18/01/2017 Politics Scotland


18/01/2017

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


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Transcript


LineFromTo

Good afternoon and welcome to the programme.

:00:42.:00:42.

The SNP's deputy leader, Angus Robertson, has branded

:00:43.:00:44.

the Prime Ministers plans as "a little Britain Brexit".

:00:45.:00:46.

And unemployment rises in Scotland as it drops across the UK.

:00:47.:00:49.

And here at Westminster, away from the public rhetoric,

:00:50.:00:51.

just how useful can the talks between the UK and Scottish

:00:52.:00:54.

governments be on the process of leaving the EU?

:00:55.:00:56.

MSPs will today debate calls for the government

:00:57.:00:58.

the board of Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

:00:59.:01:01.

Ministers want to create a Scotland-wide board

:01:02.:01:03.

for enterprise and skills, prompting fears

:01:04.:01:04.

Our Political Correspondent, Andrew Kerr, has more on the story.

:01:05.:01:07.

We will be having a debate in a short time in a chamber. They want

:01:08.:01:12.

to scrap the enterprise and have won overall Scottish board. I suppose

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the aim is very clear, to try to improve growth here in Scotland, to

:01:19.:01:22.

try and have one overarching board that can oversee that and really

:01:23.:01:27.

boost growth instead of having this separate body. The new boards would

:01:28.:01:34.

oversee Scottish enterprise, Highlands enterprise, the Scottish

:01:35.:01:38.

funding Council and skills development in Scotland. But the

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great concern in the Highlands is that this is a centralisation and

:01:43.:01:48.

that decisions will be made down here in the central belt, it would

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take away that local accountability and, of course, the Scottish

:01:54.:01:56.

Government has been accused of centralising services with Police

:01:57.:02:01.

Scotland and one central Fire Service too. We are probably looking

:02:02.:02:08.

at a defeat may be on the government today inflicted by the opposition,

:02:09.:02:15.

maybe by just one MSP. The Conservatives say it will be close

:02:16.:02:19.

but it does look like a defeat. The government will have to listen to

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Parliament and it will be interesting to hear what they might

:02:23.:02:27.

be coming up with after that. Defeat is something we haven't been used to

:02:28.:02:33.

for a long time. We have had a few defeats in Holyrood. The SNP is now

:02:34.:02:38.

a minority government, since the May election. They were in when --

:02:39.:02:46.

majority. We are getting a bit more used that here but you are right, it

:02:47.:02:53.

is a very different scenario from the all-powerful government of

:02:54.:03:01.

2011-2016. But they are still very powerful in terms of the party. And

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it is quite complicated today because there are a number of MSPs

:03:08.:03:19.

off sick. Some are unable to give evidence on the rural connectivity

:03:20.:03:23.

committee. So it is a little bit tricky to work out the numbers. It

:03:24.:03:29.

is very tight but we may be looking at a defeat by one, perhaps. That is

:03:30.:03:33.

the thinking at Holyrood this afternoon. Thank you.

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Well, to discuss the day's stories, I'm joined by Andy Maciver,

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director of the PR agency Message Matters

:03:50.:03:51.

and former head of communications for the Scottish Conservatives.

:03:52.:03:53.

There is no rebellion ever on the SNP benches so all 63 SNP 's are

:03:54.:04:00.

always assured to vote with the government. But Andrew is right, it

:04:01.:04:08.

has been a bit closer in recent times. You remember the occasion a

:04:09.:04:13.

couple of weeks ago when a couple voted the wrong way and that would

:04:14.:04:18.

have been a defeat as well. It is a problem but not something they are

:04:19.:04:22.

accustomed to. Brexit will dominate everything this afternoon and for

:04:23.:04:27.

the next two years, four years. What did you make of Theresa May's

:04:28.:04:32.

speech? I think there was an overreaction on both sides. It was

:04:33.:04:37.

entirely predictable. There was never any signal that we were going

:04:38.:04:39.

to retain membership of the single market. I don't think anyone in

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Europe wanted that. That entails free movement of Labour and it was

:04:47.:04:50.

quite clear that was never going to happen. I think the reaction to it

:04:51.:04:53.

has been quite informative because we see the tones being set for

:04:54.:04:58.

different campaigns. It is unhelpful for Theresa May that the hard Brexit

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faction has adopted this beach and received it very well so you get

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Nadine Dorries and people like that standing up in Parliament and saying

:05:08.:05:11.

how wonderful it was. That is not helpful because it allows those on

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the other side to put -- painted as a hard Brexit. I thought it was very

:05:17.:05:22.

predictable. So she could have done without people saying they were

:05:23.:05:26.

disappointed? Yes, or on the other side. I think it was predictable. I

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think everybody on the conservative side will be pretty satisfied

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because it was always going to happen. Do you think that what you

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see says was as black and white as it has been portrayed? She did seem

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to leave various options, we will be out of the single market but various

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options on access. The problem with this debate has always been that

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people have sometimes accidentally and sometimes deliberately skewed

:06:02.:06:04.

the meaning of membership and access and they are completely different

:06:05.:06:08.

things. I don't think membership was ever on the table. Government

:06:09.:06:12.

ministers have said many times in the past that we will not be members

:06:13.:06:16.

of the single market. It was always about access and that is the thing

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that remains unknown until the negotiations start. It is what level

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of access and on what terms we will have it. But I don't think yesterday

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was quite the change that everybody today is portraying it as. I suspect

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the Scottish Government would disagree. Absolutely. But will they

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succeed in doing that? It doesn't make a difference to them because

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the Scottish Government knew this was happening. They knew we were not

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going to be members of the single market. On the Brexit paper, option

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one was keeping the UK in the single market and option two was keeping

:06:57.:07:00.

Scotland in the single market in the UK state. We might talk about that

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later. I think it is very difficult to see how that can possibly happen

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politically both on the continent and here. That then gets us to the

:07:09.:07:15.

point that there is a very big decision to make. We will discuss

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that more later. Our Westminster correspondent,

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David Porter, is outside We are starting 2017 as we finished

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2016, everything dominated by Brexit. In that place behind me and

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also a couple of hundred yards over there, the Supreme Court. As far as

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the legal action is concerned, some of the mist is now starting to lift.

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We know that the Supreme Court will give its decision, its judgment on

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the 24th of January, that is next Tuesday, on whether Theresa May is

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going to have to introduce legislation into the House of

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Commons and the House of Lords before she can go ahead and trigger

:08:12.:08:17.

article 50 or whether they will agree with the UK Government and

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say, no, that is not needed. So it is an important decision for the

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House of Commons behind me. The Scottish Government were party to

:08:29.:08:32.

that legal action and they are hoping that Holyrood will have a say

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in whether article 50 will be triggered. Next week will not just

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be a dry judgment, it will be very important in legal terms and it will

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be very, very important in political terms. We have just been talking

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about Theresa May's speech yesterday. What is the reaction to

:08:50.:08:56.

it there? Just over 24 hours on since Theresa May delivered her

:08:57.:09:01.

speech, as you would expect, because it is about Brexit and because what

:09:02.:09:06.

she said about the single market and essentially saying to Europe, either

:09:07.:09:10.

give us a good deal or we could walk away, the reverberations are still

:09:11.:09:13.

being felt in this place and I suspect they are being felt in

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Holyrood as well. All the proceedings in the House of Commons

:09:18.:09:22.

today, Scottish questions and then later by ministers questions, were

:09:23.:09:25.

dominated by that issue of Brexit and leaving the single market. In

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response to Theresa May's speech yesterday, Nicola Sturgeon said she

:09:31.:09:33.

now believes that a second Scottish independence referendum is closer

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and at Prime Minister's Questions I'm today, the SNP went on the

:09:40.:09:42.

attack and they accused Theresa May and the UK Government of wanting a

:09:43.:09:50.

little Britain Brexit. It is thousands of people who may

:09:51.:09:54.

lose their jobs in Scotland as a result of the hard Tory Brexit plan

:09:55.:09:59.

of the Prime Minister. Does the Prime Minister believe that this is

:10:00.:10:05.

a price worth paying for her little Britain Brexit? I repeat what I said

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earlier, we will be working to ensure that we get the best possible

:10:13.:10:16.

deal in terms of access to the single market and continuing to

:10:17.:10:19.

cooperate in partnership with the member states of the remaining 27

:10:20.:10:24.

member states of the European Union but the Right honourable gentleman

:10:25.:10:27.

once again talks about the possibility of negative impact on

:10:28.:10:33.

Scotland if Scotland were not part of the single market. His party is

:10:34.:10:36.

dedicated to taking Scotland out of the single market by taking it out

:10:37.:10:44.

of the United Kingdom. Amidst all the rhetoric, can I ask

:10:45.:10:49.

you a boring question? What happens next? Nothing until the negotiations

:10:50.:10:55.

start? What happens next is that the talking continues, particularly in a

:10:56.:11:00.

Scottish and UK Government context, despite all the public rhetoric. We

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know in politics that as far as public rhetoric is concerned, it is

:11:05.:11:08.

not always what is being said in private. There is a meeting tomorrow

:11:09.:11:12.

of the Joint Ministerial Committee, which is made up of the UK

:11:13.:11:16.

Government and the devolved administrations. Whitehall have set

:11:17.:11:21.

it a specific committee to look at exiting the European Union. There is

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a meeting of that tomorrow down here in which the Scottish Government and

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the other devolved administrations will be present, but crucially they

:11:33.:11:34.

will be discussing the Scottish Government's plan for Brexit. How

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those discussions will go, we don't know. They will be in private so

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they can probably be a bit more candid. But whatever is going to

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happen, these negotiations at an intergovernment level and the

:11:48.:11:50.

negotiations when they finally happen on the triggering of article

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50 are probably going to be pretty long, tortuous, and at times pretty

:11:56.:11:59.

bumpy. What I thought was quite interesting from Theresa May at

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Prime Minister's Questions was the way that she seemed very confident.

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She has in effect thrown the gauntlet down not only to Nicola

:12:09.:12:11.

Sturgeon and the Scottish Government by saying we are going to be leaving

:12:12.:12:15.

the single market but also to Europe as well by basically saying to

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Europe, the other 27 countries, if you don't give us a deal, and we do

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want some kind of trade deal, we are willing to walk away, we are willing

:12:26.:12:29.

to play hardball. It is going to be very interesting in the days, weeks

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and months ahead to see what Europe says to that. Thank you. You will be

:12:36.:12:40.

back later. I am not even going to mention the beautiful sunshine

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bathing the houses of parliament. That would be tempting fate. Say no

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more. This The Health Secretary is due to make

:12:46.:12:48.

a statement to parliament on the delay to plans for a network

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of trauma centres It was announced last week

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that the centres will not be up and running for at least three

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years, because of the scale Let's hear from Shona Robison

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in the chamber now. it has a dedicated trauma ward which

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is led by specialist trauma consultant is supported by doctors,

:13:12.:13:15.

nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and other

:13:16.:13:19.

health professionals on a 24-7 basis. The last vital component of

:13:20.:13:25.

trauma units. They deal with the vast majority of trauma, those who

:13:26.:13:29.

are not as seriously injured as trauma patients. A trauma centre

:13:30.:13:35.

cannot succeed without these vital components in place. It should

:13:36.:13:39.

therefore come as no surprise that trauma networks require significant

:13:40.:13:44.

planning and investment in order to resource them appropriately and give

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seriously injured patients the best care possible. There has been a

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rigorous debate in the clinical community as to what the optimum

:13:53.:13:57.

model for Scotland would be. I am grateful to them and the Chief

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Medical Officer for shaping the plans that we are now taking

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forward. In September 2013, the National planning forum's major

:14:06.:14:08.

trauma subgroup released a report with a number of recommendations for

:14:09.:14:18.

the development of a network. They said it should be a four Centre

:14:19.:14:22.

model. But they also recognise that there was no clear consensus among

:14:23.:14:26.

clinicians of what the optimum number of centres was. In April

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2014, my predecessor asked for the suggested four centre model to be

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taken forward as a practical first step but in line with the 2013

:14:38.:14:42.

National planning forum report, we knew that the findings of the

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evaluation of systems of trauma care should be taken into account when

:14:49.:14:51.

considering future configurations of a trauma network in Scotland.

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Including whether the number of trauma centres can and should be

:14:57.:14:57.

reduced further. The field work of the study was

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conducted in 2014 and the report was compiled thereafter. The study was

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noted on a number of occasions by the national planning forum major

:15:14.:15:17.

trauma oversight group as they took forward their work. In 2015 the

:15:18.:15:23.

study cast doubt on the four centre model and instead suggested two

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trauma centres was the optimal configuration for Scotland. I had a

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choice whether to ignore the report, accept it or ask that further work

:15:33.:15:35.

was done to assess the relative benefits and risks of this

:15:36.:15:40.

alternative model. I judged this report had to be fully considered to

:15:41.:15:44.

ensure the right model for Scotland was being developed and to try to

:15:45.:15:49.

address clinical concerns. Clinicians and other NHS staff

:15:50.:15:52.

worked tirelessly then with the study group to assess the risks of

:15:53.:15:58.

having just two centres and in The Spring of last year it became clear

:15:59.:16:03.

from that further work that those risks outweighed the notional

:16:04.:16:08.

benefits. The views and concerns of clinicians and the Scottish

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ambulance service on a two-centre model were critical at this stage.

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As a result, I asked the Chief Medical Officer to lead an

:16:16.:16:19.

implementation group that would look at how a new trauma network based

:16:20.:16:24.

around the original model of four centres in Aberdeen, Dundee,

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Edinburgh and Glasgow could be made to work in practice, taking note of

:16:29.:16:33.

the lessons learned from the report, the concerns of the Scottish

:16:34.:16:36.

ambulance service and Scotland's unique geography. In June last year

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the Scottish Government announced they would have the necessary

:16:41.:16:46.

preparatory work for an enhanced trauma network completed by December

:16:47.:16:47.

2016. A commitment... The number of people in Scotland

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seeking work rose over the autumn by 11,000,

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according to the latest figures. It means the Scottish

:16:56.:16:57.

unemployment rate is 5.1% - It is still an uncertain time for

:16:58.:17:07.

the economy in Scotland. This latest data shows the job market lagging

:17:08.:17:12.

behind the rest of the UK. The Office for National Statistics says

:17:13.:17:16.

11,000 more people were seeking work between September and November. That

:17:17.:17:21.

means a total of 139,000 people were unemployed. The overall rate of

:17:22.:17:26.

unemployment is 5. 1%, compared to 4. 8% for the whole of the UK. A

:17:27.:17:33.

number of factors could be at play. The down turn in oil and gas and

:17:34.:17:37.

Brexit fears. Some parts of the economy are trying

:17:38.:17:44.

to manage that uncertainty. This Paisley company is thriving,

:17:45.:17:47.

offering flexible storages for business and even office space. We

:17:48.:17:51.

try to take away that uncertainty surrounding it so we hope the

:17:52.:17:54.

business come in, can take the space for a month, they can grow the

:17:55.:17:57.

business, bring it back down in size again. We try to make it work for

:17:58.:18:02.

them. There is other good news, the

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Scottish Government says youth unemployment dropped last year. But

:18:07.:18:10.

it is also published data today showing very slow growth in economic

:18:11.:18:13.

output in the year to last September.

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Our business editor is here. There are also, just to cheer us up even

:18:20.:18:25.

more, awful figures for GDP growth. Just mentioned there at the end, the

:18:26.:18:28.

figure come out every three months and take a while to compile so the

:18:29.:18:32.

figures we are looking at today cover the third quarter last year,

:18:33.:18:36.

July to September. We already knew the UK figures for that period. That

:18:37.:18:42.

was growth of 0. 6%, it's kind of on trend, it's what you can expect with

:18:43.:18:47.

the economy functioning as typically, for both the UK and for

:18:48.:18:51.

Scotland. Not a bad rate. The Scottish rate is a third of that.

:18:52.:18:59.

That is really two years of very low rates, particularly the last four

:19:00.:19:02.

quart they'res we have seen have been very low indeed. Growth of only

:19:03.:19:08.

0. 7% growth, with 2. 2% across the UK as a whole. The point about this,

:19:09.:19:13.

they're not awful in an absolute sense, neither are the unemployment

:19:14.:19:17.

figures, it's the fact there seems to be a gap growing between the

:19:18.:19:20.

performance in Scotland and the rest of the UK. They're certainly not

:19:21.:19:24.

good either. You are right the divergence is worrying. Even if the

:19:25.:19:30.

UK figures came way down, we should still be worrying about growth rates

:19:31.:19:36.

of only 0. 2%, a fifth of 1% in one quarter and the previous quarter

:19:37.:19:40.

revised downwards so that's the same, 0. 2%. The quarter before

:19:41.:19:43.

that, at the start of last year, no growth in the economy at all. So

:19:44.:19:48.

last year was a very poor year in terms of output from the economy. In

:19:49.:19:54.

terms of that divergence it matters particularly with these new income

:19:55.:19:59.

tax powers because if your growth is heading off in a different direction

:20:00.:20:03.

or at least is growing far less... And you are relying on revenues. It

:20:04.:20:08.

feeds through income tax and revenues will fall below, over time

:20:09.:20:11.

this will take place, you can handle a year or two of it, there may be

:20:12.:20:15.

mechanisms for the Treasury, block grants to make up some of the

:20:16.:20:18.

difference through the agreement they've got, but if you look forward

:20:19.:20:23.

ten years, 15 years, you could see a significant gap between what would

:20:24.:20:26.

happen if Holyrood did not have these income tax powers and what we

:20:27.:20:29.

may face unless we can get the growth rate up again. OK. What's

:20:30.:20:35.

going on, Brexit is as an explanation doesn't because that

:20:36.:20:39.

doesn't explain the difference. The Scottish Government says

:20:40.:20:41.

independence is a possibility of a another referendum has nothing to do

:20:42.:20:46.

with it. Is it entirely oil? A lot has to do with oil and gas. The

:20:47.:20:53.

slump in growth follows the point at which oil and gas sector really

:20:54.:20:56.

began to suffer from much lower price of oil. But that doesn't look

:20:57.:21:01.

like the only explanation that there can be. One of the things which has

:21:02.:21:07.

helped the numbers stay up for quite a while, particularly 2014-2015, was

:21:08.:21:11.

construction. That's partly because of public spending on big projects,

:21:12.:21:16.

that is coming to an end, we are running out of money, big projects

:21:17.:21:20.

are coming to an end, there is less spending on them. That has an

:21:21.:21:24.

impact. When you take construction out and it's been contracting in the

:21:25.:21:28.

past year, after a really substantial growth in the previous

:21:29.:21:33.

couple of years, then the rest of the economy, you see what's really

:21:34.:21:36.

happening underlining in the main part of the economy. The services

:21:37.:21:41.

sector, three-quarters of the economy, has been on a growth path.

:21:42.:21:46.

It is a very slow growth path, it's consistent recently. Manufacturing

:21:47.:21:50.

has been much more volatile and over the past few quarters it's been very

:21:51.:21:54.

weak. Some figures suggest that manufacturing will be helped by a

:21:55.:21:58.

weaker pound, exports will be helped, also you substitute imports

:21:59.:22:02.

because of course imported goods become more expensive and local

:22:03.:22:06.

producers are able to fill the gap there. So, a weaker pound may bake a

:22:07.:22:13.

difference, there could be a positive Brexit effect. We can't

:22:14.:22:18.

really see it's down to uncertainty about Brexit, because it really has

:22:19.:22:21.

the same effect across the whole of the UK. But there is this question

:22:22.:22:27.

in the background that you mentioned there, if Brexit and constitutional

:22:28.:22:30.

uncertainty around Britain's place in Europe as a trading regime is one

:22:31.:22:37.

of the reasons for business investment being down, then like

:22:38.:22:42.

wise uncertainty about Scotland's position within its major market,

:22:43.:22:46.

far bigger than the EU and the rest of the UK, that may be weighing on

:22:47.:22:50.

business investment and confidence, as well. When it turns around next

:22:51.:22:56.

month and we are doing wonderfully you can tell us about it! And a few

:22:57.:23:01.

politicians will be here, as well! MSPs have backed a Scottish

:23:02.:23:10.

Government motion, amended by Labour, welcoming the options

:23:11.:23:11.

for Scotland's future relationship with Europe,

:23:12.:23:13.

as set out in the Government paper A Conservative amendment calling

:23:14.:23:16.

on ministers to stop using the EU Referendum result as a reason

:23:17.:23:19.

to campaign for Scottish Almost seven months since the EU

:23:20.:23:25.

referendum in which Scotland voted emphatically to remain in the

:23:26.:23:27.

European Union, whilst England and Wales voted to leave, the Prime

:23:28.:23:29.

Minister has today announced as ending the UK involvement in the

:23:30.:23:34.

European project in the hardest and most complete way possible. We think

:23:35.:23:38.

this is the wrong decision for the UK as a whole and indicates that the

:23:39.:23:42.

type of country the Conservatives want is a race to the bottom,

:23:43.:23:47.

sacrificing consumer, environmental and workers' rights for the price of

:23:48.:23:51.

deregulation, low wages and low taxes. But the Scottish Government

:23:52.:23:55.

and the Scottish people as indicated in poll after poll have a different

:23:56.:23:59.

view. We have to find a way forward, that honours the democratic demand

:24:00.:24:04.

of the nation to maintain our relationship with our European

:24:05.:24:06.

friends and neighbours. Scotland's place in Europe was published on

:24:07.:24:09.

20th December t delivered the mandate that we were required to do

:24:10.:24:12.

by this parliament. It is the first detailed plan to be published by any

:24:13.:24:16.

Government in any part of the UK to deal with the implications of the UK

:24:17.:24:20.

leaving the European Union. Today's debate gives us as a parliament

:24:21.:24:24.

speaking for our nation to take those plans a step further. On

:24:25.:24:28.

Thursday the Scottish Government will make a presentation about these

:24:29.:24:32.

plans to the JMC European negotiating committee and it is of

:24:33.:24:35.

course proper that this parliament should give its view to them in

:24:36.:24:39.

advance of that discussion in London. The Prime Minister was

:24:40.:24:43.

explicit today in stressing this paper is still to be considered by

:24:44.:24:47.

the UK Government. We have also highlighted ways we can keep

:24:48.:24:50.

Scotland in the single market while continuing to protect free trade

:24:51.:24:53.

from across the rest of the UK as well as safeguarding the existing

:24:54.:24:58.

powers of this parliament and significantly ex-pappeding

:24:59.:25:00.

revolution in order to mitigate the damage that will be done by Brexit.

:25:01.:25:03.

Our amendment to the Government motion today calls on the SNP to act

:25:04.:25:06.

in the best interests of the people of Scotland as a whole and to stop

:25:07.:25:13.

using the outcome of the EU referendum to campaign for

:25:14.:25:17.

independence. In the foreword to this paper, supposedly about Europe,

:25:18.:25:20.

there are 11 separate references to independence. As well as the First

:25:21.:25:25.

Minister repeated reference to Scotland being independent within

:25:26.:25:28.

Europe as being the preferred option. Yet again the SNP continues

:25:29.:25:33.

to defy economic logic by constantly campaigning to leave our domestic UK

:25:34.:25:38.

trading market represented 65% of our business, to maintain membership

:25:39.:25:43.

of a European single market that accounts for only 15%. She appeared

:25:44.:25:48.

to say three things. No to the single market, yes to transitional

:25:49.:25:52.

arrangements, and on the customs union, don't know. Her Government

:25:53.:25:56.

has still not reached a clear position on that critical matter.

:25:57.:26:00.

There was little evidence of a willingness to consider different

:26:01.:26:03.

outcomes on the single market for different parts of the UK but the

:26:04.:26:07.

Prime Minister has given undertakings to consider proposals

:26:08.:26:10.

from the Scottish Government and that pledge should be honoured. Our

:26:11.:26:14.

place in future as we argued last time we debated the single market

:26:15.:26:18.

has to mean the most unfetterred access to that market that can be

:26:19.:26:22.

achieved in the context of the decisions of the United Kingdom as a

:26:23.:26:28.

whole. But in that context ministers can and should continue to seek ways

:26:29.:26:33.

to protect Scotland's vital interests, working with others

:26:34.:26:36.

across the United Kingdom who are also seeking to make the best of the

:26:37.:26:41.

current circumstances. This afternoon's speech from the Prime

:26:42.:26:45.

Minister I think confirms that the Conservatives are hellbent on a hard

:26:46.:26:50.

Brexit, regardless of what the impact will be on millions of people

:26:51.:26:57.

through higher prices, greater instability, hitting jobs and

:26:58.:27:00.

hurting our economy, withdrawing from the single market and the

:27:01.:27:04.

customs union is not in our country's interests, nor was it what

:27:05.:27:11.

people voted for on the 23rd June. The Tories are turning Brexit into a

:27:12.:27:16.

democratic stitch-up and it shows how vital it is that the public be

:27:17.:27:20.

given a say in a Brexit deal referendum. This is exactly the hard

:27:21.:27:24.

Brexit we had feared and despite the single line acknowledging the

:27:25.:27:27.

Scottish Government's proposals the plans set out today are entirely

:27:28.:27:30.

incompatible with the Scotland's place in Europe paper. The

:27:31.:27:35.

previously mentioned report estimates that a Norway-style deal,

:27:36.:27:38.

all continue for all the UK, would in the best scenario see Scottish

:27:39.:27:42.

GDP drop by three million, wages drop by an average of ?800 per

:27:43.:27:47.

person and still lose over 30,000 jobs. This is quite a compromise.

:27:48.:27:50.

It's probably the Westminster Government's last chance to ensure

:27:51.:27:54.

Scotland continues to be part of the UK. Yet for all Theresa May spoke

:27:55.:27:58.

about wanting the UK to be more united than ever before, she has

:27:59.:28:03.

refused to compromise. I believe now that a vote on our own future is all

:28:04.:28:08.

but impossible to avoid. Let's speak to some MSPs at

:28:09.:28:10.

Holyrood. Dan jel Johnson, let's start with

:28:11.:28:25.

you. Working out Labour policy these days is like doing a tricky

:28:26.:28:32.

crossword. Can we judge from what Lewis McDonald was saying there that

:28:33.:28:36.

Labour supports Nicola Sturgeon's ambitions to keep Scotland in the

:28:37.:28:41.

single market and within the UK and supports what was said in the paper

:28:42.:28:45.

that the Scottish Government produced? What Labour are saying is

:28:46.:28:48.

that the Scottish Government is right to the extent that it is

:28:49.:28:52.

absolutely right to look at what options are available to protect

:28:53.:28:55.

Scotland's interests in access to the single market. But what I have

:28:56.:28:58.

to say and what Scottish Labour are saying is that if you are starting

:28:59.:29:03.

point of the issues around Brexit are about uncertainty, about the

:29:04.:29:08.

economic consequences and your solution is independence, we have to

:29:09.:29:12.

absolutely reject that because independence will compound those, if

:29:13.:29:13.

not by a factor of When you say you support the

:29:14.:29:25.

proposals, what is it you support? Are you saying you would back

:29:26.:29:29.

Scotland staying in the single market and the UK, even if the UK

:29:30.:29:34.

leaves the single market? We are saying that we were look at options

:29:35.:29:37.

that are realistic that are brought forward. But the options have been

:29:38.:29:44.

brought forward. You still haven't answered my question. Are you saying

:29:45.:29:49.

that Labour in Scotland supports the contents of the paper that the

:29:50.:29:52.

Scottish Government produced, which suggested they should be some way

:29:53.:29:56.

found to allow Scotland to say in the single market even when Britain

:29:57.:30:04.

exits the European Union? There are lots of things in that paper worthy

:30:05.:30:07.

of consideration and given that we are only at the start of the Brexit

:30:08.:30:11.

process, I think it is important that we explore all of those

:30:12.:30:15.

options, but above all else we have to recognise, and the government's

:30:16.:30:21.

own paper recognises that we have to protect the UK single market, but we

:30:22.:30:25.

also need to engage properly, fully and adequately with this process. To

:30:26.:30:31.

be straightforward question, would you support the Scottish

:30:32.:30:34.

Government's efforts to keep Scotland in the single market, your

:30:35.:30:39.

answer would be yes? As long as that doesn't jeopardise the UK. Liam

:30:40.:30:45.

McArthur, the big problem for your line on Europe is that, admittedly

:30:46.:30:55.

almost to everyone's surprise, all the economic evidence is running

:30:56.:30:59.

against you. It was supposed to be a disaster if we left the EU. I think

:31:00.:31:04.

the pound went up by the biggest amount since 2008 after Theresa

:31:05.:31:09.

May's speech yesterday. The Bank of England has said Brexit is no longer

:31:10.:31:13.

the main economic issue facing the UK. And even business investment is

:31:14.:31:21.

going up. I think your point about the jump in the pound, what we have

:31:22.:31:27.

seen is the pound plummeting and yesterday we saw it recovering some

:31:28.:31:30.

of the lost value over recent months. At the same time, the FTSE

:31:31.:31:36.

was going in the other direction. Let's not lose sight of the fact

:31:37.:31:39.

that Brexit hasn't happened yet. Yesterday we had more of the detail

:31:40.:31:43.

of what the UK Government are proposing but still a wide range of

:31:44.:31:48.

uncertainty that will need to be filled. But if you are right, why

:31:49.:31:55.

does the governor of the Bank of England say Brexit is no longer the

:31:56.:31:59.

main economic issue facing the UK? You would have too asked the

:32:00.:32:02.

governor of the Bank of England. Explain to me why you think he is

:32:03.:32:07.

wrong. What we are looking at in terms of access to markets is a

:32:08.:32:10.

complete departure of what we were told throughout the referendum

:32:11.:32:14.

campaign from the leadership of Leave, when we were assured by

:32:15.:32:18.

senior representatives and by Ruth Davidson in this Parliament is that

:32:19.:32:23.

the maintenance of our full access to the single market, and that has

:32:24.:32:29.

been cast aside yesterday. I can't see how that is in the interest of

:32:30.:32:34.

any business sector across not just Scotland but the UK. How that will

:32:35.:32:39.

play out in the months and years to come, I think is going to be

:32:40.:32:43.

difficult to predict, but anyone who suggests it is going to be easier,

:32:44.:32:47.

it is going to be a business advantage to have access to the

:32:48.:32:51.

single market unless favourable terms than we have at the moment is

:32:52.:32:53.

I think naive. It's Adam Tomkins, a single market deal is in

:32:54.:33:13.

the bin now, isn't it? Absolutely not. The Prime Minister said

:33:14.:33:17.

yesterday she wants the freest possible trade with the EU, she

:33:18.:33:22.

wants a new, bold, Conrad Smith free-trade agreement between the UK

:33:23.:33:26.

and the rest of the EU, she wants the greatest possible access to the

:33:27.:33:31.

single market. I'm sure China or India would tell you the same thing,

:33:32.:33:34.

that's not the same thing as being part of the single market. Having

:33:35.:33:39.

the fullest possible access to the single market is not the same as

:33:40.:33:44.

Canada, India and China. Do tell us what the difference is. China has no

:33:45.:33:49.

free-trade agreement with the European Union. You said it is

:33:50.:33:55.

different from Canada. There is no free-trade agreement between Canada

:33:56.:34:00.

and the EU. You know there is one on the table. We can't play games with

:34:01.:34:06.

this, it is far too important. What the Prime Minister said yesterday

:34:07.:34:11.

was that we will be members of the European Union. We want a full,

:34:12.:34:15.

compressive free-trade agreement with the European Union that will

:34:16.:34:19.

give us the greatest possible access to the single market. I first argued

:34:20.:34:23.

for that in this Parliament in September. It is perfectly

:34:24.:34:26.

consistent with what the Scottish Conservatives have been saying for

:34:27.:34:31.

five months. Has anything changed? The SNP knew perfectly well that

:34:32.:34:37.

Theresa May wasn't going to say that Britain would stay in the single

:34:38.:34:40.

market and she wasn't going to say Britain would stay in the customs

:34:41.:34:47.

union. The indications over the last three months have been that that is

:34:48.:34:51.

the direction the Conservatives have been heading in. I'm actually having

:34:52.:35:01.

-- the fact we have produced this compressive paper outlining the

:35:02.:35:05.

various options available to Scotland and the UK Government and

:35:06.:35:09.

asking for them to consider them is the right way forward. We have been

:35:10.:35:14.

the first partly, the only party to have a consistent message since the

:35:15.:35:20.

day after the EU referendum. Consistently wrong. Wales are

:35:21.:35:26.

following suit as well. They are putting something together which is

:35:27.:35:29.

going to outline their position as well. What is wrong with the British

:35:30.:35:33.

government saying, we have had a look at that, we don't think it is

:35:34.:35:37.

realistic. They have got a right to do that but we were told we were an

:35:38.:35:42.

equal partner in this United Kingdom and they have to look at our

:35:43.:35:49.

document and take it seriously. Gordon, there seems to be a bit of a

:35:50.:35:52.

disconnect between what Theresa May... They have got to do

:35:53.:36:00.

everything you say? No, we have got to work together. But there is a

:36:01.:36:03.

disconnect between what Theresa May said yesterday and the rhetoric of

:36:04.:36:09.

the Scottish Conservatives. Theresa May says she was going to look at

:36:10.:36:13.

that paper and we are looking for her to do that. They has to be a

:36:14.:36:18.

negotiation. But there doesn't seem to be any evidence of that

:36:19.:36:24.

happening. So what do you do now? The people of Scotland's voices are

:36:25.:36:29.

not being heard at all. We continue to engage with the UK Government as

:36:30.:36:33.

we have done all along. But you are saying they are not engaging with

:36:34.:36:38.

you. No, we are engaging with the UK Government. You were just saying

:36:39.:36:42.

they weren't paying any attention to you. We are meeting tomorrow. But

:36:43.:36:51.

certainly, when you look at things like the length of time it took

:36:52.:36:57.

David Davies to get back to Michael Russell, when he said he had a

:36:58.:37:01.

hotline to David Davies, it doesn't give me much cause for comfort. So

:37:02.:37:07.

what do you do? Just saying we will have another independence referendum

:37:08.:37:10.

unless you do something else, you can't just keep saying that for

:37:11.:37:15.

years. Are you going to come up with another set of proposals? Have you

:37:16.:37:18.

got a plan for encouraging the UK Government to listen to you? We have

:37:19.:37:23.

always got plans for the UK Government and the fact you have had

:37:24.:37:27.

to say that to me is indicative of the way this is viewed. We shouldn't

:37:28.:37:31.

have to be pressing the UK Government to listen to the Scottish

:37:32.:37:35.

Government, we are government in our own right and this should be an

:37:36.:37:38.

equal partnership. I genuinely hope I will be proved... That the UK

:37:39.:37:44.

Government will take on board what is in that paper and we can have a

:37:45.:37:47.

constructive dialogue. Theresa May seems to be acting on the whims of

:37:48.:37:53.

the centre-right part of her party, the Brexiteers. One of the things I

:37:54.:37:59.

find really bizarre is that they were impassioned speeches from the

:38:00.:38:03.

Conservative members before the EU referendum about staying in the

:38:04.:38:08.

single market have evaporated. Because we respect the result of the

:38:09.:38:13.

referendum. Let's have a lovely shot of all of you standing there saying

:38:14.:38:14.

cheese. Now, two former First Ministers have

:38:15.:38:16.

suggested major changes to the Scottish Parliament,

:38:17.:38:19.

including an increase Both men suggested the electoral

:38:20.:38:20.

list system currently used in Holyrood elections

:38:21.:38:28.

should be re-evaluated. And, as Holyrood assumes more powers

:38:29.:38:30.

and responsibilities for Scotland, Mr McLeish said the current total

:38:31.:38:32.

of 129 of MSPs was The massive changes that have taken

:38:33.:38:45.

place in politics everywhere and the massive change in politics in the UK

:38:46.:38:52.

with the distribution of powers, I think we do need to look at the size

:38:53.:38:56.

of the parliament in the future, we do need to look at the question of

:38:57.:39:01.

capacity and how these members are elected. Jack McConnell was saying

:39:02.:39:10.

he saw no need. Well, Professor Greg

:39:11.:39:12.

Philo Research Director of the Glasgow University Media Unit

:39:13.:39:13.

and Andy Maciver is here to discuss how the public might be convinced

:39:14.:39:16.

that more politicians Greg, just on this issue of reform,

:39:17.:39:30.

it is a tough one, because he argued for reforms and the way things were

:39:31.:39:33.

done when he was First Minister and got nowhere. Tricia Marwick, when

:39:34.:39:38.

she was Presiding Officer, said she was banging her head against a brick

:39:39.:39:45.

wall. Why do you think MSPs are so resistant to making any changes?

:39:46.:39:51.

There is always resistance because people have their own ways of doing

:39:52.:39:57.

things. But if there is a fundamental change going on in the

:39:58.:40:06.

sense of new powers being allocated and real work is moving from one,

:40:07.:40:12.

from Westminster to Holyrood, there is busy a case to say that things

:40:13.:40:15.

have to be done differently and you are going to need more personnel. If

:40:16.:40:19.

you want to sell that to people, that is the way to do it, to the

:40:20.:40:25.

population as a whole. One of the issues is whether people will accept

:40:26.:40:28.

the need for more politicians or for more money on politics. But that

:40:29.:40:32.

seems to me to be the clearest way of explaining it. If there is more

:40:33.:40:39.

work, you need more people. On the other hand, just imagine going to

:40:40.:40:43.

the streets of Glasgow and saying, we need more politicians. Imagine

:40:44.:40:48.

the reaction you would get. If you expressed it in those woods, that is

:40:49.:40:52.

the reaction you would get, but if you said there is a lot more work

:40:53.:40:55.

happening now because of the devolved powers because all sort of

:40:56.:40:59.

work is being moved from Westminster up to here so we need more people to

:41:00.:41:02.

do it, nobody would think twice about it. The other point that they

:41:03.:41:08.

seem to be getting on about was that they feel that the Holyrood

:41:09.:41:13.

committees, which were advertised before devolution as being a great

:41:14.:41:16.

new thing, so much better than London, they are not actually

:41:17.:41:20.

holding ministers to account even in the way parliamentary committees in

:41:21.:41:23.

London do to politicians at Westminster. If that's the case, you

:41:24.:41:30.

need to argue about who is on those committees and what their capacity

:41:31.:41:33.

is. That is really down to the quality of the people asking the

:41:34.:41:39.

questions. I'm not being rude but realistically there is no reason...

:41:40.:41:47.

You are being rude. If people aren't asking the right questions, you need

:41:48.:41:51.

to ask why is that so. Look at the problems in Northern Ireland where

:41:52.:41:54.

you have got the collapse of the whole Executive because of

:41:55.:42:00.

effectively a scandal where huge amounts of public money was spent

:42:01.:42:05.

without being held to account. You need to say, what was the oversight

:42:06.:42:10.

procedure, who was supposed to be asking the questions and why would

:42:11.:42:16.

they ask? Andy, what do you make of this? When Tricia Marwick left, I

:42:17.:42:20.

did at least two interviews wishy talked about how frustrated she was.

:42:21.:42:24.

She made all sorts of proposals. They got nowhere. Why is there such

:42:25.:42:34.

resistance? Big political change is difficult in this country because it

:42:35.:42:39.

is not generally received very well by the public. I think in this

:42:40.:42:44.

instance, if you were to look at the proposal to have more MSPs because

:42:45.:42:48.

of more work, I think that is completely reasonable, not least

:42:49.:42:51.

because the committee system really struggles with the number of MSPs.

:42:52.:42:56.

You can have two or three committees per MSP sometime and they can't do a

:42:57.:43:00.

good job on a committee when you are that spread out. Tricia Marwick said

:43:01.:43:07.

in London you have got select committees and then committees

:43:08.:43:11.

overseeing, line by line, the government legislation. Yet they

:43:12.:43:18.

have to do the functions of both. Our politicians are actually very

:43:19.:43:23.

busy. Very hard-working. They are not all brilliant but they are very

:43:24.:43:26.

busy. There is an easy way of getting around the public issue of

:43:27.:43:32.

having more MSPs, you have the equivalent number of MPs reduced.

:43:33.:43:35.

You reduce the number of Scottish MPs by the number of MSPs. From a

:43:36.:43:44.

public perspective, that is a much easier sell. It doesn't answer the

:43:45.:43:47.

question why politicians aren't popular. But in this instance, you

:43:48.:43:53.

could quite easily have more MSPs. What do you think of that? To reduce

:43:54.:44:02.

the number of MSPs? No, it includes MSPs, reduce MSPs -- reduce MPs. I

:44:03.:44:13.

would say what will probably happen is that people in Westminster will

:44:14.:44:17.

say they are overloaded to and if you reduce the MPs you will get less

:44:18.:44:22.

oversight there. Given the costs to the nation, if you actually costed

:44:23.:44:25.

this up and worked out how much it costs to have a few more MSPs, it's

:44:26.:44:31.

really not a lot in terms of the vast sums. You have been doing focus

:44:32.:44:37.

groups. What reaction to politicians are you getting less

:44:38.:44:42.

There is a sense politicians aren't trustworthy because of the long

:44:43.:44:47.

history of things like cash for questions. I didn't catch that, did

:44:48.:44:52.

you say the sense is that politicians are not trustworthy?

:44:53.:44:57.

That's right. It's a very, very deep distrust of politicians and

:44:58.:45:01.

politics, which is not just in this country. That is I think in many

:45:02.:45:07.

ways misplaced because I think very many MPs do work hard and are very

:45:08.:45:12.

dedicated to what they do. But the sense that they are constantly under

:45:13.:45:16.

attack does really wear them down and I advise them on issues like

:45:17.:45:21.

climate change and a range of issues and how to get these sorts of

:45:22.:45:24.

arguments across to the public. I go and talk to the committees. What are

:45:25.:45:29.

people saying to you in the focus groups, is it that they trust MPs or

:45:30.:45:35.

MSPs of their party they vote for but don't trust the others or do

:45:36.:45:38.

they just not trust politicians in general? I think it's a general

:45:39.:45:43.

distrust of politicians. But at the same time there is a sense that they

:45:44.:45:48.

have a very important job to do and also I think there is a terrible

:45:49.:45:52.

nervousness at the moment about what's going to happen next. People

:45:53.:45:56.

are genuinely scared about the society they're in, in a way that

:45:57.:46:01.

they weren't I think probably 50 years ago. There is much more fear

:46:02.:46:05.

now about jobs, pensions, the future, health. There was a kind of

:46:06.:46:11.

optimism 50 years ago that things were going to get better, I think.

:46:12.:46:15.

Now I think people are generally scared. They're very worried that

:46:16.:46:20.

politicians are not going to really protect them and I think that is I

:46:21.:46:25.

think the biggest issue that we face, a sense that the political

:46:26.:46:29.

structures that we have are not going to protect people and I think

:46:30.:46:35.

politicians add to that by not being very clear on what is at stake or

:46:36.:46:38.

what the offers are. There is a sense people are being lied to all

:46:39.:46:43.

the time. You can see that over Brexit, you know, people just don't

:46:44.:46:47.

believe the information they're being given half the time. Thank you

:46:48.:46:51.

very much. Don't go away, Andy. You are back

:46:52.:46:53.

later. And now it's time for this week's

:46:54.:46:55.

Prime Minister's questions. The issue of Brexit dominated

:46:56.:46:57.

proceedings, with the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn devoting

:46:58.:47:00.

all of his six questions to it. He began by asking Theresa May,

:47:01.:47:02.

why she was not allowing parliament Yesterday the Prime Minister snubbed

:47:03.:47:22.

parliament and snubbed the Brexit committee's recommendations to bring

:47:23.:47:26.

forward a White Paper whilst at the same time describing the referendum

:47:27.:47:32.

as a vote to restore our parliamentary democracy. This is

:47:33.:47:39.

about our jobs, living standards and future prosperity. Why will it not

:47:40.:47:47.

be scrutinised by this House? Can I say to the right honourable

:47:48.:47:51.

gentleman that what I did yesterday was set out a plan for a global

:47:52.:48:01.

Britain. I set out a plan that will put the divisions of last year

:48:02.:48:07.

behind us, that will show a vision... That shows a vision for a

:48:08.:48:18.

stronger, fairer, more united, more outward looking, prosperous,

:48:19.:48:22.

tolerant and independent truly global Britain. It was a vision

:48:23.:48:26.

which will shape a stronger future and build a better Britain. Shortly

:48:27.:48:30.

after the Prime Minister confirmed that she wants to take the UK out of

:48:31.:48:36.

the single European market, the Scottish parliament voted by a large

:48:37.:48:42.

cross-party majority to remain in the single European market, just as

:48:43.:48:48.

a large majority of people in Scotland voted to remain in the

:48:49.:48:53.

European Union. The Prime Minister has said that Scotland is an equal

:48:54.:48:58.

partner in the United Kingdom. Does she still believe this is true or is

:48:59.:49:04.

she just stringing the people of Scotland along? I gave - I might

:49:05.:49:09.

refer the right honourable gentleman to my speech yesterday where I

:49:10.:49:12.

reiterated my commitment to be working with the devolved

:49:13.:49:15.

administrations to ensure their voice is heard, their interests are

:49:16.:49:18.

taken into account as we proceed along this path of negotiating our

:49:19.:49:24.

exit from the European Union. Also I specifically referenced the Scotland

:49:25.:49:27.

plan, I understand the Welsh Government will be producing a plan

:49:28.:49:30.

for Wales for to us look at too. That Scotland plan will be being

:49:31.:49:35.

considered by the JMC on European negotiations tomorrow, I believe. We

:49:36.:49:38.

will looking at is seriously and working with the Scottish Government

:49:39.:49:41.

on the proes they bring forward. In the United Kingdom we have 14

:49:42.:49:46.

regional markets for electricity distribution and high landers and

:49:47.:49:49.

islanders are facing higher prices because of where we live.

:49:50.:49:52.

Electricity distribution charges for the north of Scotland are an

:49:53.:49:57.

eyewatering 84% high are than distribution charges for London. The

:49:58.:50:01.

Prime Minister talks about fairness. Will she introduce a universal

:50:02.:50:07.

market for electricity pricing and stop penalising Highlanders and

:50:08.:50:10.

Islanders? Those of us that live in the coaliest windiest places are

:50:11.:50:13.

discriminated against by her Government and it must end --

:50:14.:50:17.

coldiest. Well, the honourable gentleman draws

:50:18.:50:21.

attention to the fact that of course geography does have an impact on

:50:22.:50:26.

these matters. He talks about living in the coldest and windiest place.

:50:27.:50:29.

Obviously, one of the issues that's interesting to look at in relation

:50:30.:50:33.

to Scotland is the whole question of renewables and the opportunities for

:50:34.:50:40.

renewables that appear in Scotland. But I can tell him that we are

:50:41.:50:48.

looking at the impact... We are looking at making sure that energy

:50:49.:50:51.

markets in the UK are indeed working properly.

:50:52.:50:56.

I didn't succeed in cursing the weather for David Porter! Here he is

:50:57.:51:00.

with lots of MPs. Thank you very much, Gordon. Yes a

:51:01.:51:04.

lot to talk about this afternoon. Without any further ado, let me

:51:05.:51:09.

introduce you to my guests this afternoon, deer dree Rock for the

:51:10.:51:15.

SNP, George Folks for Labour, Alistair Carmichael and Ian Stuart

:51:16.:51:18.

for the Conservatives. Let's talk first of all and a brief answer from

:51:19.:51:25.

all of us, Supreme Court will now report on Tuesday in its decision

:51:26.:51:29.

about Article 50. This is a big one, isn't it? It is but we will see on

:51:30.:51:34.

Tuesday whether the Supreme Court has agreed with the Government's

:51:35.:51:37.

appeal. If it chooses not to, I don't think it will be that

:51:38.:51:42.

significant in terms of what we do. The Government has a simple bill

:51:43.:51:46.

ready to introduce to parliament which I hope will quickly get past

:51:47.:51:49.

so we can get on with what the country wants to see and that is

:51:50.:51:52.

start the negotiations with the EU. You are a former lawyer, what's your

:51:53.:51:57.

take on this? I mean, you always know not to prejudge the judgment of

:51:58.:52:01.

a court until you see it. We will know the significance when we see

:52:02.:52:06.

it. In fact, I would say that it's already had a significant impact. It

:52:07.:52:11.

has already taken Theresa May from a position where she was saying the

:52:12.:52:13.

Government and only the Government will have a say on this, to one

:52:14.:52:18.

where they seek to involve parliament. They've not yet gone as

:52:19.:52:21.

far as they need to but have made a significant concession already.

:52:22.:52:25.

George? Yes, the Government knows that the High Court was right that's

:52:26.:52:30.

why the bill is ready to bring in straightaway. The Supreme Court will

:52:31.:52:33.

certainly uphold the High Court's decision. The other good thing is in

:52:34.:52:38.

the statement yesterday Theresa May has said that parliament will now

:52:39.:52:42.

have a say on the final deal and that was the only good thing in it,

:52:43.:52:49.

that is certainly a step forward. Of course spokespeople have said

:52:50.:52:54.

quickly after that there will not be a vote on whether they stay or not.

:52:55.:52:58.

We will get to hear whether the Scottish parliament has a say in

:52:59.:53:00.

being dragged out of Europe against its will or not. That might be legal

:53:01.:53:06.

Brexit, political Brexit very much in evidence. Your Government has

:53:07.:53:11.

been accused today of wanting a Little Britain Brexit as far as

:53:12.:53:14.

Scotland is concerned. No, the Prime Minister was very clear yesterday.

:53:15.:53:18.

We want Britain post-Brexit to be outward facing, liberal, open to the

:53:19.:53:23.

world, trading around the world. That's far from a Little Britain

:53:24.:53:27.

mentality. What is important now, there is an opportunity, both to get

:53:28.:53:33.

a good deal with the EU, and to open up our trading opportunities around

:53:34.:53:38.

the globe. I work in international trade department, there is an

:53:39.:53:43.

enormous appetite for the product of Scottish companies and UK companies

:53:44.:53:46.

to sell more. That's the opportunity we have now got to seize. Should we

:53:47.:53:51.

have been surprised when the Prime Minister actually ruled out we leave

:53:52.:53:55.

Europe, we leave the single market, surely one follows the other? She

:53:56.:54:00.

had given signals of that sort. In fact, it was remarkable that it has

:54:01.:54:03.

taken us seven months to get to a position as simple and as

:54:04.:54:08.

straightforward as that. But, yesterday's speech was a classic

:54:09.:54:13.

example of the way she handles this. She talks the internationalist talk

:54:14.:54:17.

but does not walk the walk. All the rest of the mood music in that

:54:18.:54:21.

speech yesterday was about a country that was turning inwards, that was

:54:22.:54:24.

drawing in from the rest of the world and ultimately that is going

:54:25.:54:29.

to be bad for us and specifically bad for our economy. It was

:54:30.:54:33.

noticeable that the Prime Minister said in her speech actually no deal

:54:34.:54:37.

could be better than a bad deal. Implicitly saying to Europe if you

:54:38.:54:40.

don't give us a good deal we will walk away. Yeah, well that's the

:54:41.:54:44.

kind of irresponsible talk we have heard. You know, with the country

:54:45.:54:49.

the way it is at the moment, the economy, we have just seen an

:54:50.:54:54.

ambulance go by, the health service in disarray, all of these things,

:54:55.:55:01.

the last thing we want is the kind of tax haven economy that is

:55:02.:55:07.

foreseen by what Theresa May is suggesting at the moment. The only

:55:08.:55:11.

thing that would make it worse would make the uncertainty worse, is the

:55:12.:55:16.

prospect of a second independence referendum. To have this uncertainty

:55:17.:55:20.

at the moment, for Scotland to have a second referendum would make it

:55:21.:55:26.

really ten times worse because we would be out of Europe, we would

:55:27.:55:30.

also be out of the United Kingdom. No country in Europe is going to

:55:31.:55:34.

accept Scotland, an independent Scotland as a separate member of the

:55:35.:55:38.

European Union. Total catastrophe. Your Government wants to make it ten

:55:39.:55:41.

times worse. That's nonsense, George. We have put a plan through

:55:42.:55:46.

to Theresa May and her Government proposing that - making a proposal

:55:47.:55:49.

regarding Scotland staying in the single market and retaining free

:55:50.:55:53.

movement of people. That gets discussed by a joint Ministerial

:55:54.:55:55.

council tomorrow and we will wait and see what she has to say. We are

:55:56.:56:01.

about protecting the people of Scotland's interests. 74% within my

:56:02.:56:04.

constituency voted to stay within Europe. This is a very clear message

:56:05.:56:08.

from the Scottish people and we will continue to protect their interests.

:56:09.:56:11.

Sticking with the idea of independence and a second

:56:12.:56:14.

referendum, a brief final question to you all, because of what we heard

:56:15.:56:18.

yesterday and Nicola Sturgeon's response to that, do you think we

:56:19.:56:22.

are now closer to a second Scottish independence referendum? No, I

:56:23.:56:27.

don't. My message to the Scottish Government is to work with the UK

:56:28.:56:31.

Government to get that best possible deal, that's what is in Scotland's

:56:32.:56:34.

interests, take this idea off the table so we can have that certainty.

:56:35.:56:38.

I feel we might be but we shouldn't be. You know, England is the biggest

:56:39.:56:44.

export market for Scottish manufacturers, over two-thirds of

:56:45.:56:48.

our goods are exported into England. 15% exported into the single market.

:56:49.:56:52.

George, briefly. I don't think we will. Nicola Sturgeon is no fool,

:56:53.:56:58.

she knows if she had one she would lose it, that would be the ind of

:56:59.:57:02.

independents completely and the end of her leadership. Unfortunately we

:57:03.:57:05.

would probably have Alex Salmond back again. Certainly Nicola

:57:06.:57:09.

indicated yesterday it would be likely if Theresa May is not

:57:10.:57:13.

prepared to look seriously at the proposals on the table and come back

:57:14.:57:16.

to us with flexible, some flexibility regarding our proposals.

:57:17.:57:21.

To aguests, thank you all very much. The clock has beaten us this

:57:22.:57:24.

afternoon. Gordon, one prediction I will make, two in fact, the weather

:57:25.:57:28.

won't remain as good here forever. Next week we are going to be talking

:57:29.:57:31.

about Brexit. Thanks, David. Let's get final

:57:32.:57:37.

thoughts from Andy. Do you think an independence referendum is any

:57:38.:57:40.

closer? It's a little bit closer because one of the apparent options

:57:41.:57:45.

has been ruled out. But we are always going to be getting to this

:57:46.:57:49.

point of the journey, a referendum is always going to happen and George

:57:50.:57:52.

is right about this, it's only going to happen when the Scottish

:57:53.:57:55.

Government feel they've a good chance of winning it. Way back they

:57:56.:58:00.

thought 60-40 was what they wanted the polls to look like before they

:58:01.:58:03.

called one. They're in a little bit of a corner harks time might

:58:04.:58:07.

evaporate and they might have to call one if they want to keep to

:58:08.:58:11.

previous assurances and the big decision then from Nicola Sturgeon

:58:12.:58:14.

is does she back down and come up with an excuse not to call one or

:58:15.:58:18.

take a risk? She is not a gambler, not like her predecessor, so it's a

:58:19.:58:21.

big decision, I am not sure he will go for it. Or hope there is a change

:58:22.:58:27.

in opinion polls. It's not just the increase in yes, they need an

:58:28.:58:29.

increase in people who want a referendum. There could be a big

:58:30.:58:32.

change but they said that after the Brexit vote and it didn't happen. So

:58:33.:58:38.

it's not certain. All right. Thank you, Andy: Join us tomorrow on BBC

:58:39.:58:41.

Two Scotland at 12 noon. That's all from us for now, goodbye.

:58:42.:58:57.

Robert Burns never travelled to America.

:58:58.:59:00.

In America, Burns was the 19th century Elvis.

:59:01.:59:05.

Many, from Lincoln to Dylan, have identified with his works.

:59:06.:59:10.

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