04/02/2016 Daily Politics


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David Cameron promises to put "beyond doubt" the sovereignty


of Parliament over the European Union.


The Prime Minister will acede to demands from Boris Johnson


for a new law to assert the authority of Westminster over


World leaders gather in London for a conference on Syria


while Russian jets pummell Aleppo and peace talks break down.


Will billions more for Syrian refugees make much of a difference


Whatever happened to Labour's eurosceptics?


Lots of them voted No in 1975, so where are they now?


And, it all came down to the toss of a coin


So just how important is coin tossing in the democratic process?


All that in the next hour and with us for the whole


of the programme today is the former Labour Foreign Secretary,


First this morning, world leaders have descended on Westminster today


in an attempt to raise over ?6 billion to help those


David Cameron has pledged an additional ?1.2 billion


in aid to support refugees in the region.


-- that's on top of the ?1 billion we have spent in the area.


Here is the Prime Minister speaking earlier today.


If ever there was a moment to take a new approach to the humanitarian


We are facing a critical short fall in life-saving aid,


that is fatally holding back our humanitarian efforts.


And after years of conflict, we are witnessing a desperate


movement of humanity, as hundreds of thousands of Syrians


fear they have no alternative than to put their lives in the hands


of evil people smugglers, in search of a future.


We're joined now by our correspondent, Ben Brown,


who's at the conference in Westminster.


He is with David Miliband. On the Daily Politics, you get two Labour


former Foreign Secretaries for the price of one. Over to you, Mr Brown.


Well, international leaders at the London Syria Donor's Conference


being asked to dig deep. ?9 billen is the amount that has been asked


for. $9 billion. Let's talk to David Miliband straight away. David


Cameron promising ?1.2 billion, another ?1 billion of tax payers'


money for this emergency. Is that money well-spent? How do you justify


that to a British taxpayer? I think thats is necessary. It is not a


matter of being the right thing to do, because these are people in


desperate need, both inside Syria and the neighbouring state. It is


also a smart thing to do. All the evidence is that unless the


humanitarian needs are met, that there will be an exodus from the


Middle East and Europe will be in the frontline T makes sense to do


this, as well as being the right thing to do. -- it makes It so it is


essentially in Europe and Britain's self-interest to spend money in


countries like Jordon, Turkey, Lebanon, almost to persuade the


millions of refugees it stay there, not to come to Europe. It is a


matter of global instability. The idea it is a Syrian war is wrong. It


is a contagion that has spread across the Middle East. The exodus


of a million people coming to Europe last year shows the price of the


political failure to bring this war to a close P my organisation has


2,000 staff inside Syria. Daily barrel bombs, daily Russian bombing


raids and terror devices and for those who flee in the neighbouring


states, 200,000 kids without education in Lebanon. Hundreds of


thousands of people without jobs in Jordon. There needs to be a new deal


for those refugees. To be fair to the Government they are recognising


the need for more aid which you pointed to but different aid,


long-term economic health, not just short-term humanitarian financing.


The emphasis of the British Government here is very much helping


the refugees who have stayed in the region, in Lebanon and Turkey, but


not on helping those who have come to Europe. Is that the right


approach, David Cameron's approach The truth is, you have to do both.


Most of the refugees are the anybody nag states of Syria. You wouldn't


know that from the media comment. You would think they were in Europe


but a country like Jordan, 20% of the population is Syrian refugees. A


country like Lebanon, 40% are Syrian refugees. Those countries are


bearing the brunt of the load. For those in Europe, I think there is a


strong case that Europe has to justify and address the refugee


needs they have got. Refugees have rights in international law that


should be represented. People like me think Britain should be playing


its part in that. You have to do both. It is right to work in the


region but it is also right to recognise that those fleeing for


their lives need to be looked after OK, David mill bant of the


Commission on International Rescue, stay with us. -- David Miliband. The


track record on the conference coming up with the cash it has been


asked for is not great. The last year, the international can be


community have only come up with 50% of the money that has been pledged.


We will see what happens this time around. Thank you very much Ben


Brown, there, outside the international conference on aid for


Syria. The humanitarian case for sending


aid and more aid is clear but the argument that if we do that t stops


them becoming migrants, I would suggest is not so clear. We have


already given ?1 billion and this January alone, 767,000 migrants came


to Europe from that and other regions, verses 5,000 in January


2015. -- 67,000. I don't think anybody would suggest it would stop


all of them but something a lot of people have forgotten is blast year


at a fairly crucial time, because the money, as Ben was just saying,


wasn't coming in that people had promised, the international


organisations actually cut the funding that was going to people.


They cut the food aid. They cut the money people were receiving and


that's what lay behind that sudden great surge of people. If that


happens again, then, yes, that will increase the pressure on people


wanting to leave. But, clearly, there are substantial numbers of


people who do prefer to stay in the region, to stay in the locality but


they won't, if they can't provide for their families there, the


security they left Syria to achieve. But even if we double the money and


if, unlike last time countries that make promises live up to their


promises, which as Ben Brown was pointing out, they didn't, are we


seriously saying we are going to create sustainable communities with


jobs and education in the refugee catches? I mean, we have got - there


is a picture of one that we can probably put up on the screen now,


just to give an idea of the scale of this. I mean they are all over


Jordan now and they are in other parts of the area, on the edge of


Turkey. Are we seriously saying that - even if we were to pump billion


upon billion in, that we can make sustainable communities out of that?


That? I understand and share your anxiety, if you like and scepticism,


not least because, you know n lots of countries, including this one,


creating jobs is not always that easy. And that's what we are talking


about doing. On the other hand, I do think it is worth trying. . The


situation is so desperate you have to try anything. And something that


could make the lives of these people in the camps better, whether they


are in the region or in Europe, has to be the right way to go. Obviously


when you see the camps you want to do what you can to at least make


life bearable until there is a solution sorted out but there is


another problem. As we speak and as they gore for this enormous --


gather for this enormous conference down the frood here, Assad's forces


and Russian bombers are thumping the surrounding areas of Aleppo as we go


on and the peace talks have had to be suspended in general eva, as we


spend -- Geneva. As we spend, thousands and thousands more


refugees are being created. There is clearly very much that risk and


that's why it is important not to - I mean, I understand anybody who


says - I look at and that I despair, there is nothing we can do. But that


will only make things worse. It is a council of despair. We have to try.


Well Well, let's stay in the region. Now, it's been over two months


since the House of Commons voted to extend British airstrikes


targeting the so-called Islamic State group


from Iraq into Syria. But as the media focus


on the parliamentary debate has subsided, what action has the RAF


actually been taking? around Mosul and Ramadi


which are both in Iraq. Since the 29th January,


the RAF has carried out four separate air strikes around


the area of Mosul in Iraq. and also an attack near


the Kisik Junction both in Iraq. On Friday and Sunday there were also


RAF air strikes carried out We're joined now by our


correspondent Paul Adams. RAF air strikes are obviously taking


part in coalition force air strikes. Do we have any idea of what our,


what British air strikes are Do we have any idea of what our,


Well, as you just outlined, the bulk Do we have any idea of what our,


of the operations remain in Iraq and you have explained why that is,


because there are ground operations and in a way that is not the case in


Syria. So we are and in a way that is not the case in


activity still around Ramadi, which was recaptured


activity still around Ramadi, which situation remains


activity still around Ramadi, which there is a lot of focus


activity still around Ramadi, which soften-up ISIS


activity still around Ramadi, which of Defence won't give


if you like, a national breakdown on achievements but they do say


if you like, a national breakdown on the course of these operations - and


by the way the tempo of the operations has


by the way the tempo of the dramatically since December. The


Ministry of Defence says it roughly trebled


Ministry of Defence says it roughly involvement. But the overall effect


they say is so-called Islamic State has lost around 24% of the territory


it he previously controlled in Iraq and around about 10% in Syria. They


talk about operations going back to Tikrit. And they talk about the


impact on oil revenues. A 30% cut on the oil revenue that is so-called


Islamic State can achieve and a 10% cut in its overall available budget.


They think the air strikes cut in its overall available budget.


having an impact but, of course, it's difficult to see that


having an impact but, of course, when ISIS retains its grip, if


having an impact but, of course, tactical operations in


countries. What are you hearing, Paul, perhaps, about widening the


war against Islamic State to the med terry andian coastline of --


Mediterranean coastline of Libya, where they appear to be well


ensconced If you remember the terrorist attacks in last year in


Tunisia, there was a strong connection to that. Growing fears


about whether Libya could emerge as a significant IS base. Reports


recently that a number of IS figures from Iraq and Syria have moved to


Libya. So, yes, there are clearly efforts being undertaken to examine


the possibilities for widening the campaign. There is a British


training operation that's ready to go. It is just waiting for an


invitation from the Libyans to go in there. There were reports of


intelligence and SAS elements going into eastern Libya to possibly


prepare the ground for some kind of operations. The Ministry of Defence


say there is no immediate prospect of any of that. But I don't think


anyone will be surprised if, in the coming months, we didn't seat US-led


coalition, and various members of that coalition turning their


attention to Libya and mounting air strikes. -- if we didn't see the


US-led coalition. There is a threat. Thank you for


filling us in. Margaret Beckett, it would be fair to say, as regards


Syria the extension of air strikes to Syria hasn't made much of a


difference yet Well, if you recall, during the debate we had in the


House of Commons, there was this curious sort of mixture that on the


one hand, obviously it was an important decision of principle and


one that people attached great significance to, but on the other


hand, the step we were taking was really very small. It is just to


say, the RAF no longer has to stop at the border. And that was quite a


stark contrast that did emerge in that debate. So, yes, they are doing


a great deal but one of the things I think is interesting and useful, is


that those who argued we should still stop at the border, shouldn't


have any involvement in Syria a lot of that you are argument was - we


should be going instead for their sources of funding and so on and of


course that's exactly what the RAF is doing. The in sense of what is


bombing, the boils? Bombing oil wells. The US Air Force seemed to


bomb the bank in Mosul and blew up several hundred million dollars Alf


You don't regret your support for new kind of military pollcy. Yes.


You don't regret your support for extending the bombing? No, I don't.


It wasn't an easy decision for anyone but as I say, is a matter of


principle it was important that it was the House of Commons taking the


decision but in practice it was a small step that we were authorising.


Do you now get the impression, given that the Iraqi army and other forces


have made some progress in reclaiming some towns, and we hear


these reports, those of us who remember the Vietnam War are always


dubious unofficial body counts. We hear that Islamic State is


suffering. I saw some reports that a number of fighters were moving into


Raqqa because it was dangerous with the bombing around there. Do you get


the sense that they are now on the defensive? 18 months ago it seemed


as though they were taking all before them. It seems to me as


though some impact has been achieved because it's not very long ago that


people were talking about them being on the brink of taking Baghdad and


now they will take the whole of Iraq, but that is not happen. Yes,


it's slow, and no doubt very painful, but it seems as though it


is making a difference and that's the point. We will keep an eye on


what's happening. The question for today


is what narrowly missed hitting Margaret in the chamber


yesterday? B, a copy of the Beckett report


into why Labour lost the election? At the end of the show Margaret


will give us the correct answer. David Cameron has suggested he may


bring forward legislation to ensure the sovereignty of


Parliament over the EU. The Prime Minister was responding


to a question yesterday from the Mayor of London,


and Tory MP Boris Johnson. Mr Cameron said he was "keen to do


more" to reassert the authority of the Commons at the same time


as concluding his EU renegotiation. The Prime Minister said


he would "put beyond doubt" the sovereignty of Parliament


when in exchanges in with Boris This could come through beefing up


the Supreme Court to make it analagous with the German


Constuitutional Court - which reviews legislation inlcuding


EU law to ensure compliance Of course, Germany has a written


constitution. However, it has been suggested that


such changes would be largely symbolic as there is no suggestion


it could actually veto EU law. And of course the German courts


never has. It is thought Mr Cameron is keen


for the Justice Secretary, Michael Gove, to lead these changes,


though Mr Gove is said to be caught between his "conscience" and loyalty


to the Prime Minister. A sovereignty law is also


being drafted by policy chief Oliver Letwin,


but some are sceptical about how the UK could effectively "disapply"


EU law without massive fines and throwing our


membership into doubt. It's not even clear if that is what


the Prime Minister intends. Some Conservative MPs and MEPs


are also lobbying the Prime Minister to repeal Sections 2 and 3


of the 1972 European Communities Act That is the one that made us members


of the common market. That would effectively render EU law


unenforceable within the UK - and again be seen as


a declaration of war on the EU. And the first step to getting out


altogether. Let's have a look at the exchange


between David Cameron and his old Etonian pal Boris


in the House of Commons yesterday. Perhaps I ask could the Prime


Minister how these changes as a result of this


negotiation will restrict of legislation coming from Brussels,


will change the treaty, so as to assert the sovereignty


of this House of Commons and these In terms of asserting


the sovereignty of this House, that is something we did in 2010,


through the European Referendum Act, and it's something I'm


keen to do even more on, to put beyond doubt that this House


of Commons is sovereign and that is something


that we will look to do at the same time as concluding


these negotiations. In terms of what are we doing


to restrict the flow of legislation from Brussels, for the first time


ever in here is a commitment not only that Europe has to examine


all of its competences every year to work out what should be


returned to nation states, you have welfare powers


and immigration powers that I have Bailout powers coming back,


and the massive return of power we achieved in the last


parliament, the justice The biggest return of power


from Brussels to Britain We have absolutely nailed it down


in these discussions to make sure I'm not saying this is perfect,


I'm not saying the European Union will be perfect after this deal,


it certainly won't, but will the British position be


better and stronger? That was the Prime Minister replying


to Boris Johnson. Joshua Rosenberg joins me from Belfast. We hope to


talk to Craig McNally from the Houses of Parliament. When I studied


political science we were taught that Parliament was always


sovereign, particularly the Commons. The Queen in Parliament is always


sovereign. Why does restating that make any difference? You are right,


it won't. The Queen in Parliament, that is the House of Commons, the


house of lords, and the Queen who has to give Royal assent, are


sovereign and the courts accept that. It is Beverly true that in the


1972 act the House of Commons, the House of Lords and the Queen agreed


to cede sovereignty in part to Europe and Parliament could repeal


parts of the legislation to retain sovereignty. -- it is perfectly


true. There is no need to put the sovereignty of Parliament beyond


doubt, it is sovereign. Parliament can do what it once but if it puts a


limit on EU migrants coming to this country, which is in clear breach of


EU law, either the EU law takes precedence even though Parliament is


sovereign or the Parliament is heading for the exit, it is taking


Britain out, one or the other. I would suggest you cannot break that


kind of law and still be a member of the EU. Yes, it would breach the


treaties that tie the UK to the EU law and it would pose a dilemma for


Parliament which has been told that EU law trumps domestic law so it


would have to be made clear what the courts were meant to do. That's a


matter for Parliament, and you don't need to strengthen the UK's Supreme


Court, you simply need to tell the court which law to apply. Craig


McKinley is in the Commons, and they have just dotted debating this. What


do you think about the emphasis on sovereignty? We have to be


realistic, to get 55% of our European partners to actually blog a


law that we don't find acceptable, I don't think that barrier could never


be reached. His red card is something that will never be used.


Of course Parliament is sovereign in that we can vote down completely the


European communities act and subsequent treaties and I hope that


is what we will do in the national referendum, so in that way it is


sovereign. With the European court of justice and the body treaties


over the years, we are not in control of our own house


over the years, we are not in and it not acceptable to me. For


you, does and it not acceptable to me. For


of an explicit declaration of and it not acceptable to me. For


Parliament, perhaps even at the thing up of the Supreme Court,


Parliament, perhaps even at the have seen it mentioned too. Does it


make any difference? It is better than the situation we have been in


for many years. I pay tribute to the Prime Minister for offering this


negotiation and having the referendum. What difference does the


sovereignty offer make? It doesn't mean much at all which is why we are


having this wide ranging debate. I am sure these matters will be aired


and I am taking a robust stance and I hope many people will watch. We


have changed in this parliament because it is looking as though it


could become a museum. It looks like a museum behind you at the moment!


As lovely as it is. The sovereignty of Parliament is abstract and I'm


not of Parliament is abstract and I'm


is until it's lost. I like of Parliament is abstract and I'm


get rid of me but they can't get of Parliament is abstract and I'm


gone in the process. The top of the German Constitutional Court, it


looks at all of the laws that are passed by the German parliament and


by the European system, the commission or Parliament as well. It


decides whether the laws are compatible with the constitution,


like the Supreme Court in the United States and our Supreme Court has a


bit of that as well, I would suggest. Germany has a written


constitution and we don't, and secondly, the German Constitutional


Court has never ruled that an EU law was incompatible with the German


constitution. What if it were to do so? You would have a clash between


obligations in Germany as to the obligations of Germany and the


court. You could give powers to the UK Supreme Court to declare laws


unconstitutional, even without a codified constitution which some


people think would be required. Then what would happen? You would have a


clash between the UK, because the courts would have declared laws


unconstitutional and the EU and it would have to be resolved with


negotiations with Brussels. The courts have never asserted the


power, even to overturn domestic legislation in the United Kingdom.


Unlike in the United States and other countries. Sometimes, thinking


of the Attorney General and the Prince of Wales's letters, they have


made it hard for Parliament to achieve what it thought it was doing


but they always access it sovereignty and until that changes


and Parliament changes, that will remain the case. Is it not fair to


say, that your concept of what you mean by Parliamentary sovereignty is


incompatible with our membership of the European Union? I think it


entirely is, there is no doubt. You do have both domestic judges but


increasingly European judges reinterpreting what our sovereign


parliament has decided. They have to be either overturned or our laws


will be changed and it happens on a regular basis. It's not helpful and


that's the reason for this debate today. I'm looking forward to it and


it's part of the like that needs shining on the whole European


referendum debate, because we are in great danger of it becoming one


about trade and threats and the fear factor. This is getting to the heart


of what Britain's relationship is with the European Union and I really


do salute the backbench committee for allowing this debate and it's


come at a good time. Do you fear that the Prime Minister is going


down this road with his offer of emphasising the ultimate sovereignty


of Parliament, because he wishes to deprive you of the one leader of the


leave campaign which could make a difference, Boris Johnson. I don't


know where Mr Johnson is at the moment on this, but as I say, this


is a debate at the right time, we have heard lots of warm words about


the renegotiation and I will come back to first principles, we were


offered fundamental reform and I'm afraid that the terms of the Tusk


letter, if that was the high water mark... Is this debate going to come


down to how long migrants are going to be allowed to have benefits and


at what rate? Whether they can remit back to their home countries. The


debate should be rather wider than that. We will let you get on with


the debate. Thank you for joining us. Margaret Beckett, just before we


move on, the argument about sovereignty is a red herring, is it


not? The one thing that is really significant about this conversation


and this issue is that what it makes absolutely clear beyond question is


that the most important negotiation, at the top of David Cameron's mind,


is not his negotiations with the rest of the European Union but his


own party and not for the first time he has come up with something off


the cuff, not thought through. This is a big issue about whether the


judiciary has authority over a sovereign Parliament. We seem to be


walking into land. He is offering a souped up Supreme Court. It seems as


though he is but not everyone has worked out what it means. Not for


the first time, what does this do to his negotiations with the rest of


Europe? If they get the idea into their heads that they thought they


knew what he was asking for and all of a sudden he has come up with


something else it will not help him to do the best for the country. He


is keen to stop Boris Johnson from leading the tent. He is keen to stop


Boris Johnson at all. Very well. We just had a Conservative


Eurosceptics. We hear plenty from them. What about Labour


Eurosceptics? Plenty within the Labour movement


have long-harboured sceptical views about the EU, not least our guest


of the day, Margaret Beckett, who, like Jeremy Corbyn,


voted against the UK's continued The word common market was in


brackets on the referendum ballot paper in 75.


But now the Labour Party, under My Corbyn's leadership,


says it will campaign to remain in the EU.


Just how strongly, we don't yet know.


So what happened to Labour's euroscepticism?


We have been here before, and referendum about what Britain's


In 1975 it was Labour who, after holding a special conference,


decided their position should be to leave the European Economic


The country decided the opposite in the referendum that was held


Fast forward eight years and a gang of four had left to form the SDP.


Labour pledged to bring Britain out of the EEC.


A document that became known as the longest suicide


Labour's rejection by voters led many who had been sceptical,


Neil Kinnock in particular, to say the time has come to embrace


To ensure potential gains it is necessary to work together.


Your movement has a major role to play, Europe needs you.


But the pivotal moment came in the autumn of 1988.


The then president of the European Commission Jacques


Delors made a speech to the Trade Unions Congress.


He extolled the virtues of a social Europe, where workers rights


and social benefits would be guaranteed on a Europe-wide basis.


We have not successfully rolled back the frontiers of


Only to see them reimposed on a European level.


Just a few weeks later Margaret Thatcher made


Signalling more than a hint of euroscepticism.


The first election that Labour won after its defeat in 1979


Margaret Thatcher famously fought that.


With the slogan, if you vote Labour you will live on a diet of Brussels.


It was an explicitly Eurosceptic campaign on behalf


of the Conservatives and they lost it.


Labour's victory in that election validated a pro-European strategy.


We must have the confidence as a political party to stand up


Rethinking and reshaping its direction, of course,


but being in no doubt at all that Britain's future does indeed lie


The pro-European stance was solidified in the 1990s,


but one Labour MP who, during Tony Blair's premiership,


worked on the original EU constitution has become more


She says Labour should reassess its position.


Because of our internationalism, the issue of sovereignty is not


There are also real scars, it was in the 80s the subject


of Europe that led to a Labour Party splintering.


We have remained in a comfort zone and kept saying,


this is how we like the institution to be, and not being open enough


We have had more results since we have come on the air.


The last referendum was more than 40 years ago, but the likes


of Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and Hilary Benn were around


They won't this time, and Labour's policy is clear,


but at least some of their colleagues remain unconvinced.


Margaret bect, you voted to come out in 1975. You are now broadly prove


European. Was that a slow conversion, or did something happen


to change your mind? -- pro-European? Two things. To an


extent it was a slow conversion, in terms of accepting it willingly and


happily. But the significant thing was that 1983 general election. If


you recall - I'm sure you do, Andrew, although not all your


listeners will - it was Enoch Powell during the election campaign who


said, "We have now been in the European Community for ten years,


increasingly our economy and society, everything is becoming more


emmeshed, if we don't leave now, it is too late, it is over, we are then


in there forever." That was very much the pitch on which the Labour


Party, unsuccessfully fought the election. In '83 you fought with a


manifesto to withdraw. The manifesto said it was incompatible with a


radical, socialist agenda. Well, a will the has changed since then.


Well, I don't know, you may have a leader who wants a radical,


socialist agenda? What I mean is, among the things that have changed


is when we were arguing we could come out and have a sustainable


trading relationship, etc, we had trade links with the after


countries. We still had links with the Commonwealth. All those


countries, pretty much, nearly all, are in the European Union now. One


of the things we said in our campaign - these six countries are


not Europe. You are a bit pushed to say it is not Europe. It is so many.


Speaking of Europe, we say it is not Europe. It is so many.


part of it, Scotlands joins us, we have been


part of it, Scotlands joins us, we questions. We are talking Europe


with Margaret Becker, the former Labour Defence Secretary. Are we


with Margaret Becker, the former be suspicious about how


with Margaret Becker, the former that Mr Jeremy Corbyn and Mr


McDonnell, the shadow that Mr Jeremy Corbyn and Mr


aboutp Euro-scepticism? I don't think so. The hard left of the


Labour Party has always been anti-EU at least and very eurosceptic at


most. Well, I think once you start to really look at the issues, in a


perhaps a way that not everybody on the hard left has done before, you


begin to realise what a difference it would make and the fact that


there were very strong rumour that it would make and the fact that


unpin some of that social Europe that


unpin some of that social Europe underpin it, it destroy it. Unpick


It, that underpin it, it destroy it. Unpick


to people in our party that, yes, this is actually, with


to people in our party that, yes, there is, this


to people in our party that, yes, be. And you would vote to stay in,


even if Mr Cameron had achieved nothing? Many people don't think he


has achieved a lot. But even if he had achieved nothing. Even


said after the election - right let's have a referendum now on our


existing terms of membership, you would vote to stay? I probably


would. Shrimp - not because I'm a would vote to stay? I probably


Europe fanatic, but because the alternatives are so undesirable. I


don't think there is. There is so much dishonesty. All this talk about


how we stop free movement of Labour. There is no country that trades with


the European Union that doesn't have to abide by the free movement of


Labour. Well there are a lot of countries with free trade


arrangements with Europe and they don't have free movement of people


arrangements with Europe and they Nothing of the significant players


around like Norway Nothing of the significant players


with whom we are always compared. Canada? Well, that's rather a


with whom we are always compared. separate issue. It is a free trade


arrangement They are not in our neck of the woods, so to speak. Also, it


leaves out of consideration how, if we vote to come out, how the rest of


Europe is going to feel to us? Are they going to feel warm and generous


and - yes, OK let's give you a more preferential trading arrangement. I


suspect not. Time will tell, depending on how we vote.


Now last month Labour published Margaret's long-awaited report


into why the party lost last year's General Election.


But one Labour pollster who carried out research for the report wasn't


Here's what Deborah Mattinson told the Sunday Politics last month.


I would say that my conclusions were very different from Margaret


Beckett's. I did brief Margaret Beckett so, I was somewhat


disappointed not to see some of that reflected back. Yes, I think she


picked up on the economy. But there was actually no analysis - it's


reduced down effectively to one Bullet point in the report. Quite


apologetic. Lots of defensive stuff in there but nothing that actually,


really, I felt shone a light on what had gone wrong. I think it was a


white wash. I think it was a massive, missed opportunity. So,


Deborah Mattinson calls your report a white wash. What is your response?


Well I'm sorry I have a lot of respect for Deborah who has done a


lot of good work for the Labour Party in her time but I thought it


was a rather silly thing to say, to be perfectly frank. By the way, the


work she did was not commissioned for our task force, it was


commissioned separately for Harriet Harman as something to inform her


period of leadership. But, yes, we were briefed about it. What hasn't


come out in these conversations is it was actually quite a restricted


group of people. Deborah herself acknowledged that when she briefed


us. It was a restricted tight group of people she bass talking to. The


reason we were briefed about it shall she was talking to. The reason


we were briefed was because I asked what information we could have that


could come in from the general public, rather than from around the


party or professional pollsters. What is there if anything that could


tell us where the general public were coming from. All this was was


this one, set of ideas, no, it was comments, really, but, from, as I


say a Retallick stricted single group. Only -- a really restricted


single group. Only because there was no money to do more. You didn't


criticise the Labour leader, you called the manifesto an impressive


document you blamed the Tories, the SNP, you blamed the media, naturally


t didn't seem to be Labour's fault. When you see that, it does seem to


be a white wash I don't think that's what the report did say. There are


two groups of people who have responded to the report, one is a


group that approached it with a relatively open mind and another is


a group that approached it in their own various ways with axes ready to


grind. I didn't ignore the fact of some of the things that the


Conservatives had done, some of the ways they had played T I didn't


ignore some of the other players, I touched on the issue of the media. I


could have written a back about that, I didn't, I touched on T I did


not excuse - I said, "We failed." Our job was to try to create trust


in our economic policy, in our approach on immigration, in our


approach on welfare and we failed. Did you speak to Ed Miliband for the


report? Yes. Did you tone it down a bit as a result? You were very kind


to him. I know a lot of people will disagree. You may be one of them.


But what I said about Ed Miliband's leadership is what I believe and had


believed all the way through. I didn't tone it down out of kindness.


I thought Ed did a much better job than he was given credit for. If I


can say to you, one of the things that I think people who are critical


are overlooking, who the report was for and what it had to take into


account. There is a sense in which we all know why we lost the


election, everybody knows that, because of the issues we didn't get


trust on but one of the things that certainly people in the Labour Party


wanted to know is - but why did we do well in some parts of the country


and not in others? What happened with the opinion polls? Why did they


mislead us? People wanted the answers to those questions as well


and that's what we tried to do. Well you cite reasons to be positive


about Labour now, including Jeremy Corbyn, as one of the reasons to be


positive. So, do you no longer regard yourself as a moron, your


words, not mine, for nominating Mr Jeremy Corbyn? It wasn't my word it


was John - I have forgotten his name, somebody who worked in number


ten, he said it, I referred to it, in a radio interview, he said t and


I said I'm one of them. I'm not resiling from that. Are you, or are


you not? I didn't intend, Jeremy, to have a serious chance of being the


leader when I nominated him. I have been quite open about that, there is


no point in pretending. He has been elected overwhelmingly. My hope, if


you like, prayer, is that you can do the same miracle with the public as


he managed to do with members of the Labour Party. Do you think that will


require a miracle? Neither you or eye could have predicted it. No, not


at all. Not even Mr Jeremy Corbyn could have predicted it.


Let's return to our main story - the EU referendum.


We will be hearing a lot about it between now and when we think the


referendum will be, the end of June, possibly.


David Cameron admitted yesterday that the draft deal on the UK's


membership of the EU is "not perfect".


But he added that Britain's position would be stronger and better


Not so, say his critics, who argue that Britain will be


Among them is Conservative MP, David Davis, who has been giving


The thin gruel has been further watered down,


My right honourable friend has a fortnight, I think,


in which to salvage his reputation as a negotiator.


This is a process and he might not get what he wants.


Now I understand he won't able to come to Manchester


because he is still in the negotiations,


but could he come on February 19th to our Go conference then,


if he doesn't get what he wants and would it be possible for me


to drop off at tie at Downing Street for him?


My honourable friend is always very generous with his time,


with his advice and now also with his clothing.


I feel the blazer is soon to follow...


I won't be able to come, I don't think on February 19th.


I hope I will still be in the thick of negotiations but I of course


will report back to this House and give the results.


That was the Prime Minister. Let's speak it David Davis who joins us


now. So summarise for us what would


Britain's position be outside the EU? Well, it looks, I spent this


morning giving a great - long lecture on the current benefits and


what we could get outside. We would be better off in terms of global


trade. We can do greater trade deals than the European Union does on our


bha. We would not lose anything in temples our access to the European


markets. Apart from anything else, the German car industry alone would


have a $16 billion market put at risk and Merkel, politicians would


not allow that. There is a very not easy but straightforward


negotiation. You think we would get the advantages and pay no price for


that access? The only area where it won't work is on agriculture where


we would have to have some particular deal and subsidise


British farming in a free market position. Other than that, it is


pretty straight - it is pretty clear that the end game would be a free


market arrangement. Just as they have just struck with Canada. They


have just - Canada is a famously free market, world market. I used to


work in Canada, you buy sugar in Canada, it is world market sugar,


everything is world market. They have struck it with Canada. If they


When you talk about the single anybody.


When you talk about the single market you are talking about


manufactured products and not services. 70% of our GDP is


services. It does not follow that is Europe widens and deepens the single


market that our services would get the same access as if we were


inside. That is right if we ... There is not really a single market


in services now. When the EU does free trade agreements with the rest


of the world, 20 odd agreements, in only six of them were services


mentioned. If we did our own they would the mentioned every time,


banking will be left out completely because of the sensitivities in


Europe. If we did a TTIP ourselves it would be in. There are balances


and they look squarely in favour... So we would not have too continue


with the free movement of people in the single market? We are talking


after a Brexit referendum. Several million votes will be about


migration so no government could offer anything on free movement,


they would need absolute governmental control of borders. The


Europeans understand that and at the end of the day European


negotiations, I have been there and done it, are about national


interest. No national government, Angela Merkel, they are not going to


give up the interests of their major industries to promote the European


ideal. That may be logical. It's also political. What about the point


Margaret Beckett was making earlier? Europe could be so angry as a result


of us leaving that they may not be inclined to be as generous with the


single market as you think. There could be an element of Britain


leaving and not suffering, getting the benefits without having to sit


in the European the benefits without having to sit


the European Council, others may follow. So they will be tougher on


us. That bit is certainly follow. So they will be tougher on


judging from history follow. So they will be tougher on


happens is that if we have there will be three months of


screaming and shouting and there will be three months of


and then they calmed down. The day after Brexit happens the Chief


Executive 's dogs barking, BMW, Audi and Mercedes -- of Volkswagen. They


would be queueing up saying that we have do have access for the 16


billion market. What do you say to that? It is pie in the sky, frankly.


I know David was the Europe minister at one time but I have had a bit of


experience myself over something like ten or 11 years of intense


negotiation on agriculture and climate change. I just think, if I


can say so with some modesty I pride myself on my negotiation track


record. The risks are huge and the certainties are non-. What's


interesting in the last decade, people always say this will give us


huge leveraged. If you look at the way we are treated, we lose twice as


many votes as anyone in Europe. Just now, David Cameron has asked for a


really trivial set of demands and haven't even been given them. If you


look at something really important like the free trade agreements that


Europe strikes with other countries and areas of the world, we lose out


in two thirds of them and that is how much influence we have in Europe


now. We do better. If you want to go down this road you need someone


strong to sell the message and it looks as though it won't be Theresa


May leading believing campaign? That is up to Teresa. I have no idea.


Boris Johnson? You would need to get Boris to answer that question. But


you speak to these people all the time. To be honest I don't think it


matters that much, beyond the M25 what matters is this, what will this


do for the 3 million jobs that get thrown around, my job, my welfare,


my interest, and they will make that decision not on whether a blonde


bombshell makes it. It's not for me. I tried. You did.


Now we know that tossers are commonplace in politics,


but did you know that tossing is, in fact, a vital part


Yes, in Iowa earlier this week, some of the Democratic caucuses


literally came down to the toss of a coin.


But coin tosses have been used plenty of times in democratic


elections, as have other random selection methods.


In sport it is used at the start of a match and in politics it is used


to end one. Coin tosses are a rare sight and only used in the event of


a tie and when there are rounding errors. Monday's Iowa Democratic


caucus was one of the history books as Hillary Clinton tied with her


rival Bernie Sanders in six precincts so it was down to look to


decide and Clinton won them all, one 64 chance. It's not the only time


that the random factor has been harnessed for democracy, the mayor


of a town in Peru was decided when the top two candidates tied at 236


votes each, not a huge turnout. It's not always coin tossing, cutting


cards and drawing lots. The legal position is that the winning coin


toss is considered a vote. As it was with the Bari council elections in


2011. After three and recounts it was a dead heat in Ramsbottom. They


are obliged to produce a result and they were clutching at straws. It


has never happened yet at a UK general election but if it does one


imagines that the loss of a toss might make the defeated candidate


flipping annoyed. Well joining me now from Norwich


is Lana Hempsell, a Conservative councillor who actually won


an election on the toss of a coin, and Rene Linstaedt, an expert


on American politics Welcome. In Iowa it was necessary in


some of the caucuses to flip a coin because it was a dead heat for


Sanders and Clinton? Part of the problem was that in some of these


caucus sites, individuals that had registered had actually left prior


to being counted, and the overall number of registered caucusgoers was


higher than individuals left, so not all of the delegates could be


assigned to the candidates. Do we know how many ended up tossing a


coin? I don't know exactly what the number is, but it happened a number


of times. It's not surprising because there are such a small


number of individuals involved that you would either have a situation


where there is a tie or because it is so unorganised, the whole


process, people would just leave. Did they have a recount? Well, yes.


That is what we would do. They counted the number of individuals,


and some in one of the district 's people had gone so there was nothing


they could do. You won your council seat on the toss of a coin, how many


recounts were there before it was decided to resolve it? We had three


recounts in total so it was close on the first one and then we get three


more and it was a dead heat. I see. A coin was tossed. Did you choose


heads or tails? I chose heads and it was a split-second decision because


the coin was already flying before I was asking if anyone got to choose


and as it was landing I shouted out heads because my agent nudged me. Do


you still have the coin, it must be your lucky coin? No, this was


Broadlands, the coin went back into the pocket of the returning officer.


He spent it on a diet Coke later on. How did your opponent feel? Did they


feel cheated? Did they think in the end it was a fair way of resolving


the matter? He wasn't there at the count so I have no idea why he


didn't turn up, but I was there to bask in the glory all by myself. I


did see him later and he did not think it was fair. And there were


questions about double sided coins etc. You could have said heads I


win, tails you lose and he would not object as he was not there! The New


Hampshire primary, not a caucus, if it is closed their there will be


recounts an recounts rather than tossing a coin. -- if it is close


there. Sometimes delegates are proportionally split so you do not


need to toss a coin? 49.6 versus 49.4. That is true. It can happen in


smaller states where you have ties and it certainly happens all the


time in smaller elections for City councils. Because you were asking


earlier about elections, Federal elections in the US or national


elections here, it actually hasn't happened. Who will win New Hampshire


for the Democrats? It will be close. I know that. I'm not in the business


of making predictions. CHUCKLES Thank you both.


There's just time before we go to find out the answer to our quiz.


The question was what narrowly missed hitting Margaret


report into why Labour lost the election?


Maybe Deborah Mattinson through it! I'm just joking.


So Margaret, what's the correct answer?


It was a mobile phone dropped from the press gallery. By accident?


Presumably. And we're joined now


by the fellow who nearly The political editor of the Sun,


Tom Newton Dunn is on the phone now. Can we just clear this up, it was


entirely an accident? I can confirm it was not an assassination attempt.


It was entirely an accident. Margaret, let me say that I'm


incredibly sorry and I was utterly mortified that I almost hit you on


the head. Thank you very much for taking it in the right way. To be


fair it was a bipartisan attack because Cheryl Gillan was next to


me. It could have gone either way. We agreed that former Cabinet


ministers who are women are not popular! Did the phones survive? It


fell 20 feet and it did. I won't say what type of phone it is on the BBC


but it is still intact. Cheryl Gillan tweeted me to say that if I


had been four inches to the left I would have killed two birds with one


stone. I think we will say goodbye there. Thank you very much. Thank


you to my guests especially Margaret Beckett. I will be back at 11:45pm


on BBC One for this week when we will have Michael Portillo and Alan


Johnson and we may talk about Europe, who knows? I will be back


also here tomorrow on BBC Two with the Daily Politics


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