26/10/2011 Daily Politics


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26/10/2011

European leaders are in Brussels attempting to save the single currency. But Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy simply can't agree on a plan. With Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn.


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Morning, folks. This is the Daily Politics. Wednesday, 26th October,

:00:27.:00:33.

2011, AD, the day that Europe dithered and delayed, while the

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eurozone teetered on the abyss of financial crisis possibly leading

:00:37.:00:41.

to further recession. At least that is what it looks like as the euro

:00:41.:00:45.

leaders gather for another summit in Brussels. They were supposed to

:00:45.:00:49.

agree a three-part rescue plan but much of the technical work has not

:00:49.:00:53.

been completed. The banks are digging in against a Greek haircut

:00:53.:01:00.

of debt, and Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy are still a part on

:01:00.:01:05.

fundamental matters of principle. The in Italy, Silvio Berlusconi's

:01:05.:01:09.

Government looks close to collapse. The chance of a deal looks ever

:01:09.:01:14.

further off. Is some kind of financial and economic catastrophe

:01:14.:01:18.

heading for us like a truck? David Cameron will face his own

:01:18.:01:21.

backbenchers at PMQs in half an hour, the first time since he

:01:21.:01:26.

failed to stop 50% of them voting for a referendum on our

:01:26.:01:30.

relationship with Europe. And he will be sitting alongside

:01:30.:01:36.

his deputy, Nick Clegg. He has been warning against any smash-and-grab

:01:36.:01:40.

attack to claw back powers from Brussels. What is the coalition

:01:40.:01:47.

policy on Europe, if anything? All of that coming up over the next

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90 minutes. A very important day for the eurozone, the European

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Union and the British colony. Throughout the programme we are

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joined by the Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude, who always

:02:00.:02:03.

likes to be reminded that under John Major he became the manner

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that actually put his signature on the Maastricht Treaty. -- the man.

:02:09.:02:15.

Not quite accurate. It was not his signature, it was a paw print! And

:02:15.:02:19.

Rachel Reeves, the next leader of the Labour Party. Sorry, she has

:02:20.:02:23.

been newly promoted to shadow chief secretary of the Treasury. But that

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is the gossip among some, which will be the kiss of death of course.

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How serious is it? Very serious. Nobody is under any illusion that

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it is serious. The eurozone leaders need to sorted out. It is not easy.

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When the situation is this bad, solution will not come along on a

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plate. People like me say what I have just said, it is down to the

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wire, and then suddenly we get free. Will this happen this time?

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certainly hope so that nobody can predict exactly what will happen.

:03:08.:03:12.

If there is a resolution, which I hope there will be, I don't think

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that anybody is free. A price will have to be paid for this, in terms

:03:17.:03:20.

of what is needed to recapitalise the banks, to have a proper

:03:20.:03:28.

solution, a resolution for Greece. None of this is free, but the

:03:28.:03:32.

penalty for not doing it is extremely severe. Not just for the

:03:32.:03:40.

eurozone but for those of us, well, 40% of our trade is with the

:03:40.:03:44.

eurozone and it would affect us gravely. The three-part deal was

:03:44.:03:47.

supposed to be agreed last weekend at the European summit but that did

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not happen. We have another summit today, two really. One for the EU

:03:54.:04:01.

and one for the eurozone. Then they have to go in front of the G20 on

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November 3rd. As I look at these things, and I try to look at them

:04:05.:04:09.

closely, it doesn't seem to me that timetable will happen. You say it

:04:09.:04:13.

always goes to the wire, but the backdrop for this summit is

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different to any other summit before. It is being driven by what

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is happening in the financial markets, what is happening to jobs

:04:22.:04:25.

and the economy. It is more pressing than ever that we get some

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answers. The problem with going to the wire and then doing as much as

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you need to do and then carrying on for a bit, and then going to the

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wire, and doing what you need to do, you know, we actually need some

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proper answers for these problems. The problems of Greek debt, the

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banks and their lack of capital, and the problems about the spill

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overs. Unless there is a forensic and full deal in Europe, then what

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we are going to see his contagion getting worse and it spreading to

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Italy, as everyone is saying, and Spain and Portugal and other

:05:00.:05:04.

countries. We desperately need a deal. It is not like a normal

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summit. They may do as little as they need to do, rather than as

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much. We will talk about this later in the programme as well. We have

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been saying that lots hangs on the summer today, I should say summits.

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-- the summit today. Jo has been looking at what happens when and

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what is on the table. The euro horror story gets another

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showing today. All 27 EU leaders will be at the first meeting this

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afternoon. David Cameron will be absent from the next and most

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crucial session, at the meeting of the 17 eurozone leaders tonight.

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There are three issues on the agenda. Cutting the Greek debt

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mountain, shoring up the banks to cope with losses, and boosting the

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rescue fund. Will they reach a deal? The strong disagreement

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between France and Germany over how to shore up the rescue fund, known

:06:03.:06:09.

as the EFSF. There is also disagreement over the bondholders.

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Germany wants to impose a 60% haircut on those holding great debt,

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meaning they would lose 60% of everything they have learned. The

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banks that hold most of that debt warn that anything above 40% could

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further endanger the European banking system. The markets could

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plunge if the leaders failed to reach a deal tonight and the crisis

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could exact a political price as well. Silvio Berlusconi is through

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-- rumoured to be stepping down. Let's go to Brussels. It has been

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taught about the crisis can that has been kicked down the road for

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months. -- talked about. Have we reached the end of the road today?

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I don't think so. When I was here on Sunday, there was widespread

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acknowledgement that they were finding it very difficult to come

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to a fundamental agreement. You had that press conference with Angela

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Merkel of Germany and President Sarkozy of France, trying to

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present a publicly united front. They did look closer than they have

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done in the past. There are differences between these two

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countries, the two most important countries in the eurozone, over the

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way forward. Angela Merkel has been addressing the German Parliament

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ahead of a crucial vote which she is expected to win. But his today

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the summit to end all summits? My instinct is that it is not. Thank

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you. As we were hoping for some decisiveness at the summit today,

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we heard that the Italian Government could be on the brink of

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collapse. David is in Rome. What do you say to the rumours that

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Berlusconi may be stepping down from the deal and that the

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Government is on the verge of collapse? That the Government is on

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the verge of collapse is a given here. Berlusconi has come under

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terrible criticism in recent weeks for his dithering over the economic

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measures that he has proposed to combat the eurozone debt crisis.

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The Government has been talking for three months now about an austerity

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budget, but implementing the austerity budget seems to be beyond

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his capacity. He is coming to Brussels this afternoon with a

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letter of intent in his pocket. More promises, in other words.

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Whether the EU leaders will believe home is a matter for speculation.

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Italy's credibility is at an all- time low, just as Berlusconi's

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credit rating in Italy is at an all-time low.

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Thank you. To discuss how the markets are likely to react to the

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developments today, delays, dithering, call it what you want, I

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am joined by Louise Cooper, a market analyst. It is a busy time

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for you. Let's go through a couple of things before coming onto the

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market reaction. At the moment they do not seem to have an agreement.

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They have not been able to convince the banks holding the Greek debt

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that they should take this haircut. They want it to be a voluntary

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haircut, otherwise it counts as a default. And credit default swaps

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and all these other things will trigger. They do not want that to

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happen. If you are the CEO of a bank, you have a legal duty to do

:09:43.:09:48.

the best for your shareholders. You cannot just do what Angela Merkel

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tells you to do and ignore that legal duty. You can be personally

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sued by your shareholders, depending on the jurisdiction, if

:09:56.:10:01.

you are not doing a good job for them. The idea that the banks can

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suddenly ignore that legal responsibility and do what the

:10:03.:10:08.

politicians want them to do is a bit ridiculous. They have to

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balance the two. Some of the markets may decide that you say

:10:16.:10:20.

this is voluntary, but actually Chancellor Merkel has a gun at our

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head, so we will take this not as voluntary but being forced, so we

:10:25.:10:28.

will trigger the insurance policies on the debt. If it looks like a

:10:28.:10:35.

duck, quacks like a duck, then it is a duck. The same with default.

:10:35.:10:39.

Greece is already effectively in default. We have not got the banks

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to agree to take their hair cut. At the weekend there was the partial

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unveiling of the plan to recapitalise the banks. When I met

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you on Sunday, you said writer weight that 100 billion was just

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not enough. That -- right away. even close. The IMF said 200

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billion was needed, even assuming Europe does not go into recession.

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At this stage, it cannot be done on the cheap and it has to impress. I

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know it is difficult because we live in a democracy. All of the

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European countries are democracies and they have legal constitutions

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that they have to obey. That is the problem. That is why many people

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that I speak to do not think there is a solution. The EFSF, I love

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this. The bail-out fund? I have so much trouble saying the acronym.

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Effectively what it is doing is taking money from the eurozone

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members, putting it into a pot and buying Government debt. Most of

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that is coming from France and Germany, about half of that. So

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what you have got is France putting money into a pot, guaranteeing that

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money, potentially losing its highly coveted triple-A rating,

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which means its borrowing costs go up. Why are they doing that? To

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bring down borrowing costs in Italy. France's borrowing costs will go up

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to bring Italian borrowing costs down. Has anybody explained that to

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the French electorate? How do they feel about that? When you listen to

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that, which is a widespread view in the City of London, but they do not

:12:21.:12:27.

articulated quite so well, you get the feeling that even if a deal is

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announced at 2 o'clock this morning, it will not take long for Louise

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Cooper and her colleagues to rumble it. This has been a problem so far,

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that Europe has done just enough to get through the crisis. Then it

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plods along and the next crisis comes. We need an answer that deals

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with the issue of contagion and spreading to other countries. On

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the banks, if they do not take a haircut, and do not agree to that

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voluntary, what is the alternative? The alternative is to default on

:12:58.:13:03.

the debt. That is no good for the banks as well. They may get a 20%

:13:03.:13:09.

haircut, and they may not get any of the money back at all. There is

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something in the collective interest of the banks, the

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different countries, whether they are the ones in crisis or the ones

:13:16.:13:20.

that need to be bailed out, to get an answer, but it is about whether

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that is enough. Downing Street have just issued a statement saying they

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do not underestimate the difficulties that are faced in

:13:28.:13:38.
:13:38.:13:38.

Brussels today. It seems to me, Europe could try to fudge things

:13:38.:13:42.

tonight. They will come out with a statement covering all of the

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things that Louise Cooper has been talking about, implying process,

:13:46.:13:53.

and progress, but when you scrape it away, the banks may still be

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holding out against a haircut, and the recapitalisation of the banks

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may still be unclear. The truth is that the longer this goes on, the

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higher the credibility bar gets. So the more needs to be done to

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achieve finality. This is the kicking the can down the road thing.

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The road has come to an end. some stage it does. But the point

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is that the longer you go on, the more you have to do. To achieve the

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credibility with the markets, people will say, OK, that does it.

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It has to be chunky, it has to be serious. There is a hell of an

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abyss here and we are quite close to looking over their -- the edge

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of it. When you talk about credibility, the borrowing costs of

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eurozone governments are increasing rapidly. Italians had to basics %

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this morning, which is massive. -- had to pay 6%. The ECB have said 6%

:14:59.:15:03.

is not sustainable and too high. That brought them down to 5% when

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they brought the bombs, but now it is back up to 6%. -- they bought

:15:09.:15:19.
:15:19.:15:22.

the bonds. They cannot afford to It is more than just Greece. It is

:15:22.:15:28.

Italy, potentially other countries as well. The talk of defaults, or

:15:28.:15:34.

the takes as we should call them, the Economist said you have to look

:15:34.:15:38.

at a haircut for Spain, Italy, Portugal, maybe Ireland. There is

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no talk of that on the table as I understand it. Is that right?

:15:44.:15:48.

That's true. You are only talking about some of yen debt. They take a

:15:48.:15:55.

writedown on sovereign debt, if Greek is going bust, what about

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other debt? What about all the other layers of debt as well, which

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I can assure you there'll need to be losses there too. The final

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question for you at the moment. Given all you say, and no-one's

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arguing with you here, and it is widely known, now it's on the Daily

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Politics, the whole world knows about it, why have the markets been

:16:17.:16:22.

so patient? I don't know. The calm before the storm. I'm glad you said,

:16:22.:16:28.

that because neither do I! Clearly they are cheap but I look at this 5

:16:28.:16:34.

00 point rally... Is it time to sell our eck witties before

:16:34.:16:39.

tonight? The CBI said today the manufacturing industry is back into

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recession. It is not great. I think we'll have you back soon. We can go

:16:45.:16:53.

to Strasbourg and speak to Wolf Klinz, a German MEP. Thanks for

:16:53.:17:00.

joining us. Angela Merkel is facing a vote in the Bundestag to have a

:17:00.:17:05.

bolster to the rescue fund. Is it big enough to stop any contagion?

:17:05.:17:09.

That's a very good question. As a matter of fact it is a vital and

:17:09.:17:14.

very important first step. Future will tell whether this 1 billion-

:17:14.:17:17.

plus rescue fund is going to be sufficient. I think the markets

:17:17.:17:25.

certainly will try to test this out. And therefore I do not want to give

:17:25.:17:29.

a prognosis. I hope it will turn out to be sufficient. Certainly it

:17:29.:17:35.

is much bigger than anything else that's been put on the table so far,

:17:35.:17:40.

so I'm rather optimistic that it will be the right recipe. Have we

:17:40.:17:46.

got time for first steps? Do we not need to have a definitive amount

:17:46.:17:50.

that will cover the cost, and has Germany been dragging its heels

:17:50.:17:56.

over this? No, I don't think. So you could rightly say that we have

:17:56.:18:01.

not used the last 12 to 18 months in an optimal way. We have lost

:18:01.:18:06.

some time in the past year. This is certainly true and I would agree

:18:06.:18:09.

with, that but I think now Germany is not dragging its feet. It is

:18:09.:18:15.

very important that the Bundestag, as it looks the clear majority of

:18:15.:18:18.

all parties is going to endorse this programme. I think that is

:18:18.:18:24.

important, because after all, a lot of money is at stake. It is the

:18:24.:18:28.

German taxpayers that will have to foot the bill to a very large

:18:28.:18:32.

extent. Therefore I think it is important that the German Bundestag

:18:32.:18:38.

is fully aware of whatlets voting for, is fully informed and defines

:18:38.:18:43.

clearly what the red lines are. Wolf Klinz, whatever happens in the

:18:43.:18:50.

next few days, in terms of sorting this crisis out, did you see closer

:18:50.:18:53.

fiscal integration between the eurozone countries as inevitable?

:18:53.:18:57.

do, as a matter of fact. I've been chairing the special committee

:18:57.:19:02.

looking into the financial and economic crisis, and we have come

:19:02.:19:05.

clearly to the conclusion and we are convinced that this is the

:19:05.:19:10.

right conclusion that if the eurozone is going to stay, and if

:19:10.:19:14.

the euro is to have a future, we do need much deeper integration of the

:19:14.:19:17.

countries that are members of the eurozone. And therefore I think

:19:17.:19:22.

what is being put on the table right now may be able to buy us

:19:22.:19:27.

some time. But I think over the longer future, we will have to

:19:27.:19:31.

deepen integration. We will have to have something that is close to a

:19:31.:19:34.

European Treasury. We'll have to have a strong, competent

:19:34.:19:38.

Commissioner that will play the role of a de facto Minister of

:19:38.:19:43.

finance of the eurozone that will represent the eurozone as a single

:19:44.:19:48.

person in international fora, so we need more than what is on the table

:19:48.:19:53.

right now. OK. And this of course does require changes of the treaty

:19:53.:19:58.

and of the institution and therefore we cannot have it

:19:58.:20:02.

overnight. Wolf Klinz, thank you. I think we've worked out that in

:20:02.:20:06.

Europe nothing comes overnight! We are coming up to Prime

:20:06.:20:11.

Minister's Questions. It is just 48 hours after David Cameron watched

:20:11.:20:16.

half his backbenchers vote against him on the referendum on Europe.

:20:16.:20:20.

The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, has been pouring cold water

:20:20.:20:26.

on this new bout of euro concept cism. We are joined by Charles

:20:26.:20:32.

Kennedy, who had a double act last night on Newsnight with James Rees-

:20:32.:20:38.

Mogg. At least he's wearing his University of Glasgow graduate's

:20:38.:20:43.

tie.. Thank you. Before we begin, should we maybe have 20 seconds

:20:43.:20:48.

silence, a prayer of thank that the British people didn't follow your

:20:48.:20:54.

advice and join the euro? I think with the benefit of hindsight a

:20:54.:20:58.

moment's silence would be appreciate preected. That's honest

:20:58.:21:05.

and you've -- preected. That's honest and you've taken the wind

:21:06.:21:11.

from my sails. Those of us in the Conservative Party who argued we

:21:11.:21:18.

should not join the euro, we were mocked. But we survived. And we

:21:18.:21:28.
:21:28.:21:31.

were right. I never mocked, Francis. What is coalition policy towards

:21:31.:21:36.

the repatriating of powers from Brussels? Well, the clear policy is

:21:36.:21:40.

what is set out in the coalition agreement. It doesn't talk about

:21:40.:21:44.

repatriation of powers. That is the existing position. It zpblt mention

:21:44.:21:48.

that at all? No, and the Prime Minister said in his statement in

:21:48.:21:52.

the House ahead of the debate on Monday that he wanted to look at

:21:52.:21:57.

this issue. Nick Clegg has made clear the lib deps are not

:21:57.:22:01.

following an agenda that follows repatriation. Listening to the

:22:01.:22:07.

debate it remains ill defined what individual Conservative politicians

:22:07.:22:12.

mean by repatriation, far less a checklist of what they want to

:22:12.:22:15.

repatriate. Francis Maude, it may be Conservative policy to

:22:16.:22:20.

repatriate powers, although you didn't put that in your manifesto.

:22:20.:22:26.

You've mentioned it sense, but it is not coalition policy to

:22:26.:22:32.

repatriate powers, so why did Michael Gove on the Today programme

:22:32.:22:36.

said say they had already repatriated some and think want to

:22:36.:22:41.

repatriate more this this next Parliament? It is no secret. Shock,

:22:41.:22:45.

horror, the Lib Dems and the Conservatives don't have an

:22:45.:22:49.

identical view of Europe. That's not a world-shattering piece of

:22:49.:22:53.

news. But it is important for people to understand what the

:22:53.:22:58.

Government's policy is. Since you've but theed in, Rachel

:22:58.:23:04.

Reeves, what is Labour policy? Is Labour policy that no powers should

:23:04.:23:07.

be repatriated from Brussels? Labour's policy that right now,

:23:07.:23:11.

when we've just been through the problems in the eurozone, that has

:23:11.:23:15.

got to be the number one priority. Not repatriation of powers, not a

:23:15.:23:19.

referendum but sorting out the mess in Europe at the moment. OK. I

:23:19.:23:24.

understand that's the line. That's the line... Lit me finish the

:23:24.:23:33.

question. -- let. It is your line too. There is consensus on this.

:23:33.:23:38.

One way or another this eurozone crisis will be resolved, maybe bay

:23:38.:23:43.

deal or a crisis. But it will be resolved. I'm glad you are so

:23:43.:23:48.

confident! Down the road when this is over, in 2013-14, is it Labour's

:23:49.:23:53.

view that no powers should be repatriated from Brussels?

:23:53.:23:56.

believe that Europe needs to be reformed, things like the Common

:23:56.:23:59.

Agricultural Policy, like the rules that don't allow us to support

:23:59.:24:03.

British businesses like Bombardier. Things like that need to be

:24:03.:24:10.

reformed. But if you are asking should things like maternity pay

:24:10.:24:15.

and the rights for temporary and agency workers, should we get rid

:24:15.:24:24.

of that, I don't think we should. Francis Maude, you are in

:24:24.:24:28.

Government, it looks like the Germans, with French support, will

:24:28.:24:32.

go for a fiscal union. A fiscal union will either scrolve a new

:24:33.:24:36.

treaty or a redrafting of the existing treaties. When that is

:24:36.:24:41.

done, will you go for a repatriation of powers? Look, we

:24:41.:24:46.

don't know what is envisaged here. It could be a new treaty, or a

:24:46.:24:51.

revision of existing treaties. We don't know actually what would be

:24:51.:24:56.

involved in creating a fiscal union. The German MEP talked about

:24:56.:24:59.

creating a European Treasury. What does that mean? Does it mean all

:24:59.:25:04.

the tax revenue from the eurozone countries goes through Brussels and

:25:04.:25:07.

is redistributed? That's the only way in which you could make

:25:08.:25:11.

absolutely sure that there isn't overspending and excessive deficits

:25:11.:25:17.

in member countries. That's how it works in Washington. We don't know

:25:17.:25:23.

the full details but it looks as if we are going for some kind of

:25:23.:25:31.

fiscal union, but in principle, is that your gateway into a

:25:31.:25:38.

repatriation programme? It may be. We don't know the timescale. Is it

:25:38.:25:41.

Government policy? The Government doesn't have a policy at this stage

:25:41.:25:45.

on whether we'll seek to get or whether there'll be an opportunity

:25:45.:25:55.
:25:55.:25:55.

even to seek repatriation, so we don't even, I was going to say

:25:55.:25:59.

shock horror, Conservatives and Lib Dems don't always have the same

:25:59.:26:02.

views on Europe. I would suggest to Charles Kennedy that this has the

:26:02.:26:08.

potential to cause a deep division in the coalition. If the

:26:08.:26:12.

Conservative part of the coalition wants to use this fiscal union as

:26:12.:26:16.

an opportunity, as they said in their manifesto if there is another

:26:17.:26:20.

treaty change we'll have a referendum. They then said that

:26:20.:26:25.

will involve bringing powers home, the Lib Dems aren't going to put up

:26:25.:26:29.

with that, are they? Our position is clear. It is not moving on this

:26:29.:26:35.

one. It was true of the - it was true of a slightly overlooked

:26:35.:26:39.

statement the Europe Minister, David Lidington made, what is

:26:39.:26:44.

happening about the repatriation, he was asked. He said work is at an

:26:44.:26:48.

early stage. I think work began at half past ten on Monday night.

:26:48.:26:51.

That's my impression. In other words, the Conservative

:26:51.:26:56.

parliamentary party doesn't trust the lip on this issue. They are

:26:56.:27:01.

scrambling about. There's a myriad of positions. We have to end it,

:27:01.:27:11.
:27:11.:27:12.

because PMQs won't wait. And Jacob Rees-Mogg is outside.

:27:12.:27:15.

Just before Prime Minister's Questions, time for this week's

:27:15.:27:25.
:27:25.:27:25.

Apology for the loss of subtitles for 57 seconds

:27:25.:28:22.

Guess The Year quiz. Let's see if Some of my former colleagues if

:28:23.:28:27.

they are to be believed, I must be be the First Minister in history

:28:27.:28:37.
:28:37.:28:49.

who resigned because he was in full To be in with a chance over winning

:28:49.:28:55.

a Daily Politics murks send your message to our special e-mail

:28:55.:29:02.

address - to win a Daily Politics mug.

:29:02.:29:06.

Let's look at Big Ben. It is my favourite shot of the week. It can

:29:06.:29:10.

only mean one thing. Prime Minister's Questions is on the way.

:29:10.:29:15.

The BBC's deputy political editor, James Landale, is here, and by

:29:15.:29:18.

popular demand and much to Jacob Rees-Mogg's disappoint, Charles

:29:18.:29:23.

Kennedy is sticking with us. We can't get him out! What we

:29:23.:29:28.

haven't touched on yet, James, is this is the Prime Minister's first

:29:28.:29:36.

appearance since the kick in the On Monday How will he handled that?

:29:36.:29:41.

It is an open wound into witch Labour can pour a lot of salt.

:29:41.:29:45.

There's a tendency for MPs when they've given their party leader a

:29:45.:29:52.

dufg up, in the division lobbies there's a mixture of remorse but a

:29:52.:29:59.

spurt of loyalty. I imagine there'll be a shaking of order

:29:59.:30:05.

papers. There tends to be a bounce- back after these events.

:30:05.:30:11.

Miliband, he has to go on Europe. Europe and the economy. The two big

:30:11.:30:16.

issues. They are intertwined. Even though we are not in the eurozone,

:30:16.:30:19.

everything hats happening there has ramifications for businesses and

:30:19.:30:24.

families in Britain. I expect it will be a combination of the two

:30:24.:30:28.

issues. The penny has dropped. Up until Monday of this week we were

:30:28.:30:35.

all being circulated, make sure you are at PMQs because Cameron is away

:30:35.:30:41.

at the Commonwealth conference and Clegg is doing it. Instead he will

:30:41.:30:47.

be sitting beside the Prime Minister, having to study the Prime

:30:47.:30:54.

Minister. Studied impasseivity. Maybe extolling a smash and grab

:30:54.:30:59.

raid. A study in impasseivity. role of sitting next to to the

:30:59.:31:04.

Prime Minister is difficult, because if you smile you irritate

:31:04.:31:14.
:31:14.:31:23.

one group and if you frown you Thank you, Mr Speaker. This morning

:31:23.:31:32.

I had... At least they do not have to do it

:31:32.:31:36.

in French! This morning I had meetings with

:31:36.:31:40.

ministerial colleagues and others. This afternoon I will be travelling

:31:40.:31:45.

to Brussels for further talks about the eurozone. Yesterday it was

:31:45.:31:48.

reported that the Prime Minister compared the families of those that

:31:48.:31:53.

died at Hillsborough to a blind man in a dark room looking for a black

:31:53.:31:57.

cat that is not there. He complained he was not getting

:31:57.:32:00.

enough credit for the release of the Government documents relating

:32:00.:32:05.

to the tragedy. Will the Prime Minister take this opportunity to

:32:05.:32:10.

apologise to the relatives and friends of the victims for these

:32:10.:32:14.

offensive comments? What I would say to all the victims and their

:32:14.:32:18.

families is that this Government has done the right thing by opening

:32:18.:32:22.

up the Cabinet papers to help to try and find the closure for those

:32:22.:32:29.

people that they seek. In view of the fact that Chancellor Merkel has

:32:29.:32:39.

now called for money on the commission to produce treaty texts,

:32:39.:32:45.

will he agree that the accumulated burden of the European Union has

:32:45.:32:51.

become too great, and locating powers at EU level can undermine

:32:51.:32:56.

democratic accountability, and the time has come to identify those

:32:56.:33:03.

areas in which EU action is no longer workable? These words were

:33:03.:33:08.

uttered by the Deputy Prime Minister more than 10 years ago.

:33:08.:33:13.

have read the same pamphlet. It is very good and sound common sense.

:33:13.:33:17.

We do not know when the treaty change will be proposed and how

:33:17.:33:21.

great it will be. I am clear and the coalition is clear that there

:33:21.:33:24.

will be opportunities to advance our national interest and that is

:33:24.:33:34.

what we should be focused on. Miliband.

:33:34.:33:41.

Mr Speaker, Mr Speaker... Mr Speaker, at the summit today does

:33:41.:33:44.

the Prime Minister agree with me that we need not just for Greece

:33:44.:33:48.

and Italy to sort out their problems and the proper

:33:48.:33:52.

recapitalisation of Europe's banks, but also an agenda to help Europe

:33:52.:33:57.

and indeed Britain to grow? What is absolutely necessary this evening

:33:57.:34:02.

is to deal with the key elements of the eurozone crisis, which is

:34:02.:34:05.

acting as a drag anchor on many economies including our own. The

:34:05.:34:09.

key elements of that a decisive action to deal with the Greeks

:34:09.:34:15.

situation, a proper recapitalisation of the banks which

:34:15.:34:19.

has not happened in Europe up till now and the stress test has not add

:34:19.:34:24.

credibility, but the most important thing is the construction of the

:34:24.:34:27.

firewall in the European fund to prevent contagion a elsewhere. He

:34:27.:34:30.

is right that a wider growth strategy across Europe is required

:34:30.:34:35.

and that is what was debated on Sunday. That is where the

:34:35.:34:39.

Commission proposals in terms of completing the services direct give

:34:39.:34:42.

at liberalising the energy policy and cutting regulation, all of

:34:43.:34:47.

those proposals could have been written right here in London.

:34:47.:34:51.

are long-term measures but we also need immediate action for growth

:34:51.:34:55.

and that needs to happen not just at European meetings but at the G20

:34:55.:34:59.

next week. We know that his real focus has not been on sorting out

:34:59.:35:03.

the eurozone crisis, unfortunately. It has been sorting out the

:35:03.:35:08.

problems on his own side. He said on Monday that his priority was to

:35:08.:35:14.

repatriate powers from Europe. Which powers and when? One serious

:35:14.:35:17.

question and then straight on to the politics, how absolutely

:35:17.:35:27.
:35:27.:35:28.

typical. Led may just make his point. -- let me. When it comes to

:35:28.:35:32.

the meeting receiving about the future of Europe, the idea that you

:35:32.:35:37.

could go into that meeting arguing that Britain should at �100 billion

:35:37.:35:47.
:35:47.:35:49.

to its deficit is a complete and utter joke. -- should add. Let me

:35:49.:35:52.

answer the question directly. The coalition agreement does talk about

:35:52.:35:57.

rebalancing power between Europe and Britain. We are bringing back

:35:57.:36:03.

one power, the bail-out power, that his Government gave away. He said

:36:03.:36:08.

in this House on Monday, I remain firmly committed to bringing back

:36:08.:36:13.

more powers from Brussels. But yesterday, the Deputy Prime

:36:13.:36:18.

Minister, when asked about his plan, said and I quote, it will not work,

:36:18.:36:23.

it will be condemned to failure. One day we have the Prime Minister

:36:23.:36:28.

saying yes to repatriation and 24 hours later, the Deputy Prime

:36:28.:36:33.

Minister says no. On this crucial question, who speaks for the

:36:33.:36:40.

Government? What the Deputy Prime Minister said yesterday was there

:36:40.:36:44.

was a perfect place to rebalance responsibilities between the

:36:44.:36:48.

European Union and its member states. What a contrast with what

:36:48.:36:56.

the leader of the Labour Party said. He was asked by Jon Sopel, yes or

:36:56.:37:03.

no, has Brussels got too much power? Ed Miliband said he did not

:37:03.:37:09.

think it had too much power. What we have is very plain. There is a

:37:09.:37:12.

group of people on this side of the house that once some rebalancing, a

:37:12.:37:16.

group that wants a lot of rebalancing and a complete mark

:37:16.:37:22.

that once they rebalancing at all. -- mug. While that in not come

:37:22.:37:26.

clean about the split between himself and the Deputy Prime

:37:26.:37:33.

Minister? -- why doesn't he come clean? Is David Cameron wrong to

:37:33.:37:36.

promise that some point the idea of another treaty to bring some powers

:37:36.:37:41.

back? He said this. This Government, of which I am Deputy Prime Minister,

:37:41.:37:46.

is not going to launch some kind of dawn raid, some smash-and-grab raid

:37:46.:37:51.

on Brussels. It will not work and it will be condemned to failure. So

:37:51.:37:56.

which is it? Who speeds for the Government? It is no wonder that

:37:56.:38:05.

his back benches feel there is no clarity about his position. Is it

:38:05.:38:14.

his position to get out of the social chapter, yes or no? It is

:38:14.:38:17.

this coalition that has worked together to get us out of the bail-

:38:17.:38:21.

out fund. To get us out of the Greek bail-out. To deliver this

:38:21.:38:25.

year freeze in the European budget. That is what this coalition has

:38:25.:38:30.

achieved. The split that we have is between the right honourable

:38:30.:38:34.

gentleman and reality. We have the greatest proof of that. I talked to

:38:34.:38:38.

the house about this on Monday but it is so good I have to do it again.

:38:38.:38:42.

When he was asked if he wanted to join the euro he said it depends

:38:42.:38:49.

how long I am Prime Minister for. That is the split. The Labour Party

:38:49.:38:57.

and reality. Mr Speaker, he will be going to the council in December to

:38:57.:39:02.

negotiate on behalf of Britain and treaty change may be on the agenda.

:39:02.:39:09.

I ask him the question again. His Education Secretary said on the

:39:09.:39:13.

radio yesterday morning, I think we should take back powers over

:39:13.:39:18.

employment law. His Deputy Prime Minister disagrees. What is the

:39:18.:39:22.

Prime Minister's position? I'd tell you what would be on the agenda if

:39:22.:39:28.

he was going to the meetings in Brussels. We would not be

:39:28.:39:31.

discussing Italy and Greece. It would be Britain handing out the

:39:31.:39:37.

begging bowl, asking for a bail-out. Winnows the honourable gentleman

:39:37.:39:43.

now wants to join the euro. -- we know. They may also want to leave

:39:43.:39:47.

the IMF. There had the opportunity in his Parliament to vote for an

:39:47.:39:51.

increase in IMF funds, which was agreed at the London Council by

:39:51.:39:56.

their own Government. They rejected that. We now have the extraordinary

:39:56.:40:00.

situation when we want to join the euro and leave the IMF. They do not

:40:00.:40:05.

want to be like France, but Monaco. It is no wonder that he had a

:40:05.:40:10.

problem on Monday because the truth is that he led his back benches on,

:40:10.:40:14.

making a promise that he knows he cannot keep and which is ruled out

:40:14.:40:18.

by the coalition agreement. We have a Prime Minister that cannot speak

:40:18.:40:24.

for his Government. On the day of the eurozone crisis we have a Prime

:40:24.:40:28.

Minister who has spent the last week pleading with his backbenchers,

:40:28.:40:33.

not leading for Britain in Europe. I might have had a problem on

:40:33.:40:39.

Monday, I think he has a problem on Wednesday. The truth is, Mr Speaker,

:40:39.:40:42.

if he went to that meeting tonight his message to Berlusconi would be

:40:42.:40:47.

to ignore the market and carry on spending. His message to the rest

:40:47.:40:53.

of Europe would be that they think, Labour think, you spend another

:40:53.:40:57.

�100 billion adding to our deficit. After they finished laughing there

:40:57.:41:07.
:41:07.:41:07.

would be no time for the rest of the meeting. Order. Order. Members

:41:07.:41:17.
:41:17.:41:20.

should calm down and listen. There was advised to leaders of the

:41:20.:41:26.

opposition which meant they should not exist in a permanent state of

:41:26.:41:35.

hysteria. As ever, nothing but wisdom from my right honourable

:41:35.:41:39.

friend. Can the Prime Minister tell us whether any more projects have

:41:39.:41:44.

been awarded Investment by the regional growth fund? Does the

:41:44.:41:50.

tally still stand at two businesses helped by his flagship policy?

:41:50.:41:55.

is completely wrong. 40 projects have had the green light for

:41:55.:42:00.

funding. It is completely on schedule. 50 birds was successful

:42:00.:42:04.

in round one, receiving a conditional allocation of �400

:42:04.:42:10.

million, to deliver 27,000 a new jobs, including in its supply

:42:10.:42:18.

chains. She should be welcoming that. My constituency of Rugby was

:42:18.:42:21.

pleased to welcome Mary Portas as part of a review into Britain's

:42:21.:42:26.

high streets. Does the Prime Minister agree with me that Rugby's

:42:26.:42:30.

positive approach to new housing creating new customers for the High

:42:30.:42:34.

Street is an effective way of supporting town centres? I am

:42:34.:42:39.

delighted that Mary Portas has made it to Rugby. I agree that we do

:42:39.:42:42.

need to build more houses and reform the planning system. But we

:42:42.:42:46.

want to do it in a way that gives more control to local people so

:42:46.:42:54.

that we can make sure we have thriving High Street in the future.

:42:54.:42:58.

My constituency is in a state of shock following the brutal murder

:42:58.:43:04.

of a local man, Stuart Walker, the very popular local man. Will the

:43:04.:43:09.

Prime Minister join me in sending condolences to his family? And

:43:09.:43:12.

among much unhelpful speculation about the motivation for this

:43:12.:43:16.

murder, will he join me in calling on local people with any

:43:16.:43:21.

information to go to the police to help with their inquiries?

:43:21.:43:25.

certainly joined the honourable lady in sending condolences to her

:43:25.:43:29.

constituent's family. She is right. It was once said that the police

:43:29.:43:32.

are the public and the public are the police. They cannot solve

:43:32.:43:35.

crimes without the help of the public and I hope everybody will

:43:35.:43:41.

co-operate in the best way that they can. My 14 year-old

:43:41.:43:46.

constituent Liam Groves was killed outside his home by a driver under

:43:46.:43:49.

the influence of drugs. He was sentenced to just eight months in

:43:49.:43:56.

jail and released after four. Will the Prime Minister meet with the

:43:56.:44:01.

family to hear the case for a new law which would mean we'd take drug

:44:01.:44:07.

driving as seriously as we take drink-driving? We really have got

:44:07.:44:12.

to make sure that we start treating drug driving as seriously as drink-

:44:12.:44:15.

driving. This issue has been raised repeatedly but not enough has been

:44:15.:44:19.

done. One of the things that we are doing is making sure that the

:44:19.:44:22.

police are able to test for drug driving and making drug-testing

:44:23.:44:27.

equipment available. As we test that and make sure it works

:44:27.:44:31.

properly, I think we can make sure we strengthen things further and I

:44:31.:44:36.

am happy to look at that. The Bank of England have reprimanded one

:44:36.:44:41.

commercial bank and there may be others that tried to manipulate the

:44:41.:44:46.

gilt market to exploit quantitative easing. Can we have a report on

:44:46.:44:50.

this matter? Can we explain to the bank is that we will use the full

:44:50.:44:57.

force of the law against them if Send a message to all people in

:44:57.:45:00.

financial services that there isn't something called white collar crime

:45:00.:45:05.

that is less serious than other crime. Crime is crime and should be

:45:05.:45:09.

investigated and prosecuted with the full force of the law.

:45:09.:45:13.

Speaker, proposals before this House next week will see cuts to

:45:13.:45:17.

legal aid funding for advice services which in the case of

:45:17.:45:23.

Wiltshire CAB amount to �250,000 a year. I welcome the �20 million

:45:23.:45:26.

stop gap the Government has found the replace this funding next year,

:45:26.:45:30.

but will the Prime Minister ensure that the Government puts in place

:45:30.:45:34.

lasting funding arrangements to sustain these services on which so

:45:34.:45:38.

many people rely? My honourable friend makes an important point,

:45:38.:45:42.

and it is no good people shouting down, every party this this House

:45:42.:45:48.

has accepted the need to reform legal aid. The figures are... You

:45:48.:45:54.

say, "No you haven't" but you have. We spend �39 per head in this

:45:54.:45:59.

country on legal aid compared with �18 per head in New Zealand, and in

:45:59.:46:04.

Spain and France the spending is as low as �5 per head. We are putting

:46:04.:46:08.

in the �28 million additional funding for not for profit

:46:08.:46:12.

organisations. We've rightlies raised the local councils that have

:46:12.:46:17.

gone on funding Citizens Advice Bureaux. This is a very important

:46:17.:46:20.

organisation that does vital work for all our constituents.

:46:20.:46:25.

Speaker, I'm sure the Prime Minister will join me in

:46:25.:46:28.

congratulating Sheffield University's advanced manufacturing

:46:28.:46:33.

research centre, which celebrated its tenth anniversary yesterday and

:46:33.:46:36.

today with a series of events at Westminster, organised in

:46:36.:46:40.

partnership with Boeing and Rolls- Royce. Will he also join with me

:46:40.:46:45.

and the Business Select Committee in endorsing the aim of growing our

:46:45.:46:49.

manufacturing GDP from its current 12.5 % to nearer the 20% enjoyed by

:46:49.:46:53.

most of our competitors? And will he mitt the Government... THE

:46:53.:46:58.

SPEAKER: That's enough. We've got the drift. I agree very much with

:46:58.:47:04.

what the honourable gentleman said. The Deputy Prime Minister hosted

:47:04.:47:07.

Sheffield University at Downing Street to celebrate their success.

:47:08.:47:11.

We are seeing pive signs of rebalancing our commitment recently

:47:11.:47:16.

I was at the big investment BP are making in the North Sea, the

:47:16.:47:21.

opening of the new Airbus factory at Broughton in Wales. Our auto

:47:21.:47:25.

industry, whether Nissan, Toyota or Jaguar Land Rover, all these

:47:25.:47:29.

companies are expanding and bringing more of their production

:47:29.:47:35.

and supply chain onshore. We start from a low base and sadly

:47:35.:47:39.

manufacturing production declined so much over the past decade.

:47:39.:47:43.

Would the Prime Minister join me in welcoming nearly �1 million that's

:47:43.:47:48.

been received in Redditch for the pupil premium and will he persuade

:47:49.:47:51.

the Secretary of State for Education to push for a national

:47:51.:47:55.

funding formula as soon as possible? Discussions about a

:47:55.:47:59.

national funding formula are ongoing. It's a difficult issue to

:47:59.:48:02.

resolve because of the historic patterns of funding around the

:48:02.:48:06.

country. Die think the pupil premium is a major step forward. It

:48:06.:48:12.

is up to �2.6 billion by the end of this Parliament. The report says

:48:12.:48:17.

we've made spending on education much more progressive by the action

:48:17.:48:19.

we've taken. We've taken the decision to protect the schools

:48:19.:48:24.

budget and per-pupil funding and on top of that to add the pupil

:48:24.:48:28.

premium to make sure that we are looking after the less well off in

:48:28.:48:34.

our country. Last month a leaked Downing Street report says, "We

:48:34.:48:38.

know from a range of polls that women are significantly more

:48:38.:48:42.

negative about the Government than men." Why does the Prime Minister

:48:42.:48:48.

this this is? When you are making difficult spending decisions and

:48:48.:48:52.

you have a difficult economic situation and household budgets are

:48:52.:48:55.

under pressure from petrol prices and food price and inflation,

:48:55.:48:59.

clearly that impacts women. The Government wants to do everything

:48:59.:49:02.

it can to help women. That's why we've listed 1 million people out

:49:02.:49:08.

of tax, the majority of whom are women. That's why we are putting

:49:08.:49:13.

much more money and time into the free nursery education for 2-year-

:49:13.:49:18.

old and 3-year-olds. Women working less than 16 hour as week will get

:49:18.:49:22.

childcare. We don't just care about this issue at home. Because of what

:49:22.:49:25.

we are doing in international aid we are going to save 50 ,000 women

:49:25.:49:32.

in childbirth around the world. The IPC have made one decision,

:49:32.:49:39.

which is to grant planning permission for the American waste

:49:39.:49:45.

giant company for 650 tonnes incineratoror in Mid-Bedfordshire.

:49:45.:49:48.

Thousands of people responded to the consultation process saying

:49:48.:49:53.

they do not want this. In the small print of the decision it says this

:49:53.:49:56.

decision is subject to special parliamentary procedure. Will the

:49:56.:49:59.

Prime Minister please let the people of Bedfordshire know that

:49:59.:50:04.

this Government is not like the previous Government? That we listen

:50:04.:50:12.

to local concerns and that we will ensure that this monstrous rubbish-

:50:12.:50:14.

guzzling atmosphere-polluting incinerator will not be imposed

:50:14.:50:17.

upon the people of Bedfordshire? honourable friend makes an

:50:17.:50:20.

important point, there are difficult planning decisions that

:50:20.:50:24.

have to be made. But what this Government has done is make sure

:50:24.:50:28.

that the planning decision is more democratic and reports to

:50:28.:50:31.

Parliament, and Ministers have to take decisions and be accountable.

:50:31.:50:34.

I can't speak for how Ministers have to make the decisions, but

:50:34.:50:38.

we've ended the idea of the vast quango with absolutely no

:50:38.:50:43.

accountability, as she rightly says. The Prime Minister has warned

:50:43.:50:47.

African countries that unless they improve gay rights he will cut

:50:47.:50:51.

their aid. Yet in many African countries where we pour in millions

:50:51.:50:56.

of pounds of aid, Christians face great persecution. Destruction of

:50:56.:51:02.

churches, lives and property. Here in the UK if you display a Bible

:51:02.:51:06.

verse on the wall of a cafe you face prosecution. Was Ann

:51:06.:51:12.

Widdecombe right when she said that in the 21st century hedgehogs have

:51:12.:51:17.

more rights than Christians? Widdecombe is often right. The way

:51:17.:51:21.

we judge our aid decisions to look at human rights across the piece

:51:21.:51:25.

that. Does mean how many people are treating Christians and the

:51:25.:51:30.

appalling behaviour that some African countries treat people who

:51:30.:51:36.

are gay. In Eastbourne we recruited recently 1881 apprentices in 100

:51:36.:51:43.

days. My local training provider, Sussex Downs, tells me that 91% of

:51:43.:51:48.

their hospitality apprentices go into full-time jobs. Will he agree

:51:48.:51:51.

that apprentices work and in Eastbourne they work particularly

:51:51.:51:53.

well? I'm happy to agree with my honourable friend about this. We

:51:54.:51:59.

did find funding for an extra 50 ,000 apprenticeships last year and

:51:59.:52:02.

achieved almost double that because of the enthusiasm there is amongst

:52:02.:52:06.

the business community and young people to take on these apprentices.

:52:06.:52:12.

We are running at about 360,000 a year and hope to achieve 250,000

:52:12.:52:15.

more apprentices than were planned under the last Government. It's a

:52:15.:52:18.

really important development in our country. We want to make sure the

:52:18.:52:22.

the schemes are really aimed at young people who need work and

:52:22.:52:27.

aimed at the higher level, people going on to get degree-equivalent

:52:27.:52:30.

qualifications, so it is not seen as a second best. For many people

:52:30.:52:35.

it's the right career path. There are companies like Rolls-Royce

:52:35.:52:39.

where many people on the board started with an aplenty isship.

:52:39.:52:45.

reflection is now the right time for the Prime Minister a to scrap

:52:45.:52:49.

Labour's indeterminate sentences, as the Justice Secretary wants to

:52:49.:52:55.

do, to save violent criminals from damaging the British public? Does

:52:55.:52:59.

he agree this shouldn't be about prison places but protection of the

:52:59.:53:01.

public? My honourable friend will be making an announcement about

:53:01.:53:05.

this shortly, but I think what he will find is we are going to be

:53:05.:53:09.

replacing a failed system that doesn't work, that public don't

:53:09.:53:13.

understand, with tough, determinant sentences. People have always

:53:13.:53:17.

wanted to know that when you get sent to prison for a serious

:53:17.:53:21.

offence you don't, as currently, get let out halfway through. We

:53:21.:53:26.

want to end that scandal and I expect lit have widespread support.

:53:26.:53:31.

If women were to start businesses at the same rate as men we would

:53:31.:53:39.

have 150 ,000 more businesses we are year this this country. I have

:53:39.:53:43.

exceptional female entrepreneurs in my constituency, such as Kath kid

:53:43.:53:49.

stofpblt what can the Prime Minister do to encourage -- Cath

:53:49.:53:53.

Kidston. In the last budget there were a series of steps like the

:53:53.:53:56.

enterprise finance schemes that we've established, like the changes

:53:56.:54:01.

to capital gains tax. The biggest change is a change in culture, in

:54:01.:54:03.

encouraging people to take that first step and supporting them

:54:03.:54:09.

along the way as they go. Last week this House, to its great

:54:09.:54:14.

credit, supported unanimously full transparency from Government of all

:54:14.:54:16.

document relating to the Hillsborough disaster. Will he now

:54:16.:54:21.

join me in calling on the South Yorkshire Police to follow the

:54:21.:54:24.

example of the honourable member for Sheffield South East and commit

:54:24.:54:31.

to exact same openness and ensure the Hillsborough independent panel

:54:31.:54:40.

has unredacted access to all paper s? I will certainly look at the

:54:40.:54:43.

issues. I think the Government has done what it should, in terms of

:54:43.:54:47.

the Cabinet papers, but I'm happy to look at the points she raises

:54:47.:54:56.

and come back to her. Would my right honourable friend join me in

:54:56.:55:03.

praising all those adopt ers and foster carers for the fantastic

:55:03.:55:07.

work they do, to encourage others to come forward and foster and

:55:07.:55:14.

adopt and to recognise during National Care leaves Week that we

:55:14.:55:19.

can do much more to provide the support that they often need

:55:19.:55:22.

anduals deserve? I agree with my honourable friend. His own parents

:55:22.:55:28.

I think helped to foster around 90 children over the last few decades.

:55:28.:55:32.

Ats magnificent example. I think we really need to attack every aspect

:55:32.:55:38.

of this issue. It is a national scandal that there are 3 ,660

:55:38.:55:42.

children in the care system under the age of one. Last year I think

:55:42.:55:46.

there were only 60 adoptions of those children. We've got to do a

:55:46.:55:50.

lot better. Part of it is bureaucracy, part of it is culture,

:55:50.:55:55.

but a lot of it is encouraging good foster and adoptive parents to come

:55:55.:55:58.

forward and give them the security and knowledge that the process

:55:58.:56:04.

won't be as bad as it is now. My honourable friend is Children's

:56:04.:56:08.

Minister is leading this work. I'm confident we can make real

:56:08.:56:15.

breakthroughs in this area. On 11 August the Prime Minister told this

:56:15.:56:19.

House there would be a report to Parliament on cross-Government

:56:19.:56:24.

activity relating to gangs. Where is that report and when will we

:56:24.:56:27.

see? We are working across Whitehall on the gang issue. I

:56:27.:56:30.

think in the past this was something that was dealt with in

:56:30.:56:35.

the Home Office but there wasn't the same input from other

:56:35.:56:38.

departments. When we are ready for a report to Parliament, we will

:56:38.:56:43.

make it. When I worked in the private sector

:56:43.:56:47.

I benefited from statutory maternity leave. Can the Prime

:56:47.:56:52.

Minister remind the House how this Government is making work more

:56:52.:56:58.

flexible and more family friendly? How typical of the party opposite

:56:58.:57:02.

if someone talks about the private sector or job creation, all they've

:57:02.:57:08.

got is a lack of respect and sneering. It is just absolutely

:57:08.:57:11.

typical. My honourable friend speaks from great experience. We do

:57:11.:57:14.

want to be a family friendly Government. That's why we are

:57:14.:57:18.

putting the extra hours and help into nursery education, into the

:57:18.:57:22.

child tax credits, increasing it by �290 for the least well-off

:57:22.:57:30.

families, and we'll be introducing proper help for flexible parenting.

:57:30.:57:34.

Westminster police command are now required to lose 240 police

:57:34.:57:40.

community support officers, slash by two thirds the number of PCSs

:57:40.:57:43.

doing security and counter- terrorism work, and further require

:57:44.:57:47.

every police community support officer in the borough to reapply

:57:47.:57:50.

for their own jobs. What message does the Prime Minister thinks this

:57:50.:57:56.

sends to the public who want to see visible patrol-based policing on

:57:56.:58:00.

their streets? Well, the point I would like to the honourable lady,

:58:00.:58:03.

we are asking the Metropolitan Police Authority to find a cash

:58:03.:58:09.

reduction over four years of 6.2%. We face an enormous deficit in this

:58:09.:58:13.

country, because of what we inherited from the party opposite.

:58:13.:58:18.

We do have to make difficult decision. I don't think it is

:58:18.:58:25.

impossible to find a 6.2% cash reduction while keeping frontline

:58:25.:58:28.

policing at the same time. I'm confident Boris Johnson will do

:58:28.:58:35.

exactly that. Is the Prime Minister as enthusiastic as I am for the

:58:35.:58:40.

Localism Bill. Does he agree the best way to tackle disengagement is

:58:40.:58:42.

through local accountability? think my honourable friend makes a

:58:42.:58:46.

very good point. We all know we are not building enough in this country,

:58:46.:58:51.

in terms of houses for our young people or to end the scandal of

:58:51.:58:54.

overcrowding for people on housing lists. The best way to get that to

:58:54.:58:59.

happen is to make sure that local people feel they have a say and

:58:59.:59:03.

control over development in their own area. That's the way to square

:59:03.:59:06.

the circumstancele. The top down targets of the last Government

:59:07.:59:12.

didn't work. The localist approach will work. The Prime Minister

:59:13.:59:17.

pledged to fight bare knuckled against hospital closures will he

:59:17.:59:21.

guarantee that for as long as he is Prime Minister there'll be no

:59:21.:59:26.

hospital closures on his watch? pledge I can make is we are

:59:26.:59:32.

expanding and funding the expansion of his hospital.

:59:33.:59:36.

Can I congratulate the Prime Minister and thank him forual the

:59:36.:59:39.

work this the Department for Education regarding free schools?

:59:39.:59:42.

And can he please give encouragement to the two sets of

:59:42.:59:46.

parent groups who are looking to build two free schools, a junior

:59:46.:59:52.

and a secondary one, in south Derbyshire? I can certainly give

:59:52.:59:54.

the honourable lady that encouragement. I think the free

:59:54.:59:58.

schools policy is a great success. We see a number of high-quality

:59:58.:00:07.

the opposition towards this policy. What we had was a new Education

:00:07.:00:13.

Secretary who in the first plushs of the job -- flushs of job, said

:00:13.:00:17.

he would support free schools but as soon as Unite picked up the

:00:17.:00:21.

phone to him, he had to drop that altogether. If you want to know

:00:21.:00:26.

what their policy is now, he said we oppose the policy but some of

:00:26.:00:33.

them are going to be really, really good schools. Run by really good

:00:33.:00:36.

people. And we must not put ourselves in a position as a Labour

:00:36.:00:39.

Party of opposing these schools, so they opposed the policy but they

:00:39.:00:46.

support the schools. What a complete bunch of hypocrites.

:00:46.:00:49.

Can the Prime Minister explain why his Secretary of State for Health

:00:49.:00:55.

was able to make concessions to the liberal del on the Health Bill in

:00:55.:00:58.

the other place but was unable to recognise if need for these change

:00:58.:01:02.

when they were debated here? Isn't this more about doing political

:01:02.:01:07.

deals instead of what's right for our NHS? We are doing what's right

:01:07.:01:12.

for our NHS. That's why average waiting times for inpatients are

:01:12.:01:16.

down, for outpatients are down, hospital infections are at their

:01:16.:01:20.

lowest level ever. We've got mixed sex wards down 91% under this

:01:20.:01:24.

Government. The number of managers is down The number of doctor sups.

:01:24.:01:28.

If she wants to see further improvements to the Health Bill

:01:28.:01:32.

there'll be plenty of opportunities. Two thirds of the young people

:01:32.:01:37.

involved this the riots had a special educational need. Does the

:01:37.:01:41.

Prime Minister agree that this underlines the need for complex

:01:41.:01:45.

solutions which tackle educational underachievement, rehabilitation as

:01:45.:01:49.

well as punishment? Of course, as I've said many times, we have to

:01:49.:01:53.

look behind the statistics and what happened and ask ourselves how

:01:53.:01:57.

we've allowed so much to go wrong in our society. Clearly education

:01:57.:02:01.

and special education needs play a role in that. I do think it is

:02:01.:02:05.

important and the public want to see swift justice and punishment

:02:05.:02:09.

handed out when people break the law. We did see that at the same

:02:09.:02:19.
:02:19.:02:19.

time of the riots and we should see PMQs comes to an end. The exchanges

:02:19.:02:23.

were dominated by Europe, as we predicted. Not a difficult

:02:23.:02:29.

prediction. Mr Miliband trying to get some clear blue, or even pink,

:02:29.:02:38.

Cameron over the matter of whether power should be repatriated. The

:02:38.:02:41.

Prime Minister falling back on the word that Nick Clegg had used,

:02:41.:02:46.

rebalance. Charles Kennedy reminded us that was in the coalition

:02:46.:02:50.

agreement so they are using that word. The dog that did not bark.

:02:50.:02:55.

Not a single backbench MP got up and raced the matter on which

:02:55.:02:59.

almost 100 of them voted against a three-line whip on Monday night,

:02:59.:03:03.

which was of course Europe and the referendum. They prefer to talk

:03:03.:03:09.

about incinerators and localism, or anything but Europe, in fact. We

:03:09.:03:12.

will find out what this means in a moment but first we want to know

:03:12.:03:16.

what you thought. Some viewers have picked up on the row over Europe

:03:16.:03:20.

and the referendum. There seems to be widespread disappointment from

:03:20.:03:24.

both leaders, about both leaders I should say, in terms of being

:03:24.:03:32.

pinned down on Europe. "At they were both poor today. Ed Miliband

:03:32.:03:37.

had an open goal on Europe but like Fernando Torres he blew it." 2 and

:03:38.:03:43.

another one, David Cameron is acting like he is in opposition

:03:44.:03:49.

rather than answering questions. And Ed Miliband has a poor

:03:49.:03:56.

performance at PMQs, failing to paint David Cameron down -- pin him

:03:56.:04:00.

down on Europe. This is the most evasive performance from David

:04:00.:04:05.

Cameron, failing to answer the questions. But Helen says that

:04:05.:04:09.

David won by a knockout. The EU is too important to keep trying to

:04:09.:04:13.

score political points. And Ian Whitely says no answers to clear

:04:13.:04:18.

questions. The Government is divided at the top about Europe.

:04:18.:04:21.

David Cameron quotes Ed Miliband but never answers the questions.

:04:21.:04:25.

And finally, from Damien in Manchester, why does Ed Miliband

:04:25.:04:29.

waste is questions on pointless and obvious differences between David

:04:29.:04:35.

Cameron and Nick Clegg from two different parties? Because that is

:04:35.:04:39.

what we do! That is the kind of thing we do! What does it all mean,

:04:39.:04:47.

James? We saw two things, the beginning of a pattern where Europe

:04:47.:04:52.

will be the running injury that Labour will grind salt into, and

:04:52.:04:56.

the question of repatriation. We will hear more on that. Until

:04:56.:05:00.

something happens, that question cannot be answered. MPs will not

:05:00.:05:03.

get clarity on that before the next election because it will be a

:05:03.:05:07.

dividing line with the Liberal Democrat. We saw the new realities

:05:07.:05:11.

of coalition Government. It is possible within the coalition

:05:11.:05:15.

Government to have two parties that disagree on a policy, and you just

:05:15.:05:19.

park the issue. That is OK when there is no political pressure

:05:19.:05:22.

either way. There is now a huge political pressure on the

:05:22.:05:25.

Government from the backbenches, and the Government is under

:05:25.:05:29.

pressure to do something, which will lead to tensions. There are

:05:29.:05:32.

already discussions going on among MPs about the implications that

:05:32.:05:35.

this has for the and stitching of the coalition before the general

:05:35.:05:42.

election. -- unstitching. Timing and method. This may be true of

:05:42.:05:47.

both sides of the house. When backbenchers stage over Bellion and

:05:47.:05:53.

give their own side a bloody nose, -- stage a rebellion, there next

:05:53.:05:59.

instinct is to rally round the leader. Other than one question,

:05:59.:06:03.

not a single difficult question from his own side. I think they

:06:03.:06:07.

feel they have made their point because they made it forcefully

:06:07.:06:11.

earlier this week. Politicians are tribal. When they have to put

:06:11.:06:15.

policy before party, as they do sometimes, as they have done many

:06:15.:06:19.

times before, they get uncomfortable. They then retrench

:06:19.:06:28.

and tried to rejoin. The issue will not go away. They are looking for

:06:28.:06:32.

other issues, to bring this up as a vote. They are forming a little

:06:32.:06:38.

committee to a cat which powers should be repatriated. -- to look

:06:38.:06:42.

at which powers. The desire to try to get the Tories away from Europe,

:06:42.:06:48.

that is not going to happen. Europe is an important issue. What is the

:06:48.:06:52.

big issue of the day? It is what is going to happen in the eurozone

:06:52.:06:56.

particularly, but that is the European Union issue. The idea that

:06:56.:06:59.

it can never be talked about some how is absurd. There are very

:06:59.:07:03.

strong views about it. The question that Bernard Jenkin asked was

:07:04.:07:09.

actually not particularly unhelpful. It was making the point that Nick

:07:09.:07:14.

Clegg has in the past made the case that there may be some powers that

:07:14.:07:19.

we should look at repatriating. I am not aware that the Lib Dems have

:07:19.:07:23.

never said we could never contemplate any powers coming back.

:07:23.:07:28.

That has never been the case. There is a huge amount to discuss here.

:07:28.:07:35.

Is that the case? That is the case. You are not keen on it. I on the

:07:35.:07:39.

fisheries policy you have said you could repatriate that. We have

:07:39.:07:42.

always said that about the fisheries policy. You represent

:07:42.:07:47.

lots of fisheries seats. That is partly it and we had lot of

:07:47.:07:54.

expertise in that issue. Perhaps when you get expertise in other

:07:54.:07:57.

areas you might change your opinions on them as well. I think

:07:57.:08:03.

we are changing your views. But coming back to vocabulary,

:08:03.:08:06.

repatriation versus rebalancing. The other phrase that I noticed you

:08:06.:08:11.

jotting down was in response to Bernard Jenkin, which was a telling

:08:11.:08:17.

question, that they will use it as an opportunity to advance the

:08:17.:08:20.

national interest. The Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives

:08:20.:08:25.

apparently agree about this. I detect the sense of a masterclass,

:08:26.:08:35.
:08:36.:08:38.

which will hold for a few months. - - as sense of sticking plaster.

:08:38.:08:41.

defy repatriate something from Brussels to London, I have

:08:41.:08:46.

rebalance the power arrangement. And if I rebalance something by

:08:46.:08:49.

moving something from Brussels to London, I have repatriated

:08:49.:08:54.

something. Do you understand the difference? I think the difference

:08:54.:08:57.

is a political difference and they have to find wording that they

:08:57.:09:04.

agree on. I think the Government are in a difficult situation. We

:09:04.:09:07.

all know that the Lib Dems and Tories have different views on some

:09:07.:09:12.

issues, but people do want to know what the Government things. I think

:09:12.:09:20.

that is where people feel what is the Government delivering? And

:09:21.:09:24.

should we repatriate the social chapter, making those decisions in

:09:24.:09:28.

Britain? What would be wrong with making those decisions in Britain?

:09:28.:09:34.

The fact is they did not come from Britain. They didn't. But why

:09:34.:09:38.

should they not? Your party could have made those decisions when in

:09:39.:09:43.

Government. Lot of them came in when the Conservatives were in

:09:44.:09:46.

power because the Conservatives did not make those decisions, they came

:09:46.:09:55.

from Europe. Do you have a problem... You have lost the power

:09:55.:09:59.

to make decisions for ourselves. Why can we not be grown-up enough

:09:59.:10:03.

to make our own decisions? Do you have a problem with the maternity

:10:03.:10:08.

bill? That is not the point. Should we be able to make those decisions

:10:08.:10:12.

ourselves in relation to Britain's particular circumstances? We have

:10:12.:10:17.

different demographics and work force. Why do we need to aggregate

:10:17.:10:22.

our response? Are there things you do not like? There may well be lots

:10:22.:10:26.

of things in it that we would want and should have, and others we do

:10:26.:10:29.

not want, but that should be for Westminster to decide rather than

:10:29.:10:35.

Brussels. Can you answer that? do not know what these things are

:10:35.:10:38.

that David Cameron or Michael Gove want to bring back to Britain.

:10:38.:10:44.

was not what I asked, but never mind. James, you want to batten.

:10:44.:10:49.

think the honest truth is that the treaty changes will be relatively

:10:49.:10:53.

minor. The Government will use those, we understand, to argue the

:10:53.:10:58.

case for protecting the City of London and the markets. It will not

:10:58.:11:03.

be massive repatriation of powers, which is something for a later date.

:11:03.:11:07.

All the MPs say that his election issue and it will not happen now.

:11:07.:11:11.

Unless they can find a couple of issues around which Conservatives

:11:11.:11:14.

and Liberal Democrats can agree. The Conservatives have already

:11:14.:11:16.

persuaded the Liberal Democrats that there should be movement on

:11:16.:11:20.

work tribunals, extending the period from one year to two. There

:11:20.:11:24.

is a possibility that the Government will make unilateral

:11:24.:11:29.

repatriation on a couple of things, and that is where the debate will

:11:29.:11:36.

focus. Is it your understanding, but the eurozone create a fiscal

:11:36.:11:46.
:11:46.:11:47.

union without the approval of the for EU? -- could be eurozone.

:11:47.:11:55.

don't know. That is why I am asking! You need to ask somebody

:11:55.:11:59.

with knowledge in the law and they do not know if that is possible or

:11:59.:12:05.

not. You said earlier that I signed the Maastricht Treaty as Norman

:12:05.:12:12.

Lamont's deputy. I was not the Europe minister. That was clever!

:12:12.:12:16.

He said he was very busy and it was my chance to put my foot print on

:12:16.:12:25.

something. Here is a mug! We do have to move on. If Ed Miliband was

:12:25.:12:30.

going to Brussels today as our Prime Minister, would there be in

:12:30.:12:35.

substance any real difference in British policy? I think the big

:12:35.:12:38.

difference is whether we think that cuts alone will get us out of the

:12:38.:12:43.

current crisis. Wait a second. It is a big issue. Unless you have got

:12:44.:12:48.

jobs and growth, and Greece has been in recession for four years

:12:48.:12:53.

with an implement over 50%, it is hard to service the debt without

:12:53.:12:56.

employment and growth. That is why we have seen the problems in Greece

:12:56.:13:00.

growing. We need a strategy for jobs and growth across Europe

:13:00.:13:05.

because that helps to get the economy back on track and it helps

:13:05.:13:09.

the deficit as well. But would there be any difference at the

:13:09.:13:15.

summit today? It is about whether this issue is on the agenda. If you

:13:15.:13:19.

take the G20 summit, that was about dealing with the immediate problems

:13:19.:13:23.

with the banks. But also about getting the economy moving again.

:13:23.:13:27.

That is what we do not have at the moment. We need jobs and growth

:13:27.:13:30.

across Britain and Europe if we are going to get the economy back on

:13:30.:13:34.

track and pay back the deficit. That has to be on the agenda

:13:34.:13:38.

because it is important to the solution. I am not sure how you

:13:39.:13:42.

would sue hornet into today's agenda but it was just a

:13:42.:13:52.
:13:52.:13:53.

hypothetical question. -- shoehorn. Ever since the phone hacking

:13:53.:13:58.

scandal, we have been putting the boot in to the Police Complaints

:13:58.:14:01.

Commission. Ed Miliband have described them as a toothless

:14:01.:14:09.

poodle. Poor thing. But Sir Christopher Meyer, chairman of the

:14:09.:14:12.

PCC when the scandal hit the headlines in 2006, things that the

:14:12.:14:14.

commission has been made a scapegoat.

:14:14.:14:18.

The victims of the great phone hacking scandal have been queuing

:14:18.:14:21.

in their dozens to receive generous compensation from News

:14:21.:14:25.

International. But there is one victim that is more likely to be

:14:25.:14:31.

punished, even liquidated. That is the Press Complaints Commission.

:14:31.:14:36.

The PCC. I was its chairman when the phone hacking affair first

:14:36.:14:44.

broke in 2006. It is a bad rap, it has been politically expedient to

:14:44.:14:47.

make the PCC the whipping boy for the failures of a police

:14:47.:14:52.

investigation. Phone hacking is a criminal offence. It is not the job

:14:52.:14:58.

of the PCC to enforce the criminal law. Clive Goodman and Glenn

:14:58.:15:02.

Mulcaire were found guilty under the Regulation of investigatory

:15:02.:15:10.

Powers Act. That is why they went to prison. Of course the PCC also

:15:10.:15:15.

bans phone hacking, unless the public interest justifies it. But

:15:15.:15:18.

when its code of practice overlaps with the law, it is the law that

:15:18.:15:23.

must take precedence. That is why the PCC could make no investigation

:15:23.:15:33.

of its own until the legal process The PCC's report published in May

:15:33.:15:38.

2007, soon after the imprisonment of Messrs Goodsman and Mulcaire,

:15:38.:15:43.

focused on the lessons to be learned and new and tighter rules

:15:43.:15:51.

for the agents. That is what the PCC is for - to raise standards.

:15:51.:15:55.

And people forget that the report was widely welcomed by the

:15:55.:16:05.

Government, by MPs, and, pass the smelling salgts, by the Guardian. -

:16:05.:16:11.

- smelling salts. And yet today it is not good enough. It should have,

:16:11.:16:18.

say the police, quasi powers of enforcement. But that's a further

:16:18.:16:21.

erosion of our liberties. The commission should have known what

:16:21.:16:26.

was going on, but that would have needed a commissar in the newsroom

:16:26.:16:31.

with telepathic powers and X-ray eyes. Or the PCC should be

:16:31.:16:35.

disbanded. Well, then, so should the police, because they can't stop

:16:35.:16:40.

crime. The pity of it all is that phone hacking is a distraction from

:16:40.:16:44.

what needs to be done to strengthen self regulation. Meanwhile the PCC

:16:44.:16:48.

has never been more used by the general public than it is today.

:16:48.:16:52.

What an irony that Lord Justice Leveson should be questioning its

:16:52.:17:02.
:17:02.:17:03.

very existence. Sir Christopher Meyer joins us.

:17:03.:17:09.

Good to see you. You said what you said there, but isn't the harsh

:17:09.:17:13.

truth that when British journalism was faced with its greatest crisis

:17:13.:17:16.

of modern times, in terms of standards and ethics, the phone

:17:16.:17:23.

hacking, the PCC was missing in action? Absolutely false. I

:17:23.:17:28.

explained it as succinctly as I could in that television film. The

:17:28.:17:33.

people who needed to be in action when a crime is committed are the

:17:33.:17:36.

police, the Crown Prosecution Service and the courts. And they

:17:36.:17:42.

were. Once they were out of the way, within days the PCC went into a.

:17:42.:17:48.

And this is the way it should be. When the PCC looked at this first

:17:48.:17:51.

time round, it gave the News Of The World a clean bill of health. And

:17:51.:17:55.

when it was asked to look at it again, not only did it accept a

:17:55.:17:59.

letter from the editor of the News Of The World giving it another

:17:59.:18:03.

clean bill of health but it attacked the Guardian for daring

:18:03.:18:09.

the raise the issue all the time. Well, Mr Neil, I will answer for

:18:09.:18:16.

the PCC for the time when I was its chairman 2006, May 2007, the report

:18:16.:18:22.

that we did, did not give by anyway or means a clean bill of health to

:18:22.:18:25.

the News Of The World. We said that the police investigation and what

:18:25.:18:32.

we had been told by the new editor of the News Of The World, Mr Colin

:18:32.:18:36.

Miner, did not disclose further information beyond the fact that it

:18:36.:18:40.

seemed to be a rogue operation. We reflected what we had been told.

:18:40.:18:45.

And the subsequent attack on the Guardian and acceptance of the

:18:45.:18:50.

letter from the News Of The World? You must summon to this bar here

:18:50.:18:58.

the following chairman of the Press Complaints Commission, Lady

:18:58.:19:04.

Buscombe. We had her on here and I don't think she will be back, can I

:19:04.:19:09.

tell you! The problem was not that the PCC is fine as long as Sir

:19:09.:19:13.

Christopher Meyer is chairman, but that the PCC is fine, that was your

:19:14.:19:19.

argument. No, my argument is that the phone hacking scandal is not

:19:19.:19:21.

particularly useful nor particularly relevant to what needs

:19:21.:19:26.

to be done to strengthen self regulation. What about the other

:19:26.:19:31.

issue on privacy? I know phone hacking was in some ways privacy

:19:31.:19:37.

but it was the illegality and criminality. The culture and media

:19:37.:19:43.

committee said if if PCC was more balanced and effective it is more

:19:43.:19:50.

likely people would want to use it on privacy matters, but they don't.

:19:50.:19:55.

I find that completely lunatic, flying in the face of facts. The

:19:55.:20:00.

PCC does 300 privacy cases in a year. The courts do, I don't know,

:20:00.:20:05.

five, ten? Something like that. Overwhelmingly the general public,

:20:05.:20:09.

these are the people who we should be concerned about, not whinging

:20:09.:20:13.

MPs in Westminster, the general public flock to the PCC while

:20:13.:20:17.

celebs and footballers and, I won't mention other people, go to the

:20:17.:20:22.

courts. Go on, mention another person. You know who I'm talking

:20:22.:20:26.

about. The fact of the matter is that thousands of people come to

:20:26.:20:30.

the PCC. Think would not do so if it were a failed organisation.

:20:30.:20:35.

me bring in a couple of whinging MPs, as you described them. Is it

:20:35.:20:41.

not the Government's view now that this voluntary regulation, that

:20:41.:20:46.

game is over for the media? No, I don't think it is necessarily, but

:20:46.:20:53.

it does need to be effective. would you do that Look and see at

:20:53.:20:58.

Lord Justice Leveson comes up with. I'm not going to pre-empt his view.

:20:58.:21:02.

So the matter's been kicked into the long grass until the report

:21:02.:21:08.

comes out? We know it is going to take a long time. There is no point

:21:08.:21:13.

coming up with knee-jerk solutions here. I think Sir Christopher Meyer

:21:13.:21:18.

is right that much of what the PCC has done is effective. Do you think

:21:18.:21:22.

it behaved well in the phone hacking scandal? I'm not going to

:21:22.:21:26.

make that judgment here at all. I think Christopher's point that

:21:26.:21:30.

phone hacking was illegal, that it whereas a criminal offence, it is a

:21:30.:21:33.

Press Complaints Commission. It is about dealing with complaints that

:21:33.:21:40.

people make. I think we should be pretty sceptical about statutory

:21:40.:21:44.

regulation of the press. A free press, if you are a Member of

:21:44.:21:48.

Parliament, a free press is often a massive pain in the neck but it is

:21:49.:21:53.

a crucial pillar. Even if you are a part of it it's a massive pain in

:21:53.:21:57.

the neck at times. Does Labour have a policy towards press regulation?

:21:57.:22:05.

Well, fine with self regulation... So you are? Well, if it works.

:22:05.:22:09.

it? What we heard from Sir Christopher is the editor said that

:22:09.:22:17.

things were OK and then it was give an clean bill of health. The PCC

:22:17.:22:22.

didn't work and it let people down. We were right to set up an inquiry

:22:22.:22:29.

but we need (Inaudible) at the end of it. Like Francis, we asked for

:22:29.:22:32.

an inquiry to be done, so the fact that Lord Justice Leveson is

:22:32.:22:36.

reporting, and that's the right thing to do. Clearly we can't go

:22:36.:22:41.

back to business as usual in terms of regulation of the press.

:22:41.:22:46.

wouldn't bet on it. A on that note of consensus between

:22:46.:22:50.

the two front benches, we'll move on. Sir Christopher Meyer. Thank

:22:50.:22:57.

you. It is the middle of the half- term holiday but for many teachers,

:22:57.:23:03.

rather than relaxing they are in Westminster lobbying against plans

:23:03.:23:11.

for their pension. 130,000 have signed, so what are their concerns?

:23:11.:23:17.

My main concern is as a primary school teacher the energy that it

:23:17.:23:22.

takes to be a primary school teacher and just the difficulty

:23:22.:23:28.

then if you are to go on to be 66 or 68 years of age have that energy

:23:28.:23:32.

to keep the standards and the standard of teaching and learning

:23:32.:23:36.

up. I feel we've been left out on a limb and we are not being, that

:23:37.:23:42.

they are not accountable to what they said they would do, and we are

:23:42.:23:48.

just going to be down the road with hardly any money when we retire.

:23:48.:23:52.

didn't enter the profession to make a lot of money. However, we are in

:23:52.:23:57.

a pension scheme which was already altered in 2007 to make it

:23:57.:24:00.

affordable. According to figures it is still affordable. And now the

:24:00.:24:04.

Government is threatening to hit us several times, raising the

:24:04.:24:07.

contributions and reducing the pension which we will get. It is

:24:07.:24:12.

not fair. Mary Bousted is General Secretary

:24:12.:24:16.

of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers. Francis Maude is here,

:24:16.:24:19.

who has been in discussions with the public sect ore unions, what

:24:19.:24:25.

would you like him to do? I boo like him to give us cost ceiling

:24:25.:24:29.

for pension, give us an amount we can negotiate with and make it a

:24:29.:24:33.

reasonable one. We've waited nine months for a cost ceiling. The

:24:33.:24:40.

amount the Government says it can spend simply wraps up all the

:24:40.:24:45.

savage cuts it is proposing to make to teachers' pension, making us

:24:45.:24:54.

work to 68, paying up to 50% more for our contribution. Francis

:24:54.:24:59.

Maude? My response is. This we want there to continue to be decent

:24:59.:25:03.

pensions for teachers and other public sector workers. The truth is

:25:03.:25:06.

these are good pension schemes. After the reforms they will

:25:06.:25:11.

continue to be. We want to be in a position where for most people in

:25:11.:25:16.

the public sector they will be able to retire on a pension that's as

:25:16.:25:21.

good as they have now. We announced cost ceilings a month ago. We had a

:25:21.:25:28.

very good meeting on Monday with the TUC, where we exchanged views.

:25:28.:25:35.

It was a full and frank exchange of views. So you just agreed! We made

:25:35.:25:39.

an agreement that these people will still be able to retire on a

:25:39.:25:46.

pension at least as good as they retire on at the moment. Why are

:25:46.:25:51.

these negotiations not getting any more? Life expectancy is ten years

:25:51.:25:56.

longer, which is great, than in the 1970s and is rising by three months

:25:56.:26:00.

a year. It is not unreasonable to expect, the majority of taxpayers

:26:00.:26:07.

who don't have access to pensions like this, a guarantee of a pension

:26:07.:26:11.

index linked and inflation proof after the reforms. People are

:26:11.:26:14.

living longer why. Should all taxpayers bear the burden of trying

:26:14.:26:19.

to keep going and maintaining public sector pensions? Are you

:26:19.:26:22.

getting anywhere with these negotiations? These are the same

:26:22.:26:27.

arguments you've been using for the last years is. There any progress?

:26:27.:26:31.

There is progress. For the first name the scheme discussions unions

:26:31.:26:34.

have come forward with specific concerns, specifics counter

:26:34.:26:38.

proposals which have been helpful. I pay tribute to the unions for the

:26:38.:26:42.

way in which that's been done. We've been consistently making an

:26:42.:26:47.

offer, saying what we think the right outcome is, but getting very

:26:47.:26:57.
:26:57.:26:59.

little back. There is now positive and scrubtive engame one of the --

:26:59.:27:05.

constructive feed-back. It sounds like there is progress. We hope

:27:05.:27:10.

there'll be progress. On the age or the contributions for type of

:27:10.:27:14.

scheme? We are not quite there yet. We've waited nine months for the

:27:15.:27:18.

Government to say what the cost ceiling will be. We've got it. We

:27:18.:27:23.

are looking at it. He a meeting with the Department for Education

:27:23.:27:26.

yesterday and we said electronically to the officials we

:27:26.:27:30.

are prepared to negotiate but this cost ceiling isn't good enough. We

:27:30.:27:35.

can't negotiate within this. So we've sent them back, the officials,

:27:35.:27:39.

to say we can present very strong arguments about why the cost

:27:39.:27:43.

ceiling needs to be improved and we are going to do that. Reach reach

:27:43.:27:48.

reach, whose side are you on here? I think we need an outcome --

:27:48.:27:53.

Rachel Reeves, whose side are you on here? I think both sides need to

:27:53.:27:57.

give a bit. The Government commissioned Lord Hutton to produce

:27:57.:28:00.

a report but pre-empted that with the increase in contributions. The

:28:00.:28:05.

unions need to give on things like moving to a career average pension

:28:05.:28:12.

scheme. Would you do that? Retirement age does need to

:28:12.:28:17.

increase as people live longer. Both sides need to give and have

:28:17.:28:23.

frank discussion. At the moment we've had megaphone diplomacy from

:28:23.:28:28.

the Government. No, we've been making proposals. Upping the

:28:28.:28:32.

rhetoric doesn't help get the solution that people in the public

:28:32.:28:37.

sector need and people who rely on public services need. Yes or no to

:28:37.:28:43.

a negotiated deal? You've got to have a negotiated deal. The speaker

:28:43.:28:49.

has ruled he doesn't want the hear the words hypocrite or mug used

:28:49.:28:55.

again. Unparliamentary. But you can always talk about this mug. The

:28:55.:29:02.

Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn are joined by Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude and Labour's newly-promoted shadow chief secretary to the treasury, Rachel Reeves.

European leaders are in Brussels attempting to save the single currency. But German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Nicolas Sarkozy simply can't agree on a plan. In Italy, Silvio Berlusconi's government looks close to collapse. The chances of a deal look ever further off.

David Cameron faces his own backbenchers at PMQs. It is his first Questions since he failed to stop half of them voting for a referendum on pulling out of Europe.

The former Press Complaints Commission chairman, Sir Christopher Meyer, climbs on our soapbox to look at the future of press regulation.

There is also a look at why seven education unions are presenting a petition to the Department for Education signed by 130,000 school, college and university staff members.