17/05/2017 Politics Scotland

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Coverage of some of the day's debates in the Scottish Parliament.

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Hello and welcome to Politics Scotland.


On today's programme, we'll be bringing you the latest


And the price of fish - after years of wrangling


between fishermen and Brussels, stocks are finally


But will the fishery be sustainable after Brexit?


With me throughout the programme today is political


And joining us both for the top of the programme, having


deserted his usual weather-beaten spot on College Green for the warmth


and dry of the studio, is our Westminster correspondent


I think a lot of people are thinking, when is this campaign


going to kick off? We are waiting for the manifesto, and then three or


four start coming along all at once. We are getting them in quick


succession. Labour yesterday, the Liberal Democrats today. The


Conservatives tomorrow. And then we will get the Scottish ones as well


and we will really find out what the parties are planning and what


they're trying to sell to the electorate. Everyone says this


election is about Brexit, but in what meaningful sense is it about


Brexit? I think it is about Brexit if your south of the border. Up here


it has obviously got a very different feel to it. It is a


referendum on a second independence referendum. But even in England, do


you think it really is about Brexit? I think it is, and about who the


voters think is best going to be positioned to achieve that. I think,


when you talk to the poor south of the border, they say, we may not


have voted for Brexit but we now accept that it is going to happen,


and they are then now looking for who they think is the best person to


deliver that. Now, the Conservatives are very much trying to frame that


as a Brexit election, whereby also they asked the question, who is


going to be the best leader, potentially Theresa May or Jeremy


Corbyn? Jimmy Corbyn and the Labour Party are trying to frame it on, it


is more than that, it is about the type of United Kingdom that you want


a mother rolled you want for the state... Well, it is a little bit


about Brexit, but not very much, from Labour's point of view? From


Labour's point of view, they want to keep it off Brexit as they do not


see that as a strong point. Brexit is an issue which divides the Labour


Party, certainly in England. You only have to look at the number of


people who left Labour to go to Ukip, and if the local elections are


to be believed, those Ukip voters are now not going back to Labour,


they are going to the Conservatives. That is a problem for Labour, they


like to keep away from Brexit. And what is going to give this a


much-needed kick to get it going? We could do with a fantastic gaffe or


something like that, where a politician goes off message will get


into a row with a constituent. But what you are finding now is, the


campaigns, as they go on, more and more they are trying to be


controlled. Very rarely are the politicians getting out as they used


to, on the stump, to speak to voters. That just doesn't happen, it


is all far more controlled. Is that true with Jeremy Corbyn as well as


Theresa May? Well, Corbyn is tending to go to areas where he is


surrounded by core supporters. Very red Leeward usage Jeremy Corbyn on a


street where you might find people who would not like him. So, in that


respect, it is being controlled. -- very rarely would you find Jeremy


Corbyn... His own supporters are very impressed with him, but his


visits are not completely open, in the old-fashioned sense of the


world. Gerry, in Scotland, Behrami have the SNP as well, which is


different, but are they going to have anything interesting? To me,


general elections there is like World Cups. If you take that


analogy, it is a competition which has not yet begun. As David is


saying, the politicians are in a bubble, we do not have that lady


having that conversation with Gordon Brown, or in 2001, when John


Prescott thumped voter. We need something, if not that kind of


magnitude, something which cuts through. People watch elections,


they see images passing them on the TV screen, they see the beginning of


the news and the end of the news... I was going to say, is it about


impressions, rather than...? David, for example, Diane Abbott's now


famous interview, I'm not sure it's famous because people go and watch


the interview, or is it just that it sticks, it gives the general


impression that Labour don't know what they're talking about? Because


it was out of the ordinary. Normally, when politicians go on the


media, they know they will get questions about the policy, how much


is it going to cost, is it going to be deliverable? They should be


prepped on those questions and they should be able to answer them. When


you get a politician who comes on the programme and says, actually,


it's going to be ?30 a year, and then has a couple of goes, and keeps


getting it wrong, it is the type of thing which people are going to


remember. But I think you're right... In a broad brush? Yes, it


feeds into the oppression that this politician may or may not know what


they're talking about. It might reinforce people's impressions. Dr


Gerry Hassan, we will be speaking to you more in a moment. But first...


In recent years, the North Sea's fish bounty has been


After the boom years of the '60s and early '70s,


stocks declined to critical levels in many species.


Not any more - cod catches are at levels many younger skippers


have never seen before, and there has been a dramatic


It's come after years of bitter wrangling between the EU


and fishermen over quotas and fish discards.


However, the recovery certainly suggests the EU fisheries


policy has been a success, but there are now fears


about the continued sustainability of the fishery after Brexit.


Well, I'm joined now on the phone from Shetland by Simon Collins


from the Scottish Fishermen's Association.


Simon Collins, there are some fears that once the Common Fisheries


Policy is taken away, there could be something of a free for all? That's


right. What the fishing industry here wants is control over our


waters, and to manage them. The reaction might be, it's going to be


these guys grabbing all they can, free from EU. That however is


completely wrong. From where I'm sitting in Shetland, for example, a


fisheries dependent community, our future depends on healthy fisheries.


Have no choice but to be responsible, and we intend to be


that. And that is true for the whole of the Scottish industry. Just to be


clear, it is quite complicated area, even after Brexit, there will have


to be some agreement, treaty or something, between Britain and not


just EU countries but all other countries, including countries like


Norway, to regulate what happens in the North Sea? Absolutely. And it is


critical that those decisions, how much can be taken out, are based on


science. That will not change. There will not be one more fish taken out


of the sea than there is at the moment. What we hope with Brexit is


that we will be in a position to obtain a fairer share of that


sustainable catch. That is the issue. So there will still be some


kind of international treaty, it is just that you hope the share which


goes to the UK stroke Scotland is bigger. Now, there's all of this


talk about the powers over fisheries being devolved to Scotland or not.


What is your perspective on that, do you want all the powers devolved to


Scotland or are there matters which have to be in the hands of the


British Government? Something is constitutionally have to be by the


way things are negotiated internationally. One would hope


however that the Scottish and UK governments would organise


themselves before any such talks to make sure that the right negotiating


points are understood by all different parts of the UK. When the


guys are out at sea, looking at very productive fisheries, they want it


to work. Constitutional arrangements at UK level and Scottish level are a


long way away, they are looking at the result, and that result is their


quotas and sustainable fishing. There are a lot of people who think


the best way of running fisheries is when they're soft controlled and the


fishermen themselves have a stake in fishing sustainably, even if it


means they have to forego catches in the short to medium-term. Is it any


more likely that you could get a locally managed system like that


after Brexit than it was before? Yes, it is, absolutely. One of the


big problems of the Common Fisheries Policy was the inability to direct


things from a regional perspective, or a Scottish perspective, and it


was very blunt, for that reason. We would absolutely look for management


decisions to be closer to the fishing grounds, with input from


those who are seeing what is happening on the ground every single


day. Simon Collins, thank you very much for that. It is one of these


hugely complicated areas, fisheries, Gerry, but if you seems to be, from


the little I know, that the more local management you have, the


better. So you can see why it is odd, it is perhaps one of the few


communities in Scotland where there was big support for leaving the EU?


Definitely, an Aberdeen university study found around 90% of fishermen


is trusting the Common Fisheries Policy. But you can see, in some


sense, it has delivered, because stocks are rising in the North Sea


with all sorts of fish. There is this issue of sustainability, not


just for the fish but for the communities. An awful lot of those


jobs are very, very low-paid jobs, jobs which require all sorts of


benefits and a high percentage of those jobs are also not British. 28%


of all fishing jobs are not a British-born. It is the people who


come to Scotland, on low wages. So there is lots of ways in which we


need to think about fishing differently. The worry would be a


free-for-all, as Simon acknowledged, that the point is that once the CFP


goes, everyone's got an interesting grabbing as much as they can. And


there are going to be disputes over whether Britain has a 200-mile


limit, whether even if it is accepted that it has, that should


stop other countries coming into fish within it, and what Britain is


going to do about it if they do. All of this will have to be resolved. .


That's right. As you were saying in the package, the Scottish input,


which has been very small until now. Nearly all the fish that we fish by


our seas and our coastlines, 80% of it we export elsewhere. The fish we


eat has got very little relationship with that, we import 70% of that. So


we need to think of ways not only do we fish more locally, but the way we


consume as well. Well, it's time now


to cross live to Holyrood for the Scottish Conservative-led


debate on the fisheries. Backed by the United Nations


Convention. This does mean that foreign boats will never fish our


waters against, but it does mean that they will fish under our rules


and regulation is and that we will be in control, and that is a huge


prize. That is a sea of opportunity our fishermen welcome. At the


moment, 62% of the fish caught in UK waters are caught by foreign


vessels. In comparison are boats only catch


fish worth a mere ?100 million. Between 2012 and 2014 EU boats


caught half the commercial fish, two thirds of the pelagic fish and


almost all of the industrial fish in our exclusive zone. Nobody can argue


this is fair. The other strand of the disaster story that the SNP try


to spin is that we will lose the EU market for fish. Yes the EU market


is important and we want to keep it, but I have spoken with numerous fish


processors who are very relaxed about keeping their markets. They


argue quite rightly that are fish are in great demand in Europe,


buyers are queueing up to get the top fish we supply and is often


unavailable elsewhere. It's also a fact that our stands in the Brexit


negotiations is to get a comprehensive free trade deal so why


should we get such a deal given a free trade deal is as much to the


European benefit as ours? I will finish with a quote from Iceland's


Minister for fisheries, Iceland applied to join the EU in 2009 but


withdrew their application in 2015 mainly because they would have to


join the CFB and did not like what they saw. In June 2016, there are


fisheries minister said, "I would never join the EU, there is a life


outside it as we have proven. We have one of the biggest and


strongest fisheries in the world that is sustainable without any


subsidies from the state. We don't have two share this decision-making


with anyone else. It would be difficult for Icelanders to control


the economic and fisheries sector is having to discuss it with 27 or 28


other countries". Residing officer, that is the kind of future which


awaits our fishing industry once we leave the outdated, bureaucratic and


unreformable European Common fisheries policy and I for one


welcome that future and move this motion in my name. Thank you. I


don't like banging on desks. So we can just stop doing that.


When we joined the EU Scottish office paper was written, this


Scottish office paper remained hidden, it remained hidden for 30


years. Under the UK official secrets act. What that paper said was, and I


quote" in the wider UK context they, the fishermen, must be regarded as


expendable". This was first quoted in Parliament in Westminster by Alex


Salmond in 2001. And I am quoting from hand Sade. I will give way in a


moment once I make my point. That was the true view of the UK


Government at that time. That the interests of Scotland's fishermen


wear expendable and indeed it was never intended that that real view


would be made public because it was an official secret document and it


only became public 30 years... I will give way to Mr Chapman but will


he apologise now under half of the Scottish Tories for that betrayal


when we were taken into the EU? Peter Chapman? We hear about


something that happened 47 years ago and it wasn't even a government


minister that said that. It was far more effective to look at what is


going on just now, the letter from Andrea Leadsom right now says we


will take back control of our waters to 200 miles, that is much more


significant than quoting something from 47 years ago said by a junior


official. Cabinet secretary? Presiding officer I will move on to


what happened after that, let's move forward shall we? And let's move


into the 80s when under Margaret Thatcher... Excuse me, set down a


minute secretary, I have people be quiet for Mr Chapman and people will


be quiet for the Cabinet Secretary and they do not want to hear banging


on desks, you can applaud if you wish, that is much more reasonable.


They can bang on the desk but they cannot undo history and do not have


the guts to apologise for something they must know that was wrong,


that's the interesting thing. But let's move forward and write a bit


of rudimentary education. Under Margaret Thatcher in the 80s the UK


Government signed us up, signed us up to the original doomed Common


fisheries policy. It use your heroine that took us into the Common


fisheries policy. If she is not your heroine let me know... She is? OK,


we have got that clear. That was the first thing. Then in the history


lesson, John Major's Tories signed us up to a revised CFB in the 1990s.


What was at the heart of that? Scrapping vessels and the decimation


of livelihoods. Destroying the economy and well-being in many of


our coastal communities. This is fact and this is why feeling is so


strong about the CFP, it is what has been happening for decades. Was Mrs


Thatcher wrong when she took us in and was John Major wrong when he


took us into a revised policy? It another chance to apologise, a


second opportunity. You are making the point very well that we want to


be out of the CFP, it is the SNP that want to keep us in there.


APPLAUSE Cabinet secretary?


Well, I'm afraid time waits for no man -


or fish, for that matter, and we have to leave


Now, amid all the general election hoo-haa, you'd be forgiven


The results left many Scottish councils without any party winning


enough seats for a majority, so almost immediately,


the wheeler-dealing to form coalitions got underway.


Joining us now is our local government


We might not have any exciting general election news but you have


exciting local authority news? Quite a saga unfolding in Aberdeen,


basically a deal between Labour and the Conservatives was announced but


there was a problem with it to put it mildly, basically the Labour


National Executive Committee said no deal and essentially, if the Labour


councillors involved... The Scottish executive of the Labour Party has


basically said no deal. The Labour councillors in Aberdeen have gone


ahead anyway and if they do not pull out by 5pm this afternoon they could


face suspension from the party. A fascinating scenario there with the


Labour Party, one that if the deal in Aberdeen goes ahead it could beg


questions of the authority of the party leader Kezia Dugdale. This is


one of these that you could not make up so let's go through it slowly.


Are you saying that when Labour agreed to do the deal with the


Tories in Aberdeen they knew the Scottish executive were saying we


should not do it? Certainly it would have been a surprise if they didn't


factor that into the equation. Before the council elections Labour


did not give a 100% no deals with the Tories line in the way the SNP


did but they did talk down the possibility of deals with the


Tories. Kezia Dugdale would talk about how their councillors would


fight austerity and find it difficult in a practical sense to do


deals with the Conservatives and made that point about how the


National Executive Committee would not agree to any deals... They are


told in no uncertain terms no deal and they have to pull out of it by


5pm this evening? Yes. And what happens if they don't? Two possible


scenarios, they don't pull out, the councillors might be suspended by


the party but could continue as independents. The interment of is


that hours after the deal was formed it falls apart -- the alternative is


that hours after the deal was formed it falls apart and it is the SNP for


the single largest party on the council and they would be put into


opposition. I would repeat that you cannot make this up. I think there


was a TV series based on this, deal or no deal? You have this issue


about how do you do deals when parties have said such profound


things about each other. You have the local factors and the wider


political traction of how it plays in the country. Do you think


Labour's newly discovered ban on coalitions with the Conservatives


might soft and somewhat after the general election or am I being


cynical? I think you are facing a wider political picture where you


think how anti-Tory Scotland is is slowly weakening related to the


rising number of Scots that vote Tory. If the Tories do well in the


popular vote may be the SNP narrative will continue ad nauseam


but it delivers less political traction and there is a way in which


Labour and the Lib Dems, some element of soft coalescing at least


in terms of votes with the Tories. Great drama in Aberdeen, elsewhere,


Angus has seen a deal which keeps the SNP out? Indeed, an SNP majority


counsel not so long ago but this deal keeps the SNP out, independents


and Conservatives leading the administration there. It's all a bit


swings and roundabouts, in south Ayrshire of the Conservatives are


the largest party but the local deal keeps them out of power. We are


expecting to hear words from a couple more powers... So who is in


power in South Ayrshire? The SNP of the top of my head leading the


administration. With Labour? Off the top of my head I think it's SNP and


Labour that are forming the new administration in South Ayrshire but


that's still to be absolutely confirmed but it was a possible deal


announced last week. Later this afternoon we should get news from


North Ayrshire which is interesting, the SNP and Labour with an identical


number of councillors and it would be hard to form an administration


without at the very least tacit support from the Conservatives,


maybe not ideal but at least that tacit support where they would be


happy to see one of those parties in a minority administration. Thank you


so much for all of that, very exciting and interesting.


It's time to cross over to Holyrood now for our live line-up of lovelies


They are SNP's Richard Lochhead, Liam Kerr from the Conservatives,


James Kelly from Labour, Mark Ruskell from the Greens


and Tavish Scott from the Liberal Democrats.


James Kelly, Labour seem to be producing the new story this


afternoon, what happens to your councillors in Aberdeen if they do


not obey you by 5pm? Going back to the local elections, Labour


candidates stood on a programme of opposing cuts and making sure the


local communities were not adversely affected by council budgets. So that


underpins any discussions that Labour groups are involved in


throughout the country and we have made it absolutely clear that the


deal proposed involving Conservatives in Aberdeen was not


acceptable because it was going to introduce more austerity and


therefore if that deal goes ahead we will take disciplinary action


against those councillors. Which means what? It means they will be


suspended from the Labour Party so their membership will be suspended


and therefore the need to take serious consideration of the


decisions they are about to take and also the programmes they stood on


and were elected on. We want councillors elected to stand up for


communities and oppose Tory and SNP cuts. Are you saying there is no


blanket ban on Labour doing deals with the Tories in particular


councils it's just that this individual deal you thought was


objectionable? We are saying we set out a process two days after the


local elections that any discussions the Labour groups took part in, if


they come up with a proposal it had to be examined by the executive


committee and the key criteria was did it stop austerity? Did it


benefit working families? I just want to get this clear, your policy


is no cuts, not now Tories? It is down to how it will affect working


families in their communities, not the political parties, people.


That's been made clear. Richard Lochhead what do you make of this,


the largest party in Aberdeen haven't you?


Listening to that, it sounds like a sketch. Firstly, I find it


absolutely astonishing that the Labour Party would be prepared to go


into coalition with the Conservatives in any part of


Scotland. I think that would go down like a lead balloon with the people


of Aberdeen. And what will also go down badly will the people would be


the biggest party, the SNP, getting frozen out of these negotiations by


the Labour Party. What is so good about on cello that you would


happily go into a coalition with him in a local authority but you would


not with the chap standing next to you? Well, no offence to Liam Kerr,


but the Tories are toxic in Scotland, they support austerity,


they have some really obnoxious social policies... They are


pro-austerity, we have had policies like the rape clause... Excuse me,


you spent years saying Labour were pro-posterity, so what is so bad


about the Tories? The Tory party is like a reinvented Ukip at the


moment, lurching to the right, and we don't want heading to do with


helping them get their hands on budgets and councils across


Scotland. I don't understand what any of that means. Explain in one


sentence why it is all right for the SNP to go into coalition with


Labour, but somehow it is toxic, to use your word, to do it with the


Conservatives? You are supposed to be opposed to both of them, what is


the difference? Councils do need administrations, that's why there


are negotiations going on across Scotland. But you have just said you


would not go into coalition with the fellow next to you, but you would


with James Kelly - why? Our position is that going in with the


Conservatives is a step too far, the idea of allowing you increasingly


right-wing Conservative Party get their hands on power is a step too


far. Are you happy to with anybody, James Kelly? First of all colour


this idea that in some way the Conservative Party are toxic, given


that we have just come off the back of council elections in which a


significant number of the Scottish population have said, as do we


rather like what the Conservatives are doing. How much disrespect can


Richard Lochhead, with respect, show to the Scottish electorate? Sorry to


interrupt you, he can show exactly the same amount of this respect as


he points out you are showing his councillors in Aberdeen by freezing


them out of power, despite the fact is more of them than either you or


Labour? No, I think what is most important when we are looking at


Aberdeen is to look at the chaos that Labour are visiting upon


themselves, with on the one hand their Scottish National Party, the


national party of Scotland, Labour saying, you can't do this, we're


going to suspend our entire counsellor base. The councillors in


Aberdeen, looking at the calibre of the Scottish Conservatives who have


been elected to the council, saying, yes, that is a good deal, we want to


be part of that. And frankly, on what is happening at a national


level, the voters are going to the polls in a few weeks to talk about


whether Jeremy Corbyn should be leading this country. Frankly, on


the evidence which Labour put forward now, that has to be no. I


want to speak to the other two, but first, a quick answer from you -


why'd you you more than the Tories? Because you would be quite happy to


do deals with the SNP, what is so great about Richard Lochhead? I made


it absolutely clear in my earlier answer, Gordon, it is to do with the


programmes that are proposed. South Ayrshire, the SNP have got a


brilliant programme, so are you prepared to go in? We are opposed to


any programmes that have cuts at the centre of it or are going to have an


adverse effect on families, and our executive committee will examine the


detail of any programme before approving any deals. So, it sounds


like Ayrshire, you're happy to go into coalition with a party which


you say acts as, what is the phrase, and yet escalator for Tory cuts, is


that your phrase you have used for the SNP? I reiterate, Gordon, any


programme, a programme of proposing cuts... Any programme... Tavish


Scott, where are the Liberal Democrats in all of this, are there


any places where you think you can actually have a hand in this?


Firstly, can I apologise for introducing the single transferable


vote all those years ago, and ending the thing which you must want more,


Gordon, then anything else, first-past-the-post, so that we can


have clarity in these local elections! It is a good thing that


these political parties have to confront the verdict of the


electorate and work out what the electorate said, and then they have


to come to an agreement, or as we have just seen, not, about... The


problem was they didn't like your party very much, so are you in a


position to negotiate any of these deals? You're right, I am not


because I am an NSP. I think it a really important principle. My


national executive would not get involved in it taking to my local


councillors what they should do at local level. 1.I agree with James on


is, in all of your analysis, there was nothing about policy, it was all


about deals between parties. James is right, this should be about


policies at the local level. That is what the Liberal Democrats will be


talking about. If you were in a position to do deals with other


parties, you wouldn't rule out doing a deal with anyone, Tories, SNP,


anyone, it would be, as James Kelly says, about the contents of the


deal? Just as we discussed properly with the SNP government here in


Edinburgh about the budget, we will do that at a local level, where


people have said, do that. I think that is the responsible way we


should proceed in politics and I think it is what other parties


should be doing fuzzy Mark Ruskell, you are not in a position, either,


to be influential in these discussions, are you? Well, we are


in some. We have big council groups in Edinburgh and Glasgow. I think


there are still discussions which are under way. But I think the


really sad thing... Still discussions taking place, a lot of


councils are having their first inaugural meetings this week and we


will see what emerges from that. But the real tragedy of Scottish


politics, you have the SNP and Labour fighting each other in


council chambers across the country, where if they actually looked at the


policies and manifestos, they would realise there is a lot to bind them


together. I think progressive coalitions could start to emerge in


a lot of Scottish local authorities between SNP, Labour, possibly


Liberal Democrats, possibly Greens as well. Let's see what emerges in


the next week. Is there any prospect belay between vanishingly small and


small, of the Greens not doing a deal to be part of the Glasgow


administration? Well, I can't comment on that, that is down to our


counsellor group in Glasgow. That's where the decision-making has to


like fish but certainly, we don't need to look at formal coalitions to


get the job done. Greens have been in constructive negotiations with


the SNP at Holyrood to deliver 160 million for the local authorities,


that is with a group of six MSPs. We can do the same with the local


councils, being constructive in fighting for education and local


services through our influence. Let's change the subject, the


Liberal Democrats, to the great joy of the nation, have produced a


manifesto today. You are so cynical, Gordon, you really are, what is


wrong, be positive! I meant it literally! Your flagship see as


announced today is another referendum on the final terms of


Brexit, so we'll give you a chance to answer the question - why is it


vital to have another referendum on Brexit but absolutely forbidden to


have another referendum on independence? Because as you and


other broadcasters know, you interviewed Boris Johnson and many


other leading lights on the get out campaign, and they all said, we will


stay in the single market, we will stay in the Commons for economic


matters, we will stay very much part of everything which is important in


Europe, and the minute the thing was passed, it has all gone. Were told


we were going to see ?350 million a week ago where does that go now? I


get the argument. The argument actually matters here, Gordon. The


point is, the people did not know what they were voting for, and now


the Tories are saying something completely different. It is right


that the people of our country get the chance to vote on whatever comes


out of those negotiations in two or three years' time, because they


certainly did not know what they were voting for last year. The


argument would be slightly more impressive if it was not the case


that during the referendum campaign on independence, you and others


spent your entire time saying, Alex Salmond is profiting that we'll keep


the pound, he can't promise that, everyone in the UK Government is


saying, that's not possible, he can't be trusted, there's no clarity


in what the SNP are proposing, he says he can join the European Union,


look what Barroso is saying, there is no certainty... I don't really


see what the difference is? I think you do, don't Gordon, I think that


is a dancing on the head of the Pinotti mint. The point was, the


argument was that, we will be independent. You cannot compare that


in that bold sense with what we now have on Brexit. It is changing every


day, we have and yet active negotiation with 27 member states.


You cannot possibly compare the two. I am going to ask our cameraman or


woman to dance on the head of a pin and get right over to Richard


Lochhead so he can say why he agrees with you... Why do you agree with


him, Tavish Scott, is he right? I agree on some of the issues, in


terms of the false premise on which voted to leave Europe. But of course


in Scotland, 62% of Scots... But what about another referendum on


Brexit but not on independence? I do not agree with him on that point. If


you are a Democrat and a member of the Scottish Parliament, we believe


the people of Scotland should have the right to choose a different


future. Quick word on that, Liam Kerr? I find it rather patronising


to say that the British people didn't know what they were voting


for, when the British people voted to leave the EU. What we have to


focus on is getting the best deal for the UK and for the British


people. Those NHS posters? James Kelly, you agree with Liam Kerr on


that, don't you? I hope the... I hope you are not agreeing on that in


Aberdeenshire I hope that Richard Lochhead is saying that you can't


rerun the EU referendum, you know, and we would then accept the result


of the independence referendum from 2014 should be accepted, and we


don't need another one for a generation. Mark Ruskell, do you


want another European referendum? Well, I want a referendum which can


finally reconcile the 2014 and the 2016 votes. We are in a very


different place to last year. We have to bring these two questions


together, when we have understood the nature of the hard Brexit which


Theresa May is going to negotiate, and then we can finally put that


question to the people. Let's pull back on the shot. This is what the


viewers have been waiting for. Fantastic! Thank you all very much


indigenous we can get some final thoughts from Dr Gerry Hassan now.


This Aberdeen business is a bit strange? I think what he was saying


was that basically, the local Labour groups do not have discretion to


make deals, they have to be approved by the central organs of Labour,


which is quite a bit of micromanagement. It is also a bit


ambiguous, isn't it? If the argument is that the problem is not the


Tories, tell me if I am getting it wrong, he seemed to be saying that


it is not a blanket ban on Tories, it is that this particular deal


would mean more cuts in Aberdeen. Yes. So, does that mean in South


Ayrshire, where they have done the deal with the SNP, there would be no


cuts in South Ayrshire? That was the logic of what he was saying. When


you take the bigger picture, in terms of local government


contraction and contraction in public spending, how you manage to


make less cuts or in a wider environment is difficult to see. It


is impossible. You've got a little bit of flexibility with the council


charge... That's right. But the local authorities cannot themselves


stop the cuts, can they? And so you get the mantra of austerity. But


voters do not really understand what it means. Toxic Tories, when 25% of


Scots voted two weeks ago Tory, about 7% less than the SNP. That


kind of rhetoric is not really cut through. I think it is what Tavish


Scott was suggesting, when you have the electoral system which gives you


the result of all these parties being political minorities, they


then have to active in a bit more of a grown-up way than they sometimes


otherwise would. When there is a general election? You have got


campaigning on top of that, which means... Do you not think it might


be a good idea to have a new rule, just for now, let's just forget


about coalitions and local authorities until after the general


election, and then maybe everyone can sit down and talk sensibly? Yes,


because they are in campaigning mode. That Aberdeen issue will be


used for national political capital, that's just the nature of politics.


After the 8th of June, there might be a bit more realism coming into


town halls. Do you think the general election campaign is going to get as


exciting as Aberdeen council or is that too high a standard? I think we


can hope for that hydrogen we have a problem in the general election


campaign, everyone has basically already assumed the result, which is


whether Theresa May's landslide is large or even larger. That takes


away some of the excitement. My colleague Brian Taylor


is on BBC Two tomorrow at midday with First Minister's Questions


and I'll be back this weekend with Sunday Politics Scotland


on BBC One from 11:35am. With the general election


approaching, with the leaders from six


Scottish political parties going head-to-head before you, the voters,


in the Scottish Leaders' Debate.