Jeremy Corbyn who you tried to prevent from being


leader, you are clearly big friends and you want him to be Prime


Minister now, you want the election tomorrow? I want a Labour government


and Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister, if they can have that tomorrow I


will be a happy man. Are you up for another election now? I think if we


went on the street nobody would be looking for another election but I


am concerned that both of the Unionist parties have no clear


vision of what is best for Wales which is the Buddhist area in the


UK. Would you rather Jeremy Corbyn or Theresa May? I have little faith


in either. Our job as Plaid Cymru is to get the best deal for Wales. You


would rather the Tories and Labour? I want the best deal for Wales. Who


would you prefer? The Labour Party is doing a lot of shape shifting, it


is not clear on the Brexit it once so one of our aims will be to make


sure we get the very best possible outcome on the European issue.


Finally in a word, how long will Theresa May be Prime Minister? As


long as she can keep her party with her but I don't think it will be all


that long. I think it will be longer than people are hoping. No idea but


one thing recent events have showed me is to expect the unexpected.


Thank you for joining us. If you'd like to get in touch


on social media the hashtag is The Wales Report,


or you can email


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