21/06/2017 The Wales Report


21/06/2017

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

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delivered her speech outlining the Government's plans

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

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

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

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The Queen has been coming here to deliver the annual programme

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

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different this time - a car rather than a carriage,

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no horses and day dress rather than robes.

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

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

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

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governments without a majority have to compromise.

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

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You can join in the discussion tonight online - the hashtag

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

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

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I've spent the afternoon outside Parliament gathering opinions after

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speech. These are the strangest of times.

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

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

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

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

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working with Parliament, the devolved administrations, business

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

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future outside the European Union. But if negotiations with Brussels

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

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

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

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

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

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pole position in cabinet and receive parliamentary arithmetic that is

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

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interesting and big way. The Conservative Party was the most

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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continues between Downing Street and the Democratic Unionists, does this

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hung Parliament offer new opportunities for Wales? It is now

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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has to get through two years Parliament with Brexit on the

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

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

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

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

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

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predicting huge thunderstorms in Westminster and throughout the UK.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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specifically. Looking at the Labour Party manifesto and the Conservative

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

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

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

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

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

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because a a government gives something to the DUP and Northern

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

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

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

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

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

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

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funding settlement for Wales. I signed that deal just before

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

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

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

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Ireland as they are. A devolution settlement and responsibilities are

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

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comparison when it is more complicated. Are you telling Theresa

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

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give something to Northern Ireland without the other nations getting

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

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

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

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

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

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share prosperity fund was central to our manifesto which commits to

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

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

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would you be disappointed if Northern Ireland gets something

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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need to provide certainty to business and we also need UK

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

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stop anyone government, Wales or Scotland, hugely subsidising one

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particular sector to undermine the sector that might exist elsewhere in

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

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

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

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

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you would presume everything goes straight to Cardiff, straight to

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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need international trade deals whereby exporters or manufacturers

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in Wales can take those new opportunities leaving European Union

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

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framework across the UK. After the election and the result

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Party manifesto and the Conservative manifesto both talk about not being

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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with the European Union and the Welsh government collet unfettered.

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

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

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parties in parliament and I believe that basis through constructive

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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brought forward the UK Shared Prosperity Fund so that name means

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

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

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

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what you mean about a more united country and talking specifically

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

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

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bringing the country, there are quite obviously divisions we have

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

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

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

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

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

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when we are all acting and working in different directions with

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

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

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

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

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

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support paramount, the disbursement of many journalists who were

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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sector in general, on reducing taxes, controlling immigration and

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

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

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

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

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

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

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for Northern Ireland, the leader of Plaid

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Cymru's Westminster group - Liz Saville-Roberts

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and the Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Jenny Randerson.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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anything, even slightly controversial, through Parliament.

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

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in Westminster to the Brexit negotiations. We will come onto

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

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Do you see this hand Parliament offering opportunities for Wales?

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

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

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Interesting Owen Smith now these Shadow Secretary of State for Health

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

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

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

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

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

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

:19:59.:20:02.

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

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

:20:07.:20:10.

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

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tragedies and terrorist attacks that our generation has experienced and

:20:16.:20:18.

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

:20:19.:20:22.

expected more to support the police and fundamental questions about

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

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

:20:33.:20:36.

an opportunity to ditch party allegiances and form some sort of

:20:37.:20:40.

consensus across the opposition parties to work together and push

:20:41.:20:45.

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

:20:46.:20:49.

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

:20:50.:20:52.

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

:20:53.:20:56.

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

:20:57.:21:01.

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

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

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

:21:12.:21:15.

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

:21:16.:21:21.

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

:21:22.:21:25.

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

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

:21:29.:21:34.

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

:21:35.:21:39.

see a solution which will be politically acceptable and

:21:40.:21:42.

acceptable in terms of maintaining the peace process in Northern

:21:43.:21:45.

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

:21:46.:21:51.

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

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

:21:55.:22:00.

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

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front bench now, you can tell him. We

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

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

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Smith talking about being the opposition but there is no

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

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

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

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

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to have this consistent voice for Wales because Wales will suffer

:22:44.:22:49.

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

:22:50.:22:54.

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

:22:55.:22:58.

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

:22:59.:23:01.

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

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

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

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

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

:23:27.:23:30.

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

:23:31.:23:35.

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

:23:36.:23:41.

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

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

:23:47.:23:51.

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

:23:52.:23:56.

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

:23:57.:24:05.

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

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

:24:10.:24:14.

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

:24:15.:24:19.

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

:24:20.:24:24.

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

:24:25.:24:30.

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

:24:31.:24:35.

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

:24:36.:24:41.

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

:24:42.:24:45.

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

:24:46.:24:49.

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

:24:50.:24:54.

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

:24:55.:24:58.

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

:24:59.:25:03.

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

:25:04.:25:09.

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

:25:10.:25:13.

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

:25:14.:25:18.

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

:25:19.:25:21.

Westminster and the Stormont assembly and executive could be

:25:22.:25:25.

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

:25:26.:25:29.

perceived as damaging the impartiality of the government, that

:25:30.:25:32.

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

:25:33.:25:45.

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

:25:46.:25:48.

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

:25:49.:25:50.

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

:25:51.:25:53.

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

:25:54.:25:55.

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

:25:56.:26:02.

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

:26:03.:26:05.

but of course parity with Northern Island and the other big

:26:06.:26:10.

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

:26:11.:26:15.

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

:26:16.:26:19.

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

:26:20.:26:23.

taking back powers from our devolved governments and what are the

:26:24.:26:27.

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

:26:28.:26:32.

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

:26:33.:26:37.

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

:26:38.:26:44.

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

:26:45.:26:47.

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

:26:48.:26:53.

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

:26:54.:26:57.

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

:26:58.:27:03.

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

:27:04.:27:11.

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

:27:12.:27:16.

conscious of the fact that the politics of Westminster cannot

:27:17.:27:19.

inhibit the peace process. Talking about parity between the treatment

:27:20.:27:23.

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

:27:24.:27:27.

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

:27:28.:27:32.

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

:27:33.:27:36.

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

:27:37.:27:41.

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

:27:42.:27:45.

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

:27:46.:27:51.

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

:27:52.:27:56.

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

:27:57.:27:59.

am concerned that both of the Unionist parties have no clear

:28:00.:28:02.

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

:28:03.:28:08.

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

:28:09.:28:16.

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

:28:17.:28:23.

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

:28:24.:28:29.

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

:28:30.:28:37.

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

:28:38.:28:41.

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

:28:42.:28:47.

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

:28:48.:28:54.

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

:28:55.:28:58.

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

:28:59.:29:04.

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

:29:05.:29:07.

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

:29:08.:29:10.

on social media the hashtag is The Wales Report,

:29:11.:29:13.

or you can email

:29:14.:29:16.

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