23/11/2012 Daily Politics


23/11/2012

Andrew Neil with political news, interviews and debate, including reports from the EU budget summit in Brussels, and interviews with Emma McClarkin MEP and George Lyon MEP.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 23/11/2012. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

Welcome to the Daily Politics. Today's top story... David Cameron

:00:45.:00:48.

tells European leaders they must accept cuts to the EU's proposed

:00:48.:00:51.

budget for the next seven years, as the Brussels summit goes into its

:00:51.:00:56.

second day. But with 26 other prime ministers and presidents pushing

:00:56.:00:59.

their own agendas, can any agreement be made today, or could

:00:59.:01:05.

the whole thing get kicked into next spring? Back home, the

:01:05.:01:09.

Government outlines its vision for Britain's energy policy. It looks

:01:09.:01:13.

like you will be footing the bill. And what really goes on at a

:01:13.:01:17.

European summit? Adam has an inside guide to the inner workings of the

:01:17.:01:27.
:01:27.:01:31.

All of that coming up in the next hour. With us for the duration,

:01:31.:01:33.

Pippa Crerar, political correspondent at the London Evening

:01:33.:01:39.

Standard, and Iain Martin, who writes for the Telegraph. Pipette

:01:39.:01:44.

is heading off to India with Boris Johnson - what could possibly go

:01:44.:01:53.

wrong?! Money well spent! Let's start with energy. The government

:01:53.:01:55.

has finally announced what it's going to do about keeping the

:01:55.:01:58.

lights on and emissions down and it's something of a compromise. An

:01:58.:02:02.

estimated �110 billion is needed in the next decade to renew the UK's

:02:02.:02:04.

ageing electricity infrastructure, with much set to go into low-carbon

:02:04.:02:10.

power sources like wind farms and nuclear power to cut emissions. But

:02:10.:02:13.

no decision has been taken about setting carbon emission targets for

:02:13.:02:22.

2030 - this has been delayed until 2016, after the election. This

:02:22.:02:24.

morning, the Lib Dem Energy Secretary, Ed Davey, has been out

:02:24.:02:32.

defending his plans. No one is losing out, this is a win-win. Not

:02:32.:02:36.

just for the coalition, for the country. We are having to take

:02:36.:02:39.

tough decisions in this government, but the Liberal Democrats are

:02:39.:02:43.

determined to play our role, to make sure we get the investment,

:02:43.:02:49.

growth and green jobs, and today is delivering on that. There was a

:02:49.:02:54.

huge tussle between the Treasury and Ed Davey's department. He can

:02:54.:02:58.

tell when a politician is being slightly disingenuous, when he

:02:58.:03:01.

describes something as a win-win situation for the country. There

:03:01.:03:06.

has been a vicious row between Osborne and Ed Davey' department.

:03:06.:03:10.

The Treasury really thinks it has won, that it has won concessions,

:03:10.:03:14.

the Lib Dems have conceded there won't be those targets on

:03:14.:03:23.

decarbonisation bike 2030. However, wind power sceptics will say the

:03:23.:03:29.

government is still increasing the subsidy by a fairly large amount.

:03:29.:03:33.

Do you think it is strange politics, given the rise in energy bills is

:03:33.:03:36.

hurting everybody, but particularly those on average and below average

:03:36.:03:40.

incomes, to come up with a plan that's going to add, it's hard to

:03:40.:03:46.

tell the figure, about �110 to a bill. Yes, depending on who you

:03:46.:03:50.

listen to. Ed Davey describes it as a win-win, others might describe it

:03:50.:03:54.

as a Blues lose, because you have consumers who are very sceptical of

:03:54.:03:58.

the big energy companies acting as some sort of cartel, they are

:03:58.:04:01.

facing energy bills going up and having a lot of other expenses to

:04:01.:04:05.

deal with. �180 may not seem much to some people but for people

:04:06.:04:09.

dealing with cuts across the board and having to tighten their own

:04:09.:04:14.

belts, it is. Green groups are also going to be unhappy about it.

:04:14.:04:17.

They've picked the carbon tabards into the long grass after the

:04:17.:04:22.

election. You wonder a compromise in which the only people are the

:04:22.:04:26.

big energy companies who are taking over from the banks as popular hate

:04:26.:04:31.

figure number one. The spokesman for the big energy companies

:04:31.:04:35.

recently left from her job being spokesman for the banks, which is

:04:35.:04:39.

rather convenient! The other difficulty for the government is

:04:39.:04:42.

the week began with the Prime Minister saying we are in an

:04:42.:04:46.

economic war, this was like May 1940 in economic terms. If that's

:04:46.:04:50.

the case, the priority should be cheaper energy prices to fuel the

:04:50.:04:54.

recovery, rather than increasing prices. One of the things Ed Davey

:04:54.:04:57.

said this morning, and they say it all the time, this will mean

:04:57.:05:01.

thousands of new jobs created in green energy. What he never says,

:05:01.:05:05.

what they never tell you, is how many thousands of jobs will be

:05:05.:05:09.

destroyed by higher energy prices for the rest of industry. For

:05:09.:05:13.

example, the aluminium industry in this country no longer exists

:05:13.:05:19.

because energy is too expensive. What will be next? The �180 we've

:05:19.:05:24.

talked about is the up of and of 7.6 billion overall for the energy

:05:24.:05:28.

companies. They are really delighted that they can have some

:05:28.:05:32.

certainty... We are guaranteeing their capital investment as

:05:32.:05:37.

consumers. The that is pretty much it. I'm sure there will be lots of

:05:37.:05:40.

consumers who aren't happy about that. I have a sense this story

:05:40.:05:45.

isn't going to go away. I suspect the compromise deal won't unravel

:05:45.:05:50.

but they will be a lot of nit- picking of it from both sides. Now

:05:50.:05:53.

it's time for our quiz, and it's been reported today that many MPs

:05:53.:05:56.

are embarking on lavish, all expenses paid, fact-finding trips

:05:56.:06:02.

abroad. The Independent says the trips cost more than �1.5 million,

:06:02.:06:04.

paid for by foreign governments, pressure groups and companies over

:06:04.:06:08.

the space of two years. But we want to know - which of these

:06:08.:06:18.
:06:18.:06:18.

destinations hasn't been visited by Sri Lanka, China, Cayman Islands or

:06:18.:06:23.

Sandy Island in the Coral Sea. Later in the show, Iain and Pippa

:06:23.:06:33.
:06:33.:06:37.

will give us the correct answer. Now, another day, another shirt. EU

:06:37.:06:39.

leaders have resumed talks in Brussels aimed at setting a budget

:06:39.:06:42.

for the next seven years, to 2020. Divisions remain over whether

:06:42.:06:45.

spending should be increased or reduced. This morning EU officials

:06:45.:06:48.

warned European leaders against seeking to delay any budget deal

:06:48.:06:52.

until a further summit next year. Aides to the EU Council President

:06:52.:06:55.

Herman van Rompuy say the facts will not change by delaying summit

:06:55.:07:00.

negotiations. Yesterday's talks opened with van Rompuy suggesting a

:07:00.:07:03.

seven year budget of 940 billion euros - a big enough reduction that

:07:03.:07:12.

could maybe allow David Cameron to claim some sort of victory. The

:07:12.:07:14.

latest proposals see 460 billion euros for smart and inclusive

:07:14.:07:17.

growth, including the cohesion fund that goes mainly to poorer

:07:17.:07:26.

countries. The cohesion fund has been topped up by 11 billion euros

:07:26.:07:29.

on original budget proposals in an attempt to appease countries such

:07:29.:07:36.

as Italy and Poland. There's 372 billion euros on the table for

:07:36.:07:39.

sustainable growth, which includes 278 billion for the direct farm

:07:39.:07:41.

payments and market measures, taking in the Common Agricultural

:07:41.:07:51.
:07:51.:07:53.

Policy. This has been increased by 8 billion euros on the original

:07:53.:07:56.

proposal in an attempt to appease the French, but still represents a

:07:56.:08:06.
:08:06.:08:07.

cut on previous years. Van Rompuy has suggested that the global

:08:07.:08:09.

Europe fund, which includes development aid and the diplomatic

:08:09.:08:16.

service, be trimmed by 6 billion euros to 61 billion. And that 5

:08:16.:08:19.

billion euros be lopped off the Connecting Europe facility used to

:08:19.:08:27.

fund cross border infrastructure. But the administration budget

:08:27.:08:30.

remains at 63 billion euros despite proposals from the UK for reducing

:08:30.:08:40.
:08:40.:08:44.

it. This is what the Prime Minister had to say on the way in to another

:08:44.:08:51.

day of negotiations. There really is a problem in terms there hasn't

:08:51.:08:55.

been the progress in cutting back proposals for additional spending.

:08:55.:08:59.

It isn't it time for tinkering, it isn't it time for moving money from

:08:59.:09:04.

one part of the Budget to another. We need an affordable spending cut.

:09:04.:09:10.

That's what's happening at home, that's what needs to happen here.

:09:10.:09:14.

The Prime Minister looking quite fresh despite a late evening and an

:09:14.:09:24.
:09:24.:09:25.

early start. Gavin Hewitt joins us now. Where are we this morning?

:09:25.:09:28.

you've just heard, David Cameron arrived this morning and he is

:09:28.:09:32.

still not happy. He believes that all that happened last night was a

:09:32.:09:36.

shuffling of the pack. A little bit more to the Common Agricultural

:09:36.:09:40.

Policy, to appease the French, a little more to cohesion funds to

:09:40.:09:44.

help Poland and those other countries in central and eastern

:09:44.:09:49.

Europe who say that currently the proposal is unacceptable. But what

:09:49.:09:52.

the British are insisting on, not just that some of the

:09:52.:09:55.

administration costs should come down, they want to see that overall

:09:56.:10:01.

figure, the 940 billion euros. They want to see that come down. Will

:10:01.:10:06.

they achieve that? It's going to be difficult. Lots of pessimism on the

:10:06.:10:09.

way in here. One of the things that Britain needs to be careful about.

:10:09.:10:14.

It has two strong allies in this - Sweden and the Netherlands. Watch

:10:14.:10:18.

out for an attempt to try and ease them away. For them to be more

:10:18.:10:22.

willing to compromise and therefore leaving David Cameron more exposed

:10:22.:10:30.

on his home. If the summit was to pass or to agree, be getting the

:10:30.:10:35.

distribution of it, the total sum in the Herman Van Rompuy budget,

:10:35.:10:39.

could Mr Cameron claimed that as a victory, because it's tens of

:10:39.:10:42.

billions more than he has been saying and it is not a real-terms

:10:43.:10:50.

freeze? He could claim it is something of a victory. The

:10:50.:10:54.

original proposal was way above eight trillion. Then Herman Van

:10:54.:10:59.

Rompuy came in, he lowered that by 80 billion. We are now stuck with

:10:59.:11:03.

940 billion. But when the Treasury set out what its target was, it was

:11:04.:11:09.

significantly below that, about 886 billion. On the other hand, if you

:11:09.:11:14.

look at the spending limits, the spending ceiling in the proposal,

:11:14.:11:20.

you could claim there was actually a small cut compared to last time.

:11:20.:11:24.

In the way that many things are done here, after all, this is a

:11:24.:11:28.

city known for fudging things, you could walk away and say there has

:11:28.:11:32.

been some success here. In terms of those overall figures, I think some

:11:32.:11:37.

people would turn around and say, if the British accepted 940, they

:11:37.:11:42.

would say, well, a little bit of success. But in the end, it's not a

:11:42.:11:45.

freeze in terms of the actual spending. That's the difference.

:11:45.:11:50.

You can try and freeze the ceiling or try and freeze what is actually

:11:50.:11:55.

going to be spent. If we had to settle, if the British had to

:11:55.:11:59.

settle on 940, bed be plenty of those saying that is not a freeze

:11:59.:12:09.

on money spent. And we've been joined by the Shadow Europe

:12:09.:12:11.

Minister, Emma Reynolds, and Conservative MP and former

:12:11.:12:19.

If he settles for that as a budget, will you back that? We will await

:12:19.:12:24.

the outcome of the summit. This is a long and difficult set of

:12:24.:12:28.

negotiations. We appreciate that, we know it's not an easy challenge

:12:28.:12:33.

for the Prime Minister, but we do think it is doable. Sweden and the

:12:33.:12:36.

Netherlands are allies. If David Cameron had perhaps hit the bones

:12:36.:12:40.

and talked to Capitals earlier, he might have got Germany and some of

:12:40.:12:45.

the other contributor states on side, too. But you voted for a

:12:45.:12:49.

real-terms cut in the Budget. This is not even a real-terms freeze

:12:49.:12:54.

that is being proposed. Would you accept that? We are going to see

:12:54.:13:00.

what happens. We can't prejudge the outcome. I know it's a hypothetical

:13:00.:13:05.

question but it's a reasonable one. If Mr Cameron settles for a modest,

:13:05.:13:10.

real-terms rise in the Budget, a modest one, would Labour support

:13:10.:13:15.

it? It will depend if there is any change to a rebate. It will depend

:13:15.:13:18.

on the shape of the Budget. We will look closely at what the

:13:18.:13:24.

negotiations, how they proceed. We will judge the outcome when... If

:13:24.:13:32.

we get an outcome this time... voted for a cat. We would like that.

:13:32.:13:35.

We will wait to see what he comes back with. What would you settle

:13:35.:13:39.

for? There will be lots of different things attached to this

:13:39.:13:47.

with the rebate. But we voted to have, at worst, a cut, a cap on

:13:47.:13:52.

inflation. Many of us would like to see a further cut. It's the art of

:13:52.:13:57.

what is possible. A further cut is not on the agenda. The knot at the

:13:57.:14:04.

moment. Not on the agenda, period. At the moment. One of the things

:14:04.:14:06.

the Prime Minister is arguing for is to reduce the running costs of

:14:07.:14:11.

the EU. We are spending �45 billion just on running it. I understand

:14:11.:14:15.

that but let's get real. This is a budget for the next seven years.

:14:15.:14:21.

There is nothing on the agenda for Mr Cameron other than a cut. But if

:14:21.:14:25.

it boats for something along these lines, it isn't for seven years. A

:14:25.:14:30.

real-terms cut is not on the agenda. This is a budget for the next seven

:14:30.:14:32.

years with the adjustments that can happen on a year-by-year basis.

:14:32.:14:37.

We've got to get the best possible deal we can now. That is what the

:14:37.:14:41.

Prime Minister is batting for Britain on. We've got to maintain a

:14:41.:14:46.

rebate, and we don't get any losses on that front. What is the minimum

:14:46.:14:51.

Mr Cameron has to bring back for you to vote for it? It will be a

:14:51.:14:56.

complicated package. We need to see real signs that the EU is cutting

:14:56.:14:59.

its running costs. That we are spending money most efficiently,

:14:59.:15:03.

rather than on running the EU. This has been a problem. People in this

:15:03.:15:07.

country don't see where this money is going in our interests. We've

:15:07.:15:11.

got to get real. We've had years and years under the last government

:15:11.:15:15.

of above-inflation increases. The last government also gave away our

:15:15.:15:22.

rebate, which has been negotiated back by Mrs Thatcher. Half of it.

:15:22.:15:25.

Here we have somebody who's not going to give away any more of the

:15:25.:15:30.

rebate. The original purpose of the rebate was because Britain didn't

:15:30.:15:34.

benefit very much from the Common Agricultural Fund. Nothing's

:15:34.:15:38.

changed. Hold on, it's changed enormously. When I first started

:15:38.:15:43.

covering these matters, the CAP accounted for 82 % of the European

:15:43.:15:48.

budget. Under the new proposal it will be down to 40 %. You can't say

:15:48.:15:54.

nothing has happened. The argument was that, as the CAP went down as a

:15:54.:16:04.
:16:04.:16:10.

percentage, so Britain's rebate There are so many areas where

:16:10.:16:15.

Europe has increased its influence in how we run the government in the

:16:15.:16:19.

UK. We are paying for things and constituents cannot see the benefit

:16:19.:16:25.

to this country and they certainly cannot see the benefit of paying

:16:25.:16:32.

�45 billion to pay 35,000 people working for Europe. The BBC

:16:33.:16:37.

probably employs more people than the Royal Navy! That is another

:16:37.:16:42.

matter altogether. Can we really afford to fund such a big

:16:42.:16:46.

institution that does not have such clear benefits to the United

:16:46.:16:51.

Kingdom? Our biggest gripe is the cost of running the institution of

:16:51.:16:57.

the EU as well as what the money goes on. What do you make of that?

:16:57.:17:03.

It is around 8% of the Budget. What matters is how the structural funds

:17:03.:17:08.

are spent and in some areas they are spent very well and lead to job

:17:08.:17:13.

creation, and in other areas not so well, so we would like to see a

:17:13.:17:17.

budget that delivers job creation and growth across the EU but

:17:17.:17:22.

especially in the newer member states. What makes you think that a

:17:22.:17:29.

budget overhaul, that accounts for 1% of GDP, and the structural fund

:17:29.:17:35.

Bobby a lot less, will make a blind bit of difference to European

:17:35.:17:40.

growth -- will be a lot less? small stake like Slovakia, the

:17:40.:17:45.

structural funds are significant in their economy. I understand if you

:17:45.:17:51.

put a lot of money into a small country, it may make a difference.

:17:51.:17:57.

But in what way will the structural funds make a blind bit of

:17:57.:18:02.

difference to Europe's growth? member states have a much lower

:18:02.:18:06.

standard of living than others and it makes sense for us all that

:18:06.:18:13.

there is a better equilibrium, so we get less migrants, a few are

:18:14.:18:18.

migrants, Surrey, and the structural funds in some of the new

:18:18.:18:22.

member states make a real difference -- fewer migrants, I'm

:18:22.:18:27.

sorry. I understand that but I am not sure how it will affect

:18:27.:18:34.

European Growth. It is a small part of GDP. It sounds to me like David

:18:34.:18:39.

Cameron is in trouble. There is a head of steam building up around

:18:39.:18:43.

the Herman van Rompuy suggestion, which is less than the European

:18:43.:18:46.

parliament would like but is still considerably more than David

:18:46.:18:51.

Cameron said he would get. He will also be under pressure from the

:18:51.:18:56.

Foreign Office to sign up to a deal. They will take their realpolitik

:18:56.:19:01.

view that this is the best you will get so go for it. But if Cameron

:19:01.:19:06.

says, I have got a deal, and comes back to London and Labour are not

:19:06.:19:10.

happy with it and Euro-sceptic Tories are not happy with it, it

:19:10.:19:14.

could be defeated in parliament and that is his worst nightmare, that

:19:14.:19:19.

he ends up as a prisoner of his party. It is still not certain that

:19:19.:19:29.
:19:29.:19:30.

they will get a deal. Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande, if they say

:19:30.:19:35.

no, the worst-case scenario will be at the end of 2013 we could have

:19:35.:19:40.

the budget forced on to you, and the Prime Minister looks completely

:19:40.:19:45.

out of control, as though he has not had any say in it at all to

:19:45.:19:49.

what he should hoped to achieve is a deal, not least to keep his

:19:49.:19:54.

backbenchers at home happy because there will be a lot of unrest

:19:54.:19:59.

otherwise. I don't see from these figures how we will do that but we

:19:59.:20:04.

will see. We have been enjoying your company so much and by popular

:20:04.:20:09.

demand, we are holding you hostage. It has been 37 years since the UK

:20:09.:20:13.

has had a referendum on Europe and ever since he became Prime Minister,

:20:13.:20:15.

David Cameron has been under pressure to hold an in or out

:20:16.:20:20.

referendum. But if the UK did opt to get out of the European Union,

:20:20.:20:30.
:20:30.:20:34.

what kind of relationship could it A little bit of European flavour at

:20:34.:20:39.

a Christmas market but no, this is not a German one, I am at London's

:20:39.:20:45.

south bank's Winter Festival, not too far away with a place that has

:20:46.:20:50.

had a choppy relationship with the European Union. There has been many

:20:50.:20:57.

a backbench rebellion about Europe over there. It could be enough to

:20:57.:21:06.

10 you to drink. -- enough to turn you to drink. There is nothing

:21:06.:21:10.

Swiss here but we do have a chocolate fountain, which brings me

:21:10.:21:16.

to Switzerland. It dips into the EU, making deals on bits it likes, but

:21:16.:21:22.

it has been frozen out in the past for not signing up to legislation.

:21:22.:21:27.

This Tory Euro-sceptics says it is the best model. Switzerland retains

:21:27.:21:31.

its democracy and makes its own laws. It enters into a series of

:21:31.:21:36.

bilateral agreements with the EU and has access to the single market,

:21:36.:21:40.

but only a token contribution to the EU budget and I think that

:21:40.:21:48.

would be a lot better for the UK. What about Norway? Norway's

:21:48.:21:53.

relationship is different, it is a member of their economic area so

:21:53.:21:58.

its citizens have the same rights to go across the EU and work as

:21:58.:22:02.

other member states, but without some of the bits that it doesn't

:22:02.:22:07.

like. Some critics warn that the UK not to try the Norwegian model

:22:07.:22:11.

because Norway's still pays a lot into the EU and has signed up to

:22:11.:22:18.

most of its laws, despite not being able to influence them. We are out

:22:18.:22:22.

so politically so it is integration without representation. We are not

:22:22.:22:27.

represented. Many of the issues I think a controversial in the

:22:27.:22:33.

British EU debate, like the social dimension, justice and home affairs,

:22:33.:22:37.

most of these are in the Norwegian model, so you will not really

:22:37.:22:43.

escape those things for. What about trying a new flavour altogether?

:22:43.:22:48.

Wants a Labour pro European, this German-born MP now wants the UK to

:22:48.:22:53.

leave the EU and says it should create an entirely new institution.

:22:53.:22:58.

Even countries like Switzerland and Norway have to implement everything.

:22:58.:23:03.

Norway even pays for the Budget. For the United Kingdom, a country

:23:03.:23:08.

of that size and significance, it would require a new institution and

:23:08.:23:13.

at the core of it, the workings of an internal market. A halfway house

:23:13.:23:20.

or go the whole hog. If the UK ever does decide to leave the EU, there

:23:20.:23:22.

will be even more questions about what to do next.

:23:22.:23:26.

Susana Mendonca reporting. We have been joined from Brussels by the

:23:26.:23:34.

UKIP MEP Marta Andreasen. What kind of relationship in your mind would

:23:34.:23:44.

a UK outside the EU have? Well, I think that the UK should leaves. I

:23:44.:23:49.

don't think it should follow the example of the Norwegian example or

:23:49.:23:57.

The UK will be in this unique position that has belonged to the

:23:57.:24:05.

EU for a long time, and now has to really restructure its trading,

:24:05.:24:11.

restructure its regulations, and all this talk about the car

:24:11.:24:18.

industry moving away, I think it is nonsense. I think that the UK has

:24:18.:24:24.

now to develop other markets, other relationships with a different

:24:24.:24:29.

markets. The EU economy is shrinking, so I think the UK should

:24:29.:24:35.

stop trying now to develop this new relationship because, you know, we

:24:35.:24:44.

are selling less and less to the EU members. Hold on. I need to ask you

:24:44.:24:49.

another question. I will get back to what I originally asked you. If

:24:49.:24:54.

the UK is outside of the EU, with therefore none of the obligations

:24:54.:25:00.

and costs that EU membership imposes on us, why with the

:25:00.:25:03.

Europeans give us access to the massive free-market, the open

:25:03.:25:07.

market, of the European Union without exacting a considerable

:25:07.:25:17.
:25:17.:25:18.

price for? The first day that we left the European Union, the UK

:25:18.:25:21.

would pay 43 million less to the European Union, so this is the

:25:21.:25:27.

first benefit it would have. If the UK decided to leave, I think this

:25:27.:25:32.

would bring the whole of the European Union to rethink the whole

:25:32.:25:38.

structure. The UK is in a perfect position today, a very strong

:25:38.:25:43.

position to negotiate its demands. Cameron today should be doing this.

:25:43.:25:48.

Because the European Union needs the UK more than the UK needs the

:25:48.:25:52.

European Union, I can assure you, and that is why Angela Merkel went

:25:52.:25:57.

to Downing Street last week. went because it was a scheduled

:25:57.:26:05.

trip. Tim Burr... No, she went because she wanted... I beg your

:26:05.:26:14.

pardon. I am asking my guest. He's leaving the EU on the agenda?

:26:14.:26:24.
:26:24.:26:26.

Ultimately possibly commit yes. -- We are putting a series of

:26:26.:26:30.

practical proposals through it and this is what we want this

:26:30.:26:33.

government to be negotiating with Europe to get a better deal for

:26:33.:26:39.

Britain to stay within the EU. That is the ideal position, but I

:26:39.:26:42.

believe that can only happen if it is backed up with a very real

:26:43.:26:46.

threat that if we don't get anything like that better deal than

:26:46.:26:51.

we need to have an in or out referendum and put it to the people.

:26:51.:26:57.

You recommend out? I don't know. If we were to have a referendum today,

:26:57.:27:04.

the amount we pay, the restrictions we get back, I think I would vote

:27:04.:27:08.

"out", but if you asked the British public if they would stay in if we

:27:08.:27:13.

had a much better deal with more powers decided here, as people

:27:13.:27:18.

thought they were voting for in 1975, most people would want to

:27:18.:27:22.

stay in. I don't think we will get that better relationship unless

:27:22.:27:28.

there is a real threat of a referendum. Does Labour have a

:27:28.:27:35.

position on repatriation of powers? It remains to be seen whether this

:27:35.:27:39.

government will argue for repatriation of powers. The Liberal

:27:39.:27:44.

Democrats do not want that. We know the Conservatives do. Whether they

:27:44.:27:49.

can is another matter. I did not ask you about the Conservative

:27:49.:27:53.

Party but the Labour policy. believe we should strongly

:27:53.:27:56.

prioritise reform of the European Union to make sure that the budget

:27:56.:28:02.

is spent better, to make sure there is a proper single market...

:28:02.:28:05.

not repatriation? We will wait and see what the Conservatives will

:28:05.:28:11.

come up with. But you do not have to wait to answer the question. In

:28:11.:28:16.

principle, would Labour like to see some powers repatriated to London?

:28:16.:28:21.

A think the priority should be arguing for reform. Is that yes or

:28:21.:28:27.

no? I do not think it is realistic... One year ago in this

:28:27.:28:32.

studio, Ed Miliband said I don't think Brussels has too much power.

:28:32.:28:36.

What is the position now? I think Brussels does have too much power

:28:36.:28:46.

won. I will give you the final word, martyr Andreassen? Before talking

:28:46.:28:54.

about repatriation of powers, David Cameron should say he is leaving

:28:54.:28:59.

the European Union. I repeat what I said to you. I think the EU is very

:28:59.:29:03.

worried about the UK leaving and we are in a very good position to

:29:03.:29:09.

negotiate. First we have to say that we are leaving. Right. I think

:29:09.:29:16.

I've got that bit. Sank used for joining us from Brussels. -- a

:29:16.:29:19.

thank you. Now, you may be surprised to hear

:29:19.:29:23.

this but MPs have been kicked out of Parliament today. No, it is not

:29:23.:29:26.

because it's a Friday and they have all been sent back to their

:29:26.:29:30.

constituencies. Nor is it due to repair works. Any other ideas? It

:29:30.:29:33.

is because young people have taken over the green benches. Yes, today

:29:33.:29:36.

is Youth Parliament day, where 307 youngsters get to debate what they

:29:37.:29:40.

want in the Palace of Westminster. One of the issues they have been

:29:40.:29:44.

discussing is a curriculum for life. They will be lucky! Let's hear a

:29:44.:29:52.

bit of what they have been saying. Why go to school for several years

:29:52.:29:58.

to then not be able to get a job? Y N-Dubz �60,000 in debt? All of us

:29:58.:30:06.

in the UK Youth parliament have a power to make change happen -- why

:30:06.:30:15.

should we end up �60,000 in debt? Youth unemployment is at its

:30:15.:30:22.

highest for a generation but so is the help available. I am 17 and it

:30:22.:30:26.

is important for me to think about getting ready to work, but what

:30:26.:30:32.

about the 11 and 12-year-olds that we represent? Is it a concern they

:30:32.:30:36.

share? How relevant is it for them to be the Youth Parliament

:30:36.:30:44.

campaign? If the fact that so many young people are unemployed is a

:30:44.:30:48.

reflection of the economic climate. All too often we are blamed for not

:30:48.:30:53.

getting jobs. But I can assure you that not enough is being done. We

:30:53.:30:57.

all go to college and get qualifications but that is not

:30:57.:31:02.

enough. We need work experience, help with writing CVs,

:31:02.:31:05.

professionals coming into schools and colleges and giving as

:31:05.:31:15.
:31:15.:31:18.

practical advice as well as And they say young people are not

:31:18.:31:21.

as well behaved as the older generation. Just look how well-

:31:21.:31:24.

behaved they were compared the Prime Minister's Questions, and how

:31:24.:31:34.

articulate, too. And they didn't read anything either. Let's go to a

:31:34.:31:41.

16-year-old from Hertfordshire. What were you talking about today?

:31:41.:31:47.

I was speaking against making transport cheaper, better and

:31:47.:31:52.

accessible for all. I was allocated it, so I had no choice in it. It

:31:52.:31:56.

was challenging! That will be useful if you get into parliament

:31:56.:32:00.

and you'd have to do what you are told by the whips! What are you

:32:01.:32:07.

hoping to achieve today? Personally, it is a review of a curriculum to

:32:07.:32:11.

prepare us for life. From speaking to people in my area and from my

:32:11.:32:16.

school, I can see how important it is that we need that review.

:32:16.:32:20.

Michael Gove has been brought in recently, so we need his help and

:32:20.:32:25.

the government help to make sure that the students are getting

:32:25.:32:29.

educated the Right Stuff and in the right way. Have you spoken in the

:32:29.:32:33.

chamber, were you speaking on the green benches? What was it like,

:32:33.:32:38.

did you feel you are on TV? The it was a weird feeling but it was

:32:38.:32:42.

really good. Very nerve-racking and a bit scary, but hopefully people

:32:42.:32:48.

got my point and I came across in the right weight. Do you think you

:32:48.:32:52.

might have an appetite for this, will we see you as an MP and one

:32:52.:32:55.

day? Hopefully, you never know. I want to go into politics in some

:32:56.:33:00.

way. I hope to do law and politics at Uni. Will believe that is a

:33:00.:33:05.

future career. It's the Daily Politics is still going, come and

:33:05.:33:15.
:33:15.:33:18.

see us. Before we say goodbye to you two, we need to get the answer

:33:18.:33:21.

to our quiz. Earlier we told you about some of the foreign fact-

:33:21.:33:24.

finding trips MPs have been taking, but we wanted to know - which of

:33:24.:33:34.
:33:34.:33:35.

these destinations hasn't been What is the answer? If any MP has

:33:35.:33:39.

put in Sandy Island in their expenses, they are in trouble - it

:33:39.:33:45.

doesn't exist! It is the correct answer. It would be very

:33:45.:33:55.
:33:55.:33:58.

It's just gone 12.30pm. Coming up in a moment it's our monthly look

:33:58.:34:02.

at what's been going on in European politics. For now it's time to say

:34:02.:34:06.

goodbye to my two guests of the day, Pippa Crerar and Iain Martin. This

:34:06.:34:08.

week, members of the European Parliament have been meeting in

:34:08.:34:11.

Strasbourg for their regular plenary session. So what have they

:34:11.:34:14.

been getting up to? And what else has been happening over in

:34:14.:34:17.

Brussels? Here's our guide to latest from Europe, in just 60

:34:17.:34:27.
:34:27.:34:30.

Despite 12 hours of talks, eurozone finance ministers failed on Tuesday

:34:30.:34:33.

to reach a deal to release the bail-out funds to stop Greece going

:34:33.:34:39.

bankrupt. Finance ministers and the IMF will try again on Monday. In

:34:39.:34:45.

Strasbourg, MEPs approved 670 million euros of emergency help for

:34:45.:34:48.

Italy, a region hit by a devastating earthquake in May.

:34:48.:34:52.

That's the biggest EU aid package ever paid out to remember. MEPs

:34:52.:34:56.

discussed making it cheaper and easier for all of us to splash out

:34:56.:34:59.

on our credit cards across Europe, by standardising personal credit

:34:59.:35:03.

and debit card payments. On Wednesday, the European Parliament

:35:03.:35:07.

backed new laws to make motorbikes, three-wheelers and quad bikes safer

:35:07.:35:12.

and cleaner. MEPs finally approved the nomination of Tonio Borg, a

:35:12.:35:15.

Maltese Catholic conservative, as the you's new health commissioner.

:35:15.:35:20.

He replaces his fellow countryman who designed after an anti- fraud

:35:20.:35:30.
:35:30.:35:34.

inquiry linked him to an attempt to And with us now, I've been joined

:35:34.:35:36.

by two members of the European Parliament. The Liberal Democrat

:35:37.:35:39.

George Lyon, and Emma McClarkin for the Conservatives. Let's take a

:35:39.:35:42.

look at one of those stories in more detail, the appointment of

:35:42.:35:49.

Tonio Borg as the new Maltese Commissioner. One had to go because

:35:49.:35:56.

of problems of corruption. He's not been replaced by someone who tried

:35:56.:36:00.

to put an anti- abortion statute into the Maltese constitution. And

:36:00.:36:07.

he's the health commissioner. Maltese. Like most Maltese, he is

:36:07.:36:11.

Roman Catholic. I think it is a dangerous debate we've had this

:36:11.:36:14.

week, an argument about whether we should stop somebody taking up the

:36:14.:36:17.

role of commissioner because they are a devout Catholic and they

:36:17.:36:22.

uphold the morals of their church. But we supported his nomination

:36:22.:36:25.

going through. On balance, we thought he was capable of giving

:36:25.:36:29.

the job as a commissioner, rather than judging him on his religious

:36:29.:36:33.

beliefs. So he can do the job of Health Commissioner despite his

:36:33.:36:39.

view that there should be a constitutional change in Malta or

:36:39.:36:43.

making abortion illegal. It is illegal in Ireland as well. We need

:36:43.:36:47.

to look at, are we having dual standards just because the left

:36:47.:36:53.

Jews to pick an argument this week? What do you think? There are

:36:53.:36:59.

serious concerns about... As a defender to be his right to hold

:36:59.:37:06.

the views he holds, but he has strong views on abortion, gay

:37:06.:37:10.

rights and divorce. He is being appointed where he will make

:37:10.:37:14.

decisions on these issues. The issue for us and the Liberal group

:37:14.:37:18.

was, we didn't doubt his combatants but we questioned whether that was

:37:19.:37:23.

the right portfolio. We would ask for his which portfolio, or else

:37:23.:37:27.

strip away some of these issues so the gay rights issue and abortion

:37:27.:37:32.

was given to another commissioner. Does the parliament have a veto

:37:32.:37:37.

over an appointment like this? have the right to strike down all

:37:37.:37:43.

the commissioners. It is one out, everyone out? Yes, that's the power

:37:43.:37:48.

we have. It is a nuclear bomb you can use. It is a bit like the

:37:48.:37:56.

Budget. We have an influence, but you could have threatened. If there

:37:56.:37:59.

was a big clean-up well within the parliament, we could strike out all

:37:59.:38:02.

the commissioners and left there was changed. We've taken out

:38:02.:38:06.

commissioners before. So European leaders have spent hours trying to

:38:06.:38:12.

hammer out a deal on the future budget for the European Union. But

:38:12.:38:15.

whatever they agree, MEPs in the European Parliament will still get

:38:15.:38:23.

a say on the final numbers. Jo You may think all the action is

:38:23.:38:26.

happening in Brussels, with the leaders of the 27 member states of

:38:26.:38:30.

the EU. But any budget deal agreed by them over there still has to

:38:30.:38:33.

have the approval of the members of the European Parliament in

:38:33.:38:38.

Strasbourg. The signs don't look good. The majority of MEPs want an

:38:38.:38:44.

increase in the EU budget, not a frieze, and certainly not a cat.

:38:44.:38:47.

There's been fierce debate in Parliament over the budget this

:38:47.:38:52.

week, with MEPs just as divided as leaders of the member states over

:38:52.:38:56.

how EU funds should be spent in the future. The dead hand of

:38:56.:38:59.

bureaucracy is destroying innovation and destroying jobs in

:38:59.:39:03.

Europe. National democracy and free markets would be a much better

:39:03.:39:10.

model. This union, if it wants to become a real federal union, needs

:39:10.:39:15.

resources. Needs its own income. That is the big battle to do now.

:39:15.:39:24.

We shall do it together and if necessary, without you, Mr barrage.

:39:24.:39:27.

The man leading the that associations in the parliaments is

:39:27.:39:31.

more money is needed for growth. The overall amount proposed is too

:39:31.:39:37.

low, because it would mean that for the next seven years the EU budget

:39:37.:39:45.

would be lower than it is this year, 2012. The Commission President's

:39:45.:39:49.

original proposal was a budget of just over one trillion euros over

:39:50.:39:56.

seven years, to 2020. A 5% increase on the current level. The European

:39:56.:39:59.

Council President, who is leading the Brussels the associations, has

:39:59.:40:04.

suggested a lower figure of around 973 billion euros. Still too high

:40:04.:40:10.

for David Cameron, who wants a freeze at 2011 levels, around 886

:40:10.:40:15.

billion euros for the same period. We don't have the money as we used

:40:15.:40:20.

to 20 to 30 years ago, to go on a spending spree. Francois Hollande

:40:20.:40:23.

on Paris was elected on that and what he is doing now is calling for,

:40:24.:40:27.

gosh, we've got to have a programme of spending better and spending

:40:27.:40:32.

less. The UK is not alone. The Netherlands and Sweden brought you

:40:32.:40:36.

back David Cameron's position and also want the EU funds spent

:40:36.:40:40.

differently. The key issue for European success in the future is

:40:40.:40:45.

cost control and responsible public budgets. But countries like France

:40:45.:40:48.

are not going to give up a penny of their agricultural subsidy, Italy

:40:48.:40:53.

doesn't want to. To be frank, France should also consider its own

:40:53.:40:56.

budgetary problems. The power of the European Parliament on

:40:56.:41:01.

budgetary matters can't be underestimated, and not just on

:41:01.:41:04.

long-term funding. There's also an ongoing row over the amount of cash

:41:04.:41:08.

needed for this year's and next year's budget. MEPs could decide to

:41:08.:41:14.

wield the veto to get what they want. I don't like the word of veto

:41:14.:41:23.

and the threat. But realise that for instance, on next year's budget,

:41:23.:41:27.

Parliament has voted against. We are in the situation of a veto

:41:27.:41:31.

coming from the parliament. Now all the governments have to take that

:41:32.:41:36.

on board. A clear warning to EU leaders back in Brussels not to

:41:36.:41:44.

ignore the will of the European Parliament. We were listening to

:41:44.:41:48.

that. The European Parliament wants a much bigger increase even than

:41:48.:41:54.

the commission, is that right? they voted through about 5% rise -

:41:54.:41:58.

slightly above the figure the commission came out with. They've

:41:58.:42:04.

been banging on about that for the last year or so. I just think they

:42:04.:42:11.

are out of touch with reality on that one. If you start, they are

:42:11.:42:17.

sitting there and negotiating the long-term budget negotiating

:42:17.:42:21.

committee, it is clear from going round the table that while there

:42:21.:42:26.

are strong noises about we might veto the Budget if it's not be Dean

:42:26.:42:29.

of, the real game that is being played is to make sure there is

:42:29.:42:32.

proper flexibility in how you manage the Budget. We don't even

:42:32.:42:35.

have the basic powers that the Scottish parliament has, which is

:42:35.:42:39.

to rollover if anyone under Spence at the end of the year or switch

:42:39.:42:44.

budgets. To ensure the priority of jobs and growth are at the heart of

:42:44.:42:48.

the small reform budget. And to ensure there's a mid-term review.

:42:48.:42:53.

This Budget is for seven years. We need a mid-term review that says,

:42:53.:42:57.

well, if things are starting to improve by 2017, maybe have another

:42:57.:43:03.

look at it. It seems these are the areas the parliament might use the

:43:03.:43:07.

veto. Do you agree it's unlikely that the European Parliament is

:43:07.:43:11.

going to get what it voted for? The commission is an even going to get

:43:11.:43:20.

as much as the 970 billion that Jo mentioned their. But it won't use

:43:20.:43:27.

the veto even if it doesn't get it. The parliament could use a veto.

:43:27.:43:31.

That is why it is so important negotiations are going on today and

:43:31.:43:34.

that David is there, fighting for what is best for the UK from our

:43:34.:43:39.

position. It might be blocked ultimately by the parliament with

:43:39.:43:43.

their veto. Regardless of how many people are threatening to use the

:43:43.:43:47.

veto there, Parliament do still have that, but we need to get the

:43:47.:43:52.

right budget for the whole of the European Union. Why do so many MEPs

:43:52.:43:58.

want to see an increase in the budget when they know that across

:43:58.:44:02.

Europe, even in France now, national governments are having to

:44:02.:44:12.
:44:12.:44:12.

take an axe to their own budgets? can't explain... A lot do it.

:44:12.:44:15.

have 17 member states who are beneficiaries. Poland is leading

:44:15.:44:20.

the charge for a bigger budget. Why? Because they have an interest.

:44:20.:44:24.

Clearly, when you've got France, Germany, Austria, benevolence and

:44:24.:44:28.

the UK all calling for a cut, it is quite surprising we don't see that

:44:29.:44:32.

reflected in the debate. I find myself and my Conservative

:44:32.:44:39.

colleagues calling on that. Labour MEPs vote for a rise?

:44:39.:44:47.

they voted against. But there group Dade, they are overwhelmingly voted

:44:47.:44:52.

for a whopping 5% increase. group that they are part of it. But

:44:52.:44:56.

the Labour MEPs... There is remarkable consensus here among

:44:56.:45:01.

MEPs. They are Eurocrats. They are part of the machine and they don't

:45:01.:45:07.

like the word no. They like to see themselves as the answer.

:45:07.:45:11.

remarking on there is a consensus between Conservative, Lib Dem and

:45:11.:45:16.

Labour in the European Parliament to restraining the Budget.

:45:16.:45:22.

Absolutely. That's what we voted for and we argued for. One of the

:45:22.:45:26.

huge mistakes a lot of parliamentarians make his Facey

:45:26.:45:30.

fiscal responsibility being the preserve of Euro-scepticism. It is

:45:30.:45:34.

nonsense. We need to spend money better in Europe if we are to

:45:34.:45:38.

convince citizens that Europe is worthwhile. Do you think they will

:45:38.:45:42.

come to an agreement in Brussels? The word is not, not going to

:45:42.:45:46.

happen today. But I think that's bad for the UK and bad for the

:45:46.:45:50.

whole of Europe as well, waiting around, when are they going to do

:45:50.:45:55.

this deal? I don't think a deal is going to be done. Most member

:45:55.:46:01.

states will want to have another go at it and frame the debate. 2013?

:46:01.:46:04.

Mr Cameron has to negotiate with his backbenchers as well as the

:46:04.:46:09.

rest of Europe. This week MEPs have been debating two reports on shale

:46:09.:46:12.

gas, seen by many as a possible low cost, low-carbon solution to

:46:12.:46:14.

Europe's energy needs, although others have raised environmental

:46:14.:46:18.

concerns. So what is it? Shale gas is produced by a process called

:46:18.:46:23.

hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. This pumps water at high pressure

:46:23.:46:26.

into rock to create narrow fractures, which allow shale gas to

:46:26.:46:31.

flow out and be captured. In 2010, a Government study estimated there

:46:31.:46:40.

could be 5.3 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas in the UK. But a

:46:40.:46:48.

study earlier this year suggested there could be much more offshore.

:46:48.:46:53.

Maybe up to 100 trillion cubic feet in the North Sea. This week, MEPs

:46:53.:46:55.

accepted a report by the Energy Committee which said each member

:46:55.:46:58.

state the right to decide for itself whether to extract shale gas.

:46:58.:47:01.

But MEPs also voted in favour of a report from the Environment

:47:01.:47:04.

Committee which outlined the need for tougher regulation on shale gas

:47:04.:47:07.

activities, although an amendment proposing a moratorium on all shale

:47:07.:47:17.
:47:17.:47:20.

Speaking during the debate on Tuesday, the co-author of the

:47:20.:47:22.

Energy Committee report Niki Tzavela said shale gas was

:47:22.:47:30.

potentially a game-changer. Based on American experience because we

:47:30.:47:36.

don't have a European experience of this, shale gas is potentially the

:47:36.:47:40.

biggest energy development since the 1920s, as big a change as when

:47:40.:47:46.

we switched from using coal to oil. And we have been joined from the

:47:46.:47:53.

Hague in the Netherlands by the Dutch Green MEP Bas Eickhout. This

:47:53.:47:58.

must be a nightmare for a green light Q. Her new fossil fuel which

:47:58.:48:08.
:48:08.:48:10.

is clean and cheap and based in If it was a fossil fuel like that,

:48:10.:48:15.

I would not have a problem. But is it clean and visit easily

:48:15.:48:20.

recoverable? If it would have been a keen fossil fuel, I would not

:48:20.:48:26.

have any problems. -- clean. But people are talking about the first

:48:26.:48:31.

real change in the energy system since the 1920s. Those people on

:48:31.:48:34.

missing the energy revolution that is going on in Germany and Denmark

:48:34.:48:40.

now, and that is the switch to renewable energy, so why should we

:48:40.:48:44.

go down this uncertain route through shale gas? Well we know

:48:44.:48:50.

other countries are already making the move to renewables. I go for

:48:50.:48:55.

renewables, it very clearly. Maybe they are having second thoughts

:48:55.:48:59.

because Denmark, which is more wind Power Mac event anywhere in the

:48:59.:49:06.

world, also has the highest cost of electricity -- more wind power. But

:49:06.:49:11.

the United States, which has had a shell gas revolution, has managed

:49:11.:49:19.

to cut its emissions by 5% -- shale gas. Natural gas prices in America

:49:19.:49:22.

of one third of Europe and companies on relocating to America

:49:23.:49:28.

because of it. The gas price in Europe is high mainly through taxes

:49:28.:49:33.

and that has been the case also before the shale gas, and the

:49:33.:49:37.

prices are high in Denmark was already before they went to wind

:49:37.:49:41.

energy. That is mainly due to the tax structure of the way we deal

:49:41.:49:46.

with energy resources. I am talking about wholesale energy prices

:49:46.:49:52.

before tax. But we are not talking about one third then. But you are

:49:52.:49:56.

right that there is this discussion in the US and we are looking at an

:49:56.:50:01.

increase in gas used in the US but at the same time, if you look at

:50:01.:50:05.

the problems they are having with shale, they are having problems

:50:06.:50:09.

with water quality because the water that was used for the

:50:09.:50:13.

fracking has been contaminated by chemicals, and that is now being

:50:13.:50:19.

investigated in the US by their environmental protection agency.

:50:19.:50:24.

They dive into this resource and then run into problems and are now

:50:24.:50:29.

investigating that. That is what we want to prevent in the EU. First

:50:29.:50:34.

research, please. What are the consequences for greenhouse gases

:50:34.:50:40.

and the water quality? Methane is a very strong greenhouse gas. That

:50:40.:50:44.

has been researched here and therefore, we say, please do the

:50:44.:50:47.

research before because otherwise you are doing things wrong which

:50:47.:50:51.

you will have to correct afterwards and we would like to prevent

:50:51.:50:56.

mistakes that are happening now in the US. That is a reasonable

:50:56.:51:03.

position, do your homework first. But your colleague says it does not

:51:03.:51:08.

matter how much shale gas lies beneath the soil of Europe. If we

:51:08.:51:16.

care about climate change, we This is an opportunity that we need

:51:16.:51:21.

to look at very closely. We need to get the right balance between the

:51:21.:51:25.

possible exploitation of this natural resource. If you look at

:51:25.:51:32.

what has happened in the US, we cannot dismiss it out of hand. We

:51:32.:51:36.

need an approach to take care of the concerns about the environment

:51:36.:51:39.

but not making the of regulatory framework so difficult that you

:51:39.:51:45.

cannot exploit it at all. We need to go forward and examine this. The

:51:45.:51:50.

idea that we were constantly rely on Russian gas for the foreseeable

:51:50.:51:55.

future fills me with alarm. We need to look at this and to evaluate the

:51:55.:51:59.

impact on climate change. Clearly we have got a whole lot of coal-

:51:59.:52:05.

fired stations which are about to shut down because of EU regulations.

:52:05.:52:09.

We need some baseline energy production there so that we can

:52:09.:52:15.

expand the renewable sector. We need baseline energy to balance

:52:15.:52:21.

renewables. It is interesting to see the change in tone and

:52:21.:52:25.

priorities of the Conservative side of the coalition government. They

:52:25.:52:29.

came into power boasting they would be the greenest government ever and

:52:29.:52:36.

now, the Conservatives's priority is to get the shale. We have to

:52:36.:52:41.

look at the opportunity we have to have our own supply in the UK and

:52:42.:52:47.

our energy security. No energy is 100% clean and safe. We have to

:52:47.:52:51.

make sure we are looking at minimising the risk. We need to

:52:51.:52:56.

make sure the right safeguards are in place to protect the environment

:52:56.:53:00.

and public health, in defence or -- if that cannot be minimised, then

:53:00.:53:06.

all bets are off when it comes to shale. I know you are a big

:53:06.:53:10.

supporter of renewables but even as Europe heads towards more

:53:10.:53:14.

renewables if that is the case, the harsh reality is that continental

:53:14.:53:20.

Europe is increasingly dependent on Russian gas and Saudi oil. Does

:53:20.:53:28.

that make you comfortable? Either way, this is exactly why we

:53:28.:53:38.
:53:38.:53:38.

have to get off these kinds of a -- addiction. Our energy system

:53:38.:53:43.

transition, we now have a choice. Do we stick to the centralised

:53:43.:53:48.

fossil fuels or do we go to a decentralised renewable system?

:53:48.:53:54.

That is the decision we have to make. Shale gas is only healthy in

:53:54.:53:59.

the transition time. As I hear from my colleagues, they are in favour

:53:59.:54:05.

of doing research first and looking more into the issues and regulation.

:54:05.:54:10.

I am very much in favour of that. But meanwhile we have to invest and

:54:10.:54:14.

clearly I would like to invest in the energy resource which is the

:54:14.:54:20.

cleanest, and that is renewables. I am sorry, but it is. We are

:54:20.:54:26.

grateful for you coming onto the So as we know, EU leaders are in

:54:26.:54:30.

Brussels today for the budget summit. Strictly speaking it is

:54:30.:54:33.

actually a meeting of the European Council headed up by the Council

:54:33.:54:38.

president Herman Van Rompuy. So how does this key part of the Here's

:54:38.:54:48.
:54:48.:54:49.

Adam with the lowdown. -- how does this key part of the EU actually

:54:49.:54:53.

operate? You have arrived in Brussels for a

:54:53.:55:03.
:55:03.:55:08.

What we call summits are actually meetings of the European Council.

:55:08.:55:16.

They happen four times a year and the only part of the EU where the

:55:16.:55:19.

individual countries are represented. The council also meets

:55:19.:55:25.

at ministerial level, so sometimes its finance, agricultural and

:55:25.:55:29.

energy ministers are on the red carpet instead. This is where the

:55:29.:55:33.

meetings happen. They are checked by the President, Herman van Rompuy,

:55:33.:55:38.

and then leaders like Angela Merkel and David Cameron sit around this

:55:38.:55:43.

table, and the negotiations start. But a lot of the work has been done

:55:43.:55:49.

in advance by diplomats. What was that? Advises what always allowed

:55:49.:55:53.

in the room but famously in negotiations over the Maastricht

:55:53.:55:59.

treaty, John Major's right hand man hid under the table and passed him

:55:59.:56:04.

notes here. It says here lot of decisions have to be unanimous but

:56:04.:56:08.

some are taken by qualified majority voting, which is which

:56:08.:56:11.

each country gets a set number of votes based on the population size

:56:11.:56:16.

and it is more complicated than getting 50% of them, but that

:56:16.:56:21.

system will change in 2014. In future the meetings will happen in

:56:21.:56:24.

this new building, where the President will also have a swanky

:56:24.:56:28.

office. When the leaders are finished talking, they put aside

:56:28.:56:33.

their differences for the family photo. Brussels insiders measure

:56:33.:56:37.

the length of a council meeting by the number of shirts that were

:56:37.:56:43.

needed. When the famously gruelling meetings are over, all that is left

:56:43.:56:49.

is to defend your decisions to the voters at home.

:56:49.:56:59.
:56:59.:56:59.

He snores like that in the office as well. When that they used to be

:56:59.:57:04.

seven or even 15 turn up to the summit, they were manageable, but

:57:04.:57:09.

when there are 27 heads of government, you do wonder! It's is

:57:09.:57:13.

the fact they go on so late into the night. Are they making the best

:57:13.:57:17.

decisions about the future of Europe at 4 o'clock in the morning?

:57:17.:57:21.

They continue to want to meet late at night in the hope it will

:57:21.:57:25.

pressure them into a compromise and I hope this time round it will

:57:25.:57:31.

really work. It is hard for people to grasp what is really going on.

:57:31.:57:36.

99% of the work is done long before you get to the summit. That is the

:57:36.:57:42.

committee of the council? Yes. BT's the council at civil servant level

:57:42.:57:48.

-- it is. What is left when you get to the heads of state is a couple

:57:48.:57:57.

of the big, chunky, really difficult issues. Experience leads

:57:57.:58:01.

you keep them in the room because at some stage, they have to keep

:58:01.:58:05.

them in that room. They used to stop the clock before midnight! I

:58:05.:58:11.

remember! Should the President of the council be directly elected by

:58:11.:58:16.

the people? Maybe they would feel closely to Herman van Rompuy if he

:58:16.:58:22.

was. If it was a direct election, it probably would not be him!

:58:22.:58:27.

think you are right! A lot of people do not know what happens

:58:27.:58:30.

inside the council meetings. We have got the chance to use the

:58:30.:58:35.

ultimate veto to say no to something and we have a prime

:58:35.:58:38.

minister that is prepared to do that. Should he be directly elected

:58:38.:58:45.

or not, that is all I wanted to know? We should consider that. It

:58:45.:58:47.

Andrew Neil with the latest political news, interviews and debate, including reports from the EU budget summit in Brussels, and interviews with Emma McClarkin MEP and George Lyon MEP.


Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS