05/03/2014 Daily Politics


05/03/2014

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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

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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

:00:54.:00:59.

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

:01:54.:01:56.

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

:02:05.:02:07.

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

:02:08.:02:11.

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

:04:46.:04:50.

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

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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