11/02/2013 Daily Politics


11/02/2013

Jo Coburn talks through the big political stories of the day with France's MP for northern Europe, Axelle Lemaire.


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Welcome to the Daily Politics. Monday is often a pretty quiet day

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here at Westminster with MPs making their way back to work from their

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constituencies all over the UK. But today is not one of those days. We

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are expecting a big announcement on how the Government plans to fund

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the long-term care of the elderly, which was a huge row at the last

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General Election. All the signs are that ministers will cap the amount

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any one individual will have to pay. And the row about horse meat

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getting into burgers and other types of food is still

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reverberating around Westminster. It is not yet a food safety issue

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but we are being told to brace ourselves for bad news to come. The

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UK Government has put out a report saying that an independent Scotland

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would have to reapply to Europe, NATO and have to renegotiate a

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whole fist of international And the starting gun has well and

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truly been fired in the Eastleigh by election, with the big parties

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:01:46.:01:46.

at each other's throats in the All that in the next hour. And our

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special guest of the day is Axelle Lemaire who last year became the

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first ever member of the French Parliament for the new constituency

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of Northern Europe, which includes Let's start with horse meat, so to

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speak. Although many of us would probably rather not. The

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Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson, is expected to tell MPs

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in the House this afternoon that there is likely to be more

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unwelcome news about the wrong kind of meat getting into British

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supermarkets. Romania is investigating claims that one of

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its abattoirs is responsible. And Mr Paterson says he thinks a

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criminal conspiracy could be involved. Reports today we have had

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from France looks as if it might have been pinned down to two

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abattoirs in Romania. Obese speaking to the authorities later

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today to establish that. -- I will be speaking. I hope this fleshes

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out the criminals. It is unacceptable that British consumers

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are being sold something marked as one thing but actually is something

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else. With us now is Anne Macintosh, who chairs the Environment, Food

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and Rural Affairs Select Committee. Do you trust the Food Standards

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Authority and your own government advice to carry on eating beef

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products? Personally, I would like to see the whole trade suspended

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until we know where the food - where the meat and processed and

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frozen foods are coming from - and it is accurately labelled. So, you

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do not trust? That is a big word. The Irish FSA started testing in

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November. Our own FSA were informed of that. We cannot understand why

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the UK FSA did not start testing in November. It appears there was a

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news report over the weekend where the Minister of Agriculture in

:03:45.:03:54.
:03:55.:03:55.

Romania believes the product testing has to be undertaken for

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content and that the label matches the content, he believes that has

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not happened. If the project checks have not taken place, -- product

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checks have not taken place, those meat should not be imported into

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the EU. Before we know the facts about the meat produced or made in

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Romania, are you saying it safe to me eat those products? At the

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moment where there is no query about British produced products. We

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have 100% traceability. If you buy fresh meat with the red tractor

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sign and go back to having a roast at the weekend and eating it during

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the week, I believe we should be buying British for the moment.

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Would you want see a suspension of beef products at this point until

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tests have established exactly what is in them? To answer your question

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very accurately, at this precise moment, and no. It would be too

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dramatic. If I am correct, some horsemeat was found in some

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industries in Northern Ireland back in September last year. I think all

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the different EU member states are concerned. The French Agriculture

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Minister spoke of international criminal organisations. What it

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shows is how complex the network of suppliers has become. In this

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particular case, it could be up to seven or a big players, based in

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Cyprus, Holland, France, Luxembourg being involved. So, we have to

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answer that the controls are effective. But, they are not. The

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EU Commission already Brewis the band live horse exports from

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Romania. It needs to be confirmed that the contaminated source is

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from Romania. If that is the case, I think it is wrong to ask the food

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industry in this country - France, Ireland everywhere else - to go to

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the huge costs of these tests were me could be sourcing fresh meat

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from France and other countries which are not contaminated. If it

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proves the source of contamination is Romania and the Ministry of

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Agriculture in Romania agrees they have not conducted the product

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checks at Port of exit, they are breaking EU regulations on

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labelling. Do you think the Government is on top of this?

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Government has done as much as it could in the circumstances. They

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have not done what you are advising - banning the sale of the items

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until we have the results of the tests. The Secretary of State has

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agreed to ban. I do not want Britain to act unilaterally, even

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though we are still importing the meat. There are reports that six

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French supermarket chains have withdrawn meals by Findus. If it is

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not the horse meat itself but a trace of the drug that is given to

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horses and should not be in the food chain, then there might be a

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health safety risk. At this moment, we have no idea. The level varies a

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lot depending on where the horse meat was found, in which country,

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where it comes from. It is impossible to tell now. Should we

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make a whole ban on all meat? is a labouring crime and if the

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Romanians accept they have broken labelling regulations... At the

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moment we were all saying it is a labelling issue. They are selling

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meat, which is a horse, and passing it off as beef. That is a trade

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description problem. EU regulations cover this, which would lead to a

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temporary suspension, and to we get to the source of contamination.

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There is no question of fresh meat. That would have to be tested.

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Romania appears to be in breach of EU regulations. It is a technical

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point, where they should have checked the contents of the meat

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before it left Romania, to go into free circulation across the

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European Union. This is a massive scale. I agree. It may have

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happened in Romania. It may have happened in another country

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tomorrow. The controls in this country have increased by a third

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in the last three years because this is linked to cuts in the jobs

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being carried out by public authorities. To me, it is a direct

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consequence of public policies. this country, we do tests. This can

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be reviewed. In this country, we do tests on a risk basis. Until now,

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there has never been a risk of this nature. Scotland would face massive

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legal uncertainties in the event of a vote in for independence,

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according to a report published today by the UK Government. The

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report cites the evidence of a number of legal experts, including

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Sir David Edward from the Edinburgh Law School and it suggests that

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Scotland would have to renegotiate 14,000 international treaties,

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including membership of NATO, the International Monetary Fund, and

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the European Union itself. The report is pretty specific, saying:

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There is no prospect that an independent Scottish state would

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automatically become a new member of the EU upon independence because

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there is no explicit provision for this process in the EU's own

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membership rules. Neither would an independent Scotland automatically

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inherit the UK's opt-outs. This was Lord Wallace, the Advocate General

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for Scotland, a little earlier this morning. It would not be

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automatically inherit the terms of membership currently enjoyed by the

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UK. It would not inherit any of the opt-out in relation to the euro nor

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would it to inherit big UK budget rebate of some �3 billion to the

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British tax payer in 2011. As Sir David has said, all that is certain

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is uncertainty. With us now is David Mundell, the Scotland Office

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Minister, and the Deputy First Minister of Scotland, Nicola

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Sturgeon. It is an unusual move to publish legal advice. Why have you

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done it? It is basic to the big debate we are having in Scotland,

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about what is best for our future. Our report today, as well as

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setting out legal opinion, starts with the positive case that

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Scotland gets the best of both worlds by being part of the United

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Kingdom. We decide things here in Edinburgh which affect day-to-day

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things like education and health. We have the UK economy and the

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security from being part of a huge stake like United Kingdom. What we

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then go on to argue is that, should Scotland decide to go its own way,

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what implications flow from that? It is clear to us, with leading

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experts backing up a position, that Scotland would be a new state. It

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would be go sheared its place in the world. The rest of the UK would

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continue and be part of institutions like the European

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Union and the United Nations Security Council, the IMF and so

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much more. We have stated that. key thing is that we have a

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starting point for the many arguments we're going to have over

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the next 18 months and this is a new way of putting this forward.

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The SNP have accused you of a near colonial approach. Arguing the UK

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is a continuing state and an independent Scotland would have no

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right to trade. What do you say to that? I was very disappointed by

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the tone of those remarks and the way they were put forward. That is

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not what has characterised the debate so far. We are setting out a

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simple legal reality. Here is our view of the situation were Scothern

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to become independent. We, in Scotland, would negotiate to be

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part of the European Union. We would not have the UK's opt outs

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automatically, as that clip with Jim Wallace has just shown. We

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would not have a place at the top table in the United Nations, the

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IMF and so many other places. That is a legitimate part of the debate

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and we must fully discuss it in Scotland. Is it an attempt to

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frighten people into the status quo? There were no doubt be lawyers

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who would argue the opposite. good legal argument will have lots

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of different sides to it. The way we have set out the argument today

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establishes very clearly that the leading experts in this field

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agreed the basis on which Scotland would become the new state and the

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rest of the UK would continue as the existing UK state. That has

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profound implications. To duck away from that would be unfair to people

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in Scotland and would be a disservice to the debate. We will

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listen to others put their views forward. We have the legal

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framework which is clear. From that, we understand the politics and

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negotiations which would arise should scrub and decide it is to be

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independent. $:/ENDFEED. -- That was a predictably arrogant

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position pulled a UK government to take, the notion that if Scotland

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takes a democratic decision to be independent, Scotland is left with

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nothing. These are the legal voices. It is not political. This is legal

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advice. This is a legal opinion. It is an opinion. Yes, it is produced

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by eminent experts but I can quote you other eminent experts to take

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the opposite view, who argued that Scotland would be equal.

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International law in this area is not clear. These matters will be

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settled by negotiation and agreement. I listened this morning

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to BBC Radio to one of the authors of this opinion and he accepted

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that very point, at the timetable the Scottish government had set out

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for negotiations was realistic. He said that the issue of EU

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membership, although it would require negotiation, it would not

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be difficult. That the treaty issue would not cause any problems or the

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dog I am not sure if that was what the UK government intended to come

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across with today. Can I just go back row to the only stages when

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this was being talked about? Alex Salmond spoke about his seamless

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transfer in terms of Scotland's entry into the EU. He may be right,

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you may be able to renegotiate exactly what you want, but it is

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not a scene is transferred, it is it? It is uncertain. The real doubt

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comes from David Cameron's in out referendum. If Scotland votes yes,

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there will be a process of negotiation, firstly with the UK

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government before we become independent in 2016. Of course we

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would be required to negotiate the terms of... So it is not a

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guarantee? We will be arguing about the euro and the rebate and a

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continuation of the status quo of our relationship with Europe but we

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have to come back to be sensible, political, commonsense argument.

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Surely we are not arguing it is not in the interests of Scotland to

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remain in the European Union but also it is not in the overwhelming

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interests of Europe to keep Scotland as a member? It would make

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no sense to put Scotland outside of the European Union simply for us to

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negotiate our way back in. Nicola Sturgeon, let's put that to Axelle

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Lemaire. Is it in the European Union's interest to have Scotland

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as a new state? I think you are right to put the question like this.

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In the end it will be a political decision. There is what public

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international law says and opinions are not always consistent on that

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issue. You can also look at what the Canadians have said about the

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impact of Quebec independence on their renegotiations of the

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treaty's. There is also the political reality. In the end, what

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other member states would look at is, what would the real impact of

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Scotland B? What would France be looking at? What would they do in

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terms of looking at Scotland in the future if it became an independent

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state? I suppose trade and commercial interaction between the

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two countries and how long would it take to renegotiate, for example,

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judicial matters, a corporation matters, would it affect the people

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and the proceedings of criminals? All of this would probably have to

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be dealt with in very practical terms. Would that take time?

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suppose this depends on what the member states want to do. Michael

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Moore, briefly. In terms of the assets of the UK, are you prepared

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also to take on all of its liabilities such as the UK national

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debt, if we are going to follow the line in terms of whether Scotland

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becomes independent? What we have said, the key UK institutions,

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which are governed by the UK parliament and its laws, would

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remain part of the rest of the UK and of course Nicola and others may

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argue they want to continue to have a relationship with the Bank of

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England to continue to use the currency, although I point out we

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already have the pound in Scotland, why we need to become independent

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to get it again it is beyond me. The key issue, of sharing out

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liabilities and so on, there would have to be an equitable

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distribution of that. We acknowledge that today in the

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report. One point about the attitude we are adopting, it is

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highly curious that we would have a Scottish government SNP position

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that suggests that as a result of the votes taken in Scotland, the

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rest of the UK might be thrown out of the UN Security Council, the EU,

:19:29.:19:34.

the IMF and other international organisations. People elsewhere in

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the UK will have cause to reflect on that. The key thing to remember

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is we have a straightforward legal starting point set out for us today

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and much of this is negotiations... This just reinforces my basic view.

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We are better off as part of the UK. We get the best of both are worlds.

:19:57.:20:02.

Nicola Sturgeon, a law firm in Scotland has put out a report today

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saying that more businesses are asking for their own legal advice

:20:07.:20:11.

before what there is a decision on the referendum. Do you agree even

:20:11.:20:13.

businesses in Scotland are uncertain and unsure about

:20:13.:20:19.

planning? There is debate under way in Scotland. The Scottish

:20:19.:20:24.

government has made a substantial contribution to that debate today

:20:24.:20:29.

in the report about the macro- economic framework in Scotland. The

:20:29.:20:32.

businesses I speak to one that kind of information and the Scottish

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government a working hard to make sure they get it, so people in

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Scotland can make a positive and informed choice, not just listen to

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scaremongering from the UK government and those advocating the

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no vote. Thank you both very much. The relationship between France and

:20:49.:20:52.

Britain has always been complicated, to say the least. Sometimes closest

:20:52.:20:54.

allies, sometimes sworn enemies and although not quite as bloodthirsty

:20:54.:20:57.

as in certain periods of history, our recent political past has

:20:57.:21:01.

certainly had its ups and downs. These days however, some experts

:21:01.:21:05.

detect a thawing between Paris and London. A coming together of our

:21:05.:21:08.

national interests. But can we keep the entente cordiale? Here's David

:21:08.:21:18.
:21:18.:21:25.

Welcome to France's 6th biggest cities. You might know it as London

:21:25.:21:29.

but more than 300,000 French people live here and they call it home,

:21:29.:21:33.

which is more than Bordeaux and Strasbourg can say, but it is not

:21:33.:21:38.

just here. Newcastle United had a team almost entirely made up of

:21:38.:21:42.

French players and in return, David Beckham has gone to Paris version

:21:42.:21:48.

man. Could this be the beginning of a beautiful friendship? -- Paris

:21:48.:21:55.

send your man. Relationships are good, there is a lot of co-

:21:55.:22:02.

operation and collaboration on Mali, for example. The two countries co-

:22:02.:22:05.

operated a great deal on many international issues, like Libya

:22:05.:22:11.

and Iran, so there are very many things that the general public are

:22:11.:22:20.

not necessarily aware of and maybe why should they be. But days and

:22:20.:22:29.

Francois were not always so friendly. -- Dave. David Cameron

:22:29.:22:35.

praised his former rival, Sarkozy. Yes, but things have decidedly gone

:22:35.:22:40.

from frosty too much warmer. Francois hollow on speaks English,

:22:40.:22:48.

they can communicate directly. -- Hollande. And whisper it quietly,

:22:48.:22:52.

we might becoming a bit more like the French and they might becoming

:22:52.:22:57.

a bit more like us. Both countries have got rid of their empires. They

:22:57.:23:02.

have become more and middle-of-the- road, normal-sized European

:23:02.:23:10.

countries, and they have both become more global. The a British

:23:10.:23:14.

are more willing to embrace globalisation but the French have

:23:14.:23:20.

also become more global. -- the British are more willing to embrace.

:23:20.:23:24.

They have both realised they are rather small and they need to work

:23:24.:23:27.

with each other and the EU if they wish to shoot the global

:23:27.:23:33.

environment. There is however an elephant in the room. It begins

:23:33.:23:39.

with the letter E and ends with the letter you. If the British seem to

:23:39.:23:44.

be on the brink of leaving at the EU, they cannot expect to have

:23:44.:23:49.

close relations with Paris because the EU is fundamental to France's

:23:49.:23:54.

existence. If Britain decides to stay within the EU, then we can

:23:54.:23:58.

look forward to a fairly friendly and happy relationship between

:23:58.:24:03.

London and Paris. It depends on Britain's relationship with the EU.

:24:03.:24:09.

The Brits and the French has blown hot and cold for centuries. The

:24:09.:24:12.

channel may separate us but these days, London and Paris could be

:24:12.:24:15.

closer than you think. Here to test the state of British-

:24:15.:24:18.

French relations, Axelle Lemaire, and Conservative MP Bernard Jenkin.

:24:18.:24:28.
:24:28.:24:50.

We need to be cautious. This is not the new settlement or the new

:24:50.:24:54.

relationship. We are still waiting to see what the new relationship

:24:54.:24:58.

will look like that he intends to negotiate in the next parliament.

:24:58.:25:02.

And Britain could still end up paying more than it has done in the

:25:02.:25:07.

past, even though the overall budget comes down? It will

:25:07.:25:13.

certainly go up, yes, by billions. What is going to be interesting is

:25:13.:25:18.

how this plays a politically. Are these relatively modest and

:25:18.:25:23.

symbolic victories going to be enough to mollify sentiment in the

:25:23.:25:28.

country or were people focus on the substance? We would like to see our

:25:28.:25:32.

contribution going down. At the moment, our contribution will be

:25:32.:25:37.

more than our overseas aid budget, which is already going up. One of

:25:37.:25:41.

the things that was clear from budget negotiations was that

:25:41.:25:45.

Germany was the key player. Angela Merkel decided to side with David

:25:45.:25:53.

Cameron and France were sidelined. Yes, very political. They are two

:25:53.:25:57.

Conservatives. Angela Merkel is entering an important political

:25:57.:26:01.

period for her and she has to be with other Conservative leaders who

:26:01.:26:06.

can support her in her campaign, so clearly from the outside, the

:26:06.:26:12.

impression is that both Britain and Germany are exporting their

:26:12.:26:16.

austerity. Again this is a political decision but the impact

:26:16.:26:21.

on the people living in Europe will be huge because they do benefit

:26:21.:26:26.

from the money being spent in Brussels. What does that do to

:26:26.:26:30.

Anglo-French relations is clearly it is Angela Merkel and David

:26:30.:26:35.

Cameron verses Hollande? This is wide their results of the German

:26:35.:26:39.

election will be very important, and the British ones as well --

:26:39.:26:43.

this is why the results. But I do not think it has a huge impact in

:26:44.:26:49.

the short term. But Europe could be at the heart of the difficult

:26:49.:26:55.

bilateral relationship. I can see it from Paris, in parliament. And

:26:55.:27:00.

that is new. My colleagues are now very annoyed and get upset easily

:27:00.:27:05.

whenever we mentioned the British, because it is, they keep asking for

:27:05.:27:09.

more and more and more, they want to play by their rules, we are in

:27:09.:27:14.

Europe, it should be decided together for. You are threatening

:27:14.:27:19.

Anglo-French relations, particularly with the referendum?

:27:19.:27:23.

We had very strong relations with the front before we joined the

:27:23.:27:30.

Common Market and even if we were to leave, we would continue to have

:27:30.:27:35.

strong relations -- strong relations with the French. France

:27:35.:27:41.

and the UK are the two countries in Europe that understand that hard

:27:41.:27:45.

power and soft power are two sides of the same coin. Other countries

:27:45.:27:51.

have this idea that soft power can trump American Hot power but France

:27:51.:27:56.

is one of the few countries that understand, unless you are backing

:27:56.:28:00.

up your soft power, ultimately with military deterrence, you are not a

:28:00.:28:05.

very strong countries. That puts France and Britain on the same page

:28:05.:28:10.

in terms of foreign relations. Let's have a look at the list of

:28:10.:28:14.

powers that could be repatriated. Some of the suggestions that could

:28:15.:28:20.

be made, the working-time directive, more policing and criminal justice

:28:20.:28:30.

measures, an emergency brake on new laws that affect financial services.

:28:30.:28:32.

Judicial corporation includes the European arrest warrant. Thanks to

:28:32.:28:37.

that, I think it is up to 13,000 criminals who are arrested every

:28:37.:28:41.

year in one country and sent to another. When you had the bombings

:28:41.:28:47.

in London, it took only a few days to get one of the authors of the

:28:47.:28:51.

attacks sent back to London, whereas it would have taken ten

:28:51.:28:56.

years before that warrant was put into place. That is what Europe is

:28:56.:29:02.

advocating. I do not agree. We have extra-judicial treaties with lots

:29:02.:29:09.

of countries. If France wants to be obstructive about it, that is

:29:09.:29:16.

another matter. It is the reality of how it works. Extradition works

:29:16.:29:22.

by Corporation and not a central judicial authorities. --

:29:22.:29:25.

cooperation. The feeling is that these apparently very obvious good

:29:25.:29:29.

things are put into the treaties but they are actually an end in

:29:29.:29:38.

themselves, they are trying to create a union for which there is

:29:38.:29:43.

no support. There is an element of self- deception, pretending you can

:29:43.:29:48.

be a sovereign state and more and more included into Europe. But this

:29:48.:29:53.

is about how strong the chances are for a UK government to repatriate

:29:53.:29:58.

those powers? What about of the working-time directive? Would

:29:58.:30:06.

France agree for Britain to opt out? I agree with Axelle Lemaire

:30:06.:30:10.

that this is a forlorn hope to pick and choose treaties. We need to

:30:10.:30:14.

develop a different kind of membership. There are those who

:30:14.:30:18.

might be in the euro, in the political federation... It is

:30:19.:30:28.
:30:29.:30:37.

already the case. We have got the What about countries have in the EU

:30:37.:30:45.

that are not going to be in the euro? Getting all religious about

:30:45.:30:51.

the existing treaties and saying it is irrevocable, it is all about the

:30:51.:30:57.

language. She is saying it could be disadvantageous to Britain. Most of

:30:57.:31:03.

our trade is externally outside the European Union. That trade is

:31:04.:31:13.

growing. We do not have the same figures will start 60% of the

:31:13.:31:21.

British export... That is a bogus number. I challenge that. Well

:31:21.:31:26.

under 50% of our manufactured goods were exported to the European Union.

:31:26.:31:31.

Trade with the rest of the world is growing much faster. Why are we

:31:31.:31:37.

letting the tail wag the dog? Less than 10% of our GDP is exported

:31:37.:31:43.

directly to the European Union. Should Britain renegotiate to a

:31:43.:31:50.

position that is better for Britain and still play a leading role in

:31:50.:32:00.
:32:00.:32:00.

the European Union? No controls over horsemeat. Why would the other

:32:00.:32:07.

EU states have to pay for something the British do not want to pay for?

:32:07.:32:13.

What am trying to say is, it would have huge consequences, not only on

:32:13.:32:17.

trade relations but every single thing that has been built up over

:32:17.:32:22.

50 years between your country and mine. A few years ago, the

:32:22.:32:27.

President said, we might have to give Britain a special status. Just

:32:27.:32:33.

a month ago, it was talked about allowing Britain to have a

:32:33.:32:42.

different relationship put up no, he said, leave it Europe.

:32:42.:32:46.

different relationship. We might have a much more bilateral

:32:46.:32:49.

relationship with our European partners and have at present. We

:32:49.:32:54.

need to look at this with an open mind. The idea that we're going to

:32:54.:32:57.

Sunday join the euro and the in federal Europe is not going to

:32:57.:33:04.

happen. -- Sunday. The question is, how do we skin this particular cat

:33:04.:33:10.

so we can be amicable and friendly? What do you think about Anglo-

:33:10.:33:15.

French relations? At bilateral level Cup we're just like an odd

:33:15.:33:25.
:33:25.:33:26.

couple. Arguing. At European level, the consequences could be very

:33:26.:33:34.

serious. I would not be fighting for a yacht owned sake. Back in

:33:34.:33:39.

Paris -- for your own sake. Back in Paris, I am one of the last ones to

:33:39.:33:45.

say, Britain has to stay in Europe. Keep working with them. They say,

:33:45.:33:50.

it is over. We will look at other countries. It all depends by what

:33:50.:33:54.

you mean about in Europe. I do not imagine for his second that we were

:33:54.:33:58.

not have a strong relationship with our European partners, whatever we

:33:58.:34:03.

do with the treaties. Thank you for being out guest of the day. Now it

:34:03.:34:07.

might be the last week before MPs head off for another well-earned

:34:07.:34:10.

short recess, but there is no sign of a wind-down here in Westminster.

:34:10.:34:13.

This afternoon, there is going to be not one, or two but three

:34:13.:34:16.

statements in the Commons. David Cameron reports back on the

:34:16.:34:18.

weekend's European summit, Jeremy Hunt makes a statement on changes

:34:18.:34:21.

to social care and Owen Paterson will update MPs on the horsemeat

:34:21.:34:28.

scandal. Tomorrow, the chair of the inquiry into the abuse at Stafford

:34:28.:34:31.

Hospital, Robert Francis QC, gives evidence to the Health Select

:34:31.:34:41.
:34:41.:34:43.

Committee. Also on Tuesday, MPs and peers will brave the cold to take

:34:43.:34:46.

part in a Westminster tradition - the annual pancake tossing race

:34:46.:34:48.

before party political warfare breaks out again. On Wednesday,

:34:48.:34:51.

nominations close for the Eastleigh by-election caused, of course, by

:34:51.:34:54.

Chris Huhne's resignation. And then on Thursday evening, MPs can escape

:34:54.:34:57.

the slog and toil of Westminster for a week as they begin February

:34:57.:35:07.
:35:07.:35:13.

David Cameron will stand up. He will head up a victory. Will it be

:35:13.:35:18.

seen that way? It well. When he first announced he wanted cuts in

:35:18.:35:23.

the EU budget, it seemed an uphill task for the Prime Minister. He has

:35:23.:35:28.

come home and managed to get it. On the back of announcing an in/out

:35:29.:35:34.

referendum, plenty peopling his party will be very happy. -- people

:35:34.:35:39.

in his party. By their that means his problems with Europe will go

:35:39.:35:45.

away, probably not. Euro-sceptics tend to start asking for more.

:35:45.:35:50.

this the end of David Cameron swears on Europe? You will get the

:35:50.:35:54.

big old slap on the back today from Tory Euro-sceptics. Not long ago

:35:54.:36:00.

did we think it would be impossible. The budget for the EU for they next

:36:00.:36:06.

seven years is a nine with 11 zeros after it. If you are a Euro-sceptic

:36:06.:36:10.

Tory, that is still too high. You will get a slap on the back but it

:36:10.:36:15.

is not enough. That is unless we move to the middle of the Atlantic.

:36:15.:36:21.

They were not be happy. Some people were never be satisfied. How rough

:36:21.:36:24.

would be between the coalition partners with the Eastleigh by-

:36:24.:36:31.

election? Pretty rough. Whoever wins this is going to be pretty

:36:31.:36:35.

instructor for the Liberal Democrats. The entire strategy for

:36:35.:36:39.

the 20 -- the 2015 gen election will be to try to run countries

:36:39.:36:46.

like this - many by-elections. -- general election. Chris Huhne will

:36:46.:36:48.

add the different factor to this time but it will tell people what

:36:49.:36:53.

they might face in the next few years. What about you, Michael

:36:53.:36:57.

Savage? All the polls are in the margin of error between the Tories

:36:57.:37:03.

and the Liberal Democrats. The big factor is Labour. If they can get a

:37:03.:37:07.

credible candidate. That could really hit the Lib Dem vote. That

:37:07.:37:13.

could be crucial in a race that is within 3% - the usual margin of

:37:13.:37:18.

error. On the issue of social care, it is the first time we have had a

:37:18.:37:23.

cap announced. Like it or not, it is a step forward that a Labour is

:37:23.:37:26.

saying it is a small step forward the start do you think in the end

:37:26.:37:32.

the parties will rally behind it? It is a step forward. At least

:37:32.:37:37.

they're doing something - something that has dogged political parties

:37:37.:37:41.

for years. Nobody has really been able to get to grips with it. There

:37:41.:37:47.

will have to be a lot of looking at the detail to see whether where

:37:47.:37:52.

there Labour will get behind it or pushing for something else. What do

:37:52.:37:57.

you think, Michael Savage Eye in terms of support? There is a

:37:57.:38:02.

problem on the Tory side. George Osborne made his name as Shadow

:38:02.:38:07.

Chancellor promising them that inheritance tax threshold would go

:38:07.:38:11.

up to �1 million was up the reality is, it'll be over a decade after he

:38:11.:38:15.

made that promise with no change to the inheritance tax threshold,

:38:15.:38:20.

which is being used to pay for this deal. A very difficult for a lot of

:38:20.:38:25.

toys to swallow. Do you think the Government has got a grip on the

:38:25.:38:29.

crisis over horse meat? It is incredibly difficult to get a grip

:38:29.:38:34.

on. Now waiting for test results which will come back on Friday. The

:38:34.:38:40.

chances of this being an isolated incident appear unlikely. The

:38:40.:38:44.

problem is cities across Europe. The Government will struggle. It

:38:44.:38:49.

will be very hard to get ahead of this issue. So, today, the

:38:49.:38:52.

Government will set out how they think people in England should pay

:38:52.:38:56.

for social care in their old age. At the moment, around 30,000 to

:38:56.:38:59.

40,000 homeowners are forced to sell their houses each year to pay

:38:59.:39:02.

for social care. And those with more than �23,250 in assets,

:39:02.:39:08.

including the value of their house, do not get any state help. This

:39:08.:39:12.

whole area is highly controversial. You may remember all those posters

:39:13.:39:15.

about a Labour death tax at the last election when they suggested

:39:16.:39:20.

that some of the money might come out your estate after you died. So

:39:20.:39:23.

last year the economist Andrew Dilnot presented the findings of

:39:23.:39:27.

his independent Commission on Funding of Care and Support. He

:39:27.:39:30.

said that individuals should not really have to contribute more than

:39:30.:39:34.

�35,000 to their care in the course of their lifetime. But the

:39:34.:39:38.

Government is expected to announce today a figure closer to �75,000.

:39:38.:39:42.

This will, however, be the first time there is any kind of cap on

:39:42.:39:46.

the amount you'd have to pay. At the moment - theoretically - it is

:39:46.:39:49.

limitless. All this might cost the Treasury around �800 million a year

:39:49.:39:53.

and the steer is that this might be met by freezing the thresholds at

:39:53.:39:57.

which inheritance tax begins to bite. Labour has described the move

:39:57.:39:59.

as a small step forward, but the National Pensioners Convention is

:40:00.:40:02.

not as easily impressed - describing the announcement as

:40:02.:40:08.

about as credible as a Findus lasagne. Speaking to the BBC this

:40:08.:40:15.

morning Jeremy Hunt explained why he was announcing the policy.

:40:15.:40:21.

is costing around �1 billion a year. It is a very big step. As a

:40:21.:40:25.

government, we want to back people who have worked hard all their

:40:25.:40:28.

lives, saved and done the right thing. The worst thing that can

:40:28.:40:33.

happen to those people is to find by a cruel twist of fate, they have

:40:33.:40:37.

to do the one thing they want to do least of all - will lose their own

:40:37.:40:41.

home. This is not the whole solution. There are lots of other

:40:41.:40:45.

things we need to do to make Britain a great country to grow old

:40:45.:40:52.

in. This is one thing that worries people for most. 30,000 to 40,000

:40:52.:40:55.

people every year having to sell homes to pay for social care costs.

:40:55.:41:00.

We want to find a way to end that. I have been joined by Labour's

:41:00.:41:03.

former health minister Hazel Blears, the Liberal Democrats' Stephen

:41:03.:41:06.

Lloyd and the Conservative MP, Stuart Andrew, for the rest of the

:41:06.:41:12.

show. There was talk of people having to sell their homes in the

:41:12.:41:16.

past. Are we now saying beyond 2017 no one will have to sell their

:41:16.:41:21.

homes into old age? This worries thousands of people across the

:41:21.:41:25.

country. We have seen significant numbers of families getting very

:41:25.:41:30.

anxious about what will happen to elderly relatives. This is actually

:41:30.:41:34.

the first step on a journey to solving that. It will not stop were

:41:34.:41:38.

put an end to people having to sell homes to pay for care.

:41:38.:41:42.

significantly reduces the number of people having to sell homes. That

:41:42.:41:47.

is very important. As Andrew Dilnot said himself this morning, it is a

:41:47.:41:51.

huge step in the right direction. It should be welcomed. G welcome

:41:51.:41:57.

it? To say it is a huge step forward is an exaggeration. It is a

:41:57.:42:02.

small step. The level of capping concerns me. When Andrew Dilnot did

:42:02.:42:09.

his report, he said 35,000, absolute maximum 50,000. He said

:42:09.:42:12.

the on that it would not help people who had a lot of money. If

:42:12.:42:16.

you say 75,000, that is the equivalent of 10 years in

:42:16.:42:21.

residential care. Most people go into residential care for three,

:42:21.:42:25.

four years and then they die. Most people on small incomes will have

:42:25.:42:30.

to pay just as much as they do now. They were not be helped by this.

:42:30.:42:40.
:42:40.:42:41.

that too high, as a cab? -- at a cap. We'll know it is a really

:42:41.:42:45.

serious issue and I take my hat off to the coalition. I would have

:42:45.:42:50.

preferred this to be lower, to be honest. The top end talked about by

:42:51.:42:55.

Andrew Dilnot was 50 to 60. The coalition have battled really hard

:42:56.:43:03.

on this. The have Kuyt inheritance tax for three years. -- we have cut

:43:03.:43:08.

inheritance tax. That is a brave decision. If it is too high, the

:43:08.:43:12.

Government were not the pain - the state will not be paying - or

:43:12.:43:18.

helping people fund their care. -- be paying. It will be covered quite

:43:18.:43:25.

easily across England in terms of people. The insurance companies

:43:25.:43:28.

will come up with something for starboard is not the case that

:43:28.:43:37.

everyone will have to pay �75,000 by a long shot. -- come up with

:43:37.:43:40.

something. That will sound like a lot of money that they will have to

:43:40.:43:46.

put up. We are facing one of the greater social tonnages in a

:43:46.:43:53.

generation cut at the time we have the greatest economic challenge. --

:43:53.:44:00.

the greatest social changes. The figures he suggested of the 25,000

:44:00.:44:05.

to a 50,000 were based on 2010 figures. When it comes into effect,

:44:05.:44:11.

it will be around 61,000. That is above what he wanted but it is a

:44:11.:44:15.

step in the right direction. This might be a step in the right

:44:15.:44:19.

direction. Andrew Dilnot looked at the economics around residential

:44:19.:44:23.

care. He did not look at any issues around community-care, which is a

:44:23.:44:28.

huge matter of concern to people. Take Alzheimer's, there at 800,000

:44:28.:44:33.

people with it. It will go up to 1 million in the next three years.

:44:33.:44:37.

Most of those people have to pay for community care and it is means

:44:37.:44:42.

tested. This does nothing to address that. I take your point.

:44:42.:44:46.

This was an issue for all governments. I am pleased the

:44:46.:44:51.

Government is starting. To say it is a huge step forward is a massive

:44:51.:44:55.

exaggeration. 30 years or so ago when social care was split off from

:44:55.:45:00.

health care... That is the problem for Alzheimer's sufferers. I am on

:45:00.:45:06.

the all-party group for dementia. It will all change. A partner is a

:45:06.:45:10.

community matron. She knows the issue of dementia is really

:45:10.:45:13.

profound. It will make a difference with joining up of health care over

:45:13.:45:18.

the next three years without a shadow of the doubt. We support the

:45:18.:45:23.

bill? When you talk about dementia, we all have experience in our

:45:23.:45:28.

families. We are finding that people are having to cope. The

:45:28.:45:34.

community care issue is central. It is being cut by the same amount.

:45:34.:45:39.

Local authorities are facing cuts of �1 billion for community care.

:45:39.:45:48.

Where did you put the cap? I would like to see was what was the regime

:45:48.:45:55.

recommended by Andrew Dilnot. You cannot do it by cherry picking. --

:45:55.:46:01.

originally recommended. How would you have paid for it? We have had

:46:01.:46:06.

clear policy set out today. How would it be funded by the Labour

:46:06.:46:16.
:46:16.:46:16.

Party? To come from inheritance tax is a good thing. We oppose it being

:46:17.:46:21.

at �1 million. We thought that was a vote grabber. That has gone.

:46:21.:46:31.
:46:31.:46:35.

We have a fine balancing act ended is difficult. It is disappointing

:46:35.:46:40.

we have to freeze the in terror -- inheritance tax threshold again. I

:46:40.:46:45.

hope in the future, we can revisit that. Actually, the freeze will

:46:45.:46:51.

affect about 4,000 people forced of this announcement will help 400,000

:46:51.:46:56.

people. But you have not been able to keep your promise on something

:46:56.:47:00.

that was a major boost for Tory voters? It is extremely

:47:00.:47:05.

disappointing. Was it be wrong decision? That is the problem we

:47:05.:47:13.

are facing. How do we fund long- term care for a growing and ageing

:47:13.:47:17.

population and help people keep their homes at the same time? That

:47:17.:47:23.

is far more pressing than the inheritance tax.

:47:23.:47:26.

Well, the Liberal Democrats have fired the starting gun on the

:47:26.:47:30.

Eastleigh by-election. They are not hanging around in the race to find

:47:30.:47:33.

someone to represent the seat which, of course, has been left vacant

:47:33.:47:36.

after Chris Huhne's spectacular fall from grace. It is all

:47:36.:47:40.

happening in just three weeks and we should get to know what the full

:47:40.:47:45.

list of candidates is in the next 24 hours or so. It is not the first

:47:45.:47:48.

time this seat has been at the centre of the national attention,

:47:48.:47:50.

of course. We have had by-elections there before, as the Sunday

:47:50.:47:53.

Politics' man in the South remembers.

:47:53.:47:58.

In the days of steam, Eastleigh was known as a railway town. Now the

:47:58.:48:01.

airport is the biggest local employer and the by-election

:48:01.:48:06.

bandwagon will drive past new suburban estates. The constituency

:48:06.:48:12.

stretches down to the sea. Including the home of Hampshire

:48:12.:48:16.

cricket. If David Cameron cannot take back as seed that once boasted

:48:16.:48:22.

that 10,000 Tory majority, big questions will be asked -- a seat.

:48:22.:48:28.

But what might stop him is the depth of local Liberal Democrat

:48:28.:48:34.

organisation. They know the territory well. In the election for

:48:34.:48:38.

Police Commissioner, a Lib Dem topped the polls in this area. It

:48:38.:48:44.

has not always been like this. In 1994, Eastleigh's industrial roots

:48:44.:48:48.

were strong enough to give Labour hope. Then it was a three-way

:48:48.:48:54.

marginal, with Gordon Brown joining Jack Straw on the Eastleigh

:48:54.:48:59.

doorsteps. This was the dying days of the Major government. Nigel

:48:59.:49:05.

Farage barely registered. Now UKIP could make a big dent. If the

:49:05.:49:10.

Conservatives were to lose it would put tremendous pressure on

:49:10.:49:13.

Cameron's leadership and lead to questions about what is the point

:49:13.:49:17.

of the coalition. Similarly you will get the same range of

:49:17.:49:22.

questions for the Lib Dems if they were to lose this. Lots of Lib Dem

:49:22.:49:25.

MPs will be fearful they will face a similar challenge in their

:49:25.:49:30.

constituencies, so why are we in coalition with a party that is our

:49:30.:49:35.

main challenger? This is massive in terms of national politics.

:49:35.:49:39.

Labour admit they are a long shot but Ed Miliband it needs to prove

:49:39.:49:43.

his appeal in the south and canned draught in support from the nearby

:49:43.:49:48.

cities of Southampton and Portsmouth. -- and can Drafting

:49:48.:49:52.

support. The timing is set for a result to remember.

:49:52.:49:54.

You can find out more information on the by-election, including

:49:55.:49:58.

details of the candidates who have been selected so far, on the BBC

:49:58.:50:01.

website. Joining us now, one of the candidates from that 1994 by-

:50:02.:50:05.

election, now the leader of UKIP, Nigel Farage. We won't talk about

:50:05.:50:10.

how young you were then. Not a single grey hair! Absolutely. Why

:50:10.:50:14.

do you think the Lib Dems have gone for such an early date? They

:50:14.:50:20.

probably want the battle over and done with as quickly as possible.

:50:20.:50:25.

We are relishing the fight. Our candidate has been there for a good

:50:25.:50:30.

number of years and we look forward to welcoming her to the House of

:50:30.:50:35.

Commons after 28th February. Will it be a clean fight? Yes and it

:50:35.:50:40.

will also be very close. We have a dedicated local team in Eastleigh.

:50:40.:50:45.

We hold all the seats in the council. They are very well known.

:50:45.:50:49.

They focus on the issues constituents care about. I think it

:50:49.:50:53.

will be very close. It is obvious to all of us it is between the Lib

:50:53.:50:58.

Dems and the Tories. The opinion polls showed Labour up nine points,

:50:58.:51:04.

UKIP up 12 points. And interestingly, the Lib Dem vote

:51:04.:51:11.

falling and the Tory vote falling. In Eastleigh. No. Is it in

:51:11.:51:17.

Eastleigh? Or not? Or this is becoming an even more interesting

:51:17.:51:23.

by-election. Who'd do you want to win, Hazel Blears? And they will be

:51:23.:51:28.

scrapping it out between them. I feel like I am intruding on private

:51:28.:51:32.

grief. The only winner is the Labour Party. If Cameron doesn't

:51:32.:51:37.

win, it is another round of speculation about his leadership.

:51:37.:51:41.

If the Liberal Democrats don't win, all of the Lib Dems will be having

:51:41.:51:47.

anxiety attacks. What is the tactic from Labour? We you lie low and try

:51:48.:51:53.

to keep out of it? Or try to get as many votes as possible from the Lib

:51:53.:52:00.

Dems? The Labour Party does not Lilo it in by-elections. We will be

:52:00.:52:06.

out there. -- will not lie low. People will know the Labour Party

:52:06.:52:10.

has got a proper, credible programme. But with these two, it

:52:10.:52:20.

will be like a dog fight! A gentlemanly contest? My opposition

:52:20.:52:25.

in Eastbourne is a Conservative. We battle it out locally but I am a

:52:25.:52:32.

holy signed-up member of the coalition. Today's example of

:52:32.:52:37.

social care, we are taking the decisions that Labour avoided for

:52:37.:52:45.

30 years... What about stuff that UKIP leaflets to Tory doors? That

:52:45.:52:50.

would be a good tactic? I think you could do have an opportunity but I

:52:50.:52:53.

know that Nigel did not stand and a suspected didn't because he knew

:52:54.:52:59.

that he would not win. We have chosen by the end James, a Serbian

:52:59.:53:09.
:53:09.:53:12.

district councillor in Surrey -- Dian Jones, a serving councillor.

:53:13.:53:17.

What was interesting was, of those considering voting for UKIP in the

:53:17.:53:22.

constituency, there more more Labour and Lib Dem voters than Tory

:53:22.:53:27.

voters considering voting for UKIP. We have seen UKIP get significant

:53:27.:53:32.

percentages in the last three by- elections. Don't write us off.

:53:32.:53:37.

UKIP could take plenty of Tory votes, handing victory to the Lib

:53:37.:53:43.

Dems. Nigel is right. UKIP could take some votes from all parties.

:53:43.:53:47.

We are encouraging people to remember the facts. If they want an

:53:47.:53:52.

MP to represent them, which is what they are doing, and they want an MP

:53:52.:53:57.

to stand up for renegotiating terms in Europe, they need to vote for a

:53:57.:54:00.

Conservative camp because that is the only way they will get what

:54:00.:54:05.

they really want. If they vote for UKIP, they a -- are ending up with

:54:05.:54:12.

no voice whatsoever in Europe. For if we have an example of the

:54:12.:54:16.

coalition. The anti-Europe line and the pro-Europe line. And you are in

:54:16.:54:22.

government together. You are scrapping it out yet you are in

:54:22.:54:27.

government at the same time. On the doorstep, grown-up people like

:54:27.:54:31.

politicians working together for the greater good. But you will not

:54:31.:54:35.

be doing that for this campaign. A but the government is dealing with

:54:35.:54:41.

the most catastrophic... People want to know what you stand for.

:54:41.:54:47.

Pupil premium, economy, jobs, apprenticeships... And the

:54:47.:54:50.

electorate to realise we are two a separate political parties who have

:54:50.:54:54.

come together to run a government in the national interest, and they

:54:54.:54:59.

do get that. Be fully expect that when an election comes, of course

:54:59.:55:04.

we will be fighting it out. The Lib Dem voters voted Lib Dem because

:55:04.:55:07.

they wanted DEC to wish him fee scrapped and a very different

:55:07.:55:14.

programme and many of them of very disappointed -- they wanted to see

:55:14.:55:21.

tuition fees scrapped. Every single councillor in the constituency on

:55:21.:55:24.

Liberal Democrat, you can mobilise your troops quickly. Isn't that why

:55:24.:55:28.

you went for an early date? And then you can blame Chris Huhne and

:55:28.:55:33.

move on? We are focusing on the reasons for all the councillors in

:55:33.:55:38.

Eastleigh, which is that we have be dedicated local team who put the

:55:38.:55:41.

constituencies of Eastleigh first above everything. I think that is

:55:41.:55:46.

what people want. I think it will be a close fight but I am confident

:55:46.:55:53.

we will win. Nick Clegg is already campaigning today. He has got time

:55:53.:55:56.

to go and campaign in Eastleigh but David Cameron will not have that

:55:56.:56:03.

luxury. He is busy running the country. Masses of us are happy to

:56:03.:56:07.

go to Eastleigh. He disagrees with Maria Hutchings on virtually

:56:07.:56:14.

everything! Don't say David Cameron for goodness sake! Shouldn't it be

:56:14.:56:23.

a three-way marginal with Labour coming second? We shall see. maybe

:56:23.:56:29.

we will get a great result. I am an optimist! The people of Eastleigh

:56:29.:56:33.

will not be interested in third and fourth. They want to know who will

:56:33.:56:37.

represent them well in parliament and there is no doubt that Maria

:56:37.:56:41.

Hutchings is the right person. the Conservatives don't win

:56:41.:56:44.

Eastleigh, do you except the prospects for David Cameron look

:56:44.:56:50.

grim? Not at all. This will be a battle between the two parties that

:56:50.:56:54.

are in the coalition at the moment and that has no bearing whatsoever

:56:54.:56:57.

on the next general election at this stage because we are mid-term

:56:57.:57:03.

whatever happens. Some Tories feel that phrase comes from a

:57:03.:57:07.

Conservative, who feels that if the Conservatives cannot win Eastleigh,

:57:07.:57:13.

what chance do they have of a majority? I would not accept that.

:57:13.:57:20.

One of my suits, and Northern, open one, which we won, and I am

:57:20.:57:24.

convinced we can work hard to win this way that we need to win in the

:57:24.:57:34.
:57:34.:57:36.

north -- one of my seats, an urban, northern one. If the Conservatives

:57:36.:57:42.

win, what are the prospects for Nick Clegg? We are going to win. It

:57:42.:57:46.

is a good and dedicated team. They put the people of Eastleigh first

:57:46.:57:50.

and I think the people will respect that. What do you have to do to

:57:50.:57:56.

maintain the momentum of UKIP? next morning after the last three,

:57:56.:58:01.

the media have said, gosh, what a surprise how will UKIP did. I say

:58:01.:58:05.

what the space. We will campaign on some big national issues, such as

:58:05.:58:11.

the opening of the doors from a Bulgaria and Romania, for which

:58:11.:58:16.

these three parties do not have an answer. What is a good showing?

:58:16.:58:20.

came second end of the room. We came second in Middlesbrough. We

:58:20.:58:29.

got 15% of the votes in Corby -- we came second in Rotherham. We have

:58:29.:58:32.

the high is starting point UKIP have ever had. We could surprise

:58:32.:58:41.

everybody. Thank you to all four of you. The one o'clock news is

:58:41.:58:45.

starting over on BBC One now with the latest of all the political

:58:45.:58:47.

Jo Coburn talks through the big political stories of the day with France's MP for northern Europe, Axelle Lemaire.


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