13/05/2013 Daily Politics


13/05/2013

Jo Coburn is joined by Charles Kennedy, Margaret Beckett, Lord Forsyth and Clare Gerada, chair of the Royal College of GPs, to discuss the latest political stories.


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Transcript


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Politics. As David Cameron got itself into a pickle about Europe?

:00:45.:00:50.

He has promised a referendum in 2017 but many in his party wanted sooner.

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News this morning that the prime Minister has rounded on senior

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Conservatives to call for Britain to leave the youth. We are asking if he

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has lost control of his party. And it is not just days having a spot of

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bother at the top. Messrs Miliband and Clegg are feeling the heat, too.

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Is the NHS being privatised by the back door? We will be talking to

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Britain top GP. And they are out, Chris Huhne and

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Vicky Pryce are released from prison.

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Dash Britain's top GP. With us for the first half of the

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programme is the chair of the Royal College of GPs, clear Gerada.

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Welcome to the programme. First, two severely disabled men are at the

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court of appeal today in an attempt to change the law governing the

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right to die. One of them is Paul Lamb, whose paralysis means that he

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is physically incapable of ending his life. He wants a doctor to be

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allowed to help him. If you were in a position and he asked you to help

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them, what would you do? At the moment, it is against the law so

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I've would not be able to help them. It is a difficult subject, very

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emotive, with arguments on both sides. On the one hand, state

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sanctioned death is difficult to think about but on the other hand,

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we have this sad case of somebody who clearly understands and wants to

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die. As the representative of 40,000 GPs, we are debating this at the

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moment. We are debating whether medical bodies should have a view at

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all and whether we should trump the man on the omnibus. Just like the

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rest of the country, we're torn. Some want it, and some do not. It is

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a difficult issue. But you are put in that position quite often.

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Although you say that it is against the law, and it is against them for

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a GP to actually help someone to die that position, but there is a grey

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area. Somebody is in such pain and doctors must have been asked up

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until now, could they give more pain relief, would they be able to give

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more pills, perhaps, in the knowledge, even though it is never

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said, that that person may then try to take one life. And yes, it is

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very difficult. -- take their own life. It is very difficult to

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predict when someone will die. Why would try to relieve someone's pain

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and do everything I can to palliative against it. Whether would

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deliberately invent -- inject someone with drugs that and you

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would kill them is going through to fire. Even the GPs holding someone's

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hand. Who should be responsible for changing the law? Should the

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Parliament who makes the decision? think it should be Parliament.

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Parliament should take the views of their constituents and discuss it in

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Parliament. If it does happen, then doctors are going to have to shape

:03:56.:04:02.

the governance. Let abortion, it should not be doctors who determine

:04:02.:04:07.

it. -- like abortion. Should they not have more of a say given they

:04:07.:04:13.

are on the frontline? I do not think we should have more of a sake. We

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should have more to say on how it should happen, if it happens, but on

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a personal level, we should not have any more of a saving you or the lady

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that made me up. My view should not trump your view or the man on the

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Clapham omnibus. Now it is time for our daily quiz. Today's question is,

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which MP would win a House of Commons fight? According to a poll

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Commons fight? According to a poll out this weekend. Is it David

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Cameron, Theresa May, Ed Balls or Cameron, Theresa May, Ed Balls or

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Jacob Rees-Mogg? And we will find out the answer at the end of the

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show. You will be pleased to know that is not one for you. Spare a

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thought for David Cameron. The Prime Minister has gone to America to talk

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to President Obama about a trade deal between the United States and

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the European Union. While he is out of the country, his party had taken

:05:06.:05:09.

the opportunity to behave like naughty schoolchildren and have a

:05:09.:05:14.

fight. Over what? Europe, of course. David Cameron thought counties party

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down when he pledged to hold an in-out referendum on Europe in 2017.

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But it was not enough. -- thought he had calmed his party down. Now he is

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in a spot of bother keeping his class in order as more and more

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backbenchers talk about Britain's future in the EU. There will be a

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vote on Wednesday after some Tory MPs tabled an amendment which

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criticises the Queen's Speech for not including any bill paving the

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way to a referendum. And it is not just the usual troublemakers at the

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back of the classroom making all the noise. The Education Secretary,

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Michael Gove, and Defence Secretary, Philip Hammond, have

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packed up, saying that they would opt to leave the EU if they render

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random was held. -- is a referendum was held. Meanwhile, Boris Johnson

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says that David Cameron must make clear that Britain is ready to walk

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away unless the relationship with Europe is reformed. And with UKIP

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buoyed by their success in local elections, and can David Cameron get

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control of the classroom? Gary O'Donoghue gives us the latest. He

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is certainly trying to get control of the situation because he has

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bitten back at senior Tories who said that they would leave the EU if

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there was a referendum tomorrow. Yes. He has accused them of throwing

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in the towel. Essentially saying that they do not believe that he

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could get a negotiated settlement. He has had a swipe at Lord Lawson,

:06:38.:06:41.

the former Chancellor, and his own Cabinet members, Michael Gove and

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Philip Hammond, saying that there is not a referendum tomorrow, so it is

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a hypothetical question. The application of that, what is the

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first rule of being a politician? Don't answer hypothetical questions.

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He then goes onto say there be be a referendum if they win the next

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general election. That is a way of saying that if you keep squabbling

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in public over the tactics, then the public is not going to vote for a

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divided party. There is a certain amount of irritation coming from the

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Prime Minister. And also, of course, he faces the prospect on

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Wednesday they thought in the Parliament by the on this most

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polite amendment you will ever get. Tory backbenchers saying that they

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regret the absence of a Referendum Bill in the Queen's Speech, please

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may we have one. He is having to allow his ministers to abstain on

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that for fear of resignations. And backbenchers are having a free rein

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to vote with the amendment. It is interesting spin from Downing Street

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this morning, talking about putting the best face on it as they possibly

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can. The Prime Ministers apparently pleased that the spotlight is being

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shone on his promise for a referendum, albeit in 2020. And as

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he really intensely relaxed about the amendment? -- is he really. It

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is inevitable. He knows it was coming down the line. He will argue

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that this is a position of the Conservative party, so that is how

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they can justify allowing the backbenchers to do what they like.

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But they are in a coalition government, and it is not the policy

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of the coalition government, therefore his ministers cannot vote

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for this thing, so they will have two abstain or vote with the

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government. In a sense, the arguments are out to that extent,

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but exquisite for the time being. The problem is that the Conservative

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party is a pretty Euro-sceptic party in Parliament. We know that. This is

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not a Civil War, but it certainly feels like it.

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Without is the Conservative MP, Peter Bone, one of the MPs who has

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tabled the amendment. Emma Reynolds, the Shadow Europe Minister, and you

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could later, Nigel Farage, also join me. The amendment that we have put

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down, regretting that there has been no EU referendum, is the Prime

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Minister 's policy. In America, I'm sure he is toasting what we have

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done and I'm sure if he was not in America he would be supporting the

:09:15.:09:20.

amendment. So we have a bizarre situation where backbenchers are

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voting against the government's legislative agenda as it stands

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because that is in effect what you're going to do. You think he

:09:26.:09:30.

will be delighted? Even for the BBC, and know they are so roll Europe,

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how you can possibly come to that conclusion... We will be voting for

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the Queen's Speech. What we're saying... But not as it stands. You

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want to amend it. We are regretting there is no EU Referendum Bill, and

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the reason there is not is because the Liberal Democrats are blocking

:09:48.:09:51.

it in the coalition. They are such a minority party, smaller than Nigel's

:09:51.:09:55.

party. Why take any interest? Because they are part in the

:09:55.:10:01.

government? -- part of the government. Malcolm Rifkind say you

:10:01.:10:04.

are undermining the prime Minister's authority. -- says you are

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undermining. We will see on the vote whether people vote for the

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amendment or not. But you're going to lose. How could you possibly come

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to that conclusion? Through the numbers. What is going to happen is

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that most conservative members of Parliament will vote for it. Do you

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know that? I hope. By the time we get to Wednesday, I hope that

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ministers will be allowed to vote for it because it will be strange

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not to vote for Conservative party policies. Are the Labour Party

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really going to vote against it and tell everyone in the country

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that... Well, they have said they are. They are are telling everyone

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in the country that they are against the EU referendum. If they do that,

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good news for me and the Conservatives, and good news for

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Nigel. But it would be political suicide. What are you going to do?

:10:53.:10:58.

What Peter bone has been doing for the last two years. We have been

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very clear in consistent. We do not want to have a referendum now and we

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also think that promising one in four Mac years will create great

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economic uncertainty and a time when people are worried about living

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standards in the economy. To be clear, they will vote against the

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amendment? It beggars belief that the Prime Minister, the leader of

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the government, is also -- is almost encouraging, and relaxed, about is

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MPs voting against his government. You know that they are going to vote

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for the amendment. Three Labour MPs. A small handful. We shall see on

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Wednesday. The vast majority of Labour MPs... Are going to vote

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against the referendum? They are going to. Why will come back to you.

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You cannot win. I will tell you after the vote. -- I will come back

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to you. Every member of Parliament will have two face his constituents

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and say that he had voted for against the bill and do not think

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there are many MPs in Parliament who want to vote against an EU

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Referendum Bill. The point is that David Cameron has promised a

:12:03.:12:09.

referendum in 2017 if the Tories win the election and if they win it

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outright. Did you not trusted the pro-Minister? I Trust the Prime

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Minister. Why do we need the amendment? This helps them achieve

:12:15.:12:22.

their policy. We are seeing the government should bring forward the

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bill. To go down a Private Members' Bill route is well and good, but

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this should not be done by private members. The problem is that the

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public do not believe the Prime Minister. What this amendment is

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seeking to do is to try to bind his hand, may trip that he cannot go

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back on the decision if he wins the election. What is happening in

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Westminster really is quite small bear compared to the big European

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debate. I think the dam is broken. Last week, in the wake of the local

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election results, we saw three former chancellors of the exchequer

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and one former Shadow Chancellor saying that the economic costs of

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being in the US I'd weigh any potential benefit. That is a

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seachange in the debate. Do you agree with the Prime Minister in his

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criticism of those senior Tories who have said that the position of the

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negotiation is hopeless? I have not seen that criticism. We have just

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heard that the Prime Minister has said they are throwing in the towel

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too early, people like Michael Portillo, Nigel Lawson and others,

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who say that the point of renegotiation is not going to get

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him anywhere. In the towel too early? My view years ago was that we

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should try to re-negotiate and get it into a free-trade deal. I think

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that is now bound to fail. So you agree with Nigel Lawson two

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absolutely. There are two parties now, many people who believe we

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should come out of Europe. Many people in the Conservative party and

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many people in UKIP. If we could harness the two parties. What about

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that? The problem is this. The Portillo's criticism of Cameron was

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stinging but he doubted the sincerity. If you want to

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re-negotiate membership of the European Union, you have two invoke

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Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. It is the only mechanism that exists to

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get powers back to this country. As far as working with sitting members

:14:32.:14:35.

of Parliament advocating is leading the EU, and there are Conservatives

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and Labour people that advocate that position, I am open-minded on a seat

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by seat basis to talk to people about cooperation. And are you?

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take support from anyone. It is ridiculous when you have this

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terrific vote in the last local election for Conservatives, who

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argue go -- who are Euro-sceptic, and UKIP, Euro-sceptic. If we could

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harness those forces, we would be moving the Europe debate forward

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enormously. Is it happening? with David Cameron as leader. We

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would not contemplate it. Is it happening on an individual basis?

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no doubt there are Tory is a stations saying that the law was

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changed two years ago and there is a provision now that one candidate

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could have the endorsement of two political parties on the ballot

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paper, and there are associations out there that want this, I

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believe? Were? I think we're going to have to wait for that. Hang on,

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you said very clearly. If I have a confidential conversation with

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people, I'll leave that they are. The pace of the debate is moving

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very quickly. I think we will have one of those seats very soon.

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talking one or two, or are we talking ten? We're not talking lots.

:15:49.:15:57.

To be honest, there are only about 20 members of the entire House of

:15:57.:15:59.

Commons who believe that Britain should leave the European Union. The

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rest till think, somehow, we can re-negotiate. If the number goes up,

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and would be delighted, maybe they are all hiding. There are a lot of

:16:09.:16:13.

members who believe that but may not have broken cover. That flies

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against the idea that a vast number of Tory MPs are either secretly or

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publicly wanting Britain to pull out right now. I never had any

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discussions with Nigel about running as a joint candidate or anything

:16:24.:16:32.

like that, but I'm no that the vast bulk of conservative members of

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Parliament think it unlikely that the re-negotiation is going to work.

:16:35.:16:43.

Therefore, they will vote for the EU. You don't trust the Prime

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Minister and you don't trust him in the promise of renegotiation? Let me

:16:48.:16:51.

say in his Europe speech he was deliberately vague about what he

:16:51.:16:59.

meant by renegotiation. How. Labour Party take about vague. Ed Miliband

:16:59.:17:03.

on Saturday gave a speech, you should read some of the peaches.

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didn't understand it. Ed Miliband was clear on Saturday that the

:17:07.:17:11.

Labour Party is a pro-European party but a pro-reform party. We want to

:17:11.:17:16.

see reform of the EU. We want that see greater oversight of national

:17:16.:17:20.

parties. We want to abolish the Strasbourg seat of the European

:17:20.:17:24.

Parliament. We want to see a growth commissioner within the European

:17:24.:17:28.

Commission focussing on jobs in growth. Do you support, do you

:17:28.:17:38.
:17:38.:17:38.

support David Cameron's position then? I said we are in favour of

:17:38.:17:44.

reforming the EU from the inside and that we are against this arbitrary

:17:44.:17:47.

promise of a four-year period in which you have great economic

:17:47.:17:54.

uncertainty and a ref dim at the end. Does Labour rule out promising

:17:54.:17:58.

a referendum? We are not in favour of a referendum now and not in

:17:58.:18:05.

favour of a referendum at an arbitrary point in the future. We

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would have a referendum if there were a transfer of power from

:18:09.:18:11.

Westminster. That's in law, we know that. That's going to happen any

:18:11.:18:15.

way. Do you think on a scale of one to ten that Labour will prom pis

:18:15.:18:21.

some sort of referendum in the run up to the election? -- promise some

:18:21.:18:25.

sort of referendum in the run up to the election? The Miliband speech is

:18:25.:18:33.

going to make it easier for us to get Labour votes. I'm so pleased I'm

:18:33.:18:40.

a GP and not a politician. We debate things in a different way. Sometimes

:18:40.:18:49.

I think we're going back to a nostalgic past. My sones is we're

:18:49.:18:53.

far better part -- sense is that we are better part of a larger club

:18:53.:18:59.

rather than being isolated as Little Britain. But good luck to you all.

:18:59.:19:03.

Want our democracy back. If this club was democratic there might be

:19:03.:19:09.

arguments for it. But it clearly isn't. We may need to sort out of

:19:09.:19:13.

the irritating issues such as the 40-hour European time directive but

:19:13.:19:17.

the idea that we can go backwards an be Little Britain in the world of

:19:17.:19:24.

globalisation is nonsense. I don't want to end on obsessing about

:19:24.:19:28.

Europe but let's end it there. Thank you to the three of you. Who could

:19:28.:19:32.

forget the rum pus over the Government's reform of the NHS in

:19:32.:19:36.

England. Doctors foaming at the mouth, apparently Romola Garai, the

:19:36.:19:46.
:19:46.:19:47.

Lib Dems feeling queasy and the GPs are meant to create more competition

:19:47.:19:53.

between different providers of health care. Critics like our guest

:19:53.:19:57.

claim it's privatisation by the back of the surgery door. But is it?

:19:57.:20:00.

Here's Adam to complain what's been happening.

:20:00.:20:05.

John's come for a hearing test but not at a hospital at his local

:20:05.:20:09.

Specsavers. Could the NHS learn a thing or two from places like this?

:20:09.:20:13.

Definitely. It's something the High Street opticians has been doing

:20:13.:20:17.

since 2006. It's free at the point of use. It's free at the point of

:20:17.:20:22.

delivery. You would come along and have your hearing aids fitted here

:20:22.:20:25.

as you would in the hospital. The difference is you come into the

:20:25.:20:29.

local community to have that qualified service performed.

:20:29.:20:32.

Involving organisations that aren't necessarily part of the NHS was a

:20:32.:20:35.

big part of the Government's changes to the Health Service in England.

:20:35.:20:40.

They've given more power to groups of GPs to buy services for their

:20:40.:20:44.

patients. We all know how controversial that's been. The

:20:44.:20:48.

latest row focussed on some paperwork called section 75, the

:20:48.:20:52.

part of the legislation that talks about competition. People like

:20:52.:20:57.

Professor Lindsay Davies from the faculty of public health are worried

:20:57.:21:00.

that the way it's written GPs will have to put everything out to

:21:00.:21:05.

tender. We do think competition has a role to play in services. It does

:21:05.:21:09.

test things. It does make sure that providers are doing the best they

:21:09.:21:14.

can and we're getting best value. But this takes it far too far.

:21:14.:21:18.

Majority in the House of Lords felt the same way. They tried to have the

:21:18.:21:21.

regulations rewritten earlier this year. But the Commons changed them

:21:21.:21:24.

back and now it's the law. Supporters of the Government say

:21:24.:21:28.

there's been a whole lot of scaremongering. I think a lot of

:21:28.:21:32.

people have used it as a reason to talk about privatisation of the NHS.

:21:32.:21:37.

It's not about privatisation. It's about encouraging people to think

:21:37.:21:42.

more about different services, pleurality of provision and whether

:21:42.:21:47.

patients are getting the best value and quality and whether taxpayers

:21:47.:21:52.

money is being used wilesly. patients might start seeing a

:21:52.:21:56.

difference soon. From last Mott changes to the NHS have been rolled

:21:56.:21:59.

out to every area England which means a doctor near you is wondering

:21:59.:22:05.

whether a company like Specsavers could be doing even more.

:22:05.:22:09.

With us is the Conservative MP Chris Scidmore who serves on the Health

:22:09.:22:13.

Select Committee. Thanks for joining us. Does the bill force new clinical

:22:13.:22:18.

commissioning groups to put all services out to tender. No, not at

:22:18.:22:22.

all. One of the issues that we've had is there's a lot of

:22:22.:22:26.

scaremongering. These rules, section 75, is only an extension of what was

:22:26.:22:31.

in place for existing PCTs from 2006 onwards. All we're doing is creating

:22:31.:22:35.

a level playing field and making sure all health providers have this

:22:35.:22:40.

obligation. How you see it? You're wrong. It isn't an extension. It was

:22:40.:22:45.

guidance before. Now it's enshrined in law. I don't think particularly

:22:45.:22:49.

discussing section 75 will interest many people. What does interest is

:22:49.:22:52.

the issue about have we got privatisation through the back door.

:22:52.:22:58.

The last word on that clip tells us we have. The word was "company". If

:22:58.:23:01.

you take privatisation as moving state resources into the full profit

:23:02.:23:06.

or not for profit sector that is privatisation. The debate before has

:23:06.:23:10.

been, as in this clip, if you don't pay for it, therefore it isn't

:23:10.:23:14.

privatisation. It is. It's removing resource that's currently belong in

:23:14.:23:18.

the state sector into the for-profit. The profits that

:23:18.:23:22.

Specsavers make or Harmony make will not go back into the state, they

:23:22.:23:28.

will go into shareholders. That's the definition of privatisation.

:23:28.:23:33.

Ever since Ken Clarke purchase the provider split people have bandied

:23:33.:23:38.

around privatisation. The NHS is still. There it's taxpayer funded

:23:38.:23:43.

and it works in the best interests of patients. The specific question

:23:43.:23:47.

which does that mean that those service that's are put out, that is

:23:47.:23:51.

extended, it is enshrined in law that it will happen more and more

:23:51.:23:54.

which is why people think it's privatisation. We've had a situation

:23:54.:24:01.

where doctors are able to do private practice in terms of a long time.

:24:01.:24:06.

Not alongside their NHS practice. No? Not at all. You can't have a

:24:06.:24:10.

hospital doctor seeing a patient in an NHS hospital and charging that

:24:10.:24:14.

patient. You can now, with the change in the regulations. Can you

:24:14.:24:18.

earn up to 49%. You have never been allowed to do that. GPs have never

:24:18.:24:22.

been allowed to earn more than 10% of our income through private work.

:24:22.:24:28.

. This is an historic issue. Centres opened up services and patients like

:24:29.:24:33.

them. About the quality of services? There are an argument which says

:24:33.:24:38.

does the patient care about how it's provided, who is providing it? They

:24:38.:24:42.

are not paying it when they access the service itself and if it's of

:24:42.:24:49.

high quality, does it mat sneer does mat -- Does it matter?We know

:24:49.:24:53.

that competition and markets increase costs. It reduces choice

:24:53.:24:57.

because you get smaller organisations being swallowed up.

:24:57.:25:00.

You reduce trust because you don't know whether the service you're

:25:00.:25:03.

offered is something you need. In the end, we all lose, the taxpayer

:25:03.:25:07.

loses because in the end I have more cost an the individual will lose.

:25:07.:25:12.

It's not going to be a big bang. It's going to be tae very slow burn.

:25:12.:25:17.

-- it's going to be a very slow burn. You haven't seen the end of

:25:17.:25:21.

the NHS on April 1, 2013, but we've seen the end of the NHS being part

:25:22.:25:26.

of a system that plans and delivers care within a state system. Do you

:25:26.:25:30.

not think that there's time to change? That there's a lot of waste?

:25:30.:25:33.

No, there isn't. We've been bandied about, there's waste in every

:25:34.:25:38.

system. If you look at the biggest health market in the world which is

:25:38.:25:43.

the States, it has the double whammy of the worst health outcomes at the

:25:43.:25:48.

great greatest cost. We have an ageing population. Competition isn't

:25:48.:25:52.

the way of dealing with that. provides innovation. The monopoly at

:25:52.:25:56.

the moment... There is no evidence that if you privatise you increase

:25:56.:25:59.

innovation. There's no evidence. Privatisation won't make people

:25:59.:26:05.

younger. It's not privatisation, the P word that you're bandying around.

:26:05.:26:09.

It's when you take an entire service out into the private sector, like

:26:09.:26:19.
:26:19.:26:20.

with the railways. How is differing -- delivering hearing aids in

:26:20.:26:24.

Specsavers not the same? It's like glasses being taken out. It's

:26:24.:26:27.

delivered better services. We have remember NHS glasses and look at the

:26:27.:26:32.

quality now. Once you have opened up a playerality of service and the

:26:32.:26:40.

cost of -- plurality of service and the cost. I'm sure Specsavers do an

:26:40.:26:44.

excellent job. The question is what is your definition of privatisation.

:26:44.:26:49.

Mine is removing state resources, ie my taxpayers money and putting it

:26:49.:26:54.

into a for-profit or not for profit organisation why I or the NHS cannot

:26:54.:27:02.

determine how that money is spent. There's no evidence that it doesn't

:27:02.:27:07.

care. Opening it up to new providers which did start under Labour, under

:27:07.:27:11.

Tony Blair. Due disagree with it them snow I say a scourge on both

:27:12.:27:15.

their houses. What has happened is the dismantling of an incredibly

:27:15.:27:19.

effective service, the National Health Service, with a thousand cuts

:27:19.:27:24.

and it has been going on and this current one is, I suspect, the final

:27:24.:27:28.

explosion. Let's talk about access. You don't agree in terms of what is

:27:28.:27:32.

privatedisation and what isn't. Let's look at, we've talked about

:27:32.:27:36.

quality and there isn't conclusive evidence. What about access. Taking

:27:36.:27:40.

the example of Specsavers, things on the High Street make it easier for

:27:40.:27:45.

people to access these sorts of things? Yes of course. There's a --

:27:45.:27:49.

as a GPs surgery we're on the High Street. You don't necessarily need a

:27:49.:27:53.

private service. Of course we need time prove access. My argument is

:27:53.:27:59.

there is no evidence whatsoever that competition improves the outcome for

:27:59.:28:04.

patients in the end. What do you say to that? What evidence is there?

:28:04.:28:08.

Going round looking at the new GP clinical commissioning grooms and

:28:08.:28:12.

looking at the excitement that -- groups and looking at the excitement

:28:12.:28:16.

that GPs have to be able to innovate and make decisions on behalf of

:28:16.:28:21.

their patients. It's notlet first time -- not the first time. I was

:28:21.:28:25.

chair of an organisation in the late 9-0s in south London. We've had lots

:28:25.:28:29.

of opportunities to hold our own budget. On the whole GPs prefer to

:28:29.:28:33.

be in the consulting room seeing patients. On the Queen's Speech,

:28:33.:28:36.

while we have you here, what about Government's plans to ask doctors to

:28:36.:28:39.

check the immigration status of patients because that's the

:28:39.:28:44.

implication of what's suggested. Right. As I said over the weekend, I

:28:44.:28:48.

don't think doctors should be the borders agency. And they shouldn't

:28:48.:28:52.

be the new tax collectors in receiving money from patients who we

:28:52.:28:56.

deem or have been deemed as not being entight tolled free health

:28:56.:29:00.

care. This is something I've campaigned in Parliament on. I'm

:29:00.:29:06.

happy about this. It's a small A money, but lots of people... Should

:29:06.:29:10.

GPs make those decisions or ask those questions? I think, we either

:29:10.:29:14.

have a situation where we have some sort of unit in the department which

:29:14.:29:18.

actually might pool resources. There is an issue of duplication. The

:29:18.:29:21.

Government will review and look at the options, which is the right

:29:21.:29:25.

thing to do. It may well, we don't know what the scants of the problem

:29:25.:29:30.

is, we -- extent of the problem is. We have looked at estimates from one

:29:30.:29:35.

million to one billion. We don't know. I worry we're trading the same

:29:35.:29:39.

anecdotes and when you look at the problem it's a very small proportion

:29:39.:29:45.

of NHS spend. Probably less than 1%. Thigh for coming in. -- thank you

:29:45.:29:51.

for coming in. Now let's have a quick look at the week ahead. Later

:29:51.:29:56.

today, President Obama welcomes David Cameron to the White House,

:29:56.:30:00.

expect Europe and Syria to be on the agenda. MPs will debate the Queen's

:30:00.:30:03.

Speech this week. And as we've been hearing, expect a vote on Wednesday

:30:03.:30:08.

on the lack of an EU referendum. It's the Police Federation annual

:30:08.:30:11.

conference. That will probably mean Theresa May will turn up and get

:30:11.:30:16.

heckled. On Thursday, it's the ballot of Private Members' Bills,

:30:16.:30:19.

well joining us from College Green now is Andrew Pierce from the Daily

:30:19.:30:23.

Mail and Kate Devlin from the Herald. Welcome to both of you.

:30:23.:30:26.

Andrew Pierce, David Cameron is hitting back at those senior Tory

:30:26.:30:32.

MPs who say renegotiation is hopeless. You can't make it up with

:30:32.:30:34.

the Conservative Party. David Cameron was the leader who thought

:30:34.:30:39.

he would bury the issue of Europe as a divisive factor in his party. It

:30:39.:30:44.

looks like it may bury him. I've been talking to MPs who you wouldn't

:30:44.:30:49.

expect to necessarily be supporting this motion this week, regretting

:30:49.:30:55.

the absence of any Europe in the Queen's Speech. On the left of the

:30:55.:30:59.

party, they say it's simple we have to pull out of Europe unless there's

:30:59.:31:02.

a massive renegotiation. It's up and running now. I don't think Cameron

:31:02.:31:06.

can put the Jeanie back in the can put the Jeanie back in the

:31:06.:31:10.

bottle. Do you agree? How is it going to look on Wednesday when

:31:10.:31:18.

you've got 100 or so or more, if Andrew Pierce is right, voting

:31:18.:31:20.

Andrew Pierce is right, voting Andrew Pierce is right, voting

:31:20.:31:30.
:31:30.:31:35.

will look bad. Downing Street have had a number of these rebellions in

:31:35.:31:38.

recent years and there are signs that they are starting to get that

:31:38.:31:44.

and managing them. -- they are starting to get better at managing

:31:44.:31:50.

them. Saying that they are free to vote against it frees David

:31:50.:31:54.

Cameron. It means he will not have to sack people after the vote as he

:31:54.:31:59.

had in the past. That said, those who will vote for the amendment are

:31:59.:32:04.

surprised that Downing Street is surprised that the Euro-sceptics are

:32:04.:32:10.

still pushing this issue. There has to be something with the take a step

:32:10.:32:13.

back and try to decide how they are going to deal with these things over

:32:13.:32:19.

the long-term. How do you deal with it? The thing is, it is the prime

:32:19.:32:23.

Minister's fault. Before the Queen's Speech she talked about putting

:32:23.:32:28.

something in the speech about Europe and then he backed off. He has been

:32:28.:32:34.

sending out conflicting signals. And he has to get his backbenchers a --

:32:34.:32:38.

in opportunity to sound off. They have a problem with UKIP and it is

:32:38.:32:41.

not just about UKIP. Tories think the relationship with the European

:32:41.:32:45.

Union is not fit for purpose and they want out unless they can be a

:32:45.:32:49.

major re-negotiation. There is one advantage for Cameron in this latest

:32:49.:32:54.

bout of infighting. At least the Tories can say that they are the

:32:54.:32:57.

only party that will give the referendum, unlike Labour and the

:32:57.:33:01.

Lib Dems who are implacably opposed. What about the public? Is

:33:01.:33:08.

there this fear of obsessing about Europe at Westminster? Yes. The Tory

:33:08.:33:11.

leadership says that they are trying to appeal to lots of different

:33:12.:33:17.

people and that they have to try to remember that. So while they are

:33:17.:33:20.

appeasing backbenchers, they had to appeal to normal people up and down

:33:20.:33:25.

the country, some of whom are feeling the same way as the Tory

:33:25.:33:30.

rebels, that they want some kind of in-out referendum. But a significant

:33:30.:33:35.

proportion of them are baffled that the Tory party appears to be turning

:33:35.:33:39.

itself -- tearing itself apart again over this. But they are very good at

:33:39.:33:48.

it! The art experts. We have just had Nigel Farage on the programme,

:33:48.:33:54.

saying that there are discussions going on between number of Tory

:33:54.:33:56.

associations and UKIP in terms of a shared platform. Are you hearing

:33:56.:34:02.

that? Absolutely. I'll was thought that it would happen if they did

:34:02.:34:04.

well in the County Council elections. Almost certainly in my

:34:04.:34:07.

view they will win the European elections next year. I'm no many

:34:07.:34:14.

Tories who are going to vote for UKIP. There will be situations where

:34:14.:34:20.

Nigel Farage Wilmot put out a candidate. David Cameron is quick to

:34:20.:34:23.

have to get serious about this and talk to a man he has dismissed as a

:34:24.:34:27.

nutcase. Thank you both. Enjoy the rest of the week.

:34:27.:34:30.

Joining us for the rest of the programme are three very normal

:34:30.:34:33.

people, former deputy leader, Mark Crick Beckett -- former Labour

:34:33.:34:43.
:34:43.:34:44.

deputy leader, Margaret Beckett, Lord Forsyth and Charles Kennedy.

:34:44.:34:48.

Let's move on. Two members of the Cabinet has said that they will vote

:34:48.:34:54.

to quit the European referendum -- European Union if there was a

:34:54.:34:57.

referendum tomorrow. Would you add your voice to that? I would want us

:34:57.:35:02.

out if there was a vote, not because we are leaving the EU, but because

:35:02.:35:05.

they are leaving us. They are going down the path of further economic

:35:05.:35:09.

integration and that will not make Europe competitive. You can see the

:35:09.:35:13.

misery being caused in countries like Spain where youth unemployment

:35:13.:35:17.

is that 60%. The Archbishop warns today of civil unrest. We cannot go

:35:17.:35:22.

down that track. We need to see our future in the global economy and be

:35:22.:35:25.

free to determine our borders and laws. Do you think that Nigel Lawson

:35:25.:35:31.

was right to say that re-negotiation is pointless? Yes.And David Cameron

:35:31.:35:34.

says you are throwing in the towel too early and undermining his

:35:34.:35:38.

position. I think there is confusion here. If we say that we're Article

:35:38.:35:43.

50 of the treaty to leave the union and renegotiate our position, I

:35:43.:35:49.

think that is credible. The idea that you could get the whole of the

:35:49.:35:53.

rest of Europe to do a special deal for written, many of them would have

:35:53.:35:56.

to have their own referendums to achieve it. They would not want

:35:56.:36:01.

their own particular changes to the club. I think it is wrong. To use an

:36:01.:36:04.

analogy, I think David Cameron thinks he can persuade the golf club

:36:04.:36:08.

to play tennis. His negotiating position is impossible, because he

:36:08.:36:11.

is saying that if he does not succeed, they will continue to play

:36:11.:36:18.

golf. He has not said what he would do if he did not succeed. He said

:36:18.:36:21.

that in the event of not being successful, he would still campaign

:36:22.:36:28.

to remain in the EU. Do you Trust him to deliver on his promise of the

:36:28.:36:36.

referendum in 2017? -- to deliver a referendum in 2017. The Trust him to

:36:36.:36:43.

deliver? I do. -- do you Trust him to deliver. Why does the need to be

:36:43.:36:49.

an amendment by Tory backbenchers to get it enshrined in law? That is a

:36:49.:36:58.

separate question. What is happening here is that Tory backbenchers are

:36:59.:37:02.

frustrated that the British people are not being given the opportunity

:37:02.:37:07.

to have a vote on whether not we should remain in the EU. But they

:37:07.:37:11.

are in 2017. That is a long way away. That is a long period of

:37:11.:37:14.

uncertainty, and also it depends upon the Conservatives winning the

:37:14.:37:19.

next election. We need to get back some of those people that are voting

:37:19.:37:24.

for UKIP, you're going to win the next election. So you are completely

:37:24.:37:29.

persuaded that there should now be a referendum, or at least a mandate

:37:29.:37:32.

referendum which would guide any future negotiations for David

:37:32.:37:36.

Cameron? I think there should be an in-out referendum under think the

:37:36.:37:39.

Prime Minister should be getting himself around Europe now, trying to

:37:39.:37:45.

get a deal for us if we leave. lost control of the party over

:37:45.:37:49.

Europe? Not at all.It sounds like it listening to you. He's got it

:37:49.:37:54.

wrong in terms of promising a referendum in 2017 and the

:37:54.:37:58.

backbenchers are right to try to table an amendment because they do

:37:58.:38:01.

not Trust them to deliver a referendum in 2017. He seems to have

:38:01.:38:07.

lost control. I am one of these old-fashioned people who think the

:38:07.:38:09.

executive should take note of what Parliament thinks and not the other

:38:09.:38:17.

way around. Is it difficult at this point, should Ed Miliband be ruling

:38:17.:38:22.

out any referendum on Europe at this point? At this point, yes. I think

:38:22.:38:30.

issued and he is, because there are huge problems in our economy and

:38:30.:38:34.

leaving Europe is not going to help to solve those problems. What the

:38:34.:38:37.

government should be trying to deal with is getting growth and doing

:38:37.:38:42.

something to bring in more jobs. The minute we start saying that we are

:38:42.:38:45.

going to leave the European Union, there are literally millions of jobs

:38:45.:38:49.

in this country at stake. When I was Secretary of State for trade and

:38:49.:38:52.

industry, the Japanese motor industry, in one voice, was

:38:52.:38:58.

absolutely clear. They were clear that if we leave Europe, they will

:38:58.:39:02.

leave the UK. But by not stating whether there should be a

:39:02.:39:05.

referendum, why not give people the chance to say yes or no? That would

:39:05.:39:09.

create certainty? We are the only party you are a gay people the

:39:09.:39:15.

chance to say yes or no. For my part... You campaigned for people to

:39:15.:39:18.

leave. I did. Let me draw your attention to the fact that there

:39:18.:39:23.

were some differences. For example, we still had strong ties with the

:39:23.:39:26.

Commonwealth. We still have a different relationship with Asda.

:39:26.:39:36.
:39:36.:39:37.

All that has gone. -- EFTA. So Labour should not promise a

:39:37.:39:41.

referendum now or in the run-up to the election? We will have to take a

:39:41.:39:46.

decision then. My heart sinks at the thought that we should commit

:39:46.:39:51.

ourselves as an incoming government to the first priority of engaging in

:39:51.:39:54.

a wholesale diversion of a referendum on Europe. We should be

:39:54.:39:58.

doing concentrating on turning the economy around. What do you say to

:39:58.:40:04.

that? I think marketers write about the importance of the economy and

:40:04.:40:07.

jobs but the idea that we will not have access to European markets and

:40:07.:40:12.

we could not have a free train -- free trade agreement, is just

:40:13.:40:18.

wrong. Did not that.Our future lies with South America and China, the

:40:18.:40:21.

growth parts of the world that we need to be able to sell our goods

:40:21.:40:27.

and services to. Our -- we are being completely hamstrung by regulation

:40:27.:40:37.
:40:37.:40:46.

and controversy. Our wiki Mac no. are we? No. The British civil

:40:46.:40:50.

service has a panoply of things that they want to add on to this bill,

:40:50.:40:54.

and the addict on the back of the European initiative, and then they

:40:54.:40:57.

blame Brussels. Successive governments have been guilty of

:40:57.:41:01.

this. As far as we are hamstrung, a lot of this is home-grown and has

:41:01.:41:07.

not just come from the continent. But you fought election -- you

:41:07.:41:12.

fought in the lection, and the Clegg attacks Gordon Brown for not giving

:41:12.:41:17.

people the referendum. -- fought and collection. The Liberals are holding

:41:17.:41:21.

the Prime Minister hostage to prevent him from delivering what you

:41:21.:41:26.

stood for delivering an in-out referendum. If he is a hostage, it

:41:26.:41:33.

is at his own making. But you would not support this. We have always

:41:33.:41:37.

said, have a referendum if you have a treaty change, or further proposed

:41:37.:41:41.

change. And that is agreed. But the Liberal Democrats are, according to

:41:42.:41:44.

the Conservative leadership, holding the government to account,

:41:45.:41:52.

preventing them mentioning it in the Queen's Speech. Oh dear. 60 Liberal

:41:52.:41:57.

Democrats in the House of Commons holding the conservative

:41:57.:42:00.

establishment hostage? The Prime Minister in the Tower of London?

:42:00.:42:03.

What nonsense. The reason Cameron is in trouble is his first big

:42:03.:42:06.

strategic mistake during the Tory readership campaign, to pacify the

:42:06.:42:12.

David Davis Euro-sceptics, which he did not need to do, as it turned

:42:12.:42:20.

out, he gave this guarantee which has left the Tories isolated. In the

:42:20.:42:22.

European Parliament, they are isolated, along with right-wing

:42:22.:42:29.

individuals, and of mainstream thinking. What has changed is that

:42:29.:42:34.

they were handing out leaflets asking people to demand an in-out

:42:34.:42:39.

referendum, during your petitioning, what has changed since then and

:42:39.:42:42.

now? What has changed is that we have a coalition government and

:42:42.:42:45.

secondly we have three years of an agreed position that government,

:42:45.:42:51.

these are the Europe. In the government's position, the coalition

:42:51.:42:58.

government's position is not to favour an in-out referendum now.

:42:59.:43:02.

That is what David Cameron thinks and says and that is what Nick Clegg

:43:02.:43:05.

thinks and says. You were saying that they are not telling the

:43:05.:43:09.

truth? They speak with one voice as does William Hague. You cannot deny

:43:09.:43:14.

that. Is Michael Portillo right when he implies that David Cameron is

:43:14.:43:18.

faking Euroscepticism? I think he is Euro-sceptic. He is trying to keep

:43:18.:43:22.

the core mission together and he has been put in a position by the

:43:22.:43:25.

Liberals to renege on their promise at the general election and proved

:43:25.:43:29.

between coalition country. Why are they not promising a referendum

:43:29.:43:34.

now? We're not reneging on anything, nothing whatsoever. We entered into

:43:34.:43:37.

a coalition government and I was a sceptic on that issue. But we

:43:37.:43:41.

entered into it. We published an agreement and the agreement on

:43:41.:43:44.

Europe was the position that the government are following. Nobody has

:43:44.:43:49.

reneged on anybody. The only people reneging on the 100 or so, and we

:43:50.:43:53.

will see how many tomorrow night, the Tory backbenchers who will not

:43:53.:43:58.

tour the line of their leader. People like you, are pouring

:43:58.:44:02.

paraffin on the Tory fire. The Tory Euro-sceptics do not trust David

:44:02.:44:05.

Cameron to deliver. That is what it comes down to and that is what they

:44:05.:44:09.

should be voting on tomorrow. That is what they are saying, we're not

:44:09.:44:13.

sure we like this guy and we do not trust him. Do you trust David

:44:13.:44:20.

Cameron? Of course they do. -- of course I do but I think he has to

:44:20.:44:22.

choose between keeping Nick Clegg happy and giving the country what it

:44:22.:44:27.

once. All political parties are campaigning on this. The UKIP result

:44:27.:44:36.

shows... There was a quote from David Cameron a few hours ago.

:44:36.:44:41.

Accusing his colleagues of throwing in the towel too early.

:44:41.:44:44.

annoyances with his own party. about the case for re-negotiation?

:44:44.:44:48.

Would've thought the Lib Dems would be part of a government that is

:44:48.:44:52.

going to try to repatriate these powers. You happy about that?

:44:52.:44:56.

not have any difficulties with that. We have argued for years that you

:44:56.:44:58.

want a Europe that is more decentralised and that is both that

:44:58.:45:07.

the rubble, not in the European use of the word, but in the North

:45:07.:45:11.

American sense. -- that is more federal. More power devolved from

:45:11.:45:16.

the centre to the regions and nations of Europe. Tories should not

:45:16.:45:22.

have a problem with that. When the Prime Minister made his speech, Nick

:45:22.:45:27.

Clegg offered to translate it from double Dutch into English. And he

:45:27.:45:30.

made it absolutely clear that he was not supporting the prime Minster's

:45:30.:45:37.

line of re-negotiation. They all wanted the top job and they got it

:45:37.:45:41.

but it's not always a bed of roses. # knew you were trouble when you

:45:41.:45:45.

walked in # on you now

:45:45.:45:50.

# took me to places I'd never been # you put me down

:45:50.:45:55.

# knew you were trouble when you walked in

:45:55.:46:00.

# on you now # took me to places I'd never been

:46:00.:46:10.
:46:10.:46:21.

# I'm lying on the cold hard ground Yes, gazing through the prism of the

:46:21.:46:24.

weekend press you'd be forgiven for thinking they're all on shaky

:46:24.:46:28.

ground. Let's start with Ed Miliband, Margaret Beckett. You

:46:28.:46:32.

backed him when he was running for the Labour leadership, are you

:46:32.:46:37.

pleased with how he and it's turned out. Yes, very.Are people not? Why

:46:37.:46:41.

are the polls saying he is holding back the party? He's had a terrible

:46:41.:46:46.

press from day one. There might be a reason for that? Yes, one reason

:46:46.:46:50.

that nobody ever talks about, the greatest sin in politics is to do

:46:50.:46:55.

what none of the political commentators expected. No

:46:56.:46:59.

commentators expected him to win and he did. They were insulted. With the

:46:59.:47:03.

help of the reasons, that was the only reason. It was a technical win,

:47:03.:47:08.

if you like. They can say what they like, but none of them expected it.

:47:08.:47:12.

They were taken by surprise and they didn't like it because they assumed

:47:12.:47:16.

that David was going to win. It was a foregone conclusion. Hasn't he won

:47:17.:47:21.

them over? He is winning them over. He? Yes, he's already improving in

:47:21.:47:26.

the polls. At a very, very slow rate. I mean the party... Let's not

:47:26.:47:30.

exaggerate it. In terms of personal approval ratings, he's gone up

:47:30.:47:34.

according to the polls one point since he game leader. Bearing in

:47:34.:47:37.

mind what we've been discussing over Europe and the economy, one might

:47:37.:47:42.

have thought he'd have improved his ratings considerably more. I think

:47:42.:47:45.

considering the scale of the defeat that we had at the last election the

:47:45.:47:49.

fact that he's held the party together. The party is, I think I'm

:47:49.:47:52.

right in saying, certainly as united, more united certainly than

:47:52.:47:59.

the Tory party, possibly than the liberals. Ed himself is doing

:47:59.:48:09.
:48:09.:48:09.

extremely well. In my opinion, and bear in mind I've watched more Prime

:48:09.:48:13.

Ministers Question Times from the chamber than any of the rest of you,

:48:13.:48:17.

I think Ed is consistently winning where the leader of the Opposition

:48:17.:48:21.

is never supposed to win. The cards are always stacked against you.

:48:21.:48:25.

that important in terms of public perception? It's important in the

:48:25.:48:28.

House and in the end, it gradually feeds through into public

:48:28.:48:32.

perception. He had a mountain to climb. He's doing extremely well. He

:48:32.:48:37.

is taking nothing for granted. Some of the party grandees don't agree,

:48:37.:48:42.

Peter Mandelson is one of them, not a fan of one-nation Labour. We've

:48:42.:48:47.

heard from Lord Sainsbury, "Mr Average". He said that about all

:48:47.:48:51.

three of them, all three of the party leaders. My impression is, I

:48:51.:48:55.

was surprised because I like David Sainsbury he was a good Science

:48:55.:48:59.

Minister, as I would judge. I have a lot of respect for him. I thought,

:48:59.:49:03.

why on earth has he suddenly decided to make this statement. From what I

:49:03.:49:07.

can make out, he has a book coming out and he gave an interview about

:49:07.:49:10.

the book. Was the journalist interested in the book? Possibly not

:49:10.:49:13.

as much as he was in getting him to say something about the leadership.

:49:13.:49:19.

It's not even a secret at all. David Sainsbury supported David Miliband

:49:19.:49:24.

and was disappointed he didn't get the leadership. Charles Kennedy, we

:49:24.:49:28.

heard Michael Gove perhaps mischieviously accusing Nick

:49:28.:49:34.

Clegg... Characteristically.Your word, showing a bit of leg over the

:49:34.:49:38.

child care policy. It is a bit strange, is it not, for Nick Clegg

:49:38.:49:43.

to have come out at the 11th hour with his disagreement over what is a

:49:43.:49:48.

crucial part of child care reforms? I wasn't party to the maccination

:49:48.:49:52.

that's led up to this. They've been discussing this for months.

:49:52.:49:56.

component of a Queen's Speech I haven't been in Government, both

:49:56.:50:00.

colleagues here have. These processes take months and months

:50:00.:50:04.

before they actually reach the printed page that's put in front of

:50:04.:50:08.

the sovereign. So it is surprising as to what went wrong at the

:50:08.:50:12.

crossroads. It is, I don't know the answer to that. I can only assume,

:50:12.:50:16.

this is an interPrio takes that the -- interpretation, that the detail

:50:17.:50:20.

as oppose to theed principle, of what was agreed, when that was

:50:20.:50:23.

fleshed out by the Conservative Cabinet minister responsible, that's

:50:23.:50:28.

when the alarm bells started ringing in camp Clegg. That's my assumption.

:50:28.:50:32.

Do you reject the assertion that there is challenge going on

:50:32.:50:37.

behind-the-scenes in terms of his leadership? Or any talk or rumour

:50:37.:50:41.

about it? I'm not a good source because given that I trusted people

:50:41.:50:45.

myself a number of years ago in these matters, that was a great

:50:45.:50:50.

mistake on my part. But from the outside looking in, I would think

:50:50.:50:55.

there is no truth in this. I think it is Michael trying to kick up a

:50:55.:51:03.

bit of sand to deflect attention from the on ongoing embroils of the

:51:03.:51:07.

Conservative leadership. I think it is a bit of mischief. If there were

:51:07.:51:11.

any truth in it, and I don't think that there is, my advice to the

:51:11.:51:16.

chaps would be send for the men in white coats. I see. The speculation

:51:16.:51:21.

is that you do know is that Vince Cable would be the man to replace

:51:21.:51:24.

Nick Clegg. And even he himself has said if the opportunity arose it

:51:24.:51:28.

would be something that he'd consider. Do you think there is some

:51:28.:51:32.

truth to Vince Cable perhaps beginning to put feelers out for a

:51:32.:51:38.

replacement? I don't think so, no. I feel a bit bruised because my name's

:51:38.:51:44.

not been mentioned at all. We can reveal, I'm hearing in my ear.

:51:44.:51:50.

get a cheap free hit for tomorrow, can I disspell the notion that I

:51:50.:51:54.

have in any way been approached. I am above the battle. Would you like

:51:54.:51:59.

Vince to replace anybodying? No, I don't want nb to replace anybodying.

:51:59.:52:07.

We have a -- Nick Clegg, we have a liberal as the Deputy Prime

:52:08.:52:17.

Minister. Unless we need our heads examined don't rock the boat.

:52:17.:52:20.

firmly in the House of Lords. king across the water. David Cameron

:52:21.:52:28.

wasn't in the picture, who would be your ideal person? I'm not going to

:52:29.:52:33.

answer that question. Why not?It would get me in great trouble. I

:52:33.:52:36.

will say that the reason Ed Miliband is in difficulty is because he has

:52:36.:52:39.

not acknowledged the economic shambles that Labour were

:52:39.:52:45.

responsible for. Have to leave it there. We hear Chris Huhne, which we

:52:45.:52:48.

said earlier, and his wife Vicky Pryce have been released from prison

:52:48.:52:53.

this morning half their convictions this year for perverting the course

:52:53.:52:58.

of justice. Here are the pictures of the vans taking them home. Chris,

:52:58.:53:06.

where are you and where is Mr Huhne? Can you hear me? Can he hear me?

:53:06.:53:10.

There's Chris Huhne. We can see pictures here. Chris Huhne might be

:53:10.:53:19.

about to make a statement. Let's see if he's going to say something.

:53:19.:53:26.

calm down everybody, all right. OK? I've got a simple thing to say and

:53:26.:53:32.

I'm not going to saying in more after that. So please you know, calm

:53:32.:53:37.

down everybody. All right? First of all, thank you very much for coming.

:53:37.:53:43.

I would just like to say once again, as you know from the night that I

:53:43.:53:47.

was sentenced, I said that I was very sorry for what I'd done. It has

:53:47.:53:53.

been a humbling and sobering experience. I'd like to thank all of

:53:53.:53:57.

those who have written to me, hundreds of letters that I've had

:53:57.:54:03.

and all my family and friends who've stood by me. And I would also just

:54:03.:54:07.

remind you that I've served only part of my sentence and therefore

:54:07.:54:15.

it's not appropriate to say more. I'd now like to get on, get back to

:54:15.:54:19.

home and continue with my life. Thank you for coming.

:54:19.:54:23.

REPORTER: Has prison been good for you?

:54:23.:54:29.

We can see pictures of Chris Huhne and his partner trying to move away

:54:29.:54:33.

from the cameras, who have been following him to get a statement as

:54:33.:54:36.

he has arrived back having been released from prison. He said there

:54:36.:54:40.

himself that there are strict conditions, because he didn't serve

:54:40.:54:45.

the full term. As a result of that, he can't say any more at the moment.

:54:45.:54:49.

I think he'll be lucky if he thinks the press will leave him alone at

:54:49.:54:53.

any time and the same for Vicky Pryce. She was also released this

:54:53.:54:57.

morning. She said she would return to work as an conmiffed. Charles

:54:57.:55:01.

Kennedy, it's going to be difficult for Chris Huhne to return to

:55:01.:55:05.

anything in public life. Is that ruled out all together?

:55:05.:55:09.

necessarily. Chris is a very robust, both very robust characters and very

:55:09.:55:15.

good people as a matter of fact. Strong social conscience about them

:55:15.:55:18.

and very, very intelligent and successful in their respective

:55:18.:55:23.

fields. I do slightly question and this is not a partisan point at all,

:55:23.:55:27.

but the price that they've paid, which is a heavy one for what was

:55:27.:55:31.

the offence... But they did plead guilty to perverting the course of

:55:31.:55:36.

justice. I'm not denying that, if you allow me to complete the

:55:36.:55:40.

thought. Yes, they have to pay a heavy price and they have done

:55:40.:55:45.

so.ive wonder from the point of view of society would their talents not

:55:45.:55:49.

have been better placed instead of being detained, as it were for a

:55:49.:55:54.

couple of months, actually be sent into under privileged schools to do

:55:54.:55:58.

some practical good over that period as well. I'm not saying they should

:55:58.:56:01.

get special treatment, but I think it raises a serious question of a

:56:02.:56:05.

penal policy. Do you say to that? Has it just been a waste of money in

:56:05.:56:10.

that sense and it could have been their time and punishment,if you

:56:10.:56:13.

like, could have been done in a more effective way? It's an interesting

:56:13.:56:20.

thought. My impression has been from fairly early on in this case, the

:56:20.:56:25.

courts themselves and the legal profession take this whole issue and

:56:25.:56:29.

this case incredibly seriously, far more seriously probably I'm afraid

:56:29.:56:36.

than any of us do. For them, the gravity of what was done is probably

:56:36.:56:39.

much greater than most people among the public would think and so I

:56:40.:56:44.

think it was, it's not really any point in considering whether it

:56:44.:56:47.

might have been better handled a different way because it never would

:56:47.:56:51.

have been. Do you think it was the best way to treat them, bearing in

:56:51.:56:55.

mind what they did and the fact that Chris Huhne pleaded guiltedy to

:56:55.:57:01.

perverting the course of justice and it is a serious offence? There was a

:57:01.:57:05.

Scottish judge used to say perverting the course of justice is

:57:05.:57:08.

worse than murder because it's murdering justice, which is a rather

:57:08.:57:12.

extreme position. I feel very sorry for both of them actually. I don't

:57:12.:57:15.

know Chris particularly well. I do know Vicky Pryce. They've paid a

:57:15.:57:20.

very high price indeed for something that was clearly wrong and I just

:57:20.:57:26.

wish them the best. And they clearly have to build their careers. I think

:57:26.:57:30.

what happened to their familiuals horrendous. People may say they

:57:30.:57:35.

brought it upon themselves. They will. But anyone with the slightest

:57:35.:57:40.

amount of human empathy and read the e-mails and watched that and not

:57:40.:57:45.

felt sympathy. Today he's behaved with great dignity as she has. I

:57:45.:57:50.

think the press should leave them alone. I felt particularly sorry for

:57:50.:57:54.

Vicky Pryce, if you've ever seen a notice about speeding, it says who

:57:54.:57:58.

was driving the car? You don't get another form unless you have said

:57:58.:58:01.

someone else is driving the car. He had already done something which put

:58:01.:58:06.

his whole career in jeopardy by the time she was asked to put her

:58:06.:58:09.

signature on the form. Do you think the Liberal Democrats will hope that

:58:09.:58:15.

Chris Huhne will quietly disappear into obscurity? No, I don't see an

:58:15.:58:20.

elecheed future for him. No, just generally that he would just...

:58:20.:58:23.

think Chris is the kind of individual, whatever he does next,

:58:23.:58:27.

he'll produce ideas. They will feed their way into our policy making

:58:27.:58:31.

process, I'm quite sure. Just very quickly, we had a question about

:58:31.:58:36.

which MP would win a fight according to a poll. Any ideas? David Cameron,

:58:36.:58:41.

Theresa May, Ed Balls, Jacob Rees-Mogg. I know it was bizarre. It

:58:41.:58:45.

was Ed Balls. This kind of fight, not a political fight. I can see the

:58:45.:58:48.

confusion there. That's all for today. Thanks to our guests. We will

:58:48.:58:51.

have to tell them about the quiz. The one o'clock news is starting on

:58:51.:58:54.

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