14/06/2013 Daily Politics


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Daily Politics. President Obama changes his mind. Syria has been


using chemical weapons, so the US will start arming rebels in Syria,


fighting against President Assad. Are Britain, France and America now


on the same page? Four former Home Secretaries urge


Nick Clegg to drop his opposition to tougher surveillance of


communications. Could arts and museums funding get


the chop in the upcoming Spending Review? We will discuss if arts


spending can be exempt from cuts. Do Government reshuffles cause more


harm than good? A report today warns Prime Ministers to think hard before


shuffling the decks. All that is coming up. With us for


the next half an hour is James Kirkup from the Telegraph and Mary


Ann Sieghart from the Social Market Foundation. Four former Home


Secretaries have accused Mr Clegg of putting lives at risk by blocking


plans for what critics call the Snoopers' Charter. Supporters say


they are vital to stop terrorism in the age of e-mail and social media.


Theresa May had hoped a new Data Communications Bill would be


included in the Queen's Speech, but Nick Clegg announced on radio that


it was not going to happen - and it didn't. The Bill would have required


internet companies to store users' data for a year. Here is what one of


the former Home Secretaries had to say. There is bipartisan support for


this Bill and there's been an all-party committee looking at the


Bill, which has said narrow it down, increase the safeguards. We say yes


to that. There is no particular reason why there should not be a


majority in the House of Commons from the Labour Party and the


Conservative Party for this Bill. As for Nick Clegg, he is not the only


senior politician who said things which he may later regret. He needs


to think about what is more important - supporting Google and


Amazon and these other American companies or supporting security and


reassurance for the British people. Jack Straw earlier this morning.


James Kirkup, how much pressure does this put Mr Clegg under? More,


undoubtedly. It is not news to him that there is a segment of the


Labour Party that is still speaking for that view. Three form Labour


Home Secretaries and a Tory - that is quite an array of people. That is


more experience than Mr Clegg has in this area? Undoubtedly. So far, he


knows full well that he's got most people against him on this. For


whatever reason, he is deciding to take a stance. If you think - Jack


Straw speaking for that Old Labour authoritarian... I thought it was


the New Labour authoritarian tendency? There wouldn't have been a


question about this debate. Is it conceivable that the Conservatives


and Labour could get together and do this over the heads of the Lib Dems?


That is an incredibly intriguing thought. I don't think it would - I


think it would be damaging for the coalition if they did. I don't think


it will happen. It was a bit rich for Jack Straw to accuse Nick Clegg


of doing this because he had Google's interest at heart. That was


a strange accusation, was it not? You can be right and you are wrong.


Accusing them of being Mr Google was unnecessary? It was unnecessary and


wrong. Using the killing of Lee Rigby as an excuse to bring this


back on to the statute books is also pretty disingenuous. The killers


were already on MI5's file. In your view, though, who is right and who


is wrong? Do we need this extra communication powers or not? I think


we probably do. We want to keep on top of terrorism. We always have


these sorts of powers for telephones. We need to accept the


realities of 2 21st Century technology. I agree. There are more


important things you can do. Such as? Everybody needs more capacity?


Would another 500 analyst going over this data make more of a difference?


It will be interesting to see if this works out. Yeah.Time for the


Daily Quiz. What has Chris Grayling said he would like to do with


give us the correct answer, maybe. The Obama administration has


concluded on the basis of new evidence that the Assad regime has


been using some amount of chemical weapons, including sarin in the


Syrian civil war. The President is preparing to send arms to the


rebels. The change in the position appears to bring it more into line


of Britain and France. What is behind it? On Monday, David Cameron


made a statement to Parliament on the decision to lift the EU arms


embargo on the Syrian opposition. He said lifting the embargo did "not


mean that we have made any decision to send arms, but we now have the


flexibility to respond if the situation continues to deteriorate."


Two days later, the French President, Francois Hollande, said


that mounting evidence of the use of chemical weapons in Syria obliges


the international community to act. The Foreign Secretary, he was in


Washington meeting with his US counterpart, John Kerry. He said,


"We cannot turn away from Syria and its people. We will have to be


prepared to do more to save lives." Yesterday, announcing Mr Obama's


U-turn, or change of heart, the US deputy Deputy National Security


Adviser, Ben Rhodes said the use of chemical weapons crosses clear red


lines that have existed within the international community for decades.


President Obama's decision has been welcomed by a man who was


campaigning to arm the Syrian rebels, senator John McCain.


applause the President's decision. I appreciate it. The President of the


United States had better understand that just supplying weapons is not


going to change the equation on the ground. These people, the Free


Syrian Army, need weapons and heavy weapons to counter tanks and


aircraft. They ne a a no-fly zone. Bashar al-Assad's air assets have to


be taken out. We can do that without risking a single American aeroplane.


Senator McCain. We are now joined by the Conservative MP Brooks Newmark.


He has travelled to Syria a number of times. He's met with and had


extensive talks with not just President Assad, but the President's


wife. We are also joined by Jack Straw. Welcome to you both. Let me


come to you, Brooks Newmark. Syria is awash with arms already. Why


would sending more make any difference? Well, it's pretty much a


war with heavy weaponry on the one side, with the Russians and the


Iranians supported with Hezbollah. They have 16,000 bits of heavy


artillery. They have an air force and so on. On the other side, they


have mainly small arms. The better armed of the opposition at the


moment happens to be the Islamists. What is happening is members of the


Free Syrian Army is flaking away to the better-armed opposition. We need


to stop that, support General Idris and do what we can to help him to


bring Assad down. Let me come to the issue. If the heavier arms are with


the Assad forces, it would seem that the only thing that could be a game


changer would be if the Americans were to provide the rebels with


heavier arms themselves, by which I mean anti-tank weapons. Is that what


you want the President to do? is what I want a coalition to do,


not just the United States, but the UK and France... That is what you


are talking about? Sending in small arms, better small arms would be


welcome by the FSA. This is not where the Government is today, or


the Americans. I would send tank-busters and anti-aircraft


weapons in. Jack Straw? concerned. I'm not saying rule out


such weaponry at any stage. I'm really worried that such an


escalation, which would mean that there would be Western boots on the


ground... I disagree.You can't use this stuff. You might be able to use


the rifle just after a couple of hour' training. The West would have


to send its people in? We have this G8 coming up. Russia will be around


the table. I don't think it is helpful to try and get an


accommodation with Russia and get the Geneva talks off the ground to


start speaking about a further escalation. We have seen - I can


talk about this - it is easy to get into military action, it is much


more difficult to withdraw from it. If America and the UK, and France,


is not careful, you will get dragged into a proxy war. At any level of


armaments, the Syrian government are likely to have access to heavy and


more effective weaponry. They have them already. They have Russia and


the Iranians seeing this as an existential crisis for them. Let me


put that point. We have had no indication out of Washington that


the administration is prepared to provide these heavier arms? Correct.


You are right. Supposing we did go down this road of the heavier arms,


every indication I have seen out of Moscow is they are prepared to


provide heavier arms. I am all for negotiation. Negotiation has to be


the ultimate outcome. For two years, we have been talking to Lavrov and


Putin and to the Assad regime. They have had no incentive to come to the


negotiating table. The message by lifting the arms embargo - the


Foreign Secretary was right to push for this - is when you come to


Geneva, we are serious. All options now remain on the table if you do


not negotiate. I'm not saying heavy arms will go. Dealing with Jack's


question, in dealing with Geneva, I think this sounds a powerful message


that we are serious and you should take it seriously. What would you do


if Mr Assad says, "If you are going to send heavy weapons to the rebels,


I'm not coming to Geneva." ? probably wasn't coming anyway.


instead he gets on the plane to Moscow and says, "Can I have a few


more anti-tank-busters?" From what I know of Assad - I have dealt with


him for five years - I think he feels strong when he is unopposed.


Like with any bully, if he thinks there is a real threat to him, he is


more likely - I'm not saying he will - he is more likely to come to the


negotiating table. The Russian by sending a signal through lifting the


arms embargo with the US in tune with us, it sends a strong message,


come to Geneva, negotiate seriously. If you do not. , all options remain


on the table. You went to a memorial service in 2005. You said, "We mourn


the thousands killed here. We recall the words of Edmund Burke, "Good men


do nothing. It is for the shame of the international community that


this evil took place under our noses and we did nothing like enough."


Yes. Many more people have been killed there than in Syria? You are


absolutely right. The difficulty is that you have to make these


judgments on the basis of the facts as you find them. These analogies


are important and, indeed, I deplore them in respect of Afghanistan and


Iraq. I'm as concerned as Brooks. I don't doubt the commitment of


William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, in facing incredibly


difficult decisions. There are no good options? There is a fine


calculation here about whether suddenly increasing the arms to the


rebels would or would not bring the Russians to the table. The last


point I would make, where we need to see a shift in policy, we have to


reach out to the Iranians. There is no point pretending they don't


exist. There are 80 million people next to Syria. They are of


fundamental importance. You were trying to reach out to the Iranians


for a decade on nuclear arms, and you got nowhere. If get we did not


get nowhere. It is the national intelligence estimate, from 2007,


never subsequently contradicted, the assessment was that Iran had been


trying to develop a nuclear weapons capability, but that it had


abandoned that. So, the Iranians are incredibly difficult to deal with.


So, you think there is centrifuges have stopped? No. It is a subject


for another discussion, but what I know, however, is that the moderates


in Iran were fatally undermined by President Bush calling them part of


the axis of evil. That pulled the rug from under them. If you want to


do a deal over Syria, you have got to accept the reality, Russia has


got to be around the table, and so has Iran. I read your fascinating


article in the Daily Mail, and you said that when you asked President


Assad what his war aims were, he quite bluntly said, it is the


preservation of the regime. Yes, when I first met him, in 2006, and I


asked him, what is it you care about most chess regime survival was the


first thing he said. When I asked him subsequently, when the war in


Iraq was going on, why are you allowing your people over the border


to attack American soldiers and so on? He said, if I do not let them,


they will turn on me and attack me. The third thing he said to me was in


respect of Hezbollah. He said, I am not strong enough to take on Israel


correctly, I am weak militarily and economically, but I would rather use


a proxy like Hezbollah to put the pressure on Israel, so that I can


get the Golan Heights back. Is your problem not with us, all with the


people that are watching, but with your own party? As I understand it,


it is unlikely there will be a majority in the Commons for this,


and Labour's position seems to be highly sceptical. We have had


Douglas Alexander on the programme and he has made that clear. The Lib


Dems, I think a lot of them will fall into that category, and a lot


of your own members do not seem to be supporting you, so, we do not


have a majority. Yes, I feel a little bit like in 12 Angry Men.


Very angry! It is up to those of us who believe it is morally the right


thing to do to persuade our colleagues. Now, most of our


colleagues are not on persuadable. I think what they are saying is, look,


we have been through Iraq and Afghanistan, and our constituents


are concerned that we should not go through the same thing again. Let us


hear the full debate, the merits of the argument. If you can persuade


us, then maybe we will accept it. Lets see if you have persuaded our


two journalists here - do we arm the rebels or do we not? I cannot bear


to just shrug my shoulders and say, let this carry on. I would like at


least then to be able to have some answer to Assad's air superiority. I


think it is possible to them in Jordan. But it is not easy, and it


is not obvious, and do I want Al-Qaeda to have anti-aircraft


missiles? Not necessarily. I agree entirely, if this was going on in


our country, if this was happening to civilians, we would immediately


intervene, so why is this different? On the other hand, if we take this


in REL of giving the rebels surface-to-air missiles, we pay for


intelligence services who spend a great deal of time trying to make


sure that that kind of technology does not spread around the region


already. We were just slightly puzzled about that letter from the


four former Home Secretary 's, but to suggest that Nick Clegg was in


the pockets of Google seems a strange thing to say. The point we


were drawing attention to at the end of that letter was something


slightly weird, that the Liberal Democrats should, in this rate


debate, be siding with these unaccountable American beer moths,


rather than siding with the need for greater counterterrorist ability in


this country. We have always had legislation to allow the agencies


and the police to look at communications data, which is not


the contents, but it is who contacted who, who text it who and


who phoned Hoo. What this is about is bringing back the legislation


which I first brought in 14 years ago, when the internet was barely in


existence. That is all it is about. It is an upgrade. George Osborne,


the Chancellor, is going to announce his spending plans for 2015-16 on


26th June. We will carry it live on The Daily Politics. Some politicians


have dug their heels in to resist further cuts. In the last hour, the


Treasury has confirmed that six more departments have settled, but has


not given any more details. Health and international development have


been exempt from the cuts, but not small spending Culture, Media and


Sport. As a consequence, museums and galleries in England are bracing


themselves for some bad news and possible closures. But should the


arts be bolstered by public funding? Is it time for them to


stand a little bit more on the National Media Museum, , at risk of


closure due to funding cuts, like other places. If, as expected, the


forthcoming spending review cuts the Department for Culture, Media and


Sport's budget by 10%, then many other arts and media sites could


also be facing cuts. Many think that could be a huge mistake, at least in


their own neck of the woods. This museum is essential not just to the


people of Bradford, but to the North of England, and to the economy of


Bradford as well. It is not something which sucks money, it is


something which creates wealth in the wider Bradford economy. It is a


fantastic place and we do not want to lose it. That argument is


embraced by Maria Miller, the culture Secretary. She has been


battling to protect her budget. She wants the Treasury to back the


business case for the arts, but not everybody is buying it. I do not


agree with the argument that arts should be funded by the government


because they bring economic benefit. That is probably the worst reason.


The Government is very bad at picking commercial winners. If we


want actually to have arts which are commercially successful, which bring


some commercial return, then we should leave it to those who are


actually spending their own money, and able to analyse and decide how


they invest and spend their money, rather than leaving it to a


bureaucracy to determine which projects should be funded and which


should not. People like Philip would not just like to see the budget cut.


I think that the CMS should be closed down. It is a relatively new


department. The idea that the Government should have a big


department which is looking after things like arts, culture and sport


I think is entirely wrong. Arts, culture and sport should be things


which are embedded in civil society, as separate from politics as


possible. The National museums of England are already coping with cuts


of 20%, before this spending review even cuts in. As a result, they are


beginning to think the end thinkable, and have discussed


bringing back admission fees. But would that be so terrible? In fact,


I think this would bring a considerable benefit to museums and


galleries, like it did in the 1980s and 1990s. The idea that the only


people who should not contribute to the upkeep of a museum or gallery


are the people who actually visit I think is entirely misguided.


Ultimately, a free admission museum is better than a paid for one, but a


paid for one is better than no museum at all. I understand the


arguments, but I think if we can maintain free admission, -- free


admission, we should do. Uncle spending review are a feature of


modern politics these days, but this one may determine whether free


museums and galleries remain part of English cultural life, or whether


they frazzle become part of history. We are joined now by the


former ballerina Deborah Bull. Welcome to The Daily Politics.


Almost every part of public life is having to take cuts at the moment -


surely the arts cannot be exempt? do not think anybody is saying they


should be exempt. The point was made in that film that we should not


value them economically. I do not think we can value them


economically. It is one tenth of 1% of government funding goes to the


arts. It delivers employment, it delivers tourism, �900 million a


year of tourism, inward investment, there is evidence for these things.


But for me, that is not the most compelling argument. Yes, the arts


should be embedded in civic society, absolutely, that the Government has


a role to play in supporting that. We know that the arts deliver across


so many areas. They deliver around urban regeneration, we know about


social cohesion, there is evidence for this. We know that social


mobility is affected, with young people from low-income families


being three times more likely to get a degree if they have engaged in the


arts as young people. We know that people engaged in the arts are more


likely to vote, twice as likely to volunteer. So, the ability of the


arts to develop across broad range of areas is really important. -- to


deliver. But since a lot of our arts institutions exist because we, the


taxpayer, subsidise them, it is quite hard for us to know which ones


are really worthwhile, and which ones are not. Does every museum that


we have at the moment have a right to exist in perpetuity? I would say


two things - yes, of course, and it is investment, because it delivers


back, is important. But the Government is not the biggest


investor in the arts. Across the portfolio, 50% of the income comes


from the public. The public are voting with their feet, they are the


biggest investor in the arts. not by enough, according to some


people, for these institutions to exist. When Shakespeare was writing


his plays, he did not get a subsidy. Why does the royal chicks big


company need one? He is the most famous playwright in the world! --


the Royal Shakespeare Society. Would Say It Is About Leaving


Support. We Know That 90% Of Charitable And Philanthropic Giving


takes place in London. Outside London, you are at a disadvantage,


absolutely. You have come to my next question - if that is the case, if


the private money is overwhelmingly located here, where the real money


is, why does the arts Council not spend more of its budget outside


London? I think it tries to create a broad spread of funding, but a big


chunk of our best art is in London, the highest profile... Why would


that be? ! There is something around eight of creative artists here, and


that is changing. The BBC moving to, for instance. The Arts Council is


investing outside of London, but of course, local authority investment


is also very important. Local authorities have very few areas of


discretionary spend, so they are having to make cuts in those areas


where they do have that, which means arts and leisure. 17% on average has


been in local authorities. London got 47% of Arts Council funding.


has probably got 47% of the organisations. The audiences are


where the artists are. If the National Theatre performed in major


to, would they not get an audience? If we had a real National Theatre,


instead of spending millions on that ugly thing on the River Thames, it


could be touring around the country. In Manchester, of course, you do


have the Manchester International Festival, which is a brilliant


example of what you can do. What do you think? She makes a very eloquent


arguments, but there are problems with them. Essentially, it is a


Keynesian argument, but it means that you are competing with all


sorts of other spending. There are lots of other areas which could have


a higher multiplier, capital spending, and the rest. It cannot be


the only argument. Your second argument, the cultural benefit, it


makes the world a good place - if all of these things are true, it


makes people vote, it makes them happy, it makes the world a better


place, why do you not just put the faith in people, the electorate, the


taxpayers, to go out and spend their own time doing these things which


are marked -- doing these things? I'm very much on Deborah's side.


It's been cut a lot. It's been cut 30% already. On top of that, local


council, the funding of the arts has fallen a lot. The sort of values and


gains that Deborah talked about aren't things you can achieve


through - sorry, aren't things that you can measure in economic terms.


People aren't going to pay and go to the theatre because it makes them


more likely to vote. Why do we have the best theatre in the world? We


have the National Theatre putting on fantastic productions, lots of which


go on to the West End and make money and recoup money for the National


Theatre. The National Theatre and the RSC provide a fantastic


baseline. We will have to leave it there. You will keep campaigning?


Certainly am. It can seem like a cross between a soap opera and a


blood sport - not the Daily Politics - but when reality TV comes to


Westminster. Government reshuffles are fascinating, but do they aid or


harm Government? According to the Political and Constitutional Reform


Committee, it can lead to instability and paralysis. In a


moment, we will discuss that. # That's life


# That's what all the people say # You're riding high in April


# Shot down in May # But I know I'm going to change


that tune. E. # REPORTER: Is this your last Cabinet?


# That's life. # As funny as it may seem


# Some people get their kicks # Stopping on a dream


# But I don't let it # Let it get me down


# 'Cos this fine old world # It keeps spinning around. #


Sad days, or happy days, depending on your view. Reshuffles, are they


good or bad? Good, if used sparingly. Sometimes people don't


perform as well as expected. It is good to get rid of them. It is good


to get people a chance to get on. I like this idea of keeping Cabinet


Ministers in their job for a full Parliament if possible. Someone like


Iain Duncan Smith couldn't reform welfare and bring in universal


credit if he was being moved on every two years. Mr Blair chopped


and changed them a lot. Are they good or bad? They are great from a


journalistic point of view. We all vote for them! Remember, David


Cameron said he didn't want Government to be a demented branch


of the entertainment industry. didn't work(!) They are probably


good in principle. In practice, they are bad. They never go according to


plan. We have to get to the answer to our quiz. What was Justice


Secretary Chris Grayling like to do with ex-offenders? What was the


answer? Work for the NHS. Pay back their board? No. Work for the NHS.


OK. It has just gone 12.30pm. It is time to say goodbye to our two


guests of the day, Mary Ann Sieghart and James Kirkup. This week, Members


of the European Parliament have been meeting in Strasbourg for their


regular Plenary Session. What have they been getting up to? Here is our


guide in 60 seconds. MEPs have criticised a secret


American programme to gather data called Prism. Parliament debated


revelations that internet firms could be ordered to give access to


data uploaded by foreign users. Amid protests in Turkey, MEPs voted on a


resolution setting out their position on Turkey following a


heated debate the day before. EU negotiators have been trying to win


French support to green light trade talks with Washington. France's


demanding to exempt its film industry from the talks.


Negotiations on the EU's next budget are going to the wire after an extra


round of talks was scheduled. MEPs are holding out for concessions. TV


screens went black in Greece when the government abruptly shut down


the state broadcaster, ERT, in the middle of the night. The government


said it was to staunch a waste of taxpayers' money.


With us for the next 30 minutes, I have been joined by the leader of


the Conservatives in the European Parliament, Richard Ashworth, and by


the UKIP MEP, Gerard Batten. Welcome. Let's take a look at one of


those stories in more detail, the latest round of austerity cuts in


Greece. It was interesting they pulled the plug on the Greek BBC, it


isn't actually quite like, as the troika was arriving in Athens and as


part of the privatisation programme had failed. It was symbolic? Greece


is skint, as we all know. They have fantastic unemployment rates. It is


around 27%. Youth unemployment is 62.5%. Ean European Single Currency


is one of the prime reasons why they are failing. What should happen now


is, is the austerity working or isn't it? No. Who can survive? The


only way they are going to solve their problems is to leave the


European Single Currency and start some kind of economic revial. We


know from the IMF report the only reason for the bail-out was to save


the euro, not to save Greece. Greek economy's fallen by another 6%


year on year. There was a feeling too that the worst had been over and


that it was beginning to turn the corner. The failure of gas Prom to


buy the energy company, switching off of the national broadcaster


suggests it ain't coming right? is a Honghe haul. It is about


productivity and competitiveness. -- it is a long-haul. They have two


choices. You can either spend five or ten years having jungle warfare


with trade unions to cut costs, or you say shut it down, sort it out


and open it up again. We have form in the United Kingdom where some


newspapers have done that. Do you agree with him that Greece should


just leave the euro? No, I don't think so. I think it is their


choice, if they want to stay in. They have to understand what they


are going to do to keep up with the pace. They are doing it. They need


to get rid of a whole raft of tU regulation. OK. Next week's G8


Summit in Northern Ireland is meant to mark the start of a fresh round


of EU-US trade negotiations which it is hoped will need to a new free


trade agreement. 14 months of pre-talk preparation, it may be


under threat if EU member states agree to fail their negotiating


position on mandate. The members agree the position, then the EU


negotiates on all of our behalves. What is the problem? The French.


There is a surprise! Trade between the EU and the US is subject to


relatively low tariffs. These trade talks could make tariffs lower or


get rid of them altogether and they could tackle non-tariff barriers to


trade, not prices, but things like technical regulations which hinder


exports. The talks could be derailed because France is insisting that


they keep their exception culturelle. The trench position


could stymie the trade talks. The usmt ambassador to the EU said: --


challenge any deal that affects French film, TV and music. It could


be negotiated but the French could have a veto. That could irritate


other member states as it breaks normal EU procedures over unanimity


on these decisions going into the negotiations. The French, however,


have thought long and hard. They are digging their heels in. They are


asking for the issue to be totally off the table, not part of the


negotiations at all. We can get the latest on this from our


correspondent in Paris, Christian Fraser. No surprise that the French


are taking this position. It's an historic one for them. So, will they


- are they playing brinkmanship? Are they going to stick to this line?


looks like they are playing brinkmanship. The French Trade


Minister is saying that they want this taking off the table. They feel


very passionately about their French TV and film industry. It is one of


the biggest - it is the biggest in Europe. It is the third biggest in


the world in terms of admissions and revenues that come in. If you go to


the cinema, there is a levy on your ticket which is reinvested in the


industry. There are incentives for people who invest in the industry.


They had a record number of films in 2010, over 200 films made. They see


it as the bull walk against it. The figures involved are quite


staggering. This would liberalise a third of world trade. Obviously, it


would be hugely important to French agriculture and to French business


at a time when there is high unemployment in France and President


Hollande is trying to reverse the curve at the moment and to get


unemployment coming down. So, he is playing high stakes. The French -


the British and the German positions is this: If you start sending down


red lines before the talks have begun, the sceptics in the United


States will start carving out their position. We might have red lines on


Californian champagne. They really want to go with open palms and say,


"Let's start afresh and get on with it." The window is quite small. The


compromise is this: They will go with an open book and when they get


to audio and visual, they will come back to the French. They will have


an unprecedented say on whether to approve it or not. They are hoping


that that fudge will see them through. OK. Thank you. The French


could stop this trade deal from taking place? They can slow it down.


I think that is the important point. This trade deal is ambitious, it's


over 30% of global trade. They need jobs and growth. The prize is great.


We can't go into the negotiations on the other hand with preconditions.


So, while we set a very ambitious timescale to get it done within two


years, I think before we go to the negotiations we have to get this


sorted. If it means delaying the start, I would tell the Commission


to hold it back, sort this issue about audio and visual problems...


How would you sort it? The French do dig their heels in. Mr Hollande is


not the most secure or powerful French President in recent years.


He's a Socialist. Most of the French art world is on the left. Is he


going to take on his own constituency? This is old-fashioned


protectionism in its most naked form. This is what free trade deals


are all about. If we can't overcome this, we are lumbered with this for


a long time to come. Can I point out that Washington, which is in the


middle of a pivot to the Pacific, they have other trade deals to do.


Of course, Washington would love to do a deal with the EU. There are 22


outstanding deals waiting to be done rather quickly on the Pacific with


other countries. If Europe is held up, because they want the frepb -


the French want to continue to subsidise their movies, the US will


say, we are off to the other side of the world. This will be the biggest


trade deal ever done in the world. With no WTO deal on the table...


Which fell apart. This sets the opportunity for the EU-US to set the


Gold Standard for everyone to comply with. This is an open goal for him.


This shows the nonsense of having our trade policy decided by the EU.


I knew you were going to say that. We should be deciding our own deal.


I always admire the French, and French culture. But they always


expect somebody else to pay for it. We pay for the French farmers,


through the Common Agricultural Policy, but it is the same kind of


thing. I do not see why some of my constituents, some of the poorest


people in the country, should be subsidising French farmers. And now


we have this. His position is that if we were not in Europe, the United


Kingdom could go and do a fantastic trade deal with America, like that,


because we do not care about protecting our movies! We watch all


their films, anyway! No disrespect to Iceland or Switzerland, but they


have not got the kind of clout which 27 European nations have. If you are


not at the table at this deal, which Britain would not be... Local but


his point is, we could do our own. I know you could, but only after the


US has done a deal with 27 other nations. That would set the rules.


We need to be at the table setting those rules. These are the rules


that China, Russia and all of the others will be following. Leading?


America has done bilateral deals with a number of Asian economies.


Britain is the biggest foreign direct investor in the United


States, and vice versa. So, we have a huge community of interest - why


could we not do a UK-US deal on our own? Because this deal, which will


set up the world's largest trade zone, is a fantastic opportunity,


and we need to be at the top table, setting the rules. We will not be


setting the rules. We would set our rules to suit a UK-US arrangement. I


am not saying it is right or wrong, I am just asking, why could we not


do that? I am not saying you couldn't. You probably could. But


you would not get priority. The US is going to get far greater priority


for doing a deal with 27 nations in Europe we shall we speak the same


line which, we have a very similar legal system, very similar company


law and all the rest of it. It would be much easier. And we have not even


heard from the French farmers yet. Wait till they hear about the cheap


wheat production in Iowa! Jo Coburn has been to Strasbourg. European


elections are famously low-key affairs. They usually have dismal


turnouts, but that might be about to change. An obscure paragraph in the


Lisbon Treaty means next year's election results will effectively


date take whether the next commission president is from the


centre or centre-left politics. The treaty states that although heads of


governments will propose the successor, they must do so taking


into account the elections to the European Parliament. The new


Commission head shall be elected to the European Parliament by a


majority of its members. This could lead to a fundamental shift of power


in the European institutions. next European elections will open a


new chapter, because in fact, the citizens will directly influence who


is the boss of the European executive, by their vote, more or


less, they will be determining who gets a majority in the chamber, and


the majority here in the Houses of Parliament will decide who is the


president of the European and. the first time, party activists


across Europe will play a role in choosing the figurehead. And what's


more, Labour Party members in Britain will have a say in who the


centre-left's champion will be. Labourer invests, Labour Party


delegates among the European socialist, in spring next year, they


will be part of the process, they will influence and decide which one


they like most, and I think that is a good, and aquatic procedure.


British Conservatives on the other hand will find themselves on the


outside looking in. David Cameron's decision to pull his party out of


the influential pro-European EEP grouping back in 2009 means British


Conservatives will be excluded from the selection of the centre-right


candidate. Prime Minister Cameron will have no role, because he will


be isolated in the Council decision. Especially in the EPB, they will


decide and they will vote for this candidate, but unfortunately, the


Conservatives will not be there, and they were just have too accept what


the others have decided. Four years, this institution has been derided by


critics as something of a toytown parliament, but now, it will be


invested with proper power, and its voters really will decide who runs


Europe. So, tell me, Graham Watson, do you think the European parties


will agree... ? I am sorry, we have got Graham Watson, the Liberal


Democrat MEP, joining us from Brussels. Have we got you? I am


going to come to you first, sorry for that - do you think that the


European parties will agree a candidate for the European


Commission president next year? Certainly. I am the president of the


European Liberal Democrats pan-European political party. We


agreed four weeks ago the timescale and the procedure for this election


of a Liberal candidate for the presidency of the Commission. I know


from discussions with my counterparts, the European


Socialists and the European People's party, that they also have agreed


their procedures. This will go ahead towards the end of the year. We all


expect to have special electoral congresses in early February of next


year, where the candidates will be voted on. Richard as Croft - what do


you make of this? We have to remember that the commission, at the


end of the day, is the civil service, albeit a very powerful


civil service. I do not know anywhere in the world where you have


an elected civil service. Heaven forbid that you have somebody


running a civil servants in this way. It is actually the MEPs and the


Council, the 27 heads of government, they call the shots. Let me go


straight back to you, Graham Watson - how do you reply to that? I am


very surprised that Richard Ashworth says that, because President Obama


is the head of a civil servants. He is not a member of Congress or a


member of the Senate, he is a member of and the leader of, the civil


service, in the same way that Jose Manuel Barroso is currently the head


of the European civil service. It strikes me that this would bring


Europe far closer to the people, if they were able to elect that person.


This is another small step on the way to a United States of Europe. It


has been mooted in the past that there should be direct elections for


the president of the European Union, and it is a small step in that


direction. What will be interesting, when the MEPs get to vote next time,


is that the balance of the European Parliament could change. Not just in


the UK are we expecting to do extremely well, but there are more


anti TEU parties springing up. I think the new president could


reflect that new balance. -- anti-Mac EU. After all, most of us


would have no idea who most of the candidates were... As you know,


because you were there at the launch of the Reuters study of the TV


debates after the last election in the UK, over half of the people who


watched those debates said it helps them to make up their mind which way


they were going to vote. Three quarters of them said that they


learned something they did not know, and more than nine out of ten who


watched those leader Pol Pot debates actually went away and talked about


it afterwards. -- leaders' debates. We did not know who the three


debaters were, and we will have no idea who the chap from Italy is, or


the chap from Spain, or the candidate from Hungary. You do not


know that. It may well be that the political parties choose people who


have been Prime Minister Des of their countries before that and are


quite well-known at a European level. They might choose people who


are senior members of the European Commission. Who is the current Prime


Minister of Italy? It is... That is correct. He is a former member of


the European Parliament. I think you are in the 0.1% of people who would


know that. Well done! This is moving in the wrong direction. It is


investing more power in the commission, more power in the


European Union. Actually, I think voters will respond to seeing more


power with member state governments. We want to see more


involvement with member state governments. The best-known


politician across Europe is Nigel Farage, but I do not know... !


you name... ? We have not got time. Congratulations for knowing the


Italian Prime Minister. We will ask you again in six months, when it has


probably changed. It is a plum job, but you have trouble be never heard


of it, so what is so appealing about the role of rapporteur in the


European Parliament? There is the latest installation of our guide to


Labour's Glenis Willmott is doing what every European official dreams


of. She is a rapporteur. They have written some new legislation


concerning clinical drugs trials. The draft law then comes here to the


European Parliament, where it is sent to the MEPs on the public of


committee. And that is where Glenis comes in. As a mpg, it is her job to


formulate the committee's responds to the legislation. -- as a


rapporteur. You make sure you know the subject, you make sure you meet


all of the stakeholders involved, whoever has an interest in that


particular report. You will meet with all of them and make sure that


you hear all of their views, and then, you have to decide, with


technical and legal support, where you want the report to go. It is a


huge amount of extra work for me, and the people who work with me. But


it is worth it, because you really can make a difference. Do you get


paid any extra money? Absolutely not. Everybody in the European


Parliament gets paid exactly the same. It is not like Westminster,


where you have ministers on a higher salary. Uncle after all of that


work, the committee presents its reports to the whole of the European


report -- to the whole of the European Parliament for a final


vote. There is one of the most famous rapporteurs of all, a young


Nick Clegg. More than a decade ago, he brought a law on addition in the


telecoms set to get through in record time. There is intense


competition between the different political groups to secure roles


like the one Glenis have. It is an influential job, and one which just


does not have an equivalent in the UK political system. Appear on the


12th floor, Glenis is part Minister, part select committee chair, part


legislative fixer. You have been a temp icky, would you like to be one?


Yup it is part of our policy not to do it. They are being paid an extra


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