11/02/2016 Daily Politics


11/02/2016

Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn with the latest news and debate from Westminster, including an interview with the shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn, who makes the case for Europe.


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Transcript


LineFromTo

Hello and welcome to the Daily Politics.

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The latest walk-out by junior doctors in England is over,

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but the row with ministers could be about to intensify.

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Doctors' leaders have rejected a final "take it or leave it" offer

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in their bitter dispute over contracts.

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In the next hour, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is expected

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to announce he'll take the nuclear option

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and impose the new contract anyway.

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joins us to explain why leaving the EU would be bad for Britain

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and could be a boost for Russia's Putin.

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As a new report says more than a tenth of Syria's population

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has been killed or injured, with many more displaced,

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are the world powers hopelessly divided over what to do next?

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And forget the latest Hollywood blockbuster.

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We'll be talking to the documentary maker who wants

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to bring the case for leaving the EU to the big screen.

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Yes, all that in the next hour of blockbuster political discussion.

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And with us throughout, journalist David Aaronovitch.

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He keeps busy writing and broadcasting about everything

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from conspiracy theories to subliminal messaging.

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In fact, he's giving out a subliminal message right now,

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that you should watch to the end of the show.

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Do you like the new tie sense to me by the Fife police pipe band?

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And not many people can claim that! Or say it! Thank you for sending it!

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First today, beleagured, under fire, you can choose your cliche,

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but they're being applied to the Met Police chief,

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Bernard Hogan-Howe, after criticism of the force's handling

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of sexual-abuse allegations against public figures,

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including former Home Secretary Leon Brittan

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and former D-Day veteran Lord Bramall.

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Both men were investigated but never charged.

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Hogan-Howe said the default position of believing the accuser,

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a policy adopted in 2014, should be changed.

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From now on, police will now test the accuracy

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of the allegations and evidence with an open mind.

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I think we've really got hung up on this word, "belief".

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It's confused officers, and my point would be that of course

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we've got to be empathetic, we want people to believe

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We want to be open-minded what they tell us, and then

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what the suspects tell us, and then we've got to test all that

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evidence, and I think there's a grave danger at the moment

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that the advice that's around, perhaps there's a tendency to think

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we will always believe any complaint made, and that's not wise

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That was Bernard Hogan-Howe, and this morning we learned

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that the Home Secretary has extended his contract

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as head of the Met by one year, it expires in September,

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and not the two years Hogan-Howe has asked for in public.

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These in a tight spot, isn't he? He is in a tight spot, but actually he

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is just cannot one element in what has become, if you like, a kind of

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problem that we have, which is that we ignored the problem of child

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abuse for long time, then when we get wise to it and so on, we

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overreact the other way, and we demand that the police will take

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seriously every single possible and conceivable complaint that is made,

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which means that they are failing sometimes to distinguish between

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true complaints by people who have taken a long time to come forward,

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and fantasists. What has happened is that the Met, in the case of

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operation Midland, have been taken in by a series of fantasists. There

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is one where we cannot give his proper name, he goes by the name of

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Nick, he seems to be behind many of the high-profile claims of a VIP

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reader file ring based in Westminster. This is why Operation

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Midland was launched. No one has been charged under this and when you

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speak to the police privately, they are increasingly worried that they

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have been led by the nose by a fantasist.

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They cannot even find the evidence of any of the three murders that

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this chap claims, they cannot find the evidence for it. They have

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leaked out, at various times to various journalists and

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organisations, what they are doing and so on, they have been in good

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with one or two organisations, effectively making money out of

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running these claims and selling them to the press. They have acted

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as a kind of ginger group on the police to make them take them

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seriously, so that they are actively generate news stories about VIP

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abuse. Parts of the press have been effectively complicit in this, I

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regret to say, and the consequences going to be very damaging long-term

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for those people who are genuine survivors of abuse, who will be

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making claims now. Utterly predictable. Good to have you with

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the us today. Liam Fox and the Brexiteers, that's

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those who want a British exit, or Brexit from the EU,

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have coined a name for their rivals who want Britain to vote

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to remain a member. The question for today is

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what is the name? Is it stayvians, persistonians,

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non-leavians or remainians? At the end of the show, David

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will give us the correct answer. And we are hanging on it, cannot

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wait! In the 1975 referendum on Britain's

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membership of the Common Market, Hilary Benn was, like most

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on the left, opposed to staying in. He even worked as a researcher

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for the no campaign. Well, today he's Shadow Foreign

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Secretary and with a referendum on our membership of

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the European Union on the way, he's been making a different case

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for Britain to stay in. Those who are campaigning

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for Britain to leave, in my view, profoundly misunderstand

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what will best serve There is nothing patriotic about

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diminishing the United Kingdom's ability to make its voice

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heard by other nations. Narrow nationalism

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is not the same as patriotism, and stumbling out of Europe

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and pulling up the drawbridge will only serve to harm our position

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and influence in the world. You made a powerful case for Britain

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remaining in Europe, and the You made a powerful case for Britain

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backed that position, but is the Labour leader as passionate and

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advocate to remain in the EU as you are? Well, Jeremy has made it clear

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that he backs Britain remaining in the European Union, and this has

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been the settled view of the Labour Party and the trade union movement

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for a number of years now. Today I referred to the famous occasion when

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Jack Delors came to the TUC in 1988, and he said, can I lay before you a

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vision of Europe, paid holiday, protection for temporary workers,

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and fairness in working time, that is a result of our membership of the

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European Union. Labour has been on a journey, and for those of us who

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remember what it is like, it is the same in their image, the

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Conservative Party is divided, David Cameron has decided to draw on

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Wilson's approach, because he cannot manage the politics of his own party

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- we are united. You say that Jeremy Corbyn backs remaining in the EU,

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but I asked, is he as passionate? He hailed the Labour manifesto which

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called for Britain to leave the EEC, and last week he was railing against

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the transatlantic trade deal which is being pushed through by European

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institutions. He does not sound passionate about it. I have

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discussed with him, and he believes it is the right thing to do, to stay

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in, on TTIP, he believes there are still things to sort out. We have to

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make sure it is the right kind of trade deal, but I am clear that

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trade deals, because they open minds as well as markets, are good for the

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world, and we currently have really good trade deals because we are part

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of the European Union, and those campaigning for Brexit cannot

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actually tell us whether we would be able to replicate those on the same

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basis if we were to leave, and I think it would be a great step into

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the unknown, so does Jeremy, and that is why he is backing us staying

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in. Instinctively, there are supporters of Jeremy Corbyn armour

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and I will put it no stronger than that, say instinct of Lee Healey is

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an out there, he has said that he wants to see a Europe that does not

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sign away public services through the TTIP deal. -- instinctively. He

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says it is being agreed by European institution that was not

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democratically elected. Is he going to join you and a gold your words on

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platforms in the future? -- and echo your words. I am sure you will

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invite him on. That is not the same thing, will he be standing on the

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same platform as you? The European family has given us great benefits

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in terms of jobs, investment and growth, it strengthens our boys in

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the world, that is the point I was making, but on the specifics of

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TTIP, people will have different views, and in the end the European

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Parliament, if it turns out to be a mixed competence agreement, the

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European Parliament will have to agree the final deal in some way,

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but that is not an argument for us not remaining, because so much

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depends on our continued membership. That sounds like a conversation you

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need to have with Jeremy Corbyn. Are there any dates for him to stand

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with you in the campaign? You will have to look at his diary, I do not

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know what his future diary looks like, but he is absolutely clear,

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and he has said it in the speech to the Fabians recently, he is clear,

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as are all of us, why it is in the interests of the British people,

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that is the point, that we remain. You say the trade union movement is

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supportive of your stance, but actually they also have not exactly

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been coming forward with their support - what is Unison going to

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do? Well, ultimately, that is a decision for them to take. But you

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said you had the support of the unions, and I put it to you that

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unions like Unison, the second-biggest, and clear with its

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connections to Labour, has not made up its mind. That is why I have said

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they will make their views known, but the point I was making today,

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the attitude of the trade union movement has changed. I worked for

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22 years for a trade union, I saw how our members found they were

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working in companies that were owned by other firms in Europe and other

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parts of the world, and that meant they had to build relationships with

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their colleagues. They saw what it is that it did to trade union

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rights, and if you go and talk to workers to Nestle all Toyota, if you

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talk to the workers at Airbus, people in universities, all of them

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will tell you why being part of the European Union is important for

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their jobs and for the future of the British economy, and I am confident

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that, as the referendum unfolds, we will see that voice expressed. One

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of the legitimate concerns they had was, was David Cameron going to use

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the negotiation to undermine workers rights? We saw him off as a result

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of the stance we dug. David, are the unions fully signed up to this?

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Unison said that they have not decided, there is a mixed view. How

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disappointing would it be for Hilary Benn and those who want to remain in

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the EU if big unions either say, we are not going to have a view, oh go

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further and say, we should have Brexit? I think it is likely the

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unions will sign up on remaining in the EU, for a number of reasons that

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Hilary Benn has touched on, but they have to go through the process of

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suggesting that they have had some discussion about it, rather than it

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is a done deal. As for Jeremy Corbyn, the problem with him is,

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because he has not changed since 1975, when all of us voted against

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the Common Market, because he has not been on that journey... I voted

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against it in 1975, it was a capitalist club aimed at the heart

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of the Soviet Union, so it was a bad idea! Things have moved on, I

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certainly have since then. Hilary is smiling! Jeremy Corbyn has probably

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not thought much about the European Union for 30 years, it is not one of

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the things that I think he is very interested in or has been interested

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in, so it is not at all unlikely that he will allow themselves to be

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instructed on this. Can we do a very sharp gear into Syria? There was a

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line in your speech about the Russians killing Syrian civilians,

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you said it has to stop, how are you going to stop it? Well, by getting a

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ceasefire. Now, the Russians have made a proposal, and a ceasefire

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cannot come quickly enough, but you have seen the growing chorus of

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condemnation of the Russian bombing. And the Russian ambassador

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dismissing it. Human Rights Watch have said that cluster munitions

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have been used by the Russians, and their denials would have more force

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if they had signed up to the convention banning the use of

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cluster munitions. But look, the Syrian people have suffered enough,

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more than 250,000 have lost their lives, the conflict has to be

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brought to an end because it is the only way we will bring peace. Why

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would the Russians stop, though? In the end there will have to be a

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peace agreement. Our responsibility is to put pressure on the Russians

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to do the right thing and stop the fire that they appear to have chosen

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a day for the cease-fire to come into force. If you come into force

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now and then the aid and go into towns that are under siege, the

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killings can end, and negotiations can begin about what a new Syria

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will look like. Air strikes against Islamic State in Syria, they have a

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foothold, if it looks like they were getting to the stage where they are

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launching attacks on Europe, should you be raising the idea of air

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strikes against IS in Libya? The first that needs to happen in Libya

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is a government needs to be formed because there isn't one at the

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moment. There has been an agreement but it has not stuck to stop the

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British government has said, there is no question of boots on the

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ground. IS represent a threat in Libya as they do across the Middle

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East, but the first step is the formation of a government and then

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the international government can see the assistance that has been asked

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for. Thank you. Now, let's turn to events

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in the Middle East, and Syria in particular,

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where the five-year-old conflict According to a report

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from the Syrian Centre for Policy Research published today,

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the war has accounted In all, 11.5% of the population

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have been killed or injured, while millions have fled the country

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or been internally displaced. Well, UN peace talks have stalled,

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thanks at least in part to a Syrian government advance aided

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by Russian Air strikes Let's get some more

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detail from JoCo. Recent Russian airstrikes in support

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of President Assad's government have seen thousands of people

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fleeing the city of Aleppo Last week, the UN suspended

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peace talks in Geneva, with the opposition saying

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they wouldn't talk to the government while the heavy

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bombardment continued. Meanwhile, some 30,000 Syrians have

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fled north to the Turkish border, prompting fears of another

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major exodus towards Europe. Turkey says it has so far

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let in 10,000 refugees, and that others will be admitted

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"in a controlled fashion". RAF planes continue to bomb

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Islamic State positions Later this afternoon,

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a counter-Islamic State coalition, led by the US, is expected

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to announce an increase in the tempo of bombing raids

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in Iraq and Syria. They are also likely to discuss

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the threat posed by IS in Libya, as the UN says the war-torn country

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has become a new base for the group. Well, defence ministers

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from the Nato alliance have been They've been talking

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about the threat from Russia and the migrant crisis

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among other things. And later today they'll be joined

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by non-Nato partners from the countries fighting

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against Islamic State to discuss a US plan to accelerate

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the campaign. Our defence correspondent

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Jonathan Beale is in Brussels, Jonathan, we understand there is a

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Nato Maritime deployment to go to the Aegean Sea, what does that mean

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and what is it that this? -- is its purpose? Turkey and Greece are

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members of Nato, they have this crisis on their border where people

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want to cross into Europe, they have asked Nato to do something about it

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and this is what they came up with. They have a Maritime group in the

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Mediterranean, they will send it to the Aegean, but there were only

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three ships in the group. The head of Nato says there may be more ships

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joining them, but they are essentially there to gather

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intelligence, to find out who the people smugglers are, where the

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coastguard from Turkey and Greece should go to. To be honest, this is

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a sticking plaster to a problem that won't go away. What will they do

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with the intelligence as they gather it? We're not going to intercept

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boats coming across, or launch raids on the people smugglers, they are

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going to gather intelligence, what will they do with it? One assumes

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they will gather information. For example, they will have

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sophisticated radar where they can spot where boats are leaving from

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and then tell the Greek or Turkish coastguard where they are going. In

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simple terms, the Turkish authorities are probably the best

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people to work out who the people smugglers are, and to arrest them

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and detain them. Remember there was talk about doing this in Libya. At

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least Turkey has a functioning government, Libya does not. There

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has been no targeting of people smugglers in Libya and that is

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because there is no functioning government, there is chaos. The

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anti-Islamic state coalition which is meeting this afternoon where you

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are, what is that going to decide? What is on the agenda? Is there talk

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of extending attacks on IS? The focus will mostly be on what is

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going on in Iraq and Syria before they turn attention to what is going

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on in Libya, but is a coalition which is meant to be more than 40

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nations, and is to be honest, about a dozen are doing something

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militarily. For example, carrying out air strikes. What the US Defence

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Secretary once is particularly regional allies to do more. We have

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the Prince from Saudi Arabia and the expectation is that he will offer

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forces to do something, we don't know how many. Clearly the Saudis

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will want to do something with the US. The US are not going to put

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boots on the ground in Syria in significant numbers but they have

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special forces. There is the possibility of them doing some ring

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but this is still a strategy of containment, not a strategy of

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victory because they need to build up security forces in Iraq first and

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then turn attention to Syria. If you look at what happens in Iraq, there

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is still a lot of bombing raids being done by the US led coalition,

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by British warplanes, even though that city is meant to have been

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taken, the risk a lot of fighting going on there.

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We're joined now by Dr Karin von Hippel, director

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of the Royal United Services Institute, and the MP Crispin Blunt,

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he's chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee.

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Welcome. Let's start with the Russians. With the forces of us are,

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the Hezbollah, even Iranian generals on the ground. Is the strategy to

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take back most of them off the area around Aleppo and then they create

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an anglaise which has most of the Turkish border and Mediterranean

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coast? -- Assad. The Russians are going for a scorched earth policy

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similar to what we saw in charge in. The plan is to encircle Aleppo but

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the problem is the Syrian regime is too weak to hold Aleppo and it will

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create a power vacuum on the ground which will inevitably be filled by

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the worst elements, we have seen that before stop the Iranian

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Revolutionary guard might not be too weak to hold it, they are there in

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substantial numbers, they lost a general this week. Hezbollah is

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there as well. We are even getting reports that the Iraqis and Afghans

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are fighting there. They are fighting with the militia but they

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will not be able to govern Syria long term, it has to be governed by

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Syrians. You're not going to have the Russians governing in Aleppo,

0:23:390:23:42

the Syrians need to govern it and they can't because they are still

0:23:430:23:46

weak. There will be a wedge along the western coast, and that may be

0:23:470:23:51

there for some time to come. If they succeed in seriously undermining the

0:23:520:23:57

non-Islamic state rebels, the ones in Aleppo, east of Aleppo, if they

0:23:580:24:05

seriously undermine them, doesn't President Putin then said, here is

0:24:060:24:10

your choice in Syria, it is me and Assad, or Islamic State, make your

0:24:110:24:15

mind up. That is also Troyes. The only reason we have Isil in Syria is

0:24:160:24:22

because of Assad. What he did over this power vacuum which Isil has

0:24:230:24:30

built up. They did not attack Isil until six or seven months ago, you

0:24:310:24:34

had never attacked them in a meaningful way. Assad and Isil have

0:24:350:24:42

been going after the moderate opposition. He has a problem as well

0:24:430:24:49

as Carol was saying. If there is no settlement there, the Russians and

0:24:500:24:53

Iranians have to be committed for the long term to provide the active

0:24:540:24:58

support to hold the Assad regime in place, and frankly, that is

0:24:590:25:02

indefinite until they get some kind of settlement, so we have lots to

0:25:030:25:07

convince the Russians of the need urgently for a settlement, for two

0:25:080:25:11

reasons. Firstly, to stop the bloodshed and to address the

0:25:120:25:15

migration crisis that flows from that. Critically, Islamic State is a

0:25:160:25:23

caliphate, administering territory in Syria and Iraq has to be brought

0:25:240:25:27

to an end in everybody's interests, including the Russians, as soon as

0:25:280:25:35

reasonably practicable. What would happen if if we are presented with

0:25:360:25:40

this choice? That cannot happen. Let me remind you that the attack on

0:25:410:25:45

Aleppo began the day the peace talks were due to begin in Geneva, which

0:25:460:25:49

meant the talks never got off the ground. Why should Russia returned

0:25:500:25:55

to the peace table until it is one? Because it is winning. It and it is

0:25:560:26:01

winning but they might be able to take Aleppo with enormous investment

0:26:020:26:06

of Russian air and Hezbollah and Iranians paramilitary forces as you

0:26:070:26:14

described but the idea that the opposition have completely fallen

0:26:150:26:17

over and it will return to normal in the non-ice is part of Syria will

0:26:180:26:20

not happen. There is indefinite continuing conflict until there is

0:26:210:26:26

some kind of settlement, and until there is a settlement, there is no

0:26:270:26:30

serious prospect of being able to defeat Isil in Syria, and to be take

0:26:310:26:37

the territory and destroyed the caliphate where they are

0:26:380:26:41

administering territory. -- retake. They are attracting foreign fighters

0:26:420:26:45

to go there and fight for them. No one is saying there will be a return

0:26:460:26:50

to normality for the foreseeable future. What we could easily see

0:26:510:26:55

around Aleppo is Syria's largest city, it was its financial capital,

0:26:560:27:00

is a scorched earth policy, that is what the Russians know how to do,

0:27:010:27:05

and you say they are not going to fall over. The 40,000 refugees who

0:27:060:27:11

headed to the Turkish border think something dangerous is going on

0:27:120:27:14

there. You have to remember a large number of Syrians who have migrated

0:27:150:27:19

have migrated from regime controlled territories and have given up after

0:27:200:27:25

four years on Syria. The migration out of Syria is coming from

0:27:260:27:30

everywhere. What is essential for the United Kingdom, led by the

0:27:310:27:34

United States, it is to bang heads together of both the Russians, the

0:27:350:27:39

Turks, the Saudis and the Iranians, and say that our collective interest

0:27:400:27:44

as an international community is fixing this, and if we go on

0:27:450:27:47

supporting our clients in the region, rather than, as we all

0:27:480:27:54

agreed to on the 15th of November in Vienna, actually exercise leverage

0:27:550:27:56

to bring them to the table in order to bring a supplement, we asked

0:27:570:28:05

biting our noses to blast our face. I get the point that am I missing

0:28:060:28:09

something? I see no reason why President Putin will come to the

0:28:100:28:14

table. There is an American term that begins with the term cluster

0:28:150:28:18

and carries on. This is a sequence of hugely missed opportunities. The

0:28:190:28:23

only reason you can bang the Russians' heads together is if you

0:28:240:28:27

have a presence in the area which they pre-empted themselves. We went

0:28:280:28:30

in and they are in the vacuum, we are not in the vacuum. Actually, a

0:28:310:28:38

troupe presence could take ices out of ragga and some of the central

0:28:390:28:47

areas. -- Isis. The Russians have no interest in stopping the refugee

0:28:480:28:49

crisis. They don't like Europe or the EU and the fact that it weakens

0:28:500:28:54

us is no great problem to them at all. Their big problem, and both

0:28:550:29:01

your contributors must be right, it is that we don't see any long kind

0:29:020:29:06

of future for the kind of settlement that Russia believes it wants to

0:29:070:29:10

see. How long it takes before they discover that, how many people have

0:29:110:29:13

moved from Syria before they discover it, it is a guess. Russia

0:29:140:29:20

has two strategic plans. They are strategically linked. One is to have

0:29:210:29:26

a solid presence in Syria, there it already has a port and a strong land

0:29:270:29:30

presents as well. Secondly, it is to do what it can to undermine the EU,

0:29:310:29:35

particularly the eastern part of the European Union which he wants to

0:29:360:29:39

uncouple, and the flow of hundreds of thousands of refugees out of

0:29:400:29:45

northern Syria will do that. Thirdly, to poke their fingers in

0:29:460:29:48

the eyes of the Americans. They are flexing their muscles. If they stray

0:29:490:29:55

too far in one direction, would the US shoot down a Russian plane? I

0:29:560:30:01

suspect what we may seek are some helicopter gunships shot down by

0:30:020:30:05

weapons supplied by some neighbouring countries were getting

0:30:060:30:06

upset. Jonathan Beale was telling us the

0:30:070:30:16

Saudis may offer some ground troops, is that really realistic, when they

0:30:170:30:21

are already enmeshed in a civil war in Yemen, taking substantial

0:30:220:30:25

casualties and finding life rather difficult and there? Do we really

0:30:260:30:28

expect them to deploy land troops to Syria as well? That conversation was

0:30:290:30:35

happening on the back of a political process that looked like it was

0:30:360:30:37

making decent progress before Christmas. And what the local Sunni

0:30:380:30:43

powers are going to need, what ideally they would be doing in the

0:30:440:30:48

wake of a transition, is supporting the Syrian Arab army and the Syrian

0:30:490:30:52

free army turning their guns on Isil and giving them the military

0:30:530:30:57

capability on the ground for it to be an essentially Sunni force,

0:30:580:31:00

wherever it is drawn from, that helps the local Syrian forces

0:31:010:31:04

recapture their country from Isis. That is where the promise of Saudi

0:31:050:31:09

troops and Emma Roddy troops and Turkish troops... Is it realistic?

0:31:100:31:14

It is going to be necessary, you have pointed out how difficult

0:31:150:31:18

political transition is, but we have to make all our efforts to get that

0:31:190:31:22

transition and be thinking about what happens after that. The

0:31:230:31:36

conference last week was about that, but this will only end, they will

0:31:370:31:51

need help from the local Sunni powers to do it. We shall see, thank

0:31:520:31:56

you very much. And we welcome viewers in Scotland who were

0:31:570:32:03

watching First Minister's Questions. So when I mentioned that I got this

0:32:040:32:08

tie, I had no Scottish viewers?! I just wanted to point out this is the

0:32:090:32:13

Fife police pipe band tie. You might have a Scottish viewers,

0:32:140:32:18

you mean viewers in Scotland! Is that still a test to find out

0:32:190:32:24

whether you are sober?! Thank you, Fife Police!

0:32:250:32:26

The 24-hour strike by junior doctors in England over government plans

0:32:270:32:29

to change their contract ended this morning, but far from moving

0:32:300:32:31

to an agreement, both sides seem to be growing further apart.

0:32:320:32:34

The doctors' union, the British Medical Association,

0:32:350:32:36

has rejected a final "take it or leave" it government offer,

0:32:370:32:38

which included a concession on Saturday pay.

0:32:390:32:41

has said he will impose the new contract.

0:32:420:32:54

advising that a negotiated solution is not realistically possible.

0:32:550:33:02

Along with other senior NHS leaders, and supported by NHS Employers,

0:33:030:33:08

NHS England, NHS Improvement, the NHS Confederation,

0:33:090:33:11

and NHS Providers, he has asked me to end the uncertainty

0:33:120:33:15

for the service by proceeding with the introduction

0:33:160:33:18

of a new contract that he and his colleagues consider

0:33:190:33:21

both safer for patients and fair and reasonable for junior doctors.

0:33:220:33:26

I have therefore today decided to do that.

0:33:270:33:34

Yes, that was the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, House of Commons

0:33:350:33:40

earlier, and we are joined by Chris Mason, many will feel this is the

0:33:410:33:45

nuclear option. Absolutely, he said, take it or leave it, he is imposing

0:33:460:33:50

this contract. He is still taking questions in the Commons right now,

0:33:510:33:54

but here are the details he set out on this final deal. Not really a

0:33:550:33:58

deal, is it? It is what the doctors are going to get. He says there will

0:33:590:34:05

be an increase in the basic salary of 13.5%, higher than the figure

0:34:060:34:07

floating around yesterday, three quarters of doctors will see their

0:34:080:34:11

pay rise. Under the new contract, the maximum number of hours they

0:34:120:34:14

will be made to work in any week will be reduced from 91 to 72, and

0:34:150:34:20

the number of consecutive night shifts reduced from seven to four.

0:34:210:34:25

Crucially, the ordinary time hours on a Saturday, working on a Saturday

0:34:260:34:30

but being paid the same rate as for Thursday afternoon, for instance,

0:34:310:34:33

will extend from seven in the morning until five in the evening.

0:34:340:34:38

It is the Saturday working which has been a sticking point for doctors,

0:34:390:34:42

something they are not keen on at all. So are we looking forward to

0:34:430:34:47

rolling strikes by junior doctors? That seems pretty possible, there

0:34:480:34:51

has not yet been any response from the BMA, but I think it is fair to

0:34:520:34:55

say we can hazard a guess they will be less than gruntled by what they

0:34:560:35:05

have heard. Strong language from Heidi Alexander, the Shadow Health

0:35:060:35:08

Secretary, saying this will destroy already rock bottom morale and that

0:35:090:35:12

Jeremy Hunt is in the business of exporting junior doctors to the

0:35:130:35:16

southern hemisphere, acting as a recruiting sergeant, she said, for

0:35:170:35:20

the Australian and New Zealand health services. So yes, the dispute

0:35:210:35:26

as far as finding a resolution, the position of a contract is over, but

0:35:270:35:31

is the political row over? I suspect not. Understatement, but thank you

0:35:320:35:38

very much, Chris Mason. Reporting on the fact that Jeremy

0:35:390:35:40

Hunt has imposed the government contract.

0:35:410:35:42

Google's tax affairs are under scrutiny again today,

0:35:430:35:44

as two of its senior executives have been in front

0:35:450:35:47

You'll remember that both the Califorina-based firm

0:35:480:35:50

and Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs have been taking a lot

0:35:510:35:53

of flak over a settlement which saw Google pay ?130m in back taxes.

0:35:540:35:57

Here's Tom Hutchinson, a vice president of Google

0:35:580:36:04

to the Public Accounts Committee earlier.

0:36:050:36:12

Our overall effective tax rate for Google as a whole

0:36:130:36:15

across the world for the last five years is 19%, so I would say,

0:36:160:36:18

since that's very close to the UK tax rate, we are paying a fair

0:36:190:36:21

It is up to governments to decide where we should be paying that tax,

0:36:220:36:26

so I would love to see the system be more simple,

0:36:270:36:28

so we won't have to come to hearings like this and explain it,

0:36:290:36:32

but we need governments to actually work together and develop an overall

0:36:330:36:36

worldwide system, to take that 19% and split it among the countries

0:36:370:36:39

We're joined now by the Conservative MP Matt Warman, in a former life

0:36:400:36:46

he was a technology journalist, and by the Labour MP Caroline Flint

0:36:470:36:49

who was among those questioning the Google executives ealier.

0:36:500:36:54

I saw you in action this morning, what did you come away with? What

0:36:550:37:01

was your overall feeling? It is clear they did not pay the tax they

0:37:020:37:04

should have done under the system that we have got, and what has not

0:37:050:37:09

helped Google in all of this is when, a few weeks ago, they made

0:37:100:37:12

this announcement, there was no sense that they had been found out,

0:37:130:37:17

we are sorry about that. Instead, this is a fantastic thing, haven't

0:37:180:37:28

we been wonderful? When you hear that clip, saying we wanted more

0:37:290:37:30

simple, the problem is that Google makes choices to make their

0:37:310:37:32

arrangements very complicated. We have the situation with Ireland,

0:37:330:37:35

Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Holland as well, which makes trying to

0:37:360:37:39

fathom out what is going on very complicated. Yes, we should make it

0:37:400:37:43

simpler, but they have to own up to the fact that they use these

0:37:440:37:47

contrivances to get around paying tax. Governments of both persuasions

0:37:480:37:51

have made the system incredibly complicated, and it means companies

0:37:520:37:57

like Google hire the best accountants to take advantage of

0:37:580:38:01

every complication. The last Labour government doubled the size of the

0:38:020:38:05

tax guide, and this government has added another third to the tax

0:38:060:38:10

guide! It is now the largest tax guide in the world, it is, I think I

0:38:110:38:17

am right in saying, 16,000 pages. The Hong Kong tax guide is 230. You

0:38:180:38:23

have been unintentionally, I don't mean you personally, but as a

0:38:240:38:26

political class, have been complicit in creating the kind of rules that

0:38:270:38:32

Google can exploit. I think that is right, and a lot of our rules are

0:38:330:38:35

based on an old-fashioned system where companies operate as well, so

0:38:360:38:40

companies like Google, Twitter, Facebook, often when they start out,

0:38:410:38:45

they are not making a huge amount of profit, and what we saw in the last

0:38:460:38:49

few years of the Labour government, there was an upsurge in the profits

0:38:500:38:55

that they were achieving. So yes, it is overcomplicated, I absolutely

0:38:560:38:58

agree, I am a great believer in looking elsewhere to see what they

0:38:590:39:02

do, being less arrogant about our own system, but it is also about how

0:39:030:39:09

we keep ahead, and HMRC, six years to claw back 130 million, of which

0:39:100:39:17

they said 80 million was interest. You established there were no

0:39:180:39:23

penalties? No penalties whatsoever. You wrote that companies like Google

0:39:240:39:28

needs to be persuaded to pay tax. I am not sure that is how the system

0:39:290:39:32

operates. I mean, you do not have to be persuaded, it is the law. That is

0:39:330:39:38

the point I make in the next sentence! What we need to accept is

0:39:390:39:42

that companies such as Google, any bigger global company, has a choice

0:39:430:39:46

to make about where it bases itself, and it has a duty to pay as little

0:39:470:39:51

tax as possible. When Caroline says they have a choice about where they

0:39:520:39:58

pay tax, in fact, we shouldn't be asking to be treated like a charity,

0:39:590:40:01

we should construct a global system, hard as that is, which means we can

0:40:020:40:04

extract the right amount of tax. Until we do that, we will not solve

0:40:050:40:09

the problem. But even you could be gone by the time we have a global

0:40:100:40:13

tax system! Certain things that internationalised tax, which the EU

0:40:140:40:19

has done, have played right into the hands of companies like Google,

0:40:200:40:23

because they placed IP rights in places like Luxembourg or Ireland

0:40:240:40:28

and send all the money there. In the interim, while you're waiting for

0:40:290:40:32

your global mobile, what should we be doing? We should be making sure

0:40:330:40:38

that tax organisations, such as HMRC, get the best possible deal in

0:40:390:40:43

ways that are not going to be legally challenged, as companies

0:40:440:40:46

like Google would if we did not come to arrangements such as we have.

0:40:470:40:50

What we have got to do is do the best under the system we have got,

0:40:510:40:54

but we have to reform the system, because until we do, we will be

0:40:550:41:00

having the argument endlessly. Your government was meant to be

0:41:010:41:03

instituting the diverted profits tax, but Google was not paying any

0:41:040:41:13

of that. They made that clear in the session this morning, that it does

0:41:140:41:16

not affect them. That is another interesting point, about the timing

0:41:170:41:18

of the settlement. They thought, maybe we had better settle this

0:41:190:41:22

after six years, because the diverted profits tax may be coming

0:41:230:41:26

down the road. It is the games that are played, and I accept your point,

0:41:270:41:31

Matt, companies like Google spent an awful lot on profile and what they

0:41:320:41:36

are about, a young company, and they do, and it is about their prestige

0:41:370:41:40

as well. But they have been found out on this, because they cannot

0:41:410:41:44

deny, given the size of the company that they are, that during that

0:41:450:41:48

period they were not paying enough tax, that is the was old of this

0:41:490:41:52

investigation. My understanding is that for the period 2005-14 they had

0:41:530:41:59

already paid about 120 million, according to the Economist, and now

0:42:000:42:04

another 130. In the early days, they would be able to write off a lot of

0:42:050:42:10

costs. Argue, as a committee member, now satisfied that, going forward,

0:42:110:42:16

they will be paying the 20% whack of corporation tax? I would not say I

0:42:170:42:21

am satisfied, because we need more transparency. Just before we had the

0:42:220:42:26

committee, we got an invite from HMRC, who said they had asked Google

0:42:270:42:31

permission to provide us with a confidential session in which we

0:42:320:42:35

would be, with permission from Google, given more information about

0:42:360:42:39

the nature of the deal. We did not accept that, because we saw it as a

0:42:400:42:42

way to shut down the committee meeting, as a start! It would have

0:42:430:42:46

been in Google's interest to be ahead of the pack and say, do you

0:42:470:42:50

know what? We're going to share how we arrived at this. If it is under

0:42:510:42:55

rules we have not reformed, there are enough, more transparency is

0:42:560:43:03

needed, and that is something we will think about when we draft our

0:43:040:43:06

report. What are your thoughts, David? The biggest tax guide in the

0:43:070:43:08

world? It makes you proud to be British! If something needs a rule,

0:43:090:43:13

we have got a rule for it! The idea of transparency is the right thing.

0:43:140:43:18

The truth is, we have been involved in a trade-off, isn't it? We wanted

0:43:190:43:23

the new technology companies very badly to locate as far as possible

0:43:240:43:27

and invest as far as possible in Britain and create a hub, if you

0:43:280:43:31

like, for that type of industry, and I think at King's Cross now the

0:43:320:43:37

Google headquarters going up is at a cost of ?600 million. Very

0:43:380:43:42

impressive building. And on top of five others. By tax definitions, it

0:43:430:43:48

is just a pop-up! We had better leave it there. When will your

0:43:490:43:52

report, out? We try to get these things turned around quickly,

0:43:530:43:57

because it is such a topical debate, probably in the next month. In time

0:43:580:44:01

for the next tax year! It's been 60 years since

0:44:020:44:04

the cultural revolution swept across China thanks to the chairman

0:44:050:44:06

of the country's Communist Party, Mao Zedong, and with it

0:44:070:44:08

came his book of quotations It became a must-have item

0:44:090:44:11

for intellectuals in Europe and our guest of the day,

0:44:120:44:14

David Aaronovitch, has recently made a radio

0:44:150:44:18

documentary about it. Why all the fuss?

0:44:190:44:25

Here's Giles to explain. Today In the West Chinese Communist

0:44:260:44:38

leader Mao Tse Tung is probably no more than a figure of history,

0:44:390:44:43

so it was a rather surprised House To assist and I brought along the

0:44:440:44:51

little red book. that saw the Chairman's

0:44:520:45:01

infamous literary work pop up in the Mother

0:45:020:45:04

of all democratic Parliaments. Order! I want to hear that the

0:45:050:45:08

contents of the book! In China in the 60's the massed

0:45:090:45:15

ranks of the faithful and certainly coerced red brigades

0:45:160:45:18

read, waved and recited Many who did will tell you now

0:45:190:45:20

they did so in the giddy adulation their Western

0:45:210:45:28

equivilants gave to pop stars. It was of it's time,

0:45:290:45:35

and the book was part of that. When I was small and the cultural

0:45:360:45:42

Revolution started, we had nothing but this little red book. I can

0:45:430:45:48

remember one phrase when people said you should not be growing your own

0:45:490:45:52

crops at the corner of the collectives, for example, and that

0:45:530:46:02

would be terms as a catalyst tile. -- capitalist tale.

0:46:030:46:08

For Westerners the lethal truth of Mao's Cultural

0:46:090:46:10

revolution was not yet clear and so the little red book took it's

0:46:110:46:13

place in the iconography of revolution and radicalism.

0:46:140:46:15

The book, was part of a look and said more than it's contents

0:46:160:46:18

When so many people are disapproving of it and you are a young person,

0:46:190:46:25

what you do? Not agree with them. Younger people and older people did

0:46:260:46:32

see the little red book is something revolutionary and encouraging, a

0:46:330:46:38

change of politics. Looking back now, I am deeply critical of some

0:46:390:46:44

things but it was of some influence, not in terms of its ideology but the

0:46:450:46:46

movement stuff of it. they grew up with

0:46:470:46:51

revolutionary politics. One who did is wary of those

0:46:520:46:53

who grab the symbols I don't think it belittles the

0:46:540:47:04

seriousness of the regimes, it makes them a bit more comic. I don't think

0:47:050:47:12

Chairman Mao would appreciate the way people joke about the little red

0:47:130:47:17

book, he thinks it is serious and people needs to be reading it.

0:47:180:47:24

this man's singing the virtues of Mao in 2013.

0:47:250:47:27

That's probably Ok in China but here in Britian your more likely

0:47:280:47:30

to think of moustachioed operatic insurance advert.

0:47:310:47:35

We have our own copy here and it is shorter than the tax guide you are

0:47:360:47:42

talking about. our guest of the day

0:47:430:47:45

David Aaronovitch has recently made a Radio 4 documentary

0:47:460:47:49

on the subject. And he's a busy man,

0:47:500:47:51

because he's also written a book about his upbringing

0:47:520:47:54

in a communist family and how he became disenchanted

0:47:550:47:55

with communism. To discuss all of that we're joined

0:47:560:47:57

by Ben Chacko, he's editor of the Morning Star newspaper,

0:47:580:48:00

which is Britain's last It is not a communist newspaper, it

0:48:010:48:12

is Labour movement. But there was a common is newspaper. What was it

0:48:130:48:16

like growing up in a communist household? It was good, actually, in

0:48:170:48:21

many ways. Since I have written the book, people who grew up in Catholic

0:48:220:48:26

or Methodist background, there are some similarities here. You grew up

0:48:270:48:34

as part of the community of beliefs, we had a Communist Party dentist, at

0:48:350:48:39

Hilda, the builder came round, he would discuss the Marxist values in

0:48:400:48:50

our kitchen! -- Marxist. It was a 90 degrees angle to everybody else.

0:48:510:48:54

What everybody else believed we believe the opposite. If they

0:48:550:48:57

believe America was good and Russian was bad, we believe that the

0:48:580:49:02

opposite. It gave you a good set of beliefs as to whether you continued

0:49:030:49:07

in that vein. I knew where I was on every side of every struggle since

0:49:080:49:12

Spartacus! It gave you clarity. You studied Mandarin. I have read the

0:49:130:49:22

Little Red Book. Do you live by it? Well, the Little Red Book is a

0:49:230:49:25

pretty odd book. It is a selection of quotations ripped out of context

0:49:260:49:30

from lots and lots of different books that Mao wrote. I think it was

0:49:310:49:35

pretty destructive and I think that the Chinese sort of admit that now.

0:49:360:49:40

It wasn't a helpful guide to everything in the cultural

0:49:410:49:45

Revolution. I feel a bit envious of the way you describe your

0:49:460:49:50

upbringing, David, because obviously I do not remember the Soviet Union,

0:49:510:49:54

I don't remember the old Communist, but this community actually seems

0:49:550:49:59

very comforting, sustaining, and there is comradeship and friendship.

0:50:000:50:07

Is that an overly romantic view? It explains why people were reluctant

0:50:080:50:10

to leave it in a sense. Even when you have people who had begun to

0:50:110:50:14

intellectually drift away and challenge things, there was a real

0:50:150:50:19

sense of loyalty which helps people in place, and it is often said about

0:50:200:50:23

Communists that they held in contempt everybody who left the

0:50:240:50:29

party before them and anybody who left a minute after them! Are you a

0:50:300:50:38

Communist? Yes, I am. If you look at the world as it is at the moment,

0:50:390:50:43

there is a failed model, which we are seeing increasingly democratic

0:50:440:50:49

power handed over to corporate power, the way the EU is dealing

0:50:500:50:57

with Ttip treaties. There is a sense that whatever people want, it is not

0:50:580:51:01

being permitted by corporate interests. There are increasing

0:51:020:51:04

regulations about what you are allowed to demand, and for my

0:51:050:51:10

generation, the rights of parents grew up with being taken away and

0:51:110:51:15

stop your not expected to have a final salary pension, a contract

0:51:160:51:20

which specifies hours per week, and all of these things mean life is

0:51:210:51:23

getting worse and not better, and so something is getting wrong -- going

0:51:240:51:28

wrong. Are you saying there is a resurgence? There is a resurgence on

0:51:290:51:33

the left. Because of Jeremy Corbyn and the support he had. What is your

0:51:340:51:39

response to that, I remember being patronisingly told by one of my

0:51:400:51:42

lecturers at university that everybody is a communist University

0:51:430:51:47

and then you grow up. This is a reinvented Lefty ideology? The

0:51:480:51:53

critique of capitalism is the easy bit. Characterisation. The big

0:51:540:51:58

problem is whether there was an alternative economic system in

0:51:590:52:03

entirety which you can put down to replace capitalism as opposed to

0:52:040:52:06

businesses that reform capitalism and discuss how you liberalise it

0:52:070:52:13

and how you make people's democratic rights more secure in it. If you

0:52:140:52:16

believe there is a completely alternative economic system then it

0:52:170:52:21

is up to you to outline what that system is and how you would achieve

0:52:220:52:25

it. In other words, the revolution you intend to go through, and that

0:52:260:52:29

is where you hit a problem. Have you got an alternative? Is it credible

0:52:300:52:34

and tangible? No social movement has been able to specify something you

0:52:350:52:40

are going to do in the future is going to work. You could say the

0:52:410:52:43

same thing about liberalism and the French Revolution. Liberalism did

0:52:440:52:47

not work and it ended in bloodshed and so on. I don't think you can say

0:52:480:52:51

that we have an absolute blueprint for what the future looks like stop

0:52:520:52:57

I do think it is worth saying, capitalism has its own internal

0:52:580:53:01

logic and dynamic capitalism has its own internal

0:53:020:53:04

to this situation we are in now where power is increasingly

0:53:050:53:08

concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, or wealth is concentrated in

0:53:090:53:12

fewer hands, and you cannot reform that system, it has its own logic.

0:53:130:53:16

We need to think of something better and try something better. On that,

0:53:170:53:21

with Jeremy Corbyn as leader, has your leadership increase? --

0:53:220:53:29

readership. It increased by 12%. Fascinating. No longer a big order

0:53:300:53:31

from Moscow. They just arbitrarily should people,

0:53:320:53:42

you don't need to pay your taxes! -- shoot.

0:53:430:53:44

Now, are you planning a visit to the cinema?

0:53:450:53:46

Perhaps you're thinking about booking tickets for Zoolander 2.

0:53:470:53:48

Although it's been getting so-so reviews.

0:53:490:53:50

And I'm afraid the same goes for Dad's Army.

0:53:510:53:52

But if you wait until April, you can go and see a film about Brexit.

0:53:530:53:55

Yes, that's right, a feature-length documentary making the case

0:53:560:53:58

Shame it missed Valentine's Day weekend.

0:53:590:54:05

The film-maker behind it is trying to raise ?100,000

0:54:060:54:07

we'll speak to him in a moment, but first have a look

0:54:080:54:12

This is the single most important political decision any of us

0:54:130:54:20

Every continent now is our growing Europe.

0:54:210:54:23

Certainly it is not in our economic interest to remain

0:54:240:54:25

My name is Martin Durcan, I'm a documentary film-maker,

0:54:260:54:29

and I want your help to make a film about Britain's membership

0:54:300:54:32

We are about to be given a chance to say what we think,

0:54:330:54:36

In this film, I want to spell out the choice before us,

0:54:370:54:43

do we want to live under a Europe-wide government,

0:54:440:54:45

a vast state machine which few of us understand,

0:54:460:54:47

run by people we don't know with the power to impose laws on us

0:54:480:54:50

that we haven't debated and have little or no power to overturn?

0:54:510:54:58

And the man behind Brexit The Movie, Martin Durkin, joins us now.

0:54:590:55:05

You are crowd sourcing this, is that right? Yes. How was it going? It is

0:55:060:55:14

going all right, we have ?30,000 through crowd sourcing and other

0:55:150:55:18

donations not through that so it is going well. How much you need? Well,

0:55:190:55:24

we have got enough to start and it is fairly plain from the promises

0:55:250:55:27

that we will have enough to finish. You have started interviewing

0:55:280:55:37

people? A cluster. Who have you found impressive? The usual suspects

0:55:380:55:43

are impressive. For Raj. -- Nigel Farage. The big names who will be

0:55:440:55:53

familiar to you lot. I will try to interview very fairly a lot of the

0:55:540:55:57

EU leaders as well but the main aim is to put the argument across so I

0:55:580:56:00

don't want it to be a current affairs talking headpiece. We do all

0:56:010:56:09

that! The BBC has the EU subject beautifully covered. What will you

0:56:100:56:13

tell us that we don't know already? If you do lots of reading, there

0:56:140:56:17

won't be that you don't know but I ain't that for people who don't do

0:56:180:56:21

lots of background reading, and there are many of us, it lays out

0:56:220:56:25

the case and refrains familiar things in unfamiliar ways. It asks

0:56:260:56:32

basic questions. The aim is to say, hold on a minute, isn't it nice we

0:56:330:56:35

have control of our own destinies and can shape our own futures, and

0:56:360:56:41

should we think twice... What shocks me is the casual way which we hand

0:56:420:56:46

over to other people the ability to determine other laws, that shocks

0:56:470:56:51

me. You have been described as the Michael Moore of the rights, in

0:56:520:56:54

reference to the left wing documentary maker. Is that an

0:56:550:57:01

accolade? Is the next Communist, that confuses me and I think of

0:57:020:57:04

myself as a minute Arian and not Right wing. I was on the time is

0:57:050:57:09

powerless and that made me chuckle! -- militarily and. Is it going to be

0:57:100:57:18

propaganda, though? Sometimes you make films from the strong points of

0:57:190:57:26

view. Your wrist slapped -- you were wrist slapped. There is a space for

0:57:270:57:35

someone making the case forcefully, arguing one particular thing. The

0:57:360:57:40

BBC had a great European disaster movie and said it would be a

0:57:410:57:43

disaster to leave the EU, and I think it was funded by the EU. I

0:57:440:57:50

could have waited for the BBC to make the case but I thought we

0:57:510:57:52

should do it ourselves. OK, very well. When will he be finished? I

0:57:530:58:00

can barely spend the time to come over and talk to you chaps! Will

0:58:010:58:10

Bill the biopic follow? It is a documentary not Encyclopaedia

0:58:110:58:13

Britannica! I will try and sting you for a contribution later. And the

0:58:140:58:15

Queen. There's just time before we go

0:58:160:58:20

to find out the answer to our quiz. The question was what is the name

0:58:210:58:24

that Liam Fox and the Brexiteers Is it a) Stayvians b) Persistonians

0:58:250:58:27

c) Non-leavians or d) You are absolutely right. That is

0:58:280:58:30

the right answer. The One o'clock News is starting

0:58:310:58:50

over on BBC One now. I'll be back at 11.45 this

0:58:510:58:56

evening for This Week, with Michael Portillo,

0:58:570:58:59

Labour MP Liz Kendall and former As Ireland head to France

0:59:000:59:01

in search of a first victory, can Wales use home advantage

0:59:020:59:07

to beat a deflated Scotland? And jubilant England enter

0:59:080:59:11

the Stadio Olimpico We want to be able to say,

0:59:120:59:19

"We believe in this case."

0:59:200:59:21

Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn with the latest news and debate from Westminster, including an interview with the shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn, who makes the case for Europe.

They are also joined by Times columnist David Aaronovitch to discuss his communist childhood and debate Syria and Google's tax affairs.


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