25/10/2011 Daily Politics


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25/10/2011

Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn assess the fallout from the Conservative backbench rebellion over an EU referendum. With guests George Young MP and Tim Montgomerie.


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LineFromTo

Afternoon, folks. Welcome to the Daily Politics. Almost half of

:00:28.:00:31.

Conservative backbenchers defy David Cameron to vote against the

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Government and back a referendum on our relationship with Europe. We

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will be assessing the fall-out from this massive Tory rebellion.

:00:42.:00:45.

Nicolas is sick of being criticised by David. David says he will not

:00:45.:00:50.

shut up about Europe. Silvio says he wants no lessons from Angela and

:00:50.:00:57.

Nicolas. When the hissy fits are over, who will wield power in

:00:57.:01:03.

Europe? It costs �4.2 billion per year, but

:01:03.:01:08.

what are we doing to tackle the obesity epidemic? It is as stupid

:01:09.:01:13.

to tell me to pull myself together as pointing at an alcoholic lying

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in the street and telling them to quit drinking.

:01:18.:01:25.

Coming up in the next half an hour, all of that. Derek Hatton is with

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us for the duration. He supported the militant tendency when he was

:01:32.:01:37.

leader of Liverpool City Council. I hear they were big in the 80s!

:01:37.:01:43.

David Cameron also faced his big rebellion. How bad was it? Worse

:01:43.:01:48.

than they thought. Let's look at what happened in closer detail.

:01:48.:01:58.
:01:58.:01:58.

David Cameron easily won the vote by 183 -- 483 to 111. 79 rebelled

:01:58.:02:03.

against him, plus two tellers and two abstentions. Another 12 were

:02:03.:02:08.

absent, giving 81 rebels. Even John Major never faced such a rebellion

:02:08.:02:14.

over Europe when he was Prime Minister. The biggest he faced was

:02:14.:02:21.

in 1993141 MPs voted against the Maastricht treaty. -- in 1993, when

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41 MPs. 50 of the rebels on un peace since 2010, it so David

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Cameron could have a rebellious party on his hands. -- 50 of them

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are new MPs. People are saddened and disillusioned by being fobbed

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off, as they see it, by the political elite, who always seem to

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find a reason to stop them having their say. The eurozone is clearly

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in crisis. To pile upon that uncertainty the further uncertainty

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of a referendum on leaving the European Union, when half the

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foreign direct investment coming into Britain comes from the

:03:04.:03:07.

European Union and half of our exports go out to the European

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Union, that is not responsible action for Her Majesty's Government

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to take. I am not prepared to go back on my words to my constituents.

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And I am really staggered, really staggered, that loyal people like

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me have been put in this position. If Britain's future as an

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independent country is not a proper matter for a referendum, then I

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have absolutely no idea what is. This is about whether or not we

:03:35.:03:38.

give the people, the hundreds of thousands of people that want to

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have a chance to discuss this, whether we give them the chance to

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have a debate. At the moment, to have a debate which might lead to a

:03:47.:03:52.

referendum about whether Britain is going to go into the European Union

:03:52.:03:56.

or leave it, that is such a massive distraction from the real issues

:03:57.:04:01.

that this country and the rest of Europe has to address. It is for us

:04:01.:04:05.

backbenchers to say to Her Majesty's Government, stiffen your

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sign used, summon up the blood, imitate the action of a tiger and

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that is how you should behave towards our European partners.

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was the flavour of the debate. We're getting reports that the

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Prime Minister is that a military base in Bedford. That is quite

:04:30.:04:35.

ominous. Maybe he is following Gaddafi? If we hear anything from

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him, we will give you the clip. We hear he is being interviewed about

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the follow-up from the debate. We are joined by George Young, leader

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of the House of Commons, Ann Tim Montgomerie, editor of Conservative

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Home website. How bad is this rebellion? How significant for

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David Cameron? I think it is very significant on two levels. Firstly,

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to have 81 of your own MPs rebelling is a significant defiance.

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Plus the abstentions. And the abstentions. Once you have rebelled

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once, you get into the habit of defying your Government and you can

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do it more easily the second or third time. I think it is about

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Europe as well. Some people say the Conservative Party is more united

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on Europe than it has ever been but that is not true. You could have

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fooled me! The centre has definitely moved into a euro-

:05:30.:05:34.

sceptic direction. With the new intake? We used to have Michael

:05:34.:05:38.

Heseltine on one side, the enthusiasts, and then the euro-

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sceptics on the other side. The new division is a majority of euro-

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sceptics wanting fundamental and partial renegotiation. But a

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significant number want to leave the European Union altogether. That

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division is as big as the old one, but different. It can only be

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resolved by a referendum. David Cameron cannot resolve it. You can

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manage it better but it has to be resolved by a vote from the British

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people and only then will they stop talking about this issue. If you

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add up the abstentions, 50% of the non- pourri role Tories defied a

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three-line whip. -- non- pay roll Tories. David Cameron always knew

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that there would be a spread of issues on this issue and it got one

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defy last night. -- has spread of opinions on this issue and it got

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quantified last night. Opinions have shifted. David Cameron always

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said he wanted fundamental reform of the EU, refashioning our

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membership and bringing back powers. To that extent, I think the party

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is united on the broader objections. What there is disagreement on is

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the means. The House of Commons last night said that the concept of

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a three-way referendum now was not the right way to reach the

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objective that most Conservative share. Let's get this straight. How

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many people wake up this morning, really giving a damp about being in

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Europe? It is weighed down on anybody's priority list when they

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wake up. In real terms, if you said to people... If you said to people

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about Europe, they would side what I say. Either we are in, or we are

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out. The problem is the mish-mash in the middle which we have had for

:07:37.:07:41.

20 years which is so counter- productive. I think where you are

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wrong is that European issues are way down the pecking order when it

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is expressed in abstract terms, but when we connected with the economy,

:07:51.:07:55.

we cannot control our borders, human rights laws, then people

:07:55.:07:59.

actually care a lot. The idea of the European Union does not excite

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them but the way it affects our future does. I want to look at the

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Tory party but we do have footage of the Prime Minister are reacting

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to the vote this morning. politics you have to confront the

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big issues, rather than trying to sweep them under the carpet and

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that is what we did yesterday. This has always been a difficult issue

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for my party and it always will be but the important thing is doing

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the right thing for the country and it would not be right for the

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country to have an outright referendum and all the rest of it.

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What I would say from last night, on my part there is no blood but, -

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- no bad blood. I understand why people feel strongly and we will go

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forward together and tackle the difficult decisions that the

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country faces. The Prime Minister with his military escort in the

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background! And some big military hardware! Maybe things are

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happening and we do not know about! Tim Montgomerie, you wrote in the

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Guardian this morning. You think this goes beyond Europe. You think

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that David Cameron has very few favours in the bank with his

:09:09.:09:15.

backbenchers. Talking-to the rebels yesterday, lot of them were divided

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and found this difficult. But some of them took relish in poking the

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Prime Minister in the eye. Lot of Conservative MPs do not feel part

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of the Government. You said they enjoyed the rebellion and actively

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distrusted him. They do not trust him to repatriate any powers.

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did an opinion poll of grassroots members and Conservative MPs are

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Conservative Home. We asked whether they thought to the Prime Minister

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was serious about repatriating powers and 64% said they did not

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think so. That is why people were voting for this motion to put

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pressure on the Prime Minister. party does not trust the leader.

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that issue. He this is a rebellious Parliament, firstly. There have

:09:59.:10:06.

been more rebellious, especially among the newer MPs. Lots of the

:10:06.:10:11.

MPs that I have listened to, those that voted against the party last

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night, it did so with reluctance, thinking long and hard about it.

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64% of the Tory MPs do not trust the Prime Minister to deliver the

:10:21.:10:26.

bacon when it comes to Europe. back to what Derek has said. The

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majority of the party is worried about other issues. They are

:10:30.:10:36.

delighted the Prime Minister is putting grows on the agenda. If you

:10:36.:10:39.

look at the opinion polling of the Prime Minister, he is way ahead of

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his party but Ed Miliband is way behind. The standing of the Prime

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Minister is robust. Let me ask you this. The Conservatives... There

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was no mention of repatriation of powers. We got it wrong on the

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Daily Politics. There was no mention of repatriation of powers

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in the Tory manifesto. What it said was that if there was another

:11:02.:11:06.

Lisbon Treaty, another move of giving more power to brothels, then

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you would call a referendum on that. -- to Brussels. If the Germans used

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the eurozone crisis to create a fiscal union, deeper integration,

:11:20.:11:26.

which will require changes to the treaties, would you use that as a

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window to repatriate powers? Prime Minister was asked this

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yesterday in the House of Commons and the answer was that we do not

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know what the Germans will propose. Also we do not know if there will

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be total agreement between the European countries and it is simply

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too soon to pose that question because we do not know what the

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treaties will do. It is your party's policy now. Your party's

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policy is to have a more deeper, integrated fiscal union for the

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eurozone. That is what you are pushing and it is what the Germans

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want. So if that happens, will you use that all were you not use that

:12:05.:12:12.

as an opportunity to attend to repatriate powers? -- or will you

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not? If there was an attempt... are kidding yourself. I need to pin

:12:20.:12:26.

him down on this. That is not what I am asking. I know about your

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policy. I am asking if there are treaty changes to accommodate your

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Government's policy and the aspirations of the Germans, to

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create a fiscal union within the eurozone, is that an opportunity

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for you or is it not to repatriate powers? The Prime Minister answered

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that question. It depends on what is proposed, how far it gets and

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whether that is the right time to press our agenda, or Wetherby Road

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priority is sorting out the eurozone crisis, which everybody

:12:56.:13:06.
:13:06.:13:06.

wants to do. -- or whether it the priority. Nick Clegg has said there

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would be no repatriation of powers and renegotiation is not on the

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agenda. Is that true? Look at the coalition agreement. It looks at

:13:15.:13:21.

the balance of competencies within the EU. You of a Cabinet minister

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that we have here. Can renegotiation happen or not happen

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this side of the next election? could happen depending on what is

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proposed in the treaty. Do you think it will? It depends what the

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Germans propose, whether people agree and whether it is the right

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time to push the issue. I know what I am defeated and will not get an

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answer. Thank you. While Parliament is squabbling over

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how closely we should be involved in Europe, the eurozone continues

:13:51.:13:59.

to flounder. There is another summit in Brussels on Wednesday.

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David Cameron is trying to come up with the big enough package to

:14:02.:14:06.

tackle the eurozone sovereign debt crisis. They are running out of

:14:06.:14:13.

time and the solution has to be found before the G20 meeting on

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November 3rd and 4th, including a Barack Obama. An important

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confidence indicator came up this morning showing that Europe is on

:14:24.:14:29.

the brink of another recession, no more than in France. They have real

:14:29.:14:34.

problems. When the dust has settled, we could be looking at a radically

:14:34.:14:38.

different EU. We thought it was time to bring out the Daily

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Politics wedding cake, this time at the prospect of a two or three-tier

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Europe. Sitting on the top of the cake, Angela Merkel and Nicolas

:14:50.:14:57.

Sarkozy. But he clashed with David Cameron, saying that he was sick of

:14:57.:15:01.

being criticised and being told what to do. Nicolas Sarkozy had

:15:01.:15:06.

tried to insist that the meeting should be restricted to the 17

:15:06.:15:10.

eurozone leaders. But David Cameron won has battled to make sure that

:15:10.:15:15.

all 27 member states would attend, but only for one-hour meeting

:15:15.:15:19.

before the 17 broke away separately the final negotiations. Angela

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Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy have also looked down from their lofty

:15:23.:15:27.

position to tell Silvio Berlusconi to take more radical measures to

:15:27.:15:32.

tackle Italy's huge debt. He hit back after being humiliated in this

:15:32.:15:37.

way. Now there are suggestions that the two or three-tier Europe could

:15:37.:15:46.

be formalised as soon as December with a soupy eurozone excluding

:15:46.:15:55.

members like the UK. -- Super eurozone. Some members might like

:15:55.:16:01.

to join this but it could leave the UK with less influence. Nick Clegg

:16:01.:16:11.
:16:11.:16:18.

I have always advocated a vote on Europe. We don't know what the

:16:18.:16:24.

Germans are proposing. If you listen to them talking, it is a

:16:24.:16:29.

very technical tweak in the treaty, many other countries oppose it. We

:16:29.:16:33.

should stop tilting at windmills about threats and challenges which

:16:33.:16:42.

simply are not there right now. Nick Clegg, quite categorical that

:16:42.:16:46.

for him it is not on the agenda this side of the election, which

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may be why David Cameron doesn't really want to create a big fight

:16:50.:16:56.

about this because he knows it may split the coalition apart. We are

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joined by the Conservative MP george, who tried to table a

:17:01.:17:08.

conciliatory amendment to last night's vote. In the end the

:17:08.:17:14.

government said they were not doing that. Therefore he abstained.

:17:14.:17:20.

Welcome. Are you comfortable with your government pours policy now,

:17:20.:17:26.

urging a deeper fiscal integration for the euro-zone? I think it is

:17:26.:17:30.

more of a decision for those countries in the euro-zone. They

:17:30.:17:34.

understand that but are you comfortable with the government?

:17:34.:17:38.

They are right - if the Euro is to succeed, they need to integrate

:17:38.:17:44.

more deeply. We knew that, it was one of the main arguments against

:17:44.:17:50.

Britain joining the euro. Unless there is a political acceptance of

:17:50.:17:54.

that within countries like Germany and France, it will cause future

:17:54.:17:58.

problems. It was one thing for the German public to integrate with

:17:58.:18:03.

East Germany and take on board the liability, but will they want to

:18:04.:18:08.

have mutual liability with countries like Italy and Greece.

:18:08.:18:13.

That is not what I want to get into this morning. Are you comfortable

:18:13.:18:18.

advocating an approach for the 17 of the euro-zone that we would not

:18:18.:18:24.

be part of ourselves? We are really saying, you go for it but we will

:18:24.:18:28.

not be part of it. I think we should not be telling them what to

:18:28.:18:34.

do. You agree with Nicolas Sarkozy? I wouldn't put it the way he does,

:18:34.:18:44.
:18:44.:18:44.

but it is a big political decision for them to have a fiscal union.

:18:44.:18:54.
:18:54.:18:55.

is a joke, he is sitting there.... I am saying you are either in or

:18:55.:18:59.

out. He will have no influence whatsoever, it is a gesture.

:18:59.:19:05.

don't need it because we have control of our own economy. How can

:19:05.:19:12.

we have control of our own economy? It turned out it was a good boat to

:19:12.:19:20.

miss during the euro, we did the right thing. There is only one

:19:20.:19:26.

interviewer when I am doing these things. George Eustice, are you

:19:26.:19:32.

clear in your mind that if the euro-zone comes to an agreement

:19:32.:19:37.

over sovereign debt involving the 17, does that agreement have to be

:19:37.:19:47.
:19:47.:19:48.

approved by the 27? I think it does. I think we do, and we have to stop

:19:48.:19:52.

trying to find a way to not talk about this and confront the issue.

:19:52.:19:56.

The reason we are in this mess is because deeper integration has been

:19:56.:20:01.

a failure and we need to have this debate. Rather than saying there

:20:01.:20:04.

won't be a treaty because no other countries want one, Britain should

:20:05.:20:09.

be saying we want the treaty and we want to confront this issue. It is

:20:09.:20:14.

tied up in getting the economy going again. We have the burden of

:20:14.:20:19.

new EU laws every week. A let's assume for this discussion that is

:20:19.:20:24.

true, all the more bizarre that it is almost impossible to work out

:20:24.:20:29.

what your party's policy is now. was trying to find out from George

:20:29.:20:36.

Young, what is your understanding of the policy? If the Europeans go

:20:36.:20:41.

down this road, isn't that an opening to start repatriating past

:20:41.:20:48.

London? It is clear in the agreement that we would examine the

:20:48.:20:53.

competences of the European Union, that is why my amendment called for

:20:53.:20:58.

a White Paper to fulfil that commitment. But the coalition

:20:58.:21:03.

agreement refers to powers going to the EU as a whole. That is not what

:21:03.:21:08.

is on the cards at the moment. What is on the cards is at the euro-zone

:21:08.:21:15.

getting more powers for itself. I asked again, if that happens, is

:21:15.:21:20.

that the Government's opportunity to repatriate power or not? What

:21:20.:21:24.

the coalition agreement says is that it would examine the existing

:21:25.:21:32.

competences of the EU. So what is the answer to my question? That

:21:32.:21:37.

that is our policy. The government should be producing a white paper.

:21:37.:21:42.

If George Young could not tell me that, he said it depended on the

:21:42.:21:46.

nature of the euro-zone renegotiation. My position is that

:21:46.:21:51.

if they reintegrate more deeply, this is an opportunity to have a

:21:51.:21:55.

fresh start. I am not here to speak on behalf of the government, this

:21:55.:22:03.

is my personal view. At times of crisis, the future belongs to those

:22:03.:22:09.

with a plan. It is a problem that cost �4.2 billion a year and

:22:09.:22:13.

affects a quarter of the population - obesity is an urgent issue, but

:22:13.:22:16.

have governments been taking the right step to tackle it?

:22:16.:22:21.

Not according to Derek Hatton, who has a personal interest in

:22:21.:22:25.

addressing the issue. We have been speaking to one woman who faces up

:22:25.:22:35.
:22:35.:22:38.

to what she describes as an addiction. I am in a lot of pain

:22:38.:22:45.

are a lot of the time. It depends if I am having a good or a bad day,

:22:45.:22:50.

but my back aches, my shins ached. Walking to the bus-stop is a chore,

:22:50.:22:56.

and on top of that there is the emotional pain. People avoid

:22:56.:23:04.

catching your eye and avoid sitting next to you on the bus. When I feel

:23:04.:23:10.

bad about myself I get over emotional, and then I eat too much.

:23:10.:23:15.

Emma Burnell has been struggling with food and her weight since she

:23:15.:23:20.

was a teenager. Being fat makes her on happy and she is trying to lead

:23:20.:23:24.

a healthier life. She is getting counselling, but public health

:23:24.:23:28.

officials concerned about obesity don't even appear to understand the

:23:28.:23:35.

problem. Most people will go out and have too much to read, or eat a

:23:35.:23:42.

burger when they know they should be eating a sell land. -- a salad.

:23:42.:23:47.

It is when it becomes over reliance, that is when you have a problem.

:23:47.:23:52.

How common is that? In my opinion, I don't want to talk to everybody

:23:52.:23:57.

who feels and looks like me, but inappropriate relationships with

:23:57.:24:00.

food is extremely common but an extremely hidden aspect of our

:24:00.:24:05.

society. At the government recently launched a new strategy to deal

:24:05.:24:09.

with obesity, they want us as a country to eat 5 billion fewer

:24:09.:24:16.

calories each day. In what has been dubbed as a call to action, they

:24:16.:24:22.

want us to eat less and be more active. Most of it is really

:24:23.:24:28.

patronising. Education is important, of course, but I am a very bright

:24:28.:24:35.

woman. I have a university degree, I work in a high Lovell job, and I

:24:35.:24:39.

know that basically the way to lose weight is through diet and exercise

:24:39.:24:43.

but it is more complicated. When I hear people saying pull yourself

:24:43.:24:48.

together, it is just diet and exercise, it is as stupid as

:24:48.:24:53.

pointing to an alcoholic and telling them to quit drinking.

:24:53.:24:59.

I am joined by the shadow health minister Diane Abbott and Derek

:25:00.:25:06.

Hatton. She is saying it is an addiction, and illness. Obesity is

:25:06.:25:14.

not the disease, it is a disgrace. People have choices, and if people

:25:14.:25:22.

are obese, in the vast majority, it is either because they eat too much

:25:22.:25:28.

or they don't exercise enough. That is true, but the worry I have when

:25:28.:25:32.

you hear people like that is it is almost ignoring that as a fact.

:25:32.:25:38.

What you do to get to that stage is a discussion we can have. At the

:25:38.:25:43.

end of the day, the reality is you are eating too much and not

:25:43.:25:49.

exercising enough. You listen to that goal, it is almost as if it is

:25:49.:25:55.

a big addiction, there is no way I can get out of it. You can, stop

:25:55.:26:00.

eating and start exercising. people need help in that sense. In

:26:00.:26:03.

2010, a report said significant progress in cutting hospital

:26:03.:26:10.

waiting times have been undermined by failing to tackle obesity. Not

:26:10.:26:15.

enough was done - do you accept that? Yes, we could have done more.

:26:15.:26:21.

It leads to diabetes, cancer, strokes, high blood pressure, and

:26:22.:26:26.

it cost the health service millions. What sort of public health campaign

:26:26.:26:31.

should be done? Do they achieve anything? Some of the money that

:26:31.:26:36.

was spent was wasted on leaflets and the rest of it, but I have seen

:26:36.:26:41.

interesting programmes in schools where you work with individual

:26:41.:26:45.

children and families around being more active and looking at what

:26:45.:26:50.

they all lead. When you have a fat child, the family has bad eating

:26:50.:26:56.

habits generally. Things like banning trans fats, which are no

:26:56.:26:59.

good to anybody, and when the government says it is about

:27:00.:27:05.

personal choice and control, that is wrong. What about the dependency

:27:05.:27:08.

culture this government seems to want to tackle, do you think that

:27:08.:27:14.

has led to high rates of obesity? I'd do. I think that over the years

:27:14.:27:19.

people have sat back and thought people will do this for us.

:27:19.:27:24.

they want gastric bounds. People have got to do it themselves. In

:27:24.:27:29.

some ways it is against the political line I would have taken

:27:29.:27:34.

before, but people have to realise they have power over them own lives.

:27:34.:27:39.

I am involved in a campaign to get people to use their bicycle to go

:27:39.:27:46.

to work. You talk to the employers of those people with bikes, and

:27:46.:27:50.

they say they get a more diligent workforce, a much more keen work

:27:50.:27:56.

force and a happier workforce. People have got to realise that

:27:56.:28:00.

when they start getting healthier, they are in many ways ready to take

:28:00.:28:05.

on the world. Do you agree with the government to use more stick and

:28:05.:28:10.

less carrot? Jamie Oliver and others, all of those specialist in

:28:10.:28:15.

the field say the Government's so- called obesity strategy is rubbish.

:28:15.:28:19.

It is relying too much on multinationals and fast food

:28:19.:28:25.

manufacturers to do the right thing, and not enough providing practical

:28:25.:28:31.

help like schemes like Derek's. We need a proper strategy, people need

:28:31.:28:36.

real help. Carrots for lunch, biking home?

:28:36.:28:44.

With Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn. Almost half of Conservative backbenchers defy Cameron and vote against the government to call for a referendum on our relationship with Europe. We assess the fallout from this rebellion with the Leader of the House of Commons George Young, and Tim Montgomerie, editor of the Conservative Home website.

What's going on in Europe? Sarkozy says he's sick of being criticised by Cameron and Berlusconi says he wants no "lessons" from Merkel and Sarkozy. But when the fits are over who will wield power in Europe? We speak to Conservative MP George Eustice.

And it costs the country £4.2bn a year - but are we doing the right things to tackle the obesity epidemic? We talk about that with shadow public health minister Diane Abbott and our guest of the day Derek Hatton, the former deputy leader of Liverpool Council and former supporter of the Militant tendency.