23/06/2014 Daily Politics


23/06/2014

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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Transcript


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Morning all, welcome to the Daily Politics.

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

:00:39.:00:41.

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

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

:00:46.:00:48.

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

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

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George Osborne likes High Speed 2 so much

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

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

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And they used to call it the prawn cocktail offensive.

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

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It's a shorter programme today because

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Consider us a gentle under-arm serve

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to get you warmed up for the tournament.

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And with us for the show is Katja Hall,

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newly promoted as Deputy Director-General of the CBI,

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the organisation representing businesses that together

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

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First, the High Speed 2 rail line between London

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and Birmingham isn't due to open until 2026,

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

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High Speed 3 would link Manchester and Leeds and help build

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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promise to you, I will work tirelessly with anyone across

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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conversation about how we can connect our cities in the north

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

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connect East with West. What about trying to spread the

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

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

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

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the focus be there? Too often the debate is either

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

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

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

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

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

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

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transport and infrastructure connections.

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

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

:05:19.:05:22.

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

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as people are less distracted at work.

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

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

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he's the president of the European Council,

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to one of the top jobs in Brussels

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going to former Luxembourg PM Jean-Claude Juncker.

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

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with EU officials briefing that Juncker

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will become President of the European Commission.

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

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

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

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Over the weekend, the work and pensions secretary

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

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And, Juncker does seem to be at odds with

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

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

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This all comes amid concerns from British business about the

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

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

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

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

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

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

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he will be the nomination for commission president.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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next president of the European Commission and that is decisive in

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terms of him becoming the next president of the European

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

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

:09:30.:09:32.

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

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

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considerable reforms of the European Union, what specifically are you

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referring to? It is down to regulation where our

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

:09:57.:10:00.

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

:10:01.:10:03.

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

:10:04.:10:08.

financial services. Gordon Brown made a serious mistake of agreeing

:10:09.:10:12.

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

:10:13.:10:17.

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

:10:18.:10:22.

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

:10:23.:10:25.

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

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Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone which he could have used

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

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opinion. Is he over stating the case in terms

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of the European Union having too much control over financial

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regulation and the city here being at a disadvantage?

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

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financial financial centre in Europe. The rules me to govern

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

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

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London profit enormously from the financial centre. We have three

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

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umbilical cord between London and Frankfurt and Paris and Europe and

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

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

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London. I using mistake by saying the city

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

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

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

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problem is we have lulled ourselves into doing business with the

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

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

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

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

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

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to other part of the world which is very dangerous.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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the simple reason is so important that people understand that

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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get from the biggest single market on our doorstep.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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London, the ambassadors of the countries that are absolutely behind

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

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

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free trade agreements with United States sorted out, democratic

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

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

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

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

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

:16:31.:16:38.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:17:00.:17:03.

Kinnock yesterday rallied to his defence after a series of former

:17:04.:17:05.

Cabinet Ministers expressed concerns. Here are a few of the

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

:17:11.:17:15.

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

:17:16.:17:18.

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

:17:19.:17:26.

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

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

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

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

:17:42.:17:45.

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

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Charles Clarke talking to me recently. Some less than helpful

:17:49.:17:52.

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

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

:17:58.:18:01.

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

:18:02.:18:10.

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

:18:11.:18:14.

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

:18:15.:18:20.

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

:18:21.:18:26.

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

:18:27.:18:30.

Parliamentary Labour Party who never wanted Ed Miliband as leader and

:18:31.:18:34.

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

:18:35.:18:39.

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

:18:40.:18:41.

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

:18:42.:18:48.

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

:18:49.:18:54.

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

:18:55.:18:58.

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

:18:59.:19:01.

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

:19:02.:19:05.

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

:19:06.:19:11.

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

:19:12.:19:15.

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

:19:16.:19:19.

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

:19:20.:19:26.

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

:19:27.:19:31.

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

:19:32.:19:34.

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

:19:35.:19:38.

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

:19:39.:19:43.

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

:19:44.:19:47.

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

:19:48.:19:50.

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

:19:51.:19:54.

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

:19:55.:19:59.

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

:20:00.:20:04.

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

:20:05.:20:08.

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

:20:09.:20:11.

think voters are backing Ed Miliband. You can call them

:20:12.:20:15.

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

:20:16.:20:18.

two about politics and they were like you in administrations when

:20:19.:20:23.

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

:20:24.:20:27.

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

:20:28.:20:30.

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

:20:31.:20:36.

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

:20:37.:20:40.

connecting is extraordinary. The only person in politics who is

:20:41.:20:43.

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

:20:44.:20:47.

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

:20:48.:20:51.

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

:20:52.:20:55.

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

:20:56.:21:02.

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

:21:03.:21:06.

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

:21:07.:21:12.

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

:21:13.:21:17.

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

:21:18.:21:21.

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

:21:22.:21:25.

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

:21:26.:21:30.

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

:21:31.:21:33.

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

:21:34.:21:37.

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

:21:38.:21:42.

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

:21:43.:21:46.

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

:21:47.:21:49.

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

:21:50.:21:53.

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

:21:54.:21:59.

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

:22:00.:22:03.

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

:22:04.:22:07.

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

:22:08.:22:11.

Cabinet because a considerable number did want David Miliband. Do

:22:12.:22:15.

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

:22:16.:22:20.

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

:22:21.:22:24.

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

:22:25.:22:27.

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

:22:28.:22:31.

economic narrative which convinces people and prolonged austerity and

:22:32.:22:34.

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

:22:35.:22:39.

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

:22:40.:22:44.

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

:22:45.:22:48.

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

:22:49.:22:52.

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

:22:53.:22:57.

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

:22:58.:23:00.

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

:23:01.:23:04.

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

:23:05.:23:07.

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

:23:08.:23:11.

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

:23:12.:23:19.

Adam first. Welcome to Internet world for all

:23:20.:23:28.

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

:23:29.:23:39.

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

:23:40.:23:45.

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

:23:46.:23:49.

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

:23:50.:23:54.

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

:23:55.:23:58.

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

:23:59.:24:04.

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

:24:05.:24:06.

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

:24:07.:24:11.

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

:24:12.:24:16.

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

:24:17.:24:22.

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

:24:23.:24:26.

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

:24:27.:24:30.

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

:24:31.:24:36.

Labour types worry that Ed Miliband looks antibusiness with one former

:24:37.:24:39.

Cabinet Minister telling me the party has absolutely nothing that

:24:40.:24:43.

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

:24:44.:24:47.

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

:24:48.:24:51.

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

:24:52.:24:56.

entrepreneurs how to pitch, but what business friendly policies would

:24:57.:24:59.

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

:25:00.:25:05.

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

:25:06.:25:10.

high street businesses are suffering, as are independent shops.

:25:11.:25:15.

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

:25:16.:25:19.

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

:25:20.:25:24.

training. Create a mid level highly skilled

:25:25.:25:29.

migrant programme visa for people that have experienced with small to

:25:30.:25:32.

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

:25:33.:25:37.

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

:25:38.:25:42.

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

:25:43.:25:47.

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

:25:48.:25:52.

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

:25:53.:25:55.

there are articles apparently circulating around the business

:25:56.:25:58.

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

:25:59.:26:02.

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

:26:03.:26:06.

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

:26:07.:26:11.

Labour that businesses would support so we Reich this things on

:26:12.:26:15.

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

:26:16.:26:19.

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

:26:20.:26:24.

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

:26:25.:26:30.

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

:26:31.:26:34.

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

:26:35.:26:38.

think on Osborne, absolutely we should give the Government credit

:26:39.:26:41.

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

:26:42.:26:45.

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

:26:46.:26:47.

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

:26:48.:26:51.

We should be getting reforms as well. Just some interesting

:26:52.:26:55.

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

:26:56.:27:00.

election without a single big business publicly backing him? I

:27:01.:27:03.

think we have to have good engagement with all the party

:27:04.:27:08.

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

:27:09.:27:11.

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

:27:12.:27:15.

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

:27:16.:27:19.

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

:27:20.:27:23.

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

:27:24.:27:26.

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

:27:27.:27:30.

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

:27:31.:27:34.

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

:27:35.:27:40.

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

:27:41.:27:43.

sluggish on infrastructure delivery. What about big business buys forced

:27:44.:27:48.

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

:27:49.:27:51.

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

:27:52.:28:00.

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

:28:01.:28:03.

they have a strong industrial strategy and when they get

:28:04.:28:07.

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

:28:08.:28:13.

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

:28:14.:28:18.

departure from the World Cup going to cost?

:28:19.:28:23.

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

:28:24.:28:29.

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

:28:30.:28:36.

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

:28:37.:28:41.

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

:28:42.:28:44.

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

:28:45.:28:47.

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

:28:48.:28:55.

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

:28:56.:29:00.

Wimbledon is coming up this week. Bye.

:29:01.:29:02.

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