23/06/2014 Daily Politics


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Morning all, welcome to the Daily Politics.


Ministers say Europe's leaders will be flicking a V-sign to the voters


if they back Jean-Claude Juncker as president of the EU commission.


But it looks like David Cameron's bid to block the man


heading for one of Europe's top jobs has failed.


We'll be asking where this leaves his plans to change


George Osborne likes High Speed 2 so much


He says linking big northern cities will let them take on the world.


The polls are still looking tricky for Ed Miliband, but we'll speak to


And they used to call it the prawn cocktail offensive.


What are the political parties doing to try to win support from business?


It's a shorter programme today because


Consider us a gentle under-arm serve


to get you warmed up for the tournament.


And with us for the show is Katja Hall,


newly promoted as Deputy Director-General of the CBI,


the organisation representing businesses that together


employ about a third of the private sector workforce in the UK.


First, the High Speed 2 rail line between London


and Birmingham isn't due to open until 2026,


but the government's already talking about a follow-up.


High Speed 3 would link Manchester and Leeds and help build


a super-city in the north to rival the economic power of London.


The chancellor George Osborne's been speaking in Manchester this morning,


I have set out a vision of the northern powerhouse, not to rival


the south but the its brother in arms as we fight for Britain's share


of the global economy. Let's bring our northern cities together. The


northern powerhouse cannot be built overnight, it is a long-term plan


for a country serious about its long-term future. It means jobs and


prosperity, security for people of a few two decades, and I make this


promise to you, I will work tirelessly with anyone across


political divides in any of these great cities to make the northern


powerhouse a reality. Does this have the feel of a recycled idea. It


never catch me happens. We absolutely need to do more to


promote growth across the UK. In a sense we have to move away from this


idea that it is London or the rest of the UK, we should do our best to


maximise growth across all parts of the UK. This northern hub is primed


to connect, transport links are a key part of that.


Bearing in mind how much controversy around High Speed 2, and we are


still years away from that happening if it finally does go ahead, what


help with baby of high-speed three? We need to cease in more detail.


High Speed Rail Bill invincible is a good thing but given the costs


involved we want to make sure it is good value for taxpayers money.


Do you think it is a bit short of detail because it is just an idea


that is good to talk about, George Osborne knows seriously it will not


leave the buffers? I think it should be a serious idea


and one we are talking about. He is talking about starting a


conversation about how we can connect our cities in the north


better two has an important role to play but we should be looking to


connect East with West. What about trying to spread the


centre focus away from London, is that something you, in your


position, think is desirable. You say it is something you would like


but if everybody wants to be in London and the south-east shouldn't


the focus be there? Too often the debate is either


London or the rest of the UK but we need to have both. This isn't a


0-sum game, we can have a successful and prosperous London in the


south-east but also vibrant cities across the whole of the UK and in


the past public policy has tried to close the gap that is solving the


wrong problem, we should be focusing on maximising growth across all


parts of the UK, three strong local leadership and also through good


transport and infrastructure connections.


In case you hadn't had enough of the football, the question for


How much is England's departure from the tournament apparently going


Or c) Nothing, in fact it might boost economic productivity


as people are less distracted at work.


we'll see if Katja can give us the correct answer.


The Prime Minister's going to meet with Herman Van Rompuy later today,


he's the president of the European Council,


to one of the top jobs in Brussels


going to former Luxembourg PM Jean-Claude Juncker.


But it looks like this is one fight Cameron is set to lose


with EU officials briefing that Juncker


will become President of the European Commission.


It's all politically tricky for the prime minister who wants to


renegotiate Britain's membership of the EU and Juncker's appointment


could be a big blow to Cameron's reform agenda.


Over the weekend, the work and pensions secretary


Iain Duncan Smith said EU leaders were "flicking two fingers" at


And, Juncker does seem to be at odds with


Cameron's vision for Europe, he's said the free movement of people is


one EU principle that won't be on the table for negotiation.


This all comes amid concerns from British business about the


In a report out today, Business for Britain, a group of


business leaders urging reform, say "only very considerable reforms" can


Our political correspondent Ben Wright is now one of Europe's


leading experts in all things to do with Jean-Claude Juncker


Do you think it is all over for David Cameron in terms of trying to


block this appointment? Barring some surprise injury time events I think


he will be the nomination for commission president.


The European Parliament still needs to have a vote on it but Herman van


Rompuy has been desperate to get all the European leaders to agree to


find a consensus on who they want their nomination and following the


European elections, he emerges as the frontrunner because he was the


nominee of the European People's party, the biggest group of parties


in the European Parliament, but we know that for weeks David Cameron


and the Brits have been trying to stop them, they have been trying to


muster a coalition of the rain to oppose him, but it is like as though


with days to go the Brits have failed and he is very likely to be


the next commission president. Is this a case of David Cameron not


going to bow out without a fight, trying to say to his own


backbenchers I am trying really hard even though it is a lost cause?


He has tried to frame this as a glorious defeat for Britain and he


wants to show to his MPs that he really made a fight of it. Yesterday


Downing Street said they were going to demand a vote so that at least


David Cameron can put on record his objections to Jon Courtland -- to


Jean-Claude Juncker and he wanted to flush out other European countries


who say they are uncomfortable with him as well but not declaring their


opposition publicly. By pushing for a vote that is what David Cameron is


hoping to do. It is up to Herman van Rompuy to decide if he wants to go


down the route of a vote and that is one of the things they will be


talking about today. This is not one of the things they will be


whether European Council and Herman van Rompuy want to be, it is not


really where Angela Merkel wants to van Rompuy want to be, it is not


be, she privately had doubts this process, but critical in this whole


thing has been the German political establishment, the German media,


have really pushed him and they believe because he does have the


backing of the European Parliament and he is from the largest group of


parties in the parliament he has a mandate, he has legitimacy to be the


next president of the European Commission and that is decisive in


terms of him becoming the next president of the European


Commission. With us now is David Buik, he's


an advisor to Business for Britain and he's been warning about the


threat the EU poses to the City. And by Peter Wilding from


British Influence which campaigns to Welcome. You say that we need


considerable reforms of the European Union, what specifically are you


referring to? It is down to regulation where our


biggest concern is. Many of your viewers may not realise all the


other major centres such as Paris, Brussels, they are all Mickey Mouse


in comparison to London in terms of a business centre particularly for


financial services. Gordon Brown made a serious mistake of agreeing


that in 2009 adverse conference was held with President Obama that was


trying to agree global regulation. It set us back three years, and in


terms of the banking sector and all things financial, London is very


much a mover and shaker, he should have got on with his own business.


Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone which he could have used


terms of dealing with other people weather was a slight difference of


opinion. Is he over stating the case in terms


of the European Union having too much control over financial


regulation and the city here being at a disadvantage?


Up to a point. Britain as is David said, London, is the leading


financial financial centre in Europe. The rules me to govern


London are the rules covered by the entire European space will stop if


we have one rule Britain can easily sell its services throughout Europe.


London profit enormously from the financial centre. We have three


quarters of Europe's banks, headquarters here. There is an


umbilical cord between London and Frankfurt and Paris and Europe and


the world, and everybody including the United States are trying to call


a mate and harmonise financial services law, to the benefit of


London. I using mistake by saying the city


suffers as a result of a collision, because what you are interested in


is Britain pulling out. Absolutely not. The best deal of


David Cameron can do it, taking up on Peter's point, part of the


problem is we have lulled ourselves into doing business with the


European Union which is a huge mistake. We have neglected the rest


of the world and as a result of which we are not as competitive in


many areas as we might do. London is the head of the financial industry,


but if we have our regulation dominated, it is not a question of


people moving, it is a question of banks just reappropriated no capital


to other part of the world which is very dangerous.


Why do we want to have an umbilical cord to the eurozone or the European


Union which has been so badly damaged by the recession and which


people argue is on a sliding scale downwards, isn't David Wright said


we would be better cutting our ties to some extent there, and building


business elsewhere. You can have the best of both worlds, you do have the


best of both worlds, we can win in Europe and we can galvanise our


business to win in other foreign markets. The fact is we are the


second least were deleted economy in Europe, we are not bound by red


tape, we are winning this battle for reform, and it is just too


narrow-minded and short-sighted to save right, it is all this time,


let's leave it and hope we can be a buccaneering pirate state conquering


the world. I understand where he is coming from and in terms of exports,


business, industry and commerce I am not really an power to argue with


him because I know he is probably right but with regard regulation and


financial service, no disrespect, you are profoundly wrong. Because,


the simple reason is so important that people understand that


everything from my tied to your very smart suit comes from the banking


fraternity, and if we allow regulation to be dominated by a


federalist Europe we are in serious trouble. What do you think, David


Buick protecting the interests of the city which many people regard as


the cause of the crash in 2008, and actually they should come under some


sort of regulatory structure, we always hear about, not more


regulation. Without knowing what they are. You are right to highlight


the importance of the city to the whole UK and we shouldn't forget


that banks in the UK financial services system, it is the planning


for the rest of the UK economy so it is essential for us, but the city


has prospered because we are in the European Union, because we have


access to the single market. Should we witness the enormous benefit we


get from the biggest single market on our doorstep.


You would be campaigning when it comes closer to a referendum if that


is what happens after the next election for Britain to stay in the


European Union, not me or only weeks out with a fungus we want to see


Britain in the youth and fighting for reform. There is too much


regulation in Brussels. We shouldn't forget quite a lot of the revelation


comes from the UK. We were right to introduce regulation of course in


the aftermath of the crisis. We made an enormous contribution to


financial regulation. Now we seem to be blown away as irrelevant to the


conversation and it is a great pity. What about looking ahead, if there


were to be a referendum, you say you are confident about reform. If


Jean-Claude Juncker is appointed as president is that reform? We are


mixing politics with personality. The fact of Jean-Claude Juncker is


entirely separate from the need music coming from, for example, in


London, the ambassadors of the countries that are absolutely behind


David Cameron, they want reform. What kind of reform do they want,


they want the single market convicted for a start, they wanted


free trade agreements with United States sorted out, democratic


accountability. A team member states will sign up to that Meyer and I


want you to watch Friday because what you will see is a reform agenda


agreed and David Cameron will probably get a nice for polio --


portfolio, a lot of things are being done here. In a diplomatic. We


shouldn't concentrate on man. You've got nothing to worry about. Isn't it


wonderful, he's a great advocate. Jean-Claude Juncker is a federalist


and for groin achieve that under Jean-Claude Juncker is a federalist


and for groin achieve that a federalist agenda is difficult. I'll


leave it there. You can continue the discuss outside. We will. Thank you.


It's been a tricky time for Ed Miliband. The weekend brought more


polls suggesting the voters haven't warmed to him personally. Despite


Labour's continuing lead over the Conservatives. Former leader, Neil


Kinnock yesterday rallied to his defence after a series of former


Cabinet Ministers expressed concerns. Here are a few of the


criticisms. What Ed is trying to do is approach politics in a rather


different way, probably the way in which Tony Blair and New Labour


approached it. Do you think it's working? It may well be successful.


It may? I would say to you that electoral aRelate mettic is probably


on his side -- aRith meltic. Has to convince people he has the capacity


to lead the country. I think he does, but people don't believe that.


Can Labour win an outright majority? If it gets his position right. It


would be difficult for us to do that but it could still be done.


Charles Clarke talking to me recently. Some less than helpful


thoughts from Peter Mandelson there and Charles Clarke. One man who says


Ed Miliband is actually the most underrated leader of modern times is


the Labour MPed an former minister, Michael Meacher and he joins us now


-- MP and former minister. What about Ed Miliband's profile? I think


it's very important for all those who believe he is a fine leader to


make the case very strongly now. I think there are two groups of people


who are behind the back-biting and sniping. One is that people in the


Parliamentary Labour Party who never wanted Ed Miliband as leader and


lose no opportunity to stab him in the back, I think December pickibly.


Who are you referring to in particular? Nobody in particular but


we see nit the newspapers all the time. Unfortunately they are not


named and they should be -- despicably. There's a second group


who realise Ed Miliband is likely to make major changes that are needed


in the economy and in the structure of the society and who see that the


interests are threatened, the one who is are concerned. So why are the


voters not convinced. If he is, as you have tried to outline, making


such powerful arguments in the way the country needs to change, why are


voters not coming to his aid and supporting him? Well, they are


coming to the aid of the Labour Party. We virtually had a majority.


One might say after the economic situation we've had over the past


few years that an opposition party, in fact if you look at them


previously, they are way ahead, it's not about nearly getting to a


majority, it's about getting ahead? But you could argue the opposite. If


there is a recovery, a surge and improvement in living standards that


George Osborne continually talks about, it's surprising the Tories


are still behind. Labour is well in the lead. The latest polls show


there was an overwhelming majority of 40. Well in the lead. Three or


four points, that's narrowed now. Peter Mandelson says Ed Miliband is


confused and unconvincing. David Blunkett's warned Labour being in


the wilderness until 2030 and Charles Clarke doesn't at the moment


think voters are backing Ed Miliband. You can call them


Blairites, part of the Blairite conspiracy but they know a thin ah


two about politics and they were like you in administrations when


Labour won elections? -- thing or two. Yes, but I don't support what


they are saying. I don't believe we are going to lose, I think we are


going to win. I don't believe even if we did lose it would be out for a


generation, I think that's rubbish. And the idea that we are not


connecting is extraordinary. The only person in politics who is


actually connecting with people is the man who is saying that the real


problem is living standards, people don't feel part of the recovery,


that there is a huge problem with the NHS, we are not building enough


houses and energy prices are far too high. He's the one person who's


doing that. Why are so many people in your own party feeding stories


to, as you say, the right-wing press? I think because they still


cannot get over things, they are in a state of denial that Ed Miliband


won, they wanted David Miliband to win. Well, he didn't. We have a


democratic process and Ed Miliband won. If Blair was there, he'd be


insisting on total absolute loyalty and Ed is a generous, open-minded,


fair-minded man and they should respect that. We have ten months to


go in a very important election which Labour can clearly win and


they shouldn't throw it away. Does the disloyalty, as you see it,


extend to the Shadow Cabinet? I frankly don't know. If you don't


know where the disloyalty is exactly coming from, apart from blaming the


press, how are you so sure that it's there, apart from the comments we


have heard publicly? You seem to be talking about a mass disloyalty? I


don't think it's a mass disloyalty but I think there are a number of


individuals who I strongly suspect. Who are they? I'm not going to name


them but the fact is they are almost certainly members of the Shadow


Cabinet because a considerable number did want David Miliband. Do


you think Ed Balls is on the move? Those are the stories that his


supporters are the ones that are briefing against Ed Miliband. Do you


think that could be true? I don't know whether it's true or not but


what I would say in regard to Ed Balls that we do need to have an


economic narrative which convinces people and prolonged austerity and


cuts going all the way to 2020 are not the way to do it. We need a much


more positive emphasis on growth. So he's wrong is he, Ed Balls? He does


believe in growth but he also says he's going to continue with Tory


cuts until 2020 which is unhelpful. A lot of people have said to me on


the doorstep, if Labour is going to continue with cuts all the way to


2020, that is a powerful argument. We need to present our economic


policy much more forcibly. Thank you. Let's get down to


business and specifically, what does the business world want from the


next Government? We've got a top representative from the world of


commerce right here in the studio so we'll ask her in a minute. Here's


Adam first. Welcome to Internet world for all


things Internet. It's part of London Tech-week.


It seems to have worked worked because of the Government. Things


connect almost daily. That's been transformational. That's the slick


geeks back to Westminster to find out what the parties claim as their


prime business policies. George Osborne's spokesman spoke about it


and came back with a very specific response. Not. He said the Tory's


best policy for business was "our long-term economic plan". Vince


Cable's people couldn't think of just one so came up with three. A


new focus on apprenticeship, sorting out funding for small and medium


sized enterprises and a long-term joined up industrial strategy.


And what about Labour? An advise tore the Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls


said the party's number one policy for business was not having an EU


referendum unless there's a transfer of power to Brussels. But some


Labour types worry that Ed Miliband looks antibusiness with one former


Cabinet Minister telling me the party has absolutely nothing that


looks like a platform for attracting the corporate world. Ed's people say


he's just pro-consumer. Back at Internet world, it looks


like they are learning how to sit on a bean bag. It's a workshop teaching


entrepreneurs how to pitch, but what business friendly policies would


they pitch to the politicians? They need to keep business rates low,


probably need to cut them for some small businesses. I know especially


high street businesses are suffering, as are independent shops.


If they had an entrepreneurial bank that had a certain amount of money,


you are not given the money and can only apply for it two days after


training. Create a mid level highly skilled


migrant programme visa for people that have experienced with small to


large companies where they know how to grow them instead of having


people highly skilled only to a point of doctors and only 200 of


them. How about one of these for every BBC correspondent? It would


make me much more productive! Or maybe not...


Good try, Adam. Katya, how significant is it for Labour that


there are articles apparently circulating around the business


community how to Miliband proof your invest.s if Labour wins the next


election? I think for business leaders, they are pragmatic and will


work with whoever is elected. There are quite a lot of proposals under


Labour that businesses would support so we Reich this things on


industrial strategy, we like the proposals on schools for example.


Equally, there are ideas that we are not so keen on, like energy price


freezes and forced sell off of bank branches. What did you think when


Adam held up the piece of paper or the card with Labour's industrial


business strategy? I think overall the cards were really interesting. I


think on Osborne, absolutely we should give the Government credit


and it's the Tories as well as the Liberal Democrats


and it's the Tories as well as the reducing the importance of reducing


the deficit. We agree with Labour that staying in the EU is important.


We should be getting reforms as well. Just some interesting


perspectives from those cards. Can Ed Miliband go into the next


election without a single big business publicly backing him? I


think we have to have good engagement with all the party


leaders and we do actually. We have engagement across the political


spectrum and that's important. You will find the business leaders are


pragmatic and will want to work with whoever is in Government. How are


the Tories perceived by the business community, by you? If we look at


their record so far, and this is the coalition Government, like the


deficit stuff, like what they have done on tax. What don't you like?


Some of the rhetoric on immigration and we don't like the immigration


target. We think that's an arbitrary target and should be scrapped. Again


for the Government, we think that on delivery they have been a bit


sluggish on infrastructure delivery. What about big business buys forced


to walk away when we had the talk about AstraZenica. What did that say


about the Government's support for big business? We are a trading


nation and that benefits us. What's important for Government is that


they have a strong industrial strategy and when they get


commitments from companies who want to buy UK companies, the commitments


are made to stick. Now the answer to the quiz, how much is England's


departure from the World Cup going to cost?


You see, you are asking not the biggest football fan and I can tell


you my spending hassen been affected. I would two for C.


Nothing? ! Really. You would be surprised it's a ?1.3 billion black


hole within the British economy. Do you think that's nonsense? I think


we are a footballing loving nation and will continue to spend on beer


and barbecues so as long as the weather stays nice! Sausages will be


sold after all. Thanks to our guests, particularly you, Katja.


Wimbledon is coming up this week. Bye.


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