19/04/2017 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. We are expecting a vote in


the House of Commons shortly, where MPs are expected to back a snap


election on June the 8th after a lively debate. She is painting


herself as the prisoner of the Lib Dems, who apparently have threatened


to grind government to a standstill. Mr Speaker, there are nine of them


and they managed to vote three different ways an Article 50. Good


afternoon. Yesterday, Theresa May surprised the country in announcing


a snap general election for June the 8th. Today, MPs have been debating a


motion calling for the election and they are due to vote shortly. In a


moment, we will speak to Brian Taylor at Holyrood, but first, we go


to Westminster and David Porter. There is no question that this will


pass, is there? None whatsoever, but over the last couple of years I have


made predictions to do with politics which have been proved inaccurate,


but I'm pretty confident that, in a few minutes, we will find out that


MPs have backed Theresa May in her bid for aid in early election. She


needs two thirds of the House of Commons, 430 MPs. If it comes to a


vote, they have to back her on that. She has the support of the


Conservatives, as you'd expect, the support of Labour and the Lib Dems.


The SNP have said they will abstain. They say they will do nothing to


forestall an early general election but they are not going to help


Theresa May on it. The way the maths is working out, there is very little


doubt that she will get the backing of MPs. It may, and I stress may,


not even go to a vote if nobody objects when the debate concludes.


David, don't go away. Apparently they are voting now but we will be


back in a moment Brian Taylor is at Holyrood. Brian, the First Minister


has been in London today with a message for Theresa May, hasn't she?


Yes, and it was a fairly extensive message. She was meeting with the


MPs, preparing for that election to come on the understanding, as David


says, that it is all but done and dusted, although the result is yet


to be announced. They focus on Nicola Sturgeon's comment to the


effect that opposition to the Conservatives would crumble to dust.


That is pretty much the same argument Nicola Sturgeon has been


producing for several weeks, saying that the opposition of the


Conservatives to holding a referendum now or in the near future


was unsustainable. It is basically just heightened language with regard


to that. Prior to that comment about the independence referendum,


opposition crumble into dust, there is a long preamble in which Nicola


Sturgeon isn't talking about independence at all, but the primary


function of the SNP at this election being, as she sees it, to counter


Tory austerity and what she sees as a Conservative heart Brexit. Why?


Because the primary purpose of an election is to be a constituency MP,


and Nicola Sturgeon is countering the offer of the UK Government.


Second point, she doesn't want to make this a wraparound up on a


wraparound. Why? The SNP currently hold 56 out of 59 Scottish seats. --


she doesn't want to make this a referendum on a referendum. They


have to do even better than that to force a referendum, to match that to


insure a referendum is still on the table, and that is a very high bar


and she will not want to do that. She will say that a big vote for the


SNP makes it more challenging for the Conservatives but, you know


what, note that point, that she is focusing first up on the economy and


an Brexit. Because of what you have said, apart from possibly the


Conservatives, maybe the Liberal Democrats? Is there anything really


in this for any of the parties in Scotland? Because, as you've said,


the SNP think, even if they use a few seats, the Unionist parties will


presumably say, more than 50% of people voted against another


referendum. Labour, well, we all know their problems Ukip, pretty


marginal here. Lib Dems, will they be hoping to do something? The


Tories? The Lib Dems will be hoping to do rather a lot, both in Scotland


and across the UK. A sort of mirrored version of what the


Conservatives did at the last Holyrood election. Ruth Davidson


managed to allocate to herself a large, substantial section of the


prounion vote. She said, we are Tory, but we are a union party but


we don't have to look over our shoulders and concern ourselves with


questions and doubt. We are the Unionist party but she managed to


get a fair chunk of the vote as a. What the Lib Dems will do in this


election, particularly in England but also in Scotland, will say, we


are the pro-EU party, we want Scotland to be in the UK and we want


the UK to be in the EU. Nearly 50% of the electorate voted for Britain


to be in the EU. The Liberal Democrats hope they can persuade


people to come into a common position of pro-EU support. They


hope to do that more generally. In Scotland, the Tories' position is to


say, if the SNP fallback, if the Tory vote rises substantially, that


perhaps eases the pressure for an independence referendum, and their


view would be that it strengthens the union. I think Nicola Sturgeon


is careful not to go into a head-to-head battle on those


grounds, simply because the bar is so high, because they hold 56 out of


59 seats. B put the same point you, David, on a UK level. -- let me put


the same point but you can see what is in it for the Conservatives, they


think they can win, you can see what it is in it for Tim Farron, because


he thinks that the Lib Dems could revive by coming the pro-remain


party, but for Ukip and Labour, is there really anything for them to


look forward to? Is a rather elegant way of saying, and turkeys vote for


Christmas? No, normally they don't. For the Labour Party, there is a


problem. Although they are in dire straits, they are still the


principal opposition at Westminster, and it would, I think, have been


extraordinary if the principal opposition party had an opportunity


to call for a general election and said, actually, we don't fancy one,


go on doing what you are going to do. To that extent, Theresa May at


Jeremy Corbyn -- Jeremy Corbyn into a bit of a corner. I think Ukip have


a very real problems. They had a very charismatic leader who is now


no longer the leader in recent by-elections, they haven't got the


traction they would have wanted. They had great hopes for the north


of England and the Midlands. It now appears, with Brexit, that the


Conservatives feel that they can win some of those seats over from Labour


and, perhaps, people who were Eurosceptic but would not normally


have voted for the Conservatives in the past may now feel they have more


in common with the Conservative Party than they do with Labour, and


that is actually quite a big statement to make. The way the


opinion polls look at the moment, I think Theresa May would have


thought, I would be daft not to go for this at this time. A number of


people have been saying to her for a number of months, look, it will


never be this good again. Brexit could get very sticky but frankly,


you will need all the and support at Westminster that you can get,


therefore, go for an election. -- all the friends and support. The


opinion pollsters be wildly wrong. The Conservatives could lose support


during this election campaign. At the moment, the lead they have is so


great that I think Theresa May, when she looked at it, and she took the


counsel of senior colleagues, she felt this was an opportunity she


couldn't actually pass up, even though she will be accused of doing


a U-turn. Brian and David, thank you both very much. I have to say, the


level of sunshine behind you, David, looks positively dangerous! With me


in the studio is the political editor of the Daily Record, David


Clegg, and political commentator Lesley Riddoch. Let's start, shall


we, to be boring, on Parliamentary process. As David says, turkeys


voting for Christmas, arguably, with Labour, they did, but you couldn't


not vote for it. What is the point of the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act?


Not much. It was obviously put together in a different political


climate with a coalition government, trying to create stability but to


get rid of it now feels right, because there isn't much point if it


is just going to take a two thirds majority anyway and, if the


government of the day once to dissolve Parliament, the opposition


is never going to say, we think you should remain the government. In


that respect, I think the Labour Party is being forced into voting


for an election that all the indications are they are going to do


particularly badly in the MPs who are today going to vote, many of


them will lose their seats. We have seen some moderate Labour


politicians say they are not going to stand again. Including Alan


Johnson. Yes. I think the Labour Party is in a great deal of


difficulty and will be voting this afternoon what was a great deal of


enthusiasm. What is your sense that the mood amongst those of us who


will be voting? Do you think it is, fantastic, another opportunity for


an election! Or, for heaven 's sake, can't they get on with it?! The


latter, especially in Scotland, where we have had even more


elections and referendums then we have in the south. This will be the


seventh election I have covered in the last few years, and I think the


voters feel tired as well. What is your sense, Lesley? Much the same,


but I don't think it is just people being fed up with choreographed --


with politics, it is being backed up with choreographed empty dances, and


that is what it is, because there is no outcome that will make a


particular difference to Scotland. The SNP have been such high tide


mark that, almost in every different legislature they are part of, they


have broken the arithmetic. It has made no difference whatsoever to UK


politics. We have a situation where 62% of Scots voted to stay in the


EU, no difference whatsoever. There was a vote in the Scottish


Parliament, and no difference. If they broke the bank and got 59 seats


this time, would it make the blindest bit of difference? No, it


wouldn't. Probably what Nicola Sturgeon is doing, in addition to


the economics and everything else, is to try and showcase that complete


deadlock that Scotland finds itself in. Should they get 59 MPs... That


really would be more power to their elbow, in terms of getting a


referendum. It would, but it is strange for me to say this to you,


but what would actually take to force the hand, to change the


dynamics of the argument? It is the same dynamics, just with three extra


MPs stuck on top, actually, five, because there two no longer under


the party whip. We are sitting with an unresolved constitutional


situation in Scotland hovering over every election, including the local


elections that Theresa May is just swept completely off beam by this


announcement and, when it comes to it, Northern Ireland is sitting


unbuttoned at the moment. All of this sits underneath the


constitutional argument, which will not be very well advanced by any


outcome from Scotland, unless the SNP and the Greens, in my opinion,


do something quite daring, which is to come to some sort of agreement


today, Maggie Chapman for the Greens is already suggesting they would not


stand in seats where they have lost their deposit against the SNP. These


could be pivotal seats, the few that could change hands. By your


argument, it wouldn't make any difference anyway. It wouldn't, but


it would demonstrate the capacity for the pro-independence parties to,


to an extent, get over themselves and work together to bring about a


new dynamics of politics in Scotland that people talk about but which we


need to see more of. I would like to see them do something crazy in our


situation and think of something like a joint manifesto. If you


really mean it, why not go for it? A joint manifesto is fine under the


Constitution because they agree on it, but they don't agree on many


other things. I appreciate that. The Greens have got zero MPs and the SNP


have 54, so why should they do a joint manifesto? That's quite true,


if you look at it that way, in terms of the seats you get back. What you


get from that is a recognition that there is a different way to run


politics, which is consensual and recognises there is mutual benefit


trying to create a different way to run the country. It is a thought. I


doubt it'll happen, but we need something new of this election.


Currently, it could be a stalemate. Is there and argued that the kind of


ID you are thinking for would be more beneficial for the Unionist


parties? -- is there an argument that the kind of idea. Not a joint


Labour- Conservative manifesto, but Labour not standing in Perthshire,


where the Conservatives are likely to run the SNP pretty close. If


Labour won not to stand a candidate in that seat, which they have no


choice of winning, and they are serious about a pro-referendum,


prounion message... The independent sides can easily stand backwards or


forwards, it doesn't do much damage to them. Come on! I don't know who


is left supporting Labour, but the idea that you stand back to let the


Conservatives in after the rape close, sanctions, attacks on


disability benefits... Who would buy that? I'm not suggesting that if the


tactic. Is Lesley says, Labour were perceived, rightly or wrongly, to


have suffered during the independence campaign by being seen


to be part of a campaign led by the Conservatives. That is what has


caused all of their problems. What if they did what you are floating,


that would be seen in the same way about -- in the same way, whereas,


if the SNP were seen to be supporting the Greens, that wouldn't


necessarily do them any harm. Green voters don't penalised their party


for backing a party that wants to scrap air passenger duty. If you


work Green, the idea that you would support that... But they would say


in the Scottish Parliament that Patrick Harvie will support the SNP


on the idea of independence but has never pretended to support them on


anything else. Air passenger duty is in Holyrood.


WWE universe to the left, 13. -- the noes to the left, 13. The ayes to


the right 522, the noes developed, 13, so the ayes habit, the ayes have


it. Unlock. That was the speaker, announcing the result of the vote.


Hardly close the SNP decided they would abstain. David Porter joins us


now. Whopping majority for another election. Understatement of the day,


an emphatic majority, 522 in favour of an early general election, only


13 against. The SNP decided to abstain on that one. No surprise.


The surprise is that so many MPs decided they would be part of this


debate and would record their votes. It now means that in effect the


fixed term parliament act from this election can be end, let's say,


Theresa May can now go ahead and call that general election which


will take place on June eight. It was never really in doubt that it


would happen but a huge majority. Basically the election campaign is


well and truly under we! I just wondered if it surprises you, David,


there was talk from Labour MPs who are opposed to Jeremy Corbyn, saying


that he should not be supporting having another election and that it


was as you put it earlier in the programme, like turkeys voting for


Christmas. But if there are only 13 MPs voting against this it looks


like most of those Labour MPs, even if they were opposed to Mr Corbyn 's


position have gone along with it. It does appear that they have decided


to back this. I suppose some will think yeah, if the Prime Minister


gives us an opportunity to hold a general election we should take up


on that. Others, I think, will thinking, this has been pretty


dreadful for us Labour MPs in the last 18 months. We have a Labour


that the majority of us don't want to support. Perhaps it is a case


that the turkeys have thought, it may be better to get this over and


done with and face whatever consequences we face. It will be a


very interesting seven weeks. As far as Labour is concerned, it's going


to be very interesting to see how many of those Labour MPs campaign


positively with Jeremy Corbyn as their leader or campaign on local


issues. Thank you for that. Let's go back to David Clegg and Lesley


Riddoch. Is Labour and issue, David? What do you do if you are one of the


majority of Labour MPs who will apparently be automatically selected


to stand in this election and you don't agree with a word, although


not so much that you don't agree with the word he says, just that...


You think you can't win with him as leader. Do you stand back and do


nothing or campaigned vigorously in the hope that something will change?


I think you must campaign vigorously come if you stand for election you


must believe in your own platform. And from a wider strategic point,


surely some of the moderate Labour people, their primary ambition in


that regard is to get rid of Jeremy Corbyn. Taking a hammering in this


election will presumably get rid of him and give them the chance to


rebuild, having effectively been proved right by the electorate in


what they were saying. So in that kind of long-term goal, there is an


argument that having the election now is actually good. There's also


an argument for sitting back and doing nothing. If you believe as a


Labour MP for as long as you can keep your seat that hammering for


Labour might lead to the rebirth of the Labour Party, do nothing? It's


quite tactic, that. It's kind of the name of the game! Are we served by


this kind of setup in Britain? This is such an extraordinary situation


where, as you say, the Labour, the opposition party, had to meet the


gauntlet, thrown at their feet, does the country need an election now?


Really debatable. As one single thing changed in the last six weeks


that the Disney means that Theresa May needs some kind of mandate? Has


not. And the SNP have a mandate to do what they are doing... That was a


headline in the Daily Mail. An extraordinary headline which Mrs May


did not rebut today, so it remains, if you tackle this part of the


Democratic process and tackle Mr May from now and you are some sort of


saboteur of democracy, that is where it's got to. The Sun had a similar


headline and they are big papers, I understand, I don't reach them! We


will be back with you shortly. Let's cross again to College Green, I


think David is with the pollster. Yes, from YouGov. Joe, your


organisation is actually conducting research to find out what the UK


public thinks of us. Yes, we have the latest figures, we are


conducting a special poll, we want to ask if anything has changed in


Scotland. My sense from the data we have already is that it hasn't. The


SNP is an extremely strong position with so many seats. The best that


they could hope for is a few games but they can't go any further. An


incredibly high bar for the SNP. If you are a member of the Labour Party


and the Conservatives and the Lib Dems, does that mean that in this


campaign in Scotland you have to be ruthless and go for what you see as


marginal SNP seats? I would say so. The idea of bringing back the kind


of change going back to the Labour domination we saw decades ago is not


realistic at the moment and won't be for some years to come. Instead you


must adopt an alternative strategy, concentrate on those specific seats


you can win and concentrate on those conservatives who are hoping to


bring over The supporters and perhaps picking up some seats.


Unlikely, but possible, and the others will attempt similar things,


although it only means a handful of seats, not wholesale change. So most


of the voters in Scotland will see a contest in which the parties are


going through the motions, they would really fight or 59 seats


hammer and tongs. Will have to see exactly what they said that the


polling does suggest that. What we may seek is a realignment along the


lines of Brexit, along the lines of what we saw with the Scottish


independence referendum, this time everything might be about Brexit.


That's more likely in England and Scotland but in both cases we have


seven weeks to go and a lot can change in that time. As far as


Scotland is concerned, is the voter fatigue, oh, no, not another


election? It's not just in Scotland that we are picking that up, not


another election, following the election and the general election


and for the Scots following from the referendum. I think people would


have preferred a spring off but we don't all worlds get what we want.


-- not always. What are the strengths of the various parties? In


Scotland the SNP have a very strong position and can play very much on


this idea of independence but wanting to fight against Brexit.


That will certainly formed the bedrock of their campaign. The


Conservatives of Scotland will want to present themselves as the


alternative for Leave voters, and the Lib Dems will hope to position


themselves as a national remain option but it is difficult for all


of them, given the domination of... We've seen in recent elections that


the pollsters haven't always got it right. Are you confident that you


have tweaked things, that you will be reflecting the view of the


general public in the UK and Scotland? It is fair to say that we


don't always get it right, it is also fair that we often do. We'll be


hoping to get back to the good old days for the last 16 years where we


have been largely accurate although all polls have a margin of error,


they are only ever a snapshot of public opinion at the time. We'll


have to watch what could be a close contest. Thank you very much. You


will be a very busy man in the next seven weeks. Thank you for joining


us. Back to you, Gordon. Thank you, David.


EU officials appear to have welcomed this snap election. The chief


correspondent for a political websites joins me now. David, is


there a general welcome in the European Commission for this? Among


the CNET EU leaders I think that is true. It may be optimistic, overly


hopeful thinking but that thinking goes something like this. If Theresa


May has a stronger mandate that may silence some of the ladder


Brexiteers. Some of the folks who are much more anti-EU then she


personally has been. This might give further leveraged understanding


mandate needed to negotiate an orderly withdrawal -- this might


give her the leveraged. The kind of exit that leaves everyone in a


stronger position. I am interested to hear that because there has been


some talk in the EU about not wanting to give Britain to good a


deal in case it encourages others to leave. So if you are right and they


don't want to see our hard Brexit and they would like a stronger


Theresa May does that imply that the European side is quite keen to get


quite some of what you want in terms of access to the single market? As I


said this may be overly helpful and this won't be too pleasant or two


friendly and negotiation, even today, as the commission was


responding more fully to news of snap elections in Britain some of


these European medicines agency 's in the UK was, they will not be


there after Brexit despite some comments from David Davis and


others, saying no way, these agencies will be on the territory of


the EU and the UK will not be in the EU. So I think there no soft and ink


of positions although there is a sign that she might be and it could


be that she will be more reasonable than some of the loudest voices we


have heard in the Leave camp in the last few months. The other reason


what is it surprised me a little of that one thing that has been talked


about is, if there is a general election in Britain and there is no


prospect of a general election in 2020, the argument was that that


might strengthen the EU hand in negotiations, if there was going to


be an election recently afterwards they would have leveraged other


Theresa May that they will not have now because there won't be an


election. It's part of an analysis that I wrote for Politico yesterday.


Since the Brexit vote time has been on the side of the EU. There was


pressure on Mrs May two trigger Article 50 and pressure on Britain


to get a deal done in the two-year deadline, and that election was


looming right afterwards, when in that first year, we would not expect


some of the gains to be filed from Brexit although some of the pain


might be filed, so in terms of changing that election day, the


point at which Theresa May and her government would face a test at the


ballot box gives her a bit of a cushion, but on the other hand that


is not inconsistent with some of the goals in Brussels. She's talking


about possibly the need for a transitional period, that may be


difficult or may have been more difficult to negotiate with an


election looming, if she has an extra two your cushion that may


allow you to get a transition in place, keeps the UK paying into the


EU budget which Brussels would not oppose by any means, and also gives


a window to negotiate a trade stew which both sides have said they


would like. David, thank you very much. Let's get some political


reaction. Joining me from Minister is the


SNP's Jeopardy Westminster leader, Stuart Ramsey. Brian Taylor said


earlier that Nicola Sturgeon does not want this general election to be


a referendum on whether there should be another independence referendum,


is that your view? What she said was the Scottish Government already has


a mandate to hold a Scottish independence referendum. This


general election is about other things as well. It is about the type


of Brexit we will have. It is about whether we will continue with


austerity. It is about whether we will have a right wing government


unfettered by substantial opposition, cutting even more deeply


than in the past few years. It is about a lot of things, not simply


about Scotland's constitutional future. What would you count as


success that the SNP in this election? I remember going through


the entire election contest in 2015 saying that our intention was to win


the UK election in Scotland. This is our intention on June eight. Given


that we have been sitting on 47% in the polls for the last seven months


we've got to be pretty confident that we will do very well indeed.


Would you accept there is a chance that, given you did so well in 2015,


that you might lose a few seats? You never take the electorate for


granted and, speaking to my colleagues, I think they are going


to contest their seats as if they were trying to win them for the


first time. The mood of the party on the ground in Scotland is absolutely


buoyant. We are confident we've got a really positive message, not this


Brexit, not the hard Tory, cliff edge Brexit, not the austerity. We


have a picture to make which is far, far more progressive, far better not


just for the people of Scotland but also, in Scotland in particular, the


ball walk between the Scottish people and a hard right Tory


government, I think that is an incredibly attractive proposition to


make. Is it? Let's say you are right, the polls are correct and you


get 46, 40 7% of the vote, you keep most of your MPs at Westminster, why


does anything changed? Theresa May still says, I'm not ruling out a


referendum, but you're not having one while the Brexit negotiations


are going on. You say, that's terrible, we want another


independence referendum. We are exactly back where we are right now,


aren't we? Is the First Minister made clear this morning, the measure


of success in an election is winning the most votes in the most seats. If


our pitch is to move Scotland forward, and the Tory pitch, and


remember this is a straight SNP- Tory fight in Scotland now, the Tory


pitch is to keep Scotland stuck in this hard Brexit union, if we win, I


think Theresa May doesn't have a democratic leg to stand on if she


thought she could pose another independence referendum. But you


don't think she has a leg to stand on right now, so I don't see what


has changed. She set the parameters, not us. I started by saying that the


Scottish Government currently has a mandate to hold the referendum, and


we intend to do that, but our argument is that it is not a proxy


on the referendum. If it is an SNP - Tory fight and we win, I think the


last vestiges of democratic credibility footy remake -- for


Theresa May go completely. The scenario both you and I are


accepting, that you still do very well, you keep most of your seats,


you still don't get your referendum on independence, so what do you do


next? I don't accept that. If Theresa May is even remotely a


democrat, there is not just the mandate from the 2016 election, the


mandate from the Scottish Parliamentary vote, but the mandate


from a UK election. It puts her in a very weak position. Lesley Riddoch,


it's an odd one for the SNP, because what does change, even if, as


Stewart Hosie outlined, they do all that? As you said earlier, they are


back where they are at the moment. Sort of, and it is a bit difficult,


because there are plenty of people out there who want to campaign on


independence now, but the SNP will feel that there is not the right


time to do that. A seven-week campaign in which, if you put detail


out, it will be picked over on questions of currency... Would your


advice be, look, don't go into details about what an independent


Scotland would look like? Just say you are in favour of it. They are


saved from that in extent by the timing. Since it is not of their


choice, they can put up their and say, we are doing this seriously, we


had a process, so we can't come out with answers to staff within seven


weeks. It's far too short ace timescale. -- answers to this. There


is still going to be a lot of disgruntled people out there who


want, at long last, just to campaign for the vision of an independent


Scotland in Europe, the frustrating thing to me slightly, as somebody


who isn't a member of the SNP, is that lots of people want to discuss


that and get into the bones of what it would mean to be in Europe or the


EEA, all the halfway house options, but you can't do that as long as the


SNP are coy about this becoming a vote on independence, because they


are not geared up for that. What is your take? An odd one for the SNP.


They could be victims of their own past success in this election. I


don't see a massive downside for them, to be honest. I think it is


quite possible for them to lose a couple seats. An extra result in


2015, winning 56 seat out of 59, and the law of gravity suggests they may


well fall back a little. They will still overwhelmingly win in Scotland


for the scenario, they win 50 or something, so they are thrilled --


they are still in a strong position. In a general UK context, their


ultimate goal could be strengthened, because it looks like we will see


the Labour Party wiped out by the Tories at a UK level. So that the


SNP can say it is a fight between independence against the hated


Tories, as they would put it. You saw Stewart Hosie saying, this is a


hard Brexit, and that is a compelling argument to be made for


independence if a referendum comes along, and a general election result


in a few weeks which has a massive Tory majority make it stronger. But


you didn't hear him talk about independence. I don't think the SNP


are wanting to style this is independence against the Tories. It


is basically the SNP against the Tories. It's a political party


thing. Lets get some reaction from the Conservatives. The MP John


Stephenson joins us from Westminster. What ambitions do you


have up here for the Conservatives in this election? What I am


campaigning for is a Conservative majority government in the UK. I


want to make sure we are well above 325 seats and I'd like to see as


many seats as we can win in Scotland to enhance that. That you any notion


of realistically what a number of seats in Scotland would be? -- have


you any notion. We campaign everywhere and we would hope to


games in Scotland. We will be campaigning vigorously. We have a


very good leader in Scotland, a very good Prime Minister, and it's about


a UK Government, it is about who is leading the UK into negotiations


with the EU, that is what this election is about. What is your


rationale for why Theresa May has done this? I think it is entirely


logical. Last year, we had a UK wide referendum and voted to come out of


the EU. Article 50 has been triggered. It is now about getting a


mandate for the negotiation with our European partners. Who does this


country want to be Prime Minister leading these negotiations? Is it


Prime Minister May with a Conservative majority or is it


Jeremy Corbyn and? When you say a mandate, that would be more


convincing word Theresa May to lay out a prospectus before the British


people during the selection of what exactly it is she wants to


negotiate. We will have to wait and see what the Prime Minister does lay


out during the campaign, but the important is, does this country have


confidence in? That doesn't give any logic at all. You talked about the


logic of an election. It's not as if she was about to be overwhelmed by


strident opposition from the Labour Party. She really needs to hold an


election to marginalise it hard Brexit is in your own party, who


will presumably cry traitor every attempt to deal with the EU. -- to


marginalise the hard Brexiteers. I was a remainder but I support


reminisced in her objective now. She wants to make sure she has a stable


majority in parliament, that she can negotiate from a position of


strength. Unfortunately, many of the opposition parties want to frustrate


the process. They don't want the best deal for the UK, they want to


upset the negotiations and continuously talk about is second


referendum. I think the focus of the Prime Minister is right. Can you


give any examples of the sort of thing you would want to see from


Brexit that is different from hard Brexit? You say you were a


remainder. What is the difference between what you want and what some


of the hard Brexiteers want? Whenever people talk about this, I


think we are going to end up with a bespoke UK- EU trade deal, and that


is what I would want to see. That gets the best for all parties. A


specific deal done for the benefit of the UK and our European parties.


That is the right approach. Would you be prepared to seek concessions


on immigration to get such a deal, Britain being part of a customs


union? What would it look like? I don't want to pre-empt any


negotiations... ... You are just telling us your opinion. You can see


a deal sector by sector, a broadbrush trade deal. That would be


down to the negotiations. I think we will end up with a bespoke deal


between the UK and the EU and we will look to see if we can get


similar deals with other countries and the rest of the world. Thank


you. We haven't talked about why you two think that Theresa is doing


this. There is an obvious thing about wanting their own and eight.


What do you think it is to try and head off the hardline Brexiteers in


her own party? If so, I am not sure it's going to work, because they


will probably still be there after the election as much as now. That's


true, and I don't think anybody is going to get by this line -- is


going to buy this line that opponents of the route should


actually sit up -- shut up, sit down and let her have an unchallenged


course through the whole thing. I am conscious, listening to the MP, of


this notion that there could be a hope for a trade deal negotiated


between Britain and the EU. If this was such a kind of go, why is it


that banks are relocating right now out of London into Frankfurt, Berlin


and Dublin? Passport in, which was so important... If I was a bank


executive, I would say it is prudent behaviour. Before cost of that


prudent behaviour, cast in the context of the Scottish referendum,


was a huge problem for that referendum -- proposition, but it is


happening quietly now and we don't connect it with the discussions


about the future. The guys with the money are already shipping out. Why


do you think Theresa May is doing it? Apart from the personal mandate,


like John Major. I don't think it is as much Brexit as pure party


political advantage. Two polls said that Labour were 20 points behind


and, lo and behold, there is a snap election. I think she thinks that


Jeremy Corbyn will be a disaster and it won't necessarily be, it won't


necessarily be this bad for ever, so she should strike now. So you think


all this talk we heard from John Stevenson about giving her a mandate


or her particular form of Brexit is all just Guha. There two separate


ideas. One is that she is trying to protect herself from the hard


Brexiteers. Why has she filled her cabinet with them then? Some others


are suggesting it is going to lead, the EU thinks it's going to lead to


a softer Brexit. I don't see much evidence she is pushing for that. We


will be back with you later. Ian Murray, Scotland's only Labour MP,


joins us now. It was only recently that you were tweeting that your


leader was a disaster. Can he win a general election? It's hardly


surprising that you are reading those back to me. It's not also a


surprise that I didn't support Jeremy Corbyn's leadership when he


was re-elected, but he is the leader of the Labour Party, we are going


into election, he is our candidate for Prime Minister and we will


support him on that. Can you win? Of course. We are looking to try and


gain seats back in Scotland and we are looking to fight for every


single seat across the country. This election is being framed as a Brexit


election. It's an unnecessary general election, the promised has


gone back on a promise not to have one, so we go to the country, we


bring down this Conservative government and we go back and say


there is a choice to be made, and the choice is to stop this hard


Brexit you have been talking about and to send a message to Nicola


Sturgeon that we don't want another independence referendum. That is the


framing of this election. What is the choice? Labour doesn't appear to


have a position on Brexit, which is particularly clear. Is there some


proposition about Brexit you will be putting to the people of the country


and, if so, what is it? Keir Starmer in his Mansion house speech a few


weeks ago set at six key tests, one of which was to maintain access or


membership of the single market, that was one, and everything else is


framed around it. They are around making sure we can protect workers'


rights, making sure we can protect the social chapter we have enjoyed,


in terms of the rights we have in this country. There are six tests,


the clear position of the Labour Party to hold to account. If we win


the election on June the 8th, we will be going back to make sure we


can get the softest of soft Brexits and we will see where that leads us.


The manifesto will be out soon and that will detail clearly what the


Labour Party position is. You said one minute ago you would


like to keep your own seed. Do you have any notion of how many seats


realistically Labour could claw back in Scotland? Any ambitions in that


front? We will be looking to win as many seats as we can. The election


was only called at 1115 yesterday morning and took us all by surprise


including no doubt yourself on the BBC because everybody was


speculating it might be some other announcements we are putting


resources into seats we think we can win, pushing candidates in every


seat in Scotland and fighting on the dishes on their doorsteps. We said


in 2015 that any other vote than Labour in delivering a Tory


government would be bad the country and I am sorry to say we have been


proved right, we have disastrous Brexit coming up and we back on this


merry-go-round of independence. That's the result of not electing


Labour. So now we say, let's elect a Labour government, get rid of this


dreadful Conservative government, get the country back on track and


Goldberg services important to your viewers which the economy,


education, and the future. You have made no secret of your opinion about


Jeremy Corbyn. The worst Labour do, the more likely it is you can get


rid of him and the better you do, the less likely it is you can get


rid of him. We want to win this election because one good day of


Labour government is better than a thousand days of bad Tory government


so we will do all we can to get Theresa May out of Downing Street.


We all share the same values in the Labour movement, that comes out time


after time, whether it is myself, Kezia Dugdale Jeremy Corbyn and


we'll be taking those values to the doorstep and telling people what it


is so important to get rid of this Tory government, the country is


staring down the barrel of a gun in terms of a hard Brexit. We


have to say to the Prime Minister it's not acceptable, no one voted


for this, it is bad for the country and bad for the future and they will


turn to us and vote Labour. Thank you very much. David, as ringing


endorsements of a leader go, I have heard ringinger! It's clear that


he's not comfortable with Jeremy Corbyn but he's got a fight on his


hands. You must be nervous. I was doing a piece of the paper today


about what the key contest in Scotland could be and it's almost


impossible to find a seat where Labour could pick up a seat. The


only thing they could do is pour all their resources to try to hold on


with Ian Murray because we've heard speculation in the last 24 hours


that Scotland could become a Tory free zone as far as MPs are


concerned. It's not inconceivable that it could be a Labour MP free


zone as well. His majority isn't that great. Not the worst but not


strong enough that he would be particularly confident enough


especially with the Corbyn drug effect. Any other seats Labour might


win? All the strongholds in Glasgow were former strongholds, I had


forgotten just how large the SNP majority is. Could not go back just


as quickly? Certainly not in this election. What is your take on


Labour? Mum another thing that could happen chronologically is the


council elections. I appreciate that they are pretty small beer, the way


that they are played, some areas that no one identifies with, however


there is already organisation on the ground and the SNP are infinitely


more organised than Labour for that. They've got activists down on that


level canvassing relentlessly so these guys just need to keep going


and that will make it even more difficult because there are reports


of Labour not fielding full slate of candidates because they can't summon


the numbers. A puzzle here. Labour claims to be the biggest mass


membership party in Western Europe and although perhaps the numbers


joining in Scotland are less than in England still a lot of people have


been joining, haven't they managed to turn that new membership into a


campaigning organisation? I don't know if it's a case in England, but


in Scotland they haven't had the numbers to do that much. Lesley


mentions an important point, the candidates. One great advantage to


the SNP will have is that their candidates will be there already


because they have practically all the seats. Except Mhairi Black. She


says she will stay on. The Conservatives have been talking this


morning, she thinks they could target five or six seats and they've


been having a bit of bother with some of their candidates saying


silly things on social media. They will be having to get candidates in


place and let them and they don't have much time to do that. Vows of


silence perhaps! Scrubbing their Twitter feed before they go forward!


About Labour, because will talk about the Lib Dems later, anything


at all to gain full Labour nationally? UK wide? If Jeremy


Corbyn surprised everyone, there could be that. The polls have been


shown to be wrong before and they are a mass membership. I personally


think the polls are about right. The Corbyn Labour Party is just the kind


of organisation you like, isn't it? A ground upwards let's get down to


the grassroots peoples party? That is the way the Corbyn supporters and


Momentum people would see themselves. There is an irony that


the kind of person Labour has lost in Scotland to the SNP would


probably not be unhappy voting for Corbyn 's Labour Party in some


respects but that's not the deal on offer. It's kind of academic. As far


as what Labour could look for in the UK, all they can look for is first


past the post, one of the least fair systems on the planet and if they


could figure any kind of tactical voting there might be some


possibilities, the Scots have proved very adept, and figuring out how to


remove a Tory. It's possible that Southern voters could catch on and


might vote Lib Dem. Paul Mason, now a Labour Party member, advocated on


Newsnight last night tactical voting if you were a Corbyn supporter. That


might catch on. The problem with that is that the position on Brexit


is so muddied. That could benefit the Lib Dems rather than Labour. If


you are in favour of Remain and have a strong Lib Dem premise they have a


clearer pro-remain aligned than Labour so why would you not vote Lib


Dem? Lacey if Labour could change the agenda down south from being


about Brexit to do you want this Tory government that doesn't want


any opposition, if they could get that dynamic going then possibly


people would think, how do I get a Tory out in this seat in much the


same way the Scots did without a script? The two elections running?


David is down on College Green again. Let's get a final thought. It


is all done and dusted, what's the reaction been? I think it is, thank


goodness it is going to happen, we knew it would happen from yesterday,


let's get on with it. There's a bit of business to be done in


Westminster this week and next week, we think Parliament will be revoked


toward the end of next week, so they've got a few days to do what


they call washing-up business, that is important pieces of legislation


like the Finance Bill and stuff like that which is important to the


finances of the country and there will be other bills that will fall,


and we will know that the new government will want to take those


bills Ford or not. I think the feeling is, speaking to MPs, they


know there will be an election on June eight, now they just want to


get on with it. They just wonder, whether they wanted an election or


not, it is what they are in politics to do, to represent their


constituencies and from time to time put themselves up for election. We


have seen the SNP, the Conservatives, and the Labour


speaking as if this was their big chance, the one thing that they


could not wait for! Obviously they are all going to win! Which of them


meant it? Of course they say will all win and they are all confident.


I think in Scotland it's going to be incredibly difficult to see things


changing very much to tell the truth. The SNP are in a very strong


position and in many of the seats they have, even if they did see


their support, they have a quite big majority, perhaps they will be a few


changes, the SNP could see a couple of seats but I don't think it will


change dramatically. The UK as a whole, the Conservatives seem to


have a huge lead, that could be some false opinion polls, but it could


mean as well that as far as Labour MPs are concerned, and you talk to


Labour MPs privately, they are not confident. They are going through


this because they have to. We could have a situation where, as far as


England is concerned, we are in effect have a realignment of


politics if Labour take a big hit. I am catching it, it is if, it is


maybe, it is good, it is not necessarily going to happen. The


next few weeks will be important. Paradoxically local elections could


be important because they will give an indication of the way people are


thinking. Now we've got a general election grafted on top of the local


elections, many people in local elections will vote as the do in a


general election, they will just be doing it more than a month before


the real general election. It will be fascinating as far as political


journalists are concerned, and good for trade, people may say that


campaigns are boring, don't believe them. Plenty of unexpected stories


will come along. It will be fun. David, thank you. We hoped to speak


to Alistair Carmichael, he didn't turn up today. Before we go back,


look at this. Winning 56 seats will be a huge challenge for Nicola


Sturgeon 's party, Ruth Davidson has predicted that we have hit peak and


the only way is down. This party... How!


LAUGHTER Don't do pieces to Camara! Have a


quick look around first. Do a piece to the Camara is as close to the


scene of the action. You could always cover all the bases. And


Nicola Sturgeon does seem to be popping up all over the place, she


did have a pre-existing arrangement that took her to London today that


they she is a game. We're going to have seven weeks of this, any


surprises as David with his usual amazing optimism forecast! What


could come along? The only surprise in Scotland would be if the SNP


don't do well. It doesn't seem very likely. This Tory revival taking


lots of SNP seats would be a big story but it doesn't seem likely. UK


wide the question is what does the public make of Jeremy Corbyn. Or


could this machine, allegedly behind him, suddenly spring into action? Is


interesting because people will be sizing him up as a potential Prime


Minister negotiating Brexit. Let's see what they think about that


prospect. Potential surprises? The local elections. Will the NSP take


Glasgow? Will they hold steady? If they do then the alignment of


practically all the representation of the SNP within these big cities


is complete and that's a big spur to them and what they go on to do and


the foot shoulders upon whom much is dependent. People should not dismiss


the local elections out of hand because that will be huge. And the


general election, any surprises? Can Corbyn muster the troops and


actually show some leadership. Will have to leave it there. Thank you


both very much indeed. That's all we've got time for now, First


Minister's Questions is tomorrow at midday, until then, from us all,


goodbye. this super-sized hospital has been


transforming lives in Scotland. He said it had been


grown in America. There's nowhere else in Scotland


that could have done everything that we've done.


Yes, there's the sad times, but we get to see people


with happy endings.