05/03/2014 Daily Politics


05/03/2014

Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn present coverage of Prime Minister's Questions and are joined by the communities secretary Eric Pickles and shadow Europe minister Gareth Thomas.


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Transcript


LineFromTo

Morning folks and welcome to the Daily Politics.

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A date is set for the big Clegg-Farage bout, but Nick Clegg

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can't wait to land the first punch as he lays into UKIP, saying it's

:00:45.:00:48.

the Lib Dems who'll really deliver EU reform.

:00:49.:00:53.

The waters are subsiding, but how did politicians come off when they

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waded into the floods crisis? Just two weeks to the budget, is

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drinking wine and spirits such a sin that it deserves such hefty taxes?

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And parking tickets, speed cameras and overflowing bins - can anyone

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bring an end to the annoyances of everyday life in Britain?

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All that coming up in the next 90 minutes of the very finest public

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service broadcasting. And joining us, two people who are not the least

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bit annoying - in fact, they are going to keep you entertained with

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their easy manner and witty repartee for the duration of the programme:

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the Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles and the Shadow Europe

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minister, Gareth Thomas. Welcome to the programme. Good to be here.

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Could you say that with a bit more enthusiasm? !

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First this morning: What's the impact of immigration on British

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jobs? Well, the Government has used figures which claim that for every

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100 immigrants that arrive here, 23 British jobs are lost. But the BBC's

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Newsnight programme has claimed that the Government is suppressing a

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report by civil servants which says that the impact on British jobs is

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much smaller than that, and it would be "politically awkward" to publish

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it. Here's Theresa May making that 23 jobs for 100 immigrants claim in

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a speech in December. We asked the advisory committee to

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look at the effects of immigration on jobs. They found a clear

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association between non-European immigration and employment in the

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UK. Between 1995 and 2010, the committee found and associated

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displacement of 160,000 British workers. For every additional 100

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immigrants, they estimated 23 British workers would not be

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employed. There is a zero displacement fallacy and Government

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must never make that mistake again of falling for it. Eric Pickles, why

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is Downing Street sitting on a report suggesting the impact of

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immigration is much less than first thought? For Gibney, it is not

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sitting on a report. The report is not ready, and when it is, we will

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publish it. -- forgive me. Theresa May looked for independent figures,

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those figures came up and went through rigour, and this report will

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also go through a degree of rigour. In terms of sitting on the report,

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we knew some of the conclusions were around at Christmas time. They were

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leaked at that point and we still haven't seen the report, which is

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why there is a suggestion Downing Street is sitting on it. It is not

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finished, I've not seen the report, I will be interested in the report.

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As far as I know, the Prime Minister has not seen the report. Well, we

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have been told that the figure in terms of impact on jobs for British

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workers is virtually mill. -- nil. I have no way of judging whether that

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is an accurate interpretation. If it does come out with that sort of

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guidance, will you change your policy? We will look and see how

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rigorous these figures are. I think that has to be an understanding of

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the relationship between migration and benefits. We have a tradition of

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welcoming people into this country who can contribute to national

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wealth. We need to understand controlled immigration is a good

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thing for this country. What isn't a good thing is uncontrolled

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immigration. Over the last couple of years, we will have seen a big

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influence of people coming to London. Last time I looked, we were

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the sixth largest French city, bigger than Bordeaux. Do you accept

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one of the main tenets for your claim for immigration is based on

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the fact that many jobs are being taken by immigrants, as your

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Government puts it? Our point is we believe immigration should be

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controlled. We've gone through a decade or so where immigration was

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not terribly well controlled. What we need to ensure is that as the

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economy starts to grow, our population has the necessary skills

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and knowledge to take up jobs. That is not putting up a ring paints

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backtrack fence around our borders. We appreciate people who can come

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and contribute. Can I ask why the Home Secretary made much of that

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original report in 2012 which seem to show there would be 23 fewer jobs

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for every 100 people coming? She said, it is clear from this report.

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But if you read the statistical caveats in this report from two

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years ago, the report says, results are statistically insignificant when

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outliers are removed from the data. That means you take away figures

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that look a bit dodgy. It went on to say, the results may not be robust.

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That was in the original result, yet your party made so much political

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significance out of it and never made mention of those caveats. The

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report was published, it is there on websites for people to read. But the

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Home Secretary said it is clear that it is 23 for every 100. When you

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read this report, it is far from clear. To reason made a point, it is

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in the report. Nobody at the time suggested it was wrong. They did. A

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research tank the day after it was published put out a huge analysis of

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this and blue enormous holes in it. So it is not right to say that, I'm

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afraid. Can I ask about the net migration figure? Do you still think

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you should be trying to get that to tens of thousands when it is

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currently over 200,000? I think we need to knowledge the figure is

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going to vary enormously. But I think it is important we do continue

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to press down on non-EEC migration figures. It is our aim to achieve

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it. Really? You are going to be able to get down from 212,000 when you

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cannot control the bulk of immigration from the EU? It is our

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aim to get down non-EU figures. If we were to get some control over EU

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figures, the loss would be to Britain. There are many British

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workers overseas. I think controlled immigration is a very good way...

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Well, the figures have gone up. There are fewer criminals being

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deported, fewer people being found in being deported. The conclusions

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of the report are virtually out there, Vince Cable says the report

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is completed and should be published. Surely within the next

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couple of days these reports could be published and could inform the

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debate about immigration any more sensible way then clearly Theresa

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May with her speech. Gareth, your record on immigration is

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unbelievable. There were ten years of uncontrolled immigration. I've

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made it clear that when this report is ready, it will be published.

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Actually, the numbers in terms of immigration are going in the wrong

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direction according to your own figures. The number of deported

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criminals and illegal migrants being deported is going down. On the issue

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of employment and wages being undercut, we know you have to tackle

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some of the abuses being revealed in the labour market. One area where we

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know there are problems is the care sector, where agencies are being

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used to recruit people from aboard. We need to make that illegal. We

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need to tackle the lack of enforcement over the minimum wage.

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There have only been two prosecutions since 2000. How many

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were there under Labour? I don't know exactly, but they were better.

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We've got the figures, it wasn't. Fewer than ten. And they weren't

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prosecutions, they were cases raised with people abusing the system.

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Now, the date for the big televised bout between Nick Clegg and Nigel

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Farage was announced today - it will be on BBC Two on Wednesday two April

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at 7pm. But some early salvos are already being fired. This morning,

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Mr Clegg made a speech on Europe in which he attacked UKIP MEPs as lazy

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and effective. Here's what he had to say.

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Martin Horwood from the Liberal Democrats joins us from outside

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Parliament, and UKIP's Roger Helmer is in Brussels. Mr Clegg criticises

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Nigel Farage for not voting opera Nona -- often enough in the European

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Parliament. It turns out they vote more than Mr Clegg. Well, he is the

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Deputy Prime Minister, what is their excuse? Well, he is the leader of a

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big party X might you cannot criticise other people for voting

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when you yourself vote less. Lib Dem MEPs and the liberal group across

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Europe have a much better record and that is what you should compare it

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with, not Government ministers in this country who are obviously

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undertaking a lot of other duties and obviously don't turn up to lobby

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every day. Mr Clegg was my big new idea is you should close down the

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Strasbourg bit of European Parliament. Hardly a new idea, most

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people think it should be, but the French don't and the French have a

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veto. Explain to us how Mr Clegg will overcome the French veto. I

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think we do just have to build a consensus. There is a consensus

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already. Not in France, there isn't. We need to build up the pressure.

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This is a colossal waste of money. It is just one example of how we can

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still tackle waste. We know that, no one disagrees with you on that. Name

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me one mainstream ranch politician that thinks that should be closed.

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Well, it is in the treaty that the Strasbourg parliament is part of the

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process. So this needs to be on the political agenda and we are trying

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to do that. We are saying there are things that can be tackled. Could

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you name me one mainstream French politician that think that

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Parliament should be closed? The top of my head, no. That's because there

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isn't one. We need to look at areas where the EU can focus more

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resources on creating British jobs, fighting cross-border crime and

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environment. Roger, you get paid a fair bit with decent expenses for

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growing -- going to Brussels. Don't you think you should do some work

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for it? My voting participation rate in the Europe where -- European

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Parliament is better than the average of Lib Dems. The

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participation rate is actually double Nick Clegg's participation

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rate in London and he lives near his Parliament wearers Nigel Farage has

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to travel eight hours to get to Strasbourg. So these comparisons are

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outrageous. One other point to - we in UKIP are much more focused on

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what is going on in Britain in Europe, and if you look at our 150

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or so councillors, a recent study in the times of the four major parties

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showed that, of those parties, UKIP councillors have the top rate of

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participation and Lib Dem councillors have the bottom. What do

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you say to that, Martin? We're not talking about councillors, we're

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talking about MEPs. But he said his voting record is on average better

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then Lib Dem MEPs. Well, he must be an outlier. You get as a whole has

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the worst record of any British and European party, and they are paid to

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fight Britain's corner in the European Parliament. They are not

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doing it. We are paid to serve the interests of our electors. Our

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electors in UKIP voted for us because they want is to get Britain

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out of the European Union and work. Your leader served our interests by

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not turning up to the European fisheries meeting apart from one

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meeting in an entire year. That was when he was lecturing everyone else

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about how terrible European policy was.

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UKIP voted the right way on that issue. Nigel Farage, as has been

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rightly pointed out, is the leader of a large and growing political

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party and he has enormous calls on his time. I have never met a man who

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work so hard or deliver so much value. Let me tell you how

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representative democracy is supposed to work, it is not to advance your

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poetical party but to do a job of work. That is what we do here --

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your political party. We are doing what our electors want us to do and

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you will find that out on May the 22nd. Do you agree with Paul

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Nuttall, number two in your party? It says, my attendance record is

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flaky to say the least but so what, I treat Brussels with the contempt

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it deserves. I treat Brussels with a fair measure of contempt. They're in

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mind that we have a different objective. The Lib Dems want to

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build Europe and sit in dusty committee rooms passing European

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laws and maxing out on daily allowances. We are concerned about

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arguing the case and spreading the message at home. Some of our MEPs

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have more emphasis on the work in Brussels, some have more emphasis on

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the work at home. The voters are the people who decide if we are doing a

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good job. We have a Euro election on May 22 and I think you may find that

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the voters agree that we are doing the things they elected us to do.

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Martin Horwood, at the last election, your party said, Liberal

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Democrats think we should have a real vote. It should be in or out of

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Europe, that is the vote we want. Yet when George Osborne proposed

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that in the cabinet yesterday, Lib Dems opposed it. He proposed a

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referendum bill which we have ready had in this Parliament, based on

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Conservative Party policy. We did support and in-out referendum at the

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time of the Lisbon Treaty and we will continue to support it under

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similar circumstances. You are frightened to death of it. We are

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not, we proposed it. Why don't you want one now? We proposed it not

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when the Lisbon Treaty was going through but at the time and we would

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do that again. What is wrong with having one now? The timing, as we

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know, is not right. We are not looking for a referendum to pave the

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way for exit from the European Union. Why not have a real vote now?

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At the time, most other parties were not supporting an in-out referendum.

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We have consistently supported an in -out referendum. Conservative Party

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policy at the time was to have a referendum only on particular

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transfers of power. We went along with that in the coalition and we

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have legislated for that. We have spent an enormous amount of

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government time and Parliamentary time for baiting a government bill,

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then a Tory Private Members' Bill. I think we have more important things

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edge time debating a government bill.

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There is room, if the Lib Dems want to change their mind. We could put

:18:44.:18:50.

this into the Queen's Speech. I could leave the programme, to be

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Prime Minister, we could make an announcement straightaway. They

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haven't found time for the legislation to put .7% of gross

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national income being devoted to international development as

:19:05.:19:06.

promised in the coalition agreement. That would be my first preference.

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If he agreed to that, would you agree to a referendum? We haven't

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got time for the international developer built, then I don't see

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how we can create time for a third attempt... Mr pickles says he can

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offer the 0.7%... Will you therefore agree to a referendum? We have never

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objected to the principal. He is offering what you wanted. Let me

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finish. We have never objected to the principle of a referendum. I did

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not oppose the referendum bill that went through recently. We just

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disagreed with the detail. We'll have different formulas, we don't

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support the one the Conservatives have come up with -- we all have. We

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will not be agreeing to the bill they are proposing. What kind of

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in-out referendum would you like? This is the same position we have

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had since the Lisbon Treaty. When there is a transfer of power, or if

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there is a transfer of power, presented as part of the treaty

:20:13.:20:15.

change, we would have an in-out referendum. We did not have that.

:20:16.:20:21.

When the Lisbon Treaty went through, we supported it at the time

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and the Conservative Party did not support us. The Lisbon Treaty was

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job done by the general election campaign. In the general election

:20:30.:20:33.

you are still saying, Liberal Democrats think we should have a

:20:34.:20:38.

real vote, in or out. At the time of the treaty, we supported an in-out

:20:39.:20:43.

referendum. And in the election campaign. The election manifesto

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said the same thing. At the time of the transfer of power we would

:20:50.:20:54.

support an in-out referendum. Don't expect us to pave the way for

:20:55.:20:59.

something that will damage British jobs and our ability to fight

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cross-border crime, to protect the environment. Rubbish, rubbish,

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rubbish. Let me bring in Labour. Will you ever come out for a

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referendum? We support the 2011 sovereignty act. If there were to be

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a further transfer of power to Brussels it is right there is a

:21:19.:21:21.

referendum and British people are asked if they want to support the

:21:22.:21:28.

transfer of power. But not in-out. We don't support the idea of an

:21:29.:21:33.

in-out referendum fix for 2017. For similar reasons to those that Martin

:21:34.:21:39.

has expressed. Perhaps best underlined by the engineering

:21:40.:21:43.

Federation yesterday who made clear that the uncertainty that that

:21:44.:21:47.

referendum is causing is a ready having an impact on investment

:21:48.:21:52.

decisions by British business. The engineering employers Federation,

:21:53.:21:56.

their businesses spoke yesterday about the way in which investment

:21:57.:22:02.

decisions... Give me an example. I don't have the detail. Don't you

:22:03.:22:08.

think you should have the detail before you make the claim? It was

:22:09.:22:11.

reported in The Financial Times, a perfectly reputable newspaper. That

:22:12.:22:18.

is not the point, can you give me an example of one company who has said

:22:19.:22:21.

they will not invest until the referendum is in -- is resolved. I

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can't but perhaps the question is to those business organisations. There

:22:30.:22:33.

are a series of business organisations, the CBI as well as

:22:34.:22:36.

the F. We know in terms of construction,

:22:37.:22:44.

soap manufacturing, the motor industry has never been better, in

:22:45.:22:49.

terms of what is happening on the ground, I can't see any evidence. I

:22:50.:22:52.

will have a look at The Financial Times piece. Will you come first in

:22:53.:23:01.

the European elections? We have every chance, we are working hard in

:23:02.:23:04.

that direction, we can't afford to give up and be complacent but I

:23:05.:23:09.

think we will create an earthquake in British politics. Let me send you

:23:10.:23:12.

a book on the management of expectations. Thanks to both of you.

:23:13.:23:17.

It is called optimism! The waters are subsiding but how did

:23:18.:23:21.

the politicians fare when they waded into the floods at the height of the

:23:22.:23:25.

crisis? Here was Eric Pickles on The Andrew Marr Show last month. We made

:23:26.:23:28.

a mistake, there is no doubt about that. We perhaps relied too much on

:23:29.:23:33.

the Environment Agency's advice. I think we recognise now that we

:23:34.:23:39.

should have done... We should have dredged. It is important that we get

:23:40.:23:43.

on the process of getting those people back into their houses. We

:23:44.:23:49.

are able to do some serious pumping but at the moment the level is too

:23:50.:23:53.

high. Don't you think ministers should apologise to farmers who said

:23:54.:24:01.

you need to dredge now? I will apologise, I apologise unreservedly

:24:02.:24:03.

and I am sorry that we took the advice that we did. Eric Pickles is

:24:04.:24:09.

still here, do you still blame squarely be in by at agency rather

:24:10.:24:13.

than ministers taking responsible at sea? -- responsibility. There is now

:24:14.:24:23.

a growing consensus on the need to dredge the Somerset Levels, they

:24:24.:24:26.

were man-made, but that does not mean to say dredging is appropriate

:24:27.:24:30.

everywhere. I have worked closely with the bar and agency for the last

:24:31.:24:35.

month. I have seen what they are doing -- with the Environment

:24:36.:24:39.

Agency. In Parliament and on that programme I praised the work of the

:24:40.:24:45.

biomed agency. Given that there is a consensus -- I praised the work of

:24:46.:24:51.

the Environment Agency. People were suggesting we should have dredged,

:24:52.:24:54.

perhaps we should have paid more attention to them. Sometimes in

:24:55.:24:57.

government, we are kind of reluctant to say sorry. It is a compensated

:24:58.:25:05.

situation. Fortunately the levels are likely to drop. -- complicated

:25:06.:25:12.

situation. If you look at different rivers, different measures will be

:25:13.:25:16.

necessary. We will still have ground water for months to come. Do you

:25:17.:25:21.

think at the time, there was too much of a blame game? Too much

:25:22.:25:25.

finger-pointing going on between ministers, including yourself, when

:25:26.:25:29.

people were just revelling to keep their places dry? It was not the

:25:30.:25:35.

intention. I accepted I made a mistake of answering the question,

:25:36.:25:39.

which sometimes politicians should not do. There is now a consensus

:25:40.:25:46.

around what needs to be done. Owen is back... Are you friends with Owen

:25:47.:25:53.

Paterson again? Never ceased to be friends. We reported he was cross

:25:54.:25:57.

about you grandstanding, as he called it. We remain friends, the

:25:58.:26:05.

condition here's -- he is suffering from isn't to my wife is suffering

:26:06.:26:10.

from minor how difficult it is and he is doing a fantastic job to be

:26:11.:26:12.

back. We have an apology to make. I am

:26:13.:26:17.

afraid that there's been a serious breach of security here at the Daily

:26:18.:26:20.

Politics. One of the programme's presenters walked into the building

:26:21.:26:23.

here at Westminster earlier this morning carrying unconcealed

:26:24.:26:25.

documents which were caught on camera by waiting photographers.

:26:26.:26:29.

Amongst those documents was the answer to today's Guess the Year

:26:30.:26:34.

competition. It has come to our attention that the photograph is

:26:35.:26:42.

doing the rounds on Twitter. Here it is for any of you tempted to cheat.

:26:43.:26:46.

Don't get too excited - we've blurred out the date.

:26:47.:26:49.

Yes - I apologise - I've offered my resignation to the BBC - but was

:26:50.:26:53.

told I would have to endure the on-screen humiliation of having my

:26:54.:26:55.

misdemeanour revealed on telly instead. Good job nothing like that

:26:56.:26:58.

ever happens in government, hey, Eric? I am happy to accept your

:26:59.:27:06.

resignation. I am happy you don't employ me! I do indirectly. That was

:27:07.:27:14.

very quick! We'll remind you how to enter in a minute, but let's see if

:27:15.:27:16.

you can remember when this happened. If some of my former colleagues are

:27:17.:27:29.

to be believed, I must be the first minister in history who resigned

:27:30.:27:32.

because he was in full agreement with government policy. British beef

:27:33.:27:39.

is safe. # I've got the power. I can no

:27:40.:27:57.

longer follow Solly the mandate of the Communist Party of the Soviet

:27:58.:27:59.

Union. -- To be in with a chance of winning a

:28:00.:28:20.

Daily Politics mug, send your answer to our special quiz email address -

:28:21.:28:26.

that's [email protected] And you can see the full terms and conditions

:28:27.:28:30.

for Guess the Year on our website - that's bbc.co.uk/dailypolitics.

:28:31.:28:35.

It's coming up to midday here - just take a look at Big Ben - and that

:28:36.:28:39.

can mean only one thing: Yes, Prime Minister's Questions is on its way.

:28:40.:28:46.

It is a beautiful spring day and Nick Robinson is here. Patrick Rock,

:28:47.:28:55.

a senior adviser, he had to resign over allegations of child abuse

:28:56.:28:58.

images, he has been arrested but not charged. Jonathan Ashworth MP writes

:28:59.:29:03.

to the head of the civil service, when was Number ten first made aware

:29:04.:29:07.

of these allegations? When was the Prime Minister first made aware?

:29:08.:29:11.

When were you as Cabinet Secretary made aware? What advice did you

:29:12.:29:14.

give? A lot of unanswered questions. There are. When you are

:29:15.:29:22.

in opposition and you want to keep a story running, you always say there

:29:23.:29:26.

are a lot of unanswered questions. That is what Eric's party did when

:29:27.:29:30.

they were in the opposition. What is at the root of this is that we do

:29:31.:29:35.

not know the timeline of when Patrick Rock was arrested and

:29:36.:29:38.

dismissed. There was a three-week gap between it and the news

:29:39.:29:42.

emerging. Some newspapers feel very strongly that after the Leveson

:29:43.:29:47.

enquiry, all the talk that police were too close to the press, there

:29:48.:29:51.

is an increasing policy of keeping the media in the dark about ordinary

:29:52.:29:55.

police operations. The question underlying all of this detail is was

:29:56.:29:59.

there a deliberate attempt by people close to Patrick Rock and the police

:30:00.:30:05.

to keep this quiet, in the hope that he was cautioned and never charged,

:30:06.:30:10.

because he has not been charged. I think that is what underlies many

:30:11.:30:14.

questions about who knew what and when. Jonathan Ashworth says, how

:30:15.:30:18.

much time passed between Number ten first becoming aware and Patrick

:30:19.:30:24.

Rock being spoken about them, the police being alerted and Mr Rock's

:30:25.:30:29.

resignation. Some commentators have thought it is a strange situation

:30:30.:30:32.

for a democracy where someone who is at the heart of government can be

:30:33.:30:35.

arrested and it takes a long while for anyone to know about it. That is

:30:36.:30:41.

right, there is secrecy built into this and it causes concerns. It may

:30:42.:30:46.

get raised by a backbench Labour MP Joan Prime Minister's Questions. It

:30:47.:30:49.

won't be raised by Ed Miliband will stop my hunch is that it will be

:30:50.:30:54.

Ukraine that is the subject he deals with.

:30:55.:31:15.

Russian lake is a major retail park which will create 2000 new jobs. My

:31:16.:31:30.

listening campaign and the local Telegraph have supported this

:31:31.:31:33.

proposal. In nine years in Parliament, I've never known of a

:31:34.:31:38.

development to have so much public support. Could the Prime Minister

:31:39.:31:42.

used his best efforts to ensure the outcome of the public enquiry is

:31:43.:31:48.

announced as soon as possible? I know my honourable friend campaigns

:31:49.:31:51.

vigorously for job creation and his local constituents. I'm sure years

:31:52.:31:57.

where I'm not able to get involved in specific planning decisions but I

:31:58.:32:01.

understand a decision will be made as soon as possible. That will

:32:02.:32:05.

involve the secretary of state taking into account all points of

:32:06.:32:17.

view. Mr Speaker, the whole House and country have been watching

:32:18.:32:20.

events in the Ukraine with great concern. Does the Prime Minister

:32:21.:32:26.

agree Russia's actions violate Ukraine's sovereignty and

:32:27.:32:31.

territorial integrity and without justification? Does he further agree

:32:32.:32:36.

these actions deserve to be condemned unreservedly across the

:32:37.:32:41.

international community? I agree that what Russia has done is

:32:42.:32:47.

completely unacceptable. We should be clear about our national interest

:32:48.:32:50.

and our aim in all this. Our national interest is that we have an

:32:51.:32:54.

interest in a world where the rule of law is upheld and territorial

:32:55.:33:02.

integrity is expected. We should be clear our aim is to deter further

:33:03.:33:08.

action and to de-escalate the situation. He is right to say the

:33:09.:33:11.

action by the Russian Government should be condemned by the whole

:33:12.:33:16.

world. I'm sure we agree there needs to begin to new pressure on the

:33:17.:33:20.

Russian Government, but all members will welcome the talks that are

:33:21.:33:25.

going on as we speak between John Kerry and the Russian Foreign

:33:26.:33:29.

Minister. Given the fragility of the situation on the ground, does the

:33:30.:33:32.

Prime Minister believes one important outcome for these talks is

:33:33.:33:35.

if they lead to direct high-level talks between Russia and the

:33:36.:33:43.

Ukraine's to de-escalate this situation, the most important thing

:33:44.:33:47.

is a forum for discussions in which both parties can speak to each

:33:48.:33:51.

other. There have been some contacts between Russian and Ukrainian

:33:52.:33:55.

ministers. This morning, there are meetings taking place in Paris

:33:56.:33:58.

covering other issues as well, but that has been some progress in

:33:59.:34:03.

putting together a contact group, an idea I proposed to the Polish Prime

:34:04.:34:08.

Minister back in January, to start having a group of countries around

:34:09.:34:12.

Russia and Ukraine to encourage such dialogue to take place. That is the

:34:13.:34:19.

single most important thing. Clearly we all hope for a good outcome from

:34:20.:34:24.

those talks, but the EU also has a crucial role to play. Does he agree

:34:25.:34:29.

be you must show it is up to the task of dealing with the biggest

:34:30.:34:33.

security crisis on this continent since Kosovo? Given the issues

:34:34.:34:37.

raised about the UK's position from the leaked Downing Street document,

:34:38.:34:43.

can the Prime Minister tell me what he will be tailored billing --

:34:44.:34:51.

tabling tomorrow? It is important the EU shows a unity of purpose at

:34:52.:34:56.

tomorrow's leaders meeting. What we need to do is be clear that the

:34:57.:35:01.

status quo we are faced with today, where Russian troops are outside

:35:02.:35:05.

their bases in the Crimea, is an acceptable. As I've said, costs and

:35:06.:35:10.

consequences need to follow. That is why we'd suspended preferences --

:35:11.:35:17.

preparations for the G8 meeting. It is hard to see in these

:35:18.:35:21.

circumstances how a G8 meeting could go ahead. We've withdrawn royal and

:35:22.:35:27.

ministerial visits to be Paralympic Games. There are further options we

:35:28.:35:32.

should consider, but we also need to consider what extra steps, extra

:35:33.:35:39.

political, economic and bloom at it steps, to discourage Russia from

:35:40.:35:46.

taking further steps in terms of disrespecting the territorial

:35:47.:35:50.

integrity of Ukraine. I completely share his view on the G8 and other

:35:51.:35:55.

issues mentioned. When he was leader of the opposition in 2008, at the

:35:56.:36:03.

time of the invasion of Georgia, he said Russian armies cannot margin to

:36:04.:36:07.

other countries while Russian shoppers carry on shopping in

:36:08.:36:11.

Selfridge's. Does he agree that we should look at asset freezes and

:36:12.:36:16.

travel restrictions on designated individuals so that Russia is clear

:36:17.:36:18.

about the consequences of its actions? When we look at the

:36:19.:36:25.

diplomatic steps we can take, nothing should be on the table. --

:36:26.:36:34.

off the table. We've already taken steps to making sure corrupt

:36:35.:36:40.

Ukrainian oligarchs are dealt with appropriately in the UK. I think

:36:41.:36:45.

there is a steps we need to take a next -- in respect of the current

:36:46.:36:50.

situation, and then agree with our European partners, and I will be

:36:51.:36:59.

speaking to Mr Obama this afternoon, about further steps. I'm sure he

:37:00.:37:07.

will push for as broad an agreement as possible and I welcome that. Let

:37:08.:37:11.

me ask him about Ukrainian support. Does he agree that the way forward

:37:12.:37:15.

is providing them with their support, while making it clear that

:37:16.:37:18.

their Government needs to be inclusive and protect the rights of

:37:19.:37:22.

the Russian speaking population within the Ukraine? And does he

:37:23.:37:26.

further agree there is no reason for rushing to believe that

:37:27.:37:30.

strengthening ties between the EU and Ukraine does not have to be at

:37:31.:37:36.

the expense of Russia's I agree it is important that should not be seen

:37:37.:37:43.

as a tug-of-war. We should be in favour of the people of Ukraine

:37:44.:37:47.

being able to decide their own future. In my view, this has been as

:37:48.:37:53.

much about Ukraine wanting to lean towards the as wanting to get rid of

:37:54.:37:56.

their appalling levels of corruption may pad to put up with in the

:37:57.:38:05.

Government. -- they've had to put up with. Two important points have been

:38:06.:38:12.

made. They must make sure they have an inclusive step -- set of

:38:13.:38:19.

institutions and laws that do not discriminate against minorities or

:38:20.:38:22.

Russian speakers, but also that we stand ready, as members of the

:38:23.:38:27.

European Union, as leading players in the IMF, to help the Ukraine in

:38:28.:38:33.

its time of need. There are all sorts of steps Ukrainian Government

:38:34.:38:36.

will have to make to make that possible, but if they can do that,

:38:37.:38:42.

we should stand by them. I welcome that. Let me say this. All of us

:38:43.:38:48.

recognise this as a delegate and dangerous moment for international

:38:49.:38:52.

security. It is the combination of diplomacy, resolve in the

:38:53.:38:54.

international community and support for the Ukrainian Government and

:38:55.:38:59.

Ukrainian self-determination that is the best hope for ensuring an end to

:39:00.:39:03.

this crisis. I can assure the Prime Minister that the Government will

:39:04.:39:10.

have our full support. I'm grateful for what the Right Honourable

:39:11.:39:12.

Gentleman has said this morning. Just as we need to see tomorrow a

:39:13.:39:17.

voice of unity and clarity from the countries of the European Union

:39:18.:39:20.

Daschle not always easy when there are 28 countries around the table -

:39:21.:39:24.

but it is also welcome when there is a unified voice going out from this

:39:25.:39:28.

House to say to the Russian Government, what you have done is

:39:29.:39:31.

wrong and should not be allowed to stand. Last week, a judge sentenced

:39:32.:39:48.

a man to nine years in prison for causing the death by dangerous

:39:49.:39:52.

driving of two teenage girls. Given that that amounts to objectively for

:39:53.:39:55.

years per life, does the Prime Minister agree it is high time we

:39:56.:40:00.

looked again at the maximum sentence for causing death by dangerous

:40:01.:40:06.

driving? First of all, I congratulate my honourable friend

:40:07.:40:09.

for a happy news on the weekend. I'm sure members across the House want

:40:10.:40:13.

to join me in that. The point she raises is an issue that was raised

:40:14.:40:17.

at prime ministers questions last week. As I said then, I think it is

:40:18.:40:23.

important the Chancellor looks at what more we can do to ensure we

:40:24.:40:27.

send the clearest possible message about this being unacceptable. Last

:40:28.:40:37.

July, the Prime Minister rightly promised legislation regarding

:40:38.:40:42.

Internet rape porn. So canny explain why clause 16 of his criminal

:40:43.:40:46.

Justice Bill does not ban simulated child abuse or stage rape online?

:40:47.:40:54.

The Honourable Lady has a long record of fighting on these issues

:40:55.:40:59.

and a ban on rape porn is being carried through. I will look

:41:00.:41:02.

carefully at the issues she is raising now. I think we do have a

:41:03.:41:06.

good record of putting in place stronger Internet filters, working

:41:07.:41:11.

with the industry to make sure searches for unacceptable terms

:41:12.:41:15.

can't be made, and for separate legislative steps like banning rape

:41:16.:41:19.

porn. I will look carefully at the specifics. In 2009, there were 610

:41:20.:41:29.

18 to 24-year-olds in Chester who were out of work and claiming

:41:30.:41:32.

jobseeker's allowance. Last month, that number was halved. This week is

:41:33.:41:40.

National apprenticeship week. We'll Prime Minister congratulate

:41:41.:41:42.

employers who are creating apprenticeships and jobs so we never

:41:43.:41:50.

again see the massive waste of young talent? My honourable friend is

:41:51.:41:58.

right to raise national apprenticeship week. It is an

:41:59.:42:01.

important week to advertise to businesses large and small the

:42:02.:42:05.

advantages of taking on apprentices. What we will see during this

:42:06.:42:09.

parliament is 2 million apprenticeships start. That is what

:42:10.:42:13.

we are aiming for. 1.6 million have already taken place. As he says,

:42:14.:42:18.

unemployment in his own constituency has fallen, as has the claimant

:42:19.:42:22.

count, but we want to see smaller firms coming forward and taking on

:42:23.:42:30.

their first apprentice. In 2006, a seven-year-old girl and her brother

:42:31.:42:34.

died of carbon monoxide poisoning, caused by a faulty boiler at their

:42:35.:42:40.

hotel in Greece. Their father and his partner narrowly escaped with

:42:41.:42:43.

their lives. After seven agonising years, the inquest into their deaths

:42:44.:42:49.

is about to begin, but the legal aid agency has refused funding to be

:42:50.:42:53.

legally represented at being quest. On Friday, Thomas Cook tried to

:42:54.:42:58.

prevent the Kong -- the inquest from even taking place. Will the Prime

:42:59.:43:01.

Minister meet with me and the parents to hear why it is imperative

:43:02.:43:05.

the parents are legally represented at this inquest said the fullbacks

:43:06.:43:11.

are what -- full facts are learnt surrounding their children's deaths?

:43:12.:43:19.

I do remember this absolutely tragic case and it is appalling it has

:43:20.:43:22.

taken so long for the inquest to take place. When you've lost a

:43:23.:43:26.

child, you want to know the answer is and whether it could have been

:43:27.:43:30.

prevented, and that lessons will be learned for the future. I'm very

:43:31.:43:34.

content to arrange the sort of meetings she is talking about a help

:43:35.:43:37.

in this case and make sure the Foreign Office, who do, I think, an

:43:38.:43:42.

excellent job of helping people when they are dealing with overseas

:43:43.:43:49.

issues, is doing all it can. In Braintree, an employment has

:43:50.:43:58.

dropped, and youth unemployment has dropped 6.3% to 4.4% since 2010.

:43:59.:44:03.

Would the Prime Minister agree with me that the Chancellor's long-term

:44:04.:44:09.

economic plan is working? And following the recent success, will

:44:10.:44:15.

you join me in thanking Braintree District Council and job centre plus

:44:16.:44:20.

for all they are doing in encouraging local businesses to hire

:44:21.:44:26.

young people? My honourable friend has a very strong track record of

:44:27.:44:30.

campaigning and fighting for these issues. He co-founded a campaign,

:44:31.:44:36.

and let's recognise the fact we have created 1 million new jobs under

:44:37.:44:40.

this Government. One thing my honourable friend was pushing for

:44:41.:44:44.

was under 21 's should not have to pay national insurance contributions

:44:45.:44:49.

when they are employed. That is something brought in to the Autumn

:44:50.:44:53.

Statement which I think will make a huge difference. The Braintree jobs

:44:54.:44:56.

there has also made a huge difference. I noticed the opposite

:44:57.:45:02.

party seemed to groan as soon as falling unemployment was mentioned,

:45:03.:45:05.

but it is falling, and it is a welcome sign. Does the Prime

:45:06.:45:15.

Minister share my astonishment at a decision announced yesterday that

:45:16.:45:22.

trans-Pennine express, which covers train services across the whole of

:45:23.:45:26.

the North of England, is to lose one in eight of its trains, which are to

:45:27.:45:31.

be transferred to Chilton rail for the greater comfort and convenience

:45:32.:45:35.

of commuters in the south of England? Isn't that your

:45:36.:45:43.

constituency? LAUGHTER

:45:44.:45:47.

JEERING Is he aware that the trans-Pennine

:45:48.:46:08.

services are already amongst the most overcrowded in the country?

:46:09.:46:17.

HECKLING There is quite a simple matter of

:46:18.:46:23.

courtesy, the right honourable gentleman will be heard however long

:46:24.:46:26.

it takes so the quicker people remember their manners, the better.

:46:27.:46:32.

I say to members opposite, this may be a laughing matter to them, it is

:46:33.:46:36.

certainly not a laughing matter to people in the North of England.

:46:37.:46:41.

Could he bear in mind that this decision has been made without the

:46:42.:46:44.

agreement of the train operating company, but by Porter Brook and the

:46:45.:46:55.

leasing company. The Prime Minister! Order! I was fair to the right

:46:56.:47:00.

honourable gentleman but the question was, frankly, too long. I

:47:01.:47:06.

will look very carefully at the point the right honourable gentleman

:47:07.:47:10.

raises. We have announced plans to electrify the trans-Pennine railway

:47:11.:47:13.

line which I think will make a big difference. We are going ahead with

:47:14.:47:17.

the northern hub that will also make a difference. These are big steps

:47:18.:47:22.

forward. I hope he won't find it too cheeky if I point out that the line

:47:23.:47:25.

that he and I use, the Cotswold line, has also received a lot of

:47:26.:47:30.

extra investment under this government and he now enjoys a

:47:31.:47:35.

double track line when he makes his journey from my constituency into

:47:36.:47:39.

London. CHEERING

:47:40.:47:48.

Thank you, sir. Not me? Not Hugh! Another time, if the honourable

:47:49.:48:04.

gentleman is lucky -- not you! Can I put on record my thanks to the Prime

:48:05.:48:07.

Minister for the efforts he puts in to securing export orders, but can I

:48:08.:48:12.

ask is assurance that his government will leave no stone unturned in the

:48:13.:48:20.

pursuit of exports to pursue -- support apprenticeships and highly

:48:21.:48:26.

skilled jobs. It was a huge pleasure to see the quality of the

:48:27.:48:30.

apprenticeships that BAE Systems are offering in building the Typhoon

:48:31.:48:35.

aircraft. I can give him my assurance that I will go on banging

:48:36.:48:40.

the drum for British exports, including defence exports. We had

:48:41.:48:44.

very good progress with the order from an -- from

:48:45.:48:49.

I was criticised by the party opposite for taking defence

:48:50.:48:54.

contractors on trade missions overseas. They don't think it is

:48:55.:48:59.

appropriate, I think it is appropriate, we should stand up for

:49:00.:49:01.

our defence industry and defence jobs. Cook the Prime Minister and

:49:02.:49:08.

the speculation over the future of the Hunting Act by confirming he

:49:09.:49:12.

doesn't instance to use a statutory instrument to repeal or amend the

:49:13.:49:16.

act by removing the limit on the number of dogs that can be used?

:49:17.:49:22.

This will quite properly be a matter for the House of Commons. As he will

:49:23.:49:26.

know, what has happened is a group of Welsh and other members of

:49:27.:49:32.

Parliament have looked at a particular problem of pest control

:49:33.:49:34.

in upland areas of Wales and other parts of the country, they are

:49:35.:49:38.

making a proposal. It will be properly examined by the Department

:49:39.:49:41.

and the House of Commons will be able to decide. Further to my

:49:42.:49:50.

honourable friend's question and during National apprenticeships

:49:51.:49:54.

week, we should celebrate the fact that in the last year, half a

:49:55.:49:57.

million people began an apprenticeship, nearly double the

:49:58.:50:02.

number who started in 2009-10. We should not rest there. Does the

:50:03.:50:07.

Prime Minister agreed we need to do more to incentivise schools to

:50:08.:50:13.

promote apprenticeships and to do more to get employers to come

:50:14.:50:17.

forward, particularly for young people? My honourable friend speaks

:50:18.:50:22.

with great commitment because of his chairmanship of the education select

:50:23.:50:26.

committee. The point he and I have discussed is we need to make sure we

:50:27.:50:30.

are giving the clearest possible information to young people in

:50:31.:50:33.

schools about the choices they can make. I think the academic path of

:50:34.:50:37.

A-levels and UCAS and universities has been well set out and

:50:38.:50:40.

understood, including by Britain's teachers. We need it as well

:50:41.:50:45.

understood what the opportunities are for vocational education and

:50:46.:50:48.

apprenticeships, not least because you don't have to choose long-term

:50:49.:50:52.

between the two, you can carry out an apprenticeship and carry out a

:50:53.:50:55.

degree earning and learning at the same time. This year is the EU year

:50:56.:51:03.

of tackling food waste. Given the absolute scandal of up to 40% of

:51:04.:51:07.

food being wasted in this country, and huge numbers of people going to

:51:08.:51:10.

food banks because they can't afford to feed themselves and their

:51:11.:51:14.

family, will the Prime Minister throw his weight behind this

:51:15.:51:17.

initiative and support efforts to reduce food waste in this country?

:51:18.:51:22.

It is important to tackle the issue of food waste and a number of

:51:23.:51:25.

important debates have been held in this house and Westminster Hall

:51:26.:51:30.

about this issue. The most important thing in terms of helping people

:51:31.:51:33.

with weekly budgets is to make sure we keep growing the economy, getting

:51:34.:51:37.

people back to work, creating jobs and keeping taxes down so they have

:51:38.:51:41.

more of their own money to spend as they choose. Over the last few

:51:42.:51:47.

months in Somerset, we have had a dead huge of press, media and film

:51:48.:51:54.

cameras which has now receded and is barely a trickle but this lunch is

:51:55.:51:58.

still with us -- we have had a deluge. But the floods are still

:51:59.:52:04.

with us. Long-term local management of the rivers cannot be met within

:52:05.:52:09.

the constraints of local government finance. Will he commit to me that

:52:10.:52:13.

whatever needs to be changed, will be changed, in order to give a

:52:14.:52:16.

sustainable management for the future? I would commend all of the

:52:17.:52:21.

Somerset MPs for working together extremely well, ringing together the

:52:22.:52:26.

local agencies, local councils, farmers and others to come up with

:52:27.:52:31.

the right long-term solution for the people of Somerset -- bringing

:52:32.:52:35.

together. I agree the cameras and press have departed and it is

:52:36.:52:38.

important we don't take our eye off the important issue of training the

:52:39.:52:42.

Somerset Levels. I am getting regular reports and I look forward

:52:43.:52:45.

to seeing the report from him and other colleagues. We have known for

:52:46.:52:52.

months that are A departments in our hospitals are in trouble but now

:52:53.:52:56.

we find that almost 30,000 ambulances are stuck in queues

:52:57.:53:02.

outside hospitals -- have been stuck in queues. Does the Prime Minister

:53:03.:53:07.

regret not having had a grip on this more quickly? The point I would make

:53:08.:53:11.

is that we have met the A targets more times this winter than when the

:53:12.:53:15.

shadow health secretary was sitting in the cabinet with responsible for

:53:16.:53:21.

the NHS -- responsibility. I would commend what A departments have

:53:22.:53:25.

done because they are coping with around 1.2 million more A

:53:26.:53:29.

attendances every year than when we can to power in 2010. I think they

:53:30.:53:34.

have Do You Feel What I Feel doesn't work and they are doing it on the

:53:35.:53:37.

basis of having not only many thousands more doctors, but I can

:53:38.:53:47.

tell the house there are more nurses in the NHS than at any time since

:53:48.:53:56.

the 1940s and it is a record the government can be proud of.

:53:57.:54:03.

The village of Barrow has fewer than 300 houses, the local authority has

:54:04.:54:11.

given permission for over 100 houses but the planning inspector has

:54:12.:54:13.

overturned a refusal of the planning authority and will impose 504 more

:54:14.:54:18.

houses into that village, against the wishes of the local MP, local

:54:19.:54:23.

authority and local people. Will my right honourable friend look again

:54:24.:54:27.

at the workings of the working Inspectorate to ensure that from now

:54:28.:54:34.

on, the planning inspector puts the wishes of local people at the heart

:54:35.:54:39.

of the localism act as he intended? I will look very carefully at the

:54:40.:54:44.

specific incidents that the honourable member brings to the

:54:45.:54:51.

house. Under the localism act, local authorities are able to produce a

:54:52.:54:54.

local plan and get that agreed, which will give local people greater

:54:55.:54:58.

control over what is built and where. In the meantime, things are

:54:59.:55:04.

judged against the national planning policy framework which does have

:55:05.:55:08.

protections for green belt. It does insist on going out with Brownfield

:55:09.:55:13.

development and it does take into account pre-existing local plans. If

:55:14.:55:17.

that needs to be clarified, clarify it we will. First the government

:55:18.:55:24.

told Northern councillors to stop doffing their caps in the hopes of a

:55:25.:55:29.

hand-out. Then the High Court ruled that government cuts in European

:55:30.:55:32.

funding for Liverpool and Sheffield were illegal. What does this say

:55:33.:55:39.

about the government? What I would say to the honourable lady is of

:55:40.:55:45.

course, Liverpool, the city she represents, has huge needs in terms

:55:46.:55:49.

of funding. I believe the funding it gets reflects those needs. If you

:55:50.:55:54.

look at the spending per dwelling in Liverpool, for 2014, it is ?2595 per

:55:55.:56:03.

dwelling. Obviously the needs for her constituency are much greater

:56:04.:56:06.

than the needs of my constituency. But it is a full ?700 more per

:56:07.:56:15.

dwelling than is spent in my constituency. So I don't believe

:56:16.:56:17.

that the people of Liverpool are being short-changed. They are

:56:18.:56:20.

properly funded for the services that they need.

:56:21.:56:25.

Last year I met the surgeon Tim Underwood who leads the outstanding

:56:26.:56:32.

sufferable cancer team at Southampton General. --

:56:33.:56:41.

surgery is gruelling, and many people are unaware that persistent

:56:42.:56:51.

heartburn and difficulties swallowing can be a symptom of this

:56:52.:56:55.

type of cancer. Will he commit to raising awareness of this terrible

:56:56.:57:03.

disease and ensure the NHS as the chance to diagnose it earlier. How

:57:04.:57:08.

we raise the awareness of cancer has an important effect in terms of

:57:09.:57:14.

early diagnosis. A pilot is being run in the north-east and Cumbria to

:57:15.:57:17.

raise awareness of this type of cancer, and we are committing more

:57:18.:57:23.

than ?350 million of additional funding to support early diagnosis.

:57:24.:57:28.

The key is making sure more people have their cancer discovered from

:57:29.:57:32.

trips to the GP and their own inspections and self-awareness,

:57:33.:57:35.

rather than finding out these things in emergency, often when it is too

:57:36.:57:43.

late. There is almost 1 million young people unemployed in the UK,

:57:44.:57:47.

more than 1 million people on zero our contracts. In my constituency,

:57:48.:57:55.

people are ?1811 worse off since 2002. How does the Prime Minister

:57:56.:57:59.

have the audacity to suggest that his party is a worker 's party? Let

:58:00.:58:06.

me give him the figures for the north-east since the last election.

:58:07.:58:10.

There are 24,000 more people in work in the north-east since the last

:58:11.:58:15.

election. There are 40,000 more private-sector job since the last

:58:16.:58:18.

election. Unemployment has fallen... He is shouting because he

:58:19.:58:23.

doesn't want to hear the answers about the long-term economic plan.

:58:24.:58:27.

The honourable gentleman should not be shouting, he has asked the

:58:28.:58:31.

question, let him hear the answer. He could be asking about the massive

:58:32.:58:37.

expansion that Nissan in Sunderland provided jobs in the north-east, the

:58:38.:58:41.

new Hitachi train factory that will be built. All of this shows the plan

:58:42.:58:46.

is working and frankly, more important than these figures is the

:58:47.:58:49.

fact that every single job means another family with a pay packet, a

:58:50.:58:53.

stability, security and peace of mind that this government is all

:58:54.:58:55.

about. A small family run business in

:58:56.:59:12.

Felixstowe is taking an as this. Adding to an excellent scheme and

:59:13.:59:15.

announcement by BT they are creating 100 new apprenticeships. Would my

:59:16.:59:20.

right honourable friend agree that earning while you are learning is

:59:21.:59:22.

great for young people in Suffolk and they are building the skills

:59:23.:59:27.

that are vital to deliver our long-term economic plan. I would

:59:28.:59:33.

certainly agree. The big companies in Britain are taking on apprentices

:59:34.:59:36.

in larger and larger numbers and that is hugely welcome. I think the

:59:37.:59:41.

challenge is to encourage the small and medium-size enterprises of

:59:42.:59:45.

Britain to take on apprentices, too. We need to make it simple, we need

:59:46.:59:50.

to make sure it pays and we need to advertise to promote to these

:59:51.:59:52.

companies what a great job apprentices can do. To coincide with

:59:53.:00:03.

today's launch about youth unemployment, figures have been

:00:04.:00:05.

published in the House of Commons library which showed that despite

:00:06.:00:10.

the figures just quoted, the dole queue for under 25 still reaches

:00:11.:00:16.

from London to Edinburgh. Does the Prime Minister think that reflects

:00:17.:00:21.

the success in this policy? Would he be prepared to meet to discuss

:00:22.:00:29.

long-term solutions? Of course there are still too many people unemployed

:00:30.:00:33.

in our country but there are 1.6 million new private-sector jobs, 1.3

:00:34.:00:37.

million more people in work, big cuts in unemployment, big reductions

:00:38.:00:41.

in claimant count and almost half a million fewer people reliant on out

:00:42.:00:47.

of work benefits. That is what we want to do and we haven't forgotten

:00:48.:00:51.

the record of the Labour Party. Unemployment rose by nearly half a

:00:52.:00:55.

million, female and implement rose by 24% and use and implement went up

:00:56.:01:01.

by 45%. They should be making an apology instead of giving lectures.

:01:02.:01:10.

In recognising British success at the Oscars, with the Prime Minister

:01:11.:01:15.

join me in congratulating Bournemouth University and the arts

:01:16.:01:19.

university, where over 50 graduates helped with the design effects for

:01:20.:01:25.

that amazing British film, Gravity. Does it not prove that Bournemouth

:01:26.:01:29.

leads the way in digital media, as a great tourism destination, and also

:01:30.:01:35.

does amazing party conferences as well... He is right about all of

:01:36.:01:43.

those things. Bournemouth University does have excellent courses that

:01:44.:01:47.

have helped to build up the British postproduction and facilities

:01:48.:01:49.

industry which is now so busy helping to create these blockbuster

:01:50.:01:54.

films. It is very good to see that not only are we winning Oscars for

:01:55.:01:57.

British films but the British Judeo 's are -- studios are full to

:01:58.:02:04.

bursting point and the postproduction industry is leading

:02:05.:02:06.

the world. We need to go on backing this industry. That is why my right

:02:07.:02:11.

honourable friend the Chancellor has been making steps with things like

:02:12.:02:14.

elbowing the computer games industry, -- helping the computer

:02:15.:02:21.

games industry and continuing to back the important film tax credits.

:02:22.:02:28.

Recently is Coast ambulance service, a private company, has gone bust,

:02:29.:02:31.

owing thousands of pounds in wages to hard-working staff -- East Coast

:02:32.:02:36.

ambulance. But the prime Minister agree that the best way to protect

:02:37.:02:41.

patients, staff and NHS resources is to extend Freedom of Information to

:02:42.:02:45.

private companies bidding for contracts and stop the invasion of

:02:46.:02:49.

our NHS by predatory private health care companies. I will look

:02:50.:02:55.

carefully at the individual case he raises. This government is putting

:02:56.:02:59.

?12.6 billion into the NHS and I don't believe we should rule out

:03:00.:03:02.

saying other organisations cannot help to deliver NHS services with if

:03:03.:03:09.

we look at the hinge in Brook Hospital in Cambridge it is

:03:10.:03:12.

providing better services because of the changes we have made. I will

:03:13.:03:17.

look at the Freedom of Information request but I think it is important

:03:18.:03:22.

we have a health service that can access the best of private, public

:03:23.:03:29.

and voluntary. It is good news that the Prime Minister has apparently

:03:30.:03:32.

resuscitating plans for a recall the bill but can he confirmed he intends

:03:33.:03:35.

to push ahead with a genuine system of record and not fall back on the

:03:36.:03:40.

Deputy prime minister's Bill and which is recall in name only and

:03:41.:03:44.

would not empower voters in any meaningful sense at all. I fear it

:03:45.:03:51.

will be difficult to satisfy my honourable friend on this point. I

:03:52.:03:56.

think we should take the draft clauses as the starting point for

:03:57.:03:58.

what I think would be an excellent reform, that we committed to in our

:03:59.:04:02.

manifesto, in the coalition agreement. That is to say that if

:04:03.:04:06.

members of Parliament are seriously in breach of standards and judged to

:04:07.:04:11.

be so, they shouldn't have to wait for a general election to receive

:04:12.:04:13.

the verdict of their constituents. Exchange between the two

:04:14.:04:32.

frontbenchers dominated by Ukraine and by consensus. Both agree

:04:33.:04:35.

something must be done although neither had much of an idea what

:04:36.:04:40.

that something should be. The leader of the opposition in Plyed --

:04:41.:04:46.

implied a tougher line, but that is what you tend to do when you are in

:04:47.:04:50.

opposition, just as Mr Cameron did over the invasion of Georgia. So a

:04:51.:04:59.

low-key, consensual PMQ and I think some of you did not like it. It

:05:00.:05:07.

provoked a mixed response. Beginning with the positive, one viewer said

:05:08.:05:13.

this was a rare occasion when both leaders looked and talked like

:05:14.:05:19.

proper, democratic politicians. On Twitter, one person said, it is like

:05:20.:05:27.

they have grown up this week. But Philip Jones tweeted, boring

:05:28.:05:31.

questions from Ed Miliband on Ukraine, and another Tweet said, the

:05:32.:05:41.

dullest PMQ in history. Someone else said, Ed Miliband did not ask

:05:42.:05:46.

anything of substance, he may as well have not been there. Sometimes

:05:47.:05:55.

you cannot win. At least the Ukrainian issue was addressed last

:05:56.:06:00.

week -- this week, which it failed to do last week. It is still very

:06:01.:06:09.

hard to pin down, when they say there will be consequences, what

:06:10.:06:13.

these consequences will be. In part, that is because countries are

:06:14.:06:19.

defending their own interests. That document is seen outside Downing

:06:20.:06:22.

Street made clear Britain did not want our trade sanctions or stop

:06:23.:06:26.

Russians investing in the City of London. And in part it is because

:06:27.:06:32.

there simply isn't agreement. I think the Government and the US are

:06:33.:06:35.

of the view it would be a disaster for different countries to announce

:06:36.:06:38.

different things at different times. There has to be agreement.

:06:39.:06:44.

David Cameron says today it is hard to see, I think was the phrase he

:06:45.:06:49.

used, how the G8 summit should go ahead. Yesterday, the Italian

:06:50.:06:53.

Foreign Minister said he thought it could go ahead. Unless they can

:06:54.:06:57.

agree, it is no use the prime ministers saying anything. Germany

:06:58.:07:07.

didn't say it shouldn't go ahead, but he said it is our chance to talk

:07:08.:07:13.

to Mr Putin. And the German factor is important. Not only have

:07:14.:07:17.

historically the Germans been in favour of a more diplomatic approach

:07:18.:07:25.

to Russia - Berlin is not that far from the Black Sea, so there are

:07:26.:07:30.

historical reasons, there are also economic and political reasons. The

:07:31.:07:37.

German Foreign Minister comes from the social Democratic party, he is

:07:38.:07:42.

an alley of the former Chancellor who is on the board of gas problem

:07:43.:07:56.

-- Gazprom. Having said that, pushed by Ed Miliband with this quote,

:07:57.:08:02.

Russian armies cannot march into other countries while Russian

:08:03.:08:08.

shoppers march into Sainsbury's, the Prime Minister did say there would

:08:09.:08:12.

have to be more actions. My guess is there will be targeted sanctions on

:08:13.:08:16.

certain individuals in the Russian Government to do with their visas

:08:17.:08:20.

and assets being frozen. And now would it be left at that? Just a few

:08:21.:08:33.

individuals? Well, there is encouraging news that there has been

:08:34.:08:37.

contact between Ukrainian and Russian ministers. We need to see

:08:38.:08:44.

things de-escalate. The second important thing, following on from

:08:45.:08:49.

what Nick said, is EU Council of foreign ministers is meeting

:08:50.:08:53.

tomorrow, and that provides an opportunity to get a more

:08:54.:08:59.

co-ordinated response. Well, it provides an opportunity, but will it

:09:00.:09:03.

do anything? The Germans are the key in this because they have the

:09:04.:09:06.

biggest trade relations with Russia, as Nick said, they are

:09:07.:09:10.

hugely dependent on Russian oil and gas. And a third of all European

:09:11.:09:17.

union exports to Russia come from Germany. In the first nine months of

:09:18.:09:23.

last year, 27 billion euros from Germany alone - three times what

:09:24.:09:34.

America exports to Russia - at a time when the German economy is

:09:35.:09:38.

struggling to recover from recession. Well, the German economy

:09:39.:09:46.

is probably one of the strongest in Europe. The British economy is

:09:47.:09:55.

growing faster. I think the point of Germany is I would hope it

:09:56.:09:59.

recognises the importance of sending a strong message. What would you

:10:00.:10:07.

like that message to be? There needs to be clarity about the timetable

:10:08.:10:11.

and steps we need to see from President Putin. He needs to know

:10:12.:10:15.

the European Union would be as one around a series of diplomatic events

:10:16.:10:21.

such as attendance at the G8, and he needs to know there would be

:10:22.:10:24.

agreement around issues such as travel and these bands. -- and visa

:10:25.:10:38.

bands. So that sense of risk. Do you think he cares? In the past, I think

:10:39.:10:45.

he is recognised there is a significant relationship with the

:10:46.:10:48.

EU. So there are economic risks for him. What is the risk he is running?

:10:49.:10:55.

He has a huge surplus because he sells oil and gas. No European

:10:56.:11:01.

leader can see its country run out of gas, so where is the risk? The

:11:02.:11:07.

risk is from other parts of the Russian economy. Many Russian

:11:08.:11:10.

businesses trade with the European Union and will not want to break off

:11:11.:11:16.

those relationships. Actually, there are now many. Most of Russian

:11:17.:11:20.

exports to the EU are oiling gas. That's it. When did you last by

:11:21.:11:37.

something that was made in Russia? -- oil and gas. That's it. When did

:11:38.:11:41.

you last buy something made in Russia? There's been a whole series

:11:42.:11:48.

of things, you mentioned Georgia, problems in Moldova. Russia is

:11:49.:11:53.

surrounded by former states who are attempting to weaken it. What

:11:54.:12:01.

penalty did the pen name -- Kremlin paid full backing to chunks of

:12:02.:12:15.

Georgia? -- pay for bagging two chunks of Georgia? We now know they

:12:16.:12:20.

are seeking to recreate the influence it had before. But that

:12:21.:12:29.

was not intended. It was only the image sure departure of the

:12:30.:12:34.

president. Which Mr Putin in the press conference yesterday said was

:12:35.:12:42.

the rightful leader and should be returned to power. Nobody apart from

:12:43.:12:48.

him thinks that he is the rightful leader. Well, he is the one matters!

:12:49.:12:57.

What are the sanctions? I still don't understand, what is the

:12:58.:13:01.

punishment for Vladimir Putin for pursuing a policy that may not have

:13:02.:13:11.

been planned, but he is pursuing now nevertheless? Well, we have to act

:13:12.:13:17.

together. Military sanctions are utterly out of the question. Can you

:13:18.:13:24.

hear them in the pocket that hard? His machine, his cronies, can you

:13:25.:13:27.

hit them hard by freezing the assets? Well, they are on average

:13:28.:13:33.

20% poorer than there were on the weekend because of the ruble. That's

:13:34.:13:41.

the kind of point I'm making, creating a more unstable position

:13:42.:13:47.

for the regime. The dictatorship in Belarus is going to face social

:13:48.:13:54.

pressures. I've been to the Ukraine and number of times, I can remember

:13:55.:13:58.

the enormous optimism in the early 1990s. It has fallen into my asthma

:13:59.:14:09.

of corruption. -- into a miasma. There is a sense that you do not

:14:10.:14:13.

hold a meeting unless you are going to say something at the end of it.

:14:14.:14:18.

And you have to do something at the end of it. I thought it was

:14:19.:14:21.

interesting the Prime Minister was saying he'd had meetings with

:14:22.:14:26.

Chancellor Merkel and the French president. I don't know whether that

:14:27.:14:30.

was together or separately at this stage, but it suggests to me there

:14:31.:14:33.

will be awareness among those leaders that they cannot afford to

:14:34.:14:37.

go to Brussels for an emergency summit on Ukraine having issued

:14:38.:14:44.

those kinds of condemnations and not then have something substantial to

:14:45.:14:47.

show for it. You may be right, Andrew, people may say, is that it?

:14:48.:14:52.

But I think they know people want them to say some link. John Kerry

:14:53.:14:57.

yesterday, the US secretary of state, sounded as if he was partly

:14:58.:15:01.

putting pressure on Europe, but partly beginning to gain confidence

:15:02.:15:06.

Europe might just be about to do something, which would be hitting

:15:07.:15:10.

two things. It would hit Russia's international standing. The Sochi

:15:11.:15:18.

Summit is actually quite important to give them the money he spent for

:15:19.:15:22.

the Winter Olympics. And also hitting the lives of people around

:15:23.:15:28.

him. I agree with you, it is hard to seek trade sanctions. It was

:15:29.:15:33.

interesting that after the Russian stock market went into freefall and

:15:34.:15:38.

the ruble hit its lowest level in recorded history, even though the

:15:39.:15:43.

Kremlin spent 10% of its massive reserves trying to prop the ruble

:15:44.:15:48.

up, Mr Putin announced a stand-down of the Army on the border with East

:15:49.:15:59.

Ukraine. So that would suggest it did have an effect. It might not be

:16:00.:16:03.

sanctions, but the finances do play a role for Mr Putin. We shall see.

:16:04.:16:12.

One final point is we can't see it here but my colleagues are tweeting

:16:13.:16:16.

about it. The wife of the Prime Minister was in the gallery watching

:16:17.:16:22.

Prime Minister 's questions. We think she's only done it once since

:16:23.:16:26.

David Cameron was Prime Minister. Maybe she fancied seeing how he was

:16:27.:16:38.

getting on. Always nice when the wife turns up.

:16:39.:16:45.

Who remembers what now seems like a quaint tradition on budget day? Ken

:16:46.:16:49.

Clarke, at the despatch box with a whiskey, Geoffrey Howe sipping a gin

:16:50.:16:52.

and tonic. Andrew, you might even remember Disraeli with his brandy.

:16:53.:17:02.

Who writes this?! More recent chancellors, however, including

:17:03.:17:05.

George Osborne, have had just a glass of water to keep the thirst at

:17:06.:17:09.

bay, as in budget after budget since 2008 they have raised duty on wine

:17:10.:17:13.

and spirits by inflation plus 2%. In our soapbox this week, wine critic

:17:14.:17:16.

Peter Richards puts the case for calling time on the duty escalator.

:17:17.:17:31.

These beautiful surroundings of the South Downs and I am at Hambledon,

:17:32.:17:37.

England's oldest commercial vineyard. It is one of nearly 450

:17:38.:17:44.

vineyards in the UK and a make up part of a Wine and spirit industry

:17:45.:17:47.

that is worth ?20 billion to our economy. The Chancellor has said

:17:48.:17:53.

that he wants to support growth and employment. So he should be toasting

:17:54.:17:57.

this vibrant sector. But instead, with every budget committee raises

:17:58.:18:01.

the amount of tax we pay on wines and spirits through an alcohol duty

:18:02.:18:05.

escalator. Effectively punishing business, the wider economy, and you

:18:06.:18:12.

and me, the consumers. Taxation now accounts for a whopping 57% of the

:18:13.:18:16.

price of your average bottle of wine. It is even more for sparkling

:18:17.:18:20.

wine and spirits. If the escalator domains in place, tax on wine will

:18:21.:18:26.

increase by 30% by 2018. It is undoubtedly true that alcohol

:18:27.:18:37.

can contribute to a number of social and health problems. But overall,

:18:38.:18:43.

alcohol consumption in this country is in long-term decline. Plus, when

:18:44.:18:47.

it is consumed sensibly, as the majority of us do, it cannot only be

:18:48.:18:50.

good for your health but it gives great pleasure, brings people

:18:51.:18:56.

together and acts as a profoundly civilising rather than anti-social

:18:57.:19:00.

force. The trade also has an economic benefit. An independent

:19:01.:19:05.

study found that scrapping the alcohol duty escalator would

:19:06.:19:09.

generate an extra ?230 million for public finances, and create 6000 new

:19:10.:19:16.

jobs. But raising duty again this year would actually produce less

:19:17.:19:20.

revenue and cost jobs. UK drinkers pay more duty than Germany, France,

:19:21.:19:25.

Italy, Spain and Poland combined, despite drinking less. It is time

:19:26.:19:30.

for government to take a sober look at the facts and call time on duty.

:19:31.:19:35.

And from the vineyards of the South Downs to our studio here in

:19:36.:19:39.

Westminister - but without even a glass of bubbly for us, we're joined

:19:40.:19:46.

by Peter Richards. One of the issues is that alcohol has become more

:19:47.:19:51.

affordable, hasn't it? By 2010, alcohol was 20% more affordable than

:19:52.:19:55.

in 1980 so one could say, what are you complaining about? If you asked

:19:56.:20:00.

most people on the street if the price of alcohol has gone up, you

:20:01.:20:02.

would get the same answer, absolutely. I hear it from a lot of

:20:03.:20:08.

people. From my experience of working on Saturday kitchen, my job

:20:09.:20:11.

is to find affordable wines for people. When I started eight years

:20:12.:20:16.

ago finding a good affordable wine at ?67 was pretty easy. -- six or

:20:17.:20:24.

?7. The general impression if you look back 20 years ago, there is a

:20:25.:20:28.

lot more variety out there and a lot more good wine that is more

:20:29.:20:32.

affordable than it used to be. Things are getting better but if you

:20:33.:20:35.

took to businesses who are trying to sell this stuff, it is increasingly

:20:36.:20:40.

difficult for them to do business -- if you talk to businesses. I was

:20:41.:20:44.

talking to one wine producer who said there will be three results.

:20:45.:20:48.

First is that prices go up, the second is that quality is lowered

:20:49.:20:51.

and the third is I start looking for a different market to sell my wine.

:20:52.:20:56.

That what worries me, there is a danger that we lose our status as

:20:57.:21:00.

one of the best places to enjoy wine in the world. That is historically

:21:01.:21:04.

what Britain has done best and I think it is in danger. Because of

:21:05.:21:08.

the Chancellor's policies it is fundamentally counter-productive,

:21:09.:21:14.

you lose more money than you gain. What do you say to that, that it is

:21:15.:21:19.

counter-productive? At the point of it, probably for health reasons and

:21:20.:21:22.

also to raise revenue, is working against you. We made a number of

:21:23.:21:28.

changes to make it easier to have a cheaper pint. We are a couple of

:21:29.:21:35.

weeks away from the Budget. I can't think of anything more career

:21:36.:21:42.

limiting for a member of the Cabinet to suggest anything with regard to

:21:43.:21:46.

taxation. You don't think Peter will get his wish? Taxation is rightly a

:21:47.:21:53.

matter for the Chancellor. You are going to make a deal earlier on in

:21:54.:21:59.

the programme. I realised I had exceeded my authority so to do that

:22:00.:22:03.

twice on the same programme... Why are wine and spirits being treated

:22:04.:22:07.

differently to beer? I think beer was regarded as the local, able

:22:08.:22:14.

traditional drink in Britain. -- a more traditional drink. 42% of what

:22:15.:22:23.

is sold in pubs and bars is wines and spirits. You are still not going

:22:24.:22:35.

to tempt me... Is it because wine is too middle class? I drink wine and I

:22:36.:22:44.

am not middle-class. Is that why it is treated different league? --

:22:45.:22:51.

differently? The Chancellor took the view to beer which was widely

:22:52.:22:57.

welcomed. Community pubs remain open. The gentleman makes a

:22:58.:23:02.

reasonable point but I don't want to give any indication that I know what

:23:03.:23:05.

the Chancellor may or may not do with regard to wine duty. Does PETA

:23:06.:23:13.

have a case? I think he has a case and I agree with his suggestion that

:23:14.:23:17.

they should be a proper look at the economic arguments. I think when new

:23:18.:23:26.

evidence comes forward, you should always look at it. Like Eric, I

:23:27.:23:30.

think it would be career limiting for me... They are so timid on this

:23:31.:23:38.

programme. We are shifted by nature. You say it is good for your health,

:23:39.:23:42.

it was brought in because there were fears about the cost of people who

:23:43.:23:47.

did drink too much, who abused alcohol and the cost to the NHS and

:23:48.:23:51.

the taxpayer, do you not think that is still a pertinent case? You

:23:52.:23:58.

couldn't deny that alcohol can contribute to social and health

:23:59.:24:01.

problems for it is only sensible to say that. If you look at the facts,

:24:02.:24:04.

and it is important to look at the facts, it is not necessarily a clear

:24:05.:24:08.

origin between controlling price and abuse. I would also say -- not

:24:09.:24:16.

necessarily a clear correlation. I would also say alcohol abuse has

:24:17.:24:19.

gone down and the incidence of industry and King have reduced. --

:24:20.:24:28.

incidents of binge jinking. -- drinking. I think we should get

:24:29.:24:32.

legislators and the goal industry and the health lobby together,

:24:33.:24:34.

rather than having this disparate dynamic, to try to work towards a

:24:35.:24:39.

sensible way of moving forward on the health front and not penalising

:24:40.:24:46.

the vast majority of consumers who drink alcohol responsibly. According

:24:47.:24:52.

to Reuters, President Putin has been nominated for the Nobel Peace

:24:53.:24:57.

Prize... Who says satire is dead... Another 200 have been nominated, I

:24:58.:25:05.

don't think Paddy Power will make in favour but he has nevertheless been

:25:06.:25:07.

nominated. Since he became Communities

:25:08.:25:10.

Secretary in 2010 our guest of the day, Eric Pickles, has made a number

:25:11.:25:13.

of populist pledges. Try saying that after a few drinks. Mr Pickles has

:25:14.:25:18.

backed weekly bin collections. In 2011 he said it was "a fundamental

:25:19.:25:21.

right for every Englishman and woman to be able to put the remnants of

:25:22.:25:25.

their chicken tikka masala in the bin without having to wait for two

:25:26.:25:27.

weeks for it to be collected." In July last year he proposed a

:25:28.:25:43.

grace period of 15 minutes for people parking on double yellow

:25:44.:25:45.

lines. Mr Pickles has also pledged to ban fixed cameras and so-called

:25:46.:25:49.

"spy cars" used to catch people parking illegally. And in November,

:25:50.:25:53.

he endorsed a number of proposals designed to help lower council tax

:25:54.:25:57.

rates - one of which was the suggestion that councils should use

:25:58.:25:58.

sheep instead of lawn mowers. That was one of many, it was not

:25:59.:26:09.

number one. That'll shear a few pounds off the budget. Eric Pickles

:26:10.:26:13.

is still with us here in the studio. How is the weekly bin collection

:26:14.:26:18.

coming on? We have protected 6 million people so they get

:26:19.:26:22.

collections weekly. We have introduced new changes in building

:26:23.:26:26.

regulations to ensure that we don't have been blight. 70% of bins are

:26:27.:26:33.

now collected fortnightly. It is a matter of for the local authority

:26:34.:26:39.

but I have removed the inevitability of fortnightly collection. It had

:26:40.:26:43.

disappeared in Northern Ireland, just about disappeared in Scotland.

:26:44.:26:47.

You are not responsible for Northern Ireland or Scotland. The country you

:26:48.:26:52.

are responsible for is called England. 70% of ins are still

:26:53.:26:58.

collected fortnightly. We have only been in office a little while. Four

:26:59.:27:07.

years. The canned -- context, a weekly basis. -- the contracts come

:27:08.:27:15.

up on a weekly basis. Do you want to do parking? The ban on fixed cameras

:27:16.:27:22.

and Spike cars, you said below could be changed before Easter -- spy

:27:23.:27:26.

cars. You said the law could be changed. Government can't act by

:27:27.:27:32.

diktats, all of these things we put out for consultation. The

:27:33.:27:39.

consultation has just ended, I am carefully considering it. I ought to

:27:40.:27:44.

make an announcement imminently. It will happen before Easter? I can't

:27:45.:27:51.

prejudge what I am going to say. Why not? You know what imminently is? In

:27:52.:28:00.

your case, no. Are there lots of sheep boy is it still silence of the

:28:01.:28:09.

lambs? -- or is it? We did suggest a lot of other things about joint

:28:10.:28:13.

poetry and but I'm glad you enjoyed the sheep! Now, it's time to put you

:28:14.:28:17.

out of your misery and give you the answer to Guess the Year - yes, it

:28:18.:28:21.

was 1990 - Geoffrey Howe resigning was the clue. Eric - press the

:28:22.:28:27.

button. Well done, Larry, the mug is yours.

:28:28.:28:30.

OK, that's all for today. Thanks to our guests. The One O'Clock News is

:28:31.:28:34.

starting over on BBC One now. We'll be back tomorrow at noon with all

:28:35.:28:37.

the big political stories of the day. Do join us then. Do we know

:28:38.:28:45.

what we are doing? No, but we will both be here.

:28:46.:28:51.

I will be here on Friday. I won't be! Bye-bye.

:28:52.:28:57.

Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn with the latest political news, interviews and debate.

As well as presenting full coverage of Prime Minister's Questions, they are joined throughout the programme by the communities secretary Eric Pickles and shadow Europe minister Gareth Thomas.

The Guess the Year competition closes at 12.30pm during the live broadcast of this programme.


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