Jo Coburn is joined by Katja Hall from the Confederation of British Industry for all the latest political news, interviews and debate.
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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.