08/12/2011 Daily Politics


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08/12/2011

Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn talk to Bernard Jenkin MP and Sir Menzies Campbell about defending British interests in Brussels and ask if the British tabloids are a force for good?


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LineFromTo

Afternoon, folks. Welcome to the Daily Politics. The Prime Minister

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is off to Brussels. His backbenchers want him to fight

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tooth and claw to defend British interests and bring something back.

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But is there anything he can do? Any piece of paper he can wave on

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his return that will satisfy their blood lust for a referendum on

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leaving Europe? How difficult is it to get into Britain without a

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passport? Well, apparently all you have to do is get as far as

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Brussels, buy a ticket to Lille, and simply don't get off the train!

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We'll find out why this so-called loophole is so difficult to close.

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And, are the British tabloids a force for good? We'll ask one of

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:01:14.:01:21.

And here he is. With us for the duration, red-top legend that is

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Kelvin Mackenzie. So, if you have any thoughts or comments on

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:01:35.:01:40.

anything we are discussing, then But first, that story over just how

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easy it is to get into Britain without the bother of having to

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carry a passport. Apparently, you don't need one to get from Brussels

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to Lille on the Eurostar. And once you are on the train, there is,

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unbelievably, nothing to stop you just sitting there until you get to

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London. In the words of Richard Littlejohn, is this one you just

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:02:06.:02:11.

I had no idea bus-stop when you get into the detail of its creditors

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more shocking. The border guards knew it was going on. They

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recognise two Iranians who are going to try to push their way

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through into the UK. They stop them and point them out to the Belgian

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police. They say, you cannot do anything and we could actually

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arrest you for trying to stop these two Iranians coming to your land.

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This is one of the bad MRS of Europe as it stands. When there was

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a 17 and a 10, these kinds of issues would grow and grow. This is

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another example of a two-track Europe. We're outside the Shelton

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agreement. What can the Government actually do? They are heading our

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way. At St Pancras, they could have a massive checking system. I would

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be in favour of it. This second thing is, we could actually not

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have a benefit system which encourages the rest of the world to

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think they can come here. Why don't they want to stay in Belgium and

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France? We should do two things at the centre but we should be tough

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about it. One thing I despair about any government, nobody actually

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embraces what ordinary people's common sense would tell them. We

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should do something about this kind of stuff. It is beyond me. It is a

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vote-winner. Why don't they say, we are going to go...? We are going to

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send armed guards to Lille and shoot them. Before you do say

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something we should not on the programme... Like invade Belgium!

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Don't you start. Move on briefly to the other story that has emerged

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and this is a move to the Government in terms of proposals

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being offered to NHS workers. Up until now, they said anyone earning

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under 15,000 will not have to pay contributions. Now it is 26 and a

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half 1000 pounds. Will it be enough? -- �26,500. The Government

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has moved. Obviously they want a deal. I am astonished that the

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Government moved at all. They want a deal. Fantastic! The kind of

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offer that, in private industry, you would not have come within 1000

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miles off. If the finance director says, we are stopping the final

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salary, that is your lot, you get on with it. Why do state workers

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get preferment? Why are 23 million of us who are outside the system

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having to fund it? I think we know where he stands on the deal. He is

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sitting on the fence were stuck the unions do not agree with you.

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:05:37.:05:38.

the fence. The unions do not agree with Kelvin MacKenzie. The Bank of

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England has announced that interest rates are staying at 0.5%. No

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surprise. Most City analysts expect interest rates to stay at that rate

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:05:59.:06:02.

for all of 2012. QED is at 275 billion as well. -- quantitative

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easing. It is the economy and the main stories to do with that is the

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big summit in Brussels. Yesterday, at PMQs, Tory backbenchers lined up

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to urge the Prime Minister to show bulldog spirit in speaking up for

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British interests in the face of French and German proposals to

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rewrite the way the eurozone operates. Well, severe gales are

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buffeting the country today and it is likely to be pretty stormy over

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the Channel in Brussels for, wait for it, another make or break

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summit to save the euro. Key to the discussion is how to bring enough

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budgetary discipline into the eurozone to stop anything like the

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current crisis happening again. Germany and France argue this needs

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to be enforced by a change in the existing EU treaties and they want

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to see the European Commission have new powers to impose penalties on

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eurozone countries that have large budget deficits as well as having

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common corporation and financial Some see this as the creation of

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what is effectively a new country, which would have profound

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implications for our relationship to the rest of Europe. David

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Cameron is desperate to avoid any major treaty change that could lead

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to demands for a referendum here in the UK. Something that both London

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Mayor Boris Johnson and the Northern Ireland Secretary Owen

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Paterson have said could be necessary. However, Downing Street

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have made it clear that, whilst any new treaty may need to go through

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Parliament, it is unlikely there would be any need for a referendum.

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The Prime Minister is also under huge pressure from within his party

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to claw back powers from Europe in return for any concessions. However,

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France and Germany appear unwilling to help out him out, which could

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mean the 17 countries of the eurozone going it alone and

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adopting their own treaty. And our political correspondent, Iain

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Watson, is in Brussels for us now. In terms of the Government, what is

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worse for David Cameron? I think he is stuck. He will be here in a few

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hours' time. I have got here rather ahead of him. It even if he lives

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here and a deal is done to stabilise the euro, I have spoken

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to a whole range of Euro-sceptic backbenchers. They said, even if he

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comes back and declares victory, we will see it as the FT. It is not

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enough to safeguard British interests over the City of London.

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-- defeat. They want to see him coming back here and using this

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process to get powers back from Brussels. That seems unlikely. Some

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people want to see a referendum. Up the Merkozy proposals are quite

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major. Even a couple of people in the Cabinet will argue it is so

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major it would trigger a referendum in the UK. That is not what David

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Cameron wants to see and it is not what Lib Dem ministers want to see.

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It would put the whole coalition on the rocks. It is a very limited,

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very minor treaty change. The second battle he has to face is

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what he the -- what it will take for the French and Germans to stand

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up for British interests? They are saying the very minimum demands

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about protecting the City of London is not something they were

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necessarily agree with. They will stay here as long as it takes to

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get the kind of agreement they want and Britain is poor full tour of

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Anyway it is the 7th European summit Fisher. Six have come up so

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far with completely comprehensive plans to sort out the European

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crisis so no doubt the 7th will as well. With us now is the

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Conservative MP, Bernard Jenkin, who has written in today's Guardian

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that this summit represents the end game for the European Union as we

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know it. We also have the former Lib Dem leader, Ming Campbell, and

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the Conservative MP, Nick Boles. What do you want Mr Cameron to come

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back with from Brussels? He should make it clear that he has done his

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best to help our European partners through this crisis. The changes

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they are now proposing, they may not have a direct legal impact on

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the United Kingdom that they will have a big impact on our relations

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with the European Union. He will need to consult with Parliament and

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with the British people on this. Ultimately there will need to be a

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referendum. He should stop fiscal union going ahead? No. These treaty

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changes will take months. He should come back with an agreement in

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principle that we need a new relationship with the European

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Union. It should be based on the principle that the laws of this

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land to be made by people who are elected and are directly affected

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by them. If European institutions in this new economic state will be

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working for the 17, they will not be working for us. I still do not

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know what you want to bring back. want to bring back an agreement

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that Parliament will decide what applies to the European Union in

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this country. You want us to leave the European Union? It is up to

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Parliament and the Government of the day to negotiate with the

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European Union as to what applies - what rules apply and what do not.

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We want to remain in the customs union. I would suggest that Bernard

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Jenkin, Santa is not going to bring him what he wants this Christmas.

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His endgame can only result in being out. If that is what they all

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say. I have just been in America for three days. Everywhere I went

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much members of Congress, reporters, commentators, are you going to

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solve the eurozone crisis? It is an important component in the economic

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recovery of the United States. It is also important about the

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possibility of Barack Obama being elected. If the agreement founders

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because of an argument about the time directive on the fishing

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policy, then our allies... You want powers repatriated. These are the

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kinds of powers that people talk about. If it fails because of that,

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our friends in the United States were not understand what we have

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done. What do you want the Prime Minister to bring back? As a rule,

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Bernard has been more right on this issue than Ming Campbell for the

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last 20 years. My defence is one of tactics and cunning. Today is the

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moment of maximum economic danger for Britain. Retail sales are

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falling, Brazil has stalled, China has stalled. The entire global

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economy is sitting on the edge of an abyss. We need to protect our

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economy and jobs but getting this crisis fixed. We need to come to

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that after we have saved our economy. What do you want him to

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bring back? What I want David Cameron to do is to protect our

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economy, Protect our jobs. That is the moment - protecting the City of

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London. He needs to get a solution to the crisis so the entire

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European economy does not fall apart. It is much more serious than

:14:08.:14:18.
:14:18.:14:19.

in 2008. The priority is to save the eurozone. Otherwise we will or

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head into a recession and a depression and then come back to

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what you want to raise at a more appropriate time. The idea it will

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be easier to discuss this after they had done and dusted everything

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is absolutely ludicrous. There is no need for this to hold up the

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European Union. We're not talking about a whole lot of detailed,

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complex things like fishing law. It has to be a general decision that

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our membership will be conducted on a different principle. Why wouldn't

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everyone else wants that? -- want. Can I just finished my point? If

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they were to agreed that in principle, there is no need to hold

:15:02.:15:12.
:15:12.:15:15.

up anything. All the data could There are two important principles,

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proportionality and subsidiarity. That means Brussels does not do

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what cannot be done better by individual states. These are

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technically part of the jurisprudence of the European Union.

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We want to have an emphasis on these things. They are entirely

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consistent with localism. They would stop some of the gold plating,

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which goes on when European Union proposals reach the United Kingdom,

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and they would bring about the reform of the European Union, which

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everyone accepts is necessary, but cannot be done by the kind of

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apocalyptic suggestions made by Bernard. If Bernard Jenkin got his

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way, he may be right, maybe not, but we will no longer be a member

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of the European Union if he gets his way. That would be true if we

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go about it in the way that Bernard is suggesting. But it is not

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necessarily true. But we are going to have to work out an entirely new

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kind of relationship, and that is a big exercise. It offers huge

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opportunities for Britain, but it is going to take two or three years.

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It is not the work of a weekend when the global economy is on a

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precipice. But the Lib Dems have nothing to say about what our

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relationship would be with Europe if there was a new, central, pal

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full eurozone, of which we would not be part. It does change the

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whole dynamic... It certainly makes for an inner core and an outer core.

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But it certainly does not stand in the way of relationship up to but

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not including membership of the single currency. We will be

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outvoted on every issue. remember, there are 10 countries in

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the EU who are not members. last time I looked, 17 is higher

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than 10, so we get outvoted. lots of majority decisions are

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required to be made. There are plenty of allies to be found

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outside the 17, if we really want to change the philosophy and the

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practicalities. All the briefing I got this morning was that it was

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26-1, even the Polish, the Hungarians, the Danish, have lined

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up. Why is that? The reason why is because the British Prime Minister,

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yesterday at PMQs, and today again, has been substantially undermined

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by his own party. Rubbish. We're back to John Major and the bustards.

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Thank you very much. There is going to be a lot of bustards. The people

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I know among Tory MPs say that when the voting happens, it will be well

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into the 120s, 140s. So when the voting goes through Parliament on

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whatever this is, I could see... You're in expert on many things,

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Kelvin, including an expert on the modern Tory party, most of whom you

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have never met! I have got 20 quid, that it will be 120 MPs, let's see

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who knows the most. You have met each other now. This programme

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wants to bring people together. Thank you, gentleman. I was going

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to say, this is what it will be like in Brussels. At least they all

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speak different languages, so it gets lost in translation. With a

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series of victims, a stellar cast of celebrities, and eyebrow raising

:18:48.:18:52.

statements, the Leveson inquiry has been quite the eye-opener. The

:18:52.:18:57.

target has been the tabloid press, but they are now starting to ask if

:18:57.:19:01.

the inquiry is really fair. Giles has been trying to find the good

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side of the past. If you work for a newspaper, the last weeks of the

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Leveson inquiry have been uncomfortable. At the moment I

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think we have a press which has just become frankly putrid.

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High King of Milly Dowler's telephone was not a bad thing for a

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well-meaning journalist, who was only trying to help find the girl.

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What you do is, you say, a security source said, and when a load of

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quotes from a source, which charges made up of the top of my head.

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Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson, they're the scum of journalism for

:19:36.:19:40.

trying to drop me in it. newspapers have become part of the

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political process, yet without any of the accountability which other

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parts of the political process are subject to. In the fortnight or so

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since Lord Leveson started hearing evidence, we have heard how the

:19:52.:19:57.

tabloid press have mistreated families like Milly Dowler's and

:19:57.:20:01.

the McCann's. The press have admitted to certain things they

:20:01.:20:06.

have done which the public would be shocked about. But now, the tabloid

:20:06.:20:10.

press are starting to say it is too much one-way traffic. People from

:20:10.:20:14.

the industry now seem to be the grubby journalists, the people who

:20:14.:20:17.

admit having hacked phones or making up stories, and they have

:20:17.:20:22.

been given a huge platform to explain what they did. And the

:20:22.:20:27.

decent, honest journalists, like the 280 who lost their jobs at the

:20:27.:20:31.

News of the World, are not being given any say. In the committee I

:20:31.:20:34.

sit on, which is looking into privacy and super-injunctions, we

:20:34.:20:38.

have heard from tabloid proprietors and tabloid journalists, and they

:20:38.:20:42.

have given as good as they have taken. I don't think the voice of

:20:42.:20:46.

the boding tabloid journalist is going unheard on this. If anybody

:20:46.:20:50.

thinks that's the case, and if Leveson thinks it is the case, it

:20:50.:20:54.

is open to him to call them as witnesses. So, what would they say

:20:54.:20:59.

if they were in the room? Their defence has seem to be that the

:20:59.:21:04.

tabloids always have been and still Lara force for good. Just before we

:21:04.:21:08.

close, we secured a Military Covenant, enshrined in law, which

:21:08.:21:12.

the Prime Minister had refused to do. The Sun has this week launched

:21:12.:21:17.

a campaign to try to stop the cuts in armed forces' pay. We have had

:21:17.:21:21.

campaigns such as Sara's law, relating to predatory paedophiles.

:21:21.:21:25.

Parents have the right to know if they are living in their

:21:25.:21:29.

communities. And we have campaigns such as help for heroes, in the Sun,

:21:29.:21:33.

which has raised masses of money for Armed Forces charities, and has

:21:33.:21:37.

changed the way this country things about our soldiers, who put their

:21:37.:21:40.

lives on the line. In terms of hearing evidence, Leveson has a

:21:40.:21:46.

long way to run. In terms of being fair, according to some of the

:21:46.:21:51.

newspapers, Leveson has a long way to go. I'm joined now by the Labour

:21:51.:21:55.

MP Chris Bryant, who has had less than welcome attention from the

:21:55.:22:02.

tabloids and the past. We had hoped to be joined by the chief executive

:22:02.:22:12.
:22:12.:22:16.

It has always been in the gutter. And it is quite a good place to be,

:22:16.:22:26.
:22:26.:22:26.

Apology for the loss of subtitles for 54 seconds

:22:26.:23:20.

actually. The idea is that you are Tony you have earned up to the fact

:23:20.:23:23.

that you hardly ever check whether any stories were true. You have

:23:23.:23:27.

spent a great deal of time to piling the idea of any hacking.

:23:27.:23:30.

Indeed, I remember going on many Indeed, I remember going on many

:23:30.:23:33.

programmes with you, where you said, categorically, that you could not

:23:33.:23:36.

believe that it could have happened, that nobody senior at the

:23:36.:23:40.

organisation would know about it, and even if it did, you said it was

:23:40.:23:43.

a socialist conspiracy. And then you found out that your phone was

:23:43.:23:49.

hacked, and suddenly you were upset. I was totally upset. Somebody paid

:23:49.:23:54.

you to write an article, so you got a bit more upset. I do not get paid

:23:54.:23:58.

to write articles in the Spectator. If I had to do that, I would be in

:23:58.:24:05.

the gutter. But what about the broader point? Are do not know what

:24:05.:24:09.

it is exactly. The broader point is that there was a problem within one

:24:09.:24:13.

newspaper, and, did they pay a price for all of that? That

:24:13.:24:18.

newspaper does not exist today. Actually, I am amazed that that

:24:18.:24:23.

paper does not exist. I was shocked when it was shut down. When did you

:24:23.:24:28.

decide that Rupert Murdoch's tabloids were beneath contempt? Was

:24:28.:24:32.

it when the Sun endorsed Labour in three subsequent elections, or when

:24:32.:24:37.

it endorsed Cameron in 2009? first started raising questions

:24:37.:24:41.

about the payment of police officers by the News Of The World

:24:41.:24:46.

and by the Sun on 11th March 2003. I can remember because it was my

:24:46.:24:49.

dad's birthday. You never spoke about the tabloids like this when

:24:49.:24:55.

they were backing Labour. I did, I'm afraid. In these words? I did

:24:55.:25:00.

not talk about the hacking, -- I did not know about the hacking, but

:25:00.:25:05.

I raised the issue of Murdoch's domination, having so many of the

:25:05.:25:09.

newspapers, as well as the broadcasters. Can they be a force

:25:09.:25:14.

for good? Yes, of course they can, and sometimes they have been. When?

:25:14.:25:17.

There have been lots of campaigns which have been run by tabloid

:25:17.:25:21.

journalists. We should not forget that a lot of this is coming out

:25:21.:25:25.

now because of the investigative journalism done by a guy at The

:25:25.:25:30.

Guardian. Not a tabloid. No, but I do not care whether a newspaper is

:25:30.:25:34.

a tabloid, I am not a snob. Entertaining newspapers are great.

:25:34.:25:39.

So, what's the problem? Because all I want journalism to do is to

:25:40.:25:43.

return to its old fashioned thing of bringing the truth to light, but

:25:43.:25:46.

doing it within the law, and not running headlines about

:25:46.:25:49.

Hillsborough which were a complete and utter lies. This has got

:25:49.:25:55.

nothing to do with Hillsborough. is, it is about lying. How do you

:25:55.:26:00.

know? How do you know, you printed a newspaper. That story came from

:26:00.:26:06.

Liverpool news agency and Liverpool journalists. Every single newspaper

:26:06.:26:12.

carried that story, as you well know. Carry on. You ran a newspaper

:26:12.:26:17.

which said that people had done these things. Both of you, be quiet,

:26:17.:26:20.

you have done the Hillsborough., the viewers will make up their own

:26:20.:26:25.

minds. I have a broader question - do you have any regrets or remorse

:26:25.:26:30.

about some of the things you did as a tabloid editor? Probably, yes, I

:26:30.:26:35.

do. Would that include Hillsborough? If I could revisit

:26:35.:26:39.

Hillsborough, I would do it in a different way, I would do with the

:26:39.:26:46.

way the other newspapers did it, I wish I had done that, yes. What do

:26:46.:26:49.

you think will come out of this, what will be the end game, after

:26:49.:26:54.

Leveson and so on? It must not muzzle the press. I know people

:26:54.:26:58.

will say politicians want the press to be muzzled, I do not want that.

:26:58.:27:01.

I want the press to be vibrant and sometimes use colourful language

:27:01.:27:05.

and the rest of it, and be interested in the wrong doings of

:27:06.:27:09.

politicians, I have no problem with that. But I think everybody needs a

:27:09.:27:14.

little bit of privacy, just to be able to survive, we all need our

:27:14.:27:19.

own personal space. And one thing which some tabloids have got wrong

:27:19.:27:25.

is that things have changed since 50 years ago, and sometimes, some

:27:25.:27:29.

tabloids have maintained an attitude of a kind of judgmental

:27:29.:27:38.

attitude from the 1950s. Just time to pick a winner from yesterday's

:27:38.:27:43.

Guess the Year competition. The answer was 1969, the great battle

:27:43.:27:46.

between Robert Maxwell and Rupert Murdoch for the News Of The World.

:27:46.:27:48.

Rupert Murdoch got it because they thought he was more British than

:27:48.:27:57.

Robert Maxwell. You get to pick the winner. I have not got my glasses.

:27:57.:28:01.

Oh, it is Simon from Liverpool. Just joking. That's all we have got

:28:01.:28:11.

time for today. I have got 40 quid. I'm also back tonight with This

:28:11.:28:15.

Week. And I will be back tomorrow for another day politics. You just

:28:15.:28:20.

can't get enough of it. We will have Tim Montgomerie, the famous

:28:20.:28:30.
:28:30.:28:32.

Tory blogger on, and comedian Andi Osho, who will tell us why she's

:28:32.:28:35.

not happy about the money being spent on the Olympics. And we have

:28:35.:28:38.

had lots of e-mails about Hillsborough, I will be sending

:28:38.:28:43.

Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn have the top political stories of the day.

The prime minister is off to Brussels. His backbenchers want him to fight to defend British interests, but is there anything he can do? Andrew and Jo talk to Conservative MP Bernard Jenkin and the former Lib Dem leader Sir Menzies Campbell.

How difficult is it to get into Britain without a passport? It is alleged that all you have to do is get as far as Brussels, buy a ticket to Lille and simply don't get off the train! Why is this so-called loophole is so difficult to close?

Are the British tabloids a force for good? Andrew and Jo ask former editor Kelvin MacKenzie and Labour MP Chris Bryant as they discuss the Leveson Inquiry.