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tv   BBC News at Five  BBC News  March 28, 2017 5:00pm-6:01pm BST

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today at 5: the scottish parliament votes on whether to call for a second independence referendum. msps have been listening to voices on both sides, including the first minister's, calling for a vote once the terms of the brexit deal become clear. the next two years will determine what kind of country we are going to be. european parliament and 28 national governments will all have their say, the people of scotland must have their say. the people of scotland have the right to see the brexit process play out, they need to see it working in practice, at this moment we should be pulling together, not hanging apart. this is the scene live in the scottish parliament, as members prepare to cast their votes after many hours of debate. we'll bring you the main vote as it happens, and we'll have reaction from holyrood and from westminster. the other main stories on bbc news at 5: on the eve of the formal start of the brexit process, we'll be looking at the talks ahead
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and we'll be asking a nobel—winning economist for his perspective. three cheers for al blackman, hip hip hooray... a royal marine convicted of shooting dead a wounded taliban fighter in afghanistan will be freed within weeks, after his sentenced is reduced. and why sunscreen, cold remedies and gluten—free food may no longer be available on the nhs in england, to save money. it's 5 o'clock. our main story is the vote in the scottish parliament, due to take place right now, on the scottish government's
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demand for a second referendum on independence. if the motion is approved, theresa may will have to respond formally to the request — although she's already said this is not the time, in her view, on the eve of the start of the brexit process. the vote had been due to take place last wednesday, but was delayed because of the terror attack at westminster. nicola sturgeon the first minister wants a referendum by the spring of 2019. let's ta ke let's take a look inside the scottish parliament right now. this is the deputy first minister from the scottish national party, winding up the scottish national party, winding up the debate. the debate is due to end in the next minute or so. after which there will be a series of votes, four amendments and then the main motion, in the name of the first minister nicola sturgeon. that isa first minister nicola sturgeon. that is a sequence of events. it won't ta ke is a sequence of events. it won't take long. the votes in parliament all electronically done and it will bea all electronically done and it will be a rapid series of votes. as we keep an eye on this, let's bring in oui’ keep an eye on this, let's bring in our colleague lorna gordon, our
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scotla nd our colleague lorna gordon, our scotland correspondent. just a sense of how this debate has gone so far? this debate was interrupted, it started early last week, interrupted because of those events at westminster, that attack that left so westminster, that attack that left so many people dead. it resumed, this debate, at scottish parliament earlier this afternoon. in total i think msps have been debating about seven hours now. rehearsing arguments. we have heard many times before. john swinneyjust finishing just now. you might be up to see ken macintosh leading proceedings from the chair. he will now call for those motions and amendments, whether or not devote passes or falls. let's listen in. the first question is that amendment
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for 7.1 seeks to amend in the name of the first minister, are we all agreed? we're not agreed, we will move to a vote. members can cast their vote now. asi their vote now. as i was explaining, a series of amendments. the first from ruth davidson. this basically sets out her case, which is is unfair to ask the question on independence while the question on independence while the process of leaving the eu is still ongoing. let's remind ourselves that tomorrow the prime minister theresa may will be triggering article 50 of the lisbon treaty, starting two years of formal negotiations on the brexit process. the conservative case here under ruth davidson if this is not the right time, and that is the case underlined by theresa may in her visit yesterday, not the right time, they say, to have an independence referendum. yes 31, no 97. the amendment is not agreed. we move onto the next amendment. this is in the name of the labour
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party. the next question... in the name of keleher dugdale. are we all agreed? we're not agreed, we move to division and then cast the votes. a very efficient system in the scottish parliament. this is the amendment, saying it would be unfair to ask this question on independence while the process of leaving the eu is still going. that is the case made by ruth davidson as well. no second devices independence referendum while her words. we will see what the parliament makes of this labour amendment. and the presiding officer will announce the result very shortly, ken macintosh. the result on the vote yes to any eight, no 100. the amendment is not
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agreed. the next question in the name of patrick harvie, seeking to amend the motion in the name of nicola sturgeon. we are not agreed, members can cast their votes now. nicola sturgeon. we are not agreed, members can cast their votes nowm a memo from patrick harvie from the green party. several elements to this but notably it says he further believes 16 and 17—year—old eu citizens were excluded from the eu referendum and should be entitled to vote, if this second referendum took place and considers this referendum is necessary given the prime minister's decision to negotiate a ha rd minister's decision to negotiate a hard brexit the eu. that is the wording of the amendment from the green party. and then another amendment after this before the main motion. the result of the amendment in the name of patrick harvey is yes 69, no, 59. no abstentions, the
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amendment is therefore agreed. that is carried. in the name of willie rennie, seeking to it amend. are we all agreed? we're not agreed, rennie, seeking to it amend. are we allagreed? we're not agreed, we will move to a vote and members can cast their votes now. in the name of willie rennie, the leader of the liberal democrats. there he is surveying the scene. first minister nicola sturgeon looking ahead to the main vote after this one. willie rennie's amendment says a second referendum on scottish independence would only compound the uncertainty of the economy. not dissimilar to some of the other amendments we have been considering in front of the scottish parliament today. there will be a vote on this and if the previous pattern is to be followed i think this may well be defeated. the result of the amendment in the name of willie rennie is yes 28, no 100.
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there were no abstentions, the amendment is therefore not agreed. the final question is in the name of nicola sturgeon, are we all agreed? we're not agreed, we will move to a vote and members can cast their votes now. this is the main vote. this is a motion in the name of nicola sturgeon, the first minister's motion. this is the one that talks about acknowledging the sovereign right of the scottish people to determine the form of government best suited to their needs and therefore mandates the scottish government to take forward discussions with the uk government on the details of an order under section 30 of the scotland act to say they can legislate for a scottish independence referendum to be held. within the period of two yea rs. be held. within the period of two years. this is the matter of great dispute. in the name of nicola sturgeon as amended is yes 69, no 59. there are
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i'io amended is yes 69, no 59. there are no abstentions, the motion is therefore agreed. this first minister gets the vote and the motion was carried. the scottish parliament is making a formal request for a second referendum on independence. the presiding officer ken macintosh tying up things. that means the westminster government under theresa may will now have to respond formally to this very formal request from the scottish parliament. that isa from the scottish parliament. that is a challenge, certainly, that theresa may probably knows is coming. but it's fun she will have to respond to. lorna gordon is still with us, outside holyrood. what did you make of that? no surprise, really, in that vote. a huge cheer outside the parliament. some demonstrators there who have been growing in number throughout the day, there to support nicola sturgeon and her government, calling
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for the right to hold a second referendum. that motion in the name of the first minister past of a vote of the first minister past of a vote of 69-59. of the first minister past of a vote of 69—59. while the vote was not surprising, i think what comes next is hard to overstate the significance of what has happened here and what comes next. that debate lasted about seven hours in total, spread over three days. nicola sturgeon opened the debate this afternoon. she said when article 50 is triggered, change to scotland, she said, would be inevitable, significant and profound. she argued people living in scotland should have a right to choose their future. my argument is simply this; when the nature of the change that is made inevitable by brexit becomes clear, that change should not be imposed upon us, we should have the right to decide the nature of that change. the people of scotland should have the right to choose between brexit, possibly a very hard brexit,
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or becoming an independent country, able to chart our own course and create a true partnership of equals across these islands. and if we accept, as i hope we all do, that scotland does have the right to decide our own future, the question then becomes one of timing — when is it best to make that choice? we are all agreed that now is not the time. in my view, the time to choose is when the terms of brexit are clear, and can be judged then against the challenges and the opportunities of becoming an independent country. of course that motion was passed with the snp msps here at parliament supported by the msps from the scottish green party. that motion calling for the right to hold a second referendum was opposed by the unionist parties in the scottish parliament, the liberal democrats, labour and the conservatives, who
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are now the official opposition here at holyrood. ruth davidson was very critical of this motion. she said it was unfair to ask for a second referendum while the process of leaving the eu was still ongoing. the first minister that says she wants the uk to get a good brexit deal, but no matter how good it is, she still wants to push for independence anyway. whereas our view, and the uk government's view remained this... at a time of enormous uncertainty, when it's only three years since the last vote, when we were told it would be once in a generation, that the decision of the scottish people would be respected by both sides, where there would be no rerun without an overwhelming change in public opinion, and that the people in scotland have the right to see the brexit process play out. they need to see it operating, to see it working in practice and that, at this moment, we should be pulling together, not hanging apart. make no mistake, i think this really is probably one of the most
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significant if not the most significant if not the most significant vote here in the scottish parliament in recent times. and as well as those rehearsals of the debate over whether scotland should be independent or not, we also got from nicola sturgeon some clarity as to how she would like to see the process developed going forward. she said she will now formally write to the uk government, formally write to the uk government, formally requesting the transfer of powers to call for a referendum under section 30 of the scotland act. that letter will detail what she called sensible discussions. she also made clear that wouldn't be sent until after the triggering of article 50. key to it all, i think, is she also said if the uk government rejects the offer of talks she will come to holyrood after the easter recess, they were talking there about 17th or 18th of april, to outline the steps she believes she would then take to progress the will of the parliament here who have voted to give her a
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mandate to seek a second referendum on scottish independence. lorna gordon, thank you very much. as we heard, a very, very significant vote indeed which presents theresa may with a challenge, how do she respond? she with a challenge, how do she respond ? she has with a challenge, how do she respond? she has said several times before today she does not think now is the time but now there is a formal request there needs to be a formal request there needs to be a formal response. norman smith is at westminster. your sense of what the response is likely to be? we've already had it, that is no. the government will not consider these sections 30 order. it has been publicly rejected, repeating many of the arguments we've heard from theresa may about now not being the time, it would be unfairfor the scottish people to be voting on something when they didn't know the outcome of brexit and there was a vote just two years ago. no surprise in the public rejection but what i think will come as a double blow to
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nicola sturgeon is the uk government is also pushing back the possible timetable for a referendum to some considerable time beyond brexit. theresa may to date has never set out a time when a second independence referendum might be possible. she had simply said now is not the time but she's never said when that might be the time. tonight the scottish secretary has sketched out what sounds to me like a much, much longer time frame that is going to be remotely acceptable to the scottish government or the scottish parliament. he has said in an interview that after brexit there may have to be "transitional arrangements" and "a significant implementation period". that to my mind a timetable probably suggesting stretching into years after our actual departure from the eu in the spring of 2019. that will fuel the suspicion of many, i suspect, that
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maybe the uk government is looking at saint nicola sturgeon she will have to win a mandate in the next scottish elections in 2021. listen to what he said a short time ago. it will involve negotiations with you, maybe with transitional measures, maybe with transitional measures, maybe it will involve significant implementation time. it is not appropriate to have a referendum was people do not know what the future relationship between the uk and eu is and they won't know that until the brexit process is complete. are the brexit process is complete. are the phrase there, "a significant implementation time". he does not put a date on that but i think it will be read as a real push back for any future referendum to well beyond brexit. you get a sense that the
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british government wants to push this back into the long grass, to try and take the heat out of the issue, to hope that nicola sturgeon loses momentum, and as i say, it will fuel the speculation at westminster, possibly pushing it back to the scottish elections in 2021, something i'm sure nicola sturgeon will find unacceptable. that's the point, isn't it? what is the nature of the dispute now? clearly it will escalate and people will be talking more in terms of a constitutional crisis or at least a stand—off. constitutional crisis or at least a stand-off. the ball to some extent seems to have been pushed back into nicola sturgeon‘s court. what does she do now? she said the public rejection and a clear indication nothing is going to happen any time soon, maybe four years. nothing is going to happen any time soon, maybe fouryears. her options are won, she holds a dummy referendum of her own back. herfear is there will be a mass boycott by those in favour of the union and could be challenged legally. she could be challenged legally. she could resign and prompt an election, but what's the point in that, she
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said she would he has a mandate. so struggling to see what our next move might be. i'm sure nicola sturgeon and seniorfigures might be. i'm sure nicola sturgeon and senior figures in might be. i'm sure nicola sturgeon and seniorfigures in the snp have game plan this. they know this will happen so they must have a plan b. we're going to have to see what nicola sturgeon now does when she comes back to the scottish parliament after easter, to outline their plans. it seems to me theresa may has significantly upped the sta kes, may has significantly upped the stakes, effectively saying you're not having a referendum now or any time soon. john curtice is professor of politics at strathclyde university. he's in our edinburugh studio. can you just underline for us what's at stake now, given what has happened at holyrood and what the response is from westminster? what's at stake ultimately is whether or not scotland remains inside the uk 01’ not scotland remains inside the uk or becomes an independent country. although, as norman smith rightly
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pointed out, we're not sure when this referendum will happen, i think one now has to accept that in some sense 01’ one now has to accept that in some sense or another one now has to accept that in some sense 01’ another a one now has to accept that in some sense or another a campaign for the second independence referendum has 110w second independence referendum has now begun. it may be slow, but in a sense because the scottish parliament has now made this request, because the uk government hasn't simply said no, although it may be saying not for very long time, inevitably the debate about whether or not scotland should be an independent country, now allied with the about whether or not it is reasonably denied a second referendum, allied to the wider debate across the uk about the terms of brexit, all of this altogether is 110w of brexit, all of this altogether is now going to continue to bobble north of the border. and while theresa may may not want, for understandable reasons, any formal referendum campaign to be going on in the next 18 months, in truth i think an informal one will star and there's nothing she can do about that. the scottish secretary's
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words... the timescale, introducing what norman described as far longer timescale than lots of people had been expecting. he said he the snp would have game plan and this. would they have expected the timescale element of this to be such as it is, far longer than some predicted? element of this to be such as it is, far longer than some predicted ?|j don't far longer than some predicted?” don't think anyone will be surprised that david mundell‘s comments. it has been widely rumoured the uk government would like to kick this beyond may 2021. in truth david mundell‘s words didn't quite say that. he was describing the brexit process but suggesting may be, not surprisingly, it may not all be over in two years. i think in truth the argument now is really whether it will happen between march 2019, it isn't. the argument is if it happens before or after may 2021. that will dependin before or after may 2021. that will depend in part on what the opinions pulsates about the principle of holding a referendum and also where
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the question of independence itself stands. and also to what extent brexit is or is not a successful process. all of this undoubtedly is extremely uncertain. as to what nicola sturgeon will do, very uncertain. i think i should point out there has been far too much talk of an analogy with the cata la n much talk of an analogy with the catalan referendum, which was definitely illegal. i would remind people to go back to the documents that the scottish government wrote between 2007—11, when its minority government, explored in detail the possibility of holding a referendum that might be legal that would not require the authority of the uk parliament. there are a lot of legal arguments about that and undoubtably it will be challenged in the courts, but we shouldn't presume that if indeed nicola sturgeon is minded to go down this path, as someone once was, that we necessarily talking about her doings something illegal,
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as opposed to might actually survive as opposed to might actually survive a court challenge. if we put that option to one side, what are the other options nicola sturgeon has, in response to this pretty firm pushback from westminster? number one is to go out campaigning among the public and to say, look, here we go. first of all scotland gets its democratic wishes denied by the outcome of the eu referendum and now we discover we can't even have our own choice about whether we are an independent country or not. either way, if that's the way you feel, vote for the snp in the local elections, coming up at the beginning of. conversely the unionists, and ruth davidson will save you want to send a clear message that you don't want other referendum, vote for one of us. i think it will be a surrogate battle about independence and referendum. beyond that, in truth, nicola sturgeon could start to withdrawal
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collaboration with the uk government. the difficulty there is because we are about to embark on brexit, and because the snp has been very, very keen to be involved in that process and to have some say in negotiations, i'm not quite sure they will want to cut that offer at this stage. i think, in truth probably this stage. i think, in truth pro ba bly lots this stage. i think, in truth probably lots of campaigning, possibly threats of another referendum and an attempt to push the uk government into eventually starting talks about some kind of referendum between march 2019— may 2021. thank you for talking to us again. the professor of politics at strathclyde with his expertise and analysis today. tomorrow, the prime minister will trigger article 50 of the lisbon treaty and formally start the process of negotiation for the united kingdom to leave the european union. there will be two years of talks, to march 2019, but the the way forward is uncharted. it's the first time that article 50 has been used, and it's not at all clear how talks
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will proceed, as our political correspondent carole walker reports. it will be an historic day for the european union and the united kingdom — the formal start of brexit negotiations. already, the government's forging new partnerships beyond the eu, announcing a £5 billion deal with qatar. tomorrow we begin the negotiations to secure a new deep and special partnership with the european union. as we do so, i am determined that we should also seize this historic opportunity to get out into the world and to shape an even bigger role for a global britain. tomorrow, the prime minister will give eu leaders a clear outline of her approach. her officials will deliver a letter to the european council several pages long, detailing the government's principles and priorities. she'll get the eu's initial response within days. the foreign secretary said her approach would be optimistic and positive.
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i've absolutely no doubt that there will be a great deal for this country, because a great deal for this country is what is finally in the interests of the rest of our friends and partners on the other side of the channel, who have a huge amount to gain. the prime minister will set out her approach to the negotiations in a statement to mps tomorrow. the government said it wants to discuss the terms of our departure from the eu, and the future trading relationship at the same time. senior eu figures say the terms of withdrawal must be agreed before they'll even start to talk about trade, and that's just one of many differences to be resolved. campaigners who wanted britain to remain in the eu, say ministers are raising expectations that cannot be fulfilled. that everything is going to be signed and sealed and done in two years, it ain't. that we're going to have new, sparkling new trade agreements worth twice the value of the european union before we've even left, we won't. and now, apparently,
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we're not going to pay very much money at all. and they're urging ministers to resist pressure from hard—line brexiteers for the uk to walk away without a deal. there will be agitation, for early departure, for realisation that the europeans are not serious, that we should walk away, and i will do everything in my power up on my bench bench to make sure that that does not become a reality. the prime minister has met the timetable she set for triggering article 50 by the end of march, getting the deal she wants within two years will be a much harder task. carole walker, bbc news, westminster. 0ur chief political correspondent vicki young is in birmingham, where the secretary of state for international trade liam fox has been at an investment forum — organised by the gulf state of qatar. what's been going on? that's right. what's interesting is since that referendum injune a lot of the political debate has been a rerun of the arguments about the merits of staying in or leaving the
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european union. but as we head towards tomorrow and that letter being sent off to the european commission, in formally telling them we are leaving the european union, i think much more attention turning to the kind of brexit that we're going to have, what is theresa may aiming for? we heard from some in her party today saying there is too much promises being made about the money we might get back from the eu, the kind of effect it might have on our economy. here, today liam fox was very much taking the positive outlook about what britain can expect once they've left the european union. why are you getting investment in the uk? we are seeing record levels of foreign direct investment because our economic fundamentals are sound. we have a legal system that people trust, we have a low tax, low regulation economy, a skilled workforce, access to some of the world's best universities. we've got a very highly skilled research base. we speak english and we're in the right global time zone for trading, and that is why so much money's coming to the uk.
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it's not a coincidence that the investment from the global investment community is coming to britain, rather than any other major country in the european union. there has been so much speculation in the last few months about what exactly theresa may can get out of these negotiations will stop all along the government says it is going in with high hopes, it's going in in the belief we can have a close relationship with the european union, that we won't be punished for leaving in the first place. there have been some interesting things in the last 2a hours. david davis talking about immigration, saying this is all about control, we can decide if immigration goes up or goes down, but again people saying the promises that were made about immigration falling, that might not necessarily come to pass. but as we
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head towards tomorrow, finally, it seems, we will be starting to talk about facts rather than pure speculation. thank you. with me is the economist sir christopher pissarides of the london school of economics, awarded the nobel prize for economics in 2010. good to have you with us. thank you for coming in. on the eve of the triggering of article 50. in september last year you said something very memorable and very blunt. you said britain will not thrive outside the eu. it was a very, very stark statement. have you revised your opinion in the meantime? i haven't. the process hasn't started yet and the uncertainties of the negotiation and what we will get out at the end not clear. they will start getting clear from tomorrow. we're already seeing some things. if you complex the prime minister's speech on the 17th of january and what david davis is saying now, they are completely different things. on what? on just about everything. the speech on the 17th was very aggressive. no deal is
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better than a bad deal, we're not going to take bits and pieces. we are going to control this and that... now they are saying, maybe we're going to keep the regulatory bodies of the eu. maybe the negotiation is not going down —— immigration isn't going down because immigrants are coming... in general or conservatory tone. of course, my view is the tone should be even more conciliatory, because what i've a lwa ys conciliatory, because what i've always learned about britain is disputes are resolved with consensus and compromise, rights of the minority should be taken into account. here we have 40% of minority who want to keep eu rules and be part of it. so brexit will be, of course... a brexit that respects the wishes of the minority
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and the wishes of the younger people who are going to be the ones who will eventually live under a britain outside the eu. ifi go back to will eventually live under a britain outside the eu. if i go back to the statement that britain will not thrive outside the eu, some of the initial ambitions have changed? for example, there will be retention of regulation in some areas that the migration picture will be different. does that not change yourjudgment about britain outside the eu? the key idea is what happened to trade. trade relations. the prime minister is saying we will seek free trade and be free trade champions of the world but we don't want the single market, we don't want that. if the negotiations are leading the way showing the european union will accept free trade without the
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requirements of the single market, labour in particular and contributions to the european union fund, andi contributions to the european union fund, and i wouldn't advise it but they won't accept that. i don't know what kind of a trade agreement there will be, especially what kind of trade agreements will be between britain and outside countries. that isa britain and outside countries. that is a big uncertainty and woman's —— will affect investment. when i say britain will not thrive, the comparison is always with britain inside the eu, it will not start going down, there will be no recession but we want to get... relative performance? we won't get that inside the eu. when you look at the economic indicators right now, going back to lastjune, the big political controversy then was
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around the fact there had been so many warnings of economic doom. 0f course, even recently in the budget we had chancellor in terms of growth, for the last three months of last year, some betterfigures. again, just in terms of the robustness of the british economy, is it proving to be more robust than economists like you initially judged? are you prepared in any way to revisit, i revisit those assumptions? it will be more robust and flexible. because of that, it's responded well in change in government poverty, the policy. those are key. after the referendum, the bank of england followed a more expansionary policy then was planning before them. especially the chancellor george osborne, his austerity policies were put one side. the
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economy is flexible, it responded to that. it increased consumption and some increased private debt levels. as you say. then ironically, despite the certainty of donald —— uncertainty of donald trump getting elected, he said he would follow a more expansionist policy, does it help the market? because they are connected. the stock markets. that might explain partly the fact that the stock market is staying up there. it went down then it recovered. the pound and appreciated, of course. it's still below by something like ten to 15% depending on the other currency. therefore exporters are doing better than we expected. that is showing in
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the stock market appreciation which is bigger in the case of large exporting firms than smaller firms. supplying the domestic economy. it's all pointing to a situation where something is changed after the referendum, the pound, the united states moving to the right, those have helped. once we start the negotiations with the europeans, approving a hard nut to crack —— proving a hard nut to crack, there are limits to what the bank of england can do. there are limits to what the treasury can do because debt needs to come down eventually. at crucial points. to understand
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your perspective on the trade off in trade. we hear a lot about who stands to lose most if there was no deal. because clearly because clearly there is a degree of independence. if free talk about the stark scenario of no deal being better than a bastille, where is the greatest loss here? there are businesses in the european union that to rely heavily on the european market? west the greater loss? they're both going to lose. the greater loss will be on britain because it is a smaller market. the domestic market in question, great britain is smaller than the european union. it already has agreements in place with china and other big trading nations. britain will have to renegotiate that. because once it
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comes out of the eu, then what do you do you? do you go to china and say, we want the same with the european union and now call it the united kingdom instead of the eu, he may or may not do it. but if they say, let's renegotiate, then british companies would lose their markets. so britain is the bigger loserfrom that. but the european union is also a loser. it's not a threat. the other threat that britain could become a tax haven. it would be absurd to think they european union will agree to free—trade, with a nation that is a tax haven with the purpose of drawing tax away from it. so the big companies coming to britain than you can export to the
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european union. it's a nonstarter. let yet another layer of complexity. it all starts to tomorrow. hopefully we can have you back with your perspective. hopefully i can say i was wrong. we shall see. thanks for joining us. a royal marine — who was sent to prison for killing an injured taliban fighter in afghanistan — has been told he will be freed in two weeks. alexander blackman had his murder conviction reduced to manslaughter earlier this month —— on the grounds of diminished responsibility. he's now been sentenced to seven years but has already served three years which means he will be free next month. our correspondent duncan kennedy reports from the royal courts ofjustice. hip, hip — hooray! thejubilation was
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immediate and unbridled. marine veterans from a dozen conflicts gave full rein to their relief and delight. it was a euphoria shared by the dignified reaction of alexander blackman's wife. we are overjoyed at the judge's decision to significantly reduce the sentence such that he can be released imminently. this is the moment we've all been fighting hard for. it's hard to believe that this day is finally here. thatjoy was matched by hundreds of marines, who've campaigned for four years to make this day a reality. i'm just overwhelmed. reduced to tears, if i'm honest. supposed to be a hard man and all that, but it'sjust broken me. i'm so relieved thatjustice has been done and al blackman's free. as a marine sergeant, alexander blackman was a decisive, accomplished leader of his troops, someone who had killed 30 times for his country.
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on this tour in afghanistan in 2011, he and his friends went ——his men went through what was called a tour from hell. they were provoked and targeted incessantly by the taliban. in this field they found an injured taliban insurgent. he said this: anybody want to do first aid on this idiot? he then pointed his gun at the insurgent. he then added: in 2013, sergeant blackman was found guilty of murder, a decision that thousands of military colleagues believed was a moral outrage. earlier this month, that conviction was reduced to manslaughter, on grounds of diminished responsibility. rob driscoll served alongside alexander blackman. he says the decision to release him now is the right one, given what they all went through. the answer to your question is, was it right, for me, what he did?
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and my answer would be absolutely. when you're surrounded by absolute lunacy, then a little bit of lunacy, kind of, doesn't seem so bad. prosecutors argued that alexander blackman broke the rules of war. but his supporters saw a man tormented by the horrors of combat. for his wife and for him, he is the last casualty of the afghanistan conflict. if you are just if you arejustjoining us here on bbc news, the scottish parliament have formally requested a second referendum on independence which will now be the prep requested to westminster. the secretary of state,
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david mandel, has said the answer is no. work least known for quite a long time. know it is know for now, and as period after that so a significant period for westminster. it presents a significant challenge to nicola sturgeon. after the vote, she's been giving her response to what's been going on. this is what she said.” welcome the parliament's vote. we will now seek sensible and constructive discussion. we will do that after the triggering of article 50 two. i recognise tomorrow is an important day for the prime minister. i hope the united kingdom government will respect this decision. it is about giving people
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in scotland a choice. we agree now is not the time for that choice but that choice should be available to people in scotland when the terms of brexit are clear. i forward to discussion in the weeks ahead. let's go live to holyrood. where do you think we are now, given we have had this blunt response from westminster? hard to say. these two sides are as far apart as ever. nicola sturgeon saying she is seeking what she calls sensible discussion, not confrontation from westminster. you see a hardening of their position, but timescale perhaps, that basically any possible referendum taking place, stretching is further into the future as far as the next scottish parliamentary election. so it's really hard to see
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where it goes next. the westminster government say they want to focus all their attention, it needs to be focused on these negotiations with the eu. that isjust focused on these negotiations with the eu. that is just the start of the eu. that is just the start of the process. of article 50. they wa nt the process. of article 50. they want it to be on those delicate negotiations, with nicola sturgeon saying she has a mandate to seek a second independence referendum because she believes the people of scotla nd because she believes the people of scotland have a right to choose their future. it's very hard to see what happens next and where this constitutional stand—off goes. thanks forjoining us. quite lively scenes outside holyrood. if there's any more from there we will be back right away. the nhs in england is to consider whether gps should stop prescribing a range of medicines and treatments, including holiday jabs, gluten free food, fish oils
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and painkillers such as paracemotol, that are available over the counter. the proposals — intended to save millions of pounds — will form part of a major announcement on the future of the health service later this week. our health editor hugh pym reports. the nhs is under increasing financial pressure. now, service leaders are set to closely scrutinise what's available on prescription. local health commissioners in england have drawn up a list of items which they say are unnecessary and inappropriate for prescription on the nhs, and instead, patients should have to pay for them. decisions are about the total spend and we need to use that effectively. if we are effectively spending money on things we think have low or no clinical value, we can redirect that spend into mental health services, cancer services, primary care, wherever we feel it's more appropriate. the medicines and treatments listed include omega—3 and fish oils, some muscle rubs and ointments, gluten—free food, and travel vaccines still allowed on the nhs. there could be savings of £128 million a year. nhs england has agreed to carry out a review and introduce new guidelines. longer term, the future of cough and cold treatments, indigestion medication, and paracetamol on prescription
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will be considered. they are widely available over—the—counter at chemists. but pharmacists warn there is a danger of going too far. the nhs is built on a principle of free up a point of use. it's important that there's a balance between making sure the medicines are cost—effective, and we support the cost—effective review of those medicines, but at the same time we've got to make sure that people aren't disadvantaged because of their ability to pay for medicines, as well. and questions are being asked about what this might mean for patients who depend on free prescriptions. we've not had any clarity about what this means for elderly people, for pregnant women, for some people on very low incomes, and i'm concerned about the people who are managing long—term conditions, and managing their pain throughout those long—term conditions. nhs england says there won't be a ban; gps will still be free to prescribe the items to those they feel need them. the move is part of an nhs strategy to tackle rising demand and make the best use of resources, with more details later this week. hugh pym, bbc news.
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the wife of the westminster attacker khalid masood has said she is "saddened and shocked" by the atrocity. in a statement released through the metropolitan police, she said she totally condemns his actions. masood killed four people in an 82—second rampage last wednesday. meanwhile, the mp who tried to save the life of pc keith palmer outside parliament — foreign minister tobias ellwood — has been speaking about what happened. he called it a dark day. i make it clear that i was one of many that stepped forward on that dark day. our thoughts and prayers remain with those families and friends of the victims, including our own pc keith palmer. let me read you this quote. "right now for many british muslims,
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it feels dark, certainly the darkest i've ever known it to be". the words are those of sayeeda warsi, britain's first muslim cabinet minister, when she was appointed by david cameron during the coalition government. before that she was co—chair of the conservative party. she grew up in west yorkshire, where her grandfather had settled from pakistan in 1958. her new book is the enemy within — a tale of muslim britain and it is a forthright appraisal of what in the author's view has gone wrong with policy in the uk over the past 15 years. baroness warsi is with me now. thanks forjoining us. it's good to have you with us. there are several strong messages in the book. i've read chunks of it already. i'm wondering, first of all, what was the motivation for setting this down in black and white? a number of motivation. one personal motivation was that i was called the enemy at
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the table when i was a cabinet minister. that was one of the worst insult you could have directed at me. my grandad came here in the 19505 but before that both of my grandfathers had been served in the british army. they created an lives for themselves but also lives in dog for themselves but also lives in dog for others. what that comment said was that after all that, you didn't belong. from a personal perspective, i knew the best way of dealing with an insult was this. my book is a way of fielding. it challenges the myths about muslims, the length of relationship between british and islam, which goes back to the seventh century. but also telling a post 911 generation that we've been there before with communities, and we can let out, quote work it out again. it works on different parts.
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i have an open conversation with my fellow british muslims. what i say to them is that you're not all terrorists, we are novel terrorists, if they were, there are 3 million of us, we —— not all terrorists. it's about raising the game and making sure british muslims are of course, passionately muslim but also deeply british, which has always been the way islam has been. the fraser users, —— the phrase are used is islam is like a river. we say to the government, what can we do give i was at the decision—making table. we can look at the mistakes and rectify them. you touch on these mistakes at
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several points and don't pull any punches. including with former colleagues. what were the mistakes in your view? there are three bits to the counterterrorism strategy which we need to look at afresh. there is the argument that if you have conservative religious views or have conservative religious views or have views considered to be extremist but not violent, then you are on a trajectory to them becoming are on a trajectory to them becoming a terrorist. that view has been discredited by experts including people within government, the home affairs select committee, academics, researchers, people who've studied the profiles of people who've committed terrorist attacks. the second error is that we know again, from even our own intelligence services, there was a document in the public domain which showed that there could be anything to 15 to 28 different factors as to what other tell—tale signs of someone becoming a terrorist. the tragic incidents of the attack of last week, the
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attacker, the terrorists, khalid masood, that displayed so many. challenging relations, relationship breakdown, violence, gang involvement, drug abuse, all of that comes into it. at the moment, u nfortu nately, comes into it. at the moment, unfortunately, government focuses not on 15 or 20 or 28 it is focusing on one ideology. i'm saying it is time to go back to decision—making. the third aspect changes, if we're serious about fighting this battle of ideas, we have to have this community is that we need, who are going to help us fight this battle of ideas with us. there are aspects of ideas with us. there are aspects of the counterterrorism strategy, this specifically the prevent strand, which isn't doing that, we need something like a prevent but in its current format, prevent isn't working, the brand is toxic, and we need an independent review to look into it. this line, one of many
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striking lines, the post—brexit, post trump world, has brought to the fore what most have been warning, islamophobia has passed the table test. in the world in which we live today, the statement is so tame it appears facile. there will be lots of view was agreeing with that, some will disagree. if you put that in the context of policy and you mentioned prevents, this strategy which the home secretary thinks is worthwhile, what is wrong with it in your view? it's not in my view, actually. this area of policy—making is far too serious to be based on the ideological leaves and winds of individual politicians. we need to go back to those who are experts. if you look at, rights watch, george
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soros, academics, this is across the board, the left and right of politics, people saying it's not working. they think the science, the training and the training manuals on which prevent is based, the actual trainers themselves, whether they have the experience and the expertise, to actually deliver counterterrorism work, i think the number of people who are being put through the programme, how many actually needed to be put to the programme, the transparency, the number of referrals and what happened subsequently, there generally needs to be an overhaul. i think prevent in its current format is toxic, the brand is toxic, in business, once the brand is broken, it's hard to fix. one way the government could start to win trust
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back, is by having an independent review, taking into consideration the expertise on the prevent,, then run we start another programme, it is done in a way communities feel that they take ownership. it should bea that they take ownership. it should be a space where if i was concerned about one of my children, i feel i could take them there, i feel it would be a safe space, where i could get help, where it would lots dig ties my child forever. and that it's a genuine partnership. —— stigmatise my child. on the eve of the article 50, the debate has been about migration, freedom of movement, the degree to which our economy depends on migration. in that context, what does this book say? what is your message as we embark on this
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turbulence process? as they say in yorkshire, where all tap—in in. if you go back a thousand years, it was more fractures. if you look at the map of england it was broken up into so many different types of parts and kingdoms. so i think this is something that the united kingdom have been doing forever. we've a lwa ys have been doing forever. we've always had people who've come to these shores, always manage to find ways in which to accommodate them when we've done it in a way that works everybody. we have to have control over migration, we have to make sure that we focus that control not on race or ethnicity or religion, as the us is suggesting, but on numbers and needs. but we also need to have a national conversation about who britain is. not british values which is a list of factors which we can't always show we always abided by, nor what we abiding by. but what i call
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ideal. what is the best that britain could be in 2017? how do we lay out ideals? and how the week do it when the fault of fascism is coming in, how do we assert those ideals? good luck with the book. thanks for joining us. it's time for me to hand tojohn with the weather. it's been a beautiful day for some. soggy for others. we will see an awful lot of rain. the others, it feels like summer. we have heavy thunderstorms, and some low cloud heading in. that cloud will produce rain overnight, the showers moving and damp, dreary
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weather rushing in. lots of cloud and best around. the temperatures won't fall too low so it won't be as cold as it has been. double figures as we start across the southern half of the uk. we will also have cloud and damp in the air, the best sunshine is across scotland but it won't last. rain is on its way. wet weather surges at the irish scene, west wales and northern ireland. scotla nd west wales and northern ireland. scotland go downhill through the day. heavy and persistent rain. it will take all day to reach the far north—east. for the rest of us, double figures. a lot of rain for western scotland and west england, west wales, it might drive across northern ireland. dampness is not far away from cornwall. east of that, there is a lot of cloud. but we will have a largely dry afternoon with a mild, muggy field. that's nothing compared to them and warmth looked some will see on thursday. in
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the south—east, it could hit 20 or 21 degrees. northwest, it will be markedly cooler. 18 is the best i can offer, and the summit won't preach that. rain is surging up the irish sea, with quite a lot of rain. northern ireland and scotland will be dry with blustery parts. on friday, more rain in the west. it will start to move its way further eastwards and shunt those higher temperatures out of the way. that's because this rain is associated with a cold front which will clear eastwards later on friday. at the weekend, we will get sharp showers on saturday with a ridge of high pressure building in from the west, so to sum up this weekend, april showers on saturday, dry on sunday, and watch out for some fairly chilly nights as well. the news coming up next. scotland's parliament asks for a
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referendum. and the response was quick and uncompromising we'll be declining the request for a section 30 to hold another independence referendum and we won't be making any negotiations until the brexit process is complete. with holyrood and westminster at loggerheads, we'll


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