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tv   Newsnight  BBC News  April 25, 2017 11:15pm-12:00am BST

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the ease of campaigning and the struggles of governing. it's left democrats savouring another victory. it's really good news that the president seems to be taking the wall off the table in the negotiations we're having on an appropriations bill this week. the white house unveiled a new website today to celebrate the president's 100 days. it's been high energy and high—tempo. a raft of executive orders and growing economic confidence, but on his three signature policies, the travel ban, health reform and now the border wall, donald trump hasn't succeeded in the way that he'd promised. jon sopel, bbc news, washington. now on bbc news it is time for newsnight. they say this is a brexit election. so, with labour setting out their approach today, do we finally have clarity on the difference between the two main parties‘ versions of brexit? so that means we need to focus.
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not on hypothetical trade deals with other countries, but on strong trading arrangements with the eu. what we've seen today from labour is, i think, their seventh brexit plan. it's yet another nonsensical jeremy corbyn plan. it all seems to come down to the customs union. labour suggests it wants us in. but it won't say so quite that clearly. we'll ask them to spell it out. and could labour's "fortress wales" turn blue? i don't mind the... what's her name, theresa may, don't mind her. so she could get your vote? yeah, she could do this time. i've always voted labour but... jeremy corbyn? oh, i don't like him, don't like him, no. also tonight, is ivanka trump the most powerful woman here? we ask the vanity fair correspondent who has followed her career. absolutely, from my reporting, people who are close to donald trump
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say there's only one person in the white house who is not expendable and it's ivanka trump. is south africa's governing party on the brink of ousting its president? # happy birthday, dear president # well, there are certainly thousands of people out on the streets of pretoria calling on president zuma to stand down but the question is whether people power alone is enough, and it probably isn't. there are processes within the african national congress that will decide whether or not president zuma's days in power... # and so say all of us # hello, labour have long been critical of theresa may's plans for brexit, but they've not quite spelled out an alternative. until today.
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the shadow brexit secretary keir starmer gave a speech saying what his pitch to our eu counterparts would be. five key differences to theresa may. one, tone. more collaborative. two, there would be a unilateral clarification of the rights of eu citizens to remain. three, under labour, britain would aim to remain in a number of eu institutions. erasmus, euratom, the european medicines agency, and europol among others. and then, numbers four and five. the option, i repeat option, to remain in the single market and the customs union. labour's white paper will have a strong emphasis on retaining the benefits of the single market and customs union, vital as they are to protecting our economy. our paper will make crystal clear thatjobs and the economy are labour's priority throughout. now does what he said really add up
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to a different approach to mrs may? on the single market, barely, as labour concedes free movement has to go. so single market membership is unlikely to be on offer. but staying in the customs union is a possibility. it's one that might solve a pending problem of congestion at the port of dover, and reduce pressure for a border between the north and south in ireland. is this a clear distinct plan? or is there still an element of fudge? we'll ask the shadow brexit minister shortly. but first, some political background. labour's problem is that its supporters are divided on the eu. chris cook's being looking at new data from the british election study, a huge reliable survey of public opinion. he's found hints of what brexit means for votes. labour's problem with losing supporters who backed brexit has received a lot of attention. but there's a few important bits of arithmetic worth bearing in mind.
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let's start, as most of these discussions do, in the north of england. it is true that across the north most people voted leave. it is also true that this is a place where labour is the biggest party. but it doesn't follow that most labour voters in the north also voted for leave. in fact, for example, in the north—east, where only 42% of the public at large voted remain, 61% of 2015 labour voters did so. nationally, two of every three voters who backed labour in 2015 also backed remain. that's not to say labour doesn't have a problem in the north, though. particularly with that minority of its supporters who were pro—brexit. let's look at voters who backed ed miliband in 2015 and then voted leave. newly—released british election
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study data from the tail end of last year shows that only 46% of this group were still backing the party. 10% planned to vote for the tories, 11% said they were heading for ukip. 26% said they didn't know. other parties and nonvoting took the rest. that is very worrisome for labour because more recent polling moves have shown ukip dropping while the tories rise. now, here are the constituencies currently held by labour. of these there are 67 where the labour lead is smaller than the ukip vote share. not all of them are plausible tory targets, but a tory squeeze on those ukip voters could be gruesome for labour. and direct transfers from labour brexiters to the tories will make that much, much worse. what then of those voters who backed ed miliband and then voted remain? at the end of last year, labour was doing better with them, holding onto 64% of those voters.
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remember, though, that twice as many of labour's 2015 supporters backed remain as leave. so while labour lost a larger share of its leave voters, overall it has lost more labour remainers. so it is worth paying attention to them. especially the 10% of labour remainers who last year had deserted labour for the liberal democrats. the issue here isn't so much that the lib dems will take seats off labour. this shift would only flip cambridge. but that movement would be very significant in other races. on its own it would be enough to move 13 labour seats to the tories. jeremy corbyn faces a uniquely difficult challenge, holding his party together but remember even in the brexit friendly north, losing remainers will hurt all. chris cook with some of the political angle. with me now is paul blomfield,
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shadow minister for brexit. i'm saying i think that what we got today is clarity that you would like us to be in the customs union. am i overinterpreting your position? i don't think you are, what keir set out was the desire for the best possible settlement and setting up a deal within the framework of the customs union is a part of that. crucially he said he would put a good deal with the eu above hypothetical deals with the us, india and these other countries which implies he would be in for customs union membership because you would not have any tariffs. that is the logic of what he's saying. it would be because the eu accounts for about 40% of our exports. it's interesting how the tories have focused on the united states, trumpeting that deal whereas the new administration
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would like to talk to the eu first. liam fox will tell you that even his scouting around and they are perhaps thinking about trade deals with lots of countries. you would say, forget that, it's the eu that's most important? the eu first and foremost is what is most important to our economy. why was it not put more clearly? why didn't keir starmer... he linked it with the single market, why didn't he say that the substantive difference between the labour and conservative approaches to this is that labour would like to be in the customs union? why didn't he say that? always this sense of fudging it and not spelling it out. i'm sorry you say that because i think we've been clear all along.
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we've said, differently from the tories, that what comes first is jobs and the economy and people's livelihoods. in the earliest stages of the debates we've had in the house we have talked about membership of the customs union. but it felt like today we got clarity, keir starmer gave the impression that he was giving us something new today and i think he was, wasn't he? he was, putting our message together in a way that reaches out more effectively. a lot of people haven't understood it. little of the write—up is, labour is for the customs union, we're going to be in it if we vote labour and yet thatis a serious difference to the conservatives. it is, but i think we should be focusing on the outputs and not the mechanisms come in a sense,
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what we've said all along, getting the best deal for the economy. you may say that the tories are saying that also but we think it comes first in the negotiations. if the way to achieve that is membership of the customs union, as opposed to the cavalier way in. which. , , yes, because... a tiny bit hesitant! so many of these complex issues are seen in binary terms. when we leavgt'rrei european union, our whole migration policy will have to be afresh, not only in terms of eu migration but non—eu migration as well because if we don't, the economy will crash. do you have an immigration policy in mind with that's something for
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further down the road. the single market, what's the point in saying you would keep the option of the single market open? you know that it won't be on offer if you come back from free movement, as you said today. we want the best possible relationship with the single ma rketbefiausfiib‘s not only, as you said earlier, it is seeking a more collaborative relationship with the eu, but we aren't getting into painting the tories are doing, a big mistake. lastly, the european court ofjustice, one of theresa may's red line, she doesn't want anything that leaves us in it, you are happy with the european court ofjustice, court of justice?
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what must be understood, and the tories are being very dishonest with the british people, there is no international trade deal you can do with any country in the world that does not have a dispute resolution system and the nature of those systems in every treaty is that they will sit above british courts and the british parliament. if you want no trade deals with anybody, you have sovereignty, otherwise you are going to lose and when you have international agreements. thank you forjoining us. we're not going to bang on about polls too much in this campaign. we've learnt our lessons on that. but the yougov one putting the tories ten points ahead of labour in wales — if truly reflecting public opinion — marks quite a shift in conservative fortunes. and theresa may was campaigning in bridgend and newport today, obviously believing wales is fertile ground. is she right? david grossman went to the labour seat of wrexham today, to find out.
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the empty shops of hope street in wrexham tell their own story. it is, though, a little more than a decade ago that the conservatives‘ stall was bare. not a single seat in all of wales. and yet hope now abounds in the hearts of welsh conservatives. apart from the briefest dalliance with the sdp back in 1981, wrexham has been solidly labour all the way back to 1935. and before that was never conservative. the fact that it is even considered in play now for theresa may and her party hints at a political earthquake. thiswcrgtdrntzhavg labour have been in some long—term decline, but what seems to be happening particularly is that theresa may's cold, calculated, is having a particularly strong impact in a nation, wales, which voted for brexit. within hours of the seismic
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polling being published, theresa may was on her way to south wales. a photo opportunity at a galvanising plant first, insert your own iron lady related headline here... the prime minister of the united kingdom. before it was onto a rally in bridgend to hammer home their message. every single vote for me and the local conservative candidate will be a vote for a stronger wales, for a stronger united kingdom. and as i say, will strengthen my hand in those important brexit negotiations. and in wrexham at least there are voters who will tell you they're willing to consider voting conservative for the very first time. i have been labour, yeah, but i don't know. i don't mind what's her name, theresa may. i don't mind her. so she could get your vote? yes, she could do this time. i have always voted labour, but... jeremy corbyn?
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an awful lot of empty shops. and i think hopefully the conservatives could boost business up. to be honest, who do you vote for? you don't feel there's an obvious choice? i do have a choice, i've always been for labour. but now, how do you feel about labour? well, i'm not very happy withjeremy corbyn. on friday, the labour first minister of wales carwyn jones, whose administration was re—elected last year, was introducing jeremy corbyn at a rally in cardiff. today he was offering advice. look, we never take anything for granted. we had a difficult time last year. +e5i 5555 ii;.5. .5; 5.1515555143 5.5;
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