22/01/2016 Daily Politics


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Hello and welcome to the Daily Politics.


David Cameron is in Prague on the latest leg of his tour


to drum up support for his plans for EU reform.


The Prime Minister says he's not in a hurry,


despite speculation that's he's still aiming for a referendum


Meanwhile, the EU is facing bigger problems than Brexit as thousands


of migrants continue to arrive daily - can Europe's


They're no longer smoke-filled and now they let in women -


we'll be looking at the role of gentlemen's clubs


But just why would Germany be named the best country in the world?


All that in the next hour and with us for the first half


of the show is the journalist and broadcaster Cristina Odone.


the Prime Minister has ordered ministers to clamp down on lawyers


pursuing claims against veterans of the Iraq war.


He's asked the National Security Council to draw up options to end


what Number Ten called "spurious claims".


Lawyers are continuing to refer alleged abuse by soldiers


to the Iraq Historic Allegations Team, which has so far informed


about 280 UK veterans they are under investigation for alleged abuse.


Well, there are a number of steps I'm going to be examining.


First is making sure that people cannot claim


legal aid unless they are resident in the UK.


We're going to look at the measures we can take against companies that


We're also going to look at the conditional fee


arrangements, the so-called no-win, no fee arrangements that some


of these companies are entering into.


So we will take whatever steps are necessary to make sure


we shut down this industry that I think is treating people who have


served their country in such an appalling way.


Well we're joined now by Clive Baldwin.


He's the senior legal adviser from Human Rights Watch.


Welcome to the Daily Politics. As you've heard, David Cameron says he


will take whatever steps to curb this industry. Is he right to do it?


What the Prime Minister is wrong to do is to be making such statements


when enquiries are ongoing. There is an independent investigation going


on and the results of an independent investigation into the allegations


of crimes. For the Prime Minister to step in now and say that all the


allegations are spurious, talk about destroying an industry. He's not


saying all of them but he is saying he wants to stamp out spurious legal


claims against British troops who are serving their country. The broad


principle - is that something you would support? The place to decide


whether a claim is spurious or not is in the courts. But the industry,


he is saying, itself, should be looked at very carefully. Not just


individual firms are not just individual cases but he is calling


it an industry. When your mind that is wrong? That is wrong. What do you


think? I think places like human rights watch have done fantastic


work, monitoring what is going on out in Iraq and other places. The


British justice system, of course, whether it is the military or the


civilian branch, should be totally accountable, but there is beginning


to be a feeling that there are witchhunts going on, that lawyers


are taking advantage of, and that this whole no-win, no fee mentality


is about getting the this whole no-win, no fee mentality


matter what, rather than the pursuit of the truth, which is what we like


to think rule by law means. Do you want to respond to that? Rule by law


must be pursued of the truth but it is important to say these


allegations have that does come from the lawyers. They originally from


the British media, which investigated ten years ago, from the


Red Cross, who made reports that time saying they were very


concerned, from people like a senior legal adviser of the Armed Forces in


Iraq, who spoke at great length about this. And even public


enquiries and though a particular in Greek rejected some claims, it found


evidence of abuses going on. What about the point Cristina is making


about the core of some of these claims, these no-win, no fee


arrangements, that some people are being encouraged to come forward,


that the number of claims has grown exponentially over the last few


years, that that, in fact, is driving a different sort of momentum


to claims that are made? No-win, no feed... I'm not an expert on this


issue but as I understand it, it was partly brought in by the Labour


government when it started cutting back on legal aid, so it is not to


attack the messenger, it is more to say... And remember, this is a very


special case. The UK had invaded and occupied part of Iraq, so was


responsible for governing citizens. If those people made a claim, there


has to be some measure of accountability. If the reports RIA,


that legal aid is going to be clawed back, or they are not going to be


made available to people who aren't resident in the UK, that is going to


prevent people putting in claims at all. We obviously want everybody to


have access to justice but there is a sniffing sense here that no-win,


no fee is about the pursuit of money, rather than justice. But


soldiers shouldn't be above the law, should they? Absolutely not. But on


the other hand, I don't think lawyers should rule everything,


either. Are firms like Leigh Day and others just ambulance chasers? Leigh


Day and others have also been responsible for others. There was


recently the case of people from a Miao Miao in Kenya in the 1950s,


which took 15 years and in the end the British Government admit it on a


mass scale because of litigation that was brought. Is important to


say that the proper place for any allegations against lawyers is with


the lawyers regulatory authority, it is not for the Prime Minister to be


saying that while the allegation is going on. That does damage the


appearance of rule of law. What do you say to the defence secretary,


claiming there will be a fear of lawsuits which could then impede the


effectiveness of British troops? Well, anyone who actually has gone


above the law needs to fear those lawsuits. What you do need is a


proper system of independent, speedy investigation, which can clear the


innocent quickly and if anyone is guilty of war crimes, that they are


held accountable quickly. It all needs to be speeded up. Thank you.


Forget about Miss Saigon, The Phantom Of The Opera


or Les Miserables - there's a new musical opening


in London soon that is sure to break box office records,


So our question this morning is, what particular part


of the Labour leader's life is the musical concentrating on?


A - his alleged motorcycle holiday with Diane Abbott?


the correct answer later in the show.


So, speculation about when an EU referendum takes place rumbles on.


Plenty of people in Westminster are putting their money on a date


in late June, but that depends on the outcome of an EU


And David Cameron's hopes for a deal next month took a blow


as French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said that discussions


Last night David Cameron responded, saying that he was in no hurry


to hold the referendum if the deal on offer from the EU


Meanwhile, speculation continues about which cabinet ministers


might split from the Prime Minister


and campaign for an "out" vote regardless of the reforms.


Here's Eurosceptic Cabinet Minister Theresa Villiers


This is a crucial question and I'm proud of the fact that it's


a Conservative government that are giving the people


of the United Kingdom the choice to vote on our relationship


We all need to wait for the outcome of the referendum...


If nothing is brought back, you will be voting to get out?


Well, certainly no one is happy with the status quo.


The Prime Minister isn't, the government isn't


and, frankly, I think there are many people across this country


who would agree that the European Union needs


It needs to become more competitive, it needs to be fairer


Well, we don't know what he's going to come back with,


if anything, but if he comes back with nothing you will be


Well, the government will obviously take a view...


You. You.


We need to wait and see what the outcome of


the negotiation is and then the reality is that every man


and woman in this country has the choice.


Home Secretary Theresa May, who has so far refused to pick


a side, was yesterday seen lunching with leading Eurosceptic Liam Fox,


prompting rumours that she could still be persuaded to back


And there are plenty of other big public figures wading in this week.


First the Pope called for Britain to stay in, while this morning actor


Michael Caine told the Today programme he was backing Brexit.


You've now got in Europe a sort of government by proxy of everybody,


And I think unless there's some extremely


significant changes, we should get out.


It all means David Cameron has a lot of work to do


if he is going to secure a deal that he can take to the country


as evidence of why we should stay in Europe.


Today he leaves the World Economic Forum in Davos to travel to Prague.


Our correspondent Eleanor Garnier can tell us more.


So, Eleanor, another pit stop and David Cameron's tour of European


capitals. These visits just for show? Well, he's done so many of


them, hasn't he? There are only four weeks to go until the EU leaders are


going to be in Brussels and trying to find consensus on this and at the


moment, the deal is far from done, so he's got a lot of hard work to do


before mid-to-late February. The Czech Republic has been one of the


most outspoken countries over David Cameron's plans for that four-year


ban on EU migrants claiming in work benefits. The government there is


firmly opposed to anything that might undermine the principle of


freedom of movement and, of course, firmly opposed to anything that


might discriminate against its own citizens. Having said all that, it


does want the UK to stay in the use. It has said that it is willing to


find a solution but clearly they just haven't got to that point just


yet and that is why David Cameron is on his latest stop of his diplomatic


tour. And there's been a change of tone, hasn't there, in the last week


or so, from David Cameron and, it seems, George Osborne in terms of


timing of the renegotiation and then a referendum? I know they haven't


given explicitly a date but it did sound like it could happen this


year. Now he's in no hurry to get a deal. Is that an admission that his


timetable has now been thrown off course or is that part of his


expectation management? It is definitely expectation management.


If, like you and me, you've been playing very close attention to what


ministers have been saying last week or so, you might have concluded a


deal was very close to being done because George Osborne said just at


the end of last week the essential pieces of the deal were falling into


place. The Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, said recently that a June


referendum was quite possible. So we have this growing sense of momentum,


this optimism, and almost inevitability that a deal in


February would be done and I think David Cameron could have ended up


extremely red-faced if he'd got to the February summit and it didn't


deliver a deal. So we saw some very clear expectation management


yesterday and on top of that, we also heard, as you pointed out from


french fry minister Manuel Valls, saying more time was needed for


discussion and a deal at any cost would not be acceptable. -- French


Prime Minister. I think the tone has changed over the last week or so.


Thank you. We're joint by Robert Oxley from the Vote League campaign.


David Cameron told French TV last week that he feels deeply European


so that means is going to campaign to stay in. I do think it is quite


clear that the Prime Minister made his decision a long time ago that he


was going to campaign to stay in at all costs and I think the


renegotiation has effectively become an expectation management game. It's


become a very trivial exercise in renegotiating our relationship but


it isn't going to bring powers back, it isn't going to solve the problem


is that the Prime Minister said were absolutely key. The independent


George Osborne think tank have said that they will have not much affect


on immigration, so I think David Cameron is very much replicating


what Caine's movies. Is gone off to Europe, tried to do a smash and grab


but is ultimately coming home empty-handed. You thought about that


on the Michael came from. Christine, you are in favour of Britain


remaining in the EU. Do you think David Cameron is going to get a


thing substantial or is this a bit of a Charente? I think this is an


amazing courtship and it's not going to lead to any kind of seduction.


But I think that what has been very interesting is seeing the Prime


Minister himself, who seems to be in a rush not only to get the


referendum going but to force an election this summer. I think he is


now kicking the ball into the long grass. Do you actually think he's


doing that or do you think he's going to come back after that summit


and say, it's fine, I've got something, let's have a referendum


in June. I think we are looking at 2017. Do you agree with that? Do you


think it is being kicked into the long grass or do you think this is


part of the showmanship of hard work and struggle and he will come back


with something he feels he can sell? in it's there is a constant exercise


in expectation management. We have to be ready to go as soon as


possible. The government want to of the actual we want to keep a number


of the voices who quite clearly see the interference at brussels and who


are unhappy about it, but they are being kept it does not leave you


much time to start a campaign if it is June, or had the support of those


Eurosceptic cabinet until the re-1 of the things we have on our side is


we are building but you have to you have to that without being in the EU


Britain will be a smaller and less significant player on we are quite


clear, that to leave the EU, we will do a free-trade deal. We are your's


largest market and you do not have to be a political member of the EU


to trade with Europe, despite that goes back to my point about the


grassroots network. We are building that up, we have got street stalls,


we had 32 last weekend and we will have 150 in January have put out 2


million leaflets in the on the other side they do not have grassroots


support, are there risks to stay people will look at the recent


crisis of the euro? We are not part of the euro, but it impacted people


will think it could be a risk to I think Scotland if they and with in


the EU for trading we are stronger partners, I we are going to showing


up in Germany and as do you think people are getting more engaged


political arguments and referendums it is really only in the last few


have become engaged. Do you think people are getting


People like Tim and Cymru and other observers and commentators who are


really excited but I'd be the general public is -- Tim Montgomery.


Why do you think Theresa May was having lunch with Liam Fox? I think


they will be chatting about what is going on. They are being told to


keep the primers to's line. Do you thing she is discussing what she can


say and do? I can't speak for what Theresa May thinks about this issue.


I'm sure she will at the appropriate time. I think we are talking to the


Cabinet and we hope that Cabinet members will... Who are you talking


to? Tim Montgomery says there are five. What we do see at the moment


is that the campaign is slightly shaping up to be an establishment


coming out to back staying in the EU at all costs despite there being


very few changes, where as those at the grassroots network and people


who have seen the interference and cost of Brussels will be on the


other side. I'm quite happy if we are on the side of the people rather


than the establishment. Do you have a problem Cabinet ministers are only


allowed to talk in coded language until this negotiation is completed?


Those Cabinet who want to stay in the EU, they are allowed to but on


the other side they are being told to keep quiet until the maximum


about what is achievable. The Donald Tusk letter said David essentially


not much, but the fundamental change he Labour should get a free


vote the it is are you going to be on the phone I cannot confess to


Now, if I said I was off to a club after the show


think my Friday night had started early.


But here at Westminster that could also refer to London's


to men, and they've played a big role in shaping


Giles has been off to the smoking room to find out more.


It's worth reflecting that whilst a lot of modern


politics is done inside a 19th-century building,


Parliament, a lot of it is also done on our


So why have I come to the smoking room of the National Liberal Club


They don't, obviously, smoke in here any more.


Well, because clubs have always had, and to a certain extent still do,


There's the Great Fire of 1834, which not only devastates Parliament


but for the next 30 years, Parliament is a building site,


and you can't run the country from a building site,


so a lot of the functions that we now associate


with Parliament happen because MPs go in exile into their clubs


and they are literally running the country from London clubs.


So Parliament's been a building site.


Well, Parliament starts to commission club


architects, people like Charles Barry, who's best-known


for the Reform Club, for the Travellers Club,


and they asked for a new Parliamentary building


that's basically modelled on a London club,


because they've spent 30 years getting used to all the creature


comforts and all the conveniences of a London club.


So this is why the Parliamentary estate has smoking


And have clubs played any role politically


The nature of clubs, the nature of their being


designed with these small, conspiratorial alcoves,


and that element of plausible deniability, as a plotter's


paradise, is such that when these sorts of things have happened -


and I'm thinking for instance of party leadership


campaigns that have been plotted in clubs -


but the people involved tend to disclaim them very quickly.


The National Liberal Club clearly wears


its political colours but today, many members are interested,


However, there is a club that was, is and,


one imagines, always will be a political beast -


the dining room of Torydom on earth, you might say,


It was founded for that express purpose.


There is a very marked political element and there


is a political committee that organises a programme of speakers


and policy discussions and very usefully, as far as the Tory Party


is concerned, the political committee is responsible


for a political fund to help candidates in marginal


constituencies during general election campaigns.


It might not look it but clubs have modernised.


Women may not be on the walls but are full participating


And though the hours are more social than serious business,


the tradition of political discourse is still


They are absolutely beautiful, but are they not just relics of the


past? What is wrong with a relic? We should not Botox the London


landscape free of all wrinkles and tiny little, strange initiation


rites. Those wooden panelled rooms still smell of cigar smoke. They


will never get rid of that after all the years of smoking. They are


wonderful. But do you think there should be meant only clubs? As long


as we can have women only clubs. Have you been to any of these? And


one of the best dinners I ever had was at the Beefsteak Club. It was


the late Evelyn Waugh who was the guest and she invited me along and


we had to sit on a very long table with all the club members in a


completely democratic fashion. I was seated next to a minister and over


there was a barren something or other and there were actors, it was


fantastic. I am sure it was. Political deals were done in these


clubs, not so much today. It seems to be a place to socialise with


people who think the same sort of thing about politics, but not any


more. Do you think it is where politics is done? No, it is not, and


yet the influence peddlers peddle their wares and I wonder if maybe


David Cameron at the Carlton club overhears somebody topping, a


captain of industry may be says Goldman Sachs could come and spend


?1 million. Is that right? If you overhear something in a social


setting, why not? Now, world leaders have been


gathering in Davos in Switzerland this week, and what else


would they be discussing than whose According to a survey unveiled


at the gathering in the Alps, the answer is Germany, with the UK


coming in a respectable third. It's apparently based on a range


of factors including cultural influence, entrepreneurship


and economic influence. Well, we wanted to find out more,


and being ever fond of a cliche we sent the German journalist


John Jungclaussen off I am a German living in London and


have lived here for many years, but this week I am asking if I have made


the wrong choice. A poll has been published which says Germany is the


best country in the world. Britain only came in third.


Is Germany right to be voted the best country in the world,


No, it should be somewhere where it is sunny all


Isn't there are around 300 countries in the world?


I'll take German beer, maybe notches it up to the top ten.


Oh, yeah, they're better than German sausages.


But I've grown up with British sausages.


As a lorry driver you have travelled through a lot of countries, why is


Germany the best country in the world? Because it is very strict.


I am glad you've finished the sausage. Were you surprised that


Germany came top? At the sausage? No, Germany came top. No, actually.


Germany has been in the news for the last few years as a leading force in


the European question in the European crisis. Angela Merkel was


on time magazine. The migrant prices brought the country into the


headlines. It makes sense that people talk about Germany and read


about Germany more and talk about it more in everyday news. It is not a


surprise. Looking at the factors they included, cultural ones,


economic influence. Suddenly an economic influence and


entrepreneurship as well. Cultural factors, best in the world? Not only


cultural factors, but my Institute publishes its own prosperity index


and Germany comes 14 and Britain ranks 15th. But the reason Germany


does not do as well on our prosperity index is because you do


not have such an entrepreneurial spirit or start-ups. Start-ups are


more expensive in Germany than in Britain. We have got more doers and


shakers. The flip side to that is of course Germany relies on family run


company 's who make Germany the export champion because they produce


the goods that the Chinese want. Is it not about manufacturing? The


manufacturing prowess of Germany stands out, rather than the get up


and go? I agree although if you look at the


Volkswagen scandal about diesel emissions, Germany can also do


software. I tell you what I thought was very interesting, and I think


that this is really Angela Merkel's incredible gift to her people... I


think there is now the good German. The German people have now started


to feel really proud, even though they have all their headaches and


they are wondering, are we right in being so welcoming? But boy, oh,


boy, have they crafted a new national character and it is the


noble German, rather than the nutty German. Do you think they have been


able to deal with the past in a way that they can move on? Absolutely.


And when I compare it to what we are doing to ourselves with these road


stretches and hurt Celso drew because of a colonial empire, I


think Germany is the way to go. Every country needs an inspiring


figure at the top but it is also history. I think the Fuhrer has now


finally vanished in the mists of history. It is the next-generation.


The people who are about to get interested in politics now don't


even remember the fall of the wall, which is 25 years ago, so it really


is... Moving back. The news that Germany is now the best country in


the world - enough to draw you back home? Maybe for the summer holidays.


But you're staying put in Britain? I think I might stay here. Thank you


very much. It's time now to find out


the answer to our quiz. The question was, which particular


part of Jeremy Corbyn's life His alleged motorcycle holiday


through Eastern Europe? Please tell me that it is the ride


with Diane Abbott in Eastern Europe! Oh, I think it is! I think I've seen


the picture of the motorcycle. I love it! Does that mean you're going


to be getting tickets, Cristina? You bet. I'll invite both of you! I


would like to see the production of the manhole cover story, how that


could be staged. That will be the sequels, especially for you.


Coming up in a moment, it's our regular look at what's been


For now it's time to say goodbye to Cristina Odone.


For the next half an hour, we're going to be focusing on Europe.


We'll be discussing the migrant crisis still gripping the EU


and the fraught relationship between Brussels and the new


First, though, here's Ellie Price with our guide to the latest


In the week the World Economic Forum named Germany as the best country


in the world to live in, the Chancellor, Angela Merkel,


faced more pressure over immigration policy.


The EU lifted sanctions on Iran after the International Atomic


Energy Agency certified it had restricted its sensitive nuclear


Multilateral and national economic and financial


sanctions related to Iran's nuclear programme are lifted.


The EU steel industry cannot rely on public funds


to survive, says the Competition Commissioner, while not ruling out


further anti-dumping measures aimed at China.


The French president Francois Hollande set out to ?2


billion job creation plan in an attempt to lift France out


of what he called a state of economic and social emergency.


The EU criminal database is to include non-EU


citizens in an attempt to reduce the risk of another


And in the UK, 10 million homes received a pro-Europe campaign


Leave campaigners kindly offered to return


And with us for the next 30 minutes, I've been joined


by the Conservative MEP Timothy Kirkhope and the UKIP MEP


Let's talk first about one of those stories mentioned there,


and that's campaigning beginning to heat up ahead of Britain's


How is looking to you now? The Prime Minister is in no hurry. Manuel


Valls says there is still a lot of work to do. I think there is a lot


of work to do but I think the Prime Minister has made a lot of progress.


I'm talking to people in Europe every day and the feedback I'm


getting is very positive. On which areas? Particularly in relation to


the question of freedom of movement. That is a tricky one and that has to


be sorted out and I think he is making progress in his discussions.


Equally well on the question of the terms, like ever closer union. I


think that is making progress in getting the right kind of terms and


the right kind of agreements. Which way will you vote? I will see what


the Prime Minister comes back with. If he can give us a positive


outcome, and I'm pretty confident, more confident than I was, I will


support him and I will support remaining in the EU. As it stands


now, you would vote out? I wouldn't vote out. I will wait to see what


the terms are but I'm very positive in my view. It is not just what


Britain can get out of this deal, it is what happens from then on. If the


other countries in Europe are going to take part in the process the


prime ministers negotiating, that's got to be good news for Europe as


well as for ourselves. If people like Timothy Kirkhope have been


persuaded by this negotiation process, you're not going to see


many Conservatives like him voting for Brexit. Sitting on the fence is


bad for your help. I remember asking you last year why David Cameron


isn't actually negotiating fundamental free movement and you


said it was silly. We are hearing lots of Conservatives saying one


thing at home and going into the European Parliament and saying a


different thing. He is not calling for free movement to be reformed or


ending the rights of people who have been attracted by this migrant


crisis to come to the UK. The ?20 billion we give to the EU every


year, nothing about stopping that. There is no change. It is just


shadow-boxing. Do we think it is owing to be in June? Sooner the


better. Sooner the better but Tim is wrong about something he says. Do


you know how it take to get a passport in Germany? Eight years.


Ten years in Italy. Five years here. You just don't know your facts. That


hasn't stopped the mass immigration... We are going to talk


about immigration in just a moment so you can hold your fire.


The EU is in the grip of a migrant crisis and it's not


This week the International Monetary Fund predicted that 1.3 million


migrants could arrive in Europe every year.


French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has warned that Europe's migration


crisis poses a direct threat to the future of the EU.


And there's evidence that Schengen, that's the EU's passport-free travel


zone, of which the UK isn't a member, is already unravelling


as member states reintroduce border controls to try to stem the flow


of people fleeing conflict zones in the Middle East and elsewhere.


In August last year Hungary built a fence along the border


with non-Schengen country Serbia, blocking a railway line used


In September, Austrian authorities imposed border controls at the main


Later that month, the German government imposed border


The next day, Slovakia placed 220 police officers along its borders


And the Netherlands temporarily reinstated border


In October, Hungary built a razor-wire fence along


And at the beginning of this year, Sweden introduced checks


on the Oresund bridge, which links the country with Denmark.


While Denmark imposed border controls with Germany.


We are joined by a Labour MEP and my other guests are still here. Showing


is dead, isn't it? It is in deep trouble and Manuel Valls was


absolutely right to say that this is an existential crisis and is a deep


crisis. The problem with what he's saying is that he is a Prime


Minister of a big country and it is only the big countries that have the


assets to do something about it. When he says it's the EU, the EU has


limited assets to do anything, institutions, that is. They are


minimal assets. It is not a big agency but a bunch of civilians


doing a job and minimal budgets. It is the big countries that can do


something. Whatever your view on the migration crisis, whether you think


Germany was a pull factor, whether you generous about the migration


crisis, in the end, to deal with this, to have a tough external


border, for example the border agency, to have relocation, whatever


your view it is the countries like France, the big countries, who will


have to do something now to create integrity on our external border and


to create an organised and compassionate response. There is no


other way out of this. Even if Germany had not done what it has


done, we would have had a global crisis. Would it have been on this


scale? Let me tell you the reason why. 85 the centre of referees in


Turkey are living outside camps. Even if Turkey was helping us now,


they would not be able to control the situation. Would quotas have


been a more efficient way of working through this migration crisis? Lets,


for argument's sake, say we would still have had large numbers of


people coming from the Middle East and parts of North Africa... Quotas


would have meant there would have been regulated system, that each


country in the EU would have taken a proportionate number of migrants and


then both of the Dublin agreement, where refugees have to seek asylum


in the country they arrive in, and Schengen would have continued to


function. The key point is the renegotiation of Dublin, of the


agreement, but retaining the basic principles we seem to have lost. I


don't know whether Claude agrees with Yvette Cooper's remarks that


Schengen should be disbanded but all I'm saying is that I don't think so.


I think the key thing is to get the nuts and bolts right. The nuts and


bolts and the principles applying to people who arrive at the external


borders of the EU. We are not part of Schengen but the external borders


are important to us. Can Greece and Italy coach with those numbers? They


will need more resources and that is part of what we would propose. They


need help but once they have had help, there should be no question


about maintaining that principle that the first safe country that


people arrive that has to be the country that processes applications,


otherwise it becomes chaotic and that is what has been going on, I'm


afraid, with a lack of resolve by some countries. Do you agree with


that principle that the Dublin convention should stay put and


should be reinforced? You should claim asylum in the first safe place


you get to. If your houses on fire, you don't go looking down the


street, you go to the first has to call the emergency services. Is that


practical when you have Greece with people arriving in numbers they


have? The German chancellor said, come come all. These countries...


Germany should pay up. Do you agree with Yvette Cooper that Schengen


should be dismantled? That her view. If you dismantle it, you need


something in its place. There is broad agreement about Dublin because


the commission is now consulting about scrapping Dublin and replacing


it with Dublin four. There is broad agreement because it is natural to


claim in the first country you arrive in. If you take that away,


you need to replace it with something pretty sensible. At the


moment, the commission are not coming up with that. And Schengen,


what Yvette Cooper is saying is that it is now de facto dying but these


freedoms are at the heart of Europe and they matter and there is no


point in her saying it is dead without saying what we replace it


with. Without Schengen, is that the beginning of the end of the EU,


which is what Manuel Valls said? No, I disagree entirely about that. That


is what Tim wants. The point about Schengen is it has always had within


it the ability to reintroduce borders when there has been pressure


or an emergency. That is what some countries are doing. The key point,


we come back to it, the nuts and bolts. We are all feeding our ideas


for the new Dublin agreement. That is coming in until March so I'm


surprised that there is so much speculation about saying what Dublin


is going to be stop it isn't decided at all and I'm convinced that that


basic principle of people being dealt with at the first safe country


will be maintained and that is the key to it all. But even if Germany


and an Le Merkle hadn't said refugees, you are all welcome, would


we be in a totally different situation? -- Angela Merkel. There


has been movement across different European states will border controls


to be reinstated but there is a borders crisis in the European


Union, there was a crisis of free movement and I'm still waiting to


hear why David Cameron will not let sheet free movement. Why is heating


with benefits? You called renegotiating free movement stupid.


It is a basic principle which assists us in normal circumstances


through our trade and our exchange of services and skills. It is vital


for the British interests that we have freedom of movement. But should


it be suspended while this migration crisis is going on? There will be


many people who say, once these migrants are within Schengen, and I


don't know how many years it takes for migrants or refugees to gain


some sort of citizenship, they are free to move anywhere else. Refugees


do not have freedom of movement. Please remember that. All these


refugees that Ukip are frightening us about, the scaremongering


nonsense are that is not the same thing. They cannot have free


movement now, the refugees, so that is not an issue. Do you think Manuel


Valls has inflamed the situation with what he's said, because


inaccuracies about the status of refugees and migrants and who can


actually move, not only within Schengen but beyond, then starts to


get into the media narrative? He is in my party and I will see, yes he


has. There is no point in stating a problem and not saying what the


solution is. On Monday we have an Amsterdam council. You should be


sending ministers there to deal with the solution. This was an example


where refugees at the moment have a certain status, they don't have


immediate free movement. What the member states with the assets and


resources need to do with the problem we currently have is get to


work and sort out what we do about the relocation and the external


border because that is not going to go away. The other issues - Dublin,


Schengen - get some settlement on this. Irrespective of what we think


about what Germany did or did not do because we have a problem right now.


The big countries need to stop saying what the accidental problem


is. And start coming up with solutions.


Relations between the EU and Poland, the sixth largest economy


in the union, have soured over controversial media


and judicial reforms introduced by the new government in Warsaw.


The Eurosceptic Law and Justice Party swept to power


And this week the Polish Prime Minister was called to Strasbourg


to explain herself to MEPs at their monthly plenary meeting.


What could possibly make you think Poland's new Prime Minister doesn't


Prime Minister, would you like the EU...


Would you like the EU to butt out, Prime Minister?


In Poland, there have been protests because the government's sacked


loads of staff from the state broadcaster and it's appointed


a load of sympathetic new judges to the constitutional courts.


The European Commission's now investigating, using new powers


to check that member states are upholding the rule of law.


Let me show you just how heated this whole


Look at the front cover of this Polish news magazine,


which shows various senior figures from the EU,


like the president of the parliament Martin Schulz and Chancellor Merkel


In the Strasbourg chamber, Beata Szydlo used history to make


TRANSLATION: Poland's history has been a troubled history.


Our fathers and grandfathers gave them blood for freedom,


for us to be part of a united Europe, but they also spilt blood


for the freedom of other European nations.


to speak our own opinions, to fight for the right


We achieved that and we are not going to have that taken away.


Her main tormentor was the leader of the liberal group,


Guy Verhofstadt, who raised the spectre of Vladimir Putin.


The inconvenient truth here is that Mr Putin doesn't


He wants to destroy European unity and what's happening


While the man from the Commission tried to sound calm.


All members of the European Union have


signed, of their own free will, and ratified by their national


parliaments, European treaties, thus entering into obligations


as far as maintaining the rule of law is concerned.


But what about law and justice's parliamentary allies,


It is quite strange that they choose this


For example, when countries broke the stability and growth pact,


When countries like Greece do not play their role in defending


the external borders of the Schengen under the agreements they signed,


they don't come in, but suddenly you have more


Eurosceptic government and they decide to use this procedure.


For supporters of the Polish government


outside, some who'd travelled by bus for 16 hours for this,


it's a question of where power lies - with the US institutions


or with the individual member states.


If the Commission rules the Polish Prime


Minister's acting undemocratically, she faces the prospect


of losing her right to vote at future summits.


Oh, and she still wouldn't answer my questions -


Prime Minister, did you have a good trip to Strasbourg?


Well done for trying, Adam. Doesn't the EU have a right to investigate


and look at what is going on in Poland? It does, it can have its say


like any democratic chamber, but there is something untoward about


dragging an elected Prime Minister to the parliament and put them on


the naughty step and say, do not do this. The European Union has had its


troubles with democracy. It has asked companies to vote again. Maybe


it should get its house in order. All EU member states have signed up


to the idea that the commission can investigate whether countries are


upholding the rule of law and the Law And Justice Party in Poland are


threatening that. Does the EU have a right to do what it is doing? The


commission has a right to investigate any allegations about


treaties. You support it? No, what I say is Poland is one of the most


lively democracies now and since it through of the Soviet Union and it


has developed its politics in a lively way. The last party in power


did not like the new party getting a majority and ever since then they


have been trying to cause problems. I do not know what the answer is,


all I know is the Polish government I do not know what the answer is,


have very good reasons for doing what they have been doing and I


think the commission should investigate, but the European


Parliament, which is taken upon itself all these clever


investigations based on a political approach, I think that is not the


right forum. The reports are that the Law And


Justice Party has replaced judges and executives and broadcasters to


restore values. Is that I worry? That is up to Poland. No one else


has a mandate to interfere. If the Polish people do not like it, they


will vote. But it stuffed the court with its own appointees. Someone is


saying they are trying to read the balance because the media and the


courts were packed with people from the previous government. There is


nothing wrong with that? I watched the debate and many of my colleagues


feel the commission has a role in this, as it did with Hungary in


addressing alleged breaches, we can do it and it is there, but it does


backfire when you have this enormous theatre. She got the last word. She


put her hand up and said, Mr President, can I have the last word


for the sake of Poland and my nation? Timmermann 's made a great


play for the treaties and the rule of law and these breaches are of


concern... Alleged breaches. Alleged breaches. She ended up looking like


the heroine, they ended up looking like the bad days. Does it make you


feel queasy? It is probably not the way to do it to happen this court of


public opinion where you target the country. When they got Alexis


Tsipras it was like a show trial. They were waiting to take a swing at


him. They all get on their high horse. Does it have the desired


effect? It has the opposite effect. She left happily and she came


willingly. She was treated with respect. The arguments were


powerful, you sign up to these things. It was not a deviation from


the law. She volunteered to come. That is the point. And then we had


then might as well. The problem with all of this is you have many laws


which could be breaching treaties, so we have to get away from the


commission examining this and the theatre where it backfires. What


happens now? The commission investigates. Meanwhile, the


parliament will be going around making allegations with certain


political groups about Poland, it is on their agenda. Poland will not be


able to change things in the meantime? No, the European Union


will complain and moan about it, but then they will find some other


bogeyman. Now it's time for the latest


in our series Meet the Neighbours. Today we're looking at one


of the newer EU members states, Here's Adam again, and he's been


sizing up the Romanian The Ceausescus, the husband and wife


dictator duo who ruled Romania Now it is the country's parliament,


the biggest in the world apparently, They rolled out the red


carpet for me after Romanian MPs gave us


permission to film. The first thing you notice


is it is like a museum They got this idea of having these


beautiful lamps and once they were visiting France in the 70s


and they visited Versailles and Madam Ceausescu was impressed


and she thought it would be great And how about his and hers


matching staircases? The steps were smaller than usual


because the Ceausescus were unusually short and liked


to make a big entrance. Those curtains weigh


a tonne you know. In this place you can


walk for miles. All that marble makes


this the heaviest Parliament is not sitting


today so the corridors are pretty quiet, but Romania


went through a political A fire in a Bucharest nightclub


which claimed 16 lives led to the resignation


of the Prime Minister Talking of epic, check


out the ballroom. There is room for a symphony


orchestra and you can get a sports As a Romanian person how do


you feel about this building The first thing, we didn't need such


a building in those days. It was built with a great


effort, so that is what I need to appreciate myself,


the effort of the people who have worked with this building,


as there were more than a million people involved in


this grand project. I should say the urban myth is that


Ceausescu wanted this skylight to open so his helicopter


could land in here. If he couldn't escape that way,


there was always the spooky Is it true that down


here there is a nuclear bunker? Yes, it is true, not


only one but two of Sadly Top Gear beat us to it,


they staged a race down And here is our final stop,


the grand balcony with a specially lowered parapet so that Ceausescu


looked nice and tall when he addressed


the Romanian people Of course he never did that


because his regime collapsed before this massive


building could be finished. That was Adam. That building is


enormous. Do we underestimate how bad the histories of some of these


newer members of the EU have been? How difficult it has been for them


to come into a club where there are countries like Britain, France and


Germany. But the interesting thing is to see them recreating their


history. I have noticed that. People talk about the EU becoming a single


block, but as long as you have got countries like Romania, Poland and


Czechoslovakia coming in, throwing of Russian history and creating a


real history of their own, a pride in their country, that is a good


safeguard. Is it realistic to have countries that are so wide apart


where the disparity seems to be so huge, not just in economic terms,


but in cultural terms? I cannot imagine the horrors of living under


communism will stop anything we have got now is better than what they


went through. If the people want in these countries to join the euro,


that is for them, it is for the people to decide. Variety is a good


and positive thing about the EU. That is all we have got time for.


From all of us here, goodbye. Celebrate a country


4,000 years in the making. Let your New Year start with a bang


and visit an explosive new China.


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