23/11/2012 Daily Politics


Similar Content

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



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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Pippa Crerar, political correspondent at the London Evening


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


no decision has been taken about setting carbon emission targets for


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


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


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


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


tough decisions in this government, but the Liberal Democrats are


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


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


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


tell when a politician is being slightly disingenuous, when he


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


hurting everybody, but particularly those on average and below average


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


figure number one. The spokesman for the big energy companies


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


rather convenient! The other difficulty for the government is


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


example, the aluminium industry in this country no longer exists


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


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


companies. They are really delighted that they can have some


certainty... We are guaranteeing their capital investment as


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


paid for by foreign governments, pressure groups and companies over


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


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


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


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


leaders have resumed talks in Brussels aimed at setting a budget


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


spending should be increased or reduced. This morning EU officials


warned European leaders against seeking to delay any budget deal


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


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


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


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


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


latest proposals see 460 billion euros for smart and inclusive


growth, including the cohesion fund that goes mainly to poorer


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


on original budget proposals in an attempt to appease countries such


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


sustainable growth, which includes 278 billion for the direct farm


payments and market measures, taking in the Common Agricultural


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


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


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


Europe fund, which includes development aid and the diplomatic


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


billion euros be lopped off the Connecting Europe facility used to


fund cross border infrastructure. But the administration budget


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


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


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


been the progress in cutting back proposals for additional spending.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


help Poland and those other countries in central and eastern


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


willing to compromise and therefore leaving David Cameron more exposed


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


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


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


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


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


original proposal was way above eight trillion. Then Herman Van


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Minister, Emma Reynolds, and Conservative MP and former


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


institution that does not have such clear benefits to the United


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


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


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


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


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


budget that delivers job creation and growth across the EU but


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


parliament would like but is still considerably more than David


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Even countries like Switzerland and Norway have to implement everything.


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


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


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


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


will be even more questions about what to do next.


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


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


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


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


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


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


restructure its regulations, and all this talk about the car


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


now to develop other markets, other relationships with a different


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


market, of the European Union without exacting a considerable


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


practical proposals through it and this is what we want this


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


government will argue for repatriation of powers. The Liberal


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


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


Party but the Labour policy. believe we should strongly


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


thank you. Now, you may be surprised to hear


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


all go to college and get qualifications but that is not


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


professionals coming into schools and colleges and giving as


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


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


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


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


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


I was speaking against making transport cheaper, better and


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


the government help to make sure that the students are getting


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


week, members of the European Parliament have been meeting in


Strasbourg for their regular plenary session. So what have they


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


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


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


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


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


Strasbourg, MEPs approved 670 million euros of emergency help for


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


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


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


on our credit cards across Europe, by standardising personal credit


and debit card payments. On Wednesday, the European Parliament


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


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


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


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


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


by two members of the European Parliament. The Liberal Democrat


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


role of commissioner because they are a devout Catholic and they


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


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


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


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


view that there should be a constitutional change in Malta or


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


commissioners before. So European leaders have spent hours trying to


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


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


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


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


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


have the approval of the members of the European Parliament in


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


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


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


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


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


bureaucracy is destroying innovation and destroying jobs in


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


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


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


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


The man leading the that associations in the parliaments is


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


cost control and responsible public budgets. But countries like France


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


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


budgetary problems. The power of the European Parliament on


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


sitting there and negotiating the long-term budget negotiating


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


position. It might be blocked ultimately by the parliament with


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


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


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


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


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


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


have 17 member states who are beneficiaries. Poland is leading


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


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


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


reflected in the debate. I find myself and my Conservative


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Labour in the European Parliament to restraining the Budget.


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


huge mistakes a lot of parliamentarians make his Facey


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Europe's energy needs, although others have raised environmental


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


accepted a report by the Energy Committee which said each member


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


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


Committee which outlined the need for tougher regulation on shale gas


activities, although an amendment proposing a moratorium on all shale


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


Energy Committee report Niki Tzavela said shale gas was


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


of one third of Europe and companies on relocating to America


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


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


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


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


with energy resources. I am talking about wholesale energy prices


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


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


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


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


with water quality because the water that was used for the


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


investigated in the US by their environmental protection agency.


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


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


research, please. What are the consequences for greenhouse gases


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


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


research before because otherwise you are doing things wrong which


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


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


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


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


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


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


possible exploitation of this natural resource. If you look at


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


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


but not making the of regulatory framework so difficult that you


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


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


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


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


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


We need some baseline energy production there so that we can


expand the renewable sector. We need baseline energy to balance


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


priorities of the Conservative side of the coalition government. They


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


supporter of renewables but even as Europe heads towards more


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Brussels today for the budget summit. Strictly speaking it is


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


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


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


operate? You have arrived in Brussels for a


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


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


individual countries are represented. The council also meets


at ministerial level, so sometimes its finance, agricultural and


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


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


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


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


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


in the room but famously in negotiations over the Maastricht


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


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


some are taken by qualified majority voting, which is which


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


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


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


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


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


their differences for the family photo. Brussels insiders measure


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


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


is to defend your decisions to the voters at home.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Download Subtitles