25/01/2017 Politics Scotland


25/01/2017

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


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At Holyrood, the Brexit minister Mike Russell will be giving

:00:15.:00:18.

a statement on the Supreme Court ruling on Article 50.

:00:19.:00:21.

And Scotland's exports to both the UK and EU continue to rise,

:00:22.:00:25.

with renewables pushing up the figures.

:00:26.:00:29.

And here at Westminster attention is now turning to the legislation

:00:30.:00:32.

Theresa May has told the Commons that the UK Government will publish

:00:33.:00:40.

The Prime Minister had been under pressure from Labour MPs

:00:41.:00:44.

and a number of Conservatives to take the step, after

:00:45.:00:47.

the Supreme Court ruled that MPs need to give approval

:00:48.:00:50.

The announcement on a white paper came after a question

:00:51.:00:55.

from the Conservative MP Chris Philp.

:00:56.:01:03.

The Prime Minister laid out a clear and bold plan for Brexit in her

:01:04.:01:17.

speech last week. Honourable members, honourable members, quite

:01:18.:01:20.

rightly, want an opportunity to scrutinise that plan. Does the Prime

:01:21.:01:25.

Minister agree that the best way of facilitating better scrutiny would

:01:26.:01:30.

be a government White Paper, laying out our vision for a global Britain,

:01:31.:01:38.

based on free trade in goods and services that will be to the benefit

:01:39.:01:45.

of us and other European countries? My honourable friend raises the

:01:46.:01:48.

question of Parliamentary scrutiny. I have been clear, as have senior

:01:49.:01:53.

ministers, that we will ensure that Parliament has every opportunity to

:01:54.:01:56.

provide scrutiny on this issue as we go through this process. But I

:01:57.:02:01.

recognise I set out that bold plan for a global Britain last week and I

:02:02.:02:04.

recognise there is an appetite in this house to see that plan set out

:02:05.:02:08.

in a White Paper. The question from my honourable friend, the member for

:02:09.:02:13.

Brookstone, last week in the same vein, and I can confirm that our

:02:14.:02:16.

plan will be set out in a White Paper.

:02:17.:02:16.

Let's talk to our Westminster correspondent, David Porter.

:02:17.:02:22.

Was this a surprise? I think it was one of those surprises that people

:02:23.:02:30.

had a fair idea might come. I say that because yes, to some extent it

:02:31.:02:34.

was a bit of a climb-down by the UK Government, probably in an ideal

:02:35.:02:37.

world they would have said, no, we don't want a White Paper, but all

:02:38.:02:42.

treaties and negotiations with Europe before have been subject to a

:02:43.:02:47.

White Paper, so I think it was something that Theresa May thought

:02:48.:02:51.

she would have give ground on, and that's exactly what she did. When

:02:52.:02:54.

you listen to that question, it did seem like it was a planted question

:02:55.:03:00.

that had taken root on those green benches. What it did do, to some

:03:01.:03:05.

extent, as we will probably see later PMQs, it did to some extent

:03:06.:03:10.

wrong-foot the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, who had some questions

:03:11.:03:13.

prepared on the need for a White Paper, and to Weezer May was able to

:03:14.:03:16.

say that she had announced there would be gone. -- Theresa May was

:03:17.:03:20.

able to say she knows that would be one. Important to say that this is a

:03:21.:03:25.

White Paper on UK Government's overall stance on Brexit and the

:03:26.:03:29.

negotiations that will go on, not the legislation to trigger Article

:03:30.:03:36.

50. That legislation will be introduced into the Commons

:03:37.:03:40.

tomorrow. Being a White Paper, it is the government's intention for their

:03:41.:03:44.

Brexit negotiations, but it will not give the detail many MPs would have

:03:45.:03:49.

wanted. You make an important point, that this isn't the same as the bill

:03:50.:03:53.

to trigger Article 50. That will be a very short possibly one liner, we

:03:54.:03:59.

know, two or three lines. But, if the White Paper is not supposed to

:04:00.:04:06.

give away Theresa May's negotiating stance, yet it is a White Paper,

:04:07.:04:11.

what is it supposed to do? What it can do is sort of say to the

:04:12.:04:16.

government's own backbench MPs and opposition MPs, these are the areas,

:04:17.:04:19.

this is the general stance we will be taking, this is what we are

:04:20.:04:25.

hoping to achieve. But I think anybody who would expect a document

:04:26.:04:28.

basically giving away state secrets is going to be very much

:04:29.:04:32.

disappointed. What she can say is, I have listened to what MPs have been

:04:33.:04:37.

saying, a number of MPs this morning were calling for a White Paper on

:04:38.:04:41.

the negotiations. They have not got that. So she can go to the house and

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say, look, I've listened to what you have said, I have acted on and you

:04:46.:04:50.

will get a White Paper, but quite powerful that White Paper will be,

:04:51.:04:54.

we will only find out when it is published. We will be back with you

:04:55.:04:59.

later and you have to give us some time to digest the news that there

:05:00.:05:02.

may be planted questions in the house!

:05:03.:05:03.

Scotland's trade with the rest of the UK continues to be worth four

:05:04.:05:07.

times more than its exports to the EU, according

:05:08.:05:09.

Renewable electricity through cables going south of the border has helped

:05:10.:05:12.

drive the value of Scottish sales to the rest of the UK close

:05:13.:05:15.

International exports were also up around 4% during 2015.

:05:16.:05:19.

But there is a political battle over which markets are most

:05:20.:05:22.

Our business and economy editor, Douglas Fraser, reports.

:05:23.:05:28.

This is a wind factory in central Glasgow making small-scale wind

:05:29.:05:37.

turbines. They have just made their 1000th wind turbine in six years.

:05:38.:05:42.

They now mainly export what they produce. In fact, wind power is one

:05:43.:05:46.

of the reasons why there has been an increase in sales of goods and

:05:47.:05:50.

services from Scotland into the rest of the UK. That total value is ?50

:05:51.:05:57.

billion, for these 2015 figures. Exports to the whole of the rest of

:05:58.:06:03.

the world came to around ?29 billion that year, and to the EU, within the

:06:04.:06:08.

European Union, ?12 billion of sales. From the point of view of the

:06:09.:06:12.

UK Government, that suggests that the UK market is four times more

:06:13.:06:17.

important as the EU market but, from the Scottish Government point of

:06:18.:06:21.

view, arguing that Scotland ought to stay within the European single

:06:22.:06:24.

market, they are saying that the potential of the whole EU market is

:06:25.:06:27.

eight times bigger than the British one.

:06:28.:06:28.

Now, later this week, Theresa May will be talking trade

:06:29.:06:30.

with the new US President Donald Trump.

:06:31.:06:32.

But, while those talks go on, the post of the Scottish Government's

:06:33.:06:35.

official representative to the United States lies empty

:06:36.:06:37.

after the last incumbent stood down suddenly in November.

:06:38.:06:39.

John McManus looks at the diplomatic and economic challenges ahead.

:06:40.:06:50.

Typically high-powered entrants for one of Scotland's 's most famous and

:06:51.:06:57.

controversial investors. When he dropped in on his Turnberry golf

:06:58.:07:01.

course, Donald Trump was still a presidential contender. Now he is

:07:02.:07:05.

the most powerful man on earth. No longer the butt of jokes. I'm not

:07:06.:07:11.

sure he will be wanting to phone me. In the highly unlikely event that he

:07:12.:07:17.

becomes president. What would your message be? I am on the other line,

:07:18.:07:22.

sorry for the now leaders will definitely take his calls. The First

:07:23.:07:26.

Minister congratulated Mr Trump on his win and issued a warning. That

:07:27.:07:30.

doesn't mean I don't respect the fact that America had elected him as

:07:31.:07:34.

their president is therefore I hope we can have a constructive

:07:35.:07:37.

relationship and I hope that Donald Trump the president turned out to be

:07:38.:07:43.

a very different person to Donald Trump the candidate. Strong

:07:44.:07:46.

relations between Scotland and the US are vital, not least for trade.

:07:47.:07:53.

The government's business agency, Scottish developers International,

:07:54.:07:57.

says the US is Scotland's's biggest source of foreign inward investment.

:07:58.:08:02.

Over six years, it secured more than 13,000 jobs from US companies with a

:08:03.:08:06.

combined investment of ?1 billion, and there could be further

:08:07.:08:10.

opportunities, but only if the right support is there. The US is

:08:11.:08:16.

Scotland's's biggest export market. We have great Scottish companies

:08:17.:08:19.

selling into that market, for example in the drinks sector, brew

:08:20.:08:25.

dog, a young brewing company. They are expanding into the US market was

:08:26.:08:29.

well established links such as salmon and whiskey. It's a big

:08:30.:08:32.

market. We have high-tech companies that we are looking to expand their,

:08:33.:08:40.

such as people selling software and the US hospital market. The Scottish

:08:41.:08:46.

Government as an office in the British Embassy in Washington,

:08:47.:08:49.

dedicated to selling brand Scotland, but there has been nobody in the

:08:50.:08:53.

driving seat since November when the last head moved on. And in 2010 the

:08:54.:08:59.

government published its plan for engagement with the United States,

:09:00.:09:02.

detailing the steps it would take to promote across the Atlantic. It

:09:03.:09:09.

promised annual updates, but the last comprehensive review detailing

:09:10.:09:12.

numbers of jobs created and links forged was in 2013. So, as the

:09:13.:09:15.

government dropped the ball? The Scottish Government has released

:09:16.:09:17.

a statement saying the US is an important market for Scotland

:09:18.:09:19.

and interim arrangements are in place in the Washington

:09:20.:09:21.

office after Daniel Jack returned Former Labour MP Tom Harris

:09:22.:09:24.

is in the studio with me today. And, I should say, the man who ran

:09:25.:09:38.

the Brexit campaign in Scotland. Is this turning out the way that you

:09:39.:09:44.

wanted or expected it to turn out? It's... It is a solid a shape at the

:09:45.:09:50.

moment as I probably expected it to be. There is a not longer bit

:09:51.:09:54.

between now and when we finally leave the EU before we see any solid

:09:55.:09:58.

shape of what the deal is going to look like. But the emerging view of

:09:59.:10:03.

the British government, that they want to be out of the single market

:10:04.:10:09.

and possibly, they are not quite solid, but possibly if not probably

:10:10.:10:12.

out of the customs union, is that what you would have wanted? Pretty

:10:13.:10:18.

much. Even some of the more moderate Labour MPs who have finally worked

:10:19.:10:21.

out that freedom of movement has to change in some way, even they are

:10:22.:10:26.

saying that is more important now than having membership of the single

:10:27.:10:30.

market. If Theresa May can get what she says she wants, she can get

:10:31.:10:35.

tariff free access to the single market, allowing Britain to control

:10:36.:10:39.

its borders, of course, that is something that nobody would

:10:40.:10:42.

criticise and everybody would welcome. But can she achieved that

:10:43.:10:47.

in negotiations? We will find out in the next two years. The Scottish

:10:48.:10:51.

Government would say that isn't enough, they don't just want tariff

:10:52.:10:54.

free access, because that would mean giving up the single market it,

:10:55.:11:00.

which means the regulations are the same across Europe. It isn't the

:11:01.:11:05.

same. To all intents and purposes, it is the only difference is we no

:11:06.:11:09.

longer have to pay all that money to the EU and we wouldn't have to abide

:11:10.:11:14.

by the European Court of Justice. Collect your thoughts, because we

:11:15.:11:18.

are going to to the chamber, where the Scottish pigment's Brexit

:11:19.:11:23.

minister, Mike Russell, is making a statement about the judgment from

:11:24.:11:25.

the Supreme Court about triggering Article 50.

:11:26.:11:31.

That comes as a stinging rebuke to the UK Government and its stubborn

:11:32.:11:36.

refusal to accept the previous unanimous court ruling that an act

:11:37.:11:40.

of Poland was required before formal notification of the decision to

:11:41.:11:45.

leave the EU. -- act of Parliament. Instead, it tried to plough on

:11:46.:11:49.

towards a hard Brexit. Effective UK Parliamentary scrutiny is now

:11:50.:11:54.

enabled. The parties and members at Westminster will have to rise to

:11:55.:11:57.

that challenge. The SNP is more than ready to do that. Once the UK

:11:58.:12:02.

Government publishes its Article 50 Bill, 50 SNP MPs in the House of

:12:03.:12:07.

Commons will bring forward a range of amendments... I am sorry, to

:12:08.:12:15.

understate the number. There are of course more than that. Far more than

:12:16.:12:21.

the one Tory MP from Scotland in the House of Commons.

:12:22.:12:25.

APPLAUSE SNP MPs in the House of Commons will

:12:26.:12:30.

bring forward amendments to Claire Baker UK Government's approach to

:12:31.:12:34.

drug ring Article 50. Some of those will seek to amend the bill so that

:12:35.:12:38.

the UK Government must first secured unanimous agreement from the

:12:39.:12:48.

joint... In July last year, the Prime Minister assured the First

:12:49.:12:51.

Minister that Article 50 would not be triggered and still we had a UK

:12:52.:12:55.

approach for negotiations, in line with Theresa May's clear and

:12:56.:12:59.

unambiguous view of how the UK should operate, saying that it

:13:00.:13:03.

should be a country in which Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland

:13:04.:13:07.

and England continued to flourish side-by-side as equal partners. Of

:13:08.:13:09.

course, that is a sentiment expressed by all of the Better

:13:10.:13:16.

Together partners during the referendum. Taking the Prime

:13:17.:13:19.

Minister at her word, which I'm sure will be welcomed by cheering from

:13:20.:13:24.

the Tory benches, when it is brought forward, we will seek to enforce

:13:25.:13:28.

that. Presiding officer, there was another aspect of the judgment,

:13:29.:13:31.

which has made one thing crystal clear, because this whole process,

:13:32.:13:37.

the determination of the UK Government to pursue a disastrous

:13:38.:13:41.

hard Brexit, is revealing much about the way power is exercised in the UK

:13:42.:13:46.

and who exercises that power. Yesterday, the Supreme Court

:13:47.:13:48.

considered the arguments put forward in interventions to the Lord

:13:49.:13:52.

advocate and Welsh council general on the devolution implications of

:13:53.:13:57.

triggering Article 50 was that we are obviously disappointed with the

:13:58.:13:59.

ruling about the legal enforceability of this, but let's be

:14:00.:14:06.

clear about what the judgment said. Notifying the intention to leave the

:14:07.:14:10.

EU will have significant consequences for devolved matters

:14:11.:14:13.

and the powers of the Scottish Government, and the court explicitly

:14:14.:14:17.

accepted that. In so doing, it's obvious that the convention is

:14:18.:14:23.

triggered by a UK bill authorising the Article 50 notice. What the

:14:24.:14:26.

court has ruled is that the operation of the convention is a

:14:27.:14:31.

political, not a legal matter, and therefore outside the remit of the

:14:32.:14:34.

court, a position urged on the court by the UK Government. It also

:14:35.:14:39.

resisted any and all efforts to give real teeth to the Scotland act

:14:40.:14:43.

provisions on the school convention. The UK Government has at least been

:14:44.:14:47.

consistent. Under no circumstances, it has said, should its action be

:14:48.:14:52.

questioned by judicial authority. The Tories may wish to reflect on

:14:53.:14:55.

the wisdom of gloating on this point. Rather than a defeat for the

:14:56.:15:01.

Scottish Government, the ruling exposed the inadequacy of the Smith

:15:02.:15:04.

commission process and, for those who believe that writing Sewell into

:15:05.:15:11.

law would represent a new status for the Scottish Parliament. It is in

:15:12.:15:17.

fact a deceit for the Tory architects of the Scotland Bill

:15:18.:15:21.

2016, architects including the Tory constitutional spokesman. But it is

:15:22.:15:27.

a wider defeat. As one community commentator has noted, yesterday's

:15:28.:15:33.

ruling is a disappointment on the rights of Holyrood is that was an

:15:34.:15:39.

opportunity, said Kenny Farquharson of the Times, to recognise the new

:15:40.:15:46.

reality of a changed UK. This is, he said, a depressing moment for those

:15:47.:15:50.

of us who have consistently backed home rule for Scotland within a

:15:51.:15:55.

reformed UK. Yesterday's ruling demonstrates how empty work the

:15:56.:15:58.

assurances of being a partnership of equals and that the Scotland act

:15:59.:16:03.

would represent a new settlement. The UK Government merely reinforces

:16:04.:16:07.

the old view, the supremacy of Westminster, its immunity from

:16:08.:16:10.

constraint by law courts or respect for this parliament.

:16:11.:16:12.

Now, earlier this week, MSPs travelled to Brussels to rally

:16:13.:16:14.

One them was David McAllister, who only yesterday was appointed

:16:15.:16:18.

the chair of the European Parliament's foreign

:16:19.:16:20.

David McAllister, can you hear me? Have you joined us? Yes, good

:16:21.:16:33.

afternoon from Brussels. I can see you now! First of all, what is the

:16:34.:16:39.

mood amongst MEPs towards Brexit at the moment? Is it to try to do a

:16:40.:16:47.

friendly deal with the UK which might involve some access,

:16:48.:16:50.

tariff-free access for Britain to the single market or is it a fear

:16:51.:16:55.

that if that were done, it might encourage other people to do the

:16:56.:17:02.

same? Of course I can't speak for all MEPs in Brussels and Strasbourg.

:17:03.:17:08.

In general, I would say a huge majority deeply regrets what

:17:09.:17:12.

happened on 23rd June in the UK. After the speech of the Prime

:17:13.:17:15.

Minister, we know the UK is facing a hard Brexit. That means the EU will

:17:16.:17:19.

not only leave the European Union but also have to leave the single

:17:20.:17:24.

market. So, we're now all waiting for the Government in London to

:17:25.:17:30.

actually trigger the Article 50 procedure and we'll go into the

:17:31.:17:34.

details. Before that, we can't begin the negotiations as long as there's

:17:35.:17:39.

no notification. I think a lot of my colleagues are interested in finding

:17:40.:17:44.

a sensible deal with the British. But, as Jean-Claude Juncker put it,

:17:45.:17:49.

the negotiations are going to be very, very difficult. When you say a

:17:50.:17:55.

sensible deal, do you mean one where there's a bit of give and take on

:17:56.:17:58.

both sides? It seems to be accepted Britain will be outside the single

:17:59.:18:02.

market. Is that, in your view, quite as black and white as it seems?

:18:03.:18:11.

Well, the Prime Minister has ruled out the Norwegian or Swiss model.

:18:12.:18:16.

She also wants to leave the customs union so the Turkish model is also

:18:17.:18:20.

not an option. This really only leaves, in the end, that we will

:18:21.:18:27.

negotiate free trade agreement, a trade agreement with the UK and one

:18:28.:18:33.

thing is clear, if the UK wants to continue to export goods into the EU

:18:34.:18:40.

single market without tariffs and trade barriers, they will have to

:18:41.:18:45.

respect our rules in the internal market. So, it's going to be not

:18:46.:18:51.

easy but once again, whatever happens, the UK remains a friend,

:18:52.:18:56.

ally and partner of the European Union. It is just so sad that this

:18:57.:19:00.

country is leaving our family of nations. There has been some

:19:01.:19:05.

suggestion here that there might be different deals for different parts

:19:06.:19:09.

of industry. Something I would think you personally might take an

:19:10.:19:14.

interest in. At one point, you were on the supervisory board of

:19:15.:19:17.

Volkswagen through running the lower state of Saxony. Are people in

:19:18.:19:24.

Germany concerned about what this deal the British Government seems to

:19:25.:19:28.

have done with Nissan amounts to? Is there concern there to find out

:19:29.:19:33.

exactly what's going on? Especially in Germany, lots of people were

:19:34.:19:37.

disappointed after the referendum because we believe that the UK's

:19:38.:19:43.

such a valuable and important partner for us in the European

:19:44.:19:46.

Union. The European Union will be a different one without the British.

:19:47.:19:50.

However, we have to respect the politics of the Government in

:19:51.:19:55.

London. Germans in general are following very closely what's

:19:56.:20:01.

happening in the United Kingdom. No other country's getting such media

:20:02.:20:04.

attention when it comes to national politics as the UK is getting. We

:20:05.:20:10.

also understand that there are big divides in your country, especially

:20:11.:20:15.

between the four nations. I thought the 62% in favour of EU membership

:20:16.:20:21.

in favour of Scotland was an impressive vote from the Scottish

:20:22.:20:25.

people. When you say that, do you think there's any possibility... The

:20:26.:20:31.

Scottish Government is arguing Scotland should be allowed to stay

:20:32.:20:36.

in the single market perhaps by joining E FT A while remaining part

:20:37.:20:40.

of the UK. Is that something you can see has any possibility of success?

:20:41.:20:48.

I read the report coming from the Scottish Government with great

:20:49.:20:51.

interest and in detail. I think it's an interesting approach to try and

:20:52.:21:06.

find out if a part of the UK could join EFTA. This is a complicated

:21:07.:21:10.

legal question which, at the moment, I can't comment on. You'll have to

:21:11.:21:16.

find expertise and get an answer if E FT A will be billing willing to do

:21:17.:21:21.

so or not. Can you see the European Union, including Germany, being

:21:22.:21:25.

prepared to entertain such a state of affairs? This is a domestic,

:21:26.:21:32.

British political question. Sorry, no, it's not. If Scotland were to do

:21:33.:21:38.

that, the rest of the European Union would have to agree to Scotland

:21:39.:21:43.

doing this. It's not just a Scottish domestic question. Yes, but the

:21:44.:21:47.

question if Scotland could be able to join an international

:21:48.:21:51.

organisation like E FT A would probably have to be sorted out with

:21:52.:21:54.

London. This is a domestic political question. That's why I beg your

:21:55.:22:00.

pardon, as a German politician, I prefer not to get dragged into these

:22:01.:22:05.

kind of details. What is the view in Germany about this? You said people

:22:06.:22:09.

want some sort of amicable settlement. The Brexiteers in

:22:10.:22:16.

Britain like to say countries of the European Union, including Germany,

:22:17.:22:19.

are so dependent on Britain for exports, they'll have to do a deal.

:22:20.:22:24.

Is that the mood in Germany or we'll try to do a deal but if the British

:22:25.:22:28.

just leave, it's not the end of the world? First of all, we have to get

:22:29.:22:34.

the withdrawal agreement done. This will take two years. It will be very

:22:35.:22:39.

ambitious. We have to get it down before the next European elections

:22:40.:22:44.

in May 2019. Afterwards, we'll definitely need a longer period of

:22:45.:22:50.

time, several years, to negotiate a new trade agreement. In the

:22:51.:22:56.

meantime, the UK will have to operate in a transitional period

:22:57.:22:59.

with the relationship with the European Union. Of course Germany

:23:00.:23:02.

and other countries are interested in good trade relations with the UK.

:23:03.:23:05.

It is an important market for our goods and services. But, on the

:23:06.:23:09.

other hand, the UK is heavily dependent on the European single

:23:10.:23:17.

market. We, as 27 member states, are in a better negotiating position

:23:18.:23:20.

than the UK which asked for this divorce. We didn't ask for this. If

:23:21.:23:26.

it's a soft or hard Brexit, the will's make sure it is not a nasty

:23:27.:23:30.

or dirty Brexit. Thank you for joining us this afternoon.

:23:31.:23:33.

Former Labour MP Tom Harris is still with me.

:23:34.:23:37.

They don't want this but they seem quite prepared to do a deal? If

:23:38.:23:46.

would be the implication of that. If David is representative of the kind

:23:47.:23:51.

of approach that the EU's taking to Brexit negotiations, that's a good

:23:52.:23:54.

sign. That's someone who's thought deeply about all of the issues,

:23:55.:24:02.

doesn't want thereby any kind of major fisture between us and the EU

:24:03.:24:06.

and wants to do a reasonable deal. Anyone looking at this will say the

:24:07.:24:11.

UK's Government is not going to get all its own way nor the EU. There

:24:12.:24:16.

will be compromise. What about the Scottish Government's approach? It's

:24:17.:24:21.

interesting. To an extent I sympathise with the approach Nicola

:24:22.:24:26.

Sturgeon's taking on this. As you say earlier on, it's not the choice

:24:27.:24:31.

but if it were the choice that Scotland had to clues the EU single

:24:32.:24:35.

market or the UK single market in the event of independence within the

:24:36.:24:41.

EU, clearly the UK market's four times as important to the Scottish

:24:42.:24:46.

economy as the single market in the EU is. Can I point out, Brexiteers

:24:47.:24:51.

say, when they is brought up with regard to Britain and the importance

:24:52.:24:54.

of trade with Europe, they say, that doesn't matter. The growth in trade

:24:55.:24:58.

is all coming from outside the European Union. It doesn't meater

:24:59.:25:04.

40% of our tried is with Europe, the biggest growth is outside. The same

:25:05.:25:09.

argument could be made with Scotland relative to the UK. You can't have

:25:10.:25:14.

your cake and eat it? Well you can according to the Foreign Secretary.

:25:15.:25:18.

Let's look at it in purely practical economic terms. The Scottish

:25:19.:25:22.

nationalists are saying England won't deal with an independent

:25:23.:25:27.

Scotland. The point is, an independent Scotland, the EU will

:25:28.:25:30.

have no control over its trade. It will be decided by the EU. If the

:25:31.:25:36.

rest of the UK he is paying tariffs into the single market, that means

:25:37.:25:39.

tariffs to get into the Scottish market. We need to think seriously

:25:40.:25:43.

about the practical implications of that. In terms of politics, do you

:25:44.:25:49.

think the British Government is playing its hand with regard to the

:25:50.:25:55.

Scottish Government sensibly? They are giving the impression, every

:25:56.:25:59.

time Nicola Sturgeon says something, no. Wouldn't it be more sensible to

:26:00.:26:06.

say look, they are exciting opportunities. Let's start talks on

:26:07.:26:09.

that rather than appearing to be saying, go away? I totally agree.

:26:10.:26:15.

The worst thing that Conservative ministers can do is come up to

:26:16.:26:19.

Scotland, pretend to listen. Immediately dismisit. That riles up

:26:20.:26:26.

Scots completely understandably. What's important, yesterday's

:26:27.:26:30.

Supreme Court ruling was a real slam dung for the UK Government. For --

:26:31.:26:37.

dunk. For the first time, the Supreme Court reminded that the EU

:26:38.:26:40.

is nothing to do with the Holyrood Parliament. What we heard Mike

:26:41.:26:47.

Russell appear to be suggestioning, the join committee would have to

:26:48.:26:57.

unanimously approve. Would it be aye right? That would be my view.

:26:58.:27:00.

Now to this week's Prime Minister's Questions,

:27:01.:27:02.

where Theresa May announced that a white paper on the Government's

:27:03.:27:05.

plan to leave the EU would be laid before the Westminster parliament.

:27:06.:27:08.

The Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, pressed her on why she had taken

:27:09.:27:11.

so long to announce the move, and asked when she intended

:27:12.:27:13.

Mr Speaker, the Prime Minister has wasted 80 days between the time of

:27:14.:27:26.

the original judgment and the appeal and is now finally admitted today,

:27:27.:27:31.

after pressure from all sides, that there's going to be a White Paper.

:27:32.:27:36.

Could we know when this White Paper is going to be available to us? And

:27:37.:27:44.

why, and why it's taken so long to get it? Can I say to the right

:27:45.:27:54.

honourable gentleman, he asked for debates. I was clear there would

:27:55.:27:58.

always be debates in this House. There have been and will continue to

:27:59.:28:02.

be. He asked for votes. There have been. The House voted overwhelmingly

:28:03.:28:07.

for the Government to trigger Article 50 before the end of March

:28:08.:28:11.

this year. He asked for a plan. I set out as my honourable friend for

:28:12.:28:16.

Croydon South said, a clear plan for a bold future for Britain. He and

:28:17.:28:21.

others asked for a white many. I've been clear there will be a White

:28:22.:28:26.

Paper. What I'm also clear about is that the right honourable gentleman

:28:27.:28:30.

always asks about process, about the means to the end. I and this

:28:31.:28:34.

Government are focusing on the outcomes. We are focusing... We're

:28:35.:28:42.

focusing on a truly global Britain, building a stronger future for this

:28:43.:28:47.

country, the right deal for Britain out of the European Union.

:28:48.:28:50.

Yesterday, the Government lost in the Supreme Court. Today, we have a

:28:51.:28:55.

very welcome U-turn on a White Paper in regards to Brexit. So, in the

:28:56.:29:01.

spirit of progress for Parliament, in advance of meeting President

:29:02.:29:04.

Trump, will the Prime Minister tell Parliament what she wants to achieve

:29:05.:29:12.

in a UK/US trade deal? Can I join the right honourable gentleman in

:29:13.:29:17.

his good wishes for a happy Burns Day. And in recognising the

:29:18.:29:23.

bi-Centenary of the Scotsman. What do we want to achieve in terms of

:29:24.:29:28.

our arrangements with United States? It is simple. We want to ensure the

:29:29.:29:33.

interests of the UK are there that are put first. That's what I will be

:29:34.:29:37.

doing. That we see trade arrangements with the United States

:29:38.:29:41.

as we'll look for in other parts of the world, that can increase our

:29:42.:29:44.

trade, Brigg prosperity and growth to the UK. My aim is to ensure that

:29:45.:29:50.

economy works for everyone in every part of the United Kingdom. When she

:29:51.:29:55.

meets with the First Minister, will she confirm whether she, the Prime

:29:56.:29:59.

Minister, supports the principle of the Scotland Act whatever is not

:30:00.:30:03.

reserved is deinvolved. What powers will come to the Scottish Parliament

:30:04.:30:08.

in the event of Brexit? Can she confirm it will not be the great

:30:09.:30:14.

power grab? I've been clear. It was ex-owed by the Secretary of State

:30:15.:30:19.

for exiting the European Union, no powers that are currently devolved

:30:20.:30:23.

will be suddenly taken back to the UK Government. What we will be

:30:24.:30:27.

looking at and discussing with the devolved administrations is how we

:30:28.:30:31.

deal with those powers which are currently in Brussels when they come

:30:32.:30:36.

back to the UK. We want to ensure is that those powers are dealt with so

:30:37.:30:40.

we can maintain the important single market of the UK.

:30:41.:30:42.

to our Westminster Correspondent David Porter.

:30:43.:30:50.

Balmy weather there, and hopefully some MPs, too. Balmy weather if you

:30:51.:30:58.

are used to the Arctic Circle! Let me introduce my panel. Stephen

:30:59.:31:05.

Gethins, the SNP MP, Frank McCallan from Labour, Alistair Carmichael

:31:06.:31:08.

from the Liberal Democrats and Ian Stewart from the Conservatives, who

:31:09.:31:13.

has the rare treat, I suppose, of having this constituency celebrating

:31:14.:31:19.

his 50th birthday. Happy birthday to Milton Keynes! Alistair Carmichael,

:31:20.:31:23.

the Prime Minister, Theresa May, has announced that there will be a White

:31:24.:31:30.

Paper on Brexit. Is it a concession or was it good politics? Bowing to

:31:31.:31:34.

the inevitable, and the fact there is going to be a White Paper doesn't

:31:35.:31:39.

tell you much. We will judge the substance of the approach when we

:31:40.:31:42.

see what is in the White Paper, because every time we get promised

:31:43.:31:48.

some more information, come the day, it's always rather thinner, more

:31:49.:31:50.

disappointing than we had been led to expect. It might be a White Paper

:31:51.:31:57.

with quite a few blank pages in it. We certainly contribute all of the

:31:58.:32:02.

details of our negotiating stance in advance. That isn't in the national

:32:03.:32:07.

interest. I think it's unfair to say the Prime Minister hasn't been clear

:32:08.:32:10.

about what her ambition is. Her speech last week was a bold and

:32:11.:32:15.

visionary prospect of the opportunities that this country can

:32:16.:32:19.

take advantage of. We have been coming to Parliament, we will be

:32:20.:32:22.

coming to Parliament, there is the great repeal bill still to come,

:32:23.:32:26.

there will be plenty of Parliamentary scrutiny, but we

:32:27.:32:30.

cannot in any negotiations, you do not reveal your negotiating hand in

:32:31.:32:35.

advance. I think it's fair to say that perhaps the announcement

:32:36.:32:38.

slightly wrong-footed your party leader. Are we perhaps looking at

:32:39.:32:42.

this through the wrong end of the telescope, saying, there will be a

:32:43.:32:45.

White Paper, but actually the real concern should be good deal and what

:32:46.:32:49.

comes out at the end? That is my view. In a sense, I don't think the

:32:50.:32:54.

interesting question is whether or not there is a White Paper. I think

:32:55.:32:58.

there will be a sizeable majority to trigger Article 50 when the votes

:32:59.:33:07.

come. And I think that attention will then turn on the nature of the

:33:08.:33:12.

deal. That ultimately is the most important part of this, what is our

:33:13.:33:15.

future outside the EU going to be like? The Prime Minister set some

:33:16.:33:22.

bars for herself last week, promising not just tariff free

:33:23.:33:25.

access but barrier free access for our goods and services and

:33:26.:33:28.

agriculture, and she now needs to make sure that she delivers on that

:33:29.:33:34.

come because we are promised a vote at the end of this as well, and I

:33:35.:33:39.

think that vote is becoming much more important. Stephen Gethins,

:33:40.:33:42.

your party is minded to vote against Article 50. You said you would table

:33:43.:33:48.

50 amendments on it. Article 50 is going to be triggered, so why does

:33:49.:33:56.

the SNP not accept that? This is a job of scrutiny. This has a big

:33:57.:33:59.

impact on everybody. Let's take the White Paper, look, I'm pleased that

:34:00.:34:04.

Theresa May has caved in on this, but I also raised an important point

:34:05.:34:08.

earlier, we need some substance here, so we want to see a

:34:09.:34:12.

substantive White Paper with a bit of detail in it, and it needs to be

:34:13.:34:15.

produced before the committee stage of any bill triggering Article 50.

:34:16.:34:21.

We need to be able to scrutinise this properly, it is part of our job

:34:22.:34:24.

and we have a responsibility to that. When does a substantial White

:34:25.:34:29.

Paper veer into giving our negotiating position away? The

:34:30.:34:35.

Scottish Government managed to produce a 670 page White Paper. We

:34:36.:34:40.

are not asking for that number of pages, but we are asking for a bit

:34:41.:34:44.

more detail. What happens to university funding, the food and

:34:45.:34:48.

drink sector, EU nationals who have made the UK and Scotland their home?

:34:49.:34:52.

These are areas we need answers on. Stephen Gethins mentioned, the

:34:53.:34:56.

Scottish Government produced a comprehensive document on the EU and

:34:57.:35:03.

Brexit. Would you be looking for something similar from the UK

:35:04.:35:08.

Government? I'm not sure everyone would regard that document

:35:09.:35:11.

necessarily as the model of what has to happen, but what I would say is

:35:12.:35:15.

that we are involved in a lot of process here, and I think what

:35:16.:35:19.

matters most to the viewers, to our constituents around the country is,

:35:20.:35:24.

what is the content on this? We had a speech last week. We had major

:35:25.:35:30.

industrial sectors here in Parliament yesterday, automotive,

:35:31.:35:33.

aerospace, pharmaceuticals, all expressing severe concern about

:35:34.:35:37.

where the Prime Minister's direction would lead us, and ultimately that

:35:38.:35:43.

is what matters and what does this all do to our trading position, to

:35:44.:35:48.

investment, to prosperity? Those things are not clear yet but I

:35:49.:35:51.

think, as we go through this process, that is where the focus

:35:52.:35:56.

will rightly be. I suppose, however much information the government is

:35:57.:36:00.

able to give, the Westminster government, it is not going to be

:36:01.:36:05.

enough for everybody, is it? There are some people who want to thwart

:36:06.:36:10.

the whole process and imagine that the referendum never happen. Article

:36:11.:36:13.

50 is the start of a process, not the end of it, and we will go into

:36:14.:36:18.

these negotiations trying to get the best deal for this country. The

:36:19.:36:21.

Prime Minister has been quite clear on some issues, like the rights of

:36:22.:36:26.

EU residents in the UK. She wants that to be an early agreement, as

:36:27.:36:32.

long as we can then secured the rights of UK citizens living abroad.

:36:33.:36:36.

She has given details on this. And the person who could make that

:36:37.:36:41.

happen today, if she chose to, is Theresa May, but still she refuses

:36:42.:36:44.

to deal with that and to show a bit of initiative. And they are right,

:36:45.:36:51.

negotiations will happen, the deal will then be judged. Theresa May has

:36:52.:36:55.

conceded the principle that the government will not have the last

:36:56.:36:58.

word on that, that Parliament will have a vote on it. I think that's

:36:59.:37:04.

the wrong way around and, if we are to have somebody outside government

:37:05.:37:06.

giving the final verdict on that, it shouldn't be Parliament. The process

:37:07.:37:11.

should be finished by the people, in the same way it was started by the

:37:12.:37:14.

people and they should be a referendum on the deal.

:37:15.:37:18.

So that is only argument for a second vote on Europe. And on the

:37:19.:37:24.

deal. But you would say that, when she comes back with a Brexit deal,

:37:25.:37:29.

it should not be up to you four individuals as part of 650, it

:37:30.:37:33.

should be up to the UK to vote again? What Theresa May is offering

:37:34.:37:40.

Parliament is a meaningless gesture, because you know the context of that

:37:41.:37:44.

vote in parliament, when it comes, and it will be that they dare not

:37:45.:37:50.

thwart the will of the people as has been expressed in a referendum. That

:37:51.:37:53.

is what you are already hearing, and I have some sympathy for that. If

:37:54.:37:58.

there is to be a meaningful decision on this, it should be taken by the

:37:59.:38:01.

same people who took the first decision, the people of the country

:38:02.:38:06.

as a whole in a referendum. It is the politically consistent and

:38:07.:38:12.

logical thing to do. The electorate at large is sovereign. If it is such

:38:13.:38:15.

an important decision, there is some logic in saying that they should

:38:16.:38:21.

have another say? The country has given an instruction that it is

:38:22.:38:24.

Parliament's job to deliver on it. It seems a bit early to be talking

:38:25.:38:29.

about a second referendum, just months after the first one, but I

:38:30.:38:33.

asked the Prime Minister in PMQs today about the nature of this final

:38:34.:38:38.

vote. Would it mean an alternative deal, is Parliament says no to it,

:38:39.:38:43.

or would it mean us falling back on the world trade organisation rules

:38:44.:38:48.

in a disorganised manner, some very high tariffs in there for particular

:38:49.:38:54.

sectors, 10% on car exports, for example, 20% on food and drink. This

:38:55.:38:59.

could have huge implications. So I think this point about the deal and

:39:00.:39:03.

how it assessed at the end is going to become more important. Scotland

:39:04.:39:09.

voted overwhelmingly to remain part of the EU, so I think we need to see

:39:10.:39:12.

a bit of compromise from the government here. The Scottish

:39:13.:39:16.

Government have produced plans on what could be the least worst

:39:17.:39:19.

option. This is about protecting jobs and the economy. We need some

:39:20.:39:24.

movement from the UK Government. The Prime Minister is about to go to

:39:25.:39:29.

America to meet President Trump. What should she be saying? Clearly

:39:30.:39:33.

she is closing up to the United States. It is an important partner

:39:34.:39:38.

in trade. But it worries me broadly that we seem to be getting closer to

:39:39.:39:43.

Trump's United States and to our like-minded European partners.

:39:44.:39:48.

Should she be building bridges or saying, on certain things, we

:39:49.:39:52.

disagree and I will speak out? I think the tone of what she says is

:39:53.:39:58.

very important. I think it's a shame that President Trump chose his

:39:59.:40:01.

inauguration speech to emphasise some of the more divisive themes in

:40:02.:40:06.

his campaign, than doing what new presidents have traditionally done,

:40:07.:40:09.

bringing people together, and I think she has some important

:40:10.:40:13.

messages to deliver, about Nato not being obsolete but a cornerstone of

:40:14.:40:18.

collective western defence and not putting Chancellor Merkel and

:40:19.:40:21.

President Putin in the same bracket, as he recently did in a newspaper

:40:22.:40:26.

interview. This is quite a feather in Theresa May's cap, but it is also

:40:27.:40:30.

important for setting the tone between the new president and the

:40:31.:40:34.

international community. We have a special relationship with the US,

:40:35.:40:39.

and we have had it for many decades. As a close friend of America,

:40:40.:40:44.

sometimes close friends say harsh truths. I think the Prime Minister

:40:45.:40:47.

has been clear on things like climate change, which came up today,

:40:48.:40:52.

that she will not be afraid to take a different line. The special

:40:53.:40:56.

relationship is between the two peoples of Britain and the US.

:40:57.:41:01.

Sometimes the administrations have a more special relationship and

:41:02.:41:04.

others. This is an important point for setting the tone of that

:41:05.:41:08.

relationship. Donald Trump said some worrying things during the campaign

:41:09.:41:12.

and, to my mind, one of the most worrying is his intention to

:41:13.:41:14.

reinstate the American torture programme. There are significant

:41:15.:41:21.

strategic issues for the UK. We have always shared intelligence with the

:41:22.:41:25.

United States. We cannot share intelligence with a country that

:41:26.:41:29.

openly uses torture. Thank you very much. The clock has beaten us. But I

:41:30.:41:35.

am sure next week we will be discussing Brexit and maybe that

:41:36.:41:42.

visit to Washington. Tom Harris, Trump. Are you a fan? Good grief,

:41:43.:41:49.

no! I was hugely upset and disappointed on the morning after

:41:50.:41:52.

the election but, as I wrote a number of times before and, the

:41:53.:42:00.

democrats, Trump didn't win, the Democrats lost, deliberately

:42:01.:42:03.

choosing a candidate that they knew had incredibly huge negative ratings

:42:04.:42:09.

and many people in America distrusted, but they thought she

:42:10.:42:12.

could beat Trump easily, let's put her up, and it was a disaster. They

:42:13.:42:18.

have to learn from that. Would you think that there is something

:42:19.:42:23.

similar going on as happened in Britain? Hillary Clinton was the

:42:24.:42:26.

representative par excellence of the elites, basically giving lectures to

:42:27.:42:32.

people about economics, in the same way that arguably the Remain people

:42:33.:42:39.

won the referendum, and that rhetoric has failed to connect?

:42:40.:42:43.

There was a huge arrogance, and it wasn't just economics. Most of her

:42:44.:42:48.

messages were right, but she was giving lectures, not just about

:42:49.:42:52.

economics but an identity politics. She made an arrogant assumption

:42:53.:42:58.

that, if you were black, Latino, a woman, she automatically deserved

:42:59.:43:00.

that support, irrespective of how she ran her campaign, irrespective

:43:01.:43:05.

of her own record in government. That kind of entitlement and

:43:06.:43:09.

arrogance is always going to lose, and I hope the Democrats remember

:43:10.:43:13.

that in four years' time. Trade deals. It all sounds great though,

:43:14.:43:18.

I'll go to America and make deal with Donald Trump, well, you can't

:43:19.:43:22.

make a trade deal with the United States until you are outside the EU,

:43:23.:43:26.

but the difficulty of trade deals is in the detail. Just because you can

:43:27.:43:29.

go and negotiate with other countries, which the Brexiteers

:43:30.:43:33.

making out is a great triumph, doesn't mean the deal you will end

:43:34.:43:37.

up with is any good, especially with countries like the States, which are

:43:38.:43:42.

in a powerful position. I think that's right, but the one advantage

:43:43.:43:46.

we would have negotiating a great deal outside the EU is that, when we

:43:47.:43:50.

are members of the EU, every trade deal has to be agreed by all 28

:43:51.:43:54.

nations, which is why it takes many years for the negotiations to

:43:55.:44:00.

finish. We hope that, if there is a bilateral trade deal between the UK

:44:01.:44:05.

and US, it will be much quicker, but obviously I would recommend that we

:44:06.:44:08.

don't sign anything unless it is of direct benefit to the whole UK.

:44:09.:44:13.

Again, it's about power. To take one example, I think I'm right in saying

:44:14.:44:18.

that the UK still won't import American beef that's been treated

:44:19.:44:22.

with hormones. -- the EU. Donald Trump comes along and says, hey, I

:44:23.:44:27.

want my beef exported to Britain and, if you don't do this, you're

:44:28.:44:32.

not getting that. They are in a more powerful position to do that with

:44:33.:44:36.

Britain that they would with the European Union. Absolutely, but here

:44:37.:44:40.

is the difference. If a British governance signed a trade deal that

:44:41.:44:43.

the people are not happy with, we can get rid of that government. If

:44:44.:44:48.

the EU signed a deal that we are not happy with, there is nothing we can

:44:49.:44:52.

do to get rid of that. But, because this is a power relationship, it

:44:53.:44:57.

doesn't matter, so the next element goes to Donald Trump and says,

:44:58.:45:01.

almost treated cows, and America say, get lost. It is a power

:45:02.:45:07.

relationship, but we are not going to be forced into signing it, and I

:45:08.:45:12.

think, looking back to last year when President Obama, of whom I am a

:45:13.:45:16.

huge time, he came over and he riled a lot of people by saying we would

:45:17.:45:20.

be at the back of the -- the back of the queue for trade deals. If

:45:21.:45:25.

Theresa May can for a good relationship with the Trump

:45:26.:45:27.

administration and we benefit from that, I don't see why anybody should

:45:28.:45:29.

complain. The First Minister has

:45:30.:45:30.

accused Scottish Labour of being "destructive" as the party

:45:31.:45:33.

calls for Holyrood not to support the government's budget

:45:34.:45:36.

in a debate this afternoon. Labour claim it's an austerity

:45:37.:45:38.

budget which cuts ?327 million where the Deputy Leader Alex Rowley

:45:39.:45:40.

is now speaking. THE SPEAKER: I call on he will

:45:41.:45:55.

ex-roly to move the motion. Up to 13 minutes. Thank you, in moving this

:45:56.:46:00.

motion today and bringing forward this debate we want to encourage a

:46:01.:46:05.

wider discussion in this Parliament and across the country to build a

:46:06.:46:09.

consensus about the kind of public services we want in Scotland and how

:46:10.:46:14.

they are to be paid for. Whilst we will make the case today for using

:46:15.:46:18.

the powers of this Parliament to invest in public services, we also

:46:19.:46:21.

make the case for using the resources we have in the most

:46:22.:46:27.

effective and efficient way to tackle the big challenges we face of

:46:28.:46:32.

deep-rooted povertiy and deprivation in our communities through a

:46:33.:46:37.

comprehensive anti-poverty strategy for Scotland and for a more direct

:46:38.:46:42.

Government action to grow our economy increasing the resources

:46:43.:46:46.

available for investment. So, in a time where too many of our public

:46:47.:46:51.

services are struggling to cope and some veer towards crisis, we say

:46:52.:46:55.

Government should increase the tax take by asking those who can pay a

:46:56.:47:03.

bit more, to do so. But alongside this, we also say we must be more

:47:04.:47:09.

ambition in driving our economy in increasing the tax take in the

:47:10.:47:13.

medium term by supporting more people into decent jobs. The budget

:47:14.:47:17.

has is stands does not and will not achieve these aims. Let me begin

:47:18.:47:21.

with local government. I want to make the point, if we are to succeed

:47:22.:47:28.

in tackling poverty, closing the attainment gap, developing high

:47:29.:47:32.

quality local services and growing the economy across Scotland, we node

:47:33.:47:36.

to do Government differently. The fact is that Scotland is one of the

:47:37.:47:41.

most centralised country in the Western World. The creation of the

:47:42.:47:46.

Scottish Parliament in 1999 did not lead to a continuing devolution of

:47:47.:47:52.

power closer to the people. Instead, we have seen politicians in Holyrood

:47:53.:47:57.

trying to control more and more of the power and decision making away

:47:58.:48:02.

from the local level. This centralist approach has led to a

:48:03.:48:07.

much weaker relationship between local and Central Government in

:48:08.:48:11.

Scotland and all too often, a lower quality of service has been

:48:12.:48:18.

delivered as a result. I wonder if the member would accept the

:48:19.:48:22.

relationship between central and local government was extremely poor

:48:23.:48:27.

under the last Labour/Liberal Democrat administration because of

:48:28.:48:32.

ring-fencing? It is a fact it is extremely broken down, the

:48:33.:48:35.

relationship between central and local government right now. This

:48:36.:48:45.

failure to build on that relationship has also resulted in

:48:46.:48:49.

the failure to bring together the key people and organisations needed

:48:50.:48:54.

to plan and drive our economy at the local, regional and national level.

:48:55.:48:59.

One size fits all central control is not best for Scotland.

:49:00.:49:01.

its Dean Lockhart, James Kelly from Scottish Labour, and Ross Greer

:49:02.:49:04.

Now let's speak to some MSPs at Holyrood.

:49:05.:49:05.

I'm joined by Ash Denham for the SNP, For the Conservatives

:49:06.:49:08.

its Dean Lockhart, James Kelly from Scottish Labour, and Ross Greer

:49:09.:49:11.

On the budget, Ross Greer, have the Greens given up? Are you not going

:49:12.:49:24.

to do a deal on the budget? We're style trying to negotiate with the

:49:25.:49:27.

Scottish Government. The negotiations are pretty difficult.

:49:28.:49:30.

We're coming from two different places on tax policy in particular.

:49:31.:49:34.

We're trying to come to a deal at this point. You won't do a deal

:49:35.:49:39.

unless they change their tax proposals, is that correct?

:49:40.:49:42.

Fundamentally what it's about. We can more likely come to an agreement

:49:43.:49:47.

on spending priorities. Tax is critical here. That's how we avoid

:49:48.:49:52.

making unnecessary cuts. Therefore, they're more likely to do a deal

:49:53.:49:56.

with the Liberal Democrats? They're not insisting they change their tax

:49:57.:50:01.

policies? The spending proposals the Liberal Democrats have proposed are

:50:02.:50:05.

theirs to deend if. I don't #125e thinkle Scottish Government will

:50:06.:50:10.

agree with that. An agreement with us would require a shift from the

:50:11.:50:16.

Government to a fairer and more progressive taxation system. James

:50:17.:50:20.

Kelly, why are you ruling out any agreement? Will you vote against the

:50:21.:50:24.

Scottish budget under any circumstances? The SNP have made is

:50:25.:50:29.

quite clear they're putting forward a budget which entails ?327 million

:50:30.:50:33.

of cuts to local councils. That means jobs will be lost, libraries

:50:34.:50:38.

could be closed and care packages under threat. That's completely

:50:39.:50:43.

unacceptable to us. As an alternative... What should they cut

:50:44.:50:48.

instead given much of their budget still comes from London? Are you

:50:49.:50:52.

saying they should ignore the Barnet settlement or what would you suggest

:50:53.:50:56.

cutting instead? The important thing about this budget is the Government

:50:57.:51:00.

have much more in terms of tax raising powers. It is completely

:51:01.:51:08.

unacceptable those on the top rate earning over ?150,000 aren't being

:51:09.:51:12.

asked to pay a bit more to protect local communities and support local

:51:13.:51:19.

councils. Dean Lockhart, are there any circumstances imaginable in

:51:20.:51:22.

which you would support the Scottish budget? We've said we don't want

:51:23.:51:26.

Scotland to be the highest tax part of the UK. That's because we really

:51:27.:51:30.

need to boss the economy in Scotland. Economic growth here is

:51:31.:51:35.

the third of rest of the UK. We're saying keep Scotland competitive

:51:36.:51:38.

with the rest of the UK in tax. Going forward, the Scottish budget

:51:39.:51:42.

will depend on growth in Scotland and the growth of tax revenues

:51:43.:51:46.

coming from the Scottish workforce. It is really important that our

:51:47.:51:51.

fundamental priority is increasing the economy. If we're the highest

:51:52.:51:55.

tax part of the UK that's not a budget we can support. Ash Denham,

:51:56.:51:59.

one imagines the Scottish Government, the SNP will be very

:52:00.:52:03.

reluctant to change their proposals in tax? So does that mean you're

:52:04.:52:07.

more likely to find some agreement with the Liberal Democrats than the

:52:08.:52:11.

Greens? What we've put forward is a budget for growth. A budget for

:52:12.:52:16.

investment into infrastruck fewer and a budget that protects local

:52:17.:52:20.

services and prioritises things which are important to local people.

:52:21.:52:26.

That's not what I asked you. In any budget, I'm not criticising you for

:52:27.:52:30.

making compromises. Any Government has to do that. It would be easier

:52:31.:52:34.

for you to compromise on spending, would it not, than to compromise on

:52:35.:52:39.

your tax proposals? The budget we've put forward is best on the manifesto

:52:40.:52:43.

commitments we went to the public with. There's strong support for the

:52:44.:52:47.

budget that we've put forward. Obviously, the Scottish Government

:52:48.:52:51.

is listening. We're listening to the Parliament and also listening to

:52:52.:52:54.

other stakeholders. Clearly, we will need to do a deal on this. So, I

:52:55.:52:58.

believe there are negotiations that are ongoing. At the moment, we don't

:52:59.:53:02.

know, watch this space. We don't think is this is a time to put up

:53:03.:53:06.

taxes across the board. Families are struggling at the moment. We've all

:53:07.:53:10.

the uncertainty coming at us because of the Tories seem determined to

:53:11.:53:16.

drag Scotland off a Brexit cliff edge. This is a time to protect

:53:17.:53:21.

families' budgets, investment in public services and keep the economy

:53:22.:53:28.

going. Talking of Brexit clef edges, Mike Russell seemed to be suggesting

:53:29.:53:32.

in Parliament, if I understood him correctly, he seemed to be

:53:33.:53:36.

suggesting the joint ministerial committee, this meeting of the

:53:37.:53:41.

devolved representatives of the devolved Governments, would have to

:53:42.:53:47.

unanimously accept triggering Article 50 before it could go ahead?

:53:48.:53:54.

Did he just make that up or is there any possible basis for saying that?

:53:55.:53:58.

No-one has ever understood the joint ministerial committee is something

:53:59.:54:02.

that has to come to unanimous decisions. That's no what it does?

:54:03.:54:07.

What we're saying is whilst we welcome the decision made in the

:54:08.:54:11.

Supreme Court ruling yesterday that the Sewell convention is not a legal

:54:12.:54:18.

obligation, we think it is clearly a democratic obligation and Scotland's

:54:19.:54:21.

voice must be heard. And if it isn't, it will be a defeat for

:54:22.:54:25.

democracy. What we are saying is Scotland must be consulted.

:54:26.:54:31.

Consultation must be consultation. Consultation is one thing, saying

:54:32.:54:36.

that the joint ministerial committee has to approve the triggering of

:54:37.:54:40.

Article 50 is completely different from what you've just said? The SNP

:54:41.:54:44.

will put forward a number of amendments to the Act of

:54:45.:54:48.

Parliament... That's a different issue. One of those will be about

:54:49.:54:55.

the JMC. Dean Lockhart, do you see this as being... Well, Ash Denham,

:54:56.:55:03.

she said this will be one of the amendments the SNP put forward to

:55:04.:55:09.

the bill? The SNP are free to put forward amendments in terms of the

:55:10.:55:15.

legislation put for for the EU. The Supreme Court judgment is clear this

:55:16.:55:21.

is a reserve matter. The UK is an EU member state. It is the UK who will

:55:22.:55:27.

decide the leaving, the terms upon which we leave the EU the judgment

:55:28.:55:32.

was very clear. The SNP are using Brexit as a political football to

:55:33.:55:37.

agitate for another referendum which will create more uncertainty. To be

:55:38.:55:41.

fair to Ash Denham, she didn't mention another referendum. James

:55:42.:55:46.

Kelly, I presume you agree with every word James Lockhart said,

:55:47.:55:54.

would you? Sorry, Dean Lockhart. It is really regrettable we lost the

:55:55.:55:59.

referendum. I campaigned strongly for remain. Brexit is a disaster.

:56:00.:56:08.

The join ministerial committee would have to ewe none mousily approve

:56:09.:56:15.

triggering Article 50? He needs to back up what he's saying with facts

:56:16.:56:19.

and analysis to see if there's any accuracy. In one sentence, do you

:56:20.:56:25.

like the idea or is it pure bluster? Decisions which have a huge impact

:56:26.:56:29.

on the powers of the devolved Parliaments in Scotland, Wales and

:56:30.:56:32.

Northern Ireland, should be issues we come to a collective agreement

:56:33.:56:37.

on. The Government in Westminster isn't interested in do EU doing

:56:38.:56:41.

that. They want to override us We'll have to leave it there.

:56:42.:56:50.

This join ministerial committee, it's different if Ash Denham's

:56:51.:56:56.

saying they can put that as an amendment to the bill and if

:56:57.:57:00.

Parliament approved it, the joint ministerial committee would have to?

:57:01.:57:05.

I've been in meetings of the joint ministerial committee, it's not

:57:06.:57:09.

nearly as exiting as the Brexit Minister in Holyrood makes it sound.

:57:10.:57:16.

If they pass the amendment, the meetings could get very exciting

:57:17.:57:21.

indeed. Indeed. The SNPs have promised they'll put forward auto#50

:57:22.:57:24.

amendments to the Government's bill even before they've seen a single

:57:25.:57:28.

line of what the bill's going to say. They'll put forward 50

:57:29.:57:34.

amendments which seems to me a peculiar round number. Ash said

:57:35.:57:38.

Scotland's voice needs to be heard on this. People have been saying

:57:39.:57:44.

knowingly over the past 24 hours, it depends on how they produce this

:57:45.:57:49.

bill how many amendments are put forward which has left me and others

:57:50.:57:54.

thinking, sorry, why? One theory is the Government will put forward a

:57:55.:57:59.

one-liner bill. Why stop people putting amendments? It doesn't stop

:58:00.:58:07.

them. The first thing to vote on is a programme motion discussings how

:58:08.:58:11.

long the arm will discuss this in committee stage. Does that mean a

:58:12.:58:16.

shorter time if one line? Maybe two days to pull a figure out of the

:58:17.:58:20.

air. You then put in 50 amendments and they get talked out? No, not all

:58:21.:58:25.

of the amendments will be called by the Deputy Speaker. He has to chose

:58:26.:58:30.

which amendments he will select to be debated. Not everything that

:58:31.:58:34.

tabled. The ones he likes you but with an eye to the fact as you've

:58:35.:58:39.

suggested, there might only be two days? Yes. And he will try to get as

:58:40.:58:46.

broad a subject matter as possible. Maybe 20 amend thes on the same

:58:47.:58:50.

subject, he'll pick one of them. Thank you. That's cleared things up

:58:51.:58:52.

a bit. Thank you. Join us for First Minister's

:58:53.:58:54.

Questions tomorrow Robert Burns never travelled

:58:55.:58:56.

to America. In America, Burns was

:58:57.:59:16.

the 19th century Elvis. Many, from Lincoln to Dylan,

:59:17.:59:21.

have identified with his works.

:59:22.:59:26.