POLITICS

Hillary Clinton, Deal Or No Deal And Chris Grayling's Brexit Advice For Farmers: Dig For Victory! Our Sunday Shows Round-Up

'Fits right into the Brexiteer narrative which is essentially a tribute act to WW2.'

15/10/2017 17:09 BST | Updated 15/10/2017 17:37 BST
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling on the Andrew Marr said John McDonnell is talking nonsense
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling on the Andrew Marr Show said farmers should "grow more here"

The prospect of a no-deal Brexit was front and centre - and what to do about it - of the Sunday politics shows this week. 

Chris Grayling was also called “ridiculous” for suggesting Britain’s farmers should “grow more here” to protect consumers from price rises post-Brexit. 

The Transport Secretary was speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show when he also repeated the line: “Britain will succeed, come what may.”

The big reveal from Labour was Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell’s admission that his party’s MPs were prepared to work with rebel Tories to vote down a no-deal Brexit should Theresa May return from Brussels empty-handed. 

The big-name guest on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, meanwhile, was failed candidate for US President Hillary Clinton, who drew comparisons between the disgraced Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and US President Donald Trump. 

She also raised fears about the damage no deal could do to Britain’s economy. 

Here’s our Sunday shows round-up. 

 

The Andrew Marr Show 

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell opened his interview with the BBC’s Andrew Marr by urging the Government to “come to their senses” about the potential economic damage of a no-deal Brexit. 

He said Labour was working with other parties to ensure the country does not leave the bloc without securing a good trading relationship. 

“I don’t think there’s a majority for no deal,” he said. “I think on a cross-party basis you’ll see in the debates in the coming week - the Government will get the message, there will be a deal.”

McDonnell was also asked about his Labour conference speech in which he pledged to bring PFI contracts back in-house. 

Asked how much it would cost, McDonnell said: “I don’t think it will cost us anything in the long run.” 

Suella Fernandes MP, meanwhile, criticised McDonnell’s approach, adding: “John McDonnell’s admission that Labour would accept any Brexit deal at any cost to ordinary working families proves that Labour would be prepared to see the UK at the EU’s beck and call for years to come, which is not what people voted for last June.”

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said the Shadow Chancellor was “talking a lot of complete nonsense” as MPs had already voted to leave the EU via the Article 50 legislation.

He told Marr negotiations were “where I would expect them to be” despite the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier expressing alarm this week at the lack of progress.

Grayling said: “John McDonnell threatening to derail this bill is John McDonnell threatening to create the kind of chaotic Brexit he himself is warning against.”

The cabinet minister was then shown a video in which, during the Brexit campaign, he claimed the country could easily trade with the EU tariff-free. 

Grayling said: “I still agree with myself.” 

The National Archives via Getty Images
Dig for victory was a 1941 campaign post-WW2 

Marr then put quotes in the media from Tory MPs rating the chances of a deal as “50-50”. 

“I think Britain will succeed but we won’t get to that position,” he said. “It is the one thing I would agree with John McDonnell on.” 

He went on: “It is bad for the European Union if we don’t have a sensible trading negotiation.” 

Grayling said the Government was planning for no-deal outcome.

Marr asked what this would mean for food prices, to which the Transport Secretary replied: “It would mean producers/supermarkets bought more at home, that British farmers produced more, they grow more here, that they bought more from around the world - and it would damage French producers and European producers.” 

Jenny Chapman MP, Labour’s Shadow Brexit Minister, said the answer was “ridiculous”.

“Rather than planning for no deal, ministers appear to be telling us to dig for no deal,” she said. “British farmers already work incredibly hard and to suggest that they could simply grow more food is ridiculous.”

Hillary Clinton was also on the programme.

She called the alleged conduct of Harvey Weinstein “disgusting” and “heartbreaking” and comapred the disgraced movie mogul to Donald Trump.  

The failed candidate for US President heaped praise on the women who spoke out against the once-powerful film producer Weinstein, who now faces multiple accusations of sexual harassment, rape and assault. 

But she swiftly pointed out her former rival Trump was guilty of abusing women. Referring to the tape in which Trump said he felt free to “grab [women] by the pussy”, she added: “After all, we have someone admitting to being a sexual assaulter in the Oval Office”. 

She went on: “It was just disgusting and the stories that have come out were heartbreaking and I really commend the women who have been willing to step forward now and tell their stories.” 

Clinton laughed off the prospect of the UK striking a new trade deal with the US, claiming Trump “doesn’t believe in trade”. 

She went on to say that a no-deal Brexit would hit Britain’s economy hard and would put Britain at a “very big disadvantage”.

“I think it would be a very big disadvantage to Britain,” she told Marr.

“I mean, no deal meaning no preferential trade deals, which means products in Britain would not have the kind of easy access to the European market that you’ve had under EU membership.

“It could very well mean that there would be more pressure on businesses in Britain, if not to leave completely, at least also have sites and employment elsewhere in Europe. I think that the disruption for Britain could be, you know, quite serious.”

 

Peston On Sunday 

Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer was the main guest on ITV’s Peston on Sunday. 

He told presenter Robert Peston it was “blindingly obvious” a final deal would not be struck within the two-year time frame since Article 50 was triggered, adding: “Therefore we have a pretty stark choice in March 2019, we either go off the cliff with a no-deal, which would be disastrous or we go to sensible transitional arrangements.” 

Starmer refused to give a figure for what Labour would pay for the Brexit divorce bill, after a letter from David Davis asked him to spell out their bottom line figure. 

He said, however, it should be kept as low as possible and suggested Labour would consider making payments to the EU after Brexit to gain access to the customs union.

He said: “We’ll have to see subject to negotiations. Obviously, ideally no, or keep it low.

“It’s a very simple thing - if economically it’s better off to have an arrangement that works for our businesses and secures our economy then we would do it.”

He maintained the Labour line, which was that Parliament should have a say on the deal. 

Former Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, another of Peston’s guests, was asked how much she disagreed with Shadow Brexit Secretary Starmer. 

She replied: “I think there are nuances around the edge but I think what’s happening is there is a majority of parliamentarians who want to see a sensible deal that is going to protect our economy as far as possible.” 

She added: “It’s important to realise that no deal does not mean status quo. I think some people out there think you agree a deal or you leave or you carry on as we are.

″No, no deal is not the status quo. It is something far more cliff edge and far more dramatic than that.” 

Next up was Housing Minister Alok Sharma, who was asked why so few of the Grenfell residents had been housed in the wake of the tragedy. 

Only ten have been permanently rehoused, said Peston, but Sharma said 111 had accepted an offer. 

“We need to work at the pace that people find acceptable for them,” said Sharma. 

He added more North Kensington homes were being made available before he said he and other ministers were meeting with families on an individual basis. 

Former advisor to Jeremy Corbyn Matt Zarb-Cousin told the Peston he thought Theresa May will be forced to resign in 2019 because Brexit negotiations will fail and, as a result, the UK will stay part of the bloc. 

He added the next Tory leadership contest will then be between a Remainer and an MP pushing for a no-deal break from the EU and an election could take place at the same juncture. 

He said: “Because of the way negotiations have been handled, I don’t think we’re going to get a deal so I think we’re going to end up staying in the European Union, therefore I think Theresa May will resign in 2019 then there will be a leadership contest between someone who wants no deal and someone who wants to stay in the European Union, and we could have an election that year.”

 

 

Paterson on Sunday 

Sky News’ Niall Paterson secured an interview with UKIP’s new leader Henry Bolton. 

He was asked about claims circulating on Twitter that Bolton would kill a badger with his bare hands. 

The party’s general secretary Paul Oakley had wrote on Twitter: “Unlike the feeble old parties, only Ukip has a leader who is mighty enough to kill a badger with his bare hands.”

Bolton, appearing on Russia Today previously, said he “could probably do that”.

Questioned about it by Paterson, he said: “They gave me a few options as ideas for an initiation ceremony into the leadership of Ukip.

“The one that was probably the most suitable for me was chasing a badger across Dartmoor, capturing it and then breaking its neck with one spare hand, which was a slightly unusual thing.”

Paterson said it was “possibly the strangest question” he had asked.

Bolton said: “It was a little odd.”

Nigel Farage’s replacement refused to say what immigration numbers the country should accept, saying: “I’m not going to give you a figure because it is an arbitrary figure, isn’t it.” 

’In an ideal world we should be aiming for zero net immigration,” he said. 

He said the party would campaign on reversing local government and policing cutbacks. 

Niall Paterson asked Shadow International Trade Secretary Barry Gardiner how Labour would conduct Brexit talks differently. 

 

Gardiner said the first step would be to guarantee the rights of EU nationals and within organisations like Euratom.

He said of the stance on EU nationals: “The reason for that is that it sets a tone of mutual trust. 

“That is what the Government has failed to do here.”