07/12/2012 Daily Politics


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Afternoon, folks. Welcome to the Daily Politics. The IFS warn that


there is a �27 billion hole in the public finances looming for 2017/18


and it will have to be filled by tax rises and more spending cuts


the other side of the general election. Happy days! We'll have


the details. As Starbucks wakes up, smells the coffee and says, OK,


we'll pay more tax. Has justice been done? Or can we all get to


decide the tax we will pay? A leading businessman takes on UK


Uncut. Would an independent Scotland need to reapply for


membership of the EU? Alex Salmond says no. The Scottish Secretary


says yes. So, it seems, does the EU Commission. We'll talk to both


sides. And, after one of the most moving questions in the history of


Prime Minister's Questions, Ann Clwyd debates the state of nursing


care in the UK with the Royal All that in the next hour. And,


with us for the duration, two shrinking violets - meek Mary Ann-


Sieghart, columinst and chair of the Social Market Foundation - and


shy and retiring Peter Hitchens of the Mail on Sunday. We will be


lucky to get a peep out of them the whole show. Now, it is a winter


tradition, up there with hanging out the tinsel and sinking a warm


glass of mulled wine. The day after the Autumn Statement, the Institute


for Fiscal Studies tears the Chancellor's figures limb from limb


until the true, horrible story emerges. It is never a pretty sight


and this year is no exception. Gemma Tetlow, programme director


from the IFS, joins us with the gory details. Of the this 27


billion. What you're saying is, of to meet the targets that have been


sent out, after the election - the Government will have to find


another 27 billion ING cuts or tax rises. Is that right? What the


centre yesterday, the Chancellor set out a plan to meet his fiscal


mandate by the end of 27/18. In order to do that, he needs to


implement the additional spending cuts. If you want to avoid cutting


departmental spending further, he would need to find �27 billion.


did you know? We have no idea what will happen next it in the economy.


How do you know what will happen in 2017/18? There is clearly a huge


amount of uncertainty about what will happen in the next few years.


That is always the case - particularly so at the moment. It


is important the Government has an idea of what will happen in order


to plan public finances. It could turn out things are better or worse.


The current government may not be in power by 2017/18. Maybe not


George Osborne, Danny Alexander or Nick Clegg's problems. They have so


set out plans at the moment and have said they will set out plans


for the following year, which would take us through to the point of the


next general election. What happens in the next parliament will still


be an clear and will depend on who comes into power. -- not clear.


the cuts on the horizon? Even if the economy returns to growth of


3%? They do think there is a significant output gap remaining by


2018. There was still be scope for growth beyond 2018. If that was not


the case, further cuts will be required. It is clearly very


uncertain. Coming a little closer to where we are, it is my


understanding that for two dozen and 16/17, part of which will fall


under the -- 2015/16, part of which will fall under the cover and --


the current government and then we will have a general election.


set out an additional �4 billion worth of welfare cuts. They said


the remaining spending cuts will come from public services. They


said the same protection for some departments would continue, as we


had in the current Spending Review. That does mean the squeeze on the


remaining areas will be harsher than the average. It has been more


harsh over the current four years. It will squeeze the same


departments. Every time the Chancellor appears, he announces he


is going to borrow more than he had previously thought he was going to


borrow. He has told us he will borrow more again in the Autumn


Statement. Why should we believe these figures, since he is


consistently wrong? Since 2010, we have seen a consistent pattern of


economic growth underperforming. That is feeding through into a


worsening outlook for the public finances as well. It is extremely


to the will to know what will happen. That is essentially what


has been happening over recent years as problems in the eurozone


have been causing further weakness in the UK. Do your eyes ever glaze


over at all these figures? Personally, I find them very


interesting but it is a lot to get your head around. Sadly, so do live.


Bankia very much for joining us. -- thank you very much. When you stand


back from the Autumn Statement and look at the figures - borrowing,


debt, growth going down - the continued squeeze on living


standards into next year, it is remarkable he got the press he did.


His entire plan is failing. He is not cutting the deficit. He is not


cutting debt and will probably lose the sacred AAA credit rating that


he has been doing all this for. The whole point was, I have to do this


or the financial markets will take flight and it will be a disaster.


He will lose his AAA credit rating even though he has done all this


and he has not reduced the deficit all got debt down by the time of


the next election. Fiscal conservatism, debt reduction, that


was the core of the economic strategy. Are the wheels coming


off? It was fake to start with. There has been an incredible


increase in borrowing and the debt is continuing to rise. We are a


fast, welfare junkie, unable to get itself off enormous taxes. Spending


is falling into is just tax revenues are falling as fast and


the deficit is not shrinking. falling relatively. There is no


serious attempt to change the nature of the country.


Government's strategy, or whether it is right is another matter, the


Government inherited a situation where the state spent over 50% of


our national wealth on the trajectory they're trying to hit,


it goes below 40%. That is a huge cut. If it ever happens. At the


moment where the country is too dependent on state spending. It is


not a crisis out of which we will emerge and the cash tills will


start to ring again. This is the moment at which we begin to


experience serious economic decline. There is no end to this. If you are


going to cut state spending, and you do need to do that, you need to


do it at a time when other parts of the economy can pick up the slack.


There is consumer spending, business investment, state spending


and exports. Exports are shot to hell and businesses are not


investing. Consumers are not spending because real incomes are


being cut. It is a terrible time to be cutting government spending. It


reduces growth and tax revenues. Hillary Clinton has arrived in


Belfast this morning over decisions to take down the Union flag, which


flies above City Hall. And last night came a reminder of the threat


of dissident Republican violence with arrests after the discovery of


a bomb in Londonderry. Hardly the ideal backdrop to the high-profile


visit. What is the latest on the ground of the unrest, sparked off


by the argument over the flag? is right. There are separate things


going on. On the one hand, there is the loyalist unhappiness about this


decision to dramatically restrict the flying of the Union flag from


City Hall. We saw more trouble last night related to the protests in


Ballymena. Several vehicles have been damaged and two young men have


been arrested. We have also heard of a death threat which has been


made to an alliance Party MP. The Alliance party was involved in


voting for this decision to restrict the flying of the flags.


Naomi Long, the MP in question, who has been threatened. Police have


advised her to leave her home. She will not be doing so. She is


determined to continue in her democratically-elected role.


Obviously, a great deal of concern about that. On the other side,


about the dissident republicans and the discovery of a viable


improvised explosive device yesterday evening. Is it expected


to get worse? It is difficult to say. There is concern on behalf of


the police that it well. They are hoping it will not. They are urging


people from all sides did think carefully about what they're doing


and where it might be heading. -- to think. Hillary Clinton, one


imagines she will have a similar message. She is meeting Peter


Robertson -- Robinson at the moment. Is this a farewell tour? Is it the


start of her campaign for the presidency in 2016? I do not think


people are saying all that much about it. She is not here for very


long - just a few hours. One does wonder whether it is not kind of a


valedictory visit, designed to put into the minds of people the


success her husband a tutor in Northern Ireland and to put that


fresh in the minds of others. As for the visit, it has been


overshadowed by these new tensions - renewed tensions. It is well


worth pointing out that we are by no means where we were before the


peace process started. It is a very different landscape from the one


she initially visited years ago. What a ill-thought so on mess?


Interesting about the flag. -- what are your thoughts on this? If you


surrender, you have to take your flag down. On government buildings,


it has been illegal to fly the Union flag since 2000. The Hall in


Belfast is falling into line with the rest. The flat poll is bear on


government buildings in Northern Ireland. -- the flagpole. Those are


the days on which it can be flown - state birthdays. In 1998, under


pressure from the Clintons, this country surrendered to the IRA.


They wanted a united Ireland. will get one. All that stands


between the transfer of Northern Ireland and the centenary of the


Irish Free State, which would have been in 2016... All it takes is for


that referendum to happen and the boat to go the way the Republicans


want. If there is a referendum, it is up to the people of Northern


Ireland. Do you think the majority of people will vote for a union?


Democratic change and the blatant weakness of the British connection.


The problem with Northern Ireland has always been that one group or


the other dominates. You are seeing, since the beginning of the process,


putting down riots involving people waving illegal Union Jacks. Peace


has not been achieved. It is much more juice -- peaceful than it was.


If you are an individual, living in Northern Ireland, you face a lot of


criminal intimidation from the crime families, to which we


surrendered the province in 1998. It is hugely more peaceful. That is


why we are surprised to hear two devices have been found. It is a


surprise and it used not to. have to see that what has happened


is it is much lower level. Intimidation and hostility... For


people living there, it is quite frightening. Is it any different


from the tough areas of Glasgow and Manchester? It is. There is a


sectarian gangster element. The idea that republicanism is disarmed


is absurd. Who do you think these What happened here... The Clintons


fixed on the Irish issue as a way of getting back to working-class


Catholic vote which they had lost over abortion. They had no interest


in Ireland, it was a cynical exercise in American domestic


politics. Right. Up Now, the coffee chain Starbucks is


in giveaway mode - excellent, mine's a skinny latte - but the


handout in question is cash not coffee after they caved in to


public pressure yesterday and said they'd pay more in tax over the


next couple of years. The company, along with other multinationals


like Google and Amazon, have faced a public outcry over the amount of


corporation tax they pay in this country. Starbucks says it will pay


"a significant amount of tax during 2013 and 2014, regardless of


whether the company is profitable". Starbucks' troubles began after it


was revealed that in 14 years operating in the UK, they have only


paid �8.6 million in corporation tax despite UK sales of nearly �400


million in 2011 alone. That was all perfectly legal, but it came


against a background of a tax avoidance clampdown that George


Osborne has said can raise an extra �10 billion. The Chancellor's


sidekick, The Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, was


so outraged that, along with many other customers in the UK, he was


boycotting the chain. Starbucks defended themselves by pointing out


they operate 750 stores across the UK and they employ 8,500 people.


But yesterday they threw in the towel, offering a windfall for the


Treasury - should they accept it - of �20 million in extra tax over


the next two years. But that won't be enough for campaigners UK Uncut,


who plan to go ahead with protests in the Starbucks coffee shops this


weekend. With us to debate the great coffee climbdown is Andrew


Perloff, chairman of property investment company Panther


Securities, and Anna Walker from tax campaigners UK Uncut. Welcome


to both of you. Clearly, Starbucks must have felt, obviously they are


under pressure from public opinion, but they must have felt it is


amazing we got away with paying so little tax we better cough up some


more. Asking my opinion? Yes. People talk about tax. Really, they


are talking about corporation tax, which is a small slice paid on


profit. Starbucks pays between 10 and �15 million property tax on


their shops. Whether they make a profit or not, whether they sell


one cup of coffee or not. We all do. We pay council tax, VAT, national


insurance, it doesn't let us off paying income tax. Her no, but they


still paid 10 to �15 million, they pay taxes on the payroll, a huge


amount, they employ 8,500 people, they probably create employment at


50% of that on all of their suppliers, who either make money


and pay tax, they pay VAT. Let me stop you. They don't pay VAT. We


pay VAT. They collected four HMRC. Every company does this. Costa


Coffee does it, other British companies for up they also pay


corporation tax. No, their benefit to the country is the amount they


come out -- create for the country. You have to say, well, what would


happen if they are not there. People would go to other coffee


shops. Can't necessarily. shortage on the high street.


There's 100,000 shops vacant in the high street. These people take


properties, spend money, pay VAT on the shop fitting, create jobs,


create business. It is spread around the economy. Let me bring in


UK Uncut. You haven't really won because it is almost a medieval


situation where the powerful barons of business can go to the


Government and negotiate how much tax they will pay as a like the


medieval landlords did with the king. I agree completely and that


is why we are protesting against a box tomorrow. It is not up to


Starbucks to pick and choose how much it wants to pay. This �10


million it is claiming, promising, it will pay, is essentially a �10


million PR stunt. It will probably come out of the PR budget. Her I


imagine so. We are calling for the Government to clamp down on tax


avoidance, as it keeps saying it will, but it is not actually taking


any action whatsoever. Starbucks has not promised to change the way


it operates globally or in the UK. It will still be siphon in its


profits that it is making off the back of its sales here out of the


UK and claiming it is not a profitable company. All Starbucks


is doing is following the rules. I would suggest the real villains are


the politicians across the road from here who over the years have


agreed to things that allows Starbucks to be able to do that,


have made the rules so complicated that you spend a ton of money on


expensive accountants and you will find ways to do it. If the system


was simple, no deductions, no loopholes, they would not get away


with it. Absolutely and that is why we are calling on the Government to


complete a radical reform in tax legislation. It is this government,


the last government, which did create these loopholes that


multinational companies like Starbucks and Amazon and are


exploiting. That is what is wrong, particularly at a time of economic


crisis. What do you say? You have not said anything sensible. That is


no change here! They create jobs. The biggest problem in this country


is we have too many unemployed or they create business, they are


based in property. I won't talk about the internet, they are


property-based. They have taxes they can't escape from. They have -


- we have one of the highest property taxes in the world.


you saying no company should pay corporation tax because they are


helping the economy in other ways? I'm not saying that. Whether they


expand or not, they choose. If they stopped expanding their shops, they


would probably go into profit quicker, but by expanding and using


the profits they are making, which goes back into expanding the


business, they create more employment which creates hidden


benefits. Anybody could say that. It is only the companies that pay


for the politicians, the civil service and all the unemployment


benefits, it is only paid by the businesses that create business.


such piety. Why is everybody so keen on paying tax themselves to a


government that is constantly being exposed as incompetent and


wasteful? It throws away large amounts of money on things we don't


like and don't want. It can't run a decent school system, transport


system. Why are we so keen on paying tax? Even Labour politicians,


given the chance to avoid legally, a bit of inheritance tax on their


parents' houses when they inherit them, will do what is necessary to


get around paying tax. Almost anyone with the opportunity to pay


next tasks will take it. Who do you think will end up paying if


Starbucks pays more corporation tax? Their customers of Starbucks.


More money from your pocket into the hands of an incompetent...


There's no shortage of coffee shops. Starbucks is the one not paying the


tax. What do we get for the tax we pay? What do we get for tax? Let's


think about it. Schools... At bad schools. Patricia schools, some of


the worst schools in the advanced schools. -- atrocious schools.


need schools. We need nurses. is a really important question. To


say that nobody should bother paying tax, I don't... We should be


sceptical about tax. Tax pays for roads and rubbish collection and


education and nurses and people to survive. He is and there and


unfairness... Excuse me. We've heard that many times. Isn't there


and unfairness in the situation where British-based competitors of


Starbucks, British-owned, because they can't do the international


jiggery-pokery that Starbucks is doing with royalty fees being


charged so it depresses profits, they are a disadvantage in


competing with Starbucks. That is rubbish. Why? Do you think they


don't do their own accountancy arrangements? Excuse me, at the


British coffee shops pay a lot more tax than Starbucks. Costa Coffee is


one example. The depends. Of a expanding? Yes. They are. They are.


I don't know, you're saying that. Do you think they are consulting


with lawyers to see if they can't pay less? People are always trying


to pay less tax. You talk about... You say they are not paying their


tax. They are paying a minimum corporation tax. If there should be


anything payable. They are not breaking the law. No one has raised


that issue. Another thing, the Revenue have got the cleverest


people in the country working for them, investigating. They have been


cut. No no. Yes, by �3 billion... They have got whole sections


dealing with complicated corporate affairs. If they think for one


minute a company is cheating to a degree that is unacceptable, they


can close it down in a day. They don't do that. If the rules are


wrong, I accept, it is for the Government to change the rules. If


they play by the Rolls, that is fair. I need to quit on this


agreement. It is taxation by media. A witch hunt by 90% of the people


who have not the slightest idea how it works and the benefits they get.


Starbucks is interesting... We are running out of time. Don't start.


They employ a lot of young people. You've already said that. By on a


minimum wage. I think we will stop there. If the rules are wrong, they


should be changed, we are agreed on that. But not Peter.


Now, Prime Minister's Questions is usually an entirely raucous and,


you might say, childish affair where the baying mob wins out every


week. But occasionally, a question comes that rises above all that and


silences the House. It happened on Wednesday when Labour's Ann Clywd,


whose husband died in October after NHS treatment which she compared to


that of a battery hen, stood up to put a question to David Cameron.


Have a look at this. Ann Clwyd. Universal healthcare


system free at the point of delivery is what the overwhelming


majority of the British people want. Something which I remain firmly


committed to. However there are increasing complaints about nurses


who fail to show care and compassion to their patients. What


exactly will the prime minister do about that? The honourable lady


speaks for the whole house and the whole country in raising this issue


and I know how painful it must have been with what she has witnessed in


her own life and with her own family. I am, as she is, a massive


fan of the NHS, an enormous fan of the fact it is free at the point of


use, you don't produce a credit card in hospital and my own family


has had extraordinary care through the NHS. But we don't do the NHS or


nurses any favours if we don't. Elk there are very real problems in


parts of our health and care And Ann Clywd joins me now, along


with Janet Davies - the Director of Nursing at the Royal College of


Nursing. Many people will have seen you on Prime Minister's Questions.


It is a difficult subject for you. What happened? What I saw was lack


of compassion, lack of care, dismissive and us, lack of people


to talk to. I was ill for about four days before my husband died


and I was not able to going. I rang up every day and was told he was


doing well and had had a good night. On the Sunday - the day before he


died - the staff were said to make on the telephone, we see no reason


why he should not be home next week. I thought, that is fine. On Monday


morning, a few hours later, I got the call from a hospital saying he


was very ill and he had got an infection - pneumonia. As soon as I


heard that word, I knew pretty much what that meant. I had been


dreaming at night about him being cold. The days I had been with him


in A&E for 24 hours, it was very cold. I kept asking when he would


be put on a ward. I stood by him a second day in A&E for two-and-a-


half hours. You could not text from inside because there was no signal.


I asked my PA to ring an administrator to try and get an


administrator. Two-and-a-half hours later they came and he was put on a


a respiratory ward that nine. I developed a respiratory infection


and they told me not to come in. I was ringing once a day to find out


how he was. I felt ignored. I felt he was ignored. Let me come on to


that. There was a system failure here, in one situation. I've got


the impression you also felt the care he received was much lower


quality than it should have been. just did not see the personal care.


On the Monday before he died, after a went into hospital after having


that call, I sat by his bed from 2:30pm until 10:30pm, I only saw


one round. And kept trying to stop someone in the corridor and say,


why is my house when not on intensive care? The answer was,


there are lots of people worse than him. I asked another question and


was brushed aside. I do not expect special treatment but we knew our


concern for someone who is very pale, there should be some


appreciation of that. -- very ill. I was on the Commission for the NHS.


In 1979, we received much evidence expressing concern about declining


standards of care. The RCN claimed that standards had been put at risk


because of financial constraints, increased workload and manpower


shortages. In hospitals they submitted neglect of basic nursing


routines. This is 30 years ago. me bring in Janet Davies at the


Royal College of Nursing. Is there something going wrong in the


culture of Nursing which causes these things to happen? This is a


terrible story. As a nurse, I find it very distressing rummy his


stories of poor nursing. Why does it happen? The Prime Minister said


there is no silver bullet. It is a complex situation. The majority of


nurses do a very good job. They are passionate about their roles and


their careers. There are situations when it goes wrong. Nurses come


into nursing because they want to nurse. It is not an easy course and


something goes wrong with some nurses. Not in recruitment but


something later on in their career. We need to pinpoint what goes wrong.


They are a multiple reasons that we can see. The first one is, the


nurse themselves. Usually they are tired, overworked of May maybe the


wrong person for the wrong job in the wrong place. Secondly, they


have to have the support, culture and resource to do their job


properly. They need the right attitude of managers, support


around them, the right equipment and training. We are seeing too


often that nurses are well qualified. It does not stop. You


need a freshers and time - time to reflect. -- refreshers. Have we


made too much of the need... We have made it almost a degree


profession now? Have we put too much emphasis on that and not


enough on the attitudes and compassion and the attitude of the


individual to do this difficult job? A mean look at this and when


we talk to student nurses, we rarely see a case that involves a


student nurse. -- when we look at this. We hear stories like this


again and again. We do not hear stories where everything goes right.


People acknowledge it is a minority problem but it seems to be a


growing minority problem. recognise it is a problem and we


certainly need to make sure it does not happen to other people. I agree,


the majority of nurses, I'm sure, care. I have had hundreds of e-


mails since I decided to go public. It is very difficult to talk about


and I did not really want to do it. Hundreds of letters! Somebody had


said, a doctor said in an article in the Telegraph a few weeks ago,


since they made nursing a degree course, they get the wrong people.


They think they are above the menial tasks. We need compassionate


nurses who are entering the profession because they care for


people and not for the salary. completely agree with that. I am


amazed that nurses are not assessed on their caring skills as well as


their computer input skills. They're actually doing the job. Why


aren't patients asked, how we shall care? How compassionate eye on


nurses? -- How was your care? Patients are terrified of


complaining because the in such a vulnerable position and that nurses


will take out -- taking out on them. First of all, I am very sorry for


your loss. This has been going on for so long that it really is time


to do something about it. There was a thing called Project 2000


introduced in 1988, which is the beginning of the transformation of


Nursing into a supposedly graduate profession, as opposed to what it


was before. My aunt sauna sink as a disciplined - self sacrificing and


humorous but not to be viewed in the terms that any other way of


life was. She saw that disappear before she retired. Something was


lost when we tried to make nurses graduate professionals. I really do


think the RCN has to recognise this and so do politicians. Big mistakes


were made, particularly in the 1980s. What we have done at the RCN


is recognised there was a problem. They have said there is no hiding


place for poor nursing. The issue about graduate nurses, we have said,


we need to look at theirs. We commissioned Lord Willis to do an


independent commission on theirs. He has found there is no evidence


that becoming a graduate professional has reduced any


quality. In fact, they have improved quality. There is no


research behind what you're saying but there is to say many graduate


Nursing has made a difference. get the same sort of letters that


and gets on the subject. If you have not got compassion in nursing,


you should not be there. If you do not have the compassion, do not go


there. Thank you. Now it is the political row which has got all of


Asia talking. The new design for the Chinese passport shows a map


with territories that are disputed And now the US say they will raise


the issue with Beijing too. Who knew the humble passport could be


so political? Adam has been finding out just how much. You cannot leave


home or your home country without it. How much to the really notice


our passports? It is a bit worrying. What do you think that passport


says about South Africa as a country? Very little. Where are you


from? I am from Belgium. What does the Belgian passport has in terms


of design features? That is in Brussels. A Belgian monument.


passport was issued in 2009. They were going through a third phase.


Now they are filled with British Land marks instead. What does a


Libyan passport look like? Just a green one. All the Libyans are


waiting to change this passport. Few people care as much as


immigration official turned author, Martin Lloyd, who has a collection


of 400 of them. This was issued by France in 1820. It was issued to a


Spanish refugee, who was applying for asylum in France. That is a


description of the man, right down to the colour of his eyebrows, the


shape of his chin and knows - everything. It is a British


passport. A single sheet of paper bound in leather covers by the


Passport agent. Passport number 13. It is signed in hand by the British


Foreign Secretary - your palms stone - at the bottom. This is a


Cypriot passport. -- Lord Palmerston. The people in the north


of the island could only get a Turkish passport. They were issued


with this. The Turkish Federated state of Cyprus. It is a travel


document and not a passport. That is a very political passport.


British pass was got political in the mid- 1980s when the old Blue


gave way to EU Burgundy. -- passports. It caused consternation


at the highest levels. Both Mrs Thatcher and Lord Carrington were


doubtful about it a conscious of the sensitivities and


misunderstandings that might make people think Britain had lost


control. I do remember that when the passports were eventually


issued, Jeffrey Howe when he was then Foreign Secretary, he insisted


on having the first one. When you think about it, they really are


lots of passports floating around the world. 47 million UK once, 37


million Chinese ones and 130 million belonging to US citizens.


You thought the most interesting thing about your passport was the


photo. It is a fake! No it is not. Does it matter have a passport


looks? They all look the same, don't they? Exactly. I used to love


my old British passport. It was wonderful and elegant. We had to


give it up for the paper one. point was it was not a British


passport any more. It was a European Union passport. A retired


Lithuanian KGB colonel has the same passport. There is no such thing as


British citizenship or a British frontier and we have lost it.


People should pay more attention. There is controversy in the air


about Scottish independence. The latest row was in the Scotsman


newspaper. It suggested an independent Scotland may have to


reapply for EU membership. Let's see what the Scottish Secretary


Has the British Government sought legal advice on Scotland's status?


We've taken legal advice and we publish the fact we took it some


weeks ago. We have an initial view that the most likely scenario is


that the rest of the UK would continue as the member state,


Scotland would have to apply and Scotland would have to negotiate


its terms and conditions. That is a huge set of issues for us when we


contemplate what is at stake for independence and for businesses in


particular, at a time when three- quarters of businesses say they are


very worried about independence. Are you saying for British


Government has legal advice that if Scotland votes to leave the UK, it


is in effect also leaving the European Union and would have to


reapply as a new member? Is that the import of the legal advice you


have? The advocate general, one of the UK Government's law officers,


has made public speeches about this in the last few weeks. We are doing


a lot of work on this, we've looked at the international precedents,


we've looked at the weight of academic opinion and our initial


views of that the most likely scenario is the UK stays as the


member state and Scotland would have to apply to join the EU again.


How quick and complex a process that is, nobody knows. But the


terms and conditions, I think, are the key to this. The UK has a lot


of Dr Putts on the euro and other things. Scotland has huge interests


in six fishing and agriculture. None of that is certain and all of


that is a worry. Forgive me for coming back to the original


question. Your second dancer was a little different from the first. --


answer. You said it looks as if Scotland would have to reapply. Can


I clarified... Have you had divinity Atif British legal advice


to that effect or not? Definitive. Can I make the distinction? The


First Minister had some difficulty with this a month ago. We have


answered a question that we have legal advice within government. On


the basis of that, the Advocate- General, one of the law officers of


the UK government, has been public set out what we draw from that. We


don't comment on whether or not we have taken the advice itself, that


his ministerial code that is well established, but people can see we


are being clear that the most likely scenario, based on our


initial research and consideration, is that the rest of the UK stays in


vu you -- he used, Scotland would have to reapply to join the EU.


will understand that the most likely scenario, which is your


phrase, is very different from saying we've had definitive legal


advice from the highest law officers in the land, the best


advice this government can get, that Scotland will have to leave


and reapply. I don't think you are telling me that this morning, are


you? I am saying exactly the same as Jim Wallace has said in public,


as I've said to the Scottish Parliament and other places. The


distinction between what we are saying and what the Scottish


government are saying is that they don't have legal advice and they


have stopped all sorts of court proceedings a round that issue. We


are looking at the balance of the probabilities. What is the expert


opinion? What is the President? We think it is the most likely


scenario. Very few people are doing anything different to that. If you


are right on the balance of probabilities in Scotland, if it


votes to leave the UK, then have to reapply to join the EU, is there


any doubt... Surely the run EU would want Scotland to join. Plenty


of people would rather see Scotland in and be glad to see the back of


England! The point I would make is that it is a serious issue about


Scotland's status at that moment, but much more significant will be


the terms and conditions of that membership. There's no country that


has joined since 2005 which has been able to escape the obligation


to adopt the single currency. Likewise, the Shangla knocked out


which we have around border controls is one that would have to


be specially negotiated. None of that is clear from the way the SNP


are putting for their argument, but it's absolutely critical to


businesses, individuals and families. We have to get these


things nailed down. The uncertainty of those terms and conditions is


the big worry for people across the country. One quick question on an


unrelated matter. Your role as a Privy Counsellor. The Telegraph


newspaper reporting that as part of a system of regulation of the


newspapers, David Cameron is considering setting up a new press


watchdog by royal charter, which would mean the Privy Council would


be involved. Can you confirm that? As you know, since Lord Leveson's


report was published, the two parties in the coalition and


opposition parties have all been considering their response to that.


The specific proposals from each of the parties will be brought forward


over the next few weeks and we will look forward to the debate that


will ensue. His there discussion that would please the Lib Dems


about regulation involving a royal charter? We have got a number of


discussions going on between ourselves and the coalition


partners. Discussions across Parliament as well. Discussions in


Scotland, too. None of the detail is sorted out yet, none of the


proposals have got to a point where they are agreed. In the next few


weeks we will see that emerge and we will build up a proper debate


about the right way forward. Her go inside and get warm! Thank you for


joining us. By the man some gloves! And listening to that from our


Edinburgh studio is Alyn Smith - he's a Scottish Nationalist Member


of the European Parliament. We've always been told, and I've been


personally told by Alex Salmond, that there's no question that if


Scotland leaves the UK it remains part of the European Union. Without


a hiccup. You can't say that any more, can you? Yes, we can. It is


really important that we understand the significance of the Edinburgh


agreement within this context. Where people... Michael Moore, I


lost count of how many caveats he was sticking in to everything he


was saying. We need to look at the reality can of how the EU operates.


It is an expansionist organisation. This is unprecedented. There's no


rule book. The same way we universe's -- reunification with


East Germany was impossible, a way will be found. All of the certainty


we have, our students are already part... I understand that. You want


to stay in, I understand that, that is not the argument. Let me put


what the EU Commission letter says. It says, if a territory of the


member state ceases to be part of that member state, in other words


Scotland if it voted to leave the UK, because it has become an


independent state, the treaties would cease to apply to that


territory. That is quite clear. You would have to reapply. There's a


couple of points I will make. That letter doesn't actually exist and


hasn't been signed off by the European Commission. We are seeing


a black cops operation by the Scotsman which does it no credit. -


- Black operations. The Edinburgh agreement makes very clear that for


people of Scotland have a choice to make in 2014 which decides the


principle whereupon there is a series of negotiations between


Edinburgh and London and the European Commission has made it


very clear, six months ago, that the commission will take due


cognisance of a negotiated agreement between the two parts of


the former UK. Are you claiming this letter doesn't exist and that


the Scotsman made it? commission made that very clear


yesterday. Are you saying... It has not been signed off. That is


different. Are you claiming this letter doesn't exist and the


Scotsman made it up? There has been no letter sent and how the Scotsman


managed to see that letter. That is not what I've asked. Are you


claiming this letter doesn't exist? I've made various calls to Brussels


and I've been told of the letters exist in various parts, but it


doesn't exist as a unified document. How the Scotsman managed to see


various bits out of context is very curious. I think it is called


original journalism and getting as good! May be imposed Leveson... You


call it black operations, which is why a lot of newspapers don't want


to be regulated by people like you. Isn't it perfectly possible, if the


commission is right and the Secretary of State for Scotland is


right, and I appreciate there were a lot of Pavia to what he said,


that if you vote for independence, you'll have to negotiate with


London the terms of the divorce and at the same time you will have to


be negotiating with Brussels the terms of your re-entry as an


independent nation into the EU? Firstly, the use of the word


divorce is very emotionally-charged. We are negotiating a new status


within the EU. Are we not allowed to use that word? You can if you


like. But it is not like for like. We negotiate a new status from


within, we are part of the EU presently. There's implications for


both sides. Scotland will increase its MEP representation and the UK


will lose some MEPs. We are talking about negotiation over the details


and the housekeeping. The principle will be decided by the people of


Scotland and then we have a period of negotiations where we saw that


out. The EU aspects will be as nothing compared to the


negotiations that will be happening between Edinburgh and London. The


European Commission is based on law and human rights. It will take due


copper dickens -- cognisance of the democratic opinion of the people of


Scotland foot off thank you very much.


Time now to see what else has been hitting the headlines in the last


seven days - here's Giles with the In the wake of Leveson, Fleet


Street's finest were called in to Number Ten to thrash out some House


Rules in a sobering session in the last chance saloon. Meanwhile,


Wills and Kate baby joy!!Is it twins?! Less happy news from a


different palace - George Osborne told us that along with us, the


royal nipper won't be able to rub two silver spoons together until


2018. It's wonderfully news, they will make brilliant parents.


Britain is heading in the right direction. The road is hard, but we


are making progress. Goal gaping for Labour's star


striker, but was the Balls in the back of the net? The national


deficit is not rising... Is rising. It is not falling. Although there


was some good news for the Treasury, when Starbucks says it would


"coughee" up some more tax. And, talking of good news,


Do you think this Budget, and I will call it a budget, will start


unravelling this weekend? It is already unravelling. We have the


Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph talking about the money tax,


talking about how maternity pay will be cut in real terms. Then


there rather big figures we were talking about with the IFS. How


will they find �27 billion worth of cuts? We have 30 seconds. They


always unravel. One trembles for freedom of the press in an


independent Scotland after seeing what we just heard. That is the


biggest lesson from this week's programme. Black Ops. The other


change in Britain is I've never seen a government so far away from


the next election not able to get any growth going before that


election. They got it wrong. A lot of people have said that for a long


time. It is one of the wonderful things about not being attached for


of -- to a political party that has been clear to me since the


beginning. That's all for today. Thanks to our


guests - special thanks to Peter and Mary Ann. I'll be back on BBC


One on Sunday with the Sunday Politics, when I'll be talking to


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